Acid! (part 2)

Posted on by Lee Richmond
It came along slowly. The first thing I noticed was that colors were brighter … but then, colors were brighter after I smoked pot, too. However, this time they kept getting brighter! and brighter!! until I realized that I had never actually seen blue before. It was absolutely an amazing color!
   For that matter, I had listened to sitar music by Ravi Shankar before, but I had never actually heard it. It was amazing! It took over the room, it took over my mind, it carried me off into the air in whirling patterns of shimmering light.
   I spent a very long time lying on the couch staring up at the ceiling, except that it wasn’t the ceiling, it was an amazing universe of shapes and patterns and galaxies that waved, and swarmed, advanced and fell back, cyclones and infinite grids, colors and darkness playing with each other … I discovered that I had a full field of vision, 180 degrees up and down, left and right, and I could look anywhere in the field without moving my eyeballs! This was quite startling at the time.
   (And to this day, I can see 180 degrees on every side while looking straight ahead.)
   One time (yes, I took a number of psychedelic trips), I found that I was a great artist! I had a big pad of paper and a set of water colors. My first brush stroke was a stroke of genius! The next one was even better! I got more and more excited as the work progressed … until I made one brush stroke too many and the whole thing collapsed into an ugly brown puddle. This was my first hint that the amazing universes of LSD and mescaline were, in some important way, illusions.
   I took some time crafting descriptions of acid trips in “High on Gold” (more time than I am taking here), and I hope that you will read them: they are pretty accurate representations of what it was like. However, my experiences with psychedelics differed significantly from those of my characters in the book, in that we only tripped every month or so, and always in a very careful, sacramental way.
   I never had a bad trip. I can write that because I stopped a while back, and have no intention of doing it again. My last trip took place halfway down into the Grand Canyon, with some extraordinarily good acid, and I won’t even try to put into words what those 12 hours were like. When I eventually came back to everyday reality, I said to myself, ‘That was the acid trip of all time. There’s no point in ever taking another one.’

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