Ken Kesey, famed author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was also a prominent explorer into the then-uncharted territory of the LSD experience. When he and his Merry Band of Pranksters traveled across the US in their school bus “Further” in 1964, the trip was heavily fueled by their ubiquitous orange-juice-and-acid cocktail. As many twists and turns ensued, there was always a chance someone wouldn’t be at the bus when the rest of the group was ready to leave. For these cases, the Pranksters had a rule: “You’re either on the bus, or you’re not.” They meant it literally, but also metaphorically.
The Pranksters did end up leaving someone once, which according to the Wikipedia article on Further, Kesey deeply regretted. The conceptual meaning of “On or Off the Bus,” though, is something that stuck with us and has informed our thought processes and examinations since. Someone could be sitting there physically “on the bus,” but they could be acting or speaking in an “off the bus” way. If you weren’t going with the flow, if you weren’t giving yourself over to the hive mind, you were off the bus. You were blocking the flow of well being. You were resisting. If you were on the bus, you had deep reverence and appreciation for everything that unfolded. You trusted life’s events as they were presented.