Friday, April 6, 2012

The Angelic Jackson

Some weeks ago, I had the privilege to see the Cirque du Soleil’s Immortal in the Staples’ Center in Los Angeles. The venue has attained iconic status for Michael Jackson himself; it is where he was practicing for his new world tour and the site of his funeral service. A few weeks afterwards, we all learned about the death of Whitney Houston, in her hotel room in the Beverley Hills Hilton, the result of years of substance abuse.
My wife, Kathleen McGowan, in her third novel, The Poet Prince, tackles the subject of “angelics”: people who were born with highly gifted powers, especially in the arts, like the Renaissance genius Filippo Lippi. But Lippi was so out of control his master famously had to lock him up, so that he would actually focus on his god-given talent: the arts. Kathleen highlighted that many of these angelics have tremendous difficulty functioning in this world, and quite often have great issues with sexual identity and happiness in general. Part of their mind is never truly here. Their talent is otherworldly and hard to adapt to this world.
In the case of Michael Jackson, one could definitely see him as an angelic: a phenomenal talent in music, both writing and performing, identified as special from the moment he was born, resulting in a man whom the world never allowed to be fully functional or normal, resulting in his early death, as even sleeping become something he could not do without help. In the case of Whitney Houston, it was an angelic voice, almost unlike anyone else, who equally could not find happiness in this earthly realm.
Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston are but two of many people that fall in this category. Many of them quite often feature on the covers of tabloids, when they fall off the path that they are expected to walk, though some are better at hiding it than others.
The role of the angelic artist is to transport his audience to another realm. At one point, the mere presence of Michael Jackson was able to bring about hysteria in people. But watching the performance of Immortal bore witness to the fact that this man, in death, was able to inspire and transform the audience, sending a powerful message and insights in his vision in a manner that had actually become impossible during his lifetime, as everyone’s attention was always preoccupied with the publicity treadmill he was at the very center of and which neither he nor anyone else could walk away from. But in death, all of this was transformed and the messages that Michael Jackson wanted to send in the world, could finally be set loose.
The messages of Michael Jackson, but in his lyrics and interviews, were often powerful. What to make of statements that “my goal in life is to give to the world what I was lucky to receive: the ecstasy of divine union through my music and my dance”? These are clearly the words of a man who understood his mission, his talents, and his total allegiance to it – to the very moment of his death, as can be seen in “This Is It”.
Some of his statements can seem simplistic at times, but reread them and an extraordinary level of understanding rises to the forefront: “Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation.”
Michael Jackson was named after the Prince of Angels, and he was considered to be the King of Pop. The Guinness Book of Records identifies him as the most successful entertainer of all time. He described himself as the source through which the special power flowed, but that the true creation came from the heavens. And hence, Jackson identified himself as a true angelic, who are always seen as enablers of the divine. They are neither of this world, nor of the other world, but sitting restless in between both. In ancient civilizations, it were the angelics that were trained as they were closest to God and the gods and would be able to create divine art the best and easiest. The difference in treatment these angelics received in ancient times and today is probably an apt visualization of the manner in which Mankind treats the divine today.

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