Lilly, John - On LSD and butterflies
Type of Spiritual Experience
John Lilly is better known for his invention of the isolation tank, however, on this occasion he talks about LSD.
A description of the experience
John C Lilly – The Center of the Cyclone
In a sense an LSD session can be metaphorically called a 'pupation' period. The caterpillar forms the cocoon and then proceeds to total reorganisation as a pupa.
Only after a period of apparent disorganisation and reformation can the butterfly form. After the butterfly is formed, it must rest and realise its being as a butterfly. It has moved from a crawling existence to a flying existence and before it can fly, it must become dry, allow its wings to spread and form itself.
The LSD session itself is the pupation, the period of organised disorganisation, in which things are moving around with a fluidity and a plasticity that one normally does not experience. Unless some direction is put into this process of pupation, one can be uncertain as to how one will come out, still a caterpillar, or some monstrous combination of caterpillar and butterfly, or as a butterfly.