Father of LSD, now 100, and his ‘problem child’ – Europe – International Herald Tribune

Father of LSD, now 100, and his ‘problem child’ – Europe – International Herald Tribune: “Father of LSD, now 100, and his ‘problem child’
By Craig S. Smith The New York Times

BURG, Switzerland Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD, walked slowly across the small corner office of his modernist home on a grassy Alpine hilltop here, hoping to show a visitor the vista that sweeps before him on clear days.

But outside there was only a white blanket of fog hanging just beyond the crest of the hill. He picked up a photograph of the view on his desk instead, left there perhaps to convince visitors of what really lies beyond the window.

Hofmann turns 100 on Wednesday, a milestone to be marked by a symposium in nearby Basel on the chemical compound that he discovered and that famously altered consciousnesses around the world. As the years accumulate and his time left on the planet grows short, Hofmann’s conversation turns ever more insistently around one theme: man’s oneness with nature and the dangers of an increasing inattention to that fact.

‘It’s very, very dangerous to lose contact with living nature,’ he said.

‘In the big cities, there are people who have never seen living nature, all things are products of humans,’ he said. ‘The bigger the town, the less they see and understand nature.’

And, yes, LSD, which he calls his ‘problem child,’ could help reconnect people to the universe.

Rounding a century, Hofmann is physically reduced but mentally clear. He is prone to digressions, but his bright eyes flash with the recollection of a mystical experience he had on a forest path more than 90 years ago in the hills above Baden, Switzerland. The experience left him longing for a similar glimpse of what he calls ‘a miraculous, powerful, unfathomable reality,’ but it also left him deeply connected to nature and helped shape his future.”






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