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Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys [Paperback]

James Fadiman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 May 2011
Psychedelics for spiritual, therapeutic, and problem-solving use presents practices for safe and successful psychedelic voyages, including the benefits of having a guide and how to be a guide reviews the value of psychedelics for healing and self-discovery as well as how LsD has facilitated scientific and technical problem-solving reveals how ultra-low doses improve cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina 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 out- lines 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 psycho- therapeutic 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 every- one, he dispels the myths and misperceptions about psychedelics circulating in text- books 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 Bill Gates, Fadiman shows how psychedelics, used wisely, can lead not only to healing but also to scientific breakthroughs and spiritual epiphanies.

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Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys + The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774027
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Truly destined to be a classic. Don't leave everyday reality without it."

About the Author

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.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of psychedelics 1 Aug 2011
By Bodhi Heeren TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brilliant and thoughtful book by one of the leading proponents of safe and responsible use of psychedelics, primarily LSD.

Although he acknowledges the spiritual power of entheogenic substances the main focus of the book is how to use these substances to enhance creativity. Based on his own research - together with Willis Harman - in the 60s. As well as eye witness accounts from recent times. Also touching on the (controversial) subject of regular use of low dose LSD in every day (work) life.

The book has many scopes. accounts of the mind and career changing events for the early pioneers like Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Huston Smith and Stan Grof. Interviews with James Fadiman himself taken from Higher Wisdom (SUNY Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology)and Time it Was: American Stories from the Sixties.

Although Fadiman clearly defines himself as a law abiding citizen this book DO contain some well thought out and reasonable criteria for a succesful session. Especially focusing on the need of an experienced guide (who does NOT- unlike in the Leary experiments - take the substance her self). Personally I think there can be arguments for self experimentation with out outside helpers - as described in Acid Diaries: A Psychonauts Guide to the History and Use of LSD. As even the most emphatetic guide might influence and subtly shape the experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good and serious 11 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book starts out by stating the information is only about serious therapeutic and spiritual experiences - not for tripping for the fun of it. It stays quite scientific and covers many subjects related to psychedelics. Many co-writers offer their opinions through out the book making it diverse. If you want to know how the psycedelics might be used for specific and targeted experiences in both therapy, self exploration and problem solving, this book is very informing.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and practical insights into the psychedelic experience 31 May 2011
By Tony Levelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I first learned about this book when I was asked to read a pre-release version and help with some minor editing and formatting that the publisher asked for. It was not, frankly, a book I would have normally read otherwise.

After the first reading, I remember putting the manuscript down and thinking, "This is an important book, and it has to be out there."

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide shows the surprising ways people are using psychedelics in healing, psychotherapy, and spiritual quests. One chapter describes the emerging trend of micro-dose usage: where people use tiny doses of psychedelics to improve their functioning at home, work and play.

I also remember how impressed I was to read about the early research using LSD to treat alcoholics who had failed all other treatments. The results were highly effective, even in these formerly hopeless cases.

Jim Fadiman is a gentle, intelligent and engaging storyteller, and this book reflects his personality. I recommend it to you highly.
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly destined to be a classic. Don't leave everyday reality without it 23 May 2011
By Chris Mays - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With the publication of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, James Fadiman has inaugurated a new era of spiritual and practical exploration of inner space. Mind you, he didn't invent or even rediscover the spiritual use of entheogens, nor the psychotherapeutic exploration of psychoactive plants and chemicals, but this guidebook represents a bold re-emergence of an ancient healing practice.

Fadiman, a co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and author most recently of an undergraduate psychology textbook and The Other Side of Haight: A Novel, is a champion of psychedelic guiding. He's been around since the giddy big bang of psychedelic culture, and now, gladly, and with hope, turns the keys to guided journeys over to the grandchildren of that distant revolution. There's plenty by and about him on the web, if you're curious.

Fadiman gets right to the guided session instruction without disclaimers and apologies--a courteous gesture considering we've waited for more than a generation already. The guidebook is replete with suggestions for both guide and voyager regarding everything from music, food and lighting to finer aesthetic points. The six aspects of the well-conceived voyage are set and setting (which you knew), but also: substance, sitter, session, and situation. The six stages of a voyaging session are all simple and easily spelled out, as well, but this is rather like saying most of the paintings in the Louvre are made with canvas, brushes and paint: within Fadiman's simple protocol exists a universe of possibilities.

Not all these possibilities are happy ones, naturally, so there is plenty of material on what can go wrong, and how to recover. Some chapters, contributed in part by other writers, speak to the experiences of pioneering elders and suggest how voyaging can address healing, creativity, problem solving and everyday life. Other chapters bring history, science and future directions for research and experimentation into context.

No single volume could hope to address all the issues, and especially the practical concerns, of the myriad combinatorial nodes of the Six S's, so The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide wisely points out to the Web for other resources, and to a dedicated wiki, to which you, too, may contribute.

As noted, this topic has been around for a while; the World Health Organization published Ataractic and Hallucinogenic Drugs in Psychiatry in 1958! The 60s saw several widely read personal narratives of voyaging, a handful of guidebooks, quite a bit of science, and a larger number of rants, both pro and con, religious and secular, erudite and fulminating. The intervening decades brought hundreds of books about hallucinogens, cannabis and other drugs in religious, cultural, medical and literary contexts, but relatively few had practical advice or spiritual use in mind, although you could read between the lines, and many did.

The "How I Tripped Good" genre is alive and well--scarce copies of such books by folks who tripped to death fetch handsome prices--as is the perennially larger "How I F*d Up Getting F*d Up" school, which are quickly remaindered. But, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide belongs to an altogether higher order of endeavor, puns happily winked at. Truly destined to be a classic. Don't leave everyday reality without it.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant guide book 1 Aug 2011
By Bodhi Heeren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A brilliant and thoughtful book by one of the leading proponents of safe and responsible use of psychedelics, primarily LSD.

Although he acknowledges the spiritual power of entheogenic substances the main focus of the book is how to use these substances to enhance creativity. Based on his own research - together with Willis Harman - in the 60s. As well as eye witness accounts from recent times. Also touching on the (controversial) subject of regular use of low dose LSD in every day (work) life.

The book has many scopes. accounts of the mind and career changing events for the early pioneers like Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Huston Smith and Stan Grof. Interviews with James Fadiman himself taken from Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics (Suny Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology.)and Time It Was: American Stories from the Sixties

Although Fadiman clearly defines himself as a law abiding citizen this book DO contain some well thought out and reasonable criteria for a succesful session. Especially focusing on the need of an experienced guide (who does NOT- unlike in the Leary experiments - take the substance her self). Personally I think there can be arguments for self experimentation with out outside helpers - as described in The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut's Guide to the History and Use of LSD. As even the most emphatetic guide might influence and subtly shape the experience.

Unlike the embarrasing Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development this book is clearly written by an experienced psychonaut with a broad and spiritual vision. Personally I think of these substances as sacraments and that using them for any mundane purpose is like the executives meditating before a business meeeting - if they really knew what they were doing, if they really went into it they may (to quote Jerry Garcia) rather feel like going outside chasing butterflies than attending the planned meeting. But no doubt Fadiman's case stories are weighty arguments for the (obvious)fact of the creativity enhancing potential of LSD.

Essential read for everyone into qualified discussion of the benefits of these substances for the growth of humanity in all aspects of Life.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally some truth about LSD 28 Oct 2011
By Linda J. Mcdonell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I bought this book both in hard cover for my husband and on Kindle for a friend as a result of listening to a Fadaman interview on the radio. Fadaman is articulate, intelligent, and not at all the wacked out acid head idiot that I had believed all users of LSD are from the propaganda. I knew he was a reliable source of information because of his affiliation with the Institute of Noetic Science. My husband and I were both blown away by the amount of serious research that had been so promising before the government made LSD a Schedule I substance. I highly recommend that everyone read this book so they can hold informed opinions about this very strange and much maligned substance. And, no, I have never used any of these exotic drugs. I only want to know the truth about them and I believe I heard the truth from Fadaman.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Very Best Book That Exists on the Subject! 13 Oct 2011
By David J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been waiting years for someone with the proper qualifications to come along and write this book. Hands down, this is the very best guide book that exists on how to prepare for a safe and therapeutic psychedelic journey, with positive psychological transformation as one's goal. It is the most important book written on the subject since The Psychedelic Experience--Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and Ralph Metzner's classic adaptation of the The Tibetan Book of the Dead, which was published in 1964. Before psychologist James Fadiman's book, this was a subject that desperately needed attention by someone who really understands what psychedelic drugs can do to the human mind. Drawing from his own personal experience as a psychedelic researcher, Fadiman presents the fascinating results from his clinical studies into how psychedelics can enhance creativity and improve problem-solving abilities, in the context of a clearly-explained guide book. The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide can be used as a training manual and reference by professionals in the blossoming field of psychedelic psychotherapy, as well as by outlaw shamans who defy government regulations to engage in illegal forms of self-exploration. Anyone interested in the subject for educational purposes will find this book hard to put down. This comprehensive volume is simply bursting at the seams with rare, valuable, and well-organized information about how to get the most from a psychedelic journey. Invaluable at dispelling the many myths and misconceptions that are associated with this controversial subject, this extraordinary volume provides essential guidelines on how to run a psychedelic session, and presents little-known techniques for using sub-perceptual doses to improve mental functioning, along with new information from surveys, clinical studies, group sessions, and personal anecdotes. Very highly recommended; absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.
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