TODD, THE UNIVERSE, AND EVERYTHING

Some Internet Speculations Summarized

In late April/early May 1994 the alt.music.todd-rundgren newsgroup on the Internet discussed "Todd, the Universe, and Everything." Michael Levstein (mikel@hookup.net) provided the title and asked, "When Todd was writing 'Healing', was he involved in experiments in meditation etc.? There seems to be quite a thread of this sort going through some of his albums."

Randy Walters (rwalters@gtech.com) pointed out that Todd's been concerned with this general area all his life (think of "Open My Eyes"), and quoted the lyrics to "Infrared and Ultraviolet", as clear an invitation to look into the subject for yourself as the listener is going to get. Randy wrote, "The 'B' side of 'Initiation' - 'A Treatise on Cosmic Fire' - is structured around the series of chakras described in Indian Yogic tradition. Most of the movements are named for specific chakras. There are innumerable references to bells throughout Todd's work - 'a bell in your head will ring', 'till that little bell began to ring in my head', etc. I believe these are references to 'nadam', the inner mystical sound described in Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutras' as the sound of universal mind itself, and the ideal focus for meditation. Instead of thinking of Todd as experimenting with meditation, one might recognize all of life as being a process of reunification with the infinite, and the path of the musician naturally manifesting the inward journey of rediscovering the One Self."

Also pointing to "Open My Eyes" as an early indication of Todd's interest in the Quest for Knowledge and the Quest for Love, David Jodrey (jodrey@jhuhyg.sph.jhu.edu) stated "Todd's work has many Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu, and JudeoChristian references. For example, 'Fever Broke', with its 'house on fire', is using a Buddhist metaphor for the fact that the human spirit has an inevitably mortal vehicle, the aging physical body. 'Fascist Christ' expresses Todd's antipathy to the kind of organized religion which has become mind manipulation rather than authentic experience. 'Theology', a video in 'The Desktop Collection', is a wordless visual/musical essay on the spiritual quest - it refers to animism, Mecca, and cathedrals, climaxing with a blastoff into space - and yet the original acorn? apple? braincase? still remains on mother earth." Jodrey suggested reading _The Psychology of Consciousness_, (2nd revised edition), by Robert Ornstein, seeing the movie 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life,' and/or listening to Gerry Rafferty's album "Sleepwalking" and the song "Constellation of the Heart" by Kate Bush.

Summary prepared by David Jodrey.
All opinions are either the official positions of Todd, the Pope and God Herself, or else the viewpoints of their respective authors.