Humans love big categories and broad statements that seem to reduce the complexity of life to a simple checklist or to-do list. Stick around awhile and you will come to distrust such things because they reflect human needs more than actual intellect, intuition, or reality.
As a result of this division, the best things remain nearly indefinable. For example, a sane approach to life might be seen as radical realism paired with a transcendental, hopeful outlook. To our categorical brains, this makes no sense, because it seems to borrow from opposite parts of the spectrum.
However, this makes sense when one considers that a sensible philosophy will address all aspects of its world, and therefore will not fit into a human category. Take metal, for example, which is simultaneously the music of violent revolt and of finding a beauty in the chaos of nature, a type of Platonic natural order.
The flat-handed round-mouthed block-headed mental toddlers who rule our society after the workers revolt and great proletarian victory can only grasp metal as one thing, like rebellion. They cannot deal with its rejection of the modern world because their fundamental outlook is rationalization, or finding a way to use their big brains to explain the decay all around them as good even though their gut and intuition says nyet.
For your average post-prole Westerner, heavy metal fits in with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Jack Daniels whisky, and Marlboro cigarettes as a “brand” of rebellion, independence, and partying. These things join together because when they are done being subjugated anal catamites at their jobs, the prole workers rebel with a night of drinking.
Somehow the next morning, when their heads hurt more than their splendidly violated rectums, they feel as if they have “stuck it to The Man” since among proles, scapegoating is the only acceptable form of logic. They believe that their problems in life exist because someone else controls them.
That vision of external control explains their attitude toward metal. It could not be a group of people seeking clarity about their world, but must be a group reacting to The Man (or ZOG, the vast Right-wing conspiracy, and other scapegoats) for the sake of blowing off steam like the prole-workers.
When you get outside of that mental ghetto, which suspiciously resembles a shopper looking at different products on a shelf to choose which one looks best with her fingernail polish and lipstick colors, you can see how complex the world is, and how our blockhead simple categories do not function well.
Metal comes from the genre of thought which is both radical realist and transcendentalist as well. Transcendentalism simply means understanding the world and its inner goodness by looking at the Biggest Picture, or everything in total over all time. Eat a handful of psilocybe mushrooms and continue reading.
That requires us to look at the world more than ourselves. That involves a form of ego-death which is also essential to performing music:
But having played for over 30 years, many of them on stages in bars with other musicians, I can tell you that pretending that the instrument is the guitar and not you is the best way to fail on nearly every level. Sure, there are those with almost inhuman abilities who can do almost anything on a guitar no matter their ego, but they are few and Shrapnel records likely has most of them on at least one album. For most of us mere mortals there is a grind we must submit to, and most of the time practice is the least cumbersome part of that grind. The pumice stone that most annoys us is that of our own ego and subverting it.
I know so many guitar players who could be far beyond their current ken if only they could transcend their own egos. I know players who have their image down to a fine art. I know players who will only play certain styles. I could go on but for the most part, all of these players who limit themselves do so because they want to be noticed more than the music that they play. They want so much for people to see them coming, to know their names, to remember their names, and to laud them for that name. The truth is that this is the reverse of how it all works. Those who are remembered only wanted to be remembered in the peripheral; it is never the main goal of the musician, soldier, writer, fighter, etc, et al to be remembered (again, save those who seem to have something like supernatural abilities) but moreso to do their job to such a disciplined degree that being remembered is something that will happen in and of itself. So many of the greats only wanted to serve their purpose.
Those who transcend — “get over”: self-actualize, mature, ego-death, realism — themselves can see that the music is the object, not the musician.
Similarly, those who undergo that process can see that in life, the question is not the self, but the meaning found through bonding the self to the world, which requires understanding how the world is good and how to replicate that order in ourselves.
This was known to the West long before Zen, and in fact Zen and Buddhism are merely degenerated forms of the true ancient knowledge which was in use tens of thousands of years ago. It lives on somewhat in some interpretations of Zen, New Thought, Taoism, and Asatru.