I have just returned from speaking at the Health, Happiness and Soul expo, at the Gold Coast Convention centre, and at the Rainbow Serpent Festival, outside Beaufort in Victoria. Talk about extreme opposites. The Health, Happiness and Soul expo, advertised with huge banners featuring Buddha, lotuses and similar imagery was in a commercial expo environment – a huge hall with concrete floors, fluorescent lighting and aisles of personal trainers in matching polo shirts flogging new weight loss machines or mass produced foods. On the upside there were lots of psychics. The highlight was Jason McDonald who is a terrific psychic and entertainer, and a mesmerising performance by Sacred Earth which was so powerful it overrode the piped music and commercial atmosphere of the place and stopped people in their tracks. These mind, body, spirit festivals used to be filled with energy and life and colour and I was left wondering what had happened to the new age.
The following weekend at the Rainbow Serpent festival, I found out. I could hear the thumping of the electronic base kilometres before even arriving. Parked the car, stepped through the gate into another world. Here was the magic, the jugglers, the village atmosphere, the dancing, the vision. Here was the revival of the hippie dream but set to fantastic electronic music. There were stages set amongst the trees with DJs working their magic, chill-out tents, dancing in the streets, and thousands of people living it dressed in unique and expressive ways, living their dream.
I realised that the new age went straight and was now catering primarily to straight people, and all the adventure and mystery had shifted into these enormous festivals are catering to a new generation seeking something else, many using drugs to make it real. I gave a talk on Psychedelic Evolution at Rainbow Serpent, which is an idea I have been working through for a while. It is based on my growing conviction that nothing happens by chance and that if we have a recreational drug industry worth $400 billion dollars a year, we have some serious potential to work with in terms of changing the world. If we have literally millions of people who have been honing their exteroceptive information transmissions skills, we now have a massive force in place that can change the world. I do think the nine-to-five version of material reality that most people are living is finished, its just no-one has realised yet. It will only become obvious if all those ex-drug users understand what they are sitting on and commit to working with it.
Even though my talks are all planned beforehand, while I speak things come to me, and some of things I said at Rainbow Serpent really stuck in my mind. One was that if you are psychedelic, you are psychedelic for life and the other was, if you are taking drugs and living the dream at these festivals, afterwards (and there will be an afterwards) don’t try and be straight. I think we have an opportunity now, a door has opened again and we need to go through it this time.