Psychedelics have been a subject of fascination for people for many years. The term “psychedelic” was first coined by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in 1957. Since then, a lot of research has been done on these mind-altering substances. They have been shown to have the potential to treat a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. They have also been used for spiritual and recreational purposes. With the growing interest in psychedelics, there has been a surge in the number of books on this topic. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best books about psychedelics.
1. “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan
This book by Michael Pollan is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and well-researched books on psychedelics. It delves into the history of these substances, their effects on the brain, and their potential for treating mental health issues. Pollan also shares his personal experiences with psychedelics and interviews researchers, therapists, and patients to provide a balanced and informative perspective on the topic.
2. “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide” by James Fadiman
This book by James Fadiman is a great resource for people who are interested in using psychedelics for spiritual or therapeutic purposes. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for a psychedelic experience, what to expect during the experience, and how to integrate the experience into your everyday life. Fadiman also includes a variety of personal stories from people who have used psychedelics to overcome addiction, depression, and anxiety.
3. “LSD: My Problem Child” by Albert Hofmann
Albert Hofmann was the Swiss chemist who first synthesized LSD in 1938. In this book, he recounts his discovery of the substance and his personal experiences with it. He also discusses the impact that LSD had on society in the 1960s and 1970s and the subsequent backlash against it. This book is a fascinating look at the history of LSD and its impact on the world.
4. “The Doors of Perception” by Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley was an English writer and philosopher who experimented with mescaline, a naturally occurring psychedelic, in the 1950s. “The Doors of Perception” is his account of that experience. In the book, he describes the effects of the substance on his perceptions and consciousness. He also discusses the potential of psychedelics to bring about a spiritual awakening and transform society.
5. “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” by Rick Strassman
DMT (dimethyltryptamine) is a powerful psychedelic that is found in many plants and animals, including humans. In this book, Rick Strassman, a medical doctor and researcher, shares his experiences with DMT and his belief that it may be the “spirit molecule” that is responsible for mystical experiences and spiritual awakenings. He also discusses the challenges of studying DMT and the potential of the substance for therapeutic purposes.
6. “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe
This book by Tom Wolfe is a non-fiction account of the adventures of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, a group of people who used LSD in the 1960s as part of their quest for spiritual and social enlightenment. The book provides a colourful and sometimes humorous account of
their journey and the impact they had on American culture. While not strictly a book about psychedelics, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” is a fascinating look at the role that LSD played in the counterculture of the 1960s.
7. “The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook” by Chris Kilham
Ayahuasca is a powerful psychedelic plant medicine that has been used for centuries in South America. In this book, Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist and psychedelic researcher, provides a guide for people who are interested in experiencing ayahuasca. He discusses the history of the substance, its effects on the body and mind, and what to expect during an ayahuasca ceremony. He also provides advice on how to prepare for the experience and how to integrate it into your life.
8. “Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences” by William A. Richards
This book by William A. Richards is a scholarly look at the relationship between psychedelics and religious experiences. Richards, who is a psychologist and researcher, discusses the use of psychedelics in religious and spiritual traditions throughout history. He also shares his own research on the use of psilocybin, a psychedelic found in certain mushrooms, to induce mystical experiences in people. The book provides a fascinating look at the intersection of psychedelics and spirituality.
9. “The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity” by Jerry B. Brown and Julie M. Brown
In this book, Jerry B. Brown and Julie M. Brown explore the use of psychedelics in early Christian art and rituals. They argue that many of the symbols and stories in the Bible have psychedelic origins and that early Christians used these substances to induce mystical experiences. The book provides a unique and controversial perspective on the history of Christianity and the role that psychedelics may have played in its development.
10. “The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America” by Don Lattin
This book by Don Lattin tells the story of the “Harvard Psychedelic Club,” a group of researchers and philosophers who were interested in exploring the potential of psychedelics in the 1960s. The book focuses on the lives of Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil and their contributions to the psychedelic movement. It provides a detailed look at the cultural and political context in which the movement emerged and the impact that it had on American society.
In conclusion, these books provide a wide range of perspectives on the subject of psychedelics. Whether you are interested in their potential therapeutic benefits, their role in spirituality and religion, or their impact on society, there is something here for everyone. These books are well-researched, and informative, and provide a nuanced and balanced view of the subject. We hope that this list has been helpful in your quest to learn more about psychedelics.