Directions to the Game: Barrelfull of Monkeys


Rak Razam

Date of original publication

Dec , 2001




Is to pick up all 100 monkeys one at a time without dropping any. Everyone is needed because this is a closed system. NRG needs open circuits to travel within a closed system, which means everyone has to link up on the same wavelength to transmit the NRG flow.

In the beginning ... there was DOOF. There was music and dancing and much mischief, monkeys and dogs running round and great fashion and we smoked a lot of dope and took more psyberdelics than I’d ever taken before in my life and GOD was it GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!

It was my first time, right on through to the other side and don’t look back only forwards and I met a whole bunch of crazy people and lost my Bugs Bunny slippers and dragged my beanbag all over the festival like it was my lounge room and broke the dawn overlooking the beach with Kurt and met Nicole on the football field and we played Twister on the dance floor while Tsuyoshi DJed, back when trance was his gig and the music twisted and tweaked and got into places in my head I didn’t even know existed and nothing would ever be the same again.

In the beginning there was Transelements 2, there on a football field in the Otways, replacing the cultural power spot of football and Western ideology with the tekno-pagan revival of the dance floor, as sport gave way to Saturnalia and the festivities began. And there was this cartoon assed girl lost in the MIX like a fluro acid Fraggle and grooving on the edge of the dance floor with the biggest smile and funkiest pants made of old ‘70s bedspreads with tassels around the feet and a hand-made yellow t-shirt with a yellow Barrel of Monkeys figure on it, a sigil into the PLAY.

Monkeys one and all, wrapped in bedspreads and kids toys and huge smiles and the music doof doof doof doof doof doof unwinding like an orange peel as I’m deconstructed on Superman blotter acid and ‘e’s and melting into the beat, into the music and the sound and the sights and the MIX, soaking in a sonic satori and everything’s golden with these sunglasses on and beautiful, the days just go on forever and its only breakfast time and some ferals have set up a stall selling fruit loops for a dollar and they’re dancing and smiling and everything seems just right.

This is the story of one crew—the Barrelfull of Monkeys— in the Tribe of DOOF and the parties they went to and some of the things they did. This is a real story and this is how it happened to the best of my memory, which was never all that linear to begin with and has been evolving sideways orange in long lateral flows of information juggled in interconnected networks of data, triggered by the sound of the future as it doof doof doof doofed through the Australian bush and the dirt dance floors and the dancers, penetrating our DNA and waking us up to the genetic story coded in a 4/4 beat as we shook our butts for Shiva and the Shakti man. 

This story is about Parties. And Art and Drugs and Fun and a whole group of people who lie round and get OFF it and listen to music that makes them feel good and think up ways to change the world and be free and then go out and LIVE it.


Well, we ALL are. Some of you just don’t realize it yet.

… When a certain critical number achieves an awareness, this new awareness may be communicated from mind to mind. Although the exact number may vary, the Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon means that when only a limited number of people know of a new way, it may remain the consciousness property of these people. But there is a point at which if only one more person tunes-in to a new awareness, a field is strengthened so that this awareness is picked up by almost everyone!

For those of you who came in late the name of the Game is FUN, at all times. It says so in the DIRECTIONS TO THE GAME that come in each red, yellow and blue Barrel of Monkeys game, Ages 3 and Up ... Just give it a good hard shake and scatter the monkeys into the dirt, and the Game has begun.


  1. Be yourself. Tune into the Now and go with what you feel, melding your NRG and thoughts with that of your crew, so you all influence each other to a group consensus.

  2. One or more monkeys will have a brilliant, impossible, totally outrageous idea.

  3. Synchronization and focus will occur as a mission develops, a creative venture that mobilizes all your actions into a common goal: ART.

  4. Hook monkeys together so resources and skills can be shared until you pick up at least 5 good people, forming a crew.

Everyone’s shining like their insides have been let out onto their outside for the first time, like they’re truly alive and the energy is building, riffing off the music and the dancers and the VIBE as the collective energy builds and the group mind is set and all systems are go, the dance floor’s pounding to a sliding 4/4 beat quicksilvering through the night air as the stars shine down past fluro string webworks and there we are sitting on the edge of the dance floor with wide eyes and open hearts and giggles, down where the toys live ... Inflatable palm trees, inflatable couches and pools and crocodiles and animals, the future is inflatable and instant just like those ‘thwuck’ self-inflating tents they advertised on late night teleshopping shows, instant, disposable, NOW, it’s all about the NOW, about switching yourself ON and throwing yourself into the moment.

Kerri, Mel, Paula, Idan and I are playing Barrel of Monkeys in the dirt at a Rainbow Serpent doof in 1999 in an altered state of mind, having an illegal amount of fun. It’s a hot breezy night and Mel and Paula are indulging in magic gum that crackles on the roof of their mouths and pops like lightning and thunder exploding along the tastebuds ...

Mel is picking up the monkeys scattered in the dirt and hooking them together arm in arm, creating a rainbow chain. Red is worth 25 points, yellow 10 and blue 2, but if you get three colors in a row it’s a rainbow string that doubles the overall points and if you get all rainbow strings in a row it doubles again and red is a fire earth monkey and yellow is air and blue is water so if you pick up the color that matches your elemental sign you’re off to a good start and there are as many ways to play the Game as there are players and the only rules are there are no rules and once you know that you’re ready to play the Game.

In becoming familiar with magical ideas, reading books, learning symbol systems and correspondences, one comes to learn the ‘game rules’ of magic. Like any other game, the rules define the framework of activity. For a game to be worthwhile, its rules must be flexible, open to different interpretations, and allow for different needs and situations. Involvement with magical practice shows that the game rules of Consensus Reality are more flexible, and have more loopholes than one may have originally thought.

A shooting star blazes through the cloudless sky as the pop and crackle of magic gum fills the air and Paula and Mel lean forward with open mouths and hold up their monkey string as a dog barks and rushes past and the crowd surges and groans with appreciation as the DJ kicks the vibe into overdrive here at the heart of the doof, where the magic lies and everything is timeless and eternal and in the flow, all kids at PLAY.

And then I’m off, shapeshifting with the music DNA-ing its way through the air and changing us from the inside out, purging all the negativity and stress of the Old World Corporate Culture as we dance on the earth, off racing on hands and knees and barking mad chasing the dog and do you know how good it feels to get down and dirty and take on the form of a dog and sniff the air and smell the sweat and strange earthy smells and hear the music in modulating frequencies and run around with no fears and be free? In the heart of the doof lies the TAZ, the Temporary Autonomous Zone where the players get to shed their skins and hard regrets and tune into the NRG bouncing off each other, free of fear, the great social conditioner, stark raving mad and we’ve all lost the plot and
it’s only when you lose the plot that you truly GET IT.

Monkeys barking like dogs changing form breaking down barriers, carried away into the starry night and the music and the dancers and a bobbing sea of smiles and every dog has its day and its own doof, too, you know. How could you forget the DOG DAY DOOF, when ultra-high frequency music that only dogs could hear overlapped the trance and sent them into altered states like the humans ...

Dogs and monkeys, monkeys and dogs—they’ve been with us at the parties right from start round the tribal fires and as the vibe builds all across the world and the paradigm shifts and people let go of their fears and wake up to the age-old ritual of the dance, they’ll be with us at the end, too. Which is to say, all parties are the same. Not on the outside, but at the core, where it really counts. In the MIX, the group mind. The Vibe of the Tribe, where the FUN is and where it takes us to.

Where the Barrelful of Monkeys shake their thang.


A crew/cell/affinity group needs 5 people. Assign them elemental roles, Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit and teach them about balance. Discover each other’s best skill and teach it to each other. Watch monkeys come and go from your crew as numbers ebb and swell through the Adventure, arm in arm and big smiles on faces, united in madness. Always gather your core crew around you to initiate and close each venture, to integrate and grow from each surfing of the Novelty Wave.

We’re deep in the MIX and it’s Psycorroboree 99 at the Bavarian Boy Scout Doof Camp in the Otways again and I’m on a raft with Andy, Queen of the Ferals in an artificial lake, playing down by the chill with the other monkeys, listening to urban disco grooves on a sunny afternoon. 

Andy and I are almost taking each other’s heads off with the paddles and splashing around as another dog goes by with a stick in his mouth and all the parties blur together. Idan’s parked next to Paul and Trish’s teepee, the one that got flooded at the same site at Alienation 2, water slowly encroaching on the beanbags and everyone too stoned to move and Idan’s the boyfriend of Mel who knows Paula and was almost going to be my ride up to the party and six degrees of separation doesn’t cut it, it’s more like three degrees in the dirt banging doof scene, a real TRIBE of freaks united across space and time and long working weekdays by the dance.

And Paula’s best friends with Mel and knows Jimmy, whom I bump into when Nicole falls over him on the edge of the dance floor when she’s OFF it, which is most of the time and later in the day Jimmy and I are carrying round light globes and breeding mad ideas as we wander through the crowd looking for baking trays to strap to our feet so we can be towed along by a ute in the wet campground field, grass-skiing fine as you please on a Sunday afternoon when the dance floor floods and it turns into a real mudfest and we slip slide along to funk assed electronica as the rain keeps coming down.

But the vibe lives on, a whole crowd can be swayed by the vibe of one mad fool dancing in the rain with a smile on his face and the last desert island tuft of mud under his feet in a totally submerged swamp. And Jimmy knows Matt and Sia from the Planet Maya party years ago, the little Green Ant one out in the bush with the wonderful fluro artwork from the Japanese Equinox Trybe, where it rained again, curse of the Green Ant Full Moon Parties stomping on the dirt and calling down the heavens, where Leon and I met Dr.13, the acid casualty DJ that could do the Rave Safe Chaos Ball in only 13 seconds, best of a dozen bush doofers that passed by our van that all had difficulty with it.

Every driver should have to complete the Rave Safe Chaos Ball - the kid’s toy with shapes of stars and squares and circles in – in under a minute or they shouldn’t be allowed to drive, better than a breathalyzer and more fun. The PLAY is in the toys, you know, but the fun comes from within.

And Dr.13 introduces me to Ken and Arwen, long time Earthcorians who meet Paul and Trish through us as all our lives intertwine around lost weekends and music and good times with friends dancing in the bush, rail hail or shine and Trish’s hooking fluro hula hoops over the teepee as part of the never-ending Rave Olympics and singing the ‘Buffalo Sunshine’ dance counterclockwise round the camp, which never fails to bring out a ray of sun if you stomp round chanting “buffalo sunshine buffalo sunshine buffalo buffalo buffalo sunshine!” and put your heart into it and believe in it like all good dances.

And you haven’t seen the king of the phreaks till you’ve seen Paul in his Purple People Eater costume with tiny felt dragon wings and unicorn horn and purple cartoon dragon suit standing on the roof of his four-wheel drive with the bubble-gun blowing out rainbow bubbles into the day as the monkeys dash round with water pistol cannons shooting the local yokels all decked out in medieval armor.


It’s Psycorroboree2000 and full-on Excalibur extras from the local re-enactment society are decked out in replica Medieval armor with swords and shields and they’re getting a rusting from the Sarge as he kamikazes by in his Colonel Blake army hat with fishing hooks and camo pants and thongs, beer belly hanging out proudly as his water pistol mows them down like a Monty Python Vietnam-Rave sketch. 


It’s Planet Maya again, where the illusion of time and space melts out there on the dance floor as the whirling dervish energies melt the old-world culture and feed a new type of mythology into being, a new type of human free from the imprints of the exoteric culture and the same all over the planet, peaking and pulsing on the dance floor, TURNED ON to the VIBE and radiating energy back in cosmic feedback loops to the planet and the stars above ... can you hear it? 

Gliding down the Murray River on a six-foot discoball and it’s beautiful, shining against the muddy brown water as we float along one Earthcore at Moama, March ‘98, and I name it Kali and man it like, broke my heart to give it back when they found us glistening on the water like the crash of an alien discotheque. Can you hear it? Party after party after party ... the music and the dance ... the secret is the dance...

Is it possible that trance-dancing is one of the most basic forms of intentional suffering and conscious labor? Is it possible that such dancing, performed by the right people in the right way with the right intentions, is capable of producing exactly that same energy Gurdjieff believed Mother Nature needs from us? Could it be that the use of psychedelics in conjunction with intensive dancing to certain specific rhythms, by a new breed of individuals, may be a way to fill our cosmic obligation without the life-long spiritual training otherwise required.


Everyone has a piece of the puzzle. Everyone has a right to play the Game their own way, at their own pace, according to whatever programming language they happen to be working with.

And Diva Knievel and Nicole are there at S11 with the Big Blue Chimp, the giant five-foot totem of the crew as it blocks police batons and bursts at the seams, fighting against the Corporate Hive to shut down the World Economic Forum, chanting “The R-Evolution Starts @ the Funnybone!” and playing Totem-Tennis on the lawn of the Crown Obsceno as the boys in blue look on and smile...

And we’re bumping into people we know and losing others and meeting new ones for the Tribe and Glenn has gone home and Tim and Mandy are there at times with Phoebe and Brett and other times not, and we meet Clae and Robin and Al and Zoe and Martyn and Lou and Natalie’s wearing the Mexican wrestling mask and Arwen’s got the Donald Duck inflatable round her waist that first got broken in at Transelements2 in a nude run across the dance floor and NOW:

It’s Yellowcake 98/Anti Uranium party and Syl is there, mad French Syl in his Kaptain Khaos superhero costume—green and blue tights with polka dot cape—selling mescaline cactus freeze dried in the Oslo backpackers in St. Kilda and transferred to little bags at ten bucks a pop and it makes you go all telepathic and sink into the electronic swamp music as it buzzes round and I’m melting into Clae’s head and he into mine and all the boundaries are shifting, surfaces intersecting, the envelope is pushing against the organic edge of the unknown and Syl is passing another joint and


It’s Earthdream 99 at Lake Eyre on Aboriginal land and we’re in the middle of nowhere and it feels like home. Clae, Robin, Alyce, Helen and I are reading children’s books under a big dark sky with a fire burning and Issac’s just travelled 80 km each way into Marree along the bumpy Oodnadatta track for Tim Tams and we’ve bitten them off at each end and are sucking tea through them and don’t tell me this isn’t magic and a monkey’s Dreaming ‘cause it’s all too beautiful for words and the sweet beat sounds of electro disco funk are rippling out on a cloudless night as dozens of Mad Max ferals funk it up under shooting stars as the fire organ bellows bursts of flame and everyone is a performer and everyone is Art and the MIX is melting into the flames and on to Earthdream2000 near Uluru and the next party and the next and the next and the next and the next as we all come together.

And everyone knows everyone, eventually, inevitably, and the monkeys have lost it so we’ve got it and it’s all Planet Bob, it’d be so much easier to remember names if everyone was a Bob and if only there was a hand signal to say I recognize your face in the crowd and it gives me great pleasure to see you again and I don’t remember your name but have a great day and I’m sure we’ll see each other again, and there can be a word for it if we invent it and the whole crowd’s a canvas making ART...

We’re developing a new way of telling time through STORIES, see, like the Dreamtime. No need for years, just remember the cultural legend of the PARTY, all of them all over the world, what happened at each and what music was played, what psyberdelics you took, the ideas you had and the ART that went down. Get as much of it recorded for transmission into the global datasphere and sell your exploits as ART to pay for more creative living that will shape the fashion of mainstream culture and


Because these are our personal histories, our stories, our dreamings. This is when we were OFF it, when we lost the plot and found out what the story was really about. When the physical, the mythical and the Dreaming all flowed together, outside time, in the party. Which, as all hardcore pleasure terrorists know, the only time involved
with the doof is how long till the next one.


Once you have your rhythm, you can ride the Flow. Everything becomes grist for the mill. All things are good. Everything becomes a learning experience, a GAME. The universe is an interactive software mirror that reflects whatever you give it. It feeds us NRG to help us grow, even negative situations challenge our Browser preference settings to polish our rough edges till there aren’t any left, no hooks to snag the steady flow of NRG. All ideas create reactions which affect the physical canvas. Ideas breed negative entropy, something from nothing. The GAME replicates in the void. The Rules change a lot, but the end goal is always the same: FUN.

What was it Terence McKenna said, way back in the chill out zone at Transelements2, doing his spoken word riffs against a muted theremin (electronic musical instrument) backdrop, glaring fluro sarongs splattered with Oms and stars and DNA prints and suns and the more you look into them the more they open up like a thousand petalled lotuses blossoming in your head? Ah yes:

When you cease to believe that you’re Nobody and you begin to believe that you might be Somebody, this is considered proof of severe mental disturbance, and you become a
candidate for sedation at this point, because usually the discovery that you’re Somebody excites you into inappropriate states of arousal, which means you interfere with other people’s being asleep, and you run around trying to inform them of the true nature of things ... The only conjuration against that developing into a problem is Humor. You have to have a completely jaundiced view of reality; you can’t take anything seriously, including your own most serious constructs and expectations, because it is ultimately some kind of joke.

I know I’m talking the sizzling bean curd here and I’m strung out and speeded up and maybe it’s that it’s all just sound-bytes linked together and going nowhere put perfectly self-contained like spiders on acid spinning silken circles in a crumbling memory bank losing the plot off and on forgetting what we’re talking about and falling into kodak moments all around and strings of building synchronicities weaving over the day and the night before in deep resonances and coincidences as the Game shows its source code like a quantum hussy flashing a leg.

It’s the year 2000 and I’m surrounded by friendly ferals at an urban doof TAZ in the back streets of Fitzroy, feeding me bongs in the back of their van and sunning ourselves in the gutters without a care in the world and we’re talking the talk and meeting faces and forgetting names going round and round, people meeting people in ebbs and flows of information exchange like wave packets in the quantum foam and new faces and old faces and everyone looks familiar like old photos of ‘40s actresses and everyone has a special story and riffs off each other and if you ask them nicely at the right time of day or night their story becomes part of yours and vice versa and everyone has an earliest memory to share and a facet you’ve never seen to them before.

Tim runs barefoot with the camera up to the Black Elvis busking by the side of the road and I’m having the same conversations over the course of the day with disparate people about the same shit, like crews and individual autonomy and elemental roles for each of the five members and Mandy’s explaining how she wants to capture live feeds of reality at doofs and instantly autoremix and edit with digital effects that are re-projected back onto the original reality canvas and I’m trying to explain about feedback loops and nature and how the sky is falling and the old world is changing, rapidly changing all around us as the focused flight of a balloon punctuates the sky, rising up to wherever it is that balloons go when they die and all of a sudden like a bolt out of the blue it hits me that Mandy’s idea is the same as my idea just expressed according to the level of the Player, which is drawn from data strands which have already been seeded in the fertile minds of a whole generation at the same time, that we’re all starting to get the same ideas and everyone thinks they had it first when it’s not linear, its lateral, everyone’s getting it at once.

It’s what McKenna calls the Logos phasing in through us and the whole culture is one giant information engine pumping out new programming code for the job ahead as the paradigm shift accelerates and the world turns, shifting headspace gentle lap of waves, magic magic magic language flowing like wine, datastreaming pulsing all around till the brain’s just deconstructing reality feeds like a TV and propagating immediate programming code metaphors of what’s going on and then leapfrogging to the next nodal point, trying to ride the flow as long and lovely as it allows you to go before breaking into gibberish.

And for a few brief moments of clarity it all makes sense before it’s sound-byted into digestible packets of the overall puzzle for individual heads and reduced to words; so we all contain unique information in billions strong parallel processing units called individuals that are starting to link up and pool data and memes and melt together in the DOOF, in the MIX of group consciousness out there on the dance floor and fuck me, does it feel GOOD!


Stop. Slow. Unfold. Find your place and grow in it. Express yourself to the best of your abilities and encourage the same in those around you. Follow your heart. PLAY. You now have the Rules to the Game. Pass on.

>>>MONKEY ISLAND. DEC 21/2012. GPS/ 23* North 74* West/ the BLUE ZONE>>

...And I look out from my morphing, sapient banana lounge and take a sip from my Mai-Tai with a disposable robo-umbrella with it’s LCD advertising screen and continue dictating into the GOODBOX tm, pulsing the Tribal history onto the group’s mental intranet, the thoughts transmitted by the data-bindis on our foreheads.

Switching to HIVE mode I can ‘hear’ the others in my head, louder now, the Vibe coming on strong like a digital spiderweb through the Network. We’re colored red and yellow and blue with bio-dyes to protect us from the harsh UV rays here on Monkey Island as we set up the party area down by the beach.

Giant Elvis holograms pixillate together from a laser over the crowd and there’s this giant 30-foot transparent beachball with a dozen naked people in it rolling along in the foreshore of the waves just like the old Coca-Cola ad from the ‘70s except they’re breathing in FOXY-MDMA in a fine spray mist and elongating through the surf in slow-motion, golden late afternoon beats.

People are doofing on the surface of the water through transmolecular technology, sinking into the bass, all of us friends and Tribe mates networked together through the years, now gathered for the party to end all parties, the ALOHA doof for the End of The World As We Know It And I Feel Fine tm! If the GAME has to end then it might as well be with a party, I’ve always said.

Off to my right that old drug pig Tsuyoshi is up there on the decks with the Tek Crew, transmitting the party in live streaming footage to other monkeys all across the globe and as the last party begins it overlaps through the quantum foam with the first and all the ones in between ...

And we’re all there, monkeys, on the beaches of paradise and waiting to surf the last wave of culture and dance in the new world order; and we’re building human pyramids and wearing firemen hats and big smiles and playing with all the dogs running into the surf trying to catch disco bubbles in their mouths as we play the light fantastic and drink beer and smoke cigarettes and dance and talk the sizzling beancurd and we’ve all got the answer and it’s different for all of us but it’s the same thing and the more words we have for it the deeper the GAME goes and the more it flows till you can almost see the edge of the barrel and this is IT, what we’ve all been waiting for …


Rak downloaded into being on a football field in the Otways during a shamanic ritual/initiation ceremony at Transelements 2, an outdoor doof in 1997, when the whole universe unwound and deconstructed like an orange peel round a campfire with shooting stars and Elvis singing Edge of Reality mixed in with dub samples from the chill area and massive amounts of inphomation flooding the neo-cortex as the programming code of the GAME became suddenly apparent. A year and a half stint as writer and Assistant Editor followed at Tekno Renegade Magazine, where his Psyence Fiction column popularized rave culture for a larger mainstream audience whilst mad monkey shenanigans livened up the party circuit. He has also written a graphic novel script, numerous short stories and can be found phreaking out the narrow bandwith of reality with the Barrelfull of Monkeys…