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 Chthonic realm :        

 entering the chaos of the subconscious               

               

               "I was in the pit of lions, and there was no denying it nor was there escape. The only thing to do was to forget everything else, take up arms, and learn to survive down there, inside myself; learn to sit deathly quiet and listen as the mongrels roamed about, and then learn to leap out and bludgeon them before they could attack or fight. I had to enter the eternal night of the self with my senses heightened and guns blazing. The creatures and bugbears were waiting for their game, and to avoid their cunning I had to go after them and meet them in their own lair. I had to become a hunter, then a cave man, then a Neanderthal, a Homo erectus, Homo habilus, a prosimian, a dog, then a bear, and then the lion itself. I had to go all the way back, back into the dark and unknown, back to where it all began, if I was to make it through the dungeon of the underself.

                 I am certain that the Bardos which we encounter during life are as weird and fantastic as those after death.

                As the ground-water tide within suddenly surged up, breaking the surface, and the rigid life of pattern and habit began to sink and dissolve below the surface, I had to learn to breathe with another set of lungs, and to look out through another set of eyes, beneath this thick, primordial soup waiting to engulf and ensnare me. To survive the descent I had to learn to stand and face the darkness, and to become not only the hunter, but the prey as well. I had to forget the eagle nature of my highest self, and become a common gull, an ignoble scavenger, if I was to survive the dereliction of the soul, and the chaos of the night. I had to become low, and stay low, so as not to be shot out of the sky, skinned, stuffed, stuck upon a wall, and forgotten.

                There are caverns and caves of lost and unknown universes within us. There are inexplicable domains, unheard of beasts, incomprehensible, infinite labyrinths, and armies of bandits, forces, and fiends. To dive within yourself with reckless abandon is to enter a netherworld divorced of logic, rules, succor, and comfort.

The chthonic realm took me in, spun me around, twisted itself about, contorted and confused me, spat me back out and hauled me back again; it let me think that I knew where I was, who I was, and what I was, and then it inverted everything, converted everything, crammed the cosmos through a meat grinder, changed the pattern and the context, distorted the form, brought me to peace in its prison, and when I thought it was all over and I had escaped, it exposed the endless chains and walls around me, laughing at me, torturing me, feeding upon me, and making me wish I had never looked in, nor entered, nor awoken in the inescapable, phantasmagoric, underworld within.

                And yet it was there I had to go to conquer the anarchic forces which possessed and controlled me from below. It was into this abyss of fantasy and non-meaning which I had to plunge without hope or promise of a way back. And I could neither grieve nor petition, but had to stay down there and fight until all of the dragons had fled or been slain. And that, it seemed, was a greater task than building a hundred pyramids with a butter knife, or flying to the moon on a kite.  ..."

 

Excerpted from IN, AND OF, by Jack Haas           

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the critics have said about Jack Haas' books:

 

"...very strongly recommended reading..." Midwest Book Review

"The Kerouac of the new millennium." Frank Wolf (author of Blind Bay)

"...inspires us to rediscover the mystery of ourselves..." Judine Slaughter (Express Yourself Books)

"...Read in awe." Benjamin Tucker (author of Roadeye)

"...groundbreaking..." Joanne Turner (The Messenger)

"...an embarrassment of riches..." George Fisk (author of A New Sense of Destiny)

"...poetic and stunning..." Nancy Jackson (Dog-Eared Book Reviews)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books by Jack Haas

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