Thursday, September 16, 2010

Klamath Mtn Wilderness: Both actual, & now virtual, Harbin Hot Springs are great adventures, v-a-v Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters' hippie bus “Furthur”

Harbin ethnography:

... And people's actual 'stuff,' at actual Harbin, will continue to interface, and sometimes find ease, sometimes unsettledness, etc., in milieus like the Harbin warm pool, and with people at Harbin – a kind of oneness of virtual 'stuff.'

In many ways both actual, and now virtual, Harbin Hot Springs are great adventures, in the sense of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters' hippy bus “Furthur” ( Harbin has explored and experimented in countercultural spheres of sex, drugs and rock and roll vis-a-vis clothing-optionalness and intimacy, probably some psychedelic tripsters along the way in the past, and, for example, unconditional dances these days with a wide variety of music including rock. Some of this has happened through Harbin workshops more recently perhaps. And what a long strange trip it's been (Grateful Dead) … and we're still on it here in this actual / virtual ethnography – here we go - furthur. I need to learn more about psychedelic workshops in the 1970s, but entheogens have a history at Harbin. As I see it, Harbin can be read as one big trip. In one LSD story I've heard from around the years 1968 or 1969 - a few years before Ishvara bought the property in 1972 - and perhaps when Harbin was 'Harbinger University,' a psychedelic university for exploring the frontiers of science, someone at Harbin had heard that the cops were coming. He had a lot of LSD on him and knew of a big hole in the ground in the Meadow Area, so he and someone he knew, Tokesan, went and hid in this hole for about 3 days. What a high time they must have had. As I've heard this story, there are kinds of hippie, absurd, upside-down humor, smart-response-to-law-enforcement, let's-get-high aspects to this story; and, for all I know, they might have just been in the warm pool, with the stash under a hat on their head. I've found I have to think about the stories I've heard about Harbin, in its context of the watery milieu there. In virtual worlds, it will be interesting to explore in what ways people tripping on psychedelics from home, while visiting virtual Harbin, will create and do, with what technologies, and in what ways these technologies will help us learn more, scientifically and ethnographically, about psychedelic experiences. The virtual Harbin milieu, as well as the limitations of virtual, digital technologies will raise further, fascinating, similarities, comparisons and contrasts between actual and virtual Harbin, especially in terms of place, since individual avatars can freely simulate Harbin's nature, its waters and, for example, holes in the ground. Such ethnographic study of psychedelics and virtual Harbin will further understanding of end-users, entheogens, and virtual Harbin building.

What about Harbin, or what happens there, as kinds of 'principles' (Boellstorff 2008:49) will emerge from actual Harbin to inform virtual Harbin? ...

( - September 16, 2010)

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