Summer of Love
Billy, Paul and I never made it to Steinhart Aquarium. We never made it past the glen near Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park, the hollow by the lake blanketed with tiny strawberry plants and surrounded by banana palms. We were tripping on psilocybin, our cells streaming up and down our extremities as we sauntered along Haight Street toward the park with ear to ear grins.
To walk down Haight Street in July of 1967, stoned, grokking dozens of people on the same levitated wavelength was to feel as if maybe revolution really was in the air; that a major societal change was actually possible. Hundreds of young barefoot romantics, visionaries adorned with jingling bells and paisley bedspreads, long haired mystics wearing feathers in their hair were orbiting the edges of planetary consciousness, delineating its frontiers and smiling their beatific asses off. They retrieved the same message that, Yes! We are all one energetic organism. Trippers were going off like popcorn, breaking into tears of joy, often falling to their knees in religious frenzy after feeling, for the first time in their unquestioned lives, fully connected to the universe and to other people. Once they peeked through the veil and saw how their cells and all cells, even all molecules, interpenetrated, died, dissolved, got born, flickered in and out of density and that there was no solid matter and nothing was static or fixed, even thoughts and ideas, the truth was awesome to behold: the world was ALIVE. The great teachings were true and one hit of Sandoz, Window Pane, Owsley Blue Dot or Sunshine made that revelation accessible and intimately palpable. The wisdom Native Americans, Buddhists and Hindus and Sufis had gleaned through arduous meditation and shamanic practices was spread out and offered, a cosmic smorgasbord for us young, white suburban American kids.
It was easy to tell who else was tripping; you could zero in on total strangers looking out from vastly dilated eyes and go, "Yeah, far OUT, man!" Instant brotherhoods of the new mutants, the ones who could see, were created on the spot. These chemical fellowships had the low down on telepathic communication. We formed an immediate society of knowing that this earth plane, consensus reality was not what was really happening, man, that it was an illusion, a joke, even; what was really happening was LOVE. OK, we were in these "skin encapsulated egos" as Watts called bodies, "But alright, dig it." We flashed on each other saying, "Yes, yes, like we see you in there but we know that you know that we know that there is only one consciousness and that, baby, is Love, one undifferentiated Mind and it gets fragmented into these entities, you know, like people or dogs or trees, this big cosmic display but it's really just ONE THING!"
Just as Salinger had described in "Teddy" that drinking milk was "pouring God into God", when Billy, Paul and I looked deeply into each other's eyes, it was clearly God looking into God. We recognized each other's divinity and it seemed as if this knowledge could change the world, it was that strong. No more war. Peace was possible; you just had to get it. If enough people turned on (There was lots of talk of putting LSD in the water supply) and see for themselves and have that spiritual conversion they could feel the pure holiness of all Life. We were radiant with the righteousness of our vision. We floated along like devis and devas, embracing other trippers, "Peace, brother, love."
But I had an inkling all might not be as we dreamed when Paul smacked me across the room that night when we got back to the pad. He accused me of sending flirtatious vibes to Billy and he sure as shit wasn't going to put up with any of that bring-down crap from his old lady when he was high, fuckin' A.
All work protected by copyright © 2017 by Brigid Meier