Rolling Stone interview from 1974:
Bowie: What are your projects at the moment?
Burroughs: At the moment I’m trying to set up an institute of advanced studies somewhere in Scotland. It’s aim will be to extend awareness and alter consciousness in the direction of greater range, flexibility and effectiveness at a time when traditional disciplines have failed to come up with viable solutions. You see, the advent of the space age and the possibility of exploring galaxies and contacting alien life forms poses an urgent necessity for radically new solutions. We will be considering only non-chemical methods, with the emphasis placed on combination, synthesis, interaction and rotation of methods now being used in the East and West, together with methods that are not at present being used to extend awareness or increase human potentials.
We know exactly what we intend to do and how to go about doing it. As I said, no drug experiments are planned and no drugs other than alcohol, tobacco and personal medications obtained on prescription will be permitted in the centre. Basically, the experiments we propose are inexpensive and easy to carry out. Things such as yoga-style meditation and exercises, communication, sound, light and film experiments, experiments with sensory deprivation chambers, pyramids, psychotronic generators and Reich’s orgone accumulators, experiments with infrasound, experiments with dream and sleep.
Bowie: That sounds fascinating. Are you basically interested in energy forces?
Burroughs: Expansion of awareness, eventually leading to mutations. Did you read Journey Out of the Body ? Not the usual book on astral projection. This American businessman found he was having these experiences of getting out of the body – never used any hallucinogenic drugs. He’s now setting up this astral air force. This psychic thing is really a rave in the States now. Did you experience it much when you were there?
Bowie: No, I really hid from it purposely. I was studying Tibetan Buddhism when I was quite young, again influenced by Kerouac. The Tibetan Buddhist Institute was accessible so I trotted down there to have a look. Lo and behold, there’s a guy down in the basement who’s the head man in setting up a place in Scotland for the refugees, and I got involved purely on a sociological level – because I wanted to get the refugees out of India, for they were having a really shitty time of it down there, dropping like flies due to the change of atmosphere from the Himalayas.
Scotland was a pretty good place to put them, and then more and more I was drawn to their way of thinking, or non-thinking, and for a while got quite heavily involved in it. I got to the point where I wanted to become a novice monk, and about two weeks before I was actually going to take those steps, I broke up and went out on the streets and got drunk and never looked back.
Read the whole thing HERE.