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The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

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This manual uses material from The Tibetan Book of the Dead for this preparation. The authors also make an important contribution to the interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. They show that it is concerned not with the dead, but with the living. The last section of the manual provides instructions for an actual psychedelic session, under adequate safeguards. The a This manual uses material from The Tibetan Book of the Dead for this preparation. The authors also make an important contribution to the interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. They show that it is concerned not with the dead, but with the living. The last section of the manual provides instructions for an actual psychedelic session, under adequate safeguards. The authors were engaged in a program of experiments with LSD and other psychedelic drugs at Harvard University until sensational national publicity unfairly concentrating on student interest in the drugs, led to the suspension of the experiments. Since then, the authors have continued their work without academic auspices.

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This manual uses material from The Tibetan Book of the Dead for this preparation. The authors also make an important contribution to the interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. They show that it is concerned not with the dead, but with the living. The last section of the manual provides instructions for an actual psychedelic session, under adequate safeguards. The a This manual uses material from The Tibetan Book of the Dead for this preparation. The authors also make an important contribution to the interpretation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead. They show that it is concerned not with the dead, but with the living. The last section of the manual provides instructions for an actual psychedelic session, under adequate safeguards. The authors were engaged in a program of experiments with LSD and other psychedelic drugs at Harvard University until sensational national publicity unfairly concentrating on student interest in the drugs, led to the suspension of the experiments. Since then, the authors have continued their work without academic auspices.

30 review for The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Coquille Fleur

    I remember reading this in high school. Bought it at a cool hippie shop in downtown Indy and finished it in the fall of my senior year. Had an intense night the day I finished it and found enlightenment in a closet. Rushed to the bookstore the next day and randomly picked out Be Here Now, written by Ralph Metzner, Ram Dass, who hung with Leary. Later, my best friend's parents turned out to be married by Tim Leary. Also, as a side note, some boys that teased me mercilessly all through high school I remember reading this in high school. Bought it at a cool hippie shop in downtown Indy and finished it in the fall of my senior year. Had an intense night the day I finished it and found enlightenment in a closet. Rushed to the bookstore the next day and randomly picked out Be Here Now, written by Ralph Metzner, Ram Dass, who hung with Leary. Later, my best friend's parents turned out to be married by Tim Leary. Also, as a side note, some boys that teased me mercilessly all through high school saw me reading this book in class and thought I was cool for the rest of the year. LOL. What a trip!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Timothy Leary gets hate from all sides. He gets hate from squares for the obvious reasons. But he also gets hate from hippies, heads, and others who might form his own community because they somehow feel as if he gives them a bad image. Because mainstream academics don't take Leary seriously, his audience wants to distance themselves from his name. However, Leary deserves credit as a fearless pioneer. I found myself totally immersed in understanding with this book, but at the same time I felt som Timothy Leary gets hate from all sides. He gets hate from squares for the obvious reasons. But he also gets hate from hippies, heads, and others who might form his own community because they somehow feel as if he gives them a bad image. Because mainstream academics don't take Leary seriously, his audience wants to distance themselves from his name. However, Leary deserves credit as a fearless pioneer. I found myself totally immersed in understanding with this book, but at the same time I felt some aversion just because of who wrote it. But Leary gave up everything to try to help the world. And he did not believe that statement to be hyperbole. He used the language he felt best described the indescribable. The tradition of the shaman had been totally eradicated from the American landscape and Leary was starting from scratch with something totally new and foreign. With all that in mind, The Psychedelic Experience is a cool little piece of history. We know so much more about these substances now and MAPS is opening up the doors for even better research and a wider, more "legitimate" audience. So Leary's approach does seem silly in hindsight, but I don't hold it against him.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    No wonder Leary refused to speak to Ken Kesey when he showed up at the house. Leary > Kesey, by a lot. While Kesey’s kind of an idiot, Leary is brilliant, creative, original, inspiring. Kesey is a selfish hedonist, kind of a terror of a Jack Russell terrier, whereas Leary is a serene, sincere, wise, generous-souled therapy dog. Even reading this book while not on psychedelics was such a calming, reassuring, nurturing, and immersive experience that made me feel connected and serene and mindful. No wonder Leary refused to speak to Ken Kesey when he showed up at the house. Leary > Kesey, by a lot. While Kesey’s kind of an idiot, Leary is brilliant, creative, original, inspiring. Kesey is a selfish hedonist, kind of a terror of a Jack Russell terrier, whereas Leary is a serene, sincere, wise, generous-souled therapy dog. Even reading this book while not on psychedelics was such a calming, reassuring, nurturing, and immersive experience that made me feel connected and serene and mindful. You must remember that at the very worst, you will end up the same person who entered the experience. Whether you experience heaven or hell, remember that it is your mind which creates them. Avoid grasping the one or fleeing the other. Avoid imposing the ego game on the experience. Trust your divinity, trust your brain, trust your companions. Whenever in doubt, turn off your mind, relax, float downstream. If you try to impose your will, use your mind, rationalize, seek explanations, you will get caught in hallucinatory whirlpools. The motto: peace, acceptance. It is all an ever-changing panorama. You are temporarily removed from the world of game. Enjoy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Evelynn Passino

    I have to admit, this book leaves me wanting to be a better person. I don't want the drama of acid, but I'm all for the journey of self discovery. As I read through the last section, I found myself wondering if I was capable of meditating to the extent of ego-death. I also pondered recording the guides and meditating "on" them. Somehow that seems like cheating. So, that's the good part. The bad part is that I basically had to use the techniques (hold on, don't think) to get through this book. It I have to admit, this book leaves me wanting to be a better person. I don't want the drama of acid, but I'm all for the journey of self discovery. As I read through the last section, I found myself wondering if I was capable of meditating to the extent of ego-death. I also pondered recording the guides and meditating "on" them. Somehow that seems like cheating. So, that's the good part. The bad part is that I basically had to use the techniques (hold on, don't think) to get through this book. It was assigned reading for a class and I was very excited to read it...but once I started, I just didn't care. Maybe I am addicted to fiction, or maybe (like a previous reviewer said) Leary's writing style is downright pretentious. Once I got into the "flow" of the book, I did alright, but I have to admit: 1) I probably would not have stuck it out on my own, and 2) As someone who has not done LSD or been near-death, I don't think I really grasped what he was getting at. Midway through the book I watched a show on LSD, which wasn't particulary eye-opening, but it did set the tone for the rest of the book. I couldn't help but thinking, "wow, this used to be legal." Leary wrote this as a guide because he wanted to help people through the process. I grew up in the "just say no" era, so it's hard for me to understand the culture. I have known many-a-drug-user, but at least they knew they had to hide it. Leary truely believed this was the gateway to the meaning of life. Maybe he was right...maybe he was tripping.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Avel Rudenko

    Brilliantly described acquired experiences by three Ph.D's. Although once in a mind trip, you are left to your own mind's devices and figments of the imagination and emerging creative processes. Contained herein is the key to experience life after death while still living in the same body, as hinted at in John 4. English translations do not carry the essence to American audiences as pure as American interpretations. It was for this reason that people hearing of the results of the American versio Brilliantly described acquired experiences by three Ph.D's. Although once in a mind trip, you are left to your own mind's devices and figments of the imagination and emerging creative processes. Contained herein is the key to experience life after death while still living in the same body, as hinted at in John 4. English translations do not carry the essence to American audiences as pure as American interpretations. It was for this reason that people hearing of the results of the American version of The "Tibetan Book of the Dead", called "The Psychedelic Experience", were disappointed when they dead-ended in the English versions. Here is a guidebook to take you through the realms of consciousness of death and birth and bring you back the same day. See why one of the authors was called the most dangerous man in America by the US president. Nevertheless it is one of the best documented in print interpretations of what is likely to occur in the psyche of "Joe the plumber" or any average Joe for that matter. Anyone interested in exploring or playing with consciousness levels is welcome to read this book thoroughly and understand the wisdom in this guide.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    A fascinating explanation and step-by-step account of hallucination, Leary, Metzner, and Alpert's The Psychedelic Experience creates and explains an interesting philosophy of what occurs in the mind when it is in a hallucinogenic state. As a writer, this book helped me to understand that even the most organic and seemingly fluid things can, in some way, be broken down and examined in a way that can make sense of them; there is always a way to organize the stories inherent in reality, no matter h A fascinating explanation and step-by-step account of hallucination, Leary, Metzner, and Alpert's The Psychedelic Experience creates and explains an interesting philosophy of what occurs in the mind when it is in a hallucinogenic state. As a writer, this book helped me to understand that even the most organic and seemingly fluid things can, in some way, be broken down and examined in a way that can make sense of them; there is always a way to organize the stories inherent in reality, no matter how chaotic it may seem.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bon Tom

    If you want to experiment with psychedelics, this is it. User's manual. Now, I would be first in line if I wasn't so afraid of spiders, and in psychedelic experience you pretty much get what you expect. Damn.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Awenydd Orchantra Faeryn

    2.5 Stars A guide for the use of psychedelics for an enlightenment, ego-release, or spiritual purpose based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I have had such expansive and enlightening experiences in my life. These came through and to me in Divine Love and was without outer guidance of any sort. While I like the idea of this book existing for those who do not fully trust the path within, their higher consciousness, and All That Is, I found that most of what it was saying was unnecessary for me to r 2.5 Stars A guide for the use of psychedelics for an enlightenment, ego-release, or spiritual purpose based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. I have had such expansive and enlightening experiences in my life. These came through and to me in Divine Love and was without outer guidance of any sort. While I like the idea of this book existing for those who do not fully trust the path within, their higher consciousness, and All That Is, I found that most of what it was saying was unnecessary for me to read, as I have already passed through or beyond such “phases” in said, and other, experiences. However, I did like his mention of physically closing your ears to listen to the sounds that your body-processes make-that was a really interesting “meditation” that hasn’t occurred to me since childhood. I also like that he prepares you for simply flowing, rather than trying to grasp or interpret meanings until after the session, which I think enables you to have a clearer, more profound experience, and that he mentions grounding your body into the floor or the earth whenever it is necessary for you. I would like to someday have a guided or tribal setting experience with a harmonious community I trust, though this isn’t the book I’d want to have read to me, it could be a helpful aid to those who are deeply invested in ego games (as he describes it:”‘Games’ are behavioral sequences defined by roles, rules, rituals, goals, strategies, values, language, characteristic space-time locations and characteristic patterns of movement. Any behavior not having these nine features is non-game: this includes physiological reflexes, spontaneous play, and transcendent awareness.”) who are ready for a deeper life, though I think it would be enough to simply set up in a loving environment, and know that fear is never the way. Note: I think a book like "The Power of Now" or "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle would be something wonderful to read in preparation instead of Timothy Leary's "The Psychedelic Experience", because it teaches ego-death, as well as "Nonresistance, Nonjudgement, Nonattachment" which are perfect "practices" to take into any instance of life, and he gives examples and other teachings that work in both a psychedelic and general life setting. These were the books that significantly brought awareness into my life. Quotes from “The Psychedelic Experience”: ✦ “The specific reaction has little to do with the chemical and is chiefly a function of set and setting; preparation and environment. The better the preparation, the more ecstatic and revelatory the session.” ✦ “Flexibility, basic trust, religious faith, human openness, courage, interpersonal warmth, creativity are characteristics which allow for fun and easy learning.” ✦ “Remember the bliss of the Clear Light. Let it guide you through the visions of this experience. Let it guide you through your new life to come.” ✦ “The veil of routine perception will be torn from your eyes.” ✦ “Blissful passivity. Ecstatic, orgiastic, undulating unity. All worries and concerns wash away. All is gained as everything is given up. There is organic revelation. Every cell in your body is singing its song of freedom- the entire biological universe is in harmony, liberated from the censorship and control of you and your restricted ambitions.” ✦ “Dominating this ecstatic state is the feeling of intense love. You are a joyful part of all life. The memory of former delusions of self-hood and differentiation invokes exultant laughter.” ✦ “Beyond the light of life is the peaceful silence of the void. The quiet bliss beyond all transformations. The Buddha smile. The Void is not nothingness. The Void is beginning and end itself. Unobstructed; shining, thrilling, blissful. Diamond Consciousness.” (Review featured on www.evolvingthread.com )

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jensen Davis

    Reading this was like repeatedly running into a wall of bullshit

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tine!

    It is hard to rate this; I'm just glad it exists.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I should have read the Tibetan Book of the Dead before reading this. In saying that, as a stand-alone piece of work 'The Psychedelic Experience' seemed more woo-woo than substance. My expectations were more along the lines of a 'psychedelic how-to' - touching base on the benefits of these drugs on cognitive function and spirituality. It didn't live up to these expectations.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Cash

    "Whenever in doubt, turn off your mind, relax, float downstream." I have not taken nor will I ever take drugs, but I've been interested in examining this book for a while since I'm a student of 1960's rock music. John Lennon took the quoted line for the song "Tomorrow Never Knows," and from what I've seen the book was pervasively influential among the counterculture. The book is simply atrocious. Remember all those stereotypical hippie things you see in films where they sit and meditate saying bu "Whenever in doubt, turn off your mind, relax, float downstream." I have not taken nor will I ever take drugs, but I've been interested in examining this book for a while since I'm a student of 1960's rock music. John Lennon took the quoted line for the song "Tomorrow Never Knows," and from what I've seen the book was pervasively influential among the counterculture. The book is simply atrocious. Remember all those stereotypical hippie things you see in films where they sit and meditate saying bull crap mumbo-jumbo like "Become one with the universe as you let your ego slip away.." Imagine that, but even worse than what you're imagining. Most of the lines in this are laugh out loud absurd. It would almost be worth it for the humor if it wasn't such a slog.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ross

    Wonderfully written book that does exactly what it promises to do. It must be stressed that I am not a fan of shortcuts to enlightenment. Everything has a cost in this existence. The karmic system supports this understanding. It feels to me like treating the symptoms instead of disease. Say you get exposed to enlightenment. But your life systems and behaviors have not been conditioned to support an enlightened state. You will continue to muddy up your life with ego games and the like. As for the Wonderfully written book that does exactly what it promises to do. It must be stressed that I am not a fan of shortcuts to enlightenment. Everything has a cost in this existence. The karmic system supports this understanding. It feels to me like treating the symptoms instead of disease. Say you get exposed to enlightenment. But your life systems and behaviors have not been conditioned to support an enlightened state. You will continue to muddy up your life with ego games and the like. As for the use of those actually involved in spiritual practice, I feel it could be beneficial for they that are already on the path, and working towards enlightenment in their daily life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hiro V.

    First, I would like to get this out of the way this book is a MANUAL, a GUIDE, NOTHING ELSE The book is very well written, I would recommend this as an ESSENTIAL book for any psychonaut, I know that in his later years Tim Leary did fall out of popularity, and with good reason, but I would recommend this book to anyone who is planning to have a psychedelic trip, even experienced psychonauts should have a look at it, as I said before, if you truly want to have an insightful experience, I recommend t First, I would like to get this out of the way this book is a MANUAL, a GUIDE, NOTHING ELSE The book is very well written, I would recommend this as an ESSENTIAL book for any psychonaut, I know that in his later years Tim Leary did fall out of popularity, and with good reason, but I would recommend this book to anyone who is planning to have a psychedelic trip, even experienced psychonauts should have a look at it, as I said before, if you truly want to have an insightful experience, I recommend that both you AND the guide read the book

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Bunyan

    An eye opening interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead which seeks to both explain each Bardo and their sub categories while giving tips on how to achieve enlightenment and remain ego-free when experiencing them. I will definitely be utilizing the instructions written in the last part of the book the next time I trip sit for someone. The book was very informative, well written and will be very useful in future trips as much of the information was quite analogous to experiences either myse An eye opening interpretation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead which seeks to both explain each Bardo and their sub categories while giving tips on how to achieve enlightenment and remain ego-free when experiencing them. I will definitely be utilizing the instructions written in the last part of the book the next time I trip sit for someone. The book was very informative, well written and will be very useful in future trips as much of the information was quite analogous to experiences either myself or my friends have had.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    A fascinating explanation and step-by-step account of hallucination, Leary, Metzner, and Alpert's The Psychedelic Experience creates and explains an interesting philosophy of what occurs in the mind when it is in a hallucinogenic state. As a writer, this book helped me to understand that even the most organic and seemingly fluid things can, in some way, be broken down and examined in a way that can make sense of them; there is always a way to organize the stories inherent in reality, no matter h A fascinating explanation and step-by-step account of hallucination, Leary, Metzner, and Alpert's The Psychedelic Experience creates and explains an interesting philosophy of what occurs in the mind when it is in a hallucinogenic state. As a writer, this book helped me to understand that even the most organic and seemingly fluid things can, in some way, be broken down and examined in a way that can make sense of them; there is always a way to organize the stories inherent in reality, no matter how chaotic it may seem.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Maybe it was just because I'd been living alone in a seaside cabin for a week, but this book was way more interesting than I would have expected. Reading the original material totally subverts the cartoon version of Leary that has been handed down to me. I lowered my rating from four to three stars just because I'm now unsure of how many of the interesting thoughts I got out of this book were things that I brought to it. In any case it's thought-provoking, with or without a substance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bristol

    I wasn't high enough for this book. I feel like if I was super high on acid I would have appreciated this book more. It was interesting, but I feel a lot of it is impossible to absorb without the proper experience behind it. Interesting read though!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Teo 2050

    Contents Leary T & Metzner R (1964) (04:39) Psychedelic Experience, The - A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead General Introduction – A Tribute to W. Y. Evans-Wentz – A Tribute to Carl G. Jung – A Tribute to Lama Anagarika Govinda First Bardo: The Period of Ego-Loss or Non-Game Ecstasy (Chikhai Bardo) – Part I: The Primary Clear Light Seen At the Moment of Ego-Loss. – Part II: The Secondary Clear Light Seen Immediately After Ego-Loss Second Bardo: The Period of Hallucinations (Chonyid Bardo Contents Leary T & Metzner R (1964) (04:39) Psychedelic Experience, The - A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead General Introduction – A Tribute to W. Y. Evans-Wentz – A Tribute to Carl G. Jung – A Tribute to Lama Anagarika Govinda First Bardo: The Period of Ego-Loss or Non-Game Ecstasy (Chikhai Bardo) – Part I: The Primary Clear Light Seen At the Moment of Ego-Loss. – Part II: The Secondary Clear Light Seen Immediately After Ego-Loss Second Bardo: The Period of Hallucinations (Chonyid Bardo) – Introduction – Explanation of the Second Bardo – The Peaceful Visions – – Vision 1: The Source (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored) – – Vision 2: The Internal Flow of Archetypal Processes (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored; intellectual aspects) – – Vision 3: The Fire-Flow of Internal Unity (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored, emotional aspects) – – Vision 4: The Wave-Vibration Structure of External Forms (Eyes open or rapt involvement with external stimuli; intellectual aspects) – – Vision 5: The Vibratory Waves of External Unity (Eyes open, or rapt involvement with external stimuli; emotional aspects) – – Vision 6: "The Retinal Circus" – – Vision 7: "The Magic Theatre" – – The Wrathful Visions (Second Bardo Nightmares) – – Conclusion of Second Bardo Third Bardo: The Period of Re-entry (Sidpa Bardo) – Introduction – I. General Description of the Third Bardo – II. Re-entry Visions – III. The All-Determining Influence of Thought – IV. Judgment Visions – V. Sexual Visions – VI. Methods for Preventing the Re-Entry – VII. Methods of Choosing the Post-Session Personality The Tibetan Book of the Dead – General Conclusion Some Technical Comments about Psychedelic Sessions – 1. Use of This Manual – 2. Planning a Session – 3. Drugs and Dosages – 4. Preparation – 5. The Setting – 6. The Psychedelic Guide – 7. Composition of the Group Instructions for Use during a Psychedelic Session – First Bardo Instructions – Second Bardo Preliminary Instructions – Instructions for Vision 1: The Source (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored) – Instructions for Physical Symptoms – Instructions for Vision 2: The Internal Flow of Archetypal Processes (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored; intellectual aspects) – Instructions for Vision 3: The Fire-Flow of Internal Unity (Eyes closed, external stimuli ignored, emotional aspects) – Instructions for Vision 4: The Wave-Vibration Structure of External Forms (Eyes open, rapt involvement with the external visual stimuli, intellectual aspects) – Instructions for Vision 5: The Vibratory Waves of External Unity (Eyes open; rapt involvement with external stimuli such as lights, or movements; emotional aspects) – Instructions for Vision 6: "The Retinal Circus" – Instructions for Vision 7: "The Magic Theatre" – Instructions for the Wrathful Visions – Third Bardo: Preliminary Instructions – Instructions for Re-entry Visions – Instructions for the All-Determining Influence of Thought – Instructions for Judgment Visions – Instructions for Sexual Visions – Four Methods of Preventing Re-entry – – First Method: Meditation on the Buddha – – Second Method: Meditation on Good Games – – Third Method: Meditation on Illusion – – Fourth Method: Meditation on the Void – Instructions for Choosing the Post-Session Personality

  20. 4 out of 5

    Darkvine

    The Tibetan Book of the Dead but adapted for ego-death. A condition very similar to near-death experiences (NDE) which is what you can achieve with high doses of psychedelics or just DMT, which doesn't lend itself to a trippy afternoon, but yanks you straight to ego-death. Does anybody need a manual for this? Nah, not at all, in fact, one could argue that with psychedelics everybody can have a profound illuminating experience such as that without years of spiritual or meditative training. However The Tibetan Book of the Dead but adapted for ego-death. A condition very similar to near-death experiences (NDE) which is what you can achieve with high doses of psychedelics or just DMT, which doesn't lend itself to a trippy afternoon, but yanks you straight to ego-death. Does anybody need a manual for this? Nah, not at all, in fact, one could argue that with psychedelics everybody can have a profound illuminating experience such as that without years of spiritual or meditative training. However, as a good meditation guide, it can help maintain the ego-less condition, and steer the tripper in the right direction away from fearful or overly distractive visions. Following the Tibetan terminology, the egoless condition, enlightenment, or the Void is experienced in the First Bardo. Then follows the Second Bardo, the different hallucinatory states the traveler goes through when distracted from the First Bardo by ego-games (human life, human goals, good compassionate or bad selfish karma, ...) by trying to understand, control, remember the vision stream, and other mistakes caused by the ego's commitment to said ego-games ... The 'karma' here is, of course, to be understood psychologically, no need of superstition. Bad karma is what the book calls heavy ego-games, it has, for example, more impact on the psyche when you murdered somebody than good karma if you helped somebody, and is, therefore, harder to let go. The book explains what is going on to let go of these human futilities to return towards the Void, Enlightenment, ... When the hallucinations of the Second Bardo, positive or negative become too much for the ego to resist, or just when the drugs are worn out :P the voyager falls back to the Third Bardo, The Seeking Of Rebirth. Here we can experience feelings of ESP, superhuman powers, confusion, crazy sexual desires, lifeless robot bodies, ... Now we must return safely and not get caught up in previous distressing ego-games. At last, the book covers some practical issues like drug dosages, set and setting. The drug dosages seem a bit strong for first timers, but it was the psychedelic '60s after all :D The instructions to be read by the trip sitter/ritual guide/guru when the location of the voyager in the Bardos is located seem to the point, but also too archaic IMO if you are going to use them as intended, it's perhaps best to let the participant formulate them in his/her own words on paper first. Like what Timothy did to the Buddhist texts, but then again, this would only complicate things even more. The whole point is to let go.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Nowadays, and in the past, people thought Tim Leary was wrong. Also, I gave this manual an extra star because he said some stuff I hadn't really seen anywhere else yet. So I boosted the score to make it seem a little better than it is which could make more people read it. By that logic, should everyone read this even though those not into the subject will most likely find it nonsensical and silly? People can go their entire lives without having a psychedelic experience, which would be akin to nev Nowadays, and in the past, people thought Tim Leary was wrong. Also, I gave this manual an extra star because he said some stuff I hadn't really seen anywhere else yet. So I boosted the score to make it seem a little better than it is which could make more people read it. By that logic, should everyone read this even though those not into the subject will most likely find it nonsensical and silly? People can go their entire lives without having a psychedelic experience, which would be akin to never having loved or had a sexual experience, or anything like that. You don't need them, apparently, but at the very least they are interesting and can lead to development. So you arguably don't have to experience any of it to be enlightened. Do you really need all points of view and details? It mainly says that all the visuals you see (probably, particularly during a DMT session or 500+ microgram LSD dose) are just the lower lights - as far as the human mind can go. Any more intense or strange than that is just death. You aren't human anymore. Boom. It's real stuff! And also, the entities. Marijuana is a mild psychedelic. You can get slight, closed eye visuals and patterns with it, ranging from mathematical girds to strange characters, although they aren't exactly animated or alive. With psychedelics such as acid, DMT, or psilocybin, you can get straight, overt alien contact. Or, sentient intelligent life form contact. Sometimes they are humanoids. There are other people there already when you get stoned enough and arrive at the place. In this book it is hypothesized they are human ancestors, in strange form. It doesn't necessarily mean you'll meet your deceased aunt there. But it's the universal life form spirit. I don't necessarily agree that it's all in your head. But saying that helps one stay calm so they don't freak out, a risk which happens when certain people get too stoned off psychedelics. I would urge smart enough people to try it at least once or so, if they need a challenge or if they have any input on what is actually going on in this thing we call life.

  22. 4 out of 5

    José

    An interesting book that, more than the average literature, is more personal than it should be. It sets itself out as a fairly objective manual - and, for the record, it still acts like it - for a typically-regarded-as-subjective experience. The initial premise, i.e. using the teachings of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as proxy for a psychedelic substance intake guide, is as valid as any other for a report or an interpretation, but if you do not feel as deep of a connection as the authors with th An interesting book that, more than the average literature, is more personal than it should be. It sets itself out as a fairly objective manual - and, for the record, it still acts like it - for a typically-regarded-as-subjective experience. The initial premise, i.e. using the teachings of The Tibetan Book of the Dead as proxy for a psychedelic substance intake guide, is as valid as any other for a report or an interpretation, but if you do not feel as deep of a connection as the authors with the Buddhist esoteric rationale, the book is bound to lose its meaningfulness. And to be fair, one has to wonder, especially considering that Timothy Leary's first experience with psychedelics was in the meso-American region, why did he not base his teachings on the folklore surrounding psychedelics of that region, going instead for the much more accessible and pop-esoteric Buddhist teachings. Deep down, it is an interesting book to read with an open mind and under the suggested framework, but mostly as a personal guide and not so much as an absolute manual.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Goober

    Interesting in concept, arrogant and anglocentric in actuality. Timothy Leary presents important techniques and ideas for attaining meaningful experiences on psychedelics and the psychedelic experience, but has the audacity to claim that psychedelics are some kind "cheat code" that bypasses years of spiritual study and practice. His tone towards eastern cultures and their spiritual practices carries a condescending tone throughout the reading, and his attitude comes of as blinded excitement at b Interesting in concept, arrogant and anglocentric in actuality. Timothy Leary presents important techniques and ideas for attaining meaningful experiences on psychedelics and the psychedelic experience, but has the audacity to claim that psychedelics are some kind "cheat code" that bypasses years of spiritual study and practice. His tone towards eastern cultures and their spiritual practices carries a condescending tone throughout the reading, and his attitude comes of as blinded excitement at best, patronizing appropriation at worst. However, I do think that this text is important as a piece of historical documentation as to the spiritual awakening that was happening in much of Western society at the time, and as an introduction to the concept of set and setting. Keeping that in mind, I would recommend reading this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sophy H

    This book is average. I think I've been spoiled by the writing of Terence McKenna regarding DMT. In comparison this book feels heavy, over inflated and slightly preachy in manner. Although it references the Tibetan book of the dead, it feels far removed from the sentiments of that superior text. I suppose if you're planning on tripping on acid and want a half baked guide then maybe read it, but it seems to quote common sense such as tripping with a trusted companion and being in a positive space This book is average. I think I've been spoiled by the writing of Terence McKenna regarding DMT. In comparison this book feels heavy, over inflated and slightly preachy in manner. Although it references the Tibetan book of the dead, it feels far removed from the sentiments of that superior text. I suppose if you're planning on tripping on acid and want a half baked guide then maybe read it, but it seems to quote common sense such as tripping with a trusted companion and being in a positive space before tripping?! All givens really. I speed read through a lot as I got bored quickly. DMT the spirit molecule is a far better use of the eyes in my opinion.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shhhhh Ahhhhh

    Instructive and, as someone who's had experiences in the variety of states discussed without any definitive guiding document, very valuable. I think Timothy Leary almost certainly lost his goddamn mind on LSD. With that said, I think this was written before he'd gone too far. It also includes some very interesting dosage recommendations... and instructions on how to avoid a bad trip. Definitely stuff you won't find on erowid.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ben Tipper

    I’m not sure I love Leary at this time; he may have cared about the drugs just a little too much. A good read though; good preparation. Some of the terminology can be a little funky, and I definitely wouldn’t read this and only this book before starting a journey down the psychedelic road; some more spiritual stuff and more general stuff preaching love and happiness would be good as well. Recommended for those who use psychedelics or are interested.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Watkins

    If dying is like tripping on LSD then we have nothing to fear, that's for sure. I wish I knew of this book before I took LSD for the first time. It's insightful and unbiased as to what the experience has and can offer for people. Every time I take a trip I will refer to this book before, during, and after.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Be sure to note that this is a manual - making it a boring read if you're interested in psychedelics only in theory. It's somewhat repetitive, which is not necessarily a criticism, with a very reassuring tone. ("Trust in your companions, in the substance and your brain.") To me it was crazy and wonderful to realise that serious academics exist and have existed to investigate the *experience* of drugs. Some of Leary's underlying assumptions are questionable from an intellectual perspective, but f Be sure to note that this is a manual - making it a boring read if you're interested in psychedelics only in theory. It's somewhat repetitive, which is not necessarily a criticism, with a very reassuring tone. ("Trust in your companions, in the substance and your brain.") To me it was crazy and wonderful to realise that serious academics exist and have existed to investigate the *experience* of drugs. Some of Leary's underlying assumptions are questionable from an intellectual perspective, but for the most part I didn't find them to be exceptionally obscurantist, maybe just a bit ambitious. - Or maybe I just think that because I don't have the experiences to draw from that he did. Anyway, I enjoyed his perspective but didn't necessarily buy into it and in practice of his recommendations it wouldn't make much of a difference to the experiencer, only his/her beliefs about what the experience might have meant.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mistadikay

    This book will not make any sense to the ones unfamiliar with psychedelic experience and/or the teachings of Buddhism. For the rest: it’s invaluable guide that needs to be read and reread on occasion until it’s stuck in your brain. Listened as an audiobook, going to buy a paper and electronic versions too: it should always be as approachable as possible.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harrison

    This book is an interesting look at the mind set in the 60's established by Leary and others. I think the new introduction offers a lot of perspective 40 years later and really sets the stage for the writings of Leary and so forth. This definitely has made me want to read the actually Tibetan Book of the Dead and to really see how they adapted their psychedelic experiences to those teachings.

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