Sunday, May 7, 2023

Early Days in the Vortex/ Part Three

In March of 1975, I went with two friends to the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Harvard. It was there that I met an intelligent five-foot matrix of quartz. My skull hummed. Voices swelled from the Hypogeum on Malta. A python hissed from his crevice at Delphi. Gargoyles roared from their ledges on Notre Dame. Trembling, I did my best to write down what I heard. There was a scent of nuclear fallout in the air, of sandalwood mixed with ash from the Battle of Kurukshetra. My hands were cold. I could barely hold my pencil. The museum guards wouldn’t let me rest my notebook on a display case. The babbling swelled, and then continued to grow louder. If only these beings were not speaking in so many different languages! 

 In these early days in the vortex, the inner and the outer worlds frequently changed places. I not only felt that I belonged to a community of artists, I also felt I was part of a living universe that was itself a form of art, in which artist and work were the alternate aspects of one seemingly atonal but harmonious process, in which the living differed from the dead mostly in being subject to the law of gravity (except for those of us who were evolved, of course). The way to grasp the psychotic complexity of this web was to plunge without looking towards the depths of the confusion. Joy was the key to the City of the Ancients. Once, the whole of the world could be fit inside my heart. Facts in the foreground led to the conundrum of the infinite, as the figure eight revealed—if only to cover it up again—the erotic subtext of the Eon. False rulers had corrupted the translucency of the records. It was our job to remember how to read.

 Lacunae were like oceans, once thought by archaeologists to create barriers between continents, which our hairier prototypes were too stupid to overcome. More recent theories suggest that such “barriers” could be a means of transportation. The very opacity of the sign was an indication that something big was going on. The more absurd, the better. The sign suggested, it did not denote, and the further we had to go to wrap our minds around it the more radical, in the end, would be the change in our awareness. It was good to be puzzled, at the mercy of the currents and the winds. It was possible that our own breath was the thread that led from the labyrinth, whose exit, now too tiny to see, was located on a foreign shore.

 The rate of coincidence exploded. For example, at 6 AM one day I was awakened from a dream, as I heard, forced from my lips, the Mayan word “Xibalba.” At 8:30, when I left for school, I found that some passerby had written “Xibalba” on the steps of my apartment building. How often does that happen? A coincidence, or so the scientist says, of which one normally does not bother to take note. And yet…This was the only day, out of the thousands before and since, on which some passerby has written a Mayan word by my door.

 Continue reading:

Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, my first book of essays, is available through Untimely Books:

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence--Untimely Books

My book of essays, Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, is now available through Untimely Books. This is the first of six books that I will be publishing with them.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Early Days in the Vortex/ Part Two (of three)


My working-class neighborhood in South Worcester was a great place to grow up—if your interests were such things as baseball, basketball, bike riding, tree and railroad bridge climbing, kick the can, fighting, trespassing, and urban spelunking. Unless it rained, my friends and I spent most of our time outdoors. It was not, however, the best place for a budding avant-gardist. By the time I graduated high school, I had become aware of just how limited I was, like the city that produced me, a city I would only years later come to love. 

If you had a car, you could drive from my neighborhood to Boston in an hour. I didn’t have a car, however. I didn’t take Route Nine. I went by way of the abyss. I worked eight hours a day as a janitor at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, cleaning ink off all the presses, and also as a counsellor at the Worcester Crisis Center, learning to treat the problems of heroin addicts and would be suicides as being almost as important my own. I then would spend most of my free time at the Clark University Library, going stack by stack in my search for any trace of the Philosopher’s Stone. An abyss had opened, and I entered it. We became good friends, more or less, not that I was presented with any other option. In the two years after high school, I chose to act as my harshest critic. There was lots of catching up to do. To do something once was to do it many times. I saw, I heard, I was led, I learned a lot, but each small gain felt deliberate and laborious. 

And then, in September, 1974, when I moved to Boston to go to art school, my self-imposed atonement came suddenly to an end, as though I had closed the book that I was reading with a snap. Don’t ask for what crime I had been sentenced to atone. A kind of antigravity took over when I stepped from the Greyhound bus. The top of my head flew off. The days appeared to physically grow brighter. The sun moved closer to the Earth. I was as happy as one of the roaches that scurried in my 92 dollars-per-month apartment. 

Did my kitchen not have a stove? Did water leaking from my ceiling destroy a dozen drawings? Was my wallpaper starting to peel off? Did the mice make so much noise that they kept me up at night? What of it? Such hardships fit my definition of adventure. So as not to grow too comfortable, a few days per week I would add to these hardships by sleeping on the floor. In Worcester, I had put my shoulder against an almost immovable wheel. In Boston, in search of the later-day descendants of Bohemia, on the cusp of a cultural moment that I had not yet discovered, not the effort but the sense of difficulty disappeared. 

I had intended to rent an apartment a few blocks from my school. Hopelessly ignorant of the city, I ended up a mile away. What luck was mine! My location was a perfect one, across the street from the Northeastern University Library, whose books would gladly welcome me when I fled from my apartment. Was this place the result of a series of wrong turns? No. I had accepted Baudelaire’s invitation to go with him on a voyage. I had gone where the Old Ones sent me. I was where I was meant to be. If the most important changes are internal, having to do with one’s subtle relationship to events, then there are also times when outer changes are essential, when one would die inside without them. These outer changes then shift the balance between the subject and the object, so that events begin to articulate the psyche, so that the psyche appears to be present in the most random of events.

Continue reading at Scene4:

Image: Andre Masson, Transformation of the Lovers, 1939

My first book of essays, Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, is available through Untimely Books:

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Early Days in the Vortex/ Part One

 Having lost your privileges at the Akashic Hall of Records, you have been forced to see through a cone of 55 degrees. Once, before the Deluge, you could see by simply entering into the depth of the world body, which meant, of course, that you should be fearless in exiting from your own. Your current methodology is more cautious. Still, in spite of your amnesia as to origins, by some natural blind reckoning you can sense when you are doing what you should, when chance is cooperating, and when all is moving in accordance with the preexistent death-flash video. This is, at any rate, a good description of your experience when your life is going well. So you tell yourself at the time.

 You will probably choose to overlook the fact that several days have gone missing, along with several continents, and that there is no way to un-brand the barcode from your forehead. If only the world body had not been turned into a shopping mall, in which there is no way to tell if you are product or consumer. If only your guides were more consistently supportive. If only no other forces were at play. If only you could interpret your harsh punishment as proof that you had taken a wrong turn. If only Pollyanna were omniscient. To the extent that you can judge, the operative principle is as follows: if you are good, you will get patted on the head; if you are bad, you will get spanked, or vice versa.

Beneath black domes, the all-seeing eyes of the video-cameras watch. They are motion activated. They come equipped with the latest in backscatter x-ray technology, which does only minimal damage to the chromosomes, or so your masters say. There is no point in pretending to keep secrets! There are few embarrassments that are not yet part of the archeological record, few atrocities in which you have not yet indulged, including those about which you are dreaming at this moment. The cameras move with you, step by step, as you attempt to probe more deeply into the mystery of the labyrinth.


There are those who say that Worcester, Massachusetts, is a city. It is more like a collection of discontinuous neighborhoods. It is a place of factories and colleges, of Gothic spires and freight yards. Worcester was the only U.S. city that Freud visited. Robert Goddard, the inventor of the first liquid-fueled rocket, was bounced out for scaring the cows. There were trees to climb and hills down which to roll and corner lots where friends could throw a last- minute baseball game together. It was a city where men might work for the same factory for most of their adult lives, where schools taught them to sit up straight and not complain, where molten steel could put a sudden end to a career. It was, in retrospect, not a bad place to grow up. I get sentimental when I think about the twilight of the American working class, about the culture that formed me. Yet this was also a city in which it was possible to get stuck. At the age of 18, I was ready for adventures. I was willing to travel light. I would bring only a few books and some clothes and a sleeping bag and a radio. From Worcester to Boston it is only 45 miles. A bus can take you from one to the other in an hour. I am puzzled that it should have taken me two years.

 Even now, there are times when I wonder if there are pieces that I left, if it was only the subtle essence that I took, if these last 40 years have actually taken place. It is possible that my imagination is more powerful than I know, as well as more deceptive. Beneath an upright oar, I may be peeking through the soil in the yard of my three-decker, breathing slowly in and out, with a view of the Seven Hills. There is not much left of the industrial powerhouse that I knew and towards which I once felt so large an amount of ambivalence. I am no longer tempted to pass judgment on this place, this city of filled-in canals, this navel towards which railroad tracks converged, this target for Nazi bombs. The city blinks to let us know that it is there. As Anonymous, I now just barely have such an urge. I am in the world but not of it. In passing, I take note of how desperate I was to prove that I had talent. I smile to see how eager I was to say goodbye to my home.

 Continue reading at Scene4: International Magazine of Arts and Culture:

My book Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence is available through Untimely Books:

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Monsieur Flaubert Is Not a Writer


With the publication of Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, my first book of essays, I am tempted to say I feel like a proud parent who sends a child off to college. The book is done, with all the sleepless nights it brought, with all the twists and turns of its unfolding, with all its absurd demands. “Spread your wings, my dear one, fly, fly!” And so it does, with barely a backward glance. Its life is now its own. This is only true alchemically, however. No sooner have I taken the book from the fumes of my athanor, than I must start to worry about its fate in the larger world. After years of careful tending, why does this book not choose to acknowledge I am here? To listen to it, you would think it had been written by another. “What is your book about?” an Uber driver might ask. Some occult anxiety then takes hold of my tongue. “Yes, my book,” I think, “you are right to be concerned. Some phrase unworthy of your dignity might pop out of my mouth.”

I do sometimes wonder what fraction of my creative process, with all its minute adjustments, will be visible to any potential reader or critic. I want to do more than to narrate or convey information or analyze or prove a thesis or describe. I fear my strategies for transferring some amount of primal energy may strike the average reader as absurd. I often ask myself, “In this age of Twitter and TikTok and Facebook, how many people actually read, with book in hand, rather than scanning for information? Who still pauses to read certain passages out loud, probing deeper and then deeper into the cross-weave of the moment, and how open are they to work that challenges their habits, and how many would see my invitation to a voyage as a threat?” Then I say to myself, “Who needs such easily disturbed readers? Why should I care if they even know the book exists?”

Then I say to myself, “Stop asking so many questions!” At a time when I am trying to push beyond my natural reserve to put my work into the world, it seems counterproductive to obsess about its future popularity, or more likely lack thereof. I have no desire to be a “brand.” I then finally say to myself, “To be preoccupied with such things only serves to justify your reluctance to take risks, your desire to stay in your comfort zone.” No, I should apologize for questioning the adventurousness of my readers—readers whom I have not even met. I am not one to judge.

To create a truly original work—rather than one the writer would like to describe as such—the writer must withdraw some portion of their energies from the world. They must then pour and seal these swirling energies into a container, into an external vessel related to but quite separate from the writer—a still half-remembered dream, a cry for help, a homunculus, a book. This vessel contains the nothing from which something may be pulled, just as the writer is a something that must plunge to unknown depths. Once the writer, the blind magician, calls them, these energies will then, if all goes well, cohere into a seed, which will then, if all goes well, begin to grow. A seed needs some protection, as well as some amount of darkness, a few weeks or nine months or even a number of decades. The whole of the future body is contained within its seed. Whether this seed ever fully expands, however, might depend on external factors. The time may or may not be right. Whatever the writer’s force of will, the fix may be in; the stars may frown upon their efforts.

Continue reading at Metapsychosis:

My first book of essays Masks of Origin is available through Untimely Books:

Image: William Baziotes, Dwarf, 1947

Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Long Curve of Descent

One morning, when I was four years old, I was sitting on the third floor back porch of my family’s three-decker. It was 1958, and Worcester, Massachusetts, was still regarded as the industrial heart of New England. Looking out, I could see smoke puffing from tall smokestacks, a freight-yard and a railroad bridge, hills with houses perched on them that rolled into the distance, and a few miles off, on one of the highest hills, the gothic architecture of Holy Cross College. How wonderful the day was! I could not have asked for a more perfect moment. My grandmother had given me a large chunk of clay. And then, I was no longer looking out over Worcester; no, I was hovering above the Amazon, making snakes, canoes, and villagers out of the substance in my hands.

 As I worked, however, I became frustrated. It occurred to me that I had succumbed to a creative block. I grew angry. I could not believe what I was seeing. My hands were small. My mind just barely worked. My imagination seemed like a blunt instrument. I remembered what it was like to create real snakes and villagers.

 Since that morning, I have explored a variety of methods to get from the place where my feet were planted to the larger space that surrounded me, which was not, of course, mine in any personal sense. The path has been a labyrinthine one. My raids on the inexpressible have imposed many contradictory demands. Scholarship and meditation have opened onto vision, onto a mode of knowledge as intimate as it is vast. An ocean, of a sort, boiled, and I could feel the enormous pressure on my skin. Convulsing on the current, I was thrown here and there. Over time, the heat of vision has given way to a much cooler sense of transparency. Now the years no longer turn in any one direction. Space, the magician, stops to show how the trick is done, as I reach for the child playing with clay on his back porch. But always, there are gaps, which demand that I let go of any sense of certainty, which also ask that the reader should play a more active role.

 Without gaps being left, my raids on the inexpressible would serve as no more than travelogues. My goal is to take the reader to a space that will pose a subtle challenge, a challenge that may, upon reflection, turn into a threat. The reader must then return to his own coast. He must do his best to convince himself that no shift in his perception has occurred.

 Continue reading at Scene4: International Magazine of Arts and Culture:

 Image: Salvador Dali, Splitting the Atom (Dematerialization Under the Nose of Nero), 1947

 My first book of essays, Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, is available through Untimely Books:

Monday, January 23, 2023

Interview with Layman Pascal for his Integral Stage Author Series


My YouTube interview with Layman Pascal for his Integral Stage Author Series just went up. The podcast was prompted by the publication of Masks of Origin, my first book of essays, but the conversation ranges broadly over issues related to creative process, spiritual exploration, other-dimensional guidance, the relationship of speech to silence, and the paradoxical nature of time.

My recently published book of essays, Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, is available through Untimely Books:


Sunday, January 22, 2023

The Art of Deep-Sea Fishing


C.J. Moore wrote,

 It was as if the poem came to life, and it was now reading itself from the great poem of the cosmos. This was happening on so many levels that I was just a twig in a maelstrom. I danced with the experience, but it was like dancing with a shark. I would find myself sitting in the university library, with my eyes buried in corridors of Egyptian temples that wound their sentences through languages that have long since vanished in the sands of time, and I would suddenly wake up with a start and I would be reading Aurelia by Nerval, and I would see myself walking through the streets of Paris, following Nerval's footsteps. I was seeing the hallucinations he saw, seeing where he was going in dark rooms when the vision stood before his astonished gaze. Then I would suddenly wake hours later walking down the hill from the university, not knowing how I got there, and I would stop and feel the last light filtering through the trees and wonder “Who are you?”

 I responded: When I taught junior high art, I developed a strategy that I referred to as “creative disorientation.” Many students could not remember that, from the ages of three to seven, they were once in love with art, and most had come to believe they did not have any talent. ‘Show; don’t tell,” was the operative principle. It was not that I did not have any clear-cut goals in mind. A goal would be clear to me, but not to them, and, by a process of “reverse engineering,” I would lead students into an almost unbearable state of disorientation, which would swell into a kind of cognitive crisis. I was familiar with this mini-version of the abyss. I had stared into it. It had spoken back. While the experience of disorientation would be particular to each, I knew the general habits that were preventing these students from gaining access to their talents. Reactions would be supervised. Adjustments would be made. A nudge here. A show of support there. At some point, almost inevitably, a student’s cognitive crisis would flip over into a breakthrough, and it would open up a space in which real learning could occur.

 In situations such as the one that you describe, in which a hair’s breadth separates a breakthrough from a breakdown, I sometimes wonder if this is what is going on. With a goal that is clear to them, but not to us, perhaps our other-dimensional teachers have reverse engineered a confrontation with the abyss. To this end, no academic knowledge would be adequate, and no human teacher could see far enough ahead. Then too, such teachers know that ecstasy is our primal out-of-body state, and they do not lose any sleep if the student must be tortured. Some degree of disorientation is a small enough price to pay to learn to what extent our vision has been compromised. We tend to see what we expect to see. We fail to grasp the thread that would lead us through the labyrinth.

 It is tempting to theorize that other methods could have been used, that a different path would have led to the same end. Could our teachers not have given us a true and false questionnaire? “When I was a boy of fourteen,” Mark Twain writes, “my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” So too, it can be difficult for us to see that our teachers know much of anything, until, turning back, we note that the Earth has become a small speck in the distance, and we then exclaim, “Aha!”

 A straight line is not always the shortest distance between two points, and certainly not in the education of a poet. If we had learned more about French Symbolism and Surrealism in school, it would have made it much more difficult for us to discover these things for ourselves and would have removed much of the fun and mystery from the process. Lautreamont would have become an eccentric version of Longfellow. The quiz on Les Fleurs du Mal would have been as subversive as the one on Hiawatha. Revolutionary fervor would have been graded on a curve, and school policy would have demanded that each essay should be taken back whole from a dream. If, with a wink, a cuneiform chanteuse were to wave to us from a street corner—too hot, too avant-garde to be true!—school policy would encourage us to make love to her in class. Upon climax, she would turn back into clay. Verese’s Arcana would be the school’s atonal fight-song, and Picasso’s “I do not seek; I find” the motto.

 Hey, those ideas could work! A Man Ray photo could be used for the cover of the High Modernism textbook, perhaps the famous one of Meret Oppenheim standing nude in front of a printing press, smeared in ink, with one hand lifted in an ambiguous gesture against her forehead. Our project would of course be subject to approval by the Texas State Board of Education.

   Continue reading in Scene4: International Magazine of Arts and Culture:

My recently published book of essays, Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence, is available through Untimely Books:

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Entering the Tunnel of Time in Cappadocia


Solon, you Hellenes are but children, and there is never an old man who is an Hellene…The human race is always increasing at times, and at other times diminishing in numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed—if any action which is noble or great, or in any other way remarkable has taken place, all that has been written down of old, and is preserved in our temples; whereas you and other nations are just being provided with letters and the other things which States require; and then, at the usual period, the stream from heaven descends like a pestilence, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and thus you have to begin all over again as children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves.—Egyptian priest to Solon, Plato, Timaeus


The year was 1973. I was 19. Most of my friends had left for college. After working all day in maintenance at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, I was free to spend six hours in the stacks of the Clark University Library. Later, after pouring a large glass of milk, I would then often stay up until 2:00 AM or so, listening to the crickets, watching the ghosts of sunken empires throw shadows across my ceiling. I would fill notebook after notebook with just barely legible writing, trying to translate my intuitions into some sort of linear form. On the plus side, this way of life created a single-pointed monastic focus. On the down side, I feared for my sanity. Over the preceding three years, I had experienced some violent surges of energy and involuntary vision states, and there did not seem much to block my being swallowed by the depths. 

I had no idea to what extent I could trust my internal guidance. At certain moments, I would feel that I was being, almost physically, swept off by an ocean. I would then be overcome by two contradictory types of nostalgia: the first, for the solid earth of my childhood, and the second, for this ocean’s other shore. Growing wider by the day, a hole had opened in my solar plexus, through which currents would pour, taking billions of my atoms with them. There did not seem to be any top part to my head. There were days when I didn’t dare to look at the horizon. I feared that it would eat me. As a practical matter, this was trickier than it sounds.

I should probably have searched for a spiritual teacher. I had no interest in cults, though, and I tended to associate the one with the other. If I ever did manage to locate such a creature, would they see me as more than another ghost, and how would I manage to test them? There were other, more important, reasons that I didn’t bother to search. I wasn’t good at following orders. If I was newly aware of the limits of my knowledge, I was still self-protectively arrogant. I did not mind making mistakes, and I had a strong desire to begin from where I was.

The key issue, though, is that I already had a teacher, of a kind, although it would probably be more accurate to refer to this shadowy presence as a catalyst. In dreams and out of body experiences, he was less of a calming, parental figure than a threat, just as much of a trickster as a guide. In one dream, for example, I was nailed to a cross and left to hang for several hours. “See, that was not so bad,” he said. In another, I plummeted like a comet from the sky and hit the ground. Contrary to what some researchers claim, it is quite possible to feel pain in a dream. “Am I dead?” I asked this guide. “That is a matter of opinion,” he said.

Then, in 1973, at the age of 19, I had the first and longest of a series of dreams that would stealthily reshape my relationship to time, that would lead me to see our theories of history as absurd, defensive structures. In this “dream,” which lasted for five hours or six hours, off and on—I woke up for a few minutes every hour or so—my guide and I had rolled aside a large stone in what seemed to be the Cappadocia region of Turkey to then enter a winding tunnel. This tunnel led to what would be the uppermost of a long series of collapsing cultures.

We would wander, unseen by the local populations, through marketplaces and theaters and academies and governmental buildings and cult centers and sonically-attuned circles, observing with wide eyes, only to have to escape, at the last minute, when these strata were destroyed by meteors, floods, fires, earthquakes, and invading armies. A crack in a wall would open, or we would jump into a well, or a stairway would lead down. On certain strata, the chaos was there from the beginning, with the swirling of crowds, the storming of encampments, the burning of gardens, the random smashing of works of art, the extermination of tribes, the massing of unknown forces in the distance, and always, we would, at the last minute, just barely manage to escape, going down, then further down.

So, this dream, if you could call it that, planted the seed of my later orientation towards deep time. In 1995, when Klaus Schmidt began his excavation of Gobekli Tepe—a vast temple complex dating to at least 10,000 BC and then deliberately buried circa 8000 BC—I was not in the least surprised. That is, I was not surprised that the site was there. What was surprising was that it had taken so long for an archeologist to take an interest. As I found out later, the site had actually been discovered in 1963, by University of Chicago and University of Istanbul archeologists, and then promptly written off. Were those the tips of 14-20-foot Paleolithic t-stones? No, probably just some Medieval rubble. Why would anyone think otherwise?

Continue reading at Dark Mountain:

My book Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence is available through Untimely Books. 

Black Gold: Pluto's Helmet of Invisibility, Excerpt

Although I came of age physically during the later days of the counterculture, my first period of creative maturity—in the late 1970s—coincided with the death knell of the counterculture and the birth of punk. In Boston, the transition from one to the other was more natural than one might guess. A lot of countercultural energy had already turned dark by the beginning of the decade. We had stamped our collective foot against the shadow of the empire, and still that shadow grew. We could not stop Agent Orange from destroying 18,000 square miles of forest. We could not prevent dioxin from disfiguring the limbs of the not yet born. We could not stop napalm from burning at 2200 degrees, or Dow Chemical from making billions. For evil to triumph, it was only necessary for good men to believe in their own virtue, to assume that their good intentions were enough. Our chanting had purged only two percent of the demons from the ocean. The rest were perhaps annoyed.

 Cults had vacuumed up the survivors of entheogenic breakthroughs, the wide-eyed, the fearless, the utterly unprepared. Did the “shattering of the ego” always lead to greater peace of mind? Without an ego, it was difficult to tell. It had just come out that the FBI had sent agents to teach bomb-building skills to the Weathermen, or so the rumor went. Taste in music was no guarantee that a radical could be trusted. The most violent of subversives could be agent-provocateurs. The Lords of Deep Time had appointed Altamont to be the Mother of All Battles. She had, quite unexpectedly, announced the end of an era. She buzzed like angry wasps. Rolling thunder was her jewelry. She set the tone for the next decade, but she only hinted at the disillusionments to come. The Age of Aquarius had lasted for five years or so. Seeds planted on February 18th, 3102 B.C., were only just then coming to fruition. Having skipped a beat, the Kali Yuga had returned.

 There was, in fact, no shelter to be had. There was no deferment for the bourgeois psyche, no evolutionary saferoom at Big Sur. With breathtaking stealth, in a triumph of the behaviorist black arts, the Revolution had been corporatized. Many objects only looked like objects; they had morphed into commodities. The orgone would continue to darken until there was no way to distinguish a real vision from its logo. Mescaline was out; speed was in. It would soon be replaced by cocaine. Free love back-to-the-land communes had gone the way of Atlantis. The free love, in some approximate form, survived. By the mid-1970s, STDs had staged a full-frontal assault on the dream that sex led to liberation. AIDS—then working undercover in the Belgian Congo—would soon make its debut. Antibiotics would begin to lose their alchemical cure-all status. Already, having whet its teeth in the Golden Triangle, the CIA was testing its joint-venture model with South and Central American drug gangs. The scent of paranoia was as common as the scent of marijuana. A knock on the door meant that it was necessary to escape onto the roof.

 It was said at the time, “All politics is personal,” which led us to assume that each small act was being scrutinized. It was also true that global forces were in motion, and we would learn that our anxieties did not go deep enough. There was no way to put a face on the decentralized plutocracy. It was everywhere. It was nowhere. Hundreds of thousands of jobs per year were already being outsourced, and once middle-class workers were beginning to suspect that they had been repurposed as serfs. Factories had turned into bird houses. There were no trains in the freight yards. Many sensed that there was something wrong. What is was, who knew?

Continue reading at Dark Mountain:

My book Masks of Origin: Regression in the Service of Omnipotence is available through Untimely Books.