02 May 2008

Lucid in the SKY with Diamonds...

The year was 1974, and a younger ZENmud was exploring life through the lifestyle of his second oldest brother, in Denver, Colorado.

[photo credit from Art Knowledge News website]

At 17 years old, transplanted into the 'bosom' of his brothers' lives already established in CO, hopes ran across the whole range of our four brothers, that the 'war' between parents would soon end, as did WW II, or at least issue some kind of 'Armistice' as did WW I.

In those Denver high-school years, learning the thrills of fast cycling, through the receipt by a dear friend of a fine Motobecane 'Grand Record' 10-spd racing bicycle, the first bike ZENmud road, that contained Campagnolo components.

A wacky friend, a long-haired bad-boy, son of a decent man, who was a widow then, with only two of his three sons... I'll call my friend 'Blane'. I'd met Blane in the park where we road together: he was the first and only friend that bought an Eddy Merckx bicycle: which he immediately repainted in about the same colour as this text.

Blane was our 'crazy friend', because twas he that had entered deepest into the realm of hippiedom, he who had the most 'connections' and he, that introduced ZENmud to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).

And now that Albert Hofmann has passed into the next 'world', at age 102, here in Switzerland, it feels good to remember what happened when ZENmud 'dropped' the first time...

Into the wayback machine...

I remember the 'vastness' of the things I felt and saw, and was unfortunately conscious of the possibility of having a 'bad trip'. (I read a lot as a young boy, and Dad was a doctor by education: medical fascinations were morbidly part of the youthful ZENworld)

I realized that Blane, who was sitting across the room telling me every two minutes that I had to 'hear this song! It's the best when you're trippin', man...', meant that I didn't get to 'choose' anything, and didn't get to 'experience' what I could have, because Blane wanted to ram all the great moments from all his musically-enhanced 'trips' into my newly-widening sensations, within about 20 minutes! Blane had 'bad TRIP LEADER' written all over the future of my next three hours... so I said 'bye, dude!'...

Albert Hoffman first determined what LSD 'could be', because he spilled a small drop on his hand, and then launched inside himself the truest form of Human Exploration that one could possibly imagine: He truly went 'where no man had gone before'.

How interesting that Hafmann's major 'Discovery', actually occurred in 1938: he evidently found no 'miracles' that derived from the molecule he produced. It went on to the 'chemical dustbin', where a great many 'artisanal' chemical confections find burial. But, as is told by the Albert Hofmann Fountdation's web-pages:

Hofmann's discovery of the effect of LSD in Basel came 5 years after his original synthesis of the molecule in 1938. LSD-25, as it was called then, was synthesized and tried on animals. No interesting effects appeared, and the molecule was consigned to the "useless" heap. If it had stayed there, the state of today's world would be different.


[The] chemist in the old Sandoz lab (since demolished - see photo) had what he called a "Vorgefühl." The usual English word for this is "presentiment," but the German word suggests something stronger than the laid-back "presentiment." Something was telling Hofmann to retrace his steps and perform a new synthesis of the discarded molecule, LSD-25. It had to be that molecule and not one of the others consigned to the "useless" pile.

As interesting as such a story could be, ZENmud had sent an SMS to a friend two nights ago, which said (trust me...):

“Did it ever occur to you, that LSD is to the Neuron, what the Hydrogen Bomb was to the atom?”

Read more of the Hofmann Institute page regarding the discovery of the effects of LSD, and its timing only four months after the first Chicago experiments with Nuclear Fission, while a certain ZEN Central prepares for a spring weekend.

And how did the first ever ZEN-acid trip end? With my 29 year-old brother walking into his house, while young ZEN was rolling naked with his two dogs, as well as the two dogs of our mother, all barking (and I), happy, laughing... we 'understood'... Then ZENers dressed for the evening....

Hola M-rita :-)

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© 2008

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