Chapter One, Part Four

Cannibals

Violence, in all its many manifestations, is the key attribute that needs to be reformed and eradicated for humanity and civilization to survive. Formerly, many thousands of years ago, homo sapiens were cannibals. Now, the very thought of eating another human being, even if there were no other food source available, is a disgusting and revolting thought. The new evolving homo sapien-sapiens, must become just as revolted and disgusted by all forms of violent human behaviors. When this dramatic paradigm shift is put into action, then and only then, will civilization be able to proceed into the next phase of evolution. War will no longer exist, people will naturally and spontaneously cooperate with one another, children will receive an abundance of nurturance and care, and human beings will have the freedom and creative insight to solve any foreseeable problem. The cultural split that the Human Be-In and the Summer of Love initiated will ultimately divide human beings into two categories; those that abhor violence because of their experience of human unity, and those that perpetuate an antiquated human identity as inherently violent. The latter are dying human breeds, destined to their own extermination. The former will be able to find the means to protect themselves and then bring the Human DNA and humanity to the stars, to another future in another solar system. Those humans who are not disgusted by violence will destroy one another out of “lack.” And those humans who are revolted by senseless torture, exploitation, and violent behavior, and consciously work towards putting an end to this animalistic side of human nature, will “let” the psychic humanity move forward, naturally evolving and progressing and cooperating. The forces of nature move forward, not backward. All members of the human race are, in the most profound sense, Nature’s children. The global movements initiated in the Summer of Love for honoring Mother Earth and protecting our precious civilizations have become our natural right, our responsibility, and our sacredness.

Nature’s Child painted by Michael Bowen in Italy

Bowen Ginsberg and Kandel on Be-In stage

Now, with that background understood, we return to the humble beginnings of the grand performance art and recognize that none of those who made up Michael Bowen’s human-montage on the flatbed truck stage would have come that day if theycould not speak. The perfect tableau might have been with no one saying anything; just being there like a living album cover, which was Bowen’s initial conceptualization. As an artist, he did not want anyone else to spoil his own beautiful artistic creation. Each person when invited to the event by Bowen had been promised time to speak, although the amount of time was purposely never told to any of them until they arrived in San Francisco. The night before the Human Be-In, Michael Bowen along with Allen Cohen, Bowen’s San Francisco Oracle editor, and a few friends gathered in Michael’s Haight Street studio to discuss and solve this problem. Bowen realized that his own initial conception of no one speaking at all was not practical, since each of the people he invited came only when told by Michael that they would have time to speak to the crowd.

Bowen and Cohen Haight street meditation room

Michael Bowen and his new friend Allen Cohen faced the challenging problem of how to arrange for invited speakers, who thought they were going to speak at some length to a large and receptive audience, to not speak at all, or speak very little. After all, Bowen’s primary purpose for creating this gathering was to awaken the people to their own personal empowerment and individual freedom in such a way that would ultimately lead to a world that was “One.” The future establishment of a one world government, one world spiritual fusion, and one world consciousness, based on respect and love for all, was the reason Bowen had traveled long, and worked so hard, in order to come back to San Francisco, and bury this particular seed of consciousness change into the right soil. Only Bowen, his mentor, and the ancient lineage to which they belonged, knew this esoteric reason, this objective. Michael could not reveal the actual mystical intent for his creating the Human Be-In to any of the people who surrounded him. There were many who helped him organize and participated in the events of the day, but none knew the ultimate goal of creating a future humanity firmly established upon the consciousness of One. This profound secret he carried alone, among the tens of thousands who came to the Be-In, and among the hundreds of thousands who came to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, celebrating and creating the Summer of Love. One simple example of the mystical intent that was the source of inspiration, and the reason why the Human Be-In even happened, is Bowen’s holy man poster, which has now become a worldwide classic.

Be-In poster designed by Michael Bowen

However, in 1967, the Human Be-In poster was a disturbing and troublesome image for many Haight Ashbury activists to deal with; they simply could not understand its hidden esoteric secret. Therefore, at the Be-In, Michael wanted all participants, including the human tableau on stage, to speak with one another, not be spoken to – One ultimately meant exactly that – “ONE.” One meant a unity of human consciousness as far as government and society, resources, skin color, gender, and the human spirit are all concerned. With that grand, larger reality in mind, the tiny problem of keeping those people in the human tableau from presenting too much of their own personal agendas boiled down to how long the speakers could speak. At the meeting in his studio the night prior to the Be-In, Michael struggled for his perspective of a one-minute limit, but ultimately had to acquiesce to allowing three minutes speaking time for each individual. Michael Bowen’s “holy man” poster promoting the Be-In However, the unspoken secret was that Bowen controlled the generator switch underneath the flatbed truck and could, although not wanting to, resort to using this kind of control to switch off anyone who thought that they were going to give a lengthy speech. In the end, Bowen did switch off Jerry Rubin, Allen Ginsberg, and some others who simply would not shut up. The only one of the tableau group, when told of the three minute rule, who quickly acceded, was Timothy Leary. As it turned out, Leary was maybe the cleverest of them all, since his mind conceived of a way to use the three minutes with scalpel-like effect. He held the microphone, wearing a white Indian kurta, and said, “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. At that moment, dressed in his Indian outfit, a mantra for a generation was born.

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