Hoffman, Albert

(1906– )
   Swiss chemist who synthesized the hallucinogen LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide), a chemical derived from the ergot fungus he had been working on in order to develop new drugs for the firm Sandoz. While the drug initially offered unremarkable effects in preliminary laboratory experiments in 1938, Hoffman accidentally discovered the powerful psychedelic properties of LSD when, acting on a “peculiar presentiment,” he synthesized a fresh batch of the chemical in 1943. An “extremely stimulated imagination” resulted from brief, accidental exposure to the chemical, and so, intrigued, Hoffman ingested what he assumed to be a conservative dose of a 250-millionth of a gram—actually a massive dose—and then rode his bicycle home, where he experienced “fantastic and impressive” effects. Hoffman’s “problem child” or “medicine of the soul” (he used both terms) has had a profound effect on the lives of thousands of people, from those who have had bad “trips” to those who have appreciated their experiences as being benign, spiritual, and/or “shamanic.”
   LSD ingestion prompted many psychedelic-experience seekers in the Euro-American psychedelic boom of the 1960s to explore shamanism, especially with the publication and subsequent popularity of Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan mythos, which gave accounts of entheogen-induced shamanic experiences, and the promotion by Timothy Leary (the “high priest” of acid) of LSD as a cure to social normativity. The potential of LSD in “psychedelic therapy” to treat such mental health disorders as neurosis, psychosis, schizophrenia, and depression yielded fascinating, if contradictory, results (reactions among subjects varied) for transpersonal psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists such as Stanislav Grof, before LSD was made illegal across the world in 1966 and scientific research was heavily regulated (leading to a drying up of funding and interest). While the drug remains illegal, there is renewed scientific investigation, and LSD, along with the synthesized chemicals mescaline (from peyote, described by Aldous Huxley), DMT (an active agent in ayahuasca, promoted by Terence McKenna), and ibogane (from the root of the West African plant iboga), is a major a source of inspiration to many techno-shamans, psychonauts, and other neo-shamans.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Albert Hoffman — Albert Hoffman, Albert Hoffmann or Albert Hofmann could refer to: *Albert Hoffman (artist) (1915 1993), an American artist. *Albert Hoffmann (Gauleiter) (1907 1972), a German politician and Nazi Gauleiter. *Albert Hofmann (1906 2008), a Swiss… …   Wikipedia

  • Albert Einstein — Para otros usos de este término, véase Einstein (desambiguación). Albert Einstein …   Wikipedia Español

  • Albert Hoffman (artist) — Albert Hoffman (1915 1993) was an American painter and wood carver. Never progressing beyond a sixth grade education, Hoffman earned his living operating a junkyard in Galloway Township, near Atlantic City, New Jersey. A self taught artist, he… …   Wikipedia

  • Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel — ( Albert Einstein: creador y rebelde ) es una biografía de Albert Einstein escrita por el también físico Banesh Hoffman, que aborda tanto la vida personal y académica como los acontecimientos y personas del entorno del gran científico. El libro… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Albert Ghiorso — (1970) Naissance 15 juillet 1915 Vallejo, Californie (États Unis) Décès 26  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Albert Wein — Albert W. Wein, American sculptor born in New York City on July 27, 1915. He died in March 1991. His mother, Elsa Meher Wein was a portrait painter and it was through her that Wein was first introduced to art. He began his art studies at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Albert M. Todd — Albert May Todd (* 3. Juni 1850 bei Nottawa, St. Joseph County, Michigan; † 6. Oktober 1931 in Kalamazoo, Michigan) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1897 und 1899 vertrat er den Bundesstaat Michigan im US Repräsentantenhaus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Albert J. Engel — (1938) Albert Joseph Engel (* 1. Januar 1888 in New Washington, Crawford County, Ohio; † 2. Dezember 1959 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker. Zwischen 1935 und 1951 vertrat er den …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Albert Kresch — (born 1922) is a New York School painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. One of the original members of the Jane Street Gallery in the 1930s, he exhibited in later years at Tibor de Nagy Gallery and Salander O’Reilly Galleries. He is… …   Wikipedia

  • Albert Ghiorso — Albert Ghiorso. Nacimiento 15 de julio de 1915 Vallejo, California, Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.