The Shaman and the Group Mind: A Psychic Digression With Mickey Hart
Seldom turns out the way it does in the song
DNA: I did an interview with Uri Geller (Israeli Psychic) yesterday so I’m on an ESP kick right now.
Mickey: Well it is fascinating. Our main focus was the idea of group mind. We saw the Grateful Dead as a group mind and one in which were able to share with the audience. We were able to take an image and project it into the audience and send it to receptive receivers. It proved a lot on a lot of levels.
In the strangest of places if you look at it right
DNA: I attended the Ritual and Rapture lecture that featured you, Garcia and Joseph Campbell. I recall a Deadhead asking Garcia about telepathy at Dead shows. His question was something like, “There are times at a show when my friends and I will think of a certain song and you will play it, and we know you know.” Garcia’s response was, “That’s pee-pee.” (anyone out there have a tape of this?)
Mickey: He said what?!
DNA: He said that people who he knew weren’t crazy had told him similar things. But it had never been proven to him beyond satisfactorily. He said it was pee-pee.
Mickey: I happen to agree with Garcia, though I wouldn’t call it pee-pee. I would call it unproven. My hypothesis is that it’s not impossible, it is within the realm of possibility. And certain people that are connected on one level or another can receive messages, synchronicity, entrainment or being in the flow. I believe that when people’s rhythms are locked they have something deep in common it happens. My question is this, “I know it happens, but can you prove it?” There’s just no conclusive proof. All through my life I’ve had people where I’ve called them up and they have picked up the phone without it ringing. I just had an interesting thing happen with Jean Campbell, Joe Campbell’s wife. I hadn’t talked to Jeanie for a year and half or two years, and I just called he up a couple of weeks ago. I was like, “Hi Jean, this is Mickey.” “Mickey, I just dreamed of you last night.” I was like, “Jean, has that happened before,” and she said, “no” These are the kinds of things that make you wonder. She said, “I had a dream last night that I should call you.” We just kind of hung there for a moment. It just isn’t that unusual for people that are connected.
DNA: That’s a grounding experience, bad science, but a good anchor.
Mickey: Hunter and I once wrote a song once, completely separate. He wrote the words and I wrote the music, but when we put them together they were completely identical. There was absolutely no way that either one of us could have heard the others composition. He never played it in front of anyone and I never played it front of anyone. He swore that I stole his music, but we looked at it and it would have been impossible to ever have either of us know what the other was thinking. Things like that happen all the time in a world where people are connected.
DNA: Grateful minds think alike.
Mickey: Definitely Synchronous minds.
Once in a while you get shown the light
DNA: I interviewed Apollo 12 astronaut Edgar Mitchell. He said he was having lunch with Uri Geller and was telling Uri that he was disappointed that Uri resorted to trickery so much to prove that ESP existed. When all of a sudden there was a plop in his soup and it was a tie clip he had lost ten years before halfway across the country.
Mickey: I mean c’mon, Uri Geller is a real guy, he definitely is a showman, a circus performer but you cannot deny his psychic powers. That psychic stuff has been totally proven. I met him once and he was a bit of a jerk. Though that does not take away from his talent.
DNA: Would you consider Uri a contemporary Shaman? Or, where do we find people in our society that can link up with the spirit world?
Mickey: He has Shamanistic powers, but does he use it for the betterment of the world, I don’t think so. Mostly I see him as a vaudeville performer. I don’t see him making a better world, do you?
DNA: Not unless he read my mind and mails me a million bucks. That would make my world better.
Mickey: Is he a healer, a medicine man?
DNA: In his new book, he talks about how his castle in England is often filled with kids from a cancer ward of hospital. Apparently he performs healings on them.
Mickey: Well there you go.
DNA: Where is the contemporary of Rolling Thunder? Is there a war on Shamanism?
Mickey: There has always been a war on Shamanism. It is an edge science, and anybody who is on the edge is always suspect. For the individual who is there, it doesn’t always work. It’s living your life by the seat of your pants. Whenever you deal with non-scientific experimentation you’re going to find Shamans. The word connotes “thinker.” It’s part of the lexicon, he doesn’t have to be a healer, he could be a faker.
DNA: Was Rolling Thunder genuine?
Mickey: Rolling Thunder was the real deal. I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes so there is no question about it. Of course he surrounded himself with a lot of Mumbo Jumbo as well, as all Shaman. So much of Shamans is the show, the act. You have to prepare. Belief is such a big part of Shamanism, you have win the persons confidence to heal. Or invade if it’s surgery, or even if it’s a mental healing, you must prepare the person for induction. Typically, rhythm, song or vibration, or magical charms do it. It’s mental and physical and there are many different approaches to doctoring and each one of them has their own tool kit. Rolling Thunder for the most part was herbal based and it worked. I picked herbs with him and he was a genius in that field. Stanley and I were also good friends with Rolling Thunder.
DNA: So where is the contemporary Shaman?
Mickey: Everywhere. Women are taking a big step forward and coming on strong. Musicians and artists or anyone who deals with the spirit world has potential. We haven’t cracked the code of DNA yet. Sorry, I hate to say that word.
DNA: That’s all right, I get a dime anyone says it.
Mickey: Science is starting to weigh in on this topic though. At a recent conference in New York on Music on the Brain, there was work done on what a brain looks like before and after an auditory driving experience and how vibration effects brainwaves. There is a scientific study being done in Santa Cruz called the Heart Math. What they are finding is that the heart isn’t just an organ that pumps blood, but it also pumps emotional content. And when you find pure science starting to study the physics of vibration, it isn’t long before they find the metaphysics.
DNA: So Science is mapping the human body in how it relates to environment, but also in the way it relates to consciousness.
Mickey: Yes, science is reinforcing and codifying the shaman way. It comes down to how do we create trance on a daily basis. What is the rhythm, what’s the rate? We’re trying to tune into the frequency so we can duplicate the experience and do it twice. Again, at the moment we’re doing it by the seat of our pants, but this century will crack that code.
DNA: If technological advances are often co-opted by the government for the purpose of war, do you see trance being used in that way?
Mickey: I don’t think so. It will be a war all right, but it will be a war of the minds and fight for the spirit world. There will be battles fought, but nothing we’re used to. I see the first application being used for medicine and therapy.