In the early 1950s, German photographer Leif Geiges created a series of abstract images in order to try to portray "exactly what the mescaline subject sees and hears during the course of his artificial psychosis" — as Newsweek
put it, which ran his images in its Feb 23, 1953 issue. This was before mescaline was made illegal, back when psychiatrists still believed that the experience of taking mescaline approximated the mental state of a schizophrenic and therefore could be of great experimental value.
As for the mescaline imagery itself, Newsweek
On taking mescaline, first there is nausea, but this is soon followed by a derangement of the brain centers of sight and sound, which causes a constant stream of scenes of incredible beauty, color, grandeur, and variety. The contents of the hallucinations always jibe with past experiences; they are wish-fulfilling fantasies (an air pilot sees mechanical dream cities; an ex-archeologist, mythological people and monsters). The form most frequently perceived is a tapestry, such as a wall-paper pattern that breaks into grotesque shapes. Other familiar forms are (1) lattice work of checkerboards, (2) spirals, (3) tunnels, funnels, alleys, and cones. The mescaline action begins 30 minutes after taking and lasts from ten to twelve hours.
"Wallpaper patterns come to life, change to demoniac caricatures, threaten immediate destruction"
"Bright spirals turn to music, sounds to colored designs"
"Time stands still as golden cobwebs burst into flights of song"
"dazzling crystals grow, interweave, melt away, and reappear"
"limbs sway on a revolving floor"
"enchanted eyes probe the corridor's fateful secret"
"life in a dream world"
Category: Dreams and Nightmares | Drugs | Psychedelic | Photography and Photographers | Science | 1950s | Brain | Mental Health and Insanity