40+ years ago it changed mine
Even in hindsight we could not predict the course of a life, the logic or lack thereof that dictated choices that had long term consequences. One such choice was made when I was really not old enough to grasp the enormity of what I was doing. At age 14 I bought some LSD and my closest friend and I took it on a gorgeous October fall day. And the experience changed me on a fundamental level.
I’ve never been one to try and convince others to try psychedelics. In fact I have more than once talked others out of it because I felt they weren’t stable enough for that level of psychic shock. I’d witnessed one high school friend, who had been physically abused as a child, take it and have a terrible experience. Others who simply saw it as a recreational drug to be combined with drinking often moved on to more destructive drugs, not because of any inherent connection between acid and ‘hard’ drugs, but because they were continually seeking escape from some hidden pain.
But my experience, and most of those that followed, was a game-changer in a good way. As corny as it sounds, I had one of those enlightenment experiences you read about but seldom encounter, a moment frozen in time and filled with unimaginable beauty and a poignant sense of having always been in that place. Now, these many years and lifetimes later, a part of me is still in that moment. But something else happened.
I’ve always had this notion that if something like reincarnation exists, it could very well manifest itself as periods within a lifetime that are distinct, lives within a life. That acid trip gave me the willingness to open myself to these changes when they presented themselves.
I’d always wanted to be a writer and I studied writing in college, wrote a bad novel, and put it aside. Some new friends asked me to play in their fledgling original punk band because I had a guitar I could barely play and we shared our love for the emerging 70s music scene, a scene that gave even inexperienced musicians the freedom to try. And I became a musician, a pro. That was lifetime number one and it was immersive, lasting well over ten years and giving me a chance to experience nearly every aspect of the rock lifestyle, except the massive…