Psychedelic books have always constituted a large percentage of our reading time. Information about psychedelics can be found in movies, podcasts, and on various websites on the Internet, but books remain among the best resources available for expanding one’s knowledge about psychedelics. So where to begin your journey into the inner workings of psychedelics and the mind? Well, the following psychedelic books are a great place to start.
This is a list of psychedelic literature, works related to psychedelic drugs and the psychedelic experience. Psychedelic books has also been defined as textual works that arose from the proliferation of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic research with hallucinogens during the 1950s and early 1960s in North America and Europe.
Here is our list of essential reading for any enthusiasts looking to not only expand their mind on a spiritual level, but also on an educational level as well.
This is always the first book that we recommend to anyone who wants to know more about psychedelics. Called “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use,” James Fadiman has been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s. In this guide to the immediate and long-term effects of psychedelic use for spiritual (high dose), therapeutic (moderate dose), and problem-solving (low dose and microdose) purposes, Fadiman outlines best practices for safe, sacred entheogenic voyages learned through his more than 40 years of experience–from the benefits of having a sensitive guide during a session (and how to be one) to the importance of the setting and pre-session intention.
Fadiman reviews the newest as well as the neglected research into the psychotherapeutic value of visionary drug use for increased personal awareness and a host of serious medical conditions, including his recent study of the reasons for and results of psychedelic use among hundreds of students and professionals. He reveals new uses for LSD and other psychedelics, including microdosing, extremely low doses for improved cognitive functioning and emotional balance. Cautioning that psychedelics are not for everyone, he dispels the myths and misperceptions about psychedelics circulating in textbooks and clinics as well as on the internet. Exploring the life-changing experiences of Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, and Huston Smith as well as Francis Crick and Steve Jobs, Fadiman shows how psychedelics, used wisely, can lead not only to healing but also to scientific breakthroughs and spiritual epiphanies.
True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise
No list of psychedelic books would be complete without at least one of the bard Terence McKenna’s books. Although Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge is McKenna’s best-known work, True Hallucinations is my favorite.
After the death of his mother in 1971, Terence, his brother Dennis, and three friends found themselves in the Colombian Amazon in search of oo-koo-hé, a psychoactive plant concoction containing DMT. At Dennis’ insistence, the group found themselves involved in a psychedelic experiment with the goal of contacting the Logos. The experiment at La Chorrera involved the use of psilocybin mushrooms and a vocal technique which Dennis developed to attempt actual DNA alteration during a psychedelic experience.
The experiment resulted in a shamanic initiation for the two brothers, with Terence communicating with a divine voice and Dennis undergoing a dramatic psychological breakdown of sorts. While the book The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching goes into more detail about the experiment that occurred five years prior at La Chorrera, I found True Hallucinations to have benefited from twenty years of reflection. It is a more clearly-written and objective assessment of what happened to the Amazonian travelers, and certainly worth checking out.
The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence Mckenna
For those who lived through what is sometimes called the Psychedelic Revolution, Terence McKenna is a legend. Once referred to as “the intellectual’s Timothy Leary.” Terence attained iconic status as a radical philosopher, futurist, cultural critic, and raconteur. His unorthodox ideas about the evolutionary and cultural impact of psychedelic drugs shocked many and resonated with many others. In 1971, we embarked on an expedition to the Amazon, bent on uncovering the real mystery behind psychedelic experience. Terrence died in 2000, never to learn if his predictions about the end of the world, in his particular sense, were true. As Terence’s younger brother and only sibling, I grew up with him in a small town in western Colorado during the fifties and sixties. Traveling together in the Colombian Amazon in 1971 with a few other kindred spirits we called our band “the Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.” As Terence’s brother, I helped him create and develop many of “his” ideas.
Terence became the spokesman for the alien dimensions accessed through psychedelics, a philosopher of the unspeakable, a beloved and sometimes reviled bard of the marvels and occasional terrors waiting in the recesses of human consciousness. By choice and inclination, I stayed in the background, pursuing a scientific career in disciplines that ranges from ethnopharmachology and ethnobotany to neuroscience. Since Terence’s death, we’ve witnessed the first decade of a new era that by all early indications will be as strange and disturbing, as full of hope and despair, as any period that humanity has yet endured. I’ve been drawn to look back at how our personal world began.
Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a powerful psychedelic compound naturally produced by the human brain and also found in many plants and animals. After a 40-year lull during which there was no government-approved psychedelic research being conducted, Rick Strassman conducted a series of biomedical assays on DMT during the early 1990’s at the University of New Mexico.
One of the things that may surprise you about this book is its impressive writing quality. Even though Strassman has a scientific background, he also has a remarkable ability to turn a phrase and keep his readers’ interest. Among other topics such as the history of psychedelics and Strassman’s career, the book primarily focuses on the experiences of the volunteers during their participation in the DMT studies. As a practicing Buddhist, Strassman does incorporate a bit of spirituality into the book. However, it doesn’t take the front seat, so there’s no need to avoid this one if you’re not into that. Overall, this is an insightful look at the first studies that helped spark the recent psychedelic renaissance.
Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers
World-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Christian Ratsch provides the latest scientific updates to this classic work on psychoactive flora by two eminent researchers. Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers is the definitive photographic encyclopedia of psychedelic plants, compiled by ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, the Swiss scientist and creator of LSD Albert Hofmann, and world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Christian Rätsch.
Three scientific titans join forces to completely revise the classic text on the ritual uses of psychoactive plants. They provide a fascinating testimony of these “plants of the gods,” tracing their uses throughout the world and their significance in shaping culture and history. In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful of those plants, which are known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness, have always been regarded as sacred. The authors detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid explanations of the biochemistry of these plants and the cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them. The text is lavishly illustrated with 400 rare photographs of plants, people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world’s sacred psychoactive flora.
Many people assume that experimentation with hallucinogens began with Timothy Leary and the psychedelic revolution of the fifties and sixties. In fact, as this illuminating study demonstrates, psychedelics have been used by human societies in every part of the world for ritual and spiritual purposes for millennia. As Paul Devereux points out, our modern culture is eccentric in its refusal to integrate the profound experiences offered by these natural substances into our own spiritual life and traditions. Modern Western culture’s recent experimentation with psychedelic drugs raised the awareness of archaeologists and anthropologists, leading them to recognize the use of hallucinogens in surviving traditional societies and in the archaeological record.
Devereux reveals dramatic new evidence – from linguistics, ethnobotany, biology, and other fields – for the psychedelic experiences of various prehistoric cultures, and ponders the implications and effects of psychedelic revelations on our contemporary worldview, linking them to out-of-body and near death experiencs, shamanic trances, even memory and dreaming.
Neal Goldsmith is a psychotherapist and counselor with a private practice in New York who takes a psychospiritual approach to personal development, healing, and change. This book explores his entertaining personal history with psychedelics and focuses on the potential for true healing to occur as a result of a psychedelic practice.
Banned after promising research in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, the use of psychedelics as therapeutic catalysts is now being rediscovered at prestigious medical schools, such as Harvard, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and UCLA. Through clinical trials to assess their use, entheogens have been found to ease anxiety in the dying, interrupt the hold of addictive drugs, cure post-traumatic stress disorder, and treat other deep-seated emotional disturbances. To date, results have been positive, and the idea of psychedelics as powerful psychiatric–and spiritual–medicines is now beginning to be accepted by the medical community.
Exploring the latest cutting-edge research on psychedelics, along with their use in indigenous cultures throughout history for rites of passage and shamanic rituals, Neal Goldsmith reveals that the curative effect of entheogens comes not from a chemical effect on the body but rather by triggering a peak or spiritual experience. He provides guidelines for working with entheogens, groundbreaking analyses of the concept–and the process–of change in psychotherapy, and, ultimately, his own story of psychedelic healing. Examining the tribal roots of this knowledge, Goldsmith shows that by combining ancient wisdom and modern research, we can unlock the emotional, mental, and spiritual healing powers of these unique and powerful tools, providing an integral medicine for postmodern society.
Experiential journalist Rak Razam sets out to document the thriving business of 21st-century hallucinogenic shamanism starting with a trip to the annual Amazonian Shaman Conference in Iquitos, Peru, where he meets a motley crew of “spiritual tourists,” rogue scientists, black magicians, and indigenous and Western healers and guides, all in town to partake of the ritual–and the medicine–of ayahuasca, “the vine of souls.” Combining his personal story with the history of Amazonian shamanism, Razam takes the reader along on an entertaining, enlightening adventure.
In areas of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, the traditional herbal brew known as ayahuasca or yajé is legally used to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit by connecting it to the web of life. Sting and Tori Amos have admitted sampling it in Latin America, as has Paul Simon, who chronicled the experience in his song “Spirit Voices.” Aya Awakenings works as a cautionary tale, a travelogue, and a memoir, but primarily acts as a portal through which readers are able to gain more information about the perils and the promise of spiritual reconnection through ayahuasca.
“A memorable–and deeply personal–journey into the hearts and minds of those who carry on the shamanic traditions of ayahuasca.”–Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Citadel Underground)
“It is a book for the living as well as for the dying.”—Lama Govinda
We are in the midst of a powerful psychedelic renaissance. After four decades of hibernation, the promise of the psychoactive ’60s—that deeper self-awareness, achieved through reality-bending substances and practices, will lead to greater external harmony—is again gaining a major following. The signs are everywhere, from the influence of today’s preeminent psychedelic thinker Daniel Pinchbeck, to the renewed interest in the legacy of Terence McKenna, and to the upsurge of collective, inclusive (and overtly tripped-out) cultural phenomena like the spectacle of Burning Man.
The Psychedelic Experience, created in the movement’s early years by the prophetic shaman-professors Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), is a foundational text that serves as a model and a guide for all subsequent mind-expanding inquiries. In this wholly unique book, the authors provide an interpretation of an ancient sacred manuscript, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, from a psychedelic perspective. The Psychedelic Experience describes their discoveries in broadening spiritual consciousness through a combination of Tibetan meditation techniques and psychotropic substances.
As sacred as the text it reflects, The Psychedelic Experience is a guidebook to the wilderness of mind and an indispensable resource from the founding fathers of psychedelia.
A fascinating, transformative look at the therapeutic powers of psychedelic drugs, particularly in the treatment of PTSD, and the past fifty years of scientific, political, and legal controversy they have ignited, by award-winning journalist Tom Shroder.
It’s no secret that psychedelic drugs have the ability to cast light on the miraculous reality hidden within our psyche. Following the discovery of LSD less than a hundred years ago, psychedelics began to play a crucial role in the quest to understand the link between mind and matter. Compounds such as LSD and MDMA have proved to be extraordinarily effective in treating disorders such as posttraumatic stress–yet the drugs remain illegal, out of reach of the millions of people who could benefit from them.
Tom Shroder’s Acid Test is a meticulously researched history of LSD and the controversy surrounding psychedelics, as well as a striking look at the unprecedented healing properties of drugs that have for decades been characterized as dangerous, illicit substances. Shroder covers the first heady years of experimentation in the 50s and 60s through the backlash of the 70s and 80s, when the drug subculture exploded and uncontrolled experimentation with street psychedelics led to a PR nightmare that would set therapeutic use back decades. Acid Test is a fascinating, transformative look at the therapeutic powers of psychedelic drugs, particularly in the treatment of PTSD, and the past fifty years of scientific, political, and legal controversy they have ignited.
A dazzling work of personal travelogue and cultural criticism that ranges from the primitive to the postmodern in a quest for the promise and meaning of the psychedelic experience.
While psychedelics of all sorts are demonized in America today, the visionary compounds found in plants are the spiritual sacraments of tribal cultures around the world. From the iboga of the Bwiti in Gabon, to the Mazatecs of Mexico, these plants are sacred because they awaken the mind to other levels of awareness–to a holographic vision of the universe.
Breaking Open the Head is a passionate, multilayered, and sometimes rashly personal inquiry into this deep division. On one level, Daniel Pinchbeck tells the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and these sacramental substances, including such thinkers as Allen Ginsberg, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, and Terence McKenna, and a new underground of present-day ethnobotanists, chemists, psychonauts, and philosophers. It is also a scrupulous recording of the author’s wide-ranging investigation with these outlaw compounds, including a thirty-hour tribal initiation in West Africa; an all-night encounter with the master shamans of the South American rain forest; and a report from a psychedelic utopia in the Black Rock Desert that is the Burning Man Festival.
Breaking Open the Head is brave participatory journalism at its best, a vivid account of psychic and intellectual experiences that opened doors in the wall of Western rationalism and completed Daniel Pinchbeck’s personal transformation from a jaded Manhattan journalist to shamanic initiate and grateful citizen of the cosmos.
This is the story of LSD told by a concerned yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces LSD’s path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition. We follow Dr. Hofmann’s trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD, and listen in as he corresponds with other notable figures about his remarkable discovery. Underlying it all is Dr. Hofmann’s powerful conclusion that mystical experience may be our planet’s best hope for survival. Whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, such experiences help us to comprehend;the wonder, the mystery of the divine in the microcosm of the atom, in the macrocosm of the spiral nebula, in the seeds of plants, in the body and soul of people. More than sixty years after the birth of Albert Hofmann’s problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever.
On April 16, 1943, another Basel chemist, Albert Hofmann, was working in his laboratory at Sandoz. His specialty was ergot, a fungus that grows on grains. Starting with lysergic acid, the ergot nucleus, Hofmann had synthesized several medically useful drugs that made Sandoz a great deal of money. On this fateful day, while working with the 25th substance in his series of lysergic acid derivatives (LSD-25), Hofmann began to feel odd. “I sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition,” he writes, and perceived an “uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.”
This is a compilation of articles and interviews written and conducted by several respected luminaries in both the Buddhist and psychedelic communities. The pieces explore the overlap between Buddhism and psychedelics, together conducting a dialogue concerning whether psychedelics have a place in sincere Buddhist practice, and vice-versa. Exploring topics such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, spiritually-influenced artwork, the potential of psychedelics in spiritual traditions, psychoactivism, and the use of cannabis in harm reduction, this book is an extremely well-written and edited exploration of psychedelics in the context of Buddhist practice.
I found “Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics“ to be one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I was born in 1966, the year that LSD was made illegal and all of the experiments at Harvard Divinity School and in the psychology department at Harvard went underground. One must take into account that the professors leading these experiments at Harvard – such as Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass), David McClelland, Frank Barron, Ralph Metzer – as well as many other people experimenting with these drugs such as Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts – were exceptionally bright, well-educated people who had the intention of exploring human consciousness. By the time I was a teenager in the 1980s, drugs were mostly used for recreational distractions.
This is a novel about a small band of friends who are part of a world wide psychedelic community loosely calling itself “the Tribe.” Like many other forward-thinking people today, they are struggling to make the transition from cubicle-working consumers into beings who are more truly human. The story that Lorenzo weaves is the tale of a young man caught between two worlds, the world of corporate America and that of people with a more psychedelic (soul manifesting) point of view. As things unfold, we experience his transformation from being a 29 year old “yuppie-geek” into a valuable member of the Tribe. The story begins in Palenque, Mexico and moves through Texas, Amsterdam, Viet Nam, and even on to Burning Man before reaching a surprising climax. Eventually, the hero of the story must choose between living in the corporate world or living free. At least, that is what he thinks until events sweep him along in an unforeseen direction.
In recent years, Lorenzo Hagerty has spent his time writing, podcasting, blogging, producing a lecture series, speaking at events, and being a grandfather. His professional career is as diverse as they come: attorney, consultant to Fortune 500 companies, electrical engineer, hot air balloon pilot, Internet/Java promoter, motivational speaker, movie stuntman, multimedia software developer, Naval officer, and technical writer. Hagerty was president of Success, Inc., which provided sales training and network marketing courses to other companies, and he founded Dynasty Computer Corporation, which sold home computers even before IBM did. Hagerty is perhaps best known as the congenial host of the Psychedelic Salon, a regular podcast series showcasing interviews, lectures, and assorted additional audio sources that feature some of the brightest, most creative individuals from the community of people interested in psychoactives. He is also the founder of the Palenque Norte lecture series at Burning Man.
Psychedelic Information Theory: Shamanism in the Age of Reason is a formal analysis of the physical mechanisms underlying hallucination, shamanic ritual, and expanded states of consciousness. Written by James L. Kent, this text was researched for over 20 years and includes over 200 references and 31 images related to the latest science in the diverse fields of pharmacology, shamanism, and perception. As a succinct yet comprehensive formal analysis of the dynamics of hallucination and shamanic ritual, Psychedelic Information Theory is destined to become the modern textbook on psychedelic phenomena.
The author, James Kent, demonstrates an insightful and holistic knowledge of the neuropsychological literature on how hallucinogenic substances modify neural circuits in the human brain. He has synthesized this knowledge with various anecdotal reports from folks who have first hand experiences with various hallucinogenic substances. The result is an extremely informative and logical presentation of how hallucinogenic substances alter our conscious experience.
Chapters include information on the physiology of perception, types of visual hallucination, psychedelic pharmacology, psychedelic neuroplasticity, chaos theory, shamanic therapy, shamanic sorcery, and group mind phenomena related to psychedelic consciousness.
In 1952 Aldous Huxley became involved in the now legendary experiment to clinically detail the physiological and psycho-logical effects of the little known drug used by Mexican and Native American elders in religious practices. The drug was Peyote-now commonly know as mescalin. By the standards of the time, Huxley was a hard working, respected, and reserved intellectual from a highly intelligent, well-know, and eccentric British family. By any standards, the results of the experiment were remarkable. The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell detail the practic-alities of the experiment and give Huxley’s vivid account of his im-mediate experience and the more prolonged effect upon his sub-sequent thinking and awareness. At first, the reader is drawn in by the sheer naivety and tom-foolery of the proposal but is soon caught in a finely woven net by the juxtaposition of Huxley’s formidable intellect, his remarkable ability to convey the experience in such acute and truthful detail, and his incredible modesty. In 1922 Gertrude Stein famously wrote – A rose is a rose is a rose. In proving her right, Huxley also shows the deeper meaning be-hind the apparently simple verse and goes on to deliver such spec-tacular accounts of the most everyday objects that the reason for their repeated and continual renderings by all the major artists throughout history suddenly becomes quite clear. For the con-scious and willing reader – a trip to the Guggenheim, the Louvre or the Tate Modern will never be the same again.
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
Terence McKenna hypothesizes that as the North African jungles receded, giving way to savannas and grasslands near the end of the most recent ice age, a branch of our arboreal primate ancestors left the forest canopy and began living in the open areas beyond. There they experimented with new varieties of foods as they adapted, physically and mentally, to the environment. Among the new foods found in this environment were psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing near dung of ungulate herds occupying the savannas and grasslands. Referencing the research of Roland L. Fisher, McKenna claims the enhancement of visual acuity was an effect of psilocybin at low doses and suggests this would confer adaptive advantage. He argues that the effects of slightly larger doses, including sexual arousal, and in larger doses, ecstatic hallucinations & glossolalia-gave selective evolutionary advantages to members of those tribes who partook of it. There were many changes caused by the introduction of this psychoactive to primate diets. He hypothesizes, for instance, that synesthesia (the blurring of sensory boundaries) caused by psilocybin led to the development of spoken language: the ability to form pictures in another person’s mind through the use of vocal sounds. About 12,000 years ago, further climate changes removed psilocybin-containing mushrooms from human diets. He argues that this event resulted in a new set of profound changes in our species as we reverted to the previous brutal primate social structures that had been modified and/or repressed by frequent consumption of psilocybin.
Internationally respected Peruvian shaman Don José Campos illuminates the practices and benefits of Ayahuasca with grace and gentleness and much respect and gratitude for the gifts Ayahuasca has bestowed on him throughout the 25 years he has been a practicing shaman. He takes the reader on a journey through his own difficulties in the discovery of other worlds, other dimensions, alien entities and plant teachers. Among other things, he discusses his difficulties in coping with some of the concepts taught to him by his plant teachers like the discovery that everything has consciousness. But if we accept this, our entire cosmology shifts for the greater benefit of mankind.
Along with Don José s transmission, we meet Pablo Amaringo. The world famous visionary painter talks about his art and his experiences as a shaman and the shocking reasons he stopped. Other voices include Julio Arce Hidalgo, biochemist and philosopher, and Don Solon, at 92 years old, the sole surviving Maestro of Don José. If one is interested in this most fascinating subject but is put off or frightened by the traveller s tales, this is the perfect book to introduce you to the profound experiences of Ayahuasca.
In the Upper Amazon, mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous peoples of the jungle. Some mestizos have migrated to Amazon towns and cities, such as Iquitos and Pucallpa; most remain in small villages. They have retained features of a folk Catholicism and traditional Hispanic medicine, and have incorporated much of the religious tradition of the Amazon, especially its healing, sorcery, shamanism, and the use of potent plant hallucinogens, including ayahuasca. The result is a uniquely eclectic shamanist culture that continues to fascinate outsiders with its brilliant visionary art. Ayahuasca shamanism is now part of global culture. Once the terrain of anthropologists, it is now the subject of novels and spiritual memoirs, while ayahuasca shamans perform their healing rituals in Ontario and Wisconsin.
Singing to the Plants sets forth just what this shamanism is about–what happens at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, how the apprentice shaman forms a spiritual relationship with the healing plant spirits, how sorcerers inflict the harm that the shaman heals, and the ways that plants are used in healing, love magic, and sorcery.
The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook provides a practical guide to ayahuasca use, aiding seekers in making right—and safe—decisions about where to go, who to drink with, and what to expect.
Ayahuasca, the Amazonian psychoactive plant brew, has become vastly popular. Once the sole purview of shamans and indigenous native people in the great Amazon rainforest, ayahuasca is now becoming well known—and widely used—around the globe. Today, foreigners from all over the world flock in ever-burgeoning numbers to the steamy Amazon, drinking bitter ayahuasca with shamans and curanderos in order to access its potent healing and spirit-enlivening effects. What began as a mere trickle of visitors in the 1980s has become a surging riptide of seekers.
Chris Kilham (Fox News’s “Medicine Hunter”) has worked closely with South American shamans for two decades and has sat in ayahuasca ceremonies with at least 20 different shamans. Through his “Ayahuasca Test Pilots” program, Kilham has brought numerous people to the Amazon to engage in ceremonies with maestro ayahuasceros. Clear, concise, straightforward, and well informed, The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook is an indispensable guide for anyone curious about this unusual plant medicine.
After completing his groundbreaking research chronicled in DMT: The Spirit Molecule, Rick Strassman was left with one fundamental question: What does it mean that DMT, a simple chemical naturally found in all of our bodies, instantaneously opens us to an interactive spirit world that feels more real than our own world?
When his decades of clinical psychiatric research and Buddhist practice were unable to provide answers to this question, Strassman began searching for a more resonant spiritual model. He found that the visions of the Hebrew prophets–such as Ezekiel, Moses, Adam, and Daniel–were strikingly similar to those of the volunteers in his DMT studies. Carefully examining the concept of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, he characterizes a “prophetic state of consciousness” and explains how it may share biological and metaphysical mechanisms with the DMT effect.
Examining medieval commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, Strassman reveals how Jewish metaphysics provides a top-down model for both the prophetic and DMT states, a model he calls “theoneurology.” Theoneurology bridges biology and spirituality by proposing that the Divine communicates with us using the brain, and DMT–whether naturally produced or ingested–is a critical factor in such visionary experience. This model provides a counterpoint to “neurotheology,” which proposes that altered brain function simply generates the impression of a Divine-human encounter.
A journey from Burning Man to the Akashic Field that suggest how 5-MeO-DMT triggers the human capacity for higher knowledge through direct contact with the zero-point field
The venom from Bufo alvarius, an unusual toad found in the Sonoran desert, contains 5-MeO-DMT, a potent natural chemical similar in effect to the more common entheogen DMT. The venom can be dried into a powder, which some researchers speculate was used ceremonially by Amerindian shamans. When smoked it prompts an instantaneous break with the physical world that causes out-of-body experiences completely removed from the conventional dimensions of reality.
In Tryptamine Palace, James Oroc shares his personal experiences with 5-MeODMT, which led to a complete transformation of his understanding of himself and of the very fabric of reality. Driven to comprehend the transformational properties of this substance, Oroc combined extensive studies of physics and philosophy with the epiphanies he gained from his time at Burning Man. He discovered that ingesting tryptamines unlocked a fundamental human capacity for higher knowledge through direct contact with the zero-point field of modern physics, known to the ancients as the Akashic Field. In the quantum world of nonlocal interactions, the line between the physical and the mental dissolves. 5-MeO-DMT, Oroc argues, can act as a means to awaken the remarkable capacities of the human soul as well as restore experiential mystical spirituality to Western civilization.
Seven Nights with Ayahuasca: A graphic account of heaven and hell, and the bizarre infinity in between
Secluded in the depths of the Peruvian Amazon, Nicholas Floyd plunges headfirst into the ancient shamanic ritual of ingesting Ayahuasca, a medicinal and extremely potent hallucinogenic brew that thrusts him into a profound introspective journey of unbridled euphoria, unbearable anguish, unsettling imagery, and unexpected epiphanies. Brutal and heart-wrenching visions force him to confront himself for the first time in his life, and he emerges from the emotional crucible as a man reformed in ways that he never predicted.
Seven Nights with Ayahuasca is the graphic firsthand narrative of one man’s life-changing Ayahuasca visions, written in precise language devoid of the vague analogies and cryptic spiritual lingo that often saturate such accounts of Ayahuasca. In this gripping and phantasmagorical expedition of the mind — easily accessible regardless of one’s experience with hallucinogens — Floyd vividly details both the Ayahuasca intoxication itself, as well as the incredible therapeutic potential thereof.
Writings that sparkle with the psychedelic revolution. The Politics of Ecstasy is Timothy Leary’s most provocative and influential exploration of human consciousness, written during the period from his Harvard days to the Summer of Love. Includes his early pronouncements on the psychedelic movement and his views on social and political ramifications of psychedelic and mystical experience.
Here is the outspoken Playboy interview revealing the sexual power of LSD-a statement that many believe played a key role in provoking Leary’s incarceration by the authorities; an early outline of the neurological theory that became Leary’s classic eight-circuit model of the human nervous system; an insightful exploration of the life and work of novelist Hermann Hesse; an effervescent dialogue with humorist Paul Krassner; and an impassioned defense of what Leary called “The Fifth Freedom”-the right to get high.
What’s so great about this book? The insanely optimistic and original ideas, of course. The central idea running through the entire book, and much of Leary’s life, is that YOU are responsible for your own neurochemistry, and hence states of consciousness. You have (or rather, ought to have, as no government in the world actually dares to follow such sane policies) the right to alter your own consciousness in any way you see fit, provided you don’t harm or try to enforce an alteration of consciousness upon another.
For a start, Kesey’s own life with the Merry Pranksters is perhaps the consummate example of a phenomenon that, in 1968, baffled the national imagination: the transformation of the “promising middle-class youth with all the advantages” into what was popularly known as “the hippie.” Kesey was more than promising. He was a Golden Boy of the West-a scholar, actor, star athlete, and one of the outstanding novelists of his generation-when he burst forth as an experimenter with powerful new hallucinogenic drugs, leader of the Merry Pranksters, and, finally, fugitive from the FBI, the California police, and the Mexican Federales.
Tom Wolfe, a journalist already widely known for his exuberant portraiture of the American Bizarre, plunged into the psychedelic world of the Pranksters and emerged with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a now-classic portrait of the coterie which gave the hippie world of the 1960s much of its philosophy and vocabulary. He recounts their romp across America in the first psychedelic bus, their alliance with the Hell’s Angels, their Be-elzebubbling takeover of a Unitarian Church convention, their conversion of the biggest anti-Vietnam rally of all time into a freak-out, their zany games of hide-and-seek from the law in two countries-all with a depth of exploration and a stylistic inventiveness which make The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test one of the most memorable journalistic odysseys of our time.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss