Experiences of Albert Hoffmann
Albert Hofmann, while working at the Swiss drug company
Sandoz, discovered LSD as he worked on various treatments
for migraines. A few years later, some of the substance
migrated into Dr. Hofmann's body and thus, the first LSD
trip was launched.
(1906 - )
the discovery, Dr. Hofmann has participated in many
events that considered the relationship between drugs
like LSD and mystical experience. Here is a selection
from his book on his discovery and the reaction of the
rest of the world to it. He writes briefly about his
mystical experiences he had as a child.
are experiences that most of us are hesitant to speak
about, because they do not conform to everyday reality
and defy rational explanation. These are not particular
external occurrences, but rather events of our inner
lives, which are generally dismissed as figments of
the imagination and barred from our memory. Suddenly,
the familiar view of our surroundings is transformed
in a strange, delightful, or alarming way: it appears
to us in a new light, takes on a special meaning.
Such an experience can be as light and fleeting as
a breath of air, or it can imprint itself deeply upon
enchantment of that kind, which I experienced in childhood,
has remained remarkably vivid in my memory ever since.
It happened on a May morning--I have forgotten the
year---but I can still point to the exact spot where
it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above
Baden, Switzerland. As I strolled through the freshly
greened woods filled with bird song and lit up by
the morning sun, all at once everything appeared in
an uncommonly clear light.
this something I had simply failed to notice before?
Was I suddenly discovering the spring forest as it
actually looked? It shone with the most beautiful
radiance, speaking to the heart, as though it wanted
to encompass me in its majesty. I was filled with
an indescribable sensation of joy, oneness, and blissful
have no idea how long I stood there spellbound. But
I recall the anxious concern I felt as the radiance
slowly dissolved and I hiked on: how could a vision
that was so real and convincing, so directly and deeply
felt--how could it end so soon? And how could I tell
anyone about it, as my overflowing joy compelled me
to do, since I knew there were no words to describe
what I had seen? It seemed strange that I, as a child,
had seen something so marvelous, something that adults
obviously did not perceive--for I had never heard
them mention it.
still a child, I experienced several more of these
deeply euphoric moments on my rambles through forest
and meadow. It was these experiences that shaped the
main outlines of my world view and convinced me of
the existence of a miraculous, powerful, unfathomable
reality that was hidden from everyday sight."
the Foreward to Albert Hofmann's book LSD: My Problem
Child (the full text is available on many Web sites.)
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