LSD and the Divine Scientist: The Final Thoughts and Reflections of Albert Hofmann (Paperback)
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The acclaimed discoverer of LSD’s personal experiences and thoughts on chemistry, the natural sciences, mind-altering drugs, the soul, and the search for happiness
• Shares a different side of the father of LSD, one known only to his friends and close colleagues
• Explains Hofmann’s different methods of pharmaceutical research based on traditional plant medicine
• Includes the poetry of this mystical prophet of psychedelic science
Best known as the first person to synthesize, ingest, and discover the psychedelic effects of LSD, Albert Hofmann was more than just a chemist. A pioneer in the field of visionary plant research, he was one of the first people to suggest the use of entheogens for psychological healing and spiritual growth. His insights into the consciousness-expanding effects of psychedelics as well as human nature, the psyche, and the nature of reality earned him a reputation as a mystical scientist and visionary philosopher.
This book--Hofmann’s last work before his death in 2008 at the age of 102--offers the acclaimed scientist’s personal experiences and thoughts on chemistry, the natural sciences, mind-altering drugs, the soul, and the search for happiness and meaning in life. Hofmann explains different methods of pharmaceutical research based on traditional plant medicine and discusses psilocybin, the active compound in psychedelic mushrooms that he discovered. He examines the psychological role of psychoactives, their therapeutic potential, and their use in easing the life-to-death transition. Sharing a different side of the father of LSD, one known only to his friends and close colleagues, this book also includes the poetry of this mystical prophet of psychedelic science.
About the Author
Albert Hofmann (1906-2008), the father of LSD, was a world-renowned scientist, member of the Nobel Prize Committee, Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy. He was a leader in pharmaceutical-chemical research and the author of several books, including LSD: My Problem Child.
Christian Rätsch, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants. He is the author of Marijuana Medicine and coauthor of Plants of the Gods, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas, Witchcraft Medicine, and The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants. He lives in Hamburg, Germany, and lectures around the world.
Alex Grey is the author of Sacred Mirrors and The Mission of Art. His work has graced the album covers of Nirvana and the Beastie Boys, has appeared in Newsweek, and has been exhibited around the world, including the New Museum and Stux Gallery in New York City, the Grand Palais in Paris, and the ARK exhibition space in Tokyo. In 1999 the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego honored Grey with a mid-career retrospective. He lives in New York with his wife, artist Allyson Grey, and their daughter, actress Zena Grey. In 2019, Alex Grey was cited as one of the "100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in the World" according to Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine.
“This book is a jewel box of the many facets of Hofmann’s mind: as a pure scientist and still in love with the discipline, as a science mystic making a clear-eyed case for the need for the two to blend, as a nature mystic drawing out the implications envisioned and verified in altered states, and as a philosopher of science grappling with the hard questions of death and the fabric of reality itself. Each essay was a rare mix--profound and readable. The essay by Alex Grey about the symbolism in his cover portrait of Hofmann is the perfect conclusion.”
— James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide
“Albert Hofmann’s creation of LSD and identification of psilocybin had and continues to have a deep and lasting impact on psychiatry, and even more so on Western culture and spirituality. This invaluable collection reveals how, in his personal life, Albert leaned more toward spirituality than psychotherapy. In LSD and the Divine Scientist, Albert Hofmann reveals through his life and his work that we can be involved in spiritual practices while embracing the rigor of scientific methodology and a healthy, productive lifestyle. This inspiring book reveals how fortunate the world is that Albert was the father of LSD and, in profound ways, the spiritual father of millions of responsible psychedelic users.”
— Rick Doblin, president and founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAP
“In this collection, Albert Hofmann shares his scientific, philosophical, psychological, and religious insights in an especially candid and engaging manner. His warmth, candor, and strength of character shine in them all, and through them we gain a satisfying glimpse into a great scientist’s life.”
— Rick Strassman, M.D., author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and coauthor of Inner Paths to Outer Space
“An extraordinary quality of Albert Hofmann was his ability to integrate the spiritual and the material under the conceptual umbrella of the natural. As his last work, LSD and the Divine Scientist presents Hofmann’s most mature thought, the flowering of the scientist as philosopher in a natural integration of science and philosophy. May these final essays be the key to achieving Hofmann’s ultimate vision.”
— Neal Goldsmith, author of Psychedelic Healing