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A few years before 21–12–2012 I( got the idea to do a talk titled WHAT I LEARNED WITH LSD.

I set the first talk for midnite on a Saturday. The 2nd would be the following Sunday at 7pm.

I debated doing acid before the talk.

I wall papered the streets of Toronto with flyers.

I gave the talk out of a space on the first floor of my home I call The CineForum.

Around 11:30 the first set of people showed up. They were clearly on acid. I dropped a hit.

By midnite the place was packed.

At 7pm the Sunday many, including an older man, showed up. He said, “I have done LSD over 500 times. The first time was with Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert).”

Unlike the midnite talk this talk was done straight. I focused the material into one hour. After that I invited people to ask questions or share their own experiences.

“What do you think about 21–12–2012?” the older man who had done acid with Richard Alpert asked.

I said, “That’s just speculation. We will get to it when we get to it.”

To my surprise he exploded with, “IF YOU KNEW WHO I AM YOU WOULD NOT TREAT ME LIKE THIS!” He stormed out.

I said silently to myself, “This man thinks he is Jesus.”

One of the people who live with me walked in with a book which he gave me saying, “He asked me to give you this.” The book was titled MY LIFE by Jesus Christ.

I got a lot of requests for this talk so I continue it. One fellow who came made his own acid. He gave me some. It was really good.

One day he asked, “Have you ever done DMT?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “I made some. It only lasts ten minutes but that ten minutes feels like forever. You need to do it with a friend who can hold the pipe as otherwise you will drop it.”

I had only experienced external hallucinations with LSD once, the first time I did it in 1968 at Toronto’s Rochdale College.

Rochdale had started out as an 18 floor student high rise created by Campus Co-op as part of The University of Toronto. Along the way to get a break in their taxes the decision was made to create Rochdale as an experiment in alternate education. There would be no teachers at Rochdale. Each Rochdalian was to be their own teacher. What there were were what was called Resource People. These were people who having achieved success in their field were invited to live at Rochdale all expenses covered on condition they make themselves available to any who wished to speak with them.

At the time I was running the first of my alternate screening spaces, THE PUBLIC ENEMY, on the west side of Yonge Street at Yorkville (then Toronto’s hippie district). According to the police who raided Yorkville almost nightly Yorkville was a blight which means it was really cool. I called my venue THE PUBLIC ENEMY after the film that had made James Cagney as star. As well homosexuality was at that time illegal in Canada. Homosexuals were viewed as Public Enemy Number One. I preferred being out and queer as it meant I did not have to live a lie. As well, I did not have to deal with people being shocked by “discovering the truth.” As James Cagney shoved a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face in THE PUBLIC ENEMY I shoved the truth in the face of those who preferred the lie.

I had started to study the Wilhelm/Baynes edition of THE I CHING which teaches that learning and doing, like Faith and Works, must be one otherwise both are dead. I was showing silent and early sound films. At midnite I sometimes held seances.

Some people who came told me they were from Rochdale, a place I knew nothing about. They told me about a woman I knew lots about, Judith Merril, editor of THE YEAR’S BEST SF and the mother of modern SF (which Judy called “Speculative Fiction.”). I went over to Rochdale pre-punk punk, rail thin, dressed head to foot in black.

J. G. Ballard described Judith Merril as “the strongest woman in a genre created by weak and ineffectual men.”

Thirty years after that meeting Judy asked me to have lunch with her. She said, “I am recovering from a heart attack. From now on I am limiting myself to people who matter in my life one of whom is you.”

We have our birth mothers and fathers. As we pass through life if we are lucky we meet people who cause us to be re-born. These people can be younger than us. They can be older. I have met many through my work who have caused me to be born again.

When Judy learned I had copies of films like THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS and many more she said, “You belong here.”

One night in September 1968 I was showing Mae West in her first starring film, SHE DONE HIM WRONG, when a fellow walked up who said, “Would you like to try LSD?”

The government of Canada, as part of the Rochdale experiment had decided to allow within its walls the use of hashish, LSD, marijuana, mescaline and peyote. Rochdale was 18 floors. The higher up you went, the higher you got.

I said no because I thought that if I dropped acid I would lose my self control.

As the fellow turned to leave people in the movie brought a young girl who had tried to kill herself to Mae West (who wrote the movie). The girl said, “I’ve gone wrong. What man is going to want me?”

Mae West fired back, “Listen, honey, when women go wrong men go RIGHT after them.”

I laughed and said, “Hey, you! Come back here.”

That night for the first time I dropped acid.

Half an hour into the trip the fellow who had given it to me returned. He asked, “How are you doing?”

I said, “This is unbelievable!”

I had nothing but gratitude as the most amazing door had just been opened but as I expressed that gratitude I could see clearly he thought me a complete and utter fool. That did not bother me. What bothered me was the realization the lie is that transparent. I realized I would never know when I would have someone before me who could see as clearly into my heart as I could see into his. From that moment on I would have to anchor myself in the truth. This was the first important thing and the most important thing I learned with LSD.

I realized I could not depend on LSD to keep this ability. If I did the supply could be cut off. I determined to use LSD to open doors. Once they had been opened it was my job to keep them open.

A few years back I was given a copy of THE NATURAL MIND by Andre Weil, M.D. He confirms what I knew then.

It was a a helluva night.

I then read up on what we should and should not do on LSD. I did everything I had been warned not to.

The first time I did DMT I saw giant heads in the space around me identical to the giant heads we see on the ground in South America.

The second time I did it the experience was much stronger. Myself and the person I was with were transformed into cactus beings. Our bodies were colored with those intense, vibrant colors we see in South American art and fabrics.

I had quite a few DMT trips.

The last one I had found me seized on both sides by cosmic cops. They said, “We’ve got you. At last we’ve got you!” I felt absolutely powerless as if my bladder was about to loose and my bowels burst.

I was taken before a huge empty Judgment Seat. Pulsating lights rimmed the edges. Though the throne was empty a voice spoke. It said, “YOU’VE BEEN BAD.”

I said, “Well, yes.”

The voice said, “You’re okay. Come on in.”

When the trip ended I said to myself, “I’ve got to start doing talks on DMT.”

I read Rick Strassman’s THE SPIRIT MOLECULE and bought the DVD. Both miss the mark.

Timothy Leary wrote Aldous Huxley, “We have never talked about sex on LSD.”

Huxley wrote back, “We are in enough trouble. Don’t let that cat out of the bag.”

Sex on LSD (and on DMT) is some cat.

It deserves to be let out of the bag.

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