Copyright 1990, by Francis Jeffrey
At the age of 74, John Lilly stood as the twentieth century's foremost scientific pioneer of the inner and outer limits of human experience. He is a relentless adventurer whose "search for Reality" has led him repeatedly to risk life and limb, but whose quests have resulted in astonishing insights into what it means to be a human being in an ever more mysterious universe. John Lilly, so far... is the panoramic story of what is certainly one of the most daring and committed lives of our, or any, time.
May 1928, age 13.
Mother is in the kitchen making pies. Dick, Jr., and his pals are playing football on the lawn.
John is crouched over a washtub filled with chemicals in the basement. He has access to the biggest chemistry set in St. Paul, in the form of Mr. Dickson's drugstore. Mr. Dickson is a pharmacist eager to share his chemicul magic with a bright loaf. As a result, John's secret basement laboratory includes a book on how to make chemical reactions, a large collection of chemical species scavenged from Mr. Dickson's inventory, and an impressive array of equipment. With these resources, he has already undertaken several successful experiments, including an explosion in a cauldron and a firewood bomb which he exploded in a snow bank one previously calm evening as his father was attempting to relax with the evening news before the family fireplace.
A Coke bottle full of magic powders in his hand, John leaves the basement and approaches Dick, Jr., and his friends in the yard. "Hey, guys, look at this!"
John shakes up the Coke bottle which grips the boys' attention and drops in a match.
Blammo! The gunpowder explodes. The boys scatter, terrorized, peppered with glass fragments and bleeding.
John is unscathed. -Chapter 2: "Einstein Jr."