Archive for Oscar Janiger

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 278 – “Oscar Janiger Interviewed by Peter Gorman”

Guest speakers: Oscar Janiger and Peter Gorman


[NOTE: All quotations are by Oscar Janiger.]

[In regards to the dangers of taking LSD]
“Not everybody is committed to go to Everest. Not everybody is going to go to the Serengeti and shoot lions or whatever you want. These are risk-taking adventures. There are people courageous and adventuresome enough who are willing to do it, and when you do it you study your risks.”

“You can die of over taking aspirin and drinking too much water, but [not] LSD, and by the way, there is no evidence of physical death from marijuana either.”

“It’s just the same as we go back to Everest, you can fall of the fuckin’ mountain. That’s all there is to it. I’m not going to make any apologies for that. You’ve got to be prepared. You know that old adage that LSD favors the prepared mind.”

“[The Sixties was] a time when people began to see that what was laid down for them as obligatory reality was not obligatory.”


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Wikipedia article about Dr. Oscar Janiger

Peter Gorman’s 1993 interview with Dr. Albert Hofmann

Albert (online Hofmann Foundation papers)

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Podcast 238 – “A Tribute to Albert Hofmann” Part 2

Guest speakers: Albert Hofmann, John Lilly, Oscar Janiger, and Terence McKenna


[NOTE: The following quotations are by Dr. John C. Lilly.]
“There is no such thing as drugs. There’s no such thing as illegal drugs. They’re only chemicals. They can change the molecular configurations within the brain itself and hence change who you are and where you’re going and where you come from. This is a profound experience.”

“The drug problem ought to be turned over to the Surgeon General and taken away from the Attorney General.”

“I learned long ago that one is a psychotherapist until one is cured of one’s own diseases.”


[NOTE: The following quotations are by Terence McKenna.]
“Psychology without psychedelics is pissing into the wind.”
“We’re not going to save the monkey unless we can shed the monkey. And the greatest impetus, the greatest inspiration to the expression of our higher selves comes in the confrontation with psyche that occurs in the psychedelic experience.”

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Dr. Albert Hofmann.]
“Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I obtained as a fundamental understanding from all my LSD experiences that what one commonly takes as the reality by no means it defines anything fixed but represents a thing that’s ambiguous, that there is not only one but there are many realities, each compromising a different consciousness also of the ego.”

“Consciousness defies scientific definition. . . . All attempts to define consciousness are pathological. Consciousness can only be described as the [unintelligible] and creative spiritual dance of the ego at the very core of what we call ‘I’ “.

“Consciousness remains a mystery, the very central mystery of our existence.”

“The perception of color is a purely psychological and subjective event taking place in the inner space of [unintelligible]. The brightly colored world as we see it does not exist on the outside.”

“The seemingly objective picture of the world surrounding us, that which we call reality, is actually a subjective picture. … We all carry in life our own personal image of reality created by our own private receiver.”
“Just like sound and colors, touch, smell and taste don’t exist objectively. They too represent purely subjective phenomena, occurring only in the inner space of individual humans.”

“Our understanding [born of intense direct experience of alternate realities] makes us aware of the fact that each individual is the creator of his or her own world, for it is in each individual mind and ONLY there, that the world and the abundance of life it contains . . . that the stars and the sky become real, become human reality. Our real true freedom and responsibility is founded in our ability to create our own individual world.”

“Once I have recognized what part of reality is objectively on the outside and what is subjectively taken place within myself, then I am more aware of what I can change in my life, where I have a choice, and thus what I am responsible for. Conversely, I become aware of what is beyond my will power and has to be accepted as an unalterable fact. This clarification of my potential and my responsibilities can be of invaluable help. I have the ability to choose what I want to receive from the endless, infinite program of ‘the great transmitter’, from creation.”

“That means I can let those aspects of creation, or the cosmos, that make me happy enter into my consciousness and thus imbue them with reality . . . or I can let in other aspects, those that depress me. It is I who creates the bright and the dark picture of the world. It is I who invests the objects that are only shaped matter in the outer world not only with their color, but with my affection and my love — and also their meaning. This applies not only to my inanimate surroundings, but also to living beings, to the plants and animals and to my fellow humans. With this insight, the full creative power of love becomes evident.”

“The transmitter-receiver metaphor for reality reveals another basic fact, the fact that reality is not a fixed state. Rather it is the result of a continuous input of material and energetic signals from the outer world and their continuous decoding and transformation into inner conscious experience. This demonstrates reality is a DYNAMIC process, being created anew at each moment.”

“Since the sensation of time is only possible through the perception of change, the dynamic character of reality creates time.”

“What is needed today is a fundamental, existential experience of the oneness of all living things, of an all-encompassing reality.”


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[Thank you to for parts of the Hofmann transcription.]

Radio Interview: Albert Hofmann in America 1988

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