Video and Transcription of Ralph Metzner’s Chat With The Crowd At Our February 8, 2009 San Francisco Event

Ralph Metzner came to our February 8th Reunion/Reception in San Francisco.

Here’s a video and complete transcription of his chat with the audience about his new book coming out that he co-authored with Ram Dass and others, “Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties, and the first from his new “Ecology of Consciousness” series, the recently released “The Expansion of Consciousness.”

(Video: Enric Teller)

Complete transcription:

Thank you for inviting me. I do think the work of the archives, of Tim Leary, is important. He was one of the most unusual and unique creative individuals of our time, and deserves to be studied.

The book, that Ram Dass and I started talking about five years ago, is about writing our version of the story that Tim has told many times, including the Harvard project and the Millbrook project.

We had a series of conversations that were then moderated by a psychiatrist friend of ours, Gary Bravo. Because you know, Ram Das’ way of speaking is very halting, so we did a lot of editing and transcribing and editing and editing.

And then we also found about a dozen contributions from other people who were participants in the project, because it really was a group project. And it starts with the Harvard experiments, and then …in Mexico, two summers, and then, also in the Carribean, and a few years at Millbrook, until the time when all three of us went off in our own different directions after Millbrook. So it’s about a five year period. And there are contributions from other people, and lots of photographs that have never been seen, and I’ve just been talking to John Perry Barlow, and he’s agreed to write the introduction, which is wonderful.

The book is going to be published by Synergetic Press in Sante Fe, New Mexico, who also publishes books by John Allen, one of the great 20th century inventor geniuses who was the person behind the Biosphere project, and his autobiography has just been published, called “Me and the Biosphere.” So if you go to Synergetic you’ll see announcements for both those books.

You can go to my website too, Green Earth, The Green Earth Foundation. I publish all my own books myself, and we do the layout together with Regent Press.

I have a new series of short books. The first one, which is called “The Expansion of Consciousness,” might be of interest to a lot of you people, because it deals with the concept of expansion of consciousness and the history of western alchemy spiritual tradition, and the work of Carl Jung and Albert Hoffman.

And the second part is the idea of collective consciousness expansion, and collective consciousness expansion is how I see the movements that are sometimes called “countercultural” of the sixties. The countercultural movements were against established systems of power and discrimination and prejudice, like the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement, but that was not the ultimate purpose was not to be against, but it was for something, a different kind of way of living. The civil rights movement was not just against discrimination, but for equality and equal opportunity, women’s liberation, and equal consciousness raising; A similar idea.

So, anyway, thank you for organizing all this, and support the archives, and, have fun!

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