With the recent death of Albert Hofman we lost an important person in the history of drug research and an important and sane advocate of expanding our consciousness. He died a couple of months ago and he was the first to synthesize LSD, or acid. He lived to 102, delightfully overtaking most non-drug users by decades!!
In 2006 he published “LSD: My Problem Child” in which he describes the history of LSD from its discovery, early uses of LSD in psychiatry, Timothy Leary and the counterculture, chemical relatives of LSD and their use, the ambivalence of drug use, visitors and conversations, and thoughts on the nature of reality. You can read it yourself here.
LSD greatly influenced culture. (though perhaps more indirectly than directly as far fewer people experimented with it than assumed) Art and music were especially influenced giving rise to amazing innovation and experimentation. For a musical appraisal see this bit of Stephen Walker’s SMH blog.
You can also check out the Albert Hofman Foundation that continues in the spirit of his work.
But we still have Alexander Shulgin who’s alive and well. He popularised MDMA and experimented on himself (and close volunteers) extensively with new chemicals that he synthesized. He’s working on a comprehensive index of psychedelic substances and has catalogued and written about his own experiences in two famous books: Pikhal and Tikhal.
Shulgin developed a scale for systematically mapping the psychoactive effects. In 1994 the DEA raided his lab and tried to bully and intimidate Shulgin into giving up his chemical explorations. His work is widely credited as the most serious contribution to knowledge about psychedelic type and related drugs. You can check out more info on his seminal work Pikhal.
I myself haven’t read it but want to get to it… same with the Hofman book… lots to explore and learn!
We owe a lot to these two amazing characters in drug history!!
(collage by me, clockwise from left top: Shulgin, Hofman with friends, Hofman in his lab and a trippy artistic reworking of the same photo)
Now that I have recovered from last weekend’s party I can write about it. In short it was very wild, sexy and twisted… maybe I don’t need to say more!
I met a new MF couple recently and this was their private party for new friends. It was an odd collection of people but Craig and I didn’t have much trouble finding our groove. Some of the best bits can easily be shared without impositions (‘too much information!’ I can hear some friends screaming). First time in my life I was dressed in a rubber dress and it felt amazing!
The party went right into the morning and I had a great time
There were lots of moments of learning and discovery too, and fun and pleasure.. and I find that I always grow when I throw myself into things, get exposed to new stuff, meet lots of new interesting people who have great insights and experience and care to share them.
Life needs to be like that at least some of the time…
Today I received the first letter from my brother who is in custody in Hungary, awaiting trial. It’s basically a prison situation and has been for almost a year now. For a little while I was overwhelmed with emotions. I’ve been sending him a card or letter each week for 16 weeks now.
It’s so good to hear back from him… yet it’s kinda unsettling and I need to adjust emotionally. We write in English to each other so that he has some privacy. It’s a rough and aweful situation but he’s doing ok.
Also spent many hours unpacking boxes of old stuff at my parents’ place. They are selling their house and I have to take all my stuff. I have some 30 boxes of books, cassettes, videos, notes, poems, photos, artwork, clothing, accessories and utensils. For every moment of relief (yeah, I can get rid of this finally!) there are many more moments of sadness… I will never see this poem again, I’ll never have my uni assignments, all my music on cassettes that were dear to me with handmade collage covers. There are also yuck moments.. dead cockroaches, mould and cat piss! That was my cat Kajszi, her legacy survives hehe.
Big meaningful title, huh?
Still in recovery from a big bold sexy weekend, but it’s up up up now. I’m in replenishing mode.. chilling with the heater full on (chill & heat? forget about physics for a moment), drinking blueberry juice… and devouring prunes, jerusalem artichokes, persimmons, ginger tea, feijoa juice, marmalade on chia bread, basil omelette, cream of celeriac soup, chestnuts… all those weird nutritious things that most other people rarely touch or even know about… hehe, I love my weird varied foods.
The shiny sparkly bubble is rising… even if my plans are a bit more prosaic, but life is kinda prosaic a lot of the time (but you’d still be amazed if you peered into my brain!)… so this week… organise my internal flights for Europe and accommodation, get some good work done at uni, unpack and sort some 20 boxes of books and other stuff at my parents’ place, print and send some photos to my brother (who’s in custody), send photos to everyone from last weekend, maybe buy a new camera, hopefully see some friends, plus add lots of music and reading
Oh yes and Tamsin might visit me in Budapest… yeee!
(ps: no idea where this gorgeous pic is from, would love to reference the person…)