In 1943 a Swiss chemist accidentally ingested the experimental compound LSD. The psychedelic revolution that followed is now mostly associated with pop culture, but the use of mind-altering drugs – and the belief in their transformative powers – was pioneered by scientists, psychiatrists, philosophers and writers. First published in 1965, this collection of essays by figures as diverse as Timothy Leary, Julian Huxley and Ralph Metzner recaptures that moment.
The Psychedelic Review, a quarterly journal, was established in 1963 to serve as a forum for discussion and study of LSD, mescaline, and other psycho-pharmacological substances. Since the time of its inception, the range of the journal has broadened to include such non-chemical methods of consciousness expansion as hypnotism, yoga, zen, and other ancient and modern methods.
The articles that appear in this book are the most important contributions from the first four issues of Psychedelic Review.
They discuss the philosophical, religious, and social aspects of psychedelic drugs, pharmacology and dosage, psychotherapeutic applications, and the history of psychedelic drugs in ancient culture. Also included are several remarkable, insightful accounts of psychedelic experiences, written by acute and sensitive observers. The contributors are outstanding figures in their various professional fields.
As awareness of and interest in psychedelics continue to grow, it seems certain that these new and challenging substances are destined to play an important role in the future of our society. This volume, providing as it does the most noteworthy work to date, will undoubtedly stand as a classic in this new and promising field of inquiry.
Timothy Francis Leary was an American writer, psychologist, futurist, modern pioneer and advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. An icon of 1960s counterculture, Leary is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD. He coined and popularized the catchphrase “Turn on, tune in, drop out.”