3 Jun

I’m listening to something, calls itself: Bomrani. Is that a man’s name? A man’s voice piped thru the wire into the cushioned speakers against my ears, making the air vibrate thru holes in my head, straight to my brain. The sound of someone I’ve never met on the other side of globe sometime in the past.

The words are in Farsi, I don’t know what they mean. But the melody and the mood give the meaning away. It’s the soundtrack of the march thru this life. To be born, to grow, to flower, to fall apart and fold back into the stream of matter that makes up the cosmos. My people are famous for them and our music shares an ancestor with this Persian minstrel.

Another song, in English, not the singer’s first language. But it’s one of those sugar-flavoured pop songs that go all the way back to Detroit in the days when my parents were courting. A tune that has the house go a quiet, dark mass of human silhouettes. A scattered costellation of handheld flames. In Pittsburgh and Miami, in Sydney and Perth, In Seoul and Shanghai, Prague, Dublin, Rome and Bucharest. Buenos Aires, Sao Pualo, Mexico City. Alice Springs. The world over shares a ritual. From here back thru the historical bracken to Africa. All of us.

I was in a room last night listening to a sage, his German face reminded me of The Picture of Dorian Grey; Lord Henry’s observation that intelligence distorts beauty. That all beautiful people therefore must be dim. But no, this is refuted by the story. Its moral contribution is to give those with understanding the key to Beauty’s true nature. Our sensai’s ugliness belied true beauty of this kind. His tie was piquant, his manners sublime. His thought and metaphors always as deft as a cellist who plays Beethoven’s music in perfect temperance: technique and expression. Just so.

I knew well (mostly) his philosophy. Tho’ what he’d call it and its extent I know not. He referred both to Jesus and Bhudda, drew upon them. But also said that to join the official creeds of religious instition is to be a slave and to miss the point. He mentions Apollonius, sundry pre-Soctratic philosopers. But he’s not dazzling us with his classical scholarship esoterica. He’s saying something that can be used by the people of the street. His central maxim’s a balance: love and reason.

Aurelius wouldn’t’ve put that way. Epictitus had it too hard to be so Beatle-esque. But it sounds familiar to me. Naturally those gentlemen were more concerned with secular matters than metaphysical ones. Still they’d agree. The self is an illusion; a car driven by the Soul: the Light within. As the address was introductory, he did not elaborate, but perchance later will he proceed to the view that ‘my soul’ is simply that within that is part of the spiritual whole the way the body’s atoms will one day become something else, something that is not a human animal but perhaps a tree, a blade of glass or a musical instrument? That we are all… God?

It is simple to understand that desire brings misery and enlightenment obtains when one can forget the self, the mundane seeking after pleasure: food, sex, substances that bring about temporary joys. In response to a remark about LSD, the speaker nails it, first because there here was no prohibitionary judgement in his response. He did not express or, indeed, feel disapproval. It’s a short-cut, he says, a preview. I paraphrase. It is a tour of the realms beyond to a place where minds are free. But you must come back. To live there, the journey is long and arduous. The drug will take you to a place where you can see the City of Light but to walk its streets takes work. It cannot be purchased for $25.

Outside, afterwards, my little crew are (mostly) impressed. One of the party is Catholic and’s not really into it. Religion see. It puts fences about you and guides you down this path. It stops you getting lost, certainly. But if you want to get past the Devil and his chains well you gotta climb over the fence that St Paul built.

So sayeth me. And what do I know? We usually go to this one place Thursday nights (my one night out). And here down the street after agreeing with the Man’s jive viz: enlightement comes from leaving behind instant euphoria Priority #1 is to score weed. Not me, I’m piking out, early night. But sure I like the stuff, gets me in the mode, comes in real handy. But it’s not necessary. Caffeine, adrenaline, sugar, THC, LSD, fluxetine, nicotine, phenethylamine. Faster faster faster more more more. We’re, all of us, on the chemical monorail waiting for Godot.

Still sometimes it is necessary. Today I’m taking a shortcut to the Beyond. Fortune put in the ground infront of me, instinct had me stop to pluck it. I can do this because I know the stuff isn’t for playing with so I haven’t done it to death and I’m not now looking for the meaning of life in a store that sells magic powders and crystal pyramids. It’s sacred! Do not fuck with it for an empty Sunday morning screw with a stranger. But right here, right now – Yes.

The Almighty Whatever points the way. Jupiter enters my sign today. Scoff if you want. I’m not recommending astrology for anything but fun but I’ll slap a tome o’ forgotten lore on the table if you try and purge the uncanny omens from all consideration. The history of the world is punctuated with them, they are among the myriad, melodic hooks that keep the endless symphony of human comedy fresh.

If you’re asking yourself what the fuck I’m on about, the answer is: How the Hell should I know. I don’t actually think about this stuff. I just write it. It’s the only way to the truth. Mine, anyways.



  1. John H. June 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Perhaps you need this …

  2. AC Stewart June 5, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks John but I know them. I’m over qualified. 🙂

  3. John Humphreys June 9, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    This article gave me flashbacks to Chapter 5. Loved it.

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