Day 0 – Before the conference
Written by enadmin7 on November 18, 2015
I’ve been in the US for one week now. My partner, Kula and six month old daughter, Acacia are both with me and we spent our first week in New York City. I’m here to attend the Drug Policy Alliance’s 2015 International drug law reform conference. I’ll be recording interviews for Enpsychedelia while here, as well as learning as much as I can and finally meeting many people that I have heard of or corresponded with, but never met.
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. In this case, it meant that I managed to get a cold almost as soon as I got to the states. I’m still feeling quite sniffly and clogged, but much better than when we first got here.
We caught a train out of the chaos of the five boroughs and up to Wappinger Falls, a small town just up from the impressive Hudson River. Wappinger Falls is the home of Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a sort of mansion gallery retreat church shop cafe.
I wish I weren’t sick when we were there, because it was such a lovely place! It’s autumn here in the states and apparently we just missed all the colours, but the whole place still looks pretty damn colourful to me! I was honoured to briefly meet Alex Grey and have a quick chat with him about the nature of the psychedelic experience and why it is oppressed by governments around the world. He’s definitely someone I’ll be looking at chatting with on the show in the future.
CoSM was a very relaxing place with a LOT of beautiful art around the place. There is one big main building that houses rooms for guests, a dining hall, art gallery (although the whole place is an art gallery), Mushroom Cafe and the CoSM store, which we spent far too much money at (but it was way worth it!).
The whole block is quite large, with a few other buildings dotted around. Alex and Alyson’s house is tucked away at the back and an administration building sits beside the main building.
Looming off to the other side of the main building is a huge construction, only part of the way complete.
This formidable building will be the Entheon, a sort of art-chapel that seems to be like a modern re-birthing of the Ancient Greek telesterion at Eleusis. At the telesterion, the Ancient Greeks participated in the Mysteries, which modern scholars suspect to have been a psychedelic ritual long lost to the domineering forces of Christianity.
Here’s a description of the Entheon project, which is seeking financial support for completion.
An enduring sanctuary of visionary art, Entheon will provide a transformative environment featuring Alex Grey’s Sacred Mirrors, the CoSM art collection and the world Visionary Art movement.A vision of the fully awakened human potential and the interconnectedness of all life will be powerfully transmitted in the Entheon experience.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/87149646[/vimeo]
We had a wonderful time at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors and very much intend on returning, perhaps once the Entheon is
After our lovely evening and morning at CoSM, we returned to New York City to stay in Brooklyn for a few days and once again enter the madness that is the boroughs.
Yesterday, upon discovering that the train I had intended for us to catch from NYC to Washington DC was significantly more expensive than I anticipated, we caught an afternoon bus and arrived at the impressive Union Station.
We’re now staying in a beautiful little house (AirBnB!) just a short distance out of the city centre. We’ll be heading out to the Smithsonian today and seeing some other DC sites, as the rest of my week will be taken up by the Reform Conference.
I’ll be keeping a blog here on all the goings on of the conference.
As long as I can re-jig some of our travel and accommodation, I also plan to spend some time at the Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for healing the drug war. I’m hoping I might be able to collect some recordings there and deliver some information on the recent Australian experience with prohibition, hopefully with some of my highly respected colleagues and friends who are also over here. (Hi Monica and Will!)
To finish up, here’s a video from the Global Commission on Drug Policy. Prohibition is the fuel of drug problems, not its solution.[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csnTAz0Sth8[/youtube]