T.S.Eliot, via Diane.‘…But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.’
Between two waves? And in the case of Leonard’s mood in this song, Treaty, the truth is not heard at all between two waves of ...doubt and fear.
of Treaty and such...
On light and ego and the tiny middle way; the narrow gate..
Leonard’s deep-deep inner-most doubts may have been expressed in this aching song, "Treaty". And cyclic uncertainty, is why he repeats the verse in the final song, String Reprise/Treaty
singing about a Treaty “between your love and mine.”
Why a treaty between lovers?
Why not a wedding?
Why not a blending of souls or spirits?
Why not a union of loving friendship?
Why a Treaty???
In this song, Treaty, Leonard concerns himself with a reasonably common, deep dilemma in many loving relationships where one party feels that they are being overwhelmed by the other and despite the pleasures of love, that vulnerable party feels they are being overwhelmed by their partner/lover to such a degree that this under-valueing of self becomes destructive to the gentle, fledgeling heart (atman/ego); to a point where the vulnerable one, Leonard in this case, fears he is about to be annihilated altogether by his G~d; absorbed completely; a rain-drop in the ocean, so to speak, utterly absorbed to the point of extinction. This fearful "thought by thought" is repeated in the song “Steer your way” where Leonard begs his “heart”, his god, his teachers, his Atman, his inner-dweller, anyone...:
…because he doesn’t want to be absorbed and diluted out of existence,“Please don’t make me go there,
tho’ there be a god or not”
and so he sings another thought by thought, in Traveling Light:
A “treaty” is based on mutual respect and mutual responsibility; not love.But if the road
leads back to you
must I forget
the things I knew……..(?)
The issue with entering the void of divine union is the possibility of, and maybe expectation of, a total loss of self, dissolved and diffused in some osmotic transfer of consciousness’. Diffusion through a semipermeable membrane/manbrain is a two way process where elemental ideas can be exchanged and shared at a non-threatening pace in a non-threatening space. But in this moment, in this space, Leonard does not feel safe and does not feel appreciated or loved, rather he feels completely vulnerable by the overwhelming “thought by thought” of individual extinction which is the promise of some mystic schools of thought.
This is the darkest darkness of what the mystics call “The Dark Night”. This is the moment where Leonard says to his g~d,
Not a question but a statement of fearful pessimism.“You want it darker
We kill the flame”
That is, as if to say to himself and to his g~d; “kill the flame that burns in my heart”;...and that's it for me, Sunshine.
Like Jesus' loss of faith on the cross;
"Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?"
("My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?")
"Treaty" is a song about a moment in a mind … on the cliff-face of faith, staring into a mid-night-un-welcoming void, knees buckling, soul crying, voice moaning..
…and he feels he can go no “darker” no further… or he will topple into that “void” and be forever gone… that “light” in his heart that is ever guiding him is about to be extinguished...by his "Lover":If ever I loved you
It's a crying shame...
So he looks to his soul; and cries,
Where are you now???"You were my safe and sound...my aerial"
...but only one of us was real
and that was me...
Alone and lost...so Leonard-lost;
And this is just the place he needs to be!!!
…..in order that he can sense the dimmest of divine light, that “sweet” light that is the essence of the Spirit of god, and, the spirit of humanity and also the spirit of “life” itself.
( I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. as Jesus explained)
To be elsewhere other than this dimmest and darkest of places in this game of light seeking Light, is to be “blinded by the Face of God”.
…and yet, “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (KJB)
The “Paradox” is that we need to be dark to become light.
We need to be in darkness and unknowing ignorance in order to comprehend what the spirit/Spirit has to offer; or it is all just too much…
and so Leonard sighs,
because it all just seems too dark, too hard, too threatening and just too “bloody” much.“I wish there was a treaty we could sign”
A “treaty” would enable him and his atman to still exist; to saunter on through perhaps other lives to come..re-incarnate perhaps, to Bodhisattva? or maybe a gypsy poet-singer...which is more to my (Leonard's) liking..."I do not care who climbs this bloody hill"
This "Treaty" is an anxious plea,
"I want participation, not annihilation
give me time, give me time and space...not eternity...
let's call a truce, make a treaty
in this war of love and Love."
Thankfully, we have other beautiful songs of his on this wonderful album that redeem the moment, between the "waves"...the Dark Nights...
...thought by thought...