"Red Cross-Bar Framed," For Nall, by Jon Berry 1/16/2008

"Red Cross-Bar Framed," For Nall, by Jon Berry 1/16/2008
6" x 8" oil pastel on paper

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Researching HST

Jon Berry
11/14/2010 to 11/15/2010

A few months back, I purchased a Sony Vaio on whim, the way I purchase most things. I watched an Asian man test the keyboard. He liked it. I’d looked at some stats and trusted the reputation of the machine, and the extra age that is rolled into anything Asian, and bought the damn thing, thinking I might actually get back to writing, to a life of failed writing attempts. (I’m not so much a writer as a person who has spent thirty-three years attempting to write. After a while one should just say fuck it and learn to enjoy writing shit.)
Researching Hunter S. Thompson has put me back onto typing as a physical experience and the importance of the machine one uses to write with. My first real appreciation of this was Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch. I grew up with an Underwood, the first instrument I ever typed on. I would later type on other machines until the computer came, and I was forced to rethink the typing experience.
It’s a fucking requirement of life, typing. I am pleased with the Sony Vaio keyboard, but I still have to wonder what typing on a manual typewriter would be like these days—especially one of the old Underwood variety, none of that damn font-ball bullshit. The good old letterpress type, that sets the character into the physical page with force, is what is called for. In the meantime, I pretend that what I am doing has a physical element to it—conjuring the spirit, luring the muse through the force of ritual and meat and bone activity.
The performance of a work of art can entail sculpting a lifetime, hunting down all the ghosts, sweeping the floor, making a pot of chai tea, and decoding the swastikas in the foreheads of old Klan members. Some days I’m up for it, others I just want to turn off and tune into America Gone Stupid. No, I don’t! I’d sooner kill myself, so I write! I need the Good Doctor in my life at this point to inspire me to get off my ass and get busy stirring up trouble, waking the dead, if I’m not going to do anything else.
Tonight I read about Hunter S. Thompson, and I read Hunter S. Thompson. I view photographs of him and by the impressive photojournalist Thompson, and I write while a law student argues with cases in my dining room floor. Tonight interesting sagas of energies haunt the mind until we start moving chemicals along the axons and synapses to form a difference, a resonance across the waves. Another glass of whiskey and nicotine injected by way of a terribly evil uptake mechanism, the American cigarette, good at delivering disease and addiction but not tobacco.
I’m researching Hunter S. Thompson to prepare for a course I will be teaching next semester at the University of Alabama, “Gonzo: The Life and Writing of Hunter S. Thompson.” I’m planning on teaching it at one of the sports bars in town where we will be holding séances to invoke Hunter’s spirit in sessions called “Reading to Hunter.” What sort of experiences might we have when we submerge ourselves deeply into Hunter’s world and mind? What will we discover about ourselves and our culture?

I was at the beginning of an acid trip when I started reading Thompson’s “Mescalito.” His honesty, his ability to be present in an event, in this case his first experience with mescaline in 1969, explains why he was a master journalist. The immediacy of the event—the capturing of the psychology of his situation, his paranoia and delight in the edge—was a rich gift to me as the LSD challenged my eyes’ ability to discern the words on the page! Proper set and setting for him was to enter the circus of life, to step into the middle of American dumbness and goof around in it. I am far more subdued. I am not Hunter S. Thompson. He was America’s twentieth-century trickster. He assumed everyone was hard of hearing, so he turned his particular music way up. If he’d approached his role with any less energy, he’d never made it out of that Louisville jail cell. Without him we would not know that the weird is a safe terrain to travel in.
Hunter S. Thompson is of my father’s generation. My father is a Church of Christ minister (go until you find a Southern Baptist and take a hard right). Hunter and Dad were both born in the South. I think that the man in the cover photo on Kingdom of Fear is a man my father would recognize immediately and who he would be afraid of because he knows that that man is his own wicked brother, raw spirit unleashed upon the world with a well-armed “fuck you,” the abused and abandoned children of the depression and the second world war.
Anger is hardwired, a force to be cajoled into lifelong companionship. Hunter had it, and he also had a moral compass second to none. Mark Twain, his most obvious predecessor (and one of my father’s favorites), was not as powerfully principled as the Good Doctor! For me at this point, Hunter’s most central and valuable quality is his principles. That man knew bullshit better than anyone and was outraged and wounded by it and wrote directly out of that pain. Everything that he wrote bore that mark: there was something not right in the world, and he was unhappy about it, which was why he was writing. ~*~

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Notebook pages for The Third Avenue

The Third Avenue
Jon Berry
Begun 12/27/08

Science and religion, two avenues, but the Third Avenue is the mythopoeic, the magical, the shamanic, what Terence McKenna referred to as the archaic. The Third Avenue is a more primal, primary, essential path, the headwaters of science and religion.

Salivia, the Shepherdess, must be respected and intelligence must be brought to the journey, reverence, and an open heart and mind. One must be able to journey with her, and not short-circuit her role as muse for transportation.

The Third Avenue (a gift from the Shepherdess that was received on December 16, 2008) is a journey, an expedition into the unknown. With Salvia one can enter the dimension of the Shepherdess and travel in time and out of time--travel in being and out of being, travel in light. The Shepherdess offers us a wormhole for our consciousness, freeing us of the restraints of time and being. The Third Avenue involves journeys along the path of psychotropic substances and the parallel journey of mind through works of art, literature, and music that will influence the psychotropic journey and aid in my interpretation of the experiences I have had on that journey.
The mind/consciousness is the vehicle or atmosphere of the journey. There are two primary ways in which the journey will be taken. The first is moving under the guidance of the Shepherdess and other psychoactive teachers. The second is recording/processing/interpreting the lessons and gifts from the guides and teachers along the way--experiential and hermeneutical.
The Third Avenue is a mixture of travel journal and memoir, but given the nature of the Third Avenue, the language will undoubtedly stray into the poetical and psychologically distorted. The language is part of the journal. The writing is both experiential and hermeneutic.

There will be a struggle to create and maintain a rhetoric that does not wander into the language of the religious or the scientific to the degree that the Third Avenue is confused with either one of those paths. I wish to abandon the term religion, however tempting it may be, because it is the creation of the empire makers. I will instead strive to speak in a language that creates resonances that Dennis and Terence McKenna call the archaic, or the primal.

In many ways this is a mythographic work, in both senses of the term, the recording of a myth and the analysis of myth. It is also the mythic journey itself; its terrain is the shamanic mind or soul. There will be characters, such as the feathery beings of light that accompany my salvia visions; others are certainly to evolve as my mind is expanded along the journey. I expect the journey to last about a year, but it is hard to plan these things.

We are only at the beginning of the journey, and we’ll only be at the beginning of the journey when we are done. The forces at work in the American empire to prevent consciousness expansion are immense. We are rapidly approaching global ideological dominance, but quietly in the corner there are Rupert Sheldrakes, Ralph Abrahams, Shasha Shulgins, and Terrence McKennas sparking the next great awakening. The disease of capitalism will have to exhaust itself, and then the archaic revival can begin proper. Until that time the travelers of the Third Avenue--poets, artists, musicians, scientists of great imagination and vision, true philosophers (not the peddlers of syllogistic currency for the empire), and shamans--will keep lighting the way toward a new dawn of consciousness across the species.

Time and being are limits of imagination. We exist in a materialistically and temporally bound reality because we have not imagined our way beyond it. We will transcend the human dimension. The foundational research is being done. The Third Avenue is an imaginarium of the implications of this research.

On the Third Avenue form fractals into nothingness and nothingness fractals back into form, and the edge is erased. Form is the resonance of nothingness, and nothingness is the resonance of form. Waves permeate the psychedelic. Consciousness is neither form nor nothingness. We, being form, cannot know whether consciousness is dependent on form. Chances are just as good that it is down the Third Avenue, consciousness fractals.

The navel of eternity. The singularity that is the human soul. In the vision the Third Avenue emanates from the navel, the center of power in Asian thought, the hara. Happiness, bliss, loving-kindness, peace: attainments of the Third Avenue. The Third Avenue is flooded with psychedelic visions and dreams that resonate with the passions and peace of the Earth.

Dreams of dark water, old houses with no electricity, abandoned places, the night feminine, the Earth herself soothing the soul in dreams. “Know the masculine, but keep to the feminine and become the brook of the world.”

Insight meditation. Psychedelic meditation. Mind-expanding, soul-journeying meditation.

Once one is on the Third Avenue, the center of self or ego no longer holds, there is only pure experience occurring in pure consciousness. Emptiness empties emptiness into emptiness.

Psychedelic journeys. Dreams. Vision. The intersection of all of these. The mind field resonating.

“Be here now.” “Wisdom of no escape.” The obsession with telos, apocalypse, evolution, progression. Until one is fully grounded in human skin, can one exceed to the dimensions beyond it. Walk a mile in your own skin through psychedelic journeys, dreams, visions. Leave home to get home.

The water is always at night. The river reflects the moon’s reflections. To step into the river, any river, to return home. To return home.

To be fully in one’s skin. Be here now, so you can be there then. INCOMING!!!
Arriving is going out. Be in your skin and then begin the journey again.

The water shines in darkness. Deep dreams in water.

Staying free of the bullshit is a freaking fulltime job. What we don’t manufacture for ourselves, someone or the system will manufacture for us.

We must honestly, directly, and devoutly entertain the zany, the outlandish, the twisted, torqued, stoned, ripped, and tripping because if Hunter S. Thompson taught us anything he taught us that the domain of the weird is safe to travel in. He blazed a trail and fought demons and saints alike to demonstrate that everything moves by the whims of the Great Magnet. Lift up your skirts!

Whole, complete, mature, full, telos is closure and not ecstasy. The purpose of the psychedelic waves of color space in translucent dance is eternity, sunyata.

We are McClure’s children. We are translucent fig leaves.

Into this phase, ten-thousand membranes phasing in and out of existence across ten-thousand membranes, intertextual universe weaving. We live the infinite!

The transcosmic current runs through every thing.

At the eschaton we’ll dissolve into endless colors of bliss.

To use language to expand meaning.
To free language from meaning.
To free language from language.
To enter into open expression.
Language cannot contain the realities we encounter.
Meaning is dwarfed by the experience.
A universe in every breath.
What is death in the face of such consciousness?

There are no distinctions.

Timing the extension of the mind so the ultimate event occurs at the moment of death. One’s last days ought to be the most interesting. Seeing everything dissolve instantly into absolute nothingness.

The mind must be allowed to expand. Systems close the mind, and the spirit dies leaving the animal human behind. The mind is and has been transcendent of the body and brain. The energized brain serves as a mega-synapse with the cosmic mind, Buddha mind, the transcendent Logos. We are a mammal who has tapped into mind. The degree of insight gained is dependent on the expansion of this cosmic connection. Some signals are filled with static. There are many ways to expand the mind and many ways to block such expansion out of fear and insecurity. Embrace the weird, the alien, the wholly other.

Dark veins in marble.
Swirls of infinite shades.
Lingam and yoni.

The madman sits in the corner rocking in his white gown, on tiled floor. Inside, endless universes reside in every thought, every moment, every cough, every secretion, every pill-cart clock.

It’s a matter of editing the baseline of being, of altering, enhancing, informing, extending, expanding the baseline of existence, individually and communally--increasing awareness. Life is awareness training, developing and evolving being, mind, and thought--spiritual, ancestral, spectral, and alien encounter. Deep in the mode of honesty.

We commune -icate
with plants
with animals
with spores of attention.

They are speaking to us.
I don’t know who they are
nothing more
than an echo
in expanding
sui generis
a sub-routine
the hum of karmic turning.
Poiesis upon a field of sunyata.
Attempting to write
and think
upon a field of sunyata
in erasure.

Mass culture
Mass vulture
A move out of space
out of time
by transcending the materia
where mind no longer minds

Shamanism is an advanced level of total existence. Shamanic consciousness is an orgy of the creative, the visionary, the psychotic, the possessed, and the ecstatic. Jim Morrison captures our contemporary sad state all too well: “We have been metamorphosized from a mad body dancing on hillsides to a pair of eyes staring in the dark.” Click! Click!

The psychedelic mind is ever increasing its engagement with multiconsciousness and the multiverse. Psychedelia injects ideas that shatter the hold of culture on mind. Psychedelic mind is hyper-evolutionary.

The world is mythologized and experienced. Mythologizing the world is mediated experience. Lifting one above the other is mythologizing. All thought, writing, and art are mediated/mythologized experience. We move (mythologize) through waves of experiences. To step out of the realm of experience and into a realm of absolute non-experience is a radical psychedelic state.

Lived experience. Transconsciousness experience.

Caffeine and Klonopin in the morning.
Alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine in the evening.
Fine tune consciousness.

Trust the next, the now, and the then!

Everywheres at once.

Infinite responsibility toward all things future.
Infinite respect toward all things present.
Infinite gratitude toward all things past. --Zen saying

And nothing changed.
Megagrams of LSD-25
and nothing changed.
To maintain such consciousness and absolute peace.
Being here now!
Being in all the heres
in all the nows,
everywheres at once.

Out of all the heres
and all the nows,
you had to walk into mine.

And what of the yous in the psychedelic experience?
What of all the Is?


Education is disturbance.
We are only as educated as we are disturbed.

Institutions are dark, bloody murder in a shit bag.
They are a holocaust on the mind and body.

Human organizations can devolve into institutions.

Institutions deny freedoms.
The affect of education is freedom.
There can be no such thing as an institution of education.
Nietzsche realized this, and got the fuck out.
Heidegger really dug institutions.

All things have form in emptiness, and emptiness forms in all things.

Deep in a vodka run.
The holds have no bars.
I pick up people and their memories.
The exquisite is always being here now.

Do not let reality intrude on your trip, man.
It’s all glue and grapes.
No vineyards are ripe unto harvest.
The sky is the limit.
So drink the sky.

This commercial advertisement has been brought to you by Ron Ko’s crotch. Smoke a lot.

The impossibility of drag moron in the surface tension of ice-cold mead. The bees feed on a flowering mushroom, and then all things begin to dance.

Shulgin note: I’m on the upper east side of Vodka and Vine, and I don’t think that nicotine will straighten this shit out.

All consciousness fractals.

Sound bending sound bending sound bending sound is everything in a glass jar bleeding.

And the kid climbs across cosmic intergalactic hay bales, with wild dog raving on love, jumps the cosmos to arrive in time for the injection of radical child laughter.

The siren of affection. “I called the cops, baby, because I didn’t know what else to do.”

“You could have just shot me in the fucking head!”

Your best shot is your last shot. This goes for bars and guns.

Cosmic-phantasmagoria: everywhere everyone at once.

The outer energies emerge from within the body.
The journey out to gather in.
We come to the psychedelic age!

If the experience is from beyond,
the language must be from beyond.
Pneuma is psyche.

How many worlds?

Asyland Islum

Saturday, January 24, 2009


For Jake





Early utter entrances

Looking for the homeland of language

Language on loan

Entrusted to the sporogenesis of the species

And the sounds press into the mud

and stones bear the marks of one age forwarded to another

The shell no longer holds and begins to crack

Worlds scream

neck deep in agony birth

Language presses into the moist formations of life.

I speak.

We speak.

The dolphins speak.

And codes crawl in the skin until all has been written down

And then the end of writing


Jon Berry--1.14.09