Birth of a Psychedelic Culture

Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties

By Ram Dass; Ralph Metzner; Ralph Metzner
(Synergetic Press, Paperback, 9780907791386, 264pp.)

Publication Date: February 2010

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Description
Birth of a Psychedelic Culture, an extraordinary book, shines a bright light on the emergence of the sixties culture and the experiments with mind-altering substances undertaken by Professors Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) and then-Harvard graduate student Ralph Metzner. Based on a series of con-versations between Metzner and Ram Dass and recorded by psychiatrist and author Gary Bravo, this book describes their initial experiments at Harvard, the experiments after they were dismissed from Harvard, their journeys to India and their reflections on that transformative era. Birth of a Psychedelic Culture is filled with never before published photographs. Luminaries who appear in this astonishing account include: Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, R.D. Laing, Charles Mingus, Maynard Ferguson and William Burroughs, as well as many lesser known personalities. These include convicts, graduate students and Vedantist monks In addition to reviewing the experiments, the conversations offer vividly-recalled descriptions of particular "trips," with profound insights into the nature of hallucinogens and the role they can play in transcending social conditioning. Included in Birth of a Psychedelic Culture are personal commentaries from some of the other players integral to the scene: Peggy Hitchcock, the Mellon Foundation heiress; Dr. George Litwin, Harvard professor and author; Dr. Gunther Weil, psychologist and educator; Dr. Michael Kahn, clinical psychologist and Professor Emeritus at USC, Santa Cruz; poet Dr. Elsa von Eckartsberg; Dr. George Litwin, organizational behavior consultant; Dr. Paul Lee, professor of philosopy and religion, UC Santa Cruz; Dorothy Fadiman, award winning filmmaker; Lisa Ferguson, and many others.
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