Here is a good article on Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, entheogenic chemist and “father of Ecstasy,” who passed away yesterday.
Shulgin was known for discovering, creating and personally testing hundreds of psychoactive chemicals and documenting the results, along with his wife, in his books and papers.
The Shulgins published the results of their research in two volumes PiHKAL – or Phenethylamines I have Known and Loved – and TiHKAL, which stands for Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved.
Both the books, which run to more than 800 pages, were later published online for free as every person should have “the license to explore the nature of his own soul”, he told Time Magazine in 2002.
Pihkal was subtitled “A Chemical Love Story” (partly alchemical, but it includes how they got together), while Tikhal was “A Continuation.”
I have read only the first, which includes descriptions of tripping amidst the rich and powerful at the Bohemian Grove, where he played the viola in an amateur string quartet. Yes, he was a member and apparently saw no contradictions in that. He had friends there.