I didn’t try LSD until four years later. Nobody in my high school offered me LSD. If they had, I would have been thought more than twice about taking it – because during my time in high school, I had also taken a class that I hated as much as I was thrilled by tenth grade biology.
It was the mandatory class simply called “Health” which was taught by the PE teacher, Mr. Golden. The scene of the kids who took LSD and ran in front of a car stuck in my mind, as did the reefer madness type pot films. These classes were the precursors of our modern DARE programs.
But it seemed almost fate that pushed me to explore – with increasing fascination — the curious topic of psychedelic drugs. In a slow-moving photography class my senior year – we spent most of the time outside of the dark room playing cards and I spent them talking with classmate who was one part of the still small and very underground LSD scene in Los Angles. I remember him showing me a copy of Scientific American with an article called Hallucinogenic Drugs, by Dr. Frank Barron (later reprinted in Altered states of awareness; readings from Scientific American) and a copy of paperback book called LSD: The Problem Solving Psychedelic by Peter Stafford and Bonnie Golightly
He was one of blossoms from the seeds planted by Aldous Huxley in the ‘Fifties which had now flowered throughout LA – from Hollywood to Malibu to Laguna Beach with the birth of the hippies.
When I got to college, it took me a couple more years to try LSD. I moved slowly and carefully when it came to the big issues of the Sixties – sex and drugs. I wanted to find out everything about them first.
In a similar way, I knew all about sex for years but did not have sex with woman until my second year of college.
I was lucky that way, because by the time I took my first trip, which was not on LSD per se, but on some morning glory seeds, which contain lysergic acid derivatives, I was prepared.
I first opened my doorways to perception myself in my parent’s house, in November of 1967, at age 19 . Taking psychedelic by yourself, especially on your first “trip,” is not recommended by most guidebooks by the way.
My objective was to discover the meaning of the song “Within You and Without You.” of the Album that was topping the charts that year –Sgt. Peppers of course. Sung by George Harrison with Indian Raga background incorporated in its sound track, the song’s refrain advices:” Life Flows on within us and without us.”
After five hours of stomach cramps, spinning, breathing ceilings and bookcases, talking flies etc., I crawled into the living room to watch the sunset and entered into what seemed an eternal bliss without end.
The timeless reverie did finally end. The first thing I noticed was the sound of a small white FM radio I used as the source of my background music.
A commercial jingle was playing, with the refrain, “You can’t do better than Sears.” It sounded better than any music I had ever heard.
Perhaps my newly found bliss was relief from the nausea felt earlier but I interpreted it as a prelude to enlightenment.