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LSD: My Problem Child

Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
MAPS
 | 
June, 2009
ISBN:
9780979862229
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Banyen's Description: 

This is the story of LSD told by a concerned yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces LSD’s path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition. We follow Dr. Hofmann’s trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD, and listen in as he corresponds with other notable figures about his remarkable discoveries.

Underlying it all is Hofmann’s conclusion that mystical experience may be our planet’s best hope for survival. Whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, such experiences help us to comprehend “the wonder, the mystery of the divine in the microcosm of the atom, in the macrocosm of the spiral nebula, in the seeds of plants, in the body and soul of people.”

More than seventy years after the birth of Albert Hofmann’s problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever.

First published in 1979 and now in a new edition supplemented with excellent historical photographs, illustrations (and a brief life sketch Albert wrote to be read at his funeral), LSD: My Problem Child is Albert Hofmann’s own story. Using a tiny, but known amount (250 millionth of a gram/250 micrograms), on April 19, 1943 Albert Hofmann became the first human to deliberately ingest LSD. Soon colleagues on the Sandoz staff experimented with “Hofmann’s potion,” and they too realized that LSD-25 had enormous potential. Many researchers did great work in ensuing decades, among them Stan Grof, who writes a foreword to the Fourth Edition, published since Hofmann’s death in 2008 at the age of 102. (The book mentions that he took LSD for the last time at the age of 97.)

In the introduction, he writes:

It is my desire in this book to give a comprehensive picture of LSD, its origin, its effects, and its dangers, in order to guard against increasing abuse of this extraordinary drug... I believe that if people would learn to use LSDs vision-inducing capability more wisely, under suitable conditions, in medical practice and in conjunction with meditation, then in the future this problem child could become a wonder child.

“The book gave me a lasting understanding of the relationship between science and culture. It also gave me a unique understanding of LSD’s potentials. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever tried LSD, anyone who has known anyone who has tried LSD, and anyone who has ever thought about trying LSD. You owe it to yourself.” —N. Davies, Amazon.com

Publisher’s Description: 

This is the story of LSD, told by its discoverer, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces its path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug dogged by hysteria and prohibition. Underlying it all is Dr. Hofmann's powerful conclusion that mystical experience, whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, may be our planet's best hope for survival. Over 60 years after the birth of Hofmann's problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever. 232 pp.

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