Mystical experiences on the cheap…?


Here’s (sadly only a trailer for) Ken Kesey\’s Magic Bus
a very interesting 1hr 20min video on the story of LSD in the 50s and
60s, with such characters as Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, and others
talking about the drug, and the time. Back in the day, between 1982 and
1984, aged 19-21, I read Leary’s book “The Psychedelic Experience” and
“Be Here Now” by one his colleagues who took the name Baba Ram Dass, and
experimented with the drug myself on a handful of occasions. This
programme does a good job of exploring all the issues, including giving
airtime to Roger Scruton – contemporary and detractor of Leary’s. I
certainly don’t regret my experiments, and I would say gained a good
deal from them. The consensus of Hofman – who first synthesised the
drug – and others, that the mystical qualities of the experience are
best (indeed perhaps only) brought to the fore under controlled
conditions, is something with which I would concur. ‘Sacred teacher
plants’ and other substances and activities (like starvation) used by
priests, shamans, and spiritual seekers the world over are always used
under controlled conditions and with the oversight of trusted elders who
can be relied upon to ensure the experience does not end in tears.
It’s a good documentary!

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