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Douglas Quaid Corey1920-2013
March 21, 2013 - By Scott King and Bonnie Burstein
PHOTO BY MARILYN BABCOCK
Douglas Quaid Corey at Pahrump, Nevada in June, 2009.
Douglas Quaid Corey, known to his friends as The Wizard of Topanga, passed away in Albuquerque, NM, Monday, Feb. 25, just 18 days short of his 93rd birthday.
The grandson of pioneers, Doug was born in Hilo, Hawaii, Mar. 15, 1920, to a missionary father and mathematician/teacher/Sanskrit scholar mother. Doug grew up in Glendale,CA and attended Chapman College, where he met his first wife, Rachel Jones, and earned a Ph.D in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California.
The couple had two sons and a daughter, Christopher, Randy and CayZan. In 1963, Doug and Rachel divorced, and Doug moved to a ranch in Lobo Canyon in Agoura. He met Dr. Jean Maas, also a clinical psychologist, while giving a talk on a paper he had written, inspired by existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, entitled The Reverse Format. They enjoyed a tremendously creative partnership, traveling and writing plays and books together, some of which were The Existential Bible, The Energy Couple, and Sacred Geometry and The First Born Daughter.
In 1972, Doug and Jean, along with a few friends and colleagues, purchased a remote coconut plantation on an island in Fiji, which they planned to develop into an Esalen style conference center during the height of the Nixon era when the threat of nuclear war was real and they were convinced the country was going fascist. However, the oil crisis in 1973 made air travel prohibitively expensive, preventing their plans from coming to fruition. Not to be defeated, they ran the place as a coconut plantation and bed and breakfast resort until 1985. In 1985, Doug left Jean and Fiji, and moved to Topanga to be closer to his children. In true Topanga tradition, around 1987, he built his house alone with his own hands, dubbed Holy Hollow. It had no running water or electricity, and a wood stove for heat. He lived in his beloved little house until 2012. For ten of those years he shared his cabin with Dr. Bonnie Burstein, also a clinical psychologist. Doug and Bonnie had a marvelously rich relationship spanning 25 years, a constant exploration of Sartre, physics, psychology, religion and life. He was, by turns, Bonnies, father, her long-lost younger brother, her mentor, her lover, her son, her shrink. Doug called himself a cosmological psychologist, and had an amazing gift of friendship, collaboration and inclusion. On his fathers side, he was related to Sir Francis Drake, the navigator. Doug himself was a scientist and an explorer of the mind. He became involved with LSD research with Oscar Janiger, MD, in the 50s and early 60s when it was still legal and knew Timothy Leary. He was invited to Learys 75th birthday party. His parents were religious seekers. Krishnamurtis brother was their houseguest for about a year when Doug was in high school. In this environment Doug learned about vegetarianism, Hinduism, and how to meditate and stand on his head and rhythmically rotate his belly muscles in the 1930s, well before the rest of us were exposed to these ideas in the 60s. Appreciating simplicity, he enigmatically also was drawn to the abstract and probed deeply into difficult subjects like chaos theory, fractals, the Fibonacci series, and the Golden Mean. He was a lifelong peace activist, and a conscientious objector during World War II, for which he spent a year in prison.
Doug was a true free spirit, always curious, loving simplicity, nature, animals, the outdoors, fresh air and building fruitful, collaborative relationships by putting strangers together. He introduced us to the concept of Synchronicity, the magical meshing of people and coincidence, creating higher good. To his dying day Doug felt like he was 16 and, deep into his eighth decade, often hitchhiked as far as LAX and beyond. People were always attracted to him. Movie stars picked him up hitchhiking. He was a mountain man, an authentic, old-school Topangan, with long hair and beard, living in his hand-built cabin in the woods off the grid, not knuckling under to the demands of civilization. Jean died in 1995, and Rachel died in 2010. Dougs sister, Madeleine, died many years ago. Doug is survived by his three children, Randy, Christopher and CayZan; stepdaughter Melodie Milhoan; grandchildren, John-Michael, Collin, Brittany, and Graeme; and five great-grandchildren, Bailey, Molly, Owen, Adam, and Ellis.
Grandson Collin and his wife Annemarie are expecting a baby boy in April. He is also survived by Dr. Bonnie Burstein, Angel Luciano, dear friends and extended Topanga family Eva Kataja, Patricia Ladell, Marilyn Babcock, Felice Matare, Scott King; he was an inspiration to us all.