Have You Been Experienced?

Newport 69 "Have you been experienced?"

Had he lived, Jimi Hendrix would have turned 69 last week. I wrote a post titled Happy Birthday, Jimi  a couple of years ago, summarizing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences of the man and his turbulent times.

I mentioned that I had seen Jimi perform live in 1969 at what was billed as The Newport ’69 Pop Festival in Northridge, CA. As far as I know, the video below is the only AV record of that performance in existence. Not to be missed is the second song featuring the incomparable Buddy Miles on drums and vocals.

(Last week in Don’t Sprays Me Bro I wrote: “It’s been some 40 years since I last referred to a police officer as a “pig.” Raised with a healthy respect for law enforcement, all that changed radically in 1969 when I witnessed an incident of unconscionable police brutality.”  That incident is recounted the first Jimi post linked to above.)

When Jimi famously asked “Are you experienced?”  I interpreted that vis a vis  my own encounter with what Hindu mystics might call Brahmajyoti , or “the effulgence of God.”  I was 18 at the time, tripping on some very good acid on a beach on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Suddenly, it was as if every pore in my skin, every atom in my body was radiating a different hue of pure, impersonal energy. Simply lifting my arm felt as if I could hurl the Rock of Gibraltar into space.

Later, after some serious religious self-study that included Buddhism,  a short stint in a Hindu monastery, books like Autobiography of a Yogi, The Impersonal Life, and The Urantia Book,  I formulated that experience  in spiritual  terms as the realization of that “True Light that lights everyone who comes into the world”;  in metaphysical terms as experiencing the human body as a literal ” Temple of God”;  in cognitive terms as  “me experiencing God experiencing me.”

So, Jimi, I would have to answer: Yes, I have been experienced…

Here again is part of what The Urantia Book says about music:

The best music of Urantia is just a fleeting echo of the magnificent strains heard by the celestial associates of your musicians, who left but snatches of these harmonies of morontia forces on record as the musical melodies of sound harmonics. Spirit-morontia music not infrequently employs all seven modes of expression and reproduction, so that the human mind is tremendously handicapped in any attempt to reduce these melodies of the higher spheres to mere notes of musical sound. Such an effort would be something like endeavoring to reproduce the strains of a great orchestra by means of a single musical instrument….

[O]nly once in a thousand mortal lives is there any great appreciation of harmonics. But be not discouraged; some day a real musician may appear on Urantia, and whole peoples will be enthralled by the magnificent strains of his melodies. One such human being could forever change the course of a whole nation, even the entire civilized world. It is literally true, “melody has power a whole world to transform.” Forever, music will remain the universal language of men, angels, and spirits. Harmony is the speech of Havona.

Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Miles rockin’ the Newport 69 Pop Festival

One comment

  1. Marc Neubauer

    Wow! Small world Propagandee!
    I was there too! My cousin Tom and I were going up and down California that summer…. spent four weeks just trippin’ around. First we had to hitch-hike from Phoenix to Sausalito to pick up his car which he left with another cousin (Mitzi) who had borrowed it a few weeks before.
    So we got the car and headed back south (after a several great days in Mill Valley and Sausalito where we saw Richie Havens perform) to catch the Newport Pop Festival everybody was talking about. We drove to Newport Beach and asked, “where’s the festival?” Only to be told it was in Northridge – back up in the valley! Jeeesh!! Wish we had known this before we drove past Reseda, Van Nuys, Burbank etc.. Dang! We had to drive 70 miles back the way we just came! Ah well. I went to Northridge Jr. High, so I was familiar with the territory.
    The festival was at Devonshire Downs if memory serves me. That was the second time I saw Hendrix. We saw Spirit and Taj Mahal and I think Joe Cocker (my memory’s kind of fuzzy of that weekend – probably due to the blond Lebanese we got turned on to!)

    The thing that stood out from that day – sadly – besides Hendrix, was the police line coming down the hill outside the fence where hippies had gathered – some of them climbing the fence to get in. Arm in arm, shields up, batons raised they proceeded to beat the sh** out of my brothers and sisters.
    I remember one guy – he was climbing the fence to get away! – being pulled down off the fence and two or three cops stood over him and two of them were beating the hell out of him with their batons (I should say CLUBS – batons sounds too nice and innocent ) – It was incredibly sickening, sad and maddening all at once! Several of us inside the fence were screaming at the cops to stop beating the poor guy – and yes I used the word “pig” with many other choice words – which I wasn’t in the habit of doing as I was a peace loving, baby hugging, patchouli wearing hippie kid – at the tender age of 15.

    My cousin and I with the help of a few other people ran to the fence and lifted small sections up to help people scramble under to escape the beating. We had to scramble back and fade into the crowd when the cops started to come around the fence at the end in order to stop us helping our bros and sisters out. I saw one cop KICK – I mean haul back and kick this poor young lady IN THE FACE!! several times! – while she was pinned under the fence, helpless, trying to get away from the police beating on the outside!

    That was the first time I witnessed – first hand – the brutality of “the man.” I’d seen it on TV before but seeing it in person made a lasting impression on me – the crazy injustice – the ruthlessness of those thugs in uniform. Over what???? Not paying for a damn ticket!!
    We didn’t stay for the next two days – seeing that poor girl kicked in the face soured the whole thing for me. Sure it was wrong for those kids to “crash the gate” – but damn it could have been handled in a much kinder – peaceful way.

    I gotta go check out your story now bro – hell we could have spoken to one another at that show!

    As always,
    Peace and Love

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