Culture, Society

A healthy society provides and protects the sacredness of the teen-age psychedelic
voyage. A sick, static society fears and forbids the revelation.

A man must be deeply serious to have the courage to stand against the awesome power of
organized society.

A significant danger confronting our society may lie in losing out on the values that the
responsible use of these drugs may offer.

A society in which a large percentage of the population changes consciousness regularly
and harmoniously with psychedelic drugs will bring about a very different way of life.

American society is an insane and destructive enterprise. You have to sanitize yourself
internally. (That was Timothy Leary.)

An average person in our culture operates in a way that is far below his or her real
potential and capacity.

Cultures of all times have shown a profound interest in nonordinary states of

Each society has a vital interest in the indoctrination of the infants who form its new

Expanded consciousness extends far beyond the cultural and ego games in which men are

In almost all cultures, there have been “mysteries”— initiations into the world behind the
scenes of both the social and the cosmic drama.

In cultures where truth-fact are tied to religious dogmas, their science wanes, practical
investigation languishes and thinking is subordinated to submissive belief.

In every culture of recorded history, men have used chemicals of vegetable origin to alter

In every culture, the abode of the gods and of souls in bliss is a country of surpassing
beauty, glowing with color, bathed in intense light.

In every culture, there have been men who have studied consciousness. They have been
called shamans, gurus or alchemists.

In many cultures, visionary plants were administrated in the context of spiritual healing
ceremonies as means to diagnose and cure diseases.

It was in the Haight that the cultural rebellion fueled by LSD happened so vividly and
with such intensity.

It’s an unclassified experience and only a very secure society can tolerate an unclassified

Man’s normal waking consciousness is always culturally conditioned and prevents us
from actualizing some of our most valuable potentialities.

Mankind needs to discover a new culture or humanity. (What we have is a culture of

Many non-Western cultures provide occasions during which their people may become
familiar with a broad range of nonordinary realities.

Members of the new breed seek a culture founded in higher consciousness, a culture
whose institutions are based on love, a culture that fulfills the perennial philosophy.

Most naively believe that culture-hallowed words about things are as real or even realer
than their perceptions of the things themselves.

Most truly great minds prefer nature to human society. The latter limits. The former

Mysticism in the form of realizing that one’s true self is the Godhead is something that
Western society would not tolerate.

Mythology, the repository of a culture’s sacred history, reveals the relevance and
universal nature of the experience of death and rebirth.

Once you’ve seen it all, experienced the divine flame, how can you play out a role in the
silly TV drama of American society?

Our religions, our Great Society, our culture and our civilization would be without even
the pretense to greatness without ecstasy in some form.

Our society knows little of the important rites of passage and initiations provided by other
civilizations. Our society suffers from the lack of these means of growth.

Our Western culture makes virtually no use of altered states of consciousness and tends
to regard all of them as pathological states.

Psychedelic substances have been used very wisely in primitive cultures. Our culture
doesn’t have this framework, the closeness to God and nature.

Ritualized and responsible use of psychedelics received social sanction in some ancient
societies and pre-industrial countries and was meaningfully woven into the social fabric.

Shamanism is nearly universal. Shamanic cultures attribute great value to nonordinary
states of consciousness.

Shamans know a dirty little secret about culture, which is that it’s show business.
Everyone else thinks it’s reality.

Some marijuana smokers learned from irrational condemnations and persecution to
mistrust all laws and conventions of our society.

The ancient and pre-industrial societies have held non-ordinary states of consciousness in
high esteem.

The archives of cultural anthropology contains countless examples of extraordinary
trance-inducing instrumental music, chanting and dancing.

The birth of any new culture from the ruins of the old will depend on the discovery of
some principle of unity.

The child is tricked into the ego-feeling by the attitudes, words and actions of the society
which surrounds him.

The combination of our unfamiliarity with Eastern cultures and their sophistication gives
them an aura of mystery into which we project fantasies of our own making.

The ego is the social image or role with which the mind is shamed into identifying itself,
since we are taught to act the part which society wants us to play.

The normal state of consciousness in our culture is both the context and breeding ground
for mental disease.

The Puritans killed the senses. English culture killed emotion. And now it was necessary
to dynamite the concrete lid, to “blow the mind” as the LSD followers call it.

The real world is very different from the misshapen universe they have created for
themselves by means of their culture-conditioned prejudices.

The reflex reaction of society to the creative drop-out is panic and irritation. If anyone
questions the social order, he threatens the whole shaky edifice.

The religious and mythological symbolism is rich and multiform and can draw on
different cultural traditions. (eyes closed)

The role of the psychedelic guide is new in our society, but the newness of the role
should not blind us to the antiquity of its precedents.

The sixties scared the hell out of the culture because they showed another potential exists
for people.

The spiritual crisis pervading all spheres of Western industrial society can be remedied
only by a change in our world view.

The terms in which a man interprets this experience are naturally drawn from the
religious and philosophical ideas of his culture.

The transcendence of culturally imposed imprints and of social conditioning always has
been a goal for creative persons.

The use of mind-altering drugs as religious sacraments was not restricted to a particular
time and place, but characterized nearly every society on the planet.

The use of the senses or the enhancement of the senses comes as a shock in our puritan
American culture.

The words which one uses to describe the psychedelic experience depend upon the
investigator’s cultural background, his language repertoire, his literary breadth.

There exist societies that make liberal use of drugs to alter awareness, but do not appear
to have problems with them.

This experience was overt and conscious to people in the ancient cultures of 5000 years
ago, but today it is deeply unconscious and misunderstood.

Those who use psychedelics with religious intent are now members of a persecuted
religion which appears to the rest of society as a grave menace to “mental health”.

Throughout history, most cultures had a great appreciation for nonordinary states of
consciousness. They highly valued the positive potential of such states.

To adapt to the irrationalities of society requires a massive devastation of experience,
entailing constriction, repression, etc.

To use music as a catalyst for deep self-exploration and experiential work, it is necessary
to learn a new way of listening to music and relating to it that is alien to our culture.

Traditional psychiatry has never adequately explained these forms of experience, their
universality, and their cultural as well as psychological importance.

We could create the new Garden of Eden. We could become the new Adam and Eve and
begin the world again. And that’s why the powers that be must stop the “counterculture.”

We have in our culture, even in the scientific and professional literature, a bias toward
reporting only the negative effects of psychedelics.

We must discover new mental energy sources for overcoming our society’s psychological
inertia and anachronistic state of mind.

Western culture seems at the moment spiritually disintegrated beyond hope of

Western scholars have greatly underestimated the importance of these drugs to the
cultures that use them.

Worship of the Goddess predated worship of male deities in many cultures, East and

Your consciousness extends beyond the language you know and the culture in which you

A new cultural mythic ideal is emerging: the myth of the fully developed mind. It is an
eminently democratic ideal. Only some become adventurers on land or in space, but in
mind exploration, everyone is at the frontier.

Archetypal images and entire scenes from the mythology of various cultures often occur
in the experiences of individuals who have no intellectual knowledge of the mythic
figures and themes they are encountering. (eyes closed)

Cultural institutions encourage the delusion that the games of life are inevitable givens
involving natural laws of behavior. These fixed delusions tend to rigidify behavior

For millennia, man has been involved in the ritual ingestion of substances reputed to
produce an awareness of a sacramental reality and has come to incorporate these
substances into the myth and ritual pattern of the culture in which they occur.

If anyone brought up in a Christian culture says, “I am God,” we conclude at once that he
is insane. But, in India, when someone suddenly declares, “I am God,” they say,
“Congratulations. At last you found out.”

In our society, the artist is a kind of harmless clown who can get away with a private life
that would be scandalous for a priest or a professor. (The artist is no clown. If anything,
it’s the priest and the professor who are clowns.)

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

New scientific findings are beginning to support beliefs of cultures thousands of years
old, showing that our individual psyches are, in the last analysis, a manifestation of
cosmic consciousness and intelligence that flows through all of existence.

Our culture teaches you that you’re nothing but shit in a lot of ways, both obvious and
subtle. You have to discover for yourself that you’re better than that. The Psychedelic can
actually help teach this lesson, but it requires guidance and preparation.

Psychotherapy falls short of being a way of liberation. The weakness lies in the cultural
acceptance of the dualistic view of man. (Psychotherapy with LSD is a whole different

Since the crisis in Christian culture is mainly sexual, we should not be surprised that
sexual elements are very prominent in the unconscious channels opened by the Drug
Revolution. These channels are a traditional part of religion outside Christianity, anyway.

Some part of us knows that an essential part has been lost, and culture does not provide
adequate compensation. Thus the longing for the “good old days,” for a more perfect

Spiritual experiences in psychedelic sessions frequently draw on the symbolism of the
collective unconscious and can thus occur in the framework of cultural and religious
traditions other than the experient’s own.

The ban on emotional expression, especially in Anglo-Saxon cultures and especially
among men, makes the enthusiasm and wonder arising from drug-induced states readily

The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s
mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It
educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal.

The existence and nature of these experiences could not be explained in the context of the
mainstream theories and seriously undermined the metaphysical assumptions on which
Western culture is built.

The fact that visionary experiences has always, at all times and everywhere been very
highly valued, means that at all times and in all cultures systematic efforts have been
made to induce this experience.

The human mind-body possesses other sources of information, makes use of other types
of reasoning, is gifted with an intrinsic wisdom that is independent of cultural

The human psyche has access to images and motifs that are truly universal. They can be
found in the mythology, folklore, and art of cultures widely distributed not only across
the globe but also throughout the history of humanity.

The individual’s right of access to his or her own brain has become the most significant
political, economic and cultural issue in America today. Our states will never be united
nor prosperous until the generational drug war is ended. (That was Timothy Leary.)

The society always owes a great debt to the people who defy authority and force change,
and I see Leary in the tradition of Thoreau and Whitman, and the entire American
transcendental impulse.

The spiritual leadership of a stable and unified society must have access to metaphysical
knowledge, i.e., to an effective realization and immediate experience of the ultimate

The Western man who claims consciousness of oneness with God or the universe clashes
with his society’s concept of religion. In most Asian cultures, however, such a man will
be congratulated as having penetrated the true secret of life. He has arrived.

The wide historical and geographical distribution of transformative rituals focusing on
death and rebirth and their psychological relevance for individuals, groups, and entire
cultures suggest that they must reflect important basic needs inherent in human nature.

Twentieth century educators have ceased to be concerned with questions of ultimate truth
or meaning and are interested solely in the dissemination of a rootless and irrelevant
culture and the fostering of the solemn foolery of scholarship for scholarship’s sake.

Western psychology and psychiatry are seriously biased. They consider their own
idiosyncratic point of view to be superior to that of any other cultural group and label as
pathological any activities that they cannot understand in their own framework.

What we ordinarily take in and respond to is a curious mixture of immediate experience
with culturally conditioned symbol, of sense impressions with preconceived ideas about
the nature of things.

When the process of the cultural conditioning has not been unlearned, the human mind
gets stuck in a perpetual self-criticism, a perpetual division against itself, which in the
end paralyzes creative action.

When the threshold of consciousness is crossed, we are flooded with the kaleidoscopic
vision of cultures, peoples, symbols, remnants of historical and pre-historical memory.
(eyes closed)

With the ego and mind unplugged, what is left? It’s something Western culture knows
little about, the open brain, the uncensored cortex, activated, alert, open to new realities,
open to a broad sweep of internal and external stimuli hitherto screened out.

An important characteristic of collective and racial memories is the fact that the subject
experiences them as insights into the diversity of cultural groups within the human race,
illustrations of the history of mankind or manifestations of the cosmic drama and divine
play. (eyes closed)

Christ was saying don’t get hung up in all the bullshit of the society and the You-game
because there’s something bigger happening. That’s dangerous talk, man. The authorities
were hip to it even back then. Jesus got the shaft for saying it too loud and too

collective and racial experiences—Subjects tuned in to these realms of the unconscious
can go through brief episodes or long, elaborate sequences that take place in different
countries and/or different centuries and depict various historical or contemporary
cultures. (eyes closed)

Experiences from various periods of history and from different cultures are often
associated with a vivid sense of a personal memory of our spiritual rather than biological
history. (This refers to experiencing, remembering and reliving things from long before
the person was born, even from billions of years ago.)

Experiences of plant identification often mediate deep understanding as to why certain
plants have been considered sacred by some cultures. (Plant identification doesn’t mean
what the name of the plant is, but experiencing plant consciousness or what it is to be a
plant. Psychedelic plants are the most sacred.)

If any single theme dominated young people in the 1960’s, 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.

If left alone by society, our International Foundation for Internal Freedom (IFIF) would
have succeeded in training several thousand neurologicians who, in their own
communities, could have trained hundreds of thousands of Americans to use their own
heads. (That was Timothy Leary.)

Is the use of LSD the initial event that will guide us to a new morality and to new patterns
of human life on this planet? Will we keep our heads straight and our bodies and minds
clear? Or will we become anti-intellectuals devoted to the culture of “big fishes eating
smaller fishes” in the holy names of religion, education, civilization, progress.

Many transpersonal experiences have a strong influence on the individual’s values,
attitudes and interests. Thus, experiences of the collective and racial unconscious can
generate a sensitivity to the needs and problems of another culture and create a deep
appreciation for its religion, art and life philosophy.

Our capacity to identify with the consciousness of plants contributed to the fact that many
cultures hold certain plants to be sacred. Plants with psychedelic properties have been
incorporated into the religions of many cultures and are considered deities or the “flesh of
the gods”.

The ancient and pre-industrial societies have held non-ordinary states of consciousness in
high esteem and used them for a variety of purposes—diagnosing and healing diseases,
ritual, spiritual, and religious activity, cultivation of extrasensory perception and artistic

The Church must abandon its spiritual imperialism and its craze for making converts. It
must desist from its proud and arbitrary claim to be top religion. Missionaries have ruined
many cultures and wrought incalculable harm and have nowhere succeeded in bringing
all mankind to the feet of Christ.

The death-rebirth cycle has been recognized as a natural and lawful pattern throughout
our history by many cultures. Just as spring reliably follows winter year after year, so the
development of a new life automatically follows a full experience of the destruction of
the old.

The findings from psychedelic explorations throw entirely new light on the material from
history, comparative religion and anthropology concerning the ancient mysteries of death
and rebirth, rites of passage of various cultures, shamanic practices of various religions
and mystical traditions and other phenomena of great cultural significance.

The idea of drug use as a religious practice—in fact, of any connection between drugs
and religion—is one we are willing to indulge in pre-industrial cultures but violently
reject for ourselves. Orthodox religion in the West long ago abandoned the sacramental
use of drugs.

The individual seems to gain access to a value system that is not understandable in terms
of his or her own early history or cultural norms. It entails a sense of compassion,
tolerance, basic justice and aesthetic appreciation that has a transpersonal or even cosmic

The language of cultures with ancient spiritual traditions that are based on experiential
self-exploration have a rich and sophisticated vocabulary describing various mystical
states of consciousness. However, even then the terms adequately convey the meaning
only if we can relate them to a personal experience.

The whiskey-drinking white middle class imprisons those with different cultural and
religious preferences. People who consider LSD a sacrament of their religion are being
persecuted and deprived of their religious freedom which is “guaranteed” in the First
Amendment of the Constitution.

To normal waking consciousness, things are strictly finite and insulated embodiments of
verbal labels. How can we break the habit of automatically imposing our prejudices and
the memory of culture-hallowed words upon immediate experience? Answer: by the
practice of pure receptivity and mental silence.

Transpersonal experiences involving entities and realms that are not objectively real
according to the Western worldview can convey absolutely new information. For
example, in nonordinary states, many people have encountered deities and mythological
realms specific to cultures about which they have no personal knowledge. (eyes closed)

Veneration for the induced visionary experience has roots in virtually every culture on
earth, however subliminated or repressed it is today. In fact, one could argue that the use
of visionary plants and hallowed drafts has been seminal to the development of

We are confronted by the very real possibility that the known and unknown uses of these
drugs that could prove to be legitimate and beneficial for individual persons and society
may be suppressed until some future century when investigation will be permitted to
proceed unhampered by popular hysteria and over-restrictive legislation.

We seem unable to free ourselves from preconceptions imposed on us by our culture and
by what we believe to be common sense. However, if we are to maintain these illusions,
it becomes necessary to ignore a vast body of observations and information coming from
modern consciousness research and from a variety of other scientific disciplines.

When the non-ordinary states are opened up to them, even scientifically cautious and
highly intelligent people of our own time and culture find these experiences deeply
moving and personally meaningful, providing them with dramatic breakthroughs in their

When we enter the transpersonal arena, we can experience historically or geographically
remote events as vividly as if they were happening here and now. We can participate in
sequences that involve our ancestors, animal predecessors, or even people in other
centuries and other cultures who have no ancestral relationship to us. (eyes closed)

Which is better—to be born stupid into an intelligent society or intelligent into an insane
one? (No one is born stupid as such. The insane society will make them stupid. LSD
cures the stupidity, but the society itself remains insane. When LSD cures the society,
then it will the Age of Aquarius.)

While these new territories have not yet been recognized by Western academic
psychiatry, they are not, by any means, unknown to humanity. On the contrary, they have
been systematically studied and held in high esteem by ancient and pre-industrial cultures
since the dawn of human history.

All the learned games of life can be seen as programs that select, censor and thus
dramatically limit the available cortical response. Consciousness-expanding drugs unplug
these narrow programs, the social ego, the game-machinery. And with the ego and mind
unplugged, what is left? What is left is something that Western culture knows little about:
the uncensored cortex, activated, alert and open to new realities.

Almost all of us are still robots controlled by conditioning. We think we are conscious,
but we aren’t. We are asleep, hypnotized, sleep-walking—the metaphors vary, but they
all mean that we can’t see outside our conditioned reality-tunnel. When we begin to
awaken, we perceive the world is nothing at all like the myths and superstitions our
society has imposed on us.

As knowledge of the existence of mind-expanding plants and chemicals dawned upon the
consciousness of Western man, swift re-evaluations of our attitudes toward certain so-
called “primitive” tribes became necessary. It became apparent that some of these
cultures had preserved the key to higher knowledge which the civilized world had
relegated to the status of myth.

Immersed in the impact of this work, it seems to me incomprehensible that our society
has sunk so deeply into unconsciousness as to be unaware of such possibilities. The
general public, unfamiliar with the power of our minds, remains for the most part locked
in mass hypnotism, secured within the self-constructed walls that lock out the prodigious
possibilities of life, the joy and exuberance waiting to be claimed.

In most preindustrial societies and ancient civilizations, there have existed powerful
rituals designed to transform and consecrate individuals, groups, or even entire cultures.
These transformative events, termed rites of passage by anthropologists, are of
fundamental importance to the discussion of the experience of symbolic death and

In my utopian fantasy, Island, I speculated in fictional terms about the ways in which a
substance akin to psilocybin could be used to potentiate the nonverbal education of
adolescents and to remind adults that the real world is very different from the misshapen
universe they have created for themselves by means of their culture-conditioned
prejudices. (That was Aldous Huxley.)

In the LSD state, the old conceptual frameworks break down, cultural cognitive barriers
dissolve and the material can be seen and synthesized in a totally new way that was not
possible within the old systems of thinking. This mechanism can produce not only
striking new solutions to various specific problems, but new paradigms that revolutionize
whole scientific disciplines.

Individuals in nonordinary states of consciousness who tune into these experiential
realms participate in dramatic, usually brief, by occasionally complex and elaborate,
sequences that take place in more or less remote historical periods and in various
countries and cultures. These scenes can be experienced from the position of observer but
more frequently from experiential identification with the protagonists. (eyes closed)

It is amazing that people who in nonordinary states, “visit” various archetypal realms and
encounter mythological beings residing there can often bring back information that can
be verified by research into the mythology of the corresponding cultures. This led Jung to
the idea of the collective unconscious and the assumption that each individual can gain
access to the entire cultural heritage of humanity. (eyes closed)

Jung’s basic assumption was that the spiritual element is an organic and integral part of
the psyche. Genuine spirituality is an aspect of the collective unconscious and is
independent of childhood programming and the individual’s cultural or educational
background. Thus, if self-exploration and analysis reach sufficient depth, spiritual
elements emerge spontaneously into consciousness.

Our society classifies an intoxicated individual as criminal or noncriminal on the basis of
which drug he used to get high. It’s like living in an occupied country. I feel like I’m in
one of those old movies about Occupied Europe from the 1940’s. That is precisely how
the majority of pot smokers feel. They are the largest minority group in the country and
yet they are living in a weird scenario straight out of the French Underground.

The findings from psychedelic explorations throw entirely new light on the material from
history, comparative religion and anthropology concerning the ancient mysteries of death
and rebirth, rites of passage of various cultures, shamanic procedures of all times,
aboriginal healing ceremonies, spiritual practices of various religious and mystical
traditions and other phenomena of great cultural significance.

The new data are of such far-reaching relevance that they could revolutionize our
understanding of the human psyche. Some of the observations transcend in their
significance the framework of psychology and psychiatry and represent a serious
challenge to the current Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm of Western science. They could
change drastically our image of human nature, of culture and history, and of reality.

The process I was witnessing in others and experiencing myself had a deep similarity
with shamanic initiations, rites of passage of various cultures, and the ancient mysteries
of death and rebirth. Western scientists had ridiculed and rejected these sophisticated
procedures, believing that they had successfully replaced them with rational and
scientifically sound approaches.

The world of myths, legends, and fairy tales literally comes to life. The subject can
witness numerous scenes from the mythology and folklore of any culture in the world and
visit any mythical landscapes. He or she can also experientially identify with legendary
and mythical heroes and heroines or fantastic mythological creatures. Such sequences can
emerge in meaningful connection with personal problems of the subject. (eyes closed)

There are people in this society who will do everything within their considerable power
to stop our research. The managers of consciousness, from the Vatican to Harvard, have
been in this business for a long time and they’re not about to give up their monopoly.
And after all, they’re the experts and we’re the amateurs. They’re the pros and we’re just
the lovers. (That was Aldous Huxley talking to Timothy Leary while both were tripping.)

There exists ample evidence that the transcendental impulse is the most vital and
powerful force in human beings. Systematic denial and expression of spirituality that is
so characteristic for modern Western societies can be a critical factor contributing to the
alienation, existential anxiety, individual and social psychopathology, criminality,
violence and self-destructive tendencies of contemporary humanity.

Traditional scientists often attribute the appreciation that non-Western societies show for
shamans to the fact that these societies are unable to discriminate the abnormal from the
super-normal because of their lack of education and scientific knowledge. (This is an
example of how ignorant and arrogant Western societies really are. The West has
advanced in technology, but where is the wisdom?)

We have to think about the university as a place which spawns new ideas or breaks
through to new visions, a place where we can learn to use our neurological equipment.
The university and, for that matter, every aspect of the educational system is paid for by
adult society to train young people to keep the same game going, to be sure that you do
not use your heads.

Western cultures have bred a type of human being who feels strongly alienated. He has
lost his connection with the surrounding universe. He does not know that the “ultimate
inside” of himself is the same as the “ultimate inside” of the cosmos or that, in other
words, his sensation of being “I” is a glimmering intimation of what the universe itself
feels like on the inside.

Western scientists view their own particular approach to reality and psychological
phenomena as superior and “proven beyond a shadow of doubt,” while judging the
perspectives of other cultures as inferior, naive, and primitive. The traditional academic
approach takes into consideration only those observations and experiences that are
mediated by the five senses in an ordinary state of consciousness.

With the advent of modern science, the notion of acceptable reality was narrowed to
include only those aspects of existence that are material, tangible, and measurable.
Spirituality in any form was exiled from the modern scientific worldview. Western
cultures adopted a restricted and rigid interpretation of what is “normal” in human
experience and behavior and rarely accepted those who sought to go beyond these limits.

Without special training and sophistication in archeology or mythology, knowledge of the
cultural heritage involved or even adequate general intellectual background, an individual
may experience mythological and symbolic experiences from ancient Greece, Africa,
India, Tibet, China, Japan, Australia or Pre-Columbian countries (or other cultures, seen
with eyes closed).

In addition to the Freudian “individual unconscious,” there is also the “collective
unconscious,” which contains the memories and the cultural heritage of all of humanity.
According to Jung, the universal and primordial patterns in the collective unconscious, or
“archetypes,” are mythological in nature. Experiences that involve the archetypal
dimensions of the psyche convey a sense of sacredness—or “numinosity,” in Jung’s

All ancient and pre-industrial societies held these states in high esteem.
Cultural conditioning is a process of gradually narrowing your tunnel-reality.
In many cultures, such experiences are seen as a vital source of creative inspiration.
LSD short-circuits the mental stranglehold that society imposes on its members.
Men do not become what by nature they are meant to be, but what society makes them.
The general American culture lacks a tradition in visionary experience.
The man of deep spiritual wisdom, like the artist is looked at as irrelevant to this society.
The mythology of a certain culture can come to life for you. (eyes closed)
The possibilities for individual transformation and cultural change are enormous.
The unfamiliarities of foreign cultures are nothing to those of one’s own inner workings.
These drugs increase society’s range of human experience and human knowledge.
We are gifted with an intrinsic wisdom that is independent of cultural conditioning.
We must first transcend parochial cultural contexts to truly understand reality.

I was convinced that if we were to know peace within ourselves, the need for spiritual
development must be recognized, appreciated and stressed far more than it now is in our

In some instances, individuals enmeshed in elements of a certain culture felt a strong
need to dance. Without any previous training or specific exposure to these cultures, they
were able to perform complicated dance forms. (The person gets the vision of the
different culture, sees the people dancing in the vision and then he does the dance. Before
taking LSD, the person knew nothing of that culture or its dances.)

Now I could hear, as if for the first time, the depth of the wisdom in their teachings and in
the mystical doctrines of all ages and all cultures. As I sought for words to express my
own ineffable experience I gained a new appreciation for those individuals who had
attempted to communicate their own insights in writing or art. I also became interested in
understanding intuitive ways of knowing.

I discovered within myself a complex inner world, rich in sensibility, symbol, feeling,
and metaphor, not only for accessible recollections of my life and those more deeply
stored in my unconscious, but also for those that transcended my own direct experience.
It was as if the events of my life the lives of my forebears and unknown people from
earlier periods of history and diverse cultures were passing through me. I was both actor
and audience in this drama.

a spirituality that is quite independent of the individual’s childhood experiences, religious
programming, church affiliation and even cultural and racial background

an opening of intrinsic spiritual areas in the human mind that are independent of the
individual’s racial, cultural and educational background

centuries of safe ritual and spiritual use of psychedelics by generations of shamans,
individual healers and entire aboriginal cultures

changes in consciousness, changes in our ways of feeling our own existence and our
relation to human society and the natural world

concrete archetypal symbolism related to specific religions and mythologies of different
cultures (eyes closed)

non-ordinary states of consciousness, an area grossly neglected not just by traditional
science, but by the entire Western culture

overcoming the dualistic world view a prerequisite and basis for the recovery and
spiritual renewal of occidental civilization and culture

promises new and exciting possibilities for the study and understanding of human history
and culture

psychedelic rebels promoting LSD as the basis for a new kind of society and a new kind
of humanity

sequences of psychological death and rebirth, encounters with archetypal beings, visits to
mythological realms of various cultures (eyes closed)

the absurd or dangerous nonsense that within every culture, passes for philosophy,
practical wisdom and political argument

the habit of automatically imposing our prejudices and the memory of culture-hallowed
words upon immediate experience

the potentials—social, creative, psychological, cultural and ontological—which may be
experienced by means of the consciousness-expansion process

the relation of the stranger and more remote areas of the mind with all kinds of cultural,
religious and philosophical aspects of life

the “straight” society of limited experience, to whom the expanded consciousness spells
anathema and fear

very complex situations from different cultures and centuries which may be visualized in
considerable detail (eyes closed)

visions of archetypal personages and themes, encounters with deities of various cultures,
and complex mythological, legendary and fairy tale sequences (eyes closed)

vivid and complex sequences from other cultures and other historical periods that have all
the qualities of memories, a reliving of episodes from previous lifetimes (eyes closed)

what Jung termed “archetypal” imagery, a universal imagery, common to people of all
cultures (eyes closed)

a visionary torrent of cultures and contexts, myths and symbols, remnants of what may
seem to be racial or transpersonal memory—that near infinity of components that appears
to constitute our being (eyes closed)

awakening of a spirituality that is quite independent of the individual’s childhood
experience, religious programming, church affiliation and even cultural and racial

confronts us with the undefined nature of our cosmic existence, leads us backstage to
make us aware of the artificiality of our cultural values, and then shows us a world
without limit

freedom from the learned cultural mind, the freedom to expand one’s consciousness
beyond artificial cultural knowledge, to move from constant preoccupation with the
verbal game, the social games, the game of self, to the joyous unity of what exists beyond

levels of reality denied by Western mechanistic science, but recognized and
acknowledged by many ancient and non-Western cultures and by the great mystical
traditions of the world

the mind that has broken out of its prison of cultural conditioning and egotism and is as
fully receptive to given reality on every level, as it is possible for the human creature to

the opening of areas of religious and spiritual experience that seem to be an intrinsic part
of the human personality and are independent of the individual’s cultural and religious

the opening up of religious and spiritual areas that appear to be an intrinsic part of the
human personality and are independent of the individual’s cultural and religious

the significance of visionary experience, this manner of comprehending the world—in
cultural history, in the creation of myths, in the origin of religions and in the creative
process of which works of art arise

Western culture’s preference for consensus reality, lack of a genuine understanding of
altered states of consciousness and strong tendency to pathologize all such states without
discrimination (It is “consensus reality” based on ego that is really pathological.)

the opening of spiritual areas of the unconscious that are intrinsic parts of the structure of
human personality and are independent of the individual’s racial, cultural or religious
background (One can refer to them as archetypal, belonging to the collective unconscious
which Jung wrote about)

originating in the transpersonal realms of the human psyche: the interest in ontological
and cosmological problems; an abundance of archetypal themes and mythological
sequences; encounters with deities of different cultures; ancestral, phylogenetic
memories; elements of the racial and the collective unconscious; the experiential world of
extrasensory perception and other paranormal phenomena (These things are seen with
eyes closed)

a lack of cultural understanding of the importance of the transformational journey
a lack of real understanding about nonordinary states of consciousness in Western culture
a profound and meaningful experience of certain realities that are alien to our culture
a profound cultural impact
a true Wisdom Culture (That is definitely what we need.)
a universal experience free from culturally determined interpretations
broke out of the prison of their linguistic and cultural conditioning
discovered how to free the mind of humanity from culturally conditioned limitations
experiences involving archetypal realms of different cultures in the world (eyes closed)
exploration of domains that in Western culture are not considered part of objective reality
our strong cultural programming against such experiences
propels the subject beyond space, time, ego, culture, etc.
provides ecstatic moments which dwarf any personal or cultural game
the bias of our culture against nonordinary states of consciousness
the cultural and religious influence of psychedelic plants
the cultural value and philosophic implications of altered states
the culturally shared illusion of reality (That’s “reality” based on ego.)’
the modern Johnny Appleseed implanting the seeds of a liberating culture
the newly exposed terrain of cultures, histories, eras, and symbols (eyes closed)
the nonverbal world of culturally uncontaminated consciousness
to break through cultural conditioning and gain new perspectives
to make us aware of the artificiality of our cultural values
transcends the relativities of cultural conditioning
various hero myths in several cultures
visits to mythological realms of various cultures (eyes closed)

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