Sunday, June 5, 2011

Context for RAW's Dylan diss

In an earlier post, I remarked on RAW's amusing, wrongheaded criticism of one of my favorite musicians, Bob Dylan. (From the 1976 "New Libertarian Notes" interview, one of RAW's best interviews: "Dylan seems to me a totally pernicious influence -- the nasal whine of death and masochism. Certainly, this would be a more cheerful world if there were no Dylan records in it. But Dylan and his audience mirror each other, and deserve each other; as Marx said, a morbid society creates its own morbid grave-diggers."

Who knew that I'm a "morbid grave digger?" Do I have to put away my copies of Bringing It All Back Home and Nashville Skyline? But it gets better.

On May 24, Bob Dylan's 70th birthday (a world-historical event, obviously), I sent friendly greetings to various fellow Bobby Zimmerman fans, including Jesse Walker. My Twitter-note to Walker said, "Happy Bob Dylan's birthday! I thought RAW's diss of him was surprising, but funny."

Walker replied, "He was echoing Timothy Leary's attack on Dylan in National Review, which Leary later repudiated. I wonder if RAW changed his mind too."

Who knew that Timothy Leary wrote for "National Review"?

I searched on Google for more information on the article, and found a review in 2006, in "The American Conservative," of Robert Greenfield's Leary biography, written by one Jesse Walker.

The whole piece is worth reading, and it does supply an explanation for Leary's piece. It turns out that Leary needed to get out of jail and show that he was "rehabilitated," so he wrote the article to prove that he wasn't a dangerous hippie anymore.

Walker says of the Leary piece, "Pages of bile were directed at Bob Dylan and his 'snarling, whining, scorning, mocking' songs. At one point Leary declared, 'Squeaky Fromme stands in a Sacramento courtroom … for believing exactly what [Dylan] told her in the Sixties' and blamed her attempted assassination of Gerald Ford on the fact that 'she was unlucky enough to have owned a record player in her vulnerable adolescence.' "

Lord, Lord, so she shot Gerald Ford down.

It seems likely that RAW read the "National Review" piece by his buddy Leary shortly before the "New Libertarian Notes" interview. Does anyone know if RAW ever warmed to Dylan?



22 comments:

Jason said...

"he wrote the article to prove that he wasn't a dangerous hippie anymore"

No, I think he really believed it, because he had the whole anti-Dylan diatribe reprinted in the original "Neuropolitics." I managed to read this recently, and it actually increased my admiration for the man, firstly to know that even he could be a bitchy little shit at times, and secondly because he had the sense and taste to change his mind (among others), excising this trash-talking from the later version of the book ("Neuropolitique"), apologising in the intro, and naming his hero/alter-ego in "What Does WoMan Want?" Dylan as an affectionate tribute.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Jason,

I have been meaning to read some Leary; would the later, pro-Dylan edition of "Neuropolitics" be a good start?

Jason Pilley said...

Hi Tom - the question of where to start with Leary is a tricky one, I'm never quite sure what to recommend. As with Crowley the best way to approach him is to sample the books at various points throughout his life to get some idea of his styles and phases and see which most appeal to you; it's also a good idea to read what others had to say about the man, as Leary's ideas - especially during the Seventies S.M.I2.L.E. period - were probably presented better by RAW than by Leary himself; the anthology "Outside Looking In" is also worth a read.

Leary's work can be divided into a few periods, starting in the Fifties with his Psychology material ("The Interpersonal Diagnosis Of Personality" in particular), most of which seems aimed at specialists, I find it pretty much unreadable. This bleeds into the Psychedelic era with some early attempts to fathom his and his associates' trips in a particularly dry and pompous style; Art Kleps, whom I always found to be a quite unpleasant person, may have been onto something when he said that if you'd wanted to poison the Sixties at its beginning you couldn't have done a much better job than "The Psychedelic Experience," humourless as it was and introducing Tibetan "wrathful demons" to readers' heads while presenting acid-trips as something at which you could succeed or fail (The Clear White Light Of The Void = GOOD. Everything else = BAD). But Leary as theologician soon got his Hippy mojo, and "The Politics Of Ecstasy" plus "High Priest" both present a series of brilliantly weird snapshots of that brilliantly weird time. "Jail Notes" and "Confessions Of A Hope Fiend" segue into the Seventies, both are very readable, playful-experimental, with lots of Joyce and Crowley in them; then you get to my favourite of his roles, cosmic philosopher, the post-exile solitary-confinement texts: all the 8-circuit stuff dates from here and plenty of mad psi-phi/spy-fi bollocks besides. To actually answer your question: sure you should check out "Neuropolitique," it's a collection of essays, most of them quite short and breezy, and even if you're not impressed by Leary three of the pieces are written with RAW so there's always that. But if you are impressed you can read the rest of the "Future History" series, including the faux-anthology "The Intelligence Agents," the scholarly (or pseudo-scholarly if you're one of his critics) "Info-Psychology," and the most wonderful book ever written, the gorgeously insane (or grotesquely inane, if you're one of his critics) "The Game Of Life." RAW made a couple of contributions to this too. Leary then spent a great deal of the Eighties playing celebrity futurist, starting off by releasing his lurid mass-market autobiography "Flashbacks" alongside a collection of his "serious" writings called "Changing My Mind, Among Others" (the latter I think is only currently available in chopped Ronin Press editions which show such respect for their source that they introduce at least one spelling-mistake per page); then you get "Mind Mirror," updating his old psychological work for the computer age, and "Surfing The Conscious Nets," a trashy "graphic novel" (but not a comic-book as "graphic novel" generally means) presented as a group-exchange of e-mails, it's completely unlike anything else he ever wrote. "Chaos & Cyberculture" consolidates the Raver/VR approach (as well as casually predicting the appearance of Viagra the way he'd earlier predicted the emergence of the Internet); this brings Leary into the Nineties, in which decade he went and died: "Design For Dying" with R. U. Sirius was an account of that particular party.

Oz Fritz said...

I like and agree with most of Jason's Leary suggestions with the exception of Art Klep's paranoid mischaracterization of The Psychedelic Experience. He doesn't sound like he has experience with the subject matter, or maybe he had a bad trip? Whatever the reason, his comments seem fear based.

The Psychedelic Experience might register as the first manual on how to effectively use psychedelics. John Lennon appears the most well known countercultural figure to graduate from that particular course.

"Relax, turn off your mind, and float downstream" from Lennon's composition Tommorrow Never Knows, came directly from The Psychedelic Experience

The comment that Leary poisoned the '60's with The Psychedelic Experience before the 60's really got under way doesn't make sense. If the 60's became poisoned at the start, then all the cultural illumination engendered in that era would have failed to happen. The 60's poison seems more likely a result of the large scale introduction of speed, cocaine and heroin into the scene toward the end of that decade.

Jason said...

Ah, but Lennon came to bitterly resent the influence "The Psychedelic Experience" had on him: "I was reading that stupid book of Leary's and all that shit. We were going through a whole game that everyone went through, and I destroyed myself... I destroyed my ego and I didn't believe I could do anything." He remained friends with Leary, he never lost respect for the potential of LSD, but the joyless Eastern emphasis on egolessness - embedded, paradoxically, in a win-or-lose framework where not attaining one specific version of illumination equates to having done the whole thing *wrong* - was poison as far as his own life went. I'd certainly agree with you that it's absurd to blame Leary for being a destructive element within the movement that he played such a large part in creating and sustaining, I'd also say that even a misguided approach to acid is of more value than any approach to the real poisons you mentioned, speed and coke etc, but I do think that the playful, hedonistic and irreverent High Priest Leary of the later part of the decade was a better guide to the true psychedelic experience than the earlier East-gazing Guru persona he would later repudiate: "Beware of the Hindu trap. It's anti-sexual..." The Tibetan trap, too.

Oz Fritz said...

To lump The Psychedelic Experience in with a biased overgeneralized gloss on the loser side of Eastern Mysticism misses the point of the book entirely and sounds as narrow minded as any other religious rant.

That any "right" or "wrong", 'good" or bad" moral values applies to states of consciousness as described there seems a really bizarre and uniformed interpretation. The "win or lose framework" does not exist in that book much less in its practical experience. It serves as an extremely precise technical manual, a breakthrough in its time. Leary always recognized the significant role it played in his work.

Joyless egolessness must have been the result of someone's subjective bad trip. The following quote from The Psychedelic Experience has far greater accuracy:

O friend, remember:
When body and mind separate, you experience a glimpse of the pure truth -
Subtle, sparkling, bright,
Dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome,
In appearance like a mirage moving across a landscape in springtime.
One continuous stream of vibrations.
Be not daunted thereby,
Nor terrified, nor awed.
That is the radiance of your own true nature.
Recognize it.

Put on the headphones get into the mood and listen to Lennon's transmission, the homage to The Psychedelic Experience, Tomorrow Never Knows and see what happens.

Beware the trap of worrying about getting trapped. How does the "dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome" self get trapped?

Jason said...

Just to clarify, you are aware that "Beware of the Hindu trap" was Leary, writing in "Starseed"? I'm not sure if that came across, sorry if it didn't. Yes, the good Doctor did indeed recognise the significant role of his early (and, for sure, pioneering, *way* out there) work, but he also left it behind along with the Eastern viewpoint which he would later dismiss as "sweet custard mush." He eventually found that regarding existence as "one continuous stream of vibrations" was, while not untrue, not particularly useful either within the scientific-evolutionary reality-tunnel he came to prefer.

From "The Psychedelic Experience": "All individuals who have received the practical teachings of this manual will, if the text be remembered, be set face to face with the ecstatic radiance and will win illumination instantaneously, without entering upon hallucinatory struggles and without further suffering..."

What this says is that if you take LSD, if you remember the words of the manual and strive to realise them but find yourself nonetheless hallucinating and somehow not instantaneously illuminated, you've done it wrong. This becomes even more clear in the next paragraph where Leary uses words like "when the goal is won..." and "success," i.e. getting out of "the various worlds of game existence" is here being presented as another game. The rules are hinted at a bit further on: "In those who are heavily dependent on their ego games, and who dread giving up their control, the illuminated state endures only so long as it would take to snap a finger. In some, it lasts as long as the time taken for eating a meal." There not only is a "win or lose framework," there's a league-table implicit in there too!

"How does the "dazzling, glorious, and radiantly awesome" self get trapped?"

Well, one way is by falling in love with itself and with just how gosh-darned dazzling! glorious! and AWESOME! it is. Again, my personal favourite Leary, the Seventies philosopher of future evolution, snarked endlessly at the be-here-now Hippies and their failure to obey the best advice of their beloved Buddha: "Keep moving!"

I can certainly agree with you however on the value of "Tomorrow Never Knows" on a loop while "in the mood" - but that doesn't change the fact that Lennon himself came to look back on this period of his life with not-quite-rose-tinted glasses. A shame.

Oz Fritz said...

<<>>

Apart from a roughly similar geographical location, The Tibetan Book of the Dead technology that The Psychedelic Experience derives from has very little to do with the "Eastern viewpoint" posture that Leary later called himself out on.

The Psychedelic Experience has absolutely nothing to do with the Hindu guru modality Leary adopted then later put down despite it originating from the East. Please reread the last sentence and receive it so that we can stop discussing irrelevancies.

To provide evidence showing that I'm not uninformedly making up unproven assertions, I went searching for Leary's later opinion on his seminal psychedelic work. I remembered reading Leary's lengthy explanation and description of how TPE came into existence in the excellent collection, Changing My Mind Among Others but I unfortunately no longer have a copy to refer to so I pulled out Flashbacks. A quick search showed two brief references, both favorable and one illustrating the vital importance it has as a tool for helping people in a real way.

Flashbacks p.192: That night I received a phone call from Laura Huxley. She said that Aldous was dying and that he particularly wanted to see me about the manual we were adopting from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. ... Then he motioned me conspiratorially close. He said he didn't want to worry Laura, who couldn't face the fact that he was dying. He said he knew of his terminal illness when he wrote the scene in Island where the dying grandmother was guided through the bardos. Aldous asked if I would guide him through an LSD session with our psychedelic version of the Book of the Dead

The chapter ends by mentioning the death of JFK and Huxley on the same day: "That evening a friend at the Associated Press in New York called with an item he had just pulled off the wire. Aldous Huxley was dead. In the grief for Kennedy no one noticed.
We held a long candlelight vigil for both our departed guides."

People who know and work with the technology that informs The Psychedelic Experience have a good idea of what went on during this vigil - real help at one of the most crucial points in an individual's journey.

I find it extremely interesting that the very next words in Flashbacks after "candlelight vigil for both our departed guides" read "Robert Anton Wilson" at the top of Chapter 23, of course.

The next mention of TPE occurs a few pages later on p. 196. The paragraph that follows (p. 197 now) begins:

"The next visitor was a writer named Robert Anton Wilson, who came up to Millbrook on freelance assignment from Realist ...

Robert Anton Wilson also enjoyed great familiarity with Book of the Dead technology which he effectively, if subtly, communicated in several books.

Jason said...

Yeah, it might be time to hit the "agree to disagree" button and leave it there, I'm not sure much in the way of gain is to be had from this exchange; if you want to insist "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" isn't an example of Eastern mysticism you are certainly free to do so, although you'll be dismayed to hear that even after obeying your stern command to reread and "receive" a glowing sentence of yours I would still maintain that "The Psychedelic Experience" fits firmly into Leary's dry guru phase, and it was only the subsequent double-whammy of the nascent Hippy scene and the lighter-looser "Tao Teh Ching" that started to lighten-loosen him up. "One continuous stream of vibrations" = "undifferentiated unity" = exactly what Leary "later called himself out on."

As for your "Flashbacks" quotes, I'm not sure why you wasted your time as we're both agreed as regards the nature of Leary's "later opinion on his seminal psychedelic work," he looked back fondly on every phase of his life; *but* he didn't regard all those phases as being equally useful. "A quick search [through his autobiogaphy, mind!] showed two brief references, both favorable..." Of course they were favourable, but the fact that they were brief is of much more importance in determining the importance he placed upon his early work. That he would use that particular manual as a trip-guide in 1963 - i.e. when he was writing it - makes perfect sense, but the fact that he doesn't seem to have similarly employed it in 1973... or 1983... or 1993... is positively revealing. Please kindly reread that last sentence eighteen times, backwards: "gnilaever si..."

Royal Academy of Reality 1132 said...

The Psychedelic Experience seems an important book to me. Some people have found it a useful text.

Oz Fritz said...

{{{ I would still maintain that "The Psychedelic Experience" fits firmly into Leary's dry guru phase }}}

No indication that Leary ever conflated his Bardo technician mask with his Hindu guru mask.

I see your logic though. Leary made fun of his Hindu role, which derived from an Eastern mystical system, therefore that means he also denounced his Tibetan Buddhist role because it also describes (a completely different)mystical system from the East.

This logic seems similar to Bush's use of the events of 911 to justify a war in Iraq. Let's hope you don't go into politics.

{{{ As for your "Flashbacks" quotes, I'm not sure why you wasted your time }}}

Thanks for letting me know that you missed the point which was the poignant, vital, and timely usefulness of TPE. Leary did not look back fondly at every phase of his life. Read Flashbacks again, should be pretty obvious.

{{{ but the fact that he doesn't seem to have similarly employed it in 1973... or 1983... or 1993... is positively revealing. }}}

You have data on how he used LSD in those years or do we just have another unfounded, opinionated assertion here? Even if he didn't use TPE in his later sessions, it doesn't necessarily indicate a rejection of this earlier modus operandi. We all know the qabalistic meaning of "assume."

{{{ From "The Psychedelic Experience": "All individuals who have received the practical teachings of this manual will, if the text be remembered, be set face to face with the ecstatic radiance and will win illumination instantaneously, without entering upon hallucinatory struggles and without further suffering..."

What this says is that if you take LSD, if you remember the words of the manual and strive to realise them but find yourself nonetheless hallucinating and somehow not instantaneously illuminated, you've done it wrong. }}}

The quote says if you don't win illumination instantaneously then you did not receive the practical teachings of this manual. Nothing in there about doing anything wrong. Projecting a Judeo-Christian good/bad, reward/punishment morality reality tunnel using the confines of Aristotelian logic onto TPE seems like casting swine into the pearls.

Jason said...

Oh my God, "You are teh George Bush!!!1!!1!1" Playground drivel.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw5XT7tjW18

"You have data on how he used LSD in those years...?"

Yes, we all do: his voluminous writings and speaking appearances in which he would do everything he could to promote his current obsessions.

"I see your logic though.'

Yeah? My logic is that "one continuous stream of vibrations," from the quote you singled out from "The Psychedelic Experience," is a view of existence as "undifferentiated unity," which is specifically the strain of thinking Leary came to repudiate, not as false but as unhelpful. If you think that "one continuous stream of vibrations" and "undifferentiated unity" in fact represent completely different viewpoints, or if you can show that the later Leary was only mocking certain strains of the "All is One (turn off your mind)" mentality and that he continued to find Tibetan Buddhism useful and inspiring throughout his post-1964 life, then, as my hero and mentor George Bush once said, bring it on.

"The Psychedelic Experience seems an important book to me. Some people have found it a useful text."

Oh, for sure, I don't think any of Leary's books are without value, there are all sorts of benefits to be had from the wise - and probably even the foolish - enjoyment and employment of any of his works. But it looks to me like after various "Journey to the East" projects he decided that this early approach - both the Harvard/post-Harvard scholarly tone and the specific Eastern idea-spaces he'd been exploring - were best left behind. Fun tourist trips to be sure, but not somewhere you'd want to spend more than a couple of years of your career. Compare this with the 8-Circuit model, which grew out of his theology period in essays such as "The Seven Tongues of God," which then matured through his early-Seventies adventures and dominated his later-Seventies work, being presented in, what, six books? and which informed his subsequent life up until the Cancer phase. Or there's the Interpersonal Psychology work, which he seemed to leave behind soon after psilocybin appeared on the scene but which, when he came to develop the "Mind Mirror" software, he decided was relevant to the Circuit VI world he was inhabiting/creating at the time. I see no indication that he ever felt Tibetan Buddhism was similarly relevant to any of the post-Sixties realities he traversed/actualised.

Oz Fritz said...

{{{ Yes, we all do: his voluminous writings and speaking appearances in which he would do everything he could to promote his current obsessions. }}}

Let's see it then. I'm not aware of any documentation of how he used LSD after his prison stint. I've read all his writings I could find and saw him speak as much as possible in the late '80s early 90s. He did not ever publicly speak of his illegal drug use when I saw him. He didn't seem that foolish or self-destructive.

Your quirky interpretation of "one continuous stream of vibrations," meaning "All is One" doesn't seem to have been shared by Leary. I don't regard that line as religious dogma. It seems more like a poetic metaphor to try give a feeling for a type of experience. If you changed it slightly to "one continuous stream of water" it wouldn't mean that all water "is" one. It simply means the water spoken of flows.

The mindless state doesn't appear unique to Eastern mysticism. It also comes highly recommended by Crowley and Burroughs among others.

The "one continuous stream of vibrations," phrase you get hung up on doesn't seem critical to how TPE functions. It took me about 2 minutes to find that quote which I did to document the refutation of the "joyless egolessness" nonsense. Such drivel reminds me of the Pope lecturing about sex.

In an essay called called "Common Sense Alternatives to Involuntary Death" written in his later years with Eric Gullichsen, Leary recommends new rituals. One of the new rituals he recommends gets based on Tibetan Buddhism.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/46929522/6453812-Timothy-Leary-Chaos-Cyber-Culture

Interestingly, as I searched for that essay I found a book by Leary that Ronin published in 2009 with the same title, "Common Sense Alternatives to Involuntary Death"

Jason said...

Gah, scribd.com keeps crashing my computer and the only other version of that essay I can find online seems garbled, my memories of it are probably pretty garbled too, but: doesn't "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" get a few mentions throughout "Chaos & Cyberculture," brief and fond, performing pretty much the same function as the brief and fond references to it in "Flashbacks": there he was paying tribute to a distant phase in his career, here he pays tribute to a long-ago link in the chain of humanity's ongoing attempt to grapple with death. Isn't that right? In examining notions of dying doesn't he devote a paragraph to "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," then a paragraph to "The Tibetan Book of the Dead," then talk for the rest of the piece using the scientific language and concepts he considered more relevant to the contemporary age? If "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" in fact played a much larger part in his thinking around this time then I'd love to know about it, perhaps you could provide quotes?

"Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said... Jason, I have been meaning to read some Leary; would the later, pro-Dylan edition of "Neuropolitics" be a good start?"

Well, if you're still following this exchange, I'd say it seems you should try getting "Neuropolitique" and "The Psychedelic Experience" and seeing which most resonates with you. Perhaps both will, perhaps neither; understand however that if your opinion of the latter differs from that of Oz Fritz then you are WRONG and you're like George Bush and you're like the Pope and you'll have to reread Oz Fritz's words until you come to share Oz Fritz's opinion at which point Oz Fritz can declare it time to stop discussing what Oz Fritz determines to be irrelevancies; should you fail to be converted and instead bring up Art Kleps' view of the book, Oz Fritz reserves the right to simply invent a bad trip from out of his imagination: because an honest difference of opinions is unthinkable, no, a "subjective bad trip" "must" be to blame, yes, "fear based" Kleps was "paranoid" to the extent of being incapable of a proper characterisation of the book: these fairly serious claims about the life and mind of a man are to be accepted without even a single quote to demonstrate this paranoia or document this alleged bad trip, and if you are *still* not convinced then go listen to a Beatles song on a loop, John Lennon after all was probably "the most well known countercultural figure to graduate from that particular course" - and when it turns out that Lennon came to look back on the influence of "The Psychedelic Experience" as poisonous - "that stupid book," "shit" - then it's fingers-in-ears time, change-the-subject time, here's a quote to prove that Leary in the early sixties used with enthusiasm the work Leary undertook in the early sixties, QED! Ah, to be illuminated...

Oz Fritz said...

I guess if you can't respond to the issues thoughtfully then you can always go 'ad hominem' with the debate and throw any kind of meaningful exchange out the window.

I would not start reading Leary with "The Psychedelic Experience" I only took issue with the ignorant disrespect shown that work and the imaginary, unproven assertion that Leary somehow agreed with this put down.

Before anymore imaginary BS gets attributed to me, I also wish to state that I do not encourage or advocate the use of LSD or any other illegal drug.

No one seems right or wrong for holding an opinion, as we collide once more with rigid dualistic logic. They may exist some degree of "rightness" or "wrongness" as to whether Leary agreed or disagreed with an opinion.

Where to start with reading Leary? As I said earlier, I pretty much agree with Jason's initial comments except the distorted mischaracterization of "The Psychedelic Experience"

{{{ performing pretty much the same function as the brief and fond references to it in "Flashbacks }}}

Don't know what function you have in mind. The function it plays in "Flashbacks" communicates how vitally important this work can be to some, admittedly few, people.

John Lennon put down and made caustic comments about many things close to him at one time or another, The Beatles, McCartney etc. It doesn't mean he forever regretted his work with the Beatles or his friendship and collaboration with Sir Paul. Despite very bitter public feuding, their friendship emerged intact.

Also, it would seem helpful to know the context of Lennon's comments disparaging TPE. At almost any time it would appear a public relations fiasco to express the benefits to extensive drug use. It would seem particularly disadvantageous to come out in support of Leary during the 5 year period when Nixon and the Feds were trying to throw Lennon out of the country.

More telling: the friendship between John and Tim and the help they gave each other. Leary appears the only person Lennon agreed to write a song for, Come Together, for Leary's political campaign. Some of the lyrics in that song could get interpreted as favorably alluding to Leary and his work. All in all, the song comes across as very positive and uplifting.

I didn't mention this earlier because I don't have all day to refute every point and didn't need to.

{{{ fairly serious claims about the life and mind of a man are to be accepted without even a single quote }}}

I didn't make any claims about anyone's life or mind beyond suggesting motives for one particular statement: the ridiculous assertion that "The Psychedelic Experience" poisoned the '60's. Hard to debate against this kind of overreaction.

"Joyless egolessness," if anyone actually experienced this, does seem like a subjective bad trip to me whether from drugs or anything else.

As to Leary's affinity for the Tibetan Book of the Dead: About 2 or 3 months before he died some friends of mine, Glenn and Lee Perry who own and operate the Samadhi floatation tank business, were asked by John Lilly to install a tank for Tim at his home. They went to LA and installed the tank for him and took the opportunity to give him a copy of the "American Book of the Dead" another technical manuel based on the "Tibetan Book of the Dead." They said that Leary was delighted to receive the book and immediately opened it and started reading aloud from it and ad libbed word games with it.

Here's a link to Leary reading from The Psychedelic Experience. I don't know when it got recorded but if time can get taken to actually listen to the text, you can hear that nothing in it disagrees with anything else Leary wrote or said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsqzCxwMz9k

Oz Fritz said...

PS Lennon's mostly positive encounter with "The Psychedelic Experience" gets documented in "The Lives of John Lennon" by Albert Goldman in the chapter "Flight to the White Light" starting on p. 195

Jason said...

"ad hominem"

I honestly don't see it. I quoted your words ("imaginary BS"?) at length to demonstrate the manner in which you're conducting yourself, i.e. 1) inventing quite serious things out of nowhere, such as this "bad trip" which you still evidently prefer to cling to rather than admit that a sincere difference of opinions is possible in this matter; 2) refusing to recognise that the quote from John Lennon proves the "ridiculous assertion" that "The Psychedelic Experience" was indeed seen as a poisonous influence by at last one major player from the Sixties. Again you sidestep the issue: "More telling: the friendship between John and Tim and the help they gave each other." I already wrote: "He remained friends with Leary, he never lost respect for the potential of LSD, but..." And now you seem to be claiming that Lennon's words may have originated from a cowardly wish to dissociate himself from a controversial figure, that he would stab Leary in the back to ingratiate himself with Nixon and the Feds? I regard this as a stunningly nasty accusation and of course you once again offer it without any quotes or other support. And; 3) engaging in, yes, ad hominems: that "George Bush" and "the Pope" silliness.

Um, what else is there... Do you really want to argue that the almost total absence of references to a subject in thirty years of constant writing and speaking engagements doesn't constitute evidence of an overall absence of interest? Sure, Leary couldn't talk openly about his LSD use for a great deal of that period but there was no similar prohibition on Tibetan Buddhism. It's not impossible that he'd spend the day lecturing on Virtual Reality or writing about Digital Polytheism then go home to his wife and his friends and they'd light the candles whilst piously addressing each other as "O nobly born" and all that shit (in Lennon's words); I think though that this would then have shown up in his work.

Or, for that matter, do you want to insist that Crowley's recommendation of the mindless state didn't derive from his deep and intense immersion in Eastern thought?

"I also wish to state that I do not encourage or advocate the use of LSD or any other illegal drug."

No? My name's Jason Pilley and I'm happy to state that I encourage and advocate the use of LSD and certain other illegal drugs.

Oz Fritz said...

Sorry you seem unable or unwilling to receive my communication. Your last post appears completely wrong on every point but it seems futile to explain.

So long, and thanks for all the fish...

Jason said...

"Your last post appears completely wrong on every point but it seems futile to explain."

In debating terminology this is known The Kerwan Manoeuvre. (As in "kerwankerwankerwankerwankerwankerwan...") "I could win the argument, I just choose not to! You ain't worth it!" Half-price this week and every other week at Sophist Joe's Emporium of Cheap-shit Cheapshots. Probably your reliance on such dismal tactics and outright lies is because of the massive nervous-breakdown you "must" have once suffered; also you don't actually believe what you say but are lying to improve your standing in the eyes of the authorities; also there is clear indication of a raging Oedipus Complex in your writings, specifically at that point where you used some words to say some stuff about some things. Face it, Oz Fritz: you are weak and scared and governed by unpardonable lusts, prove it isn't true! You can't prove it isn't true therefore it's true.

I can see you're a very spiritual person!!!

Oz Fritz said...

Wrong again on every count. I proved my point several times. No need to repeat myself.

Jason Pilley said...

Six months on and I find this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBRpTOH-XlQ&feature=related - Leary towards the end of his life talking about "The Psychedelic Experience." Eleven minutes, fifty-odd seconds in: "the worst mistake we ever made," "fancy bullshit," "poetic babble," "ridiculous," and... "scary." You owe me an apology, shithead.

Jason said...

Upon reflection, "shithead" was over-the-top and uncalled-for, I'm sure you're a lovely little man in your lovely little way.