(The creepiness, BTW, never stops around here.)
-Nothing like putting the End at the Beginning. -Worry not, the"★" page will pop up many times from here on in as a hyperlink inside the book because of the number of book themes Bowie's "BlackStar" video happens to elucidate. It's probably a safe bet that the last time it is going to pop up is at the ultimate understatement of heartbreak, the parenthetical "not to mention poignant".
Since the below will summarize all of the "★" video's pre-existing interpolations with the book (then there's the album itself to consider), -in light of January 10, 2016, it is probably best left and best read after the end of the entire book, since it is in fact, the end. "The Raydiant Labyrinth was published and launched using #imablackstar.com within 24 hours of David Bowie's death.
After January 10th, The Raydiant Labyrinth is solely dedicated
to David Bowie.
So, to begin we have the eclipse. Everything that begins in this book in terms of a musical conflagration begins at a single conjunction brought on by one single couplet about an eclipse (p. 409). Interestingly, when the book's premise that was brought on by the couplet met with its presumed target in terms of the author of this book presenting The God Proof to the author of the couplet, -it so happened they first met twelve days after this eclipse (p. 1096). What transpired in between was an interactive inspired feedback loop centered on the premise of a "black star" as a conflated symbol, a conflation that only occurred in an array, meaning 'star' was a symbol in various places but so was the notion of an astral body that blocked out the sun (one or the other of this varietal appears on pages 560-1, p. 584, p. 592-3, p. 601, p. 620, p. 684, p. 696, p. 710, p. 834, p. 916, p. 950, p. 993, p. 1032, p. 1043, p. 1084, p. 1089, p. 1151, p. 1159, p. 1219, p. 1318, p. 1467, p. 1516, p. 1565, p. 1633, p. 1655, p. 1733, p. 1737, p. 1781, p. 1784, p. 1787, p. 1791, p. 1796, p. 1798, p. 1804-5 ("black star" itself comes up), p. 1831, p. 1839, p. 1875, p. 1887, p. 1966, p. 1987, p. 2017 (hyperlink), p. 2143-4, p. 2146, p. 2159-6161), -enough occurences anyone can see it's a pretty imbedded theme.
What is developing with all these references? -An integrated symbology that surrounds the book's female character without her ever actually devising it. She is the 'black star". The first time she ever asserted herself to any of the artists (lyricists) by announcing herself in terms of this symbolism to an individual she thought of as its first architect, that was moment of the eclipse.
If you understand that this book already delineates the presentation of such symbolism as being literal long ago (and presented this personally as far back as 1999) -and realize what just happened was the first presentation of this book within the same span of hours that David Bowie died, the opening moments of the 'Blackstar" video are simply literal. (This is technically true since while the finished book was mailed to Ireland for Christmas 2015, Bono has not actually received it yet.) The launching of "The Raydiant Labyrinth" on imablackstar.com was its first unveiling ever. No one has read it yet. What has happened with this launch is the equivalent of walking up to the spaceman, only to know he has passed on. The encounter actually fulfills Bowie's passing in conjunction with the appearance of the book's central character (even from an age perspective, as well as appearance), not to mention the cover itself.
But it goes much deeper than that.
"In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
I'm not going to speculate about Ormen other than to mention Bowie was known to have been there once and perhaps knew about this tradition - as well as the word's meaning (serpent). Forcible conversion is not my interest (the book remains (and will remain) safely circumstantial). The context of the God Proof, however, is fully embedded within Christian beliefs, -with one (significant) differing aspect. However the real way of forcing conversion is not by execution (which defeats the purpose other than extraneous coercion, which isn't real belief); the real means of achievement is incontravertible proof, which is a central hub of contest within the book. (The only other way (which amounts to the same) is the Pauline vision.) The only individual to come close to getting inflicted with possible proof of the existing circumstance depicted inside the book in real time came back with "use the views to build, don't prove". Hence we have the book. Biblicly it is the serpent that imparts the knowledge of good and evil. In truth being forced to this knowledge can have much the same sort of soul lethality as the myth itself (or its depicted result in Genesis, i.e., the consequence of judgment).
Now the interesting irony (if you happen to derive amusement from the soul crushing varietal), is the manner in which the book's female character attempted to do so. She asserts, by taking over Billy Corgan's chat forum during his Machina Mystery contest (2000 - Chapter 25), that it will be provable that she is "June" herself in real time thanks to how her advent on his forum will actually get depicted subsequently by the musical artists she has already declared to previously exist inside her existing feedback loop, because actually his much loved concept is universal. Despite the fact that it was a purely intuitive assertion at that threshold, David Bowie was on her list of "connected" artists. Now what's amazing about that, is that there was only one artist with two separate albums where she couriered her subsequent analysis of the albums to Billy personally, meaning that this 1, 2 punch was perhaps the most effective proof of her advent on his forum. These were David Bowie's Heathen (p. 1773) and Reality (p. 1825). And when David Bowie began this "uplinking" in earnest for the first time (of such substance and detail that it worked to prove her advent to Billy), -look at Bowie's eyes on the album cover. Now what is heartbreaking about the matter is that his blindness to the existing circumstances, even while he (perhaps unconsiously) became her existing centrality in proving it, was fully depicted on Heathen itself, which means it is fully described and delineated inside the book in Chapter 27, -she wrote this prior to when the theme was revisited in terms of still being trapped with buttons for eyes in the 'Blackstar" video itself, (with the element in "The Next Day" (0:42) video of a woman carrying her eyes also being a progression that was being written about in real time about this theme's progression in Bowie's lyrics, (interpolated with the lyrics of others)). The patriarchal religious paradigm depicted in "The Next Day" video got the full nelson in Chapter 16, (hence the titling), but in actual fact it was far more direct than that, as the false prophet Bowie depicted in the video fit the protagonist's actual father figure to a "T" (as did the stigmata outcome). Chapter 16 is in fact the final dismantling of this father figure, which works to the same net effect as dismantling Christian patriarchy. It also happened to be the last section written in the book.
My real interest in "Blackstar"'s opening verse is the centre, being "your eyes", meaning those of the song's object, depicted in the video by timing to imply the woman coming to procure the skull. The book's entire development depicts the arising of a form of collective consciousness (presumed to be largely unconsious) inside the vehicle of one person's perspective, -again, that of the book's central female character. This means that it is only her perception (her sight) that imparts any sense of collectivism at all. This is depicted as a third eye as of p. 792 (lyrically it also appeared at p. 1022). The concept really comes into itself in Chapter 23 (p. 1355), where "I of the Mourning" (coupled with Vasily's Plate XI) -deftly conflated the feedback loop occurring inside the artists' work (which only its object was capable of observing (hence her eyes at the center of it all)) with what she presumed was its implication, namely the God Proof, which was only apparent from her singular perspective observing the collective feedback loop that was occuring in so many artists' lyrics. Here in Vasily's depiction we have the ouroboros, the serpent eating its own tail with the all seeing eye in the center, as a depiction implicating or stating God. The "I of the Mourning" is the 'I of the Radio", i.e., it is coming through the radio, -while the image of the eye of the radio is the all seeing eye/ouroboros/God. Machina was a concept album, with a central feminine object Billy named "June". In the context of the book, "June" already possesses precisely the faculty of perspective implied between the song and the image; -she actually presented the God Proof in terms of this precise combination to Billy before Machina was ever released, by demonstrating that if the feedback loop was occurring through the radio, it presented, perhaps, a superceding concept that could only have arisen out of a superceding conception i.e., consiousness. This only occurred inside a singular perpective, that of the books' female protagonist. She actually introduced herself to Billy as "June" before Machina was released. It was only an "if" in the sense that when she presented it, she had yet to demonstrate it.
This is the very center of the book, in the sense that Billy was the one individual the book's central character engaged in real time in the real world in an attempt to prove she was his pre-existing object. In that sense, the whole book centers around this depiction, which is why there's an entire chapter devoted to Machina. What David Bowie is describing lies perfectly captured within this chapter.
"On the day of execution, on the day of execution, only women kneel and smile"
The soul execution of the female central character lies at the very center of this book -entered into by choice (Chapter 14). This gets a number of depictions through the feedback after, touched upon (you really don't want me to try listing page references again) particularly in Chapters 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, and 23. But to actually assert the book as having an existing reality even at all would amount to a social, external variety of execution in the present tense, because no individual purportedly "involved" in its depiction has either known about it, -or ever been willing to assent or assert its reality if they did. So once again the act of stepping forward to release the book in real time on imablackstar.com is literal, because these are the potential consequences of ever doing so. What was an interior consequence is more than likely to become an exterior one. There are other reasons to this lyric, of course. It comes in the faculty to face and transcend it.
Of course, the amount of attempts to ever find out by contacting artists mentioned in these pages whether this connectivity was happening (or not) can be counted on two hands. In actual fact the book depicts precisely three attempts to find out (here is where it gets interesting), -with three male artists, with next to nil result. These three individuals were Bono, Billy Corgan, and Nick Cave. Nick Cave more or less appeared to respond that the book's protagonist was deluded. The other two were perhaps a little too intimidated by what they witnessed to take that risk, and appeared to (very covertly) incorporate her in terms of the subject matter she'd presented to them personally into their work (Chapter 27 goes into this with the most detail, but this was how Bono first reacted -that and how he named both of his sons). But the net result (of them never deigning to respond to her personally) is that the book's central character has never gotten to find out either way, and they became, via silence on the matter, her greatest inhibitor to ever prospectively releasing the work. This book was in fact the first attempt at depictng the whole collective situation so it could be judged. No one's ever actually done so. Since it already actually happened in real time in the real world, that David Bowie was the next intended recipient to put this matter to is already a foregone conclusion. He was actually the first recipient to be presented with its entire sum. It is only after his death that he was presented with the ability to see through her eyes, to see eye to eye for the first time, blind on his deathbed in "Lazarus", and so going to the grave. This brings us to the pivotal declaration (which effectively already occurred):
"Something happened on the day he died, Spirit rose a meter and stepped aside, Somebody else took his place and bravely cried, I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar"
I'm mentioning that the book depicts three individuals who were approached because of the matter of the Golgotha three "scarecrows" in the "Blackstar" video, who become apparent in a field at precisely the moment David Bowie holds the blackstar cover book up (4:28), hearkened by the ensuing '"light" (which perversely doesn't appear to mean a whole lot, and presents us an inversion instead, unless, of course, you realize that before the scarecrow field, what the video in fact presents us with (at that moment of the burst of light appearing as heralded by Bowie's holding the book), is Bowie's encounter eye to eye with the video's female protagonist, i.e., the implication of obtaining "the light" or enlightenment is in this encounter, not what follows).
In short, left in the artist's individual artistic reductions and ignorance of the collective perspective (held within the object they chose to continue depicting, which happened either consiously or unconsiously, but at a level of detail too impossible to have been chance) -there's really not a whole lot to tell, because their individual outcomes on the matter produced the consequence of obliterating the potentialities possessed by their object (in terms of the potential ability to ever be transmitted in a way that would ever be received as opposed to rejected). To covertly acknowledge her but refuse any communication with her was the equivalent of choosing to remain blind to what the book's central character asserted (and was forced, subsequently, to delineate alone in this book). The book is in fact the deliberate attempt to break free of the artist's blind reductions, depicted as the empty blind scarecrows who can only harness but never substantiate what they're deriving; instead all they facilitated was denial in their choices subsequent to their individual encounters with their feminine object. (Oh and, they can't dance either, but she can, did and does, -and did so professionally in Chapters 16 and 19. -Dancing was very central to her existence.)
Now what is interesting about these three encounters is that is was Billy who came closest to actively and personally engaging the book's female character (which will remain private). The first time they ever met in phsycial reality and recognized one another, the book's female character was wearing a black and white horizontally striped shirt (p. 1680). This became Billy Corgan's most central wardrobe choice ever since. -Hence the central scarecrow in the field makes rather uncanny (but perfect) sense.
"How many times does an angel fall? How many people lie instead of talking tall? He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd (I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangstar)"
None of them stood forward or affirmed the truth, even while they purported to espouse it ("Tarantula" (07/07/07)). -At least not yet, anyway. Examine the lyrics: Billy knew exactly what he was doing, who his persona in white was (that it was a feminine is understood by the full analysis, and targeted the book's protagonist based on her couriers to him prior (Chapter 29, p. 2140)). The closure "if it's a white hot soul they want, it's a black heart they'll get" -implied himself onstage, which is practically unquestionable when you consider "7 Shades of Black" (in fact he explicitly declared in interview that the song was an indulgent personal foray into his darkside). Billy already presented as the black star quite deliberately, since she'd identified herself to him long since as the white one (but also as the personification of the blood moon and the eclipse). In fact she'd disclosed to him as part of her feedback exercise (her deliberate choice of adventing as "June" and making it a matter between "Glass" and "June", that the encounter had (if loosely) appeared in the feedback as well, with his persona appearing as the "black star" in "American Gothic" (p. 1671). -Which is what Billy went on to name his next EP, when she resumed contact after a two year hiatus (p. 2188). Bowie is, in this perpective, assuming a moniker that already transpired with the "male side" in terms of... (-well to find that out you're just going to have to read the book).
Because Billy was so pivotal but refused, in the end, to ever allow the interaction to descend into true communication, her greatest hope of this prospectively ever happening (that an actual in person meeting would occur as a meeting of the minds, which would prove her salvation by proving her existence), -remained David himself, -who himself has passed on. In that sense, to lose him executed her as well. This verse, of course, personifies the male artists onstage (Bono's out there presently throwing books into the crowd for "Until the End of the World", after having received this one at the halfway mark in 2011). Of course Bowie means it at its greater depth in reference to himself, which in the deepest irony happens to juxtapose what she'd asked and never received from the former (both Billy and Bono with far different appeals), which ultimately sought refuge in irrefutable rationality on both counts; (she did end up in the US over the matter; it wasn't her nation of origin). This absense of what she sought (which he could in no way deliver now) is juxtaposed with what Bowie wished to obtain, because he was, in a sense, "there" already (the headless skeleton returns 'home" gravitating to the eclipse). He was part of the connective consiousness via the unconscious, but didn't know how it had transpired or taken place, -though he was pretty deadly accurate on the "who", it wasn't all of it (i.e., no sedatives involved). What is dead on right on, was the "I'm the great I Am", -given the transpiration of the God Proof in between via the feedback interaction and what it articulated (YHWH literally advents in Chapter 23, 25 (p. 1596 (hyperlink)) and subsequent in the feedback at Chapter 27):
"I can’t answer why (I’m a blackstar)
Just go with me (I’m not a filmstar)
I’m-a take you home (I’m a blackstar)
Take your passport and shoes (I’m not a popstar)
And your sedatives, boo (I’m a blackstar)
You’re a flash in the pan (I’m not a marvel star)
I’m the great I am (I’m a blackstar)
I’m a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I’ve got game
I see right so white, so open-heart it’s pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"
-Not to mention, this entire transpiration occurs beyond consiousness in the (therefore) utter void of the unknown. It is in that sense to claim (transcendent) identity in it is to identify as darkness, yet paradoxically the unknown is what delineated and threw into relief the 'I Am", i.e., the circumstance of the God Proof. The real point of this declaration of context, is that it can only be indicated to demonstrably exist between the two of them, if subsequently affirmed by both parties. In other words, David Bowie would have had to have assented to this interpretation for his declaration to have been substantiated in a manner that conferred its actual existing weight. In terms of the existing potential God Proof, the declaration of being the 'Blackstar" is in fact a pre-existent duality that can only be affirmed and declared by both, not one, were it to ever confer its potential. But since this query (in terms of the loss of Bowie), can now never be answered by the other side (unless it were to occur beyond the grave), what we are presently left with is a question without any hope of conclusion, an unresolvable mystery. What the "Blackstar" video depicts is the stigma and emptiness of a rootless sensuality that presents in the absence; the book can never hope to present its actual rational observed progression as conclusive proof anymore, because that required affirmation from "the other side". There are many other artists of course. It can and may happen elsewhere. But these were the respository of her greatest and best hope, -and now David is gone, with buttons for eyes, a potential prospect she dreaded for years.
We are left with the skull as sacred object, hallowed by what it can never tell, the hollow advent of trance, sensuality and mystery. For those who do not understand the dancing in the video, look to the whirling dervishes (who do so meditatively) and realize that it doesn't matter what the dance movement, it still acts as stimulus on the limbic system, -and that is its main point. If you've lost your chance at proof, it becomes the only point left. It leaves me declaring this alone, in a moment that came out of death rather than affirmation:
"I can’t answer why (I’m not a gangster)
But I can tell you how (I’m not a flam star)
We were born upside-down (I’m a star star)
Born the wrong way ‘round (I’m not a white star)
(I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangster
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar
I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)"
I can safely say that skull is a burden I will bear for the rest of my life.