“If you go through the doorway too fast and you’re not ready for it, you’re bound hand and foot and thrown into the outer darkness. You may land anywhere and lots of people end up in mental hospitals. The reason is that they went through the door with their ego on.”
Baba Ram Dass
See also Psychosis and Enlightenment 2
He is best known for his close ties to Timothy Leary so this explains his close familiarity with psychosis.
Yes, Mike, as Ivy League Psychology professors, he and Leary were well trained in psychosis before embarking on their LSD trips. Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) explains that transition this way:
“My colleagues and I were just 9 to 5 psychologists: we came to work every day and we did psychology, just like you would do insurance or auto mechanics, and then at 5 we went home and were just as neurotic as we were before we went to work…. I could study 10 hours and prepare a really good lecture on Freud or Human Motivation, but it was all as if it were behind a wall…. I theorized this or that … quite apart from my experiential base…. The whole thing was too empty. It was not honest enough. [Then his colleague, Timothy Leary, mentioned how he’d taken psychedelic mushrooms and had] ‘learned more in the six or seven hours of that experience than I had learned in all my years as a psychologist.’” Thus began their experiments with LSD and eventual exile from the university scene.
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