The first psychedelic revolution had a tremendous impact on my life. It was 1969, I was 21 and had just returned from Southeast Asia having been a combatant in the Vietnam war. Little was known about PTSD at the time. We were just labeled as fucked up Vietnam vets. Soon after my return, I began to display classic symptoms of the disorder. I was depressed, anxious, hyper-vigilant and very aggressive. I suffered severe insomnia, was constantly nauseated, I was losing weight and wondering if I would eventually lose my mind.
As a diversion, I enrolled in a local college on the GI Bill and majored in psychology. I mostly drank a lot of alcohol, cavorted and engaged in reckless behaviors. I began to notice a group of students who were somehow different than the others. They hung out and had a cool, bohemian appearance, wore bell-bottom jeans, grew their hair long. My intuition told me they knew something I needed to learn. I was living in a conservative Southern state, so “hippies” were somewhat of a cultural phenomenon.
I gradually began to meet some of these peculiar folk and was impressed by their knowledge and appreciation of art, literature and philosophy. I would occasionally overhear whispers about LSD and tripping. I was curious and began to ask questions. Eventually I was offered psilocybin at a party and unhesitatingly shoved the capsule down my throat. I won’t attempt to describe the ineffable, but suffice to say, my mind was totally blown and restructured in a gloriously positive way. My entire life changed and from that day forward radically improved. Then Woodstock happened and I knew I had found my path, my purpose and my direction.
All these many years later and I am still a fan of hyperspace and I joyfully anticipate the second psychedelic revolution that I see approaching. I sincerely believe it will be a means to our salvation on this planet. It is our opportunity to learn, to heal, and to evolve as a species. The ancient plant medicines may well be the catalyst that allows mankind to create a new cultural paradigm, one based on love, hope and compassion. There is much work to be done.