Happy bicycle day! April 19th marks the anniversary of the first LSD ‘acid trip’.
In 1943, Albert Hofmann worked on synthesizing new drugs derived from ergot fungus. Days previous, he accidentally exposed to one of these chemicals through his skin. Being intrigued by the effects, Hofmann decided to conduct a self-experiment by ingesting what he thought to be a tiny dose – 0.25mg. Very quickly, he’d realized his mistake; having taken what would be considered a *very* strong dose, the world began to melt away into a sea of swirling colour. Being wartime, the only transportation available was a bicycle, and so Hofmann hopped on and went on a magical journey!
Later research by others revealed the incredible potential of this drug. Classed as a “psychedelic”, LSD holds the capacity to raise mood, draw out latent creative potential, and aid in the healing of emotional trauma – in addition to its enlightening and fun recreational uses. A wide variety of psychiatric treatments pioneered in the mid-20th century showed promise for the treatment of anxiety, depression, addiction, and more.
— J.D. (@94_Diaz_) April 19, 2019
This year, Bicycle day also falls on Good Friday – the anniversary of a different kind of experiment. Walter Pahnke, a researcher at Harvard, administered psilocybin (a similar psychedelic drug found in ‘magic’ mushrooms) to divinity students. Before a church ceremony commemorating the holiday. Many of those who participated reported among the most profound spiritual experiences of their lives. In this way, psychedelics are “entheogens”, referring to their ability to bring forward the profound and the divine.
From personal experience, I can attest to this effect – this drug has changed my life. After my first psychedelic experience, my perspective and personality, permanently altered for the better, and my level of anxiety dropped dramatically. Much of my best intellectual work is either conceived of, or executed with the aid of LSD and my worldview is intimately informed by the associated spiritual experience. So moved I have been by these experiences that I have dedicated my career to being an advocate for psychedelic drugs.
Although moral panic and kneejerk conservatism resulted in these drugs ban, a psychedelic renaissance is now underway. New research suggests this drug could be a key to treatment-resistant mood disorders. And a means of permanently healing psychic wounds like PTSD. The practice of “micro-dosing” tiny sub-hallucinogenic amounts is becoming more popular. Serving as a replacement for antidepressants and performance aid for creative pursuits.
My personal research involves the use of psychedelics as a way to explore alternative ways of looking at the world. Dispelling delusions and cultivating pro-social thinking. In short, I believe the psychedelic experience is a crucial tool to help heal this ailing world.
It is my hope that the wave of drug liberalization currently underway with cannabis will soon extend to this class of drugs. With LSD as an available tool for psychiatry and recreation, the psychic and societal benefits would be immeasurable. Happy cycling!
-Eric Shepperd, London, Ontario
In conclusion, do let us know your thoughts on Bicycle Day