shazaman's blog

Rak Razam

Rak Razam is a journalist specialising in underground and counter-culture, spirituality and technology issues.

He has written and edited for magazines and companies including The Age, the Australian newspaper, Eye On, High Times, Tekno Renegade Magazine (TRM), Gizmag.com, EnTrance digital magazine, Paper Free Press, Zavtone (Japan), Dream Creation (UK), Mushroom Magazine (Germany), Sensis (AUS), Bread TV and See advertising. He is currently the gonzo reporter-at-large forAustralian Penthouse and is writing for and co-editing Undergrowth magazine online.


Psyence Fiction > ebook by Rak Razam

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The future has arrived, but there's something distinctly wrong with it. Robots that were meant to abolish human labour are creating mass unemployment because political systems aren't evolving as fast as our technology. Virtual gaming economies are outstripping the GDP of some small nations, telecommunications breakthroughs have brought us porn on our video phones, and Flash-Mobs roam the urban jungles, manifesting the sublime and shaking consumers from their retail addictions.

Psyence Fiction is a collection of fourteen short stories by Rak Razam that capture the spirit of the decade and the psychedelic, hi-tech future we live in. Illustrated by some of Australia's best underground artists and photographers, the e-Book is a glimpse at the brave nu world around us and the bold characters that struggle to survive it.

:::Contents:::
10/ Surfing the Novelty Wave 15/ Fraud 22/ Leisure is Pleasure 28/ Play 35/ Under the Skin 42/ Ambient Head 48/ Telefuck 54/ Mantra 60/ WW3 is a Party 68/ Freedom 75/ Rainbow Dreaming 96/ Global Eyes 114/ Ravenarok 120/ Monkey Tales

Written by


Planet Maya > by Rak Razam

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NOTE:

According to the Foundation for the Law of Time, Jose Arguelles "departed this Planet on Solar Moon 17 (March 23), Red Spectral Moon, at 6:10 a.m (the exact same time that he was born in 1939 in the Red Spectral Moon year)."

"After a short illness, he slipped away in complete peace. We are asking for those who loved him to hold a synchronized vigil and/or ceremony on his behalf at noon (Pacific standard time) on Solar Moon 19, Kin 91. Send him your prayers, light and blessings to continue his spirit journey - and also visualize the rainbow bridge and the Return of Light."

 realitysandwich.com/jose_arguelles_passes

 

 

It may not be a bank holiday or a day off work, but July 25th is the `Day Out of Time' for the newest spiritual movement and it's push for global calendar reform. It's called `Dreamspell', a cross between astrology and a new religion that has appropriated the knowledge of the ancient Maya and their 13 moon calendar and packaged it for mainstream consumption.

Calendar classes are popping up like the new pilates as the `in' thing to do, as a `sexed up' Mayan calendar resurgence sweeps the world. Before you know it, Madonna will be casting her glyph and singing about the `Blue Crystal Storm' as the message that `we are now at the end of the Dreamspell of history and at the beginning of the Dreamspell of galactic culture' takes off. But what is it about the13 moon calendar that has haunted history? Why is it so important and why does it still resonate with everyday people in this global village of pick and choose ideologies? Underlying it all is a deep sense of something that feels right in an artificial world where even the way we measure time is arbitrary and oppressive. The only problem is, indigenous Mayan Elders aren't too happy about the way it's being promoted, and a culture war is brewing as the Dreamspell turns into a nightmare.


COSMIC CONVERGENCE > RAK RAZAM

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What is consciousness, and where does it come from? In this provocative lecture given at EntheoGenesis Australis  in Dec, 2010, experiential journalist Rak Razam discusses the nature of consciousness that is underpinning the current global shamanic resurgence and planetary awakening. As Richard Maurice Bucke said in his influential book from the turn of the 20th century, Cosmic Consciousness is a heightened perception of awareness above and beyond normal consciousness, illustrated through figures from history like the Buddha and others who claimed to have experienced mystic states. But what about the widespread shamanic ability indigenous and now the West is experiencing that often gives glimpses of this cosmic connection? What larger species vectors can be drawn from the rising tide of consciousness across the planet and the history books? Is the once sporadic peaking of consciousness in the genepool now a species-wide activation? Like a cosmic season, are we entering the summer of the soul, the tide of galactic history dovetailing with the celestial grand orbit of our solar system? Prepare to be illuminated in this critical philosophic podcast that grounds many esoteric and New Age ideas with modern science and current affairs...

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Percy Garcia interview> by Rak Razam

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Percy Garcia Lozano comes from a tradition of curanderos and was initiated into the science of ayahuasca at age ten. Now in his early 30s he is one of the new breed of indigenous shamans straddling two worlds – his indigenous heritage and the globalized 21st century. He lives in Iquitos and balances his work between treating locals and the growing rise of Western ayahuasca seekers.

translation by Chuck

RAK: Percy, how long have you been a curandero?

PERCY: I come from a tradition where you are born to become a curandero. You don’t choose to become a curandero. And the person who wants to enter the science of curandismo when he is older, it is because he will be called. He will have a calling.

The tradition I have learned has been handed down to me by my grandfather, who was himself a powerful maestro. So I have been preparing myself [to be a curandero] since I was ten. I am the only grandson that follows the tradition with healing plants. My grandfather – Enrique Garcia Mozombite – prepared me to have the strength to complement ayahuasca and to be strong enough to work with this most sacred of plants. It was a long and enduring initiation, in that the apprentice curandero must come to know not just the kind of plants available and the properties of each, but establish a relationship with the spirits in the plants. It’s a very demanding job being a curandero, and many youth aren’t carrying on the traditions.

RAK: What Is your understanding of ayahuasca and the world of the spirits?

PERCY: Ayahuasca is Quechua for ‘vine of the dead (souls)’, but at the same time, as a healer, we don’t call the dead spirits – we call them Allies. Ayahuasca is medicine. It is strength, intelligence, wisdom and healing. In this way everything is in accord with tradition. While nature represents what life is, ayahuasca is the mother of us all. I have used the vine since I was 14 years old and started on a long series of diets with the master plants. The diets were simple to begin with and as the years progressed my ability to do more intensive diets increased, as did my connection with the plants. It is a long and hard road to travel to become a vegetalista healer, one who heals with plants, especially when this knowledge starts when you are a child. But I learned about the spirit in the ‘vine of souls’, ayahuasca, and how to prepare it, as well as other medicinal plants like chacruna and others...

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book: The Ayahuasca Sessions, conversations with indigenous curanderos and Western shamans  by Rak Razam. For the full interview download the PDF below.


Cosmovision – an Aya Odyssey

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The following is an excerpt from Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey now available from Icaro Publishing.

 

"The vine has spread her tendrils across the world and a genuine archaic revival was underway. My bags were packed; South America beckoned, and the ancient mysteries of the rainforest awaited. I wanted in on it..."

 

Iquitos, Wednesday July 5th., 2006

IQUITOS IS ELECTRIC WITH NOONDAY HUMIDITY as Vance, John and I wade through the horde of locals hustling trinkets outside the Parthenon gates and join the other ayahuasca gringos amassing by the pool. It's Bowman's birthday -- he's twenty-four today -- and drinking with Guillermo is going to be his present.

We're waiting for Alexis, a blond, twenty-ish dude from Washington D.C. who's going to help translate the interview with Guillermo I've lined up. Alexis is a Princeton dropout who's backpacking around on a spiritual path, drinking ayahuasca with shamans and asking critical questions to deepen his own understanding. He's drunk with Guillermo four times now, and calls him "a fucking Jedi." When he turns up an hour late, wearing a Corey Feldman School of the Arts t-shirt, I know he'll fit right in with our media crew.

Vance wants to get out to the Espiritu de Anaconda, Guillermo's ayahuasca retreat to take some shots before we lose the afternoon light, so we pile into two motorcarros and speed away from the front of the Hotel Parthenon before the touristos bus has even arrived. But our motorcarros get bogged down on the dirt road turnoff from Km 14, a long undulating strip of mud from recent rains, and we get out to walk. The local villagers are busy building a concrete footpath to run from the highway past their village and towards the ayahuasca retreat a few miles in, and part of me wonders if this will facilitate t-shirt and refreshment stalls springing up wherever the gringos go, like mushrooms after a fresh rain.


Mind Wars> by Rak Razam

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Forget the war on terror: global military has been engaged in a decades-long campaign to find chemicals that can control the mind, and 50 years after their first experiments it seems the battlefield of the brain is once again front and centre, writes Rak Razam...



According to the US Centre for Strategic Command, the US is presently engaged in a campaign of "Full Spectrum Dominance" in all fields of existence – land, water, space, cyberspace, etc. – and now the realm of the mind itself. Yet the military's interest in psychoactives has been long and sustained. During the height of WWII the OSS, the wartime precursor to the CIA, began the search for a truth serum they could use in intelligence interrogations. In 1945 the US Navy Technical Mission reported that Nazi scientists experimented with mescaline on subjects at the Dachau concentration camp. After the war the U.S. Navy began investigating mescaline itself under the guise of Project Chatter, and for the next three decades they engaged in experiments with mind-altering drugs in an attempt to crack the secrets of the brain.


Magick Man> by Rak Razam



As they begin their magick rite, the sky clouds over and darkens. A cold wind sweeps the top of Glastonbury Tor, the legendary British power spot where ley lines converge and primal dragon energy is concentrated. Four altars are set up with wooden poles forming triangular spaces, littered with talismans. Inside the circle between the altars step 12 people, a ragtag collection of pagans, gypsies and travellers that represent the source races of humanity. As a brilliant zig-zag flash of lightning breaks the clouds, Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule steps into the circle followed closely by two others, their six arms waving like a spider, spinning, measuring and cutting the thread of life. The initiates are pierced through their chest and sewn together with a string web, then anointed as they sing a range of tones to activate their chakras, the energy centres running up their spines. This was the ‘13th Tribe’ weaving, a boggling ritual to unite the warring races of humanity and connect to the earth, and you haven’t seen anything yet…

What the fuck, you’re probably thinking? Here’s the deal: the world is stranger than you believe. And one of the strangest of the strange is Australia’s own Orryelle Defenestrate-Bascule. He’s a ‘chaorder magickian’ who dabbles in invoking Godforms, mutating his own body, travelling the astral realm, and manifesting his will in any number of exotic rituals across the world, from Uluru to the pyramids in Egypt. But tonight we’re sitting round an open fire in a concrete backyard in a dilapidated share house in Brunswick, in the suburbs of Melbourne. There are ley lines here too, but the power lines overhead are more evident. A life-sized, hand-carved clay statue of the Goddess Kali is here with us, terrifying Kali with her eight limbs and long rolling tongue, adorned with skulls round her neck and a belt of human hands.


True Conversations: An interview with Dennis McKenna> by Rak Razam

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Dennis McKenna is one of the leading figures in the global psychedelic and scientific communities investigating plant entheogens and indigenous plant medicines. He was involved with the “Hoasca Project” studying ayahuasca usage by members of the Church de Vegetal and recently issued the manifesto “Ayahuasca and Human Destiny”. Along with his late brother Terence, Dennis co-wrote the book “The Invisible Landscape” which revealed their psychedelically influenced insights into the nature of reality and spacetime they received during “The experiment at La Cholerra” in South America in 1971 (later recounted in Terence’s book “True Hallucinations”). Here, he talks at length about what happened at La Cholerra and how that influenced his later work with ayahuasca.


Rak> Dennis you received your doctorate in 1984, so you’ve been studying plant entheogens for over twenty years now professionally. I’d like to backtrack just a bit to talk about how you got into the psychedelic and plant sacrament culture. In your brother Terence’s book “True Hallucinations” he details your adventures into Amazonian shamanism, could you tell us a bit about those times and how you and Terence began?

DENNIS> Right. [True Hallucinations] was Terence’s book but I was one of the main subjects in it. We wrote together a book in 1975 called “The Invisible Landscape” which we were co-authors on. That was an attempt to kind of lay out in scientific terms and make sense of our experiences at La Cholerra. But True Hallucinations was more like a novel version of that. The Invisible Landscape was like a pseudo-scientific screed in a way, and True Hallucinations was more like a travel novel of our adventures in the Amazon kind of thing.

Reefer Madness> by Rak Razam

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In the classic 1936 propaganda movie 'Reefer Madness', a good young man is seduced into the ways of "marihuana… the new drug menace which is destroying the youth of America", and descends into a nightmare of crime, rape, murder and eventually madness. According to the movie, now a cult classic on the stoner circuit, 'Marihuana is... [a] drug – a violent narcotic – an unspeakable scourge... ending often in incurable insanity." Well, at least they got the last bit right. Over seventy years since the first wave of marijuana demonising, the “incurable insanity” has well and truly set in with politicians worldwide, and shows no sign of abating. Around 39 per cent of our population are reported to have tried the devil's weed, and crop sales are worth an estimated $5-8 billion Australia-wide. With the clash between official rhetoric and the cultural experience as wide as ever, a fresh wave of ‘Reefer Madness’ is sweeping our nation, fuelled by stories of mind-bending ‘hydro’ cannabis and drug war clichés that hide deeper-seated issues.


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