Coffee Part II

St. Lepus In The Gardens Of Paradise

Find St. Lepus Here

Coffee Part II:
In this entry I will not regale you with tales of my life, but perhaps the roots of modern coffee culture, and the links it has to economics/capitalism in the modern world. It is not a direct path, but one of those side journeys that I quite enjoy. I made a couple of pilgrimages whilst living in London to the locations of some of the earlier coffee dens, a couple were still functioning back in the mid 80’s when I was there last. Coffee shops didn’t only generate economic changes of course, but social ones, which is what I am primarily interested in. So, enjoy this article, it is quite a gem.

We are now swinging into the holidaze… Here is to holding ones equilibrium in the upheaval at the end of the calendar year. Looking forward to the next year, this one has been a real challenge for so many people.

Pax,
Gwyllm
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On The Menu:
Commercial Break!
The Links
Music: Sarabeth Tucek
The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse
Zen Poetry
Music: Hush Arbors
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Commercial Break!
Nothing Says Special like:
Blotter Art!
One of my favourite pieces. Get it inscribed with a personal message for the collector in your life!

The Chemist – Homage to Sasha Shulgin

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The Links:
Tim Scully Turns On The World!
Egyptian Neolithic Ritual Art
New Physics?
Early Images of Domesticated Dogs Found in Arabia
A Chip For The Old Brain? What Could Go Wrong?
Happy Gentrification!
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Nice take on this song. The video component not so much…
Sarabeth Tucek:

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The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse

In contrast to today’s rather mundane spawn of coffeehouse chains, the London of the 17th and 18th century was home to an eclectic and thriving coffee drinking scene. Dr Matthew Green explores the halcyon days of the London coffeehouse, a haven for caffeine-fueled debate and innovation which helped to shape the modern world.

From the tar-caked wharves of Wapping to the gorgeous lamp-lit squares of St James’s and Mayfair, visitors to eighteenth-century London were amazed by an efflorescence of coffeehouses. “In London, there are a great number of coffeehouses”, wrote the Swiss noble César de Saussure in 1726, “…workmen habitually begin the day by going to coffee-rooms to read the latest news.” Nothing was funnier, he smirked, than seeing shoeblacks and other riffraff poring over papers and discussing the latest political affairs. Scottish spy turned travel writer John Macky was similarly captivated in 1714. Sauntering into some of London’s most prestigious establishments in St James’s, Covent Garden and Cornhill, he marvelled at how strangers, whatever their social background or political allegiances, were always welcomed into lively convivial company. They were right to be amazed: early eighteenth-century London boasted more coffeehouses than any other city in the western world, save Constantinople.

London’s coffee craze began in 1652 when Pasqua Rosée, the Greek servant of a coffee-loving British Levant merchant, opened London’s first coffeehouse (or rather, coffee shack) against the stone wall of St Michael’s churchyard in a labyrinth of alleys off Cornhill. Coffee was a smash hit; within a couple of years, Pasqua was selling over 600 dishes of coffee a day to the horror of the local tavern keepers. For anyone who’s ever tried seventeenth-century style coffee, this can come as something of a shock — unless, that is, you like your brew “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love”, as an old Turkish proverb recommends, and shot through with grit.

It’s not just that our tastebuds have grown more discerning accustomed as we are to silky-smooth Flat Whites; contemporaries found it disgusting too. One early sampler likened it to a “syrup of soot and the essence of old shoes” while others were reminded of oil, ink, soot, mud, damp and shit. Nonetheless, people loved how the “bitter Mohammedan gruel”, as The London Spy described it in 1701, kindled conversations, fired debates, sparked ideas and, as Pasqua himself pointed out in his handbill The Virtue of the Coffee Drink (1652), made one “fit for business” — his stall was a stone’s throw from that great entrepôt of international commerce, the Royal Exchange.

A handbill published in 1652 to promote the launch of Pasqua Rosée’s coffeehouse telling people how to drink coffee and hailing it as the miracle cure for just about every ailment under the sun including dropsy, scurvy, gout, scrofula and even “mis-carryings in childbearing women”.

Remember — until the mid-seventeenth century, most people in England were either slightly — or very — drunk all of the time. Drink London’s fetid river water at your own peril; most people wisely favoured watered-down ale or beer (“small beer”). The arrival of coffee, then, triggered a dawn of sobriety that laid the foundations for truly spectacular economic growth in the decades that followed as people thought clearly for the first time. The stock exchange, insurance industry, and auctioneering: all burst into life in 17th-century coffeehouses — in Jonathan’s, Lloyd’s, and Garraway’s — spawning the credit, security, and markets that facilitated the dramatic expansion of Britain’s network of global trade in Asia, Africa and America.

The meteoric success of Pasqua’s shack triggered a coffeehouse boom. By 1656, there was a second coffeehouse at the sign of the rainbow on Fleet Street; by 1663, 82 had sprung up within the crumbling Roman walls, and a cluster further west like Will’s in Covent Garden, a fashionable literary resort where Samuel Pepys found his old college chum John Dryden presiding over “very pleasant and witty discourse” in 1664 and wished he could stay longer — but he had to pick up his wife, who most certainly would not have been welcome.

The earliest known image of a coffeehouse dated to 1674, showing the kind of coffeehouse familiar to Samuel Pepys  

No respectable women would have been seen dead in a coffeehouse. It wasn’t long before wives became frustrated at the amount of time their husbands were idling away “deposing princes, settling the bounds of kingdoms, and balancing the power of Europe with great justice and impartiality”, as Richard Steele put it in the Tatler, all from the comfort of a fireside bench. In 1674, years of simmering resentment erupted into the volcano of fury that was the Women’s Petition Against Coffee. The fair sex lambasted the “Excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE” which, as they saw it, had reduced their virile industrious men into effeminate, babbling, French layabouts. Retaliation was swift and acerbic in the form of the vulgar Men’s Answer to the Women’s Petition Against Coffee, which claimed it was “base adulterate wine” and “muddy ale” that made men impotent. Coffee, in fact, was the Viagra of the day, making “the erection more vigorous, the ejaculation more full, add[ing] a spiritual ascendency to the sperm”.

There were no more Women’s Petitions after that but the coffeehouses found themselves in more dangerous waters when Charles II, a longtime critic, tried to torpedo them by royal proclamation in 1675. Traditionally, informed political debate had been the preserve of the social elite. But in the coffeehouse it was anyone’s business — that is, anyone who could afford the measly one-penny entrance fee. For the poor and those living on subsistence wages, they were out of reach. But they were affordable for anyone with surplus wealth — the 35 to 40 per cent of London’s 287,500-strong male population who qualified as ‘middle class’ in 1700 — and sometimes reckless or extravagant spenders further down the social pyramid. Charles suspected the coffeehouses were hotbeds of sedition and scandal but in the face of widespread opposition — articulated most forcefully in the coffeehouses themselves — the King was forced to cave in and recognise that as much as he disliked them, coffeehouses were now an intrinsic feature of urban life.

A map of Exchange Alley after it was razed to the ground in 1748, showing the sites of some of London’s most famous coffeehouses including Garraway’s and Jonathan’s 

By the dawn of the eighteenth century, contemporaries were counting between 1,000 and 8,000 coffeehouses in the capital even if a street survey conducted in 1734 (which excluded unlicensed premises) counted only 551. Even so, Europe had never seen anything like it. Protestant Amsterdam, a rival hub of international trade, could only muster 32 coffeehouses by 1700 and the cluster of coffeehouses in St Mark’s Square in Venice were forbidden from seating more than five customers (presumably to stifle the coalescence of public opinion) whereas North’s, in Cheapside, could happily seat 90 people.

The character of a coffeehouse was influenced by its location within the hotchpotch of villages, cities, squares, and suburbs that comprised eighteenth-century London, which in turn determined the type of person you’d meet inside. “Some coffee-houses are a resort for learned scholars and for wits,” wrote César de Saussure, “others are the resort of dandies or of politicians, or again of professional newsmongers; and many others are temples of Venus.” Flick through any of the old coffeehouse histories in the public domain and you’ll soon get a flavour of the kaleidoscopic diversity of London’s early coffeehouses.

The walls of Don Saltero’s Chelsea coffeehouse were festooned with taxidermy monsters including crocodiles, turtles and rattlesnakes, which local gentlemen scientists like Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Hans Sloane liked to discuss over coffee; at White’s on St James’s Street, famously depicted by Hogarth, rakes would gamble away entire estates and place bets on how long customers had to live, a practice that would eventually grow into the life insurance industry; at Lunt’s in Clerkenwell Green, patrons could sip coffee, have a haircut and enjoy a fiery lecture on the abolition of slavery given by its barber-proprietor John Gale Jones; at John Hogarth’s Latin Coffeehouse, also in Clerkenwell, patrons were encouraged to converse in the Latin tongue at all times (it didn’t last long); at Moll King’s brothel-coffeehouse, depicted by Hogarth, libertines could sober up and peruse a directory of harlots, before being led to the requisite brothel nearby. There was even a floating coffeehouse, the Folly of the Thames, moored outside Somerset House where fops and rakes danced the night away on her rain-spattered deck.

Hogarth’s depiction of Moll and Tom King’s coffee-shack from The Four Times of Day (1736). Though it is early morning, the night has only just begun for the drunken rakes and prostitutes spilling out of the coffeehouse 

Despite this colourful diversity, early coffeehouses all followed the same blueprint, maximising the interaction between customers and forging a creative, convivial environment. They emerged as smoky candlelit forums for commercial transactions, spirited debate, and the exchange of information, ideas, and lies. This small body-colour drawing shows an anonymous (and so, it’s safe to assume, fairly typical) coffeehouse from around 1700.

A small body-colour drawing of the interior of a London coffeehouse from c. 1705. Everything about this oozes warmth and welcome from the bubbling coffee cauldron right down to the flickering candles and kind eyes of the coffee drinkers 

Looking at the cartoonish image, decorated in the same innocent style as contemporary decorated fans, it’s hard to reconcile it with Voltaire’s rebuke of a City coffeehouse in the 1720s as “dirty, ill-furnished, ill-served, and ill-lighted” nor particularly London Spy author Ned Ward’s (admittedly scurrilous) evocation of a soot-coated den of iniquity with jagged floorboards and papered-over windows populated by “a parcel of muddling muck-worms…some going, some coming, some scribbling, some talking, some drinking, others jangling, and the whole room stinking of tobacco.” But, the establishments in the West End and Exchange Alley excepted, coffeehouses were generally spartan, wooden and no-nonsense.

As the image shows, customers sat around long communal tables strewn with every type of media imaginable listening in to each other’s conversations, interjecting whenever they pleased, and reflecting upon the newspapers. Talking to strangers, an alien concept in most coffee shops today, was actively encouraged. Dudley Ryder, a young law student from Hackney and shameless social climber, kept a diary in 1715-16, in which he routinely recalled marching into a coffeehouse, sitting down next to a stranger, and discussing the latest news. Private boxes and booths did begin to appear from the late 1740s but before that it was nigh-on impossible to hold a genuinely private conversation in a coffeehouse (and still pretty tricky afterwards, as attested to by the later coffeehouse print below). To the left, we see a little Cupid-like boy in a flowing periwig pouring a dish of coffee à la mode — that is, from a great height — which would fuel some coffeehouse discussion or other.

Much of the conversation centred upon news:

There’s nothing done in all the world

From Monarch to the Mouse,

But every day or night ‘tis hurled

Into the Coffee-House

chirped a pamphlet from 1672. As each new customer went in, they’d be assailed by cries of “What news have you?” or more formally, “Your servant, sir, what news from Tripoli?” or, if you were in the Latin Coffeehouse, “Quid Novi!” That coffeehouses functioned as post-boxes for many customers reinforced this news-gathering function. Unexpectedly wide-ranging discussions could be twined from a single conversational thread as when, at John’s coffeehouse in 1715, news about the execution of a rebel Jacobite Lord (as recorded by Dudley Ryder) transmogrified into a discourse on “the ease of death by beheading” with one participant telling of an experiment he’d conducted slicing a viper in two and watching in amazement as both ends slithered off in different directions. Was this, as some of the company conjectured, proof of the existence of two consciousnesses?

A Mad Dog in a Coffeehouse by the English caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson, c. 1800. Note the reference to Cerberus on the notice on the wall and the absence of long communal tables by the later 18th century

If the vast corpus of 17th-century pamphlet literature is anything to go by then early coffeehouses were socially inclusive spaces where lords sat cheek-by-jowl with fishmongers and where butchers trumped baronets in philosophical debates. “Pre-eminence of place none here should mind,” proclaimed the Rules and Orders of the Coffee-House (1674), “but take the next fit seat he can find” — which would seem to chime with John Macky’s description of noblemen and “private gentlemen” mingling together in the Covent Garden coffeehouses “and talking with the same Freedom, as if they had left their Quality and Degrees of Distance at Home.”

Perhaps. But propagandist apologias and wondrous claims of travel-writers aside, more compelling evidence suggests that far from co-existing in perfect harmony on the fireside bench, people in coffeehouses sat in relentless judgement of one another. At the Bedford Coffeehouse in Covent Garden hung a “theatrical thermometer” with temperatures ranging from “excellent” to “execrable”, registering the company’s verdicts on the latest plays and performances, tormenting playwrights and actors on a weekly basis; at Waghorn’s and the Parliament Coffee House in Westminster, politicians were shamed for making tedious or ineffectual speeches and at the Grecian, scientists were judged for the experiments they performed (including, on one occasion, dissecting a dolphin). If some of these verdicts were grounded in rational judgement, others were forged in naked class prejudice. Visiting Young Slaughter’s coffeehouse in 1767, rake William Hickey was horrified by the presence of “half a dozen respectable old men”, pronouncing them “a set of stupid, formal, ancient prigs, horrid periwig bores, every way unfit to herd with such bloods as us”.

But the coffeehouse’s formula of maximised sociability, critical judgement, and relative sobriety proved a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Coffeehouses encouraged political debate, which paved the way for the expansion of the electorate in the 19th century. The City coffeehouses spawned capitalist innovations that shaped the modern world. Other coffeehouses sparked journalistic innovation. Nowhere was this more apparent than at Button’s coffeehouse, a stone’s throw from Covent Garden piazza on Russell Street.

The figure in the cloak is Count Viviani; of the figures facing the reader the draughts player is Dr Arbuthnot, and the figure standing is assumed to be Pope 

It was opened in 1712 by the essayist and playwright Joseph Addison, partly as a refuge from his quarrelsome marriage, but it soon grew into a forum for literary debate where the stars of literary London — Addison, Steele, Pope, Swift, Arbuthnot and others — would assemble each evening, casting their superb literary judgements on new plays, poems, novels, and manuscripts, making and breaking literary reputations in the process. Planted on the western side of the coffeehouse was a marble lion’s head with a gaping mouth, razor-sharp jaws, and “whiskers admired by all that see them”. Probably the world’s most surreal medium of literary communication, he was a playful British slant on a chilling Venetian tradition.

As Addison explained in the Guardian, several marble lions “with mouths gaping in a most enormous manner” defended the doge’s palace in Venice. But whereas those lions swallowed accusations of treason that “cut off heads, hang, draw, and quarter, or end in the ruin of the person who becomes his prey”, Mr Addison’s was as harmless as a pussycat and a servant of the public. The public was invited to feed him with letters, limericks, and stories. The very best of the lion’s digest was published in a special weekly edition of the original Guardian, then a single-sheet journal costing one-and-a-half pence, edited inside the coffeehouse by Addison. When the lion “roared so loud as to be heard all over the British nation” via the Guardian, writing by unknown authors was beamed far beyond the confines of Button’s making the public — rather than a narrow clique of wits — the ultimate arbiters of literary merit. Public responses were sometimes posted back to the lion in a loop of feedback and amplification, mimicking the function of blogs and newspaper websites today (but much more civil).

“An excellent piece of workmanship, designed by a great hand in imitation of the antique Egyptian lion, the face of it being compounded out of a lion and a wizard.” — Joseph Addison, the Guardian, 9 July 1713 

If you’re thinking of visiting Button’s today, brace yourself: it’s a Starbucks, one of over 300 clones across the city. The lion has been replaced by the “Starbucks community notice board” and there is no trace of the literary, convivial atmosphere of Button’s. Addison would be appalled.


Dr Matthew Green graduated from Oxford University in 2011 with a PhD in the impact of the mass media in 18th-century London. He works as a writer, broadcaster, freelance journalist, and lecturer. He is the co-founder of Unreal City Audio, which produces immersive, critically-acclaimed tours of London as live events and audio downloads. His limited edition hand-sewn pamphlet, The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse, published by Idler Books, is on sale now:
http://unrealcityaudio.co.uk/shop/

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Buddha – Gwyllm 2011

Zen Poetry:

My daily activities are not unusual,
I’m just naturally in harmony with them.
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing…
Supernatural power and marvelous activity –
Drawing water and carrying firewood.
– Layman Pang-yun (740-808)
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The mind of the past is ungraspable;
the mind of the future is ungraspable;
the mind of the present is ungraspable.
– Diamond Sutra
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Unfettered at last, a traveling monk,
I pass the old Zen barrier.
Mine is a traceless stream-and-cloud life,
Of these mountains, which shall be my home?
– Manan (1591-1654)
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My legacy –
What will it be?
Flowers in spring,
The cuckoo in summer,
And the crimson maples
Of autumn …
– Ryokan
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It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a
lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.
– Joshu Washes the Bowl, The Gateless Gate #7
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This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.

– The Buddha’s Words on Kindness (Metta Sutta)

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Hush Arbors:

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On Rotation Now For The Weekend!

Coffee… Part 1

Ah… Coffee.  More on this after a few other items…

It has been a good week here at Caer Llwydd in that Rowan has settled in with Suzanne from their European adventure, and that Mary is working with me on publishing projects.  The 9th edition of The Invisible College Magazine is getting there, and there will be two new books soon to be released on Invisible College Publications.  Heady times.

I have been watching what moves, and what doesn’t on this site.  It’s interesting that the visual blog gets more hits than say, The Hare’s Tale, or the archives.  I guess this has to do with immediacy, or as I post the dopamine rush with the visual. Just to say, you’ll find gems here, and in the archives, as rough as they are.  Check them out if you get a chance.

More art, music and poetry coming soon.

On The Menu:
The Links
Commercial Break
Brendan Perry: Cresent
Coffee, Part 1
Poetry: Gerard de Nerval
Brendan Perry: Song To The Siren
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The Links:
The Video Game Example
Political Gridlock Over The Gravy
Paul Stamets on Joe Rogan (Long!)
Stars From The Dreamtime
The Trojan Boat?
Playing Both Sides…
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Commercial Break:
So… as I update my Gwyllm-Art.com site, I will just put these here for now


Society6.com!

Weird set up for a site, but you can find 12 of my art pieces now available as canvas prints, wall hangings, pillows, coffee cups and much more! I have held off doing this, but these are fun, and functional items that can enliven ones home with. Check it out!

They’re Back! The Gwyllm Art Desk CalendarS!
Now for 2018!

I so enjoy getting them out there to people who enjoy my art.  The desk size and the wall size share the same images this year, so you can’t go wrong! If you enjoy them, please spread the word!
Desk Calendar Link!

Wall Calendar Link!

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Brendan Perry – Crescent

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This wee article on coffee was spurred a couple of weeks ago by our retrieving from storage a small krupps espresso machine that we bought when we moved to the US from the UK in 1986-87.  Although with yers truly being very rusty with the technique I managed to turn out a very decent cappuccino on the first run.  This experience and the experiences with making espresso or cappuccinos in the morning for everyone at Caer Llwydd sent me down a pathway of memories intimately tied up with the magick bean… 

Coffee, Part 1:

My experiences with coffee occured when I was, perhaps 4, or 4.5 years old.  It is indeed the gateway drug of my life.  Not sugar (that would come later), not alcohol (I would have to wait until I was 13) or any of the other myriad plants and compounds I have explored over the years.  It is a tale that is tied to family history, and to perhaps what has shaped me into the person I am.

I was introduced to coffee by my mother.  Yes, she was my dealer.  At that tender young age, she started to make me toast, with a soft boiled egg laid on top, and then coffee with milk poured over it.  Yes, I know, strange.  I have tried to figure this concoction out over the years.

Who thought this up?  Was it someone in the railroad that my grandfather worked for, and he brought it home?  Was this strange recipe something that had came down from the family in Northern Ireland?

Was it perhaps served with tea at one time and then coffee was substituted along the way?  Was it by accident, somewhere in the hoary past a family member spilled their coffee over their egg and toast and decided “Hey, this rocks.  Let’s give it to the kids!?!”  Haven’t a clue.  Such a mystery.  It is lost now in the dust that is time’s remnants.  I remember still though sitting in the kitchen in NewFoundland, on a bright sunny morning and being transported by the flavour and the caffeine to this day.

I enjoyed this concoction for years.  I graduated to drinking coffee a few years later, but to get someone really hooked, ya gotta make sure they have a foundation of use. There I was, around 7 or 8 having half a cup of coffee before I sped down the street to school, and usually crashing just after lunch.  A pattern really developed with those early forays in consciousness expansion.  Super focused in the morning, a complete loss for the rest of the day until I got home and had a coca cola, which where sugar started to come into this caffeine mix.

As it occurs, life carried on through my youth.  Graduated to a cup a day, then two a day on the weekend.  A pattern emerged in my life with stimulants.  You might catch my drift here. I was becoming acclimated to being altered chemically.

Life had grown progressively weird in that mid 60’s way, when my parents generation found out that they could get divorced finally without moving to Nevada or going to Mexico.  My parents were not the happiest of souls together after moving to the States. Their divorce had the effect of confusing and grieving me as well as opening the doors of doubt and introspection that turned into the beginnings of self awareness and self observation. Still gettings one’s footing as a young person then was challenging.  (This of course is through my eyes and thoughts. More than likely it is no different for anyone, born anytime.)

My youth was strange enough without those added little bits, and as I was already on a path of my own having bounced around from the different parents homes… I decided finally that I could probably do better on my own. So, slowly I would be gone for a weekend, and then a week, until I left home, and started living on the streets, sleeping in the budding communes emerging, and started to migrate back and forth to the West Coast for the first time via Freight Trains. (I have written about this elsewhere.)

My first job of any import as a young adult was as a barista in an old beat coffee house turned folk club “The Green Spider” on 17th and Pearl 2 or 3 doors down from The Folk Lore Center in Denver back in the summer of 1966. It was a very exciting time for me… such freedom!

Anyway, the Green Spider.  I hung out enough and drank enough espresso that somehow I got hired on to work in what passed for a kitchen.  I started out with cleanup, and prep.  This included coming in an hour or two before the Spider opened and turning on the old italian machine so that the steam would build up enough.  Those early hours before customers came in were pure magic.

I first learned to make fruit and cheese plates (exotic!) and slowly learned how to make espresso on that grand old Italian machine.  There were some 12 different coffee drinks, I mastered a few, cappuccinos, espresso obviously, and some of the layered drinks.

As The Green Spider had transitioned to a degree into a folk club, there was an eclectic mix. College kids of course, some older teenagers but a lot of the regulars were old Beats who still came in out of habit.  When I mean old, I mean people in their late 20’s to early 40’s.  To me the were the venerable old wise ones.  You could come in and nurse a cup of coffee all night if you liked, and pay no more than a quarter if I recall.  People came and went all night, but the regulars would hang out to all hours as the music played.

When the music stopped, i.e. whoever had gotten up on stage and did their numbers (numerous Bob Dylan & Joan Baez, Judy Collins clones, with some real talented people as well) I had to leave the kitchen, coffee maker and go up on stage and perform.  I can be fairly spontaneous, but who really wanted a 14/15 year old kid with a harmonica or jew’s harp warbling away?  I would be quickly replaced by someone who had a bit more talent and the night would carry on.  Being in close proximity to the FolkLore Center gave the old place a bit of local cache for talent.  Sometimes Harry Tufts would come down from the FLC and play.  I understand he is still playing shows after all of these years.  He must be in his mid 80’s now.  What a talented and kind person.

I didn’t work for money.  I worked for room and board, meaning all of the coffee I could consume, and the fruit and cheese plates with backed bread.  For room, I slept on the stage after we closed at night, sometimes midnight, or as late as 4-5 in the morning.  It was an interesting place.

When I didn’t sleep on stage, I would sleep in a broken down 1951 Hudson Hornet out back.  I shared it with my friend Roberto Apodaca, a Mayan who had gone to school I believe up in Boulder or DU.  He had a beautiful German girlfriend that he quarreled a bit with, hence his sleeping rough in the Hornet.  He spoke several languages fluently, and was an incredibly charismatic and handsome person, kind and sharing.

Espresso with a lemon peel. The correct way…

Coffee House life suited me.  I met all types of people. One that sticks out was a biker who had just gotten out of prison and who was hanging around.  He would come in and talk, always looking over his shoulder, tense.  One evening he came in, jumpier than ever.  I was whacking away at a loaf of  bread  with a knife when he asked very quietly, “Please put down the knife”.  I looked at him and explained, I had to prep the bread boards. He had a pen out waving it in my general direction.. “Please put the knife down, you are making me nervous” he said even more strained than before.  I looked at the pen and realized it wasn’t a pen as there was rifling going down inside the rather open end that he was pointing at me. This was my first introduction to the dark side of gun culture…  I froze, the supervisor froze, and the Biker put the pen gun away. He started to converse again as if nothing had occurred.  I walked away slowly to the toilet, and composed myself. When I came back, our nervous friend had gone and the supervisor turned to me and  said “Damn speed freaks”, and we continued into the night working away.  Our Biker came back frequently as if nothing had gone down.  He did get more and more paranoid until one night he just disappeared into the streets not to be seen at the coffee house again.  I expect he hit high weirdness and had to follow it to its conclusion.

The Green Spider served as a base for me whenever I was in and out of Colorado over the next couple of years.  I always had a place to stay, an espresso to drink and friends to meet.  My first real intellectual conversations took place there.  I was by far the youngest person around, but I was treated with respect, and looking back now with they all provided me a certain type of love and protection.

The Life I first found in Coffee Houses were as revolutionary to me as they were in England in the 1700’s.  Then they were a bustling scene with poets, singers, songsters and revolutionaries.  I found my intellectual footing there, a certain aesthetic that would lend itself to my endeavours over the years. I don’t hang out at coffee houses now days.  The one thing you notice now days is everyone is ensconced with a laptop, or a smart phone.  Conversation is at a minimum.  The spark seems to have fled (at least locally, but there is hope yet!).  No more a hot bed of discourse and music, with over stuffed chairs in the corner with magazines and newspapers from around the world.  No more cats wandering around.  An icon of dissent, discourse, and social change defanged, at least for the present time.  Coffee Houses have waxed and waned over the years, and there is still a chance for them to revive I think.

Next installment will cover coffee in my life later on…
Berkeley/North Beach/Venice/Amsterdam/London & Back Again
I hope you have enjoyed this part.
G

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Gerard de Nerval Poems:


Myrto

It is of you, divine enchantress, I am thinking, Myrto,
Burning with a thousand fires at haughty Posilipo,
Of your forehead flowing with an Oriental glare,
Of the black grapes mixed with the gold of your hair.

From your cup also I drank to intoxication,
And from the furtive lightning of your smiling eyes,
While I was seen praying at the feet of Iacchus,
For the Muse has made me one of Greece’s sons.

Over there the volcano has re-opened, and I know
It is because yesterday you touched it with your nimble toe,
And suddenly the horizon was covered with ashes.

Since a Norman Duke shattered your gods of clay,
Evermore beneath the branches of Virgil’s laurel,
The pale hydrangea mingles with the green myrtle!

(Myrtho a shining mask of Venus Murcia to whom myrtle was sacred, is the counterpart to the dark prince of El Desdichado. Alchemically she is De Nerval’s feminine principle to be fused with the masculine. Iacchus was an epithet of the god Dionysus (Bacchus) and the name of the torch-bearer at the Eleusinian mysteries, herald of the child born of the underworld.)
___
An Old Tune

There is an air for which I would disown
Mozart’s, Rossini’s, Weber’s melodies, –
A sweet sad air that languishes and sighs,
And keeps its secret charm for me alone.

Whene’er I hear that music vague and old,
Two hundred years are mist that rolls away;
The thirteenth Louis reigns, and I behold
A green land golden in the dying day.

An old red castle, strong with stony towers,
The windows gay with many coloured glass;
Wide plains, and rivers flowing among flowers,
That bathe the castle basement as they pass.

In antique weed, with dark eyes and gold hair,
A lady looks forth from her window high;
It may be that I knew and found her fair,
In some forgotten life, long time gone by.
___
Well, then! All is sentient!

Pythagoras
Free-thinker, Man, do you think you alone
Think, while life explodes everywhere?
Your freedom employs the powers you own,
But world is absent from all your affairs.
Respect an active spirit in the creature:
Each flower is a soul open to Nature;
In metal a mystery of love is sleeping;
‘All is sentient!’ Has power over your being.

Fear the gaze in the blind wall that watches:
There is a verb attached to matter itself…
Do not let it serve some impious purpose!
Often a hidden god inhabits obscure being;
And like an eye, born, covered by its eyelids,
Pure spirit grows beneath the surface of stones!
___
Horus

Trembling Kneph, the god, shook the starry ways:
Isis, the mother, then raised herself from her bed,
Made, to her savage spouse, a sign of hatred,
In her green eyes shone the passion of elder days.
‘Do you see him, she cried, the old lecher dies;
Through his mouth the frosts of earth take flight;
Bind his lame feet, destroy his squinting sight,
He’s the god of craters, king of the winter’s ice!
The new spirit summons, the eagle is done,
Cybele’s robe for him do I now put on…
The beloved son of Hermes and Osiris!’
The goddess fled away on her golden shell,
Her adored image returning to us on the swell,
And the sky shone beneath the scarf of Iris.

Note: This poem is a consequence of the two previous poems. Kneph, is Amon-Ra the great god of Egypt. Isis was the Egyptian mother goddess (Cybele was her equivalent in Asia Minor): consort of Osiris she bore the child Horus-Harpocrates, the new sun (De Nerval’s image here for the Christ-Child). This is the alchemical fusion of male and female principles which produces gold, a process sacred to Hermes Trismegistus. Iris’ scarf is the rainbow, she being sky-messenger for Hera (the Greek great-goddess). Isis returns as Venus from the waves but fused with Mary, the Stella Maris.

Brendan Perry Cover of Tim Buckley

Wild Mind…

So, I am pretty much devoting this entry of The Hares’ Tale to my friends Dale & Laura Pendell, who live not far from Nevada City up in the Sierra foothills.  We go back a ways, about 18 years. I first met them at the Salvia Divinorum Conference at Breitenbush out in the Cascades.  They were always laughing, riffing off of each other.  It has been a great joy in Mary & my life to share time with them.

They have visited us a couple of times over the years, and we visited with them a few years back at their place. We had a running monologue on poetry, magick, incantation.  Some of this can be picked up in “Salting The Boundaries” one of Dale’s books. It is on my table by the side of the bed, I read from it often, before I drift off.  I believe that poetry is a necessity of life, oh, I do.

I will provide a link at the end for said book.

There is nothing so fine as friendship.

Much Love,
G
_____________

Dale & Laura @ Caer Llwydd 2011

Psychedelics, Deep Ecology, and Wild Mind
Dale Pendell

In 1969, in an essay in Earth House Hold, Gary Snyder wrote that “Peyote and acid have a curious way of tuning some people in to the local soil.” While exceptions abound, some of the more salient characteristics of the psychedelic revolution that blossomed in the 1960s and continue to this day are an embracing of things “natural,” including natural foods, natural childbirth (and breast-feeding), an easy acceptance of nudity and the human body, and, for many, a return to earth-centered living. Many favored the outdoors as a place to open their minds in the new way, and interest in vision quest and traditional nature-based lifestyles followed.

In traditional cultures less shielded from the natural seasons and the cycles of birth and death, the powers of the wild are everyday occurrences. People lay offerings at springs, or perform dances to acknowledge these powers and to maintain an exchange. For the industrial culture of the twentieth century, it took the tremendous power of visionary plants and chemicals to open many minds to what had been obvious to most human cultures for millennia.

Hard-headed rationalists and cynical materialists often found themselves humbled by a looming mountain, a stream flowing on bedrock, or by a wild animal that stepped out of its camouflage to say hello. Many hold these liberating experiences as the most important in their lives and have never returned to the old paradigm. In seeking to understand such soul-moving events, people have rediscovered what human societies for thousands of years have acknowledged: that we are a part of a great living fabric, and that certain wild plants, animals, or places are endowed with something that we might call presence, or energy, or resonance. This feeling of special resonance or presence is usually glossed as “the sacred” by Western intellectuals, though no one is certain what that actually means. Such recognition has led many beyond the resource management ethos of conservation to what has been called “deep ecology.”

Being tuned in to the local soil means being at home—the root of “eco.” As trivial an example as orange peels highlights the difference between the tourist and someone who can feel that he is standing on the bones of his mother. Anyone who has spent much time in the back country has seen orange peels thoughtlessly tossed along the trail or at the base of a rock. People who would otherwise be careful about packing out their trash leave orange peels because they are not “trash” (though they wouldn’t do the same in their own living rooms). But “presence” has to do with what was there before we came—call it power, or beauty, or suchness—it has nothing to do with our ideas of what is trash and what is not-trash.

Encounters with the wild always have an awe-inspiring quality—that is their nature–but most of us are conditioned from birth to block out these experiences. One of the great gifts of visionary plants and substances is that these cultural filters are temporarily suspended, so that the wild has free access to mind. The downside, of course, is that everyday mind, with filters back in place, may dismiss the experiences as hallucinatory, forgetting that the filtered interpretation is also hallucinatory. That is, the very special and extraordinary quality of the visionary experience itself tends to allow us to relegate the profound insights of that experience to the visionary realm only, as if it were separate and not a part of “reality.”

In his book A Zen Wave, Robert Aitken presents two haiku of the Zen poet Basho. The first goes:

Wake up! Wake up!
Be my friend
sleeping butterfly.

Basho is not on psychedelics, but he is intimate with the butterfly. There is a joy and playfulness that form a shared reality—the oneness is the reality. The other poem goes:

The morning glory!
This too cannot be
My friend.

Aitken’s point is that Basho also recognized the absolute independence and separateness of the other being. That’s deep ecology! The many beings, the many rocks and crevices and waterfalls and streams, all exist in and of themselves, entirely without reference to the human world and human uses. At the same time, all of it is linked together in an indissoluble web.

The true mythologies of a culture are the stories that everyone accepts as true, without question. While the cosmological systems of other cultures are easily dismissed as myth, one’s own never are. For us, that myth includes the belief that there is an “objective” physical world that exists wholly independently from the self—from mind or consciousness. It’s even called “the Reality Principle,” as theistic an appellation as one could come up with. To free the mind, to recover that wildness that is equally jaguar and peony, leaf rustle and dew on a spider web, requires both insight and training.

On psychedelics, even “ordinary” experiences can be hair-raising. That is a clue for us to the true nature of the wild—that the wild doesn’t end or begin at a fence, and that wild mind is something that we know about from our own experience. If psychedelics can help with that realization, they are truly, in the best and most ancient sense of the word, sacred. Mind is wild by nature. Presenting wild mind, sharing wild mind, is benevolence.
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Laura Pendell Poetry:

Cry of the Coyote

have I died?

first you pierce the water
the shock of the cold
the shock of the wet
making you gasp

except
you’re holding
your breath
and then there’s

that next moment
when you turn
toward the sunlight
when you turn

toward the surface
toward the air
when time stops
for an eternity

or what feels
like an eternity
except really
it’s just a second

except
in that eternity
that’s really a second
time stops just long enough

and you wonder
will the surface never come
will I always be suspended
will it always be this cold

here in this body
of water
that’s when
you break through

back out & up & into
the air
the cry of the coyote
coming from you
&
laughter

(Gwyllm – sadly will not reproduce on wordpress as she wrote it, visually )
___
PLANETARY FORCES

1.
she set the house on fire the night she left,
a hunter by nature, not used to being denied
anything, overwrought,
both mad and maddened

2.
good thing the woman who remained behind
was watery, deep, able to hold
both the birthing and the dying,
transforming the fires the first one left—
healing and bringing back the earth,
dampening the fires that threatened all they held dear

3.
and what of the man
who had awakened the light in both women,
enthusiastic, spontaneous, original,
blinded by what he could not control
now torn apart, pulled, paralyzed
by circumstances beyond anyone’s control

4.
in that time, each of them went beyond
the boundaries of everyday existence
those planetary forces so strong,
with the five planets aligned,
willing them to risk
(everything)
for this vision of something larger

5.
they had hoped only for joy and healing
not this agony, this arena of tears
everywhere they trod
each of them crying out
and still holding
that vision of love—how close once?
now lost to the fire’s lashing tongue
tendrils of dying embers
crisscrossing the meadow
________________

________________

Dale Pendell Poems:

The Divine Spark: Hard AI and the Poet.

Laura and I had stopped at a café connected to a small casino in Nevada. We were headed east—maybe it was Elko.

I’d been thinking about hard AI—about Ray Kurzweil:

little machines loosely called “life-forms,”
“consciousness” having little to do with anything.

Little semantic sleight-of-hands:
computability equals intelligence,
brain equals mind,
logic equals thinking,
brain equals computer.

The whole scene is thick with earth denial: we don’t need food, we don’t need bodies.

Mountebank, slipping highly abstract nouns between the shells:
intelligence, consciousness, brain, mind, “smarter,” “more powerful,” —
once you buy the basic con, that it is all measureable by teraflops, no, who would need a body?

Cyborgs: dream on. Or do they?

One of the other booths was filled with a Mexican family: Papa and Mama, four or five kids from eight or ten to fifteen or sixteen. Some one had said something really funny, because they were all laughing as hard as they could—eyes wet, minute after minute:

It began with the laughter of children.
–Arthur Rimbaud

And went on, minute after minute, faces red, the whole family, a good ten minutes:
delicious, out-of-control, unstoppable laughter.
_____
In a Circle Staring at the Fire

The wind turned cold and the river froze,
so we built a hut,
set stones
in the center
to hold the coals
we burned mammoth dung-
there wasn’t much wood–
good place
to invent language:
suddenly flamed and we all said “ah!”
at the same time, then laughed.
One Woman blew
through a hollowed crane bone
to rekindle the embers
then blew across the top.

________
For Dale & Laura

How quickly it goes
It seems but a moment ago,
you were at our house
just a bit of heaven
good conversation, Absinthe,
and what seemed
like a moment
in infinite time.

G
____

Mary & Laura


Dale & Yers Truly
_________
Said Link:

Early Mornings….

I awoke at 4:00 this morning, hearing noises. Being curious, I got up and looked out to the street.  A strange car was parked across the road from our home.  I turned on the outside light to let them know I was aware of them, and headed back to bed.  To no avail, I was awake.  Looked at my phone, read some news, and picked up the archaeology magazine and finished up articles.  The hours passed…

More noises, 3 police cars surrounding the car across the street.  This circus continued until 7:30, when the owner of the (now obvious) stolen car was driven up by the police.  He takes it away, and the young man who had been passed out in the stolen vehicle was frisked, drugs found, and hauled away.

I had surrendered to my wakefulness at around 6:00, and got up.  Got an orange juice, and started to work on a piece of art I had put away a decade ago.  Progress!  Lots moving, and to start the day with art.

The sun rolls up, Mary awakes, and I make cappuccinos for the pair of us.

I think my sleep cycle is changing. 🙂

Anyway, an early day it seems. … The doves are in the backyard, at the feeder, and the world awakes.

G
_________________

_________________

A Woman’s Honour

Love bade me hope, and I obeyed;
Phyllis continued still unkind:
Then you may e’en despair, he said,
In vain I strive to change her mind.

Honour’s got in, and keeps her heart,
Durst he but venture once abroad,
In my own right I’d take your part,
And show myself the mightier God.

This huffing Honour domineers
In breasts alone where he has place:
But if true generous Love apppears,
The hector dares not show his face.

Let me still languish and complain,
Be most unhumanly denied:
I have some pleasure in my pain,
She can have none with all her pride.

I fall a sacrifice to Love,
She lives a wretch for Honour’s sake;
Whose tyrant does most cruel prove,
The difference is not hard to make.

Consider real Honour then,
You’ll find hers cannot be the same;
‘Tis noble confidence in men,
In women, mean, mistrustful shame.
– Lord John Wilmot
____________________

___________________

The world but seems to be

The world but seems to be
yet is nothing more
than a line drawn
between light and shadow.
Decipher the message
of this dream-script
and learn to distinguish time
from Eternity.
– by Fakhruddin Iraqi
______________________

In A Sacred Drift


I became water

I became water
and saw myself
a mirage
became an ocean
saw myself a speck
of foam
gained Awareness
saw that all is but
forgetfulness
woke up
and found myself
asleep.

– by Binavi Badakhshani
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Companion Books & Other Affairs:

So, here we are again, with another edition of “The Hare’s Tale.  We are plunging down the rabbit hole following what is best described as the path of Khezr (more on this later). I am taking books off of my bedside and chairside tables and featuring them here. Most of them are poetry books, and we will see the likes of Dale Pendell, Gary Snyder, Sufi Poets of Persia and elsewhere, Seamus Heaney, William Butler Yeats, etc.

Poetry lies central to the work that I do in my life. I am not a great poet, but I can turn a phrase on occasion. Yet, I swim in the world of poetry, and all that it implies. I find it a solace, an inspiration, a spiritual quest.

So I will be sharing books that I love, and providing links on where to find them. I hope that you will find the poetry as moving as I do.

The Poetry found on this entry is from “The Drunken Universe”, An anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry Translation and Commentary by Peter Lamborn Wilson and Narollah Pourjavady. This book has lifted my spirits time and again, and has revealed beauty that I hadn’t a clue about. It is well worth having.

Eye Candy:
As you may or may not know there are actually 2 Blogs on Gwyllm.com. This one, “The Hares’ Tale, and “Eye Candy!” which is a visual blog. On it you will find art, gifs, photographs that take my fancy. Some of it may not be suitable for work (NSFW), but I believe all of it is beautiful. You’ll find images from the Occult, Persian & Mughal Miniatures, Mandalas, Oil Paintings, Film Stills, Nature Photographs, Erotica, a wide gamut of beauty. Here is the link: Eye Candy! … Please check it out! I try to update frequently.

“Sacred Drift”:
A title to a book that has entranced me… I have a long involvement with Sufism, going back to the mid-60’s. Granted, I have pursued it mainly through poetry, and commentary and the reading of the Quran. I have included an excerpt of it in the body of this entry, ” Al-Khiḍr: The Green Man of Sufism” I spent most of the last 2 weeks up all hours of the night pouring over this book. It opens vistas, wide amazing vistas of travel, and heresy. It is highly recommended, and I shall be doing a review of it in the weeks to come. A Note: I don’t always review books that would be deemed, “New”. Heaven knows I try, and I will, there are a couple of volumes sitting next to me that are new this year, and another only 5 years old, so I am catching up.

Radio EarthRites:
New Show on, with DJ Kykeon’s “The Eleusinian Invocations Mix“. Give it a listen. We are about to launch a fund raiser to upgrade the site, and to bring more services via Radio EarthRites. Your support is very important to that!

So, that is it for now. Working on art and publishing the early part of this week. I hope this finds you well, and in happiness.

Bright Blessings,
Gwyllm
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On The Menu:
DJ Kykeons’ Eleusinian Invocations Mix!
The Links
Companion Books: The Drunken Universe
Armand Amar:Baba Aziz
Al-Khiḍr: The Green Man of Sufism
Armand Amar: Poem Of The Atoms
___________
The Links:
Ancient Fabrics…
The Cost Of Nuclear Weapons & Testing
Turn Up The Heat!
Aftermath of a great Collision
___________
Radio EarthRites!

https://gwyllm.com/radio-earthrites/
Starting 3:00PM Pacific Coast Time Sunday, 10/22/17 
The Return of DJ Kykeon! With his “Eleusinian Invocations Mix!”
8+Hours of Aural Beauty! Listen Now, More Shows To Come!
(The show will be in rotation all of this week along with “The Witching Hours Mix”.

___________________________________________
Companion Books: The Drunken Universe

The Universe

The universe
is a kaleidoscope:
now hopelessness, now hope
now spring, now fall.
Forget its ups and downs:
do not vex yourself:
The remedy for pain
is the pain.

-Sarmad
___
Nonexistence

Nonexistence
within existence
is my Rule
getting lost
in getting lost
my Religion.

– Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani
___
The Lamp of Your Face

What need
lovers for world’s delights
or the moth
for refined pleasures,
“viewing the garden”?
His lips
parched for water of Union
with the Beloved:
what need to chase
the “fountain of Khezr”?
He who falls
in your quarter, what need
for the caravans
of paradise except
to seek your love?
Surrendering his body
to the couch of your disease
what need has he
for the “healing breath”
of Jesus?
If the Friend
did not sit with him
in his retreat, what need
for the cloister
of solitude?
Today he gives up
his soul to separation:
why should he wait
for the promise
of tomorrow?
What need anymore
for glass after glass
of red wine, intoxicated,
unconscious with your
amorousness?
I am that moth
at the lamp of your face:
San’at, what do I need
with the candle
of manifestation?

– Mohammad ‘Aref San’at
____
Love came

Love came
flowed like blood
beneath skin, through veins
emptied me of my self
filled me
with the Beloved
till every limb
every organ was seized
and occupied
till only
my name remains.
the rest is It.
– by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir
____
Within the eye of the eye

Within the eye of the eye
I placed an eye
polished and adorned
with her beauty
but suddenly fell
into the Quarter of Perfection
and now am freed from sight,
from even the eye of contemplation.

– Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani
____

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As Heard On Radio EarthRites:
Armand Amar:Baba Aziz


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Al-Khiḍr: The Green Man of Sufism


The prophets Elias and Khadir at the fountain of life, late 15th century. Folio from a khamsa(quintet) by Nizami (d. 1209); Timurid period. Opaque watercolor and silver on paper. Herat, Afghanistan, now at The Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution

Al-Khiḍr is Khezr, the Hidden Prophet, the Green Man, King of Hyperborea, wily servant of Moses, trickster-cook of Alexander, Khezr who drank from the fountain of life in the Land of Darkness. Flowers and herbs spring up in his footsteps, and he strolls across the water, walking toward Ibn Arabi’s ship, coming closer; his green robe trailing on green waves — or perhaps woven of waves. Or Khezr appears in the desert with water and initiation for the masterless ones, the mad and blameworthy, the unique ones. “And three things are worthy of the glance: water, green things, and a beautiful face…”

When you say the name of Khezr (or Khadir) in company you should always add the greeting “Salaam Aleikum!” since he may be there — immortal and anonymous, engaged on some mysterious karmic errand. Perhaps he’ll hint of his identity by wearing green, or by revealing knowledge of the occult and hidden. But he’s something of a spy, and if you have no need to know he’s unlikely to tell you. Still, one of his functions is to convince skeptics of the marvelous, to rescue those who are lost in deserts of doubt and dryness. So he’s needed now more than ever, and surely still moves among us playing his great game.

From the point of view of “History of Religions” clearly Islam inherited Khezr from earlier myths and faiths, a fact recognized by the Islamic tradition which associates him with Moses and Alexander. By the Middle Ages, however, he had been thoroughly assimilated into the world of Islam and taken on a special role, symbolized by his two titles, “the Green Man” and “the Hidden Prophet”. In particular, he comes to stand for a certain kind of esoteric knowledge, which can only manifest in our banal everyday life as shock, either of outrage or of laughter, or both at once.

Khezr is one of the afrad, the Unique Ones who recieve illumination directly from God without human mediation; they can initiate seekers who belong to no Order or have no human guide; they rescue lost wanderers and desperate lovers in the hour of need. Uways al-Qarani is their historical prototype, Khezr their ahistorical prototype.

Some have indentified Khezr with St. George — but he might more accurately be seen as both St. George and the dragon in one figure. Nature, for esoteric Islam, does not need to be pinned down like some biology specimen or household pest — there exists no deep struggle between Nature and Order in the Islamic worldview.

The “spirits” of Nature, such as Khezr and the djinn — who are in a sense the principles of natural power — recognize in the Muhammadan Light that green portion of the spectrum upon which they themselves are also situated. If Christian moralism “fixes” Nature by “killing it”, Islam proceeds by conversion — or rather, by transmutation. Nature maintains its measure of independence from the merely human and moral sphere, while both realms are bathed in the integrative and salvific light of Muhammadan knowledge.

…As an immortal mortal, Khezr behaves like a figure in a dream; in fact, he behaves as we do in our happiest dreams of flying, or of the quintessence of life, “a green thought in a green shade”. He resembles those late medieval paintings of vegetable people, faces made out of fruit and leaves and sunlight: slightly sinister, at once funny and beautiful…

Nowadays Khezr might well be induced to reappear as the patron of modern militant eco-environmentalism, since he represents the fulcrum or nexus between wild (er) ness and the human / humane. Rather than attempt to moralize Nature (which never works because Nature is amoral), Khadirian Environmentalism would rejoice simultaneously both in its utter wildness and its “meaningfulness” — Nature as tajalli (the “shining through” of the divine into creation; the manifestation of each thing as divine light), Nature as an aesthetic realization.

From ~ Sacred Drift: Esasys on the Margins of Islam, pgs. 57, 138-139, 140, 143
By ~ Peter Lamborn Wilson

Al Khiḍr’s Feast Day is April 23.


Find A Copy Here.  Highly Recommended!

Peter Lamborn Wilson proposes a set of heresies, a culture of resistance, that dispels the false image of Islam as monolithic, puritan, and two-dimensional. Here is the story of the African-American noble Drew Ali, the founder of “Black Islam” in this country, and of the violent end of his struggle for “love, truth, peace, freedom, and justice.” Another essay deals with Satan and “Satanism” in Esoteric Islam; and another offers a scathing critique of “Authority” and sexual misery in modern Puritanist Islam. “The Anti-caliph” evokes a hot mix of Ibn Arabi’s tantric mysticism and the revolutionary teachings of the “Assassins.” The title essay, “Sacred Drift,” roves through the history and poetics of Sufi travel, from Ibn Khaldun to Rimbaud in Abyssinia to the Situationists. A “Romantic” view of Islam is taken to radical extremes; the exotic may not be “True,” but it’s certainly a relief from academic propaganda and the obscene banality of simulation.

“This is my brand of Islam: insurrectionary, elegant, dangerous, suffused with light – a search for poetic facts, a donation from and to the tradition of spiritual anarchy.” —Hakim Bey

“Peter Lamborn Wilson, in his book Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam, offers an interesting window into the early evolution of Islamic ideas among African Americans.” —Abbas Milani, New Republic
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As Heard On Radio EarthRites:
Armand Amar: Poem Of The Atoms


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Beg for Love

Beg for Love.
Consider this burning, and those who
burn, as gifts from the Friend.
Nothing to learn.
Too much has already been said.
When you read a single page from
the silent book of your heart,
you will laugh at all this chattering,
all this pretentious learning.

– by Abu-Said Abil-Kheir

Shock The Angels

“There is an angel inside me whom I am constantly shocking.” – Jean Cocteau

Ray Donley. Figure with mask and skull 2006
Dear Friends,
Well, thrashing around again.  I have been submerged in projects, and finding myself distracted quite frequently by the ensnarement of social media.  I have been realizing how much time I spend on it.  I have posted art and media as a service for quite awhile, and found some wonderful artist, and shared some of my long standing loves as well, but I realized to the detriment of my own creative process with art.  As I spend more time working away on the computer, the less time I spend with pen and pencil, airbrush, and paint.  Trying to turn that around… oh, and blogging.  I am returning to that as well.
 __
I am actually looking for typewriter ribbons.  I have an old one, that is still in good nick.  I do like to write by hand, but there is something about a typewriter, the clicking and clacking, the feel of the keys and the paper.  I may have spent years on those machines.  They do have their limitations, but they do for stories, etc.  Poetry?  I think not, though I confess I did type poetry during my mad jags at 3:00 in the morning over the years.  I seriously don’t think is was very good though.  Poetry requires reciting it aloud, and memorizing the lines, or writing it down by hand.  I have been able to write it down by hand of course, but the modern world and writing is unkind to the memory.  How much have we lost because of that?  Think on the bards and poets who carried the Illiad, or The Cattle Raids in their heads, and passed it down through countless generations….
 —
 So, perhaps as I get older, a bit of the Luddite starts to assert itself, or as I feel time growing short for this ride on the Dharma Wheel, that I must attend to what gifts I have been given.  I believe that there are gifts that we either take up, or they flee to others.  I have given away many ideas over the years.  Gladly it seems, I have seen a few of those gifts give wealth and happiness to others.  I did my part, in dreaming them first, but not perhaps hard enough to make them fully mine.  A conduit of sorts for an interesting version of the muse….
 __
Anyway, I meander.  We have bought more space for the Radio Station with a generous donation, and we are putting some ideas in place for the future…. New shows coming of course, stay tuned.
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Announcements coming from The Invisible College as well, on several fronts.  Projects, projects.
 __
On the home front, Rowan & Suzanne have been off in Europe for almost 2 months.  I believe they will be coming back later next week, or in November. It has all been very nebulous  Lately they have been in Portugal trying out the port and cuisine, and apparently having the time of their lives. Rowan got to meet family in Scotland which was a love fest all around from what I heard from his Auntie.  You can catch up with the sweet twosome on FB and Instagram: Rowan S Floyd

 Well that is enough for tonight. Nice to be back with the Hares’ Tale.
Lots of material here, enjoy!
Bright Blessings,
Gwyllm
 _____________
On The Menu:
The Links
Recurrence
Bill Laswell – Kingdom Come
Poetry: Ira Cohen
Dead Rabbits: Here She Comes

____________
The Links:
The Emerging States?
Great Tits Are Evolving…!
Saber Tooth Kitten?
Dentine & The Ancient Ones
____________

This is wonderful!


Recurrence from Julius Horsthuis on Vimeo.

Bill Laswell – Kingdom Come Ambient Site

_________________________________
Ira Cohen Poetry
Ira Cohen
The Arm of the Dorje
Sunyata – Song to the Winter Sun
There was much wind
but I new not how to call it,
a roomful of strangers,
how familiar the feeling,
how cold it must be – barefoot
at the fountain when the sun goes down,
how the brown people love the blond baby
The white horse which looks out
from the wall suggests a journey
I once might have taken,
a covered memory reeking of sulphur
Words, they can go anywhere,
can they tell me where I come from,
the name of my planet,
the empty space which was my home?
The condemned murderer longs for
a firing squad, knows
where to put the shadows
you keep inside –
Between hands there are worlds
of ashes & thunder,
silent collisions of meaning,
the utter sugar of nights
taken for granted
They say the sun rises every day,
that sleep is incidental
I say myself
& so I look for your face at dawn
rising over my grief, over
the twice told terrain, violet w/ciphers,
Suffused w/ yr eternal smile
I would offer my flesh to your tiger,
turn your stone wheels w/ my water
Longing for the peaks the stars say
it will be clear
Let us meet in the sky then
till we come closer down here.
__
The Day of the Basilisk – The Wayfarer’s Song
It started in the dark room
thinking that night had fallen at dawn
Then arising we glued red eyes
into the dry sockets of a dead bird
its belly full of dirty cotton
Then across the paddies & out of
the town
where familiar figures of Kleist &
Eschenbach
rise from the road in eddies of dust
The voice of the Changeling names the day,
the day of the Basilisk, usurped
from the tyrant’s quest to know
how not to maim the Gilded Hind of
self knowledge
Licchavi sirens shortchanged of a renaissance
spread out cracked wooden arms,
split skulls of haunting beauty, smiling
Mud murtis made by nature distract
Goethean comments fearful of what is hidden
while the delicate head of Mahadev
whittled by the wind
still seals the lingam in the ancient temple
We look with Mudusa’s eyes
at the first born fruits,
the full breasts of the river
where there is no infidelity -The golden larva w/ the royal face of Narayan,
hold it by its tail & call it by its name
Narayan, Narayan
it will dance for you & shake its head,
it lives only on air -we do not know if
it is alive or if it is dead, so gilded
its beauty
The face of Vishnu etches a dream of
ancient seas tinted w/ fallen light
Your face is everywhere
Your glory rings out over the peaks
capped w/ flame
Your shadow is enclosed within your shadow
You watch yourself falling
While falling you watch yourself looking down
You want to pick up the Tamang corpse
no one will touch
You call the children of darkness,
refute the wasted years of salt
poured into furrows
You see the thread needled to the hem of Night
betrayed by the shinbone of Day
where the fear is burned away
You look w/ basilisk eyes
turning the day to stone,
touched & transfigured
by the human, by the changing,
by the eternal, the always repeating
Alone.Dhulikel/Panauti
____
Imagine Jean Cocteau
Imagine Jean Cocteau in the lobby
holding a torch
Imagine a trained dog act,
a Rock and Roll Band
Imagine I am Curly of the Three Stooges
disguised as Wm Shakespeare
Imagine that I’m the cousin of the Mayor
of New York or the King of Nepal
(I didn’t say Napoleon!)
Imagine what it is like to be in the glare
of hot lights when you are longing for dark
corners
Imagine the Ghost Patrol, the Tribal
Orchestra –
Imagine an elephant playing a harmonica
or someone weighing out bones on the edge
of the desert in Afghanistan
Imagine that these poems are recorded moments
of temporary sanity
Imagine that the clock was just turned back –
or forwards – a hundred years instead of an hour
Let us pretend that we have no place to go,
that we are here in the Cosmic Hotel,
that our bags are packed & that we have one hour
to checkout time
Imagine whatever you will but know that it is not
imagination but experience which makes poetry,
and that behind every image,
behind every word there is something
I am trying to tell you,
something that really happened.
___
Insomnia On Duke Ellington Boulevard July 14, Breakfast w/myself at the Olympia Diner, 106th & B’way
Fell asleep around 4 AM
w/ the TV on
Van Heflin & Barbara Stanwyck
enter my disturbed sleep
Sometimes the only way out
is to die, but happily
someone else escapes,
takes to the road, goes on
traveling.
I’m up at seven, go to the post office.,
send two Cuban alligators
to Brussels,
the read Gabriel’s column in NEWSDAY
about the real meaning of the closet,
feel nauseous, order a hardboiled egg
which come w/out a shell
mashed in a cup
Is my heart, too, yearning
for its dying hour?
Please bring me one order
of cool snow!
*
If I could remember just a fraction
of what I said on the telephone
If he could take his clothes off
and sit on the banks of the Ganga
If she could see the profile of Caliban
in the smoke over the oilfieds
If we could just take off & go to Madagascar
If they would stop killing each other
and wake up tomorrow morning
w/ a new vision
I would stick my head in a printing press
and you could read tomorrow’s paper today:EXTRA! EXTRA!
Read all about it
Poets’ brains prove to be useful!

P.S. Sometimes when I pick up my pen
it leaks gold all over the tablecloth.

________
Dead Rabbits Here She Comes

________
This Edition Is Dedicated To All The Lovers In The World…

Black Sun/Eclipse 2017

Eclipse/Black Sun – Gwyllm (2017)

We didn’t reach totality here, but we were at 98%…. The birds settled down, the frogs woke up and started to sing, and the sun snakes slithered across the lawn. The air was chill, and the sky darkened down. All was still, perfect, complete.

Bright Blessings,
G

Flowering…


Hitodama de
yuku kisan ja
natsa no har

Now as a spirit
I shall roam
The summer fields
~ Hokusai – written just before his death.
______________
Thoughts:
It has been a bit longer than usual since I have put an entry in, I have been working on a couple of books and a whole bunch of art for one of those books (20 plus illustrations!). My health has been improving, although I gained a bit of weight whilst recovering from my operation, but on the whole, happy as a rabbit.

There is a lot in this entry, I guess I am making up for lost time with it. Some great music from one of my favourite french shoe gaze outfits, Dead Horse One, with some pertinent info on Radio EarthRites, along with a very beautiful video, A quote from Alan Watts that has been rattling around my head for almost a month, an excerpt from The Practice of the Wild, Sufi/Arabic Poetry, and more music. The usual ball of wax of culture and image.

I hope this finds you well, and enjoying summer, or winter, depending on which part of the globe you are.

Here is to explorations,
Love,
G

______________
On The Menu:
Dead Horse One: Season Of Mist
Radio EarthRites Updates
A Bit Of Beauty
The Big Bang
The Practice Of The Wild/Excerpt
Poetry: Hashish/Hasheesh
Dead Horse One..Insight
________
Dead Horse One: Season Of Mist

________
Radio EarthRites Updates:
We are running 2 shows now, “The Dialogue Of Dreams” Mix, & “The Cosmology Of Joy” Remix on alternating days. This is a new approach, giving more variety and soundscapes

We are looking to upgrade the station from 2Gb to 10Gb of content. That will double our fees, but it will open the station up to more shows, spoken word hours, greater programming variety and much more.

If you feel like supporting us, why not pledge a $1, $3, $5, $10, or? dollars a month for awhile? Cheaper than what many of us spend on coffee or beer a day, and Radio EarthRites is there for ya 24/7/365. Your support of Radio EarthRites would be appreciated!
Please share out the station to your friends, your co-workers and compatriots.
Cheers,
G

Tuesday:          The Dialogue Of Dreams:          12:00AM-12:00PM
Wednesday:    The Cosmology Of Joy Remix:  12:00AM-12:00PM
Thursday:        The Dialogue Of Dreams:          12:00AM-12:00PM
Friday:             The Cosmology Of Joy Remix:   12:00AM-12:00PM
Saturday:         The Dialogue Of Dreams:           12:00AM-12:00PM
Sunday:           The Cosmology Of Joy Remix  : 12:00AM-12:00PM


______________
A Bit Of Beauty…

Flowers Opening Timelapse II from David de los Santos Gil on Vimeo.

_____________
Alan Watts:

Alan Watts

The Big Bang…
“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it. ”

― Alan W. Watts
_____________
The Practice Of The Wild/Excerpt:
Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder

Wildness
So we can say that New York City and Tokyo are “natural” but not “wild.” They do not deviate from the laws of nature, but they are habitat so exclusive in the matter of who and what they give shelter to, and so intolerant of other creatures, as to be truly odd. Wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and nonliving beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order. In ecology we speak of “wild systems. “When an ecosystem is fully functioning, all the members are present at the assembly. To speak of wilderness is to speak of wholeness. Human beings came out of that wholeness, and to consider the possibility of reactivating membership in the Assembly of All Beings is in no way regressive.

By the sixteenth century the lands of the Occident, the countries of Asia, and all the civilizations and cities from the Indian subcontinent to the coast of North Africa were becoming ecologically impoverished. The people were rapidly becoming nature-illiterate. Much of the original vegetation had been destroyed by the expansion of grazing or agriculture, and the remaining land was of no great human economic use, “waste,” mountain regions and deserts. The lingering larger animals—big cats, desert sheep, serows, and such managed to survive by retreating to the harsher habitats. The leaders of these civilizations grew up with less and less personal knowledge of animal behavior and were no longer taught the intimate wide ranging
plant knowledge that had once been universal. By way of tradeoff they learned “human management,” administration, rhetorical skills. Only the most marginal of the paysan, people of the land, kept up practical plant and animal lore and memories of the old ways. People who grew up in towns or cities, or on large estates, had less chance to learn how wild systems work. Then major blocks of citified mythology (Medieval Christianity and then the “Rise of Science”) denied first soul, then consciousness, and finally even sentience to the natural world. Huge numbers of Europeans, in the climate of a nature-denying mechanistic ideology, were losing the opportunity for direct experience of nature.

A new sort of nature-traveler came into existence: men who went out as resource scouts, financed by companies or aristocratic families, penetrating the lightly populated lands of people who lived in and with the wilderness. Conquistadores and priests. Europe had killed off the wolves and bears, deforested vast areas, and overgrazed the hills. The search for slaves, fish, sugar, and precious metals ran over the edge of the horizon and into Asia, Africa, and the New World. These overrefined and warlike states once more came up against wild nature and natural societies: people who lived without Church or State. In return for gold or raw sugar, the white men had to give up something of themselves: they had to look into their own sense of what it meant to be a human being, wonder about the nature of hierarchy, ask if life was worth the honor of a king, or worth gold. (A lost and starving man stands and examines the nicked edge of his sword and his frayed Spanish cape in a Florida swamp.)

Some, like Nuno de Guzman, became crazed and sadistic. “When he began to govern this province, it contained 25,000 Indians, subjugated and peaceful. Of these he has sold 10,000 as slaves, and the others, fearing the same fate, have abandoned their villages” (Todorov, 1985, 134). Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, ended up a beaten, depressed beggar-to-the-throne. Alvar Nunez, who for eight years walked naked across Texas and New Mexico, came out transformed into a person of the New World. He had rejoined the old ways and was never the same again. He gained a compassionate heart, a taste for self-sufficiency and simplicity, and a knack for healing. The types of both Guzman and Nunez are still among us. Another person has also walked onto the Noh stage of Turtle Island history to hold hands with Alvar Nunez at the far end of the process—Ishi the Yahi, who walked into civilization with as much desperation as Nunez walked out of it. Nunez was the first European to encounter North America and its native myth-mind, and Ishi was the last Native American to fully know that mind—and he had to leave it behind. What lies between those two brackets is not dead and gone. It is perennially within us, dormant as a hard-shelled seed, awaiting the fire or flood that awakes it again.
_____________
Poetry: Hashish/Hasheesh

Haydar’s Emerald cup

Give up wine and drink from the wine of Haydar,
Amber scented, green the color of emerald.
It is presented to you by a Turkish gazelle, slender,
Swaying like a willow bough, delicate.
In his hand, you would think, as he turns it,
It is like the traces of down on a rosy cheek.
The slightest breeze makes it reel,
And it flutters toward the coolness of the continuing breeze.
The grayish pigeons coo upon its branches in the morning.
And the cadences of the warbling doves cause it emotion.
It has many meanings the like of which are unknown to wine.
Therefore do not listen with respect to it to the words of the old censor.
It is virginal, not deflowered by rain,
Nor has it ever been squeezed by feet or hands,
No Christian priest has ever played around with a cup containing it,
Nor have they ever communion from its cask to any heretic’s soul…
Nothing has been said expressly from Malik to declare it unlawful,
Nor is the hadd penalty for its use… prescribed…
Thus take it with the sharp edge of steel.
Stay the hands of worry with kyff and achieve joyful repose.
Do not lightly postpone the day of joy till tomorrow.
‘The days will show you what you were ignorant of,
And someone for who you did not provide (to serve as your
messenger) will bring you the news’

– medieval Sufi poet, Ibn al-A’ma
_____
The Secret of Hashish

The secret of hashish lifts up the spirit
In an ascent of disembodied thinking.
It is pure spirit. Free are its confines
From worries. Only the elect may taste it.
Hashish involves no sin. You are not punished.
Their wine makes you forget all meanings. Our herb
Recalls the mysteries of godly beauty.
You can obtain the green stuff without haggling.
You do not need much gold and silver for it.
Tucked in a handkerchief it can be carried.
No cup is needed if you wish to use it.
You find yourself clean, virtuous and witty.
Bright too and free from all annoying dullness.
The body is not tired eliminating
And vomiting like an inflated wine skin.
In times both good and bad you may enjoy it.
It is no hindrance to nights of devotion.

– al-Is-Irdi
_______
Light your pipe

Smoke your pipe:
The Almighty will give you peace.
Smoke and drink small sips of tea;
The Almighty will free you
from your tribulations.
Smoke and breath deeply,
He who is jealous will know misery

__________
Dead Horse One..Insight

__________
“Be like the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it.”
― Ali ibn Abi Talib

Projects Unfolding…

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” – Hermann Hesse

Joshua Mays.

______________________
So, Hey There!

Hopes this finds you and yours well.

Life flows on at Caer Llwydd.  Mornings and evenings are particularly sweet, sitting out back sharing a drink with my beloved. The evenings are my favourite as a chill breeze comes up from the river as the crows settle in to the great cedars that ring our home. Every moment holds magick it seems, and blessings as well.  We are together, and all seems right with the world. As we sit in the gloaming, I feel the world shift…

A couple of weeks back I went into surgery.  Nothing major, but the healing process is something else. I was always a quick healer, but that seems to have slowed up as of late. It gives one pause, and makes being in the now that much more important. I find the phenomena of going under to be, well disconcerting. Hopefully never again!

Lots of stuff on this entry, I hope you enjoy. Launching 3 projects… Check ’em out!
More updates on the site… including Eye Candy, and Writings as well!

Cheers,
G
____________________
On The Menu:
Projects/Updates…
The Links
Miranda Lee Richards – Golden Gate
The Dharma Eye of d.a.levy
The Orange Drop – Make It Her, Forever
______________________
Projects/Updates:
I am very excited to be announce that Invisible College Publishing  is now offering various publication services for the Creative in mind. We are offering the following:

  • Editing Services
  • Publication Services
  • Promotional Services

Currently we’ve been working on an artist exhibition book, a book of poetry, and several other ventures. We happily will work with you on any of your projects in whatever aspect that will help you along the way.  We bring nearly 40 years of graphics and design to any creative endeavour. Find Out More Here! Publishing Services!

In conjunction we’ve started a web hosting and web construction service for Creatives as well.  It’s called Black Rabbit Graphix.  Having played with the idea for a while, and this seemed like a good time to jump into these waters.  The thought was born out of the idea that artist, writers and other Creatives have to take time out of their projects to build, launch, and maintain websites, which frankly if you are not fully prepared for it can be a real black hole for your creative efforts.  With that in mind, we purchased space on a server, and now offer the following services:

  • Web Hosting: Hosting sites for the creative community. Reasonable rates and special services.
  • Word Press Site Construction: We can take the worry and bother out of your hands, designing, constructing your site for you, and
    maintain it if you like.
  •  Graphic Arts & Publishing Services: Editing, graphix, layout of publications, online & printing through Invisible College Publications as well as promotions for your printed works.

So, check out the services that we are offering now.  Drop us a line on the Contact form on either site.  We can certainly be of service.

Thanks,
G

And This:
The Invisible College, Ninth Edition:
“Summoning The Muse”
The Groundwork for the 9th edition of The Invisible College is now being laid. Bringing together artist, writers, visionaries in a celebration of the creative spirit. Submissions are now being accepted. Join The Dance. Go to the link below, and fill in the form if you have a submission!
The Invisible College Ninth Edition!

______________________
The Links:
An Atlas for the End of the World
Do We Matter In The Cosmos?
Rupert Sheldrake Article (older, but good)
Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees
______________________
Miranda Lee Richards – Golden Gate

(Support The Artist!- Existential Beast!)
______________________
One of the great unsung Poets of the last century.  My friend Morgan turned me onto him a decade or so ago.  I am late to this parade, but that is okay as well. Gary Snyder lays d.a.’s work out nicely. Enjoy.
G

The Dharma Eye of d.a.levy
by Gary Snyder

________
d.a.levy – Darryl Levy – I try out his names, reaching to know the man; his poems, his polemics. I feel brother to Levy not only as poet but as fellow-worker in the Buddha-fields. Levy had a remarkable karma: he saw who he was, where he was, what his field of activity was, and what his tools were to be.
________

“if in the past
i was of the black
and sat at night
in cemeteries
& silence
even that
was transient”

In Indian thought the truth/law/absolute is called the Dharma. The Buddhadharma (“Buddhism”) is the Dharma as transmitted by a line of enlightened men and women. Gods exist, but even the Gods are subject to the laws of karma; and because of their tiresomely long omnipotent lives they are somewhat handicapped in the achievement of liberation. Gods have been known to gain insight by attending little talks given by poor wretched mendicant human wise men. There are religious-minded people who strive for purity and solitary illumination, to be “God” like-but the Dharma is without dualism. Great Buddhist yogins of the past often sat through the night in graveyards, meditating while seated on corpses. Some of these yogins in their exhaustive search through all the components of mind and transformations of thought-energy became “of the black” – showing no dualistic distaste for “impurity” – and hoping to reach the depths where there is the basest lead, the raw material for the alchemical transformation into “gold.”

“it was feb. 63 when i had enough money to buy a 6X9 letterhead hand press & type. Spent al most a year at my aunt and uncles printing sometimes 8 to 16 hours a day for days and days. . .”

The “right-handed” yogins and mystics have been an integral part of the conspiracy of civilization to degrade women and mis-use nature. They have become “established religion” living off of money provided by the state, or the pious gifts of workers and peasants.

The yogins of the left-hand, both women and men, have lived in the world doing their work and supporting themselves by crafts or labor. The Tantric siddha (“powerman”) Saraha was an arrow-maker. Naropa’s teacher Tilopa was a pounder of til seeds. Many were poets. Long apprentice ships were spent, in the mastery of a craft.
_________
“i have a city to cover with lines”

His hometown, Cleveland, that he wouldn’t move from. Like the Sioux warriors who tied themselves to a spear and stuck it in the ground, never to retreat. Why? An almost irrational act of love–to give a measure of self-awareness to the people of Cleveland through poesy.
_________
“you will not confront yourself
so you leap to the aid of others”

–Levy’s self-criticism also. But the Bodhisattva view does not imply that first, you perfect your selfrealization and second, enter the world to “cure illnesses and loosen bonds.” The waterwheel swings deep into the water and spills it off the top in the same turning.
_________
“in the background i sense
clannish emasculated
masonic mafia rites”

You’d think a hard-working young printer and poet would incur no particular wrath and blame. Or would you. The problem goes deeper than the celebrated American anti-intellectualism or guilt-filled prurient repressive over-permissive sexual attitudes or the compulsive accumulation of X
__________
“Really”
the police try to protect
the banks – and everything else
is secondary”

(Luther’s outhouse a national institution.) The problem goes back to when the powers, beauties, and deep knowledges of the age-old women’s traditions were supplanted by military-caste mystiques & the accumulation of heavy metals. The poet/yogin still speaks for that other, saner, consciousness. The Occidental poet, with his “Muse.”
_________
“lady you have to be realistic
sending all your poets to the looney bin
ain’t helping the profession very much
your blue hair in the wind
& yr eyes full of diamonds.”

Not an easy row to hoe. Nature a network of de-pendent transformations and the Muse can be Maya, mistress of the ecosystem of delusion; who will perpetually keep tricking, or be the means of seeing through (herself) – a challenge, Levy’s Cleveland is not, exactly, his adversary: but his witch-Muse he needs must convert to the Path (more paying-back for spooky experiments in previous lives – that muse -)
_________

“What form of energy is used to
create the original thoughts?
Try to become THAT!”

This takes us to the heart of Levy’s strength. All manipulations of politics or magic – things, images, from inner or outer worlds; reduce down to this mustard seed that blows away when you try to look at it.
__________
“Cherokee, Deleware, Huron [sic]
We will return your land to you”

It is curious how even a glimpse of the Mind-essence creates such primal respect for the land and for the dignity of men who live lovingly in the web of life – the primitives-

“it is not a Cathouse of the rising sun
or the deathwagon of the beat
generation, but a bridge of clouds
to a new culture.”

Traditional orthodox Buddhists are not concerned with building new cultures any more than they are interested in nature religion or girls. Poets must try to get them together – playing a funny kind of role, today, as pivot-man, between the upheavals of culture-change and the persistence of the Single Eye of knowledge. d. a. levy finished up his karma early – “reborn as a poet in an industrial society” but he did his job well.
_________
“the traditions we follow
make the gods look young”

Thus the name of Padma Sambhava’s line of Tibetan Buddhism, Ning-ma, means “Ancient Ones.” The sophistications of Mahayana metaphysics harmonized with archaic and primitive systems … Goddesses; sexual yoga. Too rich to manage without the bitter tea of Zen as well – and here in North America, Turtle Island, we begin now to look for the next switchback in the path: something drawing on the wisdom traditions of Asia, incorporating the profound lore of our Semitic, Celtic, African, & Germanic roots – something that walks with the land and animals of Turtle Island in “a sacred manner” as the Indians do.

Levy gone up ahead, with that tinkle of bells (which is also how you hear the dakini approaching)

“when riding the winter pony
one
leaves
a trail of bells
soft/y ringing
deep in the mind

& if one listens
perhaps this sound
will guide
the young rider through the
falling
snow”

Gary Snyder
4.V I 11.40071
(Reckoning roughly from
the earliest cave paintings)

NOTE

Books by d.a.levy – find them where you can –

ukanhavyrfukncitibak. Cleveland, Ghost Press 1970.
Suburban Monastery Death Poem. Madison, Wis., Quixote Press, Vajrayana Reprint Series #1.
The Tibetan Stroboscope. Cleveland, Ayizan Press, 1968.
and, issues of The Buddhist Third Class Junk Mail Oracle.
______________________
The Orange Drop – Make It Her, Forever

______________________
“The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation.” – Hermann Hesse