An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: chemistry (Page 1 of 2)

PiKHAL: A Chemical Love Story and TiHKAL: The Continuation – Alexander and Ann Shulgin

Let me provide a context so that you may understand my amazement with the chemical explorations of Alexander Shulgin. Did you know that the two principal neurotransmitters in the human body are dopamine and serotonin? Did you know that they belong to the phenethylamine and tryptamine chemical families, respectively? I find this simple observation to be of fundamental importance in understanding the human mind/body relationship. And now consider that Ann and Alex Shulgins’ books: PiKHAL (Phenethylamines I have known and loved) and TiKHAL (Tryptamines I have known and loved) explore both these chemical families and their effects on the human mind and body. Quick summary of well-known psychedelic chemicals:

Phenethylamines Tryptamines
Dopamine Serotonin
Mescaline DMT
MDA Psilocybin
MDMA Psilocin
2C Family Ibogaine

LSD is complex and has both chemical structures, but most people emphasizes that the effects of LSD are related primarily to its tryptamine backbone and interaction with human serotonin receptors.

Ann and Alexander Shulgin’s books are a groundbreaking revelation for their accounts of psychedelic exploration, therapy, and spiritual development. They are a mix of essays and stories. You will not regret reading the books and learning about the chemicals referenced in the second half of the books.

An interesting note: In PiKHAL, the fictional character Adam Fisher is based on Leo Zeff, a talented psychotherapist who worked with MDMA; you can read all about his therapy work in The Secret Chief Revealed by Myron J. Stolaroff.


TianChi is a good herbal supplement for overall health and to maintain the energy centers of the body, i.e. the adrenal glands. I have had a really pleasant experience and a noticeable improvement in wellness and mental clarity. I didn’t try it because I was having any difficulties or problems with my health. Rather, I find herbs and their influence on human chemistry to be worth experiencing. Even if you are not interested in it, I would research any of the herbs it contains and perhaps add some of them to your diet. Roger Drummer is the formulator of the blend.

Here is the list of herbs which are contained in TianChi:

125 Great Science Videos

This website, here, contains 125 YouTube videos on astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry, geology, psychology, and math.

YouTube Channel – ScienceTV and Best0fScience

I came across these two YouTube channels — ScienceTV and Best0fScience. They contain cool visualizations of many topics in astronomy, physics, chemisty, evolution and biology.

Origins of Order – Stuart Kauffman

Origins of Order, by Stuart Kauffman, provides a new look at evolution through natural selection. Instead of holding that the main creator of order is genetic drift with Natural Selection, Kauffman explores the idea that order can spontaneously form under various conditions in the natural world. Kauffman also emphasizes the importance of co-evolution among organisms in creating complex evolutionary systems. All of these ideas are explored through the mathematical tool of fitness landscapes.

The book, although long and dense, provides deep insights into the nature of life and evolution. The concepts  presented involve mathematics, computer science, chemistry, and biology. I would recommend this book if the reader likes these topics and has enough time (or is fast reader). (ISBN-13: 978-0195079517)

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