Hearing in the Bardo via Isaac McCardle

Into the Mystic, Van Morrison via Scott Wright

In Memory of

Dr. Richard Alpert a.k.a Ram Dass a.k.a. ;-) Summit Dass (-;

Becoming Nobody | Official Trailer | 2019 via Passion River Films

Remembering A Very Dear Friend
Richard Alpert a.k.a.. Ram Dass
April 6, 1931 ~ December 22, 2019

Yoga vs. Lysergic

Around 4:30 AM, December 6, 1969, I heard a bunch of noise outside the house, got up, peered out the window, saw a bunch of my friends getting out of a station wagon, and walking up the steps.

I made coffee as everyone settled on the living room floor and the topic of conversation was, 'today's concert at Altamont'.

One of my friends, who is no longer with us, was grinning ear-to-ear and announced he had some of Bear's 4-way wafers, made 'special for us'.

We each decided to take one wafer, figuring we would leave around 10:00 AM for the 'Stones' concert.

After about twenty (20) minutes everybody was 'feeling it', except me, so I took another one just to make sure.

By the time everyone was ready to leave I had eaten fourteen (14) wafers and still wasn't feeling anything, so I told my friends, "This is too weird, I think I'll stay home." and off they went.

Just to complete the end of that story, my friends got lost on the way and ended up on a back road that took them to the rear of the concert, where they parked, crawled under the stage, sat down in front, and saw the 'whole show'. Because of what happened, at that show, I am glad I did not attend.

Meanwhile, back at home I am still going about my daily routine as if nothing happened; all while trying to figure out why I was not affected like my friends. At this point I went to bed to take a nap. This is when something strange happened.

When I closed my eyes, I found myself sitting on the top of a ladder, with my head pressed against the ceiling, in a room with no windows or doors, that was dimly lit. When I opened my eyes, everything was normal; or perceived to be "normal".

The next day, some of the friends who went to Altamont dropped by to tell me their adventure, and I tell them mine, because it was still happening. After they leave, it was suggested I call my old friend Richard to see if he could offer any advice.

Psychedelic Review Issue Number 1 Summer 1963
Original, Psychedelic Review, Issue Number 1 ~ (complete pdf)

I knew Richard before he became Ram Dass and used to hang out with him at his Dad's house on the lake in New Hampshire; so that's where I called him.

His assistant told me he had just returned from India, had been asked to speak at Esalen in California, gave me the number, and told me to call him there.

When I called Esalen, I was told he was giving a lecture out on the lawn and they would give him my message.

About two hours later the phone rings and it is Richard asking me, "What's up?"

I tell him the story and he listens while saying, "Ahhh..." a lot. I also closed my eyes to see if that strange effect is going on, and am still sitting on the top of that ladder.

It takes me about five (5) minutes to explain my story and then he takes over the conversation for the next hour, telling me about his experiences in India.

As he is talking, I start to experience this light beginning to radiate around me and had my eyes open.

When I shut my eyes, the room with no windows or doors had become, for lack of better words, a gold/white luminous cloud; except this time, I am sitting on a ladder in the middle of the cloud, with my head pressed against a ceiling of brilliant white light.

I interrupted Richard and told him what was going on; to which he responded with a very long, smile sounding, "Ahhh...."

The moment he did this, a trapdoor slammed open in the ceiling of light and I looked into what appeared to be infinite time, space, and beyond; something no amount of words will ever describe.

[I did attempt to create a picture]:

DNA Ooops by C. Spangler

In the midst of phenomenal beauty, I saw this chubby old man wearing a blanket float by. As he passed, I noticed he seemed to be holding the earth, similar to the way one would hold an apple by the stem.

He lifted his head and gazed at me. When our eyes met this incredible smile came across his lips and the next thing I knew, I was jettisoned into another place I am not able to describe, other than say it was 'wheel like' and there were some incredible beings there...at the same time, explaining this over the phone, as it is happening.

Richard said to me, "It has obviously happened to you, I'll send you a letter.":

Letter from Ram Dass

Letter Content:



It's obviously happened to you. The seed has been planted. You need not worry too much it will flourish and seek its own way to the light. What follows now is a very slow and gentle opening, a listening, a re-evaluating, re-assessing, a calming of the mind along with the opening of the heart. Be very patient and very calm. We are dealing with eternal time and infinite space. All else is melodrama.

[snipped traveling to the Bay Area and getting together part]

Shanti, (peace)

Ram Dass

Along with the letter there was a booklist and names of some people I was to look up; which led me to Neem Karoli Baba, who explained there were two types of acid, Yoga and Lysergic and here is what I heard.

Neem Karoli Baba

If one takes lysergic acid, finds a quiet, calm, cool place, and meditates, one might expect four (4) to six (6) hours of Darshan and come back down; whereas, when one works on themselves (Yogi Acid) and discovers where to turn on that 'switch', one never needs to come down, ..which began a new quest.

From Bindu To Ojas or what later became known as Be Here Now
Original copy of what became the book known as, "Be Here Now"

Since this is the Internet (smile), here is a handwritten letter from Ram Dass regarding a problem I had about 'running up against psychic walls':

Hand written letter from Ram Dass

Letter Content:


By not acting upon desires one weakens their hold. This ultimately follows non-attachment or desire - all things come to you By calming the mind through meditation you will see that desires are based on a misconception - i.e., mistaking yourself for your body or thoughts. Further meditation shows you that all is impermanent, all is changing and there is no place to stand anywhere. Then we merge and float into the One - where we are always together in Love.


Ram Dass

Nobody's Guru

Ram Dass was/is Nobody's Guru
NOBODY'S STALWARTS ~ Curtis Spangler, left, and Ram Dass, right,
lay out bumper stickers saying "U.S. out of North America" and other
campaign paraphernalia. "Nobody for President" started when Wavy
Gravy became disenchanted with presidential politics and decided
Nobody should have that much power.

Paul Krassner
Paul Krassner photograph by Chris Nelson
Paul Krassner ~ 12 September 1987, San Francisco, CA ~ Photo: Chris Nelson

Paul Krassner  (April 9, 1932 – July 21, 2019) was an American author, journalist, comedian, and the founder, editor and a frequent contributor to the freethought magazine The Realist, first published in 1958. Krassner became a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s as a member of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters and a founding member of the Yippies. He died on July 21, 2019, in Desert Hot Springs, California. [Continue reading at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Paul Krassner
Paul Krassner and Curtis Spangler ~ Photograph, Dwight Dolliver

[Ed. Note Regarding, "WTF am I doing?" questions: Photographer says to Paul, “I wonder where all the other warriors are today?” (referring to those brave enough to stand up against any form of injustice) and I lift my t-shirt to reveal a Maasai warrior belt (ref one, ref. 2); not to be confused with marriage belt, which has diamonds.]

Mike Wilhelm
Mike Wilhelm photograph by Ana Maria Wilhelm at the Richard Wahlberg Studio in San Francisco
Mike Wilhelm recording at Richard Wahlberg Studio ~ Photo: Ana Maria Wilhelm

Mike Wilhelm
Mike Wilhelm and Sprung (Curtis) ~ Photo: Ann Hackett

Mount Konocti, Lake County, CA ~ Mike Wilhelm on the XS Yamaha & Sprung's FXSTS
Mount Konocti, Mike Wilhelm on the XS Yamaha & Sprung's FXSTS ~ Photo: Curtis

H. Barton [Bart] Off IV
H. Barton Off IV

Jeanni Rasmussen
Jeanni ~ photograph by C. Spangler
June 4, 2018 ~ Photo: C. Spangler

Jeanni Rasmussen and Elana Dawson September 28, 1984
Jeanni Rasmussen and Elana Dawson, Marin County, 28 September 1984 ~ Photo: Chris W Nelson

Jeanni and Eileen, Grateful Dead Europe Tour, Amsterdam, Holland, 24 October 1990 ~ Photo: Chris Nelson
Jeanni and Eileen, Grateful Dead Europe Tour, Amsterdam, 24 October 1990 ~ Photo: Chris W Nelson

Jeanni Rasmussen & Renee Lawler, Palapa south of Yelapa, Pisota, Dulce's Quincenera 2002
Jeanni & Renee Lawler, Palapa south of Yelapa, Pisota, Dulce's Quincenera 2002

Jeanni reading in Michael's Backyard during the September 2015 Northern California Valley Fire
Jeanni reading in Michael's Backyard, Napa, CA during Sept. 2015 Valley Fire ~ Photo: Ann Hackett

Jeanni June 20, 2018
When we arrived home with Jeanni, we came upon the butterfly at peace at our
feet, you’ll see in the photo….always our Angel! ~ Renee Lawler, June 20, 2018

Paul Kantner
Paul Kantner at
New Age Biocentennial Unity Fair with Jefferson Starship & Grateful Dead

Jim Trout
Jim Trout
Photograph: C. Spangler

John Eichman
John Eichman

Terry Aspinall
Terry Aspinall

Keith Lampe, Ro-Non-So-Te, Ponderosa Pine
Keith Lampe
Keith Lampe
Keith and Curtis ~ Photograph: James Stark
Keith Lampe
Keith Lampe ~ July 25, 1931 ~ November 11, 2014

Our favorite Bunny = B.M.T,
Wavy with B.M.T. in Bunny Costume
B.M.T. ~ Our Favorite Bunny ~ December 20, 1941 ~ June 30, 2014
Hog Farm Bus Driver

Michael DeLise
Michael (Mica) DeLise
Michael [on left wearing Jean Jacket] Photograph: James Stark

Ed Bissell
Edward T. Bissell
Edward T. Bissell 1963 to Curtis
Curt, you should really go places, I don't know where though,
seriously Best of Luck to a good roommate. Ed.
"Take life as it comes" ~ Scan: C. Spangler

Greer Barton
Greer Barton
Photograph: C. Spangler

Ira Cohen
Curtis and Ira Cohen - Photograph: Robert Pruzan
Curtis and Ira Cohen - Photograph: Robert Pruzan

Fess Parker
Fess Parker
Fess Parker Fan Site

James Gurley
James Gurley

Miki Shapiro
Miki Shapiro

Lynn Chisholm - Video
Lynn Chisholm
Photograph: C. Spangler

Pablo Heising
Photograph: C. Spangler
Photograph: C. Spangler

George Hall
Photograph of George Hall
Image Source: http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2006/05/01/ba_hall_obit.jpg

Freddy Fender
Freddy Fender, 1937-2006

Gary (Rhino) Rhine
Photo of Gary Rhine

Chester (Chet) Helms
Screen Shot of Chet Helms Memorial Concert - photo by Chris Nelson
Photo by Chris Nelson from Chet's Memorial Webcast
60s picture of the Family Dog
picture of Chet Helms 12 sep 1987 - Summer of Love reunion photo by Chris Nelson
Photo: Chris Nelson

Sarah Houston
Sarah 1Sarah 2
Sarah 3Sarah 4
Photos James Stark

Allen Cohen
photo of Allen Cohen by C. Spangler
Photograph: C. Spangler
Summer of Love Tour - Olympia Washington 18 apr 1987 photo of Allen Cohen photo by Chris Nelson
photo: Chris Nelson

Allen Cohen - Photograph: C. Spangler
Photograph: C. Spangler

Jerry Garcia
Photo: Chris Nelson

Jerry Garcia window photo by Chris Nelson
Photo: Chris Nelson

Ken Kesey
Photos: Chris Nelson

Ken Kesey, Boulder, Colorado 30 July 1982, photo by Chris Nelson
Photo: Chris Nelson

Peter (Pussydog) Stevens
Photograph: C. Spangler
Peter and family
Photograph: C. Spangler

Ralph Eno
Photograph: C. Spangler

Robert Pruzan
Photograph: C. Spangler
Photograph: C. Spangler

Photograph: C. Spangler

Uncle Earl
Photograph: C. Spangler

Uncle Gary
Photograph: C. Spangler

En el camino via Enrique CA

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