It’s only an anthology, I thought. A nice way to ease myself into the writings that Original Falcon publishes. Sure it’s titled “Rebels & Devils: The Psychology of Liberation”, but still, it’s just an anthology. Then, as you might suspect, the anthology kicked my ass.
“Rebels & Devils” features the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Ph.D., Phil Hine, Aleister Crowley, Osho, and more. I suspect you’re getting the tone now, right? Trailblazers of a sort, people who left behind the status quo. In short, rebels and devils.
What does it mean to be a rebel? How do you become a devil? These questions are asked and sometimes answered not just in the typical short essay format (An absolute stunner of an essay comes from Diana Rose Hartmann titled “The Calling of the Holy Whore”. Dare I call it a must read for every woman? I dare.), but also in the form of interviews (I loved Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D interviewing Israel Regardie!), fiction (Look forward to “Paradise Mislaid” by William S. Burroughs), poetry (I enjoyed “Prelude to a One-Night Stand” by Adam Matza. “I need a body-sized condom, to protect me from your malaise, and you from mine.” Rough.), and even a comic strip from Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D and S. Jason Black called “VoodooMan”.
“Rebels & Devils” dedicates a section of the book to “The World of Chaos”, which includes discussing the practice of Chaos Magic. If you buy this book and only bother to read “Beyond the Event Horizon: Responses to Chaos Culture” by Phil Hine and “Undoing Yourself with Chaos Magic” by Robert F. Williams, Jr., you will come away with the best understanding of Chaos Magic that the uninitiated can hope to attain. At least that was the case for me!
So hopefully now you’re psyched. You’re chomping at the bit, ready to dive in. Consider this a word of warning, this book WILL kick your ass. Am I in charge of my destiny? Do I only focus on myself, leaving others to fend for themselves? Is that a good or bad thing? Am I weak in ways I didn’t realize? These are just some of the thoughts that raced through my mind while reading this book. If it were a website, it would be NSFW (not safe for work). All manner of very adult themes are at play in “Rebels & Devils”. However, if you’re willing to take it on; if you’re ready to be confronted by ideas you’ve never encountered before, presented in some extremely outside of the normal comfort zone kind of way, you will be rewarded at the end of the journey.