Session began at 8:30 AM with a 100 gamma dosage of LSD. For approximately the first hour I had a feeling of anticipation coupled with some nervousness. At the end of this time, lying on a couch with my eyes covered, I began to experience the first imagery - flickering, evanescent and fragmentary. Within a few moments these images were suffused with color, taking on complete form and meaning. My entire field of vision was filled by a viscid fluid, silver in color and flowing like a river. This river quickly changed to a vivid crimson and I felt that I was viewing the flow of blood within the veins and arteries of a human body. I seemed to flow with this river of blood, following it with some fear and tension, not certain that I wanted to follow where it would lead.
Within moments my goal became apparent. I had been led to the moment of my birth. At first I rejected this experience both from fear and from incredulity. I felt, however, that there must be a purpose in this experience and that reexperiencing birth, however unpleasant, was required. I relaxed and permitted the experience to occur. The scenes that followed began almost coincident with the moment of my birth and continued to a point in time which I felt to be approximately an hour after my birth. I did not experience my birth as one smooth flowing continuous picture, but rather seemed to move from one point to another several moments later - seeing only certain key points, but seeing them clearly, complete in color and detail. I saw the room at home in which I was born, the doctor bending over my mother delivering me, severing my umbilical cord, having the nurse wrap me in blankets, being laid in a chair and left alone.
Shortly after my birth my mother began hemorrhaging severely and the doctor and the nurse became preoccupied with their attempt to stop the hemorrhage. Some time later the doctor turned to my grandmother who was standing near the head of the bed and said "is anyone looking after the child?" This statement ended the sequence and each time the doctor said it I returned again to the moment of my birth and the entire sequence was repeated with little change in detail. At the beginning I found these scenes physically and emotionally unpleasant. I experienced vague physical discomfort and fatigue. By the time that the sequence had been repeated a number of times I felt nothing but indifference bordering on boredom. Once I had reached this point of indifference the scenes ceased to repeat and I was free to move away. For a time I continued to experience moments in my early childhood. I saw clear pictures in full color of the town where I was born. The street on which I lived, the children with whom I had played. These were not static pictures, but moving scenes as though I had just walked in on events in progress. I found that I could enter these scenes and participate in them or merely remain an observer. Most of the scenes were pleasant, but some were of times when I had been angry or embarrassed by some foolish thing I had done.
I experienced several arguments with my father which I came to understand represented those first moments in my early years when we began to grow apart from one another - to cease to have the warm relationship that we had had up to that time. I found that I could see these scenes as an observer, able to listen to both sides and to understand both my motivation and my father's motivation. I have since found that this experience has given me much greater insight into my relationship with my own sons and has given me a much clearer understanding of their feelings and motivations. At this point in the session I got up, walked around, engaged in conversation with some of the people present and had some tea. I felt slightly tired, physically and mentally, but quite happy.
Shortly afterward I returned to the couch, lay down and covered my eyes again. Almost immediately I found myself seated with a large audience watching a ballet which I recognized as a performance of Swan Lake with Margot Fonteyn which I had seen a number of years before in Seattle Washington. This was undoubtedly keyed in by a tape recorder located nearby in the room in which I was lying and which was playing the Tchaikovsky setting of the Swan Lake ballet. I saw the stage, the costumes, the scenery and the dancers with what seemed to be a clarity equally as great as when I had attended the performance. Suddenly I seemed to feel myself moving forward toward the stage, but as I moved toward it the scene began to dissolve and flow around me - in the place of the dancers whom I had been watching, there appeared moving figures of pure, living light. They also moved as in a dance which seemed to express the rhythm and pulsating life of all of existence. I could see, feel and be a part of this incredibly intricate and beautiful pattern of movement.
I felt as though the entire meaning - the source and the goal of all existence had been given symbolic form and displayed to me. I felt that I was both the source and the end of the living light through which I moved. I felt that this unity was God in the most complete sense and that all living matter was a part of this divine essence which was one seamless fabric of light, glowing and pure beyond description. After this experience I arose from the couch with a feeling of physical and emotional exaltation which I had never before experienced. I felt, for the first time in my life, that I was at one with the universe. When I walked outside into the fresh mountain air, the sun shining clearly, it seemed as touch the whole world had just come forth fresh from creation - every living thing glowed with the reminder of the pure light which I had just seen. Nothing seemed strange or hostile - all living things were joined by that glowing divinity which in its composite form I know to be God.
The remainder of the day I spent in experiencing visually all of the beauty by which I was surrounded. The LSD seemed to have given me the power to see all things as I wanted to see them - to cause the color about me to intensify and coruscate like jeweled fountains. Merely by wishing to I could bring towering cities into existence on the crest of the hills. The walls of these cities flowed and changed - molding their shapes to my will. By closing my eyes I could walk among the towers of these cities and become one with the stuff of which they were made. Trees, flowers, stones, all the things at which I looked were possessed of such beauty and intricacy of form that they seemed to merit a life time of observation. Colors which I had never before noticed were everywhere apparent in hues of infinite variety and subtlety.
My entire experience under the influence of LSD,
although its aspects were myriad, provided me with one clear insight. I
knew, emotionally and physically, that the universe was one and that I
was as integral to that universe as any other living thing. This is not
a new idea, nor was it new to me. I have read it and attempted to believe
it on faith. But it is quite another thing to experience this so
vividly that faith is no longer necessary as a substitute for personal
experience. I used to feel completely alone - my failures as well as my
triumphs were achieved in a universe which was indifference to my existence.
I came from this experience knowing that I, along with all mankind and
all living things, am essential to the existence of the universe. I no
longer feel like a stranger in a cold and hostile world.
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