Sacred Rites: Journal Entries of a Gnostic Heretic
review by R.U. Sirius
Antero Alli has been a master at gifting others with their presence in the moment and in the world as it is… and the world that we feel and imagine, although he is too humble to make such claims. His ritual journal entries bring to life the personal and group dynamics of some of his “sacred rites.” Herein Alli takes us with him as he dances on light and falls, stumbles and hurts, rises with great inner strength and then backs off and makes space for the others to struggle and play with their own angels, demons, ancestral Jungian archetypes, mutable gendered forms, true memories and conjured reflections and refractions of their personal and group experiences past and present.
Who else has shared hir journey into a sort of embodiment of depth psychology married to the theatrical and cinematic artistry of a unique individual mind? Did Gurdjieff leave behind such generous notes? Did Artaud ever climb out of his own tortured mind to guide others into a theater of revelation and share the results? I think not.
As a lonely writer and minor league media trickster playing and toiling in the fields of counterculture and model agnosticism — I am jealous of those who got to be present for Alli’s physically active deep soul uncoverings — these experiences that he calls Sacred Rites. I always intended to join one of these experiences but time was my master and my excuse. I was a busy little beaver playing in McLuhans spider web of endless mediations where I have amused and (I hope) occasionally informed others while eking out a bare livelihood feeding and housing my own brief experiment in embodiment. I now understand that this experiment would have been more successful if I had allied with him for an experience or two.
When I first met Antero way back in the 1980s we were both working and playing under the influence of the neuro-political and exo-psychological maps provided by Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson. Leary brought us the theory of the minds’ evolution in tandem with biology and technology (tools). Bob Wilson gave it clarity and a heart. Antero Alli took the mind and the heart of Leary/ Wilson theory and gave it a body. He brought with him an influence from Jerzy Grotowski and his paratheatrical theories. As Alli writes, Paratheatre was “combining methods of physical theatre, modern dance, vocalization, and standing Zazen to access the internal landscape of forces in the Body – the impulses, emotions, sensations, tensions, and other autonomous forces – towards their spontaneous expression in movement, vocal creations, symbolic gesture, characterization, and asocial interplay.”
What a lovely contribution from E.C.C.O (Earth Coincidence Control Office) to bring Alli’s unique imprint into alignment with this relatively obscure path. Here, in Sacred Rites, Alli’s interior observations hide within them a map to the work he has been doing for some 46 years. It’s all here. How to create asocial interplay. How to conjure and embody visions and insights through the use of archetypes. How to move people from their stuck places. It’s not a cool cerebral picture. There’s a lot of howling, weeping. I would venture that there’s even some gnashing of teeth. Alli brings you inside these sessions and this text will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, the work will continue. Read the book and find out.