Serialisation: ‘Astral Deaths & Astral Lights’ by Rick ACV (PARTS ONE & TWO)

August 22, 2022

NOVEL SERIALISATION
AUTHOR: RICK ACV


Following in the wake of his debut novel THE GREAT IMMUREMENT, which we serialised during the summer of 2020, Vukovar helmsman Rick ACV now follows up with the surreal, esoteric and challenging Astral Deaths & Astral Lights. Playing with format, language, font, with half-thoughts of waking hours and occult merge with dream-realism and a languid sense of discomfort: a sorry state of existence. William Blake and Austin Osman Spare meet Kōbō Abe in the hotel lobby portal of the never-world: personal and universal.

Part One now follows:

THE ASCENDER/DESCENDER

I am The Ascender/Descender of the Lord’s ladders. I get no closer nor further away from Him and His glory; these steps go sideways.

I am an angel, continually changing the affairs of man. 

I die nightly and daily there is less of me.

This will continue until there will be less than nothing left.

I

The conscious part of the mind is useless; it only serves to reinforce the separation between ourselves and that which we desire.” – Austin Osman Spare.

This is how to misinterpret and misunderstand someone and something. 

Then:

“Rest uneasy. 

Consciousness as a forfeit-too-far.

The body’s surrender to silent sleep is not something to underestimate nor un-understand. 

____ has begun to experience something disarming in its simple explicity and with an overwhelming lack of disturbation to make this a truly unpleasant experience:

Faces appear. Faces appear in the mind’s eye. Faces unrecognized. Faces constantly morphing into each other, hundreds in number, maybe more. They are as detailed as if they were in the extreme presence. 

The faces start to bring a warm feeling of familiarity – the process of the passing of awareness. Lulled. Now. Now it comes. Now as the faces change and interfere with one another’s faces, sleep is on its way.

Only it isn’t sleep.

How can it be?”

This is what I found on a piece of paper in some forgotten pocket. I say forgotten but for how long it has been neglected I have little-to-no-idea. There are those places that drift into view through the mist and the grey-light and you have little clue as to where from and what for they came. You will tell yourself that they are a portal to another world. They must be, as they give something that alters your world-view so drastically that they cannot exist permanently within this world. That’s what the neglected pocket is. And that’s from where the paper did come. Only now, it isn’t paper. It is a recollection of something that is happening right this second, even. As this is being read by whoever’s eyes may be reading, it is also being written by the author long dead. The literal sense of the author being long dead will far outlast the metaphysical. 

“It’s a fundamental flaw in the human condition that we appreciate beauty only in absence. We are stars that died centuries ago and our love and light is only fully absorbed after the final fade out. A pin prick in the night sky, a microscopic peephole into heaven. I find myself looking up at the sky in the kind of cold winter night that briefly recharges my belief in the value of existence hoping that through one of these peepholes I will catch a glimpse of your face.” – Daniel Shea.

Every night is the changing of the faces before ascending/descending into the other lands, other places – other people.

Maybe just as an observer, but it doesn’t feel that way.

This is exhausting.

This is all consuming. 

This is life-threatening; as The Ascender/Descender, I become far removed from the usual world, to reside in the constant present.

The Constant Present:

A place with no consequence no matter the action. The past cannot be rewritten through changing eyes nor waves of fury. All futures remain an imaginary and far away world.

THE LADDERS

I awake in the body of the dejected and in the mind of the cunning.

I recall the conversation with my blind Father from yesterday and I move with ease from the scorched ground, away from his bitterness and into the bright sunlight that forms a halo around this Earth. The promise that the Holy warmth fills me with is sudden and I know I will one day be the victor. 

I have a feeling that my victory will soon be of little consequence.

The first steps upon my journey are undertaken and the hard ground feels welcoming underfoot, I have reassurance from the single, solitary trees that line the path also, as I know there will be place-to-rest within their shade should I need it. A shade within their shade, a sculpture by the sculptor. 

Things quickly change, as though in a dream.

What sets this feeling off and the feeling of inconsequential victory is a sudden glimmer in the sky, as though the clouds are glinting and sparkling and shimmering. 

It can’t be a dream. I know I am not myself but I know that this self is Their self. There is no disconnect.

This must be a visitation.

The destination moves towards me and I needn’t approach. 

I look more closely at the shimmering sky and the little bursts of light; it begins to form waves of awe, waves of silver-white Godly brilliance and I am moved to almost-tears. I cry out, a noise that I have never before heard from myself. His compassion rains and reigns down over and upon my sacrificial spirit, as right before me appears and disappears a Great Ladder. Its shape and form can only be made out by the agitated atmosphere that surrounds it, and I notice the world that was around me has melted away into the unveiling.

Everything comes into focus and the spectre of His love comes clear; the extent of his intent of creation is now known within me and the purpose of his Angels brightens the flesh under my flesh as I observe the moving up and down, passing through their other selves. 

Blessed be the path between Heaven and Earth.

Blessed be the Angels, ascending and descending to and from bodies and lives.

Blessed be Me; I understand now that I am one amongst the many Angels Of Light that give cause to the lives of all, the perpetual movement between bodies, the constant Hand in the Constant Present.  

I don’t forget the argument with my Father as I am armed with more than just my cunning now. 

II

To sleep and to never have to wake. To wake and to never have to sleep. That would be the dream. To be in a constant, secure state and to be exempt from eternal flux is a set of circumstances, I imagine, that would yield a lifetime of peace and contentment. 

I do not have a care for the unambition behind this. 

I have little enough feeling on anything in the usual world as it is that the idea of having to fake guilt and guiltiness seems too much like an inconvenience. 

My absence in the usual world may well be with its setbacks – mostly minor. I’m aware but have such little interest that I’d much prefer to defer to another note. I don’t really know where they come from, but they handily explain my ascensions and descensions. The ladder itself and the actual Astral Dances are fine within my control. These scraps, however, assist the very Innerself to easily given and easily forgotten unexplanations. 

This note:

“The ladder is not a physical image and thing and device, but metaphysical.

That said, a literal interpretation is best suited.

It can’t be explained why.

In fact, this makes no sense whatsoever.

When _____ slept, was his vision of those angels on that path so on-the-nose?

It is hard to believe a creation that touches the Glory Of God can be so unimaginative and so plain.

What are these steps, then, and how do they appear to _____ as they are traversed?

The Death Of The Author will hereby be leaned on (again and always), as perfect an excuse as there Ever-Was and Ever-Will and Ever-Is.

And now

After all this straying

The path becomes lit once more with a fantastical and strictly Holy sense of wonder.”

I am so alone. I stare at the ceiling. I can’t understand the time of the day. You’re so alone. We’re all so, so alone. 

This house is a home but I feel like vermin. I didn’t wash today. Again. And now the day is over. Again. I don’t want to sully the fresh-scented sheets. That could be my excuse.

I could just sit and wait and pass through the darkness at the close of day and avoid the coming transformation. 

Light or dark, it will still happen, I remind Ourselves.

Myself.

“Lie back and take it like a man.”

Here are the faces.

Here comes the shift.

Here is Thee Transformation.

Hi, my name is Dominic Valvona and I’m the Founder of the music/culture blog monolithcocktail.com For the last ten years I’ve featured and supported music, musicians and labels we love across genres from around the world that we think you’ll want to know about. No content on the site is paid for or sponsored and we only feature artists we have genuine respect for /love. If you enjoy our reviews (and we often write long, thoughtful ones), found a new artist you admire or if we have featured you or artists you represent and would like to buy us a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/monolithcocktail to say cheers for spreading the word, then that would be much appreciated.

4 Responses to “Serialisation: ‘Astral Deaths & Astral Lights’ by Rick ACV (PARTS ONE & TWO)”

  1. […] Osman Spare meet Kōbō Abe in the hotel lobby portal of the never-world: personal and universal. Parts One & Two were debuted earlier this week. We continue with the next chapter, HOTEL NOTHING/III, […]

  2. […] Osman Spare meet Kōbō Abe in the hotel lobby portal of the never-world: personal and universal. Parts One & Two were debuted during August, followed up by Part Three. We continue with the next chapters, […]

  3. […] Osman Spare meet Kōbō Abe in the hotel lobby portal of the never-world: personal and universal. Parts One & Two were debuted during August, followed up by Part Three and Part Four. We now continue with the […]

  4. […] Spare meet Kōbō Abe in the hotel lobby portal of the never-world: personal and universal. Parts One & Two were debuted during August, followed up by Part Three and Part Four. Part Five […]

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