Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Talking Heads


Good friend Bernie Worrell on keys.

Speaking of Talking Heads, one head that said a lot without emitting any words was Timothy Leary's right after he died.

Leary, in true trickster fashion, had given exclusive rights to two different filmmakers to document the end of his life. In one of them, Timothy Leary's Dead, they appear to show Leary getting his head sawed off and placed in a case supposedly for cryonic suspension. In an interview given right after the film's release the director let on that this was a staged sequence Leary had come up with.

I recall that it's a close-up of Timothy Leary's detached head that ends the film. It's a very powerful image even knowing that it's not his biological head but a very convincing artificial simulation. Why would Leary go to such lengths to leave us with that image? Perhaps the explanation comes from the fact that he seemed a rather unique qabalist who publicly stated that one of his missions in life was to carry on the Work of Aleister Crowley?

Of course, just to remind and for new readers, Crowley's stated mission was to introduce and bring humanity to the next stage of consciousness expansion which he called the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. In qabalistic lingo, this means the activation and full realization of Tiphareth. It's also identical with discovering and aligning to one's true purpose in life, whatever that may be.

To my knowledge, and I welcome correction, Leary made no other final statement along the lines of transmitting the legacy of his Work such as Robert Anton Wilson did with his infamous culinary instruction to "keep the lasagna flying." I submit that Leary went to the trouble to commission a replica of his head and create this drama to make such a statement.

There's more to this ideogram Leary created than a qabalistic restatement of Crowley's primary instruction for contacting the HGA:

Invoke often. Enflame the heart with prayer.

Leary literally, and very graphically connects the qabalistic correspondences related to "head" (see 777) with his own death.

This connection reminded me of a theatrical event my wife at the time and I staged along with our group at Webster Hall in New York in 1992. We called it an Apres Vie Happening. It was based on a suggestion by E.J. Gold. Yanesh, my ex, was cast as the "Make-Up Artist for the Recently Deceased. I was her consort, Rudolph Valentino.

As part of the theater, a line of makeup and method of application for the Recently Deceased was introduced under the brand name, "A Good Look For Me." That name comes from a line at the end of the film Beetlejuice.

This blog post is dedicated to Yanesh who suffered a serious stroke about 5 days ago and remains in Intensive Care.


  1. Sorry about Yanesh. I hope she's able to recover.

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