by Aldous Huxley (1954). Classical account of Huxley’s mescaline experience in Los Angeles. Very poetic and evocative writer. I wonder whether Sommerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence was written under the influence of some such hallucinogens, for it uses very similar ecstatic language. To whit

Confronted by a chair which looked like the Last Judgment – or, to be more accurate, by a Last Judgment which, after a long time and with considerable difficulty, I recognized as a chair – I found myself all at once on the brink of panic.

Having never taken any hallucinogens, I’m amazed at the magical powers he attributed to a drug that messes up the brain circuitry’s in very specific ways. To quote again

To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large – this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.

I wonder why mescaline, LSD and psilocybin specifically affect visual texture and color perception? Does this tell us something about differential receptor distribution in the visual cortex compared to other sensory modalities?