The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-05-18
  • Publisher: Park Street Pr
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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) 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 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.

Author Biography

James Fadiman, Ph.D., did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Stanford, doing research with the Harvard Group, the West Coast Research Group in Menlo Park, and Ken Kesey. A former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a professor of psychology, he teaches at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, which he helped found in 1975. An international conference presenter, workshop leader, management consultant, and author of several books and textbooks, he lives in Menlo Park, California, with his filmmaker wife, Dorothy.

Table of Contents


Overview--Why This Book?

And Frequently Asked Questions

A Vision of a Whole Earth

Stewart Brand

Part One
Transcendent Experience: Entheogenic Sessions

Introduction to Part One

1 Meeting the Divine Within
Part One: Guidelines for Voyagers and Guides
The Guild of Guides

2 The Entheogenic Voyage
Part Two: Guidelines for Voyagers and Guides
The Guild of Guides

3 Qualities of Transcendent Experience
Four Dominant Characteristics
Alan Watts

4 Experiences of Psychedelic Pioneers
In Their Own Words
Albert Hofmann, Ph.D., Aldous Huxley, Stanislav Grof, M.D., Timothy Leary, Ph.D., Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Ph.D., Alexander Shulgin, Ph.D., Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., Huston Smith, Ph.D., Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Ph.D., Charles Tart, Ph.D., Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., Bill Wilson, and Peter Coyote

Part Two
Personal Growth and Self-Exploration in Psychedelic Sessions

Introduction to Part Two

5 Therapeutic Uses of Psychedelics
Psychotherapy and Healing

6 Things Can Go Wrong
What You Need to Know
Neal Goldsmith, Ph.D.

7 Myths and Misperceptions
David Presti, Ph.D., and Jerome Beck, Ph.D.

8 Therapeutic Effectiveness of Single Guided Sessions

Part Three
Enhanced Problem Solving in Focused Sessions

Introduction to Part Three

9 Breakthrough Research
Selective Enhancement of Creative Capacities
Willis Harman, Ph.D., and James Fadiman, Ph.D.

10 Facilitation for Enhanced Problem Solving

11 Case Studies
Two Architects and Six Professionals

12 Group Problem-Solving Sessions
Willis Harman, Ph.D.

13 The Look Magazine Experiment

Designing the California Issue
George Leonard

14 Closing the Doors of Perception
The Day the Research Ended

Part Four
New Horizons

Introduction to Part Four

15 Can Sub-Perceptual Doses of Psychedelics Improve Normal Functioning?

16 Surveys of Current Users
This Is Your Brain on Drugs

17 The Inadvertent Pioneer

My Personal Account

18 Positive Possibilities for Psychedelics

A Time of Tentative Celebration

Part Five
The Necessary, the Extraordinary, and Some Hard-Core Data

Introduction to Part Five

19 Entheogenic Journeys
A Checklist for Voyagers and Guides

20 Beyond LSD--Way Beyond
Ayahuasca Sessions and a Darkness Retreat
Michael Wiese, “Anatole,” and Lindsey Vona

21 Behavioral Changes After Psychedelic Therapy
Lasting Results of High-Dose Single Sessions

22 A Questionnaire Study of Psychedelic Experiences

Willis Harman, Ph.D., and James Fadiman, Ph.D.

Last Words



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