Erowid
 
 
Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Recent Reviews
ratingstars
The Search for the Manchurian Candidate
by John Marks
Publisher:
W. W. Norton 
Year:
1991 (first edition: 1979) 
Reviewed by Lux
4/2/2007

Journalist John Marks filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the CIA and received seven boxes of documents pertaining to MKULTRA. The destruction of these records had been ordered by CIA head Richard Helms and MKULTRA director Sidney Gottlieb in 1972, but they were spared through a clerical error. Marks reviewed the heavily-redacted material and supplemented his research with extensive interviews of numerous key figures. The results of his investigation are documented in this book. [ read more ]

ratingstars
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA & the Origins of Knowledge
by Jeremy Narby
Publisher:
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam 
Year:
1998 
Reviewed by Rendi Case
3/13/2007

One day while inquiring about these matters he was told that if he wanted to know the true answers to his questions he would simply have to take ayahuasca with them and see for himself. Narby accepted this offer and had a life changing experience. After drinking ayahuasca, Narby had a profound life changing experience. His view on himself and reality shifted from an intellectually superior know-it-all to a mere human being that has no real understanding of reality at all. In his experience, these thoughts were telepathically imparted to him by two giant snakes. There was more to his ayahuasca experience, but these are the elements that had the important impact on him. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics
by Allan Hunt Badiner & Alex Grey (eds.)
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Myron Stolaroff
3/3/2007

In the recent book Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, a number of the contributors have recognized the value of psychedelics and have pointed out ways in which they can be helpful and of value. While many of the presentations provide deeper understanding of the value and benefits of employing psychedelics, my own experience indicates that there remains room for further understanding and clarification that can provide more effective results. In fact, in some instances it is reported that states are reached when psychedelics are no longer indicated. While in my paper cited above I point out that such a stage can and should be reached, in some of the situations reported the full potential of psychedelics has not been recognized. Very often the desire to abandon further psychedelic exploration is the result of reaching heavily defended areas in the psyche which are quite painful, yet which when resolved result in enormous gains in profound understanding and well being. In other situations, important attributes and methods of enhanced achievement have not be recognized. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Writing on Drugs
by Sadie Plant
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by Justin Case and Rendi Case
2/16/2007

I would imagine there are other books that go into more detail on this, but I found Plant’s chapters on the hidden politics of cocaine and heroin to be fascinating. She also goes into some detail about a number of other interesting subtopics related to drugs in history. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Trialogues at the Edge of the West
by Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna & Rupert Sheldrake
Publisher:
Bear & Company 
Year:
1992 
Reviewed by Justin Case
2/16/2007

Fans of Terence McKenna’s work will not find anything new from him in this book. However, it is interesting to see his peculiar ideas bounced off Abraham and Sheldrake. [ read more ]

ratingstars
A Scanner Darkly
by Philip K. Dick
Publisher:
Vintage Books 
Year:
1977 
Reviewed by Lux
2/13/2007

In this novel, every important image becomes its own opposite. At the center of the circle, like the ringleader of symbols, is the drug. What is Substance D? We are never told of its effects. I imagine it to be something like a mix of ketamine and methamphetamine. We are told that there are two kinds of people: those who are addicted to Substance D, and those who haven’t tried it. [ read more ]

ratingstars
The Road to Eleusis
by R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann, Carl A.P. Ruck
Publisher:
William Daly Rare Books 
Year:
1998 
Reviewed by Lux
2/13/2007

The Road to Eleusis is an entertaining and engaging read. It argues well, but not convincingly. We do not know for certain if hallucinogens were employed in the rites of Eleusis, much less if said hallucinogens were derived from ergot. The authors have made brilliant and sometimes strong arguments on behalf of their theory, but ultimately, and ironically, the conviction that Ruck and Wasson exude persuades the reader against their thesis, for it appears that in this matter there can be no certainty.
read more ]

ratingstars
The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art
by David Lewis-Williams
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Mike Jay
1/15/2007

In The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art, Lewis-Williams draws on his own previous work, and also that of cognitive psychologists like Heinrich Klüver and Ronald Siegel and anthropologists like Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, who have cumulatively demonstrated that, in altered states, the same visual and sensory phenomena are generated both in the lab and in the field. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Bringing Yoga To Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living
by Donna Farhi
Publisher:
Harper 
Year:
2005 reprint edition 
Reviewed by Midevil
1/15/2007

Bringing Yoga to Life: The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living is not a book about Yoga poses or how to achieve the perfect body. It is exactly what the title describes, a work on utilizing Yoga daily to learn who we are as individuals. Chapter by chapter, Farhi show us how we can cope with living in the word as part of the collective. It doesn’t matter how you start Yoga or why, but do it and see where it leads you on the path to self-awareness and acceptance of others. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Psychedelic Horizons
by Tom Roberts
Publisher:
Imprint Academic 
Year:
2006 
Reviewed by Bruce Sewick
12/12/2006

In Psychedelic Horizons, Dr. Tom Roberts sums up his fascination with psychoactives in the following words: “As an educational psychologist, I am grateful to psychedelics for teaching me that our minds function in many mindbody states.” The exploration of the concept of different mindbody states is one of the more intriguing theories in Dr. Roberts’ book. [ read more ]

<