Monday, August 18, 2008

The Birth of the Psychedelic Movement

The Birth of the Psychedelic Movement:
A Look Back at Another America

As presented at the

Download Mp3: HERE
right click and save as

Courtesy of the:
sychonautica Podcast

Contemporary witnesses recount the origins, expectations and experiences to describe this time of cultural, political, and social changes.

Featuring Panelist: Carolyn Garcia, Ralph Metzner, Cynthia Palmer, Michael Horowitz, Moderation: Dale Pendell

The term "psychedelic" was coined in 1956 by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, in a now-famous exchange with writer Aldous Huxley, who both recognized the potential of these "new" kind of psychoactive substances for self-awareness and to expand consciousness, in an age of nuclear proliferation and Cold War confrontations.

But it was American exponents, like Harvard scholars Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, novelist Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters, with their legendary Acid Tests, acid rock bands like The Grateful Dead, and underground LSD chemists exemplified by Owsley who, with other countercultural activists and artists, enabled a Psychedelic Revolution in the U.S. The youth movement, culminating at the "Summer of Love" in 1967, and perhaps best expressed by the slogans All You Need is Love and Make Love Not War, quickly spread to Western Europe and all over the world.

This discussion is kicked off by Dale Pendell who talks about the successes and failures of the 1960s psychedelic movement, its exposure by the media and eventual co-option, the main contributors to the movement, and his own experiences.

Cynthia Palmer talks about the conservative, repressed 1950s, her experiences as a teenager during this period, her introduction to drugs and move to New York, growing cannabis and getting busted.

Ralph Metzner talks about his forthcoming book with Ram Dass, the consciousness-expanding experience of being born, and various other metaphors for consciousness expansion, Paul stamet's new book 'mycelium running', the mutual understanding between psychedelic people, the illegalization of psychedelic drugs and different approaches to psychedelic expression.

Michael Horowitz talks about the high doses of LSD routinely used in the 1960s, the release of the Beatles' 'Sergeant Pepper's lonely hearts club' album in 1967, the abundance of love in the 1960s and his first trip alone. Finally, Carolyn Garcia talks about the concept of a chemically enhanced human being, the miraculous size of an LSD dose, the rapid changes and uncontrollability of the 1960s psychedelic movement, the political backdrop of the period, the music scene of the 1960s, and the protection it provided, Grateful Dead concerts as a conduit of the psychedelic movement, the end of the 1960s and its loss of freedom, the lasting effect of the 1960s on computer technology.