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April 29, 2008 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Albert Hofmann, the inventor/discoverer of LSD, has died at the age of 102. Wiki. The Albert Hofmann Foundation. Erowid entry on LSD. Hofmann's often-cited essay, "LSD, My Problem Child." Late in his life, he questioned his own invention. A conversation with Dr. Hoffman.

"I believe that if people would learn to use LSD's 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 wonderchild." -- Albert Hofmann (1906-2008)
posted by CitizenD (176 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by krinklyfig at 3:35 PM on April 29, 2008


Previously. Also previously. Previously alsotoo.
posted by CitizenD at 3:35 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by eclectist at 3:36 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by rooftop secrets at 3:38 PM on April 29, 2008


Proof that LSD kills.
posted by zippy at 3:39 PM on April 29, 2008 [14 favorites]


~
posted by stavrogin at 3:39 PM on April 29, 2008


The world will miss him
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:39 PM on April 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


Have you ever, like, really looked at a

.

?
posted by alloneword at 3:42 PM on April 29, 2008


••

(dilated pupils)
posted by emelenjr at 3:47 PM on April 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ernst Junger, another German from that period who lived over 100 years, a reactionary, met with Hofmann and took LSD with him several times.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:49 PM on April 29, 2008


. <----(it's a microdot)
posted by sourwookie at 3:49 PM on April 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


.

LSD greatly helped me break away from the religious fundamentalist brainwashing through which I grew up. Much more effective than all the counseling and prescription drugs, it gave my brain the thorough scrambling it needed. I was done with it after a few (strange and marginally coherent) years, and I'll never take it again.

Thanks, Al.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:52 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


zippy: "proof that LSD kills."

"on a long enough time line, everyone's life expectancy drops to zero."
-jack's common sense

:)
posted by CitizenD at 3:53 PM on April 29, 2008


the final bike ride.
posted by empath at 3:55 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:57 PM on April 29, 2008


Requiescat in pace, Mr. Hoffman. I spent some years under the influence of your discovery. It didnt get me where I needed to be, but it certainly helped point the way.

Somewhere Mr. Nobody is riding a bicycle and weeping.
posted by elendil71 at 3:57 PM on April 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


A thousand .s. Another great gone.
posted by lalochezia at 3:58 PM on April 29, 2008


He was still alive?

.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2008


*
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Siberian Mist at 4:02 PM on April 29, 2008


. <--Look closely, theres a world in there!
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 4:04 PM on April 29, 2008


I wonder if he dosed right before dying. The ultimate trip.

.
posted by chillmost at 4:07 PM on April 29, 2008


102, wow. And his longevity can be attributed to...?

A tab a day!

But seriously, RIP, Albert Hoffman, and thanks for your invention. It meant a lot to me.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:09 PM on April 29, 2008


Goodbye and Thank You!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:09 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by Project F at 4:13 PM on April 29, 2008


(mostly off-topic here, although not entirely: it appears the reputed hallucinogenic properties of traditional absinthe are a myth)
posted by ornate insect at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some more obits:
The Independent
The Telegraph
posted by CitizenD at 4:19 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 4:22 PM on April 29, 2008


I think that he may never know the good he has done for the world, only knowing the sensationalist media that focused on the bad and horrible stories that were attributed to his invention...maybe now he'll know the good and bad and the truth...

I know he has changed my life for the better...

.
posted by schyler523 at 4:28 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by MythMaker at 4:31 PM on April 29, 2008


Another pioneering psychonaut departs for the great unknown.

Good trip into the light, Dr. Hofmann.


posted by dbiedny at 4:31 PM on April 29, 2008


  .

  *

  o

  O

 \|/
 -o-
 /|\
Bye, Abe. Thanks for all your fish.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 4:34 PM on April 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


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posted by loquacious at 4:35 PM on April 29, 2008 [25 favorites]


LSD, My Problem Child

Funny, I was just listening to that song.
posted by ornate insect at 4:36 PM on April 29, 2008


Thank you, Albert Hofmann. Thank you for trying to make things better.

.
posted by batmonkey at 4:37 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by sunshinesky at 4:38 PM on April 29, 2008


Thanks for that crazy thing you came up with Albert, it freaked me right the fuck on out.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:40 PM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


.

thank you, Albert - your work helped open my eyes to the fact that there is *far* more to heaven & earth than is dreamt of in any philosophy
posted by jammy at 4:46 PM on April 29, 2008


the first time i took acid was at a rave at a shriner's temple near boston in 1992 or so when i was 18. it was the first time i did either of those things. anyhow many strange things happened and at one point in the night i had a vision of being connected with the thousands of people there on some, i guess cosmic, level. i also envisioned the whole event as one spec of light/life amongst an infinite number of other specs of light/life that were all connected.

at the end of the night there was a pretty high level of disorganization when it came to getting everyone back to boston. as the difficult process of arranging transport back (i think we took some kind of shuttle bus there) unfolded, i decided that i had connected with some kind of singularity of consciousness, but the only way to get back to the real world was to make decisions that would take me back to my dorm room in cambridge. by not making decisions for myself, i would go somewhere else, somewhere very bad, and it would get worse the longer i waited before making decisions. needless to say, the acid had also left me basically paralyzed with indecision.

at one point, waiting in front of the shriner's temple on that cold morning, someone drove up with a budget rent a truck, and opened up the back and tons of people got in, like a reverse clown car. i hallucinated that there were so many people getting in the walls of the truck were bulging. as they closed up the truck and took off, a nearby shriner (and they had just rented the space and were clearly appalled by the event) mentioned that they were going to hell.

so basically i had already missed the budget rent a truck to hell and my options were getting worse.

we got back to boston in some kind of van and at some point i imagined that the radio was describing me as someone who had committed some horrible crime, which meant that i was in some alternate universe that was pretty sucky.

we got out in boston (i was with some friends) and needed money for the subway. one of my friends, rafi, went to get some cash. he came back from the opposite direction with that, and a banana nut muffin, proclaiming that the banana nut muffin was king. somewhere around this time i decided that he was no longer rafi, but merely the strongest part of my subconcious mind, there to keep me sane.

we took the subway and at every passing stop the other passengers got weirder and weirder and the tunnel seemed to get narrower, darker and go more steeply downhill. when we got to harvard square, i was actually shocked that we weren't miles below the surface.

when we got out i started noticing some weird stuff. the world was kind of semi low-res, like all the normal stuff was there, but kinda rough hewn. i noticed that people i knew very well seemed somewhat normal, people i didn't know well were just very shallow caricatures of themselves and people i didn't know at all were not even speaking, but just kind of buzzing to each other. when i got back to my room i noticed that books i had read before i could read, but ones i had not were just weird letters on the page.

it occurred to me that by not making decisions, i had been shunted down from my connection with all consciousness via some default path that kept sending me deeper and deeper into myself until i had returned to a universe that was made up entirely of my own experience and memories. it occurred to me that i would basically be alone in this universe of my own imagining until a) i died b) until my body stripped away atom by atom (i don't know where that came from) or c) forever.

resigned to my fate, as master of my own universe where i was the only entity capable of thought, i also realized i only had one plausible course of action. even though it would be impossible, i needed to explain to someone else in this universe an abstract thought. (i say someone even though technically there were no actual real people in this universe.) if i could do this, i decided that it would start a chain reaction that would result in the birth of a whole, real universe. so, even though it would be impossible, i decided i would spend the rest of my life (or eternity) trying to explain the concept of love to my friend rafi, who would never understand it because he was in fact a figment of my own imagination.

i got a couple oranges and called him up because i figured i might as well go over and get started. he picked up the phone and said "can i call you right back? i have my mom on the other line." at that moment, it dawned on me that i was actually just in the regular universe and i had made all that other stuff up because i was on acid.

thank you albert hofmann!
posted by snofoam at 4:47 PM on April 29, 2008 [24 favorites]


I'm not crazy, Doc.
posted by homunculus at 4:50 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by ob at 4:51 PM on April 29, 2008


snofoam, yeah, that's about it.
posted by empath at 4:55 PM on April 29, 2008


Fare thee well, and THANKS

[Sasha's still in the pink]
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:58 PM on April 29, 2008


ALl i'm going to say about LSD in this thread is thank god for Teletubbies being on early on Sunday morning when I was at my parents house and we only had basic cable. My only other option was watching a televangelist (who, oddly enough, looked more plastic and fake than the teletubbies did)
posted by empath at 4:58 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I owe everything I have become to LSD. Whether that is good or bad is up for review. But I was deeply saddened to hear Dr. Hofmann passed away. I miss him already.

How best to celebrate? Or will April 29 be a celebratory holiday henceforth? Hofmann Day?
posted by Dantien at 5:00 PM on April 29, 2008


pppeeerriioodd
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:00 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by electronslave at 5:01 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by jtron at 5:03 PM on April 29, 2008


He made origami with my brain, and I never got a chance to thank himmmmmmmerrrrr wooo woooo I can't pants/
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 5:03 PM on April 29, 2008


Trip stories are like farts. Only you can enjoy your own.

ALl i'm going to say about LSD in this thread is thank god for free food, music and dancing early on Sunday morning in the Hare Krishna when I was at my mates apartment, and we were broke. Our other option was having breakfast at McDonald's (which, oddly enough, tasted more plastic and fake than the teletubbies did)
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:07 PM on April 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


BTW, It is my birthday today. Henceforth, it is to be known that Hoffman has retroactively reincarnated in the newborn me a few decades ago.
posted by Dr. Curare at 5:08 PM on April 29, 2008


Don't post to the brown site!
posted by Artw at 5:09 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


municipal water supply
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:20 PM on April 29, 2008


.


Owsley is still with us though.
posted by caddis at 5:22 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by knowles at 5:26 PM on April 29, 2008


Micro .
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:26 PM on April 29, 2008


I find it grimly ironic, given Hofmann's politics, that the CIA used LSD in some of its more unpleasant experiments.

I also find it ironic, in a much less grim sort of way, that as a Discordian, I find the concept of taking LSD to be quite unattracive, bordering on frightening. I don't *want* my brain to be put through a blender, though I respect the right of others to put their own brains through a blender.
posted by sotonohito at 5:28 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by dan g. at 5:33 PM on April 29, 2008


[∞] Thanks Albert, and vaya con dios. The world could use a good strong hit or two these days.
posted by bhance at 5:34 PM on April 29, 2008


LSD - The Beyond Within [BBC Documentary: Part 1 of 9]
posted by ornate insect at 5:38 PM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Albert's Problem Child turned out to be pretty useful medicine, or would be if it were allowed to be used for treatment of alcoholism and other addictions, terminal anxiety, and a number of other neuro- and psycho- logical purposes.

LSD, which he invented; psilocybin, which he first synthesized; and LSA in ololiuqui, which he first described; are all effective treatments for cluster (aka suicide) headache.

Thanks, Albert
posted by tommyD at 5:41 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't *want* my brain to be put through a blender

Life is a brain blender. LSD is more like putting your brain through a bubble blower. Shit when the bubbles burst though.
posted by twistedonion at 5:41 PM on April 29, 2008


.

I thank you for the good you did for the world. We may never fully grasp quite how much that means.
posted by Acey at 5:46 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 5:51 PM on April 29, 2008


Any other "acid babies" here?
posted by batmonkey at 6:02 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Trip stories are like farts. Only you can enjoy your own.

I disagree! They frequently make me giggle almost as much as the experience itself.
posted by flaterik at 6:06 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.

(Well, I know what I'm doing this weekend.)
posted by infinityjinx at 6:10 PM on April 29, 2008


Anti ethnocentrism snark:

While we thank Hoffman for all the good he did to us, the Mazatecs (psylocibin), the Huichol (mescalin), the Nahuan (LSA), and the Zapotec (salvinorin), this just in Mexico, are forbidden from using their substances, and get little credit for their discoveries. I get 0 results when I search Metafilter for Maria Sabina. Sad.
posted by Dr. Curare at 6:13 PM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


After a nine-year hiatus, I ate the Sacrament again about a year ago and went for a hike in Mendocino with a friend. It still Does the Job. It's still beyond whatever people say about it here, whatever stories are told about it, whatever warnings or advertisements are attached to it.

My friend and I were closer by the end of that long, glorious day, and I was reminded again of what's important in a world of distractions.

Thank you, good doctor, for the powerful medicine.

[bow]
posted by digaman at 6:15 PM on April 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:19 PM on April 29, 2008


I'm not sure there are, in fact, correct words for Hofmann's eulogy, so...

.
posted by ubersturm at 6:20 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by hopeless romantique at 6:27 PM on April 29, 2008


Thanks, except for that one time driving through the mountains of West Virginia with torn open deer carcasses splattered across the highway every fifty feet and tractor trailers that looked like angry, hungry hate-bots riding my bumper and my hands all melting off the steering wheel and onto the floor every like thirty seconds for three hundred straight miles.
posted by The Straightener at 6:28 PM on April 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


.
posted by brevator at 6:35 PM on April 29, 2008


"I before we except after see."
~Random acid trip quote

*
posted by moonbird at 6:35 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't *want* my brain to be put through a blender

Your prerogative and good for you. I did acid and whatnot 40 years ago, yet I'm glad my kids are not interested in it. But. Anyone who uses it as Hoffman, in the linked interview, suggests it should be used, will not regret it and will have a richer life as a result.

.
posted by beagle at 6:36 PM on April 29, 2008


..................
posted by grubby at 6:38 PM on April 29, 2008


I called him on April 20th, 2008, just over a week ago, to say celebrate the "birthday" of LSD. He was doing well as can be expected for someone that old. The call went on for about 20 minutes. He told me he was still loving life, nature; that his eyes and hearing were good. He still took walks in the woods near his house, though with a pair of canes. He was very inquisitive about what was happening with me, and he even sounded better than when I called him on his birthday in January.

His wife died December 2007.

Long live Saint Albert!! My friend and hero.
posted by rmmcclay at 6:40 PM on April 29, 2008 [19 favorites]


.
posted by limited slip at 6:42 PM on April 29, 2008


Thanks for all those stars I really saw for the first time with my friend Cristin, and thanks for making me feel small in the best way. Thanks for helping me see the beauty in Mardi Gras beads.

I could have done with out the melting taxi driver.
posted by Evangeline at 6:42 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I get 0 results when I search Metafilter for Maria Sabina. Sad.

You should make a post about her.
posted by homunculus at 6:44 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks Professor Hoffman. See ya around.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:52 PM on April 29, 2008


Thank you, Dr. Hofmann

.
posted by tiger yang at 6:53 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:05 PM on April 29, 2008


Thank you, Dr. Hofmann, I am extremely grateful to you for the wonderful good times I had.
posted by popechunk at 7:16 PM on April 29, 2008


Yes.

Thank you, Dr. Hofmann.

.
posted by mediareport at 7:18 PM on April 29, 2008


"Look, sir," answered Sancho Panza, "those which appear yonder are not giants, but windmills; and what seem to be arms are the sails, which whirled about by the wind, make the millstone go."

"It is very evident," answered Don Quixote, "that thou art not versed in the business of adventures."

--Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote
posted by RedEmma at 7:18 PM on April 29, 2008 [18 favorites]


If only there was anonymous commenting on this site....
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:31 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


rmmcclay: thanks for sharing your personal experiences with the good doctor. had i known there was someone in the blue with a personal connection to him, i wouldn't have "done the honors" of creating his obitfilter.

dr. curare: i agree with homunculus...i'd love to see an FPP about her. while there have been maaaaaany posts about various hallucinogenic experiences and associated schmeck, i for one am always interested in reading more.

to you all: thanks for sharing your fond trip memories.

i myself shall never forget the moment when all the dirt spots in the grout between the 1x1 tiles on the floors, walls and ceiling of a certian waffle house bathroom started crawling around, like incessant little fleas. it took me a second to quash the horror (this was long before the era of flea-prevention drops for pets -- and in indiana, where the fleas are all named rocko and slugger and whatnot -- so the image of being surrounded on all sides by a metric fuckton of fleas was extremely alarming), and then i thought to myself:

"i just did that. i did that to myself. that was my brain, that just made that happen. (beat) holy shit. THIS is going to be fun."

fun, indeed. and enlightening. and overwhelming. and thrilling.

.
posted by CitizenD at 7:35 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.

This weekend, eh? Could be... Could be. There's a first time for everything.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:41 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by micayetoca at 7:43 PM on April 29, 2008


And sorry to nitpick, but that in that "questioned" his own invention, he doesn't really question it as much as talks about it, in a very favorable light, in my opinion. Perhaps a mod could change that word so that this thread doesn't go into history stating something he didn't do (once the NYT link is not there to clarify it)
posted by micayetoca at 7:45 PM on April 29, 2008


I get 0 results when I search Metafilter for Maria Sabina. Sad.

You should make a post about her.


Seconding homunculus, that could be pretty interesting. Neat link here.
posted by Artw at 7:46 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


It would make for an interesting meet-up, no?
posted by caddis at 7:47 PM on April 29, 2008


Never have I done a substance that made the view through my eyes so intricately beautiful and so horrifyingly nightmarish at the same time.

My most powerful experience would be considered a "bad trip". I had gone completely mad, under a spell that would compare me to a raving schizophrenic. My world had turned into complete psychosis; I remember bits and pieces of what felt like my death and rebirth. The parts I do remember started out feeling like the divine touch of God being followed by the wrath of Hell ripping me apart.

When I awoke I was sitting in a hospital bed, not knowing if I had died or not. Once the doctor waved to me, I knew I was alive.

Albert Hoffman.. I laughed, I cried, and I still survived. I just wanted to say: "Thanks for the ride!"

.
posted by sewshi at 7:47 PM on April 29, 2008


There's a first time for everything.

Except those things for which there is no first time.

There were moments, under the influence of Hoffman's creation, that I would've found the above statement of enormous depth and signifigance.

Which above statement? ANY OF 'EM!

Especially the little dots... so perfect, so round, so cosmically appropriate, in their surrounding blueness...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:50 PM on April 29, 2008


.

If only I had a commemorative 500 μg for this weekend. :(

You've given me many wonderful moments of insight and growth.
posted by symbioid at 7:55 PM on April 29, 2008


caddis: "It would make for an interesting meet-up, no?"

Hear hear!
posted by symbioid at 7:56 PM on April 29, 2008


?
posted by swift at 7:57 PM on April 29, 2008


¿
posted by Artw at 7:59 PM on April 29, 2008


inspiration cannot be scheduled.
posted by mai at 8:00 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by lapolla at 8:00 PM on April 29, 2008


A . and thanks. I would have never known that I could lay my head back and watch the stucco ceiling transmorgify. I'm glorious when I sit on the throne and find faces in the bathroom marble and even the bath mat. I learned that I could sit in a dark closet and watch cartoons, and the world was like one of those 3D puzzles where the pieces were spinning round and round but the world stayed in the same place. (duh) *sigh* I think there may yet be another trip in my future someday.
posted by zengargoyle at 8:01 PM on April 29, 2008


I can't say I feel all that sad. More like, "Wow, he made it to 102 -- how wonderful (for him and us) is that?"

Thank you, Dr. Hoffman.
posted by treepour at 8:03 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


He was still alive?

At 102, the surprise has never been more valid. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been waiting for this to show up, since someone at Reddit with a claimed (apparently valid) family connection posted the news several hours in advance of the official releases (oh brave new world indeed - I suppose this kind of thing is going to happen more and more often).

Hoffman was the model of a responsible and humane scientist: he was also a great chemist (I did fascinating research on him for a paper in a history of chemistry course back in college) who deserved greater recognition from the conventional science establishment, particularly during the height of his research and publications.
posted by nanojath at 8:05 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


er, Hofmann, not Hoffman.
posted by treepour at 8:05 PM on April 29, 2008


Thanks, doc, for showing me the music of the spheres. I hope you're there now.

.
posted by alms at 8:09 PM on April 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Just to contribute to that person putting together the thread about Maria Sabina.
posted by micayetoca at 8:12 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


RedEmma, my dear RedEmma, the business of adventures, exactly, exactly, just as you say. Thank you for helping me with the context. I've had super bad times on acid and I've had a whole mess of good times on acid and I'm not really in the mood to do any acid in the near future, but that "the business of adventures", the missions, riding bikes all up and down the city, walking through the woods, swimming in bottomless lakes, the two hours looking for an orange or a snapple at four in the morning or watching Star Trek projected on the ceiling or shouting in a cockney accent for an hour until my friends came in to beat me with pillows or when I left my friends house because I was tired of the walls breathing at me (that was some California shit there) and walked six miles down Manhattan and told my dad off while I drank a cup of tea with no shirt on and he listened to me or giggling like a crazed lunatic in the elevator while my friend tried and failed to make me shut up and his neighbors cringed away from me, "the business of adventures", that's what I always loved about it. Rough times, bad times, good times, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:15 PM on April 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dude, totally.
posted by The Straightener at 8:24 PM on April 29, 2008


er, Hofmann, not Hoffman.

Man, I always do that.
posted by nanojath at 8:38 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 8:40 PM on April 29, 2008


Just by chance you crossed the diamond with the pearl
You turned it on the world
Thats when you turned the world around.

.
posted by Sailormom at 8:42 PM on April 29, 2008


The mountain, with the tower and the empty hall and the pile of stones.

The beach in the moonlight.

The beach in sun, the water too cold to be flesh.

The deck overlooking the ocean, unexpectedly drinking sherry with my grandmother, the foggy evening air but visible on my skin.

The blaring midnight streets, strangers' faces smeared as they tumble past.

A nightclub where monkeys leered from the walls.

A cabin no bigger than a lorry, and seemingly as mobile, the grit on its floor skating from side to side.

The winding roads of the small town late at night, the vines he tore from the garden twined in my hair.

The woods. The woods. The woods. The woods.

How many times should I thank you? More than I can reckon. These will have to do.
posted by Elsa at 8:43 PM on April 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


.


Cured my depression, many thanks.
posted by palindromic at 8:49 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bon voyage, Albert. And thank you.
posted by chance at 8:53 PM on April 29, 2008


Also, great Caesar's ghost, how perfectly appropriate for me that at the moment I'm writing this, I'm fantastically sleep deprived, to the point of hallucinations. Intensely vivid hallucinations ranging from sparkly flakes of shimmering light and flashes of color to hardcore Jacob's Ladder kind of visions of the flicking tails of what must be improbably large, scaly animals lurking just out of my field of vision.

Hallucinations that would be giving me the chills right now if I hadn't learned in my youth that the things you see are just the things you see.

Thanks, Doc.

.
posted by Elsa at 8:54 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


LSD: Insight or Insanity? with Sal Mineo 1967
posted by tellurian at 9:13 PM on April 29, 2008


the things you see are just the things you see.

Ah... but you have to remember... sometimes THEY CAN SEE YOU.

Just kidding. Hello? Why are you hiding?
posted by Artw at 9:20 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


If ever there was a time to suspend the no-images policy, this is it.
posted by hellbient at 9:24 PM on April 29, 2008


I have such deep gratitude, Dr. Hofmann! Many thanks.

.
posted by ebee at 9:25 PM on April 29, 2008


Oh man...Albert. If I could have flashbacks on command...well, I'd spend a lot more time being amazed at clouds, really.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by mayfly wake at 9:31 PM on April 29, 2008


My dear Elesdie
Such a beautiful girl
Her lysergic melodie
Caused the thoughts of the world to unfurl

.
posted by Loudmax at 9:35 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I need to make a correction; I talked to Albert on February 17th, not the 20th.

I'm happy to read all these great comments; he would've greatly appreciated them.

-r
posted by rmmcclay at 10:11 PM on April 29, 2008


.
posted by muckster at 10:21 PM on April 29, 2008


It's been over a decade, but I can still feel the electric charge in back of my molars that signals the rules of the world being suspended for a few hours. We spent nights doing impossible, pointlessly beautiful things which never made sense again, but needed to be done. We talked in ways that language wasn't meant for. We gained the priceless gift of perspective.

I learned that other people really, actually do exist.

I stopped being afraid.

Thanks, Albert.

.
posted by MrVisible at 10:29 PM on April 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


One of the greatest benefits acid has given me has been the memory of a mental state where things are possible again. I don't even really need to do acid anymore to access it, though it remains an occasional opportunity for my friends and I to synchronize ourselves to each other and the world.

On that note, I'm glad I realized that that's what it is best for. I experienced nothing but disappointment when I went into it convinced that I would make effortless masterpieces of art and music, and other such bullshit.
posted by invitapriore at 10:53 PM on April 29, 2008


.

the business of adventures, indeed.
posted by juv3nal at 11:06 PM on April 29, 2008


Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes.
Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis.
Searchlight casting for faults in the clouds of delusion.
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?

Mirror shatters in formless reflections of matter.
Glass hand dissolving to ice petal flowers revolving.
Lady in velvet recedes in the nights of good-bye.
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?

.

Rest in peace, good sir.
posted by mosk at 11:09 PM on April 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Marla Singer at 11:14 PM on April 29, 2008


[i'm also getting quite a chuckle at the eponysterical nature of many of the usernames commenting or "."-ing in this thread:

the light fantastic, marla singer, 5meoCMP, divinewino, fupped duck, anotherpanacea .... just to name a few which really made me giggle.

rmmcclay: i'm glad you think dr. hofmann would have appreciated the collective "trip" (har, har) down memory lane, here.
posted by CitizenD at 11:27 PM on April 29, 2008


If ever there was a time to suspend the no-images policy, this is it.

There's always the make it start button...
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:42 PM on April 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


All these microdots lack gravitas. He needs a tab of Orange Sunshine to really remember him by. Unfortunately, all my attempts at making an ascii barrel suck, so imagine that it *was* on the page.

But then i swallowed it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:44 PM on April 29, 2008


. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . .
posted by telstar at 12:00 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:47 AM on April 30, 2008


.


. flashback
posted by daksya at 1:14 AM on April 30, 2008


.
posted by Curry at 1:46 AM on April 30, 2008


Thanks for all the magic.

.
posted by troubles at 2:03 AM on April 30, 2008


Another correction!

I got the month wrong as well!

I talked to Albert less than two weeks ago, on APRIL 17th. =)

Here's a post I sent to some friends about the conversation:

From mcclay@xxxxxx.com Thu Apr 17 14:36:59 2008
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2008 14:33:36 +0800 (CST)
From: Russ McClay

As a follow-up on the birthday of LSD, I'd like to share that I called
Dr. Hofmann again, since I had a good reason.

His caretaker answered the phone in German and I know she's a bit of a
filter; so I just said: "Looking for Albert" and then she repeats
whatever she said, and then I repeat "Looking for Albert" in a very
confident voice; that usually gets her to hand the phone over. Ha!

Anyhow it was great again to hear his voice. He had a bit of a cough,
but not that bad. He said he was doing OK, that he was enjoying life.
His eyes and hearing are good; mentioned again walking with a cane
(sticks he said).

I discovered he has four children; and many grand and great grand kids.
I asked if they visit very often and he said yes, but that he also goes
to visit them. Asked if he drove, said no, but that he probably could.
He was curious about me, and wanted to know how old I was, if I had
children, where I lived. When I told him China he was quite impressed
with that. We had talked about these things before; but I don't think
he remembered our previous conversations or at least the connection.

One interesting thing he said was that he was preparing his Garden to
heaven. I asked if he was afraid of dying and he very naturally said
no, not at all.

He mentioned a couple of times that he was definitely getting old! 102
he said. I said that was crazy, for someone to get that old, and he
laughed...in fact we both did a lot of laughing...and at least 3 times I
tried to say goodbye but he wanted to keep on talking.

He invited me to come and visit and said his house was always open (I
believe that is true for anyone), and I asked if he minded if I called
again...and he said he would be delighted.

I'm really stoked that I've been able to establish this simple
relationship with this kind fellow. And it was great to know he is still
doing OK.

Oh yeah...when we were talking about visiting his family and driving I
said it might be better if he didn't drive OR ride bicycles. He totally
giggled about that!

-r

posted by rmmcclay at 2:18 AM on April 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


His clock has melted.

.
posted by clearly at 2:20 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]



posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:46 AM on April 30, 2008


*
posted by fixedgear at 2:49 AM on April 30, 2008


0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60...

10.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:42 AM on April 30, 2008


@

A revolution in a man. Here's hoping he's kicking on in some alternative universe...
posted by Onanist at 4:28 AM on April 30, 2008


.
posted by Frankie Villon at 4:29 AM on April 30, 2008


!
posted by the painkiller at 4:48 AM on April 30, 2008


.
posted by effwerd at 5:40 AM on April 30, 2008


.
.
..
.. ... .;,';`**.,:'".......:'.!!!!!!!!!,;:',`. .. .
...
.
.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:46 AM on April 30, 2008


Darn, I missed an awesome thread. Thanks Doc, your problem child made this problem child's time at Umass tolerable, and yet terrible.

.
posted by vrakatar at 5:52 AM on April 30, 2008


.
posted by lunit at 5:55 AM on April 30, 2008


I appreciated sometime Mefite Susie Bright's blog post about him, particularly as a counterpoint to NPR's "drugs are BAD" coverage of him and his discovery.

I have good memories of sitting on a hill in college watching a very entertaining world go by. The same hill where the Dead once played, paid off in acid synthesized by the Chemistry Dept. according to the stories. Also, my friends doing a spontaneous line dance to Bananarama in some random London disco. That was fun, too. Thanks.

.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:17 AM on April 30, 2008


If Jesus and Mohammed get to be called prophets for being messengers of God, then Hofman gets "Super Prophet" status . Fly on!
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:22 AM on April 30, 2008


Walking down the dark, dark, dark road on a warm spring night in New Hampshire. Arriving at the crew docks. The river's so silent, there's no wind and the occasional car driving by in Vermont is twinned in the water, four headlights like stars, or some sort of animal traveling fast.

Rachel tried to freak me out that night, knowing it was my first trip. She apologized later. Nicholas took such good care of me - tea at the kitchen table to start, assuring me that yes, thing had Begun when I noticed how beautiful the tiled bathroom floor was.

Was it later that same spring? We started early in the day, lay on the roof of the panarchy in the sun, warm and full of nicotine and laughter. We went skinny-dipping at the Point and the water was icy and alive.

Thanks, Albert. Thank you so very much.
posted by rtha at 6:42 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by wires at 6:47 AM on April 30, 2008


Thank you very much for the fantastic insights Dr Hofmann.
posted by elmono at 7:41 AM on April 30, 2008


... and for making my art much more interesting.

.
posted by podwarrior at 8:03 AM on April 30, 2008


., sir.

And say "hi" to Jerry for us?
posted by mmahaffie at 8:04 AM on April 30, 2008


.
posted by jdfalk at 9:14 AM on April 30, 2008


Thank you Albert you have no idea what you did for me.
posted by hexxed at 9:26 AM on April 30, 2008


After my first LSD trip, I sat down and wrote out a rudimentary code of ethics for myself. This was quite a watershed time for me, especially since I was raised by laissez-faire parents in the 'burbs and had virtually no real ethos. The insights via LSD were invaluable and helped me to obliterate all sorts of weird mental complexes that had woven themselves through my psyche. It also opened up the whole question of what it really means to be a being with consciousness, which really is the biggest question we all still face but tend to conveniently overlook. After a year or so experimentation (with all the usual and unusual transcendent experiences) where I wasn't terribly productive outwardly, I never looked back and lead a more or less "normal" and successful outward life but wouldn't trade my experiences on LSD. Thanks again, Dr. Hoffman. I think the LSD invented itself through human hands, but that is another story...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2008


"LSD wanted to tell me something. It gave me an inner joy, an open mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation."

What he said.
Such a clear connectedness too, like we are experiencing here, and more.
posted by bru at 9:50 AM on April 30, 2008


Keys, moot court, tennis, soccer practice, life.

It's LIFE, man.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:19 AM on April 30, 2008


"Outside is pure energy and colorless substance," he said. "All of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings."

.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:43 AM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


.
posted by jlbartosa at 12:29 PM on April 30, 2008


Just a month ago, Merry Prankster Carolyn "Mountain Girl" Garcia awarded Dr. Hoffman an Acid Test diploma.

Better late than never!
posted by digaman at 3:52 PM on April 30, 2008


Thanks Albert, you facilitated my escape from the tyranny of self for a fleeting few hours and let me glimpse in childlike wonder a reality deeper and richer and more fulfilling than the shadow in which I lived. I have never forgotten the lesson.

.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 6:44 PM on April 30, 2008


My husband said shrooms are much better. The whole thing sounds way too scary for me. Why on earth would you want to take a chemical and see things warp for 19 hours?

My husband said that the first time he tripped he was in his bedroom and it had black and white tiles and psychedelic posters. He took some. Nothing happened. He took some more and shit hit the fan. He didn't come down until the afternoon of the next day.

See? Totally scary to me. I can't even handle video games that shake too much. Feels like I'm going to puke.
posted by dasheekeejones at 10:08 AM on May 1, 2008


dasheekeejones: to each his/her own.

why on earth?

because LSD, for me, was a life-changing experience. in nothing but positive ways. i gained a new perspective (one which i'm doubtful i'd have discovered without the chemicals), crashed through my own kind of personal glass ceiling, learned to breathe with the wind. some have negative memories/stories to tell. for me -- and obviously for many people in this thread -- LSD was the escape from the tyranny of the self.

bright blessings for you all!
posted by CitizenD at 11:06 AM on May 1, 2008


!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:40 PM on May 1, 2008


.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 7:07 AM on May 2, 2008


I liked acid when I was young. I know too much now, wouldn't want all that flooding my head on an 8hour trip today. DMT lasts about 10 min, much better.
posted by Flex1970 at 9:36 AM on May 2, 2008


Could an Acid Trip Cure Your OCD?
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Homonculus, very cool. I wasn't aware that psychedelic therapy (other than ecstacy) was still going on. I remember skimming a book on using LSD Psychotherapy to treat schizophrenics a while ago, which seems a little counterintuitive as a course of treatment to me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2008


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