Shiang Book on Jim Morrison’s Poetry

April 24th, 2019

Jim Morrison and The Doors broke through into national consciousness in 1967 with “Light My Fire.” Over the years, Morrison’s moody good looks—combined with the band’s visionary lyrics and propulsive music—helped to catapult them onto Rolling Stone Magazine’s all-time top band list at number 41. In 2014 Classic Rock Magazine called them “America’s most influential band.”

David Shiang, author of the forthcoming book, Jim Morrison and the Secret Gold Mine: Breaking through the Doors to Hidden Reality and the Mind of God, was a fan from the start. Shiang, a child of Chinese nationals, recalls in his book that he grew up in a left-brain-oriented household where science and rationality were prized. Even so, he found that music spoke to him in a way that numbers did not.

David Shiang (at right) backstage with Frankie Valli

It was while the family was on vacation in the summer of 1967 that he became aware of The Doors. The car’s radio was tuned to a Top 40 radio station and “Light My Fire” came on. David immediately leaned in for a closer listen. That fall he left home for MIT. There he found that the scientific approach of the day was narrow and stifling. Soon he was haunting the bookstores in Cambridge and Boston and began to steep himself in treatises on philosophy, mythology, religion, poetry and mediation. He also began to dig into the lyrics and music of Jim Morrison and The Doors. He felt that their music helped to humanize his engineering education.

Shiang’s book is a welcome addition to the body of literature on The Doors. In addition to giving a brief overview of the magic of The Doors, he examines the reasons for their ongoing popularity and he delves into the deeper meaning of some of their songs. For example, with “The End,” (heard at the end of The Doors’ first album), he suggests that the West that Morrison is singing about is a mythological one and that he is invoking Joseph Campbell by singing about the hero, dragon and lost treasure. These psychological archetypes flow into the snake energy that brings to mind the awakening of the kundalini and the raising of consciousness. Could Morrison’s shamanic turn be the reason for the band’s enduring popularity?

David Shiang’s book is current available on Amazon as an e-book for $2.99, and a print version is imminent. Next up for David is a continuation of his work on Einstein. The project is tentatively titled, Vanishing Quantum Voodoo.

~ Weston Blelock