Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Sun Temple—Part 4

As the days of June follow one another and we move into the Solstice—the birthday of that Invincible Star—I foolishly continue to seek relief in the Indica (that drug for sorrow), each time hoping that it will somehow be different, but in fact, the ill effects seem to grow worse with each attempt, as an accumulation of toxins have their way with me. The effects of the three tributaries: the fever, the heat, and the tainted sacrament, all conspire to torment and confound my senses as I once again set out to track the great disc all the way down to the forgotten altar. His mighty presence causes me to turn right on Houston—through the dark and moldering underpass—then left on West Street, as I am reunited with the Hudson in a stolen euphoria. As I move along that carefully prescribed path, the Solar Indica softens the black resinous tar beneath the wheel and I see that the river has turned the color of Shiva's blue skin.

Then once again there rears up a great and mournful theater, and once again I gain admittance. I can see the final tourist boat of the day rocking crazily out in the boiling water of the Ambrose Channel, taking the last group of visitors away and I find myself alone with the absurd and ego-centric notion that I am somehow "the soul of the park".

I have the nagging sense that we are living in a debased culture—a culture of amnesia—stripped and severed from all ritual and magic, and no longer connected to the great armature that turns slowly and ponderously beneath our feet. I have the strong desire to penetrate beneath this veneer—this shabby illusion, this cheap stage-play.  There must be a deeper layer of existence beneath this de-natured present that we are forced to live in, as we seek the ancient names of deities in vain. The impression on my mind was that the park had already been degraded for centuries—we modern people wander lost amid the psychic ruins, no longer able to decipher the hieroglyphs or discern the functions of the shrines and monuments.
Without a compass or clue, I have tried to create a path…a ritual. I create my own hedge-maze or labyrinth. But perhaps others have already penetrated to a more fundamental and exalted strata: they know how to live. It is only I, with my absurdly inflated sense of myself as spiritual seeker that might be the most shallow, the most deluded of men—the most hopelessly lost.
*   *   *
Steadfast in my conviction that "the true living Dionysus is hiding in the hemp plant, not the wine bottle," I once again seek guidance from the religious properties of the flowers.

                                                     *   *   *

I count the revolutions around an uncaring sun as I sit, despondent, at the base of the Night-Shade Monument, a decrepit and forgotten altar with its allegorical figure that is meant to represent Unease, and hopelessly faces the setting sun. Arising, I move languidly through this gold-colored equation as if following the dictates of an ancient mind, undoubtedly presenting a most strange appearance and perhaps causing the people to ask, "Is he among the prophets?" 

The charred remains of the Kannabos Temple appear before me once again, while the water finds its way in—gurgling and splashing—through a million cracks in the psyche. The headless Ambrose monument stares sightlessly out into the channel that bears his name, and inscribed in the base is the ancient Chinese ideogram for Cannabis (that disreputable intoxicant drug of the East).

                                                  * * *

The great phantom park hovers over my days and nights as I continue to embellish the nocturnal accident. My mind (which survives in fragments) continues to weave embroideries that are sewn into the fabric  of that damp and brooding ghost, when a troubling thought occurs to me: I realize that I have consciously and relentlessly de-populated the park—I have to the best of my ability rid the Battery of the tyranny of the human form. It seems that they only get in the way—and the true purpose of the park can only be realized in their absence. It is the inanimate objects—the monuments, sculptures, and deserted walkways that are my true companions. This deplorable fact is a reflection of my psychological flight from my fellow beings—my retreat into a hidden sphere that renders normal human interaction all but impossible. I inhabit the interstices, the spaces between real thoughts and emotions—I can only truly live in the absence of other people. I can know and love them only in the abstract—I commune with the ghosts of others.
I have made the park a temple to my estrangement—a model that perfectly illustrates my flight from humanity.
What kind of spirituality could it be that ruthlessly excludes all of my fellow beings and souls?

In my misguided attempts to reach a deeper level, I have merely deepened my own estrangement from my companions and from life. I have chosen a left-handed path, a degenerate cult… and I wander lost, in this mournful theater that I have conjured up and created from my own inner poverty and weakness. Even worse, I may have unwittingly conjured up an occult altar, and in my vast ignorance I perform occult rituals—all by accident! I am reminded that “all material things and creatures exist simultaneously in spirit form. These spirit forms include the double…of each person, living, dead and unborn…” (Flattery and Schwartz, 1989)

But I rally to my own defense: I have been called by the Sun and the Moon! And by a savage and ancient fever, and lastly by that unknown poison, all of which combine to lead me into this great cinema—this damp and limitless park at night.

Foolishly, I play with arcane symbols as a young child might play with matches. All occult and alchemical symbols, incantations and formulas must be carefully avoided by he who is ignorant of their meaning and function. Who knows what demons or devils will spring into being as they are unwittingly summoned by the fool who ignorantly shuffles the Tarot deck? What homunculus grows in the charged air above my bed at night as I am summoned once again to the great brooding confines of the park?

I may have become mislead and am now trapped in this great ante-chamber—one of the outer rings of hell—manipulated by evil entities that are always with us, hovering around our beds at night, invading our dreams as we sleep, vulnerable and inviting to all the nocturnal predators. Once led into these spiritual hells, there may be no escaping…I may be led into a mental and spiritual illness that will destroy me. Or I may simply be a deluded dreamer—an anti-social loner who lives in the interior of his own imploded psyche. Clinical terms abound for such conditions as the degenerate priests of our modern “religions” delight in coining. They label the astral flights and phantom theaters of the dreamers as mere pathologies, to be “treated” by their various state-sponsored poisons—their official and debased sacraments. Visions are for the priests only, as we cannot afford to over-populate the upper atmospheres!

But this phantom park that I had created was nonetheless a most commendable achievement—a jewel—a legend that hovered uncertainly at the bottom of a fugitive dream, unreachable except through unconventional methods. 

                                    TO BE CONTINUED                                    /// Battery Park /// Cannabis /// Sun Cult ///


  1. This is such a fine piece that I have to come back to it, to absorb & admire, to seek echoes and parallels in my own inner world, to let the whole thing ferment. Have just copied it to Kindle, so as to dwell more at leisure on these mellifluous lines, take it all in, be influenced and nourished.

  2. Thank you, Vincent—very glad that you like it. Your continuing support is deeply appreciated!