psychedelic and mind-expending1 drugs always had a great impact on people. they
were used both in high and low developed cultures and influenced all kinds of art.
also literature and even architecture were affected by them. because of their effects
such drugs are called phantastica or hallucinogens. when you want to separate drugs
into two main groups, you will have to distinguish hallucinogens like pot, cannabis
or synthetic products like lsd and narcotica. the most dangerous drugs like cocaine
and heroin, but also alcohol and nicotine belong to the group of narcotica. the use of
such drugs leads both to physical and psychical dependence. on the other hand the
phantastica lead definitely to no physical dependence, nor in most of all cases to
psychical. this doesn\u2019t mean that these drugs are harmless. the danger is the damage
of mind and soul when using them unprepared. so in nearly every country law
makes no difference between these two main types and prohibits drugs in general.
when indians use psychedelic drugs in their rites and ceremonies, they gain it
mainly from seldom plants. the best known is the mexican mescal-cactus or
\u201cpeyote\u201d as the indians call it. in the 19th century the science\u2019s interest in this plant
grew. the first attempts to extract the active substance2 weren\u2019t successful. but later
it was managed to synthetisize the substance, called mescaline. although this effort
of chemistry soon fell in oblivion, it gave a little insight of the world of these drugs.
in the 1930s the swiss chemist dr. albert hofmann worked on ergot3-alkaloids. he
wanted to find a medicine to prevent cardiac infarction, but discovered by chance
the derivation4 lyseraciddiethylamid d+ 25, short lsd or acid. first he didn\u2019t pay
attention to his creation. but five years later he inhaled unintentionally a touch of it
and so discovered its amazing effects. the effective dose for an 12 hour lasting
intoxication is about 100 micrograms or one tenthousandth gram. acid was in the
1940s and 50s used in medicine, especially in psychiatry. it was sent free to doctors
and available on prescription. the mass-consume and so the abuse started in the 60s.
the flower-power movement made taking acid \u201cin\u201d; dr. leary, a harvard professor,
who was later imprisoned, gave acid to his students and organised drug parties on
the campus. these people didn\u2019t know much about the special effects and risks of
this extraordinary drug. the result was that acid was banned by law and that mental
hospitals had no possibility to proceed with encouraging therapies. some members
of flower power on the other hand soon got into illegality and turned to far more
dangerous drugs like heroine or cocaine.
acid is a odourless and tasteless5 substance. a lethal dose6 for human doesn\u2019t exist.
characterising for an acid intoxication is that it always lasts 10 to 12 hours. the dose
varies between 50 to 500 microgram. the more you take the, deeper your visions
and mystical experiences will be. the intoxication of nearly ever hallucinogen is
divided into to phases.
a few minutes after taking the drug it can happen that a feeling like poisoning
occurs. but quickly perceptions7 will be far more intensive than usually. people
report that they are able to hear colours and see music. the borders of time and space
seem to vanish and the world seems to exist in dozens and hundreds of dimensions.
in the second phase past, presence and future seem to be one - this effect is
called \u201cakasha\u201d. the feeling of peace and unity is very strong. paradoxa and miracles
seem to can be solved, but not described in words. an important point is, that a lot of
the people who tried acid were not able to put into adequate words, what has
happened to them.
that is why the essays of writers like aldous huxley or ernst j\u00fcnger are so rare pieces
of literature. the greatest risk of this drug are its different effect on every person. it
opens places of our consciousness and subconscious8 to which we normally never
have entrance to. nobody knows what there is hidden. the consume of acid
intensifies the current mood. so this drug is not suitable to help against depression,
because in such a case the drug won\u2019t bring euphoria. instead, serious mental
diseases like paranoia or schizophrenia can be the result.
the british author aldous huxley is derived from a family of famous thinkers and
scientists. he was always very sceptical to society and technology and wrote a lot of
books and essays on this topic. in his later life he turned to philosophy. he occupied
himself with mysticism and spiritism. that was why he was interested in mind-
expanding substances. huxley thought that this could help to find answers to certain
religious and philosophical questions.
in may 1953 huxley was offered the possibility to take part into an experiment with
mescaline, which is very similar to acid. so he took - under medical control - half a
gram of the substance. he describes his experiences in the essay \u201cdoors of
perception\u201d, which became especially in the time of flower-power movement very
famous. although the author describes his visions and hallucinations very vivid, he
has a sensible point of view. he knows the risk of this experiment and does
everything to avoid drug abuse. the intention of the book is not to encourage people
to take drugs. two years later huxley published a second book of the same topic. in
5 geruch- und geschmacklos
6 t\u00f6dliche dosis
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