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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Seven Continents of the Vishnupuranam: Part One, Jambudwipa...Africa?!



So I was randomly perusing the Vishupuranam the other day, a copy of said sacred scripture I picked up at Night Heron Books and Coffeehouse a number of months ago, and I came across the above passage and was immediately awestruck!

"This passage is talking about the division of Africa amongst some ancient kings sons !!"  I thought or softly spoke aloud to myself and whatever spirits or muses might be attending.

Indeed, it is clear enough that Mount Meru, a sacred mountain touted by Hinduism, Buddhism and Jains (and others?) to be the sacred Mountain of the Gods, is in fact and historical truth, the mountain that bears the name Meru in Tanzania, Africa !!   At least insofar as the ancient description written and proffered in the Vishnupuranam does attest, Africa is the dwipa (Sanskrit for "island" . . . or "continent"?!) of Jambudwipa, one of seven "dwipa" described in the following passages of the Vishnupuranam, seven "islands" that might well be the seven continents of this world as we know it.

According to Book II, chapter 1 of the Vishnupuranam, Agnidhra divided Jambudwipa between his nine sons.  I payed special attention to the references to Mount Meru as I read, as I had for a while considered and intuited the mountain bearing said appellation in Africa was very likely the sacred Meru of Hindu mythology.  I was immediately struck by the cognates, as those are often the easiest clues to ancient connections of ancient peoples.

"And he [Agnidhra] bestowed upon Ilávrita the country in the centre of which mount Meru is situated.  And he conferred upon Kamya the countries lying between it and the Nila mountain."

Mount Meru is just south of Kenya.  Nila in Sanskrit means "blue," and thus the above passage is likely describing the area between Mount Meru in Tanzania and the source of the Nile--the "Blue Nile"--as being granted to Kamya, i.e., the lands later known as Kenya !!

"He gave to Hiravat the country lying to the north of it [i.e., north of Kamya's granted kingdom]."  North of Kenya is the ancient Kingdom/Empire of Ethiopia.  The touted first emperor of Ethiopia was Mara Takla Haymanot.  Hiravat . . . Haymanot.  The first Emperor of Ethiopia was Hiravat, son of Agnidhra, not son of King Solomon and Sheba, as is generally claimed by Ethiopians (unless King Solomon actually was King Agnidhra).  Most likely the Ethiopians merely fitted the memory of their ancient King Hiravat to fit the Judeo-Christian mythology as Judaism and Christianity became prominent in their land.

To Agnidhra's son Nabhi was granted "the country called Hima, south of Himavân or snowy mountains," and later described as "the country of Nimahwa."  Could this be Namibia?! There are mountains in Namibia that do see snow, and in different climatalogical times may have received much more.

"Then he gave to Bhadraswa the countries situated on the east of Meru and he gave to Ketumala Ghandhamadana which was situated on the west of it [Meru]."  Ghana was an empire in western Africa from the 4th century CE, about the time of the purported penning of the Vishnupuranam, and is indeed west of Mount Meru as told in the text.  Though the term Swahili is touted to derive from the Arabic sawahil meaning "coastal" it seems more than tempting think the term Swahili derived from the name Bhadraswa else a compound of the terms, as Bhadraswa was given the "countries situated east of Meru," which is indeed the homeland of the Swahili people.  The name of the coastal city Mombasa similarly sounds rather like Mumbai (Bombay), an ancient port city on the opposite side of the Indian Ocean from Mombasa, Kenya.

Two other very ancient east African trading centers were Mapungupwa in northeastern South Africa, and Manyikeni in Zimbabwea. Mapungupwa was centered around Mapungupwa Hill, a table mountain that was touted anathema to even look upon by the peasants.  If Mapungupwa was by chance derived from a Sanskrit word:  mA, "fashion, form, build" + pUN, "collect or heap together" + gupta, "protected, guarded, hidden, kept secret."  This certainly seems to well describe what is evident of the fortress hill of Mapungupwa.

Another important trading center in ancient southern Africa in Zimbabwe was Manyikeni.  MaNi is Sanskrit for "jewel, gem, pearl, any ornament or amulet."  Gold and other precious materials were the touted goods traded at Manyikena.

African languages are rife with Sanskrit cognates, despite the fact that Eurocentric etymologists dared not examine linguistic similarities between Sanskrit and African languages, for fear that European culture might prove less important than they imagined (see previous post, "Sanskrit and Somali?!").

I have yet to determine the precise connections of the names of the other sons of Agnidhra to corresponding regions in Africa relative to Mount Meru according to the above scriptural text, save that the country of Nishada might correspond to the land of Nigeria, and that the country given to Kuru "bounded by Sringavar" might be Madagascar, though have not come across any other linguistic or other clues to reify those contentions, nor certainly to further the contention that Agnidhra might, via whatever etymological evolution or devolution to be traced, be in fact a source of the name of the continent of Africa !!



More on the other six dwipa of the seven in future posts...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Conflating Christ and Kalki: Too Anxious for the End

September 23, 2017 passed without incident, as yet again, another wave of Christian apocalyptic hype and absurdity peaked and rapidly crumbled.  Historically there have been many such cries of “The End Is Near” or “The End Is Here” proffered from the mouths and pens of the purported followers of Jeshua ben Joseph, aka Jesus Christ.  The years 1000 and 1666 were both years when many Christians feared else anxiously awaited the “End Times.”  In my late teen years into early 20s I was myself a bit caught up in that rather dysfunctional head-trip, I must admit.  I have since been exposed to a very much more ancient template for the measure of time and history, i.e., sanAtana dharma and the Vedic understanding of history, a religious construction that posits the age of the Earth to be 4.3 billion years, rather close to the estimations of modern science, which touts the Earth to be somewhere around 4.5 billion years old, and also does tell of the return of Lord Vishnu as Kalki at the end of the Kali Yuga, about 423,000 years from now.

It is my contention that the Christian apocalyptic mythology is in fact merely a conflation with the Hindu myth which tells of the coming of Kalki, riding a white horse in a battle to end the age known as the Kali Yuga, the most unenlightened and shortest age of this kalpa of four yugas.  I make this contention largely as I am of the strong opinion that the Christian's incarnate God Jesus Christ is none other than the Son of Shiva and Mohini (Vishnu/Krishna as a Goddess) known as Ayyappa or Shasta.  Ayyappa is the Protector of Created Beings, and His exploits include healing a blind and deaf boy and raising the dead.  He was touted a sincere ascetic, and a “never before seen star” is associated with Ayyappa's apparition.  As His original Mother is Vishnu, Who is generally a Dude, it seems that when Jesus spoke of the “Holy Spirit” He was talking about Vishnu as paramatma, the Universal Divine Soul that is manifest in each and all as Atman.  Jesus referred to His original Father, Shiva, as “God the Father,” but it must have been troublesome for Him to relate to His Mother, who is normally a God who as Krishna makes love to 10,000 milkmaids just as each would be made love to, likely inspiration for Jesus to figure the church as “the Bride of Christ,” quite similarly to Krishna's relationship to His devotees, the Gopis.

Some traditions represent that Jesus went to Asia, spent some time with the Brahmins, and then with Buddhists, and I believe that during this time He began to figure out who He was, an Avatar of Ayyappa.  As such Jesus did in fact have brothers and sisters, but was special as the only Son born to Shiva and Vishnu, who are both normally Dudes.  As Hinduism touted that Krishna had left the Earth sometime around 3,000 BCE, it occurs to me that Jesus/Ayyappa may have felt as if the He was to follow the footsteps of Vishnu and thus to later fulfill the mission of Kalki, in Vishnu's absence and stead.  Jesus's followers were also anxious for such a glorious fulfillment of their religious longings, and being even less certain about the Divine truth than Jesus was—who the New Testament clearly represents as not always knowing even His own path in life, let alone the future of the whole world, and thus the Apostle John inscribed the Book of Revelation based on a conflation with the mythology of Kalki, as Jesus seems to have Himself confused His own path with that of His Mother Mohini/Vishnu.  The many parallels between Jesus Christ's life and that of Krishna make much sense in this regards:  Christ was not an Avatar of Krishna, but in fact was an Avatar of Krishna's Son when Krishna came to Earth as a Goddess.  This “identity crisis” might be considered as parallel to the psychology of someone whose parent has a sex change!!  Some of the intrinsic misogyny touted to be facets of Christianity can likely be attributed to this odd fact of Jesus's previous incarnations.

Indeed, the pieces fit quite well in such a construction.  When compared to the prophecy of the return of Vishnu as Kalki, the Christian apocalyptic vision clearly comes across as a knock-off.  I do not mean to belittle the figure or person of Jesus Christ/Ayyappa, as even Shiva, “God the Father” in this interpretation, does sometimes make mistakes in His doings, as once Shiva did confuse a demoness in disguise to be His Consort Parvati and begins to make love to said demoness, almost losing His linga (phallus) to the teeth hidden in the demoness's vagina!!  Avatars of the Divine do not always consciously know all the factors at play in their lives on Earth, according to nigh any telling from any given mythology.  Jesus didn't know of the pending crucifixion until right at the end, and likely had only vague understandings of the end of the age myths about His transsexual Mother's true Self (Vishnu as Kalki to be), and in His fervor Jesus/Ayyappa somehow assumed those “end times” myths about Kalki were about Him.

Fear not, the end is not yet for another 423,000 years!!  Live your dharma (duty, "keeping it together"), and enjoy the ride, as you likely have many lifetimes to live before the real "end times" !!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hollywood on the Hudson (chapter from upcoming sequel to Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman)

Hollywood on the Hudson

Beach-wrecked in Beacon, I found myself frequenting a coffeehouse called Bank Square Coffee, just up the hill from the Hudson and the Metro North train station.  The first business on Main Street as one approached from the west, this fairly hip house of coffee had a large brick patio on the west side, fenced in and surrounded on two sides by the sidewalk and on a third by a parking lot.  Inside were two rooms with two doors between the two rooms.  Both rooms had large windows facing Main Street.  The larger room had a number of tables, couches, cushioned chairs, the requisite changing art show on the walls, and a large flat screen television on one wall facing a U of couches and cushioned chairs.  The entry room contained the counter and espresso machine, cream and sugar station, beer taps and an odd contraption that looked like something one might find in a chemistry laboratory that was apparently for brewing iced coffee, coffee dispensers, a few tables and another large flat screen TV.  Bank Square was definitely hipster central for the Beacon area, a growing “subculture” in the area experiencing ongoing gentrification with a nice selection of cafes, a lively pop-art scene with several galleries lining main street and Dia, a touted museum and art space which had opened relatively recently just up from the river and across the track from where my boat was beached and later anchored.  The Town and the Hudson were surrounded by hills and small mountains including Beacon Mountain where Revolutionaries would light a beacon to warn others up the river when the British were coming.  Walking east on Main Street you almost feel as if you're in a Colorado mountain town.  Those things and easy rail access to New York City made Beacon a fairly hip spot for the hipsters.  A bearded friend of mine who had the habit of wearing skinny jeans called Beacon NoBro (“North Brooklyn”) on at least one occasion.
As is usually the case when I frequent a cool coffeehouse, I made friends with the baristas and a number of the regular patrons.  Still intent upon publishing my first travel narrative, Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman, I would often spend my days at Bank Square with my laptop, coffee and bagel, sending queries to publishers and rereading and revising my manuscript and penning posts for my blog.
Alex was perhaps the first barista I got to know fairly well at Bank Square.  Two sleeves inked top to bottom, Alex always wore a friendly smile and offered a kind welcome when I walked in the door.  As I was living on a minimal fixed budget proffered by family trust-fund moneys, I was not infrequently shy of cash for a cup of coffee, so Alex and some of the other baristas would often let me fill my cup for free else allow me to pay the next day, and would often offer me day-olds, sometimes by the dozen.  Alex had a pretty blue-haired girlfriend and a younger brother I later got to know, Zach, who like Alex was a musician.  Both were quite excited to know I was more than acquainted with members of the Laramie born band Teenage Bottle Rocket, as both brothers were big fans.  Sadly, one of the members of TBR had recently passed away at the time of this writing, one of the Carlisle twins, Brandon, leaving the punk world in mourning.  Good guidance on your soul's journey to future lives and to future musical endeavors, Brandon!  Namaste and much love!!  Oh, and a hearty “FUCK YOU!!”
As is often as not the case when I frequent a coffeehouse, I found some of the baristas very interesting people if not fated players (else ready stand-ins) in the story I'm living, and perhaps vice-versa, and I made friends with an unusual and even striking young woman named Arianna.  Tall and slender and subtly graceful, Arianna would often sit in the back corner of Bank Square, typing away on her laptop or surfing the web and occasionally reading a book, sipping coffee or tea(?) and nibbling at a pastry.  I noticed her and found her attractive and rather intriguing well before we spoke, and when finally we did chance to chat she proved rather soft spoken and impressively eloquent.  We would sometimes share cigarette breaks on the patio and bitch about our respective situations:  me and my beach-wrecked sailboat woes and publishing endeavors, her and her less than ideal accommodations with an eccentric aunt and her want to relocate, and then we would generally recite our respective plans for finding our respective ways out of slumps and sorrows.
Arianna was from Queens, and had fairly recently been employed at NBC in Manhattan, but was currently unemployed.  She was well educated and intelligent, if like me finding that falling into the tracked and plotted places proffered in our society were not always a proper or easy fit for a thoughtful or sensitive individual.  I also had some rather intriguing encounters with three other women of note who happened to Bank Square Coffee in Beacon whilst I was wiling away my time as a castaway in Beacon, New York.
One afternoon after a particularly dismal morning I made my way up the hill to Bank Square Coffee, purchased a coffee and a bagel, then took a seat at the northernmost table on the patio.  I can't say with certainty whether the tall and stately blond sat at the next table before or after I sat and plugged my laptop into the outlet on the string of LED lights strung around the railing that surrounded the brick patio and began to surf the internet for information on local literary agents, as I was rather distracted by psychic chatter vexing (one of the significant potential downsides to opening channels to the “beyond”).  She sat somewhat reclined in her chair, long legs crossed, wearing a mid-length seventies vintage or style haute couture dress with large diagonally arranged checks of brown and orange and gold, casually sipping her coffee or latte or tea and facing directly towards me, though her gaze was well enough obscurred behind large dark lenses.  She was certainly presenting all the appropriate airs for a Hollywood star and supermodel, intentionally or naturally, practice else intrinsic poise.  I sipped my coffee and ate my bagel, attempted to continue my internet search for an agent to represent Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman to publishers, and only scarce attended to the fact that the woman who sat at the next table and facing me if not staring at me through large dark sunglasses was in fact Uma Thurman.
My first (seeming?) encounter with said supermodel/superstar was in North Hollywood in 2003.  My erstwhile girlfriend Meghan and I were visiting my friends Pete and Melissa, a couple I knew from Laramie.  I noticed a rather unusual woman walking past the Miraculous Beast Shanti Mama (my 1963 Dodge Power Wagon with happy orange sunshine painted on the passenger door and a camper atop) a couple of times when visiting the camper to retrieve something or other.  By “unusual” I mean merely that I felt the woman walking by was somehow not an average pedestrian, and simililarly felt it rather odd that she seemed so interested in me/us/the Miraculous Beast Shanti Mama.  Said woman wore a past-knee length dress that I thought rather “librarianish,” her blond hair in a bun, and large-framed eighties-vintage glasses sitting atop her nose.  She glanced at me only somewhat surreptitiously, as if this stranger even wanted me to notice she was taking note of me/us/our rather conspicuous ride.
On the night before Meghan and I were to leave Los Angeles, we lay in bed on the lower bunk of the Beast Mama and traded complaints about the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, both anxious to wander up the coast and away from the cityscape.  Though Meghan had grown up in Albuquerque, both of us were mountain people/wild people at heart and neither of us were much enamored with big cities.
The next morning we emerged from the Beast Mama, and went in to bid Pete and Melissa farewell.  After a sesh smoking some SoCal dank nugs, the couple accompanied us to the truck and we stood at the door of the camper by the tailgate as Meghan and I prepared to depart.  As we stood and exchanged goodbyes and hugs, the tall blond woman I had noticed noticing me/us on previous days approached.

“Are you leaving Los Angeles?” she asked innocently enough.

“Yeah, we're going to wander up the coast to San Francisco,” or some such said Meghan and or I.

“Ah.  So what did you think of our city?” or some like such she queried.

Meghan and I replied with the appropriate niceties, the sort of things you say when you do not wish to lie, yet have no want to offend, to which said mysterious stranger responded with quite exactly the same exclamations of contempt for the city which Meghan and I had spoken in bed in the camper the night before, verbatim!

“Oh.  Well I think . . .” she said, repeating our expressions of contempt for the City of Angels.

Meghan and I immediately looked at each other with matching surprised yet knowing looks.  We climbed into the cab of the Beast Mama and briefly discussed the preceding odd encounter.  By the third exit after we had entered the highway, the engine started to sputter, and we scarcely made it off the highway and onto the shoulder of the exit before the engine died.  Luckily there was a mechanic only a short distance from where the truck had rolled to a stop.  We stayed in the camper behind the mechanics for the next week-and-a-half while waiting for the repairs to be completed, sold a few of Meghan's semi-precious stone bead necklaces and perhaps some sage smudges, saved a little boy from drowning in a park, and mostly cooked our meals in the camper in the parking lot whilst awaiting the repair of our ride.  The people we encountered were generally quite kind, one fellow even hooking us up with a blunt or two.  Apparently hexed or karmically vexed for our inconsiderate and unmindful words about the big city, even as such was spoken in private, we found ourselves rather forced to acknowledge the beautiful and divine possibilities of life in Los Angeles.
Years later when wandering on the east coast, I was staying at a motel somewhere in Pennsylvania or New York, weary from the road and suffering a broken heart (from another love-lost).  As I lay in bed, flipping through channels on the television, I stopped on HBO or Showtime or some such channel to watch the feature film, My Super X-Girlfriend.  In one particular scene, Uma Thurman's character (the Super X-Girlfriend) is at work in an office wearing a librarianish dress and large eighties-style glasses with her hair bound atop her head.  I immediately realized that the woman on the screen was in fact almost certainly the same woman Meghan and I had encountered in North Hollywood those years before!
After I finished half of my bagel on the patio at Bank Square Coffee in Beacon, NY, the distraction of psychic static became too much to bear, perhaps because of the presence of said figure seated at the next table.  I gathered my effects, returned my laptop to carrying case, and started across the patio towards the exit.  As I walked past the stately tall blond woman seated at the next table I felt compelled to utter (of the ill energy vexing me), “They go to Naraka-Loka!” only scarcely under my breath.  Supposing that woman sitting at the next table on the patio at Bank Square Coffee in Beacon, NY was indeed who I assume (not too great a leap, as at the time Uma Thurman was touted by media reports to live just up the Hudson in Hyde Park), she might actually have know the meaning of the Sanskrit place-name to which I had referred, as Uma's father is touted a renowned Sanskrit scholar.  Uma had grown up with the likes of the Dalai Lama on occasion staying at her family home, and is goddaughter to Timothy Leary, by the way, who was Uma's mother's first husband.  The Sanskrit term “Naraka-Loka” translates to English as “Hell,” and was very not-unlikely a term Miss Uma Thurman understood, considering her upbringing.  And if indeed Miss Thurman might (secret identity/superhero-style) by some odd twist of lila actually be the Person she is named after, Uma Himavati (which I have considered as also not so terribly unlikely), she/She knew quite well enough what I meant.
Somewhere around a week-and-a-half later I was again at Bank Square Coffee, and chose an available table on the south end of the patio.  It was past sunset, and as I took my seat and retrieved my laptop from carrying case, I only scarcely noticed an attractive pair, a beautiful blond and lovely curly-haired brunette sitting at the next table.  As I turned my attention to preparing my workstation, I heard the blond woman speak.  I raised my head in startled surprise.

“That's Anyanka!” I thought or spoke under my breath.

In my previous sojourn in Laramie I had purchased a computer with funds which came to me upon the death of my paternal grandparents, upon which I wrote my first travel narrative, Memories and Musings of a Poat-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman, and upon which I viewed the entirety of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the internet late at night before going to sleep in the camper van in which I was abiding, “The Cat-In-The-Hat” (as said dead red and white striped camper van was named by my sister Lisa before she sold it to our dad, a retired professor of chemistry at  UW who still lived in our family home on 7th Street).  Anyanka, played by Emma Caulfield, is a “vengeance demon” in the series who became a mortal after a thousand years of exacting women's curses upon their misbehaving partners.
I immediately Googled “Anyanka Buffy” and carefully compared recent photos of actress Emma Caulfield with the woman who sat less than ten yards from me, and readily concluded that it was indeed said starlet sitting on the patio but a few yards away.  Considering telling future accounts of this encounter, and likely skepticisms proffered (and also for my own sense of self-assurance), I decided to obtain corroborating evidence for this odd celebrity encounter, especially as I had seen Uma Thurman there just over a week before.  I asked James, the barista on duty at the time, if he would be so kind as to Google “Emma Caulfield” to verify else deny my identification of my fellow patron on the patio.  He later agreed that the woman who sat at the next table to me was indeed Emma Caulfield, “Same haircut and everything.”  I later figured out that the other woman at the table that night was almost certainly Emma's costar and fellow vengeance demon “Halfrek” on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Kali Roche.  Kali Roche.
Now what is a dilettante of a sadhu to think when an Uma and then a Kali, both Hollywood stars (and both bearing names attributed to the Consort of Shiva), show up at the same locale in such a manner?!  And what is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan to think when two “vengeance demons” show up on the scene, and seemingly (only somewhat) surreptitiously attending to oneself?!  Not to mention, when said fellow in question has an x-wife who is now named Holly Wood!!  “Kali” means black, and “Roche” is now the last name of my cousin Beth, who is black and was adopted by my dad's sister and her husband.  Beth was the first “Kali Ma” (literally “Black Mama”) of particular significance in my life.
I don't remember where I met Star.  I do remember that I went to her apartment in the Connor Hotel to smoke a bowl with her, and that I was rather immediately enamored with her.  Under five foot tall, bobbed brown hair and a style and sexy charm could turn a punk boy into a hippie, else a hippie into a punk.  She is one of more than a few girls I knew in those days who by my reckoning served as an potential Avatar, else at least did play that role in what archetypally rife lila and absurd dharma did ensue in our time together as friends and sometimes lovers.  Her wit was sharp and insightful, and she was well read and well traveled for a girl of 20, had spent some time chanting Hari Krishna and wandered a while between gutterpunk-style city street squatting and Rainbow Gatherings and the Deadhead scene still ubiquitous and lively across the land in those days.  Star had grown up mostly in Oklahoma and possibly Texas, but her dad lived in Laramie, and so she settled in Laramie for a time and did abide at the magical and haunted Connor Hotel.  Last I knew, Star is now just Jessica, single mother of three, a graduate student in chemistry and a teacher at a Christian charter school in Oklahoma.
Star had a friend named Punk Kid Pete who would often hang out at her place and occasionally crash on the couch.  Punk Kid Pete was a “Techer” originally from Albany, New York who didn't have much in common with his fellow mechanic roommates.  “Techers,” townies or “locals” (which sometimes includes students), students (who are sometimes also already locals, and who sometimes graduate from college to become townies), and travelers (not to be confused with tourists) are the primary standing categories in the Laramie downtown scene.  “Techers” are generally the least appreciated else perhaps most under-appreciated group on the Laradise scene, as they often drive loud and/or smokey pickups (perhaps) in the process of a rebuild, and they tend to be a rather rowdy bunch, as many young men go to Wyo Tech as a way out of prison.
Punk Kid Pete wore a black leather jacket over a white T-shirt and bluejeans, spiked bleach blond hair, and would sometimes wear cat-eye contact lenses as he thought they looked like vampire eyes.  Pete was quite into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and especially the character “Spike,” a very “cool” vampire played by James Marster who has a rather heated love-hate relationship with Buffy through the course of the later seasons of the series, wore spiked bleach blond hair, blue jeans and a black leather jacket he took from a slayer he killed in the 70s.  Star was something of a fan of the show, as well, if not so overtly wholesale as Punk Kid Pete.  Star was not much of a “Buffy,” though might have figured well enough as Buffy the Vampire Slayer character “Faith,” another “Slayer” that shows up in the course of the show.  Star was quite into Ani D (Ani DiFranco), the Queen of Indie Pop, as were most of the girls payed me much mind in those days.
“Wait wait!  Hold on guys, I gotta show you something!” Star said as she turned to put a tape or cd into the boombox that sat behind her and next to the wall.  It was “Not A Pretty Girl” or perhaps “Little Plastic Castles.”  She sang along with Ani, standing up and very animated, then shifted her hips then her knees in a trademark Ani D stage move.

“What'd you guys think?  I've been working on that Ani move for a while, and I think I just about got it!” or some such she said through a proud smile beneath eyes too wise for an average twenty year old.

As I noted, most of the girls I was friends or lovers with in those days were very much into Ani DiFranco.  Queen of Indie Pop in the 90's, Ani was the icon for the hippie-punk feminist movement into the early 2000s. “Star” in Sanskrit is “Tara,” which is one of the names of Shiva's Consort, a Goddess worshiped by Buddhists as well as Hindus.
I determined some time ago that “the Universe,” or more likely specifically Goddess Lalitha or perhaps Bhairavi, has granted me (and everyone, for that matter) an abundance of slightly veiled clues within appellations, within key words and within various cultural artifacts, and between the lines of nigh any significant work of literature, movies and music, and in any number of intriguing homonyms and uncanny cognates proffered in the vernacular.  Clues to one's path are never too obscured nor unduly hidden, as your True and Divine Self really wants you to find your way (supposing you've the least inclination) to discover who and Who you really are, to uncover the hidden truths of life and of being and Being and to find and enjoy the pure and righteous bliss that is in fact the real truth of reality.  I believe that those clues laid for each of us individually are always clues that resonate with who we individually are, often tailor-made to fit each person and personality and mindful of everyone's  quirks, directions designed to provide a delightful journey of self-discovery and Self-discovery, experiences offered for our eternal amusement as we ply the pathways of forever that are already always here and now.
The English word “God” is derived from the Sanskrit root “go,” which translates directly to English as “cow,” as in the creatures that say “Moooo.”  The English word “shampoo” is clearly related to the Sanskrit “sampu1” which means “to cleanse,” and the old-timey cheer, “Hooray!! Hoorah!!” sounds rather like “Hari-Hara,” a name for God when the Maintainer and Destroyer, Vishnu and Shiva share one form.  Little Sanskrit “spells,” as I would sometimes call them, are cast through nigh every language globally.  The Spanish “mamasita” or “little mama” is curiously evocative of the Sanskrit name of Goddess Laksmi when She is wed to Rama, Ma Sita.  Sita was touted to be a small framed woman, according to the Ramayana.  These are more than curios cognates, they are spells woven subtly and somewhat surreptitiously woven into everyday speech that maintain connections with the most ancient of stories and archetypes, mantras that in fact often invoke the ancient Gods and Goddesses, Devas and Devis, intonations that tie us to the myths and meaning of our ancestors and of eternity.
To reify, it might well be said that the relationship between sound and words, vibration and meaning as woven together in language are in general, in essence, spells.  The rhythm, tones and intonations of any given language creates a certain nuanced reality particular to whatever culture arises therefrom or therewith.  Language is vehicle not only to meaning, but also to the manifestation of those ranges of sense vibrations that at least help to create the particular “air” of whatever culture and community, of whatever sentence or utterance.  According to Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist and in fact most other religious understandings, intonations and tones and varied sounds spoken and chanted contain great power, thus the nigh ubiquitous cultural artifact of “magic words” . . . and according to quantum physics it's all about the vibrations of things, like strings.  And certainly the Divine and Mind is not uninterested in poetics and the play of words, and indeed even basic physics, let alone the quantum kind, contends that vibration is the substance and medium for the manifestation of reality.
I once had a conversation with a beautiful woman named Corina (or was it Carina?) in Devargas Park in Santa Fe wherein said lovely and brilliant woman contended that if the Voyager spacecraft landed on some distant lifeless planet, the vibrations of the repetition of the recordings on the Golden Record NASA included on said spacecraft would eventually create order to the sand and rocks, minerals and molecules to create life.  Imagine evolution set in time to “Johnny B. Goode!”2
Certainly a bit taken aback by the successive apparitions of Uma, Emma and Kali, I nonetheless endeavored to continue my “real world” retinue despite the rather fairy tale else mythic nuances of my scene.  I continued with the endeavor to find a publisher for Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman, sending emails and seeking Hudson Valley area agents and publishers to whom I might ply my manuscript, and perhaps at moments attempted to present myself a character that fit within the bounds of normalcy in the Hudson River Valley.
One reason most mystics are disengaged from the workaday world and regular “gainful employment” is that those routines do not generally well fit the rhythms of a life always attending to the Divine, nor the contingent practices required of the full-time devotee.  Many of the vagabond dread-headed wanderers mendicant-meandering the highways and byways, cityscapes and sacred and wild places of our world ought in fact not “Get a job!!”  Their job is dharma full-time.  Indeed these earn their keep by maintaining channels to the eternal, to the wild and free and primal when most are (and to a certain degree ought be) mostly concerned with the peripherals and the merely transitory stuff of the here and now:  career, family and household affairs.3
My retinue of life as a shipwrecked mystic hippie-cum-hobo-cum-sailor was rather mostly dismal, with moments of transcendent beauty and occasional epiphany (and perhaps likely, growing infamy) in between these odd and perhaps poignant brushes with the famous and perhaps even brushes with fame.  Nearly daily trips to Bank Square Coffee, regular visits to the grocery store owned by a local Muslim family, and occasional forays deeper into Beacon were what I did with five or six of my seven days of the week, else I sat aboard bhavAbdhi in meditation, contemplation and chanting and occasionally writing or watching movies, else endeavoring to repair the rudder to prepare for a further journey down the Hudson to Manhattan.  On the other one or two days a week I would take the trip to New Paltz.
The Metro-North train station was only a couple hundred yards from where bhavAbdhi was beached, and trains stopped at mostly hourly intervals to convey passengers to Poughkeepsie.  From the Poughkeepsie station I would catch to bus to New Paltz to acquire my weekly stash, whether weed or hash, and to hang out at the cafes, coffeehouses, Snug Harbor Bar (“Snug's”), the Oasis, and down by the Walkill River, and to hang out with friends I had made there over the course of my stays in New Paltz, New York.
A band was playing one night at Snug's when I was in town to acquire my weekly stash of hash.  The bar was crowded, and the dance floor was lively.  I took a seat towards the middle of the bar to order a Snug's Surprise, which is basically whatever discounted keg the distributor provides.  A balding older fellow sat to my left, and he seemed rather upset about something, and so I did compassionately inquire:

“What the matter, man?” I asked in an upbeat tone.

“Somebody stole my wallet!” he replied with an angry grimace.

“Wow, that's a bummer! This is a kind bar.  People here don't usually do shit like that!” I said quite sincerely.

Though it's the hangout both day and night for the train-hoppin' and home-bum gutterpunks as well as gentle hippy sorts, even the seediest seeming gutterpunks of New Paltz are generally a fair upright bunch (“Scum-Fuck Sid” being perhaps the most famous else infamous).  I took my beer and walked to the other side of the dance floor to stand next to one of two bar-height tables that extended out from the wall.  I started to get down to the band, wildman Nataraja trance dance-style, letting loose frustrations over sailboat and publishing woes with undulations and mudras and mad movements timed in meditative motion to the music.  Dance is something I consider sadhana, “spiritual practice,” with Shiva Nataraja The Lord of Dance and the Dance of the Universe in meditative mind as I wildly weave and wiggle and wander round the floor to whatever danceable music's proffered, envisioning myself and all the dancers on the floor and the band as a microcosmic expression of the dance of solar systems and galaxies, molecules and electrons, people and planets dancing in such perfect and sweet synchrony.
By a song or two into my groove, the follow who'd lost his wallet crossed the dance floor and stood at the end of the next table extending from the wall and between me and the band, though instead of facing the band, said seemingly unhappy chap turned to face me, glaring directly at me with his eyes squinted to show just slivers of iris, pupil and white.  I was not in any mood to ignore such an apparent affront, so I took four or five steps towards the stage and rather politely asked him,

“Is there a problem?” with not the least malice in my tone at all, though I was also not the least inclined to put up with any significant disrespect.

“You stole my wallet, you fucking douche-bag!” he said through his sneer.

Without a second or second's thought, I swung and hit him with a fair hard right, upon which he began to fall rather immediately back against the wall.  Not sure that he wasn't reaching for a weapon as his hand went towards a pocket, I followed with another right or two, then gave way as the bouncer stepped between us.

“You gotta go, Jeffrey,” one bouncer said almost reluctantly.

“I know,” I said as I looked for my laptop and other personal effects.

I walked up the hill to the Oasis, got a beer and went out to the fenced-in patio to regain my repose.  A friend and I smoked a joint, and I nearly forgot about the aforementioned incident after recounting to friends and acquaintances present on the patio, then delving into whatever philosophic dialog.  As I started through the bar and towards the exit around closing time, I looked to my right to see the fellow I had previously punched at Snug's approaching the exit.  He held his beer bottle close against his torso, appearing to me as if he was considering the option of using it as a weapon.

“I don't want any more problems,” I said whilst keeping a wary eye on the bottle in his right hand, ready to block it and knock it out of his hand if anything were tried.

“You won't have any,” he said, so I started out the door, still keeping an eye to make sure he didn't hit me with the bottle from behind.  As he followed me out the door, he reached for his phone and immediately dialed the police, then continued following me down the hill to Main Street whilst telling the dispatcher where I was heading.  I had cooled down enough that I thought better of knocking the phone out of his hand and finishing what I started, and continued down the street until met by two squad cars at the intersection of Main and South Chestnut.  They had me take a seat in one of the cars, then drove to another location.  The fellow I had punched was sitting in another cop car at the location the car stopped, again glaring at me with his trademark (?) squinty-eyed glare, as the officer driving the car I was in proceeded to extort what money they might before releasing me into the night.

Facebook Post:
Jeffrey Charles Archer
October 2, 2013 ·


According to da' ticket, the charge is "HARASSMOND 2nd" . . . I contest, as I did not at all harass the world, and certainly not in French!!! All I did was punch a bloke!!!

About a month to two later, I cued a made for TV Steven King movie on YouTube to watch when I got back to my boat after whiling away the afternoon at Bank Square in Beacon.  I opened my laptop upon returning to my boat and watched Night Flier, a tale about a vampire that flies around in a small airplane to small airports and feeds on air traffic controllers and passengers, and starring an unscrupulous tabloid journalist who chases the Cessna flying vampire around in search of a good scoop.  I reclined on the settee and smoked some hash and tobacco, only half-attending to the flick on the LCD screen.  About half way through the movie, the actor playing the tabloid journalist grew very upset with the vampire, and wore a scowl with squinting eyes as he gazed at the carnage the vampire had left in a small airport, a squinty-eyed scowl that I immediately recognized as the angry stare that had been cast at me at Snug Harbor Bar in New Paltz, just before the aforementioned violent exchange!  When I had access to the internet the next day, I looked up Miguel Ferrer's touted address, and Wikipedia or some other such site said that he lived in New Jersey, just downriver from and on the same side of the Hudson as Highland/New Paltz, NY.  Ferrer is George Cluny's cousin and a renowned actor in his own right.
A few years earlier, upon returning from my previous perilous misadventure to Montreal and around the eastern United States, I was in a rather unhappy, or perhaps better Bhairava4 state of mind, drinking a beer at the Ranger Bar.  As I sat outside on one of a number of picnic tables set up on the covered concrete patio, sipping my beer alone and smoking a cigarette with some weed mixed in, a college kid came up rather randomly and started poking me in the chest below the beard-line, accusing “my people” of blowing up the Two Towers.  “Your people blew up the Two Towers!!” he claimed as he poked me in the chest with one finger extended.  I at first endeavored to gently explain that I am “Hindu” and not Muslim, and that I am a Laramie local, making sure to note that were I a Muslim, he was being an asshole (if not spoken exactly so) for trying to mess with a Muslim just because said person is Muslim (not to mention, no jihadist would be drinking beer in a bar!).  He returned a second and a third time, the last with his pint beer glass held back and in a threatening manner as he poked me in the chest with his left index finger and continued with his disrespectful idiot rant.  Feeling finally at my fill and sensing enough threat from said provocation, I let loose with a fitting (if not very ahimsa-style) response.
With my left hand blocking the seeming would be assailant's right hand bearing the pint glass, I delivered three quick if not that ferocious of rights to his head, knocking him back across the patio and towards the door into the bar, though not quite bringing him down as he tumbled into a couple or three other fellows.  A number of others converged on the slight brawl and broke it up.  My nug jar shattered in the milieu, and my wallet likewise hit the pavement, cards strewn.  I retrieved my wallet and some portion of the spilled cannabis before departing, and was immediately struck with the realization that this violent exchange oddly mimicked or mirrored a similar violent exchange that had transpired a few years previously in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, wherein upon first being blindsided I responded by grasping my shadowy assailant's right hand with a rather fancy left-handed wrist-lock and delivering three swift rights to his head, and shortly thereafter received another blow from another shadowy S.F.S.F. Gutterpunk assailant, the which somehow knocked back into my head the memory that I had in fact been recipient of two bullets instead of blows in that very spot, years before (Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman, Volume I, Chapter 2).  Then almost if not precisely on a line extended to the east from the site of those altercations I bring two blows (and perhaps three swings) to bear on a verbal assailant who, it seems, happened to be a Hollywood star and cousin to George Cluny.
Am I mistaken in believing someone seeming “other” is penning the screenplay of my life across the span of the continental United States, else that I am perhaps but an emanation of some grand fractal scheme, a player (else perhaps a hologram?) in some twisted movie projected in the matrix of maya, and unbeknownst to me subject to the direction of some however transcendent director and the whims of whatever seeming or pseudo-divine producer.  Maybe I am merely a self-aware holographic emanation of some story projected from who knows where that's already played out a thousand times or more in a thousand or more shades or hues or “takes,” one of so many apparently random persons in sundry places experiencing and playing as the actors in the same skit or play?
Do not mistake my expression of trepidation or skepticism for ingratitude or doubt.  I realize that the glimpses past the veils I am thus so oft granted are in fact amazing gifts, and that to see one's life bordering on the mythic and approaching fame and the famous with such grand gestures is an honor, of sorts.  Still, it's certainly potentially disconcerting to see such clearly preconceived and obviously somehow premeditated and devised schemes playing out in one's life, as if you are living an intricately plotted science fiction or fantasy novel being read and writ into the day-to-day of one's life—a  screenplay played out “live?”  Such revelations and realizations can take a toll on one's grasp on what most people call “reality,” especially with the intermittent chimerical cameos by supermodels and veritable Hollywood stars to reify the plot thus woven!
On another occasion in New Paltz, after having taken my breakfast at the Main Street Bistro and whiling away much of the day between smoking bowls by the Walkill and wandering the walking and biking path, or sitting at whatever coffeehouse staring however blankly at my laptop's LCD screen or at the scenery, I happened to be hanging out with some kids in front of the Bistro, smoking cigarettes and maybe smoking a bowl or a joint and shootin' the shit and such, as was my weekly habit when visiting New Paltz.  Into the midst of this towny crew, bouncing and bubbly baby-faced Nicole bounded up to the center of the circle to excitedly deliver the news that Mary Louise Parker had been at the Bistro that morning,

“And you were there!” she said, pointing at me.

I recollected and reflected on my morning meal at the Main Street Bistro, rather crowded that day as I believe it was a Saturday, and considered that I might well have experienced some tingling of my spider senses or whatever extra-sensory perception it might be indicates a Hollywood star is nigh, some change of the air I often only scarce notice save in retrospect.  I unequivocally believed Nicole's account, as at the time Weeds was being filmed or had just finished filming in Manhattan or Connecticut, just a short drive away, as the main character Nancy Botwin (played by M.L.P.) had ended up in prison in New York, and so the Botwin clan moved to the Big Apple to take a crack at the weed market and later relocated to Connecticut.
“Damn, I wish I woulda known! I have some good hash I coulda offered to smoke with her!” I exclaimed only scarcely in jest.  I have since read that Mary Louise Parker touts that she does not use Cannabis, though she is a mother and seemingly a family lady, and thus might not wish to draw attention . . . else maybe she just doesn't like to puff.  The subject changed and though I still gave some thought to my near meeting with Mary Louise before soon setting the nigh encounter aside in my thoughts—after all there are rather a plethora of celebrities in New York City and thereabouts, and New Paltz is certainly an attractive destination for a day trip away from the City.

Facebook Post:
Jeffrey Charles Archer
December 30, 2012 ·
Mary Louise Parker was apparently at the main street bistro when i was there the other day, by a couple of friends' account. Coulda asked her to play Nancy Botwin and smoke some hash with me!!


Nicole was often seen in steam-punk style, pink tutu, blond and fluorescent highlighted hair in ponytails, and feathers or a tiara or a bow to frame her lovely visage.  Nicole is one part of a very colorful and beautiful pair (or perhaps cadre) of rather tiny townie girls I'd often see and at Cafeteria Coffeehouse, or else at Food-Not-Bombs or elsewhere around town.  Andy was the other of the pair, a gorgeous brunette who was likewise generally arrayed in steam-punk style with multiple and facial piercings and black pants or skirts with chains dangling here or there, though not infrequently did don a flowy flowery hippie skirt and matching hippie chick blouse.  The two did rather well model the general spread of counterculture genres in New Paltz, at least on the female end of it.
I'm rather inclined to believe of the two, and some others of their crew, that they might likely be fairies, if not apsarasah (transcendent winged nymphs, again, “angels” that are dealing with grownups), yaksi (tree spirit earth protectors that serve Kubera, the Lord of Wealth, and rather resemble fairies), or perhaps even veritable devis  (goddesses)!
I know I seem to romanticize if not outright fantasize about seeming everyday sorts of people, attributing fantastic dimensions to their personalities and to my relationships with them.  I might argue, however, that there are indeed and in truth fantastic, mystical and transcendent truths just beneath the surface of official discourse, sanctioned speech and so called reality, and that we are all indeed and in truth magical and divine beings, if indeed programmed to ignore the magic and beauty and subtleties of the Divine in our lives and experienced, and generally only given license to acknowledge those aspects of reality that the Official thinks it can control.  And indeed, it is not only people of renown like Rasputin, Edgar Cayce, Shirley McClain and touted Avatars like Krishna, Buddha, Shiva and Jesus and such persons who are party to a reality that proffers miracles, visions, sidhis (“magic powers” attained through practice and devotion to the Divine) and cidacit (powers of mind/matter), nor are those touted “chosen ones” the only ones who get to see or be a vessel of the manifestation of a miracle, nor are they at all the only ones involved in the Grand Story and the extraordinary.  All are players in a story that is the truly epic tale of our relationship(s) with God and Being, and ultimately with our own true Self.
It is not only Hollywood actors and actresses that are players in this grand movie, nor is it just those who attain renowned who are entitled to or cast into places of importance in the scheme of the production.  Still, those iconic persons who do gain and hold our attention on screen, and to whatever degree off, are not unlike murtis, visual representations of our ideals of beauty, humor, love, power, tragedy, perseverance and transcendence, else they seem to be or at least figure as almost archetypal figures or even Avatars of same—and I ought note that some of those persons, a few amongst those shining stars, might well be Avatars by the traditional and ancient meaning of that Sanskrit term.
A week or two later I was making my way north through Poughkeepsie in the middle of the night and chanced upon the Palace Diner, located just a bit south of Marist College and just off of Highway 9 (which becomes Broadway if you follow it all the way south to Manhattan).  Not in a particularly good mood, I sat at a booth and ordered coffee and an omelet.  The section where I sat remained mostly empty whilst I was there, save for two people who sat at a booth across the aisle and a bit to the fore from where I sat:  a large blond fellow who sat facing away from me, and a beautiful brunette who sat on the other bench at the booth and facing me.
I opened my notebook and requested the WiFi password of the waitress, and endeavored to be productive, but for some reason unbeknownst to me at the time couldn't help but attend to the woman sitting at the booth across the aisle, as there was something was very familiar about her.  The woman sitting at said booth, feet propped up on the cushioned bench seat and occasionally twirling her lovely auburn locks, rather reminded me of another beautiful auburn-haired woman I last had parted company with a few years previous and just a short distance to the north at the Omega Institute, located in the picturesque hills a few miles from Rhinebeck, a village a few miles north of Poughkeepsie, and in fact reminded me so much so that I was unable to see who it really was that sat across the isle, despite having watched most episodes of Weeds.  The woman sitting at the booth did so elicit thoughts of a woman I had been rather in love with and had for quite some time considered my “Beloved,” somewhat in the sense of Rumi (or perhaps in the sense of Cervantes), that I could not see that the woman who occassionally glanced my way in the Palace Diner in Poughkeepsie was in fact the actress I had watched with much interest in several seasons of the Showtime series Weeds.  I carried on an imagined conversation with said lost love in my mind as I sat and wrote emails to prospective publishers and literary agents, perhaps even mouthing my imagined part of the conversation as I daydreamed the unlikely scenario of a chance encounter with erstwhile Beloved, lost to me just a few miles up the Hudson and in the hills to the east.  The woman sitting at the booth across the aisle continued to make herself at home, feet upon the beige cushioned bench seat, knees bent and raised just above the level of the table.  She and her companion were quite engaged in  conversation, but I am rather quite sure she at least took at least some slight note of me sitting across the aisle, though I tried not to stare despite my musings and imaginings.
The pair departed, and I was eventually asked to leave as I hadn't ordered any food in well over an hour, so I departed rather disgruntled and started to the north and past Marist College.  Before I had  stepped off of the Palace Diner's property, however, it suddenly occurred to me that the woman who had been sitting at the booth across the aisle from me in the diner, the woman whose appearance had so evoked memories of and reveries regarding my erstwhile Beloved, was in fact none other than Mary Louise Parker.  It was later suggested to me, upon recounting this story to friends in New Paltz, that the big blond fellow accompanying Mary was likely Hunter Parrish, the actor who plays her eldest son Silas on Weeds, the which did indeed fit my recollection of the fellow who sat across the table from Ms. (Mrs.) Parker and across the aisle from where I sat.  For whatever reason whenever I happen to encounter Hollywood stars I tend to only realize who said person or persons are only after the fact, in the moment only scarcely somehow sensing at a subconscious level that someone of Hollywood renown is nigh, some sort of relunctantly-star-stuck E.S.P. tinged with temporary amnesia.
I was in Sheridan, Wyoming on one hot day shortly after my eighth grade year, working at the Flying U Ranch for the summer for some friends of my mom, who most the folks around Clearmont knew simply as “J” Schroeder.  My sisters and mom were up from Laramie either to drop me off or to visit me and my mother's parents, who lived in Sheridan.  Earlier that year, a girl from Sheridan, Wyoming had won an MTV contest to host an intimate show with Prince and the Revolution.  Apparently said pop superstar and his entourage were staying at the local Holiday Inn Holidome.
I was with my mom and sisters for brunch at the Holidome one morning, and of course headed to the game room on the other end of the courtyard from the dining area, as boys in the eighties were prone to do when with a pocket full of quarters or a parent nearby with same.  A rather tiny and attractive young woman with bobbed brown hair approached me and said something I don't quite recall whilst I was at a video game or pinball machine.  I went back to the courtyard dining area and was soon informed by my older sister Laura that Martha Quinn, the MTV DJ, was in the house!  I went back towards the game room with my sisters Laura and Lisa, and shyly approached the small crowd gathered around miss Quinn.  She spoke to me and my sisters, doting on my little sister Lisa and perhaps said something more to me as I stood staring in disbelief, though I cannot recall her words.  
As we returned to the table across the courtyard, I noticed two quite attractive young women sitting or leaning next to the indoor waterfall and rather unabashedly making out.  Lisa and Wendy of the Revolution were very openly displaying their lesbian affections in the middle of the Sheridan, Wyoming Holidome in 1986!!  Prince was nowhere to be seen, though on the way out to our car and in the parking lot, a small entourage passed us, a crew that I later figured were other members of the Revolution.  My mom ribbed me after they passed, as one of the fellows seemed to give me a once-over as we walked by.  “I think he likes you,” she said with a wink.  “Fuck you mom!!” said I, else a somewhat more polite equivalent, still at that awkward stage of adolescence in a time when “gay” was something of an insult else at least a tease.  I was in northern Wyoming to work on the Flying U Ranch, a cattle and sheep ranch that was owned and run by my mom's friend Terry and her husband Ralph, as my parents were concerned I was on my way towards trouble with the law, and so sent me off to work on the range.
Whilst sitting in my idle boat in contemplation and sometimes meditation, I would sit with my feet propped in the hatchway, reading or sometimes watching a movie I had cued on YouTube whilst at Bank Square Coffee to later enjoy before falling asleep.  I considered in my beach-wrecked malaise that perhaps this was meant to be a time of somber contemplation, a time of introspective consideration and self-evaluation of my path.  I often sat in a posture that reminded me of the position utilized to hold a calf down whilst it's being branded.  I imagined that perhaps the tapasia (purifying fire) I was enduring in the trials of being a beachwrecked sailor was proffered to help me burn away inadvertant bad karma from earlier in my life.
As autumn approached the broken rudder was still stuck, though I'd established a fairly regular routine:  rise most the time sometime after sunrise, endeavor repairs on bhavAbdhi if the weather did permit, meditate and chant, make coffee if I had some (with rum, if I had some), sit with feet propped in the hatchway (if warm enough to open the hatch) and gaze out over the water and over to the trees on shore, scanning the limbs to look for bald eagles perched to watch the waters for fish, paddle my dinghy across the water (or through the water-chestnut soup...) and chain and lock the little yellow yacht-tender to a tree, walk down the path through the park and through the train station, up the hill past my friend Kristen's (sometimes stopping to smoke a bowl with her), then on to Bank Square Coffee, sit and drink coffee and eat a bagel and attempt to either endeavor to contact publishers and agents or edit and  revise my manuscript, smoke cigarettes on the patio, and download or cue movies to view before bed.  Perhaps I'd then make a trip up Main street for groceries, else perhaps stop at Kristen's to puff a bowl and maybe watch a movie with Kristen or on occasion have dinner with Kristen and her mom, then continued the trip to my dinghy, then paddle out to bhavAbdhi to retire for the night.  Once a week I would take the train to Poughkeepsie, take the bus to New Paltz from Poughkeepsie, buy some hash, then return on the bus and the train and dinghy to my hobbled anchored sailboat home for the night.
One rather chilly (and perhaps rainy) afternoon I settled in on a couch at Bank Square, one of a matching pair of black faux-leather modern couches parallel and facing each other in the main seating area, with two black faux-leather armchairs abutting the couches and facing a big flat screen television, thus forming a U of seating.  Shortly after I arrived, ordered a coffee and a bagel and opened my laptop, a tall woman and a companion entered from the next room with whatever libations.  She was wearing a black trench coat and what seemed to be a platinum-blond wig, as her hair stuck out in the back as if it were hiding a bun.  Her companion was a fairly handsome young man with a well trimmed beard, probably somewhere around thirty, who wore a baja jacket and perhaps tie-dye clad, and who seemed to fit somewhere between hippie and hipster.  He took a seat at the armchair adjacent and perpendicular to the couch upon which I sat, and the woman with the wig sat in the armchair to his right.
I immediately Googled “Uma Thurman” and began to compare facial features.  Nose, chin, cheeks, eyes, brows and lashes, all seemed to match the photograph on my laptop screen.  I had no doubt the woman sitting with her paramour(?) to my right was indeed said supermodel/superstar, for whatever reason donning a wig as a rather (intentionally?) shoddy disguise.  I didn't bother to obtain a corroborating witness this time, perhaps as she and I had more “history” in play at this subtle game, at least by my reckoning.  Our first vignette together, her first cameo in my life's movie, was years previous (again, supposing I'm not mistaken in my assessment of who was the woman rather randomly approached me and erstwhile girlfriend Meghan in North Hollywood).  She and I never quite made eye contact, though it was apparent she was taking notice of me if not in fact overtly intent upon my person.  I didn't make much of an effort to eavesdrop their conversation (not wishing to be intrusive, whether or not this was actually Uma Karuna Thurman), save for taking note of one reply she made to a query her companion proffered that I did not chance to overhear.

“I'm not attracted to him, but I'm not unattracted to him,” she said, or vice versa, perhaps subtly glancing my way.

I decided to take her somewhat left-handed compliment as a legitimate one (if indeed said statement was actually referring to me), as such ambivalent praise was spoken by a supermodel, after all.  She and her companion/paramour departed before I had the chance to perhaps delve deeper into the subtleties of the skit, else before I felt inclined or had the opportunity to break the charade.

Facebook Post:
Jeffrey Charles Archer
November 2, 2013·Beacon, NY·
A'right, so Uma Thurman was just here, wearing a wig and with a fella (not her boyfriend) and sitting just adjacent to me, in Bank Square Coffeehouse. She was more than moderately obviously here to . . . play wit' my head er sumthin'!!! Cool !!!! Else was a startling doppel whose hair happened to be sticking out a bit where a bun might be hidden, were it a wig .

I have yet to fully unravel the mystery of these almost esoteric encounters with such Hollywood stars, and though I have a few theories they are perhaps even more outlandish than these accounts.  As I have noted, my x-wife's name is now Holly Wood, a strange coincidence and likely clue.  I have also experimented with certain sidhis (powers of mind and matter, “cidacit”) that might have drawn some attention to me in ways I shall not herein disclose.  Whatever the cause of the several odd encounters with Hollywood stars have chanced to happen to me, there is certainly something to be learned of the nature of maya via these strange vignettes, some lessons to be learned of the personality of the Goddess of Play, Devi Lalitha, as I figure it.
Within a few weeks of this second encounter with Uma Thurman I once again noted Emma Caulfield and Kali Roche seated at the next table to me on the patio at Bank Square Coffee.  This time I decided to be bold and said with enough volume to be well enough heard at the next table, “Emma.”  Miss Caulfield turned her eyes to the left without turning her head, then turned her head to the right and away from me, poised as any well practiced famous actor when encountering perhaps unwanted attention from fans.
I believe it was either shortly before or after the aforementioned encounters, I stepped outside the front door of Cafeteria Coffeehouse in New Paltz to have a cigarette, in town to get my weekly stash of hash and biding my time sitting in front of my laptop with a cup of hot coffee.  I'm somewhat inclined to believe it was early rather than late 2013, though whatever the season it was rather chilly outside, and it was some time after my experience dining across the aisle from Mary Louise Parker and her costar at the Palace Diner in Poughkeepsie.
As I stood beside the many paned window to Cafeteria Coffeehouse sucking down my smoke, a sliver or snake of hashish rolled into the midst of the tobacco stick, a dark-haired woman wearing an insulated orange jumpsuit approached from up the Main Street sidewalk and immediately asked me some random question about services in the area.  I stared in disbelief as I tried to determine if I was seeing straight.  I automatically answered the question, already immediately considering season 6 of Weeds wherein Nancy Botwin is in prison and clad in an orange jump suit, and searching the features of this woman's face who stood less than ten feet from me, and simultaneously scrutinizing my own perceptions of who it was had approached me that chilly afternoon in New Paltz.
We both paused in a moment of somewhat awkward silence, myself still perusing her features to determine if I was delusional or proffered some strange illusion and if this woman inquiring about social services was indeed Mary Louise Parker.  The woman in the orange insulated jump suit thanked me for the information, though again, I was given plenty of cause enough to consider of her question, whether t'was in truth a line proffered in order to approach me than indicative that said passerby was genuinely in need of social services, whether what I was viewing was indeed an actress performing a skit rather than a traveler in need.  I can't recall whether either of us said anything more before I bade her “Namaste,” bowing with my hands pressed together in front of my chest, as is my habit.  She responded with a smile and likewise said “Namaste” with a bow, though instead of her hands pressed together as she bowed, she bowed with her left hand to her torso and her right hand performing a well executed and practiced Broadway flourish, as if to say, “You know who I am, right?”
I've forgotten whether it was she or I walked away first.  Though I had recognized the woman in the orange insulate jumpsuit as almost certainly Mary Louise Parker fairly soon after she had first approached—as I had already realized said person as a character immediately at play in the play of my life—I was still too taken aback to ask her, “Um, pardon me for the asking, but are you Mary Louise Parker?!” and far too off-guard to come up with something witty.  Maybe next time.

[Missing footnotes . . .]

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Fantastic View . . . Who Might You Be . . . True

Superheroes and saviors, villains and tricksters.  All of us have our roles to play in this grand lila, this Divine Play that is eternity.  Intricate plots that last ages long, a Dance that is what we are really doing with forever, and the afterlife is in truth our here and now as nigh all of us have died and taken rebirth many many times. There are heaven realms and hells, but in truth the afterlife is here and now as much as it is some future thing.
Forever is immanent and already.  Such a shame that so many people await the "pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by," when every moment, "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."  All the magic and wonder and bliss of God and eternity is to be found being here now, finding the Divine at play in your everyday and discovering that heavenly bliss is what we are meant to know in the moment, right now!

As Joseph Campbell did imply by his work, Myths to Live By, there are within the ancient and abiding archetypes, those figures and figurations of myth and sacred story, heroes and gods of renown, patterns worthy of contemplation and even emulation, if not clues to one's true path extent in and to be embraced
in whatever given life.  The truly inspired and well writ myths and tales of heroes and gods grant a view of templates that already order reality, patterns that we unconsciously repeat as if ingrained in our DNA--whether or not that is whence such information is conveyed to and through people through generations.  One example of such a repetition might be exemplified by how the elements and mythemes of the Ramayana are so succinctly repeated in the story of the Trojan Horse (though it is possible that such similarities are a result of an intentional rewriting of the original, I ought note).  Some archetypally rife stories beg to be played out again and again . . .

In my personal trip to figure myself whilst exploring the variety of constructions and tellings proffered by the world's religion's and myths, I have found that indeed my own life seems very much inscribed with preordained patterns applied from amongst the most ancient of mythologies.  I do not assume that everyone will find such succinct parallels, homonyms and nigh cognates to grant each precisely the same sort of insight I have been granted thus, but perhaps such a way of reading of the mythemes and mythic figurations writ o'er the mundane factors of one mystic's life lived will provide inspiration for others to seek and discover how the potentially extraordinary secrets of any given soul's sacred role in this life might be already manifest and waiting to be unveiled in little clues and hints clearly enough told in one's life story as lived and, perhaps, as anciently writ.

Bhairavi is a particularly terrifying form of the Great Goddess.  Most often depicted doing devotion to a Shiva linga set in a gazebo shrine, Bhairavi is perhaps most noted for one mode of battle She employs when fighting a horde of demons:  Bhairavi, normally very beautiful in appearance, turns Her appearance so terrible that the demons puke and shit their own guts out, eye balls popping out, etc.  Bhairavi is also very much into wordplay, and I do suspect She is behind many of what I have determined to be subtle spells somewhat surreptitiously planted within any number of languages to keep the people intoning these hidden mantras to help tune their lives to the eternal, to invoke the ancient Divine despite the speakers' ignorance.

 The sound represented by the Devanagari letter ई, or "I," is touted to be one of the names of Devi Sri Lalitha Sahasranama, Maha Shakti, the Great Goddess of the Universe.  Thus, every time someone in the English language uses the personal pronoun "I" said person is invoking the Great Mother!!  Another intonation, mantra, "cheer" and I would argue, spell, somehow subtly slipped into the American English vernacular is "Hooray!! Hoorah!!"  Hari-Hara is a form of God when the Maintainer and the Destroyer, Vishnu and Shiva, are manifest in one Body.  Every time a crowd cheers, "Hooray!! Hoorah!!" they have intoned an ancient and potent expression of the Divine.  According to the Vedic understanding of reality (not unlike the perspective of quantum physics, not to mention as implied by the artifact of "magic words"), sound vibration is the source of the manifestation of reality, as the ॐ (properly pronounced AUMñ) is touted as the Primal Sound.

Utilizing a consideration of such wordplay, I have found some very intriguing clues in my bid to understand myself, to discover the weave of words that along with other indicators has helped me to find my proper "myths to live by."  Again, such a method is not necessarily a template to uncover clues in every life examined for clues to who one really is, but in my own case and in relation to my experiences this lens has revealed some extraordinary coincidences.  In my fantastical view of my life and story, a particular pattern has emerged to my eye that seems to figure me, archetypally, anyhow, as Hari-Hara, if homonyms and homophones are indeed a factor worth considering.

My mother (deceased) and father are named Dorothy Janet Archer (maiden nickname J. Schroeder) and Vernon Shelby Archer.  In Hindu mythology, the mother and father of Krishna are Devaki and Vasudeva. Krishna's foster mother is known as Yashoda.  When I had finished my 8th grade year I went to work on the Flying U Ranch owned by the Foster family, near where my mom grew up as J. Schroeder (Yashoda?), rather seeming parallel to Krishna being cared for by foster-parents Yashoda and Nanda.  My first and middle name, Jeffrey Charles, does sound phonetically rather close to Hari-Hara.  I have a small melanistic patch on the left side of my torso that seems indicative of human mosaicism, a genetic skin condition which is portrayed in murtis (sacred pictures/representations) of Hari-Hara, as Krishna (the left side) is a black guy, and Shiva (the right side) is generally light skinned.  Said condition sometimes indicates tetragametic human chemerism which is a condition where two separately fertilized eggs become one person, again fitting the figure Hari-Hara.  The only surgery I've had in this life was the removal of a benign tumor removed from the right side of my throat, perhaps reminiscent of Shiva as Nilakantaka (the Blue Throated One).


My son with Holly Kay Archer (now Wood) was given the name Kieran Drew Archer, which does sound quite like the name Kartikeya, the son of Shiva and Parvati who was conceived on the edge of the Ganges River.  Kieran Drew Archer was conceived on the edge of a waterbed, as I recall quite succinctly walking into the bathroom after a particularly intense bout of love-making wherein I was kneeling beside the waterbed with his mother lay on the edge thereof, and realizing we had just made a baby.  My younger sister Lisa Susan Archer to some degree seems to fit the archetypal role of Subhadra, Krishna's younger sister who married Arjuna.  Any number of other nigh homonyms and homophones and other factors seem to fit with the parallels between my life and the figures of the Hindu Gods Vishnu and Shiva, as well as the fact that I unwittingly began to act out something of the plot of the Pine Forest Myth of Shiva, a pattern of rather perverse or at least unseemly practices that some tantric sadhus are touted to enact in emulation of God the Destroyer, well before I was introduced to Hinduism to any degree.

Whether such are merely cool coincidences or are cues planted to assure me that I am on the proper path of devotion, are in fact indications of self-realization or even of the state of being an Avatar, these exercises have inclined me to consider it certainly legitimate to explore the subtleties of a given life with the expectation that somewhere therein and by whatever number and means of hints and clues granted by some playful expression of the Divine are answers to many of any given life's quest for meaning, to expect that there are subtleties writ between the lines that might well tell important secrets of one's true path.  As many tout (whether accurately or no) that the lines on the palms of your hands and one's date of birth can give many clues to a persons fate, certainly such clues are also inscribed in the names and words woven into one's life and associations, memes and mythemes granting meaning to one's life.  Explore your own life with the expectation that indeed, in the mundane facts and factors of any given life is a wealth of information of the true history and fate of any given soul, and at the very least an interesting exercise in archetypal explorations...and keep in mind as you explore how YOU are an expression of the Divine:
TAT TVAM ASI
Thou art that
Your True Self, however buried under illusion and delusion, is Divine !!







Tuesday, July 25, 2017

We Are Not God's Children !!! (With a very few exceptions)

One of the more bizarre little revelations or startling religio-cultural-historical discoveries I've made in my inquiries into the religions of the world led me to the conclusion told in the title, that there are significant reasons to eschew the idea that we are God's children. I came to the above seeming stark conclusion via an analysis of a particular and rather peculiar cultural artifact.

The Hebrew right of circumcision, attributed by the Judeo-Christian tradition to Abraham, is likely derived from or somehow related to one Hindu myth that tells why Brahma is not much worshiped in India. According to the myth, Brahma, the Creator, was Himself created by Brahman, the Universal Divine Self. The Creator was birthed from the bellybutton of Vishnu. Early in the process of creation, Brahma the Creator got bored or lonely or whatever and so created this hotty, all Weird Science style, whose name was Shatarupa. So then he started to lust after this beautiful woman He had created, and even grew a “fifth head” to continue to gaze upon her when she sought to evade His lustful gaze.  Well, Shiva (The Destroyer), who is Brahman/“God” (as is Vishnu the Maintainer, the Fellow who birthed Brahma out of His belly button), showed up and said something to the effect of:

“Yo Brahma!! Here's the skinny on that: that sexy mama you did manifest . . . You directly created her, so that girl's your daughter!! Therefore, my good Sir, you cannot lust after nor fuck her, a'ight?!” said Shiva, if perhaps phrased rather differently, and He then severed Brahma's fifth head with the tip of His little fingernail.
 
Shiva normally severs heads that need to be parted from bodies with a trishul (trident) with three big blades, so why did He use His pinky fingernail? It must have been a rather small head which Shiva did cut off of Brahma, perhaps a “fifth head” that grew erect upon Brahma gazing upon Shatarupa that Shiva did cut off with His pinky finger nail. The Hebrew Patriarch Abraham has been noted as somehow and in some guise related to the Person of the Creator Brahma, Abraham's wife Sarai to Saraswati and handmaiden/co-wife Haggar to Ghaggar, a tributary to the Saraswati River of Hindu myth.

What I am implying is that the Hebrew rite of circumcision is essentially an incest taboo rite, as derived from the mythology of Abraham's forefathers, whom the Bible does tell “worshiped other gods”; and corollary to that, it is to be noted that if you directly create someone, that person is thus your child, and therefore not someone to be related to as an object of sexual desire. This is one of many subtle clues to the apparent ties that do abide between Abraham, and thus the Abrahamic religions, and the religion of Abraham's ancestors (who were essentially what has come to be known as Hindus—a term less than a thousand years old for a religion much much older), hints of myth and meaning to be considered from between the lines of a rather ancient genealogy of culture and religion that tell of both God's Potency and Desire, and of how human traditions are derived from and expressed in such ancient archetypal constructions and perhaps even historical events, acts of the Gods.

Both Vishnu and Shiva (God the Maintainer and God the Destroyer) are well enough known for their respective sexual exploits, as Shiva is worshiped as the linga (phallus) and is wellspring of male virility, and Vishnu as Krishna is known to have made love to ten-thousand women all at the same time exactly as each would wish to be made love to, and is married to the Goddess of Beauty and Wealth who is also Goddess Mother Earth. If those many women God Brahman (and men who Goddess Brahman, Uma Himavati and other Avatars of Her) had made love to were “God's children,” God would be an incestuous creep!! Thus it might be accurate to state, “We are the Creator's children,” but it is definitively inaccurate to state, “We are all God's children.” Part of the reason for the Creator being in some guise separate from the Universal Divine Self is to allow the Divine and humankind to realize even  the intimacy of transcendent lovemaking whilst maintaining integrity in relationship and the bounds of Rta, Sanskrit root of the English word “right” as in universally correct.

Brahman (God) has certainly procreated, i.e., God does have some children whilst incarnated in various forms, though only a handful, including Kartikeya, Ganesha, Jyoti, twins Cush and Luv, Ashoka Sundari, Manas, and Ayyappa, also known as Shasta (who I believe to be the true identity of Jesus Christ, by the way, as I've mentioned in other posts), and perhaps to be included are the 160,000 children of Krishna. I would posit that God Brahman created the Creator Brahma so He/She could enjoy creation, and so creation could enjoy Him/Her. It is also much more accurate to state “We are/I am God” than to state that “We are God's children.” And in fact it is the goal of many millions of Gopis, devotees of Krishna, to be born as beautiful women so Krishna will make love to them just the way they truly desire, so were they in truth “God's children” God would be incestuous, which He/She is certainly not!! and in fact by careful and thoughtful design. and in fact by careful and thoughtful design to manifest and maintain an integrous reality. The arrangements of reality are sat-cit-ananda, righteous-mind-bliss, and those basic motives and righteous patterns that guide humankind are expression of the Divine that we all, in truth, are, and which do keep human societies and the Divine array and subtle workings of reality together.  The proper term for Hinduism is sanAtana dharma, which translates loosely as "keepin' it together forever."  I do assert these truths because, well, God likes to get laid too, thank you very much!! and some devotees want God to fuck them, too, so . . .


Namaste, kids!!!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sasquatch in the Snoqualmie


(Chapter 4 from Memories and Musings of a Post-Postmodern Nomadic Mystic Madman)

Long before the white man wandered into the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains and to the west, the native peoples were aware of the existence of another intelligent hominid sharing the forests, and they generally respected and revered these cryptids as close cousins and even brethren (despite scattered stories of certain tribes that rather fearfully portray these mysterious mythical beasts). The Yakama tribe called these shy furry forest dwellers ste ye mah, words which denote “a spirit hidden by the woods.” The Quinault refer to these behemoths as tsadjatko, and the Salish language names them saskets (thus the English derivation “sasquatch”), both of which translate into English simply as “the giant” or “giants.” The Lakota call them shiye tanka, or “Big Elder Brother.” The Tillamook (the tribe, not the cheese-makers) named them yi dyi’tay (not Valençay nor fior de latte nor cheddar), which means “wildman.” Indeed, there are stories about and appellations for these massive yet nonetheless elusive animals throughout the lore of North American Indians.10

As any average American boy, I was fascinated by tales of encounters with Bigfoot. Episodes of In Search of . . . and various books from the Laramie Public Library inspired my youthful imagination and embedded a proverbial itch deep under my skin to seek out evidences proving the existence of this secretive species. I devoured reports regarding unexplained sightings of said cryptid, certainly a favorite amongst the menagerie of monsters and mythic beasts that trod the forested paths and swam the dark depths of my youthful imagination. I decided somewhere around the age of ten that I must indeed someday have an encounter with the mythical sasquatch.

Fifteen years later, give or take, I was with two others hiking back to base-camp in the wilderness of the Upper Sauk River drainage in the mountains above Darrington, Washington (an established hotspot for sasquatch sightings), when a chill or tingle rose up my spine, and I felt compelled to utter a proclamation of my prescient sense that we were going to “have an encounter.” My companions and I were clearing trails of old growth deadfall and brush in the lush rain forests of the Cascade Mountains, and of course talk of sasquatch was regular fare for late-night chats amongst our crew whilst we passed pipes or joints, sipped beers and shot the shit ‘round the firepit.

On this day, as my coworkers and I were casually chatting about the subject of sasquatch on our hike back to camp, said sensation of the presence of prescience pleasantly stimulated my central nervous system, alerting me to the gravity of a mini-revelation.

“We’re going to have an encounter!!” I announced excitedly as Jonah and I and a local kid on our crew were marching down the trail, laden with two-person (crosscut) saws, axes and bow saws. “I just know it!!” I added with a rather giddy laugh.

Jonah and I had met at a coffee house in Bellingham, Washington a number of months previous. We chatted and played some drums, smoked some herb and became fast friends. It was Jonah who had discovered this amazing employment opportunity when he and a friend had been forced to abandon their intentioned backpacking trip covering a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, as the pair and all their gear got soaked in a storm of sleet and cold rain up in the high country. He and his companion had thus been forced to follow an alternate trail down to the nearest Forest Service road, and upon reaching the trail head happened to encounter a man and a herd of goats wearing saddles and loaded with saws and axes and winches and such. In spite of weariness and a wish or want to return to civilization, the two saturated hikers stopped to inquire about the oddity of saddled goats. Gary the goat-herding Forest Service contractor offered employment on the spot.

Meanwhile, I had been biding my time on the sidewalk in front of Stuart’s Coffee House in downtown Bellingham, waiting for something to happen. In spite of the mostly pleasant company of other birds of the same feather—un- or underemployed hippies, ravers, punks, freaks of whatever flavor, students, and various and sundry sorts of coffee addicted (mostly-) potheads—I was feeling anxious, and sensed somehow that Jonah’s return would herald an end to the rut I had slid into in this cloudy city in the northwestern corner of the continental United States.

As soon as Jonah arrived at Stuart’s one sunny midday, just returned from the mountains to the southeast, I was already ready to go. We made a few last minute arrangements, Jonah said a few-hours long hi-and-bye to his girlfriend Cristina, and we hit the road sometime around midnight. We were bound for the Sauk River drainage, twenty-miles or so southeast of Darrington, Washington, a wilderness area where stands of enormous old growth timber still touch the sky in the lush rain forests on the western slopes of the Cascades.

After cruising through Darrington, a quaint hamlet immediately surrounded by picturesque towering peaks on three-sides, we met the end of the pavement and continued into the forest on a wide dirt and gravel road in the dark of night. Jonah kept his eyes open to search for the turn into the trail head campground whilst we blazed multiple bowls of beasters (British Columbian Cannabis) and jammed out to Jimi Hendrix or Dead Can Dance or some trance tune CD of Jonah's played on the stereo. Erstwhile entranced by the rhythms and vibrations of the road, Jonah realized we had missed our turn after we wandered winding up several switchbacks, so I spun the truck in a quick U-turn and we started back down the zigzagging road.

Jonah cautioned me to slow just as we reached our turn, which was at an exceedingly sharp angle from the truck’s trajectory. As I tried the turn after something like a second of hesitation, I had to bring the truck to a halt as the 1963 Dodge Power Wagon’s turning radius was quite a bit too wide to complete the turn in one motion. We were facing the forest, sitting perpendicular to the proper direction of traffic on the dirt drive that led to the trail head, when suddenly I had the sensation that we were rolling backwards. I pressed harder on the foot brake and engaged the parking brake at the same time Jonah uttered an urgent appeal,

“BRAKES!!”

“The brakes are on!” I replied to his anxious plea with an equally anxious response.

We were not rolling. The wheels were quite firmly planted on the hard-packed light-brown dirt drive, and yet we both continued to feel as if we were moving backwards. I gazed as if in a trance at the trees directly in front of us, which appeared to be moving away, but in a continuous motion that never quite caused them to recede into the distance. Jonah reported the same sensations, both visually and in terms of the sense of inner-ear balance.

It seemed to both of us as if we only lingered thus for a few minutes before I put the truck in reverse, then completed the turn. Shortly after we parked for the night, however, we noted that the drive from town to this site had taken well over an hour. Upon later clocking the distance of this drive—and even factoring in the fact that we’d passed the turn on this first time traveling to the trailhead—we concluded we had lost somewhere approaching an hour whilst we’d observed this anomaly of a forest repetitively or continually fading back from our perspective, both seated firmly on the bench seat of the Miraculous-Beast-Shanti-Mama.

Had we been abducted by aliens? Was it a “vortex” or a “wormhole” or some such time-space anomaly we had experienced on this mountain road during the dark of night? Had we perhaps entered a portal into another dimension? Certainly the extraordinary experiences we were to have over the coming weeks working and playing in this enchanted rain forest would lead us to conclude that one or another of these odd options was indeed a distinct possibility.

Next morning we met Gary, his partner Lucy, and their goats. Gary had long graying hair in a ponytail, and wore the appropriate facial hair to match his occupation. Lucy had slightly curly mid-length dark-hair, and as I recall from our brief meetings a rather pleasantly curved figure (and no goatee or other ungulate-like characteristics, I am happy to report). The pair had been contracted to clear several kilometers of trails here and elsewhere in Washington and were quite pleased we had shown up, as apparently good help was hard to find in this particular neck of the woods.

Our job was to remove deadfall from across the trail and cut the brush alongside to a few inches in height. Some of the fallen trees that blocked the pathway into the high country were upwards of five to six feet in diameter, and were no little task to cut through and winch or leg-press out of the way of hikers and horses (and goats) hoofing it up or down the mountain. Granted, these were not redwoods or giant sequoias, but as this area was designated wilderness we were required to use manual saws and axes on the still massive fallen trunks. Though this obviously required an extra expenditure of human labor, the relative quiet of a crosscut saw compared to a six-foot long chainsaw allowed us to encounter wildlife which otherwise would have hightailed it to the next valley over.

Just past the trailhead was a small swamp filled with ferns and devil’s club, a wide variety of funguses, mosses dripping from tree limbs and quite a number of species of aquatic plants growing in the still pools of water. Old growth cedars and Douglas fir grew to great heights above the marsh, rendering this part of the trail darker than pitch as soon as the sun would set behind the high peaks and allowing only a little sunlight to filter through so many layers of needled boughs and fringed fronds above even at high noon. A boardwalk and small bridges made up the better portion of this lower stretch of the path into one of the most magical patches of forest I have yet been blessed to experience.

After this marshy fern-filled portion of the pathway, the corridor through the massive moss-embellished trees ascended sharply into a much younger forest. A steep scree slope to one side, and a likewise steep decent to the river beneath and to the other side, the trail twice crossed rushing spring- and snow-fed creeks that were tributary to the larger flow in the valley below. On one occasion we watched a small black bear scurrying up the rocky slope, rather startled by the scarcely seen sight of humans on this lightly travelled trail.

The packgoats were generally a bit reluctant to cross the rushing waters of the rivulets, and would often hesitate at the banks with the proverbial stubbornness of a mule. These billies and nannies would scarcely even lower their bearded muzzles to partake of the clear cold drink, as their desert-dwelling ancestors had adapted to acquiring most of the moisture they required from whatever vegetation they might manage to locate in the barren scrub of their homelands in northern Africa, and the vegetation here in the Pacific Northwest rain forest was saturated. The parched and sawdust covered primates accompanying said cloven-hoofed beasts of burden, however, were always happy to arrive at these streams after long hours of sawing and chopping and winching variously sized logs and limbs and lumber out of the way and to one side of the trail, splashing the cold and refreshing flow on soiled faces and arms and even sometimes chancing a case of beaver-fever to taste of these revitalizing waters.

On the day of my prescient epiphany, we were heading downhill and had just crossed the second stream, carrying on with the usual bullshitting and banter, when my intuition indicated the certainty of the coming encounter. Indeed, Native American lore tells that sasquatch are “spirit beings” and not mere animals, thus I’m supposing it likely this spiritual beasty transmitted the psychic message that let me know of his or her intentions to visit.

That night, as Jonah and I sat next to a roaring fire, sipping tea and smoking herb and cigarettes after a filling meal of brown rice and veggies, I began to get the feeling that we were being watched. Several times I scanned the forest around us with my headlamp, focusing the beam of light on a particular point between two trees where I sensed our voyeur was located. Jonah commented that I was wasting my batteries, so heeding his advice I turned off the lantern. No sooner had I set this headlamp down on the ground beside me, when a booming “CRACK” resounded through the forest from nigh exactly where I had suspected someone or thing was watching.

Now, this was no ordinary din in the darkness. Something exceedingly large had quite obviously broken an exceptionally large branch. We had been cutting and chopping and breaking and dragging all manner of lumber by saw and axe, hand and foot and winch, from one-inch-thick sticks to fallen trees nigh six-foot in diameter cut through twice and winched away to clear this trail of obstacles, and the noise this breaking branch made in the still and dark night indicated something quite exceeding heavy had either stepped upon a freshly fallen tree or limb of no small girth, else had become night-blinded by my lamp’s light and had thus broken a large unseen limb on a standing tree. I immediately hopped to my feet.

“HOLY SHIT!” I proclaimed in surprise, “Jonah, that was something really fucking big!”

Jonah still sat, staring into the darkness.

“C’mon, man. Let’s get in the camper, dude,” I urged, as if the thin aluminum sheets, fiberglass insulation and pine paneling that made up the camper’s walls would prevent a thousand-pound-plus beasty from getting at us if it had the urge.

“Naw. If it’s a bigfoot, I wanna meet it,” Jonah said somewhat nonchalantly.

I continued to adjure that he join me in the illusory safety of the piggyback house on wheels, until I finally enticed him inside to smoke a bowl. I turned on some mellow tunes at about half-volume on my CD walkman with remote speakers and we sat there casually puffin’ some nuggets and philosophizing as was our usual fare, till suddenly a din that at first seemed the thunder of a distant explosion sounded over the stereo’s volume. I immediately turned off the tunes, and quietly uttered,

“What the fuck was that?”

“I dunno,” was Jonah’s simple reply.

“Was that an explosion? What the fuck would be—” my query was cut short by another “BOOM,” or perhaps more accurately, a heavy “THUD” that shook or vibrated the camper, à la Jurassic Park when the footsteps of T-Rex sends shock waves through a glass of water sitting on a table.

“Oh shit!” I said with a worried whisper, “What the fuck was that?”

“Uh . . . I dunno,” Jonah answered, likewise in an alarmed and under-the-breath utterance.

The sound and vibration had issued from just the other side of the thin walls of the camper, right next to where I sat. Something exceedingly heavy had seemingly stomped upon the forest floor, something quite massive that stood mere inches from where I sat upon the lower bunk. Neither of us even dared peak out from behind the curtains to see what had made such a monstrous noise in the night. I was quite certain that were I to move the curtain aside, I would be staring at a hairy chest at seven feet off the ground, and Jonah’s want to meet bigfoot had met with a wariness of things that go bump in the night—especially really big things that can shake a nearly three-ton truck with the stomp of a foot—and the wariness won out.

We sat petrified in the silence for a few minutes, till said silence was broken by four or five more heavy bipedal footsteps that proceeded to the back of the truck. We sat still for nearly half-an-hour more, listening intensely before either of us had the guts to look out of the windows to see what we might see. We heard a few more noises, the clattering and clanking of some pots and pans we’d left on top of the picnic table and assorted other slight dins and disturbances in the still of the night. When we finally dared to look outside, we saw nothing suspicious, and then went to sleep after another bowl or two to counter the adrenaline. Jonah didn’t sleep in his tent that night, and took the top bunk instead.

Next day when we awoke, I noted that the pots and pans and utensils were still all piled together in the largest pot as we’d hastily left them the night before, but were moved from the table top onto the bench of the wooden picnic table. We offered an account to the others, who reported they’d had a quite quiet and undisturbed sleep. Though I had some suspicions someone had played a trick on us, upon testing whether a mere human might be able to stomp or drop a heavy rock on the ground to manufacture the sort of sound and vibrations that would shake a three-ton truck and camper, we concluded this was not a viable explanation. We even took turns climbing to the side of the pickup bed then leaping off and onto the forest floor to try to make even a tiny vibration detectable to the other, seated on the lower bunk inside. Indeed, neither of us could even tell when the other outside had hit the ground, both endeavoring as much force as our respective weights could create upon stomping or leaping down from five feet high.

Gary informed us he had to go to town to get some supplies, so we concentrated on clearing brush from the sides of the trail not far from base camp. As we weren’t venturing far into the forest we didn’t bother to pack lunch, and instead returned to our respective campsites to replenish and rest during our midday break. As we then began to hike back up the trail to resume working, walking on a side trail that later met the main, I spotted a large brown humanoid-shaped figure through a corridor where the undergrowth was absent, standing and staring straight at us from some seventy yards away.

“Whoa!” I said, lifting my hand to halt our group’s progress, “What is that?!”

Jonah and the local kid who was working with us stopped in their tracks to attend to my alert.

“There’s something up there!” I said, squinting to attempt to make out the details of the tall thing I was observing in the dim forest light, which again, appeared to be the dark brown shape of a humanoid standing and facing my vantage.

The local kid, whose name I can’t recall with certainty, said he saw the same something from another vista, a few yards ahead. As I started towards his perspective he likewise started towards mine to discern if we were indeed viewing the same something. Whilst no one was watching for no more than a few seconds, this bogey took the opportunity to make him or herself scarce, for upon returning to my original point of view I noted that whatever had stood staring at us had made a hasty withdrawal, and local kid said the same of his sighting. We immediately started towards where whatever it was we’d seen had stood, and upon arriving at said spot, right next to an alternate trail sign, I gauged that what I had viewed (judging by the height of the trail sign and such) must have measured between eight and nine feet tall. Local kid agreed, and still in investigative mode, we started up the side trail towards the top of Lost Mountain.

The trees along this trail were tall and thin, and though the sun was shining, only patches of the forest floor were illuminated by rays unfiltered by broad-leafed and needled boughs. A distinctly magical quality imbued the light and air and sounds we experienced as we stalked the tall, dark, and assumedly furry beast we had briefly viewed from below. I felt like a native brave, hunting some illusive and magical totem animal as we walked with slightly crouched postures, gazing side-to-side and stalking this specter with stealthy strides, thoroughly enjoying this playful excursion in search of sasquatch—now that we were in the light of day.

After hiking a mile or more with no further sign of our quarry, we decided we ought to retrace our steps and return to work. Just as we began the descent, we heard a call echoing through the woods unlike any animal’s vocalization I had ever heard before. I have spent a great deal of time in the wilderness, and have ravenously consumed every nature program I’ve happened across on television since early childhood, from Marty Stauffer’s Wild America, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom to pre-cable National Geographic televised specials to the Nature Channel and Animal Planet. I’ve fished and hunted from the mountains of Wyoming to the hills of Oklahoma, studied birdcalls from bird watching guides and time in the field, listened to Elk bugles echoing in the misty fall mornings of the Rocky Mountains, observed various species of owls—the source of sometimes ominous seeming sounds in the forest—in both daytime and night, and hiked in the hills and high country from the West Coast to the East. This resounding mid-pitched “hooooooooooo” fit no category of creature call I had ever heard or read of, and conveyed a quality that seemed to indicate it issued from an exceedingly deep and billowing chest. Perhaps the closest analogue I can think of would be a howler monkey’s eerie cry echoing through the rain forest, except as one long and unbroken sound.

We paused to listen for a second call, and I decided to mimic its sound to see if I could elicit another. Sure enough, a second sounding followed, a bit closer and louder than the first. We resumed our hike down the trail, trading calls as the source seemed to follow alongside at a distance. By the time we reached the turn to our trail the calls had again grown quite distant, so we returned to our work trimming shrubs and removing overhanging branches from the sides of the trail.

Cristina, Jonah’s girlfriend at the time, and several others from the Bellingham coffeehouse crew came up to visit and camp with us on various occasions, and we made a couple of trips back to the city to replenish supplies and socialize, but had no more encounters with sasquatch in the Sauk River drainage. We did, however, have a somewhat more questionable and less up-close and personal possible encounter on the occasion of a little “trip” into the woods near Mount Baker on one weekend-off, and also experienced a few other amazing and anomalous incidents at our worksite, such as observing odd little blue lights in the swampy section of the trail which would dart through this darkened old growth section of the forest like tiny dancing stars, and chancing upon a sasquatch totem embossed on the burled trunk of an ancient tree.

The other possible “encounter” with sasquatch occurred on the occasion of a reggae festival held annually at the River Farm, a longstanding commune about twenty miles towards Mount Baker from Bellingham. We picked up a batch of the Stuart’s Coffeehouse crew on our way, and after arriving and wandering the festival grounds purchased a couple of ounces of boomers (shrooms, magic mushrooms, fungus of the genus Psilocybin, don’t ya’ know) and distributed these amongst our cohorts. After a while hanging out in the camper, we decided we wanted to wander in the woods to play and explore. Unfortunately, however, the forested area around the festival was off limits, so we agreed to take a little drive to a spot where Jonah and I had searched for chanterelles on an earlier occasion. I had personally only eaten a (relatively) small amount of fungus at this point, by the way, as I had the foresight to recognize I might have the need to get behind the wheel.

Once we arrived at our destination, our crew of nine hopped out and started to wander up the winding trail that led to the top of a heavily forested ridge. The first section of this trail was thickly wooded with willow thickets and various other deciduous trees and undergrowth, and as the ridge cut off the sun, the area was quite enveloped in shadows. We played amongst the thickets, and then found a circle of nine large trees where each of us took a seat, leaning against his or her chosen trunk. After several minutes of quiet meditation and intoning a group AUM or two, we again started meandering up the trail. Jonah and I decided this might be a good place to experiment with the sasquatch call we had heard and learned to imitate on the aforementioned occasion, and were much encouraged to do so by our companions. We took turns making the long wailing call, pursing our lips in a simian fashion as we did our best simulation of the sounds we’d heard a week or two before and a hundred-miles or so to the south.

We continued on the narrow pathway, and at the first switchback heard a most peculiar noise issuing from a bit beyond this turn in the trail and through an impenetrable thicket. Said odd sounds seemed somewhat like those made by cows, yet more like an imitation of cows than actual bovines. We all agreed on the unusual nature of this din in the dark forest, and I immediately recalled having read a book as a child that claimed sasquatch often imitate cattle “mooos” when traveling in a group to mask the noise of multiple massive and heavily laden feet treading upon the heavily littered forest floor. We continued past this first switchback and these “cows” seemed to be following our progress, a bit behind and upslope from our trajectory.

One of our crew decided to run up ahead to see if he might surprise our stealthy pursuers around the next switchback. He soon came barreling back down the trail to excitedly report that he had startled “something really big” that was bedded down up ahead. Jonah and I went ahead to check out the bedding area, and noted that indeed, something large had flattened a significant area of tall grasses. As we rejoined the rest of the trippers at the second switchback, the crew consensually concluded it was time to turn around and head back to the camper. Whatever was tagging along turned back towards the first switchback precisely when we did, always just out of sight and continually uttering off-tone bovine-like vocalizations. The family of big beasties had somehow continued to evade our gaze, leaving us with a mystery will never be solved.

Now I will admit, auditory hallucinations and distortions are part of the package when magic mushrooms are ingested. Nonetheless, a couple of significant facts caused me to believe it likely that what we were hearing were not four-legged domesticated bovines, but a tribe of sasquatch coming to our calls. First of all, cows are by no means stealthy—especially when in the numbers we heard, and can easily be approached even in the wildest of settings. Second, the fact that all of us agreed that what we were hearing sounded more like something pretending to be a herd of cattle than actual cows seemed to add weight to this assessment. Still, this “encounter” is obviously to be regarded as more suspect than the encounters Jonah and I had previously experienced for the simple fact that mushrooms do undeniably alter mental and sensory faculties.

After another day or two off Jonah and I returned to work in the Sauk River drainage. Cristina joined us for this stint in the wilderness, collecting conifer cones for seed to sell for a reforestation project of the Schwarz Wald in Germany whilst we worked on the trail, as there was a woman in Darrington paying fifty-bucks a burlap bag-full. During this span in the big woods, I was blessed to see one of the little blue lights Jonah had seen on a few occasions in the swamp just after sunset. Unlike fireflies, these lights were exceedingly fast fliers, and were not intermittent in their bioluminescent display. Said anomalous flying lights would only appear after deep darkness had fallen in this magical marsh, swiftly soaring in spiraling erratic patterns between the tall thick-trunked trees and ferns and devil’s club. The little light I observed zipped across the trail a few yards ahead as I was slowly making my way through the darker than night shadows under the old growth cedars, then performed some amazing aeronautical acrobatics, looping and spiraling away and deeper into the swamp.

Insofar as other encounters with suspected faeries, whether or not this adds any credence or context to the aforementioned account, once whilst engaged in shamanistic play with a group of friends from Laramie next to a pile of boulders known as Eagle Rock, a lovely sprite named Mandy laughingly led me to a bush from which sang something that sounded precisely like the flying faeries in the 70’s cartoon movie Wizards. Mandy also once dragged me into the women’s restroom at the Ranger Bar, led me into a stall and pulled her jeans down to display a large tattoo of a winged faerie on her thigh. I also believe I glimpsed one more Cascades faerie before we left this forest, out of the corner of one eye.

We soon finished cleaning this section of trail and moved on to another sight nearby. We remained at this second location for only a week or so, and then packed up to depart from the Sauk River drainage for good, as there was no more trail to clear. Of notable discoveries at this second site, Jonah and I happened upon a large forked tree that bore a massive burl about five feet in diameter on its trunk that bore a certain similitude to a primate’s face—and specifically rather resembling an orangutan’s visage—with two large symmetrical eyes, a continuous furrowed brow, and a decidedly simian mouth and chin clearly portrayed through the bark and burls of this totem tree.

On the day of our departure, I sat beside the river to chant and meditate and to say goodbye to the magical wilderness of the Cascade Mountains and to offer thanks to the kindly and playful creatures and spirits we had encountered amongst the ancient trees of the rain forest. I paused from my chanting to take some deep breaths and contemplate the wonder of this delightful and mystical place, perhaps a few tears of joy falling onto my cheeks, when out of the corner of my eye I spied something flying by a few feet to my right. Translucent lacy wings conveyed this tiny creature up and into the branches above, and I swear I saw two tiny human-like legs dangling from this flying form. Indeed the forest’s magic was seeming offering a parting appearance via said slight soaring emissary, responding to my grateful sentiments expresses in chants and pranam by offering a magical farewell, a gracious goodbye, conveyed from this ancient forest’s wondrous, wild and weird inhabitants to one merely open enough to see and believe.