travels of the zion froptic

From: "the rev. dr. mobiustrip" <>
Newsgroups: alt.slack
Date: Tue, Apr 30, 2002 7:48 PM

i just got back from a 12 day retreat to jamaica where i spent a great deal
of time in the jungles with rastafarian ganja farmers. i wrote the
following rant over the course of my stay, on the subject of rastafarianism
and its relationship to judaism (my original faith), peperred with a bit of
subgenius flavor, as well as some accompanying poetry and prose, which can
be found at also, for more on zion
fropticism, check out

the rev. dr. mobiustrip
aka h.i.m. haile unlikely i, "bob" dobbstafari

every rastaman who takin round tourist is like a guru. he shows you that
vanity is iniquity and that money is immaterial and then convinces you to
give him your money. is he a charlatan? patronizing? hypnotizing?
mesmerizing? strategizing to take advantage? only if you take it that way.
if you believe he's casing your shit, he is. and that's consciousness and
manifestation of thought. it's all a just a myth, but if enough believe they
will will it and give power to it. i don't mind giving power to this. this
is the myth i want to believe. white man's lie no longer penetrate me,
deceive. live truth alternatively, away from concrete jungle, city.

"right now you are on the path."

i am jah chosen and so long as i continue to believe, that'll be the true

remind me like bhagavan das, initiate every religious order in the east.
attempted every ritual encountered. learned to find jah consciousness in
every form, to understand the value of symbols and how to utilize those
symbols like one might use a cross or a torah, a totem pole or a stue of
buddha; as one might utilize a raft to cross a river-as a psychopomp, a
guide to the other side-a device to attain the spiritual/mystical
experience. jesse would say they're all different fingers, pointing at the
same moon. focus on the finger and you lose sight of the moon. the map is
not the territory, as the symbol is not the concept it represents nor the
ritual the experience it produces.

i tend to identify more readily with the symbols of rastafarianism a bit
more than i do of traditional judaism, taking ganja over psumin, reggae over
niggunim, dreadlocks over payes, nyabhingi over shemonei esrei any day. and
what makes it interesting is that they both draw upon the same hebraic
scriptural cutlure, the rastas however proclaiming the theft of their
culture by the other, so that the wicked can take the god out of man and
make him a spook in the sky, thus severing man's immediate connection to jah
so that the priest may claim a need to be a well-compsenated mediary between
the individual and jah. this priesthood eventually became aristocracy and
eventually the vampirous babylon system, twisting sacred scripture into a
mind control device to enslave the progeny of its original creators. babylon
utilizes hijacked symbols and a distorted sort of natural kabbalistic speech
magick once studied by prophets and mystics, masqueraded as advertising,
media, propaganda, education, religious doctrine-deliberate phrasing for
hypnotic effect. they then imbue the sleeping masses with vain and
iniquitous goals, shifting their focus from their ecstatic dance with god
and nature to financial and material gain, and so-called prosperity, all the
while using this delicately crafted language to convince the people of the
supposed righteousness of this pursuit, drawing them by the droves, lining
up to get inside that pyramid on the back of the dollar bill.

yes, some rastas believe the illuminati exists... that there is a global
conspiracy to invoke a new world order. and while you might not hear
anything about the trilateral commision or the bilderbergers coming out of
their mouths, you know where they're going with this. of course this sounds
a bit odd or absurd; and perhaps i've read too much robert anton wilson, or
not enough; but how far off is this myth really? perhaps the wicked priests
have gotten so good at their magick that they don't even need to hide out at
masonic temples anymore-they take over seattle, davos, genoa, new york, for
their world economic forums and world trade organization conferences.

the devil has you all so convinced he doesn't exist, you welcome his minions
to your cities' finiest halls to sit behind darkened boardroom tables and
plot "innocent" world domination, all under the pretense of a "stronger
economy" and "increased prosperity."

worse yet, all the cultural elements and customary effects that are a
natural and fundamental part of the human experience have been stolen,
commodified, mass manufactured by foreign child labor, repackaged, shipped,
stocked, shelved, and sold back to you taxed, where at the counter you use
your high-interest rate credit card which records your shopping habits for
later sale to marketing agencies. and for every brick in that pyramid, every
concrete block blotting the sun from the sky, strangling our mothership
earth-you could've made the thing yourself or done without it. arts, crafts,
music, toys, games, clothes, food, inebriants... convenience is a dangerous
friend. and now there are a lot of people tangled up in this mess.

that's why it's moved from one smoky boardroom to the warldorf astoria. and
maybe these fuckers aren't as illuminated as those who'd come before. maybe
a rosicrucian or o.t.o. degree is worth less than once before, like a
diploma from harvard. suppose these fuckers don't really know what they're
doing so much and took the helm from their forebears without knowing how to
keep a tight ship, or they pirated the ship through mergers and
acquisitions. maybe things are getting out of hand and the dunwhich horror
is about to break loose from the barn. maybe it's time you REPENT! QUIT YOUR

so you buy all these products you used to make to stock the particleboard
shelves in your prefabricated home with your monsanto front lawn and your
petro-swilling suv you bought with the money you got from sitting in a box,
within a box, pressing buttons on a box for 50 hours a week, come home sit
in front another box. yes i'm generalizing. no it's not 100% of the people
100% of the time. there are moments of sheer bliss and brilliance and
consciousness that wiggle through at times like spaghetti through a
collander. but by and large-y'all niggas asleep. a country of zombified
sheep. and while you may vehemently deny this, bitter at the accusation, i
state what i see. who feels it knows it lord.

and if a person is not asleep... if they're hip to all this and they shrug
and say, "ay, what're you gonna do?" they are indifferent and that is worse,
for they are conscious and defeated, like they woke up from a drunken (or
roofied) slumber to find a stranger raping them, then said "fuck it", going
along for the ride anyhow.

so what's eatin me about this, and what leads me to tack rastafarianism down
under african-american or afro-carribean mythology is the stark parallel
between rastafarianism and the 5% nation of islam/nation of gods and earths
(which most rappers belong to or at least claim to).

1. jah = allah
2. selassie i = mohammed
3. both believe the one true living god is here, in this moment, manifested
in man and all being, and not a spook in the sky.
4. both believe the white devil hijacked the black man's culture and used it
as a tool to enslave them, then the world.
5. both believe there is an illumanti pulling strings and that they are
controlled by aliens or demons.
6. both built their foundations on the teachings of marcus garvey and other
black nationalists.
7. both imply black nationalism and unity.
8. both have been around only sixty years or so, though they'll of course
insist otherwise, claiming their identities as the true source of
judaeo-christian religious doctrine since the dawn of its creation.
9. both have similar customs and rituals common to all religions.
10. both's demographic consist primarily of young black men, particularly
from inner city ghettoes, and many with rudeboy raggamuffin thug gangsta
11. great numbers of both groups are involved in drug trafficking, but
that's an aside. or rather, it would be an aside, but both groups gather
many converts behind bars.
12. both have their own slang dialect which combines both scriptural and
street/ghetto/hood references.

i guess that that's what is the faith breaker here, what enables me to lump
rastafarianism in with the rest of the world's conceived mythologies. it
contains all the proper elements of a devised, intended religion. and while
it does a much better job of translating the essence of the
spiritual/mystical experience to the people through symbols that are more
directly encountered in every day life, it is still with its agendas and
misguided proclivities like any other doctrine set forth by man for his

the potential safeguard against such corruption, however, in rasta, the
checks and balances if you will, is in their respect for the individual.
every man is entitled to live the life they choose for themselves. if one so
chooses to accept the word of rastafari and live the life of a rastaman,
then he will earn the respect, praise and support of his rasta brethren,
much like one who becomes a hasidic jew or devout muslim. if the choice is
made rather to partake in a secular lifestyle, it's no skin off their backs.
but this shouldn't be a question of how important the respect and praise of
these people is to you, especially if a desire for such has been
dogmatically engrained in you. nor should it be a question of how much you
buy their story, regardless of intrigue. rather the question is, do the
symbols, rituals and culture associated with this religion help me better
ascertain my whereabouts in the grand scheme of things? does it help me
establish, understand and sustain my connection with the infinite? is all
this mumbo jumbo horse pucky? are we just bipedal organisms clinging to the
side of a rock?

if you feel holy, if you feel divine, if you feel high with energy and
vitality and lust for existence, if you are radiating joy-that is called
heightened awareness-enlightenment, high-consciousness.

but you don't need to subscribe to judaeo-christian concepts of god in order
to attain this level. it can be achieved by intoning any of the number of
gods' names and partaking in their rituals. but jah consciousness implies
something greater. that (in the malakai z. york version, a 33% mason and
another pioneer of modern afro-american mythology, whose egyptology fits
snugly somewhere among rastas, the 5% noi, hebrew christians and the "true"
israelites) beyond your heightened awareness, you have a relationship with
an ethereal alien like demon being from an alternate dimension named
jehovah, the leader of a race of beings known as the elohim, that made a
mysterious blood pact with your forebear abraham, which has extended unto
all his descendants. you acknolwedge him as lord and master over you, that
you live in service to him, that he delivered you from the house of bondage
by performing miracles in egypt, provided you with 10 commandments for
righteous living and gave forth instructions for living in accordance with
his will, known as the written torah and its oral counterpart, kabbalah.
this momentus science fiction thriller is still the world's #1 best seller,
spawning a sequel about a dude who may or may not have been hung to a tree,
allegedly for our yet uncommited sins, as well as countless other volumes of
dissection, analysis, theosophy and mystical interpretation that would dwarf
any trekkie's collection of klingon dictionaries and starfleet operations

and i guess this is where, for me at least, not wholly educated on the
subject as say, a person like my friend shimon who was raised studying such
things, or my still-plaguing-me-in-this-moment-for-some-reason-ex-girlfriend
with the bachelors in judaic studies, things start to get weird, murky,
hard-to-sawllow and creepy even. and i start to wonder whether i want
anything to do with this myth after all. in one frame of mind, i might be
more frightened that people actually believe this stuff than i am of the
hand of god himself. and how exactly do we get from black african hebrews to
white european jews? from aramaic to yiddish?

ok, so this is like the first acid induced rambling i've written without the
acid. definitely more coherent but hardly as poetic.

i'm reminded of one of these mondo-bizarro experiences i had once when i had
just gotten back from israel and was at school down at stockton. i was
trying to retain some respectable jewish lifestyle after returning from aish
and had rabbi zak set me up for a shabbos with a chabadnik named rappaport,
down in atlantic city.

the guy creeped me out a bit, kinda had a darkness about him. think he had
gone down to a.c. to be rav at a new orthodox synagogue but it turned out he
was too jewish for them, maybe made 'em feel guilty 'bout their lifestyles
kind of like jamie's father in rushkoff's exit strategy. he wound up
sticking around, taking over the minyan at a local conservative shul with a
congregation of seniors that gave off more of a vfw vibe than a jewish one.
anyway, he was one of these messianic lubavitch types. believed the rebbe
was the messiah, end times were at hand, etc. etc. and was trying to
convinece me of the mystical wonders of this sage all through our encounter.

so over dinner i was talking about the research of gerold schroeder, a
double mit phd in astronomy and physics with a rabbinic degree to boot. when
i was at aish he had given a course on the subject matter of a book he'd
written called genesis & the big bang. the gist of the course, the book, and
what i was getting at between bites of mayo'd challah and gefilte fish, is
that the biblical creation story of genesis is not contradicted by big bang
and the theory of evolution, but actually supported by it. schroeder makes
an interesting case, citing many points of research i don't care to recount
here, but it doesn't matter anyway, because rabbi rappaport quickly
dismissed all of this, stating simply that man is imperfect thus science is
imperfect and that even if he's trying to make a case that'd reinvigorate
people's belief in the torah, the truth is right there in the torah itself
and you need look no further.

ooooookay, moving on now that that's setttled ("god, what a stubborn dick,"
i thought) the conversation turned to the rebbetzin who recounted a tale
about a child who had been born with some physical or mental impairment that
would debilitate them for life. the mother of the child decided to write the
deceased rebbe a letter, asking what she can do to help her child, and then
to randomly place it into one of many volumes of letters the rebbe had
composed over the years, and then open randomly to a letter in another
volume, which of course wound up being an indirect response to hers. the
letter provided some mystical instruction for the mother to carry out, which
she did, and viola, her child was healed. (ask shimon, he probably knows the
story better.)

well i wasn't buying this for a minute. i'm like, "you know what, after
shabbos i'm gonna write the rebbe a letter and wait, know what-" and i get
up and go over to the mantle where the rebbetzin had motioned during her
story, and drew one of the oh, 30 volumes of letters off the shelf, opened
it to a random page, and asked the rebbetzin to translate the hebrew. what
she read said something to the effect of, "science is imperfect. only god is
perfect. science and technology can never approximate or ascertain the
majestic powers of our lord."

my jaw hit the table. i think, wow, after dinner, i'm going to write a
letter about my father (who had recently suffered a mild stroke) and ask
what my direction in life is. no sooner do i complete this thought than the
rebbetzin says, "and the rebbe hopes your father is well and that the path
may continue to be revaled before you."

i was floored. i didn't know what to think. what kind of cultish jedi mind
tricks are these? can the spirit of a man still persist through the
atmosphere, like powder washing out over the fields, or buddha coming free
of samsara?


right now i'm high on jah. i'm high on 4000 years of history and culture,
like a speedy dose of liquid in my veins that keeps these tangenital
cyclones of thought spinning until my inevitable crash, burnt out from the
endless intellectual exercise and mental masturbation.


so i went to see the cannabis cup band's final performance at the wetlands,
which closed last summer, and had taken a bunch of lsd with a few of my
friends prior to our arrival. i was fuckin tweaked out dude, as always. so
they bust into their ususal routine, "pass me the herb," "sensible
proposition," "significant times," etc. they play out their first set and
then rocker t, who was fronting the band at the time, spun a dj set. then
they come back out for their second set and drop this ill beat... rocker t
starts going off on this bidddddddddddbaibaibai stocatto rastaman chant in
this heavy boombastic voice and tries to get the audience to mimic him,
throwing the mic out to the crowd after each phrase. everybody there being
white hippies and dreadies, of course they were having a hard time. finally
he drops the phrase "led zepplin" and having gotten closer to cathcing the
phrase each time he pitched one, i was on this one off the bat. t hears this
i think and points the mic directly at me, and in no time at all pretty much
the crowd starts looking like a pentacostal church with everyone speaking in
tongues, chanting "led-zep-el-lin-led-zep-el-lin-led-"

sure it could've been the acid fucking with me, if you're willing to dismiss
the value of psychedelics in the mystical/spiritual experience, which i'm
not. but all of a sudden this energy started culiminating in the air. you
could feel it like static when you put on a sweater fresh out the dryer. and
then in the procession of music and lyrics, t, like a shaman, a sorcerer
even, directs the energy into this swirling maelstrom that rolls through the
audience like a twister spinning faster and faster, and everyone is
physically watching this, entranced, as the energy spins itself into a
spinning globule, this liquid mixture of light and dark like a spinning
melting yin yang (just like the kabbalistic interpretation of genesis
describes god: a mixture of light and dark) and everyone's eyes follow the
ball to the stage to right in front of macker t and ricky's keyboard, and as
the musical tension builds... BLAU! they drop the bomb! the music explodes!
rocker t vocally explodes! and the ball of energy explodes, surging through
the crowd, again, like powder. the audience explodes, howling, gyrating,
cutting rugs.

after that it didn't die. the vibe kept on til 4 a.m. when the show, which
started at 10:30, finally let up. the set list was crafted, i think, to
sustain the energy, each song becoming more and more spiritually minded,
where at a point, a cover of bob marley's "waiting in vain" came to me as
though jah was singing to his chosen people (sort of like rumi's love poetry
was mistakenly thought to be written to women rather than god). i thought,
god doesn't want to wait in vain for our love.

t finished up with an acoustic set, at the end playing a song about jah
making "the rain to come" and "the blind to see." again, maybe the acid and
the lighting combination were responsible for this, but while performing
that song, rocker t sort of stopped looking like himself. like when the
spirit enters whoopi's body in ghost, "damn baby, what you do to your hair?"
jah, it seemed, took t as a vessel, and the power of this temporary
cohabitation created a sort of emination around him that caused him to
appear schwa or even oddworld-type alienesque.

shit. i don't know what to make of it. i went home and wrote this
acid-induced ramble, embarassingly enough mailing it to the band and posting
it on my website in an execution of poor judgement. it did however finally
land me the gig as their webmaster after 2 years of bugging them, but i
still felt like an ass. i couldn't help it thought. my judaically/familially
engrained love of god and god consciousness was reinvigorated through the
power of chant and reggae music. i was practically born again and now had an
intense affinity for rastafari.

so just eight or so months later (which in the course of a lifetime is a
mere blink of an eye), when my friend aphid's dad gerd (a somewhat famous
and well respected poet and artists of the beat generation and 60s
counterculture, who was in fact the producer of tim leary's album turn on,
tune in, drop out) offered me the keys to his 11 acre villa on the north
western shore of the jamaican isle for helping him out with some computer
shit, how could i-how could anyone-say no?

thus i've spent the last 11 days or so puffing ganja, rollin' w/rastamen,
hiking the beach, driving through the jungle up narrow twisty unguardrailed
cliffside roads, playing my drum, reading rumi ferlinghetti and ginsberg,
laying up in a hammock watching the waves, meditating on jah consciousness
and scribbling these notes down in a $3 sketchbook with a pen i ganked off
nancy's desk.

i leave tomorrow and so i'm kind of back to where i started, which is good.
came full circle. maybe on the next revolution round the spiral i'll go a
level deeper or higher, no difference really.

so what am i taking from this experience? first, i'm reinforcing, to some
extent, the idea of religion put forth by frank zappa in his autobiography,
the real frank zappa book, that no matter what names you intone, nor in
which rituals you partake, so long as there is human psychic energy directed
towards a goal, it will manifest a result. and the greater the number of
people invovled, the greater the result. this is why all religions are
essentially powerful, and also how we know that god is one... through the
consistency of the religious method and that method's results.

the potential for abuse is incredible however. seduce enough minds to focus
their psychic energy on a goal and you will watch it manifest. (according to
crowley, such magick must be willed, and the will is not readily a
controllable faculty of the conscious mind, thus conditioning with symbols
and constructive language engrain thoughts upon the subconscious of those
weak of mind or unconscious, which later are unwittingly acted upon by those
that have been programmed or duped.)

and that brings me to #2. this jah business. the harnessable magickal power
of the universe is accessible to the individual without devotion to any
specific incarnation of god's being. with all the archeological evidence
weighing against it, it's particularly hard to believe the entire torah was
delivered at sinai all at once. and all the stories have been found in
variation in other cultures within the same region, pre-dating the first
discovered torah scroll. if such is the case, it's much more difficult to
accept the contents as the definitive truth and word of god, than say,
regard it as a collection of parables and fables, each with a deep mystical
interpretation to accompany their telling. this in turn suggests the stories
were written to illustrate these more profound, mystical concepts, rather
than inferring merely the story on the surface of the written page.

and what of jah then? a fable as well? merely a name by which likeminded
subscribers to judaeo-christian moral monotheism can attribute collective
psychich power to and withdraw it from? like a vessel for energy, a sephirot
atm? something attainable in the prohibition of graven images-a word to bite
your teeth on and give some substance to the intangible power of the
universe? sounds pretty gnostic to me. sounds feasible. but i don't know
enough to say, and it would take much studying and contemplation to figure
out, probably having to summon the lord of hosts himself with some sort of
burnt offering and a wicked tongue lashing (and i of course mean wicked in a
california skater kind of way) in order to find out whether he really truly
exists, or is just some character in a story that's become quite a bit more
than a household name.

so i continue to struggle with god, israel defined. and even thought i've
come to know certain things, the answers i receive have arisen more question
s, such as-is knowing the answers to these questions more important than
living and enjoying my time in this world outside rather than nose deep in
scripture in a dark quiet library or beit midrash somewhere?

balance my friend, balance. a mixture of light and dark. let's just say i've
got some reading to do.

finally, my experience roaming the jamaican countryside, and spening time
with many rastafarians has shown me that another world is possible. that we
don't need to subscribe to the prevailing model of capitalist-republicanism,
and that socialist like communities can exist, honoring anarchistic
principles of individualism and freedom from the invasive eye of big
brother. ferlinghetti wrote, "i'm waiting for the final war to be fought
that will make the world safe for anarchism." now that i've seen that i
haven't been deluded...that i haven't been fantasizing or idealizing for all
these years, that there are people living that way in this world, right
now... i'm not just waiting for that war, i'm gearing up for it.

see... in babylon,

1. people believe god doesn't exist, and if he does he was nailed to a tree
for you 2000 years ago, and if you don't believe it you're goint to fry in
2. a person in possesion of herb might spend more time behind bars than a
rapist or murderer and pay twice the weight in gold for the privledge.
3. people believe the government is doing a fine job. a $3 trillion military
couldn't scramble a jet 15 minutes after the first tower was hit; still tens
of thounsands homeless, hungry, illiterate; 33% taxes for phonetaps and
golden toilet seats... a fine job of it. 85% approval ratings for the man
who stole the presidency. is there a word for the action of shaking one's
4. police are our heroes after two buildings fall on them. how quickly we
forget amadou diallo, abner louima, rodney king, philip panel, mumia abu
jamal... must be all that ganja you're smoking.
5. the three most popular forms of music are: hip hop, where everyone rhymes
about how fly their clothes are, how fast their car is, how much money they
make, how many girlfriends they got, and how many drugs they sold and people
they killed to get there; pop, where attractive wannabes are hand picked by
recording execs to sing songs about sex to young children on national radio
and television; and country, where 9 out of 10 songs are about a man's woman
leaving him for another man.
6. crafts have been replaced by passive and non-constructive forms of
entertainment such as television, cinema and sporting events.
7. luxuries are cars, jewelry, designer clothing, imported commercial foods,
big screen tvs and so on.

these people may live in three bedroom homes with vinyl siding and a deck
out back, with swimming pools and sun rooves, immelda marcos closets full of
shoes, nintendos, dvds, mercedes, but they are not rich. they are shallow
and destitute, vain and iniquitous, and have been led to believe that in
order to be complete, they must be one step ahead of the joneses.

let me drill that wildlife refuge, let me pocket your stock option and walk
scott free, let me throw your children in jail for burning a plaint, let me
kill a black man cuz i can, let me dump these pcbs in the river, let me put
this 17 year old model on a billboard over times square nude give your
daughter a complex bulemic, let me dangle this carrot before you forever,
even tax you in your grave, seize the estate for which you slaved.

jamaica is like topsy turvey day in summer camp. compared to the u.s.,
everything is backwards. i am on an island country 4000 miles square

1. many people believe that they are the chosen people of the old testament
and that jehovah is the one true and mighty god and that he dwells within us
in every moment.
2. they believe that herb is sacred, god-given, consciousness expanding
liberation from the restraints of a mentally oppressive society.
3. they believe that government ("gutterment" as they call it) is inherently
corrupt and evil and that all men should be responsible for themselves,
likewise their communities. i swear, it's like they've been instrinsically
living the crimethinc model of existence for generations.
4. that police are both hungry for and abusive of power and thus can not be
trusted with it.
5. everyone listens to reggae and loves bob marley.
6. everyone partakes in some sort of culturally enriching craft work, be it
carving, weaving, painting...
7. luxuries are fresh organic foods, a bright blue ocean and sky, rolling
green hills, lush open jungle, plentiful stalks of dank outdoor ganj, a
colorful spiritual dialect, and a national consciousness encouraging peace,
unity, family & community.

some live in tin-patch shanties, maybe even a cave. maybe own no shoes, or
have no running water. but these people are not poor. they are richer than
you or i could possible imagine. they are filled with a passion for life and
a love of being that can be mistaken for complacence only be he who knows no

they are god's people. and i am enamored with them and their way of life.
they've given me true perspective. and one day i plan to return, and perhaps
even stay for good.

thus in summation: i believe i like jamaica more than the states. i am not
converting to rastafarianism but i am open to further discourse with its
practicioners and to learning more and more about its origins and
philosophies. i still believe in god, but i still have no clue about
jehovah. and i'm more an anarchist now than ever before.

jah blessings.

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