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Take a trip to the origins of mankind at Baxter Avenue Theater with 'Altered Sta
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We spoke recently about hallucinogenic drugs. I recommended the book “Breaking Open the Head” by Thomas Pinchbeck, in which a skeptical New York journalist decides to explore modern shamanism and has all sorts of spiritual experiences involving drugs, at the end of which he goes a little silly and prophesies 2012 end times. The moral of the story? Don't do that many drugs, probably. Interesting book, though, anyway. Hallucinogens are illegal in this country, but they make for fascinating study, especially when we talk about those who take them very seriously. Check out the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Read “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” in which Tom Wolfe hangs out with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, a band of LSD devotees. Read Aldous Huxley's “The Doors of Perception,” detailing his experimentation with mescaline.

And if you're interested in the realm of fiction, head to Baxter Avenue Theaters tomorrow, Saturday, for a midnight screening of Altered States, written by Paddy Chyefsky (writer of the amazing film Network) and directed by Ken Russell (who helmed The Who's rock opera Tommy, which is a pretty serious trip in itself). William Hurt plays Edward Jessup, a psychology professor studying schizophrenia. He wonders if perhaps alternate states of consciousness are secretly as real as our normal, “sane” state of mind. Experimentation with a sensory deprivation chamber and ayahuasca (by the way, read also William S. Burroughs' “The Yage Letters”) lead to spectacular results – and to say that it is very strange is to put it lightly. It's pretty fantastic.

Baxter Avenue Theaters is located at 1250 Bardstown Road. Further theater information and advance ticket sales can be found at the Baxter Avenue Theater website.

Image: Internet Movie Database

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About Allan Day

There are legitimate theories that the Big Bang originated from the collapse of a black hole in a fourth-dimensional universe. This stuff fascinates me, and I love reading about it. I love reading about science. And about anything, for that matter, provided it's interesting - and everything is potentially interesting, so I'm fascinated by a lot of things. I also read a lot of fiction (Kurt Vonnegut deserves deification) and watch a lot of movies (Charlie Chaplin also deserves deification). I've made a few short films myself. I'm also a writer of everything - I'm close to a Bachelor's in English at IUS. My life consists of reading, writing, bartending, and taking care of my daughter full-time. Life is busy and life is stressful, but that's why there's music and art and other forms of relaxation.

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