There are probably arrows or links somewhere on this page. If you click on one of those, it will redirect your gaze to Parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part set, wherein we learn that the Power Chords of the Soul are long threads of intertwining thought and feeling that all of us carry. These threads, in spite of being ever-present, go largely unnoticed.
As discussed, these enduring psycho/emotional tone-poems can be woven from the impressions of any experience, or combination of experiences: pleasant or unpleasant, tragic or triumphant. Therefore, their residual resonances can be stirring and upbeat, like the opening chords of “Eye of the Tiger”, (“yo, Rock!”), or darker and more foreboding, like “Dazed and Confused”.
Purists may quibble that Zeppelin’s “Dazed” is not technically based on a power chord, since the specter is evoked by the ensemble of Mr. Page’s guitar, Mr. Jones’ bass, and Mr. Bonham’s apocalyptic triplets, with Mr. Plant and studio icing on top. Yeah, you’re right, shut up.
The point is that whether our subjective power chords carry energy we interpret as positive or negative, they require equal examination in an introspective life. Both self-confidence and self-doubt can be delusional, depending on their degree and point of origin.
I may have experienced intense pleasure and success at one time, from one course of action, and proceed to assume that, forever more, following the same course of action will yield the same result. With this simplistic approach, I fail to consider that my initial triumph may have taken place under specific conditions that are not guaranteed to recur. This happens all the time, and is mirrored on the dark side by dire impressions garnered from experiences cursed by hard luck, tough breaks or bad mojo. As the prophet Michael Jackson sayeth: “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl.”
The influence of such deeply held and emotionally charged preconceptions can be confusing and paralyzing, especially when an internal chord contains a logjam of both encouraging and discouraging impressions. To cite a fairly innocuous example of my own, I have long been aware that I possess a strong need to have my voice heard, along with an equally strong desire to remain invisible. There’s a krazy karmic kocktail for ‘ya!! The good news is that, armed with some awareness of this weird quirk, and its origins, I am freed to express in relative obscurity to my heart’s content and simultaneously refrain from beating myself up as a slacker. Works for me. I have heavier and more painful examples, but I’ll spare you.
The time has come for self-awareness to be brought out from the shadow of the woo-woo, the gooey, the touchy-feelie, the auto-exotic and the buzzy, to assume its rightful place as a basic tenet of good citizenship, like not driving drunk in the rain with four bald tires. Becoming more cognizant of my individual subjective programming can give me pause before I say or do something hurtful, for starters. “Look before you lip”, as an old friend would say.
Recognizing communal power chords, as in cultural superstitions and uber-assumptions, is a whole ‘nother realm, but is a natural extension of patient and clear-eyed inner work.