We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
-Tao Te Ching
A bit of different with this one…
From a quick view of Psilocybin mushrooms, to the automatic writings of Austin Osman Spare, the artist that defined much of the latter days of the OGD (though not a member) and associated magickal thought , to the dream poetry of Cymric writer Arthur Symons. Photographs were found on a Russian site. Russia’s forest and country side are an enchantment. I hope before I shed this mortal coil that I can travel across Russia some summer.
On The Home Side:
What I have been reading – Quicksilver – Part 1 of the Baroque Cycle I would suggest you read the reviews. Wonderful work. Neal Stephenson is the author. I have been transported back in time to a world of monumental discovery and adventure, mixed just right. I want to thank Leanna for turning me on to these. I read it it daily for about a half hour, and explore a world gone by but still influencing the present. Not to missed.
What we have been watching – HogFather Not to be missed. Loved this film. It explores the winter celebrations of Discworld, very similar to Solstice and Christmas, but with a delicious twist. Terry Pratchett is a hero in our household, not only for his writing and Humanistic stance, but for how he is dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s. His works continue to inspire many people, and I have to say, HogFather is truly wonderful. You can rent it from Netflix, and if I were you (which I am not) I would rent it right away.
And with all that said, enjoy.
On The Menu:
A wee bit of a documentary on Psilocybin…
A history of Playing Cards – Illustrations: Ukrainian Face Cards
Anathema of Zos ~ The Sermon to the Hypocrites
Arthur Symons in Dreamland…Poetry
Photographs – Summer Across Russia
A wee bit of a documentary on psilocybin…
Cards are invented in China, during the Tang dynasty. The first suits are in fact increasing denominations of currency (coins, strings of coins, myriads of strings, and tens of myriads), which suggests they may have been derived from actual money. Alternative theories say they may have been a paper adaptation of dominoes, or dice.
Early 14th century
Probable first arrival of cards in Europe, in Italy. They have travelled from China via India and the Middle East, and specifically with the Mamluks of Egypt.
First documentary evidence of cards in Spain; in a Catalan rhyming dictionary, of all places.
First detailed description of playing cards in Europe, by a Swiss monk named John of Rheinfelden.
Suddenly, they’re everywhere – mentions of cards crop up as far afield as Florence, Basle, Regensburg, Brabant, Paris and Barcelona.
Johann Gutenberg invents the movable-type press. Improvements in printing technology mean that cards can now be mass-produced.
Earliest reference to cards in Britain. This and most of the mentions thereafter are bannings, fulminations against the evils of gambling, or notices of arrest for so doing.
The four suits now commonly seen worldwide are first used in France, adapted from the German suits of hearts, bells, leaves, and acorns.
The ace, or one, which had always had the lowest value in cards, starts to gain a special significance. Ace becomes high.
Card-makers at Rouen hit upon the distinctive card illustrations that we still use today.
First mention of the game of triomphe in Spain. Now obsolete, the game spawned many games such as euchre, whist and bridge.
Publication of Charles Cotton’s Compleat Gamester, one of the first attempts to lay down authoritative rules for many card and dice games.
The first paper money is issued in North America – as IOUs on the backs of used playing cards – by Jacques de Meulles, the French governor of Quebec.
First systematic tax on packs of cards introduced.
Publication of Edmund Hoyle’s Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. The pamphlet goes through several editions and becomes one of the bestselling publications of the 18th century.
Post-revolutionary French authorities ban the depictions of royalty on playing cards. Kings, queens and jacks became liberties, equalities and fraternities. This stands for 12 years until Napoleon comes to power and tells them not to be so silly.
First documented game of poker on a Mississippi river steamer. The game, a refinement of the Persian game “as nas”, takes its name from a similar French game, “poque”.
Card names abbreviated and placed in the corner for the first time. Partly for this reason, the “knave” (whose abbreviation is the same as for “king”) now becomes the “jack”.
First appearance of the joker.
Bezique is introduced to England. The rules, as published, are unclear; panic in the streets.
Early 20th century
Canasta is invented in South America. It becomes globally popular after WW2.
In a New York club, ET Baker invents gin rummy. It catches on in Hollywood, and subsequently the world, in the 1940s.
Pontoon is the game of choice among soldiers in first world war trenches.
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, on a cruise from San Francisco to Havana, perfects the rules of contract bridge, which becomes the most popular card game in the west.
Card manufacturers attempt to introduce a fifth suit (not black, not red, but green) called the “eagles” in the US and “crowns” in the UK. It is a dismal failure.
~ Anathema of Zos ~ The Sermon to the Hypocrites
An Automatic Writing By Austin Osman Spare
Hostile to self-torment, the vain excuses called devotion, Zos satisfied the habit by speaking loudly unto his Self. And at one time, returning to familiar consciousness, he was vexed to notice interested hearers-a rabble of involuntary mendicants, pariahs, whoremongers, adulterers, distended bellies, and the prevalent sick-grotesques that obtain in civilisations. His irritation was much, yet still they pestered him, saying: Master, we would learn of these things! Teach us Religion!
And seeing, with chagrin, the hopeful multitude of Believers, he went down into the Valley of Stys, prejudiced against them as Followers. And when he was ennuye, he opened his mouth in derision, saying:-
O, ye whose future is in other hands! This familiarity is permitted not of thy-but of my impotence. Know me as Zos the Goatherd, saviour of myself and of those things I have not yet regretted. Unbidden ye listen’d to my soliloquy. Endure then my Anathema.
Foul feeders! Slipped, are ye, on your own excrement? Parasites! Having made the world lousy, imagine ye are of significance to Heaven?
Desiring to learn-think ye to escape hurt in the rape of your ignorance? For of what I put in, far more than innocence shall come out! Labouring not the harvest of my weakness, shall I your moral-fed desires satisfy?
I, who enjoy my body with unweary tread, would rather pack with wolves than enter your pest-houses.
Sensation . . Nutrition . . . Mastication . . . . Procreation . . . ! This is your blind-worm cycle. Ye have made a curiously bloody world for love in desire. Shall nothing change except through your accusing diet?
In that ye are cannibals, what meat should I offer? Having eaten of your dead selves savoured with every filth, ye now raven to glutton of my mind’s motion?
In your conflict ye have obtained . . . ? Ye who believe your procreation is ultimate are the sweepings of creation manifest, returning again to early simplicity to hunger, to become, and realise-ye are not yet. Ye have muddled time and ego. Think ye to curb the semen sentimentally? Ye deny sexuality with tinsel ethics, live by slaughter, pray to greater idiots-that all things may be possible to ye who are impossible.
For ye desire saviours useless to pleasure.
Verily, far easier for madmen to enter Heaven than moral Lepers. Of what difference is Life or Death? Of what difference is dream or reality? Know ye nothing further than you own stench? Know ye what ye think ye know for certain? Fain would I be silent. Yet too tolerant is this Sun that cometh up to behold me, and my weakness comes of my dissatisfaction of you solicit . . . . but be ye damned before obtaining fresh exuses of me!
Cursed are the resurrectionists! Is there only body and soul?
Is there nothing beyond entity? No purchase beyond sense and desire of God than this blasting and devouring swarm ye are?
Oh, ye favoured of your own excuses, guffaw between bites! Heaven is indifferent toyour salvation or catastrophe. Your curveless crookedness maketh ye fallow for a queer fatality! What! I to aid your self-deception, ameliorate your decaying bodies, preserve your lamentable apotheosis of self?
The sword-thrust not salve-I bring!
Am I your swineherd, though I shepherd unto goats? My pleasure does not obtain among vermin with vain ideas-with hopes and fears of absurd significance. Not yet am I overweary of myself. Not ye shall I palliate abomination, for in ye I behold your parents and the stigmata of foul feeding.
In this ribald intoxication of hypocrisy, this monument of swindlers’ littlenesses, where is the mystic symposium, the hierarchy of necromancers that was?
Honest was Sodom! your theology is a slime-pit of gibberish become ethics. In your world, where ignorance and deceit constitute felicity, everything ends miserably-besmirched with fratricidal blood.
Seekers of salvation? Salvation of your sick digestion; crippled beliefs: Convalescent desires. Your borrowed precepts and prayers-a stench unto all good nostrils!
Unworthy of a soul-your metamorphosis is laborious of morbid rebirth to give habitance to the shabby sentiments, the ugly familiarities, the calligraphic pandemonium-a world of abundance acquired of greed. Thus are ye outcasts! Ye habitate dung-heaps; your glorious palaces are hospitals set amid cemeteries. Ye breathe gay-heartedly within this cess-pit? Ye obtain of half-desires, bent persuasions, of threats, of promises made hideous by vituperatious righteousness! Can you realise of Heaven when it exists without?
Believing without associating ye are spurious and know not the way of virtue. There is no virtue in truth, nor truth in righteousness. Law becomes of desire’s necessity. Corrupt is the teacher, for they who speak have only spent words to give.
Believe or blaspheme! Do ye not speak from between your thighs?
To believe or unbelieve is the question. Verily, if you believe of the least-ye needs must thrive all things. Ye are of all things, of all knowledge, and, belike, will youor stupidity to further self-misery!
Your wish? Your heaven? I say your desire is women. Your potential desire a brothel.
Ah, ye who fear suffering, who among ye has courage to assault the cloudy enemies of creeds, of the stomach’s pious hopes?
I blaspheme your commandments, to provoke and enjoy your bark, your teeth grinding!
Know ye what ye want? What ye ask? Know ye virtue from maniacal muttering? Sin from folly? Desiring a teacher, who among ye are worthy to learn?
Brutally shall I teach the gospel of soul-suicide, of contraception, not preservation and procreation.
Fools! Ye have made vital the belief the Ego is eternal,, fulfilling a purpose not lost to you.
All things become of desire; the legs to the fish; the wings to the reptile. Thus was your soul begotten.
Hear, O vermin!
Man has willed Man!
Your desires shall become flesh, your dreams reality and no fear shall alter it one whit.
Hence do I travel ye into the incarnating abortions-the aberratons, the horrors without sex, for ye are worthless to offer Heaven new sexualities.
Once in this world I enjoyed laughter-when I remembered the value I gave the contemptible; the significance of my selfish fears; the absurd vanity of my hopes; the sorry righteousness called I.
Certainly not befitting are tears of blood, nor laughter of gods.
Ye do not even look like MEN but the strange spawn of some forgotten ridicule.
Lost among the illusions begat of duality-are these the differentiations ye make for future entity to ride your bestial self? Millions of times have ye had re-birth and many more times will ye again suffer existence.
Ye are of things distressed, living down the truths ye made. Loosing only from my overflow, perchance I teach ye to learn of yourselves? In my becoming shall the hungry satisfy of my good and evil? I strive me neither, and confide subsequent to the event.
Know my purpose: To be a stranger unto myself, the enemy of truth.
Uncertain of what ye believe, belike ye half-desire? But believe ye this, serving your dialectics:-
Subscribing only to self-love, the outcroppings of my hatred now speak. Further, to ventilate my own health, I scoff at your puerile dignitaries’ absurd moral clothes and bovine faith in a fortuitous and gluttonous future!
Dogs, devouring your own vomit! Cursed are ye all! Throwbacks, adulterers, sycophants, corpse devourers, pilferers and medicine swallowers! Think ye Heaven is an infirmary?
Ye know not pleasure. In your sleep lusts, feeble violence and sickly morale, ye are more contemptible than the beasts ye feed for food.
I detest your Mammon. Disease partakes of your wealth. Having acquired, ye know not how to spend.
Ye are good murderers only.
Empty of cosmos are they who hunger after righteousness. Already are the merciful spent. Extinct are the pure in heart. Governed are the meek and of Heaven earn similar disgust. Your society is a veneered barbarity. Ye are precocious primitives. Where is your success other than through hatred?
There is no good understanding in your world-this bloody transition by procreation and butchery.
Of necessity ye hate, and love your neighbor by devouring.
The prophets are nauseating and should be persecuted. Objects of ridicule, their deeds cannot live through their tenets. Actions are the crierion, then how can ye speak other than lies?
Love is cursed. Your desire is your God and execration. Ye shall be judged or your appetite.
Around me I see your configuration-again a swine from the herd. A repulsive object of charity! The curse is pronounce; for ye are slime and sweat-born, homicidally reared. And again shall your fathers call to the help of women. Ye vainly labour at a rotten Kingdom of Good and Evil. I say that Heaven is catholic-and none shall enter with susceptibility of either.
Cursed are ye who shall be persecuted for my sake. For I say I am Convention entire, excessively evil, perverted and nowhere good-for ye.
Whosoever would be with me is neither much of me nor of himself enough.
Zos tired, but loathing his hearers too much, he again reviled them saying:-
Worm-ridden jackals! Still would ye feast on my vomit? Whosoever follows me becomes his own enemy; for in that day my exigency shall be his ruin.
Go labour! Fulfil the disgust of becoming yourself, of discovering your beliefs, and thus acquire virtue. Let your good be accidental; thus escape gratitude and it sorry vainglory, for the wrath of Heaven is heavy on easy self-indulgence.
In your desire to create a world, do unto others as you would-when sufficiently courageous.
To cast aside, not save, I come. Inexorably towards myself; to smash the law, to make havoc of the charlatans, the quacks, the swankers and brawling salvationists with their word-tawdry phantasmagoria; to disillusion and awaken every fear of your natural, rapacious selves.
Living the most contemptible and generating everything beastly, are ye so vain of your excuse to expect other than the worst of your imagining?
Honesty is unvoiced! And I warn you to make holocaust of your saints, your excuses: these flatulent bellowings of your ignorance. Only then could I assure your lurking desire-easy remission of your bowdlerised sins.
Criminals of folly? Ye but sin against self.
There is no sin for those of Heaven’s delight. I would ye resist not nor exploit your evil: such is of fear, and somnambulism is born of hypocrisy.
In pleasure Heaven shall break every law before this Earth shall pass away. Thus if I possessed, my goodness towards ye would be volcanic.
He who is lawless is free. Necessity and time are conventional phenomena.
Without hypocrisy or fear ye could do as ye wish. Whosoever, therefore, shall break the precept or live its transgression shall have relativity of Heaven. For unless your righteousness exist not, ye shall not pleasure freely and creatively. In so much as ye sin against doctrine, so shall your imagination be required in becoming.
It has been said without wit: “Thou shalt not kill.” Among beasts man lives supremely-on his own kind. Teeth and claws are no longer sufficient accessory to appetite. Is this world’s worst reality more vicious than human behaviour?
I suggest to your inbred love of moral gesture to unravel the actual from the dream.
Rejoice ye! The law-makers shall have the ugly destiny of becoming ubject. Whatsoever is ordained is superseded-to make equilibrium of this consciousness rapport with hypocrisy.
Could ye be arbitrary? Belief foreshadows its inversion. Overrun with forgotten desires and struggling truths, ye are their victim in the dying and begetting law.
The way of Heaven is a purpose-anterior to and not induced by thought. Desire, other than by the act, shall in no wise obtain: Therefore believe symbolically or with caution.
Between men and women having that desire there is no adultery. Spend the large lust and when ye are satiated ye shall pass on to something fresh. In this polite day it has become cleaner to fornicate by the wish than to enact.
Offend not your body no be so stupid as to let your body offend ye. How shall it serve ye to reproach your duality? Let your oath be in earnest; though better to communicate by the living act than by the word.
This God-this cockatrice-is a projection of your imbecile apprehensions, your bald grossness and madhouse vanities. Your love is born of fear; but far better to hate than further deception.
I would make your way difficult. Give and take of all men indiscriminately.
I know your love and hate. Inquire of red diet. Within your stomach is civil war.
Only in Self-love is procreative will.
What now! Shall I attempt wisdom by words? Alphabetic truths with legerdemain grammar? There is no spoken truth that is not past-more wisely forgotten.
Shall I scrawl slippery paradox with mad calligraphy? Words, mere words! I exist in a wordless world, without yesterday nor to-morrow- beyond becoming.
All conceivableness procures of time and space. Hence I spit on your tatterdemalion ethics, mouldering proverbs, priestly inarticulations and delirious pulpit jargon. This alone I give ye as safe commandments in your pestilent schisms.
Better is it to go without than to borrow. Finer far to take than beg. From Puberty till Death realise “Self” in all. There is no greater virtue than good nourishment. Feed from the udder, and if the milk be Sour, feed on . . . Human nature is the worst possible!
Once I lived among ye. From self-decency now I habitate the waste places, a willing outcast; associate of goats, cleaner far, more honest than men.
Within this heterogenousness of difference, reality is hard to realise; evacuation is difficult.
These spiritualists are living sepulchres. What has decayed should perish decently.
Cursed are they who supplicate. Gods are with ye yet. Therefore let ye who pray acquire this manner:-
O Self my God, foreign is thy name except in blasphemy, for I am thy iconoclast. I cast thy bread upon the waters, for I myself am meat enough. Hidden in the labyrinth of the Alphabet is my sacred name, the Sigil of all things unknown. On Earth my kingdom is Eternity of Desire. My wish incarnates in the belief and becomes flesh, for, I am the Lijving Truth. Heaven is ecstacy; my consciousness changing and acquiring association. May I have courage to take from my own superabundance. Let me forget righteousness. Free me of mrals. Lead me into temptation of myself, for I am a tottering kingdom of good and evil.
May worth be acquired through those things I have pleasured.
May my trespass be worthy.
Give me the death of my soul. Intoxicate me with self-love. Teach me to sustain its freedom; for I am sufficiently Hell. Let me sin against the small beliefs.-Amen.
Concluding his conjunction, Zos said:-
Again, O sleep-walkers, beggars and sufferers, born of the stomach; unlucky men to whom happiness is necessary!
Ye are insufficient to live alone, not yet mature enough to sin against the law and still desire women.
Other than damnation I know no magic to satisfy your wishes; for ye believe one thing, desire another, speak unlike, act differently and obtain the living value.
Assuredly inclination towards new faculties springs from this bastardy!
Social only to the truths convenient to your courage, yet again beasts shall be planted.
Shall I speak of that unique intensity without form? Know ye the ecstasy within? The pleasure between ego and self?
At that time of ecstasy there is no thought of others; there is No Thought. Thither I go and none may lead.
Sans women-your love is anathema!
For me, there is no way but my way. Therefore, go ye your way-none shall lead ye to walk towards yourselves. Let your pleasures be as sunsets, honest . . bloody . . . grotesque!
Was the original purpose the thorough enjoyment of multitudinous self, for ecstasy? These infinite ramifications of consciousness in entity, associating by mouth, sex, and sense!
Has the besetting of sex become utter wretchedness-repetition made necessary of your scotomy?
O bloody-mouthed! Shall I again entertain ye with a little understanding? An introspection of cannibalism in the shambles of diet-the variating murder against the ancestral? Is there no food beyond corpse?
Your murder and hypocrisy must pass before ye are uplifted to a world where slaughter is unknown.
Thus, with a clean mouth, I say unto ye, I live by bread alone. Sleep is competent prayer. All morality is beastly.
Alas, there has been a great failure. Man is dead. Only women remain.
With tonque in cheek I would say: “Follow me! That ye realise what is hidden in all suffering. I would make your self-mortification voluntary, your wincing courageous.”
Still will ye be with me? Salutation to all suicides!
With a yawn Zos wearied and fell asleep.
In time the stench awoke him-for he had slept amidst the troughs- and he observed that the crowd were no longer with him-that only swine remained. And he guffawed and spake thus: “Not yet have I lost relationship and am thereby nearly asphyxiated! Caught up am I in the toils of sentiment, the moral hallucinations within the ebb and flow of hopes and fears?
Shall age alone transmute desire? Not yet have I disentangled illusion from reality: for I know not men from swine, dreams from reality; or whether I did speak only unto myself. Neither know I to whom my anathema would be the more impressionable . . . .
My insensible soliloquy s eaten as revelation! What I spake with hard strived conceit to increase enterprise brings forth only swinish snorts. Water is not alone in finding its level.
I have not me tragedy, no, not in this life! Yet, whether I have spewed their doctrines upon the tables of the Law or into the troughs, at least I have not cast away the flesh of dreams.
And turning towards his light, Zos said: This my will, O Thou Glorious Sun. I am weary of my snakes descending-making slush.
Farewell antithesis. I have suffered. All is paid.
Let me go forth to recreate my sleep.
Here Ends this Book
Russian Summer – 2
If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.
When the will to power is in charge,
the higher the ideals, the lower the results.
Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.
Thus the Master is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose her will.
She is pointed, but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.
-Tao Te Ching
Arthur Symons in Dreamland…Poetry
It was a day of sun and rain,
Uncertain as a childs swift moods;
And I shall never spend again
So blithe a day among the woods.
Was it because the Gods were pleased
That they were awful in our eyes,
Whom we in very deed appeased
With barley-cakes of sacrifice?
The forest knew her and was glad,
And laughed for very joy to know
Her child was with her; then, grown sad,
She wept, because her child must go.
And Alice, like a little Faun,
Went leaping over rocks and ferns,
Coursing the shadow-race from dawn
Until the twilight-flock returns.
And she would spy and she would capture
The shyest flower that lit the grass;
The joy I had to watch her rapture
Was keen as even her rapture was.
The forest knew her and was glad,
And laughed and wept for joy and woe.
This was the welcome that she had
Among the woods of Fontainebleau.
The Turning Dervish
Stars in the heavens turn,
I worship like a star,
And in its footsteps learn
Where peace and wisdom are.
Man crawls as a worm crawls;
Till dust with dust he lies,
A crooked line he scrawls
Between the earth and skies.
Yet God, having ordained
The course of star and sun,
No creature hath constrained
A meaner course to run.
I, by his lesson taught,
Imaging his design,
Have diligently wrought
Motion to be divine.
I turn until my sense,
Dizzied with waves of air,
Spins to a point intense,
And spires and centres there.
There, motionless in speed,
I drink that flaming peace,
Which in the heavens doth feed
The stars with bright increase.
Some spirit in me doth move
Through ways of light untrod,
Till, with excessive love,
I drown, and am in God.
Where shall this self at last find happiness?
O Soul, only in nothingness.
Does not the Earth suffice to its own needs?
And what am I but one of the Earths weeds?
All things have been and all things shall go on
Before me and when I am gone;
This self that cries out for eternity
Is what shall pass in me:
The tree remains, the leaf falls from the tree.
I would be as the leaf, I would be lost
In the identity and death of frost,
Rather than draw the sap of the trees strength
And for the trees sake be cast off at length.
To be is homage unto being; cease
To be, and be at peace,
If it be peace for self to have forgot
Even that it is not.
What is this reverence in extreme delight
That waits upon my kisses as they storm,
Vehemently, this height
Of steep and inaccessible delight;
And seems with newer ecstasy to warm
Their slackening ardour, and invite,
From nearer heaven, the swarm
Of hiving stars with mortal sweetness down?
Have I endured an exaltation
So exquisite in anguish, and so sore
In promise and possession of full peace.
Cease not, O nevermore
To lift my joy, as upon windy wings,
Into that infinite ascension, where,
In baths of glittering air,
It finds a heaven and like an angel sings.
Heaven waits above,
There where the clouds a fastnesses of love
Lift earth into the skies;
And I have seen the glim of the gates,
And twice or thrice
Climbed half the difficult way,
Only to say
Only to fall away from paradise.
But now, O what is this
Mysterious and uncapturable, bliss
That I have known, yet seems to be
Simple as breath, and easy as a smile,
And older than the earth?
Now but a little while
This ultimate ecstasy
Has parted from its birth,
Now but a little while been wholly mine,
Yet am I utterly possessed
By the delicious tyrant and divine
Child, this importunate guess.
Russian Summer – 3