I believed in the theory of evolution until I was about 30 years old. A basic acceptance of what I had been taught at school produced in me a conviction that our origins were essentially chemical, whether or not God was involved. So I came to the conclusion—quite logical from my point of view—that drug-taking might prove to be an effective avenue of personality transformation and regeneration:

For from Chemicals thou hast come;
And unto Chemicals thou shalt return.

In reply to the great questions of life—Where have I come from? Who am I? Where am I going?—I had been given this one over-arching answer, an answer quite consistent with the theory of evolution as it was then taught. Chemicals were where I had come from, chemicals were what I was made of, and it was chemical transformations over time that would determine the ultimate destiny of the race. This is what I was taught. And this is what I accepted in good faith.

For more than 10 years I was committed to the idea that drug-taking—in short, chemicals—could and would provide an answer to my quest for personal transformation. And so began a long series of chemical experiments as I set about putting into practice what I had been taught.

My teachers and other authority figures all agreed in their own way that it was chemicals in which we lived, moved, and had our being. The media in various ways reinforced this. As with the majority of our State schoolchildren today, I had been denied access to any alternative. Evolution, although labelled a ‘theory’, was presented as fact. There were no other explanations—at least none we were permitted to examine at school.

My early experiments with drugs became, over time, an all-absorbing passion, as I strove to wrest personal transformation from the chemicals I had been taught to believe in at school….

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