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This nOde last updated January 20th, 2004 and is permanently morphing...
(9 Ik (Wind) / 10 (Muan (Owl) - 22/260 - 188.8.131.52.2)
Of, characterized by, or generating hallucinations, distortions of perception, altered states of awareness, and occasionally states resembling psychosis.
A drug, such as LSD or mescaline, that produces such effects.
[PSYCHE + Greek dêloun,
to make visible (from dêlos, clear, visible) + -IC.]
- psy´chedel´ically adverb
Which is better: to have
Fun with Fungi or to have Idiocy with Ideology, to have Wars because of
Words, to have Tomorrow's Misdeeds out of Yesterday's Miscreeds?
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), British author. "Culture and the Individual," in Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience (1931-1963) (ed. by Horowitz and Palmer, 1977).
Horowitz and Palmer are the parents of Winona Ryder.
"To fathom or soar angelic, you'll need a pinch of psychedelic." - Humphrey Osmond, who coined the term "psychedelic" with this phrase.
The terminology used to describe the LSD experience in the scientific literature did not sit well with Humphrey Osmond. Words like 'hallucination' and 'psychosis' were loaded; they implied negative states of mind. The psychiatric jargon reflected a pathological orientation, whereas a truly objective science would not impose value judgments on chemicals that produced unusual or altered states of consciousness. Aldous Huxley also felt that the language of pathology was inadequate. He and Osmond agreed that a new word had to be invented to encompass the full range of effects of these drugs.
The two men had been close friends ever since Huxley's initial mescaline experience, and they carried on a lively correspondence. At first Huxley proposed the word phanerothyme, which derived from roots relating to "spirit" or "soul." A letter to Osmond included the following couplet:
To make this trivial world sublime,
Take half a Gramme of phanerothyme.
To which Osmond responded:
"To fathom hell or soar angelic
Just take a pinch of psychedelic."
People say, "Where then do psychedelic drugs fit into all of this?" or "Do they fit into it?" Of course they fit into it, because the felt presence of experience -- the reclaiming of the body -- that's the critical political battleground. Your mind is now your own, in some sense. It was a mistake; it wasn't supposed to happen that way. But the acceleration of psychedelic use in the Twentieth Century, the explosive spread of the Internet... in some sense it's as though we have broken from the slave's quarters and are already milling in the streets. But we don't yet have the power or the understanding to know where the centers of power are, and how it is that they disempower and manipulate us. That's because we haven't focused on the body. (This is, I suppose, the thing which gives the Eros thing cogency.)
-Terence McKenna - _Live at Wetlands Preserve, NYC July 28, 1998_
As a culture, we like to laugh at primitive tribes - for example, those who are shown photographs of themselves and cannot recognize them. But Alexander Marshak (in _The Roots of Civilization_) tells us that in 1876 a French scientist fell by accident into one of the paleolithic caves. Later, in his diary, he wrote that there seemed to be some scribbles on the wall. He could not see that it was art, he was just as blind as the pygmy who is blind to the photograph. Suddenly, a few decades later, people could see it as art. What allowed T. S. Eliot to say that ever since Lascaux, Western art had taken "a tumble down the staircase"? (dégringolade, a lovely word!). What allowed Picasso suddenly to see African masks, the French expressionists to see Japanese art, the hippies in the '60s to hear Indian music?
For the British colonialists in India, this music was like "the whining of the mosquitoes - how can they stand it?" The Brits could not hear it as music. My parents' generation could never hear Indian music as music: "What's that buzzing noise? Are you kids stoned again?" That is what I call a paradigm shift of cognition. At the very moment when entheogenesis - that is, the birth of the Divine Within - reappears in the West, with the late Romantics as a subculture, as 'occult history,' the conditions were being set up for this paradigm shift, which we are still basically undergoing. The only thing that could even pretend to suppress this shift of consciousness would be the Law, as in the War on Drugs. But our law is a machine law, a gridwork, clockwork law, and it is obviously unable to contain the fluidity of the organic. That is why the War On Drugs will never ever work. You might as well declare war on every plant, every weed in the ditch. So public discourse is approaching breakdown over the question of consciousness.
- Peter Lamborn Wilson - _The Neurospace_
track _How To Operate Your Brain_
Leary and Genesis
604 release _Forever Psychedelic_ compilation 12"x3 on Matsuri Productions (1998)
604 release _Psychedelic Electronica - Psychic Deli Volume 2_ compilation 12"x3 on Psychic Deli
604 release _Psychedelic Vibes 3_ compilation
604 release _PsychedelicVoodoo_
CD1 - Night
604 release _Psy Force_ by Star Sounds Orchestra on Spirit Zone (1997)
Brion Gysin's Dream Machine
Ego-enhancing alcoholic beverages gradually replaced ego-dissolving psychedelic plants as celebratory intoxicants, and the nature of religious ideation correspondingly shifted from the archetype of the benign Mother Goddess to that of the cruel, angry, jealous and war-loving male deity.
Still another nondenominational yet transcendental usage seen for psychedelics is as a tool of hyper-ratiocinative perception, a means to deconstruct media charades and help the intellect to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, according to Erik Davis, author of _Techgnosis: Myth, Magic + Mysticism in the Age of Information_ (Three Rivers Press). "I wouldn't necessarily want to trip in the aftermath of September 11," concedes Davis, "but I can now use my psychedelic training for coping with the epistemological cyclone of a cataclysm such as this. I grew up in the cushiest reality in the history of the planet. Now I see demons pouring over the lip of my existence, but I've learned through psychedelics how to breathe through it and not believe its story."
But what does "psychedelic culture" mean today? What are its boundaries? In many ways you can look at the mainstream world and say that psychedelics won. If you look at advertising, if you look at MTV, if you look at computer graphics, if you look at a lot of things inside of the emerging cybersphere, you will find traces and sometimes overt quotations of psychedelic experience and psychedelic culture. I’m sure if you took some of the advertisements you see today for soda pop and international financial institutions back to 1967, they’d say, "Wow, that’s a blast!" If we ever know – and I do hope someday we know – the exact extent of psychedelic influence on the computer industry, I suspect we’d be amazed, not to mention vindicated. For obvious reasons, though, the story remains untold. I was talking to Lawrence Hagerty [author of _The Spirit of the Internet: Speculations on the Evolution of Global Consciousness_] who noted that Sun Microsystems is beating the pants off some of the other digital monsters out there, and Sun is one major corporation out there that doesn’t do drug testing. Very interesting.
Clearly the ideas and experiences of this culture are trickling out, producing all sorts of influences that are hard to trace. But how do we characterize that relationship? How are psychedelic experiences and psychedelic thinking engaging with our strange new century?
- Erik Davis - _Psychedelic Culture: One Or Many?_
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies