It hasn't been that long ago that I stumbled onto the
link via Lionheart's site, which also led me to reading Pam's
Morningstar Chronicles...the New Mexico version, this is.
I can't believe 38 years have passed by since I spent
5 or 6 of the
most life-transforming, I should say, formative months of my life at
Morningstar Mesa, Arroyo Hondo, Nuevo Mexico, in the summer of 1970.
Until recently, I never thought I'd have the chance to
any of you again. I don't know if any of you remember me; I was just
one of many kids drifting in & out at the time. I was 19 then. But
the experience has shaped all my life since; so I guess that's
testimony to the fact that it was a time & place that to many of us,
was very special. Even those of us whom the rest of you might have
considered transient and clueless. Ah, but sometimes you can't know
who is getting what lessons and how deep the seeds take hold.
My name is Ben Corson. I was originally from a little
Middlebury, in Indiana...a few miles away from David & Sharon
Rensberger's (sp.?) hometown of Millersburg..if anyone remembers those
folks. They were also at the Mesa.
My wife Linda and I moved here to the northernmost county of Idaho
in the spring of '74, and we have been trying to live well on the land
ever since. We still farm & ranch, and our three kids are adults now;
two of them are parents themselves.
I came to Morningstar in late spring with a couple of
I'd met in South Bend, Indiana just prior, where I had come back to,
after a winter of pounding nails for building 'burbs outside of Los
Alamos. Their names were Throttle (he said back in his grease days,
he was on the racing circuit) and his wife Cheryl. (Cheryl was
Afro-American, if that jogs the memory). They had a baby named Cannabis.
At Morningstar, I hung out with friends who like me were
guys, not sure what the next move should be, maybe a little dazed. I
would especially like to get hold of a couple crazy ex-New Yorkers
named Ibra and Joel. If they're still here on Earth with us...
I built a half-underground adobe next to the pueblo, and my friend
Jesse built a Morningstar 8-point window on its NE side...if I
remember my directions correctly. Some called us the "Funny
Company"...can't say I ever cared for that designation particularly,
but I guess it could've been worse...:-)
Anyway, most of the purpose of this letter doesn't really
whether any of you remember me or not.
This is intended to be mainly a "Thank You". An affirmation.
You built a post-industrial village and saw its need,
talk of Peak Oil and global warming. By inner guidance, you--we--knew
that Amerika must change or crash, and you built that village with
wise Tewa mentors, and their spiritual guidance, and LOTS of hard
work, and HEART. No money to speak of. One chain saw, one
WWII-vintage Dodge truck, and one teamster with a team of horses, a
few other hand tools.
You (and the other communes of the time) showed the world that
America DID have a soul and a conscience. That even spoiled American
gringo suburban kids, once exposed to the Light, believed in defying
the rationalist / military-industrial Death Machine enough to reject
it completely, and voluntarily live in solidarity with the rest of the
world. In harmony with Mother earth. A lesson I would love to see
shown to the rest of the world today, by our children and
grandchildren...and NEEDED more now than ever!
You opened the land to all who would come, because it was the
Morningstar Faith to do so. You held on to the original vision of Lou
Gottlieb and the other founders in California. I like to believe that
you also did so because you had faith that Spirit would bring the
souls that needed the experience, and the teaching, and that was your
sadhana, your work-in-trust. Like Paul told me, "This is a school."
I think now I know what he meant.
Even when I was there, I could see that we newcomers and drop-ins
were a strain on both your resources and your energy in many ways.
Yet for the most part, the feeling was patient and kind. For a very
good reason. You were building a new world. And you had to stay high
to do it. Thank you for letting newbies into that Holy process--even
if all of us didn't get it 100% at the time.
I would like to thank the towering spirits of the older brothers of
the Native American Church...and those who still are here on the Earth
to carry on the work of Sun Hawk and Little Joe and the others. I
think that the law could've severely hassled our mentors if they were
caught sharing the sacrament with white kids...for 40 years nearly, I
am in awe of their courage and their dedication and the strength of
Despite the fact that we were very crowded in a 50' diameter tipi,
and there was a little pissin' and moaning about that, the reward for
staying all night was profound. I have never felt "fellowship" in any
other 'Christian' gathering comparable to the peyote meeting on the
Mesa. I have also never felt ecstasy quite like that in any other
setting, and I think it was the gathering of all of us that made it so
unique and high. The gathering in the Spirit.
Morningstar Mesa was so completely out of the Amerikan
it seemed unreal--even though living there was VERY real--but I mean,
no electricity, not even concrete foundations. It was like Brigadoon,
the Scottish village from 200+ years ago that appears through a rift
in time to a couple of moderns; Morningstar was in a sense, ethereal.
It certainly seemed so to straight journalists, one of whom I remember
called it "Neolithic".
Its very discontinuity from the "norm" is what made it magical. And
that also made it completely appropriate and RIGHT. If it was
Neolithic, then FAR OUT! I loved it for it. I think that all our
souls are at least as old and timeless as "Neolithic"; that's about
right, that's about perfect, for how we ought to be living on the
Earth, if she is to be healed. Thought so then, think so now.
Morningstar NM has served as a high point for me, a standard
compare to, in many ways. To me, it has defined living your ideals.
I remain committed to the same ideals I learned more deeply than I
had known before, at Morningstar. I am still very much on the
spiritual "Road". I remain interested in communal efforts and in
intentional communities, and am considering opening this 183-acre
ranch of ours towards that end...my wife, I'm working on. We might
have to be more legal-savvy these days.
Well, didn't we think that the early 21st century would
like it does? (Unless we levitated the Empire somehow...maybe in a
Isn't the clarity and the strength of the Morningstar Faith needed
now more than ever?
Will half-hearted, compromised measures work any better now than
they ever did?
Maybe we---and a couple newer generations--need to mix clay and
straw with our feet again and build what they call "eco-villages"
nowadays--and watch while the skyscrapers go rusty.
At Morningstar, one day, I saw this land, as it was before
and the U.S. Cavalry and the Interstates and the power grid and the
strip malls arrived.
Another day, I saw the same continent in the future, all gone was
the cancer culture we call "modern', and I saw a happier, freer People
living on her.
Both kinda looked the same...:-)
I can't say that I think, that I could "see" those things
anywhere else...or at any other time in my life.
Glad you were there, to be that experience, which it was
privilege to be a small part of.
Thank you for all of that, and for so much more.
--- Ben Corson
Bonners Ferry, Idaho
P.S. Byron, I finally understand Casteneda now.