The magazine ETC, the quarterly review of the
International Society of General Semantics, devoted a full
issue to the subject of LSD and other psychedelic drugs.
Editor S.I. Hayakawa made this vital point: "Most
people haven't learned to use the senses they
possess. I not only hear music, I listen to
it. I find the colors of the day such vivid
experiences that I sometimes pound the steering wheel with
excitement. And I say why disorient your beautiful
senses with drugs and poisons before you have half
discovered what they can do for you?"
great mystics did not fog up the windows of heaven with
drugs. They did not distort their visions with
poisons. They found their own senses and their
perceptive ad intuitive powers sufficient to experience
the Presence of God.
make the most of ourselves we must become aware of the
miracles all around us. We must open our eyes, ears,
minds, hearts, spirits. We must think about great
ideas such as space illimitable, time everlasting, energy
inexhaustible. You have the magic power within
yourself to broaden your horizons, to lift your
consciousness, to live more abundantly.
learn to live with ourselves we must often get away by
ourselves so we can find quiet, solitude, and time to
think and meditate.
poet Robert Frost stressed the importance of
separateness. He told a group, of which I was a
part, that we must be careful that we do not homogenize
society as we homogenize milk. . . so the cream at the top
disappears. The heart and the lungs work together,
he explained, but they are also separate organs. A
person, he said, should endeavor to achieve separateness
in his or her thinking, even amidst the pressures of the
crowd. And often we may experience a greater feeling
of togetherness with people when we are separate and
alone, rather than with others. We must learn to
live together, but we must not lose the precious gift of
growth of the self, however, is not accomplished only in
solitude and isolation. Aloneness must be balanced
with contacts with people and the world. There is
need to try out our ideas on others, to sharpen our minds,
to contend with those who disagree with us. We can
learn from our enemies as well as our friends, and often
those who are hardest on us contribute more to our growth
than those who make things easy for us.
have always liked these words attributed to Walt
Whitman: "Have you learned lessons only of
those who admired you and were tender with you and stood
aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons
from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed
the passage with you?"
self needs the spur of conflict, competition, even defeat,
for out of those come strength and character.
these words by Epictetus: "So when the crisis
is upon you, remember that God, like a trainer of
wrestlers, has matched you with a tough and stalwart
antagonist--that you may be a winner at the Great
art of living with ourselves also requires that we be
resilient and flexible so we will not break ourselves
against the hardness of life. I learned this
important lesson from a naturalist in Bryce Canyon,
Utah. I asked him about the gallant lone pines on
the mountaintops that survive the full sweep of wind and
was told that the pines are called Limber Pines. To
demonstrate, the naturalist took a branch of a Limber Pine
and tied it into a knot. In a few minutes he untied
the knot and the branch immediately sprang back to its
is not through never bending that the trees survive.
It is in never failing to spring erect again after the
gale has passed that victory is achieved.
is also an important factor in the art of living with
ourselves. The winds of life--the conflicts,
pressures, changes--will bend us, but if we have
resiliency of the spirit they cannot break us. To
courageously straighten up again after our heads have been
bowed by defeat, disappointment and suffering is a supreme
test of character.
learn to live with ourselves, to make the most of
ourselves, to achieve wholeness of personality, to grow
into more effective human beings--this is the first vital
step in the art of living.
* * * *
To learn more about Wilferd A.