* Society of Bodhisattvas, Budd(h)ies, Beatniks, Bards, and Bozos

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A 1950's Housewife Drops Acid -- For Real !

 (Researcher finds archived footage of clinical LSD research interview)

I haven't dropped acid since 1994. On a steamy day in mid-August that year, I ending up tripping my brains out for hours as M.C. of the smaller of the two stages set up at Yasgur's Farm for the 25th Anniversary of Woodstock.  These days, content with the benefits of a longtime meditation practice, I rarely even partake of magic herb.  Yet I still have a deep gratitude for the seers, saints and sinners of  the Psychedelic Spiritual Revolution of my youth.

Although names like Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, and my favorite Hippie Spiritual Teacher, the late Stephen Gaskin, are relatively well known, there were millions of us who participated in that Revolution.  (You know Who you are, right?)

Exploring the realms of human consciousness through myriad medicines, mushrooms and herbs,  a bunch of us turned on, tuned in, and dropped out -- at least for while.  I believe it may have been one of the most widespread outpourings of Mystical Consciousness ever experienced by humankind.
By the time I graduated from college with the infamous class of 1969, it was well underway.  

I'd forgotten that LSD began being produced commercially by Sandoz as a therapeutic agent that "appeared to show great promise" in 1947.  Before LSD came out from behind closed doors to dance in the streets with flowers in its hair, our collective unconscious was already being dosed.  During the 1950's, there was growing interest in mind altering substances in the psychiatric community and among prominent British intellectuals like Aldous Huxley (author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception) and Gerald Heard. Even the CIA was running clinical trials hoping to use it as a mind control agent in chemical warfare.  (As it turned out, that didn't work out for them so well.  Psychedelics helped fuel the peace movement, including the whimsical attempt to Levitate the Pentagon in 1967.) 

Although I don't spend much time scrolling through my Facebook news feed these days, Sweet Serendipity allowed me to surf to a video clip of a housewife who "dropped acid" as part of clinical trials of LSD at the VA hospital in Los Angeles in 1956.   Being interviewed by a researcher as she was tripping, her responses were Wonderful.  The internet being what it is, I had to do some research to make sure that it wasn't a very well produced spoof. 

It wasn't.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Democratic Demise

Robert Reich
Damn! Once again, my Lilliputian Brother Robert Reich nails it -- at least on the level of common sense.  Although President O stepped up to the plate and claimed "mea culpa" for the midterm election democratic debacle, Robert Reich disagrees. 

Why did they -- perhaps I should say We (the People and Democracy) -- get our butts kicked?

It seems that Reich and I almost see eye to eye on this one.  I'm only 5'2" -- so in my case this is relatively easy.  

In my words, not his
(Reich's article on truthdig is linked below)

The Freakin' Democrats didn't campaign on the real issues:  
$$$ Gross Income Inequality $$$

$$$ Abuse of Power  $$$
the unlimited money corrupting our democratic process 

$$$ Propaganda and Mind Control $$$
a media dominated by huge corporations


Monday, June 23, 2014

Notes on the World Cup: A Good Sport...?

I enjoy a good soccer match.  The athleticism and teamwork are, at times, awe inspiring.

Yet, the patriotic jingoism emerging during the World Cup is deeply disturbing. As I sense it, the emotional excesses of nationalism that continue to erupt in this spectacle, like those that increasingly pervade the Olympics these days, are just tragic manifestation of what Spiritual Teacher Eckhardt Tolle terms the  "collective ego". As J Krishnamurti notes in the meme to the right,  the "us-them" mentality of nationality and religion are a  fundamental source of violence. The mind state that is fanned and inflamed and exploited (and commercialized) during these sporting events is the psychic structure that supports ongoing warfare and senseless bloodshed.

It seems to me that it has gotten a lot worse over the years in the culture of sports.  I used to roll my eyes when my dad talked about "the good old days", but...

My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago: "We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*