The Human Be-In

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Now for a wee reflection back, 40 years. I am not one really to dwell on the past, but this is a significant date for the Emerging Culture/Counter Culture. Without the Human Be In, there would of been no Monterey, no Woodstock, and certainly, no Burning Man…..

The Human Be-In

Having for some reason a Utopian bent to my outlook… I look back today with fond memories of an event that to my young mind, explicitly demonstrated that Utopia, Peace and Love were just around the corner…

I have been asked over the years if I had attended The Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park. Alas, it was not so, though I watched friends pack, and caravan away a few days before. I was under the thumb of probation at the time. So all I could do was stand outside of the Folklore Center at 17th and Pearl in Denver, and say goodbye. Michael Sullivan, and others off to stay with friends in the Haight. Some went to the Diggers pads, others to friends in the Pranksters, Michael went off to stay I think with Chet Helm.

Yet, we saw the pictures and heard the stories fairly quickly. The news services picked up on it and by the end of the week, Life and Time magazines had covered the event if I remember rightly. When friends came back they were full of tales of wonder. It made me want to head back to the Bay Area as soon as I could.

Though many of us were not there, it shaped us. It shaped me for the better I think. I became infected with the thought that changing the world was possible, and that we would achieve the goals that we set before us of realizing Peace, Love, Harmony, and merging with the Universe via Psychedelics in our life times… (not yet to late folks!!!!)

This event was pivotal. It brought a blessing and for some a curse. The cat was literally out of the bag with the first heavy media attention. San Francisco City Gov’t went on high alert, and the semi friendly Police no longer were… The die were cast, and The Summer Of Love was not far away…

Allen Ginsberg with Gary Snyder as Gary Blows The Conch at the opening ceremonies…

From an old friend, now past…

This is an excerpt from an essay that Elizabeth wrote, published in

Psychedelic Illuminations Magazine. It is included in

‘Scrapbook of a Haight Ashbury Pilgrim’ by Elizabeth Gips.

The first great recognition of how many of us there

really were sharing this mystical, wordless and

magnificent experience of the Rainbow Heart, the

infinitely manifest, the wonder and magic of

being-ness beyond the individual ego, was the First

Human Be-In, January 14, 1967. It was not the speeches

of Ginsburg, Suzuki Roshi, Leary and the other

speakers on the platform or even the music that

touched us with mystic wonder. The wires were cut, and

for a long while there were no speeches, no music.

Only the murmur of 25,000 people, most of them on LSD,

grooving with each other, with the sunshine which had

come in the midst of a rainy month, and with the

manifest presence of Spirit.

It was so quiet. Women in lace table cloths, long dresses of oriental fabric, fantasies from every age and place moved gracefully through the silent crowd. Men in pied patterns smiled at the sky. The Diggers gave out turkey sandwiches. Everybody shared marijuana, apples, LSD and love. We knew that we were witnessing a massive blossoming of a new religion in the literal sense of being tied together again. This religion would never have churches or temples; this was a religion based on individual freedom and respect; we "dug each others vibes" and felt the coming together of an ancient family. Time dwindled to a no-point. Heart reached to heart in an almost soundless outpouring of love.

So when the music and the speeches started, when the mantra and the rock resounded, it was an ecstatic exclamation point on a massive experience. Call it heaven or samadhi; it set the parameters for a whole movement during the Summer of Love. Through the catalyst of LSD we had scratched through the surface of our separateness and recognized ourselves, our surroundings, all things as One. That afternoon, we truly became The Love Generation.


Jefferson Airplane (with Signe) 1966 – ‘It’s No Secret’)


The Poetry of Lenore Kandel

Now, with pleasure I would like to re-introduce you to Lenore Kandel, Poetess and Speaker at The Human Be-In. She had a long association with the Beat and Hippie Movement, being threatened with arrest for her works,(specifically ‘The Love Book’) and being the lover of Lew Welch at one time.

Who is Lenore Kandel?

In 1966, The Love Book was banned and seized similarly to how Allen Ginsberg’s Howl was treated almost a decade earlier. The ban on Howl was overturned at trial and the book can be found at any bookstore; the ban on The Love Book was upheld for 8 years, and the book was never reprinted until now.

Kandel was threatened with arrest if she read her poems at the University of New Mexico, where an assistant English professor defied the ban and gave the poems to his class to read. She read anyway, and the audience was so supportive that the cops were afraid to arrest her, for fear of sparking a riot.

She read at the San Francisco Be-in, sharing the stage with Jefferson Airplane.

She bridged the chasm between the Beats and the Hippies, and matched Kerouac, Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, and Lew Welch for passion and intensity.

She was immortalized in Kerouac’s Big Sur as "Romana Schwartz".

Maxine Hong Kingston, in Tripmaster Monkey, wrote of her: "There were two wake-robins: Diane Wakowski and Lenore Kandel; the latter wailed out sex-challenge poems larger and louder than the men, who were still into cool."

Do you believe me when I say / you’re beautiful

I stand here and look at you out of the vision of my eyes

and into the vision of your eyes and I see you and you’re an


and I see you and you’re divine and I see you and you’re a

divine animal

and you’re beautiful

the divine is not separate from the beast; it is the total crea- ture that

transcends itself

the messiah that has been invoked is already here

you are that messiah waiting to be born again into awareness

you are beautiful; we are all beautiful

you are divine; we are all divine

divinity becomes apparent on its own recognition

accept the being that you are and illuminate yourself

by your own clear light


there are no ways of love but / beautiful /

I love you all of them

I love you / your cock in my hands

stirs like a bird

in my fingers

as you swell and grow hard in my hand

forcing my fingers open

with your rigid strength

you are beautiful / you are beautiful

you are a hundred times beautiful

I stroke you with my loving hands

pink-nailed long fingers

I caress you

I adore you

my finger-tips… my palms…

your cock rises and throbs in my hands

a revelation / as Aphrodite knew it

there was a time when gods were purer

/ I can recall nights among the honeysuckle

our juices sweeter than honey

/ we were the temple and the god entire/

I am naked against you

and I put my mouth on you slowly

I have longing to kiss you

and my tongue makes worship on you

you are beautiful

your body moves to me

flesh to flesh

skin sliding over golden skin

as mine to yours

my mouth my tongue my hands

my belly and my legs

against your mouth your love


our bodies move and join


your face above me

is the face of all the gods

and beautiful demons

your eyes…

love touches love

the temple and the god

are one



to fuck with love

to love with all the heat and wild of fuck

the fever of your mouth devouring all my secrets and my alibis

leaving me pure burned into oblivion

the sweetness UNENDURABLE

mouth barely touching mouth

nipple to nipple we touched

and were transfixed

by a flow of energy

beyond anything I have ever known


and two days later

my hand embracing your semen-dripping cock


the energy


almost unendurable

the barrier of noumenon-phenomenon


the circle momentarily complete

the balance of forces


lying together, our bodies slipping into love

that never have slipped out

I kiss your shoulder and it reeks of lust

the lust of erotic angels fucking the stars

and shouting their insatiable joy over heaven

the lust of comets colliding in celestial hysteria

the lust of hermaphroditic deities doing

inconceivable things to each other and

SCREAMING DELIGHT over the entire universe

and beyond

and we lie together, our bodies wet and burning, and

we WEEP we WEEP we WEEP the incredible tears

that saints and holy men shed in the presence

of their own incandescent gods

I have whispered love into every orifice of your body

As you have done

to me

my whole body is turning into a cuntmouth

my toes my hands my belly my breast my shoulder my eyes

you fuck me continually with your tongue you look

with your words with your presence

we are transmuting

we are as soft and warm and trembling

as a new gold butterfly

the energy


almost unendurable

at night sometimes I see our bodies glow..


Permit me the concept of the rose

the perfumed labyrinth

that leads one petal at a time

into oblivion’s heart

There are visions within the silence of the rose

…and I not only see but am all possibilities

of time and space and change


“Hard Core Love”

the divine is not separate from the beast; it is the total creature that

transcends itself

the messiah that has been invoked is already here



Praise be to Eros who loves only beauty

and finds it everywhere

…sharing his own soft wanton grace

with all who let his presence enter in

faithless as flowers, fickle as the wind-borne butterfly


“Joy Song,”

“Joy Song,”

my beloved wields his sex

like a hummingbird

poised on the delicate brink

What pleasure to be a honey plant


open wide


I am the god-animal, the mindless cuntdeity, the he-god animal

is over me, through me we are become one total angel

united in fire united in semen and sweat united in lovescream

sacred are our acts and our actions

sacred are our parts and our persons


to fuck with love

to love with all the heat and wild of fuck

…leaving me pure burned into oblivion

…SCREAMING DELIGHT over the entire universe

and beyond

…the energy


almost unbearable


I want to fuck you

I want to fuck you all the parts and places

I want you all of me

…I am not sure where I leave off, where you begin

is there a difference, here in the soft permeable membranes

…and the taste of your mouth is of me

and the taste of my mouth is of you

and moaning mouth to mouth

…I want you to explode that hot spurt of pleasure inside me

and I want to lie there with you

smelling the good smell of fuck that’s all over us

and you kiss me with that aching sweetness

and there is no end to love


Jefferson Airplane – ‘Come Up The Years’

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