I was saddened to hear the news of Ralph Metzner’s death last week and wanted to write a dedicatory post about it when the news first broke but was out of town and then came down with an illness, so writing this has taken me longer than I would’ve liked.
Metzner and I never met, but from what I know about him, it seems fair to say that the psychedelic community has lost one of its most beloved pioneers. Here’s just a short list of the things that he accomplished during his life:
Co-led the early 1960s Harvard University psychedelic research with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass)
Co-authored The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a guide meant to assist psychonauts with the process of ego death
Wrote several other influential books
Helped people heal through his psychotherapy practice
Co-founded the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit educational organization devoted to healing and harmonizing the relationship between humans and the planet
Metzner died at the age of 82, and the Earth is a better place today because of his life’s work. Ralph, thank you for your life-long contributions and may you rest in peace.