‘liberty cannot be provided for in a general sense if property is preserved.’

Be There Or Be Square!
Portland Muralist Art Show! – Opening: May 2nd, 5-9PM!
Olympic Mills Building Gallery –The Portland Mural Show
Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 SE Washington Street, PDX – May 2-June 28
Opening Reception: First Friday, May 2, 5-9PM

Closing Party/Paint Off: June 28, NOON – 6
Featuring the work of local Portland muralists over the past 20 years. (Please see partial list of participating artists. There will be more.)
This show is a snapshot of extant mural work around Portland and a showcase for new work by local muralists.
Since 1998, there has been no easily accessible path to public murals in Portland. On the heels of the 2007 legal decision by Judge Michael Marcus deeming mural art legally sound, there is word that the city will soon open most walls to a simple mural permitting process. In exuberant display, local muralists show work & anticipate the opportunity of painting legally on public walls.
In this show there will be photos sketches, original work and documentation of some of your favorite Portland murals places…Outside In, The Musicians Union, Community Cycling Center, S.C.R.A.P.
There will be display of older murals…. “Struggle and Hope” honoring Ben Linder circa 1988, and also the “We Speak ” mural about the Columbus Quincentary circa 1992.
There will be live action painters hard at work at the opening party on May 2.
There will be a talk about public mural art at the opening by local artist Baba Wague and activist Martin Gonzalez . The opening is community mural style potluck. Bring something.
Artists Represented:
Charlotte Lewis

Ping Khaw

Mike Hensley

Robin Corbo

Emily Lutz

Charlie Alan Kraft

Sara Stout

Sheri Love

Jennifer Mercede

Larry Kangas

Joe Cotter

Kolieha Bush

Mark Meltzer

Asa Kennedy

Jay Meer

Eileen Belanger

Nicholas M. Olmsted

Chris Haberman

Kenny Spurlock

Jason Coatney

Gwyllm Llwydd

Rin Carroll Jackson

John Early

Laura Bender

Mark Larsen

Angelina Marino

Joel Heidel

Jesse Valesquez

Joanne Oleksiak

Bruce Orr

Carol Forté

Tom Cramer

Josh Wallace

Kate Sullivan

Eric Klanton

Jan York

William Park

Ryan Shanks

Tim Karpniski (and Together Gallery)

Donna Guardino

(and others)
From the site of the historic B&O Building, the heavily remodeled Olympic Mills Commerce Center is a multi-small business complex with natural sky lights, 24K sq.ft. of main floor art gallery and 7 floors of office space.
10% of art show proceeds go to local charities.
Art shows run in 2-month exhibitions. Support Local Arts, Support Portland City Art.

So Morgan brought over ‘Winstanley’ this past week (on DVD)… I have had this entry sitting since 1/22/08, and held off until I saw the film. Amazing really, shot on 16mm, for a budget in 1974 of 17,000 British Pounds. It is well worth seeing, as it tells a pivotal tale the reverberates until today, and may I say, past us…
In the next couple of weeks we will be investigating various forms of communities and ideas about community that are in stark contrast to the present state of affairs here in the post – industrial west…
Remember, we are only as limited as our imaginations, and we can, and will create a new society, whether by intentionality, or by accident, something new is on the way, so we may as well help birth something better…
So… check ‘Winstanley’ out. We are all part of a long tradition, and there are so many tales to be known…
Painting away for the show this weekend, but I had to get this out!

On The Menu:

Tom Middleton – Sea Of Glass

Winstanley, The Diggers

William Blake: Poetry…
Bright Blessings,


Tom Middleton – Sea Of Glass


Winstanley, The Diggers

Excerpt from Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century

By Kenneth Rexroth

Surprisingly the seventeenth century with its almost continuous wars of religion was not a good time for the radical Reformation. Cujis regio, ejus religio — religion had become a matter of large-scale politics. Wars fought between nations and alliances of nations divided Europe into blocks of Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists. Small groups of the elect were crushed out by the sheer weight of the contending monsters. Then, too, the Thirty Years War, which was fought to destroy the Holy Roman Empire as the dominant power in Europe, also crushed or profoundly distorted the culture of the various parts of the empire. Germany emerged fragmented and wasted and did not recover for generations. The radical Reformation had been a natural outgrowth of the culture of the late medieval middle of Europe and the Thirty Years War destroyed its roots. In the Netherlands, Switzerland, and amongst the Hutterites in their remote refuges, a process of fossilization had set in.
The English Civil War and commonwealth were essentially a product of class struggle, and the proliferation of sects in the latter days of the Civil War took place almost entirely in a lower middle class and upper working class context. In spite of their name, the Levellers were far from being unbridled democrats. They proposed to extend participation in power only to men of substance — small, middle-class substance — like themselves. The Fifth Monarchy men were such extreme chiliasts as to have no real social program.
The Ranters were only incidentally millenarians. Basically they were a revival of the Brotherhood of the Free Spirit, who believed that once divinized and absorbed into the Godhead the soul was incapable of evil. Like the Adamites who were expelled from Tabor they lived exalted in an amoral ecstasy. If they practiced community of goods, nudism, speaking with tongues, and sexual orgies it was all part of a frantic, hurried, and hunted life lived in a state of unrelieved excitement. Some Ranters were simply extreme Spiritualists, descendants of Meister Eckhart and the Rhineland mystics; and with the Restoration of Charles II they were absorbed into the Quakers. They really lay completely outside the development of English Puritanism.
The agitation of the Levellers lasted only three years. They were primarily a political party who wished to see the promises of the Rump Parliament — the recruiting propaganda for the second stage of the Civil War — fulfilled. Their leader, John Lilburne, had been an associate of Cromwell’s at the beginning and the Levellers were perfectly right when they accused him of selling out. Although the final form of their Agreement of the Free People of England, their political manifesto, proposes a broader democracy than would come to England until the end of the nineteenth century, they did not believe in universal franchise, but excluded servants, paupers, farm laborers, Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Royalists, “heretics,” and, of course, women. Essentially they were left-wing Calvinist republicans. By the end of 1649 they had been completely suppressed.
In 1653 the Nominated or “Barebones” Parliament, chosen from the leaders of the Independent Churches, sat briefly; but its attempts to inaugurate the rule of the saints were so radical and disorganized that Cromwell dissolved them and became dictator — “Protector.” This led to a revolt of the more extreme millenarians, to whom Cromwell became the “Little Horn” of the Beast of the Apocalypse. They proposed to establish a ruthless despotism of the elect in preparation for the final kingdom of the millennium. The Fifth Monarchy movement, lacking both ideology and social program, sprang up through an inflamed rhetoric which consisted exclusively of the reiteration and rearrangement of the apocalyptic language of the Books of Daniel and Revelation. It was a massive hysterical outburst of rage by men who knew they had been betrayed. Unlike the Levellers, they took to armed revolt. In April 1657 a handful of men rushed about London fighting as they went and were quickly suppressed. In January 1661 another, even more frantic and desperate attempt occurred, and those who were not killed in the streets were executed, and the sect came to an end.
Movements like the old Family of Love, the Seekers, and the Quakers grew in the interstices of the English Reformation, at first so clandestinely that from Henry VIII to the emergence of the Quakers we know surprisingly little about them. Various groups were accused of practicing community of goods; but although the movement was widespread, at least in the imagination of its persecutors, each individual group seems to have been a tiny conventicle, with members meeting in one another’s’ homes and sharing their resources. Theologically the older Anabaptism died out in England and was replaced by Spiritualism. The modern Baptist sect which arose in those days was an independent development which owed practically nothing to continental Anabaptism but was rather a special form of Calvinism. In the writing and preaching of George Fox and the earliest Quakers there were no special social or economic concerns, and it was only after the Restoration with the consolidation of modern Quakerism in the days of William Penn that the Quakers became anti-political.
A little group of unemployed laborers and landless peasants gathered at St. George’s Hill near Walton-on-Thames in Surrey on April 1, 1649, and began to dig up the common land and prepare for sowing vegetables. Their leaders were William Everard and Gerrard Winstanley. At first their activities aroused curiosity and a certain amount of sympathy but as time went on the local lords of the manor, the gentry, aroused the populace and the mob shut the Diggers up in the church at Walton until they were released by a justice of the peace. Again they were captured by a mob and locked up in the nearby town of Kingston and again released. On April 16 a complaint was laid before the Council of State, who sent two groups of cavalry to investigate.
The captain, Gladman, reported that the incident was trivial and sent Everard and Winstanley to London to explain themselves to Thomas Fairfax. They explained that since the Norman Conquest England had been under a tyranny which was now abolished, but that now God would relieve the poor and restore their freedom to enjoy the fruits of the earth. The two men explained that they did not intend to interfere with private property, but only to plant and harvest on the many wastelands of England, and to live together holding all things in common. They were certain that their example would be followed by the poor and dispossessed all over England, and in the course of time all men would give up their possessions and join them in community.
A month later Lord Fairfax stopped by on his way to London, to see for himself what was happening, and decided it was a matter for the local authorities. In June another mob, including some soldiers, assaulted the Diggers and trampled their crops. Winstanley complained to Fairfax and the soldiers were apparently ordered to leave the Diggers alone. In June the Diggers announced that they intended to cut and sell the wood on the common, and at this point the landlords sued for damages and trespass. The court awarded damages of ten pounds and costs, and took the cows Winstanley was pasturing on the common, but released them because they were not his property.
Perhaps because of the judgment, and because their crops had all been destroyed, the Diggers moved in the autumn to the common of Cobham Manor, built four houses, and started a crop of winter grain. By this time there were over fifty Diggers. When they refused to disperse, Fairfax finally sent troops who, with the mob, destroyed two of the houses and again trampled the fields. The Diggers persisted and by spring they had eleven acres of growing grain and six or seven houses and similar movements had sprung up i
n Northamptonshire and Kent. The landlord, a clergyman, John Platt, turned his cattle into the young grain and led a mob in destroying houses and driving out the Diggers and their women and children.
On April 1, 1650, Winstanley and fourteen others (Everard, who seems to have been demented, vanishes early in the story) were indicted for disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, and trespass. There is no record of the disposal of the indictment, but this was the end of the little communist society at Cobham.
This is all there was to the Digger movement, a trivial episode which was a ninety-day wonder in the news sheets when it first started, and which was almost without influence at the time, and easily could have been lost to history — except for the writings of Gerrard Winstanley. All during the course of the experiment he issued a series of pamphlets which, as his ideas rapidly evolved, came to constitute the first systematic exposition of libertarian communism in English.
All the tendencies of the radical Reformation seem to flow together in Winstanley, to be blended and secularized, and become an ideology rather than a theology. Spiritualism, radical Unitarianism, apostolic communism, evangelical rationalism — one could easily believe that he was well read in the entire literature of the radical Reformation. Yet we know nothing of his intellectual background, reading, or influences. He never quotes a secular authority, only the Bible, in all his writings, and we know nothing about his education, and little enough about his life. He says again and again that his ideas owe nothing to any other man or to any book, only to the Inner Light and to its “openings” in visionary experiences. Perhaps that is true.
Gerrard Winstanley was born in the village of Wigan in 1609, in a family of small gentry and merchants that had long been prominent in England. His father Edward was registered as a mercer and the son was raised in the cloth trade. Somewhere he must have received a fairly good education for a provincial middle-class boy because, although he never uses, as did everybody else in his day, a classical quotation, this very avoidance would indicate not only that he was well educated but quite sophisticated, and the prose style in his later pamphlets is that of a highly literate man. At the age of twenty he was in London, apprenticed to Sarah Gater, widow of William Gater of the Merchant Taylor’s company, and at twenty-eight he became a freeman and went into business for himself. Three years later he married Susan King. In the depression which began in 1643 he went bankrupt, and he was still being sued by one of his creditors in 1660. After his bankruptcy, he left London to stay with friends in the neighborhood of Cobham and Walton-on-Thames in Surrey where, to judge from his troubles over the cows, he made a living pasturing other people’s cattle on the common.
At some time before his first publication Winstanley joined the Baptists and may have been a preacher for them, but before 1648 he had come to believe that baptism was only an unimportant form and had ceased to attend Baptist conventicles. Rather he met with those little groups of Seekers who gathered in one another’s homes and waited for the Inner Light, and spoke only ex tempore. At this time he went through a period of temptation, guilt, fear of death and damnation, of devils and ghosts, and a sense of loss and abandonment, a time of spiritual crisis universal in the lives of the great mystics. Finally, he came to an abiding consciousness of God within himself, the assurance of universal salvation, and the peace which comes with direct experience of mystical illumination. His first two publications are really devoted to assimilating this experience. They move from a highly spiritualized chiliasm, developing a well-reasoned doctrine of universal salvation, to a highly spiritualized philosophy of history rather than a theology.
Even in these early pamphlets Winstanley has original insights. His chiliasm does not take the form of the salvation of a handful of the elect but of the divinization of man. In his teachings on sin and salvation the original sin of Adam was not lust but covetousness — selfishness and the desire for power — in which Winstanley shows himself an incomparably more astute moralist than the Puritans. Ultimately, the God who operates in history, in all things, and consciously in the soul of man, is called “Reason.” It would be a mistake to decide from this, as some modern writers have done, that Winstanley was a precursor of eighteenth-century rationalism. His reason is the ineffable God of Plotinus and Meister Eckhart apprehended in the mystical experience, though not separated from man as the Omnipotent Creator, but as the ultimately realizable in all things. So for him the narrative of the Old Testament and the life and passion of Christ cease to be historical documents about something that happened in the past and become symbolic archetypes of the cosmic drama of the struggle of good and evil that takes place in the soul of man.
When the Digger tracts began with the adventure at St. George’s Hill, Winstanley’s basic appeal was not to the practice of the apostles or to an eschatological ethic in preparation for apocalypse. His communism begins with an “opening,” an actual vision, and the appeal is always to his transcendent and imminent Reason — to a spiritualized natural law, not unlike the Tao of Chuang Tsu.
Likewise I heard these words: “Worke together. Eat bread together. Declare all this abroad.” Likewise I heard these words: “Whosoever it is that labours in the earth or any person or persons that lifts up themselves as Lords and Rulers over others and that doth not look upon themselves equal to others in the creation, the Hand of the Lord shall be upon the labourer. I the Lord have spoke it and I will do it. Declare all this abroad.” [The New Law of Righteousness, 1648]
This vision came not as a command from on high, but as a voice opening out of the experience of nature itself, for, says Winstanley, the doctrine of an anthropomorphic deity, set over against and independent of nature,
is the doctrine of a sickly and weak spirit who hath lost his understanding in the knowledge of the Creation and of the temper of his own Heart and Nature and so runs into fancies. [The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored, 1652]
To know the secrets of nature, is to know the works of God; and to know the works of God within the creation, is to know God himself, for God dwells in every visible work or body. And indeed if you would know spiritual things, it is to know how the Spirit or Power of Wisdom and Life, causing motion or growth, dwells within and governs both the several bodies of the stars and planets in the heavens above and the several bodies of the earth below as grass, plants, fishes, beasts, birds and mankinde. [Ibid.]
Belief in an outward heaven or hell is a “strange conceit,” a fraud by which men are delivered over into the power of their oppressors,
. . . a fancy which your false teachers put into your heads to please you with, while they pick your purses and betray your Christ into the hands of flesh, and hold Jacob under to be a servant still to Lord Esau. [The New Law of Righteousness]
True religion and undefiled is this, to make restitution of the Earth which hath been taken and held from the common people by the power of Conquests formerly and so set the oppressed free. [A New Yeers Gift for the Parliament and the Armie, 1650]
The earth with all her fruits of Corn, Cattle and such like was made to be a common Store-House of Livelihood, to all mankinde, friend and foe, without exception. [A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England, 1649]
And this particular propriety [property] of mine and thine that brought in all misery upon people. For first it hath occasioned people to steal from one another. Secondly it hath made laws to hang those that did steal. It tempts people to do an evil action and then
kills them for doing it. [The New Law of Righteousness]
Now, this same power in man that causes divisions and war is called by some men the state of nature which every man brings into the world with him. . . . But this law of darknesse is not the State of Nature. [Fire in the Bush, 1650]
. . . the power of Life (called the Law of Nature within the creatures) which does move both man and beast in their actions; or that causes grass, trees, corn and all plants to grow in their several seasons; and whatsoever any body does, he does it as he is moved by this inward Law. And this Law of Nature moves twofold viz. unrationally or rationally. [The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored]
In the beginning of time the great creator Reason made the earth to be a common treasury . . . not one word was spoken in the beginning that one branch of mankind should rule over another. [The True Levellers Standard Advanced, 1649]
. . . the power of inclosing Land and owning Propriety was brought into the Creation by your ancestors by the Sword which first did murther their fellow-creatures men and after plunder or steal away their land. [A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England]
They have by their subtle imagination and covetous wit got the plain-hearted poor or younger brethren to work for them for small wages and by their work have got a great increase. [The True Levellers Standard Advanced]
By large pay, much Free-Quarter and other Booties which they call their own they get much Monies and with this they buy Land. [Ibid.]
No man can be rich, but he must be rich, either by his own labors, or the labors of other men helping him: If a man have no help from his neighbor, he shall never gather an Estate of hundreds and thousands a year: If other men help him to work, then are those Riches his Neighbors, as well as his own, for they be the fruit of other mens labors as well as his own. But all rich men live at ease, feeding and clothing themselves by the labor of other men and not by their own; which is their shame and not their Nobility: for it is a more blessed thing to give than to receive. But rich men receive all they have from the laborers hand, and what they give, they give way other mens labors not their own. [The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored]
. . . if once landlords, then they rise to be Justices, Rulers and State Governours as experience shewes. [The True Levellers Standard Advanced]
. . . the power of the murdering and theeving sword formerly as well as now of late years hath set up a government and maintains that government; for what are prisons and putting others to death, but the power of the Sword to enforce people to that Government which was got by Conquest and sword and cannot stand of itself but by the same murdering power. [A Declaration from the Poor Oppressed People of England]
. . . the Kingly power sets up a Law and Rule of Government to walk by; and here Justice is pretended but the full strength of the Law is to uphold the conquering Sword and to preserve his son Propriety. . . . For though they say the Law doth punish yet indeed the Law is but the strength, life and marrow of the Kingly power upholding the Conquest still, hedging some into the Earth, hedging out others; giving the Earth to some and denying the Earth to others, which is contrary to the Law of Righteousnesse who made the Earth at first as free for one as for another. . . . Truly most Laws are but to enslave the Poor to the Rich and so they uphold the Conquest and are Laws of the great Red Dragons. [A New Yeers Gift for the Parliament and the Armie]
Winstanley borrowed from the Levellers the idea that in Anglo-Saxon England there had been an equitable sharing of land; and that at the Norman Conquest great estates had been created, and the old population dispossessed or driven into serfdom; and that this unequal division of the basic wealth of the land had been perpetuated ever since solely by the power of the sword; and that law and established religion were just devices to uphold the sword; and finally, that the overthrow of the king, the heir of the Norman power, had resulted in no important change. The old laws still stood. A new Church, first of the Presbyterians and then of the Independents, was established, and the grandees of the new commonwealth were enriching themselves like William the Conqueror’s knights, while the common people sank deeper into poverty. Winstanley’s interpretation of English history has been considered naïve, but there is much to be said for it. Anglo-Saxon England was in fact a frontier country, and all through the Dark Ages, following the catastrophic depopulation that began in the fifth century, there was much free land all over Europe and even more in the British Isles.
He says of caterpillar lawyers that “they love money as dearly as a poor man’s dog do his breakfast in a cold morning and they are such neat workmen, that they can turn a cause which way those that have the biggest purse have them.”
O you Parliament-men of England, cast those whorish laws out of doors, that are so common, that pretend love to everyone, and is faithful to none. For truly, he that goes to law, as the proverb is, shall die a beggar. So that old whores, and old laws, picks men’s pockets and undoes them . . . burn all your law books in Cheapside, and set up your government upon your own foundations. Do not put new wine into old bottles; but as your government must be new so let the laws be new, or else you will run farther into the mud, where you stick already, as though you were fast in an Irish bog. [A New Yeers Gift for the Parliament and the Armie]
As for the church:
And do we not yet see that if the Clergie can get Tithes or Money they will turn as the Ruling power turns, any way . . . to Papacy, to Protestantisme; for a King, against a King; for monarchy, for Some Government; they cry who bids most wages, they will be on the strongest side for an earthly maintenance. . . . There is a confederacie between the Clergy and the great red Dragon. The sheep of Christ shall never fare well so long as the wolf or red Dragon payes the Shepherd their wages. [Ibid.]
For Winstanley private property, but especially the property in land as the source of all wealth, “is the cause of all wars, bloodshed, theft and enslaving laws that hold the people under miserie.” Private property divides man from man and nation from nation and leads to a state of continuous war on which the state power flourishes.
Winstanley was the first to discover that axiom made famous by Randolph Bourne — “War is the health of the State.” He also had the curious and original idea that only in time of war does the power structure encourage scientific invention. “Otherwise the Kingly Bondage is the cause of the spreading of ignorance in the earth for fear of want and care to pay rent to taskmasters hath hindered many rare inventions and the secrets of creation have been locked up under the traditional parrot-like speaking from the Universities and Colleges for Scholars.” War, says Winstanley, makes the rich richer and the poor poorer and tightens the bonds of power.
Winstanley was a devout pacifist all during the Digger experiment; and one reason for the violent abuse of the Diggers, the destruction of their shanties, and the injury and killing of their livestock, was due to the fact that they put up no resistance. They believed that their example, if only they were permitted to cultivate the commons and wastelands, would be so infectious that soon it would be followed by all the poor of England; and that when they had established a community of love, interpenetrating all of English society, their success would lead even the rich and powerful to join them, and eventually all Europe would turn communist persuaded only by example.
Socialists, modern Communists, anarchists, all claim Winstanley as an ancestor. In fact his ideas bear most resemblance to those of the left-wing followers of
Henry George’s Single Tax. For him the source of all wealth was in land and its development in the application of labor to the resources of the earth. If these resources were held in common, and all men were permitted to develop them freely, and men labored in common, then the resulting wealth, even of crafts and manufactures, would naturally become communalized. Modern contemporary Marxists have called this economics naïve, but it was held at the beginning of the twentieth century by an economist who was anything but naïve, Henry George, who attracted many thousand intelligent followers, and it is after all the fundamental assumption of Marx himself. But it was not his economics that was most important to Winstanley. What he sought was a spiritual condition in mankind which would be in harmony with the working of Reason in nature — the return of man, who had fallen into covetousness, to the universal harmony. Winstanley’s communism was not an economic doctrine, but mutual aid followed from his organic philosophy as a logical consequence.
After the suppression of the little commune of Diggers Winstanley was quiet for a while. Then in 1652 he published, with a preface submitting it to Cromwell, his plan for a new commonwealth — The Law of Freedom in a Platform or True Magistracy Restored. The Digger pamphlets present no plan for administrative or governmental policy. Winstanley seems to have assumed that the example of small anarchist-communist groups working in occupied land in brotherhood would sweep all before it and convert England and eventually the world. The problems of self-defense and internal disruption are met by total pacifism before which power must simply dissolve. The violent suppression of the Diggers by both mob and authority forced Winstanley to consider the question of power anew.
The Law of Freedom, after a general introduction, is concerned largely with administrative plans, and the introduction is an appeal to Cromwell to use his power to introduce the new commonwealth. If you do not, says Winstanley, abolish the old power of conquest of the king and nobles, but only turn it over to other men, “you will either lose yourself or lay the foundation of greater slavery to posterity than you ever knew,” a chilling forecast of the dark Satanic mills of early British capitalism.
In the preamble he outlines the principal popular grievances, lack of religious toleration, survival of the old priesthood, the burden of tithes — a tenth of all income for an established Church, arbitrary administration of justice, the old laws are still enforced, the old feudal dues and obligations are still used to oppress the people, while the upper classes ignore their feudal obligations and enclose or abuse the common lands. These are the same grievances we are familiar with from the Hussite Wars and the Peasants’ Revolt in Germany.
Winstanley points out that true freedom does not consist in free trade, freedom of religion, or community of women, but freedom in the use of the earth, the natural treasure of society, and that the first duty of the new commonwealth should be to open the land to all people and to take over the former holdings of the king, the Church, and the nobility. To do this properly, and to use the land fruitfully for the good of all, society needs true government, administrative officers who will be devoted to freedom and the commonweal.
The original root of magistracy was in the family, and the first magistrate is the father, as the finally responsible member of a group in which all are mutually responsible. Officers of the society should be chosen by complete manhood suffrage for all over twenty, and at first only representatives of the old order need to be barred, although notorious evil livers are not fit to be chosen. They should be above forty years of age and hold office for one year only so that responsibility can be rotated throughout the community. First are the overseers, the peace officers who form a local council in each community. They preserve public order and suppress crime and quarrelling and disputes over household property and other chattels which remain in private possession. Others plan the distribution of labor and assign the young to apprenticeships. Others oversee the production of the craftsmen and farmers. Winstanley envisages manufactures as being carried on largely in people’s homes with a few public workshops. Apprenticeships normally take place within the family; only boys who do not wish to follow their fathers’ trade are assigned to the public workshops. Others organize the distribution of goods and food which go to warehouses and shops, both wholesale and retail, from which both craftsmen and consumers are free to choose what they wish.
In each community there is a “soldier,” what we would call a policeman, whose duty is to enforce the decisions of the peacemaker, a taskmaster to whom is given the rule of those convicted of crimes against the community and who assigns them to common labor. There is also an executioner who administers corporal or capital punishment to the hopelessly recalcitrant. Winstanley’s system of penalties may seem excessively severe to us, especially in a utopian society, but in their day, when people were hung for petty theft, they were relatively mild. In the county or shire the peacemakers of the towns, the overseers, and the soldiers, presided over by a judge, form the county senate and court of first appeal. Over all is parliament, which Winstanley seems to have thought of as primarily a court of final appeal, and he is very strongly opposed to its indulging in promiscuous legislation. Laws should be as few and simple as possible. What Winstanley had in mind was a polity like the Israelites in the Book of Judges — in fact the neolithic village with spontaneous justice administered by the elders sitting under a tree. Curiously he says nothing about juries or any other form of democratization of justice. Society defends itself by a militia and Winstanley has a most perceptive section on the evils of standing armies, militarism, and war.
Education in the new commonwealth is free, general, compulsory, and continues through life. Everyone is to be taught a trade or a craft at which he is to work part-time, whatever else he comes to do. No caste of intellectuals or academicians set apart from the people by booklearning is to be permitted to arise, although after the age of forty men “shall be freed from all labor and work unless they will themselves.” The death penalty is decreed for those who attempt to make a living by law or religion. In each community there shall be a “postmaster” who corresponds with all the others in the country directly and through a central postmaster in the chief city. They exchange news, especially news of progress in science, invention, and technology. Sunday is a day of rest. The people gather to listen to a reading of the laws, the news of the postmaster, and what we would call papers on learning and science. Religious services are not mentioned. The people are apparently at liberty to attend them if they wish. Marriage and divorce are civil, exclusively at the will of parties, and take place by simple declaration before the community with the overseers as witnesses.
Winstanley’s utopia has been criticized as being excessively simple and himself as naïve; and even more naïve, his idea that Cromwell would put in force such a policy, or probably even bother to read his pamphlet. Ideological discussion with his sectarian opponents was, whenever he had time, an indoor sport with Cromwell, but he never allowed it to influence him. We must not forget he lived in a time of revolutionary hope. In those days, as in the beginning of the Reformation on the continent, it seemed quite possible to intelligent men that an entirely new social order might be established. Everyone was something of a millenarian and believed that a new historical epoch was beginning. They could not foresee the rise of industrialism, capitalism, the secular State. To us, their future is the past and seems to have
been inevitable. There was nothing inevitable about it to them. Perhaps if Cromwell, or even Luther, had foreseen the horrors of the early industrial age in the nineteenth century, or the genocide and wars of extermination of the twentieth, they might have chosen the commonwealth of Winstanley or the community life of the Hutterites. In each great crisis of Western European civilization, the Reformation, the French Revolution, the revolutions of 1848, the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, it has seemed quite possible to change the world. It is only after the fact that the historical process appears to be the only way in which events could have worked out.
Was Winstanley’s utopia a workable polity? Within limits, yes. Whether he knew it or not, it is remarkably similar to that of the Taborites, the Moravian Brethren, the Hutterites, and the most successful and enduring communalist settlements in nineteenth-century America. His plans went into the common stock of ideas of later English communists and directly or indirectly influenced John Bellers, Robert Owen, Josiah Warren, William Morris, Belford Bax, Édouard Bernstein, David Petegorsky. Other socialists, Communists, and anarchists wrote extensively about him in the first half of the twentieth century and after the Second World War he became extremely popular. Revolutionary communalist groups in England, America, Germany, and France would even call themselves Diggers.
Although the Quakers are by far the best known and largest, and a still surviving community descended from the Spiritualist Anabaptists, and hence ultimately from the underground apostolic community of the Middle Ages, they did not practice community of goods. Rather each Seventh-Day Meeting, as they called their conventicles, had a common fund for the relief of members in need. As a majority of Quakers became prosperous — due to their strict honesty in trade and crafts and, prior to 1760 when they refused to pay tithes and so gave up farming, their advanced agricultural methods — these common funds became quite large and many poor people joined the Society of Friends to obtain welfare funds vastly superior to contemporary poor relief. At first this caused problems but within a generation members who had joined for these reasons had been absorbed into the general economy of Quaker mutual aid and poor Quakers were less than a third of the proportion of poor in the general population, while well-to-do members were proportionately three times as many. Quaker welfare funds came to be used more and more for the general relief of the poor in systematic ways which would foster self-help. Quakers were the principal, almost the sole, financiers, besides himself, of Robert Owen’s model factory town of New Lanark, and they have continued to invest in communal and cooperative movements of which they approve to this day.
In his youth at Manchester College Owen’s closest friends were the Quaker John Dalton and another young Friend named Winstanley, quite possibly a descendant of the great Digger.
Far more than Robert Owen, the most systematic theorist of a cooperative labor colony was the Quaker John Bellers, who greatly impressed Marx. Owen always denied that he was influenced by Bellers and claimed that he had never heard of him until Francis Place showed him a unique copy of his forgotten pamphlet in 1817. Owen immediately had a thousand copies printed and distributed them to those he thought would be interested, and so Bellers survived.
Bellers was born in 1654, a birthright Quaker. He became a friend of William Penn and other leading men of the time. In 1695 during the long economic depression in the last years of the century, he published Proposals for Raising a College of Industry of All Useful Trades and Husbandry. He called it a college rather than a work house or community because the first was identified with the servile institutions of state poor relief and the second implied that all things should be held in common. For a capital investment of fifteen thousand pounds — worth considerably more than ten times as much today — Bellers envisaged a self-sustaining colony of three hundred adults with shops, commissary, crafts, farm land, barns, dairies, pottery. The community was to be self-sufficient even in fuel and iron. All members, from common laborers to the overseers and managers, were to be paid in kind. The dwelling house would have four wings — one for married couples, one for single men and young boys, one for single women and girls, and one an infirmary. Meals were to be in common. Bellers, like Winstanley before him, placed great emphasis upon education in the humanities, in the arts, and in crafts and trade combined. Bellers thought that the creative life of the community and the advanced educational methods would attract many who would wish to come as visitors or even permanent boarders; and even more would wish to enroll their children in school, and for these privileges they would be expected to pay well. He worked out in considerable detail the projected bookkeeping of his community and demonstrated that the original investors would gain a considerable profit, while at the same time the standard of living of the members would be far higher than that of the contemporary working class. The first edition of the pamphlet was dedicated to the Society of Friends, the second to Parliament, but no one came forward to invest in such a colony. During his remaining years Bellers issued a series of pamphlets, some of them devoted to a careful economic analysis of a semi-socialist economy, others proposing a league of nations, an ecumenical council of all Christian religions, a national health service, a reform of Parliament and the electoral process, a total reform of prisons, and a reform of the Poor Laws.
Although Robert Owen had worked out his own system before he read Bellers’s pamphlet and although Fourier, Saint-Simon, and Cabet had certainly never heard of him, he anticipated most of their more practicable ideas and in far more practicable form. Although all his writings soon became excessively rare, he should be considered the founder of modern, socially responsible Quakerism of the Service Committee variety. Furthermore the various measures he proposed in his reformist practice have almost all been incorporated in the modern welfare state. Although Marx called him “a veritable phenomenon in the history of political economy,” amazingly there has never been an edition of his collected works nor, with all the immense flood of scholarly research and Ph.D. theses, has anyone written a book about him. He is not even mentioned in Beer’s History of British Socialism. Most information about him is to be found in the final chapter of Édouard Bernstein’s Cromwell and Communism.


William Blake: Poetry…

A Poison Tree
I was angry with my friend:

I told my wrath, my wrath did end.

I was angry with my foe;

I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water’d it in fears,

Night & morning with my tears;

And I sunned it with my smiles

And with soft deceitful wiles.
And it grew both day and night,

Till it bore an apple bright;

And my foe beheld it shine,

And he knew that it was mine,
And into my garden stole

When the night had veil’d the pole:

In the morning glad I see

My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree

The Blossom
Merry, merry sparrow!

Under leaves so green

A happy blossom

Sees you, swift as arrow,

Seek your cradle narrow,

Near my bosom.

Pretty, pretty robin!

Under leaves so green

A happy blossom

Hears you sobbing, sobbing,

Pretty, pretty robin,

Near my bosom.

The Echoing Green
The sun does arise,

And make happy the skies;

The merry bells ring

To welcome the Spring;

The skylark and thrush,

The birds of the bush,

Sing louder around

To the bells’ cheerful sound;

While our sports shall be seen

On the echoing green.
Old John, with white hair,

Does laugh away care,

Sitting under the oak,

Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,

And soon they all say,

‘Such, such were the joys

When we all — girls and boys –

In our youth-time were seen

On the echoing green.’
Till the little ones, weary,

No more can be merry:

The sun does descend,

And our sports have an end.

Round the laps of their mothers

Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,

Are ready for rest,

And sport no more seen

On the darkening green.

The Divine Image
The Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

All pray in their distress;

And to these virtues of delight

Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is God, our Father dear,

And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love

Is man, His child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart,

Pity a human face,

And Love, the human form divine,

And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man, of every clime,

That prays in his distress,

Prays to the human form divine,

Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
For all must love the human form,

In heathen, Turk, or Jew;

Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell

There God is dwelling too.

Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau
Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau:

Mock on, mock on: ‘tis all in vain!

You throw the sand against the wind,

And the wind blows it back again.
And every sand becomes a Gem,

Reflected in the beam divine;

Blown back they blind the mocking Eye,

But still in Israel’s paths they shine.
The Atoms of Democritus

And the Newton’s Particles of Light

Are sands upon the Red Sea shore,

Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright.


Yab Yum

One of my favourite pictures… just a quick one, with a couple elements of note:
On The Menu:

Antony singing If It Be Your Will

The New Alchemy

John Cale – Hallelujah
Poetry is to be found with the Antony & John Cale Entries… From Leonard Cohen… (Thanks to Leanna and Richard for the nice evening of watching the Leonard Cohen Tribute film!)
The New Alchemy is from early writings on LSD by Alan Watts….
Have a good one!


An Amazing Voice!
Antony singing If It Be Your Will

“If It Be Your Will”
If it be your will

That I speak no more

And my voice be still

As it was before

I will speak no more

I shall abide until

I am spoken for

If it be your will

If it be your will

That a voice be true

From this broken hill

I will sing to you

From this broken hill

All your praises they shall ring

If it be your will

To let me sing

From this broken hill

All your praises they shall ring

If it be your will

To let me sing
If it be your will

If there is a choice

Let the rivers fill

Let the hills rejoice

Let your mercy spill

On all these burning hearts in hell

If it be your will

To make us well
And draw us near

And bind us tight

All your children here

In their rags of light

In our rags of light

All dressed to kill

And end this night

If it be your will
If it be your will.


The New Alchemy

Alan Watts

an essay from This is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience,

by Alan Watts, Vintage Books, 1973, ©Alan Watts 1958, 1960.

This essay was written in 1960.
Besides the philosopher’s stone that would turn base metal into gold, one of the great quests of alchemy in both Europe and Asia was the elixir of immortality. In gullible enthusiasm for this quest, more than one Chinese emperor died of the fabulous concoctions of powdered jade, tea, ginseng, and precious metals prepared by Taoist priests. But just as the work of transforming lead into gold was in many cases a chemical symbolism for a spiritual transformation of man himself, so the immortality to be conferred by the elixir was not always the literally everlasting life but rather the transportation of consciousness into a state beyond time. Modern physicists have solved the problem of changing lead into gold, though the process is somewhat more expensive than digging gold from the earth. But in the last few years modem chemists have prepared one or two substances for which it may be claimed that in some cases they induce states of mind remarkably similar to cosmic consciousness.

To many people such claims are deeply disturbing. For one thing, mystical experience seems altogether too easy when it simply comes out of a bottle, and is thus available to people who have done nothing to deserve it, who have neither fasted nor prayed nor practiced yoga. For another, the claim seems to imply that-spiritual insight is after all only a matter of body chemistry involving a total reduction of the spiritual to the material. These are serious considerations, even though one may be convinced that in the long run the difficulty is found to rest upon semantic confusion as to the definitions of “spiritual” and “material.”

However, it should be pointed out that there is nothing new or disreputable in the idea that spiritual insight Is an undeserved gift of divine grace, often conveyed through such material or sacramental means as the water of baptism and the bread and wine of the mass. The priest who by virtue of his office transforms bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, ex opere operato, by the simple repetition of the formula of the Last Supper, is in a situation not radically different from that of the scientist who, by repeating the right formula of an experiment, may effect a transformation in the brain. The comparative worth of the two operations must be judged by their effects. There were always those upon whom the sacraments of baptism and communion did not seem to “take,” whose lives remained effectively unregenerate. Likewise, none of these consciousness-changing chemicals are literally mystical experience in a bottle. Many who receive them experience only ecstasies without insight, or just an unpleasant confusion of sensation and imagination. States akin to mystical experience arise only in certain individuals and then often depend upon considerable concentration and effort to use the change of consciousness in certain ways. It is important here, too, to stress the point that ecstasy is only Incidental to the authentic mystical experience, the essence of which might best be described as insight, as the word is now used in psychiatry.

A chemical of this kind might perhaps be said to be an aid to perception in the same way as the telescope, microscope, or spectroscope, save in this case that the instrument is not an external object but an internal state of the nervous system. All such instruments are relatively useless without proper training and preparation not only in their handling, but also in the particular field of investigation,

These considerations alone are already almost enough to show that the use of such chemicals does not reduce spiritual insight to a mere matter of body chemistry. But it should be added that even when we can describe certain events in terms of chemistry this does not mean that such events are merely chemical. A chemical description of spiritual experience has somewhat the same use and the same limits as the chemical description of a great painting. It is simple enough to make a chemical analysis of the paint, and for artists and connoisseurs alike there is some point in doing so. It might also be possible to work out a chemical description of all the processes that go on in the artist while he is painting. But it would be incredibly complicated, and in the meantime the same processes could be described and communicated far more effectively in some other language than the chemical. We should probably say that a process is chemical only when chemical language is the most effective means of describing it. Analogously, some of the chemicals known as psychedelics provide opportunities for mystical insight in much the same way that well-prepared paints and brushes provide opportunities for fine painting, or a beautifully constructed piano for great music. They make it easier, but they do not accomplish the work all by themselves.

The two chemicals which are of most use in creating a change of consciousness conducive to spiritual experience are mescaline and lysergic acid diethylamide (known, for short, as LSD). The former is a synthetic formulation of the active ingredients of the peyote cactus, and the latter a purely synthetic chemical of the indole group which produces its effects even in such minute amounts as twenty-five micrograms. The specific effects of these chemicals are hard to identify with any clarity, and so far as is known at present they seem to operate upon the nervous system by reducing some of the inhibitory mechanisms which ordinarily have a screening effect upon our consciousness. Certain psychiatrists who seem overly anxious to hang on to the socially approved sensation of reality—more or less the world as perceived on a bleak Monday morning—classify these chemicals as hallucinogens producing toxic effects of a schizoid or psychotic character. I am afraid this is psychiatric gobbledygook: a sort of authoritative rumble of disapproval. Neither substance is an addictive drug, like heroin or opium, and it has never been demonstrated that they have harmful effects upon people who were not otherwise seriously disturbed. It is begging the question to call the changes of consciousness which they educe hallucinations, for some of the unusual things felt and seen may be no more unreal than the unfamiliar forms perceived through a microscope. We do not know. It is also begging the question to call their effects toxic, which might mean poisonous, unless this word can also be used for the effects of vitamins or proteins. Such language is evaluative, not descriptive in any scientific sense.

Somewhat more than two years ago (1958) I was asked by a psychiatric research group to take 100 micrograms of lysergic acid, to see whether it would reproduce anything resembling a mystical experience. It did not do so, and so far as I know the reason was that I had not then learned how to direct my inquiries when under its influence. It seemed instead that my senses had been given a kaleidoscopic character (and this is no more than a metaphor) which made the whole world entrancingly complicated, as if I were involved in a multidimensional arabesque. Colors became so vivid that flowers, leaves, and fabrics seemed to be illumined from inside. The random patterns of blades of grass in a lawn appeared to be exquisitely organized without, however, any actual distortion of vision. Black ink or sumi paintings by Chinese and Japanese artists appeared almost to be three dimensional photographs, and what are ordinarily dismissed as irrelevant details of speech, behavior, appearance, and form seemed in some indefinable way to be highly significant. Listening to music with closed eyes, I beheld the most fascinating patterns of dancing jewelry, mosaic, tracery, and abstract images. At one point everything appeared to be uproariously funny, especially the gestures and actions of people going about their everyday business. Ordinary remarks seemed to reverberate with double and quadruple meanings, and the role-playing behavior of those around me not only became unusually evident but also implied concealed attitudes contrary or complementary to its overt intention. In short, the screening or selective apparatus of our normal interpretative evaluation of experience had been partially suspended, with the result that I was presumably projecting the sensation of meaning or significance upon just about everything. The whole experience was vastly entertaining and interesting, but as yet nothing like any mystical experience that I had had before.

It was not until a year later that I tried LSD again, this time at the request of another research team. Since then I have repeated the experiment five times, with dosages varying from 75 to 100 micrograms. My impression has been that such experiments are profound and rewarding to the extent that I do my utmost to observe perceptual and evaluative changes and to describe them as clearly and completely as possible, usually with the help of a tape recorder. To give a play-by-play description of each experiment might be clinically interesting, but what I am concerned with here is a philosophical discussion of some of the high points and recurrent themes of my experiences. Psychiatrists have not yet made up their minds as to whether LSD is useful in therapy, but at present I am strongly inclined to feel that its major use may turn out to be only secondarily as a therapeutic and primarily as an instrumental aid to the creative artist, thinker, or scientist. I should observe, in passing, that the human and natural environment in which these experiments are conducted is of great importance, and that its use in hospital wards with groups of doctors firing off clinical questions at the subject is most undesirable. The supervising physician should take a human attitude, and drop all defensive dramatizations of scientific objectivity and medical authority, conducting the experiment in surroundings of some natural or artistic beauty.

I have said that my general impression of the first experiment was that the “mechanism” by which we screen our sense-data and select only some of them as significant had been partially suspended. Consequently, I felt that the particular feeling which we associate with “the meaningful” was projected indiscriminately upon everything, and then rationalized in ways that might strike an independent observer as ridiculous—unless, perhaps, the subject were unusually clever at rationalizing. However, the philosopher cannot pass up the point that our selection of some sense-data as significant and others as insignificant is always with relation to particular purposes—survival, the quest for certain pleasures, finding one’s way to some destination, or whatever it may be. But in every experiment with LSD one of the first effects I have noticed is a profound relaxation combined with an abandonment of purposes and goals, reminding me of the Taoist saying that “when purpose has been used to achieve purposelessness, the thing has been grasped.” I have felt, in other words, endowed with all the time in the world, free to look about me as if I were living in eternity without a single problem to be solved. It is just for this reason that the busy and purposeful actions of other people seem at this time to be so comic, for it becomes obvious that by setting themselves goals which are always in the future, in the “tomorrow which never comes,” they are missing entirely the point of being alive.

When, therefore, our selection of sense-impressions is not organized with respect to any particular purpose, all the surrounding details of the world must appear to be equally meaningful or equally meaningless. Logically, these are two ways of saying the same thing, but the overwhelming feeling of my own LSD experiences is that all aspects of the world become meaningful rather than meaningless. This is not to say that they acquire meaning in the sense of signs, by virtue of pointing to something else, but that all things appear to be their own point. Their simple existence, or better, their present formation, seems to be perfect, to be an end or fulfillment without any need for justification. Flowers do not bloom in order to produce seeds, nor are seeds germinated in order to bring forth flowers. Each stage of the process—seed, sprout, bud, flower, and fruit— may be regarded as the goal. A chicken is one eggs way of producing others. In our normal experience something of the same kind takes place in music and the dance, where the point of the action is each moment of its unfolding and not just the temporal end of the performance.

Such a translation of everyday experience into something of the same nature as music has been the beginning and the prevailing undertone of all my experiments. But LSD does not simply suspend the selective process by cutting it out. It would be more exact to say that it shows the relativity of our ordinary evaluation of sense-data by suggesting others. It permits the mind to organize its sensory impressions in new patterns. In my second experiment I noticed, for example, that all repeated forms—leaves on a stem, books on shelves, mullions in windows—gave me the sensation of seeing double or even multiple, as if the second, third, and fourth leaves on the stem were reflections of the first, seen, as it were, in several thicknesses of window glass. When I mentioned this, the attending physician held up his finger to see if it would give me a double image. For a moment it seemed to do so, but all at once I saw that the second image had its basis in a wisp of cigar smoke passing close to his finger and upon which my consciousness had projected the highlights and outline of a second finger. As I then concentrated upon this sensation of doubling or repeating images, it seemed suddenly as if the whole field of sight were a transparent liquid rippled in concentric circles as in dropping a stone into a pool. The normal images of things around me were not distorted by this pattern. They remained just as usual, but my attention directed itself to highlights, lines, and shadows upon them that fitted the pattern, letting those that did not fall into relative insignificance. As soon, however, as I noticed this projection and became aware of details that did not fit the pattern, it seemed as if whole handfuls of pebbles had been thrown into-the optical space, rippling it with concentric circles that overlapped in all directions, so that every visible point became an intersection of circles. The optical field seemed, in fact, to have a structured grain like a photograph screened for reproduction, save that the organization of the grains was not rectilinear but circular. In this way every detail fitted the pattern and the field of vision became pointillist, like a painting by Seurat.

This sensation raised a number of questions. Was my mind imperiously projecting its own geometrical designs upon the world, thus “hallucinating” a structure in things which is not actually there? Or is what we call the “real” structure of things simply a learned projection or hallucination which we hold in common? Or was I somehow becoming aware of the actual grain of the rods and cones in my retina, for even a hallucination must have some actual basis in the nervous system? On another occasion I was looking closely at a handful of sand, and in becoming aware that I could not get it into clear focus I became conscious of every detail and articulation of the way in which my eyes were fuzzing the image—and this was certainly perception of a grain or distortion in the eyes themselves.

The general impression of these optical sensations is that the eyes, without losing the normal area of vision, have become microscopes, and that the texture of the visual field is infinitely rich and complex. I do not know whether this is actual awareness of the multiplicity of nerve-endings in the retina, or, for that matter, in the fingers, for the same grainy feeling arose in the sense of touch. But the effect of feeling that this is or may be so is, as it were, to turn the senses back upon themselves, and so to realize that seeing the external world is also seeing the eyes. In other words, I became vividly aware of the fact that what I call shapes, colors, and textures in the outside world are also states of my nervous system, that is, of me. In knowing them I also know my self. But the strange part of this apparent sensation of my own senses was that I did not appear to be inspecting them from outside or from a distance, as if they were objects. I can say only that the awareness of grain or structure in the senses seemed to be awareness of awareness, of myself from inside myself. Because of this, it followed that the distance or separation between myself and my senses, on the one hand, and the external world, on the other, seemed to disappear I was no longer a detached observer, a little man inside my own head, having sensations. I was the sensations, so much so that there was nothing left of me, the observing ego, except the series of sensations which happened—not to me, but just happened—moment by moment, one after another.

To become the sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. For it implies that experience is not something in which one is trapped or by which one is pushed around, or against which one must fight. The conventional duality of subject and object, knower and known, feeler and feeling, is changed into a polarity: the knower and the known become the poles, terms, or phases of a single event which happens, not to me or from me, but of itself. The experiencer and the experience become a single, ever-changing self-forming process, complete and fulfilled at every moment of its unfolding, and of infinite complexity and subtlety. It is like, not watching, but being, a coiling arabesque of smoke patterns in the air, or of ink dropped in water, or of a dancing snake which seems to move from every part of its body at once. This may be a “drug-induced hallucination,” but it corresponds exactly to what Dewey and Bentley have called the transactional relationship of the organism to its environment. This is to say that all our actions and experiences arise mutually from the organism and from the environment at the same time. The eyes can see light because of the sun, but the sun is light because of the eyes. Ordinarily, under the hypnosis of social conditioning, we feel quite distinct from our physical surroundings, facing them rather than belonging in them. Yet in this way we ignore and screen out the physical fact of our total interdependence with the natural world. We are as embodied in it as our own cells and molecules are embodied in us. Our neglect and repression of this interrelationship gives special urgency to all the new sciences of ecology, studying the interplay of organisms with their environments, and warning us against ignorant interference with the balances of nature.

The sensation that events are happening of themselves, and that nothing is making them happen and that they are not happening to anything, has always been a major feature of my experiences with LSD. It is possible that the chemical is simply giving me a vivid realization of my own philosophy, though there have been times when the experience has suggested modifications of my previousthinking. (1) But just as the sensation of subject-object polarity is confirmed by the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the sensation of events happening “of themselves” is just how one would expect to perceive a world consisting entirely of process. Now the language of science is increasingly a language of process—a description of events, relations, operations, and forms rather than of things and substances. The world so described is a world of actions rather than agents, verbs rather than nouns, going against the common-sense idea that an action is the behavior of some thing, some solid entity of “stuff.” But the commonsense idea that action is always the function of an agent is so deeply rooted, so bound up with our sense of order and security, that seeing the world to be otherwise can be seriously disturbing. Without agents, actions do not seem to come from anywhere, to have any dependable origin, and at first sight this spontaneity can be alarming. In one experiment it seemed that whenever I tried to put my (metaphorical) foot upon some solid ground, the ground collapsed into empty space. I could find no substantial basis from which to act: my will was a whim, and my past, as a causal conditioning force, had simply vanished. There was only the present conformation of events, happening. For a while I felt lost in a void, frightened, baseless, insecure through and through Yet soon I became accustomed to the feeling, strange as it was. There was simply a pattern of action, of process, and this was at one and the same time the universe and myself with nothing outside it either to trust or mistrust. And there seemed to be no meaning in the idea of its trusting or mistrusting itself, just as there is no possibility of a finger’s touching its own tip.

Upon reflection, there seems to be nothing unreasonable in seeing the world in this way. The agent behind every action is itself action. If a mat can be called matting, a cat can be called catting. We do not actually need to ask who or what “cats,” just as we do not need to ask what is the basic stuff or substance out of which the world is formed—for there is no way of describing this substance except in terms of form, of structure, order, and operation. The world is not formed as if it were inert clay responding to the touch of a potter’s hand; the world is form, or better, formation, for upon examination every substance turns out to be closely knit pattern. The fixed notion that every pattern or form must be made of some basic material which is in itself formless is based on a superficial analogy between natural formation and manufacture, as if the stars and rocks had been made out of something as a carpenter makes tables out of wood. Thus what we call the agent behind the action is simply the prior or relatively more constant state of the same action: when a man runs we have a “manning-running” over and above a simple “manning.” Furthermore, it is only a somewhat clumsy convenience to say that present events are moved or caused by past events, for we are actually talking about earlier and later stages of the same event. We can establish regularities of rhythm and pattern in the course of an event, and so predict its future configurations, but its past states do not “push” its present and future states as if they were a row of dominoes stood on end so that knocking over the first collapses all the others in series. The fallen dominoes lie where they fall, but past events vanish into the present, which is just another way of saying that the world is a self-moving pattern which, when its successive states are remembered, can be shown to have a certain order. Its motion, its energy, issues from itself now, not from the past, which simply falls behind it in memory like the wake from a ship.

When we ask the “why” of this moving pattern, we usually try to answer the question in terms of its original, past impulse or of its future goal. I had realized for a long time that if there is in any sense a reason for the world’s existence it must be sought in the present, as the reason for the wake must be sought in the engine of the moving ship. I have already mentioned that LSD makes me peculiarly aware of the musical or dance-like character of the world, bringing my attention to rest upon its present flowing and seeing this as its ultimate point. Yet I have also been able to see that this point has depths, that the present wells up from within itself with an energy which is something much richer than simple exuberance.

One of these experiments was conducted late at night. Some five or six hours from its start the doctor had to go home, and I was left alone in the garden. For me, this stage of the experiment is always the most rewarding in terms of insight, after some of its more unusual and bizarre sensory effects have worn off. The garden was a lawn surrounded by shrubs and high trees—Pine and eucalyptus—and floodlit from the house which enclosed it on one side. As I stood on the lawn I noticed that the rough patches where the grass was thin or mottled with weeds no longer seemed to be blemishes. Scattered at random as they were, they appeared to constitute an ordered design, giving the whole area the texture of velvet damask, the rough patches being the parts where the pile of the velvet is cut. In sheer delight I began to dance on this enchanted carpet, and through the thin soles of my moccasins I could feel the ground becoming alive under my feet, connecting me with the earth and the trees and the sky in such a way that I seemed to become one body with my whole surroundings.

Looking up, I saw that the stars were colored with the same reds, greens, and blues that one sees in iridescent glass, and passing across them was the single light of a jet plane taking forever to streak over the sky. At the same time, the trees, shrubs, and flowers seemed to be living jewelry, inwardly luminous like intricate structures of jade, alabaster, or coral, and yet breathing and flowing with the same life that was in me. Every plant became a kind of musical utterance, a play of variations on a theme repeated from the main branches, through the stalks and twigs, to the leaves, the veins in the leaves, and to the fine capillary network between the veins. Each new bursting of growth from a center repeated or amplified the basic design with increasing complexity and delight, finally exulting in a flower.

From my description it will seem that the garden acquired an atmosphere that was distinctly exotic, like the gardens of precious stones in the Arabian Nights, or like scenes in a Persian miniature. This struck me at the time, and I began to wonder just why it is that the glowingly articulated landscapes of those miniatures seem exotic, as do also many Chinese and Japanese paintings. Were the artists recording what they, too, had seen under the influence of drugs? I knew enough of the lives and techniques of Far Eastern painters to doubt this. I asked, too, whether what I was seeing was “drugged.” In other words, was the effect of the LSD in my nervous system the addition to my senses of some chemical screen which distorted all that I saw to preternatural loveliness? Or was its effect rather to remove certain habitual and normal inhibitions of the mind and senses, enabling us to see things as they would appear to us if we were not so chronically repressed? Little is known of the exact neurological effects of LSD, but what is known suggests the latter possibility. If this be so, it is possible that the art forms of other cultures appear exotic—that is, unfamiliarly enchanting—because we are seeing the world through the eyes of artists whose repressions are not the same as ours. The blocks in their view of the world may not coincide with ours, so that in their representations of life we see areas that we normally ignore. I am inclined to some such solution because there have been times when I have seen the world in this magical aspect without benefit of LSD, and they were times when I was profoundly relaxed within, my senses unguardedly open to their surroundings.

Feeling, then, not that I was drugged but that I was in an unusual degree open to reality, I tried to discern the meaning, the inner character of the dancing pattern which constituted both myself and the garden, and the whole dome of the night with its colored stars. All at once it became obvious that the whole thing was love-play, where love means everything that the word can mean, a spectrum ranging from the red of erotic delight, through the green of human endearment, to the violet of divine charity, from Freud’s libido to Dante’s “love that moves the sun and other stars.” All were so many colors issuing from a single white light, and, what was more, this single source was not just love as we ordinarily understand it: it was also intelligence, not only Eros and Agape but also Logos. I could see that the intricate organization both of the plants and of my own nervous system, like symphonies of branching complexity, were not just manifestations of intelligence—as if things like intelligence and love were in themselves substances or formless forces. It was rather that the pattern itself is intelligence and is love, and this somehow in spite of all its outwardly stupid and cruel distortions.

There is probably no way of finding objective verification for insights such as this. The world is love to him who treats it as such, even when it torments and destroys him, and in states of consciousness where there is no basic separation between the ego and the world suffering cannot be felt as malice inflicted upon oneself by another. By the same logic it might seem that with out the separation of self and other there can be no love. This might be true if individuality and universality were formal opposites, mutually exclusive of one another, if, that is, the inseparability of self and other meant that all individual differentiations were simply unreal. But in the unitary, or nondualistic, view of the world I have been describing this is not so. Individual differences express the unity, as branches, leaves, and flowers from the same plant, and the love between the members is the realization of their basic interdependence.

I have not yet been able to use LSD in circumstances of great physical or moral pain, and therefore my explorations of the problem of evil under its influence may appear to be shallow. Only once in these experiments have I felt acute fear, but I know of several cases in which LSD has touched off psychic states of the most alarming and unpleasant kind. More than once I have invited such states under LSD by looking at images ordinarily suggestive of “the creeps”—the mandibles of spiders, and the barbs and spines of dangerous fish and insects. Yet they evoked only a sense of beauty and exuberance, for our normal projection of malice into these creatures was entirely withdrawn, so that their organs of destruction became no more evil than the teeth of a beautiful woman. On another occasion I looked for a long time at a colored reproduction of Van Eyck’s Last Judgment, which is surely one of the most horrendous products of human imagination. The scene of hell is dominated by the figure of Death, a skeleton beneath whose batlike wings lies a writhing mass of screaming bodies gnawed by snakes which penetrate them like maggots in fruit. One of the curious effects of LSD is to impart an illusion of movement in still images, so that here the picture came to life and the whole entanglement of limbs and serpents began to squirm before my eyes. (2)

Ordinarily such a sight should have been hideous, but now I watched it with intense and puzzled interest until the thought came to me, “Demon est deus inversus—the Devil is God inverted—so let’s turn the picture upside down.” I did so, and thereupon burst into laughter for it became apparent at once that the scene was an empty drama, a sort of spiritual scarecrow, designed to guard some mystery from profanation by the ignorant. The agonized expressions of the damned seemed quite evidently “put on,” and as for the death’s-head, the great skull in the center of the painting, it became just what a skull is—an empty shell—and why the horror when there is nothing in it?

I was, of course, seeing ecclesiastical hells for what they are. On the one hand, they are the pretension that social authority is ultimately inescapable since there are post-mortem police who will catch every criminal. On the other hand, they are “no trespassing” signs to discourage the insincere and the immature from attaining insights which they might abuse. A baby is put in a play pen to keep it from getting at the matches or falling downstairs, and though the intention of the pen is to keep the baby closed in, parents are naturally proud when the child grows strong enough to climb out. Likewise, a man can perform actions which are truly moral only when he is no longer motivated by the fear of hell, that is, when he grows into union with the Good that is beyond good and evil, which, in other words, does not act from the love of rewards or the fear of punishments. This is precisely the nature of the world when it is considered as self-moving action, giving out a past instead of being motivated by a past.

Beyond this, the perception of the empty threat of the death’s-head was certainly a recognition of the fact that the fear of death, as distinct from the fear of dying, is one of the most baseless mirages that trouble us. Because it is completely impossible to imagine one’s own personal absence, we fill the void in our minds with images of being buried alive in perpetual darkness. If death is the simple termination of a stream of consciousness, it is certainly nothing to fear. At the same time, I realize that there is some apparent evidence for survival of death in a few extraordinarily unexplainable mediumistic communications and remembrances of past lives. These I attribute, vaguely enough, to subtler networks of communication and interrelationship in the pattern of life than we ordinarily perceive. For if forms repeat themselves, if the structure of branching trees is reverberated in the design of watercourses in the desert, it would not be so strange if a pattern so intricate as the human nervous system were to repeat configurations that arise in consciousness as veritable memories of the most distant times. My own feeling, and of course it is nothing more than an opinion, is that we transcend death, not as individual memory-systems, but only in so far as our true identity is the total process of the world as distinct from the apparently separate organism.

As I have said, this sense of being the whole process is frequently experienced with LSD, and, for me, it has often arisen out of a strong feeling of the mutuality of opposites. Line and plane, concept and percept, solid and space, figure and ground, subject and object appear to be so completely correlative as to be convertible into each other. At one moment it seems that there are, for example, no lines in nature: there are only the boundaries of planes, boundaries which are, after all, the planes themselves. But at the next moment, looking carefully into the texture of these planes, one discovers them to be nothing but a dense network of patterned lines. Looking at the form of a tree against the sky, I have felt at one moment that its outline “belongs” to the tree, exploding into space. But the next moment I feel that the same form is the “inline” of the sky, of space imploding the tree. Every pull is felt as a push, and every push as a pull, as in rotating the rim of a wheel with one’s hand. Is one pushing or pulling?

The sense that forms are also properties of the space in which they expand is not in the least fantastic when one considers the nature of magnetic fields, or, say, the dynamics of swirling ink dropped into water. The concepts of verbal thought are so clumsy that we tend to think only of one aspect of a relationship at a time. We alternate between seeing a given form as a property of the figure and as a property of the ground, as in the Gestalt image of two profiles in black silhouette, about to kiss. The white space between them appears as a chalice, but it is intensely difficult to see the kissing faces and the chalice simultaneously. Yet with LSD one appears to be able to feel this simultaneity quite vividly, and thus to become aware of the mutuality of one’s own form and action and that of the surrounding world. The two seem to shape and determine each other at the same moment, explosion and implosion concurring in perfect harmony, so giving rise to the feeling that one is actual self is both. This inner identity is felt with every level of the environment—the physical world of stars and space, rocks and plants, the social world of human beings, and the ideational world of art and literature, music and conversation. All are grounds or fields operating in the most intimate mutuality with one’s own existence and behavior so that the “origin” of action lies in both at once, fusing them into a single act. It is certainly for this reason that LSD taken in common with a small group can be a profoundly eucharistic experience, drawing the members together into an extremely warm and intimate bond of friendship.

All in all, I have felt that my experiments with this astonishing chemical have been most worth while, creative, stimulating, and, above all, an intimation that “there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy.” Only once have I felt terror, the sense of being close to madness, and even here the insight gained was well worth the pain. Yet this was enough to convince me that indiscriminate use of this alchemy might be exceedingly dangerous, and to make me ask who, in our society, is competent to control its use. Obviously, this applies even more to such other powers of science as atomic energy, but once something is known there is really no way of locking it up. At the present time, 1960, LSD is in the control of pharmacologists and a few research groups of psychiatrists, and though there are unscrupulous and frankly psychotic psychiatrists, this seems to me a far more reliable form of control than that exercised by the police and the Bureau of Narcotics—which is not control at all, but ineffective repression, handing over actual control to the forces of organized crime.

On the whole, we feel justified in using dangerous powers when we can establish that there is a relatively low probability of disaster. Life organized so as to be completely foolproof and secure is simply not worth living, since it requires the final abolition of freedom. It is on this perfectly rational principle of gambling that we justify the use of travel by air and automobile, electric appliances in the home, and all the other dangerous instruments of civilization. Thus far, the record of catastrophes from the use of LSD is extremely low, and there is no evidence at all that it is either habit-forming or physically deleterious. It is, of course, possible to become psychically dependent on stimuli which do not establish any craving that can be identified in physiological terms. Personally, I am no example of phenomenal will power, but I find that I have no inclination to use LSD in the same way as tobacco or wines and liquors. On the contrary, the experience is always so fruitful that I feel I must digest it for some months before entering into it again. Furthermore, I find that I am quite instinctively disinclined to use it without the same sense of readiness and dedication with which one approaches a sacrament, and also that the experience is worth while to the precise degree that I keep my critical and intellectual faculties alert.

It is generally felt that there is a radical incompatibility between intuition and intellect, poetry and logic, spirituality and rationality, To me, the most impressive thing about LSD experiences is that these formally opposed realms seem instead to complement and fructify one another, suggesting, therefore, a mode of life in which man is no longer an embodied paradox of angel and animal, of reason fighting instinct, but a marvelous coincidence in whom Eros and Logos are one.


(1) I have often made the point, as in The Way of Zen, that the “real” world is concrete rather than abstract, and thus that the conceptual patterns of order, categorization, and logic which the human mind projects upon nature are in some way less real. But upon several occasions LSD has suggested a fundamental identity of percept and concept, concrete and abstract. After all, our brains and the patterns in them are themselves members of the concrete, physical universe, and thus our abstractions are as much forms of nature as the structure of crystals or the organization of ferns. (back)

(2) Later, with the aid of a sea urchin’s shell I was able to find out something of the reasons for this effect. All the small purple protuberances on the shell seemed to be wiggling, not only to sight but also to touch Watching this phenomenon closely, I realized that as my eyes moved across the shell they seemed to change the intensity of coloring, amounting to an increase or decrease in the depth of shadow. This did not happen when the eyes were held still. Now motion, or apparent motion, of the shadow will often seem to be motion of the object casting it, in this case the protrusions on the shell. In the Van Eyck painting there was likewise an alteration, a lightening or darkening, of actual shadows which the artist had painted, and thus the same illusion of movement.

John is an amazing performer… if you ever get the chance…

John Cale – Hallelujah

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don’t really care for music, do you?

It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah




Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you

To a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Baby I have been here before

I know this room, I’ve walked this floor

I used to live alone before I knew you.

I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch

Love is not a victory march

It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
There was a time you let me know

What’s real and going on below

But now you never show it to me, do you?

And remember when I moved in you

The holy dove was moving too

And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain

I don’t even know the name

But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?

There’s a blaze of light

In every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

And even though

It all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah



Dream Tsunami…

So… this past week has been lots of hard work, and dreaming for yours truly. In a crunch to help get a couple of houses on market, and with all the work comes some deep sleep, and some swirling dream states…
Dream Tsunami:

Parked above either the Camera Obscura, or the Seal House or… The Presidio in San Francisco, facing the ocean in a car with my friend John Archdeacon. Between us is his girlfriend, and as we talk we see a giant wave coming up over the car crashing down… and another wave propels us down the road in a flood of water. The ocean is rising up, and we try to speed away… What does it mean? Could it be the Graham Hancock book I am reading before I go to sleep, or is it the sleepy time tea? Every night this past week has been the same… intense fugues of dreamtime, culminating last night with a birth of a daughter to Mary and I. I can still feel the state as I type….
MURALIST ART SHOW! Be there or be square: May 2, Friday at the OlyMills building at 2nd and SE Stark at 5 until 9… The Portland Muralist Art Show… Celebrating the Muralist of Portland, and the struggle to have street art in Portland. Some of you may remember the story…
I have been helping out a bit, but Joanne Oleksiak has been stoking the fires for this… Stay tuned for more info, and if you don’t get a direct invite, come anyway. I will try to email all that I can, but let your friends know. Street art, and the work of many, many great artist! Come To The Opening!

(Here I am with the Infamous Mirador Mural that I painted…)

More soon… and remember to hug someone today!
Bright Blessings,


On The Menu:

The Links

Killer Tortoise….

The Gifts Of The Magician

My Little Pony vs Rammstein

Li Yu: Poetic Perfection….

Rammstein – Ich Will (Pooh version)

Art: Gustave Moreau


The Links:

Guilty Before Proven Innocent

Mommy 2.0

Idiots and Angels…

Sex, Murder, Tentacles…


Killer Tortoise….



The Gifts Of The Magician
Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in a little hut in the middle of a forest. His wife was dead, and he had only one son, whom he loved dearly. Near their hut was a group of birch trees, in which some black-game had made their nests, and the youth had often begged his father’s permission to shoot the birds, but the old man always strictly forbade him to do anything of the kind.
One day, however, when the father had gone to a little distance to collect some sticks for the fire, the boy fetched his bow, and shot at a bird that was just flying towards its nest. But he had not taken proper aim, and the bird was only wounded, and fluttered along the ground. The boy ran to catch it, but though he ran very fast, and the bird seemed to flutter along very slowly, he never could quite come up with it; it was always just a little in advance. But so absorbed was he in the chase that he did not notice for some time that he was now deep in the forest, in a place where he had never been before. Then he felt it would be foolish to go any further, and he turned to find his way home.
He thought it would be easy enough to follow the path along which he had come, but somehow it was always branching off in unexpected directions. He looked about for a house where he might stop and ask his way, but there was not a sign of one anywhere, and he was afraid to stand still, for it was cold, and there were many stories of wolves being seen in that part of the forest. Night fell, and he was beginning to start at every sound, when suddenly a magician came running towards him, with a pack of wolves snapping at his heels. Then all the boy’s courage returned to him. He took his bow, and aiming an arrow at the largest wolf, shot him through the heart, and a few more arrows soon put the rest to flight. The magician was full of gratitude to his deliverer, and promised him a reward for his help if the youth would go back with him to his house.
‘Indeed there is nothing that would be more welcome to me than a night’s lodging,’ answered the boy; ‘I have been wandering all day in the forest, and did not know how to get home again.
‘Come with me, you must be hungry as well as tired,’ said the magician, and led the way to his house, where the guest flung himself on a bed, and went fast asleep. But his host returned to the forest to get some food, for the larder was empty.
While he was absent the housekeeper went to the boy’s room and tried to wake him. She stamped on the floor, and shook him and called to him, telling him that he was in great danger, and must take flight at once. But nothing would rouse him, and if he did ever open his eyes he shut them again directly.
Soon after, the magician came back from the forest, and told the housekeeper to bring them something to eat. The meal was quickly ready, and the magician called to the boy to come down and eat it, but he could not be wakened, and they had to sit down to supper without him. By-and-by the magician went out into the wood again for some more hunting, and on his return he tried afresh to waken the youth. But finding it quite impossible, he went back for the third time to the forest.
While he was absent the boy woke up and dressed himself. Then he came downstairs and began to talk to the housekeeper. The girl had heard how he had saved her master’s life, so she said nothing more about his running away, but instead told him that if the magician offered him the choice of a reward, he was to ask for the horse which stood in the third stall of the stable.
By-and-by the old man came back and they all sat down to dinner. When they had finished the magician said: ‘Now, my son, tell me what you will have as the reward of your courage?’
‘Give me the horse that stands in the third stall of your stable,’ answered the youth. ‘For I have a long way to go before I get home, and my feet will not carry me so far.’
‘Ah! my son,’ replied the magician, ‘it is the best horse in my stable that you want! Will not anything else please you as well?’
But the youth declared that it was the horse, and the horse only, that he desired, and in the end the old man gave way. And besides the horse, the magician gave him a zither, a fiddle, and a flute, saying: ‘If you are in danger, touch the zither; and if no one comes to your aid, then play on the fiddle; but if that brings no help, blow on the flute.’
The youth thanked the magician, and fastening his treasures about him mounted the horse and rode off. He had already gone some miles when, to his great surprise, the horse spoke, and said: ‘It is no use your returning home just now, your father will only beat you. Let us visit a few towns first, and something lucky will be sure to happen to us.’
This advice pleased the boy, for he felt himself almost a man by this time, and thought it was high time he saw the world. When they entered the capital of the country everyone stopped to admire the beauty of the horse. Even the king heard of it, and came to see the splendid creature with his own eyes. Indeed, he wanted directly to buy it, and told the youth he would give any price he liked. The young man hesitated for a moment, but before he could speak, the horse contrived to whisper to him:
‘Do not sell me, but ask the king to take me to his stable, and feed me there; then his other horses will become just as beautiful as I.’
The king was delighted when he was told what the horse had said, and took the animal at once to the stables, and placed it in his own particular stall. Sure enough, the horse had scarcely eaten a mouthful of corn out of the manger, when the rest of the horses seemed to have undergone a transformation. Some of them were old favourites which the king had ridden in many wars, and they bore the signs of age and of service. But now they arched their heads, and pawed the ground with their slender legs as they had been wont to do in days long gone by. The king’s heart beat with delight, but the old groom who had had the care of them stood crossly by, and eyed the owner of this wonderful creature with hate and envy. Not a day passed without his bringing some story against the youth to his master, but the king understood all about the matter and paid no attention. At last the groom declared that the young man had boasted that he could find the king’s war horse which had strayed into the forest several years ago, and had not been heard of since. Now the king had never ceased to mourn for his horse, so this time he listened to the tale which the groom had invented, and sent for the youth. ‘Find me my horse in three days,’ said he, ‘or it will be the worse for you.’
The youth was thunderstruck at this command, but he only bowed, and went off at once to the stable.
‘Do not worry yourself,’ answered his own horse. ‘Ask the king to give you a hundred oxen, and to let them be killed and cut into small pieces. Then we will start on our journey, and ride till we reach a certain river. There a horse will come up to you, but take no notice of him. Soon another will appear, and this also you must leave alone, but when the third horse shows itself, throw my bridle over it.’
Everything happened just as the horse had said, and the third horse was safely bridled. Then the other horse spoke again: ‘The magician’s raven will try to eat us as we ride away, but throw it some of the oxen’s flesh, and then I will gallop like the wind, and carry you safe out of the dragon’s clutches.’
So the young man did as he was told, and brought the horse back to the king.
The old stableman was very jealous, when he heard of it, and wondered what he could do to injure the youth in the
eyes of his royal master. At last he hit upon a plan, and told the king that the young man had boasted that he could bring home the king’s wife, who had vanished many months before, without leaving a trace behind her. Then the king bade the young man come into his presence, and desired him to fetch the queen home again, as he had boasted he could do. And if he failed, his head would pay the penalty.
The poor youth’s heart stood still as he listened. Find the queen? But how was he to do that, when nobody in the palace had been able to do so! Slowly he walked to the stable, and laying his head on his horse’s shoulder, he said: ‘The king has ordered me to bring his wife home again, and how can I do that when she disappeared so long ago, and no one can tell me anything about her?’
‘Cheer up!’ answered the horse, ‘we will manage to find her. You have only got to ride me back to the same river that we went to yesterday, and I will plunge into it and take my proper shape again. For I am the king’s wife, who was turned into a horse by the magician from whom you saved me.’
Joyfully the young man sprang into the saddle and rode away to the banks of the river. Then he threw himself off, and waited while the horse plunged in. The moment it dipped its head into the water its black skin vanished, and the most beautiful woman in the world was floating on the water. She came smiling towards the youth, and held out her hand, and he took it and led her back to the palace. Great was the king’s surprise and happiness when he beheld his lost wife stand before him, and in gratitude to her rescuer he loaded him with gifts.
You would have thought that after this the poor youth would have been left in peace; but no, his enemy the stableman hated him as much as ever, and laid a new plot for his undoing. This time he presented himself before the king and told him that the youth was so puffed up with what he had done that he had declared he would seize the king’s throne for himself.
At this news the king waxed so furious that he ordered a gallows to be erected at once, and the young man to be hanged without a trial. He was not even allowed to speak in his own defence, but on the very steps of the gallows he sent a message to the king and begged, as a last favour, that he might play a tune on his zither. Leave was given him, and taking the instrument from under his cloak he touched the strings. Scarcely had the first notes sounded than the hangman and his helper began to dance, and the louder grew the music the higher they capered, till at last they cried for mercy. But the youth paid no heed, and the tunes rang out more merrily than before, and by the time the sun set they both sank on the ground exhausted, and declared that the hanging must be put off till to-morrow.
The story of the zither soon spread through the town, and on the following morning the king and his whole court and a large crowd of people were gathered at the foot of the gallows to see the youth hanged. Once more he asked a favour–permission to play on his fiddle, and this the king was graciously pleased to grant. But with the first notes, the leg of every man in the crowd was lifted high, and they danced to the sound of the music the whole day till darkness fell, and there was no light to hang the musician by.
The third day came, and the youth asked leave to play on his flute. ‘No, no,’ said the king, ‘you made me dance all day yesterday, and if I do it again it will certainly be my death. You shall play no more tunes. Quick! the rope round his neck.’
At these words the young man looked so sorrowful that the courtiers said to the king: ‘He is very young to die. Let him play a tune if it will make him happy.’ So, very unwillingly, the king gave him leave; but first he had himself bound to a big fir tree, for fear that he should be made to dance.
When he was made fast, the young man began to blow softly on his flute, and bound though he was, the king’s body moved to the sound, up and down the fir tree till his clothes were in tatters, and the skin nearly rubbed off his back. But the youth had no pity, and went on blowing, till suddenly the old magician appeared and asked: ‘What danger are you in, my son, that you have sent for me?’
‘They want to hang me,’ answered the young man; ‘the gallows are all ready and the hangman is only waiting for me to stop playing.’
‘Oh, I will put that right,’ said the magician; and taking the gallows, he tore it up and flung it into the air, and no one knows where it came down. ‘Who has ordered you to be hanged?’ asked he.
The young man pointed to the king, who was still bound to the fir; and without wasting words the magician took hold of the tree also, and with a mighty heave both fir and man went spinning through the air, and vanished in the clouds after the gallows.
Then the youth was declared to be free, and the people elected him for their king; and the stable helper drowned himself from envy, for, after all, if it had not been for him the young man would have remained poor all the days of his life.


My Little Pony vs Rammstein



Li Yu: Poetic Perfection….

Washing Sand in the Stream

The morning sun has already risen,

fully thirty feet high.

Golden tripods, one after another, are filled

with incense animals.

The red brocade carpet

rufles with every step.
The lovely one dances tip-toe,

her golden hairpin slippen out;

Nauseated by wine, she often plucks

flower buds to smell,

While from the other palace is heard dimly

the music of fifes and drums.

A Casket of Pearls

Evening toilet newly done,

She applies softly a bit of dark rouge to her lips,

Revealing slightly her lilac tongue.

A melody of clear song

Temporarily induces the cherry lips to part.
Her silken sleeves are stained

with the scarlet dregs

Of fragrant wine, which tints the deep goblet.

Leaning aslant on the embroidered bed,

her chars indescribable,

She chews until pulpy the red flossy silk

And laughingly spits it out at her lover.

Outside the Curtains the Rain is Murmuring (Ripples Sifting Sand)
Curtain outside rain murmer

Spring trace waning

Silk covers not resist fifth watch cold

Dream in not know oneself be visitor

One time seek pleasure

Alone self not lean on railings

Without limit rivers hills

Parting time easy meet time hard

Flow water fall flower spring go with

Heaven on man world Outside the curtains the rain is murmering,

And spring is waning,

Silk bedding cannot resist the fifth watch cold.

While in my dream, I forget I am a guest,

And covet pleasure!

I should not lean alone on these railings,

The land is unlimited;

It’s easy to part- to meet again is hard.

Spring’s gone like blossom fallen on flowing water,

My paradise too!

Last Night the Wind and Rain Together Blew (Crows Crying at Night)
Last night wind together rain

Curtain curtain sough autumn song

Candle die water-clock exhausted often oh

Rise sit not able calm

Human affairs everywhere like flow water

Consider come a dream float life

Drunk country road sure should often go

This outside not able continue

Last night the wind and rain together blew,

The wall-curtains rustled in their autumn song.

The candle died, the water-clock was exhausted,

I rose and sat, but could not be at peace.

Man’s affairs are like the flow of floodwater,

A life is just like floating in a dream.

I should more often go drunken through the country,

For otherwise I could not bear to live.

Li Houzhu (Chinese: 李後主; pinyin: Lǐ Hòuzhǔ; literally “The Latter Lord Li”, 936–978), also known as Houzhu of Southern Tang (南唐後主, literally “the latter lord of Southern Tang”), personal name Li Yu (李煜), né Li Congjia (李從嘉), courtesy name Chongguang (重光; pinyin: chòngguāng), posthumously known as Prince of Wu (吳王), was a Chinese poet and the last ruler of the Southern Tang Kingdom from 961 to 975 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period; he has been called the “first true master” of the ci form


Rammstein – Ich Will (Pooh version)



In The Dreaming…

Aiyeee…. April 15th and all that. For our off-shore readers, that is when the US Gov’t’s IRS comes to collect their pound of flesh. Not a pretty time…no not at all. It isn’t like you can tell where the money goes, until you pick up the Wall Street Journal, and see all the Corporations producing armaments are going great balls of fire… with our tax money. It has been estimated that the ultimate cost of this war will cost 3 Trillion Dollars, and much of this amount is going to corporations, and the individuals who invested in them as payments, dividends and the like. Sad indeed.
I wouldn’t mind paying taxes, when I know that it goes to something worthwhile, like healthcare, education, research to help get us out of the mess we are in… One can hope that this election cycle will see something better this way come.
Maybe this really points to the real solution(s): small and local, inter connected morphic communities as opposed to the massive state (which is breaking down for a reason, and probably it is a good one at that.) As a structure becomes more intricate it becomes increasingly more fragile. We are in perhaps the last days of the mega state…
So here is to all you local heroines and heroes waging love and harmony in your communities where ever you may be. You, your beloved, your children, friends, and neighbors are the real wealth. Through you, it all changes. Be Brave!
This edition has some nice bits in it… so hopefully you will enjoy it!..
Don’t forget to tune in to Radio Free EarthRites today… lots going on, excellent music, and please try out our Spoken Word Channel as well!
Bright Blessings!
(Gwyllm n Tomas, a summer or 2 ago…!)

On The Menu:

Son Kite: On Air

The Links

The Fairy Folk of Tara

In The Dreaming: Charles Baudelaire

Art: Jesse King & Gwyllm

Son Kite: On Air



The Links:

Space Debris Evolution In Pictures

The seriously inconvenient truth on drugs…

Da Vinci’s Mother?

Horribly Wrong Web Design….

The Fairy Folk of Tara

[Note: This is taken from W.Y. Evans Wentz’s The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries.]
On the ancient Hill of Tara, from whose heights the High Kings once ruled all Ireland, from where the sacred fires in pagan days announced the annual resurrection of the sun, the Easter Tide, where the magic of Patrick prevailed over the magic of the Druids, and where the hosts of the Tuatha De Danann were wont to appear at the great Feast of Samain, to-day the fairy-folk of modern times hold undisputed sovereignty. And from no point better than Tara, which thus was once the magical and political centre of the Sacred Island, could we begin our study of the Irish Fairy-Faith. Though the Hill has lain unploughed and deserted since the curses of Christian priests fell upon it, on the calm air of summer evenings, at the twilight hour, wondrous music still sounds over its slopes, and at night long, weird processions of silent spirits march round its grass-grown raths and forts. It is only men who fear the curse of the Christians; the fairy-folk regard it not.
The Rev. Father Peter Kenney, of Kilmessan, had directed me to John Graham, an old man over seventy years of age, who has lived near Tara most of his life; and after I bad found John, and he had led me from rath to rath and then right through the length of the site where once stood the banquet hail of kings and heroes and Druids, as he earnestly described the past glories of Tara to which these ancient monuments bear silent testimony, we sat down in the thick sweet grass on the Sacred Hill and began talking of the olden times in Ireland, and then of the good people’ : –
The ‘Good People’s’ Music.-‘ As sure as you are sitting down I beard the pipes there in that wood (pointing to a wood on the north-west slope of the Hill, and west of the banquet hall). I heard the music another time on a hot summer evening at the Rath of Ringlestown, in a field where all the grass had been burned off; and I often heard it in the wood of Tara. Whenever the good people play, you hear their music all through the field as plain as can be; and it is the grandest kind of music. It may last half the night, but once day comes, it ends.’

Who the ‘ Good People’ are. – I now asked John what sort of a race the ‘good people’ are, and where they came from, and this is his reply :-‘ People killed and murdered in war stay on earth till their time is up, and they are among the good people. The souls on this earth are as thick as the grass (running his walking-stick through a thick clump), and you can’t see them; and evil spirits are just as thick, too, and people don’t know it. Because there are so many spirits knocking (going) about they must appear to some people. The old folk saw the good people here on the Hill a hundred times, and they’d always be talking about them. The good people can see everything, and you dare not meddle with them. They live in raths, and their houses are in them. The opinion always was that they are a race of spirits, for they can go into different forms, and can appear big as well as little.’

In The Dreaming: Charles Baudelaire

I Love The Naked Ages Long Ago

I love the naked ages long ago

When statues were gilded by Apollo,

When men and women of agility

Could play without lies and anxiety,

And the sky lovingly caressed their spines,

As it exercised its noble machine.

Fertile Cybele, mother of nature, then,

Would not place on her daughters a burden,

But, she-wolf sharing her heart with the people,

Would feed creation from her brown nipples.

Men, elegant and strong, would have the right

To be proud to have beauty named their king;

Virgin fruit free of blemish and cracking,

Whose flesh smooth and firm would summon a bite!

The Poet today, when he would convey

This native grandeur, would not be swept away

By man free and woman natural,

But would feel darkness envelop his soul

Before this black tableau full of loathing.

O malformed monsters crying for clothing!

O ludicrous heads! Torsos needing disguise!

O poor writhing bodies of every wrong size,

Children that the god of the Useful swaths

In the language of bronze and brass!

And women, alas! You shadow your heredity,

You gnaw nourishment from debauchery,

A virgin holds maternal lechery

And all the horrors of fecundity!
We have, it is true, corrupt nations,

Beauty unknown to the radiant ancients:

Faces that gnaw through the heart’s cankers,

And talk with the cool beauty of languor;

But these inventions of our backward muses

Are never hindered in their morbid uses

Of the old for profound homage to youth,

—To the young saint, the sweet air, the simple truth,

To the eye as limpid as the water current,

To spread out over all, insouciant

Like the blue sky, the birds and the flowers,

Its perfumes, its songs and its sweet fervors.
-Translated by William A. Sigler
(A French Post-Card from so long ago…)


L’Invitation au Voyage

Mon enfant, ma soeur,

Songe à la douceur,

D’aller là-bas, vivre ensemble!

Aimer à loisir,

Aimer et mourir,

Au pays qui te ressemble!

Les soleils mouillés,

De ces ciels brouillés,

Pour mon esprit ont les charmes,

Si mystérieux,

De tes traîtres yeux,

Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Her Hair

O fleece, that down the neck waves to the nape!

O curls! O perfume nonchalant and rare!

O ecstasy! To fill this alcove shape

With memories that in these tresses sleep,

I would shake them like penions in the air!
Languorous Asia, burning Africa,

And a far world, defunct almost, absent,

Within your aromatic forest stay!

As other souls on music drift away,

Mine, O my love! still floats upon your scent.
I shall go there where, full of sap, both tree

And man swoon in the heat of the southern climates;

Strong tresses be the swell that carries me!

I dream upon your sea of amber

Of dazzling sails, of oarsmen, masts, and flames:
A sun-drenched and reverberating port,

Where I imbibe colour and sound and scent;

Where vessels, gliding through the gold and moiré,

Open their vast arms as they leave the shore

To clasp the pure and shimmering firmament.
I’ll plunge my head, enamored of its pleasure,

In this black ocean where the other hides;

My subtle spirit then will know a measure

Of fertile idleness and fragrant leisure,

Lulled by the infinite rhythm of its tides!
Pavilion, of autumn-shadowed tresses spun,

You give me back the azure from afar;

And where the twisted locks are fringed with down

Lurk mingled odors I grow drunk upon

Of oil of coconut, of musk, and tar.
A long time! always! my hand in your hair

Will sow the stars of sapphire, pearl, ruby,

That you be never deaf to my desire,

My oasis and my gourd whence I aspire

To drink deep of the wine of memory.

De Profundis Clamavi

Have pity, You alone whom I adore

From down this black pit where my heart is sped,

A sombre universe ringed round with lead

Where fear and curses the long night explore.
Six months a cold sun hovers overhead;

The other six is night upon this land.

No beast; no stream; no wood; no leaves expand.

The desert Pole is not a waste so dead.
Now in the whole world there’s no horror quite

so cold and cruel as this glacial sun,

So like old Chaos as this boundless night;
I envy the least animals that run,

Which can find respite in brute slumber drowned,

So slowly is the skein of time unwound.


They are alike, prim scholar and per fervid lover:

When comes the season of decay, they both decide

Upon sweet, husky cats to be the household pride;

Cats choose, like them, to sit, and like them, shudder.
Like partisans of carnal dalliance and science,

They search for silence and the shadowings of dread;

Hell well might harness them as horses for the dead,

If it could bend their native proudness in compliance.
In reverie they emulate the noble mood

Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude

Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream;
Within their fertile loins a sparkling magic lies;

Finer than any sand are dusts of gold that gleam,

Vague starpoints, in the mystic iris of their eyes.

Sunny Monday

Well here it is , Monday and all. In the crunch mode, so I won’t be long winded. Here is a selection of items that came out of discussions this weekend with a friend down in Peru, and family friends…
Rowan is off to Outdoor School… He has been jumping through the hoops and fires of pre-college testing and placement. There is a nimbus of creative fire as well playing over his head. He wrote a 6000 word paper Friday and Saturday. Ah… youth!
It is quite the mash-up, but I think there is a thread of coherency in it somewhere…. 8o)
On The Menu:

The Links

Lili Haydn – Strawberry Street

Quotes From Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh’s 14 Precepts

Jean Cocteau: Poet

Link: The life of a poet

Extract: La Belle et La Bête
Bright Blessings,

The Links:
The False Dilemma between Neo-Darwinism and Intelligent Design

Accidents at Disease Lab Acknowledged

Santeria priest suing city of Euless

Scientists discover 8,000-year-old trees

Listening to the radio last night… I discovered Lili Haydn… Listen to her album at her site… but as a treat here she is performing live.
Lili Haydn – Strawberry Street (Live-First Performance)


Quotes From Thich Nhat Hanh:

Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce.
Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.
Every day we do things, we are things that have to do with peace. If we are aware of our life…, our way of looking at things, we will know how to make peace right in the moment, we are alive.
Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
Anger and hatred are the materials from which hell is made.
In each of us is a seed of understanding. The seed is God.
Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.
Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.

People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.
When your mind is liberated, your heart floods with compassion.
When things are not going well, it is good to stop in order to prevent the unpleasant, destructive energies from continuing.
In order to rally people, governments need enemies. They want us to be afraid, to hate, so we will rally behind them. And if they do not have a real enemy, they will invent one in order to mobilize us.
Harm no person, animal, plant, or mineral.
A smile can change the situation of the world.


Thich Nhat Hanh’s 14 Precepts:
“Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. All systems of thought are guiding means; they are not absolute truth.
Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from views in order to be open to receive others’ viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout our entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.
Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education. However, through compassionate dialogue, help others renounce fanaticism and narrowness.
Do not avoid contact with suffering or close your eyes before suffering. Do not lose awareness of the existence of suffering in the life of the world. find ways to be with those who are suffering by all means, including personal contact and visits, images, sound. By such means, awaken yourself and others to the reality of suffering in the world.
Do not accumulate wealth while millions are hungry. Do not take as the aim of you life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure. Live simply and share time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need.
Do not maintain anger or hatred. As soon as anger and hatred arise, practice the meditation on compassion in order to deeply understand the persons who have caused anger and hatred. Learn to look at other beings with the eyes of compassion.
Do not lose yourself in dispersion and in your surroundings. Learn to practice breathing in order to regain composure of body and mind, to practice mindfulness, and to develop concentration and understanding.
Do not utter words that can create discord and cause the community to break. Make every effort to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.
Do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest of to impress people. Do not utter words that cause diversion and hatred. Do not spread news that you do not know to be certain. Do not criticize or condemn things you are not sure of. Always speak truthfully and constructively. Have the courage to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may threaten your own safety.
Do not use the Buddhist community for personal gain or profit, or transform your community into a political party. A religious community should, however, take a clear stand against oppression and injustice, and should strive to change the situation without engaging in partisan conflicts.
Do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature. Do not invest in companies that deprive others of their chance to life. Select a vocation which helps realize your ideal compassion.
Do not kill. Do not let others kill. Find whatever means possible to protect life and to prevent war.
Possess nothing that should belong to others. Respect the property of others but prevent others from enriching themselves from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
Do not mistreat your body. Learn to handle it with respect. Do not look on your body as only and instrument. Preserve vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of the Way. Sexual expression should not happen without love and commitment. In sexual relationships be aware of future suffering that may be caused. To preserve the happiness of others, respect the rights and commitments of others. Be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world. Meditate on the world into which you are bringing new beings.
Do not believe that I feel that I follow each and every of these precepts perfectly. I know I fail in many ways. None of us can fully fulfill any of these. However, I must work toward a goal. These are my goal. No words can replace practice, only practice can make the words.
“The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.”


Jean Cocteau: Poet

I’m prepared to believe you still love me,

Venus. But if I hadn’t written about you,

If my house wasn’t built of my poems,

I would feel the void and fall from the roof.
Quotes From Jean…
A film is a petrified fountain of thought.
A true poet does not bother to be poetical. Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.
The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.
Man seeks to escape himself in myth, and does so by any means at his disposal. Drugs, alcohol, or lies. Unable to withdraw into himself, he disguises himself. Lies and inaccuracy give him a few moments of comfort.



La Toison Dor

Preamble (A Rough Draft For An Ars Poetica)
A rough draft

for an ars poetica
. . . . . . .
Let’s get our dreams unstuck
The grain of rye

free from the prattle of grass

et loin de arbres orateurs
It will sprout

But forget about

the rustic festivities
For the explosive word

falls harmlessly

eternal through

the compact generations
and except for you

its sweet-scented dynamite

I discard eloquence

the empty sail

and the swollen sail

which cause the ship

to lose her course
My ink nicks

and there
and there
and there


deep poetry
The mirror-paneled wardrobe

washing down ice-floes

the little eskimo girl

in a heap

of moist negroes

her nose was


against the window-pane

of dreary Christmases
A white bear

adorned with chromatic moire
dries himself in the midnight sun
The huge luxury item
Slowly founders

all its lights aglow
and so

sinks the evening-dress ball

into the thousand mirrors

of the palace hotel
And now

it is I
the thin Columbus of phenomena


in the front

of a mirror-paneled wardrobe

full of linen

and locking with a key
The obstinate miner

of the void


his fertile mine
the potential in the rough

glitters there

mingling with its white rock

princess of the mad sleep

listen to my horn

and my pack of hounds
I deliver you

from the forest

where we came upon the spell
Here we are

by the pen

one with the other


on the page
Isles sobs of Ariadne

dragging along

Aridnes seals
for I betray you my fair stanzas


run and awaken

I plan no architecture


like you Beethoven

like you


numberless old man
born everywhere
I elaborate

in the prairies of inner

and the work of the mission

and the poem of the work

and the stanza of the poem

and the group of the stanza

and the words of the group

and the letters of the word

and the least

loop of the letters
it’s your foot

of attentive satin

that I place in position


tightrope walker

sucked up by the void
to the left to the right

the god gives a shake

and I walk

towards the other side

with infinite precaution

Sumo Poem
The players are pink giants.

As unique as the frescoes from a famous cathedral.

The regimen gives some of them enormous bellies

and breasts as mature as any woman.

Each of them sports a top-knot

and the face of a pretty girl.

They come together in equilibrium,

their legs intertwined,

their fingers grasping each other’s sash.

And the fringe standing erect.

Their muscles flexing.

Legs rooted to the earth.

Blood coursing through their veins.

And the ring is all a pastel of pink.

A Snippet I found on-line…..
“Take care not to shave your antennae of a mornimg.
Respect movements, flee schools.
Do not confuse progressive science with intuitive science, the only one that counts.
Do as the beautiful woman: see to your figure and your petticoats. Though, of course, I am not speaking literally.
Be someone else when receiving your blows (Leporello).
People would say to Al Brown: “You are not a boxer. You are a dancer.” He laughed at this, and won.
Do not take up cause against the inaccuracies printed about you. They are your protection.
Be a constant outrage to modesty There is nothing to fear: modesty is exercised only among the blind.
One is either judge or accused. The judge sits, the accused stands. Live on your feet.
Never forget that a masterpiece is testimony to intellectual depravity (A break with the norm.) Turn it into action, and society will condemn it. That is what usually happens anyway.
Contradict the so-called avant-garde.
Hasten slowly. Run faster than beauty.
Find first, seek later.
Be helpful, even if it compromises you.
Compromise yourself. Obscure your own trail.
Withdraw quietly from the dance.
He who is affected by an insult is infected by it.
Understand that some of your enemies are amongst your best friends (a question of standards).
Fight any instinct to be humorless, for humorlessness is the worst of all absurdities.
Do not fear being ridiculous in relation to the ridiculous.
Don’t put all your baskets in one egg.
See your disappointments as good fortune. One plan’s deflation is another’s inflation.
A certain kind of stupidity is essential. The encyclopedists are the source of the kind of intelligence that is a transcendent form of stupidity.
Do not close the circle. Leave it open. Descartes closes the circle. Pascal leaves it open. Rousseau’s triumph over the encyclopedists is to have left his circle open when they closed theirs.
The pen should be a dowser’s rod, capable of reviving an atrophied sense, to help an infallible yet almost totally dysfunctional sense. (The real me.) .
Do not flee yourself in action.
Allow the power of the soul to grow as flagrant as the power of sex.
Expect neither reward nor beatitude. Return noble waves for ignoble.
Hate only hatred.
An unjust conviction is the supreme title to nobility.
Disavow anyone who provokes or accepts the extermination of a race to which he does not belong.
Be a mere assistant to your unconscious. Do only half the work. The rest will do itself.
Consider metaphysics as an extension of the physical.
Know that your work speaks only to those on the same wavelength as you.
Anything of any importance cannot help but be unrecognizable, since it bears no resemblance to anything already known.
. . . The ultimate politeness in art consists of speaking only to those who are able to uncover and measure its relationships. Anything else is symbolic, and symbolism is merely transcendental imagery. . . .”

Jean Cocteau: The life of a poet

Extract: La Belle et La Bête


Into The Spring…


-Leonardo Da Vinci

Something for you on this Tuesday night….
Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:

Some Quotes For You…

Depeche Mode: “John The Revelator

Does consciousness reside in the brain? Lessons from near-death experiences

Charles Mungoshi: Zimbabwean Poet

Blind Willie Johnson – John the Revelator


Some Quotes For You…
“Trying to think about how we can make a big difference, we must not ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”

— Marian Wright Edelman
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”

—Bertrand Russell
“Life is act, and not to do is death.”

— Lewis Morris
“The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope.”

— Barbara Kingsolver

Thanks to Cliff for this…

Depeche Mode: “John The Revelator”



Does consciousness reside in the brain? Lessons from near-death experiences
Dr. Pim van Lommel is a Dutch cardiologist who collected accounts of his patients’ experiences during the time their hearts were stopped and there was no blood flow to their brains. These patients had no detectable electrical activity in their brains. By standard Western theories, their brains were dead, and they could not have had any experiences. Yet some of these people – about one in five – report vivid memories from this time. The patients never report fear, and frequently speak of deep peace and connection, white light at the end of a tunnel, bliss.
Conventional medicine would like to explain these stories as hallucinations or fabrications of the brain. But in some cases, people saw and remembered things around them. Here is a story recounted by a coronary care nurse:
“During night shift an ambulance brings in a 44-year old cyanotic, comatose man into the coronary care unit. He was found in coma about 30 minutes before in a meadow. When we go to intubate the patient, he turns out to have dentures in his mouth. I remove these upper dentures and put them onto the ‘crash cart.’ After about an hour and a half the patient has sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure, but he is still ventilated and intubated, and he is still comatose. He is transferred to the intensive care unit to continue the necessary artificial respiration. Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now back on the cardiac ward. The moment he sees me he says: ‘O, that nurse knows where my dentures are.’ I am very surprised. Then he elucidates: ‘You were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that cart, it had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath, and there you put my teeth.’ I was especially amazed because I remembered this happening while the man was in deep coma and in the process of CPR. It appeared that the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with the CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death.”
Following up after such events, Van Lommel finds that typically those who have such experiences report that their lives are altered in three ways:
– A new perspective on their lives

– Enhanced intuitions, telepathic abilities

– Loss of the fear of death


Charles Mungoshi: Zimbabwean Poet

After the rain
For one whole week

it rained without a

On the first day of sunshine

and light clothes,

a bird smashed and broke a wing

against a wall on

First Street.
For eight hours

it lay on the pavement,

flapping now and again

its one sound wing
dragging the broken one

like a warning

from the far country of its


For eight hours:

breathing softly, while the

whole human city passed by.
Towards the end of the day

a beggar

wondered what mistake it had made

in its calculations
and muttering curses to a neon sign,

cupped it in his hands

and made his way to his plastic-paper shack

by the banks of the Mukuvisi River.

Before the sun
Intense blue morning

promising early heat

and later in the afternoon,

heavy rain.
The bright chips

fly from the sharp axe

for some distance through the air,


and eternities later,

settle down in showers

on the dewy grass.
It is a big log:

but when you are fourteen

big logs

are what you want.
The wood gives off

a sweet nose-cleansing odour

which (unlike sawdust)

doesn’t make one sneeze.
It sends up a thin spiral

of smoke which later straightens

and flutes out

to the distant sky: a signal

of some sort,

or a sacrificial prayer.
The wood hisses,

The sparks fly.
And when the sun

finally shows up

in the East like some

latecomer to a feast

I have got two cobs of maize

ready for it.
I tell the sun to come share

with me the roasted maize

and the sun just winks

like a grown-up.
So I go ahead, taking big

alternate bites:

one for the sun,

one for me.

This one for the sun,

this one for me:

till the cobs

are just two little skeletons

in the sun.

In the wilderness
The torrid silence of the October sun.

Miles upon miles and miles of burnt-out plains.
Suddenly you realise

you are talking loudly to your


Letter to a Son
Now the pumpkin is ripe.

We are only a few days

from the year’s first mealie cob.

The cows are giving us lots of milk.

Taken in the round it isn’t a bad year at all –

if it weren’t for your father.

Your father’s back is back again

and all the work has fallen on my shoulders.

Your little brothers and sisters

are doing fine at the day-school.

Only Rindai is becoming a problem.

You will remember we wrote to you –

did you get our letter? – you didn’t answer.

You see, since your father’s back started

we haven’t been able to raise enough money

to send your sister Rindai to secondary school.

She spends most of her time crying by the well.

It is mainly because of her

that I am writing this letter.

I had thought you would be with us last Christmas;

then I thought maybe you were too busy

and you would make it at Easter –

it was then your father nearly left us, son.

Then I thought I would come to you some time

before the cold season settled in – you know

how I simply hate that time of the year –

but then your father went down again

and this time worse than any other time before.

We were beginning to think he would never see

another sowing season.
I asked your sister Rindai to write you

but your father would have none of it –

you know how stubborn he can get

when he has to lie in bed all day or gets

one of those queer notions of his

that everybody is deserting him!

Now, Tambu, don’t think I am asking for money –

although we had to borrow a little from

those who have it to get your father to hospital –

and you know how he hates having to borrow!

That is all I wanted to tell you.
I do hope that you will be with us this July.

It’s so long ago now since we last heard from you –

I hope this letter finds you still at the old address.

It is the only address we know.

Poised on the thin edge of now

like a poleaxed tightrope walker
the past a roaring lion in the underbrush

the future a nuclear mushroom I can’t swallow
this bare flat table I am sitting at

this blank white page I am looking at
beckon, like the drowning man’s straw.

Let us bear your dreams any place, some time,

for you.

Blind Willie Johnson – John the Revelator


Mr. Hardin….

When people talk about Counter Culture Oregon… invariably Ken Kesey comes up, along with The Pranksters of course. I suggest another vision: One who touched many more people than Ken: Tim Hardin. Songsmith, Lyricist, Rambler, Bohemian, Junkie. Tim was all of these, and much more. I will be running some of his works past you in the next few days, and maybe you’ll catch the thread of how wonderful this man was.
Bright Blessings,


On The Menu:


Quotes Of The Day

In The Land Of What If

Tim Hardin: Reason To Believe,

Hang on to a Dream,

Red Balloon

Wiki – Timothy James Hardin

William Burroughs: Spoken Word


Climate Threat: Thawing Tundra Releases Infected Corpses

Tom Cruise Purple…

Malik Yusef: Word on the Street

Palestinian Authority: Punish Imam’s Death in Custody


Quotes Of The Day:
Ogden Nash | “People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.”

Matt Frewer | “Never knock on Death’s door: ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!”

Bertolt Brecht | “Why be a man when you can be a success?”

Bertrand Russell | “Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.”

Tom Robbins | “If little else, the brain is an educational toy.”

Samuel Goldwyn | “Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”

Charles De Gaulle | “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”

John Ruskin | “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.”

Johann von Neumann | “You wake me up early in the morning to tell me I am right? Please wait until I am wrong.”

Rita Mae Brown | “I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”


In The Land Of What If:(not that it would help….)

Tim Hardin has been one of my favourite artist for many a year… I was pleased to find his stuff on Youtube, and thought I would share these with you… more to come along this vein…

Tim Hardin: Reason To Believe

If I listened long enough to you

I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true

Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried

Still I look to find a reason to believe
Someone like you makes it hard to live

Without somebody else

Someone like you makes it easy to give

Never thinking of myself
If I gave you time to change my mind

I’d find a way to leave the past behind

Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried

Still I look to find a reason to believe
Someone like you makes it hard to live

Without somebody else

Someone like you makes it easy to give

Never thinking of myself
If I gave you time to change my mind

I’d find a way to leave the past behind

Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried

Still I look to find a reason to believe

Still I look to find a reason to believe

Still I look to find a reason to believe


Tim Hardin / How can we hang on to a Dream

What can I say, she’s walking away

From what we’ve seen

What can I do, still loving you

It’s all a dream
How can we hang on to a dream

How can it ever be the way it seems
What can I do, she’s saying we’re through

With how it was

What will I try, I still don’t see why

She says what she does
How can we hang on to a dream

How can it ever be the way it seems
What can I say, she’s walking away

From what we’ve seen

What can I do, still loving you

It’s all a dream
How can we hang on to a dream

How can it ever be the way it seems

How can we hang on to a dream
What can I say, she’s walking away

From what we’ve seen

What can I do, still loving you

It’s all a dream
How can we hang on to a dream

How can it will it be the way it seems

How can we hang on to a dream
Tim Hardin: Red Balloon

Bought myself a red balloon,

And got a blue surprise,

Hidden in the red balloon,

Pinning of my eyes,

It took a lovelight from my eyes,

Blue, blue surprise.
We met as friends and you were,

So easy to get to know,

But will we see one another again,

Oh my, I hope so.
I played with toys for children,

As a child I got,

I haven’t any time for children,

Although I’ve got a lot,

It took a lovelight from my eyes,

Blue, blue surprise.
I bought myself a red balloon,

And got a blue surprise,

Hidden in the red balloon,

A pinning of my eyes,

It took a lovelight from my eyes,

Blue, blue surprise.

From Wikipedia:
Timothy James Hardin (23 December 1941 – 29 December 1980) was an American folk musician and composer.
Hardin dropped out of high school at age 18 to join the Marine Corps. After his discharge he moved to New York City in 1961, where he briefly attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was dismissed because of truancy and began to focus on his musical career by performing around Greenwich Village, mostly in a blues style.
After moving to Boston in 1963 he was discovered by the record producer Erik Jacobsen (later the producer for The Lovin’ Spoonful), who arranged a meeting with Columbia Records. In 1964 he moved back to Greenwich Village to record for his contract with Columbia. The resulting recordings were considered a failure by Columbia, which chose not to release them and terminated Hardin’s contract.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1965, he met actress Susan Yardley Morss, and moved back to New York with her. He signed to the Verve Forecast label, and produced his first authorised album, Tim Hardin 1 in 1966. This album saw a transformation from his early traditional blues style to the folk style that defined his recording career. This LP contained “Reason To Believe” and the ballad “Misty Roses” which did receive Top-40 radio play.
Tim Hardin 2 was released in 1967 and contained one of his most famous songs, “If I Were a Carpenter”.
An album entitled This is Tim Hardin, featuring covers of “House of the Rising Sun”, Fred Neil’s “Blues on the Ceilin’” and Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man”, among others, appeared in 1967, on the Atco label. The liner notes indicate the songs were recorded in 1963-64, well prior to the release of Tim Hardin 1 by Verve Records. Tim Hardin 3, released in 1968, was a collection of live recordings along with re-makes of previous songs; it was followed by Tim Hardin 4, another collection of blues-influenced tracks believed to date from the same period as This is Tim Hardin.
In 1969, Hardin again signed with Columbia and had one of his few commercial successes, as a non-LP single of Bobby Darin’s “Simple Song of Freedom” reached the US Top 50. Hardin did not tour in support of this single and a heroin addiction and stage fright made his live performances erratic. Also in 1969 he appeared at the Woodstock Festival where he sang his famous “If I Were a Carpenter” song. He recorded three albums for Columbia–Suite for Susan Moore and Damion: We Are One, One, All in One; Bird on a Wire; and Painted Head–none of which sold well. His output as a songwriter decreased and eventually ceased during this period, a circumstance blamed on his ongoing drug problems.
During the following years Hardin moved between England and the U.S. His heroin addiction had taken control of his life by the time his last album, Tim Hardin 9, was released on GM Records in the UK in 1973 (the album did not see a US release until it appeared on Antilles Records in 1976). He died of a heroin and morphine overdose, and is buried in the Twin Oaks Cemetery in Turner, Oregon.


William Burroughs’ Spoken Word Poetry…

Silver Smoke Of Dreams…

Curse Go Back…

K-9 Was in Combat with the Alien Mind-Screens