Oct 6, 2011

Cary Grant dropped acid. More than 60 times.

In his autobiographical essay Archie Leach, Cary Grant - The Man From Dream City - describes coming face-to-face with buried secrets:

"The shock of each revelation brings with it an anguish of sadness for what was not known before in the wasted years of ignorance and, at the same time, an ecstasy of joy at being freed from the shackles of such ignorance."

Grant beautifully describes, for paragraph after paragraph, his descent into the subconscious. His vehicle was LSD. He made the trip more than sixty times, each with a psychiatrist as a guide. Here's his description of the mechanics of the process.

"There is a lessening of conscious control, similar to the mental process which takes place when we dream. For example, when you’re asleep and your mind is no longer concerned with matters and activities of the day, your subconscious often brings itself to your attention by dreaming. With conscious controls relaxed, those thoughts buried deep inside begin to come to the surface in the form of dreams. These dreams, since they appear to us in symbolic guise, are fantasies and, if you will accept the reasoning, could be classified as hallucinations. Such fantasies, or hallucinations, are inside every one of us, waiting to be released, aired and understood. Dreams are really the emotions that we find ourselves reluctant to examine, think about, or meditate upon, while conscious."

It is a tidy way to sum up what goes on in dream analysis, which is part of the narrative structure of my novel, Powder Dreams.

Steve Jobs went through something similar. Here is an excerpt from his obituary in the New York Times:

"He told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand."