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Happiness Is The Road

Introduction: The lyrics to the song Happiness Is The Road were inspired by h's trip to a doctor in Utrecht when he was ill on the Somewhere Else Tour.

In an interview with 
Sean Palmerston for Exclaim, h said, "During the Somewhere Else tour I was suffering with my health. It was self-induced really. I wasn't eating properly and was also under a lot of stress both within my domestic situation [recent divorce] and professionally [on tour]. My body eventually rebelled and although I won't go into gory details, I ended up needing surgery. I was referred to a doctor in Utrecht, Holland who performed a minor operation (on the afternoon of the Utrecht show!).

"The doctor was also a healer and after the surgical procedure, he held his hands over me. I noticed that there were tears running down his face during this, and afterwards he told me that the tears were mine, not his. He had felt much of the guilt, regret and consequent pain that I was carrying and he said he would recommend a book that I must read. He wrote the name of the book on his prescription pad and gave it to me. "Read that! It will make you better," he said."

'Man, there's a book you have to read'
The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle.

From the same interview, h said: "I bought the book and read it slowly. Much of what it contains resonated with my own thoughts and instincts and it crystallized my own ideas of the meaning of life. I would recommend the book to everyone.[...]

[T]he book contains two fundamental premises: One: You are not your mind. You are in fact a living being - just as a tree is a living being. You are part of the flow of life on the planet. A tree doesn't have a "mind" and yet it lives. Human beings have become unable to separate themselves (their being) from their minds and live enslaved to the mind's obsession with past and future.

"Two: The past does not exist anywhere except in the minds of people. Each person has their own version of their own and also wider history. This is for the most part illusory, and the past most definitely doesn't exist in reality. Neither does the future, which plainly doesn't exist at all. Nonetheless, most of us allow the past and future to torture us in one way or another, often ruining the only real thing we have - the present moment, the now. Essence is directly influenced by the book, although much of what I have written was written before I read it.

"As I said, I have had an increasing awareness over the past few years of the importance of celebrating the moment I am living - the miracle of it - and the importance of trying to increase my own awareness of the boundless and miraculous beauty of life and the process of living life. I'm certain we can only find happiness or peace in the present moment. To look back, or forward in time is to lose peace of mind. This doesn't mean we shouldn't make plans or address future commitments, but having done this we must return to the present as soon as possible and remain aware that the present is all we have.

"The theme of the Essence CD is life's journey, time and it's passing, and the meaning of life. Insomuch as I have so far discovered. If that sounds a bit pompous, please bear in mind that these are my own truths - you don't have to agree with me, but perhaps you might discover your own path as a consequence of these words and this music."

Worth reading the polarised book reviews on Amazon and choosing according to personal prejudice... 

The entire album listing is included for completeness, but only songs with a link have explanations.

Volume 1: Essence
Volume 2: The Hard Shoulder

Click to access album
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