I have been a fan of Father John Misty for a few years now. I’m trying to remember the first time I heard him. I was working the opening shift at a bakery. There was some radio show on, and they played a song of his. He reminded me of Dylan immediately, the sense of multiple meanings shining through. I never got hooked on his songs like with Bob Dylan, but I do appreciate his music and enjoy some of it. Recently, I guess he did a cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989, then erased it shortly after posting it. Apparently, a dream made him think this was necessary.


The main reason I wanted to talk about this was the two quotes, from dream Lacan and dream Lou Reed. “The only thing crazier than a peasant who believes he is king, is a king who believes he is king.” In Misty’s dream, Lacan tells him this. I’m not going to try to interpret this in terms of the music or the decision to remove it. I look at it as a maxim, a wise saying. To me, it means that we are not our roles, we are not as simple as we think we are. We need perspective. Belief can oversimplify things. Life is so complicated, and our interpretations of it are almost always missing some piece, some information. This means being openminded is helpful. I posted a Pema Chodron quote on Twitter recently about fixated mind leading to anger, and his is the same sort of idea. Fixated mind, stubborn obsessive mind, is a king thinking he is a king.

“Don’t summon the dead. I am not your plaything. The collection of souls is an expensive pastime.”

-dream Lou Reed

One strange thing about this one is that, by relating the story or quote, I’m going against Lou’s advice. I’m summoning the dead. Now, this one, especially, I don’t know how it applies to Misty and his music, but that’s not my point. As I see it, this one is about misusing the wisdom of the past, maybe in a materialistic way. The wisdom of dead writers, teachers, artists, was hard won. We shouldn’t just turn it into quotable quotes on the Internet for the amusement of our friends and acquaintances. Obviously, I’m guilty of doing this. I hope that this means doing a little of this quoting is ok- as long as you actually do spend some time learning from the past, reading, studying, appreciating.

Dreams are strange things, mean different things to different people. Often, they have some intense gravity to one person, and are utterly flat, meaningless, to someone else. I wouldn’t classify dreams as being on the same level of wisdom as actual teachings, but they are fascinating. Kings who believe they are kings need to let go of fixated mind. Collecting souls is expensive, and the past is not a plaything. What should kings do, and what is the right way to deal with the past? Kings should understand the way belief works, understand its limitations and strengths. The past may be expensive, but it’s also valuable, rich with meaning and power, and we are relating with it anyway. Do summon the dead. Just be intelligent about how you do it.



3 thoughts on “Fadda

  1. Thank you very much for sharing such an exciting dream Jake. Honestly it’s exactly how I imagined the President to be. Very easy going and playful but firm and sharp when it was required.

    “The only thing crazier than a peasant who believes he’s a king,.. is a king who believes he’s a king ”

    This lends it’s voice to the age old advice we’ve been given. To be mindful of how we identify ourselves.

    What I would like to lend my dissenting voice to, is the rampant and frequent quotes we see being shared on our social media and the interweb..:-). They are fondly referred to as “memes” And have been the source of much debate between my girlfriend and myself.

    I observed that these quotes do more harm than good when we peddle them en mass. And without adequate contemplation on the subject matter,we risk accepting a very shallow meaning of the issue at hand.

    Anyway thank you for listening Jake,and hope you have a lovely weekend. Chat later.

  2. You’re welcome! Not sure what you mean about the president. I agree that memes are a mixed blessing. I’ve thought for some time now that one could publish a great coffee table book of popular memes. I’d like to see them in a book format. Maybe a history of funny memes.

    Still, they tend to devalue wisdom. I’m as guilty of that as anyone. My thing is I want to start reading more, to balance out the amount of quotes I’m churning out.

    You have a good weekend too. Always good to talk to you, Kobe.

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