"Yeah...I remember him sitting in the sand box when he was writing Pet Sounds."~Marilyn Wilson, from Back To The Beach, (pg.128.)
"I then told the astrologer about the hallucination I'd had in the bookstore last December, presenting it as a riddle. Genevelyn thought about it for a moment, then explained something that made perfect sense to me. If I wasn't able to find inspiration for songs outside myself, as in books, then I had to look someplace else. I had to look inward. I had to write about the spirituality I felt in my heart."~Brian Wilson, Wouldn't It Be Nice, (pg.131.)
This encounter provided the focus for Brian's next album, Pet Sounds. Notice that Brian was already thinking in terms of riddles and albums.
"I wasn't religious, but I'd definitely developed a spiritual awareness. Loren was always discoursing on spirituality, religious books, inspiring me to make music that would evoke such feelings."~Wouldn't It Be Nice, (pg.131.)
This quote seems tailor-made for SMiLE, but it is from the Pet Sounds portion of Brian's biography. A close look at Pet Sounds reveals some Zen oriented material. Often, the Zen clues are in rejected ideas.
"In My Childhood"~ this later became "You Still Believe In Me." "Children are in touch with paradise to the extent that they have not fully learned the ego-trick..."~Alan Watts, The Book, (pg.115.)
"Let Go Of Your Ego" AKA "Hang On To Your Ego"~ a loss of ego must occur in order to experience enlightenment. The loss of ego makes us more childlike.
"I Know There's An Answer"~ this song's title and lyrics (a reworking of "Ego") work SMiLE-wise. "I Know There's An Answer" refers to the Zen riddle. After Brian's bookstore Zen riddle experience he found the answer while alone on the beach. "I know now but I had to find it by myself."
The back cover of Pet Sounds points toward SMiLE as it features photos of the Beach Boys as samurai warriors. The samurai embraced Zen.
Brian wanted to make music that would, "give the listener the feeling of being loved."
"He lets everything and everybody have a share in his rich capacity for loving, without counting on any love in return. He loves impartially, selflessly, as though only for the sake of loving. And this not because it gives him personal pleasure or satisfies a personal desire, but because he must do so out of abounding love."~Eugen Herrigel, The Method Of Zen, (pgs.94-95.)
"When it was happening...Pet Sounds, 'Good Vibrations' and Smile...it was all one seamless time in which he caught in his music and captured on tape the emotion that was coming through that pipeline, that spirit. That's the problem when you're talking about music. It's not words; it's not verbal. It's that spirit beyond words. I don't usually talk about spiritual things, but I think his inspiration came from that place that people call God."~Danny Hutton
On Pet Sounds Brian would combine the sounds of two instruments to make an altogether new sound. Brian once refered to this as a "miraculous process." On SMiLE Brian would go even further by combining two events from his life (his acid flashback & his spiritual LSD experience) in order to create an altogether new album form.