I would like to acknowledge my deep gratitude to the scientists and writers who have graciously contributed essays to this anthology. I am especially indebted to Tim Leary, without whose editorial suggestions, insights and criticisms the present volume would hardly have been possible. I also wish to express my professional and personal appreciation to Tom Payne, whose guidance was invaluable; to Carol Sturm, whose editorial sensitivity and patience have been remarkable; to Bob Burdett, whose wisdom helped shape the ensuing pages; to Norman Morris, M.D., friend and physician; to Stan Smith, my first psychedelic shepherd; and to the women of my life: my wife Pat, my mother Ida, and my daughters Kim and Lin, for their devotion and encouragement.
From the point of view of entrenched social establishments, it is perhaps legitimate to classify the psychedelics (literally, mind-manifesting or consciousness-expanding compounds) as dangerous subversive agents. By their action of flinging wide "the doors of perception," the insights they potentiate frequently enable one to see through the myriad pretentions and deceits which make up the mythology of the Social Lie. Thus, to the extent that power structures rely upon the controlled popular acceptance of the Lie to shore up and stabilize their hegemonies, psychedelic substances do indeed represent a kind of political threat.
Fortunately, however, only the most static, repressive society need worry about psychedelic subversion. Consciousness-expanding chemicals, in reality, present no threat, but rather offer hope and encouragement to a democratically oriented social structure. (Such a structure I would define simply as one which tangibly strives to assume the role of benevolent accomplice in Everyman's effort to realize his human potential.)
In all fairness, however, it should be noted that the United States is the only nation where the controversy over the uses and control of the psychedelics has reached national proportions. In the province of Saskatchewan, for contrasting example, where medical care has been socialized, consciousness-expanding materials have received the enthusiastic endorsement of public health authorities for the treatment of alcoholism. For the purposes of this preface, suffice it to assert that current personal and therapeutic applications of psychedelic agents are matters of fact, and as such are discussed at length in the ensuing chapters.
I would like to address those who feel that the use of consciousness-expanding compounds for other than medical purposes represent a self-deluding flight from reality. My own excursions under the expansive effects of such mind-openers as LSD-25, mescaline and psilocybin (all essentially the same in their effects) were not chartered for therapeutic purposes. They were largely the result of a deep curiosity engendered by viii
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