The Hippie Problem
For the purposes of this article, the general principals found in “Science and Sanity” and in Oliver Reiser’s “Cosmic Humanism” are assumed. The fact that there is a problem, either a problem or the word “problem” (which is not the thing) indicates in some way a departure from a norm, or the norm, from an assumed status or a real status.
During the rise of Hitler a local Rabbi used to give sermons on “The Dislike of the Unlike.” This was fine so long as his own people were involved. When others were involved one heard no more about “The Dislike of the Unlike.” And who were disliked? And who did the unliking?
The new generation automatically distinguishes between words and things. The word “Nature” used by prominent philosophers and dialecticians has no particular relation to Nature at all and if we study Nature and apply some of the principles used by philosophers, psychologists and in general by Lord Snow’s “other culture” and the infantiloids of Count Korzybski to this real Nature, we are going to have to choose between disking the unlike or becoming tolerant. The Hippies are calling for “global consciousness;” Reiser calls for “global consciousness” and the Geologists or Botanist who did not have global consciousness would not last long in his profession.
Look at the air: it is largely composed of eunuchoidal Nitrogen. Look at the earth: it is largely composed of eunuchoidal Silicon. And the next more prominent element is bi-sexual Aluminum. Now look at our own S.R.s. We may never have thought of that. Nature is not like the “Nature” of prominent philosophers and dialecticians at all.
Next comes the metal Iron. It might appear to be “normal.” But Iron-compounds often lean to the acid side. They have not always a presupposed pH that we might expect. Much worse, Iron is aberrational. We may not have thought of that. It has the high potency in what we call “ferro-magnetism.” It is unusual. In fact it is a “genius” of sorts. So it can’t be the usual; it is also an “unlike.” And if we consider the Silicon, the Aluminum, the Iron, already the “unlike” may be in the majority. Who is going to dislike them?
We go on further. Bismuth looks like a metal, behaves in certain respects like a metal, but starts to break “law-and-order” all around. It does not react chemically like a metal. It does not even follow the physical norms either for metal to element. Sometimes it expands when it should contract; sometimes it contracts when it should expand. It does not have expected affinities for electricity.
Then there is Phosphorus whose very name indicates something unusual, not to say abnormal. Or Selenium of which we avail ourselves in “Cat’s eyes.” What is normal? What is usual? Who decides that?
Then there was Mme. Curie. She had no respect for Dalton’s “Law and Order” at all. She did a lot of work in the field of radio-activity.
If you stray off into the so-called “psychic sciences” as they are called (and Father Reiser’s goblins will catch you if you don’t watch out), then only certain persons are investigated, certain abnormal individuals are made into supernormal. It is all by choice. Who votes in the Gallup polls?
But Mme. Curie examined all the elements. She had no dislike for any unlike at all. And she found, in a sense, there were certain “Buddhists” among an otherwise “Christian” world of elements with “immortal souls.” They delighted in non-being. This upset the apple-cart.
Of course nobody dared attack Mme. Curie, but the law-and-order people took it out on Frederick Soddy who was a pioneer in the transmutation of metals, and although not an alchemist, had to brunt the law-and-order people (as Darwin did before him) to die rejected and dejected.
Nature might indicate both a physical and psychic evolution in its organic structure. When we dispense with Gallup-polls and make universal, impersonal tests, we may be coming up with something remarkable in the Psychological world as us have in the physical world.
In the Psychedelic Conference held under the auspices of the Extension Division of the University of California a few years back, the reports of the Anthropologists were thrown out. Almost single-handedly Mr. Allen Ginsburg tried to present them, rather ineffectively so far as the panels and press were concerned. And this absence of fair play is a dominant factor in the argumentation of “aberrational” social behavior on the part of the young, known as “Hippies.”
It is unfortunate here, that despite Lord Snow, despite Count Korzybski’s strong stand against “infantile exhibitionists,” EDC seems to have supported the infantile exhibitionists, and not only the Anthropologists, but a large number of prominent scientists (the medical profession is not included) took an entirely different stand on psychedelics.
It is not only the whole world of psychedelics that has impressed and affected the young, it is the complete absence of any content to the words: honesty, justice, tolerance, compassion, etc. that has set a large portion of the young to protest against the intolerable “freedom” of societies.
There may be such qualities as honesty, sincerity, friendliness, hospitality, devotion, etc, but they do not seem to be involved at all. Standards are demanded and nobody knows exactly what a standard is. “Law-and-Order” is based on the suppositions that there is a dominant age or social or racial group which has established an unchanging norm.
Anthropologists, on the whole, seem to be operating under the same cosmic humanism as did Darwin and Mme. Curie and Einstein. (I mean here the Darwin, Curie and Einstein of one who has read and/or studied them, not the “Darwin,” “Curie,” “Einstein” from second or fiftieth hand sources.) Odd societies and odd “races” may add as much to universal knowledge as “odd” chemical elements.
Readers are urged to study or review “The psychological importance of the theory of aggregates and the theory of groups.” pp. 280 ff “Science and Sanity,” fourth edition. Few noticed that when a single individual (i.e. Hitler) attached a finite but unbounded “group” he was running contrary to sound canons. Many people, totally opposed to Hitler, themselves practiced and still practice the same form of psycho-logics. And so long as a “group” remains a subjective, dialectical concept, there will be intolerance and misunderstanding.
The discarding of the “rigorous thinking” of the late Cassius Keyser, friend and mentor of Alfred Korzybski, has left the door open to many devices, chief of which are the establishment of some form of “witch,” twentieth century style. Some person, some group is a priori guilty.
For example tobacco. If rigor would be practiced—and it is not—not only tobacco, but white bread, gravies, cola drinks, white sugar and many other questionable products would be investigated—they are not.
Witchcraft, not science, has found tobacco guilty, is finding marijuana guilty, is finding peyote guilty. Witchcraft, not science, found the “Jews” guilty and is applied to “the dislike of the unlike” even by some of the victims of former applications of witchcraft.
The Hippies, like the Jews, are finite but unbounded groups. Group-logic is not used. One is never sure whether long-haired males, partakers of psychedelics, run-away young people (not always children), protestors against power-establishment or who or what are involved.
If one were to write, “A Hippie President in the White House,” the S.R.’s. would be all over the place, especially from witch-crafters who believe they are fighting for some cause they call “science.” At least Thomas Jefferson did not wear his hair like Paul Harvey or Governor Reagan. And if one were to go into his actual biography and auto biography, there is no question that he was “guilty” of many things for which outcastes are accused today.
Prof. Reiser has posited a PSI-world. Why is it accepted by some devotees of G.S.? Why? Would the same be accepted from other sources? And if it be accepted, and one said, “A Hippie is a person sensitive to the realities of what Oliver Reiser calls the PSI-world,” why not object to Reiser; why accept Reiser and reject “Reiserians?”
This person was permitted to speak on “Joy Without Drugs” at the Psychedelic Conference. And it must be maintained that the Hippies do permit many points of view which the critics disdain, or more often a priori reject. And this involves immediately as to who and what is a problem.
General Semantics is supposed to accept as a fundamental that words are not things. We cannot have it both ways. Do words like “freedom,” “tolerance,” “humanity” have a connotation, or are they also gimmicks of a witchcraft culture? That is what the young are maintaining.
As life—not the “tolerant”—has given one the opportunity to demonstrate “Joy Without Drugs,” there has been a growing stream of young people, lacking “humanity” but curious to find out if it were so and many have found it so. Or say they have. And if names and case-histories are wanted, they can be supplied although it is not only this person but several others (alike rejected by the witchcraft “tolerant”) who are successfully moving in that direction.
The “Cosmic Humanism” of Oliver Reiser involves a psychic as well as biological evolution. Evidence may prove he is right. We cannot have it both ways. What is the “problem” and who made it one?