The tale of the ‘high’ tribe

The tale of the tribe

High Time and the Counter-cultural hall of fame.

“A ganachakra (Sanskrit: gaṇacakra, or ‘gathering circle’; Tibetan: tshogs kyi ‘khor lo) is also known as tsog, ganapuja, chakrapuja or ganachakrapuja. It is a generic term for various tantric assemblies or feasts, in which practitioners meet to chant mantra, enact mudra, make votive offerings and practice various tantric rituals as part of a sadhana, or spiritual practice. The ganachakra often comprises a sacramental meal and festivities such as dancing; the feast generally consisting of materials that were considered forbidden or taboo in medieval India, where the tantric movement arose. As a tantric practice, forms of ganachakra are practiced today in both Hinduism, Bön and Vajrayana Buddhism. —TSOG

I like the idea of the Counter-cultural Hall of Fame, as developed by High Times and Steven Hager, and I’m happy that the legendary characters from America’s exulted tradition of counter-cultural revolutionaries, artists, poets, musicians and humanitarian activists in the fullest sense of that term: revolutionary. High Times magazine seem to have developed a good selection process for the Hall Of Fame and the Celebrity Cup judges, besides all the weed, the poetry and scholar activism blooms.

In his essay – T.A.Z – from the book TSOG: The thing that ate the constitution. Robert Anton Wilson writes about being picked to be a celebrity judge for the High Times Cannabis Cup in 1999 and his experiences in Amsterdam. I read this essay again recently and found all sorts of cross links and descriptions of the Cannabis Cup and Amsterdam that I find irresistible to share.

1. T.A.Z or Temporary Autonomous Zone invokes Peter Lamorn Wilson, another brilliant bearded anarchist ‘scholar activist philosopher’ of the American tradition, who RAW often criss-crosses paths with when musing upon cultural revolution. Peter Lamborn Wilson’s TAZ seems to be used here as the title of Bob’s essay [see excerpt below] to help describe the unique red-light and coffeeshop Zones of Dutch tolerance here in Amsterdam, and some other parts of the Netherlands, and a generally intelligent and exemplary model.

2. William S. Burroughs was inducted into the High Times Hall of Fame in 1999, and RAW participated in the induction ceremony by reading parts from NOVA EXPRESS, a small clip of this event can be found on you tune in a video compiled based on the induction of the Beat generation into the High Times Countercultural Hall Of Fame. It was Burroughs who turned Wilson onto the 23 enigma’ and Wilson compared WSB with James Joyce as the two greatest literary entities of the 20th century.

3. The name Simon Vinkenoog was familiar to me by way of Dr. Robert Anton Wilson, like so many things; who noted Simon’s work in his books, such as the tale of the Sage of Dalkey in his last published work – email to the Universe. When I arrived in Amsterdam Simon was active and a strong part of the Dutch resistance to Bullshit, mediocrity and Tsarist Occupation Government. Simon passed onwards into outer-hyperspace July 12th, 2009. Simon was recently featured upon John’s 10 show holiday extravaganza, and for me this fact makes yet another loop between American and European counter-cultural anthropology, bound together by John’s choice of musical artefacts, that continue to delight the air-waves.

4. The current editor in Chief of High Times and Grand Wizard of the Cannabis Cup – Steven Hager – wrote a book called ‘The Octopus Conspiracy’ that for me, brings together much of the work and playful confidence found in RAW’s occasional work with the High Times Magazine. This book helps one enter the process of engaging in counter-cultural information theory, in my humble opinion – the art of social historicism on the furtive cusp of Conspiracy Theory. I’m not going into the area of conspiracy research with this article, but instead I choose to honour research. This may also be translated as independent journalism – thinking for yourself and following your sense for truth and knowledge – no matter which rabbit hole your tricky senses may lead.

The following excerpt brings together James Joyce, Ezra Pound, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and John Sinclair into an Amsterdam synchro-mesh that seems a perfect example of RAW’s hologramic prose’ – in which every part contains the whole – here we have the Moderns, the Beats, the Post-Moderns, and, the sense of ambiguity that has haunted the 20th century, all in a paragraph that could equally be in resonance with “the tale of the tribe‘.

Temporary Autonomous Zone, TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution. by Robert Anton Wilson, [excerpt]

“John Sinclair started talking about his days with the MC-5, a great Rock group of the 1960’s. My brain did a quantum jump and reorganized the whole world. This was not the John Sinclair I once knew, who wrote a brilliant column for the Village Voice. No wonder he didn’t look like ‘himself’: he wasn’t ‘himself’ at all. He wa the other John Sinclair, from Detriot, who founded the White Panther Party and served a few years in prison for generously giving a joint to an undercover narc. (Under Michigan law at that time, giving somebody a good high for free was punished with the same imprisonment as selling it.) I had mixed up two different John Sinclair’s. I felt relieved. Mixing all that fucking pot hadn’t fucked up my fucking brain after all. They led me to the stage. (Was it the same day or another day?) I was giving a speech, inducting William S. Burroughs into the Cannabis Hall of Fame. I told them reasons I consider Burroughs the greatest writer since Joyce, but they seemed restless, so I quoted them a bit of unpublished Burroughs:

“A coprophile named Scott
Who lived in Aldershot
Said, “I’m unbeatable-
My shit is eatable!
Perpetual motion I’ve got.

”I went into a flashback…… November 1968, at the Playboy Club in Chicago, having lunch with Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. We had been Demonstarting against the War all week, but now we were enjoying a pleasant meal, and Allen was telling us about his recent meeting with Crazy Uncle Ezra Pound in Rapollo. He had told Ez he considered the Cantos the greatest poem of the 20th Century, and Ez said, “But it is all vitiated by that stupid, suburban anti-semitism.”
Suburban,” Burroughs repeated, considering the connotations of the word; I was more fascinated by “vitiated.”
I snapped back to Amsterdam. – Robert Anton Wilson, Temporary Autonomous Zone, TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution.

“Thanks,” Dillinger said modestly. “Actually, the Illuminati own the companies that put out most of the rock. We started Laughing Buddha Jesus Phallus to counterattack. We were ignoring that front until they got the MC-5 to cut a disc called ‘Kick Out The Jams‘ just to taunt us with old, bitter memories. So we came back with our own releases, and the next thing I knew I was making bales of money from it. We’ve also fed information, through third parties, to Christian Crusade in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so they could expose some of what the Illuminati are doing in the rock field. You’ve seen the Christian Crusade publications—Rhythm, Riots and Revolution, and Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles, and so forth?” – Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, Illuminatus Trilogy, page 78.

“Robert Anton Wilson learns about the significance of the number 23 from William Burroughs:

William Burroughs introduced me to the 23 Enigma while I was still at Playboy. I had said, on first seeing the unpublished manuscript of Naked Lunch in 1956, This man is the greatest prose writer since James Joyce. (I am still rather proud of being the first to make that comparison) I did not meet Burroughs until 1966, and found Bill a more charming and ordinary individual than his books suggest – one had been prepared for a mad genius and found instead a rather prosaic, almost academic, quite gentlemanly genius. His story of the 23 mystery went like this… In the early 60s in Tangier, Burroughs knew a certain Captain Clark who ran a ferry from Tangier to Spain. One day, Clark said to Burroughs that hed been running the ferry 23 years without incident. That very day, the ferry sank, killing Clark and everybody on board. In the evening, Burroughs was thinking about this when he turned on the radio. The first newscast told about the crash of an Easter Airlines plane on the new York-Miami, and the flight was listed as Flight 23. Burroughs began keeping records of odd coincidences. To his astonishment, 23s appeared in many of them.

Sean Halligan tells distant cousin Peter that he has heard that expression somewhere before, in a dream he recalls. It was a dream reported by the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. He had written about the dream in his book Memories, Dreams and Reflections, strangely enough, on page 223: —

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