Friday, September 24, 2010

Psychonauts Generation 1 1932-1965

 Where an individual stands on the issue of access topsychoactive plants will determine, more than anyother issue, how that individual engages in the coming planetary shift.

psychonaut: somone who navigates the psyche by the aid of psychoactive plants given by nature, or synthetic compounds produced in the laboratory. Term proposed by Ernst Junger. Wikipedia:

Three Generations of Psychonauts: G1
A psychonaut (from the Greek ψυχονα?της, meaning literally a sailor of the mind/soul) is a person who uses altered states of consciousness, intentionally induced, to investigate his or her mind, and possibly address spiritual questions, through direct experience. Psychonauts tend to be pluralistic, willing to explore mystical traditions from established world religions, meditation, lucid dreaming, technologies such as brainwave entrainment and sensory deprivation, and often psychedelic drugs (entheogens). Because techniques that alter consciousness can be dangerous, and can induce a state of extreme susceptibility, psychonauts generally prefer to undertake these explorations either alone, or in the company of people they trust. Therefore, they are averse to using altered consciousness in a social or "party" context. Psychonauts generally regard the latter sort of use as irresponsible and dangerous.
psychonautics: the practice and technique of exploring altered states of consciousness; a mode of cultural-cognitive expression, comparable to physics, esthetics, ethics, etc.

January 13, 1941 Wilhelm Reich meets Albert Einstein in Princeton and the two men talk for five yours, mainly about Reich's theory of cosmic orgone. At that moment when ethnobotanists such as Shultes were on the track of shamanic practices that would reintroduce animism into the modern world, Reich was explaining to the world's best known scientist that the entire universe is animated by an erotically charged vital force called orgone.

April 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, who was to become a close colleague of Schultes, accidently absorbed LSD-25 on his fingertips—a chance event which, to some minds, changed the course of human evolution.

1945 The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley outlined a framework of mystical and speculative experience drawn from first-hand testimonies and traditions in different culture and ages, but without reference to psychoactive plants or indigenous shamanism. : "the metaphysic that recognizes a divine Reality substantial to the world of things and lives and minds; the psychology that finds in the soul something similar to, or even identical with, divine Reality; the ethic that places man's final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being; the thing is immemorial and universal. Rudiments of the perennial philosophy may be found among the traditional lore of primitive peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions.

American President Truman introduced the Loyalty Program to allow imprisonment in concentration camps of anyone suspected "to sympathize with totalitarian ideas." The law was targeted at Communists in the USA and, later, anyone who opposed the Korean War. A forerunner of crypto-fascist legislation such as the Patriot Act, the Loyalty Program was heavily cited by Joseph McCarthy, head of the comission for Anti-American activities. His consulting attorney was mobster Meyer Lansky, who was to become a close friend and legel advisor of Richard Nixon. By setting up the infrastructure for the US to deal with Vietnamese druglords who were encouraged to resist the communists, Lansky provided a crucial advantage to Nixon when it came to waging the Vietnam War.

Years later in 1973, Timothy Leary was extradited from Afghanistan by the US government — perhaps the first recorded instance of "extraordinary rendition." He and Joanna-Harcourt Smith arrived in L.A. on the day that Meyer Lansky was charged with tax evasion, threatening President Nixon with the risk that his close link to the Mob would be exposed. According to Joanna (Paramour - My Life with Timothy Leary, unpublished MS to be posted chapter by chapter on this site), Nixon timed the sensational event of capturing Leary, who was condemned as the high-profile proponent of psychedelics and an "ideological trafficker," to distract public attention from Lansky's arrest. And so it went: Leary's arrest was all over the front pages, and the news about Lansky got buried.

November 1947 The emergence of psychoactive tecchnology in the form of LSD in 1943, simultaneous with the development of global destructive technology in the form of the A-bomb and the H-bomb, present a striking parallelism, often been noted by those who want to stress humanity's choice of two paths: auto-annihilation or mass illumination. But perhaps the synchronicity at play here might better be viewed in consideration of a three-fold dynamic, rather than a two-pole dichotomy. Additional to LSD and the bombs, the 1940s brought into history the baffling issue of the ET/UFO connection. This connection emerged in a manner that links it intimately to the formation of the modern State of Israel.

1953 American psychiatrist H. Abramson received a grant of $85,000 to investigate whether LSD was effecting in creating "a. memory disturbances; b. discrediting due to aberrant behavior; c. alteration of sexual habits; d. handing over information; e. suggestability; f. dependency." The substance proved more or less unreliable on all counts. Abramson was one of hundreds of psychiatrists funded by the US governnment to research the behavior control potential of psychedelics. Operation Bluebird by Colin Ross exposes this insidious program and gives many facts and names totally unknown to the public. (This book has recently been republished as The CIA Doctors.) See also the excellent two-part documentation on MK-ULTRA and later programs, The Great Deception.

March 1953 Working at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, Frances Crick and James Watson discovered the structure of DNA. Inspired by Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World, Crick often took LSD for the purpose of boosting his powers of concentration. It was not publicly disclosed until after his death that Crick was "high on acid" when he and Watson made their momentous discovery, recorded in their co-written book, The Double Helix.

The discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick was simultaneous with Aldous Huxley's first experience with mescaline. One most wonder if some kind of planetary synchronicity applied here. Huxley's initial impressions under the influence of mind-altering chemicals based on sacred plants were esthetic and religions; Crick's concerns were scientific. True to the rule of "set, setting, dose," these two psychonauts saw what was appropriate to their mental frames and settings.
The crucial difference in these two experiences is, of course, disclosure. Huxley wrote and spoke openly of his mescaline visions, but Crick was determined not to allow anyone to know of his experimention with LSD until after his death. We can only wonder how it would have changed the perception, not to mention reception, of his discovery if the LSD factor had been made explicit at the outset

Mid 1960s Project MK-ULTRA, dedicated to research with mind-altering substances for behavior modification and Manchurian candidates, gradually wound down, having been unsuccessful with LSD because it proved too unpredicable and tended to instill benign emotions in the subjects. One of the psychiatrists funded by MK-ULTRA, Dr. H. Abramson, concluded that the main effect of LSD is "essentially a joyous disturbance of the ego function," which made it totally useless for governmental purposes!

November 1963 In one month three decisive events occurred, two of them on the same day:

In 1963 Harvard University dismissed Timoty Leary and Ricard Alpert after complaints from parents of students involved in experimenting with LSD. They moved to upstate New York, taking over a large mansion in Millbrook, and set up the Castilia Institute where they continued to do research with the mind-altering drug. In November Millbrook was raided (one of several instances) by FBI agents led by G. Gordon Liddy, a CIA thug later convicted of the Watergate break-in.

November 23 John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. On the same day, leading G1 psychonaut Aldous Huxley died, assisted on the definitive journey by a subcutaneous dose of LSD administered by his wife, Laura Archer. InFlashbacks, Leary claims that the day after JFK was murdered he received a phone call from Mary Pinchot Meyer, who had been a mistress of the slain President for over two years. Leary says that she told him: "They couldn't control him [JFK] any more. He was changing too fast. He was learning too much... They'll cover everything up. I gotta come see you. I'm scared. I'm afraid."

JFK is known to have taken LSD. Heard today, his speech against secret societies, citing the risk of government to turn against its own people, and the need for government to be transparent and take responsibility for its errors, sends a chill up the spine in the post-911 world, and could well have been the single overriding reason for his liquidation.

October 1964 Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot dead as she walked along the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath in Georgetown. The murder had the mark of a professional hit.

1964 Ken Kesey (1935 - 2110) and the Merry Pranksters set out across the USA, driving from California to New York in a bus with a destination plaque that read Further. As described in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (ahead, G2).

In 1960 Kesey had signed up to be a guinea pig in a medical research program funded (little did he know) by the CIA. In the insanity ward of Stanford Hospital he was given LSD, causing him to hallucinate a primitive face that later morphed into Chief Broom, a character in his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest(1962). The film version released in 1975, which won Jack Nicholson the Oscar for Best Actor, did much to contribute to the popular disinformation on LSD, portraying psychonauts as reckless clowns and escapees from the nuthouse.

When the Pranksters arrived Millbrook, Timothy Leary was somewhat taken aback by the spectable they presented, although he and Kesey became a lifelong friends. As noted by John Higgs in I Have America Surrounded, an excellent account of Leary and the LSD controversy, TL at that time viewed the psychedelic experience as "essentially British in character." Huxley, Alan Watts, Michael Hollingshead, and Humphrey Osmond, were all Brits who stemmed from the visionary tradition of mystic poet William Blake, so Leary imagined. By making the psychedelic experience "freer, more joyful, and less respectful" (Higgs), the Pranksters brought LSD into the American scene and celebrated it as the social sacrament ("Electric Kool-Aid") that inspired the serious anarchy and sheer fun of the Sixties Revolution.

1965 Dawn of the 2nd Generation

The amount of material published in 1965 in scientific magazines about LSD 25 exceeded in diversity and extent what had been published about all other drugs discovered in the century. Escohotado, A Brief History of Drugs, p 99

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