The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, which lasted for about three years from about 1967 to 1969, or a bit later (my dates a…
The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, which lasted for about three years from about 1967 to 1969, or a bit later (my dates are fuzzy), based in North Berkeley, California, at the height of the 60s Cultural Revolution, was mystical-yearning, sacred theater, done in a highly expressionistic folk style, based on the Zen meditation and Tibetan Buddhist teaching that I was then practicing, but a personalized Buddhism with love of God as its central tenet (and though at the pre-Islamic writing of these plays I occasionally refer to “the gods,” I was always a lyrical and surreal Monotheist, even as a Buddhist).
Over the period of two+ years we performed two elaborate “operas,” The Walls are Running Blood, and Bliss Apocalypse. There was a third play written, Sun Rose, completing the trilogy, a vast vision with multiple cycles and an epic finale, but the neighbors in North Berkeley were done with two summers of honking longhorns and clashing cymbals and incessant and impassioned chanting, and forced us to leave. Our time was also up at Williams College, a magical tract of land hidden away behind trees in a posh North Berkeley neighborhood not far from the amphitheater where we performed), where I lived in a large studio for our rehearsals. We moved to land lent to us (an abandoned Lumber Mill) near Palo Alto, and a few months later, not really intended as a commune, living “on the land,” the Floating Lotus disbanded.
The plays we performed were an expression of our resistance to the ongoing Vietnam War, articulated in as spiritual and all-engulfing way as possible. At each performance, that were almost always at an outdoor amphitheater in the North Berkeley hills, at night, by Coleman lantern footlights and torchlights set in a crescent at the circumference, under the stars, we were attempting to transform all dark and evil energy in the world into peaceful and positive ongoing creative energy, an immodest ambition to be sure, and as much as it was a rebellious outcry against violence and the war, it also offered a remedy: we began and ended each performance with a group meditation, harmonious at the beginning — before the plays began, and after the highly cathartic and climactic performances of the opera we always invited the entire audience to join in a meditation, which they invariably did, sometimes for a half hour in total silence, at the end.
(with a deep bow of thanks to Herbert Jeschke for turning an old tape into a CD, Will Swoffard Cameron, for his lengthy research and treasure-hunt for FL items, bart de paepe, and Belgian artist and producer of sloow tapes, for separating the existing recording of a performance into mp3 segments, used here.)
No-one is named. The characters are direct manifested energy archetypes and appear in the air about them as if taken shape in the air.
CHORUS: six males and females in parachute-cloth white free-flapping robes.
DEMON OF WAR: hair wild, red and gold-faced, a necklace of skulls hanging around his neck as Tibetan apparition.
SAINT-HERO: not conceived as such, but as a force born out of the chorus’ fear and determination to fight the demon.
MAN OF FIRE / WOMAN OF WATER: alchemically representing fire and water, man in red flame-licks, woman in blue and silver water-streams.
SHAMAN: whose robe is weighted with coins, beads, hanging objects, who wears a leather and bone headdress, long stringy black hair, a person burst from the depths, eyes wild with knowledge.
ORCHESTRA: composed of Tibetan long-horns, Chinese oboes, Indonesian gongs and other percussion instruments (hanging from a giant saw horse), various sizes and types of drums, a harmonium, a toy piano, shakuhachi, silver flutes, zithers, violins, saranghi, a cello, erhu, sho, various rattles and bells, etc. An exotic mix.
(Note: In fact the opera is one continuous ever-evolving scene, but is here broken up for easier reading and navigating, and to coincide with the MP3 clips. The recording was made outside in the Hinkel Park Amphitheater in Berkeley, around 1968, on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The fidelity is not good, but you can follow along most of it with the text. There are some text omissions in the audio clips.)
Outside at night in an amphitheatre. The sound of conch shells being blown from all around, coming closer to the playing area, drawing in the audience’s ears to a central circle of concentration.
Torches placed around the stage semi-circle are lit showing a backdrop of elongated vaporized blue and green-orange mountain horizons, a circle appearing in their center, and on either side of this two huge paintings, on the right a DEMON with black stairway leading up to his chest, on the left a dome of the Eye growing out of a man meditating, a white eagle flying from the top. The stage is empty. Orchestra begins a traditional Tibetan mantra “Om Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum!” alternating music and chanting. It booms the night to silence. The CHORUS is in the audience. They begin moaning. Their moaning builds. Suddenly with a beat of the drum they all stand up.
CHORUS: IT IS TIME!
It is Time!
It is Time!
MALE VOICE: There is a creature
FEMALE VOICE: standing among us
MALE VOICE: on twelve-thousand legs!
FEMALE VOICES: I saw him!
MALE VOICE: There is a creature with one billion headlights hanging from blood-red eyes!
CHORUS: IT IS HERE!
FEMALE VOICES: I see him!
VOICE of DEMON: (shouting high unseen behind side-screen)
He has our names engraved on the scales of his own tyrannical pleasure that he whips around in dragon-tail flat slappings against the pavement!
CHORUS: He looks back at us thru our own eyes and is ourselves
MALE VOICES: He looks out thru our own eyes and is ourselves!
(each word followed by drum and gong-blast)
1st VOICE: Enemy! (jumps from audience to stage)
2nd VOICE: Horror! (jumps from audience to stage)
3rd VOICE: Gas!
4th VOICE: Bombs!
5th VOICE: Smoke!
6th VOICE: Ugliness!
(all of the chorus figures have jumped onto the stage staggering)
CHORUS: Terrifying swings of its arms as it hacks our faces to pieces!
CHORUS: (chanting) In the star of tinfoil night black thunder sits upon a tree and while that tree catches fire he smiles to see…
(DEMON leaps up with lightning-bolt and splits apart the chorus-tree, menacing each falling figure with his sword and loud screeching)
1st VOICE: My face peels back its cheeks and lips of flesh to show raw bone!
2nd VOICE: My hands freeze and change to ash!
3rd VOICE: The hair of my rustling trees catches fire!
4th VOICE: My eyes and tongue catch fire to reflect his Smile!
CHORUS: (in unison) THIS IS THE DANCE OF THE DEMON OF TYRANNY!
DEMON: I am going thru every house of your heads!
I am looking with spear-eyes at each of your thoughts!
I make pressure inside and outside you
squeezing your ribs, pressing and tightening from flames of the air around you,
gjgantic pressing expansions inside you mushrooming globes against interiors, until!
There is no room!
(CHORUS has shriveled to a tight lump. In a trance they begin to mount a small stairway and fall at the end like bodies falling in the sea)
DEMON: I lead you up the scaffold of space!
I am the POWER! (roars) YOU MUST DO AS I SAY!
ICE! IN YOUR HEADS IF YOU FAIL TO OBEY
this Insect Giant I cast into you!
(chorus crawls like centipede)
Black blind eyes I want you to use to see MEEEEEE!
THERE IS NOTHING BUT MY MIND!
(moving to face audience)
who are so smug,
your mind is a passing vapor, an empty smoke!
You, who sit in comfort while I burn away
civilizations a million miles away! I AM YOUR PROTECTOR, if you know what I mean!
KRA KRA KRA KRARA YAAAAA!
(DEMON leaps at each chorus member, chasing them in chaotic circles, screaming until chorus is huddled at the left of the stage, and DEMON goes to the right, and slumps into immobility. CHORUS begins heaving in a rhythm together breathing heavily, a womb giving birth, and as flute music rises from the earlier crashings, SAINT figure rises from the CHORUS. They spread apart chanting and he moves outward.)
SAINT: I go to be sliced into radios of pain!
CHORUS: (unison) I go to take in my arms the dead child!
I go to rake from flesh compassionate sparks!
I go to offer the sizzling beauties of my brain on iron platters!
SAINT: I leave all history behind, it smokes on ancient thrones under panther’s paws as I walk into the Eye that awaits me with timeless jaws of vision open!
MALE VOICE: Put upon his head the white flame!
(white flame flashes behind his head)
SAINT: I go to spread flame of truth in the cold air around us!
TWO FEMALES: Put upon his eyes the two great wings of awakening eagles!
SAINT: I go to raise the anchor of Matter with Energy pouring from my sight!
MALE VOICE: Put upon his flesh the volcanic roar!
SAINT: I go to spread lava in sheets of purity thru buildings of decay crumbling to steam!
CHORUS: This is the slow rise!
He goes without motion, he moves without moving, he vacates no space
in the Void as we watch him go out!
From Void to Void the Igniter of Truth goes out!
(Door of orange-blue flames is swept out and placed in front of SAINT. He goes thru slicing hands thru waterfall plastic that reflects light as he passes, CHORUS coming out in front of him, the door swinging around as he passes thru and is placed before him again, as he steps thru.)
(Two members of CHORUS chant this, holding sides of the doorway continue repeating chant as he steps:)
From Void to Void the Igniter of Truth goes out!
FEMALE VOICE: Down the first step
the blades of your veins spread apart their shafts to let you pass!
CHORUS: Bombs fall as your foot lands.
FEMALE VOICE: Robot populations snarl in black helmets turning to sudden Uranium!
CHORUS: Murderers climb up ladders into a skull!
A bleeding eye bends over you!
MALE VOICE: At your step
newspapers with prison alphabets shout echoes from spaces between words
that hang in waterfall sheets you stride thru!
CHORUS: The voices! O the cascading painful voices pounding our ears,
O the voices of children crying in flaming arms crash in our ears!
You go to put mirrors of radiant light around hearts murdered in the fourth dimension!
FEMALE VOICE: You walk thru wheels & cogs of Eternal Return!
The winds of black Karma keep us from resting, shove us from rock to rock
in this dread green twilight!
(Door-holders stop chanting phrase)
CHORUS: At your sudden breath (drum beat)
MALE VOICE: THE EARTH BLEEDS PEARL!
CHORUS: At your sudden breath (drum beat)
FEMALE VOICE: A TUNNEL IS OPENED!
CHORUS: At your sudden move forward
MALE VOICE: THE DEMON COILS FORWARD TO FACE YOU!
(Music becomes blaring horns and cymbals, DEMON coils up and DEMON and SAINT face each other, they stand shaking with energy as stage-assistants throw a huge cloth over them, they become a wall on which is painted a darker deeper landscape of clouds inside a circle. CHORUS comes in from the side walking into a semi-circle in front of cloth, they lie down on their backs like waves coming to rest revealing the MAN OF FIRE and WOMAN OF WATER, seated meditating; who begin describing intense inner embrace. CHORUS voices and MAN and WOMAN voices often overlap creating a sound ocean.)
MAN OF FIRE: O so radiant, your royal mosques lit up, your eyes curtains of membrane parted — I see torch-chandeliers hanging down from the trees of your eyelashes underwater —
we’re underwater in the sunlight of a god’s kiss!
we’re underwater in the levels of a god’s memory!
MALE VOICES: Long streamers reach up for us thru golden water, long tables set with a banquet of sensations coming at us at angles from dark recesses in our throats!
WOMAN OF WATER: There’s a fire in your heart! There’s a fire in your Eye!
We have met in other lives (repeat ten times during next chant)
MAN OF FIRE: (beginning after WOMAN OF WATER repeats phrase three times)
Fruits of memory weighing down the air,
fruits of light & aromas of living Ice,
gestures of mystery coupling extremes of thought underwater
and a thousand bubbling creatures standing around us
naked with silent blue faces —
FEMALE VOICES: I hear breathing inflate the inner dimensions of fire & water coupling together,
I see breathing beams from igniting silver webs of lungs everywhere,
O their radiant features serving us the banquet of the Fruits of Belief!
MALE VOICE: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent blue faces.
WOMAN OF WATER: You have one big Eye and my head is fire!
FEMALE VOICE: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent green faces.
WOMAN OF WATER: You have one big Eye and my head is Earth!
MALE VOICE: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent black faces!
WOMAN OF WATER: You have one big Eye and my head is Air!
FEMALE VOICE: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent white faces.
WOMAN OF WATER: You have one big Eye and my head is Water!
MALE VOICE: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent red faces!
WOMAN OF WATER: You have one big Eye and my head is Ether!
(Suddenly music, which has been floating through these words with flutes and harmonium, stops and slow drumming begins, as a Voice from behind the audience sounds — the SHAMAN coming thru the people)
SHAMAN: Into the Glass of Recognition we pour your elements, and by the pressure of concentration alone, a new continent and its new civilization rises gigantic from the water of your open Eye!
I invoke the pleasure-mystics from the Islands of Planet Aum!
I wrap your heads in waves of Primordial Light!
I am not I, nor another you can name.
You are not you, nor a you whose lips are
mirrors to your own.
This is a moment of achievement a thousand ages have labored for in the tension of your backs and the childhood of your visions,
a door made of voices swings open to lead you thru (bell-gong sounds),
a bell which is atmosphere receives you in its mouth and transmits your ringing to the farthest corners of space!
(SHAMAN arrives in the light, CHORUS is sitting in semi-circle facing outward
chanting in unison with sound of gong)
CHORUS: Would that the sound of the
bell might go beyond our Earth
and be heard even by all the denizens of
the darkness outside
the Iron Mountain!
Would that, their organ of hearing
becoming pure, beings might
attain perfect interfusion of all the senses,
so that everyone of them might come
finally to the realization
of Supreme Enlightenment! AUMMM.
(SHAMAN exits, CHORUS becomes amorous couples embracing before MAN OF FIRE and WOMAN OF
CHORUS: In each moment is a pair of lovers uniting and falling away into the sea that surrounds us!
MAN OF FIRE: (Moving now with Water-Woman) My head is dissolving thru tunnels to where you are! I’m arriving in your wet room where my fire burns brighter!
The Valley of the Future is filling with singing creatures. They pour out from your body and out of them ten thousand years pour out!
WOMAN OF WATER: It opens up in caves below my bones. O each sensation is God’s river-mouth…
MAN OF FIRE: Connecting us with sources
WOMAN OF WATER: That pour the fluid of the coming Apocalypse around hard rock where gods lie dreaming!
MAN OF FIRE: Wrap your legs around my hips — white hot…
WOMAN OF WATER: Light shapes radiant wonders along our…
MAN OF FIRE: Heartbeats which are caves where the Ancient Sage emerges to chant Incomparable Knowledge!
WOMAN OF WATER: Of which oil should churn, which stiff flesh burn, which position face to face from the bottom of the solar spine-arrow ready to fly!
MAN OF FIRE: There is the union of Desire & Matter, Spirit & the Visible!
WOMAN OF WATER: O drink me like wisdom until nothing is left but a throb in the dark between the arrivals and departures of change endlessly begun!
CHORUS: (couples embracing begin echoing): CHANGE ENDLESSLY BEGUN
CHANGE ENDLESSLY BEGUN
CHANGE ENDLESSLY BEGUN
(Cloth wall begins to shake, roars of the DEMON are heard, music booms, CHORUS begins shaking, the cloth is suddenly hurled over the MAN OF FIRE and WOMAN OF WATER by the DEMON and SAINT from inside it. It floats down over the MAN and WOMAN and becomes a black mountain with zig-zag lightning running thru it. The DEMON and SAINT rush forward and face each other. Pointillistic music rattles and growls with DEMON, harmonizes and makes quick melodies with SAINT.)
DEMON: (high monstrous gibberish, then): Thru the gunsights of my eyes I see
this puny lightningbolt barefaced dragonfly I can crush with my fist!
Ha Haaaaaaaaaaaa! (CHORUS scatters behind set. SAINT and DEMON face each other. A GIRL from the chorus interacts between them, to no avail.)
DEMON: Pig! Son of a Pig! Get out of my way with your delicate quivering snout!
Go dig for roots in the mud like an aborigine!
SAINT: Stop making war on the pillow of my dreams! I wake up in beds full of blood and you’ve already gone to another house! DEMON: Let me test my claw against your cheek. You look like pudding!
(DEMON rushes at SAINT with his long nails, SAINT whirls away)
SAINT: I appear & disappear, appear & disappear, appear & disappear…
DEMON: (suddenly stopping the chase, arms opening wide) Invisible troops pour out from my sides to surround you!
SAINT: They are all from my mind! I can blow them out like candles. But you, I must melt! (hovers over DEMON) AUUUUUUUUUMl PHAT!
DEMON: (clutching face) What’s this cold wind against my face? Stand up, you weasel! I’ll make it so when you wake up it will be a piece of machinery that looks and thinks just like you! (begins gyrating furiously, ORCHESTRA beginning Balinese Katchak monkey-chant sounds.)
GARGAHOOOOR CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA!
SAINT: Birds wheel with their beaks full of third eyes to drop thru the trees of our senses.
(SAINT wheels around into DEMON’s gyrations, spinning him suddenly until MAN OF FIRE drops senseless. CHORUS begins passing between back screens chanting in a trance.)
GIRL (who interacted in battle): We are awake! The light of the first Sun shines thru each of our gestures! Let us work day and night to establish the kingdom of Godly footprints wherever our human feet land!
CHORUS: We try in our sleep to make the right incantation.
We search thru old parchments, we read the lips of each stranger,
we search thru the pockets of the Master’s coat knowing
this Time is just a cycle
this cycle is but a moment
this moment of decay and terror must end!
A child wakes up at the end of the bleeding hall and crickets of shining pearl sing outside his window
to announce the beginning of a new day of Truth!
DEMON (recovering himself, facing SAINT) :I put atomic slingshots at each of your windows. Can you feel the sting of their bees? You’re a flower! Pretty to look at, but you stink! Do you think you can stand up under the strength of my iron rainfall?
(DEMON and SAINT rush together, then spin apart, each grabbing a large cymbal from the side, rushing back and standing poised face to face. They shout their phrases, after which they attack, crash cymbals and turn to face each other again.)
SAINT: Death is as impermanent as life!
DEMON: I come to make Death an eternal sorrow! Neither Life nor Death matter!
SAINT: Both Death & Life are eyes batting open and closed.
DEMON: Iron! I want Iron! Iron Eyes! Iron Hearts! Iron Bodies! IIIIRON!
SAINT: Only the Eye inside generates All! If the Eye is blind, you are blind! If the Eye sees, then you are a Seer. Everything is Divine. See it this Way and your own Way will radiate!
DEMON: When a man sings, I crush him silent! When a man is in love, I take away his heart!
SAINT: Give up your terrorizing and practice the arts of compassion.
DEMON: (doubles up with laughter) I don’t know what you mean! I want Violence! Let fire burn up from the hills. I love the sight of neon skeletons!
(DEMON walks to audience, puffing horrible growl-blasts into everyone’s face. SAINT follows, scooping up the gulps with his hands. Stops DEMON)
SAINT: Each blow of Death you breathe out is remembered. You will be reborn again tomorrow with uglier suffering. Give it up! Give it up!
(DEMON crawls — bestial; suddenly CHORUS lunges out at him, he is overwhelmed)
CHORUS: NOT ONE MOMENT OF YOUR ACTIONS IS FORGOTTEN!
DEMON: (recoiling, paranoia-maddened) All I can see is enemies!
SAINT: There is poison in your blood!
DEMON: (Suddenly gripped with Power-Idea) The only cure is to poison EVERYONE!
SAINT: (rushing to him) Peaceful wisdom
flows higher than poison!
(They clash and whirl, DEMON spinning off, SAINT whirling alone. CHORUS, back turned, forms wall at the back. Shakuhachi flute solo comes in.)
SAINT: The Eye inside! Volcano Thunderbolt! Flashing!
The air inside. Starry Tunnel!
O Face of Flame! Sunlight pours from your wounds!
I walk toward the Eye that awaits me with
timeless jaws of vision OPEN!
O demons of War, from the dark, out of the air!
This is the feast of my Illusory Body that I offer you.
My bones are Bread! I feel you inside me! Eat!
Eat until nothing is left!
My Self is just a nugget of light you hold between your fingers.
Existence is pure and powerful.
Hills and grass under me. And under that
a thousand worlds of dark and light
(dancing) and WAVES, WAVES, WAVES,
WAVES, WAVES, WAVES…
(SAINT dances in large orbits, then he and DEMON dance slow-motion battle while CHORUS whirls to front to music similar to Japanese Gagaku, whining slow-rhythm’d intense flood sound, circular motions freezing and continuing.)
MALE VOICE: This battle goes on at the level of the Invisible.
FEMALE VOICE: Glass houses rattle underground with the noise of this tug-of-war.
FEMALE VOICE: Even molecules in rock know the sting of Duality.
MALE VOICE: Matter and Antimatter bombarding the calm pool making CHANGE!
DEMON & SAINT: The Absolute turns neither peaceful nor warlike.
It spins on painful tabletops like a fiery splinter.
Recognize tranquility as it dances and is still in the depths of our being.
Neither laughter nor tears last forever as it spins in the Light. .
CHORUS: Groans and joyous outbursts are both bubbles on the air.
DEMON & SAINT: One moment of Pure Consciousness can keep back the rockslide!
The Demon of Wrath & the Peaceful Deity
are two crazy fingerprints on one wise hand.
In this moment of conflict make your soul most saint-like!
GIRL: Tornados of hatred spend themselves in the desert. Afterwards, Silence!
CHORUS: The obsessed will be terrified at the Silence of God!
The Compassionate will feel the world has begun!
Every moment is remembered!
Wind! Purple Dawn! Ferns! Stones! The Air!
(From the back, Shaman comes out again, chanting. CHORUS dances mimic gestures behind him. SAINT and DEMON continue battling, finally climbing onto boxes, facing outward. As Shaman chants the MAN OF FIRE and WOMAN OF WATER slowly uncover themselves from the cloth mountain and embrace on the ground. As the Shaman’s chant concludes, he sits between the DEMON & SAINT, the CHORUS circling out from each side of him, and a mandala is formed. Assistants appear on either side of the Shaman with cardboard representations of breath-streams which they hold up so they seem to emit from the corners of the Shaman’s mouth, swirling out to form lotus-platforms for the standing SAINT &: DEMON. Two other assistants then hold up a black cloth behind the scene, a gold mandala on black background showing between the frozen DEMON & SAINT and Shaman, a vision of balance.)
SHAMAN: (while walking toward the front, CHORUS behind him V’d out like wide wings)
It’s the Body who breathes I breathe the Body in,
the Body breathes me out! From sponges of Fire flashing thru rainbows who take their shifts of color from sunlight, forces & gliding beasts whirl and revolve out of their heads. Inside & Outside are joined in the depths of embracing surfaces,
Oh I is a walking lung! Stars are lungs who burn blue in centers of flowers that open & close as I pass!
On each side of waves breathing blooms in space
gods of War & Peace shoot up like pollen-showers to pollinate the warring or peaceful worlds!
They come out from the Body!
The Body comes out from the Breath!
The Breath is hung from the swing of the Invisible!
It swings out from here across space to the Visible World where each of our actions make forms of love or fear planting roots future generations must reap!
On the floating scales of breath, we laugh or we weep!
(The Mandala is held for a minute or more, everyone still, the music high fluting Gagaku drone. Then the opening Tibetan music is repeated, long horns, oboes, faster drumming, cymbals, the mandala is broken, CHORUS leaves, SHAMAN exits, lovers get up and help SAINT down from his perch, a seat is placed in the center back for the DEMON, the DEMON is given a horn which he blows piercingly. Suddenly music gets chaotic, fast rythm’d, gong-ringing ghoul music. The DEMON waves sacrificial dagger in his hands. The MAN & WOMAN take the SAINT, and with their arms interlocked and swinging, move around in circle and then back in a straight line to where DEMON is sitting.)
MAN OF FIRE/WOMAN OF WATER and SAINT: I go forward into Eternal Day.
SAINT: I leave this Body behind.
MAN & WOMAN and SAINT: I go forward into Eternal Night.
SAINT: I die but do not die.
MAN & WOMAN & SAINT: I go forward into Eternal Day.
SAINT: Everything changes! Everything remains!
ALL THREE: It is CLEAR! IT IS CLEAR!
I go forward into Eternal Day!
I go forward into Eternal Night!
(repeat this as they approach DEMON.)
DEMON (getting up, waving dagger):
Oh mountains, shake. Thunders, roll your eyes!
Planets in the dark, clang together!
Bell of the Underworld, prepare to receive this shining Light.
He comes toward me! I am an open cave! I am cosmos of hungry Fire!
He walks into the sacrifice! I am the anvil that shapes the future world!
It is Existence!
You must die to this world! Trees on fire above this Universe catch you in their boughs!
I am wrathful manifestations of your mind!
As he approaches I am transformed!
My wrathful energy DOUBLES to become
It is Existence! O Lord, he comes to die! .
(MAN & WOMAN place SAINT across the DEMON’s knees after SAINT stands on his head before the seated DEMON. DEMON growls and licks his chops, waving the dagger over the stretched-out body.
At this point CHORUS enters masked, huge heads, bobbing grotesque faces, two preceding behind robed SHAMAN carrying large table on which is seen an effigy figure of a man made from bread, CHORUS following holding candles in their hands. They circle the area with bread effigy, then set it down in front of the audience. They do wild strobe-light dance, quick jerky freezes around bread and stage, growling and singing. They then come together in a group-wall and suddenly break apart leaving corridor of space open to reveal DEMON and SAINT, DEMON seated with SAINT stretched back on his knees. DEMON screams and plunges his knife. The mandala cloth is thrown over them, black side out. SHAMAN starts terrific dance with swinging sword-staff, circling the effigy, then plunging sword into chest of bread-man. CHORUS screams and rushes at the bread, tearing it apart, throwing bits to audience saying:)
CHORUS: This is Ego and the Body of Bliss!
Eat of the sacrifice!
The Body is broken to bits.
Dance of the Molecules!
(Then the SHAMAN gestures them back, they huddle in front of the mountain SAINT & DEMON, they form a heaving womb as they did earlier, taking off their masks while hidden. They open their circle and the SAINT rises and walks forward, DEMON’s face painted on his chest, CHORUS chanting. Music becomes intense serene drone. The Flame Door is placed in front of him.
DEMON has uncovered his head and chants ecstatic)
DEMON: O cave of Enlightenment, open, arise!
O Lord of Consciousness, arise, arise!
(SAINT goes thru the door, chorus at each side.)
SAINT: Lord, we are united! Form is Emptiness!
Emptiness is Form!
The unborn Universe is alive each instant.
It is Light & Motion. It is Transformation.
Flashing continuous existence.
Death is only one key to this mystery.
The rest are fiery bells ringing
voices inside you!
O Lord of the Universe, unite us, unite us!
Your beloved Essence waits
alone for our embrace!
DEMON: O Cave of Enlightenment, open arise!
O Lord of Consciousness, arise, arise!
(The MAN OF FIRE/WOMAN OF WATER walk to each side of the front area, face each other across space chanting.)
MAN OF FIRE/WOMAN OF WATER: I hear breathing inflate
the inner dimensions of Fire & Water
coupling together! I see breathing beams from
ignited silver webs of lungs everywhere,
O their radiant features serving us the Banquet
of the Fruits of Belief!
(Chorus goes out into audience chanting individually composing echo patterns)
Chorus: A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent blue faces
A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent green faces.
A thousand bubbling creatures stand around us naked with silent black faces.
(GIRL from chorus who interacted in DEMON-SAINT battle comes forward facing people)
GIRL: From this glass house of Earth
I have made my journey
on crystalline backs of a trillion existences
out thru the burning hoops at the end of these eyes
where ancient sighs revolve in wheels of space!
Nowhere have I seen such blackening smoke but in this
Land of Shadows baring real teeth!
I have stood on shores of petrified bone and watched
Iron Populations pass into endless suffering
who haven’t known that Mind fabricates All
and the Vast glimmering Consciousness of Pervading Wisdom
The Bread of Love placed on planters of Devotion
pleases the gods who awaken in our spines and
float thru our gestures on couches of lotuses!
CHORUS: (coming back to the stage area):
Call on your forgotten beings hiding in the leafy world before Beginning.
March of the god-children out of the chalk skull emerged from wilderness!
(Chorus comes and sits in meditation circle)
GIRL: We return to this moment of space
with our toenails burning!
Can you see the blue Buddha burn up from your hair?
Can you hear the holy mantra
turn through each other’s speech?
Words arranged on diamond tables in golden dishes!
O each murmur a mantra,
each sound a new Light thrown around
the Loved One’s head!
Let this space become electrified blessings on the
multiple petals of our head!
THE WALLS ARE RUNNING BLOOD!
(ORCHESTRA and CHORUS begin chanting AUM — long low rising chant. Assistants bring out giant mandala cloth which they slowly walk to front of stage and then slowly walk to the back. When they go out behind the screens, the stage area is empty.)
The AUDIENCE is invited to meditate and the entire company, without taking bows, comes out and, sitting, forms a circle of meditation.
The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company, which lasted for about three years from about 1967 to 1969, or a bit later (my dates a…
Outside at night in an amphitheatre. The sound of conch shells being blown from all
CHORUS: IT IS TIME! It is Time! It is Time! MALE VOICE: There is a
SAINT: I go to be sliced into radios of pain! CHORUS: (unison) I go to
MAN OF FIRE: O so radiant, your royal mosques lit up, your eyes curtains of
(SHAMAN exits, CHORUS becomes amorous couples embracing before MAN OF FIRE and WOMAN OF CHORUS:
GIRL (who interacted in battle): We are awake! The light of the first Sun shines thru each
(SAINT dances in large orbits, then he and DEMON dance slow-motion battle while CHORUS whirls
SHAMAN: (while walking toward the front, CHORUS behind him V’d out like wide wings) It’s the
https://ecstaticxchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/9-wrb.mp3 DEMON: O cave of Enlightenment, open, arise! O Lord of Consciousness, arise, arise! (SAINT
(ORCHESTRA and CHORUS begin chanting AUM — long low rising chant. Assistants bring out giant mandala