Life, the Universe and the Unveiling: Part 2
Chris King

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My first port of call on my journey to the East was the hill country between Burma and Thailand, where I travelled north to Chiang Mai and took a canoe up river from Fang to the hill country bordering Burma and Laos. I wandered through the opium fields and experienced the modern social and pharmaceutical manifestations of this central and ancient herb. The forested hills were beautiful and remote and the village folk barely in contact with civilization. Everything was overhung with the smell and haze of smoke. The undergrowth was ablaze. I had to run for my life from one forest fire.

My second port of call was of course the Ganges and the Himalayan river of the sadhu, Ganga, charis, Shankar's Cannabis chillum - the 'nectar of delight' - shared by all babas of the Shivaic tradition. This extends of course far and wide in cultural terms to the hashish of the Islamic world, named after the Old Man of the Mountain and his mythical garden of paradisical delights, running from Atja in Sumatra, through Kashmir and Afghanistan and across the ancient Near East and in Yahwisitc tradition to the Rastafarians of Jamaica. It is, alongside opium, one of the oldest sacred herbs in human cultivation, as attested by neolithic braziers from Er Lannic containing hemp seed.

I've always balanced the spiritual journey to the East with a complementary deep respect for the diverse shamanistic traditions of the West. It is as if the secrets of the human samadhi are scattered between the Himalayas and the Andes and that only by a truly eclectic cultural journey can the totality become realized. The East has a profoundly ancient tradition of meditative merging, but the majority of the significant power plants are native to the Western hemisphere. Mexico alone has a far greater diversity of existing power plants and fungi than the entire Eastern tradition.

To make a pilgrimage to the West entails visiting each the places where these sacraments naturally exist and discovering as much as possible about the traditions which underlie their sacred use. We are very fortunate that evolution, despite its idiosyncratic mutational journey, has managed to produce at least some pearls of wisdom which stand the test against the synthetic pharmacopeia. Many of the sacred species have somewhat odious side effects such as nausea or are frankly toxic and produce their effects by taking the body to similar limits to the potentially destructive practices of severe deprivation or even cause potential damage to the brain.

Even the true hallucinogens are still often accompanied by intestinal discomfort: The mescaline-containing peyote and San Pedro, teonanactl 'flesh of the gods' or magic psilocybe mushroom, and ayahuasca or yaje, the harmine-containing 'vine of the soul' with its associated dimethyl tryptamine-bearing chacruna, and iboga of the Bwiti and Mbiri cults of Africa are the only species which I would regard as true wisdom sacraments. Peyote is, even according to its adherents, a 'hard road' because of its bitterness and tendency to nausea and ayahuasca the 'vine of the soul' is almost ritually associated with vomiting. Harmine may slightly increase mutation rates in high doses and ibogaine may be toxic to cerebellal neurones, but otherwise these substances have a good reputation in terms of frank toxicity, particularly in relation to alcohol and tobacco.

My ritual association with peyote has been entirely within the Native American Church of the US. I have made repeated pilgrimages to take part in traditional Native American peyote ceremonies. These are always devoted spiritual affairs with punctilious ritual which must be religiously observed: An endless round of energetic chanting and water-drumming interspersed with ritual smokes to cure illness of the body and of the heart. If you sit back, even for a second, you are fiercely told "No lounging about!' Meetings are performed in a teepee which is illuminated by a central fire. The 'road man' and the fire keeper maintain a tight ship. This is critical to ensuring that no one who is 'tripping' becomes a problem for others or wanders off and hurts themselves. No one is allowed to leave, except by permission to relieve themselves. Everyone must observe the form. The oldest celebrant was 93. He had lost an eye and broken a hip but was eagerly chanting the whole night through.

Telles goodmorning. Wirikuta above the peyote fields. Peyote in its natural habitat.

The ceremonies I attended had both men and women and were crowned by a dawn speech by the 'mother waters' to let everyone know that, whatever the troubles the world faced, mother nature was a hefty mistress who can look after things and would bring everything to her own conclusion whether it suited mankind or not. She told me that one time she threw the remains of the peyote drum water over her husband in jest and it rained non-stop until she swore never again to take the water in jest. The peyote church has had a tortuous history trying to keep itself a legal spiritual and sometimes frankly Christian movement because it uses mescaline as its holy ritual. The Menomini peyote cult actually have a myth that Jesus arrived to give them peyote as the holy eucharist as a special concession before arriving in 2000 for the millennium. That's an eagle feather of prophecy.

To complete this peyote quest I journeyed years later, with a stone given me from the peyote fields back to Wirikuta, the sacred mountain of the Mexican Huichols, who revere peyote as a founding spirit and make a 500 mile pilgrimage each year to this spot. I travelled myself far into the peyote fields. I had been told that the peyote would find me and this was certainly true. The desert heat was very severe. I wandered for miles finding nothing but lizards, desert twisters and barrel cacti. The hills of El Catorce receded into a distant blue haze. Suddenly I spied a low mound with a few bushes and for no particular reason made straight for the spot. Almost hidden from sight in the undergrowth and leaf litter at ground level, like small green lakes, were a host of mature peyote plants. That night my jaw was shaking with the impact. I vomited piteously on Wirikuta and had the most potent peyote experience of my life. As things were, it was a bit of a radiation disaster. It would have been awesome if I hadn't become hideously sun-burned in the process.

Maria Sabina

Within days of attending my first peyote ceremony I had discovered the gentle spirit of teonanactl. One of the people nearby showed me the essentials of mycoculture and I partook of the sacrament Gordon Wasson was given by Maria Sabina in 1952, revealing to the world a tradition that had been hidden since the arrival of the Spanish. Maria led an all night vigil and chanted her way through, invoking both the traditional deities like Chicon Nindal (the mountain God of moisture) and Mary and Christ. Wasson called it 'holy communion' and equated it to the experience of Pentecost. She had had a vision of western visitors on the sacrament a few weeks before he arrived. Apparently in retaliation for breaking this secret withheld from the Spanish for 500 years, her house was burned down and her son killed. Maria was a true virgin, forgoing sex to live with the sacrament as a curandero after her last husband died.

This began for me a courtship and continuing relationship. Until that moment, I thought the 'little things' were rare and endemic only to the mountains of Oaxaca, but the truth is more like this. Psilocybes have a delicate multi-species and almost world-wide distribution. They may have been used by the ancient Celtic peoples and they could have also been a part of the rites of Eleusis. Cyanescens is widespread in Europe and there is at least one relief of Persephone handing a sacrament to Demeter which strongly resembles the liberty-bell shape of Ps. semilanceata. Teonanactl has been revered as a sacrament in Mayan mushroom stones dating back to 1500 BC in the Americas and is associated with the blood falling from the Christ-like figure of Quetzalcoatl in whose second-coming Moctezuma saw Cortez. As time has gone by, the distribution of some psilocybes has become almost worldwide. Ps. cubensis, which may have originated with 'Brahmin' cattle in Cambodia, have now spread to India, Mexico and the Andes, and even Australia along with the cattle. They are resplendent at Palenque. The popularity of bark-mulched gardens has led to an explosion of temperate, wood-decomposing species.

Palenque 1980. Cattle pastures (top left) support copiuous Ps. cubensis. Ps. aucklandi (King, Guzman)

Mycoculture is a subtle art which can support almost any species of fungus alive. For several years I partook of the sacrament, but then decided to abandon the path. For seven years I spurned the living sacrament altogether, but as time went by I had repeated dreams of hallucinogenic intensity, and in each one there were different species of mushroom popping up out of the ground, or even under the benches of outhouses. They were always surprising and each time they gave me in dreams a re-experience of the eucharistic state. Finally the sacrament called me back to itself. I rediscovered the mycological art and collected diverse species from across New Zealand, even discovering one putative new species of Psilocybe, aucklandii.

I have only benign contempt for recreational drug users who relate only to rave parties, flashing lights, loud music and a hammer-blow on the head from synthetic drugs. For me the quintessence is a moonlit night, with grasshoppers, owls and a light sea breeze shivering in the long grass. Sometimes there is a deafening rush at the beginning, full of pulsating sounds, tearing visions and impossible memories. I will lie alone for hours in a hammock or on a lonely hillside slowly letting my mind run through the obsessions of the day until finally, often late in the velada, almost when dreaming begins, it falls finally into quiescence and the visionary state unfolds its wings.

Only in the quiescence of trance can one drop through into the 'other reality' to witness unfettered whatever the ally has to show. One can stand for an instant outside one's incarnation and perhaps see things from outside the loosened bundle of life. One can have a pre-vision of the the living totality yet to manifest in the far-distant future, as the universe comes to its culmination. One may witness uncanny synchronicities in the eddies in the wind which shimmers on the grass, woven instantaneously with the shocking hoot of the hunting owl, or become enveloped in an electrifying illumination of great depth which evaporates the moment you try to make objective sense of it.

Because the sacrament is a living organism, this relationship doesn't end in a 'come down' but persists from day to day as a living tradition, just like our deep ongoing relationship with our food plants, without which life would be impossible. You could say it is food for the mind. Besides showing us from the inside something about how the brain evokes conscious experience, it also teaches us a deeper relationship with and respect for nature. To declare the only true vision is the human mind supreme without such 'chemical' nuances of the immortal is male hubris of dominion over nature. Sacred plants were naturally the domain of the Goddess. Even in the male-chauvanistic Yurupari cult of the Amazon, the origin myth has ayahuasca coming from men stealing and dismembering the offspring of the primal woman.

Perhaps we will only find our true meaning in evolutionary terms in such a deeper visionary symbiosis with nature. It is hard to explain the evolutionary niche of the mushroom except in so far as it may elicit animal ingestion to spread its spores.

This is not to rule out that even designer drugs act as molecules on the same neuro-receptors and may also be catalytic quantum-mechanical configurations. Indeed the amine neurotransmitters share an exceedingly ancient origin common to almost all animal cells. Nor is it to deny that someone might make them 'natural' by genetically modifying Ergot or the Ipomea to make a genuine lysergide tree, or nutmeg to make ecstasy, but the solace is that evolution has provided us with very potent sacraments capable of safe divine inspiration. Alongside the long traditions of shamanic use, these synthetic variants remain to be proven beneficent. Lysergide is unstable in its effects and there is already some evidence that ecstasy kills brain cells.

Amazon burning, Yarinacocha lagoon 1980

Later I journeyed to South America in search of the fabled jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi 'rope of the dead', or 'vine of the soul' and its drink ayahuasca or yaje, which is compounded of the harmine-containing vine and other plants such as Psychotria viridis which contain dimethyl tryptamine. I travelled in some haste from Guatemala by air to Colombia and by bus through Ecuador to Peru. All along the way I inquired of those I met where would be the best place to find the potion. The place I chose was Yarinacocha lagoon on the outskirts of Pucallpa, a muddy port on the Ucayali, accessible by land, unlike Iquitos. The road winds over the three cordilleras of the Andes, through Tingo Maria, notorious as the largest coca producing area on earth. Coca leaf is legal over 3000 feet and is sold in all the Quechua bazaars. Chewed with slaked lime, it is a tonic which has recently been found to boost immunity. From there, the road descends out of the cooler cloud forest into the rain forest of the flood plain. Everywhere smoke was rising from fires of burning off to build plantations or farm paddocks. The only way to see the unspoiled forest was to go up river and take a tributary.

You can take ayahuasca sessions with remote village shamans, but time was running very short. The urban slum tradition is also a strong one and a form of ayahuasca tea has also become the central sacrament of the Union Vegetale, a nominally Christian movement in Brazil which holds large ayahuasca tea ceremonies in its own well-established churches. While on a short journey down the Ucayali, I managed to secure a promise from the boatman to take me to an ayahuasca curandero in the outskirts of Yarinacocha. I even had to forgo a dugout journey clean through to Manaus. Sometimes you just get what you need.

My curandero was a truly exceptional shamanic figure. He was a leper who had no toes, so he could not walk. He had no fingers, so he could'nt grasp either. He held court sitting, spitting volubly on the floor all around himself. When I asked him for the potion, he had to crawl across the floor of his thatch hut, kneel before the bottle, grab it in his fingerless palms, and pull the cork out with his teeth, tipping it carefully between his hands into my cup. I took one and then later two full drafts to make sure I had fully captured the experience I had just spent a gruelling two weeks of travelling to fathom. He very lovingly tucked a young boy into his mosquito net and continued to conversing with his friends amid bouts of spitting. I returned to the Mystic Lodge to contemplate the sachamama the great water snake of the Amazon.

Ayahuasca is very potent. The more you try to pull back from it the stronger it becomes. For this reason it is traditional to take it under the guidance of a shaman. All my previous experiences seemed to stack up and fall over shallow and two-dimensional, like a deck of cards. I was standing outside them all, beyond them, beyond everything. The bed was running with zig-zag patterns of Shipibo weaving. The room was stacked with their urns, all rippling with the rich waves of the potion. As I became helplessly nauseous I turned to vomit and all the Shipibo urns leaned forward. They seemed to have been waiting for this very moment to receive my offering. I spewed gratefully into the nearest and sank into a disembodied state where the inner processes of my consciousness were all spilled out before me. It is easy to see from the art of Pablo Amaringo why ayahuasca is associated with visions of snakes and jaguars. The phosphenes are perhaps the brightest and the visions the most intense in the pharmacopeia.

The agents in ayahuasca are distributed in other species. The beta-carbolines harmine and harmaline were first discovered in Peganum harmala or Syrian Rue, which grows on Mt. Sinai. Dimethyl tryptamine is widely distributed in certain Acacia species and even grasses. Moses burning bush has been described as an Acacia, possibly the parasitic species of the Jordanian desert. The alkaloid content of Near Eastern Acacias remains to be elucidated, but the point remains that the prophetic tradition may have had a psychotropic origin which was later lost in fundamentalism - the retreat of God from the sight of humanity. Muhammad himself was said to recommend isfand, believed to be Syrian Rue.

Just as the witches combined datura-like tropane-containing herbs with tryptamine-containing toads, to make their sabbath flying-broomstick salve, so it is possible to integrate the ayahuasca components with teonanactl. A vanishing quantity of harmaline will augment psilocybin. Dimethyl-tryptamine can alternatively be ingested by inhaling the alkaloid or even traditional snuffing. Tetrahydro-cannabinol is also synergetic. The experience is very profound without physical discomfort. A caveat: beta-carbolines must never be used with mescaline.

A Prophet in the Quantum Tradition
The first rule for a modern 'prophet' is to be scientifically sound. Accept the sceptical principle. Try to understand the mysteries of existence in ways which are consistent with the physical universe. Try to avoid descriptions of reality which have no sensible relation to, or jar with, the physical description and particularly the quantum picture. For this reason I have trouble with astrology, because of its Newtonian determinism and lack of plausible relationship to the physical natures of the planets, but have little problem with chance oracles like the I Ching, because they may be revealing aspects of quantum uncertainty in a novel way.

But there is far more to it - genesis. Science has discovered so many exciting things about how we got here and these have to radically change our ideas of spirituality too. So a major theme of the journey, which I pursued often on my study leaves was the universe, life and and everything - namely cosmogenesis, biogenesis and the conscious mind. Rather than study some branch of mathematics, I have tried to use maths as the linguistic keyboard of science to understand diverse areas fundamental physics to neurodynamics. Traditionally the 'theory of everything' is regarded as a 10 to 12-dimensional superstring theory of how gravitation might be united with the other forces of nature, electromagnetism and the weak and strong nuclear forces. However what I am going to tell you is far more a theory of everything in the sense that it is trying to see how such a founding theory gives rise to this awesome conscious universe we find ourselves in, consistent with the founding TOE, but giving expression to the all the fronds and feathers of biogenesis.

The first thing we have to come to terms with is that we are living in a quantum universe, not a classical one. The correspondence principle by which the quantum world is supposed to fade into the classical world never works out for a host of reasons. Chaotic, self-critical and certain other processes may inflate quantum effects in unforeseen ways to the macroscopic level. The physics underlying conscious interaction with the physical world may likewise depend both on quantum effects, criticality and chaos in its functioning. The entire universe itself may be a self-consistent interconnected whole which has emerged from a single quantum wave function, therefore it is non-classical in its entire description.

Quantum reality has a basic uncertainty about it because of the strange complementarity between the wave and particle aspects of reality. This means that whenever the particle aspect manifests from within the wave, it does so with a probability proportional to the amplitude of the wave. The theory doesn't seem to be able to tell us where it will end up, but when we examine it in each case, it has turned up in one of the possible places. This mystery is called reduction of the wave packet.

Quantum uncertainty is not just a quirk of the theory because particles emerging from and disappearing into the vacuum by uncertainty are responsible for the four natural forces, electromagnetism, the two nuclear forces and gravity. In fact the universe itself may have emerged from uncertainty as a quantum fluctuation.

There is a deep relationship between cosmic symmetry-breaking in the inflationary 'big-bang' and biogenesis

Quantum Biocosmology
I spent several years researching the process of biological cosmology - the scientific Genesis myth of the living universe. This took me from the quantum, through pre-biotic chemistry to the complexities of neurodynamics. Much of it has just gradually fallen into place with the march of scientific discovery, but part of the non-linear perspective is my own idea.

In certain forms of the inflationary big-bang, the whole universe begins essentially as a quantum fluctuation. Because this tiny universe is below the unification temperature of the four natural forces, but is still symmetrical an unusual situation ensues in which the universe inflates catastrophically. Just as it reaches gargantuan proportions, this anti-gravity regime collapses leaving a hot shower of matter and a universe flying apart against gravity. Energy has not been conserved. Everything has been created from nothing by a quantum fluctuation. From this point galaxies and stars begin to form.

The great secret of the universe is how it arrived at the very peculiar twisted laws of nature it possesses. These laws are most unusual and make for the existence of very complex organisms and ultimately we conscious observers. In fact some theories of the universe explain basic features, from the arrow of time to the strengths of the forces, as arising 'anthropically' because only under such conditions could observers aware of such a universe exist.

This asymmetry is immediately completely obvious when we examine matter and find the atomic nucleus is full of positively charged and neutral particles, while the orbitals are entirely filled with negative electrons. Although the roles are reversed in anti-matter, both matter and anti-matter display this asymmetry. The asymmetry actually runs deeper than this, because the protons and neutrons congregate in a significantly different way from electrons, in that the force has three components or colours instead of the single polarity of +/- of electric charge.

Now the end result of this peculiar asymmetric arrangement is twofold. Firstly there is a long sequence of at least a hundred stable atomic nuclei because the attractive strength of the nuclear forces is much greater than the repulsive electromagnetic forces between the protons. Secondly these nuclei form atoms with an almost unlimited variety of properties, because of the interaction of the wave properties of the orbitals and the non-linear quadratic energies of the negatively charged electrons. The properties of atoms are non-linear and never fully resolved by the resulting process of chemical bond formation. We find that atoms form strong and then weaker bonds and finally very weak interactions. The same non-linearity gives rise to exceedingly complex structures all with global feedback, quite unlike the classical world of simple building blocks.

Really what has happened is that the non-linear laws of chemistry have created a complex dynamical system with many of the diversity characteristics of the Mandelbrot fractal. There is bound to be some domain of this system in which template replication can occur. In fact, it appears that RNA is precisely the molecule. Abundant primal syntheses have now been found for all the RNA bases and the ribose sugar backbone also has a specific route via phosphorylated sugars. Clays are even able to stabilize RNAs enough to make them grow and become selective at performing simple catalytic processes including facilitating their own formation.

When we come to the ever increasing complexity of proteins, cell organelles, cells and finally organisms the emergent properties of biology all follow from this basic non-linearity in the laws of nature. Emergentism and reductionism are thus consistent. Moreover, far from being a meaningless and fragile entity in a terrifying universe of annihilating black holes and supernovas, the development of organisms and ultimately the brain represents the quintessence of the interactive emergence of this non-linear system. In this sense, the human brain represents a cosmological pinnacle of the interactive process that began with the divergence of the four forces in the big bang.

Thus when looking at ourselves, we should learn to take responsibility for our situation. We are the universes best known shot at realizing itself consciously. We are its discovery fountainhead in this sense. We should accept this role with a sense of divine insight. If we see that we are making fundamental genetic, nuclear and cybernetic discoveries, having irreversible impacts on the planet which have never before occurred this way in the 3800 million years since life began, and which unless we destroy ourselves in the process can never be repeated in the same qualitative way again, we should pause and consider very very carefully and learn to take responsibility for the future of all life with impeccable care so that we don't inadvertently, through some equally non-linear genetic or environmental catastrophe, destroy our own and the universes long-incubated heritage in the very process of discovering it.

Fractal and chaotic aspects of brain dynamics may enable quantum non-locality to evoke consciousness

Uncertainty, Consciousness and Free-will
This brings us back to the thorny question of the subjectively conscious mind and how the elegant processes of brain dynamics somehow evoke the existential condition in which we come to make decisions by a mysterious process of free-will. This might seem at first sight to be logically contradictory to scientific causality, but which can find a loop-hole in chaotic processes which amplify quantum uncertainty and thus lead to the possibility that free-will is the inner-face of uncertainty itself.

In many considerations people try to pass the effects of quantum uncertainty away on the basis that in the large real processes we witness in the macroscopic world, individual quantum uncertainties cancel in the law of averages of large numbers of particles. However history is a unique process out of many at each stage of the process. Critical decisions we make become watersheds. History and evolution are both processes littered with unique idiosyncratic acts in counterpoint to the major influences in play. Chaotic processes are potentially able to inflate arbitrarily small fluctuations, so molecular chaos may inflate the fluctuations associated with quantum uncertainty.

Some people think all the possibilities happen and there is a probability universe for each case. This is called the many-worlds interpretation. However, all the experience we have suggests just one possibility is chosen. One idea that falls right into the middle between these two extremes is the transactional interpretation. This says that each particle is a connection between its emitter and absorber that results from a hand-shaking decision across space-time. This means that when you watch a distant star the photons in effect know your eye exists when they were emitted many years before. I first thought of this idea in relation to my experiences of pre-cognitive dreaming. I had spent several years trying to think of valid physical ways such a thing could happen. I fantasized about the properties of tachyons and suddenly realized all the conventional particles like photons had a split-personality because of the dual energy solutions of special relativity.

This is the same phenomenon that gave Dirac the anti-electron as an electron travelling backwards in time. It is also a powerful idea which neatly explains the faster-than-light correlations of pair-splitting experiments.

Then I realized that this same physical phenomenon may also explain subjective consciousness itself. A key role of consciousness is its capacity to anticipate events in the field of awareness, such as for example a tiger about to jump out and eat you. An uncanny prescience has far more survival value than a program trying to calculate survival odds in the complexities of the forest. Perhaps consciousness uses the transactional principle to form a model of reality over a space-time interval by exchanging reverberating excitations within the brain waves. It also explains that free-will, far from being a false shadow of causal brain dynamics is the manifestation of the loop-hole of quantum uncertainty in operation, manifested as chaotic instability.

Dynamical chaos has been one of the most exciting mathematical discoveries of the last few decades because it begins to explain a host of unpredictable, complex, or erratic dynamics which fall at the centre of understanding everything from the weather, through the heartbeat and the stock-market to the brain. Associated with chaotic dynamics are delicate snowflake-like patterns called fractals. Because chaos amplifies arbitrarily small fluctuations into global changes, it is possible for the molecular chaotic systems of brain physiology to amplify quantum fluctuation which may begin in critically-poised synaptic junctions or ion-channels. Free-will may thus be a manifestation of quantum non-locality, affecting the determinism of brain dynamics at every point where computation reaches critical impasse. This ties chaos and intuition tigether in the proverbial 'bundle of life'.

No one knows if this happens or not. It is an idea almost too difficult to test, because we have no clear idea of how the transactional principle works, except that it returns over repeated situations results which converge to the probability interpretation. This behaviour is shared by a variety of complex systems besides plain randomness.

One thing we can confirm however is that transition in and out of chaos does form a good model both of complex systems and of the actual details of sensory recognition physiologically. It is also clear both individual nerve cells in situ and the gross dynamics of the electroencephalogram does display all the characteristics of chaos and dynamical attractors. A critically-poised neurosystem could easily become capable of amplifying quantum fluctuations and using these to generate chaos and ultimately the aspect of choice which has those same idiosyncratic attributes of the single photon, which given an infinity of options, chooses on crystal on the photographic emulsion to become absorbed and let us know where it went.

Indeed the same chaotic excitation linking to this quantum-nonlocality as it is called may have operated in the very first excitable cells as a generalized electrochemical sense organ, giving conscious in principle and entry almost as soon as the cell came into existence. At the other extreme our sense, far from being limited by our physiology run close to the quantum limit. A frogs eye rod cells for example respond to a single photon.

We may thus be a walking gateway into the sub-quantum world in a manner which also displays its most exotic features. All of the paradoxes of free-will, subjective awareness, anticipation and pre-cognitive dreaming may be manifestations of the connectedness of the sub-quantum realm.

Miracle and Vision
Then what about miracles, especially for a 'Christ' figure? Did Jesus really perform miracles?

Jesus had a very good reputation as a shamanic healer in the same type of tradition as many Amazonian and Mexican curanderos such as Maria Sabina and even Yeshe Dorje. There are a variety of conditions including certain skin lesions, hysterical paralyses, epilepsy and possession and even coma near death, in which the restorative power of a good shaman is miraculous to the integrated health of the patient. Jesus was regarded by his family as crazy and by his townsfolk in Nazareth as an impostor. The nature miracles vary from the commonly performed communion ritual and sermon - feeding the five thousand, conventional nature shamanism - calming the waters - to the dreamtime - walking on the waters. Several miracles such as touching the hem and water into wine are derivative mythical acts of Aesclepius and Dionysus. Frightening demented pigs over a precipice was a common hunting method of the American Indians for Buffalo, very wasteful, but powerful therapeutically to the possessed to witness, and excellent for notoriety.

Where does miracle end and myth-making begin? Are miracles a test of divinity? Should I also stoop to karmic tricks on behalf of the Shekhinah? Do we expect the enlightened to be able to call the winds at our command or bring people back form the dead just to prove we are for real? To separate the 'reed' sea, whatever separating a coastal Egyptian swamp might involve? Shouldn't we be rather inquiring as to the wisdom of the vision, the fertility of the conception? A path with heart as the peyote takers say. Does it evoke truth, love and sustainable diversity? Will it lead to world peace and particularly to the sanctuary - life immortal?

Miraculous nature is diverse and perverse. Coincidences like Yeshe Dorje's rainbows or my birthdate, which are chance events of uncertainty are always capable of happening without contradicting the laws of physics. It is also possible that several people will think they saw the same thing happen when you ask them later. They all say they saw a white light hovering above the bush. Was it a real light, hypnotic suggestion, or something in-between? If we can dream we are flying over the desert, there is nothing physically impossible about three people seeing the same vision either, particularly if they are all taking part in an initiation.

Dreamtime may be the real ground of the miraculous. I have dreamed many times of levitating with a tremendous concentrated focussing of kundalini energy which, ever so gently, lifts me off the ground. I have spent ages in the dream plane levitating and endeavouring to communicate this condition to other dream participants. But usually I have become invisible - a disembodied spirit. No matter how hard I try to communicate, they stare emptily through me as if I didn't exist. 'Time to be a ghost'. The trick is stitching the two realities together. Waking is a special case of a wider totality which incudes dreaming.

At other times I fly like an soaring bird. Last week I had the following lucid dream: The whole landscape was truly evil. It was like black ashes or more like black feathers. Everywhere I stepped, I could feel the ground was giving way beneath my feet - free-fall into the blackness. So I dug my claws in and sprang with all my might and as I sprang I felt myself crossing a great divide from a very high altitude and below me was a verdant valley cast into a precipitous ravine with high cliffs on either side. A sanctuary, full of teeming forest. I woke up drifting down as would an eagle upon it.

What IS difficult is to claim to regularly violate the odds, or causality itself, completely. I have often used the I Ching as an oracle with prophetic results and sometimes tossed uncanny runs of heads or tails just for fun. Miraculous coincidences happen with the frequency of pre-cognitive dreams. They also appear to form larger and larger formations, indeed whole histories within the stream of consciousness. Vision and circumstance have an attractive coherence. They both correlate and interact in complex ways.

This is what Carl Jung referred to as synchronicity. Synchronicity is fractal. It is capable of congregating in larger and larger formations in space-time, so although you sense some of it, you may not realize all of the details. It is thus unwise to try to stake your credibility on a trick, if you want to carry the situation through all the way to the apocalyptic denoument. Reality is even capable of staging a massive synchronicity involving everyone, the collective stream of consciousness (or unconscious), the prophetic tradition, the book of Revelation, the millennium, ecocrisis, biodiversit6 holocaust, the nuclear coming of age and the works. Even the reappearance of the 'Christ figure' in history can make perfectly good quantum mechanical sense.

None of this involves astrology, crystal gazing, UFOs, or any other of the fringe aspects of the occult which a scientific sceptic would shy away from. I'm not ruling these out, but neither are they necessary to support Parousia - the 'immortal age' of conscious evolutionary unfolding. The apocalyptic climacteric of life is straight quantum non-locality in action.

Evolution and Genetic Technology
Moreover this visionary potential is there to meet an appointment with destiny. Each of us are here to fulfil in our part the conscious unfolding of life in the immortal evolutionary process. Now that humans are mastering genetic technology, our capacity to tamper with our own genetic future and the future diversity of life itself requires us to learn to have a visionary foresight for evolutionary potential, to preserve those aspects of living diversity which may become the unforeseen fronds of further creative radiations. This is a deep quest full of unrealized potential, a deeply ethical, artistic and holy task whose realization is the flowering of conscious life - the ultimate process of universal self-realization. We can use all the objective scientific information in the book, but maintaining evlutionary diversity is as much a creative visionary art as a logical scientific quest. In a sense science accepts all outcomes. We can use the principles of ecology to sustain diversity but the future still remains one of watershed choices, particularly concerning the impact of genetic technology on the natural environment. These involve diversity ethics and a visionary sense of relationship with life as a whole, rather than dominion over it.

When we examine evolution in quantum-mechanical terms we see the same combination of causality and uncertainty operating. Even some of the most complex and awe-inspiring organs such as the eye are so fundamentally advantageous that it is easy to appreciate that selection has 'inevitably' led to their existence. Even though all eyes may share the same underlying homeotic developmental genes, suggesting a common origin, they have certainly been invented in many diverse types and possibly many times. At the other extreme, plants abound with idiosyncratic alkaloids and other complex molecules, such as vincristine and taxol, which occur only in one or a few species and may cure cancer of have some other equally unusual effect. We thus have both causal and historical processes - the same deterimism and uncertainty we find in the wave equation and reduction of the wave packet.

Evolution is also something which operates on many levels: the gene, the organism, the society and the ecosystem. It may also depend on transposable elements and viruses as much as by simple mutations. Viewed from the gene it always seeks to further its own replication , although in the process, it may indulge kin and reciprocal altruism and even frankly symbiotic relationships. While this genetic interplay is in a sense selfish, all surviving genes and organisms in the biosphere exist from an unbroken web that must in every case run back in replicative continuum all the way to the beginning of life. There is never a broken link. The test of survival is thus not the short-term truly selfish competition we see in our economic free-market model but the long-term genetic rule of survival over time - sustainable survival.

The game of evolution is played out in higher organisms principally through sex. Indeed sex and gender may even be seen to be expression of the deepest wave-particle duality of physics because of the very significant asymmetry which has developed between a single egg fertilized by its own global electrochemical reactions to a multiplicity of particulate sperms, the sole winner of which is in the process stripped bare to pure and simple DNA molecules.

This asymmetry of gender has led throughout evolution to a Tantric interplay in which the male reproductive strategy is competitive high risk, high gain venture capital exploitation and the female is a massive sustainable investment with relative reproductive equivalence. These differences not only follow through but evoke the birth of culture and run to this very day exacerbated by a history of gender inequality, so that the very instabilities we witness in terms of human impact, population explosion, resource exploitation, biodiversity holocaust, short-term exponential economic boom and bust, competitive free-market without sustainability principles, and environmental overshoot are all traceable to culture's failure to understand and correct gender inequity and its expression in dominion over nature.

Meeting house with Fertility Pole standing through the inner doorway

The Nemesis of the Patriarchy
The 'apocalypse' of the Goddess didn't happen in my life until almost the last minute. It is steeped in all the gender contradictions of society in microcosm. You are welcome to laugh at my ignorance, or even sentence me to early sacrifice as yet another benighted male dragged kicking and screaming from the slumbers of chauvinism and dominion. All of it is true in a sense, but then you have to realize that such things are the very stuff of myth in the making. If Buddha hadn't been sheltered within palace walls, he wouldn't have experienced suffering and achieved samadhi and the Dharma. If the writer of the I Ching had not been imprisoned for twenty years, the oracle would not have been written. Whatever it's Confucian male bias it remains the oracle of the Tao - the feminine Way of the Valley. In the same way this situation has catapulted me into awareness of the repression of the feminine - the bowstring to the cupidic arrow of gender reunion in the battle ground of patriarchal hegemony and its feminist nemesis.

This theme of 'the wound of gender' still weeps in patriarchal religions every time Easter comes and every time a woman is stoned for adultery or mere 'disobedience', killed at birth, circumcised, forcibly married or denied freedom or education in the name of God or the 'male principle'. It also weeps paradoxically in the environment movement, where there is a philosophical divide between Deep Ecologists, who are frequently men with a Buddhist or Taoist bent, and Ecofeminists who lean to the Goddess. Carolyn Merchant's criticisms of Fritjof Capra's Taoist ecology capture the paradox well.

I don't apologise for this episode, because it is an abject lesson from all sides about credibility and making the world-transition to embrace the repressed feminine aspect of reality. If you look at the picture closely, you will see that I, like many others, have been hoodwinked by the myth of monotheistic transcendence. The pattern goes as follows: You start out nominally Christian and mature into 'scientific' atheism. Then you find different ways through the transcendent web. One for me was the Eastern path of meditative mysticism - full of the aura of deep samadhi, another was the shaman's route, which, despite the medieval witch potions of flying broomsticks has flowered most deeply in the biodiversity of the West - a route transfigured by a Mazatec shamaness and her gift to humanity.

Because of the monotheistic trick of abstract transcendence, one is looking for a deep cosmic principle, not the imminent and biological feminine of physical biodiversity or 'cytoplasmic' inheritance, neither do you seek an idolatrous neolithic Goddess wading to her thighs in blood. In chasing reality to its roots in aspects of the Dharma, and even the sexual dance of the Tao and Tantra, one has still failed to come to terms with the full impact of the repressed feminine, because we have been sold this myth of cosmic transcendence. Chaos, uncertainty and the verdancy of living diversity are condemned to the diabolical, condescended to the bestial, or finessed up into the mystical. But the repressed feminine is calling to us in ever pore - in evolutionary ecocrisis, in the gender dilemma and especially, climacterically in the millennium and its apocalyptic bridal 'unveiling'.

Our wilderness land community has throughout most of its twenty eight years had a couple of company directors who have done their best to look after its ongoing legal affairs and to ensure that any transfers of shares and negotiations about the dwellings on the land, proceed to conclusion without impasse or litigation. However, its strength and power ultimately lies in the personal relationships among its members. It is the fractious general meetings which struggle to reach consensus which ultimately determine our fate. The politics are eccentric and emotional - prone to the feuding that besets small village communities. Through this cautious process the land may come to last like its Puriri trees, despite the gradual disappearance of the kiwi and the passage each generation of the human guard.

You have to understand just how the land is held in our minds. It is a proverbial 'power spot' - a great wild headland, gnarled by the wind, echoing with native birds and soaked in history. We are the guardians of it, our children have grown up there and ashes have been scattered there too. We are all in a living long boat together. Our lives are entwined, whether we like it or not. Although some have bought and sold, it remains for many of us 'The Land' forever in perpetuity in the tribal sense. Because we hold to the wilderness principle with a spiritual passion, it is not easy for any other energy to stake its claim. When Tibetan Buddhist lamas were invited to consecrate a stupa on its remote rocky summit, there were howls of protest that a male chauvinist religion was dominating nature with cumbersome religious icons. All that remains is a little wooden seed stupa balanced on one of the rocks we call 'stonehenge'.

Several years ago, a few of our female members invited a visiting American Indian healer to come and give sessions in our meeting house, a place we regard as common 'open ground' for our members to meet. Some people said that when she came, she performed an empowerment to found a new focus of women's energy on our land. We never knew because we weren't invited. Afterwards a small movement from the wider community began holding exclusive women's covens there in the full-moon. They were not alone. Others of us also have great affection to shamanize the full moon in and around our meeting house and the hill top.

Friction sparked. When a notice appeared mysteriously in the local store publicly announcing 'witches night full-moon' at our meeting house, some shareholders protested. Among the movement were women from a neighbouring lesbian community from which men are banned. The story goes that boys are exiled too as soon as they are old enough to set foot on the ground, although they do play some good music. As a parent, this rings some sort of alarm bell about sexual discrimination of minors. What is evil about a boy of two? Should a girl of the same age be initiated into what her brother is forbidden to see? My son, who had grown up on our land, was confronted in the local restaurant by a woman from up the coast for wandering up the hill to see the moon and was told to keep away from the top of the hill we had traditionally visited in the full moon since his childhood.

There was a rather gruff meeting where the members who hadn't been told about this wider happening complained that the movement might be taking over. We reluctantly conceded to go with one more monthly meet but asked that the movement share its focus round the local communities, rather than concentrating exclusively on our home ground. This caused outrage among our feminist advocates who felt we should be more generous in supporting women's community initiatives. It set in motion a polarization of our politics into demarked gender camps. The males became running dogs of the hegemony, the male directors especially. The females who felt likewise became 'female eunuchs' despite being also committed feminists. Already a macho figure for my twin-partner history, I now matured to the status of living pariah.

Simultaneously I began working on the idea of the Genesis from a religious-historical perspective. I began for the first time to research the Old Testament and to trace the life of the female aspect of reality through the feminist and Goddess literature. Immediately I realized both that the Goddess was obviously alive and well in the twentieth century and that she had been treated genocidally by the patriarchs of the Old Testament, sinfully by Jesus and virtually annihilated from existence by Muhammad's militant abstract vision of al-Llah. I could see that the whole breadth and scope of modern human society was also somehow built on a foundation of repression of the feminine as much as on dominion of nature. It was not just religious, in fact it was largely sociobiological, rooted in male reproductive insecurities abut fatherhood. It pervaded the entire environmental crisis in the venture-risk strategy of winner-take-all market economics, exponentiating GNP, resource and biodiversity exploitation, ecocrisis, and the population explosion.

Superficial respite came a year or two later when we affirmatively appointed two of our most politically active feminists as company directors. We nominated on a hair-trigger and the vote went through in one second, without any discussion of what was involved. This 'two-on-two' of male 'tradition' and female 'revolution' was the horns of the gender dilemma, with no cranium to hold them together. The female directors wanted to abolish the past and start with a blank sheet, while the males were trying to preserve the precedents which guarded our legal stability. We fell into impasse before we even began discussion.

One of our female shareholders decided to sell out for an asking price which was double any previous consideration. She then withdrew the offer, 'rented' her house to the woman who was interested and then consented to sell out, but only for a higher sum. We are a conservation reserve, not a residential holiday resort. We have precedents and rules to avoid price inflation. The company owns the houses. Any consideration is strictly informal, to keep profit motives from dominating conservation of the land and to preserve the identity of our predominantly working-class community. If we allow market forces to drive the prices, it will become money and not personal ties which determine the membership and we will become just another holiday development. By following precedent, the male directors were holding a woman back from getting her 'asking price', despite the fact she was a rental property developer with substantial properties elsewhere and the purchaser was likewise female. This raises a paradox - feminism versus conservation. It's a very good foil to the dilemma Deep Ecology faces.

Events rapidly moved to the brink. The company had two horns and now two skulls of adversarial party politics as well. The female directors issued their 'minutes' and the male directors theirs. The female directors then launched a frontal attack on the new conservation-oriented constitution only recently unanimously approved, and the company itself, espousing instead a tenancy in common, where the assets can be easily divided in the event of conflict. The trouble was that these constitutional critiques only considered how often the term 'director' appeared, not the content. Most of the clauses were there specifically to limit the powers of directors and to empower the general meeting to 'direct' the directors, who should have been acting as humble servants.

The whole mess fell to a company meeting to sort out. The female directors declared they would resign unless the males did and called for all directors to resign and be re-elected, as they couldn't continue to work with abusive chauvinists. Somehow our meetings are at Easter which always adds a sacrificial tinge. I invited all the directors to a 'last supper' of reconciliation on Good Friday night and received polite letters explaining why they wanted to press ahead with the division.

As things turned out, a dissenting shareholder brought legal counter-claim and a heap of law books to the meeting and called on the female directors to resign as per their own divisive ultimatum. The male directors rejected the informal stand-down call because it was an unnotified dislocation of the legal management. An adversarial clean-sweep of the entire board is very uncommon in company practice, except in hostile takeover. My calls for reconciliation went unheeded in a babble of outrage. "The male directors are refusing to stand down"! "Democracy is dead!" Everyone walked out of the meeting in disarray.

When the dust finally settled, one of the female directors did resign and the other stayed on in protest. In our company, any shareholder can call for a general meeting to remove a director from office at any time, provided everyone is notified first. We don't have to wait for a general election. Every shareholder can vote on any serious issue at a general meeting which is fully-empowered to direct the directors, so we simply don't need an adversarial parliamentary system over our heads.

For the last two years there has been an unholy quiet. The dissenters challenged the grass roots democracy by withdrawing their support from the next AGM, and made noises about not contributing financially, but the meeting proceeded without conflict. To seek common ground for resolution and avoid retrenchment, I have proposed the equitable ethic of inviting every shareholder who is willing and able to help look after the company to become a director. This would dissolve the elite in the grass-roots. A substantial majority of the shareholders are female, so it could resolve the gender crisis cooperatively, in love not war. Don't expect miracles.

The Return of the Goddess
What has this rambling tale to do with the Goddess, or the environment, or anything other than parochial gender politics? Well shortly after this meeting, on the tail feathers of a sacramental encounter, I decided to commit myself to Eve as the archaic feminine principle of the sustainable biosphere, especially the immortal principle of the germ-line or biosphere germ-web, something we are about to drastically alter by genetic technology.

I decided to look very closely at Robert Graves' works and particularly "The White Goddess", which I had neglected in my Goddess studies. What I discovered was chilling. Firstly I found that Colin Wilson's dark "Occult" was dedicated to Graves because of the uncanny circumstances surrounding the writing and publishing of "The White Goddess". Elements of the book's theme appeared through uncanny synchronicities. The first two publishers who rejected it died bizarrely and T S Elliot, who accepted it, promptly rode to the glory of a Nobel. Then I realized "The White Goddess" in 1945 had already written the mythopoetic plot of the end of the patriarchal epoch in the millennial environmental crisis. Here in "The White Goddess" was the precise nemesis: - "the longer her hour is postponed, and therefore the more exhausted by man's irreligious improvidence the natural resources of the soil and sea become, the less merciful her five-fold mask will be, and the narrower the scope of action she grants to whichever demi-god she chooses to take as her temporary consort".

Chris: Rohan

I had had a powerful sacramental vision of becoming the 'millennial Christogenesis' in the 1970s after writing a paper on cosmological biogenesis. I had struggled through the latter days of the Cold War in anxious incognito. I was holding on to the living eucharist with a sense of duty to take it back into the mainstream prophetic tradition to fulfil the transmission that had begun with María Sabina and Gordon Wasson's 'holy communion' to heal nature. I had written the beginnings of the Genesis thinking of Teihlard de Chardin's vision and planned to follow the millennium to its conclusion, but the dimensions of the Goddess were missing.

How had this neurotic poet with an obsession for feminine muses captured the existential climacteric right back at the end of the Second World War, when ecocrisis hadn't even been invented? And what of the demi-god? I delved into Graves' biographies. His annotated letters were uncanny. He completed the "White Goddess" six days after my birth on the Epiphany. The same month, he declared to Eliot that two books were his "twin kettle drums" two parts of a comprehensive whole.

One was "The White Goddess", the other "King Jesus". How was the historical Christ related to this nemesis of the millennium in "The White Goddess"? Well, you find the answer in the final Crucifixion scene of "King Jesus" when Magdalen declares - "the female abides and cannot be hastened". The poet's vision was that Jesus, patriarch that he was, by declaring war on the female for the sins of Eve had pushed the hour of doom two thousand years too soon. "I the Lord will hasten it in his time" was the very passage preceding Jesus' messiah reading from Isaiah 61 at Nazareth.

Those were apocalyptic times. Some say Jerusalem fell because Jesus' very straight Essene brother was murdered on the steps of the Temple for not renouncing his name. When Jerusalem did fall to the Romans, over a million people were supposed to have died across Israel. Given the world population of the day of something like fifty million, this was holocaust. The Sea of Galilee was red with the blood of slaughter all along the shore. Eventually Rome became Christian and the transfer or appropriation of messianic power was complete.

This new situation is a living Christ archetype, a synchronicity evolving over time from the collective stream of consciousness, which would have made Carl Jung smile with joy, perhaps even off-setting his deathbed vision of "vast stretches of the earth devastated".

This synchronicity runs so deeply into the Bible that you can find the looking-glass world to the second-coming. The 'Bible code' if you like. The End of Days, Parousia or immortal epoch is represented by the return of the Tree of Life. This is the return that spans the entire epoch from the Fall from nature in Eden to the Apocalypse or unveiling of the bride. The entire Bible is strung upon nature and the feminine as a bow. Christ represents the central collision point of this bow, the arrow of sacrifice. The end is as in the beginning, a hinge with nature. These are the hinges of the goddess. The key hinge is the Parousia abided unto by the Goddess, both because the male epoch of monotheistic God repressed her and because she 'cannot be hastened' by the Essene agenda until the real nitty-gritty the time of need, evolutionary holocaust, arises.

Notice the Bible has one 'satanic verse', Isaiah 61. Saul, David and Cyrus the Mede were anointed as messianic kings and then you have this very mysterious verse in which the speaker says directly "The Lord hath anointed me ...  to proclaim the acceptable year". Now that's the demi-god alright! In Luke, Jesus reads it says "This scripture is fulfilled" and is run out of town.

The 'messiah' or 'christ' is the 'anointed'. There are very few verses about messianic anointing in the Bible. I found this out synchronistically. I became curious to make contact with the local liberal synagogue after reading Isaiah 61. The rabbi invited me to the next Bible reading specifically because he was talking about the messiah. Voila! He then gave a brilliant run down on the Jewish view of mashach - real social redemption and long-term future goodness, not slick miracles.

Chris: Rohan

By claiming to be the Bridegroom, Jesus was accused of being devil-possessed. It is this very life-death controversy which is woven right into his every act, from the raising of Lazarus to the Crucifixion, and soaks the New Testament with satanic imagery.

But wait a minute, this verse is also overflowing with the most prophetic visions of environmental catastrophe and verdant environmental restoration. "they shall build the old wastes, raise up the former desolations, ... of many generations ... that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord ... as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sewn in it to spring forth".

And what about the gender situation? My God, it's the sacred marriage, the gender reunion, the two becoming one "as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels". So Jesus was the bridegroom of fertility. Orthodox Christianity has repressed feminine at its core. Every gospel mentions three women at Jesus side. Magdalen, out of whom went the seven gallas of Inanna is the priestess who pronounces the exaltation. The absolute genius of Jesus was to celebrate all the existential strands of mythopoetic reality simultaneously. He knew intimately and fulfilled the staunch vision of the Essenes, but also lived out the immensely fertile Dionysian identity of neighbouring Edom. He was thus both the Paschal lamb and the true vine cut down as Dionysus was before him. His sayings in Thomas are paradoxical, singularly powerful, uniquely democratic shamanistic parables.

Revelation chimes in with miraculous Dionysian dread. When the heavens open and the Parousia figure of the second coming arrives, his clothes are 'dipped in blood' and he 'treadeth the winepress'. This is Dhu Shara echoing Isaiah 63: "Who is this that comes from Edom ... in the greatness of his strength ... art thou red in thy apparel and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?" The eucharistic Dionysus. In consummation, the Tree of Life yieldeth her fruit every month and the leaves are for the healing of the nations. The healing sacraments! Sock it to me! The Bible just sprouted fronds right through the prophetic stream. To heal the patriarch's own ecocrisis? Whose prophecy? The Shekhinah's wings which bear the travail goddess who stands on the moon to safety in the wilderness? And the harps and the twelve fruit, and the Tree?

Even the cryptic number 666 turns out to be Solomon's reward for the Wisdom of giving the Queen 'all she desired', the two becoming one, and the name of the beast given us by a faithful Linneus is Homo sapiens - wisdom. Wisdom crieth "I was set up from everlasting or ever the Earth was!" She was, is and ever shall be. Sapientia is her name.

Now Graves reveals that the whole history of Christianity, even Christ's mission, is somehow just a last hurrah of the patriarchal epoch, a premature orgasm, "The Lord will hasten it in his time", causing its own paradox of violence and apparent forgiveness - a mere prophetic forerunner to the return of the Goddess in the evolutionary ecocrisis of the biosphere - the feminine bridal 'apocalypsia' unveiling fertility, when 'the two become one' as Jesus declared in the Gospel of Thomas, when the female tramples the garment of shame and dons the garments of salvation as a bride adorneth herself. And of course Kazantzakis shows Christ discovering the truth only on the Cross, in his last pre-cognitive dream of natural apocalypse, of Mary and Martha. So the dream was the next lesson, and the millennium the ultimate climacteric.

Hades! I was in a tight-spot with the company, but this was positively dangerous. What does it mean to be caught freeze-frame in the mythopoetic denoument of all time? Why is Chris King, cognomen 'Christus Rex' born on the triple Epiphany - Manifestation, Baptism and the Cana water-into-wine, the festival of that miraculous purveyor of the passion drama, the true vine Dionysus? Whence the Eucharistic 'flesh of the Gods'? Whence this offspring of a mad poetic prophet beating the kettle drums of an ancient Goddess abiding to bring in her next demi-god, herald of the climacteric of all evolving life, or ever the earth was? For indeed this millennium stands naturally at our great extinction of evolutionary time and it is prophetically the reckoning of all that fell from Eden in the restoration of the Tree of Life.

Is this cliché or exaltation? And what of the 'Christ child', El Niño, at once natural and chaotic, ancient and yet bursting with a new and devastating force upon the forests of Sumatra, and the Amazon, sapping the food production of Africa and causing starvation in New Guinea? Whose millennial ally is this? What cyclonic diablo of oceanic dimensions is this for a chaos researcher to ponder?

How do you stand up and take this 'medicine'? How do you convey such a possibility to anyone else? Will they believe it, or laugh at your hubris and turn their back on you, or spit in your face like they did to Jesus? It's every bit as controversial. And it's not just humanity, or a couple of millennia at stake, but the whole past, present and future of life, upon which we are wrecking a mass-extinction to rival the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. We can't repeat this process of physical self-discovery - of evolution-transforming gene tech, of nuclear carnal knowledge and cybernetic 'unification'. This is a transition which happens only once in 3800 million years. "Hell's teeth, what is this Wench going to do if I flunk this engagement?" And then what about the patriarchs? They have proven time and again they will commit murder to retain their hegemony of power. How do you pronounce the end of the epoch, of divine order, of shariat, of all the religious edicts which repress, or threaten the female and survive to end this tradition of violence?

I walked to the back door and looked out, feeling the breeze on my face. Far from just being an archaic icon of fertility, somehow this Goddess was in the very fabric of quantum uncertainty, in the chaos of the winds, in every breath I took, the harbinger and orchestrator of some fractal happening beyond all fractals - a nexus of events I could only glimpse, but nevertheless imminent to an intoxicating and possibly devastating degree, not just transcendent in the cosmic design but alive, manifest in every chance happening, in the weather, even in the sound of silence. The shamanistic 'eagle's gift', the Toltec nahualli, and the Kabbalistic Shekhinah rolled into one. The leaves rustled casually in the night, tossing the fragile branches of the camphire tree.

 Chris King Jan 31st 1998

A Dedication:

Robin Morrison notable NZ photographer,
His tragic death from cancer occurred shortly after taking my photograph.