The Liminalist # 113: A Gothic Hinterland (with David Curtis)

Part one of a two-part conversation with author David Curtis, talking about the weather, born in Soulford, Manchester witchcraft, an interesting journey, sustained isolation, the end of work, meeting a wise man, learning wild flowers, an intimate moment, in the margins, self-to-self connection, meeting Krishnamurti, finding safety in an altered state, David Bohm, Castaneda & don Juan, where Buddha is, immanent satori, claims of the absolute, matching Krishnamurti, the question of enlightenment, lying through their teeth, Shamus Healey, those who know don’t speak, talking about enlightenment, the break in continuity, being & nothingness, a fear of memory, the cloud of unknowing, remembering nothing, nothing to reveal, Celina Green, encountering the counterculture, Jimi Hendrix, a gothic hinterland, Crowley, Jung, and the scarab, Vassar college, working on the Apollo rocket, when the unconscious takes over, Prince Myshkin, Woodstock, meeting Timothy Leary, Millbrook, Arthur Koestler’s death pill, Alister Hardy & the religious experience unit, social engineering, a history of UFOs, a confused agenda, UFO incident at the house of T.E. Lawrence, Betty & Barney Hill, abducted!

David’s books

Songs:  “The Kommema and his Religion” by SunWalker; “Presence,” by Globelamp; “Venus in Twilight” by Keith Allen Dennis; “Belka and Strelka–The Spase Dogs” by The Vivisectors.

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  1. Philip Ederer
    Posted May 14, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    But what’s the test for proving enlightenment ? Krishnamurti crashed cars, drank and had a huge shoe collection up the road from me….The woman companion/patron wrote a book. Also knew the woman who had to cleanup his rooms after he died. Also saw J. Lilly constantly having to go to the bathroom to shoot ketamine as he was lecturing in an orange jumpsuit, speaking in a droney, scripted, dissociated way towards the end….

  2. Philip Ederer
    Posted May 15, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Peggy Hitchcock (Mellon)- Millbrook. T.E. Lawrence was totally a useful idiot, spy for da oil. Walter Bowart. Here’s “Power & Control LSD in the Sixties”:

  3. Isaac
    Posted May 18, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Intriguing conversation, curious to see where it goes from here.

    It’s interesting that he mentions that seeing Soft Machine (while opening for Hendrix) was almost like a trigger into his period of self discovery. Soft Machine was one of the big bands to come out of the UFO Club (the other being Pink Floyd). It’s also funny to hear him describe their music as a bunch of noise, which may have been a little accurate at that time, but Soft Machine was easily one of the most talented bands to come out of that era. I don’t really listen to them anymore because of their name and some of their connections, but can’t deny their song – (Moon in June) – is among the great rock songs (if such a thing can exist).

  4. Strategic Deception
    Posted May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Speaking of physicist David Bohm and musical acts, here’s a strange side-note: David Bohm’s wife (Saral) taught voice & vocal technique to John Balance, one of the main 2 members of the musical group ‘Coil’. Coil had a long-standing interest in the occult, and Coil’s other main member was Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, who’d been one of the 4 members of the band ‘Throbbing Gristle’, along with Genesis P-Orridge.

  5. JorisKarl
    Posted May 23, 2017 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Krishnamurti and his younger brother were sold to the Theosophists, Annie Besant and Colonel Olcott, by their impoverished Brahmin father. Brahmins are (were?) the highest, priestly caste in Indian society and Krishnamurti was a Vedantist, although he espoused a modern, urban, sophisticated kind of Vedanta. The English novelist Christopher Isherwood was a follower of Vedanta although he had a different guru. The theosophists had plans to set Krishnamurti up as the World Avatar and the night before the grand ceremony, Krishnamurti disappeared; he later said that, although he regretted disappointing Annie Besant who had been kind to him and his brother, he just had to reject the whole sham of being a World Avatar. He was very young and demonstrated a great deal of integrity and wisdom for his age, He could have gone along with the charade and become very wealthy. I never met him but find his talks and books do make sense. He’s very no-nonsense and unpretentious and it seems clear that Enlightenment isn’t very important to him; anyway, he doesn’t seem obsessed with it.

    Much of what I wrote is a paraphrase of Agehananda Bharati’s assessment of Krishnamurti and other gurus in his book _The Light at the Center: The Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism (1976)_, a book that’s still worth reading.

    I resonate with David Curtis’ range of reference: like him, I am a “classical music” listener surrounded by pop music, some of which I like; attracted to Hegel–for me The Philosophy of Right–from a young age–before I could understand 70 percent of the words of the English translation– and the work of one of the English Hegelians, John McTaggart, especially his thoughts on the unreality of time and immortality. I’ve also had dispeptic experiences with the occult, more like Jasun, including body paralysis, spontaneous ejection of consciousness, and disturbing, psychedelic dreams of a hyperreal nature, but that was in my early twenties. I’ve become quite staid in my late 50s but still liminal.

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