The Potion In Motion…

Putting this entry together was a bit of fun. I hope that you will enjoy it. It reminds me of a feast of sorts…

Chest is still gippy, but my head is clearing up a bit. Mary is still down. It should make for an interesting work day.

Very warm here Sunday, unseasonably so. Odd weather lately. Walked with Sophie, she was worn out by the time we got back. Must be all that winter coat…

Work is progressing on the magazine, 2 articles almost complete on some of our featured artist. The look is a bit different, and this edition promises to be a bit larger. It is exciting seeing it come together.

Today’s emphasis is on: A Marriage Made In Surrealist Heaven… for obvious reasons. The giggle of the week, I swear.

Have a good one!


On The Menu:

The Links

A Marriage Made In Surrealist Heaven

Hofmann’s Potion

Seven Phases of Social-Cultural Transformation Catalyzed by LSD and Psychedelics

Coyote and the Monster

The Michael McClure Moment: Grace In Poetry

Michael McClure Biography…


The Links:

Metzner Alchemical Divination

Crystal Caves Of The Giants…

Study Uncovers Memory Aid: A Scent During Sleep

Homeland Security revives supersnoop


A Marriage Made In Surrealist Heaven: Bob Dylan Sings Dr. Seuss…

(oh yeah…. it likes FireFox, and not IE)

Dylan Hears A Who!


Hofmann’s Potion – LSD Documentary


Seven Phases of Social-Cultural Transformation Catalyzed by LSD and Psychedelics

Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.

The first consciousness-expanding experience, triggered by LSD or another psychedelic (or by some other catalyst), often represents a significant transformative turning point in an individual’s life. Similarly, the introduction of psychedelics into Western culture in the mid-twentieth century catalyzed a series of profound socio-cultural transformational movements. These movements represent synchronistic expansions of consciousness in the collective psyche of humanity, with heightened awareness of new possibilities and commitment to creatively realizing them. As such, these transformative movements represent a response of the collective psyche of humanity to the combined evolutionary survival challenge posed by nuclear weaponry, environmental devastation and runaway population growth.

I propose to review the processes of cultural transformation triggered by the discovery of consciousness-expanding drugs from the point of view of G.I. Gurdjieff’s Law of Seven. This principle, which Gurdjieff stated is one of two fundamental cosmic laws (the other being The Law of Three), states that every process of transformation, at every level — individual, collective, planetary, cosmic, microcosmic — proceedes in seven stages, like a musical octave. At the points where in music there is a half-tone progression — mi to fa and si to the next do, there needs to be an external shock of some kind in order for the transformative process to continue unfolding — otherwise forces of degeneration and inertia bring about its collapse or diversion into other pathways. So here is my suggestion of hos these seven phases have played out over past seven decades.

1940s – Do. At the height of World War II, Albert Hofmann discovers (which is his term) LSD “accidentally”, a few months after Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi succeeds in creating the first nuclear chain reaction, which lead to the making and explosion of the first atomic bombs. Thus, in the 1940s, we saw the simultaneous development of atomic energy and a psychactive drug that acts like a soft atomic explosion in the human mind, changing forever the worldview and basic life-orientation of all who experienced it. First applications of LSD in CIA and military experiments, psychotomimetic research, and psycholytic therapy.

1950s – Re. The decade of the 1950s saw the introduction into the culture of several mind-expanding plant-based shamanic spiritual movements. R. Gordon Wasson rediscoveres the sacred mushroom ceremony of the ancient Aztecs, publishing his account in LIFE magazine in 1957. This triggers a movement in which tens of thousands North American and European hippies start experimenting with hallucinogenic mushrooms, at first wild and then also cultivated. The spread of hallucinogenic mushroom use and cultivation connects the psychedelic movement to age-old animistic, shamanistic traditions. Also in the 1950s a Brazilian rubber tapper starts a church (one of three) in which the Amazonian shamanic entheogen ayahuasca is the central sacrament, initiating a grass-roots religious revitalization movement that has thousands of adherents worldwide.

1960s – Mi. Experiences with psychedelic drugs (LSD, psilocybin) move out of the psychiatric clinics and laboratories. Timothy Leary and associates begin their research with psilocybin in “supportive settings” at Harvard University; and in 1963 publish The Psychedelic Experience – A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Around the same time, in California, novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters stage rock concert “acid tests”, in which thousands of people take LSD, while listening to music and watching light-shows. Thus was born a revolution in collective consciousness, in which hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps millions, had one or more profound, life-changing psychedelic experiences. Renowned philosophers Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, and Huston Smith testify to the authenticity of the religious/spiritual dimensions of psychedelic experience.

Synchronistically, the 1960s saw the beginnings of the environmental movement (Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring was a major catalyst); the civil rights, anti-discrimination movement, inspired by Martin Luther King; the anti-war movement, galvanized by the televised horrors of Vietnam; the women’s liberation movement, with its “consciousness-raising” circles (Betty Friedan’s 1963 The Feminine Mystique was a major catalyst); an upsurge of creative innovation in music, the arts, fashion and literature; the “sexual revolution” and increased freedom of sexual expression, catalyzed in part by the contraceptive pill. Even though there is no evidence of a causative connection between ingestion of psychedelics and these transformation movements, each of them represents an expansion of consciousness, a transcending of the existing limited conventions, attitudes and norms. Together, they constitute what was justly called a counterculture.

The shock: The assasinations of John F. Kennedy (1963), Martin Luther King (1968) and Robert Kennedy (1968). The humiliating defeat of the United States in Vietnam.

1970s – Fa. The effect of the shock on the “movement”(of consciousness expansion) is to induce profound soul-searching and retreat from overt political activism. For mainstream culture, the use of psychedelics becomes a minor footnote in the War on Drugs, which swings into higher and higher gear in the Nixon and Reagan years. Marijuana is, and remains, in the middle and hotly contested ground: life-saving and mind-assisting medicine for millions, taboo issue for the political class. Inner consciousness-development movements of all kinds – Asian yoga and meditation systems, new forms of transpersonal experiential psychotherapy, New Age spiritual practices, neo-shamanic and neo-pagan interests are cultivated and become academically respectable.

1980s – Sol. All the transformative social movements that began in the 1960s continue to thrive, deepen, diversify and develop, reaching into all sectors of society: varieties of environmental/ecological perspectives, such as deep ecology; varieties of feminist, civil rights and social justice movements; transpersonal and ecumenical approaches to religion and spirituality. The rise of AIDS puts a corrective brake on the sometimes reckless exuberance of the sexual revolution. The spread of cocaine and crack cocaine intensifies the drug war, with its rampant abuse and corruption of civil liberties, and incalculable profits for international criminal drug cartels as well as the money-laundering financial systems of the aboveground economies of many countries, including the US. Use of the classical psychedelics remains almost invisibly underground. Alexander Shulgin creates MDMA, the first of many phenethylamine empathogens, used as a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy. It spreads from the couch to the street, becomes demonized and illegal. Rave parties of thousands, involving Ecstasy, begin in England, spread to the US and around the world.

The new Dionysian revels spread throughout the suburban middle-classes as well as youth culture. Mushroom culture and ayahuasca religions continue to spread internationally.

1990s – La. The Soviet empire collapses, leaving the US as the “sole superpower”, increasingly nakedly dedicated to economic and military imperialism around the globe. The dizzying rise and spread of the internet fosters global interconnectivity in every area of life, from crime and commerce to science, education , information (including information about drugs) and activist solidarity. Multinational corporations foster economic hegemonic globalization. Growing global and public awareness of the multiple mounting global environmental disasters (climate change, species extinction, overpopulation, pollution, deforestation, exhaustion of resources) loom ever larger. Prohibitionist Drug War policies continue, defying logic, justice and common sense. The psychedelic underground continues, becomes more knowledgeble, with clear intentionality toward healing, therapeutic and spiritual values. Shamanic practices, work with animal, plant and spirit allies, herbal and natural medicine, organic farming and nutrition – all expand vigorously. New more conscious, non-medical approaches to birth and birthing, and death and dying, gain more adherents. A living systems worldview emerges in philosophical scientific circles.

2000s – Si. With the election of George W. Bush, in a Supreme Court coup d’état (not unlike Hitler’s legal accession to power in 1932) the ambitions of world domination, the Imperium Americanum, stand ever more clearly revealed. Fascism internally, imperialism externally. “Democracy” becomes a smoke-screen cover word for militarism, “free trade’ a smoke-screen cover word for neo-colonialist exploitation. International arms control and environmental treaties and institutions are abandoned with hardly a murmur of dissent or opposition from Congress or the media. The most progressive economic and political activities occur outside of the US: in Europe, some parts of Asia, some parts of Latin America. Then comes:

The second shock: Sept. 11, 2001. The attack on the World Trade Towers.

In the aftermath, the dominant direction – imperialist domination and corporate globalization – is intensified by vengeful and pre-emptive militarism. As Hitler used the Reichstag burning, the US government now uses two so-called wars – on Drugs and on Terrorism – to fuel fear in the population and establish a police “security” state. As of 2003, the United States has turned itself into a loathed pariah in the international community, ridiculed for its stupendous ignorance and arrogance and feared only because its hand is on unparalleled military destructive power and its seeming determination to use it.

Whether the external shock, like those in the 1960s, will have the effect of ultimately strengthening the movements of consciousness transformation remains to be seen. For the individual, at this point, the aims and practices of spiritual development and the demands and needs of the larger society and world seem to be coinciding, since the ordinary political means of stopping the juggernaut of pre-emptive wars juggernaut seem ineffective.

In the high-stakes cosmic game of planetary catastrophe, the Earth has one (or more) trump cards: ecological disasters could occur on such a scale that it would force the diversion of all technological and financial resources to address them. I confess to sometimes wishing it might happen thus. On the other hand we cannot wait or hope for this card to be played.

The internet is a wild card – that can amplify all other plays, and create unexpected opportunities and openings for progressives and activists.

Those of us that are more interested in the preservation of life in all its astonishing diversity and beauty, than in the enlargement of personal or group power and wealth, have only the same resources we’ve always had: the capacity to move (and help each other move) into expanded, awakened consciousness; the purity and strength of our intention; and the courage and creativity to realize the vision that, in the motto of the 50,000 at the Porto Alegre World Social Forum meetings, another world is possible.

(This essay is based on a presentation at the MindStates IV conference May 23-25, Berkeley; a version was published in GaiaMediaNews in honor of the 60th anniversary of the discovery of LSD).

Coyote and the Monster

A long, long time ago, people did not yet inhabit the earth. A monster walked upon the land, eating all the animals–except Coyote. Coyote was angry that his friends were gone. He climbed the tallest mountain and attached himself to the top. Coyote called upon the monster, challenging it to try to eat him. The monster sucked in the air, hoping to pull in Coyote with its powerful breath, but the ropes were too strong. The monster tried many other ways to blow Coyote off the mountain, but it was no use.

Realizing that Coyote was sly and clever, the monster thought of a new plan. It would befriend Coyote and invite him to stay in its home. Before the visit began, Coyote said that he wanted to visit his friends and asked if he could enter the monster’s stomach to see them. The monster allowed this, and Coyote cut out its heart and set fire to its insides. His friends were freed.

Then Coyote decided to make a new animal. He flung pieces of the monster in the four directions; wherever the pieces landed, a new tribe of Indians emerged. He ran out of body parts before he could create a new human animal on the site where the monster had lain. He used the monster’s blood, which was still on his hands, to create the Nez Percé, who would be strong and good.


The Michael McClure Moment: Grace In Poetry




and the damp spots where the eyes were. Small form

that was all spirit, smashed on the plate

glass window. The green head and ruby

ruffles. The beautiful shabby colors

and the damp spots where the eyes were.

All head and chest and the Eros-spear

of the beak. Moving like Cupid

in the fuschias.

Hummingbird and spike of desire.

The huge chest and head and the beautiful

shabby colors. Tiny legs

thrust back in the last stiff agony.



in the vast black lily

of space? Does the sweetness

of the pain go on forever?



of your body? Do they still spin

in the air? Your wives

and loves? Are you now

more than this meat? Finally




by the whale hunter

is a collector’s item

and wafts like mountain fog

from node to node before becoming clouds.




puts us in touch with sentiment,

and hurts less than peering forward,

for tomorrow is the shadow of today.

Even the blue jay

gloats over his stash

of brass buttons. See the octopus play

with the exoskeleton

of his prey.

The statement’s convolution

confounds what is already done.

Bulldozed hillsides.

Scarlet flower bugles on the mountain top

overlook the graveyard.

Such elegant music when we make it

(for poets call it music)



in the act

of what we do.

The hand plays hide and seek

with the eye, and we grow

great brains

in honor of the game.

Then we dance and the music

follows at our footsteps

and we stop to listen

as it passes by.





our selves!

Call it animal nature — or name it Civilization.


Clear — the senses bright — sitting in the black chair — Rocker –

the white walls reflecting the color of clouds

moving over the sun. Intimacies! The rooms

not important — but like divisions of all space

of all hideousness and beauty. I hear

the music of myself and write it down

for no one to read. I pass fantasies as they

sing to me with Circe-Voices. I visit

among the peoples of myself and know all

I need to know.


there is a golden bed radiating all light

the air is full of silver hangings and sheathes

I smile to myself. I know

all there is to know. I see all there

is to feel. I am friendly with the ache

in my belly. The answer

to love is my voice. There is no time!

No answers. The answer to feeling is my feeling.

The answer to joy is joy without feeling.

The room is a multicolored cherub

of air and bright colors. The pain in my stomach

is warm and tender. I am smiling. The pain

is many pointed, without anguish.

Light changes the room from yellows to violet!

The dark brown space behind the door is precious

intimate, silent and still. The birthplace

of Brahms. I know

all that I need to know. There is no hurry.

I read the meanings of scratched walls and cracked ceilings.

I am separate. I close my eyes in divinity and pain.

I blink in solemnity and unsolemn joy.

I smile at myself in my movements. Walking

I step higher in carefulness. I fill

space with myself. I see the secret and distinct

patterns of smoke from my mouth

I am without care part of all. Distinct.

I am separate from gloom and beauty. I see all.



And grim intensity — close within myself. No longer

a cloud

but flesh real as rock. Like Herakles

of primordial substance and vitality.

And not even afraid of the thing shorn of glamour

but accepting.

The beautiful things are not of ourselves

but I watch them. Among them.


And the Indian thing. It is true!

Here in my apartment I think tribal thoughts.)



There is no time. I am visited by a man

who is the god of foxes

there is dirt under the nails of his paw

fresh from his den.

We smile at one another in recognition.

I am free from time. I accept it without triumph

— a fact.

Closing my eyes there are flashes of light.

My eyes won’t focus but leap. I see that I have three feet.

I see seven places at once!

The floor slants — the room slopes

things melt

into each other. Flashes

of light

and meldings. I wait

seeing the physical thing pass.

I am on a mesa of time and space.


Writing the music of life

in words.

Hearing the round sounds of the guitar

as colors.

Feeling the touch of flesh.

Seeing the loose chaos of words

on the page.

(ultimate grace)

(Sweet Yeats and his ball of hashish.)


My belly and I are two individuals

joined together

in life.



we smile with it.


At the window I look into the blue-gray

gloom of dreariness.

I am warm. Into the dragon of space.

I stare into clouds seeing

their misty convolutions.

The whirls of vapor

I will small clouds out of existence.

They become fish devouring each other.

And change like Dante’s holy spirits

becoming an osprey frozen skyhigh

to challenge me.


About Michael McClure…

Michael McClure has long been noted for the popularity of his dynamic poetry performances. At the age of 22 he gave his first poetry reading at the legendary Six Gallery event in San Francisco, where Allen Ginsberg first read Howl. Today McClure is more active than ever, writing and performing his poetry at festivals, and colleges and clubs across the country.

“The role model for Jim Morrison,” as the Los Angeles Times characterized Michael McClure, has found sources in music from Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis to the composer Terry Riley with whom his poetry readings frequently share a bill.

Recently McClure joined with composer Terry Riley to create a CD titled I Like Your Eyes Liberty. The CD explores spontaneous music and voice (working together) expressing the outrageous and mystical in both artists.

McClure has worked extensively with his old friend Ray Manzarek, the Doors’ keyboardist, at festivals and colleges and clubs. They appeared with saxophonist David Sanborn on NBC-TV performing a jazz rendition of McClure’s “Love Lion Blues.” Mystic Fire released a 70 minute video of the duo and a compact disk “Love Lion” followed. McClure and Manzarek’s second CD “There’s a Word” carries their explorations even further.

Another video of Michael and Ray’s conversations and performances “Third Mind” was premiered on television by the Sun Dance Channel.

McClure reads with an actor’s command and a singer’s sense of timing, his impact “transports audiences to a very different and intriguing place.” He has given hundreds of reading in venues as varied as the Fillmore Ballroom, Yale University, The National Biodiversity Conference at the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress. His audiences have ranged from an intimate dozen at a tiny Maui bookstore, to tens of thousands at San Francisco’s Human Be-in in San Francisco, and to multitudes at Airlift Africa. One of the poet’s favorite readings was to, and with, four lions at the San Francisco Zoo – a film of this reading is often shown on TV. McClure’s world-wide performances include Rome; Paris; Tokyo; Lawrence, Kansas; London; and in a bull ring in Mexico City.

The Poetry Flash described a reading by the poet “McClure – dressed in black – stood and uttered his words with a sort of sultry precision. His gestures punctuated his words (a poetry of the body), enthralling, enlisting a dynamic tension between audience and performer that didn’t let up till the words stopped.” A reviewer of a recent London reading wrote, “McClure’s West Coast delivery was deliberate, cool, spacious…”

The Journal-World in Lawrence Kansas offered these observations of McClure at the William Burroughs celebration, “McClure looked cool. Yet he grew warm, wending lyrical words around the air and across the hall, The coolness fell away with his simple elegance in word and presentation… McClure was controlled and read with steady jazz rhythms, a perfect, minimal chart of spoken words.”

He has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Felowship, an Obie Award for Best Play, an NEA grant, the Alfred Jarry Award, and a Rockefeller grant for playwriting. McClure has written twenty plays and musicals which are performed in the U.S. and abroad. His play The Beard provoked numerous censorship battles, in Los Angeles, the cast was arrested after each performance for fourteen nights in a row. Later The Beard received two Obies in N.Y.C. and was warmly embraced in both London and Paris. The play has played a role in U.S. censorship and free speech battles since 1966 when it won the first lawsuit that tried to ban its performance.

The poet is featured in several films among them Scorcese’s The Last Waltz, in which his reading of a poem by Chaucer “lilted, rolled, and seduced the audience into the lyric tonality of Middle English” (Atlanta Poetry Review). McClure played a Hells Angel in Norman Mailer’s film Beyond the Law. He does a cameo in Peter Fonda’s Hired Hand.

McClure has made two television documentaries – The Maze and September Blackberries. His fourteen books of poetry include Jaguar Skies, Dark Brown, Huge Dreams, Rebel Lions, Rain Mirror and Plum Stones. He has published eight books of plays and four collections of essays, including essays on Bob Dylan and on environmental issues. His novels are The Mad Cub and The Adept.


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