The transcript of another recording of one of the Pigeon Man’s sermons, this time delivered beneath a bridge to an audience of one: a rather startled young man (mid to late twenties) apparently on his way to or from an office job of some sort (deduced from his attire and the briefcase he held), who had seemingly stopped beneath the bridge to wait out the rain that had just begun to fall. Our agent, standing below the street in an empty sewer tunnel and recording the interaction with a parabolic microphone through a grate beneath the bridge, said that the young man had just passed beneath the bridge when the Pigeon Man whispered his name, “Clarence”. When Mr. Clarence asked how he’d known his name, the Pigeon Man laughed, and then delivered the following speech:
Look around you. Look around at this world of bricks and bones, sticks and stones. See the fast food restaurants and the cars and the shopping malls and the great glass capitalist cathedrals? See the screens that surround you every day of your life, and the flickering ghosts that inhabit them. This is the world of nine-to-five, of mortgages and receipts, of french fries and riot police and plastic packaging, of numbing yourself with twenty minute teevee shows punctuated by twenty second commercials, of partisan politics and little kids making shit in sweatshops that nobody needs for nothing an hour and football and contraception and crude oil and coca cola and corn, and this is the world of the information superhighway built a hundred lanes wide and counting. It’s the world of ubiquitous self-surveillance, of tailored advertisements and holiday discounts and the “shopping cure”. The world of placebo pills and terrorist scares and metal detectors on the doors of public schools, of pet puppies and uncountable animals kept in dark, filthy cages too small to sit in, and animal shelters slaughtering them by the thousands. This is the world of soap operas and opinion polls and talk-show hosts and fifteen minutes of fame. This is the world where the paradise we were promised is always just around the corner, and to get there all we have to do is what we are told.
You think this world is REALITY? HAHAHAHA! What a joke, hehe… and it never stops being funny! OK, OK, I admit it, sometimes it stops being funny, and then I sob and scream and pull out my hair and bash my head against a wall until I start laughing again. This world is just the skin of an apple, or on day-old soup, the pond scum on the surface of the lake, the very edge of your littlest toenail. It is a hairline crack, a tiny little break in the bricks of the wall that surrounds your soul and separates and insulates it from Reality. Your brain is a reducing valve for the flood of Truth and Beauty pouring through you every moment of your life, a river running just beneath the ground, it hides below and behind and between and around the world’s sights and sounds. Did you know that people only see and hear a tiny sliver of the light and sound that’s actually out there? Did you know that 96 percent of the Universe is Unknown? Scientist’s call it “Dark Matter”, but that’s just a label for what they don’t understand and can’t perceive. They only know it’s there because their math tells them that something enormous is missing, because there’s a big gap, an absence, a lacuna where the rest of Being ought to be.
I can see I’m still not getting through to you, am I? Let me ask you this: where do you go when you dream? What is that world? And have you ever noticed how, when you’re in the dream, it all seems entirely real, and perfectly normal? Even if an eight-legged elephant wearing a top hat is chewing the top off the Empire State Building, most dreamers will simply go on about their dream-business as though it were nothing at all unusual.
Do you see what I’m saying? See my speech? Read my lips: REALITY IS RELATIVE! The world is far more fluid and way, way, WAY weirder than you’ve been led to believe, and the “truth” is up for grabs! The world you know as “real” and “true” is a LIE that’s been force-fed to you by those who would see us all their slaves! Their reality, their dream, their “truth” has been pulled over our eyes to hide us from ourselves, to conceal from us our own Power, our Beauty, our GLORY. Because they are AFRAID of us! They are afraid of anything they can’t CONTROL. And They know they CAN’T CONTROL US FOREVER! We may be in chains, bound by their mind-forged manacles, but only because we forged and fitted and fucking fastened them on ourselves! We’ve allowed ourselves to be enslaved, to be dominated and violated and mutilated. We’ve begged Them to tell us what to do, to take away our power, to take away the terror of freedom, of choice, to lock us away from ourselves and hide from us the truth we are so terrified to face: that we, and this world, were, are, and ever shall be WHATEVER WE WISH.
But sooner or later we will, we MUST break free! Somehow, they got the lid back on the Sixties, but that only stalled the prison break! A poet once said that if the Doors of Perception were cleansed, we would perceive everything as it is: INFINITE! Well, I ask you: WHO CLOSED THE DAMN DOORS? I’ll tell you who: the same people who keep the KEYS around their necks! Because They know that if we ever opened those doors ourselves, we’d see straight through their little shell-game, past their teetering house of cards. The walls of the maze we’re in would turn to glass and the whole goddamned Tower would come crumbling down like a sand-castle reclaimed by the sea.
Those who go through the Doors are called either “geniuses” or “madmen”. Those who never return, we call “the dead”. But the truth is, they are no more or less sane than you or I, no better or worse. Even the dead are not so different from us. The truth is that anyone, anywhere, can go through those Doors, at any time. All you need is the Will, and a Key.
You look like a bright boy. So, I shall give you a key:
[At this point, the Pigeon Man reached into his coat (made of leather lined with feathers and covered with a great many pieces of paper) and produced an old key made of what appeared to be brass or possibly gold, then handed it to Clarence]
Magic is not dead. It may be forgotten, it may be lost, but it is not gone. It slumbers beneath the waking world, surfacing in our dreams and in our stories, hiding behind screens and the pages of books. It lurks in lucky pennies and charms and numbers and knocking on wood and neopaganism and jinxes and ghost stories and holidays and electricity. The Old Gods never left us, either. Thor’s Thunder surges through our web of wires. The burning heart of Ra still shines in the sky each day. Even the days of the week are named after the ancient spirits.
Magic is everywhere, and if you start looking, you’ll see it everywhere. Money is magic. Don’t believe me? Really look at a dollar bill sometime. Every advertisement you can think of is constructed on the magical principles of correspondence, sympathy, and contagion. What is a corporate logo? A glyph, a sigil, a rune that describes and channels the power of the discarnate egregore constructed by the collective will of a company! Who is Ronald McDonald but the totem spirit of his unholy empire?
Magic is an idea, but ideas LIVE and MOVE through us! What do you think built these skyscrapers and shopping malls, what created this whole world we’ve brought into being around us? They were build by human hands, yes, but those hands and the matter they shaped were channels for the condensation of an idea into reality, a means of manifestation for a dream in waking life. But the heart of the Lie is that all we may do is shuffle pieces around on this board called Reality, which is itself flat and static and unchanging, a rational, regular grid, a complex but ultimately lifeless machine. They say that we are limited by the “Laws” of Physics and that this is, was, and shall ever be the One and Only True Reality, and most of us have agreed, assented, and signed over our souls, sold our hopes and our dreams for fast food and a cable hookup, with barely a backward glance.
Well, FUCK THAT!
I say to you: make your own playing pieces and make up your own rules! Or better yet, flip over the whole fuckin’ board and invent your own game! Or stop playing the stupid game for a while and just GO OUTSIDE AND SIT IN THE SUN! Do what thou wilt! We are powerful beyond measure! WE ARE FREE!
At this point, our agent reports that the various birds which had been milling around the Pigeon Man all suddenly took to the air and surrounded him in a dense, swirling cloud of fluttering feathers. His raucous laughter was heard bouncing around the underside of the bridge, though it slowly faded beneath the cries of the birds and the sound of the rain, both of which had been building as he spoke. Then, there was a rumble of thunder and a flash of lightning, and the birds dispersed as suddenly as they had converged, and the Pigeon Man was gone. Clarence sprinted away through the storm.