Chronicle Section Five:
ARE WE REALLY ONLY ONE BEING?
It would be long after those 12 hours that I would have courage to face reality straight on. Perhaps as a therapy, I got busy building things with my hands. I built a radio-controlled model sailboat from a kit and with a new-felt love for family and everyone else, I gifted it to the eldest of my brother's children. Then I started painting mandalas and discarding them as quickly as they were finished.
Later I felt the impulse and knew enough about electric components to begin work on an idea for a home, music-to-light lissajous projector with the intension to take it back to Castalia for their non-chemical experiential sessions. The project took all of my spare time, which was a good thing, considering the shifting reality below my feet and having nothing more substantial to occupy my mind.
In the fall-winter of 65-66, I invited Tim and Ralph to include Cincinnati on their workshop and lecture tour. I did some publicity and they graciously showed up and we held their non-chemical version of a LSD session at the secluded 3-room hermitage that I was renting. Again I looked into eyes. Only, this time it was to tacitly ask the question: "Are we really only one being?" An answer never arrived, tacitly or otherwise.
Tim had also been invited to speak at Antioch College, at Yellow Springs. I drove us to the campus. An incident happened at the lecture that typified my state of consciousness for a year after taking LSD. Tim was speaking to the student body and for a brief moment, I had the distinct impression that I was he or he was I. What was said were my exact thoughts. Not telepathy - rather, "non-separative-reality.
The tour ended on a Sunday. I returned my friends to the Cincinnati Airport, got up Monday morning, and went to work at the ad agency. I spent the evenings in my secluded hermitage continuing to perfect the light projector. My plan was to eventually use it to make connections to the NYC art scene, quit my job at the ad agency, and offer my talents to the Castalia community.
That December I received a gracious letter from Tim, thanking me for the Cincinnati hospitality, and inviting me up to Millbrook for the '66 summer program and to join the ranks of scholarship attendees. That summer I vacationed from the ad agency, got into my new racer-green '66 Dodge Charger and was "off to see the wizard." Arriving at the Millbrook gatehouse, it was like entering the Emerald City.
They put me up in the main house in one of the tiny bedrooms over the kitchen. I was thrilled to be treated so cordially. The after-dinner entertainment was my light machine show. They loved it. Tim called it "the Cadillac of light machines." Things were even more changed than on the previous visit. Each room had psychedelic art wall hangings; even the exterior of the Big House now had Eastern religious graffiti.
After breakfast I leisurely explored the estate. The interior of the Big House was showing wear and tear from long cold winters and hot summers. As I recall, a freshly dressed deer was hanging in one of the buildings. How would I fit in? I was an "ad man" not a hippie. Then I thought: "damn, Leary had been a Harvard professor; now look at him." Would I find a destiny amongst these spiritual strangers?
My mind seemed tangled amidst these people. I had to sort out the tangle. I began to make myself useful, between lounging on the porch staring out at the Victorian buildings where a few leftover retreatants were holed-up. Since I had a car, Tim instructed me to get the mail from town each day and any needed groceries. I must have looked like a lost puppy to him and his compassion was obvious.
Next Chronicle Section (6)