So would I want my own son, when he grows up, to try LSD? Respecting in him, as in myself, the need and divine right to find his own truth in this life, to ask his own questions and to seek his own, highly individual answers, I can’t answer. But what I most certainly do want for him are the same qualities of leadership and self-realization which the former Czechoslovakian President Václav Havel recently enumerated in a speech before the World Economic Forum: “Soul, individual spirituality, first-hand personal insight into things; the courage to be himself and go the way his conscience points, humility in the face of the mysterious order of Being, confidence in its natural direction and, above all, trust in his own subjectivity as his principal link with the subjectivity of the world….”
Through my rare and carefully chosen experiences with LSD and other hallucinogens, I have sought to foster and develop what I see as my own responsible relation to the sacred, and, in so doing, to question the propagandistic and fear-inspired dogmas of those who would seek to restrict and dictate my experience of the world. I would certainly never suggest that it is the (or has been my only) way… it is merely one person’s account of one possibility. The risks of recounting my experience here are obvious: possible recriminations by my employer, inquiries by the FBI, complaints from parents of my students who might interpret my words, wrongly, as an encouragement to experiment with drugs, rather than as an encouragement to think maturely and truthfully about them. Safety, I suppose, might have dictated that I publish it under a pseudonym.
Michael C. Blumenthal is a poet and educator who has also ventured into essays, memoirs, and fiction. Blumenthal trained as a lawyer, went into editing and then became a lecturer in poetry at Harvard University and ultimately director of the Creative Writing program there. Among his better-known verse collections are ‘Days We Would Rather Know’ and ‘Dusty Angel’. His eighth book of poems, ‘No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012’, was recently published by Etruscan Press.