In 1966, a chance phone call from an old friend led Michael V. Palmer to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, a place populated by hippies, musicians, psychics, and yogis.

To Palmer's delight, many of his new friends dabbled in all of the above, and everyone wanted to spread the love. Much of that good feeling stemmed from a collective mental awakening inspired by a new controversial psychedelic concoction: LSD.

For Palmer and his contemporaries, LSD presented a unique opportunity to expand one's mind. For the authorities, it heralded the collapse of social order.

In the memoir Trips, Travels, and Dreams: How LSD Saved Me, Palmer's unique personal story showcases the power of the psychedelically altered mind. Because of LSD use, he no longer lived within the confines of society's expectations. Uniquely talented people, such as the psychic Vassily, encouraged him to follow his acid-induced dreams and visions down a life's path that ultimately took him to more than sixty countries.

This fascinating story, complete with an insightful analysis of the human psyche, proves a glowing testament to the power of the 1960s counterculture movement.


“Michael Palmer gives us an engaging record, part literal and part metaphor, of his personal spiritual journey...

I resonated with this book. The author doesn’t pretend to be perfect, but a dedicated seeker. In doing so he captures the essence of the mystical journey. This is not a book about LSD; that just got him started on his path. But it IS a book about salvation and enlightenment, and how to get there. I highly recommend this wonderful page turner.” — GARY RENARD, best-selling author of The Disappearance of the Universe trilogy

“Michael Palmer’s gift to us all in his spiritual memoir isn’t the words, but the spirit that comes through them from a wise soul willing to laugh and celebrate what we can all make of life if we want to. Trips, Travel and Dreams is a Carlos Castaneda trip not through the darkness but through the laughter of the gods and the peace and joy that laughter can afford us all as antidote to what appears (illusion though it may be) the constraining limits of this mortal plane. What a wonderful book it is.”— BRUCE McALLISTER, author of The Village Sang to the Sea and Dream Baby

“Mike’s life is a spirited trip in the trip of Spirit.”
— ANA MARCELO, California writer-editor and avid reader





It’s difficult to explain what happens on LSD. Ask anyone who’s ever taken it, and they’ll surely agree. But the description below is as close as words can get to what I personally felt, saw and learned on my first acid trip.

It started when I began to notice my breathing. Not the normal operation of the lungs as they pulled in air and then expelled it. This was a new awareness of small gasps centered in my solar plexus. and my eyes kept blinking in an attempt to remain clearly focused. There were sudden bursts of flashing lights and bright, clear colors. Everything I looked at was quivering, like the shimmering waves of heat that can be seen in the distance on a hot day. What felt like an electrical current was slowly spreading through my body and mind.

Suddenly, each tree stood out in bright-green detail, the leaves were amazingly clear and distinct, and the dirt that covered the ground took on a beautiful, clean, earthy texture. Dark shadows were mixed with bright beams of sunlight that sporadically shone through widespread branches. I looked at my arms; the clarity of the skin and hair was like seeing them through a magnifying glass. Sounds were amplified and colors intensified. I had an overwhelming feeling of susceptibility to everything that was taking place, and I had no choice but to go along with it. My altered breathing allowed only one spoken word: “Wow!”

I sat there in wide-eyed wonder for quite a while. I was glad no one was out for a stroll in our special area, as it would have been difficult to communicate with anyone. It seemed as though my personality had departed and left whatever it was I was experiencing in its place.

I looked at Pat and our minds were in sync. He was silently asking,“What do you think of this trip?” I didn’t know what to think; I didn’t want to think. Everyday thoughts seemed so trivial and unnecessary. I was aware of a boundless freedom I’d never experienced before.

What came next wasn’t from a thought; it was more like a sense perception. This sensation expanded into a crystal-clear view of the life I’d been living, and that’s when I sat straight up. Hey, somebody has tricked me! Tricked us all into believing that our everyday life was so damned important and urgent, and it had to be lived according to a bunch of restrictive rules. And we’d allowed it to happen. We’d been duped by some Grand Trickster into thinking there was no alternative. We’d been hoodwinked, and the knowledge that we could be free from that narrow, limited life had been kept from us. I was seeing something I’d never seen before, and it was hilarious.

I chuckled and looked at Pat, who was grinning from ear to ear. When our eyes met, the floodgate burst open, and uncontrollable laughter flowed out. We’d just been let in on the fraud of a lifetime, and the joke was on us. The funniest thing was that no one else knew it. Everyone was trying to be important and in such a big hurry in their quest for who-knows-what. And we’d been tricked into believing that was what we were supposed to be doing...


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