Et in Arcadia Ego


Norman Lindsay

Dear Friends,

So, welcome again to the new site.  This is a fairly extensive entry, lots to mull over, and to spend time with.  I will be posting here more and more, so stop back often. 😛

It seems that Radio EarthRites has admirers, at least enough to copy and past our old logo from, and run a stream pretending to be us… which they are not.  Listen to the original, please.

Getting ready for Exploring Psychedelics Conference coming at the end of May. I am contemplating a small review of the talk I am giving, which is “Emerging Culture and Psychedelia” tracing the roots back over a wide range of time.  I hope you check out their site, and I hope to see you all there.

New Art!
I have some new art to share, Blotter work:  Gwyllm-Art Blotter!  I am very excited about it, this is the first blotter of mine that has been released in many years.  The first piece, “Aldous Huxley – Doors of Perception” was designed specifically for Blotter Art years ago. “The Chemist” is a more recent design, put together as an homage to the late Sasha Shulgin a year before his passing:

I hope you enjoy these two pieces. I so enjoy the process of creating them, and to see the results. We still have some low numbers left, in the signed and numbered prints, as well as in the Artist Proofs.
With all of that said, enjoy your visit, look around and if you want to send me feedback, or suggestions on the site, content, please let me know. Lots more soon, please stop by again, and share with your friends. 😉

Bright Blessings,
On The Menu:
The Links
Sunspot – Of The Wand & The Moon
Elise Cowen Poetry
The Architect Tonality of Psychogeographic, or The Hieroglyphics of Driftwork – Hakim Bey
Hanshan Poetry
Et in Arcadia Ego
Virelai – Skåledans – Toasting Dance
The Links:
The Lost City
Where Did They Go?
Darwin Sez.. Chill.
Sunspot – Of The Wand & The Moon

Elise Cowen Poetry

[Your arms around me all night]

Your arms around me all night
I woke to find me there
Not knowing what you held
Cramped Frightened
By the tenderness holding me
And once my eyes opened on
Tearing through your face
In the act of come,
I didn’t know you looked like that

Everything I love, I need to be
Hides in you.

Come summer
You’ll take off you
d         jeweled bees
Which sting me
I’ll strip my stinking
d         jeans
Hand in hand
We’ll run outside
Look straight at
d        the sun
A second time
And get tan

The first eye opens by the sun’s warmth
to stare at it

The second eye is ripped open by an
apothecary & propped with toothpicks,
systems & words
and likes to blink in mirrors

I only know there may be more because
one hurts when I think too much

The first eye is blind
there is no other
Teacher–your body my Kabbalah


The aroma of Mr. Rochesters cigars
among the flowers
Bursting through
I am trying to choke you
Delicate thought
Frankenstein of delicate grace
posed by my fear
And you
Take me by the throat

The body hungers before the soul
And after thrusts for its own memory

Why not afraid to hurt elig–
couldn’t hurt me except in wit, in funny
I couldn’t, wouldn’t art in relation
but with a rose or rather skunk cabbage

Just–Mere come I break through grey paper
What is the word from Deberoux Babtiste
the Funambule I
Desnuelu (who’s he?) to choke you
Duhamel and you
De brouille Graciously
Deberaux Take me by the throat
French logic
Black daisy chain of nuns
Nous sommes tous assasins
Keith’s jumping old man in the waves
morning dance of delicacy
“I want you to pick me up
when I fall down”
I wouldn’t and fell
not even death
I waited for
with the room
like cat shit
would take me
Donald’s first bed wherein this fantasy
shame changing him to you
And you talking of plum blossom scrolls
and green automobiles
Shame making body thought
a game
Cat’s cradle & imaginary
lattices of knowledge & Bach
Fearing making guilt making shame
making fantasy & logic & game &
elegance of covering splendour
emptying memory of the event
covering splendour with mere elegance
sneer between the angels
Wouldn’t couldn’t
Fear of the killer
dwarf with the bag of tricks & colonels picture
To do my killing for me
God is hidden
And not for picture postcards.

Emily white witch of Amherst
The shy white witch of Amherst
Killed her teachers
With her love
I’ll rather mine entomb
my mind
Or best that soft grey dove.

Allen Ginsberg & Elise Cowen/When they were lovers…


The Architect Tonality of Psychogeographic, or The Hieroglyphics of Driftwork–  Hakim Bey
(in memoriam Guy Debord)

obscure & mysterious grottoes into which they enter, imitating serpents – spaces of return to an intimacy that “once upon a time” was shattered by memory – by the simultaneous reiteration & belatedness of memory – that faculty of human consciousness “closet to the divine”. But don’t they say that “to forgive is human, to forget is divine” ? In the ritual reiteration or “remembrance” (dhikr) of the sufis one forgets the “self” precisely in order to recall the Self; – thus to re-member is to erase separation, & this erasure is a species of forgetfulness. (In certain key Islamic buildings like the Alhambra the reiteration of dhikr as calligrammatic text becomes the very definition of built space as mnemonic device or “Memory Palace” – not ornament but the very basis or crystal-precipitation-principle of architecture.)

“Since we are Jesus Christ,” as one of the Brethren of the free Spirit boasted, “the only issue is that what is already perfect in us should be reiterated …” This process however leads to a paradoxical un-learning – hence to a loss of fear – so that one can “let oneself be led by one’s natural senses, like a little child”. Now, the cave stands for unconsciousness; – the goal however is not to lose unconsciousness but to recapture that which unconsciousness separated us from, that which consciousness “spoiled”. Thus within the dark grotto itself memory must be paradoxically inscribed – key images are reiterated (literally repeated in some cases by a palimpsestic or incisive over-drawing) – images which represent out lost intimacy as a pantheon of animals (“good to think with”) – each animal a special joy or “divine” function. Thus the the cave becomes the first intentional architectural space, the intersection of unconsciousness (the bliss of “Nature”) & consciousness (memory , reiteration).

Ever since Plato we’ve been taught to revere anamnesis – but let’s descend to the pre-Platonic cave, the paleolithic grotto, to recover the positive dialectic of amnesia – without which memory becomes simply a curse, coagulating at last as History (the degree of zero of memory as suffocation): the first city (Çatalk Hüyük) is already arranged as a gridwork, the very antithesis of the grotto’s aesthetic shapelessness, it’s meandering & amazing spaces, it’s melted stalagmites & stalactites – its organicity (which is never the less expressed as mineral life). The cities of Sumer & Harappa were likewise laid out as severe grids, cruel abstractions of linearity. To draw a line is to separate, to create spatial hierarchy (between priest & people, rich & poor, surplus & scarcity) and to define the topia of memory against the dark unconscious of the tribe, the u-topian cave, the organic wild(er)ness. The tertium quid or coincidentia oppositorium here (between “grotto” & Babylon) might appear in the medieval city (which still survives in a few places in the Islamic world) where the excessive cruelty of the grid is mollified – not erased but softened – by a recording of a space according to the tree or the river-delta model (chaotic bifurcation ranging to complexity based on intra-dimensional “strange attractors”) – an urbanism of the organic, the aesthetic, & the complex or plural (as opposed to the inorganic, the ideological, & the simple or total).

The medieval city is an extruded grotto Some of these cities introduced allegorical pageants or parades in which huge emblem-complexes (composite hieroglyphs) were built & set up or carried around the labyrinth of streets. Myths & legends were acted out: – sometimes the Lord Mayor played the role of “Lord Mayor”, wandering thru a street-theater of encounters with symbolic characters (like Bloom in Nighttown), thus re-newing the City as its elected Hero undergoing the initiation of ritual marriage with the urban goddess.

Here the Free City comes to a synchronic & ludic consciousness of itself hic et nunc, rather than succumb to the miserabilist diachronism of power’s violence. In this Hermetic City we find the background or womb-space of the alchemical Emblem Books, and the narrativity of a Bosch or Breughel. Memory loses its heaviness here & takes on a folkloric air, carnivalesque (the festival as reiteration of pleasure) with built shapes that appropriate (thru design or thru the accidents of decay & accretion) the forms of breasts, phalluses, wombs, rocks & water, moss & flowers, even of wind & light.
The Babylonian grid-city wants memory to persist thru time – smooth & empty time – but as Dali showed, memory persists only in the deliquescense of measured time. The medieval-hermetic city (like Blake’s Green Jerusalem) preserves memory but in a “disordered” way – like akashic marmalade – time which is textured & full. “Babylon” preserves order (or else!) – but what happens to memory there ? Isn’t it transmuted into the poison formaldehyde of History, the re-iterated tale of our poverty & their power, taxonomic myth of the ruling class ? Who can blame us for harboring both a nostalgia & an insurrectionary desire for the narrow winding alleys, shadowy steps, covered ways & tunnels, middens & cellars of a city which has designed itself – organically, unconsciously – within an aesthetic of festive & secret conviviality, & of the curvaciuos negentropic mutability of memory itself ?

The psychic urbanism of the 1960’s constituted yet another attempt to reclaim built memory for this “Romantic” project – rus in urbe, as F. Law Olmstead put it – “The country in the city” – reintroduction of the eternal “baroque” (as in “baroque pearl”) or spontaneous form – (like the miraculous fungoid cinnabar grottoes of Mao Shan Taoism, created by the Imaginal potency of the Adept) – which is also the “divine” spontaneity, unconsciousness & forgetting, of Nature. A project for the builders of some near-future No Go Zone: – the city of psychogeographic resistance, the anti-grid, architectonality of driftwork, festal space – and the Cave of Fluid Memory. Rock & water – the reverie of the bard, the forgetfulness of the gods.
Hanshan (Cold Mountain) Poetry

Beyond Silence

Blue-green spring water,
white moonlit mountain.

Quiet wisdom of the spirit:
empty gaze beyond silence.
Here’s a message for the faithful

Here’s a message for the faithful
what is it that you cherish
to find the Way to see your nature
your nature is naturally so
what Heaven bestows is perfect
looking for proof leads you astray
leaving the trunk to search among the twigs
all you get is stupid
This rare and heavenly creature

This rare and heavenly creature
alone without peer
look and it’s not there
it comes and goes but not through doors
it fits inside a square-inch
it spreads in all directions
unless you acknowledge it
you’ll meet but never know
You have seen the blossoms among the leaves;

You have seen the blossoms among the leaves;
tell me, how long will they stay?
Today they tremble before the hand that picks them;
tomorrow they wait someone’s garden broom.

Wonderful is the bright heart of youth,
but with the years it grows old.
Is the world not like these flowers?
Ruddy faces, how can they last?
Et in Arcadia ego

Et in Arcadia ego (also known as Les bergers d’Arcadie or The Arcadian Shepherds) is a 1637–38 painting by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665).

Had a night of vivid dreams of returning to my stepfather’s & mother’s house from years ago. No one was there, all had passed on. (as they have in “Reality”) Yet, in the house were treasures. I was bringing people in, to choose what they could use in their lives. I brought a young friend in, pregnant now with her 3rd child to choose what she would need in her life.

I found a shelf of beautiful books of my stepfather’s. He was a master book binder, but also had an incredible Occult & Metaphysical collection. I touched each and every book, knowing that they held great value for me.

I stepped into the ancient stream, finding my place in the great dance….

“Et in Arcadia Ego …” — These words may have first appeared in a painting by Il Guercino (c.1618) of the same name. Throughout the Renaissance, this phrase was used as a sort of code word for “the underground stream,” an invisible college of kindred souls who secretly shared their esoteric knowledge with one another, passing it around Europe via a network of secret societies and mystery schools, often utilizing its arcane symbolism in works of art and literature. Such symbolism shows up, for instance, in the works of Rene d’Anjou, Giordano Bruno, Leonardo da Vinci, Nicholas Poussin, and many others. The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail(Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln) describe thusly the symbolism of the underground stream:

… the motif of an underground stream seems to have been extremely rich in symbolic and allegorical resonances. Among other things, it would appear to connote the ‘underground’ esoteric tradition of Pythagorean, Gnostic, Cabalistic, and Hermetic thought. But it might also connote something more than a general corpus of teachings, perhaps some very specific factual information — ‘secret’ of some sort transmitted in clandestine fashion from generation to generation. And it might connote an unacknowledged and thus ‘subterranean’ bloodline.
Virelai – Skåledans – Toasting Dance


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