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Hofmann's Potion2002

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  • 4.1
Long before Timothy Leary urged a generation to “tune in, turn on and drop out,” lysergic acid diethylamide (or LSD) was being used by researchers committed to understanding the workings of the human mind. Discovered in 1943 by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, LSD was hailed as a powerful tool for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction and to provide a window into schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Much of that pioneering research was done by the team of Humphry Osmond, Abram Hoffer and Duncan Blewett, all working in Saskatchewan. While researchers were establishing the medical benefits of LSD, others, like the friend of Humphry Osmond, author Aldous Huxley, promoted the drug as a powerful tool for mental exploration and self understanding. At Harvard, Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Ram Dass became popular heroes after the university cancelled their research into psychedelics.

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3 members like this review

Extraordinary documentary. I was privileged to know Tim Leary casually, and one thing we discussed was why did our culture have such a deep seeded fear of LSD? Replicating the experiences expressed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, perhaps it was a sensed death for that epic cultural structure through our research and serious LSD use and study. That culture, always an insistent proponent of the status quo, in the form it had become rooted deeply into our consciousness, seems fearful of LSD. Our military, as an example, perceived it and the effects as a weapon. Yeah, right. I liked the living room conference by early users where the man we had observed says he realized if we are looking for Paradise, it is right here, anywhere we are, even sitting on the chairs at that very discussion, because it is our own responsibility through that awareness to observe it and create it.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (6)

24251f25cc71f2dbe72075e495b595de?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0025
top reviewer

Extraordinary documentary. I was privileged to know Tim Leary casually, and one thing we discussed was why did our culture have such a deep seeded fear of LSD? Replicating the experiences expressed in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, perhaps it was a sensed death for that epic cultural structure through our research and serious LSD use and study. That culture, always an insistent proponent of the status quo, in the form it had become rooted deeply into our consciousness, seems fearful of LSD. Our military, as an example, perceived it and the effects as a weapon. Yeah, right. I liked the living room conference by early users where the man we had observed says he realized if we are looking for Paradise, it is right here, anywhere we are, even sitting on the chairs at that very discussion, because it is our own responsibility through that awareness to observe it and create it.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

This film reminds me why I made it a point to train as a transpersonal psychologist knowing that this was not necessarily a shrewd career move. I've never regretted it for a moment.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Informative introduction to the history of LSD, including the pioneers of LSD research, and how it relates (or could relate) to psychiatry, addiction treatment, and spiritual life. But also uncritical of claims by LSD advocates, such as the claim that taking it allowed them to get inside the heads of (feel what it feels like to be) schizophrenics.

This was fascinating. Learned a lot about LSD! I'm a child of the 60's. It's a shame, as a result of the young people of that era starting to experiment on their own on the streets without supervision and without a true understanding of the power of this psychedelic and the benefits it could have on internal processes i.e.mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the U.S. banned it. Now it can be obtained on the black market but researchers are no longer able to do scientific experiments. LSD if researched in a controlled setting could very possibly have brought about a lot of progress in fields of psychiatry and psychology. Maybe some day it will be recognized again and used properly in scientific settings.

Very interesting to see all these proper old men, these doctors and scientest types. Waxing poetic about LSD and the psychedelic experience. Well done.

I knew timothy leary. a good review great

dr duke