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Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story Paperback


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Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story + Tihkal: A Continuation + The Shulgin Index, Volume One: Psychedelic Phenethylamines and Related Compounds
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 978 pages
  • Publisher: Transform Press; 1st edition (October 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963009605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963009609
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The story is at times inspiring, at times heartbreaking, and always genuine.
"dregaron"
This is a book that anyone who is interested in consciousness, the nature of reality, and shamanic (and similar) spiritualities will find deeply rewarding.
M. Clifford
I had assumed this book to be new-age fluff after having seen it referenced so often in other new-age fluff books.
nonamespecified

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 99 people found the following review helpful By "dregaron" on February 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is divided into two halves. The first half is the story of Shulgin's life, from childhood to modern times. It is a moving and beautiful tale of one man's attempt to make sense of the world and his place in it. Intertwined in this personal experience is a budding love affair with a woman who could only be rated as amazing.
The second half consists of Shulgin's recipes and notes on the synthesis of every compound in the Phenethylamine category that he has ever made.
Overall, this book will change the way you feel about psychedelics, and the reasons that people use them. The story is at times inspiring, at times heartbreaking, and always genuine. Highly recommended as an introduction to the spirituality behind psychedelics and some of the issues involved with them.
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is fascinating. It is not an "I like trippin' and listenin' to the Dead" book. It is a very thorough, interesting account of the work of two very intelligent and thoughtful people in the area of psychedelic drugs and their influence on/application to human life. Here's a quote that gives some idea of the orientation of the book: of marijuana (not a phenethylamine, and thus, not really addressed fully in the book), Shulgin writes, "I have chosen not to use marijuana, as I feel the light-headed intoxication and benign alteration of consciousness does not adequately compensate for an uncomfortable feeling that I am wasting time." Of psychedelics, he writes, "the potential of the psychedelic drugs to provide access to the interior universe, is, I believe, their most valuable property." This isn't a book about seeing jerry-bears and setting up clandestine labs. It's an introduction to a new way of exploring one's relationship to the rest of the universe. It is wonderful and an invaluable resource to all who are willing to try to deal with this piece of the puzzle.
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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Sy on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I purchased PIHKAL from Amazon and read it in it's entirety.

The most poignant aspect of this book reveals that as we are organic machines, our consciousness is just another chemically induced perception and therefore only one valid reality predisposed by evolution for survival.

Shulgin's Genius is honed with such objectivity, innocence, dedication and clarity that he is able to both successfuly and interestingly document the human-mind altering effects produced by the synthesised compounds entirely dedicated to the second-half of this book.

Furthermore, I have read all of the Amazon reviews regarding PIHKAL and feel that some just do not get the extreme depth of this work. Reading this incredibly open account of Human reality means that there will always be dull bits and parts that make one cringe because that's how real life is for one and all.

The potential reader needs to approach this work with an open mindset and absorb the content without pretence, preconception or professional envy affecting clarity because this book is about the other side of the coin.

Finally, to dedicate ones life to recording Human perception so openly in hardcopy is a tremendous quantum leap ahead of the absurd revisionist realities that people in our "Soap World" prefer to pretend that they live via TV and use to deal with personal issues through the application of anger, violence and greed which are wrongly accepted as legitimate relief mechanisms.

In summary, PIHKAL is an extremely important piece in the Jigsaw of the "age of reason" and awareness. Don't be threatened, it definitely deserves at least "5 Stars". Read it, do it and get to the next level...... the evolution of mind.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the story itself is rather interesting, the last section of PIHKAL ('book II') is the true star. It's not a story...it's a list of aprox. 200 psychoactive and potentially psychoactive drugs, each lovingly described as to structure, synthesis, dosage, and effects. Each item is based on the core skeleton of phenyl-ethyl amine, which Shulgin laboriously explored at virtually every point, substitutive alkyl groups, thio groups, halides, etc. (Methoxy ring substituents are especially popular in his work.) The result is an astonishing array of hallucinogens, amphetamines, and some seemingly inert materials. While he is perhaps best known for his work on MDMA, the drug that would later gain infamy as the illegal drug 'ecstasy', it will surprise most readers to discover that MDMA is only one of an entire family of psychoactive drugs, each with their own sometimes subtle, sometimes astonishing differences. A truly extraordinary, landmark work for the pharmacologist, or simply those curious about psychoactive drugs from a more technical, exploratory stance. (That said, if you wouldn't know a carbon atom from a Honda Civic, you'll still like the biographical part, which is anything but dry and technical.)
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful By nonamespecified on October 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
I had assumed this book to be new-age fluff after having
seen it referenced so often in other new-age fluff books.
So I was quite surprised to find that it is really a
fascinating scientific biography, a genre I am
personally addicted to. The 'love story' wanders into the
fluff zone occasionally, and the chemistry recipe book
wanders into extreme alchemical arcana, but overall its
a comprehensive compendium that is unique as far as I know,
and a valuable record of the behind-the-scenes history
of the California new-age 80's. I am only puzzled at
Dr. Shulgin's lack of comment or experience in the traditional
spiritual practices, since even though he frequented Zen centers
while doing his assays, he seems not to be the least curious
as to the perspectives of these traditions.
I was also interested to read more about the mysterious therapist
referred to as 'Jacob' in the book 'The Secret Chief' by author
Myron Stolaroff. Check out this book after 'Pikhal' and you
will get a fresh and equally important perspective on the
practices of this seminal group of psychic healers/explorers.
somebody oughta make a movie! :)
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