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LSD My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science Paperback – March 1, 2009
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Aldous wrote about LSD that 'it is a gratuitous grace neither necessary nor sufficient for salvation.' However, it provides the opportunity to discover and make creative use of the infinite possibilities of the human mind. Probably The Doors of Perception might not have been written were it not for Albert's 'Problem Child.' Thank you, Albert. --Laura Huxley, widow of Aldous Huxley and author of This Timeless Moment.
The current revival of the psychedelic aesthetic in art, design, fashion, music and film is testament to the revolutionary power of LSD. Its complex nature and true impact, however, remains unrecognized and this book provides both a personal history as well as rigorous analysis of this enduring phenomenon --Christoph Grunenberg, Director of Tate Liverpool and curator and editor of Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era.
Top Customer Reviews
Hoffmann, who died in 2008 at the age of 102, tells us how his research began, how it progessed, and what, ultimately, went wrong. Some of the early researchers (including Hoffmann) took the LSD and detailed their "trips" in journals. Excerpts of these are shared with us, which make for fascinating reading.
Hoffmann talks a lot about the psychiatric research associated with LSD, though he doesn't get into the other research, such as the amazing work done with alcoholics and heroin addicts. He mentions in passing the CIA's experiments on unknowing victims. I would have liked a bit more information on these issues to be included, since these were such important parts of LSD's history. However, Hoffmann didn't stray far from his own personal research and experiences.
"It is my desire in this book to give a comprehensive picture of LSD, its origin, its effects, and its dangers, in order to guard against increasing abuse of this extraordinary drug... 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 wonder child."
The beginning parts on his initial work with egrot alkaloids and his synthesis of LSD is probably only of interest to a chemist, but it isn't hopelessly complicated (I enjoyed that section even with my minimal understanding of chemistry). It wasn't until years after its initial founding that he was drawn back to it and discovered its psychedelic qualities. It goes on to discuss the thrill/fear of his first accidental trip and his awe of its capabilities. This book is more than just an account of events and history. Unlike typical scientific writings, it often discusses his feelings and beliefs about LSD and even his travels to other countries for personal psychedelic research. The last chapter especially deals with spirituality and the use of psychedelics.Read more ›
The modern age of psychiatric medications is a direct off shoot of LSD experimentation. Computer technology, particularly personal computers and `shareware', have strong roots in LSD use. LSD: My Problem Child is Albert Hofmann's own story. Using a small, but known amount, on April 19, 1943 Albert Hofmann became the first person to deliberately ingest LSD. Soon other chemists and members of the Sandoz executive staff "experimented" with Hofmann's highly unusual chemical. They realized that LSD-25 had enormous potential.
Hofmann's work with LSD brought him into the search for the active constituents of "Mexican Magic Mushrooms". These almost lost shamanistic tools made their way to Hofmann's laboratory due to their similar effects to LSD. Hofmann was able to synthesize the active components and named them psilocybin and psilocin. A large portion of LSD: My Problem Child is devoted to Hofmann's communication with authors, philosophers, and major contemporary icons (such as Timothy Leary, who Hofmann liked personally but believed was short sighted about the dangers he faced personally and the advocating of hallucinogen consumption by American youth). LSD: My Problem Child is a quick, entertaining read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting mostly because it comes from the perspective of the man who synthesized LSD, a scientist with a careful and systematic approach to this extremely powerful substance and... Read morePublished 25 days ago by kaiser100
What a charismatic fellow! Dr. Hoffman is human who changed history forever.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A legend speaks about the discovery of altered states and LSD. A must read classic.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is downright incredible, from the actual practice of science to the insights on life. It contains many stories involving real people like Aldous Huxley, with whom Hoffman... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Michelle Hyde