Alvin Booth: Osmosis, Untitled #9905475, 1999
100 x 50 cm (40 x 20 inch)
Silver Gelatin Photograph, Copper and Glass, Ed. 10
So, after 12-13 years and over a 1000 post, I am laying “Turfing” to rest. To be clear, it was a name chosen by William King, a friend down Austin way who first set up Turfing for me on some ancient platform (this place is set up on Word Press). I took the name gladly, it was a gift in his regards for my efforts, and ideas. He gave me a kick to the butt to get out in the world and it worked! I want to thank William for his efforts on my behalf way back when.
This is part of the process of reinvention that started a couple of years back. I am a bit like a snake shedding its skin. I have felt this coming on for awhile. I started earthrites.org to be a collective. Turfing grew out of that. The collective idea kind of withered away, but Turfing grew and went on to do some great things, as example:
1. It got me to write again
2. I was able to share my favourite poetry.
3. I was able to share art that I loved.
4. I was able to share music that moved me.
5. My curiosity grew through the searches I performed for material for the blog.
6. Feedback. It was nice to hear from people, and to know that I touched people with what I had found, shared, and talked about.
Turfing has been more than what most think as a blog, but more of an ongoing magazine, journal, catalog of social events, and it helped build an on line community that is still vibrant in many ways
So, out of Turfing came a creative run that was fever pitched at times. It got me off of my creative duff, and made me produce daily. Out of this period, in large part my art was reborn, and The Invisible College Magazine came about.
So, I lay Turfing down now as the juices for it dried up over time. It revived recently, but in preparation for this change.
I had begun to think along the lines of a different sort of set up, and this will be what I call, “The Hare’s Tale“. I will be weaving stories and essays that I have written, presenting videos of talks that I am now starting to give, sharing new and varied artist along with galleries of their works. One might ask, why “The Hare’s Tale”? If you have followed me at all on social media, you’d of seen multiple images of Hares & Rabbits over the last few years. It really isn’t an obsession in the classic sense (well maybe it is 😉 ) Anyway, living in the UK years ago, I used to coarse Hares & Rabbits with my friend John in Devon. He had a beautiful Lurcher, a wonderful dog. 9 out of 10 times though the Hare or Rabbit would get away. Often before diving into the brambles and undergrowth, they would take a celebratory leap, or do a strange dance movement whilst in mid-air. As I recall, standing there, watching that leap, I had always been fascinated by them. It turns out I was born in the year of the Iron Hare (Chinese Calendar), and being born whilst the sun was in Virgo, The correspondence of Hare with Hermes/Mercury, and various Celtic deities.
(This was not hunting for sport, but for food. John had a family to feed, was unemployed at that time, with a weekly benefit of 6 pounds, which would buy you maybe 4 pints at that time…)
Part of the plans includes more book reviews, discussions on art creation including supply suggestions, and more ideas along these lines.
There still will be plenty of poetry, articles, music. That will never go away, but the field widens now to what I feel are larger cultural concerns.
This really in the Beta Testing Stage…
It is now a wide unexplored field, stretching towards the imaginal horizon. I plan to make the next few years the most productive of my life, and to see where this project takes us. Thank you for being along for the ride.
______________ I’ll Let Maddy Explain:
Now, for a bit of content.
I put this together in response to the current “Administrations” proposed cuts to social spending on such items as “Meals On Wheels”, School Lunches, Housing Vouchers for the Poor, etc. The convoluted logic that it is passed as policy is nothing short of Barbarity. I know that we can come together in our communities to protect and stand with those less fortunate than us, those that are discriminated against, those pursued by unjust, and inhumane laws and policies.
“I abandon myself to the fever of dreams, in search for new laws.”
– Antonin Artaud, from ‘The Death of Satan and Other Mystical Writings’
I posted this painting by Roberto Ferri on Facebook as a contemplation of death, much in the line of “The Vanities” oft portrayed in art. It turned out to be the straw that broke the camels back. For posting this image, FB banned me for 30 days. I want to thank them for reminding me what I was actually here for, and it wasn’t to fit into their concepts of a closed feedback loop, that fed commercial exploitation of information shared on line.
If I had a poem to pick to go with it, it would be this one:
Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone
Man has created death.
Well, you may have noticed we are on a new site… Gwyllm.com. It’s something I have contemplated doing for awhile. This is just a heads up, to let ya know that things on my bit are changing. Earthrites.org was a beautiful experiment, that had it’s day. I have had to concentrate my energies a bit better to get done what must be done on my side of things.
Life is sweet in many, many ways. On one side, is the continuity of life, and on the other constant change. It takes a bit of fine tuning along the way. Hopefully with Gwyllm.com I can bring that fine tuning to my efforts.
I’ll be posting quite a bit of new materials on this site, which is not yet at the point for a total launch, but please just hold on, we will arrive!
Thanks to all of you who have followed my writings and art over the years!
David Ezziddine, Transfiguration, 2013
All that I once held as immutable facts in my youth has dissolved into a growing sea of mystery. As I get older, I know less, my sense of certainty in what makes up the universe departs. Is there wisdom to be found in the surging tides of change? The greater aspects of things grow surreal. I only know of one constant in all of this. Everything Changes. – G
Major Announcements Coming Up My Friends, Stay Tuned!
Richard Avedon – Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, 1963
_____ Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!
The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy!
The nose is holy! The tongue and cock and hand
and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody’s holy! everywhere is
holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman’s an
The bum’s as holy as the seraphim! the madman is
holy as you my soul are holy!
The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is
holy the hearers are holy the ecstasy is holy!
Holy Peter holy Allen holy Solomon holy Lucien holy
Kerouac holy Huncke holy Burroughs holy Cassady
holy the unknown buggered and suffering
beggars holy the hideous human angels!
Holy my mother in the insane asylum! Holy the cocks
of the grandfathers of Kansas!
Holy the groaning saxophone! Holy the bop
apocalypse! Holy the jazzbands marijuana
hipsters peace & junk & drums!
Holy the solitudes of skyscrapers and pavements! Holy
the cafeterias filled with the millions! Holy the
mysterious rivers of tears under the streets!
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of the
middle class! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion
Who digs Los Angeles IS Los Angeles!
Holy New York Holy San Francisco Holy Peoria &
Seattle Holy Paris Holy Tangiers Holy Moscow
Holy time in eternity holy eternity in time holy the
clocks in space holy the fourth dimension holy
the fifth International holy the Angel in Moloch!
Holy the sea holy the desert holy the railroad holy the
locomotive holy the visions holy the hallucinations
holy the miracles holy the eyeball holy the abyss!
Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours!
bodies! suffering! magnanimity!
Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul!
—— Father Death
Hey Father Death, I’m flying home
Hey poor man, you’re all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I’m going
Father Death, Don’t cry any more
Mama’s there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store
Old Aunty Death Don’t hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans
O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts’ll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest
Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body’s gone
Father Death I’m coming home
Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues
Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we’ll work it through
Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn
Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.
Another piece that I have chosen to feature here as it is probably a censored vision for much of social media (IOW FB)…. This piece evokes multiple levels/layers of dream, flowering, sensuality, beauty. A nice taste of surrealism pervades it.
______________ The Dream Engine
I have been thinking a lot lately on what has transpired in the world of marijuana recently. I can only talk from a subjective view on this. I have been involved with MJ off and on (more off in the last few decades) for some 50 years. I have watched pot shops since the legalization pop up like mushrooms all over Portland and the surrounding areas. The laws surrounding the distribution and the taxation as well seems to be… onerous to a fault. The tax rate is much higher than on say, beer. The state tax here for beer is .08$ a gallon. (Alcohol Taxes Here) There is a 17% tax on Marijuana (MJ Tax Facts Here) which seems to me to be more than a bit out of hand. The gold rush is on folks, and what was left in the Sacred Space that MJ opened the door for many of us, seems to be more and more tainted with the full on onslaught of capitalism.
I am hearing that trimmer machines are coming in to the various grows, and what was once a cottage industry employing many out in the countryside has now gone the way of the loom, and factory mentality. Bad JuJu, and with the coming of the corporations (Hello Monsanto! Hello Big Tobacco!) it will get more and more obscene along the way.
If I had my druthers, I would go for decriminalization rather than legalization, and keep the damn business interest out. The only mitigating factor IMPOV is that one can grow their own, (4 plants max @ this point) and I know a few who are.
The smell of capitalism in the MJ world here is pretty rank, and down right sad. It takes the joy out of it. Going into a Pot store is probably the most depressing single social action I have taken part of in the last year, and that includes memorials. I don’t think I will go into another. The amount of tension around these businesses at least for me is palpable. No joy to be found there. Little art, no music, cash on the barrel head.
So, if you still use the plant be it by smoking, or edibles, tea, I suggest you grow your own. Retain the relationship you have built up over the years with the plant. There is a bond there, a plant ally that has a shared history with us going back countless millenia… If you have to buy, well, try to avoid the stores if you can. There are still people who grow for the love of the ally. They are out there, you just have to find them. Remember, a plant grown outside, in the dirt, free of pesticides is best. Allow the plant it’s life as close to nature as possible. Avoid the indoor grown if you can.
To turn this all around, I have decided to delve back into literature and poetry that I became familiar with. Before the days of “420”, and “apps for MJ delivery”, there is a wealth of poetry and literature spanning centuries. I can only hope that others will investigate the history and delve deeply into the richness of the culture around the plant. It truly is amazing. I have had profound and deeply spiritual experiences with it. I have visited heaven, and harrowed hell on my journeys with Cannabis/Hashish. I have seen vistas and experienced a deep and rich world, and come back refreshed and healed from pain and anxiety. I give thanks for the various gifts she brings. It has helped with my creativity over the years and has been a balm for pain when all other methods have failed.
Let us treat Cannabis with the respect she deserves, and not turn her into another product. That way lacks in respect. This edition of Turfing is dedicated to her, and all the beauty she has brought with her various gifts.
__________________ On The Menu:
On Social Media/Interactions
Gwyllm Art News
Susannah Martin Art
Poem Praising Hashish Over Wine
The End Of Law: The Hashisheen (Morning High)
Excerpt: The Oblivion Seekers Isabel Eberhardt (1899)
The Garden of Cafour, Cairo
Jean Léon Gérôme – Pool in a Harem
The End Of Law: The Hashisheen (Sinan’s Boat)
__________________ Radio EarthRites
A new show is coming tonight or tomorrow! Stay Tuned! Tune In Here!
__________________ On Social Media/Interactions
I am slowly building a new approach to dealing with social media. I am not withdrawing, but cutting back, and being a bit more judicious in my time there, my postings etc. I am moving some of the art off into Turfing and what ever evolves out of it. What is needed is a greater control of the presentation. Turfing always afforded me that, and although I am sure to attract at least for a while, a smaller audience than what I have on FB (some 41k followers), perhaps they will follow me here. 😉 So, I will be here more often, hopefully back to the daily that this once was.
_______________ Gwyllm Art News:
So, the mural that I had done at Mirador on 20th & Division 14 years ago got tagged, big time. Why, I don’t understand. The city couldn’t destroy it, and it has been a part of the community for a very long time. I am hoping that someone recognizes the tag, and can put me in touch with the person who did this. I would really like to know what was going through their heads.
Here is a piece that I wanted to put up on Social Media, by Susannah Martin “Empty Kingdom”. Those pieces like this one will be on the blog from here on out.
Drop the wine and drink from Haidar’s Lady,
which is perfumed with ambergris
and is green like chrysolite.
It is offered to you by a well-groomed young man
In the delicate palm of his hand
as if it were a special mark on a rosy cheek.
His outstretched hand reminds you
of the tender branches of the elegant plant,
moving softly at the slightest breeze,
disseminating its intoxicating aroma,
conveying to you by way of your nostrils
its exhilarating effect.
No wine or other tonic could generate
such a heavenly sensation.
It is a virgin,
and has not been adulterated by water,
nor has it been trodden by feet
or squeezed by hand.
It has never been mixed in a priest’s chalice.
It was not outlawed by Muslim rulers,
nor was it ever declared unclean by any.
Forget your trouble
and enjoy your indulgence
and don’t leave today’s pleasures for tomorrow.
Arabic Poem praising hashish over wine, from The Sufi Culture In Egypt
__________________ The End Of Law: The Hashisheen (Morning High)
Vox: Sussan Deyhim/Patti Smith
Excerpt: The Oblivion Seekers Isabel Eberhardt (1899)
In this ksar, where the people have no place to meet but the public square or the earthen benches among the foot of the ramparts on the road to Bechar, here where there is not even a café, I have discovered a kif den…
It is a partially ruined house behind the Mellah, a long hall lighted by a single eye in the ceiling of twisted and smoke-blackened beams. The walls are black, ribbed with lighter-colored cracks that look like open wounds. The floor has been made by pounding the earth, but it is soft and dusty. Seldom swept, it is covered with pomegranate rinds and assorted refuse…
This place serves as a shelter for Moroccan vagabonds, for nomads, and for every sort of person of dubious intent and questionable appearance. The house seems to belong to no one; as at a disreputable hotel, you spend a few badly-advised nights there and go on. It is a natural setting for picturesque and theatrical events, like the antechamber of the room where the crime was committed…
In one corner lies a clean red mat, with some cushions from Fez in embroidered leather. On the mat, a large decorated chest which serves as a table. A rosebush with little pale pink blooms, surrounded by a bouquet of garden herbs, all standing in water inside one of those wide earthen jars from the Tell. Further on, a copper kettle on a tripod, two or three teapots, a large basket of dried Indian hemp. The little group of kif-smokers requires no other decoration, no other mise-en-scene. They are people who like their pleasure…
On a rude perch of palm branches, a captive falcon, tied by one leg…
The strangers, the wanderers who haunt this retreat sometimes mix with the kif-smokers, notwithstanding the fact that the latter are a very closed little community into which entry is made difficult. But the smokers themselves are travelers who carry their dreams with them across the countries of Islam, worshipers of the hallucinating smoke. The men who happen to meet her at Kensadsa are among the most highly educated in the land…
The seekers of oblivion sing and clap their hands lazil; their dream -vouces ring out late into the night, in the dim light of the mica-paned latern. Then little by little the voices fall, grow muffled, the words are slower. Finally the smokers are quiet, and merely stare at the flowers in ecstasy. They are epicurian, voluptuaries; perhaps they are sages. Even in the darkest purlieu of Morocco’s underworld such men can reach the magic horizon where they are free to build their dream-palaces of delight…
Chance brought them here to Kenadsa. Soon they will set out again, in different directions and on different trails, moving unconcernedly toward the fulfillment of their separate destinies. But it was a community of taste that gathered them together in this smoky refuge, where they pass the slow hours of a life without cares…
________________ The Garden of Cafour, Cairo
Sylvestre de Sacy (1825)
The Garden of Cafour near Cairo is described by De Sacy as a place notorious because of the hashish which the fakirs used there. It was destroyed in 1258 A.C.E. The patrons eulogized the ecstasies of hashish by composing extravagant poetry such as the following.
The green plant which grows in the Garden of Cafour,
replaces in our hearts the effects of a wind old and generous,
When we inhale a single breath of its odor,
it insinuates itself in each of our members and penetrates
through our body,
Give us this verdant plant from the Garden of Cafour,
which supersedes the most delicate wine,
The poor when they have taken only the weight of one drachm
have a head superb above the Emirs.
________________ Jean Léon Gérôme – Pool in a Harem
________________ The End Of Law: The Hashisheen (Sinan’s Boat)
Vox · Ira Cohen
A pipe of Kif before breakfast gives a man the strength of a hundred camels in the courtyard
– Mooroccan Proverb (Thanks to Paul Bowles!)
Elle est retrouvée.
C’est la mer allée
Avec le soleil.
(It has been rediscovered.
It’s the sea fused
With the sun.) – Arthur Rimbaud
Late Night Musings…
Back from Bat Country, trying to organize myself out of a wet paper bag before Solstice comes, and the new year begins. Here is to endings, here is to beginnings. Here especially is to Love, and Beauty.
This is a Turfing entry playing loose and free with the structure.
____________________ A great chance to get some Gwyllm Art at great discounts!
Gwyllm Art Year End Sale!!!
Sobriety is not a virtue when
One desires the overthrow of
The monoliths of common thought…
The Goddess Emerges:
“Brighid – Gwyllm 2016
The White Goddess
All saints revile her, and all sober men
Ruled by the God Apollo’s golden mean –
In scorn of which we sailed to find her
In distant regions likeliest to hold her
Whom we desired above all things to know,
Sister of the mirage and echo.
It was a virtue not to stay,
To go our headstrong and heroic way
Seeking her out at the volcano’s head,
Among pack ice, or where the track had faded
Beyond the cavern of the seven sleepers:
Whose broad high brow was white as any leper’s,
Whose eyes were blue, with rowan-berry lips,
With hair curled honey-coloured to white hips.
The sap of Spring in the young wood a-stir
Will celebrate with green the Mother,
And every song-bird shout awhile for her;
But we are gifted, even in November
Rawest of seasons, with so huge a sense
Of her nakedly worn magnificence
We forget cruelty and past betrayal,
Heedless of where the next bright bolt may fall.
– Robert Graves
Here is praying for Evolution. Organize locally. Know the ones you are connected with.
The Drunken Boat
As I was going down impassive Rivers,
I no longer felt myself guided by haulers:
Yelping redskins had taken them as targets
And had nailed them naked to colored stakes.
I was indifferent to all crews,
The bearer of Flemish wheat or English cottons
When with my haulers this uproar stopped
The Rivers let me go where I wanted.
Into the furious lashing of the tides
More heedless than children’s brains the other winter
I ran! And loosened Peninsulas
Have not undergone a more triumphant hubbub
The storm blessed my sea vigils
Lighter than a cork I danced on the waves
That are called eternal rollers of victims,
Ten nights, without missing the stupid eye of the lighthouses!
Sweeter than the flesh of hard apples is to children
The green water penetrated my hull of fir
And washed me of spots of blue wine
And vomit, scattering rudder and grappling-hook
And from then on I bathed in the Poem
Of the Sea, infused with stars and lactescent,
Devouring the azure verses; where, like a pale elated
Piece of flotsam, a pensive drowned figure sometimes sinks;
Where, suddenly dyeing the blueness, delirium
And slow rhythms under the streaking of daylight,
Stronger than alcohol, vaster than our lyres,
The bitter redness of love ferments!
I know the skies bursting with lightning, and the waterspouts
And the surf and the currents; I know the evening,
And dawn as exalted as a flock of doves
And at times I have seen what man thought he saw!
I have seen the low sun spotted with mystic horrors,
Lighting up, with long violet clots,
Resembling actors of very ancient dramas,
The waves rolling far off their quivering of shutters!
I have dreamed of the green night with dazzled snows
A kiss slowly rising to the eyes of the sea,
The circulation of unknown saps,
And the yellow and blue awakening of singing phosphorous!
I followed during pregnant months the swell,
Like hysterical cows, in its assault on the reefs,
Without dreaming that the luminous feet of the Marys
Could constrain the snout of the wheezing Oceans!
I struck against, you know, unbelievable Floridas
Mingling with flowers panthers’ eyes and human
Skin! Rainbows stretched like bridal reins
Under the horizon of the seas to greenish herds!
I have seen enormous swamps ferment, fish-traps
Where a whole Leviathan rots in the rushes!
Avalanches of water in the midst of a calm,
And the distances cataracting toward the abyss!
Glaciers, suns of silver, nacreous waves, skies of embers!
Hideous strands at the end of brown gulfs
Where giant serpents devoured by bedbugs
Fall down from gnarled trees with black scent!
I should have liked to show children those sunfish
Of the blue wave, the fish of gold, the singing fish.
—Foam of flowers rocked my drifting
And ineffable winds winged me at times.
At times a martyr weary of poles and zones,
The sea, whose sob created my gentle roll,
Brought up to me her dark flowers with yellow suckers
And I remained, like a woman on her knees…
Resembling an island tossing on my sides the quarrels
And droppings of noisy birds with yellow eyes
And I sailed on, when through my fragile ropes
Drowned men sank backward to sleep!
Now I, a boat lost in the foliage of caves,
Thrown by the storm into the birdless air
I whose water-drunk carcass would not have been rescued
By the Monitors and the Hanseatic sailboats;
Free, smoking, topped with violet fog,
I who pierced the reddening sky like a wall,
Bearing, delicious jam for good poets
Lichens of sunlight and mucus of azure,
Who ran, spotted with small electric moons,
A wild plank, escorted by black seahorses,
When Julys beat down with blows of cudgels
The ultramarine skies with burning funnels;
I, who trembled, hearing at fifty leagues off
The moaning of the Behemoths in heat and the thick Maelstroms,
Eternal spinner of the blue immobility
I miss Europe with its ancient parapets!
I have seen sidereal archipelagos! and islands
Whose delirious skies are open to the sea-wanderer:
—Is it in these bottomless nights that you sleep and exile yourself,
Million golden birds, o future Vigor? –
But, in truth, I have wept too much! Dawns are heartbreaking.
Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter.
Acrid love has swollen me with intoxicating torpor
O let my keel burst! O let me go into the sea!
If I want a water of Europe, it is the black
Cold puddle where in the sweet-smelling twilight
A squatting child full of sadness releases
A boat as fragile as a May butterfly.
No longer can I, bathed in your languor, o waves,
Follow in the wake of the cotton boats,
Nor cross through the pride of flags and flames,
Nor swim under the terrible eyes of prison ships.
He is affection and the present since he opened the house to foaming winter and the hum of summer, he who purified drink and food, he who is the charm of fleeting places and the superhuman deliciousness of staying still. He is affection and the future, strength and love that we, standing amid rage and troubles, see passing in the storm-rent sky and on banners of ecstasy.
He is love, perfect and reinvented measurement, wonderful and unforeseen reason, and eternity: machine beloved for its fatal qualities. We have all experienced the terror of his yielding and of our own: O enjoyment of our health, surge of our faculties, egoistic affection and passion for him, he who loves us for his infinite life
And we remember him and he travels. . . And if the Adoration goes away, resounds, its promise resounds: “Away with those superstitions, those old bodies, those couples and those ages. It’s this age that has sunk!”
He won’t go away, nor descend from a heaven again, he won’t accomplish the redemption of women’s anger and the gaiety of men and of all that sin: for it is now accomplished, with him being, and being loved.
O his breaths, his heads, his racing; the terrible swiftness of the perfection of forms and of action.
O fecundity of the spirit and immensity of the universe!
His body! The dreamed-of release, the shattering of grace crossed with new violence!
The sight, the sight of him! all the ancient kneeling and suffering lifted in his wake.
His day! the abolition of all resonant and surging suffering in more intense music.
His footstep! migrations more vast than ancient invasions.
O him and us! pride more benevolent than wasted charities.
O world! and the clear song of new misfortunes!
He has known us all and loved us all. Let us, on this winter night, from cape to cape, from the tumultuous pole to the castle, from the crowd to the beach, from glance to glance, our strengths and feelings numb, learn to hail him and see him, and send him back, and under the tides and at the summit of snowy deserts, follow his seeing, his breathing, his body, his day.
– Translated from the French – John Ashbery
Catullus’s Saturnalia Gift
If I didn’t love you, sweet teasing Calvus,
far more than my own eyes, then for today’s gift
I’d hate you with the hate of Vatinius;
for what have I said or done to deserve it
that you’re killing me now with all these poets?
May the gods frown down on whichever client
settled accounts with this roll of miscreants
(unless, as I suspect, it’s that school-master
Sulla, writing off debts by setting these texts,
then I bear no hate, have no complaint to make:
at least your hard work receives due recompense).
God, here’s as cursed a verse as one might expect –
a book, I know, you sent to your Catullus
to finish him off, to floor and to bore us
on Saturnalia, our day for pleasure.
No, not so fast, you can’t escape, my false friend,
for if this long night of torment ever ends
I’m off to the bookshops to buy Caesius,
Aquinus and Suffenus, all poison pens,
to pay you back in full for your own torture.
Until then, goodbye, farewell, it’s time to quit:
let those bad feet limp away, lines and couplets,
disease of the age, unreadable poets.
(translated by Josephine Balmer)
“Earth, mountains, rivers – hidden in this nothingness.
In this nothingness – earth, mountains, rivers revealed.
Spring flowers, winter snows:
There’s no being or non-being, nor denial itself.”
Do great works, do kind works.
Share with those you love
and those that need healing.
In this the season,
when all has gone to ground.
“Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” ‘1984’George Orwell
“IntraCellular/InterStellar OverDrive” – Gwyllm 2017
I am changing the format of Turfing, and going towards less of a magazine feel to a journal of sorts. This entry deals with the concept of “Transmission”
Thank you for coming back to Turfing. I am humbled by the love that people have shown for my work, and the appreciation. Time is short, there is much to be done.
I have thought long and hard about the concept of Transmission. I realize that I have been the beneficiary of Transmissions going back time out of mind. Genetic transmissions (of course), teachings handed down over the countless generations, through thick and thin, through prosperity and poverty, peace and war.
I realize that I am here because of the efforts put forth by those who came before; my direct ancestors, and others who thought and dreamt the future. Without them, and the sacrifices made, we would not be here.
Transmission has been recently given over to the concept of the spiritual side. My Buddhist friends use the term frequently. This in itself is all kind of wonderful, and puts it a bit imo on a pedestal. Transmission from the teacher, the lineage etc. This of course is all well and fine and does serve a valuable purpose.
There is the transmission though of mammalian comfort, of love first of course from ones mother, holding you within her body for 9 months, and then in her arms after one makes their appearance in the world… There are countless ways that Transmission occurs. Little ones are like sponges, picking up the good, with the not so good. A child can learn love, or fear along these journeys, often commingled with countless myriads of conflicting signals.
The transmissions continue through ones life, and I think one has to do a sorting of sorts. Which ones did I accept at face value? Why do I repeat old saws, and are all of my thoughts truly mine? Are these emotions valid, or something I took on?
Perhaps the task is unraveling the various transmission that one tends to go back to, examine them for their validity. What do I want to pass on to those who come after? Surely not the gathered fears, angers, emotions that short circuit my life.
We all are on a voyage, as messengers from a distant past to a distant future. What transmissions do we truly want to deliver?
_____ On The Menu:
Standing Rock Fund Raiser
Gwyllm Art Calendars!
Poetry: William Butler Yeats
“Symphony No.9, Boogie” by Matryomin Ensemble
Help Support The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe!
I have constructed this print in support of the Standing Rock Sioux, and all who have gathered in this struggle for clean water, and for Mother Earth.
All Profits go to The Standing Rock Sioux Food Fund.
This is our time, these are the issues, and we know the solutions.
Why have one calendar when you can have two?
_______ Poetry: William Butler Yeats
A Crazed Girl
That crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,
Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.
No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, ‘O sea-starved, hungry sea.’
A Coat Poem
I made my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world’s eyes
As though they’d wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there’s more enterprise
In walking naked.
A Cradle Song
THE angels are stooping
Above your bed;
They weary of trooping
With the whimpering dead.
God’s laughing in Heaven
To see you so good;
The Sailing Seven
Are gay with His mood.
I sigh that kiss you,
For I must own
That I shall miss you
When you have grown
These Are The Clouds
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye:
The weak lay hand on what the strong has done,
Till that be tumbled that was lifted high
And discord follow upon unison,
And all things at one common level lie.
And therefore, friend, if your great race were run
And these things came, So much the more thereby
Have you made greatness your companion,
Although it be for children that you sigh:
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye.
The Back Story: Theremin Nesting Dolls Extravaganza!
“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, eastern or western…divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”
― Shams Tabrizi
“The universe is an intelligence test.” Timothy Leary
It has taken a lot to get Turfing moving as of late, but the last week or so is just the thing to get it going. Hopefully, I will not let it slip back into sleep. There are circumstances as well why Turfing has to come back alive… (Please see below)
Turfing has been dormant, as I have worked on other projects. With the election, and the ascendancy of the Alt-Right viewpoint, the loss of Leonard and other issues… I lost my father and his wife this year, had to move due to the sell of our home in the South West of Portland, and go down to Bat Country with my younger brother to sort the parents estate. It has been a very hectic time.
Where do we go from here? My son and his friends have been out in the streets demonstrating. I am still trying to assess what is happening to the US. I am not surprised by the election results as some are; I figured Mr. Sanders was the real deal, and basically got screwed out of the nominations by the machinations of the Clinton Machine/DNC. It seems no one in the Democratic Party is listening to working class and lower middle class people outside of the major cities. This is not a victory for the Republicans mind you, but for Populism. We all will have to pay the piper for this little adventure it seems.
So, where from here? Do we hunker down and wait out the storm? This will work for some, but not for all. Let’s face it, everyone was expecting the centrist/Neo Con state to continue. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who are concerned for the earth, its family, and all to move forward. We have been given a gift, let us use it!
If you are coming here from FB, you’ll find the postings here a bit more earthy than what I publish there. So it is, We are in it for the long haul. Let us do this for the generations yet to come. Reach across the divide, talk to those who you would shun, only by this act of love, will the world change. Embrace them, do not refuse them.
“Vanitas” – Roberto Feri
This beautiful image helped get me banned for 30 days from FB. Imagine, art such as this being deemed… pornographic, or without redeeming social value. At times I feel that the wheels are running backwards, back to an age of prudery, muffled social dissent, and racsism…. oh, wait… Commercial Break:
This is a great book, especially if you are interested in Acid Culture outside of the US. (which takes up a bit of space). Andy Roberts ties disparate threads of the psychedelic culture of the UK together in a brilliant cohesive piece of work, recommended.
I cannot be satisfied until I speak with angels
I require to behold the eye of god
to cast my own being into the cosmos as bait for miracles
to breath air and spew visions
to unlock that door which stands already open and enter into the presence
of that which I cannot imagine
I require answers for which I have not yet learned the questions
I demand the access of enlightenment, the permutation into the miraculous
the presence of the unendurable light
perhaps in the same way that caterpillars demand their lepidoptera wings
or tadpoles demand their froghood
or the child of man demands his exit
from the safe warm womb
___ First They Slaughtered the Angels
First they slaughtered the angels
tying their thin white legs with wire cords
opening their silk throats with icy knives
They died fluttering their wings like chickens
and their immortal blood wet the burning earth
we watched from underground
from the gravestones, the crypts
chewing our bony fingers
shivering in our piss-stained winding sheets
The seraphs and the cherubim are gone
they have eaten them and cracked their bones for marrow
they have wiped their asses on angel feathers
and now they walk the rubbled streets with
eyes like fire pits
who finked on the angels?
who stole the holy grail and hocked it for a jug of wine?
who fucked up Gabriel’s golden horn?
was it an inside job?
who barbecued the lamb of god?
who flushed St. Peter’s keys down the mouth of a
North Beach toilet?
who raped St. Mary with a plastic dildo stamped with the
Good Housekeeping seal of approval?
was it an outside job?
where are our weapons?
where are our bludgeons, our flame throwers, our poison
gas, our hand grenades?
we fumble for our guns and our knees sprout credit cards,
we vomit cancelled checks
standing spreadlegged with open sphincters weeping soap suds
from our radioactive eyes
for the ultimate rifle
the messianic cannon
the paschal bomb
the bellies of women split open and children rip their
way out with bayonets
spitting blood in the eyes of blind midwives
before impaling themselves on their own swords
the penises of men are become blue steel machine guns,
they ejaculate bullets, they spread death as an orgasm
lovers roll in the bushes tearing at each other’s genitals
with iron fingernails
fresh blood is served at health food bars germ free
gulped down by syphilitic club women
in papier-mâché masks
each one the same hand-painted face of Hamlet’s mother
at the age of ten
we watch from underground
our eyes like periscopes
flinging our fingers to the dogs for candy bars
in an effort to still their barking
in an effort to keep the peace
in an effort to make friends and influence people
we have collapsed our collapsible bomb shelters
we have folded our folding life rafts
and at the count of twelve
they have disintegrated into piles of rat shit
nourishing the growth of poison flowers
and venus pitcher plants
we huddle underground
hugging our porous chests with mildewed arms
listening to the slow blood drip from our severed veins
lifting the tops of our zippered skulls
to ventilate our brains
they have murdered our angels
we have sold our bodies and our hours to the curious
we have paid off our childhood in dishwashers and miltown
and rubbed salt upon our bleeding nerves
in the course of searching
and they have shit upon the open mouth of god
they have hung the saints in straightjackets and they have
tranquilized the prophets
they have denied both christ and cock
and diagnosed buddha as catatonic
they have emasculated the priests and the holy men and
censored even the words of love
Lobotomy for every man!
and they have nominated a eunuch for a president
Lobotomy for every housewife!
Lobotomy for the business man!
Lobotomy for the nursery schools!
and they have murdered the angels
now in the alleyways the androgynes gather swinging their
lepers’ bells like censers as they prepare the ritual
rape of god
the grease that shines their lips is the fat of angels
the blood that cakes their claws is the blood of angels
they are gathering in the streets and playing dice with
they are casting the last lots of armageddon
now in the aftermath of morning
we are rolling away the stones from underground, from the caves
we have widened our peyote-visioned eyes
and rinsed our mouths with last night’s wine
we have caulked the holes in our arms with dust and flung
libations at each other’s feet
and we shall enter into the streets and walk among them and do battle
holding our lean and empty hands upraised
we shall pass among the strangers of the world like a
and our blood will melt iron
and our breath will melt steel
we shall stare face to face with naked eyes
and our tears will make earthquakes
and our wailing will cause mountains to rise and the sun to halt
THEY SHALL MURDER NO MORE ANGELS!
not even us
there are no ways of love but/beautiful/
I love you all of them
I love you / your cock in my hand
stirs like a bird
in my fingers
as you swell and grow hard in my hand
forcing my fingers open
with your rigid strength
you are beautiful / you are beautiful
you are a hundred times beautiful
I stroke you with my loving hands
pink-nailed long fingers
I caress you
I adore you
my finger-tips… my palms…
your cock rises and throbs in my hands
a revelation / as Aphrodite knew it
there was a time when gods were purer
/I can recall nights among the honeysuckle
our juices sweeter than honey
/ we were the temple and the god entire/
I am naked against you
and I put my mouth on you slowly
I have longing to kiss you
and my tongue makes worship on you
you are beautiful
your body moves to me
flesh to flesh
skin sliding over golden skin
as mine to yours
my mouth my tongue my hands
my belly and my legs
against your mouth your love
our bodies move and join
your face above me
is the face of all the gods
and beautiful demons
love touches love
the temple and the god
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If You Haven’t Listened To Radio EarthRites, Give It A Chance! Now with 524 Songs, (2.52gigs of music playing 24×7!) We have another 1932 songs in the library at this point!
Soon introducing new services as well! Thanks so much!
Well, it has been awhile. I had no idea it had been this long. I have found myself with something I never knew I had before: limitations on time. With launching the radio station, and getting ready to launch a new publishing house, as well as working at my other business, Art and Turfing has been taking a hit. More so on the Turfing side, obviously. I did find myself at a point two weeks ago, where I realized… “I’m not reading poetry”! Since getting back to poetry in a stop start kind of way, Turfing leaned over my shoulder and whispered… “How about it Bub? When are you going to get back on the horse?”
This will not be a huge entry, but it is a start.
I mention Radio EarthRites in that it eats up hours. I think about 12 hours a week, if not more. That is a sizeable chunk. I do enjoy the results, and a growing number of people seem to like it, from Cambodia to Finland! I get a thrill when I see listeners on there. A huge selection of music, please give it a try!
Drought: Out picking raspberries today, and they are going from baby to overripe just like that because of the heat. We are going through drought up here regardless of what it looks like. The lowest ever snowpack in the Cascades, and there was none this year on the Coastal range, or the Olympics. Scary. I see peeps watering lawns and I really scratch my head, as I don’t think this is going anywhere good anytime soon. Folks, plant native, and forget those lawns. Not needed. If the grass is worth its salt, it will come back if and when we get rain again.
Here is to new projects, and to old friends, and stories that still unfold. Here is to beauty, poetry, and art.
It is good to be back to my Turfing roots.
~~~~~~ On The Menu:
God Is An Astronaut: Forever Lost (Reprise)
Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari: Excerpt From The Secret Rose Garden
Celtic Fairy Tales: Munachar and Manachar
Irfan: Return to Outremer
~~~~~~ God Is An Astronaut: Forever Lost (Reprise)
~~~~~~ Sa’d ud Din Mahmud Shabistari: Excerpt From The Secret Rose Garden
THE PERFECT FACE OF THE BELOVED
THE EYE AND THE LIP
What is the nature of the eye and the lip?
Let us consider.
Coquettish and intoxicating glances shine from His eye.
The essence of existence issues from His ruby lip.
Hearts burn with desire because of His eye,
And are healed again by the smile of His lip.
Because of His eye hearts are aching and drunken.
His ruby lip gives soul-garments to men.
His eye does not perceive this visible world,
Yet often His lip quivers with compassion.
Sometimes He charms us with a touch of humanity,
And gives help to the despairing.
It is His smile that gives life to man’s water and clay;
It is His breath that opens heaven’s gate for us.
A corn-baited snare is each glance of that eye,
And a wine-shop lurks in each corner.
When He frowns the wide world is laid waste,
But is restored every moment by His kiss.
Our blood is at fever point because of His eye,
Our souls demented because of His lip.
How He has despoiled our hearts by a frown!
How He has uplifted our souls by a smile!
If you ask of Him an embrace,
His eye will say “Yea,” His lip “Nay.”
He finished the creation of the world by a frown,
Now and then the soul is revived by a kiss.
We would give up our lives with despair at His frown,
But would rise from the dead at his kiss.
. . . When the world meditates on His eye and His lip,
It yields itself to the intoxication of wine.
THE single point of the mole in His cheek
Is a centre from which circles
The two worlds circle round that centre.
The heart and soul of Adam evolved from there.
. . . Hearts bleed because they are a reflection
Of the point of that black mole,
And both are stagnant; for there is no escape
Of the reflection from the reflect.
Unity will not embrace Plurality,
For the point of Unity has one root only.
. . . I wonder if His mole is the reflection of my heart,
Or my heart the reflection of His mole.
Was my heart created from His mole’s reflection?
Or may it be seen shining in His mole?
I wonder if my heart is in His face,
Or if His mole abides in my heart.
But this is a deep secret hidden, alas! from me.
. . . If my heart is a reflection,
Why is it ever so changing?
Sometimes tired like His brilliant eye,
Sometimes waving to and fro as His curl waves,
Sometimes a shining moonbeam like His face,
Sometimes a dark shadow like His mole,
Sometimes it is a mosque, sometimes a synagogue,
Sometimes a hell, sometimes a heaven,
Sometimes soaring above the seventh heaven,
Sometimes buried far below this earth.
. . . After a spell the devotee and ascetic
Turns again to wine, lamp, and beauty.
IF you ask of me the long story
Of the Beloved’s curl,
I cannot answer, for it contains a mystery
Which only true lovers understand,
And they, maddened by its beauty,
Are held captive as by a golden chain.
I spoke too openly of that graceful form,
But the end of the curl told me to hide its glory,
So that the path to it should be twisted
And crooked and difficult.
That curl enchains lovers’ hearts,
And bears their souls to and fro
In the sea of desire. A hundred thousand hearts
Are tightly bound, not one escapes, alas!
No single infidel would remain in the world
If he could see the shaking aside
Of those black curls,
And on the earth there would not remain a faithful soul
If they were always in their place.
Suppose they were shorn. . . . No matter,
Day would increase and the night disappear.
As a spider spreads its nets to ensnare,
So does the Beloved in wantonness
Shake His locks from off His face.
Behold His hands plundering Reason’s caravan
And with knots binding it tight.
Never at rest is that curl,
Ever moving to and fro
Making now night, making now morning,
Playing with the seasons in wonder.
Adam was created when the perfume of that
Was blown by the wind on his clay.
And I too possess an ensample;
I cannot wait for a moment,
But breathlessly start working anew
To tear my heart out of my breast.
. . . Sore troubled am I by that curl
Which veils my longing soul from His face.
THE CHEEK AND THE DOWN
THE theatre of Divine beauty is the cheek,
And the down is the entrance to His holy presence.
Beauty is erased by His cheek, who says,
“Without my presence you are non-existent.”
In the unseen world the down is as green meadows
Leading to the mansion of Eternal Life.
The blackness of His curl turns day into night,
The down of His cheek holds the secret of life.
If only you can glimpse His face and its down,
You will understand the meaning of plurality and unity.
His curl will teach you the knowledge of this world,
His down will reveal hidden paths.
Imagine seven verses in which each letter
Contains oceans of mysteries;
Such is His cheek.
And imagine, hidden beneath each hair of His cheek,
Thousands of oceans of mysteries;
Such is His down.
As the heart is God’s throne in the water,
So is the down the ornament of the soul.
~~~~~ Celtic Fairy Tales:Munachar and Manachar
There once lived a Munachar and a Manachar, a long time ago, and it is a long time since it was, and if they were alive now they would not be alive then. They went out together to pick raspberries, and as many as Munachar used to pick Manachar used to eat. Munachar said he must go look for a rod to make a gad to hang Manachar, who ate his raspberries every one; and he came to the rod. “What news the day?” said the rod. “It is my own news that I’m seeking. Going looking for a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the rod, “until you get an axe to cut me.” He came to the axe. “What news today?” said the axe. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for an axe, an axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the axe, “until you get a flag to edge me.” He came to the flag. “What news today?” says the flag. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” says the flag, “till you get water to wet me.” He came to the water. “What news today?” says the water. “It’s my own news that I’m seeking. Going looking for water, water to wet flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
”You will not get me,” said the water, “until you get a deer who will swim me.” He came to the deer. “What news to-day?” says the deer. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the deer, ”until you get a hound who will hunt me.” He came to the hound. “What news to-day?” says the hound. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the hound, ”until you get a bit of butter to put in my claw.” He came to the butter. “What news to-day?” says the butter. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the butter, “until you get a cat who shall scrape me.” He came to the cat. “What news to-day?” said the cat. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a cat, cat to scrape butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get me,” said the cat, “until you will get milk which you will give me.” He came to the cow. “What news to-day?” said the cow. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a cow, cow to give me milk, milk I will give to the cat, cat to scrape butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get any milk from me,” said the cow, “until you bring me a whisp of straw from those threshers yonder.” He came to the threshers. “What news to-day?” said the threshers. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for a whisp of straw from ye to give to the cow, the cow to give me milk, milk I will give to the cat, cat to scrape butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get any whisp of straw from us,” said the threshers, “until you bring us the makings of a cake from the miller over yonder.” He came to the miller. “What news to-day?” said the miller. “It’s my own news I’m seeking. Going looking for the makings of a cake which I will give to the threshers, the threshers to give me a whisp of straw, the whisp of straw I will give to the cow, the cow to give me milk, milk I will give to the cat, cat to scrape butter, butter to go in claw of hound, hound to hunt deer, deer to swim water, water to wet flag, flag to edge axe, axe to cut a rod, a rod to make a gad, a gad to hang Manachar, who ate my raspberries every one.”
“You will not get any makings of a cake from me,” said the miller, “till you bring me the full of that sieve of water from the river over there.”
He took the sieve in his hand and went over to the river, but as often as ever he would stoop and fill it with water, the moment he raised it the water would run out of it again, and sure, if he had been there from that day till this, he never could have filled it. A crow went flying by him, over his head. “Daub! daub!” said the crow. “My blessings on ye, then,” said Munachar, “but it’s the good advice you have,” and he took the red clay and the daub that was by the brink, and he rubbed it to the bottom of the sieve, until all the holes were filled, and then the sieve held the water, and he brought the water to the miller, and the miller gave him the makings of a cake, and he gave the makings of the cake to the threshers, and the threshers gave him a whisp of straw, and he gave the whisp of Straw to the cow, and the cow gave him milk, the milk he gave to the cat, the cat scraped the butter, the butter went into the claw of the hound, the hound hunted the deer, the deer swam the water, the water wet the flag, the flag sharpened the axe, the axe cut the rod, and the rod made a gad, and when he had it ready to hang Manachar he found that Manachar had BURST.
~~~~~ Irfan – Return to Outremer
~~~~~ Eurydice-Zhang Jingna But that beginning was wiped out in fear
The day I swung suspended with the grapes,
And was come after like Eurydice
And brought down safely from the upper regions;
And the life I live now’s an extra life
I can waste as I please on whom I please…
– Robert Frost
Here we are, winding down to the Solstice. It’s dark up here in the north country, we seem to get up in the dark, the sky lowers down early on, and into the long night again. It is a time of dreaming, spell work, and attending to matters close to the hearth. Yet, the season promises change. When the Solstice comes, we tip back, and the light will gather strength and speed again, and the great spiral of our lives will continue on.
Like any year 2014 has had it’s ups and downs. I am rather fond of 2014, I enjoyed one of the most beautiful summers in years here in Portland, along with a spectacular fall. Although I miss living in Portland proper, I have come to enjoy our place, and especially the garden and birds.
It has been one of my most productive years art wise. Still I have so many ideas percolating through my head of projects yet to be done.
One project I am very pleased with is the relaunch of Radio EarthRites. If you haven’t visited with the station yet, take some time to give it a listen! It is constantly changing and I think it is better than our old station. It has unlimited band-width/user capacity, and we are considering putting in a spoken word channel as well.
I think we have a good version of Turfing for this edition! Some great stuff, a book review, some of Mr. Watt’s quotes, a new band to listen to, the beautiful songs and poems of Kabir, and a great article by Peter Lamborn Wilson. What’s not to like?
I hope the year has been as sweet for you as for me. Here is to beauty, and to The Dreaming through the long winter’s night.
Gwyllm Art 2015 Calendars!
We have 2 calendars this year, the 13×19 wall calendar, and the 8.5×11 budget calendar. Some of the pieces have never been published, or printed before. “The Dreaming” (see above is one of 13 illustrations that grace the new calendars) We are using the proceeds from the sale of the calendar to pay for Radio EarthRites upkeep, and fees.
Check out the preview sections! They make great affordable gifts!
~~~~~~ On The Menu:
Book Review: Cannabis and the Soma Solution
Alan Watts Quotes
Allah-Las – No Voodoo
Kabir: Songs & Poems
The Caravan of Summer – Peter Lamborn Wilson
Allah Las – Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)
~~~~~~ Cannabis and the Soma Solution
Author: Chris Bennett – (Trineday Publisher)
Having been schooled in the Soma = Amanita Muscaria School (A nod to Mr. Wasson) one might well be taken back by the ideas and concepts that emerge from Cannabis and the Soma Solution. Here is an interesting challenge to the Wasson school of thought on Soma. Chris Bennett has done an amazing amount of digging in the dirt surrounding the beginnings of the world religions, and cultures. Whilst digging about he kept on turning up connections to Cannabis, whether in Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism along with other older belief systems.
I think that we should pay attention to what has been turned up in this volume. Well researched, it is a large read, clocking in at 589 pages. (It has a healthy appendix and reference section as well.) It investigates the cannabis connection that threads through the ancient Scythians, Egyptian, Chinese, Old Europe, Greece, Iran etc. (The Zoroastrian connection is one of my faves.) He lays out the connections and some of the citations are very, very interesting.
Chris’s investigations into the Cannabis = Soma/Haoma has stirred controversy among various Psychedelic/Entheogenic Scholars, and I cannot think that is a bad thing. We need these discussions, and deeper investigations. Every theory should have it’s time to be investigated, tested and challenged. That is the way of discovery.
If you are interested in all things Cannabis or for that matter “Entheogenic”, or the ideas of what may be the basis of the various belief systems, or in the Soma/Haoma question, (there are other candidates out there besides Amanita Muscaria & Cannabis btw), this book will entertain, perplex or even make one angry at the assertions found within. It does not exclude Amanita Muscaria, Ephedra, or even other plants/fungi from the Soma Complex, but asserts that the original was Cannabis. Whether it was or wasn’t I can’t address. What I can say is that there is some very fascinating information in Cannabis and the Soma Solution that may indeed alter the way we have perceived this fascinating subject.
I think Cannabis and the Soma Solution will sit nicely with Hakim Bey’s & Abel Zug’s “Orgies of the Hemp Eaters”, along with Fritz Hugh Ludlow’s “The Hasheesh Eater” on your bookshelf. It certainly is wide ranging and an in-depth study of that most worthy plant.
A few quotes about Cannabis and the Soma Solution
“It is a volume that must be read by every scholar who works in the field of biblical studies, world religions, psycho-spirituality, or the history of the paranormal as friend and familiar.”
J. Harold Ellens, PhD Institute for Antiquity and Christianity of the Claremont Graduate School: Advisory Board Member, Former Board President, Research Scholar/Lecturer, 1980 to 2002. Research Scholar: University of Michigan Department of Near Eastern Studies, 1990 to date.
Professor of Philosophy and Psychology (20 years), Oakland University, Calvin Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary, Oakland Community College, Retired.
“A treasure trove of up-to-date ancient information on cannabis. High recommended to round out your library on religious uses of psychoactive drugs.”
Julie Holland, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Editor, The Pot Book. A Complete Guide To Cannabis.
Editor, Ecstasy: The Complete Guide.
“I have read Mr. Bennett’s several books on this subject and am in general agreement with what he states, especially about the extent to which the Vedic hallucinogen Soma was probably made from cannabis. Indeed, his research has changed my own thinking about this ancient conundrum (heretofore, the majority of scholars have suggested that Soma was prepared from psychotropic mushrooms).
As Chris Bennett amply demonstrates in this seminal book, the ritual use of cannabis has a very long history. It extends from Vedic India in the second millennium, B.C.E., where the hallucinogen in question was known as Soma, classical Greece, ancient Israel where it appears as keneh bosem, and the steppes of Central Asia, where, according to Herodotus in Book IV of his History, the ancient Scythians ritually inhaled the fumes given off by burning cannabis leaves. Indeed, the plant has consistently occupied a central position in shamanic cults almost everywhere. In more recent times, and especially in the twentieth century, users of cannabis for spiritual purposes have unfortunately been persecuted, in the United States and elsewhere, by authorities enforcing laws against its possession. A good example can be seen in the ongoing attempts to suppress its use in the Rastafarian religion. In short, I heartily recommend Bennett’s book to anyone seeking a better understanding of this well-nigh universal, albeit all too often misunderstood hallucinogen and its crucial role in the history of human spirituality.”
C. Scott Littleton, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus
Chris Bennett assembles religious, historical, medical and poetic sources with immaculate ease, in order to construct what is sure to be an enduring examination of the global history of cannabis use by widely diverse human populations.
Dr. David C.A. Hillman
Dr. David C.A. Hillman earned a Ph.D. in Classics and M.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, where he studied the medicine and pharmacology of antiquity. The London Times described his research as “the last wild frontier of classical studies.” Dr. Hillman’s work, while firmly grounded in primary sources – the original documents of Church authorities and others – is highly controversial. It is research that many modern Church officials do not want known. His dissertation committee refused to pass him unless he removed material about the use of psychedelic drugs in antiquity; he later published the forbidden material in The Chemical Muse. rs.
I’ve enjoyed this book immensely—a masterful investigation of religious intoxication cults from ancient India, Persia, Asia Minor, Scythia, and Europe. Refuting R. Gordon Wasson’s theory that Soma of the Vedas was Amanita muscaria mushrooms, Bennett shows that Soma was probably a mixture of cannabis, ephedra and poppy (confirmed by Sarianidi’s archaeological discoveries in Bactria), and he traces the uses of cannabis as a sacrament through many ancient cultures. This is a must-read for everyone interested in the ancient history of drugs.
Michael R. Aldrich, Ph.D.
Michael R. Aldrich, Ph.D is the author of the first doctoral dissertation on cannabis in the United States, Marijuana Myths and Folklore (1970); editor of the first pot ’zine, The Marijuana Review, 1968-1973; co-founder of Amorphia, The Cannabis Cooperative (1969-1973); organizer of California Marijuana Initiative (1972); curator of Fitz Hugh Ludlow Memorial Library (1974-2002) and the Aldrich Archives (1974-present); program coordinator, Institute for Community Health Outreach (California statewide AIDS outreach worker training program); executive director of CHAMP medical marijuana community center, San Francisco (2001-2002); and co-founder of the San Francisco Patient and Resource Center (SPARC), (2010-present). He and his wife Michelle have worked in the marijuana movement for more than 40 years together.
Please check it out, you just might enjoy Cannabis and the Soma Solution.
~~~~~~ Alan Watts Quotes:
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.
Things are as they are. Looking out into it the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.
The myths underlying our culture and underlying our common sense have not taught us to feel identical with the universe, but only parts of it, only in it, only confronting it – aliens.
The ego is nothing other than the focus of conscious attention.
~~~ Allah-Las – No Voodoo
~~~ Kabir: Songs & Poems
Between the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has the mind made a swing:
Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never ceases its sway.
Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their courses are there:
Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on.
All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and the Lord Himself taking form:
And the sight of this has made Kabîr a servant.
Having crossed the river,
where will you go, O friend?
There’s no road to tread,
No traveler ahead,
Neither a beginning, nor an end.
There’s no water, no boat, no boatman, no cord;
No earth is there, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford.
You have forgotten the Self within,
Your search in the void will be in vain;
In a moment the life will ebb
And in this body you won’t remain.
Be ever conscious of this, O friend,
You’ve to immerse within your Self;
Kabir says, salvation you won’t then need,
For what you are, you would be indeed
I went looking for Him
And lost myself;
The drop merged with the Sea –
Who can find it now?
Looking and looking for Him
I lost myself;
The Sea merged with the drop –
Who can find it now?
Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment about me:
When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its folds.
So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to the letter.
Kabîr says, ‘Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely found.’
The Guest is inside you, and also inside me;
you know the sprout is hidden inside the seed.
We are all struggling; none of us has gone far.
Let your arrogance go, and look around inside.
The blue sky opens out further and farther,
the daily sense of failure goes away,
the damage I have done to myself fades,
a million suns come forward with light,
when I sit firmly in that world.
I hear bells ringing that no one has shaken,
inside ‘love’ there is more joy than we know of,
rain pours down, although the sky is clear of clouds,
there are whole rivers of light.
The universe is shot through in all parts by a single sort of love.
How hard it is to feel that joy in all our four bodies!
Those who hope to be reasonable about it fail.
The arrogance of reason has separated us from that love.
With the word ‘reason’ you already feel miles away.
How lucky Kabir is, that surrounded by all this joy
he sings inside his own little boat.
His poems amount to one soul meeting another.
These songs are about forgetting dying and loss.
They rise above both coming in and going out.
The Caravan of Summer by Peter Lamborn Wilson
Something of the real difference between pilgrim and tourist can be detected by comparing their effects on the places they visit. Changes in a place, a city, a shrine, a forest may be subtle, but at least they can be observed. The state of the soul may be a matter of conjecture, but perhaps we can say something about the state of the social.
Pilgrimage sites like Mecca may serve as great bazaars for trade and they may even serve as centers of production (like the silk industry of Benares) but their primary “product” is baraka or mana. These words (one Arabic, one Polynesian) are usually translated as “blessing”, but they also carry a freight of other meanings.
The wandering dervish who sleeps at a shrine in order to dream of a dead saint (one of the “people of the Tombs”) seeks initiation or advancement on the spiritual path; a mother who brings a sick child to Lourdes seeks healing; a childless woman in Morocco hopes the Marabout will make her fertile if she ties a rag to the old tree growing out of the grave; the traveler to Mecca yearns for the very center of the Faith, and as the caravans come within sight of the Holy City the hajji calls out, “Labaika Allahumma!” “I am here, O Lord!”
All these motives are summed up by the word baraka, which sometimes seems to be a palpable substance, measurable in terms of increased charisma or “luck.” The shrine produces baraka. And the pilgrim takes it away. But blessing is a product of the imagination and thus no matter how many pilgrims take it away, there’s always more.
In fact, the more they take, the more blessing the shrine can produce (because a popular shrine grows with every answered prayer.) To say that baraka is “imaginal” is not to call it “unreal.” It’s real enough to those who feel it. But spiritual goods do not follow the rules of supply and demand like material goods. The more demand for spiritual goods, the more supply. The production of baraka is infinite.
By contrast, the tourist desires not baraka but cultural difference. The tourist consumes difference. But the production of cultural difference is not infinite. It is not “merely” imaginal. It is rooted in languages, landscape, architecture, custom, taste, smell. It is very physical. The more it is used up or taken away, the less remains. The social can produce just so much “meaning,” so much difference. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
The modest goal of this essay is to address the individual traveler who has decided to resist tourism. Even though we may find it impossible in the end to “purify” ourselves and our travel from every last taint and trace of tourism, we still feel that improvement may be possible.
Not only do we disdain tourism for its vulgarity and its injustice, and therefore wish to avoid any contamination (conscious or unconscious) by its viral virulency, we also wish to understand travel as an act of reciprocity rather than alienation. In other words, we don’t wish merely to avoid the negatives of tourism, but even more to achieve positive travel, which we envision as a productive and mutually enhancing relationship between self and other, guest and host, a form of cross-cultural synergy in which the whole exceeds the sum of parts.
We’d like to know if travel can be carried out according to a secret economy of baraka, whereby not only the shrine but also the pilgrims themselves have blessings to bestow.
Before the Age of Commodity, we know, there was an Age of the Gift, of reciprocity, of giving and receiving. We learned this from the tales of certain travelers, who found remnants of the world of the Gift among certain tribes, in the form of pot latch or ritual exchange, and recorded their observations of such strange practices.
Not long ago there still existed a custom among South Sea islanders of traveling vast distances by outrigger canoe, without compass or sextant, in order to exchange valuable and useless presents (ceremonial art-objects rich in mana) from island to island in a complex pattern of overlapping reciprocities.
We suspect that even though travel in the modern world seems to have been taken over by the Commodity, even though the networks of convivial reciprocity seem to have vanished from the map, even though tourism seems to have triumphed. Even so, we continue to suspect that other pathways still persist, other tracks, unofficial, not noted on the map, perhaps even “secret” pathways still linked to the possibility of an economy of the Gift, smugglers’ routes for free spirits, known only to the geomantic guerrillas of the art of travel.
Perhaps the greatest and subtlest practitioners of the art of travel were the Sufis, the mystics of Islam. Before the age of passports, immunizations, airlines and other impediments to free travel, the Sufis wandered footloose in a world where borders tended to be more permeable than nowadays, thanks to the trans nationalism of Islam and the cultural unity of Dar al-Islam , the Islamic world.
The great medieval Moslem travelers, like Ibn Battuta and Naser Khusraw, have left accounts of vast journeys, Persia to Egypt, or even Morocco to China, which never set foot outside a landscape of deserts, camels, caravanserais, bazaars, and piety. Someone always spoke Arabic, however badly, and Islamic culture permeated the remotest backwaters, however superficially. Reading the tails of Sinbad the Sailor (from the 1001 Nights) gives us the impression of a world where even the terra incognita was still, despite all marvels and oddities, somehow familiar, somehow Islamic. Within this unity, which was not yet a uniformity, the Sufis formed a special class of travelers. Not warriors, not merchants, and not quite ordinary pilgrims either, the dervishes represent a spiritualization of pure nomadism.
According to the Koran, God’s Wide Earth and everything in it are “sacred,” not only as divine creations, but also because the material world is full of “waymarks,” or signs of divine reality. Moreover, Islam itself is born between two journeys, Mohammad’s hijra or “flight” from Mecca to Medina, and his hajj, or return voyage. The hajj is the movement toward the origin and center for every Moslem even today, and the annual Pilgrimage has played a vital role, not just in the religious unity of Islam, but also in its cultural unity.
Mohammad himself exemplifies every kind of travel in Islam; his youth with the Meccan caravans of Summer and Winter, as a merchant; his campaigns as a warrior; his triumph as a humble pilgrim. Although an urban leader, he is also the prophet of the Bedouin and himself a kind of nomad, a “sojourner”an “orphan.” From this perspective travel can almost be seen as a sacrament. Every religion sanctifies travel to some degree, but Islam is virtually unimaginable without it.
The Prophet said, “Seek knowledge, even as far as China.” From the beginning, Islam lifts travel above all “mundane” utilitarianism and gives it an epistemological or even Gnostic dimension. “The jewel that never leaves the mine is never polished,” says the Sufi poet Saadi. To “educate” is to “lead outside,” to give the pupil a perspective beyond parochiality and mere subjectivity.
Some Sufis may have done all their traveling in the Imaginal World of archetypal dreams and visions, but vast numbers of them took the Prophet’s exhortations quite literally. Even today dervishes wander over the entire Islamic worldbut as late as the 19th century they wandered in veritable hordes, hundreds or even thousands at a time, and covered vast distances. All in search of knowledge.
Unofficially, there existed two basic types of wandering Sufi: the “gentleman-scholar” type, and the mendicant dervish. The former category includes Ibn Battuta (who collected Sufi initiations the way some occidental gentlemen once collected Masonic degrees), andon a much more serious level the “Greatest Shaykh” Ibn Arabi, who meandered slowly through the 13th century from his native Spain, across North Africa, through Egypt to Mecca, and finally to Damascus.
Ibn Arabi actually left accounts of his search for saints and adventurers on the road, which could be pieced together from his voluminous writings to form a kind of rihla or “travel text”: ( a recognized genre of Islamic literature) or autobiography. Ordinary scholars traveled in search of rare texts on theology or jurisprudence, but Ibn Arabi sought only the highest secrets of esotericism and the loftiest “openings” into the world of divine illumination; for him every “journey to the outer horizons” was also a “journey to the inner horizons” of spiritual psychology and gnosis.
On the visions he experienced in Mecca alone, he wrote a 12-volume work (The Meccan Revelations), and he has also left us precious sketches of hundreds of his contemporaries, from the greatest philosophers of the age to humble dervishes and “madmen,” anonymous women saints and “hidden Masters.”
Ibn Arabi enjoyed a special relation with Khezr, the immortal and unknown prophet, the “Green Man,” who sometimes appears to wandering Sufis in distress, to rescue them from the desert, or to initiate them. Khezr, in a sense, can be called the patron saint of the traveling dervishes and the prototype. (He first appears in the Koran as a mysterious wanderer and companion of Moses in the desert.)
Christianity once included a few orders of wandering mendicants (in fact, St. Francis organized one after meeting with dervishes in the Holy Land, who may have bestowed upon him a “cloak of initiation” the famous patchwork robe he was wearing when he returned to Italy), but Islam spawned dozens, perhaps hundreds of such orders.
As Sufism crystallized from the loose spontaneity of early days to an institution with rules and grades, “travel for knowledge” was also regularized and organized. Elaborate handbooks of duties for dervishes were produced which included methods for turning travel into a very specific form of meditation. The whole Sufi “path” itself was symbolized in terms of intentional travel.
In some cases itineraries were fixed (e.g. the Hajj); others involved waiting for “signs” to appear, coincidences, intuitions, “adventurers” such as those which inspired the travels of the Arthurian knights. Some orders limited the time spent in any one place to 40 days; others made a rule of never sleeping twice in the same place. The strict orders, such as the Naqshbandis, turned travel into a kind of full-time choreography, in which every movement was preordained and designed to enhance consciousness.
By contrast, the more heterodox orders (such as the Qalandars) adopted a “rule” of total spontaneity and abandon “permanent unemployment” as one of them called it an insouciance of bohemian proportions a “dropping-out” at once both scandalous and completely traditional. Colorfully dressed, carrying their begging bowls, axes, and standards, addicted to music and dance, carefree and cheerful (sometimes to the point of “blameworthiness”!), orders such as the Nematollahis of 19th century Persia grew to proportions that alarmed both sultans and theologians. Many dervishes were executed for “heresy.”
Today the true Qalandars survive mostly in India, where their lapses from orthodoxy include a fondness for hemp and a sincere hatred of work. Some are charlatans, some are simple bums, but a surprising number of them seem to be people of attainment…how can I put it?…people of self-realization, marked by a distinct aura of grace, or baraka.
All the different types of Sufi travel we’ve described are united by certain shared vital structural forces. One such force might be called a “magical” world view, a sense of life that rejects the “merely” random for a reality of signs and wonders, of meaningful coincidences and “unveilings.” As anyone who’s ever tried it will testify, intentional travel immediately opens one up to this “magical” influence.
A psychologist might explain this phenomenon (either with awe or with reductionist disdain) as “subjective”; while the pious believer would take it quite literally. From the Sufi point of view neither interpretation rules out the other, nor suffices in itself, to explain away the marvels of the Path. In Sufism, the “objective” and the “subjective” are not considered opposites, but complements. From the point of view of the two-dimensional thinker (whether scientific or religious) such paradoxology smacks of the forbidden.
Another force underlying all forms of intentional travel can be described by the Arabic word “adab”. On one level “adab” simply means “good manners,” and in the case of travel, these manners are based on the ancient customs of desert nomads, for whom both wandering and hospitality are sacred acts. In this sense, the dervish shares both the privileges and the responsibilities of the guest.
Bedouin hospitality is a clear survival of the primordial economy of the Gift – a relation of reciprocity. The wanderer must be taken in (the dervish must be fed) but thereby the wanderer assumes a role prescribed by ancient custom and must give back something to the host. For the Bedouin this relation is almost a form of clientage Ð the breaking of bread and sharing of salt constitutes a sort of kinship. Gratitude is not a sufficient response to such generosity. The traveler must consent to a temporary adoption, anything less would offend against “adab”.
Islamic society retains at least a sentimental attachment to these rules, and thus creates a special niche for the dervish, that of the full-time guest. The dervish returns the gifts of society with the gift of baraka. In ordinary pilgrimage, the traveler receives baraka from a place, but the dervish reverses the flow and brings baraka to a place. The Sufi may think of himself (or herself) as a permanent pilgrim but to the ordinary stay-at-home people of the mundane world, the Sufi is a kind of preambulatory shrine.
Now tourism in its very structure breaks the reciprocity of host and guest. In English, a “host” may have either guests or parasites. The tourist is a parasite for no amount of money can pay for hospitality. The true traveler is a guest and thus serves a very real function, even today, in societies where the ideals of hospitality have not yet faded from the “collective mentality.” To be a host, in such societies, is a meritorious act. Therefore, to be a guest is also to give merit.
The modern traveler who grasps the simple spirit of this relation will be forgiven many lapses in the intricate ritual of “adab” (how many cups of coffee? Where to put one’s feet? How to be entertaining? How to show gratitude? etc.) peculiar to a specific culture. And if one bothers to master a few of the traditional forms of “adab”, and to deploy them with heartfelt sincerity, then both guest and host will gain more than they put into the relation and this more is the unmistakable sign of the presence of the Gift.
Another level of meaning of the word “adab” connects it with culture (since culture can be seen as the sum of all manners and customs): In modern usage the Department of “Arts and Letters” at a university would be called Adabiyyat. To have “adab” in this sense is to be “polished” (like that well-traveled gem) but this has nothing necessarily to do with “fine arts” or literacy or being a city-slicker, or even being “cultured.” It is a matter of the “heart.”
“Adab” is sometimes given as a one-word definition of Sufism. But insincere manners (ta’arof in Persian) and insincere culture alike are shunned by the Sufi. “There is no ta’arof in Tassawuf [Sufism],” as the dervishes say; “Darvishi” is an adjectival synonym for informality, the laid-back quality of the people of the Heart and for spontaneous “adab”, so to speak. The true guest and host never make an obvious effort to fulfill the “rules” of reciprocity they may follow the ritual scrupulously, or they may bend the forms creatively, but in either case, they will give their actions a depth of sincerity that manifests as natural grace. “Adab” is a kind of love.
A complement of this “technique” (or “Zen”) of human relations can be found in the Sufi manner of relating to the world in general. The “mundane” world of social deceit and negativity, of usurious emotions, unauthentic consciousness (“mauvaise conscience”), boorishness, ill-will, inattention, blind reaction, false spectacle, empty discourse, etc. etc. all this no longer holds any interest for the traveling dervish. But those who say that the dervish has abandoned “this world”, “God’s Wide Earth”would be mistaken.
The dervish is not a Gnostic Dualist who hates the biosphere (which certainly includes the imagination and the emotions, as well as “matter” itself). The early Muslim ascetics certainly closed themselves off from everything. When Rabiah, the woman saint of Basra, was urged to come out of her house and “witness the wonders of God’s creation,” she replied, “Come into the house and see them,” i.e., come into the heart of contemplation of the oneness which is above the manyness of reality. “Contraction” and “Expansion” are both terms for spiritual states. Rabiah was manifesting Contraction: a kind of sacred melancholia which has been metaphorized as the “Caravan of Winter,” of return to Mecca (the center, the heart), of interiority, and of ascesis or self-denial. She was not a world-hating Dualist, nor even a moralistic flesh-hating puritan. She was simply manifesting a certain specific kind of grace.
The wandering dervish, however, manifests a state more typical of Islam in its most exuberant energies. He indeed seeks expansion, spiritual joy based on the sheer multiplicity of the divine generosity in material creation. (Ibn Arabi has an amusing “proof” that this world is the best world. For, if it were not, then God would be ungenerous which is absurd. Q.E.D.) In order to appreciate the multiple waymarks of the wide earth precisely as the unfolding of this generosity, the Sufi cultivates what might be called the theophanic gaze: The opening of the “Eye of the Heart” to the experience of certain places, objects, people, events as locations of the “shining-through” of divine light. The dervish travels, so to speak, both in the material world, and in the “World of Imagination” simultaneously. But for the eye of the heart, these worlds interpenetrate at certain points.
One might say that they mutually reveal or “unveil” each other. Ultimately, they are “one” and only our state of tranced inattention, our mundane consciousness, prevents us from experiencing this “deep” identity at every moment. The purpose of intentional travel, with its “adventures” and its uprooting of habits, is to shake loose the dervish from all the trance-effects of ordinariness. Travel, in other words, is meant to induce a certain state of consciousness or “spiritual state” that of Expansion.
For the wanderer, each person one meets might act as an “angel,” each shrine one visits may unlock some initiate dream, each experience of nature may vibrate with the presence of some “spirit of place.” Indeed, even the mundane and ordinary may suddenly be seen as numinous (as in the great travel haiku of the Japanese Zen poet Basho) : a face in the crowd at a railway station, crows on telephone wires, sunlight in a puddle.
Obviously one doesn’t need to travel to experience this state. But travel can be used, that is, an art of travel can be required to maximize the chances for attaining such a state. It is a moving meditation, like the Taoist martial arts.
The Caravan of Summer moved outward, out of Mecca, to the rich trading lands of Syria and Yemen. Likewise, the dervish is “moving out” (it’s always “moving day”), heading forth, taking off, on “perpetual holiday” as one poet expressed it, with an open heart, an attentive eye (and other senses), and a yearning for meaning, a thirst for knowledge. One must remain alert, since anything might suddenly unveil itself as a sign. This sounds like a bit of paranoia although “metanoia” might be a better term and indeed one finds “madmen” amongst the dervishes, “attracted ones,” overpowered by divine influxions, lost in the Light.
In the Orient, the insane are often cared for and admired as helpless saints, because mental illness may sometimes appear as a symptom of too much holiness rather than too little “reason.” Hemp’s popularity amongst the dervishes can be attributed to its power to induce a kind of intuitive attentiveness which constitutes a controllable insanity, herbal metanoia. But travel itself in itself can intoxicate the heart with the beauty of theophanic presence. It’s a question of practice, the polishing of the jewel, removal of moss from the rolling stone.
In the old days (which are still going on in some remote parts of the East), Islam thought of itself as a whole world, a wide world, a space with great latitude within which Islam embraced the whole of society and nature. This latitude appeared on the social level as tolerance. There was room enough, even for such marginal groups as mad wandering dervishes. Sufism itself, or at least its austere orthodox and “sober” aspect occupied a central position in the cultural discourse. “Everyone” understood intentional travel by analogy with the Hajj, everyone understood the dervishes, even if they disapproved.
Nowadays, however, Islam views itself as a partial world, surrounded by unbelief and hostility, and suffering internal raptures of every sort. Since the 19th century Islam has lost its global consciousness and sense of its own wideness and completeness. No longer therefore, can Islam easily find a place for every marginalized individual and group within a pattern of tolerance and social order. The dervishes now appear as an intolerable difference in society. Every Muslim must now be the same, united against all outsiders, and struck from the same prototype.
Of course, Muslims have always “imitated” the Prophet and viewed his image as the norm and this has acted as a powerful unifying force for style and substance within Dar al-Islam. But “nowadays” the puritans and reformers have forgotten that this “imitation” was not directed only at an early medieval Meccan merchant named Mohammad, but also at the insan al-kamil (the “Perfect Man” or “Universal Human”), an ideal of inclusion rather than exclusion, an ideal of integral culture, not an attitude of purity in peril, not xenophobia disguised as piety, not totalitarianism, not reaction.
The dervish is persecuted nowadays in most of the Islamic world. Puritanism always embraces the most atrocious aspects of modernism in its crusade to strip the Faith of “medieval accretions” such as popular Sufism. And surely the way of the wandering dervish cannot thrive in a world of airplanes and oil-wells, of nationalistic/chauvinistic hostilities (and thus of impenetrable borders), and of a Puritanism which suspects all difference as a threat.
The Puritanism has triumphed not only in the East, but rather close to home as well. It is seen in the “time discipline” of modern too-late-Capitalism, and in the porous rigidity of consumerist hyper-conformity, as well as in the bigoted reaction and sex-hysteria of the Christian Right. Where in all this can we find room for the poetic (and parasitic!) life of “Aimless Wandering”, the life of Chuang Tzu (who coined this slogan) and his Taoist progeny, the life of Saint Francis and his shoeless devotees, the life of (for example) Nur Ali Shah Isfahani, a 19th century Sufi poet who was executed in Iran for the awful heresy of meandering-dervishism?
Here is the flip side of the “Problem of Tourism”: The problem with the disappearance of “aimless wandering.” Possibly the two are directly related, so that the more tourism becomes possible, the more dervishism becomes impossible. In fact, we might well ask if this little essay on the delightful life of the dervish possesses the least bit of relevance for the contemporary world. Can this knowledge help us to overcome tourism, even within our own consciousness and life? Or is it merely an exercise in nostalgia for lost possibilities, a futile indulgence in romanticism?
Well, yes and no. Sure, I confess I’m hopelessly romantic about the form of the dervish life, to the extent that for a while I turned my back on the mundane world and followed it myself. Because of course, it hasn’t really disappeared. Decadent, yes, but not gone forever. What little I know about travel I learned in those few years I owe a debt to “Medieval accretions” I can never pay and I’ll never regret my “escapism” for a single moment. But I don’t consider the form of dervishism to be the answer to the “problem of tourism.” The form has lost most of its efficacy. There’s no point in trying to “preserve” it (as if it were a pickle, or a lab specimen) there’s nothing quite so pathetic as mere “survival.”
But beneath the charming outer forms of dervishism lies the conceptual matrix, so to speak, which we’ve called intentional travel. On this point we should suffer no embarrassment about “nostalgia.” We have asked ourselves whether or not we desire a means to discover the art of travel, whether we want and will to overcome “the inner tourist,” the false consciousness which screens us from the experience of the Wide World’s waymarks. The way of the dervish (or of the Taoist, the Franciscan, etc.) interests us, not the key, perhaps but…a key. And of course it does.
Peter Lamborn Wilson is the author of Sacred Drift and several books and studies exploring the role of heresy and mysticism in Islam. Wilson spent ten years wandering in the Middle East. He now wanders the streets of New York City. This paper was read at the annual meeting of The Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society and appeared in White Cloud Press’s Common Era: Best New Writings on Religion (PO Box 3400, Ashland, Oregon (97520, 1-800-380-8286).
Allah Las – Tell Me (What’s On Your Mind)
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ― Voltaire (available at Gwyllm-Art/com)
It has been awhile. Too long in fact, we have been trying to migrate this part of Turfing back to the old server, so we can have everything on Earthrites.org again. So far, no luck but we are still aiming to get there. Life has been busy, restarted Radio EarthRites, working on The Invisible College and assorted short stories, and the Art of course. The piece above, “Her Beauty” is a new one. I hope you like it.
Anyway, not to carry on but thanks for coming back. More soon, hopefully. I always look forward to coming back and working on Turfing. I hope you like it enough to visit again soon as well!
~~~~~~~~ On The Menu!
Patreon Site (commercial break!)
Radio EarthRites Returns!
Hans Zimmer – Hunger
Hakim Bey – The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times
Dead Skeletons – Ljósberinn
~~~~~~~~ Patreon Site (commercial break!)
On the advice of my son Rowan, I’ve started a Patreon Site to help finance some of the projects I am involved with. It is a neat set up, Patrons get to see art that I am doing before they get posted elsewhere, and it is set up so you can give feedback, and also pick up some perks that are available for your patronage. Kind of medieval and all, but look at the great works that came out of that system! 😉
Thanks for checking it out!
~~~~~~~~ Radio EarthRites Returns! Radio EarthRites!
Yes, back like the proverbial bad seed radio station of World,Ambient, Soundtracks, Chill, Goth, Psych Folk and Psychedelic Rock that it is. You are invited to listen, make request and even donate money to keep the beast up on the Internet!
There is 2-3 hours of new music added every couple of days. Hoping to add a spoken word channel if I can scare up funds to keep it up there.
At the present the address of said Radio EarthRites is: Radio EarthRites!
From The Blackhawk Down Soundtrack
~~~~~~~~ Rabia Poems
Ironic, but one of the most intimate acts
of our body is
So beautiful appeared my death – knowing who then I would kiss,
I died a thousand times before I died.
“Die before you die,” said the Prophet
Have wings that feared ever
touched the Sun?
I was born when all I once
feared – I could
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
I have two ways of loving You:
A selfish one
And another way that is worthy of You.
In my selfish love, I remember You and You alone.
In that other love, You lift the veil
And let me feast my eyes on Your Living Face.
With my Beloved I alone have been,
When secrets tenderer than evening airs
Passed, and the Vision blest
Was granted to my prayers,
That crowned me, else obscure, with endless fame;
The while amazed between
His Beauty and His Majesty
I stood in silent ecstasy
Revealing that which o’er my spirit went and came.
Lo, in His face commingled
Is every charm and grace;
The whole of Beauty singled
Into a perfect face
Beholding Him would cry,
‘There is no God but He, and He is the most High.’
No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.
The holy water, I need it upon my eyes: it is you, dear, you – each form.
What mother would lose her infant – and we are that to God,
never lost from His gaze are we? Every cry of the heart
is attended by light’s own arms.
You cannot wander anywhere that will not aid you.
Anything you can touch – God brought it into
the classroom of your mind.
Differences exist, but not in the city of love.
Thus my vows and yours, I know they are the same.
I have just peeled the skin from the potato
and you are still contemplating its worth,
sweetheart; indeed there are wonderful nutrients in all,
for God made everything.
You joined our community at birth.
With your Father being who He is, what do the
world’s scales know of your precious value.
The priest and the prostitute – they weigh the same before the Son’s
but who can bear that truth and freedom,
so a wise man adulterated the
every wise man knows this.
My soul’s face has revealed its beauty to me;
why was it shy so long, didn’t it know how this made me suffer
A different game He plays with His close ones.
God tells us truths you would not believe,
for most everyone needs to limit His compassion; concepts of
right and wrong preserve the golden seed
until one of God’s friends comes along and tends your body
like a divine bride.
The Holy sent out a surveyor to find the limits of its compassion
God knows a divine frustration whenever He acts like that,
for the Infinite has
Why not tease Him about this?
Why not accept the freedom of what it means
for our Lord to see us
So magnificently sovereign is our Lover; never say,
‘On the other side of this river a different King rules.”
For how could that be true – for nothing can oppose Infinite strength.
No one lives outside the walls of this sacred place, existence.
The holy water my soul’s brow needs is unity.
Love opened my eye and I was cleansed
by the purity of each
~~~~~~ Hakim Bey – The Lemonade Ocean & Modern Times
1. One More River to Cross
2. Maximizing Marx
3. Lemonade Ocean
4. The Convivial Individualist
5. Universal Pantarchy & North American Phalanx
1. One More River to Cross
In our experience (that is, not merely in intellectual speculation but in everyday-life) we have found that “the Ego” can be as much of a spook as “the Group” — or indeed, spooky as any abstraction which is allowed to control behavior, emotion, thought, or fate. Deeply as we’ve been influenced by Stirner / Nietzsche Tucker/ Mackay, we have never held to any rigid ideological or psychological form of Individualism / Egoism. Individualist anarchism is lovely dynamite, but not the only ingredient in our cocktail.
Our position, put quite simply (in the form of a truism): The autonomy of the individual appears to be complemented & enhanced by the movement of the group; while the effectiveness of the group seems to depend on the freedom of the individual.
In the 1980’s — thru poverty, terror, mediation, & alienation — the individual was more & more isolated, while all forms of “combination” (communes, co-ops, etc.) were eliminated or else reduced to pure simulation. The pleasures of the isolated ego have begun to pull as the “self” is gradually reduced to a comm-terminal or funnel for commodity-fetishes. In the 90’s we will demand effective means of association which depend neither on Capital nor any other form of representation. We reject the false trance of the Spectacular group — but we also reject the lonely ineffectiveness of the embittered hermit. Always one more illusion to overcome!
2. Maximizing Marx
“Type-3 anarchism” (a term coined by Bob Black) designates a radically non-ideological form of anarchism neither Individualist nor Collectivist but in a sense both at once. This current within anti-authoritarianism is not a new invention, however (nor has it been given any final form). One can find versions of it in such works as bolo’bolo, or in the writings of the Situationists. One Situ group (“For Ourselves”) went so far as to suggest a synthesis of Max Stirner & Karl Marx, who in real life were bitter enemies. They pointed out that Stirner’s psychological existentialism does not necessarily conflict with Marx’s economics. Bakunin criticized not Marx’s original critique but rather the solution he proposed, dictatorship.
As for us, Stirner outweighs Marx because psychology precedes economics in our theory of liberation — but we read Stirner in the light of Bakunin & the early Marx — the light of the 1st International & the Commune of 1870 — the light of Proudhon.
In order to clarify this position, we’ll introduce two more names from our “family tree,” Steven Pearl Andrews (1812–1886) & Charles Fourier (1772–1837). In a sense we find them a more congenial pair than Max und Marx, because they both made significant donations to the cause of erotic liberation (a central concern of the Mackay Society), unlike say the virginal Bakunin, or Marx or Proudhon — both prudes — or for that matter Stirner, Nietzsche, or Tucker, who all more or less avoided the subject. Serious historians of the Social often ignore Andrews & Fourier because they were “cranks” — utopianists, marginals, Blake-like visionaries. One needs to be something of a surrealist to appreciate them. But our appreciation is more than erotic, aesthetic, or spiritual. We also draw from them a precise picture of our own position in the “type-3” current of contemporary libertarianism.
3. Lemonade Ocean
Fourier was amazing. He lived at the same time as De Sade & Blake, & deserves to be remembered as their equal or even superior. Those other two apostles of freedom & desire had no political disciples, but in the middle of the 19th century literally hundreds of communes (phalansteries) were founded on fourierist principles in France, N. America, Mexico, S. America, Algeria, Yugoslavia, etc. Proudhon, Engels, & Kropotkin all read him with fascination, as did Andre Breton & Roland Barthes. But today in America he is forgotten — not one complete work by Fourier is in print here — a few anthologies came out in the 70’s but have vanished — & only one work about him (a fine biography by Jonathan Beecher, which may serve to stir some enthusiasm). Fourier’s own disciples suppressed some of his most important texts (on sexuality), which did not appear in print till 1967. It’s about time he was re-discovered again.
To quote Fourier out of context is to betray him. To say for example that he believed the ocean would turn to lemonade in the future, when humanity comes to live in Harmonial Association, is to make him a figure of fun (as Hawthorne did in The Blythedale Romance). To understand the beauty of the idea it must be seen in the context of Fourier’s grand & brilliant cosmological speculations, rivals in complexity of Blake’s prophecies. For Fourier the universe is composed of living beings, planets, & stars, who feel passion & who carry out sexual intercourse, so that creation itself is continual. The miseries of Civilization have deflected Earth & humanity from their proper destiny in a literal cosmic sense. Passion, which we have been taught to regard as “evil,” is in fact virtually the divine principle. Human beings are microscopic stars, & all passions & desires (including “fetishes” & “perversions”) are by nature not only good but necessary for the realization of human destiny. In Fourier’s system of Harmony all creative activity including industry, craft, agriculture, etc. will arise from liberated passion — this is the famous theory of “attractive labor.” Fourier sexualizes work itself — the life of the Phalanstery is a continual orgy of intense feeling, intellection, & activity, a society of lovers & wild enthusiasts. When the social life of Earth is harmonized, our planet will re-join the universe of Passion & undergo vast transformations, affecting human form, weather, animals, & plants, even the oceans.
Passion draws humanity into association just as gravity draws celestial bodies into orbital systems. The phalanstery is a little solar system revolving around the central fire of the passions. Thus, altho Fourier always defends the individual against the tyranny of the Civilized groups (what we’ve called Spectacular groups, in the modern context), nevertheless for him the group in its ideal form takes on a quality of absoluteness. It’s been jokingly said of him that the only sin in his system is eating lunch alone. But “association” cannot be considered a form of collectivism or communism — it is not strictly “egalitarian,” nor does it eliminate personal property or even inheritance. Moreover, all the elaborate titles & ranks Fourier delighted to invent for his Harmonians were voluntary & purely ceremonial. The Harmonian does not live with some 1600 people under one roof because of compulsion or altruism, but because of the sheer pleasure of all the social, sexual, economic, “gastrosophic,” cultural, & creative relations this association allows & encourages.
4. The Convivial Individualist
One of Fourier’s favorite illustrations of how harmony works even in Civilization was the dinner party, where wine, wit, & good food are enjoyed according to a spontaneous order, not subject to any law or morality. Social Harmony would be like a never-ending party: Fourier envisioned people leaping out of bed at 3 a.m. to pick cherries as if they were rushing off to a grand ball.
Steven Pearl Andrews (who also used the dinner-party metaphor) was not a fourierist, but he lived through the brief craze for phalansteries in America & adopted a lot of fourierist principles & practices. His chief mentor was Josiah Warren, first exponent of Individualist anarchism (or “Individual Sovereignty”) in America — altho Warren in turn inherited much from certain strains of radical democracy & Protestant “spritual anarchy” which can be traced to the earliest Colonial period. Andrew was a system-builder, a “logothete” like Fourier & Blake, a maker of worlds out of words. He syncretized Abolitionism, Free Love, spiritual universalism, Warren, & Fourier into a grand utopian scheme he called the Universal Pantarchy.
He was instrumental in founding several “intentional communities,” including the “Brownstone Utopia” on 14th St. in New York, & “Modern Times” in Brentwood, Long Island. The latter became as famous as the best-known fourierist communes (Brook Farm in Massachusetts & the North American Phalanx in New Jersey) — in fact, Modern Times became downright notorious (for “Free Love”) & finally foundered under a wave of scandalous publicity. Andrews (& Victoria Woodhull) were members of the infamous Section 12 of the 1st International, expelled by Marx for its anarchist, feminist, & spiritualist tendencies.
Like Fourier, Andrews created a “religion” to replace all the corrupt authoritarian cults of Civilization. We admit that this mystical tendency in both thinkers interests us a great deal, & again rouses our sympathies more than the cold atheism (or “fundamental materialism”) of a Stirner of Marx. Type-3 anarchism includes for us the heritage of the Ranters, Antinomians, & Family of Love, as well as radical forms of buddhism, taoism, & sufism.
Like Blake, Fourier & Pearl Andrews built systems of their own so as not to be slaves to someone else’s — & these grand structures included psychological, sexual, & spritual dimensions missing from mere ideological or philosophical systems. The structural details of Harmony & Pantarchy are fascinating & inspiring, but for us their deepest value lies in the daring of their total “radical subjectivity.” Fourier & Pearl Andrews created poetics of life, not merely politics or economics, & it is this aspect of their work we most admire & wish to emulate.
5. Universal Pantarchy & North American Phalanx
In a more immediate sense, however, we find that Fourier & Pearl Andrews offer useful arguments & practical hints for the establishment of a kind of association which seems even more desirable now than before the age of Late Capitalism, Dead Communism, pure Spectacle, & the eerie alienation of credit cards & answering machines, polls & surveys, computer viruses, & immune-system breakdowns. In the 1980’s even the anti-authoritarian “Margin” fell into a spooky state of communication via the mail, BBSs, xerography, & tape. Physical separateness can never be overcome by electronics, but only by “conviviality,” by “living together” in the most literal physical sense. The physically divided are also the conquered & Controlled. “True desires” — erotic, gustatory, olfactory, musical, aesthetic, psychic, & spiritual — are best attained in a context of freedom of self & other in physical proximity & mutual aid. Everything else is at best a sort of representation. The entire revolt against Civilization can be seen (at least from one point of view) as an attempt to recreate the autonomous intimacy of the band, the free association of individuals.
Morbid loneliness is no better than the engineered consensus of the New World Order — in fact the two are but opposite sides of the coin, like homelessness & rent: false individualism vs. false collectivism. In the face of this illusory dichotomy we will continue to propagate Individual Sovereignty — but at the same time proclaim that our first & most urgent research of the decade must concern the nature of association.
Thus we announce our intention to revive & amalgamate both the Universal Pantarchy & the North American Phalanx, the local (NY area) manifestations of Andrews’ & Fourier’s systems. The new Universal Pantarchy & North American Phalanx (UP/NAP) will be first a society of appreciation & research (more musty-dusty 19th century obscure crackpots to venerate & imitate!) — but also & perhaps more importantly it may become a nucleus of association. We plan to make field trips to the original sites of Modern Times & the Phalanx; we intend to revive the fourierist tradition of banquets; we plan to construct a shrine to Fourier & the Pantarch; we may even go so far as to produce another newsletter!
And perhaps our research will actually lead to further experiments in the creation of temporary autonomous zones, free times & spaces excavated in the walls of Babylon — creative autonomy & comradeship in the no-go areas where power has “disappeared” — & who knows? even in our lifetimes, the mutation…“A crank? Yes, I’m a crank: a little device that causes revolutions!” (E.F. Schumacher).
Long live Individual Sovereignty! Long live the Pantarchy! Long live Harmony!
April 7 (Fourier’s birthday) 1991 NYC
Dead Skeletons – Ljósberinn