The Homœopathic Proving of

LSD-25

D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Conducted by

Misha Norland

and TG16 at

The School of Homœopathy

MCMXCIX

 

 

Copyright The School of Homœopathy 2001

All rights reserved

 

If the doors of perception were cleansed
everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up till he sees
all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.

William Blake
from The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

Lysergic Acid

It is a multiple million eyed monster
it is hidden in all its elephants and selves
it hummeth in the electric typewriter
it is electricity connected to itself, if it hath wires
it is a vast Spiderweb
and I am on the last millionth infinite tentacle of the spiderweb, a worrier
lost, separated, a worm, a thought, a self…
I Allen Ginsberg a separate consciousness
I who want to be God…

Allen Ginsberg

 

Contents

Introduction

Substance

Ergot

St Anthony's Fire

Ergot Alkaloids

Synthesis of LSD

Properties of LSD

LSD and the CIA

LSD and the Counter Culture

Toxicology

Proving

Pharmacy

Provers

Times and dates

Classification of symptoms

First Reactions

Reflections of the Provers

Introduction to The Homœopathic Proving of LSD 25

School of Homœopathy, February 1999.

by Misha Norland.

LSD 25 is the most potent psychotropic substance known to us, a mere sixth of a milligram being sufficient to induce and maintain an altered state for up to six hours. Furthermore, this initial experience may produce flashback experiences for years to come. It was the main drug informing the youth culture of Western countries in the sixties and seventies. This is well documented in literature, painting and music. The vernacular language of the sixties serves as an example of the infiltration: the trip, a word coined for the LSD experience may be so far out, it is outa sight. During the homœopathic proving many spoke of the experience as a journey, a trip! It is the extreme and 'other worldly' nature of the LSD-induced state which often makes it difficult to integrate into everyday life - it is either thought of as sacred or written off as dangerously hallucinogenic - the 'danger' being related to the disorientating effects of the experience. One of the provers said that she had been profoundly changed by the proving experience and grateful for that, but now she felt vulnerable, exposed and uncertain. Being stripped of the outer vestments of personality is only okay for those who have travelled part of this journey before, although even then, it may not be easy. Paranoid reactions are often unearthed during a trip.

Many of the world's tribal peoples rely upon natural drugs to induce religious experience. This sets a cultural background within which what we might describe as 'paranoid' states can be contained as well as made explicit. Hallucinogenic drugs also have a prime place in shamanic work. We have met our match, it seems to me, in producing a drug of such mind altering power as LSD. Perhaps we need a sledge hammer to crack open the tough nut that our century has made of us - shored up as we are against a relentless tide of TV, innanity and horror.

LSD was experimented with as a 'truth drug' by the military and the CIA. It was also used in hospices as an aid for the dying as well as being used in psychotherapeutic settings. It has been extensively used to evoke religious experiences and to intensify sexual ecstasy. There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, concerning the Maharishi who is said to have requested a trip from Timothy Leary. His response to the experience is said to have been, "it is like going on a meaningful walk". Trippers then as now repeat the experience either to reconnect with the divine or simply because the experience is superbly super-real and super-colourful. Today, in considerably attenuated doses, it is second to Ecstasy as the drug of ravers. (Most of our provers experienced music in a heightened manner.)

Some do it for therapy, some to seek truth and enhance their creativity, some for laughs. Doing it for laughs, bearing in mind the profundity of the experience may seem an anathema, however, many, including some of the provers, felt childlike, that the world was charmed and full of music, colour and good humour. Obviously there is an opposite state into which trippers may flip: a flat, grey and depressed state of tedium and pointlessness, of alienation.

Creativity especially in the field of music reached a zenith in the early seventies. The special qualities of LDS intoxication are synaesthetic, where sound and vision intermingle. Richness of musical invention and texture and mystical inspiration were characteristic of late sixties and early seventies music. Yet the values of this generation, of the flower children, have been bypassed; it is as if they have sown their seeds, but often in unfertile soils. The ground has not been fertile because our culture for the most part continues to deny spiritual values and because it erects almost impenetrable barriers against the flow of surrendering values of the ego.

Surrendering any aspect of ego is a considerable task if undertaken consciously. It is appropriately embarked upon as a spiritual or psychotherapeutic quest. The beat poet, Alan Ginsberg, trying to emulate the visionary William Blake, had this to say, "I spent about fifteen years trying to recreate the Blake experience in my head, and so wasted my time. It's just like somebody taking acid and wanting to have a God trip and straining to see God, and instead, naturally, seeing all sorts of diabolical machines coming up and around him, seeing hells instead of heavens. So I did finally conclude that the bum trip on acid as well as the bum trip on normal consciousness came from attempting to grasp, desiring a preconceived end, a preconceived universe, rather than entering a universe not conceivable, not even born, not describable" (This applied also to a number of provers who found that straining to find or do something often resulted in a difficult time while remaining open and unprejudiced brought out the important information and function without so much of the pain.) Letting go of wanting, letting go of straining to hold onto disparate fragments of a split off personality, letting go of ego, is also the unwitting result of unconscious psychic breakdown! In my opinion these aspects of 'letting go', breaking down', 'loosing form', are of the essence when considering the LSD experience. This may seem as meaningless as a psychotic episode or as meaningful as the Maharishi's meaning-full walk. To put it metaphorically: the 'ghost' which inhabits the heart of LSD is no-thing. LSD breaks down the ego's structures. Ultimately the LSD trip informs us that consciousness is configured around the primordial void (as the Buddhists have it). This void is also the primordial fullness. It contains all manner of things in their unmanifested state. Since they are unmanifested, the primordial state may also be described as empty. Trippers have a bad time if they are unable to sustain a view of this emptiness. This is so because without a "still point in the turning world" as T.S.Eliot put it, there are a myriad 'realities' each of which is equally plausible. The LSD intoxication is often of such intensity, the experience so real, that the trip becomes the only reality. This imaginal realm fills the field of consciousness and establishes itself as 'the' reality. Other realities are often wiped out. (Although 'observing' consciousness, in those who have this faculty well developed, may maintain a view of both realities simultaneously). Likewise, that which had been formerly thought of as 'I' or ego losses its hold. The person is as a small child again. (Many provers felt this way.) However, most individuals are well enough established in their core being to hold their ego structure together, and they may enjoy (or be but temporarily horrified) by the play of imagination as it flits like a will-o-the-whisp upon the outer fabric of sensory perceptions and memories. Or to put it another way, according to the analogy of levels of consciousness, the trip sets the tripper on the journey from peripheral to core states of being. The peripheral level (of structured memory complexes, states of knowing) gives way to uncensored memory and sensory impressions, these in turn may give way to states which resemble childhood in that they are open, rather than conditioned. Ultimately perceptions of primordial space may come - unconditioned and spacious. This state can lead to bliss or terror - the good trip or the bad trip.

To recapitulate, the central theme is about loosing form. This loss of definition applies to all aspects of the trip: visually, shapes shift and transform, synaesthetically, sensory impressions flow into one another, imaginally, ever changing pictures display themselves before the 'screen' of heightened perceptions, and at the core of being, the sense of ego identity may fall away.

The mind proving symptoms have been arranged in the following headings:

Sacred

Sacred, in the sense of inspiring awe and reverence for nature. This state is coupled with supreme well being.

Peace & Love

Connection

Truth

Merging

Delight in merging with another (God, human, animal, plant or stone) or deep fear of it. Loss of ego.

Merging of Senses, merging with Music

Nature, Animals - Immersion of awareness in inanimate objects, animating them.

Timelessness

Clairaudience and clairvoyance.

Confusion, Distortion

Childlike

Childlike, in the sense of experiencing things and events in an as new manner, as if for the first time. Often finding things hilariously silly.

Innocence, Giggling, New

Cosseted

Unrestricted, Space

Freewheeling

Youthful

Feeling youthful, exuberant and expectant (like a teenager).

Excitement

Music, Dance

Courtship, Romance

Expansion

Exploration, Journeys

Restriction

Earthiness, Grossness, Materialism

Restlessness

Disorganised

Disconnection

Isolation, Desire to be alone

Numbness, Apathy

Apprehension

Fear

Suspicion, Jealousy

Fear of impending danger. Fear associated with loss of self.

Distortions of time and space - disorientation and forgetfulness.

Sense of alienation and loss - depression.

Death

Decay

Substance

by Peter Fraser

D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

C20H25N3O

Acid; Cubes; Delysid; Wedding Bells; Royal Blue; Pearly Gates; Heavenly Blue; D-LSD; LSD; LSD-25.

LSD is a synthetic alkaloid related to the alkaloids found in ergot. It was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr Albert Hofmann.

Ergot

Ergot is produced by the fungus Claviceps purpurea growing on grains and wild grasses. Kernels infected with the fungus develop curved brown pegs (sclerotia) that grow in place of the grains. The form used medicinally is the ergot of rye (Secale cornutum), which is a well know homoeopathic remedy. Its keynotes include a sense of great heat; haemorrhages of thin, fetid, watery black blood; senility; menstrual colic, burning pains, gangrene and puerperal fever.

From the early Middle Ages the growth of the fungus in poorly stored grains caused mass outbreaks of ergot poisoning (ergotism), often affecting thousands at a time.

St. Anthony

Ergotism was known as St. Anthony's Fire after the Third Century anchorite saint who lived to the age of 105, spending most of his life in the Egyptian desert, tormented by demons in a myriad of forms. His great age was part of his torment, martyrdom having been denied him despite his best efforts to seek it. (Secale is an important remedy for senility and the aged.) Sufferers of ergotism, like him, experienced physical torment in the form of a burning fire on the skin and the mental torment of devilish hallucinations.

He is a patron of monks and of healers. The monks of The Order of Hospitallers of St. Anthony in their black robes with a blue Tau cross were well known through the Middle Ages for their succour of sick animals and people and particularly of those suffering the agonies of St. Anthony's Fire.

From the perspective of LSD it is interesting to note that the hallucinogenic torments that St Anthony experienced were almost equally divided between the taunts of the most horrible demons and the temptations of the most beautiful women and sensual delights. The temptations and torments have been a favourite subject for artists and writers, most notably Bosch and Flaubert.

The Ergot Alkaloids

Ergot was traditionally used by midwives as an ecbolic, a medicine used to precipitate childbirth. It was, however, notoriously difficult to judge the correct dose and was as likely as not to cause damage to the child. Its use thus tended to be restricted to the treatment of post partum haemorrhage.

Ergotoxine was isolated in 1907 but it was found to be more toxic than therapeutic. Ergotamine was isolated by Professor Stoll in 1917 and is still used to treat migraine. He later isolated the uterotonic ingredient ergobasine (Ergometrine), which is still a major drug for the treatment of post partum haemorrhage.

In 1935 Dr Albert Hofmann, a chemist working in Prof. Stoll's laboratory at the Swiss company Sandoz began work on the ergot alkaloids. He synthesized Ergobasine and developed Hydergine which is still used to treat peripheral vascular disease, particularly in geriatric patients.

The Synthesis of LSD

In order to synthesize ergobasine Hofmann had combined lysergic acid with propanolamine. He then produced a number of other compounds of lysergic acid. The 25th of these, LSD-25, was synthesized in 1938. It produced a strong effect on the uterus but the activity amounted to only 70% of that of ergobasine and testing was discontinued.

Unusually and for no reason other than "a peculiar presentiment (vorgefühl)- the feeling that this substance could possess properties other than those established in the first investigations" Dr Hofmann returned to work on LSD-25 in the spring of 1943. During the final stage of synthesis and purification he "was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."

He concluded that he must have absorbed a tiny amount of the substance through the skin of his hands. A few days later he took a minute dose of .25 mg of the drug resulting in the first proving which can be found in Appendix 1.

Properties of LSD

The self-experiment showed Dr Hofmann "that LSD-25 behaved as a psychoactive substance with extraordinary properties and potency. There was to my knowledge no other known substance that evoked such profound psychic effects in such extremely low doses, that caused such dramatic changes in human consciousness and our experience of the inner and outer world." Dosage for LSD is measured in micrograms (millionths of a gram). Even these minute doses cause massive effects. LSD tends to lodge in the liver, spleen and kidneys. Only 0.1% of the dose enters the brain and even that remains for only 20 minutes. Thus its powerful effects can be caused by less than 100 nanograms (billionths of a gram) of the substance reaching the brain and these effects continue long after there is no substance left in the brain. LSD is known to cause flashbacks where the patient again experiences the effects of the drug, even many years later. LSD may also be tetragenic and thus the effect of minute doses can be felt even by future generations. At one point LSD was cited by some homœopaths as an example of how microdoses could cause dramatic and long lasting changes in the human body.

These extraordinary properties led to experiments in the use of LSD in psychotherapy, philosophy, and by government agencies looking for ways to manipulate the mind for brainwashing and as a tool for assassination.

In spite of this experimentation no practical use for LSD has ever been found and its continued use is only as a recreational drug.

LSD and the CIA

In 1942 Gen. Wild Bill Donovan the Chief of OSS (the forerunner of the CIA) set up a secret program to find a speech inducing drug. One of the first substances tried was an extract of cannabis. At first they had some success with it, but they found that it was just as likely to cause a bad trip and paranoia as it was to make the subject open and loquacious. In the following years several US Government agencies set up similar operations. The Navy had project CHATTER which tested, among others, cannabis and mescaline. However, it was the CIA that was most interested. They set up project BLUEBIRD which was replaced by ARTICHOKE to investigate the use of drugs in interrogation. They later also set up MK-ULTRA to investigate whether and how it was possible to modify an individual's behaviour by covert means. They hoped to be able to brainwash people and to use them as unsuspecting and totally controlled agents. ARTICHOKE and MK-ULTRA had a paranoid distrust of each other.

The CIA projects used researchers, particularly at mental and veterans hospitals, to test and investigate all sorts of drugs but particularly hallucinogens. Many of the great advocates of LSD, including Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsberg, were introduced to hallucinogens as volunteers at CIA sponsored research programmes. At a conference on LSD in 1977 Timothy Leary said "The LSD movement was started by the CIA. I wouldn't be here now without the foresight of the CIA scientists.

Those at the agency who first tested LSD in the early 50s were convinced it would revolutionize the cloak and dagger trade. As one CIA officer recalled "We had thought this was the secret that was going to unlock the universe."

At first the experiments on LSD indicated that it might be a useful truth serum. However, it became clear that it was as likely to produce confusion, panic, boundless bliss and total paranoia as it was openness and a tendency to talk. It was also totally unreliable. Which way a subject was going to go was impossible to predict and the subject was likely to move from one state to another completely and suddenly.

In a typical LSD volte face it was then thought that LSD should be given to agents to take if they were captured so that they would babble gibberish and be difficult to interrogate.

As foreign powers might use LSD, agents were given it so they would know what it was like and would be able to handle it better if they were captured and it was used when they were being interrogated. CIA documents refer to agents familiar with LSD as "enlightened operatives".

In spite of the lack of success in finding a use for LSD the power of LSD was so great that it was felt it must have a use. This, along with the fact that the Russians were thought to be using it (they probably were as all Russian ergot mysteriously disappeared from the world market), led to continued research.

Research projects were sponsored directly and others were carefully watched. Agents were given LSD both openly and covertly. There was even a plan to spike the punch at the CIA Christmas party. In 1953 Dr Frank Olsen, who worked for the CIA, committed suicide. He had become severely depressed after his coffee had been secretly dosed with LSD. This led to some tightening up, but programmes continued.

In 1955 the CIA borrowed George White from the New York Narcotics police. He set up safe houses in Greenwich Village and later in San Francisco where prostitutes gave spiked drinks to unsuspecting customers and agents secretly observed and recorded their reactions. This went on till at least 1963 and probably till 1966.

Many possibilities were investigated by the CIA and the military. These included contaminating water supplies and aerosol dispersal over the battlefield. At one point the CIA, through the FDA, placed an order with Sandoz for 10 kilos of LSD (enough for 100 million doses). Sandoz never produced that sort of quantity so the FDA persuaded the American company Eli Lilly to start manufacturing.

Ultimately the CIA and the military never did find a use for LSD and moved on to other drugs that were more predictable.

LSD and the Counter Culture

Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain in their detailed history of LSD: Acid Dreams. The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties and Beyond remark that "the LSD story is inseparable from the cherished hopes and shattered dreams of the sixties generation".

The first of the great prophets of LSD was Capt. Alfred Hubbard. He had been a high level officer in the OSS and had been responsible for organizing the financing of covert operations through banks and companies in Canada. He had made a fortune as a uranium entrepreneur and had contacts in the worlds of politics, business and spying. In 1951 he took his first acid trip and in the next few years became the great proselytiser for the positive power of LSD. He was known as the Johhny Appleseed of LSD, jetting around the world in his private plane turning people on to this new wonder drug. He is said to have spent more than two hundred thousand dollars on acquiring LSD through his contacts which he then gave away to friends and researchers.

One of the people that Hubbard turned on to LSD was Aldous Huxley, whose books The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell detail his experiences with hallucinogens.

Hubbard worked with Dr Humphry Osmund who was a staff physician at a hospital in Saskatchewan. Dr Osmund had noticed that many alcoholics only found the power to quit after they had "hit bottom" and suffered the terrors of the DTs. He used LSD to simulate this experience in a less dangerous manner. He had a significantly better success rate in treating alcoholics than conventional therapies.

It was Osmund, in a letter to Huxley, who coined a new name term for hallucinogens in an effort to differentiate the new field of psychiatric study.

To fathom hell or soar angelic
Just take a pinch of psychedelic.

Psychedelic means "mind manifesting".

Osmund and Hubbard believed that LSD could transform the belief systems of the world leaders and so bring about world peace. They organized LSD sessions for the political elite in Canada, the US and Britain. These sessions are said to have included British MPs, UN representatives and a Prime Minister. Henry Luce the president of Time-Life and his wife were among the business and political movers and shakers that they "turned on".

Hubbard also introduced LSD to Hollywood. Cary Grant found the experience so helpful and healing that he became a zealous missionary.

Timothy Leary was a clinical psychologist and lecturer at Harvard. He was undergoing a bit of a midlife crisis when in 1960 he was on holiday in Mexico and took some magic mushrooms. "It was above all and without question the deepest religious experience of my life, I discovered that beauty, revelation, sensuality, the cellular history of the past, God, the Devil – all lie inside my body, outside my mind." With a colleague, Richard Alpert he began to investigate the religious experience with the help of psychedelics. They set up a group on the Harvard campus that combined all sorts of psychedelic drugs with a degree of academic study. In 1963 their activities became too much for the University and they were fired.

They set up the International Federation for Internal Freedom in Mexico. Within six months the local authorities had also got fed up and threw them out. They then moved to Millbrook, a mansion 2 hours from New York City owned by the millionaire William Mellon Hitchcock, grandson of the founder of Gulf Oil and nephew of Andrew Mellon.

For four years Leary and Alpert ran a commune at Millbrook where the psychedelic phenomenon was both experienced and investigated. Leary regarded LSD as a religious experience, as chemical mysticism. He modified the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a manual on how to confront the "Clear Light of the Void" during the acid peak experience. Leary believed that LSD tuned into genetics and could connect with the evolutionary program of DNA. God is the DNA code. "Our corticol cells, or the machinery inside the cellular nucleus, remember back along the unbroken chain of electrical transformations that connect every one of us back to that original thunderbolt in the pre-cambrian mud."

Many artists philosophers and musicians passed through Millbrook and were turned on to LSD.

The Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was introduced to LSD by Leary in 1960 and had immediately declared "We are going to teach people to stop hating and start a peace and love movement." In 1948 Ginsberg had been reading Ah Sunflower by William Blake when he heard a deep resounding voice. He immediately recognized it as Blake's own voice emerging from the dead. Ginsberg felt his body afloat, suffused with brilliance. Everything he looked at appeared in a new light. He was struck by an overpowering conviction that he had been born to experience this universal spirit. (Blake had also supplied Huxley with the phrase "The Doors of Perception".) Ginsberg's use of psychedelics was an attempt to recapture the cosmic heights of his Blakeian episode, however, the harder he tried to do this the more frustrated he became. Ginsberg realized that the LSD experience could not be guided or controlled. To learn from LSD requires openess and freedom from desire. Leary's programmed, Tibetan Book of the Dead , approach was likely to lead to internal struggle and conflict.

One of those that experienced LSD at Millbrook and took it to heart as a religion was Arthur Kleps. He founded the Neo-American Boohoo Church and preached the sacramental use of LSD. Though unsuccessful, he fought a long court case to have his religous beliefs in LSD recognised and protected.

On the West Coast of America an approach very different from Leary's was developing. Ken Kesey had experienced mescaline through a research programme at a veteran's hospital. He then got himself a janitorial job on the mental ward where psychedelics were freely available. He described his early trips as "shell-shattering ordeals that left us kneedeep in the cracked crusts of our pie in the sky personalities. Suddenly people were stripped before one another and behold: we were beautiful. Naked and helpless and sensitive as a snake after skinning, but far more human than the shining knightmare that had stood creaking in previous parade rest. We were alive and life was us." On a peyote trip he had a vision of the Indian Chief Broom and, mostly high on peyote and acid, he wrote One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. With the proceeds from its success he bought a ranch that soon became an acid commune. He and his friends became the Merry Pranksters and travelled the country in the first psychedelic bus. The driver was another of the Beat poets, Neal Cassady, who was known as the Zen Lunatic and drove the bus with no regard for the safety of its passengers. The bus visited Millbrook but Leary refused to meet Kesey. There was little common ground between the uptight East Coast academics and the West Coast crazies.

In San Francisco the Haight Ashbury district was evolving into a psychedelic city state. Drop outs, anarchists, protesters, psychedelic experimenters and especially musicians were gravitating towards it.

The principal supplier of LSD in Haight Ashbury was August Owsley Stanley III. He was said to have produced more that 4 million hits of acid during the mid 60s. Like Hubbard he was an apostle of the drug and he used his considerable power to maintain the high quality of supplies and to keep the price at $2 a trip. He probably gave away half of the LSD he produced.

In January 1967 The Oracle, the main Haight Ashbury counter culture magazine, and the Psychedelic Shop, both of which were supported by Owsley, organized the Human Be In at Golden Gate Park. The Pow-Wow, or Gathering of the Tribes, brought together the varied cultural and political rebels. It was to be a "spiritual occasion of otherworldly dimensions that would raise the vibration of the entire planet and psychedelecize the radical left". It was in many ways the first worldwide event of McLuhan's Global Village. The Oracle people understood using the media and the whole world seemed to be mesmerised by what was happening in a small, run down area of San Francisco. It was the culmination of everything that had been brewing in Haight Ashbury and ushered in the year of the Summer of Love.

Very different from the Oracle group were the Diggers. Taking their name from the group of anarchist reformers in England during the Civil War, they started as a satirical street theatre group but in 1966 they set up the FREE store and through 1967 provided food and other supplies to the thousands that flooded into the area. They also set up crash pads and provided free medical services. They shunned publicity, had no leaders and were anonymous. In spite of the fact that it defied every rule of corporate governance the organization that they created was efficient, well run and immensely successful. They hoped that it would be the model of a for a new anarchist society.

Music was central to the acid experience and to what was happening in Haight Ashbury. Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters organized the Trips Festival and the great musicians of Acid Rock, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin were gathered in the area. The hippy phenomenon was made concrete in June 1967 with the Monterey Pop Festival. That summer also saw the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. This is an LSD album, created as a whole and consistent throughout it is not just a collection of songs. It is a new type of art work in which pictorial art and music became so entwined that they are one. The song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds describes the synaesthetic experience and many of the other tracks owe much to the Beatles experimentation with Acid. In July the Beatles sang the hippy anthem All You Need is Love in the first live, international satellite broadcast.

In 1968 and 1969 the dream seemed to collapse. Possession of LSD became illegal, the Mafia moved into Haight Ashbury and took over the drugs trade, and the local authorities cracked down. The riots at the Democratic Convention led to bloodshed. Nixon became President and seemed to be moving things back into the fifties when he had been Vice President. Woodstock was the last real manifestation of the hippy ideal; while the Altamont festival descended into violence and murder. Charles Manson, who had been a well known figure in Haight Ashbury, was arrested for murder and it appeared that he had been a lot more successful than the CIA in using LSD to brainwash his agents.

That the psychedelic experience should seem, in the end, to have come to very little is I feel quite important. It echoes the CIA's failure to find a use for it and also the feeling that I had after collating the proving.

This is partly an illusion. The world today is very different from that of the fifties. The respect for the individual and the attitudes to gender, race, sexual orientation and the attitude to animals are all radically different and the events of the sixties had a major role in this change.

Octavio Paz remarked that under the influence of LSD "The self disappears, but no other self appears to occupy the empty space it has left." "Ego" would probably be a better word to use than "self". LSD has a remarkable effect and those who have sufficient spiritual development can use that emptiness to find what is beyond the ego. However, it cannot be the short cut that many hoped it was. For those who were not ready to fill the emptiness from a deeper place it remained empty, or worse was filled with demons and images from hell.

Toxicology

Symptoms of exposure to this chemical are euphoria, hallucinations, distorted perception, excitement, and anorexia.

It can cause central nervous system effects, tachycardia, muscular weakness, increased body temperature, wavelike recurrences of perceptual changes, difficulty in locating the source of sound. Persons taking it may become hypervigilant, withdrawn or may alternate between states. It can cause fear of fragmentation or disintegration of the self, prolonged afterimages, overlapping of present and preceding perceptions, synesthesias, colours may be heard and sounds may be seen, subjective time is seriously altered and moods may be labile.

In addition, it can cause tremor, piloerection, pupillary dilatation, salivation, hyperreflexia, ataxia, and spastic paresis.

It can cause vomiting.

Other symptoms are hypertension and hypotension, coma, prolonged psychotic state, psychopathic personality disorders, increased homicidal and suicidal risk, and possible chromosome injury.

Hyperexcitability and convulsions can also be symptoms of exposure to this chemical. This compound can inhibit the firing of the raphe neurons.

It can also be habit forming.

It is a serotonin antagonist.

Pharmacy

By Misha Norland

The material for the proving originated from a 'reliable source' in Los Angeles. I purchased it in1970. It presented in medicated gelatine, resembling a microscope slide cover - slip, about one half square centimeter in size. Each 'window', as this presentation of the drug was called, contained 250 micro-grams of pure LSD 25. I experimented with this between 1970 and 72. I have recorded some of my experiences - they are given in the appendix to this proving. One 'window' was run up into the 30th potency in the Hahnemannian, single vial manner. This preparation lingered in my medicine cabinet for almost thirty years until the day of the proving.

Time and dates

Times given are the actual time of day, not time from taking the remedy. XX.XX indicates no specific time was noted.

Days are numbered from 1, the day the remedy was taken. Day 0 indicates a symptom that was general and not tied to a particular date.

Provers

Prover Sex Dose Potency
01P Male 1 30c
02P Female 1 30c
03P Female 1 30c
04P Male 1 30c
05P Female 1 30c
06P Male 1 30c
07P Female 1 30c
08P Female 1 30c
09P Female 1 30c
10P Male 1 30c
22G Female 0
23G Female 0
24G Female 0
25G Female 0
26G Female 0
27G Male 0

Information from provers who did not take the remedy are included and clearly indicated. The reasons for this are outlined in Group and Proving Phenomena, Observations by Misha Norland, An Article published in Issue 72 of The Homoeopath, Winter 1999. The reader should make up his or her own mind as to how to treat these symptoms.

Classification of symptoms

NS A new symptom never before experienced.

OS An old symptom previously experienced, but not in the preceding year.

RS A recent symptom experienced within the last year.

AS An altered symptom, one previously experienced but with at least one quality changed.

CS A cured symptom, a symptom that was removed during the proving.

IOS An old symptom that is felt with significantly greater intensity than before.

First Reactions

I had sensations, even in that ten minutes, my back felt as though it was elongating and curving round - I was a kind of dinosaur and then a mouse if anybody is interested in that.

Well I had nothing like that, just all these amazing feelings that something was rushing at me here - solar plexus and heart. I felt

lots of energy there, whirling towards me and I just thought it would be whatever it was, it just felt like it was the remedy coming into me and I had this sensation in my eyes like I had been looking at the light for too long. I had cold, cold feet, and too much brightness but almost a liquid cold heat in my eyes.

My eyes went darker. As though someone had drawn heavier curtains.

I thought the sun had gone in.

It had; When I changed, opened my eyes there was no light difference.

I thought my nose was twitching and vibrating a bit.

I had lots of twitchings and vibrations and stuff - next to my mouth and lips and down to my little finger.

I had vibrations. Clearness of vision. Tingling and a deepness - it felt deeper but in a good way. It was weird, like seeing things differently.

I felt heat coming from my neck and my back felt quite sweaty. I felt like the heating had suddenly gone up and quite dry. Dryness of lips, quite a salty sensation on my lips.

I felt a calmness - after the initial sweaty palms and what have I done, but then a real tranquillity.

I had the feeling in my mouth, like something buried near my mouth - a very thin bone, or a different structure on my mouth.

I didn't actually take it but I felt quite quickly a thing - a real pulling in of the heart - like something being pulled in from inside and then it moved downwards to the solar plexus. It was a feeling like nausea at first, but it wasn't quite nausea. It moved from there to there and then it disappeared. It felt like my legs were the wrong way - jointed the wrong way - sort of back to front.

I felt like I was being pulled over to the left - out here - this thing sort of swept through me and pulled me over. I thought I could see little black spiders and they disappeared. And then I could see material things that swirl and twist around in the wind - I could see them, well one, it was all different colours - it was very soft.

I seemed to get a warm feeling all over and my nose seems rather blocked.

I just had lovely thoughts of childhood holidays but they were all by the sea and there was a lot of sun. And again, I think I had the same thing of the as though there was a darkness but it was lovely because the light came back quite quickly and I was again back in a very hot country. But no sensations.

I had a childhood memory of a park we used to play in as children where my sister said she saw a ghost - I kind of went back there for a little while.

At the moment I feel quite shaky and quite trembly. It is almost as if I am coming out of a cold sweat. My heart beat is racing and the pressure in the heart centre....As soon as I went into the meditation I felt I was in space - as if I was in the blackness of space and there were stars all around and it was vast. I looked back and could see the Earth and felt a tremendous sense of expansion and of being in a different sense of proportion. I could look back at the earth but I felt that I didn't belong there anymore.

I felt incredibly light and incredibly free. I tried to put myself back into the earth but I couldn't because it was almost as if my gravity was too light to be on earth anymore. And I didn't feel like I belonged there. And then I could see a fiery sun and the picture was of this beautiful flaming yellow and I could hear the roar of its energy and that was it. There were quite a lot of physical symptoms.

Q. What are they?

Well its like I'm trembling all over and my heart beat is pumping away, its probably coming back down here.

I have the same physical stuff - the trembling, but I almost had the opposite - I felt as though I were going into the earth - I was rushing through the magna of the earth and I felt warmer there.

I felt this trembling vibration - almost like of magma, just going through, not particularly a feeling of heaviness or anything just like warm fiery energy. Yes, and this trembling, all the way through, its now gone to my solar plexus and up to my heart.

I didn't take the remedy either, but I have quite a lot of sensations. I felt an energy rushing to my heart and solar plexus area and I felt hot and my face felt as though it was sweating and I had a pressure headache here which later on in the meditation went around the back of my head but also I was quite annoyed with myself because I was dithering about whether to take the remedy or not and I really wanted to but I had reasons not to but when we were meditating I felt quite tranquil about it.

I think I had some tingling in my fingers as well and later on my feet became very heavy and a bit leaden as though I couldn't feel them. That was about it.

When Sx said something about magma I had this real image of a mineshaft and I thought what a peculiar image to have and it was something deep deep down in the earth and just some machine that was going 'Flop, flop' it was thudding - it just came and went.

I put the trembling and sweaty palms down to nerves. The visions still feels different.

I had a purple shape come into mind. A sort of geometrical purple...

Q. What sort of shape?

It might have been a triangle but it wasn't very clear.

When people were saying about the darkness stuff I had that but in the middle it was purple but then there was green around it and it was coming towards me, closer and closer then it felt like it enveloped me and I figured it was just the energy of the remedy or something and it was very definitely purple in the middle - kind of like jagged but softly with green around.

I definitely felt the remedy had gone in and then I felt it come up my back. Through my abdomen, and then up my back. Up the length of my back and curved it so I felt that my head was much more elongated and curved.

What did you feel?

I felt and still feel a lot around my eyes. In terms of visual accentuation but also, I don't know how to describe it, like they are dry maybe, my mouth feels a bit dry also, but my eyes strongly so and in the meditation I felt as though I had been sleeping for a thousand years. That kind of deep, heaviness.

A tiredness of the eye muscles - rather than wanting to go to sleep its actually I want to rest my eyes. Rest the muscles in there.

I can see better - its a strain type but not bad.

We're doing aliens milk aren't we?!

Still a lot of eye stuff - an ability to focus better. A lot of crackling sensations. Sinuses left side, head coming around left side. Dry mouth. Weird shooting pains, that don't last, the eyes - I don't want to close them.

I had a really bizarre acuteness to sound - I felt it physically. xxxx moved her feet and it was as though - I could feel it, I felt that here. Then xxxx coughed and I felt that and actually wanted to shy away from it. It was as though something had touched me and I wanted to shy away from it.

I also felt my sight was a lot clearer and there was a clarity of vision although everything was the same it seemed as if everything was more defined, everything was more in focus. Sharper. I also felt a lot of lightness and floatiness - I felt very calm and relaxed. It was as if there was me here, and something that was taking me beyond my physical limits. I was still here, sitting and there was a defined form but whatever this energy was it was taking me out beyond in every direction and there was a great feeling of being expanded out and beyond my form yet the form remains.

I could hear the crackling on the left side. Pains in the legs, they had fused into one and I became just the opposite of xxxx, I felt more condensed, a black thing, I didn't really like it. I could hear the crackling on the left side.

I'm yawning an awful lot - I feel really tired, I'd like to lie down,

I'm yawning, I didn't have a late night or anything. My eyes are moist, more than anything. I feel quite relaxed and at ease.

I felt like I was travelling a lot, very very fast, whereas before I felt like the rushes at me where me moving and so I felt like I was moving with far more ease and that I was definitely going curving that way and everything is sort of passing, and I have had the crackles in my ears when I swallow it crackles very loudly in my ears. Misha: I just want to make the comment that the things that are passing are on your left side.

I have this sense my hands were really really active - the chakras in my hands were very very full and sensitive and open and I felt that I had got something jammed - I couldn't feel what it was but it fitted in my hand - it was very warm, I was glad it was there, it had weight to it and also my heart has really softened and opened and before things were moving at it, it feels open.

I had the sensation of going down a tunnel or a passageway - I thought it was going to be similar to yours going downwards to the earth, but I realized I was actually going upwards towards the light so I came out of the hole in the ground - I felt as though I were going down but I wasn't because the hole was at the end.

My hands are buzzing

My hands are buzzing too and its as if there is cold air circulating them. It feels as if there is a definite energy coming out from the chakras on the hands. They do feel clammy and tingly and it doesn't feel as if it is from nerves or anticipation.

Reflections on the proving

Prover 1

It started with a sense of youthfulness, feeling like I was 21 again, playing 70's music, but not out of nostalgia - I had a real sense of being there, actually of that age. I felt very positive and enthusiastic, and knew I could be completely open and honest with people about my feelings - I felt very confident. My wife said she welcomed this frankness, which completely surprised me! I've really learnt something there which has had a knock-on effect for our relationship.

Then there was a gradual descent into a reflective, lonely state. I became restless and discontented. I could not concentrate on anything - I felt useless, and I felt depressed about everything. And yet I always had a sense that this was teaching me something, that truth would prevail and that I would be the better for it. I felt very disconnected from people and found great solace in being alone with nature. There was a deeply spiritual aspect to it, and at times a real beauty in my isolation.

I would do a proving again - this has been a wonderful and challenging experience I would not have missed. However, my work and study almost collapsed completely - not such good timing considering I'd just started seeing patients under supervision. Its taken me quite a while to recover some of the ground I lost through those two months.

Prover 2

Lightness, being out in space. Alienated from the earth. Bubbles of joy. Lightness and energy could contain it. Seeing colours more brightly. See the colours of people speaking. I was in a different space from people. On cloud nine. It didn't really matter. Relaxed any boundaries. Physical energy, had to be physically active. All this energy I had to use. Mental side couldn't focus. Not able to coordinate hands to type in words. Initial high mellowed. Craving fruit and apples especially. Desire ice cream. Issues around food not knowing what I want. Issues body image. Bloated constantly, affected breathing. Eye problems, watery dry, scratchy. Connection with animals birds, especially sky. Earth not enough had to travel to sun. pmt. Extremely tired. Desire chocolate carbohydrates, coffee. Depression around period. Woke up with immense desolation inside. Meditation meeting the masculine side of my life. Inner peace came back. Time stretching out. Two dreams about horses being mutilated. Looked after stray dog and finding hurt animals. More aggressive or assertive. Initially music very important but after a few days I couldn't listen to music. Couldn't tolerate it.

I started the proving in a very high, expansive and light way. All was joy, connection, and carefree. The senses were heightened and the veil between the physical and psyche was thinner.

Then came the increasing paranoia over food and exercise and the problems with the digestive system.

Things began to slip and were markedly affected by my PMS which was getting much worse.

Concentration was becoming increasingly difficult, with a feeling of not being bothered to keep the diary or keep in contact with the proving supervisor. It didn't matter. My homeopathy assignments suffered as it took me all my time just to keep my head above water, let alone focus on the work.

By the end of the first month I had experienced the majority of symptoms. By the end of the 2nd month I did not feel that I was proving any more, but felt that it had left me in a waste land. I felt that a war had been waged and I was trying to deal with the repercussions of it all.

Prover 3

Disconnected to whole process of proving. Disconnected from my emotional process. Disconnected from others around me. Cosseted velvety darkness. Impossible to do any mental work. Felt fine. Strange feeling of distant uneasiness. Nature really heightened. Huge black cloud kicked me in the solar plexus. Dark night of the soul. Hit by a six hundred foot wall of anxiety. Completely disconnected to everything. Back to amazing peace. Lots of eye stuff. Burning, smarting, sensation as if something in left eye. Time distorted, non linear.

Prover 5

Eye pain, too much light. Head pain. Period late. Dizziness.

Big truth. Higher truth. Wider truth. Love.

Left a bit numb do not know what to do with this changed person. More dreams than ever before. Vivid. Darts. Vulnerable people and animals.

Prover 6

Now feel whole again. Half of me ripped away. Lots of lost emotion. In my heart disconnect. Wanting a partner. Wanted to mate. Scary, wild. Hadn't thought about families and children before. Wanted responsibility, commitment and love. Dreams of vampires losing energy, losing life form. Coming out of a cave diffuse through walls, crabs with large claws. Followed by fever, then felt out of proving. Senses heightened. Visual things. Symmetrical rashes. Painful emotional loss. Felt I had lost the female side of me. Music important, played it loud.

Prover 7

Physical symptoms, eye stuff. Feeling the sweetness of foods. No dreams which irritated me, unusual. Got back wit ex, amorous, not a good thing. Concentration. If I did it fine. if I thought about it, couldn't do it. Time pushed. Period worst for ages, bright red blood. Restlessness, pacing. Had to do something but didn't know what. Had to eat didn't know what. Looking at flocks of birds. Music very important.

Prover 8

Really disconnected. Felt really high. Sociable, confident, golden, colours really bright. Vivid dreams, sexual dreams. Cold every week. Exhausted. Not sleeping well. Wake feeling exactly like when I go to bed. Very detached from my emotions. Haven't cried. Not heard. Relationship break up. Dreams expressing my emotions. Back to childhood stuff food, etc. music, clubbing wanted really loud music.

Group member 24

Childlike state. Indifference to desire. No thoughts future or past. Only in the present. Only the here and now. Ability to do things really good if I didn't think about it. Terrified of full moon. Affinity to nature, especially sky. Dreams miniature animals, pocket elephant. Children in danger. Weak upper back going into spasm. Protection of small animals. Dog died got a puppy. Saw more animals on road, in garden. Periods cleansing. Bright red blood but not too heavy.

Group member 25

Really glad proving over. Lost any spiritual connection. Became much more materialistic. Blow all this spiritual stuff. Life would be easier if I could be like my family and go and play golf. Vivid dreams red orange and brown. White and purple. Dream that my house had been demolished by husband. Someone had carved a symbol on to the moon. Dreams relationships, reconciliations and quarrels. Eye stuff at the beginning, vision much better for a while. 3 times in cold wind pinching sensation back of head. Lot of comfort food. Vegetarian but twice had to have roast beef. Haven't been able to listen to music in the car. Felt confident and harder.

Group member 26

Increased appetite. Didn't want to be sociable. Eye pain on going to sleep. Vivid dreams every night. Irritable and angry. Went for a walk in the morning and all I could do was cry. Everything that normally makes me happy was terrible, just dreadful though there was beauty all around. Did back in mid cycle never had back problems before, worse than giving birth, driving in the car made it better.