His wife, Cathy Coleman, said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Metzner’s first marriage, to Susan Homer, ended in divorce in 1964. To learn more about him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Manuel_Rodríguez_Delgado?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog Surely you don’t mean to say that the scientific community was being like a square, fuddy-duddy parental unit telling these men “Because I say so!” The recognition of epistemic humility as essential to furthering our understanding of all phenomena, not just those labeled ‘objective’, surely informed the resistance to self-experimentation, no? American psychology was only beginning its emergence from decades of domination by behaviorism. And prior to that, psychedelic medicines – in their plant and fungal forms – have long been utilized by aboriginal shamans as components of psycho-spiritual medicine and ritual practices. His undying certainty of the untapped human capacities for expansion of consciousness through psychedelics and meditative practices stayed with him always. Photo credits: 2012 photo of Ralph courtesy of his daughter, Sophia Metzner. In addition and very important to him, was the development of practices based on this knowledge that would contribute to reducing human suffering. He is the author of many pioneering books exploring the far reaches of consciousness, going back to The Psychedelic Experience, which he co-authored with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert. Ralph Metzner, LSD and Consciousness Researcher, Dies at 82 For a while there, back in the day, he was at the center of the cyclone. I do wish, though, that you didn’t take the conventional path of caricaturing the scientific establishment as another manifestation of The Man — the sentence “This was simply considered unacceptable science.” is especially rankling — what was so simple about the carefully developed conventions for scientific research protocols? He finished sorting out his library of books into 44 boxes to be shipped to Purdue University, where it will be named the Ralph Metzner Library. His fierce love of the prospects for peace and a sustainable future for all beings was an inspiration for us to cultivate more courage, commitment, and devotion. Ralph died quietly and with grace at his home in Sonoma, California, following a relatively short (about a year) encounter with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. [3] Metzner was featured in the 2006 film Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within, a documentary about rediscovering an enchanted cosmos in the modern world. Ralph served on the CIIS faculty for three decades, and also assumed roles of academic dean and academic vice-president, during which time he contributed to the expansion of the school and its programs. He challenged complacency that in all aspects of human life and integrity. (Apr.) Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American ethnobotanist and mystic who advocated for the responsible use of naturally occurring psychedelic plants.He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, and the … Ralph moved somewhat later to the East Bay and worked as a clinical psychologist at Kaiser. Now known as the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), the school has grown in size and stature, and today is at the forefront of psychology graduate training programs that encourage investigation of frontier areas of humanistic psychology and consciousness research. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Narrated by Ralph Metzner and supported by a dramatic and potent soundtrack by Byron Metcalf (featuring Dashmesh Khalsa), this unique album, combined with Hemi-Sync® frequencies, is designed to take the listener on a personal exploration of the cycles and mysteries of death and rebirth that are ever present in the human psyche. Ralph Metzner, LSD and Consciousness Researcher, Dies at 82. March 31, 1999. Ralph Metzner: Remebering the Extraordinary Psychedelic Pioneer (1936 – 2019) Ralph Metzner's eclectic career was unique and inspiring. By this time psilocybin had become difficult to obtain and their primary focus of exploration had switched to LSD. I want to die. The 1960s were just beginning when three professors published “The Psychedelic Experience: A … This was simply considered unacceptable science. From these projects emerged Ralph’s first book, a collaboration with Leary and Alpert based on a translation of Tibetan texts popularly known in English as The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Ralph developed his own connection to alchemy first through an embodied practice of light fire-yoga called Agni Yoga. If you want to learn more: It came to mind the story of Yale Dr. of physiology Jose Manuel Delgado who studied altered states of mind through electrical stimulation. Is this your ancestor? Shortly thereafter, his mentors were famously expelled from Harvard – a testament to the power of psychedelics to shake up the psyche and potentially lead to problematic consequences when this power is not effectively contained and channeled. 2012. https://coherentbreathing.org/?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog In his 60s he learned to play jazz piano and recorded an album of songs he composed and sang – Bardo Blues, and Other Songs of Liberation (2005). And even more egregious was the fact that the researchers in the psilocybin project were actually discovering things by taking the drug themselves. Ralph Metzner (May 18, 1936 – March 14, 2019) was a German-born American psychologist, writer and researcher, who participated in psychedelic research at Harvard University in the early 1960s with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later named Ram Dass). [4], He conducted workshops on consciousness transformation and alchemical divination, both nationally and internationally. Metzner was a psychotherapist, and Professor Emeritus of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, where he was formerly the Academic Dean and Academic Vice-president. I love working with astrology and helping people with the cycles of their lives. Recently another of the great pioneers has passed. Thank you for this thoughtful tribute and reminder of an important figure in the counterculture. In Green Psychology Ralph Metzner explores the history of this global pathology and examines the ways that we can restore a healing relationship with nature. Randomized, double-blind studies surely have demonstrated their limitations in many areas of human phenomenology, as well Ralph knew. Dr. Pretzl, thanks for sharing with us a bit about the life and achievements of Dr. Metzner. The opinions expressed on the Berkeley Blog are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the official view of UC Berkeley. While continuing to participate in psychedelic research, Ralph also conducted another project in reward-delay learning and used that work to complete a doctorate in clinical psychology. Ralph continued to edit a publication called The Psychedelic Review (1963-1971), moved to California, lived briefly in Berkeley, and took a position as clinical psychologist at Mendocino State Hospital in Ukiah, California – an institution for the “criminally insane” and other chronically mentally ill, housing at the time nearly 2,000 patients. Ralph Metzner (May 18, 1936 – March 14, 2019) was a German-born American psychologist, writer and researcher, who participated in psychedelic research at Harvard University in the early 1960s with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later named Ram Dass). Although his research was revolutionary and with great potential for good (it could have ended the use of lobotomy) it faced public rejection. Ralph Metzner, a veteran psychedelic researcher, who lives in Sonoma County, said MDMA does not have the same psychological risks as LSD. Ralph Metzner, Don Lattin, Allan Badiner interview by Mary-Charlotte for Santa Fe Radio Cafe. Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner testing a bimanual typewriter designed to record experiential data during psychedelic-drug sessions. Gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā. This constitutes not only an important historical record, but also serves as a source of inspiration and guidance to those who are currently carrying the investigation of these powerful substances into the future. 1962. Ralph Metzner (18 May 1936 to 14 March 2019) died quietly last month in Sonoma, California – at home and in the company of his wife. The scientific study of consciousness will surely benefit as ideas he explored continue to slowly penetrate into academic and public discourse. As a colleague, friend, and student of Dr. Metzner, I observed two decades of his dedication to the study the psychological and spiritual underpinnings of shamanic traditions and a clear-eyed promotion of the re-invigoration of Radical Empiricism in the tradition of William James. Ralph joined the psilocybin research project, although he and other graduate students were informed the following year by senior faculty in the psychology department that they could not use psilocybin-related research in their doctoral dissertations. He studied philosophy and political science at Oxford University and came to the United States in 1958 to attend graduate school in psychology at Harvard University. Ralph, together with Leary and Alpert, moved to a communal living setting in Millbrook, New York, where they continued their exploration of the impact of psychedelics on consciousness. Green Psychology Transforming Our Relationship to the Earth by Ralph Metzner available in Trade Paperback on Powells.com, also read synopsis and reviews. And the tools of modern neuroscience – measuring things as diverse as global brain activity (via fMRI, EEG, MEG, and PET) and molecular and cellular aspects of synaptic plasticity – are being applied to deepen understanding of how psychedelics act on the brain and body. is what propels our thinking forward, improving our work in various ways. The scientific and clinical exploration of the 1950s-60s soon enough led to widespread popular use of these substances. Ralph Metzner was born on May 18, 1936 in Berlin, Germany, where he spent his first years. Thank you, Ralph! This is an extremely thoughtful and clear narrative of the extraordinary life and scholarship of Dr. Ralph Metzner by David Presti. Ralph Metzner. Dr. in physics Roger Penrose faced a similar situation, during his collaboration with Dr. Stephen Hawkings on black hole theory he gained much fame and recognition but as he decided to research the quantum nature of consciousness this notoriety started to vanish as Dr. Hawkings’ grew. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Sophie Metzner; a stepson, Elias Jacobson; two brothers, Robin and Ken; two half brothers, Guenther Metzner and Otto Metzner; and a half sister, Anna Metzner. I am ready to die.” Alchemical Musings combines his earliest writing on alchemy with his last writings on alchemical terms. Ralph Metzner died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis March 14 at age 82. Only in the recent years his work is being rediscovered with research on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and although these recent studies focus on just an area of what Dr. Delgado discovered it still is considered controversial today. Deep Gratitude, Ralph, always. He was 82. Ralph is survived by his second wife, Cathy Coleman, and by his daughter Sophia Metzner, and by his step-son Elias Jacobson and by Elias' wife Sabrina and son Gracian Jacobson. Ralph was a rigorous academic scholar, visionary alchemical explorer, and gifted shamanic teacher – and his contributions to the contemporary world of psychedelic studies and to consciousness research are myriad. He finished sorting out his library of books into 44 boxes to be shipped to Purdue University, where it will be named the Ralph Metzner Library. After a couple years of studying behaviorist learning theory and psychoanalysis, dominant forces in academic psychology at that time, he encountered the research project of Harvard faculty members Timothy Leary (Ph.D. UC Berkeley, 1950) and Richard Alpert, who were conducting an innovative investigation of the psychological effects of psilocybin. In 1964 she met two former Harvard professors who were experimenting with LSD, Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner, who invited her to join them at the Millbrook estate in upstate New York. Let’s not keep up with the facile distinction between ‘heads and squares. 1996. Ralph had his first psychedelic-drug experience in March 1961, about which he would later write, with deep sincerity: “I shall always be grateful to Harvard for providing me with that extremely educational experience.”. Psychedelic medicines have become, over the last several years, an increasingly prominent topic of discussion. I had the good fortune of meeting Ralph in the early 1990s, and thereafter paid a number of visits to his classes, offering instruction and facilitating discussion related to neuroscience and psychopharmacology. Drawing on the wisdom of the Tibetan Book of the Dead—a centuries-old guide to changes in consciousness between death and the next life—The Psychedelic Experience outlines the experience of ego death: an episode of complete transcendence and loss of identity associated with high doses of psychedelics. Much of the contemporary work is drawing from, replicating, and expanding upon studies at academic institutions, medical centers, clinics, and other settings in the 1950s and 1960s, conducted by investigative pioneers of that era. Controlled studies have demonstrated the capacity of psychedelics to occasion what are described as transformational spiritual experiences. His last published book – Searching for the Philosophers’ Stone (2018) – describes his relationships with and gratitude for important teachers in his life, and appeared in print only weeks before he died. He dedicated his life to teaching and writing about regular and altered states of consciousness, and left a legacy that will continue to inspire curious minds for generations to come. Continuously, Ralph researched, taught, and wrote – in the academic setting and in widely delivered lectures and teaching seminars. By. Ralph Metzner. Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, and Ralph Metzner. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), The passing of a giant in the exploration of psychedelics and consciousness, View UCBerkeleyOfficial’s profile on Instagram, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Manuel_Rodríguez_Delgado?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog, https://coherentbreathing.org/?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog, https://findgoodhealth.org/natural-remedies-for-anxiety/?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog. He wrote poems and published a book of poetry – Diving for Treasures (2015). Ralph Metzner leaves a legacy of written scholarship and teaching, and a widely distributed circle of students and friends, deeply grateful for what he gave to his expansive community and to the world. Many of the modern pioneers are gone, but fortunately the stories and contributions of some of these vanguard scientists and clinicians have been documented through their writings, interviews, and biographies. Copyright © 2021 UC Regents; all rights reserved. Editor's Note: This response to Rick Doblin's follow-up to the Leary Prison Experiment was originally published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Oct-Dec 1998 issue. The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ralph_Metzner&oldid=1000301407, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 15:18. (Photo courtesy of Sophia Metzner). Ralph wrote many essays and some 20 books; a few representative ones (in addition to those already mentioned) are: Know Your Type: Maps of Identity (1979); The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe (1994); Green Psychology: Transforming our Relationship to the Earth (1999); Sacred Mushroom of Visions: Teonanacatl (2005); Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca (2006); Roots of War and Domination (2008); Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties (2010); The Toad and the Jaguar (2013); Allies for Awakening (2015); and Ecology of Consciousness: The Alchemy of Personal, Collective, and Planetary Transformation (2017). New to this edition are an introduction by Leary colleague Ralph Metzner; a history of the publication of this collection by Leary archivist Michael Horowitz; and a preface by Leary's wife, Rosemary. In part this related to deep opposition to a paradigm that drew upon the study of subjective experiences rather than measurements of behavioral actions. Metzner, who received a Ph.D. at Harvard in 1962, was a graduate student there when he began working with Leary and Richard Alpert, who were clinical psychology professors and had begun exploring therapeutic and other uses for LSD, psilocybin and similar hallucinogens. Leary's poems are reminders of the fine line that separates drug-induced visions from religious mysticism. His insights and discoveries were fertile ground for tremendous enrichment in the education of many hundreds of graduate students in several universities as well as the post-graduate medical professionals in the CIIS certificate program for psychedelic therapy and research. In Tibetan spiritual traditions, these texts have been interpreted as a guide to negotiating the intermediate state (bardo) between one life and the next. Over an arc of some 50 years, Ralph Metzner practiced using alchemical processes for inner transformation. Ralph was a rigorous academic scholar, visionary alchemical explorer, and gifted shamanic teacher – and his contributions to the contemporary world of psychedelic studies and to consciousness research are myriad. The inheritance we have from his prolific scholarly writings is food for the heart and mind for generations to come. For those fortunate to have known Ralph, his influence remains with us in the profoundly lived experience of the light-fire cave of the heart. Ralph Humphrey Guenther Metzner was born on May 18, 1936, in Berlin. But the great power of psychedelic medicines and the degree to which they can open the psyche proved too much for American society in the 1960s, resulting in severe legal restriction and the ending of the first phase of the modern era of sanctioned clinical and scientific research. https://findgoodhealth.org/natural-remedies-for-anxiety/?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog April 11, 2016. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard. In my thirty-five years of experience as an astrologer, I have helped people deal with difficult times, learn more about themselves, figure out a place to relocate, improve their relationships, and strategize about their career. When the war broke out, his family escaped to the countryside, and later emigrated to Scotland, where his mother was originally from. Dr. George Greer conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his psychiatric nurse wife, Requa Tolbert. The mythology of the Indo European people, who took over most of the countries in the Western world is still living today. His wife, Cathy Coleman, said the cause was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Its feeling is something like “serenity”, although there is … He was a warrior and visionary. His books include The Well of Remembrance, The Unfolding Self, Green Psychology, and two edited collections on the science and the phenomenology of Ayahuasca and Teonanácatl, and a collection of reports about MDMA experiences. It is a tragedy that these types of studies aren’t better funded as this slows several decades our understanding of the human mind and this should be a top priority. Ralph Metzner died at his home in Sonoma, in bed with his wife, early in the morning of March 14, of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Unfortunately, imho revolutionary works of scientists such as Ralph Metzner won’t be really appreciated by the public until many decades in the future because it’s considered taboo. Ralph Metzner (1936-2019) obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Harvard University, where he collaborated with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert on psychedelic research. After the last box was packed, he turned to his wife, Cathy Coleman, and said, “I feel like I am going to die tonight. Once at Millbrook, Rosemary went on to become the wife--and accomplice--of the man Richard Nixon called “the most dangerous man in America.” “You can’t have a bad trip, he said.” Like Greer, Metzner used MDMA as a therapeutic tool for couples and individuals in the 1980s. Ralph Metzner, psychologist of the psychedelic, was also an author.Photo: Sophia Metzner “Ralph was a pioneer in psychedelic research, and was a highly accomplished and productive scholar in all fields of psychology,” said Robert McDermott, president emeritus of the California Institute of Integral Studies. JEFFREY MISHLOVE: Hello, everybody out there in Wisdomland! From Introduction by Ralph Metzner Zeig, Tucker & Theisen, Inc. 2002 Hellinger often uses an expression that was also a favourite of Martin Heidegger’s: the wonderful German word Gelassenheit, literally meaning “letting-be-ness”. He was a co-founder and President of the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit educational organization devoted to healing and harmonizing the relationship between humans and the Earth,[2] and a signatory to the 9/11 Truth Statement. His quest throughout was to draw from the rich bodies of knowledge and wisdom emergent from European and Asian spiritual and mystical traditions and bring this to bear in expanding a modern science of consciousness. He continued his scholarly activities and in 1968 published The Ecstatic Adventure, an edited collection of essays speaking to the psychological and societal impact of psychedelics. , meditation and shamanism for over 50 years, an increasingly prominent topic of discussion ( 2015 ) drug.! 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