Rick Doblin (RD): I found out about your autobiography [Hello Darlin’: Tall (And Absolutely True) Tales About My Life by Larry Hagman with Todd Gold] after my mother-in-law sent me a book review, which mentioned your experiences with LSD. When you wrote the book, what thoughts did you have about whether or not to include those stories?
Larry Hagman (LH): There was never any thought of not including it. LSD was such a profound experience in my life that it changed my pattern of life and my way of thinking and I could not exclude it. I didn’t write the book to sell the book, but to tell my experiences.
RD: Did you have anybody advise you not to put that in, that it might hurt your reputation?
LH: No, not at all.
RD: Has it influenced your reputation?
LH: I’d say it probably has. Now people can dump me in that big ashcan of Hollywood kooks, instead of someone who’s experimenting with self-awareness. Now they can brush me off as one of those people who are not like them. And I’m not. Again, of course we know I am one of them as they are me.
RD: Would it be fair to say that you don’t regret putting that in the book?
LH: Not so far. I’m sure I will when they haul me off to jail for something I did over 30 years ago.
RD: Had you thought about talking about it at earlier stages in your career?
LH: It’s never bothered me. I’ve always talked about it, though I haven’t talked about it on Larry King or any of those kinds of things. Actually, in a way I did. I alluded to it when I was on his show talking about having an out-of-body experience and a white-light experience. I didn’t say LSD, but anybody who had the experience could see that it was exactly what I was talking about.
RD: Near the end of your book, you talked about an experience after your transplant and said that “on medication, I was able to blend into the bigger picture, the way I had done on my first acid trip.” Earlier in the book, you wrote about your first LSD experience and said “more than anything else, the experience changed my way of looking at life and death.”
LH: Especially death… Here’s a bit of my history. Before I tried LSD, I’d been going to a psychologist for a couple of years. I found out about success that you have to fight for it a lot, then when you achieve it you can’t give up the fight. I was kind of like flogging a dead horse. I’d achieved what I wanted to and didn’t know how to stop. I had been addicted to tobacco and Bontril, a mild form of amphetamine, doctor-prescribed of course. I’d come out here to California and run out of my prescription. I went in to have it refilled and they said, well, we can’t do that until you get a doctor’s prescription, which I got, and they gave it to me. On the bottle it said, Caution, this medication may become habit forming. I thought that’s a lot of shit, I’ve been taking it every day for five years for weight control for crying out loud. It never occurred to me that I was addicted to something like that. Well, I decided to stop. And I did. I stopped smoking, and I stopped speed at the same time. My body and my psyche said, What the fuck’s going on here? We can’t do this without punishing you. I was having spells of anger and depression, like you go through when you quit smoking. Quitting those two drugs put me in a state when one day, on the set, I started crying and I started shitting and my nose was running, ear wax was coming out, I was like exploding, or imploding, and every kind of impurity in my body was leaving my body. They threw me in the back of a pickup truck because nobody wanted to put me in their car.
They didn’t want to touch me because I was just covered in excrement, and I mean just everything. They took me to a friend of mine’s psychologist, Sidney Prince, a wonderful guy. He cleaned me up, I took a shower, and he sat me down and said, What’s the problem? I said I honestly don’t know. It just never occurred to me that withdrawal was causing this stuff. I didn’t know anything about drugs. I had smoked marijuana before that, but that was the only drug I had been familiar with, except tobacco and alcohol of course. We had a good couple of hours session and I had gotten a lot of stuff out. At the end of that session, he said he wanted to tell me something and that I might not agree with him, but one of these days I might. I said, God, what is it? Give me the answer. He says, Don’t worry about it. It was such a simple statement and so profound that I just kind of dismissed it as a panacea. Don’t worry about it. Sure, don’t worry. Don’t worry about it. Here I am at the height of my success at that time making a lot of money. Then he also said, Well, look at it this way. You’re in a golden prison and they let you out on weekends, and you go home to Malibu and you swim and play with your children. And then on Monday through Friday you’re in this golden prison where everybody loves you and takes care of you and admires you and nurtures you. That’s not so bad. I didn’t get the picture. It took me a couple of years. He was dead right of course. I mean when you look at the suffering around the world and here was this rich asshole who was having problems.
I did successfully kick tobacco at the age of 34. I smoked for like 20 years, from 14 to 34. Then I kind of reached a point where I was pretty happy with everything. So Sidney asked me how much further did I want to go with this? He said, Larry, you’ve gotten to a point now where you’re repeating yourself and you know you’re lying about a lot of stuff, lying through just not telling me. I said, yeah, you’re right, there are a lot of things. I didn’t regress into my childhood much. I didn’t know that much about it or care. He said, I think you need some sort of catalyst to get your psyche jogged so you can start looking at other facets of yourself in your past and your future. So I said, well, how do we do that? He said, I think you ought to drop acid. Oh, no shit. I don’t know. That’s pretty heavy stuff. It was demonized in those days, as it is today.
Anyhow, I started looking for it. I was backstage at a performance one time with Crosby, Stills & Nash and I was talking about it to David Crosby. David said, well, shit, man, here. He handed me a handful of little pills. I said what the fuck? He says this is LSD. It was the best going around at that time. This was before Blue Cheer and Windowpane. This was the original Owsley. He gave me about 25 pills. I said, well, how much should I take? He says, well, don’t take more than one. [LAUGHTER] So I started. I found a friend of mine who’d been through several, perhaps too many, LSD experiences and I asked him to take me through it.
RD: What do you mean perhaps too many?
LH: He was neurotic to begin with and he was certainly much more neurotic after two or three hundred times. He took LSD too frequently and too many on top of each other, and often too much for recreation. I could never understand why anybody would take LSD for recreation. It’s like, I think I’m going to take out my appendix. That would be nice this weekend. [LAUGHTER] So we went and I got comfortable. Maj [his wife] was in the room and I was sitting on the floor in a brown robe that she had made for me. I dropped this acid, the tiniest little pill. I fasted for a day before so I was fairly pure, because that was what you were supposed to do. I also had read a book called The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts, which I didn’t understand a word of but I forced my way through it. I had also tried to read the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which at that time was recommended, which I also had no inkling of what it was about. I had absorbed that about a month before this in preparation for the trip. I was sitting there and all of a sudden I felt this vibration in the area between my pubic bone and my pelvis. It was a shock. I couldn’t figure out what that was, because it was, [NOISE] but it didn’t stop because you ran out of breath. I mean it just went [NOISE], and I’m thinking, wow, have I poisoned myself? Then finally it went up into my psyche and I found myself looking at the most ferocious kind of a griffin lion on one side that had feathers instead of fur, and on the other was this humungous octopus. I’m thinking, oh, my God, what is this? There was kind of an open entrance to a cave. I was really scared. My friend said, just go with it. Don’t fight it, don’t pull away from it and if it’s a wonderful experience don’t try to grab it and keep it because it will disappear and leave you. I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. I looked up to my left, about eight feet in the air right up against the ceiling was sitting my grandmother in the same robe. I mean exactly the same robe. She’s communicating with me, not verbally but she’s looking down at me very benignly. She was so sweet and so kind and supportive. She was telling me not to fear the portal, not to worry about it, not to care whether I went in it or not, not to fight being pulled into it, and not to hold onto a pleasurable experience down the line. She made me relax, and I went [NOISE] through this tunnel. Sure enough at the end was this brilliant white light. I got to the end of it and I kind of stepped out into this wonderful light that was warm. It felt like blood, you know, it felt like body temperature. It was the perfect place. There was a figure, kind of a presence there saying something like how are you feeling? Are you feeling OK? I said, yeah, everything’s wonderful. I got this great feeling of love and oneness with everything. I had seen the Aurora Borealis one time, and I had the feeling that it was made up of atomic particles and electrons and magnetism, and there were these waves of brilliant light and beauty, and I became part of that. I felt that it was so natural, so familiar like I’d always been there. It wasn’t anything new. It was just coming home.
Then the presence kind of said, OK, you’ve had a glimpse of this. I don’t really know what it said, it was this inner feeling. It said, that’s all for now, but you’re familiar with it. You know where you’ve been. I went out sitting in front of this cave opening that was closed up and there weren’t any more horrible animals and figures. My grandmother was still there and she just looked down at me and kind of nodded and just kind of faded away. Well, it was the most impressive thing that ever happened to me. I’d read about people having religious experiences and that would be my religious experience. I don’t like the use of the word religious, because religions have been handled by too many interpretations, too many corruptions. It was like the basic teachings of the universe, of the oneness of the universe. Then I started getting up and wandering around, and I was really very strong. I mean I was invincible. My friend gave me an orange and I peeled the orange, and as I was peeling it I could see it moving like maggots underneath my fingers. I could see that it was dying, it wasn’t replacing itself. In other words, it wasn’t rejuvenating itself or regenerating itself. It was a piece of dead flesh, but it was moving all the time in my hands, moving. Then I looked up in the mirror, which was a big mistake, and I saw that my face was doing the same thing only it was dying and regenerating itself. All the skin was sloughing off, not down to the skeleton or anything like that, but it was just like it was dying and being reborn. In other words, the cellular structure was not dead like the orange. It was rejuvenating itself. It was moving very well. I had to take a few breaths because it was a new experience to see yourself dying, literally dying. Then all of a sudden I felt that the whole experience had been of dying, and it was wonderful. I don’t know how you put it scientifically – loss of ego, loss of self, combining with everything, being part of everything, being part of the mirror, being part of the woodwork and being part of the air. It was the most familiar feeling I’ve ever had. Then my friend and I got in a car and he gave me a 16-millimeter camera and we went around Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, him driving and me looking at people. It also had a zoom on it, and I could zoom into people’s eyeballs with this thing. I could see what they were thinking, I could read their thoughts, I could anticipate their moves. It was a very psychic experience. Then I was them, I could anticipate what they were doing even before they did it. Well, that was kind of a wonderful experience, too, and disturbing in the sense that I could see a lot of sadness. Then I went home and I didn’t eat that day. I just wasn’t hungry. My solar plexus and my pubic area, I mean that chakra was just exhausted. I can’t remember ever being so tired without physically being tired from exercise. Then I had three months of introspection, I guess that was what it was, trying to analyze what I’d been through. Of course I told everybody and I became the prognosticator. I was the guy who said the world’s got to do this. It’ll save the world. Of course, that was what was going on in those years, the decade of love, with so many people going through those experiences and transferring them onto other people and trading off on them and wanting to include everybody because it was a gift. I’m sure it was Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha, those people who had this gift and they wanted to give it to people and they couldn’t stop themselves. Well, of course I told some wrong people, including my bosses and so forth. [LAUGHTER] They were another generation, like 20 years older than I, and of course it made them scared of me. It made them feel like I was generating that light you get in your eyes when you’re out there, proselytizing. I was kind of naïve at the time, too.
In essence, next to being born which I don’t remember at all (I mean I suppose I could trace it back if I were to try), my first acid trip was the most illuminating experience of my life. I would highly recommend it for people who study and prepare for it and who are not neurotic or psychotic. I don’t know what it would do to psychotic people. I know what it does to neurotic people who can’t handle that. They get terrified and do crazy things like jumping out of windows and stuff like that. That’s happened to a couple of friends of mine.
RD: Now that you’ve had all these years to look back on it, does it still seem like a valid experience? Have you been tempted to dismiss it as an aberration or a mental illness?
LH: No. Fuck no. I took it three times after my first experience. None of them were of that intensity, but it did bring me back to the place. The whole thing was so familiar that I know I’ve been there before many times, maybe in reincarnation, which I don’t particularly believe in because nobody’s ever convinced me that it’s possible. But I certainly knew that I had reached a level that was familiar to me, and that the next level of existence and awareness is not necessarily the only. There could be trillions. There could be infinite levels of these types of experiences. For one thing, the experience was of ultimate love, of ultimate oneness, of ultimate understanding of nature. There was still a sense of discovery at the same time, but the love was so familiar. That didn’t happen on the same level on the other three occasions because I had taken it with someone else. Well, to tell you the truth, my wife, I took her through her first experience. She had exactly the same thing, so we had something to compare it to. Then we took it together a couple of times after that. It was never sensual, although it is the ultimate sensuality. It was never a sexual thing. I’ve never gotten into that. I was 34 and I was old enough not to have been drawn into the fun and games that many people experienced. I never found it to be fun and games. I found it to be enlightening and mind expanding. It does take a toll, because it takes some time for me to digest that experience. Just now, when I was telling you about the experience, I was there. I was absolutely there emotionally, physically. It was very moving.
RD: What’s amazing to me is that it is so vivid in your memory. Is there anything from that same period of time that is as imprinted?
LH: Well, of course the Vietnam war. There was always that trauma of the war. I always felt guilty that I had not been more vocal about it. I was playing an astronaut in the United States Air Force, and they were always asking me to go to Vietnam and entertain the troops. I couldn’t do it. We went down to a location at Coco Beach in Florida where the launches eventually started, and they wanted me to wear a Major’s Air Force uniform like the one I was wearing in I Dream of Jeannie. I couldn’t do it. I had made a dark, dark blue navy suit and I had an enameled dove that I had gotten, a little dove. I wore that to the Officer’s Club at Cocoa Beach. Well, boy, talk about naïve. I had a woman come up to me at the bar and say, what are you wearing? I said a peace dove. She says, you son of a bitch, my husband’s over there (and he was eventually killed in Vietnam), and he’s giving his life and his family for you, to protect you from the commies. You come into this place, you cocksucker… And they had to kind of drag that poor woman off. I’ve never been confronted quite like that before. Of course she was absolutely right. I should have worn a nice dark blue suit and shut my fucking mouth and played the game, but I didn’t do that. But that was about the only protest that I made, because I was scared like everybody else. I was scared like everybody is now. Anyhow, that whole period of time was my psychedelic time. I also experimented with mushrooms and peyote once, never again.
RD: Because of the vomiting?
LH: No. I did it in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with an Indian, an old man. He says come and have one of our religious meetings. I said sure. I didn’t know it was peyote. I didn’t know what he was talking about. So I went out there. I was interested in religion and everything of that sort. I went to this old Quonset hut, and there were about eight Indian boys there and a couple of guys my age who were familiar with it and this old shaman. His name was Tellus Goodmorning. He had an empty can and a coffee can full of peyote beans or buttons and a can of water. He says, you’re going to eat these peyote buttons slowly and chew them and they will not taste good. Boy, was he ever right. They were slimy and really awful. I said to myself, what the fuck am I doing this for? Well, I got about half of them down. They were big and I got sick like I’ve never been sick before, but as I was being sick it was like purifying my body. I could feel things going from my fingertips, bad things going all over my body and in through my bowels and up through my vomit and into this empty can. Then I had tremendous thirst, so I would drink the water and then vomit, then eat some more buttons and vomit. I was doing what I was told and I was starting to have an interesting experience. I became this kind of warrior bird like a hawk only it had fur instead of feathers on it. I’m looking down at my feet, which are like animal claws, not bird claws but animal claws like dog feet or wolf feet. Then I took off and flew around and I flew right through the walls of the Quonset hut. I was flying around and looking down and seeing through the walls and seeing the Indian boys freaking out. I mean they thought they were going to go and get drunk or sniff gasoline or something. Their entire orientation was just suddenly – there wasn’t any orientation. I thought they it might have been prepared better by the shaman. Well, anyhow a couple of them had to be taken to the hospital and the other boys were like, I mean screaming and crying and having a terrible, terrible time. I flew around, and I flew around the mountains up there looking down. Everything was like sunlight, but not sunlight. Everything was not bright but seeable and beautiful. Oh, my God, I could actually fly, I mean the feeling of being able to fly. I’m sure you’ve done it in dreams, it was just almost sexual. Then I got back to earth and went through a series of things where I found my song, I found myself. That gave me something to hold onto in real life when I had my transplant. After the transplant I was disoriented and so forth, and I was drugged with morphine and all kinds of things. I found my song again, which helped me get through those times. It was a wonderful experience, not that I’ve ever wanted to do that again. I wouldn’t want to do it. It was too, too, I don’t know. It wasn’t as good as the LSD experience or any of the mushroom experiences.
RD: I’ve had experience with a fair amount of pure mescaline, which has a lot of warm body energy without the nausea.
LH: Oh God, energy. All of these experiences are accompanied by tremendous physical power. That’s why you often find yourself bruised and knocked about afterward, because you do things you wouldn’t normally do. Your brain says don’t jump off that tower, don’t jump off the second story building because you can. Well, some people jump from a little too high.
RD: Can you describe the song more?
LH: Oh, I can even sing it. The lyrics I can’t sing, but the song is about ancient things, ancient animals that were ancient before man was here. It was before man knew what to do with himself. It was all kinds of animals that I’d never seen before. And it goes [HUMMING]. That man, Tellus Goodmorning was a great shaman. He took a lot of people through that ceremony, and he was my mentor. When I’m in trouble I think of this old Indian as one of my life mentors.
RD: Can you understand in a way how he could be in touch with such spiritual power and yet still be a drunk?
LH: I don’t know. I met Alan Watts one time up at Esalen. I wondered in there with my son. We went on a father-son trek up to San Francisco and on the way back down I stopped at Esalen. I’d been there once before with my wife, when Alan Watts was there. I thought that this guy was brilliant. I’d never heard anybody talk about Zen, nor did I know anything about it. It was a very nice experience meeting him, actually getting to know him, and bathing in the hot springs with him. It was really a great experience. Then a couple of years later he came down to Malibu and a friend of mine wanted Watts to take him through the LSD experience, which he did. Well, I was all psyched up to see him again. I had my engineer Bill outfit, which is striped overalls, striped coat and an engineer drill hat. It was one of those periods of time. It had peace doves all over it and feathers. I was going to make an impression. I thought that that was the cat’s meow, and it was. I felt good in it. So Alan Watts comes in and he sits down at the bar and he says, “I’d like a very strong gin martini, thank you very much,” and proceeded to drink about five of them and was absolutely gone. Here was another mentor of mine. Oh, by the way, after the LSD experience I totally understood what his book was about, The Joyous Cosmology, because it was so much fun even though it was scary. It was so illuminating and so fun. It was a joyous cosmology that we live in that’s available to us at all times. [LAUGHTER] Then I thought, oh God, here’s this guy coming to take this guy through a spiritual experience and gets shit-faced the first minute he walks through the door. I thought that was kind of interesting. I don’t know. People do strange and exotic things. In a conversation I had with him one time I asked him how would he like his room to be? He said “I’d like to be in a room, a teak wood room, ancient, ancient boards and ancient cupboards. I’d like to crawl all over the rroom with drawers with all kinds of spices and smells and sights and drugs in them,” you know, everything available to mankind that was known at the time and some that weren’t. He says that’s my room. That’s not too shabby. I wouldn’t mind that myself. [LAUGHTER]
RD: You mentioned going to Esalen with your son to expose him to some of these ideas and doing LSD with Maj. One of the main motivations and rationalizations for the war on drugs is to protect the kids. I’m wondering how did you educate your kids, how did you share these experiences with them? Or, did you even? LH: Well, we didn’t make any bones about smoking pot or anything like that. We always did it in front of them, especially when we’d go camping. I never really thought about it much.
RD: Did you feel that it would be worse to try to hide it from them?
LH: Of course it is.
RD: Virtually none of my friends who smoke pot will do that in front of their kids.
LH: I know, and their kids are smoking pot and they didn’t want to do it in front of their parents. You know, really, that’s too bad because it is a wonderful experience to have that closeness that you achieve there, from those kind of herbs.
RD: It’s also a way to educate kids about appropriate and responsible use.
LH: Of course.
RD: What about your grandkids? Have you spoken to them about drugs or have they asked you about the LSD?
LH: Well, I have spoken about it to my 17-year-old granddaughter. I’ve asked her if she smoked pot and she says she hasn’t. She’s been heavy into volleyball and I think that’s one thing to keep kids off drugs. I don’t think anybody under the age of 35 should do anything until they’ve got a certain mindset and they’ve got as much education as they can.
RD: Well, now you’re talking just like Jewish mysticism, because the idea is that you don’t even deal with mysticism until you’re 40. That’s the tradition.
RD: But if you look at the Native American Church culture, if you look at the cultures that use ayahuasca, they don’t have age limits on drugs. They invite their kids to the ceremonies and their kids learn a certain kind of respect and that there’s a time and a place for it. They also offer them small amounts if they’re interested in it. I think the cultures that have successfully integrated psychedelics in particular, the young grow up in it. If they’re called to it, they try it; if they aren’t, they don’t.
LH: How about the technological influence? It seems we’re talking about a pretty primitive culture, in the sense of technology. Perhaps in a religious sense or from the psychic sense and a metaphysical sense, they might be long beyond us. But they don’t also have the pressures of music, cars, and television, films, dancing, sounds and interaction with complicated cultures.
RD: In Brazil, the ayahuasca religion has moved out of the jungles into middle-class, upper class society. That’s one of the reasons why it was able to be declared legal in Brazil, because there were some advocates there who had mainstream connections like physicians and lawyers. Our technological culture is different than the native cultures but I think we do have some examples where young people are brought up within a context that accepts psychedelics, where adults are not prevented from talking to kids about it and they don’t feel embarrassed about it and that somehow they’re crossing a line. A great detriment of our society is that those adults who are responsible users feel intimidated about sharing any information about it with young people so we perpetuate this silence, with parents hiding it from their kids, kids hiding it from their parents. You said people should wait until they’re 35 or so. But the other part is this is the idea of rites of passage and of adolescents trying to figure out where they belong in the world.
LH: Well, I only said that because I was about 34 when I first smoked marijuana. I didn’t know what it was about and that it was always illegal. I remember my best friend offering me the joint and I went home and I burst into tears. I said, my best friend’s a junkie. [LAUGHTER] I swear to God, because that’s the way people were taught. I just felt that that was the worst thing you could possibly do. I mean, that was like heroin.
RD: Well, since some adolescents and college students will be reading this interview what would you like to say to people of that age?
LH: Well, the people of that age, what culture are we talking about? American, [LAUGHTER] Black American? Hispanic American? White American? Jewish American? Presbyterian? Catholic? I mean, there are so many different societal levels out there. I can’t relate to rap; I just can’t. It seems to me a language of rage and hate. Yet I’ve read some of the lyrics and it’s not all that way. It could be very sensitive observations of social behavior and the pressures of the other social behaviors that make them what they are. But I cannot identify with tattoos and piercing and self-mutilation. Yet that’s a big part of our culture now.
Well, I’ve never been in a forum where I could comfortably converse like that about drugs. I mean, I am 71 years old, for God’s sake. I’m an old fart. But I meet people much younger than me who are really old farts and they’re just cast in concrete. There’s no out for them. I feel sorry for them. But then again, I also meet people who drop acid daily and take cocaine and I think they’re destroying their mind. I’d love to talk to college-age kids and high school kids. But I’d have to do it in person.
RD: You do so much for the American Cancer Society. What’s your view on how tobacco should be handled in our society?
LH: Well, obviously, making things illegal does not do anything. RJ Reynolds will set up in Mexico, Brazil or something like that and somehow get the tobacco to you. They tried it with alcohol. There was a living experience that outlawing something doesn’t work. It made people drink more, made them more aware of it. It increased the excitement of it and, of course, alcohol is violence-making. Tobacco, of course, just plain old kills you, slowly and painfully. Outlawing those things doesn’t work. Education, I guess, is the only way to do it. I’m also an advocate for drug courts, which gives your 18 year-old daughter a choice not to have to go prison for two years for getting caught with an ounce and a half of marijuana. It gives her a chance to go and clean up her act and take drug testing and pay for it herself and walk away after six months or a year, or two years, or whatever it takes. Drug Court gives them a choice, gives them some sort of out.
RD: I’m still curious about how LSD helped you reduce the fear of death.
LH: Totally, absolutely gone from my life, at this stage. I don’t know what it’s gonna be when that moment comes. You can’t ever predict that, but I don’t fear it now. I do fear pain and immobilization and all the things that go with being old, but I don’t fear death, because I know there’s another level. I’ve been there. I’ve been there twice. The other time was my transplant, when I went through a slightly different way. I had the out-of-body experience, looking down at myself, floating, and I could hear everybody’s conversation and I knew what was going on and I could see them and me, wide open down there and then I went into that next level, that warm, familiar love level and didn’t worry about it again. I mean, it was wonderful. And there was one extra thing in that particular out-of-body experience, psychic experience, that I envisioned – that we’re all like those ferns that curl up and they get bigger and bigger and bigger and they grow up and then they explode, you know, and they’re beautiful? I envision us as all of that and all of the life force that we have. It was kind of a mixture of animistic and soul and we are all of that, everything with soul, in there, inside where we have blooming guts and so forth inside of us. We’re growing all the time. And that pulse went along with my song, which was a pulse, da-da-da-da-na, da-da-da-da. And this thing would explode and the life force like sperm would come out of that explosion and then it’d wrap back up again and I’d get the song going and it would pulse and pulse and pulse and pulse and pulse and then, boom! Spread our seed through the universe. Woo! Boy! That was different. You ever had anything like that?
RD: Not just like that, no.
LH: The pulsating and the striving to spread our seed, the striving for survival of existence of our genes, whatever it is. Oh, God! That was tremendous! It was sexual, a real sexual experience and there I was, lying wide open. I could see myself having that experience at the same time. It was very odd and very, kind of comforting, in a way, to have a new experience, one I had never even envisioned before, that we were animal, vegetable and the desire and the strength and the striving to survive was always there, in us. That wears you out! Boy! The human race, unless we totally destroy ourselves, which isn’t quite imminent, might possibly become, already is a strong, strong pulse in the universe. God help us, I think, actually, somebody knows that we’re fucking up down here. We’re so infinitesimal in the whole scheme, in the universe. If you look out there and you see hundreds of billions and trillions of stars with systems as big as our whole Milky Way, it’s just infinite, I guess. Could there be a finite end? I think that death and LSD go hand and glove. If you have a large chance of having an enlightening, life-enhancing experience, or making death easier for you, even enjoyable and something to look forward to, what’s wrong with that?