Happy Bicycle Day!

Bicycle Day 2013

Happy 70th Birthday, LSD!

April 19, 1943, Hofmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 0.25 milligrams (250 micrograms) of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle. On the way, Hofmann’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternating in his beliefs that the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and that the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote…

“… little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …”

The events of the first LSD trip, now known as “Bicycle Day”, after the bicycle ride home, proved to Hofmann that he had indeed made a significant discovery: a psychoactive substance with extraordinary potency, capable of causing significant shifts of consciousness in incredibly low doses. Hofmann foresaw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool; because of its intense and introspective nature, he couldn’t imagine anyone using it recreationally.

Bicycle day is increasingly observed in psychedelic communities as a day to celebrate the discovery of LSD.

‘Magic Mushrooms’ Can Improve Psychological Health Long Term

Psilocybe mexicana - Jalisco, Mexico
Image via Wikipedia

‘Magic Mushrooms’ Can Improve Psychological Health Long Term
By MAIA SZALAVITZ Thursday, June 16, 2011

The psychedelic drug in magic mushrooms may have lasting medical and spiritual benefits, according to new research from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

The mushroom-derived hallucinogen, called psilocybin, is known to trigger transformative spiritual states, but at high doses it can also result in “bad trips” marked by terror and panic. The trick is to get the dose just right, which the Johns Hopkins researchers report having accomplished.

In their study, the Hopkins scientists were able to reliably induce transcendental experiences in volunteers, which offered long-lasting psychological growth and helped people find peace in their lives — without the negative effects.

(PHOTOS: Inside Colorado’s Marijuana Industry)

“The important point here is that we found the sweet spot where we can optimize the positive persistent effects and avoid some of the fear and anxiety that can occur and can be quite disruptive,” says lead author Roland Griffiths, professor of behavioral biology at Hopkins. Read more of this post

Why Prescription Ecstasy or LSD Could Happen Much Sooner Than You Think

LSD blotter.
Image via Wikipedia

Why Prescription Ecstasy or LSD Could Happen Much Sooner Than You Think

By Anneli Rufus, AlterNet
Posted on June 24, 2011, Printed on June 26, 2011
Let’s say an abuse-ridden childhood has left you with PTSD that sparks panic whenever you hear shouts, even on TV. Or let’s say a bad accident has saddled you with crippling anxiety and chronic pain. Now let’s say that you could ease — or even cure — these woes with prescription psiloscybin. Prescription ecstasy. Prescription LSD.

If a growing phalanx of scientists get their way, those prescriptions could be yours within 10 years. Research into the medical benefits of psychedelic drugs is booming. An April conference on the subject at Great Britain’s University of Kent featured lectures on such topics as “Ketamine Psychotherapy” and “Ayahuasca in the Contemporary World.”

Leading this wave is the Boston-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), whose executive director Rick Doblin spoke at that conference. MAPS researchers have spent 15 years conducting international clinical trials whose results indicate that LSD and psilocybin counteract depression and anxiety and are effective pain-management tools while MDMA (ecstasy) conquers fear. Just this month, the Israeli Ministry of Health approved a new MAPS study using MDMA to treat PTSD.

“Time is on our side,” Doblin says. “The world is full of aging baby boomers who are looking forward to psychedelic retirement and psychedelic hospice. Read more of this post

(VIDEO) – Terence McKenna – Tribute to Albert Hofmann

‘An event that was held at The Scottish Rite Temple in Los Angeles on October 2, 1988 to honor Dr. Albert Hofmann on the 50th anniversary of his discovery of LSD. The MC that night was none other than Terence McKenna, and besides a few words from Terence, we also hear from Stanley Krippner and Andrew Weil, who not only have many kind words for Dr. Hofmann but also add some interesting insights about their own work with LSD, such as when Terence said: “We have the tools, the intellect, the will to create a caring global culture. It isn’t going to come without a recognition of the power of the psychedelic experience. The psychedelic experience is the birth right of every human being on the planet. It is as much a basic part of each and every one of us as our sexuality, our national identity, our consciousness of self. And any society which attempts to hold back or impede this dimension of self-expression, when the history of that society is written, it will be called barbarous.” … And from Dr. Weil: “And here it seems to me is the fundamental absurdity of the way our science has developed: The most obvious fact of our existence is that we are conscious. That is the most obvious, most important aspect of our existence. How can you construct a world view, how can you construct a system that tries to explain the universe and leave that out? And yet that is what our science tries to do.”

Dr. Lilly begins with a description of his first LSD experience in an isolation chamber (300mg IM) in the Virgin Islands in 1964, saying about it, “I was scared stiff, absolutely terrified.” He is followed by Dr. Oscar Janiger who gives a few brief remarks before Terence McKenna introduces Dr. Albert Hofmann by famously saying, “Psychology without psychedelics is pissing into the wind.” The Dr. Hofmann takes the stage for a talk that you will most likely listen to more than once. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I obtained as a fundamental understanding from all my LSD experiences that what one commonly takes as the reality by no means it defines anything fixed but represents a thing that’s ambiguous, that there is not only one but there are many realities, each compromising a different consciousness also of the ego.’

Counterculture figure Owsley Stanley, who provided millions of LSD trips, dies in Australia

Counterculture figure Owsley Stanley, who provided millions of LSD trips, dies in Australia

By ROD McGUIRK, Sunday, March 13, 9:39 PM

CANBERRA, Australia — Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with The Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said Monday. He was 76.

Lyrics sung by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa reference Stanley and his brushes with the law, underlining his influence.

Stanley produced an estimated pound (half a kilogram) of pure LSD, or roughly 5 million “trips” of normal potency of the hallucinogenic drug, after enrolling in 1963 at the University of California at Berkeley and becoming involved in the drug scene that underpinned the hippie movement, according to the BookRags.com website.

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