So the gorgeous Jo Stewart, aka Triple Toro in the Comments and writer of the terrifying but genius Being Taurus At Sea has just been Cosmic Sound Bathing. This is cross posted from her fab blog Notel California. The combo of sacred geomancy, ley lines, Californian Boho and Sound Therapy is just genius. F.Y.I. If you wanna stay at home & do this, experiment with Tibetan Singing Bowls & the bells. Also, who wants to set up an Integraton in other places? Clearly, they should be everywhere.
What do Anthony Bourdain, Queens of the Stone Age charisma-king Josh Homme, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold and myself have in common? We’ve all journeyed to the Mojave desert ‘town’ of Landers, California to receive a cosmic sound bath at the Integratron.
To get there you must drive on what has to be one of the creepiest highways ever. I’ve driven through Breaking Bad territory in New Mexico and the hunting grounds of notorious serial killer Ivan Milat in Australia but the road to Landers is way up there on the creep factor. Not sure if it was the white, wooden crosses dotting the dusty, rock strewn landscape, the occasional home-made memorial to people such as ‘Uncle Bob’ sitting at various intersections, the yards full of rusty car carcasses, the trailers spray painted with slogans like ‘GOD IS NUMBER ONE’ or the presence of a disheveled, lone hitchhiker trying his luck in 40 degree heat (sorry dude – no dice, I’ve got a date with the Integratron), but that highway is straight out of ‘The Hills have Eyes’.
Reportedly a “fusion of art, science and magic”, the Integraton was built by a man called George Van Tassel, (note from Mystic – he was Pisces) who apart from being an engineer and author, can also add ‘visionary’ and ‘interplanetary contactee’ to his impressive resume.
According to the Integratron website, this construction is “…an acoustically perfect tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in the magical Mojave Desert” and is “based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extraterrestrials” – now there’s a killer combo of inspirations! Van Tassel himself thought of it as a “time machine, rejuvenation machine and an anti-gravity device”. Based on this description alone, this thing would sell millions on late night infomercials.
Sadly, Van Tassel passed away in 1978, but the place is still used by everyone from musicians, to astronomers and yoga teachers. The people that now own it run an incredibly good show. Greeted at the front gate by a friendly dude in a golf cart, you pay your $25 for a public sound bath session and wait in the outdoors chill out area known as Hammock Village.
When it’s time to enter the Integratron, there is no sense of wonder or amazement at the inside of the structure itself. It looks just like many yoga rooms I’ve been in before, with people lying on yoga mats, with cushions and blankets – some self consciously unsure how to set up, others seasoned pros already primed for the sound bath experience. As I lie down next to a young, bearded, white-robed cliche, the owner explains that he is about the play the Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls and we will “definitely enter the third dimension, possibly the fifth too”. Whoa! With a claim like that, I am expecting big things.
I’ve never had a sound bath before, but the premise is that sound is form of nutrition for the nervous system, and with the Integratron housed on a geomagnetic vortex, the healing powers of sound are magnified here. As he starts to get the singing bowls going, the sounds are nothing short of incredible. These are the most acoustically perfect, deep, strong sounds my ear drums have ever encountered. The sounds wave throughout the Integratron and can be felt throughout the whole body. The sound bath continues for the next 30 minutes, where I go on a journey through the desert, meeting with all types of people: people I’ve met before, people from my past, people from my future, people from my childhood, people I’ve never met before. I’m just walking in the desert being greeted by new folk and reunited with people that have long departed this world. And the kicker is they are all overjoyed to see me. It’s like a cosmic homecoming.
I’m not sure what experiences other people had, I’m not sure if this desert journey with a cast of thousands was a figment of my imagination, I’m not sure what the hell happened in there, but it felt pretty damn amazing. Afterwards, I did feel rejuvenated, but I guess lying down for 30 minutes in the shade on a hot, summer’s day will do that. What a 30 minute nap won’t do though is give your restless soul a sense of contentment and a feeling of connection to others, to everyone in the Integratron that day, to the people in the immediate area and branching out further to the rest of the world. I can’t explain it but I felt closer to everyone on the planet after the sound bath.
Afterwards you have time to ‘play’ in the Integratron. You can suss out the neat acoustic tricks it’s known for (you can stand on one side and whisper to a friend standing on the other side, and they can hear you as if you are standing right next to them. Mind. Blown). Or you can hang out in Hammock Village, or sit around and watch the thermometer go for a record. Either way, peace is pretty much guaranteed – wish I could say that about the rest of the world.
Thoughts??? I can see a tour coming on – planetary jumpsuits, the Whiskey A Go-Go and Cosmic Sound Bathing. Via U.F.O. obviously. No inflight announcements – just binaural beats and Joshua Tree Essence. Mainstream culture is infuriatingly non-Uranian.