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Loftiness of Rock: The Authentic Popular Mystery-Religion of the Late 20th Century


Acid Rock as 2-level mystery religion. 1

High vs. Low Stonerism.. 2

Rock, the authentic mystery religion of 20th Century. 3

Heavy Rock religion as ongoing conversation among poets. 3

Misguided critique of "seriousness" in Rock. 5

"Seriousness" in Rock and definition of  "modern day  Christianity" 6

Rave Ascension: Youth, Techno Culture and Religion. 7


Acid Rock as 2-level mystery religion

Acid rock is the authentic mystery religion of our time.  One lyrical approach, the non-mystery approach or lesser-mystery approach, is to write lyrics that are obvious allusions to the entheogenic loose- cognition state.  The higher or more extreme mystery approach is to write lyrics that to the uninitiated, appear to be completely unrelated to the entheogenic loose-cognition state, but contain dense subtle allusions to that state for those who are initiated and can recognize the set of allusions and double-entendres. 

In this sense, the Rush song "Red Barchetta" is a more sophisticated and has pure mystery lyrics, as opposed to the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" or Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?", which are explicitly about the altered state and thus cannot reveal any hidden meaning as "Red Barchetta" can.  This suggests a distinction between plain "Acid Rock" and "Acid Mystery Rock".  Rush is the best example of the latter.  The Beatles did some of both; in the Rubber Soul era, their songs claimed to be simply about pop romance, but had a mostly hidden layer of allusions to the altered state. 

Another category, of "Acid Baffling Rock" is needed for lyrics that are simply puzzling, strange, arbitrary, and meaningless to the uninitiated, like "Bohemian Rhapsody", but fully allude to the altered state phenomena such as ego death.  This is the distinction between:

o  Obvious allegory with obvious meaning (Acid Rock).  Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Eight Miles High, Are You Experienced?

o  Hidden allegory with contradictory surface and hidden meaning (Acid Mystery Rock).  Red Barchetta, Chemistry, Help!

o  Obvious allegory with puzzling meaning (Acid Baffling Rock).  Bohemian Rhapsody.

felix wrote:

>So are you saying that the greater the buildup of literally believing the deliberate lie, the more profound the revelation of the entheogenic experience will be? Both in the Jesus mysteries and in acid rock, such that it will embrace most every aspect of life in which you've been tricked into taking things literally, and the transformation will be complete?

That's not what I meant to assert, but I largely agree with that.  Earliest Christianity may have been predominantly esoteric, experiential, and mythic, rather than exoteric, creedal, and literalist.  In that case, the fictional stories about Jesus and company were taught to candidates only as preliminary stories -- same as myths of Demeter.  The intensity of revelation was not due to the intensity of false literalist belief in the Jesus stories, but just due to the great difference between the uninitiated mind and the mind that has experienced loose cognition and the concomitant realm of altered-state experiences and insights about self, personal power, moral agency, and time. 

These days, in addition, we have the history-shattering revelation that Jesus is mainly or solely a fictional character -- collapsing two millenia of literalist error.  But the main revelation of Christianity is not that literalism is wrong -- it's that our assumed control agency and power to decide or change the future is wrong.

In the LSD-soaked 1970s, it was a moderate revelation to discover altered-state allusions in Rush lyrics, but no great surprise.  In the 1990s, blinded by the history-suppressing sham drug war, we gained an additional degree of astonishment.  Not only did we discover the altered-state allusions in the lyrics of 1970s Rush albums, some young and culturally over-sheltered Rush listeners also were stunned and surprised to consider that Rush may have used LSD -- a fact that is anything but a surprise to those who know the cultural context, but comes as a distinctly counterintuitive, taboo, and quasi-paradoxical revelation to the poor propagandized, deceived young students who were subjected to the lies the schools told in the 1990s.  Rush was a heavy rock band in the 70s. 

Therefore we should assume they did drugs, on that basis alone, unless we have really good reason to think that, for some reason, they are the only band who didn't (which would be very much against the trend).  It would be amazing if Rush *didn't* use LSD in the 70s, being a heavy rock band.  But today's worse than know-nothing kids have been told the opposite of the truth, they've been assaulted with lies upon lies.  They think that Rush is sophisticated and "therefore" didn't use drugs. 

They have been told that down is up and up is down; it's been hammered into them.  Not only is it a revelation in waiting for them that Rush alludes to mystic phenomena, and that Rush used LSD as well as cannabis, and to a religious degree, but also, that their education about drugs has been a steady diet of lies upon lies.  It is disturbing that everyone considers Rush to be philosophy rock and *therefore* must have shunned drugs.  The opposite is true -- the greatest philosophy rock is bound to preach the true mystery religion.

High vs. Low Stonerism

>>You have entirely different ideas compared to 'tradition' theorists about what the esoteric core of religion was: drugs, vs, at best, some sort of meditation, contemplation, or Jungian "active imagination", which you consider mostly a placebo, why it was hidden, why it was lost, who has the secret now (science and stoners).

To a large extent, Science immediately saw the good sense in the entheogen theory, ever since that theory was formulated.  Computer science is strongly entheogen-influenced.  However, this demonstrates the relation between de facto use of entheogens (and entheogen-positive views) on the part of individuals, versus the official stance of fields or industries: don't expect any official statements on the part of Science or Computer Science that entheogens are of greatest relevance.

It's not yet the view of Science that religion is essentially entheogen-derived.  That's a likely conclusion as entheogen scholarship continues.  Consider the various motives Science has to portray religion as entheogen-derived or as not entheogen-derived.

In Stonerism, as in any field or genre, there is both Low Stonerism and High Stonerism.  Ozzy Osbourne and Rush (even more so) are representatives of High Stonerism.  High Times magazine usually caters to Low Stonerism, while Cannabis Culture is more geared toward High Stonerism.  Psychedelic Illuminations, renamed TRP, renamed Trip, is geared toward High Stonerism. 

A typical Stonerist move is to deliberately conjoin low and high, per the Ken Kesey/Merry Pranksters approach.  Osbourne's Diary of a Madman deliberately explores the range, progressing from innocent adolescent "Flying High Again" through the breakdown of control of Little Dolls, the dark night of Tonight and SATO, to a heavy metalesque dark pensive conclusion in "Diary of a Madman" -- overshadowed, however, by the real conclusion, Ozzy's glorification and crucifixion in Christ on the back cover.

Acid-influenced Rock is the authentic initiatory mystery religion of the late modern era, because it combines muse-inspired poetic lyrics, music, gatherings, encoded allusions to mystic-state phenomena, and genuine 'good wine' -- entheogens on tap, particularly the combination of cannabis and lysergic acid.

The high level of any two fields is closer than the high and low version of a particular field.  Ozzy is in High Stonerism and Mystery Religions are High Religion.  Modern existentialism and Psychology are merely Low Philosophy and Low Psychology.  Therefore Ozzy Osbourne and Mystery Religions, both being High, must be grouped together, separate from typical 20th century Philosophy and Psychology, which are Low. 

It's ironic that the uninformed accept grouping Rush with Mystery Religions, while banishing Ozzy to the lower realms.  Ozzy and Rush are both firmly based in High Art -- the acid-rock mystery religion -- whatever their relative artistic merits.  Any praise of the religious inspriation of Rush must be granted as well to Ozzy and the other acid-oriented Rock artists, who form a tradition, a genre -- they are not at all isolated lone individuals. 

Acid-influenced rock lyric allusions are a collectively shared language, consciously spoken among the lyricists and understood, recognized, and respected by a significant portion of the audience.  Similarly, I am not alone in my interpretation of the lyrical allusions; it's a matter of a group of people who read the lyrics as I do, versus a group that denies the correctness of such a reading -- it's two views, not my own view held in isolation, versus the view held by the rest of the world.

Rock, the authentic mystery religion of 20th Century

Michael wrote:

>>The religious banqueting associations were like small Rock or Punk Rock clubs, against the Prog Rock arena shows of the mass-scale mystery initiations.  Mithraism was like a large network of intimately tiny Rock clubs.

Frank wrote:

>This is a great way to look at it.  It can also be a bit depressing.  If Christianity got to its arena rock phase around the time of Augustine, us gnostic types have barely gotten out of our garage band startup!

The ancient towering powerful Catholic church is largely an illusion; it was but a recent mouse.

Today I found that Erik Davis a similar description in the book TechGnosis:

"... the freak scene would never have spread without technology ... Especially the electric guitar. ... the rock concert had become the hedonic agora of the counterculture; musicians dove headfirst into the electromagnetic imaginary, transforming ... electrical effects like feedback and distortion into ferocious transcendental chaos. ... Combined with ... light shows and [entheogens originating from the Establishment] ... these kundalini-tweaking soundstorms staged electrified Eleusinian mysteries ..."  p. 145

TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information

Erik Davis


Currently pages 2-29 are available online here


Rank 70K (popular)


Heavy Rock religion as ongoing conversation among poets

Allusions to acid mystic state phenomena in practice amounted to a kind of ongoing conversation among Rock groups.  Not only must you study an artist's later song in the light of their earlier songs; you must include the songs (and visual album and concert art) by other previous Rock hierophants as well. 

What's greatly needed is a chronological listing of acid-rock lyrics, starting with Help! by John Lennon, toward finding which acid-alluding song lyrics led in the next year or two to thematic variations from another artist in response.

>>Do you think that the artists not only compose lyrics in an altered mental state, but compose the music itself in an altered state so that the music itself has deeper meaning while tripping?

Examples of music that is composed to allude to the phenomena of the intense mystic altered state is the two symphonic build-ups in Day in the Life by the Beatles, the ascending suspenseful phasing and violins in Cheap Trick: World Turns Round (on Dream Police), and the haunting chords and erratic heartbeat at the end of Cygnus X1. 

Poetic music is better than electronica (acid rave), because words convey allusions more complexly than just trippy sounds; words carry meaning that can unfold and blossom in a state-dependent fashion.

I have heard that it is standard practice among Classic Rock lyricists to compose poetry as the ancients did, in the inebriated visionary state.  This only makes sense.

Classic Rock in general, by definition, is written and performed within the psychotomimetic THC plus LSD state of consciousness.  Pot with acid is the standard religion of Heavy Rock; pot with acid is the Heavy Rock religion.  Rush are only differentiated by their higher than average devotion to the Heavy Rock religion.

>>I happened to listen to Rush while tripping on acid.  I was at a friend's house while listening to Rush and because of the messages I thought I was hearing, I swore up and down for years that either my friend had rigged his stereo and computer equipment or that Rush had encoded their music.  It is amazing to see that others have experienced this.

This unfolding effect is known and deliberately played upon by the Heavy Rock artists and poets.

>>The frequency of the allusions convinces you that that Rush has encoded their music.  Could the frequency of the alleged allusions seem to increase simply because the artist writes more intelligently than another, mediocre, artist?

That is hypothetically possible but pointless and not the case.  All the bands tripped on pot with acid all the time, and like historical mystics, some did a better job of it than others.

>>Is it that Peart encodes and the acid savvy listener decodes, or is it that Peart writes very creatively, with many metaphors, and that this is fodder for an altered mind?

Peart encodes many metaphors deliberately alluding to the phenomena of the pot-with-acid state of cognitive processing.  He is skilled at maximizing this acid encoding/decoding effect richly, in a skill development feedback loop.

>>I remember experiencing the same things watching Star Trek.  Any info on this?

Moving pictures are not my specialty, but there is some interest in the subject of acid mysticism allusions in movies, among other researchers.

>>Very few fans of respective bands know about the double meaning of the lyrics.

That's uncertain.  Many fans have at least experienced the extended meaning, even if they retain a far hazier grasp than the heavy-tripping poets.

>Even most people familiar with both (i.e., band and acid) would laugh in your face at the mere idea of it.

Evidence so far contradicts that assertion.  Around 2/3 of the people I hear from who are familiar with the bands and with acid heartily agree with the systematization I've pulled together.  Around 2/3 who so qualified, agree.  It's not enough to be somewhat familiar with the albums, or to have tripped just a handful of times.  The more one has tripped and has done so with the albums playing, the more one is likely to agree with the entheogen theory of Heavy Rock lyrics.  The terms 'Heavy' and 'Rock' function practically as code-words for tripping on acid.

>>It's obviously not everyone's favorite hobby to do high-dose trips. The first one you do with a *really* naive mindset regarding what will happen to you. [will blow you away disturbingly?]  Even if you are informed.  On the other hand, this naivety may in some sense be useful/necessary, as it is doubtful that people would embark upon a journey so harsh.

>>Nowadays I'm really rather timid going beyond medium-strength trips. I know that it delivers some of the best moments one can possibly experience but it always comes with the price. I guess here come rituals handy: They provide for a preset occasion to trip and one "just does it" without having to struggle hours about if one really should do it or not.

Poets and hierophants: We trip hard so you don't have to.

We Will Rock You

Misguided critique of "seriousness" in Rock

>>I hope I don't discover that Rush is taking their own lyrics way too seriously, but I guess a lot of the art rock bands of the 70's are guilty of that.

Criticizing "taking lyrics too seriously" gives a feeling of superioriority, but that's often a sign of incomprehension of the meaning in lyrics.  Do people really want to limit Rock to the mindless Boogie Rock of the self-titled Rush album, or the Ramones as the ideal scope of Punk thematic materials?

It's not immediately clear what "taking their own lyrics too seriously" means.  Generally, the most standard single theme or motive of Classic Rock (1960s and 70s Rock from Freakbeat to Psychedelic Rock, Acid Rock, Heavy Rock, Heavy Metal, then Metal) is to reflect the phenomena of the LSD altered state.  Consider Heavy Rock, such as Queen's song Bohemian Rhapsody or Rush's song No One at the Bridge. 

Punk Rock is "guilty" of the same supposed crime.  For all of its *talk* about offering a "less pretentious and serious" approach to Rock, Punk treated politics every bit as seriously as Classic Rock treated the LSD altered state and its phenomena.

>>Ozzy Osbourne definitely is not guilty of that.

No album takes its lyrics more seriously than Ozzy Osbourne's album Diary of a Madman.  Similarly, Sabotage is also insanely serious and grandiose. 


Listen as well to Osbourne's song Revelation (Mother Earth):

Mother please forgive them

For they know not what they do

Looking back in history's books

It seems it's nothing new

Oh! Let my mother live

Heaven is for heroes

And hell is full of fools

Stupidity, no will to live

They're breaking God's own rules

Please let my mother live

Father, of all creation

I think we're all going wrong

The course they're taking

Seems to be breaking

And it won't take too long

Children of the future

Watching empires fall

Madness the cup they drink from

Self destruction the toll

I had a vision, l saw the world burn

And the seas had turned red

The sun had fallen, the final curtain

In the land of the dead

Mother, please show the children

Before it's too late

To fight each other, there's no-one winning

We must fight all the hate

Rock doesn't get any more serious and grandiose and cosmic than that.  So much for "taking their own lyrics ... seriously ... Ozzy Osbourne definitely is not guilty of that."

"Seriousness" in Rock and definition of  "modern day  Christianity"

>>I started on this journey by listening to and researching the Beatles who tried to capture the feeling one gets from transcendental meditation and eastern religion in their music.  Of course, the acid experience is a huge part of that experience.

The music of Ozzy and Beatles has much in common -- playful taboo crossing and the mystic altered state, mystery-religion, cosmic gnostic footloose profundity, ultimate concerns transcendently freely mixed with British wacky absurd humor.

Metal such as Iron Maiden and Metallica can cover only half the themes or mood of the intense mystic altered state; that genre as an expressive medium is restricted.  Mainstream acid-oriented Rock can cover more ground in exploring the world of the intense mystic altered state, because it does not have to restrict itself to constant heaviness. 

Ozzy/Sabbath is ultimately superior to Metallica as an expressive style because Ozzy/Sabbath has always had full room for humor and light beauty, unlike the Metal genre.  Much of the Iron Maiden lyrics seem to have their inspired quality handicapped by a rigid rule of always having to be dark, negative, hardcore.

>>Perhaps my critique of "seriousness" in Rock comes from the technical and academic nature of the posts on this newsgroup.


It doesn't get any more straightforward than this set of Web pages.  An explanation of allusions to the mystic altered state is potentially as straightforward and explicit than this.  Where can people find a less "technical and academic" explanation of Rock mysticism than this?  The present posting would as well, and as absurdly, be called "technical and academic". 

This discussion group is technical and academic compared to postings saying just "Dude, too much tripping and my soul's worn thin."  One step simpler than this discussion group will land you in the public newsgroups.

If you hate academic bluster, you'll love to hate the existing books that fail to even see the presence of primary religious experiencing in Heavy Rock.  The allusions go right over their heads, so we end up with the familiar combination of sophisticated-sounding blustery explanation, that completely misses the essence, producing a study that pretends to be about certain Rock lyrics, but really ends up being about the ideas embraced by Academia. 

I would like to search more of the books about Rock for real insight -- not just saying that bands used LSD, not just saying that Lucy... is about LSD, but spelling out the allusions to altered-state phenomena in songs far and wide.  The books I've seen have nothing even remotely like that.

Book lists:

Rock as philosophical mystery-religion


Some of these books on Heavy Rock *might* provide insight.  I wouldn't count on it, but look up "acid", "mystic", "lsd", "psychedelics", and "drugs" in the indexes.

Rush books (Rock group)


>>I recently dropped out of a Master's Program, so I am in an anti-academic frame of mind at the moment.  I have more faith in my own intuition and intellectual efforts than in institutional knowledge, much to my own detriment.

Reading today's quarter-baked scholarship is a necessary evil.  I have to do a major mental transformation to extract value out of most books.

The biggest mistake of so-called "higher education" is modern ignorance of the use of visionary plants throughout human history.  That fault may be laid on academia rather than outside it.

>>I have relied heavily on the works of Joseph Campbell for a roadmap of my journey.

From what I've read so far, Campbell seems more insightful than Jung.  The problem is the whole modern Psychology paradigm, which distorts its own field as much as shining light on it.  Both of them are grounded in the era before the late 1960s, and therefore they are almost wholly ignorant of the explanatory solution provided by visionary plants. 

Scholarship in psychology and symbols will eventually be divided into before and after the era of the rediscovery of entheogens, which had a turning point around 1972.  By 1972, any scholar of myth-religion-mysticism who was not aware of the entheogen theory of religion is guilty of professional incompetence and inexcusable oblivious ignorance.  Prior to around 1972, theories of myth-religion-mysticism can be excused for ignorance of the entheogen solution to their questions -- not so after about 1972.

Jung on Christianity

Murray Stein (Introduction), Carl Gustav Jung


>>Campbell has become popular through his populist approach to mythology and Jungian psychology.  I am trying to reconcile my familiarity with Campbell to "modern day Christianity", which I define the Christian Church as an institution, which deems salvation is achieved primarily through works rather than faith.

Official Christianity is a system of salvation through works, with a veneer of salvation through faith and regeneration through the Holy Spirit laid on top.  Because the official Church in fact lacks the Holy Spirit, the masses fall back onto striving for salvation through works.

Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor (covers Christian myth-religion, fine content)

Joseph Campbell


Oct. 2001

Rave Ascension: Youth, Techno Culture and Religion

I have written about lyrical allusions to the phenomena of the mystic altered state in various entheogen-inspired rock genres.  This popular entheogen-oriented music tradition began with psychedelic rock, lived on much more strongly than people realize in progressive rock and heavy rock, including Queen, Rush, Metallica, and Slayer, as well as the Grateful Dead, and now lives on in the rave culture.

>From the main Theory Notes section of my site:



>From the Lyrics section of my site:



>From my Amptone site:

http://www.amptone.com/overview.htm -- find section: Amp Tone and the Experience of Ego Death (moved to Egodeath site)

We should also check to see what Erik Davis has to say about the intersection of psychedelic rock, rave culture, mysticism, and technology.

>From the Visionary Plants discussion List:

Dr St John is looking for contributions at a post-graduate level, either novel or previously published. Check with him. The Project may be published by Routledge Research.

The deadline is 17th September 2001.

Contact Graham directly at:

g.stjohn at unimelb.edu.au


Call for submissions to a new anthology -

Rave Ascension: Youth, Techno Culture and Religion

To be edited by Graham St John

"…dance parties have transmuted the role that organised religion once had to lift us onto the sacramental and supramental plane". Such was the thinking of Goa veteran and self-styled 'trancetheologian', Ray Castle in a paean to the power of rave in his 1995 communion with Eugene ENRG (aka DJ Krusty): http://music.hyperreal.org/artists/metanet/meld1.html

Despite its diasporic fragmentation and hybridisation throughout the nineties, the dance party rave - involving masses of youth dancing all-night to a syncopated electronic rhythm mixed by DJs - maintains rapturous popularity in the West. Commonly accorded effects ranging from personal 'healing' or replenishment, to transformations on social, cultural or political scales, the rave - from clubland, to outdoor doof, to technomadic festival - is a hyper-crucible of contemporary youth spirituality. The question thus arises:

* What is the role of the technocultural rave in the spiritual life of contemporary youth? *

Emerging in London in 1988 and subsequently exported around the world, the rave has proliferated and mutated alongside associated music (electronic) and body ('ecstasy') technologies. Throughout the nineties, vast numbers of western youth attached primary significance to raving and post-rave experiences. Regularly regarded by participants as a site of 'self-transcendence', a kind of temporary utopia, the rave grew prevalent in the experience of urban youth. With the combined stimulus of electronic musics, psychotropic lighting and chemical alterants, young novices and experienced habitues transcended the mundane in converted warehouses, wilderness areas, beaches, deserts and streets.

Participants and observers have variously reported 'communion', 'telepathy', 'trance' states, 'ecstasy' or the 'sacred' along with a transcendence of subject, ethnic or gender categories at rave and post-rave events. Producers of rave soundscapes and visual components (from video images to décor) reportedly possess 'shamanic' characteristics. Events are often deemed 'tribal' celebrations - even 'corroborees'. And, experienced habitues of dance champion psychedelic 'sacraments', sometimes claimed to accelerate the reception of esoteric knowledge.

Yet a torrent of inquiry issues from our initial question. Is the rave a nascent rite de passage - and, if so, what is its telos? What is its level and quality of efficacy? Is it a ritual of communion, a mass 'return' to a 'womb' which sees co-inhabitants secure in a nutrient rich and numinous pre-separation stage, or an anomic post-partum 'dead-zone' catering for 'escapist' desires and tragic careers in over-expenditure? An 'oceanic experience' or a kind of prolonged youth suicide? Does the rave or post-rave more closely approximate a Church, Disney World™ or a "detention camp for youth" (Reynolds, Energy Flash 424). Has the cyber-chemical-millenarianism which flourished under the roof of the original acid house been domesticated - the rapture contained and smothered in regulated and commodified leisure sites? Or has its technospiritual fervour been smuggled away into furtive temporary autonomous zones where it percolates still?

Calling for submission from scholars of contemporary religion, dance ethnologists, sociologists and other cultural observers, this anthology seeks to answer such questions, and in the process unravel the socio-cultural religious dimensions of rave and rave-derived phenomena. Though various commentators have initiated research on this youth cultural moment, Rave Ascension will be a venue devoted to such research.

Contributors might address one or more of the following themes:

- Rave as New Age religion. Discussion could transpire on rave as manifestation of New Age techno-spirituality. The presence of esotericism - eg gnosticism - in the dance party space, music and mythos - would be a worthy subject of analysis.

- Rave as ritual (communion, rite of passage, potlatch, therapeutic). Subjects of analysis and documentation could include Earthdance described as 'a global dance party for world peace and healing'; techno-utopian festivals like Burning Man; or outdoor doofs of the 'Goa Trance' tradition.

- Rave as TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone): Contributors might address the influence of inspired anarcho-mystic Hakim Bey (aka Peter Lamborn Wilson) upon the 'rave movement' and techno-art communities.

- Techno-spirituality: Rave's location in 'postmodern' technospiritual developments. Relevant themes for discussion include techno-futurism; and the use of the Internet by 'cybergnostic' rave communities.

- Psychedelics and dance: the role of entheogens (Ecstasy), LSD and other chemical alterants in the dance-space. For example, the work of Nicholas Saunders or the nuances and implications of the interfacing of body and cyber technologies - cyberdelics - could be addressed.

- 'Techno-paganism': from Fraser Clark's Shamanarchy to the Drop Bass Network's interest in Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan.

- Comparisons of the rave experience with the ritual experience of non-western cultures - eg. in relation to similarities in music, repetitive percussive rhythm and/or psychotropic stimuli.

- Electro-primitivism. The appropriation/sampling of the exotic 'Other' in rave performances, symbolism/décor and electronic music. Processes and implications.

- Trance: dance, music, visual effects and the trance state. For example, Matthew Fox's Creation Spirituality and the 'techno-mass' would be relevant.

- Techno-shamanism: DJs as 'engineer-poets', technicians of ecstasy, or high priests?

- Raving as 'consumer spirituality'. Is the purported religiosity or social strengthening of raving improved or threatened by the consumer capitalism with which it is implicated?

- Rave as presexual/pregendered paradise - the temporary androgynous zone.

- Raves and Christianity: The fusion of Episcopalian services, vicar V ravey's Nine O'Clock Service in Sheffield , and Club X organised by Billy Graham's Youth for Christ are relevant high interest topics.

- Victor Turner: The usefulness of Victor Turner's processual theory - including 'spontaneous communitas', the 'cultural drama' and liminoidal 'play' - to the study of rave and rave-derived events.

- Michel Maffesoli: rave as exemplary 'orgiastic' or 'empathetic' sociality particular to 'neo-tribalism'.

- George Bataille: The value of Bataille's ideas on eroticism and trangression to dance.

- Dance, corporeality and place: the establishment of somatic connectedness to place through dance.

- Technoculture and ecologism: How may 'rave technologies' be mobilised to facilitate or mediate consciousness of the natural world? Do dance events possess a role in (re)producing ethical, eco-conscious individuals and communities?

I am open to suggestion on other relevant themes and lines of inquiry.

Routledge Publishers Research have expressed interest in the project. If interested, please submit (email) an abstract of no more than 300 words to Graham St John by Sep 17, 2001. Chapters are requested to be around 7000 words in length.

g.stjohn at unimelb.edu.au

Graham St John is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Melbourne and is the editor of FreeNRG: Notes From the Edge of the Dance Floor, an OzAuthors/Pluto Press co-production available from Sep/Oct 2001



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