Interesting reading material (also check out the two books), especially if you’re dabbling with psychedelics. Also featured on this podcast on youtube. His writings seem to have been fundamental in creating (“moulding the character”) Karnak, a hero from an upcoming Marvel movie.
Being great, being more, is a life struggle and telling people to follow these few simple steps, few simple mantras, to some epic greatness is the most irresponsible of lies.
Just when I started to include a daily scan on Medium in my morning coffee routine, I noticed the exact same thing. My newsfeed is populated (still to this day) with countless self-help articles. I can’t get rid of them. For one eventually insightful article, there’s 20 overly enthusiastic “You can do anything” articles. But I hate to be the one destroying this illusion, but no, you can not do anything. Not by mimicking Steve Jobs diet routine or combing your hair like Richard Branson. Nope.
But with mercantilism, one of the first major economic theories, how a person spent his or her time directly corresponded with the wealth of the entire country. According to economists of the time, any form of waking idleness lost a country money — and was declared a grave sin. The time between seasons and harvests, the time between anything at all, if not spent at work, was simply and suddenly a waste.
So, I’m technically a sinner since I spent half a year doing nothing. I get that. Honestly, that’s how a burn-out does make you feel. That is also why the UBI (unconditional basic income) sounds like you’re throwing money at a bunch of freeloaders. Our entire society is conditiond and indoctrinated with this – relatively young – concept.
One could argue that these guys basically enabled what we look back at nowadays and call the summer of love. Interesting, yet tragic. Or maybe not enable – but they played a major role that probably no one really realised. Especially not here in Switzerland..
Should be readily available on your favourite torrent tracker. Just to keep the spirit alive of making stuff available for free for the sake of enlightenment. 😉
Probably the most tragic observation is that Leary felt in the sixties already that the system sort of doesn’t quite work. That there is an imbalance of power, to say it like that. And here we are, almost 60 years later and it feels weird to look at the world today with these things in mind.
The more I read about this specific period of history, especially about the psychedelic movement and it’s interaction with politics and the economy on a global scale, the more fascinated I become. This is so much more than a bunch of hippies going rogue. Something much bigger almost happened, ending with Leary being incarcerated and effectively silenced and removed from the stage, just before entering politics. And the subsequent dissolve of the movement without leaders.
Just thinking about how things might be different is interesting. Not implying it would be the solution to all problems.. certainly not. But reducing this movement and period of time to a best of album and a bunch of images of people with long hair and beards is a gravely oversimplified version of reality. This is when politics started to become lifestyle marketing in the US, when the war on drugs started, globalisation started to take off, banks became a force of the state for good, the beginning of the age of information and global mass media.. basically everything that put us on this track we see today. And no, I still don’t know wether that’s s good thing or s bad thing. Probably somewhere in between..
This was the last time in recent history the status quo has been questioned on such a deep level. Not like any other subculture. And the conformity machine has won.
I yet have to make a clear picture of this, but .. interesting, nonetheless.
The interactions of society, the movement, economy and politics of that era are very interesting. Or did you know that one of the first guys to promote the idea of cyberspace in the nineties (and thus subsequently VR) was a key figure and member of the “acid test” movement in the sixties? The guys who made the “hippie bus” a thing? I think we probably owe a lot more to Albert Hoffmann in recent history than we allow ourselves to admit.
I think we need to dig a little deeper.