Sunday, December 12, 2004


Salams!

Back in my old home of Adelaide, sitting in the Chinese gouger St internet cafe, my high expectations of marriage have been shown for what they are...Total illusions...my remaining few hopes (ie girls I know well & who know me reasonably well) from my pre-Islamic way of life have all moved on & are no longer in the realms of possibility: Praise Be to God, as disappointed as I feel, it must be so

It's like I've never left already. but yet things have subtly changed, I still feel as isolated as when I left, as a white, educated Australian Muslim here; there is no middle ground, here: the isolated immigrant muslim brothers; same faces same places: still living the commodified House-Mosque routine, they somehow ignore that there is an Australian culture they're living in, they don't dare live or involve themselves in the greater non-muslim community & May God Guide Us All... nor seemingly can I be of any help, I'm an relatively ignorant new muslim...what do I know?

I don't relate to them with my Australian upbringing, bohemian roustabousing, family & old friends...that creeping sense of frustration has returned, as my Aussie friends are still largely getting drunk & taking drugs, so little progress spiritually in this secular paradise, and I feel as isolated from them as ever for the fact of being Muslim is an irrecovable truth to them, I can no longer share their "good times" the reasons I left remain, and away I shall stay until the goal is acheived...

Onto Melbourne soon, Sydney by the 26th for an unusual Islamic event called Does God Exist? is going down at the Opera House with a group of remarkable luminaries : Tariq Ramadan, Harun Yahya Inc , & te ex-hippy & now Sufi Sheikh Noorudeen Durkee (it seems to be the same man, I hope there are not two!)

before flying out via London & the US (the long pacific route) once again to the Land of the Bedu....

(thanks Khalid!)

cannot find camera to computer cable still looking, so no photos, helas!

but in the meantime as always,

God Bless

Mahdi




Saturday, November 27, 2004


Oh

I forgot....such has been my plunge in to the world

Had a nerve wracking meeting with Abdal-Halim Murad in Cambridge, will relate, it's salient points with a portrait....and the Sheikh Hamza talk, inspirational, took notes might as well write them up for you also

I promise I'll do me best...soon


and if you believe, pray for me to be forgiven by He (Glory Be To Him!) Who Hears & Knows All Things Hidden or Known

MattX



Sunday, October 17, 2004


Baraked Salams to All & Sundry in this blessed month!

the fasting's on! what a gift!

after reading this

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/article/0,20967,703248,00.html

I was curiously motivated to write this

Part of How I Became a Muslim , Pt 2,



Dear Dr Svoboda,

Peace Be with You

Congratulations for your recognized achievements in this most mysterious realm!

I learned of your work by your nomination in the Popscience '3rd annual brilliant ten' list of which you are no doubt aware, I wanted to write to you concerning some very strange & singularly unique experiences I was fortunate enough to taste, in the search for novelty & truth, I guess some time in 1999.

I was by basic University training in Adelaide, Australia, an organic chemist (Bsc(Hons)) for a while, to cut a long story short, this fortuitously lead to an interest in shamanism & the perusal of the subjective states achieved through the use of sacred plants & fungi, for the 'keys' contained within, by native people around the world since time immemorial.

The most profound of these was a very precise combination of the Peganum Harmalum (Syrian Rue) seed ( active constituents Harmine & Harmaline) & the Psilocybin containing mushroom from Northen NSW called a 'golden top' (stropharia Cubensis)

the gist of the story, whether you believe it or not ( which is of little importance to me: only the ideas contained within) was the information I gleaned or was 'shown' on the otherside to try & explain to my puny intelligence, how what was happening, was actually happening,

....which remains largely now in the realm of the unspeakable

(it may not surprise you that I am now a seriously practising sufiminded muslim living in Saudi Arabia currently teaching English !{to acquire fluency in Arabic}, at the time I was known as a certain Dr Zen, at the risk of you inevitably thinking of me as a wacko, here is an interview

http://home.iprimus.com.au/rogdog/htm/chats.htm#matthew

just prior to embracing Islam)

What They showed me, (after I calmed down a lot because you can't believe this is actually happening to you), and according to my level of scientific understanding, was, a very precise and beautiful molecularly resolved colour 3D picture of a synapse, in situ, so to speak, ALIVE & I mean alive because They zoomed in close to show me a particular stereoscopic molecular arrangement, IN-SIDE the synaptic cleft with resonating, colour labelled vibrating atoms at higher res! and it was all HUMMING, like at a bass drone, I mean the whole receptor site was jiggling about at a frequency I could HEAR as They showed me.

As this was happening a second similarly colour labelled molecule was brought into this picture which I recognized as a resonating Psilocybin molecule, also humming at a slightly higher frequency, as the Psilocybin molecule was brought near to the similarly humming receptor site or 'key-hole' in the Synaptic cleft, the two frequencies started to overlap to produce a beat, like two strings of a guitar, just slightly out of tune,

as the Psilocybin molecule settled into it''s corresponding site, the beats started to closely over lap then...a whistling multi-octave resonating 'quantum?' hum emerged, much like as a Tuvan throat singer sounds ( I hope you're familiar with this art-form) as peculiarly , small eddies in space time seemed to start to open at the Planck scale, at this site. This is only as I perceived it, it may have meant some other enchaining process at a larger scale, however, which I understand is where you're at, currently

......and that was it! ...(of that section of the visions) & onto other breathless questions from me while in contact

I felt, thus They were graciously answering by showing how I could be perceiving this 'Higher-reality' 'Dimension' and having this 'contact' to begin with!

in a similar vein the action of DiMethyl Tryptamine (DMT) was also explained of which I had used a number of times & also administered to many others who sought the inexplicable

http://www.rickstrassman.com/

on recovering from this life changing experience, I began to think how could you possibly & scientifically prove this logical impossibility? Something that you know is .........just........ not .........supposed......... to............ happen

rendering all & sundry into 'dumfoundedness'

a veritable H-Bomb upon the traditional perception of reality: the world your parents , your priest(aka your Imam, Guru, Monk), and even your nobel prize winners told you about as if they know....

it's as deep into the X-factor zone as you go & it happens! & is it being researched anywhere ?

no, it's not provable under current technology

nor would the conservative establishment take the outrageous step of finding out for themselves, the only way you can know with certainty

hahA! the old chesnut of subjective personal experience!

BUT

I thought perhaps someday in the future, if one could mathematically
model the receptor site & duplicate the accumulated covalent bond frequencies, as the 'model' to reference against & have live subjects undergo controlled administration of DMT and placebos while the brain was NMR/MRI'd at a resolution not yet achievable, or as you are now doing with 'two-photon laser scanning microscopy" or some such technique, there might be a case for a thought provoking paper..due to the inevitable discrepencies in the results,

.....hence your work or what little I know of it seemed to sync & evoke this email

Hope it's food for thought or a laugh at least, but I can't help but feel they way you are going is a promising route for theoretical physicists to approach the problem of proving 'other dimensions' as postulated by Superstring or M-theory together with consciousness researchers & the inevitable neuroscientists such as yourself,

could be nobel prizewinning stuff......!

this is of course, as I understand, still in the realms of science-fiction, however but take it as you will!

God Luck!

Yours With Certain Purple Notions That There is A Beyond,

Matthew Thistle (Mahdi bin Daoud)

for his papers see:

http://www.cshl.org/public/SCIENCE/svoboda3.html

http://svobodalab.cshl.edu/publications_main.html



Friday, October 1, 2004


Peace Be With You



at the tail end of 3 hour hard surf, spilled iced coffee on my sparkly white shirt, viewed many other profiles of interesting bloggers, crunched almonds, played chess: I should be learning Arabic but since my earnest teacher Motasim has split to Darfur for a month and a half, May God help him, I've lost a lot of motivation about this ancient asemic toungue, it comes & goes in waves...time to go back to work, 30 or 40 bedu to challenge



settled anachronistic waves of glittering insight bellow bitter pulses of purple!



short & sweet,



Salut & Salaams....




Wednesday, September 29, 2004


News at the Mountain Bedu Front!

Faisal, my private student & one of the biggest race-horse owners in Riyadh and the amiable private No1 secretary of the local No 2 prince Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdul Aziz , a few nights ago, off the cuff, and quite flippantly, offered me 'a filly' ie one of his racehorses as a gift!

WHAT!!!??

It seems its important for him that I might share the pleasures of owning & watching one's horse race & compete in Saudi racing scene......... he was flushed at the win of one of his horses on the weekend,that he just showed me on video, it won a 100, 000 Riyal (~$27,000Aus)....I was thinking well I need to make a film not own a horse just then he even said "if you need money then you just tell me, we put it in market, sell it & I send it you!"


eh? gulp

I was somewhat taken aback to be sure, couldn't quite believe what he was saying, I said I'd think about it, fearing corruption in the soul but on reflection, I feel it is indeed a generous impulse from his heart, and thereby from God, most Exalted & Generous. The arabs have a deep respect for the 'ustathz' (teacher) that has been lost by society back in the west, to quote "you are my fabulous teacher, and the teacher for me is something....something...how can I say....?" then we got interrupted...as usual by one of the many workers that buzz around the prince

Anyway last night I confirmed that indeed after discussing it with my father I should like to accept his offer & he kind of blinked & he said "your father will probably want to come! to Saudi & see these beautiful horses!" and then we got interrupted again & until the end of the lesson; but not likely thought I!

Not a further word was mentioned about it, so time will tell if he is actually serious or not, but if so, it will fundamentally and radically change my financial state tremendously and the ability to shoot 'The 64 Squares', which was recently & miraculously saved by the Grace of God from incineration when my house recently burnt to the ground (see Monday, August 23, 2004)

hows thAT!?

some kind of grander plan of God (Exalted Be He!) is slowly emerging.....

keep you posted! Godwilling

May The Peace, Grace & Blessings of The Beloved Be Upon All who Chance Upon This...



Thursday, September 23, 2004


Hir Bo! and Salams to All.....



An unpleasant moment in yesterdays obligatory Thursday morning attendance (we have clock in to do nothing for 4 hours, to make up the 48 hours stipulated in our contracts), I was buzy Internetting when one of the well-meaning smiling Syrian part-timers, happily chirped,



"Mahdi, ta'ala! (come!) you want to see the amriki get his head cut off?" as if he were asking me for a cup of tea, and he was still smiling



I couldn't believe what I was hearing, with a raised voice I blurted



"are you serious? why would you want to watch something like that!? are you sick in the head? "



he said something like



" I always want to watch such thingks, every time!"



like it was good & normal to watch whitey get his head slowly hacked off with a big knife as he screams like a pig



(May God Forgive Him for his terrible suffering at the hand of evil)



this went on for some time with me spouting the usual cliches about these terrorists being an enemy of Islam etc thank God we didn't get started on whether he actually thought he deserved it or not....



anyway he got a little hurt after all of this & lost his smile after all & kind of said



"well if don't want to watch it, just say 'I don't want to watch it', that's it bus (same meaning) "



this set me off again having to deal with once again this infernal mind control, peer-group publicly acceptable pressure thing these Arabs here, spew, ad infinitum, at you without the slightest reflection or awareness as to their conditioning and it's effect



I really reverted to full khawaja (white Anglo-Saxon westerner) mode & gave him the self-righteous spiel, you know the one, about how I 'll tell you what ever opinion I want to tell you without you telling me what I should or should say, that's my right & privilege as a free-thinking individual not some kind of mind-control automon etc



Unfortunately I've been through this a few times now and they kind of don't know what to say and go quiet as indeed he did as the steam slowly drifted out of my ears



I'm ashamed that I can't control my anger at these moments it just kind off goes off like a bang, so much progress to made in this area, part of the test the the Beloved has placed before me, May I triumph, eventually



I've noticed when you fast, it's a lot harder to lose one's temper, you just don't have the energy, it just drifts over you without attatching but some of these people as nice as they seem, have the most odiously ignorant & foulest opinions about west, and it's what makes living here, I guess, at heart difficult.



10 minutes later he was one of 4 seperate co-workers insiting that I accompany them to the carbohydrate nightmare breakfast that somebody's mother had made, of course & as usual, I refused as politely as I could, one of several times over, before I was shouting good-naturedly at the last guy to leave me hell alone! I'm not an Arab! re-iterating that I don't have to go if I don't want to, I'm buzy, I'm dieting & I don't like sitting around listening to you all jabber on in Arabic eating "look I'm becoming a balloon" food, I'm a westerner... I come from a different culture & we do want we want when we want not because everybody else is etc



confused they always ask "..but why?"



it's unimaginable for them to refuse a group eating session, they just can't envisage that it's not enjoyable for someone like me in this particular situation



there is also the religious edict via the Prophet's hadith that says



"Go with him when your brother invites you"



that contributes to this



it's actually hard to do when your the only westerner most of them have ever met and they eat the same food over again day after day: chicken & rice capsa, variation in diet is not something they seem to think about



capsa, capsa , capsa CapSAA, capsa capsa, capsa,capsa,capsa CapSAA, capsSAA CapSAAAAAaa



every flippin' day of your life....



how would you be if everything in you life was like that?



May God forgive me, I should go but when I'm buzy I'm buzy! and it's another thing that doesn't seem to register, it's always assumed any interruption to whatever you're doing is welcome, another source of frustration for the Khawaja under siege



but they let me get away with it precisely because I'm a khawaja: they genuinely seem to enjoy my occaisional hysterics, as do the students, it kind of turns into impro performance theatre, "the outraged Khawaja!"



Anyway they eventually left me alone & sure enough out came Farouk the good hearted bangla coffee-tea co- worker with a plate full of cinnamon coated cake to leave beside me....they couldn't help but include me proxy-style in the end!



oh God Bless 'em !



one and a half months to go....tick tick tick






Tuesday, August 31, 2004


hir Bo!

& Wishes of Peace & Blessings,

I've been asked to give & have commenced English classes every night, to the Personal Secretary of the number 2 prince of the area, Prince Faisal, this secretary (also named Faisal) is in constant attendance from 8Am until 12 midnight every day of the year with no official holiday. They live in the below ( photographed from...) Abha Palace. To get through to the man I have to go to the 4th floor, run the gauntlet through about 3-4 machine gunned police, very nice people by the way, the bengali waiter (educated speaks perfect English), the bengla tea boy, the third bangla I don't know what he does, the tall & elegant looking Yemeni Ironer, the Indian number 2 secretary & then to Faisal, at the innermost sanctum, a very polite & nervous man....he determines the private affairs of the prince....all very interesting to see all this...has about 60 horses on a ranch near Riyadh, gets the horse form guide from England flown in every month crazy about them, not a poor man either by the sounds of it.....

otherwise work at Direct English has dropped off a cliff as the official school year is about to start,

Saw Kill Bill 2 on an import DVD and what a tedious & pretentious suprise.... with great fight scenes, it felt like Quentin needed to fill an hour & half of this pt 2 with explanatory self absorbed, expositionary dialogue: I didn't care for any of the characters, maybe I'm over tarantino as some kind of touted genius, it seems he's been listening to the praise exccessively & it's oozing out in the film, he's very plainly not, what a relief! talented though no doubt, can't hit it for six every time I guess...

more details soon...!

May the Peace, Grace & Blessings of the Beloved Be Upon You All

Matt





Monday, August 2, 2004


Allah hayaik--hir BO!



the traditional Assiri bedu welcome is much on my lips, as I'm heading to Farshah on thursday, about 150km down the mountains towards Yemen. Foreigners were only recently permitted to travel there due to the kanjah & rifle toting, bullet laden locals which were/are an embarrassment to the Najd government. I'm going with a local so, hopefully won't end with my throat cut....



Have Camera, will capture....or be captured



Otherwise work overwhelms currently, I'm on my 3 hour middle of the day break, Stuck in khamis Mushayt, as I've got to teach again at 5PM until 9PM then the infamous 30 minute hair raising drive back to Abha



they're calling...



baraked salams unto all












Sunday, July 25, 2004



sister praying at the smaller mosque inside Saladin's citadel Posted by Hello





sister praying at the smaller mosque inside Saladin's citadel Posted by Hello



Sunday, June 13, 2004


hello there, an amriki a day seems to be the current murder toll, my co-workers are embarrassed to tell me and have stopped doing so, knowing it doesn't help

God have Mercy Upon Those Who Are Taken

I've resorted to wearing my little white Muslim hat when outdoors & I've relaxed a lot as people don't tend to stare at you as much....

anyway it's nothing to the dangers the late William Thesiger put himself through to later write Arabian Sands (read the reviews at the bottom): I've been utterly engrossed in it since I bought it, there it lies finished beside my bed with my mind still racing with excitement

unputtdownable

is the only word truly appropriate: it's an astonishing read, it's fired up my taste for adventure....

booked a week's holiday from the 8th of July, mmm where should I go? Sallala? , Bedu and the Prophet Job's tomb? Arabic beauties in Beirut? Sufis in Damascus?

The very real and human desires laid bare....!!



Monday, May 31, 2004


another day, another slaughter,

May God have Mercy upon The Souls who Have been murdered

May The murderers face a suitable horrific punishment as decided by All-Knowing God...who Knows best

I seems they did their best to find out if their hostages were Muslim, before shooting or cutting their throats, so I should be safe, except for the most dangerous kind of brain-dead maniac who'll machine gun any westerner on the street that he comes across, which I understand is exactly what happened to a poor German fellow coming out of a bank a few days earlier.

I'm assured they do not exist down here in Abha......except I'm thinking if I were a terrorist, Abha is exactly the kind of place I 'd hide: quiet, out of the way, beyond suspicious. So there is a certain hurridness to get of the street these days, you might say.

The local Prince is not taking many chances, he's installed a brand new Italian made metal detector at the door of the swanky 'Abha Palace' where I do my thrice weekly constitutionals. I saw him a month or two ago, there are crowd of at least 12 security saudi's in traditional garb with holster guns & ceremonial golden swords & some other green uniformed official police with submachine guns that are in constant attendance. I was shooed out of the way in no uncertain terms, as the 'emir' (prince) was heading in my general direction, obediently, I held my stride and waited... then he swept into view, surrounded, head down & strode right in front of me, 2 feet away, all his long flowing brown robes flapping behind him, in deep thought.

I was of course no security threat being a western ajnabi, but I held my toungue and I was utterly and appropriately ignored. Only later did I realize it was perhaps my only occasion to say at least a 'salam walaykum' but I didn't think of it, perhaps luckily...

Part 2 of How I became a muslim will take some time to craft but it shall arrive, rest assured

just some shorter updates until then, I miss life as I knew it....but as they say 'with no pain there's no gain' and as dear Motasim often quips 'tommorrow's another day'

Peace To You All Who Chance Upon This



Wednesday, May 12, 2004


THE REVELATION OF HOW I BECAME A MUSLIM



Praise Be To God, Exalted On High Within & Without



I am 'mamnu'' : FORBIDDEN!



I have just learnt that the authorities have cottoned onto blogspot & now I cannot even view it as access is officially forbidden!! It has been entered into the proxy server list of 'we don't want you to know about these' sites, it just happened in the last couple of hours



An unexpected honor, although I doubt due solely to me however you'll be able to read this but all I'm seeing now is the prepublish page, they haven't worked out to ban that, so forgive any errors



Today, for your edification and amusement .... the story, in part, of how I became one who has submitted his will to God(Gracious Be He!), through recognising & following the way of his last prophet, Muhammad sent to the human beings (May God's Peace Be Upon Him): believe it or not!



I haven't ever written this down before, although, it's been told quite a few times to the inevitably curious non-western Muslims, so I'll try, as best as I can considering the whole experience is, by it's very nature not really communicable by words, perhaps a little by poetry and totally, utterly, staggeringly translinguistically beyond myself that.....I've not had the courage to try until now



.....mm you see something happened so huge, so utterly fantastic during the shamanic explorations of alternative universes, that I still struggle to truly comprehend, and rightly so, for it is uncomprehensible in it's totality , 4 and half years later, the end result of which is: I am a practicing Muslim,



Much to my surprise as, I actually struggle to like most Arab Muslims and their profound cultural conditioning, as much as I love Islam, May God forgive me,



but I wouldn't be telling the truth otherwise any way back to the freaky juice



When you explore these places, these realms, the Shamans elegantly say 'spirit world', you inevitably, shockingly & irrecovably perceive that they are NOT mere figments of your imagination, as many eminent skeptics and scientists attempt to assert,& postulate without any precise means to quantitatively test, subjective personal mystical experiences, objectively.



whew! , it's mindbending I know,



but think about it, for example, has any one ever actually scientifically proved that dreams exist?



I mean, plugging someone who is dreaming into a machine & somehow projected onto a screen so third parties can perceive it while your having it & then afterwards you can tick boxes to doubly verify you saw the same thing?



.... so any blockheaded scientist could thereby assert his hypothesis that therefore et ergo, dreams do not exist according to current technology



except of course the overwhelming & true reality of our own personal experiences which contradict this, despite the 'proof' being only brainwaves on charts, currently



In brings to mind, a quote I remember from a Sufi speaking in the middle of an ancient Persian argument about whether this brown muck from China they were looking at, called tea, was any good: "Is the the drink of heaven we heared about? is the this the drink of the gods?" they spurted so the Sufi stood up and launched a beautiful monologue of which I remember only:



'....He who tastes knows and he who tastes not knows not, so let us close the shop of argument and open the teahouse of experience...'



and hence as the story goes, is perhaps, how we are all, (in the west) drinking tea today,



a deep metaphor on the limitations & blindness of preconceiving anything



from 'Our Master' Rumi (May Beloved God sanctify his secret!)



The literal tasting of a variety of ekpyrotic alternative intelligences- or higher dimensional entities- or spirits, or djinn, or angels or demons: man calls them by a variety of names in every culture by people who know



So where does it all begin?



with God, by God, and He knows Best, so



In the name of God Most Merciful, All-Perceptive



It's funny how I ended up studying organic chemistry I never realized how it would pan out so,



Part 1



Meeting with the 'god' Osiris in a Field in Mulimbimbee



but so it did, one day back in Januarary '99 as I was bent on searching for magic mushrooms one day near Byron Bay in a little town called Mulimbimbee



I was fascinated by this unexplained mystery at the time and was plunging in without care, like it was some kind of calling and shaman that I am/was, it was as deep as I could go, and the mushrooms in this region are famed by the local hippies & other fellow hyperdimensional travelers, so thought I, it would be a waste to not partake of the opportunity while passing through,



so I parked the old ford station wagon, the one I just had to get fixed (see Tales from the Crypt of the Self...) near a wide green field with plenty of cows rummaging through the green chlorphylled living cellulose, as I got out, I noticed him,



who? this tall, dreadlocked black guy with a large walking stick, emerging from a old aqua kombi van, slowly and weirdly making his way towards me, he raised his hand slowly from afar and boomed across the void between



"HelloOO.. my .... vaan ... is .. stuck .. in .. the. mud,"



and then turned & pointed like a statue, is finger outstretched



"... can...... you ...... help....... me ......... pull....... it....... out?"



crikey, saying I was somewhat taken aback is an understatement. I didn't want to shout, so I made my way to him and as I did do he stared at me, wild eyed, and that familiar psychic rush of goose pimples flushed over me; I took notice, woah he had presence allright and he repeated himself very deliberately, as I reached him,



so I gave him the deal,



"...Look man, I'm in a bit of a hurry looking for some mushrooms, if you 'll help me find some, I'll help you get your van"



he just grunted and started walking with me, swinging his big stick before himself,



"So ahh Where are from bro?"



"Gondwana land 50, thousaaaand...... years....... ago........."



thinking he was aboriginal eccentric,



"Oh wao, what tribe is that man"



"Adamic, the seed, the first who came.........."



oh boy a right one here, & I just hoped he wasn't dangerous,



then he started to speak about his parents being slaves sometime in the last century and of receiving this vision of a kabbalistic triangle with light streaming from it with angels ( so similar to angles ) at each corner, as he told it I saw it in return I shared a vision of an ancient incredibly loving entity made of yellow, orange & purple crawling geometric mosaics of supernal light...that pulsated and flashed the incandescent purple tiles in language of light thought to thought, in a glittering glowing morphing tile palace; colours of the like that do not exist in our world...



....Here was the first rebounding from shock thought: that I was now dead from the DMT toke that I just had, and I was quite simply witnessing the afterlife as I never imagined it,



This grasp at comprehnsion, in turn, induced a panic, I was trying to breath but I didn't have or need lungs any more (I've witnessed this from the outside and the person generally hyperventilates in a panic for a minute or two) my consciousness was in total recoil shock- 'what are my friends and parents going to do with my body? 'Oh No, the misery that I've caused them'...etc.... with my ears crackling with some weird hyperdimensional static all the while but hang on, somehow I was actually having this experience and perceiving it, so I couldn't be quite dead yet but as I thought all of this in a nanosecond, the fluidic, tiled, light octupus like ENTITY was in my face, the tiles lit up & modulated their frequency with every word I was perceiving and it said, what I understood as



"...... I love you! and don't worry"



and for whatever reason, I said, in my mind, Love myself? and it erupted, bursting in a lighting strike of plasma purple that shot me through to the core, it was like a smile but not anything you could call it thus:



" YES!Love yourself! "



or words to that effect and then it swallowed me and I ended up in another place with millions of glowing balls, like separate universes , each one with something different inside, and I was fascinated with one of these universe balls and was drawn closer & closer and then fell inside of the ball and there I was in another place with this enormous sphere of white light pulsating, emitting a deep hum, sitting ontop of a giant resonating crystal white glowing pillar. At the junction of the ball and the pillar was somekind of living gasket that looked like an Islamic ziggurat squashed into 2 dimensions that was somehow moving & contracting & modulating the energy that was streaming into the giant column below, and I was terrified



As I became aware of my fear I stopped floating closer, and became aware of the distant bottom of the pillar, where it divided up into millions of incredible colours, each one making up the white light and each of these colours streaming off into the light blue infinity beyond



then it faded away into outer phenomenon, fascinating rainbow swirls and creatures as if from the aquatic deep, I was on the periphery of worlds within worlds and then I opened my eyes...crying



A month later I noticed the final image on the back of a nexus magazine, although it's a shadow of it's glorious reality, it is an accurate representation and since somebody else has seen it and drawn it, it's the best evidence available that indicates this is a real place



In the end it was my my first preconception shattering taste that there is a beyond, it changes your life forever....



but I digress, back to the story



``````````````````````````````````````````````



he just nodded and smiled



we were at his van at this point and it was stuck pretty deep, and I again agreed to help after some mushrooms were found, so we turned out in to the joyous fields



"....you are following the Indian way " he intoned, swinging his stick as if he knew all about it



'Yeah, eagle spirit flying....."



but who is this guy, I wondered,



".... hey, didn't get your name bro.."



"My name is Osiris"



what!?



"..you're Osiris!?..Egyptian God of the dead..?.."





"I ....am ..that ..am.. that.. I am" he intoned in deep bass



this definitely was a freak out, I had my suspicions but this confirmed my opinion that he was a nut case of the first order....



"uh uh...... but hey dude if you're Osiris then why can't you pyscokinetically lift your van out of the mud?"



thought I'd trip him up with that one,



"good question...." he smiled (& a hint that he was taking me for a ride) & raised his arm up over the town



"you see this town OVER THERE and the asphalt, it covers and blocks the earth's energy so I cannot tap it effectively"



OK, reasonable answer, however we continued on, I was curious but the conversation is a little unclear here,



He talked hazily further of the giant tidal wave coming later that year : there was a 6 planet alignment coming (August 1999) that received a lot of publicity at the time and then I suddenly asked, as I was very curious as to his mental state



"I see, so have you taken mushrooms yourself?"



"No I do not like the mushroom to speak for me"



I knew what he meant, but time to cut to the chase,



"look don't take this the wrong way but have you spent time in a hospital at all recently"



He just laughed



"I do not speak to others as I am speaking unto you "



and suddenly



"I'm tired off this"



and he turned away back to his van, just as I looked at him leaving, I looked down at my feet, bingo,



there I saw three perfect golden tops, a small, middle & large in the deep grass, very strange timing. I picked them well amazed at their perfection & ran to catch him up. This was very weird indeed.



Back at the van I explained my car would also get bogged if I tried to get him out, so I suggested we drive, in my car, to try a pub & find someone with a 4 wheel drive,



"nothing good can be found there, a Man with alcohol in his belly is no help to anybody, we need a woman, women run the country here"



I had to agree and desisted as we drove off to a local pub, so I thought I'll buy into his fantasy and see where it takes me



"so what do you do for money?"



"I take from those who don't need"



I sensed something insidious at this point,



"look Osiris, if your'e the god of death does that mean you umm... take life sometimes"



I couldn't believe I said that, and I suddenly had the feeling that this could precipitate something unexpectedly violent, but he only shifted uncomfortably and said calmly



"people kill themselves through their own ignorance but I don't with to talk about this futher...."



I breathed a sigh of relief at no knife appearing & stopped at a pub at this point and I went inside, and as he predicted, I couldn't find a single redfaced male who was willing to help, they all kind of sniggered so I sauntered back out to the car and we drove into the main street, keeping silent for a while



before long he spotted a lady in a 4WD & jumped out, all smiles & white teeth and convinced her to help & she happily agreed, so we were heading back to the fields and



It's a little hazy now but Jesus (AS) came up in the discussion & he talked, interestingly about a sacred tree that had been planted by Moses(May God send his peace Upon Him) whom he claimed had traveled to Australia passed on knowledge to the aboriginal people and that certain Aboriginal elders were guardians of this tree....only they knew the secret....!?



[if anyone who has also heard this extraordinary claim, please email me!]



...since He was heading there, he invited me along with him, but understandably I refused politely, assuring him I was well and truly on my own trip



After his car was withdrawn, I overheard his conversation with the hippy lady, his demeanor had completely changed, he introduced himself happily as 'Jonothan Rastafarian Man', purveyor of Hemp Seed Soap & other hemp products that he obviously sold at the many local markets out the back of his van, on his many & wide travels.



In the end I wished him well & relieved, drove off to look for some more mushrooms but coincendentally found myself stuck in the mud just as he had been.....!!??



Later when I got out I descended the hills to Byron Bay & parked by the beach, I noticed his van sitting there, as a parking spot opened two cars down, so I walked up & said hi



"you followed me here!" he proclaimed, "no I just happen to find a park next to you" I retorted



he then looked worried for a moment and uttered



"I need to find a universal joint for my van" and drove off in to the late afternoon sun,



it had been a very interesting ride,



Today it's an anecdote, in a much larger story.... curious as it was, but God knows best,



3 days later, and with 3 grams of potent dried Syrian Rue powder acting as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, I took the mushrooms.......



oh boy, then the weird and most wonderful things really started to unroll.....and that's part two coming soon...alas time on the net has been curtailed shouldn't be too long,



in the meantime,



Blessed & Baraked Salams & Wishes To All,






























Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Tales From The Crypt of The Self......



In the Name of God Most Understanding and Gloriously Gracious....



Abu Yazid Bistami said one time:



"If the Throne and what is around it and what is in it were placed in the corner of the heart of a Knower, they would be lost completely inside it."



a jewel from he who knew,



he also said, most beautifully, upon the trials to achieve his station of nearness:



"I was twelve years the blacksmith of my self, and five years the polisher of the mirror of my heart, and for one year I was looking in that mirror and I saw on my belly the girdle of unbelief. I tried hard to cut it and I spent twelve years in that effort. Then I looked in that mirror and I saw inside my body that girdle. I spent five years cutting it. Then I spent one year looking at what I had done. And Allah opened for me the vision of all creations. And I saw all of them dead. And I prayed four takbiras of janaza (funeral prayer) over them."



it's part of many other diamonds he uttered, often in a state of fana, (see links)



Otherwise,



Notions of coincidence came to this erstwhile trepidarious and somewhat hesitant penner of purple notions...the other night while sailing through memories long suppressed...



....and I mean a most curious coincidence, came to mind. Coincidence's meaning is something we really don't understand but for many, the undeniably mysterious term, " will of God", is the most exact.



It's to do with my friend, a certain Adelaide marooned, Michael Kumnick, the most unique, frizzy haired artist, performer, comedian, savant-genius sculptor, drawer, designer: you name it he does it oh so very well but who has not yet mastered his concentration span, however, it's on the make I hear but that's another story.......



.........back in '98, he once spontaneously accompanied me, when I was known as the infamous "DrZen " (see the remains of him, towards the bottom of this link) on a roadtrip from Hell to Melbourne, one sultry Adelaide night.



I was out of my mind at the time, reeling under the effect of that strange altered state called 'Mania' on the rebound from a very serious 'nervous breakdown', yes that ol' chestnut, well, I almost took my own God given gift of life, due to the never ending, mind numbing chronic depression. A most, terrible spiritual affliction, IMHO, and unseen to external observers who generally just tell you to snap out of it, of which there are many degrees where only the taster knows of it's utter debilitation of the self.



It took a lot of love, and concern from my parents (God Bless 'em!) hospitalization and extremely high doses of an antidepressant called Effexor to drag me out of it. For nothing else at that time was working. In the end, I was taking over 350mg a day to be exact (normal dose is around 50-75mg) However, the major side effect was, despite the fact that I was suddenly feeling very and quite astonishingly amazing within about a week, was that I slowly flipped straight into mania (one of the side effects they warn you about), so armed with what felt like a supercharger in my soul, I packed my stuff & took off back to the high life and bright lights of Sydney & Adelaide wreaking havoc left, right and centre.



All I knew was that I didn't respond well to someone being authoritive and had resource to a very powerful rage, vivid imagination & verbose articulateness that enabled me to fool most people relatively easily. You seem as this amazingly energized person who's kind of dangerous, it fascinates people for a while, at least.....



Mix that with the lethal temptations of a charismatic individual promising you a 6 figure sum and giving you large and pure selections of the most powerful entheogens & psychedelics available on the planet, as long as you'll make 20kg of so & so...and bingo you've got an Idiot's Guide to How to Be Walking Disaster Area...



But I digress, and all of that walking around, blowing people's conciousnesses into to other dimensions, is a whole other story, back to the coincidence, in point:



Amidst the loud music, joints and the 140Km/h average velocity and just past Bacchus Marsh (birthplace of novelist Peter Carey) the motor explosively announced a loud Bass WRENCH and shuddered to a grinding halt, spewing oil....something most seriously broke indeed,



So that was it, completely rooted, broke & stuck still 100km from Melbourne: we got towed to the local, flouro lit, bland & blue ford dealership, Michael & I, where we hurriedly dealt with the formalities. Bored and glum, Michael went to watch the TV in the adjacent room, nothing remarkable about that but I remember him in there.....



Later, much later,

- after Michael had walked off to his own immediate destiny, later that night, in utter frustration to my over the top behavior, such as taking my shirt off, & being thrown down stairs of nightclubs after taking on bulging bouncers 3 times my size, etc,

-after the 3 weeks playing baccarat James Bond style, trying to get the $1200, begging from people inside the casino, consequently being thrown out on numerous occasions and almost succeeding but ultimately failing, as thus destiny dictated, and that's a whole other story...

-after the period as an 'imagination busker' hustling on the streets and inadvertently impressing a few people with the ol' 'How to Make A Time Machine' such as the manager of Circus Oz as I remember, he gave me his card, & told me I should film it and let him know alas another lapsed opportunity... ;^)

-after trying to sell unique massages at various underground rave events

-after loafing off a sweet girl I met in a Internet Bar,& then living at her place for the period of time because I was homeless all the while



I gave up, and it was 3 months later and I was utterly penniless



So my dear Father bought me the $12 ticket to Sydney, where I proceeded to meet with the afore mentioned individuals, who convinced me to make a few kilo's of something else in one week, which I did for the required $1200.



NOW I was very suddenly imbued with the power to buy the car back, little did I know at the time but I earnt a curse with that money.....but that is an awareness far removed from where I was at the time,



So, armed with secret instructions, I traveled serruptiously back on a overnighter Greyhound to Melton where I promptly found myself standing back at the same bland, flouro lit, blue counter looking at the invoice, groaning & hesitating over the 4 months of trial & error that led to this moment, I forced myself to hand over the money, no easy feat, it was more enough to buy a new more reliable car, but for some strange reason I just had to get it back. Maybe it was all for just that moment....



While they processed it, I sauntered in to the TV room, and it was about 11AM in the morning and I looked up to the screen : Lo & behold! there was Kumnick, surreally looking back at me, from inside the TV!



A strange chill & that delicious sensation of goose pimples formed all over my body and you know Somebody is teaching you something, he was buzy presenting Humphry B. Bear which was being broadcast that morning....and I just happened to see him on the right channel, at the right time, standing in the same place he had been standing, the very last time when I was at this very office with him months earlier...



.....so work that one out!



The moment was so imbued with meaning that I could not help but burst into giggles....and almost cried in the process,



Dear Michael is an important person to me, I miss him, and it was underlined by this whole experience, it's criminal, yet meaningful that he hasn't got his amazing work, drawings, designs, concepts & sculpture yet on the web, I hope to be able to help him do it when I'm back in Oz, Godwilling....



Got a class now, time's up



Peace Be Upon You All,




Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Tales From The Crypt of The Self......



In the Name of God Most Understanding and Gloriously Gracious....



Abu Yazid Bistami said one time:



"If the Throne and what is around it and what is in it were placed in the corner of the heart of a Knower, they would be lost completely inside it."



a jewel from he who knew,



he also said, most beautifully, upon the trials to achieve his station of nearness:



"I was twelve years the blacksmith of my self, and five years the polisher of the mirror of my heart, and for one year I was looking in that mirror and I saw on my belly the girdle of unbelief. I tried hard to cut it and I spent twelve years in that effort. Then I looked in that mirror and I saw inside my body that girdle. I spent five years cutting it. Then I spent one year looking at what I had done. And Allah opened for me the vision of all creations. And I saw all of them dead. And I prayed four takbiras of janaza (funeral prayer) over them."



it's part of many other diamonds he uttered, often in a state of fana, (see links)



Otherwise,



Notions of coincidence came to this erstwhile trepidarious and somewhat hesitant penner of purple notions...the other night while sailing through memories long suppressed...



....and I mean a most curious coincidence, came to mind. Coincidence's meaning is something we really don't understand but for many, the undeniably mysterious term, " will of God", is the most exact.



It's to do with my friend, a certain Adelaide marooned, Michael Kumnick, the most unique, frizzy haired artist, performer, comedian, savant-genius sculptor, drawer, designer: you name it he does it oh so very well but who has not yet mastered his concentration span, however, it's on the make I hear but that's another story.......



.........back in '98, he once spontaneously accompanied me, when I was known as the infamous "DrZen " (see the remains of him, towards the bottom of this link) on a roadtrip from Hell to Melbourne, one sultry Adelaide night.



I was out of my mind at the time, reeling under the effect of that strange altered state called 'Mania' on the rebound from a very serious 'nervous breakdown', yes that ol' chestnut, well, I almost took my own God given gift of life, due to the never ending, mind numbing chronic depression. A most, terrible spiritual affliction, IMHO, and unseen to external observers who generally just tell you to snap out of it, of which there are many degrees where only the taster knows of it's utter debilitation of the self.



It took a lot of love, and concern from my parents (God Bless 'em!) hospitalization and extremely high doses of an antidepressant called Effexor to drag me out of it. For nothing else at that time was working. In the end, I was taking over 350mg a day to be exact (normal dose is around 50-75mg) However, the major side effect was, despite the fact that I was suddenly feeling very and quite astonishingly amazing within about a week, was that I slowly flipped straight into mania (one of the side effects they warn you about), so armed with what felt like a supercharger in my soul, I packed my stuff & took off back to the high life and bright lights of Sydney & Adelaide wreaking havoc left, right and centre.



All I knew was that I didn't respond well to someone being authoritive and had resource to a very powerful rage, vivid imagination & verbose articulateness that enabled me to fool most people relatively easily. You seem as this amazingly energized person who's kind of dangerous, it fascinates people for a while, at least.....



Mix that with the lethal temptations of a charismatic individual promising you a 6 figure sum and giving you large and pure selections of the most powerful entheogens & psychedelics available on the planet, as long as you'll make 20kg of so & so...and bingo you've got an Idiot's Guide to How to Be Walking Disaster Area...



But I digress, and all of that walking around, blowing people's conciousnesses into to other dimensions, is a whole other story, back to the coincidence, in point:



Amidst the loud music, joints and the 140Km/h average velocity and just past Bacchus Marsh (birthplace of novelist Peter Carey) the motor explosively announced a loud Bass WRENCH and shuddered to a grinding halt, spewing oil....something most seriously broke indeed,



So that was it, completely rooted, broke & stuck still 100km from Melbourne: we got towed to the local, flouro lit, bland & blue ford dealership, Michael & I, where we hurriedly dealt with the formalities. Bored and glum, Michael went to watch the TV in the adjacent room, nothing remarkable about that but I remember him in there.....



Later, much later,

- after Michael had walked off to his own immediate destiny, later that night, in utter frustration to my over the top behavior, such as taking my shirt off, & being thrown down stairs of nightclubs after taking on bulging bouncers 3 times my size, etc,

-after the 3 weeks playing baccarat James Bond style, trying to get the $1200, begging from people inside the casino, consequently being thrown out on numerous occasions and almost succeeding but ultimately failing, as thus destiny dictated, and that's a whole other story...

-after the period as an 'imagination busker' hustling on the streets and inadvertently impressing a few people with the ol' 'How to Make A Time Machine' such as the manager of Circus Oz as I remember, he gave me his card, & told me I should film it and let him know alas another lapsed opportunity... ;^)

-after trying to sell unique massages at various underground rave events

-after loafing off a sweet girl I met in a Internet Bar,& then living at her place for the period of time because I was homeless all the while



I gave up, and it was 3 months later and I was utterly penniless



So my dear Father bought me the $12 ticket to Sydney, where I proceeded to meet with the afore mentioned individuals, who convinced me to make a few kilo's of something else in one week, which I did for the required $1200.



NOW I was very suddenly imbued with the power to buy the car back, little did I know at the time but I earnt a curse with that money.....but that is an awareness far removed from where I was at the time,



So, armed with secret instructions, I traveled serruptiously back on a overnighter Greyhound to Melton where I promptly found myself standing back at the same bland, flouro lit, blue counter looking at the invoice, groaning & hesitating over the 4 months of trial & error that led to this moment, I forced myself to hand over the money, no easy feat, it was more enough to buy a new more reliable car, but for some strange reason I just had to get it back. Maybe it was all for just that moment....



While they processed it, I sauntered in to the TV room, and it was about 11AM in the morning and I looked up to the screen : Lo & behold! there was Kumnick, surreally looking back at me, from inside the TV!



A strange chill & that delicious sensation of goose pimples formed all over my body and you know Somebody is teaching you something, he was buzy presenting Humphry B. Bear which was being broadcast that morning....and I just happened to see him on the right channel, at the right time, standing in the same place he had been standing, the very last time when I was at this very office with him months earlier...



.....so work that one out!



The moment was so imbued with meaning that I could not help but burst into giggles....and almost cried in the process,



Dear Michael is an important person to me, I miss him, and it was underlined by this whole experience, it's criminal, yet meaningful that he hasn't got his amazing work, drawings, designs, concepts & sculpture yet on the web, I hope to be able to help him do it when I'm back in Oz, Godwilling....



Got a class now, time's up



Peace Be Upon You All,




Saturday, March 27, 2004


Salams,

I'm halfway through my contract and I can't wait to leave this giant messed up prison of a country! Yes I am privy to emotional outbursts and perhaps it's not that bad but you'll be hard pressed to find any westerner who has lived or is living here to have a positive thing to say, which is most definately sad....

May beloved God grant me patience: Indeed, one of the most stressful times of the day is having to drive the 26km Highway of death, to Khamis Mushayt. These are without doubt the most dangerous roads I have had the misfortune to roll upon, with hundreds of insane Saudi bedu, with no sense of space, or consideration, or sense of safety, who break every rule in the book because that conveniences them, apparently the more dangerously you drive the bigger man you are--their twisted I should I say, culturally indoctrinated, concept of shujja'a : courage

Alas, the pure anger that generates and that I try to put down, profoundly disturbs me, it takes hours to calm down, and it's all so relatively meaningless. It's totally accepted as normal behavior, people driving at you, down the wrong way of the street, physically ramming you if you don't get out their intended direction even though your foot is hard to floor while you overtake someone else, for example, and the police do absolutely nothing. Indeed the buck most definately stops with them. Then again there's no real way to deliver fines, as no-body has streetnumbers or postal addresses, they've got a headache enforcing the law. I can't see another way, though, they have one of the highest death rates in the world and guess what ...there's NO ALCOHOL involved.

Every other day I'm reading about a car that has plowed into a group of children or bystanders in some city by some out-of control Saudi, killing several, if not more, and it seems to be just accepted, passed over, a note on page 3, then forgotten except, of course, by the grieving families.....

Oh I'm not going to go on about the stupidity of the people here, it already sounds like a tired cliche, I'm ashamed to point it out but put it this way, the combination of marrying their cousins way too much, the mindnumbing monoculturalism, the blind following ( taqlid), and seriously unhealthy & unimaginative daily diet of rice & chicken or mutton keeps a stunted intellect in prison without many windows for growth

What a blessing it has been growing up in the amazing mulitcutural place that Australia actually is.....funny how you take it all for granted when you're living there.....

May God(Sublime, Be He!) help us all, I'll be back soon,

Peace, Grace & Blessings of the Beloved Be Upon You All



Wednesday, February 18, 2004


Serious questions and thoughts of an Australian western secularised Islamic consciousness(mine!) temporarily imprisoned in the southern mountainous Asir region of Saudi Arabia will be addressed here:

Peace Be Unto Thee, this is the first post to the enthogenesis blog, newly created by Matthew John Thistle aka Mahdi ibn Daoud Thistle (to my Muslim community) as he whittles away the hours teaching English to semi-literate, goat herding Bedouin of Saudi Arabia and trying to get fluent in the infernally frustrating Semitic Arabic tongue:

Enthogenesis is a coined word stemming from unusual events I used to stage back in Adelaide, South Australia during 1999-2000 when I was known as DrZen, psychedelic prosetylizer. It comes from Enthographic & Entheogen (sacred plant) & Genesis, the beginning:


I recently returned from Hajj where I underwent one of the most terrifying experiences of my life: the stoning of the rock pillar (jamarrat): here is my impression of what it was like since several friends have asked me to describe the experience:

The Smell of Death on the Bridge

The 2004 Hajj was an extraordinary ordeal, dangerous, exhausting with a real community formed in the communally shared tent...the openeness & loving concern for each other was very real and the secret blessings known by those who tasted

Even for several days afterwards I was sick, battered, sunburnt & bruised: I pulled both my calf muscles from the 60km or so walking and could barely walk for 2 days, despite heavy workouts in the 2 weeks prior to departure

My feet were a mess, so was my courage after the tragedy of the stoning...I was in the thick of it that morning and the terror was palpable, I thought I was going to die & there wasn't much I could do to about it....

the walk from Muzdalifah was around 5km, with 2.5 million white robed pilgrims, funneling down over 3-4 hours intent on stoning, closer & closer your flesh pressed hard against the smelly sweaty bodies of 1/2 a dozen other people trying not to swear under their breadth.....
the weight of a million & a half people pushing from behind was unrelenting; nobody could stop it.....the police did for a while, at the entrance area, making us stand in the beating sun for nearly an hour, panicking as wailing ambulances one after the other tried to weave their way through the thick masses, you could see the police standing on the edge screaming & pleading for us to go back ,which was ludicrous, nobody could move without taking other people down, which is what happened, the sense of gravity of your situation starts rising as you soberly realize they don't know what they're doing and No-BODY is in control, no-body explaining anything, so the perplexed hordes move blindly on

eventually the crowd frustration grew to breaking point & we broke through police who were terrified and helpless to stop this human tidal wave exploding, with sudden clear space, everyone ran to the jamarrat, a policeman tried to clutch my arm but I wrenched it free, in the blur I remember several people going down and the screams cut the air

as you got close to the Jamarrat, and you started to pack again claustrophobically close: the sound was incredible, thousands of pebbles being thrown created a continual zipping & clacking sound that coalesced in to a stream, combined with the invocations, shouts & screams of the pilgrims, at this point you are doing anything to stay on your feet, including pushing others out the way, all the while, your feet catching on the multitude of backpacks, shoes (bodies!? can't remember) so, I almost fell down twice, and believe me you don't get up again...your ribs would soon be crushed, puncturing your lungs, death inevitable....

you are powerless except to try to resist the massive tidal forces that unwittingly work to pull you down....the year before 150 or so died jumping off the ramp to get out, I can understand the sheer terror that leads some people to do this

I went with a talkative Egyptian doctor, Dr Osama, who pushed me from behind, despite my desperate and somewhat terrified protests, to finish it & I got within about 5-10 meters, of the pillar, it's all a blur, I discharged my pebbles with about 3000 jostling people in small radius, all simultaneously going in different directions, including small Asian women, the horrified looks on their faces, has etched into my soul, I did what i could to let them pass and believe only the strongest person stays up, so many of the, fell & died

Indeed many people had died already and were dying at this point but we weren't to know until later...

then it was over, I couldn't believe what I had experienced

only later did I learn that the stoning is valid until fajr the next day!

all that danger for nothing but ignorance

so that's a snapshot, the day at arafat was the highlight for me, sitting tearfully in tents & standing intensely in dua for hours

The government has vowed to improve the situation but it happens every year, their incompetence played a large part in this tragedy

It was a singular experience but never again will I put myself in such danger


more soon...




Serious questions and thoughts of an Australian western secularised Islamic consciousness(mine!) temporarily imprisoned in the southern mountainous Asir region of Saudi Arabia will be addressed here:



Peace Be Unto Thee, this is the first post to the enthogenesis blog, newly created by Matthew John Thistle aka Mahdi ibn Daoud Thistle (to my Muslim community) as he whittles away the hours teaching English to semi-literate, goat herding Bedouin of Saudi Arabia and trying to get fluent in the infernally frustrating Semitic Arabic tongue:



Enthogenesis is a coined word stemming from unusual events I used to stage back in Adelaide, South Australia during 1999-2000 when I was known as DrZen, psychedelic prosetylizer. It comes from Enthographic & Entheogen (sacred plant) & Genesis, the beginning:





I recently returned from Hajj where I underwent one of the most terrifying experiences of my life: the stoning of the rock pillar (jamarrat): here is my impression of what it was like since several friends have asked me to describe the experience:



The Smell of Death on the Bridge



The 2004 Hajj was an extraordinary ordeal, dangerous, exhausting with a real community formed in the communally shared tent...the openeness & loving concern for each other was very real and the secret blessings known by those who tasted



Even for several days afterwards I was sick, battered, sunburnt & bruised: I pulled both my calf muscles from the 60km or so walking and could barely walk for 2 days, despite heavy workouts in the 2 weeks prior to departure



My feet were a mess, so was my courage after the tragedy of the stoning...I was in the thick of it that morning and the terror was palpable, I thought I was going to die & there wasn't much I could do to about it....



the walk from Muzdalifah was around 5km, with 2.5 million white robed pilgrims, funneling down over 3-4 hours intent on stoning, closer & closer your flesh pressed hard against the smelly sweaty bodies of 1/2 a dozen other people trying not to swear under their breadth.....

the weight of a million & a half people pushing from behind was unrelenting; nobody could stop it.....the police did for a while, at the entrance area, making us stand in the beating sun for nearly an hour, panicking as wailing ambulances one after the other tried to weave their way through the thick masses, you could see the police standing on the edge screaming & pleading for us to go back ,which was ludicrous, nobody could move without taking other people down, which is what happened, the sense of gravity of your situation starts rising as you soberly realize they don't know what they're doing and No-BODY is in control, no-body explaining anything, so the perplexed hordes move blindly on



eventually the crowd frustration grew to breaking point & we broke through police who were terrified and helpless to stop this human tidal wave exploding, with sudden clear space, everyone ran to the jamarrat, a policeman tried to clutch my arm but I wrenched it free, in the blur I remember several people going down and the screams cut the air



as you got close to the Jamarrat, and you started to pack again claustrophobically close: the sound was incredible, thousands of pebbles being thrown created a continual zipping & clacking sound that coalesced in to a stream, combined with the invocations, shouts & screams of the pilgrims, at this point you are doing anything to stay on your feet, including pushing others out the way, all the while, your feet catching on the multitude of backpacks, shoes (bodies!? can't remember) so, I almost fell down twice, and believe me you don't get up again...your ribs would soon be crushed, puncturing your lungs, death inevitable....



you are powerless except to try to resist the massive tidal forces that unwittingly work to pull you down....the year before 150 or so died jumping off the ramp to get out, I can understand the sheer terror that leads some people to do this



I went with a talkative Egyptian doctor, Dr Osama, who pushed me from behind, despite my desperate and somewhat terrified protests, to finish it & I got within about 5-10 meters, of the pillar, it's all a blur, I discharged my pebbles with about 3000 jostling people in small radius, all simultaneously going in different directions, including small Asian women, the horrified looks on their faces, has etched into my soul, I did what i could to let them pass and believe only the strongest person stays up, so many of the, fell & died



Indeed many people had died already and were dying at this point but we weren't to know until later...



then it was over, I couldn't believe what I had experienced



only later did I learn that the stoning is valid until fajr the next day!



all that danger for nothing but ignorance



so that's a snapshot, the day at arafat was the highlight for me, sitting tearfully in tents & standing intensely in dua for hours



The government has vowed to improve the situation but it happens every year, their incompetence played a large part in this tragedy



It was a singular experience but never again will I put myself in such danger





more soon...