He is survived by his wife of thirty-one years, Cathy Coleman; their daughter, Sophia Metzner; a stepson, Eli Jacobson (and … 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. If you want to learn more: 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. 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. 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. When the war broke out, his family escaped to the countryside, and later emigrated to Scotland, where his mother was originally from. 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. The 1960s were just beginning when three professors published “The Psychedelic Experience: A … He authored a widely read book – Be Here Now – and through his lectures and writings contributed to introducing ideas from Asian spiritual traditions into American popular culture. The tension between what we can label and categorize confidently and what doesn’t sit still to be poked and prodded from outside the box (I mean consciousness/mind/soul/etc.) After the last box was packed, he turned to his wife, Cathy Coleman, and said, “I feel like I am going to die tonight. Ralph Metzner, a psychotherapist who began his career working with Timothy Leary on controversial studies at Harvard involving LSD and other drugs, then spent a lifetime exploring and writing about expanded consciousness in all sorts of cultures and settings, died on March 14 at his home in Sonoma, Calif. 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. Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, and Ralph Metzner. 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. Psychedelic medicines have become, over the last several years, an increasingly prominent topic of discussion. Photo credits: 2012 photo of Ralph courtesy of his daughter, Sophia Metzner. 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. He challenged complacency that in all aspects of human life and integrity. 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. 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 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). Ralph was an astute observer and keen chronicler of the foundations and trends toward fascism and institutionalized violence in US socio-cultural structures. Ralph Metzner, LSD and Consciousness Researcher, Dies at 82. Comming from the Black Sea and the Caucasus these people had tamed the horse, used weapons and it was easy for them to concur the natural inhabitants. Ralph Metzner was born on May 18, 1936 in Berlin, Germany, where he spent his first years. 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. https://coherentbreathing.org/?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog Sadly research related to altered states of mind has been considered controversial among the public and thus few graduates dare to risk a bright academic future continuing the research of such areas. Ralph Metzner: Remebering the Extraordinary Psychedelic Pioneer (1936 – 2019) Ralph Metzner's eclectic career was unique and inspiring. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/José_Manuel_Rodríguez_Delgado?utm_source=berkeley&utm_medium=blog It came to mind the story of Yale Dr. of physiology Jose Manuel Delgado who studied altered states of mind through electrical stimulation. 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 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 undying certainty of the untapped human capacities for expansion of consciousness through psychedelics and meditative practices stayed with him always. In Tibetan spiritual traditions, these texts have been interpreted as a guide to negotiating the intermediate state (bardo) between one life and the next. Ralph was born in Berlin and moved to the UK with his Scottish mother following World War II. I am ready to die.” The inheritance we have from his prolific scholarly writings is food for the heart and mind for generations to come. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 1962. 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? Ralph Metzner about his book Well of Remembrance. More than 350 UC Berkeley scholars share their perspectives on local, national and global issues. 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. 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 … Copyright © 2021 UC Regents; all rights reserved. Alchemical Musings combines his earliest writing on alchemy with his last writings on alchemical terms. To his last days, he maintained a small psychotherapy practice. Its feeling is something like “serenity”, although there is … Ralph died quietly and with grace at his home in Sonoma, California, following a relatively short (about a year) encounter with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. 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. And even more egregious was the fact that the researchers in the psilocybin project were actually discovering things by taking the drug themselves. 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. He wrote poems and published a book of poetry – Diving for Treasures (2015). It is a beautiful notion, poetically executed. 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. This was simply considered unacceptable science. 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. 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. The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert. In 1971 he published Maps of Consciousness, a work of scholarly and personal-practice investigation into a variety of esoteric traditions, all of which spoke to deepening one’s capacity to explore the territory of the mind. Leary's poems are reminders of the fine line that separates drug-induced visions from religious mysticism. Continuously, Ralph researched, taught, and wrote – in the academic setting and in widely delivered lectures and teaching seminars. In part this related to deep opposition to a paradigm that drew upon the study of subjective experiences rather than measurements of behavioral actions. 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. Harrigan Solution’s Bill Harrigan had the opportunity to be on the panel of the September 2019 Greater Milwaukee Committee Membership Meeting focusing on Scaling Wellness in Milwaukee (SWIM), a community trauma initiative within the human services, healthcare, educational and criminal justice sectors, that is bringing Wisconsin to the forefront of the trauma informed care movement. The scientific study of consciousness will surely benefit as ideas he explored continue to slowly penetrate into academic and public discourse. Deep Gratitude, Ralph, always. Green Psychology Transforming Our Relationship to the Earth by Ralph Metzner available in Trade Paperback on Powells.com, also read synopsis and reviews. Ralph Humphrey Guenther Metzner was born on May 18, 1936, in Berlin. 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. Let’s not keep up with the facile distinction between ‘heads and squares. Their communal research program at Millbrook eventually dissolved, and Leary went on to become a provocative proponent of personal exploration with psychedelics and a highly visible lightning rod for targeting by establishment powers. 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. In addition and very important to him, was the development of practices based on this knowledge that would contribute to reducing human suffering. 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. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Ralph developed his own connection to alchemy first through an embodied practice of light fire-yoga called Agni Yoga. He was 82. 2012. April 11, 2016. Randomized, double-blind studies surely have demonstrated their limitations in many areas of human phenomenology, as well Ralph knew. 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. 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. Recently another of the great pioneers has passed. Dr. Pretzl, thanks for sharing with us a bit about the life and achievements of Dr. Metzner. Although his research was revolutionary and with great potential for good (it could have ended the use of lobotomy) it faced public rejection. 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. 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