'It may seem far-fetched but would be altogether in accord with the (Federal) Constitution to organise a group as a church, with the prospect of privilege.'
'Inner space law today (1963) is in the stage of underdevelopment outer space law was in A.D. 1903 when the Brothers Wright launched their airplane at Kittyhawk or, perhaps, when the Brothers Montgolfier ascended in the first air balloon, a hundred years earlier. Until it has matured, scholars in search of external on behalf of internal freedom will feel frustrated. They may believe themselves to be fugitives from injustice but in truth are victims of legal confusion engendered by the reversal of scientific objects, from the universe without to the universe within. Until psychedelics have found their place in law, a good many concrete questions will not be answerable with confidence.'
For good and valuable consideration, including access to the literature
and other facilities of the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR INTERNAL
FREEDOM, its agents, servants, associates and employees, I agree
to indemnify the said INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR INTERNAL FREEDOM,
its agents, servants, associates and employees, and save them
harmless for any loss, damage or expenses arising from the claim
and demand of any person against the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION
FOR INTERNAL FREEDOM, its agents, servants, associates or employees,
in connection with the use of LSD, psilocybin and related drugs.
I have read the information concerning these drugs and substances and understand that they are classified for investigational use.
DATE: ........................ ..............................
And messages from the Cambridge headquarters began to move along
the system, telling the news, of odd happenings in Mexico, how
'Internal Freedom' is going to be like Zen this year, and of 'several
million thoughtful people who have heard the joyous tidings and
who are waiting patiently for their psychedelic moment to come',
for whom LSD is becoming a major religious and civil rights controversy.
It was a brilliant astonishing concept, even by eccentric New
England standards, and deserved all the support it could get;
indeed, it seemed for some of its membership to offer the umbrella
under which they could enjoy their psychedelic experiences without
much spiritual or financial outlay.
But even in the hands of Tim, the eternal juggler, things began crashing about their heads as 'news' about IF-IF circulated in the media and through casual gossip, which may or may not have been true but was certainly extravagant, contradictory, scandalous, libelous, comic and inspirational. An IF-IF-Los Angeles opened for the West Coast. Alpert and Leary went on radio in Boston to explain their mission. Television networks were becoming interested, and 'experimental multifamilial living' using psychedelics began to spring up in different parts of America, along the lines of Tim's model for 'transpersonative, transcendental communities' where family members could 'maintain a level of experience which cuts beyond routine ego and social games'.
Alpert, Tim and his young daughter and son, a married Harvard senior with wife and baby, and several friends had themselves already started one such multi-familial dwelling, in a house they bought in the Newton suburb of Boston. In it there was a specially constructed 'meditation room' accessible from the cellar solely by a rope ladder. The only furnishings were mattresses covered in Indian prints, with drapes billowing down from the ceiling like Tibetan clouds, and huge Afghani cushions on the floor. A tiny oil-lamp gave just enough illumination to see the Buddha statue in the corner. The fragrance of incense completed the effect.
But in the rich middle-class Boston dovecote of Newton, the goings-on at the house had become a source of irritation amongst neighbours, including one lady who had lived for thirty-two years in a house near Dr. Alpert's green ten-bedroom home. 'Some weekends,' she complained to one reporter, 'their house is like a motel. They all wear a beatnik uniformtight pants and jerseys, no shoes or stockings. One young man in his twenties is letting his blond hair grow down to his shoulders and every time I look at him I want to vomit.'
Finally the families got together for a petition and invoked a Newton statute which allows only one-family dwellings in the neighbourhood. There was a hearing before the planning board in which the colonists were represented by Alpert's father, George Alpert, former president of the New Haven Railroad and a distinguished member of the Massachusetts bar, with his own law firm in Boston. The elder Alpert pointed out that the law does not specify that families must be consanguiness. And with that he won the case; there was no further trouble from neighbours after that.
Nonetheless, all this, and events back at the IF-IF offices, used up a lot of psychic energy in those of us committed to keep the game going. It seemed that the best plan would be to dissolve the corporate legal structure and announce that from henceforth IFIF members could make their own way in the worldjust their bodies and a willingness to stay 'on the way', very much as in Hermann Hesse's The Journey to the East. Accordingly, the organisation's board met to formulate the closing-up operation and to send its members the terminating Statement of Purposes.
It was all played as another conscious move in the cosmic 'bead-game'Remove the old 'set' and avoid setting up a new structure, and you have a brand new movie: 'IF-IF will have no members, no budget, no dues, no officers, no meetings. It is now an anonymous system; not secret, not public, but private. The term "IF-IF" no longer stands for International Federation for Internal Freedom. It symbolises the "ecstatic process" as the endpoint of any game or as a point of the no-game experience.'
The basic notion was to aim at some loose association in being identified as 'wayfarers', but without any kind of specific structure anymore, a 'move' that guaranteed both end and start in one.
It was absolutely unique. Once understood, all manner of varieties and variations could be introduced.... Everybody has to find the way for himself, but can send messages and cues from his own voyage, like internal cosmographers charting new internal seas of experience and perhaps pointing out sensory landmarks yet no prescription, no rigid principles, for action. Total Autonomy Always . . . Just a message here and there, or a particular quotation or a description of an experience or exposure of getting stuck in a particular game, all with the general purpose of raising the general tenor of people's lives with the ultimate goal that of complete self-liberation. In the lines immortalised by Bobby Dylan on the 'Lay Lady Lay' track of Nashville Skyline'You can have your cake and eat it too.' Yeah !
The new IF-IF offered entry into a psychedelic paradise of delights with the price of admission only your own head. IF-IF was now free to develop its religious aspirations in the direction of the most ideally mindedthe great American youth, by suggesting people who take psychedelics are destined to give that spiritual content to modern life. IF-IF was a church you associated with bringing you up, not down; the new religion was something associated with getting high.
One professor of psychology was very enthusiastic to propose new techniques and complex in-field play:
'Perhaps one could start with or on the IF-IF members as the natural audience and introduce the notion through the news letter, then encourage everybody to send in a return-addressed and stamped envelope. This would reduce the cost. Also send out all material in duplicate, with the instruction to give one copy to an interested friend. That would snowball the development. Also, initially perhaps the comic Zen koans ought to be relatively simple yet not too easy. Something in the nature of different languages, references to significant passages or books, or records, or anything. It is important to get people involved through action, they have to work to solve the koans. Then, gradually . . . one could make it more difficult, and more in "code"you could circulate original "manifestos" analysing possible game hang-ups and traps in society; and you can build up a body of references one can allude to. Then make it gradually more difficult to obtain information, so that one would have to go through several persons and piece things together.
'To meditate on a type of koan is a great idea. Set up a master file to collate correspondence, but keep everything cosmically anonymous. A lot of disguising and metamorphosis, using code names, etc. The whole thing ought to lead to a spiritual revolution in which everybody works for his own enlightenment, which will come to him in his own way through his own effort, carried by the feeling of participation in a brotherhood, yet without legislation and direct advice or feeding, which necessarily leads to control.
'All this seems like a natural evolution from IF-IF that utilised accepted social games for its dialogue or "duel" with established social structures. But the previous effort is not the way to fight it. In doing so, we submit implicitly to their rules. We have to find new rules which transcend the old ones without direct conflict, but we have to play on our own terms and have the others adjust to finding out what we are up to. Not that we really have to knowas a matter of fact we can't know, because the idea is to keep everything in flux and go beyond the structures as soon as they are built and have been used once. Transcending is being elusive but in a marvelous sense. (Socratic irony.) If we state fixed goalsother than personal, unique enlightenmentwe set ourselves up for being attached, shot at. The secret is that "the way itself" or "being on the way", is its own goal, which means you have to keep changing as you go along. Only the here-and-now countsthe here-and-now which is anyway pregnant with future and past (although it is wrong to worry about that). Complete responsive surrender to the challenge of the moment is equal to complete transcendence. Following the call and tuning in on the demands that present themselves; reading the signs of the way through the jungle; being in tune with nature and responding to it, rather than trying to redo everything in one's own image; trying to impose one's own game on to things, people, events: only this leads to liberation, I think. So every event, every manifestation of being, stands on its own terms and wants to be understood as such. One can only serve as the guardian of being, as the custodian of phenomena, to let oneself be swept up and carried away. There need be no questions asked: affirmation and acceptance !
'But people are phobic about "drugs"a strange phenomenon unto itselfand they rationalise about "artificial" and "short-cuts", etc. If we could use gimmicks and natural disciplines like sensory isolation, movie techniques, and explore other techniques, meditation, what have you, in order to effect some kind of loosening up and ecstatic sweep or upsurgethen it would be easy to convince people about the value of "shortcuts". This effort would allay their fear. Not that we need to worry about convincing people, but to point out to them various possibilities for them to consider. All arguing about pros and cons seems futile. One should report on events, give messages about where we are, what we see, what there is to behold. Persuasion is not needed, but affirmation and signposts, which manifest their own persuasive power on those who are interested.
'I also hope we can write and tape a few programmed Perhaps one could interest a record company in cutting a few discs and distributing them. The communications network could be a powerful influence on tastes. The meditation-room idea is gaining wide recognition hereeverybody should build one. There will be tremendous need for meditation guides as well as manuals for trips. All this is very exciting and I hope we can talk about it soon.
'There is a "magic theatre" wherever you look, if you can only relax and forget about yourself as an actor caught in a net struggling to get out. Total involvement and total detachment at the same time, which sounds paradoxical but it seems a desirable and realisable ideal, the 100 per centness, here and now, which makes every moment (even of deadliest routine) seem like a totally new experience merely by letting yourself be addressed each time anew.'
'Throughout the centuries it had been on the way, towards the light and wonder, and each member, each group, indeed our whole host and its great pilgrimage, was only a wave in the eternal stream of human beings, of the eternal strivings of the human spirit towards the East, towards Home. The knowledge passed through my mind like a ray of light and immediately reminded me of the phrase which I had learned during my novitiate year, which always pleased me immensely without my realising its full significance. It was a phrase by the poet Novalis, "Where are we really going? Always home!" ' (The Journey to the East).
'Tribal man is tightly sealed in an integral collective awareness that transcends conventional boundaries of time and space. As such, the new society will be one mythic integration, a resonating world akin to the old tribal echo chamber where magic will live again: a world of ESP.... Electricity makes possibleand not in the distant future, eitheran amplification of human consciousness on a world scale, without any verbalisation at all.' (Playboy interview).
'In the seventeenth century Rene Descartes advanced the theory that the body is a machine and is subject to the same investigational techniques that we apply to the natural sciences. In contrast, he considered the human mind to be of immaterial and supernatural design, linked to the body by means of some unknown divine fiat. The ramifications of Cartesian dualism were to provide all areas of Western science with the result that today the body is accorded extensive study and scientific analysis whereas those aspects of human life which are identified with the mind have been greatly neglected by experimental scientists. The tremendous advances of modern biology and medicine are the direct products of the great progress made in the knowledge of the body-machine which have resulted from the mechanistic procedures initiated by Descartes. On the other hand, these same procedures have had a debilitating effect on the study of the phenomenon of consciousness thereby seriously curtailing the studies related to the problem of life. Since biologists tend to extend the machine paradigm to living organisms, they neglect the phenomena not found in machines. Qualitative change is needed in the pattern of our studies if we are to discern an enlarged meaning of nature and of man extending beyond mathematical and experimental analysis of sensory phenomena and human behaviour. We believe, finally, that man has reached a crisis in consciousness within which he has the choice to continue in the path of the growing technicisation of human nature or to enter upon an intensive and comprehensive investigation of mind and its creative process in the pursuit of a greater use of human potential and a deeper understanding of the nature of reality.
'In recent years, there have arisen groups of social scientists and psychologists who have striven to fill the existing vacuum in the study of consciousness. Guided by the successes of the natural scientists they have applied mechanistic attitudes to the study of mind and have sought to understand their subject in terms of behavioural controls and biological-drive modalities. In so doing, they have carried the theory of body-mind dualism to its logical and dangerous conclusion so that today we are faced with a growing tyranny of behaviouristic and mechanistic procedures applied to the exploration of human potentiality.
'We are a group of scientists and researchers who wish to move beyond our own scientific tyranny. We have ceased to be intoxicated with technological proficiency. We cannot endorse a mechanistic interpretation of human behaviour that reduces the mind-brain problem to a materialistic monism. We believe that the current over-emphasis on mechanism has produced a dislocation of vision, one that is resulting in a de-humanisation of knowledge and a de-humanisation of man. We believe that an investigation into the nature and potential of mind, a dynamic consideration of the range and chemistry of consciousness, the utilisation and evaluation of new and old techniques of intensifying and extending the mind's apprehension of its realitythis is the substance of the research programme that is the Foundation for Mind Research.'
'In the psychedelic drugs we have a remarkable opportunity for interesting research. Nobody else, so far as I know, has done any work on different types of psychologically healthy and normal peoplepeople of high or low IQ, of different backgrounds, of different affective dispositions, on verbalisers and visualisers. This would be of extraordinary interest: we might find out not merely how to utilise our mind more energetically and more dynamically, but how to promote creativity by enhancing the creative imagination.'
'a static, unidirectional, relatively fixed set of preconceptualisations of entity caused by and arising from deep psychological disturbances, displaced on to and hence "derealising" a potentially dangerous drug. The error stems fundamentally from passive-receptive tendencies on part of erstwhile principal investigators, causing passive, permissive attitude during the highly suggestible LSD-state, criminally neglecting to acquaint the subject with the essential knowledge, that he can always control whatever his mind is involved with, rendering the subject helpless, and at times, extremely fearful.'
'only curative hope for the "crisis of civilisation" type of malfunctioning', and that 'the cure can be summed up in the one word "integration"; and that integration requires activation of both self and image store. Leary fails miserably because total resistlessness in the end saps strength, leaving character no room in which to grow or form. Partly out of diabolical "Gnosticism", and partly no doubt due also to ignorance, some of Leary's group have flipped out, and sometimes for months at a time, in sessions conducted according to the Leary precepts.'
1) There is no possibility of "psychic accidents".
2) Standard psychotherapy can be reduced in duration from a matter of years to a matter of months, with long-lasting, if not permanent results.
3) The degree of "internal decision-making" possible is very impressive. A new pattern of Gestalt formation, on a level never before thought possible outside of classical conversion reactions, is coming to light and should be explored.
4) Knowledge is waiting for the asking concerning alterations of the human mind which were thought non-existent or merely freakish before new psychedelic drug techniques were elaborated. An extensive new area of knowledge of mind is waiting to be opened. It is folly to ignore this.
5) It has been beyond all doubt, though perhaps beyond credibility, that thirty-five per cent decibel increases in hearing are obtained on minute doses of LSD; that intellectual procedure beyond the normal capacity are commonplace; that new potentials are brought into existence; the probability of a high incidence of thought transference between two individuals should be brought out into the open. Other equally important researches are waiting.
6) The sensation-minded public press, and the providers of scandal, and the prevalent public fear of "losing control" through drugs combined to drive the most valuable chemical discovery of the century almost out of existence.
7) No more essential publishing service could be rendered than to place before the public the unadorned scientific, historical and psychological analysis of the "extraordinary history of LSD".'
'Alone, alone, about a dreadful wood
Of conscious evil runs a lost mankind,
Dreading to find its father lest it find
The good it has dreaded is not good;
Alone, alone about a dreadful wood '
W. H. Auden
'of guiding man past the dark woods of non-being, past deep shadows of aloneness to a world where no longer does man view himself as a creature separated and estranged from all other creatures but rather as a participant in a rich and fertile reality, a reality so interrelated and so full that it could only best be described as a dynamic continuum; the new reality that unfolds in the "psychedelic experience".
'The universe is not a collection of separate bits and pieces, divided in time and space, but is in reality the metaphysical "One", wherein everything is tied up with everything else in a pattern which is absolute for the entire universe. The social hierarchy reflects the psychological hierarchy, the cosmology hierarchy, and the celestial hierarchy; only this reality is not displayed within a single action, but instead, in an abundance of actions in which the most diverse tonalities follow one another in quick succession.
'It is thus with the psychedelic experience. When the threshold of consciousness is crossed we are flooded with the kaleidoscopic vision of cultures, peoples, symbols, remnants of historical and pre-historical memorythe veritable infinity of humanity which seeks to constitute our being. Like Dante in the dark forest we can easily get lost in the labyrinth of strange byways and unknown paths. (This is an all too frequent episode in the unguided psychedelic session.) It should be one of the chief duties of the session guide to lead the subject through the newly exposed terrain of cultures, histories, eras, and symbols to evoke these contents to lead finally to their interrelationship in the mind of the subject, much the same way as Virgil led Dante through the medieval hierarchical cosmogony so that its many parts became inherent in Dante the man. It should be one of the chief tasks of the guide to assume the role of Virgil in this psychedelically induced Divine Comedy and to indicate and select out of the dynamic continuum in which the subject is immersed some of the historical incident, cultural awareness and racial memory that seems to lie buried in the cortex.'
'The guide must steer a course of gradual intensification and enhancement of consciousness. The first suggestions must be simple and familiar, geared to focus the subject's attention on the heightening of colour and form perception of well-known objects. Pictures and flowers, music and natural objectsthese are the data of initial discovery and consciousness enhancement in the experiencing subject. It is only after several hours of helping the subject build up a familiarity with his extended reality that the guide may begin to prepare the subject for an exploration of transpersonal and phylogenic material.'
'In the course of my experimentation I have discovered that a most conducive mode of preparation for phylogenetic investigation is to be had by taking the subject through a "Cook's Tour" of world history. A variety of historical situations and occurrences are suggested in a sketchy manner. The subject, whose eyes are closed, is asked to describe the pictorial display of historic scenery and activity which now he "sees". This he often does with a detail and amplification and frequently an accuracy which far exceeds his normal historical awareness. Whether or not this is owing to the activation of previously learned but long forgotten historical information or to a utilisation of as yet unknown processes of historical evocation cannot be answered at this time. Suffice it to say that the probability rests with the former theory and that the subject's heightened imagination adds to the vividness with which he responds to these suggestions.
'The subject may be invited to walk along the Piraeus with Socrates, to witness a battle in the Thirty Years War, to participate in the bull-leaping at Knossos or to help in building the pyramid of Khufu. He may be asked to gaze over the shoulder of that Cro-Magnon man who painted the great bison in the cave at Altamira. He may join in the violent thrust westward of the troops of Gengis Khan. He may have a front row seat at the battle of Hastings or mingle among the courtiers at the court of Louis XIV. History is his prerogative and it may be explored as fact or fantasy.
'In addition to the historical panorama, the guide may invite the subject to participate in a recapturing of the evolutionary sequences of life. In many cases the subject discards the spectator role which he had assumed for the historical tour and finds himself taken up into a seeming identification with the stages of the evolutionary process. Thus the guide can suggest that the subject become that primordial piece of protoplasm floating in an early ocean. (This is described as a very restful state.) Then, either through the promptings of the guide but more frequently through the subject's own initiative there may unfold a reliving of the evolutionary process from gill stage to man. This re-experience of phylogeny is possible because of our germ plasm. Our body contains (however small the bit) a part of that physically real primeval mud from which we grew, through orders, classes, phylato what we are. Thus the physical reality of the evolutionary sequence of life may become available to our consciousness and we may select for it in the psychedelic state. The psychic system has an anatomical pre-history of millions of years as does the body. And just as the body today represents in each of its parts the phylogenetic process, and everywhere still shows traces of its earlier stagesso can the same be said of the psyche. It is for this reason that the activated psyche can be called upon to remember states which to us seem to be unconscious.
'I would suggest then that ages and attitudes of man that are long gone by still survive in the deeper unconscious layers of our mind. The spiritual heritage of archaic man (the ritual and mythology that once visibly guided his conscious life) has vanished to a large extent from the surface of the tangible and conscious realm, yet survives and remains ever present in the subterranean layers of the unconscious. It is part of our being that links us to a remote ancestry and constitutes our involuntary kinship with archaic man and with ancient civilisations and traditions. Depth psychologists have pointed to the universality of psychic processes and the continuity of psyche within the race. We may add to this the theory that the psyche contains all the contents of timeextending backwards, across and through time; history being latently contained in each individual. It is my contention that the psychic depths and the time depths can be tested and explored through the medium of the guide in the psychedelic experiences. The theoretical foundation of such a statement is that the ingestion of psychedelic substances evokes an activation of deeply buried psychic contents and a bringing of them to the surface of consciousness through the selective use of phylogenetic suggestion. As electrodes applied to memory or sensory areas of the brain can stimulate vivid and realistic recall at the moment of contact, so can suggestion activate phylogenetic memory in the subject undergoing the psychedelic experience.
'In the course of human history man has come to the discovery that he is a foreconsciousness that sees only a manifold, incoherent world. Gradually he has been able to order the incoherence of pre-history by perceiving natural laws, by making hypotheses, and by his technological advances beginning to apprehend basic common factors and linkages in what at first appeared as sheer chaos. Through mythological structures he was able to gain some measure of surety in an incoherent world. One step further and he was able to perceive himself as being largely lawmaker and inventor. And now through the agency of the new physics man has attained to a knowledge of the mathematical structure of all matter as being in reality not inert but an instrument of infinite potentialities from which one may draw what forces one will. The pursuit of truth is now in fact akin to the creation of beauty. Yet all this new extension of potentiality bears with it the threat of unparalleleddestruction. I maintain that the new physics can be nothing but a deadly danger unless to that knowledge is added that of a new history a parallel and balanced knowledge of ourselves brought back from the subterranean regions of our psycheour phylogenetic awareness.... Then and only then may we use the new knowledge of outer nature for life and not for death. Our new vision in physics whereby we see ourselves actually devising new natural laws and even creating life must be equated with a deeper insight of ourselves given by a new knowledge of the past. This may be done by restoring man to a dynamic communion with his own sundered psyche, with his old sense of community, and with the whole of life and the universe.'
'to evoke in the participant any synergic, intuitive or emotive process/product of which he may be capable. This is for the purpose of unlocking his particular iron curtain by working directly on his subconscious through symbols (including language), the energy spectrum (light and colour), form, and even motion and odours if feasible. The super-computer qualities of the mind, including an ageless universal memory core, above-time-space programme actions, and conscious read-outs makes the mind our greatest resource, yet our greatest enigma. It is easy for this mysterious "black box" to be fed with sensual inputs that turn out a disordered state of consciousness.'
'I suddenly realised that whenever I concentrated on a single form and brought it into focus, the situation was analogous to setting up a random set of sensor inputs and connecting these inputs via a fixed but randomly designed network to a series of nodes. I realised that recognition of any given pattern is dependent upon calling a halt in the normal flow of transformations; and, most importantly for my own work, the achievement of really useful automata would appear to depend on mechanism that can effectively monitor the products of a large number of transformations, select from them the important one for study, and the halting of the process long enough to classify the signal from the one transformation for purposes of pattern recognition.'
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