Body and Mind
I studied Ram Dass’s spiritual odyssey as if it were a map to some mysterious continent whose existence I’d only recently discovered. A year earlier, I’d taken LSD for the first time; I, too, had experienced a radical shift in consciousness as I’d glimpsed my true self, and tasted the glory at the heart of creation.
An Interview With Judith Herman
Once you’ve seen, up close, the evil human beings are capable of, you’re not going to see the world, other people, or even yourself the same way again. Those of us who’ve never had such an experience might imagine how brave or cowardly we would be in extreme situations, but people who’ve been exposed to those situations know what they did and didn’t do. And, almost inevitably, they failed to live up to some expectation they had of themselves.
The jail, the acid, being alone — it all starts to get to me. I feel ashamed, no good. I shit in the toilet; I fish out the turd; I take my spoon and eat a piece of the turd. I drink a spoonful of urine. I break the windowpanes with my elbows, cutting myself in the process. I try to cut off the fingers of my left hand, but succeed only in producing a deep gash across them. The blood floods out in big bright red drops. The air fills with the smell of my blood. I write my name on the wall with it. Thick gobs cling to my gray cell wall. I’m trying to think of a way to cut myself deeper when the guards come and haul me to the hospital.
An Interview With Dan Wakefield
The key is to clear yourself in order to become a conduit for creativity. In my book Expect a Miracle, Ann Nadel, a San Francisco painter and sculptor, said that when the work is really coming, there’s something flowing through you that’s not you. To me, that feeling is tangible proof of the existence of spirit: something we can tap into that’s beyond ourselves and our senses. The highest goal we can aspire to is to become transmitters of that.