LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug
Dr Albert Hofmann Turns 100 Years Young! An exclusive wrap-up of the Basel conference by Sister Sara Tonin of the Perpetual Cosmic Disorder
Picture yourself on a boat on a river. The river was
the Rhine, and the boat was Das Schiff. Hosting an
all night after party following the closing ceremonies
celebrating the 100th birthday of chemist and LSD
discover Dr. Albert Hofmann, PhD, Lucy's diamonds were
definitely in the sky!
An international symposium, LSD: Problem Child and
Wonder Drug was held at the Convention Center Basel,
Switzerland, from January 13 to 15, 2006. Over 2000
attendees and over eighty presenters from forty
countries gathered to pay tribute to the eldest of our
psychedelic tribe. Cyber-shamans, techno-geeks,
artists and researchers shared information on topics
ranging from LSD's impact on culture, from art and
music to the development of computer science.
Mythological implication as well as sacramental and
ritual use of the substance relating to spiritual
growth was discussed, as was the therapeutic potential
for numerous medical conditions.
The history of Lysergic acid diethylamide as a
mind-expanding tool began five years after Hofmann
first discovered LSD-25 at Sandoz laboratories. He was
haunted by a strong urge compelling him to revisit and
resynthesize the drug. Without knowingly ingesting
the substance, Hofmann managed to accidentally absorb
enough of the chemical topically to experience the
substance's trippy effects. In a second voluntary
trip, Hoffman had a frightening, near death-like
experience that morphed into feelings of childlike
renewal and rebirth.
"I did not look for LSD. LSD found me!" Hofmann
exclaimed. "LSD wanted to tell me something," he
shared with the audience. "It gave me an inner joy, an
open mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an
internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation."
During a press conference on Friday, Hofmann recounted
that Nobel-prize-winning chemist Kary Mullis remarked
that LSD helped him develop the polymerase chain
reaction that amplifies specific DNA sequences.
Visionary artist Alex Grey noted that another
Nobel-prize-winner, Francis Crick, discoverer of the
double helix structure of DNA, also he received
inspiration for his scientific ideas from LSD.
"When you study natural science and the miracles of
creation, if you don't turn into a mystic you are not
a natural scientist," said Hofmann.
During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was thought to be a
promising tool for psychotherapy, popularized by
doctors such as Stan Grof. Later it was somewhat
unethically used by the CIA as a potential
interrogation tool, as part of the infamous MK-Ultra
program. LSD was widely embraced by Timothy Leary and
hippy youth culture, and was outlawed quickly along
with a strong disinformation campaign, swaying public
opinion away from the substance.
Wired news noted : "It's very encouraging to see such
a large number of people, including very knowledgeable
people, getting together and sharing a common vision
that these compounds have tremendous potential to
facilitate healing, especially in areas that do not
respond well to conventional treatments," said
Psychiatrist Dr. Charles Grob, of Harbor-UCLA Medical
Center. "There is global healing in these compounds
which have been used for millennia by indigenous
people that have much to teach modern man and modern
Event co-sponsor, the Florida-based Multidisciplinary
Association for Psychedelic Studies ( MAPS ) is
supporting psychedelic studies and research on a
global basis, investigating the use of psychoactives
to treat drug addiction and ailments such as cluster
LSD, is a derivative of lysergic acid found in the
alkaloids of the ergot grain fungus, was deemed
illegal worldwide since the mid-1960s, and is still
generating much controversy today. In fact, the
conference was picketed Saturday by a small
Scientology group, opposed to drug use. One attendee joked, " If Scientologists are picketing us, then we
must be becoming establishment!"
Tags : LSD Albert Hofmann basel switzerland
Posted on: 2006-01-20 12:47:21