LSD On the Mind
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
Happy 100th Birthday to the Swiss scientist who discovered LSD. Time to remember and explain the lyrical acidian revelations of this intresting drug which the CIA tried to use, driving people to suicide or insanity. It was a key to my own past, a very incredible key.
From the New York Times:
"It's very, very dangerous to lose contact with living nature," he said, listing to the right in a green armchair that looked out over frost-dusted fields and snow-laced trees. A glass pitcher held a bouquet of roses on the coffee table before him. "In the big cities, there are people who have never seen living nature, all things are products of humans," he said. "The bigger the town, the less they see and understand nature." And, yes, he said, LSD, which he calls his "problem child," could help reconnect people to the universe."Of course, the connection to the Universe comes from the Dream World and our subconscious. This is where our big brains can go to work, forging connections, opening doors, figuring things out, the creative genius within lives here, not the conscious mind. Most people are denied even the slightest interaction with this part of their own minds. Terror Incognita.
The conscious mind actively works to not remember bad stuff. It works as the guardian, keeping dark memories at bay. It is a narcotic, designed to lull the host human into feeling reasonably good. It doesn't always work. Indeed, it can be a menace, because it can't, itself, see the unconscious mind which often takes over and drives events in the waking world, causing a person to commit crimes, do self destructive actions, horrible things. This is why understanding and knowing one's own dark unconscious was supposed to be the cure, according to Dr. Freud.
Unfortunately, when people use Freudian analysis to discover their own other halves, this doesn't work since that half doesn't really speak the same language as the waking mind. I can attest to my own self's attempts, the imposition of language tames what is going on there and alters it so much, it barely begins to resemble the real actuality.
Indeed, perhaps much of our language abilities revolve around our ancestor's attempts at explaining and naming these unnamable things.
Mr. Hofmann participated in tests in a Sandoz laboratory, but found the experience frightening and realized that the drug should be used only under carefully controlled circumstances. In 1951, he wrote to the German novelist Ernst Junger, who had experimented with mescaline, and proposed that they take LSD together. They each took 0.05 milligrams of pure LSD at Mr. Hofmann's home accompanied by roses, music by Mozart and burning Japanese incense. "That was the first planned psychedelic test," Mr. Hofmann said.I have used real Sandoz LSD. It is radically different from most of the later concoctions cooked in labs in San Francisco. Tim Leary gave me the pills.
But Mr. Hofmann calls LSD "medicine for the soul" and is frustrated by the worldwide prohibition that has pushed it underground. "It was used very successfully for 10 years in psychoanalysis," he said, adding that the drug was hijacked by the youth movement of the 1960's and then demonized by the establishment that the movement opposed. He said LSD could be dangerous and called its distribution by Timothy Leary and others "a crime."
This was way back when everyone was very ernest about how one had to trip with a guide in order to not suffer from the effects of the drug. The psychological effects are very powerful. Dr. Hoffman knew, like Freud, that exploring the mind is like any artistic enterprise. Namely, surrounding oneself with the appropriate things, one can ease the soul as one enjoys the waking dream as the unconscious mind awakens and takes over everything. Dreaming while awake.
The esthetics of LSD are interesting. It isn't like other hallucinagenics, it literally blinds oneself when it is at the most intense. You can't "see" anything, people who can recall dreams all note how attempts at reading text is nearly impossible because the letters cease to be groups the eye glides over but rather, become individuals who trigger all sorts of memories and associations which are most distracting. The more one tries to read, the more impossible it becomes.
Psychiatrists in Europe and researchers in America discovered that Freudian analysis was a real hoot when using small doses of LSD. The doors to the past flew open and people reacted to memories long buried. Only it is, like all things from the World of Dreams, dangerous, for the mind makes up things, makes up stories, decieves itself all the time. It is addicted to doing this, and the unconscious mind is particularily prone to this since no one is around to supervise it.
Thus, the only way one can discover one's own past is to be able to argue with one's own treasonous mind.
You can't gull yourself. Every pretty thing the sleeping mind hands over, one has to patiently prod for more things. Research to discover the truth or falseness of claims the darker half reveals is essential. I am proud of the fact that every detail I uncovered upon using LSD turned out to be true to reality. It took twenty years to confirm some of the data.
It strikes me as very funny that the creator of LSD who used it many times until he had a bummer trip when his psychiatrist friend gave him speed!---Hahaha. A lot of acid in SF in the old days was speed laced with some hallucinagenics!---He called people like me names for succeeding at what he attempted?
For he changed very little around himself except for himself whereas I and my friends tried to change the world. The roots of the enviromental movement are laced with LSD. We thank him for this but we also want to be saluted for actually doing something about what we learned! LSD look alikes were bad for the brains, bad for people. Many people including Tim Leary, used it too much. This was because they couldn't walk in and out of the Sleeping World on their own. They never really sought out the Keys to that Kingdom which lie beyond the Gates of Death.
Just like Tolkien and CS Lewis shuddering at those who loved their books, freaked out that we actually did what they only dreamed of, hating us for not being uptight, annoyed, straightlaced bougeoise. They wanted us to affirm their constricted, constipated lifestyles, unable to pick up a sword and ride a horse like we did, to climb mountains and sail the seven seas. To reach for the stars or walk around the earth on foot.
They wanted to take the tremendous, amazing powers of the mind and lock it right back up in the narrow closet that penned it in! It is all so very sad. I bet, Dr. Hofmann would not want to admit he was wrong about my taking LSD. It was my mind, my trip, my desire, my victory. It made my art possible. It made my dances on stage magical. It is a very dangerous drug but also a very great drug.
Unlike most people, I didn't use it to party, to mess around, to make the mind even more deranged. This is why it was made illegal. This is also why we fall into the same trap all the time, whatever we use to pry open the Door to the Sleeping Self, we are punished by the gods who happen to live there, you know.
They are really dangerous. We are them.
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