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“Particular tone and style for the first time in history. The young had a rite rite of passage all their own the acid trip. Instead of folding. The young into adult world as rites of passage have always done this one landed them in a country of the mind.
Few adults had any idea even existed the effect on society was to put it mildly disruptive. Yet by the end of the 1960 s the social and political shockwaves unleashed by these molecules seemed to dissipate the dark side of psychedelics began to receive tremendous amounts of publicity bad trips psychotic breaks flashbacks suicides and beginning in 1965. The exuberance surrounding these new drugs gave way to moral panic. As quickly as the culture and the scientific establishment had embraced psychedelics.
They now turned sharply against them by the end of the decade. Psychedelic drugs. Which had been legal in most places were outlawed and forced underground..
At least one of the 20th century s two bombs appear to have been diffused then something unexpected and telling happened beginning in the 1990s well out of view of most of us. A small group of scientists psychotherapists and so called psychonauts believing that something precious had been lost from both science and culture resolved to recover it today after several decades of suppression and neglect psychedelics are having a renaissance. A new generation of scientists. Many of them inspired by their own personal experience of the compounds are testing their potential to heal.
Mental illnesses. Such as depression anxiety trauma. And addiction. Other scientists are using psychedelics in conjunction with new brain imaging tools to explore the links between brain and mind hoping to unravel.
Some of the mysteries of consciousness. One good way to understand a complex system is to disturb it and then see what happens by smashing atoms a particle accelerator forces them to yield their secrets by administering psychedelics and carefully calibrated doses neuroscientists can profoundly disturbed normal waking consciousness of volunteers dissolving the structures of the self and occasioning what can be described as a mystical experience while this is happening imaging tools can observe the changes in the brains activity and patterns of connection already this work is yielding surprising insights into the neural correlates of the sense of self and spiritual experience. The hoary sixties platitude that psychedelics offered a key to understanding and expanding consciousness..
No longer looks quite so preposterous. How to change your mind is the story of this renaissance. Although it didn t start out that way. It is a very personal as well as public history.
Perhaps. This was inevitable everything i was learning about the third person history of psychedelic research. Made me want to explore this novel landscape of the mind in the first person to to see how the changes in consciousness. These molecules wrought actually feel and what if anything they had to teach me about my mind and might contribute to my life.
This was for me a completely unexpected turn of events. The history of psychedelics. I ve summarized here is not a history..
I lived. I was born in 1955. Halfway through the decade that psychedelics first burst onto the american scene. But it wasn t until the prospect of turning 60 had drifted into view that i seriously considered trying lsd for the first time coming from a baby boomer that might sound improbable.
A dereliction of generational duty. But i was only 12 years old in 1967. Too young to have been more than dimly aware of the summer of love or the san francisco acid tests at 14. The only way i was going to get to woodstock was if my parents drove me much of the 1960s.
I experienced through the pages of time magazine by the time the idea of trying or not trying lsd swam into my conscious awareness. It had already completed its speedy media arc from psychiatric wonder drug to counterculture sacrament to destroyer of young minds. I must have been in junior high school..
When a scientist reported mistakenly as it turned out that lsd scrambled your chromosomes. The entire media as well as my health had teacher made sure. We heard all about it a couple of years later. The television personality art linkletter began campaigning against lsd.
Which he blamed for the fact. His daughter had jumped out of an apartment window killing herself. Lsd supposedly has something to do with the manson murders by the early 1970s. When i went to college everything you heard about lsd seemed calculated to terrify.
It worked on me. I m less a child of the second you ” ..
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