Saturday, June 24, 2017

MERDEKA MUSINGS (updated & revisited)

HERE WE ARE, a 60-year-old nation in mid-life crisis but vehemently denying there’s anything the matter with us. It’s that kiasu neighboring country or those jealous jew-funded westerners – THEY are to blame for all our economic woes!

What about the rising rate of petty thefts, armed robberies, brutal rapes, senseless murders, domestic violence and religious intolerance? Is that an inevitable by-product of “progress”? Or is it simply due to a gross imbalance in per capita incomes resulting from a rigged and uneven fiscal playing field – coupled with a hypocritical attitude towards our affection-craving animal selves, wherein public puritanism increases in direct proportion to private perversion?

Human rights and environmental abuses? The goddam Yanks are the prime culprits – well, actually they ARE, look at their secret mind control projects and the havoc they have been wreaking all over the world in the name of “freedom” - but this essay is about US, not the U.S., even if our flags look pretty alike.

And, besides, the U.S. is only a strong-arm front for the ancient Babylonian Brotherhood which has, over thousands of years, quietly opened branches throughout the globe and is thus the prime mover of the One-World-Order “globalization” agenda (read The Biggest Secret by David Icke; you may be put off by Icke’s tabloid-style muckraking, but the muck is there for sure and we ignore it at our own peril).

MALAYSIA IS CLEAN AND GREEN (my foot!)

I used to get hot under the collar hearing about rampant crony capitalism and the high-level corruption it invariably breeds. Not any more. The corporate crime that works hand-in-glove with institutionalized religion and big military seems endemic to this planet, not just this country. Scandals on the scale of Enron and World.com put our own homegrown ones to shame. I used to think we were living in a dictatorship, an authoritarian police state. Well, compared to what’s going on in America – especially since the Bush gang muscled its way into the White House - we’re practically a Polynesian paradise.

We can no longer take comfort in the notion that we’re not as poorly off politically as folks in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, or Myanmar – nor can we aspire towards the degree of civil liberties and administrative accountability we naïvely believed were to be found in mature “democracies” like Britain, the US, Australia, new Zealand or Canada. Indeed, we no longer have any authentic rôle models, no one to emulate. It’s time to grow up and cultivate our own true identity as Malaysians, and quit wanting to be just like anybody else.


SO WHAT IS OUR "TRUE IDENTITY"?

Just what constitutes “a “global” Malaysian? RM700 million buildings, RM700,000 cars, RM7,000 suits, and RM70 haircuts are hardly the hallmarks of success – contrary to what local policymakers may think. Seven million flags waving from shophouses, cars, and in sweaty schoolkids’ hands are not the true signs of patriotism – even if it all looks mighty festive. It’s all a mere display – and everyone knows it.

But in a culture that’s founded on face-saving, cosmetic appearances are all-important. Even if you can’t afford it, you have to entertain your guests with a lavish wedding dinner at a 7-star hotel. So many people buying and flying the Jalur Gemilang (“Brilliant Stripes” - that’s what we call the Malaysian flag) must mean people are quite happy with the ruling party, right?

I’ve spotted vans with as many as ten flags fluttering from their roofs. Recently I saw a teenaged boy on a BMX with a full-sized Jalur Gemilang affixed to his tiny bike. It was an amusing sight indeed – but I couldn’t help thinking the kid would be equally proud flying the KFC, Nike, Manchester United, Hand Brand Groundnuts or Selangor Football Club insignia.

Amongst shopkeepers it would appear that displaying the Malaysian flag in the weeks leading up to Merdeka serves as some sort of talisman against bad luck (in the form of possible harassment by overzealous local council personnel - such as we seem to have within the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council). In other words, not making a public show of “patriotism” may prove inimical to one’s business prospects.

Alas, being a patriot isn’t quite the same thing as showing loyalty to the elected government of the day – but the lines are often blurred, and deliberately so.

From my perspective, pride in our country is best shown in simple gestures like making an effort to keep our streets and drains and parks and forests and beaches garbage-free. Or being vocal about polluting industries and corrupt practices in public office. Or being proud of and sustaining our reputation for hospitality, generosity and warmth towards guests and passing strangers. For that matter, why not let charity begin at home by being more polite, patient, understanding – and honest - with our own compatriots? Why wait for a major disaster to show the spirit of camaraderie?

My first visit to Burma was in 1984 – but I still recall how impressed I was by the honesty of the people I met. For example, the donkey-cart driver who ran after me, anxious to return the wallet I had dropped in his vehicle. Or the smooth-talking street hustler who wanted to buy a pair of jeans from me with a US$100 bill; and when I apologized for not having enough change, quietly advised me never to accept US$100 currency notes from the locals as they were all counterfeit (“You good man, I don’t cheat you, but Israeli, ha ha ha!” he added, which was perhaps the nicest compliment I received in Burma).

I believe the only way we will ever acquire a “true identity” as a nation is by simply allowing – if not actively encouraging – spontaneous cultural expression without attempting to control it with antiquated censorship laws and heavy-handed bureaucratic supervision. Being multiracial and multilingual is a genuine asset – not a liability as some are moved by fear and insecurity to think.

No one can dictate the terms and conditions of artistic flowering. One need only sit back, relax, and let it all happen. Of course, channeling sufficient funds towards supporting homegrown arts practitioners would greatly ease and accelerate the process. But this needs to be done with no overt or covert ethnocentric agenda. Otherwise, the culture we breed will turn out to be sycophantic, insular and syphilitic. And that would be far worse than having no culture at all – and therefore no national identity. Unassuming anonymity is a great deal more appealing – and a lot less self-destructive - than overweening pride and self-proclaimed fame.


[Cartoon courtesy of Lato' Lat]

[First posted 3 February 2007]

Friday, June 23, 2017

TIGER ISLE ~ A GOVERNMENT OF THIEVES (BOOK REVIEW)

“If religion is the opiate of the masses, as it pretty much is in most of Asia and the Middle East, then Tiger Isle was the drug capital of the world. It did not help that most Tigerists lived in a state of denial, in particular about their religion.”

First-time novelist E.S. Shankar: encyclopedic erudition

E.S. Shankar is an erudite, articulate, Renaissance Man of multitudinous facets. A UK-trained accountant and management consultant by profession, Shankar also maintains a satirical blog called Donplaypuks where he lampoons local politics with a generous dollop of schoolboy humor laced with sagacious insight.

Recently he published his first novel, Tiger Isle, A Government of Thieves – a highly engaging 380-page study of the evils of kakistocracy (defined as “governance by a clique representing the worst elements of society, from the Greek, kakos, meaning foul, or filthy”). I don’t know if he has found a local distributor yet but the book can be easily ordered online. I can assure you, nobody will begrudge Shankar the $13.49 price tag, considering the massive amount of brilliance and sheer hard work the man has invested in this epic read, replete with evil machinations, murder, sex, and apocalyptic mayhem.

Shankar’s spicy fiction is based on depressing facts anyone who has been monitoring Malaysia’s political milieu since 1969 will be familiar with: the bureaucratic apartheid created by artificially imposed racial and religious boundaries; the boundless avarice and power lust of a privileged coterie that wields a deadly stranglehold on the national psyche through absolute control of the mass media; the audacious and systematic plunder of a nation’s wealth and the methodical hijacking of its destiny for private gain and ego gratification.

Indeed, while the events and characters depicted in Tiger Isle appear to be broadly inspired by actual events and characters in Malaysia, the scenario is easily modified to fit any post-colonial Southeast Asian nation. As such, Shankar’s lovingly crafted debut novel sheds valuable light on the nature and internal workings of corruption, hubris and megalomaniacal delusions of grandeur – and deserves to be prescribed as supplementary reading in any meaningful political science curriculum.

It’s no mean feat to construct a parallel universe populated by doppelgängers of clearly recognizable personalities - and yet allow the characters sufficient autonomy to generate the tension and drama necessary to animate this fictional domain called Pulipore, or Tiger Isle. There is enough narrative momentum to keep the reader turning pages – although one requires a photographic memory to keep track of unwieldy names like Rekha Krishnasamy Roshan Prasad, Adhi Sri Dr Bhairav Oak Broad Leaf Sivan, Kapalin Blowfish Black Panther Chandran, Maitreya Blue Dolphin Suryan, and Sri Sanatkumar Mutthiah Muralidharan. Those in the know will smile at the inclusion of a few “ascended masters” in the colorful cast of characters.

Not only are the names extended, Shankar gleefully provides genealogies for a few of them, going back several generations – in the process adding a wealth of side commentary on the fascinating diversity of cultures to be found in the region. Place names like Pulijayam, Chandrapore, Shaktipore and Suryapore evoke a subcontinental aroma – hinting at the lingering influence of ancient civilizations like the Srivijaya and Majapahit Empires.

With an accountant’s eye for detail, Shankar delves into a morass of financial shenanigans conducted under the corrupt aegis of UNTA (United National Tigerists Association). Indeed, one might conclude that Shankar is merely making it all up - were it not for the fact that most Malaysians are already aware – thanks to the internet - of the endless list of dubious deals signed behind closed doors and labeled Official Secrets.

I couldn’t help but smile wryly at the irony of it all. Whenever Shankar relishes his role as novelist and puts effort into fleshing out his fictional characters, he succeeds in giving his narrative a measure of realism; however, his intimately reconstructed accounts of high-level wheeling and dealing come across as pure fiction because their outrageousness simply boggles the mind. We shudder at the realization that Shankar didn’t have to invent anything – merely switch a few acronyms and names around.

And, just as happens in real life, we are confounded by a plethora of acronyms: PACC (Pulipore Anti-Corruption Council), CCCP (Chandrapore City Center Plaza), PPC (Pulipetrol Corporation), PSA (Patriot and Security Act), PSB (Police Special Branch), and PITS (Pulipore Information Technology Service) – so much so the reader is at times compelled to refer to the acronym list on page 382.

As a writer, E.S. Shankar occasionally suffers from what may be called “the fisheye lens” syndrome – in effect, his omniscience and encyclopedic knowledge compel him to throw in too many asides and insider jokes. This slows the pace down – but only minimally. On the whole I was impressed by Shankar’s fluid syntax and flashes of literary virtuosity, for instance, when he begins a chapter with a killer line like: “The economic picture was pretty from far, but actually far from pretty.”

The story acquires a hint of Ian Fleming towards the end, when Shankar conspires to put all the biggest crooks of Tiger Isle together on board a private jet – and then leaves them at the mercy of seven female amateur ninjas and a couple of renegade pilots. Regime change through the ballot box is simply too banal and boring, I suppose. Or too unlikely. Or perhaps the eternal child in E.S. Shankar just felt like giving the plot a tiny twist of Quentin Tarantino.

Regrettably, Shankar’s magnificent effort will not qualify for the epithet “The Great Malaysian Novel” – simply because it’s all about Tiger Isle, heh heh, not Malaysia.

GOOD NEWS! Shankar has found a local publisher, Gerak Budaya, and Tiger Isle ~ A Government of Thieves will be officially launched at the Royal Selangor Club at 7PM on 20 November 2012.
[First posted 28 September 2012. Reposted 23 November 2014, 28 May 2015 & 23 June 2016]



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Three Versions of David Bowie's "Space Oddity"



Behold... the original 1969 music video for David Bowie's 'Space Oddity' from the promotional film Love You Till Tuesday directed by Malcolm J. Thomson that only saw the light of day in 1984 when Bowie had become a major star. It was reissued on DVD in the UK in 2005.



Low-budget "official video" produced & directed by Mick Rock in New York, December 1972.



A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded in 2013 by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station with all the benefits of digital tech. Revel in paradise, Starman!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Oil Spill and the Blood Spill (repost)

"I know, I know. I am proposing a sane world. I must be crazy.~ Steve Bhaerman


Same Problem, Same Solution


By Steve Bhaerman
Sometimes it's just not funny.

There is nothing funny about oil hemorrhaging in the Gulf of Mexico, or blood flowing in the Mediterranean - just the sad joke that we humans are largely the cause of our own suffering. And we are largely clueless as to how and why.

For millennia, we have been under the spell of the lowest common dominator, the notion that it's a you-or-me world, that to survive we must dominate or be dominated. Never mind that at the root of every religion and ethical system is some version of the Golden Rule. We have as a species chosen to apply this law selectively to those in our own family, tribe or nation. When we feel threatened - not necessarily ARE threatened, but feel threatened - we very easily adopt a conveniently modified version of the rule: "Doo-doo unto others before they can doo-doo unto you."

So, for tribes or nations to be manipulated by a sociopathic few, all these misleaders need to do is convince their people of an external threat, and this protective mechanism is activated. While fight-or-flight is a necessary response to an immediate danger, the blood flow to the hindbrain has to come from somewhere. It comes from the forebrain, the place of creative thinking and discernment. In other words, when we are in fear we are less intelligent.

In places like the Middle East, the us-vs.-them story is well established, and each atrocity by the other builds the story one more story high. The one thing the Palestinian terrorists set to blow themselves up and the Israeli soldiers firing on civilians have in common is the belief, "We are the good guys."

It's this belief alone that turns good guys into bad guys. It's how America justified using atomic weapons on Japan, napalm on Vietnamese, and bombs on Iraqi and Afghan citizens. It's the cost of war, paid by the other guy - the bad guy.

From the Mideast ... to the Midwest

In order to bring this notion home, literally and figuratively, we need to take what is happening in the Mideast, and apply it in the Midwest. Just as surely as the Israelis and Palestinians are at war, we the people of America have been divided into two warring tribes, the Red Tribe Republicans and the Blue Tribe Democrats. The main difference between these two tribes is that the right wing understands there is a war going on; the left wing merely feels assaulted.

Here's why.


Whether you believe it's an actual conspiracy, or merely the out-picturing of our divided collective consciousness, the body politic has been split into left-brain and right-brain, masculine and feminine. The political left represents the values of novelty and nurturance; the right stands for structure and protection. Each of these tendencies - progressive and conservative - represents a healthy biological impulse. However, separately they are incapable of wise rule. Why? Well, imagine living your life using only half your intelligence, or worse yet with two parts of your psyche constantly in mortal combat.

Consequently, each political party represents a toxic distortion of a valuable asset. Put bluntly, the Republicans represent the abusive male, the Democrats the enabler female. All of the muscle is on one side; all of the compassion is on the other. Instead of working together, these two opposing impulses have inflicted a deadly autoimmune dysfunction on the body politic. Who benefits? Those who have the most to lose by these two divided forces uniting as an integrated, whole "we the people."

In a healthy, integrated, whole system the forces of protection protect life. Consider the eggshell. It is absolutely necessary to protect the egg during development. However, for a chicken to be born, the shell must break. Structure must yield to life.

In our distorted, divided system the structures designed for protection all too often protect the predator. That's why back in the 1930s, Gen. Smedley Butler, at the time America's most decorated Marine, wrote a booklet called War is a Racket, where he confessed that most of the defending he did during the early part of this century was for United Fruit and U.S. Rubber. In the nearly 80 years since Butler's pamphlet, we have seen the simple desire for defense and protection rigidify into a Military Industrial Complex, a structure largely in service of itself, in partnership with the American empire.

Interestingly, the more libertarian right represented by Ron Paul know about Smedley Butler and his assessment of war, whereas he is an unfamiliar figure to most on the left. That's because each political polarity has it's own information pipeline telling them the "truth." The left is told that the Ron Paul variety of populist - as represented currently by the Tea Parties - are backward racists and isolationists. Meanwhile, the right wing impropaganda machine bangs away at the notion that "liberals hate America," making them as much of an enemy as Al Qaeda is.

Progressives are outraged by the assaults of Limbaugh, Beck and the like, but cannot respond effectively or courageously. Why? Because all the martial energy has been marshaled over on the other side. The right, meanwhile, doesn't dare empathize with the downtrodden, lest we empower welfare cheats. In having their attention focused on the lowly criminal, they are conveniently distracted from the highly criminal.

We are a political house divided, a body politic afflicted with bi-polar insanity. Somewhere in the netherworld, Machiavelli is smiling, for his lesson of divide-and-conquer has been well learned by our misleaders. We the people have learned to identify so much with what divides us that we completely ignore the common virtues and values we share as non-sociopathic humans.

It's Either an Awakening ... Or a Wake

Which brings us to the oil spill.

The major missing piece in this web-of-life threatening tragedy is our ability to act in unison in a moment of crisis. The bi-polar political dysfunction has bred so much mutual distrust, that we've wasted valuable time and energy in obfuscation and blame. But the problem goes deeper than that, as deep as the subconscious programming of "survival of the fittest." We are so programmed with fear of not enough - Swami calls this "scare city" - that we spend our attention, intention, time and resource on protection and acquisition, at the expense of other healthy human "cellular souls."

The cost of this agreed-upon greed, goes beyond the trillions of dollars spent and the millions of lives lost. We now have a rupture in the web-of-life itself, as the fluid we value more than life gushes uselessly and harmfully into the ocean, unstoppable by the magic of technology. Like Disney's Sorcerer's Apprentice, in our ignorance and innocence, we unleashed a power far too powerful for our Mickey Mouse consciousness.

And the good news is?

If we choose to use it as such, the oil spill may be the significant emotional event that bumps us out of the illusion of separation and into a healthier relationship with one another and the planet. What is called for is no less than a spontaneous spiritual evolution from children of God to adults of God, from victims and villains to aware, responsible co-creators. It's never happened before. But never before have we faced such a blatant and immediate human-caused disaster, one that calls into question our fitness as a species.

As many of us have seen in the "try this" or "try that" emails that have been circulating, there is no dearth of potential remedies or even solutions. We already have the worldwide network of communication to create an open-source approach to a situation that threatens every one of us. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention ... and intent is the father. What an opportunity for the people of this world to "gather under one big intent" to take the initiative to create a worldwide "we the people" authority to, for the first time, confront a species-wide threat as a species.

This would not be some top-down New World Order, but a bottom up, grassroots "new world ordering," where we access the heart-and-soul essence of who we are, an essence that has been lost through millennia of domination and programmed fear. It would mean gathering in intentionally diverse groups, and using existing polarities to stretch ourselves beyond the limited choices we currently perceive. It would mean calling forth the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Feminine, to act in accord as dynamic duo dance partners. It would mean taking the obsolete political polarities of progressive and conservative, and turning them into healthy intentions by asking, "How do we wish to progress?" and "What do we choose to conserve?"

I know, I know. I am proposing a sane world. I must be crazy.

But the question to ask ourselves and one another is, how sane is the institutionalized, homicidal, suicidal insanity we have now? As the saying goes, if we keep on the same path, we will arrive at where we are going. Even if we are able to stanch the current oil flow, and we contain the damage to "just" one ocean, what will the next blow be? Will we be able to recover, or will it just be a matter of time before a human-made disaster kills us?

In our book Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton and I point out the phenomenon of "spontaneous remission," where an individual is told their condition is untreatable and terminal, and yet something mysterious and miraculous happens. They recover, and show no sign of the disease whatsoever. While we might imagine this some super-human miracle, when we look deeper we find that the recovery is preceded by a profound change of belief, and change of behavior.

In other words, a spontaneous remission is often the result of a "spontaneous remissioning." And so the choice is before us to collectively change our mission from "dominate or be dominated" to re-growing the Garden together.

This has been the wake up call we have been waiting for. And the snooze button is no longer working.


Steve Bhaerman is a writer and uncommontator who has written and performed comedy as Swami Beyondananda. He is also the co-author with Bruce Lipton of Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here (Hay House: 2009). He can be found online at http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/ If you like what you read, and want to get more of it, subscribe to Notes From the Trail here.


[First posted 6 June 2010]







Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Mysteries of Machu Picchu ~ 52-minute National Geographic documentary



A National Geographic documentary about the fascinating and mysterious pre-Columbian Inca lost city of Machu Picchu.

Deep in the Andean mountains lays a mysterious ruin named Machu Picchu. For 400 years it sat abandoned on its misty cliff, the quintessential lost city in the jungle. Rediscovered in 1911, it contained no written records or carvings, nothing that could shed light on its history.

For a century since, it has defied the endless scores of visitors and scientists who attempted to understand its purpose. Who were the mysterious people who built it and why did they build it here? Today an international team of archeologists, engineers and scientists are finally piecing together the clues. Together they are discovering astonishing new burials, revealing the intricacies of its ingenious engineering and finally decoding the secrets of Machu Picchu.

© 2009 NGHT, Inc. and WGBH Educational foundation

[Well, the mystery of Machu Picchu isn't quite solved in this documentary... but everything about the Incas is fascinating anyhow...]

First posted 13 February 2013, reposted 14 November 2014.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

DEBUNKING DE LIGHT

I've been a debunker myself, especially around the age of 15 or 16 when I took great pleasure in debunking religion (particularly churchianity) and later civilization itself. But I soon realized the urge to debunk was merely part of growing up.

I've seen a lot of debunking in my time. In fact, it seems that every time someone writes a book or announces a new paradigm or introduces a sharp new terminology into the system, it doesn't take long before a detractor or two will arrive on the scene and proceed to debunk my latest pet belief. Indeed, everytime I get swept up on the crest of a peak experience and remember my own divinity - I soon get debunked by those who want me to retain a recognizable form and function within a "safe" frequency range.

Tuesday Lobsang Rampa (1910-1981)
Debunking happened with Tuesday Lobsang Rampa. He declared that he was a walk-in; his Englishman's body was inhabited and operated by a reincarnated Tibetan lama. I recall there was a vicious campaign mounted against Rampa, and it promoted the idea that he was just an imaginative writer of fiction. But the damage had been done: millions of impressionable teenagers and middle-aged housewives had been informed about astral traveling and third eyes. There was no holding back the floodtide of mystical whimsy.

After that it was Erich von Däniken and his "Chariots of the Gods" series. His was a timely message about astronaut gods but he overused the exclamation mark and annoyed many with his dogmatism. Needless to say, he was quickly debunked.

Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998)
Carlos Castaneda, L. Ron Hubbard, Aleister Crowley, The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail researchers, Crop Circles, Bhagwan Rajneesh aka Osho, Drunvalo Melchizedek, Dan Winter, José Argüelles, Buckminster Fuller, Whitley Strieber, Zecharia Sitchin, Deepak Chopra, Photon Belt proponents, Barbara Hand Clow, Merkabah activations, UFO contactees, the Ashtar Command, Y2K doomsdayers... LOTS of gurus, ascended masters and their ideas have been debunked and reality models dismissed by professional debunkers.

Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith
(the ultimate debunker) 
Of course, it's always a bit dampening to have a pet theory laid bare by cold logic or jaundiced perspectives. Parts of myself remain cynical - but my cynicism is reserved for those that would maintain and reinforce the corrupt and degenerate Status Quo - not for those whose efforts are directed towards transforming our intellectual materialism and opening our collective third eye to multidimensional options.

What I feel these days is a certain numbness of the intellect - but my heart is open to embracing all beliefs, no matter how infantile and ignorant; and viewing them as a moving gestalt of fragmented truths, a kaleidoscope of everchanging notions and revelations that ultimately culminate in a crystalline epiphany of Meaning and a soaring symphony of extended octave harmonies.

Debunking teaches us not to cling too tenaciously to anything or anyone or any idea. The only indivisible and indestructible Truth is that we are perfect holograms of the One, fractals of beauty beyond definition or description. And we are gathered here to witness and co-create the magickal manifestation of a New Heaven on a New Earth in the only way it can be accomplished: through synergetic cooperation and loving coherence as an infinitely extendable family of souls.


In lak’ech … A lak’en 
("I am you ... and you are me" in Mayan)
Antares
12 April 2000

Monday, June 12, 2017

UNDERSTANDING ASCENSION (revisited yet again)

HARDWARE/SOFTWARE = BODY/MIND-SOUL
by Antares

"They are among us now. In the streets of our cities there are already citizens from other worlds. They are here as messengers of the Light to fulfill their mission on the planet Earth." - Willaru Huayta, Chasqui Sun Messenger of the Incas, in the Mayan Solar Year 7 Eb of the Itza Age (1996)

CAUGHT UP in the daily grind, hacking away for pay in some partitioned cubicle in a centrally airconditioned highrise office block... it's so easy to forget that we're all already seasoned travelers in Outer Space.

Zoom out from wherever you are right now and picture yourself as a glowing whirl of vibrant atomic particles, a pinpoint of awareness on a dazzlingly beautiful watery planet, spinning a bit wobblingly around our sun Ra, on the remote fringes of the Magdalenian Galaxy (commonly known as the Milky Way) - which is herself pirouetting majestically round a Supergalactic Central Hub somewhere deep, deep in Boundless Space.

But there's a lot more to "space travel" than meets the eye. Too often we forget that Inner Space is just as vast and mysterious as Outer Space. A would-be Interdimensional Traveler must intuitively understand the subtle process of "inside outing." He or she or it must boldly defy conventional definitions of Body, Mind and Soul!

Where does the physical end and the metaphysical begin? How can we separate one dimension from another? Reality comprises multi-layered webs of interwoven energy and consciousness vibrating at different frequencies, so how can we expect to comprehend the workings of the Whole System simply by analyzing its myriad minute parts? Without our physical brains and the billions of neural interconnections in our nervous system, can we possibly experience Mind? Without this phenomenon called Mind, would we require all the sophisticated hardware that so many of us have fallen into the habit of identifying as "ourselves"?

And what about this mysterious essence we call Soul or Spirit? In an age that doubts and questions the soul's very existence, can we trust our materialistic sciences to uncover transcendental truths? Yet we can complain that the food or music we're being served is "utterly soulless" and be perfectly well understood.

The age of computers has given us access to powerful new metaphors that effectively wed the world of dense matter with the realms of spirit. Today we can think of the physical body and brain as a computer server system: the hardware which can be taken apart, repaired, modified, reconditioned, or junked. The Mind would thus be the vast array of software programs the system can operate - anything from simple calculations to multimedia transactions using superfast chips that function at near lightspeed. Soul would then be the original inspiration (the indwelling Spirit) behind and within and beyond all this - the ultimate arbiter of the cosmic shelf life of both hardware and software.

Take your personal computer. With the power off it's just a hunk of hardware, mere furniture. Turn it on, install a word processing or graphics program. Now... you're ready to produce an exciting piece of electronic art, write a 50,000 word thesis or best-selling novel, produce some funky techno-trance music, or insult a few fellow nerds on the Net. But where do you, as the Operator, feature? It is your intention, your will, your aspirations and desires that the computer serves (though cynics might aver that the only person whose will is genuinely served by computers is Bill Gates).

Extending the Mind-as-Software metaphor a little further, we can understand how our Thought Patterns are determined by our Mindsets - which obey the genetic, social, cultural and religious formatting (or preconditioning) we're all subject to. However, once we're aware of our programming, it's possible to break through to the level of the Metaprogram whereat we may radically alter the operational pathways of our Biocomputers. A good example of this is when a yogi learns to control his metabolism through pranayama (the discipline of fully conscious breathing): he can then keep his body in suspended animation indefinitely, while his Mind-Soul moves freely in any chosen direction or dimension.

This is the approach to space travel - or, more accurately, interdimensional travel - taught in ancient Mystery Schools, whether in Egypt or the Andes or the Himalayas.



Peruvian chasqui (spiritual messenger) Willaru Huayta (pictured above) says: "Many noble people in South America have conquered infinite space, visited other worlds, and have brought knowledge back to benefit humanity. They travel without the necessity of space ships. Some Indians in the Andes travel to distant planets and learn much about the universe, while official science still investigates the superficial level of the material plane. Investigations in three-dimensional reality are always incomplete."

Note that Willaru describes these spaceshipless travelers as "noble people" - NOT "technologically advanced" or "militarily powerful" or "economically privileged."

Does he mean that a prerequisite of interdimensional travel is Moral Quality? Perhaps the capacity to feel openhearted compassion and freedom from finicky ego trips? The implications are, if one seeks to travel Beyond, one needs to travel Light!

Now, in Drunvalo Melchizedek's Flower of Life teachings, the same emphasis is placed on "nobility" - though in this instance, the necessary state of being is described as "Christ consciousness." Drunvalo, like Willaru, states that spaceshipless interdimensional travel (known as Ascension in the Bible, as well as in New Age circles) doesn't negate the existence of UFOs or Flying Hardware. But we are gently reminded that just as Troy fell for the old Wooden Horse ploy, modern humanity is susceptible to being bamboozled by extraplanetary "Greeks" bearing gifts.

INDEED, THE WORST HAS ALREADY HAPPENED!


Apparently - or, rather, not-so-apparently - a bunch of fetus-like aliens popularly (or unpopularly) known as the Zeta Reticulan Greys made contact with high-level military officers and politicians many decades ago (in the 1930s, some say, but the truth is, such contacts with extraterrestrial Trojan Horses have been occurring on Earth for hundreds of thousands of years). After the expected exchange of pleasantries, the aliens ordered a top-secret closed-door conference with a handful of extremely influential Earthians whereby a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. The Greys offered their services as "technical consultants," giving elite members of the human race access to hitherto undreamed-of scientific secrets that would enable certain humans to conquer space and time. In return they only wanted the right to conduct genetic research on this biologically diverse planet. Of course, this Special Project required absolute confidentiality.

The public must never hear of this. If any word leaked out, it had to be quickly smothered by massive disinformation campaigns. It sounded fair enough at the time. After all, vivisection and animal research are commonly practiced in our own research laboratories. So are secret experiments with viral warfare, genetic cloning, social engineering, ideological imprinting and so on. What the kids don't know won't alarm them.

All very Faustian, don't you agree? Where did Christopher Marlowe and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe get their inspiration for Mephistopheles from? An archetype, you say? But of course. Seems like it's the same everywhere in the universe, archetypical behavior! Anyway, the Greys began to feed the Inner Core members of the Pentagon-sponsored scientific cabal with very interesting information - but they kept the flow gradual.

"You need time to absorb all this high-tech stuff," the Greys intoned. Meanwhile, they went on a rampage with their genetic research. Cattle mutilations, human abductions, crossbreeding experiments.

Crossbreeding? That's right. The Greys knew they were doomed as a species. Their destructive technologies had laid waste to their home planet and made every man jack of them incapable of fertilizing even a toad's egg.

They needed hospitable human ovaries to produce a viable hybrid Grey-Earthian, a veritable Neo-Tech Man, that would quietly and efficiently take control of the planet and turn our future Bleak and Grey.

Only a few weeks ago at the local night market - and later aboard the Tanjong Malim bus - I saw people wearing black and grey T-shirts that gave me quite a start and prompted a sardonic smile. They featured an embossed depiction of fetus-like creatures, with the legend: "Alien Workshop Mind Control Laboratory." Ha! I see they're ready to advertise their presence. However, please don't panic. The Movie isn't over yet and some of us are betting on a Happy Ending.

I realize this is beginning to sound like an allegory of our times.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS NOT AN ALLEGORY OF OUR TIMES!

This is bona fide information which has been effectively kept out of your school curricula for decades, if not aeons. Due to certain mitigating circumstances and mysterious factors in the cosmic scheme of events and schedules, the information is now DECLASSIFIED. But it may do little good, considering how resistant human egos have grown to any news that threatens the Status Quo or, worse still, jeopardizes Economic Growth.

However, I am encouraged by my optimistic Higher Dimensional Aspect to discuss it openly with you without fear of rejection or reproof.


Remember, I started out explaining how the boundaries are blurring between the operational parameters of Body, Mind and Soul. How the lines between Hardware and Software need to be redrawn, so that we shall be less willing to sacrifice the Spirit for the Form - and vice versa, since it's never either/or but always both/and.


Messengers like Drunvalo Melchizedek and Willaru Huayta are only here to remind us that we have a divine birthright to reclaim, which entitles us to craft our own 'lightships" from pure intention married to fully conscious imagination - rather than depend on a sneaky, secretive mafia of rocket scientists.

Freedom from hunger, envy, fear, jealousy, poverty, discomfort and suffering does not entail a multibillion-dollar budget. It requires the cultivation of "a noble spirit" in all humanity. "Noble" does not mean "snootily aristocratic." It means something far humbler. The readiness to lay down arms and surrender to the inspiration and guidance of our own "higher nature" - to heal our wounded hearts so that we can FEEL again. To redirect our attention and energies towards the Whole, towards the Total Unity of Life - rather than remain paranoically fragmented behind security alarms and barbed wire and steel-plated doors.

To address our highest integrity towards maximum honesty and openness, and our greatest ingenuity towards restructuring our lifestyles and values so that we shall once more tread gently, lightly, lovingly - creatively rather than destructively - upon our gracious Mother Earth, our living goddess, our once-and-future Garden of Eden. In the course of moving in this general direction, we shall find ourselves ascending as a collectivity - as well as individually. We shall be moving not so much from "here" to "there" but from a coarser to a finer vibration, from the gross to the subtle frequency bands.

Yes, call it a major Change of Octaves that's impending. Happy travels!


[First published in JOURNAL ONE, February 1997. Reposted here 12 September 2008, 1 January 2014 & 19 March 2016]


Sunday, June 11, 2017

PROJECT XTC ~ THE PRELUDE TO MAGICK RIVER

It was the last week of my brief stint at a major ad agency from which I had just resigned. I saw an ad in the newspapers promoting a competition sponsored by Rolex with a 50,000 Swiss Franc cash prize (worth about M$250,000 perhaps) for the winning project proposal (I don’t remember what the categories were, but there was one for ‘Exploration and Discovery’). I sat down at my typewriter and wrote the following proposal. I never did hear back from Rolex but this intriguing document just resurfaced from my rusty filing cabinet after 40 years...

PROJECT  XTC - OR “HOW I INTEND TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE”

Antares in 1977 playing Snoopy
What constitutes a satisfactory human life experience? Does all life exist on an experimental basis – or do life processes simply fulfil specific ontological programs (in accordance with an archetypal metaprogram)? To what extent can we see foresee, accelerate, or escape evolutionary trends? Is it possible to develop a true Group Mind? Do we really qualify as gods?

Having found no ready answers to the above questions, I am determined to devote a fair portion of my life to investigating basic issues from as many angles as are available to a human individual – and to formulate practical ways to assimilate and synthesize, as comprehensively as possible, all the intelligence and wisdom humanity has inherited from philosophers, sages, scientists, artists, and laymen and women past and present – so as to ultimately realize a joyful continuity and conscious coherence on the earth plane.

In an earlier era such an undertaking would have been considered impossible, since it would be expected to go on forever. Today we have an option to go on forever.

[Project XTC will, of necessity, include every conceivable and inconceivable field of Enterprise including all three listed in this competition. Exploration and Discovery, nevertheless, seems to capture the underlying spirit of the project most aptly.]


Reality is whatever one thinks it is

Thoughts are multidimensional wave emanations of Mind. Some thoughts occur on single planes, others on multiple. All thoughts are valid expressions of being. The scientist records the motion of thoughts and observes their effects, in an attempt to intellectually grasp the meaning of their manifestation. The mystic arrests the motion of thoughts by understanding their causes, in order to know the source of their manifestation. The fine line that distinguishes science from mysticism swiftly vanishes as each area of investigation graduates into what is popularly classified as the esoteric. Only on the more exoteric or fundamental levels do traditional divisions remain apparent. The physical world and the metaphysical world are one – each differentiated from the other only by function and relative position on the spectrum of manifestation. But what has all this got to do with Project XTC?

The Third Man Theme

In a dualistic frame of reference, all debate becomes destructive and ends in a deadlock. A third factor is obviously necessary to the solution or resolution of problems in which two factors appear to be in direct and irreconciliable conflict. The third factor, then, may be said to add an extra dimension to the eternal quest for the right answers.

It is to this quest that Project XTC addresses its primary thrust. Twenty years have gone into this project and an essential working theory has been evolved. Subjectively, Project XTC has already been successfully accomplished. Objectively, however, it has only just begun. The final outcome of every research project is determined by its contribution to civilization as a whole. Just as the scientist’s ultimate challenge lies in coherently redistributing the wealth of his experimental results within and beyond the defines of his discipline, so the mystic’s ultimate challenge is to transmit faithfully the distillations of his supramundane experiences to those well tuned to receive. The immediate objective of Project XTC would necessarily be to design an operational structure for personal, as well as collective, utilization in progressive stages of an ever-evolving reservoir of intelligence and wisdom fed by tributaries from all fields of endeavor.

A Nuclear Interactor Mindpower Plant

Every individual has a unique mind potential. Genius is unique mind potential developed to an optimally discernible degree. Madness is unique mind potential accelerated to the spectral fringes of human thought. Assuming that every mind is a discrete nucleus of existential being, it follows that principles derived from a study of nuclear  physics apply, to a limited extent, in the case of vital relationships.

Entropic heat/hate may be said to be generated in fission/division within, between or amongst mind nuclei. Katabolic radioactivity results which, on a socio-political plane, invariably terminates in lethal, internecine warfare. Envisage, however, the fusion or synthesis of interacting mind nuclei (note subtle difference between “reacting” and “interacting” – in terms of human relationships, reacting is more often than not an involuntary thalamic response overriding cortical conditioning; whereas interacting implies a combined “inner and outer” brain response qualified by immediate circumstances) in which anabolic radioactivity, with its healing and nurturing properties, may give rise to syntropic (anti-entropic), reciprocal love/evolution.

It must be added that the metabolic processes of the energy-matter universe invariably include both anabolic and katabolic phases – hence the question arises, why bother about either entropy or syntropy? The point is, civilization inherently favors the birth of Order out of Chaos – insofar as we remain cognizant of the vital contribution of Chaos in every formulation of Order we derive from our existence. This explains the romantic appeal of Dr Jekyll-Mr Hyde and Tarzan-Lord Greystoke characterizations. One of the most significant potential contributions of Project XTC, therefore, would be the development of a prototype Nuclear Interactor Mindpower Plant with its roots deeply embedded in the firm ground of common sense and its branches freely dancing in the breeze of current discoveries. The need for such flexibly organic intelligence-processing and wisdom-fruiting plants will become increasingly obvious as present nationalistic self-interest matures into planetary mutual-interest. (And this should make it very clear why Herman Kahn and the Hudson Institute, the Rand Corporation, Club of Rome and similar “thinktanks’ are inadequate to our planet’s purpose. They disqualify themselves by their partisanship and their vested interest in maintaining the status quo.)

Apparatus Required:

1. Free Time, i.e., time that is not mortgaged to the compulsions of artificially imposed necessity or siphoned into limited-objective activities. And in this instance the prerequisite of Free Time may apply to the entire Earth population – but for the time being, it is enough for a single individual to experience unconditional use of a human lifetime.

2. Physical Space in which to establish a working base for Project XTC. Equipped with efficient communication and comfortable living facilities (such as a telephone that works and a bathroom that’s well ventilated).

3. “We may take anything we want from our mother planet, so long as we finally return everything in even more perfect condition.” – House Rule #1

4. Money. 50,000 Swiss Francs to start with!


A tool for every technique, a technique for every job

Positive thinking schools teach the successful use of the autohypnotic mind. Vedantic schools preach the folly of dependence on intellect alone; that to enjoy life in all its glory one must learn to utilize every aspect of one’s being. The scientist has his extended sight in microscopes and telescopes. The sage, his insight born of silence. Whether through scientific method or magical ritual, every channel of investigation is justified. For any venture, great or small, can only enhance – if not increase – the quality and scope of life as we know it. 

Of course, there are human activities which do ostensibly just the reverse. But even in such instances, the payoff comes from realizing that we can choose, of our own volition, from a seemingly endless range of options. Ultimately the question arises: who evaluates and determines the merits or demerits of any given system of belief or behavior? In the context of Project XTC, the answer is obvious and simple – I do! “I” being a representative individual member of the planetary populace which, in fact, consists of human, animal, vegetable and mineral cultures configured in symbiotic interdependency. The true “I” must attain and maintain an inclusive universality of viewpoint which can only be realized in perpetual attunement with reality’s flux and flow.

There are any number of known and unknown techniques to achieve attunement vis-a-vis the individual and society, the part and the whole, the one and the all. Pioneers of physical-metaphysical synthesis have contributed immeasurably to the maturation of Mind in our energy-matter universe; each idea, each ideal, has been a success unto itself, only awaiting eventual realization. 

Patanjali gave us our modern Yoga technique. Lao-tze gave us a fluid, timeless philosophy of harmonious living. Men like Spinoza, Kant, Hegel and Descartes gave Western civilization a logical framework upon which to build. Einstein gave us a glimpse behind hitherto locked doors of physical laws. And in recent days, scientist-philosophers like Buckminster Fuller have shown us possibly wiser ways to utilize our limited resources. Then, again, there are thinkers who have thought the unthinkable – and who wait in the shadowy wings of fame, living enigmas in their time – L. Ron Hubbard, to name but one, who offered us Dianetics (the science of mind) and “Scientology” (the religion of knowing one’s mind) but who continues to be regarded by the academic mainstream as a charlatan, crank, or worse. Are all these efforts, then, mere flashes in the pan of primordial nescience? Or can we conceivably use them each and all in various applications, experimentally directed towards a hypothetical, supraconceptual point of convergence?

Carl Jung spoke of the Collective Unconscious – a reservoir of archetypal images and of pure intelligence – which feeds the aspirations and dreams of all sentient creatures. Can it ever become the Collective Conscious? Attempts have been made – and are being made – to test the potentiality of group-mind harmonics and dynamics. It is easy to dismiss these attempts as wishful-thinking and a lot of “occult mumbo-jumbo.” Open-ended experimentation, however, will be a keynote of Project XTC. I want to find out firsthand. It is not enough to say, “Others are already doing it, so why should I?” Can Project XTC be considered “an original idea” since there is hardly anything new about ontological, eschatological and epistemological research? I would describe any enterprise that may bring us closer to knowing our unknown origins as “original.” QED.


Objectivizing Project XTC: Structure &/or Nonstructure

Ideas generally need a structure to hang on. Any plan of action involves structural design. In the long run, however, structures tend to obstruct further development of the abstract principles they contain. This is the reason I am reluctant to delineate an organizational program for Project XTC. Flexibility is essential to the unfoldment of true form. Nonetheless, for the sake of elucidation, I shall attempt to briefly describe one likely scenario of exploration.

It is important to bear in mind the premise that all kinds of structuralization in Project XTC will be organic in nature and therefore mutable and ephemeral. Let me state that I am not interested in founding a new religion or saving humanity from certain extinction. I am involved with the project only insofar as it gives me pleasure and delight – and what gives me the greatest pleasure and delight is knowing that I am on the right track. If in the process of implementing Project XTC I succeed in by-producing far-reaching and unforeseen benefits for others, I would consider it a matter of serendipity or plain good luck.
  
Community Scenario – Draft One

Act I: Focus 100% on developing effective interpersonal communication/communion channels and methods. Test various group-dynamic models, e.g., gestalt, encounter and transactional therapy, incorporating elements of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and transcendental meditation. Explore altered states of consciousness techniques, learning from aboriginal or pentecostal trance-inducing rituals – whatever can enhance conscious bonding among members of the community/tribe. Stress honesty and openness in everyday interactions. Investigate and elaborate on pioneering efforts by visionaries like G.I. Gurdjieff, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass). Monitor progress of related community projects  at Findhorn, Lindisfarne, Esalen and the Arica Institute. Establish energetic contact with research groups such as the Association for Research & Enlightenment (ARE), Stanford Research Institute, the Fuller Research Foundation, Masters & Houston’s Foundation for Mind Research, Human Software, Inc, and so on.

Act II: Attract seminal taskforce comprising individuals from a comprehensive spectrum of ethno-cultural affinities with cross-sectional innate abilities and skills. Work towards “Castalia Foundation” concept of a creative seed-community able to operate cooperatively and synergetically on all levels. Encourage self-healing via non-invasive methodologies that include yoga, meditation, taichi, tantra, plant medicines, deep massage, and so on.

ACT III: Assess feasibility of forming a semi-permanent seed-community along autonomous lines (learning from the experience, positive and negative, of predecessor communities like Findhorn and Auroville). Being part of a seed-community will almost certainly be necessary to ensure the continuance of Project XTC during periods of prolonged global confusion and apocalyptic vicissitudes.

ACT IV: Encourage and reward inventiveness in all areas of everyday living, striking a comfortable balance between order and chaos so that innovative ideas can be grounded in technological expertise and engineering knowhow. Beneficial breakthroughs can be exported for the benefit of ever-increasing numbers of planetary inhabitants. It is crucial that the seed-community consciously breaks free of useless, irrelevant, unnecessary or oppressive cultural or ideological imprints inherited from the past. Whatever deemed of value which can be salvaged from traditional institutions – probably not very much – will need to be carefully reassessed and reformulated to avoid a repeat of the mind-control patterns our ancestors fell victim to.


ACT V: Dissolve and disperse the seed-community at its time of ripeness, facilitating cross-pollination with other compatible seed-communities all over the renascent planet. Practise retrospective re-evaluation and introspective reassessment at every stage of the Project. Be willing to recognize and rectify defects and errors in every plan of action or problem-solving approach, no matter how petty or gross, and be ever grateful to the mysterious Wisdom and intuition that makes it all possible.

  
Keeping a Holistic Outlook and Allowing for a Free Play of Insight

“This is my prediction for the future: whatever hasn’t happened, will happen, and no-one will be safe from it.” ~ J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1964)
  
Of necessity, the foregoing notes and conceptual sketches cannot be regarded as anything more than a crude structural outline of Project XTC. I do not envisage the project as a guided tour of paradise complete with glossy brochures and carefully planned itineraries. Just as no human entity is born with an instruction manual on how to live, so no human culture group or civilization can be expected to function and develop according to a great big factory blueprint. I believe that the dignity of being human stems from the free will factor, that the beauty of humanity lies in its capacity to be wise and foolish at the same time. I do not accept B.F. Skinner’s behavioral engineering theories simply because I feel they epitomize the sense of alienation, anomie and depersonalization that began with the Industrial Revolution and surreptitiously morphed into an overcentralized system of governance that has grown increasingly Orwellian as the 21st century approaches. Even if would-be social engineers like Skinner were to come up with a mandatory vaccination designed to ensure that every newborn baby grows into a helpful, friendly, honest and loving adult, it would only result in a pathetically plastic utopia – and our collective dream of heaven on earth would turn into the ultimate sci-fi nightmare.


Project XTC is founded on the premise that every individual is unique and worthy of autonomy and has the potential to evolve and mature into a divine and sovereign entity, firmly rooted in an innate sense of responsibility, which grants the greatest degree of freedom to the individual without impinging negatively on the well-being of the collective.

A great many of the difficulties confronting our current pseudo-civilization are potentially instructive to our onward evolution as a supposedly sentient species. As we outgrow artificially imposed limitations (such as cultural imprints of tribal, ideological or theological differences) we will discover that the solution to any problem is most likely to be found with only a minor shift of attitude - wherein we choose the gentlest and wisest solution - and altitude - wherein we raise our atomic vibrations to a subtler frequency, thereby enjoying vastly enhanced and expanded consciousness.

Most boundaries and limitations are actually imaginary - and explorers have been called foolhardy because they figured this out ahead of everyone else. But only the ones that make it back alive are given the badge of courage. When a civilization approaches senility, explorations are discouraged or ignored and orthodoxies enforced on pain of death. A culture in its busy, ego-driven, ambitious youth often has no time to explore its own depths and the amazing universe beyond its immediate concerns. Yet explorers and explorations will endure and persist through all time: the quest for the grail of truth is an intrinsic quality of consciousness itself, and we inhabit a sentient planet, indeed an entire multiverse of as-yet-unknown possibilities. Just as a man seeks to know himself, the universe too seeks to know itself. As within, so without – and there will always be a complementary interrelation between inner and outer voyagings.

Project XTC is essentially an attempt by a single individual, working in collaboration with others, to create a dynamic interface and link between explorers of Inner and Outer Space.

Why XTC?

Ecstasy is a state of consciousness reported by mystics and visionaries who have discovered a way to transcend their own boundaries and limitations and reconnect with the supreme wisdom inherent in the natural world. Cognitive ecstasy is the conduit through which mages and sages, seers and shamans, oracles and visionaries derive their spontaneous knowing, or Gnosis. We are beginning to realize that both the mystical and scientific approach to unlocking the mysteries are guided by the same irresistible impulse – the only difference lies in the choice of tools and terminology. The moment we lower our defences and stop mocking one another, we stand a damn good chance of ecstatically reaching the exact same conclusions – of finally, orgasmically, coming together.

  
Papers I have written

The Organization as a Geometric Projectile for the Exploration and Mastery of Spatial Mundanity (Private circulation, 1975)

A Letter to R. Buckminster Fuller describing protoconcepts of Multiphase Space-Mastery Techniques (August 1975)

Why We Must Say NO to Nuclear Power (Private circulation, 1977)

Books others have written

Passages About Earth:  An Exploration of the New Planetary Culture by William Irwin Thompson, Harper & Row, 1973, 206 pp.

The Magic of Findhorn by Paul Hawken, Harper & Row, 1975, 343 pp.

Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon, Methuen 1930 (reissued by Penguin Books in 1972 with Last Men in London, 605 pp.

Starmaker by Olaf Stapledon, Methuen 1937 (reissued by Penguin in 1972), 284 pp.

Olaf Stapledon – an inspiration to Project XTC

Olaf Stapledon beautifully expresses a vast-pattern visionary perspective of human existence, against an awesome backdrop of Cosmos. His superwide-angle overview of past and future history, with clear-sighted nonpartisanship, greatly aids in our contemplation of the human condition. Starmaker and Last and First Men offer valuable mental exercises in advanced futurology.

Simulations of God by John C. Lilly, Simon & Schuster, 1975, 284 pp.

Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space by John C. Lilly, Paladin 1972, 215 pp.

Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer by John C. Lilly, Bantam Books,1974, 174 pp.

Remarks on John C. Lilly’s work

John Lilly is a pioneering technician of the psyche who has creditably and credibly translated the supra-rational symbology of mystical experience into scientifically coherent and accessible terms. Familiarity with this material would be vastly helpful in assessing Project XTC.


Tentative Schedule for Project XTC

Prephase - January 1957 through January 1970
Phase I – January 1977 through 1984
Phase II & III – 1984 through 1991
Phase IV – 1991 through 2005
Phase V – 2005 through 2018
Phase VI – 2018 through ?

 25 March 1977
(Revised 11 June 2017)




Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sharing Water with Robert Heinlein


A few hours ago I finished re-reading - perhaps for the fourth or fifth time since I first stumbled upon it in 1970 - Robert A. Heinlein's cult classic of reasonably epic proportions, Stranger in a Strange Land. [Click on the link for a synopsis and if you're keen to read the book, I suggest you look for the uncensored 1991 edition.]

As often happens with vast intelligences that have played a significant role in my mental upbringing, I just discovered that July 7th happens to be Heinlein's birthday. If he hadn't died in his sleep on 8 May 1988, Robert Anson Heinlein would be celebrating his 103rd birthday today.

I don't really know where to begin when it comes to defining the ways I have been influenced and inspired by a consummate storyteller like Heinlein. I'm tempted to describe him as a speculative anthropologist; an ardent observer of humanity who couldn't resist imagining all the different ways being human could be a much more joyous and fulfilling condition - shorn of all the idiocy and hypocrisy implied by the words "polite society."

Among Heinlein's various prescriptions, as dispensed through his prolific output of long and short works - loosely categorized as "science fiction and fantasy" - his obvious delight in satirizing organized religions was matched only by another scintillating intelligence named Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.

In honor of a great soul, a free spirit and a boundless imagination that has impacted on at least three generations of readers, here's a selection of wry quotes from Robert Heinlein collected from various novels (Stranger in a Strange Land, Time Enough For Love, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) by a fellow admirer...

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.

History does not record anywhere a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help.

The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

One man’s 'magic' is another man’s engineering. 'Supernatural' is a null word.

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

I’ve never understood how God could expect His creatures to pick the one true religion by faith - it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe.

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.

A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright.

Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics.

The supreme irony of life is that no one gets out of it alive.

Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

Learning isn’t a means to an end; it’s an end in and of itself.

Specialization is for insects.

Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.)

“Love” is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.

Does history record any case in which the majority was right?


[First posted 7 July 2010, reposted 20 April 2016]