Friday, 13 January 2006:
From the Plants of the Gods to LSD
Welcome and Opening of the Symposium •
The Discovery of LSD-25 • What is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide? •
Appraisal of Albert Hofmann’s Lifework • LSD, Albert Hofmann and
the Quality of Time • Methergine, Hydergine and Dihydergot: Medical
Applications of Ergot Derivates • Teonanacatl: The Synthesis of
Psilocybin by Albert Hofmann • The Chemistry and Mythology of the
Eleusinian Mysteries • Albert Hofmann - Ernst Jünger: Notes on a
Long Friendship • Writers and Drugs: From Charles Baudelaire to
Aldous Huxley • Plants of the Gods: R. Gordon Wasson and Richard E.
Schultes • The Relatives of LSD: Ololiuqui and Ayahuasca • The
Beginning of LSD-Research: Canada, Harvard and Good Friday • The
Effects of LSD: The State of Research Today • The Worldwide Use of
LSD in Therapy and Medicine • Special Case Switzerland: LSD-Research
Saturday, 14 January 2006:
The Ecstatic Adventure
The Necessity for Transcendence • Psycholytic and Psychedelic
Therapies • The Right to Get High • The Significance of Set and
Setting • The History of Drug Policy • LSD in Design, Art and
Music • Psychedelic and Visionary Art • Techniques of Altering
Consciousness • Pihkal und Tihkal: Research and Work of Alexander T.
Shulgin • Dimensions of the Unpredictable: LSD and Psi • LSD in
Literature • LSD and Sexuality • "Joyous Cosmology" and "Politics
of Ecstasy": Alan Watts and Timothy Leary • Lucy in the Sky with
Diamonds: The Sixties in the UK • Summer of Love and Woodstock: LSD
and the Counterculture in the USA • From Amsterdam to Zurich: The
Sixties in Europe • The Empire Strikes back: The Demonization of LSD
• The Problem Child: LSD in Mass Media • New Psychedelics and their
Specific Impact • From "Open Mind" to "Open Source": how the
Counterculture of the Sixties led to the Personal Computer and to
Unlimited Information • The Psychedelic Revival of the Nineties: The
Global Techno, Rave and Trance Ritual
Sunday, 15 January 2006:
New Dimensions of Consciousness
From the Religious Experience to the Holistic Thought • The Meaning
of the Psychedelic Experience • The Revival of Psychedelic Medicine
• "No Drugs - No Future": Sketches of an Adequate Drug Policy • The
New Rituals: LSD as a Sacred Substance • LSD and Creativity •
Freedom and Hedonism: The Way of the West • LSD and Meditation •
Neo-Shamanism • Psychedelics and a new Paradigm: Personal
Responsibility and Self-Reliance • The Future of Religion: Dogma or
Transcendental Experience • The Future of Human Consciousness •
Future Society: "Brave New World" or "Island" • Visions and
Initiatives • Insights and Outlooks: A Summary • Closing
November 2005 • Subject to alteration
Detailed Information on the Topics
Friday, 13 January 2006:
From the Plants of the Gods to LSD
LSD is the closest, the most dense, the most mysterious link between the material and the spiritual world. A hardly visible trace of LSD matter is capable of evoking heaven or hell in the spiritual world, i.e. in human consciousness.1
On 19 April 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann sets out for the first voluntary LSD trip of the history of man. At 4:20 pm in his research laboratory he takes 250 microgram Lysergic acid diethylamide. Around 5 pm "dizziness, feelings of anxiety, visual distortions, symptoms of paralysis, desire to laugh" set in. His riding back home by bicycle goes down in history as "Bicycle Day". While pedaling away his "condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror." Having arrived at home "my surroundings had (...) transformed themselves in more terrifying ways. Everything in the room spun around, and the familiar objects and pieces of furniture assumed grotesque, threatening forms. They were in continuous motion, animated, as if driven by an inner restlessness. (...) Even worse than these demonic transformations of the outer world, were the alterations that I perceived within myself, in my inner being. Every exertion of my will, every attempt to put an end to the disintegration of the outer world and the dissolution of my ego, seemed to be wasted effort. A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul. (...) I was seized by the dreadful fear of going insane. I was taken to another world, another place, another time...."
"Was I dying? Was this the transition?"
A called-for doctor cannot detect any abnormal symptoms, apart from extremely dilated pupils.
"Slowly I came back from a weird, unfamiliar world to reassuring everyday reality. The horror softened and gave way to a feeling of good fortune and gratitude, the more normal perceptions and thoughts returned, and I became more confident that the danger of insanity was conclusively past.
Now, little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles, in spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux. It was particularly remarkable how every acoustic perception, such as the sound of a door handle or a passing automobile, became transformed into optical perceptions. Every sound generated a vividly changing image (...).
Exhausted I then slept, to awake next morning refreshed, with a clear head, though still somewhat tired physically. A sensation of well-being and renewed life flowed through me. (...) When I later walked out into the garden, in which the sun shone after a spring rain, everything glistened and sparkled in a fresh light. The world was as if newly created. All my senses vibrated in a condition of highest sensitivity, which persisted for the entire day."
It amazes Hofmann that he, meanwhile, never lost consciousness and, afterwards "could remember the experience of LSD inebration in every detail." It also surprises him that there is no "hangover".
What Hofmann came across is much more than just another chemical substance: he has disclosed a secret of the "Plants of the Gods". Many primitive people believe that God has left his creative power in plants – and that man could discover and make use of them. Therefore, plants are being respected and revered in many places. Since time immemorial, in all cultural areas, the use of hallucinogenic plants - like the Mexican magic mushrooms of the genus psilocybe, the peyote cacti, ayahuasca, and hemp – is part of human life. The preparations extracted thereof played a key role during rituals meant to trigger spiritual and ecstatic experiences: from ancient Greek mystery plays via soul travel of South American shamans to the happenings of the Woodstock generation. What revealed itself on that 19 April in Basel was the pharmacology of ecstasy.
During the first decade of Hofmann’s discovery LSD was considered to be a promising medicine first of all, which was being tested as soberly as any other pharmacologically effective substance. The drug was being made accessible to numerous scientists who, with it, tested new approaches of treatment in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy. Within two decades they gathered a notable wealth of experience. So a number of studies indicated that with the help of LSD alcoholics can kick their habit, the incurable sick be stabilized, their anxieties, pains, and other side effects alleviated. Czech psychiatrist Stanislav Grof praised LSD as a "microscope or telescope of psychiatry"; since it would bring to light unconscious, suppressed parts of the soul which otherwise wouldn’t be accessible and would drastically raise the chances of success of a psychoanalysis. Since the experiments were always conducted in a controlled setting and the subjects were informed in advance that LSD triggers extraordinary states of mind, there were hardly ever any negative effects. Up to the mid-sixties over thousand articles had been published in reputable journals which described encouraging results with an all-over 40 000 patients with schizophrenia, depression, all kinds of addictions, and other disorders.
With good reason quite a few scientists thought it would be appropriate to find out about LSD’s potential in experimenting on themselves. On some of them, the thus experienced had such an euphoriant effect, however, that they lost the critical distance toward their object of research and turned into messengers of a better "psychedelic culture". It was namely Timothy Leary (1920-1996), professor of psychology at Harvard University on whom opinions were divided. In the early sixties he had conducted promising clinical experiments with LSD. When the test series turned into LSD parties, Leary was dismissed as a faculty member and founded his own organization, the "International Federation of Internal Freedom", which propagated, for the first time, LSD as therapeutical aids for the dissolution of restricting conditionings and deep-rooted dispositions. Also among artists and intellectuals LSD increasingly gained currency. The author Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) was the first one to experiment with the drug outside a medicinal application; a number of novels in which he praised psychedelics as a key to the doors of an extended, higher perception, reached the greatest publicity. Arthur Koestler and Allen Ginsberg followed his example, as well as painters and musicians, from the Beatles to the Grateful Dead to Eric Burdon and Jimi Hendrix. American actor Cary Grant caused quite a stir when he confessed in an interview with "Look" magazine, in 1959, what he had experienced under LSD within the context of a psychotherapy: that only this drug had made him a new, emotionally stable person who, after three failed marriages, finally was able to really love and make a woman happy. He described his LSD experience as one of the most important events in his life, and recommended all politicians to take it. In 1961 Exploring Inner Space: Personal Experiences Under LSD-25 became a bestseller in which nutrition consultant Adelle Davis – under the pen name Jane Dunlap – enthused about what she had experienced as participant of a LSD study. Not less successful was My Self and I, a book published in 1962, in which Constance A Newland described how she, thanks to LSD, freed herself of her frigidity. Thus it happened that the substance was spread much faster than the knowing about it; many people believed that it would be sufficient to just take LSD in order to bring about wonderful changes within themselves. According to the US Food and Drug Administration's reckoning, over seven million Americans already had experienced LSD until the early seventies.
The Hippie movement wasn’t less initiated by LSD experiences as it was by protests against materialism and capitalism, petty bourgeois conformism and the Vietnam War. Leary’s slogan "turn on – tune in – drop out" became their emphatic credo. A group of young people around writer Ken Kesey who, as a student had participated in Leary’s series of experiments, drove in a colorful painted "Magic Bus" all over the USA. Along with the hippie ideals Hofmann's "wonder drug" was handed out a thousand times. The beginnings of the "New Age" movement, too, were strongly influenced by LSD; one of their most influential propagandists Fritjof Capra describes, in his book The Tao of Physics a psychedelic experience which decisively marked his worldview.
The new counterculture's call to practise civil disobedience and to drop out of civilian life was increasingly felt by conservative circles as a threat – and a powerful countermovement set in. ("The Imperium Strikes Back" – will be one of the LSD Symposium's topics on Friday, 13 January 2006). More and more often LSD was being demonized in the media. The case of one Dr. Olsen caused quite a sensation when he – up to then a calm and well-balanced man - after having been given LSD without his knowledge in the run of some drug experiment of the US Navy, committed suicide. There was a rumor going around in the press that LSD would produce the madness that one could fly, whereupon one would jump out of the window; or it would make one believe that one was an orange, whereupon one would want to "peel" and consequently skin oneself. There were anxieties that LSD could lead to blindness, damage chromosomes, or cause other fatal disorders. The American Medical Association stirred up the feelings of panic: the repeated intake of psychedelics would "cause personality deterioration", and it warned in a journal: "Only a few of those who experienced more than 50 'trips' are spared it."
The ensuing hysteria did fit in rather well with the plans of reactionary politicians. On 16 October 1966 they had attained their goal in the USA: LSD was classified a "Schedule I" drug which attributes the highest abuse potential to it, which prohibits any kind of medicinal use, even under supervision of physicians or psychiatrists. Ever since all those who are in possession of LSD without permission run the risk of a prison sentence not under ten years.
With the ban on LSD large parts of the uncomfortable protest movement could be criminalized. Under the significant influence of the United States the UN put the substance and other hallucinogens soon after on the list of "particularly dangerous drugs". With it a worldwide total ban on LSD for therapy, science, and private use actually became effective. Thereupon "the few good producers of LSD were busted," Leary describes one of the sad consequences. "Following that, the country was flooded with low-quality LSD. Gullible amateurs teamed up with unscrupulous gangsters in order to distribute a bad product." So warnings of administrative bodies became "self-fulfilling prophecies".
LSD as an object of unconditionally researching curiosity: Thus began, in 1943, the story of this drug – and it eventually should find back to this kind of approach.
1 Albert Hofmann in March 2005, in his words of welcome on the occasion of the opening of the Ludlow Santo Domingo Library in Geneva.
Saturday, 14 January 2006:
The Ecstatic Adventure
LSD ist the most efficient and probably
also most valuable pharmacological therapeutical aids in the
examinations of the human consciousness, getting off the ground
For almost 2000 years Eleusis, today an
inconspicuous industrial town 20 kilometers west of Athens, was the
scene of one of the most important mystery cults of Ancient Greece.
This was the place where, from about 1500 BC up into the 4th century
AD, Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, was paid homage each year.
Priests offered those present Kykeon, a beverage meant to –
ecstatically – allow views of higher realities. It consisted of
barley, water, and mint; furthermore it probably contained traces of
ergot. This is a permanent form of the fungus Claviceps purpurea which
befalls different cereals and wild grasses as they grow, up to this
day, quite close to the holy site of Eleusis, and from which Albert
Hofmann isolated the basic substance for synthesizing LSD.
In secluded areas in Southern Mexico Indian tribes have kept similar cults up to this day, where there also are priests administering hallucinogenic preparations in the context of religious ceremonies. In the exploring of two of these Albert Hofmann was essentially involved: the Mexican magic mushrooms, from which he isolated the psychoactive agents psilocybin and psilocin, and Ololiuqui, the seed of a climbing plant, in which he discovered LSA (Lysergic acid amide) which, in its chemical structure, is very similar to LSD.
Experiences they trigger are rather similar to those which are being reported by mystics of all great religions, but also by experienced meditators: in an "oceanic self-deboundarization" one experiences oneself as one with others and with the world as a whole. One feels free from the limitations of space and time, one encounters God. One feels boundless joy, profound inner freedem, and all-embracing love. Parts of the familiar environment get a totally new meaning; imagination, creativity, and the powers of association grow; memories of specific events become increasingly vivid ("dehabituation"). One sees things unreal, in the course of which, however, one often is aware of at the same moment ("pseudohallucinations"). Synaesthesias occur, i.e. perceptions of different senses overlap: one "hears" colors, one "sees" sounds.
What kind of extraordinary states of consciousness are these, which can be triggered by LSD and related active agents? While evaluating them scientifically, three approaches compete with each other:
- According to the psychotomimetic approach LSD causes a mental state which imitates a psychosis. Psychiatrists are meant to make use of this effect, by producing and studying a "model psychosis" under laboratory conditions. This goes with what Sandoz had printed on their first package insert for "Delysid", pure LSD: "while self-experimenting it gives the doctor an insight into the world of ideas of a mentally ill and makes possible, through short-term model psychosises with normal test subjects, the study of pathogenetic processes". But are LSD-induced states of consciousness really psychotic ones – manifestations of a temporary mental disease? Typically, psychotic experiences are not being integrated into the day consciousness, into the personality structure, into the daily routine. On the other hand, LSD experiences are not being "split off" this way. "I'm convinced," Aldous Huxley once said, "that these experiences (...) get their value (...) above all the moment when we insert them into our view of life and use them everyday. The effect of mystical experiences upon everyday life has been seen as a test of its validity everywhere." American consciousness researcher Terence McKenna remarks ironically: "LSD causes psychotic behavior in those who have never taken it."
- According to the psycholytic (literally "dissolving the mind") approach, LSD and related substances change the dynamic relationship between conscious and subconscious parts of the personality. Thus they make the remembering of far-away events easier which were such a strain, even traumatic that they, together with feelings bound to them, are being suppressed and driven into the unconscious. In order to reach these, low-dosed hallucinogens – sporadic doses of 30 to 60 microgram LSD over periods of six months to two years, for instance – have been used within psychoanalytically structured therapies, in cases of depression, anxiety and obsessional neuroses. As to the credo of the psycholytic approach, German writer Ernst Jünger (1895-1998), a friend of Albert Hofmann’s for many years, has gotten to the heart of it: "Drugs are keys -, though they won’t open up more than our innermost conceals. But maybe they lead into depths which otherwise are bolted fast." On the other hand, advocates of a psychedelic2 approach say that LSD would open a lot more: not just insights into hidden corners of our inner world, but mystical-religious outlooks into "higher" realities. At the same time transpersonal and collective dimensions of consciousness, of the divinity of the own self and of creation as a whole are supposed to reveal themselves – and from it humans can grow and mature. But then there is no more reason to limit the use of hallucinogens only to therapeutical purposes; the extension of consciousness is good for everyone. LSD neither heals cancer nor Aids, but LSD experiences help persons affected to gain insights which reconcile them with their fate. And an altered attitude can absolutely have an effect on body and soul, since the different aspects of personality, while constantly interacting with each other, form a whole, and do not function as isolated units. Responsibly applied, hallucinogens like LSD can make healthy as well as sick persons more balanced, optimistic, and anxiety-free, can bring them into line with themselves and their surroundings. And they satisfy a basic need of man: the need for transcendence.
Which kind of states of consciousness are conveyed depend, however, on a number of factors:
1) On the substance used, on its purity and dosage.
2) On the consumer's personality. It's rather persons who usually find it hard to free themselves of thought and behavioral patterns under altered conditions, which tend, while being high, to fear their ego would dissolve.
3) On the set. Previous experiences with extraordinary states of consciousness, the level of expectations, the actual frame of mind directly before taking the drug as well as the predominant state of mind will be crucial as far as the experiences during the high are concerned.
4) On the setting. Exterior circumstances have an influence on the experiences’ contents: whether the room is being felt as pleasant (furniture, background music), how big the group is, how one feels part of the group etc.
Albert Hofmann never tired of pointing out the meaning of these factors. "It's dangerous," he warned, "just to take LSD and to think one then would become a wise person. It needs quite some preparation; one needs to know what one wants to attain. One needs to know that all sense organs are stimulated. Light gets lighter, colors become more intense, all emotional components are being intensified. One gets into another reality, and this can be quite horrifying. Therefore, a meditative preparation, the chosing the right environment and accompanying persons is so important, so that this different kind of experience can be integrated."3
To a large extent the exploration of these states, their requirements, and their effects came to a standstill with the worldwide ban on LSD in the late sixties. To receive research funding became almost impossible – and even if they had kept on flowing from somewhere, there was hardly a noted scientist ready to risk his academic reputation dealing with a demonized substance.
Only recently timid approaches to a more objective, more pragmatic dealing with the emotive issue LSD can be seen to emerge; in some places there already is talk of a "revival of psychedelics research". At a drug clinic in St. Petersburg Russian psychiatrist Evgeny Krupitsky examines how ketamine might help 300 alcoholics and 200 heroin addicts. (In one of his studies 73 of 111 alcoholics stayed "on the wagon" afterwards for at least one year, compared to only 24 percent in a control group.) At Harvard University’s McLean Hospital John Halpern pursues psychedelic medicine since quite a while; in the context of research projects he administers the empathogenic drug MDMA (Ecstasy) to terminal cancer patients, to patients with therapy resistant cluster headaches he gives LSD. In a study with members of the Native American Church, to whom the US authorities gives the permission to use the psychedelic peyote by way of exception, Halpern couldn’t detect any psychic or mental harm whatsoever, even despite regular use. Since 1986 Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) in Sarasota, Florida, does political lobbying in order to get authorities to handle drug research projects in a more liberal way. Also the Heffter Research Institute in Santa Fé, New Mexico, with a branch at the Psychiatric University Clinic Zurich, funds researchers aspiring to work with hallucinogens since 1993. Co-founder psychiatrist Charles S. Grob presently conducts a study on psilocybin to loosen up anxieties of cancer patients at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Since 2001 psychiatrist Francisco Moreno of the University of Tucson, Arizona, tests psilocybin treating patients with obsessional neuroses. In Charleston, South Carolina, physician Michael Mithoefer examines whether MDMA can help patients with PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder, one in five is suffering from, who has had traumatic experiences like victims of violent crimes or natural disasters, war veterans etc.
In Switzerland five psychiatrists were granted a permission by the Federal Office of Health, between 1986 and 1993, to use LSD and related substances for therapeutical purposes. A shift in thinking can be seen to emerge. "Psychedelic research is back," it recently said in the noted US magazine New Scientist benevolently, and cited a LSD researcher: "Now we can show that we've learnt our lessons."4
1 Albert Hofmann in March 2005, on the occasion of the opening of the Ludlow Santo Domingo Library in Geneva.
2 The term "psychedelic" (from the Greek "psyche": soul, mind, and "delos": bringing forth, manifesting) was coined by British psychiatrist and researcher Humphry Osmond in the late 1950s, in order to identify a group of drugs which alter the awareness of reality in a decisive way; among others he included mescaline and LSD.
3 Albert Hofmann in an interview conducted by Lucius Werthmüller in the fall of 1995; to be looked up at www.gaiamedia.org
4 New Scientist, No. 2488, 26 February 2005, p. 36 ff.
Sunday, 15 January 2006:
New Dimensions of Consciousness
In the possibility to support meditation
directed at mystical experience from the pharmacological side, I see
the actual significance of LSD. Such a use corresponds completely to
the nature and the characteristic effect of LSD as a sacred
In a recent interview Albert Hofmann was
asked which future significance LSD could have for the alteration of
the human consciousness.
"At present, we're living in a materialistic age," he said. "Many people just see the exterior, material part and strive and act in this area. What's behind it, the spiritual original source, they do not perceive any more. I see LSD as a catalytic converter. It’s one of the means which directs our attention, our perception to other parts, other contents of our human existence, so that we become aware, again, of the spiritual background. What LSD brings about, is a reduction of intellectual powers in favor of an emotional experiencing of the world."
Doesn't LSD, therefore, turn its users sooner or later into daydreamers floating in transpersonal spheres – and losing all touch with reality? "By no means," Albert Hofmann says. Of course "one couldn’t always stay in a state of ecstasy. Our daily routine consists of two components, the material one and the spiritual one. We can’t exclusively move in the spiritual world, since in everyday life we have to deal with the material world: we have to think and act rationally. What's important is that we never forget the spiritual background, and to act from it. And LSD serves as a catalytic converter in order to bring back from a single or repeated experiencing of the spiritual world new standards for our everyday life."
Seen this way both big protest movements of the late 1960s – the Flower Power Movement from the American westcoast as well as the student revolts of Paris and Frankfurt – have disregarded Hofmann’s concern in the end. Some, the peaceful-minded withdrew into hedonistic realms, the others, radical-minded took to the streets and also didn't shrink back from criminal damage. Hofmann's position, on the other hand, was always a well-balanced one, and related to nature. He neither pleaded one-sidedly for hedonism, nor for anarchy and chaos; he always focussed - and still does - his attention on the observation of and the respect for nature. In harmony with its ever recurring cycles he also understands other epochs and cultures which ritually used psychedelics in order to directly gain experiences, to make encounters with "higher", with divine realities. It's exactly this kind of experiences which people of today feel to be a loss – especially those in the Western world.
To speak in the words of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961): "Tired of intellectualism, one wants to hear about truth which doesn't hem in, but extends; which doesn’t obscure, but illuminates; which isn't like water off a duck's back, but movingly enters into the bones' marrow." The access to such kind of truth psychedelics can offer perfectly. Correspondingly, "The Future of Religion: Dogma of Transcendental Experience" is the provocative title of one of the topics of the Basel LSD Symposium's last day.
As for the rest, Albert Hofmann understands a substance like LSD as just another means to attain extraordinary states of consciousness – "Breathing techniques, yoga, fasting, dance, art," he cites as equally good.2
But who could think of a justice minister to seriously consider a making meditation a punishable offence, just because it might alter one's consciousness?
The way an up to date drug policy would have to be like will be one of the LSD Symposium's topics of Sunday, 15 January 2006. One essential prerequisite would be not to demonize psychoactive substances lock, stock and barrel, but to painstakingly distinguish between them, especially as to their addictive potential and their effects (see info text "Drugs – a Classification"). In order to take precautions against unpleasant side effects it's necessary to inform the public of the fact that individual personality structures as well as set and setting have a decisive influence on the quality of the trip. (See introductory text on the main topic on Saturday, 14 January 2006). Production, handling, and distribution of psychedelics should be controlled instead of being suppressed, the only way to lastingly dry out the black market.
Will there be a way to curb the long-term distribution of psychedelics by legislative means at all? Russian-born pharmacologist and chemist Alexander T. Shulgin, who lives near San Francisco and is considered to be the rediscoverer and father of MDMA (Ecstasy) looks back: "Early in the 20th century there were only two psychedelic substances known: cannabis and mescaline. Hardly fifty years later, with LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, TMA, several compounds based on DMT and other isomerics, their number was already close to twenty. Around the year 2000 there already were over 200. The increase obviously happens exponentially. In 2050 it already might be around 2000."3
Future drugs could even be more potent, more secure, and more psychoactive than LSD and become much more attractive for potential consumers, the willingness of whom to chemically manipulate their brain has never been greater than it is today: there’s a booming market for pharmaceutical mood boosters, tranquilizers, memory improvers, intelligence intensifiers, and aphrodisiacs. Timothy Leary's prophesied that: "Recent decades only have slightly stimulated mankind's eternal hunger for technologies to activate and direct the functions of one's own brain. The drug movement has begun."4 And it won’t stop because of government prohibition.
Which kind of society would we head for if the use of hallucinogens were legal and widespread? For Albert Hofmann it would be one that rediscovered "the transcendental, the spiritual world" – which, in that, would free itself. And he goes on that "the evolution of mankind is in the alteration of its consciousness. LSD can help to refill our consciousness with this feeling of wholeness and the being one with nature." It is therefore that it deserves a second chance.
1 In: "gaiamedianews", special edition “60 years LSD”, April 2003,p. 2
2 In an interview conducted by Lucius Werthmüller in the fall of 1995; also look up www.gaiamedia.org
3 See Drake Bennett, "Dr. Ecstasy", New York Times, 30 January 2005
4 Timothy Leary, "LSD Culture", see www.leary.com
© Gaia Media Foundation • Dr. Harald Wiesendanger • Translation Udo Breger