“A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King.” — Emily Dickinson
“Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.”
– Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring
(Robert Frost was the first modern poet that I read, before him, the divine Homer and then Virgil)
It has been over due this one. I am just happy to launch it, on this first full day after the Equinox. Everything is waxing, the buds, the flowers, the leaves, the allergies… Portland’s trees are bursting with beauty, the lawns, tired from winter are just waking up. The squirrels launch fevered assaults on the bird feeders when they are not chasing each other, and the crows are squabbling over the best trees for nesting in the neighborhood.
I love the return of life to the land, seeing people working their bit of earth, and to see the wildlife and bloom burst forth together. It is a good time.
This edition has some new music from “Therapies Son”, some Robert Anton Wilson (possibly a repeat, but what the heck), Ralph Waldo Emerson doing the poetic, and various images, quotes and links.
I hope you will enjoy it!
On The Menu:
Albert Camus Quotes
Therapies Son – Touching Down
Dope and Divinity/A Lesson In Karma
Poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Therapies Son – Rose Red Rose
Pee Wee In Tripoli
Researchers consider ancestry of recent fossil finds
US government denies entry visa to Afghan women’s rights activist and author Malalai Joya
As a remedy to life in society I would suggest the big city. Nowadays, it is the only desert within our means.
At 30 a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities, know how far he can go, foretell his failures – be what he is. And, above all, accept these things.
At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.
Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time.
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.
Therapies Son – Touching Down
Robert Anton Wilson
The cumulative evidence in such books as Dr. Andrija Puharich’s The Sacred Mushroom, John Allegro’s The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, R. Gordon Wasson’s Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Robert Graves’ revised fourth edition of The White Goddess, Professor Peter Furst’s Flesh of the Gods, Dr. Weston LaBarre’s The Peyote Cult and Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion, Margaret Murray’s The Witch Cult of Western Europe, etc., leaves little doubt that the beginnings of religion (awareness of, or at least belief in, Higher Intelligences) is intimately linked with the fact that shamans – in Europe, Asia, in the Americas, in Africa – have been dosing their nervous systems with metaprogramming drugs since at least 30,000 B.C.
The pattern is the same, among our cave-dwelling ancestors and American Indians, at the Eleusinian feasts in Athens and among pre-Vedic Hindus, in tribes scattered from pole to pole and in the contemporary research summarized by Dr. Walter Huston Clark in his Chemical Ecstacy: people take these metaprogramming substances and they soon assert contact with Higher Intelligences.
According the LaBarre’s Ghost Dance, the shamans of North and South America used over 2,000 different metaprogramming chemicals; those of Europe and Asia curiously, only used about 250. Amanita muscaria (the “fly agaric” mushroom) was the most widely used sacred drug in the Old World, and the peyote cactus in the New. Over the past 30-to-40,000 years countless shamans have been trained by older shamans (as anthropologist Carlos Castaneda is trained by brujo – witch-man – Don Juan Matus in the famous books) to use these chemicals, as Dr. Leary and Dr. Lilly have used them, to metaprogram the nervous system and bring in some of the signals usually not scanned. (On the visual spectrum alone ,it has been well known since Newton that we normally perceive less than 0.5 (one-half of one) per cent of all known pulsations.) It can safely be generalized that the link between such sensitive new scannings and personal belief in Higher Intelligences is the most probable explaination of the origins of religion.
That the turned on mind is cosmic in dimension is stated directly by Carlos Castaneda’s shamanic teacher, Don Juan Matus, in Tales of Power:
“Last night was the first time you flew on the wings of your perception. A sorcerer can use those wings to touch other sensibilities, a crow’s for instance, a coyote’s, a cricket’s, or the order of other worlds in that infinite space. (Emphasis added)
When professor Castaneda asked directly, “Do you mean other planets, Don Juan?” the old shaman answered without reservation: “Certainly.”
As Captain James T. Kirk once remarked, “Can all this just be an accident? Or could there be some alien intelligence behind it?”
A Lesson In Karma
an exerpt from… Cosmic Trigger : Final Secret of the Illuminati, by Robert Anton Wilson, et al
Lao-Tse says (at least in Leary’s translation) that the Great Tao is most often found with parents who are willing to learn from their children. This remark was to cause me considerable mental strain and dilation around this time in our narrative, because my children had become very self-directed adolescents and were getting into occultism with much more enthusiasm and much less skepticism than I thought judicious.
For a few years, we could not discuss these subjects without arguing, despite my attempts to remember good old Lao-Tse and really listen to the kids. They believed in astrology, which I was still convinced was bosh; in reincarnation, which I considered an extravagant metaphor one shouldn’t take literally; and in that form of the doctrine of Karma which holds, optimistically, that the evil really are punished and the good really are rewarded, which I considered a wishful fantasy no more likely than the Christian idea of Heaven and Hell. Worst of all, they had a huge appetite for various Oriental “Masters” whom I regarded as total charlatans, and an enormous disdain for all the scientific methodology of the West.
My own position was identical to that of Aleister Crowley when he wrote:
We place no reliance
On Virgin or Pigeon;
Our method is Science,
Our aim is Religion.
After every argument with one of the kids, I would vow again to listen more sympathetically, less judgmentally, to their Pop Orientalism. I finally began to succeed. I learned a great deal from them.
A “miracle” then happened. I know this will be harder for the average American parent to believe than any of my other weird yarns, but my horde of self-willed and self-directed adolescents began to listen to me. Real communication was established. Even though I was in my 40s and greying in the beard, I was able to talk intelligently with four adolescents about our philosophical disagreements, and our mutual respect for each other grew by leaps and bounds.
This, I think, is the greatest result I have obtained from all my occult explorations, even if the unmarried will not appreciate how miraculous it was.
Luna, our youngest-the one who might have levitated in Mexico and who had her first menstrual period synchronistically on the day Tim Leary was busted in Afghanistantaught me the hardest lesson of all. She had begun to paint m watercolors and everything she did charmed me: it was always full of sun and light, in a way that was as overpowering as Van Gogh.
“What do all these paintings mean?” I asked her one day.
“I’m trying to show the Clear Light,” she said.
Then, returning from school one afternoon, Luna was beaten and robbed by a gang of black kids. She was weeping and badly frightened when she arrived home, and her Father was shaken by the unfairness of it happening to her, such a gentle, ethereal child. In the midst of consoling her, the Father wandered emotionally and began denouncing the idea of Karma. Luna was beaten, he said, not for her sins, but for the sins of several centuries of slavers and racists, most of whom had never themselves suffered for those sins. “Karma is a blind machine,” he said. “The effects of evil go on and on but they don’t necessarily come back on those who start the evil.” Then Father got back on the track and said some more relevant and consoling things.
The next day Luna was her usual sunny and cheerful self, just like the Light in her paintings. “I’m glad you’re feeling better,” the Father said finally.
“I stopped the wheel of Karma,” she said. “All the bad energy is with the kids who beat me up. I’m not holding any of it.”
And she wasn’t. The bad energy had entirely passed by, and there was no anger or fear in her. I never saw her show any hostility to blacks after the beating, any more than before.
The Father fell in love with her all over again. And he understood what the metaphor of the wheel of Karma really symbolizes and what it means to stop the wheel.
Karma, in the original Buddhist scriptures, is a blind machine; in fact, it is functionally identical with the scientific concept of natural law. Sentimental ethical ideas about justice being built into the machine, so that those who do evil in one life are punished for it in another life, were added later by theologians reasoning from their own moralistic prejudices. Buddha simply indicated that all the cruelties and injustices of the past are still active: their effects are always being felt. Similarly, he explained, all the good of the past, all the kindness and patience and love of decent people is also still being felt.
Since most humans are still controlled by fairly robotic reflexes, the bad energy of the past far outweighs the good, and the tendency of the wheel is to keep moving in the same terrible direction, violence breeding more violence, hatred breeding more hatred, war breeding more war. The only way to “stop the wheel” is to stop it inside yourself, by giving up bad energy and concentrating on the positive. This is by no means easy, but once you understand what Gurdjieff called “the horror of our situation,” you have no choice but to try, and to keep on trying.
And Luna, at 13, understood this far better than I did, at 43, with all my erudition and philosophy… I still regarded her absolute vegetarianism and pacifism as sentimentality.
Poetry: Ralph Waldo Emerson
Bring me wine, but wine which never grew
In the belly of the grape,
Or grew on vine whose taproots reaching through
Under the Andes to the Cape,
Suffered no savor of the world to ‘scape.
Let its grapes the morn salute
From a nocturnal root
Which feels the acrid juice
Of Styx and Erebus,
And turns the woe of night,
By its own craft, to a more rich delight.
We buy ashes for bread,
We buy diluted wine;
Give me of the true,
Whose ample leaves and tendrils curled
Among the silver hills of heaven,
Draw everlasting dew;
Wine of wine,
Blood of the world,
Form of forms and mould of statures,
That I; intoxicated,
And by the draught assimilated,
May float at pleasure through all natures,
The bird-language rightly spell,
And that which roses say so well.
Wine that is shed
Like the torrents of the sun
Up the horizon walls;
Or like the Atlantic streams which run
When the South Sea calls.
Water and bread;
Food which needs no transmuting,
Wine which is already man,
Food which teach and reason can.
Wine which music is;
Music and wine are one;
That I, drinking this,
Shall hear far chaos talk with me,
Kings unborn shall walk with me,
And the poor grass shall plot and plan
What it will do when it is man:
Quickened so, will I unlock
Every crypt of every rock.
I thank the joyful juice
For all I know;
Winds of remembering
Of the ancient being blow,
And seeming-solid walls ot use
Open and flow.
Pour, Bacchus, the remembering wine;
Retrieve the loss of me and mine;
Vine for vine be antidote,
And the grape requite the lot.
Haste to cure the old despair,
Reason in nature’s lotus drenched,
The memory of ages quenched;—
Give them again to shine.
Let wine repair what this undid,
And where the infection slid,
And dazzling memory revive.
Refresh the faded tints,
Recut the aged prints,
And write my old adventures, with the pen
Which, on the first day, drew
Upon the tablets blue
The dancing Pleiads, and the eternal men.
Long I followed happy guides,—
I could never reach their sides.
Their step is forth, and, ere the day,
Breaks up their leaguer, and away.
Keen my sense, my heart was young,
Right goodwill my sinews strung,
But no speed of mine avails
To hunt upon their shining trails.
On and away, their hasting feet
Make the morning proud and sweet.
Flowers they strew, I catch the scent,
Or tone of silver instrument
Leaves on the wind melodious trace,
Yet I could never see their face.
On eastern hills I see their smokes
Mixed with mist by distant lochs.
I meet many travellers
Who the road had surely kept,—
They saw not my fine revellers,—
These had crossed them while they slept.
Some had heard their fair report
In the country or the court.
Fleetest couriers alive
Never yet could once arrive,
As they went or they returned,
At the house where these sojourned.
Sometimes their strong speed they slacken,
Though they are not overtaken:
In sleep, their jubilant troop is near,
I tuneful voices overhear,
It may be in wood or waste,—
At unawares ’tis come and passed.
Their near camp my spirit knows
By signs gracious as rainbows.
I thenceforward and long after
Listen for their harplike laughter,
And carry in my heart for days
Peace that hallows rudest ways.—
I cannot spare water or wine,
Tobacco-leaf, or poppy, or rose;
From the earth-poles to the Line,
All between that works or grows,
Every thing is kin of mine.
Give me agates for my meat,
Give me cantharids to eat,
From air and ocean bring me foods,
From all zones and altitudes.
From all natures, sharp and slimy,
Salt and basalt, wild and tame,
Tree, and lichen, ape, sea-lion,
Bird and reptile be my game.
Ivy for my fillet band,
Blinding dogwood in my hand,
Hemlock for my sherbet cull me,
And the prussic juice to lull me,
Swing me in the upas boughs,
Vampire-fanned, when I carouse.
Too long shut in strait and few,
Thinly dieted on dew,
I will use the world, and sift it,
To a thousand humors shift it,
As you spin a cherry.
O doleful ghosts, and goblins merry,
O all you virtues, methods, mights;
Means, appliances, delights;
Reputed wrongs, and braggart rights;
Smug routine, and things allowed;
Minorities, things under cloud!
Hither! take me, use me, fill me,
Vein and artery, though ye kill me;
God! I will not be an owl,
But sun me in the Capitol.
Therapies Son – Rose Red Rose (video from Scenes from “The Holy Mountain” By Alejandro Jodorowsky)
“O Love-star of the unbeloved March,
When cold and shrill,
Forth flows beneath a low, dim-lighted arch
The wind that beats sharp crag and barren hill,
And keeps unfilmed the lately torpid rill!”
– Aubrey De Vere, Ode to the Daffodil