seriously as is its due, and that it `There’s nothing more important than petting the cat.’
I think that our emotional patterning in some ways reacting with our gestalt are less than optimum and we deserve as a birthright to be really healthy and happy. I had to get over a lot of stuff in my relationships. I was battered twice and that helped me get over it – I was really grateful. I wasn’t grateful at the time of course. I realized that if I only was battered once it would always have been his fault but after I got battered by two different guys I had to say, “what the hell am I doing to bring this on?”
Women or men, we can help each other to see, but it’s usually the very thing that we need to see the most that we back off from and say, “she’s doing it or he’s doing it or the world’s doing it.” A sense of responsibility can lead to self love which is necessary in order to love anybody else.
Rebecca: Do you think that men and women are very different in the way they think?
Elizabeth: I’ve always lived in a world where the men and women are conditioned into roles that seem to me less than optimum and I don’t know if they are different until we live in a society where there is a lot more room for us to be who we are. But I see that your generation is a lot less conditioned than I was.
Rebecca: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Elizabeth: I don’t like to call myself anything with “ist” on the end of it. (laughter)
David:: What did you learn from raising your children?
Elizabeth: Well, one of my children is brain-damaged. It leads to a different relationship with yourself when you have a handicapped child – it’s a love hate thing. There’s a lot of self-blame, a lot of self-pity, a lot of anger. I think I’m over most of that. That’s been a huge learning. And my other child is a genius and has been super wonderful to me in many ways. I turned him onto marijuana but he was the first person to turn me onto a psychedelic in about `64. He helped me when I had absolutely no money and he turned me onto radio – what more could I ask?
Rebecca: What would you like to tell young people today?
Elizabeth: I asked my mother that when she was ninety something. She said, “don’t worry about it.” That’s my advice to young people. Be nice to each other and when you’re feeling really bad is the best time to reach out your hand to somebody else. It makes you feel a lot better and you’ll help someone in the process. Enjoy the world, have a good time and listen to good rock!
Rebecca: That’s good advice, there’s some really bad rock around. It seems though that in spite of all the positive movement going on in the world there’s a seemingly equally powerful grip effect resisting the changes.
Elizabeth: I don’t think that’s true. I think that’s part of the programming that we’re trying to get rid of. The ideals of democracy – freedom of thought, and the ideals of communism – sharing the bounty with our fellow humans, are incredible ideals. Maybe the two will come together one day. I think that the aberrations are fewer and that the ideals, no matter how they are denigrated by our fear and lack of experience, are more numerous. Imagine My an arrow that’s balanced out, and on one side is evil and one side is good and it’s all one thing. Suppose we take the arrow and shift it in timespace so that the evil is now what the good is today and the good is something that we’re not yet equipped to even experience.
Rebecca: So we’re raising the baseline you think?
Elizabeth: I don’t think it can’t happen. Terence McKenna says 2012, but I’m dubious.(laughter)
David:: Elizabeth, what is the secret to your seemingly boundless enthusiasm, optimism and curiosity about life?
Elizabeth: Marijuana! (lengthy raucous laughter) From my father I inherited sentimentality and an idea of being gentle with people and from my mother I inherited enormous energy and creative ability. My body’s amazing. You know, I’m really sick and I’ve got so much energy, I swam half a mile today and then I was digging my yard before it got too hot. I can’t breathe you understand me but I’m doing it!(laughter)
Rebecca: I’m interested in how your illness has affected your understanding of your self?
Elizabeth: Well, on a really stupid level I sure as hell wish I hadn’t smoked tobacco. I wrote an article in Encore called Disease as a Spiritual Practice. When I’m really not feeling well, I find it effects all levels inside of me. I admire the people who seem to be above that. However, I’m 72 and even if I lived to be a really old person it would only be another twenty years or so and I don’t want to live to be that old. My disease has helped me to more and more be grateful for my life, and I’m grateful that I’m dying slowly because it gives me an opportunity to work on myself and to die in a state of grace.
David:: What do you think happens after biological death?
Elizabeth: Oh joy! How wonderful! Wow! look at this, I’m back home again! (laughter) What do I think happens when you die? Man, I don’t know. If anyone tells you they know what happens after you die, don’t believe them! I get scared of not going to die, that’s really frightening to me. My brain isn’t afraid to die, but my body doesn’t want to. I really love my life.
Rebecca: What’s going on in the future of your dreams?
Elizabeth: I don’t think we know what we are becoming. Maybe there will be a place where we actually drop form and become a different energy altogether. The worst-case scenario is that we’ll blow ourselves up, in which case we’ll have to start another experiment. I believe that that what we truly are is absolutely immortal.
The middle-case scenario is that whatever happens to humans, the world is shifting. Australia is moving two feet a year. It’s going to hit the IndoEuropean continent and create mountains twice as high as the Himalayas. So you’ve got to get some perspective on this! (laughter) I hope that not too long in the distant future we’ll be able to access now-hidden realms of consciousness-before something catastrophic happens, like a meteor hitting the earth.
In the shorter term, I really feel that we are going to create new ways of governance that will make the present forms look medieval, new ways of healing the body, new ways of opening ourselves so that telepathic communication can be easier between us and I won’t be ashamed of the fact that you know some of the horrible images in my mind.
Rebecca: Your radio show is called Changes, and it seems that your whole life has been a series of transformations. What do you think is the secret of learning to roll with those changes?
Elizabeth: I think Buddha’s message of nonattachment is very helpful, but I’m not sure that I don’t want to be attached to some things. I really enjoy people and beautiful objects, and I’m not ready to let go. On my first big acid trip I wrote a note to myself. In wiggly letters it said, “Hold on by letting go.” I believe that’s vald, and it’s at least a lifetime in the learning.
Rebecca: Where do you get the courage to let go?
Elizabeth: Well, I don’t always have it. But sometimes just the invitation of the possibilities in life is so enormous. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten around to thinking that I don’t like changing so much–the overt form, anyway. In many ways, old age is a process of letting go–of stuff on the 3D plane, of emotional contacts with your friends and relatives who are dying, and of lifestyles. Also, the memory dropping away may be a blessing, because it narrows your focus to what’s happening in front of you right now.
David:: If you could condense your life into a message, what would that be?
Elizabeth: I think the human birthright is joy and that the only thing that keeps us from that is fear. I urge everyone to break the habits that they know have chained them in circular patterns of fear and to open themselves up to the fact that once that fear is gone, it’s gone for ever, it will never return! Be content in the passing magic, but work for change, knowing that there really isn’t any other work to do. This may be an illusion, a dream, but it’s a real illusion, worth working with toward the perfection we knew was possible when we ingested so much LSD. The rest of human activity, even beauty and art and ritual and religion, are frosting on the cake of conscious growing. Let the challenges come. Reach out to help and to be helped. Listen respectfully to all teachers and teaching, including this, and find your own truth, knowing that it too will change. When our work has succeeded, the human race will know the joy of an open heart, and that is our entry into a kindergarten beyond which are infinite and infinitely exciting universes to explore forever.
Finally, to use the old analogy, we can learn to focus on the half-full part of the cosmic cup. When enough of us recognize that our joint thoughts can be directed to change this reflexive universe in a direction we choose, we will recreate the cup, and it will brim over for everybody.