There Is No Civilization, There is No Wild. There Is Only You and Me.
Editor’s Note: As fans of Dr. Bones on twitter and facebook might know our resident Conjurer was recently blown out of his mind on what Gods & Radicals can only assume to be highly illegal substances. This draft was sent to us with almost an hour and a half of audio, several hand drawn images, and a series of photographs in what we assume to be Dr. Bones…well, we aren’t exactly sure what’s going on but have serious doubts the alligator skulls were ethically sourced. Gods & Radicals in no way endorses buying high-powered hallucinogens off the Dark Web and patently refuses Bones’ calls to “send him $400 to help get some things going down here. If the rednecks get a taste of this stuff they’ll be shitting rainbows and communism for generations.”
The following text is presented as we received it in the hopes that readers will be able to make sense of it. Those inclined to help Dr. Bones further his drug habit and firearms purchases should consider buying his book.
As of this writing I have been out of my mind on acid bought off the Dark Web for the better part of 24 hours. My house is covered in drawings, still-burning incense, and every mirror appears to be dotted with the words “YOU ARE TAICHI” written in what I presume to be blood. Texts from Stirner are scattered about everywhere and people on twitter are asking me how they can join The Ancient and Medicinal Order of the Hyena.
Chuang-Tzu said “The torch of chaos and doubt, this is what the Sage steers by.” If this is true I have totally transcended the motherfucking wheel.
I need beer to take the edge off, desperately trying to explain to my wife what was going on.
“What the hell was that,” she says mixing 3 shots of espresso into my morning coffee, “you were up till 4am talking about creating some…some lodge or something? You practically destroyed the house! And why did you keep waking me up to tell me you were a Japanese artist?”
“I don’t know! Sweet jesus I don’t even know what the hell I took. I got it off some old Korean guy I work with. One minute he’s showing my some tai-chi moves, the iron bar and all that, and the next think you know he’s asking me if I want any acid!”
“How much did this cost?” She laughs shaking her head. “How do you even meet these people?”
“The cost?” I move on to my second beer. “Nothing. He just gave it to me.”
“Gave. Said he bought a shitload of it off the Dark Web with bitcoin. Gives it to wizard types he comes across. The sigils I was seeing…I…my god.” I grabbed my wife now, my eyes practically bloodshot. “I can’t begin to describe what this means for my magical practice. I have new glyphs for candles, new prayers to sing. Wait until my next-oh…and uh…speaking of…” She pushes me away, half laughing and half bewildered.
“You have to mail out one package and send that lady in Michigan an order for her candle.”
“Ah, good-good. The lady who had the evil eye on her wedding. Any readings?”
“One. And you were supposed to deliver it 4 hours ago.” The coffee is gone and I move on to my third beer, finally beginning to get back to some sense of normalcy.
“Well,” I cough, “seeing as how I’ve blown the day I think I need to mediate on my sins. We should probably go to a church.”
Load the car up, bottled water and rum. 55 miles an hour past blue flags and neo-confederates packing heat, drivers staring like sharks out of the windows; hungry, ignorant fools who actually hold their inbreeding in pride.
They needed to be punished.
I roll down my window and draw the attention of a nearby motorist.
“S’cuze me, sir. Is that a ‘blue lives matter’ sticker on your bumper?” He looks confused, like a wounded animal, his old Chevy chugging along some half-rabid pitbull.
“Yah,” he says spitting out tobacco, “and wuz of it?”
“Oh good.” I can feel my wife’s hand desperately trying to grab my shoulder, pull me back in the window, but there won’t be any of that. “I was trying to figure out who to tell to FUCK OFF!” Rubber screeches as the light shifts into green, a cloud of smoke pouring from the tires and filling the windshield. Turn the radio station up, that’s the ticket, if Marc Antony comes on it’s a sign from the gods I should draw on this miserable cockersucker and fill him with lead.
Did I say that out loud? Or did I write it? Judging from the terror in my eyes and the speed I’m driving I’m going to say this is really happening.
Turkey Creek Nature Sanctuary. Get out of the jeep, two more pulls from the driving juice hidden in the dash box. Go out to the kayak launch. Rain, who put all this rain here?
Breathe. Breathe. Calm and steady. I mutter words of power liberated from a Thelemic chat room many moons ago.
“I have a body but I am not my body.
I have a mind but I am not my mind.
I have desires but I am not my desires.
I have thoughts but I am not my thoughts.”
Everything cools around me, silencing the storm raging in all my nerves. Slipping once again into a meditative state I focus on the power that envelopes and flows through all things. Slowly everything begins to melt away: cars, worries, states, and borders all disappear. Some greater shard from the Godhead lights up in my chest and I’m swirling in wisdom and pure gnosis. In this small place, as the heavens bore life-giving water to a drought stricken land, everything was at once made holy; the river itself, slow and constant, becomes a symbol of that power forever lurking in the background, a greater icon worthy of worship unfashionable by human hands. Long ago a shrine might have been built in such a place, a person in touch with Spirit pulled to take residence and protect it. A place like that might heal the sick, start a cult, and in a few hundred years be the subject of many an anthropological study with romantic overtones.
And here it was, at a nature preserve, surrounded by cookie cutter homes and low-end nail salons.
Much of Florida is like that. Along the dunes and seashore you have the well to do working for Harris, Northrup-Grumman, and other companies that make damn good money killing people in the name of Empire. They have nice tv’s, new cars, and clothes never yet worn by another human being. Head over the causeway, past the lines of fisherfolk and shrimpers, pass the yacht clubs and you’ll reach state road 192. You take that west and you’ll roll past two towns before you hit a vast and empty nothingness. There’ll be acres of cattle and cowhunters, rough types in straw hats who’ve wandered and rustled the back country for generations. They can read the clouds and can tell you the names of every tree they might come across while sharing memes over facebook about Jesus. Keep going past them and you’ll come back to settled territory and all it endeavors: tourism, crowds of people, capitalism, pale little squids from Nebraska dragging their kids around wondering when it’s going to stop being hot; all this within a 30 minute drive of people who still remember who Bone Mizell was.
Wild and savage, tame and civilized, not a matter of years or worldviews but inches and miles; ghostly demarcations only humans can seem to see about which they will bicker endlessly.
Take for instance the civilization/anti-civilization debates raging across the Anarchist milieu.
What is civilization? It’s a thought that keeps coming back to me as a try to mediate out in the Florida woods. Am I being wild by doing Taoist meditation from the Ming dynasty? Even if I read about it online? I’m defying all labels and attributes, sitting in the rain and mediating. Who cares how I learned to do it?
Civilization is the religious myth of society, an idea that an idea is bestowed with special destiny and its own evolutionary path. We use it to mark where we are now, compare it to where we’ve been, and depending on who you ask it can mean many things.
Which means it ultimately means nothing.
When I see a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club I see someone far outside of what we might call civilization: he actively wages war against a society he despises, looks only upon members of his own tribe as kin, and lives a nomadic life plundering what he can. Building nothing, taking everything, he is in shape and form a living barbarian, an echo of essence that might immediately be familiar to an ancient Mongol. Yet he rides a souped-up Harley, helps transport meth across state lines, and keeps in contact with his many girlfriends and suppliers over encrypted text.
The clients I read cards for are the same kind of people who have always been in need, and the stories they bring me are as constant as the mosquito population in Everglades City: heartache and health, wedding bells and funeral dirges, crazy risks and the maddening dreams that push people to take them. .
The phone in our pockets has access to all the world’s information and can literally put anyone into contact with anybody else around the globe. We use it to argue with strangers and masturbate to two-dimensional drawings. We shot a robot onto Mars and all broke into laughter when it drew a dick on the planet’s surface.
We are still the same people we were thousands of years ago.
Deep in meditation an interior image stirs in me. The man using a drone to attack and kill children in the Middle East is no different from the one that rode for Genghis Khan and raped his was across a continent. I struggle to return to tranquility but the image won’t leave me alone. Both people are the same say the ghostly whispers crawling around my neck, both men believe in something greater than themselves. Whether it’s that their cause is just, that Huitzilopochtli will bless their people, or that their homeland has some grand destiny to rule the world, these human beings are themselves all tools to a fictitious “We.” It’s this great “We,” this creature that demands organs and obedience, that pushes humanity towards disastrous ends precisely because its own ends are always more important than our own.
The eternal now is the same as it’s always been: people following orders, orders they know will ruin both them and the world they live in; sweat-soaked gamblers betting on the idea that following the rules will buy them a better life, even if it makes them a slave.
“You almost done?” A light seems to break through the swirl of ideas. I open my eyes and I’m back in the nature preserve, my body radiating qi.
“Almost honey. Almost. Give me a few more minutes.”
Call the current state of things whatever you like, but to pretend this is the result of some titanic battle between platonic solids is a fool’s errand.
I remember seeing a group of old folks one day driving down highway US1, sitting beneath a palm tree and sipping cocktails on the lawn without a care in the world, one so relaxed a straw hat hid his face from the sun as he delightfully took a nap. “That right there is pure satisfaction,” I told my wife then, my finger practically breaking through the window. “Perfectly in tune with their surroundings. When we get home I plan to do the same.” My Blue Hawaiian mixed and Bossa Nova cooing from my speaker I crawled up under a palm tree and tried to achieve perfect relaxation. Instead the sun ended up being at the wrong angle, the tree not wide enough, and my ass was practically eaten alive by fire ants. Running home it dawned on me I had lusted after an image in my own head, some idealized form of relaxation, some concept, and as such copied the material and lost the meaning.
We do the same when we favor the primitive because it’s “natural,” or the technological because it’s “new.” Both are utterly worthless when describing our real experiences.
Nature, civilization, these things are not real. They represent real things but our representation is just that: our own. These things are abstract concepts, symbols of symbols we once used as useful categories now taken a life of their own. Nature is a word we use to divide up ourselves and the world around us, a placeholder for some gigantic “Other” we’ve come from yet can’t seem to recall; Civilization could mean growing organic bananas in the alps or cars powered by water but instead it’s become herds of human beings crowded into cities and under constant surveillance.
How different life might be if we gave up the chase of ideals and set our cause upon ourselves.
Regardless of where we find ourselves on some imaginary technological spectrum Society has decided we need masters to govern our lives; when the State wants the centralization of power while Capital wants to make money you’re going to get tech that keeps people enslaved, exploits cheap labor, and intentionally works against other uses.
Why trade one myth for another, be it nature or progress, justice or humanity, the revolution or even the nihilistic urge to throw the globe into a lake of boiling fire?
I don’t have a religion, or even I plan. I do things. I drive my jeep out into the hinterlands, 2 miles from any other biped and offer thanks and prayers before engaging in the centuries old practice of Zuowang with methods I learned online. I carry a gun in these places, a marvel of steel and death, to protect me from wild boars and because I like things that go bang. The Great Essence I am after, the same behind nearly every spiritual cosmology I’ve come across, never seems to mind. Last night I offered prayers to the full moon and Brother Bat with sacred words I’d been taught from spirits as old as Lake Okeechobee. My shrine was made from concrete blocks and 10 feet from a major state road. The power still comes because it is already there, always was, and always will be.
“Nowadays people seek wizardry or bhuddahood often cut themselves off from society,” reads the Taoist text Anthology on Cultivation of Realization, “and flee the world in their quest…They do not realize that the Way of wizards and bhuddas is not apart from the body or mind.” How quickly we retreat to the edges of the forest or the fantasy of space when we’re enslaved on a plantation! No technological state will bring us happiness. no revolution truly ever free us, because ultimately these states exist within the self. As long as we depend on platonic principles and ideal illusions we’ll be chasing shadows in our heads, categorical boats that we’ve dragged 40 miles past the shoreline.
Why not refuse this kind of thinking, deny being split into wild and civilized, and simply embrace our Unique? Why not start demanding your autonomy in the way that suits you best, why not look for the places where the masters own you strongest and endeavor to break your chains? Instead of debating over what symbolic concept best describes our individual inclinations we could be creating radical healthcare centers with hydroponic gardens and building automatic weapons with 3d printers. Fracture and disrupt every thing that holds you and build a lifeboat in a world rapidly going to shit. Whether technology fails and millions starve to death or industrial output chokes the skies and fills you with cancer, all we know is YOU ARE GOING TO FUCKING DIE AND NOBODY IS COMING TO SAVE YOU.
Somebody has to stand in the way of this madness, this unadulterated horror; brave and noble souls willing to ride out into the wastes and seize whatever they desire are what we need. Why can’t you be one of them?
“Babe,” my wife calls to me again. “We’ve been here for an hour.”
“Yes,” I get up off the ground. “S’pouse so. Sorry I-“
“I know.” Quiet and peace snap into one reality.
I hold her hand, a hand real and full of warmth and love. Aside and away from all the theories and moldy books I know she is real and I love her. I want her to be free, and happy, and joyful, and I want to kill anything that might get in the way of that. Years of Anarchist theories and reading Stirner seem to boil down to this one touch, this one incredible link shared between two individuals. It exists beyond ideology, beyond the categorical thinking; I see fire in our relation and I aim to cast it upon the world.
My eyes drift to the palmettos and the rain suddenly stops. I am unsure how much of what I’d seen or thought was left-over acid coursing through my veins or ancient Taoist wisdom.
Much like life it defies all boxes, categories, and labels. Maybe our Anarchism should too.
Dr. Bones is a conjurer, card-reader and egoist-communist who believes “true individuality can only flourish when the means of existence are shared by all.” A Florida native and Hoodoo practitioner, he summons pure vitriol, straight narrative, and sorcerous wisdom into a potent blend of poltergasmic politics and gonzo journalism. He lives with his loving wife, a herd of cats, and a house full of spirits.
If you liked this essay, you’ll love Dr. Bones’ new book: Curse Your Boss, Hex The State, Take Back The World. It’s on pre-sale now!