Dissertation notes / points
Do psychedelics bring about liberation? Do they insight it? In terms of psychedelic liberation – what do I mean? Liberation: Liberation is the freedom and right as human beings to explore and experiment with psychedelic substances, learning from the experience they give us and applying it to the way we live our lives, similar to what is experienced in shamanic ritual. The control within western culture and the way our society has ignored these teachings as a result, means we have progressed as a modern species that lives a life devoid of deeper thought, knowledge and understanding of our own consciousness/connection to nature. Why do we have this control? We are missing something and what are the implications of this? Liberation is the result. Psychedelics are the cause. It is what psychedelics insight/show us/what they make us aware of and how we use this. -Liberation is the knowledge gained through the freedom to explore (in unrestrained differing cultures to our own) resulting in deeper understanding and connection (shamanic values, engrained in human nature to learn through experimentation) -Liberation is revolution (1960’s/70’s - with insight gained comes the ability and reasoning to focus on and challenge social/cultural problems. The application of this knowledge and the values that these substances give/show us - directed at the problems of the time) -Liberation is the understanding and application of potential - the advancement through acceptance of use (modern day medical use and application – giving substances a beneficial place in our society making their purpose & use easier to accept and understand – challenging the stigma engrained in us as a result of previous attempts at integration. The first step in integrating these ancient substances back into western society in a way we can get on-board with. Backed by the science we respect and have come to rely on which forms the basis for our current social structure and values. Western society is more scientific than spiritual – therefor science provides the necessary platform for acceptance. The relevance of art (my practice) as a form of liberation - The freedom to express - As a tool to educate - As a tool to communicate The origins and purpose of art and how this relates to psychedelics. 2 sides: 1 – the freedom of expression through creativity brought about by what psychedelics opened up for people personally. 2 – the need to communicate, educate and document – a visual aid, art as a language tool? Art as liberation - acts as one of the results to be gained from psychedelic experience. Art and psychedelics intrinsically linked? The changes in perception and insight into consciousness as a result of taking psychedelics - affected art and its purpose is many ways.
As art and its purpose is linked with human nature throughout the history of mankind – so is the psychedelic experience and its influences. The earliest form of art (cave paintings and stone carvings) inspired by psychedelic exploration had the purpose of education. A documentation of what was experienced through taking psychedelics and what could be learnt from it. Earliest form of reportage? A visual document and proof of early human psychedelic use and its importance. Art in the 1960’s inspired by psychedelics held the purpose of new found freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Art was the platform for challenging the stigmas arising at this time. Psychedelia originating at this time as a result of the drug revolution had massive effects on creative culture in the western world – more relating to the freedom of expression and free creativity. Psychedelics strongly linked and associated with this time because of the visual outcomes that came out of the counterculture. Psychedelics – caused liberating effects and revolution apparent in physical actions (against social structure) but in art as well. Art in modern day inspired by psychedelics is the understanding that the psychedelic experience is a visual one – therefore acts as a way to try and communicate what was experienced. Words / language alone aren’t enough? The stigma surrounding psychedelic drugs impacted the way in which artwork (affected and inspired by these substances) were valued. Psychedelic purpose The active psychedelic chemicals in these plants (psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, etc) are not needed by the plants to survive and have no effect on other plant species. They are plants – as ordinary as any other but what makes them psychedelic and different from nonpsychedelic plants is these extra chemicals within them. These chemicals purpose appear to be for communication purposes and can only have an effect on or be experienced by animals which have the necessary receptors in their natural makeup. This can result in some psychedelic plants having a very specific relationship with one animal species through these chemicals because of what ingesting them achieves. E.g. Panther ingest magic mushrooms because the active ingredient of psilocybin heightens their senses in order to hunt more successfully (this has been often overlooked in modern day society as ‘poisoning’). The mushroom, which has made itself a desirable tool to the catso that it is sought out regularly, then passes through the body and the spores deposited elsewhere in the forest. Increased germination. Both benefit from the relationship and in some cases have begun a new evolutionary cause of events. - Us humans can also only experience these psychedelic plant based chemicals – because we have the necessary individual receptors in our brains to do so – this poses the question of why? Why do these plants contain within them what we have in our brains? What are these plants connection to us? What are they trying to tell us / communicate / what relationship are they trying to have with us? What are we missing by ignoring them?
Art: As with the artwork produced by shamans in ancient times during or after ritual, modern day visual depictions of the psychedelic experience draw parallels with the importance of communicating such an experience engrained in our humanity- the need to explore, thus learn about ourselves and the nature of existence itself. Only through doing do we ‘know’. Artwork acting as a visual reportage – to communicate, document, teach thus progress our learning and understanding. The artwork itself acts, as it does historically, as a teaching mechanism for the unexplainable – a visual aid for others to explore, learn and understand the deeper meaning of the subject and profound experience. A liberation of profound experience and important information / knowledge that cannot be described with spoken or written word alone or ignored. -My artwork (practical) – acting as reportage, a visual aid/communication/description, a shamanic ritual of teaching the unexplainable through art, where language alone fails us – to be learnt from and built upon through further psychedelic knowledge gained through experience. -The actual plants based substances themselves depicted in illustrative format (botanical)alongside the mystical and hallucinogenic effects and aesthetics is important in telling the story of what substance does what, what experience can be had with each individual substance – like the shamanic artwork in ancient times. -The question is not the importance of artwork inspired by psychedelic substances – but the importance of artwork itself to communicate and enlighten one’s audience. Artwork, through communication of knowledge and experience alone, causes an awakening and transformation in the audience. Proof of what was (what was actually experienced by the subject) therefore proof of what can be (further enlightenment and exploration into the potential of expanding our consciousness and understanding of the world around us). Terrance McKenna and thoughts/philosophy on the limiting boundaries of language alone? - Language (written or spoken) can be limiting in terms of information as well as misinterpreted/miscommunicated. Visuals however can provide proof and a deeper understanding of what is meant/what was experienced. If we can see it, through a visual aid, (reportage?)- we know more and would gain a deeper insight and have a better understanding of what exactly happened. “I sat in a field, close to where I live and picked my favourite blue flower” – if we could see a visual explanation of this, we would have evidence and a better understanding of exactly where and what this “field” looks like, where this person sat and what kind of blue the flower was as well as what it looks like. Without a visual – this information alone isn’t enough to “know” and would be more of an effort to describe exactly what is meant so that the person would be able to share their true experience. A further understanding that language alone doesn’t always communicate and this missing information causes many mishaps in society. - The relevance of this is that people find it difficult to describe their mystical/psychedelic experience and because of this – information is lost and scepticism can take shape.
Photographs for example provide us with undeniable evidence and documentation of what has happened – therefore the need for visual psychedelic aids / descriptions are important to learn from in the teachings of expanding one’s consciousness. (Shamans use their drawings of their experiences to educate the tribe as well as an aid through further psychedelic exploration.) The problems with acceptance The importance of context: 1960’s/70’s – The context of which the psychedelic experience boomed / emerged into at this time was far removed from the beliefs and knowledge of ancient shamanic culture and the origins of psychedelic substance use. Western society was in no place to accept the value and potential, because the restraints we have come to know as normal – were vastly different from what psychedelics were putting us back in touch with – therefor wouldn’t allow for it. The very basis of society in which these drugs were being introduced – was no place for real acceptance. The origins of humanity and the knowledge of these substances lost over time as cultures separated and differed from one-another. The substances showed people an alternate, a different way of seeing by putting us back in touch with the natural and spiritual – but society and its rules which house these people and their ordinary lives wouldn’t allow for such a change in perception to take hold. Knowledge alone through experience wasn’t enough – there was no place, no room for growth or change in a society strictly controlled by those who had a different agenda. Human worth within society was (and still is) exploited and to survive in this world is to not challenge but play the game. It is difficult to fight a system when you are already so engrained within it. Society praises those who play the game and damns those who don’t. The problem (society structure) and the demands of the people shaped within it was too great to challenge – therefor the benefits and potential of these substances were overlooked and easily banished as something trivial and not worthwhile. Society and its structure changes our values, sculpting them and exploiting them to achieve inhuman gains. There is value to be had in a structural society – the success of the western world and the advancements we have made shows us this, but what more could be gained from the exploration and deeper understanding of the spiritual – in todays advanced times? Is overlooking this ancient practice (which most consider played a huge part in evolving us as the humans we see ourselves as today) and their potential holding us back? If the knowledge of our ancestors had been there – the outcome and view of psychedelic potential would have been different, thus more easily accepted as a potential insight into change and reform and tool for progression. In fact, the need for reform and revolution may not have even been there in the first place, had the use of psychedelics been a part of normal western day culture. The view of drugs would be far different from what they are today, if society had kept a hold of our ancient practices with them. The world would be a very different place because of the acceptance of drugs alone, never mind the potential they inhibit. A human right We are doing ourselves as humans a great injustice, ignoring the historical teachings of our cultural ancestors, failing to pick up where they left off, as well as ignoring and illegalising
our modern day attempts at scientific advancements (in the area of psychedelic substances) -of which we usually rely on for our progression - basing our society on closed-minded political agendas inspired by what we simply do not know and outlawing any attempt to find out. This in itself is a step backwards for humanity surely? Shamans and their ritualistic practice to explore our relationship between plants, existence and expansion of consciousness, were advancing in areas we cannot comprehend without continued exploration. They were and still are ahead of us. Just like human consciousness has evolved as a mental construction (long trip, p211) to take on the sensory form of what we now know, feel comfortable with and experience as our everyday “awake” human state, do we not have the right as human beings to explore altered/differing states and the potential they harness? Is it not in our need to progress as a race through experiencing new things? Reason for stigma/unaccepted use in public? = “Exploring psychedelics is unnatural” – the psychedelics themselves form a part of nature, just as the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. They also have a chemical make-up and action based sensory attributes/stimulus much like our own brains – therefore as natural as natural can get. (See ‘The Long Trip’ notes/quotes) Our right to explore: Just as we have utilized all that this earth can give us throughout history, learning what we can achieve through what we have been given - we live off the land to feed us, clothe us, house us, cure us(medicine) – ultimately providing us with existence (the existence we have today), we explore the earth to understand its physical properties propelling us forward, advancing as a race – can we not explore what the earth has to offer us in terms of consciousness – the unphysical – the mental & spiritual and do we not owe it to ourselves to advance in this direction also? How is this exploration any different from everything else we have been doing since the dawn of human civilisation? Is a psychedelic experience any less of a vehicle for obtaining “real” information (long trip, p211) Societies current constraints is what halts our progression as humans & psychedelics show us and provide us with the experience and knowledge (that has always been at our disposal) needed to liberate ourselves from this far from natural way of living/existing. Head in the sand can be no more. These substances act as a tool, a vehicle, spurring our consciousness into new realms – but it is our own personal existence and nature that create the makings of each individual ‘trip’ experience. Consciousness lies not within the drug but within us, expanding on what we already know but pushing the boundaries. Drug meaning If one anticipates the drug effect (thanks to teachings from predecessors or therapists or ‘shamans’) – more can be learned from it instead of assuming the poison theory. (see quotes for ‘High Society’). This can be linked to albert Hoffman’s first experience. He was terrified and could not comprehend what he was experiencing. He thought he was sick (look
for anecdote by him about his first trip). Thankfully, due to being a scientist, he saw the potential. The meaning of drug and its intertwined effects can be closely linked to the way they are perceived. Either thought of as a medicine, cure or poison to be avoided – society follows this framework & structure that the confusion over the definition creates: some people thinking they are medicine/cure, some thinking they are poison and destructive to social values. The need for assisted psychedelic experience The danger of these substances doesn’t lie within the plant but in the human error of how it is taken, the context and the reasons/agendas (therapy vs recreation). Only through further investigation and the teaching of what we find (just like science itself), can we learn to overcome the potential ‘dangers’ and start making sense of what these plants can offer us. Everything we consume can be toxic – it all just depends on the administering and dosage. The meaning / purpose / implications of stigma Stigmas challenged – the psychedelic experience, physical and mental is no easy feat and is often un-pleasurable and can be dangerous if not undergone correctly, but this does not mean important lessons can’t be learnt or profound information gained. Frequent recreational use of these substances is difficult to achieve – therefore the dangers we are told do not coincide with the actual effects. (Modern science and psychotherapy proving this). The main/most common stigma fed to us surrounding the addictive, non-medical aspects and the negative implications of people experimenting with these substances and effects this has in society - is in fact a mask to stop us from realising and challenging the controlling nature of how we live today and the structure which binds us to this consumer, money driven, unnatural way of living. Using stigma as a tool and the efforts to control and eliminate these substances - provides the means for continued exploitation in society and keeps us on a path which moves us further and further away from what is natural, human and engrained is us. Is western society and the values/rules we are fed and forced to live by, the example of liberation quashed? The ‘drug’ problem: Psychedelic plant based substances are not the same as other ‘drugs’ we know to be dangerous. The categorisation of substances is a political one and is thus miss educated – a further example of exploitation. – Tobacco & alcohol are the most harmful substances known to us but are kept legal and fed to as vices/allowances for us to spend our money on in a “I must work, therefore earn the right to a consume” based culture. In contrast, psychedelics are illegal (despite being present and used throughout the history of man) but have little to no evidence of deaths as a result of having them.
The problems that are encountered with psychedelics in the western world are a direct result of the lack of knowledge we have about them, the illegalisation/laws which have stopped the availability for scientific research and the ignorance to acknowledge their potential – conveyed to us in other cultures. e.g The confusion over laws: -Opium. A controlled and illegal substance by way of heroin due to addictive properties, however because of science, it is used as morphine to alleviate pain. The use and context vastly determines how a substance is viewed in society – therefore experimentation to determine the potential is needed before a substance is written off. -Cannabis, most tried and tested plant based substance known to us. Been used by humans since the beginning – along with mushrooms. Placed under the global umbrella of illegal drug with no medicinal value (Schedule 1 substance) but now the potential can no longer be ignored. (changes in drug laws and medical use- governments getting on board because money can be made?) Finally making up for lost time? Amsterdam, a contrasting example of what society can be like with legalisation? Conclusion ideas Does modern day psychotherapy draw parallels with the teachings of shamanic ritual? Is modern day medicine correcting the unguided mistakes of the 1960’s counterculture movement and recreational drug use, aligning more with the importance of what a guided psychedelic experience can achieve (evidenced in shamanic ancient ritual)? - Shamans – guided psychedelic use with specific purpose - 1960’s – unguided recreational use without the necessary knowledge/context of which to experience it – unsteady understanding of the potential, therefore one easily challenged/overlooked/forgotten. - Modern day medicine and therapy – guided therapy based use and through this a better understanding of the potential is achieved. Ignoring what our ancestors have learnt and what other cultures gain from exploring these substances and their values – seems a step backwards for our human progression. Psychedelic assisted psychotherapists - Modern day shamans? Psychedelics – a remedy for the ailment of modern day western society? Only through the allowance of experimentation and research with/into psychedelics, knowledge can be taught and deeper more aimed/directed/purposeful benefits achieved in society. Describe the failings of modern day society and how psychedelic experience and knowledge gained through altered states of consciousness can improve and advance us as a race in directions we have overlooked / are struggling to comprehend. Bridge the gap of understanding: Science meets spirituality through a measurable investigation into psychedelic substances.
What is the relationship between psychedelics and Liberation?
Quick Overview / glossary of sections + points INTRODUCTION - My subject question and why I feel this is relevant / why I am considering it - Aims of the essay (what I want the reader to get out of it - Introduce keys texts, theorists, methodology and how they will be supporting / evidencing / form analysis of the argument - briefly outline chapters, their contents and aims - mini conclusion / intro – linking to first chapter PREFACE • Define the term psychedelic & the substances SECTION 1 – The Makings of a Counterculture Revolution • INTRO TO THIS CHAPTER/AIM OF THIS CHAPTER • The makings of a counterculture - LSD synthesis by Hoffman - Psychiatry world in western culture drawn to the potential of psychedelics - first studies show… - during this time… • A cause/need for change and liberation - Political and social problems of the time - Vietnam war and other things (racial and civil rights) - baby-boomers not interested in capitalist consumerism like previous generation post war - the beats? • LSD enters mainstream - the synthesis and early psychiatric research generated intrigue in government - CIA involvement - Test subjects causes LSD to be marketed in public view - LSD moves from psychiatry into non- medical hands – through trials - advocates dabble thanks to widespread use and availability – help further widespread use - Timothy Leary – spiritual mysticism - Ken Kesey & pranksters – acid tests – fig? • The strive for liberation - 2 groups would form through the underpinning of widespread psychedelic use - who are they (brief intro/note to differences) THE NEW LEFT - who were they - how did LSD play a part? - political, radical, activist, students, Berkeley (where a lot of the acid was released) - SDS - Herbert Marcuse / Marxist
- examples of liberation activism mini conclusion – the cause for activism stirred by LSD enlightenment? Liberation is political/revolutionary based this contrasted with the hippies…
SECTION 2 – Striving for “Utopia” • INTRO TO THIS CHAPTER/AIM OF THIS CHAPTER THE HIPPIES - peaceful protest (in comparison to the new left) - woodstock? - spiritual and religious - psychedelic experience - gurus - protested by leaving society altogether - communes – strive for liberation from society - examples / figs? links directly to… UTOPIA IDEOLOGY What is this? associated with the hippie – why? Communes were like trying to achieve the perfect successful society - utopia as well as the practicing of psychedelics spiritually to achieve liberation CASE STUDY- Aldous Huxley - link to psychedelics and psychiatry (osmond, coining the term, mescaline) - respected by psychiatrists Hoffman and shulgin - Utopian novel island – a successful society based on integral psychedelic use - Moksha – mushroom – liberation - note took LSD dose before bed links to …. THE ORIGINS OF PSYCHEDELICS - The practices of psychedelics by hippies taking on the form of primal ancient tradition - Benefits of exploring into the origins in cultures differing from the western at this time - Entheogens – psychedelic guru / advocates leary / watts / mckenna - Ancient tradition - Shaman explanation / quotes from the long trip - Fig / examples of early psychedelic use - first examples of art as communication and language and spiritual voyage - Suggests a much more spiritual / human / natural benefit/liberation regarding use & practice - at the heart of human existence – liberated human beings into what they are today? - Timothy Leary’s – The Psychedelic Experience – homage to Aldous Huxley Mini conclusion on the spiritual aspect of the psychedelic experience & liberation Triangulate and link with / intro to the next section… The actions of the hippie movement demonstrates the spiritual attempt at liberation.
SECTION 3 – Sacrament or Sacrifice • INTRO TO THIS CHAPTER/AIM OF THIS CHAPTER NEW LEFT VS HIPPIE -Shared values -Differences CASE STUDY – The Human Be In - Michael Bowen - Poster / fig / the oracle - What this event was trying to achieve - LSD publicised & Haught Ashbury - Who attended – Timothy Leary - fig? - Ken Kesey statement - How the event failed - Examples / explanation of the clash between the 2 groups at the event Conclude this section - how both groups differed but both ultimately wanted the same thing - the merging of the groups thanks to widespread LSD - Political radical activism vs hippie drop out peaceful protest = liberation from capitalism Amidst all this… Media playing a large part in the counterculture movement CASE STUDY – Oz Magazine – underground alternative press CASE STUDY – That famous cartoonist? CASE STUDY – Government propaganda posters / movies ART / POSTERS – psychedelic style promoting the counterculture movement and the liberating creative elements to emerge – grateful dead poster – Wes Wilson etc End this case study section and examples with the negative portrayal of the counterculture movement by the media – this then nicely links to the next section. Conclusion to counterculture section Much was achieved during and after this time because of the counterculture movement by way of liberation • The positives of the movement - end of Vietnam war? civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, freedom of speech - creativity and freedom of expression - music - art - Both hippie and new left, key parts of the counterculture movement remained on one side of the coin – the establishment they were fighting was on the other and retaliation would prove most un liberating. Move on to… • The negatives - Despite this liberation attempts quashed / targeted by those in power - Downfall of the counterculture movement - Widespread use of LSD lead to problems, violence, bad trips, media surge
- life magazine example - end of Vietnam war – protest lost steam - drug scheduling – law – quote guy from Nixon - hippie and drug use tarnished by stigma - quote how western culture wasn’t ready for the shamanic psychedelics – did the wrong thing - the counterculture movement would, for society, have lasting social positive effects – however for the substances themselves and the power they harness – stigma and law would stop research and effect the future of psychedelic liberation - recreational unguided use – dangerous Conclude – quashed liberation thanks to the actions of the movement SECTION 4 – Psychedelic Revival • INTRO TO THIS CHAPTER/AIM OF THIS CHAPTER Modern Day Medicine – psychedelic emergence New studies to emerge into psychiatry once again – what? Would coincide with the research stopped in the 1960’s – what? The importance of these studies A new medical liberation – liberation from illness What are these substances doing? - addiction therapy- ayahuasca - depression – mushrooms - MDMA – anxiety from death and PTSD trauma - LSD - cannabis – pain relief in cancer patients Widespread media playing its part – a liberation of the voice of the people – a legacy carried over from the counterculture itself. – examples//figs? Laws are changing Modern day shaman – guided therapy – medicinal ritual Psychedelics enter society in a way people can get on board with Doesn’t fight the western system – world within its boundaries to better it (medicine) Making up for the mistakes made by recreational use Employing more of an ancient traditional sense of psychedelic medicine Psychedelics doing a full circle – entered western world through psychiatry, medicinal in ancient times, medicinal now. -stigmas are changing as well as the laws RELATE TO PRACTICAL - Stigma and dehumanising of these substances needs to addressed as well as very real and human benefits of psychedelic psychotherapy. round off without concluding too much CONCLUSION • Summarise what has been considered • Relate back to the essay question • Conclusion to what was found in SECTION 1 • Conclusion to what was found in SECTION 2 • Conclusion to what was found in SECTION 3 • Conclusion to what was found in SECTION 4
• End statement
PREFACE • Define the term psychedelic 1. What does this term mean? 2. What substances does this refer to? 3. Who coined the term? 4. Why is the coining of the term important? 1. The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek term ‘psych’ meaning “mind – manifest” / mind-revealing 2. Psychedelic is the name for a specific group of psychoactive substances which have unique neurological effects on the brain, described as altering states of consciousness. 3. The term was coined as result of letters between Humphry Osmond and Aldous Huxley, in an attempt to create a name for this group of substances that best describe their unique effects. 4. The importance of the term is that when it was coined – psychedelic coincided with the emergence of these substances into mainstream western culture of the 1960’s. They would form the basis and be most associated with the counterculture to emerge at this time, thanks to the use of these drugs.
SECTION 1 – The makings of a counterculture • Counterculture 1. Explain the relevance of starting the research here (1960’s) 2. Albert Hoffman’s synthesis leading to widespread use of psychedelics in mainstream culture as well as experimentation LSD leaks from the scientific community into the recreational hands of the student society – in a big way and this would have implications which run deep throughout the course of this study. The coining of the term and its relevance in psychiatry and medicine would take a predominantly back seat in the events to come during the 1960’s, its association having more prominence to a movement which would define a social revolution and the liberating impact on art, music and self-expression. The medical research and
psychiatric value of these substances would underpin much of the movement, by way of recognition of such substances and their emergence into western culture, but psychedelics overall would have a much more powerful impact in social and cultural reform, than it would for the appreciation for medical value. This will be touched upon later in this study. The psychedelic experience therefore would play a much bigger part in social and cultural reform, by way of inciting activism and social change, than it would in psychiatry.
3. The CIAs involvement 4. Cultural climate - political 5. Widespread use leads to Advocates for psychedelic substance use and theories which challenged the social issues and the establishment of the time - how advocates effected the psychedelic boom (Leary, Kesey) 6. What altered states of consciousness were and what this brought about in society 7. How this coincided with the social struggles of the time (Bietniks, Vietnam War) Wiki counterculture quote “The post-World War II "baby boom"generated an unprecedented number of potentially disaffected young people as prospective participants in a rethinking of the direction of American and other democratic societies. Post-war affluence allowed many of the counterculture generation to move beyond a focus on the provision of the material necessities of life that had preoccupied their Depression-era parents. Wiki counterculture quote “Many key movements were born of, or were advanced within, the counterculture of the 1960s.”
• Liberation from a capitalist society - socialism 1. The social issues at this time draw parallels with those outlined by socialist Karl Marx. – Quote a relevant piece of his work 2. Marx ideology underpinned much of the counterculture revolution in the 1960’s and inspired philosopher and social activist / Marxist Herbert Marcuse to speak out 3. Herbert Marcuse “ The greening of society” – influenced many in the counterculture movement – hippies and community living? 4. Herbert Marcuse – “Father of the new left” – activist movement spurred into action at this time – this vs the hippie movement (commune-later) 5. The liberation ideology of the counterculture movement therefore is a socialist one? The need for liberation and the actions of those trying to obtain it would take shape primarily in 2 groups within the counterculture movement: The NEW LEFT – marx, Marcuse, activists, values bigger than opposing war – critical look at society and wanting to change political attitudes, activist/political The HIPPIES – utopia, wanted to escape, love not war, didn’t challenge the government – instead escaped it. Religious. Hippies protested (in contrast to the new left) by leaving society altogether.
These two groups would primarily have values which overlapped – in that they both wanted change – brought about by the widespread use of psychedelic substances and the “altered states of consciousness” experienced by partaking in psychedelics leading the growth of the larger counterculture movement.
THE NEW LEFT - social activism & protest & political - liberal, radical, Marxist political movements vs ‘The Establishment’ - wanted to challenge and change political and social structure directly - Herbert Marcuse and Marx - no to Vietnam war - The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - yippies? - lead to positives such as gay rights movements, and womens rights, black rights - used LSD as a tool for revolutionary consciousness and freedom from capitalism quote from: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sYJaBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA248&lpg=PA24 8&dq=new+left+lsd&source=bl&ots=WRQmoygked&sig=oeiXhozPWGLuq431 bqZoHu81b9k&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi8qsXX47rQAhUnIcAKHeCxDc4ChDoAQgcMAA#v=onepage&q=new%20left%20lsd&f=false
Overlap in values CASE STUDY – The Human Be-In & The Oracle and Artist Michael Bowen Fig of the front cover? Was to bring the two groups together peacefully Resulting instead if a clash between the new lefts and hippies Oracle quote: go ask alice – ashbolt - journal saved in hippie docs pg 41 “Hippie papers such as the San Francisco Oracle communicated through a mixture of words and psychedelic art but the latter took primacy of place. The generous, even frenzied, use of colours and patterns in the Oracle (as in the poster art) was designed to replicate on paper the hallucinatory experience.”
in contrast HIPPIE - peaceful protest - Woodstock - religious / spiritual
- Hippies protested (in contrast to the new left) by leaving society altogether. - communes – to practice new found spirituality and liberation from social contructs - HOG FARM COMMUNE – still around today – has links to woodstock - influenced music, art, freedom of expression (clothes, hair, drug use) - socio-political revolutionary agenda to create an alternative society (Wiki-new left quote) - hippies formed communes to live as far outside of the established system as possible. Wiki counterculture quote - This aspect of the counterculture rejected active political engagement with the mainstream and, following the dictate of Timothy Leary to "Turn on, tune in, drop out", hoped to change society by dropping out of it. Wiki counterculture quote
YIPPIE -- The Yippies were a group started by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. Their activism meshed the work of the New Left with the lifestyle of the hippies. Quote from https://msp2013hair.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/hippies-yippies-and-the-newleft/
• Utopia 1. How the strive for social change links to that of a utopian ideology 2. What is utopia? How is this primarily socialist 3. This ideology is commonly associated with the hippie movement – why? 4. Utopian ideology looked down upon by Marxists – why? Case Study – Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World vs Island 1. 2. 3. 4.
Background - Who is Aldous Huxley? How does he relate to psychedelics? Osmond, Mescaline, coining of the term Who respects him? – Shulgin, Hoffman – relevant to the world of psychedelics Huxley proposed an alternative hypothesis of utopia – more relevant in terms of the use of psychedelics at the heart of a successful society 5. First writes brave new world as a dystopian novel centred around the failings of a society based on and controlled by the use of man-made drugs – stimulants - Soma 6. After experiencing LSD trip, changes from intellectual to mystic and writes Utopian novel Island where a successful idyllic society is based on the integration of a plant based mushroom psychedelic substance called ‘Moksha’ medicine meaning liberation.
• Communes // counterculture utopia hippies quotes: “Hippies became the Other, the very people "our parents warned us against," and this negative definition quickly congealed into a national obsession. The public response was typically ambivalent; the flower children were variously treated as
threats to public order or as harmless buffoons. Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, described a hippie as someone who "dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheetah." Acid Dreams pg 163 “To some the hippies were a barometer of a sick society, a warning to industrial civilization of its impending collapse.” Acid Dreams pg 164
the reason for wanting to escape? Because of the ridicule? To commune elsewhere? Were not social activists and did not want to: Hippies “and others in the LSD subculture who believed that massive change would only come about when enough people expanded their consciousness. They rejected the possibility of revamping the social order through political activity, opting instead for a lifestyle that celebrated political disengagement.” Acid Dreams pg 164 “Timothy Leary, who made no bones about where he stood on the issue. In his opinion the psychedelic and antiwar movements were completely incompatible. "The choice is between being rebellious and being religious," he declared. "Don't vote. Don't politic. Don't petition. You can't do anything about America politically." Pg166 “The cultural renaissance fueled by LSD was the force that broke the stranglehold of bourgeois morality and the Protestant work ethic. It provided the passionate underpinning for a lifestyle that existed on the far side of power politics. Above all it insisted upon a revolution that would not only destroy the political bonds that shackle and diminish us” pg 169 communes quote: “Breaking down lines of property and hierarchy, establishing order-that irresistible bogey-while avoiding lines of traditional authority, was a perpetual battle. Communes came and went. The ones with religious commitments survived longest.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 416
1. The utopian ideology closely and recognisably linked to the hippie communes during the counterculture movement – why is this? 2. A key example of putting into practice this liberation from society ideology People wanting to remove themselves from the status quo and practice psychedelics in individual communities away from the capitalist society they hated 3. Fig & Example (Black Bear Ranch?) 4. Conclude on the relationship between psychedelics and liberation? ___________________________________________________________________ ________ SECTION 2 • The origins of psychedelic substance use – Shaman not just LSD and cannabis (as previously noted in the staple diet of the subculture)
quote: http://www.csp.org/practices/entheogens/docs/nomenclature.html “[N]ot only is "psychedelic" an incorrect verbal formation, but it has become so invested with connotations of the pop-culture of the 1960s that it is incongruous to speak of a shaman's taking a "psychedelic" drug.” “We, therefore, propose a new term that would be appropriate for describing states of shamanic and ecstatic possession induced by ingestion of mind-altering drugs. In Greek the word entheos means literally "god (theos) within," and was used to describe the condition that follows when one is inspired and possessed by the god that has entered one's body. It was applied to prophetic seizures, erotic passion and artistic creation, as well as to those religious rites in which mystical states were experienced through the ingestion of substances that were transubstantial with the deity. In combination with the Greek root gen-, which denotes the action of "becoming," this word results in the term that we are proposing: entheogen.” – Carl A.P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Jonathan Ott & R. Gordon Wasson, "Entheogens," Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, Vol 11(1-2) Jan-Jun 1979, 145-6.
1. Despite being understandably commonly associated with the 1960’s counterculture movement, psychedelics substances have a much more engrained place in human history – in cultures far different from our own. 2. Many of the ideologies to come about from expansion of consciousness and psychedelic use during the counterculture movement echo those of ancient shamanic ritual 3. The psychedelic experience links with that of primal use and values gained through use 4. Examples of early use in cultures (eastern) 5. Why they were used and what was gained? 6. Psychedelic Liberation in terms of mysticism and spirituality 7. How this shaped humanity as we know it (earliest form of language, religion, medicine) 8. Figs of early records and use (cave paintings and sculpture) 9. Link this to the counterculture movement 10. A human right to explore consciousness – an important part of human history which backs up the efforts for use during the counterculture movement 11. Quotes from advocates who particularly saw the mystical liberation side of the benefits of use – and the strength of this as a counter to current western culture 12. Links to Mckenna – enthogens argument – science (psychedelics) vs spirituality (entheogens) 13. The Psychedelic Experience – Leary, Metzner, Alpert (where does this fit best?) quote: “Because of the shaman's familiarity with states of consciousness induced by hallucinogenic drugs, he or she was considered qualified to pilot others through the experience.” ACID DREAMS Book pg 65 “To Huxley, the urge for transcendence and visionary experience was nothing less than a biological imperative.” ACID DREAMS Pg 65
“Certain scholars believe that the fabled Soma of the ancient Vedic religion in northern India was actually the fly agaric mushroom, and there is strong evidence that ergot, from which LSD is derived, was the mysterious kykeon used for over two thousand years by the ancient Greeks in the annual Eleusinian Mysteries.”____ ACID DREAMS Pg66________________ _____________________________________________
SECTION 3 Counter arguments to the liberation social positives during the counterculture movement 1. The main challenges to arise out of the counterculture movement which greatly challenged the ideologies surrounding liberation at the time were primarily medical. 2. Cause of psychosis/schizophrenic – Cohen and harry Anslinger 3. Compare this to a positive medical study? (can then relate this to the modern day emergence in medicine) 4. Relate these to the below case study…. Case Study - Media 1. Media jumps on this (example of propaganda figs) – dehumanising and directly challenges the attempts at social liberation – ignores medical 2. This challenged by alternative press OZ – freedom of speech 3. The trial and appeal of oz – suggesting that freedom of speech and expression is an illegal action. – the beginning of the attempts to slander psychedelics, the counterculture revolution and everything associated with it / to come of it End on the negative portrayal of the counterculture movement The media therefore playing a particularly large role in the decline of the movement This leads onto the next section Quote: “the media is seen as a representation of reality, an interpretation and understanding of cultures, sub-cultures, issues and ideas” http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1351/the-life-and-death-of-the-hippie-a-dance-with-thedevil-and-the-media Quote: “the media plays an active role in the construction, and at times deconstruction, of political and social issues, which is exactly what happened with the hippie “movement” of the late 1960s”
http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1351/the-life-and-death-of-the-hippie-adance-with-the-devil-and-the-media ““the media catalyzed the widespread use of LSD, itself a catalyst, and the pace of events suddenly flew into high gear.”ACID DREAMS BOOK pg 200
The decline of the movement (could this be the conclusion to this section? Add to list below? 1. Hippie recreational use (unguided and misplaced values) and the problems this caused for acceptance in western culture & stigma 2. Mass use (unguided) leads to rise in drug crime and violence 3. Counterculture saw recreational drug use as a means to fix social problems – became not about the spiritual – liberating self-knowledge gained but a social one 4. The primal spiritual practices becoming lost 5. The media: Life Magazine1966 “ Threat of the mind-drug that got out of control” Quotes: “Although the perception of LSD in the media played a part in the transition toward speed and heroine, drug use as a whole was becoming a problem for the hippie culture.”
http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1351/the-life-and-death-of-the-hippie-adance-with-the-devil-and-the-media citation: Forman, S. E. (2016). "The Life and Death of the Hippie: A Dance with the Devil and the Media." Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 8(02). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=1351
-drugs certainly did nothing to diminish the feeling of political possibility - or impending apocalypse. the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 245 “politicians got mileage out of denouncing student radicals and hippies and black militants, all clumped together as battalions undermining the rule” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 211
“Yet authorities proceeded to define these ways of youth as illicit, immoral, dangerous.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 211 more drugs means less care “As drug trips became commonplace, less care was taken with their settings. Especially given a bad mind-set and an uncongenial setting, drugs were capable of driving anxiety to a high pitch.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 212
with the climate for taking drugs so hostile – it caused bad trips: “led to bad trips-very rare with marijuana, more common with hashish, most common of all with LSD, especially the amphetamine-laced or otherwise polluted stuff increasingly sold on the street in the later Sixties.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 212
“Newspapers played up the catastrophe stories” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 212 “nearly 50% of those questioned reported having had a bad acid trip during the 1960s. The high percentage was in part a consequence of the widespread anxiety that ensued after LSD was declared illegal in late 1966. These witch-hunting laws created a hostile environment that predisposed people toward more traumatic reactions.” – Acid dreams pg 156 Richard Bunce study
horror stories “but people under the influence did jump out windows under the misapprehension that they could fly-even Richard Alpert did it once 18-and many young people, their egos fragile from the start, could not assimilate the ego loss that the gurus touted.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 212 “Drug-crazed murderers and LSD-inspired suicides did sell papers, but that didn't mean they weren't happening. “the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 212 leads to widespread paranoia “youth culture became the hope, and therefore the target,” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 213
the END? Quote: “The war subsided, and so, for students and no-longer-students, did the urgency of politics.” he sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 408
6. Leads to government scheduling 7. – governments actions: Quote: “By invoking the specter of hallucinogenic drugs, conservative politicians implicitly attacked the groups that opposed the war in Vietnam. Certainly it was a lot easier to discredit the radical cause if the rest of society could be convinced that those uppity radicals were out of their minds-and the LSD craze was touted as sure proof of that.” – Acid dreams pg 154 7. Lead on to recent quote about the war on drugs from a government official who said why it happened and why they targeted hippies? 8. Why the counterculture movement was bad for humanity in terms of psychedelics (below) 9. Scheduling meant no research –un liberating in terms of potential for medical research and patients Case Study – Charles Manson Murders ( may not need this) 1. serial killer cult parading as a hippie commune 2. Relate back to the hippie communes visited earlier
3. Huge coverage in the media 4. Cult like attributes – exploiting the instability of the movement as well as the shamanistic values of a commune and the psychedelics themselves 5. Charles a shaman? - research 6. Enlighted society to the dark side of the hippie movement 7. Acted as direct juxtaposition to all that the hippie stood for 8. This event aligned itself with the stigma and government efforts to stop psychedelic substance use 9. 1969 murders associated with the end of the hippie 10. Life Magazine (1969) coverage & quotes – in case studies bookmarks 11. Why communes failed – became an opportunity for religious leaders to control 12. With a direct correlation to the movement which was now painted in a bad light – Psychedelics and the ideologies gained through the enlightened experience went down with it. Aiding stigma Conclusion to the counterculture movement - BE GENERAL The revolutionary social reform efforts of the counterculture movement, (underpinned by psychedelic exploration), despite the differences between potilical activism (NEW LEFT) and religious / spiritual enlughtnement (HIPPIE) to achieve liberation – was not in vain. -
Positives to the movement (in terms of liberation): Introduced the psychedelic experience to the masses, - putting it on the map as a means for further investigation Liberated a generation with massive results Vietnam war 1970’s human rights artistic / musical movements to emerge
quotes womens rights “Of all the countercultural and New Left values, the ones that radiated farthest were the mores affecting women. The women's movement extended far beyond the original feminist and New Left circles; the explosions of Utopian and revolutionary sentiment, once channeled, drove the engines of reform. With the help of affirmative action, women broke into politics, law, pulpits, occupations, sports; to varying extents they changed the habits of speech, of the household and the bedroom” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 418 - negatives In terms of the use of psychedelic substances, however, the legacy of the counterculture revolution was much more negative
- suggests the actions of those who undergo a psychedelic experience are important to how we appreciate them. Media manipulation The counterculture revolt fueled by the need for social change and the drug consumption poster boy would ofcourse initiate a reaction from “the establishment”the governing body trying to hold its own in the wake of psychedelic social revolution. What better way to do that than strive to diminish the drugs themselves – remove the fuel from the fire as it were and paint it in such a negative light – that people in society would not look to / or be able to (by way of law) turn to these substances again. Not only this but by targeting the drugs, the government was able to paint a sordid picture of those who used them and criminalize them – targeting the leaders of the social revolt. War on drugs Quote the Nixon guy (See below note regarding this statement/quote from nixons guy) Note: The statement wasn’t released by xxx and made public in the media until 2015?...xxxyears after the decline of the counterculture movement and the rise of the war on drugs. It is however relevant in that it enables insight into the powerful political agenda – taking control by any means possible – during this time. - the political climate of the time played a huge part in the way social movements rose up to revolt against a system of exploitation and consumerism. LSD provided a different way a thinking – a thinking that was ultimately directed at finding a way out of a very real problem. Had this uneasy climate not been the case, it is possible to speculate that the events of the 1960’s and psychedelic use would have played a much more subdued part in history and maybe their use/practice would have still been around in society today through a much more openness to acceptance of their place in society. It is possible to hypothesize that, had there not been the need for reform, psychedelic substances would have had much more of a religious role to play when entering western society, the altered states of consciousness taking on their more traditional role, perhaps putting us back in touch with the much more primal state and need for spiritual enlightenment. Quote: “The youth culture which had swooped into antiwar action in 1965 found more placid and private ways to strut its generational stuff. Altamont spelled the end of Utopian illusions, but marijuana remained a diversionary staple. Drugs became more self-consciously "recreational"-used for fun rather than transcendence.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 414 Quote: “psychedelics became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and political dissent.” - http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/psychedelics-facts
1971 – Nixon declares war on drugs
quote: LSD is taken in anarchy, without purpose, discipline or understanding.
Quote: Many of the countercultures movements “plunged into ideological free fall.” the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 418 -
Despite these massive social changes and massive impacts on western culture – taboo and controlling laws still rule Government scheduling No research The psychedelic experience and the primal knowledge to be gained through the use of these sacred plants - lost The counterculture movement of the sixties ultimately left a legacy which obscured the importance and seriousness of the psychedelic experience, ignoring the primal and what potential can be gained through expanding human consciousness by tainting its values through the unguided recreational use of the hippie – leading to the social stigma we have today and the rules/laws which prevent beneficial scientific research. The hippie counterculture ultimately provided cause for blame, a reason to quash the liberating views resulting from the psychedelic experience and substances, which amounted to the rise of drug scheduling in our western culture that far contradicts the theories and beliefs of academics, scientists, advocates of psychedelics and the ancient practices of our ancestors. Political agenda had a target Suggests that widespread unguided use in western society (a society primarily built without the integration, knowledge and respect of the effects or primal knowledge) isint beneficial. – this links later on with my argument that guided therapeutic use of psychedelics is more benfecial in finding a place for them within western culture. – A change to the mistakes made during the counterculture movement. Quote:
To underground psychedelic drug takers, accustomed to the haphazard "trips" that result when LSD is taken without planning, whenever and wherever it happens to become available, even this degree of structure might seem extraordinary. This is one of the main reasons many of them get so little out of psychedelics – another being overuse.
http://www.csp.org/practices/entheogens/docs/biebermanphanerothyme.html#endnotes END WITH STANLEY KRIPPNER (parapsychologist) QUOTE from 1977: “LSD came along before our culture was ready for it…I think we’re still not ready for it. We haven’t used it for its greatest potential. Psychedelic substances have been used very wisely in primitive cultures for spiritual and healing purposes. Our culture does not have this framework. We don’t have the closeness to God, the closeness to nature, the shamanistic outlook. We’ve lost all that.” - Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD pg xxi
and http://voices.revealdigital.com/cgibin/independentvoices?a=d&d=BFBJFGD19771021.1.7&e=-------en-20--1-txt-txIN---------------1# quote: “Tradition makes the difference. The Indians are enacting a custom which has been practiced by their people for many generations. They are not acting from rebellion”
http://www.csp.org/practices/entheogens/docs/biebermanphanerothyme.html#endnotes SECTION 4 Psychedelic re-emergence – The modern-day shaman in the west Medicine opens the doors for further research and application Media – in contrast to the 1960s – has earned the right for freedom of expression and the value which comes with this. Social media as well as tabloids liberating the voice of the people – who now have a different look at the potential for these substances. With widespread coverage is widespread knowledge and the more people learn about the medical value – the higher the acceptance of use and strive for change in the controlling outdated laws. In response to the medical research and results coming to light: In light of/considering this research, it seems neglectful of a system to criminalise a person’s wants and needs of expanding their consciousness, moreover criminalise the medical establishment, preventing access to research into the humane benefits of these substances for the greater good.
“The effort is both political and scientific,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed many of the studies. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.” – Rick Doblin http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/health/lsd-reconsidered-for-therapy.html Conclusion “Underlying the value of any formal structure must be the sincere intent to learn what phanerothyme has to teach, to support one's companions in their search, and to put the insights gained into practice in living.” “Let us, then, not encourage careless use of drugs, but let us seek freedom for phanerothyme, for anything that can help us make this world a bit more sublime ought neither to be suppressed nor squandered.”
The relationship between psychedelic substances and liberation therefore lies at the true heart of experiencing the substances themselves. Personal liberation manifests itself through spiritual and social enlightenment, an awakening of the mind which can open doors for the repressed consciousness experienced in everyday life and provide a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be human. Through awakening this consciousness and putting us back in touch with ourselves, liberation can also be achieved by way of medical value through guidance, acceptance and appreciation of practice, proving to provide aid to much of the hardship humans experience in everyday life such as pain, mental illness and the core appreciation for life itself. The relationship is a natural and ancient one, welded into the very origins of human existence, the potential for this psychedelic liberation therefore, relies heavily on the society and culture these substances and their profound effects emerge into. If primed and ready to explore, learn, respect and apply what they can teach â€“ who knows what further possibilities the future of psychedelics hold for the western world, and beyond. â€Ś. Therefore, what remains most important and key to the value of this relationship (between psychedelics and liberation), is what we as humans do with them.
On counterculture / socialist / NEW LEFT?
________________________________POINTS / NOTES_____________________________ Section 1: The makings of a counterculture • Mini conclusion? The relationship between psychedelic substances and liberation therefore, being that these substances would provide an alternate state of consciousness, a new way of thinking that was far different from the norm. This new way of thinking would for a generation illuminate the problems of western society and cause an uprising by way of a counterculture revolutionary movement. These substances would inspire the need for liberation – freedom from the social constructs imprisoning society at this time. Socialism vs Capitalism: • To further understand of the need for liberation, the difficulties and dramatic change in social values during the 1960’s, highlighted most vividly through the use of psychedelics and the altered states of consciousness they provided, and at the core of the counterculture movement - aligns most recognisably with the theories of socialist Karl Marx. • In his paper “The Communist Manifesto” Marx speaks of capitalism from a socialist standpoint…. • Marxist theories were very popular, underpinning many of the values associated with the counterculture movement, and inspired philosopher Herbert Marcuse who became recognisably associated with the activist and protest movements during this period. • The need for liberation from a capitalist society, one described by Marcuse as “affluent” suggests clearly what is being encountered by society and the reasons for the counterculture movement. • With the widespread use and availability of psychedelic substances fuelling / liberating the ideologies, ideas and ethics of the counterculture revolution, many believed that this way of life and radical change to social structure would remain as an established way of living for those enlightened. • This view of ideology cementing itself as a new western way of “communist” living is explained by Charles Reich in his book “The Greening of America”…. This draws parallels with Karl Marx Freud? Herbert Marcuse • Marcuse:
What underpinned much of the counterculture movment and liberation values at the time which fueled many of the student protests were the writitngs of Herbet Marcuse – who was most closely associated with the counterculture at the time. __________________________________QUOTES__________________________________ see socialist quote doc ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
________________________________POINTS / NOTES_____________________________ • Utopian ideologies have proved great tools to inspire change and in the case of the counterculture movement – liberation – from the capitalist western society it found itself. This is most recognisably manifested by way of the hippie communes. • Utopia has always been countercultural, and ever since technological progress has allowed, utopia has been using alternative media to promote and strengthen its underpinning ideals. • The countercultural values arising at the time aligned strongly with socialists attitudes to counter the capatilist culture of which it is situated. • A vision of an ideal society often takes the form of utopia, embedded in socialist values and beliefs – that is a utopian socialists ideology. • The effect of psychedelic substances and the altered state of consciousness they provided on society during the 1960’s counterculture movement highlighted a need for social change, this need likening itself to the utopian ideology. • The strive for change, a liberation from the current westernised cultural values is famously likened to that of the utopian ideology. • A key hypothesis of this utopian ideology is presented in the novel Island by Aldous Huxley. • A key literary figure greatly affected by the arrival of psychedelic substances into western culture during this period would be non-other than famed novelist Aldous Huxley. ___ • The want for utopia comes from the dissatisfaction of the current state of ones life therefore the utopian ideology becomes a hope in achieving / the solving of these problems. • The failings of this ideology closely echoes the failings of the counterculture movement. The psychedelic experience highlighting the need for change – but the striving for change,
what people did with this insight - became solely directed at solving a very physical problem. • Once the problems dissipated and the need for change no longer presented itself, the values and insight gained from the psychedelic experience were harder to put into practice. The strive for utopia – for change in society – if achived would infact breed a new enemy of the utpian ideology. The lack of progress. For once change had been achieved - striving for change (brought about by trying to achieve utopia) – the purpose of people – the reason for being alive would be lost. Therefore, utopia lies not within achieving the destination but the continuous journey, this being the flaw in the ideology. • Utopia is always somewhere else. The strive for change, therefore as soon as someone reaches utopia and has achieved change – they can no longer be there. UTOPIA - MARX & HUXLEY • This utopian ideology provided by socialists such as Marx has very clear problems, both in the striving, the application of this ideology and the never achieving. The ideology in the physical realm of society poses problems for humanity – for once utopia has been achieved – where lies man purpose? • Despite this, there is another utopian ideology to consider – one that doesn’t preoccupy itself with the striving for physical change necessarily, or utopia as an actual destination - but instead the mental and spiritual utopia – one achieved through the psychedelic expansion of consciousness. ____ • Aldous Huxleys – dystopia – brave new world likens itself to the presence of pharmaceutical man made drugs in society today. The controlling of a society • Utopia theory – outlined in his work Island and the presence of natural plant based medicines to achieve this ideology in society. Huxley vs Marx – • Marx’s view of utopia ideology housing itself in the physical application in society – the cause and strive for change – despite there being no method of achieving it in a capitalist society • Huxleys view of utopia employing the mystical and spiritual as a means for enlightment and therefore change in society and social views – plants providing the means for utopia – the possible answer missing from marx’s theory • The utopian ideology inspired by the use of psychedelics manifests itself most notoriously within the counterculture movement by way of the hippie commune.
• Not only did the psychedelic experience cause an uprising against the establishment (protests against war- figs? etc) – but it also caused a very physical need for social change. People attempting to achieve the liberation they desired from the social constructs of the time – by escaping society all together, in the hope of putting into practice what the psychedelic substances taught them. • The change in social views and values was clearly a struggle to employ within the constarints of western culture at the time, therefore the need to create communitiys away from all that was stifling this ideology was key. __________________________________QUOTES__________________________________ [ou-topos = not-place] Originally the name of Thomas More’s fictional island, the atheistic and communist republic described in his 1515 novel, Utopia. Ever since, the word has denoted any vision of an perfect society which plays the role of an ideal for a social movement advocating changes to existing social conditions. https://www.marxists.org/glossary/terms/u/t.htm#utopia The countercultural thrust of the 1960s and 1970s provided many utopian contexts, perhaps most readily identifiable as the intentional communities that spawned and flourished, especially in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand (Metcalf, Shared Lives). They were often inspired by texts such as Charles A. Reich’s The Greening of America - http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/927 “By describing how people would live if everyoneadhered to the socialist ethic, utopian socialism does three things: it inspires the oppressed to struggle and sacrifice for a better life, it gives a clear meaning to the aim of socialism, and it demonstrates how socialism is ethical, that is, that the precepts of socialism can be applied without excluding or exploiting anyone.” https://www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/ “The problem with Utopian socialism is that it does not concern itself with how to get there, presuming that the power of its own vision is sufficient, or with who the agent of the struggle for socialism may be” https://www.marxists.org/subject/utopian/ Thomas moore quote who came up with the term whilst writing his utopia piece in 1515 “In Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity; and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life, free from anxieties.” – Thomas More, Utopia - 1515 Begin section with this ^^^
“Our business here is to be Utopian, to make vivid and credible, if we can, first this facet and then that, of an imaginary whole and happy world.” – H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.” – Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“But the Modern Utopia must not be static but kinetic, must shape not as a permanent state but as a hopeful stage, leading to a long ascent of stages.” – H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia -------------- The problem with utopian ideology “Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache.... Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.” – George Orwell, Why Socialists Don’t Believe in Fun “No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.” – Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s end “Utopia is the process of making a better world, the name for one path history can take, a dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end. Struggle forever.” – Kim Stanley Robinson, Pacific Edge “Nothing, not even a Utopia, can necessarily make the pursuit of happiness a successful one that ends in capture. The best society can merely allow every individual to flourish in the pursuit.” – Daniel Nettle, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile “Utopia is the impossible, not rendered possible, but shown as necessary.” – Jean-Luc Nancy, “In Place of Utopia”, Existential Utopia: New Perspectives on Utopian Thought “Utopian visions provide an ideal which people can then struggle to reach.” – Erin McKenna “the psychedelic drugs, however abused, had given a visionary experience of selftranscendence to a sufficient number of individuals, so that they might well determine the future of human development—"not a Utopia, but a collectively altered state of consciousness." – pg 62 the Aquarian Conspiracy – Marilyn Ferguson https://ia601305.us.archive.org/32/items/The_Aquarian_Conspiracy/The%20Aquarian%20C onspiracy,%201981%20-%20Marilyn%20Ferguson.pdf
Origins of Psychedelic Use section Origins of Psychedelics – mysticism as a means of mental / spiritual liberation ________________________________POINTS / NOTES_____________________________ • When talking about shamanism and ancient use of plants – Terrance mckenna quotes and those from the long trip • Look in bookmarks for Mckenna talks Also • “Uses of Psychedelics in Shamansim and Psychotherapy” – Ralph Metzner talk (see link in bookmarks • Expansion of consciousness – Timothy Leary brought this to the forefront • In direct challenge of the political efforts, laws and views/stigmas to arise out of the counterculture movement with regards to psychedelic substances and the altered states of consciousness they inhibit, it is valuable to this research to appreciate and consider their origins of use in cultures vastly different from our own western one. • What does the psychedelic experience mean and how does this experience provide liberating qualities in cultures and societies far different from the western world? The practices taking on religious form throughout the counterculture movement, particularly by the hippie subculture, took on a very primal vision at the core of it very nature – with advocates like Timothy Leary, Terance Mckenna suggesting that • Along with the importance ‘set and setting’ when relating to the psychedelic experience, as outlined in The Tibetan book of the dead manual, this in itself can be applied to the importance of the social context ‘setting’ in which psychedelic exploration and its results are being use / entering. • The use of psychedelics would enlighten and display the problem (social constructs) but not have the strength or position to fight it due to the capitalist social constraints to which it emerged. __________________________________QUOTES__________________________________
“Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.” - Terrance McKenna One of the things that's so striking about shamanism in the native context is the absence of mental illness. - Terrance McKenna This is in fact what shamanism is all about, what the end of history is all about, what psychedelic drugs are all about, we are edge-walking on an ontological transformation of what it means to be human. - Terrance McKenna Shamanism, on the other hand, is this world-wide, since Paleolithic-times, tradition which says that you must make your own experience the centre piece of any model of the world that you build. - Terrance McKenna
__________________________________QUOTES__________________________________ See Huxley Quotes Section “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
________________________________POINTS / NOTES_____________________________ Huxley was first introduced to the world of plant based substances, their origins, use and impact on humans throughout history after reading Phantastica, a scientific ethnobotanical survey first published in 1924 and written by the renowned pharmacologist Louis Lewin. Lewin’s piece of scientific literature, which provided significant insight into most of the psychoactive substances known about at the time, would inspire “Huxley's earliest printed text on drug-taking” called A Treatise on Drugs, written in 1931. This early work “touches on themes he would return to again and again in his later work: the widespread and pervasive use of drugs, their importance in religious ceremony, man's predilection for occasional vacations from the everyday world, the problem of addiction, the failure of prohibition, and drugs of the future.” In this text, Huxley writes: “The story of drug-taking constitutes one of the most curious and also, it seems to me, one of the most significant chapters in the natural history of human beings. Everywhere and at all times, men and women have sought, and duly found, the means of taking a holiday from the reality of their generally dull and often acutely unpleasant existence. A holiday out of space, out of time, in the eternity of sleep or ecstasy, in the heaven or the limbo of visionary phantasy.”
This early curiosity in drugs quickly grew, becoming an important and memorable theme not only in his famed future works such as Brave New World (date), The Doors of Perception (date) and Island (date), but also in Huxley’s personal life as he sought to experiment with substances and hypothesise their integration into society. -- • Huxleys interest in drugs would spur a relationship with psychatrist Humphry Osmond, ultimately resulting in the coining of the term psychedelic as previously noted. Osmond and his investigation into the effects of plant based substances such as mescalin would • Huxleys involvement with the world of psychedelic substances would eventually lead to his final novel Island – where he famously hypothesises the utopian ideology as a parody of his previous dystopian themed novel Brave New World. • What is most exciting about Huxley in relation to this research and his influence on the world of psychedelics is best portrayed in his novel Island. • Case Study: Huxley – Brave new world vs Island // dystopia vs utopia? • It is therefore fair to suggest that the psychedelic substance boom of the 1960’s helped to underpin much of the socialist values and the counterculture movement revolution – striving for liberation from a capitalist society in which people no longer saw value in conforming too. The psychedelic experience would in fact alter the consciousness of many within a generation, add this to a growing need for change due to the western cultural climate of the time would prove for many an important reason to change their own lifestyles, find their own Island where they could practice the spiritual nature of the psychedelic substance teachings and live in communities dedicated to this as such – liberated from capitalist consumerism.
What is the relationship between psychedelics and liberation? Do psychedelics bring about liberation?
What do I mean by liberation? What do I mean by psychedelics? Psychedelic plant based substances have been used throughout human history, right from the beginning of our existence, despite this however, the acceptance of their use in western culture is still trivial. The research outlined in this dissertation aims to evaluate the impact of such substances throughout key moments in history, examining the importance of social structures for acceptance ___________________________________________________________________________
CONTEXTS & THEMES 1960’s counterculture
Main Points/notes Why we associate psychedelics with this period in time A pivotal point in history when psychedelics emerged into western culture mainstream, of which the legacies (by way of laws and stigma) still echo in our society today. Psychedelic boom in western culture thanks to the synthesizing and discovery of LSD and need for science - brought exploring consciousness to the mainstream – something western society had lost over history. The acts of those who advocate the use and the effects this had on society. The views of the people – hippie ideology – and its impact / directed at the culture issues of the time. The rise and purpose of a counterculture. - The means / reason for liberation – liberation from social issues - Social problems - The need for change and revolution - Views gained from the use of psychedelics directed at the problem society was facing
Liberation – a different way of seeing. The freedom of exploration resulted in the freedom of speech Utopian dream and its relevance?
Social /western culture constructs Freud? Marx? Political agenda and stigma Laws as a means to stifle human rights (Human right to explore consciousness encountered through the use of psychedelics) The context of which the psychedelic boom emerged was in no place to accept the usesocial context seems key Problems with the counterculture movement - Unguided recreational use - The lack of ancient knowledge and context of use/social context for acceptance - Once the social problem ceased – the hippie movement lacked purpose - Political agendas could take hold and the stigmas to arise were an act of human rights violations in themselves – exploiting society, thus stopping research and further investigation into their importance / potential. - The right to explore – dashed with laws stopping even scientific research The ‘drug’ classification/meaning/prejudice is stigma - to come about at this time because of laws and schedule classification in contrast to what these substances actually are The importance of this in terms of liberation – an attempt to justify illegality and quash the strive for freedom induced by the psychedelic experience. - The relevance this had had on our acceptance of these substances since The stigmas to arise out of this time not only coincided with the actual laws to banish them from social use, but helping to change people’s values and acceptance towards them. For western culture exploring psychedelic consciousness died with the hippie. The hippie movement which came about as a result of / inspired by psychedelic use and enlightenment was not without its merit, having a memorable presence in many aspects of the western culture we find ourselves in today. Despite this though, the counterculture can be seen as aiding the misunderstanding about psychedelic use and their potential – ultimately adding to the barrage of social stigma / emerging as another catalyst for stigma hindering the integration of psychedelic substances into society. The psychedelics illuminated a need from freedom from the social structure of western culture, but did not have the context in place for this altered state of consciousness to take hold, have a place or be accepted. Quotes
Shamanic Ritual and the origins of psychedelic use
Main points/notes An example of psychedelic integration into society which vastly contrasts to the stigmas to arise from this time as well as challenging the laws etc is the shaman. Psychedelics as entheogens – meaning Challenge the drug classification problem Ideologies of the counterculture movement (an example of liberation) echo those of ancient shamanic ritual - The need for expanding consciousness - Connectivity of human to nature - spirituality The stigmas and laws to arise from the 1960’s are greatly challenged by the presence of psychedelics and their purpose throughout the history of man Psychedelics and exploring consciousness – a human right (this challenges the laws put in place and the stigma of 1960s) The importance of guided psychedelic experience and the context of which to explore vs unguided recreational use (encountered in the 1960’s) The importance and role of psychedelic plants based substances in cultures different from our own highlight and directly challenge the decisions, laws and stigma to arise out of the counterculture movement of the 1960’s. To deny their use or exploration it would seem, under the guise of law and stigma, is a direct violation of what is human and natural – a part of our existence. The presents of psychedelics in ancient shamanic tribes still present and practicing today suggests how the absence of this exploration in western culture both past and present could be a great injustice to our advancements as a race. Without the social structure rules western society inhibits, the potential for psychedelics blossoms and roots itself and its relationship with man as a means of liberating the mind. Quotes ___________________________________________________________________________
Modern day re-emergence / medical advancement
Mental health studies and stats The drugs problem stigma Psychedelics bridging the gap Importance of guided psychedelic experience vs counterculture An investigation based on science and medical therapy – a system which western society can get on board with. Why? - We as a western culture have come to respect, rely on and let science dictate our everyday lives. Psychologists the new shamans? Learning from the mistakes of the 1960’s Medical advancement as a means of liberation from mental illness Psychedelic use in modern society has new purpose, direction and application by way of medical science. What has been restricted as a repercussion of the events of the 60’s now has a new cause for reason – the need for psychedelics to have a place in western culture instead of challenging it. Quotes ___________________________________________________________________________
Psychedelics and their relationship to liberation seem to be present in the beginning of all things free. Freedom of speech, freedom to explore, freedom to create, freedom to understand/gain insight, freedom to challenge, freedom to learn therefore advance, to be human is to be free to make up our own mind and this is something which psychedelics show us as an option despite what social constraints will have us believe. It is clear that their use has been around since the dawn of human civilisation, an exploration undergone by our own ancestors whose teachings have been lost throughout the rise of the western world - and their impact at this early time could even hold the answer to how we have progressed into the advanced species we are today (Language, spirituality, communication). This in itself should be enough to challenge laws and the common view of their place and importance, illuminating them as not an illegal substance full of harm, means for abuse or to be avoided, but instead a human right and cause for liberation.
SOCIALIST NOTES for NEW LEFT section Marcuse vs Marx and the new left
Background refresh - Critical theory seeks emancipation – the goal isn’t just to explain but to put forward a solution – the goal is liberation itself - humanistic - Critical theory therefore – is the theoretical investigation that could lead to liberation (in the sense of emancipation – fact or process of being set free from legal, social or political restrictions) - Therefore, critical theory & Marx: doesn’t just explain a social economic situation – but theorises on ways to solve and achieve a solution – emancipation – liberation. - The Frankfurt school – series of scholars got together at a 1922 conference. - Engaged to figure out why Marx’s predication/ fails. - suggest that class consciousness the answer - this state of consciousness allows the proletariat to emerge come forward – that is for the workers to realise their position in a capitalist society. Never been a class consciousness for Europeans of American to awaken from or awaken too, the enlightened worker – proletariat – never happens. - Marx – wanted a revolution of class – economical and social. And thought that socialist revolution would overcome capitalism in the future. This never takes place - Marx suggests - Prior to a revolution – the worker (proletarian/proletariat) must become conscious of their situation in order to asses it- therefore want to change Herbert Marcuse - Is about how can we fight the problem and revolt against it? - There needs to be political movement on problems - He believes that revolution requires a spontaneous liberation from ‘what has been made of them in the society in which they live.”Counter-revolution and revolt” pg 46 That liberation comes first then revolution - to achieve liberation – we first need to change ourselves. - Believes new relations were needed to achieve liberation– - New relations between people who are naturally separated alienated due to their economic place and class - New relationship with nature - Capitalism is reaching its limits – cannot sustain the level of consumerism, revolution [action] is needed. Karl Marx - Marx thought this would could generate a revolution against the class issues in capitalism Social political critique of capitalism. Thinks of himself as a social scientist (economics) – not a philosopher
Marx focuses on what capitalisms is - 2 classes within capitalism: property owners propertyless workers no middle class – few people own their positions today workers become poorer- owners become wealthier commodity – anything that can be bought and sold money - people and labour – are also comodities capitalism requires commodities consumerism causes misplaced values on labour in relation to product labour to receive money which is spent as consumersim Marx creates a theoretical framework to understand capitalism. When we change our economic situation – our consciousness will change aswell. Notes our consciousness is a product of the society we are born into. If this is a capitalist society – this society breeds more capitalism, unnatural values, and social alienation. We have an economic social arrangement which continues to make estranged relations. To get rid of things like private property etc – we will still have this issues – therefore the problem isn’t private property but the relationships we have with eachother – alienation – - estranged relations - because of labour and private property. Psychedelics changes this consciousness. “Makes the blind man see” The capitalist social theory from Marx suggests the difference in class and wage between the success of the elite in a capitalist society and the struggles and inequality to that of the low class and wage income. Marx believed and put forward in his theory that this would not always be the case-he believed that revolution would come. That social revolution and strive for equality in economy would inevitably revolt against capitalism, abolish it and make way for social economic equality – such as communism. The problem with Marx’s theory is not those which outline what a capitalist society is, but that this strive for change and social revolution never happens in the advanced industrial culture of the west, such as in the UK and the US. Once the theories surrounding capitalism had been outlined by Marx, many philosophers and theorists began to look at why his model for change never came to be. The most prominent of the theories as to why capitalism has never given way to socialism is consciousness. Marx suggested that in order for the proletariat (working class) to want for change, they must first be aware of their exploited situation in order to act and revolt. The difference between Marx and Marcuse Marx suggests in his theories that liberation will be achieved through the revolution of the class system economically. That socialism will overthrow capitalism – making way for liberation / emancipation when working class equality is achieved.
Marx believes that social injustice within a capitalist society will be solved through economic revolution? Instead of focusing on labour – new left and Marcuse focus on social human issues Marcuse however suggests that the class division and need for class consciousness to achieve economic revolution and equality is not the means to liberation in an affluent society – or industrial society – otherwise this would have happened or this simply isn’t relevant in a society which is gaining from capitalism. Liberation will in fact be achieved (within an affluent society) instead through new relationships with each other – in spite of economic and social class. This is the relationship with and appreciation of each other despite the alienation that capitalism breeds between people and the loss of relationship between people and nature. This underpinning theory of Marcuse is best manifested by the New Left movement – in the movements strive and activism against the establishment to achieve human and civil rights, women’s rights, racial rights etc – NOT just about closing the economic divide to achive liberation. The psychedelic substance presence at this time therefore suggests that the enlightenment one has through the experience, the value this experience places in human equality and love etc – draws more parallels with this theory than that of Marx. Hippies Striving to no longer live in, work, consumer, capitalist alienation - from what it means to be a free human being in nature. As soon as one is a part of a social construct – people live in estrangement / alienation from what is natural. Want to achieve this not in activism or revolution – but dropping out and creating new societies closer to this notion of the natural human free way of living. Puts us back in touch with our natural selves – in which capitalism causes. ==== marx focuses on revolution that will be gained when the working class realises their economic position Marcuse focuses not on the economic position of class for revolution – but the cultivation of subjectivity – how we see others, our relationship with other and nature. Therefore instead of witing for economic revolution – Marcuse suggests complete social revolution – that is the strive for a completely different society – pre-marxist utopianism. Marx is suggesting that social revolution will inevitably occur – as the divide becomes greater between the classes – leading to the worker realising his lesser position and revolting against it – resulting in liberation and the fall of capitalism. This theory from Marx however doesn’t anticipate that as the divide in society becomes greater within Capitalism – capitalism in itself develops advanced means of persuasion clouding the view of the worker – convincing them that they are in fact free and achieving
liberation as well as a valuable existence, thus the worker cannot achive the class consciousness which is needed for revolution and the overthrow of capitalism. Marcuse is suggesting that this theory cannot be applied to an affluent industrial modern capitalist society – because the capitalist model has become so refined – that the worker is unable to become enlightened in order to see the need for change – as outlined in one dimensional man. “During the student revolts, Marcuse acted as a constant point of reference for the radical students.” Pg38 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4CNoDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA38&lpg=PA38&dq=how+is+m arcuse+different+from+marx+new+left&source=bl&ots=oXgno1fE5G&sig=BGum7pMwAN5P SXyiJ2jVOMezTs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd86igsMTQAhXLCMAKHVVNCoIQ6AEITjAI#v=one page&q=marcuse&f=false -------- The revolution The investigation into these failings Marx wanted a revolution of class and thought a socialist revolution would inevitable overcome capitalism in the future, as the class division and alienation continued to increase. The contradictions of the capitalist society would be so exposed resulting in the want for revolution. The overwhelming flaw in this theory therefore lies not in the capitalist critique, the ‘why’ outlined in this critical theory, but the failings of the ‘how’, the theory of the class divide causing the worker to realise their exploited position, become the Proletariat and revolt against the bourgiouse, making way for socialism, economic equality and communism.
The Proletariat is therefore the conscious worker class, having come to the realisation of their economic position within a capitalist society – will now turn to revoltuoon in order to overthrow the Bourgiouse, making way for socialism, economic equality and ultimately communism.
Where traditional theory sets out to explain an event or occurrence – primarily explaining the ‘why’, critical theory on the other hand, as demonstrated here by Marx & Engles focuses on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ by theorising ways in which a solution can or will be achieved- ultimately in this case seeking emancipation – liberation from capitalism – resulting in inevitable revolt Mark & Engles capitalist critique is valid and draws string parallels with the advanced industrial western societys during the 1960’s.
and thought a socialist revolution would be inevitable and overcome capitalism in the future.
UTOPIA The Utopian Ideology
Quotes “In Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity; and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life, free from anxieties.” – Thomas More, Utopia Begin section with this ^^^ “Our business here is to be Utopian, to make vivid and credible, if we can, first this facet and then that, of an imaginary whole and happy world.” – H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.” – Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“But the Modern Utopia must not be static but kinetic, must shape not as a permanent state but as a hopeful stage, leading to a long ascent of stages.” – H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia -------------- The problem with utopian ideology “Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache.... Whoever tries to imagine perfection simply reveals his own emptiness.” – George Orwell, Why Socialists Don’t Believe in Fun “No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.” – Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s end “Utopia is the process of making a better world, the name for one path history can take, a dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end. Struggle forever.” – Kim Stanley Robinson, Pacific Edge “Nothing, not even a Utopia, can necessarily make the pursuit of happiness a successful one that ends in capture. The best society can merely allow every individual to flourish in the pursuit.” – Daniel Nettle, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile “Utopia is the impossible, not rendered possible, but shown as necessary.” – Jean-Luc Nancy, “In Place of Utopia”, Existential Utopia: New Perspectives on Utopian Thought
“Utopian visions provide an ideal which people can then struggle to reach.” – Erin McKenna “the psychedelic drugs, however abused, had given a visionary experience of selftranscendence to a sufficient number of individuals, so that they might well determine the future of human development—"not a Utopia, but a collectively altered state of consciousness." – pg 62 the Aquarian Conspiracy – Marilyn Ferguson https://ia601305.us.archive.org/32/items/The_Aquarian_Conspiracy/The%20Aquarian%20C onspiracy,%201981%20-%20Marilyn%20Ferguson.pdf Notes The effect of psychedelic substances and the altered state of consciousness they provided on society during the 1960’s counterculture movement highlighted a need for social change, this need likening itself to the utopian ideology. The strive for change, a liberation from the current westernised cultural values is famously likened to that of the utopian ideology. A key hypothesis of this utopian ideology is presented in the novel Island by Aldous Huxley. A key literary figure greatly affected by the arrival of psychedelic substances into western culture during this period would be non-other than famed novelist Aldous Huxley. ___ The want for utopia comes from the dissatisfaction of the current state of ones life therefore the utopian ideology becomes a hope in achieving / the solving of these problems. The failings of this ideology closely echoes the failings of the counterculture movement. The psychedelic experience highlighting the need for change – but the striving for change, what people did with this insight - became solely directed at solving a very physical problem. Once the problems dissipated and the need for change no longer presented itself, the values and insight gained from the psychedelic experience were harder to put into practice. The strive for utopia – for change in society – if achived would infact breed a new enemy of the utpian ideology. The lack of progress. For once change had been achieved - striving for change (brought about by trying to achieve utopia) – the purpose of people – the reason for being alive would be lost. Therefore, utopia lies not within achieving the destination but the continuous journey, this being the flaw in the ideology. Utopia is always somewhere else. The strive for change, therefore as soon as someone reaches utopia and has achieved change – they can no longer be there.
This utopian ideology provided by socialists such as Marx has very clear problems, both in the striving, the application of this ideology and the never achieving. The ideology in the physical realm of society poses problems for humanity – for once utopia has been achieved – where lies man purpose? Despite this, there is another utopian ideology to consider – one that doesn’t preoccupy itself with the striving for physical change necessarily, or utopia as an actual destination - but instead the mental and spiritual utopia – one achieved through the psychedelic expansion of consciousness. Aldous Huxley “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.” – Aldous Huxley
____ Aldous Huxleys – dystopia – brave new world likens itself to the presence of pharmaceutical man made drugs in society today. The controlling of a society Utopia theory – outlined in his work Island and the presence of natural plant based medicines to achieve this ideology in society. Huxley vs Marx – Marx’s view of utopia ideology housing itself in the physical application in society – the cause and strive for change – despite there being no method of achieving it in a capitalist society Huxleys view of utopia employing the mystical and spiritual as a means for enlightment and therefore change in society and social views – plants providing the means for utopia – the possible answer missing from marx’s theory The utopian ideology inspired by the use of psychedelics manifests itself most notoriously within the counterculture movement by way of the hippie commune. Not only did the psychedelic experience cause an uprising against the establishment (protests against war- figs? etc) – but it also caused a very physical need for social change. People attempting to achieve the liberation they desired from the social constructs of the time – by escaping society all together, in the hope of putting into practice what the psychedelic substances taught them. The change in social views and values was clearly a struggle to employ within the constarints of western culture at the time, therefore the need to create communitiys away from all that was stifling this ideology was key.
QUOTES for Bibliography (Note form to help with Harvard Referencing)
Book Title The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia Daily Grail Publishing - 2008
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Author Paul Devereux
Theme / Subject / Focus Collated evidence of psychedelic experiences and uses in various prehistoric societies and traditional / ancient cultures – for ritual and shamanic purposes Notes made whilst reading the book Look at Humphry Osmond works What are the assumptions around the word psychedelic? Where did these assumptions come from? Why do we still have these assumptions today? A passage in the dissertations could include where the word psychedelic came from …. Humphry Osmond Vs Aldous Huxley? What is “New Eleusis” – Albert Hoffman Sacramental substance or dead beat drug? The Psychedelic ‘60’s – Westerners finally getting to experience what ancient civilisations have for centuries through shamanic ritual and sacramental substance use Research into Timothy Leary & The Black Panthers The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Timothy Leary: Writing on how to perform psychedelic sessions. Could this be the basis of my practical pack? Research “A Guided Trip” – Timothy Leary & Playboy interview 1966 Research “The man who turned on the world” – Michael Hollingshead Research “Mysticism” and “Visionary” – What do these terms mean in terms of psychedelic? Research into the “Beat Scene”. Psychedelics circulated within the beat scene – what is this? Beat culture of the late 1950’s early ‘6o’s was a grounding for the psychedelic revolution. Datura // Morning Glory (LSA) – Other substances to include and investigate? Research “Flower Power” and “The Summer of Love” Research in Aztec uses of entheogens – find Aztec mural, a stylized depictions of the psychedelic plant “R. Corymbosa” (found in morning glory) Research “animism” – pg 15 Millbrook group commune? Raided? – pg 31 Research the meaning of ‘psychonaut’ – referring to Terrance McKenna Our future with psychedelics is unending, much as the ever-changing relationship between the plant and animal kingdom. Peoples recreational use of substances in the west – primarily explored due to the need to escape the social constraints of their culture – giving these substances a bad name thanks to the fleeting mistakes of unguided recreational misuse. The meaning for drug use greatly determines how society reacts to them and the drug classification “Modern Day Shamanic Landscapes” – Practical name / idea? Look into peoples guided therapeutic experiences – the shamanic landscapes experienced – and illustrate this Despite the stigma in modern day western society surrounding all substances labelled as ‘drugs’, it is important and relevant to be aware that the experimentation with these substances spans right from
the beginning of human existence – it’s in our original makeup and has likely greatly influenced the human advances that make up our world and existence today. - Therefore, it is sensible to suggest that our relationship with these psychedelic plant based substances is deeply engrained in our nature, along with what the effects of these substances behold, teach us and show us, proving the need to experiment – thus learn. • Continuous attempts throughout history to outlaw these substances –the substances which in fact liberate people in ways only understood by experimentation. – Social constraints & political agenda vs our right for liberation • Petroglyphs – early artwork and teachings / communication / evidence of substance use in ancient culture. – Visual fig. source in essay? Quote
Page No. Notes / Context of use in dissertation
“…most researchers agree that there is, in fact, no single word that adequately encapsulates the vast range of mental experience that these remarkable substances can provoke.” “The broad definition provided by Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond is probably the most workable: hallucinogens are chemical which used in non-toxic doses produce alterations in perception, thought and mood, but which rarely produce mental confusion, loss of memory or disorientation.” “This term developed out of correspondence between the literary figure Aldous Huxley and researcher Humphry Osmond. Both wanted a term that described the visionary, arguably mystical and possibly healing nature of hallucinogens and which did not have a pathological inference.” “To fathom Hell or soar angelic, Just take a pinch of psychedelic.” “The term rose into common usage in the 1960’s, and was applied not only to the psychoactive substances themselves but to everything pertaining to them – dress fashions, music, art and so on. Because of this generalised usage, and its inadequacy as a precise descriptor of the otherworldly effects associated with psychoactive substances, some people dislike the term.” “…researchers have proposed that “psychedelic” should be replaced with “entheogenic,” which has Greek origins meaning “realising the divine within,” and “hallucinogens” by “entheogens.” “…it is unlikely that the unwieldly “entheogenic” will ever replace “psychedelic” in common parlance…” “Shamans in various societies have employed a wide range of techniques to produce the trance states necessary for the ecstatic experience. These have included drumming, dancing, chanting, fasting,
Describing the term “hallucinogen”
Describing the term “hallucinogen” - Find source of original definition by Osmond and Hoffer
Describing the term “Psychedelic”
Describing the term “Psychedelic” Humphry Osmond “dittie”? Describing the term “Psychedelic”
Shaman/Shamanism - techniques
hyperventilation, and the ingestion of hallucinogenic substances.” “…the shaman usually tends to be a person who by nature – perhaps because of what we would consider to be prevailing medical or psychological condition, or as a consequence of some trauma in childhood or in initiation – can easily shift into other mental realities: a person who is particularly prone to dissociative states, as we might say in modern terminology.” “Shamanism arose out of animism, and is therefore one of the oldest and most universal expressions of human spiritual sensibility.” “…we have (increasingly) come to understand that shamanism plays a central role in the story of humanity’s “Long Trip.” “The role of hallucinogens in societies other than ours has considerable relevance to our own time and place…The fact is that we still know far too little of this important area of the study of man.” – Peter T. Furst “The culture I normally inhabited was the hallucination. This, on the other hand, was unadulterated, primal consciousness, and here there was only here. And now. Here was infinity; now was eternity. Now was the pinhole (so easily missed) in the balloon of time that let all its temporal air out into eternity. This most simple yet vastly complex truth was the joyous, glorious news of liberation. I thrilled with the exultation of salvation.” “I marvelled at the way consciousness could mould realities. From that moment on I have realised that our normal perceptions are simply the possibilities that get “frozen” within the consensus, cultural frame. There simply isn’t one, set reality “out there” in the environment.” “The workings of the mind are revealed, aspects of the environment can be observed in ways impossible in ordinary consciousness, and profoundly deep (and yes, sometimes painful) spiritual and philosophical insights are gained by direct experience.” “It is far too important and complex an experience to be dismissed with such bland and pointless statements as “just say no” to drugs.” “If this rich complexity of the psychedelic experience is not appreciated, then it becomes impossible for us to understand why human beings have sought natural hallucinogens throughout time…” “…in other societies where other kinds of substances, hallucinogens, were (and in some cases still are)
Who the shaman is
Shamanism // animism
Quite – Role of hallucinogens
LSD Psychedelic Experience explanation
The psychedelic experience explanation
Importance of the psychedelic experience and misinformed statements / stigma The importance of these substances
Use in societies and benefits possible for our own culture
considered in a sacramental way there was a binding and ordering of society through their use. With suitable safeguards, organisation and planned application, some of those types of substance could do much the same within our society.” “Our culture is out of step with the entire record of P29 human experience; it is our culture which is eccentric, bizarre and deeply obtuse. Unfortunately, the ignorance and indiscriminate prejudice about “drugs” is also deeply ingrained at this present time – primarily in America, which regularly attempts to impose that prejudice around the world – that it has been difficult up to recent times for even bona fide scientific research to be conducted on hallucinogens.” “…the situation has not been helped by current P29 attitudes towards hallucinogens on the part of some of their users, because it is also true that, in addition to the exaggerated paranoia of the authorities, hallucinogens tend to be abused in today’s society and not properly valued as tools for extending our understanding of consciousness…” Unfinished writing quotes
Our culture and current outlook – taboo / prejudice & societies control – and the prevention of research and science because of unnecessary laws.
Misuse of hallucinogens today – giving them a bad name and living up to the negative stigma
Book Title Author Theme / Subject / Focus Drugged: The Science and Culture Behind Richard J. Miller Definition, description, history and Psychotropic Drugs culture of various drugs, explained Oxford University Press - 2015 through discovery and development Notes made whilst reading the book • William Blake in terms of thoughts on expanding consciousness & psychedelic substances • Psychotropic – shall this term be mentioned and defined within my dissertation along with the words: Psychedelic; psychotropic; psychoactive, hallucinogenic…etc? • Aldous Huxley – “Pharmacology came before agriculture” – define pharmacology and see if this is relevant to my essay • Entheogens, spirituality and the origins of religion: could this be a section / chapter in my dissertation? Is this relevant? Define entheogen! • In terms of profound religious psilocybin experience – research “The Marsh Experiment” – Timothy Leary 1962 on good Friday. • Research Gordon Wasson – Magic Mushrooms & ritual in Mexican “Mazatec” people… inspiration for Timothy Leary • Research into the use of magic mushrooms (Amanita Muscaria) in Siberia + the government’s attempts at prevention such as dropping Shamans out of helicopters!? • Research into Mayan mushrooms and figurines – an image to include in dissertation? • Research Gordon Wasson’s article for ‘Life Magazine’ in 1957 called “Seeking the Magic Mushroom” • Practical Response Idea: Could I create a fun psychedelic “cook book” based on plant based medicines and edibles?
• Research Alexander Shulgin – get quotes • Research Timothy Leary and IFIF psychedelic experience freedom group – example of liberation? • Research into / watch “Blue Boy” – A dragnet episode which acted as a political strategy against LSD aired to the public in the 1960’s • Research “The Yage Letters” (1963) – Allan Ginsberg & William Burroughs and their experiments with ayahuasca in South America • Research “Reefer Madness” – a movie demonising cannabis. Subsequent posters? – Example for essay to triangulate / compare with positive evidence? • Research “The Island” by Aldous Huxley (1960) – a summary of “his views on the use of hallucinogens (called moksha in this novel) as an integral part of an ideal society.” P66 Quote Page No. Notes / Context of use in dissertation “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks in his cavern.” “…religious practices by shamans and witch doctors who were responsible for the spiritual lives of their people and who used drugs to produce ecstatic states that allowed them to commune with gods and spirits.” “The drugs they used were generally obtained from different kinds of plants. Substances like opium, cannabis, peyote, and ayahuasca all have a deep history of usage by ancient peoples” “The use of psychotropic drugs can change the perception of the artist, allowing him to come up with unique visions of the natural world. Or, as Shakespeare wrote, “Art is a mirror held up to nature.” Psychotropic drugs can alter the qualities of this mirror.” “…our ancestors could only avail themselves of substances that were provided for them by the natural world, the rise of chemistry has allowed us to modify these organic substances and create completely new molecules with unique effects and mechanisms of action.” “For millennia prior to…the further development of humanity, hunter/gatherers would have spent their time foraging for food in order to survive. During this time they would have certainly have sampled the many plants in their environment and would have learned which ones were good to eat and which ones were poisonous” “One thing we know is that a large number of plants contain hallucinogenic chemicals. It is inevitable that ancient hunter/gathers would have sampled these. But what would they have made of their experiences? It is easy to imagine that the disorientating effects
William Blake quote – research the origins of this?
Psychotropic drugs and perception
Chemistry and the modernisations of plant based substances
Hunter/gatherer traits and characteristics and an intro to the possible beginnings of religion based on the experience to be had with hallucinogenic
Hallucinogenic plants must have been sampled by ancient peoples sue to the hunter gatherer nature
these substances would have had on ancient peoples may well have encouraged them to believe in powerful spirits that controlled their lives and the world in general. ” “It is also possible that certain groups of people became the guardians of the knowledge as to which specific plants had magical properties and how to use them effectively. These people would have developed enormous power over others and may have represented a developing caste of priest or shamans. ” “As Aldous Huxley once said, “Pharmacology came before agriculture.” “The notion that hallucinogenic drugs played a significant part of the development of religion is something that has been extensively discussed, particularly since the middle of the twentieth century. Various ideas of this type have been collected into what has become known as the entheogen theory.” “The word entheogen is a neologism coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists (those that study the relationship between people and plants).” “The literal meaning of entheogen is “that which causes God to be within an individual” and might be considered as a more accurate and academic term for popular terms such as hallucinogen or psychedelic drug. By the term entheogen we understand the use of psychoactive substances for religious or spiritual reasons rather than for purely recreational purposes. ” “Consider the following quotation from Phantastica describing the effects of anhalonium (mescaline) on an “Indian”: “Torn for some hours from his world of primitive perceptions, material wants and necessities, such an Indian feels himself transported to a world of completely new sensations. He hears, sees, and feels things which, agreeable as they are, must of necessity astonish him because they do not in the least correspond with his ordinary existence and their strangeness must create the impression of supernatural intervention. In this way anhalonium becomes God. ” “Indeed, it is certainly clear that even in modern times shaman-like characters have arisen and become the leaders of new religions based on the use of particular drugs as their sacraments.” “in the 1950’s…Gordon Wasson made several journeys to Mexico to research the Mazatec people
Spiritual knowledge gave power to the ritual teachers such as priests and shamans
Research this and its relevance to my essay The origins of religion and the entheogen theory
Definition of entheogen and who coined it
The literal meaning of entheogen
The effects of ancient mescaline on a primitive human Phantastica
Wasson influencing Leary
and write about the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in their ancient rituals. It was reports by Wasson that caught the eye of Timothy Leary and initiated his interest first in hallucinogenic mushrooms and subsequently in LSD.” “Wasson and his colleagues provided a great deal of valuable information concerning the contemporary and historical use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the religious ceremonies of the indigenous Mexican population.” “Amanita muscaria or the “fly agaric” is a mushroom that is instantly recognisable. This is due to its strikingly attractive appearance and its wide use in popular culture. It has often appeared in animated films (such as the Nutcracker scene in Fantasia, or in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), as well as being used in numerous types of kitschy household products and for illustrations in children’s stories. ” “The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, presumably Amanita muscaria, by the inhabitants of Siberia appears to be a very ancient practice.” “…the use of Amanita muscaria for its hallucinogenic actions continues in Siberia to this day, in spite of attempts by the previous communist government to stamp it out by resorting to measures such as dropping shamans out of helicopters.” “The precise psychological effects produced by Amanita muscaria are reported to vary a great deal depending on the individual and the social context. However, one interesting property noted in these early reports was a tendency to disturb the scale of visual perceptions so that a tiny crack in the ground might appear like a giant chasm.” “…the drug made him see everything “in a new light.”
Value of Gordon Wasson’s works
Amanita Muscaria – ‘Fly agaric’ Contexts and appearance in culture
Siberia and magic mushrooms Relating to drawings of the hybrid mushroom/human petroglyphs (image) Siberia, mushrooms and government prevention. Research into this more!
Early reports of the effects of magic mushrooms
Albert Hoffman experiencing LSD
“…the powerful effects of natural products such as Amanita muscaria and ergot suggest they contain important chemical substances that, if isolated and understood from the structural point of view, might provide us with new insights into disease mechanisms or potential therapeutic opportunities for treating diseases.”
Figure. Example of ergot growing on barley. Feature in dissertation? Potential of mushrooms and LSD in medicine
“It is reasonable to state that Wasson almost singlehandedly brought hallucinogenic mushrooms
Mayan Mushrooms figure – example of ancient presence of hallucinogenic mushrooms Wasson and promoting hallucinogens
into the consciousness of the modern public, and did much to encourage interest in them in the United States and Europe.” “In the latter part of the nineteenth century, reports started to emerge from travellers to Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru of intoxicating drinks and potions prepared by the local Indian tribes. A general feature of these reports were that the potions were based on decoctions or extracts of the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and called “yage” or “ayahuasca” in the local languages.” “…as the famous hallucinogen researcher Alexander Shulgin has pointed out, “DMT is everywhere” – it is extremely widely distributed throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. If one looks at the chemical structure of DMT, one can see that it is closely related to substances like psilocin and LSD.” “The visions, hallucinations, synaesthesia, and profound introspection produced by the drug are clearly very similar to descriptions that others such as Hoffman have provided concerning the effects of LSD or psilocybin, indicating a common mechanism of action.” “…the young Aldous Huxley who was later to play a prominent role in the popularisation of hallucinogenic drugs and mescaline in particular.” “One should remember that at that time, everybody was infatuated with hallucinogenic drugs and the society they represented. We were all revolutionaries. We thought revolutionary thoughts, listened to the Jefferson Airplane, and ingested psychedelic drugs…the idea and importance of psychedelic substances was very much in the air.” “…he has also been an agent provocateur, constantly expanding the horizons of hallucinogenic drug chemistry and development and taking a libertarian position on individuals’ right to use whatever chemical agents they please.” “…in the atmosphere in general paranoia that pervaded the postwar era, the CIA maintained an important role in manipulating the developing drug culture.” “Aldous Huxley was another individual who greatly enhanced the awareness of the potential of psychedelic drug use. His interest in the subject clearly preceded the drug revolution of the late 1960’s as his famous book Brave New World, which had described the use of psychotropic drugs to
-following the release of the “Life Magazine” article – research this! P54
Alexander Shulgin – TiHKAL
Describing the effects of Peyote
Aldous Huxley and his influence on popularisation of drugs
1969 and people’s response to these substances Jefferson Airplane??
On Alexander Shulgin
CIA influence on drug culture
Aldous Huxley influence
control an entire society, had been published in 1931.” “There was enormous excitement in the psychiatric community about the possible uses of hallucinogens in psychiatry. Not only was there the idea that these drugs could be psychotomimetic and represented models of psychosis, but simultaneously other theories were being proposed suggesting the potential use of these same drugs in the treatment of mental disorders.” “LSD-mediated psychotherapy became highly popular and film stars such as Cary Grant were treated in this way, becoming protagonists for the drug.” “Huxley’s final novel Island, published in 1960, summarised his views on the use of hallucinogens (called moksha in this novel) as an integral part of an ideal society.” “It can therefore be seen that in the 1950’s hallucinogenic drugs including mescaline, psilocybin, and LSD had become a widely discussed topic in medical, political and artistic circles.” “Leary was profoundly impressed with his experience. Basically he was bored with the kind of life he was leading as a faculty member at Harvard and saw that hallucinogens represented an entirely new path for the exploration of the psyche.” “The International Federation for Internal Freedom IFIF) for the further study of the religious and psychological potential of hallucinogenic drugs use.”
1960’s potential in psychiatry Juxtaposing research – the substances cause psychosis but can also be used to treat these conditions
LSD and fame
Aldous Huxley’s ‘Island’ (1960) -Research this
1950’s popularisation of drugs
Leary’s views after experimenting with magic mushrooms after being inspired by Wasson’s article in Life Magazine
Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert 1963 organisation. – Research into the aims. Link to liberation as a basis of an example of liberation The Tibetan Book of the Dead – Timothy Leary
“As a guide to the direction and understanding of P68 LSD-induced psychedelic experience, Leary used the Tibetan Book of the Dead which deals explicitly with different states of consciousness. Leary reinterpreted this so that it ended up as a sort of mixture of Buddhist wisdom and Scientology.” “Leary had become the high priest of an LSD-fuelled P68 religion complete with its own bible”. “He saw himself as a sort of agent provocateur whose P68 role was to shake up the entire bourgeois establishment. ” “In 1964, together with his band of “Merry P68 Pranksters,” he purchased a bus, painted it in bright Day-Glo colours and, with the Pranksters attired in outrageous garb, travelled across the country handing out LSD – or “acid” as it was becoming known – to anybody who wanted to try it. In this way Kesey began to democratize the use of LSD, and
Timothy Leary as a kind of shamanic religious figure. Use this in triangulation with ancient ritualistic practices. Ken Kesey Ken Kesey & LSD effort Bus – find an image! Liberating drug use
things began to take on the characteristics of the counterculture movement of the 1960’s. ” “In 1965, when large amounts of easily available acid hit the streets of US cities, American society was a powder key ready to explode. The combination of the Vietnam war, the assignation of Malcolm X, the race riots in Watts and other cities, and the volatile mood on US college campuses, all contributed to the general ferment.” “Society was becoming increasingly radicalized and many young people felt completely disillusioned with their government and society in general. They sought to distance themselves from the status quo and to distinguish themselves as revolutionaries in as many ways as possible. Hallucinogenic drugs were the perfect things to help define their defiant and alternative life style.” “As Leary declared, it was time to “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Drop out was what young people wanted to do; they certainly didn’t want to actively participate in the society in which they found themselves.” “The Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco became the crucible where all these elements came together, and the mass drug culture movement really got going.” “To understand the tenor of the times, it is very revealing to watch …” “The mass use of acid by elements of the counterculture now spread incredibly rapidly, and by 1966 the US government realized it would have to step in.” “The government and their allies in the press mounted a smear campaign blaming LSD for everything from psychotic behaviour in young people to chromosomal damage, and whipped the general public into a frenzy.” “The use of LSD in the United States peaked in the late 1960s around the time of the great “love-in” rock concert at Woodstock in 1969. However, the use of hallucinogens has not gone away, and mushrooms in particular have recently undergone a new surge of popularity.” “…LSD, psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline, are those which produce similar types of effects and are generally considered to be the “classical” hallucinogens.”
1965 America – setting the scene for the drug revolution
1965 America – setting the scene for the drug revolution - youths
Timothy Leary and youth counterculture
Haight-Ashbury – San Francisco, where things really started
1967 Dragnet episode called “Blue Boy” – watch, research and contextualize US government measures
US government propaganda efforts
Peak of US LSD use
What is classed as classical hallucinogens
“Today what we really mean by the word hallucination is a conscious sensory experience devoid of any real stimulus.” “The subjective effects of LSD and other classical hallucinogens on human conscious experience are truly remarkable. A complete understanding of the way these drugs produce their effects would entail a comparable understanding of the neurobiology of consciousness, something that we don’t really possess.” “The fact is, however, that over 50 years after Albert Hoffmann first synthesized LSD and suggested it might lead to insights into the pathology of psychiatric disease, his predictions may now be coming true. Like many great men he was just ahead of his time. ” “Special movies were made which were to be shown by teachers and parents to students in which the horrors of marijuana induced madness were vividly displayed. The classic of this type was the movie “Reefer Madness” (the title tells you everything), but there were several others as well. ” “…it was in the 1960s that marijuana use became truly popular as a middle class activity.” “…the decisions about which drugs should end up in which Schedule were left to politicians rather than to scientists and doctors. As a result, marijuana was placed in Schedule I together with heroin and LSD. Drugs placed in this category were considered to have such a high potential for abuse that they could not be used under any circumstances, even with a physician’s prescription. In other words it was concluded that they didn’t have any medical utility.”
What we mean by the word hallucination
Effects of classical hallucinogenic’s
Albert Hoffman legacy and predictons
Cannabis propaganda movies “Reefer Madness”
1960’s and marijuana
Schedule 1 substance marijuana
“…the idea that marijuana was a “stepping stone” drug and that its use led inevitably to the use of harder drugs like opiates. Basically Anslinger argued that marijuana was an ideal tool for both racial and political subversion of American youth by inferior races and communists. ”
The Hasheesh Eater - illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. 1903 Research / use these illustrations Harry Anslinger’s negative opinions and efforts to dehumanise drug use
“The late ‘40s and 1950s saw the rise of a new bohemian element in the United States—the Beats. Artists such as William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, and Alan Ginsberg started to have an important influence on the lifestyles of young people. The Beats wrote about drugs and also used them extensively. Burroughs wrote about heroin, Burroughs and Ginsberg about yage/ayahuasca, and all of them about marijuana and alcohol. Their drug use constituted a part of their New American Romanticism. Soon what they were doing started to be copied by young people in general—and the Beatniks had arrived.” “…the government’s stance was based on politics not on a realistic assessment of marijuana’s true characteristics. Inevitably the widespread use of marijuana, and the growing modern awareness of its possible therapeutic uses, produced an extremely “schizophrenic” attitude in Washington.” “The first commission to investigate marijuana, and still the most complete, was the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission set up by the British in India in 1893 in response to pressures exerted by the temperance movement in England. The commission was charged with investigating every aspect of cannabis use, ranging from its cultivation to its effects on users, its potential taxation, and prohibition. Over 1000 witnesses from every walk of life were called and the result was a report of over 3500 pages! The commission came to several important conclusions. First of all, that cannabis use was extremely widespread and used for both recreational and religious purposes. Second, that cannabis use wasn’t particularly dangerous and wasn’t associated with increased violent crime or mental disorders. Third, that attempts to ban the use of cannabis or to tax it out of existence would impact the religious practices of a large part of the population and was likely to result in civil unrest. ” “Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the government of India (1893–1894) and the New York Mayor’s Committee on Marihuana (1944), that the long term consumption of cannabis in ‘moderate’ doses has no harmful effects.” “The evidence before us shows that an increasing number of people, mainly young, in all classes of society are experimenting with the drug, and
Beatniks and 1940’s / 50’s culture
The government’s stance and efforts regarding marijuana
Cannabis & the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission – 1893 investigation into marijuana
Commission under the leadership of widely respected social scientist Baroness Wooton in 1960’s - results
Commission under the leadership of widely respected social scientist Baroness Wooton in 1960’s - results
substantial numbers use it regularly for social pleasure. There is no evidence that this activity is causing violent crime or aggressive anti-social behaviour, or is producing in otherwise normal people conditions of dependence or psychosis, requiring medical treatment.” “As with the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission and the P271 New York Mayor’s Committee, the government in power (Labour at that time) completely ignored the conclusions made by the Wooton Report, instead branding the Wooton Commission as a “cannabis lobby.” “What has happened to the Netherlands since the P272 1970s? Have the Netherlands descended into a miasma of violent crime and cannabis-induced lassitude? The fact is that the Dutch are now the tallest, most strapping people on the planet. As far as their reputation for physical and mental fitness is concerned, let us not forget that this is the country who gave us Johan Cruyff and Dennis Bergkamp, and whose football team went to the finals of the last World Cup. Heaven knows what the Dutch would have been like if they hadn’t been smoking all that cannabis! One has to say that something akin to the Dutch model of moderation is the way of the future.” Book Title Author High Society: Mind-Altering Drugs in Mike Jay History and Culture Thames & Hudson Ltd. 2010
British governments response to Wooton’s findings
Amsterdam and the legalisation of cannabis
Theme / Subject / Focus History and culture of drugs
Notes made whilst reading the book • Research Mike Jay exhibition at “Welcome Collection”, London • Psychedelic drugs used as a means to treat addiction – not cause it or undertake a criminal act. Shamanism – modern day ayahuasca retreats. • Humans mimicking animals – origins of psychedelic ritual and what this achieved • Taking drugs as a means of freeing the mind and escaping captivity – mice/rat trials. • The more unconfined by rules within society – the less the need to take drugs. Mice/rat trials comparisons to Amsterdam? • A deeper sense within us – striving to be free? • The association of the word “drug” and its accuracy/relevance / confusion has aided the negative stigma and incorrect notions towards use, misuse and effects – pg. 49-51 • Shamanism – the teaching / passing over of ‘higher’ knowledge once experienced and understood? • The categorisation of drugs as a ‘bad’ thing seems subjective to their use and the class of those administering / taking them – opium & heroin seen as bad but morphine seen as good? • View of psychedelics tainted and associated with the much more harmful drugs such as opium and cocaine.
• Psychedelics aren’t causing people to commit crimes but enlightening people against the unnecessary and inhuman restraints put in place by society. • Research Alexander Shulgin Quote
Notes / Context of use in dissertation
“The fundamental urge to alter our consciousness in significant but controllable ways is, it seems, part of our hard-wiring.” “As a habit, taking drugs seems directly related to our core interest in experimentation: the indulgence of our inclination to wonder ‘what if?’.” “…the approach of science has gone hand in hand with the practices of art to explore the impact of drugs on creatvity.” “…the social impact of drug consumption has emerged as an ever-more-threatening ‘social menace’…” “Drug cultures are endlessly varied, but drugs in general are more or less ubiquitous among our species.” “mood- or consciousness-altering techniques and/or substances’ as one of the essential components of human culture, along with music, conflict resolution, language and play. ” “We were taking drugs long before we were human.”
The deep need to expand our consciousness
The need to explore
Drugs, science and creativity
Drugs and the place in our culture
Anthropologist Donald E. Brown
“The plants that contain these substances evolved alongside our animal antecedents, and many developed such chemicals because of their psychological effects on creatures like ourselves.” “Drugs, and our response to them, are the product of an elaborate evolutionary dance between the plant and animal kingdoms that has been underway for at least 300 million years.” “Siberian bears and reindeer seek out fly agaric mushrooms and appear to relish their mind-altering effects.” “make mandrills in Gabon have even been observed to dig up and eat the hallucinogenic iboga root, then wait for an hour for its effects to take hold before engage in rivals in combat.” “It seemed that the standard experiments were measuring not the addictiveness of opiates but the stresses inflicted on lab rats caged in solitary confinement…”
Substances in plants the reason for their evolved characteristics
Evolution between plants and animals
Example of animals using drugs to enhance their nature
Example of animals using drugs to enhance their nature
Psychologist Brice Alexander’s clinical study into addiction and rat testing. Use as a case study? Link to Amsterdam? Society causes addition and the freedom/enrichments of one’s environment reduces it?
“The ability to alter consciousness in dramatic but controllable ways has many uses, and there is much evidence to suggest that humans have long used such drugs instrumental: even, in some cases, elaborating their entire social systems around the heightened states of consciousness such substances produce.” “These groups have little in the way of social hierarchies, chiefs, or councils of elders; conflicts are largely mediated by shamans, a category of males with specialist knowledge of plants, hunting or healing.” “The shamans’ activities are almost always conducted under the influence of a snuff prepared from the DMT-rich sap sweated out of the bark of various trees of the Virola genus.” “…the sap produces a state of heightened awareness in which diseases are treated and weather and game patterns predicted.” “…shamans found themselves awakening into a state of hyper-consciousness in which they could see, hear, smell and understand aspects of reality normally hidden from view.” “They were able to observe the world through new eyes, to receive unfamiliar impressions, and to expand the store of natural knowledge demanded by their role: the positions of the stars, the habits of other animals, the patterns of plant growth, the fluctuations of weather and climate, the hidden weave of nature itself.” “Used in this way, drugs can operate as a kind of sensory prosthetic: just as a diving suit allows humans temporary access to a normally hostile and alien world, Virola snuff allows the shaman to encompass a world populated by many different forms of consciousness and to glimpse a perspective beyond the limits of the human.” “Drugs can bestow remarkable powers, but only to those who are primed to receive them.” “It is an intensely personal ordeal, but can only be understood within a social context.” “Becker’s observations challenged the consensus view of 1950s American psychiatry that marijuana users represented a deviant and criminal minority whose aberrant appetites led them to drug use. It was, he argued, the opposite: they had joined a subculture within which drugs became pleasurable.” “People in straight society shunned marijuana not because they were virtuous, but because there was no reward to be gained from it: even if they felt the
About the Tukano Indian groups in the Vaupés area of the Columbian Amazon – witnessed 1966-69 by anthropologist Reichel-Dolmatoff
Shaman activity and DMT
DMT sap and what this provides the shamans with
The effects of DMT snuff on the shaman
The importance of DMT snuff for the shaman in their role within their society
Benefits of DMT snuff on the shaman
Referring to Howard S. Becker’s findings
Society constraints and marijuana
effects, they would lack the context in which to enjoy them.” “The physical effects of most drugs are initially unpleasant, and would be perceived as toxic unless they were culturally valued, shared and sanctioned.” “Modern drug cultures, by validating the exploration of unfamiliar tastes and mental states, have converted many substances from poison to exotic pleasure. ‘Magic’ mushrooms, for example, are now consumed with the expectation of a colourful and mid-expanding trip, but historical accounts of accidental ingestions show that, without such expectations, their effects were typically taken to be the painful and alarming onset of poisoning.” “The drug habit of one culture often disgust another, at least until the new drug is socialised and normalised: drugs may be universal, but they are also an acquired taste. Throughout history, the spread of foreign drugs has been socially divisive, eagerly adopted by some and fiercely resisted by others.” “…offers privileged access to the deepest recesses of the private self.” “…a culture, therefore, intensely concerned with the policing and management of pleasure.” “…the Protestant ethic was also producing what Weber called a ‘disenchantment of the world’: a society in harness to the demands of mass production, creating lives leached of pleasure and mystery, deprived of the possibility of escape or transcendence. These social contradictions were projected onto dangerous objects of consumptions, such as drugs and alcohol, creating taboos around their use.” “The intensity of the shared ecstasy experience bound its user with a powerful, initiatic sense of group identity, and expressed itself in immediately distinctive visual, conceptual and musical forms. ” “…many inside the culture were equally attracted by the idea that were returning to tribal or shamanic forms of intoxication, where ecstatic dancing generated a primal engagement with nature.” “Imagery drawn from the DMT-inspired cultures of the Amazon proliferated across posters and CD packaging, clothing and body art, and ethnicallyinflected dance mixes spawned new trance and tribal subgenres.” “To the cultural mainstream, the phenomenon appeared terrifying: a cult that was consuming their youth in a reckless and hedonistic ‘dance of death’. To
The importance of knowledge through guided experience – compare to psychedelic assisted therapy and shamanic teaching to make the most of a psychedelic experience. These substances not just for recreation.
Drugs in varying cultures – culture traits vs culture traits.
Nice quote – but on Kava drinking
Nice quote – but on alcohol and prohibition in 1900s German sociologist Max Weber -research / key figure? -contextualise
MDMA emerging culture of the 1980s onwards
MDMA, music and tribal/shamanic inspiration in art
MDMA mainstream culture
its initiates, it was….a badge of identity, a soul medicine and a secular sacrament.” “In official public discourse, it was a social evil, the spectacle of a generation prepared to risk liver damage, mental illness and even death for a night of self-indulgence…” “It was an instantly defining symbol of modernity; but nevertheless retraced and reinvented forms of drug culture only distantly remembered. The patterns made by drugs in human cultures may be endlessly varied, but all are perhaps woven from the same fabric.” “What is a ‘drug’? In the broadest sense, it is a substance – medicine or poison – that has a biochemical effect on either mind or body. But in the particular sense of a drug that acts on the mind, the term is more contested. ‘Drug’, in this sense, seems not to be a neutral description but a derogatory label to be avoided. ” “According to the industries that produce and promote them, alcohol and tobacco are not drugs; cannabis advocates claim it is not a drug but a harmless herb or valuable medicine, and LSD enthusiasts that it is not a drug but a sacrament.” “Indigenous users of substances from ayahuasca…are appalled by the suggestion that they might be classified as ‘drugs’.” “The…definition is purely descriptive: a drug is a substance that is psychoactive – that is, producing perceptible effects on consciousness.” “In popular usage, however, this clinical definition has been overshadowed by another meaning, less precise but more persuasive. Over the last century, ‘drug’ has come to mean a psychoactive substance that is illegal – or, perhaps more accurately, one that lacks cultural sanction for its psychoactive use.” “The classification of something as a ‘drug’ does not simply indicate the presence of a specific chemical substance: it is also determined by non-chemical factors such as the intention behind its use, the method of administration and the social class of the user.” “The concept of a drug is an ancient one that has been compounded over time from different sources and traditions. It has been blurred and enriched by new substances that have emerged from global trade and scientific advances, and by the experiments of those who have investigated these substances first hand to explore the hidden workings of the mind.”
Public negative view of MDMA
The cycle of drug use within society and cultures
Stereotypes and stigma - What is a ‘drug’?
Stereotypes and stigma - Drugs aren’t ‘drugs’ – the classification of drug depends on the social implications and of those experiencing and/or selling them…. Stereotypes and stigma - Ayahuasca is not a ‘drug’.
The true original meaning of drug – without stigma
What classifies the new meaning of drug – despite is clinical meaning
The evolved concept of drug and what has influenced this throughout history
“Within the ancient Greeks, the notion of a drug came into sharper focus. Around 300 BC Theophrastus, a colleague of Aristotle, wrote two botanical treatises in which he designated certain plants as pharmaka, a term spanning the senses of ‘drug’, ‘cure’ and ‘poison’. A comparable range of meanings survives in the English word ‘intoxicant’, in which concepts of altered states of consciousness and poisoning are similarly entwined.” “Plant drugs were not conceived as chemical substances contained in the root, seed or flower, but as aspects of the plant’s overall personality.” “…mescaline, the hallucinogenic alkaloid of the peyote cactus, which native Mexican peoples had been taking for sacramental purposes since prehistoric times and which had spread north during the nineteenth century as old tribal structures were disrupted.” “During the 1890s mescaline was dubbed ‘a new artificial paradise’…” “It was in this self-experimental tradition that Aldous Huxley produced the most celebrated work of mescaline reportage, Doors of Perception, in 1954…” “…the world had transformed entirely, dissolving into a flux of kaleidoscope spirals and fountains.” “…patients could unlock deeply buried traumas and gain an empowering sense of perspective on their lives. But as its use spread, it became clear that similar benefits could also be experienced by those who were not ill or under medical supervision.” “LSD began to be promoted as an experience that would add richness to the life of anyone who chose to take it. As it diffused into the emerging counterculture, it made rapid transit from research chemical to ‘drug…” “…the feeling that the twentieth century’s carefully constructed boundaries between ‘medical’ and ‘recreational’ cannot be permanent.” “…illicit drugs such as cannabis are losing their social stigma and making their way into the medical pharmacopeia…” “The category of ‘drugs’ can never be entirely fixed, determined as it is not only by chemistry but by society.” “In a future where drugs evolve to stimulate the brain with ever more precision, perhaps the most enduring distinction will remain the one formulated by Dioscorides 2,000 years ago: whether drug is medicine or poison is a question of dosage.”
Ancient history and drug meanings Intoxicant
Aldous Huxley and mescaline
Albert Hoffman and LSD first accidental trip Psychotherapists and LSD assisted therapy vs recreational use and gains
LSD foundations in society as medicine and research chemical and the quick transition within culture
Cannabis making a come back
What determines the drug classification
Drug distinction conclusion?
“Suddenly humanity’s knowledge of mind-altering drugs, assembled through centuries and across continents, was being collected into an illicit global formulary, refined and expanded by a cult of enthusiastic self-experimentation.” “To succeed, it needed to convince the world that drugs were a genuine threat to civilisation, and that there was a genuine hope of returning to a world without them. ”
Visual source of a sixteenth-century Aztec status – which includes psychedelic substances engraved into it. -research -include as a source / something to be discussed in the section about how these drugs are engrained in our human culture? The 1960’s and the begins of the counterculture drug revolution
President Nixon’s ‘war on drugs’ - 1971
Research ‘Shroom: A cultural history of the magic mushroom’ – Andy Letcher’s (2006) for more sources
Key Quotes - Online
The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self. - Albert Einstein It is the prayer of my innermost being to realize my supreme identity in the liberated play of consciousness, the Vast Expanse. Now is the moment, Here is the place of Liberation. - Alex Grey Zen is a way of liberation, concerned not with discovering what is good or bad or advantageous, but what is.- Alan Watts There is no liberation to compare with freeing oneself from the illusions and delusions of the age in which one lives. - Terrance McKenna For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. - Aldous Huxley “The chief lesson to be learned from the psychedelic experience is the degree to which unexamined cultural values and limitations of language have made us the unwitting prisoners of our own assumptions.”
Shamanism & Spirituality “Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.” - Terrance McKenna “I am convinced that the way forward for the human race is to recognize and protect the fundamental right of sovereignty over consciousness, to throw off the chains of our divisive religious heritage, to seek out forms of spirituality (or no spirituality at all if we so prefer) that are truly supportive of liberty and tolerance, to help the human spirit to grow rather than to wither, and to nurture our innate capacity for love and mutual respect. The old ways are broken and bankrupt and new ways are struggling to be born. Each one of us with our own talents, and by our own choices, has a part to play in that process.” - Graham Hancock “If we recognize the power of entheogenic substances to open us to the universal truth and full dimension of human experience, and if we accept the role of the shaman as hierophant and psychopomp into this realm, as enacted for example by the Huichol mara'akame, we have to conclude that today in Western society we are deprived of two key resources for complete human growth. Young people, in their hunger for meaning, will still gravitate
toward entheogens. The more experienced among us may try to ease their journey, but in the absence of qualified guides not all will benefit from their experience.” ― Rick Doblin, Cultural conditioning is like bad software. Over and over it's diddled with and re-written so that it can just run on the next attempt. But there is cultural hardware, and it's that cultural hardware, otherwise known as authentic being, that we are propelled toward by the example of the shaman and the techniques of the shaman. ... Shamanism therefore is a call to authenticity. - Terrance McKenna One of the things that's so striking about shamanism in the native context is the absence of mental illness. - Terrance McKenna This is in fact what shamanism is all about, what the end of history is all about, what psychedelic drugs are all about, we are edge-walking on an ontological transformation of what it means to be human. - Terrance McKenna Nature is not our enemy, to be raped and conquered. Nature is ourselves, to be cherished and explored. Shamanism has always known this, and shamanism has always, in its most authentic expressions, taught that the path required allies. These allies are the hallucinogenic plants and the mysterious teaching entities, luminous and transcendental, that reside in that nearby dimension of ecstatic beauty and understanding that we have denied until it is now nearly too late. - Terrance McKenna Marcel Eliade took the position that hallucinogenic shamanism was decadent, and Gordon Wasson, very rightly I believe, contravened this view and held that actually it was very probably the presence of the hallucinogenic drug experience in the life of early man that lay the very basis for the idea of the spirit. - Terrance Mckenna Shamanism, on the other hand, is this world-wide, since Paleolithic-times, tradition which says that you must make your own experience the centre piece of any model of the world that you build. - Terrance McKenna
Hippies / 1960’s – 70’s counterculture movement
“Avoid all needle drugs – the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.” — Abbie Hoffman Hippy is an establishment label for a profound, invisible, underground, evolutionary process. For every visible hippy, barefoot, be-flowered, beaded, there are a thousand invisible members of the turned-on underground. Persons whose lives are tuned in to their inner vision, who are dropping out of the TV comedy of American Life. - Timothy Leary Hippies started the ecology movement. They combated racism. They liberated sexual stereotypes, encouraged change, individual pride, and self-confidence. They questioned
robot materialism. In four years they managed to stop the Vietnam War. They got marijuana decriminalized in fourteen states during the Carter Administration. - Timothy Leary Everything we did in the 1960s was designed to fission, to weaken faith in and conformity to the 1950s social order. Our precise surgical target was the Judeo-Christian power monolith, which has imposed a guilty, inhibited, grim, anti-body, anti-life repression on Western civilization. - Timothy Leary A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah. - Ronald Reagan The hippies had in mind something that they wanted, and were calling it freedom, but in the final analysis freedom is a purely negative goal. It just says something is bad. Hippies weren't really offering any alternatives other than colorful short-term ones, and some of these were looking more and more like pure degeneracy. Degeneracy can be fun but it's hard to keep up as a serious lifetime occupation. - Robert M. Pirsig The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,â€? he said. "The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence. - Walter Isaacson Hippies believe the world could be a better place. Beatniks believe things arenâ€™t going to get better and say the hell with it, stay stoned and have a good time.- Janis Joplin Revolution is not something fixed in ideology, nor is it something fashioned to a particular decade. It is a perpetual process embedded in the human spirit. - Abbie Hoffman I think the greatest legacy of the 1960s was the general feeling that not only can you fight the powers that be, but you can win. - Abbie Hoffman I think we are constantly faced with the same decision. The decision to be blindly obedient to authority versus the decision to try and change things by fighting the powers that be is always, throughout history, the only decision. - Abbie Hoffman "We wouldn't be here if it weren't for psychedelic drugs. In terms of the role of psilocybin in human evolution on the grasslands of Africa, people not on drugs were behind the curve. The fact is that, in terms of human evolution, people not on psychedelics are not fully human. They've fallen to a lower state, where they're easily programmed, boundary defined, obsessed by sexual possessiveness which is transferred into fetishism and object obsession. We don't want too many citizens asking where the power and the money really goes. Informed by psychedelics, people might stop saluting. "Take your political party, your job, whatever, and shove it. Terrance McKenna
"I think the real test of psychedelics is what you do with them when you're not on them, what kind of culture you build, what kind of art, what kind of technologies... What's lacking in the Western mind is the sense of connectivity and relatedness to
the rest of life, the atmosphere, the ecosystem, the past, our children's future. If we were feeling those things we would not be practicing culture as we are."
Psychedelics – Use, place, opinions “It (LSD) opened my eyes. We only use one-tenth of our brain. Just think of what we could accomplish if we could only tap that hidden part! It would mean a whole new world if the politicians would take LSD. There wouldn't be any more war or poverty or famine.” – Paul McCartney “Part of what psychedelics do is they de condition you from cultural values. This is what makes it such a political hot potato. Since all culture is a kind of con game, the most dangerous candy you can hand out is one which causes people to start questioning the rules of the game.” - Terrance McKenna “Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.” - Terrance McKenna “If, as Max Weber contended, science, modernity and rationalism have disenchanted the world and swept it clean of gods, spirits and magic (or, at least, problematised believing in them), then psychedelics offer a potential way out of the ensuing existential impasse. “Andy Letcher “Students of the psychedelic realm know that one's expectations are a powerful determinant of the direction, content, and outcome of the experience. So, we should say at the outset that the experiences recounted here were preceded by careful preparation, where the trip was presented as a learning experience and a process of self-discovery. They all took place in safe, supportive environments. They generally did not fit the stereotypical model of teenagers dropping acid at a rock concert, looking for awesome visuals and good vibes.” ― Rick Doblin “Psychedelics are not a substitute for faith. They are a door to authentic faith, born of encountering directly the sacred dimension of everyday experience. This is not the only gate to that discovery, but it is the most ancient and universal, and potentially the most accessible to the majority of the human race.” ― Rick Doblin “The cultural integration of psychedelics won't happen overnight, and the question of young people is perhaps the most difficult involved. The first step is for people who have knowledge of these substances to share it, "coming out" about their own experiences. Drug education should be honest and present a balanced picture of risks and benefits.” ― Rick Doblin
“These days, when I knock on the doors of the Tryptamine Palace, I am no longer greeted with unconditional love, but instead, I am reminded of the responsibility that comes with ultimate knowledge: an undeniable responsibility to myself, to my tribe, to my species, to my planet.” ― James Oroc Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities, the political, the religious, the educational authorities who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing, forming in our minds their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable, open-mindedness; chaotic, confused, vulnerability to inform yourself. - Timothy Leary TURN ON. to contact the ancient energies and wisdoms that are built into your nervous system. They provide unspeakable pleasure and revelation. TUNE IN. to harness and communicate these new perspectives in a harmonious dance with the external world. DROP OUT. detach yourself from the tribal game. current models of social adjustment - mechanized, computerized, socialized, intellectualized, televised, sanforized - make no sense to the new LSD generation who see clearly that American society is becoming an airconditioned anthill. - Timothy Leary The danger of psychedelic drugs, the danger of mind-opening, the danger of consciousness expansion, the danger of inner discovery is a danger to the establishment. - Timothy Leary Psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them. - Timothy Leary People have to go out of their mind before they can come to their senses - Timothy Leary Of course, the drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key — it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures. - Timothy Leary Human beings have a right to change their consciousness, and it is unconscionable and absolutely wrong for any government or any person to stand in the way of someone choosing to change their consciousness.- Timothy Leary
SECTION 1: HIPPIES – QUOTES (Counterculture) follows on from new left quote page Notes / Section Quote Source POINT - HIPPIES “Hippies became the Other, Acid Dreams pg 163 the very people "our parents warned us against," and this negative definition quickly congealed into a national obsession. The public response was typically ambivalent; the flower children were variously treated as threats to public order or as harmless buffoons. Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, described a hippie as someone who "dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheetah." ideology “the hippie ideology: a counter- http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1351/2/theculture that fought to escape life-and-death-of-the-hippie-a-dance-with-the-devilcounterculture consumerism and mass and-the-media media.” “To some the hippies were a Acid Dreams pg 164 barometer of a sick society, a warning to industrial civilization of its impending collapse.” the reason for wanting to Hippies “and others in the Acid Dreams pg 164 escape? Because of the LSD subculture who believed ridicule? To commune that massive change would elsewhere? Were not only come about when social activists and did not enough people expanded their want to: consciousness. They rejected the possibility of revamping the social order through political activity, opting instead for a lifestyle that celebrated political disengagement.” “Timothy Leary, who made Acid dreams Pg166 no bones about where he stood on the issue. In his opinion the psychedelic and antiwar movements were completely incompatible. "The choice is between being rebellious and being
hippie ideology and the beats
religious," he declared. "Don't vote. Don't politic. Don't petition. You can't do anything about America politically." “The cultural renaissance fueled by LSD was the force that broke the stranglehold of bourgeois morality and the Protestant work ethic. It provided the passionate underpinning for a lifestyle that existed on the far side of power politics. Above all it insisted upon a revolution that would not only destroy the political bonds that shackle and diminish us” “The ideology of the hippie culture was a bi-product of the Beat generation.”
Acid dreams pg 169
http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1351/thelife-and-death-of-the-hippie-a-dance-with-the-deviland-the-media citation: Forman, S. E. (2016). "The Life and Death of the Hippie: A Dance with the Devil and the Media." Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 8(02). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=1351
“Breaking down lines of property and hierarchy, establishing order-that irresistible bogey-while avoiding lines of traditional authority, was a perpetual battle. Communes came and went. The ones with religious commitments survived longest.”
the sixties, gitlin, pdf saved in new left - Pg 416
media slander Time magazine 1967
“Although that sounds like a pipe-dream, it conveys the unreality that permeates hippiedom, a cult whose mystique derives essentially from the influence of hallucinogenic drugs.”
“The hippie ideal was a loving,
“Youth: The Hippies,” TIME Magazine, July 7, 1967
downfall of hippie
passionate and serious one, but as a community they lacked the structural foundation that enables societies to
Forman, S. E. (2016). "The Life and Death of the Hippie: A Dance with the Devil and the Media." Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 8(02). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=1351
function for extended periods of time.”
“The cultural radicalism of
go ask alice - ashbolt hippies was grounded in journal saved in hippie docs modes of experimentation and pg 41 styles of living, which challenged traditional notions of time and space.”
“hippies were a distinctive go ask alice - ashbolt subcultural product of journal saved in hippie docs American society, a ‘moment’ pg 35 sustained by the economic boom, expanded leisure and political conflict at home and abroad.” “Philosophies of love and community were underpinned by drug usage.”
go ask alice - ashbolt journal saved in hippie docs pg 39
SECTION 1: COUNTERCULTURE INTRO The beginning and the makings of a counterculture Start page of dissertation & quotes Notes / section Point: How the widespread use of psychedelics came about
had the feeling that it would be worth while to carry out more profound studies with this compound
Work on LSD then fell into abeyance for a number of years.
part of a systematic chemical and pharmacological investigation
“first synthesized LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in 1938 while investigating the chemical and pharmacological properties of ergot, a rye fungus” “accidentally absorbed a small dose through his fingertips”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xvii
Dr Albert Hoffman
first synthesized but would lay untouched for a further 5 years April 16, 1943 accidental dose first taken Hoffman’s explanation of the first effects
hoffman’s view of the importance of the substance
“he was overcome by “a remarkable but not unpleasant state of intoxication…characterized by an intense stimulation of the imagination and an altered state of awareness of the world.” “he sensed that LSD could be an important tool for studying how the mind works, and he was pleased when the scientific
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xviii Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xviii
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xix
community began to use the drug for this purpose.”
effects in early human trials purpose of the synthesis in the first place mescaline discovery by lewin which came before LSD
mescaline research by Lewin
“he did not anticipate” that LSD “would have such enormous social and cultural impact in the years to come.” “a creativity enhancer and learning stimulant.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xix https://erowid.org/culture/characters/ hofmann_albert/hofmann_albert_interview1.shtml
circulatory and respiratory stimulant
hallucinogen available as a chemically pure compound
in the years following, interest in the hallucinogenic research faded.
Mescaline, studied for the first time by Lewin in 1888, was the first hallucinogen available as a chemically pure compound; LSD was the second. Karl Beringer's investigations were published in the classic monograph Der Meskalinrausch in 1928, but in the years following, interest in the hallucinogenic research faded.
Not until my discovery of LSD, which is about 5,000 to 10,000 times more active than mescaline, did this line of research receive a new impetus.
Point: CIA Timothy Leary Quote
"The LSD movement was started by the CIA"
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xx “the ClA's major drug and mind Acid Dreams: the complete social history of control program during the Cold LSD….. War” BOOK pg 27 purpose of the tests was to “figure out how to employ LSD in espionage operations. “The purpose of Operation MK- Acid Dreams: the complete social history of ULTRA and related programs, LSD…..
Gottlieb explained, was "to investigate whether and how it was possible to modify an individual's behavior by covert means."
BOOK pg xxiii
The central irony of LSD is that it has been used both as a weapon and a sacrament, a mind control drug and a mindexpanding chemical. Each of these possibilities generated a unique history: a covert history, on the one hand, rooted in CIA and military experimentation with hallucinogens, and a grassroots history of the drug counterculture that exploded into prominence in the 1960s. At key points the two histories converge and overlap, forming an interface between the ClA's secret drug programs and the rise and fall of the psychedelic movement.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xxv
- The CIA and governments input / irony
“It is, of course, highly ironic that secret experiments by the US government into psychological warfare and the repressive manipulation of human behaviour resulted in the most influential countercultural movement of the century.”
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 14
“The mid-1960s were pervaded by a sense of daily apocalypse: President Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam, Malcolm X was assassinated, twenty thousand marines conducted a "police action" in the Dominican Republic, and the Watts rebellion caught fire in Los Angeles.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 132
Point: The cause / need for liberation / revolution The political situation and climate that caused the revolution
Vietnam – the main cause for rebellion
“it was the war, more than any other issue, that radicalized people and spurred them to direct action.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 133
“The counterculture thus devised institutions in which hip collectivity and the cultivation of individual experience could cohabit.”
the sixties gitlin pdf saved in new left pg200
Point counterculture: general - a note to the 2 emerging grous at the time new left and hippie
“The ideologues of the counterculture found ready listeners”
the sixties gitlin pdf saved in new left pg209 “The counterculture was not just revisiting the new left about drug use, however. It was john mcmillan also about exploring alternative saved in pdfs ideas and ways of life, all of pg 14 which created a strong sense of community” Point: LSD – importance to this research and counterculture movement intro to LSD and impact on counterculture
“The LSD story is inseparable from the cherished hopes and shattered illusions of the sixties generation. In many ways it provides a key for understanding what happened during that turbulent era, when political and cultural revolution erupted with full fury.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg xxv
lsd john sinclar white panther party
“facilitating the transition from the secretive, cabalistic mentality of the beats to the collective orientation of the 1960s”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 218
beatniks to lsd to revolution john sinclair white panther party
"When the beatniks started ACID DREAMS taking acid, it brought us out of Book the basement, the dark place, the pg 218 underworld, the fringes of society…all of a sudden one
was filled with a messianic feeling of love, of brotherhood… LSD gave us the idea it could be different. It was tremendously inspiring. We thought this would alter everything. We were going to take over the world. This was the general belief. It was the LSD… Acid was amping everything up, driving everything into greater and greater frenzy." LSD experience and what is caused in young people
“If any single theme dominated young people in the 1960s, it was the search for a new way of seeing, a new relation to the world. LSD was a means of exciting consciousness and provoking visions, a kind of hurried magic enabling youthful seekers to recapture the resonance of life that society had denied.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 131
ref to Huxley the experience leading to liberation
“The passion with which young people embraced these substances, despite the attendant somatic discomfort, was indicative of an overriding conviction that psychedelics were a means to liberation” “That LSD and the subculture it inspired came to be so closely associated with peace and love”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 131
“Radical subcultures such as the Beats had used marijuana and peyote, sometimes harder drugs, as part of their lifestyle experimentation but never before had drugs, and even more specifically one drug, been the fundamental symbol around which a community grew.”
go ask alice journal ashbolt saved pdf pg 40
ACID DREAMS Book pg 167
Point: Leading advocates of the drugs at the beginning of the movement and their effects on the boom - Timothy Leary After first ingesting LSD in the late 1950’s, Leary saw the potential of the drug as spiritual in nature Altered states of conscious brought about by psychedelics could fight the political system and consumer society
Leary’s use and message The Psychedelic Experience book -
Leary vs Ken Kesey ken kesey
“For Leary, the paths of spiritual discovery and political opposition were closely intertwined.”
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15
“he rejected politics as such as inconsequential and believed that radical change of the ‘system’ was only possible through fundamental changes in consciousness.” “Leary represented the ‘cultivated’ face of psychedelia”
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15
“approaching the drug with scientific curiosity, advocating tripping under carefully controlled conditions and putting a strong emphasis on Eastern philosophy” psychedelic experience book (leary) vs acid tests (Kesey) “wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”
“Kesey represented those elements of the hip scene that emphasized personal liberation without any strategic concern whatsoever; the task of remodeling themselves took precedence over changing institutions or government policy.” “anarchic hedonism exemplified by the activities of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters.” “playful to the point of insanity”
merry pranksters – recreational
“The Pranksters were calculating populists who
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15 Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15
the sixties gitlin pdf saved in new left pg200 Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 134
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15 Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15 Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK
leary – guided / spiritual ken kesey quote LSD acid test flyers
deliberately distributed acid as widely as possible.” “That’s the only way to get people to ask questions, and until they ask questions they are going to remain robots.” “the acid-inspired swirls of the new- style psychedelic posters were barely comprehensible, but that was precisely their point: they turned letters into artobjects themselves, liberated them from the burden of literal signification.”
acid tests – 1965 Bay Area
dozens, then hundreds who caught wind of these occasions were given the purest LSD (still legal in California), treated to costumes, paint, pulsating colored lights, Prankster movies, barrages of sound and music, weirdly looped taperecorders, assorted instruments, a flood of amplified talk.
the sixties gitlin pdf saved in new left pg201
acid tests – Tom Wolfe
“The Acid Tests were one of those outrages, one of those scandals, that create a new style or a new world view…The Acid Tests were the epoch of the psychedelic style and practically everything that has gone into it ...it all came straight out of the Acid Tests in a direct line leading to the Trips Festival”
“linked by their emphasis on the liberating potentials of LSD.”
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15 Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15
on the aesthetic of the posters (see case study bookmark) and all psychedelic posters
Summer of Love – Art of the Psychedelic Era BOOK pg 15 the sixties gitlin pdf saved in new left pg201
go ask alice - ashbolt journal saved in hippie docs pg 38
- both Leary and Kesey’s impact
“advocated LSD as a consciousness-expanding agent with wide-reaching potential for social and political action.”
SECTION 1 – NEW LEFT QUOTES (Counterculture) NOTES / SECTION POINT: LSD and its relationship to revolution
Carl Oglesby, former president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the leading national New Left organization in the 1960s, reflected on how the psychological underpinnings of taking LSD and rebelling against authority were complementary.> Quote from same page >>>
Sizable amounts of street acid first appeared around college campuses and bohemian enclaves in 1965. This was an exceptionally creative period marked by a new assertiveness among young people. LSD accentuated a spirit of rebellion and helped to catalyze the expectations of many”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 283
The social environment in which drugs were taken fostered an outlaw consciousness that was intrinsic to the development of the entire youth culture, while the use of drugs encouraged a generalizing of discontent that had significant political ramifications. The very expression of youth revolt was influenced and enhanced by the chemical mind-changers.
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 283
“It's not necessarily that the actual content of the LSD experience contributed to politically radical or revolutionary consciousness - it was just that the experience shared the structural characteristics of political rebellion”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 132
“The revolutionary fervor of the late 1960s was amplified by the widespread use of LSD and other hallucinogens.”
Acid Dreams: the complete social history of LSD….. BOOK pg 217 ACID DREAMS Book pg 129
“When young people got high, they knew this existentially, from the inside out. They saw through the great hoax, the cover story concerning not only the narcotics laws but the entire system. Smoking dope was thus an
important political catalyst, for it enabled many a budding radical to begin questioning the official mythology of the governing class.” New left – in general psychedelic liberation and “For sixties activists, the quest for social rebellion justice was in many ways a direct extension of the search for personal authenticity. They were as much concerned with questions of psychic liberation as with economic and political issues. Their demand for a highenergy, freewheeling, erotic culture was a keystone of their anti-authoritarian crusade.”
who were the new left?
they helped towards
new left found it hard to be
ACID DREAMS Book pg 127-128
“During the nascent phase of the student movement, taking drugs was a way of saying "No!" to authority, of bucking the status quo. Drug use and radical politics often went hand in hand.”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 128
“the New Left can be defined as a loosely organized, mostly white student movement that promoted participatory democracy, crusaded for civil rights and various types of university reforms, and protested against the Vietnam War.” “the emerging movements for women’s liberation, gay rights, and multiculturalism.”
revisiting the new left john mcmillan PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 5
“At the hub is the youth movement, principally the white student part of it, and its self-conscious core, the New Left, which borrowed from the black movement the habit of calling itself "the movement."
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 13
“the New Left became the dynamic center of the decade, pushing the young forward, declaring that change was here”
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 13
“SDS was only part of the New Left or "the Movement," as insiders called it, and the Movement itself was part of a larger cultural upheaval that occurred during this period.
ACID DREAMS Book pg 133
revisiting the new left john mcmillan PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 2 “be both strategic and expressive, political and the sixties cultural: to change the world (end the war, win gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) civil rights) while freeing life in the here and now. pg 14
POINT:SDS Who they were
Nearly everything was being questioned and most things tried in an orgy of experiment that shook the nation at its roots. Students everywhere were rejecting mainstream values, turning on to drugs, and marching in the streets.” “SDS served as the left wing of the student rights movement.” “SDS an "ideological home" for activists from civil rights and peace and university reform movements.” Point: Herbert Marcuse
“the revolutionary Marxist Herbert Marcuse.”
“Father of the New Left”
POINT:NEW LEFT + HIPPIE OVERLAP IN VALUES new left vs hippie – positive overlap new left vs hippie
new left and LSD
new left vs hippie
revisiting the new left john mcmillan PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 16 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 105 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 93 http://www.marcuse.org/ herbert/booksabout/70s/Bourne1979 MarcuseGrandfatherNewLeft.pdf
“Not everyone who turned on was also involved in political protest, but there was a significant overlap between the two groups.”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 129
“The hipster and the activist represented two poles of the radical experience. Both shared a contempt for middle-class values, a disdain for authority, and a passion for expression.” “where LSD might prove useful-to help broaden the very definition of politics and thereby enhance the historical vision of the New Left.” “The flower power ethos was in some sense a caricatured extension of the nonviolent pacifist ideology that dominated the early history of the New Left.” “New Left and the counterculture, oppositions compounded-however contradictorily-of politics and culture.”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 133
radicals- especially in Berkeley-were stunned by the wonders of marijuana and LSD.
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 202
ACID DREAMS Book pg 167 ACID DREAMS Book pg 167 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 36
CASE STUDY – The Human Be In jan 1967 san fancisco bay area Michael Bowen said the be in would be a
“Gathering of two tribes” “One of the main purposes of the be-in…was to bring together cultural and political rebels who did not always see eye to eye on strategies for liberation.” “In effect the goal was to psychedelicize the radical left.” “The attempt was to bring together political radicals and acid devotees, in Golden Gate Park, to celebrate what the editor of a new freak paper, the San Francisco Oracle, called "a union of love and activism previously separated by categorical dogma and label mongering."
Timothy Learys appearance His appearance at the be in and speech was to publicise and promote the League for Spiritual Discovery Timothy Leary
the be-in lost its efforts to join two the groups
ACID DREAMS Book pg 159 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 201
tour to promote his new group, the League for Spiritual Discovery. The League had only two commandments - "Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow man" and "Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from altering his own consciousness."
ACID DREAMS Book pg 161
“The High Priest of the psychedelic movement spoke of expanded consciousness”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 161 ACID DREAMS Book pg 162
LSD publicising at the be- “The be-in was the culmination of everything in that had been brewing in the Haight, and people were still buzzing from it weeks later. If LSD already had a reputation as a drug of peace and love, the be-in swelled it to gigantic proportions.” POINT:NEW LEFT + HIPPIE CLASH
ACID DREAMS Book pg 159 ACID DREAMS Book pg 159
leads from case study into the clash between NEW LEFT and HIPPIE “the Oracle group failed to accomplish one of its major goals: the unification - if only on a symbolic level - of political radicals and psychedelic dropouts. If anything, the be-in tended to underscore the differences between the two camps.”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 164
new left vs hippies
new left vs hippies
“The apolitical tone of the event was disconcerting to New Left activists, who had once looked upon their hipster brethren as spiritual allies”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 164
“The radicals disagreed with acid eaters who thought they could elevate the world simply by elevating themselves.”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 164
“New Age rhetoric a fierce competition was shaping up between the radicals and the hippie-gurus”
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 202 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 206
There were tensions galore between the radical idea of political strategy-with discipline, organization, commitment to results out there at a distance-and the countercultural idea of living life to the fullest, right here, for oneself, or for the part of the universe embodied in oneself, or for the community of the enlightened who were capable of loving one another-and the rest of the world be damned (which it was already).
Point: Conclusion to hippie vs new left both with same ideals and actions/political results hippies
“the clearest political statement was how people chose to comport themselves on a daily basis.” “At their best they represented an edge where the perspectives and tactics of the New Left were being transformed.” “The cultural renaissance fueled by LSD was the force that broke the stranglehold of bourgeois morality and the Protestant work ethic. It provided the passionate underpinning for a lifestyle that existed on the far side of power politics. Above all it insisted upon a revolution that would not only destroy the political bonds that shackle and diminish us”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 168 ACID DREAMS Book pg 168 ACID DREAMS Book pg 169
1967 "Summer of Love," many were the radicals and cultural revolutionaries in search of convergence, trying to nudge the New Left and the counterculture together, to imagine them as yin and yang of the same epochal transformation.
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 206
drugs playing part in new left
True, LSD percolated through the New Left, especially its inventive California wing, at just the same time as the surge in militancy. It is also one of the truisms of drug research that the impact of psychedelics, even of marijuana, depends heavily on one's mind-set and the social setting.
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 245
point: new left downfall
“the New Left began to lose track of what was politically feasible”
ACID DREAMS Book pg 216 ACID DREAMS Book pg 217
bad use of lsd said by john Sinclairwhite panther party
“All your big decisions were made on LSD. And while that might be an exciting way to operate, it's not the most intelligent way. To think that your personal consciousness can overcome historical forces is a mistake." “the New Left failed to produce the political leaders one might have expected of a movement so vast: it devalued too much intelligence, was too ambivalent about personal prowess.” “The New Left, like its predecessors, failed to create lasting political forms” “New Left in the early Sixties is in large part the history of these struggles for selfdefinition.”
the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 422 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 422 the sixties gitlin PDF (saved in new left docs) pg 85
SOCIALIST QUOTES For New Left comparison and explanation section of essay Check SOCIALIST NOTES doc for help
Herbert Marcuse Quotes Notes / Subject / Text Quotes from AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION – Saved PDF in NEW LEFT folder About Marcuse “ “
Socialism VS Capitalism
Capitalism and exploitation capitalism defined
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION
“German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist” “his intellectual concerns were the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and modern technology.” “in the late 1960s and the 1970s he became known as the preeminent theorist of the New Left and the student movements of Germany, France, and the USA.” “Celebrated as the "Father of the New Left," “His Marxist scholarship inspired many radical intellectuals and political activists in the 1960s and '70s, both in the U.S. and internationally.”
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 4 AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 4
“socialism as an emergence of different goals and values, different aspirations in the men and women who resist and deny the massive exploitative power of corporate capitalism even in its most comfortable and liberal realizations.” “Capitalism reproduces itself by transforming itself, and this transformation is mainly in the improvement of exploitation.” “The power of corporate capitalism has stifled the emergence of such a consciousness and imagination; its mass media have adjusted the rational and emotional faculties to
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 7
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 4
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 4 AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 4
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 15 AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 17
its market and its policies and steered them to defense of its dominion.” “ “In the advanced capitalist countries, the radicalization of the working classes is counteracted by a socially engineered arrest of consciousness, and by the development and satisfaction of needs which perpetuate the servitude of the exploited.” “ “Capitalist progress thus not only reduces the environment of freedom, the "open space" of the human existence, but also the 'longing," the need for such an environment.” LIBERATION “science and technology are the great vehicles of liberation, and that it is only their use and restriction in the repressive society which makes them into vehicles of domination” on the new left / “In one word: they have taken the counterculture idea of revolution out of the achievements continuum of repression and placed it into its authentic dimension: that of liberation.” “ “they recognized the mark of social repression, even in the most sublime manifestations of traditional culture, even in the most spectacular manifestations of technical progress.” On Marx and Engels theories (In contrast to the Communist Manifesto) “
On hippies / psychedelics/ social revolution
“Marx and Engels refrained from developing concrete concepts of the possible forms of freedom in a socialist society; today, such restraint no longer seems justified.” “By and large, Marxian theory has a positive evaluation of the role of bourgeois democracy in this transition -- up to the stage of the revolution itself.” “Awareness of the need for such a revolution in perception, for a new sensorium, is perhaps the kernel of truth in the psychedelic search. But
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 17
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 18
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 14-15
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 8
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 8
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 10
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 46
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 30
On NEW LEFT radicals “
it is vitiated when its narcotic character brings temporary release not only from the reason and rationality of the established system but also from that other rationality which is to change the established system, when sensibility is freed not only from the exigencies of the existing order but also from those of liberation. Intentionally non-committed, the withdrawal creates its artificial paradises within the society from which it withdrew.” “The "trip" involves the dissolution of the ego shaped by the established society -- an artificial and short-lived dissolution.” “the students and the resistance which enforced the change in the attitude of the government toward the war in Vietnam.” “the radical is guilty -- either of surrendering to the power of the status quo, or of violating the Law and Order of the status quo.”
AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 30 AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 49 AN ESSAY ON LIBERATION pg 50
Quotes from Liberation from an affluent society 1967 Lecture in London
in: David Cooper (ed.), The Dialectics of Liberation (Harmondsworth/Baltimore: Penguin, 1968), 175-192
“We are dealing with the dialectics Liberation from an affluent society of liberation (actually a redundant phrase, because I believe that all dialectic is liberation) and not only liberation in an intellectual sense, but liberation involving the mind and the body, liberation involving entire human existence. Think of Plato: the liberation from the existence in the cave. Think of Hegel: liberation in the sense of progress and freedom on the historical scale. Think of Marx. Now in what, sense is all dialectic liberation? It is liberation from the repressive, from a bad, a false system - be it an organic system, be
ONLINE SOURCE: http://www.marcuse.org/herbert/ pubs/60spubs/67dialecticlib/67LibFromAfflSociety.htm saved in NEW LEFT bookmarks
it a social system, be it a mental or intellectual system: liberation by forces developing within such a system. That is a decisive point. And liberation by virtue of the contradiction generated by the system, precisely because it is a bad, a false system.” The problem “I think we are faced with a novel encountered situation in history, because today with liberation we have to be liberated from a from an affluent relatively well-functioning, rich, society – one powerful society. I am speaking likened to the here about liberation from the current state of affluent society, that is to say, the society in the advanced industrial societies. The 1960’s problem we are facing is the need for liberation not from a poor society, not from a disintegrating society, not even in most cases from a terroristic society, but from a society which develops to a great extent the material and even cultural needs of man - a society which, to use a slogan, delivers the goods to an ever larger part of the population. And that implies, we are facing liberation from a society where liberation is apparently without a mass basis.” on American society as a capitalist society model
I can assure you that it is a class society. It is a capitalist society with a high concentration of economic and political power; with an enlarged and enlarging sector of automation and coordination of production, distribution and communication; with private ownership in the means of production which however depends increasingly on ever more active and wide intervention by the government. It is a society in which, as I mentioned, the material as well as cultural needs of the underlying population are satisfied on a scale larger than ever before but they are satisfied in line with the requirements and interests of
Liberation from an affluent society
Liberation from an affluent society
QUOTES FROM OneDimensional Man
the apparatus and of the powers which control the apparatus. And it is a society growing on the condition of accelerating waste, planned obsolescence and destruction, while the substratum of the population continues to live in poverty and misery.” “At least this part of the Hippies, in which sexual, moral and political rebellion are somehow united, is indeed a nonaggressive form of life: a demonstration of an aggressive non-aggressiveness which achieves, at least potentially, the demonstration of qualitatively different values, a transvaluation of values.” SAVED IN NEW LEFT PDF’s
“The distinguishing feature of advanced industrial society is its effective suffocation of those needs which demand liberation—liberation also from that which is tolerable and rewarding and comfortable—while it sustains and absolves the destructive power and repressive function of the affluent society.”
Liberation from an affluent society
One-Dimensional Man pg 9
Quotes ABOUT Marcuse & his theories Notes / Subject / Text the need to be radical
one dimensional theory
Quote “For Marcuse, radical action was needed to overcome the oppressive, repressive, reified structure of advanced industrial society.” “negative thinking is twodimensional as it sees the contradictions by which society is constituted and it is aware of forces of domination. The person who thinks critically demands social change. One-dimensional thinking does not demand change nor does it recognize the degree to which the individual is a victim of forces of domination in society.”
“ in a capitalist society explained
On the radical movement and the beauty of it help for marx vs Marcuse and class struggle
on new sensibility
Marx on labour vs Marcuse on relationship
New left and marcuse
“The social reality in advanced industrial societies is that very sophisticated systems of domination are in place and they are capable of transforming themselves to meet the challenge of any movement for liberation.” “The hope for revolution lay within individuals who in there very being have grown weary with their own repression. The student movements of the 60s was not based on class struggle, but rather, a rejection of their own repression as well as a growing lack of tolerance for war and waste.” “The student protests of the 1960s were a form of Great Refusal, a saying “NO” to multiple forms of repression and domination. This Great Refusal demands a new/liberated society. This new society requires what Marcuse calls the new sensibility” The cultivation of a new sensibility would transform the relationship between human beings and nature as well as the relationships between human beings. The new sensibility is the medium of social change that mediates between the political practice of changing the world and one's own drive for personal liberation” “This idea of a new sensibility is yet another move beyond Marxism insofar as it requires much more than new power relations. It requires the cultivation of new forms of subjectivity. “
“The New Left sought to join change of consciousness with the change of society, the personal with sociopolitical liberation. The New Left, in Marcuse’s view, provided important emphases on the subjective
https://www.scribd.com/document/ 212407551/Marcuse-and-the-New-Left quote the book not the link! pg2
where Marcuse and marx overlap
what Marcuse wanted / his ideology
about the effects of one directional man on radicals
about LIBERATION FROM AN AFFLIENT SOCIETY SPEECH
conditions of radical social change and sought new and more humane values, institutions, and ways of life.” After a period of pessimism during the phase of One-Dimensional Man, Marcuse was encouraged by the global forces of revolt, centered around the student and antiwar move-ment, the counterculture, national liberation movements, and what became known as the new social movements. Marcuse sought in these forces the instruments of radical social change that classical Marxism found in the proletariat. “Marcuse himself continued to foster demands for revolutionary change and defended the emerging forces of radical opposition, thus winning him the hatred of establishment forces and the respect of the new radicals.” “it is clear that he fervently desired total revolution, described as a radical upheaval and overthrow of the previously existing order, bringing about wide-ranging changes that would eliminate capitalism and establish a new liberated society and way of life.” “a generation of radicals turned to study Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man, which seemed to have denied the possibility of fundamental political change. During the heroic period of the New Left in the 1960s, the book helped to show a generation of political radicals what was wrong with the system they were struggling against, and thus played an important role in the student movement.” “Marcuse travelled to London to participate in the “Dialectics of Liberation” conference. In his contribution “Liberation from the Afﬂuent Society,” included in this volume, he afﬁrmed his commitments to both the New Left and the counterculture, arguing that a “new sensibility” and alternative ways of life are necessary to transcend the
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https://www.scribd.com/document/ 212407551/Marcuse-and-the-New-Left quote the book not the link! pg19
Marcuse and counterculture
Marcuse and socialism ideology
Marcuse social revolution vs utopia ideology
activism and political revolution
Marcuse and Marx – the difference
dominant modes of oppression and conformity in the established society” “Marcuse’s contribution vividly synthesized New Left political perspectives with afﬁrmations of the counterculture.” “Marcuse opened with an in vocation of ﬂower power and deﬁned the dialectics of liberation as “involving the mind and the body, liberation involving [the] entire human existence.” He quickly turned to Marx, however, identifying himself with Marxian socialism, but of a kind that advocates more radical qualitative social change, using the technological capacities of the afﬂuent society to liberate individuals from socially unnecessary labor, repression, and domination.” “Socialism was projected by Marcuse as a complete negation of the existing society and a rupture with previous history that would provide an alternative mode of free and happy existence with less work, more play, and the reduction of social repression.” “This unabashedly utopian notion articulated counterculture desire for an entirely new society and way of life with alternative values, sensibilities, relationships, and culture. Yet Marcuse used Marxist terminology to critique existing capitalist societies and insisted that socialist revolution was the most viable way to create an emancipated society, thus identifying with the perspectives of the politicos at the conference.” it was “his defence of confrontation politics and revolutionary violence” that spurred the youth revolt into action and kept it going. “For Marcuse Marxian theory is dialectical and historical: it describes the changes and transitions in the social-historical world. In his view,
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neo-Marxist theory must describe changes in the economy and society and the effect that these changes have on the totality of life and the prospects for social transformation. Because the Marxian concepts are historical, all of the concepts used to describe eighteenth- and nineteenth-century capitalism cannot obviously be used to describe twentieth-century capitalism. Consequently, for Marcuse, Marxist theory and practice require constant reconstruction to keep in touch with the changes in the historical situation The new sensibility, Marcuse believes, is a radically anti-capitalist political force and a catalyst of revolutionary change. It contains a subversion of the needs on which capitalism depends for its very existence and produces new needs that represent the negation of capitalism. Marcuse totally afﬁrms those bearers of the new sensibility which he ﬁnds in the New Left in contrast to marx’s theory of the class divide leading to revolution Marcuse in contrast to marx theory
“Marcuse, on the other hand, starts from the methodological presupposition that the working class is no longer a revolutionary force.” “But today, in the emerging advanced industrial society, all this has changed. The two sources of two-dimensional life have been destroyed. Through compulsive consumption and the implanting and satisfaction of “false needs,” through an erotic engineering, through the media which manipulate the mind, the instinctual drives which once tended to throw the individual into opposition to his society have been transformed into the very means of binding him to it. At the same time, the rising standard of living and the improved working conditions progressively diminish the misery suffered by the workers.”
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Marcuse’s want and his actions
About the onedimensional man theory and manipulation
“What are the links between Marcuse’s theory and method and his political practice? In theory he takes the stance that since no forces of fundamental social change exist within “one-dimensional” society, decent human beings can only express their rejection as indignantly and vigorously as possible. Hoping against hope, they make the great refusal and indulge in “defiant gestures.” “In such a one-dimensional society, the sense of alienation, hostility and aggression do not disappear. But they lose their potentially oppositional character and themselves become elements of manipulation,”
“People have never got rid of the status of being enslaved, and still are slaves. Therefore, Marcuse hopes to establish a “new society”, so that people’s instinctive desire, spiritual autonomy, creative talent and other aspects can be completely liberated. To construct his own new social ideal, he proposes breaking out a revolution
Comparison Between Marx’s and Marcuse’s Alienation Theories saved PDF in NEW LEFT pg 3
Karl Marx Quotes Notes / Subject / Text Communist Manifesto (Marx & Engles) Saved as PDF in NEW LEFT docs the class divide explained
The divide will lead to revolution explained
proof of marx belief that the working class would revolt due to the divide
"Society as a whole is more and more splitting into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat" "What the bourgeoisie, therefore, produces, above all, is its own gravediggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable"
Communist Manifesto pg 15
“Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
Communist Manifesto pg 34
Workingmen of all countries unite!”
Communist Manifesto pg 21
The demise of capitalism explained
"It [The bourgeoisie] is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society"
Communist Manifesto pg 21
Quotes ABOUT Marx & his theories Notes / Subject / Text On Marx theories and downfall
Quote Source http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/marcuse “Marx will develop two different but related approaches. His critique of political economy is an attempt to disclose the inner logic of capitalism (how it works) as well as the contradictions that will lead to the collapse of capitalism. The second approach is to work out a theory of revolution which presupposes the awakening of self-consciousness in the working class. In both approaches concealment will give way to disclosure and social transformation. We saw earlier that Marx's predictions did not come true on either account. This failure in part led to what has been called the crisis of Marxism to which the birth of the Frankfurt School was a response. “
Marx theory and the divide in class – leading to revolution
“In the struggles and rebellions of workers, he could see evidence of an emerging conscious social force that would ultimately overthrow the society which produced it. “
The problem with Marx
“The demonstration of the actuality of this specific agent of social transformation in Marx’s theory depended on a method that was prepared to expose rather than to hide contradiction, conflict and antagonism in the real social world.”