Podcast 243 – “Beyond the Doors of Perception”


Guest speakers: Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Paul Krassner, and Tom Van Sant

Ram Dass & Lorenzo circa: 2001

Ram Dass & Lorenzo
circa: 2001


“LSD produces religions experiences, but it’s less evident that it can produce a religious life.” Houston Smith

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Timothy Leary.]

“The origins of most great religions go back to groups of people who made this discovery that you don’t look for god, you don’t look for power in the Caesars or in the temples or in the churches and all that. You look within.”

“The fun has hardly begun.

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Ram Dass.]

“But inside myself, as you all understand, that what you see [during a psychedelic experience] to turn it into what you be is a really subtle and sensitive trip.”
“And that’s part of the integrity of this experience, of growing into seeing the relative nature of reality and the paper mache quality of social institutions and the way in which personalities turn into style rather than substance.”

“And it’s interesting that it’s taken many years to grow into the kinds of visions that [Leary] was having in those days and to appreciate how much what happened to me through psychedelics transformed my consciousness in such a way that death meant something different to me that allowed me to be in the presence of somebody that was dying in a way that honored the drama of the process without getting lost in it.

“What I have experienced in the past twenty five years, if I were to look at what the essence of the matter is, is that having touched the unconditioned and having seen the relative nature of reality and the way the mind creates the dream, that has given me a faith in the possibility of who we are.”

“And it feels to me that as long as I live I will still be growing into what happened to me on the first psychedelic experience.”

“And allow my heart to be open, like keeping your heart open in hell, keeping your heart open in the presence of suffering, because even at the moment when the suffering is most intense, right behind it inside you is an incredible equanimity, because one of the things that I touched through acid was an extreme appreciation of the perfection of the laws of form, the perfection of the unfolding of the law.”

“But I can feel, when I look at what our spiritual journeys are on this plain, it feels so obvious to me, that the stuff we are handed is the grist for the mill of awakening out of the illusion until we can be in the form without being entrapped by it so that we can play lightly. We can dance sweetly. We can have joy in the presence of the hell-realms and do what we can do to relieve the suffering without getting burned out and lost and bitter and cynical and frustrated. And we have the tolerance to deal with chaos and uncertainty.”

“What has happened is that the Sixties unleashed something extraordinarily powerful that is still reverberating and echoing in this culture, and actually in the world. And what that released was a recognition in people that they were free to change, institutions and themselves.”


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Posted in Consciousness, Future, LSD, Psychedelics, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary and tagged , , , , , .


  1. I loved this talk. It was a more personal approach to the individual speakers’ relationship to the experience rather than the subjective reality conceived within the experience which others come to expect but never find, such as: the machine elves; vision tunnels; or the waves of energy coming out of the speakers of the stereo or your pal’s mouth. I think Ram Das has the best, most personal approach to this talk because he was open enough to receive the message from the experience, and his path to help the life to death transition with his current patients is the application of his personal experience. We get to see full circle how his experience shaped his future and how it helped those with whom he came in contact thereafter.

  2. there are many doors…

    a fellow illustrator, a straight friend 20 years younger than i, finally got himself a copy of Accurate Perspective Simplified (by Howard J. Ashley) and stands at the brink of drafting in perspective. this subject stands squarely astride the intersection of art and math and exponentially empowers an artist’s mind. unbounded epiphanies. there’s a distinct psychedelic mental unfolding when the left brain and right brain undergo such union. before there was ray trace modeling or other such computer generated faculties, there was pencil, paper, ruler, and knowledge. the french artist Moebius showed me this way, psychedelic pioneer artist that he is, and i came to see vistas he’d previously trodded. it is gratifying to see such appreciated by a younger artist of this computerized era. geometric art alone is trippy, true, but where such study as this application takes one is totally all-enabling for an illustrator.

    literally so.

    to stand at the door of it can be breathless. daunting. but buy the ticket, take the ride. and following one’s hand artistically in this realm innately leads to a cosmic framework of mind… whether psychedelically experienced or not.

    “And that’s part of the integrity of this experience, of growing into seeing the relative nature of reality and the paper mache quality of social institutions and the way in which personalities turn into style rather than substance.”

    true in art as well as life in general.

    there is more than one form or level of the psychedelic community, and there are many doors…

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