State of the Stone

Day Month 1995

Location, City, State


All right, well, it's nice to be back in San Francisco. I moved out of California about 8 months ago after 30 years and I still ahve ambivalent feelings about it when I see springtime coming on so very beatufiully. On the other hand there are a lot of squirrels in the woods and I am sort of preferring to pull back from all that and do home projects, workbench projects.

I sort of think of these get-togethers, they happen periodically, cyclically, but unscheduled as a state of the stone addresses or an opportunity for the community to come together and everybody see who's here once again, who has survived, who's gotten out, so forth and so on. I 'm very bullish about the situation. Fortunately I hold the theory that things have to get a lot worse before they can get better. So whenever I see things getting worse I assume that's the first step toward progress.

I think that in the time we've been getting together and talking about these things the general tone has changed dramatically. When I started talking about all of this, my audience was entirely my peers, old freaks. [audience laughter] And many of you were 10 years old. And now the message has been out there for about 12 years that psychedelics actually represent an opportunity for feeling, an opportunity to return to religion as it was practiced before the invention of the marketplace. And i'm very pleased as I go around meeting people and discussing this issue to see how much of the youth culture has become sensitive to the psychedelic issue. Because it really means that after 20, 30 years of unstinting distortion and misrepresentation by the media and some of the powers that be that nevertheless the curiosity is intact, the opportunity is available, and people have not been fooled by the effort to denigrate, dumb down, sideline, water down, sell out, white wash and screw over the idea that psychedelic plants are an excellent and necessary part of any program of spiritual self-exploration.

I'm not going to talk that much about this today because I think it would be preaching to the converted. I'm not even going to remind you that our evolutionary heritage lies in the use of psychedelics. That it was in all probability psychedelics that called forth our humanness. I've talked about this in numerous forms- it doesn't have to be particularly gone over today. Since this is a hometown crowd, since this is peer review, I would rather go to some of the stuff that plays more with the resistance in Des Moines and Cleveland and beta-test it here. [audience laughter] For there's still time to recant. San Francisco is an incredibly forgiving town. If you need to go somewhere and make a mistake this is probably the place. [audience laughter]

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