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A Glossary of Haight-Ashbury-ese

d- lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate, a chemical compound which induces changes in levels of consciousness. Many of us in the Haight assumed that it works through the pineal gland, which we called The Third Eye after the Tibetans. Entering through this concentrated tool of consciousness, we thought that it opened up neural pathways in otherwise unutilized portions of the brain. Unfortunately research on how this amazing substance really works has been very limited due to the general paranoia of the government. For excellent information on Dr. Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD while doing research for Sandoz Laboratories, and for the molecular and physical properties of LSD, I recommend Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford. (see book list).

Hippy Hill:
Golden Gate Park between the entrance on Stanyan and Dinosaur Valley. Cross Stanyan, pause to see if Ashley Brilliant is haranguing the crowd and selling his hilarious postcards, pause at the little lake to listen to some long haired Pan playing a flute… walk under the bridge, transformed by the city into a fake cave with cement stalactites…out into the soft San Francisco sunlight, meadow on left, trees right, along the path crowded with laughing jesters, fairy queens in lacey white tablecloths, young men and women whose eyes are lit with laughter, bell bottoms, hand embroidered dresses ending at the thighs, a promenade of Haight Ashbury living myths and legends…bongos getting louder-aha-a row of bongo players sitting on the bench in the sun at the bottom of Hippy Hill. Tribal rhythms and people dancing on the meadow, long sleeves like wings in the soft San Francisco afternoon. Someone sits in a tree, rocking branches to the drum beat. Scan the hill quickly. Bodies are stretched in sunlight, people passing joints and pipes. Pan is there with his four foot pipe, furs, bones, beads and jewelry creating a new sacramental instrument whose bowl holds a half-ounce of pot. Flutes are playing at the top of the hill, couples are sleeping, talking. It is a gentle web of high Someone is sitting under the trees at the top of the hill playing guitar. Someone else, nearer the tennis courts, is chanting Hindu mantra to a harmonium. You can come here in the early morning after a nighttime acid trip, to greet the dawn; sometimes we come with baskets of grapes or flowers to give away. Pot to share. Hippy Hill, address of shared love.

The Drog Store:
Eatery, hanging out place, oh, boy, did The Drog Store go through changes. It marked the virtual limit of our Haight Street, although there were a couple of wonderful stores (including the seminal Psychedelic Shop that birthed the Haight Street scene) on the other side of Masonic. We went there when we had the munchies, when we wanted to score easily or just to relax in loaded company. It was called The Drug Store first, but the authorities got antsy and the owners had to change the u to an o. Insane paranoia.

Hanging Out:
A very important Haight Ashbury activity. Hanging out is drifting along enjoying oneself and kind of seeing what will happen next. Years later John Lennon would sing, “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round”. That’s an ultimate hanging out, very Zen

Turned On:
generally to use psychedelic drugs, but more specifically to have partaken of the mystical experience, to have taken a trip with or without drugs. One woman who came to The House on Love Street, for instance, had never used any “drugs.” She woke one morning with a headache, got up to take an aspirin and fell back on the bed with a spontaneous experience that had her journeying through mystical realms for hours. Of course, she immediately went out and found a Zen master to make sense of this unexpected occurrence. “Turned On” can also be used for any pleasing experience as in “The music on the street today was groovy. It turned me on”. Or, “I dug the way she she smiled at the flowers. They really turned her on.”Our utopian fantasy was that everyone who got turned on would understand the basic unity of the Universe, having experienced it first hand. From then on, we thought, they would be consciously working to lift the evolutionary level of the human race. We were sure that within five years wars would end, marijuana would be officially regarded as sacred and the entire fabric of human existence would change. No more violence, hunger or injustice!!

1) a psychedelic experience. 2) any experience. 3) any unusual experience. “I took a trip with Purple Wedge” (psychedelic). or “When I was downtown, a cop helped me across the street. It was a trip ” (unusual).

marijuana, tea, grass, weed, holy grass (top grade pot), ganga, cannabis, reefer. Smoked in a pipe, chillum or joint. It came into the Haight from Africa, Mexico, Columbia, Thailand and cost $80.00 a key (kilogram - just over two pounds) for good pot and a little more for seedless sinsemillia or Thai sticks. Used in cooking, meditating, for friendship and fun. If LSD is a great microscope into expanded realities, pot is a small magnifying glass. It can be friend, teacher and ally. Friend in that it makes it possible to transcend our ordinary 3-D reality and understand problems from higher levels so that they can be resolved. Teacher in that it expands any state of consciousness, including anxieties, fear etc. bringing them to awareness rather than keeping them in subconsciousness. With that awareness action becomes possible. Ally in that it amplifies the gestalt in which we have our being without editorial comment.

great, wonderful, o.k.

not good, bad, terrible, a foolish thing to do, a mistake.

a succulent psychedelic cactus used in Mexico for thousands of years as an entrance to knowledge of the gods. Peyote was still legal in the early H/A days. We used to order it from a Texas nursery. Not recommended for taste! My first trip long before the Haight Ashbury - my son dried out peyote and ground it up, putting it in capsules for me so the taste wouldn’t stop me from ingesting it. What a gift. The curtains waved through time,children looked like flowers on the merry-go-round in the park and licence plates on cars had cosmic meanings beyond meaning.

arrested, caught in the act. “The pigs busted her for internal possession!” (that actually happened to Natasha who spent a night in jail when she was friendly to a cop and in her confusion told him that she was tripping) “I busted him when he burned me. Took my Tibetan bell. It was really uncool of him.”

To Burn:
to steal or to gain something dishonestly. “I had a Tibetan Bell on my altar and somebody took it. They really burned me”. Or politically - “The ship-yard bosses are burning the workers.”

Tune In:
to experience a Reality beyond the 3-D consensual reality, a reality where we are the electrons, photons, in perpetual coming and in transcendent union outside of time/space. This experience is of God-ness is indescribable, life-transforming and unforgettable.

Far Out:
wonderful, extraordinary. Comes from being tuned in.

sexual intercourse. “I balled him for five hours last night. It was groovy.”

ACid Head:
a regular user of LSD.

a regular user of anything - acid, POT, nitrous oxide etc. etc. etc.

good, beautiful, great, in the groove (from the grooves on records.)

To Dig:
Understand, enjoy, really get into. “Man, I dig that ceremony. It makes me feel groovy.” “Did you dig the Jefferson Airplane in Marx Meadows today? They did a groovy cut called White Rabbit.”

Here’s how it sometimes works: Smoke pot. Hungry, stomach rolls and rumbles. Open the refrigerator door. Oh, no. nothing there but a dessicated piece of cheese. Midnight! What’s open? Nothing but the doughnut shop. “I hate the doughnut shop. I don't like doughnuts.” All right, all right. Put on coat. Cold fog in face. Down to the doughnut shop anyway; it’s the only place open. Full of bikers, but they’re o.k. Hate doughnuts. “Oh, God, it tastes delicious.” That’s the munchies.

The Detroit Gypsies:
Detroit bikers who came into town because they heard about the new drugs for sale. Somehow they got to 870 Ashbury when it was filled with forty peaceniks, unlike any other people they’d ever met, in from all over for The Great Peace March. They dropped acid, slept under my dining room table and adopted me as a kind of Haight Ashbury mascot. They’d come into town and stay with me every so often to stock up on pot and acid to take back home. Their black jackets and leather pants helped me to feel safe.Bikers in general were o.k., but not if you crossed them. A Hell’s Angel guy once asked Rowland for a cigarette at a be-in. Rowland gave him a long lecture on the dangers of tobacco and got a broken nose for it.

StRaiGHt ThEatER:
Originally The Haight Theater. There were many fantastic happenings there. Ann Halpern and her troupe danced a nude trio on stage there once. When the police burst in to bust them, the entire audience ran to the stage before the police could make their way there and covered the dancers with coats. Many stripped off their own clothes. There were the perplexed cops with several hundred people some naked and some wearing coats, blouses, higgeldy-piggeldy and who was who anyhow? They gave up the bust. Stephen did his Monday Night Class there for a while, but we overflowed the theater and needed more room, so he moved to the Family Dog on the great Kingshighway by the ocean. Once, towards the end of the Haight Ashbury days, I saw a big black Cadillac drive up to the side of the theater right over the sidewalk and squash a man against the wall. I knew it was drug wars, that the days of love as a working ideal in the Haight Ashbury were over, and it was time to get up to The House of the 7th Angel in Nevada City.

Cops, policemen. I hate the word pigs, but what IS the psychological head set that allows human beings to be so damn cruel to other human beings? In the end, when the cops were chasing the hippies down Ashbury and Haight Street with hoses and guns and mace, and the hippies were chasing the cops back with bricks and clubs, they all acted like pigs. Bob and Nature and I were sitting on the stoop of the 7th Angel apartment on the 300 block of Clayton playing our flutes and guitars and trying to send out some “good vibes” to calm the scene down. A cop saw us there and told us to “get the hell out of the way; you’re in a dangerous place”. We did.

The kind of wave lengths you send out, good, bad, indifferent. Measurable or unmeasurable energy forms emanating from the personality, the psyche or a 3-D place. Actually an event could have good or bad vibes, too. We thought that the Woodstock concert had great vibes and the Altamont concert where the Rolling Stones were playing, had terrible vibes, and we were right. There was a murder at Altamont.

Very good, deep. cosmic, wonderful.

B.V. Park:
Buena Vista Park, an enchanted place with ancient oaks and leprechauns that marked the Eastern limits of the Haight Ashbury. A good place to trip, to find kittens you didn’t really want to keep, to meet people who wanted a little more solitude than the crowded scene at Hippy Hill (very dangerous now-don’t go there for nostalgia’s sake).

H.I.P. MerChants:
In order to counteract the antipathy of the established Haight Street merchants AND most of the people on the Street who thought we really ought to give everything away, some of us who had stores there formed the Haight Independent Proprietors. We did things like put photos in our windows of undercover cops and bought merchandise from the hippies on the street. Once we distributed thousands of whistles for people to blow for warning when the pigs were doing a sweep of The Street.

Haight AShbuRy CliNiC:
Everybody knows of Dr. David Smith’s wonderful work with street people, drug addiction and illnesses of all kinds over these many years. What you don’t know is that I rented that very space on the second floor of Haight and Clayton for me and Merlin to live in at the same time that Smith rented it to start the clinic. We thought it would be great to shoot parts of the movie from the second floor porch. It ended up we shared it that first month; Merlin and I lived in a large closet (not the last I was to live in) smoking hash and making applejack in the corner. We heard all of the moans, the bum trips, the dirty needle stories and the distraught parents whose children had ingested psychedelic substances at two in the morning. It was a lesson in accepting the seamy side of God, seeing through it to the beauty of giving and service. A lot of the “bum trips” just needed a relatively quiet place off the street and a little sympathetic love to turn their heads and hearts to radiance.

Seeing, feeling, knowing, experiencing the painful aspects of oneself when in an expanded state of consciousness. Can be excellent learning! The eater-upper of bad karma and of the “dark” emotions like anger, rage, jealousy, fear. Holy Mother Kali with her necklace of human skulls and her tongue hanging out is a bum trip made into a redeeming goddess.

The sum of all of your actions, good, bad, indifferent. Action and reaction. What goes around comes around.

INstant KaRma:
Well, say you give acid to some troubled man on the street, and it turns out he’s a famous painter and does your portrait which gets seen in Hollywood, and you become a great movie star!. Or you hit somebody instead of working things out, and they hit you back. That’s instant karma.

Hang Up:
Personal or general problem, attachment; inability to transcend a reality that’s making it difficult for you. An attachment (very bad for those into Tibetan Buddhism or Hinduism) “Are you hung up?” asked Frank Zappa. “Yeh, but who isn’t?,” asks Elizabeth.

Energy, attention. A groovy thing was juicy. People had different ways of getting juice; they wore bells on their clothing or rapped too much. That was not groovy. Paying attention to someone was “giving them juice.” That was groovy.

high, loaded, spaced-out. Usually meant on a substance like grass, but you could also be “stoned on the beautiful weather”, or “I really got stoned on meditation this morning”. Stoned was a state of being, not the method of getting there. Some people were stonier than others, higher, more aware.

SpaCed Out:
Positive meaning: out of body, into other dimensions, close to God. Negative meaning: not paying attention, not having your act together. “I spaced out into the music so much, I just left the whole room behind” (groovy). Or - “I was spaced out and forgot to earn enough bread to buy bread” (not groovy).


Out There:
Stoned, swinging through dimensions other than the material plane, “I went out there to The Clear Light.”

White Light (or ClEaR LighT):
A “place” beyond form or personality where we EXPERIENCE our God-ness, the essential Unity We really are. The White Light is indescribable, non-logical, immeasurable, eternal and out of space/time. This experience became a touch-stone in the Haight; if you had experienced IT, you were really hip. If not, your friends tried to create a set and setting where the experience became possible, usually with LSD.

Terms Tim Leary invented to mean external place and internal psychological gestalt. It is wise to take a psychedelic trip with friends, in a familiar and beautiful place or in the woods or country or beach. It would be unwise to drop acid in the middle of a ghetto (although I have done just that), with angry people or in an internal state of great anxiety. Very important to pay attention to set and setting if you wanted to have a good trip. (Although ultimately there is no such thing as a bad trip, since each one is a learning, and even in a state of anxiety, you may learn how to cure yourself.)

Inherited through the beatniks from early jazz musicians, hip means to understand, to know something about how to live, to be in touch with more than establishment reality. TO BE HIP MEANS TO HAVE INNER KNOWLEDGE and is cognate to Gnostic or gnosis.

Far Out:
Groovy, wonderful.

Us, hippies. As Green said:
“The world calls us freaks, but to us, they are the freaks.” “They” were bombing children in Vietnam.“They” were mired in the past, dinosaurs about to pass out of existence; unhappy, ignorant, harmful.We wore hope in our hearts as well as flowers in our hair. We had experienced our God-nature,and we were surethat we would changethe world

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