There are some who might wonder if a discussion concerning Elvis Presley truly has a place amongst esoteric lore. Let them wonder.
Elvis Presley has to us always represented a figure of incredible harmonic tones, reflecting a synthesis -- and sometimes polarization -- among the mental, astral and etheric planes manifested in the physical plane.
However many people "loved" Elvis when he was in the third dimension have had cause to question his existence when he fell from grace after his death. His "fall from grace" was not a result of his death; it was a result of the vultures swarming in after the fact. Those vultures dissected a death, they dissected a life, and they dissected a myth.
It was the dissection of the Myth that caused the true polarization among Elvis fans, past and present.
Elvis was a star, in every sense of the word, for just over 20 years, until he died of various health complications. But at the time he started, he was just a kid, barely out of high school. He didn't envision becoming a phenomenon; he just wanted to sing a few songs and not make a total fool of himself.
Undoubtedly Elvis probably did make a fool of himself here and there, but enough people were able to look past that to see what Elvis could do "right" rather than wrong, and they gave him a chance.
As Elvis developed confidence, he developed strength. As he developed strength, he developed confidence. Et cetera. Elvis' stardom was based on talent, charisma, style, and raw, innate sexuality -- and he just happened to show up at a certain Time and Space and appeared to be the answer to prayers to deliver music fans from an absolutely intrinsic stagnation and ennui then prevalent among "pop" recording artists.
Elvis was always properly respectful to those artists who had "succeeded" before him, and he did have a (widely-acknowledged) humility, and showed absolute deference and respect to all people he encountered who he considered -- if not groundbreakers -- at least as demonstrated successes in their chosen expressions -- regardless of their tepid -- or even vapid -- claims to fame and popularity.
The title of "King of Rock and Roll" was thrust upon Elvis. We have no idea who might possibly take credit for this invention. Certainly Elvis would not have taken this title for himself. He really did just want to sing songs and not make too big a fool of himself.
Sadly, Elvis did make a fool of himself, but more so, he was made a fool of. No one could question Elvis' "credibility" regarding musical selection and delivery. Elvis was at his best when he sang the raw, untamed, and provocative songs that shot him to superstardom -- and indeed, helped define the term.
Elvis saw himself as a "passable" singer who wanted to make his mark in a "more important" artistic endeavor -- namely film-making. His idols included James Dean and Marlon Brando, who he felt were making an active statement and impact on their movie fans. Music and Film are simply two mediums of Art, and Elvis felt that Film "spoke" more than Music, or was at least "heard" more effectively.
It was a difficult conflict for a man who did not possess a superior education, and we venture to guess that Elvis probably felt like a "freak" for a number of reasons, but most relevant to this discussion is that whatever lofty "ambitions of Expression" Elvis might have had, he would have been faced with two particular challenges:
1) The lack of academic training for him to learn to express himself -- and his desires -- in a cognitive and discernible fashion, and;
2) Lack of proper audience and reception.
In short, even if Elvis HAD been able to express himself and his dreams, he didn't really have anyone to express himself TO who might have been able to understand, and to help him manifest those desires.
Thus, even as Elvis was embarking on a singing career, his real ambition was Hollywood, where to some extent he hoped to embody his ideals, or at the least to live up to those people who had inspired him the most on the Silver Screen. Elvis felt like he had something to SAY, and equally important, he had an instinct for knowing that there was something people wanted to HEAR.
Many people attribute Elvis' "fall" -- or "beginning of the end" -- to Elvis signing his indentured servitude to, or contract with, Colonel Tom Parker. We agree with this for the most part. Without debating the merits or chicanery of Parker, we will agree that Elvis did fall for the illusion that because Parker had good Hollywood connections that he seemed right for the job, was available -- and was all over Elvis only after he saw Elvis' clothes ripped off by eager female fans.
Elvis, like most people -- "realistically" believed he had a limited future in music -- rock and roll or otherwise. Anyone who is trying to insure any sense of future or longevity in a creative-based profession has to consider the same risks. The bottom line is Elvis saw himself as a vehicle of Expression, and he saw Parker as a driver who would get him to the right place in the right Time and Space.
Elvis could be chided for his naiveté in assuming that Parker's motivations were altruistic or even artistic; Elvis genuinely believed that Parker was interested in making the best out of Elvis, when in fact Parker was interested in making the most out of Elvis.
Parker's modus operandi, if you will, was fairly simple, in a concept that can be stated in one word: SELL. If one has a product to sell, the idea is to get that object out to the public, and to promote that product, to make the product available, and when necessary, restrict availability of the product to make the market demand it at a higher price. In short, Parker played the oldest shell-game known to Man: Advertising.
Advertising isn't about what the consumer wants. Advertising is about making the consumer think he wants what he is told he wants. Parker turned Presley into a product, but Elvis didn't know it.
Elvis' weaknesses centered upon several persona issues, including:
A) A sense of personal responsibility for his parents' welfare;
B) A pre-existing lack of self-esteem because of the above;
C) An unsophisticated belief that "hard work" was worth money and was "measurable", whereas "art/expression" was just a whim with no future, and was therefore of no quantifiable value.
D) Religion based on the idea that self-sacrifice was paramount, and that "reward" was an intangible to be determined by Heaven or God at a later, undetermined date.
Therefore, when Colonel Parker pitched some good numbers to Elvis in line with Elvis' own ambitions, Elvis fell for it. What he fell for was the illusion that Parker was "smart" and was "putting something over" on the "big-shots" in Hollywood.
The underlying truth - and this hurts us to say - is that Elvis didn't think he "was worth it." Elvis seriously thought Parker was looking out for his interests, and making the best deals he could on his behalf. This is all the more galling because Elvis himself didn't know his own worth. The "gall" is compounded against the fact that Elvis himself would not have believed anyone who might have told him that he was better and deserved more, due to his pre-existing low self-esteem.
Elvis, as a professional artist, always seemed to see himself as a basically fraudulent person with good intentions. Elvis basically had an innate horror and fear of appearing arrogant or big-headed.
Nothing we've read has revealed any indication that Elvis had known or heard of any person who might have embodied such qualities. We have no idea where he might have developed such a fear of self-importance. We do know that Elvis and his family lived in rather trying circumstances for most of his early life, some of which might be attributable to their Post-Depression status as indigents at a time when most of the Nation was suffering.
Elvis' popularity basically exploded between 1956 and 1958 through appearances on the Louisiana Hayride, augmented by some national television appearances. Anyone watching or listening to those early pieces could clearly see that a star was being born, but Elvis surely saw that a circus was being born. Who, in Elvis' pragmatic mind, could possibly find reason to scream at a vibrato moan and a rattling leg?
Elvis just wanted to sing some songs and not act too big a fool. How was he to respond to a bunch of people making fools over his racket? He was just a racket, he was no good, so what were these people screaming over? Elvis simply could not see what it was that people saw in him -- yet he saw they saw something. He knew he had "something", but he just didn't know what it was.
Elvis never did see what it was other people saw in him. Hell, he felt bad about taking their money. But at the same time, if these people were willing to "throw money" at him, he was willing to give them what they wanted, and to give them their money's worth...
In press conferences, Elvis was becoming just controversial enough -- which is what happens when you quite being ordinary and start being interesting -- that he was having to address the issues regarding his individuality and uniqueness, and his consistent response was to deny having knowledge or control of his own reactions. It was not intentional hypocrisy on Elvis' part, but rather a fear of acknowledgement.
Elvis, as a persona, was torn between his sense of wanting to be "more important" and thus influential, and his fear of taking himself more seriously than he deserved. And like anyone else his age, who was basically "adolescent" at the time - as were his fans - he wanted time to "prove" himself. He took it for granted his idols had had time provided to them for them to make themselves in the eyes of the public.
Bluntly speaking, Elvis had to have a rather massive ego to begin with, no matter how well hidden, to have embarked on a musical career to begin with. He also had a serious low self-esteem issue that caused him to deny his own sense of importance. There is nothing wrong with having an ego, and in fact, it is helpful to have a healthy ego when embarking upon large affairs within the Affairs of Man, if for no other reason than simply to keep a discerning edge of reason and contrast.
History itself has tried to embody Elvis with a sense of Destiny and importance in the Affairs of Humanity, and in fact History is correct in this case. Elvis WAS a rebel, but he refused to REBEL. If History "blames" Elvis for anything, it is this. Elvis had a chance to "walk through the window" and he didn't take it. He was afraid of jeopardizing his own security and longevity.
There is no real reason to cover Elvis' later years here. The time-period we refer to is important for its sense of Catalyst, that the "birth of the Elvis Presley star" is important for its sense of Motion, that Music - for the first time in History - was about to be a Force to be reckoned with on its own merit. Even if Elvis didn't follow his own star -- at least, others did, follow his star, and were able to create their own.
So, however much Elvis may have failed at his own potential to be the fully unleashed, fully realized Soul that was his potential, he must at least be given credit for holding the Doors open -- intentionally or otherwise -- that allowed others to walk through.
The only residual sorrow we carry is how many of those people loved Elvis for everything he was -- and then hated him for what he wasn't.
Elvis has been blamed for creating a Godhead on Earth. Elvis wasn't responsible for that; he just bought into someone else who did that 2,000 years before. He was not alone, and it's true that Elvis tended to have fans who depended upon one deity as much as another, including himself.
Elvis made a lot of mistakes, and would be the first to admit those mistakes if he knew what they were. Part of his problem was he was so worshipped that no-one would tell him "how the cow ate the cabbage." What can one say about a man whose basic pick-up line was "Honey, I won't hurt you"?
Elvis suffered from the same problem the rest of us do; he had trouble discerning the difference between the Truth, the Shadow, and the Lie.
The Truth is that which is easily transparent and discernible on a Universal level;
The Shadow is a reflection of the Truth, and usually appears as a contradiction of the Truth as we know it;
The Lie is neither the Truth or a Shadow, but is merely an echo of a Falsehood, is transparently false and has no independent substance.
Elvis always had a fear of being judged and condemned. This is true of most artists, but Elvis was particularly sensitive to this, and we would guess his "paranoia" in this area would have been because of his own sub-conscious belief/awareness that he himself wasn't really doing what he wanted to do, or living up to his own Ideal.
All Elvis really wanted to do in life was to sing some songs, not make too big a fool of himself, and God willing, do some decent movies and reach out to some people. His "fall" was in being too easily distracted by Parker's dollar signs, and thinking those dollar signs would "rescue" his family and their dreams, and the idea that sooner or later someone truly Divine would "come in for the save."
No one did come in for the save. Instead, they came in for the kill. Elvis must have known his time on Earth was limited, and when it seemed his time was expiring, it seems he was offering himself up as shark-bait -- which dolphins and whales are known to do -- and are considered an anomaly of Nature in an otherwise productive and healthy spiritual environment.
So, who was Elvis, what did he do, and why he is treated as of Esoteric importance at this website? Listen to his music, and watch certain films. We recommend "King Creole" and "Change of Habit" for serious "who IS this man" artistic inquiries.
"Jailhouse Rock" has its merits, but to tell the truth, we prefer watching that movie for watching Elvis' little idiosyncrasies that no one else had the nerve to tell him about. Check the tongue...
But, what cannot be measured is the absolute "sweetness" of Elvis' personality. Elvis had an absolute "lovability" that was particularly detrimental -- and probably scorned and exploited by the Colonel, that served to make Elvis feel alternately close to and alienated from his fans.
If the rumors are true, Elvis was the least likely of rock-stars to ravish his fans, but rather to cherish them. That alone, in this day and age, would make him a "freak" that he refused to rape and pillage when he had a chance, but on the other hand, he should be given credit for having more opportunity -- and turning it down -- than most other peer rock-stars.
That many women, then, would be grateful, that Elvis had the opportunity to be "sexist" and turned it down. Elvis probably did KISS a record number of women. Who knows if his motive was kissing women that weren't kissed by their husbands? And, let's ask, who threw themselves at whom?
Let us not forget that much of Elvis' initial attraction was his raw, smoking sexuality. Carnality might be a better word, but it really doesn't matter, because the essence was the same. It is true that Elvis always had a certain carnality, even if he denied it in public.
Part of Elvis' appeal was his carnality, but unfortunately, he was a victim of his own upbringing, which more or less stated that open carnality was totally taboo. Elvis lived to be the absolute essence of carnality, but this carnality was at odds with his religious upbringing.
Elvis was, in short, torn between wanting to be a good boy and a bad boy, and unfortunately didn't have anyone to tell him the difference. He also didn't have anyone -- at the time -- to tell him the terms didn't mean anything.
Elvis was his own animal, and should have been allowed to stalk as such. Whatever Elvis didn't know, he would have learned -- and been able to teach others without threatening their comfort zones.
Elvis was a Soul Incarnate who knew he had a greater mission, yet lost his way. He was blinded, it is true, but the Soul carries responsibility for knowing when it has been lied to and when the Persona has bought into the Lie. Yet, whatever burdens are laid upon the Soul of Elvis, it is also true that the Light shines ever so much brighter for other Souls on this planet.
It is the responsibility of the Soul of Elvis, no matter how many 7-11's he may stalk, and how many tabloids he chooses to grace with his "Shroud of Memphis" approach, to know that in fact he did build a cosmic sun so bright that others will be able to reach into the colors of Sound and Light, and will share those colors with Humanity.
We call this Music; and we call this Love.