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Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism

af Daniel PINCHBECK

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
514746,815 (3.92)4
A dazzling work of personal travelogue and cultural criticism that ranges from the primitive to the postmodern in a quest for the promise and meaning of the psychedelic experience. While psychedelics of all sorts are demonized in America today, the visionary compounds found in plants are the spiritual sacraments of tribal cultures around the world. From the iboga of the Bwiti in Gabon, to the Mazatecs of Mexico, these plants are sacred because they awaken the mind to other levels of awareness--to a holographic vision of the universe. Breaking Open the Head is a passionate, multilayered, and sometimes rashly personal inquiry into this deep division. On one level, Daniel Pinchbeck tells the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and these sacramental substances, including such thinkers as Allen Ginsberg, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, and Terence McKenna, and a new underground of present-day ethnobotanists, chemists, psychonauts, and philosophers. It is also a scrupulous recording of the author's wide-ranging investigation with these outlaw compounds, including a thirty-hour tribal initiation in West Africa; an all-night encounter with the master shamans of the South American rain forest; and a report from a psychedelic utopia in the Black Rock Desert that is the Burning Man Festival. Breaking Open the Head is brave participatory journalism at its best, a vivid account of psychic and intellectual experiences that opened doors in the wall of Western rationalism and completed Daniel Pinchbeck's personal transformation from a jaded Manhattan journalist to shamanic initiate and grateful citizen of the cosmos.… (mere)
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» Se også 4 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
author explores various chemicals and relation to reality in different cultures
  ritaer | Aug 16, 2021 |
A look at various shamanistic traditions that use entheogens: substances that make you see "god". Pinchbeck explores personally the use of Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, Pyscillopsybin and others and comes up with sometimes fantastic theories about what is going on during such encounters with the sublime. ( )
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
I like the idea of this book better than the execution.

Pinchbeck's personal narratives are interesting enough, and would make a passable film memoir on their own. His contextual descriptions of various other cultures and thinkers really ruins this book, though. As another review states, the journalistic tone is clear. His personal anecdotes aside, this reads like a really dry literature review / annotated bibliography.

Oh well. ( )
  urnmo | Jul 29, 2019 |
Wow, I have rarely seen such an arrogrant prick writing so lazily. If the subject matter hadn't been absolutely fascinating, It would have gotten 1 star. Because of the subject matter, I only hated it (or more precisely, the author). ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
This book is filled with fascinating insights about the relationship between botany, human consciousness, and "reality," from Pinchbeck's firsthand experience with various mind-altering substances across many contemporary shamanistic tribes. His account is well-written and engaging; I enjoyed living vicariously through his local and (other)-worldly experiences. ( )
  juliana_t | Aug 20, 2009 |
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PINCHBECK, DanielForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Kobbe, PeterOversætterhovedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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A dazzling work of personal travelogue and cultural criticism that ranges from the primitive to the postmodern in a quest for the promise and meaning of the psychedelic experience. While psychedelics of all sorts are demonized in America today, the visionary compounds found in plants are the spiritual sacraments of tribal cultures around the world. From the iboga of the Bwiti in Gabon, to the Mazatecs of Mexico, these plants are sacred because they awaken the mind to other levels of awareness--to a holographic vision of the universe. Breaking Open the Head is a passionate, multilayered, and sometimes rashly personal inquiry into this deep division. On one level, Daniel Pinchbeck tells the story of the encounters between the modern consciousness of the West and these sacramental substances, including such thinkers as Allen Ginsberg, Antonin Artaud, Walter Benjamin, and Terence McKenna, and a new underground of present-day ethnobotanists, chemists, psychonauts, and philosophers. It is also a scrupulous recording of the author's wide-ranging investigation with these outlaw compounds, including a thirty-hour tribal initiation in West Africa; an all-night encounter with the master shamans of the South American rain forest; and a report from a psychedelic utopia in the Black Rock Desert that is the Burning Man Festival. Breaking Open the Head is brave participatory journalism at its best, a vivid account of psychic and intellectual experiences that opened doors in the wall of Western rationalism and completed Daniel Pinchbeck's personal transformation from a jaded Manhattan journalist to shamanic initiate and grateful citizen of the cosmos.

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