Volume 6, Issue 7, page 6

experimenter Finds
Yoll Can't EatlYay to
lYisdotinuth Peyote

FTFR TRYING several psychochemicals,
of which mescaline is the most recent -- and each of them supposed to
disorganize people -- I conclude I
must have a very solid personality. For all I can find out, after
experience with stuff from alcohol
to hashish , my "real" self is the
same as my "apparent" or "social"
self, except a little more of it.

With and without psychochemicals, I'm the
same person to me and to everybody else.

I conclude that chemicals can't give you
wisdom or spirituality or anything like
that. T h e y just give you experiences.
at you do with the experiences is an
individual matter.

My latest experiment was with a bottle of
peyote wine, sent me by Dr. Robert Martin, and
which he had permitted to age for five years.
The flavor of the wine is excellent, reminiscent of a good grade of port. It has a pleasant bouquet and is free of sediment. Like port
or sherry, it is opaque. The only remarkable
feature of the wine as a beverage is the color. It is a deep orange (or possibly dark pea
green, considering my dichromatic color visionl. In either case, the color is somewhat

As is customary when a man of my weight
(129 poundsl drinks 12 ounces of sweet wine
after a light supper, the first effect was to
give me a moderately good "buzz". After I had
convinced myself that all the peyote juice had
been reduced to innocuous products, the second
effect turned on -- SPLOTI The second effect was
a pure mescaline reaction of high intensity.

The mescaline reaction, as Dr. Martin reported it, is not very similar to the full
peyote reaction, but sight, hearing, tactile,
and internal senses turned on exactly as on my
peyote experiment of last May. But the effect
was much introverted, in distinction to the
peyote effect, which with me is an extroverted
effect. My sensory-motor coordination deteriorated badly and didn't return to nearly normal for 10 hours. Persistence of visual afterimages increased 2'% times normal , averaging
46.25 seconds over 5 trials. I jotted down 13
pages of longhand during the period the mescaline was "on". Unlike peyote, also, the wine
has after-effects. Twenty-four hours later, I
had a definite sore throat and a twinge in the
left shoulder.

I found out how to hallucinate. It works on
strictly gestalt principle. First, your attention is attracted to a faint feature of something visible. The thing seen reverses its

figure-ground relationship so the faint feature gets vivid and vice versa. The resulting
picture is pretty ambiguous, so you spontaneously start associating to it and filling in
the blank spaces, as one does with the Rohrshach ink blots. This is projection. Then your
attention locks on to the next image and you
start filling it in and figuring what it is,
means, etc. All this in three dimensions. Now
you can see the thing in front of you with
your eyes open. It doesn't look at all like
what it started out as (and still is, In my
case, it was a tarnished brass ceiling fixture
with faint gray shadows on the ceiling cast by
the bulbs. It wound up as an aerial view of
a flat desert cut by immense straight, black
crevasses full of shadow, with anomalous looking gray things moving in them. This was the
hallucination. It's more effective if you
don't know what you're doing, and get emotional about it. I wasn't.

Fermentation and mixing for five years of
peyote alkaloids with dilute ethyl alcohol and
fruit sugar seems to have no chemical action
on the mescaline part of the alkaloid. The
rest of it is either reduced, destroyed, converted, or chelated. But the mescaline is all
that's left. That and the alcohol.

Mescaline alone gives better pictures than
peyote, but the effect is less clear, less
complete, and generally less satisfactory.
There is a euphoria with the wine that peyote
doesn't have. There is also a hangover that
there isn't with peyote. I'd say that mescaline starts off more like marijuana and ends
up more like benzedrine. Peyote gives you a
bellyache, but it doesn't give you a sore
throat. With mescaline, I think one is in
pretty poor shape physically, and probably
couldn't walk around the block without having
an accident. I put down my fountain pen in
plain sight on a table and "mislaid" it for 10
hours. That's not very efficient.

To those who showed interest in my first
experiments with peyote (ABBRREE, July-August,
19591, I'll report what happened on two succeeding trials -- a month previous to my drinking of the peyote wine. To avoid the effects
of group suggestion , I made my second trial in
company with one other person unfamiliar with
peyote effects, in an air-conditioned apartment, in a quiet neighborhood. Preparing six
peyote tops, or buttons, I ate them faster
than usual, averaging 12 minutes each.

Less than an hour after starting, I felt a
slight chill, followed by a sensation of
warmth. These sensations lasted less than
three minutes each . Mild nausea increased from
the start. At 70 minutes, the perceptions well
brightened, the nausea increased. I vomited.
The nausea subsided.

On the second trial , internal perceptions,
such as joint position and mimosa sensitivity,
were less stimulated than in the first trial .
Tactile perception was about the same as the
first time, and some visco-tactile synthesis
occurred. Colors, light ,objects , and shapes I
saw more sharply. I saw the room I was in as a
light-filled, obj ect-occupied space bounded by
ceiling, floor, and walls -- not as walls, etc.,
enclosing a space. I could discriminate simultaneous sounds by direction, location, and
quality. Perception on the second trial became
voluntary. Instead of seeing, hearing, and
feeling objects, I looked at, listened to, and
touched objects. This was new. On the way home
110 minutes after starting. I judged and pre(PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 10)