This is based on notes from a talk I’m preparing for the Living Well Dying Well Foundation on the rite of MuMufication, the building of the People’s Pyramid, and the background to it all in Chaos Magic and Discordianism. But first I note the special relevance of the countercultural Hindu goddess, Kali, and her significance as a trickster avatar of death.
Kali, Chaos Magic and the KLF: On Black holes and the rite of mumufication
She is the womb that births all, and the tomb that swallows all.
… the fate of massive stars is to collapse behind an event horizon, to form a ‘black hole’ which will contain a singularity; and… there is a singularity in our past which constitutes… a beginning to the universe.
As part of a course I am taking, possibly toward becoming a death doula, I have to present an account of the death rites of a particular religion or culture. I first opted to talk about Shaktism, and about Kali in particular, as she is a goddess of death, worshipped especially in Assam, Kerala, Kashmir and Bengal,3 and I have become obsessed with her since realising how perfectly she expresses the totality of death while wielding primordial power. But then I realised I should be telling people instead about The People’s Pyramid, and its associated memorial rites for the MuMufied, as I’d joined the commemorations at the Toxteth Day of the Dead only last November, and have been thinking about them ever since. So I’m preparing my presentation on the KLF. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that aspects of Kali’s worship are relevant to the spirit of the KLF and JAMMs, so here are some notes on each.
Kali worship is an ancient component of Indian culture. Specifically, it is part of the strand of Skaktism, which worships the mother goddess, Maha Devi, though it appears in other contexts too. The other major strands of Hinduism focus mainly on Shiva or Vishnu. Many believe Shaktism to be derived from an independent, aboriginal mother-worshipping Indian religion, probably centred in the central regions of the subcontinent, dating back to the Harappan culture and beyond. This religion may have later been absorbed into the male-dominated culture of the people who either invaded or spread their control over the country from the North-West in 1800-1500 BCE (the ‘Arya’). Many of the Vedas tell stories of competition between male and female deities which may be relics of the cultural conflict between patriarcal and matriarchal cultures as they clashed.
In the male-dominated traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, the man represents spiritual energy, while the female is associated with the inferior world of matter (much as in the Christian West and beyond). The patriarchal tradiitons claim that nature exists only so as to allow the expression of spirit, and thus nature is secondary, and subservient to spirit. Goddess-worshipping Shaktism shares this account of the distinction between male spiritual power and female natural power, but insists that female is nevertheless primary. The devotees of Kali say that the male gods create merely abstract spiritual potentials, while Kali’s devouring of time – constantly eating the present and casting it into the past, while allowing the future to break in and replace it – embodies the great churning of the world around the axis of the present moment, which brings everything into existence then destroys it in an eternal cycle – as the present moment becomes the past and the future emerges in its place – so the female is decidedly the greater power, the engine of the real. That is only to speak of the manifested Kali in this world, in which past, present and future are distinct. In the archetypal real world of the holographic celestial horizon,4 past, present and future are combined as one, and Kali’s three eyes are one. Kali is in some ways the Shakti equivalent of Shiva. Both are destructive, and both, crucially, are said to devour time.
In thinking of Kali recently it struck me how much she resembles the black hole of modern physics. To see why, we have to understand her key features. Her most distinctive characteristics are that she is black or midnight blue; she is generally depicted as unsightly and naked, with dishevelled hair and a lolling tongue; she has several arms, carrying weapons, or with her hands in specific mudra poses of benediction; she carries a decapitated head in one hand, with a necklace of skulls around her shoulders, and she wears a girdle of severed limbs about her waist; she is depicted dancing, or trampling on her consort, Shiva. Her lolling tongue is perhaps related to the flaming tongue of Agni, the Vedic god of fire, which was said to consume the sacrificial offerings of the faithful.
In the early hymn to the mother goddess, the Devi Mahatmya,5 Kali is said to have been born as an aspect of the goddess Durga, when she was battling the demon Raktabija. The monster proved impossible to defeat, as each time a drop of his blood hit the ground, a new demon sprang up to support him in battle. So Durga became (or created) Kali (‘she who is dark’ / ‘she who is death’), whose brutal destruction swept through the demons, killing the lot. But Kali’s rage did not end there. Unable to constrain herself, she carried on killing everything in her path, threatening eventually to destroy the entire universe. She was only stopped when Shiva lay on his back on the battlefield, exposing his erect penis. This immediately caught Kali’s eye, and she stopped the slaughter in order to sit down on Shiva, thus ending her killing spree – though this story of the taming of Kali may be merely a later Brahminical embellishment aimed at demonstrating the superiority of the patriarchal gods, demonstrated by their ability to subdue the female (with a penis!). In any case, in original depictions of Kali she may not have been dancing on Shiva so much as dancing with him, so to say.
The image of Kali was slowly modified over the years in which she was being absorbed into Vedic culture, with her rough edges gradually worn away as she is made more respectable for consumption by society. For a goddess of deviancy and counterculture, though, such a tidying up can be fatal. In earlier depictions, she was more likely to be depicted as a crone with a pot belly, shrivelled skin and withered breasts, not the psychedelic calendar girl she sometimes appears as today. Tantric philosophers interpret the heads of Kali’s necklace to be the rational minds of her followers, donated to her in meditation by way of sacrifice. Or they see each head as a dialect of Sanskrit, since all languages must die in the mind of the devotee in order for them to see a reality which can never be contained by it. They also view the severed limbs of her skirt as representing the illusions of her devotees, which she is said to hack away at, severing all dualities with her sword. Conveniently, the skirt also masks the fact that Kali was originally said to have her yoni permanently exposed and open to the universe,6 “her clitoris becomes the eye that contemplates the infinite”.7 By such subtle censorship, Kali was domesticated for public consumption.
In her original setting, and certainly among later Tantric worshippers, far from being merely an emanation of Durga, Kali was considered the supreme, original power, the cosmic ground of all existence, including that of the other gods. As far as her most committed devotees are concerned, it is she who creates even the other ‘primary’ gods such as Shiva and Vishnu, who, compared to her, are merely so many bubbles popping in and out of existence like foam in her wake. She creates worlds. She annihilates universes. She consumes time. “She is the womb that births all, and the tomb that swallows all.”8
Kali is essentially a countercultural force. She cannot be tamed by civilization, but sits always at its margins: her shrines were traditionally kept at, or beyond, the borders of the village. Worship of the goddess is not bounded by propriety or good manners, but employs all of the countercultural, socially dubious technologies to hand; music and dancing, drugs and sex are all available to the tantric student. Kali worshippers embrace that which is rejected by the rest of society. Her most devoted followers worship her by living in graveyards and cremation grounds, surrounded by the remains of the dead, covered in the ashes of their corpses, and eating what remains of their flesh. If this seems in any way odd – as it most likely will to those raised on Christian dualism in which half of reality belongs not to God but to Satan – bear in mind that as the ultimate reality, Kali necessarily includes everything, including that deemed evil or inauspicious by the brahminical caste and the village elders. What kind of god is alien to half of existence? On the other hand, what kind of goddess could better suit a counterculture that lies at odds with official society, with its bans and proscriptions, and its fear of deviance and alteriority?
Death as destruction by Kali as a black hole
According to general relativity, the singularity marks the end of time for anything unfortunate enough to meet it. It appears to be a place where matter ceases to exist.
To understand the analogy, according to which Kali might be considered the archetype of the black hole, as it is conceived by contemporary physics, we have to understand Kali’s essential unity. Externally, in her manifestation, she is fear and destruction itself, merciless and implacable. Kali is naked because she is formless, above duality and separation. But this means also that she is above fear and pain. good and evil, too, thus, for Kali’s devotees. “There is nothing, then that is vile, material, subtle, divine.”10 This also means that, despite appearance, Kali is ultimately beneficient (and thus one of her hands is traditionally in the mudra pose which extinguishes the fear of the worshipper in facing the real.) Kali is the destroyer who is also the foundation of all of creation.
Kali’s protruding tongue expresses her contempt for her followers, and the illusory persona they have adopted in order to live in society. Kali sees through you. As death / Kali approaches, her weapons hack away at the illusions that constitute the ego and enforce social propriety, just as in life, the dying person must abandon their illusions about themselves as they have lived their life in order to affirm a deeper reality. Our illusions and attachments are burned away as death approaches, just as all matter is hopelessly torn apart (‘spaghettified’) as it approaches the event horizon of the black hole. All will be consumed and nullified by the black hole, including time, but not until its illusory appearance in this world, within time, has been torn to pieces. Such a shredding of illusions is also what is taught in the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol), in which the dying person must let go entirely of their attachment to (the illusion of) the self if they are not to succumb to the wrathful deities of the intermediary bardos after death.
The final trick played by the black hole in extinguishing you is that it also lets you live. From the point of view of an outside observer, as you approach the event horizon you are spaghettified then violently destroyed in a blaze of intense radiation. At the same time, because time changes in the vicinity of the hole, in fact your final moments are captured in a single, eternal image as you cross the horizon, since the gravitational force there is powerful enough to capture light immobile at the surface of the horizon, freezing it, and thus also freezing time. Your death is like a flare, illuminating your existence in a final moment.
Any yet, while you appear to the world to be gone, in fact you sail through the event horizon and begin to fall toward the singularity at the centre of the black hole. The journey to the singularity takes an eternity, due to the time dilation. You exist again, for an eternity, in a new world in a new universe within the event horizon. You die, but you live. You are ended but you continue.
In physical terms, your fiery destruction and continuing existence are not separate things, but rather a single reality viewed from two opposing points of view – from either side of the event horizon. According to Juan Maldacena, in his famous paper of 1997, The Large N Limit of Superconformal Field Theories and Supergravity, one of these realities is simply a higher-dimensional hologram of the other.11 According to many contemporary physicists, the world as we know it is a projection from the cosmic equivalent of the event horizon, from the outermost celestial sphere on which is encoded the entire history of the universe, past, present and future, which is projected into the four-dimensional virtual space that stretches from the singularity at its center all the way out to this celestial boundary, which it constructs through this act of projection, like an eye that hallucinates an entire world into existence when it opens.
A Bindu and the Eye of Kali
The third eye of Mother Kali is the eye of intuition… The third eye is the symbol of intuitive mind. Under the third eye of Kali the signs of Moon, Sun and Fire are visible. This portrays her infinite and the creator aspect. She is looking at the past, present and future by her eyes.12
Here we should mention Kali’s third eye in connection with the singularity at the centre of the black hole. The singularity is the dimensionless point into which the black hole has collapsed, a point at which spacetime itself becomes ill-defined, and mass, space and time all are extinguished together. Einstein assumed that, although such a thing was mathematically coherent, nature would never allow it actually to exist. Now we know there are billions of them in the universe, each at the centre of a black hole. We also know that our universe itself was born out of just such a singularity, when a random quantum fluctuation caused it to transport itself directly to the top of mount improbability and explode into the Big Bang. The singularity lies at both the beginning and the end of all things, just as Kali is “the womb that births all, and the tomb that swallows all.”13
The typical Kali Yantra (a diagram that acts as a meditational aid in worshipping the deity), depicts a triangular yoni bound by the two wheels of life and death. In the very centre of the yantra is a small dot. The dot represents the Bindu, the single point of concentration of the cosmic power of Kali, corresponding to the singularity as the focus of the power of the black hole. Unity with Kali is achieved through the Bindu, which is the single focus, or point of convergence, between yoga, tantra and meditation alike.
The Kali yantra is a mandala, and as such represents the most protean of archetypes, encapsulating the fundamental unity of opposites, containing all the pairs of contradictory archetypes: matter and spirit, freedom and necessity, innocence and experience, self and other. As the unity of opposites it embodies the ambition of the great alchemical work; graphically, it immediately suggests the squaring of the circle;
… the squaring of the circle was a problem that greatly exercised medieval minds. It is a symbol of the opus alchymicum since it breaks down the original chaotic unity into the four elements and then combines them again in a higher unity. Unity is represented by a circle and the four elements by a square.
Most tellingly, the mandala is the most fundamental archetype of all, representing the Self / God;
There are innumerable variants of the motif shown here, but they are all based on the squaring of the circle. Their basic motif is the premonition of a centre of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is. The centre is not felt or thought of as the ego but, one may so express it, as the self. Although the centre is represented by the innermost point, it is surrounded by a periphery containing everything that belongs to the self-the paired opposites that make up the total personality. This totality comprises consciousness first of all, then the personal unconscious, and finally an indefinitely large segment of the collective unconscious whose archetypes are common to all mankind.
The key thing to note is that, while the Kali Yantra, as a mandala, represents the ultimate coincidentia oppositorum, the root archetype of existence, it also arguably finds its physical correlate in the existence of black hole;
In his essay ‘Individual Dream Symbolism’, Jung writes: “‘Mandala’ (Sanskrit) means ‘circle,’ also ‘magic circle.’ Its symbolism includes – to mention only the most important forms – all concentrically arranged figures, round or square patterns with a centre, and radial or spherical arrangements.”16 A black hole is a geometrically perfect mandala, which unites two geometrically opposite shapes: the shape with the greatest volume per given surface area (a two-dimensional sphere at the horizon), and the shape with no volume at all (a central point of infinite gravity).
The Kali yantra, then, embodies the creative and destructive powers of the universe considered as divine (Kali, Brahman), but also the corresponding primordial power of the Self (Atman) – and all this, according to Jung, finds its precise physical correlate in the existence of the black hole (the unity of the singularity and its event / cosmic horizon).
And while the Bindu represents the transcendental essence of Kali, it also represents the manifested power of intuition and ‘right-vision’, or truth, depicted in Kali’s iconography as her third eye. It is sometimes said that the three eyes of Kali represent her power over past, present and future alike. Imagine my pleasure while writing this blog post to read the news that a team of scientists have recently declared that the black hole acts precisely as a kind of eye, which in the act of observing the universe, coheres it, bringing it out of the realm of quantum possibility into existence as we know it. The universe exists because it is observed by a Goddess, Kali, much as Bishop Berkeley believed that it existed by being maintained in the mind of God:
The mere presence of a black hole… is enough to turn a particle’s hazy ‘superposition’ – the state of being in multiple potential states – into a well-defined reality. “It evokes the idea that these black hole horizons are watching…” “What we have found might be a quantum mechanical realization of [the participatory universe], but where space-time itself plays the role of the observer…” [These horizons] cause quantum superpositions to decohere. These horizons are really watching you…”
Pulling all these strands together, we are left with the image of Kali as the ground of creation, who destroys worlds but also births them. As she approaches, she spaghettifies your illusions, before swallowing you up into eternity, which from the outside looks like death, but from within is a timeless eternity. At her core is the Bindu, the singularity which is beyond comprehension, though it also manifests itself as an eye, which, precisely through the comprehension of vision, calls the manifest world into existence. In the modern science of black holes, we see a fair reflection of the powers and capabilities of the great Ma Kali herself, as the most profound cosmic principle of all.
K Foundation: All Bound for Mumu Land
It’s interesting to be in a band that doesn’t make records but only makes pyramids of dead people.
On 23rd November 2022 I attended a ritual at the Toxteth Day of the Dead, in which the celebrants marched through the Toxteth district of Liverpool, following a forklift truck driven by a notorious ex-squaddie. At the end of the march, a number of bricks, each dedicated to someone who had died during the year, each containing a few grammes of their ashes, was added to the People’s Pyramid while a friend of the deceased made a short speech marking their loss. The idea for the people’s pyramid came from the group, The KLF (aka the K-Foundation, The Justified Ancients of MuMu, The Timelords). How did a rock group start a burial cult?
The roots of the Mumification cult lie in contemporary strands of magical thought, namely Chaos Magic, and the related culture of Discordianism. For most people today, MuMufication and the KLF will probably seem like a pop-culture novelty. I call it a cult because that is probably what it would look like if we were in ancient Rome – except this cult is rooted in ultra-modern communications strategies and forms of (non-) spirituality.
Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, the founders of the KLF, are not known to be practicing magicians. Their attitude is nevertheless shaped by the cultures of Chaos Magic and Discordianism. Chaos Magic emerged in the 70s as postmodern development of existing ritual magic, in the spirit of Austin Osman Spare. Chaos magicians saw themselves as rejecting the quasi-theological pretensions of traditional magic, replacing them with a pragmatic approach that is frankly cynical about metaphysical claims. Postmodern philosophers argued that, since master narratives had died, they should be replaced with a babble of competing, independent stories; similarly, chaos magicians were now free to pick and choose their magical practices as they saw fit, infusing them with purely personal meaning, sometimes based on nothing but intuition.
Chaos Magic is syncretic – its believers are free to borrow from across the entire range of the world’s religious and cultural traditions, from any of the world’s great religions, from animism and paganism, and from even the most obscure cults within these traditions. at the same time, while Chaos Magic respects traditional concepts even as it rewires them, it is also open to thoroughly modern styles, codes and aesthetics.
Chaos Magic Slips the Ritual Leash
Prompted by the likes of comic author, Alan Moore in particular, chaos magicians have increasingly seen the imagination as the motor of their magical practice. This understanding dovetails with William Blake’s elevation of the imagination as “the Divine Body of the Lord Jesus, blessed for ever.”20 Treating magic as the work of the imagination reconnects it to those esoteric traditions – from the mystery cults to alchemy and ritual magic – for whom imagination is decisive. A kind of circle is being closed here: replacing theology with the sublime power of the imagination is only a click away from recognising the supreme power of the imagination within theology to begin with. Theology is only skirted by diving right into it in the media res of the esemplastic imagination. Welcome home.
Discordian Illuminates and the JAMMs
The second countercultural current that the KLF’s boat floated on is that of Discordianism. Discordianism is a religion, or pseudo-religion, centred on Eris, also known as Discordia, the ancient goddess of strife. Its founding document, Principia Discordia, was first published by Greg Hill and Kerry Wendell Thornley in 1963. The Principia speaks of Aneristic and Eristic principles (order and disorder), but holds that both are merely human constructs designed to make sense of a world which in itself is inherently chaotic. Given this state of chaos, the authors encourage schisms, conflict, paradoxes and absurdity as the only meaningful response.
Discordianism made a breakthrough with the publication of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, a three-volume fictional account of tangled conspiracies in which the secret societies of the Illuminati and the Justified Ancients of Mummu do battle for the soul of the world. In 1976 the story of Illuminatus! was told on stage in Liverpool and London by an experimental theatre group led by Ken Campbell. A young Bill Drummond, later of the KLF, created the stage designs for this production.
The KLF had a long career in the music industry, selling many records and winning many industry awards until the year 1992, when they performed at the Brit Awards after winning the award for Best British Group, alongside grindcore band Extreme Noise Terror, after which they opened fire with a machine gun on the assembled industry executives, dumped a dead sheep at the exit and promptly resigned from the music industry while deleting their entire back catalogue of recordings, thus surgically removing themselves from an industry they disdained. They issued a press release, asking:
What happens to ‘footnotes in rock legend’? Do they gather dust with Ashton Gardner and Dyke, the Vapors, and the Utah Saints, or does their influence live on in unseen ways, permeating future cultures? A passing general of a private army has the answer. “No”, he whispers “but the dust they gather is of the rarest quality. Each speck a universe awaiting creation, Big Bang just a dawn away.”
Having retired from the music industry, they promptly transformed themselves into the K Foundation, an arts organisation. In 1994 the K Foundation liquidated much of the assets of the KLF by burning a million pounds in cash in a carefully tended fire on the island of Jura. They filmed the event, which was observed by Drummond and Cauty, their assistant, Gimpo, and the freelance journalist, Jim Reid. In November 1995 the duo announced a cessation of activities until twenty-three years had passed.
23 Years Downline: The People’s Pyramid
A special event was organised by the duo in Liverpool on 23rd November 2017 to mark their return, at which they relaunched the Justified Ancients of Mumu (JAMMs). They also published a novel, 2023: A Trilogy, initiated a spoken word tour at which they asked the audience, ‘Why Did the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid?’ (claiming not to know themselves why they’d done it), and held a three-day event, Welcome to the Dark Ages.
As part of their relaunch they announced plans to build a People’s Pyramid, each brick of which is to contain 23 grams of human ashes. These bricks were to be added to the People’s Pyramid at an annual ‘Toxteth Day of the Dead‘ event. The idea and the ritual around it was designed by Drummond and Cauty in association with The Green Funeral Company. People register in advance for MuMufication, to become a part of the pyramid. On registering, they receive a MuMufication brick, a canister for their ashes, and a certificate registering them as part of the pyramid. When the candidate for MuMufication dies, their relatives send the sample of their ashes on to K2 Plant Hire, run by Drummond and Cauty, and the ashes are fired into a brick. Once a year, on the Toxteth Day of the Dead (23rd November), these bricks are added to the People’s Pyramid in a public ceremony at which anyone can get up and remark on the passing of the MuMufied.
- The People’s Pyramid will be a solid brick monument made of 34,592 Bricks of Mu.
- Each Brick of Mu will contain the cremated remains of a dead person.
- Having a small portion of cremated human remains fired into a Brick of Mu and laid in the People’s Pyramid is known as MuMufication.
- MuMufication is a new form of memorialisation, a funeral ceremony for like-minded people irrespective of creed or background.
- New Bricks of Mu are ceremonially laid on the 23rd November each year.
- The final location for the People’s Pyramid is yet to be found.
- The Bricks of Mu laid so far rest on the People’s Pyramid Foundation Stone, quarried locally from Liverpool, and kept inside the K2 Plant Hire shipping container.
- MuMufication is the act of having a small portion of cremated human remains fired in a Brick of Mu and laid in the People’s Pyramid.
- A Brick of Mu is a traditionally handmade brick manufactured by HG Matthews brick-makers, with a hole in the centre to be filled with 23 grams of cremated human remains.
- The Brick of Mu filled with remains is re-fired in a kiln at 1100ºC until the remains become glaze.
- Fired Bricks of Mu are ceremonially laid into the People’s Pyramid on the 23rd of November each year.
- When a person’s Brick of Mu has been laid in the People’s Pyramid they have been MuMufied.
- MuMufication is for anyone who wishes to be part of the People’s Pyramid, irrespective of religion or other beliefs.
- You can register for MuMufication before you die, or get MuMufication for someone who has already died.
Bricklaying at the People’s Pyramid
Left to right: Bill Drummond, Bricklayer Daisy Campbell, Undertakers Claire Phillips-Callender and Ru Callender. Dan Dares Photography.
Commentary on the lore and history of the KLF focuses on their symbolism to demonstrate their connections to Chaos Magic and Discordianism. Much of that symbolism (the MuMu name, use of the number 23, the pyramids, and more besides) is derived from The Illuminatus! Trilogy, though the spirit in which it is deployed by them has at least as much in common with syncretism and hallucinatory imagination of Chaos Magic as it has with the media terrorism of the Discordian’s Operation Mindfuck campaign which made the Illuminati a household name. It is a step beyond the use of such imagery, and a big gear change, to put that symbolism into motion in such a public ritual of grieving and celebration. On 23rd November 2023, those taking part in the Day of the Dead assembled at The Florrie Club in Toxteth. I met with friends who were there to commemorate their friend, Kinetori Yoshi Imamura. One of those friends, Kat Fisher, herself died only weeks afterwards and will be commemorated at next year’s assembly, which I will also attend, to say farewell and wish Kat luck. While I was there I signed up for MuMufication myself.
The march for the Toxteth Day of the Dead is open to all, and anyone is welcome to be MuMufied when they die. Above all, it is a countercultural event, where pomp, propriety and toeing the line have no place. hat it has such a patent countercultural focus is made clear in the book by Ru Callender, What Remains? Life, Death and the Human Art of Undertaking, founder of the Green Funeral Company, who are co-designers with the KLF of the Mumification rites, where he says that his work embodies his “unresolved grief for his parents and his cultural ancestors to political and religious non-conformists, social outlaws, experimental pioneers and acid house culture.” Grief is expressed, if required, but also joy and forgiveness. There are no rules to the ceremony beyond the fact that each of the MuMufied may be honoured (or dishonoured, I suppose, as the speakers prefer) as their brick is added to the pyramid. For each of the MuMufied, someone steps up to mark their passing as they see fit. Most of the MuMufied are unknown to most of the celebrants, but the rite is enacted together, as a collective ritual uniting all present without the necessity for shared beliefs, other than that the passing of friends and family should be marked in a way suited to the individual, rather than suited to the undertaker.
Ceremony and ritual for people of all religions and none
A brief look at the list of the MuMufied shows the diversity of ages, and a likely corresponding range of loves and preoccupations. Their biographies (published in The Pyramid Post newspaper to coincide with the event) show them to come from a range of backgrounds (though I notice that they are overwhelmingly white.) What unites the MuMufied, at a bare minimum, is a rejection of traditional proprieties associated with death. By opening the gates to alteriority, difference, and counterculture, the hypocrisy and restrictions of traditional funeral rites are undermined. Such an event could only be presided over by countercultural trickster deities such as Eris… and Kali. Away from the glare of the screen, the moralising of the media and the hypocrisy of organised politics and religion, people find a space to mark the passage of time in their own way.
Honouring those who are now part of the People’s Pyramid
I have written here about Kali and the KLF, hoping to have made some tentative connections between them. But since this is a Blake blog, I’ll finish with this video to the KLF track, It’s Grim Up North, which segues nicely into a rendition of Blake’s Jerusalem at around the 2:30 mark.
Tired of your humdrum existence and planning on dying at some point? Don’t delay: get MuMufication here. That done, I’ll see you in Toxteth next year.
- Aditi Devi, In Praise of Adya Kali: Approaching the Primordial Dark Goddess Through the Song of Her Hundred Names, Hohn Press, 2014.
- Stephen Hawking, George Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
- See Wendy Donninger, ‘Kali’, Encyclopedia Britannica, accessed March 2023.
- “The most salient point… is that, according to Susskind (physicist author of ideas concerning the holographic universe-AW), each cubic volume of our three-dimensional universe is like holographic movie projected by one-dimensional strings that stretch all the way out to the two-dimensional horizon of the cosmos, upon which the past, present, and future are interwoven.” Timothy Desmond, Psyche and Singularity: Jungian Psychology and Holographic String Theory, Nashville: Persistent Press, 2018, p6.
- Sixth century BCE.
- “Yoni is a Sanskrit word that has been interpreted to literally mean the ‘womb’, the ‘source, and the female organs of generation.” “The yoni is conceptualized as nature’s gateway of all births, particularly in the esoteric Kaula and Tantra practices, as well as the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions of Hinduism.”, Yoni, Wikipedia, wikipedia.com; accessed 2023-03-20.
- Daniel Odier, Jack Cain (tr), Tantric Kali, Rochester: Inner Traditions, 2016, p11.
- Aditi Devi, op. cit.
- Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw, Black Holes: The Key to Understanding Our Universe, London: Harper Collins, 2022, p208.
- Daniel Odier, op. cit., p29.
- Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw claim Maldacena’s paper is the most cited in theoretical physics. op. cit.
- Kali Mother Blog, accessed 10the March 2023.
- Aditi Devi, op. cit.
- Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell (ed), The Portable Jung, New York: Penguin Books, 1976, p379.
- Carl Jung, RFC Hull (tr), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (1959), New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990, p357.
- Carl Jung, The Portable Jung, op. cit., p325.
- Timothy Desmond, Psyche and Singularity: Jungian Psychology and Holographic String Theory, Nashville: Persistent Press, 2018, p171.
- Thomas Lewton, ‘Black Holes Will Eventually Destroy All Quantum States, Researchers Argue’, Quanta Magazine, quantamagazine.org accessed 10 March 2023.
- Ian Youngs, ‘KLF’s Jimmy Cauty: ‘We don’t make records, we make pyramids out of dead people’. BBC News, 26th November 2018, bbc.co.uk, accessed 12th March 2023.
- William Blake, Milton I 3:3-4, E96.
- KLF Communications, KLF Communications – Information Sheet 23. May 1992, archived (via the Library of Mu) on 5 October 2007, accessed 10th March 2023.