The Beyond Within is a well-balanced two part documentary on LSD featuring Albert Hoffman, Ken Kesey and British politician Christopher Mayhew.
While the entire documentary is filled with absorbing insights, The Mayhew segment is particularly fascinating.
Media and public interest in LSD reached a point in the early 60’s that a politician by the name of Christopher Mayhew agreed to undergo an experiment, and for this experiment to be filmed by the BBC. This fascinating experiment involved his taking a dose of Mescalin in the company of a physician, and answering certain basic brainteasers over the course of his little trip. The footage of his experience is extraordinary, as this eloquent upper-class aristocrat describes what he is experiencing under the influence of the drug, his eyes wide as saucers. Indeed, the footage proved too controversial for the BBC at the time, and was not shown until this Everyman documentary broadcast it in the 1980’s. Interestingly, Mayhew, who in 1986 was a member of the House of Lords, watches the footage, 30 years later, and stands by his description of the experience. “I had an experience in time” he says, and his conviction is apparent.”
There has been a recent resurgence of interest in psychedelics within the psychiatric and scientific community and I personally think it’s about time. The benefits of psychoactive drugs, DMT and LSD in particular, far outweigh the hazards. It’s time to make pharmaceutical quality LSD available to adults who want an alternative path to mental well-being and spiritual insight. We need to re-approach this extraordinary chemical without hysteria and hype.
Made in 1986 for BBC television, The Beyond Within explores the rise and fall of LSD. Here it is in its entirety.