Altered States

Pihkal by Alexander Shulgin & Ann Shulgin

The bible of modern psychedelic exploration. The first half of the book is an autobiography disguised as fiction (as legal protection for the authors), while the second part is a comprehensive set of instructions for making the nearly 300 phenelthalamines (a category of psychoactive compound) discovered by Dr. Shulgin.

The story portion of the work gives a very direct and personal insight into the lives of the Shulgins, from Alexander's service in WWII up through the present day. The primary focus is the romance of two, and is told alternatingly from each of their perspectives.

The Shulgins, now in their eighties, are true heroes of a modern era. In their quiet and gentle way they do battle with the incredible ignorance of mankind's current approach to chemicaly altered mental states. They also display the rare example of people who are far ahead of their time. They are living embodiments of the triumph of reason and rationality in an era when, at least on this particular subject, most of humanity is still in a philosophical dark age.

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