LSD in the Theatre of Persons
Richard Heron Ward, Aesthetics and A Drug-Taker’s Notes
‘I must have a stiffer dose than this next time’, scribbled Richard Heron Ward on the 17th November, 1954.[i] It was the occasion of his first experiment with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and he was feeling impatient; he need not have.
Within the hour, he witnessed his hand shrinking to child-size. Then suddenly, overwhelmed by ‘awed terror’, a fear sharply struck him that he would regress beyond a ‘vanishing-point’ and completely disappear. Fortunately, he didn’t vanish, and even returned for another five experiments over the course of the next year. He never did increase his 100μg dose though.
When Ward was first asked to be a guinea pig in his friend Dr Effie Hutton’s experiments he felt drawn to participate because of his tendency toward spirituality. ‘The passion to know what is not ordinarily knowable, which under so many guises has possessed mankind since t…
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