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What a long strange trip its been
A lovely view of heaven, but I'd rather be with you
I haven't written here for a long time; most of my posts are now in my blog on tribe.net. However, I wanted to post this here so that it would be more visible.

I'm presently in Basel, Switzerland, at a symposium honoring Dr. Albert Hofmann and his lifetime work. The following are my raw, unedited notes for todays sessions. I hope you find this useful and interesting reading. See http://www.lsd.info for more information on the symposium.

Kevin
-----
Day 1: 9:00 - 11:00 session


1993 Gaia media tried to have a conference on 50 years of LSD... it didn't work out, so they are quite pleased to have been able to bring this one together for Dr. Hofmann's 100th birthday.

People have come as far away as Japan and South Africa. There are journalists from 4 continents.

DRS, public broadcasting, did a 2 hour program on LSD, and DRS3 had an entire day of programming on Albert Hofmann and LSD. It was front page news on Italian and Swiss newspapers.

The Swiss federal president sent Albert Hofmann a letter on the occasion of his birthday... letter available for reading on the 2nd floor.

Novartis originally had the conference center billed for this time, but they were willing to give it up to the Gaia Media foundation out of respect for Dr. Hofmann's life of service.

It is great to celebrate Dr. Hofmann's life work and discovery in the city where he discovered LSD. It might have been better to do it in San Francisco, but it happens that we are doing this in the San Francisco room.

It is hoped that this symposium can cause the public to change its views on LSD and its derivatives.

This is not a purely academic conference, nor is it a meeting of the psychedelic community. It is hoped that it will be a diverse enough environment to provide valuable dialogue.

Dr. Hofmann will not be able to sign amy books... his schedule is too grueling this week... and as he puts it "I'm no longer 90 years old." <<< much laughter and applause from audience >>>

--- End of introduction -- Beginning of interview of Dr. Hofmann

-----> Dr. Hofmann, please recount the discovery of LSD:

New methods of pharmacology had been developed between 1938 and 1943, and Dr. Hofmann thought that there was value in having LSD analyzed again (it was analyzed in 1938 but with no interesting results). He had a minor but interesting LSD experience and wanted to figure out why.

He had worked with DCE and thought that maybe that was due to the effect... maybe he inhaled some. It is a substance similar to chloroform. That wasn't it, so he thought that it was maybe the lysergic acid. He didn't think that it was, because it would have had to be extremely active to effect him. He started with 250ug, thinking that this could do very little. <> It turned on that 250ug was too much, and it was frightening... he had very strong overwhelming feelings.

Local doctor examined him... couldn't find anything... it was really a horror trip. He thought the end was near... he had entered into a totally different world. "I've made a major discovery, and its time to say goodbye... thought he was going to leave his family." It was an unusual state of mind... he thought he was going to die and knew that he had found something special. Doctor told him to lie down and he went to bed... slowly things improved and he started to feel better.

Slowly the horror trip turned into a wonderful experience. He felt like a "new life" was entering into his body. The next day was an amazing experience of seeing the world in a new way.

He wasn't looking for LSD... he was looking for circulatory drugs... it turned out to be an amazing experience.

He sent a report to his boss and pharmacology department... they didn't believe him... but they took a quarter of what Hofmann took... and they took a quarter of what Hofmann took just to be sure that it was safe... and found that it was real.

LSD "called him" to look at the substance again. If he had worked properly and not had contamination, LSD would have never been discovered. Only because he wasn't 100% perfect and made an error was LSD discovered. <>

-----> Dr. Hofmann, how did this become a drug used by psychiatrists?

Before they did clinical tests, they had to do pre-clinical tests within the lab. Dr. Hofmann was one of the testers... it was very unpleasant, felt he was in the wrong world, with people full of lab coats doing all kinds of invasive sampling.

He felt that this was the wrong way to do it... wanted to try it in a more pleasant setting. He invited a company pharmacologist, and an author friend , he did the first planned psychedelic test in his own him. Tested with 50ug. The house was set up with nice flowers, set up a pleasant environment.

The family left the house... he was alone with his two friends... went through his first test. It was beautiful to experience outside the lab. It was much better to do in nature than a lab. They had some wine, talked all night, and had a wonderful time. It was the first planned psychedelic trip.

-----> What happened in 1950 during testing.

During the first 10 years, it was a wonder child... helped psychiatric patients that were totally blocked... they could undergo analysis when they were otherwise totally blocked.

In the united states, the medicinal products came to the streets... LSD became the sacred drug of the youth movement... anti establishment... anti vietnam... millions of people tried LSD for the first time.

People were not careful... LSD is a sacred drug... People took too much, or took substances that were not LSD... the FDA wanted to take away the sacred drug from the youth movement.

Doctors have access to all substances.. even the most poisonous... but all of a sudden there was a new aspect added into the US laws... for the first time, even doctors were restricted from having access to substances... no more testing, no more access, no more production.

The rest of the world copied what the US did, and LSD was banned worldwide. The rest of the world thought that they should copy what was done in the US because at the time the world respected the judgement of the US government.

But LSD survived. <>

---> What is the most valuable thing that LSD has given you?

It reminded me of experiences that I had as a child 3-4 times. There was a farm across from our flats, and I spent my youth there in nature. I had several experiences... I remember one that was mind expanded (other children had this as well; maybe they don't remember). I didn't talk to anyone about it... but it was so beautiful... I never forgot it... but it only came back to my mind later.

I am grateful for my fate... to everyone... my family, my friends, my teachers. I want to thank everyone here... who turned my problem child into a wonder child... thank you for being here. <>

---> To me and to many people here you are an role model... how you can become old and wise if you manage to remain curious. I think you are a great example and role model. << Dr. Hofmann presented with 100 red roses, picked this morning>>

I think that everything in nature should enter our mind more and more... we should not be confused by technology, we should go back to nature, to appreciate the roses.

--------------------------------------------
---> Dr. Felix Hasler did his PhD on psychedelic drugs at the University of Zurich... he will tell us what LSD is.

Dear scientists, dear artists, dear hippies, and dear members of the intelligence community <> what is LSD? I think we all know if we are here...

LSD is a variant of lysergic acid... an indole derivative. It was isolated in 1938 but only started speaking in 1943.

The term "acid" is incorrect... LSD is actually a base. LSD is not only chemistry, its also a pharmacon. It has a very specific biological and psychological effect. LSD effects the neurons of consciousness. This is the only way to explain the fantastic changes to consciousness.

1 millionth of a gram can change your consciousness completely. Its not only a potent pharmacon, it can be heaven, hell, change your soul... bring you into a happy state, cause anxiety, make you think you split yourself, and that you will not survive. Many every day experiences change radically.

Boundaries of self change. LSD isn't only a potent substance... it is many things at a time. LSD is what you intend... what kinds of ideology and approaches that you take.

You can see this from the different names... hallucinogen, phantasmicon, psychomimetic, psychotic, dream producing, idea producing, entheogen (the divine within)... the different names seemed to choose the different developments... LSD is much what you think it will be..., treating psychosis, having access to mystic/spiritual experiences, improve your creativity.

LSD is also politically active... we can justifiably say that it is the only pharmacological product that had a political effect... the idea that political change has to come from within.

Peter Stafford writes in the 1960s that LSD will have far-reaching political effects beyond our imagination. The timing was great... black panthers, vietnam war... it unified the leftist and psychedelic movements... utopia can come true, the world can be made to a better place.

What is the future of LSD? This question should be the objective of this symposium.

The time has come to take a more sober approach to LSD. While its been used in therapy in 1950-1960, what are the indications and counter-indications. What should a session look like? What are the risks?

Should we find a new molecule that works better? What is the biological basis? Why do psychedelics work in psychotherapy?

IsLSD a good substance to look at the brain-mind interface?

How will society deal with LSD in the future? Who should have access? No one? Only the modern shamans (psychiatrists)? Everyone? Drivers license for LSD? Modern ritual? I look forward to hearing answers to these questions in this conference?

<>

---> Dr. R. Verres from the university of heidelberg in germany. Long time friend of Dr. Hofmann

Dr. Hofmann grew up in a world that was similar to the world of 1000 years ago... horse drawn carriages, living close to nature. No technology... his life changed when he was 12, moved into the city... it was like an expulsion from paradise, it was dreary, like being expelled from paradise.

Completed his "A" levels as #2 in his class. He liked drawing and music... he had a talent for music... they were surprised that he choose chemistry instead of music... teachers were horrified "Are you going to produce the poisons for the next war?".

Interesting that he was working on substances to help with childbirth... Dr. Hofmann says LSD helps with your spiritual rebirth. Started off looking at substances used by midwives to induce labor... its as if LSD induces spiritual birth, and the other lysergic acid deriviatives (ergot-based) help with physical birth.

The quest for happiness is the quest for finding the basis of truth. Albert Hofmann found this by integrating the experience of mystics and the experience of science. He even links "enlightenment" to photosynthesis. He considers consciousness to be the highest energetic transformation of light... therefore enlightenment is a scientifically demonstrable principle.

Albert Hofmann says again and again he is not a guru... he is a modest person... does not like to be perceived as a person with the answers.

LSD is a sacred substance... it would make sense to set up state controlled "meditation centers" where the drug can be experienced. This is Dr. Hofmann's wish for the next century. <>

---> Dr. R. Bauer, president of society on medicinal plant research...

It is a great pleasure to congratulate you on the occasion of your 100th birthday.

Albert Hofmann has been a member for nearly 50 years of the society... there are 1200 members.

You can see that Dr. Hofmann is not only interested in LSD... he's interested in nature as well. He knows plants very well and always enjoys being in nature.

Meeting Dr. Hofmann inspired me to do my work on isolating natural compounds.

LSD is only one of his many achevements. He's researched many other substances... sea squids, psilocybin, morning glory, salvia divinorium.

He can be called a pharmocognizant par excellent.

-----> Dr. R. Nicole

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<translation [...] problems...>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

I haven't written here for a long time; most of my posts are now in my blog on tribe.net. However, I wanted to post this here so that it would be more visible.

I'm presently in Basel, Switzerland, at a symposium honoring Dr. Albert Hofmann and his lifetime work. The following are my raw, unedited notes for todays sessions. I hope you find this useful and interesting reading. See http://www.lsd.info for more information on the symposium.

Kevin
-----
Day 1: 9:00 - 11:00 session


1993 Gaia media tried to have a conference on 50 years of LSD... it didn't work out, so they are quite pleased to have been able to bring this one together for Dr. Hofmann's 100th birthday.

People have come as far away as Japan and South Africa. There are journalists from 4 continents.

DRS, public broadcasting, did a 2 hour program on LSD, and DRS3 had an entire day of programming on Albert Hofmann and LSD. It was front page news on Italian and Swiss newspapers.

The Swiss federal president sent Albert Hofmann a letter on the occasion of his birthday... letter available for reading on the 2nd floor.

Novartis originally had the conference center billed for this time, but they were willing to give it up to the Gaia Media foundation out of respect for Dr. Hofmann's life of service.

It is great to celebrate Dr. Hofmann's life work and discovery in the city where he discovered LSD. It might have been better to do it in San Francisco, but it happens that we are doing this in the San Francisco room.

It is hoped that this symposium can cause the public to change its views on LSD and its derivatives.

This is not a purely academic conference, nor is it a meeting of the psychedelic community. It is hoped that it will be a diverse enough environment to provide valuable dialogue.

Dr. Hofmann will not be able to sign amy books... his schedule is too grueling this week... and as he puts it "I'm no longer 90 years old." <<< much laughter and applause from audience >>>

--- End of introduction -- Beginning of interview of Dr. Hofmann

-----> Dr. Hofmann, please recount the discovery of LSD:

New methods of pharmacology had been developed between 1938 and 1943, and Dr. Hofmann thought that there was value in having LSD analyzed again (it was analyzed in 1938 but with no interesting results). He had a minor but interesting LSD experience and wanted to figure out why.

He had worked with DCE and thought that maybe that was due to the effect... maybe he inhaled some. It is a substance similar to chloroform. That wasn't it, so he thought that it was maybe the lysergic acid. He didn't think that it was, because it would have had to be extremely active to effect him. He started with 250ug, thinking that this could do very little. <<laughter>> It turned on that 250ug was too much, and it was frightening... he had very strong overwhelming feelings.

Local doctor examined him... couldn't find anything... it was really a horror trip. He thought the end was near... he had entered into a totally different world. "I've made a major discovery, and its time to say goodbye... thought he was going to leave his family." It was an unusual state of mind... he thought he was going to die and knew that he had found something special. Doctor told him to lie down and he went to bed... slowly things improved and he started to feel better.

Slowly the horror trip turned into a wonderful experience. He felt like a "new life" was entering into his body. The next day was an amazing experience of seeing the world in a new way.

He wasn't looking for LSD... he was looking for circulatory drugs... it turned out to be an amazing experience.

He sent a report to his boss and pharmacology department... they didn't believe him... but they took a quarter of what Hofmann took... and they took a quarter of what Hofmann took just to be sure that it was safe... and found that it was real.

LSD "called him" to look at the substance again. If he had worked properly and not had contamination, LSD would have never been discovered. Only because he wasn't 100% perfect and made an error was LSD discovered. <<applause>>

-----> Dr. Hofmann, how did this become a drug used by psychiatrists?

Before they did clinical tests, they had to do pre-clinical tests within the lab. Dr. Hofmann was one of the testers... it was very unpleasant, felt he was in the wrong world, with people full of lab coats doing all kinds of invasive sampling.

He felt that this was the wrong way to do it... wanted to try it in a more pleasant setting. He invited a company pharmacologist, and an author friend <?Ann Stewart?>, he did the first planned psychedelic test in his own him. Tested with 50ug. The house was set up with nice flowers, set up a pleasant environment.

The family left the house... he was alone with his two friends... went through his first test. It was beautiful to experience outside the lab. It was much better to do in nature than a lab. They had some wine, talked all night, and had a wonderful time. It was the first planned psychedelic trip.

-----> What happened in 1950 during testing.

During the first 10 years, it was a wonder child... helped psychiatric patients that were totally blocked... they could undergo analysis when they were otherwise totally blocked.

In the united states, the medicinal products came to the streets... LSD became the sacred drug of the youth movement... anti establishment... anti vietnam... millions of people tried LSD for the first time.

People were not careful... LSD is a sacred drug... People took too much, or took substances that were not LSD... the FDA wanted to take away the sacred drug from the youth movement.

Doctors have access to all substances.. even the most poisonous... but all of a sudden there was a new aspect added into the US laws... for the first time, even doctors were restricted from having access to substances... no more testing, no more access, no more production.

The rest of the world copied what the US did, and LSD was banned worldwide. The rest of the world thought that they should copy what was done in the US because at the time the world respected the judgement of the US government.

But LSD survived. <<applause>>

---> What is the most valuable thing that LSD has given you?

It reminded me of experiences that I had as a child 3-4 times. There was a farm across from our flats, and I spent my youth there in nature. I had several experiences... I remember one that was mind expanded (other children had this as well; maybe they don't remember). I didn't talk to anyone about it... but it was so beautiful... I never forgot it... but it only came back to my mind later.

I am grateful for my fate... to everyone... my family, my friends, my teachers. I want to thank everyone here... who turned my problem child into a wonder child... thank you for being here. <<applause>>

---> To me and to many people here you are an role model... how you can become old and wise if you manage to remain curious. I think you are a great example and role model. << Dr. Hofmann presented with 100 red roses, picked this morning>>

I think that everything in nature should enter our mind more and more... we should not be confused by technology, we should go back to nature, to appreciate the roses.

--------------------------------------------
---> Dr. Felix Hasler did his PhD on psychedelic drugs at the University of Zurich... he will tell us what LSD is.

Dear scientists, dear artists, dear hippies, and dear members of the intelligence community <<laughter>> what is LSD? I think we all know if we are here...

LSD is a variant of lysergic acid... an indole derivative. It was isolated in 1938 but only started speaking in 1943.

The term "acid" is incorrect... LSD is actually a base. LSD is not only chemistry, its also a pharmacon. It has a very specific biological and psychological effect. LSD effects the neurons of consciousness. This is the only way to explain the fantastic changes to consciousness.

1 millionth of a gram can change your consciousness completely. Its not only a potent pharmacon, it can be heaven, hell, change your soul... bring you into a happy state, cause anxiety, make you think you split yourself, and that you will not survive. Many every day experiences change radically.

Boundaries of self change. LSD isn't only a potent substance... it is many things at a time. LSD is what you intend... what kinds of ideology and approaches that you take.

You can see this from the different names... hallucinogen, phantasmicon, psychomimetic, psychotic, dream producing, idea producing, entheogen (the divine within)... the different names seemed to choose the different developments... LSD is much what you think it will be..., treating psychosis, having access to mystic/spiritual experiences, improve your creativity.

LSD is also politically active... we can justifiably say that it is the only pharmacological product that had a political effect... the idea that political change has to come from within.

Peter Stafford writes in the 1960s that LSD will have far-reaching political effects beyond our imagination. The timing was great... black panthers, vietnam war... it unified the leftist and psychedelic movements... utopia can come true, the world can be made to a better place.

What is the future of LSD? This question should be the objective of this symposium.

The time has come to take a more sober approach to LSD. While its been used in therapy in 1950-1960, what are the indications and counter-indications. What should a session look like? What are the risks?

Should we find a new molecule that works better? What is the biological basis? Why do psychedelics work in psychotherapy?

IsLSD a good substance to look at the brain-mind interface?

How will society deal with LSD in the future? Who should have access? No one? Only the modern shamans (psychiatrists)? Everyone? Drivers license for LSD? Modern ritual? I look forward to hearing answers to these questions in this conference?

<<applause>>

---> Dr. R. Verres from the university of heidelberg in germany. Long time friend of Dr. Hofmann

Dr. Hofmann grew up in a world that was similar to the world of 1000 years ago... horse drawn carriages, living close to nature. No technology... his life changed when he was 12, moved into the city... it was like an expulsion from paradise, it was dreary, like being expelled from paradise.

Completed his "A" levels as #2 in his class. He liked drawing and music... he had a talent for music... they were surprised that he choose chemistry instead of music... teachers were horrified "Are you going to produce the poisons for the next war?".

Interesting that he was working on substances to help with childbirth... Dr. Hofmann says LSD helps with your spiritual rebirth. Started off looking at substances used by midwives to induce labor... its as if LSD induces spiritual birth, and the other lysergic acid deriviatives (ergot-based) help with physical birth.

The quest for happiness is the quest for finding the basis of truth. Albert Hofmann found this by integrating the experience of mystics and the experience of science. He even links "enlightenment" to photosynthesis. He considers consciousness to be the highest energetic transformation of light... therefore enlightenment is a scientifically demonstrable principle.

Albert Hofmann says again and again he is not a guru... he is a modest person... does not like to be perceived as a person with the answers.

LSD is a sacred substance... it would make sense to set up state controlled "meditation centers" where the drug can be experienced. This is Dr. Hofmann's wish for the next century. <<applause>>

---> Dr. R. Bauer, president of society on medicinal plant research...

It is a great pleasure to congratulate you on the occasion of your 100th birthday.

Albert Hofmann has been a member for nearly 50 years of the society... there are 1200 members.

You can see that Dr. Hofmann is not only interested in LSD... he's interested in nature as well. He knows plants very well and always enjoys being in nature.

Meeting Dr. Hofmann inspired me to do my work on isolating natural compounds.

LSD is only one of his many achevements. He's researched many other substances... sea squids, psilocybin, morning glory, salvia divinorium.

He can be called a pharmocognizant par excellent.

-----> Dr. R. Nicole

<translation problems... missed some details>

We are shown a chart of Dr. Hofmann's astrology.

-----> Dr. T. Klett, on the writing of LSD: My Problem Child

Publisher of "LSD: My Problem child" thought that Dr. Hofmann would "dig hisown grave" by publishing the book... that it wasn't appropriate for him to talk about mysticism.

Self-experimentation is necessary for anyone that wants to understand the psychedelic experience.

-----> Dr. J. Gartz... born in 1953 in former GDR, inspired by parents, became interested in edible and toxic mushrooms at an early age.

Studied chemistry, got PhD, worked for academy of sciences in GDR. Has been studying psylocybin. Will be discussing the isolation and synthesis of psylocibyn by Dr. Hofmann

<<< Showing us a picture of a LSD label from Prague... 100mg >>>

<<< Showing us pictures of "mushroom stones" 3000-1000 years old from Mexico >>>

Shamans in mexico have been using psychoactive substances for centuries.

H.G. Wassen re-discovered these properties in the 1950s. Tested the effects on himself in 1956... probably the first white person to have experienced this. It became apparent that the effects were similar to LSD.

Contacted Dr. Hofmann in 1957 because of the similarities to LSD.

Psilocybin is much more stable than psilocin. The isolation was difficult... there are "sticky" intermediaries to deal with. Maria Sabina was given some of the synthetic, and said that there was no difference between the synthetic and that from the mushrooms.

Wassen was an ethnopharacologist and ethnomycologist.

Psylocybin is used as a therapeautic agent, and also gives a visionary experience (but not quite as strong as LSD).


----> Dr. Carl P. Ruck

The ancient testimony about the elusian mysteries is the most profound, most blessed. As Plato wrote, we experienced the most blissful, blessed experiences. Similar claims were made by the great minds of the ancient times. "At midnight, I saw the sun shining as if it were noon." What is being described is a shamanic journey of the soul.

It was called a mystery because the initiates were sworn to silence under penalty of death. The secret was kept for 2000 years... went from 1400BCE until the temple was desecrated by the christians in the 4th century.

The ancient greeks were not naieve about drugs... they had opium, cannabis, mandrake, datura. However, the elusium mysteries were kept secret.

Was made from: Barley, fleabane, ergot.

The initiation was set up as a journey to Hades and back... individually experiencing death and rebirth. A journey into the underworld and back, like Persephone.

The Elusian Initiation was used as a historical precedent before an argument before the US Supreme court for allowing the use of a psychedelic compound within a religious ceremony.

-------------------------

I had lunch while hearing Alex Grey speak about the inspiration behind many of his pieces. I didn't take notes, but I did hear confirmation of something that I expected... "Transformations" was inspired by smoked DMT; it was Alex's first experience with smoked DMT.

-------------------------

Day 1 14:00 - 16:00 session, from Psychedelic Plants to LSD

----> U. Holbein gave a humorous walk through the history of psychedelics and society using very funny photographs and art.

----> J.Ott started off saying that this should be "From LSD to Psychedelic Plants" since LSD was how it all began in our culture.

The CIA spent 10 years looking at psychoactive plants as interrogation agents and didn't find anything useful.

R. Gordon Wassen went to Mexico with the intention of befriending the natives and learning from them, and met Maria Sabina in June 1955. They cultivated the mushrooms in France in 1955 but no one was able to isolate the chemistry until 1957 when they passed it to Albert Hofmann.

Albert Hofmann read about the mushrooms in the press and wanted to be able to isolate them. It was this intention which lead to the people in France that cultivated the mushrooms to send them to him after they were unable to do the isolation.

Dr. Hofmann wasn't able to isolate the chemicals doing animal studies (the "proper" procedure) and had to do it with self-experimentation and with experimentation on human volunteers. An animal can't tell you that they are tripping so it *requires* human testing to figure out what is actually psychedelic.

Psychedelic mushrooms didn't hit the streets in the US until the late 1970s.

-----> Ralph Metzner, who studied LSD at Harvard with Tim Leary and Richard Alpert, speaks about the time at Harvard when they did their LSD research.

"Intention" is the most important thing in psychedelic research. "Intention" is the same as "Set".

When LSD was first discovered, the first group in the USA to experiment with it was the CIA.

The "psycholotic model" is based on the idea of using a psychedelic to "loosen up" a patient for psychoanalysis. It started with Stanislof Groff in Checholsovakia. Low doses are used for this.

It is known that sometimes alcoholics recover when they "hit bottom". The idea using LSD was to simulate "hitting bottom" to help people to recover. High doses are used for this.

Leary went to Mexico on vacation and tried psylocibin mushrooms (1960-1961). This changed his life. He got psylocibin from Sandoz USA and wanted to see what happens when you give normal people psylocybin in normal situations. His first experiment was to give prisoners psylocibin to see if you could help them to change such that they wouldn't go back to jail.

It was not therapy. It was not an experiment. These are "asymetrical power relationships". He was very egalitarian, in an American way. He went to prisoners "you are not guinea pigs". We will take it with you. We don't want to make you feel like you are being experimented upon. We want to share knowledge with you and help you.

Metzner's first 10 experiences on psychedelics were in maximum security prison as an assistant. It showed him the difference between "internal freedom" and "external freedom". You could be locked up in your body but free to explore the universe in your mind.

The results were ambiguous; it was difficult to determine whether people were less likely to return to jail after the psylocibin experiences.

It was becoming more and more obvious that this was the religious/mystical experience. Walter Penke did a double-blind study to determine whether psylocibin induced mystical experiences, using divination students. All studies determined that psylocbin does induce a legitimate mystical experience. Dr. Rick Doblin did a 20 year followup and determined that the experiences were life changing and positive.

---> Christian Raitsch, ethnobotanist, speaks of "the plants of the gods, from the jungles to the laboratories"

LSD is the philosopher's stone.

<<Photo of Albert Hofmann doing tai chi..>>

Ergot has just been dubbed the forbidden fruit in a modern context..

Love Seeks Deu (german for you) ... Love Seeks You

I had to search the forests and jungles and deserts of the world looking for a substance as significant and powerful as LSD.

One is olaliquii... morning glories... which contains an ergot alkaloid very similar to LSD.

Albert Hofmann claims that LSD is a natural drug. A plant *could* make it.

The Maya indians call it "stahben too"... "string of gems"... it is the ritual name for the cord that connects us to the universe, like an embilical cord. We can use it any time to understand why we are here and what our purpose is.

Thricola is a different plant from this famiy; another mexican magical plant.

The shamans in Mexico use these plants and the effects can be similar to LSD. The shamans use this plant to lead their community/society and give them a spiritual home.

<<Photo of depiction of morning glories from 1600s>>

Hawaiian baby woodrose. Sacred plant; similar to the mexican "elbilical cord" plant... another ergot alkalai.

The plant was known in indian auyrvedic medicine for men's sexual problems, but its psychedelic properties were unknown until recent.

The shamans in the Himalayas are still using it; they call it one of their "traveling plants"... it is used for traveling to other worlds. When you take it you get immersed in an ocean of infinite dimensions.

In Austria there is a mushroom called "fools mushroom"... it turns out that it also contains psylocibin... a peasant watching Dr. Hofmann's first speech on the mexican mushrooms said that they have these mushrooms too. It turns out to be more potent. The European scientists didn't know that these mushrooms existed in their "own backyard".

"Nature" comes from the latin "Natura" the goddess of all living plants.

-----> Dave Nichols talks to us about the Heffter Research foundation, and how psychedelic research continues in the USA.

Dave says he comes from the opposite end of the spectrum from Christian... very formal, works in the lab.

Thanks Dr. Hofmann for changing his life... got his PhD in 1973... started thinking about how said it was that clinical research stopped on psychedelics.

He started the Heffter Research Institute... "virtual institute"... also have one in Zurich.

Dr. Arthur Heffter, 1859-1925, had a Md. and 2 PhDs. His claim to fame was isolating mescaline from peyote. Did self-experiments in 1897. First scientist to do psychedelic research.

*** Dr. Heffter was really there first!!! ****

They have a board of directors, a scientific advisory board, research investigators, and special consultants.

Long-range goal: psilocybin as a medicine. They do psilocybin instead of LSD because of the stigma associated with LSD.

-----> F. Vollenweider, Psychiatric hospital University of Zurich:

How does LSD affect Mind and Brain?

I am not going to speak about the clinical aspects... I am going to talk about the physical mechanisms.

Psychological, biological, physical chemical layers... there is also a quantum layer, but we're not there yet to talk about it... maybe in 10 years.

Meditation, psychedelics, sensory deprivation, sensory stimulation can all induce altered states of consciousness.

All states of consciousness can be thought of dimensions: visionary, experience, dread of ego-disolution, acoustic alterations, vigilance reduction

The state changes are dose-dependent but reproducable (tried up to 200 times).

There are different ways of looking into the brain. To ask "how does lsd work: you must ask "from what perspective". Neuronal activity, neuroreceptors, or the communications between them.

Brain mapping, brain images, measure electricity, determine where the LSD connects the neurons.

Ketamine shows similar changes to brain activity as psilocybin. What is the common denominator?

MDMA has a totally different pattern of activity.

Not everything that has been activated actually contributes to "state of mind". However, there have been definite mappings found... certain parts of the brain correspond to visionary states vs. the other psychedelic states.

Glutamatergic stimulation occurs as a secondary effect from serotonin psychedelics (downstream network chain), but is effected directly by ketamine. Thats why they are very different chemicals with similar effects.

----> Nicholas Langbert, Current Hallucinogen Research in Switzerland

1960-1970 Popularization + politcization
1971: international illegalization

Research became more difficult, but total breakdown of research *is a myth*.

Since late 1980s, research in the USA, Germany, Switzerland

Time has passed, new generation, new neurotransmitter models, 1990s as "decade of the brain" (quote from the first George Bush, can you believe it!?!?!). More scientific rigor and rechnocratic sobriety.

Since 1910s, Swiss resistance anainst US-driven internationalization of drug policy

Swiss joins the war on drugs in 1970. 1980s growing "drug problem". 1990s liberalization of drug policy. Close monitoring, but only intervention when great need.

Drug experiments as national interest... serves the Swiss public interest.

Supportive authorities: quick and reliable approval of studies; well-established tradition of hallucinogen research; easy recruitment of test subjects

In a global world, drug research can be "outsourced"... so private American money funds the Swiss research, because the scientific/regulatory conditions are best.

Drugs used in research: MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin... no LSD!

LSD is not great for research: bad reputation, bad trips, duration (8-12 hours) too long; "dirty drug" --- touches too many receptors --- difficult for precision research.

Future of LSD research may be in the USA, not Switzerland... two studies (cluster headaches, visual perception) happening in the USA.

----> Dr. Rick Doblin, MAPS...

MAPS is a non-profit drug discovery company. Resources are limited; they have the most impact by creating legal context through medical use. Primary focus is to make psilocybin and MDMA prescription medication.

MAPS has also decided to take on medical marijuana as a project, due to popular support (70%-80% support by Americans), even though it isn't psychedelic.

Fighting court battle with DEA because MAPS wants to set up their own source for medical marijuana. Last set of DEA witnesses helped MAPS more than the government with their testimony.

We are at a point of transition... the FDA is open to psychedelic research... they are open to "science over politics"... despite the Bush Administration. Their has been push back in the FDA against the Bush administration... admin has pushed too hard blocking research relating to women's reproductive rights, and this has created a backlash.

A lot of our work is symbolic... turn a counter-culture revolution in the 60s into scientific research... its OK to do research again... that's why they are focusing on having studies at Harvard, to say that it is OK to do it again.

The global support for the drug war is eroding. The grand failure of the idea of "big government controlling everyone's consciousness" is falling apart.

What has really helped is the introduction of MDMA in the 70s-80s... its milder, safer, the culture has been more able to work through their fears about psychedelics due to the "softer" nature of MDMA. Its not as scary as LSD so culture accepts it easier.

The government has lost credibility about drugs because they exaggerate the risks and ignore the benefits.

Psilocybin and LSD seems to help for cluster headaches (reported by sufferers who use the drugs black market).

Very close to getting the schedule 1 license for MDMA research in the USA.

We were hoping that we could present Dr. Hofmann with the gift of being able to do LSD research for his 100th birthday but we're close... it'll probably happen for the 101st birthday.

-----------------

------ Ask the Shulgins

---> Are you working on a new book?

Yes, its based on "The Merck Index"... will be called "The Psychedelic Index"... it catalogs compounds which are psychedelic, may be psychedelic, or are interesting to study... will contain the chemical structure, an outline of the synthesis, and physical, bioloigical, and chemical properties, and the legal status... and the analogs, homologues, and isomers. Each compound is thus completely described. Currently 2000 compounds in the book. I estimate the book will be 1500-2000 pages.

I hope to have it ready for proofreading/typeestting by the middle of the hear.

----> Are there non-psychedelic 5ht-2a agonists?

I'm sure that there are things that are psychedelic, but active at other receptor sites. Likewise, there are things that may only be psychoactive at very high does at 5ht-2a.

----> A few years ago, you mentioned working on a chemical which has aspects of MDMA and LSD and have an erotic character. What is the status of this chemical?

Every new compound is a brand new individual. You have to become familiar with it and it has to become familiar with you. Only after you get to know it can you understand its pharmacological properties.

To that specific question, I don't remember what I was talking about when I mentioned this chemical before.

----> Questions about a MDA analog and testing on mice and rats.

Dr. Shulgin says he's given up on testing on mice and rats because the only thing that he can determine is the toxicity on mice or rats, since the interesting thing about psychedelics is how it effects the mind and not the brain. All he ends up with is an inventory of dead rats and no new knowledge.

----> What is your current relationship with the DEA?

Our relationship with the DEA is "polite avoidance" on both sides. MDMA has been the focus of a great deal of press attention... everyone wants to know about "ecstasy", which is one of our favorite words to hate. The term "ecstasy" has no meaning... a "ecstasy" pill might have everything from no MDMA to anything... but as long as it is called "ecstasy" if anything bad happens the authorities blame MDMA.

The DEA has their world, I have my world, and they are quite far apart.

My main interest is designing, developing, and expanding on new drugs... their primary ambition is to take drugs and make them illegal, and at the moment I'm staying 4 years comfortably ahead of them.

----> Does the desire to alter consciousness change with age?

No. <<<much laughter and applause:>>>

----> Is there a way to extend the duration of 5-meo-dmt?

5-meo-dmt is not orally active. Activity has to come from injection, smoking, or a material that disrupts its metabolic disruption. As with DMT, 5-meo-dmt is natural in the human body. Therefore you do not tend to build up a tolerance or blocking of further action. That means that you can try an experiment, wait 2 hours, and have the same response again. Since the human body is capable of handling it and taking care of it, I doubt that there is a way to extend the activity.

One caveat... I know of someone that had a 3-4 hour experience with it; much longer than anyone else. This may be due to individual variation; I don't know why it happens.

-----> Ann, I've wanted to ask you this since I read PIKHAL.. when you were in South America, the maid took some of the MDMA and she was pregnant. You mentioned that you were watching Dune when this happened, and a similar thing happened in the story with a main character taking "spice" while pregnant. Did you realize the connection?

No, I didn't notice that. We were both very impressed by her story. We were a little worried that she was 8 months pregnant and taking MDMA. The consensus is that during the first three months is that it is most important not to take any drugs at all. I think both Sasha and I feel that one should avoid all drugs during pregnancy.

----> What is the best set and setting for MDMA?

People who go to raves and take it say that is the best... to be with friends, dance music, etc. Its a personal choice. For myself (Ann), before we knew that repeated use of MDMA causes the effect to drop off, I took it once a week for about a year. And for me it was my writing drug. This is before MDMA was illegal. <<laughter>>. I took it because it opened up the parts of me that were creative. I took it because it opened up the parts of me that are creative. Instead of a dance floor, it was a quiet room and my computer. So it depends on the person. Due to this over-use (which I now know is over-use of MDMA), I can not get any effect from MDMA.

----> What is the most meaningful, deepest insight you've received from psychedelics?

I was on the east coast, and I used 2C-E. On other substances, I can stop thinking about things... 2C-E forces me to keep thinking about something that is important. I was forced to go into another room, by myself, and come to the answer to the question that I was trying to avoid. I was rewarded by having another question that I could not avoid answering. It totally exhausted me but it was totally fascinating.


--------------------------

Beckley Foundation --- Drug Policy Programme

Bring together experts from multiple disciplines, talk together in a confidential environment, and brainstorm on how to influence drug policy for the benefit of mankind.

Scientific research --- understand neurological changes from drugs, especially those which are taboo to discuss (especially psychedelics).

Current projects can be found at www.beckleyfoundation.org

--------------------------

Current Mood: jubilant jubilant

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I haven't written here for a while because I have been using my tribe blog instead. I do have some personal things to write though and maybe I'll just use this journal for the personal stuff and set it friends only.

I could cut and paste between the two blogs but that doesn't seem worth the effort.

Any suggestions?

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra

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Well, I've been stuck in Ft. Wayne, Indiana for the last few days... I'm on Big Summer Classic tour with String Cheese. I have an extensive post about my adventures but I'm not done with it yet...

I'm just about ready to leave for the All Good Festival... I might miss Sunday All Good and go to the Ohio Cheese show... you going Sunday Dragonflysister?

Much much more to write... will finish it soon...

Current Mood: excited excited

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I'm driving through Nebraska. I had a great time at Wakarusa, although it was much too far from the campsites to the show.

It was fun as always to hang out with the vibe crew... those kids know how to "get 'er done"...

I'm using WiFi at Flying J truck stop... sitting in my car and using the network to catch up.

It looks like I'm going to be doing SCI summer tour. I'm on the "vibe team" for at least two shows; maybe more. That'll be fun for sure. It has been a while since I've been able to be part of a String Cheese event.

I am not sure what I'll be doing this weekend... many choices...

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative

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Well, I had a fantastic time at Bonnaroo... it was crazy there... hot, muddy, rainy, lots and lots of people... I got in at 2AM or so Thursday morning, and didn't have to wait long at all to get in. People that arrived only a few hours later had to wait hours and hours to get in.

I camped with Audrey, Mike, Hoops, Vanessa, Christine, and Meredith. The only thing that there wasn't enough of at Bonnaroo is time to sleep.

I have never seen so many people at a PGroove show... must have been 10,000 people there. I talked to the band last night at the Chattanooga show, and they told me that it was amazing to be on stage in front of so many people.

Chattanooga turns out to be a pretty cool town. Had friends here within a few minutes of leaving the hotel... there is organic food and vegetarian restaurants here. The PGroove show last night was fantastic... Rhythm and Brews is a fine venue.

I'm driving with Christine to Kansas today for Wakarusa. I wasn't planning on having any passengers in my Beetle (it is quite cramped), but Christine didn't have a ride back from Bonnaroo so we're making due with the limited space.

Festival season is so much fun!

Miss you all...

Love,
Kevin

Current Mood: energetic energetic
Current Music: Henry Kaiser - Dark Star > A Love Supreme > D

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I'm so excited... I'm driving from New York City to Bonnarroo, and I just stopped at the Welcome Center in West Virginia on I-70. I looked at my GPS and it says that I have 417 miles to go... close enough to 420 for me!

I haven't written for a while because I've been moving so fast... I feel good taking this few minute break at a rest area to write a post. I have some cool photos to post but don't have the time using this slow GSM/GPRS connection.

I've heard from at least three friends (Audrey, Christine, and Vanessa) that they would be at the festival for sure, and I'm hoping to hear back from some more.

On the road, and having so much fun!

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Phish - Maze

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I'm so excited... leaving for Cheese in Tahoe in the next few hours... got all packed... just have some other details to attend to... documents for my tax guy... when I'm done with that, its time for the best feeling in the world... the feeling "to be free!".

Love you all!

Off to Cheese #7 and #8 of 2005. I'm so happy!

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: XM51 - Music Lab - Phish - Gotta Jaboo

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Alright lurkers, you know who you are (A and E in particular)... you want to know what's going on in my life, well some of it is quasi-personal, and I haven't felt like making public posts, so I am going to start writing some friends-only posts here shortly.

Get yourself free LiveJournal accounts and I'll add you as friends and you can see all of the juicy details...

If there are any other lurkers reading this that I don't know about, feel free to comment here and I'll add you as a friend...

Muah!

Kevin

Current Mood: loved loved
Current Music: Chemical Brothers - My Private Psychedelic Reel

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I'm on the state line between Brockway, California, and Crystal Bay, Nevada. DJ Lorin Bassnectar and Global Funk Council are playing just down the street at the Crystal Bay Club.
Stateline Brockway, CA and Crystal Bay, NV

I am very excited for the show. The drive up was beautiful. I came by myself, and listened to some wonderful 5.1 channel surround music on the drive up. I had the stereo cranked... I played: Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle, R.E.M: Document, Eric Clapton: 461 Ocean Blvd., and Neil Young: Greendale.

The strangest part of the drive was seeing the Redneck Klingon. I saw a white pickup truck with a ladder hanging way past the truck bed, and noticed that the insignia of the Klingon Empire was painted on the rear and driver's side of the vehicle. The guy didn't look like a Klingon, nor did he look like a fat bearded nerdy trekker. With the pickup truck and the ladder, and how he looked, I thought he was a redneck. I was going to snap a picture of him but in case he really was a Klingon (I just wasn't sure) I didn't want to inspire his wrath, so I only took a picture of the back of his truck.
Klingon Redneck cruising down I-80E

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Bassnectar - The Wicked Twitch Of The West

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Wow! I'm having a party this Saturday before and after Sound Tribe Sector 9 at The Catalyst. I've been running around town the last few days trying to get everything in order for a big party. I've been using this time also as a good motivation to clean and organize my house.

If you are in the bay area and are my friend and haven't gotten a person e-vite for this party, I'm sorry... you should have... if not, click here to see the e-vite. I hope that you can make it.

I have a huge backlog of CDs to catalog and rip to mp3, and a huge list of things to do, but I have two and a half more days so it'll work out.

I've got much more to talk about, but I don't want to get distracted since I'm on a roll... just wanted to drop by here and say Hello...

Peace, love, unity, and respect!!!

Kevin

Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Santana - Soul Sacrafice

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