I’ve loved the song “Dealer” by the 1960s/70s band Traffic for nearly 50 years. I bought the album it’s on in 1973, and it still gives me a thrill.
The song is about a ruthless, murderous, card shark type of character. It’s a dark little ditty and I always thought the last verse was fantastic: “In a smoky little room/shadows moving in the gloom/someone turns a running flush/and breaks the deathly quiet hush …” I mean, what a note of tension to end on! How cool is that?
But the best lines in the song are: “Feeling nothing deep inside/his mind is governed by his pride.” That really made me think. What would it be like to have a mind “governed by pride”?
We can say “everyone has a heart,” and that may be true, but does it follow that everyone’s heart can be awakened?
“Governed by pride,” the dealer “feels nothing deep inside.” Maybe his heart doesn’t want to feel. Maybe he has no interest in feeling his heart.
The dealer in the song is a fictional character. But what about, say, the Taliban soldiers? What are their minds governed by? The imperative of revenge? The intoxication of dominance? The conviction that the purpose of life is to serve a pitiless God and reap the material rewards of His favor?
Is it possible that they “feel nothing deep inside” but all this?
I don’t have an answer. Do you?
And what is my own mind governed by? Honestly, much of the time, it’s governed by regretful and resentful thoughts, which set the mood of my days. I’m grateful though that I have a choice, and that I can at least see what I’m doing, see what’s going on. (Cannabis helps.)
On the same album as “Dealer,” Traffic has a song called “Heaven is in Your Mind.” The refrain goes: “Guiding your vision to Heaven/and Heaven is in your mind.” I love that song too.
So here’s a new Higher Thought question. What governs your mind?
And Another …
Here is yet another new Higher Thought question:
If you had a magic pair of headphones, what would you be able to hear with them?
If you’ve got a good new Higher Thought question, send it along, and we’ll share it.