"Hie newspapers in these cities [San Francisco, New York, Chicago| have been fascinated by the psyche delic hippies, and at tunes the fascination has verged on obsession. In New York, the Times has devoted many columns of newsprint to their doings, and in San Francisco, the Chrofiick sent a bearded reporter out to spend a month prowling the add dens. (You guessed it; 'I Was a Hippie.') F.ven the 78-year-old historian Arnold Toynbee showed up mingling with the flower children of Haight-Asbbu\y, whese he wrote a series of dispatches for the London Observer,"
William Braden "LSD and the Press," 1970
largely because of LSD that the contemporary concept of psychedelks and the far-out social movement they spawned occurred at all..
The most powerful psychedelic relative to dose, LSD in many ways epitomizes the apocalyptic scope, creative range, psychic power and possibilities for accelerated behavioral change common 10 all psychedelic substances. Its short but well-documented history parallels the ancient plant hallucinogens of Mesoamerica in terms of its sacramental or magical-religious use, the hysterical hostility directed toward it by those in authority and the resulting legal-religious suppression.
On the black market, LSD has been the most visible of the psychedelics; the easiest to manufacture (though not necessarily, with sufficient dosage and purity controls), the easiest to score, the easiest to ingest in large amounts without somatic side effects. LSD is colorless, odorless and tasteless: and one ounce can be divided into 300,000 doses. About 40 pounds
The Teinptaiion of 51, Anthony by Andrea Parentiuo would turn on the entire country. Statistics like these have served to make police so paranoid that they ringed the main water reservoir outside Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention because one of their informants within the Yip pies had 'been put on by talk of this psychedelic guerrilla fantasy. Coffee urns being smaller that) reservoirs, a plot to dose Gerald Ford when he was vice president almost succeeded (six stagehands tripped out; Ford drank c/Ma).
The threat of accidental or intentional dosing has always been associated with LSD. When a five-year-old gid got into her parents' stash and was hospitalized in 1966, i( made headlines and influenced legislation. Squeaky From me allegedly dosed ail unfriendly witness at the Manson trial with an LSD-laced hamburger. A CIA operative committed suicide after reportedly being test-dosed without his knowledge. Not a few people have had their minds temporarily zonked after sampling some innocuous-looking punch.
The history of LSD-25 begins in the middle of Would War D; but ergot, the rye grain fungus (Claviceps purpurea) from which it is derived, has been used for centuries to aid childbirth and is described in the eadiest botanical literature. The malady of ergotism-of which one type, ergoiismus comuisivm, causes hallucinations and severe muscular contractions-has been known since the Middle Ages, when it was called SL Anthony's F ire after the patron saint of ergot sufferers. Outbreaks occurred from time to time (and as recently as 1951) in European villages where rye bread was a main food staple. Ergot poisoning was recently uncovered as a possibly significant factor in the Salem witch trials. It might be noted that Dr. Timothy Leary, once LSD's high priest, was called a "devil" by theologians on Sixties TV and was subjected, with many another, to judicial witch hums
All naturally occurring hallucinogens (except THC)i are alkaloids: a class of alkaline organic
The Teinptaiion of 51, Anthony by Andrea Parentiuo
"Pot is walking a foot off the ground; LSD leaving the earth entirely and zooming across the galaxy at the speed of ligh C
Saba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) Be Here Nov/ 1971
compounds containing nitrogen found in plants. Among the large number of ergot alkaloids is the lysergic amide series, of which the twenty-fifth preparation (LSD-25) was tested, first by accident and later by design, by a 37-year-old Swiss chemist at Sandoz Pharmaceutical labs in Basel,. In April 1943, Dr. Albert Hofmaun absorbed a drop of the solution on his finger and began to notice that reality had "a pleasant, lairy-tale-quality." He reported "a laboratory intoxication" and a few days later, on April 19, deliberately swallowed some more, beginning conservatively with the tiny amount of 250 micrograms, or 25 millionth^ of a gram. Unbelievingly-for there is no other substance found in nature or made in a laboratory that produces effects with so small a dose-Hofinann began tripping out.. Pedaling homeward on his bicycle, the chemist thought he was going insane. But it was only the temporary and unexpected effects of 250 micrograms, considered today a standard dose of LSD.
SET AND SETTING "Jean Houston (1967) has described one of her initial observations of LSD administration. The subject was told by the psychiatrist that tie would have 'a terrible, terrible experience' filled with 'strong anxiety and delusions.1 The drug was administered in an antiseptic hospital room with several observers in white coats watching him. As the effects came on, the psychiatrist asked such questions as, Is your anxiety increasing? Al the end of the experiment, the subject was in a state of panic."
Dr. Stanley Krippner "The Effects of Psychedelic Experience on Language
Functioning," , " 1970
Further tests on Sandoz volunteers confirmed the enormous psychic potential of this new substance, but because of interruptions caused by the war it took four years for the news to reach the medical world. Immediately, the psychiatric profession latched on to the drug, as did Cold War military-intelligence specialists. The U.S. Army tested it as an incapacitating agent in warfare and as a means of reversing the effects of brainwashing on Korean War POWs. The first media coverage given to a psychedelic was an army training film made in the cady Fifties, showing the disorientation of a young soldier stoned on acid. It was screened before countless GIs. The CIA spent 20 years investigating the potential of LSD for unmasking spies and causing localized mayhem. (R is interesting to note that the Weather Underground held group acid sessions to determine if they had been infiltrated by an informer.) Russian mind-control scientists investigated both militaristic and parapsycbological uses of LSD, One can only guess at the extent of military stockpiled LSD, and the amount of research hidden from public scrutiny.
Sandoz supplied LSD under the brand name Delysid to Western researchers. Investigators behind the Iron Curtain received their supply torn Spofa Pharmaceutical Works in Prague, where alchemy flourished in the sixteenth century. Farm it ilia, in Mi Ian and Lilly in the U.S. manufactured LSD using their own processes. Distribution of pharmaceutical LSD in all cases is controlled by government drug agencies.
LSD research spread from Europe to America when Dr. Max Rinkel began dosing subjects in Boston in 1949.
LSD was first given to mental patients in sterile hospital rooms and clinics by doctors who followed contemporary standards of maximum objectivity and did not themselves take the drug.
Or. Timothy Leery
CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING "Learning in many instances seems accelerated under (lie influence of 1 SIX and I here is growing evidence that this drug can facilitate creative problem solving LSD and related drills also show great promise in helping people to achieve better sexual and family lives. They remind many of the importance (.it spontaneity, intimacy and adventure in ¿1 society becoming ¡increasingly apathetic and iinjXTsoiutl." .
"DccJ £ lotion mi tifc LSD Crisis" issued at an LSD . t;:!."!;'fk in San Francisco sponsored by the University of California :ExtcjiSion. I y67
In was looked upon as a tool for discerning the biochemical nature of mental illness. Schizophrenics and psychotics often had bad trips, but some gained temporary insight into their illness. The effects oil normal or neurotic subjects were usually reported as temporary psychoses by noil tripping MDs. But doctors who took the drug themselves saw the amazing psychotherapeutic value of psychedelies. In a pioneer study at a Saskatchewan mental hospital i.n 1952, one-third of the chronic alcoholics in a mescaline-therapy group went on the wagon for good. Similar positive results were obtained in treating drug addicts, criminal psychopaths and people with heavy sex hang tips.
In psychoanalytic therapy, low doses of" LSD or mescaline were administered repeatedly; in psychedelic therapy the subject was prepared for one big, ego-shattering trip. In either casethe results were extremely impressive. The painstaking unraveling of a patient's, traumatic, past that took psychoanalytic therapy years to accomplish could now be accomplished by opening tip the deepest reaches of the mind in one afternoon. The next 20 years saw the emergence of new therapies: humanistic psychology, transactional analysis, gestall,, transpersonal and encounter therapies, biofeedback, est, 'I'M. yoga the entire human potential movement owes something of its success to the psychedelic experience.
The LSD energy wave reached the West Coast in the mid-1950s. Los Angeles and Menlo Park/Palo Alto were the scenes of the first important nonmedical experiments Willi psychedelic^, Dr. Oscar Jfuiiger studied the effects of LSD1 on artists' works. A dele Davis described 11 mythic acid trips under the pseudonym Jane Dunlap, and another woman tinder the name Constance Newland wrote a near bestseller telling how LSD therapy cured her of frigidity. Steve Allen revealed bis positive LSD experiences to TV audiences. At the
I lit e mat ional Foundation Menlo Park, ex-uranium helped use psychedelics problems and neurosis.
for Advanced Stud} in prospector A1 Hubbard to treat behavioral
In I960 two individuals destined to play shamanie roles in the psychedelic culture took their first trips. Clinical psychologist Timothy Leary ate a bunch ol" psilocybin mushrooms while vacationing in Cuernavaca and had the deepest religious experience of his life. Returning to Harvard, he turned on Richard Alpert, started the Psychedelic Research Project and ordered 25 kilograms of psilocybin (somewhat alarming Sandoz) for some of" the most innovative research to date. They switched to LSD when Michael (The Man Who Turned On ihr World) 1-Iollingshead showed up with 5,000 bits of Sandoz acid (cost: $285) in a mayonnaise jar.
Meanwhile a young Stanford writer, Ken Kesey, volunteered to take acid under clinical conditions, lie dedicated his prize winning novel, One Flew Over 'he Cuckoo's Nest, to the psychiatrist who turned him on and went on to pioneer in
"The variability, of I lie effects of psychedelics makes it hand to come up wi)]i appropriate unifying general izaiions about ilieir action ... [including] the presence of euphoria and depression, anxiety and calmness. Iieigluened sensitivity and loss of sensation. The only uncontradicted factoi4 in the item conteni is motor restlessness, but this is contradicted by other investigators in oilier studies. Set and setting are frequently adduced to account for this variability."
Bernard Aaronson and Humplirj Osmond Psychedelic«. 1970
recreational acid ''happenings'1 with a group of psychedelic communications artists called the MeiTy Pranksters. They epitomized the bizarre and dadaistk styles of California acid society and were the subject of Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test..
How psychedelics act in the body to produce changes in consciousness is still somewhat mysterious, despite years of research. It is agreed that hallucinogens affect the hypothalamus, the emotional center of the brain where serotonin, an enzyme similar in chemical structure' to the indole
hallucinogens, is also found. Serotonin (5-hydroxy-tryplamine) is one of the neurohumors that regulates, or censors, the flow of information transfer at the synapses of nerve cells. (The amphetamine-related hallucinogens, e.g., mescaline, are chemically related to another of the neurohumors, norepinephrine.) Serotonin is blocked, or otherwise interfered with, by the action of LSD-like drugs, with the result that much more of the infinite contents of the inner and outer wodds stream into the brain.
Psychedelics open up the nervous system in stages to reveal a mullileveled, multidimensional reality structure and superenergized transfomiaiional process. The sensory circuit is the first to be turned on. After a latency period of 30 or 45 minutes (during which time LSD triggers a series of biochemical and psychological reactions and leaves the brain) small, changes begin to be noticed: a feeling that something is different. . These changes rapidly intensify during the next ho mi' as the senses are flooded by millions of stimuli per second. The dilating pupils fill up with visual imagery: the ''retinal circus'' of hallucination- You don't see what's not there, you
Merry Pranksters' party
see more of what's there than you normally see. It's difficult for the mind to comprehend all that the eye is seeing, or that the ear is hearing. It's best to lie down or sit in the lotus position and not try to interpret it rationally. You can get hung up with illusions and emotional reactions, inviting paranoia. Moods change rapidly. Objects, faces, colors swim around and distort, disintegrate and rearrange themselves into kaleidoscopic patterns.
Hearing becomes acute. Sounds mix with images to create the extraordinary effect of synaesthesia. Music is one of the most power fril imprinting devices in the earjy sensory stages of a trip. It is common for people to bring their favorite records to an LSD session. All types of music, From Baroque to modern jazz, from Indian sitar to electronic, are lis tenable when tripping, but the chief head-music of the Sixties was acid rock, which served the same function as peyote music and mushroom veladas. The Grateful Dead, Doors, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Mothers of Invention, Dylan and others imprinted their culture from their own stoned perspectives at rock concerts just as curanderos and Road Men did in primitive teepees and huts.
Because the sense of smell is strong, burning incense and flowers were de rigeur whenever people tripped. Tactile sensation is powerfully enhanced as the distinction between body and environment becomes uncJcar. There's increased sensitivity to air temperature, to the kinesthetic changes in pressure, weight and vibration. A pervasive dryness of the mouth is noticeable until the desire to eat returns in the later stages of the trip, at which point simple natural foods like fruit and nuts can provide an ecstatic experience.
In the earjy stages of a psychedelic trip there is sometimes bodily discomfort (mild nausea-much stronger on peyote and some other plant hallucinogens-blurring of vision and chills), which is transitory and best to ignore. When ultra-awareness of the body gets translated into fearful images (e.g., that the heart is dangerously speeding up or slowing down, that the lungs have forgotten to expand and contract), paranoia results. Subjects' minds are so bombarded by a storm of impressions that they may feel incapable of directing body functions, forgetting that the autonomic nervous system takes care of itself. When disorientation occurs it's best to change the
"The most important effect of the drug for me was directly experiencing a psychotic state/'
"... i look on the mescaline experience as having been a provocative, rich source of data for speculation-richer» I am embarrassed to say, than much of my formal scientific research and study,"
E. Robert Sijinett "Experience and Reflections," 1970
set (with the help of a guide) or to surrender to the effects and thereby discharge them of their potential to create feat,. Or go the bathroom, if that's where it's at..
Throughout the sensory stage identity-loss also occurs. The dissolving of the ego can be an ecstatic experience as you float along toward a state of puie consciousness, or it can bring panic from lost bearings. Distortions in the perception of time and space signal the expansion of consciousness. Time slows ... space loses its limits. A sense of mind-body duality, or out-of-body experience, can occur. You are going out of your ordinary, rational mind into something far more universal, . Surrender seems to be the key as the psychedelic. experience carries you along into new dimensions.
Two hours or so into the LSD trip the sensory circus fades into the background ¿is the mind becomes hyperactive torn all the direct input it's received. The present, the recent past and the far past simultaneously figure in your reality. This is a very productive stage in psychotherapy, as early memories can be jogged loose and their emotional contents spilled out.. This is when Huxley began staring at a square inch of fabric in his pants and explored th'c human condition for what seemed l&e a el eternity.
With a dose of from 250 to 50<) micrograms of LSD the subject may time-travel back through his own life, his previous incarnations, the history of his race and species. Dr. Stanislav Grof categorizes these states as ancestral, , collective (racial), evolutionary, past incarnation, precognition and telepathy, planetary and extraplanetary, time and space travel,. You may relive your; birth, return to the source of the evolutionary process and become atomized into pure energy-especially with doses above 500 micrograms.
The famous "peak" of the experience comes on at about the third hour, with a feeling of rebirth and transcendence. You feel completely hooked up to the galactic network at a still-point in time. Emotional activity is resolved. The mind is "at play in the fields of the Lord." Concepts that have eluded you for years arc grasped; insight and a magnificent day "I looked at the paper 1 was to draw on. 1 was completely blank Suddenly I saw the finished project.. I did some quick calculations It would fit on the property and not only that ... it would meet the cost and income requirements. It was contemporary architecture with the richness of a cultural heritage ... it used history and experience hut did not copy iL 1 began to draw I worked at a pace I would not have thought I was capable of. I completed four sheets of faiuly comprehensive sketches. I was not tiied but 1 was satisfied that 1 had caught the essence of the image It was a magnificent day."
Architect using LSD to help design a shopping center Use 01 Psychedelic Agents to Facilitate Creatiye Problem
inspiration ride in with every thought. . There is a religious-mystical feeling of oneness, compassion, tolerance and love for alj things. The body is so perfect you can"! even feel it., Egoless, the cosmic being is revealed on a strand of decoded DNA..
After the i^eak comes "re-entry." The subject starts circling back, to his own identity and environment. ...in waves, the way he went out.. There's always a touch of sadness at losing a vision of the Infinite, and some people like to smoke grass at this point to add some mirth for balance. It's best to mellow through the
m come-down, and great to commune with fellow irippers, especially on the psychic plane, which is very accessible. People in close relationships can communicate deeply, from new perspectives, with words and touch during this stage of the trip. A greater understanding of interpersonal relationships and a new way of looking at the would, often lasting for weeks or months, are commonly found to result from a properly handled psychedelic, experience.
The come-down stage, marked by the waning of effects, lasts for several hours and is a good time for eating, love making, problem solving, taking a walk and watching a sunrise or sunset., About 12 to 14 hours after dropping acid the subject is ready to crash. A full-dose psychedelic, trip exhausts the body's resources and requires a long, restful sleep. Tolerance to LSD builds up quickly-you can'l slay high for more than three days-but it also disappears quickly. LSD is a cross-tolerant with psilocybin and more so with mescaline.
After extensive testing the Psychedelic Research Project found that the chief determinants of any trip were set, setting and dosage. If the subject's mental set projected apprehension and anxiety, the eaiJy stages of increased sensory awareness were often disturbing. A mild tranquilizer such as Librium or Valium carr be taken beforehand to prevent this. Ultrarational people with powerful ego-structures are able to resist the effects for a time, but the longer they do so, the longer they remain in a state of hell, prisoners of their ego. A feeling of going insane could be precipitated if subjects forget they've taken a drug. Feelings of existential isolation Or abandonment can occur: The setting of the trip is all-important. . An
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Exatnptes of psychedelic research ominous-looking room or object, a misunderstood remark or reaction from someone, the sudden appearance of a stranger, dark clouds crossing the sun, even a particular cut on a record can activate a state of fear and trembling, so suggestive to impressions is a psychedelia zed person.
To deal with bad trips or temporary freak-outs, the concept of a guide was developed by the Harvard researchers. Guides are experienced psychedelic, users familiar with the cartography of inner space. They may be under low doses of 30 to 50 micrograms to help them tune in to the tripper. Guides remain as unobtrusive as possible, emerging only to light a candle or change a record. If a freak-out occurs they remind the subject to surrender to Ihe temporary effects of the drug; Ihey are reassuring withoul playing the role of an authority figure.
Five hundred milligrams of niacin can bring down someone from a bad trip rather gently. However, in hospital emergency rooms the powerful tranquilizer thorazine is given to people unfortunate enough to find themselves there. The action of thorazine is so abrupt that the aftermath is unpleasant. . Free clinics and rock medicine developed the "talk down" method to handle people's freak-outs, especially at big rock concerts where polydrug use and product misidentifixation is rampant. .
The eanly Sixties marked a turning point in the use of psychedelics, as Cambridge became the center for American research. Leary, Alpert, Ralph Metzner and Iheir associates were deeply influenced by Huxley's enlightened humanistic approach to these drugs. They viewed them as mind liberators, positive catalysts for rapidly producing desirable behavioral change. They paid attention to nondrug factors and held sessions in living rooms. They turned on with their subjects (with a straight observer on hand), including prisoners in their cells. Walter Pahnke, Walter H. Clark and Alan Watts demonstrated that psychedelics were capable of providing a religious experience. Christians and Jews found God through psychedelics just as pagans did.
Conservative psychiatrists, educators and theologians reacted negatively to these revolutionary research methods and claims. Police became aroused when LSD-soaked sugar cubes began showing up off campus-the beginning of recreational use with black market acid. The FDA ordered Sandoz to restrict distribution of LSD. Leary and Alpert were dismissed from Harvard amid publicity that was soon tc make LSD a household word, synonymous with "nightmare, drug," sudden, bizarre, uncontrollable, producer of psychotic states and deformed babies.
Dr. Richsrd M'en "Bohr, Rom Doss" liolph Meizucr. Ph.D.
Lcory el Millbrsck Alan VVous
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