Deeper Dreams

“Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves.” – Nagarjuna

Monday… Time is flying past. There is a cold mist over Portland. I have been painting flowers on the bathroom wall (pics when done perhaps).

The season deepens. The darkness has settled over everything. Time seems short, dreams seem deep. The sun is fleeting, if at all. Here comes the time of the crossroads, the Solstice. Soon.

Much Love,


On The Menu:
William Blake Quotes
karunesh-Sahara Sunset
Nagarjuna: Mulamadhyamaka Karika
Nagarjuna: Poems
Art: Virginia Frances Sterrett
Biography: Virginia Frances Sterrett

Happy Birthday William!

William Blake Quotes:

Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

Every harlot was a virgin once.

Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.

Exuberance is beauty.

For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life.

Fun I love, but too much fun is of all things the most loathsome. Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth.

Great things are done when men and mountains meet.

karunesh-Sahara Sunset


Compassion is a mind that savors only
Mercy and love for all sentient beings….

Nagarjuna: Mulamadhyamaka Karika

What is never cast off, seized, interrupted, constant, extinguished, and produced–this is called Nirvana.

Indeed, Nirvana is not strictly in the nature of ordinary existence for, if it were, there would wrongly follow the characteristics of old age and death. For, such an existence cannot be without those characteristics.

If Nirvana is strictly in the nature of ordinary existence, it would be of the created realm. For, no ordinary existence of the uncreated realm ever exists anywhere at all.

If Nirvana is strictly in the nature of ordinary existence, why is it non-appropriating? For, no ordinary existence that is non-appropriating ever exists.

If Nirvana is not strictly in the nature of ordinary existence, how could what is in the nature of non-existence be Nirvana? Where there is no existence, equally so, there can be no non-existence.

If Nirvana is in the nature of non-existence, why is it non-appropriating? For, indeed, a non-appropriating non-existence does not prevail.

The status of the birth-death cycle is due to existential grasping [of the skandhas] and relational condition [of the being]. That which is non-grasping and non-relational is taught as Nirvana.

The Teacher has taught the abandonment of the concepts of being and non-being. Therefore, Nirvana is properly neither [in the realm of] existence nor non-existence.

If Nirvana is [in the realm of] both existence and non-existence, then liberation will also be both. But that is not proper.

If Nirvana is [in the realm of] both existence and non-existence, it will not be non-appropriating. For, both realms are always in the process of appropriating.
How could Nirvana be [in the realm of] both existence and non-existence? Nirvana is of the uncreated realm while existence and non-existence are of the created realm.

How could Nirvana be [in the realm of] both existence and non-existence? Both cannot be together in one place just as the situation is with light and darkness.

The proposition that Nirvana is neither existence nor non-existence could only be valid if and when the realms of existence and non-existence are established.

If indeed Nirvana is asserted to be neither existence nor non-existence, then by what means are the assertions to be known?

It cannot be said that the Blessed One exists after nirodha (release from worldly desires). Nor can it be said that He does not exist after nirodha, or both, or neither.

It cannot be said that the Blessed One even exists in the present living process. Nor can it be said that He does not exist in the present living process, or both, or neither.

Samsara (the empirical life-death cycle) is nothing essentially different from Nirvana. Nirvana is nothing essentially different from Samsara.

The limits of Nirvana are the limits of Samsara. Between the two, also, there is not the slightest difference whatsoever.

The various views concerning the status of life after nirodha, the limits of the world, the concept of permanence, etc., are all based on [such concepts as] Nirvana, posterior and anterior states of existence.

Since all factors of existence are in the nature of Emptiness (sunya), why assert the finite, the infinite, both finite and Infinite, and neither finite nor infinite?

Why assert the identity, difference, permanence, impermanence, both permanence and impermanence, or neither permanence nor impermanence?
All acquisitions [i.e., grasping] as well as play of concepts [i.e., symbolic representation] are basically in the nature of cessation and quiescence. Any factor of experience with regards to anyone at any place was never taught by the Buddha.


Nagarjuna: Poems


I have no body apart
From parts which form it.
I know no parts
Apart from a “body.”

A body with no parts
Would be unformed,
A part of my body apart from my body
Would be absurd.

Were the body here or not,
It would need no parts.
Partless bodies are pointless.
Do not get stuck in the “body.”

I cannot say,
“My body is like its parts.”
I cannot say,
“It’s something else.”

Feelings, perceptions,
Drives, minds, things
Are like this body
In every way.

Conflict with emptiness
Is no conflict;
Objections to emptiness,
No objections.


If something has an essence–
How can it ever change
Into anything else?

A thing doesn’t change into something else–
Youth does not age,
Age does not age.

If something changed into something else–
Milk would be butter
Or butter would not be milk.

Were there a trace of something,
There would be a trace of emptiness.
Were there no trace of anything,
There would be no trace of emptiness.

Buddhas say emptiness
Is relinquishing opinions.
Believers in emptiness
Are incurable.


No trace of space
Is there before
The absence of obstruction
Which describes it.

With no obstruction,
How can there be
Absence of obstruction?
Who distinguishes between them?

Space is not obstruction
Or an absence of it,
Nor is it a description
Or something to describe.

Fluidity and heat,
Energy and gravity
Are just like space.

In seeing things
To be or not to be
Fools fail to see
A world at ease.

Biographical Information

Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931) was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1900. She was an introverted child who preferred the world of imagination and drawing to social interaction with other children at school. When her father died, her family moved to Missouri to live near relatives. While she was living in the heartland, she won several awards at the Kansas State Fair (c. 1913), an event that encouraged her to focus even more on drawing.

In 1915, Virginia and her family returned to Chicago. She started high school with the intention to study art but soon migrated to the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was admitted on a complete scholarship. Virginia left the Institute little more than a year later, when her mother became ill. Virginia became the sole support of her family, working in art advertising agencies around Chicago.

It was not long before her own health began to fail; she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Her first commission came in 1919. She was commissioned by Penn Publishing Company to illustrate the Comptesse de Ségur’s Old French Fairy Tales. She was 19 and received $500 for the eight watercolors and 16 pen and ink drawings, with a supplemental $250 for a colored drawing for the cover and ink drawings for the end papers and boards. This was quickly followed by another commission for Tanglewood Tales from the same publisher, Penn Publishing Company.

In 1923, the family moved to the warmer climate of southern California, making their home in Altadena, nestled at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains just north of Pasadena. There was a slight improvement in her health, but it didn’t last and she entered Compton Sanitorium. Her health was now curtailing her work and she could only draw for a short time eat day. She started a new series of illustrations for Arabian Nights but the declining state of her health, it took three years to complete. The Arabian Nights, her last published works, are considered her masterpiece.

Between 1929 and 1930, Virginia’s health improved slightly and she was able to move home with her family. She exhibited locally at the Little Gallery in Monrovia, California; and entered competitions at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair.

In 1930, Virginia began work on her last commission, a series of illustration for Myths and Legends. This commission was never completed; her health took a turn for the worse and she died on June 8, 1931. She was 30 years old.

“Virtues are acquired through endeavor,
Which rests wholly upon yourself.
So, to praise others for their virtues
can but encourage one’s own efforts.”
– Nagarjuna

The Soul Cages

“I watch
the sea
your hands
the waves
seep into my bones

the sky descends
we sleep in blue.”
– Sleeping in Blue by Eileen Carney Hulme

Portland, Thursday: Cold, the rain continues. Working on projects around the house before we head out for a family/friends gathering. I hope this finds you and yours well.

We are featuring music today from Loga Ramin Torkian, one of the Niyaz collective, and poetry from Eileen Carney Hulme, a Scottish Poetess I recently discovered.


On The Menu:
The Links
Loga Ramin Torkian – Az Pardeh (Through the Veil)
The Soul Cages
Poetry: Eileen Carney Hulme
Loga Ramin Torkian ft. Khosro Ansari – Mehraab
Art: Alphons Mucha

The Links:
The Big Study: Faeries
A Case For Reincarnation?
The Strangest Parking Tickets
Leonardo’s To Do List

Loga Ramin Torkian – Az Pardeh (Through the Veil)


The Soul Cages

T. Crofton Croker

Jack Dogherty lived on the coast of the county Clare. Jack was a fisherman, as his father and grandfather before him had been. Like them, too, he lived all alone (but for the wife), and just in the same spot. People used to wonder why the Dogherty family were so fond of that wild situation, so far away from all human kind, and in the midst of huge shattered rocks, with nothing but the wide ocean to look upon. But they had their own good reasons for it.

The place was just the only spot on that part of the coast where anybody could well live. There was a neat little creek, where a boat might lie as snug as a puffin in her nest, and out from this creek a ledge of sunken rocks ran into the sea. Now when the Atlantic, according to custom, was raging with a storm, and a good westerly wind was blowing strong on the coast, many a richly-laden ship went to pieces on these rocks; and then the fine bales of cotton and tobacco, and such like things, and the pipes of wine and the puncheons of rum, and the casks of brandy, and the kegs of Hollands that used to come ashore! Dunbeg Bay was just like a little estate to the Doghertys.

Not but they were kind and humane to a distressed sailor, if ever one had the good luck to get to land; and many a time indeed did Jack put out in his little corragh (which, though not quite equal to honest Andrew Hennessy’s canvas life-boat would breast the billows like any gannet), to lend a hand towards bringing off the crew from a wreck. But when the ship had gone to pieces, and the crew were all lost, who would blame Jack for picking up all he could find?

“And who is the worse of it?” said he. “For as to the king, God bless him! everybody knows he’s rich enough already without getting what’s floating in the sea.”

Jack, though such a hermit, was a good-natured, jolly fellow. No other, sure, could ever have coaxed Biddy Mahony to quit her father’s snug and warm house in the middle of the town of Ennis, and to go so many miles off to live among the rocks, with the seals and sea-gulls for next-door neighbours. But Biddy knew that Jack was the man for a woman who wished to be comfortable and happy; for to say nothing of the fish, Jack had the supplying of half the gentlemen’s houses of the country with the Godsends that came into the bay. And she was right in her choice; for no woman ate, drank, or slept better, or made a prouder appearance at chapel on Sundays, than Mrs. Dogherty.

Many a strange sight, it may well be supposed, did Jack see, and many a strange sound did he hear, but nothing daunted him. So far was he from being afraid of Merrows, or such beings, that the very first wish of his heart was to fairly meet with one. Jack had heard that they were mighty like Christians, and that luck had always come out of an acquaintance with them. Never, therefore, did he dimly discern the Merrows moving along the face of the waters in their robes of mist, but he made direct for them; and many a scolding did Biddy, in her own quiet way, bestow upon Jack for spending his whole day out at sea, and bringing home no fish. Little did poor Biddy know the fish Jack was after!

It was rather annoying to Jack that, though living in a place where the Merrows were as plenty as lobsters, he never could get a right view of one. What vexed him more was that both his father and grandfather had often and often seen them; and he even remembered hearing, when a child, how his grandfather, who was the first of the family that had settled down at the creek, had been so intimate with a Merrow that, only for fear of vexing the priest, he would have had him stand for one of his children. This, however, Jack did not well know how to believe.

Fortune at length began to think that it was only right that Jack should know as much as his father and grandfather did. Accordingly, one day when he had strolled a little farther than usual along the coast to the northward, just as he turned a point, he saw something, like to nothing he had ever seen before, perched upon a rock at a little distance out to sea. It looked green in the body, as well as he could discern at that distance, and he would have sworn, only the thing was impossible, that it had a cocked hat in its hand. Jack stood for a good half-hour straining his eyes, and wondering at it, and all the time the thing did not stir hand or foot. At last Jack’s patience was quite worn out, and he gave a loud whistle and a hail, when the Merrow (for such it was) started up, put the cocked hat on its head, and dived down, head foremost, from the rock.

Jack’s curiosity was now excited, and he constantly directed his steps towards the point; still he could never get a glimpse of the sea-gentleman with the cocked hat; and with thinking and thinking about the matter, he began at last to fancy he had been only dreaming. One very rough day, however, when the sea was running mountains high, Jack Dogherty determined to give a look at the Merrow’s rock (for he had always chosen a fine day before), and then he saw the strange thing cutting capers upon the top of the rock, and then diving down, and then coming up, and then diving down again.

Jack had now only to choose his time (that is, a good blowing day), and he might see the man of the sea as often as he pleased. All this. however, did not satisfy him–”much will have more”; he wished now to get acquainted with the Merrow, and even in this he succeeded. One tremendous blustering day, before he got to the point whence he had a view of the Merrow’s rock, the storm came on so furiously that Jack was obliged to take shelter in one of the caves which are so numerous along the coast; and there, to his astonishment, he saw sitting before him a thing with green hair, long green teeth, a red nose, and pig’s eyes. It had a fish’s tail, legs with scales on them, and short arms like fins. It wore no clothes, but had the cocked hat under its arm, and seemed engaged thinking very seriously about something.

Jack, with all his courage, was a little daunted; but now or never, thought he; so up he went boldly to the cogitating fishman, took off his hat, and made his best bow.

“Your servant, sir,” said Jack.

“Your servant, kindly, Jack Dogherty,” answered the Merrow.

“To be sure, then, how well your honour knows my name!” said Jack.

“Is it I not know your name, Jack Dogherty? Why man, I knew your grandfather long before he was married to Judy Regan, your grandmother! Ah, Jack, Jack, I was fond of that grandfather of yours; he was a mighty worthy man in his time: I never met his match above or below, before or since, for sucking in a shellful of brandy. I hope, my boy,” said the old fellow, with a merry twinkle in his eyes, “I hope you’re his own grandson!”

‘Never fear me for that,” said Jack; “if my mother had only reared me on brandy, ’tis myself that would be a sucking infant to this hour!”

“Well, I like to hear you talk so manly; you and I must be better acquainted, if it were only for your grandfather’s sake. But, Jack, that father of yours was not the thing! he had no head at all.”

“I’m sure, said Jack, “since your honour lives down under the water, you must be obliged to drink a power to keep any beat in you in such a cruel, damp, could place. Well, I’ve often heard of Christians drinking like fishes; and might I be so bold as ask where you get the spirits?”

“Where do you get them yourself, Jack?” said the Merrow, twitching his red nose between his forefinger and thumb.

“Hubbubboo,” cries Jack “now I see how it is; but I suppose, sir, your honour has got a fine dry cellar below to keep them in.”

“Let me alone for the cellar,” said the Merrow, with a knowing wink of his left eye.

‘I’m sure,” continued Jack, “it must be mighty well worth the looking at.”

“You may say that, Jack,” said the Merrow; “and if you meet me here next Monday, just at this time of the day, we will have a little more talk with one another about the matter.”

Jack and the Merrow parted the best friends in the world. On Monday they met, and Jack was not a little surprised to see that the Merrow had two cocked hats with him, one under each arm.

“Might I take the liberty to ask, sir,” said Jack, “why your honour has brought the two hats with you today? You would not, sure, be going to give me one of them, to keep for the curiosity of the thing?”

“No, no, Jack,” said he, “I don’t get my hats so easily, to part with them that way; but I want you to come down and dine with me, and I brought you that hat to dive with.”

“Lord bless and preserve us!” cried Jack, in amazement, would you want me to go down to the bottom of the salt sea ocean? Sure, I’d be smothered and choked up with the water, to say nothing of being drowned! And what would poor Biddy do for me, and what would she say?”

“And what matter what she says, you pinkeen? Who cares for Biddy’s squalling? It’s long before your grandfather would have talked in that way. Many’s the time he stuck that same hat on his head, and dived down boldly after me; and many’s the snug bit of dinner and good shellful of brandy he and I have had together below, under the water.”

“Is it really, sir, and no joke?” said Jack; “why, then, sorrow from me for ever and a day after, if I’ll be a bit worse man nor my grandfather was! Here goes–but play me fair now. Here’s neck or nothing!” cried Jack.

“That’s your grandfather all over,” said the old fellow; “so come along, then, and do as I do.”

They both left the cave, walked into the sea, and then swam a piece until they got to the rock, The Merrow climbed to the top of it, and Jack followed him. On the far side it was as straight as the wall of a house, and the sea beneath looked so deep that Jack was almost cowed.

“Now, do you see, Jack,” said the Merrow: “just put this hat on your head, and mind to keep your eyes wide open. Take hold of my tail, and follow after me, and you’ll see what you’ll see.”

In he dashed, and in dashed Jack after him boldly. They went and they went, and Jack thought they’d never stop going. Many a time did he wish himself sitting at home by the fireside with Biddy. Yet where was the use of wishing now, when he was so many miles, as he thought, below the waves of the Atlantic? Still he held hard by the Merrow’s tail, slippery as it was; and, at last, to Jack’s great surprise, they got out of the water, and he actually found himself on dry land at the bottom of the sea. They landed just in front of a nice house that was slated very neatly with oyster shells! and the Merrow, turning about to Jack, welcomed him down.

Jack could hardly speak, what with wonder, and what with being out of breath with travelling so fast through the water. He looked about him and could see no living things, barring crabs and lobsters, of which there were plenty walking leisurely about on the sand. Overhead was the sea like a sky, and the fishes like birds swimming about in it.

“Why don’t you speak, man?” said the Merrow: “I dare say you had no notion that I had such a snug little concern here as this? Are you smothered, or choked, or drowned, or are you fretting after Biddy, eh?”

“Oh! not myself indeed,” said Jack, showing his teeth with a good-humoured grin; “but who in the world would ever have thought of seeing such a thing?”

‘Yell, come along, and let’s see what they’ve got for us to eat?”

Jack really was hungry, and it gave him no small pleasure to perceive a fine column of smoke rising from the chimney, announcing what was going on within. Into the house he followed the Merrow, and there he saw a good kitchen, right well provided with everything. There was a noble dresser, and plenty of pots and pans, with two young Merrows cooking. His host then led him into the room, which was furnished shabbily enough. Not a table or a chair was there in it; nothing but planks and logs of wood to sit on, and eat off. There was, however, a good fire blazing upon the hearth–a comfortable sight to Jack.

“Come now, and I’ll show you where I keep–you know what,” said the Merrow, with a sly look; and opening a little door, he led Jack into a fine cellar, well filled with pipes, and kegs, and hogsheads, and barrels.

“What do you say to that, Jack Dogherty? Eh! may be a body can’t live snug under the water?”

“Never the doubt of that,” said Jack, with a convincing smack of his upper lip, that he really thought what he said.

They went back to the room, and found dinner laid. There was no tablecloth, to be sure–but what matter? It was not always Jack had one at home. The dinner would have been no discredit to the first house of the country on a fast day. The choicest of fish, and no wonder, was there. Turbots, and sturgeons, and soles, and lobsters, and oysters, and twenty other kinds, were on the planks at once, and plenty of the best of foreign spirits. The wines, the old fellow said, were too cold for his stomach.

Jack ate and drank till he could eat no more: then taking up a shell of brandy, “Here’s to your honour’s good health, sir,” said he; “though, begging you pardon, it’s mighty odd that as long as we’ve been acquainted I don’t know your name yet.”

“That’s true, Jack,” replied he; “I never thought of it before, but better late than never. My name’s Coomara.”

“And a mighty decent name it is,” cried Jack, taking another shellfull: “here’s to your good health, Coomara, and may ye live these fifty years to come!”

“Fifty years!” repeated Coomara; “I’m obliged to you, indeed! If you had said five hundred, it would have been something worth the wishing.”

“By the laws, sir,” cries Jack, “youz live to a powerful age here under the water! You knew my grandfather, and he’s dead and gone better than these sixty years. I’m sure it must be a healthy place to live in.”

“No doubt of it; but come, Jack, keep the liquor stirring.”

Shell after shell did they empty, and to Jack’s exceeding surprise, he found the drink never got into his head, owing, I suppose, to the sea being over them, which kept their noddles cool.

Old Coomara got exceedingly comfortable, and sung several songs; but Jack, if his life had depended on it, never could remember more than

“Rum fum boodle boo,
Ripple dipple nitty dob;
Dumdoo doodle coo,
Raffle taffle chittiboo!”

It was the chorus to one of them; and, to say the truth, nobody that I know has ever been able to pick any particular meaning out of it; but that, to be sure, is the case with many a song nowadays.

At length said he to Jack, “Now, my dear boy, if you follow me, I’ll show you my curiosities!” He opened a little door, and led Jack into a large room, where Jack saw a great many odds and ends that Coomara had picked up at one time or another. What chiefly took his attention, however, were things like lobsterpots ranged on the ground along the wall.

“Well, Jack, how do you like my curiosities?” said old Coo.

“Upon my sowkins, 1 sir,” said Jack, “they’re mighty well worth the looking at; but might I make so bold as to ask what these things like lobster-pots are?”

“Oh! the Soul Cages, is it?”

“The what? sir!”

“These things here that I keep the souls in.”

“Arrah! what souls, sir?” said Jack, in amazement; “sure the fish have no souls in them?”

“Oh! no,” replied Coo, quite coolly, “that they have not; but these are the souls of drowned sailors.”

“The Lord preserve us from all harm!” muttered lack, “how in the world did you get them?”

“Easily enough: I’ve only, when I see a good storm coming on, to set a couple of dozen of these, and then, when the sailors are drowned and the souls get out of them under the water, the poor things are almost perished to death, not being used to the cold; so they make into my pots for shelter, and then I have them snug, and fetch them home, and is it not well for them, poor souls, to get into such good quarters?”

Jack was so thunderstruck he did not know what to say, so he said nothing. They went back into the dining-room, and had a little more brandy, which was excellent, and then, as Jack knew that it must be getting late, and as Biddy might be uneasy, he stood up, and said he thought it was time for him to be on the road.

“Just as you like, Jack,” said Coo, “but take a duc an durrus 1 before you go; you’ve a cold journey before you.”

Jack knew better manners than to refuse the parting glass.

“I wonder,” said he, “will I be able to make out my way home?”

“What should ail you,” said Coo, “when I’ll show you the way?”

Out they went before the house, and Coomara took one of the cocked hats, and put it upon Jack’s head the wrong way, and then lifted him up on his shoulder that he might launch him up into the water.

“Now,” says he, giving him a heave, “you’ll come up just in the same spot you came down in; and, Jack, mind and throw me back the hat.”

He canted Jack off his shoulder, and up he shot like a bubble–whirr, whiff, whiz–away he went up through the water, till he came to the very rock he had jumped off where he found a landing-place, and then in he threw the hat, which sunk like a stone.

The sun was just going down in the beautiful sky of a calm summer’s evening. Feascor was seen dimly twinkling in the cloudless heaven, a solitary star, and the waves of the Atlantic flashed in a golden flood of light. So Jack, perceiving it was late, set off home; but when he got there, not a word did he say to Biddy of where he had spent his day.

The state of the poor souls cooped up in the lobster-pots gave Jack a great deal of trouble, and how to release them cost him a great deal of thought. He at first had a mind to speak to the priest about the matter. But what could the priest do, and what did Coo care for the priest? Besides, Coo was a good sort of an old fellow, and did not think he was doing any harm. Jack had a regard for him, too, and it also might not be much to his own credit if it were known that he used to go dine with Merrows. On the whole, he thought his best plan would be to ask Coo to dinner, and to make him drunk, if he was able, and then to take the hat and go down and turn up the pots. It was, first of all, necessary, however, to get Biddy out of the way; for Jack was prudent enough, as she was a woman, to wish to keep the thing secret from her.

Accordingly, Jack grew mighty pious all of a sudden, and said to Biddy that he thought it would be for the good of both their souls if she was to go and take her rounds at Saint John’s Well, near Ennis. Biddy thought so too, and accordingly off she set one fine morning at day-dawn, giving Jack a strict charge to have an eye to the place. The coast being clear, away went Jack to the rock to give the appointed signal to Coomara, which was throwing a big stone into the water. Jack threw, and up sprang Coo!

“Good morning, Jack,” said he; “what do you want with me?”

“Just nothing at all to speak about, sir,” returned Jack, “only to come and take a bit of dinner with me, if I might make so free as to ask you, and sure I’m now after doing so.”

“It’s quite agreeable, Jack, I assure you; what’s your hour?”‘

“Any time that’s most convenient to you, sir–say one o’clock, that you may go home, if you wish, with the daylight.”

“I’ll be with you,” said Coo, “never fear me.”

Jack went home, and dressed a noble fish dinner, and got out plenty of his best foreign spirits, enough, for that matter, to make twenty men drunk. Just to the minute came Coo, with his cocked hat under his arm. Dinner was ready, they sat down, and ate and drank away manfully. Jack, thinking of the poor souls below in the pots, plied old Coo well with brandy, and encouraged him to sing, hoping to put him under the table, but poor Jack forgot that he had not the sea over his head to keep it cool. The brandy got into it, and did his business for him, and Coo reeled off home, leaving his entertainer as dumb as a haddock on a Good Friday.

Jack never woke till the next morning, and then he was in a sad way. “‘Tis to no use for me thinking to make that old Rapparee drunk,” said Jack, “and how in this world can I help the poor souls out of the lobster-pots?” After ruminating nearly the whole day, a thought struck him. “I have it,” says he, slapping his knee; “I’ll be sworn that Coo never saw a drop of poteen, as old as he is, and that’s the thing to settle him! Oh! then, is not it well that Biddy will not be home these two days yet; I can have another twist at him.”

Jack asked Coo again, and Coo laughed at him for having no better head, telling him he’d never come up to his grandfather.

“Well, but try me again,” said Jack, “and I’ll be bail to drink you drunk and sober, and drunk again.”

“Anything in my power,” said Coo, “to oblige you.”

At this dinner Jack took care to have his own liquor well watered, and to give the strongest brandy he had to Coo. At last says he, “Pray, sir, did you ever drink any poteen?–any real mountain dew?”

“No,” says Coo; “what’s that, and where does it come from?”

“Oh, that’s a secret,” said Jack, “but it’s the right stuff–never believe me again, if ’tis not fifty times as good as brandy or rum either. Biddy’s brother just sent me a present of a little drop, in exchange for some brandy, and as you’re an old friend of the family, I kept it to treat you with.”

“Well, let’s see what sort of thing it is,” said Coomara.

The poteen was the right sort. It was first-rate, and had the real smack upon it. Coo was delighted: he drank and he sung Rum bum boodle boo over and over again; and he laughed and he danced, till he fell on the floor fast asleep. Then Jack, who had taken good care to keep himself sober, snapt up the cocked hat–ran off to the rock–leaped, and soon arrived at Coo’s habitation.

All was as still as a churchyard at midnight–not a Merrow, old or young, was there. In he went and turned up the pots, but nothing did he see, only he heard a sort of a little whistle or chirp as he raised each of them. At this he was surprised, till he recollected what the priests had often said, that nobody living could see the soul, no more than they could see the wind or the air. Having now done all that he could for them, he set the pots as they were before, and sent a blessing after the poor souls to speed them on their journey wherever they were going. Jack now began to think of returning; he put the hat on, as was right, the wrong way; but when he got out he found the water so high over his head that he had no hopes of ever getting up into it, now that he had not old Coomara to give him a lift. He walked about looking for a ladder, but not one could he find, and not a rock was there in sight. At last he saw a spot where the sea hung rather lower than anywhere else, so he resolved to try there. Just as he came to it, a big cod happened to put down his tail. Jack made a jump and caught hold of it, and the cod, all in amazement, gave a bounce and pulled Jack up. The minute the hat touched the water away Jack was whisked, and up he shot like a cork, dragging the poor cod, that he forgot to let go, up with him tail foremost. He got to the rock in no time and without a moment’s delay hurried home, rejoicing in the good deed he had done.

But, meanwhile, there was fine work at home; for our friend Jack had hardly left the house on his soul-freeing expedition, when back came Biddy from her soul-saving one to the well. When she entered the house and saw the things lying thrie-na-helah 1 on the table before her–”Here’s a pretty job!” said she; “that blackguard of mine–what ill-luck I had ever to marry him! He has picked up some vagabond or other, while I was praying for the good of his soul, and they’ve been drinking all the poteen that my own brother gave him, and all the spirits, to be sure, that he was to have sold to his honour.” Then hearing an outlandish kind of grunt, she looked down, and saw Coomara lying under the table. “The Blessed Virgin help me,” shouted she, “if he has not made a real beast of himself! Well, well, I’ve often heard of a man making a beast of himself with drink! Oh hone, oh hone!–Jack, honey, what will I do with you, or what will I do without you? How can any decent woman ever think of living with a beast?”

With such like lamentations Biddy rushed out of the house, and was going she knew not where, when she heard the well-known voice of Jack singing a merry tune. Glad enough was Biddy to find him safe and sound, and not turned into a thing that was like neither fish nor flesh. Jack was obliged to tell her all, and Biddy, though she had half a mind to be angry with him for not telling her before, owned that he had done a great service to the poor souls. Back they both went most lovingly to the house, and Jack wakened up Coomara; and, perceiving the old fellow to be rather dull, he bid him not to be cast down, for ’twas many a good man’s case; said it all came of his not being used to the poteen, and recommended him, by way of cure, to swallow a hair of the dog that bit him. Coo, however, seemed to think he had had quite enough. He got up, quite out of sorts, and without having the manners to say one word in the way of civility, he sneaked off to cool himself by a jaunt through the salt water.

Coomara, never missed the souls. He and Jack continued the best friends in the world, and no one, perhaps, ever equalled Jack for freeing souls from purgatory; for he contrived fifty excuses for getting into the house below the sea, unknown to the old fellow, and then turning up the pots and letting out the souls. It vexed him, to be sure, that he could never see them; but as he knew the thing to be impossible, he was obliged to be satisfied.

Their intercourse continued for several years. However, one morning, on Jack’s throwing in a stone as usual, he got no answer. He flung another, and another, still there was no reply. He went away, and returned the following morning, but it was to no purpose. As he was without the hat, he could not go down to see what had become of old Coo, but his belief was, that the old man, or the old fish, or whatever he was, had either died, or had removed from that part of the country.


Poetry: Eileen Carney Hulme


We never really slept,
just buried clocks
in the sanctuary
of night

every time I moved
you moved with me,
winged eyelashes
on your cheek returns a kiss

small spaces of silence
in between borrowed breaths
arms tighten
at the whisper of a name

all the words of the heart
the unanswered questions
are at this moment
blue rolling waves

tonight our souls rest
fragrant in spiritual essence
candle-flamed, undamaged
utterly belonging.

The Letters

I wonder if
you keep the letters still,
spidery and blotted
now, like old days
just withered away.

I remember sunlight bursts
that inspired
those winged words,
the spirit of spaces
flying paper aeroplanes of love.

I picture us then-
a perfect summer’s night
calligraphy of stars
burning Indian fire

and I wonder if
you keep the letters still.

Small Breaths

No matter that my heart sinks,
sighs, with the weight of skeletons-

paths I forgot to follow
have slowly sealed

rooms go unrecognised
for fear of change

and I cry at the uncertainty of rainbows.

All the daydreams I stole,
refusing to give them back

are stored as silver dust
and each day is a small breath.

Rhythm of Life

The clock is silent
nowadays clocks no longer
need to make
that rhythmic sound of life.

We have moved on
and everything is changed
I am no longer sad
I don’t weep for you.

In still moments
I see you solitary, reflective-
running with the wind along the waterfront
with your Walkman on.

Radiowaves carry words
of a song we shared
and I am free to smile
at the thought of you.

Big and handsome
the scent of you
like a powerful beast lingers
untamed by this world.

I know you still swim with dolphins
in the cold North Sea
I know you still laugh
and drink wine with friends.

I know you live by the seasons
and time is not your enemy,
the clock is silent
I don’t weep for you, I weep for me.


Loga Ramin Torkian ft. Khosro Ansari – Mehraab



I have become you, you have become me.
I have become life, you have become body
From now on, let no one say that
I am other and you are
– Amir Khusrau

(Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Welcome Footsteps)

Sunday, early morning frost on the roofs. The heater is kinda on the fritz so we are all bundling up. The birds are flocking to our feeders, and Rowan has had a crew filming outside the house for the last couple of hours. All nice young people, so intent on their art. I am always amazed at the dedication and good spirits. It gives one such deep hope.

Last night we took Rowan and Miss Jessa out for Cider at Bushwacker Cider for a couple of nice ones. We had been threatening to take Rowan out for his legal coming of age since his birthday in August, and finally we could deliver. If you are local and you haven’t been to Bushwacker Cider, you are in for a treat. Love the place, the staff is great and there is a brilliant mural by Jason Coatney to look at whilst you are in there. There is the largest variety of ciders on tap, and in bottle probably on the West Coast, if not further. Really, if you visit Portland, you must visit!

Working on the magazine, listening to Azam Ali’s newish album “From the Night to the Edge of Day“. A great piece of work. Since her early days with Vas, and then with Niyaz, she has always picked great material. This album is no different in that. It shows a certain maturity in it, as she has been at the top of her game for a couple of decades. I expect her work to continue to expand with her solo and group work. Pick this album up!… I have included 2 songs from the new album for this entry.

We feature the quotes and poetry of Amir Khusrau in this entry. I am happy to see more translations coming out of India, and especially of the poets who spoke Urdu. I think you might like his work.

Hope This Finds You Well,


On The Menu:
Jim Fadiman’s Event
The Links
Azam Ali – “Mehman (The Guest)”
Amir Khusrau’s Quotes
Amir Khusrau Poems
Azam Ali – “Neni Desem”
Art: Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Jim Fadiman’s Event At Powell’s Hawthorne

(A Nemo Foto! Jim and Tashi discussing Psychedelics & Sacred Sexuality At Powell’s Hawthorne.)

I was thrilled by the visit and talk given at Powell’s Hawthorne this past weekend by Jim Fadiman. I picked Jim up at the airport around noon, and we kinda sailed through the day. We had loads of great conversation, and eased up to Powell’s about a half an hour early. Suprisingly, there were already people waiting, and Jan & Scot of Powell’s were very excited by the early turn-out. They had a stack of Jim’s books up front, right underneath a Steve Jobs display. Jim was tickled by this, and tried to capture it on his phone’s camera.

The Talk:
Jim opened up the proceedings, with a short reading from his book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys (Reviews Here) went directly to questions. It was a nice banter back and forth from the beginning. As the talk proceeded more and more people poured in. Eventually it got to be some 60 or more people there! There were some deeply intelligent queries, that Jim fielded adroitly. There was lots of laughter and excitement in the room as it all went along. People were genuinely engaged, and deeply interested. There were a few faces I knew, but there was many, many people I had never met before. (Hello Simon!)

The talk lasted about an hour and a half, culminating in Jim signing multiple copies of his book. He engaged with everyone that came up, sometimes spending 10 minutes or so with people who had pressing questions that they couldn’t express during the open discussion. We had several people come in after the talk; they had gone off to Powell’s Downtown by accident. Jim took the time to talk to all comers. It was almost another hour before we all cleared out.

Powell’s Hawthorne staff were ecstatic, every copy except 2 display copies were all signed and sold out. We walked out into the evening mist and light drizzle. Jim was fairly floating as we walked across the street by the Baghdad Theatre. It was a brilliant afternoon, and a most magickal moment in time. We wandered along into the evening driving around for something to eat. Jim, Mary & I got to spend some quality time, talking about the world situation, Sufism, poetry, entheogenics and life in general. I dropped Jim at the airport the next morning, for his flight south after a great breakfast and talk.

A big thanks to all who came, and to Jim for such an enjoyable talk and visit!

Bright Blessings!


The Links:
Thanks To Cliff For This: The contradictions of the Arab Spring
Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street
The Strategy Behind The Clampdown On Occupy
Dale Pendell: Is the spiritual experience inside or outside us?
Martina Hoffmann – Portals To Inner Landscapes

Azam Ali – “Mehman (The Guest)”


Amir Khusrau’s Quotes

Utter a word of truth
That goes against the king,
And behead yourself with
The sword of your own tongue.

There are those who consume
Naans and kebabs even in their dreams;
And there are those who don’t even dream,
Since they can’t sleep due to starvation.

If you ask me the road to hell,
I would say a night in a lonely bedroom

Man can never be satisfied,
Even if he gets to the heaven;
How can he?
Adam himself couldn’t.

One who laughs at the plight of lovers,
himself needs being cried at.

A needle is better than a sword;
The latter cuts, while the former sews

If you cannot tolerate
The pressing of a needle against your body,
You have no right to raise a sword,
Against another human being.



by John Moore
From Anarchy and Ecstasy, Visions of Halcyon Days

In an important article, Jay Vest convincingly demonstrates that the words “will” and “wild” derive from a common etymological root. For primal Europeans, nature was pervaded by a will force that remained beyond their power to influence. What nature autonomously willed became identified as wild.

Wilderness then means “self-willed-land” or “self-willed-place” with an emphasis upon its own intrinsic volition… This “willed” conception is itself in opposition to the controlled and ordered environment, which is characteristic of the notion of civilization. While control, order, domination and management are true of civilization and domestication, they are not essentials of primal culture… Nature worship among primal Indo-Europeans evidences a traditional theme of sacred natural places, free from desecration by humans and their technology. Such sacred places were wilderness in the deepest sense; they were imbued with will- force,—willed, willful, uncontrollable—and with spirit. Thus, they held about them a sacred mystery—a numinous presence. It is from this tradition that the “will-of the-land”—wilderness—concept emerges.1
Vest’s remarks recover important information, but remain curiously exteriorized. The contours of a spirituality structured around the recognition of a sacred wilderness—the significance of its symbolism and ritual—are skilfully outlined. But the interiority of this experience—what it felt like and what it meant to be immersed in such a wilderness—remains beyond Vest’s purview.

One reason for this deficiency may be the lack of an appropriate vocabulary. Vest’s article establishes that primal notions of wilderness are diametrically opposite to those operative in contemporary mainstream discourse. Archaic humans regarded the wilderness as a site of positive energies, whereas today power complexes demand that it be considered as a place of evil and negativity which deserves domination and exploitation. In Against His-story. Against Leviathan!, Fredy Perlman retraces the process whereby power—through authority structures, imperial and Judaeo-Christian civilizing forces—converts nature into a wasteland, thus forcing the term “wilderness” to acquire pejorative connotations. But the semantic history of a cognate term which denotes the interior experience of sacred wilderness—”bewilder”—has not received similar examination. Necessarily, this semantic reconstruction must be speculative. Contextual factors, however, indicate appropriate orientations for an accurate recovery of the term’s original meaning.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) provides two definitions of the verb “bewilder”: literally, “to lose in pathless places, to confound for want of a plain road,” and figuratively, “to confuse in mental perception, to perplex, confound, to cause mental aberration.” It is my contention that as the notion of the wilderness was forced to abandon its positive meanings and acquire negative connotations, the originally unified meaning of “bewilder” was divided into two partial definitions, whose connotations were then inverted. Wilderness, as Vest avers, simultaneously denoted a location and a condition: a state inhabited by willful, uncontrollable natural energies. In such states,2 humans surrendered their individuality, renounced personal volition to the will-of-the-land, and merged individuated desire within the expansive needs of the wild. In doing so, they became channels or mediums through which the wilderness could become articulate and operative in the human sphere. The process was ecstatic: the surrender of the ego; the merging of individuation within holism, produced sensations of bliss and promoted ecstatic/erotic actions. Any incipient characterological sclerosis, absorbed through prolonged participation in communal relations, was discarded or dissipated. Any tendencies toward the formation of Leviathanic structures were thus dispersed.

Individuals undergoing this process were bewildered, in the original, integrated sense of the term. They entered “pathless places” in two senses. First, wilderness areas (i.e., the vast totality of the world) contained no paths or tracks—neither the roads of imperial domination and plunder constructed by the Romans, nor the routes of commerce carved by Islamic merchants. By definition, the wilderness remained free from incursions by technology. And secondly, there were no established journeys to be undertaken, no predetermined paths to traverse. All social codes were annulled: vision, emotion and behaviour were no longer subject to regulation and control. Total transformation was possible. But the directions—for unlimited eversion were no longer, or only minimally, under individual control. The individual will, subsumed within the will-of-the-land, no longer retained the power of volition. Possessed by the wilderness, individuals eagerly became vehicles for its sacred and ecstatic expression.

Evidence to substantiate these contentions regarding the bewilderment process can be derived from a consideration of an associated term, “amazement.” The OED variously defines “amaze” as “to put out of one’s wits… bewilder, perplex,” “to overcome with sudden fear or panic,” and “to overwhelm with wonder, to astound or greatly astonish.” It also defines “amazedness” as “loss of self-possession through fear.” This cluster of ideas clearly parallels the meanings attached to “bewilder.” Indeed, they may ultimately derive from a common origin. The OED notes that “amaze and a maze were often identified.” And this etymological link provides the crucial connexion. In certain primal traditions, the maze or labyrinth played a homologous role to that of the sacred wilderness area—in fact, the two may have been indistinguishable:

Extremely complex ideas were expressed through the symbol of the labyrinth. First, the initiate had to find the way through the underworld—the womb of the Mother—going through symbolic death to be reborn through her on a larger psychic level. Simultaneously, by dancing the winding and unwinding spiral, the initiate reached back to the still heart of cosmos, and so immortality, in her. The dance would have been combined with sexual rites and the taking of some hallucinogen like the legendary soma. In the resulting illumination soma and self were experienced as one with the cosmic self in orgasmic ego-death. The ecstatic centre of the labyrinth was the no-mind centre of orgasm experienced as death, creative madness, and loss of the conditioned “self.”3

“Bewilderment” and “amazement” once denoted the experienced interiority of radical purification through displacement. Losing one’s self in a maze meant precisely that, not merely a sense of disorientation. Bewilderment entailed an encounter with death and transcendence, and so was necessarily characterized by complex interacting responses, including terror, wonder and ecstasy. The wilderness overwhelmed the individual will from three directions. Spiritual techniques for arousing the coiled kundalini energy eroded ego boundaries and merged the individuated self within the cosmic All. Hallucinogens derived from poisonous substances transported the individual to the brink of physical decease. And uncontrollable sexual desires overcame any social inhibitions placed on the search for erotic pleasures. The combination of these three elements took the individual to the edge of dissolution—as a psychological, physical, and social/ethical entity. But only to the edge: vestiges of consciousness remained so that the wilderness could become aware of itself, achieve a knowledge of its own awesome nature. However, the process remained reciprocal: the individual emerged transformed and whole, often bearing shamanic gifts—such as prophetic powers, healing capacities and visions—to enrich the community. Such symbiosis constituted the core of the ancient Mysteries.4

Once “wilderness” acquired pejorative connotations, however, the bewilderment phenomenon underwent a similarly negative redefinition. The originally integrated meanings of the process were separated and demonized, gradually assuming the forms in which they are currently known. On the one hand, bewilderment now signifies the feeling experienced when one is lost, disorientated in an unfamiliar—and hence potentially threatening—context or environment, unable to find an exit. On the other hand, the term denotes a derangement of perceptions, not in a positive sense of possession by the wilderness, but in the negative sense of perplexity and bafflement. To lose one’s self now becomes an adversity because the failure of the cognitive faculties reveals, not a wealth of inner spiritual resources, but an emptiness—a subjectivity evacuated by power and glutted with totalitarian trivia.

These contemporary meanings of “bewilderment” are so ingrained that it seems an impossible task to retrieve this term. Hence, as an alternative I propose the notion of bewilderness. The primal meanings of “bewilder” are now apparent. The amalgamation of “bewilder” and “wilderness” in this new term possesses the advantage of restoring the emphasis on the wild component of the former term. But the addition of “ness” to “bewilder” also remains appropriate. Vest demonstrates that the suffix “ness,” in addition to expressing a particular state (e.g., sweetness, tiredness), originally denoted a “land” or “place.” Hence, as a term “bewilderness” reunites the two separated aspects of “bewilder” as geographical dislocation and as a spiritual condition.

The reasons for coining this neologism are far from antiquarian. The experience denoted by bewilderness remains crucial for all proponents of anarchy, who recognize that syncopating the spiral dance could facilitate total revolution. Bewilderness constitutes both the means and an end (i.e., the beginning of another cycle). Like anarchic Zen, it postulates a supersession of everyday, socially conditioned consciousness on an individual and later generalized scale. It promotes psychosocial biodegradation or ecdysis: the refusal of assigned identities, the divestment of polysemic integuments, the disgorgement of totalitarian toxins. Dispossession becomes Possession, not so much through an expropriation of the expropriators, as an evacuation of and from the evacuating control complex. This process is purgative and therapeutic: the vacuum becomes inundated with waves of ecstasy that prefigure, and hence promote the shift toward, total global anarchy.

Techniques for recovering bewilderness are available. Many of Starhawk’s magic exercises, for example, attempt to elicit precisely this condition. She proposes wordless chants, inarticulate noises which resolve into the sounds of the wilderness communing through individuals and groups. Such techniques aim to liberate the involuntary, be it a yelp of pain, an orgasmic groan, a growl of anger, or any other expression. The individual invokes, and waits to discover what energy emerges. Magic consists of merging and participating in these energies, and shaping their manifestations. The nature of the resulting patterns depends on the metaphors and symbols utilized. For example, Starhawk, characterizing subjectivity within hierarchical control structures, discerns three aspects of the self: Younger Self, the playful, sensory element that appears when the infant distinguishes itself from its environment; Talking Self, the later rational faculty of abstraction and codification; and Deep Self, the all-pervasive oceanic consciousness: Imagine Talking Self’s domain as a house we live in, and Younger Self’s domain as a garden that surrounds it completely. Beneath the garden are the caves and wells of Deep Self; outside it are the other realms of reality, the wilderness. There is no clear dividing line between Younger Self’s garden and the wild until Talking Self builds a wall. Younger Self constantly brings in plants and animals… In order to walk out into the wild, we must first pass through the garden.

Or, conversely, in order to examine any piece of the wild Younger Self brings in, in order to name it and set it on the shelves of our house, it must first be brought through the garden. The clearer the paths are, the more familiar we are with their windings and turnings, the friendlier we are with the creatures that inhabit them, the clearer are our contacts with external reality – both physical and metaphysical.5

Despite its illuminating qualities, Starhawk’s metaphor remains descriptively inadequate because it lacks any notion of the historical relativity of the configuration of elements she discerns within subjectivity. Deep Self can undoubtedly be found beneath the garden (and the house), but also – and most prodigiously – in the wilderness. Here lies Starhawk’s major error. Rather than contrariety, one finds identity: the wilderness is Deep Self, and vice versa. Primal peoples realized this fact. They also knew that Talking Self was a useful and beneficial agency, but only so long as it remained contextualized, in situ, within its proper, circumscribed dimensions. Its constant tendency to hypertrophy was recognized, and thwarted by the bewilderness process. But in hierarchical control structures, this tendency is encouraged, and Talking Self becomes deracinated, denatured, (pre)dominant. Hence, in terms of Starhawk’s metaphor, the central issue should not be tending the garden, making it more hospitable, indeed civilized, but rather flattening the wall. Younger Self’s garden should by degrees imperceptibly shade into the wilderness, allowing for an untroubled access to and from the two complementary areas of hearth and hinterland. Any strict demarcation automatically creates and maintains the divisions of private property.

Jacques Camatte provides another metaphorical representation of this issue when he proposes a recovery of the unconscious:

What is the subconscious if not the affective-sensual life of the human being repressed by capital? The human being has to be domesticated, shaped to a rationality which he must internalize – the rationality of the process of production of capital. Once this domestication is achieved, the human being is dispossessed of this repressed sensual life which becomes an object of knowledge, of science; it becomes capitalizable. The unconscious, becoming an object of commerce, is thinly sliced and retailed in the market of knowledge. The unconscious did not always exist, and it exists now only as a component in the discourse of capital.6
To demolish barriers and walls, to recover the unconscious and reactivate it in everyday life – these are metaphors for a process which bewilderness can help to facilitate. Bewilderness is an extreme condition, an encounter with transcendence, possession by elemental energies. But it allows the possibility of more measured and integrated lifeways. After such experiences, individuals and communities can accept convivial coexistence because they wittingly live within and amidst the oceanic consciousness. And such a state characterizes the condition of total anarchy.


1. Jay Hansford C. Vest. “Will-of-the-Land: Wilderness Among Primal Indo-Europeans,” Environmental Review, Vol.9, no.4 (Winter 1985), 324-5.

2. By “states,” I mean both a state of existence and the state of nature, not the State.

3. Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987), 74-5.

4. The Mysteries were part of a long and integrated tradition, much of which has now been lost. The access routes toward bewilderness were highly structured and thoroughly understood, even if the condition itself allowed total liberation. For additional information, see “Eversion Mysteries” below.

5. Starhawk, Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex and Politics (Boston: Beacon Press, 1982), 55-6. The magic techniques can be found in The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979).

6. Jacques Camatte, The Wandering of Humanity trans. F.Perlman (Detroit Black & Red, 1975), 35n. As the context renders apparent, by “capital” Camatte means much more than the mere Marxist economic category.

Amir Khusrau Poems

I am a pagan and a worshipper of love: the creed (of Muslims) I do not need;
Every vein of mine has become taunt like a wire,
the (Brahman’s) girdle I do not need.
Leave from my bedside, you ignorant physician!
The only cure for the patient of love is the sight of his beloved –
other than this no medicine does he need.
If there be no pilot in our boat, let there be none:
We have god in our midst: the sea we do not need.
The people of the world say that Khusrau worships idols.
So he does, so he does; the people he does not need,
the world he does not need.

(Trans. Dr.Hadi Hasan)

I wonder what was the place where I was last night,
All around me were half-slaughtered victims of love,
tossing about in agony.
There was a nymph-like beloved with cypress-like form
and tulip-like face,
Ruthlessly playing havoc with the hearts of the lovers.
God himself was the master of ceremonies in that heavenly court,
oh Khusro, where (the face of) the Prophet too was shedding light
like a candle.
(trans. S.A.H.Abidi)

Tonight there came a news that you, oh beloved, would come –
Be my head sacrificed to the road along which you will come riding!
All the gazelles of the desert have put their heads on their hands
In the hope that one day you will come to hunt them….
The attraction of love won’t leave you unmoved;
Should you not come to my funeral,
you’ll definitely come to my grave.
My soul has come on my lips (e.g. I am on the point of expiring);
Come so that I may remain alive –
After I am no longer – for what purpose will you come?
(trans. A. Schimmel)

May your charming face ever shine like the full moon;
May you hold eternal sway over the domains of beauty.
By your amorous glance you have killed a poor man like me;
How magnanimous of you? May God give you a long life.
Pray do not be cruel lest you should feel ashamed of yourself
Before your lovers on the day of judgment.
I shall be set free from the bonds of the two worlds
If you become my companion for a while.
By your wanton playfulness you must have destroyed
Thousands of hearts of lovers like that of Khusrau.
(trans. S.A.H.Abidi)

(Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Among The Ruins)

O you whose beautiful face is the envy of the idols of Azar
(Abraham’s father and famous idol maker);
You remain superior to my praise.
All over the world have I traveled;
many a maiden’s love have I tasted;
Many a beauty-star have I seen; but you are something unique.
I have become you, and you me; I have become the body,
you the soul; So that none hereafter may say
that “I am someone and you someone else.”
Khusro a beggar, a stranger has come wandering to your town;
For the sake of god, have pity on this beggar
and do not turn him away from your door.
(trans. Dr. Hadi Hasan)

Do not overlook my misery by blandishing your eyes,
and weaving tales; My patience has over-brimmed,
O sweetheart, why do you not take me to your bosom.
Long like curls in the night of separation,
short like life on the day of our union;
My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.
Suddenly, using a thousand tricks, the enchanting eyes robbed me
of my tranquil mind;
Who would care to go and report this matter to my darling?
Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love;
Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.
In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusro;
I shall keep my heart suppressed,
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.
(trans. M. Rehman)

You carried the soul from (my) body – and yet,
You are still in the soul;
You have given pains – and are still the remedy;
Openly you split my breast –
Yet, you are still hidden in my heart.
You have destroyed the kingdom of my heart
With the sword of coquetry,
And are still a ruler in that place….

Do not overlook my misery,
by blandishing your eyes and weaving tales,

My patience has over-brimmed, O sweetheart!
why do you not take me to your bosom.

Long like curls in the night of separation
short like life on the day of our union.

My dear, how will I pass the dark dungeon night
without your face before.

Suddenly, using a thousand tricks
the enchanting eyes robbed me of my tranquil mind.

Who would care to go and report
this matter to my darling.

Tossed and bewildered, like a flickering candle,
I roam about in the fire of love.

Sleepless eyes, restless body,
neither comes she, nor any message.

In honour of the day I meet my beloved
who has lured me so long, O Khusro!

I shall keep my heart suppressed
if ever I get a chance to get to her trick.

Azam Ali – “Neni Desem”


My fair one sleeps on the bed,
& scattered her hair across her face.
Khusrau it is time you also go to your home
Shades of evening have spread over the land
– Amir Khusrau

(Lawrence Alma-Tadema – A Harvest Festival~A Dancing Bacchante at Harvest Time)


I have so much to say about the changing tides, and the rising seas that are starting their upward movements within the society, no, across the world. We are stepping off into uncharted territories and we should do this together. Regardless of political, spiritual, national, racial, tribal familial persuasions, we are all brothers and sisters. This cannot be denied, no matter what the differences may appear to us. Cut us, we bleed, hurt us we cry, hold us, we relax, we all laugh and we all love.

The future is opening up. We have all come here to this place and time for deeper reasons than we can imagine, or have aspired to. We must do it together it seems. Together, or not at all.

This is about the dialog, first the inner and then the one between us all, all of whom are all equal to each other, no higher, no lower, but equal. We meet at this juncture, and we must now engage for the greater good, and for the potential yet to be released in us all. No longer can we or should we view “the other” as outside of ourself… this dialog is not the I-It, but the I-Thou. None above, none below, none alone, none separate.

If we are to change, and change we must, as the pressure of the new world being birthed is upon us, we must do it in deep compassion, and deep cooperation. Not for the nation state, the corporation, but for everyone, here, now, and those that are to come.

Love, is the answer and the path. Opening, dilating ourselves, releasing of strictures.

I had a discussion with a young friend who is a member of the Black Brigade. She has stated that she feels the violent approach to change is as valid as the non-violent, and perhaps that non-violence, or pacifism is Pathology… but I beg to disagree. If this change is to occur, it cannot be patterned on the changes of the past which in the end regurgitated up the same old patterns. Those times have come to their end, surely as the end of slavery came. I wrote this to her:

“On Non-Violent Civil Disobedience… I would not consider Gandhi’s or MLK’s efforts to be anything close to a failure. By exiting out of the I-It dialog to the I-Thou, we can transform the world. I would not consider Non-Violence or as you term it Pacifism as Pathology, anything but. To step outside of the historical content, and consider other options other than violence meeting violence, a fundamental rift occurs. Watching the application of Non-Violent resistance in The West Bank etc., shows that even in the most dire circumstances, change can and does occur without going to combat. The police love nothing more than to have resistance, you are speaking their language. By following the dialog they have set in motion, you are co-opted. It is that simple.”

I ask you all to join together for a different world, a different way, a change, finally a change. I ask you to join in creating the Bodhisattva as a collective soul, that no being be left behind. I ask you to join in transforming ourselves, our world, our dreams.

Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:
We Are The Many – Makana
The Links
Michael Hughes: Some Thoughts for the Occupy/99% Movement in the Face of Evictions
Dale Pendell at Occupy Nevada County
Pretenders – Revolution
Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Patti Smith – Changing of the Guards

Thanks To Nima For Sharing This:

We Are The Many – Makana

Lyrics by MAKANA
We Are the Many

Ye come here, gather ’round the stage
The time has come for us to voice our rage
Against the ones who’ve trapped us in a cage
To steal from us the value of our wage

From underneath the vestiture of law
The lobbyists at Washington do gnaw
At liberty, the bureaucrats guffaw
And until they are purged, we won’t withdraw

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

Our nation was built upon the right
Of every person to improve their plight
But laws of this Republic they rewrite
And now a few own everything in sight

They own it free of liability
They own, but they are not like you and me
Their influence dictates legality
And until they are stopped we are not free

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You enforce your monopolies with guns
While sacrificing our daughters and sons
But certain things belong to everyone
Your thievery has left the people none

So take heed of our notice to redress
We have little to lose, we must confess
Your empty words do leave us unimpressed
A growing number join us in protest

We occupy the streets
We occupy the courts
We occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

You can’t divide us into sides
And from our gaze, you cannot hide
Denial serves to amplify
And our allegiance you can’t buy

Our government is not for sale
The banks do not deserve a bail
We will not reward those who fail
We will not move till we prevail

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We’ll occupy the streets
We’ll occupy the courts
We’ll occupy the offices of you
Till you do
The bidding of the many, not the few

We are the many
You are the few
The Links:
The New Progressive Movement
Prehistoric Men Scarred, Pierced, Tattooed Privates
Take The Test!

Dale Pendell at Occupy Nevada County


Some Thoughts for the Occupy/99% Movement in the Face of Evictions
by Michael Hughe

Perhaps it’s time for the Occupy Wall Street/99% movement to adopt some new tactics. From the brilliant poet/philosopher Hakim Bey, originator of the “Temporary Autonomous Zone” (TAZ):

In short, we’re not touting the TAZ as an exclusive end in itself, replacing all other forms of organization, tactics, and goals. We recommend it because it can provide the quality of enhancement associated with the uprising without necessarily leading to violence and martyrdom. The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the State, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen, before the State can crush it. Because the State is concerned primarily with Simulation rather than substance, the TAZ can “occupy” these areas clandestinely and carry on its festal purposes for quite a while in relative peace. Perhaps certain small TAZs have lasted whole lifetimes because they went unnoticed, like hillbilly enclaves–because they never intersected with the Spectacle, never appeared outside that real life which is

(Michael Hughes!)
The TAZ is an encampment of guerilla ontologists: strike and run away. Keep moving the entire tribe, even if it’s only data in the Web. The TAZ must be capable of defense; but both the “strike” and the “defense” should, if possible, evade the violence of the State, which is no longer a meaningful violence. The strike is made at structures of control, essentially at ideas; the defense is “invisibility,” a martial art, and “invulnerability”–an “occult” art within the martial arts. The “nomadic war machine” conquers without being noticed and moves on before the map can be adjusted. As to the future–Only the autonomous can plan autonomy, organize for it, create it. It’s a bootstrap operation. The first step is somewhat akin to satori–the realization that the TAZ begins with a simple act of realization.

Nomadic occupations? I like the idea. Appearing and existing just long enough to catch the attention of the state, then slipping back into the shadows. Appearing like a cluster of potent psychedelic mushrooms, only to return to the underground mycelial network before manifesting bursting through the soil on the other side of the forest. Finally, perhaps, a proper use of the often maligned “flashmobs” for something other than simple amusement.


Pretenders – Revolution

Cats like me and you
Have got laws
That they adhere to
Laws outside the laws
As laid down
By those we don’t subscribe to
The world is getting stranger
But we’ll never lose heart
We can’t just wait for the
Old guard to die
Before we can
Make a new start

Bring on the revolution
(keep the pressure on)
I wanna die for something
Bring on the revolution
I wanna die for something
Bring on the revolution
I wanna die for something
Bring on the revolution
I don’t wanna die for nothing

For every freedom fighter
I wanna hold on tighter
To the hope and will you gave
You were the brave
You were the brave
And one day
When I hear your children sing
Freedom will ring

When we watch the children play
How the privileged classes grew
And from this day
We set out
To undo what won’t undo
Looking for the grand
In the minute
Every breath justifies
Every step that we take
To remove what the powers that be
Can’t prove
And the children will
Understand why

Bring on the revolution
(keep the pressure on)
I wanna die for something
Bring on the revolution
I wanna die for something
Bring on the revolution
I don’t wanna die for nothing
Bring on the revolution
I wanna die for something
(James Fadiman told me yesterday after our talks over the weekend, that perhaps this tale is mine. I think perhaps, it is all of ours.)
Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
– Idris Shah

“Fatima the Spinner and the Tent” from “Tales of the Dervishes – Teaching Stories of the Sufi Masters over the Past Thousand Years”, by Idries Shah

Once in a city in the Farthest West there lived a girl called Fatima. She was the daughter of a prosperous spinner. One day her father said to her: “Come, daughter; we are going on a journey, for I have business in the islands of the Middle Sea. Perhaps you may find some handsome youth in a good situation whom you could take as a husband.” They set off and traveled from island to island, the father doing his trading while Fatima dreamt of the husband who might be hers. One day, however, they were on the way to Crete when a storm blew up, and the ship was wrecked. Fatima, only half-conscious, was cast up on the seashore near Alexandria. Her father was dead, and she was utterly destitute. She could only remember dimly her life until then, for her experience of the shipwreck, and her exposure in the sea, had utterly exhausted her.

While she was wandering on the sands, a family of cloth-makers found her. Although they were poor, they took her into their humble home and taught her their craft. Thus it was that she made a second life for herself, and within a year or two she was happy and reconciled to her lot. But one day, when she was on the seashore for some reason, a band of slave-traders landed and carried her, along with other captives, away with them. Although she bitterly lamented her lot, Fatima found no sympathy from the slavers, who took her to Istanbul and sold her as a slave. Her world had collapsed for the second time.

Now it chanced that there were few buyers at the market. One of them was a man who was looking for slaves to work in his wood yard, where he made masts for ships. When he saw the dejection of the unfortunate Fatima, he decided to buy her, thinking that in this way, at least, he might be able to give her a slightly better life than if she were bought by someone else. He took Fatima to his home, intending to make her a serving maid for his wife. When he arrived at the house, however, he found that he had lost all his money in a cargo which had been captured by pirates. He could not afford workers, so he, Fatima and his wife were left alone to work at the heavy labor of making masts. Fatima, grateful to her employer for rescuing her, worked so hard and so well that he gave her her freedom, and she became his trusted helper. Thus it was that she became comparatively happy in her third career. One day he said to her: “Fatima, I want you to go with a cargo of shops’ masts to Java, as my agent, and be sure that you sell them at a profit.”

She set off, but when the ship was off the coast of China, a typhoon wrecked it, and Fatima found herself again cast up on the seashore of a strange land. Once again she wept bitterly, for she felt that nothing in her life was working in accordance with expectation. Whenever things seemed to be going well, something came and destroyed all her hopes. “Why is it”, she cried out, for the third time, “that whenever I try to do something it comes to grief? Why should so many unfortunate things happen to me?” But there was no answer.

So she picked herself up from the sand, and started to walk inland. Now it so happened that nobody in China had heard of Fatima, or knew anything about her troubles. But there was a legend that a certain stranger, a woman, would one day arrive there, and that she would be able to make a tent for the Emperor. And, since there was as yet nobody in China who could make tents, everyone looked upon the fulfillment of this prediction with the liveliest anticipation. In order to make sure that this stranger, when she arrived, would not be missed, successive Emperors of China had followed the custom of sending heralds, once a year, to all the towns and villages of the land, asking for any foreign woman to be produced at Court.

When Fatima stumbled into a town by the Chinese seashore, it was one such occasion. The people spoke to her through an interpreter, and explained that she would have to go to see the Emperor. “Lady,” said the Emperor, when Fatima was brought before him, “can you make a tent?” “I think so,” said Fatima. She asked for rope but there was none to be had. So, remembering her time as a spinner, she collected flax and made ropes. Then she asked for stout cloth, but the Chinese had none of the kind which she needed. So, drawing on her experience with the weavers of Alexandria, she made some stout tent cloth. Then she found that she needed tent-poles, but there were none in China. So Fatima, remembering how she had been trained by the wood-fashioner of Istanbul, cunningly made stout tent-poles. When these were ready, she racked her brains for the memory of all the tents she had seen in her travels: and lo, a tent was made.

When this wonder was revealed to the Emperor of Chine, he offered Fatima the fulfillment of any wish she cared to name. She chose to settle in China, where she married a handsome prince, and where she remained in happiness, surrounded by her children, until the end of her days. It was through these adventures that Fatima realized that what had appeared to be an unpleasant experience at the time, turned out to be an essential part of the making of her ultimate happiness.

Patti Smith – Changing of the Guards

Sixteen years
Sixteen banners united over the field
Where the good shepherd grieves
Desperate men, desperate women divided
Spreading their wings ‘neath falling leaves.

Fortune calls
I stepped forth from the shadows to the marketplace
Merchants and thieves, hungry for power, my last deal gone down
She’s smelling sweet like the meadows where she was born
On midsummer’s eve near the tower.

The cold-blooded moon
The captain waits above the celebration
Sending his thoughts to a beloved maid
Whose ebony face is beyond communication
The captain is down but still believing that his love will be repaid.

They shaved her head
She was torn between Jupiter and Apollo
A messenger arrived with a black nightingale
I seen her on the stairs and I couldn’t help but follow
Follow her down past the fountain where they lifted her veil.

I stumbled to my feet
I rode past destruction in the ditches
With the stitches still mending beneath a heart-shaped tattoo
Renegade priests and treacherous young witches
Were handing out the flowers that I’d given to you.

The palace of mirrors
Where dog soldiers are reflected
The endless road and the wailing of chimes
The empty rooms where her memory is protected
Where the angel’s voices whisper to the souls of previous times.

She wakes him up
Forty-eight hours later the sun is breaking
Near broken chains, mountain laurel and rolling rocks
She’s begging to know what measures he now will be taking
He’s pulling her down and she’s clutching on to his long golden locks.
Gentlemen, he said I don’t need your organization, I’ve shined your shoes
I’ve moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.

Peace will come
With tranquillity and splendor on the wheels of fire
But will bring us no reward when her false idols fall
And cruel death surrenders with it’s pale ghost retreating
Between the King and the Queen of Swords.

-(Bob Dylan)

Jim Fadiman In Portland!

The heavenly rider passed;
The dust rose in the air;
He sped; but the dust he cast
Yet hangeth there.

Straight forward thy vision be,
And gaze not left or night;
His dust is here, and he
In the Infinite. – Rumi

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

It’s long been known that psychedelic substances expand normal functions and perceptions of the brain. Psychologist and professor James Fadiman says there is a resurgence of scientific and medical research on the healing potential of psychedelics and renewed interest in their use as a vehicle for spiritual discovery and problem solving. With The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide (Park Street), Fadiman clears up myths and misperceptions about psychedelics, and presents findings from both long-neglected and recent clinical studies, research experiments, and surveys showing a surprising range of benefits from the safe, supervised use of psychedelics.

Preorder a signed edition of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide!

Sunday, November 13th @ 4pm Powell’s Books on Hawthorne
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (800) 878-7323


I hope that you can all come and see Jim talk at Powell’s On Hawthorne, this coming Sunday, the 13th at 4:00pm. We will all be there, and it looks like there is going to be a very good turn-out! I understand that Jim gives a heck of a talk, and you won’t want to miss this event! See You There!

On The Menu:
Something Groovy
The Promise of Psychedelic Research
Rabia & Rumi, Poetry
Cocteau Twins – Watchlar
Art – Gwyllm
Something Groovy!

A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.

Audio Data courtesy of CARISMA, operated by the University of Alberta, funded by the Canadian Space Agency. Special Thanks to Andy Kale.

Made for the exhibition Invisible Fields at Arts Santa Monica in Barcelona Spain.​programme/​invisible-fields

20 Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations. As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.


The Promise of Psychedelic Research
by James Fadiman, PhD

Psychedelics are back. To be more accurate, psychedelic research is back. To be truly factual, peer-reviewed, double-blind, institutionally based, and federally sanctioned psychedelic research is back. The research community, of which I am a member, is enthusiastic that after what Dr. Charles Grob calls “a protracted lull,” research has resumed. And the results of initial studies have been conclusive: Psychedelics, given in a safe, supportive setting, can be of enormous benefit to people suffering from numerous serious conditions.

It is not surprising to know that people intending to have a spiritual experience can do so with the help of psychedelics when properly supported and guided. It is totally surprising, however, that for people suffering from cluster headaches—the worst kind of headaches we know of—a single psychedelic experience can prevent these headaches from reoccurring for months afterward. Not to mention the fact that people nearing death can become far less anxious about their impending transition after a supervised psychedelic journey. We have also learned that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has helped people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who had failed to benefit from any other kind of therapy.

These results are not only being published and replicated, but each study mentioned above became a news sensation, garnering hundreds of media stories within weeks of its journal release. When publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal and Scottish Sporting News run positive stories about psychedelic experiences, you know that we have turned a cultural corner.

At the beginning of this article I said that psychedelics are back. I was speaking only about the return of research. Government surveys reveal that nonsanctioned psychedelic use has continued during the forty-plus years that these substances have been illegal. Twenty-three million Americans have used LSD, a figure estimated by U.S. government surveys to increase by as much as six hundred thousand each year. Any inclusive discussion of psychedelic experiences must take into account not only the few extremely important approved studies but also the larger body of users.

LSD and a number of other psychedelics are unusual in that the major effects are dose dependent. This means that if the dose is higher or lower, entirely different experiences occur. When you think of aspirin, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, diuretics, and other classes of pharmaceuticals, raising the dose makes the central effect more obvious, may increase the duration of that effect, and at high enough doses can become dangerous. This is not true for psychedelics.

To better understand the full span of psychedelic research and experience, it is useful to describe four areas of dosage, each of which differs in intention, methodology, dose level, and results.

Microdosage: Improved Normal Functioning

The lowest effective dose of LSD is 5 to 10 micrograms (millionths of a gram), which Albert Hoffman, who first synthesized LSD, characterized as “an under-researched area” of use. These subperceptual dosages, or “microdoses,” induce minimal perceptual, sensory, or cognitive changes or distortions.

Typically, micro-dosers talk about sustained intellectual and emotional clarity. A physician I talked with reported, “Since I started microdosing, taking 10 mcg of LSD every three days, I am in touch with a deep place of ease and beauty and trust. I have more strength and determination.” An addiction counselor concludes, “The subthreshold doses helped me to be more focused overall, with better mental clarity. I was also more energetic, with better memory recall.”

While most of the field reports I’ve been accumulating are favorable, a few are not. For example, “I experience headaches, obsess about cleaning, and feel so spaced afterwards . . . it is not for my biochemistry.” People who find these doses uncomfortable either lower their dose or simply stop taking the psychedelic. There are no reports, as yet, of serious difficulties.

It is foolish to assume that any substance, especially those as powerful as psychedelics, are good for everyone. These preliminary reports, however, reveal possibilities that beg for more rigorous scientific exploration. Many of the self-reports come from people in creative occupations. They don’t say that they are more creative or that they are creating at a higher level. Rather, they report that they do more of what they do well, with greater concentration and less fatigue.

Many individuals note that their use of microdoses goes unnoticed by anyone else, thus causing no upsets or negative reactions. One man called microdosing “an invisible use.” While most of these reports are about LSD, descriptions about other psychedelics are becoming available as well. For centuries, indigenous healers have taken a small dose when giving larger doses to others or have given tiny doses to individuals or groups for clarity, cohesiveness, or healing.

Low Dose: Creative Problem-Solving

At a dose of about 100 micrograms of LSD, higher-than-normal levels of creativity have been reported. Willis Harman, president of IONS from 1975 through 1996, helped pioneer this work and was convinced that it was possible to harness the psychedelic experience for the purpose of finding solutions to difficult technical and scientific problems. At the time, there was no evidence that this was likely. People working with psychedelics generally felt that the experience was so sensorially overwhelming and psychologically and emotionally engaging that no one could or would focus that psychic energy on a problem in physics, architecture, computer design, or biology.

Nevertheless, in l965, Dr. Harman, together with a small research team of which I was a member, conducted a series of sessions with senior scientists and architects. One criterion for inclusion in the study was that a participant had to have been trying to solve a specific problem for several months without success. Having already invested considerable effort on the problem area, finding a solution mattered personally as well as professionally to them.

They were instructed to use the psychedelic-induced state as a way to stay with their problem and not get distracted by any other influence. After taking the psychedelic (LSD or mescaline), they were encouraged to lie down, put on eyeshades, and let their minds relax by listening to music for several hours. Soon after the peak of the psychophysiological experience, they were asked to sit up and take the same standard creativity tests they had taken earlier. They spent the rest of the afternoon—and for most of them that evening—on their chosen problems.

This initial group of four was so successful that later groups were told to bring at least two problems, so that if one was solved, they would have another one ready. [Of the forty-four problems attempted by twenty-seven subjects, only four were scored “no solution obtained.” Twenty problems were scored “new avenues for investigation opened.”1 One participant voiced what seemed to be true for many of the subjects: “The ideas considered and developed in the session appear as important steps, and the period of the session was the single most productive period of work on this problem I have had in the several months preceding or following the session.”2 As an indirect measurement of the perceived value of the process, many colleagues of those in the original study eagerly volunteered to be prospective subjects.

While we cannot say what might have happened if this kind of work had continued during the forty-year taboo on psychedelic research, we do know that at least two Nobel Prize winners, Francis Crick and Kary Mullins, reported that their own insights while using psychedelics were pivotal in exactly those areas for which they received the prize. Steve Jobs also stated that his LSD sessions were important in his creative life.

The current research emphasis is on medical and therapeutic results; it may be that the work pioneered by Willis Harman’s team will, in the long run, be equally valuable.

Moderate Dosage: Physical and Psychological Healing

The research done in the 1960s on the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelic experiences is being reviewed and renewed, but with a new emphasis on treating conditions that have not been successfully treated by other means. As noted earlier, the research so far has focused on high anxiety in terminal cancer patients, cluster headaches, and PTSD. Other possible studies are looking at stuttering and smoking cessation as well as autism and other genetic conditions.

Moderately high doses of psychedelics show similar benefits for individuals working on psychodynamic issues, as would be found in a normal outpatient clinic population. Earlier large-sample study results reported a high abstinence rate in otherwise treatment-resistant alcoholics.3

Based on his personal as well as his clinical experience, Dr. Andrew Weil is calling for studies using psychedelics for allergies as well as multiple sclerosis. There is also successful work being done with cocaine and heroin addiction using ibogaine [a plant-based psychoactive agent found originally in Africa]. Clinics in Africa, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Peru, and other countries are following up on research originally carried out (but no longer legal) in the United States (see, for example,

Researchers (including myself) who are surveying people who use psychedelics recreationally are finding that many of them report that their primary reason for taking the drug is self-help, self-understanding, and greater awareness of their own consciousness. It is hoped that sponsored legal research will begin to look more closely at these reports and at this population of users.

High Dosage: Entheogenic Experiences

Highest-dose research (in the range of 400 micrograms of LSD) on subjects in safe and well-guided situations often reports experiences of personal transcendence, described by participants with what has been called “classical mystical language.” Follow-up research suggests that these people become less neurotic, more compassionate, and more aware of others, and are seen by their friends and colleagues as more open and friendly. In one study, over 90 percent of the sample reported that their marriages had improved as a result of their experience.4 A major American Buddhist teacher reports that at least 80 percent of the Buddhist teachers in the United States either were attracted to Buddhism after such an experience or had some of these experiences early in their training.

Below is a case where the intention was therapeutic but the dose used was such that the subject had a true entheogenic experience.

Roy [is] a 52-year-old television news producer and Stage-4 lung-cancer patient, who this summer underwent psilocybin treatment at NYU after three years of chemotherapy. Roy had grown increasingly anxious and depressed before his revelatory psilocybin session. Today he describes that session as among the most precious and important experiences of his life . . . “From here on love was the only consideration,” Roy writes of his psilocybin session. “Love seemed to emanate from a single point of light. The bliss was indescribable . . . I took a tour of my lungs. There were nodules but they seemed rather unimportant . . . I was being told (without words) to not worry about the cancer . . . it’s minor in the scheme of things, simply an imperfection of your humanity and that the real work to be done is before you . . . [On the day after the session] I felt spectacular . . . both physically and mentally! It had been a very long time since I’d felt that good . . . a serene sense of balance . . . Undoubtedly, my life has changed in ways I may never fully comprehend. I now have an understanding, an awareness that goes beyond intellect, that my life, that every life, and all that is the universe equals one thing: Love.”5

The entire article is detailed and comprehensive and can be found here. [The recollection comes from the work of Stephen Ross, highlighted in last month’s issue of Noetic Now in the article “Psilocybin at the End of Life.”]

Implications for Contemporary Culture

What I haven’t discussed are reported incidences of paranormal phenomena during higher-dose usages, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. These phenomena often occurred in earlier research studies, but because the substances themselves were controversial, the research climate wasn’t conducive to reporting these events. They do, however, live at the core of some sacred indigenous traditions. A common practice in South America, for example, is to ask a shaman to visit and observe distant relatives. Such “remote-viewing” rituals using plant and fungal entheogens have been noted repeatedly by anthropologists but are still avoided in current research.

Also fundamental to many indigenous cultures that have used these substances ritually for thousands of years is a profound awareness of their natural biological community. They say that unless more people experience a deeper awareness and appreciation of the complex ecological network in which we all move and live, it is unlikely that “developed” civilization will continue. While psychedelic plants and fungi occur worldwide, it is curious that LSD, a synthesized substance, has been the breakthrough substance that has restored many Westerners’ connection with nature. Perhaps as psychedelic research becomes more accepted, formal studies on their use in indigenous cultures will start to emerge that bring the wisdom of these traditions to bear on the nature and potential of all human consciousness.

What then are we to make of the four faces of psychedelic research: low doses for higher functioning, moderate doses for scientific problem solving, higher doses for psychotherapy and self-exploration, and high doses for transcendent spiritual experiences? Ram Dass quotes a saying that “painted words do not satisfy.” No matter how attractive the menu, ultimately one needs to eat the food to be nourished. As more people are trained to ensure that these substances are used with maximum safety and for maximum benefit, the initial promise of beneficial psychedelic experiences will, if verified, lead to more research and greater acceptance of these compounds.


1. James Fadiman, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys (Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 2011), p. 132.
2. Ibid, p. 133.
3. N. Chwelos, D. Blewett, C. Smith, A. Hoffer, “Use of LSD in the Treatment of Alcoholism,” Quarterly Journal of Alcohol Studies 20 (1959): 577–590.
4. Fadiman, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, p. 290.
5. Alexander Zaitchik, Flashback! Psychedelic Research Returns, last accessed November 2011,
Rabia & Rumi, Poetry

Rabia al-Basri

If I Adore You

If I adore You out of fear of Hell,
Burn me in Hell!
If I adore you out of desire for Paradise,
Lock me out of Paradise.
But if I adore you for Yourself alone,
Do not deny to me Your eternal beauty.


In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?


As salt resolved in the ocean
I was swallowed in God’s sea,
Past faith, past unbelieving,
Past doubt, past certainty.

Suddenly in my bosom
A star shone clear and bright;
All the suns of heaven
Vanished in that star’s light.

Flowers every night
Blossom in the sky;
Peace in the Infinite;
At peace am I.

Sighs a hundredfold
From my heart arise;
My heart, dark and cold,
Flames with my sighs.

Cocteau Twins – Watchlar

The Gyre…

“There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.” – ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(Marci McDonald – Orchid)

Samhain… Woke up, Portland swathed in fog and mist. The day unfolded beautifully. We were off to clients that we really like, and started a new project. Around 1:00 the fog burned off and the day stepped out, full of glory.

We went out yesterday, picked up candy, decorated the porch, got pumpkins. Our street is pretty dark. We got 1 kid. 1 KID. Sad. When Rowan was very young, the whole neighborhood was full of young’uns. I guess not so much anymore. Sad that. Ended up watching bad vampire films, and abusing ourselves with sugar.

Need Candy? We have BAGS of the stuff.

Here is something to let you know where things are going….

Making headway! Another edition soon! The cover art was a partnership effort of Aloria Weaver & David Heskin. Their work will be featured in the new 7th edition of The Invisible College Magazine.

This Edition Of Turfing: Some nice stuff in this one, from the music of Cluster, to the Aboriginal Dream Time Tale ‘Why the Crow is Black’, to the poetry of Denise Levertov and the art of Marci McDonald.

Everything beautiful, bright, and full of light…


On The Menu:
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quotes
Cluster “Sowiesoso”
Why the Crow is Black
Denise Levertov Poetry
Cluster “Plas”
Artist: Marci McDonald
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Quotes:

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
“By seeking and blundering we learn.”
“Trust yourself, and you will know how to live.”
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
“Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at.”
One of the bands that influenced me deeply, deeply enough that I eventually bought and played synthesizer for many years. This always reminds me of living along side the Rhine, so many years ago.

Cluster “Sowiesoso”


Aboriginal Dream Time Tales:

Why the Crow is Black

One day, a crow and a hawk hunted together in the bush. After travelling together for some time, they decided to hunt in opposite directions, and, at the close of the day, to share whatever game they had caught. The crow travelled against the sun, and at noonday arrived at a broad lagoon which was the haunt of the wild ducks. The crow hid in the tall green reeds fringing the lagoon, and prepared to trap the ducks. First, he got some white clay, and, having softened it with water, placed two pieces in his nostrils. He then took a long piece of hollow reed through which he could breathe under water, and finally tied a net bag around his waist in which to place the ducks.

On the still surface of the lagoon, the tall gum trees were reflected like a miniature forest. The ducks, with their bronze plumage glistening in the sun, were swimming among the clumps of reeds, and only paused to dive for a tasty morsel hidden deep in the water weeds. The crow placed the reed in his mouth, and, without making any sound, waded into the water. He quickly submerged himself, and the only indication of his presence in the lagoon, was a piece of dry reed which projected above the surface of the water, and through which the crow was breathing. When he reached the centre of the water hole he remained perfectly still. He did not have to wait long for the ducks to swim above his head. Then, without making any sound or movement, he seized one by the leg, quickly pulled it beneath the water, killed it, and placed it in the net bag. By doing this, he did not frighten the other ducks, and, in a short time he had trapped a number of them. He then left the lagoon and continued on his way until he came to a river.

The crow was so pleased with his success at the waterhole, that he determined to spear some fish before he returned to his camp. He left the bag of ducks on the bank of the river, and, taking his fish spear, he waded into the river until the water reached his waist. Then he stood very still, with the spear poised for throwing. A short distance from the spot where he was standing, a slight ripple disturbed the calm surface of the water. With the keen eye of the hunter, he saw the presence of fish, and, with a swift movement of his arm, he hurled the spear, and his unerring aim was rewarded with a big fish. The water was soon agitated by many fish, and the crow took advantage of this to spear many more. With this heavy load of game, he turned his face towards home.

The hawk was very unfortunate in his hunting. He stalked a kangaroo many miles, and then lost sight of it in the thickly wooded hills. He then decided to try the river for some fish, but the crow had made the water muddy and frightened the fish, so again he was unsuccessful. At last the hawk decided to return to his gunyah with the hope that the crow would secure some food, which they had previously agreed to share. When the hawk arrived, he found that the crow had been there before him and had prepared and eaten his evening meal. He at once noticed that the crow had failed to leave a share for him. This annoyed the hawk, so he approached the crow and said: “I see you have had a good hunt to-day. I walked many miles but could not catch even a lizard. I am tired and would be glad to have my share of food, as we agreed this morning.” “You are too lazy,” the crow replied. “You must have slept in the sun instead of hunting for food. Anyhow, I’ve eaten mine and cannot give you any.” This made the hawk very angry, and he .attacked the crow. For a long time they struggled around the dying embers of the camp fire, until the hawk seized the crow and rolled him in the black ashes. When the crow recovered from the fight, he found that he could not wash the ashes off, and, since that time, crows have always been black. The crow was also punished for hiding the food which he could not eat by being condemned to live on putrid flesh.
(Marci McDonald – Ladyslipper)

Denise Levertov Poetry

A Tree Telling of Orpheus

White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began
I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors
of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white fog
didn’t stir; the leaves of my brothers remained outstretched,
Yet the rippling drew nearer – and then
my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips
were drying and curling.
Yet I was not afraid, only
deeply alert.
I was the first to see him, for I grew
out on the pasture slope, beyond the forest.
He was a man, it seemed: the two
moving stems, the short trunk, the two
arm-branches, flexible, each with five leafless
twigs at their ends,
and the head that’s crowned by brown or golden grass,
bearing a face not like the beaked face of a bird,
more like a flower’s.
He carried a burden made of
some cut branch bent while it was green,
strands of a vine tight-stretched across it. From this,
when he touched it, and from his voice
which unlike the wind’s voice had no need of our
leaves and branches to complete its sound,
came the ripple.
But it was now no longer a ripple (he had come near and
stopped in my first shadow) it was a wave that bathed me
as if rain
rose from below and around me
instead of falling.
And what I felt was no longer a dry tingling:
I seemed to be singing as he sang, I seemed to know
what the lark knows; all my sap
was mounting towards the sun that by now
had risen, the mist was rising, the grass
was drying, yet my roots felt music moisten them
deep under earth.

He came still closer, leaned on my trunk:
the bark thrilled like a leaf still-folded.
Music! There was no twig of me not
trembling with joy and fear.

Then as he sang
it was no longer sounds only that made the music:
he spoke, and as no tree listens I listened, and language
came into my roots
out of the earth,
into my bark
out of the air,
into the pores of my greenest shoots
gently as dew
and there was no word he sang but I knew its meaning.
He told me of journeys,
of where sun and moon go while we stand in dark,
of an earth-journey he dreamed he would take some day
deeper than roots …
He told of the dreams of man, wars, passions, griefs,
and I, a tree, understood words – ah, it seemed
my thick bark would split like a sapling’s that
grew too fast in the spring
when a late frost wounds it.

Fire he sang,
that trees fear, and I, a tree, rejoiced in its flames.
New buds broke forth from me though it was full summer.
As though his lyre (now I knew its name)
were both frost and fire, its chords flamed
up to the crown of me.
I was seed again.
I was fern in the swamp.
I was coal.

The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.
That’s why the taste of it
drove us from Eden. That fruit
was meant to be dried and milled to a fine powder
for use a pinch at a time, a condiment.
God had probably planned to tell us later
about this new pleasure.
We stuffed our mouths full of it,
gorged on but and if and how and again
but, knowing no better.
It’s toxic in large quantities; fumes
swirled in our heads and around us
to form a dense cloud that hardened to steel,
a wall between us and God, Who was Paradise.
Not that God is unreasonable – but reason
in such excess was tyranny
and locked us into its own limits, a polished cell
reflecting our own faces. God lives
on the other side of that mirror,
but through the slit where the barrier doesn’t
quite touch ground, manages still
to squeeze in – as filtered light,
splinters of fire, a strain of music heard
then lost, then heard again.

To the Snake

Green Snake, when I hung you round my neck
and stroked your cold, pulsing throat
as you hissed to me, glinting
arrowy gold scales, and I felt
the weight of you on my shoulders,
and the whispering silver of your dryness
sounded close at my ears –

Green Snake–I swore to my companions that certainly
you were harmless! But truly
I had no certainty, and no hope, only desiring
to hold you, for that joy,
which left
a long wake of pleasure, as the leaves moved
and you faded into the pattern
of grass and shadows, and I returned
smiling and haunted, to a dark morning.

Adam’s complaint

Some people,
no matter what you give them,
still want the moon.
The bread, the salt,
white meat and dark,
still hungry.
The marriage bed
and the cradle,
still empty arms.
You give them land,
their own earth under their feet,
still they take to the roads.
And water: dig them the deepest well,
still it’s not deep enough
to drink the moon from.
Cluster “Plas”


“Nine requisites for contented living:
Health enough to make work a pleasure.
Wealth enough to support your needs.
Strength to battle with difficulties and overcome them.
Grace enough to confess your sins and forsake them.
Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished.
Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor.
Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others.
Faith enough to make real the things of God.
Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(Marci McDonald – A Paper Veil)