42 Comments
Apr 27, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

Bravo! Your joie de vivre was palpable in this article. Dare I say that your decision to write when you were inspired and not to produce content for your readers freed you in a way? Either way, I look forward to whatever you put out going forward including the book.

Also, you’ve really got me thinking about LSD in a new light.

Jeremy

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Thanks for the post. Also for folks reading the comments: I am about to be offline for a whole week, so that's why I will seem to be ignoring you!

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fantastic, man! For a lot of us, LSD is still the king because it has given us more of those life-changer experiences. I also think LSD helps to bring the psychedelic realm back into the collective, because you're in there for so long!

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Yeah you really gotta settle in. And the long tail spells "integration"...or at least beer-o-clock!

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Apr 27, 2022·edited Apr 27, 2022

acid if taken en masse in one moment can ‘sync’ everyone up. Even more so than ayahuasca. The prospect of syncing with a group is very enticing, especially as an entertainment scenario. A play where people dropped at the same instant for example. There must be a long list of these sorts of events in history. I’m wondering why it doesn’t happen today. Easier and cheaper than the $400 ayahuasca weekend. ~Mark Nichols

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yes i forgot to mention this. there is a "telepathic" dimension to situation here (the only time I believed I was having a telepathic experience was on acid). even if its not fully paranormal, that sync is extraordinary -- and potentially useful (as well as terrifying) going forward into a situation where responses to the crisis will be collective or not at all. and at a nice price indeed!

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With a telepathic communion from a perforated paper wafer, we're almost back in PKD territory.

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Just remember to Chew(tm) it.

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Can-do.

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....digging the brief Gravity's Rainbow mention, Dr. D - teaser alert?

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Hee hee. With this one I have to decide whether to write a proper academic paper or not. I am leaning toward yes, because there is a lot to be said, but that also sounds like a lot of work right now!!! But you can catch some of the drift....

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The Doper’s Dream

Last night I dreamed I was plugged right in

To a bubblin hookah so high,

When all of a sudden some Arab jinni

Jumped up just a-winkin his eye.

“I’m here to obey all your wishes,” he told me,

As for words I was trying to grope.

“Good buddy,” I cried, “you could surely abide me

By turning me on to some dope.”

With a big fat smile he took ahold of my hand

And we flew down the sky in a flash


And the first thing I saw in the land where he took me

Was a whole solid mountain of hash!

All the trees were a-bloomin with pink ‘n’ purple pills,

Where the Romilar river flowed by,

To the magic mushrooms as wild as a rainbow,

So pretty that I wanted to cry.

All the girls come to greet us, so sweet in slow motion,

Morning glories woven into their hair,

Bringin’ great big handfuls of snowy cocaine,

All their dope they were eager to share.

Well we dallied for days just a-ballin’ and smokin,’

In the flowering Panama Red,

Just piggin’ on peyote and nutmeg tea,

And those brownies so kind to your head.

Now I could have passed that good time forever,

And I really was fixing to stay,

But you know that jinni, turned out t’be a narco man,

And he busted me right where I lay.

And he took me back to this cold, cold world,

‘N’ now m’ in prison’s whurever I be,

And I dream of the days back in doperland,

And I wonder will I ever go free.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnFWfO9zOro

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I love me some druggy doggerel !

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Which Pynchon nailed.

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Prescient! I have been thinking along these lines for some time now. Nixon demonized Vit. A. and ever since it has been the ''work of the devil''...dangerous beyond word,etc etc. Aldous Huxley, however, did warn Leary and Alpert at Milbrook about popularizing it ...for exactly the worries that materialized under Nixon. I can tell you a story that is hard to understand but happened the day after taking approx 450mcq ...that amount was a story in itself the a day later it in its afterglow and completely ''down''...something happened to me that is unexplainable...Lord Saturn and all it entails...but I digress. Your point is hard to exactly uncover as so many points are made...all good, but the once clear point seems covered amongst the many...thannnnnk you

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I like this: " Your point is hard to exactly uncover as so many points are made...all good, but the once clear point seems covered amongst the many." That tends to be my way, perhaps my own nod to acid's tricksy revelations!

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Perfect!

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The Mandelbrot Set Effect, each point as unique and colorful as the previous, all diving into one another like mirror marbles in Liquid silver!

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Apr 27, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

Thank you. So. Much. This has been much on my mind, totally perplexed why all the therapeuts and guides and all the hoopla aren't including the OG. You nailed the language (as per usual) of two hypotheses and added a dozen more. Fact is plain, it's dirt cheap and actually quite safe, don't need an industry and so no pharma, no guides side hustling... It's the Liberation Theologian in the crowd.

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I like the "dirt cheap" factor and forgot to mention it. And while there are some market reasons for that -- a single batch makes so many units the mail goal is to distribute them fast -- there has also been a conscious effort on the part of the families to keep it low. But I love it: "The Liberation Theologian" of the crowd!

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Didn't you reference someone calling it "brute force" method of research or did I read that somewhere else, maybe.

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LSD? That doesn't ring a bell, although it makes sense!

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May 8, 2022·edited May 8, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

I thought about it and was able to find where I read it...

"It can be argued that underground chemists, together with sellers and buyers, have done more for legal psychedelic therapy than all legit doctors, politicians and lawyers combined. Why? Because they kept LSD available everywhere, and for very little money. This "brute force availability approach" allowed people, billions of them, to judge for themselves, and at some point enough people with enough power had enough deep transformative experiences to consider making it legal. Whether they are making it legal for humanitarian reasons or in order to make billions, that's another question. But if a tab had cost 60$ a piece for 50 years, none of this brute force tactic would had been possible."

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One of the interesting things to contemplate here is how much the brute force approach was based on the decision of producers to keep it cheap, and how much was based on the "affordances" of the molecule. It is very difficult to make a small amount of acid, which means even a low-scale batch produces tens of thousands of hits at the lowest. So from the molecule's sense it also makes sense to distribute fast and cheap. In this sense acid DOES "scale," just not for mass therapy.

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Also easy to travel with.

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Apr 28, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

Enjoyed your LSD Post. A child of the 60's, I'm fascinated by both the history of LSD dissemination as well as the rediscovery of mushrooms and peyote by the educated West. Additionally the role of psychedelics in culture and religion is a subject that deserves more study .And thats all aside from the experience itself. - You've made me a subscriber.

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Thanks David. It was a fun one to write!

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Apr 28, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

bravo

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I really appreciate your entry, the Elephant LSD. As a 50-something guy who fairly recently returned to psychedelics after a 30 year hiatus, I'm sympathetic to your insights about LSD in the current US cultural context. As many old-school tripsters know, set and setting are of vital importance. Unfortunately, in my teens and twenties, set and setting were sorely lacking. Even then I sensed this absence. I tried to read The Psychedelic Experience couldn't make much sense of it. It was not until I participated in an ayahuasca ritual with a gifted guide a few years ago that I experienced the comfort of a safely held container and the potency of a ceremony that has developed over many centuries and hybridized for the demographics of the community. I'm especially fascinated by the extraordinary effects resulting from the entwinement of the tea and the icaros, which seem to bind together like ayahuasca and chacruna, working in concert as one medicine. Just as there is a techne to ayahuasca, which you rightly mention, I believe that there is a techne to set and setting, a techne that has been refined in the cultures in which plant medicines have played a core role in religious/spiritual life.Psychedelics and religion have an ancient history. But LSD and religion do not. (As a side-note, my high-school psychedelic source wrote a paper on the Grateful Dead as religion, then dropped out of Harvard to go on tour with the band.)

The icaros (and corresponding textile patterns) are said to be given to shamans by the spirit of ayahuasca herself. Beyond the Grateful Dead, Kesey's Acid Tests, and Burning Man/Festivals what parallels might there be for LSD? What small-scale ceremonial techniques have tripsters gleaned from their acid experiences? At the risk of ascribing agency to a chemical molecule, one might ask, What is acid telling us about how we can benefit most from the gifts it has to offer? In my teens, I always had a journey tape - Harold Budd's "Pavilion of Dreams" on one side and George Lewis's "Blue" on the other. Similarly, the Kuya psychedelic assisted therapy center in Austin recently commissioned musician Poranguí to record journey music sessions. Poranguí, who walks a highly disciplined spiritual path, composed and performed the soundtrack for Aubrey Marcus's documentary film Ayahuasca and his is Kuya Project collaborator, Amani Friend, of Desert Dwellers and Liquid Bloom, also have long histories as spiritual seekers and their music has clear references to plant medicine. In my experience, having a journey soundtrack was very helpful but it is not able to respond to a journeyer individually in the moment the way that a medicine guide/shaman can - to issue an invitation, to hold space, to protect, and support the healing and discovery process, to say nothing of integration...

Curious to know others thoughts on these ideas...

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Hi Erik

What a great article!

In Switzerland, the Swiss Medical Association for Psycholysis has been treating people with LSD (psilocybin and MDMA) since its foundation, in 1985. Though officially approved, they’ve been fairly quiet about it and therefore don’t have an English language website (yet): https://saept.ch/

I’d also like to direct you to Frontiers in Psychedelic Science, a series of public lectures at Zurich University. They communicate in English, like we do at the two Psychedelic Salons I’ve created in Zürich and Basel (soon to come: Bern). Their promoter, Milan Scheidegger, is to Zürich what Franz Vollenweider and Peter Gasser are to Basel,

https://mailchi.mp/ed2d06b58a4d/newsletter-frontiers-in-psychedelic-science-nov-15436173?e=86753120cd

Author Claude Weil has published an excellent (German) book, in which he asks older folks, many in their seventies, about their recent trips. LSD holds a special pace in many Swiss minds and hearts and is not a schedule A drug here. That category is reserved for addictive substances such as heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

LSD is alive and well! It is as spiritual as you wish, doesn’t make you retch or poop, sends no herds of stoners trampling through the Amazon, and is reliably strong.

I am sending your piece to a few friends.

Best,

Susanne

P.S. To be fair: he retching and runs I experienced during the seven years I participated in ayahuasca circles HERE, with various Amazonian teachers and/or their students, did me a world of good!

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Hi Susanne. Thanks so much for this information! One thing I realized when I was writing the draft of the LSD blotter book was how little I knew about the European scene. Amsterdam was a major blotter and distribution center, as well as a cultural hub, and now I have a better sense of how strong and continuous the Swiss world was (I knew there was some long-standing production sources there). Also in Europe there was more of an emphasis on "psycholitic" therapy (with smaller but still active doses than the American "big guns" style). Very happy to learn about Milan Scheidegger!

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"It is as spiritual as you wish" -- a beautiful encapsulation of the sacred-secular spectrum of the molecule...

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Love this!! Resource city!

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May 14, 2022Liked by Erik Davis

Nicely - good attitude. I was going to a conference as notary but AB passed just prior to it((

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I feel this so hard. LSD is like an ignored but brilliant step child. And I know quite a few folks successfully microdosing it periodically in place of Ritalin or other ADHD meds. I also personally find that microdosing LSD really increases sexual satisfaction and the intensity of one’s orgasm, but have yet to hear this be discussed at all by the community.

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What a great post, thank you Erik. What’s your new book’s release date, if there is one?

Appreciate the two book references (Gray & Jarnow), will be checking both out for sure. Did you love one more than the other? In case I only get to one of them? (I was a big fan of Martin Lee’s Acid Dreams when I read it, as someone unfamiliar with lsd and it’s heyday...)

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Hi Chad, sorry I missed your post. Both those books are great, and very different -- one is a big picture cultural book like Acid Dreams (only focused on later decades) and the Gray is a personal exploration of an LSD practice. My Acid Blotter book doesn't have a release date yet, hopefully by the end of 2023!

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Hey Chad, thanks! My blotter book will probably be out around Christmas 2023, but we will see! As for which book to read, its sorta what you are into: Jarnow is a colorful history of acid scenes, whereas Gray is one man's late-life personal exploration into LSD, very well and honestly told. 3rd vs 1st person, your poison!

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Great piece. This article ignited some memories I hadn’t recalled in decades. In fact this article kinda serves as a memory fractal for me, a specific one called The Mandelbrot set. It was originally drawn in 1978 by Robert W. Brooks and Peter Matelski, most here are likely familiar with it or have seen it while high on LSD.

As I was reading this I found myself recalling random Artwork that I haven’t thought about in decades, book titles I read years ago, like ‘Godel, Escher Bach’, it was great! Ok Im rambling a bit here. Anyway, I enjoyed this article Erik & look forward to reading more of your work.

Thanks

Jonathan Guske

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Thanks man. Godel, Escher, Bach is a great one...I remember the 90s well -- fractals were everywhere! Now they look kinda passe as a design element, but they are still amazing cosmic math monsters...

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