This video, from the mid-1950s, is pretty amazing. A normal middle-class woman volunteered to be filmed after taking 100 micrograms of LSD as part of a research project conducted by Sidney Cohen at the Los Angeles VA hospital. The acid trip ends at 6:04, and then there’s a discussion with Gerald Heard, a philosopher. Do listen to him, too.
If, like me, you came of age in the Sixties, you’re going to laugh.
“I wish I could talk in Technicolor.”
Put her in a beaded headband and a fringed vest, and it could be 1966! The woman’s reactions are absolutely representative of what I saw in my friends so many times in college, and occasionally experienced myself.
It’s impossible to describe in words—though many have tried—the shifting of perception, the apprehension of tremendous beauty in everything, and the feeling of oneness with the universe induced by this drug. Would that it were possible for everyone to try it, as this woman did, taking pure, commercially produced product under professional supervision.
Read more about Cohen and Richard Alpert’s studies of LSD here.