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The New Science of Psychedelics: At the Nexus of Culture, Consciousness, and Spirituality Paperback – 5 May 2013

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; 1 edition (5 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774927
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774928
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 524,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


“This is a simply splendid book! David Brown is a leading-edge activist, explorer, and philosopher who has blended an astounding number of personal experiences as well as commentaries from amazing people into a narrative that goes well beyond other books about psychedelics. He reevaluates not only the well-known areas of healing, psychotherapy, creativity, and spirituality but also extends his wise deliberations and deep explorations into areas that most of us still shy away from--freely discussing alien encounters, psychedelic sex, mixing and matching various substances, parapsychology, consciousness after death, and more--drawing on his own extensive voyages and exploration for telling examples. He is unafraid to explore the dark sides of his own personality as well as his joys as needed to illuminate challenging aspects of the multifaceted psychedelic universe.” (James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide)

“If your taste is for paradigm busting, you’ll find lots of food for thought in The New Science of Psychedelics. On the menu are parapsychology, unexplained phenomena, strange powers, scientific mysteries, confounding conventional science, odd animal behavior, morphic fields, the Gaia hypothesis, alien beings, entities, forbidden knowledge, kundalini, survival after death, and more.” (Thomas B. Roberts, author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind)

“Dave’s particular mixture of youthful curiosity, honest skepticism, and appetite for adventure remind me of Tom Sawyer. Reading this book is like riding a raft with Tom down the psychedelic Mississippi. You meet anew all the famous natives who live along its shores--Tim Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, John Lilly, and many others. This book captures both the peculiar terrors and the deep delights these mind-altering substances can induce. A nononsense personal exploration of a controversial area of scientific research recounted in a light and engaging manner.” (Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics)

“If you have yet to experiment with your consciousness by taking ‘drugs’ this is a very helpful read and more cerebral psychedelic enthusiasts will find this a very pleasant sharing. Readers can easily tell that David has talked to the latest and greatest of psychonauts and researchers. ” (Capt Hugh T Alkemi, Entheoradio, June 2013)

“New age collections will find this an inspiring survey of what psychedelics can teach us about the world and systems beyond our world.” (Midwest Book Review, July 2013)

“David Jay Brown’s book is a persuasive and necessary argument as we collectively move toward the mainstreaming of psychedelics and face the unique survival challenges of the twenty-first century. This is an outstanding book to read and share widely.” (Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS))

The New Science of Psychedelics is a knockout! David Jay Brown tackles the touchy topic of ‘sex on drugs’ with the wisdom of hands-on experience, an expanded mind, and the ability to get into deep places. This book reads like an honest, intimate love letter!” (Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., sex worker turned EcoSexologist and coauthor of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for)

“A provocative journey into the realms of psychedelics, consciousness, creativity, science, and culture. Buy this book and feed your brain!” (Clifford Pickover, author of The Math Book and Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves)

“David Jay Brown writes it all up in a sure hand with a flare appropriate to the subject matter so that the reader is as much entertained as informed.” (R.U. Sirius, author of Everybody Must Get Stoned)

About the Author

David Jay Brown holds a master’s degree in psychobiology from New York University. A former neuroscience researcher at the University of Southern California, he has written for Wired, Discover, and Scientific American, and his news stories have appeared on The Huffington Post and CBS News. A frequent guest editor of the MAPS Bulletin, he is the author of several books including Mavericks of the Mind and Conversations on the Edge of the Apocalypse. He lives in Ben Lomond, California.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Convoluted, meandering mess of a book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a great book for anyone who want's to learn more about psychedelica, and how it affects humans and evolution.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8dd5c63c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By Erik - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have to argue that Brown's book is a self-aggrandizing account of his experience with the psychedelic heads-of-state in the past generation. Having read Strassman's work, McKenna and Pinchbeck; this book does not provide any new information, or relationship to how we can utilize psychedlics in the next generation.
Brown writes in the 1st person, tells stories of his experiences (with plenty of side-bar comments like this one that do not relate to the content) and refers CONSTANTLY to other books he has written. It becomes distracting within the first 10 pages. At first it is curious, then it becomes ANNOYING. Every 2nd or 3rd page, he will reference one of his science fiction stories.
He has a clever smile, an envious connection with magnitudes of psychedelic researchers and leaders, but this book flops as a result of his writing and self-referential material. It could've been a dense account of his 'research' (and I use the term loosely, as a lot of it is his story-telling). The writing simply does not do the title justice.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8dcf4ce4) out of 5 stars A Psychedelic Road Map with Past, Present and Futures all laid out. 17 Jun. 2013
By Trevahr Hughes-EntheoRadio - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Jay Brown is a very experienced and easy to read author. His author's voice is very developed and seasoned. His writing over the years has become a presentation of flavorful and creative keynote stories that envelope the reader in both David's experiences and their personal potential. This book showcases the "high" notes of our culture and offers so much hope and potential towards research into psychedelics for encouraging psychological understanding of the mind and mental illness. The way that David speaks about many places these substances take us is as an experienced storyteller.

If you have yet to experiment with your consciousness by taking "drugs" this is a very helpful read and more cerebral psychedelic enthusiasts will find this a very pleasant sharing. Readers can easily tell that David has talked to the latest and greatest of psychonauts and researchers. -Capt Hugh T ALKemi, EntheoRadio
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e4274f8) out of 5 stars Excellent Explanation of Psychedelic Experiences 15 Jun. 2013
By Zana Moonflower, EntheoRadio - Published on
Format: Paperback
David Jay Brown shares in this book his experience with several types of psychedelics so a reader can find out what it's like to experience such things and gain knowledge before delving into this world, unknowing the realms they are about to enter. He discusses the effects of and benefits of several substances from personal perspective. A lot of valuable information is found in this book in an easy-to-read format that both beginners as well as well-seasoned psychonauts can appreciate!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d8aed68) out of 5 stars Made me enlightened and confused at the same time 24 Nov. 2014
By Bear Bones Jackson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book about a year ago on my kindle fire so I have to think hard, but one of the things that I had a hard time understanding was Tantric Sex Lights. First off were they having tantric sex in the bath!? Were they being spied on by intelligent lights? Of unknown origin? Or were the lights caused by tectonic activity like D.J.Brown posits in an explanation? As Einstein says, keep it simple. I did enjoy his examples on how to use pot. Peanut butter on a cracker sprinkled with granular weed and heated in the oven sounds fabulous and simple. I wish I had this book 30 years ago when I had a camera case full of the granular stuff. Good reading!
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e0f2ef4) out of 5 stars try this dialogue! 21 Aug. 2013
By a badly positioned hole near centre of the chariot wheel - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was once chatting with a girl and a lad about random things and we got onto the subject of wacky paranormal ideas. The lad, a media studies grad, was interested in the theory that aliens built the Egyptian Pyramids and he had exciting ideas about human DNA being part alien and part chimp.

The girl, a blonde beauty with an interested in poltergeists, was convinced that she could see ghosts. She even had a pseudo-scientific theory about electricity waves interacting with the brain.

The talk was friendly enough, and somewhat amusing. I reasoned with them that ghosts could very well be real, and I liked the girls scientific musings; I reckon we've made progress when people use science instead of religion to explain ghosts, and DNA is indeed a mysterious property of the cosmos. So the talk was friendly, and it is nice to let ones hair down once in a while and relax and talk about crazy things. So the conversation was harmless; until I mentioned a my own wacky fact.

I got onto the subject of neurotransmitters and brain tissue. I said that I once read that bananas are rich in the human neurotransmitter, serotonin, and that this was an example of human neurotransmitters that are not found in human brain tissue. The lad and the girl agreed that banana's are very funny.

The lad said, "just what is a human neurotransmitter doing inside a banana"? He went on, "the aliens, the ones who impregnated the chimp species with their alien DNA, left serotonin inside the banana for a joke"!

I said, "this can only mean one thing, the aliens are not space-rapists, on the contrary, aliens have a great sense of humour"!

The lad and the girl both laughed.

I said, "here is another weird thing, I read somewhere that there's an edible mushroom that contains a pseudo human-neurotransmitter".

I carried on, "we all know that neurotransmitters produce consciousness inside the brain. Well a pseudo-neurotransmitter is a chemical that produces consciousness but doesn't live inside a brain! Imagine a light-bulb that shines brightly even though it isn't connected to a power source, well this is what is inside the mushroom, a consciousness without a brain".

The lad said, 'the aliens did this so that humans will stumble upon their prank, and what a prank on the unsuspecting humans"!

"It gets stranger", I said, "a philosopher, one Terence McKenna, was convinced that if you eat the mushroom, you will get launched into an alien dimension; a world of sexual devils, machine elves and singing avatars; McKenna saw these dimensions. These dimensions are always here, the chemical is the doorway. The pseudo-neurotransmitter latches onto your brain and effects you like alien goggles, making you see with alien eyes"!

I imagined how crazy this sounded, but concluded that this isn't as crazy as what the string theorists are talking about. This alien dimension is not squiggles on a black board: it is a real place.

I went on, "is this what the aliens intended"?

I asked then both, "have you watched the film 2001: A Space Odyssey"? They hadn't.

I said, "in the film, aliens put a giant stone obelisk amongst a troop of chimps, and the alien structure helped the chimps to evolve. Maybe the mushroom is a chemical obelisk, like in the film, but for talking apes like you and me".

The girl was not impressed (she was still sore from an erotic spanking) but the lad was happy to be thought of as a talking ape.

The lad said, "that would be a great science fiction story". The girl agreed. Alas, I thought, they had not clicked onto what I was hinting.

I carried on the thought, "imagine if, when we are a bit more advanced, we place high-definition, holographic, Google-goggles on an island populated by a stone-age tribe. Let's hide the Google-goggles under tall grass. A primitive tribe guy picks up the googles, wears them; and sees impossible things. Or imagine if we travelled to ancient Rome and we gave Galen a 3D textbook on anatomy"?

They both looked interested in what I said, so I carried on, "Arthur C Clark says somewhere that a super advanced technology will look like magic to you and me. Is this what is inside the mushroom? A super technology, a technology in the mushroom that looks like magic to you and I? Is this the reason why they call them 'magic mushrooms'? Is this why, when we eat these mushrooms, we snap out of our hypnotic trance and access the the unspeakable, the Ding An Sich of Immanuel Kant"?

The girl said "do you mean DRUGS" and horror descended over her face and the lad went silent and turned away. Before I could answer, the girl said "I don't do drugs" and even though I was talking about Immanuel Kant and time travel and not her, she thought that I was suggesting that she inject heroin under a wet bridge down town and so I knew I had killed the conversation forever.

A spectre had entered the room. The mood between us went cold. Emmanuel Goldstein was near. Goldstein had emerged like mist and his presence would forever cancel out my logical reasoning and my fancy jargon. It's fine talking about Egyptian aliens and alien DNA, but if a drug is mentioned, then the ghostly Goldstein appears. Like now, Goldstein had cast a spell over the girl and when I said "4-fluoro-N,N-dimethyltryptamine" (psilocin) and its similarity to 5- hydroxytryptamine (serotonin), the girl heard "drugs blah, blah, magic mushrooms, blah, drugs". And when I mentioned Immanuel Kant, the greatest mind to ever walk upon our idiot planet, the girl heard "drugs, blah blah blah, drugs". Goldstein had done his business.

The girl was bored of the conversation by now and the lad was somewhere else (he was thinking of asking the girl out but the girl was thinking of the lesbian love she will receive again tonight). Both their minds were somewhere else.

This somewhere else archetype runs deep in our culture. I imagined the lad and girl saying in unison, "having never experienced the world as an unfathomable and dreadful riddle; I take the world to be self evidently 'obviously-the-case' and such a matter of course as two plus two equals four"! This attitude is the educated and learnt response to the mystery of things outside the horizons of the readers digest and the mall.

This dreary denial of the arrow of time is the cement of modern civilisation; it is essential for survival. A world of philosophers will quickly starve.

This 'don't be silly' attitude is the archetype that shields the human from the vastness of the cosmic manifold; or God-manifesting consciousness. These days, we are far too busy with housework to experience the dreadful riddle of life. We believe that the partying and the winning will go on forever, and that we are not a hurtable carcass that eats burgers and stenchfully excretes it out of the other end. The years won't wrinkle this fine face and disease won't cruelly hound these tasty organs! This unbleeding beauty will never age, crumble and die! We've swept death under the carpet, and we wear botox faces. But our botox face is a biological lie because of the absence of the afterlife. Because of the absence of an afterlife in our civilisation, with neither a heaven above or a hell below, when we die, nothing remains, we are devoured by the Lord of Darkness.

In Goethe's Faust, the Lord of Darkness says, "I see the learning in what you say.
What you don't touch, for you lies miles away
What you don't grasp, is wholly lost to you
What you don't reckon, you believe not true
What you don't weigh, this has for you no weight
What you don't count, you're sure is counterfeit".

The girl said, "but there is the downside to your radical spiritual orgasm; only the smartest can peal away the cobwebs of our material world to grasp what is meant by the spirit orgasm. The philosophical lightness of the spirit orgasm won't easily float to the surface with the majority of our friends". The girl went on, "the communication of ideas requires a similitude of thought and language: the lightness of what you say can only be held in the head of the sophisticate, as the discourse of a genius would vibrate without effect on the ear of the peasant. How minuscule is the human intellect, especially that of a peasant, when it is compared with a higher mind"?

The lad said, "I think she means you should include did jokes"!
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