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The Top 10 Commandments

of Jim Morrison
Priceless Prescriptions for the Soul

More gloppy, pretentious, pseudosurrealistic, hyperliterary, quasi-mystical prose has been written about The Doors than
about any rock group ever. Whenever The Doors are mentioned in print, the similes fly like shrapnel in an air raid. They
are unendurable pleasure indefinitely prolonged, they are the messengers of the devil, they are the patricide kids, the Los
Angeles branch of the Oedipus Association, the boys next door (if you live next door to a penitentiary, a lunatic asylum or
a leather shop). So say the metaphor makers anyway.
Lilian Roxon, Rock Encyclopedia, 1969

Jim Morrison just wont fade away. Despite many attempts over the years to put the final nail in his
coffin and banish him forever from our consciousness, The Doors are as popular as ever. Lots of
critics said the group wouldnt last, but millions of fans of all ages continue to say otherwise. Unlike
most other music from the 60s, The Doors are still fresh, compelling, and relevant. For a band that
was dismissed by major rock critics like Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Robert Christgau, and Dave
Marsh (to name only a few), the list of what some might call astonishing facts about The Doors goes
on and on. Consider the following:

In 2012, The Doors were celebrated at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and a 12-story promotional
tall wall hung in West Hollywood over the summer.

In 2010, the hit television program Cold Case featured all Doors music in an episode called
Metamorphosis. In 2000, National Public Radio selected Light My Fire as one of the NPR 100, its list
of the most significant American musical works of the last century. In 1999, twenty-eight years after
Morrisons death, he was chosen by a live VH-1 studio audience as the #1 frontman in all of rock
and roll. 45 million Doors albums have been sold since 1991, a year in which Caryn James wondered
what the fuss is about in her review of Oliver Stones The Doors. Morrisons grave in Pere
Lachaise is one of the top Paris tourist destinations and is said to be the 3 rd most visited celebrity
gravesite on the planet. People from all over the world make it a destination, not just a place to visit
while in Paris. The word pilgrimage has been used by various writers trying to figure out the
continuing allure.

Morrisons legacy is still highly controversial, with some calling him an intrepid seer and others a
mock-Dionysian sex god. No one doubts the genius of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, or The Rolling

Stones, but The Doors artistry is still widely debated and often ridiculed. Even today. In early 2011,
Alex von Tunzelmann said this about the Oliver Stone film: It's a bloated, pompous, unbalanced
film, which looks great but has nothing going on beneath the surface. This is the biopic Jim
Morrison deserved. In 2010, Stephen Holden summed up Morrison as faintly ludicrous and a
charismatic male pin-up. In 1991, George Will pilloried Morrison in Slamming The Doors, his
double-length Newsweek diatribe: Jim Morrison is dead, dead as a doornail. He has been since
1971, when he expired, bloated and burnt out, in a bathtub in Paris at 27, not a moment too soon.
His life was a bad influence. Dave Marsh wrote in 1979 that The Doors were the most overrated
group in rock history. Many people apparently agree with Marsh, Will, and von Tunzelmann. But
anyone who thinks that there is nothing going on beneath the surface of Jim Morrison is very
badly mistaken and missing out on something of extreme importance.

This Special Report focuses on Morrisons Commandments for breaking through to higher
consciousness and self-knowledge. I am not going to explain the continuing popularity of The
Doors and their meaning in any detail. I happen to think that they are the most underrated group in
rock, despite all the accolades, but I havent listened to 10,000 bands. Here, I am mainly interested in
what Morrison did in order to have us reach higher knowledge. As I see it, Jim Morrison was a
fearless explorer of the unknown who made an amazingly profound discovery of universal
significance. Morrison journeyed to the edge of consciousness and brought back findings of great
importance to all of us. He had something of the utmost magnitude to teach EVERYONE. And I
mean EVERYONE. If you can fog a mirror, this includes you.

There is unique healing power in the music of The Doors, and Morrison wants you to experience it
for yourself. He knows that the music can take you to places youve never been, places you want to
go. The nourishment Morrison offers in songs like Soul Kitchen goes way, way beyond chicken soup.

I think it can be argued that The Doors created the ultimate self-help music. The Doors may well be the
most important tool you will ever find to help you on your journey towards self-discovery and
actualization. It is certainly one of the easiest and most pleasurable. One reason The Doors continue
to have so many fans of all ages is that the music sounds so good.

My first real attraction to The Doors came from the lyrics. Something about Morrisons words made
them quite different from other songs on the radio in the 60s. Instead of boy meets girl, teen
heartbreak, and fun in the sun, we had someone who sang about the unconscious, travel, snakes,
and freedom. I happen to love the sound of The Doors, but if the lyrics were devoid of meaning like
most pop fare, there would hardly be any staying power. The Doors would just be another flash in
the pan. Does anyone listen to The Association, The Box Tops, the Strawberry Alarm Clock,
Donovan, or the Turtles, all of whom had huge hits in 1967? Where are they now? Are any of them
in regular rotation on radio stations around the world? Was any of their music recently included by
Rolling Stone readers on the list of Top 10 songs of the 60s? I dont think so.

Anyone who calls Morrison pretentious, banal, evil, satanic, or nihilistic doesnt have the
slightest idea of what The Doors were all about. Sex, drugs, rebellion, and rock and roll hardly begin
to sum up the group, yet this is how The Doors have often been defined. Instead, Morrison was the
living embodiment of the artist and shaman who combined mythology and music to interpret what
Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers called the divinity inherent in nature. Morrison used a secret
alphabet (Soul Kitchen) and spoke in a new language (The WASP). He provided symbols and
signposts to guide us, using the heros journey as a dominant theme throughout his work.

The heros journey ultimately leads to a treasure of one kind or another. Morrison coined the
phrases the only solution (Shamans Blues) and the gold mine (The End) to symbolize the

extraordinary prize that he had found. These pairs of three words each are extremely profound.
They stem from a coherent and positive philosophy, not from nihilism, eternal dread, or the abyss.
They represent a mental discovery that makes Morrison much more than just an entertainer or a
singer or a poet or a sex symbol or a chick magnet. He may have been all of these, but he was also a
thinker of the highest caliber.

Follow the Top 10 Commandments and acquire the secret knowledge that Morrison achieved.
Morrison knew the extraordinary power of Doors music to transform consciousness and change
lives for the better. Thats why he said, If my poetry aims to achieve anything, its to deliver people
from the limited ways in which they see and feel. Enjoy the music and find yourself on the journey
of your life. This is the beginning, not the end.

Before we look at the Commandments, a few notes about my list. First, all are from a Morrison song
or poem. Songs by guitarist Robby Krieger like Light My Fire and Touch Me may be absolutely firstrate, but they are hardly major compositions like The End or When The Musics Over. Second, the
Commandments are all in the affirmative. They are not prohibitions, as in the Bibles thou shalt not
kill. They stand for positive actions that Morrison wanted us to take. Third, I wanted to make sure
that you can put thou shalt at the beginning of each Commandment so that the phrase reads like
an order. Example: thou shalt break on through.

This rule means that important Morrison declarations like You cannot petition the Lord with
prayer (The Soft Parade) dont make the cut. Also left out are exquisite lines like Some call it
heavenly in its brilliance. Others, mean and rueful of the western dream (The WASP). These lyrics
may not qualify as Commandments, but they and many more gems are absolutely essential if one is
to understand Morrisons timeless vision and what it means for each of us. The late Lester Bangs, far

and away the worst Doors detractor and cynic, pejoratively said that Yew CAN-NOT pe-TISHSHON the Lo-WARD with PRAY-er was a Bozo moment and a drunken yowling sermon. On
the contrary, Morrison is dead sober when he shouts out his rebuttal to a proposition he says he
heard in seminary school. (By the way, Morrisons voice-as-instrument must be heard to be
believed.) Morrisons declaration is an unqualified indictment of the notion of a personal God. It is
based on profound illumination.

Sandy Pearlman once mocked Morrison by saying, "As if, there in the background, a great world
system can somehow be perceived." Pearlman was far from alone in his misunderstanding of
Morrisons vision. Despite such ridicule, that world system is there. It exists independently of
Morrison and is available to all of us. And no world system outranks it in importance. Thats why
Morrison called it the only solution.

The depth and profundity of the hidden meaning behind The Doors makes the mysteries of the The
Da Vinci Code, The Secret, and the CIA Kryptos puzzle look like child's play. I say that with all
due respect. A detailed examination of the treasure that Morrison found is beyond the scope of this
Special Report, but you can learn more in my book Jim Morrison and the Infinite Gold Mine.

They come out on stage not to entertain but to preach, with all the disdain and cold fury of a
revivalist preacher confronting an audience wallowing in sin.
This Way to the Egress, Newsweek

The Top 10 Commandments


of Jim Morrison

Break on through (to the other side)

II

Wake Up!

III Dance on fire as it intends


IV
V
VI
VII

Ride the snake to the lake


Take a journey to the bright midnight
Surrender to the waiting worlds that lap against our side
Learn to forget

VIII Live in light of certain South


IX
X

Take it as it comes
Get here and well do the rest

Lets examine the Commandments in reverse order, working up to the most important one.

Get here and well do the rest


The End, The Doors

Kurt von Meier had discovered in him rich suggestions of sex, death, transcendence. What transcendence did he have
in mind, death through sex or sex through death?
The first on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, the second on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays.
Bernard Wolfe, Esquire

This Commandment is from The End, the most important Doors composition. The song is a priceless
prescription for salvation emanating from deep spiritual knowledge, not nebulousness passing for
depth, as Robert Christgau mistakenly claimed. Prior to the line Get here and well do the rest,
Morrison has told us to head West. It might seem like the West is California, but Morrison is
actually referring to the mythological West. The heros journey consists of three main elements: the
hero, the dragon, and the treasure. Each of these elements has numerous variations across time and
culture. The most widespread version has the hero venturing West in order to confront and defeat a
dangerous obstacle such as a dragon. When the hero is triumphant, he is reborn at midnight in the
East, attaining the treasure. Get here is Morrisons command to join him in overcoming the
dragons, which he once called the dark forces.

IX

Take it as it comes

Take It As It Comes, The Doors


Their intentions were quasi-profound, but their music was fairly pedestrian, and the bulk of Morrison's opaquely
platitudinous lyrics was chuckleheaded word spinning.saturnalia, incestuous rape, and other debauched sensualisms
were the working themes, but they were the narcissistic fantasies of an imaginary sybarite.
Timothy White, Rock Lives

In this Commandment, Take it as it comes, Morrison tells us to take life as it unfolds. Elsewhere in
the song, he tells us to slow down. The breakthrough to freedom that Morrison urges takes place
when we achieve stillness and a quiet mind. Liberation takes place at what T.S. Eliot calls the still

point. We must be completely in the present, free of fear, desire, and anticipation. (This song was
said to have been written for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of the Transcendental Meditation
Program.)

VIII

Live in light of certain South

An American Prayer, An American Prayer


Something in the combination of the lyrical and musical vibrations created by this band has yet to be explained. Given
only 27 years on this planet, Jim Morrison became possibly the most mysterious and controversial rock and roll star in
history.
Jim Ladd

Morrison had recorded his own poetry in the studio in December, 1970. Ray Manzarek, Robby
Krieger, and John Densmore set some of it to music in An American Prayer, released in 1979. (An
American Prayer is said to be the top-selling poetry album in history.) Wow, Im sick of doubt
precedes the line Live in light of certain South. Morrison, who has attained the treasure, has
gotten beyond doubt. He has achieved the light (the gold mine), and one aspect of what I call
gold mine knowledge is complete certainty. Morrison wants us to experience this state of zero
doubt, hence his command Live in light. An American Prayer is Morrisons final poetic
summation.

VII

Learn to forget

Soul Kitchen, The Doors


Of all creative bands in the history of rock music, the Doors may have been the most creative. Their first album contains
only masterpieces and remains virtually unmatched. Jim Morrison may well be the single most important rock frontman.
He is the one who defined the rock vocalist as an artist, not just a singer They are the closest thing rock music has
produced to William Shakespeare.
Piero Scaruffi

In order to experience higher consciousness, you need to let go of false notions. You need to learn
to forget, or unlearn, much of what you know or think you know. Its like peeling away the layers of
an onion to get to the core. Here, the layers represent falsehoods and illusions, and the core is final
truth. Campbell noted the ancient idea that the transcendent lies within each of us, waiting to be
discovered. The Hindu concept of maya comes to mind, where much of what we think we know is
an illusion, a false way of perceiving reality. Breaking through to higher consciousness involves
forgetting many untruths.

VI

Surrender to the waiting worlds


that lap against our side
Moonlight Drive, Strange Days

If velvet came an inch deep, if endless bits of baklava never began to cloy, theyd arouse sensations like those that
invade you when you listen to The Doors. You mingle in the sweet, rich sensuousness of the music; the music mingles in
you. Listeners close their eyes and smile beatifically. It is as if The Doors play on some secret frequency that directly
affects the smile center of the brain.
Susan Szekely, Teen Talk, New York Post

This Commandment is one of surrender. Morrison is telling us to surrender to the life force or
higher power that informs the universe. This is not the same as resignation, by the way. One might
call it active surrender. The previous line in Moonlight Drive is Lets swim to the moon, lets climb
through the tide. In mythology, water is a symbol of the unconscious as well as rebirth (for
example, the baptism ritual). The moon is associated with birth and death, and with its phases, the
notion of rebirth. Morrison instructs us to explore the unconscious and make it conscious. There are
parallels here and elsewhere in the lyrics to the belly of the whale motif found in The Bible. (In Star
Wars and Harry Potter, the same theme of descent into the unconscious takes on other forms.) Recall
Morrisons oft-cited line there are things known and things unknown and in between are The

Doors. The very name of the group has relevance. Here, doors symbolize a passageway from
ignorance to knowledge. Moonlight Drive was the first song Morrison sang to Ray Manzarek on the
beach in Venice and is the origin of The Doors.

Take a journey to the bright midnight


End of the Night, The Doors

Whats the difference between artistic ambition and pure pretentiousness? When one listens to the Doors, this question
can never be far from ones mind. Yes, the group often does blow open the namesake doors of perception in many a
young childs fragile eggshell mind, but these same minds also tend to reach a point at which they are ashamed at
having been so transfigured. Once they break on through to the other side, they find themselves embarrassed to realize
how little substance there is to the Doors parables of transgression. The garage-goth organ and the sinewy guitar figures
remain alluring, perhaps, but the overriding silliness of Jim Morrisons posturing, his portentous, overenunciated delivery
and his egregious lyrical overreach, becomes impossible to ignore and all too easy to ridicule.
Rob Horning, Generation Bubble

Take a journey to the bright midnight refers directly to the mythological journey of the hero. We
have already seen its basic outline: hero, dragon, treasure. This trinity is psychological, not physical.
The hero must overcome the danger in order to win the treasure and be reborn. At the nethermost
point of the night sea journey, when the sun hero journeys through the underworld and must
survive the fight with the dragon, the new sun is kindled at midnight and the hero conquers the
darkness. This passage is from The Origins and History of Consciousness, by Erich Neumann. All
the elements of the heros mental journey are encapsulated here. In a story from No One Here Gets
Out Alive, by Danny Sugarman and Jerry Hopkins, Morrison is said to have knocked The Origins
and History of Consciousness off his bookshelf when he threw an empty beer can at a wastebasket
and missed.

IV

Ride the snake to the lake


The End, The Doors

I think that his importance should not be underestimated because I really think that his art was changing people. I think
that when you walked out of a Doors concert, you walked out changed. Your perception was altered and it wasnt some
transitory drug-induced wow I saw the light kind of thing. It was something where Jim showed you. He got up there and
either you said, this guy is completely nuts and Im never going to do this again or you said we can do anything. I can
do anything. To me he showed us all the possibility of change and the possibility of growth because he lived it and was
it.
Bill Siddons

The snake is a timeless symbol with many meanings. Let me clear up any misperceptions once and
for all: snake does not equal penis in Morrisons usage. Morrison is of course wholly aware of Freud
and others who may reduce the snake to a body part (and I am oversimplifying here), but Morrison
uses the snake primarily as a symbol of consciousness. Like the dragon, the snake can be an obstacle
to be overcome in the West. It is also the uroboros, a well-known symbol of psychic liberation and
freedom.

Images of the Snake Across Cultures

The familiar image of the snake biting its own tail symbolizes the cyclic nature of the universe: life
from death, creation from destruction. Renewal, regeneration, and rebirth are all highly associated
with the snake, which sheds its own skin.

In Buddhist mythology, the King Cobra often appears to the left of the Buddha, protecting the
Buddha from the elements. In a tale familiar to all Buddhists, Amitbha is a Buddha of

immeasurable radiance or infinite light. Upon illumination, a great lake of bliss with lotus flowers
appears. Morrison, who tells us to ride the snake to the lake, is likely combining the snake of
consciousness with the illumination that ends at the lake. There are other stories about snakes and
ancient lakes in mythology, so I do not want to tie The End to one specific myth. Suffice it to say that
this is song involves very complex imagery, and it took Morrison more than a year to complete.

The End is the most controversial song of The Doors. In 2010, Blender.com ranked The Doors at #37
on its list of The 50 Worst Artists in Music History, describing The End as overblown screeds of
nonsense. Such a ridiculous assessment shows how far we havent come in understanding The
Doors. On the other hand, Piero Scaruffi tells us that The Doors are the closest thing rock music
has produced to William Shakespeare. I dont have more than 20,000+ CDs like Scaruffi, but I
doubt that any other group has produced the quality and intensity of poetic drama that The Doors
did.

One aside: the phrase smooth hissing snakes of rain appears in The Celebration of the Lizard.
Campbell talked to Moyers about seeing a movie of a Burmese snake priestess, who had to bring
rain to her people by climbing up a mountain path, calling a king cobra from his den, and actually
kissing him three times on the nose. There was the cobra, the giver of life, the giver of rain, as a
divine positive figure, not a negative one. Many of us think that the snake is associated only with
evil or with the downfall (the Garden of Eden), but its symbolism can be both positive and negative.
Morrison uses the snake throughout his work, as it is one of the core symbols in all mythology.

About The End, Morrison once said the following to New York Times reporter Bernard Wolfe: the
theme is the same as in Light My Fire, liberation from the cycle of birth-orgasm-death.

III Dance on fire as it intends


When the Musics Over, Strange Days
During a stage performance, Jim as the Dionysian reveler sang the modern myths and as the shaman he invoked a
sensuous panic to make the words of the myths meaningful. He acted as if a concert were a ritual, a ceremony, a sance,
and he was the medium communicating with the supernatural. He tried to shock people out of their seats, out of their
ruts, out of their minds so they could view the other side of reality, if even for just a brief glimpse. His message was:
break through any way you can, but do it now. Often the message was unfocused and so it got lost in the music, the
myths, the magic and the mania.
Frank Lisciandro, An Hour for Magic

When the Musics Over is Morrisons second-most important song. (Nick Tosches made the absurd
claim that this song and The End were the work of a pretentious fool. You can view the music any
way you want, but I say that this was a very bad call.) The line prior to Dance on fire as it intends
is For the music is your special friend. In this section of the song, Morrison comments on his own
art and tells us that Doors music has intentions of its own. The imagery of Dance on fire (as well
as Kriegers Come on baby, light my fire) is rich, complex, and universal. Were way beyond I
want to hold your hand in terms of imagination and suggestiveness. Fire brings destruction and
ruin, but it also brings light and purification. Love is also known as the eternal flame. The dance we
are to experience through music, which Morrison also calls your only friend, is one of
transcendence, salvation, and freedom. The unique music of The Doors intends that we find
ourselves. Morrisons dictum is the same as the one at the entrance to the Oracle of Delphi: know
thyself.

II

Wake Up!

The Celebration of The Lizard, The Doors in Concert

As for The Doors, I feel about them today much as I did when I composed the following review that wild July night thirty
years ago: riff for riff, image for image, little red rooster for little red rooster, they were the most exciting rock and roll
band America ever produced.
Tom Robbins, Seattle, July 1997
The Doors. Their style is early cunnilingual, late patricidal, lunchtime in the Everglades, Black Forest blood sausage on
electrified bread, Jean Genet up a totem pole, artists at the barricades, Edgar Alien Poe drowning in his birdbath,
Massacre of the Innocents, tarantella of the satyrs, L.A. pagans drawing down the moon The Doors.Jim Morrison,
vocals. Morrison begins where Mick Jagger and Eric Burden stop. An electrifying combination of an angel in grace and a
dog in heat. He becomes intoxicated by the danger of his poetry, and, swept by impious laughter, he humps the
microphone, beats it and sucks it off. Sexual in an almost psychopathic way, Morrison's richly textured voice taunts and
teases and threatens and throbs. With incredible vocal control and the theatrical projection of a Shakespearean star, he
plays with the audience's emotion; like a child with its doll: now I kiss you, now I wring your neck.
Tom Robbins, Seattle, July 1967

Originally appearing on Absolutely Live, Wake Up! was the opening to a section of The
Celebration of The Lizard. This multi-part song was written for Waiting For the Sun, but only Not to
Touch the Earth made it onto that album. Paul Williams noted Morrisons tendency to scream Wake
Up before singing Light My Fire in concert: "Which is funny, because I doubt that anyone thinks it is
a direct command (save Jim)nothing about The Doors sticks out enough to require special
attention, and 'Wake Up!' is just perceived as another part of what's there, whether the person is
there or not." Williams obviously doesn't get it. (Note that the word Buddha means the awakened
one. Morrison borrowed freely from both Eastern and Western mythology and many religious
traditions.)

From Morrison's viewpoint, we are not awake if we have not been reborn. Morrison screamed
Wake Up! in an attempt to jolt his audience into a heightened state of awareness. Williams
nothing about The Doors sticks out enough to require special attention completely misses the
point. This is not ordinary music, not by a long shot. In a line that I love, Janet Maslin called The
Doors the 60s most self-important rock band. If they were, they had every reason to be. They
were certainly the most important in the overall scheme of things. Maslin also gave us another gem
in her 1991 review of the Stone movie: for anyone who took the Doors half as seriously as the
Doors took themselves.

Break on through (to the other side)


Break on Through (to the other side), The Doors

I think what we are looking for is a way of experiencing the world that will open to us the transcendent that informs it,
and at the same time forms ourselves within it. That is what people want. That is what the soul asks for.
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

The mother of all Morrison Commandments, Break on through is the essential Doors credo. The
other side is not death or the lack of restraint, as many superficial critics have contended. Instead,
the other side" represents spiritual rebirth, and one of its prerequisites is spiritual death. It is clear
from the lyrics that the other side is beyond physical pleasure and ordinary temporal reality.
Morrison, who was mocked by Tosches for his messianic urgency, wanted us to get past our fears
and limitations. He wanted us to experience the bliss and rapture of spiritual awakening that is the
treasure of the heros journey. He knew that Doors music could be a potent force for achieving
salvation and the Mind of God.

Those are my choices for The Top 10 Commandments of Jim Morrison. They represent only the tip
of the Morrison iceberg. One critic said that Morrison is levels, and he was quite right. The music
can be enjoyed on its own by listeners who dont know a thing about Buddhism, Greek tragedy, Sir
James Frazer, Blake, or Freud. One doesnt even have to know English to like the songs, for that
matter. But there is depth and insight to the work that can be fully appreciated only if you know
Morrisons inspirations and sources. The way Morrison put words together is the main reason why
The Doors have lasted this long. The lyrics have gotten far too little attention, especially when
compared to the massive coverage of Morrison as a sex-and-drug-filled bad boy of rock. Yes, sex
sells, but its not even close to Morrisons legacy.

Many critics have focused almost exclusively on the bulge beneath Morrisons pants. Robert
Christgau and Stephen Holden have never gotten beyond their absurd impression of Morrison as
shallow sex symbol and rock god. Theyve been listening to The Doors all wrong for more than forty years.
I want you to avoid that fate. On the other hand, Michael Cuscuna interviewed Morrison for
DownBeat and found a totally different person from the one he expected. He writes that he was
initially dismayed at the prospect of encountering another rock ego. However, he ends by saying,
in Jim Morrison, I found to my surprise a beautiful human being who, not unlike Charles Mingus,
has been a victim of sensational publicity and harassment by silly journalists. The silly
journalism may be a good read, but dont think that this gets you inside The Doors.

There is much more here than meets the ear. The musicianship of Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger,
and John Densmore can be quite sophisticated, not to mention mesmerizing. Their use of Bach,
Coltrane, Eastern music, the blues, jazz, and other influences is often overlooked. Although
Morrison was the visionary leader of the band, the musicians brought the words to life and created
songs that still have an extraordinary power to communicate more than 40 years later. When Youre
Strange Executive Producer Dick Wolf (of Law and Order fame) calls Doors music hypnotic and
complex.

Go beyond the superficial and the obvious. Get inside Morrisons secret alphabet and new
language. Experience the hidden treasure within and embark on a lifelong journey of selfdiscovery.

Im the freedom man


Thats how lucky I am
Jim Morrison, Universal Mind

My Story
Hello, thanks for reading, and let me introduce myself. Like others of my generation, I remember
hearing Light My Fire on the radio in 1967. It seemed to be everywhere that summer. However, I
thought then that The Doors were just another pop group like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The
Rolling Stones, The Mamas and The Papas, and hundreds of others. In 1970, I started really listening
to the Doors, thinking that there might be something to the music. I knew that Morrison had
borrowed heavily from Blake, and his artistry suggested that Father, I want to kill you. Mother, I
want to couldnt be dismissed as simply a rebel exorcising his Oedipus complex in order to
shock people and violate a taboo.

It seemed to me that The End had a method to the madness. If there was any real meaning to the
lyrics, I wanted to know what it was. Pete Johnson, in a 1967 moment of what was I not thinking
creativity, called the song singularly simple, overelaborated psychedelic non sequiturs and
fallacies. Ooops. A lot of people have felt the same way about this song for decades. Flash forward
to Blender.coms overblown screeds of nonsense characterization. Despite the passage of more
than 40 years, Jim Morrisons work is still far above the heads of many listeners.

I gradually became convinced that there was something going on that wasnt at all obvious to the
casual listener. In 1972, when the three Doors played in Boston, I was able to get a backstage pass
and meet them. I also literally ran into Dr. John, all dressed up in the door to his trailer on the
Boston Common. Who could forget such a sight? (He was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame.) Since then, Ive been enjoying the music and researching the group. Ive collected
dozens of books and countless articles, albums, tapes, CDs movies, interviews, and bootlegs. Ive
given Doors lectures and spoken about them at numerous events.

Im always interested in knowing what the newest take on The Doors is. The band is no longer
making music, but every so often the group re-enters the public consciousness. When the Oliver
Stone movie came out, I was as interested in global reactions to the film as the film itself. It is played
regularly on television even today.

The 2010 Morrison pardon for his Miami transgressions was another occasion for a fresh round of
debate about his legacy as well as that of the 60s. The pardon was carried on the NBC Nightly
News, with Brian Williams saying that Morrison remains a rock legend. Such signs of Morrisons
continuing appeal are omnipresent, from kids and adults wearing Doors t-shirts to the presence of
Doors fan clubs around the world. Journalists and critics pore over every Morrison factoid (true or
untrue), and an extraordinary myth surrounds him. It seems to grow in scope and stature as time
goes by.

The Doors have been scrutinized every which way but loose for more than 40 years. In 1997, Geoff
Barton wrote you name it, the coals have been raked over so often theyve turned into brittle dust.
Yet despite all the attention, Morrison is still the best known, least understood figure in rock (to
use Danny Sugarmans 1979 phrase). Morrisons words have been lost in the swirl of sex, death, and
controversy. His work remains elusive and underappreciated. About the detractors, Morrison once
said that The Doors were the band you love to hate. I dont care if you hate them; I want you to
understand them first.

In addition to being a Doors fanatic and the worlds leading authority on the group, I am the author
of God Does Not Play Dice: the Fulfillment of Einstein's Quest for Law and Order in Nature. I graduated
from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a Danforth Fellow in the English PhD

program at the University of California, Berkeley. I also have a Master of Management from the
Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

You can reach me at dshiang@gmail.com. Id love to hear from you.

Praise for God Does Not Play Dice


Very provocative, erudite, and solidly based on intelligent and logical thinking! Congratulations on making an excellent
contribution to understanding the role of a higher intelligence in organizing the affairs of the universe!
Pat McGovern, IDG Founder and Chairman, Co-founder of
The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT

Excerpts from Jim Morrison and the Infinite Gold Mine:


My Journey Through The Doors to the Mind of God
Doors music is about what Joseph Campbell called the soul's high adventure, the quest of mortals to
grasp the reality of God. Doors concerts were often rituals designed to bring audiences to new worlds.
The Doors combined poetry, mythology, spirituality, psychoanalysis, philosophy, and tragedy to take you
places youve never been.
Far from being singularly simple, overelaborated psychedelic non sequiturs and fallacies (Pete Johnson)
or nebulousness passing for depth (Robert Christgau), The End is a cogent, mesmerizing, and priceless
anti-Freudian prescription for salvation emanating from deep and authentic spiritual knowledge. Morrisons
vision of liberation means the overthrow, the obliteration, of the cockamamie construction known as the
Oedipus complex.
Morrisons the only solution is what all of us are searching for, whether we know it or not. The treasure
at the end of the journey is psychological. As Campbell rightly observed, God is an intelligible sphere a
sphere known to the mind, not to the senses. This means that those such as Stephen Hawking who are
searching for the Mind of God wont find it at the Large Hadron Collider.
Morrison was much too deep and intelligent for Timothy White and many others to fathom. Although
Morrison wanted to be understood by the intelligentsia, most were too unintelligent to make sense of what
The Doors were all about. The idea of a rock star who had something important to say didnt compute.
Ignorance is not necessarily bad, but condemnation without the slightest understanding is one of the sins
of criticism. And the list of bad critics goes on and on. Even forty years after Morrisons death, newbies
such as Alex von Tunzelmann (an Oxford grad, no less) serve up inane analyses that completely miss the
point. Reviewing the Oliver Stone movie in early 2011, she says, It's a bloated, pompous, unbalanced
film, which looks great but has nothing going on beneath the surface. This is the biopic Jim Morrison
deserved. Yeah, right. In spite of such shallowness and stupidity (it started in 1966, over 45 years ago),
the music of The Doors has survived.
One question that has repeatedly been asked over the past for years is Why are The Doors still so
popular? After all, Don Heckman wrote the following in The New York Times the month after Morrisons

death: The Doors presumably will fade into the vague anonymity that always drifted just below the
surface of their music. Less than a decade after Morrisons death, Dave Marsh called him "misanthropic
and pretentious" and argued that The Doors were "the most overrated group in rock history." In 1991,
Janet Maslin commented on the groups surprisingly long-lived popularity. (Quite frankly, Im not sure
why she was surprised.) George Will claimed in his 1991 Slamming The Doors diatribe that Morrison
was a bad influence who left behind some embarrassing poetry and a few mediocre rock albums
containing ersatz profundity. If these critics are right, why do Doors albums sell in huge quantities for a
group that hasnt made music in decades?