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The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys Paperback – May 18, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Park Street Press; First Edition edition (May 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774027
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Truly destined to be a classic. Don’t leave everyday reality without it.” (Erowid, October 2011)

“. . . The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, in which he [James Fadiman] clears up current myths and misperceptions about psychedelics, and presents findings from both long-neglected and recent clinical studies, research experiments, and surveys showing a surprising range of benefits from safe, supervised psychedelic use.” (Blogcritics.org, October 2011)

“This comprehensive resource offers a wealth of practical information for therapists and health-care professionals, researchers and scientists, psychedelic voyagers and their guides, and even policy makers.” (Gail Bradney, Carolyn Howard Johnson’s New Book Review, November 2011)

“I highly recommend that everyone read this book so they can hold informed opinions about this very strange and much maligned substance.” (Linda McDonell, November 2011)

“Psychedelic practice...might have the ability to transform the very mechanisms of control and give birth to a society where the lessons of a transpersonal experience are known without the therapeutic aid of psychedelics. With any luck, time will tell and this book is certainly a step in the right direction.” (Psychedelic Press, December 2011)

“This is some of the most thoughtful, wise, heartfelt, and essential instruction for the use of sacred medicine.” (Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart)

“Fadiman knows what he is talking about. This is the book we have needed.” (Huston Smith, author of The World’s Religion and Cleaning the Doors of Perception)

“Finally! A comprehensive guide not only to psychedelic use in a therapeutic setting but also, even more bravely, to psychospiritual exploration and cognitive enhancement. We are fortunate to reap the benefits of Professor Fadiman’s years of cumulative knowledge and experience as well as to hear from a cadre of ‘who’s who’ in the psychedelic cognoscenti.” (Julie Holland, M.D., editor of The Pot Book and Ecstasy: The Complete Guide)

“James Fadiman, one of the foremost pioneers of scientific research of the potential of psychedelic substances for therapy, self-discovery, spiritual quests, and creative problem-solving, has written an invaluable guide for safe and productive sessions. Based on more than forty years of the author’s experience in the field and presented in a clear, easily understandable style, this book is a breath of fresh air, dispelling the mis-information that has been disseminated over many decades by sensation-hunting journalists and fear-based antidrug propaganda. The publication of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide could not be more timely; it coincides with a major renaissance of interest in psychedelic research worldwide. The information that it provides will thus be useful not only for the hundreds of thousands of people involved in self-experimentation but also for the new generation of psychedelic researchers.” (Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of LSD: Doorway to the Numinous)

“James Fadiman was the Forrest Gump of the psychedelic sixties. He witnessed the first flowerings of that amazing era of mindexpansion, then kept popping up for cameo appearances whenever the action got particularly interesting and enlightening. Now, riding a new wave of scientific research into the beneficial use of these misunderstood substances, Fadiman is back with a practical and at the same time inspiring guidebook for the next generation of entheogenic explorers.” (Don Lattin, author of the bestselling The Harvard Psychedelic Club)

“Approaching his subject from intimately historical, psychological-cultural, and accessibly authoritative perspectives, Fadiman’s psychedelic magnum opus establishes the benchmark reference for anyone interested in understanding, experiencing, or supervising the effects of this unique family of psychoactive substances.” (Rick Strassman, M.D., clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico Sch)

“At last, there’s a practical, commonsense manual for mindful therapeutic sessions using psychedelics, one that’s informed by the latest science and unfettered by arcane platitudes. It will be a boon to personal transformation and a road map for avoiding trouble along the way for all who use it. Bon voyage!” (Charles Hayes, author of Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures)

“Psychedelics have been part of native cultures for centuries and remain so in many areas of the world. Properly used, they offer a one-step guide to enlightenment and connection with intuition as well as the soul and the Divine. Dr. Fadiman’s book offers the best information and guidance available today. Everyone interested in exploring the world of inner consciousness will find this work indispensable.” (Norm Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., founder of the American Holistic Health Association and coauthor of Soul M)

“The prohibition of psychedelic drugs in the twentieth century unfortunately restricted a most promising and profound inquiry into the religious mysteries of consciousness. This brave and encouraging book goes a long way toward restoring our constitutional right to explore these mysteries. By encouraging individual responsibility and intelligence in this era of purported health care reform, James Fadiman takes a bold and refreshing step toward reclaiming our freedom of religion, which is the very essence of democracy and the American dream.” (Robert Forte, editor of Entheogens and the Future of Religion and Timothy Leary: Outside Looking In)

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is a brave and uniquely valuable book. Written by one of the most highly respected and innovative researchers from the 1960s, this extraordinary book covers topics not found in any other book on the subject. Fadiman offers us a beautifully written, insightful summation of important early research on creativity, problem solving, and psychospiritual development, tragically cut off by government edict, as well as new research on the use of sub-threshold doses of LSD to enhance normal functioning, in the process creating a road map for the future of psychedelic research. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide wisely focuses not on pathology but on human potential for health and, as such, shows us how these transformative substances can improve the future of psychology--and the future of society. Throughout this radical yet evidence-based volume, Fadiman uses a combination of the research and his own broad personal experiences working with Leary, Alpert (Ram Dass), Kesey, and other seminal figures in psychedelic research and practice to make the convincing case that psychedelics offer the power to transform society and reintegrate unitary spirituality into Western civilization. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is written with a wry humor that brings Fadiman’s sincere, soulful intentionality immediately to the reader, integrating and transforming from the moment one opens this important, mature, and absolutely essential book. If you are interested in the safe, effective, and transformative use of psychedelics to improve our lives and our society, you will devour this book. Fadiman’s The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is the finest book ever written on the topic--a must read.” (Neal Goldsmith, Ph.D., author of Psychedelic Healing)

“. . . this book is a breath of fresh air, dispelling the mis-information that has been disseminated over many decades by sensation-hunting journalists and fear-based antidrug propaganda.” (GaiaMedia.org, May 2011)

“James Fadiman’s manual offers helpful and well-informed guidance for those who seek ‘the divine within’ through sacred plants and psychedelic substances.” (Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and Breaking Open the Head)

“Any interested in using psychedelics receives cautionary exploration of pros, cons, and discussions of myths and realities about them.” (Midwest Book Review, August 2011)

“A checklist for voyagers and their guides as well as an extensive resource section make this a truly invaluable and definitive guide for everyone interested in psychedelics and their potential to make us wiser, smarter, healthier, and more compassionate.” (Seattle Post Intelligencer, September 2011)

From the Back Cover

SPIRITUALITY / ENTHEOGENS

“The publication of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide could not be more timely; it coincides with a major renaissance of interest in psychedelic research worldwide. The information that it provides will thus be useful not only for the hundreds of thousands of people involved in self-experimentation but also for the new generation of psychedelic researchers.”
--Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of LSD: Doorway to the Numinous

Called “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics and their use,” James Fadiman has been involved with psychedelic research since the 1960s. In this guide to the immediate and long-term effects of psychedelic use for spiritual (high dose), therapeutic (moderate dose), and problem-solving (low dose) purposes, Fadiman outlines best practices for safe, sacred entheogenic voyages learned through his more than 40 years of experience--from the benefits of having a sensitive guide during a session (and how to be one) to the importance of the setting and pre-session intention.

Fadiman reviews the newest as well as the neglected research into the psychotherapeutic value of visionary drug use for increased personal awareness and a host of serious medical conditions, including his recent study of the reasons for and results of psychedelic use among hundreds of students and professionals. He reveals new uses for LSD and other psychedelics, including extremely low doses for improved cognitive functioning and emotional balance. Cautioning that psychedelics are not for everyone, he dispels the myths and misperceptions about psychedelics circulating in textbooks and clinics as well as on the Internet. Exploring the life-changing experiences of Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, and Huston Smith as well as Francis Crick and Steve Jobs, Fadiman shows how psychedelics, used wisely, can lead not only to healing but also to scientific breakthroughs and spiritual epiphanies.

JAMES FADIMAN, Ph.D., did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Stanford, doing research with the Harvard Group, the West Coast Research Group in Menlo Park, and Ken Kesey. A former president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a professor of psychology, he teaches at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, which he helped found in 1975. An international conference presenter, workshop leader, management consultant, and author of several books and textbooks, he lives in Menlo Park, California, with his filmmaker wife, Dorothy.

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Customer Reviews

Very highly recommended; absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.
David J. Brown
Although he acknowledges the spiritual power of entheogenic substances the main focus of the book is how to use these substances to enhance creativity.
Bodhi Heeren
Fadiman is the guest on episode 302, during which Lorenzo interviews him about the book and his experience in the psychedelic research field.
David K. Wilder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Tony Levelle on May 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I first learned about this book when I was asked to read a pre-release version and help with some minor editing and formatting that the publisher asked for. It was not, frankly, a book I would have normally read otherwise.

After the first reading, I remember putting the manuscript down and thinking, "This is an important book, and it has to be out there."

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide shows the surprising ways people are using psychedelics in healing, psychotherapy, and spiritual quests. One chapter describes the emerging trend of micro-dose usage: where people use tiny doses of psychedelics to improve their functioning at home, work and play.

I also remember how impressed I was to read about the early research using LSD to treat alcoholics who had failed all other treatments. The results were highly effective, even in these formerly hopeless cases.

Jim Fadiman is a gentle, intelligent and engaging storyteller, and this book reflects his personality. I recommend it to you highly.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Chris Mays on May 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With the publication of The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide, James Fadiman has inaugurated a new era of spiritual and practical exploration of inner space. Mind you, he didn't invent or even rediscover the spiritual use of entheogens, nor the psychotherapeutic exploration of psychoactive plants and chemicals, but this guidebook represents a bold re-emergence of an ancient healing practice.

Fadiman, a co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and author most recently of an undergraduate psychology textbook and The Other Side of Haight: A Novel, is a champion of psychedelic guiding. He's been around since the giddy big bang of psychedelic culture, and now, gladly, and with hope, turns the keys to guided journeys over to the grandchildren of that distant revolution. There's plenty by and about him on the web, if you're curious.

Fadiman gets right to the guided session instruction without disclaimers and apologies--a courteous gesture considering we've waited for more than a generation already. The guidebook is replete with suggestions for both guide and voyager regarding everything from music, food and lighting to finer aesthetic points. The six aspects of the well-conceived voyage are set and setting (which you knew), but also: substance, sitter, session, and situation. The six stages of a voyaging session are all simple and easily spelled out, as well, but this is rather like saying most of the paintings in the Louvre are made with canvas, brushes and paint: within Fadiman's simple protocol exists a universe of possibilities.

Not all these possibilities are happy ones, naturally, so there is plenty of material on what can go wrong, and how to recover.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bodhi Heeren on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
A brilliant and thoughtful book by one of the leading proponents of safe and responsible use of psychedelics, primarily LSD.

Although he acknowledges the spiritual power of entheogenic substances the main focus of the book is how to use these substances to enhance creativity. Based on his own research - together with Willis Harman - in the 60s. As well as eye witness accounts from recent times. Also touching on the (controversial) subject of regular use of low dose LSD in every day (work) life.

The book has many scopes. accounts of the mind and career changing events for the early pioneers like Albert Hofmann, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Huston Smith and Stan Grof. Interviews with James Fadiman himself taken from Higher Wisdom: Eminent Elders Explore the Continuing Impact of Psychedelics (Suny Series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology.)and Time It Was: American Stories from the Sixties

Although Fadiman clearly defines himself as a law abiding citizen this book DO contain some well thought out and reasonable criteria for a succesful session. Especially focusing on the need of an experienced guide (who does NOT- unlike in the Leary experiments - take the substance her self). Personally I think there can be arguments for self experimentation with out outside helpers - as described in The Acid Diaries: A Psychonaut's Guide to the History and Use of LSD.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda J. Mcdonell on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book both in hard cover for my husband and on Kindle for a friend as a result of listening to a Fadaman interview on the radio. Fadaman is articulate, intelligent, and not at all the wacked out acid head idiot that I had believed all users of LSD are from the propaganda. I knew he was a reliable source of information because of his affiliation with the Institute of Noetic Science. My husband and I were both blown away by the amount of serious research that had been so promising before the government made LSD a Schedule I substance. I highly recommend that everyone read this book so they can hold informed opinions about this very strange and much maligned substance. And, no, I have never used any of these exotic drugs. I only want to know the truth about them and I believe I heard the truth from Fadaman.
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