Be What You Are

Click here for: ‘Be What You Are,’ the idea for ‘Huxley’s Exit’

This piece contains flawed mini-DV footage of the Huxley house. It was shot by Kyle Cameron and depicts Connie Littlefield during a visit to Laura Huxley in 2002. It features images of the room where Aldous died in 1963, and the room where Laura later passed on, in 2006. It was edited by Connie, long after the fact; who realized it was a picture of herself having the idea for a documentary.

The video footage has been cut together with images taken from the Prelinger Archives.

The music is by composer Andy McNeill of Elora, Ontario.  The vocal track is a guided meditation recorded by Laura Archera Huxley in 1962.

It was created as part of a group show called “Progress in Work” at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Nova Scotia in November 2014.

me&Laura

Huxley’s Exit: a work in progress

Hollywood, California: November 22, 1963. On his deathbed, unable to speak, Aldous Huxley made a written request to his wife Laura for “LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular.” According to her account in her book “This Timeless Moment,” she obliged with an injection at 11:45 am and another, a few hours later. Huxley died of throat cancer, aged 69, at 5:20 pm.

Huxley was not the first human to use psychedelics on the deathbed, and he would certainly not be the last. After a 40-year hiatus, international trials are revisiting the role of psychedelic drugs in treating end-of-life anxiety. Studies have been conducted in Switzerland, at UCLA, Johns Hopkins, and at the Harvard Medical School. Evidence suggests that LSD and similar substances can help patients to resolve existential issues surrounding their impending demise.

In the 21st century, Western culture doesn’t handle death very well. If these materials can help us to make the transition in peace, shouldn’t they be explored?

Today’s adult uses tools such as nutrition, vitamins, meditation, and yoga to improve our quality of life. What about our quality of death? We’re learning to take care of ourselves, spiritually, mentally and physically. Conscious dying is a natural next step.

The cohort who grew up with Huxley’s books are reaching old age, and death is on our minds. Many people are looking for solutions to end-of-life anxiety, and some have a secret in the nightstand, in preparation for that final trip. This film tells the story of some folks who are taking ‘Huxley’s Exit.’

 

aldous

The Sunshine Makers

THESUNSHINEMAKERS-KEY

A real-life Breaking Bad for the psychedelic set, The Sunshine Makers reveals the entertaining, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counterculture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness- raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, Orange Sunshine, as they tried to stay one step ahead of the feds.

me & Nick

Director: Cosmo Feilding Mellen

Producer: George Chignel, Nicole Stott, Connie Littlefield

Writers: Connie Littlefield and Cosmo Feilding Mellen

Cinematographer: Will Pugh
Editor: Nicholas Packer
Music: The Heliocentrics
Running Time: 90
Language: English
Country: UK
Year: 2015

Feed Your Head

What causes mental illness?

feed

Psychiatrists Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond met in Saskatchewan in 1951, and embarked on a quest to do what traditional psychiatry deemed impossible: to find a cure for schizophrenia. Their work spawned a number of directions for research, many of which are only gaining acceptance in wider circles now.

Their primary contribution to psychiatry was a theory about treating people suffering from mental illness using nutrition. Hoffer and Osmond set out to prove that the symptoms of schizophrenia could be controlled with healthy, unprocessed food and large doses of vitamins.

Linus Pauling was an American scientist, peace activist, two-time Nobel Prize winning author and educator. Pauling & Hoffer became friends and together advocated for mega-doses of niacin, vitamin C and other nutrients in the treatment of all kinds of disease. Pauling came up with the name “Orthomolecular” for this new, yet ancient, form of treatment. Orthomolecular means “the right molecules in the right amounts.”

Hoffer, Osmond and Pauling were way ahead of their time. Their work coincided with a general movement towards de-institutionalization in mental health, releasing patients back into the community with no real support system. At the same time, economic changes were bringing budget cuts to all aspects of health care in North America.

This was also the dawn of the age of Big Pharma. Multi-national pharmaceutical corporations sprung up in the 1950s and 60s, introducing new anti-psychotic drugs that made it possible to control, if not actually help, the mentally ill. Consumers put their faith in the idea of the “magic bullet” and since then, psychiatry has been largely controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

For their efforts, Hoffer, Osmond, Pauling & hundreds of like-minded doctors were condemned by their peers.

The tide is turning: a growing wave of consumer demand is driving an orthomolecular resurgence. Doctors and patients are being slowly won over by a simple idea that makes more sense every day:

WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.

Youtube Link

Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey

Cops Say ‘No’ to the War on Drugs

After 30 years of drug war, illegal narcotics are decreasing in price, increasing in purity and demand continues to surge. The heroes of this film are veterans of the drug war and they urge us to consider ending drug prohibition. They have had a complete revolution in their thinking. Now they are working to end the War on Drugs. Find out what happened to change their minds.

Damage Done: The Drug War Odyssey

Sun

Hofmann’s Potion: The Early Years of LSD

title card

Hofmann’s Potion: The Early Years of LSD was released in 2002. Written and directed by Connie Littlefield and produced by Kent Martin for the National Film Board of Canada, this was one of the first documentaries to delve into the little known early history of the world’s most notorious psychedelic.

Long before Timothy Leary urged a generation to “tune in, turn on and drop out,” lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, was being used by researchers trying to understand the human mind. This film is a fascinating look at the story of “acid” before it hit the streets.

Featuring interviews with many LSD pioneers, ‘Hofmann’s Potion’ is much more than a simple chronicle of the drug’s early days. With thoughtful interviews, beautiful music and stunning cinematography, it is an invitation to look at LSD, and our world, with a more open, compassionate mind.

The film features interviews with the following:
Albert Hofmann
Myron Stolaroff
Stanislav Grof
Humphrey Osmond
Abram Hoffer
Duncan Blewett
Ralph Metzner
Ram Dass
Laura Archera Huxley

You can view ‘Hofmann’s Potion’ at this site: NFB: Hofmann’s Potion

See the awesome photo collection at the facebook page for the film!

Reviews of Hofmann’s Potion

Dr. Albert Hofmann wrote this letter after viewing Hofmann’s Potion at his home in Switzerland. It read, in part:
Dear Connie, how I could enjoy this grand work. My heartfelt congratulations to you for your main contribution to the success of this unique documentation of my problem child.
With warm greetings
Yours – Albert Hofmann

“Documentary filmmaker Connie Littlefield delves into the little-known early history of the world’s most notorious psychedelic concoction with a series of excellent interviews with early psychedelic researchers. Highly recommended!”
– – Rick Doblin, President of MAPS

“Dear Connie,
Yes we received the film and we think it is exquisite…. just as we imagined some sweet intelligent truthful inquisitive person might possibly birth the story. Thank you and your whole crew Connie. What a sweet child you have made. We cried as we saw us all, older slower, afflicted with God knows what, all so absolutely certain after all these years that the answers that were gifted us with this ‘accident’, LSD , were still valid right across the board. Sweet Richard Ram Dass, dear Humphry the toothless, Duncan ever beautiful, all never doubting we had all been given a key that we had used and treasured for this life time.
Thank you thank you thank you.
All our best smiles and hugs to you. Duncan is just fine and sends his love…… June.”
– – Dr. June Blewett

“‘Hofmann’s Potion’ is an elegant, deftly constructed piece of filmmaking Connie Littlefield brings an intelligent and compassionate eye to her aging, highly engaging subjects. She brings us this gem of a film on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the invention of LSD — just in time for a widespread revival in interest in the clinical and spiritual benefits of consciousness-enhancing substances.”
– – Mark Achbar, Co-Director, Manufacturing Consent & The Corporation

“Your film is easily the classiest, most intelligent and best made of all documentaries on LSD.”
– -Tom Lyttle, Publisher, Author, Archivist

“I use “Hofmann’s Potion” in my Foundations of Psychedelic Studies class. It’s one of my favorites and the classes’s too.

It is a well-composed video both in content and artistically. It starts with an interview with Albert Hofmann and shows him walking along an beautiful field and forest. To my delight, it contains historical footage of the early LSD treatments in Canada for alcoholism and interviews with Osmond and Hoffer. I had no idea such footage existed.

Duncan Blewett’s smile and sparkling eyes comment on Al Hubbard’s dynamic warmth even more than his words. Other psychedelic pioneers appear too, including footage (I had no idea it even existed) of Stan Grof administering LSD to addicts during his early career in Prague. Myron Stoloaroff, who also knew Hubbard

Beautiful shots of the prairie, water reflecting light, and other nature scenes raise the tape an artistic step above the usual documentary.

Connie Littlefield, the director, deserves a big “Congratulations and Thank You” for this fine film/tape.

I recommend it for personal interest and as in introduction to psychedelics for college classes and other groups who are unfamiliar with psychedelic’s history and possible uses in addictions, alcoholism, and psychotherapy. It should be in university video libraries.”
– – Thomas B. Roberts, Prof. of Educational Psychology, Northern Illinois University

“A remarkable film and the first truth-telling treatment of LSD’s
therapy potential since the landmark CBS production in 1965: ‘LSD:
The Spring Grove Experiment.’ In the spirit of education, I am proud
to see that UC (my Alma Mater) is distributing this!”
– – Richard Yensen, Ph.D., Director, Orenda Institute, Baltimore, Maryland

Quotes from Hofmann’s Potion

I was walking on beautiful May morning. Suddenly I stopped and I had the feeling everything had changed. The woods was beautiful. I had the feeling that I now saw the woods as it really is. I had the feeling I would be included by it. I had a feeling of happiness I never had before. And this gave me the security that if you had open eyes you may see the world in a different way. I mean in you see it as it really is – wonderful.
— Albert Hofmann

The effect is somewhat like looking through a microscope. Suddenly when you look threw a microscope you discover that there is an invisible world around you that you hadn’t known about. The same is true about the psychedelic drug. You are aware of processes that going on inside your own brain. You are aware of the exchange of energy going on between your sense organs and the ones around them that you weren’t aware of before.
— Timothy Leary

For myself these experiences have been most strange; most awesome. And in their own way, amongst the most beautiful, in my life. A sense of spacious significance began to invest everything. Everything was brilliantly sharp and significant. If I fixed my attention on a flower, I felt I could spend all day contemplating it. Phrases such as “I’ve seen with the eye of the world, the new eye of the newborn on a new day sprang to my town, apparently without construction.” A plain wooden chair was invested with chairiness no chair had ever for me before.
— Humphry Osmond

In a good LSD experience you resolve your inner conflicts, and the loads and the barriers that have developed. You begin to reach down into the depth of your own being. You see more and more levels of being. More and more levels of understanding. Often we like to blame our feelings on other people. And what they are doing to us. But if I feel that it’s my feeling and I’ve produced it, then I’m the only one who can resolve it. And fortunately, these substances allow you see and recognize this. And resolve it.
— Myron Stolaroff

Aldous and I would give a session to a friend, or someone who wanted it and the preparation for a session, was very, very careful. The day before we didn’t do anything. We just fixed the house very quietly. The day of the session there was nothing except that, and even the day after. To Aldous the session was a gratuitous grace – something that was given to you for nothing. Not that you merited it. You are just lucky in getting it. It’s what you do with it afterwards, that counted.
— Laura Huxley

I wasn’t born as Richard Albert. I was just born as a human being. And then I learned this whole business of who I am, and whether I’m good or bad, or achieving or not. All that’s learned along the way. You see all those learned things separate. You become is a point of awareness. That’s all that is left. I remember the first time this happened to me, as professor went, and middle class boy went, and pilot went, and all of my games were going off into the distance. I got this terrible panic, because, indeed, I was going to cease to exist. And I got the panic, which is the panic that precedes psychological death. Because indeed Richard Albert was dying.
— Ram Dass

We all want to expand our consciousness, we alter our consciousness all the time. We cycle through waking and dreaming and sleeping. It’s natural– consciousness naturally varies. I mean, I took a consciousness expanding drug this morning: I had a cup of coffee. That was a psychoactive, it got my brain going. Probably most people do that.
We interact with psychoactive substances and plants all the time. And the point is to do it in a conscious way, a discriminating way, a purposive way, to choose it.
— Ralph Metzner