By the mid-1950s, LSD-research was being published in medical and academic journals all over the world. It showed potential benefits in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction, and other mental illnesses. This film explores those potential benefits, and the researchers who explored them.
Myron Stolaroff: In a good LSD experience you resolve your inner conflicts, and the loads and the barriers that have developed. You begin to reach down into the depth of your own being. You see more and more levels of being. More and more levels of understanding. Often we like to blame our feelings on other people. And what they are doing to us. But if I feel that it's my feeling and I've produced it, then I'm the only one who can resolve it. And fortunately, these substances allow you see and recognize this. And resolve it.
Ram Dass: I wasn't born as Richard Albert. I was just born as a human being. And then I learned this whole business of who I am, and whether I'm good or bad, or achieving or not. All that's learned along the way. You see all those learned things separate. You become is a point of awareness. That's all that is left. I remember the first time this happened to me, as professor went, and middle class boy went, and pilot went, and all of my games were going off into the distance. I got this terrible panic, because, indeed, I was going to cease to exist. And I got the panic, which is the panic that precedes psychological death. Because indeed Richard Albert was dying.
Ralph Metzner: We all want to expand our consciousness, we alter our consciousness all the time. We cycle through waking and dreaming and sleeping. It's natural-- consciousness naturally varies. I mean, I took a consciousness expanding drug this morning: I had a cup of coffee. That was a psychoactive, it got my brain going. Probably most people do that.
We interact with psychoactive substances and plants all the time. And the point is to do it in a conscious way, a discriminating way, a purposive way, to choose it.
Albert Hofmann: It is very important that one is *prepared* for the use of psychedelics. It is not just fun; it is a very serious experiment.
Duncan Blewett: There are still people who are violently opposed to psychedelics. Very few of them have ever tried psychedelics; and 99% of the opposition to them comes from people who are completely ignorant of their effects.
Timothy Leary: The effect is somewhat like looking through a microscope. Suddenly when you look through a microscope you discover that there is an invisible world around you that you hadn't known about. The same is true about the psychedelic drug. You are aware of processes that going on inside your own brain. You are aware of the exchange of energy going on between your sense organs and the ones around them that you weren't aware of before.