Saturday, August 09, 2008

endlessly evolving

It feels great to have this group blog working again as a real conversation. Whether it makes quite as much sense to visitors, I have no idea.

As a balance to this endlessly growing linear blog (dense with content) I made a start on a simple OM website - slightly more static and permanent - as a way to extract and compress some of what this blog contains (rather like the Imperfect Index - which hasn't seen an update for a while now.) I used Google Page Creator, just as an experiment.

As it happens, Page Creator itself seemed like a beta test, and now that Google intend to migrate all PageCreator sites into their new Google Sites realm (which uses JotSpot technology) they have caused a ruckus among people who have got attached to Page Creator, or set up businesses using it, and didn't realise that Google had 'merely used them as beta testers' (guinea pigs).

Phew, although I have played with GooglePages a bit, I didn't come to rest my weight on it, as it remained listed in their Labs section (i.e. playground and test area). Still, now that the OM website has started to appear in Google listings when you search for Only Maybe, it does seem a shame if it migrates to a new URL. We'll see in the coming months.

Anyway - given that several of us like the idea of shared and collaborative wikis and webpages (see links on right, to Illuminatus Wiki, and to The Tale of The Tribe) I'll keep an eye on it. We might like the idea of a members only area, as well as a public face like this one.

As the Academy continues to run online courses (Bless 'em) but the new general forum (we've had 4 previous ones) has received a lot of criticism (in terms of usability, Maybe Logic Academydisplay, functionality, etc) - sombunall of us might like easier ways to stay in touch.

Having said that, if I had time and money I would take Erik's class on RAW [RAW Secrets Sept 8 - Oct 19 Eric Wagner]. Full course outline here.

In his writings, Bob Wilson pointed to Prometheus Rising over and over again as a practical handbook for self-directed change of the mind/body system. This class will emphasize doing as many of the exercises from this book as possible during a six week period as well as closely reading the text. Bob designed the exercises to weaken the existing imprints and to help the experimenter become a self-metaprogrammer, reimprinting the nervous system as each individual sees fit. In addition this class will explore alternatives to the eight circuit/system/dimension model. Please join Eric Wagner on this six week mission, to explore strange new worlds and new civilizations, both within and without ourselves, to boldly go where no one has gone before.
I always recommend workshops with Antero Alli, who will run an Astrologik class [Astrologik Sept 22 - Nov 2 Antero Alli ].

For the full schedule you need to go to the MLA forum, or here (to register)., or read through the course details here. Note: I hope the interface for the classes works more smoothly than the general forum. I'd welcome any feedback from recent students, as I haven't done a course for a while, and have nostalgia for the fun we had when everything worked smoothly.
Ah, the good old days!
NEWS FLASH! The limited edition hard copy of Maybe Quarterly does seem imminent now, so if you want a copy contact your favourite MLA graduate, or watch this space. Or maybe take a long shot on finding one on a park bench near you - through serendipity and synchronicity, or magick (if that's yer thing). I like the idea of putting some copies on Book Crossing, so we can track their adventures.

Monday, August 04, 2008

entering chapel mla

my "trip" started when borsky asked me whether I wanted to join the MLA meeting in paris and I spontaneously decided to go. I didn't know anyone but the MLA context and borsky's mails somehow made it ok to grab the bull by its horns and book a flight. bumping into synchronicity once again, the fates sent me news of the traces du sacre exhibition. the mother spider nodded at me and I knew all was good and the way it should be. ahoi paris!

yet when I was finally sitting in a café close to st. germain and waiting for godot, a lingering demon of confusion raised its ugly head. nobody arrived but a cryptic message from a "flyphone". were flies observing me from some illuminati lookout in st. sulpice? was I being tested by titans in long white robes? an hour later two extra-ordinary entities stood in front of me and there was a flash of instant recognition. very extra, definitely not ordinary, borsky and fly took me and my luggage under their wings.

settling down at another café I got immediately drunk (the sun! the beer! the words!) and prop made his synchronized entry. finding out we knew some of the same people just added to the overall effect of right time right place right company. we continued on our way to the medical garden where we encountered french pizza, ghosts of sunbeams and fuzzbuddy who for some reason arrived alone because other entities I didn't know yet had trouble getting on the train. another strange non-local experience: the "others" weren't with us, yet they were. borsky had the mysterious smile of someone who knows that everything happens the way it should be. looking at his pictures now I see all of us being very relaxed about the general course of things.

arriving in malakoff yielded another pleasant surprise: we weren't greeted by burning paris suburbia rioting but by a nice street and nicer lodgings, which looked like a barn from the outside and provided open, illuminated maisonette spaces inside. being a girl despite myself I spent a lot of time going through my bag and spreading stuff all over the place until both aries and capricorn calmed down and I could join the group at the table where the boys were having continued conversations about stuff that didn't have to do with stuff. light but deep. I dropped another pound of feathers and lead and produced my bowmoring egg of entry.

then we were off to st. germain again, meeting chris, bogus and b-kane at the shakespeare & co. I was happy to finally get some visuals, audio and sensory perception to the names heard before. dining on something which might have been pizza again right by the seine I slowly crawled into conversations, asking low-brow questions ("how is stoke-on-trent?") and trying to get into the general vibe of five guys who hadn't met in a year and had a lot of things to share, inside and outside jokes, and a lot of personal memories of RAW. as a newbie I sat and listened, occasionally connecting the dots, occasionally throwing in my own two pence or cents, marvelling at how much at home and relaxed I felt in between people I hadn't known a day ago. the night went on with a lot of glowing insights for everyone (I think). thanks to fly attending to our spiritual well-being I couldn't communicate in words anymore but enjoyed a warm flood of visions and perceptions. then the spirit grabbed my hand and flew me into bed. the last thing I saw was a mushroom-shaped cloud hovering above the table.

the next day borsky brought a huge bag of perfect french croissants and bogus, fly and I went to find the traces of the sacred. I usually go to museums alone (nobody is into checking out the 10th statue of dionysos as much as I am), and I thoroughly enjoyed the company this time. talking with bogus about christian imagery and buddhism in front of steiner's angel and devil figures and hearing fly resonate with Nietzsche and ideogrammed mushrooms (inscribed with the heart sutra), made me reach out and transcend my standard observational patterns. when we danced around "the proposal for a new model of the universe" I grew wings for a second. I flew so high that I missed the original crowley tarot cards at first, but fuzzbuddy sent me back and I found them next to anger's lucifer rising, a film a friend had just given me on dvd (synchro, ick hör dir trapsen).

that night I managed to remain awake longer than my two room mates and I didn't see mushroom clouds but many other things which can't be put into words. when I left the next morning for orly I had a quick pang of loneliness, until I boarded at gate 23 and knew that the spirit hadn't left me. so I took a bite out of it and brought it back to berlin, where it helped me fight a train full of drunken stag nighters who tried to steal my soul. they had no chance.

I was - and remain - very happy to have made that trip and met all of you and I hope to see you again, soon. as for next year, I'm not sure whether I have the "right" to make a suggestion, but I think berlin would be more interesting than ingolstadt. maybe I can talk the hoff or crowley's spy spectre into doing a hermetic tour for us.

thank you, shiny knights and white rabbits of the high table, and keep rocking the interzone!





Saturday, August 02, 2008

RAW materials mixed in Paris

On his way to the forum the god of Maybe bumped into the god of of Atheism. “yesbut nobutt yesbot noboat aw shaddup” said the god of Little Britain, and the god of Strange Mixtures and Unexpected Events gave them all a little nudge. “Know what I mean, Now what it means, No water mints?” Wink wank, nudge fudge. Leaving them sitting in a circle like imbeciles, the god of 8 Circuits finally decided to break the Law of Fives.


On the evening of the 21st, Borsky had cleaned up his old house for the last time, having moved to hermetic Bruges. He got into his car at precisely 00:23 and got home at his new life, universe and everything at precisely 00:42. The number was on the wall.

His five cats amongst which Namu, Amida and Butsu greeted him enthusiastically. Tomorrow was D-day. Some timelords of MLA would meet again, now for the fourth time.

4 hours later, in a mix of hypnagogia and hypnopompia he jumped on his back with his bikepack. Waking up the the pace of his driving he realized it was the other way around. Late as usual, but the god of Lost Causes was tying up his shoes so the train didn’t leave without him.


9:30 PM. Paris. Cité radieuse, New Babylonia. Junkyard and diva, patchwork of cultures and the paint smell of impressionism. How can you not fall in love with Paris, especially in the summer? Even after having read a book about its history depicting the horror of centuries of collective slaughter, leaving its cobblestones tainted with human blood?

A ring. Fly had been there since 6:00 AM, hopscotching the metro at shroomspeed. The first messages Borsky could reply to, then the god of Unpaid Bills came down hard and shut down his phone credit. He trusted the god of Synchronicities. His moon seemed in a beneficient transit, so the manager of the appartments they had rented let him get in touch with Fly.

Knock knock.

Two spacetimes met again. And F. and B. were together at the village. Ours was number one. You are number six. The god of Lost lust Objects had striked down hard on Fly, having Bobdobbed his passport.

A message. And there was Tons, trying to get in touch. B. typed a cryptical message on F.’s Phone, making her wonder what kind of ship of mad fishmongers she got onto. Supersargasso sea. After this message that phone, too, gave up all credits leaving the duo in a limbo of one-way communication. But of course, not communicating is also a form of expression.

On the metro, intro outro allegro ma non troppo (e pericoloso sporgersi, said the chicken crossing the road) they strolled to meet up with T. They had never met but trusted the god of Bizarre Attractors.

On their way in the subway Borsky had a mystical blissperience. While on the horizontal nonescalator, they stood still and the station was moving under their feet like a linear Foucault’s Pendulum. On the opposite side, moving in the other direction he caught sight of a muscular dude with an attitude and a goateetude, lost in his writings. The god of chi-mail (not to be confused with a certain goddess with 5% extra meat) made them both catch each other’s attention. And Propanon had joined the party! What R the odds, what R the odds. So they were three. Prop left for the appartments carrying his gigantic luggage filled with reality sandwiches.

Moving on, F and B realized the second law of MLA meetings would get smashed to splinters. Further up the road, sitting at a terrace, they met up with Tons who’d illuminate the synod with her bright smile and female Witz.


Finally the four got together at Saint-Germain-des-Prés eating pizzas in a park. A strange BlackBetty from Bogus who should have shown up with B.Kane: “troubles getting on the train”. Then another message: Fuzzbuddy and Chris Matthias had arrived in town. The god of Giving Directions worked its way on Tons’ phone and Fuzzbuddy joined the gang!. Finally they were five, again. Les flâneurs walked into the atmosphere of Sartre Beauvoir 68 BooksBooksBooks. Into Beat street Borsky and Fly flushed themselves through the walls of books of the world’s smallest bookshop. Further up the road the spirit of Spare Ass Annie was long gone and replaced by poshpushpiss interiors. Back to the village to leave the luggage. Strange Subliminal Subcognitive messages from Chris Matthias to Fuzzbuddy were replied to in JohnDeEnglish. And they left again for the final meetup.


The sun was getting lower. At the epicenter of hermetic parvis they passed the Paris of Notre-Dame. In front of Shakespeare and Co was Chris Matthias, still suffering from the heat of the day’s remains, dreaming of snowboarding on a frozen river Seine. From inside the bookshop a gentleman sounding like Michael Caine, wearing a green jacket and a illuminatied T-shirt greeted them. Bogus was there. And finally, from the depths of Shakespeare’s pages appeared the mysterious norseman B.Kane. The circle felt completed, ready to be measured from anywhere. And ‘they’ became ‘we’.


The heterocritical company walked on among the quays of the river Seine and in Saint-Germain, passing the place called Procope where 350 years ago the first coffee in the world was served. It had become dark and B. Kane, jetlagg’d and fever’d left for his hotel near the Phantom of the Opera. Our night back at the appartments was filled with talksmokedrink. RAW, Fuller, Reich, Pinchbeck and Rushkoff were our coathangers. Magick came in from the front door and became magic in the middle of a circular circus. Hide the hide. Hiddy-ho. And all bowed and bowed even more to Tons’ mighty gift, a bottle of Bowmore malt - spirits sharpening our spirits. All became members of the Eburonic Chapter for ‘Pataphysical Research. We talked and talked and talked until the late conversations became early ones.


To sleep; perchance to dream. A few hours, bow more, and we entered Day 23 – the great day. A spy from the Illuminati was quickly revealed, listening at the door and was flushed down the drain. No time to waste, no whine to taste: Operation Pompadour was at hand.


Next to centre Pompidou we researched the shades of the terraces. A message from the Blue Guy to Bogus was greeted with enthusiasm. We toasted to Bob and Bobby, and felt their presence. Fly feeling his vessels ebbing, had gone Hemingway. Half of the party wanted to sneak into the catacombs, but like Alice’s rabbit, Chris, Fuzzbuddy, B.Kane and Borsky were told they were too late. So they got back to join the rest in visiting the exhibition ‘Traces of the sacred’. Propanon was trying not to be seen.

We were thrilled by Works from romantic Friedrich, metaphysical de Chirico, expressionistic Murnau, and we saw lots of strange and new works by lots of strange and new artists. B.Kane spotted many rosicrucian references and commented that Bob would have loved this exhibition. Ewige Blumencraft. Puzzled by several black paintings later, both parties met again watching John Giorno’s monologue on William Burrough’s last moments into Bardo and Brion Gysin’s stroboscope probing the scope of consciousness. And Fly had become hip- no, teased with ideogrammatic mushrooms. What R the odds, what R the odds.


Walking back towards the hermetic epicenter, Tons and Borsky decided to visit the hunchback’s domain, only to be confronted by the rabbit syndrome again, Notre-Dame had closed just minutes earlier.

(Speaking of which, rabbits were some kind of recurring theme on our quest. For some reason, the metro ideograms showed the dangers of squeezing rabbits between the carriogres’ doors of perception. And Monty Python’s bloodthirsty white rabbit at the Cave of Aaaaaaaaaaargh seemed one of the gang’s favourite scenes.)



Back at Shakespeare and Co, stiil no sight of Mr. Whitman. Aye, like the third man in his Falstaffian attire at the fire, he must have gone olde. We had lost Prop and wondered whether Chris Matthias’ unhealthy obsession about burning him during the previous two meetings had caught up with him. We followed him into his seminal need for ‘real’ beer and ended up as usual in the middle of Paris drinking Guinness in an Irish pub.

Extreme inner heating systems were compared. Le sauvage central. Chris left traces with buckets of his sweat during the day, revealing our walkabouts to the Illuminati conspiracy, at moments, even starting to glow when left in the sun for too long – we feared spontaneous combustion. Prop might have enjoyed the backdraft of Chris’ voodoo rituals. Tons on the other hand, in sharp contrast to her sunny smile, got colder and colder according to the pace at which the sun tumbled towards the horizon, adding layers upon layers of clothes. Happily we didn’t end up with a Michelin woman, as in the heat of the night, we all found our equilibrium.
While Fly and Tobby left towards the appartments the cash register or someone’s phone fooled FB into imagining a last call.

Back at our homebase we were glad to find Prop, Fly and Bogus waiting for us. And we were 8 again, and the circuits could flow again, wheels within wheels. Body language as a communicative medium, Chris stopped wobbling his hands, Bogus stopped giggling, and Prop pantomimed the difference. We were treated to the trialogues of Chris Matthias, Propanon and B.Kane (who, discussing pseudo-religious Mondrian paintings, had a very personal interpretation of the word ‘tryptic’). There were some references to the deep-throating abilities of beer-drinking Hell's Angels. As Chris would notice later, Fly was the first to stop ptretending taking part in the conversation and slowly became one with the cushions of his canape canopy cannabis. Hide the hide. Hiddy-ho. Next victim was Borsky, already long gone up in smoke.

We had agreed to get up early, but only a diminished Borsky was there to grmeet Chris at the door while the others were still zombified. Chris was forced to admit the MLA would never take over the world with this kind of attitude. Peripatetically, B.Kane had left at dawn for his suite. The sharp dressed man, having misjudged his distances, was treated to a long walk.

We, the others finally left the hotel with all our gear. The owner must have been puzzled while taking pictures of our strange tribe. We must have seemed a very diverse bunch, having no superficial connections; indeed we all have different attitudes, ages, dresscodes, even languages… yet we couldn’t hide our tribal bonds and were obviously very much related on higher levels.

We were to go visit the skulls and bones underground, but due to our slow start we had left at 10:30 am. And so, sadly, Tons had to leave to fly back to Berlin. And we all hugged, hoping to meet again soon, forumwise or IRL.

Somehow Toby, Prop and Fly got cold feet and left Chris, Fuzzbuddy, B.Kane and Borsky get their own cooled in the catacombs. Orpheus in hell. After numerous stairs (maybe the name from the place came from the sound of tourists falling down) and much to the relief of Chris, we entered a dark, damp and cool place where the sun doesn’t shine.


The Cave of Aaaaaaaaaaargh. Dark poetry amongst the ossuary reminded us, as if any more was needed, of the temporality of all life. Borsky had brought MiniNonProphet, whose original couldn’t make it last year neither, and so his effigy had been made for the 2007 Bruges meeting (but somehow refused to burn properly). It was left so one day maybe a fortean archeologist might wonder whether once an African tribe ruled the Parisii, o rif strange Voodoo rituals had taken hold of the underground.

Finally after almost 2 km. we reached the staircase towards the living and the sun and the heat. We met the rest of the gang at a terrace. Bogus talked about Dali and Lanvin chocolate, Prop had pickled a Lanvin model and B.Kane treated us all to a meal. There was no horse.



We had reached the time for our final separation. In the metro we had warm farewells. Prop went back to Saint-Germain, trying to figure out whether ‘pataphysics grooved, Fly was to meet up with Freewheelin’ Dava, B.Kane went back to his hotel to sniff some Cocteau, Borsky went back to Belgium and Bogus, Chris and Fuzzbuddy went back to Britain.



Three days had passed like a bonfire, intense, fast and way too short. Next year we might make it a fivish, if only to please the god of the Law of Fives. Proposals for next year were a castle in the vicinity of a plague village where everyone had died a horrible (but natural) death (Chris), Ingolstadt hunting down the Illuminati (B.Kane, Tons), a croatian nudist camp at 30 minutes by boat from the mysteries of Venice (Borsky), or in the depths of the Amazon forest amongst the ayahuasceros (Prop). Whatever might be the case, I’m convinced the twain shall meet again, maybe next year maybe sooner, and that the RAW tribe is slowly growing out of the virtuality of the MLA into something larger. Publication of the first MQ print, courtesy of El8ed1, soon, might prove a first step further up the evolutionary scale; the Propsposition to write a collective book about Bob might be next. Wait and see.


Borsky (2008)

Friday, August 01, 2008

MLA PARIS 2008

The MLA entities i met down in France seemed to be extra-ordinary human beings. Their language appeared full of poetry, fun, wisdom. Their gestures all seemed friendly and compassionate towards me, and towards each other. Their different characteristics and individual humanity came shining through in the sensory sensual world of Paris. Much like the shining in our electronic internet avatar world (MLA) where together we have spent considerably more time chatting and learning. Now, in real-time? the human beings break through the shells of their Electronic avatars and walk the cardboard-streets of Paris! It happened just like this man, i swear!

The multi-dimensional melting felt like NINE MLA seasons in ONE day, leaving me with fresh perspectives and buzzing newly condensed ideas about sombunal of the STUFF & THINGS we waxed about and interacted with on our trip.

Thankyou.

--Steven Pratt
Fly Agaric 23









Sociobiology and Circuit Two

Thanks to my daughter Yo for this piece from Ernest Cline "Dance, Monkey, Dance":

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