2013: Raising the Earth to the Next Vibration, Review by Kris Hemensley

by Richard Grossinger on January 5, 2014

Thursday, January 20, 2011

AROUND & ABOUT RICHARD GROSSINGER’S 2013 : Raising the Earth to the Next Vibration (North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, Cal; 2010)


The last occasion I found myself in Richard Grossinger’s vicinity was the mid ’80s when the equation I’d coined, Being Here (body : text : world), at last seemed a way of making sense of the sometimes contradictory concerns I’d followed since the 1960s (–e.g., the local & the international — which at times meant junking one to attend to the other– the hermetic & expressive notions of the art, and literature vis a vis social & political domains).
My head was full of Deep Ecology then –my lack of activism assuaged by the spiritual & non-instrumental imperatives of this revamped environmentalism. It was initially funded by John Martin’s perspective, via The Deep Ecologist (his newsletter from Warracknabeal, Victoria), which also included poetry as a category of its eclectic consciousness-raising. And then came Warwick Fox’s mind-blowing lecture at a Deep Ecology conference in Melbourne (ca ’86) in which he collided psychology, philosophy & the environment in transpersonalism’s headiest mix –all the more remarkable, I felt, for his linking of some authors & ideas I’d ‘discovered’ for myself amongst the dozens he cited never broached at all! I took up his reading list with alacrity!
Editing the Being Here issue of my magazine H/EAR in 1985 allowed me to recover some key references from the magazine’s first series, Earth Ship, ca 1970-72 (Southampton, UK). I named them then as Kenneth Irby, John Thorpe, Richard Grossinger & Carolee Schneemann, and heralded “the reconsideration of Richard Grossinger’s work, which is prolific & still accumulating…” Unfortunately I never managed to do it.
This mid ’80s’ reaching back to the late ’60s/early ’70s uncovered an interweaving of references involving Richard Grossinger & Clayton Eshleman, and the second bite as exciting as before.
I felt that Grossinger’s Io magazine & Eshleman’s Caterpillar together contributed “a desperate restatement of visionary poetics”, specifically identifying Eshleman’s Open Letter to George Stanley, Concerning the State of Our Nation, The American Spiritual Body, Which I first glimpsed in Peru; Schneemann’s Notations (1958-66); Robert Duncan’s Man’s Fulfillment in Order and Strife (which I called “a rich & dramatic argument concerning the orders of poetry, & the Orders of the World, incorporating universal poetical & local political commentary, relating to that reality which is an order born of language other than the political, which contained a magnificent plea for a new language to repulse the slanders of the era.” ).
About Grossinger’s Io magazine I wrote : “Io was a further shift away from the ‘literary’, after Olson’s example. (The whole import of the ‘projective’, for instance : that human act which prospered thereafter as one of Nature’s things; active concordance, together productive.) Io’s interdisciplinism was exciting, exotic yet practical because so evidently resonant of the planetary lot.”
Grossinger’s shift (explained in his preface to Charles Stein’s Poems and Glyphs (Io, # 17, 1973), which I read in ’84 via Melbourne poet John Anderson who’d bought it after I named Stein as a reference for his own writing) derived from his sense that the New American Poetry figures “The Beats, the Bay area poets, the Black Mountain people, and our own group are all concerned with matters of consciousness, vision, prophecy, cosmology, geography, etc., few of which are even peripheral to academic poetry in America, which is more involved in description, emotional reality, wit, and political rationalism…”
My own direction was subsequently away from the mutual exclusivity implied in Grossinger’s distinction & my endorsement of it. The ‘Whole House’ idea I came up with in the late ’90s, whilst relieving some observers, doesnt do justice to the contenders. But, that’s another (& continuing) story…

Richard Grossinger, either held in Olson & co’s force-field or that of his own making, always walked with an aura . He saw things, he said things –a bit like one felt about Bob Dylan in the mid ’60s –the young seer. (Grossinger’s image of flocks of seagulls on city rubbish dumps as evidence of the ocean’s depletion has stayed with me from the first –such a thought wasnt common in 1970…)
Every time I encounter him these days I think “long time no see” –yet a year or two ago I had looked at The Bardo of Waking Life (& liked Robert Kelly’s compliment to him, “To talk about the world as it happens in your head when you are in it.” –which is the mercurial nub of our project), –and years earlier books like Planet Medicine & The Night Sky. It seemed to me that our counter-culture, new-writing buddy was now addressing the world audience that the Sixties’ oracles assumed.
But it’s as if no time has intervened between then & now –no time since the cyclone which that era submitted as our cultural beginning & whose windfall we might be forever gathering (probably the truth of every beginning so perceived).

Imagined as one of ‘our generation’, admired as ‘one of us’ who’d already achieved more than a little of our own ambition (like, for example, 20 year-old Tom Pickard being published in Paris Review!), Grossinger’s publication of a book with Black Sparrow Press in addition to his magazine Io (not just a poetry mag but a gathering of all categories of enquiry that a poet of the field, let’s say, as of Olson’s multidisciplinary curriculum, could naturally come into) was awe-inspiring.
The achievement was celebrated by Robert Duncan (or ratified –such was the connotation of the New American Poetry hierarchy one had accepted –& gratefully, as though it were the ascendancy of Camelot).
I hold again Duncan’s pamphlet, Notes on Grossinger’s Solar Journal: Oecological Sections, which accompanied the Black Sparrow book, and relive the thrill of it — truly the older generation blessing the younger. And although, typically, two-thirds of the text doesnt name Grossinger, Duncan’s concerned to bear the prodigy up & through the literature –that is, literature as though science or as evidently revelatory (–& instantly I’m pinged by memory of Roland Barthes’ reference to Marxism as science, the absurdity of which appeared ever clearer for the time succeeding its brazen assertion : ‘science’ as authority against poetry, philosophy, religion? –considered speculations or, after Merleau-Ponty, events in language but not of the world? –miscasting objectivity, then, within the most ridiculous binary, misapprehending subjectivity also therefore). Robert Duncan’s exemplars –Darwin, Whitehead –distinguish the latter. In this view literature is a portal (to use Grossinger lingo), thus Pound, Williams, &, inevitably, Olson –: through that Literature & into the beyond that the visionary, whom Duncan would take Grossinger to be, always made his here & now.

Now it is we encounter an important problem –and I may as well make this its occasion as another more precisely located : the status of the discrete object in a context of the winningly suggestive & infinitely analogical expanse. I suppose the problem isnt so much with the golden chain (perhaps we’d say ‘string’ now!) but with the damage such understanding deals the discrete object (poem, person, place). Although Duncan himself had it that the truly ‘open’ poetics necessarily contained the ‘closed’, the transformational attitude as regards poetry tends to disqualify (certainly traditional) craft. I’ve always wondered why avant-garde friends could entertain the poem as performing every possible role, as vehicle &/or vector, except its function as poem. Of course, there’s just as much error from the other direction : lifeless, soulless form. Yet, since Language-poetry & other strategic practices, ‘lifeless & soulless’ could describe an array of both conventional & experimental poetry.


Cut to the chase : In the foreword to Grossinger’s book, Daniel Pinchbeck (author of 2012 : The Return of Quetzalcoatl) asks these rhetorical questions : “Is there some other dimension of being that our human species has the capacity to access as our current mistreated world convulses around us? Does the tremendous intelligence and integral efficiency of our biological matrix suggest some deeper wisdom operating in the greater universe with which we can resonate and harmonize?” (And his instant caveat : “My own quandary –it has almost silenced me recently– is the question of what the writer, the artist, the thinker should practically and actually do in this ruinous era.”) [p ix]
The first proposition is actually premised upon the second –a reiteration of a philosophical commonplace that one is within Meaning whatever it may be (thus also the World, the Universe, God, Being et al).
Regarding the New Age excitement around the Mayan prophecy, Grossinger cautions, “But I am not looking for indications of renewal externally and historically. I am looking for a gateway inside –inside consciousness, inside DNA potential, inside the zodiac. My book is not what is going to happen (or not) on December 21st, 2012 or January 1, 2013 but a 2013 context for what is already happening and has been happening since the emergence of our species, the advent of life on Earth, and the creation of this universe –impossibly big venues that cannot be queried but that mark abysses we must explore.” [Introduction, pp2/3]

I identify with Grossinger’s style of thinking & writing; by no means haphazard but the natural order of an intelligence following the maze of references his experience has endowed. Closer to innocence than magic, one’s also been receptive to that internal/external match-up of which Grossinger derives a dramatic concordance. But it’s the scale of his table & therefore the ability to exclaim & encompass (literally the same breath, the same perception) that distinguishes him.
Reflecting on his lack of recognition of Jose Arguelles’ Mayan thesis at the time he was offered it for publication, Grossinger submits, “My snub became an unconscious throwback to old elitist publishing habits as to what constituted a worthy curriculum, attitudes that I was in the bare beginnings of overcoming and that were still largely unexamined. I was an intellectual snob, with vestiges of Black Mountain literary machismo in my head, and I was pretty much in thrall to the anti-kitsch imperatives of Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Ed Dorn, Robert Kelly and crew.” (Introduction, p15) True enough. Which is why, perhaps, the New York Scene is what it is –serious, sincere & hilarious with the junk of the everyday –and not Black Mountain!
I simply havent delved into the authors Grossinger respects as teachers & companions –Richard Hoagland, Arguelles, Terrence McKenna among others. Some I remember from Io magazine & the milieu North Atlantic Books described. I respect that he’s done the hard yards (to use an appropriate Australianism) in the mind/body practices either side of orthodoxy.
David Bohm doesnt figure in Grossinger’s cavalcade but remembering my ’80s reading prompts the hologramic here as relevant to his perspective. And my own sense of the infinite trajectory of pivotal, that is life endowing/defining, events which are always available to intersection & continuation (according to the apprehension one has of any one of them; that is, to reengage with the event’s infinite possibility against apparent historical closure; remembering, crucially, that the dynamic is personal), assuredly resonates with Grossinger.

No surprise, really, that Grossinger shivers off association with Ken Wilber –not only because erstwhile comrades criticise him as a “self-aggrandizing, parasitical worm; even worse, a Ken Wilber wannabe” (p 551). He reflects, “Without your accusation, without its gauntlet, my writing is just fancy words, shoplifted at best, restless and hollow, dispensable, a betrayal and a failure of everything they stand for –not even third-rate Ken Wilber, as you duly say. But given what else my work must withstand, the trials coming this way in an ill and binding wind, it must be judged, scoured, and obliterated anyway, and then allowed whatever smidgen of truth and honour, if any, endure. That is the only goal worth striving for, the only reverie that might redeem us both at the final call. What I’m attempting here, consumer-culture drivel albeit, is more interesting to me than what Ken Wilber is attempting, but that is beside the point. He is doing fine at what he’s doing and he’s not on my radar and I don’t wannabe him.” (p554).
For my part, what I call the existential imperative, the here & now, flesh & blood vouchsafing of any vision, is what’s sacrificed in formalizing & abstracting (whether or not intended) any definition of reality. (In my unschooled mind, totality & the totalitarian conspire.) I seem always to prefer the poet to the logician, the authorial to the theoretical, poetry to the prose of systematization…


One pitfall of history or critical commentary as autobiography is the lack of distinction between the ‘gross natural array’ (Goethe) & the valued (by attribution or inherent), between the en passant & the gleanings of perception. But Richard Grossinger doesnt want to evade his own fact in the midst of it all. Par for the course in poetry, problematic in prose (because laid bare, unsynthesised).
I give him the benefit of the doubt despite intemperate & wrongheaded political judgments –e.g., what a truly awful analogy here, “In China people who manipulate goods or markets are executed. In the US they are allowed to keep their ill-gotten gains because they are too big to fail and anything else would be class warfare, and, god forbid, socialism…” The context for his comment is an aside on the billionaire swindler, Bernie Madoff, that he wasnt the worst : “The worst are names we will never know, secret bankers behind the global conspiracy and its invisible depositories and exchequers (and maybe even 9/11 and the missing black boxes too).” (p281) Naturally, then, the chic Left conflation with conspiracy theory on Bush, the Clintons, Obama, on Israel, even the Al Qaeda terrorists, monstrously bloated by their New Age appendices.
One’s appalled that the American complexion of this politics doesnt cause the embarrassment that might engender a humility and then occasion some worldly reality to the prognostications.
Grossinger’s partisan political swipes & snipes –sounding off as a lefty whose profound disappointment with the Democratic Party is matched by the vitriol he would always pour upon the Republicans– and his rallying to the belated cause of American Pop-music in the wash of the ‘the British Invasion’, strike me as odd indulgences for a Time Lord. At least, though, he demonstrates fallibility, that is a humanity pursuant on This-world desires & responsibilities.
Can’t help thinking that alchemy, homeopathy arent, perhaps, the best analytical tools for This-world politics! Esoteric understanding of the behavior of opposites cannot release us from our solid & historical weight, nor do dreams replace daily discourse. The contrary pertains.
To speak as though one were a player in the Big Scheme, in which game present-day humanity is qualitatitively reduced, smacks of the kind of bad faith which Michael McClure might be compelled to protest (in capital letters) : “I AM A MAMMAL PATRIOT!” Of course it’s a conundrum, especially fraught because the transformative impulse, the suite for the new, arises within the breast of unknowing.
We are always in progress, knowledgeable or wise, forever on the way. And no doubt at all Richard Grossinger knows all this & more. He remains tuned in & turned on, abounding in brilliant ideas & memorable expression –loquacious, erudite & gratifyingly flawed.

The ‘idiot’s guide’ to Richard Grossinger’s book would instruct that the author doesnt expect anything to happen on December 20th, 2012 or 1st January, 2013. Nothing will necessarily happen except what is always happening. Whatever the Mayan calendar construes is held by DNA & dreamt, as it were, by the consciousness in which humanity is subsumed. Prophecy, it might continue, concentrates the mind. Transformation is inevitable; life in all its forms teleological.
In short, 2013 : Raising the Earth to the Next Vibration is a music of the spheres, and it could only have been written in 2010, in America, on this planet!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed December 2, 2016 at 2:43 pm

Enjoyed your writing about Grossinger’s Hotel. I worked there in the mid seventies as a night auditor. It was a great experience living and working there. I especially recall with gratitude how well employees were treated. I felt like a guest. I lived on the top floor of Milton Berle Building. Employee dining room had great food and even waiters. I went on from there to manage and now own my own hotel. Your family business taught me how to treat employees. It was a great lesson that I went on to learn is rarely copied. I would love to visit Grossinger’s one day. Great memories indeed.

Polly Hough November 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Thanks to Richard and responders for an interesting dialogue, some of which seems helpful, but too much seeking to blame Hillary for losing, when she fought as hard as she could to continue what she could of Obama’s Legacy, which has benefited many, though not enough. Thanks also to Congress! I do wonder about her handlers and advisors’ thinking. Trump’s smoke screen of scandalous comments has obscured our view, and perhaps obscured the complexity of the problems. Hillary has apologized for her errors, and had the right to her point of view. I do wish that she had embraced more heartily Sanders’ populist approach and even chosen him to be her Vice Presidential contender, but I think they still might have lost. She had a workable platform, he had charisma and slogans. With work, they could have unified their vision. But neither addressed the “rigging” that I see Republicans do every day here in Utah. Is it so common that we don’t see it?
I suspect the truth of why the Democrats lost lies in the systematic cheating that the Republicans set up long ago, which was not sufficiently revealed and decried. It is time to read Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman’s,” The Flip & Strip Death of American Democracy…”, (www.freepress.org/www.solartopia.org). and look into the rigging in each state, particularly those key ones that lost her the election. She didn’t lose by that much if you face up to the weak democratic institutions we have going, and the way it allows the Electoral College system to malfunction without corrective. Let’s quit grieving and get to work fixing the damn thing. Too much is at stake. Trump’s finger should not be on the Nuclear button.

Linda November 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

I just finished Ron Sieh’s book and would love to take lessons from him. Can you tell me where is and if he’s teaching?

Vegeko December 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm

You can find pictures of here. Should I aemttpt to preface the city of a hundred spires, its lovely architecture cannot be forgotten. Search in your memory for a name of any style you can think of. Prague will almost certainly have some landmark to offer – be it from hundreds of years ago such as Romanesque rotunda or from numerous eras spanning centuries. The latter can be represented by the picturesque Prague Castle with its truly magnificent St Vitus’s Cathedral or the tiny (and that is probably one of the reasons why) fairy-tale like Golden Lane. The same applies to architectonic landmarks “remembering” merely several decades such as the precious Cubist pearls scattered here and there in Prague’s winding streets, buildings, , theaters, museums.

Richard Grossinger August 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Thanks for the comment. It was meant to serve a healing function itself, as there is not really a general cure for optical migraines. But no, I don’t have a lot of specific or topic-oriented feedback. Most of it is on the same level of yours: general usefulness of the book. As probably goes without saying (from my quotes and bibliography), I consider Oliver Sacks’ book Migraine very useful, but the best one is a book that our press published for which Sacks wrote the preface: Migraine Art. It is more than a picture book; it goes into great detail on the categories of auras and their effects. Richard

Jackie Perkins August 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

Hi Richard,
I read your book about migraine auras several years ago and have reread it several
times. Thank you so much for writing it as it helps me when I have a bout of
auras with very little headache. I was wondering if you have had a lot feedback
from fellow sufferers and if you have learned anything more about them since
the book was written. Can you refer me to any other sources to help me make
peace or get rid to them completely.
Any comments will be appreciated,\.

Jacqueline phillips December 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Thanks for sharing. Raised in the village of Liberty. Worked the switchboard at the G as a teenager. Went to school with Sandy. Sad it did not continue.

david hovey August 27, 2014 at 9:40 am

my mother and aunt were bauer sisters..founder of lpga golf association..i spent many summers up there..great..miss it

Richard Grossinger May 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Dear Jim, Thanks for writing. You were really there at the core of my time, a rare thing. I don’t specifically remember you, though. Let me know if you want the two books, New Moon and/or Out of Babylon, as I can send them for just the cost of the postage. Richard

jim blankenship May 22, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I enjoyed reading about your family and experience at Grossingers. I worked there, along with Teddy Howard, as the house photographer from 1958-1961. It was quite an experience meeting and photographing many of the celebrities and sports figures. I had been on the staff at NY Daily news in the city prior to this so I enjoyed the life in Liberty and Sullivan Co. My wife and I live in Atlanta now. We were married in Liberty in 1960……. Jim Blankenship AP Photographer,retired

Richard Grossinger January 6, 2014 at 11:10 am

Thanks, Kris. I have send the review around to our staff, and there is even some tentative thought about including it as a foreword to one of the two 50th-anniversary Io anthologies that we are releasing next year (2015). If we were to pursue that, would you like to rewrite it or perhaps punctuate it more conventionally (close open parentheses, etc.)?
I’d be curious to know your actual critique of my political statements. You don’t actually say, taking it for granted that it is obvious, though part of your point is that it isn’t obvious to me, and it isn’t. I can guess, but I could easily be wrong. For instance, it isn’t actually clear that you are not the Australian (or other) offended equivalent of a Conservative Republican.
Although I do pose those arguments seriously, they are also at the level of myth, and I speak to that occasionally. I have no special insight into political matters, but I do throw myself into the mythology for what it expresses. I think that one can be literally “wrong” and still mythologically accurate. For instance, in the case of Obama, he is not literally who I have portrayed him as, but the myth is still authentic. In that regard, you might note my Facebook post on him recently, also on this website.
Also ironically enough in this regard, enough people are ONLY reading the political parts of my writing, enough so that Andrew Harvey has urged me to collect them in their own book as part of his Spiritual Activism imprint. This doesn’t make me any less off-base any more than that that refutation is obvious.
No complain here. I’m just interested to know what you are actually saying. I have spent most of my life in America, whether in compliance or reaction.
The whole “Ken Wilber” thing is an interesting story of its own, far too labyrinthine to tell. The very short version of it is that a writer friend in Maine with whom I occasionally hiked and whose work I supported and helped get published suddenly went ballistic against me and not only made those comments about me and Wilber, which I paraphrased, but wrote such, strong threatening emails that friends I showed them to urged me to take them to the police. They were what mafia might write.
The thing that set him off was that after a hike I naively wrote a piece (like many of the other pieces in 2013 and Bardo of Waking Life) about the events on the hike and our dialogue and then sent it to him (from NYC en route back to California) with the idea that he and I might collaborate on a piece about our experiences that day. Making him a character in my piece, even though it was informal and unpublished and I was offering him an edit and a collaboration, had the effect of triggering a response so extreme that I didn’t actually believe he was serious at first. I apologized profusely, trashed the piece, and yet the emails kept coming, up to the “mafia” level. What made this all the more inexplicable was the fact that prior to my transgression in writing the piece, he had been a good friend, and I had been pretty much his main supporter in the larger world, finding him a venue in which to publish.
Now that’s the shell of the story, and the piece you comment on came out of that, is my displaced response to it. I didn’t want to repeat the original error by being any more specific and singling him out in any way. The underlying issues are probably of a whole different order.
Since then, we have mellowed out, though are no longer friends and don’t hike together anymore. Meanwhile I have had a lot of indirect contact with Wilber in the sense that two of his main students who live in the Bay Area have read Dark Pool of Light and consider it relevant to the Wilber tradition and thus have spent time with me, talking. So right after I declared myself completely separate from all that, I got brought back into it in more benign and pleasant terms.
I hope that you take a look at Dark Pool, as what I began in 2013 is brought to its culmination in there. Really what my work is about, and what I make my stand on, is not the political ideology or even the literary voice so much, but the cosmic vision, and then putting it into viable literary form. I will post this on Facebook too. Richard

Kris Hemensley January 6, 2014 at 12:47 am

I’m amazed & humbled at yr reprinting of my review… Thank you. Looking forward to reading you anew in 2014! Cheers, Kris Hemensley

Richard Grossinger September 16, 2013 at 4:21 am

They have not been updated, but I have started work on a fourth volume posted on this website. Also the fourth volume is really now the “fifth”
volume because I have rewritten The Night Sky as a de facto fourth volume. It will be out next spring. See the home page of this site for a table of contents. Also I will continue to post interviews with me about the books, audio, video, and text. Thanks for reading them and for inquiring.

Jim Weddington September 16, 2013 at 3:31 am

I have all three volumes of “Dark Pools of Light” in nook book format. I recently heard that this trilogy has been up dated. If so I would like to recieve the update in the nook format. If this is possible.

I have been having some problems with emails. So if you can’t reach
me by email try.

Jim Weddington
105 LaGrange St.
Newnan, GA 30263


Jim Weddington

105 LaGrange St.

Richard Grossinger July 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Dolores, thanks for the touching thoughts. Time does move remarkably fast, especially because it never stops, even for an instant. But it may not be linear, so those times are still alive somewhere in the universe, as you will be.

Dolores Levine Seiler July 20, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Dear Richard, I enjoyed reading your piece. For me it was nostalgia and sadness, not only for Grossinger’s but for my life which is also nearing its end. My father was Lazarus Levine, and my husband, Seymour Seiler, married me at the hotel in 1953. He was an architect and worked with Harry. My son, now 56, had his Bar Mitzvah celebration at Grossinger’s. My daughter learned how to ice skate and ski at the hotel. I am sorry that my grandchildren could not particpate in the “Jewish” celebrations that were so wonderful there.

Richard Grossinger May 21, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Well said. Thanks for the comments.

Carol Malloch May 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Hello Richard,
I enjoyed reading your article. I moved to the town. of Liberty NY. in the early 70’s .
I grew up on the West coast up to that point. Liberty was culture shock . For your family to build a world class resort was a testament to their abilities . Your aunt Elaine. was a respected member of the community . She was head of the school board
in Liberty . She handled out the diplomas at the high school graduations every year.
When your grandmother died, the town lined the main st of town for her procession.
Grossinger’s was the castle on the hill and the jewel of the catskill resort.industry . Your cousins Michell and Mark went on in the hotel industry to make their mark . The problem was the weak economy and decline of the whole hotel industry that ruined Grossinger’s . Your father and Aunt Elaine did what they could do to keep people employed . Despite how your parents turned out, they are still your family and you are apart of them . Grossinger’s will be always known for it’s great hospitality . It’s just a shame how she ended up. The Catskill Mountains just reached up and took back what was their’s .

Richard Grossinger May 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I have no knowledge at all. The property was sold almost 30 years ago and has been re-sold many times since then.

Monique DeCicco-Jones May 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I am a Family Nurse Practitioner with a few ideas on the restoration of this facility via Health Care grants. Who actually owns this property and what is their contact information? My phone number is (845)292-9114. I am a resident of Liberty and often don’t read my email because I am extremely busy pursuing a PhD in nursing so please feel free to phone.

Monique DeCicco-Jones May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm

I am a Family Nurse Practitioner with a few ideas on the restoration of this facility via Health Care grants. Who actually owns this property and what is their contact information? My phone number is (845)292-9114. I am a resident of Liberty and often don’t read my email because I am extremely busy pursuing a PhD in nursing so please feel free to phone. I pass the facility everyday and have great visions for it!

Richard Grossinger May 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I am moved by your bringing back the past, and it rings true about my grandmother whom, I always felt, had a dignity and grandeur beyond her public image, and also a kindness and generosity, though she also had her own hauteur and corruptness. The generation that followed just didn’t get it, not that it would have changed anything in the end. I’m not sure that “Peter” isn’t a wrong memory. It’s more likely Michael or James, my adopted half-brothers. Also possibly Jerry or Freddie. No “Peter Grossinger” in that era.

Ron Erich May 10, 2013 at 7:35 pm

So glad and sad to come upon your story. I , and my sister, worked at Grossinger’s for two summers as a waiters, earning money for college. I think it was 1965, 1966. Jennie G. offered us the jobs when she was in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and my father was her Physical Therapist. I remember the two great fun summers there. I did hang out a little with Peter Grossinger one summer and it was always a thrill went Jennie would come into the dining room and give me a hug. It made me feel important and kept the maitre d’s off my back for a few hours, at least.
So sad to see the pictures of the property in its state of abandonment. I saw that the Concord is gone also. Here in southern California one seldom sees beautiful properties going back to nature.
Thanks for your story and bringing back memories that I had almost forgotten.

Shirley March 31, 2013 at 7:23 pm

My father worked as a waiter there during the 70s. Sometimes he would take us there and I would remember swimming, skiing, or just roaming around the hotel with my sister and friend. We loved going there and my father still talks about his wonderful years there. When the hotel was closing down my father salvaged a few things, including a painted porcelain plate I believe that was hung in the dining room. I want to return these items to the family. Let me know if you would like for me to send you a photo.

Richard Grossinger February 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Last I knew, he was teaching at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco in the Somatics Program.

William McKeen February 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm


The double slit experiment prove that with observation you can improve the probability of making a certain thing happen. The negative aspect of this is if focus on the particle you lose sight of the momentum. Focus on the momentum, you lose sight of the particle. Another example, focus on the tree you lose sight of the forest. Focus on the forest you lose sight of the tree. Even better one, focus on God you lose sight of reality. Focus on reality you lose sight of God.

The extreme differential of the last example can be explored in the writings of both Schopenhauer and Swedenborg.

MN February 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Hello Richard, I used to know Ian Grand a long time ago in Berkeley. Wondering if you have any idea what’s become of him. Thanks!

Richard Grossinger November 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Great WorK!

Richard Grossinger October 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

Thanks for the nice note. I think that the warts ARE history, always. Nothing exists as an idea(l) or in a vacuum or as its mere prototype.

Wes Gray October 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

Dear Richard,

You are an extremely talented writer. A wonderful story indeed. As the internet goes, you end up stumbling upon things you never knew. I learned a great deal about a piece of American history, warts and all. Your grandmother’s legacy is secure for eternity.

ann September 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Regarding, Dark Pool of Light, Volume Two: Consciousness in Psychospiritual and Psychic … By Richard Grossinger, I would like a preview copy. I grew up with Kimmie Ross and we just today discussed Ontology, and her future with that concept. So it was quite a surprise to read your bit on her. Though a sceptic, your writing style keeps me reading….and your education…my grandfather went to Amherst and my mother went to Smith then Univ. of Michigan to join my father (a fourth generation U. of Mich grad). You seem to have fun with your life and family so that is why I am requesting the preview, which you offered.
Thanks, Ann

Barbara Sparhawk September 3, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hello Mr Grossinger. Found you googling Goddard and there were so many cross references historically between us I feel compelled to halloo.
Goddard student in ’62, classmates Charlie Ponce, Eric Saarinen, Peter Pilafian…acted in Charlie’s moody plays, there were many and he was stark drama, the only one I remember the title of is The Cistern, me posed reciting in spotlight over faux hole center stage. I attended Riverside’s Encampment for Citizenship summer prior to Goddard, Ethical Culture Society but as a child, and took Tai Chi in the ’60’s with Professor Cheng M’an Ching on West Broadway. Lived in Chinatown, Brooklyn, bits of the states and world; only female billboard painter; still write and still paint; gallery in Big Sur 3 years, now Carmel Valley.
Interesting to find you and read your history. Goddard produced activists, something that never entirely left the molecules electrified there.

Paul D. Mendelsohn August 24, 2012 at 6:44 am

Hi Richard:

I loved your piece. We must have run in parallel universes. My dad had the jewelery concession at G’s in the 50’s and early 60’s, so I spent a lot of weekends up there as a kid and have great memories. My dad was a good friend of PG’s, Jenny and Elaine and he mentioned the other day that he still runs into Elaine down in Boca. The ruins remind me of looking at the wreck of the titanic, which I also had a fascination with as a child. At G’s I had so many great memories of wandering through the lobbies, watching Jenny on “this is your life” in the lobby in 1954 (I was only 7), the ice sculptures, Lew and Simon Sez, skating with Irving, watching them break gound for the “new” indoor pool, the malts in the coffee shop, the great toboggan rides, but mostly I enjoyed watching the people. It was a great time to bond with my dad in a Camelot environment. In the late 60’s I also worked with my brother Hank in the dining room, but G’s was changing and was already not the same. I also got hazed at the one year I spent at Camp Chipinaw. But I did enjoy the horseback riding, fencing and lake area. Athough I did not like having to carry out “rocks” every time we left the lake to clean out the swimming area. I currently live in Charlotte, Vermont and would love to hear from you.

Richard Grossinger August 20, 2012 at 5:25 am

Thanks, Greg. So great to hear from you. You were my room-mate in Phi Psi at the beginning of sophomore year, a crossroads time. And you were my first stop on my flight west in 1965, the seminal summer of my life. That’s no doubt when I “performed” my orange-juice disaster. I can be very dyslexic with half a chance, and certainly back then. I am still grateful you provided that “safe house” when it counted. I’d love to hear more about your journeys. Is there a way to contact you?

John Prentiss (Greg) August 5, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Hi Rich. While googling “Sam Lipskin,” I stumbled on your “Best Friends” list and am glad I did. In addition to news of Sam, you shared info about other classmates like Jeff Tripp and Greg Dropkin I’d lost track of decades ago.

You remain one of the most talented, delightfully eccentric people it has been my pleasure to meet. (I still remember my father looking on in disbelief as you tried to mash a 2 1/2 inch wide can of frozen orange juice into a jar with a 2 inch top and his saying to me later, “So how come you’re telling me he’s genius? He can’t even make orange juice.”)
Take care.
Greg Prentiss, former screenwriter, bum, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Adams County, Washington, now living in the Ozarks with 6 cats

admin April 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks, Harlan, I appreciate the comments. Probably the only thing further I’ll do on this is rewrite Out of Babylon for an ebook to come out in 2014.

Harlan Friedman April 22, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I loved this story. My father worked at the G during the 70’s until the parental units decided it was time to take the pilgrimage to Long island and set up shop there. I remember many fun days there. My first “print ad” was a shot they used of me on the playground for a brochure in the late 70’s. Please keep the stories and pictures coming!

admin March 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Thanks, Michael. Are you still around Bar Harbor? Lindy and I plan to be there around July 1 through at least the end of September this year.

michael flahetty March 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Hey Richard! We first met on Mt. Desert Island when we swapped a pizza for Somme of your books(great trade).Hope you and your family are well.Saw your son on t.v. and felt a strange sense of pride considering how little I know you or your family.Hope to see you in Maine!

admin February 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I really don’t remember or, more to the point, don’t think I ever knew. The number “$26,000 a day” sticks in my mind from some discussion in the mid-seventies.

Nick Pjevach February 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

couple of quick questions on Grossinger’s Resort
would you by chance remember any of the operating costs of the resort?
I would be interested to find out what some of the costs are to operate such
a large complex. (just think of the gas bill for those two boilers).
Very sad about Paul losing everything. Grossinger’s $1.8 mm loss in 1985 was
probably (or eventtually) covered by Paul personnally. That kind of loss is hard
for any one person (or family) to cover. (my father also covered losses for a
business and it ruined the last 10 years of his life-he died broke also covering
personally guaranteed debt of a business)
also enoyed your writing above

admin February 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm

It’s from the 1970s, well before PDF days. Ann Arbor Microfilms made a version in the style of the day, and I know that that’s available in Maine libraries, perhaps by interlibrary loan. Some of the material appears in my books Book of Cranberry Islands and The Provinces.

Deborah Confer February 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I’m a research assistant to someone writing a report for the National Park Service on the traditional histories of Otter Cove and Isle au Haut. I would be very interested in reading your dissertation, The strategy and ideology of lobster-fishing
on the back side of Mount Desert Island, Hancock County, Maine. Is it possible to get a PDF version? Thanks so much.

Geoffrey Brown January 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Moving and sad and at the same time delightful. I grew up in Liberty, enjoyed Grossingers mostly from the outside but still able to see the place from my bedroom window. Your aunt Elaine was very kind to me when I was doing some grad school research on migrant manpower in the resort industry. Thank you for writing this.

Magdalena Ball September 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Thank you so much for these detailed and richly presented recollections. I’m writing a novel (as you so beautifully put it, “for curios and mementos, for jewels and heirlooms, and for memes of the elusive and illusory American paradise”) partly set at Grossinger’s in the 1940s, when my grandmother worked as a young singer (family mythology was that Jenny chose her from a competition in Central Park and brought her out to the hotel, where she subsequently met her husband, my grandfather, and changed the course of her life). Every piece of information I can find helps me to better reconstruct the setting and also illuminate my own history. Of course I would love to travel back in time and sit in the audience to verify memory, but your notes are almost as good.

David Gitin July 24, 2011 at 9:09 am

Richard, I love your ability to articulate the ‘dilemma’ (even if that articulation, including the capture as ‘dilemma’ is itself part of the issue). Snyder’s discussion of Buddhism and the Coming Revolution decades ago gave hint of this, forerunner perhaps. Andrew’s responses closely echo the talk we heard him give the other night, but good to have them here as part of the conversation. Thanks for pointing me to your website!

jonah mark bekerman June 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

wonderful reading


elliot was going to give you a copy of breathing in the infinite

did he?

Anita Wolfenberger March 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. In 1964, after marrying (in Puerto Rico) to a Army man, I purchased a cookbook of Jewish cooking put out by your parents hotel. The Introduction is by your father.

I have no idea of the name of the book. The cover long ago gave way to white paper and scotch tape, the pages are missing corners and frayed all around, the book is only partly attached to what is left of it’s spine. In short it is well used.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to tell you this. I just read that the hotel is closed and am sorry to hear that. I believe I was there when I was about five or so, which would be around 1948. I have vague memories of a “talent” show of little kids.

(Mrs) Anita Wolfenberger
New Market, TN

Larry Olsen February 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Good Evening:
My brother, nearly 40 years ago, attended a technical competition that was held up at Grossinger’s in Upstate New York. The night before the competition, the hotel had a number of very talented people who put on various skits and songs, including “The Ballad of Irving” and a song about Washington at Valley Forge. One of the few lines that I remember was something about, “If Washington was Jewish, instead of Valley Forge, The Army would have wintered up at Grossinger’s with George!” Is this the same as the song you list on this site?

Paul February 12, 2011 at 12:05 am

I would add a couple of books that came out later – Henri Bortoft’s “The Wholeness of Nature” and Doris Lessing’s “Memoirs of a Survivor.” Interesting to see a bunch of Owen Barfield on your list. Such a lucid and compelling thinker and writer!

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