Spiritual technology: transition and its prosthetics
Graham St John [+]
In its exploration of Goa/psytrance music, Chapter 4 regards this music as an assemblage of technics that have been sampled, remixed and repurposed to the variable transit of the self in reflexive modernity. The assemblages I call spiritechnics are guided by differing modalities of “consciousness”, shaping practices with varying means and ends: progressive and transgressive, nihilistic and gnostic, self-directed and planetary. Using a spectrum of sampled content programmed within psytrance releases and promotions, the chapter demonstrates how its sonic fiction orchestrates the departure from, connection with, and evolution of, consciousness. Whether concerned with the unconscious, outer space, virtual reality or the wilderness, re-mediated liminality is adapted by the psychedelic mystics and media shamans of psytrance to facilitate these conditions of transit. Popular culture, psychoactive (or more accurately “entheogenic”) compounds, and the experience of revelation are the media and the means emixed by the technicians of transition.