BLACK SLATE APOTHECA
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
With relentless speculation, multiple mind-blowing streams of thought completely shatter preconceived notions of perception, time and space. It is as true in physics as cultural engineering. It is difficult to grasp without egocentricity that everything we experience is a form of virtual reality.
Perhaps the most destructive idea ever planted in the minds of the general public is the notion that nothing in this world is permanent — that all things can and must be constantly changed to suit our whims. The concept of impermanence leads to various wild ideas we can drift into and with fringe analysis, we can look through the glass darkly – a sort of black slate apotheca.
The apotheca is a mysterious storehouse where what we consume can lead to social control and these days literally anything can infect everything.
There are plenty of things that can change our ways of thinking; sometimes, dramatically.
Over the weekend, Janine and I were thinking of something we could do before I hosted a Ground Zero Lounge. I really had no idea what I was going to talk about and Janine suggested we see a movie. I said that maybe we should see Jurassic World, something light and Janine said well you have been raving about the movie, Hereditary and I would like to see it with you, that is if you are up for seeing it again.
I told her sure, and I warned her that the film was upsetting.
She told me that maybe seeing it a second time will inspire me to talk about something mind blowing on my show. I said that I thought that I have covered just about everything I want to say about the movie.
Watching the film again I realized how wrong I was. It was the first time that saw a film for the second time and became more upset that I felt the first time. The horrific film hit me on a more esoteric level that I spent most of my Sunday studying something which I remember hearing about from Robert Anton Wilson.
Anyone who is a fringe analyst knows who Robert Anton Wilson is.
Wilson was a hippie philosopher, futurist, and some argue that he was a failed mystic. However he was a prolific writer and essayist who had the talent of blowing your mind using a form of literary mentalism that at first seems absurd, and then becomes brilliant the more you review it.
Wilson once said “just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you” –and one of my favorite quotes “Is”, “is.” “is” — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don’t know what anything “is”; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.
It was never a matter of what “is” or what “was” it is how it appears rather than say that something is something – you say that something appears to be something.
This is called speaking in e-prime and it could very well be a solution to a less dogmatic approach to absolutist’s opinions that tend to divide people with a passion for splitting hairs in their ideological bias.
Once again while watching Hereditary with Janine, I realized that what appeared throughout the film was something that you could not absolutely define, meaning that when something happens to you that is paranormal the rational person does not see the event as an absolute – they see it an undefined and unfinished experience where the nightmare initiates you into a whole new world and forces you into a whole new way of seeing the world. Having a terrifying paranormal experience is a spontaneous shamanic-type initiation through a traumatic shake down.
This is what Robert Anton Wilson calls Chapel Perilous.
Chapel Perilous balances your faith at the edge of disaster. We don’t just think we have seen a dark shadow near our bed we know it.
However after the shadow dissipates into nothingness or the light that you turn on makes it disappear, you wonder if what you saw was nothing but a demonic pareidolia in the laundry pile , or the housecat positioned in such a way that it looked like a devilish imp waiting to sit on your chest till you suffocate.
Then when coincidences occur and synchronicities make you question your own sanity, you either make up your mind on the matter or you walk away becoming a paranormal agnostic.
Sometimes the safest way out is to just be an agnostic – that way you can rationalize that you have not lost your mind.
Terence McKenna, among others, has argued that, in accordance with the same principle that keeps a fish oblivious to the existence of water, the perturbation of consciousness is necessary for us even to become aware of the reality of consciousness as such.
Chapel Perilous has been defined on Wikipedia as “an occult term referring to a psychological state in which an individual cannot be certain if they have been aided or hindered by some force outside the realm of the natural world, or if what appeared to be supernatural interference was a product of their own imagination.”
Today, there are many things even outside the realms of paranoia that can trigger a thought, or memory of a hidden paranormal experience. There can also be a triggering of déjà vu that is a small product of some reoccurring dream of dread, an apocalyptic future where you know that you will eventually be handed a very difficult decision which when made will neither be to your benefit or your immediate circle of friends and family.
The decision you make will have to benefit the whole of mankind. Some see it as the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep order, in order to keep the timeline of the universe intact.
The real nightmare is when you realize that these dreams were like fire drills and that in a future moment, you won’t be sleepwalking through the valley of the shadow of death – you will running for your life in a reality that the nightmare initiated.
All that is paranoid is not delusional, just as all that is delusional is not paranoid. We aren’t talking about incorrigible delusions as much as a phenomenological field of relative points of view. The tyranny of the One is that of the official, spin-doctored version of past and current events, and future potentials that can be steered by the fabricated consensus.
Charles Fort explains that all people have a tendency to be hypnotics. He has said that if the proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, the people would believe properly like good little sheep. He also believed that if god was the universal mind, he didn’t always have to act in a manner that was sane.
This is why we live in this world of remarkable and crazy things.
It is said that we live in perilous times, and often, while in the middle of them, we seem to have some sort of epiphany that while we believe our little paranormal thoughts in church, we can openly pretend that no one answers prayers or doles out miracles or scrawls out little words on Ouija boards. When we hear of what can be termed “doom porn”, we can become introspective and ask “Is life worth living?” The sad thing is that even as we ask ourselves that question, we are convinced that the answer is no.
Even with all of the frightening and crazy things I report on my show, I believe that life is worth living. I am always of the opinion that I want to see what happens next; if I die, I will miss all of the fun of what comes at us in a time where we are all awaiting the sign that we are all going to go out with a whimper, or with the rapture, or some other cataclysm that awaits us in the eschaton.
I was asked once what are my favorite topics are that I cover on Ground Zero. I replied that I love shows where I frighten myself. Usually those shows that deal with subject matter I call synchromysticsm. It is when coincidences add deeper meaning to the overall event.
Some people say that synchromysticsm is purely a fixation on certain numbers and statistics that may or may not be meaningful to the group think. Sometimes we experience something called the “Oz factor” where we are the only person who can see the coincidences or the synchronicity for what it is.
When we experience it, we can say it is simply random, or we can say that it is some sort of supernatural occurrence. I know that there are coincidences for which no one has, or can be expected to have, any possible logical, scientific or rational explanation.
No one can explain, predict and, therefore, be able to control the events and phenomena in question. Therefore, when dealing with meaningful coincidence in current events, one has to remember what happened in the past, how it applies to the present, and what it means for cause and effect in the future.
When you are in your own head, it can become a very uncomfortable place, especially when there are things buried deep in the core belief centers of the unconscious mind—memories or experiences that somehow get purged without warning.
There is no “real history.” The politics of fear ratchets up everyone’s paranoia meter, unless they simply turn a blind eye to it all. Waves of holographic projection radiate from the hyper real Chapel Perilous throughout all aspects of culture.
In Plato’s Republic, Plato declared a relationship between the soul of the state and the state of the soul.
According to Jung, poisonous collective ideas are always compensated for in the unconscious of the individual psyche. Since paranoia is a disorder of meaning, the remedy for the paranoia of the state may be similar to that of individuals – a trip to Chapel Perilous.
We are left holding our breath in suspended animation at the paradox, the moment of despair when we are engulfed in unsolvable Mystery — riddles wrapped in enigmas, half-truths disguising lies, faulty theories explaining nothing. At first glance, the Chapel seems empty, blown through by dusty winds. It’s all smoke and mirrors. But something is at the dark heart of things.
Something is at the dark heart of all things – something that wants a blank or even black slate to write upon something to scratch – something to mar and desecrate.
We don’t know who we are fighting for or who we are fighting against in the dark shadows. However there are too many people who are cocksure that they have found the truth and that anyone outside of their comfort zone is simply crazy or perhaps in need of elimination.
As I was watching the film Hereditary for the second time I started feeling triggers of my own, of an experience I has when I was young of seeing shadows in the corners, apparitions of dead loved ones and the fear that the hippie neighbors that lived down the street were practicing witchcraft.
My first exposure to anything occult was when we as kids visited our strange neighbors that lived in a wooded area. They had us make chalk drawings and we would put them in circles and triangles. Candles and incensed were lit – and the smell of sage filled the room. I also remember them using a strange board with numbers and symbols on it.
Then I did not know what a witch board was and eventually we knew it was called Ouija.
I was always frightened of them. Even one of my girlfriends used one and she showed me that they were not threatening. While I am not one to encourage the use of the boards, I do not see them as harmful if used in the right way.
However, there are really no schools that will teach you to use one the right way and if you are not into dealing with the possible dangers of using one then I suggest not to use one.
Moreover, it can be argued that things like Ouija boards and movies that deal in nightmarish experiences of devil worship and exorcisms are the best thing for Christian conversion there is.
The Exorcist contains a deeply conservative religious message, one that trumpets the power of the Church over modern medicine and psychiatry. Father Karras, in some respects an archetypal Vatican II era priest who studied psychiatry at “Harvard Belvue, places like that”, recovers his flagging faith through his encounter with evil.
Perhaps even more terrifying are the cultural and gendered politics of film. Ellyn Burstyn’s character plays the single mother of the possessed girl. Seventies cinema was filled with acrimony between divorcing spouses, reflecting the changing marital demographics of the decade. The Exorcist proved no different and at least one of the films many subtexts seem to suggest that Regan’s absent father and “broken home” allow evil to enter her.
For some seeing the movie the Exorcist was a part of a mass Chapel Perilous at the Black Slate of Apotheca.
It was a terrifying initiation through nightmare.
Art may not transform its audience and it may certainly do little for its society. But it often transforms itself. Dante’s Inferno was a lurid medieval demonology, a political allegory of 14th century Italy. It popularized the seven deadly sins and made clear the romanticized view of what hell would be like – probably more so than the bible ever could.
Usually when people describe Hell and the Devil, they are actually unaware that they are describing the vision of Dante.
The Devil had no horns – until we were exposed to Dante.
The idea of people willingly misled offends our notion of man as rational and image and action parameters determine our repulsion against evil, even though it has taken many centuries to procure the contemporary images of what is bad or good.
However, perception of evil can be changed and through long forms of programming someone as profane as Dracula can be seen as a hero and something as novel as a clown can be seen as the deepest and darkest evil.
Diabolical persuasion in such cases offers an idea of solidarity and the target of that persuasion is more co-conspirator than victim, an invitation to share in the creation of a hyperbolic fiction.
Successful persuasion in everything like business, media, or government, does not make the error of asking for belief. It makes no pretense of objectivity. The notion of persuasion as “manipulative” evokes a passive recipient and a hypodermic or stimulus-response form; but a more sophisticated idea is that of an invocation to partnership.
Psychological life has a metaphoric character. Our perceptual life draws us into the world and our imagination engages us with it. Metaphors are dangerous, but not as dangerous as restricting their use in our most penetrating inquiries, haunting the margins of our thoughts.
Soul is a perspective not a substance. Differentiating this middle ground, we find ourselves in Chapel Perilous, a way of being in the world between thinking and perceiving.