Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the Damage Done

Drugs don't kill people. People kill people!

Drugs don’t kill people. People kill people!

I’ve seen the needle
and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
~ Neil Young

Sunday morning (I) wrote, “Our cultural rot is so pervasive it is hard to imagine how we can survive it. If we’re not being entertained by the performance of Narcissi, we’re being entertained by his daily march to the cliff. Celebrity self-destruction has become the most popular American spectator sport! I’m not sure which is more pathetic, the lost soul in the arena, or those of us feeding on it.”

An hour or so after these words came to me I went to the Drudge Report and after the page loaded I began to scroll down. All I had to see was the top half of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s head to know the tragic headline below, before my eyes were even able to read the words…

At the end of the same writing, (I) wished for “God to make our individual purpose known to our hearts.” The fact is I don’t write anything as much as I’ve realized my purpose is to channel whatever it is that manifests as a writing…a writing that I end up reading no differently than you. Only I get to read it first. I think I developed this through song-writing. The fact is that I am only that which God himself has made me. And I am at my best when I have emptied myself of myself to make a space for something greater.

Deepak Chopra wrote “The voice of God is in the gap between our thoughts.” Didn’t some great jazz musician say that the greatest music was between the notes?

Watching James Lipton this morning on the State-controlled MSNBC as he angrily blamed the “G – d D – – mn drugs” for the final act of “the best actor of his generation”, I wondered if he was really that clueless, or was he just speaking as someone so completely invested in the God-like mirage he himself helped to create, maintain and perpetuate. It’s really kind of like the Pharmaceutical Industry praying for the end of cancer, obesity and depression.

The Truth is that Phillip Seymour Hoffman died by his own hand because he bought into the God-makers mythology. He became dependent on their seductive opiate, filling himself with himself…until he finally exploded. It is the curse of celebrity! It’s as if they’ve hooked up a tow line to the center of their navels to pull them away from the very origin of their creativity. Even McCartney has become more of an escapee from his own Wax Museum than the genius from Liverpool! There’s actually a bit of a joke making its way around the Working Class pubs in Liverpool…Sir Paul has his head so far up the Ruling Class butt, they call him Sir Pository! 🙂 …as the desperate dream-weavers circle the wagons around the dying Narcissi.

Sometimes it seems this life has passed me by….without me knowin,

People say I’m not the man I used to be.

I feel like darkness is the only way to hide the shadow…..

…that waits upon my hand to murder me, yeah. ~ My Hand

(I) wrote “My Hand” for a non-celebrity friend who, but by the grace of God, friends, family and a wonderful wife, wouldn’t have made it. It’s much harder for celebrity because of the power of fame and the pull of the machine and its entourage. It requires superhuman strength to say NO to that pusher-man! Hoffman couldn’t! McCartney can’t…

Chip Murray – Gibson SJ Deluxe guitar

Marji Zintz – Vocal

Steve Bernstein – Mandolin

Pete Verutes – Bass

Michael Reale – Percussion Listen Here!

Dear God:

We thank you for blessing our lives with music. Help us to be mindful that we are only the reeds dancing with the winds of your creation. Let us pick up our instruments, empty our vessels to make way for the miracle of your grace to manifest in and from our hearts to all who will listen.

In your name we pray,


PS- (I) didn’t write the Musician’s Prayer, (I) just sing it! 😉


Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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14 Responses to Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the Damage Done

  1. Lisa Douglas says:

    Right on target – as usual Chip. I spent the majority of yesterday debating this very topic – the ‘gd drugs’ with pushers of decriminalization and regulation of drugs. I include the link if you’d like to get an up close look at the watchers and like thinkers of Lipton. The point – the real point that the majority are missing is what you have written “The Truth is that Phillip Seymour Hoffman died by his own hand because he bought into the God-makers mythology. He became dependent on their seductive opiate, filling himself with himself…until he finally exploded”. Yes, its tragic but it was all self imposed.

  2. ea says:

    I never heard of the deceased until he died. Yeah I know I’m disconnected from pop culture. My sympathies to his family, but do we realize how many more people, some our loved ones, are destroying their lives every day with drugs, legal and illegal? Do we realize we are supporting the very culture that promotes drug abuse when we allow ourselves to watch the movies or sitcoms, listen to the “music”, buy the DVD’s or CD’s?
    When man separates himself from his Creator, deliberately or by neglect, he opens himself up to the influence of the ultimate enemy of mankind. He cannot heal his hurts nor be reconciled to his Creator so he medicates and numbs himself to death. And Satan wins, again.

  3. Dale says:

    Since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, I have had so many disagreements with people over the whole thing. It is my contention that we are in deep denial and complicity with alcohol and drug deaths. We laugh at the jokes that comedians make over it. We make big hits of movies glorifying its’ culture. The coolest kids in my high school were the big drunks and druggies. It was the same thing in my children’s high school. The movers and shakers in my affluent community drink too much and abuse prescription medicines. It seems like the fall of the Holy Roman Empire to me. I hate it!

  4. Chip Murray says:

    I believe your instinctive read is 100% accurate Dale. Trust your heart and yes…it’s a very tough thing to do when everyone in the room is partying. Don’t despair…hug your kids, call your mom and “communicate” with your friends. Above all…pray!

  5. Kim says:

    Spot on once again, Chip! I truly enjoy reading your writings and want you to know I used some of your words (so eloquently written) on a post to my FB page. Of course, I did not take credit for those profound words. I added the disclaimer that the words I used were written by a friend of mine! Thank you for putting into words the thoughts and feelings I had and wanted to express to those around me.

  6. Dale says:

    I never did drugs and I only take a drink now and then. My husband and I worked hard and did not spend money we did not have. Many people I know thought that was “boring.” My favorite story is a sixty year old man hearing I never smoked pot offered me a joint which he had in his car. I have volunteered at Church’s,& Shelters and I see where that path leads. I think we all have to stand up and demand change. We need to watch better movies, listen to better music and stand up for what is right. Thanks Chip for trying to illuminate what is right! Your new fan.

    • Chip Murray says:

      Welcome aboard Dale! I’ve been invited to perform at C-PAC this year in Washington. But I have to say, there isn’t much of a market for we Conservative Singer-Songwriters in the NY Metro area…:-)

  7. sigridmac says:

    I agree completely, Chip. It doesn’t matter what weapon we use to destroy ourselves – when we feel the need to do so, the problem is within us. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a phenomenal talent. I liked him and everything that he was in and his loss is our loss. What really scared me was that he had been sober/straight for almost 2 decades. That means that any of us could slip back at any time if we are not grounded, if we don’t have a purpose, if we don’t have a base.

    Don’t get me started on celebrity pitfalls. Justin Bieber has become a laughingstock but actually I really worry about the kid. I’m sorry that Miami-Dade did not come down on him much harder because a tough love response is exactly what this 19-year-old needs right now so that he doesn’t end up like Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and Whitney Houston. Michael Jackson. The endless list of talented but tortured souls.

  8. Jodi Dale says:

    Having a heroin addict in the family has taught me more that I’ve ever cared to know. I have been studying Harm Reduction models in association with opiate addicts. Heroin addiction starts out as a choice, but after the first time, it changes your brain and makes it a brain diease. It’s when, not if an addict will relapse. There are very few cases to the contrary. Regulation would help to minimize deaths and a short relapse could be treated as a blip, instead of a failure that leads to a further downward cycle. Mental health policies need to be revised as usually addicts have depression and other issues that need attention. Lastly, this is a tragic end to one of the best actor of our time.

    • Chip Murray says:

      Great points Jodi…sorry for the suffering your family has endured. I would be interested to know more about the “Harm Reduction” concept. Thanks for your input!

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