In 1947, in the scientific literature, there were finally reports of the unusual discovery by Hofman of a metagalucinogen active at the microgram level. As shown by the events of the 50s, Pandora’s box was opened.
Aldous Huxley wrote “Doors of Perception” in 1954 – a brilliant sketch of the fight of European intellectuals who fought with an awareness of the true dimensions of consciousness and the Cosmos, as well as the amazed ones.
The fact that everyone else sees only under the influence of mescalin, the artist, by nature, sees him from birth all the time. His perception is not limited to being useful biologically or socially. A piece of knowledge belonging to the World Mind, leaks in addition to the restrictive valve of the brain and the artist’s “ego” into his consciousness. This is knowledge of the intrinsic value of all things. For the artist, as well as for the recipient of mescaline, fabrics are living hieroglyphs, which in some unusually expressive way symbolize the incomprehensible mystery of life. Even more than an armchair, although probably less than the altogether supernatural colors in the vase and the folds on gray flannel trousers, they are filled with this “something complete”. What they owe their privileged position, I do not dare to say.
In 1956, the Czech chemist Steven Heat synthesized DMT – dimethyltryptamine. DMT remains the strongest of all hallucinogens and one of the shortest known compounds of this kind. When DMT is smoked, intoxication reaches a peak for about two minutes, and then subsides for about 10 minutes. Injections usually last longer. Here is a description of the discoverer himself.
At the third or fourth minute after the injection, vegetative symptoms appeared, such as: tingling sensations, tremors, mild nausea, pupil dilation, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. At the same time, eidetic phenomena, optical illusions, pseudo-hallucinations, and then later – real hallucinations appeared. Hallucinations consisted of moving, blindingly painted Oriental motifs; then I saw wonderful, rapidly changing scenes, pictures.
A year later, in May 1957, Valentina and Gordon Wasson published their famous article in Life magazine , announcing the discovery of the psilocybin mushroom complex. This article, like many other brief publications on this subject, brought to the mass consciousness the understanding that plants can cause exotic, and perhaps even paranoid, visions. New York Bank Deposits Specialist Wasson was well acquainted with the driving forces and the troublemakers of the establishment. And therefore, naturally, he turned to the publisher “Life” to his friend Henry Luce, when he needed a popular forum / to announce his discoveries. The tone of the article in the journal contrasts sharply with the hysteria and the hype that the American mass media subsequently inflates. The article is correct and thorough, unbiased and scientific.
The free ends of Wasson chemical discoveries were tied up by Albert Hoffman, who flashed a second time in the history of psychedelic pharmacology with a bright light, chemically isolating psilocybin and determining its structure in 1958.
In a short time in the recent past, from 1947 to 1960, the main indolic hallucinogens were characterized, cleaned and investigated. And it is not by chance that the following decade was the most turbulent in America over the past hundred years.