for just a moment that LSD’s cultists are actually doing what they
suppose they are doing. If you can take their own word for it, they have
been tinkering with the gears of the universe. They have rushed in where
Sigmund Freud feared to tread…”
William Braden, The Private Sea: LSD and the Search for God
am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and
stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me, take wine and
strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They
shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self.”
The Book of the Law, II:22
2,166 years the Savior returns to Earth.
every age of history, sages of all lands agree, the Lord of the Universe
dispatches an enlightened Messenger to try to straighten out the mess we
humans have gotten ourselves into.
Hindu philosophers call him the Avatar.
look for the imminent reincarnation of the Enlightened One who once was
Judaism it is the long-awaited Messiah who will one day come to liberate
the Chosen People and initiate them into divine wisdom.
Islam the tale is told of the Imam who will come at the end of the age to
conclude man’s rule of the planet and institute the Sovereignty of
to Christians, the Son of God will return from the clouds in the “end
times” to redeem the faithful and vent his rage on non-believers.
Native American tribes tell of ancient prophecies revealed in visions to
holy men before the White Man came, of an age of tyranny and suffering and
the death of the spirit of the people. But a time would come, it was said,
when the Great Spirit would once again rekindle the hearts of men, and all
tribes would be united like one big family. The rainbow in the clouds was given to
remind the people of the promise of the return of spiritual light to
Rosicrucians and Thelemites may tell you of the Equinox of the Gods, when
at the end of every age the Forces that rule the Universe are readjusted
and a new deity occupies the Throne. This is accompanied by a new
spiritual dispensation, a new revelation from the Supernal Realm, a new
way of conceptualizing the laws of the universe.
This event occurred, some say, in 1904, when a Message was dictated to a Magician in Cairo.
in rural Ohio a Christian mystic named Levi H. Dowling (1844–1911) was
learning to read the Akashic Records, the universal menstruum upon which
all vibrations indelibly imprint their patterns. From this archetypal Book
of Life he sought and drew forth new details about the life of Christ,
including the years of which the canonical gospels are silent. His
revelation was published in 1907 as The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus, the
Christ of the Piscean Age.
occult theory of the precession of the ages is explained by his wife, Eva,
in her introduction to his magnum opus:
tell us that our sun and his family of planets revolve around a central
sun, which is millions of miles distant, and that it requires something
less than 26,000 years to make one revolution. His orbit is called the
Zodiac, which is divided into twelve signs, familiarly known as Aries,
Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius,
Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. It requires our solar system a little
more than 2,100 years to pass through one of these signs, and this time is
the measurement of an age or dispensation.
Age of Pisces, it is claimed, began around the time of the rise of the
Roman Empire. Pisces is the sign of the fish, an early Christian symbol,
and its attribution is to the element of water. Our ancestors mastered the
sea and spread their empires around the world.
thousand years later, the world stands on the cusp of the age of Aquarius,
an air sign. The Aquarian influence began to manifest during Levi
Dowling’s lifetime as the first generation of aircraft took to the
skies, human voices rode the radio airwaves around the world, and the
force of the lightning was harnessed and compelled to run through copper
wires and do our bidding.
Aquarian Gospel prophecies thusly:
then the Man who bears the pitcher [Aquarius, the water-bearer] will walk
forth across an arc of heaven; the sign and signet of the Son of Man will
stand forth in the eastern sky. The
wise will then lift up their heads and know that the redemption of the
earth is near. (Aquarian Gospel, 157: 29-30.)
the new, airy vibrations of the Aquarian age began to blow into human
minds, cults all over the planet began looking excitedly for signs of the
promised Savior. The Millerites, antecedents of today’s Seventh Day
Adventists, rallied a throng of believers in upstate New York with a
promise that Christ’s return was scheduled for October 22, 1844.
European astronomers discovered the planet Neptune in 1846, fanning the
millennial flames with auguries of signs in the heavens. In Iran,
revealed his secret identity as the supreme messenger of the almighty in
1863. Millennial excitement peaked with the appearance of Haley’s Comet
in 1910, then began to wane.
the second world war there was another wave of messianic expectation that
crested during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Eastern sages and mystics
flocked to the West in unprecedented numbers, and newly psychedelicized
Western pilgrims sought out the ancient holy sites in India and Tibet.
Fundamentalist Christians, meanwhile, experienced a great outpouring of
the Holy Spirit; everywhere people were prophesying,
healing and speaking in tongues, echoing the promise of the Hebrew
it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all
flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall
dream dreams, your young men shall see visions… and I shall show wonders
in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (Joel
to the throne of Prophet of the New Age were everywhere. Guru Maharaj Ji
(a.k.a. Prem Rawat), the 12-year-old Perfect Master from India, attracted
a strong following among burned-out, highly suggestible hippies and
established the Divine Light Mission in 1971 to initiate the masses into
secret knowledge. Swami Bhaktivedanta
(1896–1977) hit New York to call together an
army of saffron-robed, bald-headed devotees chanting and dancing their way
to liberation with the holy maha mantra (haré Krishna, haré
Rama…). Silent, smiling Meher Baba declared himself to be the Avatar
of the Age and scrawled on his blackboard the supreme wisdom of the
universe to an eagerly waiting world: “Don’t worry; be happy!”
messianic hope had been brewing in the Theosophical Society for decades.
Founded in 1875 by Madame H. P. Blavatsky, the movement wove together
elements of spiritualism, Rosicrucian occultism and Oriental mysticism.
The expected imminent appearance of an enlightened World Teacher was a
recurring theme among the Theosophical faithful. Annie Besant recognized the One in
Krishnamurti, but he declined the
honor and the search went on. American Theosophist Alice A. Bailey
quintessentialized the millennial hope in 1945 in the form of the Great
Invocation, which was earnestly beamed into space by millions
of expectant mystics throughout the world:
the point of Light within the Mind of God
light stream forth into the minds of men.
Light descend on Earth.
the point of Love within the Heart of God
love stream forth into the hearts of men.
Christ return to Earth.
the center where the Will of God is known
purpose guide the little wills of men—
purpose which the Masters know and serve.
the center which we call the race of men
the Plan of Love and Light work out
may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
prayer, it may be, did not go unanswered.
first acid trip in the world happened on April 16, 1943. Swiss biochemist
Albert Hofmann (1906–2008) first synthesized the chemical known as “d-lysergic acid dietylamide tartrate 25” in 1938, but its magical
consciousness-expanding powers remained undiscovered until he accidentally
absorbed a minute amount during a routine experiment.
suddenly became strangely inebriated,” Hofmann later wrote. “The
external world became changed as in a dream… self-perception and the
sense of time were changed. When the eyes were closed, there surged upon
me an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity
and vividness and accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscope-like play of
by the taste, he decided to experiment with the drug deliberately. On
April 19, 1943, he dosed himself, and he was barely able to make a few
notes as waves of ecstasy rocked through him. Later, in a detailed lab
report, he wrote:
had great difficulty in speaking coherently, my field of vision swayed
before me, and objects appeared distorted like the images in curved
mirrors… I lost all control of time; space and time became more and more
disorganized and I was overcome with fears that I was going crazy… I was
clearly aware of my condition though I was incapable of stopping it.
Occasionally I felt as being outside my body. I thought I had died. My
“ego” was suspended somewhere in space and I saw my body lying dead on
the sofa… with closed eyes, multihued metamorphosizing fantastic images
overwhelmed me. Especially noteworthy was the fact that sounds were
transposed into visual sensations so that from every tone or noise a
comparable colored picture was evoked, changing in form and color
a decade, news of the discovery had flashed around the world.
International scientific conferences were being held about the use of LSD
in psychotherapy, philosophy, theology, and the creative arts. There
was speculation that the advent of the acid era opened the way for major
breakthroughs unmatched since the Copernican revolution. Areas of
metaphysics and epistemology which were previously limited to rational
speculation now were opened up to direct empirical investigation as
subjective mystical states of consciousness became available under
controlled laboratory conditions.
term psychedelic was coined in 1957 by Dr. Humphrey Osmond (from
the Greek ψυχή,
psyche, soul or mind, and δηλος,
delos, to manifest or clarify). By the early 1960s people were
turning on all over the world. LSD was heralded as the greatest wonder
drug ever discovered by a growing base of aficionados. A spiritual and
cultural renaissance was underway.
the year that the atomic bomb was first exploded, an energy of comparable
power had been released into the world, capable of exploding the limits of
seemed that Alice Bailey’s Great Invocation had been answered, and that
the Avatar had returned to Earth this time not as a man, but as a
role of prophet of the new chemical Avatar fell to Dr. Timothy
Harvard University psychology professor. Leary’s first psychedelic
experience was in 1963, when he ate seven psilocybin mushrooms in Mexico.
“During the next
five hours,” he wrote, “I was whirled through an experience which
could be described in many extravagant metaphors but which was, above
all and without question, the deepest religious experience of my life.”
Shortly after this he was turned on to LSD by Michael Hollingshead. He
began a research project on
the psychedelics at Harvard that over the next few years quickly grew into
a movement of world-changing proportions. In 1967 he wrote:
call myself a prophet, a spiritual teacher. In other times I might have
been called a messiah or a guru or a shaman or a medicine man, but I think
the best term for my position is simply this: I’m
like a radio announcer passing on to you the ancient message of a divine
presence, passing on, if you will, the word of God. It’s the ancient
message which the prophets have told you for thousands and thousands of
years, because the message of God never changes. It may be expressed to
you in six simple words: turn on, tune in, drop out.
the year 1965 had been prophetically pinpointed by British occultist
Aleister Crowley, in a letter to
Grady Louis McMurtry dated November 21,
1944, as a “critical period” in the development of the religion of the
new millennial age.
he died too soon to taste LSD, Crowley (1875–1947) has done extensive
research with both mescaline and cannabis in pursuit of his philosophy of
“scientific illuminism.” He sought a tool that could “loosen the girders
of the soul” and amplify the results of yoga and mystic practices. In
The Psychology of Hashish he speculates that
psychedelics may be “a
new weapon ten thousand times more potent than the balance and the
microscope” in the quest for spiritual attainment.
had been the recipient of a strange channeled message in 1904 that
proclaimed the Equinox of the Gods, the precession of the ages, and the
advent of a new spiritual law for mankind. For three days he sat at a
table in his room in Cairo, Egypt, and recorded words spoken audibly by a
disembodied presence. The result was a slim volume of three chapters
entitled The Book of the Law that outlined the spiritual principles
destined to guide the world through the next 2,000 years. The essence of
the new teaching was: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the
Law.” This principle is known as the “Law of Thelema” (from the
Greek θέλημα, thelema, “will.”)
Did Crowley’s revelation accurately foretell the advent of the Acid Avatar?