I wish I could talk in technicolour

25 Jan

An American housewife, pre-selected for her ‘normality’, takes a 100ug (0.1mg) dose of LSD in the presence of UCLA researcher Dr Sidney Cohen in about 1956.

Cohen, who later wrote The Beyond Within: The L.S.D. Story (1972), was an early advocate of medical and therapeutic LSD research, but by the early 1960s began to worry about the impact its unfiltered use would have on the beatniks, and later hippies, being turned on to it by proselytisers like Timothy Leary.

As with the woman in the film above, who, at least in the brief sequence visible here seems to be having a transcendently far out time, Cohen seemed to elicit positive responses from LSD users in therapy, noting that:

under LSD the fondest theories of the therapist are confirmed by his patient. Freudian symbols come out of the mouths of patients with Freudian analysts. Those who have Jungian therapists deal with the collective unconscious and with archetypal images [two key Jungian concepts]. The patient senses the frame of reference to be employed, and his associations and dreams are molded to it. (‘The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs’, 1972 [link])

Do stick around to the end of the clip, for an appearance by the now-forgotten polymath philosopher Gerald Heard, friend and mentor to Aldous Huxley and author of around 50 books of fiction and non-fiction, including the flying saucer classic, Is Another World Watching The Riddle of the Flying Saucers (1950).

In this book he reasons that, given that the saucers pull such incredible manoeuvres that the G forces would kill a human, they could only be piloted by creatures possessing an exoskeleton, and proposes giant bees as likely candidates [more on this at Magonia].

As he states in the film clip Heard, like Huxley, Cohen and others of their West Coast circle, felt that LSD was too powerful to be given to everybody and should be reserved for the use of a psychedelic priesthood, or council of elders – Leary, Ken Kesey and others soon put an end to that idea, and the rest is history.

[Note that this is stealth advertising for a new book, which is revealed at the end]. 





One Response to “I wish I could talk in technicolour”

  1. Andrew May January 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Really interesting to see Gerald Heard on video. For what it’s worth, I wrote a brief piece about his UFO book last year: http://forteana-blog.blogspot.com/2011/06/ufos-forgotten-book.html … but it was written in a hurry after the British Library event, so it isn’t very deep.

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