April 30, 2008 at 8:41 am #28274
Note: My experience is that LSD depletes your jing if over-used. Obviously Hoffman had strong jing to live to 102, and it seems his LSD use was moderate. His passing highlights the birth of whole different era of consciousness -raising via psychedelics.
In college, I did a paper evaluating 75 different science studies on the effects of LSD on chromosomes. The conclusion was that LSD did NOT cause any chromosonal damage different than what coffee or peanut butter caused.
The main danger for meditators is to confuse LSD highs with higher spiritual dimensions of consciousness. It expands awareness of the low astral planes and its soft boundary interaction with the physical plane, in my opinion. This can be a very drmatic breakthrough in shattering the sensory illusions of physical consciousnesss. – Michael
Albert Hofmann, father of the mind-altering drug LSD, dies in Switzerland at 102
April 30, 2008 5:08 AM EDT
GENEVA – Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery grew into a notorious “problem child,” has died. He was 102.
Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village near Basel where Hofmann moved following his retirement in 1971.
Hofmann’s hallucinogen inspired – and arguably corrupted – millions in the 1960s hippie generation. For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.
“I produced the substance as a medicine. … It’s not my fault if people abused it,” he once said.
The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.
He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a repeat of the laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.
“I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness,” he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.
“Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror,” he said, describing his bicycle ride home. “I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast.”
Upon reaching home, Hofmann sat down on a divan and began experiencing what he called “wonderful visions.”
“What I was thinking appeared in colors and in pictures,” he told Swiss television network SF DRS for a program marking his 100th birthday two years ago. “It lasted for a couple of hours and then it disappeared.”
Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was a horror trip.
“The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time,” Hofmann wrote.
Hofmann and his scientific colleagues hoped that LSD would make an important contribution to psychiatric research. The drug exaggerated inner problems and conflicts and thus it was hoped that it might be used to recognize and treat mental illness like schizophrenia.
For a time, Sandoz sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid, encouraging doctors to try it themselves. It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine – with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.
Hofmann discovered the drug had a similar chemical structure to psychedelic mushrooms and herbs used in religious ceremonies by Mexican Indians.
LSD was elevated to international fame in the late 1950s and 1960s thanks to Harvard professor Timothy Leary who embraced the drug under the slogan “turn on, tune in, drop out.” The film star Cary Grant and numerous rock musicians extolled its virtues in achieving true self-discovery and enlightenment.
But away from the psychedelic trips and flower children, horror stories emerged about people going on murder sprees or jumping out of windows while hallucinating. Heavy users suffered permanent psychological damage.
The U.S. government banned LSD in 1966 and other countries followed suit.
Hofmann maintained this was unfair, arguing that the drug was not addictive. He repeatedly argued for the ban to be lifted to allow LSD to be used in medical research.
Hofmann welcomed a decision by Swiss authorities last December to once again allow LSD for psychotherapy in exceptional cases.
“For me, this is a very big wish come true. I always wanted to see LSD get its proper place in medicine,” he told Swiss TV at the time.
Hofmann himself took the drug – purportedly on an occasional basis and out of scientific interest – for several decades.
“LSD can help open your eyes,” he once said. “But there are other ways – meditation, dance, music, fasting.”
Even so, the self-described “father” of LSD readily agreed that the drug was dangerous if in the wrong hands. This was reflected by the title of his 1979 book: “LSD – my problem child.”
In it he wrote that, “The history of LSD to date amply demonstrates the catastrophic consequences that can ensue when its profound effect is misjudged and the substance is mistaken for a pleasure drug.”
Hofmann retired from Sandoz in 1971. He devoted his time to travel, writing and lectures – which often reflected his growing interest with philosophy and religious questions.
Dieter A. Hagenbach, a friend of 40 years, told The Associated Press that he last spoke to Hofmann on Saturday.
“He was in good spirits and enjoying the springtime,” Hagenbach said, adding that Hofmann continued to go for walks in the small picturesque village where he lived in the Swiss Jura mountains, a stone’s throw from the French border.
Hofmann’s last public appearance was at a Basel ceremony honoring him on his 100th birthday.
“This is really a high point in my advanced age,” Hofmann said. “You could say it is a consciousness-raising experience without LSD.”
Hofmann is survived by a son and daughter. He was predeceased by his wife Anita and two of their four children.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.April 30, 2008 at 1:42 pm #28275
People are so weak and stupid. The most sensible model is Leary’s on the cns as a shiftable antennae…
it’s not like this is the only psycheedelic in history, just the one American’s became familiar with…
better material is available from Stanislov Grof, MAPS, Bruce Eisner, Jean Houston, and Bob Masters…
the proper way to look at LSD is to place it within the context of the anceitn role of entheogens…
one thing LSD deinfitely does is cause mathematical musical synchrony between the brain hemispheres… but it’s more than that…
while it may amplify the inner psychological space (turning up the volume) it also allows ideas to become more complex, convoluted, tangible, and even synaesthetic..
its a preview of accellerated brain function…
John Hopkins just did a new Marsh Chapel experiment which once again, using psilocybin, produced the same fantstaic experimental results it did 40 years ago, which in large part, catalyzed the 60’s psychedelic revolution…
i wonder what is at the crux of the anti-lsd people like this article’s writer?
perhaps a scary trip through his own psychic problems?
or maybe never did it to begin with…
perhaps he never opened telepathic energy consiousness with it.. or perceived complex musical mathematical and grammatical phenomenonApril 30, 2008 at 2:20 pm #28277
2006 Psilocybin experiment by John Hopkins School of Medicine (the first new experiment of its kind conducted since the Miracle of Marsh Chapel over 40 years ago!) we find:
The subjects in the recent John Hopkins study received either methylphenidate (Ritalin) or psilocybin. Of the patients receiving psilocybin, one third reported it as the most spiritually meaningful experience of their lives, citing feelings of intense joy, a distance from ordinary reality and feelings of peace and harmony after taking the compound. Two thirds of the group rated their experience with psilocybin as one of the top five experiences in their life, and compared it to such life-altering moments as the birth of their first child or a parent’s death1.April 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm #28279
“My experience is that LSD depletes your jing if over-used.”
Do you have an alchemical explanation for why this is?May 2, 2008 at 9:11 am #28281
that writer did neglect to mention that it is coomon in acid users that they ride in pairs. one gets high and other is watcher so that the flyer does not jump out off the window. so jumping into abyss is managed among such users.
however i did once converse with a one who was high on mushroom. her emotional aura was filled with stickiness and darknes as my perception went. she was even hot on retreats where she went in wilderness cabin, ate power food, and there reached back to her friends in polis to keep contact, so she was heavy user. and yet she survived well in next five years with good substance. she did develop some practicality along the way though, like acquiring betas and degree and like job.
but her friend, also user, did burn her juice in same five years. same voice but shrunk body. and she was fine, full and sparkly then. general life stress might also contribute for she was a lower class liberal. but her boyfriend did not get hurt, and they did and still do share life experiences, but he was not exceptional to begin with as she was. the sign on the hall of their place pointed toward their bedroom and said check out. 🙂May 4, 2008 at 9:59 pm #28283
It’s simple – LSD is a catalyst that triggers a faster rate of combustion between your jing, chi, shen. This gives great shift in perception, by shifting your overall vibratory rate. But the jing is being used up faster than you can replace it by normal means. I had an overdose of mescaline in college, and it shut down my third eye for six months. Eventually it regenerated. But I literally had a black hole instead of intuitive knowing for six months – quite scary.
michaelMay 5, 2008 at 3:03 pm #28285
terms like “energy” and psychic are so vague…
any thoughts during this monumental 102nd year Hoffman parting?
the biochemical geometry of the pineal gland and lsd has got to be a sure bet…
but what about subjective experiences?
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