Re: Go Ask Alice, Drugs, & the culture of the Sixties

Gerry Higgins (ghiggins@SourceDigital.Com)
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 08:01:52 -0700 wrote:

> 2. Related to #1, in general was the drug culture of the sixties
> benign (maybe even beneficial)?
> Mainly, I think drugs were more dangerous than we then perceived,
> that they gave the false impression that enlightenment was just the
> drop of a tab of acid away, and that we had the right to expect to
> always be "up" and never "down."

I may have a warped perspective on this, but I always was aware of the
risks associated with drug use. I never believed that drug use was for
everyone. Huxley and other writers warned of the dangers of opening the
doors of perception. I consider my use of drugs to have been extremely
positive, because of the insights drugs like LSD give into god,
consciousness,etc. A relatively recent issue of the american buddhist
magazine 'Tricycle' reflects the experiences of several folks such as
myself who were drawn to buddhism because of our experiences with

> 3. On balance was the culture of the sixties good, beneficent? How does
> one judge a culture? Are we any better off now than then? Is it better
> to have computers or not? We have more freedom now but the divorce rate
> is sky high.

Why does it have to be good or beneficial, it just was. I appreciate
that you may want 'closure' on this decade, but who can judge? Do we
have more freedom now - with an increased police focus on incarceration
of small-time drug offenders and a relaxing of privacy rights? $290
Billion spent on fighting the drug war (wash post, 6/9/97)? Is the
divorce rate 'sky high'? and if it is, is this a consequence of the
sixties, or more likely just a result of the unrealistic social
expectations people bring to marriage, expectations that we fought
against in the sixties?

I have to say that many positive things came out of the sixties. Look at
its effect on popular music, effects that are still felt today. Even
phenomena like the 'recovery' movement were spawned in that era.

It seems to me that many of us were suspicious of the sixties rhetoric
during that time, and never expected an easy transformation to a
'liberated' society (whatever that is). My own drug use provided me with
great insight that has lasted half a lifetime...

-Gerry Higgins