Podcast 238 – “A Tribute to Albert Hofmann” Part 2


Guest speakers: Albert Hofmann, John Lilly, Oscar Janiger, and Terence McKenna

Into the Cyclone by Dr. John LillyPROGRAM NOTES:

[NOTE: The following quotations are by Dr. John C. Lilly.]
“There is no such thing as drugs. There’s no such thing as illegal drugs. They’re only chemicals. They can change the molecular configurations within the brain itself and hence change who you are and where you’re going and where you come from. This is a profound experience.”

“The drug problem ought to be turned over to the Surgeon General and taken away from the Attorney General.”

“I learned long ago that one is a psychotherapist until one is cured of one’s own diseases.”
[NOTE: The following quotations are by Terence McKenna.]LSD My Problem Child by Dr. Albert Hofmann
“Psychology without psychedelics is pissing into the wind.”
“We’re not going to save the monkey unless we can shed the monkey. And the greatest impetus, the greatest inspiration to the expression of our higher selves comes in the confrontation with psyche that occurs in the psychedelic experience.”
Myron Stolaroff & Albert Hofmann[NOTE: The following quotations are by Dr. Albert Hofmann.]
“Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I obtained as a fundamental understanding from all my LSD experiences that what one commonly takes as the reality by no means it defines anything fixed but represents a thing that’s ambiguous, that there is not only one but there are many realities, each compromising a different consciousness also of the ego.”

“Consciousness defies scientific definition. . . . All attempts to define consciousness are pathological. Consciousness can only be described as the [unintelligible] and creative spiritual dance of the ego at the very core of what we call ‘I’ “.

“Consciousness remains a mystery, the very central mystery of our existence.”

“The perception of color is a purely psychological and subjective event taking place in the inner space of [unintelligible]. The brightly colored world as we see it does not exist on the outside.”

“The seemingly objective picture of the world surrounding us, that which we call reality, is actually a subjective picture. … We all carry in life our own personal image of reality created by our own private receiver.”
“Just like sound and colors, touch, smell and taste don’t exist objectively. They too represent purely subjective phenomena, occurring only in the inner space of individual humans.”

“Our understanding [born of intense direct experience of alternate realities] makes us aware of the fact that each individual is the creator of his or her own world, for it is in each individual mind and ONLY there, that the world and the abundance of life it contains . . . that the stars and the sky become real, become human reality. Our real true freedom and responsibility is founded in our ability to create our own individual world.”

“Once I have recognized what part of reality is objectively on the outside and what is subjectively taken place within myself, then I am more aware of what I can change in my life, where I have a choice, and thus what I am responsible for. Conversely, I become aware of what is beyond my will power and has to be accepted as an unalterable fact. This clarification of my potential and my responsibilities can be of invaluable help. I have the ability to choose what I want to receive from the endless, infinite program of ‘the great transmitter’, from creation.”The Road To Eleusis by Hofmann and Ruck

“That means I can let those aspects of creation, or the cosmos, that make me happy enter into my consciousness and thus imbue them with reality . . . or I can let in other aspects, those that depress me. It is I who creates the bright and the dark picture of the world. It is I who invests the objects that are only shaped matter in the outer world not only with their color, but with my affection and my love — and also their meaning. This applies not only to my inanimate surroundings, but also to living beings, to the plants and animals and to my fellow humans. With this insight, the full creative power of love becomes evident.”

“The transmitter-receiver metaphor for reality reveals another basic fact, the fact that reality is not a fixed state. Rather it is the result of a continuous input of material and energetic signals from the outer world and their continuous decoding and transformation into inner conscious experience. This demonstrates reality is a DYNAMIC process, being created anew at each moment.”

“Since the sensation of time is only possible through the perception of change, the dynamic character of reality creates time.”

“What is needed today is a fundamental, existential experience of the oneness of all living things, of an all-encompassing reality.”


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[Thank you to TurtleCreek.net for parts of the Hofmann transcription.]

Radio Interview: Albert Hofmann in America 1988

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Posted in Albert Hofmann, Consciousness, John Lilly, LSD, Oscar Janiger, Psilocybin, Psychedelic Research, Psychedelics, Terence McKenna (mp3) and tagged , , , , , , , , .


  1. I think that this talk is one which may shed some light on the experience to those who may never even think to try it. Dr. Lilly drops some personal “a-ha’s” from his first tank session with the molecule, and with whatever reason for his trepidation, the experience gave him a new threshold from which to operate. The Obi1Kenobi of the psychedelic underground was funny as his delivery, but his message is serious.
    Dr. Hofmann’s content sounds more like that of a Buddhist Monk, or a Astrophysicist than a Swiss Chemist. He hones right in on the very nature of the experience being subjective and personal and transcribes this into life experience which simply put: we design our conscious realities without question, from the colors we see to the relationship we have with the world which transmits the colors to me. How fantastic that this falls into psychotherapy like a hand in a glove.

  2. Hi, love the site. A bit off-topic here: The great ’80s film “Return Engagement” a documentary staring Tim Leary and G. Gordon Liddy has been unavailable to the public for many years. Could someone make it available as a torrent? Fans of Leary will definitely love it, a lot of excellent ideas discussed, that are cutting edge even today. On the sensational side, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a cameo at a party while Leary is fiending for cocaine! A must see!
    Can anyone torrent this film?

  3. Does anybody know where to find the complete text for Hofmann’s talk? I’m having a difficult time understanding him. Much thanks.

  4. “Consciousness defies scientific definition. . . . All attempts to define consciousness are pathological. Consciousness can only be described as the [unintelligible] and creative spiritual dance of the ego at the very core of what we call ‘I’ “.

    In the above quote, the [unintelligible] word seems to be ‘receptive.’

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