Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Acid Queen

( The following is excerpted from Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary. My Psychedelic Love Story by Joanna Harcourt-Smith available on Amazon )

We returned to the circle where the others were taking the acid Dennis had fetched. Everyone shifted on their cushions and talked sporadically, reticence increasing as the acid came on.
As so often happened when I took LSD, I was split between a need to concentrate and a struggle with the exhausting tension of over-concentration. Sometimes, I would fall into a trance of total ease and absorption that allowed me to see the beauty and perfection of the world around me—a realm of pure and perfect appearance—and I would feel fluid, aimless, and congruent with everything. At other times, there would be no beauty to behold, only a cinerama screen flooded with murky memories from my childhood: Nanny forcing me to sleep with a crucifix under my pillow for sins she said I could not know I had committed; my mother wielding her black leather belt studded with rubies and emeralds, laying stroke after pitiless stroke across my legs—visions I couldn’t stop so long as I could not break the concentration. Usually, I could only surrender and spin away into a limbo of aching loneliness, mute, my throat gripped by a hot vise of shame, then curl into the fetal position for hours on end.
How to concentrate and relax at the same time? This was my question. I kept stealing glances at Timothy, expecting him to take over, to guide me and tell me what it was all about. He was the High Priest of LSD, and there was so much I needed to know about how to navigate the inner dimensions that LSD exposed. But he simply sat and stared into the fire as we were all climbing into the LSD stratosphere with no definite sense of where we were going....
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