The Psychedelic Experience
This manual uses material from The Tibetan Book of the Dead for this preparation. The authors also make an important contribution to the interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. They show that it is concerned not with the dead, but with the living. The last section of the manual provides instructions for an actual psychedelic session, under adequate safeguards.
The authors were engaged in a program of experiments with LSD and other psychedelic drugs at Harvard University until sensational national publicity unfairly concentrating on student interest in the drugs, led to the suspension of the experiments. Since then, the authors have continued their work without academic auspices.
The Psychedelic Experience
A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Authors: Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Richard Alpert
- ISBN 9780806538570
- Format Trade Paperback | 144 Pages
- Published Kensington-Citadel; June 27, 2017; 2nd Edition
Timothy Leary was one of the most famous countercultural icons of the 1960s. In 1957, the Harvard psychologist experienced a "profound transcendent experience" while taking hallucinogens in Mexico. No longer content with his work in personality assessment, Leary began advocating the psychotherapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD. His experiments with LSD often involved students and wild "tripping" parties, which eventually led to his dismissal from Harvard. With patronage from heirs of the Mellon fortune, Leary continued his experiments and prolific writing career at a rambling estate in upstate New York known as Millbrook. In 1967, Leary spoke at a San Francisco "Be-In," where he coined the phrase "Turn on, tune in, and drop out." Labeled "The Most Dangerous Man in America," Leary had many run-ins with the law and served several prison sentences. He died of prostate cancer in 1996; the following year seven grams of his ashes were launched into space aboard a Pegasus rocket.
About the Authors
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., was a psychologist who explored states of consciousness and transformational practices throughout his career. As a graduate student at Harvard (where he received a Ph.D. in clinical psychology), he worked with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) on the Harvard Psilocybin Projects. He co-wrote The Psychedelic Experience and was editor of The Psychedelic Review. He was a professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He was also president of the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reconnecting humans and the environment. The author of over a dozen books, Dr. Metzner maintained a part-time psychotherapy practice and conducted numerous workshops on consciousness transformation, both nationally and internationally.
Ram Dass served on the faculty at Stanford and Harvard Universities. In the 1960s, he traveled to India, where he met his guru, and over the course of his life pursued a variety of spiritual practices, including guru kripa, devotional yoga, karma yoga, many forms of meditation, and Sufi and Jewish studies. Many of his books, including Be Here Now, are international bestsellers and classics of their kind. He died in December 2019.