From Neo-American Church, a Psychedelian religious allegiance association founded in 1965 by Art Kleps.
Snazzm? Fazzm? McPozzm? I forgive the reader if, on first exposure to these strange sounding words, he feels creeping doubts and the suspicion that his Chief Boo Hoo has finally been driven up the wall by the cruel adversities of this world and has gone bananas at last. Farewell, cruel world! Since nobody will take me seriously when I speak English, it’s bizzare neologisms from now on all the way.
Relax. I’m as sane as you are…for whatever that is worth. Actually, these terms are intended to assist you to stay sane. They are aids in the service of clear thinking, particularly during the coming down period on a trip when you can retain only what you can integrate and all else is repressed. Joannie and I have been using them for some time. We find that they help a great deal. Are any standard terms available which mean the same thing? Not that I know of. First, second and third Bardo comes close, and it may be (McPozzm!) that the original coiner of those terms may have intended exactly what I intend with Snazzm, Fazzm, McPozzm, but the accretions of the centuries have their work, and the “bardos” are now most often used to support occultist structural delusions instead of to combat them. The zzms will not suffer this fate if I can help it. They are not places. They are not states of consciousness or levels of being, or whatever—although one may think of them as being associated with such states or levels if one wishes. They represent different assumptions about the nature of existence, they are names for the verbal game being played.
Analogy: two people are playing three chess games simultaneously. Player A says (for some reason they cannot make the moves but must call them out) that he makes move such and such. It is not enough under such circumstances. He must say, “I make move such and such, game one” or “game two” or “game three.” There are many games stoned people play with each other, but I think we can distinguish three basic games which are always being played, no matter what else may be played. Those games are Snazzm, Fazzm and McPozzm.
Snazzm, which is associated with (derived from experience “in”) First Bardo consciousness, is any thought based on the assumption that life is a dream—my dream. Whatever happens happens for my benefit. Absolute solipsism. The final explanation for anything in life, as in a dream, is the wish-fear-construction-repression system of the dreamer.
Example: why did someone just read a selection from The Gospel According to St. Thomas on television? (They did—in the movie The Hired Hand—I left the TV on while writing to pick up the synchronicity.)
Answer (Snazzm): I needed encouragement. If the greatest sayings of the true, mystical Jesus can be quoted on some lousy horse opera, there is hope for us all. Whoops—that last phrase, which had a literary or aesthetic or perhaps rhetorical intent, was a slip into McPozzm. The language is built on McPozzm assumptions. That is the reason why it is necessary to make these distinctions clear.
Answer (Fazzm): Peter Fonda, who directed the picture, is stoned. Stoned thinking is creeping in everywhere. Hooray for our side, etc. Fazzm is the assumption of multiplicity and continuity. Movements. Ideational progress. The great war against repression and towards more light, more consciousness. Norman O. Brown. It is in Fazzm style thought that the greatest danger of slippage into occultist structural delusions exists.
Fazzm games must be played lightly. Easy does it.
Answer (McPozzm): It made a nice contrast with all the sadistic violence in the rest of the movie. Fonda was probably ashamed of himself and threw it in to show that he isn’t your average Hollywood dummie, but capable of finer things.
These answers do not “contradict” each other so much as they are incommensurable. Just like the chess games. They “occupy” different conceptual “worlds.” It is no use trying to judge one in terms of another. That is the futile game of the occultists, who always assume McPozzm. McPozzm is the assumption of a space-time continuum, causality, randomness and the externality of relations.
When using the zzms, on or off a trip, here are some principles to keep in mind:
- Good Fazzm is someone else’s Snazzm. Bad Fazzm is just mysterious or speculative McPozzm (which is perfectly OK if recognized as such).
- Figure out your own Snazzm before you try to figure out someone else’s Snazzm (Fazzm). If you don’t understand what something means for you, you will not understand what it means for others.
- The word “we” has no place in Snazzm thought. It is used constantly by occultists (Ram Dass, et al.) who are pretending to understand things they don’t understand. In contrast, enlightened people talk about themselves all the time. It is more modest, oddly enough.
- If you are reading these thoughts as your own you are absolutely correct (Snazzm)…in danger of eternal damnation, or something (Fazzm)…a paranoid schizophrenic (McPozzm). Take your pick.
- The best Snazzm is devoid of all historical references. However, fair to middlin’ Snazzm may be entertained in a context of one’s lifetime.
- Bad Snazzm is grandiose paranoia. Power over the world (external relations) rather than awareness of the actual state of affairs. It only sounds like Snazzm, but is actually (bad) Fazzm.
- Ask not if it is good to be stoned! Ask if being good is stoned! (Snazzm)
Being stoned is good because it expands consciousness and assists one to achieve enlightenment. (Fazzm)
Getting stoned is O.K. if it makes you happier and kinder, etc. (McPozzm)
- On the question of attaining “right consciousness” (that is, Snazzm):
I am not that way and need to work at it. (Fazzm and McPozzm)
I already am that way but have somehow managed to convince myself that I am not. (Snazzm) (There are better Snazzm answers than that, of course.)
- Generally speaking, anyone who speaks of “control” or “discipline” of the mind, is utterly without Snazzm wisdom and may be assumed to be a fraud if he is wearing robes.
- Bad Snazzm, Fazzm or McPozzm is mixed Snazzm, Fazzm and McPozzm. Generally, a clear and consistent set of assumptions will produce only clear and consistent thoughts. Occultists are believers in “round squares,” that is to say, mental slobs.
- The world of a strict Fazzm thinker has the plasticity of a dream but not the awareness that the dream is a dream. Hence, he is always in danger of paranoia.
- A common occultist habit is to make a Snazzm assertion (“I am God,” etc.) and then shift to a lower gear when asked about the implications: “If you are God, why are things so screwed up around here?” is answered in terms of McPozzm assumptions. “Because you have free will and don’t worship at my shrine” (Ram Dass style lament, possibly Fazzm) or “I have returned to this place to save you sinners” (Bhodisattva style McPozzm structural delusions) or “I have not gone completely beyond this mundane sphere due to various impurities” (McPozzm).
- The events of the world are the thoughts of the dreamer. (Snazzm)
The events of the world are reflections of the mind, projections. (Fazzm)
The events of the world are only partially controlled by my vibrations. (McPozzm)
I don’t see how there can be any legitimate quarrel over the order or status of the zzms in terms of rightness or truthfulness, unless your standards are entirely pragmatic in the most extreme sense. After all, we need but consider the case of a man having an ordinary sleeping dream. Let us say that he is discussing this question with another dream figure (I often dream about doing exactly that). Let us say that the other person asks him, “Why did that gaunt moose over there eat the teddy bear sandwich?” Our dreamer could reply, “Because this is a dream, my dream, and I happen to have a teddy bear-gaunt moose problem and I am trying to work out a solution. That event was my thoughts on the subject, and I can see not much improvement has been made since the last time the teddy bear encountered the gaunt moose.” That would be Snazzm.
Or the dreamer might answer, “Ah yes, the Psyche is rife with these sibling rivalry problems. Tut, tut.” That would be Fazzm.
Or he might say, “Wadda ya mean, why? Gaunt meese have been chomping up teddy bears since time began. It is in their genetic codes.” McPozzm.
Now, the awakened dreamer, recollecting his answer, is not likely to find anything untruthful in his Snazzm answer. If his answer was Fazzm, however, he might very well feel that his answer failed to convey a true sense of the immediacy of the situation, so to speak. I gave an example of a good Fazzm answer, but, even so, it lacks something. Glides over the subject with a bit too much rapidity. It doesn’t sink in. Too much room is left for misinterpretation. The McPozzm response, although it may be absolutely correct in terms of the dream memory or dream books and dream theories of the dream, and quite useful in a predictive sense within the dream, is obviously the answer most lacking in a genuine appreciation of the nature of the situation. It is “correct” but delusional. A correct apprehension of the nature of the delusion, how the delusion works, what is “in” it, but not of the fact that it is a delusion.
Therefore, to anyone who believes this life to be his dream, it seems to me clear that Snazzm, Fazzm and McPozzm must be ranked in descending order.
The body you are looking down at is imaginary. Snazzm.
I have a body and a soul (or “astral body,” etc.) Fazzm. (Bad Fazzm.)
My mind is my functioning brain. McPozzm. (Good McPozzm.)
Good Fazzm is rare. The I Ching is the best example.
Good Fazzm is based not on structural theory but on the recognition of themes, as in dream analysis, which are manifest through synchronistic correspondence. Anyone who says, “You go through blah blah before you get to blah blah” is probably suffering from structural delusions which serve a repressive function. On the other hand, certain typical problems and misunderstandings are “encountered” in a series which provides a kind of plot or story. The occultists, misunderstanding completely the lessons the great myths based on this series are intended to teach, accumulate errors instead of destroying them. It is as if, with the intention of attaining to the analytical skills of Sherlock Holmes, they decided it was necessary to worship the Hound of the Baskervilles…and to impose Victorian manners and morals.
It is always Snazzm thought that is most heavily repressed on the way down. Anyone who complains that he always comes down is actually saying that he always comes down to where he started. I have never yet had a trip which did not give me a better grasp of things in Snazzm terms. Thus, my general consciousness gets higher and higher every time I trip. There are many ups and downs, but the trend is clearly up. All that is necessary is to relax (at the point of highest tension) and re-examine one’s assumptions. Off with the old and on with the new! When the various dualities begin to reappear, stave them off as long as possible (particularly good/bad) and attempt instead to integrate what you learned at the peak of the trip. Don’t strive for perfection. Be happy if you come down free of one old and troublesome stupid idea and in possession of one new and revelatory insight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and sitar picking never sent any steamboats up the Ganges.
Many sayings can be interpreted in terms of all the zzms. The reason many people are disappointed later by what they thought were great summations of eternal wisdom while tripping is that, when down, they impose strictly McPozzm assumptions on what they understood clearly in terms of Snazzm on the trip. Thus, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” is an enormously profound and helpful notion while coming down and trying to hang on to some of the lessons learned. Once down, however, you tend to forget the nature of the struggle you had with your own repressive inclinations. (You repress the recognition of your own repressive inclinations.) Therefore, the old cliche seems like just an old cliche and nothing more. You have become a social animal once again, eager to conform to the accepted frame of reference.
In a dream, it seems obvious, images do not so much “have” a meaning or a set of meanings so much as the meaning or meanings “have” the images—like a cat having kittens. The great war between symbolism and literalism is largely a quarrel between Fazzm and McPozzm, having little or nothing to do with Snazzm. If anything, it is literalism that more often “sounds right” when understood in Snazzm terms. Luther sounds more stoned than Pascal, more like a Zen master when he insists that the true meaning is simple, direct and obvious. If he had added “non-historical,” he would have had a reasonably complete description of the animal he was looking for.
“This is my body,” Jesus said.
The McPozzm interpretation is symbolical—he intended to establish a ritual by which others would remember his works while eating lunch, so to speak. The bread his followers would ingest in the future would thus represent his body.
The Fazzm interpretation is, generally, literal and magical. The bread used is just bread until it is transformed into Christ’s body by magical means. To this, a variety of poetical and psychological implications of a symbolical nature may or may not be attached.
The Snazzm interpretation is simple, obvious and direct. The bread, or anything else he might have picked up, including Judas, was “his body” just as much as the ear attached to his head or the toe attached to his foot. The contents of my dreams are me. History has nothing to do with it, The symbolism you use is just a matter of taste. Categorization of characteristics into persons is a device to further the plot.
The important thing is to be non-historical, to take things personally. When a symbolical interpretation accomplishes that, progress is made. When a literal interpretation accomplishes that, progress is made. Thinking about what something means for other people, for mankind, is always thought in the service of repression.
I would say that Böhme was a Fazzm thinker, not Snazzm. As a matter of fact, I would say the same about DeChardin, Watts, Hesse, Emerson, Henry Miller, Samkara, Ouspensky, Plotinus, Swedenborg, Reich, Jung, Berkeley, Schopenhauer, Yeats, Hegel, and Confucius.
Fazzm is the dark wood of the fables, the maze of the myth. A path may be found and some find it (Norman O. Brown? Joseph Campbell?) but most are lost because they learn to live with it, to love it, to profit from it. Ramakrishna’s advice seems best, for those who insist on doing things the hard way: “When the choice is between up and down, go down.” Take the easy way out. Give up. Follow your nose. “My yoke is easy, my burden is light.” Those who speak of discipline and control are trying to hack their way through. They are hacks.