Britain, LSD and Stephen Fry

Following Nature‘s review of Albion Dreaming—a book on the history of LSD in Britain—Mind Hacks provides us with a wealth of interesting resources on the history of LSD in the UK, including this great quote from Stephen Fry:

I don’t know if you have ever taken LSD, but when you do so the doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley, Jim Morrison and their adherents ceaselessly remind us, swing open wide. That is actually the sort of phrase, unless you are William Blake that only makes sense when there is some LSD swimming about inside you. In the cold light of the cup of coffee and banana sandwich that are beside me now it appears to be nonsense, but I expect you know what it is taken to mean.

LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to every one of these essences of existence, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry ‘Wow!’ all the time, which is one of LSD’s most distressing and least endearing side-effects.