Rob Brezsny’s The Televisionary Oracle, available now to be ordered online and at your nearest local new bookseller, is full of ontological and metaphysical lessons, one of which is purposely destroying the apocalypse by means of love. By intaking all the sourness and hurtfulness and feeling it all the way down to its harmless, base residue. Say the word and you’ll be free. Everything perceived as negative is useful as energy once its inherent tendency is transmuted. The same book contains oracles that manage to be both sobering and exhilarating; lucid dreams seemingly affecting geopolitical events; spiritually blameless pornography; philosophical strategems at once beastly and coldly scientifically accurate; and prophecies reportedly divined by a distant descendant of Nostradamus’s cook. Readers are advised on avoidance of the societal dumbing down depleting and trying to kill off the imagination with an enthusiastic endorsement of St. Paul’s creed of “dying daily,” and the diagramming of outlines of how to kill the apocalypse.
Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology, founded on an 80% bias in favor of that ancient science as a reliable oracle, and another work, Pronoia,. have established Rob Brezsny as a man who favors positivity and growth over cynicism and decline currently so popular among the masses, a sort of post-apocaloptimistl. For readers capapble of the experimental state of mind required to host such a perspective, The Televisionary Oracle is right up your attitude. Said Robert Anton Wilson, before his passing in , this book is “so weird it might drive you stark raving sane,” though he may have been referencing Brezsny’s Pronoia. Brezsny is one of the authors, along with Wilson, Hakim Bey, and others, of T.A.Z. (shorthand for Temporary Autonomous Zone). Having long been a devoted fan of Wilson’s writing, his Cosmic Trigger trilogy in particular, I’m pleased to find a kindred stylist in Brezsny.
The chapters alternate between the perspectives of “Rockstar”, a Dionysian singer/songwriter headong a ritualistic performance art band – this may be an autobiographical note: Brezsny has been a prominent member of bands himself, including World Entertainment War – and Rapunzel Blavatsky, the sixty-six-and-a-half-million-year-old reincarnation of such notable spiritual and philosophical leaders as Persephone and Mary Magdalene, among others. By the novel’s conclusion, readers have learned the entirety of Rapunzel’s life story, and only that portion of Rockstar’s life dating from his first meeting with her. As was the case with Pronoia, The Televisionary Oracle could be a textbook for students of consciousness, but is structured in too entertaining a way to seem like an instruction manual. Fans of poetry will appreciate Brezsny’s graceful transcendence of literary strictures.