Albert Hoffman is credited as being the inventor of LSD. Albert Hofmann, (born Jan. 11, 1906, Baden, Switz.—died April 29, 2008, Burg, Switz.). As such, he lived a happy and healthy life and died at the ripe old age of 102!
A Happy (trippy) Accident:
Dr. Hofmann first combined the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid.
Dr. Hofmann recorded his accidental high and said,
“At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination in a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found daylight to be glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away. (quoted in Petechuk 13) “
Three days later, Hofmann decided to test out his research again. He took a tiny dose of LSD, this time he planned it. After taking the LSD, Hofmann experienced unusual sensory experiences, not all of them were pleasant. He then knew that this drug was very powerful (Petechuk 13).
“Between the second World War, when Dr. Albert Hofmann accidentally got high with his invention of LSD, and in the late ’60s there were thousands of studies conducted by medical and psychiatric researchers looking into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs” (Antonia). Hofmann’s experiments had opened the minds of many scientists, making them curious as to what LSD could potentially have in store for the future of medicine.
Psychological Benefits of LSD
Researchers believe that LSD is similar to serotonin, which controls our mood and sense of wellness. Serotonin neurons are found in the middle of the brain where pain is located. Because LSD is believed to affect serotonin, some believed LSD could be used as a pain reliever or analgesic.
Oneness with Nature:
Hoffman took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature. life.
“Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom,” Dr. Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof during an interview in 1984. “I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us.”
What can we learn from Hoffman?
He discovered his life’s purpose by accident. Hoffman was busy working away, doing his routine lab work when he accidentally made one the most culturally significant discoveries of the twentieth century. It wasn’t planned, he didn’t know he’d be getting higher than a kite on that most fateful afternoon in Switzerland.
And he followed up his discovery with experimentation, and made astounding discoveries in treatment of psychological disorders.
Albert Hoffman also happens to be the inventor of the single most important drug in the 1960s rock and roll/ counterculture movement. Heard a Doors album lately?
Thank Albert Hoffman. Almost any rock and roll anecdote begins with someone dropping acid. So this “accident” of a Swiss Chemist in the late 1930s , has had a lasting effect on western society.
Author Bio: Eric Myers