In case any of this is useful, just now I stumbled upon a paper written about
one person who was active in the LSD culture and who started a commune.
The technique I find interesting is the the one termed a 'knock down'.
One doesnt need a drugs culture to pull this stunt. I was not in MG's groups, but am passing this on -- and the citation for the paper -- in case people
find this helpful.
This paper, Manhood in the Age of Aquarius, focuses on LSD culture in the 1960s. One mentor, 'Morningstar' would administer ego busting 'knockdowns'. These could be sources of valuable insight. But...this magus turned out to be not quite sincere.
I was never in any of MG's groups. But am passing this material on in case anyone finds it educatiional.
"As Gaskin's grasp improved, Morningstar intended his knockdowns, more and more, to promote continued dependency. The process of breaking free from that dependency tested Gaskin's mettle on a number of occasions."
"...magicians presented a greater challenge: they practiced both kinds of magic,
their sincerity camouflaging their self-indulgence.
The charm, wit, intelligence,and dedication of the (presumably) pseudonymous "Rockin' Jody Morningstar"earned him the respect of Gaskin and others for a time. At his best, Morningstar did not hesitate to knock down his friend Gaskin, when the latter's pride and ambitions as a serious tripper led him to reach beyond his actual grasp.
But Morningstar also proved, in the end, to be the kind of teacher who preferred that his students remain forever reliant on his tutelage.
As Gaskin's grasp improved,Morningstar intended his knockdowns, more and more, to promote continued dependency. The process of breaking free from that dependency tested Gaskin's mettle on a number of occasions.
Morningstar's sincere teaching masked his more self-interested motives for some
time. Morningstar, Gaskin writes, was attempting to cop his mind, as had O. One
part of this effort involved extravagant public acclaim for Gaskin's psychic
powers—an appeal to the novice's ego-hunger for praise—as was the case one
evening at the Family Dog dance hall. At other times, Morningstar manipulated
the trust Gaskin placed in him. One afternoon, Gaskin and his lover paid a visit
and accepted Morningstar's offer of marijuana. When he sensed that Gaskin was
very high, Morningstar advised his protégé that he was enveloped by a "red
aura," indicating spiritual pride. This sudden pronouncement caught the earnest
novice off-guard; while he was attempting to regain his equilibrium, Morningstar
suddenly reclined into the lap of Gaskin's partner, and the two, by previous
agreement, kissed passionately.
Clearly, the message behind Morningstar's behavior was that, whatever the level
of Gaskin's spiritual development, he yet lacked the competence to detect—or,
better yet, avert—such secret alliances. Like the knockdown Gaskin's cousin had
delivered years earlier through erratic driving, Morningstar's action was intended to establish dominance. If getting high was the church, then Morningstar was reserving for himself a better pew. Gaskin described this incident wryly, joking about its brusqueness. On a more serious note, he called it a genuine lesson, in that Morningstar had, by the standards that both men accepted, demonstrated superior magical gifts
Gaskin's account implies, however, that this incident and others like it were also negative teachings: he relates them to readers in order to advance his own, more principled vision of the church, in which all pews are equal, and seekers vow not to cop one another's minds. It took Gaskin some time to develop the stature to make that vision manifest. Until then, he had to accept Morningstar's
Gaskin applied himself assiduously to this quest for a more ethical church. The
face-to-face subculture of freaks he had entered in the early 1960s accepted the
casual trade in drugs as an honorable alternative to conventional employment,
and Gaskin had supported himself in this way.
But his growing insight into the
workings of the supernatural began to suggest that the Hindu concept of karma
applied to the sacred substances of the psychedelic church: those who used drugs
absorbed the karma of the persons and actions involved in providing them. Thus
he decided to relinquish this source of income, especially given the egoistic,
professionalized, profit-driven transactions that increasingly marked the trade.
As Gaskin settled his outstanding accounts, Morningstar—apparently an important
supplier—at first became quite upset, sensing that he might lose a follower and
customer. When Gaskin stood his ground, Morningstar tried a different tack,
offering to let Gaskin keep some of the LSD at no cost, for his own use: "Don't
you want to keep a couple of tabs to get high?"
Gaskin stepped forward to declare his independence: "I am high. Ain't nothing you could give me that could get me high. Am high now."
This move revealed that now it was Gaskin who ranked as the more assiduous
practitioner. Self-indulgence was rapidly diminishing Morningstar's astral powers.
The latter graduated from State College, cut his hair, and returned to wearing
conventional suits. He visited Gaskin one last time before leaving San Francisco.
As they smoked marijuana together, Morningstar affected the mannerisms that
once had made him a charming figure—but by now, his act had worn thin. Gaskin
recalls thinking, "A shadow of his former self."
Another operator, but one easier to spot:
(Quote)Some of Gaskin's early lessons in the art of psychedelic self-defense came at the hands of fellows in his circle of bohemian literary outsiders.
One, whom he identifies as "O.," a fellow graduate student, proved himself a skillful, passive-aggressive manipulator. His outward appearance bespoke deep suffering: emaciated and acne-pocked, he always wore the same unkempt black suit.
lacked both the manly self-confidence and the personal warmth to negotiate
sexual intimacy. Gaskin and his friends might have ostracized this unsavory
character had it not been for O.'s skill at manipulating the social contract among heads, which, in principle, extended fraternity to all users of LSD.
According to Gaskin, O. exploited his inclusion shamelessly, constantly badgering him to reveal the secrets of his LSD magic. Gaskin patiently explained, at times, how a particular book he was reading might help to explain some elements of the psychedelic realm. Yet when he moved from matters of technique to matters of ethics, O. dug in his heels.
According to Gaskin, his fellow tripper sought to
maximize his power and prestige with the least possible effort.
Gaskin would later describe such undisciplined, parasitic power-seekers as "into the juice" developed by others (juice in the sense of electrical charge). Although O. did manage to turn one of Gaskin's close friends against him, he never succeeded in his efforts to cop Gaskin's mind. From these encounters, the future holy man learned that the power of LSD was available to all, regardless of character and integrity.
the "new speedway" of the Haight-Ashbury acid subculture, some drivers were
thinking only of themselves.
O . lacked subtlety; his black magic was relatively easy to spot
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2014 12:07AM by corboy.