In Opening the Doors of Perception, Anthony Peake strings together research in epilepsy, migraines, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and entheogens in an attempt to understand human consciousness. Are we living in a simulation? What is Orchestrated Objective Reduction (Orch-OR) and what can it tell us about ourselves? How is it that flickering light can trigger an altered state of consciousness? What is the relationship between the Eidolon and the Daemon? These are just some of the questions pondered and developed by Peake. Opening the Doors of Perception provides the reader with some fascinating research which will hopefully open ones mind to some really powerful insights.
Category: psychology (Page 1 of 2)
Let me provide a context so that you may understand my amazement with the chemical explorations of Alexander Shulgin. Did you know that the two principal neurotransmitters in the human body are dopamine and serotonin? Did you know that they belong to the phenethylamine and tryptamine chemical families, respectively? I find this simple observation to be of fundamental importance in understanding the human mind/body relationship. And now consider that Ann and Alex Shulgins’ books: PiKHAL (Phenethylamines I have known and loved) and TiKHAL (Tryptamines I have known and loved) explore both these chemical families and their effects on the human mind and body. Quick summary of well-known psychedelic chemicals:
LSD is complex and has both chemical structures, but most people emphasize that the effects of LSD are related primarily to its tryptamine backbone and interaction with human serotonin receptors.
Ann and Alexander Shulgin’s books are a groundbreaking revelation for their accounts of psychedelic exploration, therapy, and spiritual development. They are a mix of essays and stories. You will not regret reading the books and learning about the chemicals referenced in the second half of the books.
An interesting note: In PiKHAL, the fictional character Adam Fisher is based on Leo Zeff, a talented psychotherapist who worked with MDMA; you can read all about his therapy work in The Secret Chief Revealed by Myron J. Stolaroff.
The Adventure of Self-Discovery by Stanislav Grof is a fascinating book which introduces readers to the inner healing potential of their sub-conscious. The first half of the book builds on themes from Realms of the Human Unconscious. In the second half of the book, Grof explains the rather profound, yet simple, exercise of holotropic breathing. Holotropic breathing allows people access to the ancient tradition of entering non-ordinary states of consciousness without any recourse to the ingestion or smoking of plant material. Please read the entire book if you are interested in performing the breathing without the aid of an experienced holotropic guide. Do not attempt without a sitter.
I put together a music playlist based on Grof’s recommendations for your benefit. The songs are in random order. Let me know if I should add/remove any:
Also, informative interview with Grof:
Dr. Stanislav Grof’s book Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research surpassed any expectations I had when I purchased it. It truly takes the reader on a trip into the most remote depths of the human psyche. Grof’s model of the unconscious, based on more than 30 years of experience, provides incredible insight into a realm beyond anything you thought you knew. The model involves what Grof calls “Systems of Condensed Experience” (COEX Systems). In addition to these experiences, patients typically encounter experiences classified by Grof as either perinatal or transpersonal. I suggest reading the book to learn more about this topic and the models.
In a suitable analogy, Grof declares LSD to be psychiatry’s fundamental tool; it is like the astronomer’s telescope or the biologist’s microscope. Grof refers to the powerful ability of LSD to facilitate the revealing of deep unconscious systems like that of sonar or radar, revealing the largest and most relevant emotional disturbances beneath the surface of the unconscious ocean. It allows therapists to have a direct reading of a patient’s relevant thought systems and important experiences. Readers begin to realize how incredibly important this molecule is for the well-being of the psyche and the spiritual and mental development of humanity.
For a simple introduction, I would suggest The Holotropic Mind rather than this book. Or if you prefer an audio book, Audible has The Transpersonal Vision. I would also recommend joining the email list for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).