October 2005

Upon becoming a "paleohippie"

By Art Goodtimes

TURNING 60 … Now that’s seriously old for a hippie (actually, recognizing the shift that comes with being issued an AARP card, I’ve taken to calling myself a “paleohippie”) … Although, if you’d been to the Silvertree Hotel in Snowmass back in August for the ERIS Society’s 26th annual conference (www. erissociety. org), you’d’ve heard Dr. Aubrey de Grey, a biologist and computer scientist at the Department of Genetics at Cambridge, explaining just how close we are to extending the human lifetime – thanks to technological interventions to retard and reverse the aging process. All seven of the primary biological systems vulnerable to aging, according to Aubrey, have been identified in mice … As an aside, honestly, what labs do to living things in the interests of science disturbs me greatly -- as much as the wholesale slaughter of grizzlies and wolves turn of the century before this. Nope, I don’t exactly remember back that far. But I remember hearing folks talking about that far back — that time when they were youngsters … Reach 60 and it seems like you’re pushing the outer limits of a person’s useful spin on the planet, at least this incarnation, embodiment, enlightened state around … But imagine a world where, for a price, some could afford to live to 150? Such was the shiny apple de Grey tossed the Erisians last week … Eris, of course, being the Greek goddess of misfortune and discord, the one credited by Hesiod with starting the Trojan War (the same patriarchal bard who gave us Pandora opening her box of ills) … Also at the Silvertree’s plush cabaret room, Erisians watched Peyton Quinn’s self-defense training-camp videos and learned of “adrenal stress conditioning” – basically running simulations for prepped “victims” in that state of heightened fear and alertness when one faces an unprovoked surprise attack (the attackers are completely padded and will take blows, but are trained martial artists). Quinn wrote “A Bouncer’s Guide to Barroom Brawling” 15 years ago and runs workshops out of his Colorado Springs compound. A number of folks scribbled down his contacts after the talk. Including me … Does age make one more paranoid, or is it just a natural concurrence of the exploding future moment? … I was confounded and amused the other day, out by Borcherdt’s Auto in Norwood, to see a series of state highway signs lined up in a row. “Stop. Bump. Stop.” That’s it! I thought. The jerky personal routine we go through before the implied & unlimited go. That’s what it’s like to reach 60. Relax. Opposition. Relax. Lots of milestone peaks & bottomless pits amid the monotone vibratory plateaus of the same old same old. Or what Terence McKenna used to call, “Time Wave Zero” … Okay, I’m jumping around. But that’s it too. I’m all over the place. Coming to closure, even as I uncover new things … My youngest son Gorio’s birthday was yesterday, the 11th. A week before mine. He’s just turned seven. The fabled age of reason. A huge curiosity to understand how it all works … Seems like I’m still right there. Just beginning to understand. Sixty reaching back to seven.

COLOR HEALING … By the way, one of the best speakers at the Eris Society meet was the Santa Monicabased Swedish naturopath Dr. Michael Karnfeldt … I’ve experienced muscleresponse testing, and seen how the body musculature can lock and unlock information not available to the conscious mind. But I’d never seen someone use muscle-response testing on the soles of another’s feet to demonstrate a person’s sensitivity to colors … Dr. Karnfeldt did deep-tissue massage on the soles of two volunteers from the audience, until he found a sore spot. In one it was the liver spot, in another the stomach spot. Then he had the person put a swath of color fabric over that spot, while he massaged the tender spot again … Amazingly, on both folks, a color was found where no soreness was experienced, while most colors simply evoked an involuntary body spasm of pain at Karnfeldt’s rubbing the sore spot on the sole … Karnfeldt attributed various qualities to colors: Blue evoked decisiveness – a power color – while green slowed one down and gave one time to feel things … Google the good doc if you want to learn more.

WEEKLY QUOTA … “Being born in the elite in the U.S. gives you a constellation of privileges that very few people in the world have ever experienced. Being born poor in the U.S. gives you disadvantages unlike anything in Western Europe and Japan and Canada.” - David I. Levine, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley.

MYCELIUM RUNNING … Bioneer lecturer and legendary psychonaut,Paul Stamets was once again the Telluride Mushroom Festival’s star attraction back in August. His last talk on how mycoremediation has the potential to help us heal the planet drew a standing ovation from the crowd at the Galaxy. His latest book on mushrooms, a magnum opus, dazzles with explanations of how antiviral polypores can foil bioterrorist attacks, how non-chemical insecticides could end forest beetle infestations, and how Pleurotus ostreatus loves oil spills … Imagine for a moment the parallel universe of the fungal kindom (not “kingdom,” you royalist jerk) hiding right beneath our noses, and [what the bleep!] you realize quantum theory may not be all that radical, even if over half the country doesn’t believe in evolution (let alone Vernadsky’s noosphere) … Besides having his new book just now available in the bookstores, Stamets’ company Fungi Perfecti is hosting the International Medicinal Mushroom Conference in Port Townsend, Wash., Oct. 12-17 (www.fungi.com/immc) — the first conference of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms to be held in America … Paul will be speaking about “Medicinal Polypores Indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Old Growth Forests of North America: Screening for Novel Antiviral Activity,” and Telluride’s mushfest co-founder Gary Lincoff will give a talk on “How the Fly-Agaric, Amanita muscaria, Used by Siberian Shamans, Is an Effective Medicinal Mushroom.” Former mushfest speakers Sasha Shulgin and David Arora will also make presentations.

When it’s all over
And everyone goes home
It’s not over, it just begun —
I’m never less alone
Than when I’m by myself — Jack Mueller the Log Hill Buddada