a sensation of 'supra-consciousness' which, afterwards, caused him to reflect: "What I have seen and experienced in this dream is still far above my consciousness and knowledge."(78)
      In fact, the higher world revealed to him in these two dreams caused him, thereafter, to seek all means of visionary experience, discovering a hidden link between dream and drug states: "Of one thing I was sure... between the two experiences (spheres) - the visionary dream and the drug - there was a strong connection, dream and hashish-ecstasy had to do with one another. From then on, for about two years, I looked for these states of ecstasy 'by all means' and experimented with almost all hallucinatory drugs." (79)
      But, no sooner had the two states come together then they began to conflict. Soon, drugs offered him only 'stolen glimpses' of that higher world which dreams had once made visible. "I knew or anticipated that the world for which I was looking had a gate, and the drug was only a ladder for thieves who, in order to 'steal', climbed over the wall because they did not know the gate or did not have the key for it.(...) I wanted to get rid of the bothersome feeling of dependence, find a legitimate access to this world, the only key to which seemed to be the drug... I knew it from my dream which I had experienced without drugs - there had to be other ways (...) Above all, I tried the track of the permanence of the daily time of work... I concentrated on the fixation of my picture surface." (80)
      In the end, it was meditation - particularly meditation upon the images he was painting - which opened the gateway once more unto the world, so desparately sought, of visionary experience. And so, with this cautionary reminder, let us concentrate once more on the types of visions induced through psychedelics.




      Psychedelic substances have played a major spiritual and mythologizing role in many historical cultures. In India, the ancient Vedas mention soma, the sap of a sacred plant now lost to us. In ancient Greece, the Gods were said to drink ambrosia and nectar, which may very well have been a veiled reference to the hallucinogenic mushrooms amanita muscaria and panaeolus papilionaceus. In the Middle and Far East, cannabis has long been present under many forms (hashish, charas, bhang, kif), and inspired religious practices among the Sufis and Brahmins. The Aztecs and Mayans are known to have used peyote (from the cactus lophophora williamsii) and mushrooms (psilogybe mexicana), which travelled up to the natives of North America. Meanwhile, in South America, Amazonian tribes used yagé or the 'visionary vine' (banisteriopsis caapi) as well as the more potent ayahuascheros.
      While European culture officially recognized wine, beer, and various liquors (alcohol) as a legitimate source of social gathering and even as a religious sacrament, it strongly condemned the use of psychedelics, such as those used in witches' brews (nightshade, mandrake, henbane, toadskin) and possibly extracted in alchemy as well.(81)
      Still, by the 19th century, certain European and American poets were producing works under the influence of marijuana and hashish which found acceptance in Occidental culture (Coleridge, Poe, Baudelaire). By the middle of the 20th century, the use of these substances was banned by law, even as new psychedelics were being synthesized or isolated (LSD, DMT). At the same time, the music, poetry, and art which bore traces of their influence moved into the mainstream. Beat poetry, free Jazz, Psychedelic music, acid Rock - all of these forms