Psychedelic Prayers: And Other Meditations

Timothy Francis Leary, Author
Timothy Francis Leary, Author Ronin Publishing (CA) $20 (128p) ISBN 978-0-914171-96-6
Paperback - 142 pages - 978-0-914171-84-3
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In 1965, psychedelic guru Leary visited India, where he began to discern the connections between the spiritual teachings of Eastern religions and the expansion of consciousness he and his colleagues at Harvard had been experiencing through the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD and peyote. While in India, Leary wrote a set of meditations and prayers that were psychedelic reinterpretations of Book One of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. Calling the Tao Te Ching a ""time-tested psychedelic manual,"" Leary compares the energy of the Tao, or Way, with the energy that flows though a participant in an LSD session. Thus, the prayers and meditations in this collection, out of print for 25 years, serve as textual accompaniments to each stage of the psychedelic spiritual journey. There are prayers of preparation, prayers of elemental energy, prayers of biological energy, prayers of neural energy (external and internal) and prayers of re-entry. Leary's prayer of neural energy focusing on tasting uses sensual, natural imagery to describe the psychological experience of an LSD trip: ""The thin sheath/ Covering the tongue/ Melts.../ Quivering tissue/ Exploding taste buds/ Mouth flowers."" New to this edition are an introduction by Leary colleague Ralph Metzner; a history of the publication of this collection by Leary archivist Michael Horowitz; and a preface by Leary's wife, Rosemary. Leary's poems are reminders of the fine line that separates drug-induced visions from religious mysticism. (Apr.)
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