Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:19 am

CHARLES' DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATRE: MOVIES FOR ALL TIMES, by Charles Carreon

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Silver Screen Syndrome

Everybody is growing, and while it is de riguer for people like us to rail on about the power of the media, we are unabashedly children of cinema. Raised on the glass teat and the silver screen, there is no hope for us. We will be image-junkies until the day we die. When I was a young man, I noticed that I loved print media. I would park my ass in a bookstore or newsstand until the cows literally came home, and I also noticed, guiltily, that I read book covers very avidly, more avidly than I read books. I called myself "a child of trash culture," and felt genuine guilt that I was attracted to Frank Frazetta's sword-wielding Conans and well-hindquartered vixens in gleaming breastplates and barbaric furs. A psychedelic high school career didn't help. As an English major, I avoided classes that taught boring works, like early American literature, which seemed to be a bog of pompous asses who wished they'd been born across the pond in the land where being a twit is considered cool. In addition to majoring in English for around eight years, I studied Hoffman's finest, flower power, jesus, mescalito, yoga, zen, tai chi, tantra, and law, in that order. But none of them have affected me as much as movies and video.

Fleeting Memories

Perhaps one of the most common illusory beliefs among modern people is the notion that "I have seen that movie." I most assuredly tell you that if you have only seen it once at regular speed, you haven't seen the half of it. The reason is because the artistry of all the participants, the actors, the script-writer, the director, and the music composer are presented in peak moments that are often quite fleeting. An emotion that runs across an actor's face for just an instant will spark a viewer reaction that can tinge the perception of the entire movie. But we only see that image once, and then pass on. Because of this, the experience of a feature film is fleeting.

Trash Video

What type of video do we get the benefit of seeing repeatedly? You guessed it -- advertising. Not only that, they try to make advertising addictive by injecting it with lots of "technical events" -- video and sound gimmicks that make you want to see the commercial repeatedly, to figure it out. I was strongly drawn to the Taco Bell commercials with the talking chihuahua, many years ago, and I watch no television at all. Briefly, I reconsidered that position, concluding that a virtual rendezvous with a tough-talking chihuahua was not worth changing a lifetime habit over.

Yes, you've discovered it -- I've tried to disguise a worn analogy with a personal story -- I'm comparing advertising for junk food to junk food itself. Americans are being fed a trash video diet, and American Buddha is dead set against it. Many philosophers have advised against the consumption of trash media, including my father, "Smilin' Jim" Carreon, former prizefighter and Arizona legislator, who said succinctly to me on many occasions, "Keep an open mind, but don't let anyone dump garbage in it." Trash video is a mighty hazard to modern humans. It robs us of the will to fight corporate and governmental oppression, makes us feel disempowered in the face of the crisis of planetary survival, and wastes our precious time.

Trash video is what you get if you watch or listen to mainstream broadcast media. If this is what you use your TV for, please take a tip from me and unplug it until you can get a DVD player. You may think you are strong, and have a free mind. You may believe you can make decisions on your own, despite being subjected to innumerable sound bites and technical events that snag your attention more firmly that your girlfriend's tits or your boyfriend's smile, but you are wrong. You are effectively a video illiterate, being moved by forces too subtle for you to perceive, and they will turn you into a powerless spectator, eating bad food, accepting bad government, and watching the planet go to hell while Dick Cheney counts the money. You are an electronic peasant. Here at American Buddha we're stokin' up an Intellectual Uprising that can turn your idiot box into a mental gymnasium, and put you on the road to recovery from terminal 21st Century gloom! Fight the power!

Video Literacy

When I was a kid, I found book covers particularly absorbing because they told stories. This robot is stealing that girl from that guy, or that girl is battling those three giant ants with her sword. The art of telling a story in a picture has always fascinated me. Cinema posters in the fifties and sixties were also very much pieces of narrative graphic art. Sexy depictions of beautiful women were prominent features of these art forms, as were can-do heroes who seemed to be making their way toward a better world, against all odds.

Movies, of course, must function as narrative pictorial art first and foremost. A movie that is well-composed can usually be understood in large part simply by viewing excerpts of the action. To study the art of cinematic composition, it is of immeasurable value to be able to view at leisure the component images that flow by fleetingly in the scenes of a feature film.

The flat screen must be the slate, as surely as the trailer must be the log cabin, where the future Abe Lincoln grows. Those future Abes will be literate in video communication and composition. They will release diatribes, manifestos, and declarations of independence in montages and videos. Just as I type words today, near-future humans will produce movies with ease and elan. Video-editing will be the new literacy.

Image Archives

To nourish the new literacy, American Buddha is adding steadily to the ABOL Cinema archive, a lovingly-collected, ever-expanding quilt of cinema-related web-offerings to feed your questing mind. Ambu's screen-capping index finger has developed tremendous subtlety, and has captured the most fleeting images of some wonderful, rarely-screened classics of cinematic art. Having cast aside the craving for trash video, dip into these presentations to experience the higher regions of your aesthetic spectrum.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

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Brother Sun, Sister Moon is Franco Zeffirelli's hymn to youth, innocence, beauty, and the redemption of the soul through love. Who loves not this movie is a beast with no soul, a mere callus protecting brute ignorance from the light of understanding. Recorded through a sun-filled lens that enjoys exploring the opening vistas of the Italian countryside, the movie begins as the young Francesco returns from the war, a traumatized young man tended by his mother and other women with gentle devotion, his fevered brow cooled with damp cloths, gauzy curtains aglow with the pure light of sun shining through linen. After he recovers his health, the young nobleman is shocked by his father's pride in having prospered by war profiteering, and suffers a breakdown in the village church, where the wretched poor are segregated from the rich, armored in jewel-encrusted, cowled robes. Francesco's breakdown is provoked by the image of a Kingly Christ, oppressing all under his authority, which causes him to cry out screaming, "Noooo!" This is just the beginning of poor Francesco's father's problems. Francesco's enthusiasm for the spiritual life is sparked by the beauty of God's world, and the good fortune of merely being alive. When the joy of God gets in him, he leads his father's wretched dye-workers out into the sun for a day off, which is when his father decides to put the fear of God in the boy, with no success. Happy to be exiled from a house of miserable wealth, Francesco rebuilds a ruined chapel to give the poor a place where they can worship with dignity, making humble offerings to each other and to God without shame or guilt. Francesco's charismatic love of humanity proves a better sell than craven greed, and soon the well-off scions of Assisi are joyfully casting off wealth, taking vows of poverty, and walking all the way to Rome to obtain the Holy Father's dispensation to establish their Order. Once there, it takes a miracle to achieve Francesco's mad hope, and it happens. When the debased ecclesiastical courtiers react in horror to the presence of a man of real faith and act to eject him the Holy Father prevents this re-enactment of the Crucifixion, elicits an impromptu sermon from Francesco, and declares in response, "You, in your poverty, put us to shame," before allowing his sad visage to withdraw behind a jewel-encrusted facade.

Eyes Wide Shut

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Want to shoot film like Kubrick? Want to look at Nicole Kidman's bum? Want to see Nicole Kidman act stoned and scary, teasing Tom Cruise into jealousy? Want to be the kind of doctor who helps the rich deal with the heroin overdoses of their whores? Want to crash a party full of powerful, mysterious people you've never met? Want to rent a tuxedo at 2 am? Want to catch the tuxedo rental guy's daughter getting molested by a random stranger? Want to see a bunch of real Illuminati-type characters carrying on like Bilderbergers, wearing masks while boning mask-wearing women with model-beautiful bodies? Want to walk down the streets, looking for an attractive prostitute good enough to have sex with a doctor? Want to inject chaos into your life just from a sense of boredom? If you want to do any or all of these things, then EWS is for you.

Fahrenheit 451

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What burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit? Paper, that's what. As in books, magazines, pamphlets, notations, diaries, biographies, novels, poetry, drama, and so forth. All those things that just make people unhappy, unlike video, which just causes the occasional suicide. Ray Bradbury's novel is beautifully retold in a screenplay by French cinema master Francois Truffaut, Directed by Nicholas Roeg, starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie. Werner, playing the sensitive "fireman" who ultimately loses the faith and torches his self-obsessed boss instead of a pile of contraband books, is a study in sincerity, a man who can make a hard decision once he knows what it should be. Julie Christie plays two roles in the film, both marvelously. First, she is the socially-conforming wife who makes Werner a television widower, obsessed with her role in a primitive form of interactive television that pretends to elicit her opinion to choose between various options in a fictional script. Second, she is the questioning woman with whom Werner strikes up a relationship of the mind, and with whom he escapes to the realm of the book-people, each one of whom has memorized a book that they can replay from memory for the pleasure of their friends. Our relationships are the key to our own identity. When we select our companions, we select whom we shall be. This movie makes the importance of that choice very clear.

Fahrenheit 9/11

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When Michael Moore chose the title for his movie to illustrate the Saudi-Bush alliance, he was giving us a clue to his meaning. The firemen in Fahrenheit 451 are charged with the duty of burning books, i.e., the inconvenient truth. When we see the President reading "MY PET GOAT" in a schoolroom while thousands of Americans are being consumed in a hideous conflagration, and he remains silent as the minutes tick by, each second recording the screaming cries of thousands as their lives were incinerated in a concrete, actual hell, we realize the meaning of "a day that will live in infamy." Thus, Roosevelt described Pearl Harbor, and thus, Bush exploited it, with the media cheering along hysterically, suffering from a case of war fever. Along with the towers, the media burned our collective memory of life before Bush as protective father, and the facts about how long the Saudis have been cultivating a position of power and privilege in the United States. Ambu's screen cap showing Prince Bandar flipping Larry King the bird is priceless, and is one of those things that, on national TV, most everyone undoubtedly missed. But we've got it here for all posterity. Fahrenheit 9/11 opened the eyes of many Americans to facts that, when fully revealed, will make the Bush family name reviled by the common man, in a reversal of fortune that will be fully and widely agreed upon. Even as Nixon ultimately became synonymous with charmless tyranny, so the Bush name will be equated with craven deception. To deepen your knowledge, read House of Bush, House of Saud -- The Secret Relationship Between The World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties, by Craig Unger 2004. (Numerological note: 451 minus one equals 450, which when multiplied by two, equals 900. The remaining one, when "doubled" becomes 11. Adding the two together, gives you 911.)

Ghostbusters

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I first saw Ghostbusters at the Culver City Drive Inn in West LA with my wife and three kids, sitting in our recycled church van, back in the late eighties, when such things were still done. We had a great time, I remember, because it was such a lively movie, overstuffed with talent, gadgets, special effects, an accountant who turns into a demonic dog, and ... Sigourney Weaver. Not to mention the soundtrack was so good that the first generation Bush Republicans made it their fucking theme song as they trounced Dukakis -- oi, painful memory -- but I'm trying to convey the whole context of the times. I was a post-hippie, pre-lawyer Tibetan Buddhist with a BA in English, and the fact that Sigourney had a satanic temple in her refrigerator was unbelievably sexy. It was rollicking good times fun, blasting ghosts with backpack-powered nuclear blasters, getting slimed with ectoplasmic goo, confronting escalating horrors, all the way up to the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, where, as we put it in Ghostbuster parlance, we "crossed the beams," and made it all come out all right. That's the cool thing about movies.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

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Ford Prefect has just saved Arthur Dent from the universal fate that has just consumed all humanity -- the complete destruction of the planet by a Vogon destructor fleet building a hyperspace bypass through our sector of the Galaxy. Ford is an extraterrestrial -- his name, somewhat like the English version of Ford Taurus, was unusual because Ford was relying on some mistaken inferences about human naming conventions. Nevertheless, he'd passed for an ordinary bloke, and made a friend of Arthur Dent, a good enough fellow, but not particularly adventurous. Nevertheless, he and Ford are the only survivors, unless you count the mice and the dolphins, who often escaped by their own devices. The destruction of the Earth, as it turns out, was all an unfortunate error, which quite annoyed the mice. Which mice, you ask? Well the mice that had been experimenting on humans under the guise of being mice. All things you will understand in due course, in many other times and places, and often, at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. How will you get there? Be means of the Improbability Drive that powers Zaphod Beeblebrox's spaceship, the one he stole, and now pilots wildly throughout the universe with occasional backup from his lovely assistant, Trillian. Occasional dull commentary from the depressed robot, who has to do horrible things, like wait for everyone forever at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe from just about the beginning of time until the very end of it, a very very dull job, and nothing to look forward to. There will be so many different beings with different languages, but due to it being so unlikely that it would happen, there is a fish called a Bablefish that fits perfectly into your ear and translates any language into another, causing, as one might have anticipated, more wars than any single other cause in human history. So grab up a Bablefish, plug it into your head, and get ready to skitter about the interstices of the known and unknown universe in the care of the hippest captain ever to sail the starry deep -- Zaphod!

Killer Klowns

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What is not at all funny? Huge, carnivorous clowns that will eat you are not funny, really. Sometimes they do funny things, right before they kill you, to make you laugh, to immobilize you. Usually though, you only get one laugh, then comes the coup de grace. Important features of the Klowns. Ranging six to eight feet tall, dressed in full clown garb, including polkadotted pajamas, big floppy shoes, ruffs, and heavy cake makeup. They look like they may have bad breath, bloody gums, other evidences of consuming an exclusive diet of flesh. Chosen weapons are of the particle-beam variety, usually in a silly, candy-colored design that looks like a toy. The Klowns reproduce by distributing spores that look like popcorn. These can be distributed anywhere, including hampers, ventilation systems, anywhere they can breed, first into long, stringy, dragonlike snapping things, developing very quickly into full-on Klowns. Where did these Killer Klowns come from? No one knows, but their methods have apparently been honed over the vast time periods necessary for interstellar space travel. Perhaps they assume different forms on different planets, according to the dispositions of the natives. Perhaps their investigation showed we would be vulnerable to these forms. What puts people in a receptive, childlike attitude? Circuses and clowns. What could be less likely to provoke a believing response than hysterical people screaming they've witnessed a rampage of murderous clowns? The movie shows how adopting camouflage, which is generally believed to be a defensive tactic, can aid a predator. The same thing is true, one thinks, of corporations. They dress up like friendly buddies, showing every face from Mickey Mouse to Spider Man to Joe Camel and the President, and while you're standing there stunned, they pick your pocket, poison your water, turn your kids against you and send you the bill. Which will all make you want to turn up the volume and scream a little, no doubt. Lucky for you, The Dickies play the title track to the soundtrack. The Dickies were an LA punk rock band of the fin de siecle years who opened religiously for the Ramones during the eighties and early nineties. Ambu capped the video of the band, and the old-fashioned video-toaster effects have retro charm. The lyrics are utterly hilarious, and will keep the movie in mind for years. If you get the CD, which is out of print, there is one other good tune on it.

King of Hearts

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It is the First World War, and we are in the French countryside. Scottish troops are advancing on a French village occupied by Germans. The Germans plant a bomb in the bunker at the center of town, stuffed with ammunition. When the enemy troops take the town, they will enter a time bomb. The bomb will blow at midnight. The Germans leave, after evicting the entire population, except the inmates of the local asylum. A French spy radios a message to the Scots, however, so they know of the danger and do not enter the town en masse. Instead they decide to send the man most skilled in demolitions, linguistic and communications skills, which ends up being the guy who keeps the messenger pigeons, because he speaks French and can send back a pigeon to communicate the all-clear, once he's found and disarmed the bomb. There's little discussion about how he'll accomplish the second task, but that's life in the military. Presumably, everyone expects him to fail, be blown up, and then they'll march into town, but that's not exactly how it goes. He stumbles into town, encounters the Germans haphazardly, and hides in the asylum, where the inmates inadvertently assist to conceal his presence as an interloper, and provoke the searching soldiers to exit hastily, leaving the soldier safe, with the madmen, until midnight. It takes the soldier many crazy encounters before he realizes that the entire town is now populated only by people pretending to be who they appear to be. The prostitute is a mad prostitute, the hairdresser is a mad hairdresser, the distinguished married couple are a mad distinguished married couple, and the exquisite ballerina who is instantly in love with him is mad, too. The soldier cannot disarm the bomb, so he tries to lead the crazy people out of the town to escape the bomb, but they refuse to go, hearing the distant cannonades as a perceptible, immediate danger. So he remains in the town, dallying with the beautiful ballerina, counting down the seconds to destruction, until at last, in a moment of inspired luck, he intuits where the bomb trigger must be, and disables it with a single blow. That would be enough for your usual movie, but this one, having gotten up a head of steam, keeps cranking out meanings. Hang on for an antiwar message you will absorb deeply and carry with your for a long time. This movie is deep, warm, good humored, and big-hearted, not to mention clear-eyed and sobering. King of Hearts is for maturing audiences.

Legend

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Ridley Scott makes a movie with Tom Cruise and Tim Curry and nobody remembers it. That may be because it depicted "a world so full of drifting pollen that all hayfever sufferers would've died off long ago," as one reviewer has noted, or because it was shortened in length by Hollywood producers. Nevertheless, it contains excellent unicorns, a pignosed goblin who rhapsodizes about the beauty of garbage, a devil who literally drips evil and sounds like Tim Curry, and Mia Sara as a dimwitted heroine who manages to plunge the world into eternal winter by willfully touching a unicorn. Tom Cruise in shorts, leaping around like Robin Goodfellow, is looking for a better role. Mia Sara has a great moment dancing in a dark wedding dress, a lovely apassionata as she teeters toward the seduction of evil. How does this movie end? When you turn it off. But the screencaps you can stare at forever.

The Hunger

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Ridley Scott has a brother named Tony, and Tony directed this film with a superb cast, some cool-ass music, and sets and costumes that make you want to be bad, really bad, for just one night. A still-young Susan Sarandon plays a hematologist (blood-expert) searching for a cure to aging, whose knowledge is sought, rather late in the day, by a vampire played by David Bowie, who has abruptly realized that, after centuries of eating people and having sex with Catherine Deneuve, an ageless beauty whose bloodlines date back to ancient Egypt, he has reached the end of his rope, and finds himself decidedly short of actual immortality. Catherine Deneuve is at the peak of her female animal magnetism, making one feel like making a blood sacrifice of some sort just to quiet the craving, and David Bowie finds himself in an adaptable mood, willing to decay into mummyhood over the course of one very long day. After getting stood up for an appointment with Sarandon, which uses up basically all the time left on his life-meter, Bowie is reduced to the status of a vampiric dotard, and bungles his attack on a roller-skating adolescent whose neck he feebly slashes. In a touching scene, his self control breaks down under the influence of appetite, and he predates upon the young. Perhaps something is being spoken here. After Deneuve puts here hooks into Sarandon, the fever takes hold in Sarandon’s guts, and by the time her husband shows up at Deneuve’s pad to look for his wife, she’s worked up a powerful appetite. One thing leads to another, and you can bet on the redhead or the blonde. The closing scenes will haunt you for years. If you didn’t think you could understand a vampire, come on in and sit down. We’ll have you lusting for blood in a minute.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:30 am

BUDDHIST HORROR FLICK, by Charles Carreon

Armies of zombie clergy
Dragging their malas
Wielding crowbars
and sacred implements

Led by hordes of vampires
Sangha officers and boards of directors
Engage in gang warfare,
Blasting away at each other
With blazing thunderbolts

Hot chick vampire action figures
Primed for temptation
the new generation
Of Mara's Daughters,
Slick wet look glossy lipsheen
And DiVynyl boots

Steven Seagal eight feet tall
Whuppin' them demons
One and all
With a platoon of phony tulkus
Done up Shaolin style
Using their malas
To garrote heretics

And Ambu up on the pyre
Screaming louder and louder
While I'm out in the crowd
mistaken for a madman
[Fade to Black]
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:31 am

DHARMA ASSASSIN KUSUM LINGPA, by Charles Carreon

If you could become divine, what would that be worth to you? Kusum Lingpa's whirlwind tours around the world have become famous. Moving with an infectious energy, clowning and mugging with tireless persistence, Kusum Lingpa wears down resistance. He has also had a tendency to leave newly-minted tulkus in his wake.

The laudatory bio on the Aro Ter website says Kusum Lingpa is the reincarnation of "Lhalung Pal-gyi Dorje who slew King Langdarma (persecutor of Buddhism) with an arrow in 842 AD." He is definitely your super-macho guru, for the tattoed tequila-drinker in all of us. Oliver Stone and Kusum Lingpa hooked up right after Stone unleashed "Natural Born Killers" on the world, and apparently the two got on famously.

Kusum Lingpa has dash and flair. He jumps out of cars, dances with other lamas or little children, apparently delighted with the whole damn human zoo. He wears a green silk sash to symbolize his connection with Milarepa, I was told. His homely, rustic features are large and coarse, and a protruding front tooth adds a touch of goofiness to his smile. His teachings are not intellectually penetrating or emotionally resonant. They're equal parts scary story, metaphysical rambling, and him talking a blue streak, laughing at his own jokes while the translator labors on, groaning under the strain.

But that's not all. We can't leave out the pleas for money, which can happen anytime without preface. Of course it's always a dead giveaway when people start complimenting you on your good fortune. But that's part of the charm. You can see him coming, but you can't get away because he's sitting on the throne and your friends are all around. So he starts by complimenting the audience, telling them they're rich, and reminding them how much they spend on pleasure and frivolity. Then, with a raffish smile he springs the joke -- they're going to have to give him their money! Raffish smile. When he hears the crowd laugh, he leans forward to rake in the winnings. He's got 'em.

No one had heard of Kusum Lingpa in this country until he showed up in Ashland, Oregon back in 1993, a guest of Gyatrul Rinpoche, whose temple/home in Colestine Valley served as the doorway to America for many lamas. Kusum Lingpa had a big footprint, though. Kind of a guy who helps himself to everything around him. Your favorite chair, the space in your living room, your food, your friends. It's all a big party. Sort of a rock star atmosphere. He has a son that he brings with him. Big, dark hair cut short, with a strong neck and upright bearing. He spends all his time staring into a space somewhere up by the roof beams of the temple. This, we are told, is how these guys practice. They realize the nature of space by staring into it like goldfish. I try it. Pretty spacey.

Kusum Lingpa, it turns out, is the King of the Tertons. A lot of people thought Dudjom Rinpoche revealed a lot of hidden Dharma treasures during his lifetime, but Kusum Lingpa didn't really think that much of Dudjom Rinpoche's most recent incarnation. He knew his predecessor, Dudjom Lingpa -- now there was a yogi! Of course the Dudjom family literally owned the very temple he was teaching in at the very moment he made these remarks. Kusum Lingpa's terma practices were nothing to compare with those written by Dudjom Rinpoche. Kusum Lingpa's practices lack the poetic phrasing and inspiring metaphors that enliven a text and make practice pleasant. But clunky though they were, Kusum Lingpa's practices came with a guarantee. You would get big results. Just practice. In the meantime, show your gratitude. Sort of "Buy now, pray later."

The Dalai Lama's office has declined to provide a positive reference for this reincarnation of Langdarma's killer. Some gratitude. In this lifetime, Kusum Lingpa is working for world peace by building stupas. Since Tibet was overbuilt with stupas and is now overrun by war, the logic here is hard to follow. It is also worth noting that the US is overbuilt with nuclear missiles, and that all Tibetans wish to settle here. Before we let them fill up the neighborhoods with stupas, we should ask how they are reasoning. In conclusion, and apropos of this topic, I close with this press release from earlier this year:

http://www.wisdomtraditions.com/Events.html wrote:

Several years ago when Lama Sang (H.H. Kusum Lingpa) built the Great Stupa for World Peace in Golok, due to lack of sincere motivations for world peace in most of those who contributed financially or by labor to the Great Stupa of Golok, he had to build a second Bodhgaya Stupa to complement the blessing power of the first Stupa. Again, most people made contributions because of their personal affection to Lama Sang, not because of sincere desire for world peace. Relating to the case, a year ago, Lama Sang has specifically predicted that there will be a war started by Muslim.

Thus, after the 911 incident in New York, Lama Sang sees the need for an extensive Vajrakilaya empowerment/teaching and drubchen (intensive retreat) to remove obstacles to America and the world. Since the drubchen is conducted locally, America will reap benefits directly. If the drubchen is successful, the potential of a grand scale war will be reduced considerably; economy will prosper, and especially, more jobs will be created. These will set off chain effects on other countries in the world to bring about peace and prosperities. For those who attend this extensive empowerment and drubchen, personal obstacles either in life or in practice will be removed.

This extremely rare extensive Vajrakilaya empowerment over a three day period, usually reserved only for advanced practitioners, was never given before in America. However, due to the urgency of this critical time, Lama Sang (H.H. Kusum Lingpa) is granting this rare opportunity to all students. His only requirement for attending this empowerment/drubchen is: "come with a sincere motivation for world peace."

Since the success of this drubchen depends on the combined force of many true/sincere individual motivations for world peace, Lama Sang would like to invite all his students to make their best efforts to come to this drubchen and practice together to generate enough blessing power to remove obstacles to the world. Due to the nature of this empowerment/drubchen, there will also be obstacles in organizing or coming to this event. So, please kindly pray for this empowerment/drubchen to be successful.

Dear friends, be assured that this message from Lama Sang is faithfully relayed, and no personal opinions have had any chance to creep in.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:32 am

DIAL-A-MATERIALIST, by Charles Carreon

Tara and I started talking about Communism today, based on her critique of Carlos Fuentes' essay in Frida's Diary. She mentioned dialectical materialism, and explained that it was an approach to thinking that dictated that you examine the opposites that are found in the material world, and from working them against each other, you make progress. That caused me to point out two facts:

First Fact: Opposites are very hard to find in the material world, and when you do they are inseparable from each other, actually polarities of a single phenomenon. E.g., night and day, up and down, in and out, hot and cold, low and high. One attempted explanation of my argument was this:

CC: What's the opposite of a full cup?

TC: An empty cup?

CC: What's the opposite of a half-full cup?

TC: A half-empty cup?

CC: That means that it is equal to its opposite, which is not the definition of opposite that I usually apply.

TC: Wow!


(This is how I impress her ...)

Second Fact: Opposites in the world of ideas are easy to find, but impossible to define. Take good and evil or beauty and ugliness. Soon you have people telling you that you cannot do some good thing because it would have an evil consequence. Since when is something separate from its consequence? If a good thing causes an evil consequence, it must not therefore be good. The basic problem with this is that whenever you divide one category into two mutually exclusive categories, it never works. Something always ends up on the wrong side of the line.

AmbuFortunaZapataGaudi wrote:

But actually, most Communists aren't tied into Communism through dialectical materialism, but through the desire to benefit their people equally, which is not a religious or childish impulse.


I have never understood the meaning of dialectical materialism. However, immediately upon considering the term, I jumped to the idea that Karl Marx had attempted to accomplish something much like Charles Darwin. They were contemporaries:

Robert M. Young wrote:

Darwin (1809-82) and Marx (1818-83) were -- how easily we forget this -- near contemporaries and published their main works almost simultaneously. They died within a year of each other just over a hundred years ago. (Indeed 1986 was the centenary year of Darwin's Life and Letters.)


Like Darwin, Marx wanted to overturn an established belief system. Darwin was the leader of a mutiny against the political-religious cabal that had imposed dark ignorance upon humanity by outlawing inquiry into the origins of our species and all species. The oligarchs had entombed society in a fantasy concocted of Hebrew myths, Italian superstition-mongering, and in England, the dynastic aspirations of Henry VIII, who cloned the Vatican and found turn-cloak clerics willing to legitimize the new, Anglican order. Religion had to be blasted at the root, by destroying the creation myth. If humans aren't the crown of creation, but just the leading edge of a push from simple sentience to complex intelligence, then growth, goodness, and greater understanding lie ahead of us. And explaining that push toward greater complexity as the process of "natural selection" was perhaps the most brilliant minting of a sound bite in all of science history. To say that "nature selected" the winners in the evolutionary sweepstakes took the matter out of God's hands, and placed it in the hands of those of us who are at the helm of evolution. The ones who will live to reproduce, or die without offspring. The ultimate imperative, to which religion ultimately had to bend, as Henry VIII well understood.

Similarly, Marx wanted to throw off the yoke of commercialism that had been settled firmly on London's working class. Like Darwin, he posited that an evolutionary force had been guiding the manner in which humans apply their productive capacity, their labor, in social settings. He argued that the practice of enslaving neighbor nations in the early kingdoms evolved into serfdom and peasantry under feudal conditions, which gave rise to money, mercantile economies, the rise of the trading class, the decline of the economic power of the landed gentry, and the accession to power of the great "captains of industry" as the robber barons of Marx's time were fond of being described by their media lackeys. And what was the evolutionary principle? Dialectical materialism, of course.

The functioning of dialectical materialism would eliminate false consciousness among the workers, causing them to recapture their productive capacity, which in an industrial age is stolen from them by the spectre of unemployment, and sold back to them by the owners of capital. The holders of capital are depicted in Communist mythology as the stuffed shirts of Diego Rivera’s murals, backed with the “ten million men with guns and bayonets” who guard the Czar in Sandburg’s poem, “The People Speak.” They are blood drinkers, Saturnlike devouring humanity in greed. Would that the matter were so simple, that capitalists were at the root of the problem.

The problem with capital is not that it is in the possession of capitalists. The rule is quite the reverse. Once possessed of sufficient capital, unless you are ready to start giving it away, there is only one type of logic for the capitalist – further acquisition of capital. That is because capital is not a thing that appears here or there, or a physical force of known origins and limits, or a moral force that simply has a malignant effect. Gold does not corrupt the mind. It has been known to lie in the earth for millennia with people living right above, and never suffering the effects of greed to possess it. Gold fever is entirely a social creation, a stampede provoked by the lust for capital, which happens, for reasons of history, to be denominated in gold as well as other commodities.

Capital exists as soon as there is a wealth surplus. In the feudal economy, a grazing meadow, a cow, and beehive were all repositories of capital. Capital is refined in its accuracy and influence when currency appears, in the form of yams, cowrie shells, or discs of metal. Once it becomes currency, capital becomes a fluid language that enables what I call ICE -- Instantaneous Costless Exchange. Why instantaneous? Because everyone knows the value of a dollar. Why costless? Because if you give me ten singles, I’ll give you a ten dollar bill, and neither of us expects to pay a transaction fee, unless one of us is a bank. I can buy a banana or a banana boat in a foreign land because we can agree on its value in currency. I can buy it in rupees, euros, or dollars, since the value of those related currencies is known. All currency can be flipped over into another purchase without any transaction cost. Thus, currency is the visible form of capital, and will be with us forever, as long as we keep records of acquisitions and payments.

Capital turns out to be the prime instrument of social planning. Capital will, for example, solve problems. No money today? Promise to pay back twice as much next year? Okay, I’ll give it to you. Why would you do that deal? If you can turn around and lend that money to someone else, who promises to pay you back for three times as much in a year, then it makes sense. Why does that make sense? Because capital has its own logic. It is a self-presumed good to have more of it, since it is the marker for everything else from soup to sex. Therefore, any scheme that enlarges your pile of capital is a good scheme.

The attempt to run economic systems without capital has been pretty rocky. Why? Because conquering the difficulty of coordinating the work of producing all the goods necessary for an industrial society to operate proved very difficult. Imagine you are a central planner in a communist nation. You wake one morning to consider a proposal to start a strawberry farm in a place where the little red berries have traditionally grown well. However, it will only produce enough berries to feed a very few of your comrades. In other words, strawberries would sell for a lot. That would make it a luxury product, which would remind us of the bad old days, in which only the rich had nice things. Therefore, there will be no strawberries for anyone. This may or may not be a good result, but to a person who has to hoe potatoes that sell for a tiny fraction of strawberries, the theory, however dialectical or materialistic, will be a hard sell.

How does capital help? By establishing the existence of markets and making it possible to estimate the potential benefit to the laborer of pursuing a certain productive plan. In other words, a person can just decide whether they want to grow potatoes or strawberries based on how much people are willing to pay for them. If you have a huge farm in a cold place, potatoes may be a great thing. But why not put an acre or two into berries, sell them by the roadside in the summer, and can the rest for the winter? It all pencils out, and most people will stop doing these things when it no longer pencils out.

Nevertheless, capital can be the instrument of enslavement, and for the most part, is. People, who have no capital, have only their labor to sell. Further, once industry routinizes tasks, everyone’s labor is worth the same. The goal of modern industry is to idiot proof tasks so that one TV-watcher is as good as any other to get the job done, and the really smart people get raises based on how many people they can cut from the payroll. The fact that capital works well to organize a productive economy does not assure the elimination of poverty, pollution, drug addiction, homelessness, or any other social evils. It probably does assure that, if you have the capital, you can buy whatever you need.

Unless of course you need to reclaim the productive capacity of your labor for internal, personal reasons. Like you want self-respect, an opportunity to do the things with your time that you want to. Or perhaps you want out of a psychological reality in which the days of your life are already spoken for, and you have already been conscripted as one of the workers whose value is measured in keystrokes per hour, or some similar deadening measure. Perhaps this is the real evolutionary force at work that will move us away from the primacy of capital and towards the primacy of human experience. Individuals eventually may learn that quantifying their labor and exchanging it for capital to purchase goods makes them feel like fungible members of a worker-ant-population. If enough people learned it at once, that would be evolutionary.

When people decide they want control over their time, that is a dialectical insight. When they ask themselves why they should have to dance a jig because that is what the rich man wants, and he has the capital, that is a dialectical insight. When they ask why the bankers build high-rises for “investment” when the poor live in slums, that is a dialectical insight. When the people ask why we must pay so much to spill blood in foreign lands, rather than buying needed commodities at home, that is a dialectical insight.

These dialectical insights however, will not bring an end to capital, or its primacy to our economy. They should give us pause, however, and stimulate these questions:

1. Despite capital’s efficiency in structuring productive efforts, are there other factors that should help us decide how hard to work, and on what?

2. Does the fact that some nations have little capital not deprive their citizens of a voice in determining what they shall sell, and how they shall produce it?

3. Since the largest accumulations of capital stem from past exploitation of the western hemisphere by a gang of ruthless Europeans, can it be ethical to continue to profit from such aggressively-garnered advantages?

4. Until the excessive advantages gained by excessive capital holdings are equalized, can any player in the world economy claim to be prevailing based upon merit and skill, or must they all accept that they are the product of wrongful advantages?

5. In the dialectical scheme, if capital is one polarity, then what is its counterbalancing opposite?
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:34 am

DIARY OF A SENSE OFFENDER -- A REVIEW OF KURT WIMMER'S "EQUILIBRIUM", by Charles Carreon

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Everyday begins this way. Waking on a sterile single-wide sleeping cushion. Just like the one your spouse, your children, and your neighbors have been sleeping on. Uniformity is the rule. Then, before all else, or perhaps after you shave if you are a bit indulgent, you take your Prozium. The swift injection to the neck, inoculating you against feeling, killing for the duration of its effect, the temptation to feel. For feeling is the enemy of humanity, the seed of evil hidden in the human heart.

Onward marches humanity, in continuous victory over the senses. And continuous war against sense offenders. The most zealous among us are children, zealots with eyes of steel that spot the quivering emotionality in the shoulders, the uncertain tip of the head, the lagging tread, that betray the sense offender. Those who are dumping their Prozium into the toilet, crushing it underfoot, stowing it in a hollow in the bathroom wall, anything but injecting it into their neck.

Under the influence of Prozium, freed of the disturbing emotions, an extraordinary level of discipline emerges in the mind of the most ordinary person. Emotions, far from helping us to achieve our most cherished goals, throw the human animal into a tizzy of unproductive, confused action. Ultimately, emotions lead to war, to the angry release of frustrations built up within the prison of the emotions. So humanity was left with no choice but to take up war against the emotions.

Prozium is the weapon that put the foe to flight, dealing a hammer blow to the demonic emotions within the heart of every human. Lost, of course, was the fleeting delight that intoxicates the sense offender, but gone too was the impulse that leads to war, the inflamed mob mind that seeks vengeance on itself. The social contract finally was enforced to the ultimate level, requiring the fortress of selfhood to be razed in order to protect all humanity from the evil motives of individuals.

Sense offenders refuse to make the sacrifice demanded of them by the righteous needs of all. Their swift elimination is the desire of all of the citizens of Libria, and the duty of the Grammaton Clerics, specially trained in the science of death.

The road to sense offenderhood is a short one. It begins with a single stumble, so one must be ever vigilant. Perhaps, through accident, one breaks a vial of Prozium, and through misfortune, fails to replace it and skips a dose. Perhaps no harm will come of it. Perhaps no powerful emotions will rise up to claim your soul, but by forsaking Prozium even for a moment, you run the risk of being thrown off track, into the dangerous byways of sense offense.

For the sense offender at first everything seems brighter. A delusive ecstasy grips the mind, prompting untoward expansive behavior, which should be the first warning sign for friends and relatives. The sense offender may express pleasure inappropriately, or protective impulses toward non-human life forms that they call "pets." The sense offender will seek to feed his or her habit by all means necessary. It quickly goes beyond stretching out the intervals between Prozium administration, while grasping furtive pleasure in the brushing of one's hair for an inappropriately long period of time, humming in the shower, or entertaining notions. Soon entire days are spent in sense affairs, conjuring excuses for absence, drifting ever farther from the margin of true Libria, taking refuge in the Nethers, with hardened sense offenders. In time, the evil strikes. Sense offenders take up arms to satisfy the hate breeding in their hearts. Claiming to be protecting themselves from the Librian state, they engage in gun battles in defense of clandestine lairs stuffed with contraband sense objects.

Finally, the dialectic of the sense offender emerges, a self-justifying rant that seeks to overthrow the very rationale that has redeemed humanity after millennia of war. Sense offenders teach a heresy -- that Libria has institutionalized the war of each against all under the ideological cover of benefit to all humanity. That Father has enslaved his children in chemical bonds, that Prozium is poison. Such a slander cannot be allowed to stand. Nor can the perpetrators of the heresy be tolerated. Having taken up arms against Libria, at the hands of a duly consecrated Grammaton Cleric, they pay an immediate price for their crimes.

Skilled in the art of the Gun Kata, and intuitively tuned to know what sense offenders are feeling, Grammaton Clerics are lethal weapons capable of delivering fire in a 360-degree radius under conditions of total darkness, killing every sense offender within a reasonable circumference of their center. A Cleric performing the Gun Kata maintains continuous movement. He is always other than where his opponents believe him to be. He cannot be touched, and strikes at will. His enemies are, invariably, defeated. He is the hero of all true Librians.

To be a Grammaton Cleric, and a sense offender. The thing is not unheard of, and swiftly dealt with. When a Grammaton Cleric cracks, what kind of bones are exposed?

I can only say that it begins like this. A restless night after a hard day's work. A broken Prozium vial, and a lie to conceal it. Ripping the protecting sense-masking material from the transparent windowpane, tasting the light of the sun glinting over the shining towers of Libria. Seeing the liquid rays glinting through the hazy morning air. I spy a greying woman, like myself, being born along in a herd of drab-clothed workers, stroking her hand on the smooth metal of the banister rail. I imitate her, and quickly feel what she is feeling. It is a small stimulus, a bit of pleasure slyly snagged. A sense offender on the loose. And I do nothing to apprehend her.

Sucked in by the flow of sensual experience, I tried to surf the wave, but was quickly overwhelmed. It began as an ordinary day on the job with my new partner, knocking down the doors of sense offense lairs, torching menageries of memorabilia, burning up the dangerous fuel of emotion stored in yet another hidden vault. For years I've sent sense offenders to Processing, but on that unguarded day the eyes of a sense offender stopped me with a gaze. And what a gaze. Two green eyes too large for their sockets in a pale face of outrage unashamed of its sensuality. Framed with a mane of red hair, slashed with an angry mouth of accusation. And later in another sense lair, indulging for a moment in playing with the evidence, I was overwhelmed by something called Beethoven, that I played on an ancient victrola.

Now it seems I must confront my teachers, who are infallible in the ways of death. Having learned their ways, having mastered the emotions and the Gun Kata, I am compelled to reject their authority. Father's declarations poison the mind with fear, and by fear we are prevented from questioning him. I have no fear, so I am free to question Father, and his answers do not satisfy me.

From now on, I will make only instantaneous decisions from among compelling choices. This Grammaton Cleric seeks neither vengeance nor reward. Simply truth.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:35 am

DISILLUSIONED BY AUTHORITARIAN DOCTRINES, by Charles Carreon

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Many of the students who started class early are finishing early. Take Stephen Batchelor, who started out way ahead of the crowd, translating Buddhist texts, chumming around with lamas in Dharamsala, learning the Vajrayana equivalent of the merit badge system. Not only did he understand it, but he could relate it in writing. If anyone seemed destined for the title of "lotsawa" it would certainly have been him.

But somewhere along the way, his sincerity became an obstacle to his growth within the Tibetan Buddhist system. Failing to sufficiently value his opportunities within the hierarchy, he allowed his personal desire for understanding to take precedence. He could have been a khenpo, now people respect him less than a bonpo. What went wrong? He's so low even people who haven't started their ngondro can afford to dislike him without fear of reproach. His books are no longer endorsed by important lamas, his stock is about to be de-listed, and there is certainly nothing in his 401K.

How does this happen? Surely it is Stephen's fault. A deep personality flaw that took its time in manifesting. Previously undetected strata of stony pride and repelling the drill bit of vajra wisdom. A heart unsoftened by devotion, refusing entry to the guru's grace. All things that any Pema-come-lately knows to avoid, and will avoid, as the protectors give them strength. And don't forget to use deodorant, prostrations make you stink like a pig.

While apparently quality people like Batchelor consign themselves to the trash heap of modern Buddhist road-kill, low-lifes continue to move up the ladder. The hereditary low-lifes accept their entitlements with all the aplomb of pampered royalty, knowing better than to question a system that bestows such blessings. Aspiring purchasers of titles have found that generosity is indeed the first perfection to which they must aspire. All other blessings then follow.

Dr. Rick Strassman, the bold and dedicated psychedelic researcher had his license to practice Buddhism summarily revoked when an aging Zen master got wind of his plans to let people explore their minds with chemicals under the rubric of a spiritual quest. Meanwhile, Joan Halifax, ex-wife of Stan Grof and long-time promoter of altered states, tacks "Roshi" onto the end of her name, apparently having found a more accommodating doctrinal perch. Or perhaps it turned out, under questioning, that she didn't inhale.

The search for doctrinal legitimacy is doomed. Buddhists are as sectarian as Baptists, just as convinced that their sect is right and that others, while tentatively entitled to acceptance as sister-sects, would fundamentally be better off changing their beliefs to accord with the Real Truth. The real strengths of the Eastern sects are their incorporation of mass methods of subjugation by the use of powerful symbols. Uniformly patriarchal, skilled in using authoritarian props like thrones, robes, staffs and scepters, the Easterners can control a crowd more reliably than Mick Jagger. And accomplish the same thing -- subjugate all the men, and excite all the women. In this way, both sexes work for free, attempting to work their way up to the pyramid of recognized loyalty and desirableness.

What many aspirants have found is that it's a long way to the top, and there isn't much of a view. When you have collected all of your merit badges and apply for your certificate, it turns out there's not much there. If you want a title, a position where you can work like an indentured servant indefinitely to accomplish things that someone else decided must be done, you may retire in this position. But most people would find a job at the post office more rewarding. The apex of a religious venture is always as detestably twisted as any other human power focus. But it is twice as galling to find yourself there at the end of a quest for self-fulfillment That is where the exiles are coming from, and no one wants to hear what they have to say. They are going down the upstaircase, and are seen as just being old and in the way, poisoned by the wine of sour grapes. But suppose they are like the people heading out of the Two Towers on 9-11? Suppose they are telling everyone to turn around, go back, and return home for their own safety. It will give them no satisfaction to see those who do not listen consumed in the disaster.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:36 am

DON'T BLAME RAMANA, by Charles Carreon

I'm a connoisseur of silly little buttons that say things like, "You must be from the shallow end of the gene pool." One of my favorites is "Never judge a client by his lawyer." It might also be said, "Don't judge a guru by his cultists."

Ramana Maharshi is a classic example. All of the bootstrap self-enlightened bozos like Bubba Fuck Job and Andrew Cohen, who need an authority to hang their hat on, try to say, "We're self-enlightened like Ramana Maharshi." And they'll hasten to add, "We're actually even better than Ramana, because blah blah blah."

Well hate to tell ya guys, but Ramana didn't cite any authority for his Realization. He didn't induct his Mama into the cult (she showed up willingly after she got old), or marinate in quality drugs and top-shelf booty. (Well, says Fuck Job, it may not be enlightenment, but it's a better ride than you got. Which, minus the insanity, is probably right.)

But Ramana has attracted parasites like any huge being. Remoras and lampreys clinging to his enormous spiritual bulk, then dispersing themselves through the spiritual seas, where they feed rapaciously. Instead of spreading the immense serenity of Ramana, who was a mountain of spiritual stillness, these fools spread irritation and anxiety. Ramana made one trip in his entire life -- from his home town to Tiruvannamalai, to abide at Arunachala, the mountain sacred to Shiva. He discovered a being, himself, who really needed nothing. So he sought nothing. Not disciples, or recognition, or an offering. His self-abandonment was complete, and would have ended in death had his new friend, Palani Swami, not intervened with food and shelter, pulling him out from under the Shiva temple where the young God-struck sadhu had taken up residence to avoid the rocks thrown by the naughty little Indian boys.

The modern day emulators of Ramana are quite different. They travel the world like Spiritual CEOs, administering a sacred fiefdom that adopts the legal firepower of an international business behemoth, operating under a code of secrecy and a freedom to abuse adherents that even Wal Mart managers would envy. Bubba Fuck Job has flown around the world at least eighty times, visiting his victims, and encouraging them to blow their minds and wallets on a God Jones. No wonder he called himself Jones.

I'll tell you who Jones is, if you don't already know. There's a book called "The Lotus Crew," about Harlem heroin dealers moving Triad heroin. It's beautiful if you want to taste the thoughtstream of addiction. In drug dialect, Jones is the addicted being himself. There is only one Jones. Jones is who you see in your friend's eyes when you know he's doing the product. You know when you're talking to Jones, not your friend. Because Jones lies. Lies like a mother fucker.

Ramana emulators are really some of the worst, most dangerous cult leaders. But you can't blame Ramana. He discovered the knife. They cut themselves.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:38 am

DR. RAY BROWN BIOGRAPHY, by Charles Carreon

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Dr. Ray Brown, who was familiar with the Berry Islands of the Bahamas, where he had previously searched for Spanish treasure galleons, returned there in 1970. He detailed his experience in an interview with the author Charles Berlitz.

When we returned to where we had been before, looking for the sunken galleons, a violent squall came up. We had to hang on to mangroves on the island, it was so violent. Six to eight foot waves broke over us and we lost most of our equipment. In the morning we saw that our compasses were spinning and our magnometers were not giving readings. We took off north- east from the island. It was murky but suddenly we could see outlines of buildings under the water. It seemed to be a large exposed area of an underwater city. We were five divers and we all jumped in and dove down, looking for anything we could find. As we swam on, the water became clear. I was close to the bottom at 135 feet and was trying to keep up with the diver ahead of me. I turned to look toward the sun through the murky water and saw a pyramid shape shinning like a mirror. Thirty-five to forty feet from the top was an opening. I was reluctant to go inside... but I swam anyway. The opening was like a shaft debouching into an inner room. I saw something shinning. It was a crystal, held by two metallic hands. I had on my gloves and I tried to loosen it. It became loose. As soon as I grabbed it I felt this was the time to get out and not come back.

I'm not the only person who has seen the ruins -- others have seen them from the air and say they are five miles wide and more than that in length.


Reports from the other divers who were with Dr. Brown at the time are unavailable since three of them have died or disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle while diving. Dr. Brown still has the crystal, which he sometimes shows to lecture audiences. Inside the round crystal can be seen a series of pyramidal forms. When one holds the crystal, a throbbing sensation is felt in the hand of the holder, whether by autosuggestion or some quality inherent in the object.

Dr. Brown did not express an opinion as to the identity of the place that he visited except to say that it was an underwater pyramid surrounded by ruined buildings. He believes that the pyramid and the other buildings extend farther down under the sea floor, with only the upper portions visible. Brown does not reveal the coordinates of the pyramid, which, if located near the Berry Islands, is definitely not one searched for by the Ari Marshal expedition.

During the mid-70's Dr. Brown practiced naturopathic medicine in a thriving office in Mesa, Arizona. His waiting room was full of people eager to receive his diagnosis and prescriptions for homeopathic medicines. Everyone had a miracle to tell. There were a couple in our family -- saving a newborn from death's door when hospital doctors had turned their hands up, and a remarkable permanent recovery from disabling pleurisy. Some of our friends had a little baby afflicted with seizures so serious he was medicated with phenobarbital around the clock. He was like a slug from the downers -- couldn't roll himself over. Dr. Brown got him off the phenobarbital, and put him on 1Million -X Homeopathic Belladonna. A few months later we got a photo in the mail from the happy parents -- the little guy was sitting up on the beach, looking at the camera and smiling. Dr. Brown's medicines were ones he personally made using special machines with ultrasound capabilities that he had designed himself. The result was, he explained, the creation of super-strength homeopathic compounds that had the vibrational imprint of the minerals and even the DNA of medicinal plants. He had an ebullient enthusiasm about his ability to cure disease, almost as if he thrived on seeing sick people, to see how many he could help as quickly as possible. And he charged next to nothing. Even the poor could pay for his medicines, and for some reason, there were a lot of us. But you can't do your job too well in the medicine business. We heard the AMA busted him and shortly thereafter he became very difficult to find. Now nobody can find him. If you're out there, Ray, drop us an email.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:39 am

DR. RICK STRASSMAN'S "DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE", by Charles Carreon

I just finished reading "DMT: The Spirit Molecule," by Rick Strassman, M.D. who practices psychiatry in Taos, New Mexico and is a Clinical Associate Professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Dr. Strassman managed to finagle permits to administer DMT, "an extremely short-acting and powerful psychedelic," at the UNM School of Medicine. Beginning in 1990, and continuing for five years, he administered 400 doses of DMT to 60 human volunteers.

Dr. Strassman has great intellectual credentials, including degrees from Stanford and Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. He interned in general psychiatry at U.C. Davis Medical Center where he received the Sandoz Award for outstanding graduate resident in 1981. He has also been a Zen Buddhist for over 20 years and is deeply interested in the liberating spiritual potential of psychedelic drugs. Dr. Strassman's avowed purpose for his DMT work was to find ways to do good things for people with psychedelic drugs, but he was compelled to follow strict bio-medical protocols that ultimately hamstrung his research efforts and made him question whether there was any point in continuing. He left the project after his wife contracted cancer, and the promised additional support for his psychedelic research from other medical professionals failed to materialize. Dr. Strassman makes it clear that a great way to screw up a promising scientific career is to become interested in psychedelic research. He recounts a telling conversation with an anonymous "Dr. K," at the San Diego V.A. Hospital. Dr. Strassman was on his fellowship, and was having a "rambling and wide-ranging" conversation with Dr. K., when he ventured one of his pet theories:

"Do you think," I offered, "that the pineal [gland] might produce psychedelic compounds? It seems to have the right ingredients. Maybe it somehow mediates spontaneous psychedelic types of states -- psychosis for example." Dr. K. stopped in his tracks and turned on his heels. His brow furrowed and he peered at me intently through his glasses. A palpable menace glinted from his eyes. "Ooops," I thought. "Let me tell you this, Rick," he said slowly and firmly. "The pineal has nothing to do with psychedelic drugs."

Dr. Strassman learned his lesson, and did not speak the words "pineal and psychedelic in the same breath to anyone" for the remainder of the year.

Of course, we expect scientists to be uptight, because they have grants to protect, wives to support, kids to feed, and politicians to please. However, Strassman never expected to discover that his fellow Zen Buddhists were even more uptight than Dr. K., who just didn't want anyone screwing up his reputation in the pineal gland business.

Strassman's experiments utilized intravenous injections of DMT at dosage levels calculated at .05 mg./kg. of body weight for a low dose, and .4 mg./kg. for a high dose. The onset of psychedelic effect after injection is immediate with doses of .2 mg./kg. and above. What Strassman discovered in his experiments upended his hypothetical applecart. He expected people to have mystical and near-death type experiences. He did not expect for many of his experimental subjects to declare with certainty that they had met other beings during their experience, whom they described as "clowns" or "elves," who took an intensive interest and delight in the experimental subject's appearance in their dimension. These beings reside behind the brilliantly colored curtains of psychedelic light that immediately invade the visual sense field within seconds after administration of the drug. Ultimately, Dr. Strassman seemed to give up on his efforts to interpret these beings as projections of psychological features, as one subject after another refused to accept that characterization, insisting that the beings were real, the place where they met the beings was real, and they did not reflect mere inner experiences in a Freudian or Jungian sense.

Dr. Strassman was also surprised when one person after another recounted experiences strangely reminiscent of alien abduction stories when receiving a high dose of DMT. Admittedly, Dr. Strassman was administering the DMT in a large hospital, where medical hardware was everywhere present, and bio-medical protocols required that he take blood draws, blood pressure readings, and even EEGs and MRIs of people tripping their brains out. Nevertheless, lots of people recorded experiences that involved detailed visualizations of large numbers of intelligent beings, often reptilian or automaton-like, tending huge machines in vast illuminated complexes, and performing examinations of the experimental subject. They often bonded with one of the strange beings and were regarded indifferently by the rest.

This reminded me of my friend Ernesto's DMT experience that he recently recounted. Depositing the DMT powder on a bed of dried pscyhotria viridis, which has a small amount of naturally occurring DMT in it, and putting another layer of psychotria viridis on top of the dust (to prevent it from bursting into flame) he applied a butane lighter flame and consumed the entire bowl in one breath. The effects were as fast as promised, and as he exhaled the white smoke, complex colored patterns appeared in the smoke-swirls. His entire psychosomatic system began to vibrate, from the inside out and from the outside in, and the only thing he could hear was a mantra, a single word repeated endlessly. This mantra seemed to protect him from disorganizing energy, keeping him collected around his center. He felt a bit of anxiety that the experience might get out of control, but it did not. With eyes open or closed, he saw colored patterns of an extremely complex geometric structure that gradually began to resemble reptilian structures such as scales and bones. After around five minutes, Ernesto got up from his seat and laid down under a blanket. There, for around the next 1-1/2 hours, he continued to experience a reptilian presence. This reptilian presence was somewhat disturbing to Ernesto, because of the conditioning we have against reptiles, but the reptile presence spoke to him gently, encouraging him to appreciate the reptilian history in his body, and its great strength and resilience. The reptilian spirit told him that it was a source of his strength, that he needed in order to succeed as a living being. Ernesto accepted this understanding, and gradually dealt with the tension between conditioned repulsion and wholesome self-acceptance. He saw images of primitive spears, the extensions of reptilian talons and claws. In days following, Ernesto's strength and resolve in the course of ordinary life seemed strengthened and smoothly directed. A few nights later, he advised, he had brief DMT-like colored visions in his dreams. He stated that the experience had not been anywhere near as frightening as common stories had caused him to expect, and if given the opportunity, he would try another DMT voyage.

According to his grant proposal, Dr. Strassman was not supposed to be giving therapy, but leading people through the inner world always requires the intuitive skills of a healer. He never knew when one of his experimental subjects would experience a terrifying upheaval. One poor fellow, a happy raver-type with charming looks and a light-hearted attitude, who had consumed lots of MDMA (ecstasy) in recreational settings, suffered a nightmare ordeal on a high-dose trip. The drug kicked in, his feet convulsed in a kicking motion, and he remained rigid for ten minutes. Then he opened his eyes, sat up, and declared that he had just been raped anally by two crocodiles who sat on his chest and immobilized him so completely that he was unable to sit up or reach out for a comforting hand. As he put it, when the experience began he thought it was a dream but "then realized it was really happening." Of course, with the time distortion effect added in, this was a monolithic exercise in agony. Interestingly, this subject considered the experience fundamentally beneficial, in that it increased his appreciation for ordinary life. He cut down on his ecstasy-taking in trivial social interactions, moved in with his girlfriend, and assumed a quiet lifestyle.

Whether covered with contrived nonchalance, or with a veneer of spiritual sophistication, the soft underbelly of the human psyche is quickly exposed by this substance. A woman who prepared for her session by flipping through the New Yorker had an extremely miserable trip on a very low dose and accepted no further injections. A modern-day shaman named Carlos kept trying to explain away his high anxiety before each administration of the drug, which induced violent shaking notwithstanding his profession that his first dose was nothing much. Eventually he had a full death experience that he considered fully valid spiritually, but wished he had been with friends out in the mountains when it took place. But some of the most enthusiastic were unable to continue. In certain cases, DMT high-doses induce huge spikes in blood pressure, in one case so severe Dr. Strassman was ready to call the cardiac team, and diagnosed the slight headache that the subject felt after the trip as the result of extreme vaso-dilation in the large blood vessels that enter the base of the skull. But the experimenter was pleased with the experience, and notwithstanding his disability, wished to take further trips. Though he was not permitted by Strassman, the subject remained grateful and considered it a very important experience that confirmed the rightness of his spiritual direction.

Under the guise of trying to determine whether DMT administration develops a tolerance in the user, Dr. Strassman developed a protocol of four high-dose injections approximately one hour apart. These doses were .3 mg./kg., not the highest dose but plenty psychedelic. Dr. Strassman said that everyone who was given the opportunity persevered through all four doses, a moderately exhausting experience.

First, the answer to the tolerance question -- DMT does not build up a tolerance, and each successive dose was just as powerful as the first. What changed was the character of the experience, which seems to profit from familiarity. The first high dose trip is the shocker, when people don't know what they are going to see and aren't sure they like seeing it. The second and third trips grow increasingly familiar. And by the fourth trip, many people felt cleaned out, healed and freed of persistent anxiety. One young woman in her early twenties who professed a lesbian orientation and was highly attractive to people of both sexes, had a persistent pain in her belly. She had been raped repeatedly by her step-father at sixteen. During her four sessions, she met the beings on the other side, whom she called the elves, and discharged the pain in her midsection, which she connected with the rapes. She valued the experience very highly and felt that she would now enjoy her life a great deal more.

In addition to the powerful psychedelic effects, which caused people to blurt out things like, "Here we go!" and "They were on me quick," DMT releases large amounts of vasopressin, prolactin, growth hormone, and corticotropin, all of which may have psychological effects. During the drug effect, pupil diameter doubled within two minutes, and body temperature would rise. Dr. Strassman's theory that the pineal gland may produce DMT seems unsupported by the information in the book, but it is an intriguing theory, an explanation for why this organ, centrally located in the brain, contains so many of the precursor substances that create DMT.

Reasons for joining the experiment were the expected -- people wanted new experiences, wanted to understand the nature of their own existence and God, and wanted to deepen their understanding of life. Interestingly, many of them found a bit of what they were looking for, or at least thought they had. Dr. Strassman himself became increasingly uncertain as he looked for concrete changes in behavior, beyond expostulations of enthusiasm. From my point of view, Dr. Strassman may have been looking too hard in the wrong places. When it comes to judging how we are doing, it's hard to say that anyone knows better than we ourselves.

After years of doing the work, Dr. Strassman indeed was getting tired. One can imagine the stress of responding to the heightened mental states and emotional reactions of sensitive people questing for self knowledge. Then his wife got cancer and they moved to Canada to be closer to her relatives. Dr. Strassman started commuting to Albuquerque from Canada every couple of months, jamming in as many psychedelic sessions as possible. The fatigue took a further toll.

As I mentioned, Dr. Strassman is a long-time practicing Zen Buddhist, and like many Buddhists, had talked with other Buddhists about how LSD had led them into the search for enlightenment. He had a number of friends, long-time students in an unnamed Zen Buddhist organization that we could possibly identify by connecting the dots: the group is based in the midwest, the teacher died recently, the head of the organization is now a woman, and the organization chooses its leaders by election. It is a large group. Also, they are a bunch of assholes.

How do we know they are assholes? Because they dumped shit all over poor Dr. Strassman when he needed it the least. He had shared his thoughts about his work, and his hopes and aspirations to connect the spiritual path with psychedelic methods, disclosing deep thoughts to a person he thought was his spiritual counselor. Within the DMT sessions themselves, he incorporated attitudes of modeling equanimity and projecting compassion, Buddhist attitudes that helped subjects to benefit from the experience. Additionally, he selected for the experiment numbers of persons who had experience with psychedelic drugs and meditation, believing that they were best adapted to deal with the jarring effects of the experience. For all this respect and the place of honor that Dr. Strassman accorded Buddhism in his life and work, he was rewarded with the most arrogant, presumptuous declaration of insult that I have heard delivered from a Buddhist source in recent years. His former Buddhist pals derided his work with DMT as "not right livelihood," and denounced his plan to administer psychedelics to the terminally ill as an "appallingly dangerous" effort to "play God." With the full confidence of having reached enlightenment themselves, they decreed: "An attempt to induce enlightenment experiences by chemical means can never, will never, succeed. What it will do is badly confuse people and result in serious consequences for you."

This pronouncement certainly confused Dr. Strassman, who until then had been receiving encouragement from his old stoner pals who had put on Buddhist robes. He realized that there was a succession struggle going on within the Zen group, because the old abbot was dying, and "senior monks were lobbying for elected posts," each vying for the position of "most zealous defender of the teaching."

Then Dr. Strassman really stuck his foot in it. He published an article in Tricycle, Fall 1996, calling for "a discussion of integrating psychedelics into Buddhist practice." As Dr. Strassman put it, the "article sealed my fate ... my lifelong affiliation with the order would implicate it as contributing to these new ideas." In order to distance the Zen group from Dr. Strassman's vile heresy, his erstwhile friend, a nun who had been elected new chief poobah, "sent copies of the Tricycle article to members of my new meditation group as well as to other groups and the monastery [including] scribbled comments" Dr. Strassman had made during their private conversations. She also "wrote to the local congregation telling them not to enter my house because there might be psychedelic drugs kept in it." (This reminds me of James Thurber's mother-in-law's fear that electricity might leak out of the sockets and electrocute you. It also reminds me of Timothy Leary's statement that LSD is a substance well-known to cause insanity in those who have not taken it.) This betrayal by his old spiritual comrades was apparently the last nail in the DMT experiment's coffin. Says Dr. Strassman, "Although I could see beyond the hypocrisy that motivated much of the monastery's repudiation of my work, it took its toll." Shortly thereafter, he wrote closing summaries on all of his projects, packed up his drugs and mailed them to a secure facility near Washington, D.C., where "the supplies of DMT, psilocybin, and LSD remain ... to this day." Probably right next to the Ark of the Covenant, left there by Indiana Jones.

To read Dr. Strassman's account of the screwing he got at the hands of the robed bitches, check out Chapter 20 of his book, entitled "Stepping on Holy Toes."

STEPPING ON HOLY TOES

by Rick Strassman, M.D.

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Chapter 20 from "DMT: THE SPIRIT MOLECULE"

There generally is little support for the incorporation of spirituality, with its nonmaterial and therefore non-measurable factors, into clinical research's fold. We will see in this chapter that neither is organized religion, no matter how mystically inclined, open-minded and secure enough to seriously consider the spiritual potential of clinical research with psychedelics.

There are several places in this book where I refer to my interest in Buddhist theory and practice. In addition to theoretical and practical contributions to the research, I also received much personal support and guidance from decades of involvement with an American Zen Buddhist monastery. From the initial inspiration for the psychedelic research to the development of the rating scale and our methods of supervising sessions, my understanding of Buddhism pervaded nearly every aspect of working with the spirit molecule.

Being raised a Jew in southern California in the 1950s and 1960s, my religious training emphasized learning the Hebrew language and Jewish festivals, history, and culture. We also remembered the Holocaust and supported the newly formed Jewish state of Israel. We learned little about how to directly encounter God. This was something for the ancient patriarchs alone: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses.

There were moments of joy in my Jewish education. Singing Hebrew folk songs and prayers in large groups was ecstatic, although I didn't use that word at the time. So were the complex swirling and whirling Israeli folk dances we learned. In addition, one of my religious school teachers did try teaching us to meditate. We closed our eyes when she did, and then looked around the room through half-shut lids to see who was peeking. Our teacher had a beatific expression on her face, sitting at her desk, fingers interlaced in front of her lap. Once or twice during this classroom meditation I glimpsed something inside that felt good, calm, and right, but I also was startled and a little uncomfortable contacting it.

I later found Eastern religious teachings and practices provided the most accessible methods to begin satisfying the desires for deeper truths that emerged during my college years. In this way I'm similar to many of my generation. These "new religions" included Zen and other forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism. Their emphasis on mystical union with the source of all being resonated deeply with that need for ultimate truth. The personal certainty embodied in recently arrived Japanese, Indian, and Tibetan teachers, and the spiritual exercises that promised results confirmed by generations of practitioners, combined to make an irresistible package.

My introduction to the mysteries of the East came in the form of Transcendental Meditation in the early 1970s. I enjoyed the quiet and peacefulness of this practice, but the intellectual underpinnings did not appeal to me. Soon thereafter, I discovered in Buddhism both the practical and intellectual inspiration I was seeking.

Buddhism is a meditation-based religion, 2,500 years old, that in impartial, psychological, and relatively easily accessible terms describes and considers all the states of mind one could possibly imagine, whether horrific, beatific, neutral, helpful, or harmful. In addition, Buddhism offers practical, cause-and-effect moral codes that apply the insights of meditation to daily life.

It took a few tries to find a suitable Buddhist community. Once more, Jim Fadiman at Stanford pointed me in the right direction, this time to a midwestern United States Zen monastery run by a rather reclusive, but startlingly solid, Asian teacher. I attended two weekend meditation retreats there in 1974 and felt as if I had arrived home. The monks were serene but down to earth, and we enjoyed being with each other. Most interesting was that most of them had gained their first view of the spiritual path while on psychedelic drugs.

They did not volunteer this information, of course. But in the free-wheeling early days of the temple, such informal self-disclosure was common. It was as simple as asking, "Did you take psychedelics before becoming a monk? How important were they in your decision?" The overwhelming majority had taken them and had experienced their first glimpse of the enlightened state of mind with their assistance.

A five-week retreat at the monastery during a break from medical school helped me develop a portable and efficient Buddhist practice. The meditation was straightforward: sit comfortably, back straight, and just sit. "Just sit" as in "just walk," "just wash the dishes," "just breathe." In other words, focus all your attention on the task at hand. When sitting, therefore, you just sat. No thinking, daydreaming, fidgeting, emotional reactions, talking, or whatever else complicated the sitting process. The regular in-and-out movement of the breath functioned as an excellent anchor, a point upon which the wandering mind could ground and focus its attention whenever distracting thoughts or feelings interrupted uncluttered awareness.

Upon returning to medical school, I reserved a room for lunchtime meditation and there were always one or two people joining me for a half-hour "sit." I stayed in close touch with several monks, visited the monastery regularly, and hosted a retreat led by priests traveling to New York.

Buddhism and meditation also seemed a rich field of academic study. I arranged to take a medical school summer elective for mental health professionals at the Nyingma Institute, which had been established by a Tibetan Buddhist lama in the hills of Berkeley, California. During this course we learned the basic principles and practices of Buddhist psychology. It was here that I first learned about the Abhidharma, the Buddhist system of psychology.

Abhidharma roughly translates into "catalog of mental states." There are hundreds of Abhidharma texts, but the Nyingma lama was interested in sharing with us only the most basic principles.

One fundamental tenet was that the normal flow of personal experience actually was a smooth synthesis of several component parts. These facts are called the skandhas, or "heaps," the five "things" that make up our conscious state: form, feeling, perception, consciousness, and habitual tendencies. We spent days discussing each of these until we developed a consensus definition with which we felt comfortable and could express in familiar Western terms.

Another important point was the possibility of, and methods for, dissolving the glue that held these skandhas together. By deconstructing, as it were, the facade of our sense of self, Buddhists believe we can access deeper layers of reality, compassion, love, and wisdom. There was a sequence of stages in that process, and a knowledgeable teacher could help the meditator recognize and progress through those steps. Buddhism had refined these techniques over millennia, and millions of practitioners had verified and validated these methods and their results.

While these meditations were more elaborate and complicated than "just sitting," they were fascinating, and they produced the promised results. I needed to write a scientific article on my summer experience, and I used that opportunity to publish a description of the Abhidharma system and some of my own meditative experiences. Learning about Abhidharma also got me thinking about its usefulness in measuring psychedelic states.

Upon graduating from medical school, I returned to California for psychiatric training. There, in Sacramento, I helped establish and administer a monastery-affiliated meditation group that met weekly and sponsored retreats led by monks. For years the group met in my house, and I had many opportunities to discuss my interests, psychedelic and otherwise, with members of the monastic community. At the monastery, I underwent a layperson's ordination into the Buddhist sect whose teachings the abbot followed, and I maintained close ties with my original monk friends, who now were becoming senior members of the priestly hierarchy.

Career and training opportunities drew me away from Sacramento after my four-year psychiatric residency at the University of California in Davis, but I returned two and a half years later to join their faculty. The local meditation group I helped establish still met, but the parent organization's structure had changed substantially. Many monks had left the fold as the teachings became increasingly focused on the teacher himself and his spiritual experiences. At the same time the abbot was becoming more reclusive, surrounding himself with trusted assistants. In addition, there now existed a hierarchy within the lay community. The atmosphere had taken a turn toward "who is in, and who is out." The informal and relaxed give-and-take no longer existed.

When I later moved to New Mexico, I considered myself loosely affiliated with the monastery's extended Buddhist community. I was not inclined to deal with the political structure now necessary to start a local meditation group, but I did seek out other local members and I meditated with them regularly in an informal setting. In addition, I remained in regular contact with several monks at the head temple, many of whom were now twenty-year acquaintances. While the monastic community as a whole had lost some of its luster, I considered it my spiritual home and was married there in 1990.

There are many ways my Buddhist training and practice affected the DMT research. One of these was in how we supervised volunteers' encounters with DMT.

Supervising psychedelic sessions usually is called "sitting." Many believe this comes from the idea of "babysitting" people who are in a highly dependent, at times confused and vulnerable state. Even more importantly, though, is "sitting" in the meditational sense. The research nurse, either Cindy or Laura, and I did our best to practice "just sitting" while being with our volunteers: watching the breath, being alert, eyes gazing straight ahead, ready to respond, keeping a positive and aware attitude, letting the research subject's experience unfold without unnecessary interference.

My understanding of meditation also helped me guide people through the stages of the DMT experience. For example, I applied the Abhidharma's model of mind when coaching volunteers not to get swept away by the onslaught of colors, or to investigate the space within the grains of wood in the door if they kept their eyes open. Suggesting volunteers let go, focus on the breath and body sensations, keep an open but fluid mind to whatever came their way--all of these were tools I had acquired during decades of meditation practice and study.

Another example of how psychedelics and Buddhist meditation met was in the development of our rating scale.

Previous paper-and-pencil psychological questionnaires that measured psychedelic drug effects had serious shortcomings. They assumed that psychedelics were "psychotomimetic" or "schizotoxic," and therefore they emphasized unpleasant experiences. Many of these scales were developed using volunteers, sometimes ex-narcotic-addict prisoners, who were not told what drugs they were given, or what the effects might be.

To offer an alternative to these tools for measuring the psychedelic experience, I used an Abhidharma and skandha-based method of characterizing mental states. This purely descriptive model meshed well with what's known as the "mental-status" approach to interviewing psychiatric patients: You talk with someone and gently investigate the quality of their basic mental functions, such as mood, thinking, and perceptions.

The familiar Abhidharma terms "form," "feeling," "perception," "consciousness," and "habitual tendencies" became the framework or structure within which the rating scale's questions emerged, and how we classified replies to those questions. However, instead of calling them skandhas, "clinical clusters" seemed more appropriate and palatable for a Western scientific audience.

We gave and analyzed this new questionnaire, the Hallucinogen Rating Scale, or HRS, at the end of every DMT session for the entire project. The results were remarkable.

It is well-known in clinical psychopharmacology that a good questionnaire is more sensitive than any biological factor in assessing drug effects. In other words, a well-designed rating scale is better than measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, or hormone levels in distinguishing doses of a drug, or different types of drugs, from each other. I hoped that the HRS would follow in that tradition, and this it did without difficulty. We were better able to separate responses to various doses of DMT, or the effects of combining DMT with other drugs, using HRS scores than by measuring changes in any biological variable, including all the cardiovascular and blood hormone data. However, it also validated the wisdom and strength of the Buddhist approach to mental states.

Clifford Qualls, Ph.D., the Research Center biostatistician, and I grouped together HRS questions using the "clinical cluster" or skandha method and compared this method of analysis to a large number of alternative purely statistical models. The Abhidharma's technique was as good as, if not superior to, ones developed solely upon mathematical considerations. Since the computer-derived classification of results was no better than the clinical cluster one, and since using the skandhas made more sense intuitively, the Buddhist classification system won out. Other groups have since used the HRS and confirmed its usefulness in measuring other altered states of consciousness, drug-induced and otherwise.

Buddhism also helped me make sense of people's DMT sessions. Its far-reaching perspective includes all experiences: spiritual, near-death, and even nonmaterial or invisible realms. However, I did come up against two serious limitations in my lack of Buddhist education.

How was I to respond to a volunteer who spoke as if she or he just had undergone a drug-induced spiritual experience? Was it "real" enlightenment or not? As detailed in Chapter 16, "Mystical States," these sessions certainly left me feeling as if something deeply profound had happened. And there was no question on the volunteers' part that they had undergone the deepest and most profound experience of their lives. However, it was beyond my training and expertise to determine the validity or "certifiability" of a volunteer's understanding with anything other than psychiatric models of interpretation.

Another problem was how to relate what I knew about Buddhist approaches to nonmaterial beings with what our volunteers were reporting. For example, Tibetan and Japanese versions of Buddhism possess a full roster of demons, gods and angels. I understood these encounters to symbolically represent certain qualities of ourselves, not autonomous noncorporeal life forms.

When volunteers began reporting contact, my first reactions was, "Oh, this is something they talk about in Buddhism. They are just aspects of our own minds."

These encounters got stranger, however, and the beings started testing, probing, inserting things into, eating, and raping our volunteers. A Buddhist framework seemed less capable of explaining these types of experiences. Generically I could apply the inherent skepticism of Buddhism in taking anything as "real" or "special" about these stories. That is, it was "just meeting beings." These apparent life forms were not necessarily any wiser or more trustworthy than anything else we might meet in our lives or minds.

Nevertheless, I needed some guidance, both for the spiritual experience and the "contact" aspects of our work. I began sharing our findings, and my questions, with trusted monk friends. The one to whom I turned most often was Venerable Margaret, a Buddhist priest I met in 1974 during my first stay at the monastery.

A clinical psychologist in training, Margaret became a Buddhist monk after realizing, "I didn't want to be let loose on the world the way I was." She wanted to experience her own mental and spiritual health before trying to help others. She loved monastic life, however, and stayed on. Margaret and I spoke the same language, shared the same concerns, and viewed the human condition through similarly trained clinical eyes.

Before beginning the actual DMT studies, I happened to spend a few days at the monastery. My two-year journey through the regulatory labyrinth, seeking permission and funding to begin giving DMT, was drawing to a close. Margaret had risen to chief assistant to the abbot, and her time was heavily scheduled. However, we found an opportunity to meet and I updated her on my personal and professional life. The conversation moved into my interest in giving DMT to human research subjects. Sharing with her my belief that the pineal gland might make DMT at mystical moments in our lives, I speculated about its possible role in death and near-death states.

The lanky and shaven-headed woman monk touched the tips of her fingers together in front of her mouth, tenting them in and out. Her intensely blue eyes narrowed, and she looked over my shoulder, meeting the white wall with her gaze.

She said quietly, "What you are suggesting is something that only one out of a million people could do."

I took this intentionally unclear remark as encouragement to go deeper with the topic. Wondering about the role of psychedelics in spiritual development, I commented on how many of the now-senior monks had gotten their first sighting of the spiritual path from LSD and other drugs.

Margaret laughed, saying, "You know, I honestly can't say if my LSD trips helped or hurt y spiritual practice!"

"Hard to tell, isn't it?" I replied.

"Indeed."

She looked at her watch, picked up her tea cup, and graciously excused herself.

The next year, 1990, I was married at the monastery. At separate meetings before the ceremony, I chatted with two other monk friends, now some of the highest ranking officers in the order. Both of them had taken psychedelic drugs in college with a fellow who later became a close friend of mine in New Mexico. This mutual acquaintance was well-known for using MDMA in a psychotherapeutic setting. They both asked about their friend and his MDMA research and were in kind fascinated by my plans to study DMT.

After wrapping up the dose-response study in 1992, I wrote a long letter to Margaret describing the full range of the stories volunteers shared with us, including near-death, enlightenment, and being contact. I also shared with her my feelings that the setting was too neutral, and our volunteers too familiar with psychedelics, for any real beneficial effects to result. I raised the issue of helping people more directly, along the lines of a psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy project with the terminally ill.

I was drawn to a terminal illness study because of the promising work in this area performed during the first wave of psychedelic clinical research in the 1960s. In addition, its emphasis on the positive effects of spiritual and near-death experiences possible with psychedelics appealed to my deeper interest in these drugs.

Margaret replied, "Most interesting! But to what purpose? Maybe future 'helping' work will shed some light on that." She also wondered about the risk-to-benefit ratio and advised performing such a study only if I was sure there were extremely few risks and an equally high likelihood of success. Insightfully, she also asked me to consider the lack of time available to undo any harm incurred from a painful or disturbing psilocybin session.

The years passed quickly, and by the end of 1994 my questions grew regarding the utility of my psychedelic research. Adverse effects accumulated, and long-term benefit was difficult to assess. In addition, the constant exposure to psychedelicized volunteers was beginning to exhaust me. I shared these developments with Margaret.

As always, she supported whatever seemed most useful for my own spiritual growth. If it involved giving up the research, she understood. However, she encouraged me to look for someone to whom I might transfer the project so the work I had begun would not end in my absence.

The additional circumstances described in the last chapter led to my moving to Canada, but I commuted to Albuquerque in order to continue running studies. After relocating, I met the members of the local monastery-affiliated meditation group and started sitting with them. There existed a major branch of the order in a nearby U.S. state across the border, and their priest scheduled a retreat in our community. Venerable Gwendolyn arrived, and the weekend workshop began.

Gwendolyn had entered the head temple directly from her parents' home. She had had a series of extraordinarily profound spiritual experiences at the monastery and was a highly ranked teacher. Nevertheless, she was not especially wise in the ways of the world, and running an urban meditation center was a significant challenge to her social skills.

During a pastoral counseling session with Gwendolyn, I let her know of the New Mexico research and some of my growing ambivalence toward it. I appreciated the opportunity to air my story to a monk who knew nothing about me, and to listen to her fresh perspective.

I was surprised to hear Gwendolyn's voice on the phone a week later.

"I was sick for three days after talking with you, it upset me so. I called the abbot, who as you know is near death. This is the first issue he's taken a personal interest in for over a year. He and I talked, as I did with other senior monks. We have decided you must stop your research immediately. I'll write you this week a more formal letter."

I replied, "Let me think about it."

Two weeks later, a letter came, not from Gwendolyn, but from Margaret. It began with, "I hope what I heard third-hand isn't true. But if it is, let me say this." With that introduction, she began an indictment of my research: past, present, and planned:

"Your psychedelic research is ultimately futile, devoid of real benefit to humanity, and dangerous;

"The idea of administering psychedelics to the terminally ill is to me appallingly dangerous. It comes about as close to 'playing God' as anything I've seen in the mental health professions;

"An attempt to induce enlightenment experiences by chemical means can never, will never, succeed. What it will do is badly confuse people and result in serious consequences for you."

Gwendolyn's letter arrived next.

"[Your research] constitutes wrong livelihood according to the Buddha's teachings.

"That DMT might elicit enlightenment experiences is delusional and contrary to the teachings of the Buddha;

"Hallucinogens disorder and confuse the mind, impede religious training, and can be a cause of rebirth into realms of confusion and suffering;

"This is the teaching and viewpoint of myself, [the abbot], [the order], and the whole of Buddhism.

"We urge you to cease all such experiments."

I reminded these monks of the years of dialogue I'd had with them regarding my interest in and performance of psychedelic research. I also pointed out the continuous interest in my work by members of the community, and the absence of any prior recommendations to avoid or stop it. If anything, there was enthusiasm and encouragement to use these interests as grist for going deeply into my own spiritual relationship to the outside world. I recalled the many conversations I'd had with monks who'd validated the importance of their psychedelic experiences as leading to their first inklings of enlightenment.

Additionally, I was eager to discuss some of their concerns. These included the obvious problems associated with thinking that certain knowledge was accessible only with an outside agent; that is, a drug. I also accepted the theoretical possibility raised by Gwendolyn that someone might mistake a real enlightenment experience for a psychedelic "flashback."

However, none of these attempts at enlarging the dialogue met with any success.

What was going on?

The abbot was dying, and he was making sure the teachings he left behind were as unsullied by controversy as possible. In addition, senior monks were lobbying for elected posts that would determine the future of the community. Who was the most zealous defender of the teaching? Those whose positive psychedelic experiences had led them to Buddhism in the first place had to remain silent, and close rank behind those without such backgrounds. Psychedelics could not become a divisive issue at this crucial moment in the monastery's existence.

And then the Fall 1996 issue of Tricycle, The Buddhist Review came out with my article calling for a discussion of integrating psychedelics into Buddhist practice.

In that article I presented Elena's first high-dose session, which we've read in Chapter 16, "Mystical States." Her experience served as an example of the type of spiritual breakthrough possible with DMT in someone open to them--that is, a person with a serious meditation practice, solid psychological mindedness, and a deep reverence and respect for drugs like DMT. I also raised the concern that isolated experiences, occurring without any sort of spiritual or therapeutic context, were not especially effective in producing long-term serious change in our volunteers. I therefore concluded with the following:

"I believe there are ways in which Buddhism and the psychedelic community might benefit from an open, frank exchange of ideas, practices, and ethics. For the psychedelic community, the ethical, disciplined structuring of life, experience, and relationship provided by thousands of years of Buddhist communal tradition have much to offer. This well-developed tradition could infuse meaning and consistency into isolated, disjointed, and poorly integrated psychedelic experiences. The wisdom of the psychedelic experience, without the accompanying and necessary love and compassion cultivated in a daily practice, may otherwise be frittered away in an excess of narcissism and self-indulgence. While this is also possible within a Buddhist meditative tradition, it is less likely with the checks and balances in place within a dynamic community of practitioners.

"On the other hand, dedicated Buddhist practitioners with little success in their meditation, but well along in moral and intellectual development, might benefit from a carefully timed, prepared, supervised, and followed-up psychedelic session to accelerate their practice. Psychedelics, if anything, provide a view. And a view, to one so inclined, can inspire the long hard work required to make that view a living reality."

This article sealed my fate within the monastic community. My lifelong affiliation with the order would implicate it as contributing to these ideas. Gwendolyn sent copies of the Tricycle article to members of my new meditation group as well as to other groups and the monastery. In it she scribbled comments she remembered I made during what I believed was our confidential pastoral counseling session. She wrote to the local congregation, telling them not to enter my house because there might be psychedelic drugs kept in it.

Her behavior brought these issues to the boiling point. I lodged a formal complaint against this breach of confidence. As much as calling Gwendolyn's behavior into question, I wanted a definitive statement from the order regarding their attitude about my research. They complied on both counts.

The monastic review agreed she had indeed broken confidence, but it was for a "greater good." That is, it was done to "prevent mistakes from being made in the name of Buddhism." One could not be a proper Buddhist and consider psychedelics to play any part in it.

There was little I could do. Holiness had won out over truth. This particular brand of Buddhism was no different from any other organization whose survival depended upon a uniformly accepted platform of ideas. Only they could determine what were permissible questions, and what were not.

Later I learned that the monastic community had elected Margaret head of the order. The two monks who had taken psychedelics years before with my New Mexico friend also did well in the elections. One was elected abbot of the monastery, the other his chief assistant. So political ambitions also took on greater importance than a truthful dialogue. It was unlikely that the organization could admit and openly discuss that their three leading teachers were former LSD users, or that they had decided to enter a monastic life after drug-induced inspiration.

Although I could see beyond the hypocrisy that motivated much of the monastery's repudiation of my work, it took its toll. Combined with the events and circumstances I described in the last chapter, my energy to continue with the research flagged considerably. After completing two long-distance research trips to Albuquerque, the extra pressure exerted by my spiritual community broke down the last remnant of my desire to continue. It was time to stop.

I resigned from the university and returned the drugs and the last year's worth of grant money to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. I wrote closing summaries on all the projects and sent copies to the boards and committees who had been working with me for the past seven years. The pharmacy weighed all our drugs, packed them up, and mailed them to a secure facility near Washington, D.C. The supplies of DMT, psilocybin, and LSD remain there to this day.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:52 am

EULOGY FOR JOSHUA CARREON, by Charles Carreon

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Joshua Carreon
Artist
Poet
Lover of Nature and People
July 8, 1976 - February 16, 2007

Celebrating A Life

"Forever. After all time there will be love."

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Reincarnation With Delias

by Joshua Carreon

Delias, are you a genius? I think you seem to be. From the way you act. The way you shake the branches of an oak tree. So you get your stick unstuck. You use some kind of logic, D. It used to surprise me, but now it just strikes me as being somewhat strange. Your curious doggy ways. If you were a monkey, you would be Curious George. And I’d be the guy in the red hat. You’d drive me crazy, D. You would literally be driving cars up the walls of my apartment, while I was at work. Lucky for me I have no job. Delias, you are a joy. With you, I am happy. Why is the world so fucked up, D? Why did your master go away? Why did my friend have to die? I mean, I kind of know why ...

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but still it doesn’t quite make sense. What, if anything good, can come from death? The death of someone you love.

I hope you die before me, D. Humans need to live longer than dogs. And I need to live longer than your average human. I’ve got to live for our cause. To build a new house for the spirits of all my dead friends. They need some place to be where they can relax. Houses of the holy -- Led Zeppelin, D. They were a little before your time. A little before mine, too. They were wild though, D. Just like me an’ you. We shall honor thy contributions, D. So that others may one day honor ours, amen, Delias.

Delias I want to see you when you die. I hope I am there with you, because you probably need a good friend around that time. I know I do. We’ll stick it out though. I’m sure we’ll die fighting. Either fighting or from old age, and that’s just glorious, we both know that for sure, D. For that is the way kings die, in modern as well as ancient times. The crown never touches ...

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the ground. Someone will take it up, to faithfully uphold the throne as the rightful heir of all the territories which we have conquered, Our endless wealth as far as the eye can see. From where the sun sets to where it will rise again.


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Joshua was our first-born child. Though Tara and I are both from Arizona, Josh was a local boy from the start -- conceived in a peach orchard on Wagner Creek. He was born in County Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. After a week of watching Josh struggle for every breath, the doctors declared he was going to die. We signed Josh out against medical advisement, and after being duly threatened with prosecution in the event of Josh's death, took Josh to Dr. Ray Brown, a legendary homeopathic genius. Thanks to Dr. Brown, Josh lived, and also on his ...

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advice to seek a cooler climate, we moved to Ashland. From 1980 to 1983, we lived in Colestine Valley, where Josh spent the days playing with his sister Maria on the floor of a yurt lit with kerosene lamps and warmed with wood. Eventually, by the light of a kerosene lamp, I filled out an application for law school, which led us to move to Los Angeles. The first night we glided down the L.A. freeways in our old Econoline church van, seeing the endless streams of white and red electric fire crawling over the hills, Josh leaned forward from the back seat and asked me, "Are we really going to live here?" We did, for ten years.

In L.A., Josh suffered an enormous health setback when he was poisoned by Dursban ...

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a pesticide applied to our student housing apartment. Paralyzed up to the neck for a week, over the course of a year, he reacquired the use of his limbs. As soon as his strength allowed, he became a fearless skateboarder, earnestly punishing his body against the West L.A. concrete. When we moved to Santa Monica, near Venice Beach, Josh discovered street art. We didn't watch TV, but he figured that being in L.A., we were TV, and played his role with elan. While still in middle school, he had customized a set of spray-paint tips to control his line, feather and shade pigments. He rode the buses and became streetwise. He was fiercely loyal to his two sisters, Maria and Ana, and loved our summer trips to Ashland and Colestine. When we moved back in 1993, Josh connected with his Oregon roots, snowboarding, roaming the woods ...

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and railyards as he'd roamed L.A.'s streets. Formal schooling never really took with him, but a look at his work shows a lifetime of learning. Old barns and abandoned walls were his canvases in a studio open to the sky. His poems, both worldly-wise and innocent, are those of an adventurous mind.

Josh created photo-resist silkscreens with photography and computer graphics, printing on everything from sheet steel to t-shirts and paper bags, often highlighting with brilliant paint. As the Ashland Free Press illustrator, he developed a mature voice, serving the community he loved with enlightening images. His legacy has begun.

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"Some pile and stack their whims. I heap my obsessions."

Joshua Carreon, Self Portrait
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