Some recent synchronicities and a Beatles conspiracy:
Last week I received an email from my friend Babx (David Babin), French composer and musician extraordinaire, whose next album we'll be mixing soon.. The email had the demos of his songs attached and a lenghty lucid description of the direction to take the mixes. He wrote: I was also REALLY influenced by the work of Nikola Tesla and the myth of this man. I wrote back saying that I could imagine hearing some of these songs playing in Tesla's lab as I saw it in the film The Prestige which has David Bowie playing the part of this eccentric genius.
A couple of days later I began recording The Famous at Oakland's New and Improved Recording Studio. The Famous describe their music as "classic country with a shot of post punk." or " a blaphemous marriage of indie-styled rock & roll and cowboy laments." Their music would fit perfectly in some of the Wild West segments from Against the Day (Pynchon). I particularly enjoy their lyrics which contain no small measure of whimsy, humor and irony. Turns out that guitar player/songwriter Victor Barclay works for Tesla Motors, a company that manufactures and sells electric cars originally designed by Nikola Tesla. Their sales are good. Electric cars seem to be catching on, and are becoming more affordable.
Two more unusual synchronicities also occurred last week. The first one began by reading a blog post about Robert Anton Wilson and Phillip K. Dick over at RAW Illumination.net . After reading that I clicked on a new link on that site that went to TSOGBLOGSPHERE and read an excellent article on James Joyce and the Tao written by Robert Anton Wilson in 1959. One of Wilson's points had to do with favoring direct experience, which he characterized as feminine, over what he calls the masculine ethical rigors of Confucianism - living, or getting programmed to live according to arbitrary morals, conventions, and beliefs. Later the same day, reading The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, it felt like I was seeing very similar points but given in a different way, in PKDspeak. There was a footnote explicitly tying what Dick was saying into both the Tao and Joyce. The annotater ends with a Wilsonian sounding statement: "Righteousness here is anything but self-righteousness. It is instead the humility and practice necessary to silence the mind in order to perceive reality, a "casual field" unmistakably affected by the language by which we model it. - RD p. 482
The second unusual synchronicity began when I decided to watch Cranberry Sauce, an hour and a half documentary on the "Paul is dead" rumours and possible conspiracy that followed the Beatles in the Sixties and Seventies. "Cranberry sauce' is what Johm Lennon claims the barely audible words heard at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever was really saying not, "I buried Paul," which is what many other people heard there. I had this video bookmarked for a few months and just randomly decided to watch it while breathing one recent morning. It was interesting but not convincing. The next day, not having had a prior discussion about this, I received a link from Erin and the Project to a spoken word mix that heavily sampled news footage about the rumour. I wrote back telling them about the synch and they recommended two other documentaries on that subject, The Winged Beatle, and Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison. The second one had already been pulled by You Tube but I did watch The Winged Beatle and found it very entertaining.
The Winged Beatle, not to be confused with The Winged Beetle, an excellent poetry compilation by a Mr. A. Crowley quoted elsewhere in this blog, naturally makes copius use of the winged beetle symbol.
It begins with a clip from the David Letterman show with McCartney and Letterman discussing the alleged hoax. This piqued my interest because it reveals McCartney (or his double) giving wrong information, whether intentionally or not, I do not know. First I'll give my assessment of the rumor based on what I've seen - I rate it at about 90% unlikely to be true. The only reason I give it a 10% possibility of truth has to do with what "McCartney" told Letterman - that it all began with the Abbey Road album cover where he was photographed barefoot which was supposed to indicate that he really is dead. He says that he was wearing sandals and that it was hot out so he took them off. The only problem with this explanation lies in the logic that if it really was that hot then the pavement would have been too hot to walk barefoot on. Also, the rumour of his death began much earlier than the Abbey Road album cover photo shoot.
The Winged Beatle does make some interesting points about what The Beatles were up to, namely their involvement with the magick of Aleister Crowley, as well as experiments in magick with tape recorders William S. Burroughs was doing in London at that time discussed in his book The Ticket That Exploded. However, the connection between that and the literal death of Paul McCartney sounds spurious and unconvincing.
The film points out that Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band was released in 1967 and sings about..."It was 20 years ago today Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play..." Well, 20 years ago - 1947, was the year Aleister Crowley died, so the film asks, "Was Aleister Crowley Sergeant Pepper?."
Apart from the fact that Crowley taught the band to play long before he died, this isn't such an unlikely association. Looked at magickallly - he taught the band to play. "Play" adds up to 121 or 11 squared. 11 represents a number of "magick" - energy tending to change. Also, the 3 Ps in Pepper suggest The Tower tarot image. Crowley corresponds that with the Opening of the Eye of Horus ie an introduction to the magickal universe he envisions. Crowley was perhaps the most notorious celebrity The Beatles put on the cover of the Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band album. However, that did indeed introduce a great many people to Crowley for the first time included noted occult scholar Lon Milo Duquette. You can't ask for better PR than a top-selling Beatles album cover.
If there is any truth that The Beatles generated and/or fed the "Paul is dead" rumour, I suggest the motive behind it to be the rich allegory involved rather than a cover-up of a literal death. If McCartney did die and they covered it up, why would they release all the clues and hints to uncover the conspiracy? Perhaps the real conspiracy, whether intentional or not, was to confront and remind their large audience about death. Getting reminded about the real possibility of death at any moment
comprises a very basic element of bardo training. Many of the clues suggest or literally point to death but often the specific connection to McCartney's alleged death isn't so clear.
For instance, playing Revolution Number 9 from the White Album backwards you'll hear, "Turn me on, dead man," every time the announcer says 'number 9' in the forward version. Now, that phrase closely relates with Timothy Leary's slogan Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out, and also with a primary agenda from Crowley's Book of Lies ( that book asymmetrically ends with last word, Amen) but has little relevance for, or indication of a talented musician dying in a car crash.
When I played that track backwards the phrase, "Are we not all dead? The answer is yes, yes, " clearly and unambiguously came across. That's never mentioned in these conspiracy films because it doesn't make sense in connection with someone's literal death. It does make sense if they are referring to the esoteric death of the personality or ego. It also makes perfect sense in the context of bardo training - getting somewhat, the feeling and sensation of death before you die.
John Lennon is on record as saying, ( and not being happy about it ) that he killed his ego as per his interpretation of instructions from The Psychedelic Experience, Leary, Metzner, and Alpert's, psychedelic guide book based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Harrison got them all into yogic meditation, another technique resulting in temporary ego death. The Paul is dead rumor makes more sense interpreted allegorically rather than literally. The ego/personality "Paul McCartney" is dead as he shamanically transforms himself, and by extension The Beatles, from superficial moptop pop star(s) writing catchy songs into serious artists communicating the zeitgeist of the era.
It appears quite clear that The Beatles had a strong connection with Crowley's magick. Paul McCartney, either the real one or the fake, is quoted as attributing The Beatles phenomena to "magick spelt with a k" The Winged Beatle documentary shows a basic Crowley exercise about learning to read and write backwards and connects that with the backwards effects they put in their music. Communicating and learning to receive communication in a reversed order describes a basic qabalistic technique, a technique that helps free the student from standard linguistic programming to perceive in new ways.
All of the "clues" purported to reveal Paul is dead seem to point to a conspiracy of some kind on the part of The Beatles but I find it unlikely they refer to McCartney's literal death nor do I think that they staged the whole thing to boost commercial sales. I suspect this conspiracy was spontaneous and unorganized, simply the result of their researches into mind expansion technologies and the wish to communicate what they discovered.
The reason that so many of the clues concerned death may have had to do with their experiments into magick. As mentioned before, bardo training, the preparation to survive death and embrace life, is a primary purpose of magick. Surviving death constitutes the next big step in the evolution of human consciousness. The Beatles, wittingly or unwittingly, seemed to conspire to help humans with this step, or at least get them started by subtly, but repeatedly confronting them with death. Cranberry sauce indeed.