In Honor of Walt Whitman… Happy Birthday Walt!
For Walt, who gave The US… its first real Poetic Voice. His works are still very fresh, and wonderful. Walt gave us a new way of speaking the verse. His touch is everywhere from Lamont to Allen G., and beyond. We are all in his debt, for the changes he wrought…
A Walt Quote: “A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books”.
oh.. and one more: “I celebrate myself, and what I assume you shall assume, For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease… observing a spear of summer grass.”
Great stuff indeed.
It is also the 10th anniversary of Tim Leary’s passing onto the next Bardo. Here is to you Tim, and to Rosemary as well. Hope the journey is a good one, we miss ya Tim. Thanks for blazing a trail that some of us still try to follow, and thank you for your concern with the species and the planet. May you be reborn even more conscious than you were.
Here it is Wednesday night and all. Slight drizzle in Portland, humid but lovely. I did a search on a person I knew in Boulder back in 66-67… strange, he was closely associated with Ira Cohen of all people… small world.
Here is to hoping that we will see you at Powell’s on this Thursday at 7:00 PM for Dale Pendells’ visit and book signing… I can promise you that it is going to be a very good event.
On The Grill for tonight:
The Article: Ipomoea violacea : from PHARMAKO/GNOSIS by Dale Pendell
Poetry: Walt Whitman
Have a nice one!
If you haven’t heard Dale speak… here is a talk of his from Sacred Elixirs…
Ipomoea violacea : from PHARMAKO/GNOSIS by Dale Pendell
An Excerpt from Dale Pendell’s Book
Ipomoea violacea : from PHARMAKO/GNOSIS
Common names: Tlitliltzin. Heavenly Blue. Pearly Gates. Morning glory.
Ololiuhqui, sometimes applied to morning glory, is the Nahuatl word for the seeds of Turbina corymbosa (Rivea corymbosa), a closely related plant.
Lysergic acid amide (“LSA”). By chemical extension, if the two protons clinging to the nitrogen atom are replaced by ethyl groups, we have d-lysergic acid diethylamide (“LSD”). LSD has not yet been found in a plant.
[structural formulae for LSA and LSD appear here]
Besides ergine (d-lysergic acid amide), ololiuhqui and other psychoactive morning glories contain isolysergic acid amide and half a dozen other closely related compounds of various toxicities, including ergometrine (ergonovine), a powerful uterotonic.
Ergine, or LSA, is about one-twentieth the potency of LSD.
Albert Hofmann claimed, after self-experiment, that LSA was a narcotic-sedative as much as a hallucinogen.
moving and flowing–
Or are we dreaming
Colors. Plants, ready to talk. Me, just as I am. Act of faith.
Much esteemed by a few aficionados. Most find LSD both more reliable and more pleasant. The plant freaks smile to themselves and gently shake their heads.
Not the same. Not the same.
The indigenous people of Oaxaca use various species of Ipomoea, as well as ololiuhqui, for divination and curing, exactly as had the Aztecs five hundred years before them. Gordon Wasson wrote that ololiuhqui and tlitliltzin are more widely used today in Mesoamerica than teonanacatl, the sacred mushroom.
Many mesoamerican Indians believe that the tlitliltzin speaks so clearly and plainly that the services of a shaman are unnecessary. Unlike the mushrooms, the seeds are usually given to one person at a time.
Ololiuhqui, “the round ones,” in Nahuatl. Sometimes coaxihuitl, or coatl-xoxouhqui:
Snake plant, the green snake plant.
Some claim it to be profound.
Drank a cold water infusion of Heavenly Blue. Not bad tasting. Herbal and wild, but not bitter.
Xtabentum: “precious stone cord,” Mayan.
Tlitliltzin: “the sacred black ones,”
Mazatec: na-so-le-na: “flower-her-mother.”
Mayans call morning glory xtontikin, “dry penis.”
Took a shower and a bath. Soaking in the tub felt good. Closed my eyes. A weird and penetrating sound wormed into my thoughts. Opened my eyes: it was the faucet, leaking. First alert.
Standing, bending, towelling off brings some slight nausea. Some anxiety.
But I was even more anxious before I started. Mainly I just want to lie down. If I had a uterus, would I be cramping? Maybe. Tightness in the gut.
Closing eyes, thoughts/mental events are loud, amplified. Try to keep my eyes slightly open, follow my breathing.
In 1629, Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon described the use of ololiuhqui in his Treatse on the Heathen Superstitions. Alarcon had been brought to the attention of the Inquisition because he was torturing and conducting his own autos-da-fé, matters of Inquisitional jurisdiction. The investigation that followed found that his error had been made out of ignorance rather than malice, and his zeal was recognized and rewarded with an eccesiastical judgeship in the Holy Office.
The religious character of the War on Drugs has been obfuscated as much as possible. Only when the speciousness of the arguments of public health and crime are refuted by logic, science, and sociological research do the warriors sometimes reveal their true beliefs and prejudice: i.e. that the use of entheogenic plants is a threat to civilization itself, by which they mean their religious hegemony. Willfully exploring self and consciousness with the aid of plants is considered worse than mere criminality, it is seen as heresy and blasphemy, as an attack on the Holy values of the true church of Western rationalistic materialism.
And it is punished accordingly. Twenty-year-olds in their tie-dyeds, arrested at Grateful Dead shows for possessing LSD, are often given longer prison terms than embezzlers or killers.
Almost all of them [the Indians] hold that the ololiuhqui is a divine
thing . . . And with the same veneration they drink the said seed,
shutting themselves in those places like one who was in the
sanctasanctorum, with many other superstitions. And the veneration with
which these barbarous people revere the seed is so excessive that part
of their devotions include washing and sweeping even those places where
the bushes are found which produce them, which are some heavy vines,
even though they are in the wilderness and thickets.
–Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon, 1629
The War on Drugs was launched by the European invaders shortly after their arrival in the New World. Possession of the sacred seeds was made a crime, and Alarcon, like other ecclesiastical authorities, began a campaign of uprooting and burning the vines wherever he could find them, along with those who loved them. The Holy Inquisition itself was formally inaugurated in 1571, set up to ferret out lapsed maranos, sephardic Jews who had feigned conversion to Christianity, in addition to exterminating heresy among the Indians. The Inquisition specifically ordered the prosecution of divination by hallucinogenic plants.
Since preaching has not sufficed, rigorous punishment is needed,
because, being–as they are–children of terror, it may be that
punishment may accomplish what reason has not been sufficient to,
since the Apostle said, compelle intrare. [“Compel them to
come in.” Luke 14:23.]
–Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon
A war of sacraments.
Wine was the blood of Christ, but the Aztecs had their own sacred plants:
teonanacatl, “God’s flesh,” the sacred mushroom, and teotlacualli, “food of God,” an unguent prepared with ololiuhqui.
The sorcerers persuade the people with such ease that they find it
unnecessary to use menaces or torture or threaten them with the wheel
of blades of Saint Catherine or the gridiron of Saint Lawrence.
–Fray Diego Duran
Alarcon complained that in spite of severe punishments, the Indians seemed to be more concerned with maintaining the good will of the ololiuhqui than with escaping the fury of the Inquisition.
aco nechtlahueliz: let it not be that he become angry.
Phantoms. Truths. Insights. Connections. Poems.
River of dreaming.
“There aren’t any good things in those values.”
Values/thoughts. Dharmas. All are ill. Dukkha. The Way of Makyo is the Path of Ill. Up to your armpits in samsara.
Ring? Or ring in the mind? Which telephone? Either way it wakes me up.
Thoughts, jokes, all flowing down the river and over the falls.
Who is guest and who is host? We dine together. The guests pay their way
by talking and telling stories. But the banquet is interrupted.
(a pebble striking bamboo . . .)
Who knocks? Serres’s parasite. Alcibiades banging at the door.
The gods come to visit.
Don’t take It unless you want to know everything simultaneously,
hell & heaven, terror & ecstasy –
When I tell you to try it it is afterwards in a room with solid
furniture, remember that.
–Alden Van Buskirk, “Lami in Oakland”
Matters of State and Liberty:
Alarcon’s program was the extirpation of heresy, sycretism, and the works of the Devil. He feared divination, and he feared the resemblances of Mesoamerican religion to his own. He feared the easy way that the Indians could assimilate Catholicism without denying the older gods of their own land. He feared the little carved animals and figures, the “idols.” He found them hidden in piles of rocks at passes and crossroads. He found them hidden in churches where the people would place their offerings of copal. He even found one that had been built into the base of a large cross (after the cross had been struck by lightning). And he found them in the specially woven baskets that hid the ololiuhqui.
The special baskets contained ritual objects along with the seeds: a small carving, a piece of incense, pieces of embroidery, “little girls’ dresses, and things of this nature.” An ololiuhqui basket was passed on to the owner’s descendents. Sometimes the basket was placed inside of a larger, carved wooden box.
Alarcon’s advice for catching the heretics:
1. Arrest the delinquent outside of the village, so that he cannot take precautions or warn others.
2. Place guards at his house and place his nearest relatives under guard.
3. Don’t trust the local authorities as “usually there is no one who is faithful.”
4. The judge should seize the evidence in person, as the delinquent Indian will often swallow the idol if
it comes into his reach “even though he is already convicted and knows that if he swallows it he will
5. In searching a house be diligent, examining even old and dirty pots.
. . . while it did not actually show up in the house, she had an old,
dirty pot covered with a potsherd in the courtyard of the house. The
black pot was full up to the brim with ololiuhqui, and in the middle
of it, in the depth of the pot, wrapped in a rag, was the little idol,
which was a little black frog of stone.
–Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon
As Moses said,
I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.
Tlitliltzin is above all a plant of divination. Divination was its principal use by the Aztecs, as it is in Mesoamerica still today. Alarcon reported, with some indignation, that some of the Aztec doctors “practice ololiuhqui drinking as a profession.”
Whether it is the doctor or another person in his place . . . he
closes himself up alone in a room, which usually is his oratory, where
no one is to enter throughout all the time that the consultation lasts,
which is for as long as the consultant is out of his mind, for then
they believe the ololiuhqui or peyote is revealing to them that which
they want to know.
–Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon
Alarcon distinguishes between the false results of divination, “just a representation of the imagination caused by the conversation,” and the true results, which are revealed by the Devil.
Despite Mathias having been selected by the eleven as Judas’s successor by the casting of lots, the Church inveighed against divination of any form. Fortuna had been mostly disassembled by Chance– but the Devil, the one who could speak truth, was a far deadlier foe.
The Devil usually mixes something of our holy religion in those
apparitions of his so that he whitewashes his malice and lends a
color of goodness to such a great evil.
–Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon
I’m fairly comfortable. Don’t want to get up. Some belching. Dog sleeping upside down with all his feet splayed out into the air: from me? Fluidity begins. Formerly distinct partitions between categories, perceptions, and thoughts blur, visually.
Ripple in a clear lake: grass and sedges rippled beneath.
In the mountains at a lake, wave patterns on the transparent surface of the water. Sunrise. Birds darting over the lake like bats, feeding. Blue.
Grasses on the bottom of the lake and his mind fell through.
Out across the lake the breeze breaks up the glassy surface into alternating patches of smooth and rippled water, like pages, the rippled areas like an ancient script.
Cursive runes. Stelae.
An oasis on the Silk Road. Takla Makan.
The letters and words of an eidetic alphabet. The script of knowledge.
WE WILL SHOW YOU HOW TO READ OUR LANGUAGE. YOU MAY ASK US ANY QUESTION.
The world as poison. This world. Of all possible and parallel and coexisting universes, this particular one: the one in which stones are heavy and thoughts light. “The world is a drug.” Not a metaphor but a tautology.
“What are the poisons?”
WE ARE THE POISONS.
All dharmas are poisons. Stone in the mind, goose in a bottle.
“What is seeming and what is real?”
WE WHO SHOW YOU THE REAL ARE SEEMING.
The light on the water supported his weight. In the middle of the
lake he thrust his hand into the water.
Curings are performed at night, and quiet is important. Sometimes the doctor speaks into the patient’s ear, reminding him of his questions. To an outside observer it may appear that the person is talking to himself.
Sometimes the ally speaks in visions rather than in voices. If the visions are hellish, it is said to be because a taboo has been broken. The remedy is to eat chilies and salt and to go to sleep.
(hey, he still hasn’t moved up off of the bed)
(yeah, what’s he doing down there?)
The words are sinking. The clock is running down.
(Yes. That means you are dying.
The time alloted to works is not infinite.)
(some may rise up, have their own life,
live for awhile in the free air like butterflies . . .
live for a season.)
I have arrived at square minus one.
From here we could go anywhere.
A voice would lead me.
(a voice whispering into my ear…)
turn out lights, lie alone in dark room &
start imagining anything, start with any image & let it send out
another. Don’t drink or take any depressants. Luck.
–Alden Van Buskirk, “Lami in Oakland”
all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago
–Robert Hunter, Phil Lesh
Karma is the link from one thought to the next. Ahhh, endlessly arising.
Dharmas and phantoms, Mara and Buddha. The uninvited guest is the ring.
The knock. Door bursting open. Alarm clock. The medicine.
I am ready to come back to you. I’ve lived my life a
million times over in a few hours, seen everything, known too
much, & now I’m burnt out, want only love & peaceful madness
of America seen & shared with your eyes.
–Alden Van Buskirk, “Lami in Oakland”
Matters of State and Liberty:
It is worth noting that Aztec religion and society were both hierarchical. That the Aztec nobility evidently had no trouble integrating the use of entheogenic plants into that hierarchy should give pause to those who believe that if only more people today would use hallucinogenic drugs, our society would perforce become kinder, gentler, and more egalitarian.
Considering the easy availability of psychoactive morning glory seed, the ease of growing them, and their tolerance of many climate zones, it is remarkable that more plant people do not make use of this ancient and time-tested plant. It says something about the availability of LSA’s better known diethyl cousin.
I. violacea: quiebraplato, “plate breaker.”
Mixe: piH pu’ucte.sh, “broken plate flower.”
Ma-sung-pahk: Mixe, morning glory, “bones of the children.”
La’aja shnash: Zapotec, “seeds of the virgin.”
Gordon Wasson and Jonathan Ott note that the contemporary Mexican term for morning glory seeds, semillas de la virgen, probably does not refer to the Virgin Mary, but to the virgin who ground the seeds.
1:00 AM: Music. Grateful Dead in a long jam with Branford Marsalis. All the instruments distinct and separated.
2:00 AM: Gut still hard. Tired. Mind still very active, but I will sleep and let the dream be dreaming.
The dreams of the children.
The little ones who come to tell you.
The plant children, our children,
who grind the medicine.
(Dale Pendell in Hawaii….)
The Poetry of Walt Whitman…
On the celebration of his birthday…
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with anyone I love, or sleep in the bed at night with anyone I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships with the men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
Earth! My Likeness!
Earth! my likeness!
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you, eligible to burst
For an athlete is enamour’d of me–and I of him;
But toward him there is something fierce and terrible in me, eligible
to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words–not even in these songs.
A Leaf for Hand in Hand
A Leaf for hand in hand!
You natural persons old and young!
You on the Mississippi, and on all the branches and bayous of the
You friendly boatmen and mechanics! You roughs!
You twain! And all processions moving along the streets!
I wish to infuse myself among you till I see it common for you to
walk hand in hand!
Darest Thou Now, O Soul
Darest thou now, O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?
No map, there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.
I know it not, O Soul;
Nor dost thou–all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream’d of, in that region–that inaccessible land.
Till, when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.
Then we burst forth–we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul–prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last–(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O
A Clear Midnight
This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou
Night, sleep, and the stars.