I have been researching, writing, and speaking on psychedelics for almost a decade now.
There are a few books that stand out for me as the ones that landed with a profound impact on my relationship to psychedelics, and my life in general.
In this video, I explore the top 5 of those books and outline some of the main concepts presented in each one and why they were influential for me.
[added Jan 29, 2018: This is a personal list and should not be considered an ‘essential’ list. Also, the video explains each selection in details with caveats to the selection itself. The list of books on its own, without watching the video, is out of context.
Also, this post was originally called “Top 5 Books On The Psychedelic Experience” but was changed, in response to a reasonable critique offered on my facebook page, to better reflect the contents of the post.]
Featured Books (in order of appearance)
Neal Goldsmith, PhD.
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… [learn more]
Stanislav Grof, MD.
Stanislav Grof’s first 17 years of research into non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by LSD and other psychedelics led to a revolutionary understanding of the human psyche. His research was the impetus behind a vastly expanded cartography of the unconscious, including two new realms still unacknowledged by official academic circles–the perinatal domain, which holds memories of the various stages of birth, and the transpersonal domain, which mediates experiential identification with other species and mythic figures, visits to archetypal realms, access to past life memories, and union with the cosmic creative principle… [learn more]
Stephen Harrod Buhner
All ancient and indigenous peoples insisted their knowledge of plant medicines came from the plants themselves and not through trial-and-error experimentation. Less well known is that many Western peoples made this same assertion. There are, in fact, two modes of cognition available to all human beings–the brain-based linear and the heart-based holistic. The heart-centered mode of perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities if, as indigenous and ancient peoples asserted, the heart’s ability as an organ of perception is developed. [learn more]
Martin W. Ball, PhD.
Being Human is the extraordinary new book that articulates a grand unified vision of reality through the Entheological Paradigm. Skillfully avoiding all speculation and metaphysics, Martin W. Ball, Ph.D., presents a concise explanation for the fundamental nature of reality as the fractal expression of a Unitary Energy Being (God)… [learn more]
True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise
This mesmerizing, surreal account of the bizarre adventures of Terence McKenna, his brother Dennis, and a small band of their friends, is a wild ride of exotic experience and scientific inquiry. Exploring the Amazon Basin in search of mythical shamanic hallucinogens, they encounter a host of unusual characters — including a mushroom, a flying saucer, pirate Mantids from outer space, an appearance by James and Nora Joyce in the guise of poultry, and translinguistic matter — and discover the missing link in the development of human consciousness and language… [learn more]
And if you happen to be interested in my book…
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*** Featured image contains an image of “The Book Of Life”, an art sculpture by David Kracov.