I dreamed about President Obama last night. I was sitting next to him at some casual event and his daughters were still very young and I was holding one of them."Too bad you already have a nanny," I told him.
He was very sweet.
I see via Huffpost that Christians can't drink Starbucks. Also, that it's iffy for them to watch Game Of Thrones. I remember when I was a child and my best friend Lucille told me that Catholics were issued a sort of newsletter, telling them which movies and records and books they were and were not allowed to watch, to listen to, to read. Lucille's family was Catholic so I knew this had to be true and even then, when I was probably not more than seven or eight, this blew my mind into tiny pieces. I knew for a fact that if someone told me not to watch a certain movie or listen to a certain record or read a certain book that I would make sure to watch, listen, read exactly those and as quickly as I could possibly manage to do so. What can be more more appealing, more exciting, than to do that which is forbidden? This is one of the main problems I have with the Adam and Eve creation myth. What sort of a sick god would set a test like creating humans with such a powerful sense of curiosity and then forbid them to use it? That's nothing but a sure set-up for failure there, baby. That's just cruel.
And another question- have the religious not learned anything at all?
Not that I think that good Christians will be surreptitiously ducking into Starbucks to have a cup of the Forbidden with extra whip, but still...
I don't even know why I'm thinking about this today. Some of it was triggered by those Huffpost headlines, and maybe some by the movie we watched last night which was The Men Who Stare At Goats. I have no idea how much of it is based on actual fact. Some. I know that the military spent a mighty effort experimenting with LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs to see if they could...I don't know. Disable the enemy? Fuck with people's heads and see what happened?
I know that a great deal of what happened was very, very bad. Also that some of that testing on civilian volunteers led to a whole lot of powerful stuff. Ken Kesey was one of those volunteers.
When I was a teenager, people like Kesey had not only done LSD but had figured out how to get it to the masses. They wrote about it, they talked about it. The media became full of discussion about it and about marijuana, too. The hippies were born. There I was, thirteen, fourteen? stuck in a house of horrors with a stepfather who emanated evil and danger and a mother who was scared to death of him and my brothers who were terrified as well. And one of the things my stepfather would rant about endlessly (he was addicted to codeine) was the hippies. The hippies, the hippies, the hippies.
God. I wanted nothing more than to be a hippie. To get out of that house and be a hippie and long before I could actually do that, long before I ever took a drug or tasted real freedom, the thing that saved my mind and quite possibly my life was music and so much of that music was born out of the drug experiences of those who made the music and thus, in a way, those drugs, those experiences, began to touch me even before I ever touched a drug.
And of course, eventually, I touched more than a few. And I will go to my grave being grateful that I did because those drugs tore away the layers of fear and shame that had been laid down in my mind and soul and allowed me to see the inner true core of myself and of others and allowed me to know that despite everything, that pure place was there and that (oh, this is so hard to describe, to talk about) the universe was an amazing place and that our existence in it is small but proper and that so much of what we worry about is ludicrous and absurd and that we go through this life with blinders on, that there is so much going on which we are completely unaware of and finally, at the peak of every trip I ever took, whether on mushrooms plucked from cowshit or from the purest LSD, came the truest knowledge of all and that is that All Is One.
I am not saying that I was cured from the illness which my childhood had given me but I was hurtled past fifty-million years of preparation for healing. I will say that.
And so to watch that movie last night was really sort of an eye-opening experience. To realize (and I've read that this did very much happen) that there really was a First Earth Battalion led by a man who believed in peace technology and wrote a First Earth Manual.
In the movie, this man whose name in real life was (is- google him) Lt. Col. Jim Channon, was played with such grace and joy by Jeff Bridges, a man whom I feel quite certainly has partaken of a few holy substances himself.
I am sorry that the military misused whatever good could have been taken from LSD testing, from a First Earth Battalion, but who knows? Maybe there will be yet some good to come from some of it. Time is a funny thing and patience more of a virtue than we realize.
And so I am thinking of all of this today as the rain pours down and the air becomes cool and how maybe, just maybe, the point of the creation myth of Adam and Eve and the garden is actually about how, in order to get people to do that which will give them Knowledge is to forbid them to do it, and that pairing that Knowledge along with Evil is just a natural balance of how, somehow, the Universe works. That with knowledge comes maybe not exactly evil but at least an awareness of truths we might not really care to think about because truth can be terrifying. Not unlike how an acid trip can be one of the most incredibly beautiful experiences of one's life and then, turn around become one of the most horrifying, although personally, I never had that problem. I had a few experiences which were a bit odd or strange or even a little scary but compared to what I'd already experienced in life, nothing I couldn't handle.
I don't know. I just know that my backyard is turning into a pond as the rain drenches and how sometimes I think it would be a good thing for me to do a little dose of mushrooms again. Or maybe not. I am thinking of my children and my grandchildren and I am thinking of my husband and I am thinking of my life and how I have spent so much of it taking care of stuff and others, to the point where when I dreamt of the president, I was holding one of his children. I am wondering what sort of a person I would be if I had never taken hallucinogenic drugs. It's a moot point. I did it and this is who I am. And please know this: I don't think everyone is supposed to take such drugs. What is medicine for me might be poison for you. I don't think some people NEED them. But I did.
Well, I'm just an old hippie. Who needs to get off her ass and do something. The rain is subsiding, the earth has already taken in what just ten minutes ago threatened to turn into a river. Elvis is crowing to round up his hens who all took shelter in different places. The frogs are screaming in ecstasy.
Me too, but silently.