Sunday, July 29, 2012

How I Met E.J. Gold (addendum)

Shortly after my return from California I went to a lecture by Timothy Leary.  In it he stressed the importance of working in small groups, a strategy that also received a great deal of emphasis at the workshop and convention in California.  This part of the lecture strongly resonated with Gold's school.  Along the same lines, the following year would see the publication of Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zone  which "describes the socio-political tactic of creating temporary spaces that elude formal structures of control" 
( Gray, Chris (2001). Cyborg Citizen. New York: Routledge. p. 47).  This idea seemed to be in the air.  Hakim Bey was to become the official philosopher of of Bill Laswell's Axiom Records.  A few years later, I would help record a spoken word record of the same name produced by Bill for Axiom.

At one point Leary made a comment I thought rather unusual for him to make in public considering his history with law enforcement.  He said that it seemed psychedelics were the only way to reach higher consciousness.  This registered as being not at all aligned with the California school.  Nothing was ever said or implied that psychedlics or any drugs were needed to reach the waking state.  They weren't a topic of discussion at all either pro or con.  They only came up at the initial workshop talk given by Claude Needham when he advised against using psychedelics saying that E.J. had mentioned they use up energies useful for working.

During the break I stepped outside and discreetly did a short Presence Meditation.  When I came back in and went to take my seat I made eye contact with Leary.  He was beaming at me as if he knew exactly what I'd been up to.  

After the lecture a small group of us hung out around Tim hoping to talk a little more.  I wanted to ask him the same question I had asked in California.  I soon got the chance, phrasing it a little less formally.  I asked him how I could get a job doing what he was doing.  He looked puzzled so I added, 'you know, being a cheerleader for change (one of his self-descriptive slogans), that kind of thing.'  He laughed and said he didn't know but if I ever found out to please let him know.  Then he asked me if I had a computer.  Remember, this is in 1990.  Home computers were on the rise but not as ubiquitous as they are today.  It was still a few years before the internet.  It's well known that Dr. Tim was one of the first schmurus to jump on the computer bandwagon saying  they were the next stage in brain-change technology.  With this prediction he showed remarkable prescience and was completely in synch with E.J. Gold.

Gold and his G.O.D.D. ( Games Of Diabolical Distinction) crew - Dr. Claude Needham, Richard Hart, and Barbara Haynes, have been making immersive video gaming environments for almost as long as there have been computers to program.  The latest releases are the Prosperity Path levels.  "These  nonviolent environments are learning tools designed to make your life and death better."  It's basically free costing a nominal 99 cents for a download fee.  I help out with the soundtrack.  Gold's blog, Gorebaggs World carries all the latest gaming news though it gets into other things also.  It appears aimed at the general public. No experience  necessary, you just need a computer.

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