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Brummbaer

Cyber-Dancer

…we have to be a little more careful so we don’t miss the real uncanny coincidences, and drown in a pool of mediocre coincidences that everybody throws at you day and night.

with Brummbaer

Brummbaer was one of the primary computer animators responsible for the mind-bending graphics in the Tristar motion picture Johnny Mnemonic (written by William Gibson, and co-starring my cousin Dina Meyer). He also created a breathtaking opener for SIGGRAPH’s 1995 Electronic Theater, and has long been a pioneer in the world of digital animation, where he has achieved legendary status with his unmistakable hallucinogenic style. His fine art and underground magazineGermania brought him fame in Europe during the Sixties, and he orchestrated light shows for such musicians as Frank Zappa and Tangerine Dream. Brummbaer found his most expressive medium when he discovered the computer. Here Brummbaer became a fully ordained wizard.

Described by Timothy Leary as a “cyber-dancer,” and “one of the first masters” of digital media, he stylishly blends the mathematical precision achievable on a computer with sensuous organic mind-scapes. His animated alien worlds are composed of Escheresquely organized, interlocking tubular networks, and spinning hyperdimensional polymorphic objects, encoded with cryptic esoteric messages from alternatively-ordered universes. Ever modest with regard to the magic that he spins, Brummbaer says that his philosophy of creativity stems from his notion that an artist is but a humble window washer. His computer screen, he claims, is simply a window that allows him to see through into other worlds, and all he does is polish the screen so that we can see through to the other side. I interviewed him at his studio in Venice, California on December 15, 1992.

David What was it that originally inspired you to become an artist?

Brummbaer I don’t think anybody knows that.

David What does being an artist mean to you?

Brummbaer Practically speaking, I think it has been the role of the artist throughout history to create in order to remind people what life should be about. Because people tend to forget everything! Situations get so terribly bad on this planet that people start living in hell and then think that is all there is.

David When did you decide that you wanted to do that?

Brummbaer I can’t really answer you. I’m not trying to be evasive. Let me tell you about the time when I was fifteen and the first performances called “Happenings’ were taking place.

David This was equivalent to a Rave?

Brummbaer No, to ‘Performance Art’. Somebody would get on stage and stand on his head, or pour milk from one glass into another, then another. There was a wonderful performance artist named Nam June Paik. He was a little Korean musician who would stand in this auditorium next to a grand piano having one finger up in the air, and very, very slowly — the whole Happening took about five minutes — his finger went down towards the keyboard: getting closer, closer. The tension grew, and then the finger just passes the keyboard by half an inch and keeps going down, further down to the floor, and finally when the finger almost reaches the floor his forehead unexpectedly hits the keys with a loud musical bang. His forehead made a beautiful sound on the piano. It is such a wonderful metaphor for the difference between our intentions and what weíre really doing. We called this art and it freaked people out. Happenings were dangerous. You could be run out of town. Of course, when I was fifteen or so, I found people really interesting that didn’t take shit from anybody. They also forced you to understand that to use oil paint, a brush and canvas, did not necessarily make art. They showed me that any material is acceptable. Because you are using an old established medium it showed– just like the ready-made by Duchamps and other people– that any material is aloud. So, if you find something and put two things together, this can be art. Everything you do has an effect on people and this is what you want. It doesn’t have to be oil paint. When you realize the whole world is a slice of art then you understand we must get rid of the shortcomings in this work of art. This is when I took a frame and climbed through it. This gesture –of walking through the frame– symbolized that I was now entering a world that is art, and everything I do to it is art. That was probably when I decided to be an artist.

David Reflecting on your experience doing pavement paintings and laser light shows with musicians, it seems that this was an expression of your philosophy of “perishable art “– art which doesn’t endure and exists only for the moment, then vanishes like fireworks. How do you incorporate this philosophy of perishables into your art?

Brummbaer We have the terrible habit of hanging on to things we like, attaching ourselves, and then putting them in a museum. The side-effect is that people who go to a museum are usually psychologically armed to the neck before they even get in there. So nothing is going to happen –except maybe boy meets girl– if they are smart and lucky.

David This seems to be tying in to what you said before. You think the power of art lies in being able to transform life into a creative act, like the example you gave of walking through the picture frame into a world that is art. You believe that artistic expression should be something that we do as a lifestyle rather than something that you put in a box, a glass cage, or hang on a dusty wall in a museum.

Brummbaer Particularly when the artists are dead and the message has arrived years ago. But I’m not against museums.. I pretty much lived in the National Gallery in London for month. I would sleep in St. James Park and just hang out in the gallery like it was some huge living room I got all for myself.

David Do you think there is something to the idea of needing to absorb and integrate art from the past before you can do something with it that is truly unique and appropriate for this particular time in history? Do you think it is important for artists to get a good sense of what has come before them or is it better to not be influenced?

Brummbaer How blank can you be in this world? This seems like a desirable state which may be quite impossible to get to.

David I don’t mean to speak in absolutes.

Brummbaer I understand. First of all, I don’t think anyone should deprive themselves of the artistic pleasure generated by the hundreds of thousands of artists who have created beautiful objects, music or whatever. Why should you deprive yourself of all this? It’s wonderful. It’s just like flowers in the garden, a sunset, or a bird flying by. If you miss all this you might as well be blind, deaf or dead.

David Who are some of the artists who influenced you?

Brummbaer Let me give you the names of some of the artists who you might not have even heard of. (Laughs) Burne Hogarth. (Not the English Burne Hogarth who did drawings and copper etchings in the 18th century.) I’m referring to the Burne Hogarth who did the Tarzan comics. He did the most wonderful Art Nouveau type of Tarzan adventures. My other big influence would be Carl Barks– the ARTIST who did Donald Duck. Many Disney-artists did Donald Duck but he was the true creative genius behind the Ducksburg cosmos. Lately he is being rediscovered and honored by his fans.

David I’m not surprised to hear that you were influenced a lot by comic art. Tell me something about Germania.

Brummbaer That was the German underground magazine that cost me a lot of money to put together (laughs) but was great fun.

David What years did you publish it?

Brummbaer 1969, I think, through 1971. I don’t know. In the beginning we wrote a lot of it ourselves or had people translate stuff, but rather quickly we were pretty much just editing stuff that people sent us. We received some very weird stories. One of the major political activities I was involved with between the sixties and seventies had to do with the homeless, by occupying houses. We occupied the first house in Germany. Not knowing what I was doing, I was already occupying houses in ’64 and ’65 in London– and went to jail for it. When we did it in Germany I not only managed to stay out of jail, but in fact managed to occupy a house along with students and families, who would live there for many years. It was really intense because we didn’t know if the police might come the next morning and beat the shit out of us, after which we’d all end up in jail. After we had been in there for a week we found Molotov cocktails on the roof some militant bozo of our group had secretly prepared up there. (Laughs) It was really dangerous. We had all the doors barricaded. We had a great strategy with me doing a comic strip overnight, explaining why we occupied the house and consequently, we won great public support. All these houses were standing empty, while in the meantime, families of seven lived in two rooms somewhere under horrible conditions, while all this space was available. The same goes for the United States. There are so many empty houses and buildings. It is not necessary for one person in this country to be homeless. We don’t need more houses or more products. We need a system of more equal distribution.

David Buckminster Fuller talked about how there is really no scarcity of resources on the planet, just unequal distribution.

Brummbaer Right! Our final success, two years later, was that we had 140 houses occupied all over Germany. It changes the environment of the city when you walk around afterwards.

David Why do you think our culture is so sex-negative?

Brummbaer. Eros– including sex– is, of course, the most powerful force in life. Food, cover, and physical integrity come first, but most decisions above those are made by your dick, right? Every Fascist government in the world has known this very well, and drives the suppression of sexuality. The denial of anything but the standardized form of reproduction is shunned and persecuted with the result that people who have such a limited access to their sex now have to live in constant denial. On the other hand, sexual repression creates very aggressive young people and perfect soldiers. Wilhelm Reich is the scientist who I credit for discovering this relationship.

David Sexual repression leads to a more aggressive warrior-like mentality.

Brummbaer Doesn’t it? The emotional economics of how a structure like this works is very clear. You are frustrated and you are going to let it out somewhere.

David So, you see Fascist governments like Iran, Iraq, and the United States trying to suppress sexuality so as to better control people. In contrast, in your art there is a sensuous kind of eroticism which seems central to all of your work.

Brummbaer Look at what kind of strange world we are living in where the female breast, the giver of life, is censored. Of course, the tit is the most important FIRST. It is deeply imprinted in our hardware to go for that tit. Nevertheless, something that is so positive and life-giving is not allowed to be shown on public TV or in public anywhere. Then, of course, the pussy where we all come from, the origin of everybody’s life– now that’s totally illegal. If you show PUSSY, you’re in real trouble. It is like we are ashamed to be associated with the lower parts of our body, like humans actually are nothing but strange turds, excreted from a disgusting orifice. On the other hand, it is fine if every teenager sees 180,000 murders on TV by the time they are 18. Aliens watching our TV would have to come to the conclusion that humans inhabit a death culture totally based on annihilation, murder, pain, and torture, because the sexy stuff on tv you hardly see. And then what you DO see is mostly in good taste, kind of out of focus.

David So you think that there is actually a kind of a reverse polarity. When a culture stresses violence, death and aggression there is a repression of sexuality. And vice-versa, in a culture which allows for unbridled, unrestrained sensuous sexuality, then there is less aggressive violence.

Brummbaer I saw an interesting film about child soldiers in Nicaragua where the trainer had six year old little kids running around with these big machine guns playing soldiers. He said that, first of all, you have to understand these kids probably saw their parents killed right in front of them. They’re orphans this guy took on and he probably showed them a way to survive. He also mentioned that they are usually great soldiers until they reach puberty. The moment they start getting interested in the opposite sex the war gets second rating, because suddenly they want to live. They have something to loose. It is also something everyone can verify for themselves. If you get laid you feel really great the next day. You’re Prince Charming to everybody. You are having a ball, and you are feeling good. You are not likely to go around and beat up some gays.

David Right. So you think all the violence is an expression of our suppressed sexuality?

Brummbaer No, not all, but I look at the appearance that it takes. It’s not a coincidence that they are all big, phallic machines. We all like to play with big dicks, right? (Laughs) Think of rockets, cannons, and machine guns. David What role have psychedelics played in influencing your art work?

Brummbaer A profoundly trivial influence. You close your eyes when you’re tripping and you wish everybody could see what you’re seeing. (Laughs) You wish there was a way to get it out of your mind, objectify it and make it visible to other people. Ever since computers came around we are getting closer to being able to reproduce these psychedelic visions.

David How did you get interested in computers as a medium?

Brummbaer Because of what I just said– the ability to recreate something I want to share. And another reason is the fact that we don’t need to create more things because we have to slowly accept that we have created enough garbage on this planet– more products than anybody needs. This planet is crowded with artifacts and that has some major psychological drawbacks. The difference between an artificial environment and a natural environment is that the natural environment is independent of you. And grossly indifferent. If you go out to the desert or the forest everything there is already happening, and it basically doesn’t give a fuck if you are there or not– it doesn’t make a damn difference. The stones don’t care if you feel good, bad, or whatever. In an artificial environment every object that is made represents the frame of mind of the person who made it. You are constantly being fed back somebody’s idea from somewhere in time. Architecture, being one concept, where only 100 years ago they still made these big flats with six or seven rooms for large families. These days we are just building little units for the nuclear family, and are so creating architectural skeletons that will stay around much longer than we will. We are constantly being fed back all these silly ideas that somebody, somewhere in time thought of. This makes us all pretty crazy and makes people freak out when a bug suddenly crawls around, or a spider sits on you. People have this fear of nature because it moves independently.

David How do you distinguish between what is natural and artificial?

Brummbaer This would be a major philosophical discussion, way beyond the scope of an interview. I’ll just say, for the moment, that artificial is man-made, and natural is how it was before man got to play around with it.

David You said in the past that you don’t like being described as a psychedelic artist. Can you explain why and what you mean by that?

Brummbaer The word psychedelic was created in the sixties and, in itself, is one of the most a popularly misspelled misunderstandings. Even though we can only describe something as psychedelic since the sixties, art has been psychedelic long before that. I say all art is psychedelic.

David How do you define psychedelic in that context?

Brummbaer The explanation is expanding your soul or mind, and that is what art has always been about. But when people say psychedelic, what they really mean is, hey, you’re an old hippie. And who likes to hear that?

David You see it as a much more ancient tradition.

Brummbaer Labeling is so convenient and quite unavoidable, so one still tries to get around being labeled. Because labeling something is also like putting it in a museum, castrating it, and taking its power away.

David You have a metaphor that you use to describe your creative relationship with the computer– the computer being like a philosopher’s stone, and the software being like a magic carpet. Could you explain what you mean by this?

Brummbaer We were talking about this before. Living in a man-made world with tons of products, and everything being artificial. Going into a gallery and taking someone else’s pictures down before I can put mine up feels so invasive and aggressive to me. How many more paintings do we need on this planet? Are there any walls left? The shops are still full. There has to be a certain ratio, and so the computer allows you to create whole worlds that all fit on to a tiny piece of magnetic tape. This allows me to be as creative as I want without creating any more product that fills up any more space and storage. When I was working for TV and started creating virtual sets in the computer, it was so obvious to me that instead of painting huge decorations, having trucks come with stagehands, and looking for storage space, the whole effort was just to fill a little TV-screen. So the idea was to create it on this TV-screen right away, to send it through the phone to the station, and have them display it. This seems so much more wonderful for the environment, and also very practical. You get a lot more flexibility, and the computer can be constantly upgraded and changed. Obviously, I would think the philosophers stone is silicone because it is the thinking machine. How this all works, and how some of these machines have the capacity to learn is of great mystery to me. I just know it works. Our understanding of computers is about as deep as the understanding of ourselves, and somehow close to how the brain works. The magic carpet, of course, is like software, because a carpet is like a string of commands. Even the word string is in there (laughs). To sit on a magic carpet and fly away is what software should do to you.

David You need a computer to run the software and a philosopher’s stone to run the magic carpet. (laughs)

Brummbaer We shouldn’t over-stress the metaphor, but strangely enough, why shouldnít the stone of wisdom be silicone? Again, when you play with a computer, and you get into the symmetry of design, suddenly you create something that is very similar to carpets and other ancient spiritual forms.

David What kind of effect do think computers are going to have on the evolution of the consciousness in the future? How is it going to effect people and where do you see it heading?

Brummbaer I can tell you where I want it to go. Whatever we do on a computer has the element of simulation in it. We are always simulating something in miniature, just like any model. Computer models allow us to integrate incredibly complex situations, run them through the computer, and in a very playful way come up with alternatives that, just to do them in real life, might take up a couple of generations. We already see this in the development of cars where every car looks the same these days because they are all designed on the computer. Certain parameters are being fed in and it comes up with certain results. 50 years ago everything had to be built and run for years before somebody realized it was a stupid idea, and then the next generation would change it. We are in the midst of a quantum leap of experimenting. The same thing goes for art. When you are sitting at the computer you have an undo button. You can try anything you want. You can try things that are just so weird, stupid and off-the-wall you would never do on a canvas.

David So it gives you more freedom to experiment?

Brummbaer Right. So you arrive earlier. You don’t have to draw a hundred pictures from scratch because you can go back to the last saved version and go right from there.

David You referred to what you do on the computer as simply window washing. That is, you see the screen as being a window into another world and you said what you are humbly doing is simply washing the screens so everybody else can see into a world that is already there. Can you explain what you mean by this?

Brummbaer Well, just like the Sufis say, the music is there all the time– it just takes a discriminating brain to black out the rest and take out the little piece that you later hear on somebody’s record. So, everything is there all the time. It is just the humble artist who, with 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, has to do the job. And it is a dirty job. (scratches)

David So you don’t see yourself as creating or fabricating these worlds– you’re saying that you only allow people to see only what is already there.

Brummbaer I’m reporting.

David What about the tantric implications of the mouse and the joy stick– which you’ve said corresponds to the yoni and the lingam, respectively?

Brummbaer Well, that’s a joke. What I am afraid of is that I see a lot of nerdy high priests who like to take over and love to keep the screen in MS-DOS. In fact, they have to be fluent in all kinds of weird languages to tell a computer what to do, and they are the only ones who speak that language. They are the only ones who can do it, and they are going to try to stick to the power they have, and basically, make life very miserable for everybody else who wants to play with this wonderful instrument. So the Pentagon, the FBI, and the IRS all have the greatest computers. If it were not for Steven Jobs and Wozniak we would just have had big brother mainframes. So, to avoid that the whole idea, and make it look like fun– there is poetry, sensuality, and there are emotions. So the lingam, and the joystick, and the yoni, and the mouse is just a an attempt to shatter the seriousness of these high priest guys.

David What current projects are you working on these days?

Brummbaer I’d rather not talk about these things. The only privacy that you can to allow yourself as an artist is not to deal with unfinished things in public because they are very tender when they are young. (laughs)

David John Lilly told me something very similar once.

Brummbaer It’s absolutely true. There is nothing worse than when you are sitting there with your work– you’re struggling and somebody comes in and says something totally stupid, or they love it, for all the wrong reasons.

David Something in an embryonic stage is best not influenced because, what later on is only like a little pin prick, in the early stages, can destroy whatever it is that you are working on.

Brummbaer Right.

David How about dreams? Do your dreams influence your art?

Brummbaer Uh, I don’t dream.

David Is that right?

Brummbaer Well, sometimes. I don’t know if I just don’t bother remembering but, well, let’s face it, your every day dream isn’t particularly interesting, usually. Every once in awhile one has a dream that is of importance, and usually it has a little tag on it that says “remember when you are awake,” and you do remember. When I was young I got into writing down my dreams every morning, giving it all this significance, thinking of Sigmund Freud, and trying to figure out what it all means. I went through all kinds of rituals like Gestalt Therapy, learning these little tricks how to investigate your own mind without necessarily needing the experts. I did that for quite some time and had all kinds of insights, but after awhile I just realized that dreams of importance you remember, not only the next morning, but for the rest of your life. You can close your eyes and you are right there if you want to. Those dreams have an influence on your whole life, no doubt. So, if you want to see inspiration for my art, then psychedelics were much more important than dreams.

David Do you see a relationship between dreams and psychedelics?

Brummbaer The problem here is that the word dream is such an undefined notion. We can say what it is not. We are obviously not awake, that it is not real. It happens somewhere in the night, the kind of rhythms when it takes place. We don’t know what it is except some kind of convoluted mess of thoughts, memories and feelings thrown together without any particular context. Right? So, my assumption, that I find all kinds of scientists coming to, has been this: Most of all the sensory input, that we perceive during a day, by the very nature of a complex life, has to go unnoticed. A lot of things happen below the threshold of consciousness. We are busy avoiding traffic when somebody in the car says something to us that just kind of disappears somewhere. So all that collects in the brain in some kind of short-term memory bank. Now, what happens at night is that the memory bank has to be cleaned out because we don’t have infinite space in our brain to remember every thing that ever happened. So there is some kind of a house cleaning which happens at night. Realities that came in during the day that agree with us are being sorted away and erased. Other realities that our view of the world doesn’t agree with can turn into some nightmarish kind of state in your dream. The sequence doesn’t have to necessarily make sense in this world, because when the garbage goes out, it is being thrown together, like in the real world. I experience the ketamine-experience as very similar to dreaming and, in fact, there was a time when I took a lot of ketamine, and slept incredibly little during the whole binge.

David Because you existed in a kind of dream state.

Brummbaer Yeah, because you are constantly flushing, and sleep deprivation is something different from dream deprivation. You can do fairly long without sleep, but after three days without dreaming you start to hallucinate; there is no more space. You just put the wrong things together. With acid I think it is all a little different because it has a different scope of effects.

David Dreams and psychedelics may have the similar effect of bringing unconscious material up and out of our psyches so that the use of psychedelics may temporarily replace dreaming. Also, they tend to stimulate the nervous system in a way, that makes it quite difficult to sleep.

Brummbaer That’s true. If I took ketamine for two weeks in a row I realized that I could really do with about three hours sleep and I would be fine. I’d be kind of tired but I wouldn’t be depressed or confused.

David Like you would be if you were sleeping, but not dreaming, which, as you say, is not quite the same thing. Right? So there’s a cheap way to get high. Don’t dream for a couple of days.

Brummbaer Yeah, it depends. It could also be a cheap way to get down. (Laughs)

David Right, you start hallucinating madly though. The walls start crawling with little critters moving inside them, and things like that.

Brummbaer I have seen some interesting reactions in people. It was pretty amazing to see somebody after the third day of sleep deprivation, or dream deprivation. In this one case, someone suddenly get the idea to break a chair apart– without anger, rather methodical, like somebody gave him the order to make firewood out of this chair. He was busy for five minutes breaking this thing into splinters. It was impressive. But humans are a weird people. We have the strange phenomenon of hypnosis. Put somebody under hypnosis, and give him a post-hypnotic suggestion that, when he snaps out of it, he will cross the room and close the door and he shall forget you told him so. So people come out of hypnosis and close the door. You ask them why they did it, and they will have some very sincere explanation: it is too cold, or there’s a draft, you know– anything. When you tell them it was a post-hypnotic suggestion they are likely to kill you.

David People will create rationalizations for their own behaviors that they don’t understand. People who have the corpus collosum severed in their brain– which connects the left and right hemispheres of the cortex– often find themselves in the position of having their verbal left hemisphere explaining the behaviors of their right hemisphere in completely fictitious, but apparently sincere, ways.

Brummbaer You don’t have to have your corpus collosum severed, you just find yourself somewhere, and you have no idea how you got there.Then a year later you find out that your “dick” told you to go there (Laughs loud). No reason whatsoever. The Romans had these fairy-tales about how the body parts work together, how the organs were talking to each other, and how certain parts would go on strike because they weren’t treated well by the other parts. I think it is a very workable hypothesis.

David Makes sense to me. I’m a multiplicity of personalities.

Brummbaer Remember Dr. Strangelove, who couldn’t control his arm? We are all like that. If our feet made the decisions where we go, the hands made the decisions what we do, the dick made the decision who we fuck, we’d all be in fine shape. Or is it the other way around? My girlfriend asked me some time ago: “Do you think it’s more important to follow your heart or your mind?” I had a smart moment and I said: “For the things that concern the matters of the heart you should follow your heart, but when things concern the mind you should follow your mind. So, you want to take the test for your driver’s license with your mind, and you don’t want to fall in love with somebody with your brain entirely. It’s amazing how the body parts have their own intelligence. For the fun of it I had a bicycle lock in Germany that would open with the correct digit combination. When we had a long winter– it’s like six months– the bicycle would be in the cellar locked up. Every spring came the moment when I would get the bicycle out and then have to open the lock. (Laughs) I didn’t remember the combination, and I never knew the number. But I would sit down, get onto my hands and have my hands open it. I’d watch my hands and it would always work. I would just sit there. And, of course, partially you’re scared shitless. Because your intuition is at stake here.

David I know someone with multiple-personality disorder who can write a coherent letter with one hand, while composing an intricate drawing with the other– simultaneously. This demonstrates just how independently different parts of ourselves can be.

Brummbaer Yup. Because we have this mechanical idea of a character/personality/ego that is in command. I think the truth is we have a lot of structured sparks flying around in our brain, and all different parts of us work in combination, or against each other. (laughs)

David Sometimes it’s like a democracy, other times it’s more like a dictatorship, with everything in-between.

Brummbaer Let me say something in regard to what you were saying in your last talk about coincidence control. I am bored to tears by this coincidence nonsense. First of all, the people who are constantly looking for these coincidences, like miracles, drive me nuts because there are plenty of miracles around. They are in plain sight at all times. You just have to recognize them and understand what an incredible miracle your little finger is. How against all odds… how the hell it came into existence in the first place, (laughs) and what it all does? You know, the world is full of miracles and strange and wonderful things. The fact that people are so blind and ignorant, and do not see or acknowledge this, is beyond me. They get addicted to these blatant type of miracles that come dressed as the Virgin Mary, or a flying saucer, or some other supernatural event. Talking about coincidences– there is some very interesting research on identical twins. Twins that are separated at birth, and are checked out forty years later, will find that they both wear the same clothes, have the strangely similar marriages, names. Certain things, that are admittedly very uncanny, happen when two people who were separated at birth meet many years later. They both wear a blue suit, and a red tie, for example. They both live in a little house with a picket fence. They both have been married twice. The first wife was Sarah and the second one’s was Sarah, etc., all these coincidences — add up to a list, and are pretty mind-blowing. How does this happen? Is our genetic make-up so strong that it permeates our whole life and the pattern so inescapably defined? Because then we can kind of say “well, forget it, whatever is going to happen is going to happen, anyway.” Right? But if you look at these events a little closer you suddenly realize that there are enough people on the planet to create a mathematical necessity for a certain amount of total unlikely events. You would have to check all the twins, not just the ones with the coincidences.

David Are you getting to the point that coincidences are just a matter of chance?

Brummbaer No, they are in fact cigars. Sometimes a cigar is just a coincidence. What I’m trying to say is when you look a little closer, a lot of events we think are so extraordinary and unaccounted for, become as easily explainable, as lightning in the 20th century. Now look, these two twins meeting, they are like 40 years old and male. They have the same hair color, probably the same build, as far as it genetically goes. Now, what choice do they have in a suit? Gray or blue I would think. If we go with this example here, you suddenly realize, well, if he puts on a suit it has to be gray or blue, it is like 50/50, you have a chance of a hit that is 50/50. Now say, if you were to meet your twin brother and you’re wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt of which there were only 20 ever made, and your twin brother has the same one on, now we are talking about serious coincidence.

David But, Brummbaer, you must have been confronted by synchronicities and coincidences that have blown your mind.

Brummbaer Plenty. And they survived every scrutiny of a doubt because this is the whole problem. The whole problem with the New Age is that people so willingly embrace every coo-coo idea with an absence of critical questions.

David What you are talking about is a symptom of not only the New Age but of the masses of general– few people appear to question things. It is a symptom of a much larger problem.

Brummbaer This is true. Nevertheless, the masses don’t pose as seekers like the New Age prophets. Anyway, we have to learn to be a little more careful so we don’t miss the real uncanny events, and drown in a pool of mediocre coincidences everybody throws at us day and night.

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