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TiHKAL: The Continuation

By Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and Ann Shulgin

TiHKAL: The Continuation is the sequel to PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story but can stand alone to any reader. Where PiHKAL focuses on a class of compounds called phenethylamines, TiHKAL is written about a family of psychoactive drugs known as tryptamines with TiHKAL being an acronym for “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved”.

Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin

The late Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin was undoubtedly one of the most pioneering chemists of this century. Completing his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1955,Shulgin went on to get a job at the Dow Chemical Company, where he invented a highly lucrative, biodegradable pesticide by the name of Zectran and ultimately pursued his own research program, synthesizing psychoactive substances after an experience with mescaline. Shulgin left Dow in 1966, setting up a home-based laboratory on his ranch in Lafayette, California, where he synthesized more than two hundred novel psychoactive compounds. A bold explorer of the frontiers of neurochemistry, Shulgin tested the majority of the substances he synthesized on himself, his wife and co-researcher Ann, and a small circle of trusted friends. He and his friends kept diligent notes on their experiential research forays. He and his wife Ann co-authored the psychonautic tome, PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story in 1991. In 1996, the Shulgin’s published TiHKAL: The Continuation, a sequel to PiHKAL, standing for “tryptamines I have known and loved.” Shulgin is most often remembered for his rediscovery and synthesis of a chemical known as MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, and Shulgin suggested that MDMA would be a powerful aid in therapy. (Photo by Charles R. Lucke)

Ann Shulgin

Ann Shulgin co-founded Transform Press in 1991 with her husband, Sasha Shulgin, out of their shared passion and commitment to an uncensored examination of psychoactive compounds. Through the Press they co-authored and published PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (1991) and TiHKAL: The Continuation (1997), the two cult classics based on their psychedelic experiences. The publications generated regular discussion groups on psychedelics and psychopharmacology which the Shulgins led together for many years. They also contributed jointly to several other publications including, The Secret Chief, The Secret Chief Revealed, Entheogens and the Future of Religion, and Ecstasy: The Complete Guide.

Ann has served as a lay therapist facilitating the use of MDMA and 2CB in therapeutic settings while those substances were still legal. She brings a Jungian orientation to her examination of psychedelic experiences, with a particular emphasis on the integration of the Shadow and an overarching theme of spirituality and unification with the divine in all things.

Since Sasha’s passing, Ann serves as the advising authority on the Shulgin research legacy and the Shulgin estate. She continues to write and give talks within the psychedelic community.

Description

TiHKAL: The Continuation is the sequel to PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story but can stand alone to any reader. Where PiHKAL focuses on a class of compounds called phenethylamines, TiHKAL is written about a family of psychoactive drugs known as tryptamines with TiHKAL being an acronym for “Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved”. Like its predecessor PiHKAL, it is divided into two parts. The first part of the book begins with the story of Alice and Shura, a fictionalized autobiography, which picks up where the similar section of PiHKAL left off. The book opens with the story about the DEA raid that occurred a few years after the publication of their first book, PiHKAL. It’s a window into the DEA, the institutional aspect and human side of it as well, and the price that Shura and Alice pay for doing what they do, including exercising their first amendment rights. It then continues with a collection of essays on topics ranging from psychotherapy and the Jungian mind, to the prevalence of DMT in nature, ayahuasca, the War on Drugs, and even the Big Bang. It is a blend of travel, botanical facts, scientific speculation, psychological and political commentary. It is fascinating getting to know the mind of the man behind the compounds – his thoughts on science, technology, law, and society. And the mind of the woman who brought his work and their story into the light of the world. The second part of TiHKAL is “The Chemistry Continues”. It is a detailed manual for 55 psychedelic compounds (many discovered by Shulgin himself). For each compound there is information on synthesis, effective dosage, duration of effects, and commentary on the subjective effects that were experienced. The Shulgins’ two big books span autobiography, organic chemistry, politics, ethnobotany and psychopharmacology and the cultural impact of these works has been profound and will continue to be so in the future.

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