Psychedelic course may expand minds

By Rickey Nesbitt

A course not often publicized by students, EPSY 415, has continued to survive among the masses.

Although the class has been offered at NIU since the 60’s, class enrollment has only maintained a cult following.

“In the mid-60’s class enrollment reached thirty students,” Tom Roberts, professor of the course said.

The class is titled Transpersonal Education. The coursework revolves around studying the different areas of the mind, including the effects of intensive positive experiences.

The instruction also employs the use of various models of the human mind to assist the student in grasping the knowledge.

Discussions also envelop the different theories of alternate mindstates, such as: dreams, meditation, martial arts and drugs.

Roberts said there are unusual human abilities that can be achieved through these mindstates. He added that there is a growing argument for legalization and further research on psychedelic or other drugs.

“The Drug Use Control Amendment Law was passed in 1965 and it stopped the medical research for LSD, but research for the recreational uses continued,” Roberts said.

NIU students who take the course sometimes experiment with psychedelic drugs, and Roberts said they have probably profited from the experience.

He said he believed nearly half of his students have tried LSD and have taken the course to try to understand an unusual experience.

Others just come to learn more about their mind’s untapped potential. The class is open to graduate and undergraduate students and all are welcome to enroll.

Moreover, Roberts has structured another course that will share a common interest with Transpersonal Education. Psychedelic Mindview will debut next spring and focus more on LSD and its uses.

There are two drawbacks to the course. There is only one section offered and add/drop has passed. However, Roberts is willing to entertain the idea of admitting students as long as there is space.

Class is in session from 6-8:40 p.m. on Mondays in DuSable 306B.