Image by: Lauren Kolesinskas
In the remote, high deserts of New Mexico, Timothy Wyllie reflects on a life of testing the limits of reality and spirituality.
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Artist – Title – Album
0:00 Chicago Underground Quartet – Total Recovery – Chicago Underground Quartet
1:03 Canooooopy – 404 never found (Kryone Remix) – Polymorphism vs Remixes
1:54 The Acorn – Taphead – Spirit of Talk Talk
4:37 Peter Davison – Glide V – I Am The Center
6:45 Oneohtrix Point Never – Andro – Replica
7:50 Don Slepian – Awakening (excerpt) – I Am The Center
9:05 Steve Reich – Europe During the War – Different Trains
10:29 Alice Damon – Waterfall Winds – I Am The Center
11:34 Alice Damon – Waterfall Winds – I Am The Center
16:38 Sam Prekop – A Geometric – The Republic
16:57 Rob Mazurek – Time Coded Single – Amorphic Winged
17:45 George Crumb – Absence – Black Angels
17:45 Matmos – YTTE – The Civil War
18:28 Miles Davis – Old Devil Moon – Chronicle
18:50 Matmos – YTTE – The Civil War
19:34 George Crumb – Departure – Black Angels
19:34 Phil Kline – Angels of Avenue A – Unsilent Night
19:54 Mark Banning – Lunar Eclipse (excerpt) – I Am The Center
20:30 Rob Mazurek – Shower Music – Amorphic Winged
20:48 Rob Mazurek – The Shaping Light – Amorphic Winged
20:48 George Crumb – Return – Black Angels
21:29 Miles Davis – Bitches Brew – Bitches Brew
21:29 George Crumb – Return – Black Angels
21:50 George Crumb – Return – Black Angels
24:07 Michael Stearns – As the Earth Kissed the Moon (excerpt) – I Am The Center
26:23 Sam Prekop – The Republic 3 – The Republic
28:20 Peter Davison – Glide V – I Am The Center
29:38 Don Slepian – Awakening (excerpt) – I Am The Center
Off we drove to a party. Interesting party, celebrating people… I go out to take my coat off in the bedroom, in front of a chest and this bed… Next thing I know I’m on the floor, face down, and my head is turned to my left. I can see a snake, a very large snake, I guess about four or five feet away from me. And it’s looking at me. As it came towards me I could see the pile of the carpet was separating under the weight of the snake’s body. I’m like, “This is real”… You know, it came closer and closer, and I couldn’t move, I was absolutely frozen. And then I could feel its tongue flickering on my face a little bit, and then the next thing I knew is it had driven itself, it just forced itself into my eye, my right eye, all the way down into my body, curling down in. I can remember its tail still flapping outside as it was still crawling into my eye. Then it just crawled around down there for a while and it came up, out through my mouth. Up, out and away…
* * *
The problem is to try and define what madness – what is madness? We’re talking about a state of mind that looks mad to everybody else, but if it can be sustained by the person who’s seen as mad, then it’s really questionable if it is madness or not. For instance, a schizophrenic – as long as he can handle it, as long as he can get on with life, it doesn’t matter, does it? I mean, he’s just got a different perception. You can call it schizophrenia if you want, but the fact that you might hear voices… I hear voices, half my life I’ve heard voices. They give me good advice. Now, a psychologist might well say, “Well, that’s your alter ego, that’s just your, what-not,” and I don’t care. That’s their idea. If I think it’s an angel, that’s fine with me, you know?
Is it really madness to have ended up in a house like this? I moved to New Mexico, found me a piece of land in the middle of the High Desert, and I live in the house on my own with my little cat, in the silence; wonderful silence, that is. Personally – and I don’t want to crow about it – I think I live a reasonably successful life. You know, we’re not talking about some sort of mental imbalance or something like that, schizophrenia or stuff like that, but the idea of being mad for God, you know, that particular line of enthusiasm, that’s always looked very mad from the outside.
I mean Christianity, as taught, is absolutely full of contradictions. Priests don’t think how stupid they sound when they make these absurd claims as if they know what they’re talking about. The problem in talking about God is that you get into this ineffable stage where there simply are not words. It’s a bit like a psychedelic experience, trying to describe it to somebody who has never had one. All you can say is, well, there is night and day; you know the difference between night and day.
You see, we’ve so much deprived ourselves of the spiritual aspects of life. I don’t think religion has got the juice anymore. In the old days, you would go to a cathedral, you’d look up to this extraordinary beautiful pink glass, and you’d think it was real, the sunlight would come in… You’d float into it alone…
We can’t do that these days, we know too much, we see too much on television. Psychedelics are really the only way of guaranteeing, guaranteeing an exceptional experience. Now, the best current definition of what a psychedelic does, is basically a reducing valve… There’s a valve in the head that reduces experience to what we can handle in order to make a living. There’s an awful lot of stuff going on which is being cut off. What a psychedelic does is it opens that door and allows one to experience what is really going on, which is much, much larger and more strange and incredible.
All this bullshit about bad trips… No, bad trips are the useful trips. They are the ones with the information. A good trip – there’s no information there, except love and, you know… What we lack is initiation in this culture. So when kids are, say, 13, 14, 15, they need something to kind of break through. I think that we should have beautiful little places set up that people could go to, as they would go to a clinic or as they would go to a gym, and people who know what tripping is about, there to help them out, and they could go for a psychedelic session. It’s certainly one of the two or three profoundest possible experiences. Near-death is another one…
I was born in 1940, in the center of London. My first memories really are at age two or three, of these dreadful things. You know, the war had started – I think in ’39 – and by ’40 it was starting to [garbled] up and my mother moved me down to a small village in Kent called Cranbrook. Cranbrook is almost exactly between where they were firing those A1 rockets, German flying bombs – the V-1s – they would putter along over our head, and the awful thing about them is that you’d hear pop-pop-pop-pop-pop… And then they stop. And when they stop, you know that was it, they were coming down, and there was this awful period of waiting for them, in this dreadful silence. My mother would put me – they had a table, I guess shrapnel – ridiculous, table… So there I would be put under the table, and what would happen to me is I would compress… Compress, and compress, and compress, this little volume I had… And I would pop out of my body! I was out of my body, in another realm. Looking back, obviously, now… Just the fact of leaving the body at that age, under those conditions, gave me a sort of a lifelong facility in terms of being able to come and go, more easily perhaps than most.
What did you think was happening to you at the time? Do you remember…?
Oh, no… I was three years old. You don’t remember things when you’re out of your body. You don’t remember what was happening when you were in your body, let alone out of your body.
So you remember leaving your body, but…
I don’t remember leaving my body, no… I was told this by the angel who cared for me at that point. And that… I didn’t know about that until I made my first acid trip… And it was absolute horror.
This is the first of the books I wrote with Georgia, my discarnate rebel angel, collaborator. There’s three… The first book was this one.
The dolphins book?
Yes. Then it’s this one, which was in 1992… We wrote this very successful book, “Ask Your Angels”, and it was written with an angel. I mean, I had an angel coordinating it. The publisher kept publishing my books… I’m always surprised. You see, I never did it for publication. This particular publisher just asked me, “What are you working on there?” I showed it to him, he loved it.
I write the books in order to understand things that I wouldn’t get if I simply sat and thought about them. I think most writers do that. So it doesn’t matter an awful lot to me whether people read my books or not. I do know that I have a very small audience. It amazes me anybody even understands my books, or has the patience to read the whole damn thing.
You can see in science, the fear of being wrong, the fear of the ridicule of being wrong You know is a lot. We gotta prove something is right, and if you can’t prove it, it probably doesn’t exist… And it’s rubbish, it’s just a way of restricting everything.
It is challenging for people to hear your… Um, your…
Yeah, about angels, and they want some evidence.
Sure. Well, what are you gonna do? You can’t produce evidence for it, you have to use other techniques. You can’t say they don’t exist because I can’t measure them. You just need different techniques, and what is a technique? A technique is intuition. Intuition is like a muscle, if you don’t use it, it atrophies. Most people never use their intuition. There’ll be people who say, “Oh, that’s bullshit. It couldn’t happen.” It couldn’t happen because they don’t believe in angels. If you don’t believe in angels, of course they just can’t happen. Or not in your mind. They happen, but you don’t see them.
Then there will be other people who will say, “Okay, yeah. I may have had an experience with angels, it’s not impossible. I may have dreamt of angels – they often contact us in dreams – and I may have been in a very extreme situation, in which angels appeared.”
So why doesn’t that kind of stuff happen to… Why doesn’t it happen to me?
Well, because a) it’s not your schtick. You wouldn’t know what to do with it. Would you?
I don’t know that I’d know what to do with it, but personally, I am totally open to there being things that don’t fit with general…
Yeah, consciously that’s fine. What you’re not reckoning for is what would happen inside you, you see? Because whether you know it or not, you have constructed a reality – as we all have – and it’s based on a certain set of suppositions that you’ve either inherited, or you’ve worked into, or you’ve tested, you’ve come up with yourself. It’s when those assumptions are shown to be completely false, it creates a turmoil in the subconscious mind. So the answer to your question is probably that you wouldn’t be ready for it.
So is there something you think people can do, a way that they can maybe have an angelic experience?
Well, forget the angelic experience… I mean, just in terms of intuition – do I trust this person, do I not? I mean, as you said, why did I trust you? Of course, I went through my head, the guy could be a… No, I trusted my intuition that you’re okay. You see, the problem is it’s not a question of talking to angels, the question is why an angel won’t talk to you, if you’re so fucked up? You’ve gotta un-fuck yourself first. Now, this is helped by having an NDE – a near-death experience – in which I had at home a situation with angels…
Maybe let’s tell that story real quick…
This was in New York, in the middle ’70s. And I was an architect and I’d worked myself to death, basically. I had been put in charge of this hopeless situation… It was such an enormous building. Suddenly the rent went from 10,000 a month to 60,000 a month just for the mortgage. Now, I was in charge of it all, and I had to find somewhere… So I was running on three hours of sleep, I had a little chest thing going… I fainted in my office, I remember I dragged myself back down to the house where I lived, and I drew a bath. I laid back in the bath, and probably within minutes maybe I was suddenly aware that I was being lifted out of my body. Now, I was not entirely unfamiliar with it, I’d had a few out of body experiences, so I didn’t freak out. But I would be pulled up… Where I was going, I couldn’t see.
I looked down and I was above a very beautiful forested valley. In the middle of the valley was a vehicle on a single rail, maybe a monorail of some sort, and it was whizzing up in this great curve, up towards me.
Next thing I knew I was in the monorail. It had about eight or nine of us. There was a black man opposite me, playing the trumpet; he was so into it. It was beautiful. There were a few people hanging around, and it came to me at that particular point: we’re all dying at the same time.
Then at the far end of the monorail – a very bright light. A voice came to my mind, and said, “Yes, you’re correct, you are dying, but you can continue what you came here to do, so we’re going to give you a choice: you can either continue, or get out.”
And I thought for a moment… My thinking was that this is so unbelievable, this is so wonderful that it’s just going to go on being wonderful. But if I went back, I didn’t know what was going to happen; I really didn’t know. My damn curiosity caught me then…
The monorail kind of dissolved, and kind of like at your height there were bank upon bank of angels, and they were all playing, and singing, and I was absorbed by this wonderful music.
Next thing I knew, I was standing on some sort of a raised platform above an enormous plain, and there were mountains in the background. I could see there was a structure in the middle of the plain, an enormous structure. I’ve likened it to one of those oil rigs, one of those massive oil rigs. It looked like that, but it was kind of alive and moving. I was being swept across this plain into this big structure that had almost animalistic forms that were constantly changing. It was like it was a building, but it was alive. I was taken in; I found myself in like an operating theater. You had this flat table in the middle, a metallic table, quite futuristic. I was put on the table, laid on it.
Next thing I knew there were lots of blue, little guys – extraterrestrials – and they were kind of skittering around rather fast, all around me, and then something came up behind me, a female voice. I could see she was a little bit taller, but she had one of those kinds of classic little faces that you see in extraterrestrial diagrams. You know large eyes. Then I heard her say in a very soft voice, “This is gonna hurt, but it’s only gonna be very short. You’ll really hurt, but it’s gonna be very short term.” Then this thing swung over on top of me. I couldn’t see what it was, but it just went “Wham!” Right into my solar plexus. It reaaally hurt, but it was a very short time. But it really, really hurt. But it was very very short.
Then I was taken to a place… It was beautiful, just exquisite, and after that I was taken home. The last thing I remember was coming back down into the bath, and I had that image of that nude descending the stairs, back into my bath again.
“What the fuck was that?”
I’ve never been ill since. I think they really did something. I don’t know, I really don’t know, except to say that so far, so good. It blew me away because, like everybody else, I didn’t believe in angels, I thought they were part of mythic past, some guys making shit up… Until I had that one experience, and there were very few people I could talk to about it.
It’s very difficult to talk to people about angels if they don’t believe in them. As you said earlier, prove it – I can’t prove it. I can’t even prove I left my body, except that I was dying at one moment and twenty minutes later I was healthy again.
One of the things about a near-death experience, a profound one, is that it takes you a long time to come to terms with it and to integrate it into your life, because in everything is thrown up in the air. Everything! I mean, what are you doing here… Every single choice you make is thrown up in the air, if you think there is an afterlife. It just changes everything. Do you think all these motherfuckers would go around hurting anybody if they really knew what was going to happen to them in the afterlife? No. Not a chance.
What does happen to them?
They get what they get.
Fire and brimstone?
No, no, no… No, you just find yourself in a reality where you get fucked over all the time, if you’re somebody that fucks other people over.
It always amuses me… There’s a psychologist at one of the big universities, who’s quite sure that near-death experiences are happening inside the mind. If you had a near-death experience, the thing is you’re so absolutely clear. I mean, we think we’re clear here – this is fucking living in a fog. Out there…you feel absolutely everything is clear, there’s no confusion, there’s no holding something back from oneself. It is pure.
I had expressed an interest in dolphins. A phone call came from some people in Florida, they invited us down there. We basically swam with dolphins every day. I just gave myself to them, I said, “Okay, here I am. Experiment on me.” And they did it. I had five questions in my mind – telepathic questions – and each one they answered. One was how do dolphins communicate through time? In other words, how do they leave information for other generations?
What happened was that I bent down and I picked up a sand dollar, and in that moment the telepathic information from the dolphins was, “We use these for information. We project sound waves which shape the shell.” So when the shell grows, it retains the information that’s programmed into it. So another dolphin would come along and hit it with the same frequency, and information will come from there.
Information such as…?
Is it a nice day today? Are there some good fish around here? Did you go to Planet Zonk the other day? It was really cool… Or whatever. Dolphins travel out of their bodies, that’s their shtick.
They travel everywhere. They get around, you know.
* * *
What would you say to people who hear your story and hear about your drug use and just think, “This guy has just done too many drugs”?
Well, you see, my way of looking at things is being high, it gives you access to this stuff. Somebody else would say being high means that you can hallucinate all this rubbish. Two different viewpoints. You could say, “Yeah, of course, they create all these delusions.” Well, it’s true, but obviously if one has practice, then it’s a separated delusion of reality, just as we do in real life. You can go and cross the Andes and say, “Boy, that mountain looks like it’s shaped like a fox.” And then the next thing is, well, how does one relate to that? Some people go whacky, right?
But you’re not one of them?
Well, I don’t think so… I’ve never gotten into a state where I’ve kind of been taken over by them. Or I have been taken over by them, but I’ve learned not to be taken over by them put it that way. I use them far less now these days because I value the stability of the consciousness I’ve been able to arrive at.
I have never wanted to be the kind of person that people might think of a god upright citizen. That’s never interested me. I mean, to be in a business where the first thing you have to convince somebody is that the thing that you’re talking about actually exists… Forget it. I’m not interested in persuading anybody that angels exist. There are people who know that, and I’m interested in talking to them.
I was wondering about your movies here… Do you watch any of these?
I have watched them… Of course I have, yes. Why?
I was just interested… I didn’t expect to see Chicken Run…
Oh, Chicken Run, that was a wonderful movie. Oh god, I loved it! [Laughs] The voices, I love the voices. The rats, you know, I could really identify with them, and all that was going on in the background… Do you remember?
It’s incredibly funny. No, I’m very eclectic, you can see right there.