Enter the left-handed path.
I usually don’t post my emusic columns here, but this one talks a little about astrology, especially the sun signs of Crowley (Libra), Leary (Libra), Genesis P’Orridge (Pisces) and William Burroughs (Aquarius), all four of whom are deeply interconnected through association and belief. P’Orridge is a high occultist into extreme body manipulation. I met him briefly back in my days at Silent Records after he fled England when the authorities found some rather scandalous photos in his house. He had just returned from Tibet and Nepal with all kinds of tankas, dorjes, flags and cloth. We did a deal with him and bought a lot of vintage and rare Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV recordings and videos and sold them to mom + pop record shops. I was interested in how he would carry himself, so I mostly sat back and observed how the owner of the company welcomed him like royalty, and as memory serves, GPO responded in kind by helping himself to a number of CD’s from the shipping wall for his own personal collection.
Later that year, I was in The Yucatan, swimming in a pool at a hotel near Chichen Itze with a young English woman who was a hair and make up stylist in Hollywood. She told me a story about a party he threw in London. On the invitation, you were required to respond with a sample of blood or semen with your reply.
Another key figure in this piece is the late, Terrence McKenna, who would have just celebrated his birthday on the 16th of this month. McKenna is as Scorpionic as it gets, consuming “heroic” amounts of psilocybin, DMT, Ayahausca and other psychtropic plant compounds he called, “entheogens.” He and his brother Dennis were anthropology students at Cal and eventually decided to test the limits of reality by tripping in The Amazon with tribal shamans. It was there that he had contacted a form of alien intelligence that he would encounter from-time-to-time in future trips.
I was part of The Whole Life Expo circuit in the mid-nineties, doing tarot readings in Austin and S.F., when I was in line for the breakfast buffet at The Marriot in Austin. In front of me was a wan McKenna, looking slightly ashen and frail. We exchanged some pleasantries, and retreated to our respective tables. I noted that he just didn’t seem right to me. A few months later he was diagnosed with having an inoperable brain tumor and was soon a permanent traveller in the multi-dimensional realities he so often frequented. Here’s the intro to the column and you can click through over to emusic to read the rest.
The Left-Handed Path
This is the journey where intuition reigns over logic and experience. Here is where we encounter The Scholar and High Priest of the left-handed path, William Burroughs. On Bill Laswell’s Hashisheen, Burroughs arises like a flinty sphinx, the oracular voice of a disembodied presence. While the majority of the track belongs to Iggy Pop and his rumination of Hasan I Sabbah, The Great Hashisheen, it’s Burroughs lines from his famous treatise on the path of wisdom and magic that call us into the first chamber of the temple; “Danger is a biologic necessity for men that sleep in dreams. If you face death without dying for a period of direct confrontation, you are immortal. For the western middle classes, danger is a rarity, and erupts with a sudden, random, shock. Yet we are all in danger at all times, since our death exists; it is written, waiting to present the aspect of surprised recognition. Is there a technique for confronting death without any immediate, physical danger? Can one reach The Western Lands without physical death?”
To read more, go here.