The MJK Tool Vortex
A true modern-day Kokopelli
A true modern-day Kokopelli since the 90’s the lead singer for Tool described as having a devoted cult-like following has resided within the Verde Valley. James Herbert Keenan, otherwise known professionally as Maynard James Keenan or MJK, is not only a singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor, and author but is also a famous winemaker in Jerome, Arizona. Nevertheless; MJK was made famous through the music of the band Tool which according to some is one of the greatest rock bands of all time to walk on the planet whose imagery produced and legend states:
“Tool performances are not just concerts they are occult rituals.”
Described as being more than just a band with a primal, tribal, even spiritual learning experience of mind expansion, Tool’s music has affected many people in many ways. The bands sound is uniquely very layered with complex rhythms containing deeper meanings behind spiritual lyrics which requires multiple listening sessions, “The more you listen the more you’re going to find.”
Forming in 1990 in the city of “Las Angelas” or “The Angels” the meaning behind the band's name is said to be the members wanted its listeners to use music as an abstract tool to help people discover an awareness for one’s own mind to reach other levels through music. Tool, therefore, is a play on words showing a sense of duality philosophical and comical side. Describing in undertones what seems to be the metaphysics of existence in their famous song “Schism” bringing new meaning to the term “surreal” altered states of instrumentation and visualization, as well as art for the sake of art in this case somehow creating a split or division only to reemerge whole as something fundamentally different. As a painted picture is worth a thousand words, so does every song have a different meaning for different people.
One can’t help but wonder from watching the music video if the area along with its legendary paranormal/supernatural activity hasn’t in some way effected MJK thus evidently causing him to put all the areas secrets together “knowing the pieces fit” as expressed through fundamental communication defying logic as beauty and the sheer violence are in this case truly in the eye of the beholder attempting to understand how the pieces fit. It seems if one were able to gain further insight into MJK’s complex rhythms and changing meters of musical mind it appears the average person would probably lose theirs in this vortex.
Multi-level lawsuits seem to have put Tool on ice for a while setting the group back but this didn’t stop MJK from taking his talents in other directions spinning his legend into the horizons of forming other notable music bands like Puscifer and A Perfect Circle. However, MJK sang songs in Puscifer revealing the nature of himself and the area pulling people further into its depths by telling some of the mythical tales of the region. One of the most telling songs which very much ironically sounds just like something from the actual legend of Kokopelli who according to legend ran around with a huge protruding phallus in the local county is a song called “Cuntry Boner.”
The legendary boner of Kokopelli has been found all throughout the southwest carved into the rock of many walls. As presented in The Risqué Detachable Penis Vortex Kokopelli’s role in history is said to be one of the Angels who descended to Mount Hermon in the Book of Enoch. These Angels were said to be immortal and possessed magical powers and knowledge which they were forbidden to give humanity. The two main points to connect is a being who according to legend used music and had a rather large boner which it was most proud to sport around almost like a tool.
Then the next odd coincidence of there being a “detachable penis” or in other words a “tool” is something altogether too much at this point but nonetheless worthy of notice. Going even further, a perfect example of a modern-day renaissance man in 2002 and 2004 sequel MJK established his talents into acting appearing as Satan in the infamous cult classic Bikini Bandits sporting a rather large “tool.”
Inbetween in 2003, MJK somehow must have discovered the pieces fit for the song “REV 22:20” on the Underworld film soundtrack ironically about Vampires and Werewolves something rumored to exist in the region according to legend (Giants/Skinwalkers). Puscifer “Conditions of My Parole” specifically mention “Zombies and Dracula” in reference to the Verde River. The lyrics of Puscifer make a person wonder what does MJK know about the Sedona/Verde Valley to be making such bold statements?
The Tool Spiral Vortex
Another fascinating factor found to exist in the music of Tool is the use of the Fibonacci sequence where such mathematical ideas leads to, such as the golden ratio, spirals and self- similar curves, have long been appreciated for their “charming abilities” taking one deeper and deeper into the vortex of sound.
“The magic of using Fibonacci sequence Spirals consisting of musical notes to literally spin a tale taking one into another time and place is nothing shy of total brilliance and reveals something more profound.”
The Fibonacci sequence can be found in various artworks throughout history, perhaps the most well known is in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. A lot of interpretations can be found for Tool’s Fibonacci sequence “Lateralus” on the internet, and for some this song carries a larger than life meaning. The Fibonacci sequence shares a relationship with Phi, the golden ratio. The golden ratio is used to describe spirals, which are mentioned several times in the lyrics:
“Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be human”, “Spiral out, keep going” twice, and “Spiral out, keep going.”
The song is finished with some more pretty unique yet ironic and well put words leading the person further into the spell stating:
“We’ll ride the spiral till the end and may just go to where no one's been, spiral out, keep going.”
During a live performance on Holloween in 2015 Tool played for the first time a song their first song in over a decade called, “Descending.” Tool’s music and evoking lyrics may be interpreted as helping others reach a higher state of consciousness or otherwise bettering oneself in a profound way ultimately living up to another metaphor of its name. During the band's decade-long legal troubles which they eventually won but were unable to create additional material, there was the legend of an album called the “The Holy Gift” which was said to contain a special song order organized to match the Fibonacci sequence. Although the Fibonacci sequence doesn’t go backward by definition, it’s still clear that it’s present in the tune, and reaches peak at 13, the number of songs on the album. Therefore one of the “secrets” of “The Holy Gift” is in organizing the songs in a pair of spirals with number 13 which is a “triad” of pairs divided by a split - or “schism” - in the middle, the latter of which features a line saying “Recognize this as a holy gift.” Nevertheless having music that lines up well with the Fibonacci sequence clearly establishes the shadow of some type of genius clearly at work somewhere behind the scenes.
Tools Album Art Vortex
There have been more than a few people (William Henry) over the years who have asserted art is a type of vortex whereby it is possible to travel to otherworldly places. The Buddhist tradition affirms there is a way to connect with these otherworldly beings through the gateway of art where the belief of a ladder of ascension and also of the existence of all these other beings from other realms/dimensions exists. Perhaps this is why the band featured in venues the visionary artwork of Alex Grey. The dissectional art for Tool’s Lateralus CD Progress of the Soul basically shows Alex Grey’s artwork and the music of Tool go hand in hand. Tool isn’t just about the music or lyrics, the group is also about artwork, but more importantly, we also find the messages of personal discovery behind the images presented another factor about those who descended to Mount Hermon according to the Book of Enoch. Alex Grey has been quoted as saying: “Art is his religion” which would seem to line up perfectly with Tool’s mindset as well. Professor Donald Kuspit of Art History and Philosophy at SUNY-Stony Brook had some choice ironic words about Grey’s art stating:
“It is the light that is sublime in Grey’s oeuvre – which is the most important innovation in religious light since the Baroque – and that makes the mundane beings in them seem sublime, in every realistic detail of their exquisite being.”
According to legend, there are spiritual beings/entities/angels/demons that are able to communicate with humanity through the portal of art some of which have left doorways for people to enter into these other realms and dimensions. “Paintings are ultimately gateways.”
Let there be no question about the alluring power found not only in the band's music and vocals, but the imagery has been created to pull a person further and further into this vortex. According to Ken Wilber, Foreword to The Mission of Art:
“Alex Grey might be the most significant artist alive. In a world gone postmodern, bereft of meaning and value, cut loose on a sea of irony and indifference, Alex is taking a stunning stand: there is a God, there is Spirit, there is a transcendental Ground and Goal of human development and unfolding. Higher realities are available to us, is the message of Alex Grey’s art and words in this book. He has set himself the extraordinary task of depicting, in art, these higher truths and here encourages all artists to find their own unique means of serving art’s abiding mission.”
Tool’s music is truly enlightening on many levels. A song titled Merkaba shows some of the depth and brilliance of the artists. The Homo-Luminous body of light is the Merkaba Sphere which is a powerful light tool that helps people reconnect to the divine source where there is the according to legend sacred geometry of a light body, a divine light vehicle. The Merkaba Sphere refers to “rotating fields of light” a deep form of meditation that facilitates deep spiritual growth. The band would emphisize on this sphere profoundly stating:
“Our body is light, we are immortal.
Our body is love, we are eternal.
Eternal... Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, without judgment.”
In the distant past legend says Kokopelli was a source of happiness, joy, and the bringer light to some, or secret knowledge. The music of his flute was said to be able to take people to other worlds and time. Kokopelli would visit villages, playing his flute, and people would sing and dance all night much like they do today. When you take a close look at some of the characteristics of MJK and this figure in history it seems the spirit of Kokopelli lives on in the region. Musicians have traveled the world playing enchanting tunes mostly throughout the night. If anyone in the region deserves to be compared to Kokopelli its MJK who under close examination is one of the greatest magicians to have walked and lived in the area. There are way too many connections and coincidences between the ancient “Angel” and “MJK” to simply dismiss. There is a mystery present...
One of the greatest secrets of the area has been its ability to turn the bad into good, lead to gold, perhaps the areas greatest and most legendary accomplishment. In the documentary Blood Into Wine a look inside the life of one of Rock music’s most mysterious and interesting figures was conducted. With winemaking in his blood, MJK set out to not only bring notoriety to Arizona’s burgeoning wine regions, but to turn a bad experience in his life into something positive. His vineyard is named after a pubic wig, Merkin. One of the wines produced by MJK is a delightful Cabernet Sauvignon named Nagual Del Judith in memory of his mother after he scattered her ashes across the vineyard. Blood Into Wine gives unprecedented insight into Maynard’s world and his motivations for bringing winemaking to the region’s unforgiving landscape. Of the Verde Valley area in general MJK stated:
“The Verde Valley, in general, it’s not for everybody this area of Arizona it’s one of those things you have to resonate with to really dig in and be here, it’ll spit you out like you know like a bad liver transplant.”
Only somebody who has been here and lived life among the people for a very long time could make such a bold statement. A world-famous artist wouldn’t normally be found out among the common folk much, therefore under close review, there seems to be a lot more to Kokopelli and MJK then most are able to perceive or realize. Clearly, the Bible was right when it said: “there is nothing new under the sun.”
NOTE: This information has been taken from a chapter in the book theSedona/Verde Valley Vortex and or will be added on the next update.
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