Into The Myth

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.” ― Hermann Hesse

I wanted to get this out earlier, but life gets in the way. This entry came about from an evening Mary and I spent watching a film about Joseph Campbell previous to his passing. It was nice being with Joseph again. Watching I realized how his work helped me shape my life. I had spent years in peoples libraries, looking up to find The Hero With A Thousand Faces. When I finally started reading his works later on, I was truly taken with his mind, and his great capacity for understanding and sharing.

I hope you enjoy this entry, it is quite large, the interview with Joseph long, but worth it. Please take your time and explore!

Magick is afoot, more soon my friends!


On The Menu:
Joseph Campbell Quotes
The Links
Hermann Hesse Poems
Arany Zoltán – Estampie
Mythic Reflections (Interview w/Joseph Campbell)
Arany Zoltán – Saltarello la Regina
Artist: Norman Lindsay

Joseph Campbell Quotes:

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances without own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
― The Power of Myth
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”
― Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.”
“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”
“We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.”
“The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.”
“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off.
Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance.
Having a sense of humor saves you.”
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
The Links:
The Hexham Heads…
Archaeology/Technology offers peek into past
Mother’s Care
It’s Time to Come Together to Reject Compromise
The Devil Inside: Psychotherapy, Exorcism and Demonic Possession
Hermann Hesse Poems:

Across The Fields

Across the sky, the clouds move,
Across the fields, the wind,
Across the fields the lost child
Of my mother wanders.

Across the street, leaves blow,
Across the trees, birds cry –
Across the mountains, far away,
My home must be.

In Secret We Thirst

Graceful, spiritual,
with the gentleness of arabesques
our life is similar
to the existence of fairies
that spin in soft cadence
around nothingness
to which we sacrifice
the here and now

Dreams of beauty, youthful joy
like a breath in pure harmony
with the depth of your young surface
where sparkles the longing for the night
for blood and barbarity

In the emptiness, spinning, without aims or needs
dance free our lives
always ready for the game
yet, secretly, we thirst for reality
for the conceiving, for the birth
we are thirst for sorrows and death

Without You

My Pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.

I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Toward you, and kiss myself, exhausted and weak-
Then suddenly I’m awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly-
Where is your blond hair,
Where your sweet mouth?

Now I drink pain in every delight
And poison in every wine;
I never knew it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Alone, without you.

How Heavy The Days

How heavy the days are.
There’s not a fire that can warm me,
Not a sun to laugh with me,
Everything bare,
Everything cold and merciless,
And even the beloved, clear
Stars look desolately down,
Since I learned in my heart that
Love can die.
Arany Zoltán – Estampie



Mythic Reflections

Thoughts on myth, spirit, and our times
an interview with Joseph Campbell, by Tom Collins

Joseph Campbell is perhaps the world’s foremost scholar of mythology. Among his many books are The Hero with a Thousand Faces, The Masks Of God, Myths To Live By, and his current multi-volume Historical Atlas Of World Mythology. Interviewer Tom Collins is a Los Angeles based writer and editor whose works include Steven Spielberg, Creator of E.T. (Dillon Press, 1983).

Tom: What does myth do for us? Why is it so important?

Joseph: It puts you in touch with a plane of reference that goes past your mind and into your very being, into your very gut. The ultimate mystery of being and nonbeing transcends all categories of knowledge and thought. Yet that which transcends all talk is the very essence of your own being, so you’re resting on it and you know it. The function of mythological symbols is to give you a sense of “Aha! Yes. I know what it is, it’s myself.” This is what it’s all about, and then you feel a kind of centering, centering, centering all the time. And whatever you do can be discussed in relationship to this ground of truth. Though to talk about it as truth is a little bit deceptive because when we think of truth we think of something that can be conceptualized. It goes past that.

Tom: Heinrich Zimmer said “The best truths cannot be spoken. . . ”

Joseph: “And the second best are misunderstood.”

Tom: Then you added something to that.

Joseph: The third best is the usual conversation – science, history, sociology.

Tom: Why do people confuse these?

Joseph: Because the imagery that has to be used in order to tell what can’t be told, symbolic imagery, is then understood or interpreted not symbolically but factually, empirically. It’s a natural thing, but that’s the whole problem with Western religion. All of the symbols are interpreted as if they were historical references. They’re not. And if they are, then so what?

Tom: Let’s go carefully here. What are you calling a symbol?

Joseph: I’m calling a symbol a sign that points past itself to a ground of meaning and being that is one with the consciousness of the beholder. What you’re learning in myth is about yourself as part of the being of the world. If it talks not about you, finally, but about something out there, then it’s short. There’s that wonderful phase I got from Karlfried Graf Durkheim, “transparency to the transcendent.” If a deity blocks off transcendency, cuts you short of it by stopping at himself, he turns you into a worshipper and a devotee, and he hasn’t opened the mystery of your own being.

Tom: You once called that the pathology of theology.

Joseph: That’s what I would call it.

Tom: Walter Huston Clark says the church is like a vaccination against the real thing.

Joseph: Jung says religion is a defense against the experience of god. I say our religions are.

Tom: What do you do, then, if the experience is not to be found in religion?

Joseph: You find it in mysticism and get in touch with mystics who read these symbolic forms symbolically. Mystics are people who are not theologians; theologians are people who interpret the vocabulary of scripture as if it were referring to supernatural facts.

There are plenty of mystics in the Christian tradition, only we don’t hear much about them. But now and again you run into it. Meister Eckhart is such a person. Thomas Merton had it. Dante had it. Dionysus the Areopagyte had it. John of the Cross breaks through every now and again and then comes slopping back again. He flashes back and forth.

I think Joyce is full of it. And Thomas Mann had it in his writing, though it isn’t as far out as Joyce. It’s strange how after Mann’s death it disappears and you don’t get it any more.

Tom: To quote your own words again, “A myth is the dynamic of life. You may or may not know it, and the myth you may be respectfully worshipping on Sunday may not be the one that’s really working in your heart and the one that’s out there in the view of your religious instructors.”

Joseph: Yes. I would say that’s a proper statement, and I would say it again.

Tom: How do you unite those two dynamics?

Joseph: By placing the emphasis on your own inward dynamic and then filtering out of the inheritance of traditions those aspects that support you in your own inward life. This means not being tied to this, that, or another tradition, but letting the general comparison . . . See, I’m very much for comparative studies of mythology. I think one of the problems today is that society has moved into a multicultural relationship that renders archaic these culture-bounded mythological systems – like the Christian, the Jewish, the Hindu.

By getting to know your own impulse system and its images and the things you really are living for, and then to get support for – you might say – universalizing and grounding this personal mythology, you can find support in the other mythologies of mankind.

Tom: What are the purposes of myth?

Joseph: There are four of them. One’s mystical. One’s cosmological: the whole universe as we now understand it becomes, as it were, a revelation of the mystery dimension. The third is sociological, taking care of the society that exists. But we don’t know what this society is, it’s changed so fast. Good God! In the past 40 years there have been such transformations in mores that it’s impossible to talk about them. Finally, there’s the pedagogical one of guiding an individual through the inevitables of a lifetime. But even that’s become impossible because we don’t know what the inevitables of a lifetime are any more. They change from moment to moment.

Formerly, there were only a limited number of careers open to a male, and for the female it was normal to be a mother or a nun or something like that. Now, the panorama of possibilities and possible lives and how they change from decade to decade has made it impossible to mythologize. The individual is just going in raw. It’s like open field running in football – there are no rules. You have to watch everything all the way down the line. All you can learn is what your own inward life is and try to stay loyal to that.

Tom: How do you learn that?

Joseph: I don’t know. Some people learn it early; some never learn it.

Tom: What kind of a mythology do we have today? What kind should we have?

Joseph: I won’t say what kind of mythology we have because I don’t think we have a generally functioning mythology. I would say that in terms of the sociological aspects of mythology, and perhaps this is a sentimental impossibility, we should see the total, global, society as the community of interest.

Tom: I thought myths were always tied to a specific group or place.

Joseph: That’s right. But when you can fly from New York to Tokyo in a day, you can no longer say that’s an incredible span of consciousness to include as one unit. The total globe is the society. And in fact, economically that is so.

Tom: I think it’s interesting that some people have started to combine ancient wisdom with modern insights – people like Jean Houston, Michael Harner, Joan Halifax, and Elizabeth Cogburn.

Joseph: If it makes sense, what it would seem to me to suggest is that a harmonization of our lives with the order of nature is what’s required.

Tom: Many of these people are also interested in the creation of rituals. What role does ritual play in mythology?

Joseph: A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And through the enactment it brings to mind the implications of the life act that you are engaged in. Now, people ask me, what rituals can we have today? My answer is, what are you doing? What is important in your life? What is important, they say, is having dinner with their friends. That is a ritual.

This is the sense of T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party. A cocktail party is a ritual. It is a religious function in that way, and those people are engaged in a human relationship thing. This is the Chinese idea, the Confucian idea, that human relationships are the way you experience the Tao. Realize what you’re doing when you’re giving a cocktail party. You are performing a social ritual. You are conducting it when you sit down to eat a meal, you are consuming a life.

When you’re eating something, this is something quite special to do. And you ought to have that thought when you eat a carrot as well as when you eat an animal, it seems to me. But you don’t know what you’re doing unless you think about it. That’s what a ritual does. It give you an occasion to realize what you’re doing so that you’re participating in the inevitable energy of life in its exchanges. That’s what rituals are for; you do things with intention, and not just in the animal way, ravenously, without knowing what you’re doing.

This is true also of sex. People who just engage in sex as a fun game, as something exciting like that, don’t realize what they’re doing. Then you don’t have the sacramentalization. And the whole reason marriage is a sacrament is that it lets you know what the hell is correct and what isn’t, and what’s going on here. A male and female coming together with the possibility of another life coming out of it – that’s a big act.

Tom: What does the term “transcendent” mean, in von Durckheim’s phrase, “transparent to the transcendent”?

Joseph: The simple meaning of the term is that which goes beyond all concepts and conceptualization, or that which lies beyond all conceptualization.

Tom: Where does this experience come from?

Joseph: Your life is your experience of transcendent energies because you don’t know where your life comes from, but you can experience them. We’re experiencing them right here, just by sitting on them and having them bubble up.

Tom: Are you using “transcendent” as another term for God?

Joseph: If you want to personify it. Brahman is the Sanskrit way of talking about it. Manitou is the Algonquin way, Orinda is the Iroquois, Owacan is the Sioux.

Tom: Jahweh?

Joseph: Jahweh is personified. He is it.

Tom: We can’t speak the name, though, because he is beyond ….

Joseph: Well, it ought to be, but we know all about him, or he’s told us all about himself and how we ought to behave. The basic mythological concept is transcendent of personification. Personification is a concession to human consciousness so that you can talk about these things.

Tom: Do you mean that if the infinite reveals itself to you, your little mind responds by saying “God spoke to me” because it can only grasp what happened in its limited terms?

Joseph: That’s right.

Tom: I gather you’re not terribly fond of the Bible.

Joseph: Not at all! It’s the most over-advertised book in the world. It’s very pretentious to claim it to be the word of God, or accept it as such and perpetuate this tribal mythology, justifying all kinds of violence to people who are not members of the tribe.

The thing I see about the Bible that’s unfortunate is that it’s a tribally circumscribed mythology. It deals with a certain people at a certain time. The Christians magnified it to include them. It then turns this society against all others, whereas the condition of the world today is that this particular society that’s presented in the Bible isn’t even the most important. This thing is like a dead weight. It’s pulling us back because it belongs to an earlier period. We can’t break loose and move into a modern theology.

One of the great promises of mythology is, with what social group do you identify? How about the planet? To say that the members of this particular social group are the elite of God’s world is a good way to keep that group together, but look at the consequences! I think that what might be called the sanctified chauvinism of the Bible is one of the curses of the planet today.

Tom: There’s a lot of interesting material in the Old Testament, isn’t there? For instance, it says that God created everything except the water.

Joseph: You’ve put your finger on it. The water I is the goddess. You see, what happens in the Old Testament is that the masculine principle remains personified and the female principle is reduced to an element. The first verse says when God created, the breath of God brooded over the waters. And the water is the goddess.

Tom: I assume you don’t believe in an actual, literal seven days of creation.

Joseph: Of course not. That has nothing to do with the actual evolutionary story as we now get it.

Tom: How do you reconcile these two accounts?

Joseph: Why should one bother to, any more than you would try to reconcile the Navajo story?

Tom: I remember hearing a wonderful lecture by the late Louis Leakey in which he insisted that there was no conflict between the Genesis account of creation and what he had discovered.

Joseph: Well, it is in conflict because he didn’t read it carefully enough. There are two Biblical accounts, one in the first chapter and one in the second, and they’re quite contrary to each other.

It’s about time we stopped feeling that we have to believe in the Bible. I’d just as soon try to work out the Navajo thing, where they come up through four worlds. One is red, one yellow . . .

Tom: But if you throw out the Bible as history, don’t you also throw it out as a moral imperative?

Joseph: Yes. I don’t think the Bible is anybody’s moral imperative, unless you want to be a traditional Jew. That’s what the Bible tells you.

Tom: Doesn’t it tell you how to be a good person?

Joseph: No.

Tom: Lots of people think so.

Joseph: Just read the thing. Maybe it gives you a few hints, but the Bible also tells you to kill everyone in Canaan, right down to the mice.

Tom: What was the passage you quoted to justify their exclusivity ideas?

Joseph: “There is no God in all the world but in Israel.” That leaves everybody out except the Jews. This is one of the most chauvinistic views of morality.

One of the great texts is in Exodus, when the Jews are told to kill the lambs and put the blood on their doorsteps so the angel of death won’t kill any of their children, but will kill the first children of the Egyptians. And the night before they leave, they’re to invite their Egyptian friends to lend them their jewels and so on. Then the next night, they run off with the jewels, and the text says, so they fleeced the Egyptians. No, so they despoiled the Egyptians. You call this good ethics?

Tom: What’s the background of something like Cain and Abel?

Joseph: There’s a very amusing Sumerian dialogue that appeared about 1500 years earlier than the Cain and Abel story. It’s about a herder and an agriculturalist competing for the favor of the goddess. The goddess chooses to prefer the agriculturalist and his offering. Well, the Jews come into this area, and they’re not agriculturalists, they’re herders. And they don’t have a goddess, they have a god. So they turn the whole thing upside down, and make God favor the herder against the agriculturalist.

The interesting thing is that throughout the Old Testament, it’s the younger brother who overturns the older brother in God’s favor. It happens time and time again. This is simply a function of the fact that the Jews come in as younger brothers. They come in as barbaric Bedouins from the desert, into highly sophisticated agricultural areas, and they’re declaring that although the others are the elders – as Cain was, the founder of cities and all that – they are God’s favorite. It’s just another form of sanctified chauvinism. You understand the view of exclusive religion, don’t you – “You worship God in your way, I’ll worship God in his.”

Tom: I gather there were a number of East-West conflicts in the early church. I find Pellagius a fascinating figure, for example.

Joseph: Pellagius in the fourth century was either a Welshman or an Irishman, I think. He upheld the individualistic Western tradition against what I would call the tribalism of the East, and was considered a heretic. He stated the main points against the doctrines of which St. Augustine, his contemporary, was the champion. One was the doctrine of original sin. Pellagius said, you cannot inherit another’s sin. Therefore, Adam’s sin is not inherited by anybody.

Tom: The sins of the father are not visited upon the son?

Joseph: That is all Eastern philosophy, not European. Another thing Pellagius said is that you cannot be saved by another’s act. That takes care of Jesus on the cross and knocks the whole thing out. Of course that was rejected. Pellagius was defending a doctrine of individual responsibility. I don’t know where it comes from, but certainly it was typical, I would say, of European as opposed to Eastern points of view. You were an individual, not merely the member of a group.

Tom: That sounds like the line in the King Arthur legend . . .

Joseph: “Each knight entered the forest at a point he had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no way or path.” That’s from The Quest of the Sangral, 1215 or so in France.

Tom: How do they expect to find their way then?

Joseph: By questing.

Tom: And that’s what we all do in life?

Joseph: Yes. Otherwise, you’d follow someone else’s path, follow the well-tried ways. No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities. It’s a shame to waste those by doing what someone else has done.

Tom: You once said that no human society has been found where mythological motifs are not to be found and celebrated – “magnified in song and ecstatically experienced in light and power and vision.” What about ours?

Joseph: What has happened in ours is that on the official level the accent is on economics and practical politics, and there has been a systematic elimination of the spiritual dimension. But it exists in our poets and our arts. It does. You can find it here. It’s in a recessive condition, but otherwise people wouldn’t have any spiritual life at all.

Tom: Isn’t it alive in some phases of the ecology movement as well?

Joseph: Yes. And this interest now in the American Indian lore, isn’t this interesting? The brutalized, rejected people – they’ve got the message that this country is waiting for.

There’s an awful saying of Spengler that I ran into in a book of his, Jahre der Entscheidung, Year of Decision, which is the years we live in now. He said, “As for America, it’s a congeries of dollar trappers, no past, no future.” When I read that back in the 30s I took it badly. I thought it was an insult. But what is anybody interested in? And then Lenin says, “When we get ready to hang the capitalists, they’ll compete to sell us the rope.” And that’s what we’re doing. Nobody’s thinking of what their culture represents. They’re wondering whether the farmer in the Midwest will vote for you because you sold their wheat to the Russians, or what not. It’s a terrible lack of anything but economic concerns that we’re facing. That is old age and death; that is the end. That’s as I see it. I have nothing but negative judgments in respect to that.

And look at what people are reading in the papers. You get into the subways and people are all reading the same thing – this murder, that murder. This rape, this divorce. What topics to be mentating on! This journalistic accent in our lives is murder. Murder.

Tom: You don’t see the struggle ending? There’s no kind of world order that could bring that about?

Joseph: It would have to be a world order, but then there would be struggle within it, just as there is struggle within our United States order. No revolution has ever taken me in. I’ve known too many revolutionaries.

Tom: If the only myths that exist then are the ones that everyone believes in – Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism – can’t people create a new one that would meet today’s needs?

Joseph: No, because myths don’t come into being like that. You have to wait for them to appear. But I don’t believe anything of that kind will happen because there are too many points of view floating around the world. All myths so far have been within bounded horizons, and people have to be in accord with their life dynamics, their life experiences.

Tom: The ancient Greeks were surrounded by the presence of gods and statues and reminders of gods.

Joseph: But that doesn’t work any more. Christianity isn’t moving people’s lives today. What’s moving people’s lives is the stock market and the baseball scores. What are people excited about? It’s a totally materialistic level that has taken over the world. There isn’t even an ideal that anybody’s fighting for.

Arany Zoltán – Saltarello la Regina

“There is no escape. You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!”
― Hermann Hesse


The Gift

Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself. – Soren Kierkegaard

Sitting Alone on Jingting Mountain
Li Bai 699-762 (Translated – Red Pine)

Flocks of birds disappear in the distance
Lone clounds wander away
Who never tires of my company
Only Jingting Mountain

Sometimes, I am propelled along by friends in such nice ways…

I have studied the DaoTeChing TaoTeChing off and on since I was 16 years of age. The use of the I Ching changed my life forever by it’s recommendations. I recognize a pivotal moment when I experience one, and the Oracle was the catalysis for the abrupt change in my life’s direction when I was just a lad.

So, recently my friend Terry gave me a copy of Lao-Tzu’s TaoTeChing (translated by Red Pine). It has given me a completely new understanding and background that I didn’t have before. I have learned much from it, and it is a delight to read! It is like a renewed romance, such excitement commingled with the long time familiar affection!

So, as I have said the TaoTeChing has been a long companion. Still I can dive into it, and find something fresh and new. It is a point of renewal for my so called spiritual side, which isn’t far from the artistic and family guy at any given time. (it’s all part of that onion)

I have not used the I-Ching as the Oracle in many years. I have found that using an Oracle whether it be the I Ching, Tarot or other devices can be a distraction from the learning process, and the gleaning that follows. This does not mean that I will never use it; I use it differently now instead as a focusing device. Here is how this works for me. I pick a passage randomly, and read it as poetry. I meditate on the passage for a long moment, then clear my head, and go forward. It does not direct me, but it gives a moment of stillness. For me, the reading is like drinking from a clear stream. It is the action that slakes the thirst, the desire.

Every Poetry Post Box that I either sell or give has the first and the last passage of the DaoTeChing:

The Way

The Way that can be experienced is not true;
The world that can be constructed is not true.
The Way manifests all that happens and may happen;
The world represents all that exists and may exist.

To experience without intention is to sense the world;
To experience with intention is to anticipate the world.
These two experiences are indistinguishable;
Their construction differs but their effect is the same.

Beyond the gate of experience flows the Way,
Which is ever greater and more subtle than the world.

The Sage

Honest people use no rhetoric;
Rhetoric is not honesty.
Enlightened people are not cultured;
Culture is not enlightenment.
Content people are not rich;
Riches are not contentment.

So the sage does not serve himself;
The more he does for others, the more he is satisfied;
The more he gives, the more he receives.
Nature flourishes at the expense of no one;
So the sage benefits all men and contends with none.

Every time I read a selection from the DaoTeChing, I feel like I am stepping into a timeless moment. Lao Tzu, or Lao Tan, whoever he truly was captured something; the dark of the moon, the creative wave, a point of bliss as all unfolds. One does not going around pushing, one allows. The best action, sometimes is non-action. We are so practiced in our haste and desires.

I may rant, I may rave, but when I get out of the way, it happens.

Bone-chilling Snow
Hānshān Déqīng 1564-1623 (Translated – Red Pine)

bone-chilling snow on a thousand peaks
wildraging wind from ten thousand hollows
when I first awake deep beneath my blanket
I forget my body is in a silent world

Thank all of you who have shared the path. Without your presence, without your love, it would be so much more difficult.

Bright Blessings,

On The Menu:
Soren Kierkegaard Quotes
Maneesh De Moor – Raindance
The Links
Poems From The Shih Ching
The Radha-Krishna Romance
Maneesh de Moor – Namaste
Artist: Edward Robert Hughes

Soren Kierkegaard Quotes:

A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.

Don’t forget to love yourself.

Love is all, it gives all, and it takes all.

Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.

Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.

Be that self which one truly is.

Concepts, like individuals, have their histories and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time as are individuals. But in and through all this they retain a kind of homesickness for the scenes of their childhood.

Maneesh De Moor – Raindance


Astronomers weigh in on Milky Way’s true colours
Infants Possess Intermingled Senses
RAW Week: My Weirdest Summer Ever, by Erik Davis
Make drug-driving illegal, but prevention is better

Visiting Crecsent Pond
Cheng Hao 1032-1085 (translation – Red Pine)

We circle the shore of Crescent Pond
To the north is a tower that touches the sky
The world has changed in the autumn air
We pour a cup for the evening chill
The image of a cloud pauses on the water
The sound of a stream lingers beneath the trees
Our tasks are endless there’s no need to count
Let’s meet again our next day off

One Tiny Hut
Hanshan Deqing 1564-1623 (translation – Red Pine)

The shade of noble trees spreads in all directions
below the trees a tiny hut is perfectly secluded
beyond the sound of cart or horse or sign of human tracks
all day behind my door I sit alone cross-legged


Poems From The Shih Ching

Starshine and Non-Being

Starshine asked Non-Being,
“Master, do you exist? Or do you not exist?”
Since he received no answer at all,
Starlight set himself to watch for Non-Being.
He waited to see if Non-Being would appear.
He kept his eyes fixed on the deep Void,
hoping to catch a glimpse of Non-Being.
All day long he looked.
He saw nothing.
He listened.
He heard nothing.
Then Starlight cried out at last: “This is IT!”
“This is the farthest yet! Who can reach it?
I can understand the absence of Being.
But who can understand the absence of Nothing?
If now, on top of all this, Non-Being exists,
Who can understand it?”
– Chuang-Tzu

The Greater Master of Fate

Open wide the door of heaven!
On a black cloud I ride in splendour,
Bidding the whirlwind drive before me,
Causing the rainstorm to lay the dust.
– Ch’u Yuan

Song of the Bronze Statue

Gone that emperor of Maoling,
Rider through the autumn wind,
Whose horse neighs at night
And has passed without trace by dawn.
The fragrance of autum lingers still
On those cassia trees by painted galleries,
But on every palace hall the green moss grows.
As Wei’s envoy sets out to drive a thousand li
The keen wind at the East Gate stings the statue’s eyes. . . .
From the ruined palace he brings nothing forth
But the moonshaped disk of Han,
True to his lord, he sheds leaden tears,
And withered orchids by the Xianyang Road
See the traveler on his way.
Ah, if Heaven had a feeling heart, it, too, must grow old!
He bears the disk off alone
By the light of the desolate moon,
The town far behind him, muted its lapping waves.
– Li He

Bearer’s Song

When I was alive, I wandered in the streets of the Capital;
Now that I am dead, I am left to lie in the fields.
In the morning I drove out from the High Hall;
In the evening I lodged beneath the yellow springs.
When the white sun had sunk in the Western Chasm
I hung up my chariot and rested my four horses.
Now, even the Maker of All
Could not bring the life back to my limbs.
Shape and substance day by day will vanish.
Hair and teeth will gradually fall away.
Always from the days of old men has it been this way
And none born can escape this thing.
– Miu Hsi

In the Wilds There is a Dead Doe

In the wilds there is a dead doe;
With white rushes we cover her.
There was a lady longing for the spring;
A fair knight seduced her.

In the woods there is a clump of oaks,
And in the wilds a dead deer
With white rushes well bound;
There was a lady fair as jade.

“Heigh, not so hasty, not so rough;
Heigh, do not touch my handkerchief.
Take care, or the dog will bark.”
– Anon
The Radha-Krishna Romance
– Subhamoy Das

The Radha-Krishna amour is a love legend of all times. It’s indeed hard to miss the many legends and paintings illustrating Krishna’s love affairs, of which the Radha-Krishna affair is the most memorable. Krishna’s relationship with Radha, his favorite among the ‘gopis’ (cow-herding maidens), has served as a model for male and female love in a variety of art forms, and since the sixteenth century appears prominently as a motif in North Indian paintings. The allegorical love of Radha has found expression in some great Bengali poetical works of Govinda Das, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Jayadeva the author of Geet Govinda.

Krishna’s youthful dalliances with the ‘gopis’ are interpreted as symbolic of the loving interplay between God and the human soul. Radha’s utterly rapturous love for Krishna and their relationship is often interpreted as the quest for union with the divine. This kind of love is of the highest form of devotion in Vaishnavism, and is symbolically represented as the bond between the wife and husband or beloved and lover.

Radha, daughter of Vrishabhanu, was the mistress of Krishna during that period of his life when he lived among the cowherds of Vrindavan. Since childhood they were close to each other – they played, they danced, they fought, they grew up together and wanted to be together forever, but the world pulled them apart. He departed to safeguard the virtues of truth, and she waited for him. He vanquished his enemies, became the king, and came to be worshipped as a lord of the universe. She waited for him. He married Rukmini and Satyabhama, raised a family, fought the great war of Ayodhya, and she still waited. So great was Radha’s love for Krishna that even today her name is uttered whenever Krishna is refered to, and Krishna worship is though to be incomplete without the deification of Radha.

One day the two most talked about lovers come together for a final single meeting. Suradasa in his Radha-Krishna lyrics relates the various amorous delights of the union of Radha and Krishna in this ceremonious ‘Gandharva’ form of their wedding in front of five hundred and sixty million people of Vraj and all the gods and goddesses of heaven. The sage Vyasa refers to this as the ‘Rasa’. Age after age, this evergreen love theme has engrossed poets, painters, musicians and all Krishna devotees alike.

Maneesh de Moor – Namaste

The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived. – Soren Kierkegaard

Seeing Off a Friend Leaving for Shu
Li Bai 701-762 (translation – Red Pine)

You’ve heard of the Cancong Road
How rugged it is and hard to travel
Mountains rise before your face
And clouds appear beside your horse
But the planks of Qin are shrouded by fragrant trees
And the walls of Shu are circled by the currents of spring
Ups and downs are surely fixed
You don’t need to ask Jun Ping


Plutonian Drug

Within the eye of the eye

Within the eye of the eye
I placed an eye
polished and adorned
with her beauty
but suddenly fell
into the Quarter of Perfection
and now am freed from sight,
from even the eye of contemplation.

– Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani

This entry is dedicated to our friend Craig McKewen, a fellow traveler, a teacher of many. Here is to his life, and the love that he shared with so many, by his example….

I have changed the format of this entry, and will probably keep it this way for at least awhile. The poetry is now moved up, as sometimes the stories are a bit long and all.

I have included 2 Coil videos, a first. Coil was a most delicious experiment starting out in the early-80′s, and ceasing to exist in 2004. They are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find their work worthy of note, if not for the metaphysical/thelemic content over the years.

The story included this time is quite large, but I think its historical relevance is worth the read. The Plutonian Drug, is quite fascinating. Give it a go!

On the home side, Rowan is working away on preparation for his film, I am reading “Lao-Tzu’s TAOTECHING translated by Red Pine (a very nice gift!) and we are all figuring out our new smart phones. I discovered last night whilst looking at the local wifi connections that someone has a network named “Ron Weasley”… we have some serious Harry Potter Nerds around here I take it!

Hope the year is going well for you and yours!

On The Menu:
The Links
(Coil) A Journey to Avebury – Derek Jarman (1971)
Poetry: The Path of Divine Love
The Plutonian Drug
Coil – Bee Has The Photos
The Links:
The Struggle For The Soul Of Israel
Dealing With The Dawks
The Indonesian Pyramid
Homeland Is Watching You Tweet!
Ten 100-year predictions that came true
(Coil) A Journey to Avebury – Derek Jarman (1971)

Poetry: The Path of Divine Love

I have loved in life
and I have been loved.
I have drunk the bowl of poison
from the hands of love as nectar,
and have been raised above life’s joy and sorrow.

My heart, aflame in love,
set afire every heart that came in touch with it.
My heart has been rent
and joined again;
My heart has been broken
and again made whole;
My heart has been wounded
and healed again;
A thousand deaths my heart has died,
and thanks be to love,
it lives yet.

I went through hell and saw there love’s raging fire,
and I entered heaven illumined with the light of love.
I wept in love
and made all weep with me;
I mourned in love
and pierced the hearts of men;
And when my fiery glance fell on the rocks,
the rocks burst forth as volcanoes.
The whole world sank in the flood
caused by my one tear;
With my deep sigh the earth trembled,
and when I cried aloud the name of my beloved,
I shook the throne of God in heaven.

I bowed my head low in humility,
and on my knees I begged of love,
“Disclose to me, I pray thee, O love, thy secret.”
She took me gently by my arms and lifted me above the earth,
and spoke softly in my ear,
“My dear one,
thou thyself art love, art lover, and thyself art the beloved
whom thou hast adored.”
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan


always traversing the world
tell me:
what benefit has come of it?

which you are seeking
is with you;
and you seek
-’Ayn al-Qozat

From before existence
our steed set out with love.

Our night,
forever illuminated
from the lamp of Union.

Until we return to non-existence
you will not find our lips dry
from that wine
un-forbidden in our path (madhhab).
– Ghazali

O you who have left for Hajj,
where are you?
where are you?
The beloved is here!
Come, come!

The Beloved is your neighbor
what are you doing,
lost in the wilderness?

If you could see the formless face
of the Beloved
you’d know that you are the lord,
the house, and the Ka’ba!

So many times you set out on that road to that house;
Just once…
come to the roof of this house.

Yes, that house [Ka’ba] is subtle,
you’ve told me about it.
But show me something
about the Lord of that house!

If you saw that garden,
where are the flowers?
If you dove in God’s ocean,
where is a single soul-jewel?
– Rumi

From 1934…

The Plutonian Drug
Clark Ashton Smith

‘It is remarkable.’ said Dr. Manners, ‘how the scope of our pharmacopoeia has been widened by interplanetary exploration. In the past thirty years, hundreds of hitherto unknown substances, employable as drugs or medical agents, have been found in the other worlds of our own system. It will be interesting to see what the Allan Farquar expedition will bring back from the planets of Alpha Centaurt when — or if — it succeeds in reaching then and returning to earth. I doubt, though, if anything more valuable than selenine will be discovered. Selenine, derived from a fossil lichen found by the first rocket-expedition to the moon in 1975, has, as you know, practically wiped out the old-time curse of cancer. In solution, it forms the base of an infallible serum, equally useful for cure or prevention.’

‘I fear I haven’t kept up on a lot of the new discoveries,’ said Rupert Balcoth the sculptor, Manners’ guest, a little apologetically. ‘Of course, everyone has heard of selenine. And I’ve seen frequent mention, recently, of a mineral water from Ganymede whose effects are like those of the mythical Fountain of Youth.’

‘You mean clithni, as the stuff is called by the Ganymedians. It is a clear, emerald liquid, rising in lofty geysers from the craters of quiescent volcanoes. Scientists believe that the drinking of clithni is the secret of the almost fabulous longevity of the Ganymedians; and they think that it may prove to be a similar elixir for humanity.’

‘Some of the extraplaaetary drugs haven’t been so beneficial to mankind, have they? ‘ queried Balcoth. ‘I seem to have heard of a Martian poison that has greatly facilitated the gentle art of murder. And I am told that mnophka, the Venerian narcotic, is far worse, in its effects on the human system, than is any terrestrial alkaloid.’

‘Naturally,’ observed the doctor with philosophic calm, ‘many of these new chemical agents are capable of due abuse. They share that liability with any number of our native drugs. Man, as ever; has the choice of good and evil… I suppose that the Martian poison you speak of is akpaloli, the juice of a common russet-yellow weed that grows in the oases of Mars. It is colorless, and without taste or odor. It kills almost instantly, leaving no trace, and imitating closely the symptoms of heart-disease. Undoubtedly many people have been made away with by means of a surreptitious drop of akpaloli in their food or medicine. But even akpaloli, if used in infinitesimal doses, is a very powerful stimulant, useful in cases of syncope, and serving, not infrequently to re-animate victims of paralysis in a quite miraculous manner.

‘Of course,’ he went on, ‘there is an infinite lot still to be learned about many of these ultra-terrene substances. Their virtues have often been discovered quite by accident — and in some cases, the virtue is still to be discovered.

‘For example, take mnophka, which you mentioned a little while ago. Though allied in a way, to the earthnarcotics, such as opium and hashish, it is of little use for anaesthetic or anodyne purposes. Its chief effects are an extraordinary acceleration of the time-sense, and a heightening and telescoping of all sensations, whether pleasurable or painful. The user seems to be living and moving at a furious whirlwind rate — even though he may in reality be lying quiescent on a couch. He exists in a headlong torrent of sense-impressions, and seems, in a few minutes, to undergo the experiences of years. The physical result is lamentable — a profound exhaustion, and an actual aging of the tissues, such as would ordinarily require the period of real time which the addict has “lived” through merely in his own illusion.

‘There are some other drugs, comparatively little known, whose effects, if possible, are even more curious than those of mnophka. I don’t suppose you have ever heard of plutonium?’

‘No, I haven’t,’ admitted Balcoth. ‘Tell me about it.’

‘I can do even better than that — I can show you some of the stuff, though it isn’t much to look at — merely a fine white powder.’

Dr. Manners rose from the pneumatic-cushioned chair in which he sat facing his guest, and went to a large cabinet of synthetic ebony, whose shelves were crowded with flasks, bottles, tubes, and cartons of various sizes and forms. Re turning, he handed to Balcoth a squat and tiny vial, twothirds filled with a starchy substance.

‘Plutonium,’ explained Manners, ‘as its name would indicate, comes from forlom, frozen Pluto, which only one terrestrial expedition has so far visited — the expedition led by the Cornell brothers, John and Augustine, which started in 1990 and did not return to earth till 1996, when nearly everyone had given it up as lost. John, as you may have heard, died during the returning voyage, together with half the personnel of the expedition: and the others reached earth with only one reserve oxygen-tank remaining.

This vial contains about a tenth of the existing supply of plutonium. Augustine Cornell, who is an old schoolfriend of mine gave it to me three years ago, just before he embarked with the Allan Farquar crowd. I count myself pretty lucky to own anything so rare.

‘The geologists of the party found the stuff when they began prying beneath the solidified gases that cover the surface of that dim, starlit planet, in an effort to learn a little about its composition and history. They couldn’t do much under the circumstances, with limited time and equipment; but they made some curious discoveries — of which plutonium was far from being the least.

‘Like selenine, the stuff is a bi-product of vegetable fossilization. Doubtless it is many billion years old, and dates back to the time when Pluto possessed enough internal heat to make possible the development of certain rudimentary plant-forms on its blind surface. It must have had an atmosphere then; though no evidence of former animal-life was found by the Cornells.

‘Plutonium, in addition to carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen, contains minute quantities of several unclassified elements. It was discovered in a crystalloid condition, but turned immediately to the fine powder that you see, as soon as it was exposed to air in the rocketship. It is readily soluble in water, forming a permanent colloid, without the least sign of deposit, no matter how long it remains in suspension.’

‘You say it is a drug?’ queried Balcoth. ‘What does it do to you?’

‘I’ll come to that in a minute — though the effect is pretty hard to describe. The properties of the stuff were discovered by chance: on the return journey from Pluto, a member of the expedition, half delirious with space-fever, got hold of the unmarked jar containing it and took a small dose, imagining that it was bromide of potassium. It served to complicate his delirium for a while — since it gave him some brand-new ideas about space and time.

‘Other people have experimented with it since then. The effects are quite brief (the influence never lasts more than half an hour) and they vary considerably with the individual. There is no bad aftermath, either neural, mental, or physical, as far as anyone has been able to determine. I’ve taken it myself, once or twice, and can testify to that.

‘Just what it does to one, I am not sure. Perhaps it merely produces a derangement or metamorphosis of sensations, like hashish; or perhaps it serves to stimulate some rudimentary organ, some dormant sense of the human brain. At any rate there is, as clearly as I can put it, an altering of the perception of time — of actual duration — into a sort of space-perception. One sees the past, and also the future, in relation to one’s own physical self, like a landscape stretching away on either hand. You don’t see very far, it is true -merely the events of a few hours in each direction; but it’s a very curious experience; and it helps to give you a new slant on the mystery of time and space. It is altogether different from the delusions of mnophka.’

‘It sounds very interesting,’ admitted Balcoth. ‘However, I’ve never tampered much vith narcotics myself; though I did experiment once or twice, in my young, romantic days with cannabis Indica. I had been reading Gautiet and Baudelaire, I suppose. Anyway, the result was rather disappointing.’

‘You didn’t take it long enough for your system to absorb a residuum of the drug, I imagine,’ said Manners. ‘Thus the effects were negligible, from a visionary standpoint, But plutonium is altogether different — you get the maximum result from the very first dose. I think it would interest you greatly, Balcoth, since you are a sculptor by profession: you would see some unusual plastic images, not easy to render in terms of Euclidean planes and angles. I’d gladly give you a pinch of it now, if you’d care to experiment.’

‘You’re pretty generous, aren’t you, since the stuff is so rare?’

‘I’m not being generous at all. For years, I’ve planned to write a monograph on ultra-terrestrial narcotics; and you might give me some valuable data. With your type of brain and your highly developed artistic sense, the visions of plutonium should be uncommonly clear and significant. All I ask is, that you describe them to me as fully as you can afterwards.’

‘Very well,’ agreed Balcoth. ‘I’ll try anything once.’ His curiosity was inveigled, his imagination seduced, by Manner’s account of the remarkable drug.

Manners brought out an antique whisky-glass, which he filled nearly to the rim with some golden-red liquid. Uncorking the vial of plutonium, he added to this fluid a small pinch of the fine white powder, which dissolved immediately and without effervescence.

‘The liquid is a wine made from a sweet Martian tuber known as ovvra,’ he explained. ‘It is light and harmless, and will counteract the bitter taste of the plutonium. Drink, it quickly and then lean back in your chair.’

Balcoth hesitated, eyeing the golden-red fluid.

‘Are you quite sure the effects will wear off as promptly as you say?’ he questioned. ‘It’s a quarter past nine now, and I’ll have to leave about ten to keep an appointment with one of my patrons at the Belvedere Club. It’s the billionaire, Claud Wishhaven. who wants me to do a bas-relief in pseudo-jade and neo-jasper for the hall of his country mansion. He wants something really advanced and futuristic. We’re to talk it over tonight — decide on the motifs, etc.’

“That gives you forty-five minutes,” assured the doctor — ‘and in thirty, at the most your brain and senses will be perfectly normal again. I’ve never known it to fail. You’ll have fifteen minutes to spare, in which to tell me all about your sensations.’

Balcoth emptied the little antique glass at a gulp and leaned back, as Manners had directed, on the deep pneumatic cushions of the chair; He seemed to be falling easily but endlessly into a mist that had gathered in the room with unexplainable rapidity; and through this mist he was dimly aware that Manners had taken the empty glass from his relaxing fingers. He saw the face of Manners far above him, small and blurred, as if in some tremendous perspective of alpine distance; and the doctor’s simple action seemed to be occurring in another world.

He continued to fall and float through eternal mist, in which all things were dissolved as in the primordial nebulae of chaos. After a timeless interval, the mist which had been uniformly gray and hueless at first, took on a flowing iridescence, never the same for two successive moments; and the sense of gentle falling turned to a giddy revolution, as if he were caught in an ever-accelerating vortex.

Coincidentally with his movement in this whirlpool of prismatic splendor, he seemed to undergo an indescribable mutation of the senses. The whirling colors, by subtle, ceaseless gradations, became recognizable as solid forms. Emerging, as if by an act of creation, from the infinite chaos, they appeared to take their place in an equally infinite vista. The feeling of movement, through decrescent spirals, was resolved into absolute immobility. Balcoth was no Ionger conscious of himself as a living organic body: he was an abstract eye, a discorporate center of visual awareness, stationed alone in space, and yet having an intimate relationship with the frozen prospect on which he peered from his ineffable vantage.

Without surprise, he found that he was gazing simultaneously in two directions. On either hand, for a vast distance that was wholly void of normal perspective, a weird and peculiar landscape stretched away, traversed by an unbroken frieze or bas-relief of human figures that ran like a straight undeviating wall.

For awhile, the frieze was incomprehensible to Balcoth, he could make nothing of its glacial, flowing outlines with their background of repeated masses and complicated angles and sections of other human friezes that approached or departed, often in a very abrupt manner, from an unseen world beyond. Then the vision seemed to resolve and clarify itself, and he began to understand.

The bas-relief, he saw, was composed entirely of a repetition of his own figure; plainly distinct as the separate waves of a stream, and possessing a stream-like unity. Immediately before him, and for some distance on either hand. the figure was seated in a chair — the chair itself being subject to the same billowy repetition. The background was composed of the reduplicated figure of Dr. Manners, in another chair; and behind this, the manifold images of a medicine cabinet and a section of wall-paneling.

Following the vista on what, for lack of any better name, might be termed the left hand, Balcoth saw himself in the act of draining the antique glass, with Manners standing before him. Then, still further, he saw himself previous to this, with a background in which Manners was presenting him the glass, was preparing the dose of plutonium, was going to the cabinet for the vial, was rising from his pneumatic chair. Every movement, every attitude of the doctor and himself during their past conversation, was visioned in a sort of reverse order, reaching away, unalterable as a wall of stone sculpture, into the weird, eternal landscape. There was no break in the continuity of his own figure; but Manners seemed to disappear at times, as if into a fourth dimension. These times, he remembered later, were the occasions whem the doctor had not been in his line of vision. The perception was wholly visual; and though Balcoth saw his own lips and those of Manner’s parted in movements of speech, he could hear no word or other sound.

Perhaps the most singular feature of the vision was the utter absence of foreshortening. Though Balcoth seemed to behold it all from a fixed, immovable point, the landscape and the intersecting frieze presented themselves to him without diminution, maintaiaing a frontal fullness and distinctness to a distance that might have been many miles.

Continuing along the left-hand vista, he saw himself entering Manners’ apartments, and then encountered his image standing in the elevator that had borne him to the ninth floor of the hundred story hotel in which Manners lived. Then the frieze appeared to have an open street for background, with a confused, everchanging multitude of other faces and forms, of vehicles and sections of buildings, all jumbled together as in some old-time futuristic painting. Some of these details were full and clear, and others were cryptically broken,and blurred, so as to be scarcely recognizable. Everything, whatever its spatial position and relation, was re-arranged in the flowing frozen stream of this temporal pattern.

Balcoth retraced the three blocks from Manners’ hotel to his own studio, seeing all his past movements, whatever their direction in tri-dimensional space, as a straight line in the time-dimemion. At last he was in his studio; and there the frieze of his own figure receded into the eerie prospect of space-transmuted time among other friezes formed of actual sculptures. He beheld himself giving the final touches with his chisel to a symbolic statue at the afternoon’s end, with a glare of ruddy sunset falling through an unseen window and flushing the pallid marble. Beyond this there was a reverse fading of the glow, a thickening and blurring of the half-chiselled features of the image, a female form to which he had given the tentative name of Oblivion. At length, among half-seen statuary, the left-hand vista became indistinct, and melted slowly in amorphous mist. He had seen his own life as a continuous glaciated stream, stretching for about five hours into the past.

Reaching away on the right hand, he saw the vista of the fature. Here there was a continuation of his seated figure under the influence of the drug, opposite the continued basrelief of Dr. Manners and the repeated cabinet and wallpanels. After a considerable interval, he beheld himself in the act of rising from the chair. Standing erect, he seemed to be talking awhile, as in some silent antique film, to the listening doctor. After that, he was shaking hands with Manners, was leaving the apartment, was descending in the lift and following the open brightly-lighted street toward the Belvedere Club where he was to keep his appointment with Claud Wishhaven.

The Club was only three blocks away, on another street; and the shortest route, after the first block, was along a narrow alley between an office building and a warehouse. Balcoth had meant to take this alley; and in his vision, he saw the bas-relief of his future figure passing along the straight pavement with a background of deserted doorways and dim walls that towered from sight against the extinguished stars.

He seemed to be alone: there were no passers — only the silent, glimmering endlessly repeated angles of arc-lit walls and windows that accompanied his repeated figure. He saw himself following the alley, like a stream in some profound canyon; and there midway, the strange vision came to an abrupt inexplicable end, without the gradual blurring into formless mist, that had marked his retrospective view of the past.

The sculpture-like frieze with its architectural ground appeared to terminate, broken off clean and sharp, in a gulf of immeasurable blackness and nullity. The last wave-like duplication of his own person, the vague doorway beyond it, the glimmering alley-pavement, all were seen as if shorn asunder by a falling sword of darkness, leaving a vertical line of cleavage beyond which there was — nothing.

Balcoth had a feeling of utter detachment from himself, an eloignment from the stream of time, from the shores of space, in some abstract dimension. The experience, in its full realization, might have lasted for an instant only — or for eternity. Without wonder, without curiosity or reflection, like a fourth-dimensional Eye, he viewed simultaneously the unequal cross-sections of his own past and future.

After that timeless interval of complete perception, there began a reverse process of change. He, the all-seeing eye, aloof in super-space, was aware of movement, as if he were drawn back by some subtle thread of magnetism into the dungeon of time and space from which he had momentarily departed. He seemed to be following the frieze of his own seated body toward the right, with a dimly felt rhythm or pulsation in his movement that corresponded to the merging duplications of the figure. With curious clearness, he realized that the time-unit, by which these duplications were determined, was the beating of his own heart.

Now with accelerative swiftness, the vision of petrific form and space was re-dissolving into a spiral swirl of multitudinous colors, through which he was drawn upward. Presently he came to himself, seated in the pneumatic chair, with Dr. Manners opposite. The room seemed to waver a little, as if with some lingering touch of the weird transmutation; and webs of spinning iris hung in the corners of his eyes. Apart from this, the effect of the drug had wholly vanished, leaving, however, a singularly clear and vivid memory of the almost ineffable experience.

Dr. Manners began to question him at once, and Balcoth described his visionary sensations as fully and graphically as he could.

‘There is one thing I don’t understand,’ said Manners at the end with a puzzled frown. ‘According to your account, you must have seen five or six hours of the past, running in a straight spatial line, as a sort of continuous landscape; but the vista of the future ended sharply after you had followed it for three-quarters of an hour; or less. I’ve never known the drug to act so unequally: the past and future perspectives have always been about the same in their extent for others who have used plutoninum.’

‘Well,’ observed Balcoth, ‘the reaI marvel is that I could see into the future at all. In a way, I can understand the vision of the past. It was clearly composed of physical memories — of all my recent movements; and the background was formed of all the impressions my optic nerves had received during that time. But how could I behold something that hasn’t yet happened?’

‘There’s the mystery, of course,’ assented Manners. ‘I can think of only one explanation at all intelligible to our finite minds. This is, that all the events which compose the stream of time have already happened, are happening, and will continue to happen forever. In our ordinary state of consciousness, we perceive with the physical senses merely that moment which we call the present. Under the influence of plutonium, you were able to extend the moment of present cognition in both directions, and to behold simultaneously a portion of that which is normally beyond perception. Thus appeared the vision of yourself as a continuous, immobile body, extending through the time-vista.’

Balcoth, who had been standing, now took his leave. ‘I must be going,’ he said, ‘or I’ll be late for my appointment.’

‘I won’t detain you any longer,’ said Manners. He appeared to hesitate, and then added: ‘I’m still at a loss to comprehend the abrupt cleavage and termination of your prospect of the future. The alley in which it seemed to end was Falman Alley, I suppose — your shortest route to the Belvedere Club. If I were you, Balcoth, I’d take another route, even if it requires a few minutes extra.’

‘That sounds rather sinister,’ laughed Balcoth. ‘Do you think that something may happen to me in Falman Alley?’

‘I hope not — but I can’t guarantee that it won’t.’ Manners’ tone was oddly dry and severe. ‘You’d better do as I suggest.’

Balcoth felt the touch of a momentary shadow as he left the hotel — a premonition brief and light as the passing of some night-bird on noiseless wings. What could it mean -that gulf of infinite blackness into which the weird frieze of his future had appeared to plunge, like a frozen cataract? Was there a menace of some sort that awaited him in a particular place, at a particular moment?

He had a curious feeling of repetition, of doing something that he had done before, as he followed the street. Reaching the entrance of Falman Alley, he took out his watch. By walking briskly and following the alley, he would reach the Belvedere Club punctually. But if he went on around the next block, he would be a little late. Balcoth knew that his prospective patron, Claud Wishhaven, was almost a martinet in denanding punctuality from himself and from others. So he took the alley.

The place appeared to be entirely deserted, as in his vision. Midway, Balcoth approached the half-seen door — a rear entrance of the huge warehouse — which had formed the termination of the time prospect. The door was his last visual impression, for something descended on his head at that moment, and his consciousness was blotted out by the supervening night he had previsioned He had been sand- bagged, very quietly and efficiently, by a twenty-first century thug. The blow was fatal; and time, as far as Balcoth was concerned, had come to an end.

Coil – Bee Has The Photos

I was a Hidden Treasure,
and loved to be known intimately,
so I created the Heavens and the Earth,
so that they may come to intimately know Me

– Muhammad

Sweet Memory

This edition is dedicated to my friend Michael Bolan, who came back into our lives after an 18 year hiatus. We first met in the summer of 1969 in Santa Barbara. He was hobbling about with a broken leg/foot from a car accident. He had sandy blond hair, and was taken to wearing corduroy and velvet with usually a white shirt. We soon discovered that we were both head over heels in love with poetry, wine, and young women, and various other endeavors.

Michael and I also found out over time that we both liked David Bowie, (who I was introduced to by Steve Thoreson, who had a copy of Bowie’s second album, Space Oddity – I still have it on vinyl!)… anyway, this intro revolves to some degree around Mr. Bowie, and Mr. Bolan, who turned me onto the “Ziggy Stardust” album one late afternoon at his grandmother’s house in West Hollywood, (near Fairfax HS) when I had moved out of the country back to the city. It was a revelation. We sat listening to Ziggy, and I could hardly breathe. I thought it would become a classic, and I was right about that. Michael and I hunted down rare recordings that Bowie had done, which included the two songs featured in this edition, “Port Of Amsterdam” & “My Death”, both by Jacques Brel who we appreciated for his lyricism.

Mr. Bowie was the bee’s knees, and we enjoyed the fact that he pretty much broke with all of the noise and drama from the 60′s. His music and persona were just perfect for that moment in time. It fueled many a long evening between us, and our friends. As much as we appreciated the music of say, The Stones, or The Beatles, this music looked forward, and not back. I think this is important when you are in your late teens or your early 20′s. It seemed such a brave new world then.

Today is David Bowie’s 65th birthday. Yeah, lots of people are making it an occasion, and it is. Who thought the man would survive so long? I have included a link from the Guardian that talks a bit about his life. It is interesting, if nothing else. Now days, I don’t listen very often to his works. I haven’t really since the early 80′s. Taste change, and all of a sudden listening to his music was looking back over a chasm of time. I do appreciate his work with Brel, and Weil. I like the nod of the hat to say, the continuum that he rose out of. Few artist can do that, and Mr. Bowie did it with a certain grace.

Michael introduced me to Rimbaud and Baudelaire, and we both have shared a long and deep abiding love for Leonard Cohen’s poetry and song. On Michael’s visit, we took up the conversation as if it had never had stopped. The time sped as always, and we were making plans for the next get together when he is back to Portland. I owe him a phone call, and he owes me his email address! I am happy to know him after these 43 years, that seemingly blazed past with such blinding speed. Here is to sitting and talking about adventures in France back when, and to drinking absinthe together again when we next see each other.

Here is to friendship, love, and exploration.


On The Menu:
The Links
Pelt – The Film
Jean Genet Quotes
David Bowie – Port Of Amsterdam
The Quest Of The Queen’s Tears
Jacques Brel Lyrics/Poetry
David Bowie – My Death – live 1973
Art: Aladár Kacziány
The Links:
Palestinian Sesame Street falls victim to US Congress
Happy Birthday David!
Becoming The Blue Lotus Ritual
Pelt: The Film…
Rowan’s Senior Thesis. Check it out here: Pelt:The Film.

Also, please check out the IndieGoGo Fundraiser Site as well, which is a combination of Pelt and two other films. : Trifecta … Help support these thesis fims by leaving a comment or donating at the Trifecta site! Thanks!

(Pelt: The Film – Concept Art:Austin Hillebrecht)


Jean Genet Quotes:

“She was happy, and perfectly in line with the tradition of those women they used to call “ruined,” “fallen,” feckless, bitches in heat, ravished dolls, sweet sluts, instant princesses, hot numbers, great lays, succulent morsels, everybody’s darlings . . . ”

“To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance.”

“I could not take lightly the idea that people made love without me.”

“My heart’s in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand’s in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught.”

“A man must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur, and dreaming is nursed in darkness.”
David Bowie – Port Of Amsterdam


The Quest Of The Queen’s Tears
by Lord Dunsany

Sylvia, Queen of the Woods, in her woodland palace, held court, and made a mockery of her suitors. She would sing to them, she said, she would give them banquets, she would tell them tales of legendary days, her jugglers should caper before them, her armies salute them, her fools crack jests with them and make whimsical quips, only she could not love them.

This was not the way, they said, to treat princes in their splendor and mysterious troubadours concealing kingly names; it was not in accordance with fable; myth had no precedent for it. She should have thrown her glove, they said, into some lion’s den, she should have asked for a score of venomous heads of the serpents of Licantara, or demanded the death of any notable dragon, or sent them all upon some deadly quest, but that she could not love them—! It was unheard of—it had no parallel in the annals of romance.

And then she said that if they must needs have a quest she would offer her hand to him who first should move her to tears: and the quest should be called, for reference in histories or song, the Quest of the Queen’s Tears, and he that achieved them she would wed, be he only a petty duke of lands unknown to romance.

And many were moved to anger, for they hoped for some bloody quest; but the old lords chamberlain said, as they muttered among themselves in a far, dark end of the chamber, that the quest was hard and wise, for that if she could ever weep she might also love. They had known her all her childhood; she had never sighed. Many men had she seen, suitors and courtiers, and had never turned her head after one went by. Her beauty was as still sunsets of bitter evenings when all the world is frore, a wonder and a chill. She was as a sun-stricken mountain uplifted alone, all beautiful with ice, a desolate and lonely radiance late at evening far up beyond the comfortable world, not quite to be companioned by the stars, the doom of the mountaineer.

If she could weep, they said, she could love, they said.

And she smiled pleasantly on those ardent princes, and troubadours concealing kingly names.

Then one by one they told, each suitor prince the story of his love, with outstretched hands and kneeling on the knee; and very sorry and pitiful were the tales, so that often up in the galleries some maid of the palace wept. And very graciously she nodded her head like a listless magnolia in the deeps of the night moving idly to all the breezes its glorious bloom.

And when the princes had told their desperate loves and had departed away with no other spoil than of their own tears only, even then there came the unknown troubadours and told their tales in song, concealing their gracious names.

And there was one, Ackronnion, clothed with rags, on which was the dust of roads, and underneath the rags was war-scarred armour whereon were dints of blows; and when he stroked his harp and sang his song, in the gallery above maidens wept, and even old lords chamberlain whimpered among themselves and thereafter laughed through their tears and said: “It is easy to make old people weep and to bring idle tears from lazy girls; but he will not set a-weeping the Queen of the Woods.”

And graciously she nodded, and he was the last. And disconsolate went away those dukes and princes, and troubadours in disguise. Yet Ackronnion pondered as he went away.

King he was of Afarmah, Lool and Haf, over-lord of Zeroora and hilly Chang, and duke of the dukedoms of Molong and Mlash, none of them unfamiliar with romance or unknown or overlooked in the making of myth. He pondered as he went in his thin disguise.

Now by those that do not remember their childhood, having other things to do, be it understood that underneath fairyland, which is, as all men know, at the edge of the world, there dwelleth the Gladsome Beast. A synonym he for joy.

It is known how the lark in its zenith, children at play out-of-doors, good witches and jolly old parents have all been compared—how aptly!—with this very same Gladsome Beast. Only one “crab” he has (if I may use slang for a moment to make myself perfectly clear), only one drawback, and that is that in the gladness of his heart he spoils the cabbages of the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland,—and of course he eats men.

It must further be understood that whoever may obtain the tears of the Gladsome Beast in a bowl, and become drunken upon them, may move all persons to shed tears of joy so long as he remains inspired by the potion to sing or to make music.

Now Ackronnion pondered in this wise: that if he could obtain the tears of the Gladsome Beast by means of his art, withholding him from violence by the spell of music, and if a friend should slay the Gladsome Beast before his weeping ceased—for an end must come to weeping even with men—that so he might get safe away with the tears, and drink them before the Queen of the Woods and move her to tears of joy. He sought out therefore a humble knightly man who cared not for the beauty of Sylvia, Queen of the Woods, but had found a woodland maiden of his own once long ago in summer. And the man’s name was Arrath, a subject of Ackronnion, a knight-at-arms of the spear-guard: and together they set out through the fields of fable until they came to Fairyland, a kingdom sunning itself (as all men know) for leagues along the edges of the world. And by a strange old pathway they came to the land they sought, through a wind blowing up the pathway sheer from space with a kind of metallic taste from the roving stars. Even so they came to the windy house of thatch where dwells the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland sitting by parlour windows that look away from the world. He made them welcome in his star-ward parlour, telling them tales of Space, and when they named to him their perilous quest he said it would be a charity to kill the Gladsome Beast; for he was clearly one of these that liked not its happy ways. And then he took them out through his back door, for the front door had no pathway nor even a step—from it the old man used to empty his slops sheer on to the Southern Cross—and so they came to the garden wherein his cabbages were, and those flowers that only blow in Fairyland, turning their faces always towards the comet, and he pointed them out the way to the place he called Underneath, where the Gladsome Beast had his lair. Then they manoeuvered. Ackronnion was to go by the way of the steps with his harp and an agate bowl, while Arrath went round by a crag on the other side. Then the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland went back to his windy house, muttering angrily as he passed his cabbages, for he did not love the ways of the Gladsome Beast; and the two friends parted on their separate ways.

Nothing perceived them but that ominous crow glutted overlong already upon the flesh of man.

The wind blew bleak from the stars.

At first there was dangerous climbing, and then Ackronnion gained the smooth, broad steps that led from the edge to the lair, and at that moment heard at the top of the steps the continuous chuckles of the Gladsome Beast.

He feared then that its mirth might be insuperable, not to be saddened by the most grievous song; nevertheless he did not turn back then, but softly climbed the stairs and, placing the agate bowl upon a step, struck up the chaunt called Dolorous. It told of desolate, regretted things befallen happy cities long since in the prime of the world. It told of how the gods and beasts and men had long ago loved beautiful companions, and long ago in vain. It told of the golden host of happy hopes, but not of their achieving. It told how Love scorned Death, but told of Death’s laughter. The contented chuckles of the Gladsome Beast suddenly ceased in his lair. He rose and shook himself. He was still unhappy. Ackronnion still sang on the chaunt called Dolorous. The Gladsome Beast came mournfully up to him. Ackronnion ceased not for the sake of his panic, but still sang on. He sang of the malignity of time. Two tears welled large in the eyes of the Gladsome Beast. Ackronnion moved the agate bowl to a suitable spot with his foot. He sang of autumn and of passing away. The the beast wept as the frore hills weep in the thaw, and the tears splashed big into the agate bowl. Ackronnion desperately chaunted on; he told of the glad unnoticed things men see and do not see again, of sunlight beheld unheeded on faces now withered away. The bowl was full. Ackronnion was desperate: the Beast was so close. Once he thought that its mouth was watering!—but it was only the tears that had run on the lips of the Beast. He felt as a morsel! The Beast was ceasing to weep! He sang of worlds that had disappointed the gods. And all of a sudden, crash! and the staunch spear of Arrath went home behind the shoulder, and the tears and the joyful ways of the Gladsome Beast were ended and over for ever.

And carefully they carried the bowl of tears away leaving the body of the Gladsome Beast as a change of diet for the ominous crow; and going by the windy house of thatch they said farewell to the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland, who when he heard of the deed rubbed his hands together and mumbled again and again, “And a very good thing, too. My cabbages! My cabbages!”

And not long after Ackronnion sang again in the sylvan palace of the Queen of the Woods, having first drunk all the tears in his agate bowl. And it was a gala night, and all the court were there and ambassadors from the lands of legend and myth, and even some from Terra Cognita.

And Ackronnion sang as he never sang before, and will not sing again. O, but dolorous, dolorous, are all the ways of man, few and fierce are his days, and the end trouble, and vain, vain his endeavor: and woman—who shall tell of it?—her doom is written with man’s by listless, careless gods with their faces to other spheres.

Somewhat thus he began, and then inspiration seized him, and all the trouble in the beauty of his song may not be set down by me: there was much of gladness in it, and all mingled with grief: it was like the way of man: it was like our destiny.

Sobs arose at his song, sighs came back along echoes: seneschals, soldiers, sobbed, and a clear cry made the maidens; like rain the tears came down from gallery to gallery.

All round the Queen of the Woods was a storm of sobbing and sorrow.

But no, she would not weep.
Jacques Brel Lyrics/Poetry

If You Should Go Away

If you go away on this summer’s day, Then you might as well take the sun away
All the birds that flew in the summer sky
When our love was new and our hearts were high
When the day was young and the nights were long
And the moon stood still for the night bird’s song
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
But if you stay, I’ll make you a day
Like no day has been, or will be again
We’ll sail on the sun, we’ll ride on the rain
And talk to the trees and worship the wind
But if you go, I’ll understand
Leave me just enough love to fill up my hand
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
If you go, as I know you will
You must tell the world to stop turning
Till you return again, if you ever do,
For what good is love without loving you?
Can I tell you now, as you turn to go
I’ll be dying slowly till the next hello
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
But if you stay, I’ll make you a night
Like no night has been, or will be again
I’ll sail on your smile, I’ll ride on your touch
I’ll talk to your eyes that I love so much
But if you go, I won’t cry
Though the good is gone from the word goodbye
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away
. If you go away, as I know you must
There is nothing left in this world to trust
Just an empty room, full of empty space
Like the empty look I see on your face
I’d have been the shadow of your shadow
If you might have kept me by your side
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.


In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who sings
Of the dreams that he brings
From the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who sleeps
While the riverbank weeps
With the old willow tree
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries
In a drunken down fight
And in the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who’s born
On a muggy hot morn
By the dawn’s early light
In the port of Amsterdam
Where the sailors all meet
There’s a sailor who eats
Only fishheads and tails
He will show you his teeth
That have rotted too soon
That can swallow the moon
That can haul up the sails
And he yells to the cook
With his arms open wide
Bring me more fish
Put it down by my side
Then he wants so to belch
But he’s too full to try
So he gets up and laughs
And he zips up his fly
In the port of Amsterdam
You can see sailors dance
Paunches bursting their pants
Grinding women to paunch
They’ve forgotten the tune
That their whiskey voice croaks
Splitting the night with the
Roar of their jokes
And they turn and they dance
And they laugh and they lust
Till the rancid sound of
The accordion bursts
Then out to the night
With their pride in their pants
With the slut that they tow
Underneath the street lamps
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who drinks
And he drinks and he drinks
And he drinks once again
He drinks to the health
Of the whores of Amsterdam
Who have promised their love
To a thousand other men
They’ve bargained their bodies
And their virtue long gone
For a few dirty coins
And when he can’t go on
He plants his nose in the sky
And he wipes it up above
And he pisses like I cry
For an unfaithful love
In the port of Amsterdam
In the port of Amsterdam


Naked as sin, an army towel
Covering my belly
Some of us blush, somehow
Knees turning to jelly
Next, next
I was still just a kid
There were a hundred like me
I followed a naked body
A naked body followed me
next, next
I was still just a kid
When my innocence was lost
In a mobile army whorehouse
Gift for the army, free of cost
Next, next
Me, I really would have liked
A little touch of tenderness
Maybe a word, a smile
An hour of happiness
But, next, next
Oh, it wasn’t so tragic
The high heavens did not fall
But how much of that time
I hated being there at all
Next, next
Now I always will recall
The brothel truck, the flying flags
The queer lieutenant who slapped
Our asses as if we were fags
Next, next
I swear on the wet head
Of my first case of gonorrhea
It is his ugly voice
That I forever hear
Next, next
That voice that stinks of whiskey
Of corpses and of mud
It is the voice of nations
It is the thick voice of blood
Next, next
And since the each woman
I have taken to bed
Seems to laugh in my arms
To whisper through my head
Next, next
All the naked and the dead
Should hold each other’s hands
As they watch me scream at night
In a dream no one understands
Next, next
And when I am not screaming
In a voice grown dry and hollow
I stand on endless naked lines
Of the following and the followed
Next, next
One day I’ll cut my legs off
Or burn myself alive
Anything, I’ll do anything
To get out of line to survive
Not ever to be next
Not ever to be next.


If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years
Will rise on that morn
If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes
We will sleep without tears
If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old
Will stand at our side
If we only have love
Love that’s falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again
If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing
Then we’ll have a way out
If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names
If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give the new world
To our daughters and sons
If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow
There are no foreign lands
If we only have love
We will never bow down
We’ll be tall as the pines
Neither heroes nor clowns
If we only have love
Then we’ll only be men
And we’ll drink from the Grail
To be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We’ll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars

David Bowie – My Death – live 1973


Morning Dew

“These be fine things, an if they be not sprites. That’s a brave god, and bears celestial liquor. I will kneel to him.” – William Shakespeare

It has been a heck of a week here at Caer Llwydd. My sister-in-law, Claudia past on New Years Day, and on Thursday morning I was informed my step-brother Mike Ward past away in his sleep in Arizona. He was a couple of years older than me, and as teen-agers we shared a room for awhile. I had always been fond of him. Claudia’s funeral is going on today, 11 years plus a day after my half-brother and Claudia wed. My heart goes out to members of the family, and friends.

Life is peculiar in the way it takes its twist and turns. Claudia was incredibly happy to have just moved back to her native home in the Seattle area. Sad. Mike had spent years teaching in High Schools, and coaching young swimmers having been a superb one himself. Everyone thought him to be in excellent health, though a bit heavy.

I dedicate this entry to Claudia and Mike, and to those whose lives they touched.

On The Menu:
The Links
Jim Fadiman Interview Link: Invisible College #6!
The Tempest Quotes
Clannad – Morning Dew
The Sonnets
Clannad – New Grange

The Links:
Alan Moore talking about science and imagination
The Weirdest Events of 2011 according to the Telegraph
Black Keys Interview
Anonymous Takes on Germany’s Far-Right
Jim Fadiman Interview Link: Invisible College #6!

(Jim and Tashi at Powell’s Hawthorne in Portland, this last November)
Here is the full interview of Jim Fadiman Conducted by our Diane Darling! Enjoy!
Click On The Title!
The Tempest Quotes:
(Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale – “Prospero and Ariel”)

“I prithee,
Remember I have done thee worthy service,
Told thee no lies, made no mistakes, served
Without or grudge or grumblings. Thou did promise
To bate me a full year.”
“As wicked dew as e’er my mother brushed
With raven’s feather from unwholesome fen
Drop on you both! A southwest blow on ye
And blister you all o’er!”
“There’s nothing ill can dwell in such a temple.
If the ill spirit have so fair a house,
Good things will strive to dwell with’t.”
“All things in common nature should produce
Without sweat or endeavour.”
“O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound,
and crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true; if hollowly, invert
what best is boded me to mischief: I,
Beyond all limit of what else i’ th’ world,
Do love, prize, honour you.”

Clannad – Morning Dew

The Sonnets:

From Mr. Shakespeare, of course…

Sonnet 29: When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Sonnet 130: My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
Sonnet 05: Those hours that with gentle work did frame

Those hours, that with gentle work did frame
The lovely gaze where every eye doth dwell,
Will play the tyrants to the very same
And that unfair which fairly doth excel:
For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap check’d with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where:
Then, were not summer’s distillation left,
A liquid prisoner pent in walls of glass,
Beauty’s effect with beauty were bereft,
Nor it nor no remembrance what it was:
But flowers distill’d though they with winter meet,
Leese but their show; their substance still lives sweet.

Sonnet 13: O that you were yourself, but love you are

O, that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination: then you were
Yourself again after yourself’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
You had a father: let your son say so.
Clannad – New Grange

(William Hamilton – Prospero & Ariel)

“Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will him about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again, and then in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again.”

– William Shakespeare, The Tempest, 3.2

Cold Mountain

As Long As I Live

As long as I live I will eat and drink
The grief of loving You.
I will never give it up to anyone
Even when I am dead.

At the Resurrection
I will walk forward with this violent thirst
Still storming my head.
– Ayn al-Qozat Hamadani

A belated entry. I hope this finds you all well, with the New Year peering over thy shoulder. Lovely time last night at friends.

We are awaiting news on my sister in law Claudia, who had an aneurysm Monday evening. She is being removed from the ventilator today. Our thoughts are with her, and with my brother Chris. I was best man at their wedding, 11 years ago next Saturday the 6th. Life takes such odd turns.


On The Menu:
The Links
Wishery (Disney Remix)
Cold Mountain
Bloom (Disney Remix)
Art: Harold Gaze

The Links:
Flashback! Psychedelic research returns
It’s The Fair Play…
Bees Have Moods?
The War On Drugs.. (Thanks To John!)

Wishery (Disney Remix)


“The name, given to the month of ‘January’, is derived from the ancient Roman name ‘Janus’ who presided over the gate to the new year. He was revered as the ‘God of Gateways’, ‘of Doorways’ and ‘of the Journey.’ Janus protected the ‘Gate of Heaven’, known as the ‘Lord of Beginnings’, is associated with the ‘Goddess Juno-Janus’, and often symbolized by an image of a face that looks forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism can easily be associated with the month known by many as the start of a new year which brings new opportunities. We cast out the old and welcome in the new. It is the time when many reflect on events of the previous year and often resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy.”
– Mysitcal World Wide Web

“January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow.”
– Edgar Fawcett

“Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.”
– Vincent A. Simeone

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.”
– Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

“The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a
twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour.”
– Vita Sackville-West

“January is the quietest month in the garden. … But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.”
– Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine, 1/99

“There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues.”
– Hal Borland

“Here’s to thee, old apple tree
Whence thou mayest bud
Whence thou mayest blow
Whence thou mayest bear apples enow.”
– Wassailing Songs, England, January 5th

“In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1st to be the beginning of the new year. During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Year’s Day. January 1st has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.”
– New Year’s Day

“You’d be so lean, that blast of January
Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair’st friend,
I would I had some flowers o’ the spring that might
Become your time of day.”
– William Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act IV Scene 4

“The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me
And I cannot, cannot go.
The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow.
And the storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing dear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.”
– Emily Bronte, Spellbound


The path to Han-shan’s place is laughable,
A path, but no sign of cart or horse.
Converging gorges – hard to trace their twists
Jumbled cliffs – unbelievably rugged.
A thousand grasses bend with dew,
A hill of pines hums in the wind.
And now I’ve lost the shortcut home,
Body asking shadow, how do you keep up?

In a tangle of cliffs, I chose a place –
Bird paths, but no trails for me.
What’s beyond the yard?
White clouds clinging to vague rocks.
Now I’ve lived here – how many years –
Again and again, spring and winter pass.
Go tell families with silverware and cars
“What’s the use of all that noise and money?”

In the mountains it’s cold.
Always been cold, not just this year.
Jagged scarps forever snowed in
Woods in the dark ravines spitting mist.
Grass is still sprouting at the end of June,
Leaves begin to fall in early August.
And here I am, high on mountains,
Peering and peering, but I can’t even see the sky.

I spur my horse through the wrecked town,
The wrecked town sinks my spirit.
High, low, old parapet walls
Big, small, the aging tombs.
I waggle my shadow, all alone;
Not even the crack of a shrinking coffin is heard.
I pity all those ordinary bones,
In the books of the Immortals they are nameless.

I wanted a good place to settle:
Cold Mountain would be safe.
Light wind in a hidden pine –
Listen close – the sound gets better.
Under it a gray haired man
Mumbles along reading Huang and Lao.
For ten years I havn’t gone back home
I’ve even forgotten the way by which I came.

Men ask the way to Cold Mountain
Cold Mountain: there’s no through trail.
In summer, ice doesn’t melt
The rising sun blurs in swirling fog.
How did I make it?
My heart’s not the same as yours.
If your heart was like mine
You’d get it and be right here.

I settled at Cold Mountain long ago,
Already it seems like years and years.
Freely drifting, I prowl the woods and streams
And linger watching things themselves.
Men don’t get this far into the mountains,
White clouds gather and billow.
Thin grass does for a mattress,
The blue sky makes a good quilt.
Happy with a stone under head
Let heaven and earth go about their changes.

Clambering up the Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The wide creek, the mist blurred grass.
The moss is slippery, though there’s been no rain
The pine sings, but there’s no wind.
Who can leap the word’s ties
And sit with me among the white clouds?

Rough and dark – the Cold Mountain trail,
Sharp cobbles – the icy creek bank.
Yammering, chirping – always birds
Bleak, alone, not even a lone hiker.
Whip, whip – the wind slaps my face
Whirled and tumbled – snow piles on my back.
Morning after morning I don’t see the sun
Year after year, not a sign of spring.

I have lived at Cold Mountain
These thirty long years.
Yesterday I called on friends and family:
More than half had gone to the Yellow Springs.
Slowly consumed, like fire down a candle;
Forever flowing, like a passing river.
Now, morning, I face my lone shadow:
Suddenly my eyes are bleared with tears.

Spring water in the green creek is clear
Moonlight on Cold Mountain is white
Silent knowledge – the spirit is enlightened of itself
Contemplate the void: this world exceeds stillness.

In my first thirty years of life
I roamed hundreds and thousands of miles.
Walked by rivers through deep green grass
Entered cities of boiling red dust.
Tried drugs, but couldn’t make Immortal;
Read books and wrote poems on history.
Today I’m back at Cold Mountain:
I’ll sleep by the creek and purify my ears.

I can’t stand these bird songs
Now I’ll go rest in my straw shack.
The cherry flowers are scarlet
The willow shoots up feathery.
Morning sun drives over blue peaks
Bright clouds wash green ponds.
Who knows that I’m out of the dusty world
Climbing the southern slope of Cold Mountain?

Cold Mountain has many hidden wonders,
People who climb here are always getting scared.
When the moon shines, water sparkles clear
When the wind blows, grass swishes and rattles.
On the bare plum, flowers of snow
On the dead stump, leaves of mist.
At the touch of rain it all turns fresh and live
At the wrong season you can’t ford the creeks.

There’s a naked bug at Cold Mountain
With a white body and a black head.
His hand holds two book scrolls,
One the Way and one its Power.
His shack’s got no pots or oven,
He goes for a long walk with his shirt and pants askew.
But he always carries the sword of wisdom:
He means to cut down sensless craving.

Cold Mountain is a house
Without beans or walls.
The six doors left and right are open
The hall is sky blue.
The rooms all vacant and vague
The east wall beats on the west wall
At the center nothing.

Borrowers don’t bother me
In the cold I build a little fire
When I’m hungry I boil up some greens.
I’ve got no use for the kulak
With hs big barn and pasture –
He just sets uo a prison for himself.
Once in he can’t get out.
Think it over –
You know it might happen to you.

If I hide out at Cold Mountain
Living off mountain plants and berries –
All my lifetime, why worry?
One follows his karma through.
Days and months slip by like water,
Time is like sparks knocked off flint.
Go ahead and let the world change –
I’m happy to sit among these cliffs.

Most T’ien-t’ai men
Don’t know Han-shan
Don’t know his real thought
And call it silly talk.

Once at Cold Mountain, troubles cease –
No more tangled, hung up mind.
I idly scribble poems on the rock cliff,
Taking whatever comes, like a drifting boat.

Some critic tried to put me down –
“Your poems lack the Basic Truth of Tao.”
And I recall the old timers
Who were poor and didn’t care.
I have to laugh at him,
He misses the point entirely,
Men like that
Ought to stick to making money.

I’ve lived at Cold Mountain – how many autumns.
Alone, I hum a song – utterly without regret.
Hungry, I eat one grain of Immortal medicine
Mind solid and sharp; leaning on a stone.

On top of Cold Mountain the lone round moon
Lights the whole clear cloudless sky.
Honor this priceless natural treasure
Concealed in five shadows, sunk deep in the flesh.

My home was at Cold Mountain from the start,
Rambling among the hills, far from trouble.

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind –
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.

When men see Han-shan
They all say he’s crazy
And not much to look at –
Dressed in rags and hides.
They don’t get what I say
And I don’t talk their language.
All I can say to those I meet:
“Try and make it to Cold Mountain.”

Bloom (Disney Remix)

A stone I died and rose again a plant;
A plant I died and rose an animal;
I died an animal and was born a man.
Why should I fear? What have I lost by death?
– Rumi