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Inner Paths to Outer Space: Journeys to Alien Worlds through Psychedelics and Other Spiritual Technologies Paperback – March 27, 2008
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“The profoundest inquiries into the nature of reality and the mystery of consciousness are made possible by the psychedelics and other spiritual technologies explored in this astonishing, groundbreaking, and utterly revolutionary book. Written by the maestros of the field, it is exactly the right book at exactly the right time. I found it gripping, thought-provoking, incredibly informative, and--on top of all that--a hugely enjoyable read.”, Graham Hancock, author of Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind and Fingerprin
"This highly unusual book, Inner Paths to Outer Space, takes readers on a journey through the world of psychedelic drugs and other obscure paths to reach into our consciousness and then out of ourselves to journey to places unknown.", WomensRadio
"This book is a stellar overview of the latest in psychedelic theory. . . . Having this book is like getting your hands on the hottest underground philosophy book. It dares to link science and religion directly--not some wishy washy pseudo-theory, but hard evidence linking science and religion via psychedelics. . . . High recommended!", David Kerr, reviewer, May 08
" . . . this book raises many fundamental questions about the nature of reality that have barely been asked in the scientific community, let alone answered, and I strongly urge all researchers of consciousness to read it.", David Luke, The Beckley Foundation, Oxford, UK, March 2009
"This book is an eye and mind opening exploration into a field that has been forced underground. The four writers give unique insights into the traditions of shamanism and psychedelic drug use. Taking a scholarly approach without being dry or in any way biased, Inner Paths to Outer Space succeeds on many levels.", Chard Currie, New Dawn, No. 114, May-June 2009
"Medical clinicians to literary scholars should read this book. . . . This work is so interesting that it is difficult to stop experiencing it. It leaves the perceiver wanting more as the subjects of this text are of quintessential importance to the human psyche. This book should be the paradigm for texts concerned with mystical themes; as it is not delimiting, and all of its authors do not pejoratively misrepresent transcendent human themes.", Dr. Ron Shane, reviewer, July 2009
"A remarkably interesting work, Inner Paths to Outer Space has pulled together a collection of threads into a theoretically grounded framework and although many of the ideas are, admittedly, speculative, the authors field an extremely well-structured argument. An important read for anyone with an interest in sci-fi, shamanism, and psychedelic consciousness and a great addition to the literature.", Psychedelic Press, UK, Feb 2010
“Outside of its more fantastic claims, Inner Paths to Outer Space is valuable for explaining the human propensity for spirituality on basic, cellular level. The drive to experience the mysterious springs at the heart of all great religious traditions, and delight in the mystery is revealed in the passion the authors have for their subject and in the beautiful visionary art the book also showcases. Highly recommended.”, Leni Hester, BBI Media: Witches & Pagans, September 2011
From the Back Cover
“Those who regularly navigate the hyperspatial landscape that some have called the ‘tryptamine dimension’ have long suspected that the portals to inner and outer space may be one and the same. This book, a collaboration of the most cutting-edge shaman/neuroscientists working in this field, boldly explores this concept in a stunning tour de force.”
--Dennis McKenna, Ph.D., coauthor with Terence McKenna of The Invisible Landscape
“The profoundest inquiries into the nature of reality and the mystery of consciousness are made possible by the psychedelics and other spiritual technologies explored in this astonishing, groundbreaking, and utterly revolutionary book. Written by the maestros of the field, it is exactly the right book at exactly the right time. I found it gripping, thought-provoking, incredibly informative, and--on top of all that--a hugely enjoyable read.”
--Graham Hancock, author of Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind and Fingerprints of the Gods
For thousands of years, voyagers of inner space--spiritual seekers, shamans, and psychoactive drug users--have returned from their inner travels reporting encounters with alien intelligences. Inner Paths to Outer Space presents an innovative examination of how we can reach these other dimensions of existence and contact otherworldly beings. Based on their more than sixty combined years of research into the function of the brain, the authors reveal how psychoactive substances such as DMT allow the brain to bypass our five basic senses to unlock a multidimensional realm of existence where otherworldly communication occurs. They contend that our centuries-old search for alien life-forms has been misdirected and that the alien worlds reflected in visionary science fiction actually mirror the inner space world of our minds. The authors show that “alien” worlds encountered through altered states of human awareness, either through the use of psychedelics or other methods, possess a sense of reality as great as, or greater than, those of the ordinary awareness perceived by our five senses.
RICK STRASSMAN, M.D., is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and the author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule. SLAWEK WOJTOWICZ, M.D., is a medical oncologist working in the pharmaceutical industry in Edison, New Jersey, a science-fiction illustrator, and the author of Daydreaming. LUIS EDUARDO LUNA, Ph.D., is coauthor (with Pablo Amaringo) of Ayahuasca Visions and director of Wasiwaska: Research Centre for the Study of Psychointegrator Plants, Visionary Arts and Consciousness in Florianópolis, Brazil. EDE FRECSKA, M.D., is chief of psychiatry at the National Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Budapest, Hungary, and a contributing author to Psychedelic Medicine.
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However, I am going to go ahead an award this four stars because anyone who is confronting this kind of information for the first time should find this a 5-star read.
It's important to point out that Dr. Rick Strassman is not the only or even the primary author of this book. Also included are Slawek Wojtowicz, M.D., Ede Frecksa, M.D. and Luis Eduardo Luna, Ph.D.
I am familiar with the work of Strassman, and I did find some of his material here "nothing new" for the most part; however, the essays of the other writers, especially Frecksa, was for me a new look at the nature of consciousness, and especially the possible quantum structure of the brain on the nano-scale. Extremely interesting.
For people who have never before heard about or read about the deeper implications of hallucinogenic compounds, synthetic or natural, on the nature of reality and consciousness, this book will be nothing less than an amazing revelation.
Most of the material has a high scientific and academic standard, though it sometimes does get a little "New Agey" here and there -- but that's okay. All in all, a fascinating collection of the writings of distinguished researchers which I am happy to recommend.
After having watched the Spirit Molecule documentary, I was interested to delve deeper into the possibility of accessing unseen worlds and challenge my concept of consciousness.
The book covered a broad range of topics relevant to psychedelic journeys, which made me even more interested in acquiring additional knowledge on the subject.
At times, I felt that I didn't want to entertain the implications of some of the inferences drawn by the authors to save my sanity. Particularly, the reptilian humanoid creatures that appeared in some cosmonaut anecdotes who gave the impression that they had been expecting them.
Overall, a great collection of works by credible and great minds.
A highly recommended read for those brave enough to start testing their basic assumptions about reality.
This book is not all about drug induced altered states of consciousness; it digs down deep into the ontology of the human race and what it means to be sentient beings. The book itself should be considered as an essential piece of literature for developing a canon on this subject. The previous statement may cause some religious right wing fundamentalist to go ape-sh**, but this book has such a high level of ontological (a term I use to replace spiritual) resonance that it cannot be denied that level of vindication. This is beyond cogent in the defense of altered states of consciousness; the philosophical depth of this book is transcendent of measurement.
The book is presented in parts and is obviously a joint effort. The initial section is a series of chapters that is an overview of Strassman's scientific work from the FEDERALLY (yeah, Big Brother authorized it) sanctioned experiments with dimethyltryptamine, and his perspective on the nature of DMT. The second phase is a collection of chapters that brings forward an anthropological perspective of DMT and its use in indigenous tribes from Luis Eduardo Luna derived form his decades of studies with the substance, or substances containing it. Luna gives a detailed list of expectations and executions all deduced from his experience, after which he goes into a pontification of magic mushrooms. The third section of the book is navigated by Ede Freska which is, by my interpretation, the spear tip of book. His beginnings are that of the prototypical Eastside/Westside pitting that we see in similar subject matter of this stature that also interlaces the ideological turf war of Science vs. Intuition. Then he walks you through the study of plant consciousness (which I found really intriguing) and alludes to the level of consciousness in animals as well. Freska also delves into the Sitchin and von Daniken ancient astronaut theories and other perspective of the "gods" with a new perspective that I believe is quite tenable with the correlations of modern mythology and that of the archaic period. Lastly, we are introduced to Slawek Wojtowicz and he brings forward perspectives on past life regressions and draws forth interpretations of reality by utilizing our very fortuitously prophetic science-fiction.
It bewilders me that science has been tweaking the chemicals of the brain utilizing pharmaceuticals and society accepts this due to the "experts-and-corporations-know-best" attitude, which obviously by now is insidious, but when one inquires to use a natural plant that our human culture has been experiencing for thousands of years, possibly eons, in his/her own home to journey on an introspective panorama of his/her psyche then we must sound the alarms and release the hounds!
The one thing that should be served as a caveat is that if you have no experiential overlap here then you will think all of this is quite devoid of any credibility, especially when you get to the section of Strassman's portion of the book called "Subjective Effects". LOL! If you have never experienced any of this you will be like "WTF?!"
By far, the most prudent aspect of this book is the fact that scholars are coming out of the closet in support of the profound information that can be extracted from these very surreal, but real, experiences.
The book itself is a trip, but without the DMT.
* The book also has three intermissions about every third of it that has a collection of some very eccentric and abstract art (of which I will be purchasing some copies of).
Top international reviews
An entertaining read but not to be taken seriously.