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Reviews by Thomas B. Roberts
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Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences
by William A. Richards
Publisher:
Columbia University Press 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by Thomas B. Roberts
12/28/2015

In Sacred Knowledge, Richards collates this rich background and distills his years of thinking about psychedelics’ psychotherapeutic and spiritual uses into a book that is readable for educated general readers, intellectually firm enough for scholars, and flavored by his personal experiences. [ read more ]

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The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization
by D. C. A. Hillman, PhD
Publisher:
Thomas Dunn Books / St Martin's Press 
Year:
2008 
Reviewed by Thomas B. Roberts
9/23/2008

A good accompaniment to Ruck et al’s The Apples of Apollo. Recommended for university, major public libraries, and psychedelia collectors. Too much ancient-history context for my taste, but it may suit the taste of classicists who are willing to accept Hillman’s claim that in ancient Greece and Rome the non-medical uses of psychoactive plants was widespread and widely accepted as a natural part of life. [ read more ]

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The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience
by Benny Shanon
Publisher:
Oxford University Press 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Thomas B. Roberts
3/30/2008

This is the first professional study of ayahuasca from the perspective of cognitive psychology, and so far as I know, it is the most academically sophisticated example of how the cognitive sciences might approach other diverse mindbody states too. In data collection, detailed interpretation, and theoretical grounding, Antipodes sets a standard that future cognitive psychologists will strive to live up to. [ read more ]

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Hofmann's Potion
by Connie Littlefield (Director), Kent Martin (Producer)
Publisher:
National Film Board of Canada 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Thomas B. Roberts
1/8/2008

With its all-star cast – Albert Hofmann, Stanislav Grof, Laura Huxley, Humphry Osmond, Abram Hoffer, Myron Stolaroff, Duncan Blewett, Ram Dass, and Ralph Metzner—Director Connie Littlefield’s Hofmann’s Potion chronicles and demystifies major psychedelic events of the 50s, 60s, and 70. The film is well-composed, both in content and artistically. Beautiful shots of the prairie, water reflecting light, and other nature scenes raise the tape to an artistic step above the usual documentary. [ read more ]

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