How LSD Changed the Way We See Planet Earth!
I am reading The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide written by James Fadiman. He has been called America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use and has been involved in the research of psychedelics since the 1960s. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide addresses the immediate and long-term effects of psychedelic use for spiritual (high dose), therapeutic (moderate dose), and problem-solving (low dose) purposes. This book is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is curious about this very important healing modality for our culture.
At the very beginning of the book, he states that when he is asked to give an example of the magic that LSD can impart he shares the experience that the infamous Stewart Brand had while on 100 mcg of lysergic acid diethylamide aka LSD on his San Francisco rooftop circa 1966. Before I go on let me tell you a tiny bit about this resonance man if you don’t already know of him.
Stewart Brand was an American writer who was at the heart of the 60’s counterculture. He is probably most famous for his creation of The Whole Earth Catalog that Steve Jobs called Google in a catalog form. Stewart Brand was the visionary who put “personal” and “computer” together in the same sentence and introduced the concept to the world. He then founded the world’s first online community called The Well. In the 60’s he was undeniably leading the charge of the acid revolution alongside the most famous prankster of the time Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters. Stewart made an important statement that sums it all up on the way he looked at life and hence his life’s work. He said, “We are as Gods, so we might as well get good at it.” There was a documentary made about his life with this as its title if you can find it, watch it!
So on his rooftop, a vision arose for Brand and he asked the question, “Why haven’t we seen a photo of the whole Earth yet.” In that session, Brand became convinced that seeing an image of the whole Earth would change how we think about the planet and ourselves. As one does in the sixties, Brand made buttons that read “Why haven’t we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?” He went on a campaign to progressive college campuses from UC Berkley, Columbia, Harvard, and MIT selling his buttons for 25 cents apiece and stirring the interest of the press and eventually NASA.
On December 24th, 1968 the very first photograph of the Earth was taken from space by the Apollo 8 crew member Bill Anders where, as Brand describes it, he turned his camera around and documented the Earth. Brand writes, “This was the first time humanity saw itself from the outside. The visible features from space were living blue ocean, living green-brown continents, dazzling poler ice, and a busy atmosphere, all set like a delicate jewel in vast immensities of hard-vacuum space. Humanity’s habitat looked tiny, fragile, and rare. Suddenly humans had a planet to tend to.”
I had to put the book down for a bit and meditate on that mind-expanding vision Brand experienced and how he was able to access that vision on LSD. The psychedelic allowed Brand to completely open his mind while he sat on his rooftop and contemplated the cosmos. It allowed him to astro project into the cosmos and have this epiphany moment of, “Why haven’t we seen a photo of the whole Earth yet.” What would Earth look like from way out there, looking back at her? Psychedelics allow us to see beyond whatever reality has shown us to be “happening” in our daily lives. They allow us to get beyond what our thinking mind or ego says is real and true and see with an expanded lens of consciousness. Brands abstract thought that day on LSD moved humanity forward in a profound way. He did us all a huge favor when he loved on his planet in this deeply philosophical way. I think he would agree with me when I say we can thank LSD for the gateway it provided for this transformative thoughtful breakthrough.
Brand was right, he knew a new perspective was needed. That people needed to see Mother Earth in a new way and I think we have arrived at that jumping-off point once again. She is so precious and tiny and fragile and we need to remember her this way so we can care for her as we would care for anything that we love that is precious and tiny and fragile.
So I invite you to look at the Earth through the lens of Stewart Brands' vision. What can you do today, just for today, that will make a difference in her well-being? Maybe it is taking a stand on plastic water bottles and consciously deciding to not purchase them, buy a reusable water bottle people, that one's easy! Maybe it is deciding to cut down on your trash in your home. This one takes a bit more research into what and where your trash is coming from but doable! Maybe it is deciding to use Earth-friendly cleaning products knowing they go into our water supply. Whatever the thing is do it today and then do that thing again tomorrow and so on. Lead by example. And share the image of the whole Earth and your new lens you are seeing her through with everyone you know. Change happens with tiny gestures, conscious declarations, buttons, and yes, big change can happen with tiny molecules too!
Read this interesting book and let us know what you think! Happy Travels