This diary, though, is not about Ivon Hitchens, or Radio 3, or feet, or abstract painting.
I've never taken it, but I'm reading an interview with the most famous chemist involved in its manufacture and propagation.
Owsley Stanley (b. Augustus Owsley Stanley III, January 19, 1935) was the first "underground" chemist to mass produce high-quality LSD in the 1960s.
In an interview with Bruce Eisner, he talks about a range of subjects; subjects that have been getting an airing here at European Tribune recently. 'Tis strange.
Where Do We Come From?
Well, people evolved over millions of years from a very poorly defined animal-- because archeological traces of people are not all that easily discovered--, and no one's really quite sure what the proto-human mammal was like, or what precursor it evolved from. [...] But I think we've been pretty much like we are today for a very, very long time. A lot longer than most people realize. And our social structures were basically tribal during most of this developmental period. It is the social interaction between people that is the thing which makes us unique. Our social structures, and our methods of learning virtually everything that we use in our behavior, is learned from adults while we are children. That's all very important, and this is one of the things I'm discussing in the little diatribe against children's TV. It's all interrelated, we know we've got something wrong, things are not working right.
We now have a society that's hierarchical. Most of the power is taken away from the people, and it's put in the hands of the few individuals. These individuals form a government. We have over the centuries slowly tried to modify and develop a form of government that was more responsive to the people. Unfortunately, it's always been diverted, it's always been taken over by those who love the power; you know, it's an elitist group. One time this elite group was called princes and dukes and kings. Now the elite group is basically the people with lots of money.
He has things to say and lives "off the energy grid somewhere in Queensland, Australia." It is said, by unknown people (unknown to me, so I might be making it up or misremembering wildly)...it has been said that Owsley freaked out in the early seventies (may have been the late sixties...), saying that we were all doomed, cataclysms were a-coming, but he'd worked out the perfect place to ride the storm and come out the other side.
Stepping away from that thought and back to the interview.
The interesting thing about the Internet is the protocol. The TCP/IP protocol packetizes the information and sends it off through the system without basically having one specific pipeline between the originating and terminating computer, so that it can flow through a network of interconnected computers freely. It seeks the quickest or most direct path. But because of this structure it's impossible to interfere with it. So all the governments that are jumping up and down and passing laws are sort of like the King going down to the beach and commanding the sun to rise, or commanding the tides to go out! They are trying to interfere inappropriately with processes they really have no real way of interfering with.
This is the moment when I recommend the article to you rather than quoting chunks. And then I quote more chunks.
One of the things the net produces is a situation where you can no longer control what people have to say. The Internet is not a broadcast medium; it's not a medium similar to anything else; it's more like a complicated sort of telephone system. [...] Nobody can really broadcast, although they're trying to fix that, its called "push technology," and is another thing I think is an aberration. It's not in the spirit of things. The point there is that people anywhere in the world can access anyone else's opinion they wish, and read the postings freely, is a forum that will absolutely spell the end of tyranny.
The individual who seeks government usually is in a system that allows people to be reelected and often, in fact, gives them generous retirement benefits at the end of a certain number of years of service. This induces people to become professionals, professional politicians. Their true profession, however, is getting elected, and then retain the office, so their most important skills are solely to be elected and to remain in office. Their skills involve manipulating public opinion, of looking nice and talking well, seeming intelligent, seeming responsive, seeming competent. None of this is necessarily true. In fact, that's why you see the biggest absurdity of them all, movie actors becoming leaders of countries. It's just absurd! Because a good actor with a good script can present himself as anything.
Humans are cooperative animals. What's distinctive about us is that we work together in groups. It has made us very effective hunters, it makes us effective builders and so forth, and all of the things we learn as a child are the skills which make us human. If you waste time during these critical years, where every small short period of time is a window of learning for a particular skill, you miss out on something important. If you don't learn that particular skill and that window closes, then later you can't go back and sort of "rewrite the disk," to use a computer simile. It's more like burning data into a CD. If all the data doesn't go down right, you've got a Frisbee.
But we grow up so slow, these days. At twenty four, just out of university, blinking from the hangover of the night before. In the West (and the East) (and the South) and the North and "only parts" stuck in there as necessary.
social structures, since they're founded in early childhood learning which locks in, burns in, like a CD, doesn't allow societies to change very fast or radically. They change slowly, they evolve. The evolution sometimes is so glacially slow that you'll find ritual behavior in many groups of people that goes back 10,000 years even. No one really knows why certain things are done, but everybody feels uncomfortable unless they do them.
Town vs. Country
I'm basically a country boy; I don't like cities much. I like nature. I don't like to rely upon the civil infrastructures; we generate our own electricity and so forth.
"And so forth." Diary, melo, please!
Yes, all those currents, those threads...I can hear European Tribune discourses...the world joins hands via the internet; but what are we learning, and how is it changing us and those around us (friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, strangers, and beyond the human dimension to other animals, to plants, to oceans...)
I think Tim Leary was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the psychedelic movement. He made everything difficult for all of us; he wouldn't listen to any of us who tried to tell him to back off a bit. He was most probably primarily responsible for all the draconian laws we have today on the use of psychedelics and other mind-altering things.
As a child, I actually thought I wanted to be an engineer because I thought engineers made things. I even went off and enrolled in engineering college. It took me about a year to discover that engineers seemed to be sitting at desks with slide rules all the time. Slide rules were terrible, man!
I just wasn't interested in the drugs. I didn't care if people smoked pot or anything; I just wasn't interested in it. And my friends were quite tolerant; they didn't have any problems with me about that. If I didn't want to do it, fine. If I didn't want to drink, fine. If I didn't want to smoke cigarettes, that's fine. None of this was important, and nobody was on any kind of crusade about it. It was there, I just wasn't interested.
I bounced some checks, and got into trouble, and I realized that I couldn't deal with the regular, commercial world of finance that allowed you to write checks, and to have credit cards and all the rest of it. I decided after that I didn't want to deal with it, and I've never had a checking account after that, ever. Or any sort of credit card. I was on probation for awhile for having written some checks that the money wasn't there for. I regretted it. I thought it was a terrible breach of honor and everything else on my part; I was just appalled at what I had done. The judge gave me probation, and when the probation ended I felt sort of like I had been released from something.
Taking Drugs for the First Time
I found a buddy at a little funky coffee house near LA City College, and he came over to me and said, "I've got make a trip to Pasadena." I said, "What for?" He said, "You don't want to get involved, I need to score some pot, and you don't want to have anything to do with drugs, you're on probation." I said, "No, I'm not on probation, I got off probation a couple of weeks ago. I'll give you a lift." I gave him a lift out there, and after he came out of the house, I said, "Well, look, maybe it's time I should try some of this."
I think one of the aspects of illegality in drugs is that once you've made things illegal, all of a sudden you've opened up a Pandora's Box of things, and anyone who goes for any of them winds up in contact with all of them. And if you're going to break one law, which is a civil disobedience of a sort, well why not break another? These kinds of laws (prohibition) teach disrespect for the legal process.
The elite who wrote the US Constitution intended for the government to be weak, and to be easily ruled by the elite. The elite, of course, was the framers, and they were descendents of the aristocracy who had migrated here from England, and they had a very strong social, moral feeling that they were the only ones who knew how to take care of things, that most people didn't, and therefore the society depended upon them to make sure things were done right. That didn't last very long; the framers were replaced by the mercantile classes very quickly in the early nineteenth century. Money rules to this very day. So they were disenfranchised from their own system which they had set up for themselves; it was some sort of cosmic karma.
The fact is that there is a group of men in the DEA that spend all of their time researching any possible new or overlooked substance, or even a precursor to a substance, that could possibly alter any aspect of your perception of reality, and place it immediately on the prohibited list. This is their thing. This is what they do every day.
Where you have 100 mcg. of LSD and you have nanograms of some strange fellow-traveler impurity that actually catalyzes the effect of the LSD on the nervous system into something else. I'm not going to say that this is what's happening, or that I necessarily believe this, but I do know that as you purify LSD you very quickly come to a point where it will not dissolve in the solvent from which you have crystallized it. It gets to a point where it's insoluble in the methanol, and you have to heat this for such a long period of time in fresh methanol that some of it breaks down. And once it has broken down, only then will it dissolve. So there's a lot of strange stuff going on with this "chemical" that doesn't necessarily work according to the usual principles of chemistry.
I just don't think it's good stuff. I don't think any of the synthetics based on those multi-ring exotic oils are good. I think they're very bad and I think that you're creating a substance that the body has no way of dealing with because they don't occur in nature.
Is LSD 'Natural'?
With a planet that has literally hundreds of thousands of species of animals and plants yet to be discovered, you cannot definitively say that this compound does not naturally occur. I mean, how long ago was it that they thought that ergot alkaloids only existed in various forms of fungus. When they discovered them in morning glory seeds, people thought there's got to be contamination in the laboratory, there's something wrong here. The fact of the matter is that there are probably hundreds of extremely powerful psychedelic plants that are just not yet known to modern science.
I've experimented with a lot of these different things over a period of years, and I sat down one day and said, you know I'm just buggering myself up with this shit, and it's not taking me anywhere that I can't get with psilocybin, DMT, LSD, and mescaline. These are naturally occurring. They work. Your body has a "history" of experience with them. People have used them for thousands and thousands of generations, and we've adapted to them because they exist in nature, they're there for us to use, they're the planetary hormones that allow us to bring our consciousness forward to the next level. They've always been used this way.
After awhile you get to point where if you really want a highly visual trip, you've got really only one option: You have to use a solution, and you have to drop it directly into your eye. I guarantee, you will find all the visual stuff you ever saw on any trip you ever took, it will pop right back into your consciousness if you do it this way.
B: Why do you think it is, because it's interacting with the retina?
O: The eye is an extension of the brain.
B: So it gets in there fast.
O: It goes directly onto the brain.
We must be getting near the end. No, we're only half way there...
The Drug Is Inside You
I may be right or I may be wrong, I don't know, but it was always my opinion that LSD itself wasn't the active material, that it was simply a catalyst/agent that caused your body to release something that actually did the job. That was the reason why you couldn't take it several days in a row, because you had to recharge this "body-battery" or capacitor that you were discharging. The reason that the intensity was proportional to the amount, was that the larger amounts caused a rapid and more complete discharge of the stored material.
Inner is outer, and outer is inner, there are no walls, only degrees of interaction...
Seven and a half grams of starting material carefully manipulated produces nearly seven and a half grams of final product. That's about a 67% yield, which is a very, very good yield for a synthetic peptide process -- especially as sensitive and unstable as the lysergic acid compounds are. So seven and a half grams of material is a supply for a big mob of people. -- a massive amount, at the dosage we chose, nearly thirty thousand trips!
So what are you going to do with it? Give it away. All the equipment that I had to use to make it is costly, so I had to get some money back. But I never felt it was my money. None of the money that came from acid I felt was my money. I was like a custodian of it, and didn't know what to do with it. It was a real problem for me.
I never bought a decent car even during this time. I certainly didn't buy any houses or anything. I just didn't believe it was mine. What I was doing was something for the community that had great cosmic significance -- although I could live off of it. But I tried to plow as much of it back into the community that I could. I gave a lot of the material away, gave out handfuls of the stuff in the park all the time. I put about half of it out through the free distribution system, and the other half went through the money distribution system. I felt that giving so much of it away for free kept the markup in the sale loop to a low level. The quality stayed high and the markup stayed low, and people got it anyway. Putting it out through the sales trip allowed a wide distribution that wouldn't have happened if there had been no money in it.
The Bottom Line
We were trying to do it right, because anything else is a rip-off. After all, people are taking this into their bodies, and shouldn't have to take a risk with their health.
The eyeball is the external part of the brain. Every word...but surely everyone's in bed by now? Or on another thread. A hundred quotes from Owsley Stanley III, now known as "Bear"...well, here are some more.
we figured 250 mcg., with a possible plus or minus 5% tabbing error -- so we put an extra 10% in there. And then we decided that we wanted to cover for any possible deterioration from exposure to light, so we put another 10% in there, and wound up with over 300 mcg. It was sort of like rocket fuel. It was a mistake. I'll freely admit to that.
The interview now repeats itself--from mystical experiences to cane toads. And then we get this.
I had a friend, a big black dude, who lived in Berkeley. He was quite a character, and he would tell me I had to come down with him to see Kesey. I had heard of Kesey, and read his books, and he says to me, enthusiastically, "Fantastic, he's got these Hells Angels." I said, "Shit, man, you've got to be out of your mind. And you, a black guy! Those Angels EAT `niggers.' What are you doing?"
He says, "Ah, I don't know. It's pretty interesting. He's been feeding them all acid. You wouldn't believe what's going on down here, man!" I said, "No, I don't want anything to do with Hells Angels. Stay away from those guys, man." Because everything I had heard about them was just horrible.
But finally, one day I said, "Okay, come on. If it's important to you, I'll go down." So I went down with him and, Jesus, boy, that was sort of like getting strapped to a rocket sled. The stuff that those guys would do with your head, and the drugs and everything else, was nothing like anything else I had experienced before. It was absolutely dramatic. And it WAS true. The Angels turned out to be some of the farthest-out people I ever in my life had met. They were just cut free by this thing. It was like a key. Kesey was playing with stuff which I recognized as ancient magical shit. But they didn't know it. They just kind of stumbled on it by playing around. They stumbled on a lot of the old stuff that was just buried. I said, "I've read some old esoteric documents in occult literature, and this stuff is not visible. You've got to be real careful with this shit." I thought they were running kind of loose with it. And that it was dangerous. And in some ways it was. But it didn't matter. It was working and they were doing it. This, of course, is evidence that the ancient doctrines are based on psychedelics.
The ancient doctrines are based on psychedelics...discuss...believe...disagree...you need drugs to understand them..."The Kingdom of Heaven is Within"...
Yes. And now
The Dead's records always sounded contrived. Because the standard technique of going into a studio and sitting around and laying down a track at a time and building up twelve songs over six mon
And so it ends.
For all of you suffering under the assault to human possibilities that is much of current human behaviour, I humbly offer you an Om. At the very least we will vibrate our ribcages.