One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.
Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you… It means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: “I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions – predigested books and ideas… Marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short… And this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be "different”… The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.
Sexist grammar burns into the brains of little girls and young women a message that the male is the norm, the standard, the central figure beside which we are all deviants, the marginal, the dependent variables. It lays the foundation for androcentric thinking, and leaves men safe in their solipsistic tunnel-vision.
The Fugs’ name comes from a euphemism in a Norman Mailer novel. Like the word’s source, much of the band’s music can’t be heard on the radio. It sang raunchy songs about sex and drugs. One Fugs tune that did get FM radio play, “Kill for Peace,” was about the war in Vietnam.
‘We were not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir,’ co-founder Sanders says of the group’s controversial lyrics. ‘We were not The Beach Boys. We were The Fugs. And we had our own pizazz and energy and elan, especially early on. Those old records just scream and steam with fun and joy and raising our fists to the sky to demand a new type of American reality.’”
Fuggin’ A! The estimable Jesse Jarnow has unearthed this incredible document of the Fugs in late ‘68, raising funds for freeform radio. Or as Ed Sanders puts it, “The Sound of Communist Ape Smut.” Beware – this is a dangerous 18 minutes of music, even almost 50 years later.
Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.
At its most basic, the spiritual is the experience of the connectedness that underlies reality. The depth of that experience depends on the capacity of the individual to set aside considerations of self, thereby gaining access to connection.
I’m for mystery, not interpretive answers. … The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer, but they think they have. So they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.
The goal cannot be anything apart from the Self, nor can it be something gained afresh. If that were so, such a goal cannot be abiding and permanent. What appears anew will also disappear. The goal must be eternal and within. Find it within yourself.