Thursday, July 24, 2014

PwHKAL- Reflections on Shulgin's Death. Part 2.

The Magical Half Dozen: My Review. Introduction. 

“How long will this last, this delicious feeling of being alive, of having penetrated the veil which hides beauty and the wonders of celestial vistas? It doesn't matter, as there can be nothing but gratitude for even a glimpse of what exists for those who can become open to it.” -A. Shulgin

Shulgins Magic Half Dozen:

Mescaline - (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine)
DOM - (2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine,)
2C-B - (2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine)
2C-E - (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylphenethylamine)
2C-T-2 - (2,5-dimethoxy-4-ethylthiophenethylamine)
2C-T-7 (2,5-dimethoxy-4-propylthiophenethylamine)

My Magic Six: (Inventor/Isolated from nature). 

Mescaline   - (Natural/Hefter)
2C-B         - (Shulgin)
2C-T-7      - (Shulgin)
Psilocin      -  (Natural/Hoffman)
25I-NBOMe - (Heim)
LSD         -  (Hoffman)

                                             The Keys to The Doors of Perception

There are two great puzzles that are inherently illusive and tower above all others in my view. The first is the Universe itself, which is inherently mysterious. The second is Consciousness - matter becoming aware of itself. When Carl Sagan was writing the novel Cosmos, he penned some words that are often quoted. The quote is profound as it ties the two puzzles I mentioned above together - and resonates deeply with me, and I suspect with all sentient creatures: "We are a way for the Cosmos to know Itself". It is true after all - we are atoms configured in such a remarkable way, that a collection of atoms are aware of "their" own existence and aware of the wider cosmos. Truly an astonishing observation, a revelation for all humanity.

Additionally to this we have finally learned how to manufacture, even hand craft - as an artist sculpts a great work of art - the chemical keys to unlock the chemical synaptic locks of the mind itself. There are even names for people who explore the cosmos and names for people who explore human consciousness. They are the Astronaut and the Psychonaut.

What is a Psychonaut? Well, the answer is in the word, but I will elucidate the concept and etymology for us anyhow. Psyche is Greek for Mind and Nautes is Greek for Sailor. Just as Astronauts sail the celestial cosmic ocean. The Psychonauts voyage is into the human mind. This journey is into that other great mystery, the enigma of human consciousness. Perhaps no single man has journeyed further or unraveled more about the mind than Sasha Shulgin, he is the Neil Armstrong of Psychonautics.

Sasha Shulgin's passing has not made me as melancholic as I had predicted it would. In fact, it has motivated me to celebrate his life, rather than mourn the sadness associated with losing psychoactive chemistry's greatest mind. A mind so great that in my view he was deserving of a Nobel prize, but due to the legality of his work, this was made impossible - and is now just another pathetic side-note to the tragedy that is the War on Drugs.

I will do a six part series where I examine Sasha's "Magical Half Dozen" each and in detail. Having personally tried four of the six compounds on the list I want to see why he chose these, out of over 150 he created (all except DOB and 2C-T-2 I have experience with, analogous of DOB and 2C-T-2 I have tried). Furthermore I want to shed light on why none of the six were chosen from the large inventory of natural and other man-made psychedelics available to him, he tried most of these but did not invent them or include them in his list? (excluding Mescaline which nature beat Sasha to, by inventing first :). What was it that Sasha found so intriguing about these six molecules, this is what I will attempt to explain, why did he find them so special and worthy of special notation.

More than this I will try to learn and teach what psychedelics are and why many users report them to have profound effects. Myself being no exception to this rule, psychedelics have forever changed my life - this essentially means that Sasha, and his creations, have forever influenced my destiny. Almost unanimously for the better.

My personal "half dozen" contrasted with Sasha's has some overlap but is different, this is not surprising as everybody is unique. I am trying to piece together the puzzle of why he, the greatest psychoanaut of all time, added the compounds he did to this list. I want to know the story behind why Sasha spent his entire adult life pursuing the Psychedelic equivalent of the Apollo Moon Mission. He did it virtually all by himself and achieved what most chemists can only dream of accomplishing. He wrote the books (literally: PiKHAL/TiKHL) on how to be a psychonaut and how to be a responsible one. The doors of perception were opened more by no other person in history, and I intend to share my understanding with you about what lies beyond the doors of perception and inside the realm of consciousness.

Thanks Brady,
Part 3:1 - Mescaline (coming next).

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