Alan Watts believed in heaven

Alan W. Watts - Cosmology Of Joy

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Alan W. Watts

Cosmology of joy

With a foreword by Timothy Leary, Ph. D., and Richard Alpert, Ph. D., translated by Ted Weissenborn

Melzer Verlag • Darmstadt

Original edition: The Joyous Cosmology Pantheon Books

© 1972 Melzer Verlag GmbH © 1962 Pantheon Books typesetting and printing Poeschel & Schulz-Schomburgk, Eschwege All rights reserved Binding Klemme and Bleimund, Bielefeld Printed in Germany Scan & OCR by Shiva2012


“The Cosmology of Joy” is a brilliant arrangement of words that describe experiences for which our language has no vocabulary. In order to understand this wonderful but difficult book, it is useful one






and to meet the inside. That is of course exactly the distinction that Alan Watts would like us to cross. But Watts is playing the pun in a Western language and the reader is excused for following conventional dichotomous models. Outside and inside. Behavior and awareness. Changing the outside world was the genius and obsession of our civilization. In the past two centuries, Western monotheistic cultures have their 5th

Looking outwards and setting categories of thought in motion that are amazingly effective. In earlier years, however, our culture had become aware of a disturbing imbalance. In him we became aware of the undiscovered universe within us, the undisclosed regions of consciousness. The dialectical trend is not new. The cycle has broken into the lives of many cultures and individuals. External material success is followed by disillusionment and fundamental "why" questions, then the discovery of the inner world - an infinitely more complex and richer world than all the artful structures of the outer world - which, after all, arises from projections of human imagination. Eventually the logical and conceptual mind sets itself in motion, recognizing the poverty of the systems it imposes on the world, undoing its own strict controls and overturning the predominance of cognitive experience. We are talking here (and Alan Watts is speaking in this book) about how the nervous system works - certainly just as complicated and certainly as important as external functioning. The functioning of the nervous system involves the juxtaposition of mind and understanding, the tyrannical verbal mind that is different from the organism and the world of which it is a part. who censors, is vigilant and evaluates. This is how the fifth freedom appears - freedom beyond the spirit of education and culture, namely freedom, the awareness of artificial, cultural knowledge 6

to expand beyond. That is the freedom to get from constant bias with the word games - the social games, the game of the self - to the pleasurable unity of the beyond. We are dealing here with a subject that is not new, a problem that has been considered for centuries by mystics and philosophers who have religious experience, by those rare and really great scientists who have been able to approach the To advance beyond the limits of the scientific game. This has been clearly seen and described by the great American psychologist William James: "... our normal waking consciousness - we call it the rational consciousness - is just a special kind of consciousness while there all around it, of it separated by very cloudy veils, possible forms of completely different consciousness lie. We can go through life without suspecting their presence. But when the necessary stimulus is applied, all of them are there in one fell swoop, certain types of mentality that probably have their field of reference and application somewhere. No account of the universe in its totality can be final which completely ignores these other forms of consciousness. How to look at them is the question, for they have no connection with ordinary consciousness. You can determine certain behaviors, but you can 7

They don't give formulas and they open a whole world, but they fail to give a plan. In any case, they forbid a hasty conclusion from our considerations of reality. Looking back on my own experiences, they all converge towards a kind of inner view to which I simply have to ascribe a metaphysical meaning. "But what are the necessary and appropriate stimuli to overthrow the rule of the term and the" possible forms of the To open consciousness? There are many of them. Indian philosophers have described hundreds of methods. The Japanese Buddhists did the same. The monks of our western religions provide further examples. Mexican medicine men and religious leaders of North and South American Indian tribes have used sacred plants for centuries to induce expansion of consciousness. Recently, our western science has provided, in the form of chemical products, the most direct methods for opening up new kingdoms of consciousness. William James used nitrous oxide and ether to "stimulate mystical consciousness to an extraordinary degree". Today psychologists, philosophers, and theologians turn their attention to the effects of three synthetic substances - mescaline, lysergic acid (LSD), and psilocybin. What kind of substances are these? Medicines, drugs or sacred food? It is easier to say what they are not. They are no narcotics, no intoxicants, no strength 8

drugs (stimulants), no narcotics and no sedatives. Rather, they are biochemical keys that unlock experiences that are mind-boggling new to most Westerners. For the past two years, employees of the Center for Research in Personality at Harvard University have carried out systematic experiments with these substances. Our first study of biochemical awareness was a study of American reactions in a helpful, comfortable, and natural atmosphere. We have had the opportunity to take part in over a thousand individual administrations. Certain conclusions emerge from our observations, interviews and reports, from the analysis of the questionnaire data and from pre- and post-experimental differences in the results of the personality tests, x) These substances change consciousness. There is no debate on this point. 2) It is meaningless to go into more depth about "the effects of the drug." The group of people and background, the expectation and the atmosphere determine the particular type of reaction. There is no such thing as a “drug reaction”, there is always a background and a drug. 5) When discussing the potential for action, it is useful to consider not just the background and the drug, but rather the potential for action of the cerebral cortex in order to create ideas and experiences far beyond the narrow boundaries of words and concepts . Those 9

of us who worked on the research spent a good portion of our working hours listening to people talk about the effects and use of mind-expanding drugs. If we use the word cerebral cortex for drug, then we can agree with every statement about the possible effects - for good or bad, for helping or hurting, for loving or fear. Possible effects of the cerebral cortex, not the drug. The drug is just an instrument. In analyzing and interpreting the results of our studies, we first looked at the conventional models of modern psychology - psychoanalysis and behaviorism. We found these terms entirely inadequate to encompass the richness and breadth of expanded consciousness. In order to understand our discoveries, we were eventually forced to resort to a language and a starting point that were completely alien to us, trained in the traditions of mechanistic objective psychology. We have had to return again and again to the non-dualistic conceptions of Eastern philosophy, a spiritual theory which Bergson, Aldous Huxley, and Alan Watts have made clearer and more familiar to our western world. In the first part of this book, Watts sets forth with wonderful clarity this theory of consciousness that we have found corroborated in the reports of our subjects of study - philosophers, uneducated convicts, housewives, intellectuals, and alcoholics. The jump 10

about the confusing thicket of verbals in order to identify with the totality of experience is a phenomenon that has been reported again and again by these people. Alan Watts succeeds in describing his trip experience with wonderful clarity. He tries the impossible, of course - to describe in words (which always lie) what lies beyond words. But how well he did it. Alan Watts is one of the great reporters of our time. He has an intuitive sensitivity for news, for the crucial problems and events of the century. At the same time, he has the linguistic tools of a poetic philosopher to teach and inform. In doing so, he has given us what is probably the best presentation on the subject of mysticism in the space age, one that is more daring than the two classic works by Aldous Huxley, because Watts follows Huxley's leadership but then goes beyond him. Recognizing the aspect of love in mystical experience and the consequences for new forms of social communication are particularly important. You have an important human document in your hand. However, unless you are one of the few Westerners who (by chance or by the luck of the drug) has a mystic





you probably won't understand what the author is saying. This is extremely regrettable, but not surprising. The intellectual history he 11

reminds us that new concepts and new insights have always remained misunderstood at first. We cannot understand what we have no words for. But Watts gets involved in playing with the book, with the word, and the reader is his indebted partner. Listen carefully, be prepared. There are points of great importance in this book, dozens of important ideas. Too many3 too much compressed. They're passing too fast. Keep your eye on it. If you pick up just a few of these ideas, you'll be asking yourself the same questions we asked when we looked through our research material: Where do we go from here? What is the applicability of these new miracle drugs? Can they do more than produce memorable moments and books? The answer comes from two directions. More and more people have to have these experiences and they have to tell us how Alan Watts is doing what they have been through here. (There is unlikely to be a shortage of volunteers for this exciting journey. Ninety-one percent of our subjects are eager to share the experience with their family and friends


As well

have to




Encourage research by scientists who have taken the drug themselves and who have grasped the difference between the hidden and the external, between consciousness and behavior. Such research should expand the applicability of this experience to the problems of modern life 12

- on arts.






There are, many, people who believe that we are at a major turning point in man's ability to control and expand his consciousness. Our research gives us a preliminary basis for such optimism. "The Cosmology of Joy" is solid evidence of the same happy expectations. Timothy Leary, Dr. phil. - Richard Alpert, Dr. phil. Harvard University, January 1962.



Aldous Huxley provides us with an overwhelmingly written report on the effect of mescaline on a highly sensitive person in the »Portals of Perception«. This was the record of his first experience with this remarkable change in consciousness. In the meantime he knows from subsequent experiments that it can lead to far deeper insights than his book describes. I cannot hope to surpass Aldous Huxley as a master of English prose. However, I think the time is ripe for the exposition of some of the lower or higher levels of insight that can be attained through mind altering "drugs." To do this, they have to be accompanied by ongoing philosophical reflection, which in turn is the case with a person who is not 14

about thrills, but about understanding. I consider philosophical reflection sterile when separated from poetic inspiration; for we step on two legs, not one, to understand the world. There is now a lack of learning and laypeople don't understand

a truism that there is a serious communication between science of the theoretical level, for that of the mathematical language in which the

Scientist thinks. For example, the notion of curved space cannot be represented in any picture that is perceptible to the senses. I am even more affected by the gap between theoretical description and immediate experience among scientists themselves. Western science is now outlining a new concept of man, not as an individual ego within a heap of flesh, but as an organism that is what he is because of his inseparability from the rest of the world. But apart from the rarest exceptions; This is not how scientists see their existence. They and almost everyone of us retain a sense of individuality that is independent, isolated, island-like and alienated from the cosmos that surrounds them. Somehow that void needs to be closed, and among the various means by which this can be initiated or achieved are medicinal preparations. Science has discovered them, but they could prove to be sacraments of their religion. For a long time we were in the process of separating science 15

and religion as if they were two entirely different and fundamentally incoherent ways of looking at the world. I do not think that this state of two-pronged thinking can last. Ultimately, it must be replaced by a view of the world that is neither religious nor scientific, but simply our view of the world. To put it more clearly: a view of the world must be found in which reports from science and religion agree as well as those from eyes and ears. But the traditional ways of spiritual experience seldom appeal to those with a scientific or skeptical temperament, for the vehicles they use are frail and laden with too much baggage. Hence there is little opportunity for the active and critical thinkers at first hand to participate in the manifestations of consciousness that seers and mystics seek to express - often in archaic and clumsy symbolism. If the pharmacologist helps to discover this unknown world, he can do us the extraordinary service of saving religious experience from the obscurants. In order for this book to show as clearly as possible the quality of drug-mediated consciousness, I have included a number of photographs which, with their intense reflection of natural patterns, give an impression of the rhythmic beauty that drugs reveal in ordinary things. Because without losing their normal range of vision, 16

to transform the eyes into a microscope through which the spirit penetrates deeper and deeper into the complicated vibrating structure of our world. San Francisco, 1962 Alan W. Watts



It is slowly becoming clear that the separation between mind and body is one of the greatest superstitions. This does not mean that we are forced to accept only the body; it does mean that we bring into life a completely new conception of the body.Because the body, viewed separately from the spirit, is one thing - an animated corpse. But the body, which we consider inseparable from the mind, is something else; but so far we don't have a word of our own for a reality that is equally spiritual and physical. Calling them mental-physical is not enough 3 that would be the very unsatisfactory combination of two terms, both of which are impoverished through long separation and opposition. But we see at least one possibility, ideas of ei18

To give up one substance that is spiritual and another that is material. "Substance" is a word that describes the shapeless pulp we notice when the mind is not sharp enough to reproduce its image. The view of material or spiritual matter rests on the false analogy that trees are made of wood, mountains of stone, and consciousness are made of spirit in the same way that pots are made of clay. "Inert" matter seems to require an external and rational energy in order to give it form. But we know that matter is not inert. Whether it is organic or inorganic, we learn to see matter as energy structures 5 not from energy as substance, but as an energetic model, as a moving order and active reason. The insight that mind and body, form and matter are one, is blocked by centuries of conceptual confusion and psychological prejudices. For it is the general view that every model, shape or structure is the shape of something, just as pots are made of clay. It is difficult to see that this "something" is just as dispensable as the ether, which was once believed to be the movement of light, or the fabulous turtle on which the world was imagined. Anyone who has really grasped this crux will experience a strangely serene liberation; for the burden of the material will fall from him and he will walk less arduously. The mind-body dualism may have emerged as a clumsy attempt at the ability to be intelligent

to describe the organism to control itself. It seemed reasonable to think of the controlled part as one thing and the controlling part as another. In this way the conscious will opposed unwanted drives and reason opposed instinct. At the same time, we have learned to understand our identity, our personality, in the controlling part - the mind - and to increasingly degrade the controlled part to a mere vehicle. So it escaped our attention that the organism as a whole is largely unconscious, and uses consciousness and intellect to inform and control itself. We believed that with our conscious intelligence we were descending from a higher sphere in order to take possession of a physical medium. Hence we overlooked the operation of a formative process similar to that of the structure of nerves, muscles, veins, and bones - a structure so subtly arranged (i.e., intelligent) that conscious thought still cannot describe it. This radical separation of the controlling part from the controlled has changed man from a self-ruled to a self-frustrating organism, to that embodied conflict and self-contradiction that he has been in the course of his known history. Once the split occurred, the conscious intelligence has begun to take care of its own ends instead of those of the organism that brought them forward. More precisely, it became the goal of the conscious20

ten intelligence to work for their own - detached - goals. But as we shall see, the separation of mind and body is as much an illusion as the submission of the body to the independent schemas of the mind. Now, however, the illusion is just as real as the hallucinations of hypnosis. The human organism actually frustrates itself with behavior patterns that move in highly complex vicious circles. The climax is a culture that increasingly serves the goals of mechanical order, goals that are detached from those of organic edification and that seek self-destruction against the instinct of each of its members. We therefore believed that the mind controls the body, not that the body controls itself through the mind. Hence the ingrained prejudice that the mind should work independently of all physical aids - despite microscope, telescope, camera, measuring scales, computers, books, works of art, alphabets and all those physical tools without which there is probably no spiritual life would. At the same time, there has always been at least a vague inkling that something is wrong with one's own feeling that one is a split off mind, soul or ego. That's only natural. Someone who finds his identity in something other than his entire organism is less than half a person. He is cut off from full participation in nature. Instead of being a body, it "has" a body. Instead of living and loving, he "has" In21

smelt of survival and copulation. Denied in this way, they drive him like blind furies or demons who own him. The feeling that something is wrong with all of this revolves around a contradiction that is characteristic of the whole of civilization. This is the simultaneous compulsion to hold on and to forget oneself. Here's the vicious circle: when you feel disconnected from your own organic life, you feel compelled to survive; Surviving - continuing to live - becomes a duty and also a stumbling block because one is not fully involved; because it doesn't quite live up to expectations, one goes on hoping it will happen and longing for more time and feeling more and more driven to move on. What we call self-consciousness is thus the sensation of the self-destructive organism that is not in harmony with itself; to put it this way: driving with the accelerator and brakes at the same time. Most people naturally want to forget this extremely unpleasant feeling. The sane way to forget yourself is to get drunk, to disperse, or to take advantage of natural means of forgetting yourself such as intercourse. The more sophisticated way is to throw oneself into fine arts, social service, or religious mysticism. However, this rarely succeeds because it does







closes. The demanding species exacerbate the error. Those who follow them take pride in 22

To forget oneself with purely spiritual means - regardless of whether the artist uses colors or sounds, the social idealist distributes material wealth, and the religious person uses sacraments or rituals or other physical means such as fasting, yoga breathing or dervish dances. There is a healthy instinct in the use of these physical aids, as in the repeated assurances of mystics that it is not enough to know God: transformation of the self is only possible through feeling or realizing God. The hidden point is that man cannot function properly by changing such superficial things as the order of his thoughts and his divided mind. What needs to be changed is the behavior of its organism; he needs to control himself rather than frustrate himself. How can this be done? It is clear that nothing can be done by the mind and the conscious will as long as they are felt as something separate from the whole organism. But if the feeling was different, nothing would have to be done! A very small number of Eastern gurus or masters of wisdom and Western psychotherapists have - quite laboriously - found ways to become one with themselves with art and a lot of patience - mostly through a kind of judo or "gentle path", the defeated the process of self-frustration by driving it to logical and absurd extremes. This is above all the way of Zen and occasionally of psychoanalysis. If these ways work, it's 23

quite obviously that something more happened to the student or patient than a change in his thinking; he has also changed emotionally and physically, his whole being works in a new way. For a long time it has been clear to me that Eastern forms of "mysticism" - especially Taoism and Zen Buddhism - do not presuppose a universe that separates the material and the spiritual. Nor do they culminate in a state of consciousness where the physical world disappears into an undifferentiated and disembodied luminescence. Taoism and Zen are equally based on a philosophy of relativity, but that philosophy is not just speculative. It is a discipline in the consciousness, as a result of which the mutual interrelation of all things and all happenings becomes a permanent experience. normal perception

This feeling lies in ours of the world as a collection

separate and diverse things - a knowledge which in Buddhist philosophy calls itself Avidya (ignorance, ignorance) because it pays attention exclusively to differences and ignores relationships. She does not see that, for example, mind and form or shape and space are as inseparable from one another as in front and behind, nor that the individual is so strongly interwoven with the universe that both form one body. In contrast to other forms of mysticism, this point of view does not deny the physical differences, but understands them as unmistakable differences

pressure of the unit. So one sees clearly in Chinese painting that the single tree or rock belongs to the barely that forms its background, and is not set on it. The paper, untouched by the brush, is an integral part of the picture and never just a tool. For this reason, when a Zen master is asked about the universal and the final, he responds with the immediate and special - "The cypress in the garden"! Then we have what Robert Linssen called spiritual materialism - a point of view that is far closer to relativity and field theory of modern science than to any religious supernaturalism. But while scientific understanding of the relative universe is largely theoretical, these Eastern disciplines have made it direct experience. Potentially, they could then seem to offer a wonderful parallel to Western science, but at the level of our immediate awareness of the world. For science follows the common sense assumption that nature is a multiplication of individual things and events, and tries to describe these units as precisely as possible. Because science is first and foremost analytical, it seems at first more divisive than ever. Her experiments are studies of carefully isolated situations. They are conceived in order to eliminate immeasurable and uncontrollable influences - just as one studies falling bodies in a vacuum in order to exclude the friction of the air. For this 35

Reason, however, the scientist understands better than anyone how inseparable things are. The more he tries to eliminate external influences in an experimental situation, the more he discovers completely unexpected new ones. The more carefully he describes, say, the motion of a given particle, the more he proceeds to describe the space in which it moves. Realizing that all things are inextricably linked goes hand in hand with trying to distinguish them clearly. Science therefore transcends its starting point, that of common sense. It deals with things and events as properties of the "area" in which they occur. But that is only a theoretical description of the state of affairs that is directly felt in these forms of Eastern "mysticism". Once that is clear, we will have a sound basis for an encounter between the spirits of East and West that can be remarkably fruitful. The practical difficulty is that Taoism and. Zen are connected to the Far Eastern cultural forms. One of the main problems is to adapt them to Western requirements. Eastern teachers work e.g. B. according to the esoteric and aristocratic principle that the student has to learn the difficult way and find out almost everything himself. Except for occasional hints, the teacher either accepts the student's skills or he rejects them. Western teachers, however, work according to the exoteric and democratic principle, according to which the student should be informed and supported as far as possible 26

to help him master the subject. Does that just dilute, as purists claim, the discipline? The answer is that it depends on the type of discipline. If everyone learns enough math to solve quadratic equations, what they have achieved seems small compared to the much rarer understanding of number theory. But the transformation of consciousness undertaken in Taoism and Zen is more of a correction of erroneous perception or healing of a disease. It is not an acquisition process to take in more and more facts or to acquire greater and even greater skills, but rather a relearning of wrong habits and opinions. As Lao-Tzu said, "The disciple wins every day, but the Taoist loses every day." The practice of Taoism or Zen in the Far East is therefore an endeavor in which the Westerner is faced with many barriers. They are deliberately designed to discourage idle curiosity or to cancel out false beliefs. The pupil should systematically and persistently proceed with false preconditions up to reductio ad absurdum. My

further own

The main interest in studying comparative mysticism was to cut this tangle and identify the essential psychological processes of such changes in perception. They enable us to see ourselves and the world in its fundamental unity. I may have had some success in accessing this form of experience in a Western way

to make it lighter. Hence, at the same time, I am delighted and confused by a development in Western science which, possibly by almost shockingly simple means, will bring this vision of unity close to many who have so far sought it in vain using traditional methods. It is part of the genius of Western science to find simpler and more rational ways of doing things that used to be too due or troublesome. Like any process of invention, it does not always make these discoveries systematically; often he just stumbles over them, but then he goes on to work them into an understandable order. In medicine z. For example, science isolates the essential medication from the previous witch doctor's brew made from sa lamander, mugwort, powdered skulls and dried blood. The purified medicine is far safer to heal, but it does not perpetuate health. The patient still has to change his lifestyle and eating habits that make him susceptible to disease. Could Western science then deliver a drug that would at least give the human organism a starting signal to free itself from its chronic self-contradiction? The drug should actually be supported by other procedures - psychotherapy, "spiritual" disciplines, and a fundamental change in lifestyle - but every sick person seems to need an initial push to get them on the path to health . The question is by no means absurd, whether that's what we're going to create28

It is not just a disease of the mind, but of the organism, especially the functioning of the nervous system and the brain. In short, is there a drug that can give us the feeling of elation in the short term, to be integrated and completely at one with ourselves and with nature, as the biologist sees us theoretically? If that were so, the experience could provide clues as to what else would have to be done in order to achieve complete and continuous integration. At least it could be the end of Ariadne's thread to lead us out of the confusion in which we have all been lost since childhood. Relatively recent research suggests that there are at least three such drugs, although none is an infallible "specific". Much depends on the social and psychological context in which they are administered.Occasionally their effects can be detrimental, but neither do such restrictions prevent us from using penicillin - often a far more dangerous chemical than any of these three. I'm talking, of course, of mescaline (the active ingredient of the peyotl cactus), lysergic acid diethylamide (a modified one

Ergot alkaloid)





of the mushroom Psilocybe mexicana). The peyotl cactus has long been used by the Indians in the southwest of the USA and Mexico as a means of becoming one with the divine world. Nowadays, the consumption of the dried heads of the plant is the main sacrament of an Indian church known as the Native Ameri29

can Church of the United States - a very respectable Christian community by all accounts. At the end of the nineteenth century its effects were first described by Weir Mitchell and Havelock Ellis. A few years later, its active ingredient was identified as mescaline, an amino group chemical that is easily synthetically produced. Lysergic acid diethylamide was first discovered in 1958 by the Swiss pharmacologist A. Hofmann in the course of studies on the properties of the ergot fungus. By chance he had ingested a small amount of this acid while making some changes in its molecular structure, he noticed its strange psychological effects. Further research revealed that he had stumbled upon the most potent mind-altering drug known now, because LSD 25 (as it is abbreviated) produces its characteristic effects at the very low dose of 20 micrograms, which is 1/700000000 the average human weight. Psilocybin is made from another sacred plant used by the Mexican Indians - a type of mushroom they know as teonanacatl, "the body of God." A number of mycologists, as mushroom specialists are called, followed Robert Weitlan's 1956 discovery that the cult of the "sacred mushroom" was still prevalent in Oaxaca. They undertook studies of the mushrooms in the region. Three common ages 30 and up

species have been discovered. The Psilocybe aztecorum Heim and the Psilocybe Wassonii were added to the Psilocybe mexicana. They are named after the mushroom researchers Roger Heim and Gordon and Valentina Wasson, who attended the cult's ceremonies. Despite a considerable amount of research and speculation, very little is known about the precise physiological effects of these chemicals on the nervous system. The subjective effects of all three tend to be quite similar, although perhaps because of the minimal dosage required, LSD 25 rarely induces the symptoms of nausea so often associated with the other two. All the scientific writings that I have read can be subsumed into the somewhat vague impression that these drugs in a certain way cancel out certain selective or inhibitory processes in the nervous system in order to expand our sensory apparatus for impressions more than usual. Our lack of knowledge about the exact mode of action of these drugs is of course related to our still rather insufficient knowledge of the brain. Such ignorance obviously requires great caution in their use, but so far there is no evidence that normal dosages are likely to cause physiological damage.1 1 The normal dose for mescaline is 500 milligrams, for LSD 25 100 micrograms, and for psilocybin 20 milligrams. The more detailed reports on mind-expanding drugs and 31

In a very broad sense of the word, each of these substances is a drug, but one must avoid the serious semantic error of lumping them together with drugs that cause physical addiction for repeated use or that dull the senses like alcohol or Sedatives. They are officially classified as hallucinogenic genes - an astonishingly imprecise term. They produce neither voices nor visions that can be confused with physical reality. Even if they actually produce highly complex and very obvious "hallucinatory" structures in front of closed eyes, their general effect is to sharpen the senses for an above-normal level of consciousness. The standard dose of each substance allows its effects to last for five to eight hours. The experience is often so revealing and moving that one hesitates to return to it before it is completely "digested", and that can be a matter of months. To the idea of ​​gaining any deep psychological or philosophical insight through a drug, very educated people often respond with the objection that it is far too simple, too artificial, and even too banal to be seriously considered. A piece of wisdom that can be switched on like a lamp switch seems to insult human dignity and degrade us to chemical automatons. One remembers pictures The current state of research interested readers should read Robert de Ropp's book, "Drug and the Mind" (Grove Press, New York, 1960). 32

a brave new world in which there is a class of synthetic Buddhas and of people who are "fixed" like the lobotomized, sterilized or hypnotized, just in a different direction - people who have somehow lost their humanity and with whom one cannot communicate properly, as with drunk people. However, this is a somewhat macabre fantasy unrelated to the facts or experience itself. It is part of the superstitious fear felt for the unusual when confused with the unnatural - the way some people think of Jews think because they are circumcised, or about neighbors because of their "strange" facial features and color. Despite the widespread use and against drugs as such and despite religious disciplines, the only stic knowledge can be delivered

uncritical prejudice of the claim of certain means to the true my I no essential

Finding a difference between the experiences triggered by these chemicals under favorable circumstances and the "cosmic stages of consciousness" reported on by R. M. Bucke, William James, Evelyn Underhill, Raynor Johnson, and other researchers of mysticism. "Favorable conditions" means a background that is socially and physically congenial; A quiet place of refuge (not a hospital or sanatorium) that is monitored by religiously knowledgeable psychiatrists or psychologists would be ideal. The atmosphere is intended to be homely rather than clinical, and it is of the utmost importance that the supervisor's demeanor be supportive and personable. Under im33

under certain, capricious and unfriendly circumstances, the experience can turn into a highly unpleasant psychological failure. Two days should be set aside, one for the experience itself, which lasts 6-8 hours, and one for evaluation in the calm and relaxed mental climate that normally follows. The use of such strong drugs is not to be taken lightly, like smoking a cigarette or drinking a cocktail. They should be approached like a sacrament, but not with the strange elimination of cheerfulness and mood that has become common in our religious rituals. It is a healthy general rule that a qualified person should always be present to monitor to relate to reality as socially defined. Ideally, the "qualified supervisor" should be a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, although I have observed that many who would be technically qualified show a shy reluctance to communicate with a state of consciousness from the disadvantages of the experience for those entrusted to their care. The most important quality for the supervisor is therefore trust in the situation, a trust that is communicated in the most sensitive stage caused by the drugs. The drugs in question are not aphrodisiacs, and when taken together by a small group, the atmosphere is not reminiscent of the noise of drunkards or the general slackness of a 34

Opium den. The group members will usually be open to one another with a high degree of kindness, since in the mystical phase of the experience the underlying unity or "belonging" of the members can be clearly felt physically. Indeed, the social situation can become what religious associations strive for but all too seldom achieve in their practicing rites - a relationship of the most lively understanding, forgiveness, and love. Of course, this does not automatically become a lasting feeling, but neither will the feeling of togetherness that sometimes arises in purely religious gatherings. The experience corresponds almost exactly to the theological concept of a sacrament or means of grace, an undeserved gift of spiritual power, the lasting effects of which depend on its use in the subsequent course of action. Catholic theology also recognizes the so-called "extraordinary" divine graces. They are often of mystical insight and suddenly come from outside the ordinary and regular means that the Church provides through sacraments and prayer exercises. It seems to me that only with very special advocacy can one maintain the idea that the grace bestowed by mushrooms, cactus plants, and chemicals is artificial and inauthentic compared to the grace that can be obtained through religious activity . Unfortunately, organized religions have exactly 35 claims to the unique quality of their own direction

As usual as in economic life, except that in the religions the puritanic guilt complex is added, which allows no joy for which there was no suffering. Almost all reasons for any possible suppression of these drugs are superstitious. There is no indication that they are as harmful as alcohol or tobacco, and in fact, that they are in any way detrimental, unless they are used in improper circumstances or perhaps taken by psychotics. Anything, even a glass of beer or a walk, can be dangerous for someone in poor health. Of course, such cases go beyond the framework we have set. They are considerably less dangerous than many things in the house pharmacy or in the pantry in the kitchen. As a means of power and research, they do not even come close to the dangers of X-rays, and as a threat to our mental health, they can hardly be compared to the daily nonsense that rushes at us through radio, television and newspapers. Any public alarm about the expansion of drug use seems to arise on the one hand from their association with the beat generation and the hippie world on the other hand from confusion about the fact that something originally spiritual can come out of a bottle. The latter is part of the superstition that human nature is degraded by the admission that humans are, after all, physical organisms and that what they are is in large part related to what they eat. Also, 36

Strictly speaking, mystical insight is no longer present in a chemical than biological knowledge in the microscope. In principle, there is no difference between sharpening perception through an external instrument such as a microscope and sharpening with an internal instrument such as one of the three drugs. If they were an insult to the dignity of the spirit, the microscope is an insult to the eye and the telephone to the dignity of the ear. To be clear: these drugs do not convey wisdom, just as the microscope alone does not provide any knowledge. They provide raw materials for wisdom, and they are useful to the extent that an individual can incorporate what they reveal within his whole pattern of behavior and knowledge system. As a means of dispersion, as an isolated or detached ecstasy, they can have the same value as a recovery cure or good entertainment. But that's the same as playing TickTack-Toe with a giant computer. The hours of heightened awareness are wasted if they are not filled with prolonged reflection or meditation, whatever the subject. As far as I know in literature, what comes closest to the reflective use of one of these drugs is what is known as the pearl game in Hermann Hesse's Das Glasperlenspiel. Hesse writes of a distant future in which an order of mystics has discovered an ideographic language that includes all branches of science and art, philosophy and religion. The game be37

is about playing with the relationships between these different areas just as musicians play with the relationships between harmony and counterpoint. Using elements such as the drawing of a Chinese house, a Scarlatti sonata, a topological formula and a verse from the Uphanishads, the players work out a common theme and develop its application in different directions. Two games are never the same. Not only are the elements different, the thought of an attempt to impose a static and uniform order on the world is also missing. The universal language enables the perception of relationships, but does not fix them, and is based on a "musical" conception of the world in which the order is as dynamic and changing as the sound pattern of a fugue. Similarly, when I take LSD or psi locybin, I usually start with a subject such as polarity, transformation (from food to organism), struggle for survival, the relationship between the abstract and the concrete, or between logos and eros. Then I allow my heightened perception, subjects in the form of some works of art or music, natural objects such as bracken, a flower or a sea shell, a religious or mythological archetype (it can be the crowd) and even personal relationships with those with whom I am am together at the time to treat. Or I can focus on one of the senses and try what it would be like to 38

myself in order to see the process of seeing and proceed from it to the attempt to know the knowledge and thus to approach the problem of my own identity. Intuitive insights of astonishing clarity grow from these reflections. Because it takes little effort to remember them after the drug has ceased (especially if they are taped or recorded at the time), the following days or weeks can be used, more logical, aesthetic at the normal level to review philosophical or scientific criticism. Some might prove valid, others invalid. It is the same with the sudden premonitions that usually come to the artist or inventor. They are not always as true or applicable as they appear at the moment of enlightenment. The drugs seem to give a tremendous impetus to the creative instinct. There through are manure and habitual personality.

it is of greater value for constructive invention research than for psychotherapy in the sense of "adapting" a disturbed person. Its best area of ​​application is not that

Mental hospital, but the studio and laboratory or the institute for advanced studies. The following pages are not intended to be a scientific report on the effects of these chemicals with the usual details of dosage, location and time, physical symptoms and the like. There are thousands of such documents. Given our fragmentary knowledge 39

nis to the brain, they are of rather limited value. One might as well try to understand a book by dissolving it in a liquid or by throwing it into a centrifuge. I rather want to give an impression of the new world of consciousness that these substances open up. I do not believe that this world is a hallucination, nor an incontestable revelation of the truth. That is probably the way things appear when certain obstructive processes of the brain and the senses are removed, but this is a world so unfamiliar in some ways that it is subject to misinterpretation. Our first impressions can go wrong, like those of a traveler in an unfamiliar area or those of astronomers when they first look at galaxies beyond ours.I wrote this report as if the experience happened in one day and one place. But it is actually a summary of various occasions. It is only when I describe visions behind closed eyes, and this is always precisely stated, that none of these experiences are hallucinations. They are simply altered ways of seeing, interpreting and reacting to real people and events in the world of "normal reality". For the purposes of this description it consists of a country house on the west coast with a garden, orchard, barns and surrounding mountains - all as described including the rattling garbage truck. Mind altering drugs are commonly used to provoke bizarre and fan 40

associated with tastic images, but in my own experience this only happens with closed eyes. Besides, the natural world simply presents itself with a wealth of grace, color, meaning, and sometimes mood for which our normal adjectives are inadequate. The speed of thoughts and associations - grows so amazingly that words can no longer keep pace with the flood of ideas that come to mind. Passages that occur to the reader like ordinary philosophical thoughts are reports of what appears to be a tangible certainty at the time. Even pictures that appear behind closed eyes are not just inputs from the imagination, but so autonomous and intense motifs and scenes that they almost appear to be physically present. The latter, however, turned out to be of less interest to me than the changed impression of nature and the increased speed of associative thinking. And that is why the following report deals mainly with this.


The cosmology of joy

First of all, this world has a different time. It is the time of the biological rhythm, not that of the clock and everything related to it. There is no rush. Our sense of time is known to be subjective and therefore dependent on the nature of our attention - whether out of interest or boredom - and on the adaptation of our behavior to habits, goals and deadlines. Here the present is self-sufficient, but it is not a static present. It is a dancing present - the unfolding of a pattern that has no specific goal in the future, but simply has its own meaning. She disappears and arrives at the same time; the seed is as much a target as the flower. One therefore has time, every detail of the movement with infinitely greater clarity 42

perceive. Usually we don't look at things as much as we overlook them. The eyes see certain types and classifications - flower, leaf, stone, bird, fire - mental images of things rather than the things themselves, rough outlines filled with dull color, always a little unclear and cloudy. But here the depth of the light and the structure of a bud breaking open continues infinitely. One has time to see them, time to develop the entire branching of the veins and capillaries in one's consciousness, time to look deeper and deeper into the structure of green, which is not green at all, but a whole spectrum that turns out to be green generalized - purple, gold, the sunlit turquoise of the ocean, the intense glow of the emerald. I can't decide where shape ends and color begins. The bud has opened and the fresh leaves unfold and bend back with a clearly communicative gesture that says nothing but "So!" And somehow that's enough, it's even surprisingly clear. The meaning is transparent in the same way as the color and the structure are, with a light that does not fall onto the surfaces from above, but seems to be directly in the structure and color. Wherever it is, of course, because light is an inseparable trinity of sun, object and eye, and the chemistry of the leaf is its color, its light. At the same time, however, color and light are also the gift of the eye to leaf and sun. Transparency is the property of the eyeball, projected outwards as a lighted space, 44

Interpreting energy quanta in the sense of the gelatinous fibers in the head. I slowly feel that the world is inside and outside my head at the same time, and the two, the inside and the outside, begin to enclose or "cap" each other like an infinite series of concentric spheres. I am extraordinarily aware that everything my senses grasp is my body too - that light, color, shape, sound and structure are conditions and properties of the brain that are given to the outside world. I do not look at the world, I am not confronted with it; I experience it by constantly transforming it into myself, so that everything around me, the whole globe of space, is no longer felt apart from me, but in the middle. This is confusing at first. I'm not entirely sure which direction the sounds are coming from. The visual space seems to vibrate with them as if it were a drum. The surrounding hills roar with the sound of a truck, and the roar and color-shape of the hills become one and the same gesture. I use the word on purpose and I will use it again. The hills pull into their silence. They mean something because they are transformed into my brain, and my brain is an organ of meaning. The forest of redwood trees on them looks like green fire, and the copper-gold of the sun-dried grass rises mightily into the sky. Time is so slow that it seems like an eternity, and the taste of eternity carries over to the hills - smoothly polished mountains, at 45

which I seem to remember from an immeasurably distant past, at the same time so strange that they seem exotic to me, and as familiar as my own hand. In this way transformed into consciousness, into the electrical, inner glow of the nerves, the world appears somewhat immaterial - developed on a color film, clattering on the skin of a drum, pressing, not with weight, but with vibrations interpreted as weight. The firmness of the body is a neurological invention, and I ask myself: can the nerves find themselves firm? Where do we start? Does the order of the brain create the order of the world, or does the order of the world create the brain? The two appear like egg and hen or like back and front. The material world consists of vibration, sum, but vibrations from what? To the eye it is form and color; the ear sound; the nose odor; the fingers feel. But these are all different languages ​​for one thing, different ways of feeling, different dimensions of consciousness. The question: "What are they different forms of?" Seems to have no meaning. What is light to the eye is sound to the ear. I have the idea that the senses are not concepts, forms or dimensions of a thing that is common to all, but of one another, closed in a circle of reciprocity. On closer inspection, shape becomes color, this becomes vibration, this becomes sound, this becomes smell, this becomes taste, then touch and again shape. (For example, one can see that the shape of a leaf 46

its color is. There is no outline around the sheet; the outline is the border where one color surface merges into another.) I see all these sensory dimensions as a round dance, gesticulation of a pattern that is transformed into the gesticulation of another pattern. And these gesticulations flow through a room, which in turn has another dimension that I would like to describe as tones of emotional coloring, as light or sound filled with joy or fear, happy golden or remain depressed. These also form a circle of mutual change, a round spectrum that is so polarized that we can only describe each with the terms of the other. Sometimes the idea of ​​the material world is not so much a dance of gestures as a woven structure. Light, sound, feeling, taste and smell become a continuous chain with the feeling that the whole dimension of sensory perception is a single continuum or field. The weft that represents the dimension of meaning - moral and aesthetic values, personal or individual uniqueness, logical meaning and form of expression - lies crosswise to the chain - and the two dimensions penetrate each other, so that the perceptible forms like a ripple of water the senses appear. The warp and weft flow together, because the weaving is neither flat nor static, but a multidirectional cross-flow of impulses that fill the entire volume of the room. I feel that the world is on something like 47

a color photograph on a film that forms the base and connects the spots of color. However, the film here is a dense rain of energy. I see that what it's on is my brain - "the magical loom," as Sherrington1 put it. The brain and the world, the chain of senses and the shot of meaning seem to be inseparable. They keep their boundaries so common that they define each other and that one would not be possible without the other. I listen to organ music. As the leaves seemed to gesticulate, the organ seems to speak literally. The vox-humana register is not used, but every note seems to come from a huge, saliva-dampened human throat. While the organ player slowly descends the scale with the bass pedals, the notes seem to emerge in large sticky structures. If I listen carefully, the structures acquire a structure - expanding circles of oscillation, evenly and finely toothed like combs, no longer moist and liquid like the living throat, but mechanically interrupted. The sound breaks down into the innumerable individual drrits of vibration. I keep listening, and the intervals close, or perhaps every single drrrit becomes a structure in turn. The liquid and the solid, the continuous and the interrupted, the sticky and 1 Sir Charles Scott Sherrington, 1857-1952, English physiologist, authority on the nervous system; shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1932 with Edgar Douglas Adrian for research into the neuron. - Note d. Ubers. 49

the prickly appear to be mutual transformations or different levels of magnification of one and the same thing. This theme recurs in a hundred different variations - the inseparable polarity of opposites or the commonality and reciprocity of all the possible contents of consciousness. It is theoretically easy to see that all perception consists of contrasts - figure and background, light and shadow, clear and blurred, solid and weak. But normal attention seems to have difficulty taking in both at the same time. Sensually as well as conceptually, we seem to move in sequence from one to the other; we are apparently unable to perceive the figure without a relative unconsciousness of the background. But in this new world the mutual commonality of things is evident on every level. The human face z. B. becomes clear in all its aspects - the entire shape together with every single hair and every fold. All age groups have faces at the same time, for the features that indicate age also indicate youth through their implication; the bony structure that suggests the skull is immediately reminiscent of the newborn child. The association clutches appear to fire simultaneously rather than one at a time, projecting a view of life that can be terrifying in its ambiguity or joyful in its integrity. The decision can be completely paralyzed by the age of 50

Sudden realization that there is no way of having good without evil, or that it is impossible to act according to a recognized authority without making up your mind - out of your own inexperience - for it. If sanity is madness and belief is doubt, am I basically a madman pretending to be normal, a frightened idiot who temporarily manages to be an act of self-control? I am starting to see my whole life as a masterpiece of duplicity - the confused, helpless, hungry and terribly sensitive little embryo at the root of me that has learned step by step to adjust, appease, suppress, drill, flatter , bluff and cheat to be mistaken for a person of competence and reliability. Because when it really matters what do any of us know? I listen to a priest singing mass and a non nenchor answering him. His mature, cultured voice sounds with the serene authority of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, with the faith given once and for all to the saints, and the nuns respond, seemingly naive, with filial, completely innocent devotion. But as I continue to listen, I discover that the priest is "just pretending" with his voice, hearing the inflated, pompous balloon, the rehearsed unctuous tones of a master of deception who utterly intimidated the poor little nuns kneeling in their prayer chairs Has. I keep listening. The nuns 53

are not intimidated at all. You just pretend. With just a little stiffening, the soft gesture of bending becomes the gesture of the closing claw. Since there aren't enough men for everyone, they know what to do: how to bend over and survive. But this deeply cynical view of things is only a passing stage. I begin to congratulate the priest for his excellent game, for his brave courage to give such an idea of ​​authority when he knows nothing. Perhaps there is no other knowledge than just the competence to act. If at the core of being there is no true self to be loyal to, then honesty is just nerve; it lies in the insolent impudence of pretension. But pretension is only pretension if one assumes that the action does not really correspond to the agent. So find the doer. In the priest's voice, down at the root, I hear the primal scream of the creature in the jungle, but it has been modified, complicated, refined and structured with centuries of culture. Every new twist, every further refinement was a fresh move in the game about the effectiveness of the primal scream. In the beginning, coarse and unhidden, the cry for food or mating, or simply shouts for fun that echoed off the rocks. Then rhythm to enchant, then change of tones to ask or threaten. Then words to specify needs, do, promise, and negotiate. And then, much later, the indirect moves. The female ruse 54

of bowing in order to win, the claim to higher value through rejection of the world for the mind, the cunning of weakness which proves to be stronger than muscular strength - and that the meek will own the earth. So as I listen, in that one voice I recognize the simultaneous presence of all levels of human history and all stages of pre-human life. Every step in the game becomes as clear as the rings of a sawed tree trunk. But this is an ascending hierarchy of maneuvers, lists, which in turn contain lists, all symbolized in the layers of refinement below which the primal scream can still be heard. Sometimes the cry shifts from the mating cry of the adult animal to the helpless cry of the baby, and I feel all of man's music - its pomp and awkwardness, its cheerfulness, its awe, its confident solemnity - as a mere complication and disguise of the cry of a baby after its mother. And I want to cry out of pity, I know I feel sorry for myself. I, as an adult, am also alone there in the dark, just as the primal scream is still present among the refined modulations of church chant. Poor child! And still - you selfish little bastard! As I try to find the doer behind the plot, the motivating force at the bottom of this whole thing, all I seem to see is an infinite ambiguity. Behind the mask of love I find my innate selfishness. What a delicate position 55

I feel myself when someone asked, "Do you really love me?" I can't say yes without saying no, because the only answer that would be really satisfactory is, "Yes, I love you so much that I love you could eat! My love for you is identical to my love for me. I love you with the purest egotism. «Nobody wants to be loved out of a sense of duty. So I'll be very open. "Yes, I am pure self-addicted desire and I love you because you make me feel wonderful - at least for the moment." But then I start to wonder whether there is some embarrassment in this openness. It's generous of me to be honest enough to woo her by not fooling her more than I am - unlike the other guys who claim to love her for their own sake. I see there is always something dishonest in being honest, like when I said frankly, "The statement I am making now is a lie." There seems to be something inauthentic in any attempt to define myself to be completely honest be. The difficulty is that I can't see the back of my head, let alone the inside of my head. I can't be honest because I don't totally know what I am. Consciousness looks from a center that it cannot see for itself - and that is the crux of the matter. Life seems to be traced back down to a tiny seed or nipple of sensitivity. I call him the Ini-Wieni, the tiny little one - a writhing nucleus that tries to mate itself, but never quite manages it. All the Fabulous Complexity 56

of plant and animal life as well as human civilization is only a colossal extension of the Ini-Wieni's attempt to create himself. I'm in love with myself, but I can't look for myself without hiding. If I chase my tail, it will run away from me. Is the amoeba splitting itself in two trying to solve this problem? I try to go deeper, sinking thought and feeling down and deeper down to their ultimate beginnings. What do I mean by that: I love myself? How do I know myself? Always, it seems, in the form of something different, something alien. The landscape that I observe is also a state of mine, of the neurons in my head. I feel the stone in my hand through my own fingers. And nothing is more strange than my own body - the feeling of the pulse, the eye, viewed through a magnifying glass in the mirror, the shock of realizing that one is something in the outer world. Basically there is no way to separate what is one's own from the other, self-love from love to the other. All knowledge of the self is knowledge of the other and all knowledge of the other is knowledge of the self. I see that the self and the other, the known and the foreign, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable, are mutually dependent. One is searching, the other is hiding, and the more I become aware that the one determines the other, the more I feel that both are one. I become particularly loving and intimate with everything that seemed strange to me. 58








I begin to recognize myself in the terrible, incomprehensible and distant. However, this is a "self" that I seem to remember from a long, long time ago - not at all my empirical ego from yesterday, not my dazzling personality. The "self" that I am beginning to recognize, that I had forgotten but actually know better than anything else, goes back well before my childhood, before the time when adults confused me and tried to convince me I am someone else; and since they were bigger and stronger, they could terrorize, confuse, and trump me with their imaginary fears in the game I had not yet learned. (The sadism of the teacher who explains the game and still has to prove his superiority in it.) Long before all of this, long before I was an embryo in the womb, the familiar stranger appeared who is all I am I am not the one I recognize, with an immeasurable joy that is more intense than the meeting of two lovers who were separated by centuries than my original self. The good old son of a bitch who got me involved in this whole game. At the same time, I have the feeling that everyone and everything around me has always been there, but has been forgotten and then rediscovered. We are sitting in a garden to give in every direction from uncultivated hills, a garden of fuchsias and hummingbirds, in a valley where the seagulls take refuge during the storms, and that goes

leads to the westernmost ocean. Sometime in the middle of the twentieth century, on a summer afternoon, we were sitting around a table on the terrace, eating dark, homemade bread and drinking white wine. And yet we seem to have always been there, because the people who are with me are no longer the everyday, troubled little personalities with names, addresses and old-age insurance numbers, the specifically dated mortals that we all pretend to be . They appear more like their own immortal archetypes without, however, losing their humanity. It's just as if their various characters, like the priest's voice, contain the full story; they are unique and eternal at the same time, men and women, but also gods and goddesses. Because now that we have time to look at each other, we become timeless. The human form becomes immeasurably precious and, as if symbolized thereby, the eyes become intelligent jewels, the hair becomes spun gold, and the flesh becomes translucent ivory. Between those who enter this world together there is also a love that is decidedly eucharistic, a mutual acceptance of their natures from the heights to the depths. Ella, who laid out the garden, is a benevolent circe - sorceress, daughter of the moon, confidante of cats and snakes, herbalist and doctor - with the youngest old face anyone has ever seen, exquisite wrinkles and silver-black hair, wavy like Flames. Robert is a manifestation of Pan, but a Pan of Taurus instead of 62

of the goat's pan, with short, fringed hair tufted into blunt horns - a man's muscles and body are sweating, the incarnation of exuberant happiness. Beryl, his wife, is a nymph who has emerged from the forest, a mermaid of the land with flowing hair and a dancing body that appears naked even when clothed. It is her bread that we eat, and it tastes like the original bread, of which even mother's own bread was only a failed imitation. And then there is Mary, loved in the ordinary, dusty world, but in this world an embodiment of light and gold, sun daughter with eyes shaped by the evening sky - a creature of all ages, baby, girl playing with doll, young woman, Matron, old woman and corpse that evokes love of all ages. I am trying to find words that the logical character of these people are as familiar to me as centuries, or rather than early

to indicate the numinous, myth. But I have known her straight away since I recognized her again

as lost friends I knew in the beginning of all time, from a land that was made before the worlds. This, of course, has to do with recognizing my own oldest identity, far older than the blind squirming of the Ini-Wieni, as if the highest form that consciousness can assume was somehow present at the very beginning of things . We all look at each other knowingly because the feeling that we have known each other in the most distant past hides something else - tacitly, 64

awe inspiring,





that we are one and have always been one in the deep center of a time perpendicular to ordinary time. We acknowledge the wonderfully hidden conspiracy, the master illusion, by which we appear different. The shock of recognition. In the shape of everything that is most different, strange and distant - the constantly retreating galaxies, the mystery of death, the horrors of disease and madness, the alien feeling, the goose bumps of sea monsters and spiders, the sensitive labyrinth of mine own guts - in all these forms I crept up to me and shouted "Boo!" I get scared and, while scared, can't remember exactly how it happened. I'm usually lost in a maze. I don't know how I got there because I lost the thread and forgot the system of intricately winding corridors through which the game of hide-and-seek ran. (Was it the path I followed in growing the circuits of my brain?) But now the principle of the maze is clear. It's the twist of tracing something back on itself so that it appears to be something else, and the twists were so numerous and dizzyingly complex that I am quite confused. The principle is that all duality and opposites are polar rather than disconnected; they do not meet and confront each other from afar; they unfold from a common center. Ordinary 66

Thinking obscures polarity and relativity because it uses technical terms, i. H. Overlooks terms or endings, the poles, and what lies in between. The difference between front and back, to be and not to be, hides their unity and reciprocity. Consciousness, sensory perception, is always a sensation of contrasts. It is a specialization in differences, in observing, and nothing is definable, classifiable, or observable except by contrast with something else. But man does not live by consciousness alone, for the linear, step-by-step, contrast-by-contrast procedure of attention is wholly inadequate for organizing something as complex as a living body. The body itself has an "omniscience" that is unconscious or superconscious, for it has to do with relation rather than contrast, with harmonies rather than disharmonies. He “thinks” or organizes this way a plant grows, not as the botanist describes its growth. For this reason Shiva has ten arms, because he represents the dance of life, the omnipotence of the ability to do innumerable things at the same time. In this type of experience that I am describing, it seems that the superconscious method of thinking becomes conscious. We see the world as the whole body sees it, and it is precisely for this reason that there is the greatest difficulty in trying to translate this type of vision into a language that is based on opposition and classification. So to the extent that the human being is one in consciousness67

Having become his centered being, he is exposed to clashes, conflicts and discrepancies. He ignores, outside of his consciousness, the amazing perfection of his organism ’as a whole, and that is why there is such a deplorable difference in most people between the intelligent and wonderful order of their bodies and the trivial preoccupation of their consciousness. But in this other world the situation is reversed. Ordinary people look like gods because the values ​​of the organism are 'supreme and matters of consciousness fall back into the subordinate position that they should appropriately hold. Love, unity, harmony and kinship therefore take precedence over war and separation. For what the consciousness overlooks is the fact that all boundaries and divisions are kept together by their opposing sides and areas, so that when one side changes, both sides move together. It's like the Chinese yang-yin symbol - the black and white fish, separated by an S-curve inside a circle. The swelling head of one is the tapering tail of the other. But how much more difficult is it to see that my skin and its movement belong both to myself and to the outside world, or that the spheres of influence of different people have common walls like a certain number of rooms in a house, so that the movement of my wall is also the movement of yours. You can do what you 69 in your room

want as long as I can tim what I want in my room. But every person's room is himself to its fullest extent, so that my extension means you are brought together and vice versa. I am looking at what I would normally call a tangle of bushes - a tangle of plants and weeds with branches and leaves going in every direction. But now that the organizing and referring mind is on top, I see that what is messed up is not the bushes, but my clumsy method of thinking. Every branch is in the right place and the interweaving has become an arabesque, arranged more finely than the legendary scribble on the edges of Celtic manuscripts. In the same state of consciousness I saw a forest landscape in autumn, with the whole variety of almost bare branches and twigs silhouetted against the sky, not as a mess, but as lace work or the line engraving of a magical jeweler. A rotten tree trunk with mushroom-like growths and patches of moss became as precious as any work by Cellini - an internally glowing construction made of jetted, amber, jade and ivory. All the porous and spongy decay of the wood seemed to have been chiseled out with infinite patience and skill. I do not know whether this way of vision organizes the world in the same way as the body or whether the natural world is simply organized that way. A journey into this new type of consciousness gives you a 70

Wonderfully increased understanding of the patterning in nature, a fascination, deeper than ever, the structure of the ferns, the formation of the crystals, the markings on sea shells, the incredible jewelery of such unicellular creatures of the ocean as the radiolaria, the fairytale architecture of the seeds and pods, the engineering of bones and skeletons, the aerodynamics of feathers, and the amazing opulence of the eye-shapes on the wings of butterflies and birds. All this intricate delicacy of organization may, from one standpoint, be strictly functional for the purposes of reproduction and survival. But if you go into it fully, the survival of these creatures is the same as their actual existence - and what is it for? More and more it seems that the arrangement of nature is an art related to music - joints in shell and cartilage, counterpoint in fibers and capillaries, throbbing rhythm in waves of sound, light and nerves. And you yourself are inextricably linked to it - a knot, a ganglion, an electronic interweaving of paths, circuits and impulses that hums and stretches through the entirety of time and space. The whole pattern rotates in its complexity like smoke in rays of the sun or the rippling network of sunlight in shallow water. Endlessly transforming itself into itself, only the pattern remains. The cross points, knots, nets and squiggles ceaselessly disappear one into the other. "The baseless stuff of this vision." She is 72

their own reason. When the ground dissolves beneath me, I float. When the eyes are closed, the images in this world sometimes seem to be revelations of the secret workings of the brain, the associative and pattern-forming processes, the ordering systems that support our entire feeling and thinking. Unlike the vision I have just described, these are mostly much more complex variations on a topic - bracken sprouting bracken, bracken sprouting in multi-dimensional spaces, huge kaleidoscopic domes made of stained glass or mosaic, or patterns like that Models of highly complex molecules - systems of colored balls, each of which in turn consists of a large number of smaller balls, etc. and so on.Is this perhaps an inward look at the organizational process which, when the eyes are opened, gives the world meaning even in places where it appears utterly depraved? Later that afternoon, Robert takes us over to his barn, where he's cleaned up and loaded the trash into a big dented Buick convertible with the seat fillings oozing out. The view of trash asks two of the big questions of human life: "Where are we going to put it?" And "Who will clean up?" From one standpoint, living creatures are simply tubes with things in one end and them in the other Push it out again - until the tube is worn out. The problem is always where to put what comes out at the other end - especially when 73

it begins to get so high that the tubes are in danger of being displaced from the earth by their own waste. And the questions have metaphysical undertones. "Where are we putting it?" Asks about the foundation on which things ultimately rest - the First Cause, the Divine Ground, the basis of morality, the origin of action. "Who will clean up?" Asks where the ultimate responsibility lies or how we can solve our ever increasing problems without simply passing them on to the next generation. I contemplate the mystery of garbage in its current manifestation: Robert's car heavily loaded - only the driver's seat unoccupied - with broken door frames, rusty ovens, balls of wire netting, crushed cans, innards of old harmonies, nameless enormities of cracked plastic, headless dolls, Bicycles without wheels, torn, broken cushions, one-way bottles, broken dressmakers' mannequins, rhomboid picture frames, broken bird cages and an incomprehensible jumble of cords, cables, orange peel, eggshell, potato peel and lightbulb - all garnished with a hideously white chemical pouch the one we call "angel shit". Tomorrow we will accompany this in a happy convoy to the local garbage dump. And then what? Can any imaginable melting and burning get rid of these ever-growing mountains of ruin - especially when the things we make and build start to look more and more like trash before we throw them away? The only 74

Answer seems to be that of the current group. The sight of Robert's car causes a hysterical fit of laughter in everyone, which leaves us completely helpless. The Divine Comedy. All things dissolve in laughter. And for Robert, this great pile of wonderfully contradicting uselessness is a true work of art, a masterpiece of nonsense. He squeezes it and ties it to the bulbous, low wreckage of the supposedly fancy convertible, and then steps back to admire it as if it were a car for a carnival parade. Subject: the American lifestyle. But our laughter is without malice, because in this state of consciousness everything is the doing of the gods. The climax of civilization in monumental rubbish heaps is not seen as thoughtless ugliness, but as self-caricature - as the creation of phenomenally absurd collages and abstract sculptures in deliberate but friendly mockery of our own presumption. Because in this world nothing is wrong, nothing is even stupid. Feeling wrong is simply an inability to see where something fits into a pattern, being confused about the hierarchical level to which an event belongs - a game that seems completely wrong at level 28 might be spot on lie on level 96. I'm talking about levels or stages in the labyrinth of twists and turns, moves and counter moves in which life is involved and evolving - the cosmological one-to-zero, the yang and the yin, the play the light and the dark principle forever, the game that is played in a 75th

early stage of development appears to be a serious battle between good and evil. If the pike can be defined as someone who takes the game seriously, he must be admired for the sheer depth of his involvement, for the courage to be so far away that he no longer knows where to begin. The more prosaic, the more terribly everyday someone or something seems to be, the more it moves me to admire the ingenuity with which the divine hides in order to find itself, the vagueness to which this cosmic joie de vivre is elaborated able to dance. I think of a corner gas station on a hot afternoon. Dust and exhaust fumes, the usual standard gas station attendant, all baseball and sports cars, the advertising signs half-heartedly poppy, the blandness so reassuring - nothing here except us citizens! I see people pretending not to see that they are avatars of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, that the cells of their bodies are millions of gods, that the dust is a veil of jewels. How solemnly they would show me their incomprehension if I came up to them to say, “Well, who are you kidding? Stop it, Shiva, you old crook! You are a good actor, but you cannot fool me. "But the conscious ego does not know that it is something that the divine organ, the body, only pretends to be.1 When people 1" The self-conscious man thinks , he thinks. This has long been recognized as a mistake, for the conscious subject that thinks it thinks is not the same as the organ that does the actual thinking.


If you go to a guru, a master of wisdom, because you are looking for a way out of the darkness, it does nothing other than seemingly agree with you until you are disconcerted and your pretension is dropped. He doesn't say anything, but the wink in the eye speaks to the subconscious - "You know ... You know!" In the contrasting world of ordinary consciousness, humans feel - as will - as something in nature, but not as part of it. He likes her or he doesn't like her. He accepts them or defends himself against them. He moves her or she moves him. But in the basic super-consciousness of the whole organism, this separation does not exist. The organism and the world around it are a single, integrated pattern of action in which there is neither subject nor object, agent and done. At this level there is not one thing called pain and another called me that displeases pain. Pain and the "response" to pain are one and the same. When this becomes conscious, it feels like everything that happens is my own will. But this is a preliminary and clumsy way of feeling that what is happening outside my body is a process with what is happening inside it. This is that "original identity" that is obscured by ordinary language and our conventional definitions. ken does. The conscious person is only one component, a set of ephemeral aspects of the thinking person. "L. L. Whyte, The Unconscious Before Freud (Basic Books, New York, 1960), p. 59, 78

The active and the passive are two phases of the same act. A seed, floating in its white, sun-broken fluff, drifts across the sky, sighing with the sound of a jet plane above and out of sight. I catch it by a hair between my thumb and forefinger and am surprised to see how this little creature actually squirms and tugs, as if trying to get on. Common sense tells me that this pulling is the wind's doing, not the thistle's wool. But then I realize that it is the "intelligence" of the seed to have such delicate silk antennae that it can move in a windy environment. If it has struggled like this, it moves with the wind. In fact, is there a fundamental difference between building a sail and pulling a rod? If any difference, it is that the former is a more intelligent use of effort than the latter. True, the seed does not intend to move with the wind, but neither did I intend to have arms and legs. It is this vivid recognition of the reciprocity of will and world, active and passive, internal and external, self and not self, that gives rise to that aspect of these experiences that is so puzzling from the ordinary standpoint: the alien and seemingly impious belief that "I" am God. In Western culture, this sensation is seen as a true sign of madness. But in India it is just a matter of course that 80