As in-depth a book about psychedelics can be— diving into the history, cultural impact, medical benefits and legality.
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• Our perceptions of the world offer us not a literal transcription of reality but rather a seamless illusion woven from both the data of our senses and the models in our memories. Normal waking consciousness feels perfectly transparent, and yet it is less a window on reality than the product of our imaginations – a kind of controlled hallucination.
• “I hope whatever you’re doing, / you’re stopping now and then / and / not doing it at all.” -James Fadiman
• If you need to be reminded how completely mental habits blind us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up!
• The mushroom’s psychoactive compound was first identified, synthesize, and named in the late 1950s by Albert Hoffman, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD.
• Despite the 1960s trappings, the term “psychedelic,” coined in 1956, is etymologically accurate. Drawn from the Greek, it means simply “mind manifesting.”
• Our task in life consists precisely in a form of letting go of fear and expectations, an attempt to purely give oneself to the impact of the present.
• The mycelium mushroom in a forest do link the trees in it, root to root, not only supplying them with nutrients, but serving as a medium that conveys information about environmental threats and allows trees to selectively send nutrients to other trees in the forest.
• Humans have been using psilocybin mushrooms sacramentally for at least 7000 years.
• A 1957 magazine is the first known reference to “magic mushrooms,” a phrase that, it turns out, was coined not by a stone hippie but by a Life headline writer.
• “You may not get what you want, but you’ll get what you need.” *Referring to a psychedelic trip*