|Nick Herbert parts the veils between worlds
For me legal LSD and peyote acted as gateway drugs to the illegal use of marijuana.
At that time the street price of marijuana was $100 a "key" (kilogram = 2.2 pounds) which was broken down into "lids" (each about an ounce) which sold for between 5 and 10 dollars--the so-called nickel and dime bags. Unlike today's powerful sinsemilla buds, yesterday's marijuana was mostly leaf which had to be separated from seeds and stems. And to obtain pot, one had to have connections with a (technically) criminal underground. For the sake of science I made such connections and learned how to "clean a key" and "roll a joint". My mind seems to have an affinity for this forbidden substance and I have since had many unusual experiences with cannabis in various forms.
One evening I was alone in my house in Los Trancos Woods when Paul and his wife Miriam dropped by. Paul was a Stanford med student (now a therapist in So Cal) who was interested in psychedelics and psychodrama. I rolled a joint and we "got high". Someone suggested that we read aloud and I proposed "The Song of Songs". "I hate the Song of Songs," said Miriam. "Let's try this," she said, picking up an old college humor magazine from a pile of books. Miriam began to read and pot's ability to make the lowest silliness seem profoundly funny began to kick in. We laughed at Miriam's every word.
We laughed and laughed. And then something strange happened. It seemed to all three of us that there was only one person laughing. We had merged minds, so it seemed, into one laughing entity. "It's the sound," Paul conjectured. "It's the sound that's uniting us." So shocking was this new experience that we quickly came down. Drawing pictures on a napkin, Paul gave a mock-scientific explanation of the cannabis molecule's action on the brain which we all found funny but we were now laughing separately not as one being. They invited me to a party but I claimed to be too stoned (on one shared 60s joint?) to be good company. Paul and Miriam left and I stoked up the fire in my living room and prepared to enjoy an evening by myself.
Then inside my head the voices began to speak.
They claimed to be an ancient group of galactic telepaths traveling through space mind-to-mind rather than in clunky metal ships. "Here is what we do," they said and suddenly I experienced a kind of LSD trip. Then they turned off the "mind ray" and I become completely normal. They took me in and out of this odd psychological space several times to show off (I suppose) their prowess in the mental realm.
Then the aliens revealed the purpose of their visit. They were inviting me to join the conspiracy of galactic telepaths. They told me that some of my friends were already members. Unlike "Tony the angel" whose voice projected a clear persona, these alien voices seemed colorless, like ticket agents or office clerks. My initial response was that if this community really existed its goals would differ from human goals as much as human goals differ from the goals of fishes. This group must by necessity be non-human. So by joining it I would in some sense be betraying the human race.
The aliens seemed to understand my misgivings, but assured me that although I qualified for membership, there was no pressure to join. Then they withdrew from my mind and left me alone.
For the next few days I was obsessed with this contact and tried to discover other members of the group. Some of my psychedelic pals in the Stanford psychology department were prime candidates but they all shrewdly denied being galactic telepaths.
If this offer was real then I missed my chance to meet a million alien beings, to learn startlingly new truths about the mental and physical universe and to hear dozens of alien ethnic jokes.
On the other hand, if this experience was a message from my larger self, it may have been a prescient hint concerning the nature of quantum tantra--a more intimate way of doing physics that may look less like the physics of today and more like the sort of science practiced by galactic telepaths.