Great story from Ethan Persoff and Scott Marshall’s comic series John Wilcock, New York Years:
Hollingshead describes his first LSD experience in his autobiography The Man Who Turned on The World:
I moved on to the roof and sat up there and began to observe. .. I beheld a city of 10,000 angry streets, and giant buildings fingered the sky; from a thousand throats the giant screams. A hundred trash-cans tumble lids and litters across the sidewalks, a siren goes hooting past, and all is CHAOS. My mind was in a state of confusion, of whirling distractions and distortions and intensely vivid non sequiturs. ‘I have broken the shell!’ I laughed. ‘Now I step forth easily from my body’s prison-cell and live in the realm of the primordial. I shall sing of heroes, wild men of the mountains, guardians of the door, and ancient legends…. I shall transform myself into a god who could walk across the tops of mountains… thousand-headed was Purusa, thousand-eyed, thousand-footed he reached beyond the earth!… Cuhulain rides his five fiery chariots across the firmament! Arthur and Lancelot in battle! The ground shakes! In the beginning was blood and fire…. I shall sing that you might listen and would know the glory that mall is, now, in his first dawning…. In the beginning, then … proudly the purple cock-man proclaims the arrival of the Dawn. The Warden of Robes enters to attend our abracadabra about Acid and All accompanied by large assembly of Acid Age Adams, Artists, Anarchists, Actors, Angels, Alchemists, Athletes, Aristocrats and assorted Acrobats. The ‘gates of heaven’ swing open on the court within; worshipping priests from 10,000 countries kneel before the royal insignia. The first rays of the sun gild the ‘fairy palms’; smoke of incense swirls round dragons writhing on each royal robe—they seem to float among the clouds.
It was a very strange first trip indeed, and it was of many hours’ duration, perhaps fifteen. What I had experienced was the equivalent of death’s abolition of the body. I had literally ‘stepped forth’ out of the shell of my body, into some other strange land of unlikeliness, which can only be grasped in terms of astonishment and mystery, as an état de l’absurde, ecstatic nirvana. I could now ‘understand’ why death could produce the sort of confusion I was experiencing. In life we are anchored through the body to such inescapable cosmic facts as space, gravity, electromagnetic vibrations and so forth. But when the body is lost, the psychic factor which survives is free to behave with uninhibited extravagance.