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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a popular novel by Lewis Carol written in 1865. It is often taken as a satire of the British aristocracy. But the story has also been interpreted in psychological and mythological terms.

From a Jungian perspective, Alice’s falling down the rabbit hole seems to transport her from a conventional worldview into the mysterious world of the collective unconscious.

The usual laws of logic and proportion no longer apply, and Alice encounters several odd characters and situations. One of these is the White Rabbit with a pocket watch. In the so-called “Summer of Love” of 1967, the rock group Jefferson Airplane released a hit single, White Rabbit, likening Alice’s adventures to an LSD trip.

"Alice meets the Caterpillar", from ...

“Alice meets the Caterpillar”, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other famous and not-so-famous writers like Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary and Terrence Mckenna have variously advocated psychedelic stimulants as doorways to the unknown recesses of the unconscious and transpersonal psyche.

By way of contrast, some contemporary spiritual seekers say that psychoactive drugs represent, at best, beginners’ aids. And most social, scientific and religious groups see illegal drugs as a hindrance to true spiritual achievement and, at worst, as addictive substances potentially dangerous to self, others and to society as a whole.¹

Defenders of drug use often cite the Peyote cults of Mexico, northern Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. These religious groups use psychoactive drugs and some research indicates an absence of harmful effects among Church members if peyote is taken responsibly.²

The cult classic video What the Bleep Do We Know!? adapts Carol’s “down the rabbit hole” metaphor to highlight leading interpretations of observed anomalies in subatomic physics.

¹ The argument is that drug use directly or indirectly involves a person in the world of street gangs, violence and corruption.

² See http://www.johnhorgan.org/peyote_on_the_brain_19110.htm

Related posts » Underhill (Evelyn), DVD Review – The Initiation of Alice in Wonderland: The Looking Glass of Lewis Carroll

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