Saturday, April 12, 2014

Excerpt from "The Harvard Psychedelic Club"

Pretty good excerpt from The Harvard Psychedelic Club from Reddit:
Weil and Winston had both read The Doors of Perception, Huxley's book about the insights the British writer gleaned from his 1953 mescaline trip. They walked into Leary's little office on Divinity Avenue eager to fly off on their own mystical journey. They were a bit nervous when they sat down, but Leary soon put them at ease with his soft-spoken charm.
The Harvard Psychedelic Club, magic mushroom research, excerpt, drugs"Yes," Leary said, "Huxley was the trailblazer. You know, I didn't have a clue as to the potential of this research until I had my own experience with psilocybin mushrooms over the summer. At its core, you have to understand that this is not an intellectual exercise. It is experiential. It is, and I'm almost embarrassed to say it, religious. But it is more than religious. It is exhilarating. It shows us that the human brain possesses infinite potentialities. It can operate in space-time dimensions that we never dreamed even existed. I feel like I've awakened from a long ontological sleep."
Weil and Winston were on the edge of their seats.
"Anyway," Leary continued, "the research is pretty straightforward. Our subjects take a controlled dose of synthesized psilocybin. We make sure they are in a safe and comfortable setting. We're trying to get people from all walks of life, not just graduate students. We're giving this stuff to priests and prisoners and everyone in between. They do a session about once a month and are expected to write up a two- to three-page report describing the experience. Between sessions, we get together and discuss whatever insights we've gleaned from all this. Now, I assume neither of you have had any experience with these substances."
"No, sir, we have not," Weil replied. "But we are ready, willing, and able."
On his second trip, he did have a more powerful emotional experience. Not hallucinations, but a kind of spiritual transcendence. It was a kind of serene feeling of connection with something higher. Everything just felt right — like he was seeing into the essence of things. But there was also something frightening about the experience. Andy was reluctant to just go with the flow. He didn't dare up the dose and go deeper. He could see that having any more of these insights might convince him that Harvard was a complete waste of time.

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