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Carolyn Mary Kleefeld

Singing Songs of Ecstasy

“…when artists are working directly from their emerging consciousness, their art is their most honest mirror.”

with Carolyn Mary Kleefeld


Few people have devoted their lives to the creative arts as passionately as Carolyn Mary Kleefeld. For over thirty years, Ms. Kleefeld’s inspiring books and mesmerizing art exhibits have helped to guide us out of our mental and emotional cul-de-sacs into sublime states of mystical transcendence. Ms. Kleefeld is the author of ten books, which showcase her award-winning poetry, prose, paintings, and drawings in various complementary combinations.

Fueled by a need for creative expression and a lifelong fascination with psychological and spiritual transformation, Carolyn is the author of five poetry books that explore these archetypal themes. Carolyn’s first poetry collection, Climates of the Mind, received the rare honor of being translated into Braille by the Library of Congress, a dream realized for Carolyn. Climates, as well as a number of Carolyn’s other books, have been used worldwide as inspirational texts in universities and healing centers, commencing in the Fall of 2010, will be featured, along with the writings of seven other acclaimed women writers, in a permanent course, “The Other Half of the Sky: Eight Women Writers,” to be taught at Swansea University in Wales. Carolyn’s poetry has been translated into Romanian and Korean.

The Alchemy of Possibility: Reinventing Your Personal Mythology, which combines Carolyn’s visual art, philosophical prose, and poetry, and Soul Seeds: Revelations and Drawings, a collection of Carolyn’s philosophical aphorisms, including thirteen pen and black ink drawings, from which a chapter was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize, both serve as oracular tools, much like the I Ching or the Tarot.

Carolyn’s most recent poetry collection, Vagabond Dawns, from which a poem was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize, includes a CD of Carolyn reading selected poems, with musical accompaniment by Barry and Shelley Phillips, who have also played for Coleman Barks in his readings of Rumi. Carolyn has also created an extensive and diverse body of paintings and drawings, ranging in style from romantic figurative to abstract expressionism. Featured in books, magazines, and a line of fine art cards, her art can also be found in collections at the United Nations, as well as numerous museums, galleries, and hospitals throughout the world, and in the collections of Ted Turner and many others, including the estates of Laura Archer Huxley and Timothy Leary. In 2008, the Frederick R. Weisman

Museum of Art at Pepperdine University exhibited a twenty-five year retrospective of Carolyn’s paintings and drawings, and published an exhibition catalog, Carolyn Mary Kleefeld: Visions from Big Sur, with art from the exhibit and a commentary by museum curator and director, Michael Zakian, Ph.D. They also selected a number of Carolyn’s paintings for their permanent collection. Carolyn’s painting “Neuro-Erotic Blast-Off” appeared on the cover of my first book, Brainchild, and we have worked together on many creative projects over the years. I wrote supporting material for two of Carolyn’s books–The Alchemy of Possibility and Soul Seeds–and her painting “Dionysian Splendor” was featured on the cover of the MAPS Bulletin that I edited in 2008 about psychedelics and technology. Her sublimely beautiful artwork also appears on the cover of the second edition of Mavericks of the Mind.

On September 14, 1989, in her candlelit living room at around midnight, we interviewed Carolyn at her home in Big Sur, California, which is perched on the crest of a mountain cliff (or on the tip of the “dragon’s crown,” as she refers to it), high above the Pacific Ocean. Carolyn spoke to us about the relationship between art and nature, expanded awareness and creative expression, and personal and universal transformation. Musing with us about the living secrets of nature, she looks as though she danced right out of one of her own paintings. Her eyes and smile have a luminous mystery that is also present in much of her work. She has a graceful and elegant manner about her, and one is easily enchanted by her poetic style of expression.

–DJB

DJB: What was it that originally inspired your interest in creative expression?

CAROLYN: It is the discovery of my relationship with the universe, the unknown, that propels my translation. The spheres explored radiate a spectrum of seed-images. The wilderness of the unconscious is lush with the gems of infinity. The ancient codes lie in the seams between worlds. They only await the radiance of our conscious light to be illumined, recognized.

For example, at seven years old, I wrote and illustrated my first book entitled, The Nanose. Many years later I found out that my experience then, which was triggered by dust particles dancing in a sunbeam flooding my bedroom window, actually had its inherent meaning in my poetic translation of it, rather than in the external event itself.

Through my impression of the dancing dust particles I had my first recorded interaction with atomic life. My art was the bridge, translating localized conception (dust particles) into atomic theory. I thus experienced intimate dialogue with the vaster universe.

Today my reading of science tells me that the Nanose in my childhood book were monads, or cellular/atomic entities that underlie our contemporary concepts of biology and physics. Even the title Nanose essentially is the Greek word “nano,” meaning very small, as in the contemporary innovation called “nanotechnology.”

So art acts as a prescient translation from the unconscious mind, revealing the codes–the consciousness of the underlying forces of nature.

DJB: So, it was basically a need to express powerful experiences?

CAROLYN: Well, it was my interaction with inner experience, rather than the exterior event itself, that propelled the creative expression.

DJB:

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Rupert Sheldrake

In the Presence of the Past

“The regularities of nature I think of as more like habits, than as things governed by eternal mathermatical laws…”

with Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake is best known for his controversial theory of “formative causation ” which implies a non-mechanistic universe, governed by laws which themselves are subject to change. Born in Newark-on-Trent, England, Rupert studied natural sciences at Cambridge and philosophy at Harvard, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow. He took a Ph.D in biochemistry at Cambridge in 1967, and in the same year became a Fellow of Glare College, Cambridge. He was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology there until 1973.

He was a Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society and at Cambridge he studied the development of plants and the aging of cells. From 1974 to 1978, he was Principal Plant Physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad, India, and he continued to work there as a Consultant Physiologist until 1985.

Rupert is the author of A New Science of Life and The Presence of the Past, in which he presents his theory for explaining the mysterious process of morphogenesis. In 1981 the British science magazine, Nature described A New Science of Life as “the best candidate for burning there has been for many years, ” while the New Scientist called it “an important scientific inquiry into the nature of biological and physical reality. “

In The Rebirth of Nature, Rupert examines the philosophical implications of morphogenesis, and in Trialogues on the Edge of the West, which he wrote with Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham, he debates and interweaves many ideas concerning the nature of reality.

On September 15, 1989, we met with the Sheldrakes and their young son Merlin at the Esalen institute, where Rupert’s wife, Jill Pearce, was teaching a workshop in the art of overtone chanting. Rupert spoke to us about the subtle processes involved in the evolution of nature through time, painting a simultaneously intricate and simple picture of a dynamic universe where previously unrecognized functions of space-time are constantly at work interacting with every aspect of life on earth.

RMN

 

DJB: Rupert, what was it that originally inspired your interest in biochemistry and morphogenesis?

RUPERT: I did biology because I was interested in animals and plants, and because my father was a biologist. He was a natural historian of the old school, with a microscope room at home and cabinets of slides, and so on. And he taught me a lot about plants, and I learned about animals through keeping pets. I was just very interested in biology. One reason I did biochemistry was because it was one of the very few sciences you could do which was still covering all of biology. Biochemistry covered plants, animals, and microorganisms. That appealed to me. It was a kind of universal biological science. I saw, of course, quite soon, that biochemistry was no way of understanding the forms of animals and plants, and I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the bridge between embryology, plant development, and what was going on on the biochemical level. And this was the subject of research for some ten years that I did at Cambridge.

DJB: Just so that everyone is familiar with your

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Timothy Leary

Cybernautics & Neuro-antics

“To me the philosophy of the twenty-first century…is the philosophy of information”

with Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary has been a public icon of extreme controversy for several decades. Because of all the sensationalized publicity he has received from the media, much of this man ‘s real accomplishments have been obscured and his image distorted in many people ‘s minds. Timothy was a highly successful research psychologist long before he had his first encounter with psychedelic drugs. He received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, was on the distinguished faculty at Harvard, and his book Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality– called “the best work in psychotherapy ” in 1957 by the Annual Review of Psychology– remains a standard text in its field to this day. When his research with psychedelic drugs began to have an impact on the general public, and Leary refused to discontinue his research, he was dismissed from Harvard. Leary metamorphosizeed from academic professor to counterculture folk hero. He continued his research in Mexico and the Millbrook estate in N. Y., working with many influential writers, artists, scientific researchers, and philosophers. Timothy ‘s highly influential books and lectures made him extremely popular among young people and intensely feared by the establishment. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for less than a half an ounce of marijuana in 1970.

He escaped from prison with the help of the Weather Underground, and lived the wild life of a fugititive in North Africa and Europe. He was kidnapped by DEA agents in Afghanistan, brought back to American prison, and was finally paroled in 1976. Through all this Leary never lost his sense of optimism, nor his sense of humor, which are trademarks of his charisma. Leary is the author of more than twenty-five books and computer software programs. He continues to lecture, write, perform, and design educational computer software. We interviewed Timothy on the patio at his home in Beverly Hills on June the 20th in 1989. Even in the hot, sticky heat of that afternoon, Timothy was buzzing with lively electrical energy, and his good-humored optimism was contagious. Timothy spoke with us about his eight-circuit model of consciousness, the sociobiological implications of the cyberpunk movement, information theory, computers, cyber-space, and his plans for cryonic suspension. Timothy has a wonderful ability to make people around him feel good about themselves. He looks you directly in the eye, listens carefully, and gives you full attention when you speak. Most of all, he made us laugh.

 

DJB

DJB: What was it that originally inspired your interest in psychology? Was there an early event that sparked the interest?

TIMOTHY: From my earliest years of thinking about careers and futures, I always assumed I was going to be a philosopher. As early as ten, fifteen years old, !just assumed I was doing this. I’ve always been fascinated with communication. I was the editor of my school paper in high school, where I performed experiments in fissioning and collaging ideas. I edited this paper so that I filled it with works of writers who did not go to that high school, but whose works were necessary to fill it out.

I cite this as an example of my interest in communication, and new modes of communication. To me the philosophy of the twenty-first century, which is quantum philosophy, is the philosophy of information. We see this in the linguists, the seniticions, Kojipsky, Wittgenstein, and then the enormous breakthrough provided by the thought-digitizing appliance known as the computer. The history of the roaring twentieth century is the history of our becoming an information species, and you could hardly be a philosopher, or for that matter a scientist, in the twentieth century, if you’re not working in this wave.

DJB: Just so that everyone is familiar with your eight-circuit model of consciousness, can you briefly explain the intention behind it and what it expresses?

TIMOTHY: Well, in the late 50s and 60s, a group of a hundred or so select psychologists and philosophers discovered the brain. That is, they discovered how to navigate and explore the brain, just like Magellan and Columbus did for the outer geography of the planet earth. People like Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, and Albert Hofman used psyche-active vehicles to move around in the brain.

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Robert Anton Wilson

Firing the Cosmic Trigger

“…information is the source of all wealth”

with Robert Anton Wilson

RobertAnton Wilson earned his doctorate in psychology from Hawthorn University. From 1966-1971 he was Associate Editor of Playboy, and since then he has written over 26 popular books. He is perhaps best known for Illuminatus! a classic science fiction

Robert Anton Wilson

RAW at Esalen Institute

trilogy which he co-authored with Robert Shea. His Schroedinger’s Cat trilogy was called “the most scientific of all science-fiction novels ” by New Scientist, and has been reprinted in many languages. In the area of social philosophy Bob wrote such books as Cosmic Trigger, Prometheus Rising, and The New Inquisition He also wrote the introduction to my first book Brainchild. Bob has appeared as a stand-up comic at many clubs around the world, and regularly teaches seminars at New Age centers such as the Esalen Institute. Bob ‘s poetry has been widely published and in 1 986 he was a guest of the Norwegian government at the Oslo International Poetry Festival.

Bob has also starred in collaboration with the Golden Horde on a Punk Rock record entitled The Chocolate Biscuit Conspiracy, and a comedy record called Secrets of Power. Bob’s play Wilhelm Reich in Hell was performed at the Edmund Burke Theatre in Dublin in 1986, and many other theatres. H epresently lives in Santa Cruz, where he continues to write, and co-edit the futurist journal Trajectories

 with his wife Arlen. We interviewed Bob on the evening of June 18th, 1989, at his previous home in West Los Angeles. A sharp-witted imp with a Brooklyn accent and a twinkle in his eye, Bob never fails to have a joke up his sleeve. He is a jolly prankster with an alchemical talent for blending cultural mythos. Bob spoke with us about the Illuminati conspiracy, brain machines, synchronicity, mysticism and science, nanotechnology, ecology, extraterrestrials, and the mysterious mythic connection between Satan and Santa Claus.

DJB

 

RMN: What was it that first sparked your interest in consciousness enhancement?

ROBERT: Korzybski’s Science and Sanity. I was in engineering school and I picked up the book in the Brooklyn Public Library. He talked about different levels of organization in the brain-animal circuits, human circuits and so on. And he talked a lot about getting back to the non-verbal level and being able to perceive without talking to yourself while you’re perceiving.

It was 1957. I was very interested in jazz at that time, and I told a black friend about some of Korzybski’s exercises to get to the non-verbal level, and he said, “Oh, I do that every time I smoke pot.” I got interested. I said, “Could I buy one of these marijuana cigarettes from you?” He said, “Oh hell, I’11 give it to you free.” And so I smoked it.

I found myself looking at a quarter I found in my pocket and realizing I hadn’t looked at a quarter in twenty years or so, the way a child looks at a quarter. So I decided marijuana was doing pretty much the same thing Korzybski was trying to do with his training devices. Then shortly after that I heard a lecture by Alan Watts, and I realized that Zen, marijuana and Korzybski were all relating the same transformations of consciousness. That was the beginning.

DJB: Many of your books deal with a secret society called the Illuminati. How did your fascination with this organization begin?

ROBERT: It was Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley who founded the Discordian Society, which is based on the worship of Eris, the Goddess of Chaos, discord, confusion, bureaucracy and international relations. They have no dogmas, but one catma. The catma is that everything in the universe relates to the number 5, one way or another, given enough ingenuity on the part of the interpreter. I found the Discordian Society to be the most satisfactory religion I had ever encountered up until that point, so I became a Discordian Pope. This is done by excommunicating all the Discordian Popes you can find and setting up your own Discordian Church. This is based on Greg’s teaching that we Discordians must stick apart.

Anyway, in 1968 Jim Garrison, the D.A. of New Orleans–the jolly green Frankenstein monster, as Kerry later called him–accused Kerry at a press conference of being one of the conspirators in the Kennedy

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Ralph Abraham

Chaos and Erodynamics

“Chaos is very much the same as the steady state; it’s not scary at all.”

with Ralph Abraham

Ralph Abraham is renowned for bringing a fresh perspective to mathematical thought. His study of dynamical systems as the building blocks of reality, has led him to extrapolate fundamental mathematical principles into his philosophical outlook . A professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1960. He taught at UC Berkeley, Columbia and Princeton before moving to Santa Cruz in I 96S and has held visiting positions in such various locations as Amsterdam, Paris, Warwick, Barcelona, Basel, Florence and Siena.

He is the author of numerous mathematical books. Linear and Multi-Linear AlgebraFoundations of Mechanics was written with J.E. Marsden and Transversal Mappings and Flows with J.Robbin. He wrote Manifolds,Tensor Analysis and Applications with J.E. Marsden and T. Ratiu, and the highly successful four-volume Dynamics, the Geometry of Behavior with C.D. Shaw. His latest book entitled, Trialogues on the Edge of the West is a group of discussions with Terence McKenna and Rupert Sheldrake on the relationship between science, philosophy and religion.

Traveling through Europe in his twenties, living in a cave in northern India and working as a professional gambler in Las Vegas were all experiences which helped to shape Ralph’s philosophical outlook. He has been active on the research frontier of dynamics in mathematics since 1960, and in applications and experiments, since 1973. In 1975 he founded the Visual Mathematics Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz to explore the use of interactive computer graphics in teaching mathematics. He is the founding editor of Eagle Mathematics and Applied Global Analysis.

We talked with Ralph on March 4th 1989, in the cozy· living room of our dear and mutual friend Nina Graboi, who has often worked as his editor. We found him to be a soft-spoken, intensely thoughtful and down-to-earth character, with the gentle tone of a person who has become philosophically resigned to seeing further than others.

RMN

 

DAVID: Ralph, you’re recognized as one of the leaders in the mathematical study of chaos. Can you tell us what it was that originally inspired your interest in mathematics and the mathematics of vibrations and dynamical systems?

RALPH: Well, I didn’t get interested in dynamics and decide that’s what I was going to study. It was just left foot, right foot, or some series of miracles. It happened like this.

I was an engineer and worked in a physics project, so I became a student of physics. Then one day a physics professor said in class that if you want to understand physics you have to study mathematics. So I changed to mathematics at that point. And I found a mentor, somebody who took care of me and helped me out, a wonderful man, Nate Coburn. I started studying what he was doing because he was my only contact in mathematics. One reason I responded to his program was that it had to do with general relativity. Einstein had been a household word when I was growing up. My father respected Einstein very much. It was said that only eight people in the world could understand Einstein. My teacher apparently could and was writing in that field.

I had taken very few math courses during that period. I remember two or three very influential courses. One of them was a differential geometry course taught by Raoul Bott who became a very famous mathematician. Some concepts were included in that course that I later found useful in dynamics. So I had some math background, but not the kind of background I would have had if I’d done a Ph.D. under a famous professor of dynamics.

Then I was looking for a job. I had one offer for some place where I didn’t want to go and at the last minute, before the school year began, I got a letter from Berkeley offering me a job. In 1960 there wasn’t any big mathematical center there, but of course I took it.

After I got to Berkeley I was engaged in rewriting my thesis for publication. One day I discovered that they were having tea in some little room in the back of the building, and I had already been there for two or three months and hadn’t met anyone. So I went to the tearoom to meet some people and to find out what was going on. And in this way I discovered a couple of people who later

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Nick Herbert

Faster than faster than light

“I think that mind is as fundamental to nature as light or electricity.”

with Nick Herbert

Nick Herbert holds a Ph.D. in experimental physics from Stanford University. He was senior scientist at Memorex, Santa Clara, and other Bay Area hardware companies specializing in magnetic, electrostatic, optical, and thermal methods of information processing and storage. He has taught science at all levels from graduate school to kindergarten including the development, with his wife Betsy, of a hands-on home-schooling science curriculum. Nick was the coordinator (along with Saul-Paul Sirag) of Esalen Institute’s physics and consciousness program and has led many workshops on the quantum mechanics of everyday life. He is the author of Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics, Faster Than Light (published in Japan under the title Time Machine Construction Manual), Elemental Mind: Human Consciousness and the New Physics, and he devised the shortest proof of Bell’s interconnectedness theorem to date.

He has written on faster-than-light and quantum theory for such journals as the American Journal of Physics and New Scientist, and is Fringe Science columnist for Mondo 2000.

 We interviewed Nick April 23, 1989, on a hill overlooking Santa Cruz, California. Nick spoke with us about the implications of Bell’s Theorem, superluminal loopholes in physics, and the secret technologies behind time travel and contacting the dead, including step-by-step instructions on how to build your very own time machine. Nick is an ardent disciple of quantum theory’s left-hand path, and his ability to humanize science and his imaginative speculations on time travel make him both fascinating and fun. He has a way of making even the most complex concepts of quantum physics easily understandable. He is very warm, has a contagious sense of humor, and has an uncanny talent for making the mundane seem mysterious.

DJB

DJB: What was it that originally inspired your interest in physics?

NICK: I started out in a Catholic prep school. I took religion and Latin there, and the idea was to become a Catholic priest. That was my goal, and somewhere through that I got derailed. I decided that wasn’t the ultimate thing. I changed my mind, and decided science was probably the place where all the hot stuff was. The hottest part of science was physics, so I went to Ohio State and majored in physics. I think it’s kind of a quest for what’s the hottest thing going in this time I thought it was God, but now I think, at least for me, it’s science.

DJB: Kind of a quest for the ultimate nature of reality?

NICK: Yes. My patron saint is Saint Christopher. You might know about him as the guy in automobiles, the patron saint of travelers. But actually he’s the patron saint of people who are seeking to serve the ultimate power. He was the strongest man in the kingdom, and he went around offering his services to kings and princes. He wanted to give this power that he had to the highest service. He always found that the kings had feet of clay, and they weren’t really worth serving. He’d quit one king and serve another, but it would be just the same. So then, after giving up on kings and princes, he decided, well one thing I could do is I could take people across this river. That was what he did with his life. He took people across this river that didn’t have a bridge.

Finally this one little kid came along and he said, “Can you take me across?” “No problem,” he says, and Christopher starts taking him across. The kid got heavier and heavier and heavier. Finally he could barely hold this guy. He stumbled across to the other side, and said, “Whew, what was that?” The kid says, “You were carrying Christ, who holds the whole world on his shoulders.” So he finally found the person to serve. That’s why he’s called Christopher–the Christ bearer. I like that story, and I’m still trying to find some ultimate master to serve. Right now it’s some kind of science. So that’s the physics. I’m looking for the ultimate problems, and trying to do my best, whether it be religion, science, or little things on the fringes of science.

RMN: Could you explain to us the essence of Bell’s Theorem, and the ideas about the nature of reality which those experiments have inspired in

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Robert Trivers

Replicating Genes

“…will we do away with whole areas of the earth, then face what it’s like to have ten to twelve billion people on this planet?”

with Robert Trivers

Are social behaviors genetically inheritable? Do they evolve through time like physical characteristics? The science of sociobiology has developed in order to study these questions. In the controversial field of sociobiology, there is no one as controversial as Robert Trivers, for he has certainly been the most daring in applying the “selfish gene” theory of sociobiology to human behavior and psychology. Recognized as one of the world’s most eminent sociobiologists, Robert Trivers was born in 1943 in Washington D.C. to a Foreign Service Officer and a poet, as the second of seven children. His early academic interests (“after the Bible, ” he clarifies) included astronomy and mathematics. He earned his B.A. from Harvard in U.S. History in 1965. Then he wrote and illustrated children ‘s books for two years before returning to Harvard, where he studied biology, and received his Ph.D. in 1972. He taught at Harvard until 1978, and after that at the UC Santa Cruz, where he continues to teach to this day. In May 1979 he joined the Black Panther Party, and has been referred to by his colleague Burney Le Boeufas “the blackest white man I know. “

Dr. Trivers is perhaps most famous for his theory of reciprocal altruism, which is a model for explaining and predicting altruism in animals precisely based on return-effect or chances of reciprocity. He has also written papers on parental investment and sexual selection, sex ratio theory, parent-offspring conflict and the social behavior of lizards and insects. He is the author of Social Evolution, a fascinating sociobiological textbook which was published in 1985 by Benjamin-Cummings of Menlo Park. He spends a good deal of time in Jamaica with his children, and has described himself as “Jamaican in my soul or spirit. ” He is currently working on the evolution of “selfish genes ” and resulting intra-genomic conflict, the effects of blood parasites on sexual selection in Anolis lizards, and deceit and self-deception. We met Bob on the evening of January 18th, 1 989 at the Woodshed, a country bar in Felton, California. Bob spoke to us about his theory reciprocal altruism, selfish genes, the evolution of sex, and muses with us on how and why consciousness evolved. There is a wild unpredictable quality to Bob’s personality. He seems untamed and street-wise in a rather charming sort of way.

DJB

DJB: Bob, what was it that originally spawned your interest in biology and the evolution of social behavior?

ROBERT: When I graduated from college I was offered a job writing, and later illustrating children’s books for part of a curriculum. The curriculum was called “Man: A Course of Study,” and was meant to be the new social science, analogous to the new math, and the new physics. Since I didn’t know anything about humans, they asked me to work on some animal material that they wanted to include in the course. I also didn’t know anything about animals but they cared less about getting that stuff accurate.

So my first exposure to animal behavior came through this job, and I was impressed with two things. One, by watching movies of baboons, I was impressed by how psychologically similar they seemed to ourselves, and that any explanation therefore of our own psyche would have to include arguments that could apply to baboons as well. And the second thing was I learned about the concept of evolution through natural selection. So within about six months of graduating from college, I had had my life turned around. I had never had biology before, never had chemistry, and I became convinced that the basis for a scientific theory of psychology lay in animal behavior and evolutionary theory. So I threw myself into it.

DJB: Can you briefly describe your theory of reciprocal altruism?

ROBERT: Reciprocal altruism is very, very simple and encompassed in the folk saying, “You scratch my back, I’11 scratch yours.” It simply posits that organisms, besides humans, or in addition to humans, are capable of trading altruistic acts over a period of time, in which each individual is sensitive to the tendency of the other individual to be reciprocal, or perhaps not to be reciprocal, or as I put it, to cheat on the relationship. So the theory of reciprocal altruism applied to humans says that traits like friendship

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Riane Eisler and David Loye

Raising the Chalice

“We see a world where the most highly valued work will have the consciousness of caring.”

with Riane Eisler & David Loye

Riane Eisler has been described as a modern renaissance woman due to her far-reaching insights as a cultural historian. She is the author of The Chalice and the Blade, which the eminent anthropologist, Ashley Montague has hailed as “the most important book sinceDarwin ‘s Origin of Species. ” Her latest work, The Partnership Way–written with her husband David Loye is a handbook for applying the partnership model for which she has become renowned. Riane was born in Vienna, Austria, and at the age of six she found herself a refugee of Nazi Europe. She sailed to Cuba, on the last ship before the ill-fated St. Louis was refused sanctuary by the United States and she emigrated to North America when she was fourteen. Her early experiences with the dark side of human culture led her to pursue studies in sociology and anthropology and she went on to obtain a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law She has taught at the University of California and the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, and she is a member of the General Evolution Research Group. She has pioneered legislation to protect the human rights of women and children and founded such organizations as the Los Angeles Women ‘s Center Legal Program and the Center for Partnership Studies. Riane ‘s articles have appeared in many publications and journals. She has frequently appeared on television and addressed corporations such as Dupont and Disney. She has also spoken at universities such as UCLA and Harvard and keynoted many conferences worldwide. Riane is an eloquent and dynamic speaker. Her ability to interweave a vast expanse of information allowed for a fascinating and highly revelatory discussion on the politics of anthropology, the roots of civilization, the lost aspects of religion and the cease-fire recipe to humanity ‘s “war of the sexes. “ David Loye is a social psychologist and systems theorist. He is the author of numerous books on the use of the brain and mind in prediction, political leadership and race relations. His psychohistory, The Healing of a Nation, was called “a work of uncommon humanity and vision ” by Psychology Today and received the Anisfield – Wolfe Award for the best scholarly book on race relations in 1971. His other works include The Leadership Passion, The Sphinx and the Rainbow and The Knowable Future, which has been recognized as a pioneering work of unusual stature in the field of future studies. David is a former member of the psychology faculty of Princeton University and for almost ten years he was the Director of Research for the Program on Psychosocial Adaption and the Future at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is also a founding member of the General Evolution Research Group, a multidisciplinary think tank composed of scholars from various parts of the world. A member of the Editorial Board and Book Review Editor of The Journal of General Evolution, David’s articles have appeared in numerous publications. He is also a major contributor to the first multi-volume World Encyclopedia of Peace. During recent years, David’s main research project has been the scientific study of moral sensitivity and he is completing two books on the subject. This has involved a re-evaluation of the work of many philosophers and psychologists in light of new discoveries in brain research, human prehistory, and the systems dynamics of cultural evolution. He is currently Go-Director of the Center for Partnership Studies in Pacific Grove, California. We met with David and his wife, plane on the Winter Solstice of 1988 at their beautiful home in Carmel, California. David offered us intriguing insights into the nature of morality and its relation to sexual distortion and denial. Pooling together his multi-disciplinary perspectives he spoke with passionate clarity on the subjects of cultural politics and the respective roles which the left and right sides of our brains have played in social evolution. RMN

DJB: Riane tell us, what was it that originally inspired you to write The Chalice and the Blade, a book described by Ashley Montague as “the most important book since Darwin’s Origin of Species,” and what motivated you to complete the work?

RIANE: I think that what people choose to study is related to their life experiences. I was a refugee from Nazi Europe, and at a very early age I had to ask myself some very basic questions, the questions that I tried to answer in The Chalice and The Blade. And they certainly weren’t just academic questions for me. Because of my own life experiences, I was haunted by questions such as: Do we have to hunt and persecute each other? Do we have to live in ways that stunt our ability and willingness to be helpful and caring towards other people? Does there have to be war? And do we have to have the “war of the sexes”? One of the things my work shows is that there is an integral relationship, in systems terms, between war and the war of the sexes.

RMN: Just so that everyone is familiar with your cultural transformation theory, can you define the differences between what you have termed a partnership and dominator, or gylanic and androcratic society?

RIANE: I think the best way to answer this question is to begin with how I developed cultural transformation theory. About ten years ago I embarked on an intensive study, drawing from many fields, to re-examine our past, our present, and the possibilities for our future. Most studies concerned with our global crises focus on modern times, on what’s happening now, or on what happened in the last few hundred years. My database was much larger. As you know, it included the whole of our history, including our prehistory. And it also included the whole of humanity; in other words, both its female and male halves. Perhaps fifty years from now, people will say, you mean that’s not how it was always done? Because it’s ludicrous, when you come right down to it, to just take one half of a species into account. Yet most books on history or sociology or anthropology, if there are six or seven mentions in the index about women, that’s already terrific, right? It’s a progressive book. We all know that if we just look at part of a picture, we don’t see the whole picture. What I started to see is what one can see if one uses a holistic or systems approach: recurring relationships or patterns that were not visible before. These patterns or configurations compose what I then called the dominator or androcratic and the partnership or gylanic models of society. Each has a clear configuration. But we didn’t see that configuration because we weren’t looking at a very key component in it, which is the status of women and of so-called feminine values, such as caring, nonviolence, and compassion. In other words, at the relationship between the female and male halves of humanity, and with this, between stereotypes of “masculinity” and “femininity.” A lot of lip service is given to bemoaning that we don’t have a social guidance system governed by these so-called “feminine” values that we now need for our survival. Only the talk about it is abstract. If you look at the configurations of these two models, you see something very interesting, which is that the dominator system requires that values like caring and nonviolence and compassion (stereotypically associated with women) not be governant. You see that at the core of that system is the domination of men over women, of one half of humanity by the other. And that this domination is ultimately backed up by force or the threat of force. Beginning with the ranking of one half of humanity over the other, the dominator system is also characterized by a generally hierarchic or authoritarian social structure and a high degree of institutionalized violence. Not only rape (a form of male terrorism against women), wife battering, incest, and other structural forms of violence designed to maintain men’s domination over women; but also institutionalized violence designed to impose and/or maintain the domination of man over man, tribe over tribe, and nation over nation. That’s of course what warfare is about.

RMN: Can you give us some examples of each model?

RIANE: If we look at human society using the templates of the partnership and dominator models, we begin to see that in all the seeming randomness around us there are actually patterns. Take for example, three very different societies: the Masai of Africa, Nazi Germany, and Khomeini’s Iran –a tribal society, a highly technologically developed Western society, and a Middle Eastern theocracy. Underneath all the surface differences, all three are rigidly male dominant societies. Moreover, they are all highly warlike. The Masai were the scourge of Africa –the most warlike of African societies. The violence of Hitler’s Germany and Khomeini’s Iran is well-known. But the institutionalized violence is not only in warfare, but many other areas–wife beating, genital mutilation of women among the Masai, the brutality directed against women not only in Iran but many other fundamentalist Muslim regimes. And in all three there

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Terence K. McKenna

Mushrooms, Elves and Magic

“Drugs are part of the human experience, and we have got to create a more sophisticated way of dealing with them…”

with Terence K. McKenna

Terence McKenna is one of the leading authorities on the ontologicaI foundations of shamanism and the ethno-pharmacology of spiritual transformation. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a major in Ecology, Resource Conservation and Shamanism, he traveled through the Asian and New World Tropics and became specialized in the shamanism and ethno-medicine of the Amazon Basin. What he learned in these explorations is documented in The Invisible Landscape, which he wrote with his brother Dennis.

Born in 1946, Terence is the father of two children, a girl of eleven and a boy of fourteen. He is the founder of Botanical Dimensions-a tax-exempt, nonprofit research botanical garden based in Hawaii. This project is devoted to collecting and propagating plants of ethno-pharmacological interest and preserving the shamanic lore which accompanies their use.

Living in California, Terence divides his time between writing and lecturing and he has developed a software program called Timewave Zero. His hypnotic multi-syllabic drawl is captured on the audio-tape adventure series True Hallucinations–soon to be published in book form–which tells of his adventures in far-flung lands in various exotic states of consciousness. Terence is also the author of Food of the Gods, which is a unique study of the impact of psychotropic plants on human culture and evolution and The Archaic Revival, in which this interview appears. His latest book Trialogues at the Edge of the West, is a collection of “discursive chats ” with mathematician Ralph Abraham and biologist Rupert Sheldrake.

This was our first interview It took place on November 30th, 1988 in the dramatic setting of Big Sur. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean we sat on the top floor of the Big House at the Esalen Institute, where Terence was giving a weekend seminar. He needed little provocation to enchant us with the pyrotechnic wordplay which is his trademark, spinning together the cognitive destinies of Gaia, machines, and language and offering a highly unorthodox description of our own evolution.

RMN

DJB: It’s a pleasure to be here with you again, Terence. We’d like to begin by asking you to tell us how you became interested in shamanism and the exploration of consciousness.

Terence: I discovered shamanism through an interest in Tibetan folk religion. Bon, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet is a kind of shamanism. In going from the particular to the general with that concern, I studied shamanism as a general phenomenon. It all started out as an art historical interest in the pre-Buddhist iconography of thankas.

DJB: This was how long ago?

Terence: This was in ’67 when I was a sophomore in college. The interest in altered states of consciousness came simply from, I don’t know whether I was a precocious kid or what, but I was very early into the New York literary scene, and even though I lived in a small town in Colorado, I subscribed to the Village Voice, and there I encountered propaganda about LSD, mescaline, and all these experiments that the late beatniks were involved in. Then I read The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, and it just rolled from there. That was what really put me over. I respected Huxley as a novelist, and I was slowly reading everything he’d ever written, and when I got to The Doors of Perception I said to myself, “There’s something going on here for sure.”

DJB: To what do you attribute your increasing popularity, and what role do you see yourself playing in the social sphere?

Terence: Well, without being cynical, the main thing I attribute to my increasing popularity is better public relations. As far as what role I’ll play, I don’t know, I mean I assume that anyone who has anything constructive to say about our relationship to chemical substances, natural and synthetic, is going to have a social role to play, because this drug issue is just going to loom larger and larger on the social agenda until we get some resolution of it, and by resolution I don’t mean suppression orjust

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