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The Psilocybin Solution: The Role of Sacred Mushrooms in the Quest for Meaning Paperback – June 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press (June 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774058
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Simon G. Powell has crafted a magnificent, multifaceted argument for the reintegration of psychedelics into science, culture, psychotherapy, and religion to inspire our unbalanced species before we ‘push the biosphere into total decline.’ The Psilocybin Solution persuasively illuminates the profound social value of large numbers of people experiencing communion with and direct personal perception of Nature as a single system of self-organizing intelligence. A massive accomplishment!” (Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studi)

“This book provides a clear and up-to-date picture of what goes on in the brain during the visionary psilocybin experience. The author’s intrepid speculations, centering on information as the fundamental stuff of the universe, are clearly signposted. The writing is lucid and a joy to behold, an important contribution.” (Jeremy Narby, anthropologist and author of The Cosmic Serpent, Intelligence in Nature, and The Psych)

“The profound experiences unlocked by the visionary psilocybin-containing mushrooms are more than a recreational holiday for the mind. They are, in fact, the key to understanding that consciousness is not an aspect of reality, it is reality itself.” (Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., ethnopharmacologist and coauthor of The Invisible Landscape)

“A worthy successor to Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, The Psilocybin Solution takes the reader behind the grand curtain of reality with a compelling hypothesis that approaches a unified field theory of human consciousness in an intelligent and interconnected universe.” (Bill Linton, CEO of Promega)

“In this fascinating and provocative book, Simon G. Powell speculates on the nature of reality. He posits that Nature is a deliberate and intelligently behaving system, and he proposes that psilocybin, by altering the neurochemistry of the brain in specific ways, enables novel patterns of information to emerge, allowing the psyche to become a sort of conduit to the Other. If in fact that is what actually happens, then entheogens (psychedelics) are much more important to the human species than has been realized.” (David E. Nichols, Ph.D.,  president and cofounder of the  Heffter Research Institute)

“It’s as if these fungi, which grow wild on most of the Earth’s land surface, beckon us to commune with them, Powell hints. And if we do have the chance, we’d do well to heed his advice on the “retuning” process. This communion offers a link with the intelligence of Nature. Opening the doors of perception and returning to entheogenic wisdom could ultimately create a more mystical, meaningful society.” (Nexus Magazine, Vol. 18, No. 6, October 2011)

“Read this book. Follow directions in the last chapter closely. Confirm or deny.” (Diana Reed Slattery, Reality Sandwich, October 2011)

“Overall, another adequate introduction to entheogenic thought but one that, interestingly, broaches questions about neurology more explicitly than others, in attempting to locate entheogenic thought in a wider metaphysics.” (Psychedelic Press, November 2011)

“All in all, this is a stimulating and revolutionary volume, whatever your take on “chemically induced theophany.”” (Mac Graham, Whole Life Times, December 2011)

From the Back Cover

SPIRITUALITY / ENTHEOGENS

“Simon G. Powell has crafted a magnificent, multifaceted argument for the reintegration of psychedelics into science, culture, psychotherapy, and religion to inspire our unbalanced species before we ‘push the biosphere into total decline.’ The Psilocybin Solution persuasively illuminates the profound social value of large numbers of people experiencing communion with and direct personal perception of Nature as a single system of self-organizing intelligence. A massive accomplishment!”
--Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

It has been more than 50 years since sacred mushrooms were plucked from the shamanic backwaters of Mexico and presented to the modern world by R. Gordon Wasson. After sparking the psychedelic era of the 1960s, however, the divine mushroom returned underground from whence it mysteriously originated. Yet today, the mushroom’s extraordinary influence is once again being felt by large numbers of people, due to the discovery of hundreds of wild psilocybin species growing across the globe.

In The Psilocybin Solution, Simon G. Powell traces the history of the sacred psilocybin mushroom and discusses the shamanic visionary effects it can induce. Detailing how psilocybin acts as a profound enhancer of consciousness and reviewing the research performed by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Johns Hopkins University, and the Heffter Research Institute on psilocybin’s ability to dispel anxiety in the terminally ill and its helpful effects on obsessive-compulsive disorder, he examines the neurochemistry, psychology, and spirituality underlying the visionary psilocybin experience, revealing the interface where physical brain and conscious mind meet. Showing that the existence of life and the functioning of mind are the result of a naturally intelligent, self-organizing Universe, he explains how sacred mushrooms provide a direct link to the wisdom of Nature and the meaning of life.

SIMON G POWELL is a writer, musician, and filmmaker with an avid interest in the biosphere and psychoactive fungi. He lives in London.

More About the Author

Simon G. Powell is a writer, film-maker and musician. He is the author of The Psilocybin Solution (2011), Darwin's Unfinished Business (2012), and Magic Mushroom Explorer (due out 2015). He also wrote and presented the experimental documentary films Manna (2003) and Metanoia: A New Vision of Nature (2007). The former film is up on Youtube (user name Psybinetic), the latter is available on Amazon as a DVD or as a download. He currently lives in London. See website for more info:

www.simongpowell.com

Customer Reviews

I was simply blown away by this extraordinary book by Simon Powell.
David J. Brown
Simon Powell has written an excellent book in the vein of Huxley's "Doors..." and McKenna's "Archaic Revival".
anon
This need not be a criticism of the author but my problem may be one arising from my own philosophy.
Charon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Flavius X on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Psilocybin Solution is and must be comprehensive and interdisciplinary for Powell to express his original and important hypothesis, or solution. The author's mastery of diverse sources such as neurophysiology, information technology, and ethnobotany (among others) is evident. A wry wit helps makes sometimes arcane material available to a general readership. Powell carefully separates speculation from fact, but his speculation - while fascinating - is not essential to his core idea.

This is a review, not a spoiler, but I can reveal that Powell's core idea depends on his notion that the universal experience common in a state of Psilocybin-induced enlightenment is not a delusion but is as real as normal consciousness. A skeptic, I followed his logic, which is offered as elegantly as a mathematical proof. Even the possibility that Powell's solution is true is hugely important! The Psilocybin Solution can also be personally liberating, as it has been in this state - and only in this state - that the euphoric truth was ever obvious to me...many others too, I suspect. Those who value truth owe themselves this "tutorial" - and a book that may literally change your mind. Serious people who cannot fake religion yet also recognize the limits of science can experience despair; Powell argues for a natural cure.

I must close by a confession: as a physician I am shamed by a medical community that has put up a white flag to a predatory "Big Pharm" establishment. We offer every form of "performance enhancement" from steroids to amphetamines to Viagra; yet when it comes to consciousness enhancement we submit to policemen. The integrity gap in our profession is an open invitation to untested alternative healers -licensed by government - including classic charlatans.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MysticJaguar VINE VOICE on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall this book was not cooked before it went to publication. There are major gaps in logic and flow of presentation. It must have made it through an editor because it cites many scientific (and neo-scientific) examples/concepts although often does so without core regard to the thesis (which itself is unclear until near the end of the book in Chapter 8 'The Fantastic Hypothesis').

At first you hear about how revolutionary psychedelics could be. Then you hear about the history of Western cultures contact with psilocybe mushrooms. Ok not bad thus far. However, by the time we reach chapter five, the author makes a detour into brain chemistry, shows that he is not adept enough to be discussing the subject, and then never gets his focus back in the rest of the book. Yes, it seems he is trying to say that somehow psilocybin attenuates the brain to pick up difference forms of information and that all DNA, all life, is information. Well, these are not new concepts at all.

Chapter 9 'The Fantastic Hypothesis' is where the final message of this book, standing almost neglected from the slog we have been endured to thus far, makes its critical, but too little too late, mark. Yes, it's in the human mind, human consciousness, that further evolution needs to occur. And natural plant spirit helpers seem to be substantial allies in this quest. Well, from the layout of this book we kinda got lost from that main point on our way as we read chapters 1-8. To fix this biblia-erratica one would have to be more concise and keep tying us back to the core thesis that shows late to the party.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By mick flint on August 16, 2011
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I found this book a bit of a task to get to the end of. In general it was the style of writing that became very annoying along with the unfortunate fact that there was nothing new about the subject of Psilocybin. The presentation is rather dry and misses out on the spirit of the plant all together, concentrating on proving a point about intelligence in nature,which reads like something from a science journal.For some one who has experience with these magical plants this book could prove to be rather disappointing. The author's intentions are certainly good and there is a strong voice against the present "war on drugs" through out the book, however if you are looking for something that expresses the joy of the experience of nature and the magical plants of the world you won't find it in these pages.If you are new to the whole subject you will find a general collection of other author's work that gives a pretty good all round introduction.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David J. Brown VINE VOICE on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was simply blown away by this extraordinary book by Simon Powell. Hands down, it's the best argument that I've ever read about the possibility of teleology operating in evolution, and of a higher intelligence organizing the natural world--subjects which have interested me greatly for many years. I found it difficult to put this astonishing book down, as the ideas in it are so rich and compelling, and every sentence in the book is so eloquently written. This is a truly marvelous achievement, as writing this book was certainly an ambitious undertaking. Powell does a masterful job at translating the grand and mysterious language of Nature into mere English symbols, and artistically articulating the voice of the Other. Bursting at the seams with eye-opening, entheogenic insights and jaw-dropping revelations! Very highly recommended!
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