Dr. Sidney Cohen tells with precision and restraint the story of the most interesting among them, LSD, in this book. He has long worked with the drug under hospital conditions and is aware both of its possibilities and its drawbacks. He gives many detailed accounts of LSD feelings in different subjects, and they are fascinating and colorful. He indicates the uses and possible uses of LSD in tapping the unconscious or the abnormal mind, and the usefulness of this for therapists. He discusses LSD in terms of “model psychosis” or “instant Zen.” He treats mystical experiences and visions in terms of what we have learned from these drugs. In a fascinating chapter he discusses hallucinogens for possible war use—they have been considered as incapacitating agents that might limit lethal warfare—and he shows how they too would lead to death. “A pill does not construct character, educate the emotions, or improve intelligence,” writes Dr. Cohen. “It is not a spiritual labor-saving device, salvation, instant wisdom, or a shortcut to maturity. However, it can be an opportunity to experience oneself and the world in a new way—and to learn from it. “The book is free of medical jargon. It tells thestory of LSD—which is full of brilliant color andbright new deep perception—trying to keep the experience intact. We all live in a world of sensation, and it is sensation itself that is illuminated here. Dr. Cohen explores LSD as a possible gateway to the vastness within.
The Beyond Within: The L.S.D. Story, by Sydney Cohen, Atheneum, 268 pages.