Ginsberg on Blake continues – 66 (LSD)

Allen Ginsberg’s 1979 Naropa class (“Summer Discourse”) on William Blake continues from here

Student:   You know, most of these mystics seem to experience a tremendous heat and light and a kind of awe-experiencing love, they don’t experience any great big mind-blowing computer up there who’s …  I mean, that’s not the way I understand it..
AG:  Well, I mean why with a computer? I mean why not just the traditional …
Student:  Yeah.
AG:  … guy with the beard, judging..
Student:  But, I mean….
AG:  ..which Blake is denouncing all the time.

Student:  But I mean in your L.S.D. experiences, didn’t you say you experienced some terrifying? …
AG:  Yes.
Student:  … agonizing? …
AG:  Yes.
Student:  … (troubling) things
AG:  Actually I’ve written about it at great length.
Student:  Maybe you should make note of your L.S.D….
AG:  Oh, I have.
Student:  … experiences.

AG:  Well, now, actually, the way I got out of it (was) I went to see this guy Dudjom Rinpoche in ’62 in India, a Nyingma teacher,  and he said, “If you see anything horrible, don’t cling to it, and if you see anything beautiful, don’t cling to it”.  Cut through both ways.

And then, I did..  (in) about 1967, I took some acid and did, just some sitting, paying attention to breath, so any time there was a solidification of a central intelligence agency, it simply dissolved on the breath.  In other words, anytime there was any conceptualization I dissolved it by just paying attention to the breath.  And then, a few years later in ’72, a couple more trips on mushrooms and acid, where, at that point, the shadow of the divine never even entered into it.  By that time it was a joke. It was just this all-encompassing space which was already itself. There was no need to superimpose a conception on top of it.  The only conception I did superimpose was some sense of vacancy, that seemed to be the … not love or bliss or warmth but sort of a liberation from them.  A liberation from love and bliss and warmth, like not being compelled to….

Student:  Well, a vacancy isn’t all that interesting, really.

AG:  Well, it’s sort of a big relief, I’ll tell you that.  It’s the opposite of heavy.  “Man, it was heavy!”  The opposite of “heavy” would be “light” or “vacancy” –   lightness or vacancy,  that is to say, no pressure.  No pressure of conception at all.  That was my experience, anyway  – Yes?

Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately seventy-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately seventy-two-and-three-quarter minutes in.   

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