On the Use and Abuse of LSD

WHILE SCIENTISTS may debate the appropriate use of hallucinogens, history records our unceasing urge to cope with dreary reality or dread with the aid of magic, drugs, drama, festival rites, and (with biological regularity) through dreams. The need to transcend limits also finds a voice in utopian ideologies-be they of the inner world, of this, or the next; the promise of omnipotent mastery is always either implicit or readily inferred. Thus whether it is the proletarian masses, or youth mesmerized by mellow yellow banana, or the princes of the land of genital primacy, or the meek-each is promised the inheritance of what probably will be a rather crowded earth. Given the prevalence of these motives it is not surprising that drugs play a role not only in the behavior of individuals but also in social and ideological processes.

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