An urban mystery unfurls as one man pieces together the surreal meaning of hundreds of cryptic tiled messages that have been appearing in city streets across the U.S. and South America.
From Nick Herbert’s
INVESTIGATING NEW DOORWAYS INTO NATURE
Peter Lamborn Wilson is dead.
Peter Lamborn Wilson was a prolific, controversial writer and researcher into the lives and beliefs of mavericks, misfits, hobos, punks and heretics. He is best-known for his coinage of the term Temporary Autonomous Zone or TAZ which can be applied to any spontaneous association of free people from Burning Man to improv dancing, especially those gatherings which maximize what Wilson liked to call “ontological anarchy”.
As an Ontological Anarchist, Peter necessarily acquired an unusual resume’. Educated at Columbia, Wilson left New York in 1968 for a spiritual “Journey to the East” across the Islamic world from Morocco to Katmandu, seeking wisdom and teachers in tea houses, palaces and opium dens and settling finally in Tehran, where his presence coincided with Empress Farah Pahlavi’s desire to spread Iranian culture into the West. At the Iranian Academy of Philosophy, Wilson was put in charge of English publication where he was able to translate the works of famous Islamic philosophers and poets, for instance (my favorite) The Drunken Universe: An Anthology of Persian Sufi Poetry with Nasrollah Pourjavady.
Wilson’s academic tenure in Tehran was cut short in 1979 by the Iranian Revolution in which the Shah and his wife were replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini (a minor poet himself in the tradition of Khayyam and Hafiz).
Back in New York, Wilson aligned himself with various fringe organizations among which was the Moorish Orthodox Church of America which Wikipedia describes as “a syncretic, non-exclusive, and religious anarchist movement originally founded in New York City in 1965 and part of the burgeoning psychedelic church movement of the mid to late 1960’s in the United States.” MOCA traces its lineage back to a black Chicago religious leader from the 1920’s, Noble Drew Ali, whom the Black Muslims also claim as their founder. More detailed information concerning this “religious anarchist movement” can be found on the web at the Moorish Orthodox Information Kiosk or in Wilson’s own Sacred Drift: Essays on the Margins of Islam published by City Lights in San Francisco.
Wilson obituaries have appeared in such wide-ranging venues as The Global Ganja Report and the New York Times (!) so I will not repeat here what others have written but instead publish a brief account of how this ontological anarchist affected my own life.
In the early 80’s computers were just beginning to enter our lives. Instead the photocopier gave rise to a web-like phenomenon called “zines”, short for “magazines” in which anyone with a few dollars for stamps and access to a Xerox machine could become their own publisher. The quality of zines ranged from semi-professional to unreadable but what they all had in common was quirky originality and instant access to off-beat topics. I cannot locate in my records the zine in which I first encountered the writings of Peter Lamborn Wilson but it might have been Popular Reality which one archivist described as “distinguishing itself as an open forum for the most unpopular of opinions.”
Connecting via one of the zines of that era Peter and I began a letter exchange concerning the Moorish Orthodox Church and he invited me to come visit him in New York should opportunity arise. So in the spring of 1986 on some errand involving physics and publishing I met the man himself in his third floor apartment on West 107th St just a few blocks from the Nicholas Roerich Museum.
Wilson lived in a rat’s warren of books, papers and unusual objects from his Islamic travels, the centerpiece of which was an old mechanical Remington typewriter on which he composed his voluminous works, He seemed to have a dislike for computers and never quite moved into the digital age. Over a few tokes of crumbly hashish he regaled me with tales from his travels and invited me to become a member of the Moorish Church. It is customary to take an Islamic name and I knew nothing of that faith. Wilson’s own Moorish name was “Hakim Bey” and several of his books, articles and performances appear under that name. “Well, you could do worse, Nick, than “Jabir”, the 9th Century Islamic alchemist.”
So Jabir it was. To which I later added “‘abd al-Khaliq”, designating myself as servant of one of the 99 names of God. A few weeks later I received from Hakim Bey a photocopied diploma certifying my new rank as “Adept of the Seventh Heaven.”
My first substantial adventure with the Moorish Orthodox Chuch was the Antarctic Astral Projection Project. On the night separating August from September 1987, various individuals would attempt by any means at their command to astrally project themselves to a location on the Antarctic continent aptly named “Cape Longing”. We would dutifully record our impressions which would then be collected and published in the zinosphere as part of the Akashic Records, one more fanciful account of the spiritual strivings of the human race. Doctor Jabir decided to go there as Mandrake the Magician and fancied the trip as a conclave of other fictional magician/scientists observing and producing new physical, mental and spiritual phenomena in the exotic low-temperature environment not far from the Earth’s South magnetic pole. As I recall music and dancing girls were involved as well as a spectacular display of the best Southern Lights that my human imagination could produce.
Another Moorish adventure as Doctor Jabir, this time in real space, was the Temporary Autonomous Zone San Francisco performance in 1993 organized and produced by the legendary Joseph Matheny. The site of TAZ SF was Komotion International, an art and performance space in San Francisco’s Mission district. This event featured a dozen or so performers, both male and female, some of whom mingled with the audience. Hakim Bey himself was one of the stars and calmly lectured on some obscure feature of Ontological Anarchy. Most of us were attempting to be as outrageous as possible but Bey trumped us all by affecting an utterly conventional academic normality in an ocean of freaks. Jabir read some of his newest quantum tantric poetry, Robert Anton Wilson shared some of his latest provocative prose. Circus acts and dances followed and there was some sort of bondage scene going on that I had helped to prepare back stage.
MOCA produced at odd intervals the Moorish Science Monitor to which I sometimes contributed. And once I was a guest along with Robert Anton Wilson on the Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade, an after midnight series hosted by Hakim Bey on New York’s independent radio station WBAI.
Back in Boulder Creek I often enjoyed co-hosting our long running series of poetry readings with fellow Moor Omar abu Khan (aka Ed Cramer). But all in all, Doctor Jabir achieved the height of his Moorish identity in the call for Tantric Jihad which he has performed in venues as various as house warmings and Esalen Institute,
My sheik is dead.
Hail and farewell
O noble teacher of the Way
Hakim Bey has crossed the Black Sands.
Jabir ‘abd al-Khaliq declares Tantric Jihad
It was almost a foregone conclusion that David Cronenberg would be bringing his upcoming “Crimes of the Future” to this coming May’s Cannes Film Festival.
The film is now being screened for international programmers, and I was lucky enough to find one reaction that will make absolutely every cinephile excited about the legendary director’s much-anticipated comeback vehicle…
“I cannot say much, obviously, but if people thought “Crash” was divise back in 1996, this is going to create way more chaos and controversy for sure. The last twenty minutes are a very tough sit. I expect walk-outs, faintings and real panic attacks (I almost had one myself!) at the Lumière theatre. No hyperbole, I promise.”
“Seydoux’s role is way too bonkers and RADICAL to contend for a Cannes Best Actress award in my book, but I’d love to be proven wrong. I see no precedent in Cannes for a performance of that caliber/genre gaining momentum with a jury … I mean Seydoux basically plays a (very oft-naked) Gina Pane-like artist of the near future.”
Please inject this movie into my veins right this minute.
Cronenberg hasn’t directed a film since 2014’s “Map to the Stars.” This latest one, his return to sci-fi after an almost 23 year absence, is also rumoured to the be 79-year-old’s swan song.
Extended Synopsis for”Crimes of the Future”:
“Taking a deep dive into the not-so-distant future where humankind is learning to adapt to its synthetic surroundings. This evolution moves humans beyond their natural state and into a metamorphosis, altering their biological makeup. While some embrace the limitless potential of trans-humanism, others attempt to police it. Either way, ‘Accelerated Evolution Syndrome’ is spreading fast. Saul Tenser is a beloved performance artist who has embraced Accelerated Evolution Syndrome, sprouting new and unexpected organs in his body. Along with his partner Caprice, Tenser has turned the removal of these organs into a spectacle for his loyal followers to marvel at in real time theatre. But with both the government and a strange subculture taking note, Tenser is forced to consider what would be his most shocking performance of all.”
If I had to pick my own introduction to the genre of noise, it would be around 1992. We were skateboarding one night, and this kid that I kinda recognized from school rolled up with “FVG/\ZI” and the Crass logo spray painted on his grip tape. He had a mohawk and an army jacket, and a hell of a one-footed ollie. The next day, I went to the record store Noise Noise Noise and bought The Feeding of The 5000, and was hit by a 2-minute and 42-second dose of spoken word/noise called “asylum”.
In 1996, Victory Records released a split 7-inch with Integrity and Psywarfare, and two years later a split 7-inch with Integrity and Lockweld. I may not have totally understood the sounds at the time, but I accepted them.
By 2008, I was experimenting with making my own noise and shortly after, struck up a friendship with Dwid Hellion that has resulted in more productivity and encouragement around my creative endeavors than almost anyone in my life.
I enjoyed reading Xen: The Zen of the Other, but the audio radio play is even better. Its gusto voice acting, hypnotic musicscapes, and mystical plot all add up to a transporting experience that’s beyond what we normally expect from a book recording.
…and the lord spoketh, and more episodes of SittingNow Radio were bestowed upon the people. The people were annoyed though, because they’d asked for Playstation 5’s all-round, but hey, they get what they’re given amirite
This week Ken and Ulysses Black sit down with the amazing Peter Grey Occultist and co-founder of the excellent Scarlet Imprint. We talk to Peter about his new book ‘The Two Antichrists’, Scientology, The Future of the Occult, Why Magicians should be looking to space, and not to the past, and a whole host of other weird goodness.
For more Peter Grey, check out our SittingNow TV episodes
Main theme by Simon Smerdon (Mothboy)
Music bed by chriszabriskie.com
Peter Grey Bio:
Peter Grey has spoken at public events and conferences in England, Scotland, Norway and the United States as well as closed gatherings. These have included Occulture, the Occult Conferences in Glastonbury and London, Treadwell’s Bookshop, the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle, the Psychology, Art and the Occult conference in London, Here to Go II in Norway, the Trans-States conference in Northampton University and many Pagan Federation events. A long term supporter of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in his native Cornwall, his work on the witches’ sabbat was first given at the annual Friends of the Museum gathering. His work has also appeared in numerous small journals and collections, such as The Fenris Wolf, as well as online. His collected writings, from 2008–2018, are published in The Brazen Vessel (2019) with those of Alkistis Dimech.
His Lucifer: Princeps (2015), is a study of the origins of the figure of Lucifer; he is currently writing the second part, Lucifer: Praxis, which addresses working with the fallen angels of the Enochic tradition and their transvection into the grimoires and modern practice.
This ancient story was an influence on Xen: The Zen of the Other
Merlin is the archetypal wizard, Welsh and Celtic in origin but with connections across the water in Cornwall and middle Europe, and, of course, the Arthurian legends. The powerful wizard is portrayed across folklore with many magical powers, including the power of shapeshifting, and is well-known for being King Arthur’s mentor, ultimately guiding him towards becoming the king of Camelot. In this documentary, we take a deep dive into the fantastic world of Merlin and his influence in today’s society.
Rachel Greenwald Smith on the Treacherous Common Territories of Literary Culture and Capitalism
Ardor characterizes Anderson’s tone, but it also becomes a value in and of itself in her editorial work. “I loathe compromise, and yet I have been compromising in every issue by putting in things that were ‘almost good’ or ‘interesting enough’ or ‘important,’” she writes in this particular issue. “There will be no more of it.”
Against “good poems” she wants to publish capital-A Art, art that goes beyond simply being the best version of itself. Notably diverging from Poetry magazine’s Open Door policy, Anderson believed that truly great art was not a matter of individual quality; it was a matter of ferocity of commitment. She wanted art that could knock a person over, art that “uses up all the life it can get.” She invokes the modernist credo “art for art’s sake,” but in an avant-garde reversal insists that this means not a retreat from the world of politics and history but a commitment to it. “Revolution is Art,” she explains. “You want free people just as you want the Venus that was modelled by the sea.”
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE: https://lithub.com/how-david-foster-wallace-used-compromise-aesthetics-to-sell-infinite-jest
A howl erupts from the body, out into the world. From the flesh of the animal howling, its musicality rides the air, unseen but undeniably there.
A cough or a sneeze releases tiny particles of a disease named Covid-19 from the body, a presence that can ride upon the air and infect those who cannot see it, or deny its presence. It is not a friend to those animals it makes its host – perhaps it has become a friend to authoritarian governments however? Or has it been a monkeywrench in the machine, undermining political-narratives and creating issues for the state? Perhaps neither? Perhaps both? We do not pretend to know, with any quality of definiteness.
We know that we encounter the body as beautiful. We feel a desire for the bodily presence of living beings. If eroticism is assenting to life up to the point of death, as Bataille defines eroticism, there is an erotic quality to our life-desire. What does desire, eroticism, or love mean amidst a pandemic? Is this space that we find ourselves in the best or the worst space for love poetry? Again, we do not pretend to know.
For the fourth issue of The Night Forest Journal, we are asking for submissions on the body, biopolitics and Covid-19. As with previous issues, we will accept poems, essays, short stories and visual art for this project. Suggested areas of focus are –
Health and wellbeing
Love, sex and desire in the pandemic
Free-love during lockdowns
Conspiracy and the art of seduction
Vaccine passports and (micro-)nationalism
We will publish up to 3 submissions from each contributor, but will consider any submissions sent to us. There is no limit in length of poems or essays. Submissions can be sent to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or via our social-media presences. The deadline for submissions is the winter solstice 2021.