Weird Inspiration: LSD, the Psychedelic Experience & Remote Viewing

18 May

A little while ago I talked about “Synergy in Worldbuilding,” featuring a piece of art by Brian Exton which was, well, psychedelic.  At the end I promised that wouldn’t be the last time you saw “psychedelic weirdness from me” again.

Well…it’s baaaack!

LSD & the Psychedelic Experience: Get Inspired

Okay, I’m not suggesting you go and get high off shrooms or anything.  I sure wouldn’t.

However…haven’t you ever been fascinated by drugs (in this case, psychedelics) and the effects they can have on a person?  Haven’t you been just a little bit curious about what it’d be like to take those kinds of drugs?  I’m not sure why, but LSD is just one of those drugs for me.  I wanted to know what the big deal was, though without becoming a drug user myself.  What do people who’ve used the drug before have to say about it?  How do people function while under the influence of this psychedelic?

I wanted to know because I have a fictional substance in my story that I kind of needed a model for–one I wanted to have psychedelic-like effects on its users.  (Being that my WIP is heavily inspired by the 1920s and 30s, I figured that since Americans had The Prohibition and a crave for booze back then, I could create some fictional illegal substance which represented the underground, “punk” counterculture in my protagonist’s world.)

In order for me to be able to render scenes in which this substance was being used with some semblance of realism, I first needed to witness for myself how a real psychedelic drug affected people.  So I hopped on over to YouTube–because, you know, you can find just about anything on YouTube these days–and started doing some searches related to LSD and psychedelic experiences.

It’s crazy what you can find on YouTube.

Vintage Films on LSD

There are actually several vintage videos on YouTube that talk about how LSD was used in the latter half of the 20th century.  I was kind of surprised to find anything like this, to be honest.  You probably think I’m a little deranged by now, but here’s one that I was particularly inspired by (not sure of the year, but it was likely shot during the 60s):

At first I was like, “WTH…?”  But the more I listened to her (and I’ve listened to her many times now) I realized that this was a perfect way to describe certain situations in my story.  It was like a lightbulb went off in my head.

Here’s another one like that:

“I don’t know what psychotic means, really.”  Interesting. Also, I love the interviewer’s voice.  It’s got that kind of vintage noir/Philip Marlowe sound about it.  (It kind of makes me weak in the knees!)

Okay, so anyways…one last historic clip, in which British soldiers are being tested on with LSD:

Maybe I’m just strange, but I find this to be fascinating.  This is the kind of stuff fiction can thrive off of.  (Or maybe just the stuff I thrive off of…)

Just ask The Men Who Stare At Goats!

If you have not seen that movie…it’s freakin’ hilarious.  I love it because it doesn’t always make sense but still manages to thoroughly entertain.  To see Jeff Bridges as a flower-loving hippie was worth it alone.  Also, not only do they explore psychic abilities but also the use of LSD in conjunction with these abilities (and you can imagine how that turned out).

Right up my fiction’s alley.

Clairvoyance & the Psychic Spy

Have you ever heard of the Stargate Project?  (And this has nothing to do with the sci-fi series, though I love that, too.)  Apparently, the CIA released formerly classified information on experiments they’d been running for over twenty years, studying the applications of remote viewing in the intelligence community.

Pretty crazy, right?

So…What is “Remote Viewing?”

This is straight from an open source PDF guide from Remoteviewed.com, the UK site I linked to for the Stargate Project:

Remote viewing is the magical ability to gather information about a target, which can be anything at anytime and anywhere.

Remote viewing is a mental martial art that takes the raw nugget of human psychic ability and moulds it using a set of scientifically created stages. These stages act to filter the psychic data gathered during remote viewing sorting the ‘noise’ from the raw ‘real’ impressions.

Remote viewing isn’t how it sounds – like viewing a movie in your head, it’s a gradual opening of a window to the target, where each impression builds on the one before, slowly revealing the target piece by piece. This process involves more than vision, including; touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, or you can go into, above, or below the target, wherever you want or need to go to get the information.

This ability, it continues, is supposedly limitless.

Now, remote viewing is supposed to be something that anyone can learn, though in my story the ability is limited to a handful of rare individuals–an elite group which one of my main characters belongs to.  (It wouldn’t be cool if just anyone could do it.)

Is any of this stuff really true?  (I mean, this is some far-out shiznit, people.)  I’d like to think so, but at the same time I’m very skeptical of it.  What I do know is that it makes great material for writing fiction, and it’s tons of fun to write about!

What do You Think?

Have you ever tried LSD?  (I’d love to hear from you, if you have.  And I’m being totally serious.)  What about remote viewing: do you think it’s real or just a bunch of bunk?

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10 Responses to “Weird Inspiration: LSD, the Psychedelic Experience & Remote Viewing”

  1. Mark Andrew Edwards May 19, 2011 at 8:40 AM #

    I subscribe to the ‘more thins in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your Philosophy…’ school. I believe in the supernatural, though I don’t understand it. I do think that psychic phenomena is real but I suspect it is not scientifically quantifiable. The ability isn’t like a light switch. It isn’t science and does not come and go at will according to the scientific method. On the other hand, there are people who are either deluded or scammers and that clouds the issue even more. I think these gifts are bestowed, not learned but they might be bestowed more widely than we expected.

    My $.02

    Like

  2. Tiyana May 19, 2011 at 11:04 AM #

    Hey, those two cents add up! Haha.

    That’s exactly why I love exploring this kind of stuff because we don’t really understand it and haven’t been able to effectively study it using the scientific method to produce consistent results. It’s unconquered territory, in that regard. They say that space is the final frontier (we now want to know things like does dark energy exist?), though what about the paranormal? It’s basically the exoteric vs. the esoteric. (Reminds me of Ray & Charles Eames’ documentary Powers of Ten, in some ways, because not only are there seemingly infinite things left to explore in our universe both on a macroscopic and microscopic scale but on exterior and interior levels, as well.)

    But as you say, Mark, ESP and the paranormal are areas that tend to welcome delusion and such. The line between sanity/accepted reality and insanity/the paranormal appears to be very, very thin.

    Like

    • T. S. Bazelli May 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM #

      Ahh those are exactly the kinds of things writers of speculative fiction like to play with. The unknowns and the maybes! I’m open to the idea that our minds can do more than we know.

      Like

      • Tiyana May 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM #

        It is a potentially scary thing to explore, the human mind…heheheh.

        Like

  3. Luke Raftl May 24, 2011 at 12:26 PM #

    Funny you should write about this very unique topic, Tiyana. I’ve just put down Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Another interesting read is Huxley’s The Doors of Perception.

    They say Kesey had just began experimenting with LSD (before anyone, mind you) when he wrote One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and then he went on to give writing away for many years as he delved deeper and deeper (actually as he pretty much drove) the acid scene on the West Coast of America in the early 60’s. Both Kesey and Huxley talk about the overwhelming sensory awareness that LSD provides the taker, how they are operating on a separate plane, both detached and connected, to the rest of the world.

    My own experience with acid is limited, and I was not a writer at the time, but it’s something I have always (well, recently anyway) been interested in exploring or studying further, both as one who uses ocasonally and as one who observes others using. I don’t buy the relative dangers that the media and society espouses about the drug when compared to alcohol or cigarettes or weed or any other commonly and acceptably used drug today. It’s certainly something that as a writer I am fascinated by!

    Like

    • Tiyana May 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

      Hey, Luke. Thanks for sharing!

      Ya know, I haven’t read The Cuckoo’s Nest before. I’ll have to check it out now, heh. Ha, and Tom Wolfe. All of those, really.

      So much to be inspired by!

      That “overwhelming sensory awareness” you mentioned is probably the most fascinating part of the LSD effects for me–that and the detached/connected dynamic–and I play with it a lot in my story. (How to explain the nature of channeling and experiencing superhuman powers? For some reason, looking at the effects of psychedelic drugs actually seemed a great place to start, haha.)

      Like

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