The Doors of Perception, and Heaven and Hell Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. In general, what is the topic of the first essay?

The first essay, "The Doors of Perception," is the author's summary of his experiences while under the influence of mescalin during a research project in 1953. He also discusses, in broad generalities, why people choose to take drugs and what they experience while doing so.

2. What is known about peyote before the author participates in his experiment with it?

Before 1953, when the author participated in an experiment with peyote, it had been used for centuries by Native Americans in the Southwestern U.S. for both recreational and religious purposes. It was known to alter the mental state of the user without any noticeable long-term side effects.

3. Why is the author eager to participate in the study of peyote and mescalin?

The author eagerly volunteers to participate in the mescalin study because he hopes that its usage will give him an opportunity to be introspective, and to gain some insight into how he is seen by others. People, the author claims, are introspective and solitary by nature, and see their personal characteristics as positive or negative, but they rarely share this information with others or accept the opinions of others on these topics.

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