James Leroy Wilson's blog

Friday, June 10, 2005

A Conversation with Peter McWilliams

An interview by David Jay Brown and Sherry Hall from Oct 29, 1999 discussing meditation, religion, the Constitution, and, of course, marijuana. Some choice passages:

Let me make a slight aside here on the horribleness of the school system--especially as It was in the 1950's when I was growing up, and In the 1960's when I was going to high school--but this also applies to the current public education system as well. I believe that human beings learn beat when they are curious. When people have a question that is answered, they have another question. When that question is answered they have another question, which Is answered, and so forth.

Human beings learn worst when something that doesn't interest them is put at them in a regimented format, at a certain time, and corporal punishment is meted out to those who do not learn properly. And that's exactly what the public school system is all about. It's 10:00, so it's time to be curious about science. At 11:00 it's time to put science aside and be curious about geography. At 12:00 it's time to put everything aside and eat lunch, whether you're hungry or not, (laughter) and so forth.
Now how many seven year olds want a typewriter for Christmas? (laughter) And I got one.
By the time I was a senior in high school (1966-67) I was supposed to have read five different books In sociology. I hadn't read any of them. I asked the teacher could I please write some poetry about society Instead of writing five book reports. The teacher no more wanted to read five more book reports, than I wanted to write five book reports (laughter), so he said, "Sure, go ahead."

So I wrote what was published as poems on society. They were called The Chicken Died While Kicking. The Chicken Dead, Kept Kicking: Poems on Society. (laughter) It included such memorable poems as "What Is the Racial Situation In America? Rather Dim, about 3000 Watts", which was Inspired by the Watts riots that had just happened. It also Included such things as, "What Is the Zen situation In America? Very Good--One Watt."
That's when I left T.M., at the point where they were talking about all this levitation stuff. No one could levitate for me, and having been the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller on the subject, I was certainly entitled to a private demonstration of levitation (laughter), If indeed it existed.
Peter: That's what I mean by an "external" God. God is in everything including us. That is what you find on LSD, and that Is exactly what Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you ... Our Father who art in heaven." That's two direct quotes from Jesus. "The kingdom of Heaven is within you." One of the least quoted of all of the direct quotes of Jesus.

The Pairaseis asked him, "Where is the kingdom of heaven?" "The kingdom of heaven," he said, "is within you." Then when his disciples asked, "Teach us how to pray", the first line was "Our Father, who art in heaven". Where's heaven? Within you.

David: Right. Then Jesus said that in order to enter the gates of heaven you must become like a child.

Peter: Yes! Absolutely. Precisely. Jesus said, "To enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like a child." And what's a child like? What does marijuana do but turn you Into a child? It turns you Into a curious, delightful, living-in-the-moment, sensual being.
Almost all spiritual paths remove drugs. Why? Because almost all spiritual paths have to do with control.
Peter: Having spent the majority of my life misled, I believe, by Majarishi, and by the Beatles, for not denouncing Majarishi--damn it! (laughter)--I sort of got off Into this world of spirituality. It's like that Dylan song about "we were so much older then, I'm younger than that now". (laughter) In 1968 or 9, boy did I have my life together.(laughter) When I was 18 or 19 I was quite happy a materialist. I was an entrapenuer. I was making money on my romantic poetry. I was quite content with the notion that I evolved through a natural evolutionary process, and that I lived In a universe, and a world, that was explainable by scientific theory.
Peter: The pleasure-deficit disorder Is found in people who, for whatever reason--either psychological trauma in their youth, or physiological Imbalances at birth--are unable to experience ordinary pleasure through ordinary activities. These people, which include me, then start looking for extraordinary means to find pleasure.

These are the people who are then open to--as I was--the con men of the world.

more to come

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:56 AM PST


    We link this interview there as well and also feature James Leroy Wilson's tribute to Peter.