November 09, 2006


I laughed appreciatively when I first learned that ancient Hawaiian poets used to gather together to compose poems by committee. Someone would suggest a line, and the others would either nix it or refine it. Can you imagine a similar miracle occurring among the raging artistic egos of Western culture? Even for us share-and-share-alike Libertarian Socialists here at the Beauty and Truth Lab, it can sometimes be hard to drop our attachment to being inviolably special.

As a favor to pronoia, however -- as proof of our devotion to the joy of undoing our fixations -- we decided to enlist one of our crazy heroes, Hakim Bey, to commit a collaboration with us. Of course he was too busy to satisfy our request, so we decided simply to take matters into our own hands. We lifted one of his published works, stripped it down, and used it as the skeleton for our own musings. The essay below amounts to an odd kind of plagiarism, then. Very few of our words are repeats of his, but his thought process is the underpinning. Think of it as a palimpsest.

by Rob Brezsny and the Beauty and Truth Lab under the influence and
inspiration of Hakim Bey

THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO PLAY. Pity the educated cynics who refuse to
enjoy the fun, choosing instead to remain faithful to their numb logical

THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO PLAY. Mourn for the humorless devotees who
refuse to join in the raucous unpredictable game so that they might feed
their spiritual greed, pretzeled up motionless on prayer mats with the
torment of grave meditations.

THE UNIVERSE WANTS TO PLAY. Have compassion for the imagination- dead heroes who cling so tightly to the masks they've forged for
themselves that they're dead to the delight of molting.

PRONOIAC SORCERY is the daily cultivation of playfully altered states of
awareness for the purpose of accomplishing practical miracles.

PRONOIAC SORCERY begins with your hunger for ingenious beauty and
ever-fresh truth. It thrives and ripens as you discover that everything you
behold is bursting with conscious intelligence.

PRONOIAC SORCERY is not about reading auras or divining past lives. It's
not the corrupt shamanism of teachers who soar adeptly through astral
realms but treat the people in their daily lives like crap. Goddess forbid
that PRONOIAC SORCERY might be confused with the dry lust for
supernatural power and a godlike ego offered through the occult magic of
Crowley's Golden Dawn. If it's elitist hocus-pocus you want, go for the
real thing -- political power, the accumulation of financial wealth, or
becoming one of the media mind-controllers.

Your perceptions gradually open under the quiet, steady, friendly shock of
PRONOIAC SORCERY. As they do, they kill off your false will and banish
your artificial self.

Real PRONOIAC SORCERY breaks holes in the consensual hallucination
called "reality," allowing you to escape to your lost home. It
metamorphoses the place where you actually live, right here and now --
wild, messy heaven brought kicking and screaming with delight into this
eternally virgin planet Earth. Here amazement is normal; sudden mutations
-- actual transformations of things you've never before been able to
change -- are possible.

As a pronoiac sorcerer, you prove the taboo truth that all of reality is
inherently designed to bring about our liberation. Best of all, you do it not
only for yourself. The enhanced perceptions you enjoy, the altered states
you craft, are not just for your own use in the silence of your selfish
needs. As a pronoiac sorcerer, you yearn to awaken the gift in other
people, to expand the intoxication through benevolent contagion.

PRONOIAC SORCERY: Let it spread. May it multiply. Unleash it and unmask
it -- not just in exotic once-in-a-blue-moon dreams, but in the throb of the
simple dramas you live from day to day.

Everything in the universe is alive with playful intelligence and wants to
improvise with us.

Hakim Bey's original version of "The Universe Wants to Play" can be found


Blogger Eleutheria said...


Hallelujah, doll! The world needs more souls like yours!

THank you for these wonderful frothings of a gypsylovekitten. My secret coven of Cosmic Odalisques will beat a song on drums especially for you, and bear the light of bliss in your name.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008  
Blogger Alice said...

Dear Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman,


All Good Things,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008  

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