Some Days It’s Easier to Believe the Devil Might Be Real

The Devil, as you see today, doesn’t like to see people happy. His great success through the NRA has given him a tool that he can use over and over–he can use the weaponized weak-minded to punish any display of human happiness.

As in today’s news: One Dead and at Least 21 Others Shot at Super Bowl Celebration in Kansas City

Wallpaper and Television Writing

Wallpaper and television writing. The best wallpaper–think William Morris–takes a familiar pattern, varies it artistically; elaborates it, makes it fresher. That’s the best we can hope for from most television writing. I anticipate most of the plot and dialogue. Even the best is elaborated wallpaper.

When I worked in television I noticed that plots used were like tinker toy parts, familiar, segments put together in new (but necessarily limited) ways.

The same goes, indeed, for most movies, and most novels, especially most genre novels.


Now that marijuana is on the road to legalization, people in the Work should probably decide how they feel about psychoactive drugs with regard to the Gurdjieffian path. My own view is that narcotic use is counterproductive once one has seriously taken up the Gurdjieff work–but there are howevers and modifiers to apply here…

I was told by my teachers in the Work that GI Gurdjieff was opposed to their use while one is engaged in the Work. Lord Pentland, a very influential teacher in the work, was quite strictly opposed to any use of narcotics. Late in life, Ouspensky recommended against them–but he tells of his own experiments with Hashish in one of his books. Gurdjieff certainly knew a good deal about mind altering drugs–he wrote discourses on opium and cocaine–and I have no doubt he had some experience of hashish and probably other drugs, early in his search.

That’s a key phrase, to me–”early in his search.”

Here’s what Gurdjieff told Ouspensky: “There are schools which make use of narcotics in the right way. People in these schools take them for self-study; in order to take a look ahead, to know the possibilities better, to see beforehand, in advance, what can be attained later on as the result of prolonged work. When a man sees this and is convinced that what he has learned theoretically really exists, he then works consciously, he knows where he is going. Sometimes this is the easiest way of being convinced of the real existence of those possibilities which man often suspects in himself.”

So, Gurdjieff acknowledges that mind altering drugs may have some value at a certain point, for some people. (Other people, psychologically fragile or over suggestible people, should avoid them entirely, in my opinion.) That is, psychoactive drugs, like mescaline, say, or certain mushrooms, or even hashish, may open the curtains on a small window. And one can then look through the window and see a wider world out there: the world of higher consciousness. One may briefly be able to perceive more vividly, more intensely, sometimes more insightfully…One’s “frames per second” in the film of reality will increase in number–more will be included. Often it can seem too much more–the experiencer, without the being to handle the increase in perception, can feel overwhelmed.

While a glimpse of something real can be had there, the view of higher consciousness through drugs is blurred by one’s own mind; distorted by hallucinations, personal obsessions, cerebral wiring. And to me it has always appeared that the more frequently people take a drug, the less real use they’re getting from it.

Gurdjieff, quoted above, spoke of certain drugs offering a glimpse into the possibilities of higher consciousness better “in advance”. Implied in his putting it that way is that it’s kind of like climbing a tree to see the lay of the land before a journey. But you do not stay in that tree–and don’t try to jump from tree to tree! You have seen something that confirms that there is a place you can travel to. But now you have to find the practical way to get there: step by step, on the ground, with your eyes wide open.

Use of mind altering drugs has risks. It would be irresponsible to recommend it. But I can’t say it didn’t help me a few times, as a young man, many years before I found the Work. It briefly opened those curtains for me and that was encouraging–I learned that there was something more. Ram Dass said that LSD insight is like a business call–once you get the message, you hang up.

Bottom line, what is attainable by work on oneself is far more vital, more rewarding, more nourishing than drug experience. Higher consciousness achieved through the Gurdjieff work is something that accretes in us slowly–but permanently. And it comes to us without hallucinations, or bad trips, or throwing up, or fits of paranoia.

But here comes a however–some people may have legitimate reasons for moderate use of marijuana, or hash or “magic mushrooms”. Medical reasons perhaps, with pot–and there are legitimate therapeutic uses of psilocybin in psychotherapy. I don’t know as these milder drugs should be entirely forbidden to people in the Work–it’s up to those people themselves, of course. It seems to me that someone could smoke their weed occasionally if they’re not foolish enough to come to a work group stoned, or to try to sit in Fourth Way meditation while stoned. My opinion is, they probably won’t find it a terrible impediment to the Work if they do it occasionally, not in a Work context.


Yes, a study shows AI’s rise is having an enormous environmental impact: major tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Meta combined more than doubled their energy consumption between 2017 and 2021.

But hey, don’t be concerned. Worship this Golden Cow robot generated by AI! WORSHIP IT!


 They eat the lies at a steaming trough

Seething, sluicing; never enough 

They spout flies, after feasts on lies 

The flies lay eggs beneath oily skies

 Larvae crawl, burrow in ears 

Thrive in muck alive with fears 

Mouths open, spouting new flies 

Seeking a trough, to fill it with lies

When Cthulhu Sat in With My Band

Here’s a photo of me and my band The Screaming Geezers performing with Cthulhu at the Lovecraft Bar in Portland. Cthulhu often sat in with my band–very good drummer–struck the skulls quite rapidly, as a percussionist. You could say Cthulhu was…a fixture at this bar. I think we were performing our song Runaway Python, a song Cthulhu liked: it reminded the elder god of an old serpentine pal.

And here’s a link to that song:

How Can an Ignoramus…

How can an ignoramus with 91 indictments have a good shot at being re-elected president? Disinformation used to be a weak effect. It was there, but it wasn’t part of everyone’s life. Now misinformation has been magnified by social media operatives, by antivax sites politicizing vaccines, by Fox News on TV and online, by countless misinformation sites, by skilled teams viralizing lies. This is the dilemma of our time. We have not faced that reality. We fail to see the collapse of shared truths.

Trump seems to pull ahead in the polls. How is this possible?

The reason Trump has any edge in the polls now is because this is the new age of web-broadcast misinformation, disinformation, and especially the burgeoning power of internet-magnified lies. A secondary, reciprocal cause is the dominance of the right-wing on radio. Third–Fox News.

People armed with guns but not critical thinking are swept helplessly along. Their emotions are being triggered over and over and over. We are failing to find ways to counteract the waves of charged lies.

Those working to save democracy must find new ways to communicate the truth to these victims of lies. We must rethink our approach to media. We need to be proactive about it, and soon.

A Fence Around the Light

Religious rituals are like a fence around the light.

A seeker arrives at a fence around a beautiful garden, with something shining beyond it, hidden behind a maze of hedges. The very high fence that holds his gaze: it’s of gold wrought in glorious saintly figures. The seeker is enraptured by the fence, and she remains there for years, worshiping it.

At last she listens to an inner voice suggest she climb over the fence. It’s a difficult climb. The fence is slippery, and resistant to climbing. But after numerous tries she makes it at last. The maze takes needs a great many tries to penetrate.

After much searching, she gets to the center of the maze, and there finds a fountain of light…which is what she’s been seeking all along.

Taylor Swift: Far Too Much of a Moderately Good Thing

Is Taylor Swift a talented and charismatic woman, and a good performer, despite her kitschy outfits? Sure. Am I sick of hearing about her? YOU BET I AM.

Soon it’ll be, “Internet and Media alight with debate over whether Taylor Smith has toenail fungus and what kind it is.” And, “Exclusive Interview with Taylor Swift’s Hairdresser” and “Taylor Swift–does she even charge enough for tickets? Is a gabillion bucks Enough? Fans sell their houses to be able to pay advance ticket costs for next tour and are happy to live in their cars for Taylor Swift.”