I've included quite a few YouTube video clips in this story. I would encourage you to take your time working your way through this story, and try to watch all the videos all the way through. Once and a while you might feel that some of the video clips are dragging on, and that you feel that you've gotten the point already. You may have. This said, I've included the minutes of each video clip so you can choose a time to watch them where you won't feel pressed for time, and thus make a hasty decision to either skip the video and/or not watch it all the way through. I've taken a lot of time searching for the right video clips to enhance the development of this story, and I feel that you will definitely miss a lot if you choose to skip over the video clips. As well, I believe that you will most likely miss something important and special for the development of your consciousness if you choose to not watch the video clips all the way through.
I 'know' I was supposed to be a visiting this Taos Ashram at that specific time because the Universe had quite a number of people there who seemed to be 'waiting for me' to either give them psychic information and/or to do healing work on them.
Even though the Universe had guided me to put a tattoo of the Hindu god Krishna on my arm before the Vermont Rainbow Gathering the summer before, I am not a Hindu, and I was not seeking a guru at the time and/or a highly specific spiritual path or religion to follow like Hinduism.
As I've emphasized before, since leaving healing school in May 1991, my spiritual path had been, and has continued to be up to the present day, virtually 100% guided from the inner spirit planes, without any outside teachers and/or books.
So it didn't really mean that much to me that the guru of this particular Ashram was Neem Karoli Baba (d. 1973), the guru of Ram Das, co-founder of the Seva Foundation along with Wavy Gravy.
I had never heard of Neem Karoli Baba before being guided to visit this Ashram 19 years ago, and I had limited interest in Ram Das as well.
Here are some images of Neem Karoli Baba (d. 1973):
If you'd like to become familiar with Neem Karoli Baba, the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, and the Taos, New Mexico Ashram, I've included a number of YouTube video clips for you to watch.
Here's an interesting YouTube video clip of a 2008 'lecture'
by one of Neem Karoli Baba's American disciples, Krishna Das
(a.k.a. Jeffery Kagel). In this clip, Krishna Das is talking
about his time in India back in 1970 with Neem Karoli Baba,
where the guru taught about Jesus Christ and all the guru's
disciples read the Christian Bible, at an altitude of 10,000
feet in the Himalayas.
Click HERE to watch this video of the 2008 Krishna Das 'Hanuman and Christ' lecture, and devotional chant to Neem Karoli Baba (9:09 minutes)
Next: I won't pretend to know much about any of
the Hindu deities, including Hanuman, nor am I drawn to, nor
am I guided by the Universe, to learn more about them. This
said, I think it would again be respectful, and once again,
perhaps even inspirational, to try to get a deeper feeling
for Hanuman, and for the glorious role he plays in the Hindu
Click HERE to watch a very cool, almost psychedelic, animated YouTube video clip about Hanuman (9:49 minutes) set to the chanting music of the Hanuman Chalisa - the sacred Hindu devotional song to Hanuman. Click here for a YouTube video which gives the English Translation of the Hanuman Chalisa (7:10 minutes). Note: It might be necessary to click on the 'full screen' button to enlarge the video, since the writing on the video screen is small.
Finally, I found this YouTube clip of what a celebration is like at the Neem Karoli Baba Taos, New Mexico Ashram. There's a lot of footage of the fabulously large kitchen and the preparation of food, which is where I did most of my volunteering work during my two week stay there. Click HERE to watch the video clip (5:14 minutes).
Anyway, back to the unfoldment of our story....
I had not read Ram Das' 1971 book "Be Here Now" before I came to this Ashram, and I have still not read it, nor has the Universe asked me to read it. Nonetheless, from everyone I've spoken to who's read it, it is a very powerful spiritual book.
I did attend one Ram Das lecture during my 'Metaphysical Learning Explosion' days, so I did have some familiarity with him.
It would be a number of years from that summer of 1992 (I think it was 1998, but I'm not positive), as I was enjoying attending a New Age Expo in New York City, when I overheard someone whisper that this physically contorted gentleman in a wheelchair was Ram Das and that he had recently had a stroke in February 1997.
Not being the type of person who pursues celebrities, I normally would not go up to a famous person and talk to them.
But this day was different.
I heard the Universe whisper in my ear to walk up to Ram Das, tell him that I was a healer, and ask him if I could do a healing on him. With this youngish long-haired guy wheeling him around and a steady cascade of friends and admirers coming up to him, still and all Ram Das looked me deeply in the eyes and said "YES".
So with the assistance of the youngish long-haired guy, we stole away to some secluded spot and I did the healing. In the limited time I had (about 10 minutes) I was able to completely straighten out the contortions in his physical body.
He looked perfectly normal sitting there in his wheelchair, physically balanced and very relaxed.
Both Ram Das and his assistant clearly recognized and greatly appreciated the healing results I had achieved in an extremely short time.
Unfortunately, his entourage found him and whisked him away from me before we could solidify plans to continue our healing work.
We did have a unique brief discussion as well, which I may write about elsewhere. But for now, let's stay focused on this story.
Anyway, to reiterate, I had no particular understanding of the significance of the Universe bringing me to the Neem Karoli Baba Taos Ashram just before I was to begin a major, year-long stay in Austin, Texas.
And until a month ago when someone gave me tickets to Wavy Gravy's 75th birthday benefit concert for the Seva Foundation, I did not realize that BOTH Ram Das AND Wavy Gravy were co-founders of the Seva Foundation (along with Larry and Girija Brilliant).
I would not naturally have grouped Wavy Gravy and Ram Das together as being natural partners to co-found a charitable Foundation to do good deeds around the planet.
Wavy Gravy is mostly known as a 1960's hippy icon: the famous Master of Ceremonies at Woodstock, and the honorary Clown for the Grateful Dead.
Ram Das I would naturally group with meditative, New Age spirituality, with a focus on Hinduism and Eastern mysticism in general.
But when one looks a bit deeper, one can see a much more fundamental link between Wavy Gravy and Ram Das : Psychedelic drugs.
But before we delve into the controversial waters of Psychedelic drugs, I'd like to give you the opportunity to reflect on the importance of 'The Beatles' visit to India in 1968 in the popularization of Hinduism and other Eastern spiritual practices and traditions in the West. Of course, 'The Beatles' also were fundamental in popularizing the use of Psychedelic drugs in the mid 1960's. We'll get to the drug dimension of 'The Beatles' later on in the story.
Here's a YouTube slide show set to the music of The Beatles song "Across The Universe", which documents their 1968 trip to India to stay with the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM) Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Click HERE to watch video clip.
Here's another YouTube slide show set to the music of The Beatles song "Across The Universe", which documents their 1968 trip to India to stay with the founder of Transcendental Meditation (TM) Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Click HERE to watch video clip.
Here's an interesting YouTube video clip of film director David Lynch interviewing Paul McCartney about his experiences with meditation and in particular, what it was like at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in India. Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Here's a rare YouTube video clip of a John Lennon song about his experience in India, called "India, India". Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Now I should state right here that I personally do not take drugs of any kind, or drink alcohol. When I was in my mid teens (roughly 1974 through 1976) I went through a short-lived though very intense phase where I took a few different types of drugs such as Acid, THC, Quaaludes, Hash and Marijuana. I also occasionally drank more than modest amounts of alcohol at this time as well. Mostly beer, but also a variety of other stronger alcohol-content drinks, like Southern Comfort and Jack Daniels. Something came over me in my late teens though, and while many of my friends were just getting started with drugs and alcohol, I went cold turkey and never started again. I may have had an occasional beer through my 20's at social occasions, but nothing stronger. When my major inner spiritual transformation work began around 1991, I was told specifically by the Universe to not take drugs or drink alcohol of any kind. This 'edict' by the Universe, was mostly so I would keep my body and aura pure for the spiritual work I would be undertaking. The Universe also wanted me to always be completely sober during this massive spiritual transformation work, so that I would always be able to take 100% responsibility for all of my actions.
So I've been completely drug and alcohol free since roughly 1976, except for one psychedelic experience during my stay in Austin in 1992, an experience that was guided by the Universe.
A part of this story that I'm writing about here includes this one psychedelic experience I had in Austin, along with a Universe-guided tour of the drug-infused RAVE scene in Austin, not too long after I left the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here.....Let's get back to the gradual unfolding of this story....
For those of you that don't know anything about Ram Das,
before Ram Das changed his name in 1967, he was Richard
Alpert, PhD, Harvard University professor, who, along with
Timothy Leary, experimented with, and advocated for the use
of hallucinogenic drugs (LSD, in his case) to achieve
Here's an interesting YouTube video clip that shows the group of culturally influential people who lived in a massive mansion with Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary in the early 1960's, while jointly experimenting with LSD. Click HERE to watch the clip (5:58 minutes). You can see that Richard Alpert, now Ram Das, is in a wheel chair in this video clip, struggling slightly from his stroke to express his thoughts. Whether or not the 300+ LSD 'trips' that Richard Alpert took before 1967 contributed to his having a stroke 30 years later in 1997, I don't think we can know for sure.
I've finally gotten to the main point of taking you through all of this pre-Austin, Ram Das / Neem Karoli Baba footage.
To get this 'Final 'Point', please watch this final YouTube video clip, and I'll emphasize this main point after the video. (Note: Ram Das refers to Neem Karoli Baba as simply Maharajji, which is the generic title of respect for a guru).
So Neem Karoli Baba ate all of the LSD pills and he showed no reaction at all.
And he said to Ram Das:
" IT'S IN YOU "
So, this is why I believe the Universe took me to the Taos Ashram before bringing me to Austin, Texas for a wild, year-long stay, and then to California: The Universe was basically giving me a strong reminder that what it was about to show me was all 'external methods' to achieve what I would eventually achieve solely through my own inner meditation and transformation process.
But not everybody can meditate and achieve the kind of extra-sensory perception that I have opened up within myself.
So the Universe apparently wanted to give me a 'tour' of a variety of techniques it had developed to awaken the 'higher minds' of human beings, along with showing me all the pitfalls of what happens when human beings use these 'external methods'.
So...Onward To Austin...Then to California
As I wrote in my last story (Major Test of Faith #8 : Psychically reading the towering 6'4", gun-slinging, mentally-unbalanced, cowboy-owner of an Austin, Texas Reggae Club), I felt that the Universe had completely hooked me up in Austin even before I got there, by getting me a free place to stay (Mr. D's place) and by hooking me up with the hippy vendors who helped me find places to do psychic readings in Austin, like the Reggae club.
Another major connection that the hippy vendors hooked me up with within a month of me arriving in Austin, was to ask the organizers of the emerging RAVE scene in Austin, if I could do psychic readings at the RAVES.
Now I had no idea what a RAVE was before the vendors hooked me up.
In fact, I had no idea just how unique the Austin RAVE's were back in 1992, until I went on YouTube and watched many videos of RAVEs in other cities around the US and in other countries.
It seems to me from watching so many of these RAVE videos on YouTube, that many RAVEs outside of Austin, were primarily private 'dance club parties' in warehouses, where most people were taking the drug XTC. The music was Techno-dance, and the primary visual effects were laser light shows and smoke machines.
If I am greatly oversimplifying what the RAVE scenes were like in other cities in the US and elsewhere, I apologize. It is only due to my ignorance and lack of information about what was happening elsewhere. I'm just going by the posted videos of RAVEs on YouTube, which is clearly not a comprehensive sampling of what the RAVE scene was like.
I just know about the Austin RAVE scene in and around 1992.
And it was a very cool scene !
I have found one YouTube RAVE
video which captures the awesome artwork and warehouse set
designs that went into the Austin RAVES while I was there.
Interestingly, I'm sure that this video isn't from any RAVEs
that happened in Austin, so I'm already proven wrong about
the lower quality of RAVEs outside of Austin. So much for
oversimplification ! Anyway,
out this very cool video that I feel really captures the
fabulous imagination and artwork that I recall of the Austin
RAVEs I attended. Click HERE.
Now in truth, I really wasn't part of this scene. I was a psychic reader and emerging healer who just a short time ago was a relatively straight-laced, 30 year old high school Physics teacher, who didn't take any drugs or drink alcohol. The Universe brought me into this Austin RAVE scene to 'check it out', not to become a part of it.
One of the miraculous mind-blowing events that showed me that the Universe was making a concerted effort to illuminate my mind to this Austin RAVE scene, came one sunny day when I was doing psychic readings near Littlefield Fountain on the University of Texas main campus.
Photo by Rich Love
Now, I had already met quite a number of interesting and colorful people in Austin so far, like my hippy vendor friends and assorted people I'd met at the Reggae club and elsewhere.
But not much prepared me for the vision of Alvin appearing out of the BLUE, with his body painted completely BLUE like the Hindu god Krishna or Rama, and if my memory is serving me right, he was also flapping those two huge, psychedelically-painted wings just as he did on the Great Lawn in Central Park about 6 months earlier. The only difference this time, was that he wasn't completely naked but had on blue gym shorts, as I recall.
And here was Alvin dancing around wildly in the Littlefield Fountain !
To try to get a visual picture of what this scene might have looked like, please take a look at this YouTube video clip of the Littlefield Fountain. It's a great video clip of this extremely central monument on the University of Texas at Austin's main campus. And while you're watching this video clip, try to imagine what a typical University of Texas student or faculty member might have been thinking if they just happened to be walking by the Littlefield Fountain when Alvin was dancing in it !
CLICK HERE FOR THE GREAT VIDEO CLIP OF LITTLEFIELD FOUNTAIN (and the Clocktower in the background) ***Don't miss the great fireworks display at the very end, and all the cool colors of the Clocktower lights.
As an aside....Juxtapose this vision of Alvin's peaceful 'Krisha-Rama Dance' in the fountain near the campus Clocktower, with the ongoing debate over the Texas legislation that would allow concealed guns to be carried on campus and in the classroom (not to mention, in the Austin State Capitol building as well !). Perhaps you recall, that in 1966 an ex-marine went up to the top of the University Clocktower with a huge arsenal of assault rifles, and opened fire on the innocent bystanders below, killing 16 people and seriously wounding another 30.
The juxtaposition of Alvin's peaceful dance verses the violence of the 1966 Clocktower massacre reminds me of the famous 1967 photo of the anti-war protester putting flowers inside soldier's rifles.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about this ongoing 'guns on campus' debate in Texas, here's a YouTube video clip which will give you an overview of the debate, including commentary from a student who witnessed his friend being shot during the 1966 Clocktower shooting. CLICK HERE to watch the video clip.
Anyway, back to Alvin....
So can you imagine how mind-blowing this scene was to me, witnessing Alvin's appearance out of the Blue ! Given my previous experiences being guided by the spirit world, I'm sure you can understand that I viewed Alvin's 'Austin visitation' as a miraculous sign from the Universe.
Now the 'signs' weren't lost on me that there was somehow a connection between the BLUE-skinned Krishna tattoo that the Universe had me put on my arm and Alvin's blue-skinned appearance first in NYC and now in Austin, as well as my recent visit to the Neem Karoli Baba Hindu Ashram in Taos.
George Harrison and the Krishna-Consciousness Movement
Here's a YouTube video clip of a friend of George Harrison and Krishna-consciousness disciple discussing how George wrote "My Sweet Lord". Click HERE to watch the video.
Here's an interesting YouTube video clip describing George Harrison's connection to Krishna-consciousness. Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Here's a YouTube video clip of an unreleased song by George Harrison devoted to Krishna, called "Gopala Krishna". Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Here's an interesting YouTube video clip of a couple of George Harrison's friends in the Krishna Consciousness movement talking about the last days before he died. Click HERE to watch the video clip.
I'd also like to insert another interesting connection here: The 'flute-playing' connection between Kokopelli and Krisha (by the way, Alvin, as I recall, is part Native American Indian, as well as being part black, and part white).
Anyway, when I told Alvin that I was hooked up with the RAVE scene in Austin, he nearly jumped out of his socks with excitement and wanted to get involved immediately with helping with the artwork and set-designs.
So within days, I hooked Alvin up with the organizers of the RAVEs and he was off and running, getting very involved in all artistic dimensions of the RAVEs.
And as I'm sure you can
imagine, Alvin's input most definitely made the Austin RAVEs
Now, so far during my time in Austin, I had been very diligently focusing on making myself available to give psychic readings: during daylight hours by the Church near the campus and then at night in storefront alcoves on Austin's music street, E. 6th street, unless I was doing readings at the Reggae club and/or a RAVE that evening.
There actually were 2 other places that I was doing psychic readings as well, both connections coming from someone I gave a reading to on E. 6th street.
One was Ms. G, who owned a large pizza eatery in Austin. She loved my psychic reading and asked me to be her in-house psychic 1 weekend night a week at her pizza joint, when she had live bands playing there. This was a fun gig !
Another very interesting psychic gig came when I did a reading for this woman who ran Psychic Fairs all over the state of Texas as well as the surrounding states. In the year that I was in Austin, I traveled with this Psychic Fair to many cities throughout Texas as well as to Arkansas and Oklahoma.
So I was extremely busy being very serious about 'my career' as a psychic !
All of this intense focus on 'my career' took a sharp detour after I did a psychic reading on this 20-something year old guy whom I'll call 'Mr. C'.
Mr. C had this impish , almost magical, Leprechaun grin on his face. His eyes glowed and radiated a beautiful fiery light. I could swear that I 'saw', on the spirit plane, alien antennas coming out the top of his head, as if he were communicating with Extra Terrestrials.
After his psychic reading, Mr. C closed his eyes while tilting his head up to the nighttime sky as if he were receiving information telepathically from somewhere.
After about 3 minutes, he suddenly opened his eyes real wide and increased his already super wide impish Leprechaun grin another several inches, and said to me:
"I just heard a voice in my head telling me that we need to be friends, and I'm supposed to assist you while you're here in Austin."
Now it was my turn to close my eyes and tilt my head back, trying to 'hear' the voices Mr. C was tuning into, to see if I could verify his supernatural 'instructions' that he was supposed to assist me.
Without getting any specific messages from the spirit plane pro-or-con, and looking straight into his beaming illuminated eyes and massive impish grin, I felt the Universe subtly urging me to 'just go with it', and allow Mr. C to adopt me as his 'friend' !
Mr. C and I did many things together over a period of many months, and he also introduced me to his many interesting friends, including his one-time girlfriend, Ms.C, who also had beaming illuminated eyes and a massive impish grin.
But, when all was said and done, I believe that the Universe had brought Mr. C into my life to initiate me, just one time, into the wild world of Magic Mushrooms.
It took me a while to recognize that Mr. C's beaming illuminated eyes and massive impish grin were fueled by a steady reliance on Magic Mushroom powder.
Since he no doubt thought of me as a drug-and-alcohol-free, serious and focused psychic, Mr. C never spoke to me about Magic Mushrooms or any drugs for that matter, and never let on that he was always 'buzzed' on Magic Mushrooms (typically a very small dose) while we were together.
But this one day was different.
Before I describe my 'one time only' Magic Mushroom initiation though, I'd like you to watch this YouTube video clip that will give you a sense of the higher spiritual purposes of plant hallucinogens as used by ancient Shamans as well as by modern 'Shamans' like visionary artist, Alex Grey, who's plant-hallucinogen-inspired artwork of the higher mystical energy states of the human aura, are beautifully featured in this clip. Click HERE to view the video.
By the way, I've been lucky enough to have been in the presence of Alex Grey (and his wife Allyson) a number of times over the years at their NYC 'Chapel of Sacred Mirrors'. Below are 2 of the many awesome paintings by Alex Grey in his 'Chapel of Sacred Mirrors' series.
Spiritual Energy System
Chapel of Sacred Mirrors - AlexGrey.com
The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors as it existed in NYC before the Grey's moved to Wappingers Falls, NY in 2009 (www.sacredmirrors.org)
Psychic Energy System
Chapel of Sacred Mirrors - AlexGrey.com
I realize that I am
postponing my story of the Universe using Mr. C to initiate
me to Magic Mushrooms here, but I feel that
it's important to me that you, the reader, understand a bit more about the history of LSD. And who better to learn about this history, than the discoverer himself, Albert Hofmann.
So here's a very interesting YouTube video clip featuring Albert Hofmann discussing the origins of his discovery (taken from a movie called "Hofmann's Potion"). Click HERE to watch the video.
OK, back to Mr. C now....
One day, out of the blue, Mr. C stopped dead in his tracks, and said to me: "I just heard a voice in my head telling me that I'm supposed to assist you on a Magic Mushroom trip." As he said this to me, I could feel his beaming illuminated eyes and massive impish grin becoming fully awakened.
Now normally I would have put up my 'skepticism BS antennas', and automatically said NO to anyone offering to 'assist me' in taking a Magic Mushroom trip.
But once again, Mr. C was different.
I tuned in to my own inner spiritual guidance and to my amazement, I received the guidance to allow Mr. C to 'assist' me in taking a Magic Mushroom trip.
Pretty strange guidance I thought. But then again, I was already on one long strange hallucinogenic trip, without any drugs or alcohol.....This Magic Mushroom trip would just be one more 'journey' on this long Southwestern adventure.
With some fear and trepidation in my gut, I nonetheless surrendered to my spiritual guidance and said YES to Mr. C.
Mr. C seemed excited when I said YES to him, and he said: "I just saw my friends who can hook us up with Magic Mushrooms on their bicycles down by the park. Let's go find them."
Now I had encountered a lot of interesting people in Austin since I had arrived there, but none of them quite compared to the older couple Mr. C and I went looking for in the park that day who would hook up with Magic Mushroom powder. I'll refer to this older couple as 'Mr. and Ms. Z'.
Although I don't have any photos of Mr. and Ms. Z, I found this photo on the internet (I edited the photo a bit) that 'almost' captures the scene that greeted me and Mr. C as we finally found Mr. and Ms. Z riding their bicycles wildly through the park with their bodies painted, mostly naked. I have blurred out the erogenous zones for your viewing comfort.
I just stood there dumbfounded as Mr. Z told us to meet him back at his house later in the day and he'll hook us up with the Mushroom powder.
When Mr. C and I got to Mr. and Ms. Z's house later, the scene that greeted us left me just as dumbfounded as the scene of the two of them riding their bikes in the park earlier.
We knocked on the door, and we heard Mr. Z's voice calling out from somewhere inside the house, telling us to come in, that the door was unlocked.
We walked through a bunch of rooms until we realized that Mr. and Ms. Z were in their bedroom. Mr. Z called out again. "We're in the bedroom. Come on in, the door's unlocked."
When we pushed open the door to their bedroom as Mr. Z suggested, we found the two of them naked and 'engaged', once again apparently getting great pleasure from sharing their particular brand of exhibitionism.
Anyway, we were standing there for nearly 10 minutes while Mr. Z fished around for his Mushroom powder while Ms. Z lay there completely oblivious to our presence and not the least bit concerned at being so exposed. Perhaps she was so high that she didn't even know we were there.
Well anyway, this Magic Mushroom journey was already turning into a 'trip' even before I ever took the powder later that night !
But the actual scene later that night when Mr. C, myself, Ms. C. and another male friend, took the Magic Mushroom powder............well, that was a scene of a totally different magnitude !
But before I describe the scene of a totally different magnitude that night, I'd like to take you on another brief and, I believe, interesting detour...
.... to give you a sense of how such 'unique' people like Mr. and Ms. Z fit into the Austin, Texas 'landscape'.
I have already mentioned that, back before I left on my Southwest hitchhiking journey, the Universe had me watch the movie 'Slacker' by Richard Linklater which takes place in Austin, and that I had some sense back then that eventually the Universe would take me to Austin for some important reason(s). If you can get hold of a copy of the movie, I would recommend watching it, since it had an extremely interesting 'stream of consciousness' scene structure, and a slew of characters not unlike like Mr. and Ms. Z in their own unique ways.
Click HERE to watch the YouTube trailer to the 1991 movie 'Slacker'.
There are a bunch of interesting YouTube video clips of Richard Linklater discussing varying aspects of 'Slacker', with full scenes from the movie interjected to emphasize the themes discussed.
Richard Linklater on the Making of "Slacker" (Part 4 of 6). Click HERE
Richard Linklater on the Making of "Slacker" (Part 5 of 6). Click HERE
Richard Linklater on the Making of "Slacker" (Part 6 of 6). Click HERE
With this 'NORMALCY' as the 'NORM' in Austin, still and all there is a minority population in Austin that most Americans would consider WEIRD. Most of the characters portrayed in the movie 'Slacker' would no doubt fit into this category.
But some relatively 'NORMAL' entrepreneurs in Austin, recognized the economic value in highlighting the WEIRD dimensions of Austin.
One such relatively 'NORMAL' entrepreneur, named Red Wassenich, came up with the slogan " KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD".
"Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town", by Red Wassenich (the man who coined the phrase) Published by Schiffer Publishing 2006
Here's a regular Texas television news broadcast highlighting this particular aspect of Austin. Click HERE to watch video.
Now back in 1963, some of these WEIRD Austinites, started a tradition that continues today. They created a massive birthday celebration for one of the characters in 'Winnie The Pooh'; Eeyore, the donkey.
Now imagine hundreds of adults (and children, and pets) gathering every year to celebrate "Eeyore's Birthday".
Pretty WEIRD huh ?
There are quite a lot of YouTube video clips covering 'Eeyore's Birthday' throughout the years. I've picked out one video clip for you to watch that should give you a nice feeling for this yearly celebration. Click HERE to watch Eeyore's Birthday video clip.
This one last clip, also from an Eeyore's Birthday celebration, captures the special brand of exhibitionist passion that I witnessed in Mr. and Ms. Z., and would later on witness over and over again during my California adventure. Click HERE to watch this Eeyore's 'EXHIBITIONIST PASSION' video clip.
Everything was in Mr. C's hands as I had completely surrendered to that night's 'trip'.
After we got the Mushroom powder, Mr. C called his ex-girlfriend Ms. C and asked her if she wanted to join us that night. "Absolutely", was her instantaneous reply.
So we rendezvoused at a nearby park at sunset, and ran into another friend of theirs (I'll call him 'Mr. T'), and they asked him if he wanted to join us on our 'trip'.
He asked where they planned to do the 'trip', and Mr. and Ms. C sort of shrugged their shoulders and revealed that they hadn't decided on a place yet.
At that point Mr. T offered place that he knew we could use. I don't recall if it was his own apartment and/or a motel room in a dingy 3-floor walk up.
The room on this 3rd floor walk-up shared the floor with at least 3 other apartments/rooms that were all facing the room we were in, all 4 rooms/apartments being in a square floor plan.
It was an extremely humid Austin evening and apparently this room/apartment had no air conditioning, so Ms. C suggested that we keep the door to the room/apartment wide open to get maximum air.
This suggestion to keep the door wide open dramatically increased my already gnawing sense of paranoia. We could actually see through our wide open door the doors of other rooms/apartments that shared the floor with us.
But hey, the Universe was guiding this Magic Mushroom trip, and I was resigned to basically keep my mouth shut and passively go along for the ride.
But this was Texas, not Berkeley, California !
I had heard tons of stories of how strict and rigid the Texas justice system was, and I had some deep paranoia that perhaps we would all be busted and be whisked away to some scary Texas jail in some distant corner of this huge Lone Star state, and potentially never be heard from again !
During my stay in Austin, I had grown to be somewhat concerned about the Texas slogan that I saw pasted everywhere: "DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS"!
I think I had a memory while looking out of this wide open 3rd-floor door, of David Crosby being busted for drugs in Texas in 1986, and being locked away in solitary confinement for close to a year. Of course, David Crosby (and Graham Nash) played at the Wavy Gravy 75th birthday benefit concert, so his presence in this story is definitely appropriate.
Here's a YouTube video clip of David Crosby talking about the time he spent in solitary confinement in a Texas prison after being busted for drugs. Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Oy ! Now I knew I'd never see my family and friends back in New York ever again after this drug-infused naked romp in front of a wide-open apartment/motel door !
And we didn't even take the Magic Mushroom powder yet !
Clearly the 'setting' in which you take an hallucinogenic drug 'trip' should NEVER be as exposed and risky as the setting the Universe created for my 'one time only Magic Mushroom trip'.
Even though you might be getting incredibly impatient with me at this point for not just 'getting to the events of the actual Mushroom trip', I still feel that the inclusion of the following YouTube video clip is important and informative in giving you the concepts and sensitivities you need to create the proper 'setting' in which to take an hallucinogenic drug trip, should you be inclined to do so.
So here's another clip from the movie "Hoffman's Potion" which talks about the great lengths that the early LSD experimenters went to to create a 'proper setting' to take LSD. Click HERE to watch the video clip.
Oh, there's one more dimension that made this Mushroom trip extra risky and scary....
As Mr. C was dividing the Mushroom powder into the separate doses for the 4 of us, all of a sudden he looked at me with those twinkling illuminated eyes and a smirking impish grin, and he said to me: "Guess what ZiJi, I just heard a voice in my head telling me to give you an extra large dose, while Ms. C, Mr. T and I take normal doses.
An EXTRA LARGE DOSE of Magic Mushroom powder, given to someone who doesn't do drugs or drink alcohol, and is in a strange room with the door wide open, in a strange city, in a strange and somewhat scary state (Texas), completely naked with 3 other relative strangers......Oy ! This 'trip' wasn't seeming like such a great idea !
But once again, I heard the Universe telling me as it had before, to 'just go with it'. So I just 'went with it' !
I still count my blessings to this day that no one called the police on us !
Because if the police would have showed up, I would have been completely incoherent and I'm sure it would have appeared to them that I was a completely 'lost soul' who deserved to be locked up indefinitely in the reputedly strict Texas prison system.
This is what I must have looked like to an outside observer.
In a nut shell, the Universe was showing me in amazingly rich psychedelic colored visions, that I was about to embark on a self-transformation journey that could (eventually) open up all my chakras.
One by one, the Universe used the power of the Mushroom powder to propel me through the wild energetic dynamics of what it might feel like to have each and every chakra opened, individually and collectively.
One by one, the Universe gave me 'teachings' about each and every chakra, focusing simultaneously on the beauty and majesty of opening up the chakras, and also emphasizing the potential pitfalls and dangers of opening up the chakras, particularly if the individual chakras open up to a size that is out of proportion to the others.
Here are some of the predominant visions that the Universe kept flooding through my brain cells.
These 7 images reflect each and every chakra being opened up to a size that is out of proportion to all the other chakras.
A few of the visions were so intense that they remain etched in my memory as if they happened yesterday. Other's I partially remember, and a great many other's I've forgotten. But of those I do recall, I'll attempt to reconstruct them for you here.
I'm going to artificially organize the visions I recall into a sequence that moves from the top 'Crown' chakra, straight downward to the bottom 'Root' chakra.
In reality though, the visions came so fast and furious, with lessons about all the different chakras and their infinite combinations coming randomly, with no clear concise encyclopedic unfoldment of ideas.
I'm also going to include some related thoughts and experiences when discussing each individual chakra's beauty as well as their potential dangers.