- Hardcover: 191 pages
- Publisher: Natural Products Co; 1st edition (1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1888755008
- ISBN-13: 978-1888755008
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,661,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pharmacophilia, or, The Natural Paradises Hardcover – 1997
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This is a short ode to entheogens as the Tree of Life, Elixir of Life etc. etc.
2. Le Paradis Naturels
Starts off with an overview of 19th century literary works by pioneers of the field such as De Quincy and Baudelaire leading into Ott's assertion that Baulelaire's calling of hashish and opium as an artificial paradise is not only incorrect but the exact opposite from the truth because they are in fact the most natural routes to paradise available. Because of the brain receptors that specifically fit the molecules that exist in the plants and our own neurochemicals that are so similar to them. In conclusion of the chapter Ott quotes Nietzsche and Gottfried Benn saying that "Inebriation is Nature's game with man" and that "potent brains are not strengthened by milk, but by alkaloids."
3. Celestial Pharmacuetics
This chapter begins with an overview of the early entheogenic tombs from the 19th century. The Chemistry of Common Life by James F. Johnson, Plant Intoxicants by Ernst Von Bibra and The Seven Sister of Sleep by Mordecai Cubitt Cooke and while Johnson's book dealt with all types of plants Bibra and Cooke dealt exclusively with psychotropic substances. Then there is a summary of the conclusions of their work as pertaining to the moral implications of drug use and Ott moves on to 1887 with Louis Lewin obtaining a peyote cactus specimen from the U.S. which lead to the first purified entheogenic substance (Mescaline) in 1896 by Arthur Heffter and the pioneering bioassays he did with mescaline and peyote. Then it's on to 1924 and Lewin's Phantastica which was the "first comprehensive review of both psychopharmacology and ethnopharmacognosy"; and a discussion of the progression of the study of entheogenic substances. With a note of the aforementioned authors' knowledge that indigenous peoples project divinity onto certain plants; and their disregard of this notion. Then onto Nov 16, 1938 Hoffmann synthesizes LSD for the first time and the rest is history followed by a discussion of R. Gordon Wasson and his rediscovery of the mushroom cult in Mexico and Wasson's evolved viewpoint of entheogenic experiences being genuine in nature.
4. Idiosyncracsy and Pharmacophilia
This chapter begins with an explanation of the concepts of physiology and medicine from the zenith of the Roman Empire until the end of the Dark Ages which included categorizing people according to the Hippocratic or Cardinal Humors. In the second part of this chapter Ott examines "human biochemical individuality" as it is relative to the pharmacology of inebriants; shedding light on peoples' preferences for certain drugs and the fallacy of the notion of "good" and "bad" drugs.
5. Psychopharmacological Engineering
In this chapter Ott comments on the absurdity of the "fight drugs with drugs" notion such as using drugs to replace other drugs (Methadone for Heroin), drugs that block the effects of other drugs etc etc....Note that the goal is not to cure the drug taking behavior but to have people consume "sanctioned" drugs. Putting an End to prohibition would only allow people to freely medicate themselves not create an epidemic as has been supposed. Ott's contention is that we need safer and longer lasting euphorants. While the enhancing of the known stock of the pharmacopeias to may them more potent and longer lasting may seem like a radical concept it is already practiced the area of steroids.
6. Psychonautics and Pharmacohedonology
Many people are avid in their "rejection of all pleasures pharmacological" while ascertaining that it is appropriate to utilize drugs to correct medical disorders. But what of using drugs to enhance performance, functioning and appearance such as Viagra and Rogaine. Let us not forget that in this day and age with our obsessions with diet & exercise and nutritional supplementation that we pharmaceutical and other technologies are harnessed to our will. What is so strange about the notion of wanting safer euphoriants. The chapter then moves into a discussion of the stigma associated with recreational drug use over prescription drug use and then into the possibilities of drug administration via tobacco with a conclusion that "our drug problem is in actuality a prohibition problem.
As usual with Ott's books the notes section is extensive in fact it is the longest part of the book but as always it illuminates the text very well.