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Watts, Alan - On taking LSD



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Psychedelic Experience – Alan Watts

............. what we know for certain implies that these chemicals cannot be used without caution.  But this applies equally to antibiotics, whiskey, household ammonia, the automobile, the kitchen knife, electricity and matches.

No worthwhile life can be lived without risks, despite current American superstitions to the contrary – as that passing laws can prevent people from being immoral and that technological power can be made foolproof.

The question is therefore whether the risks involved in using the chemicals are worthwhile, and it seems to me that what is worthwhile should be judged not only in terms of useful knowledge or therapeutic effect, but also in terms of simple pleasure....................

Empathy I know can increase until one is 'involved in mankind' something that most of us feel only when deeply in love.  Saints have had such experience sustained for a lifetime; but for the rest of us a few moments of it are remembered as supreme exaltation.  When members of that Native American Church peyote takers, say that in their meetings this happens frequently, I believe them.  It may seem unlikely that the usually insensitive can become acutely and exquisitely aware of the feelings of others, but they can do so.

The source of the experience

Watts, Alan

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