Ch'ing Ch'ing Goes the Bell


Kurt loved teaching, honored his teachers, and felt gratitude for the entire lineage of teachers who came before him. This was true in his experience of both the academic and spiritual world. In this short, devotional homage we see Kurt’s immersion into Vajrayana Buddhism of the mid-1970s. Of the teachings, he sings, “…up from the mud & Kurt von Meier, through the waters of the Lake Danakoss, wherever it might be as in the Taoist Water Wheel "reversing the flow" of the Golden Light within, onto the lily/lotus flower…”

Study and Travel - 1975


“Refugee cultures reflect, in their adaptation to new spatial surroundings, the temporal changes undergone by cultures which remain in place. The refugee is a 20th Century archetype in which we may see our own process of transformation; like the Hopis, we are refugees in our own country.”
This quote is included in a three-page summary of Kurt’s plans, perhaps in light of an upcoming sabbatical leave. It provides some historical information about Kurt’s activities, but also adds to the considerable store of his written material focused on archteypes, transformation, Laws of Form, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Letter to SFMOMA Curator Henry Hopkins


Henry Hopkins, painter and museum curator (now deceased, 1928-2009), was instrumental in establishing arts and architecture programs at UCLA in the early 60s, was the director of the LA County Museum of Art, and as such established a cordial relationship with Kurt von Meier, who was teaching art history at UCLA in Southern California at that time.

This letter from Kurt to Hopkins dates from 1983, when Kurt was making plans for his sabbatical leave of 1984 and SFMOMA, then under the leadership of Hopkins, was looking at recruitment for a museum project. It’s an amusing and typically quirky von Meier missive which recounts Kurt’s history (in part) at UCLA and his self-evaluation as a “mythopoeic character.”

Omnicon on Superliterate Societies


In 1979 Kurt participated in a group forum “online,” an “Omnicon” open to invited parties provided access to what was an early precursor to the World Wide Web. Sponsored by Omni Magazine, (now defunct), over a ten-week period, utilizing the EIES (Electronic Information Exchange System), the topic for discussion was Superliterate Societies, ie: reading and writing via computer code (Fortran, hence the warning ‘only 57 lines may be used for this text’), use of a connected terminal, and the issues that might arise from it, such as elitism. One participant was Kurt’s pal Walter (Clifford) Barney, and this gave Kurt the opportunity to also toss his many ideas into the online mix, which he did with enthusiasm. Again, in 1979 we find Kurt ahead of his time, as his Omnicon comments about the environment clearly indicate.
“Transcending belief is the task of consciousness in coming to recognize itself. All of which prompts a few searching inquiries--specifically about the four "great killers" in the present history of our watery planet. They may be identified as pollution, population, climatic change, mismanagement of the earth's resources. …The problem is not running short of fossil fuels, it is burning them.”