February 15, 2010
On My Bookshelf III: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Remember Be Here Now
Colours, colours, colours. Words and words.
Informal tone commence now!
I read Remember Be Here Now very quickly. Eagerly. Because there were so many new truths in it. New. For real. No kidding. Old, of course, but new to me.
And I'm still skeptical ("Good." "Fine." "Zzzzzzzz"), but it was interesting. Like, the author really takes you somewhere. But the only way you can go with him is if you've almost thought about it before.
Sounds like crap, right? Yeah. I see what you mean. But I liked it. A lot.
True story. Part One is a book about a Harvard professor who takes a lot of drugs, but doesn't like having to come down from the high. Back to this reality where there's internet and cars and complex relationships. So he goes into his mind and gets all spiritual. Goes to India and finds something like answers.
Part Two (most of the book) is all these words and drawings that help guide you through a thought-process. That's the really interesting part. I read it twice.
Part Three is the religion part. I started reading it, but it veered into describing a path that doesn't ring true for me. The author, Baba Ram Dass, is Hindu -and sorta Buddhist in places. I'm not Hindu. Not really interested in going there.
Ram Dass once said (not in Remember Be Here Now, somewhere else), "He that teaches those that do not want to hear is performing an immoral act. And, besides, they can't hear it anyway..."
I like that. Or at least the spirit I perceive behind it. Certainly I'm not in a place to learn how to be a good Hindu. I can't believe in that stuff. The religion stuff. All the gods and goddesses and miracles. Nah. The truths Hindus have unlocked, on the other hand...
I dunno what else to write.
Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is New Journalism about Ken Kesey (the guy who wrote the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), and Neal Cassady (the guy On the Road is sorta about), and a bunch of other people who called themselves The Merry Pranksters. They took a lot of psychedelic drugs, and lived semi-communally in 1960s California, just before the counter-culture explosion of Haight-Ashbury and all that.
Ginsberg shows up. So does Larry McMurtry.
The 60s the 60s. Shut up about the 60s.
Alright, I will.
But I'm really interested lately in those pockets of humanity that always seem to exist pushing the edges, clearing the way for the future.
Yeah, for real. Cautious cautious. I am.
Reason reason. Okay. I like reason. It's very helpful.
Joel wrote something dense and interesting here.
What have you been reading?