I waste water. I admit it, I love a nice long leisurely shower. And
based on what I learned while being a municipal public works
employee, it’s about one of the worst things I can do to
the environment. Saving water should be on the top of everyone’s list.
Let me explain why:
In the next twenty years, water shortage
(along with and related to global warming)
is going to be one of the greatest threats to
mankind’s survival since
reality TV, combo meals, and texting while driving.
shortages can grow exponentially. This has much to do with the
way potable drinking water is delivered to your humble abode. I hate to
say it, but most people have do not have a clue how that water got in their
flue. Let’s just say that every gallon of water you use increases your
carbon footprint – massively. Let me explain how:
have to get the water to the water treatment plant so you dig a well, divert
a river, desalinate the briny blue ocean, or dam up something and create a
reservoir. And how do we build things in America, with big, really
big construction equipment. The thing about those great big yellow
diggers and bulldozers is that they use lots and lots of diesel
fuel. Of course, burning
diesel fuel creates carbon dioxide, soot,
and, well you get the picture.
Also, when you diverted or
dammed the river, you probably flooded and killed who knows how many
trees and plants that would have otherwise transformed carbon dioxide into
Drilling wells presents its own challenges. An
underground reservoir (an aquifer) has a fixed recharge rate which often
depends on rainfall. So you had better not suck it out faster than it
dripped in. And of course, maybe your
fracking buddies with the funky pipeline might turn
your well into a Bunsen burner.
After treating the water,
it has to get to your house. That involves miles and miles of very
high pressure pipelines with lots of
electric pumps. The greater the demand for water, the more the very
large, very powerful, very hungry electric pumps kick-in. And how do we
make our kilowatts in the U.S.? The table below shows the various
methods of electrical power generation by
Therefore, 68% of electrical power generation in America
involves burning fossil fuels which increases our carbon
Because providing you with clean water uses so much
electricity, you can see that opening the tap creates more global
warming crap. How can you save water? Try these water
Get a low flow toilet.
to the Federal Energy Management Program, a 1.6 gpf low flow toilet
will reduce water usage from 27,300
gallons to 12,500 gallons per
When they first appeared in 1994, low flow
toilets often clogged and required double flushing. Thankfully this
is no longer the case! Redesigned, modern low flow toilets work quite
well and can save you a lot of money too!
One leaky faucet can waste 35 gallons per
year. Imagine the cumulative water wasting if only half of the
homes in America had just one leaky faucet!
Dislike cold showers? Most of us waste
water waiting for the hot water to reach the showerhead. Insulating
your hot water pipes will save water, gas, and prevent your pipes
Take a sailor’s shower.
you know that if you reduce your shower time by just 1-2 minutes you can save
up to 700 gallons per month? Adding a low flow showerhead to the mix can
save up to 800 gallons of water per month.
(Note: I still take
long showers but I save water by taking a “sailors shower”. That
is, I rinse and then turn off the water. Soap up
then rinse again, turn off the water, and so
Use energy star approved
Look for the energy star label when you purchase a
dish or clothes washer. You may also qualify for a rebate from your
local utility company.
Don’t water your lawn
during the day.
Water your lawn early in the morning to
avoid excessive evaporation. (Early morning watering will help
prevent grass diseases as well.) Also, avoid
frequent watering. You’ll find that occasional deep
watering’s build healthier roots and save
Test your garden sprinklers. Don’t
water the sidewalk, (don’t be
a gutter flooder!)
Leaky irrigation systems,
overwatering, broken or incorrectly aimed sprinklers can waste hundreds
of gallons of water.
Plant a drought
If you live in a hot dry climate, plants which require
large amounts of water are ill-advised. Instead, consider landscaping
with drought tolerant xeriscapic plants. They not only require
very little water, but they are colorful and disease resistant.
Add a “drip-watering” system to your garden for even more water
Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to plant my drought
Hi! I’m Michael, the webmaster at the new The
Environmentally Friendly Shoppe at https://enfriendshop.com/index.html
Environmentally Friendly Shoppe is a light-hearted website which advocates
green sustainable living.
We feature recurring articles such as The
Hypo Critic Oaf which depicts one flawed man’s journey to reach an
eco-friendly lifestyle. We publish Rogers PET Column, an article
discussing green living from a dog’s point of view. Finally, we have a
shopping directory featuring ecologically sound products. We also have
an environmental blog!
Hope to see you there
Natural alternative medicines now are receiving a lot of build-up and hype and regular medicine are now receiving a lot of flak as well. This is brought upon by the many cases of side effects that might as well do more harm than good. People are rediscovering the goodness of what is natural and chemical-free.
Knowing that these natural alternative medicines were used for centuries upon centuries already makes them more reliable than prescription drugs for many people. Also, the fact that the list of benefits hugely overrates the harm, which rarely happens, gives a great reason to give it at least a try. Nothing is lost and everything is to be gained.
But who’s to say which is really best for us, regular or natural alternative medicines? Many or most of us generally rely on doctors to tell us what to do and which medicine to use. Well, this is the best choice, but seeking a second opinion may also be very recommendable especially if your doctor couldn’t or is having a hard time curing you.
There are a lot of differences between regular prescription medicines and natural alternative medicines. But the main factor that drives people away is not only their price difference but also their effectiveness and the barrage of side effects. Natural alternative medicine has been proven and tested with age and time already.
Aside from the herbs and spices and teas, natural alternative medicine can be coupled with massages, mental exercises such as meditation, aromatherapies and so much more. Many regular medicines have come and gone but natural alternative medicines have lived on. The main reason for this is because we know that they work.
Article written by Hector Milla; editor of https://www.maestroreiki.com/ , a website about alternatives therapies like Reiki and others, they have recently published a free online guide :: Natural Alternative Medicine :: , read at https://www.maestroreiki.com/natural-alternative-medicine/ , Thanks for publish this article in you web site or ezine keeping a live link.
Posted by: Hector Milla
A green and lush oasis in the middle of a scorching dessert. A cool breeze on a hot summer night. A bright light in the end of a cold and dark tunnel. Green tea and cholesterol.
For the millions and millions of people suffering from high cholesterol green tea may be that light. You can browse and search the Internet for topics on green tea and cholesterol and would come up with hundred of hits.
Cholesterol, triglycerides, the protein apoB in LDLs, are words dreaded by humans of the modern age. This new century is expected to become the century of medical miracles, the green tea, lowly as it may sound looks very promising as several researches have shown. This could be the decade of green tea and cholesterol.
More good news is it’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and cancer. Several studies have shown that the antioxidants are present in green tea. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. Another research done by the University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In another study by the University of Kansas determined that EGCG may explain why the rate of heart
disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.
And more good news! It’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and high blood pressure. Habitually drinking 5 to 10 cups a day of green tea lowers high blood pressure.
For more that 4,000 years the Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. So it’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and depression!
Drinking green also is reported to be helpful with rheumatoid arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, infection, and impaired immune function.
Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a good anti-cancer element. Polyphenol limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet.
There’s more! It’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and weight loss. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report that found out that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine.
How about green tea and tooth decay anyone? Its bacteria-destroying abilities kill the bacteria that cause dental decay. So it’s not just green tea and cholesterol, it’s also green tea and bacteria.
Why is it that it’s green tea and cholesterol not oolong tea or black tea? As we all know there are 3 types of tea, green, oolong and black. All of these come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. But why green? Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized while black and oolong tea leaves are made from dried or fermented leaves, which causes loss of EGCG.
We should have learned speaking mandarin or fukien a long time ago and got to know green tea and cholesterol lowering the Chinese way.
There is more to green tea and cholesterol, search the web and get to know more of the heath benefits you may get from green tea. Does anyone know how to say green tea in Chinese?
Lorraine Bevere is well known for documenting the amazing qualitities of green tea .
Discover other tea secrets at her site https://www.fogtea.com
Posted by: Lorraine Bevere
By Gordon Kennedy & Kody Ryan
Wandervogels Abschied by Fidus, 1900
According to Webster’s dictionary (2003) a hippie or hippy is: a young person of the 1960’s who rejected established social mores, advocated spontaneity, free expression of love and the expansion of consciousness, often wore long hair and unconventional clothes, and used psychedelic drugs.
This mass-media definition of the 1960’s dropouts has eclipsed all pre-1960’s uses of the actual word such as that mentioned by Malcolm X in his famous autobiography. As a 17 year-old hustler living in Harlem in 1939 Malcolm noticed, A few of the white men around Harlem, younger ones whom we called hippies, acted more Negro than Negroes. This particular one talked more hip than we did. He would have fought anyone who suggested he felt any race difference.
This echoes the familiar sentiments of Jack Kerouac from On The Road (1955): I walked with every muscle aching among the lights of 27th and Welton in the Denver colored section, wishing I were a Negro, feeling that the best the white world had offered was not enough ecstasy for me, not enough life, joy, kicks, darkness, music, not enough night.
Clearly the actual word hippie was a form of Ebonics (black slang) from Harlem that passed it’s way through the beat era into the 1960’s, until Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle used it enough times by late 1965 to describe the young arrivals in their city…that the national media soon swallowed it whole and patented it.
But apart from the slick zoot suit clad white Negroes of 1930’s Harlem there actually were long-haired bearded individuals during this same era who wore sandals or bare feet and usually tended to favor mild subtropical places like southern California and Florida where they could forage their meals from the fruit trees that were so plentiful then.
Wandervogel print from the local group in Darmstadt, 1911
Nature Boys as they were later called were without exception either German immigrants or American youths whose lives were influenced by transplanted Germans that spread their Lebensreform (life-reform) message to anyone ready for a radical departure from the accepted boundaries of 20th century civilization.
Modern primitives, naturmensch, wandervogel, bohemians, reformers, wayfarers, and vagabonds are all expressions that evoke a tone of something wholly apart from the orthodox.
So why Germany? What was happening there in the 19th century that caused a phenomenon like this to erupt so big?
Germany had always made a virtue of their late submission to Latin civilization and had glorified the natural man and woman with all of their virtues and vices. Over 2000 years ago (about 51 B.C.) Julius Caesar noted of the Germans: The only beings they recognize as gods are things that they can see, and by which they are obviously benefited, such as sun, moon and fire; the other gods they have never even heard of.
Vegetarisches Speisehaus, 1900
The word God was neuter in gender in the Teutonic language (Das Gott, or in old Nordic gud) and the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (98 A.D.) wrote: According to German outlook, pronouncements of destiny seem to acquire a greater sacredness in the mouth of women. Prophecy and magic in a good as well as an evil sense is by choice the gift of women. If it is inherent in the nature of men to show the female sex a great consideration and respect, then this was particularly shaped on the German people from of old. Men earn deification through their deeds, women through their wisdom.
Thus the religiosity of the Indo-Germanic people, whenever their nature can unfold itself freely, emerges only in that form which religious science has described as nature religion or earth religions. To remove the German soul from the natural landscape is to kill it. The Romans knew this so once Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire their missionaries were eager to chop down the German forests and set their temples on fire.
Whenever the church encountered Pagan elements that it could not suppress, it gave them a Christian dimension and assimilated them. These ancestral traditions were reinterpreted and revised, but the church never succeeded in effacing the German Pagan heritage.
Hermann’s victory (9 A.D.) had forestalled Roman colonization, thus Germany had thereby retained its ancient language and avoided early Christianization.
Meister Eckhart (c1260-c1328) possibly represented most strongly the development of the mysticism as a result of the revolt of the Teutonic Indo-European spirit against Roman Christianity.
During the Middle-Ages a group called Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit existed in Germany and Holland. Also known as the Adamites, they were spiritual descendants of an earlier group, the Adamiani. They held nude gatherings in womb like caverns to achieve rebirth into a state of paradisiacal innocence.
In 1796 Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland of Weimar published his landmark study of aging The Art Of Prolonging Life using the word macrobiotic in the preface of the book, while the second edition used the word in it’s title. His emphasis on exercise and fresh air, sunbathing, cleanliness, regular scheduling, temperate diet, stimulating travel and meditation were all far ahead of their time.
Lichtgebet (Prayer To The Sun) by Fidus, 1913
Goethe’s (1749-1832) perspective erased the boundary between man and Nature altogether. The poet of Nature religiosity he believed God can be worshipped in no more beautiful way than by the spontaneous welling up from one’s breast of mutual converse with Nature.
Another prophetic quote from Goethe (1832) Man in his misguidance has powerfully interfered with nature. He has devastated the forests, and thereby even changed the atmospheric conditions and the climate. Some species of plants and animals have become entirely extinct through man, although they were essential in the economy of Nature. Everywhere the purity of the air is affected by smoke and the like, and the rivers are defiled. These and other things are serious encroachments upon Nature, which men nowadays entirely overlook but which are of the greatest importance, and at once show their evil effect not only upon plants but upon animals as well, the latter not having the endurance and power of resistance of man.
In 1866 Ernst Haeckel of Jena University first employed the term ecology, thereby establishing it as a permanent scientific discipline for all future generations. Ecology as a concept had more in common with Buddhism and its recognition of the oneness of all life.
Also in the 1860’s an ex-Protestant minister named Eduard Baltzer published his four-volume book about naturliche lebensweise or natural life style. He organized some vegetarians and founded a Free Religious Community, then later published a book on Pythagoras as the ancestor of his movement.
Diefenbach and Fidus at Hollriegelskreuth, Germany, 1887
Baltzer’s writings had a strong influence upon a young painter named Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913) who also went on to form several communities and workshops for religion, art and science. Diefenbach spent the last portion of his life on the Mediterranean isle of Capri, which was a retreat for other life-reformers. Two of his pupils, Fidus and Gusto Graser were to make a tremendous impact with their art and reform messages.
Fidus (1868-1949) was recognized as perhaps the greatest psychedelic artist ever, pre-dating the 1960’s multi-colored posters and albums by over a half century.
Gusto Graser later went on to become a close friend and teacher of the writer Hermann Hesse. Hesse’s report Among The Rocks- Notes of a Nature Man (1908) described how he, along with Graser lived the lives of natural men and hermits, sleeping in caves in the Swiss Alps and fasting for days and weeks. The guru-disciple relationship within Hesse’s novel Siddhartha (1922) was a mirror of his own association with Graser his teacher. Graser’s poetry appeared in some of the Wandervogel magazines.
In 1870 the population of Germany was 2/3 rural, but by 1900 it had become 2/3 urban. Near the end of the 19th century the German middle class had become superficial, coarse, complacent, gluttonous, materialistic, industrialized, technocratic and pathetic. As a response to this phenomenon many natural healing modalities came into existence and even more youth movements were organized.
In 1883 Louis Kuhne of Leipsic Germany published a book titled The New Science Of Healing, and this work laid the foundation for what was later to become known as Naturopathy. Translated into 50 languages it was the inspiration for a whole generation of health practitioners and was also highly praised by Mahatma Gandhi who said it was very popular in India.
In 1896 Adolf Just opened his Jungborn retreat in the Hartz Mountains near Isenburg Germany, which was a model institution for the true natural life, and was meant to show how the most intimate communion with Nature could be re-established.
Gnadennacht by Fidus, 1912
In 1904 German author Richard Ungewitter wrote a book titled Die Nacktheit (nakedness) wherein he advocated nudism, abstention from meat, tobacco and alcohol. He had to publish it himself, but it quickly became a bestseller. The vegetarian aspect focused on the purity of the body and soul, with adherence to a regular program of fitness. The German attitude towards nudity has not changed too much in 100 years because even now on a warm summer day people along lakes and rivers can be found enjoying themselves in the sunshine without clothing.
Nude Bathing has been popular in Germany a long time. (1916)
Another group, called the Wandervogel, was founded in 1895 by Hermann Hoffmann and Karl Fischer in Steglitz, a suburb of Berlin. They began to take some high school students on nature walks, then later on longer hikes. Soon a huge youth movement that was both anti-bourgeois and Teutonic Pagan in character, composed mostly of middle class German children, organized into autonomous bands.
Wandervogel members, aged mainly between 14-18 years and spread to all parts of Germany eventually numbering 50,000. Part hobo and part medieval, they pooled their money, wore woolen capes, shorts and Tyrolean hats and took long hikes in the country where they sang their own versions of Goliardic songs and camped under primitive conditions. Both sexes swam nude together in the lakes and rivers and in their hometowns they established nests and anti-homes, sometimes in ruined castles where they met to plan trips and play mandolins and guitars.
Their short weekend trips became 3 to 4 weeks long journeys of hundreds of miles. Soon they were establishing permanent camps in the wild that were open to all. With no thought of pay, the bands worked at improving their campsites and building cabins for which they made the furniture-in all forming a complex of precedents underlying the youth-hostel movement which began in 1907 when Richard Schirmann opened the first hostel in Altena Germany.
Mostly the Wandervogel sought communion with nature, with the ancient folk-spirit as embodied in the traditional peasant culture, and with one another. They developed a harmonious mystic resonance with their environment.
The expression Lebensreform (life-reform) was first used in 1896, and comprised various German social trends of the 19th and first half of the 20th century.
Elizabeth Dorr with some of her daughters at Ascona, 1905 (Note the headbands!)
- 1. vegetarianism
- 2. nudism
- 3. natural medicine
- 4. abstinence from alcohol
- 5. clothing reform
- 6. settlement movements
- 7. garden towns
- 8. soil reform
- 9. sexual reform
- 10. health food and economic reform
- 11. social reform
- 12. liberation for women, children and animals
- 13. communitarianism
- 14. cultural and religious reform: i.e. a religion or view of the world that gives weight to the feminine, maternal and natural traits of existence
Further south in Switzerland, Ascona was a little fishing village on the shore of Lake Maggiore, on the Swiss side of the border with Italy. In the year 1900 a counter-culture renaissance began and lasted until about 1920. Ascona became the focal point for all of Europe’s spiritual rebels.
Life experiments were in vogue: surrealism, modern dance, dada, Paganism, feminism, pacifism, psychoanalysis and nature cure. A few of the participants were Hermann Hesse, Carl Jung, Isadora Duncan, D.H. Lawrence, Arnold Ehret and Franz Kafka.
At the turn of the century Germany had 56 million people, and had as many large cities as all of the rest of Europe combined. Industrialism, technology, pollution and affluenza began a crisis amongst the over-privileged German-speaking of that period. The disenchanted began to arrive in Ascona by the hundreds.
The beautiful natural setting inspired urban people to sunbathe in the nude, sleep outdoors, hike, swim and fast. This village quickly developed a universal reputation as a health center.
Hermann Hesse was excited when he saw four longhaired men with sandals walk through his village on their way to Ascona. He followed them, settled in and then took a nature cure for his alcoholism. The year was 1907.
Born July 2, 1877, at the northern edge of the Black Forest in Calw, Germany, Hermann Hesse knew at age 13 that he wanted to be a poet or nothing. Beginning in the 1950’s with the Beat generation, his novels became immensely popular in the English-speaking world, where their criticism of bourgeois values and interest in Eastern spirituality and Jungian psychology echoed the emerging revolt against the unreflected life. In the 1960’s Hermann became the novelist of the decade, with Siddhartha (1922) and Steppenwolf (1927) selling in the millions, and capturing and shaping an American Audience. Legitimate history will always recount Hesse as the most important link between the European counter-culture of his youth and their latter-day descendants in America. (Photo from 1908.)
On August 20, 1903, an anarchist newspaper in San Francisco, California published a large article about Ascona, describing the people and their philosophies. This was certainly one of the first times that detailed news of the European counter-culture had reached the California coast.
Nudists worshipping the Sun, 1926
Eugene Diedrichs Publishing was the highly respected voice of Neo-Paganism and the religious-not the political-arm of the great Volkische movement. Diedrichs envisioned an organic peoples state (organischer Volksstaat) and like Carl Jung preferred a return to the nature religion of the ancient Teutons.
Satana by Fidus, 1896
As the 20th century dawned many Germans began to feel the weight of oppressive political forces, powers that would later lead their nation into 2 world wars and change the course of European history.
Between 1895 and 1914, tens of thousands of Germans left their homes and families and immigrated to America. After all America was the country of the future, and they saw themselves as pioneers helping to lead a new society by transplanting and nurturing the most valuable ideas from their homeland into their new dreams for the United States.
There were several key individuals who made a substantial contribution, but probably none more than Dr. Benedict Lust.
Born in Michelbach near Baden Germany February 3, 1872 Lust first came to America in 1892, became ill with tuberculosis, then returned to Germany and took a nature cure treatment from the famed Father Sebastian Kneipp. He regained his health and found his true purpose in life, then returned to America in 1896 to become a Kneipp representative in America.
Rightfully called The Father Of Naturopathy in America, Lust introduced all of the great naturist movements that were in vogue in Europe; hydrotherapy, herbal remedies, air and light baths, various plant-based diets and he also translated and distributed the German classic health works of Father Kneipp, Louis Kuhne, Adolf Just, Arnold Ehret and August Englehardt.
Near the turn of the century in New York City he founded a school of massage and the Naturopathic Society, then in 1918 he published Universal Naturopathic Encyclopedia for drugless therapy. Nature’s Path Magazine and a radio show devoted to natural healing were also some of his notable achievements.
Dr. Benedict Lust enjoys a sun-bath at Sonnenbichel sun and air park in Kneipp-Bad Worishofen, Bavaria, Germany on a return to the Fatherland in the summer of 1926. The Father of Naturopathy in America, no single individual contributed more to natural healing and lifestyle in the world than Dr. Lust did through his many schools and publications. Everything from massage, herbology, raw foods, anti-vivisection and hydro-therapy to Eastern influences like Ayurveda and Yoga found their way to an American audience through Lust. Though he was repeatedly harassed by Medical authorities and Federal agents, his devotion to promoting Nature’s methods of healing finaly gained wide acceptance. Like so many others from his generation, he was a tough man. (Photo from Naturopath, February, 1927)
eden ahbez, 1948. Part-time yogi and full-time mystic, this 1940s hippie always spelled his name with small letters because he believed that only God and Infinity should be capitalized. (Photo courtesy of Gypsy Boots)
Dr. Lust’s school of Naturopathy was the starting point for hundreds of America’s natural health practitioners, while his magazines introduced the West not only to German Nature Cure, but also ancient East Indian concepts like Ayurveda and Yoga. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of several Indians who wrote articles for Nature’s Path magazine in the 1920’s gaining wide exposure to a large American audience.
Dr. Lust was busted repeatedly by American authorities and medical associations, for promoting natural methods of healing, massage and nude sun bathing at his Jungborn sanitarium. He was arrested 16 times by New York authorities and 3 times by Feds. One news headline read simply They Have Lust Again.
As many as 30-40% of the graduates of Dr. Lusts school of Naturopathy were women, and his magazines were full of enthusiastic letters and praise from practicing Naturopaths in India, Jamaica and all over Latin America. No one was more devoted to introducing nature cure to the Spanish-speaking world than Dr. Lust.
Another influential Nature Doctor, Dr. Carl Schultz, arrived in Los Angeles California in 1885 and became the Benedict Lust of the west. In 1905 he created the Naturopathic Institute and Sanitarium and also opened the Naturopathic College on Hope Street. Most of the practicing nature doctors in the west were graduates of this college.
Bill Pester at this palm log cabin in Palm Canyon, California, 1917. With his lebensreform philosophy, nudism and raw foods diet, he was one of the many German immigrants, who invented the hippie lifestyle more than half a century before the 1960s. He left Germany to avoid military service in 1906 at age 19, for a new life in America. (Photo Courtesy of Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, California)
In 1906 Bill Pester first set foot on American soil having left Saxony, Germany that same year at age 19 to avoid military service. With his long hair, beard and lebensreform background he wasted no time in heading to California to begin his new life.
He settled in majestic Palm Canyon in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs California and built himself a palm hut by the flowing stream and palm grove.
Bill spent his time exploring the desert canyons, caves and waterfalls, but was also an avid reader and writer. He earned some of his living making walking sticks from palm blossom stalks, selling postcards with lebensreform health tips, and charging people 10 cents to look through his telescope while he gave lectures on astronomy.
He made his own sandals, had a wonderful collection of Indian pottery and artifacts, played slide guitar, lived on raw fruits and vegetables and managed to spend most of his time naked under the California sunshine.
During the time when Bill lived near Palm Springs he was on Cahuilla Indian land, with permission from the local tribe who had great admiration for him. His name even appeared on the 1920 census with the Indians, and in 1995 An American Indian woman Millie Fischer published a small booklet about Palm Canyon that included a chapter on Pester.
The many photos of Pester clearly reveal the strong link between the 19th century German reformers and the flower children of the 1960’s…long hair and beards, bare feet or sandals, guitars, love of nature, draft dodger, living simple and an aversion to rigid political structure. Undoubtedly Bill Pester introduced a new human type to California and was a mentor for many of the American Nature Boys.
Professor Arnold Ehret, taken shortly after his 49 day fast in Cologne, Germany, circa 1905. Ehret later migrated to southern California and helped to spawn a new sub-culture in America, based upon his natural philosophy and lifestyle. His books have never been out of print in over 70 years. (Photo courtesy of Fred Hirsch)
In 1914 another German immigrant, Professor Arnold Ehret arrived in California. The philosophy he preached had a powerful influence on various aspects of American culture. Ehret advocated fasting, raw foods, nude sun bathing and letting your hair and beard grow un-trimmed. His Rational Fasting (1914) and Mucus-less Diet(1922) were literary standbys within hippie circles in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1960’s.
The husband and wife team of John and Vera Richter first opened their Raw-Foods cafeteria the Eutropheon in 1917, and during it’s lifetime it hosted thousands of customers and taught many people how to prepare such raw treats as sun-dried bread, salads, dressings, soups, beverages and many other healthy alternatives to the typical Los Angeles cuisine of the 1920’s-1940’s.
John’s powerful lectures were attended by many young health enthusiasts, who later went on to become well known health teachers and authors, and Vera’s recipe book was the precursor to many of the modern Live-Food recipe books.
Some of the young employees of the Eutropheon were Americans who had adopted the German Naturmensch and Lebensreform image and philosophy, wearing their hair and beards long and feeding exclusively on raw fruits and vegetables. The Nature Boys came from all over America but usually ended up in southern California. Some of the familiar ones were Gypsy Jean, eden ahbez, Maximilian Sikinger, Bob Wallace, Emile Zimmerman, Gypsy Boots, Buddy Rose, Fred Bushnoff and Conrad. This was decades before the Beats or Hippies and their influence was very substantial. In On The Road Kerouac noted that while passing through Los Angeles in the summer of 1947 he saw an occasional Nature Boy saint in beard and sandals.
Seven of California’s Nature Boys in Topanga Canyon, August 1948. They were the first generation of americans to adopt the naturmensch philosophy and image, living in the mountains and sleeping in caves and trees, sometimes as many as 15 of them at a time. All had visited and some were employed at The Eutropheon where John Richter gave his inspiring lectures about raw foods and natural living. The boys would sometimes travel up the California coast some 500 miles just to pick and eat some fresh figs. (Back row: Gypsy Boots, Bob Wallace, Emile Zimmerman. Front row: Fred Bushnoff, eden ahbez, Buddy Rose, ?) – (Photo courtesy of Gypsy Boots.)
Cover of Nature Boy songbook, eden ahbez, 1948. Born into a poor Jewish family with 13 hungry children, the orphan from Brooklyn never had to worry about where the money would come from after the success of his #1 hit tune, made famous by Nat King Cole.
But in the spring of 1948 eden ahbez became an internationally recognized personality when his song Nature Boy was recorded by Nat King Cole. Photos and story of eden and his wife Anna appeared in Life, Time and Newsweek magazines that year.
Born in Brooklyn New York, April 15, 1908 ahbez had walked across America 4 times, hopped freight trains and lived in a cave in Tahquitz Canyon before he penned his #1 hit tune, which was on the hit parade for 15 weeks.
The song itself was part autobiographical but was also a nod to his German mentor Bill Pester who was 23 years his senior and had been a Nature Boy for decades when eden encountered him in the Coachella Valley of southern California.
Another one of the Nature Boys, Maximillian Sikinger was born in Augsberg Germany in 1913 and spent most of his childhood and youth living wild in the environs of various European cities. Through his wanderings, personal contacts and outdoor living he developed a keen interest in various aspects of natural healing; nutrition, water cure, fasting, sitz baths, deep breathing and sunshine.
Nature Boy, Maximillian Sikinger, at home in the Santa Monica Mountains, 1946. Max left Germany in 1935 then made his way to Southern California where he inspired many American kids to become Nature Boys. By the 1960s, he was a regular fixture at pop festivals and concerts and was considered a guru to many Topanga hippies.
Max left Europe in 1935 at age 22, arrived in America then eventually made his way west to California where he traveled with the Nature Boys who valued his introspective and philosophical ideas very highly. Maximillian’s world travels and rugged background had given him deep insight into many of life’s puzzles.
But the one Nature Boy to pass the torch from the old era (circa 1930’s-40’s)…into the 1960’s hippie generation was Gypsy Boots.
Born in San Francisco in 1916 to Russian Jewish parents Boots grew up in the San Francisco area where he quit school at an early age to travel and live a life close to nature. He met Maximillian on the beach at Kelley’s Cove in 1935 and it was then that his life began to change. Boots noted in his autobiography: It was with Max that I first experimented with fasting and special diets, and also learned much about yoga.
In the 1940’s Boots lived wild in Tahquitz Canyon with all of the Nature Boys, bathing in the cool mountain water, eating fruits and vegetables, sleeping on rocks or in caves, hiking and selling produce in Palm Springs.
In 1953 he married Lois Bloemker, settled near Griffith Park in Los Angeles and had 3 sons. In 1958 he opened his Health Hut in Hollywood, which was a big hit, and shortly thereafter began his career as a serious health teacher and example of optimum living.
In the early 1960’s he appeared on the Steve Allen show over 25 times to an audience of some 25 million households. Steve Allen had originally started the Tonight show, then began his own show featuring guests like Elvis Presley, Jack Kerouac, Frank Zappa and the psychedelic band Blue Cheer.
When the Beatles and Rolling Stones arrived in Los Angeles in the mid 1960’s their pudding basin hairstyles seemed tame when compared to a local rock band The Seeds who wore shoulder length hair, thanks to the influence of Gypsy Boots and his ilk. Seeds singer Sky Saxon, a vegetarian, had invented a new type of music….Flower Punk. Even Jimi Hendrix had a front row seat to a Seeds concert, and the Doors played second bill on a Seeds tour.
When the Love-In’s began in Griffith Park in 1966 some of the Flower Children who were stoned on Owsley acid looked up in the big trees to see Gypsy Boots swinging and climbing from branch to limb, then exclaiming what’s that guy on…. I’d sure like to have a hit of that! But Boots high was always induced from his sun-charged foods like figs and grapes, as well as his fitness regime.
At the Monterey and Newport Pop festivals in 1967 and 1968 Boots was a paid performer along with acts like the Grateful Dead, Ravi Shankar, The Jefferson Airplane and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Two of Boots greatest admirers were Mama Cass Elliot of The Mamas And Papas and Carolyn (Mountain Girl) Garcia, Jerry Garcia’s wife.
German-issue of a rare Capitol 45 picture sleeve single from 1968, We’re Having A Lovin-In, recorded by California Nature Boy Gypsy Boots.
The surf scene foreshadowed the hippie period by at least a decade with many common features. This surf-sedan was painted psychedelic in 1962 on Oahu, Hawaii, a half-decade before the infamous Summer of Love in San Francisco.
Surf Bohemians with shaggy hair, goatees and vegetarian lifestyle, rode their redwood boards on un-crowded waves in the early 1950’s in the Malibu area. The surf scene of the late 1950’s in California and Hawaii was a precursor to the counter-culture that began in 1964, including components like long hair, natural foods, trips to Mexico, psychedelic music, living outdoors, unique vocabulary, anti-authoritarian posture and global travel destinations. A surf band called The Gamblers had a hit song titled Moon Dawg in 1960, and the B-side was the song LSD 25. Dick Dale, the undisputed King of the surf guitar had a hit with Let’s Go Trippin in 1961, which was later recorded by the Beach Boys (1964). Noted surf artist Rick Griffin later became a respected hippie artist as well.
On the east coast of America professors Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and Ralph Metzner were busy in the early 1960’s with their psychedelic research, first at Harvard University then later at the Millbrook estate in New York. They were quick to recognize the strong correlation between L.S.D. induced archetypes and their many Germanic antecedents available from 20th century scientists, artists and writers.
L.S.D. was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hoffmann in Switzerland. In the fall of 1963 Dr. Leary and his colleague German born Dr. Metzner, published an article in their quarterly magazine The Psychedelic Review titled: Hermann Hesse: Poet of the Interior Journey. Although Hesse’s novels Siddhartha(1922) and Steppenwolf(1927) were published in Germany many decades before the 1960’s, they considered them the most important psychedelic literature available. Partly through the influence of this article these two novels sold millions in the 60’s and rode in the backpacks of a whole generation. Nearly all hippies read Hesse!
In 1964 Leary, Alpert and Metzner published their landmark book The Psychedelic Experience which was quickly labeled the bible of the hippie movement. In the introduction they included a tribute to Swiss psychologist Dr. Carl Jung who had committed himself to the inner vision of internal perception. Dr. Jung, a one time resident of the commune at Ascona (1900) had witnessed first hand many spiritual purifying rituals involving fasting, diet and excessive hiking, that could sometimes induce a psychedelic-type high.
Herbst (Autumn), mural sketch by Fidus, 1934
(Note peace symbol on top)
As the 1960’s flowered the peace symbol (used by Fidus as early as 1934) became a familiar icon in artwork and graffiti…while the Volkswagen bus became the most quintessential symbol for hippie transportation and even lifestyle. The bus was created and engineered in 1949 by technicians of the Wandervogel generation.
Nature Boy eden ahbez sat in on the Beach Boys Pet Sounds recordings in 1966. And while the Beatles popularity reached it’s absolute zenith by 1968….most of their fans never knew that the once scruffy bar band from Liverpool received their first big break playing in clubs in Hamburg Germany in 1960. The four English lads with greasy slicked-back 50’s style hair radically changed their image and hairstyles after meeting Klaus Voorman and several of the other German art students who wore shaggy long hair with bangs. George Harrison said that German photographer Astrid Kirchherr invented the Beatles with her camera giving them tips on dress and posing, and capturing their images in some priceless early photo shoots.
As a deep heartfelt thanks to their faithful German fans the Beatles later recorded Komm gib Mir Deine Hand (I Want To Hold Your Hand) and Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You) singing in German.
Klaus Voorman designed the cover and drew the artwork for the Beatles landmark Revolver (1966) album. The Beatles German period can be viewed in the video Backbeat (1994). Psychedelic music exploded from a ferocious British band called The Yardbirds (1963-1968) whose lead guitarists included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Virtually every heavy band from Jimi Hendrix and Cream to Black Sabbath and Van Halen used the formula invented by The Yardbirds.
Nature Boy Gypsy Boots getting ready for the Newport Pop Festival in August 1968. Born in San Francisco in 1916 he was the most important living link between the old Naturmensch and the Flower Children of the 1960s. He was a paid performer at many concerts along with acts like the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, but he had been living the hippie lifestyle wild in Nature since the 1930s. (Photo courtesy of Gypsy Boots)
This California surfer and his girlfriend were some of the young folks who went to live wild in nature during the late 1960s and early ’70s, mostly in California, Hawaii and parts of Europe. This most radical form of communalism was a replay of the Wandervogel and Naturmensch period some 60 years before in Germany and Switzerland (Taylor Park, Kauai, Hawaii, 1971)
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970, later, July of 1972 saw the first Rainbow Gathering near Granby Lake in Colorado. It began as a healing gathering with spiritual nature-loving participants, and according to long time Rainbow focalizer Michael John: Our roots are in the Pagan festivals of the Middle Ages, and the time after Christ when the way we celebrate the summer and our union was here, something has called us to that memory, to give us the chance to re-experience that. I think that the Rainbow Gathering is just the resurfacing of the ancient Festivals. (From: People Of The Rainbow Michael Niman-1997)
Also in the early 1970’s many hippies in California and Hawaii embraced the most radical form of earth habitation…living in caves (and sometimes tree-houses) in the wilderness, native style. Most of the larger watercourses in southern California like Tahquitz, Deep Creek, Sespe and The Big Sur River had young cave dwellers in their canyons.
This was an echo of the Naturmensch and Wandervogel with their wild seasonal forays in the Alps and farther south into Italy, some 50 years before…and of Bill Pester who came to California in 1906 to live in Nature.
The Ferals of eastern Australia are yet another present day link in the chain of youths who have abandoned urbanism and returned into forested areas where they live mostly in nomadic tipis in the Nimbin/Byron region of New South Wales, sometimes numbering as many as 10,000.
By the mid 1990’s there were as many as 10,000 Ferals living in the forests of eastern Australia, many of them in the region surrounding Nimbin and Byron Bay in New South Wales. Small nomadic tipis are the preferred habitation and nearly all of these Gen-X kids come from the big cities like Sydney and Melbourne, and are a modern-day echo of the German Naturmensch and the American youth movements in the 1960s.
Fred Hirsch, the man who published Professor Arnold Ehret’s books for over 50 years in his office in Beaumont California was host to many acid heads who had shifted to sun-foods during the 1970’s to maintain their high as well as a strong connection with the plant kingdom.
The Green political Party began in Germany in the late 1970’s as an outgrowth of the 1950’s anti-nuclear movements in Europe, later spread to other parts of the world including America.
Fruhlingsodem by Fidus, 1893
That’s why hippies will never go away…because they’ve always been here anyway.
Gordon Kennedy is the author of Children of the Sun, a book about the origins of the Hippie Movement in Germany and the ideas they introduced to the US in the early 1900s.
Copyright 2003-Kennedy/Ryan Nivaria Press; All rights reserved including the right of reproduction of text or images.[Excerpts taken from “Children of the Sun; A Pictorial Anthology From Germany To California, 1883-1949”-By Gordon Kennedy 1998 ISBN 0-9668898-0-0]
Posted by: Skip
This article speaks for itself. UCSD was the first university allowed to study pot now that the US government has sanctioned studies on marijuana for the first time in decades!
(Please note: this article can no longer be found on Reuter’s website, so we are publishing it here in the public interest)
Study: Pot Doesn’t Cause Permanent Brain Damage
Fri Jun 27,12:19 AM ET
By Deena Beasley
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Smoking marijuana will certainly affect perception, but it does not cause permanent brain damage, researchers from the University of California at San Diego said on Friday in a study.
The findings were kind of a surprise. One might have expected to see more impairment of higher mental function, said Dr. Igor Grant, a UCSD professor of psychiatry and the study’s lead author. Other illegal drugs, or even alcohol, can cause brain damage.
His team analyzed data from 15 previously published, controlled studies into the impact of long-term, recreational cannabis use on the neurocognitive ability of adults.
The studies tested the mental functions of routine pot smokers, but not while they were actually high, Grant said.
The results, published in the July issue of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, show that marijuana has only a marginally harmful long-term effect on learning and memory.
No effect at all was seen on other functions, including reaction time, attention, language, reasoning ability, and perceptual and motor skills.
Grant said the findings are particularly significant amid questions about marijuana’s long-term toxicity now that several states are considering whether to make it available as a medicinal drug.
In California, growing marijuana for medical purposes is legal under a voter-approved law.
The UCSD analysis of studies involving 704 long-term cannabis users and 484 nonusers was sponsored by a state-supported program that oversees research into the use of cannabis to treat certain diseases.
Anecdotal evidence has shown that marijuana can help ease pain in patients with diseases like multiple sclerosis or prevent severe nausea in cancer patients, but the effects have yet to be proven in controlled studies, Grant said.
The UCSD research team said the problems observed in learning and forgetting suggest that long-term marijuana use results in selective memory defects, but said the impact was of a very small magnitude.
If we barely find this tiny effect in long-term heavy users of cannabis, then we are unlikely to see deleterious side effects in individuals who receive cannabis for a short time in a medical setting, Grant said.
In addition, he noted that heavy marijuana users often abuse other drugs, such as alcohol and amphetamines, which also might have long-term neurological effects.
Some of the research studies used in the analysis were limited by the numbers of subjects or insufficient information about factors like exposure to other drugs or whether participants suffered from conditions like depression or personality disorders.
If it turned out that new studies find that cannabis is helpful in treating some medical conditions, this enables us to see a marginal level of safety, Grant said.
Posted by: skip
I am a 25 year old woman, married, and very much in love with my husband of four years. Our only problem is our sex life. My husband smokes a lot of weed (several times a day) and we’re not making love because he is never really up to it. I think that the weed is the reason why he has little interest in sex, I seem to remember having read that marijuana can affect the libido, but I’m not sure. There is lots of loving, kisses and hugs in our marriage, so it’s not love that we’re lacking, just sex, but it really affects me and my selfconfidence.
I have no problems with weed, I smoke (but not as much as him, maybe once or twice a week) and I grew up in Denmark where marijuana isn’t looked upon as something bad, my father growes his own and has, ever since I was a kid, so it’s not that I’m condemning his use, just that I feel a little put aside… Could marijuana be the problem, and if so, how should I deal with it?
Marijuana is actually one of the most powerful and effective aphrodisiacs know to man. However, used in excess it can cause problems such as you describe. The reason is not so much the cannabis itself, but the sedentary lifestyle that excessive use engenders. By becoming a couch potato, not getting enough exercise, the body loses its health and stamina gradually. I say this can be an effect of excessive use, because a lack of motivation to get up and out and do things is typical when under the influence.
So all your husband needs to do is take a nice long break from smoking, get outdoors (summer’s almost here!), get exercise, and then he should be coming back to you again. He should not let his cannabis use overwhelm his zest for life and loving. Less is more. Less smoke = more enjoyment. Plus it keeps your tolerance down, you smoke less, save money, save your lungs, save your health, save your marriage!
Other things you can do: Break your routines, take trips to other places, make new friends, etc. Variety is the spice of life and makes people more excited about living. These are some of the things some people sacrifice when they abuse marijuana. And really it’s that fine line between use and abuse that causes problems. Or can be used to hide other problems.
Now if he does all this, and still isn’t romantically inclined, then he has another problem, unrelated to marijuana.
The Old Hippy
Posted by: skip
-All Praise the Old Hippy-
much respect for you, the shaman of the next generation. I have an EXTREME
fascination w/ psychedelics and have done acid and shrooms a good amount of
times. at first, when i was young, i had fun. now i always get caught in
that grey, quiet, depressive state where all feels absolutely HOPELESS. i
also have short bursts of this intense hopelessness feeling when sober
now (spilt-second flashback?). i smoke weed everyday and am caught up in the
should i be smokin’ everyday loop of depression. i guess my question is
this. I have a good amount of problems, is it realistic to try and deal w/
these problems w/ psychedelic use? or should i deal w/ the depression
through yoga and meditation? Should i quit weed while working on the self, or
at least cut down? Does marijuana perpetuate my depression? Will psychedelics
do more bad than good while you are depressed?
i am 20, and have probably
been depressed for about 5-6 years. i have social anxiety disorder and have
not responded to prozac, but haven’t been very proactive in dealing with my
problems. Any advice you can give me about depression that isn’t well known
would be very helpful. I’d also like to know if salvia is worth trying.
thank you very much.
Cannabis and psychedelic drugs are NOT anti-depressants, and should NOT be
used to solve emotional problems. And yes, they can make things worse. You
say you’ve been depressed for 5-6 years. Have you been smoking pot that
long? If so there might be a connection!
Everyday use of marijuana really gets you in a rut, and the more you use,
the deeper the rut. Get it? You can get so low you can’t even see above
the ditch you’ve dug. So why not stop? Any change of mind will probably be
a big improvement. Oh you might get a little more depressed for a couple of
days when you first stop, but then, THEN, you’ll start feeling more alive
than you have in a long time. This is the point at which you must be
careful. I’ve learned that when you start to feel good naturally, it’s
like getting high, but that often kicks in a I feel great, let’s get high
syndrome that starts you smoking again. That’s the hard one to get beyond.
But once you do, you may find yourself with more energy and more motivated
than usual. Then you must focus that energy on something fun and
productive. So plan out what you’re going to do when you get straight, and
psyche yourself to do it! Either go back to school, or get a new job, or
take that trip, whatever, just take advantage of your newfound zest. Then
you won’t need the crutch of drugs to define your daily life.
Yoga and meditation are excellent for improving your mental and physical
condition, which could be a large part of your depression.
If you can manage that, and learn how to keep yourself straight when you
need or want to be straight, then perhaps you can approach cannabis again as
a therapeutic or recreational drug, not as a dependency.
If you cannot manage the above prescription, then you really should seek
outside help (as you’ve just done by writing me!). Why be miserable, when
you should be enjoying life?
I highly recommend you DON’T use salvia until your depression is cleared up! It won’t help!
Wishing you Health & Happiness,
The Old Hippy
Posted by: skip
But I would not feel so all alone, everybody must get stoned.
Bob Dylan (Rainy Day Women nos. 12 & 35)
In the 1960s the hippies, en masse, undertook the largest uncontrolled experiment with drug use in the history of mankind. In those days it wasn’t unusual to be handed a pill, and swallow it with the only instruction You’ll dig it, it’s groovy. You trusted your fellow hippy and you wanted to get high and have a new experience. This was freedom. This was rebellion. This was cool. We discovered that Pandora’s stash box was full of drugs!
Purple Haze all in my brain, lately things don’t seem the same.
Actin’ funny but I don’t know why. ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky.
Jimi Hendrix (Purple Haze)
From laboratories in pharmaceutical companies, on college campus and
bathrooms around the country came a plethora of new drugs with names like
LSD 25, DMT, purple haze, MDMA, orange sunshine, synthetic mescaline, psilocybin,
STP and many more. The purity and action of these drugs got more dubious
as time went on, as unscrupulous dealers sought to capitalize on the drug
craze. Along with methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, even heroin, hippies
tried whatever they could get their hands on.
If you can remember the ’60s, then you weren’t there.
Why did hippies use drugs so extensively without concern? Let’s look
at the history of drug use leading up to this situation. After World War
II, the pharmaceutical industry exploded with research into new drugs.
They produced drugs to prevent disease, to cure disease, to alleviate pain,
to relieve upset stomachs, to keep you alert, to help you to sleep, to
lessen worry, to reduce hyperactivity in children, to remove the symptoms
of psychological disorders. Thanks to the industry’s aggressive campaigns
in the media and the doctor’s office, every medicine cabinet filled up
with drugs for every sort of ailment.
One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small.
And the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all.
Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall.
Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit)
I remember when I was a child of eight or so, having a headache or toothache,
and my mother giving me an aspirin saying it would make it feel better.
I like many of my generation was curious about drugs even at that age.
I asked my mom If it makes you feel better when you hurt, what does it
do when you feel fine? My thought was that it would make you feel really
good! Yes, I had what it takes to be a drugstore cowboy even then.
Better living through chemistry.
Dow Chemical advertisement
Drugs were portrayed as wonders of modern technology. We were led to
believe that soon all diseases would be conquered by taking some drug.
It was a time of unbridled optimism and the pharmaceutical propaganda worked
well on us young children. After all by the time I was eight, I’d downed
thousands of vitamins, hundreds of aspirins, had vaccines on sugar cubes
and in needles, drank colorful syrups for coughs, taken antibiotics to
kill bad bugs inside me. And I was a very healthy child!
Not feeling right? – Take a Pill!
Saturday Night Live
So in the early 60s, drugs were not seen as evil. Yes, heroin was that
bad drug that junkies were addicted to. But all the rest were good and
helped heal us, or at least made us feel better. It’s taken a prolonged,
decades long, anti-drug propaganda campaign to undo the pro-drug pharmaceutical
company brainwash. Now kids are more confused than ever. Many eagerly spout
the politically correct line drugs are bad, while they wash down their
Ritalin with caffeinated colas, then sneak a cigarette or a beer between
Reality is a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs.
In the 1950’s the Beats were fond of marijuana and wrote and sang about
it, often in veiled terms. Illegal since the 30s, it was underground and
occasionally someone famous would be busted with it. But the Beats were
far fonder of alcohol as were most people. Alcohol was and is the true
gateway drug, if any actually exists. We all have a drink before our first
date with Mary Jane.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed
by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at
dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient
heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the
machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high
sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
Allen Ginsberg (Howl)
The Beats were aware of the effects of marijuana: increased sensitivity
and creativity. Artists, poets, writers, musicians, all felt inspired under
its influence. It would usually surface at parties and along with alcohol
(usually wine), helped lower inhibitions and get the party moving. It was
in this group context where the uninitiated would usually encounter their
I get by with a little help from my friends,
get high with a little help from my friends.
The Beatles (With a Little Help From My Friends)
With the hippies, the group scene was just as important and influential.
When you saw your friends all participating in an illegal act without negative
consequence, and lots of positive ones, who could resist? Peer pressure
at its most effective. I smoked my first joint with my fellow cabin mates
at a summer camp where I worked when I was 16. A few months later, I was
at college smoking it every day, and had already taken my first LSD trip.
Feed your head!
Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit)
It’s interesting to speculate what might’ve been had LSD not become
available to us. How much was it responsible for? More powerful than either
mescaline or psilocybin, and far easier to mass produce, its impact cannot
be underestimated. Many of today’s technological wonders including the
personal computer and the Internet are due to the inspiration and enlightenment
of LSD (and marijuana). Carl Sagan has admitted (posthumously) his use
of marijuana to inspire his best-selling books Contact and Cosmos.
Avoid all needle drugs.
The only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.
Colorful fashions, several art movements and of course the incredible
outpouring of musical talent in the 1960s was directly due to the impact
of psychedelic drugs. Having such open minds, hippies were the ones who
experimented with and experienced the insights these drugs provide, thus
unleashing a barrage of new ideas upon society.
LSD melts in your mind, not in your hand.
What is it about LSD that makes it such an inspirational experience?
I’m having a hard time coming up with an analogy for those who haven’t had
the LSD experience. But I’ll try one. If using marijuana encourages thoughts
about God, and mescaline is like seeing or talking with God, then an LSD
trip is experiencing the world as God. That is its mind-blowing potential.
The hippies were blessed to have among them some individuals who can be
considered Psychedelic Shamans. These shamans led the way, first by experimenting
themselves, then by reporting the results and promoting their realizations
in various media. The following brief portraits are taken from Hippyland’s
Psychedelic Shamanism page. Please see the bibliography for recommended
reading by these authors, or visit our online bookstore at https://hipmarket.com/bookstore/bookstore.htm
psychedelics including mescaline and LSD. In fact as he lay dying, he asked
for and received his last dose of acid. His great works of fiction include
‘Brave New World’ about test-tube babies, consumerism and Soma, the drug
of choice. I’m still longing to take a Soma Holiday. Huxley’s ‘Doors
of Perception of Heaven and Hell’ is a classic of psychedelic literature.
It’s based on his experiences with mescaline and how it opened the doors
of the mind. The Doors named their rock group after this book.
Timothy Leary – The high priest of LSD, Leary is clearly the
King of Shamans. His role as professor at Harvard University soon took
a back seat to his public persona once he discovered for himself the powerful
insights available through psychedelics. Unable to restrain Leary’s enthusiasm,
Harvard dismissed him, allowing Leary to experiment with psychedelics under
his own terms. Once freed from clinical restraints, Leary determined which
factors enhanced and promoted good trips. He was quick to realize that
the LSD trip was a religious experience that transformed the tripper for
life. He encouraged clergy, scientists, artists and many others to experiment
with LSD and recorded their experiences. His legendary sessions in Millbrook,
N.Y. yielded much data, but more importantly pioneered the personal and
interpersonal psychedelic experience as never before.
Leary became the focus of public debate about the use of drugs, leading
to the criminalization of LSD and other psychedelics. Leary himself became
the target of governmental repression, with Richard Nixon calling him the
most dangerous man in America. Imprisoned, escaped, on-the-lam, returned
from exile, Leary remained unfazed in his efforts to promote the psychedelic,
shamanic experience. His numerous books exhort the reader to discover for
himself the mind-expanding potential of psychedelics.
John Lennon – While John Lennon might have considered himself
foremost an artist and musician, he nevertheless met the criteria of a
shaman in today’s society. His great influence among young people was due
to his charisma and talent. Lennon’s experiences with psychedelics, particularly
LSD, changed his view of the world and the way he expressed himself through
his music. Not only did he become more experimental and inventive, but
his lyrics took on an otherworldly nature. His songs inspired countless
thousands to open their minds and experiment with psychedelics. Some of
his tunes were actually composed and recorded under the influence of LSD.
John was a tireless promoter of the hippy/shamanic message of peace, love
and understanding. His message reached the far corners of the planet.
Jim Morrison – Morrison, the songwriter and lead singer for the
Doors, was an iconoclast who used his fame to get his message across. A
poet and philosopher, Jim felt it necessary to push the envelope and society
as far as you could to find freedom. He knew that drugs were just Doors
to other worlds where few explorers ventured. His music, his lyrics and
his passion took us to some dark places in our personal and collective
psyches. Like any good shaman, Jim’s real talent was taking us along on
his journeys into these forbidden realms and opening our minds with his
Carlos Castaneda – Steeped in the shamanic tradition of the Nahuatl
Indians of Mexico, Castaneda weaves a tale of initiation, revelation, power
and transcendence in his series of books. The story of how Carlos meets
and accepts his apprenticeship under the tutelage of brujo Don Juan is
a masterpiece. The endless debate about whether it’s a work of fact or
fiction is notwithstanding. The teachings underlying the work have great
merit, as they give meaning to existence and provide a path, the warrior’s,
for those souls brave enough to confront their own weaknesses and transform
Terence McKenna – Terence McKenna is a man who, like Gordon Wasson,
lived with the natives and learned their shamanic ways. Along with his
brother, Dennis, they added much to our knowledge of ethnobotany, the native
uses of psychedelic plants. McKenna’s book, Food of the Gods, was a landmark
in this field. Terence is well known for his work with Ayuhuasca and DMT
as well as his lectures on these and other subjects.
Alexander & Ann Shulgin – This husband and wife biochemist
team have explored the whole range of psychedelic drugs including some
that few, if any, have tried. They are known as the parents of Ecstacy.
Their books Tihkal and Pihkal are filled with their psychedelic experiments
and experiences as well as how-to make your own.
Ken Kesey – In contrast to Timothy Leary’s experimental approach
to psychedelics, Kesey explored the experiential. Along with his Merry
Pranksters, Kesey felt that psychedelics were a new way to experience the
world. Inviting diverse friends from Allen Ginsberg to the Hell’s Angels
to his place in La Honda he was able to transform groups of people via
the communal trip. After turning on hundreds of mind travelers, he decided
to take his show on the road in a Day-Glo bus. Kesey and the Pranksters
went on a psychedelic cross-country trip that inspired many including
the Beatles (Magical Mystery Tour) to try to duplicate. The Pranksters’
famous Acid-Test parties where LSD laced Kool-Aid was dispensed accompanied
by music (by such notables as the Grateful Dead) and light shows were modern
day correlates to the shamanic rituals of old.
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach
is more so.
In my opinion, the real reason for the War on Drugs, and the particular
emphasis on marijuana is that it is a way to control freethinking individuals.
This works by either denying access to mind-liberating substances, or by
imprisoning those who use them. Just as the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover maintained
a list of subversive enemies of the state, today’s enemy list includes
anyone who uses (not necessarily abuses) drugs that are not beatified by
our medical/industrial/political machine.
If they can’t control our minds, they must control our bodies, thus
prisons multiply. They fear a loss of control over the workforce, the primary
consumers, the taxpayers, and their political constituents. For if we stop
obeying our masters, it’s tantamount to a slave rebellion. That is all
we are, slaves working for the next dollar. We are no longer individuals
with freedom to delve beyond the system’s programmed parameters.
This threat is real, since the system offers no alternatives. You’re
either on the bus or you’re one of them. If you happen to be one of the
700,000 American Citizens who get arrested for a marijuana offense each
year, you know which side you’re on. Likewise, if you’re one of the millions
who live in fear that one day your illegal toke will get you busted or
fired, paranoia is your constant companion.
This is an issue that no hippy or freedom loving American can ignore.
It’s symptomatic of a disease that has been growing within our system of
government since Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey took LSD out of the lab and
put it into the hands of the people. LSD would’ve been a great counter-espionage
tool if the CIA could have controlled it. But it’s precisely this lack
of control, over the thoughts in peoples’ minds that the established order
This is one issue hippies can unite on. Our brothers and sisters rot
in jail while we debate whether we should legalize industrial hemp. AIDS
and cancer patients live their last days in pain and nausea, some also
in jail, while we hide our past and/or present illicit activities from
families, friends and co-workers. Did your conscience and reason leave
you somewhere back in the ’70s? Does the word hypocrite ring any
We must act on this issue, now! We must get beyond politically correct
attitudes and realize our government has declared war on freethinking,
freedom loving Americans. Only a sustained, well financed, organized, united
effort can possibly change peoples’ thinking about marijuana. Marijuana
must be recognized for what it is: a medicinal herb, an effective pain
reliever and anti-nausea agent for critically ill patients, a plant with
1001 industrial uses, a sacred sacrament for many religions, and a safe,
alternative soft drug that can replace alcohol as a relaxing, non-aggressive
recreational activity for millions of people.
In addition our government should finance research into the medical
and cultural uses of other psychedelic chemicals. The shamanic and
ritual use of plants for personal exploration has been an accepted part
of society for thousands of years. To repress this use not only ignores
an important element of human culture, but the lack of knowledge about
these substances endangers the well being of those who seek self-discovery.
Posted by: skip
Dear old Hippy,
I feel Marijuana is my spiritual food. I discovered Marijuana’s spiritual benefits in 1994 at age 22. It opened my mind up to deep ideas about the world, God, and love of the earth and humankind. All these ideas flowed with euphoria, as I grooved to great music, which MJ enhanced much greater! A couple of years ago I began to study books on different kind of drugs (their chemistry, effects, ect.). After studying PCP, I found that it can be laced into Marijuana, and this frightened me. Continuing to smoke MJ, I was able to control this fear thinking it was a one in a million chance it could happen to me (that my MJ would be laced with PCP).
About a year ago my fear worsened when my friend (who smokes quite often), told me he smoked a joint one night which dissociated him from his body and he saw angels, demons, and other terrifying things. even though he was told Be careful with this joint, when it was given to him, he smoked it with his friend anyway.
Lately, I have been afraid to try Marijuana thinking this may happen to me. Over the past few months I have tried meditation, and just positive thinking to try and stop this compulsive fear, yet it continues. I long to smoke again because I feel a strong spiritual need for it. If I did smoke a joint with a friend, and it was laced with PCP, after taking a hit or two (if it were laced) would I notice the difference, so I could stop smoking it right away? Would a few hits of a laced joint be enough to trigger a strong pcp trip where I would be dissociated, hallucinate, etc…? Is there a way I can continue to smoke grass (which is always black market obtained) and feel comfortable that I can detect PCP before I take to many hits.
Please help me
with any other advice you can give. This is a strong fear of mine. I have been using hypnosis to try and find the source of this deep fear, it compares to death were I am removed from my surroundings and my body (very scary). Yet, I can’t go on allowing this to rob me of something that I feel is part of my religion (Marijuana). This may seem like a stupid question and it’s embarrassing to me, nevertheless, I feel compelled (after about 1 year of worrying over this) to finally get some advice.
You do have a problem, Billy. Your paranoia probably stems from the deep lying
guilt you have at breaking the law. This paranoia is completely irrational.
I have heard many reports of PCP laced marijuana, but I doubt this is a frequent occurence.
I’ve never encountered any. Few people would bother to lace a joint with PCP.
PCP is usually snorted like cocaine. How many people put cocaine in a joint??? It’s a waste. The
only thing usually mixed in a joint is tobacco and that usually happens in
What I don’t understand is if you’re so concerned why don’t you just roll
your own joints! If someone gives you one and you’re suspicious, you can
just tear it open, look at it and roll it up in a new paper. Is that so
hard? If you don’t know what to look for, PCP is a white powder. It would
fall away from the cannabis. Of course really good cannabis does have white
resin on it, but careful examination would reveal that this is sticky stuff
PCP does take a little while to come on, so if you did smoke some you might
not know it before you finish the joint. PCP is a very potent drug. It has
been used as animal tranquilizer (like for horses and elephants – the big
ones). So very little can get you very high. I suppose that street dealers
might think about cutting some inferior grass with some PCP to make it do
something. I don’t recommend you buy any drugs from unknown street dealers.
That is a hard and fast rule we all learned back in the early 70s.
Another way for you to avoid this problem is smoke something that’s been
smoked before. What I mean is if a friend has some grass they’ve already
tried and it’s ok, what’s wrong with trying it yourself? In theory, nobody
would ever sell you something dangerous. In the case you mentioned the
person was warned. If someone warned me I’d want to know why. What is
different about this joint. If it’s just really strong stuff, I’d be real
happy to smoke it. If it’s been adulterated, I’d want to know with what,
and I’d probably avoid it.
This reminds me of the old Paraquat scare back in the 70’s. Rumors went
around that the marijuana coming from Mexico was sprayed with paraquat, a
defoliant made from dioxins which are linked to cancer. Everyone got so
paranoid about it, people actually stopped smoking. This coincided with the
health craze. Of course it was just the foes of decriminilization that
spread these rumors and then succeeded in getting marijuana laws tightened
again. If you just think about it, if the pot had been sprayed, it
certainly would have looked different, smelled different, and likely
wouldn’t have been harvested in the first place since it would have been
Another sure fire way to know what you’re smoking is to make friends with
someone who grows the stuff. Then you know what you’re getting. Many
people grow their own, too. Of course we don’t recommend you break the law
wherever you live. You really need to confront your fear as that is the
mind killer. If we live in fear we really aren’t living!
The Old Hippy
Posted by: skip
Dear old hippy,
I have smoked weed for about three years. At first it was great but for the past year or so it hasn’t been very pleasant. Everything gets distorted and I’m so nervous I can hardly talk and I get weird beats in my heart area that almost make me twitch. I would really appreciate your help on this. It got so bad I stopped smoking all together.
It’s not unusual for smoking to become unpleasant at times. It’s a burnout syndrome which occurs after prolonged use. You’ve done the right thing by stopping. I recommend you lay off for at least a month or more. Perhaps you’re under more pressure than you used to be. Job and other responsibilities can make getting high less enjoyable and smoking adds to your stress rather than relieving it (thanks to paranoia and guilt).
If stress is a major factor in you life then you need to deal with it, rather than try to mask it with mj or alcohol (I’m not saying you do it, just that it’s not a good thing). As far as your overall health goes, perhaps it’s time for a checkup. As we age we go through physical changes, and smoking certainly isn’t good for our health. Some people are more sensitive to smoke and you might be one.
In any case it’s always good to give ourselves a breather from smoke and let our body recuperate. It’s nice to get another view of life now and then (remember – that’s why we smoke in the first place!). Respect the herb, and respect yourself and everything will work out.
The Old Hippy.
Posted by: skip