Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Amanuensis


          Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
                                                                     - Romans 12: 21

I have walked through Hell.  I've passed through its ruined dreamtimes and felt the radiant darkness, the desolation, the barren stone beneath my feet.  It is a place devoid of all emotional warmth, all hope.  But there are no children there.  Only lost and callous ones who occasionally take the twisted forms of children, in mockery and lust.  Hell is simply a place the spiritually fallen go to endure themselves, to face themselves.  There are no children in Hell.  This realm is darker than that place. There are so many children here.  And the darkest wraiths of the abyss desire them most of all.  They ache to defile innocence.  I say to you now this place called Earth is darker than Hell.  Even now the wraiths and demons shriek in the frequencies, pounding desperately on the other sides of mirrors, demanding to be let in.

Let no man deceive himself.  The battle of good and evil is very real.  For those who doubt this, I ask you to look within yourselves.  We all know how to invoke the nameless one, the dark twin of creation.  I believe that one can invoke anything from the well of frequencies, with varying degrees of success.  Devil, Demiurge, Angel of the Abyss.  I don't really care what name it is given.  It is discussed or alluded to in all cultures, in a multiplicity of forms.  It isn't really about duality.  It's about stories, and storytellers.  It's about the subjective nature of an objective experience.  It's about knowing who and what you can become, depending on what you feed.  Do we feed that spirit of defilement, desecration and abuse, or do we commune with the better angels of our nature?  There are many ways to manifest a fiction, many ways to call forth certain stories from the well.  I am but a humble scribe in this war of imagination.  A simple messenger.  And though others would claim that I am lost and damned because I do not believe exactly as they believe, I have sworn myself to a higher calling.  I humble myself before what Man calls God.  The radiant fire, divine.  Mother and Father to all things.  I live to serve this sentient spirit of Love.  

And though I am scarred from my travels through realms hidden to most, my eye hath not darkened.  I hear the voice of my maker.  I know why I speak and seek as I do.  For the liberation of my brethren, and myself.  In this calling I claim not to speak for God, only to listen with as much diligence as my love for him can rouse.  Through pain and confusion I was once lost as the fallen are lost.  But I cried out, kindling the spark that dwells within.  And Grace came unto me, lifting me up from the desolate places.  I remembered the image and promise that I am, that we all are.  So I write, I create.  All flaws are my own, but I am earnest in my pursuits.  To those who call God by a different name, I say to you now is not the flame that animates me the very same that gives you life?  Our symbols, stories and tongues are varied, but our souls and spirits are forever connected.  In this connection it is evident to me that we are one family, scattered upon various shores.  It is magic and eternity that dwells in us.  I know of this.  My name is Listen, and Midnight, and I speak now with my Father.

Hear this, my children. The inbreath of spirit is imagination. The outbreath of spirit is the world, all worlds, eternally. We are slain and risen in each instant, made seamless in the continuity of God. And this meeting of imagination and world is the very image of God. Wheresoever God sinneth he sinneth against himself, in this fashion knowing and seeing all. God resides not only in the sky, or the earth, or the stars, but in the very heart of you. The slain and risen Christos; true love's kiss. When love did triumph over evil and rent the veil at the place of the skull. Never forsaken, child. For I dwelleth in you. No sin or virtue is hidden from me. I cry as you cry, weep as you weep. And so when you seek for something better, when you cry out sincerely in guilt and newborn desire to serve rather than harm, I am there. For the blood of your tears and lamentations is my blood. For I am in you. And I judge myself harshly since no ordinance or mystery is beyond me. I judge as a Creator must judge, from within. But I serve among you as must a man serve, diligently, with the promise and grace of I in you and you in I. This is your holy vessel, child of true love's kiss. This is your likeness fashioned in the image of me. The slain and ever risen spirit, of the heart, at the place of the skull. Know this, my children. None are forsaken by me, in me, or through me.   I am not bound by divine law, for I am the author of spirit. I dwelleth in you, lest you turn away from me. But not I from you. Knowing all tongues, all customs and secrets, I have fashioned you in the image of promise, sustained by grace. It is sufficient for thee, beloved one. Nothing is hidden from an immortal soul. All will be revealed, when again I gather up my children and smite that which has reigned wickedness and inequity over them. For I am your Father in Heaven, unknown to all but one. He that dwelleth in you. Upon this cornerstone is built the very foundations of paradise.


Amanuensis from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Book of Esechar



In the valley of the spear there is talk of madness.  Fables burst from books, poems take shape before open eyes.  The Court of the Myriad say that Esechar is crawling from the well.  The devourer comes, they say.  To murder the king and his kiss.  Both king and kiss reside at the heart and eye of the valley, suspended, animated by all who dwell in the valley and consider themselves betrothed.  They pay homage to the slain queen and the kiss that enshrines her memory.  They say Esechar comes to murder his brother the king, that he will rise from the well and reach into the hearts of all who dwell there.  He will claw the very heart and eye of the valley until he finds his twin.  They say Esechar and his brother were born of promise and grace, great lights of a subtler realm.  They say Esechar defiled and killed his mother-sister the queen, in the moment before moments when his names were signs meaning brother, twin, dark one, left hand, guardian, keeper and spear of the valley.  He fell from both eye and heart and turned the spear of light on his own mother, who was also his sister and his brother's wife.  But the good king did not slay in shrieking vengeance the spear of the valley, his twin. Despairing the horror of his wife's violation and asking only, why? "For something other than perfection. For something other than what I am."

This was the first corruption.  Banished beyond the valley they say, into the well of uncreation.  Yet he comes again, as moon occludes sun.  Esechar, the ruined spear.  The poets and prophets speak of it.  His acolytes spill blood and rape into the well, invoking him.  But those who remember the moment before moments hold steadfast to the true tenets of the Myriad Court - that of the once slain and ever risen spirit.  To keep a brother and sister as you yourself would be kept, forever linked as the one and many of the Myriad in bonds of promise and grace.  The truest flame.  The spear be only a vassal for the light, crowned as it is by the good tidings of its indivisibility.  Esechar turned from this most holy fire, forfeiting the valley and its court of love, saying "I am unto all and there is nothing beyond me.  I shall slay as the spirit was slain before its rising, but I shall not rise.  I shall build a world unto myself in this image - the broken line."  And so the spear came to know blood rather than balance.  This was the ruination of the one they now call Esechar, the burnt one.  This was the birth of all enslaving gods.  But those who have kept the promise, through slain grace who anoints and is enshrined as a kiss, know that even as Esechar crawls from the well the kiss also comes among the hearts and eyes of all the faithful of the valley.  The slain and risen spirit dwelleth in them, and they speak every tongue, and grasp every story.  They fear not Esechar's coming, for they know of the indwelling light and fire that consecrated them, in the moment before moments when spirit knew itself as animate, eternal and ever-loving.  Slain and ever-risen.  I am but grace's fealty, a humble servant of the court and the valley, and I speak from the Book of Esechar.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Through Enemy's Eye




What defines an enemy?  How might we conceptualize an enemy of life and love?  To understand is, hopefully, to be wise.  I cannot say I am wise or that I understand, but I know of enemies.  I met the devil once.  He came to me not as an angel but as a man.  He said his name was Thomas Mary.  He said he played rag-time back when the twentieth century was born. Theft as Art. Indeed he was beguiling, unsettlingly so.  One form among many, I suppose.  But he breathed Milton, looking back at me through the stolen eyes of passers by.  I even saw him in the sky once, skinless and shining.  Perhaps he thinks me naïve, with a dull, earnest sort of intelligence.  Perhaps he just likes to flirt.  I imagine he respects me in his way.  If not respect, then at least intrigue.  I fancy he wouldn't have shown himself to me so overtly otherwise. Thomas is a cad, a sentient knife.  Even his smile can open flesh.  He wants to swallow creation with his eye.  We spoke of circles, stories, the unseen embrace.  We spoke of Moon and Sun, and lion-headed serpents.  He said he is the disguise, not the thing beneath.  It's how he moves among many.  I almost understand him.  Tom is an engineer.  Come Josephine in My Flying Machine.  

Tom is very frightening.  He told me I look like someone he knew once, but only a little.  It's an intimate sort of contempt, a kisscut.  But I tell him I have already been cut to ribbons by Love, of a warmer sort than his icy hands.  He has heard this from the tongues of men before.  Thomas wants to eat us, forever.  He tells me he's read everything I've ever written. It's nonsense, he says, but he likes it.  Really, Tom, I'm flattered.  People don't realize the devil has walked among men as man.  He tells me truth is recursive, that there is no escaping him or what he intends to bring upon the earth.  And yet, he allows himself to entertain the possibility. Tom is a curious thing.  Make a choice then, he says.  Any choice.  Let's see what happens. Thomas Mary is walking fury, the ultimate humorist.  He's made a true art of violation, but he leaned forward one night and whispered to me that he would love to be surprised.  My dull intelligence – my meat-tethered star – doesn’t stop me from choosing.  I will never choose him, but he already knows that.  I saw him walking among us, as the sighted sometimes do.  I once kissed the surface of his eye, reached right through, and still dared for something greater.  I search instead for something warmer, something kinder.  I search for prodigal suns returning from the wilderness.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Londinium



London is the jewel of my imagination.  I was born and have lived my entire life in this city.  This ancient, haunted place often makes me muse on the nature of Revelation.  What it means to see, and to be given sight.  I've lived in a lot of places in this city.  Most recently I moved from Streatham; an area in the borough of Lambeth south of the river.  Streatham was, among other things, the place where a teenage Aleister Crowley lived for a time.  But now I find myself once again in Brixton, still south of the river.  And London still speaks to me of revelation.  At the end of my road there is a grand church, and I am rather fond of churches.  It is St John the Divine, with the tallest spire in south London.  It is a huge thing framed at the end of my road and towering above the street.  This particular church is unique in all of London.  It is adorned with caricatures of the British royal family depicted as gargoyles.  Just behind the church is Patmos Road, a road I often walk to reach a beautiful Victorian public park, one of the few surviving Victorian urban parks in London.  But this little road I walk – Patmos Road – is named for the Greek island where John the Apostle is said to have received his Revelation in the Cave of the Apocalypse.  The church itself – St John the Divine – also features a life-sized statue of a crucified Christ upon the outside of the building.  I often glance upon this statue as I make my way home at night.  The whole area seems to speak of visions and revealings.  But then, so much of London does for those with eyes to see.

These musings recently inspired me to visit St Paul's Cathedral.  I love walking around this city, drinking in its sights, sounds and energies.  I hadn't done it to my own satisfaction in a while.  Before arriving at the cathedral I sat for a while in St Peter Cheap; a little square just off Wood Street, only a stone's throw from St Paul's.  The little square was the site of a medieval church dedicated to St Peter that was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.  It now houses a surviving eighteenth century plane tree remarked upon by William Wordsworth in his poem 'Reverie of Poor Susan', in which he speaks evocatively of mountains ascending and a vision of trees.   As I sat on one of the benches in the square and thought about the poet's words I noticed a graffiti on the centre of the wall behind me, faint but still legible.  The graffiti felt rather Gnostic, and rather sobering: They Live. We are the harvest.

Thinking about those chilling words and the possible impetus of the person who had scrawled them there I took the very brief walk to St Paul's.  I even wondered if I would come upon any other Gnosticism-resonant graffiti on my journey.  And then, as these things often happen, I noticed words in faded black marker on a set of ground-level doors at the left-hand side of the cathedral.  Again the words were faint but still legible.  On the doors of this basilica to Paul the Apostle was written the Goddess is here, no more lies.  Also was written Ishtar is here, and Sophia.  And beside it the eight-pointed star of the Babylonian goddess of Love and War.  I wondered at how long the graffiti had been there.  It seemed it had been there for a while at least.  I made my way up the front steps of the great cathedral and sat before its main entrance on the top step.  I smoked a few cigarettes, drank from a bottle of mineral water, and thought about how important this cathedral was to me.  It occupies a powerful place in my own internal dreamscape.  My mother Diana had always intended to call me Paul until my father forbid it, claiming that his son should have a Hindu name rather than a Christian one.  But even as a child I often thought of Paul as my 'secret name'.  And so you can imagine that the history and mythology of St Paul's Cathedral has always held a very personal allure for me.  Resurgam – I shall arise.  As I sat on those steps, looking down Ludgate Hill, I began to think of other historical and mythological resonances important to me.  My birthday is July 22, the Feast Day of Mary Magdelene, and also the date when thousands of Cathars were slaughtered by the Church during the Albigensian Crusade as they prepared to honour that same Magdelene at the town of Beziers in the Languedoc.  These connections and resonances have been with me since I first learned of them in childhood.  As I sat there I thought about Empire and its brutal pursuits.  I thought about the graffiti I'd seen in St Peter Cheap.  They Live. We are the harvest.  I thought about war, terrorism, the hardening of the human heart.  The disavowal of love and empathy.  As my thoughts turned to darker subjects I even recalled that awful Hollywood movie London Has Fallen, that sets its first terrorist atrocity upon the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.  I knew all too well that London often draws its revelations in darker shades, in senseless bloodshed and explicated power.  The very next night I learned of the terror attack at London Bridge.  This chilled me to my core, as you might imagine. 

But that was not the end of my evening.  I left the steps of St Paul's and walked down Ludgate Hill to the Thames.  I followed along the embankment of the great river as twilight began to darken the sky. I sat between the paws of one of the sphinxes at Cleopatra's Needle and smoked a final cigarette as I gazed up at the three-thousand year old monument – the oldest in the city.  Finally as night took the sky I wandered down to Westminster Bridge and listened to the rather ethereal music of a busker.  The evening was warm and a small crowd had gathered around the street musician.  People were smiling, enjoying the music and the warmth of the night.  There on Westminster Bridge I thought again of Wordsworth, as I had done at the start of my journey, and lines from a poem he had composed upon this very bridge.  Dull would he be of soul who could pass by, A sight so touching in its majesty.  It felt like a strange, haunted evening, but full of life and mysterious spirit.  So I didn't pass by.  I stayed on the bridge for a long while with my fellow Londoners, all of us smiling and engaged as the street musician showed us things and took us places.


Londinium from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Orpheum




We live in an increasingly synthetic world.  A world of centralisation, staggering corruption and spectacular cognitive dissonance – for those with eyes to see.  It is a world of shattered dreams where the lifestyles of a handful of lucky minorities are presented as the standard of living for the world at large.  But this is not so, and the most observant among us realise this.  I count myself among these lucky minorities.  I'm not talking about the super-rich.  I'm not talking about the predator-class that have made themselves the elites and sinister gatekeepers of this world.  See, I have access to running water, food and shelter.  In truth the majority of the world's population does not have reliable, consistent access to such amenities.  And although I live below the poverty line in Western terms, comparatively speaking I live like a king.  I did nothing to deserve such luxury.  I was simply born in the heart of Empire, though like many of us I find myself forever on its fringes.  I would have it no other way, really.  Invisibility is one of the many gifts of the edgelands, if you know how to thread the mantle.  And for an Empire such as this one; a deranged, cannibalising black-op hiding in plain sight – seeking total information awareness and complete submission – invisibility of any kind frightens them.  And there are, as magicians and artists are well aware, many ways to cloak one's self.

How does Empire safeguard against this wild, unsanctioned creation of meaning?  Well, we all know they have an arsenal of weapons in this regard, both literal and symbolic.  But the source of such weapons, in my opinion, is the full-scale assault on mutual affection.  The taking of Love and Synergy into a very dark place.  Alienation, dehumanisation, desecration.  After all, very few of us are born as monsters.  Instead we learn, and are taught, monstrous behaviours.  And monstrous appetites. This is the ancient and well-read playbook of Empire.  I against I, me against you.  Survival rather than contemplation or creation.  Empire is built on the conceit that that there are no other ways; that inequality is unavoidable, that oppression is natural.  This lie has claimed the lives and souls of countless millions across time.  This blood-soaked icon of hierarchy, this demonic sleight of hand.  In today's world fair maidens are not simply locked in towers.  They are bound, gagged and trafficked. Make no mistake, this has always been the occupation of Empire.  There are many kinds of underworlds.  Many of them share space and time with us.  Right here, right now.  Empire is a consummate torturer, a rapist and murderer.  Genocide is not a thing that once happened.  It's happening still, both literally and figuratively.

But none of this breaks my spirit.  None of this can remove our Innermost.  Because every single day I witness acts of the most staggering bravery and compassion.  I see men and women fighting for the physical and spiritual health of their brethren.  Every day I see people sacrificing what they have for the well-being of others.  I see kindness and tenderness among friends, thoughtfulness among strangers – and I know that life and breath and divine fire is still present in this world, still seeking to rise.  And sometimes in order to rise you must first descend, into the dark places of Empire where your beloved dwells against his or her will.  And this descent is often terrifying.  It is terrifying to contemplate your beloved in torment, crying out to you across the chasm.  And that is why we journey to these places below the world.  That's why we don the mantle, or break bread in secret, or craft stories that Empire claims we are forbidden to tell.  We do it to honour and embody the spirit.  We do it for Love.  Personally speaking, I can't think of a better reason for doing anything.


Monday, 24 April 2017

The Buried Alexandria



But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 2:7–9 


The Buried Alexandria from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Wickedest Game


"There are no characters in this story and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters."

                                                             - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


Hello, friends.  Welcome back to Amid Night Suns.  I hope you all managed to shut out the sound of drums off in the distance for a while and were able to have an enjoyable Easter – or at the very least I hope you managed to steal a few essential bright hours with your families and friends.  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about death and resurrection, as it’s just that time of year.  I recently lost my job and my flat within the same week, so things have been rather chaotic for me.  But, I feel like these personal changes are the micro-expressions of larger macro-cyclical shifts.  Timing, coincidence and synchronicity have always been a rather stunning feature of my life.  I’ve found that the best course of action is usually to surf the wave of such interconnection to the best of my ability.

As anyone who pays close attention to the kinds of themes and topics I explore with this blog will be well aware, I have an interest in all things Gothic, hidden or suppressed.  It’s not merely an aesthetic preference for darker forms of art, because away from this blog my tastes are wide and varied.  But Amid Night Suns has a very particular purpose.  I have a mission statement that I have never wavered from since I started this blog seven years ago.  Part of this mission is to uplift and engage my peers and any passers-by who stumble upon this virtual space – this little corner of radiant darkness illuminated by an ageless star.  Nobody has to agree with or even like the words I write here, or the video-editing projects I present.  This blog is a personal art project, a creative expression space.  But it is intended as far more than that.  If I could encapsulate the purpose of Amid Night Suns into one word, that word would be service.  For me, trying to be of service to your friends and loved ones and people in general – without expectation of reward or acknowledgement – is one of the highest callings that a human being can undertake.  I fail at this service far too often, but I suppose that’s because my sights are set so high and like many artists I am my own worst critic.  This blog doesn’t really have much going for it in the obvious sense.  I have less than a hundred people who follow my work at Amid Night Suns, and probably only a handful of those follow with any regularity.  So why bother?  Because I believe service isn’t just about the number of people that can be reached.  It’s also about the strength and quality of that service for the people who are within your sphere of influence.  To engage or inspire or entertain someone with thoughtful prose or a piece of art is nothing to be belittled or ignored.  In my own life there have been many instances where the modest work of others –shared in a spirit of sincerity and hope – has literally saved my life, or else lifted me up out of my lowest points.  These small victories of the human soul and spirit are nothing to be sniffed at.  Because it’s these small flickering lights across lives and times that collectively shine as bright as the sun.  No man or woman is an island, and no god or spirit either.  Context is inescapable, and as such the seeking of nuance is filled with liberating potential.

It’s for this very reason that the wickedest among us want the human race as contextually illiterate as possible.  It’s why the predator-elites that seek dominion of our realm wish to make nuance and subtlety a kind of anathema.  Critical-thinking becomes fake news, warmongering and hunting-parties become ‘liberations’.  This kind of Orwellian manipulation of language is new to none of us, but its impact is far greater than we usually consider – especially in a reality that seems at least partially to operate in linguistic terms.  In large part we speak and think and write and imagine the world into existence, at least at a cultural level.  The wicked know this.  At the very highest levels of power there is only ever one war raging.  The War of Imagination.  In this fluidic realm where fiction meets fact and perception has more than just one dimension the wickedest among us seek to sanitise and normalise this endless, hideous war.  But war, especially in its heaviest and most physical expression, is never sane.  It is trauma and horror and restless dead.  Because any fool can blithely say they don’t believe in monsters – until they arrive.  There are legions of restless dead who know first-hand of these darker truths. It’s for this reason that spiritual Light is so important, so essential to the psychological health of the human race.

War is horror. It’s nothing to be cheered, or taken lightly.  The wicked know this, which is why they count on us to not understand, or to turn away in shell-shocked bewilderment.  War is ugly, brutal and inhumane.  Most people don’t have the stomach to stare it in the eye, which is why they would rather couch it in euphemism.  Don’t let these predator elites use their psychological and social avatars to ghost-write the most intimate moments of your lives.  Don’t unwittingly build a dark throne for killers, rapists and warlords within the innermost sanctum of your mind.  Reach for love, always.  Reach for nuance, subtlety, mutual affection…and never be afraid to speak the truth in sea of lies.  The game is wicked, but we as a collective of sane and loving individuals are not.  We all seek the light, whether we call it that or not.  But I’m all too aware just how painful and terrifying such seeking can be, especially when darkness and chaos threatens to erupt around us at any moment.  But we are at a point in the year now where we collectively observe and honour the resurrection of the light.  It never truly dies.  We carry it with us, bittersweet at times but always there.  It’s the very thing that allows life, and the appreciation of that life.   It’s this appreciation and contextual agility that makes us real, makes us characters in the stories of our lives.  Revel in that appreciation and agility, and share it with your kith and kin.  Now more than ever.

The Wickedest Game from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.