The Collapsing Of Empires

. 13. mo ko kahân dhûnro bande
O Servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque: I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies, nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me: thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
Kabîr says, “O Sadhu! God is the breath of all breath.”

I. 16. Santan jât na pûcho nirguniyân
It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter–
Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no mark of distinction.
Dear Friends,

This started out a few days ago with me digging around books, and becoming pretty distracted to the task(s) at hand. I have been reading over 3 books of late: The Language Of Birds “Some Notes On Chance And Divination” (review soon!) by Dale Pendell, Technomad – “Global Raving Countercultures” by Graham St. John (Pretty comprehensive stuff!), and Birth Of A Psychedelic Culture “Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties”Ram Dass and Ralph Metzner with Gary Bravo (Oh the history of it all!)
A literary feast, I have to say. I have been working on the first of the reviews, it will be coming soon, I promise. I am amazed by them all. Over the next few days/weeks there will be a steady stream of reviews etc. With the coming of the Kindle, the Ipad and the like, will books as we know them become extinct? I was sent a book to review the other week in PDF form, and honestly, after a couple of hours, I couldn’t do it any longer. Too much screen time. I may have to convert my serigraph press into a printing press just to keep the art going…
Pitching That Art Angle Again…

Be The First On Your Block! You can have a unique mural in your house, on your house, anywhere, in your store just say when!
Noted: The passing of that great historian, Howard Zinn. What a life! From shipyard worker, to bombardier during WW2, onto becoming a Phd and teaching history from a unique view; not the grand sweep of the historic myth that re-enforces the traditional view, but the story from the street and disparate views. The history of rebellions of African slaves, indentured whites and indigenous people joining together in mutual assistance. Here was a man who changed the view we have held collectively about the struggles of the American people. If you haven’t read his works, please do. It will change your world forever. Howard, we will miss ya.
I hope this finds you well, and surviving the January doldrums. This time of the year always seems to be a bit iffy and all.

Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:
The Songs of Kabir: Incidentals & Coda
St. Teresa of Avila Quotes
Collapse Under The Empire “Quiet Dimension”
The Acts Of The Adepts
The Poetry Of Hafiz
Collapse Under The Empire “Captured Moments”
Art: Osman Hamdi Bey

Osman Hamdi exhibited three paintings at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle. None seem to have survived today, but their titles were Repose of the Gypsies, Black Sea Soldier Lying in Wait, and Death of the Soldier. An important step in his career was his assignment as the director of the Imperial Museum (Müze-i Hümayun) in 1881. He used his position as museum director to develop the museum and rewrite the antiquities laws and to create nationally sponsored archaeological expeditions. In 1882, he instituted and became director of the Academy of Fine Arts, which provided Ottomans with training in aesthetics and artistic techniques without leaving the empire. In 1884, he oversaw the promulgation of a Regulation prohibiting historical artifacts from being smuggled abroad (Asar-ı Atîka Nizamnamesi), a giant step in constituting a legal framework of preservation of the antiquities. Representatives or middlemen of 19th century European Powers routinely smuggled artifacts with historical value from within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire (which then comprised the geographies of ancient Greek and Mesopotamian civilizations, among others), often resorting to shadily obtained licenses or bribes, to enrich museums in European capitals.

He conducted the first scientific based archaeological researches done by a Turkish team. His digs included sites as varied as the Commagene tomb-sanctuary in Nemrut Dağı in southeastern Anatolia (a top tourist’s venue in Turkey and a UNESCO World Heritage Site today, within the Adıyaman Province), the Hekate sanctuary in Lagina in southwestern Anatolia (also much visited, and within the Muğla Province today), and Sidon in Lebanon. The sarcophagi he discovered in Sidon (including the one known as the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great) are considered among the worldwide jewels of archaeological findings. To lodge these, he started building what is today the Istanbul Archaeology Museum in 1881. The museum officially opened in 1891 under his directorship.

Throughout his professional career as museum and academy director, Osman Hamdi continued to paint in the style of his teachers, Gérôme and Boulanger.

St. Teresa Of Avila Quotes:

“It is love alone that gives worth to all things”
“To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that.”
“Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.”
“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”
“Pain is never permanent”
Collapse Under The Empire… I discovered these guys the other day. Blew me away. I am falling in love again with a basic format: Guitar, Drums, Bass, No Vocals. Highly emotive, without the strictures of vocals. The thoughts wander, making up mind-scapes as you go when you surrender to these youngsters from Germany. Enjoy!

Collapse Under The Empire… “Quiet Dimension”


I. 57. sâdho bhâî, jîval hî karo âs’â

O FRIEND! hope for Him whilst you live, know whilst you live, understand whilst you live: for in life deliverance abides.
If your bonds be not broken whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death?
It is but an empty dream, that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the body:
If He is found now, He is found then,
If not, we do but go to dwell in the City of Death.
If you have union now, you shall have it hereafter.
Bathe in the truth, know the true Guru, have faith in the true Name!
Kabîr says: “It is the Spirit of the quest which helps; I am the slave of this Spirit of the quest.”
The Acts Of The Adepts
Bahā’u-’d-Dīn, Veled, Sultānu-’l-‘Ulemā (The Beauty of the Religion of Islam, Son, Sultan of the Doctors of the Law).

The king of Khurāsān, 2 ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn Muhammed, Khurrem-Shāh, uncle of Jelālu-’d-Dīn Muhammed Kh’ārezm-Shāh, and the proudest, as he was the most handsome man of his time, gave his daughter, Melika’i-Jihān (Queen of the World), as to the only man worthy of her, to Jelālu-’d-Dīn Huseyn, el Khatībī, of the race of Abū-Bekr.

An ancestor of his was one of the original Muslim conquerors of Khurāsān. He was himself very virtuous and learned, surrounded with numerous disciples. He had not married until then; which gave him many an anxious and self-accusing thought.

He himself, the king, the king’s daughter, and the king’s Vazīr were all four warned in a dream by the Prince of the Apostles of God (Muhammed) that he should wed the princess; which was done. He was then thirty years old. In due course, nine months afterwards, a son was born to him, and was named Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Muhammed. He is commonly mentioned as Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled.

When adolescent, this latter was so extremely learned that the family of his mother wished to raise him to the throne as king; but this he utterly rejected.

By the divine command, as conveyed in the selfsame night, and in an identical dream, to three hundred of the most learned men of the city of Balkh, 1 the capital of the kingdom, where he dwelt, those sage doctors unanimously conferred upon him the honorific title of Sultānu-’l-‘Ulemā, and they all became his disciples.

Such are the names and titles by which he is more commonly mentioned; but he is also styled Mevlānāyi Buzurg (the Greater or Elder Master). Many miracles and prodigies were attributed to him; and some men were found who conceived a jealousy at his growing reputation and influence.

In a.h. 605 (a.d. 1208) he, Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled, began to preach against the innovations of the king and sundry of his courtiers, declaiming against the philosophers and rationalists, while he pressed all his hearers to study and practise the precepts of Islām. Those courtiers maligned him with the king, calling him an intriguer who had designs on the throne. The king sent and made him an offer of the sovereignty, promising to retire elsewhere himself. Bahā answered that he had no concern with earthly greatness, being a poor recluse; and that he would willingly leave the country, so as to remove from the king’s mind all misgivings on his score.

He accordingly quitted Balkh, with a suite of about forty souls, after delivering a public address in the great mosque before the king and people. In this address he foretold the advent of the Moguls to overturn the kingdom, possess the country, destroy Balkh, and drive out the king, who would then flee to the Roman land, and there at length be killed.

So he left Balkh, as the prophet (Muhammed) had fled from Mekka to Medīna. His son Jelālu-’d-Dīn was then five, and the elder brother, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, seven years old.

The people everywhere on his road, hearing of his approach or forewarned in dreams of his coming, flocked to meet him and do him honour. Thus he drew near to Bagdād. Here he was met by the great Sheykh Shahābu-’d-Dīn, ‘Umer, Suherverdī, the most eminent man of the place, deputed by the Caliph Musta‘zim to do him honour. He became the guest of the Sheykh.

The Caliph sent him a present of three thousand sequins, but he declined the gift as being money unlawfully acquired. He also refused to visit the Caliph; but consented to preach in the great mosque after the noon service of worship on the following Friday, the Caliph being present. In his discourse he reproached the Caliph to his face with his evil course of life, and warned him of his approaching slaughter by the Moguls with great cruelty and ignominy. The Caliph again sent him rich presents in money, horses, and valuables, but he refused to accept them.

Before Bahā’u-’d-Dīn quitted Bagdād, intelligence was received there of the siege of Balkh, of its capture, and of its entire destruction, with its twelve thousand mosques, by the Mogul army of five hundred thousand men commanded by Jengīz in person (in a.h. 608, a.d. 1211). Fourteen thousand copies of the Qur’ān were destroyed, fifteen thousand students and professors of the law were slain, and two hundred thousand adult male inhabitants led out and shot to death with arrows.

Bahā’u-’d-Dīn went from Bagdād to Mekka, 1 performed the greater pilgrimage there, proceeding thence to Damascus, and next to Malatia (Melitene, on the Upper Euphrates), where, in a.h. 614 (a.d. 1217), he heard of the death of Jengīz. The Seljūqī Sultan, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn Keyqubād, was then sovereign of the land of Rome (Rūm, i.e., Asia Minor), and was residing at Sīwās (Sebaste). In a.h. 620 (a.d. 1223) Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn, the dispossessed monarch of Kh’ārezm (Chorasmia) was killed in a battle fought by him in Azerbāyjān (Atropatene) against the Sultans of Rome, Syria, and Egypt, when his forces were totally defeated. And thus ended that great dynasty, after ruling about a hundred and forty years.

Bahā’u-’d-Dīn went from Malatia and remained four years near Erzinjān (the ancient Aziris, on the Western Euphrates), in Armenia, at a college built for him by a saintly lady, ‘Ismet Khātūn. She was the wife of the local sovereign, Melik Fakhru-’d-Dīn. She and her husband both died, and then Bahā’u-’d-Dīn passed on to Larenda (in Cataonia), in Asia Minor, and remained there about seven years at the head of a college, the princess Melika’i-Jihān, his mother, being still with him.

Here it was that his younger son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn Muhammed, the future author of the Mesnevī, attained to man’s estate, being then eighteen years old; when, in a.h. 623 (a.d. 1226), he married a young lady named Gevher Khātūn, daughter of the Lala Sherefu-’d-Dīn, of Samarqand. She gave birth in due course to Jelāl’s eldest son, ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn.

The king had now returned to his capital, Qonya (the ancient Iconium). Hearing of Bahā’u-’d-Dīn’s great learning and sanctity, the king sent and invited him to the capital, where he installed him in a college, and soon professed himself a disciple. Many miracles are related as having been worked at Qonya by Bahā’u-’d-Dīn, who at length died there on Friday, the 18th of Rebī‘u-’l-ākhir, a.h. 628 (February a.d. 1231). The Sultan erected a marble mausoleum over his tomb, on which this date is recorded. Many miracles continued to occur at this sanctuary. The Sultan died also a few years later, in a.h. 634 (a.d. 1236). received the honorific title of Khudāvendgār—Lord—the father was distinguished from the son, among the disciples, by the customary title of Mevlānā Buzurg—the Greater or Elder Master. The traditions collected by Eflākī, relating to this period, vary considerably from one another on minor points of date and order of succession, though the main facts come out sufficiently clear.)

Jelāl’s son, Sultan Veled, related to Eflākī that his father Jelāl used frequently to say, “I and all my disciples will be under the protection of the Great Master, my father, on the day of resurrection; and under His guidance we shall enter the divine presence; God will pardon all of us for His sake.”

It is related that when the Great Master departed this life, his son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, was fourteen years old. (This is apparently a copyist’s error for “twenty-four.” Jalāl is said to have been born in a.h. 604—a.d. 1207.) He married when seventeen (or eighteen); and often did he say in the presence of the congregation of his friends, “The Great Master will remain with me a few years. I shall be in need of Shemsu-’d-Dīn of Tebrīz (the capital of Azerbāyjān); for every prophet has had an Abū-Bekr, as Jesus had His apostles.”

Shortly after the death of the Great Master Bahā’u-’d-Dīn Veled, news was received by the Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn of Qonya of the arrival of Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn Kh’ārezm-Shāh on the borders of Asia Minor. The Sultan went and prayed at the tomb of the deceased saint, and then prepared to meet the Kh’ārezmians, who were in the neighbourhood of Erzenu-’r-Rūm (Erzen of the Romans, the ancient Arzes, now Erzerum). Scouts brought in the intelligence that the Kh’ārezmians were very numerous; and great anxiety prevailed among the Sultan’s troops. He resolved to see for himself.

He put on a disguise and set out with a few followers, on fleet horses, for the Kh’ārezmian camp. They gave out that they were nomad Turks of the neighbourhood, their ancestors having come from the Oxus; that latterly the Sultan had withdrawn his favour from them; and that, in consequence, they had for some time past been looking for the Kh’ārezmian advent. This was reported to the king, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, who sent for them and received them kindly, giving them tents and assigning them rations.

During the night King Jelālu-’d-Dīn began to reflect that every one had hitherto spoken well of Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, and a doubt arose in his mind in consequence respecting the story of these newcomers, especially as he learned that the Sultan was on his march to meet him. Consulting with the Prince of Erzenu-’r-Ram, further perquisition was postponed until the morrow.

But at midnight the deceased saint of Qonya, Bahā-Veled, appeared in a dream to Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn, and warned him to fly at once. The Sultan awoke, found it was a dream, and went to sleep again. The saint now appeared a second time. The Sultan saw himself seated on his throne, and the saint coming to him, smiting him on the breast with his staff, and angrily saying, “Why sleepest thou? Arise!”

Now the Sultan did arise, quietly called his people, saddled horses, and stole away out of the camp. Towards morning King Jelāl caused guards to be placed round the tents of the strangers to watch them. But afterwards, when orders were given to bring them to the king’s presence to be questioned, their tents were found to be empty. Pursuit was attempted, but in vain. After an interval the two armies came into collision. The Sultan of Qonya was victorious. From that time forward, whenever difficulties threatened, he always betook himself to the shrine of the saint, Bahā Veled, who always answered his prayers.

(As Sultan Jelālu-’d-Dīn Kh’ārezm-Shāh has already been stated to have died in battle in Azerbāyjān in a.d. 1223, whereas the saint of Qonya did not die until a.d. 1231, eight years afterwards, the discrepancy of that date with the present anecdote is irreconcilable.)

The Great Master, Bahā Veled, used to say that while he himself lived no other teacher would be his equal, but that when his son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, should succeed him at his death, that son of his would equal and even surpass him:

Seyyid Burhānu-’d-Dīn Termīzī 1 is related to have said that one night the door of the mausoleum of Bahā Veled opened of itself, and that a great glory shone forth from it, which gradually filled his house, so that no shadow fell from anything. The glory then gradually filled the city in like manner, spreading thence over the whole face of nature. On beholding this prodigy the Seyyid swooned away.

This vision is a sure indication that the whole human race will one day own themselves the disciples of the descendants of the great saint.

Before he quitted Balkh, Bahā Veled one day saw a man performing his devotions in the great mosque in his shirt sleeves, with his coat upon his back. Bahā reproved him, telling him to put on his coat properly and decently, then to continue his devotions. “And what if I will not?” asked the man in a disdainful tone. “Thy dead-like soul will obey my command, quit thy body, and thou wilt die!” answered Bahā. Instantly the man fell dead; and crowds flocked to become disciples to the saint who spoke with such power and authority.

When Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn had fortified Qonya, he invited Bahā Veled to mount to the terraced roof of the palace, thence to survey the walls and towers. After his inspection, Bahā remarked to the Sultan, “Against torrents, and against the horsemen of the enemy, thou hast raised a goodly defence. But what protection hast thou built against those unseen arrows, the sighs and moans of the oppressed, which overleap a thousand walls and sweep whole worlds to destruction? Go to, now! strive to acquire the blessings of thy subjects. These are a stronghold, compared to which the walls and turrets of the strongest castles are as nothing.”

On one occasion Sultan ‘Alā’u-’d-Dīn paid a visit to Bahā Veled. In lieu of his hand the latter offered the tip of his staff to be kissed by the Sultan, who thought within himself: “The proud scholar!” Bahā read the Sultan’s thoughts as a seer, and remarked in reply thereto: “Mendicant students are bound to be humble and lowly. Not so a Sultan of the Faith who has attained to the utmost circumference of the orbit thereof, and revolves therein.”

A certain Sheykh Hajjāj, a disciple of Bahā Veled and one of God’s elect not known to the herd of mankind, quitted the college after the decease of his teacher, and betook himself to his former trade of a weaver, therewith to gain an honest livelihood. He used to buy the coarsest brown bread of unsifted flour, mash this up with water, and break his fast with this sop alone. All the rest of his earnings he saved up until they would reach to two or three hundred piastres. This sum he would then carry to the college, and place it in the shoes of his teacher’s son, Jelālu-’d-Dīn, the new rector. This practice he continued so long as he lived.

At his death a professional washer was appointed to perform the last ablution for Sheykh Hajjāj. In the execution of his office the washer was about to touch the privities of the deceased, when the defunct seized his hand with so strong a grip as to make him scream with pain and fright. The friends came to rescue him, but they were unable to release the imprisoned hand. They therefore sent word to Jelālu-’d-Dīn of what had occurred. He came and saw, knew the reason, and whispered into the ear of the deceased man: “The poor simpleton has been unaware of the high station of thy sanctity. Pardon his unintentional transgression for my sake.” Immediately the poor washer’s hand was released; but three days afterwards he was himself washed and borne lifeless to his grave.

The Sultan had a governor of his childhood still living, the Emīr Bedru-’d-Dīn Guhertāsh, commonly known as the Dizdār (Castellan), whom he held in great esteem. One day, as Bahā Veled was lecturing in the mosque, in presence of the Sultan and his court, he suddenly called upon the Dizdār to recite any ten verses of the Qur’ān, saying he would then expound them to the congregation. The Dizdār had been admiring the eloquence of the preacher’s expositions. Upon this sudden call, without the slightest hesitation and without ever having committed them to memory, he recited the first ten verses of chapter xxiii., “The believers have attained to prosperity,” &c., which Bahā forthwith explained in such a manner as to draw down the plaudits of the assembly. The Dizdār, with the Sultan’s permission, went to the foot of the pulpit and declared himself a disciple to Bahā. “Then,” said the preacher, “as a thank-offering for this happy event, do thou build and endow a college where my descendants shall teach their disciples after me.” The Dizdār did so, and richly endowed it. This is the college where Jelālu-’d-Dīn afterwards lived. When the Dizdār died he left all his possessions to enrich the foundation.

The Sultan had a dream (something like one of Nebuchadnezzar’s). He saw himself with a head of gold, a breast of silver, a belly of brass, thighs of lead, and shanks of tin. Bahā Veled explained the dream as follows:—”All will go well in the kingdom during thy lifetime. It will be as silver in the days of thy son; as brass in the next generation, when the rabble will get the upper hand. Troubles will thicken during the next reign; and after that the kingdom of Rome will go to ruin, the house of Seljūq will come to an end, and unknown upstarts will seize the reins of government.”

3:1 There is an allusion in the word ‘Arifin (Adepts) to the name of Eflākī’s patron, the Chelebī Emīr ‘Ārif (well-knowing).
3:2 Eastern Persia.
4:1 The ancient Bactra, sometimes called Zariaspa, the capital of Bactria.
5:1 Incorrectly written Mecca by Europeans.

9:1 Of Termīz (Tirmez), on the north bank of the Oxus, near to Balkh.
I. 58. bâgo nâ jâ re nâ jâ

Do not go to the garden of flowers!
O Friend! go not there;
In your body is the garden of flowers.
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus, and there gaze on the Infinite Beauty.

The Poetry Of Hafiz


Admit something:

Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”

Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise
someone would call the authorities.

Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is
always saying,

with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in
this world is
dying to

Some Fill With Each Good Rain

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.

In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,
That “love” is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far, far too deep
For that.

The Stairway of Existence

We Are not
In pursuit of formalities
Or fake religious

For through the stairway of existence
We have come to God’s Door.

We are People who need to love, because
Love is the soul’s life,

Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.

Through The stairway of existence,
O, through the stairway of existence, Hafiz

Have You now come,
Have we all now come to
The Beloved’s Door.

The Mountain Got Tired of Sitting

The sun
Won a beauty contest and became a jewel
Set upon God’s right hand.

The earth agreed to be a toe ring on the
Beloved’s foot
And has never regretted its decision.

The mountains got tired
Of sitting amongst a sleeping audience

And are now stretching their arms
Toward the Roof.

The clouds gave my soul an idea
So I pawned my gills
And rose like a winged diamond

Ever trying to be near
More love, more love
Like you.

The Mountain got tired of sitting
Amongst a snoring crowd inside of me
And rose like a rip sun
Into my eye.

My soul gave my heart a brilliant idea
So Hafiz is rising like a
Winged diamond.


Look how a mirror
will reflect with perfect equanimity
all actions

There is no act in this world
that will ever cause the mirror to look away.

There is no act in this world that will
ever make the mirror
say “no.”

The mirror, like perfect love, will just keep giving
of itself to all

How did the mirror ever get like that, so polite,
so grand, so compassionate?

It watched God.

Yes, the mirror remembers the Beloved
looking into itself as the Beloved shaped existence’s heart
and the mirror’s

My eye has the nature of God.
Hafiz looks upon all with perfect equanimity,
as do my words,

My poems will never tell you no,
because the Mirror is
not like

and if God ever hits you with a don’t –
He has His fingers crossed,

He is just fibbing
for your own

Collapse Under The Empire “Captured Moments”



I. 63. avadhû, mâyâ tajî na jây

TELL me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, “Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found.”

Sailing Into The Mythic…

“God is an astronaut, Oz lies over the rainbow, and Midian is where the monsters live.”


There was wine in a cup of gold
and a girl of fifteen from Wu,
her eyebrows painted dark
and with slippers of red brocade.

If her conversation was poor,
how beautifully she could sing!
Together we dined and drank
until she settled in my arms.

Behind her curtains
embroidered with lotuses,
how could I refuse
the temptation of her advances?
– Li Po

Dear Friends,

All the latest with Turfing: Wrestling with new set up, trying to up load all of the old illustrations (ain’t going to happen folks) and trying to restore the old Serendipity files again for the ArchivesBook Reviews. Starting book reviews on Turfing, we have received some brilliant books as of late, that I feel everyone needs to be aware of. Way to many for just the magazine, though some reviews may cross migrate. If you know of/ or want a book to be reviewed, please notify us. Sorry, no PDF editions, they take up too much screen time.

I will be sharing some of the newer art I have been up to in the next few weeks here on the Turf. I have become enamored with moiré patterns again, which at this point seems to have become a lifelong obsession, along the lines of a gosling focusing on the first moving object when hatching. Moiré Patterns, Medieval Illustrations, William Morris, Art Noveau, Arabic Tile & Carpet Works all seem to inhabit the same space for my influences and work. The deeper I dig, the more there is to explore with them. Anyway, all have their places in my new illustrations.

There may be some work on the Corporate State as well coming up. I’d like to pursue the idea of entity, and how the idea of “corporate entity” entered into the world, and the pervasiveness of the tacit agreements that we now find ourselves laboring under in regards to the current state of affairs. I remember when Terence McKenna noted the shift from the nation state to the corporate state. He mentioned that he was not so opposed to it; I wonder what he would make of it now?

This Edition: I am pleased to introduce a new band to the line up here, “Psychic Ills”. A neo-psychedelic band out of New York, who have been kicking around for awhile on the art circuit. A little rough on the edges, but very spontaneous. I hope you will like them. We visit with our friends The Maidu of northern California again, this time in a tale of the Muskrat & Coyote. Our poet is the famed Irish bard, Gabriel Rosenstock with poems from his work “Uttering Her Name”. I feel Rosenstock may be the modern equivalent of Robert Graves when it comes to poetry dedicated to the Muse. I truly love this man’s work. We visit a bit with Eric Davis with his short missive titled: “Avatar” – Drink The Jungle Juice. Nuff’ said. You will find quotes by Albert Schweitzer, additional poetry by Li Po (Bai), and some art by yours truly.

I hope you enjoy this edition of Turfing 2.0!


On the Menu:
Incidental(s) & Coda; The Poetry of Li Po(Li Bai)
In Memory of Gumby’s father
Albert Schweitzer Quotes
Aya Avatar – Drink the Jungle Juice
Psychic Ills – “Mantis”
Maidu Tales: Coyote And Muskrat
The Poetry Of Gabriel Rosenstock – Uttering Her Name
Psychic Ills – “Eyes Closed”
Art – Gwyllm Llwydd

In memory of Gumby’s father….
Art Clokey’s – Mandala

Albert Schweitzer Quotes:

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”

Humanitarianism consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.

“I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics.”

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

“I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.”

“A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.”

“A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.”

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.”

“A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.”
Although I think there are multiple of multiple myth structures running through Cameron’s “Avatar”, Eric Davis’s take is very interesting, and timely…

Aya Avatar – Drink the Jungle Juice
Eric Davis

In paradoxical and altogether predictable terms, James Cameron’s ravishing Avatar sets a blue man group of mystically attuned forest dwellers against the aggressive and heartless exploitation that characterizes the military-industrial-media complex, with its virtual interfaces, biotech chimeras, and cyborg war machines. The paradox, of course, is that a version of this latter complex is responsible for delivering Camaron’s visions to us in the first place. To wit: before a recent screening of the film at the Metreon IMAX theater in San Francisco, we hapless begoggled ones were barraged with military ads, not to mention a triumphant techno-fetishist breakdown on the Imax technology that would soon transport us to the planet Pandora almost as thoroughly (and resonantly) as the handicapped jarhead Jake jacks into his computer-generated avatar body.

But those are behind the scenes ironies. With its floating Roger Deanscapes and hallucinogenic flora, the manifest world of Avatar instead spoke another truth: that the jungle pantheism that now pervades the psychoactive counterculture has gone thoroughly mainstream. Of course, noble savage narratives of ecological balance and shamanic wisdom have been haunting the Rousseau-mapped outback of the western mind for centuries. That said, Avatar represents some important twists in that basic tale. The most important of these is that the Na’vi’s nearly telepathic understanding of their environment is grounded not only in ritual, plant-lore, and that earnest seriousness that now afflicts PC Hollywood Indians, but in an organic communications network: the fibrous, animated, and vaguely repulsive pony-tail tentacles that not only allow the Na’vi to form direct control links with animals but also, through the optical filaments of the “Tree of Souls,” to commune with both ancestors and the Eywa, the biological spirit of the planet whose name resonates with Erda, our own Earth.

Call it ayahuasca lite. For while Avatar features nothing like the South American shaman lore and stupendous aya visuals that litter the otherwise very bad 2004 Western released here as Renegade, the film does suggest that the bitter jungle brew, and ideas of ecological wisdom now attached to it, is having a trickle-down effect. The banisteriopsis caapi vine that gives ayahuasca its name (though not its most hallucinogenic alkaloids) is also known as the “Vine of Souls,” which echoes the Na’vi’s Tree of Souls. And when Sigourney Weaver attempts to establish the efficacy of the Trees through a neurological discourse of electrical connection, the corporate tool Parker asks what she’s been smoking—a backhanded way of acknowledging how much Avatar’s visionary take on ecological consciousness is grounded in psychoactive consciousness.

After all, beyond a thriving and in many ways damaging ayahuasca tourist market in Brazil and Peru, clandestine aya circles manned by South American shamans and all manner of Euro-American facilitators are are now well established throughout the west. Among the professional creative classes who make up a sizable portion of West Coast seekers—for spirit and/or thrills—ayahuasca could almost be said to be mainstream. So it no longer matters whether Cameron or his animators have themselves drunk the tea; its active compounds are already swimming in the cultural water supply. Eco-futuristic dreams are now indistinguishable from the visionary potential of media technology itself. Indeed, whether you are talking form (ground-breaking 3D animation) or content (cyber-hippie wetdream decor), Cameron’s visual and technological rhetoric is impossible to disentangle from hallucinogenic experience.

OK, maybe I am the one smoking something. But if there is an aya-Avatar connection, it would explain one crucial way in which the film differs from conventional “noble savage” mysticism. Rather than ground the Na’vi’s grooviness in their folklore or spiritual purity, the film instead presents the vision of a direct and material communications link with the plant mind. Which means that Eywa (aka Aya) does not have to be believed—she can be experienced. After the temporary fusion with the Tree of Souls that fails to prevent her death, Weaver’s chain-smoking left-brain doctor happily confirms Ewya’s existence. Like the Vine of Souls now wending its way through the developed world, the Tree of Souls becomes a kind of bio-mystical media, a visionary communications matrix that uplinks the souls of the dead and the network mind of the ecosphere itself.

Psychic Ills – “Mantis”


Alone and Drinking Under the Moon

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,

and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon

accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are

friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.
-Li Po

Maidu Tales: Coyote And Muskrat

There was a (Muskrat)-Man. And at that place, they say, many women lived. Now, the men went off to hunt, and they returned bringing back deer. And at night, eating their supper, they went to sleep.

And in the morning, as they were getting up, “Do your best, killing deer, drying it, bringing it home to use for the winter! It is indeed a hungry world. The world will not always be as it is now(?),” one said. He was these people’s brother, the oldest man, they say. When he spoke, he said, “Yes, doing this way, it is a good world, and we shall always be healthy if we go hunting. Do the best you can,” he said.

Then they went off, one after another. And by and by, towards night, they came back one after another, from hunting. So one man crawled towards the smoke-hole. And meanwhile there was one who remained in the house, always lying close by the wall. Rising from thence, he took the deer.

Again some one carried a deer there, crawled to (the smoke-hole), and again some one brought deer, and he took it. He laid it down on the opposite side of the fire. Then (another) brought deer home, and brought it (to the smoke-hole), and he took it. The man did only that sort of work, it is said, this man who staid at home.

All the people kept coming back, until they had all arrived. When all the deer had been handed in, there were many (?). The deer were piled up (?). Meanwhile the women leached acorns. And those people kept crawling to (the smoke-hole) until all had crawled thither except one, who came behind. And as he stood up at the smoke-hole, just as he was crawling over in, Muskrat-Man seized him. Very quickly indeed he seized and dragged him away. When he had carried him off and thrown him down, (the victim) cried out repeatedly. And then he killed him, and, carrying him on his back, he took him away.

Meanwhile the crowd of people, seeing what had been done to their brother, said nothing. They sat without listening. They were afraid, it is said, of what had made their brother cry aloud. While their eldest, their brother, was being killed, the women cooked, paying no attention, (although) they saw it. And they (said), “He is a magically powerful man.” Thus the women said to one another; and the men said the same.

Carrying him off towards his house, the Muskrat-Man took (his victim) home. And when he had taken off his load, (his) wife took it, carried it inside, and set it down. Then, skinning it and preparing it, she hung it up to dry. “Yes! If we do thus, we shall have much meat,” she said. “Yes! Killing them continually in that way, I shall kill all of that lot of people,” said Muskrat-Man talking with his wife.

Meanwhile one of those present said to the crowd, “What man, I wonder, has done this to us again! It was an evil man who did it, a strong man, one with whom we can do nothing,” he said. “Do ye all do the best ye can, and live through it,” said he. The oldest man it was who spoke, they say.

Next morning, when they had talked it all over, they went off hunting. just as it was getting night, they returned one after another. They brought back deer. What
(a number) came! They kept coming until they had all arrived. Then that man who worked (slave?) took (the deer). When they passed the deer over the edge (of the smoke-hole), he kept taking them, took them all. Meanwhile the people crawled over in, kept crawling in until all had done so.

All were in but one alone, who crawled over in. Pretty soon he crawled over head-first (?); and just as he came over, (the evil person) jumped suddenly from the place (where he was hid) and seized him. Seizing and dragging him away to one side, he carried him thither. He (the victim) made a noise, crying out repeatedly. Then (the evil person) killed him.

Meanwhile the crowd did not look at him, paid no attention to him, all kept silent. Then (the evil person), having put (his victim) on his back, carried him off. And having carried him home, “Doing thus, I am one who shall kill people. I am one who shall have much meat,” he said. (Then) he skinned, prepared, hung up to dry, and dried (the victim), they say.

Again, when it was dawning, “Yes,” (the chief) said. “In this way I am losing all my people. He does it that way. Thither, my people, without feeling badly, go to the grazing hills, grazing as you go (using decoy heads of deer?),” said he. “Yes,” said they. “What is best for us to do, (seeing that) he does so to us?”–”Ye must say nothing to him, and go on,” said (the chief). Then they went off one after another.

And that (other) man staid there, the man who always remained in the house, and dressed the deer. The man who staid there did only that, they say. Meanwhile, saying nothing to him indeed, the women attended to their work. After a while, they spoke to the chief. “It was here that he came just as the sun went down,” they said. “And
then it was here they all stood about, and crawled in. From what place, I wonder, does he seize them!” they said, asking the chief.

The women did not go in (to the house) all day, (but were) doing their work, pounding acorns, cooking all kinds of food, (until) night came, having to cook (all day because) there were so many people. So these women could not know where the (evil) man staid when he was about to jump out and seize (his victim).

When the chief spoke to them again, they understood. “He stands behind (where) the main post stands. Whenever (the people) are coming, he seizes them from thence, and keeps dragging them on over,” he said. Then they said, “Ho!”

They (the hunters) returned at their usual time, when the sun was almost down. They brought home (food), and kept arriving with it, until they had all come. They kept passing it over in (to the house) until they had passed it all in. Meanwhile that man stood close up behind the main post. And again they crawled over in, kept coming, until they had all crawled in but one man, who crawled over in. And then he (the evil person), making a sudden motion, lifted him up on his shoulder, and, having done so, he threw him down and killed him. So he brought him (the victim) home from his hunting, and arrived there. And his wife took (the body); and thereupon she cut it in strips, dried it, fixed it nicely, made a lot of it.

Next day that crowd of people went again to hunt. “Without being afraid of that man, rise (and get ready) for your grazing hills (?),” 1 . . . he said. The chief spoke. Then his people said, “. . . .,” 1 and thereupon they all went off.

As the sun was going down, a man (Coyote) came. He arrived, and, reaching there, he sat down and talked. The women spoke to him. “Yes,” said he, “my other (new?) cousins, ye women must do the best ye can and cook. After having eaten supper, I shall spend the night,” said he.

Then one woman spoke. “We are feeling very sad, and have not begun to eat food properly (as usual) (?),” she said. Then Coyote said to the woman, “What is the trouble?” And the woman said, “(Because) some sort of supernatural being, coming to seize (us), kills all our brothers, and causes us to grieve. So, crying much, we are staying (here), feeling very sad.”

Then Coyote asked, “Whence does he watch? Where does he carry him off and lay him down?” Then that woman spoke. “Here he carries him off and lays him down,” she said, pointing downward. “So he carries him away,” she said, “He stands up close behind that post, watching people. That is what the chief said, in speaking. Meanwhile the people themselves are evil people, for, being afraid of him (the evil person), they cry while he kills (his victim); and, while looking on, they pay no attention,” she said.

“Pooh!” said (Coyote). I am one who does not fear anything. While I am watching, there is no one who can make people cry out. There is no kind of man who can make (people) cry while I am about. I shall see that (evil person),” he said. “I wonder when it happens!” (?) he said. “When the sun shall be at that stopping-place?” Then, “Yes,” said they, “almost at sunset.”

Then he went off up a little ways, and having gone off, after having strained, he defecated a gopher-head. Thereupon, “See here!” he said, “tell me how I may kill him.”–”On the contrary, you are the one who is to be killed,” it said. “Ah! You always talk that way to me,” said Coyote, and, giving it a kick, he kicked it away down the hill.

Then, after having strained, he defecated a mass of bent-grass. And he asked it, “How shall I kill him?”–”You want to know what to do (?)? There is a round stone where he lays (the victim) down,” it said. “Having hidden that elsewhere, crawl in and hide where the rafters come together at the smoke-hole. Meanwhile he will not see you, for he will be watching constantly another man (the victim). As he seizes the other man, drags him off over the edge and sets him down, after carrying him away,–do you jump up, seize him, and pull him away, and, after carrying him down to where you have hid it, do you strike him with his own round stone,” it said. “Then you will carry him off to his home.”

“All right!” said Coyote. “He is always one who speaks well to me.” So he stuck it back in the same place (from whence it came), and plugged it with the gopher-head. Then he went down again. He hid that (stone) in another place, and then, crawling in, he staid where the posts came together.

Meanwhile the crowd of people got home. They brought deer, kept handing it over in, until they had passed it all in. All the while they crawled in (to the house), kept crawling in, until all had crawled in but one; and he, the last of all, crawled in.

Just then the Muskrat, jumping up quickly, carried the man off and set him down. He caused him to make a noise, making him cry out loud. (Coyote), following close behind, ran after him. “Where is my round stone? Where? Where?” he said often, feeling all about. Meanwhile Coyote, seizing the Muskrat-Man and having dragged him away, killed him.

Then putting (the body) on his back, he carried him off, carried him to the Muskrat’s house, and, taking him inside, laid him down. Then the wife rushed in. She was just going to take up (the body) when she recognized her husband. So she dropped it.

Meanwhile Coyote seized her, and, holding her with his mouth, laid her down. He kept trying to insert his penis, and pretty soon he did so. Just then she said, “Ah! You are squeezing me! Raise up a little!” Then he did raise himself up a little. And then she dived into the water which was in the house. Whereupon he, after having dived through after her, by and by came out, and swore at himself. His rabbit-skin blanket (that was) belted about him was wet, and, wringing this out, he swore.

“I was bad. I was a bad Coyote. I am a person who believes anything. Why didn’t I hold her tightly?” he said, cursing himself. Then he said (to the one he had killed), “You shall not be a person who shall trouble mortal men; but mortal men shall say in stories that Coyote killed the Muskrat-Man. You are evil, and shall stay in the river-canyons, living there, not troubling people. That is what mortal men will tell of you,” he said.

Thereupon he went back down, returning to the same place. When he arrived, he said, “Do you people stay there. I am going away.” And they said., “Very well.” And in that same country they remained long ago. Meanwhile Coyote-Man went off. That is all, it is said.

111:1 Obscure. Hesaetem, “how many;” honwēpepem, “living persons;” tui tseno, “to get up, arise.”

113:1 Obscure.


The Poetry Of Gabriel Rosenstock – Uttering Her Name

I carved a wind-harp

Dar Óma
out of aged cherry-wood
I carved a wind-harp
and placed it far
from the eyes
and ears of men
a hawk watches over it

I was a beggar

Dar Óma
I was a beggar
You threw me a smile

I ran off
into the distance

later, tired
I sat down

now people toss me coins

I throw them back at them

all I ever wanted
was Your smile

no fingers touch
its delicate strings
the breeze it is
that plays the tune
breeze of morning
breeze of night
warm breeze from the south

throughout the day
it sings but You


never the same tune

I create silences

Dar Óma
I create silences
wherever I go
in silence You come to me
I close my eyes and ears
to worlds
my lips

if people ask for directions
I point to the gibbous moon
when asked how I am
I smile the cusp of an eclipse

should someone ask the time
they’ll see in my eyes
it is Dar Óma time
to pray
and to praise

all of creation
is getting in the mood
insects flit silently
but no rustle from trees
I cannot hear my heartbeat

in a distant land
You move noiselessly

sunlight briefly strokes the haggard face of a mountain
a hare cocks his ears
You listen

in a Transylvanian mud-bath

Dar Óma
in a Transylvanian mud-bath
I cover myself in black
oily ooze
Ganesh smiles
mud cakes in the sun
an elephant grey

I lift You with my tusks
like a log far into the forest

all my past
spread out
laid bare

I trample on it
what else to do

carefully I let You down
You stand
where no one has stood before

the ivory silence
as You recline

not the slaked thirst of Bayazid

Dar Óma
not the slaked thirst
of Bayazid
but the prayer of the Prophet
eternally on my lips:
more thirst

like a dog
my tongue hangs out

asleep or awake
how could it be different

I lick Your dew
from grass

I create thunder storms

the air fills
with Your rain

long after it has ceased
trees drip
Your sound

I hear it
even when not listening

deeper than roots

on first hearing its name

Dar Óma
on first hearing its name
I wanted its shock
had I found an electric eel
I would have kept it close to me
jolted into awareness
whenever vagueness or revery set it

at the end of my fiftieth year
You appeared like an eel, a naga
from the depths

I bristle like a furry animal
sure of its doom
never so alive
as in the force of Your current
that moves and twists in me constantly
cell to delighted cell

slowly like Venice I am sinking

Dar Óma
slowly like Venice
I am sinking
into Your beauty

Your grace
lapping at my door

when will I drown
in the spume-bright story of Your smile?

snake unwinding

Dar Óma
snake unwinding
from a lightning-blasted tree
I’ve spotted You
why should I flee?
I am already deep in Your eyes
take all of me
let me assist You
here’s my head firmly in Your jaws
do not use Your fangs
to stun me
let me live
this death in You now
inch by slow inch

the grace showered on me

Dar Óma
the grace showered on me
in my darkest hour
I didn’t know above from below

were grace to fall
it would beat on closed casements

in crazy crystals it came
Your disembodied love

I no longer whimper
for Your touch

a tree of love is growing
I sit in its shade

the night sings
ghazals to the absent moon

the herring gull repeatedly lifts a crab

Dar Óma
the herring gull
repeatedly lifts a crab
carries it aloft
and drops it
on rocks below
until it is satisfied
the shell is truly shattered

the meat devoured
not a scrap left behind

You take me ever higher
clawing air
I forget my fate
submitting to Your hunger

what speeded them on their way?

Dar Óma
what speeded them on their way?
what distances did they travel?
the sky was full of falling stars …
You draw down too much light –
soon the heavens will all be bare

why was the veil rent

Dar Óma
why was the veil rent
why did I ever see Your face
what madness
does my purpose hold

I bleed in my core

at least a stigmatist
has wounds to show

dark One, quickly,
send vultures

Psychic Ills – “Eyes Closed”


Down From The Mountain

As down Mount Emerald at eve I came,
The mountain moon went all the way with me.
Backward I looked, to see the heights aflame
With a pale light that glimmered eerily.

A little lad undid the rustic latch
As hand in hand your cottage we did gain,
Where green limp tendrils at our cloaks did catch,
And dim bamboos o’erhung a shadowy lane.

Gaily I cried, “Here may we rest our fill!”
Then choicest wines we quaffed; and cheerily
“The Wind among the Pines” we sang, until
A few faint stars hung in the Galaxy.

Merry were you, my friend: and drunk was I,
Blissfully letting all the world go by.

Down the Mountain (Reaching the Hermitage)

At evening I make it down the mountain.
Keeping company with the moon.
Looking back I see the paths I’ve taken
Blue now, blue beneath the skyline.
You greet me, show the hidden track,
Where children pull back hawthorn curtains,
Reveal green bamboo, the secret path,
Vines that touch the traveller’s clothes.
I love finding space to rest,
Clear wine to enjoy with you.
Wind in the pines till voices stop,
Songs till the Ocean of Heaven pales.
I get drunk and you are happy,
Both of us pleased to forget the world.
-Li Po

Another Decade, Another Dollar

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. – Alan Watts

Hard Is The Journey
Gold vessels of fine wines,
thousands a gallon,
Jade dishes of rare meats,
costing more thousands,

I lay my chopsticks down,
no more can banquet,
I draw my sword and stare
wildly about me:

Ice bars my way to cross
the Yellow River,
Snows from dark skies to climb
the T’ai-hang mountains!

At peace I drop a hook
into a brooklet,
At once I’m in a boat
but sailing sunward…

(Hard is the journey,
Hard is the journey,
So many turnings,
And now where am I?)

So when a breeze breaks waves,
bringing fair weather,
I set a cloud for sails,
cross the blue oceans!

– Li Po

Dear Friends,

So… here we are, on the edge of another decade, another dollar (or not as far as that dollar goes)… I started this post on New Years Eve, and have been playing around trying to make Word Press do some tricks to my liking. Anyway, I thought it time to publish the first Turfing of the new year.

I would like this issue to be at least a partial re-dedication to the original ideas that generated Turfing back when. My hat is off to Ibn, wherever he is now days, and to his prompting all those years ago. Ibn presented me with the opportunity, and graciously hosted Earthrites,org, and hosted the radio as well for quite a while. There has been some great helping hands over the years with, Jim Clark, Doug Fraser, Morgan Miller, Will Penna, Mike Crowley, Ms Cymon, Diane Darling among others. My hats off to all of you who come back here, and gain something from it all. There is great joy in putting these entries together, and to have the site providing a service to the community.

I realized recently that my activities on FB and other aspects of the web have been severely denting my output on Turfing. I have been on the computer more and squandering my efforts in many ways, much to my dismay. I think that FB is a great tool, as long as you can walk away from it and not get submerged in it too deep. I am trying to bring my sense of focus back, and it is no easy task. (Can I say Dyslexia?) Anyhow, here we go… we may try some new directions, maybe a bit more politics of a new sort, maybe a bit more art and music. We do indeed need that kind of nourishment in our lives

Here is to a brilliant new year, with all kinds of interesting times ahead. Hold on, if ya thought the last 10 were quirky, because the next 10 will make the last 100 look tame in comparison. Heard it here first, yep.

Notes on the above Illustration: “Divine Sarah” I started this a few days back. Actually a whole slew of new art coming soon. “Divine Sarah” is a departure of sorts in my style over the last few years. It pays homage to Sarah Bernhardt of course, and to some of the pop art influences I have kept tucked away.

Stay Tuned, Stay True…

All Blessings,

On The Menu:
The Links
Alan Watts Quotes
Sigur Rós – Svefn g englar
Extracts From: The Joyous Cosmology
Shih-te Daoist Poetry
Sigur Ros – Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa
__ ______________

The Links:
<a href="A gift from Chaffyn, some amazing music from Peru…
<a href="A gift from Paul, detailing an interesting hominid divergence… were they more intelligent?
Fortean Tinged Links of 2009
Acacias Co-Evolved With Insects

Alan Watts Quotes:

“We identify in our experience a differentiation between what we do and what happens to us.”

“You don’t look out there for God, something in the sky, you look in you.”

“Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe.”

“So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing.”

“Saints need sinners.”

Sigur Rós – Svefn g englar


Extracts From: The Joyous Cosmology
– Alan W. Watts

T0 BEGIN WITH, this world has a different kind of time. It is the time of biological rhythm, not of the clock and all that goes with the clock. There is no hurry. Our sense of time is notoriously subjective and thus dependent upon the quality of our attention, whether of interest or boredom, and upon the alignment of our behavior in terms of routines, goals, and deadlines. Here the present is self-sufficient, but it is not a static present. It is a dancing present—the unfolding of a pattern which has no specific destination in the future but is simply its own point. It leaves and arrives simultaneously, and the seed is as much the goal as the flower. There is therefore time to perceive every detail of the movement with infinitely greater richness of articulation. Normally we do not so much look at things as overlook them. The eye sees types and classes—flower, leaf, rock, bird, fire—mental pictures of things rather than things, rough outlines filled with flat color, always a little dusty and dim.

But here the depth of light and structure in a bursting bud go on forever. There is time to see them, time for the whole intricacy of veins and capillaries to develop in consciousness, time to see down and down into the shape of greenness, which is not green at all, but a whole spectrum generalizing itself as green—purple, gold, the sunlit turquoise of the ocean, the intense luminescence of the emerald. I cannot decide where shape ends and color begins. The bud has opened and the fresh leaves fan out and curve back with a gesture which is unmistakably communicative but does not say anything except, “Thus!” And somehow that is quite satisfactory, even startlingly clear. The meaning is transparent in the same way that the color and the texture are transparent, with light which does not seem to fall upon surfaces from above but to be right inside the structure and color. Which is of course where it is, for light is an inseparable trinity of sun, object, and eye, and the chemistry of the leaf is its color, its light….

I am listening to the music of an organ. As leaves seemed to gesture, the organ seems quite literally to speak. There is no use of the vox humana stop, but every sound seems to issue from a vast human throat, moist with saliva. As, with the base pedals, the player moves slowly down the scale, the sounds seem to blow forth in immense, gooey spludges. As I listen more carefully, the spludges acquire texture—expanding circles of vibration finely and evenly toothed like combs, no longer moist and liquidinous like the living throat, but mechanically discontinuous. The sound disintegrates into the innumerable individual drrrits of vibration. Listening on, the gaps close, or perhaps each individual drrrit becomes in its turn a spludge. The liquid and the hard, the continuous and the discontinuous, the gooey and the prickly, seem to be transformations of each other, or to be different levels of magnification upon the same thing.

This theme recurs in a hundred different ways—the inseparable polarity of opposites, or the mutuality and reciprocity of all the possible contents of consciousness. It is easy to see theoretically that all perception is of contrasts—figure and ground, light and shadow, clear and vague, firm and weak. But normal attention seems to have difficulty in taking in both at once. Both sensuously and conceptually we seem to move serially from one to the other; we do not seem to be able to attend to the figure without relative unconsciousness of the ground. But in this new world the mutuality of things is quite clear at every level. The human face, for example, becomes clear in all its aspects—the total form together with each single hair and wrinkle. Faces become all ages at once, for characteristics that suggest age also suggest youth by implication; the bony structure suggesting the skull evokes instantly the newborn infant. The associative couplings of the brain seem to fire simultaneously instead of one at a time, projecting a view of life which may be terrifying in its ambiguity or joyous in its integrity….

Decision can be completely paralyzed by the sudden realization that there is no way of having good without evil, or that it is impossible to act upon reliable authority without choosing, from your own inexperience, to do so. If sanity implies madness and faith doubt, am I basically a psychotic pretending to be sane, a blithering terrified idiot who manages, temporarily, to put on an act of being self-possessed? I begin to see my whole life as a masterpiece of duplicity—the confused, helpless, hungry, and hideously sensitive little embryo at the root of me having learned, step by step, to comply, placate, bully, wheedle, flatter, bluff, and cheat my way into being taken for a person of competence and reliability. For when it really comes down to it, what do any of us know?

I try to go deeper, sinking thought and feeling down and down to their ultimate beginnings. What do I mean by loving myself? In what form do I know myself? Always, it seems, in the form of something other, something strange. The landscape I am watching is also a state of myself, of the neurons in my head. I feel the rock in my hand in terms of my own fingers. And nothing is stranger than my own body—the sensation of the pulse, the eye seen through a magnifying glass in the mirror, the shock of realizing that oneself is something in the external world. At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other. I become curiously affectionate and intimate with all that seemed alien. In the features of everything foreign, threatening, terrifying, incomprehensible, and remote I begin to recognize myself. Yet this is a “myself” which I seem to be remembering from long, long ago—not at all my empirical ego of yesterday, not my specious personality.

The “myself” which I am beginning to recognize, which I had forgotten but actually know better than anything else, goes far back beyond my childhood, beyond the time when adults confused me and tried to tell me that I was someone else; when, because they were bigger and stronger, they could terrify me with their imaginary fears and bewilder and outface me in the complicated game that I had not yet learned. (The sadism of the teacher explaining the game and yet having to prove his superiority in it.) Long before all that, long before I was an embryo in my mother’s womb, there looms the ever-so-familiar stranger, the everything not me, which I recognize, with a joy immeasurably more intense than a meeting of lovers separated by centuries, to be my original self. The good old sonofabitch who got me involved in this whole game.

At the same time everyone and everything around me takes on the feeling of having been there always, and then forgotten, and then remembered again. We are sitting in a garden surrounded in every direction by uncultivated hills, a garden of fuchsias and hummingbirds in a valley that leads down to the westernmost ocean, and where the gulls take refuge in storms. At some time in the middle of the twentieth century, upon an afternoon in the summer, we are sitting around a table on the terrace, eating dark homemade bread and drinking white wine. And yet we seem to have been there forever, for the people with me are no longer the humdrum and harassed little personalities with names, addresses, and social security numbers, the specifically dated mortals we are all pretending to be. They appear rather as immortal archetypes of themselves without, however, losing their humanity. It is just that their differing characters seem, like the priest’s voice, to contain all history; they are at once unique and eternal, men and women but also gods and goddesses. For now that we have time to look at each other we become timeless. The human form becomes immeasurably precious and, as if to symbolize this, the eyes become intelligent jewels, the hair spun gold, and the flesh translucent ivory. Between those who enter this world together there is also a love which is distinctly eucharistic, an acceptance of each other’s natures from the heights to the depths.

Ella, who planted the garden, is a beneficent Circe—sorceress, daughter of the moon, familiar of cats and snakes, herbalist and healer—with the youngest old face one has ever seen, exquisitely wrinkled, silver-black hair rippled like flames. Robert is a manifestation of Pan, but a Pan of bulls instead of the Pan of goats, with frizzled short hair tufted into blunt horns—a man all sweating muscle and body, incarnation of exuberant glee. Beryl, his wife, is a nymph who has stepped out of the forest, a mermaid of the land with swinging hair and a dancing body that seems to be naked even when clothed. It is her bread that we are eating, and it tastes like the Original Bread of which mother’s own bread was a bungled imitation. And then there is Mary, beloved in the usual, dusty world, but in this world an embodiment of light and gold, daughter of the sun, with eyes formed from the evening sky—a creature of all ages, baby, moppet, maid, matron, crone, and corpse, evoking love of all ages.
I try to find words that will suggest the numinous, mythological quality of these people. Yet at the same time they are as familiar as if I had known them for centuries, or rather, as if I were recognizing them again as lost friends whom I knew at the beginning of time, from a country begotten before all worlds. This is of course bound up with the recognition of my own most ancient identity, older by far than the blind squiggling of the Eenie-Weenie, as if the highest form that consciousness could take had somehow been present at the very beginning of things. All of us look at each other knowingly, for the feeling that we knew each other in that most distant past conceals something else—tacit, awesome, almost unmentionable—the realization that at the deep center of a time perpendicular to ordinary time we are, and always have been, one. We acknowledge the marvelously hidden plot, the master illusion, whereby we appear to be different.

The shock of recognition. In the form of everything most other, alien, and remote—the ever-receding galaxies, the mystery of death, the terrors of disease and madness, the foreign-feeling, gooseflesh world of sea monsters and spiders, the queasy labyrinth of my own insides—in all these forms I have crept up on myself and yelled “Boo!” I scare myself out of my wits, and, while out of my wits, cannot remember just how it happened. Ordinarily I am lost in a maze. I don’t know how I got here, for I have lost the thread and forgotten the intricately convoluted system of passages through which the game of hide-and-seek was pursued. (Was it the path I followed in growing the circuits of my brain?) But now the principle of the maze is clear. It is the device of something turning back upon itself so as to seem to be other, and the turns have been so many and so dizzyingly complex that I am quite bewildered. The principle is that all dualities and opposites are not disjoined but polar; they do not encounter and confront one another from afar; they exfoliate from a common center. Ordinary thinking conceals polarity and relativity because it employs terms, the terminals or ends, the poles, neglecting what lies between them. The difference of front and back, to be and not to be, hides their unity and mutuality.

Now consciousness, sense perception, is always a sensation of contrasts. It is a specialization in differences, in noticing, and nothing is definable, classifiable, or noticeable except by contrast with something else. But man does not live by consciousness alone, for the linear, step-by-step, contrast-by-contrast procedure of attention is quite inadequate for organizing anything so complex as a living body. The body itself has an “omniscience” which is unconscious, or superconscious, just because it deals with relation instead of contrast, with harmonies rather than discords. It “thinks” or organizes as a plant grows, not as a botanist describes its growth. This is why Shiva has ten arms, for he represents the dance of life, the omnipotence of being able to do innumerably many things at once….


Shih-te Daoist Poetry

Doesn’t anyone see
the turmoil in the Three Worlds
is due to endless delusion
once thoughts stop the mind becomes clear
nothing comes or goes neither birth nor death

Behold the glow of the moon
illumine the world’s four quarters
perfect light in perfect space
a radiance that purifies
people say it waxes and wanes
but I don’t see it fade
just like a magic pearl
it shines both night and day

I live in a place without limits
surrounded by effortless truth
sometimes I climb Nirvana Peak
or play in Sandalwood Temple
but most of the time I relax
and speak of neither profit nor fame
even if the sea became a mulberry grove
it wouldn’t mean much to me

We slip into Tientai caves,
We visit people unseen-
Eat magic mushrooms under the pines.
We talk about the past and present
And sigh at the world gone mad.
Everyone going to Hell
And going for a long time.

Up high the trail turns steep,
The towering pass stands sheer;
Stone Bridge is slick with moss.
Clouds keep flying past,
A cascade hangs like silk,
The Moon shines in the pool below.
I’m climbing Lotus Peak again,
To wait for that lone crane once more.

By and large the monks I meet
Love their wine and meat.
Instead of climbing straight to Heaven
They slip back down to Hell.
They chant a sutra or two
To fool the laymen in town,
Unaware the laymen in town
Are more perceptive than them.
People crowd in the dust,
Enjoying the pleasures of the dust.
I see them in the dust
And pity fills my heart.
Why do I pity their lot?
I think of their pain in the dust.
Take these mortal incarnations
These comical-looking forms
With faces like the silver moon
And hearts as black as pitch.
Cooking pigs and butchering sheep,
Bragging about the flavor,
Dying and going to Frozen-Tongue Hell
Before they stop telling lies.

Partial to pine cliffs and lonely trails,
An old man laughs at himself when he falters.
Even now after all these years,
Trusting the current ‘like an unmoored boat’.
A young man studied letters and arms
And rode off to the Capital,
Where he learned the Hsiung-nu had been vanquished;
And all he could do was wait.
So to kingfisher cliffs he retired,
And sits in the grass by a stream
While valiant men chase red cords
And monkeys ride clay oxen.

Sigur Ros – Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa