Another Sixties Flashback

February 28th, 2014, 1pm

In 1960 I entered the Graduate program at Harvard. The next year I was recruited by Richard Alpert of the Psychology Department to become a subject in an experimental program involving the ingestion of LSD. He was a young man, not much older than I, with black horn rimmed glasses and an attractive smile. He said the session would last about eight to ten hours. I arrived in the early evening, a little surprised to find that I was the only subject who turned up. He seemed interested in my Native American ancestry. He explained a little of what to expect, though nothing really could have prepared me for the experience.

I won’t say much about the trip I took, except that it was a trip, a trip through a star spangled universe. I remember the colors. I remember years of travel without once feeling tired or bored. I remember grief at having spent so long away from friends and family — it had been years, of course, though surely not decades. I remember wondering if it might have been decades. And I remember the horn rimmed glasses. He asked me to describe what I saw and felt, and, oddly, he told me what he was seeing and feeling . I remember nothing of his vision, but I can still bring to mind certain images and the memory of intense euphoria, tinged with grief.

By 1963 both Alpert and Timothy Leary had been fired from Harvard. Both men appear as ‘editorial consultants’ on the mast head of Psychedelic Review, Issue Number 1.

Shu, Nicolas, Adrian, Philippe and 13 others said thanks.

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David Wade Chambers

Born in Oklahoma: 30 years in US. 6 years in Canada, 40 years in Australia. Academic field: history and philosophy of science. Currently, teach indigenous studies online at Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM) and Brandon University (Manitoba). Come visit our B&B on Australia's Great Ocean Road. Mate's Rates for Hi community! (

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