Da Black Whole

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Archers Split the Tree

THE rare strange thing is to hit the mark; the gross obvious thing is to miss it. Chaos is dull; because in chaos a train might go anywhere -- to Baker Street or Bagdad. But man is a magician and his whole magic is in this: that he does say 'Victoria,' and lo! it is Victoria.

The Man who was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton

The Archers (logo above) were '40s and '50s British film-making partners: director Michael Powell and writer Emeric Pressburger

i was treated recently to my first viewing of The Archers' Black Narcissus (1947), a brilliant and prescient "pagan East meets christian West" classic

the film anticipates the West's Post-WWII return/regression/descent to the primeval, chthonic, alluring, stagnant, magical East -- especially the mass embrace during the late '50s and the 60s in America and Great Britain of Eastern practices and worldviews: gurus, unrestrained libido, meditation, drugs, animism, shamanism, ritual mysticism, ecstatic states, etc.

The Archers (amongst others) clearly saw the West's direction for the half-century ahead, and Black Narcissus is proof . . . the Christian convent the Anglican Sisters attempt to establish on a "pagan stronghold" Himalayan mountaintop, high above the Indian jungle, is doomed -- partly for timing reasons, partly for cultural reasons, but mostly for reasons of, one might say, the irreconcilable duad: gender

only the shrouded powers of the Indian subcontinent defeated Alexander the Great, and that should have been warning enough to the post-war West

but wasn't, of course -- and for the Baby Boom generation in particular, a great veil was set before our eyes concerning the whos, whats, and whys of mass regressions -- very convenient for many interests, as we now see

so like Alexander, men of the West had to re-learn the hard way: the East has a way of swallowing up civilizations, and men

The wild worship of lawlessness and the materialist worship of law end in the same void. Nietzsche scales staggering mountains, but he turns up ultimately in Tibet. He sits down beside Tolstoy in the land of nothing and Nirvana.

They are both helpless—one because he must not grasp anything, and the other because he must not let go of anything. The Tolstoyan’s will is frozen by a Buddhist instinct that all special actions are evil. But the Nietzscheite’s will is quite equally frozen by his view that all special actions are good; for if all special actions are good, none of them are special. They stand at the crossroads, and one hates all the roads and the other likes all the roads. The result is—well, some things are not hard to calculate. They stand at the cross-roads.

-- Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton

San Francisco, currently and in foundation, is heavily influenced both by "Orientalism" and a "Land's End Western Frontierism" that manifests culturally and psychologically when the actual terra runs out

(and of course, much Western occult practice, including Masonry, is "Orientalized")

when residing in S.F. in the 80s, Yr Correspondent Lil' Dynamo recalls one particular friend often urging me to join his Buddhist studies and practices

(but hay, if i wanted a llama, i'd saddle my own!)

that Eastern Infusion was -- perhaps -- proper to the Beat and Hippie Eras, a necessary though costly indulgence in the adolescence of homo (sorta)sapiens . . .

but these years are dangerous babysteps into the millennium -- in case you missed "The Towering Inferno II" -- and perhaps in seeking home, Western men went the back way: going East, then round West again . . . through the Beast's belly, to show their sons both the way, and the way not

. . . like the sun coming up in the West, at Winterland (Bill Graham's rock venue in the Fillmore District, just north of the Panhandle)

. . . like Powell and Pressburger, The Archers -- often considered "lightweights" in their time -- creating and producing the culturally and spiritually astute Black Narcissus, a time-release capsule vaguely appreciable by their own generation, but fully understandable only to current and future generations

same pertains, perhaps, to John Lennon's song "I Am the Walrus," a mini-symphony and Odyssey that's neither as incomprehensible as Lennon nor others protesteth -- containing some interesting voice-0vers during the song's fadeout bars concerning a "villain" and a "dying Father"

when John and Paul were writing "A Little Help From My Friends," Paul sat at piano and played "Fool on the Hill" . . . John made him write the words down, so Paulie wouldn't forget

They don't like him! but
the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
and the eyes in his head
see the world spinning round


ELDER father, though thine eyes
Shine with hoary mysteries,
Canst thou tell what in the heart
Of a cowslip blossom lies?
Smaller than all lives that be,
Secret as the deepest sea,
Stands a little house of seeds
Like an elfin's granary.

Speller of the stones and weeds,
Skilled in Nature's crafts and creeds,
Tell me what is in the heart
Of the smallest of the seeds.
God Almighty, and with Him
Cherubim and Seraphim
Filling all Eternity --
Adonai Elohim.

"The Wild Knight" G.K. Chesterton

seeds and trees leads us back to the Invisible Circus, to the "occult topography" discussed in prior posts (Golden Gate Park, for example, analogued to a club/weapon/hammer and a syringe)

Egg Salad Annie suggested that the "Devil's Spine" photo in our Invisible Circus post resembled a gigantic sarcophagus . . . same could be said for G.G. Park itself, given that most of these themes and activities involve Chaldeo-Egyptian magick -- the "myth" of Isis, Set, the 72 conspirators, and the "green god of the dead," Osiris, the dying/resurrecting vegetative deity

Heinlein's Revolt in 2100, published in 1953, describes a "future" American theocracy that masks a police state relying on violence, imprisonment, intimidation, blackmail, and strict control of media/mass consciousness/propaganda

hmm . . . 2100, eh Bob? methinks Future Shock shortened the thread!

in Revolt in 2100, Heinlein's heroes are (and conspiracy buffs won't like this!) the "Cabal," an underground neo-masonic resistance, inspired by the principles of liberty and responsibility of America's Founding Fathers (many of whom, of course, actually were masons, and usually deists too -- not necessarily a contradiction)

Revolt in 2100 is a continuation of the "consciousness revolution" begun by the character M.V. Smith in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land . . . and the word "re-volt" has an electrical dimension for the same reason Osiris' djed has an aspect as capacitor/battery


as part of both plot and book-cover, Stranger in a Strange Land features a caryatid -- simultaneously a nymph and a pillar of arc/i/tecture . . . arc/i/tectonics

nymphs are powers/tools of the goddess, in this aspect Artemis the Huntress, and caryatids are involved in the "fertility cycle" with the "god"

historical caryatids were (are) priestesses or servants of the Great Goddess, operating nonverbally by link with the natural world -- sometimes called the "Nut-Tree Sisters"

Nut-Tree Pied Piper, Vacaville

the Nut Tree Restaurant was an extremely popular dining/entertainment spot along Interstate 80 during my boyhood, state of the art, located about halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco, amidst hills contoured like green breasts, and scattered oak woodlands

in 1921, Helen and Edwin ("Bunny") Power opened their fruit stand in the shadow of a huge black walnut, and the Nut Tree was (re)born

(yes, Power, that is correctamundo, go on look it up o Faithless Ones lol!)

before the complex closed in 1996, it hosted many of the nation's -- and the world's -- most powerful and celebrated people . . . sort of a best-kept-non-secret . . . indeed, little dynamo was once employed by Home Linen/Laundry of Vallejo, California, and each day he emptied massive bags of Nut Tree restaurant napkins, tablecloths etc. onto his counting table . . . in summer, the laundry came alive with squirming maggots, not a vision or scent one soon forgets

ah, yes! the life of the Nob less Oblige! :O)

[confession corner: l.d. was eventually fired from Home Laundry for "Insubordination" . . . can you imagine Phake Phucking Bullshit like that? nice guy like him? hmph!]

Vacaville (Spanish for Cow-Town, LOL) hosts another, equally (in)famous Nut Tree: the California Medical Facility (prison) at Vacaville, former residence of nut-tree pied piper Chuckles Manson, and site of many unfortunate -- not to mention sick and demonic -- experiments upon both "volunteer" and non-volunteer inmates

for the Good of the People, of kourse!

for The Children!

for Der Mutterland! (all bow, you may rise when ordered)

there's been a lot of experimentation on the stock, ah, oops i mean citizenry over the past fifty years, folks . . . lots of mind-raping and Uber-kontrol klockworking, very sad for a country with pretensions to godliness i'd imagine . . . yup she's all gussied up purty with bows . . . but turn the old bag over, out spills a tangy tangle of writhing maggots

looked like Wedding Rice to me! Condo Rice!


eat hearty! while the Rich and Powerful were stuffing their cakeholes and hobnobbing under the walnut tree, across the Highway caged men and boys were paying the piper

ah, but . . . no matter . . . criminals, after all . . . well, most of them, anyway . . .

just desserts, serves 'em right!

like Savoy Truffle! the Beatles got another mention in this post, because they played important roles in the postwar version of the Invisible Circus . . . indeed, the movie "Magical Mystery Tour" is, contrary to dismissal by the klueless kritics, a brilliant and terrifying journey within the Invisible Circus

l.d., as a boy in Vallejo, was struck when first hearing McCartney's "Penny Lane" -- perhaps the most evocative song ever recorded

evocation of place IS magic . . . as is evocation of mood

"Penny Lane" appears an innocuous, and delightful, bit of melodic fluff, a jolly lighthearted romp through Paul's Liverpool boyhood . . . but like so much else in the Circus, the tune has a sinister side and, in fact -- like the busride in the Magical Mystery Tour film -- is actually a revelation of "workings" of the Invisible Circus

perhaps we'll tour "Penny Lane" in a subsequent post; for the moment, this verse suggests plenty:

Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout

the pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray

And though she feels as if she's in a play,

she is anyway

thanks to the Archers, to G.K., and all the Wild Knights, ya done good -- the tree ain't split, but it's worried


nupe no big finish, this isn't the moovies! just a soft hopeful note, Neil singing out the glitter and the glut

Well I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming

saying something about a queen

There were peasants singin'

and drummers drumming

and the archer split the tree

"After the Gold Rush" (N. Young)


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