Pychedelic explorers of the early sixties noted a transformation of conventional space into vibrating space harmonies. Edges softened. Corners vanished. Boundaries dissolved along with the simultaneous dissolution of ego. Rooms were seen to rearrange themselves, breathe, flutter, and pulsate with mystic emanations, or explode with preternatural color. "One has the impression of mouches volants, a gentle flowing of boundaries and substances," wrote psychologist Rolf Von Eckartsberg after his first LSD trip. Traditional hierarchies of space were upturned, polarities flipped. "A push from the inside is a pull from the outside, and vice versa," wrote Alan Watts, Anglican priest turned Zen geographer of inner space. "My left side is now my right side and my right side is my left side," noted psychiatrist Art Kleps.

One thing became clear during the early period of experimentation: extraordinary experiences demanded extraordinary settings. Traditional concepts of "room," "home," "family," and "community" were reconfigured. Walls were adorned with Rorschach inkblots and collages done under hallucinogenic influence. Red velvet cushions were scattered across the floor. A small room at Time Leary's house was converted into the "Time Chamber" with sealed off doors and walls draped with paisley print bedspreads. The only way to enter was from the basement, through a hole in the floor. Individuals who tripped in the Time Chamber reported losing their sense of time and place. "It was easy to forget, on drugs or straight, where you were in the house or indeed the planet," noted Leary.

Chapter 1 - Enchanted Loom
Chapter 2 - Infinity Machines
Chapter 3 - Crash Pads
Chapter 4 - Soft City
Chapter 5 - Unsettlers
Chapter 6 - Magic Circles
Chapter 7 - Frontier Mystics

© 2009 Alastair Gordon
Time Chamber, International Federation for Inner Freedom, Newton Center, Mass., 1963