The Tales of Tuan…

On The Music Box: Pink Floyd/Piper At The Gates Of Dawn

(Jim Fitzpatrick- Fathach)

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A short one… Taxes!

Oh, I loathe this type of stuff.

Have a good Tuesday,

Gwyllm

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on The Menu:

The Links

The Articles: 2 Versions of the Tale of Tuan

Poetry: Zone/The Golden Rain

& Ancient Cornish Poetry

All Paintings: Jim Fitzpatrick

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The Links:

MEA CULPA

David Sylvian – Orpheus

Poor Man’s Air Force

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One of the Founding Stories of Irish Myth… The Tale of Tuan: Two Versions…

(Dolmen – Jim Fitzpatrick)

Tuan Mac Carill was one of 2 elders who knew the History of Ireland. He had come to Ireland under the leader, Partholon. All in this party were taken ill.

Tuan alone survived.

When the elders met at Tara to write a history of the land, it was up to Tuan to tell them of their past and elder Trefuilngid Tre-Eochair to verify his story…

I am Tuan

I am legend

I am memory turned myth.

I am the story teller. Warriors and young boys creep away from the hearths of wine halls to hear me. Greedy for tales of honor and history they watch my lips with bright eyes, for I give them what is more precious than gold; treasure unlocked from my heart.

My words burn like flame in the darkness. I speak and hearts beat high, swords warm to the hand; under my spell boys become men.

But I know both the pain as well as the brightness of fire. I am the story teller who cannot find rest. The peace of death will never be mine. I am condemned to watch and to speak; my hand reaches in vain for the warrior’s sword.

Once I, Tuan, was a man, the chieftain of a great race, the Cesair. My warriors sat on wolf skins; they raised golden goblets to me brimming with wine. Neither evil nor harm dared cross the threshold where I sat, my throne studded with jewels, inlaid with ivory.

But the gods envy the happiness of men; flood and sword combined to destroy my people. Now the wine hall stood empty, ruined; doorway and roof gaped wide to receive the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air. It was ordained that I alone should be saved to bear witness to my peoples fate. I watched helpless while the fair land of Èireann was ravaged by the scavengers and foes. The golden cities I once loved lay fathoms deep beneath gray seas.

For many years I wandered as a man seeking shelter in caves and the depths of the forest; but when at last the noble race of Nemed came to reclaim their homeland I was barred from greeting them as either chieftain or warrior. Another fate was mine; to watch unseen, keeping the secrets of time close in heart and brain. The gods had singled me out for a strange fate, unfamiliar pains and pleasures, for as the years passed, they bound me within the bodies of beast and bird so that I might watch and keep the history of Èireann unnoticed by men.

The first transformation came upon me unaware. I had grown old as a man. The years had left my body naked and weak; my joints ached and my hair fell gray and matted over my bowed shoulders. One day a great weariness came upon me. I sought shelter in my cave certain that death had claimed me. For many days and nights I slept. Then at last I awoke to the sun. My limbs felt strong and free. My heart leapt up within me for I had been reborn as Tuan, the great-horned stag, King of the deer-herds of Èireann. The green hills were mine, the valleys and the streams.

As I ran free across the heather covered plains, the children of Nemed were driven from their homeland. Only I remained, grown old as a stag, their story locked in my heart. Then the great heaviness of change again weighed me down; again I sought shelter in my cave. Wolves eager for my blood and sinewy flesh howled to the moon. But I slept, floating loose in dream-time. Through the heaviness of sleep I felt myself grow young again. When the low rays of sunrise touched me I awoke.

The wolves still sniffed about the entrance to my cave. But now I was young and strong; fit to face them. I, Tuan, with joyful heart, thrust my sharp tusks out of my lair and the wolves fled yelping like frightened dogs. I was fresh, lusty with life; I had been born again, a black boar bristling with power, thirsty for blood. Now I was a king of herds; my back was sharp with dark bristles; my teeth and tusks were ready to cut and kill. All creatures feared me.

But while I had lain locked in dreams a new race of men had come to disturb the silence of mountain and valley. The were the Fir Bolg and they belonged to the family of Nemed. These I did not chase and when they chased me I fled, for their blood was mine also. The Fir Bolg divided the island into five provinces and proclaimed the title Ard-RÌ, that is High King, for the first time in Èireann.

As I roamed the purple hills I would often leave my herd and gaze across to the High King’s hall and remember with sadness the time when I also had sat in council, with warriors at my feet, and felt the bright eyes of women gaze upon me.

Once again the ache of change drove me back to my lonely cave in Ulster. After three days fasting, another death floated me beyond dream-time. Nights circled from summer into winter until one morning I woke and soared high into the clear sky.

I was reborn

I was lord of the heavens

I was Tuan the great sea-eagle.

I, who had been king among the heather and scented woodlands, became lord of the heavens. From the highest mountain I could see the field-mouse gathering wheat husks, nothing escaped my sharp eye.

Motionless, feathering the air, riding the wind, I watched the children of Nemed return to Èireann. Now know as the Tuatha DÈ Danann they sailed down over the mountains in a magic fleet of sky riding ships until they came to rest among the Red Hills of Rein led by Nuada, their king.

Rather than fight their own flesh and blood the Tuatha DÈ offered to share the island with the tribes of the Fir Bolg but on the advice of his elders Eochai, their High King, refused and the battle lines were drawn up.

I, Tuan the eagle, watched that fratricidal struggle; that terrible slaughter of kinsmen known as the First Battle of Moy Tura. I saw the same green plain across which I had, as a stag and boar, led my herd, drenched in blood. There I saw for the last time the Fir Bolg in their fullness and their pride, in their beauty and their youth, ranged against the glittering armies of the Tuatha DÈ Danann. The battle was fierce and ebbed and flowed like waves on a sea of fortune and price.

The circles of my eyes were rimmed with bitter tears as I watched that dreadful carnage of kinsmen, for all who fought were bound by a common bond, the blood of Nemed the Great. The battle raged for many days; death cut down the flower of the youth on both sides.

At last the Tuatha DÈ Danann took the sovereignty of Èireann from the Fir Bolg and their allies. But in that First Battle of Moy Tura, Nuada, King of the DÈ Dananns, had his arm struck off and from that loss there came sorrow and trouble to his people, for it was a law with the Tuatha DÈ Danann that no man imperfect in form could be king. So it happened that Nuada who had led his people to victory had to abdicate his throne and hand the royal crown over to the elders of his race.

I, Tuan, the sea-eagle, wept secretly with Nuada over the loss of his crown, for he was a noble king and a just ruler who had won back the land of Èireann for his people. His mutilation and his loss were the result of his bravery in battle. For he was a great warrior, skilled and courageous and as one with his god, the Sun.

When the noise of battle and the wailing of women had faded into silence, when the earth had soaked up the blood, when the plain of Moy Tura had become a sad spirit-haunted place marked by pillars and cairns, I, Tuan, still sailed high above it. I knew that that same force of history that governed the fortunes of men had made me the winged bearer of myth. I knew that the pattern of change is never completed until the world’s end. Still I would have to bear the burden of man’s triumph and grief.

I am Tuan

I am Legend

I am memory turned myth.

I have lived through the ages

In the shape of man, beast and bird

Mute witness to great events,

Guardian of past deeds.

—-

The Story of Tuan mac Carill

1. After Finnen of Moville had come with the Gospel to Ireland, into the territory of the men of Ulster, he went to a wealthy warrior there, who would not let them come to him into the stronghold, but left them fasting there over Sunday. The warrior’s faith was not good. Said Finnen to his followers: ‘There will come to you a good man, who will comfort you, and who will tell you the history of Ireland from the time that it was first colonised until to-day.’

2. Then on the morrow early in the morning there came to them a venerable cleric, who bade them welcome. ‘Come with me to my hermitage,’ said he, ‘that is meeter for you.’ They went with him, and they perform the duties of the Lord’s day, both with psalms and preaching and offering. Thereupon Finnen asked him to tell his name. Said he to them: ‘Of the men of Ulster am I. Tuan, son of Cairell, son of Muredach Red-neck, am I. I have taken this hermitage, in which thou art, upon the hereditary land of my father. Tuan, son of Starn, son of Sera, son of Partholon’s brother, that was my name of yore at first.’

3. Then Finnen asked him about the events of Ireland, to wit, what had happened in it from the time of Partholon, son of Sera. And Finnen said they would not eat with him until he had told them the stories of Ireland. Said Tuan to Finnen: ‘It is hard for us not to meditate upon the Word of God which thou hast just told to us.’ But Finnen said: ‘Permission is granted thee to tell thy own adventures and the story of Ireland to us now.

4. ‘Five times, verily,’ said he, ‘Ireland was taken after the Flood, and it was not taken after the Flood until 312 years had gone. Then Partholon, son of Sera, took it. He had gone upon a voyage with twenty-four couples. The cunning of each of them against the other was not great. They settled in Ireland until there were 5000 of their race. Between two Sundays a mortality came upon them, so that all died, save one man only. For a slaughter is not usual without some one to come out of it to tell the tale. That man am I,’ said he.

5. ‘Then I was from hill to hill, and from cliff to cliff, guarding myself from wolves, for twenty-two years, during which Ireland was empty. At last old age came upon me, and I was on cliffs and in wastes, and was unable to move about, and I had special eaves for myself. Then Nemed, son of Agnoman, my father’s brother, invaded Ireland, and I saw them from the cliffs and kept avoiding them, and I hairy, clawed, withered, grey, naked, wretched, miserable. Then, as I was asleep one night, I saw myself passing into the shape of a stag. In that shape I was, and I young and glad of heart. It was then I spoke these words:

Strengthless to-day’ is Senba’s son,

From vigour he has been parted,

Not under fair fame with new strength,

Senba’s son is an old .

These men that come from the east

With their spears that achieve valour,

I have no strength in foot or hand

To go to avoid them.

Starin, fierce is the man,

I dread Scemel of the white shield,

Andind will not save me, though good and fair,

If it were Beoin, …

Though Beothach would leave me alive,

Cacher’s rough fight is rough,

Britan achieves valour with his spears,

There is a fit of fury on Fergus.

They are coming towards me, 0 gentle Lord,

The offspring of Nemed, Agnoman’s son,

Stoutly they are lying in wait for my blood,

To compass my first wounding.

Then there grew upon my head

Two antlers with three score points,

So that I am rough and grey in shape

After my age has changed from feebleness.

7. ‘After this, from the time that I was in the shape of a stag, I was the leader of the herds of Ireland, and wherever I went there was a large herd of stags about me. In that way I spent my life during the time of Nemed and his offspring. When Nemed came with his fleet to Ireland, their number was thirty-four barques, thirty in each barque, and the sea cast them astray for the time of a year and a half on the Caspian Sea, and they were drowned and died of hunger and thirst, except four couples only together with Nemed. Thereafter his race increased and had issue until there were 4030 couples. However, these all died.

8. ‘Then at last old age came upon me, and I fled from men and wolves. Once as I was in front of my cave — I still remember it – I knew that I was passing from one shape into another. Then I passed into the shape of a wild boar. ‘Tis then I said:

A boar am I to-day among herds,

A mighty lord I am with great triumphs,

He has put me in wonderful grief,

The King of all, in many shapes.

In the morning when I was at Dun Bré,

Fighting against old seniors

Fair was my troop across the pooi,

A beautiful host was following us.

My troop, they were swift

Among hosts in revenge,

They would throw my spears alternately

On the warriors of Fál on every side.

When we were in our gathering

Deciding the judgments of Partholon,

Sweet to all was what I said,

Those were the words of true approach.

Sweet was my brilliant judgment

Among the women with beauty,

Stately was my fair chariot,

Sweet was my song across a dark road.

Swift was my step without straying

In battles at the onset,

Fair was my face, there was a day,

Though to-day I am a boar.

9. ‘In that shape, he said, I was then truly, and I young and glad of mind. And I was king of the boar-herds of Ireland, and I still went the round of my abode when I used to come into this land of Ulster at the time of my old age and wretchedness; for in the same place I changed into all these shapes. Therefore I always visited that place to await the renewal.

10. ‘Thereupon Semion, the son of Stariath, seized this island. From them are the Fir Dornnann, and the Fir Bolg, and the Galiuin; and these inhabited this island for the time that they dwelt in Ireland. Then old age came upon me, and my mind was sad, and I was unable to do all that I used to do before, but was alone in dark caves and in hidden cliffs.

11. ‘Then I went to my own dwelling always. I remembered every shape in which I had been before. I fasted my three days as I had always done. I had no strength left. Thereupon I went into the shape of a large hawk. Then my mind was again happy. I was able to do anything. I was eager and lusty. I would fly across Ireland; I would find out everything. ‘Tis then I said:

A hawk to-day, a boar yesterday,

Wonderful . . . inconstancy!

Dearer to me every day

God, the friend who has shapen me.

Many are the offspring of Nemed

Without obedience . . . to the certain King,

Few to-day are the race of Sera;

I know not what caused it.

Among herds of boars I was,

Though to-day I am among bird-flocks;

I know what will come of it:

I shall still be in another shape.

Wonderfully has dear God disposed

Me and the children of Nemed;

They at the will of the demon of God,

While, for me, God is my help.

12. ‘Beothach, the son of Iarbonel the prophet, seized this island from the races that dwelt in it. From them are the Tuatha Dé and Andé, whose origin the learned do not know, but that it seems likely to them that they came from heaven, on account of their intelligence and for the excellence of their knowledge.

13. ‘Then I was for a long time in the shape of that hawk, so that I outlived all those races who had invaded Ireland. However, the sons of Mu took this island by force from the Tuatha Dé Danann. Then I was in the shape of that hawk in which I had been, and was in the hollow of a tree on a river.

14. ‘There I fasted for three days and three nights, when sleep fell upon me, and I passed into the shape of a river-salmon there and then. Then God put me into the river so that I was in it. Once more I felt happy and was vigorous and well-fed, and my swimming was good, and I used to escape from every danger and from every snare — to wit, from the hands of fishermen, and from the claws of hawks, and from fishing spears — so that the scars which each one of them left are still on me.

15. ‘Once, however, when God, my help, deemed it time, and when the beasts were pursuing me, and every fisherman in every pool knew me, the fisherman of Cairell, the king of that land, caught me and took me with him to Cairell’s wife, who had a desire for fish. Indeed I remember it; the man put me on a gridiron and roasted me. And the queen desired me and ate me by herself, so that I was in her womb. Again, I remember the time that I was in her womb, and what each one said to her in the house, and what was done in Ireland during that time. I also remember when speech came to me, as it comes to any man, and I knew all that was being done in Ireland, and I was a seer; and a name was given to me — to wit, Tuan, son of Cairell. Thereupon Patrick came with the faith to Ireland. Then I was of great age; and I was baptized, and alone believed in the King of all things with his elements.’

16. Thereupon they celebrate mass and go into their refectory, Finnen with his followers and Tuan, after he had told them these stories. And there they stay a week conversing together. Every history and every pedigree that is in Ireland, ‘tis from Tuan, son of Cairell, the origin of that history is. He had conversed with Patrick before them, and had told him; and he had conversed with Colum Cille, and had prophesied to him in the presence of the people of the land. And Finnen offered him that he should stay with him, but he could not obtain it from him. ‘Thy house will be famous till doom,’ said Tuan.

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Golden Rain by Zone

Stop! Stop This Instant.

Falling like a magnet,

Shedding each colour one by one.

Tilting my head forward with the grace that allows The Golden rain to

saturate this cleansed and transparent body,

Gradually synchronising with the lines of such a delicate and intricate pattern.

i have no being,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Being.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Look! Look This Instant.

As time repeats every second,

So concrete are these structures that stand before my eyes,

Interwoven with the very fabric of my flesh.

Oh Mother, Oh Father, how I have mistaken Your intentions,

And what energy i have wasted.

But nothing is ever wasted,

For the appropriate action at each moment is known by encompassing the

experience of the past as One is moved, by Your Love,

to embrace the knowledge for the future.

i have no vision,

This Beautiful Machine Is All Vision.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

Listen! Listen This Instant.

Eternally humming The Tune that i know so well,

These immutable Laws that bind me to Freedom.

Freedom from all wastage,

Freedom to recognise Your Face at every moment, and in every location.

With such sensitivity these veils whisper their purpose,

And with mathematical precision i suddenly remember that I am a wheel turning

within a Giant Labyrinth of infinitely fine detail,

All for the purpose of echoing Your Tune.

i have no words,

This Beautiful Machine Speaks The Only Word.

As Your finger caresses my forehead, I am reminded that my image is truly

Your Image.

And in scarecrow fields of thunder,

Watch the face of God pass by on the wind,

A herd of horses galloping,

Swirling in the clouds of a summer storm,

Their shimmering beauty caught

On rainbow shafts of light

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Ancient Cornish Poems (2)

The Pool of Pilate

Guel yv thy’mmo vy may fe

mos the wolhy ow dule

a Thesempes

me a vyn omma yn dour

may fons y guyn ha glan lour

a vestethes

*

Ellas pan fema gynys

ancow sur yw dynythys

Scon thy’mmo vy

ny’m bus bywe ma fella

an dour re wruk thy’m henna

yn pur deffry.

The Pool of Pilate

It is best to me that it be so

Go to wash my hands

Immediately

I will, here in the water,

That they may be white, and clean enough

From dirt.

[He washes his hands in the water and dies

immediately.]

Alas that I was born!

Death surely is come

Soon to me.

Life is no longer for me,

The water has done that to me

Very clearly.

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Merlin the Diviner

Merlin! Merlin! where art thou going

So early in the day, with thy black dog?

Oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi! oi!

Oi! oi! oi! ioi! oi!

I have come here to search the way,

To find the red egg;

The red egg of the marine serpent,

By the sea-side in the hollow of the stone.

I am going to seek in the valley

The green water-cress, and the golden grass,

And the top branch of the oak,

In the wood by the side of the fountain.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace your steps;

Leave the branch on the oak,

And the green water-cress in the valley,

As well as the golden grass;

And leave the red egg of the marine serpent,

In the foam by the hollow of the stone.

Merlin! Merlin! retrace thy steps,

There is no diviner but God.

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Dancing in the Rain

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Hey! How is stuff? Nice weekend, still struggling with Taxes. Never ending…

I turned Rowan on to V for Vendetta in the original printed cartoon book (The original came out in bi-weekly comics) He kinda just flew through it. If you haven’t seen the film, well do. Recommended…

Had some good feedback for DJ Kykeon and our friend Mauricios’ new music (The Obscure Project) featured on the Sunday Show. It is still in rotation if you want to give it a listen!

Todays entry turned out completely different than it started… stripped it down and restarted on Sunday night… I had crafted the original since Friday… and it didn’t work. It just goes that way at times…

Still at work on the top secret project, which still seems like it is a distance away, but it is moving by increments…

Todays Blog revolves around in part with Kahlil Gibran. Either my Mother or my friend Fat Harry, “the Buddha” introduced me to him. Kinda of a mainstay for the Metaphysical Circus of those times back when. I read his stuff though preparing for this entry, and think it is worth sharing and going over again. Really, he was a genius. Even if his paintings have a heavy Blakeian influence, they still sing. His poetry is right up there as well.

So I dedicate this Entry to my Mother, whose birthday it would have been in a couple of days, (April 20th). She loved Gibran. Mom, this one is for you!

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

Show Announcement for Mauricio and his band, The Obscure Project

The Links…

The Article: Coke Is Death

The Poetry: Kahlil Gibran

The Art: Kahlil Gibran, except for the last one and please don’t ask me who did it… (I suspect Goodward, but don’t hold me to it!)

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Show Announcement For Portland

Thursday, 04/20/2006 08:00 PM (Doors Open 6:00 pm)

Loveland Downstairs: 320 SE 3rd Ave. $7 for 5 bands:

The OBSCURE PROJECT LIVE (Listen: TheObscureProject.com)

Lander (Listen: http://www.myspace.com/rhetorictuesday)

Atomic Midnight

Black September

Throw the Starfish Back (Listen: Throw The Starfish Back)

Each ticket purchased in person through “The Obscure Project” will receive an Obscure Project demo CD with our tracks “Gritty” and “Turn on the Light”.

Tickets (with CD) will be available for pickup at MediaFreq Printing Solutions (http://www.MediaFreq.com) from Noon till 7:00 pm until day of show. Cash only please.

[MediaFreq is located @ 2839 SE Milwaukie Ave Portland, OR 97202 – its a non-descript office w/o sign, so please lookup on mapquest before coming… its about a block and a half north of the Alladin theatre on Milwaukie].

I you have any questions or need to purchase after hours: please contact me @ mauricio@chaosexistence.com

Thanks for your support!

Aside from anything else i can say about my project, Rachel’s voice is angelic and you must see her LIVE! ;-)

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The Links:

‘Speak softly, don’t argue and slow down’

President Bush listens to THE ARCHIES

Half-People: Too Many Visions

Proposed Nigerian Law Would Criminalize Gay Rights Groups, Screenings of Brokeback Mountain

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Coke Is Death

The softdrink giant’s abysmal human rights record is finally catching up with it.

The ballroom at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware, is the picture of opulence. Paintings of Greek gods and goddesses peer down from the walls, lit by two crystal chandeliers the size of Mini Coopers. It’s here in April that the Coca-Cola Company will hold its stockholders’ meeting, an annual exercise designed to boost the confidence of investors. If the meeting is anything like last year’s, however, it may do the opposite.

As stockholders filed into the room in April 2005, news hadn’t been good for Coke, which has steadily lost market share to rivals. Investors were eager for reassurance from CEO Neville Isdell, a patrician Irishman who had recently assumed the top job. Few in the room, however, were prepared for what happened next. As Isdell stood at the podium, two long lines formed at the microphones. When he opened the floor, the first to speak was Ray Rogers, a veteran union organizer and head of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. “I want to know what [Coke is] going to do to regain the trust and credibility in order to stop the growing movement worldwide…banning Coke products,” boomed the 62-year-old.

That was just the beginning of a ninety-minute slugfest that the Financial Times later said “felt more like a student protest rally” than a stockholders’ meeting. One after another, students, labor activists and environmentalists blasted Coke’s international human rights record. Many focused on Colombia, where Coke has been accused of conspiring with paramilitary death squads to torture and kill union activists. Others highlighted India, where Coke has allegedly polluted and depleted water supplies. Still others called the company to task for causing obesity through aggressive marketing to children.

In the past two years the Coke campaign has grown into the largest anticorporate movement since the campaign against Nike for sweatshop abuses. Around the world, dozens of unions and more than twenty universities have banned Coke from their facilities, while activists have dogged the company from World Cup events in London to the Winter Olympics in Torino. More than just the re-emergence of the corporate boycott, however, the fight against Coke is a leap forward in international cooperation. Coke, with its red-and-white swoosh recognizable everywhere from Beijing to Baghdad, is perhaps the quintessential symbol of the US-dominated global economy. The fight to hold it accountable has, in turn, broadly connected issues across continents to become a truly globalized grassroots movement.

Coke shrugs off the protests as coming from a “small segment of the student population,” says Ed Potter, the company’s director of global labor relations. “What I see are largely well-meaning attempts to put a spotlight on some reprehensible things—but which are unrelated to our workplaces.” Nevertheless, Coke has fought back with ads on TV and in student newspapers, part of a mammoth advertising budget that has increased 30 percent in the past two years, to a staggering $2.4 billion. However, as evidence against the company mounts ahead of this year’s annual stockholders’ meeting, so does the pressure for Coke to address its growing international image of exploitation and brutality.

On the morning of December 5, 1996, union leader Isidro Segundo Gil was standing at the gate of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa, Colombia, when two paramilitaries drove up on a motorcycle and shot him dead. A week later, unionists say, paramilitaries lined up all the workers inside the plant and forced them to sign a letter resigning from the beverage union SINALTRAINAL, spelling the end of the union at the plant.

Violence against union members is a fact of life in Colombia, where nearly 4,000 have been killed by paramilitaries in the past two decades. But Gil’s murder was different, say his union brothers; two months earlier, they observed the plant manager meeting with a paramilitary commander in the company cafeteria. And just a week before he was killed Gil had been negotiating with the company over a new contract. Workers see these events as an example of the collusion of bottling executives with the paramilitaries. “From the beginning, Coca-Cola took a stand to not only eliminate the union but to destroy its workers,” said SINALTRAINAL president Javier Correa in a recent speaking appearance in the United States.

Nor was Gil’s murder a unique occurrence, says Correa. In all, eight union members and a friendly plant manager were killed between 1989 and 2002. Even today, union leaders routinely receive death threats and attempts on their lives. In 2003 paramilitaries kidnapped and tortured the 15-year-old son of one union leader and killed the brother-in-law of SINALTRAINAL’s vice president. This past January, says Correa, managers at the Coca-Cola plant in Bogota attempted to get workers to sign a statement saying Coke did not violate human rights; a week later the leader of the union received a death threat against himself and his family.

“Coke has a long history of being a virulently antiunion company,” says Lesley Gill, an anthropology professor at American University who has twice been to Colombia to document the violence. “It has been calculated and targeted, and it usually takes place during periods of contract negotiations.” A 2004 investigation directed by New York City Councilman Hiram Monserrate documented 179 “major human rights violations” against Coke workers, along with numerous allegations that “paramilitary violence against workers was done with the knowledge of and likely under the direction of company managers.” The violence has taken a toll on the union. In the past decade, SINALTRAINAL’s Coke membership has fallen from about 1,400 to less than 400.

Coca-Cola representatives deny involvement of the company or its bottling partners, contending that the murders are a byproduct of the country’s civil war. In response, the company touts the security measures it offers union leaders, including loans for home security systems and reassignment for those in danger. Furthermore, Coke points out that it has been exonerated in several cases in Colombian courts. However, charging those courts as ineffective—only five paramilitaries have been found guilty of murder, despite 4,000 killings—SINALTRAINAL reached out in 2001 to the International Labor Rights Fund, a Washington-based solidarity organization. Using a US law called the Alien Tort Claims Act, the ILRF and the United Steelworkers filed suit against Coke and its bottlers in Miami later that year. In 2003 a judge ruled that Coca-Cola couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of its bottlers and dropped it from the case, even while allowing the case against the bottlers to go forward. ILRF lawyer Terry Collingsworth finds that decision preposterous, noting that Coke has ownership shares in its Colombian bottlers and highly detailed bottling agreements. “I’m 100 percent sure that if Coca-Cola in Atlanta ordered them to change their uniform color from red to blue, they would do it,” says Collingsworth. “They could stop these activities in a minute.”

While the ILRF has appealed the decision, procedural rules require it to wait until the case against the bottlers is over before the case against Coke can be taken up again—a process that could take years. “We needed to figure out a way that Coke sees delay as bad,” says Collingsworth. In 2003 SINALTRAINAL put out a call for an international boycott of Coke products. At the same time, the ILRF contacted Ray Rogers, head of Corporate Campaign, Inc., an organization that consults with unions to win contracts through unorthodox methods. Over the past three decades, Rogers has forced concessions from a dozen companies—including American Airlines, Campbell’s Soup and New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority—not through strikes or negotiations but through an aggressive strategy of publicly embarrassing anyone associated with his targets.

Rogers immediately saw Coke’s weakness: its brand. “They are right at the top of the worst companies in the world, and yet they’ve created an image like they are American pie,” he says. “When people think of Coca-Cola, they should think about great hardship and despair for people and communities around the world.” From the beginning, Rogers appropriated Coke’s trademark red script to make the Killer Coke logo, and tweaked its advertising campaign with slogans like “The Drink That Represses” and “Murder—It’s the Real Thing.” He made a dramatic first appearance at a Coke annual meeting two years ago, when police wrestled Rogers away from the mike and forcibly dragged him out of the hall.

Early on, Rogers rejected SINALTRAINAL’s call for a consumer boycott of Coke products, fearing it would be ineffective and might alienate unions working with Coke. He focused on “cutting out markets” by going after larger institutional ties. He convinced several unions, including the American Postal Workers, several large locals of the Service Employees International, and UNISON, the largest union in Britain, to ban Coke from their facilities and functions, and he induced pension-fund managers, including the City of New York, to pass resolutions threatening to withdraw hundreds of millions in Coke stock investments unless Coke investigated the Colombia abuses. He persuaded not only the SEIU but the largest US union of Coke’s own employees, the Teamsters, to pass a resolution in support of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and to speak out at last year’s annual meeting (the Teamsters stopped short of banning Coke from their own facilities). “It’s horrendous what we’re hearing,” says David Laughton, secretary-treasurer of the union’s beverage division. “The company’s lack of action is having a ripple effect all over the country in school and college, and that means reductions in jobs for us. It’s time for them to wake up and admit their errors.”

The campaign’s greatest success has come at colleges and universities. Rogers set up a website with a step-by-step guide for students looking to convince their institutions to cut multimillion-dollar Coke contracts, and he’s traveled to schools to hold rallies and advise students. One by one, more than a dozen schools in the United States, as well as a handful more in Ireland, Italy and Canada, have decided to cut lucrative beverage contracts or otherwise ban Coke from campuses. The effort accelerated after it was joined by United Students Against Sweatshops—one of the main groups behind the Nike boycott of the 1990s—which helped organize its own chapters. Anti-Coke campaigns are now active at some 130 campuses worldwide. “This campaign against Coke has politicized a new generation of students,” says Camilo Romero, a national organizer with USAS. “It’s something that students feel personally connected to, because it’s something they can hold in their hand,” says Aviva Chomsky, a professor at Salem State College in Massachusetts, which severed ties two years ago. “It’s too easy to say, ‘There are so many bad things in the world, I’m just going to concentrate on my own life.’ It’s the concreteness of this that’s appealing.”

While student campaigns have mostly focused on the abuses in Colombia, some have included demands from other countries as well. Few companies have the kind of global reach of Coca-Cola, which has set up a network of bottling partners around the world that allows it to maximize profits by keeping distribution costs down and exploiting lax environmental and labor laws abroad. The first rumblings came from India, where villagers near several Coke bottling plants reported that their wells were dropping, sometimes more than fifty feet; meanwhile, the water they were able to get was tainted by foul-smelling chemicals. Starting in 2002 villagers near Plachimada, in the southern state of Kerala, began a permanent vigil outside the local plant. They finally won an indefinite closure in March 2004, although the case remains an issue in the Kerala High Court.

Villagers started another vigil, at Mehdiganj in central India, this past March. Escalating protests there and at a third plant, in the desert state of Rajasthan, have ended in police attacks on villagers employing Gandhian tactics of nonviolence, which Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center (IRC) lays at Coke’s feet. “We know the company has the power to stop the police from resorting to violence,” he says, “but it has let this go on without saying a word.”

The IRC has been joined in its mission by Corporate Accountability International (CAI), which has attacked Coke on its aggressive push to sell bottled water. “If water becomes a branded product, it’s clearly going to undermine the demand and support for publicly managed water systems,” says CAI executive director Kathryn Mulvey. “The people who lose out are those who don’t have the means to pay top dollar for their water.” As a veteran anticorporate campaigner, Mulvey sees the Coke campaign as a new model. “People are taking these abuses that are happening all over the world and bringing them to Coke’s headquarters,” she says. “Transnational corporations are really surpassing the nation-state as the dominant economic and political institutions. Social change movements need to find ways to come together across borders and strategize.”

The broad attack against the company has been a strength for the campaign, allowing diverse groups to share information and recruit greater numbers at protests, as well as making a more difficult target for counterattacks. “The company can’t control it,” says Rogers. “They realize they can’t get rid of one person or group and hope the thing will die.” At the same time, the sheer number of charges against Coke raises the question of how and when the campaign can declare victory. On that score, the different groups are clear about their specific goals. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, for example, has adopted seven demands by SINALTRAINAL, which include a human rights policy for bottling companies and compensation for families of slain workers. The campaign in India calls for closure of certain plants, cleanup of others and compensation for affected villagers.

Many student campaigns have made their top demand an independent investigation into the Colombia abuses. At last year’s annual meeting, Coke tried to mollify critics by releasing the results of a company-funded study, which was rejected by students as woefully biased. Still facing the prospect of boycotts at several universities—among them Rutgers, NYU and Michigan—Coke put together a commission of students, school administrators and labor leaders to come up with a protocol for an independent inquiry. “I was honestly hopeful, perhaps naively,” says USAS’s Romero. “It seemed like they were putting this new investment into making things work.” From the beginning, however, the company insisted it had a right to be on the commission; even after Coke was booted by the students, it kept putting strictures on the investigation, such as a moratorium on investigating past abuses. The final straw was Coke’s insistence that anything uncovered be inadmissible in the court case in Miami, which Collingsworth says is against legal ethics. “We cannot prejudice our clients by agreeing to bury evidence that would support their claims,” he wrote in an angry letter to Coke’s Ed Potter.

At around the same time, new evidence of Coke’s antilabor tactics emerged in Indonesia, where, according to USAS, workers were intimidated when they attempted to unionize; and in Turkey, where more than 100 union members were fired and then clubbed and tear-gassed by police during a protest. This past November the ILRF filed another lawsuit against Coca-Cola, based on the claims of the Turkish workers. By that point, students had had enough; all but one left the commission.

With the failure of the investigation commission, administrators at some schools ran out of excuses to keep the Coke contracts. Both NYU and Michigan suspended contracts in December. NYU’s status as the country’s largest private university earned the campaign national and international press. “We knew if we were to ban Coca-Cola, our statement would resound around the world,” says Crystal Yakacki, a recent NYU graduate who helped lead the campaign while she was a student.

As this year’s annual meeting nears, Coke has gone on the offensive, announcing a plan to draft a new set of workplace standards. At the same time, the company has asked the UN’s International Labor Organization to perform a workplace evaluation of the Colombia bottling plants. Rogers and Collingsworth have already cried foul, pointing out that Potter has been the US employer representative to the ILO for the past fifteen years. “Either they know something we don’t know,” says Collingsworth, “or they believe the ILO moves so slowly and bureaucratically that they can delay.” In response, Potter claims the organization is so large that no one person can influence it. Regardless, the gambit is having some effect: In April Michigan, citing “the reputation and track record of ILO,” rescinded its ban.

At the Hotel du Pont on April 19, organizers hope to stage a repeat of last year’s grilling, with an even larger contingent of activists in attendance. Schools debating Coke contracts this spring include Michigan State, UCLA, the University of Illinois, DePaul and several campuses of the City University of New York. In Britain, the campaign lost a close vote in April to convince the National Union of Students—which represents 750 campuses—to cut a multimillion-pound contract. Many British universities, however, are continuing individual boycotts, as are campuses in Italy, Ireland, Germany and Canada. “This is a moment in history that is very rare, where students have the power to change one of the largest corporations in the world,” says Romero. After recent campus victories, momentum seems to be on the side of the campaign. “Coke has a contracting market; we have an expanding market,” says Rogers. “I want Coke to come to the realization that there is a lot more for them to lose by continuing to do what they do. They have to be made to do the right thing for the wrong reason.”

Until they do, say activists, the violence against Coke’s workers will continue. “It’s very difficult for me to convince my family that they have to live with the worries, and that they will one day maybe have to receive bad news,” says SINALTRAINAL’s Correa. “My kids say that walking with Dad is like walking with a time bomb. But I can’t leave this struggle seeing these violations happening all around me. The reality of the situation is that it’s better being with a union than without one.”

______

Poetry: Kahlil Gibran

Beauty

And a poet said, ‘Speak to us of Beauty.’

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

The aggrieved and the injured say, ‘Beauty is kind and gentle.

Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she walks among us.’

And the passionate say, ‘Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.

Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us and the sky above us.’

The tired and the weary say, ‘beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.

Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.’

But the restless say, ‘We have heard her shouting among the mountains,

And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.’

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.’

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ‘we have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.’

In winter say the snow-bound, ‘She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.’

And in the summer heat the reapers say, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair.’

All these things have you said of beauty.

Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs unsatisfied,

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.

It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,

But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.

It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils her holy face.

But you are life and you are the veil.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But you are eternity and you are the mirror.

—-

Marriage

Then Almitra spoke again and said, ‘And what of Marriage, master?’

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

—–

Pleasure

Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came forth and said, ‘Speak to us of Pleasure.’

And he answered, saying:

Pleasure is a freedom song,

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.

It is a depth calling unto a height,

But it is not the deep nor the high.

It is the caged taking wing,

But it is not space encompassed.

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.

And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked.

I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.

For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone:

Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure.

Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness.

But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.

They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer.

Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember;

And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.

But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.

And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.

But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?

Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?

And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?

Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being.

Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?

Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.

And your body is the harp of your soul,

And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

And now you ask in your heart, ‘How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?’

Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,

And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

__

Gibran At 13 years old…

Kahlil Gibran 1883-1931

Poet, philosopher, and artist, was born in Lebanon, a land that has produced many prophets.

The millions of Arabic-speaking peoples familiar with his writings in that language consider him the genius of his age.

But he was a man whose fame and influence spread far beyond the Near East. His poetry has been translated into more than twenty languages.

His drawings and paintings have been exhibited in the great capitals of the world and compared by Auguste Rodin to the work of William Blake.

In the United States, which he made his home during the last twenty years of his life, he began to write in English.

The Prophet and his other books of poetry, illustrated with his mystical drawings, are known and loved by innumerable Americans who find in them an expression of the deepest impulses of man’s heart and mind.

________

Ostara Egg….

On The Music Box: Ostara Show on EarthRites Radio!

A Big Hello to you all.

A short Entry today….

Article: The Mysterious dying God

Note: Ostara

Poetry: 4 Poems of Hafiz

DJ Kykeon may be making an appearance early today, watch your email box!

Hope the day is a good one for ya!

Gwyllm

_______

The Mysterious dying God

Pre-Christian resurrected Gods

(Bacchus crucified; this 3rd Century amulet predates images of Crucified Christ)

An inscription in the Vatican states plainly, “He who will not eat of my body, nor drink of my blood, so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.” This is not terribly surprising, unless you consider that this is inscribed on the remains of the temple the Vatican was built on- one dedicated to the God Mithras. Mithras was a solar deity whose worshippers called him redeemer; his religion died out not long after the advent of Christianity.

Such eerie parallels between the pronouncements of Jesus and Mithras are not the only similarities between the two religions. Mithras was known to his followers as “The light of the world,” or “The Good Shepherd,” and exhorted his followers to share ritual communion meals of bread and wine. His preists were called “Father.”

Mithras was also born in a cave, with shepherds in attendance, on the twenty-fifth of December. (Alternatively, he is assisted in his birth from a stone by shepherds)

Are these just coincidences? Absolutely not. Fourth century Bishop John Chrysostom writes : “On this day also the Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies, the Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They call this the Birthday of the Invincible One; but who is so invincible as the Lord? They call it the Birthday of the Solar Disk, but Christ is the Sun of Righteousness.”

(Ixion crucified on the Solar Wheel)

Consider this- several other Gods share the December birthday, and like Mithras, they are also solar deities, who are born in the winter solstices, often of virgin mothers, die, and are reborn. One of these, a pre-Christian deity called Attis, was called “The lamb of God,” and his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection were celebrated annually, with ritual communions of bread and wine. His virgin mother, Cybele, was worshipped as “The Queen of heaven.” It gets more interesting the further back we look- Attis and Cybele’s predecessors are the Babylonian Goddess Ishtar, and her consort Tammuz. It is from their legend that we get the name for the annual celebration of the resurrection of Christ- Easter, a name of the Goddess Ishtar.

This is not the only coincidence related to this ancient couple- the earliest use of the cross as a religious symbol is related to Tammuz. In fact, crosses are related to a variety of solar deities. Of course, the cross was not popular with early Christians, except in the form of an X, the Greek initial of “Christos.” (Even this was borrowed symbolism- the initials belonging to the Greek Chronos.)

Hundreds of years before Jesus, there was a passion story told about a God man, born of a virgin mother, in a stable. He travels about with his followers, preaching and performing miracles, including turning water into wine. Eventually, he incurs the wrath of the religious authorities, who are appalled that he refers to himself as the son of god. He allows himself to be arrested and tried for blasphemy- a willing self-sacrifice. He is found guilty and executed, only to rise from the grave three days later, where the women weeping at his tomb do not recognize him until he assumes his divine form. This god, also one of the first depicted crucified, is the vine-God Dionysus.

(Orpheus – The Good Shepherd)

Common to all of these ‘mystery’ religions (so called because one was required to be initiated or baptized into the faith to learn its doctrines)- including early Christianity- are themes of rebirth, redemption, and the transmission of life-changing information- spiritual salvation. So many religions in those times shared similar themes with that usually the deities became melded together. Early depictions of Jesus show him holding the Lyre of Orpheus, or driving Apollo’s chariot. A talisman bearing the crucified likeness of Dionysus is inscribed Orpheus/Bacchus. The follower of Jesus, named Lazarus (‘resurrected,’ a derivitive of the name of Osiris, the resurrected God of Egypt)

Three days later, the tomb is empty!It is impossible to tell just by looking at old artwork which haloed infant gods are cuddled in the arms of which mothers. The Emperor Constantine, who legitimized Christianity in Rome, was a worshipper of Sol Invictus- an amalgamation of solar deities Mithras, Helios, and Apollo-and he recognized Jesus’ place in that company almost immediately. Even today, ancient solar symbols abound in Christian iconography. Not that Constantine was the only one to muddle these gods together- in fact, Christianity’s oldest known mosaic depicts Jesus as a triumphant Helios, complete with chariot.

Of course, later Christians were terribly perturbed by these similarities to Pagan religions- these coincidences so disturbed one early Christian church father, Justin Martyr, that he accused the devil of sending an imitator of Christ in advance. Had he paid a little more attention to the past, he might have noted that the association of Jesus with Dionysus is not so strange-philosophers had been making connections between Jehovah and Dionysus for centuries.

Did early Christians, like their modern descendents, believe that theirs was the one and only true manifestation of religion? Consider the words of Clement, of Alexandria, “There is one river of Truth, which receives tributaries from every side.” If only the later followers of the religion listened more closely, these mysteries may not have been lost.

(The God Attis with his Virgin mother Cybele; Attis’ death and resurrection were celebrated in the spring)

__________

Ostara is the Spring equinox. Equinoxes are a time of balance. This would be the waxing equinox in which the sun would continue to grow in the sky. Celebrate the fertility of the land, first flowers of springs. Green/yellow are important colors, Green being vegetative representing earth and yellow being sun representing balance. The egg is symbolic of balance as well as fertility/rebirth. The yolk is representative of new birth/sun/god with the white shell is the goddess protecting that which grows in her womb. In some native american cultures this would be the time of saying goodbye to Waboose, the Winter (N) represented by the white buffalo and containing the powers of cleansing renewal and purification. In turn they would welcome Wabun, the Spring (E) represented by the eagle and containing the powers of clarity, wisdom and illumination.

-Greer

____________

4 Poems ~ Hafiz

Let Thought Become Your Beautiful Lover

Let thought become the beautiful Woman.

Cultivate your mind and heart to that depth

That it can give you everything

A warm body can.

Why just keep making love with God’s child– Form

When the Friend Himself is standing

Before us

So open-armed?

My dear,

Let prayer become your beautiful Lover

And become free,

Become free of this whole world

Like Hafiz.

—-

From the Large Jug, Drink

From the large jug, drink the wine of Unity,

So that from your heart you can wash away the futility of life’s grief.

But like this large jug, still keep the heart expansive.

Why would you want to keep the heart captive, like an unopened bottle

of wine?

With your mouth full of wine, you are selfless

And will never boast of your own abilities again.

Be like the humble stone at your feet rather than striving to be like a

Sublime cloud: the more you mix colors of deceit, the more colorless

your ragged wet coat will get.

Connect the heart to the wine, so that it has body,

Then cut off the neck of hypocrisy and piety of this new man.

Be like Hafiz: Get up and make an effort. Don’t lie around like a bum.

He who throws himself at the Beloved’s feet is like a workhorse and will

be rewarded with boundless pastures and eternal rest.

I Know The Way You Can Get

I know the way you can get

When you have not had a drink of Love:

Your face hardens,

Your sweet muscles cramp.

Children become concerned

About a strange look that appears in your eyes

Which even begins to worry your own mirror

And nose.

Squirrels and birds sense your sadness

And call an important conference in a tall tree.

They decide which secret code to chant

To help your mind and soul.

Even angels fear that brand of madness

That arrays itself against the world

And throws sharp stones and spears into

The innocent

And into one’s self.

O I know the way you can get

If you have not been drinking Love:

You might rip apart

Every sentence your friends and teachers say,

Looking for hidden clauses.

You might weigh every word on a scale

Like a dead fish.

You might pull out a ruler to measure

From every angle in your darkness

The beautiful dimensions of a heart you once

Trusted.

I know the way you can get

If you have not had a drink from Love’s

Hands.

That is why all the Great Ones speak of

The vital need

To keep remembering God,

So you will come to know and see Him

As being so Playful

And Wanting,

Just Wanting to help.

That is why Hafiz says:

Bring your cup near me.

For all I care about

Is quenching your thirst for freedom!

All a Sane man can ever care about

Is giving Love!

BECOMING HUMAN

Once a man came to me and spoke for hours about

“His great visions of God” he felt he was having.

He asked me for confirmation, saying,

“Are these wondrous dreams true?”

I replied, “How many goats do you have?”

He looked surprised and said,

“I am speaking of sublime visions

And you ask about goats!”

And I spoke again saying,

“Yes brother-how many do you have?”

“Well, Hafiz, I have sixty-two.”

“How many rose bushes in your garden,

How many children,

Are your parents still alive,

Do you feed the birds in winter?”

And to all he answered.

Then I said,

“You asked me if I thought your visions were true,

I would say that they were if they make you become

more human,

More kind to every creature and plant

That you know.”

A Terrible Beauty Is Born

Welcome to the weekend. We have a small one today, but small is good. This is to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Uprising, which began the long decline of the British Empire. Englands’ overseas expansion began with Ireland, and will end with Ireland, when British Troops (finally) pull out of the north.

(Mike Crowley just pointed out that the expansion began with Edward II’s attempt to annex Wales and Scotland) Deevolution will put the pesky Saxon back finally in the 4 counties that this ruckus started from…

DJ Kykeons’ Radio Free Earthrites show last night was a success. It is being run today as well, so check it out if you didn’t listen last night.

We will be putting more music up tonight if we get the chance… (last minute taxes and all that)

Well, Enjoy this Entry…

Pax,

Gwyllm

______

Easter 1916

W. B. Yeats

I have met them at close of day

Coming with vivid faces

From counter or desk among grey

Eighteenth-century houses.

I have passed with a nod of the head

Or polite meaningless words,

Or have lingered awhile and said

Polite meaningless words,

And thought before I had done

Of a mocking tale or a gibe

To please a companion

Around the fire at the club,

Being certain that they and I

But lived where motley is worn:

All changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent

In ignorant good will,

Her nights in argument

Until her voice grew shrill.

What voice more sweet than hers

When young and beautiful,

She rode to harriers?

This man had kept a school

And rode our winged horse.

This other his helper and friend

Was coming into his force;

He might have won fame in the end,

So sensitive his nature seemed,

So daring and sweet his thought.

This other man I had dreamed

A drunken, vain-glorious lout.

He had done most bitter wrong

To some who are near my heart,

Yet I number him in the song;

He, too, has resigned his part

In the casual comedy;

He, too, has been changed in his turn,

Transformed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone

Through summer and winter, seem

Enchanted to a stone

To trouble the living stream.

The horse that comes from the road,

The rider, the birds that range

From cloud to tumbling cloud,

Minute by minute change.

A shadow of cloud on the stream

Changes minute by minute;

A horse-hoof slides on the brim;

And a horse plashes within it

Where long-legged moor-hens dive

And hens to moor-cocks call.

Minute by minute they live:

The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice

Can make a stone of the heart.

O when may it suffice?

That is heaven’s part, our part

To murmur name upon name,

As a mother names her child

When sleep at last has come

On limbs that had run wild.

What is it but nightfall?

No, no, not night but death.

Was it needless death after all?

For England may keep faith

For all that is done and said.

We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead.

And what if excess of love

Bewildered them till they died?

I write it out in a verse –

MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.

______

The Links:

Witnesses to history, 1916

Irish Murals…

The Rising…

______

Nest of Cryptids…

(Paracelsus)

_____

Friday arrives, and we have a mixed bag for ya… Lots of Links, 2 articles, and Welsh Poetry from the 19th Century. A Feast! Great Alchemical Artwork! What more could you ya want? Music? Tune in Tonight for “The Dance Show….” Presented by yours truly, DJ Kykeon

Non Stop Dance Music, going from 8:00 PM PST on to late. You are certainly invited! We will have Mix Master Morgan on the Weekend as well, so tune in to Radio Free EarthRites!

We went to see Rowan in “Damn Yankees” at his school tonight. Lots of fun. He actually got all of his hair up under his Baseball Cap. Great enthusiastic cast, good pacing, music and dancing. Not the deepest of shows (come on folks, it had a run on Broadway) but enjoyable. If you are in Portland, you should check it out.

Have a wonderful weekend, and be sure to tune in to Radio Free EarthRites tonight for DJ Kykeons’ show…

Cheers,

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

The Links..

The Articles: Nest of Cryptids / Print me a heart and a set of arteries

The Poets: Welsh Poets… EBENEZER JONES & ERNEST RHYS

The Featured Artist: Adam McLean (See Site o’ the Day!)

__________

Links:

Site o’ the Day, Thanks to Don down in Oakland! All the Alchemical Pictures are from this site:

The Alchemy Web Site…

Someone may be spilling the beans at the White House

UTOPIAN PHARMACOLOGY

African fish leaps for land bugs

Pottery points to monks’ quest to create gold

New pictures of ‘living fossil’

(Pan)

__________

Tales from the Ancient World? Nest of Cryptids

by Daniel Fletcher

I grew up in Devon, England. Down my road there was a quiet little stream with an old wooden bridge. I used to go round there with all of my friends and we knew it like the back of our hands.

One day in June/July we noticed a wasp’s nest dangling from a tree over the water. We just ignored it and carried on playing. The next day we came back and the nest had doubled in size and was now two feet long! We were all amazed, and one kid started throwing rocks at it. I urged him to stop, but he just kept going until the nest fell down and rolled onto the bridge. Suddenly, the nest pulsed like a beating heart and grew to about three feet!

I was terrified, but curiosity got the better of me and I stayed. A man came by walking a dog and the dog ran toward the nest, pushing it into the river. In the river the nest floated along the top and burst. Out of it came thousands of horrific creatures (only an inch long). They looked like snakes, but had huge red eyes and spines along their backs. Without warning they all zoomed off along the river out of sight. The man didn’t really see much as he was trying to control his dog and nobody took the word of a group of kids.

Having grown up and letting it sink in, I now believe these to be the spawn of some cryptid. I can’t find many of these creatures on the net so please tell me if you have seen anything similar.

___________

Oh Brave New World: Print me a heart and a set of arteries

SITTING in a culture dish, a layer of chicken heart cells beats in synchrony. But this muscle layer was not sliced from an intact heart, nor even grown laboriously in the lab. Instead, it was “printed”, using a technology that could be the future of tissue engineering.

Gabor Forgacs, a biophysicist at the University of Missouri in Columbia, described his “bioprinting” technique last week at the Experimental Biology 2006 meeting in San Francisco. It relies on droplets of “bioink”, clumps of cells a few hundred micrometres in diameter, which Forgacs has found behave just like a liquid.

This means that droplets placed next to one another will flow together and fuse, forming layers, rings or other shapes, depending on how they were deposited. To print 3D structures, Forgacs and his colleagues alternate layers of supporting gel, dubbed “biopaper”, with the bioink droplets. To build tubes that could serve as blood vessels, for instance, they lay down successive rings containing muscle and endothelial cells, which line our arteries and veins. “We can print any desired structure, in principle,” Forgacs told the meeting.

Other tissue engineers have tried printing 3D structures, using modified ink-jet printers which spray cells suspended in liquid (New Scientist, 25 January 2003, p 16). Now Forgacs and a company called Sciperio have developed a device with printing heads that extrude clumps of cells mechanically so that they emerge one by one from a micropipette. This results in a higher density of cells in the final printed structure, meaning that an authentic tissue structure can be created faster.

Cells seem to survive the printing process well. When layers of chicken heart cells were printed they quickly begin behaving as they would in a real organ. “After 19 hours or so, the whole structure starts to beat in a synchronous manner,” says Forgacs.

Most tissue engineers trying to build 3D structures start with a scaffold of the desired shape, which they seed with cells and grow for weeks in the lab. This is how Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and his colleagues grew the bladders which he successfully implanted into seven people (New Scientist, 8 April 2006, p 10). But if tissue engineering goes mainstream, faster and cheaper methods will be a boon. “Bioprinting is the way to go,” says Vladimir Mironov, a tissue engineer at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

____________

Welsh/Celtic Poetry

EBENEZER JONES

When the World is Burning.

When the world is burning,

Fired within, yet turning

Round with face unscathed;

Ere fierce flames, uprushing,

O’er all lands leap, crushing,

Till earth fall, fire-swathed;

Up against the meadows,

Gently through the shadows,

Gentle flames will glide,

Small, and blue, and golden.

Though by bard beholden,

When in calm dreams folden,–

Calm his dreams will bide.

Where the dance is sweeping,

Through the greensward peeping,

Shall the soft lights start;

Laughing maids, unstaying,

Deeming it trick-playing,

High their robes upswaying,

O’er the lights shall dart;

And the woodland haunter

Shall not cease to saunter

When, far down some glade,

Of the great world’s burning,

One soft flame upturning

Seems, to his discerning,

Crocus in the shade.

—-

The Hand

Lone o’er the moors I stray’d;

With basely timid mind,

Because by some betray’d

Denouncing human-kind;

I heard the lonely wind,

And wickedly did mourn

I could not share its loneliness,

And all things human scorn.

And bitter were the tears,

I cursed as they fell;

And bitterer the sneers

I strove not to repel:

With blindly mutter’d yell,

I cried unto mine heart,–

“Thou shalt beat the world in falsehood

And stab it ere we part.”

My hand I backward drave

As one who seeks a knife;

When startlingly did crave

To quell that hand’s wild strife

Some other hand; all rife

With kindness, clasp’d it hard

On mine, quick frequent claspings

That would not be debarr’d.

I dared not turn my gaze

To the creature of the hand

And no sound did it raise,

Its nature to disband

Of mystery; vast, and grand,

The moors around me spread,

And I thought, some angel message

Perchance their God may have sped.

But it press’d another press,

So full of earnest prayer,

While o’er it fell a tress

Of cool soft human hair,

I fear’d not;–I did dare

Turn round, ’twas Hannah there!

Oh! to no one out of heaven

Could I what pass’d declare.

We wander’d o’er the moor

Through all that blessed day

And we drank its waters pure,

And felt the world away;

In many a dell we lay,

And we twined flower-crowns bright;

And I fed her with moor-berries

And bless’d her glad eye-light.

And still that earnest prayer

That saved me many stings,

Was oft a silent sayer

Of countless loving things;–

I’ll ring it all with rings,

Each ring a jewell’d band;

For heaven shouldn’t purchase

That little sister hand.

_____

ERNEST RHYS

The Night Ride

To-night we rode beneath a moon

That made the moorland pale;

And our horses’ feet kept well the tune

And our pulses did not fail.

The moon shone clear; the hoar-frost fell,

The world slept, as it seemed;

Sleep held the night, but we rode well,

And as we rode we dreamed.

We dreamed of ghostly horse and hound,

And flight at dead of night;–

The more the fearful thoughts we found,

The more was our delight.

And when we saw the white-owl fly,

With hoot, how woebegone!

We thought to see dead men go by,

And pressed our horses on.

The merrier then was Sylvia’s song

Upon the homeward road,–

Oh, whether the way be short or long

Is all in the rider’s mood!

And still our pulses kept the tale,

Our gallop kept the tune,

As round and over hill and vale

We rode beneath the moon.

The House of Hendra.

‘S’ai Plas Hendre

Yn Nghaer Fyrddin:

Canu Brechfa,

Tithau Lywelyn’.

I.

The House of Hendra stood in Merlin’s Town,

and was sung by Brechva on his Harp of gold

at the October Feasting of Ivor.

In the town where wondrous Merlin

Lived, and still

In deep sleep, they say, lies dreaming

Near it, under Merlin’s Hill,

In that town of pastoral Towy,

Once of old

Stood the ancient House of Hendra,

Sung on Brechva’s harp of gold.

With his harp to Ivor’s feasting

Brechva came,

There he sang and made this ballad,

While the last torch spent its flame.

Long they told,–the men of Ivor,

Of the strain

At the heart of Brechva’s harping

Heard that night, and not again.

II.

Incipit Brechva’s Ballad of the House of Hendra,

and of his deep sleep there on Hallowmass Night,

and of his strange awaking.

In yon town, he sang,–there Hendra

Waits my feet,

In renownéd Merlin’s town where

Clare’s white castle keeps the street.

There, within that house of heroes,

I drew breath;

And ’tis there my feet must bear me,

For the darker grace of death.

There that last year’s night I journeyed,–

Hallowmass!

When the dead of Earth, unburied,

In the darkness rise and pass.

Then in Hendra (all his harp cried

At the stroke),

Twelve moons gone, there came upon me

Sleep like death. At length I woke:

I awoke to utter darkness,

Still and deep,

With the walls around me fallen

Of the sombre halls of sleep:

With my hall of dreams downfallen,

Dark I lay,

Like one houseless, though about me

Hendra stood, more fast than they:

But what broke my sleep asunder,-

Light or sound?

There was shown no sound, where only

Night, and shadow’s heart, were found.

III.

Anon he hears a voice in the night,

and rising from sleep, looks out

upon the sleeping town.

So it passed, till with a troubled

Lonely noise,

Like a cry of men benighted,

Midnight made itself a voice.

Then I rose, and from the stairloop,

Looking down,

Nothing saw, where far before me

Lay, one darkness, all the town.

In that grave day seemed for ever

To lie dead,

Nevermore at wake of morning

To lift up its pleasant head:

All its friendly foolish clamour,

Its delight,

Fast asleep, or dead, beneath me,

In that black descent of night:

But anon, like fitful harping,

Hark, a noise!

As in dream, suppose your dreamer’s

Men of shadow found a voice.

IV.

Hearing his name called,

Brechva descends to the postern,

and sees thence a circle of Shadows,

in a solemn dance of Death.

Night-wind never sang more strangely

Song more strange;

All confused, yet with a music

In confusion’s interchange.

Now it cried, like harried night-birds,

Flying near,

Now, more nigh, with multiplying

Voice on voice, “O Brechva, hear!”

I was filled with fearful pleasure

At the call,

And I turned, and by the stairway

Gained the postern in the wall:

Deep as Annwn lay the darkness

At my feet;–

Like a yawning grave before me,

When I opened, lay the street.

Dark as death and deep as Annwn,–

But these eyes

Yet more deeply, strangely, seeing,

From that grave saw life arise.

And therewith a mist of shadows

In a ring,

Like the sea-mist on the sea-wind,

Waxing, waning, vanishing.

Circling as the wheel of spirits

Whirled and spun,

Spun and whirled, to forewarn Merlin

In the woods of Caledon.

V.

The spirits are no dream folk;

but ancient inmates of the House of Hendra.

Shades of men, ay, bards and warriors!–

Wrought of air,

You may deem, but ’twas no dream-folk,

Born of night, that crossed me there.

And my heart cried out,–”O Vorwyn!

They are those

Who of old-time lived to know here

Life’s great sweetness in this house.”

I had bid them kinsman’s welcome,

In a word,

For the ancient sake of Hendra,

Which they served with harp and sword.

But as still I watched them, wondering,

Curiously,

Knowing all they should forewarn me,–

Of my death and destiny!

Ere I marked all in the silence,

Ere I knew,

Swift as they had come, as strangely

Now their shadowy life withdrew.

VI

The Spirits being gone,

Brechva hears aerial music,

and sees in vision all the Bards

in the seventh Heaven.

They were gone; but what sweet wonder

Filled the air!–

With a thousand harping noises,

Harping, chiming, crying there.

At that harping and that chiming,

Straightway strong

Grew my heart, and in the darkness

Found great solace at that song.

Through the gate of night, its vision,

Three times fine,

Saw the seventh heaven of heroes,

‘Mid a thousand torches’ shine:

All the bards and all the heroes

Of old time

There with Arthur and with Merlin

Weave again the bardic rhyme.

There a seat is set and ready,

And the name

There inscribed, and set on high thereof

Brechva of the Bards of Fame.

(The Soul)

Liberty & LSD

On The Music Box: Earthrites Radio!

(D M Tree)

Last Excerpts: Psychedelic Prayers

Timothy Leary

Gate Of The Soft Mystery

Valley of life

Gate of the Soft Mystery

Beginnings in the lowest place

Gate of the Soft Mystery

Gate of the Dark Woman

Gate of the Soft Mystery

Seed of all living

Gate of the Soft Mystery

Constantly enduring

Gate of the Soft Mystery

Enter

Gently…

III.12 The Lesson Of Seed

The soft overcomes the hard

The small overcomes the large

The gentle survives the strong

The invisible survives the visible

Fish should be left in deep water

Fire and iron kept under ground

Seed should be left free

To grow in the rhythm of life

__________________

Well Thursday has arrived. It has been a busy week, and just seems to get busier. The weather is holding, and Wednesday we worked on the yard, removing Wisteria from the side of the house (it was pulling the down spout out), moved the Cactus’s off the porch and into the backyard as well as the Caapi and various other friends.

Dog pen got moved, much to the bemusement of dog. Sophie tends to smile and do the dog laugh alot. I think we constantly amuse her with our busy ways. She would be happy just to chew on the post man. (her nemesis!)

My sister Suzanne stopped by for an hour or so. Later on my nephew Andrew came by from his first day of work on his new job. He was literally beaming, nice to see…

Mary and I watched one of the old “Carry On” films from the UK, “Carry On Dick”. The film is about Dick Turpin the infamous Highwayman of 18th century fame. A nice giggle seeing it again.

Moving forward with projects that take fruition soon, so stay tuned.

Our featured Artist today is Roberto Venosa. He studied with such luminaries as Ernst Fuchs, Mati Klarwein, and Salvador Dali. His art touches me in the deep places. If I may, a quote from Saint Timothy (Leary): “Robert Venosa creates mythical mindscapes that fascinate and illuminate. His tableaux are windows into timeless vistas of the inner realities.” Tim says it in a nut-shell.

We are very happy to have his art grace Turfing again. Thank you Roberto!

Gwyllm

On The Menu:

The Links:

The Article: Liberty & LSD by John Perry Barlow

The Poetry: A.E. Russell

The Artist: Roberto Venosa…!

(Tres Flores)

___________________

The Links:

ATT acts out as the Slimey Corporation that they are…

Thomas Giovanetti: Victim of DRM

West Sussex Lunar Halo

Everest Expedition Uncovers Exotic Species

____________________

Liberty & LSD

by John Perry Barlow (co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation)

(Ayahuasca Dream)

OVER THE LAST 25 years, I’ve watched a lot of Deadheads, Buddhists, and other freethinkers do acid. I’ve taken it myself. I still do occasionally, in a ritual sort of way. On the basis of their experience and my own, I know that the public terror of LSD is based more on media propagated superstition than familiarity with its effects on the real world.

I know this, and, like most others who know it, I have kept quiet about it.

Shorty after the Bill of Rights was drafted, the English philosopher john Stuart Mill said, “Liberty resides in the rights of that person whose views you find most odious. ” The Buddha was wise to point out that people must be free to work out for themselves what is true from actual experience and express it without censure.

I will go further and say that liberty resides in its exercise. It is preserved in the actual spouting of those odious views. It is maintained, and always has been, by brave and lonely cranks.

Lately it seems that our necessary cranks have been falling silent, struck dumb by a general assault on liberty in John Perry Barlow is co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and has also been a cattle rancher in Wyoming, America. This is no right-wingplot from the top. Like most totalitarian impulses, it has arisen among the people themselves. Terrified of virtual bogeymen we know only from the evening news, we have asked the government for shorter chains and smaller cages. And, market-driven as ever, it has been obliging us.

This is what is now taking place in our conduct of the War on Some Drugs. In this futile jihad, Americans have largely suspended habeas corpus, have allowed the government to permanently confiscate our goods without indictment or trial, have flat-out discarded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and are voluntarily crippling the First, at least insofar as any expression might relate to drugs.

In my gloomier moments, I wonder if the elimination of freedom in America is not what the War on Some Drugs was actually designed to accomplish.

Certainly we haven’t engaged this campaign because the psychoactive substances we are so determined to eliminate are inherently more dangerous than those we keep in plentiful and legal supply. Indeed, the most dangerous, antisocial, and addictive drugs I’ve ever taken-the ones I’m afraid to touch in any quantity today-are legal.

Alcohol, nicotine, and prescription sedatives do more American damage every day than LSD has done since it was derived in 1942. Each year, alcohol kills hundreds of thousands of Americans, many of them violently. Alcohol is a factor in most murders and suicides in America. It is a rare case of domestic violence or abuse where alcohol plays no role.

Yet I don’t hear people calling for its prohibition, nor would I support such an effort. I know it won’t work.

(Oothoon’s Palace)

It’s not working for LSD either; and it’s even less likely to. Lysergic acid diethylamide-25 is active in doses so small you can’t see them. It’s colorless, odorless, and it doesn’t show up in drug tests. And you have to be pretty high on acid before anyone’s going to notice you being anything but extremely alert.

Does this mean that I think LSD is safe or that I am recommending its use? Hardly. I consider l.SD to be a serious medicine, strong enough to make some people see God or the dharma. That’s serious medicine. There are two points that need making: First, by diminishing the hazards inherent in our cultural drugs of choice and demonizing psychedelics, we head our children straight down the most dangerous path their youthful adventurism can , take. Second, LSD is dangerous but not in the ways generally portrayed. By dressing it up in a Halloween costume of fictitious dangers, we encourage our kids to think we were also lying about its real ones. And LSD is dangerous.

It is dangerous because it promotes the idea that reality is something to be manipulated rather than accepted. This notion can seriously cripple one’s coping abilities, although I would still argue that both alcohol and advertising do that more persuasively than LSD. And of course, if you’re lightly sprung, it can leave you nuts.

But LSD is not illegal because it endangers your sanity. LSD is illegal because it endangers Control. Worse, it makes authority seem funny. But laugh at authority in America and you will know risk. LSD is illegal primarily because it threatens the dominant American culture, the culture of Control.

This is not a sound use of law. Just laws arise to support the ethics of a whole society and not as a means for one of its cultural factions to impose power on another.

There are probably 25 million Americans who have taken LSD, and who would, if hard pressed in private, also tell you that it profoundly changed their lives, and not necessarily for the worse.

I will readily grant that some of these are hopeless crystal worshipers or psychedelic derelicts creeping around Oregon woods. But far more of them are successful members of society, CEOs, politicians, Buddhist meditation teachers, ministers, and community leaders.

This is true. Whether we want it to be or not.

But the fact that so few among these millions dare utter this truth is, in a supposedly free country, a symptom of collective mental illness.

I neither expect nor ask any young person to regard me as a role model. There are easier routes through this world than the one I’ve taken. But I do like to think of myself as someone who defends his convictions. And I hope to raise my three daughters to be brave enough to own their beliefs, no matter how unorthodox, and to own them in public, no matter how risky. I dream of a day when anyone’s daughters will feel free to do that.

The most I can do toward a world in which their liberty is assured is to exercise mine in this one.

(Sanctum Caelestis)

_____

Poetry: A.E. (George William) Russell

Babylon

THE BLUE dusk ran between the streets: my love was winged within my mind,

It left to-day and yesterday and thrice a thousand years behind.

To-day was past and dead for me, for from to-day my feet had run

Through thrice a thousand years to walk the ways of ancient Babylon.

On temple top and palace roof the burnished gold flung back the rays

Of a red sunset that was dead and lost beyond a million days.

The tower of heaven turns darker blue, a starry sparkle now begins;

The mystery and magnificence, the myriad beauty and the sins

Come back to me. I walk beneath the shadowy multitude of towers;

Within the gloom the fountain jets its pallid mist in lily flowers.

The waters lull me and the scent of many gardens, and I hear

Familiar voices, and the voice I love is whispering in my ear.

Oh real as in dream all this; and then a hand on mine is laid:

The wave of phantom time withdraws; and that young Babylonian maid,

One drop of beauty left behind from all the flowing of that tide,

Is looking with the self-same eyes, and here in Ireland by my side.

Oh light our life in Babylon, but Babylon has taken wings,

While we are in the calm and proud procession of eternal things.

(Florestreno)

By the Margin of the Great Deep

WHEN the breath of twilight blows to flame the misty skies,

All its vaporous sapphire, violet glow and silver gleam

With their magic flood me through the gateway of the eyes;

I am one with the twilight’s dream.

When the trees and skies and fields are one in dusky mood,

Every heart of man is rapt within the mother’s breast:

Full of peace and sleep and dreams in the vasty quietude,

I am one with their hearts at rest.

From our immemorial joys of hearth and home and love

Strayed away along the margin of the unknown tide,

All its reach of soundless calm can thrill me far above

Word or touch from the lips beside.

Aye, and deep and deep and deeper let me drink and draw

From the olden fountain more than light or peace or dream,

Such primeval being as o’erfills the heart with awe,

Growing one with its silent stream.

Echoes

THE MIGHT that shaped itself through storm and stress

In chaos, here is lulled in breathing sweet;

Under the long brown ridge in gentleness

Its fierce old pulses beat.

Quiet and sad we go at eve; the fire

That woke exultant in an earlier day

Is dead; the memories of old desire

Only in shadows play.

We liken love to this and that; our thought

The echo of a deeper being seems:

We kiss, because God once for beauty sought

Within a world of dreams.

_______

(Crystal Bay)

The New Alchemy

More Prayers from Timothy Leary

(Dream Here 2)

The Root Chakra

Can you float through the universe of your body

and not lose your way?

Can you dissolve softly?

Decompose?

Can you rest

dormant seed-light

buried in moist earth?

Can you drift

single-celled

in soft tissue swamp?

Can you sink

into your dark

fertile marsh?

Can you spiral slowly

down the great central river?

—-

V.3 The Heart Chakra

Can you float through the universe of your body

and not lose your way?

Flow with fire-blood

Through each tissued corridor?

Can you let your heart

pump down red tunnels

stream into cell chambers?

Can you center on this

Heart-fire of love?

Can you let your heart

pulse for all love

beat for all sorrow

throb for all pain

thud for all joy

swell for all mankind?

Can you let it flow

With compassion

for all life?

—-

V.4 The Throat Chakra

Can you float through the universe of your body

and not lose your way?

Breathing

Can you drift into free air?

Rise on the trembling vibration

of inhale and exhale?

Can you ascend the fragile thread of breath

into cloud-blue bliss?

Can you spiral up through soft atmosphere

Breathing

Catch the moment between in-breath and out-breath

Just there…

Can you float beyond life and death

Breathing

—-

V.6 Ascending Ladder Of Chakras

Drift along your body’s soft swampland

where warm mud sucks lazily

Feel each cell in your body communicating

in serpent-coiled rainbow orgasm

Feel the sensuous rhythm of time

pulsing life along the arterial network

Bring the ethereal breath of life into

the white rooms of your brain

Radiate golden light out to

the four corners of creation

(Dream Here – Excerpt from Music Video)

___

Spent the evening with Friends… PK came by for a couple of hours, and then Terry C. came by and we went to the pub for a couple of hours. I turned him onto Kristi Stassinopoulou when we came back to Caer Llwydd. Listened to music for an hour more, all good stuff.

Mary and I tackled the foot high grass in the back yard earlier today. Both of us have assorted bites from our resident buggies. Yikes!

Some good stuff today… I hope you enjoy what we have for you. Our Artist today is Chris Barnaby, a dear friend from Australia. He is the Curator of the Erowid Art Vault, and is responsible for turning a very large public on to all kinds of new stuff. Chris is featured on Earth Rites in an article from last year, and I am very happy to have him featured on Turfing. His work does well with the subjects on hand!

On The Menu:

Links: for Lois back in W.VA! a special musical treat

Article: Alan Watts on “The New Alchemy”

Poetry: More Ancient Egyptian Love Poetry.

Artworks! Chris Barnaby

I hope this finds you in Spring times joy, or for our friends far south, in beautiful Fall.

Bright Blessings,

Gwyllm

___

The Links: A Tull Adventure for Lois in West Virginia!

A bit of the Rock n Roll Circus…

For Lois especially! ( Jethro Tull – Jack-In-The-Green – 2001)

Jethro Tull – The Story Of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles (a strange take on Beltane)

Jethro Tull – My God – Live At The Isle Of Wight 1970

__________

The New Alchemy

( Dream Here – Explorational still from music video)

Alan Watts

an essay from This is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience,

by Alan Watts, Vintage Books, 1973, ©Alan Watts 1958, 1960.

This essay was written in 1960.

Besides the philosopher’s stone that would turn base metal into gold, one of the great quests of alchemy in both Europe and Asia was the elixir of immortality. In gullible enthusiasm for this quest, more than one Chinese emperor died of the fabulous concoctions of powdered jade, tea, ginseng, and precious metals prepared by Taoist priests. But just as the work of transforming lead into gold was in many cases a chemical symbolism for a spiritual transformation of man himself, so the immortality to be conferred by the elixir was not always the literally everlasting life but rather the transportation of consciousness into a state beyond time. Modern physicists have solved the problem of changing lead into gold, though the process is somewhat more expensive than digging gold from the earth. But in the last few years modem chemists have prepared one or two substances for which it may be claimed that in some cases they induce states of mind remarkably similar to cosmic consciousness.

To many people such claims are deeply disturbing. For one thing, mystical experience seems altogether too easy when it simply comes out of a bottle, and is thus available to people who have done nothing to deserve it, who have neither fasted nor prayed nor practiced yoga. For another, the claim seems to imply that-spiritual insight is after all only a matter of body chemistry involving a total reduction of the spiritual to the material. These are serious considerations, even though one may be convinced that in the long run the difficulty is found to rest upon semantic confusion as to the definitions of “spiritual” and “material.”

However, it should be pointed out that there is nothing new or disreputable in the idea that spiritual insight Is an undeserved gift of divine grace, often conveyed through such material or sacramental means as the water of baptism and the bread and wine of the mass. The priest who by virtue of his office transforms bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, ex opere operato, by the simple repetition of the formula of the Last Supper, is in a situation not radically different from that of the scientist who, by repeating the right formula of an experiment, may effect a transformation in the brain. The comparative worth of the two operations must be judged by their effects. There were always those upon whom the sacraments of baptism and communion did not seem to “take,” whose lives remained effectively unregenerate. Likewise, none of these consciousness-changing chemicals are literally mystical experience in a bottle. Many who receive them experience only ecstasies without insight, or just an unpleasant confusion of sensation and imagination. States akin to mystical experience arise only in certain individuals and then often depend upon considerable concentration and effort to use the change of consciousness in certain ways. It is important here, too, to stress the point that ecstasy is only Incidental to the authentic mystical experience, the essence of which might best be described as insight, as the word is now used in psychiatry.

A chemical of this kind might perhaps be said to be an aid to perception in the same way as the telescope, microscope, or spectroscope, save in this case that the instrument is not an external object but an internal state of the nervous system. All such instruments are relatively useless without proper training and preparation not only in their handling, but also in the particular field of investigation,

These considerations alone are already almost enough to show that the use of such chemicals does not reduce spiritual insight to a mere matter of body chemistry. But it should be added that even when we can describe certain events in terms of chemistry this does not mean that such events are merely chemical. A chemical description of spiritual experience has somewhat the same use and the same limits as the chemical description of a great painting. It is simple enough to make a chemical analysis of the paint, and for artists and connoisseurs alike there is some point in doing so. It might also be possible to work out a chemical description of all the processes that go on in the artist while he is painting. But it would be incredibly complicated, and in the meantime the same processes could be described and communicated far more effectively in some other language than the chemical. We should probably say that a process is chemical only when chemical language is the most effective means of describing it. Analogously, some of the chemicals known as psychedelics provide opportunities for mystical insight in much the same way that well-prepared paints and brushes provide opportunities for fine painting, or a beautifully constructed piano for great music. They make it easier, but they do not accomplish the work all by themselves.

The two chemicals which are of most use in creating a change of consciousness conducive to spiritual experience are mescaline and lysergic acid diethylamide (known, for short, as LSD). The former is a synthetic formulation of the active ingredients of the peyote cactus, and the latter a purely synthetic chemical of the indole group which produces its effects even in such minute amounts as twenty-five micrograms. The specific effects of these chemicals are hard to identify with any clarity, and so far as is known at present they seem to operate upon the nervous system by reducing some of the inhibitory mechanisms which ordinarily have a screening effect upon our consciousness. Certain psychiatrists who seem overly anxious to hang on to the socially approved sensation of reality—more or less the world as perceived on a bleak Monday morning—classify these chemicals as hallucinogens producing toxic effects of a schizoid or psychotic character. I am afraid this is psychiatric gobbledygook: a sort of authoritative rumble of disapproval. Neither substance is an addictive drug, like heroin or opium, and it has never been demonstrated that they have harmful effects upon people who were not otherwise seriously disturbed. It is begging the question to call the changes of consciousness which they educe hallucinations, for some of the unusual things felt and seen may be no more unreal than the unfamiliar forms perceived through a microscope. We do not know. It is also begging the question to call their effects toxic, which might mean poisonous, unless this word can also be used for the effects of vitamins or proteins. Such language is evaluative, not descriptive in any scientific sense.

(Delvations)

Somewhat more than two years ago (1958) I was asked by a psychiatric research group to take 100 micrograms of lysergic acid, to see whether it would reproduce anything resembling a mystical experience. It did not do so, and so far as I know the reason was that I had not then learned how to direct my inquiries when under its influence. It seemed instead that my senses had been given a kaleidoscopic character (and this is no more than a metaphor) which made the whole world entrancingly complicated, as if I were involved in a multidimensional arabesque. Colors became so vivid that flowers, leaves, and fabrics seemed to be illumined from inside. The random patterns of blades of grass in a lawn appeared to be exquisitely organized without, however, any actual distortion of vision. Black ink or sumi paintings by Chinese and Japanese artists appeared almost to be three dimensional photographs, and what are ordinarily dismissed as irrelevant details of speech, behavior, appearance, and form seemed in some indefinable way to be highly significant. Listening to music with closed eyes, I beheld the most fascinating patterns of dancing jewelry, mosaic, tracery, and abstract images. At one point everything appeared to be uproariously funny, especially the gestures and actions of people going about their everyday business. Ordinary remarks seemed to reverberate with double and quadruple meanings, and the role-playing behavior of those around me not only became unusually evident but also implied concealed attitudes contrary or complementary to its overt intention. In short, the screening or selective apparatus of our normal interpretative evaluation of experience had been partially suspended, with the result that I was presumably projecting the sensation of meaning or significance upon just about everything. The whole experience was vastly entertaining and interesting, but as yet nothing like any mystical experience that I had had before.

It was not until a year later that I tried LSD again, this time at the request of another research team. Since then I have repeated the experiment five times, with dosages varying from 75 to 100 micrograms. My impression has been that such experiments are profound and rewarding to the extent that I do my utmost to observe perceptual and evaluative changes and to describe them as clearly and completely as possible, usually with the help of a tape recorder. To give a play-by-play description of each experiment might be clinically interesting, but what I am concerned with here is a philosophical discussion of some of the high points and recurrent themes of my experiences. Psychiatrists have not yet made up their minds as to whether LSD is useful in therapy, but at present I am strongly inclined to feel that its major use may turn out to be only secondarily as a therapeutic and primarily as an instrumental aid to the creative artist, thinker, or scientist. I should observe, in passing, that the human and natural environment in which these experiments are conducted is of great importance, and that its use in hospital wards with groups of doctors firing off clinical questions at the subject is most undesirable. The supervising physician should take a human attitude, and drop all defensive dramatizations of scientific objectivity and medical authority, conducting the experiment in surroundings of some natural or artistic beauty.

I have said that my general impression of the first experiment was that the “mechanism” by which we screen our sense-data and select only some of them as significant had been partially suspended. Consequently, I felt that the particular feeling which we associate with “the meaningful” was projected indiscriminately upon everything, and then rationalized in ways that might strike an independent observer as ridiculous—unless, perhaps, the subject were unusually clever at rationalizing. However, the philosopher cannot pass up the point that our selection of some sense-data as significant and others as insignificant is always with relation to particular purposes—survival, the quest for certain pleasures, finding one’s way to some destination, or whatever it may be. But in every experiment with LSD one of the first effects I have noticed is a profound relaxation combined with an abandonment of purposes and goals, reminding me of the Taoist saying that “when purpose has been used to achieve purposelessness, the thing has been grasped.” I have felt, in other words, endowed with all the time in the world, free to look about me as if I were living in eternity without a single problem to be solved. It is just for this reason that the busy and purposeful actions of other people seem at this time to be so comic, for it becomes obvious that by setting themselves goals which are always in the future, in the “tomorrow which never comes,” they are missing entirely the point of being alive.

When, therefore, our selection of sense-impressions is not organized with respect to any particular purpose, all the surrounding details of the world must appear to be equally meaningful or equally meaningless. Logically, these are two ways of saying the same thing, but the overwhelming feeling of my own LSD experiences is that all aspects of the world become meaningful rather than meaningless. This is not to say that they acquire meaning in the sense of signs, by virtue of pointing to something else, but that all things appear to be their own point. Their simple existence, or better, their present formation, seems to be perfect, to be an end or fulfillment without any need for justification. Flowers do not bloom in order to produce seeds, nor are seeds germinated in order to bring forth flowers. Each stage of the process—seed, sprout, bud, flower, and fruit— may be regarded as the goal. A chicken is one eggs way of producing others. In our normal experience something of the same kind takes place in music and the dance, where the point of the action is each moment of its unfolding and not just the temporal end of the performance.

Such a translation of everyday experience into something of the same nature as music has been the beginning and the prevailing undertone of all my experiments. But LSD does not simply suspend the selective process by cutting it out. It would be more exact to say that it shows the relativity of our ordinary evaluation of sense-data by suggesting others. It permits the mind to organize its sensory impressions in new patterns. In my second experiment I noticed, for example, that all repeated forms—leaves on a stem, books on shelves, mullions in windows—gave me the sensation of seeing double or even multiple, as if the second, third, and fourth leaves on the stem were reflections of the first, seen, as it were, in several thicknesses of window glass. When I mentioned this, the attending physician held up his finger to see if it would give me a double image. For a moment it seemed to do so, but all at once I saw that the second image had its basis in a wisp of cigar smoke passing close to his finger and upon which my consciousness had projected the highlights and outline of a second finger. As I then concentrated upon this sensation of doubling or repeating images, it seemed suddenly as if the whole field of sight were a transparent liquid rippled in concentric circles as in dropping a stone into a pool. The normal images of things around me were not distorted by this pattern. They remained just as usual, but my attention directed itself to highlights, lines, and shadows upon them that fitted the pattern, letting those that did not fall into relative insignificance. As soon, however, as I noticed this projection and became aware of details that did not fit the pattern, it seemed as if whole handfuls of pebbles had been thrown into-the optical space, rippling it with concentric circles that overlapped in all directions, so that every visible point became an intersection of circles. The optical field seemed, in fact, to have a structured grain like a photograph screened for reproduction, save that the organization of the grains was not rectilinear but circular. In this way every detail fitted the pattern and the field of vision became pointillist, like a painting by Seurat.

This sensation raised a number of questions. Was my mind imperiously projecting its own geometrical designs upon the world, thus “hallucinating” a structure in things which is not actually there? Or is what we call the “real” structure of things simply a learned projection or hallucination which we hold in common? Or was I somehow becoming aware of the actual grain of the rods and cones in my retina, for even a hallucination must have some actual basis in the nervous system? On another occasion I was looking closely at a handful of sand, and in becoming aware that I could not get it into clear focus I became conscious of every detail and articulation of the way in which my eyes were fuzzing the image—and this was certainly perception of a grain or distortion in the eyes themselves.

(Dream Here)

The general impression of these optical sensations is that the eyes, without losing the normal area of vision, have become microscopes, and that the texture of the visual field is infinitely rich and complex. I do not know whether this is actual awareness of the multiplicity of nerve-endings in the retina, or, for that matter, in the fingers, for the same grainy feeling arose in the sense of touch. But the effect of feeling that this is or may be so is, as it were, to turn the senses back upon themselves, and so to realize that seeing the external world is also seeing the eyes. In other words, I became vividly aware of the fact that what I call shapes, colors, and textures in the outside world are also states of my nervous system, that is, of me. In knowing them I also know my self. But the strange part of this apparent sensation of my own senses was that I did not appear to be inspecting them from outside or from a distance, as if they were objects. I can say only that the awareness of grain or structure in the senses seemed to be awareness of awareness, of myself from inside myself. Because of this, it followed that the distance or separation between myself and my senses, on the one hand, and the external world, on the other, seemed to disappear I was no longer a detached observer, a little man inside my own head, having sensations. I was the sensations, so much so that there was nothing left of me, the observing ego, except the series of sensations which happened—not to me, but just happened—moment by moment, one after another.

To become the sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. For it implies that experience is not something in which one is trapped or by which one is pushed around, or against which one must fight. The conventional duality of subject and object, knower and known, feeler and feeling, is changed into a polarity: the knower and the known become the poles, terms, or phases of a single event which happens, not to me or from me, but of itself. The experiencer and the experience become a single, ever-changing self-forming process, complete and fulfilled at every moment of its unfolding, and of infinite complexity and subtlety. It is like, not watching, but being, a coiling arabesque of smoke patterns in the air, or of ink dropped in water, or of a dancing snake which seems to move from every part of its body at once. This may be a “drug-induced hallucination,” but it corresponds exactly to what Dewey and Bentley have called the transactional relationship of the organism to its environment. This is to say that all our actions and experiences arise mutually from the organism and from the environment at the same time. The eyes can see light because of the sun, but the sun is light because of the eyes. Ordinarily, under the hypnosis of social conditioning, we feel quite distinct from our physical surroundings, facing them rather than belonging in them. Yet in this way we ignore and screen out the physical fact of our total interdependence with the natural world. We are as embodied in it as our own cells and molecules are embodied in us. Our neglect and repression of this interrelationship gives special urgency to all the new sciences of ecology, studying the interplay of organisms with their environments, and warning us against ignorant interference with the balances of nature.

The sensation that events are happening of themselves, and that nothing is making them happen and that they are not happening to anything, has always been a major feature of my experiences with LSD. It is possible that the chemical is simply giving me a vivid realization of my own philosophy, though there have been times when the experience has suggested modifications of my previousthinking. (1) But just as the sensation of subject-object polarity is confirmed by the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the sensation of events happening “of themselves” is just how one would expect to perceive a world consisting entirely of process. Now the language of science is increasingly a language of process—a description of events, relations, operations, and forms rather than of things and substances. The world so described is a world of actions rather than agents, verbs rather than nouns, going against the common-sense idea that an action is the behavior of some thing, some solid entity of “stuff.” But the commonsense idea that action is always the function of an agent is so deeply rooted, so bound up with our sense of order and security, that seeing the world to be otherwise can be seriously disturbing. Without agents, actions do not seem to come from anywhere, to have any dependable origin, and at first sight this spontaneity can be alarming. In one experiment it seemed that whenever I tried to put my (metaphorical) foot upon some solid ground, the ground collapsed into empty space. I could find no substantial basis from which to act: my will was a whim, and my past, as a causal conditioning force, had simply vanished. There was only the present conformation of events, happening. For a while I felt lost in a void, frightened, baseless, insecure through and through Yet soon I became accustomed to the feeling, strange as it was. There was simply a pattern of action, of process, and this was at one and the same time the universe and myself with nothing outside it either to trust or mistrust. And there seemed to be no meaning in the idea of its trusting or mistrusting itself, just as there is no possibility of a finger’s touching its own tip.

Upon reflection, there seems to be nothing unreasonable in seeing the world in this way. The agent behind every action is itself action. If a mat can be called matting, a cat can be called catting. We do not actually need to ask who or what “cats,” just as we do not need to ask what is the basic stuff or substance out of which the world is formed—for there is no way of describing this substance except in terms of form, of structure, order, and operation. The world is not formed as if it were inert clay responding to the touch of a potter’s hand; the world is form, or better, formation, for upon examination every substance turns out to be closely knit pattern. The fixed notion that every pattern or form must be made of some basic material which is in itself formless is based on a superficial analogy between natural formation and manufacture, as if the stars and rocks had been made out of something as a carpenter makes tables out of wood. Thus what we call the agent behind the action is simply the prior or relatively more constant state of the same action: when a man runs we have a “manning-running” over and above a simple “manning.” Furthermore, it is only a somewhat clumsy convenience to say that present events are moved or caused by past events, for we are actually talking about earlier and later stages of the same event. We can establish regularities of rhythm and pattern in the course of an event, and so predict its future configurations, but its past states do not “push” its present and future states as if they were a row of dominoes stood on end so that knocking over the first collapses all the others in series. The fallen dominoes lie where they fall, but past events vanish into the present, which is just another way of saying that the world is a self-moving pattern which, when its successive states are remembered, can be shown to have a certain order. Its motion, its energy, issues from itself now, not from the past, which simply falls behind it in memory like the wake from a ship.

When we ask the “why” of this moving pattern, we usually try to answer the question in terms of its original, past impulse or of its future goal. I had realized for a long time that if there is in any sense a reason for the world’s existence it must be sought in the present, as the reason for the wake must be sought in the engine of the moving ship. I have already mentioned that LSD makes me peculiarly aware of the musical or dance-like character of the world, bringing my attention to rest upon its present flowing and seeing this as its ultimate point. Yet I have also been able to see that this point has depths, that the present wells up from within itself with an energy which is something much richer than simple exuberance.

(Breaking Space 3)

One of these experiments was conducted late at night. Some five or six hours from its start the doctor had to go home, and I was left alone in the garden. For me, this stage of the experiment is always the most rewarding in terms of insight, after some of its more unusual and bizarre sensory effects have worn off. The garden was a lawn surrounded by shrubs and high trees—Pine and eucalyptus—and floodlit from the house which enclosed it on one side. As I stood on the lawn I noticed that the rough patches where the grass was thin or mottled with weeds no longer seemed to be blemishes. Scattered at random as they were, they appeared to constitute an ordered design, giving the whole area the texture of velvet damask, the rough patches being the parts where the pile of the velvet is cut. In sheer delight I began to dance on this enchanted carpet, and through the thin soles of my moccasins I could feel the ground becoming alive under my feet, connecting me with the earth and the trees and the sky in such a way that I seemed to become one body with my whole surroundings.

Looking up, I saw that the stars were colored with the same reds, greens, and blues that one sees in iridescent glass, and passing across them was the single light of a jet plane taking forever to streak over the sky. At the same time, the trees, shrubs, and flowers seemed to be living jewelry, inwardly luminous like intricate structures of jade, alabaster, or coral, and yet breathing and flowing with the same life that was in me. Every plant became a kind of musical utterance, a play of variations on a theme repeated from the main branches, through the stalks and twigs, to the leaves, the veins in the leaves, and to the fine capillary network between the veins. Each new bursting of growth from a center repeated or amplified the basic design with increasing complexity and delight, finally exulting in a flower.

From my description it will seem that the garden acquired an atmosphere that was distinctly exotic, like the gardens of precious stones in the Arabian Nights, or like scenes in a Persian miniature. This struck me at the time, and I began to wonder just why it is that the glowingly articulated landscapes of those miniatures seem exotic, as do also many Chinese and Japanese paintings. Were the artists recording what they, too, had seen under the influence of drugs? I knew enough of the lives and techniques of Far Eastern painters to doubt this. I asked, too, whether what I was seeing was “drugged.” In other words, was the effect of the LSD in my nervous system the addition to my senses of some chemical screen which distorted all that I saw to preternatural loveliness? Or was its effect rather to remove certain habitual and normal inhibitions of the mind and senses, enabling us to see things as they would appear to us if we were not so chronically repressed? Little is known of the exact neurological effects of LSD, but what is known suggests the latter possibility. If this be so, it is possible that the art forms of other cultures appear exotic—that is, unfamiliarly enchanting—because we are seeing the world through the eyes of artists whose repressions are not the same as ours. The blocks in their view of the world may not coincide with ours, so that in their representations of life we see areas that we normally ignore. I am inclined to some such solution because there have been times when I have seen the world in this magical aspect without benefit of LSD, and they were times when I was profoundly relaxed within, my senses unguardedly open to their surroundings.

Feeling, then, not that I was drugged but that I was in an unusual degree open to reality, I tried to discern the meaning, the inner character of the dancing pattern which constituted both myself and the garden, and the whole dome of the night with its colored stars. All at once it became obvious that the whole thing was love-play, where love means everything that the word can mean, a spectrum ranging from the red of erotic delight, through the green of human endearment, to the violet of divine charity, from Freud’s libido to Dante’s “love that moves the sun and other stars.” All were so many colors issuing from a single white light, and, what was more, this single source was not just love as we ordinarily understand it: it was also intelligence, not only Eros and Agape but also Logos. I could see that the intricate organization both of the plants and of my own nervous system, like symphonies of branching complexity, were not just manifestations of intelligence—as if things like intelligence and love were in themselves substances or formless forces. It was rather that the pattern itself is intelligence and is love, and this somehow in spite of all its outwardly stupid and cruel distortions.

There is probably no way of finding objective verification for insights such as this. The world is love to him who treats it as such, even when it torments and destroys him, and in states of consciousness where there is no basic separation between the ego and the world suffering cannot be felt as malice inflicted upon oneself by another. By the same logic it might seem that with out the separation of self and other there can be no love. This might be true if individuality and universality were formal opposites, mutually exclusive of one another, if, that is, the inseparability of self and other meant that all individual differentiations were simply unreal. But in the unitary, or nondualistic, view of the world I have been describing this is not so. Individual differences express the unity, as branches, leaves, and flowers from the same plant, and the love between the members is the realization of their basic interdependence.

I have not yet been able to use LSD in circumstances of great physical or moral pain, and therefore my explorations of the problem of evil under its influence may appear to be shallow. Only once in these experiments have I felt acute fear, but I know of several cases in which LSD has touched off psychic states of the most alarming and unpleasant kind. More than once I have invited such states under LSD by looking at images ordinarily suggestive of “the creeps”—the mandibles of spiders, and the barbs and spines of dangerous fish and insects. Yet they evoked only a sense of beauty and exuberance, for our normal projection of malice into these creatures was entirely withdrawn, so that their organs of destruction became no more evil than the teeth of a beautiful woman. On another occasion I looked for a long time at a colored reproduction of Van Eyck’s Last Judgment, which is surely one of the most horrendous products of human imagination. The scene of hell is dominated by the figure of Death, a skeleton beneath whose batlike wings lies a writhing mass of screaming bodies gnawed by snakes which penetrate them like maggots in fruit. One of the curious effects of LSD is to impart an illusion of movement in still images, so that here the picture came to life and the whole entanglement of limbs and serpents began to squirm before my eyes. (2)

Ordinarily such a sight should have been hideous, but now I watched it with intense and puzzled interest until the thought came to me, “Demon est deus inversus—the Devil is God inverted—so let’s turn the picture upside down.” I did so, and thereupon burst into laughter for it became apparent at once that the scene was an empty drama, a sort of spiritual scarecrow, designed to guard some mystery from profanation by the ignorant. The agonized expressions of the damned seemed quite evidently “put on,” and as for the death’s-head, the great skull in the center of the painting, it became just what a skull is—an empty shell—and why the horror when there is nothing in it?

I was, of course, seeing ecclesiastical hells for what they are. On the one hand, they are the pretension that social authority is ultimately inescapable since there are post-mortem police who will catch every criminal. On the other hand, they are “no trespassing” signs to discourage the insincere and the immature from attaining insights which they might abuse. A baby is put in a play pen to keep it from getting at the matches or falling downstairs, and though the intention of the pen is to keep the baby closed in, parents are naturally proud when the child grows strong enough to climb out. Likewise, a man can perform actions which are truly moral only when he is no longer motivated by the fear of hell, that is, when he grows into union with the Good that is beyond good and evil, which, in other words, does not act from the love of rewards or the fear of punishments. This is precisely the nature of the world when it is considered as self-moving action, giving out a past instead of being motivated by a past.

Beyond this, the perception of the empty threat of the death’s-head was certainly a recognition of the fact that the fear of death, as distinct from the fear of dying, is one of the most baseless mirages that trouble us. Because it is completely impossible to imagine one’s own personal absence, we fill the void in our minds with images of being buried alive in perpetual darkness. If death is the simple termination of a stream of consciousness, it is certainly nothing to fear. At the same time, I realize that there is some apparent evidence for survival of death in a few extraordinarily unexplainable mediumistic communications and remembrances of past lives. These I attribute, vaguely enough, to subtler networks of communication and interrelationship in the pattern of life than we ordinarily perceive. For if forms repeat themselves, if the structure of branching trees is reverberated in the design of watercourses in the desert, it would not be so strange if a pattern so intricate as the human nervous system were to repeat configurations that arise in consciousness as veritable memories of the most distant times. My own feeling, and of course it is nothing more than an opinion, is that we transcend death, not as individual memory-systems, but only in so far as our true identity is the total process of the world as distinct from the apparently separate organism.

As I have said, this sense of being the whole process is frequently experienced with LSD, and, for me, it has often arisen out of a strong feeling of the mutuality of opposites. Line and plane, concept and percept, solid and space, figure and ground, subject and object appear to be so completely correlative as to be convertible into each other. At one moment it seems that there are, for example, no lines in nature: there are only the boundaries of planes, boundaries which are, after all, the planes themselves. But at the next moment, looking carefully into the texture of these planes, one discovers them to be nothing but a dense network of patterned lines. Looking at the form of a tree against the sky, I have felt at one moment that its outline “belongs” to the tree, exploding into space. But the next moment I feel that the same form is the “inline” of the sky, of space imploding the tree. Every pull is felt as a push, and every push as a pull, as in rotating the rim of a wheel with one’s hand. Is one pushing or pulling?

The sense that forms are also properties of the space in which they expand is not in the least fantastic when one considers the nature of magnetic fields, or, say, the dynamics of swirling ink dropped into water. The concepts of verbal thought are so clumsy that we tend to think only of one aspect of a relationship at a time. We alternate between seeing a given form as a property of the figure and as a property of the ground, as in the Gestalt image of two profiles in black silhouette, about to kiss. The white space between them appears as a chalice, but it is intensely difficult to see the kissing faces and the chalice simultaneously. Yet with LSD one appears to be able to feel this simultaneity quite vividly, and thus to become aware of the mutuality of one’s own form and action and that of the surrounding world. The two seem to shape and determine each other at the same moment, explosion and implosion concurring in perfect harmony, so giving rise to the feeling that one is actual self is both. This inner identity is felt with every level of the environment—the physical world of stars and space, rocks and plants, the social world of human beings, and the ideational world of art and literature, music and conversation. All are grounds or fields operating in the most intimate mutuality with one’s own existence and behavior so that the “origin” of action lies in both at once, fusing them into a single act. It is certainly for this reason that LSD taken in common with a small group can be a profoundly eucharistic experience, drawing the members together into an extremely warm and intimate bond of friendship.

(Breaking Space – Art from Animations)

( All in all, I have felt that my experiments with this astonishing chemical have been most worth while, creative, stimulating, and, above all, an intimation that “there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in your philosophy.” Only once have I felt terror, the sense of being close to madness, and even here the insight gained was well worth the pain. Yet this was enough to convince me that indiscriminate use of this alchemy might be exceedingly dangerous, and to make me ask who, in our society, is competent to control its use. Obviously, this applies even more to such other powers of science as atomic energy, but once something is known there is really no way of locking it up. At the present time, 1960, LSD is in the control of pharmacologists and a few research groups of psychiatrists, and though there are unscrupulous and frankly psychotic psychiatrists, this seems to me a far more reliable form of control than that exercised by the police and the Bureau of Narcotics—which is not control at all, but ineffective repression, handing over actual control to the forces of organized crime.

On the whole, we feel justified in using dangerous powers when we can establish that there is a relatively low probability of disaster. Life organized so as to be completely foolproof and secure is simply not worth living, since it requires the final abolition of freedom. It is on this perfectly rational principle of gambling that we justify the use of travel by air and automobile, electric appliances in the home, and all the other dangerous instruments of civilization. Thus far, the record of catastrophes from the use of LSD is extremely low, and there is no evidence at all that it is either habit-forming or physically deleterious. It is, of course, possible to become psychically dependent on stimuli which do not establish any craving that can be identified in physiological terms. Personally, I am no example of phenomenal will power, but I find that I have no inclination to use LSD in the same way as tobacco or wines and liquors. On the contrary, the experience is always so fruitful that I feel I must digest it for some months before entering into it again. Furthermore, I find that I am quite instinctively disinclined to use it without the same sense of readiness and dedication with which one approaches a sacrament, and also that the experience is worth while to the precise degree that I keep my critical and intellectual faculties alert.

It is generally felt that there is a radical incompatibility between intuition and intellect, poetry and logic, spirituality and rationality, To me, the most impressive thing about LSD experiences is that these formally opposed realms seem instead to complement and fructify one another, suggesting, therefore, a mode of life in which man is no longer an embodied paradox of angel and animal, of reason fighting instinct, but a marvelous coincidence in whom Eros and Logos are one.

Footnotes

(1) I have often made the point, as in The Way of Zen, that the “real” world is concrete rather than abstract, and thus that the conceptual patterns of order, categorization, and logic which the human mind projects upon nature are in some way less real. But upon several occasions LSD has suggested a fundamental identity of percept and concept, concrete and abstract. After all, our brains and the patterns in them are themselves members of the concrete, physical universe, and thus our abstractions are as much forms of nature as the structure of crystals or the organization of ferns. (back)

(2) Later, with the aid of a sea urchin’s shell I was able to find out something of the reasons for this effect. All the small purple protuberances on the shell seemed to be wiggling, not only to sight but also to touch Watching this phenomenon closely, I realized that as my eyes moved across the shell they seemed to change the intensity of coloring, amounting to an increase or decrease in the depth of shadow. This did not happen when the eyes were held still. Now motion, or apparent motion, of the shadow will often seem to be motion of the object casting it, in this case the protrusions on the shell. In the Van Eyck painting there was likewise an alteration, a lightening or darkening, of actual shadows which the artist had painted, and thus the same illusion of movement.

________

Egyptian Love Poetry

(Landscape of Joy)

I wish I were your mirror

so that you always looked at me.

I wish I were your garment

so that you would always wear me.

I wish I were the water that washes

your body.

I wish I were the unguent, O woman,

that I could annoit you.

And the band around your breasts,

and the beads around your neck.

I wish I were your sandal

that you would step on me!

(Not sure about that last sentence!)

—–

O my beautiful one,

I wish I were part of your affairs, like a wife.

With your hand in mine

your love would be returned.

I implore my heart:

“If my true love stays away tonight,

I shall be like someone already

in the grave.”

Are you not my health and my life?

How joyful is your good health

for the heart that seeks you!

—-

Extract from a 3,000 year-old papyrus.

She is one girl, there is no one like her.

She is more beautiful than any other.

Look, she is like a star goddess arising

at the beginning of a happy new year;

brilliantly white, bright skinned;

with beautiful eyes for looking,

with sweet lips for speaking;

she has not one phrase too many.

With a long neck and white breast,

her hair of genuine lapis lazuli;

her arm more brilliant than gold;

her fingers like lotus flowers,

with heavy buttocks and girt waist.

Her thighs offer her beauty,

with a brisk step she treads on ground.

She has captured my heart in her embrace.

She makes all men turn their necks

to look at her.

One looks at her passing by,

this one, the unique one.

____________

Have a day of beauty!

Byeeeee

G