2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excitingly Fresh and original,
This review is from: The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning (Paperback)First off, I will say I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any who are interested in alternative, yet feasible concepts of existence and the reality process.
Powell's general premise is that we can all, by injesting psilocybe mushrooms, connect with an intelligence that is inherent in nature and has a purpose. This natural intelligence is NOT Intelligent design nor supernatural, far from it; it is part of a nested hierarchy of informational based systems including consciousness, the biosphere and the universe as a whole.
In tackling seemingly whacky and eccentric ideas Powell weaves his way through several difficult and unusual concepts and philosophies but seems to have been able to formulate an interesting and possible ontological conceptual framework within which further explorations could be launched. His synthesis of ideas is convincing in parts although he occasionally goes off on several digressions within digressions which can be a little confusing at times.
Powell also covers mushroom and psychedelic history well to give plenty of background, covering Wasson and Leary's first forays with the mushroom. In another review on this site the reviewer wrongly implies that 'shroomers' generally go overboard thinking they know the secret of the universe; Powell does his best to write clearly and never gets messianic about any of his ideas which one can only assume were 'inspired' by his past psilocybin experiences rather than verbatim translations of them. Most of the book deals with varying academic disciplines that lay a foundation of his more 'radical' musings. But this leads to an aspect of the book another reviewer brought up; the psilocybin experience isn't that much discussed throughout. Having said that the point of the book appears to be more about what the psilocybin experience can connect one with rather than about the actual experience itself, and this Powell certainly explores.
In conclusion I think this is a well written book exploring interesting ideas. You do not have to be a 'shroomhead' to appreciate what Powell is getting at and I don't think you'd feel disappointed if it wasn't exactly what you expected but what he is getting at could be nothing short of a possible truth.