Saturday, February 2, 2019

Make Believe by Dalyrmple MacAlpin

How do you raise the consciousness of the planet? How do you make this a better place to live? How do you bring people together, mend divisions and encourage processes of creative problem-solving that affirm life?  Many attempts to answer these questions get tried everyday in large and small ways.  I saw a play the other night that, among other things, gently introduced the audience to a world of magic.


Some theater offers an Initiation, some seeks to entertain, Make Believe does both.  It very explicitly offers the key to magic.  From the Author's Statement:

Children grow up believing whole-heartedly in the most unbelievable things.  So how is it we ever lose faith in the power of our imagination?

My wish with Make Believe is to remind the audience that magic not only exists, it also contains an inescapable soul, which has actually never left us. 

- Dalyrmple MacAlpin

It's my experience that this musical play is an extremely effective portal into other domains of reality often considered inaccessible or nonexistent.  If that sounds scary, and it probably should, well ... it's a mere fairy tale.  As Herman Hesse famously wrote in Steppenwolf: "Magic Theater - Entrance Not For Everybody.  The great thing about this kind of voluntary Initiation is that you can jump into the waters, so to speak, as much or as little as you like, or as you can take.  Just because you discover a quantum wormhole into an alternate dimension doesn't mean that you have to jump in.  Simply enjoy the view of things outside common sense reality.

Multi level stories generally contain puns and other literary tricks.  Make Believe is no exception starting from the subtitle: "An Archetypal Musical Theater Fairytale For The Young And Young At Heart," because it also plays to the Jung at heart.  It contains a strong Jungian component exemplified by a quote from Carl underneath the Artist's Statement: One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

This play rewards attention, the more you bring to it, the more immersed and inside of the story you become.  MacAlpin's language often expresses itself as riddle or rhyme and does not really sound of this century, however following closely draws you in while contributing to the otherworldy atmosphere of the space.



I had the pleasure of working with MacAlpin in his previous incarnation as the primary force behind  the esoteric folk (think of Pentangle) Lasher Keen who described their music as inspired by ritual induced trance states.  We recorded, mixed, mastered and released their 2014 album Mantic Poetry Oracular Prophecy.  He is a dedicated multi-media artist spending three years composing and producing the music for Make Believe going so far as to pick up a formal education in music theory, composition and orchestration as part of the creative process.  In his bio he mentions that he also studied traditional Czech marionette carving at the prestigious Puppets in Prague institute. "This skill he expounded upon in order to carve a vital and living consciousness into his very first puppet, Rumpelstilzchen."

All aspects of the production of the play were amazing and highly professional: the acting, the music, sound, set, lighting, costumes, etc.  It was of a quality and calibre you expect to see from theater in New York or London, although perhaps it gained some mystique and magic from the resonance of opening in Nevada Theater, the oldest active theater west of the Mississippi, site of some of Mark Twain's first public lectures.

One of the most effective moments for me happened in the song, The Blessing of Pan.  There was a slide projector showing various iconic images of Pan revolving around the backdrop while Pan did his number about rescuing one of the children.  I flashed back to my previous adventures with Pan recording the music of Jajouka in Morroco's Rif Mountains while they did their ritual to the ancient God.  I wasn't surprised to read in the bio of Angela Holm, the Assistant Director and the person doing the projections, that "She likes exploring esoteric communication through the mysterious process of capturing image, in particular the aura of the unexpected that can happen through optical mechanics.

Synchronicities of a particular intensity seem to indicate contact with something, some force or Intelligence of one kind of another, much bigger than yourself.  They can appear as an affirmation of being on the right track or going in a productive direction.  After Dalyrmple began writing this story about 6 archetypal sisters exiled from their Mother and home by their evil Uncle, he discovered that in actuality a family with 6 sisters were neighbors to the Grimm Brothers.  Many familiar fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella and several others were originally told to the Grimm Brothers by those sisters.  When you begin writing about archetypes then discover that the form you're writing about already had a major impact on folklore, then to me it seems more an issue of tuning in to some kind of current than of making something up from scratch; technically known as Invocation.  Make Believe appears a strong and successful Invocation.

Driving home from the play with my girlfriend Paula in a pleasant and alert altered state, listening to jazz on the classical radio station, an unfamiliar song came on singing the lyrics:  "When I write a letter to you ........ I ...... make believe ...... make believe ....... I'm right beside you."

This post is too late to convince anyone local to catch the play while they can.  As of this writing, there are only two more performances, tonight and tomorrow.  Its intent is to communicate the delight, great pleasure and spiritual value of Make Believe continuing on for future runs.  A special shout out to Promoter and Producer Paul Emery for having the vision and daring to make the initial run possible, much respect!  For more information check out www.dalyrmplemacalpin.com

I'll let Dalyrmple MacAlpin have the final word form the program's concluding lines:

"So let us commingle and conjoin with the shadowy contortionist of our nightmares and the imaginary friend who is our guide. They are there for a reason."


Original painting by Benjamin A. Vierling

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bill Laswell Manifestation: Ontological Sound System

Music has the ability to convey a powerful spiritual force, a force, a multiplicity, encouraging and enabling planetary transformation; a force of magick functioning and operating on the all-worlds-connected quantum level.

Good music, music that destroys systems of control, that awakens and transforms heart and soul, seems on the rise


Music serving as a vehicle for Magic colonizes Space and suspends Time.


"As Deleuze remarks in Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, music indeed 'deeply traverses our bodies and puts an ear in our belly, in our lungs etc.', but ultimately it rids bodies of their inertia, of the materiality of their presence. It disincarnates bodies. In turn, through the manipulation of its sonic matter, 'it gives the most spiritual entities a disincarnated, dematerialized body.' Music, in short, through its heightened yet somehow dispersed, intangible sensuality, has the power of undoing the coordinates of the commonsense world and creating a sonic body of speeds and affective intensities, that sonic body traversing listeners and turning their organized, material bodies into dematerialized vectors spread out across an a-personal, trans-individual body without organs.

- from Violence in Three Shades of Metal by Ronald Bogue

Or in other words, music may operate as a catalyst for the alchemical process,

Solve Coagula



"... there is a sound block that no longer has a point of origin, since it is always and already in the middle of the line; and no longer has horizontal and vertical coordinates, since it creates its own coordinates; and no longer forms a localizable connection from one point to another since it is in "nonpulsed time": a deterritorialized rhythmic block that has abandoned points, coordinates and measure, like a drunken boat that melds with the line or draws a plane of consistency.  Speeds and slownesses inject themselves into musical form, sometimes impelling it to proliferation, linear microproliferations, and sometimes to extinction, sonorous abolition, involution or both at once. The musician is in the best position to say: "I hate the faculty of memory, I hate memories," And that is because he or she affirms the power of becoming."

- Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus p. 296


"And as the artists become other, they pass into things, they become 'absent but everywhere in the landscape,' at which point they are able to render palpable in the work of art the impalpable forces of the world" - Ronald Bogue, Deleuze on Music, Painting and the Arts

Special thanks to Yoko Yamabe for the graphic design of the poster images.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

FLY ON The Tale of the Tribe

"Who's your favorite female superhero?

- Special agent Clarice Starling"

  - email exchange between Steven 'Fly' Pratt and Robert Anton Wilson, FOTTOTT p. 53.

"And you various tribes that fly with the halcyon
Over the rolling boom of the ocean
Come quickly and listen to what's going on,
Here we are mustering in all our variety
Of long-necked birds;
For here there has come a venerable sage
Full of ideas
Full of new ways."

- Aristophanes, The Birds (translated by Paul Roche)

Near the beginning of his introduction to the Gurdjieffian universe, Making A New World,  J.G. Bennett makes the point that Gurdjieff deliberately started many 'lines of work', many different projects and ideas without finishing them.  Bennett argues that rather than indicating a failure to carry projects through to completion, Gurdjieff deliberately set up several courses of work for his students to pick up and continue.  

Robert Anton Wilson planted several semantic sprouts and seeds and left the ever evolving Tale of the Tribe meta-history (and her story) project to his spiritual progeny to bring into bloomin' fruition. The Tale of the Tribe was an ambitious book Robert Anton Wilson had planned to write.  He indicated what it would cover in a short synopsis at the end of his penultimate book, TSOG, The Thing that Ate the ConstitutionThe Tale of the Tribe was also the name of an 8 week online course presented by the Maybe Logic Academy and guided by Wilson in 2005.

The book Fly On The Tale of the Tribe (FOTTOTT) - A Roller Coaster Ride with Robert Anton Wilson recounts the autobiographical odyssey of Steven 'Fly' Pratt side by side with his constantly changing, multiple visions of the Tale of the Tribe.  One can see it as a treatise ebbing and flowing, weaving and winding its way like a river through the canyons of postmodern thinkers  and their transformational experimentation; a nonlinear narrative that can sometimes appear as holographic as the writing he is describing as holographic, mostly Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.



This book is also one of the rare (so far), and invaluable primer books for the writings, philosophies and methods of Robert Anton Wilson.  For that alone, I highly recommend it, but there is much else too.  We get a cast of philosophical and scientific heavyweights and a synopsis of some their prime ideas and practical contributions to human development - the Tale of the Tribe.  Among others, we hear from Nietzsche, Alan Moore, Claude Shannon, Giodorno Bruno, Giambattista Vico, Buckminster Fuller, Wilhelm Reich, Korzybski, John Lilly, Tim Leary, Ernest Fenellosa, Jung, Yeats, Aleister Crowley, Marshall McLuhan, Orson Welles, Paul Krassner, John Sinclair, and of course, the Tale of the Tribe's first two stars, James Joyce and Ezra Pound.

Sombunall of the subjects include:

What is the Tale of the Tribe? and its corollary, what do we do with it?
Augmented Reality(AR)
What is art? We are all artists.
Eprime and certainty; the effects of language on consciousness.
King Kong, his sister Hong, and Guerilla Ontology.
Finnegans Wake
James Joyce/RAW inspired geo-mapping APPS - I suspect this one brilliant idea alone would revolutionize the consciousness of whomever used them.
Hologrammic writing.
The contribution of Chinese ideograms to the Tribe.
Magick.
Holometic Retribalism,  a Fly neologism which seems a portmanteau of hologram and hermetic.
The influence of psychedelic drugs on the Tribe.
Quantum entanglement and spooky action at a distance.

FOTTOTT is full of amazing quotes, the large percentage from Wilson, but many from other conspirators that serve to fill out and substantiate this vision of the Tribe.  Perhaps my favorite parts are the email and interview transcripts between Fly and RAW and any personal exchanges they had as it presents new light on the venerable sage.

I'm very interested in this topic because the online TOTT course became one of the most significant teaching experiences of my life; extremely intense at times, it felt life-changing.   I  regret not archiving the entire course exercises and discussion when given the opportunity.  So it was with some excitement to read that Fly included the course in the intro definition of TOTT .  I always assumed that someone at the MLA would archive it, and still hope it exists elsewhere other than in a few carbon-based memory banks and the akashic records.

Effects I can remember the course having on me include a quantum leap in understanding and comprehending Finnegans Wake that went a lot further than the information taken in by the group discussion.  I read it in its entirety for only the second time after the course finished and thoroughly enjoyed it, taking copious notes along the way.  The first read through felt like running a marathon through a thick swamp.  I would get mildly high from reading the book like you would meditating, but it seemed like I understood about 3% or less of it.  The TOTT also course introduced me to The Cantos by Ezra Pound.  It took a minute for that spark to catch, like almost the entire 8 week course, but it did flame and I also read The Cantos all the way through and looked at some of the secondary literature after the course.  I remember subjecting some of my mixing clients to recitations of inspiring passages.

At the time of this course my writing was limited to posting in these online courses and on the MLA Forum.  I remember something happening in the course that caused me to resolve to always write and get my point across as simply and directly as possible. I learned about "fossil poems."  The concept originates with Ralph Waldo Emerson in this quote:

“Language is fossil poetry. As the limestone of the continent consists of infinite masses of the shells of animalcules, so language is made up of images, or tropes, which now, in their secondary use, have long ceased to remind us of their poetic origin.”

RAW expanded and put this into practice by suggesting listening to short phrases from any source, he used the example of CNN, and hearing them as fossil poems rather than in their ordinary context.  Short phrases, even with only a couple of words, that can poetically imply much more. I don't recall any of his examples, but to take what normally passes as mundane and hear it as poetry seems enlightened.  The first one I submitted was from the Rolling Stones: "Jumping Jack Flash is a gas, gas, gas," which reminds me of sexual alchemy.

It was in this course that a sequence of events arose which led to my verification that baraka can get transmitted through the internet.  In Cosmic Trigger, this gets called a contact experience. I posted a blog about it.

One thing I look for: are there actual real world changes being made as a product or byproduct of engagement with The Tale of the Tribe?  Is it doing anything?  The answer is absolutely yes! and I can give a direct example I just discovered a few days ago as this post gestated in my brain.  The Tale of the Tribe course occurred in the autumn of 2005 shortly after Hurricane Katrina.  In one very intriguing post RAW initiated with a headline that began: "Housing ...," he suggested they use Bucky Fullers mobile, portable housing structures to provide temporary housing for people displaced by the hurricane.  At the time I thought this a brilliant notion, but also rather cynically expecting that it probably wouldn't happen.  A couple of days ago Raw Illumination had a post linking to Alec Nevala-Lee's announcement about writing a biography on Buckminster Fuller.  It mentions that emergency shelters influenced by Fuller's designs were indeed used in the aftermath of Katrina. 

FOTTOTT  compares favorably  with Cosmic Trigger.  It pulls a few triggers of its own.
Very few people can attest to the extraordinary nature of Wilson's TOTT course, by the end of it there were only about a dozen or less active participants and it seems that at least 40 people had initially signed up.  Fly was one of the few that saw the whole thing through and the one who has most explicitly launched  the Wilson inspired Tales trajectory forward starting with multiple collage-like posts in the MLA Forum, that. much like this book, in the spirit of Ezra Pound, James Joyce and others who have worked with this concept, examined and re-imagined The Tale of the Tribe.

On p.38 we see the instruction: "That's the aim of the game folks.  Build your own tribe."  This book introduced me to Slavoj Zizek for the first time.  Zizek opens the door to French postmodern philosophy and psychology, especially the work of Jaques Lacan, also briefly discussed herein.  Besides translating Jaques Derrida, perhaps the most prominent of the lot,  Zizek has also ably contributed to the secondary literature of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.  Guttari was also a student and therapeutic client of Lacan.

In the comments from a couple of the later weeks of the Email to the Universe book discussion over at Rawillumination.net, I point to at least 4 or 5 instances of RAW obviously alluding to ideas from Deleuze and Guattari.  RAW knew about these dudes, I strongly suspect.  Deleuze in particular seems quantumly entangled with many other card-carrying members of the tribe.  His interpretation of Nietzsche published in the early 60's is said to have revived interest in the philosopher eventually making him a sweetheart of the counter-culture.  He writes about Orson Welles in his books on the cinema.  Delueze also finds much inspiration in Burroughs, using and expanding his ideas as much as  Wilson.

A good introduction to the world view of Deleuze & Guatarri is through their concept of the rhizome.  The nonhierarchical, decentralized process of growth of a rhizome appears isomorphic with the development and proliferation of the Tale of the Tribe.  Their essay on  the rhizome, initially published separately, later became incorporated as the introduction to A Thousand Plateaus.

A primary characteristic of some of the more integral members of the Tribe involves their use of multiple meaning and multiple levels of meaning in the same word, phrase or sentence.  They can seem very punny guys.  James Joyce, who gets more air time in FOTTOTT than anyone else apart from Wilson, leads in this area with Aleister Crowley not far behind.  Most or all of Wilson's fictional writings appear rife with multiplicity of meaning.  This characteristic receives further elucidation in a future post.

Deleuze & Guattari also communicate multiple meanings in simple and elaborate ways.  For instance, the Rhizome piece starts with an illustration of an avant garde fragment of musical notation.  The header on this notation reads "XIV piano piece for David Tudor 4."  Deleuze & Guattari comprise two doors (Tudor) into multiple, philosophical, postmodern concepts and scenarios.  Multi-level writers tend to be qabalistically fluent.  This appears true with D & G.  In the example given, XIV, 14 = the key number for the path of Daleth which connects Chokmah and Binah and gets associated with Venus.  4 = the numerical value of the letter Daleth and Daleth in English = door. 

A theme that cycles around in FOTTOTT from Nietszche via Cosmic Trigger: we are all greater artists than we realize.  In an essay on Michel Foucault, Deleuze wrote:

"It’s a question of 'doubling’ the play of forces, of a self-relation that allows us to resist, to elude power, to turn life or death against power. This, according to Foucault, is something the Greeks invented…it’s a matter of optional rules that make existence a work of art, rules at once ethical and aesthetic that constitute ways of existing or styles of life . It’s what Nietzsche discovered as the will to power operating artistically, inventing ‘new possibilities of life."

One of my favorite quotes from Fly's book:

Thus relativity, in the hands of James Joyce, is translated from the realm of mathematics and operationalist volumes of philosophy into a living laboratory, a living zoo or circus where no single word can define meaning concretely, yet a string of them together can cast a powerful message to the reader.

My question becomes: what grows?  If we indeed find ourselves in a living laboratory, and I agree we do, how do we describe what grows?  The attempt to define this may benefit the process.  We'll put this under the microscope, or the telescope, in the next installment here regarding The Tale of the Tribe.