Sri Sri Rama Oldbeatnik was born In Service of Light Wednesday February 25, 1953 at 8:43p.m. (Sun in Pisces, Libra Ascending, Leo Moon, 8 B’aatz’ – for those keeping score) in the tragically hip, comically liberal town of Oak Park, Illinois after 23 hours of excruciating labor by the female chosen to bear him onto this little cosmic dust ball. Unbeknownst to the exhausted Ms. O and the attending World War II medic-turned-naturalist-oby-gyny, a gargantuan and trundling Dr. Beryl Ingalls, a pre-arranged karmic agreement had been struck between them and the energy being now merging with the exhausted fetus to not allow the use of any pain medicines or drugs and chemical substances of any kind during the arduous labor and delivery. This undoubtedly would cause The O’s much troubling consternation in the mid-60’s as their son began avidly experimenting with drugs and chemical substances of any kind and playing and writing Rock ‘n Roll and just being too cool for Everything Else.
As with every birth date, other natal celebrations were occurring around the world on the same day. On opposite sides of the Atlantic, both George Harrison and Sally Jesse Raphael were having cake and ice cream on February 25, 1953 in celebration of each other’s 10th birthday. Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley was knocking back some Ol’ Stumphole in celebration of his 26 years on the planet. Future journalist and CBS newscaster Bob Schieffer was celebrating becoming old enough to drive in Texas, at least legally, on February 25, 1953. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution celebrated its 40th birthday of ratification on February 25, 1953 guaranteeing every American the inalienable rite to pay (or else!) income tax ad nauseum. The World of 1953 would see other notable events and innovations aside from birthday celebrations. Kraft Foods introduces “Cheez Whiz” to the surprise and delight of trailer parks and cheezy cooks everywhere. The U.S. “Government” would assassinate* physicists Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after a rigged trial that alleged they gave away plans for The Bomb to the diabolical anti-Everythingwholesomegoodandgodloving Soviet Menace. An eyewitness to the electrocution reported “a halo of blue smoke” ascending from the unfortunate Mrs. R’s skullcap as the executioner cranked up the amps. This was no doubt the physical manifestation of an overwhelming concern on her part for her rapidly fading future. 1953 saw coiner of the phrase “Military-Industrial Complex”, Dwight D. Eisenhower, borne into the U.S. presidency and compassion-challenged Russian despot Joseph Stalin die suddenly at age 37 of a “stroke” at his summer dacha. Another more humanistic Joseph named Salk discovered a vaccine for polio in 1953 and three days after Our humble author’s birth, Cambridge University scientists Francis Crick and James Watson, being funded partially by a fellowship grant from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, bested American scientist Linus Pauling’s incorrect model of DNA by announcing their correct discovery of the molecule’s authentic double-helix polymer structure. Right before his death, Mr. Crick admitted the insight for the double-helix DNA strand came to him during the peak of an ecstatic LSD journey as he gazed at a spiral staircase on the Cambridge grounds.
It is highly likely that while Ms. O was in labor with her future son, University of Chicago physiology researchers Eugene Aserinsky and Nathaniel Kleitman were contemplating the significance of darting eye movement as they observed test subjects sleeping. Their study in 1953 led them to the discovery of the connection between what they termed ‘REM sleep’ during dreaming.
On the flip side of 1953 scientific inquiry and research, The CIA began its 10-year black-ops Mind-Kontrol [sic] program “Operation MK-ULTRA” that clandestinely tested LSD and other synthetic hallucinogens on unsuspecting citizens, military personnel, and its own agents. Two 1953 noteworthy affairs centering on mind-expanding substances were - author Aldous Huxley being “turned on” to synthetic mescaline by Dr. Humphrey Osmond in a series of phanerothymic experiences that spawned the seminal psychedelic manifesto The Doors of Perception - and Alfred M. Hubbard “The Johnny Appleseed of LSD” quietly entering the world stage as a mystery man guided by “angelic” visions who began his cosmic proselytizing juggernaut of freely disseminating Delacid* to the 1953 cognoscenti. He just as quietly vanished never to be seen or heard of again.
1953 was the long-anticipated opening of “The Great Awakening” of this world into the next octave that was to become known as “The Fall of the Fall of 2011”. Amidst all these marvelous happenings by far the biggest event, second only to the author’s birth, was a weekly magazine hitting the news stands that would become as indispensable as cheap gas and church on Sunday to sleep-walking America - TV Guide was published for the first time in April 1953 with Lucille Ball and Desi junior on the premier’s cover. Yes, it was The Year That Was for little Oldbeatnik. These personalities and social landmark events and the ones in the turbulent years to come, combined with a not-so-unfortunate lack of “formal education” would mold the author’s worldview and be the impetus for a crazy and wonderful life and a host of creative endeavors including the following pages.
*The “Government” was smitten like a pubescent schoolgirl with this concept. They employed it 10 years later to rid their covertly ruling “Black Cabal” overseers of a wealthy, charismatic, wildly popular, AND threateningly troublesome (did We mention Catholic?) playboy president in a successful coup d’etat – the only one in American History (so far…). After the fashion of the Rosenberg’s, a patsy in the person of Lee Harvey Oswald, another rigged trial-of-sorts, and the cynical and comic “Warren Report” were provided for The Press and The People to cover for the left-handed doings of the Cabal’s thug-police arm embedded in the CIA, The Black Flag.
*Delacid is Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz' trade name for LSD-25 from which its famous street name ‘acid’ was coined.