Now, the final problem that comes up in this discussion is what we might call psychedelic control. The whole question of. Since there is a widespread circulation and knowledge of these substances among us. What are we going to do about it? I want to make the initial point that there is a very strong difference between controlling something and suppressing it. If you are controlled to go back to the great General Motors image of life. If you are controlled as a driver of a car that is quite different from a person who never drives, keeps the car locked up in the garage. If you are controlled as a writer, you are not a person who never picks up a pen. If you are controlled as a dancer, you are not a person who never dances.
But this has been utterly misunderstood throughout the whole history of the Christian West.
In the United States, we just haven’t learned from any of the historical lessons. I recently was discussing this problem with an Indian tribe. And a tribe which incorporates the Native American church where they use peyote in a religious ceremonial. And the significant thing about this particular order. Is that the peyote Indians are exemplary in their tribes as stabilizers.
They are stable in their families, in their work, and they don’t drink alcohol, which for some reason is extremely demoralizing to Indians. And they are very much against it.
They won’t allow it on the reservation at all because they can’t take it.
It may be a question whether we don’t have the same predicament in reverse. Can we take peyote and stay sane? We’re used to alcohol, but it doesn’t help us to be particularly sane. That does something for us, I guess. But the peyote Indians are really exemplary. They are wonderful people. And the peyote ceremony is absolutely marvelous, although it’s part of tested endurance. People who practice Zen talk about the session, you know, where you sit in zazen practice for a couple of hours maybe. But in the peyote ceremony, you sit all night from sunset to dawn and you hardly move except once at midnight when you get a drink of water, pass around and you can go up to the john if you want to.
Because they think that their religion is legal. There have been court tests of it.
And that they their view is that peyote being a natural plant is God given, and the government has no right whatsoever to interfere with it. They would say, for example, that if the growth and distribution of peyote were under government regulation and they would get what they were given the special privilege of being able to use it because they are a church, they would still protest and say this is not the business of any government whatsoever.
It grows and all things that grow and all things that are natural are essentially good. And in this, they concur with the Hebrew view of things. Because in the Book of Genesis, it is explained that God created all things whatsoever and only of all things, the tree of knowledge was forbidden. Costs that’s always a problem of why it was there at all. But every time it says every herb and every plant is given for the good of man and the Hebrew insists that, in other words, the material world, because it’s the creation of God, is a good world and that evil can only arise through the misuse. Of natural things. So they very strongly. The Indians contest the interference of government in the use or possession. Of any natural plant or herb whatsoever, and so naturally then in this case, under this category, there come three of the major psychedelics and actually there are more. But the three that are best known are peyote. The cactus, the mushrooms, psilocybin Mexicana and the hemp plant from which we get marijuana.
I suppose you would also say tobacco. Incidentally, we don’t smoke real tobacco. We smoke treated tobacco. The Indians smoke real tobacco and they mix it with willow bark. That’s rather a different scene.
When it comes, however, to LSD and to die methyl tripp to mean and synthesize drugs, there might be some cause for dispute about this.
Just as there would be if we completely freely circulated penicillin or barbiturates, opiates and strong acting drugs of that description, we might say, yes, there is some good cause for imposing rather strict controls on the actual possession or purchase of these substances. Just as there is an obvious reason for controlling the purchase of dynamite or TNT or licensing people to own guns, drive cars and and so on. But you’ll notice there is no law prohibiting the growing or possession of Amanita Panther Arena. Amanita Panther Arena is a mushroom that looks very like edible mushrooms and is deadly poison. There is no really effective antidote to it, but it is not forbidden by law. There is no law against growing belladonna, deadly nightshade, so the whole nature of a law against especially the possession of something that grows naturally on God’s green earth has a certain degree of insanity about it. Because they’re at the root of many points of view from which this can be considered.
First of all.
Anyone can use a gun to kill a person or you can just use it for plinking and shooting tin cans. It is not the possession of a gun which is criminal. It is the misuse of a gun as it is also with the misuse of an automobile. And therefore the very nature of crime consists in a specific action which misuses some substance to the detriment of other people. When you make a law in which the possession of a given substance is a felony, you thereby invite endless corruption and problems. Let us consider, first of all, the problem of marijuana.
It’s very easy indeed.
To prove that someone possesses marijuana, all you have to do is sprinkle a little dust of the substance on somebodies coat and then you can declare to the police that you have reason to believe that they possess marijuana and they can vacuum, clean your coat and find some small dust of marijuana there. And you can be put in jail for five years. In some states, you can even be put to death.
Although this hasn’t happened in quite a while.
In other words, if you have a political rival and you want to get rid of him, you just plants and marijuana on his premises and and tip off the police. If you have a wife you want to get rid of. If you have an enemy, then a description.
This is what you do.
And in turn, if the government wants to get rid of you because they don’t like your politics, they can just send the police around with a search warrant to your home and they will carry in their pockets a few roaches. You know, which are the butts of marijuana cigarets. And I just find it. And something that you have to see a law against possession is is completely insane because it invites all those sorts of possibilities. In the case, you know, like when Al Capone was giving trouble, they couldn’t get at him directly for any of his crimes. So they found an error and his income tax. Well, it’s so much easier to find someone guilty of possessing marijuana and the penalties for possessing it are worse and higher than those for fudging your income tax or for armed robbery, all sorts of quite desperate crimes are punished less heavily than possessing and especially pushing or selling marijuana.
And so far as this particular herb, which is what it is, is concerned, the laws about it are based on pure superstition.
They there is not one single reputable scientific study of any description whatsoever that can prove a link between the use of marijuana and crime and insanity. There is no proof whatsoever that it leads inevitably to the use of heavy stuff like heroin. It is all worked up by Mr. and Slinger, who used to be head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. His history is rather interesting because before that time he was a great prohibition enforcer and the law put him out of a job and he had to find a new job. So he worked up the myth that marijuana was a very dangerous drug and got himself made ahead of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. And he’s got it. He’s worked all over the world. He’s got it written into international treaties. And an enormous amount of nonsense has sprung up around us.
And the British government back at the end of the last century realized that marijuana was an extensive use in India and they had to decide what to do about it, and they made a very, very extensive investigation and published its results in several volumes and concluded not to take any steps against it in India. The United States surgeon general investigated its use in Panama and they decided that there was no point taking any action from from their standpoint. They found nothing particularly wrong with it. And when Mala Guardia was in charge of New York, he had the New York Academy of Medicine make a very thorough investigation of its use. And their report was that they saw no particular harm in it. And at most it could be called a social nuisance. So but for some reason, the ACMA, the American Medical Association, condemned the New York Academy of Medicine for premature judgment and unscientific investigation. But you know what lies behind that? They did. One of the difficulties of the whole situation is that the use of marijuana is a substitute for alcohol.
And alcohol is big business. So cigarets.
And there’s a fear among producers of alcohol that if people got onto marijuana, they wouldn’t drink so much and so they have a slush fund, quite considerable sum, which they spend, keeping up the notion that marijuana is very destructive. Also, it’s very easy to grow. And although I don’t think that if it were legal, many people would bother to grow it and prepare because it’s quite a problem involved of cleaning it and getting out stocks and seeds and all that crowd. I don’t think most people would bother so that the tobacco companies could very well switch crops, be quite easy and fact much cheaper than growing tobacco.
And they could supply marijuana cigarets in beautiful packages with all kinds of psychedelic colors on them and wonderful brand names and make a terrific business out of it as well as the get the excise tax that would naturally be imposed on it could finance a whole new war.
But one must face the fact that in the free use of marijuana, there are certain dangers.
But perhaps not such great dangers are as are involved in the free use of alcohol.
But I would want to say there a clear warning that there are varieties of marijuana which are extreme, extremely strong, especially in the form known as hashish, which is simply marijuana resin concentrated.
Which if it were commonly used, we should run into certain social problems. And I’m going to deal with this first and then later with LSD because the situations are rather different.
The social problems that we could run into are that people who are under a very strong marijuana influence.
We often don’t know where they are.
Can easily get lost and confused. They are not liable to be violent unless there is some completely separate predisposing reason for them to be violent. It does not of itself make people violent. On the contrary, it makes them quiet Pacific and slow down. But you could get very confused. You might also get paranoid over fearful. And you might also become, in a certain sense, irresponsible because one of the characteristics of marijuana is wonderfully described in a story I forget at the moment, its exact origin, but it’s about a Negro and a young white boy who are close friends.
The Negro is a hand on the farm and by the boy’s father. And one day the Negro explains marijuana to the boy.
And he says that it makes everything transparent. You see right through everything. Not in the literal sense that it becomes like glass.
That’s a metaphorical sense that you understand what people are up to.
But again, it’s. And you get to laughing.
That induces a certain kind of what I would call loving cynicism, where you see the schemes, the.
Ego inflating and promoting tricks that everybody’s up to.
And you see the unimportant of a great deal of activity that human beings consider to be extremely important in the case of almost all psychedelics.
This is true because what happens is you suddenly slow down. And you realize that this moment is really worth living. And in fact, that’s the important thing.
What’s going on when you look around you and you see people going about their everyday business and they all look frantic. They’re quite insane, rushing off in cars and driving and getting there and making it on time and delivering that stuff and so on and so forth. You think one of Earth’s the matter with him? And in this respect, you get into a state of feeling which quite apart from anything to do with drugs, is the normal state of feeling for, say, an Indian. That’s why in the United States we can’t understand the Indians and never have gone on with them. And all our best efforts to do something good for them are always futile because, for example, we want them to have big factories, better pay and but go and live in Los Angeles because they don’t want to live in Los Angeles. They say we’re quite mad because we work our men work for four days at some frantic job so they can take a little time off to go fishing or hunting. We’ll say we’re there already. We will run it. We fish, we hunt, and we’re happy with that. Indians live in a kind of present which involves both the past and the future, but they don’t have our idea of time as a clockwork thing. Tick, tick, tick, tick. What you keep up with Indians value time and a very special way.
For example, when they have a meeting on some important question for the tribe, they’ll come in there for four hours or so, they’ll sit and just talk. And at the end, for reasons that the white man can’t understand.
They’ve come to a decision because they say time made the decision.
You know, you ask them, what do you think about so-and-so? What would you like to do? And they won’t give you a direct answer because it’s not the time for the answer. They believe that if you wait around and let it cook, time itself will deliver the decision. And we think that’s terrible, that it’s improvident, that it’s if you don’t make up your mind, make up your mind. Now see, decide. Now you can’t. And I’ve always known this and have constantly run into trouble because I would put off decisions because I knew that the moment for it wasn’t right, that when things developed in a certain way, I would know what to do. So under the influence of these substances, one does intend a little bit to become a sort of Indian. And as they say, the only good Indians are dead Indian.
It’s that it’s that whole attitude you see to nature and that absence of the competitive spirit which is in Indians that the white Protestants strongly disapprove of white Catholics do American Catholics and Protestants, crypto Protestants.
And so that wouldn’t be the problem from the point of view of our culture that if the use of marijuana was widespread.
People would get a bit mañana in their attitudes to things and say, oh, let it wait. We’re busy. What’s the point? And they might be there for a lack of pep and push and ginger.
A little poem by HB Martin thought that troubled a businessman during a sleepless night. Supposing that St. Peter at the door finds pep and push and ginger. All aboard.
Well, now, in that sense, then, I think a widespread use of marijuana, especially if people started using it almost as frequently as they used tobacco, would result in a lot of extremely lazy people lounging around. Although I would say it would be stupid to use it as frequently as one uses tobacco.
Because he would lose the the the benefit of it. It would be something to be used. Well, I would say certainly not more than twice in a day because it has a certain sacramental quality to it.
In other words, why you can do a job and smoke a cigaret. You know, and forget that you’ve got a cigaret.
And you can to a certain extent. Drink and do something else, you know. But if you are smoking marijuana, you shouldn’t do anything else at all. You should really like you would sit down to do justice to a marvelous dinner and you should eat and not try to smoke while you’re eating or watch television. You should really do justice to the dinner. So in the same way, if you use marijuana, you should really do justice to it and be quiet. Yes, by all means, listen to music, et cetera, et cetera, but don’t do anything that will distract from that state of consciousness. Like don’t drive a car while you’re playing the violin.
This leads me to think that there is a good reason why a substance of this kind should be rather difficult to get. The Japanese have an idea about views. A lovely view. You should not have a lovely view too easily visible.
You should make a little bit of effort to go to the place where the beautiful view is, because then you won’t just take it for granted. You really devote yourself to it.
And so I don’t know that if marijuana was what is the best way of controlling it as distinct from suppressing it and making it a little bit difficult to come by.
Either you make it expensive or you make it necessary to grow your own. And illegal to sell it or to market it. That could be a possibility. But you could perfectly free to grow your own and take care of it and cure it and do everything that has to be done.
But if it is as easily come by as a package of cigarets, I have a feeling that it might in some ways lose its effect. You see, if you go back into history, you will find all kinds of documentation, documentation for similar outcries and fears about tea, about coffee, about tomatoes and of course, about tobacco.
All sorts of tracts were written, say the tomatoes.
There they were very suspicious. And as for tea. Why? Tea was terribly expensive when it first came on the market in the West. And Dr. Samuel Johnson was a tea addict and a society hostesses were embarrassed when he came because he drank such moderate quantities of tea and it was very expensive. GUEST.
All these things have been looked on with immense suspicion.
And of course, they’re all relatively harmless, especially tomatoes, and.
But to see this sort of superstition keeps going, keeps running. Now, I suppose that when tomatoes were suspect, that city people really sat down to eat a tomato.
Oh, gee, we’ve got this dangerous fruit. That’s fantastic stuff. And so when they ate a tomato, they made it a big thing. And so the tomato tasted gorgeous simply because it was valued. Now, in exactly the same way when we say we’ve got some pot. No, this is great stuff, terribly illegal. So let’s not trifle with this. Let’s really sit down and enjoy this situation.
See? Well, that adds an enormous amount of value to the effect that it has. Now, I’m not saying that it’s all psychological and there’s nothing to do with the chemistry, but it’s always mixed.
We are psychosomatic beings and therefore the expectation, the setting in which one dad does anything like this is of great consequence.
It’s just the same, say, with wine.
Then you get one of those gorgeous French wines and you’ve got this bottle and the special label and it’s that year. People sit and drink.
But actually very few people can tell the difference if they’re blindfolded between a cheap petri wine and a fine French one.
Yes. Naturally, the person who is an expert on wines with no blindfold what it had. But the game of guessing wines is tricky.
And most people can’t tell.
But the build up, you see, if the thing has got the build up on it coming in the right looking bottle and so on, then you have a marvelous time.
So if the if marijuana does indeed have beneficial effects and then to a certain degree, it emphatically does mean it is the most perfect tranquilizer of all of them. You can forget Librium and things like that, Milton. They have nothing of the effect of marijuana. It will get people off alcoholism.
I know a doctor who is just he’s a very respectable doctor and he is fighting mad because he can’t prescribe marijuana to his patients and he is deluged with alcoholics. Doesn’t know what to do about them.
And even though he is a he’s a pillar of society, he’s president of a county medical association and all that jazz.
So it is a it is unquestionably a healing herb, but it like everything good in the world, it has to be used judiciously.
And so there would be a danger with very cheap, enormous supplies of marijuana that people out of their minds would just smoke and smoke and smoke to be in the groove or something for some reason of that kind. And it could be troublesome.
But obviously, the solution to that particular problem is. Simply put, primarily to see the total unreason of any law prohibiting possession.
If anybody wants to have their own plants and grow it and use it, there is no conceivable legal reason why they shouldn’t. Selling on Assad is another matter.
That should obviously be subject to some sort of regulation.
It might be a tax regulation that makes the price high or or whatever, but I’m not going to mean that. That’s a question that shouldn’t be decided until after a very careful discussion. But the idea that it’s a killer drug or a sort of a demon thing is this is pure superstition and rather malicious superstition that you realize that this really perfectly harmless activity as compared with smoking, tobacco or drinking. There are fifteen hundred people in jail on fairly long terms in the state of California alone right now.
And God only knows how many throughout the country at your expense.
Now, when it comes to the problems of the more strong psychedelics like LSD, the problem becomes trickier.
Because LSD can be so disorient into many people and so terrifying that it is not wise to use it without the right sort of preparation and help. But of course, for that very reason, it’s exciting.
When I was giving a lecture sometime ago on some subject not directly connected with these psychedelics at all. At a private high school, rather posh school, immediately the lecture was over.
I invited questions and all the questions were about LSD. So I said to these boys. I have given you a lecture on the Chinese philosophy of nature and you ask me about LSD. What’s the reason for this? Well, a set of men into our household with each other and that little talk went to huddle with each other and talk. And they said, well, we think that our parents and grandparents did a pretty good job exploring the external world and learning how to control it. We would like to explore the internal world. And furthermore, because it’s forbidden, it’s that much more interesting. So there is the challenge here. And young people are always out for adventures. You can’t they wouldn’t be young people if they weren’t. And one reason why we have so much trouble with young people is that we coddle them.
We make too much safety.
Other people don’t coddle their young like that in Japan, for example. Children have an enormous amount. Little children, especially an enormous amount of liberty in dimensions in which we don’t have liberty. For example, I was going along the edge of a river or canal in Marseilles and about 20 feet above the canal.
There’s a wall of water pipe crossing the canal on a few concrete supports, and a small boy was crawling across it, having a wonderful time.
Very dangerous. We would have a fit. We would build a fence all along thing. And we would have, you know, like at schools, wherever there’s a school entrance, there are policemen with stop signs and the children are herded across so they won’t be knocked down by cars. There are children are even escorted in groups to, to and from school in Japan.
You’ll see a little thing, this high little yellow hat on and a knapsack on its back and danced down as a crowded street. Bicycle taxis, cars going every which way. Mad confusion. This little thing is going along all by itself.
I remember Felix Green once told me that he gave a lecture at a high school and it was a great banner over the auditorium of the proscenium arch in white letters on Red said safety first in all things.
You know, well, that’s a way to die. Death is safe. You can’t get into trouble if you’re dead.
Also, if you go into solitary confinement, it will be rather difficult to get into trouble. So stay home and be safe, although there are more accidents in homes.
So we must realize in our attitude to children that while, yes, you advise your children about streets and cars and things like that, there is no such thing as safety. There never was in life. And there never will be. And unless you take that as your first premise in living that nothing will happen, you must be in secure.
There isn’t so any security.
Nevertheless, you can’t just say, all right. No. No restrictions, no controls on anything.
Because then people could obviously go out and buy tons of dynamite or private tanks and machine guns, mortars, howitzers and whatever.
You know, there are a lot of men who would love to end the Howitzer and have a terrific crash with a shell. Every morning you go out in the middle of the bay and just blow off.
So something has to be done.
I would say if and when it comes to LSD then, that we really got a dragon by the tail.
In this particular chemical, although I think that it’s a primitive chemical, that is to say that it’s very unpredictable in its results. And I’m quite sure that if research is pursued, we will be able to get something that is much more easy to handle than LSD, but as effective in a creative way. But you see, there isn’t that research really being done except by illicit graduate chemistry students who are working out all sorts of things, alternatives to LSD so as to be the law against its possession. Now a law against the possession of LSD. Whatever. Its wisdom is completely unenforceable for the simple reason that you can disguise LSD as anything in the world. You can, for example, take get a solution of LSD and alcohol and you can put a piece of Kleenex into it and pull the Kleenex out and let it dry. Then you’ve got a filthy old piece of Kleenex, you jam into your pocket that looks might be something you blow your nose on and all you have to do is take it out. Drop it again, an alcohol, soak it out. And there is the stuff you can disguise it as peanut butter, fingernail polish, just anything at all.
Cookies and chemically in a in a smallish quantity, say, of a few hundred micrograms. It’s very, very difficult to detect. And you would really have to know. We would have to otherwise.
If you suspected that a given person wasn’t wearing nothing but a suit, you would have to analyze everything on him to find out whether there was any LSD present.
It’s simply unenforceable unless you are tipped off. Unless you know in advance that the person has it in such a place. But you could smuggle interstate through into the country vast quantities because the the basic dose that will, as I say, turn a person on is as low as 50 micrograms.
Micrograms and millionth of the ground.
Therefore, the only solution in all these problems is the solution of facing facts, that is to say, of bringing everything out into the open.
You cannot abolish the problem.
In fact, as you try to do so, you will only intensify.
That’s always been true because if you prohibit something like this. Well, of course, everybody will want it.
Forbidden fruit is sweet and therefore there is always an organization to take care of the supply of prohibited things, whether it’s hors or possibilities for gambling. There is an organization of criminals. Who will undertake to do so? But the trouble is that whenever they deal in any business, they have no conscience about the quality of goods they deliver. So you remember the prohibition, the quality of the liquor you got from your bootlegger? The illicit whores. Who is to say they don’t have venereal disease? Illicit gambling? Well, obviously, the house always cheats. And the one armed bandits rob you and I’ll give you a fair chance. Everything controlled by the mafia becomes crooked through and through. So when naturally then if the mafia were to move into psychedelics, heaven only knows what we should get. And a lot of the reason for the fact that there are these terrible stories about people who have complications with LSD. Is that what they took was not simply LSD. People will cut the supply. You know, you just sell you sodium by carbonate with a tiny bit of LSD. They do all sorts of things. Mix it with other drugs. So the solution, as I see it, is to bring the whole thing out right into the open to encourage research on it. And I suppose the at this present time, the maximum sort of control that ought to be imposed on it is to make it something prescribed by doctors. Now, this isn’t the ideal form of control, but it’s a practical one. And then in places like major university campuses have LSD research centers or psychedelic research centers where anybody who wanted this kind of experience could simply apply and there would be facilities for experiencing it in a helpful environment.
When young people get adventurous, what they need is not police and prohibition. They need help. They need the best information and the best guidance that’s possibly available to do a dangerous thing. And once someone wants to go to learn to fly an airplane or he can apply and it needs a license, but he gets the best advice possible. I want to be an astronaut in this space. Well, you could go to school for it. And I visualize the possibility of psychedelic museums where you would have.
A gorgeous set of buildings in lovely grounds. Gardens or by the sea. And there would be. It would be equipped with a big library of art books with reproductions of all kinds of masterpieces from the whole world. There would be a collection of tapes and records with beautiful sound systems. There would be glass cases full of objects like seashells, crystals, ferns. There would be a conservatory with plants of all kinds. You know, growing and equipped in this way. Then if you wanted to take it, you would go in for a three day session. The first day would be forgetting a relaxed and for learning something about the properties of it, getting an idea of the map before you went into the territory. The second day would be to take the chemical and do anything work on any problem you wanted to because it is peculiarly suitable for working on some particular problem. There’s a book by Stafford and Golightly called LSD. The Problem Solving Drug. And there are ever so many case histories in that of engineers, architects, musicians and so on who had specific problems to solve and who use this for doing it. So that would be the second day. Then the third day would be for evaluation, because after you’ve been through, unless the experience, you need a good day’s rest to get back into the swing of things. But to think it over how to write about it or to do something about it. Supposing you had seen a particular image that you wanted to preserve while on the third day you could paint it out or draw it out or write it out or whatever you wanted to do. And the existence of such places then would put the youth above board out in the open and not something that is simply done.
In an illegal situation, you see, one of the problems with most psychedelics is that they do tend.
To foster paranoia.
And if a situation is illegal, you can get all sorts of ridiculous paranoid fantasies as that your best friend, as a representative of the police, and you can see every reason why he really should be. Because the capacity of these chemicals is that you have an enormous power of projection.
You can see. You know, how in the ordinary way you might be looking at this sort of wall here, which is not irregular paint patterns on it. Well, you can sit here and just in a perfectly ordinary state of consciousness and see pictures and you can see trees and people and all sorts of things. Leonardo da Vinci used to make a regular practice of looking at a dirty old wall. And fine paintings in it. That’s, of course, how many here we believe many of the cave. Great cave paintings were done. Is that those people looked in the marks on the rocks and saw buffaloes and deer and just follow the markings on the rocks. And for that reason, created images of animals that were a stunningly accurate and realistic, because if you use identity thinking, you’ll do that.
I remember one night I was up here and I was walking by the window and there was a that I usually keep that table here.
And I looked in the window, to my astonishment, I saw a man sitting at the table on this side facing the window. I was looking at the reflection in the window, a rather scholarly looking gentleman with a little imperial beard resting his head on his hand like this and reading a book.
There he was right there, and I analyzed that for a while and I could see exactly what was going on. There were things in the fireplace paper and stuff that built themselves perfectly into this image.
So then you can see these things. People, for example, who hear voices. I’ve got a theory about this and I believe it’s correct. Naturally, in any place, there are all sorts of noises going around on around you. Sound of water and pipes. The sound of a gas heater. Sound of people working in the distance. Sound of the wind. And you can project meaningful voices and sequences of ideas onto these sounds and actually hear voices.
So if you check with someone else and say, now, look, I hear a voice talking or I see a picture on the wall or I see a vision. Do you see it? And at first they say no. But if you then I actually understand that you are projecting. You can point out to them where you see it and they will say, oh, yes, I see how you see that.
But of course, it isn’t there in the ordinary sense.
So with the psychedelic chemical, you have a tremendous power of projection. Your power projection is increased a hundredfold.
And in fact, you can play games with. You can take anything and turn it into practically anything else by looking carefully enough and you’ll find out a reason for turning it that way.
I play this game quite deliberately. Now, in the ordinary state of consciousness, I play projections and see shapes. Just that anything. This is wonderful what you can do. And especially if you take something a bit chaotic, like a Rorschach blot or Dario a wall or whatever you want, you can have an infinite fun seeing images and.
But the problem then is if there is an unconscious reason for seeing certain images, if you’re afraid, if you’re mistrustful or anything like that, you can see in a human life situation.
Say your relationship to your family.
You can see a pattern of relationship which is absolutely misleading.
And you can see the best reasons why it is this sinister situation.
And then you’re in trouble.
So when therefore, the use of LSD is totally illegal and people take it, they tend because they are scared of what they’re doing to have the paranoid reaction altogether reinforced. And so naturally, the illegality, the reasons that the government puts forward for making it illegal are of the nature of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
By making it illegal, they make it harmful. Then they can say, look at all these harmful results. That’s why it’s illegal, but it’s harmful because it’s illegal.
Partly, it can also be harmful simply through ordinary misuse.
But I think our answer is to bring the whole question right out into the open and to deal with it as a fact that exists, that cannot be suppressed. It should not be suppressed and try to control it because you see, it said it’s only one step, one link in a long, long, vast process of scientific work, which is. As I said earlier, once you started to interfere with the world, you can’t stop.
And man, as many, many scientists now say is no longer passively undergoing an evolutionary process, is involved in it, and therefore we are reaching out to try and control ourselves. Our brains are nervous systems by surgery, by electrical stimulation, by chemicals, all sorts of things we’re using to try and find out how we tick.
And I suppose we’ve got to go on and go on and go on doing that until we. For some reason can call a halt and see that we don’t need to do it anymore. But you see, LSD and psychedelics are just a part of this whole thing.
And it has to be faced. But one final word, it.
It is not something and none of these things are understandable, uncontrollable.
From what we might call it, purely scientific point of view. Because the mumbo jumbo of the purely scientific approach is in itself a kind of game.
Involved in many sciences is the myth that situations can be observed objectively.
And therefore, scientists make a special effort, as it were, to be very serious. And very analytic about certain situations, which is often quite right. But when you come into an LSD situation and you are investigating someone on its influence and you come in with your scientific pomposity, he immediately sees that you’re a freak.
And quite asinine.
And so it gives a rather bad impression in the hospital, for example. Hospitals are a big game then the disciplines and the routines and the things that go on in hospitals, they do an enormous amount of things that are simply precautions against possible legal action in the future. And so now in any hospital, the doctors and the nurses have a great deal of difficulty doing their business because they keep filling out papers, hours and hours and hours of paperwork goes on. So that the record is straight. Soon they won’t treat people at all. They’ll just record all sorts of things and they’re just make records. They don’t have to do anything. It just records something that didn’t happen at all. The songs, the records of straight.
And it’s getting that bad. It’s getting that bad in universities happens that way, too.
So in those environments.
The psychedelic experience can get very, very clear and frightening.
So the question is what sort of people are qualified to investigate LSD? And the answer is a present in a way no one. And in another way, I would say simply those who’ve had a great deal of experience with it.
You might say it, certainly psychiatrist, some qualified.
Least of all practically because psychiatrist tend to be very scared of any kind of irregular reality. They are guardians of what we call sanity of the way the world is on a bleep Monday morning.
They’re frightening, very frightened of the unconscious, especially psychoanalysts.
They always speak about the unconscious with a hushed voice. And we mustn’t go fishing in the unconscious. It’s a very dangerous field. Only a qualified person should investigate the unconscious because the unconscious is the big mad sink. You know, of the primordial slime out of which life issues serpents and menacing dragons.
So perhaps a psychiatrist has some disciplines that might help with using psychedelics. But here, there there should be. Generally, it needs the wisdom of a psychologist, of a pharmacologist, of an anthropologist, of a specialist in the psychology of religion, of mythologies, of a poet, a painter. And you would have in other words, in my psychedelic museums, you would have to have a team of people with all sorts of knowledge to combine somehow the sort of skill that is necessary for understanding psychedelics.
As I said, are the best people are really those who are most familiar with the territory, like you may be a specialist in mining. You may know all about mining. But to get into a certain territory, what you need is an Indian guide.
He will show you where how to get in and how to get out.
Although he knows nothing about mining and it may be that in the investigation of the LSD to be a great deal of helped know, no, not a lot about neurology.
But the neurologist needs an Indian guide, the Indian guide as the person who’s been in the place quite often and knows his way around. And if you have taken LSD many times, you begin to know your way around.
The landscape becomes familiar, you know, all the different states of consciousness. And so LSD, people begin to formulate their own lingo. They know a state called the plastic doll. They know a state called the Magic Theater.
They know a state called I call it the any winning.
They know a state called the Great White Light. They know a state of the wiggles where the walls seem to breathe. And if you look at a flower, it’s all rippling as if it were under water. Say they know all these things. They know the state of paranoia of getting lost, wondering whether you can get back. And they have because they’re familiar with them all, that nobody gets frightened.
And psychiatrist, if they are to be effective, their psychiatrist should be people who are familiar with all kinds of states of consciousness and they should work if somebody is way out of his head.
He should be able to consult a person who knows exactly where he is and can come in and be quite familiar with that state.
So that he can say, oh, yeah, I know where you are. I’ve been there myself. And it’s like this, you know. But as it is, you see, psychiatry is not really exploring the mind.
It is trying to stand outside and understand psychiatric problems through looking at patients and writing down their symptoms without really knowing anything about it. And therefore, all the terms that are used in psychiatry to describe symptomatology are completely unscientific. They they they have no scientific spectrum of consciousness and it’s all its possibilities at all. There is no such idea. You could write a textbook called The Spectrum of Consciousness and you could with the quotations from literature and photographs and so on, illustrate almost all the known states of consciousness of which man is capable.
But nobody has done such a project. And that would be basic reading for anybody who expected to be proficient in psychology or psychiatry. These things have to be done and.
Without fear. But with these these chemicals and other words are not something to be afraid of. They are simply something to be respected and handled with reasonable care.
Out in the open and not in know sort of a dingy pad or in the back of a car.