NOW SERVING Psychedelic Culture

Richard Smoley

Groundwater: The Problem of God

To live, in any true sense, is to have a connection with this Spirit. The Spirit must “water” the surface crust of physical reality. We can imagine this process as involving wells, or springs, that connect the two levels of being.

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Does Prophecy Work?

What exactly is prophecy? Can we trust it? The esoteric tradition teaches that the future is, at least in principle, knowable. One theory holds that there exists a realm of
images and forms, which has many names in many traditions. The
Kabbalists call it the world of Yetzirah, or "formation."

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Nostradamus and 2012

It's instructive to see how the 2012 prophecies have been
ma­nipulated by mass culture. Nearly all of the
2012 visionaries see the date as a harbinger of a new and enlightened
consciousness for humanity, but the wizards of televi­sion have transmogrified
this vision into something that looks very much like a fundamentalist's Last

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What is Reality?

What is accounted as real must, among other things, accord with our preconceptions. Nonetheless, the content of our preconceptions may differ wildly according to time and place. Many cultures give far more credence than we do to ghosts, spirits, good and evil, possession, and witchcraft. So did Western civilization five hundred years ago.

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You’re Doing It Wrong

My friend, you cannot escape doing it wrong. And of course, being, like you, a part of American culture, neither can I. There is an Ogallala aquifer of guilt sitting a few inches below the surface of the American psyche.

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Everybody’s Political What’s What

At this point in American history, the interests of the few have vastly outstripped not only those of the many, but those of the common good. There is an imbalance, and it is going to be corrected.

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Truth in the Form of a Lie

Zen golf, Zen gardens in a box, Zen stuffed animals — How do ideas that are originally mystical
or esoteric make their way into mass culture, and
what do such ostensibly terrible things as commercialization and vulgarization
have to do with this process?

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Just What Is Love, Anyway?

Romantic, unrequited, codependent or familial – it's all love. But why do we believe one thing about love with one corner of the mind and something very different with another?

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2012 and the Annoying Persistence of Time

Apocalyptic writings – those purporting to reveal the secrets of the end of time – got their start in Judea in the second century B.C. Since then, predictions of the end of time have become as consistent and reliable as the calendar.

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