august 2022 – goodnews editorial


On 9 July, Ann Shulgin passed away. She was ninety-six. Born in New Zealand, a writer, and a psychologist, she married the visionary chemist Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin, in 1978. Ann was an exceptionally gifted communicator and very outspoken. She was glamourous and unconventional, a bold, and motivated woman, someone to look up to. I was lucky to meet her at the Esalen Institute, in Big Sur, CA, introduced by Rupert Sheldrake. Since the Internet was still in its infancy then, I’ve found no trace of the memorable evening of June 17, 1985, Sasha Shulgin’s 60th birthday. In the early evening Terence McKenna gave a much-attended talk. While Terence introduced us to some of his ideas, Claudio Naranjo, Andrew Weil, Rick Doblin, Rupert Sheldrake, and Jill Purce, students, and staff members were sitting on pillows on the floor. The only two chairs in the room, brought for this purpose, were occupied by the smiling Shulgins. When everybody was done talking, we all had a bite to eat in the kitchen of Esalen’s Big House. Later, Sasha blew out the candles on his birthday cake and shared it with everyone. Later still, he got out his violin and serenaded us to enthusiastic applause. You’ll find Ann and Alexander Shulgins intrepid story in their famous books PIKHAL and TIKHAL. May they remain united in spirit and rest in peace.
Six years ago, on 17 August 2016, Dieter Hagenbach, initiator, and President of the Gaia Media Foundation, passed away. A sad day. He gave the foundation its name. Born out of Chaos, Gaia is a chthonic goddess. She brings forth all that grows and moves on earth and in the skies above. In Greek mythology, she has at least thirty-five children with many different men. This mother of mothers has bestowed her blessings upon us for eons, while defending herself whenever her laws were not respected. To be on the side of Gaia and give expression to her wisdom was one of Dieter’s objectives. The other was to spread consciousness about the manifold possibilities of the mind, and to inform about substances that can show us how to become more attuned to our own nature.
Five stormy years ago, I offered to keep Dieter’s newsletter alive by becoming its editor. Dieter’s but too brief successor, Lucius Werthmüller, and our team, gradually turned Dieter’s goodnewsletter into the gaiamedia goodnews, while staying true to his ideas. Please allow me to thank all of you who have shown appreciation for our efforts throughout the past five years, either by mail, by being our readers, by subscribing, and/or by becoming sponsors or patrons.
Susanne G. Seiler

P.S. The Psychedelic Salons will be back in September, In the meantime, we’re at the Gaia Lounge in Basel every Thursday afternoon from 14 – 18 h. Welcome!

first fig 

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!

 Edna St. Vincent Millay

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