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Where are they now

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

Great post, Unfinished. mobius is grateful. You really lay it out. In response to "where are they now?", I think it is important to remember that The War On Drugs was/is a War Against the Counter Culture and racial minorities, so quite a few yes are in prison. One of Timothy Leary's remarkable achievements was to go into and out of 36 jails ( including one escape from a maximum security prison) with a smile on his face. This is proof of SOMETHING about Leary that he was, like Ghandi, Gramsci, Malcolm X and other prison writers, able to overcome everything the Empire threw at him. Leary was hounded by the most powerful country in the world, jailed, smeared, his children jailed, smeared, and through it all he kept smiling and joyful because he had what one teacher calls "spiritual security." He knew who he was, and what his purpose was. Mission: Evolve! Leary, a Harvard psychologist, saw that our primate brains need not be limited by the levels society deems acceptable or sufficient, and that it is our evolutionary responsibility to explore their limits. Leary helped established the now consensus biochemical model of mind, and found not a simple machine but an incredible supercomputer capable of much more "expanded" consciousness than our training would indicate. This is something he experienced as a scientist and observed in research subjects, and, as a scientist ( and human being and bodhisatva), sought to share. In return he was scapegoated, hounded, jailed etc, yet his experiences were enough to keep him smiling until the end.

 

So Leary is, yes, dead, his ashes somewhere in the Milky Way, part of him ( his noggin) supposedly frozen in cryonic suspension. In the meantime the entire paradigm of social change - civil rights, a reverence for nature, and what Leary called "internal freedom", the right to control and effect your own thoughts - have been the object of a very successful counter-revolution lead by the National Security State whose endpoint we are now beginning to glimpse. That's right, in case you can't tell, this long nightmare from reagan to bush to clinton to bush is ending, exhausted by its own success. It begin to believe in its own monotheistic fanatical way that It Was the Lizard King And Could Do Anything No Matter What the Critics Say. Well, sorry Karl Rove, repeating it doesn't make it so, and that sound you hear is the Sound of One Paradigm Collapsing.

 

Yes, this has happened before. After Vietnam ended and Nixon was sent packing, the tide began to turn again. The Counter Culture barely knew what to do once it had some success, and wandered while the counter revolution regrouped and gained in strength. I grew up not with the counter culture - I was born in 1963, so i only vaguely remember Vietnam and hippies in any real way - but in the backlash against all change. An example: The first thing Ronald Reagan did as president in 1980 - he more or less ran on a platform against the counter culture, stoked with a fear of the Soviet Union - was to remove the solar panels from the White House roof. Why? A symbolic and rhetorical war was waged against every symbol and aspect of the counterculture, with the Drug war providing the muscle. It was an "impresssive" achievement, but one that argues that it can be done again, and toward different ends. My idea is to start by keeping Guantanemo open - for all the war criminals who knowingly pursued a war of choice based on a pattern of deception.

 

In a way, perhaps the freedom that was discovered by the counter culture - with and without the help of sacraments like LSD - proved too much for the vast majority of the demographic, as it usually does. "Freedom is a road seldom traveled by the multitude." But the Way of Internal Freedom, like so many Egyptian polytheists, lives on, it is now once again time for the most creative and open minded and energetic people among us to dare to dream what we might become. We have an opportunity in this collapse, however tragic it is for everyone caught up in it, from National Guard troops just trying to help or go to college, to Iraqi children. If we are to be response-able to the needless tragedy of Iraq and the looming ecosystemic crisis, it is our duty ( yes, a patriotic one) to risk imagining a society where it can't happen again and where we begin to live in a way that is not a war machine. So yes, many boomers were seduced by tax cuts and lattes. of course. But we move forward by considering how the generation who is about to take power might work things differently.

 

P.S. I feel for the strategy of hippie bashing in my teens and was a "punk" who "hated dirty hippies" because I was too open minded for that.... - mobius, whose hair was once straight edge...

 

 

Thanks for the swift yet well-thought-out reply, mobius!  I admit I was discouraged in my writing of my recent post; its conclusions seemed to be somewhat grim.  The attitudes expressed in here (your "where are they now," not my post) seem to be much more hopeful for the future and at the same time very well-supported.  Also, I'm sorry for misjudging your age....you've mentioned it before and I should have been able to do the quick mental math to figure out that you weren't very old in the '60s.  Thank you again!  -Unfinished

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