Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love as a "humanly impossible" epistemology: "Now I Know High"

All this talk about knowing/epistemology...especially an "epistemology of love"..

called to mind The Call..

and called to memory a haunting (aren't they all either haunting or daunting) Michael Been song (from his solo album, though 2/3 of The Call play on it):

"Now I Know High (Part 2)"

Huh? What's up with that title? Whatever it means, it suggests a transitioned epistemology..
..or at least finding that mystical encounter with Jesus is better than sex and drugs (:

I never researched the "Part 2" part, but turns out Moby Grape had a 1969 song "Now I Know High." Could be Been is pulling a U2 "God Part 2" (The U2 song referenced the 1970 John Lennon song "God").

Amazingly, I can't google up the Moby Grape lyrics to the original.
I don't remember the song, but read that it was either a

"tender, almost Neil Young-ish ballad",


"clear filler"..

...................depending on who you read.

I'll have to listen to it here, before I decide it's both(:

..and whether the songs (hear a snippet of Been's Part 2 here)sonically or thematically connect.

But the lyrics to Been's sequel, sound well, like mystical encounter...rabbinic, U2ish, prayer- elevation (right down to the "high" references) even.
They also weave a
mystic/right-brained/ feeling epistemology
with a
rational/left-brained /thinking encounter
(note the "sea/scenes/world" of God/the Lover's "mind"):

...I drift like a spirit in motion
I await the birth of a dream
I fall asleep in your arms as you take me
into the sea of your mind..

Now I know high

Pour on this dark fortress keep
I worked the garden in silence
Moving the earth at my feel
I feel the heat of your breath as you draw me

into the scenes of your mind..

Now I know high

...I've never felt such devotion
Gently I fall into grace
I feel the warmth of your arms as you take me
into the world of your mind...

Now I know high
Been has expored the reason/emotion dichotomy elsewhere (see "Of course God is unreasonable"), and there offers an epistemology of love/Love, which has "paid the price for you."


"(The songs are)basically love songs. I'm talking about the love between us all. I think it gets down to what love demands of us. Unconditional love and acceptance - - where you love not only what is lovable in a person, but you also love their weaknesses as well as their strengths, their failures as much as their success, and their ugliness as well as their beauty - - to me this is true love, God's love. And I'm not even sure it's humanly possible. I'm still working on that one."

"...The Call, unsung or not, may well be the closest thing America has ever had to its own U2. No wonder Bono, Peter Gabriel, and Bruce Cockburn are Call fans." - Lou Carloza, Chicago Tribune


  1. Michael Been and the Call are/were amazing. Saw them many moons ago at Greenbelt and they blew me away. Have most of their albums. The Been solo album is immense. The sound on that album is so dirty. He went down well in Christian circles when he played the part of Thomas in the Last Temptation of Christ, where Jesus and Mary Magdelene imagine wild sex sessions together. Enjoyed the film while all my friends waved banners outside. Interestingly he is strongly involved with his sons band now, the amazing Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Now their lyrics are a mix of Jesus and raw life. Worth investigating.

  2. Absolutely, Paul.

    i wish the essay Thom Jurek wrote for The Best of the Call CD was online, it's so good.


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!