Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Leary wrote:

We are designed to use our Heads (I2) in order to Use Time (L.E.) in order to Use Space.
Of these three associated imperatives Intelligence Increase is the most important.

So we'll start there, in the center of S.M.I.2L.E. It seems appropriate that I.2 finds itself placed between Space on one side and Time on the other. The quote is from Info-Psychology. Note the unusual capitalization in the first sentence.

I found a useful definition of Intelligence given by Robert Anton Wilson posted by Mark Frauenfelder on Boing Boing.net's RAW week celebration:

Intelligence is the capacity to receive, decode and transmit information efficiently. Stupidity is blockage of this process at any point. Bigotry, ideologies, etc. block the ability to receive; robotic reality-tunnels block the ability to decode or integrate new signals; censorship blocks transmission."

How do you Increase Intelligence? A good question, however a definitive answer would defy the principles of Relativity, in my Newtonian Opinion. Everyone is different, and every circumstance different, therefore the answer changes from person to person, and even from moment to moment with one person. It can make for a highly enjoyable artform. Suggestions can be made for the taking or leaving of. All the information on how to Increase Intelligence is out there, just a matter of finding what works for you.

The relativistic nature of Intelligence Increase appears built into the formula.

I.2 = I x I which, if you look at them as personal pronouns suggests self-study, self-examination and contemplation. Not a formula of the old time, Eastern imported, going to a Guru and following everything they say unquestioningly in order to merit, accidentally stumble upon, or get bestowed with some kind of Enlightenment or Intelligence Increase. One of Leary's other slogans offers an alternative, "Think For Yourself, Question Authority," which fits right in with I.2.

I.2, I multiplied by I, ("I an' I" as Bob Marley sings) implies finding a way to become your own Guru. In Thelemic terms, I would call this discovering the connection that eventually leads to the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. My recommendation for initiating this line of work: as much as possible, discover what you would really like to do in this life. This is called formulating a True Will. It doesn't have to be anything earth shattering or utterly altruistic, like bringing down Wall Street, it can be as basic and ordinary as playing music, gardening, cooking a meal, road repair, anything !, as long as it doesn't interfere with anyone else doing their thing. You can start by looking at what you like to naturally do along with your desires, hopes and dreams. The ancient Greeks called this process gnothe seaton which means Know Thyself.

The Crowley connection with Intelligence Increase makes sense ( apart from the fact that it works) when you remember Leary's letter quoted in the last post where he gave S.M.I.2L.E. as his response to Crowley's 'Do what thou wilt.' Leary states on record that he felt he was carrying on Crowley's work.

Following your own path as it grows and changes over time effectively Increases Intelligence due to a simple principle the television news show 60 Minutes used to employ: " zero interest, zero attention, zero information." This means that if you have no interest in something, your won't pay attention to it and won't learn anything from it. On the other hand, your attention gets naturally drawn to what interests you.

In the 60 Minutes Principle, which I first came across in The American Book of the Dead, the second component, after finding out what you're interested in, is learning how to use attention effectively. Attention can be placed, withdrawn, focused, concentrated, split, diffused, distracted, seduced, etc. You can direct it, or it can direct you. It can get strengthened, like a muscle, through use by doing things that require heightened attention like playing music well. Various exercises exist that strengthen attention, any martial art or yoga has that effect. My favorite is a kit called Zen Basics.

More on the art of applied attention can be found in a book called The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus by E. J. Gold which also contains a scientific and detailed approach to Intelligence Increase along the lines of gnothe seaton.

Crowley stressed the importance of developing strong concentration skills as one prerequisite for effective magick. As he recounts in his Confessions, Crowley took to concentration exercises with great gusto after one of his teachers, Oscar Eckenstein, showed him how to discover for himself just how weak his attention functioned. You can discover how strong or weak your own attention operates through some basic feedback techniques. For example, focus your attention on the second hand of an analog clock and see how long you can keep it there before the mind wanders.

You can, perhaps, research some I.2 methods through finding out what people possessed of genius do to increase their intelligence. Over at RAW Week, Propaganda Anonymous asked Phil Farber how he rates Robert Anton Wilson as a magician:

Phil Farber: I rate Bob up there with the best. More so than any other writer on the subject, he was able to reconcile critical thinking, modern physics and linguistics with the ancient traditions of magick. Privately, Bob was a devoted practitioner and explorer. He brought his wide-ranging intellect and his personal spark of creativity to the job of understanding and updating the techniques. He did the work, for real.

Ingesting the entirety of Propa Non's interview will I.2 . It features a panel discussion with a number of RAW luminaries, Douglass Rushkoff, RU Sirius, David Jay Brown, Antero Alli, along with Farber. Perhaps that panel rates more like I.5 or I.6?

I also recall an interview DJ Fly Agaric did with Wilson where Fly asked him when the last time he did yoga was and RAW replied, that morning. That's consistent with the advice he gave to 'do it every day.' Meaning, whatever practice or discipline you're currently taking up - do it every day. If learning to play the guitar, practice every day, etc.

Another great resource with suggestions for I.2 is Timothy Leary's The Game of Life, his kabbalistic rendering of the 8 circuit model of consciousness that also contains contributions from Robert Anton Wilson. Leary formulated this model to articulate a comprehensive Map of the Levels of Consciousness. Based on an eclectic blend of previous maps of this kind, occult knowledge, Cabala, scientific research, comedy, Leary and Wilson's gnostic realizations, and who knows what else, this model portrays itself more along the lines of a speculative taxonomy of consciousness, both physical and metaphysical, than a dogmatic Absolute Truth with rigid boundaries to be believed in at all costs. The fact that the authors revised and updated the theory over time makes this evident. Any useful theory of consciousness, vital and alive, will change, develop, and grow in light of new research. Parts of it will get rejected and modified as people and circumstances change. You don't have to unquestioningly accept any theory hook, line and sinker, to get some useful, practical benefit from it. Wilson lucidly illustrates this in an interview with Lewis Shiner when he writes of moving to Yellow Springs, Ohio early in his writing career:

I was offered a job editing a magazine for a place called the School for Living, which later moved to Maryland. The School for Living had a very interesting philosophy, which was "back to nature, live on the land, eat health food" — and a bit of anarchism and Wilhelm Reich. I agreed with about half of that and thought the over half was kind of flakey, but it was interesting. I thought it would be a great idea to live on a farm and see how I did at it.

The whole of this excellent interview lives in the Resources links at RAWIllumination.net

I'm not necessarily recommending anyone study and/or memorize the 8 Circuit Model, but it can't hurt. Just wanted to point out that numerous exercises, research experiments, suggestions for Intelligence Increase, whatever you want to call them get hinted at, alluded to, or downright explicated in The Game of Life.

As an example of the density of Intelligence Information found there, I'll briefly quote from "Caste 14." Leary divided each of the 8 brain circuits into 3 stages ( related to Gurdjieff's Law of Three - discussed about 2/3rds into this post) making 24 stages or what he called castes.

Caste 14


Self-Actualized Intelligent Control of the Body .../ Physiological Feedback Control/ The Yogin/The Artist-Aesthetic Reality Architect/ The Resurrected Body/Driver-Seat-Control of the Soft Machine/Body Engineering/The Sorcerer-Warrior/ The Reichian Adept/ The Holistic Health Healer.

That's from p. 172 in my 1993 New Falcon edition. The next page talks about the tarot card associated with this caste:

Stage 14

Tarot Death (card 13) DEATH-REBIRTH (Aries II) ... The disciplined control of one's body function... The science of conscious body performance. Karate. Yoga. Dance. Non-competitive sports designed to get high, to stretch body and mind. The direction of one's own aesthetic environment and responses. The conscious acceptance of one's life as a Work of Conceptual Art.

p. 173

A piece of common senses advice from Dr. Tim I personally benefited from - if you want to learn something, hang out with people who seem smarter than you at the subject you wish to learn. This relates, in a gentler way, to P.D. Ouspenky's stern dogmatic pronouncement that transformation is absolutely impossible unless one finds a School. At a stage in my life when I took Ouspensky way too seriously, I attended a workshop given by RAW and got a chance to ask him what he thought about Ouspensky's statement. RAW simply said, "I think it's a good idea," and bypassed commenting on Ouspenky's insistence, who, by the way, has doubt surrounding whether he followed his own advice.

This kind of a "School", sometimes called an Esoteric or Mystery School can sometimes exist very briefly, informally, and nondoctrinaire. Any group working together for the purpose of Invocation makes for the broadest definition of this type of School, but it could just as easily read: any group gathered together for the purpose of Intelligence Increase. They don't necessarily have to work closely together in physical Space or simultaneous Time to function as a School. Some extraordinary online courses I've attended operationally existed as this kind of a School, in my opinion and experience. The community of musicians around Bill Laswell comprise an informal, nondoctrinaire School that has greatly increased the transmission of Musical Intelligence over the years.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Many different kinds of intelligence exist. Here in the West we often reflexively associate intelligence with one particular type, intellectual intelligence. Modern education emphasizes acquiring knowledge through extensive intellectual intake. This doesn't seem the case everywhere. Anyone who has spent time in Africa sees evidence for different kinds of intelligence that the average Westerner likely remains largely or wholly unaware of.

We can start a list of different kinds of intelligence we know about: instinctual, intellectual, intuitive, physical, emotional, political, psychological, musical, poetic, symbolic, allegorical, alchemical, morphological, occult, etc. We can speculate, postulate, theorize, and research, (I xI) as others have: plant intelligence, mineral intelligence, the DNA intelligence resulting in the unfoldment of our biological vehicles, etc. - see The Game of Life for further examples.

Gnosis describes an accelerated form of Intelligence Increase. It refers to the direct experience of knowledge as opposed to knowledge taught in the ordinary way which requires belief for it to get accepted. The "aha"moment of sudden realization signifies gnosis.

The articulation of gnosis derives from Ancient Greeks:

Among the gnostics, gnosis was first and foremost a matter of self-knowledge ... [12] Knowledge that first relieved the individual of their cultural religious indoctrination and then reconciled them to their personal deity.

Sounds reminiscent of 'Do what thou wilt,' and of the Knowledge and Conversation of the HGA.

A little more on this archaic sounding abstraction, the Holy Guardian Angel. How it gets perceived, and oftentimes its definition appears relative to the observer. Even Crowley gave personally contradicting accounts of this motif at different times in his life. Many magicians consider this experience a uniting of the microcosm with the macrocosm. This corresponds with the gnostic aphorism to :

make the inner as the outer, the outer as the inner, then make the two one.

Crowley also called it the epitome of one's True Will. In my experience, the HGA functions as a Guide. It doesn't have to get believed in as "real" in order to serve as an extremely effective, practically useful metaphor. I see it connected with John Lilly's Coincidence Control. It can occur and issue forth in a seemingly endless variety of ways and forms. Robert Anton Wilson illustrates the relativistic, shape-shifting nature of the HGA in his epic Illuminatus! Trilogy, another superior source for I.2:

"You look like an angel," Chips admitted grudgingly, "but I don't believe any of this. Time travel, talking trees, giant toads, none of it. Somebody slipped me a drug."

"Yes, somebody slipped you a drug, but I'm your holy guardian angel, and I'm slipping you this envelope, and it'll make everything all right back in London...

"Who are you, really?"

But the tree only repeated, "Don't lose that envelope," and walked away, turning into an Italian teen-ager again, and then into a gigantic woman carrying a golden apple."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


" It was 20 years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style but they're guaranteed to raise a:

S.M.I.2L.E. ..."

S.M.I.2L.E. represents Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, and Life Extension. Timothy Leary coined this acronym as a formula for the next step in human evolution. The way he put it in his book Exo-Psychology (later revised to Info-Psychology) :

We are designed to use our Heads (I2) in order to Use Time (L.E.) in order to Use Space.
Of these three associated imperatives Intelligence Increase is the most important.

Back in the day, circa late 1970's and into the '80's, when Leary and cohort Robert Anton Wilson were barnstorming around the country and the world communicating this magick formula with boundless enthusiasm, passion and optimism, they expected this vision to manifest quite literally in their near future. Space Migration meant Space Colonization, the development of High Orbital Mini-Earths (H.O.M.E. s), living off-planet. Life Extension meant the extension of the human biological machine beyond normal life expectancy and/or the reanimation of biological life after death. Robert Anton Wilson gives detailed explanations of the S.M.I.2L.E. formula in his book Cosmic Trigger Volume I. Wilson revealed some of the background behind its genesis in Cosmic Trigger by publishing excerpts of letters Leary wrote to him from prison:

By the way, I have always felt that Crowley's "Do What Thou Wilt" is good ... The question then becomes "What do we will to do." Most of the Crowleyites I've met (yourself excluded) seem to have decided that they will make pompous asses of themselves which is fine with me. But I'm delighted that we've found the three obvious steps that a reasonably educated God takes:S.M.I.2L.E.

- p. 167

Nowadays S.M.I.2L.E. seems an overly optimistic, anachronistic product of the cultural explosion that began in the 1960s. Space Migration doesn't appear scheduled to happen anytime soon. The expected breakthroughs in biological life extension have not yet occurred. Intelligence Increase seems confined to a small minority. It seems useful and worthwhile to update, re-examine and revitalize this formula from a XXIst Century perspective. Though circumstances and expectations have changed, the individual aspects of S.M.I.2L.E. remain as cogent as ever. I will show how.

But first, let's look at the overall image S.M.I.2L.E. presents. It obviously evokes the association of positive energy. Cosmic Trigger Volume I closes with a Leary smile:

"What do you do, Dr. Leary, when somebody keeps giving you negative energy?"

Tim grinned that special grin of his that so annoys all his critics. "Come back with all the positive energy you have."

- p. 238

Wilson's last sentence in the book promotes this as the final secret of the Illuminati, also the book's subtitle.

Anyone aware of the histories of Doctor's Wilson and Leary wouldn't confuse this with the insipid, stick your head in the sand wishful dreaming of the typical new age mentality. Both Doctors experienced tremendous hardship and tragedy in their lives, way beyond the norm, yet both maintained this life affirming outlook.

S.M.I.2L.E. recalls the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, a critter completely invisible except for its smile, who asks Alice where she wants to get to after Alice asks for directions.

I associate the positivity of S.M.I.2L.E. formula with some dramatic instances of the word YES. John Lennon first became interested in Yoko Ono after climbing a ladder at her art exhibition in London's Indica Gallery and looking through a magnifying glass tied to the ceiling by a string to see the word "yes." Together they helped change the world.

James Joyce's Ulysses ends on a similar positive note:

... O that awful deepdown torrent O and the sea the sea crimson sometimes like fire and the glorious sunsets and the figtrees in the Almameda gardens yes and all the queer little streets and the pink and blue and yellow houses and the rosegardens and the jessamine and geraniums and cactuses and Gilbraltar as a girl where I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I say yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.

Both Wilson and Leary read Joyce, particularly the most experimental works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, avidly. Leary credits this literature with preparing him for inner space explorations. Wilson included Joyce as a character in one of his immortal novels, Masks of the Illuminati.

The character Yassun Dede appears as the narrator in several stories found in Autobiography of a Sufi by E.J. Gold. Apparently Gold originally used this as a pseudonym for one of his most significant musical recordings, Epitaph for an Ego.

The ending of Monty Python's Life of Brian gives a humorous take on positive energy:

This video also shows another interesting key.

A lot of music can be cited that relates to S.M.I.2L.E.'s positivity. The best known classical example occurs at the end of Beethoven's 9th Symphony which uses words from the poem Ode to Joy. A favorite of mine is What A Wonderful World sung by Louis Armstrong. I like the way the BBC production of Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy used it:

I'll be approaching this examination of S.M.I.2L.E. from an esoteric rather than an exoteric point of view, making it relevant to the individual not expecting to move off the planet anytime soon, or hoping to extend their biological lifespan. An archetypal precedent for a magickal formula's dual points of view presents itself in Crowley's cosmology with the twin aspects of Horus, the reigning deity of the New Aeon. The active side of Horus manifest a warrior god known as Ra Hoor Khuit. The apparently more passive side of Horus, called Hoor Par Kraat signifies a more introverted or hidden aspect. The practitioner of magick embeds this archetype in their bones through education by posture in the Star Ruby ritual. Posture invokes mood. It's been suggested that this dual nature of Horus symbolizes the two approaches to Crowley's system, magick and mysticism.

This twin archetype of opposites plays out in Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy. The Foundation describes a collective meant to preserve art, science, and technology through barbaric times. Largely unknown to the Foundation, another collective called the Second Foundation formed with the intent of preserving the psychic arts.

Leary changing the title of his book Exo-Psychology to Info-Psychology also suggests this archetype. In Cosmic Trigger, Wilson hints at the mystical side of S.M.I.2L.E.:

Space Migration plus Increased Intelligence plus Life Extension means expansion of humanity into all space-time. S.M.I.2L.E. =


to be continued ...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Woody Allen and Uncle Al

I have no idea if Woody Allen ever studied Aleister Crowley, however I now strongly suspect he has after watching his most recent film, Midnight in Paris a few times. It comes across as a Crowley tale par excellence, a story about a writer, played by Owen Wilson - the Woody Allen character in this film - trying to connect with his true voice and live the life he feels most drawn to and aligned with. Through his good fortune and/or ability to enter into Parallel Worlds, Alternate Realities of different time frames, Wilson's character receives knowledge and conversation with Higher Intelligence, who take on the forms of his literary heros, and gets useful, practical information about his current work in progress.

The film begins with a 5 minute musical and visual love letter to the people and places, sights and jazz of Paris; then Wilson's voice in classic Woody Allen stutter opens with:

"This, is ..., is ..., unbelievable. Look at this, there's no city in the World like this, there never was..."

You soon discover he's talking about Paris yet those opening lines appear general enough to apply to the same archetypal city Crowley writes about in The City of God, A Rhapsody. It's a favorite of mine. The same archetypal City also showed up for me at the beginning of Thomas Pynchon's, Against the Day.

Some more opening dialog:

"... What did Hemingway call it, a malleable feast..." - referring to the City of Paris

"... Following down the rabbit's hole..." conjures the Qabalistic classic, Alice in Wonderland, a Crowley favorite, and presages events to follow, journeys to take in the film.

There's a mention of a James Joyce sighting and what he was eating that night. Crowley called Joyce a genius.

Later, there's a truly incredible and enlightening, slightly over the top, rap about love and death given by the Ernest Hemingway character, one of Gil's (Owen Wilson's character) bardo guides. I would post it in it's entirety if I didn't respect the Gods of Copywrite. This film is worth seeing by anyone who is a transit practitioner just for that speech.

Further on, Gertrude Stein gives some great advice to Gil about his writing, "The artist's job is not to sucumb to despair but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. You have a clear and lively voice, don't be such a defeatist..."

Gil's adventure's with Parallel Worlds finally gives him the knowledge, experience and Will he needs to live his life genuinely as he wishes to do.

Midnight in Paris movie photo

The opening of the time travel portal in this film always occurs just after midnight. I was doing some timed breathing using the second hand of a clock while watching Midnight in Paris for the third time in preparation for this blog. One of the midnight chiming, time portal openings in the film happened exactly as my clock reached midnight. As mentioned earlier, I'm in an online group reading Pynchon's Against the Day at a rate of 4 pages/day. I just reached a part where they go into a Time Machine then attend a Time Travel Convention.

One of the most brilliant, surrealistic examples of guerilla ontology resides in the pages of God, a one-act play written by Woody Allen circa 1975. In it you'll find a line towards the end of the play that closely correspond with Crowley's statement: " There is no god but man." A subtext in that play illustrates another famous Crowley statement about God. It also cites goals of Buddhism, Qabala and some conclusions of theoretical physics. Densely information rich and extremely funny. It was meant to accompany two other one-act plays, Sex, and Death. If Allen could only refrain from writing about such trivial subjects he might have a career for himself!

Yesterday I mixed an instrumental track called City of Joy by a band from Australia and San Francisco called Beaten By Them. It was the final song of their project, Kinder Machines that combined and contrasted the organic sound of a harmonically rich and sweet acoustic guitar with electronic drum machine samples, a grand piano, cello, synthesizers,and a solid rhythm section - drums, bass, and guest percussion. After we finished, Max McCormick relayed quite an interesting story regarding the genesis of the album. He was in the Honduras some time back walking in a town when he noticed a black dog following him. This went on for an unusally long time, wherever Max went, this black dog followed even when leaving town to go hiking up a nearby hill. The dog started to follow Max up the hill until he yelled at it to shoo it away, and it stopped following him. Max went for his hike. When he returned, the black dog was waiting for him at the same spot and resumed following him back into town. As they were about to reach the town, Max looked back to see if the dog was still there and was startled to see a man where the dog had been. The black dog was nowhere to be seen, Max never saw him again. Max had the shocking impression that the black dog had shapeshifted into a man. He acknowledges the possibility that the dog took off at the same time a man quietly slipped in behind him, nonetheless the perception occurred so sudden and shocking to the point of making him want to jump out of his skin. It does sound like something a trickster or teacher would do. The next day Max saw the name "Crowley" on a shipping crate. It made him think of Aleister Crowley whom he said he knew nothing about, but he then immediately had a vision of what his next album would be - the one we just finished, and how he would go about doing it. Max said that he saw the whole thing in detail right after seeing Crowley's name on a shipping crate. He said it turned out pretty much as he envisioned it. He had no idea that I had any interest in Crowley until after he contacted me and I sent him The Oz Mix link. That was a coincidence, he said.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I'm a longtime proponent of that particular kind of synergy generated by what John Lilly called, "The Dyadic Cyclone", a two unit group of opposite polarity that works and functions in a special way.

The Dyadic cyclone is the combination of two personal centres. In this book it is a male and female combination -- two rotating cyclones with their enclosed centres, one rotating to the right and the other rotating to the left. In The Dyadic Cyclone, Toni and John ask the question 'Is it possible to merge two centres, two cyclones, one male, one female, in such a way that there can be a rising, quiet centre shared by both?

A question arises: can a Dyadic Cyclone make great music? Recently I've worked on 3 different projects motivated by highly creative Dyads, and the answer, so far, is yes. Two of these remain "in progress" and will be spoken of later. Soon you will be hearing about a powerful new 7 piece group from Norway called Hoist.

The core of Hoist, and their primary songwriters, comprises lead vocalist Stian Leknes and pianist/lead vocalist Marita Røstad. Stian and Marita are a marvelous contrast of opposites in sound, style and background. His vocal sound is rough and gruff, reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, Howling Wolf, Dr. John, and Tom Waits. Stian didn't set out to sound like any of these characters, his voice naturally evolved into it for some unexplained reason when he made the switch from singing death metal songs to Hoist's repertoire which encompasses several genres. Her voice is very sweet and delicate. Marita teaches voice and piano at a prestigious Norwegian conservatory. They both have strong control over their instruments and both sing with tremendous passion. The dynamic of their contrasting vocals recalls the legend of Beauty and the Beast.


Hoist's rhythm section is solidly anchored by the brothers Elide, Daniel on drums and Allesandro on percussion. Magnus Mortensen holds down the low end on the acoustic double (upright) bass. Kurt Sprenger's guitar playing ranges from haunting atmospherics to energetic metal style leads. Kristoffer Lo on tuba and flugabone ( as its name suggests, an instrument combining a flugelhorn and a trombone) adds a free jazz sensibility along with low end reinforcement, and dark atmospherics. Lo at times ran his horns through a pedal board and a bass amp.

Their music is existentially electric, eclectic, at times ecstatic, beholden of great beauty hidden inside tales of darkness and tragedy. Folk with really heavy tones is how my assistant described it when asked. Piano driven, storytelling, space exploring, bluesy, jazzy, metallic, tragic and real. The songwriters of Hoist have clearly tapped into reservoirs of knowledge far beyond their own, reaching into what some people call the Collective Consciousness.

Track 2, "Rosemary " tells the tale of a misunderstood, disaffected Illuminatti:

No, it's not what you would think,
Nor is it obvious in anyone's dream,
No it's not the beauty and the peace,
So, she took her love, she took her smile,
does anyone know how her eyes could shine


The third track, "Darkfriend" bears strong similarity to a character known as the Dweller on the Threshold. The description given in the song sounds quite accurate. This character also makes an appearance in Robert Anton Wilson's Schrodinger's Cat trilogy.

"The Murders You Did Not Write," this one written by Lo, is a very heavy, slow New Orleans style dirge, a requiem for the victims of the brutal tragedy that occurred in Norway last year. They told me that everyone in Norway knows people who were killed there because it's such a small country. Songs like these show one way how artists can help heal this kind of psychic pain. I mixed it on Thanksgiving and brought flowers in to help bring the mood out.

After recording "Room 123" I asked them why they chose that number, they said no particular reason other than it fit. I told them about the 23 Conspiracy. The next morning Daniel and Allesandro mentioned a couple of small coincidences with 23 and this project. When they flew back to Norway after the recording, Gate 23 was their connecting gate. Last week I mixed an instrumental track called "Room 122" for the band Materialized.

This project was not without difficulty. To start, Hoist's intention was to record and mix the album at Prairie Sun in California. Unfortunately the State Department turned down their work visa request for some obscure, inconsequential reason. So they asked me to record them in Europe then mix it at Prairie Sun. I chose to record at my favorite studio in Europe, La Fabrique in St. Remy, France.

On the ride from the train station in Avignon to St. Remy I found my attention drawn to the trees and foilage that passed by in the crystalline clear light unique to the south of France. The light still had its intensity despite the overcast skies and stormy weather. The various kinds of trees looked intentionally arranged as if forming some kind of language and engaged in an other-wordly dialog beyond my comprehension. I remembered that Gaul ( ancient France) was home to Druids at one time. Also recalled Robert Graves' investigation of the Celtic Tree-Alphabet language, Ogham, in his classic work, The White Goddess.

A storm began shortly after my arrival at La Fabrique. At around midnight all the power went out and stayed off. We began our session the next morning without any electricity but with news of its expected return in a few hours. The power was restored on time as promised and stayed on for the duration.

While waiting, I gave the band my rap about how strong resistance inevitably accompanies very positive endeavors. Gurdjieff's Law of Three states that every phenomenal event has 3 aspects which he called holy affirming, holy denying, and holy reconciling. Positive, negative, and neutral. Ohms Law, the law that describes how electricity functions, appears a perfect example of Gurdjieff's "second fundamental cosmic law" ie the Law of Three.

Ohm's Law describes the relationship between current (affirming force), resistance ( denying), and voltage (reconciling) in an electrical circuit. Current is equal to Voltage divided by Resistance. If you have a high resistance value, you need to get much more voltage to maintain a strong current. Power describes the rate at which electricity gets used, transferred, or transformed. Power is equal to Current multiplied by Voltage. The amount of Power over time defines the Work done.

In optics, or radiometry, the term power sometimes refers to radiant flux, the average rate of energy transport by electromagnetic radiation, measured in watts. The term "power" is also, however, used to express the ability of a lens or other optical device to focus light. It is measured in dioptres (inverse metres), and equals the inverse of the focal length of the optical device.

- Optical Power

Watts, coincidently, is the name of the Zen Master (first name Alan) who turned Robert Anton Wilson on to Aleister Crowley.

Whether related to Gurdjieff's Law or not, I have repeatedly observed over the years that the more powerful and real the music I'm working on, the stronger the resistance to it. A great example of this occurred when Bill Laswell was producing Yothu Yindi in Australia. The music was powerfully shamanic and vital. All kinds of resistance surrounded the project the epitome probably being when Bill and I were threatened to be taken to jail if we didn't explain what we were doing in Australia. Apparently another producer, the guy who worked with all or most of Australia's pop groups at the time, had phoned Immigration Authorities and filed a complaint. It was true, the label who hired us, Mushroom Records, hadn't given us proper work visas. Bill just told these Feds that we were only rehearsing at the studio in preparation for recording them for real back in New York. They accepted our story with very few questions and appeared even more relieved than we were with our legally approved reality scenario presentation.

This "resistance" to music doesn't seem intentional or malevolent, or maybe I'm just not that paranoid. Like the storm at La Fabrique it appears more like a blind, mechanical occurrence that has to happen to make the circuit as powerful as it can get. Even when a human agency is behind the denying force the action appears mechanical and reflexive. I was amazed that Bill mentioned socializing with that same rival producer in Australia as if nothing had happened, clearly holding no animosity against him. But then why would any conscious individual, out of danger's way, get upset over a mechanical act of nature whether human or not?

O.T.O. reviver Grady McMurtry alluded to the strong resistance against gnostic teaching in the statement, "the gnosis always gets busted" as told in Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger. While making a valid point, the pessimistic ( in that moment) McMurtry seems clearly wrong with the always part. I have never had a music project overwhelmed with resistance so much that it failed to be brought to completion once it had started. Some proposed projects didn't get off the ground due to blind mechanical resistance. Bill Laswell was set to make an album in homage, and about the influence of film director Alejandro Jodorowsky on music. The funding was in place and we met with Jodorowsky in his Paris apartment. He was agreeable to the idea, and also very generous with his hospitality. Unfortunately, due to the childish and boorish behavior of some American politicians against French interests around the start of Iraq War II (blind, mechanical resistance), the funding dried up, the project cancelled. Any album that has been able to start working in the studio has never failed to be completed, in my experience. Readers of my interview in Tape Op a couple of years ago heard of my story of out of control electricity frying our Pro Tools rig and 2 expensive mics when recording Sibiri Samakein in Mali, West Africa. Despite the challenge, the recording got made ( the studio had a back-up DAW ie a digital audio workstation) came out on KSK and sounds amazing. I welcome resistance, bring it on!

Once Hoist and I were up and running things were going well - sounding incredible as the World will soon hear- until one rocking take picking up steam suddenly had the sound abruptly stop. Quite a shock, last thing you're expecting. Turns out the mute switch on the Studer A800 Multitrack was engaging without permission, as if anything blind or mechanical needs permission.The able technical staff at La Fabrique found a solution after wrestling with it for a bit. After that, our space was set, our circle drawn, and nothing major further interfered with what turned out to be a substantial and powerful musical document called Ami Noir.