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Old 08-04-2006, 10:55 AM   #1
ArtBefartnickle
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Melville NY
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Find the true meaning of Wel-Met, Growing in the woods

Here is an article that should make you better understand what Gene Combie was putting in your food and why the music from the 60-70's was so much better than what is produced today!

God Is In The Magic Mushrooms
This just in: Psychedelic drugs could be very good for your mind, heart,
soul. Can you believe?
- By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, August 4, 2006


Hide the children. Pour some absinthe, fluff the pillows, take off your
pants. It is time.


Because now we know: Getting nicely and wholly high on illegal but
completely natural hallucinogenic drugs might, just might open some sort of
profound psychological doorway or serve as some sort of giddy terrifying
rocket ride to higher state of consciousness, happiness, a sense of inner
peace and love and perspective and a big, fat lick from the divine.


It's true. There's even a swell new study from Johns Hopkins University
that officially suggests what shamans and gurus and botany Ph.D.s and
alt-spirituality types have known since the dawn of time and Jimi Hendrix's
consciousness: That psilocybin, the all-natural chemical found in certain
strains of wild mushrooms, induces a surprisingly large percentage of users
to experience a profound -- and in some cases, largely permanent --
revolution in their spiritual attitudes and perspectives.


Not only that, but the stuff reportedly made a majority of testers feel so
much more compassionate, open-hearted, connected to and awestruck by the
world and the universe and God that it ranks right up there with the most
profound and unfathomable experiences of their lives. I know. Stop the
presses.


But let us sidestep the face-slapping obviousness. Let us look past the
fact that you are meant to react to this study's findings like it's some
sort of revelation, like it doesn't merely reinforce roughly 10 thousand
years of evidence and modern research and opinioneering and responsible
advocacy by everyone from Timothy Leary to Terence McKenna to Huston Smith
to the Tibetan Book of the Dead with yet another study to add to the pile
in the Science of the No Duh.


You know the type -- studies that merely reinforce ageless common sense,
that simply reiterate something that's been said and understood for eons.
There have been, for example, recent studies that prove that meditation
actually reduces blood pressure (no!) and that MDMA (Ecstasy) is amazing at
releasing inhibition and tapping the deeper psyche (shocking!) and that
marijuana is roughly a thousand times less harmful than Marlboros and nine
vodka tonics and smacking your family around in an alcoholic rage. You
know, duh.


Because one thing painfully redundant studies like this do provide is a
nicely clinical framework, a structured context from which to view a
long-standing phenomenon. But here's the fascinating part: In the case of
something like psilocybin, it's not so much the astounding findings that
can make you swoon, it's also, well, the illuminating shortcomings of
science itself.


Put another way, they are trying, once again, to measure enlightenment.
They are attempting to put a frame around consciousness, cosmic awe, God.
And of course, they cannot do it. Or rather, they can only go so far before
they hit that point where the sidewalk ends and the world spins off its
logical axis and the study's participants cannot help but deliver the death
blow every scientist dreads to hear: "You cannot possibly understand."


Witness, won't you, these revelations:


The psilocybin joyriders claimed the experience included such feelings as
"a sense of pure awareness and a merging with ultimate reality, a
transcendence of time and space, a feeling of sacredness or awe, and deeply
felt positive mood like joy, peace and love." What's more, for a majority
of users, the experience was "impossible to put into words."


It doesn't stop there. Two months later, 24 of the participants (out of a
total of 36) filled out a questionnaire. Two-thirds called their reaction
to psilocybin "one of the five top most meaningful experiences of their
lives. On another measure, one-third called it the most spiritually
significant experience of their lives, with another 40 percent ranking it
in the top five. About 80 percent said that because of the psilocybin
experience, they still had a sense of well-being or life satisfaction that
was raised either 'moderately' or 'very much.'"


You gotta read that again. And then again. Because those statements are
just a little astonishing, unlike anything you will read in some FDA report
on Prozac from Eli Lily. The most profound experience of their lives? One
of the most spiritually significant? Can we get some of this stuff into
Dick Cheney's blood pudding? Into the Kool-Aid at the American Family
Association? Into Israel and Lebanon?


But this is the amazing thing: Here, again, is hard science running smack
into the hot cosmic goo of the mystical. Here, again, is science peering
over the edge of understanding and jumping back and saying, "Holy crap." It
is yet another reminder that our beautiful sciences have almost zero tools
with which to quantify something like "transcendence of time and space" or
"a feeling of sacredness and awe." And watching them try is either
tremendously enjoyable or just depressing as hell. Or a little of both. It
all depends, of course, on how you see it.


Here then, are your choices. Here are the three ways to look at the effects
of magic mushrooms on the consciousness of humankind. Which angle you
choose depends a great deal on how nimble you allow your mind, your heart,
your spirit to be. Or maybe it's just how much wine you've had.


The first way is to simply presume that the lives of the study's
participants had obviously been, up to their psilocybin joys, tremendously
mediocre. So bland and so limp that something like hallucinogenic mushrooms
could not help but be, in contrast, as profound as being licked by angels.


This is a clinical interpretation. The gorgeous experience itself means
nothing except to say that normal life is terribly drab and crazy drugs
temporarily scramble your brain in occasionally positive and interesting
ways, but never the twain shall meet, so oh well let's go back to work.


But you can also take it one step further. You may conclude that the study
underscores the harsh fact that we as a species are so divorced from deeper
meaning, so detached from the mystical and the divine and the universal in
our everyday instant-gratification lives, that it takes something like a
powerful hallucinogen to show us just how meek and limited and far from
merging with God we still very much are. This is the pessimistic view. And
it is, by every estimate, a very primitive and sour place to be.


Ah, but then there's the third way. This is to suggest that it's exactly
the other way around, that perhaps at least some of us are, as Leary and
his cosmic cohorts have suggested for decades, just inches from the
celestial doorway, already on the precipice of realizing that we are, in
fact, the divine we so desperately seek. Problem is, we can't see the edge
through the tremendous fog of consumerism and conservatism and
quasi-religious muck.


But even so, every now and then we manage to take a tiny, unconscious,
clumsy step ever closer to the edge, stumbling toward ecstasy without
really knowing or understanding that we're doing so. And ultimately, sly
entheogens like psilocybin are merely nature's way of clearing the fog for
a moment, of letting us know just how close we are by smacking us upside
the scientific head and tying our cosmic shoelaces together. And doesn't
that sound like a fascinating way to spend the weekend?
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:12 PM   #2
Steve Alter
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Art, now you sound like a true Wel-Metter
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:46 AM   #3
roz
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Who are you really?
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:30 PM   #4
ArtBefartnickle
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Location: Melville NY
Posts: 69
He is Steve Alter and I am Art Befartnickle. In 1972, I slept on the floor of your room (the back of the Unit 1 unit office) while visiting camp and my good friends, In 73 I was in your unit and was friends with your roommate, Gail Brady.

I have just about total recall. During the summer of 73 met some wonderful people in Unit 1, I will always have a special place in my heart for some of the folks there, Jane F. and Mitch Dicker, Rapp and Steve and Irwin and others. That was an interesting summer, but nothing ever compares to 71.

A friend of mine opened for Mountain and Leon Russell last weekend in Mass. He sent me a picture of himself with Corky Lang. Can you imagine being 20 and playing at Woodstock? Everything else must pale in comparison after that. Sometimes I feel the same about Wel-met. I think maybe because you are young and everything is so new. Life now is like the cooling embers of our fires in the woods at dawn, just enough to pop a daddy long legs but not enough to keep you warm.

I remember lying in my sleeping bag in the Narrowsburg woods looking up through the tree branches and, if you watched long enough, you could watch the stars twist in its galactic circle around Polaris. What in life can compare to that?

I see your still in Ithaca. I would of cut off my right arm I(I'm a lefty) to have stayed in my mid hudson college town but love got in the way so, here I am on this slip of sand, waiting for the tide to turn. Maybe you remember me from the staff play of 71, One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest, I was big chief Bromden and the Orderly ( played both parts!).

I will email you directly.
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Old 08-27-2006, 01:58 PM   #5
roz
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I am looking forward to your email and finding out the name we would have known you to go by in Wel-Met.
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