Archive for Huxley

Podcasts 454 – Aldous Huxley: “Human Potentialities”

Guest speaker: Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley


This podcast celebrates the ten year anniversary of programming from the Psychedelic Salon. And so we return to one of the men who was responsible for igniting today’s psychedelic renaissance, Aldous Huxley. The talk featured here was delivered at MIT in 1961, sometime after it was first given at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. The Medical Center version of this talk has been credited with giving Dick Price the inspiration to co-found the Esalen Institute. Today, more than 50 years after this talk was given, there remains much of current interest in the sentiments that Huxley so eloquently puts forth.


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Podcast 279 – “Peter Gorman Interviews the Elders”

Guest speakers: Allen Ginsberg, Ram Das, Laura Huxley, Peter Gorman


As us Monty Python fans love to hear, “Now for something completely different.” Well, not really. But today’s program is a little different in that instead of featuring just one speaker we have an audio collage that includes Allen Ginsberg, Ram Das, and Laura Huxley. A finer collection of psychedelic elders you would be hard-pressed to find.

First of all is a rare recording of a telephone interview of Allen Ginsberg by then “High Times” editor, Peter Gorman. When Gorman asked for a story about Timothy Leary, Ginsberg tells of the time that Leary came to his New York apartment to meet Jack Kerouac and they took psilocybin together Next is a brief conversation that Peter has with Ram Das during which we learn some more of the background of the early days at Millbrook and the interesting series of events that led up to going there. The last segment is another Peter Gorman interview, this time with Laura Huxley in which she tells of some of her own experiences with LSD. It’s a short program but packed with interesting historical ancetdotes.


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Personal Message
Eldridge Cleaver
Timothy Leary

Tripping the Bardo with Timothy Leary

A Kickstarter campaign for Joanna Harcourt-Smith

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Podcast 236 – “The Politics of Ecology”

Guest speaker: Aldous Huxley


[NOTE: All quotations are by Aldous Huxley.]
“To possess power is ipso facto to be tempted to abuse it.”

“When advancing science and acceleratingly progressive technology alter man’s long-standing relationships with the planet on which he lives, revolutionize his societies, and at the same time equip his rulers with new and immensely more powerful instruments of domination what ought we to do? What can we do?”

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Podcast 232 – “Fisher, Stolaroff, and Al Hubbard”

This program marks

Our 5th Anniversary!

Support the Stolaroff Collection

Make a contribution to support

the archiving of Myron Stolaroff’s resources

Guest speakers: Myron Stolaroff and Gary Fisher

The following is my video recording of this talk.


This is a conversation that took place between Myron Stolaroff, Gary Fisher, and a group of friends at the legendary salon that Kathleen hosted on the third Friday of every month in Venice Beach, California.

Myron Stolaroff and Gary Fisher
» Continue reading “Podcast 232 – “Fisher, Stolaroff, and Al Hubbard””

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Podcast 209 – “An Audio Collage of Aldous Huxley”

Guest speaker: Aldous Huxley


[NOTE: All quotations are by Aldous Huxley.]

Aldous Huxley“I don’t think there are any sinister persons deliberately trying to rob people of their freedom. But I do think, first of all, that there are a number of impersonal forces which are pushing in the direction of less and less freedom, and I also think that there are a number of technological devices which anybody who wishes to use can use to accelerate this process of going away from freedom, of imposing control.”

“I mean, what I feel very strongly is that we mustn’t be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology. This has happened again and again in history with technology’s advance and this changes social condition, and suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn’t foresee and doing all sorts of things they really didn’t want to do.”

“That if you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled, and this they will do partly by drugs as I foresaw in “Brave New World,” partly by these new techniques of propaganda. They will do it by bypassing the sort of rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotions, and his physiology even, and so making him actually love his slavery. I mean, I think, this is the danger that actually people may be, in some ways, happy under the new regime, but that they will be happy in situations where they oughtn’t to be happy.”

“Democracies are based on the proposition that power is very dangerous and that it is extremely important not to let any one man or any one small group have too much power for too long a time.”

“Ulysses is obviously a very extraordinary book. I mean, I don’t exactly know why he wrote it, because I mean, a great deal of Ulysses seems to me to be taken up with showing a large number of methods in which novels cannot be written.”


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The complete recordings
of the Aldous Huxley
1961 London interview
may be found at:

The Grey Lodge Occult Review

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Podcast 207 – “A Tribute to Alan Watts”

Guest speakers: Dr. John Lilly, Laura Huxley, and others


This podcast begins with a short clip of Alan Watts speaking about human consciousness. Then we join Dr. John Lilly, Laura Huxley, and a few other friends who are discussing the life of Alan Watts a few months after his death in November 1973.


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Alan Watts in Wikipedia

The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
List of books by Alan Watts

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Podcast 200 – “A Few Words From Our Elders”

Guest speakers: Gary Fisher, Sasha Shulgin, Ann Shulgin, Myron Stolaroff, Baba Ram Das, Timothy Leary, and Terence McKenna


“So I looked upon these materials as being catalytic, not productive, they do not do what occurs, they allow you to express what is in you that you had not had the ability to get into and express yourself without the help of the material.”
Scanned image of the copy of Saint Veronica's Veil that was used at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Menlo Park, CA during psychedelic research sessions in the 1960s.
“My main argument for continuing to use the term [psychedelic] is that people may not approve of what you’re working in or what you’re saying, but at least they know what you’re talking about.”

“My interest in these compounds is that they let you open up the doors inside your own psyche. They allow things to be more obvious, more apparent than the conscious mind usually lets them be.”

“The psychedelics, the visionary plants, allow you to do deeper looking and a different kind of learning, because what comes to you is a different sort of knowledge.”

“The ’shadow work’ is, perhaps, the most important use of these materials, as far as I’m concerned, that there is. Because it’s in opening up the shadow and discovering it’s not a monster, that it’s not a terrible, horrible beast, that it is the uncultivated, the unsophisticated and slightly, sometimes, unlawful part of ourselves, which can be one of our greatest allies as long as we can find the courage to do the work necessary to discover it and become one with it and to negotiate with it.”

“I consider them [psychedelics] basically spiritual tools.”

“The place we share is that place that stands nowhere, not the place that’s caught in these spirals that involve intellectual advance, or ‘Now we know it!’, and so on. That’s all like little ripples on the ocean.”

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised.”

“…neuro-geography that tells us that where you are determines who you are, habitat determines species.”

“We are literally at a position where collectively, working in harmony, we can do most of the things, and take the responsibilities, which in the past have been attributed to the great deities of the past. I think the Golden Age is ahead. It’s the age of humanist science, humanist technology, pagan science, pagan technology, high tech, high touch.”

“I think it’s our duty as explorers and as frontier scouts for our species to invent new terminology. … I really feel that words are tremendously important. . . . We’ve got to develop a new terminology. We simply can’t use the language that has been around for three or four thousand years because more people have been killed in the name of god that any other word around.”

“Well somebody once asked me, you know, “Is it dangerous?” And the answer is, only if you fear death by astonishment.”

“Do not give way to astonishment! Do not abandon yourself to wonder! Get a grip! Try to get a grip, and notice what we’re doing! Pay attention!” – this is the mantra: “Pay attention! Pay attention!”

“On DMT, these entities – these machine-like, diminutive, shape-shifting, faceted machine elf type creatures that come bounding out of the state – they come bounding out of my stereo speakers, if I have my eyes open – they are like, you know, they are elfin embodiments of syntactical intent. Somehow syntax, which is normally the invisible architecture behind language, has moved into the foreground. And you can see it! I mean, it’s doing calisthenics and acrobatics in front of you! It’s crawling all over you! And what’s happened is that your categories have been scrambled, or something; and this thing which is normally supposed to be invisible and in the background and an abstraction has come forward and is doing handsprings right in front of you. And the thing makes linguistic objects; it sheds syntactical objectification. So that it comes towards you – they come toward you – they divide, they merge, they’re bounding, they’re screaming, they’re squeaking – and they hold out objects, which they sing into existence, or which they pull out of some other place. And these things are, you know, like jewels and lights, but also like consommé and old farts and yesterday and high speed; in other words, they are made of juxtapositions of qualities that are impossible in three-dimensional space. What they’re like is – and in fact, this is probably what they are – what they’re like is, they’re like three- and four- and five-dimensional puns. And you know how the pleasure of a pun lies in the fact that it is… it’s not that the meaning flickers from A to B; it’s that it’s simultaneously A and B, and when the pun is really funny it’s an A,B,C,D pun; and it’s simultaneously all these things… well, that quality, which in our experience can only occur to an acoustical output or a glyph which stands for an acoustical output – in other words, a printed pun – in the DMT world, objects can do this. Objects can simultaneously manifest more than one nature at once. And, like a pun, the result is always funny. It’s amusing! You cannot help but be delighted by this thing doing this thing.”

“History is a con game run by frightened men and their obedient stooges.”

“The transformation of culture through art is the proper understanding of what you can do with psychedelics besides blow your own mind.”


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Terence McKenna Audio
Sasha Shulgin Audio

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Podcast 187 – “The Ethnobotany of Shamanism” Part 1

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations are by Terence McKenna.]

“Most software, I think, is written by freaks.”

“What it [investigating psychedelics] really requires is a love of the peculiar, of the weird, the bizarre, the étrange, the freaky and unimaginable.”

“Nature and the imagination seem to be the precursors to involvement in the psychedelic experience.”

“DMT seems to argue, convincingly I might add, that the world is made entirely of something, for want of a better word, we would have to call magic.”

“By manipulating queuing, by manipulating expectation, you can lead people to a fundamental confrontation, not only with themselves, but with the Other.”

“What I’m talking about is actually is the Mystery of Being as existential fact. That there is something that haunts this world that can take apart and reduce every single one of us to a mixture of terror and ecstasy, fear and trembling. It is not an idea, that’s the primary thing to bear in mind. It’s an experience.”

“Our theories are the weakest part of what we say. What we’re working from is the fact of an experience which we need to make sense of.”

“What we call three dimensional space, and what we call the imagination actually have a contiguous and continuous transformation from one into the other, … and THIS is big news!”

“If you play the cultural game, it’s like playing only with clubs or something, or playing only with the red marked cards. You have to play with a full deck, and that includes this pre-linguistic surround in which we are embedded.”

“Ultimately, I think, what the psychedelic experience may be is a higher topological manifold of temporality.”

“The mind is the cutting edge of the evolving event system.”

“I think the cybernetic matrix is a tremendous tool for feminizing, and radicalizing, and psychedelicizing the social matrix. I see computers as entirely feminine.”

“The ‘person’ is not an interchangeable part. The ‘citizen’ is. … The person is harking back to a pre-print model. It’s what the hippies were.”

“What people notice about [when they are on] LSD is either what’s right or wrong with themselves or how freaky the world is.”

“It’s as important to be well informed in this area, if you’re going to do it, as it is to be well informed about procedures in skin diving and that sort of thing if you’re going to do that.”


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The Oracle Gatherings, July 31-August 2, 2009

October 21-25, 2009
Embassy Suites/Marin Civic Center
San Rafael, California

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Podcast 177 – “Surfing Finnegans Wake” Part 2

Guest speaker: Terence McKenna


[NOTE: All quotations below are by Terence McKenna.]

“McLuhan was synonymous with incomprehensibility in the Sixties.”

"The Art of Seeing" by Aldous Huxley“In McLuhan there is a very deep strain of nostalgia for the essence of the Medieval world of what he called ‘manuscript culture’.”

“Joyce is, in ‘The Wake’, making his own alchemeric cave drawings of the entire history of the human mind in terms of its basic gestures and postures during all phases of human culture and technology.”

“Nothing is now unconscious if your data-search commands are powerful enough.”

"The Gutenberg Galaxy" by Marshall McLuhan“So really, like for Joyce, for McLuhan the book is the central symbol of the age, the central mystery of our time. In a sense, I sort of share that notion. It’s a very Talmudic notion. It’s a very psychedelic notion. It’s the idea that somehow the career of the word is the central, overarching metaphor of the age. And, naturally, if the book is the central metaphor for reality, then reality itself is seen as somehow literary, somehow textual. And this is in fact how I think reality was seen until the rise of modern science.”

“The idea of the individual is a post-Medieval concept legitimized by print. The idea of the public, this concept did not exist before newspapers.”

“The notion of an observing citizenry somehow sharing the governance of society, this again is a print-created idea.”

"Understanding Media" by Marshall McLuhan“Reading is not looking. Reading is an entirely different kind of behavior. … Nobody opens a book and looks at print … We read print, but we look at manuscript, because manuscript carries the intrinsic signification of the individual who made it.”

“[Quoting Marshall McLuhan] High definition is the state of being well-filled with data.”

“Print is the least invisible of all media. Print is an incredible Rube Goldberg invention for conveying information.”We are going beyond the entire domain of scribal humanity and actually reaching back to a shamanic feeling-tone kind of thing.”

“A perfect media is an invisible media, and print is the least invisible of all media.”

"Essential McLuhan"“Those who read, do not see, even when they lift their eyes from their books, they carry the attitude of print into the world. They read. They attempt to read nature. And you can’t read nature. You must look at nature. You must see nature.”

” ‘The Medium is the message’ means that the medium is the thing which is making the difference.”

“Imagine if a drug had been introduced in 1948 that we all spent six and one-half hours per day, on average, watching. And the one thing about drugs, in their defense, is that it’s very hard to diddle the message. A drug is a mirror, but television isn’t a mirror. Television is a billboard, and anybody who pays their money can put their message into the trip. This is an extraordinarily insidious situation.”


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Podcast 175 – “The Intelligent Use of Psychedelic Drugs”

Guest speaker: Dr. Timothy Leary


[NOTE: All quotations below are by Dr. Timothy Leary.]

“We represent the aristocratic, exploring elite of our species, and we always have.”

Dr. Timothy Leary“The purpose of human life is to go within and find out who you are. The purpose of human life is to grow.”

“American history is filled with people who knew how to use drugs intelligently.”

“He [William James] later wrote the book “Varieties of Religious Experience”, in which he said over and over again, no attempt at the metaphysical quest, no attempt to probe the philosophic wonders of the cosmos can be undertaken by those who don’t have some experience with chemicals. In his case it was peyote and nitrous oxide.”

“The ‘original’ sin was the intelligent use of drugs in the garden of Eden.”

“The problem with drugs is that stupid people use drugs stupidly.”

“As more and more people learn how to use drugs intelligently in the next twenty years, and get back to their microscopes and DNA mock-ups, we may have some more information on exactly how evolution got started.”

“All of you in this room have experienced more realities, more crisis, more of life, you’ve seen more than the wisest sultans and philosophers in the past.”

“The generation you belong to is of key importance.”

“Nobody died for my sins, man. I did my time for ‘em.”

“Let me give you an example of set and setting. If you take LSD under the following conditions: you’ve just escaped from prison where they want to put you in the gas chamber, and you find yourself in a hotel in Palm Springs where the FBI is having its local convention, that is bad set and bad setting.”


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Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation The Third Wave

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