Thu, 23 May 1996 12:40:57 -0400

I find myself in general agreement w/RSCarlson--there is a
sort of youthful glee in destroying things. The animating myth
at that time was a replay of the old 'eternal return' where
the tribe destroys to 'get rid of' the dark and terrible reality
that has burdened it. It does this through a bacchanal free-for-
all of intoxication and sex and dancing. Then slowly but surely
the rituals and roles and 'how to's' are re-learned (through the
hero/gods) and before long everything is 'back to normal'. Eliade
identified this as a neolithic phenomena done on a yearly basis
and led, eventually, to our own mild 'new years eve' blowout. Youth
rightly identified the world as an oppression and sought to
destroy and rebuild it. Roughly we could say this: the 60's was
the wild bacchanal that destroyed all memory the 70's was the
enevitable 'sobering up', the 80's a 'return to normalcy'.
To say you can continue the bacchanal through the decades
is a myth in itself. The people I know who were into pyschedelics
are either dead, in prison, in mental institutions, or have
renounced their use. It is one thing for a mature, secure Huxley
or Watts or Leary to take them and describe the effects. Or, for
Tart to experiment w/them. But, to make it a 'life-style' among
20 and 30 years olds is absolute disaster. I stopped all drug
taking at the age of 25 even though I knew the largest lsd/weed
dealer in the county I grew up in. (He's in some calif. state
prison now and can not function in society). That is not a moral
judgement on drugs and their use. It is simply experience that
asks, 'well, so what? What have the drugs, themselves, produced?
I don't see any great art or great thought emerging out of that
culture. Maybe they destroyed their potential rather than exercised
it. Who knows? I do know of a fellow who took lsd and had visions
of 'solar power' and is now running a decent wind power company. So,
I don't discount the visionary qualities of drugs. But, in my
experience I've seen much more destruction than construction. And,
destroying things (including the mind) is easier than constructing
an art, a thought, a life or anything else. When I look back that
is a central lesson.
I see a lot of good from that time going down the sinkhole and
what is left is enormous CYNICISM and NIHILISM. Go study the
romantic movement of the 1st half of 19th C in Europe- same basic
thing happened and, eventually, the creative spirit turned against
Good luck