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LSD and Pop Culture – Psychonaut

December 5, 2014

LSD. Acid. California Sunshine. Lysergic acid diethylamide. It is the drug in the “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll”. It can change your perceptions, show you visions, shed your ego to become one with the universe, and completely alter your sense of time. For millennia, psychedelics have been the sacred inspiration for shaman, wizards, and medicine men. But in the 1960s, psychedelics became the drug that Baby Boomers used to expand their minds… man. It went from ritualistic to recreational in a decade.
 
From its origins in a Swiss chemical facility in the 1930s to its status as a Schedule 1 drug (considered the most dangerous) in the modern-day United States, LSD has followed the rise of modern popular culture. It’s not celebrated in music and film like its fellow Schedule 1 partner, marijuana. And it’s not the subject of a love/hate relationship with artists like cocaine often is portrayed (think about the Clapton track or Johnny Cash’s “Cocaine Blues” versus Buckcherry’s “Lit Up” or practically any Guns n’ Roses song pre-1991.)
 
LSD is treated differently than any other drug. It’s not sacred because it’s man-made but it’s not quite recreational because its effects are so intense. It compels artists enough that they try and recreate the effects in music (“psychedelic rock”) and films (how many times have you heard a film reviewer discuss a movie as an “acid trip”?) It’s a substance that’s so politically charged that no one besides hippies and scientists really know what to do with it. It’s been touted as a wonder drug for some psychiatric patients (indeed, even the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous trumpeted it as a way to help recovering alcoholics reform their behavior) but it’s been declared so dangerous that it can warp someone’s mind forever (ever hear the urban legend that it only takes seven trips on acid before you become “legally insane”?)

 

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Psychonaut

No man is an island,
And when you trip it’s doubly so.
No one is ever alone,
A special kind of radio.
Tune in to go deeper,
Turn on, let it go.
Drop out in the ether,
Drop into the whole.

 

Alice through the glass.
Alice through the glass.
Tune in to go deeper,
Turn on, let it go.
Drop out in the ether,
Drop into the whole.

 

I was stuck for so long in one modality,
But now I see I belong, there’s more reality.
Alice through the glass.
Alice through the glass.
I was stuck for so long in one modality,
But now I see I belong, there’s more reality.
Jim goes through the door.
Jim goes through the door.

 

This is a Sunspot original track from our new podcast, See You On The Other SideEach episode features a paranormal topic and its influence on the entertainment industry, as well as original Sunspot songs.

 

This episode is called “LSD and Pop Culture: Journey to the Center of Your Mind” and you can listen to the podcast, right here.

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