R.I.P.///FATHER OF LSD DR ALBERT HOFMANN DIES AT AGE 102…

April 30, 2008  |  art, Death Trip, News, RIP

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DR ALBERT HOFMANN, father of the mind-altering drug LSD and the man who single-handedly enabled the defining consciousness movement of the 20th Century died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland yesterday at the age of 102. The above portrait of Hofmann was painted by Supertouch’s own psychedelic guru ALEX GREY in honor of Hoffman’s 100th birthday in 2006. In 1938, the Swiss chemist discovered Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 accidentally while working in the lab and unknowingly became the drug’s first guinea pig when a drop of the new substance accidentally absorbed into his fingertip. "I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he wrote in a memo to his boss before mounting his bicycle for the ride home. Later recounting the experience, Hoffman explained, "Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror." Describing his bicycle ride he said, "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast." Hoffman continued to experiment with the psychoactive drug and his next experience was transformative: “I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time," he wrote. The substance remained legal and easily obtainable until (surprise) the US Government banned it in 1966 after years of secretly testing the drugs’ effects on American soldiers, unbeknownst to them, of course. "LSD can help open your eyes," Hofmann continued to profess throughout his life, but acknowledged its danger in the wrong hands in his 1979 book, "LSD: My Problem Child."

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Alex Grey (left) with Hofmann and his portrait in Switzerland in 2006...

IN THE WORDS OF DR HOFMANN:
"Alienation from nature and the loss of the experience of being part of the living creation is the greatest tragedy of our materialistic era. It is the causative reason for ecological devastation and climate change.

Therefore I attribute absolute highest importance to consciousness change. I regard psychedelics as catalyzers for this. They are tools which are guiding our perception toward other deeper areas of our human existence, so that we again become aware of our spiritual essence. Psychedelic experiences in a safe setting can help our consciousness open up to this sensation of connection and of being one with nature.

LSD and related substances are not drugs in the usual sense, but are part of the sacred substances, which have been used for thousand of years in ritual settings. The classic psychedelics like LSD, Psilocybin and Mescaline are characterized by the fact that they are neither toxic nor addictive. It is my great concern to separate psychedelics from the ongoing debates about drugs, and to highlight the tremendous potential inherent to these substances for self-awareness, as an adjunct in therapy, and for fundamental research into the human mind.

It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting. I am convinced that these soul-opening, mind-revealing substances will find their appropriate place in our society and our culture."

—Dr. Albert Hofmann,?Thursday, 19th April 2007

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