Saturday, January 11, 2014

Your inside is out, and your outside is in...

Today would have been Albert Hofmann's 107th birthday, and that's not just a simple anniversary date, as he did actually make it to 102!
Aquí una caricatura del Dr. Albert Hofmann por el artista Rafa Gámez
In Gregorian Calendar terms it also measures 6 'years' since RAW left the planet, which means he would have reached 80.
Bob by Chapter37 at Deviant Art
Adam Gorightly also noted the day and linked to his eloquent memo, written at the time, RAW RIP RIFF

By coincidence [ahem] D.E. Harding (the writer of On Having No Head: a contribution to Zen in the West) died just a few hours before Bob, at the age of 97.  For more information on The Headless Way you can go to their website.  They run online groups and forums, and right now a Moodle class is starting to study The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth (Douglas' first book, and quite a heavy read) - all very reminiscent of us studying Illuminatus! with RAW for 12 weeks at the Maybe Logic Academy. 

Non-self portrait by Ernst Mach

The best day of my life—my rebirthday, so to speak—was when I found I had no head. This is not a literary gambit, a witticism designed to arouse interest at any cost. I mean it in all seriousness: I have no head.

What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: I stopped thinking. A peculiar quiet, an odd kind of alert limpness or numbness, came over me. Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. Past and future dropped away. I forgot who and what I was, my name, manhood, animalhood, all that could be called mine. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough.
It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been was no ordinary vacancy, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything—room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snowpeaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky.
I had lost a head and gained a world.     
- Douglas Harding

And, as Bob emphasised, you have to do the exercises, not just read the books!

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