Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, & Allen Cohen join Alan Watts on his houseboat to discuss change, the evolution of society, and the practicality of ‘dropping out.’
In this episode of Being in the Way, Mark Watts introduces a truly legendary discussion featuring his father Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Allen Cohen. Beaming in from the summer of 1967 on Alan’s infamous houseboat in Sausalito, CA, this stacked lineup of free-thinkers, beatniks, poets, environmentalists, psychedelicists, and spiritualists dive into heady and practical conversation around “dropping out” into a freer, more natural, tribe-focused society.
No Leadership Underground // Dropping Out & Earning Bread
Welcoming Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Allen Cohen onto his houseboat, Alan Watts invites them into a discourse on the transformation of society. To begin, Alan shares how we can shift from monarchical to organic views of the universe. From here, Tim talks Millbrook and “dropping out,” while Ginsberg queries, “Dropping out from what?” Next, Alan reminisces about visiting Gary’s aesthetic hut in Mill Valley; and Gary shares how to drop out from society and still “earn bread” with patience and integrity.
“What [dropping out] meant was: cutting down on your desires and cutting down on your needs to an absolute minimum, and don’t be a bit fussy about your work or what you do for a living.” – Gary Snyder
Danny Goldberg & Raghu discuss the “1967 Houseboat Summit” from this episode, on Ep. 194 of Mindrolling
Nature, Food, Tribes, & Psychedelics // How to Drop Out (21:08)
Recognizing crossover in their utopian visions, Tim prognosticates about civilization’s “psychedelic dropouts” forming tribes focused on fun and natural living. Alan contemplates going back to primitive ways of preparing food; and Gary predicts the three styles of future tribe—wilderness, rural, and urban. Next, Alan illuminates how “drop-outs” and “squares” are mutually supportive of each other; while Gary showcases ways to commune with the sacred indigenous and ecological history of one’s area.
“What we need to realize is there can be a movement, a stirring among people, which can be organically designed instead of politically designed.” – Alan Watts
Alan Watts shares philosophical vantage points outlining humankind’s relationship to nature, on Ep. 8 of Being in the Way
Family & Marriage // Writing New Myths // Dropping Out, Turning On,Tuning In (43:33)
Continuing with practical tips for “dropping out,” they discuss family, child-rearing, the abstraction of money, and if healthy group marriage is possible. Tim then shares ideas on how we can come together and overcome racial prejudice; while Gary expresses the cultural shift from interest in things, to interest in states of mind. From here, they get meta about technology and the echoed reproduction of taped recordings like this one. To close, Tim proposes changing his slogan to “Drop Out, Turn On, Tune In.”
“We have to in our sessions relive the Christ thing, the Buddha thing, the Krishna thing—but we are creating a new myth.” – Timothy Leary