In the Beginning
Back in 1967 or so, I remember reading a back of the magazine article in the NYT’s magazine about Zen Buddhism.At the time I was a Sophomore or Junior in High School, and this was the first thing I’d ever read that hinted at some way of looking at the world that was “different” than the way I’d grown up looking at things.
My Senior year we moved to Belgium, and I remember reading a Carlos C. book about Shamans. For some reason I think I read this on a trip to Garmich, which is in the Bavarian Alps. Anyway, I remember thinking CC had it wrong, he was being too scientific about the mystical things the Shaman was showing him. In retrospect I think CC wrote it that way on purpose.
I went to Cornell for college, and to begin with I was a good, nerdy, academic student. I didn’t drink or do drugs, I think the only time I’d ever drunk was once or twice when my folks were out and I’d mix combination of hard liquer. Anyway, my Sophomore year at Cornell I had a girlfriend who lived in Long Island, and I took the bus into NYC and a train out to where she lived, and in a book store picked up Be Here Now, by Ram Dass.
Be Here Now talks about LSD, and Hinduism, and Mysticism beyond the HIndu approach – I think. At some point I started doing hallucinogenics – and this was before I’d ever smoked dope or done any serious drinking. When I would trip i thought I was getting close to God, or something like that.