Friday, 3 May 2013

Mystic Chemist

When the discoverer of LSD molecule Dr. Albert Hofmann died in 2008 at 102 (!), for several days his name was the most 'googled' on the web and his death was amply covered by newspapers, TVs and other media all around the world. In 2007 he had been nominated (by about 4000 Britons) nr. 1 in a list of 100 greatest living geniuses. All that tells us something: despite the absolute taboo that still surrounds the sacred molecule (with all the correlated 'horror stories'), LSD is considered by many as one of the most remarkable discoveries of modern times.
To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Dieter Hagenbach (Founder and President of the Gaia Media Foundation) and Lucius Werthmuller (Member of the Board of the Gaia Media Foundation*) pay a written tribute to the life (and discovery) of the great Swiss chemist with Mystic Chemist: The Life of Albert Hofmann and His Discovery of LSD, edited by SynergeticPress.

From the SynergeticPress website:
Only a few discoveries of the 20th century have had such a crucial and meaningful influence on science, society and culture as LSD; this mysterious and extremely potent substance which causes profound changes of consciousness in doses of just a few hundred micrograms. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann first experienced its remarkable effects during a self-experiment with Lysergic Acid Diethylamide in 1943 at Sandoz Laboratory in Basel. It changed his life deeply, as it also has the lives of millions of people all around the world. His bicycle ride during this first LSD trip became legendary.
Authors Hagenbach and Werthm├╝ller, close friends of Hofmann, take us on a journey through the 20th century from his mystical childhood experiences with nature; to his chemistry studies with Nobel Prize winner Paul Karrer in Zurich through his discoveries of both LSD and psilocybin at Sandoz; to his adventurous expeditions; to his many years of retirement devoted to philosophy of nature and a rich social life. The authors reveal the eventful history of LSD, which became the subject of numerous clinical studies opening the way for innovative forms of therapy. It fueled the youth movement of the sixties, influenced developments in computer technology and science and helped spawn a new science of consciousness. Albert Hofmann was voted “greatest living genius” in 2007 by the British newspaper, The Telegraph. He lived an active life to the age of 102.

“Future generations will see Albert Hofmann as one the most important figures of the twentieth century; a Promethean visionary who helped chart a new trajectory for the evolution of the human species.”
-Stanislav Grof, Psychiatrist
(* Gaia Media Foundation organized the LSD International Symposium in 2006 and the World Psychedelic Forum in 2008, both events held in Basel, Switzerland.)

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