Album: Abracadabra
2020.09.21 Lingua Sounda/Victor


Sophia Dream
Lyrics: Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

La la la, mutual loving element
Instinct is what you are
La la la, the stormy dancing element
Friction is what you are

SOPHIA DREAM up above the sky
Just Lucy and me together with the diamonds1
SOPHIA DREAM in the indigo2
Just Lucy and me, gazing down upon the world3

La la la, crossing the darkness element
Apart is what you are
La la la, the spinning/weaving element4
Unshakeable you are

SOPHIA DREAM up above the sky
Just Lucy and me together with the diamonds
SOPHIA DREAM in the indigo
Just Lucy and me, gazing down upon the world

La la la, you're the beginning element
Our hope is what you are
La la la, you are the ending element
Our hope is what you are

SOPHIA DREAM up above the sky
Just Lucy and me together with the diamonds
SOPHIA DREAM up above the sky
Just Lucy and me together oh see how we fly5


Note on the title: Imai stated in Rock & Read magazine issue 91 that his inspiration for the title of this song came from an acquaintance, who suggested to him at the after party for the Day in Question 2019 concert at Yoyogi National Gymnasium that Buck-Tick write a song in the style of Pink Floyd's "Julia Dream." Imai said he'd never heard "Julia Dream," but looked it up, listened to it, and embarked on his own song. Perhaps Pink Floyd's status as a seminal band in psychedelic rock was what inspired him to write about a psychedelic theme... though then again, did Imai ever need an excuse to write about a psychedelic theme?

Sophia is the Greek word for "wisdom," and Sophia is the the Christian concept of wisdom, enshrined in such major works of sacred architecture as the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul, and more modern institutions such as Sophia University, one of the top universities in Tokyo, which was founded by Jesuits. Sophia was a Christian adaptation of Pallas Athena, the Greco-Roman virgin goddess of wisdom and war. Unlike Ares, the god of all battle and bloodshed, Athena was goddess only of defensive or justified war - war to protect one's homeland, or to stop genocide, for example. She was greatly venerated among the Greeks as the founder and protector of the city of Athens, and many cultural institutions such as museums and theaters were dedicated to her (named "Palladium" or "Atheneum"), even into modern times (she was also a goddess of the arts). 

Athena, however, was herself the Greek version of the Babylonian goddess Isthar, who was in turn the Babylonian adaptation of the Sumerian goddess Inanna, Queen of Heaven. However, Ishtar/Inanna was goddess of love and sex, as well as wisdom and war. She earned her position as Queen of Heaven by getting Enki, the god of wisdom, drunk, then sweet-talking him into giving her the seven me, seven magical items which came to represent seven different aspects of her power. Enki, impressed with her clever trickery, decided that she'd earned the seven me and they were hers to keep. Inanna/Ishtar was one of the most popular goddesses of Sumerian and Babylonian times, and was the subject of many myths emphasizing her insatiable curiosity, proud and headstrong personality, and swift vengeance against sexually predatory men, in addition to her beauty and sensuality. In Greek times, Ishtar/Inanna became two goddesses, the aforementioned Athena, and Aphrodite, goddess of love and sex. This was perhaps the beginning of the so-called Madonna/whore dichotomy, which was further entrenched by the spread of Christianity, which eliminated all goddesses except for the Virgin Mary. The Madonna/whore dichotomy separates femininity into the good, pure, virtuous, virgin/nurturing mother of the Madonna, and brands female sensuality, sexual desire, and sexual expression as the perceived wicked, sinful, dirty attributes of the whore. The subtext of this concept, which has had a powerfully damaging effect on culture for at least 2000 years, is that women cannot be both strong/intelligent and sexy/sensual at the same time.

Psychologist Carl Jung worked this idea into his theory of the anima/animus archetypes. The animus is the unconscious masculine aspect within a woman, and the anima is the unconscious feminine aspect within a man. Each go through stages of development, as the person comes to integrate his/her emotional and psychological relationship to the perceived roles and characteristics of the opposite sex into his/her personality. Jung recognized that toxic masculinity posed a significant difficulty for men's anima development, and also believed that the anima was the source of a man's creative energy. Jung described the anima (the man's inner woman) as going through four stages of development. First, Eve: the man's desire for the nourishment and love of a mother figure. Men at this stage are completely reliant on women for emotional labor. The second stage, Helen (after Helen of Troy), recognizes women as capable of being independent agents, but also considers women as shallower or less virtuous - the whore of the Madonna/whore dichotomy. The third stage is Mary, the Madonna: the woman who is the aloof paragon of virtue. Sophia is the last stage of integration. At this point, the man is capable of seeing women as full human beings, with their own minds and souls, capable of both good and evil. The man is also in touch and comfortable with his own feminine side. Read more about the Divine Feminine in this article.

In the lyrics to this song, Imai appears to be describing how psychedelic experience reveals the nature of the Divine Feminine: love, darkness (yin), and creation/destruction. Psychedelics can offer powerful insights into the deeper truths of the universe, and we know that the psychedelic realm is one that Imai's been exploring for a long time (which is not to say that the other band members haven't gone there, too.)

1) This is an overt reference to The Beatles' song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." John Lennon claimed that this song had nothing to do with his experiences with LSD, but we all know better than to believe him on that one. Not only do the initials of the title spell out LSD, the lyrics to the song describes very convincingly what it feels like to trip on acid. As mentioned in the notes on "Que Sera Sera Elegy," ever since the scandal of Imai's 1988 arrest for LSD possession, Buck-Tick have taken every opportunity to mock Japan's draconian drug laws (and sometimes been censored for it - see "Speed" and "Heroin.") The Beatles reference allows Imai to be nakedly obvious about his meaning without being censored.

Also, for those of you who are still wondering why Imai named his early 2000's rock-n-roll side project Lucy, this is pretty compelling evidence as to why.

2) Lapis lazuli, an indigo blue semi-precious stone, has been associated with wisdom since ancient times. Inanna's seven me were decorated with lapis lazuli. The stone was also sacred to her as Queen of Heaven because its blue color echoes the color of the sky (where Imai is flying with Lucy and the diamonds). Lapis lazuli is used in modern crystal healing as a stone of truth and faith ("true blue"), as well as artistic expression.

In the modern seven chakra system, which is based on ancient Indian systems for understanding the energy centers within the human body and energy body, each of the seven chakras (energy centers) within the body is represented by one of the seven colors of the rainbow. Indigo is associated with the sixth chakra, the third eye chakra, which rules wisdom, inspiration, spiritual awakening, intuition and communication with higher consciousness - all traits associated with the Sophia archetype. Psychedelics are known to be potent catalysts for epiphanies and spiritual experiences, in part because they act on the pineal gland, the actual "third eye" structure in the center of the brain.

Imai seems to have been fixated on deep shades of blue while working on this album. He mentioned in Rock & Read 91 that the working titles for "Datenshi" and "Moonlight Escape" were "Ultramarine" and "Azurite."
 
3) Psychedelic trips often offer profound visions of the true interconnected nature of reality, which can sometimes feel like looking down on the world from a higher dimension (also we know Imai came from outer space). This lyric was the inspiration for the Abracadabra album jacket, in which a girl sitting on the clouds looks downward toward the earth through a rainbow in a diamond prism. The rainbow comes from a beam of light shining out of a butterfly, a symbol of the soul. The Greek word "psyche," which means "soul," also came to mean "butterfly." In Greek mythology, Psyche was the mortal lover of Eros, God of Love, but she achieved immortality through her faithfulness to her love for him. The story of their relationship could be seen as an allegory for sacred marriage, the union of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. Anima/animus integration is the union of these energies within a man or woman. It is this union that gives rise to higher wisdom.

4) Athena, in addition to being goddess of wisdom and war, was also goddess of spinning and weaving. The spinning of thread is also associated in Greek mythology with the Three Fates, who represented the three phases of womanhood: maiden, mother, and "crone" (post-menopausal wise woman). The Fates held the ultimate power among the gods, and even Zeus and the other Olympians were subject to their will. The Fates also directed the lives of mortals. Clotho, the maiden, would spin the thread of life for each person when he/she was born. Lachesis, the mother, would measure the length of the thread, indicating the length of the life. Atropos, the crone, would cut the thread at the end of the life, causing the person to die. The Fates also represent the Divine Feminine as the force of both life (creation), and death (destruction). All life comes from Mother Nature, but Mother Nature is also the destructive force of earthquakes, typhoons, and every other natural disaster (including viruses). However, without destruction, there could be no renewal or rebirth. Imai explores this idea of beginning and ending in the third verse.

5) "Tondeiru," which means "flying," is Japanese slang for being high on drugs. This same word was doubtless also the inspiration for "Fly High." It can be found many other Buck-Tick songs as well. (See "Monster" and "Heroin.") 

"See how they fly like Lucy in the sky" is a lyric in The Beatles' song "I Am the Walrus," which referred back to the earlier song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."




Sophia Dream
作詞:今井寿
作曲:今井寿

ラララ 愛し合うエレメント あなたは本能
ラララ 嵐に舞うエレメント あなたは抵抗

SOPHIA DREAM 空の上
ルーシーと二人 ダイヤモンド
SOPHIA DREAM 群青色
ルーシーと二人 眺める世界

ラララ 闇をゆくエレメント あなたは孤高
ラララ 紡ぎだすエレメント あなたは不動

SOPHIA DREAM 空の上
ルーシーと二人 ダイヤモンド
SOPHIA DREAM 群青色
ルーシーと二人 眺める世界

ラララ 始まりのエレメント あなたは希望
ラララ お仕舞のエレメント あなたは希望

SOPHIA DREAM 空の上
ルーシーと二人 ダイヤモンド
SOPHIA DREAM 空の上
ルーシーと二人 ほら飛んでいる




Sophia Dream
Lyrics: Imai Hisashi
Music: Imai Hisashi

La la la     aishiau element     anata wa honnou
La la la     arashi ni mau element     anata wa teikou

SOPHIA DREAM     sora no ue
Ruushii to futari     daiyamondo
SOPHIA DREAM     gunjouiro
Ruushii to futari     nagameru sekai

La la la     yami wo yuku element     anata wa kokou
La la la     tsumugidasu element     anata wa fudou

SOPHIA DREAM     sora no ue
Ruushii to futari     daiyamondo
SOPHIA DREAM     gunjouiro
Ruushii to futari     nagameru sekai

La la la     hajimari no element     anata wa kibou
La la la     oshimai no element     anata wa kibou

SOPHIA DREAM     sora no ue
Ruushii to futari     daiyamondo
SOPHIA DREAM     sora no ue
Ruushii to futari     hora tondeiru