Add to Cart About Breaking Open the Head 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.
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Jul 18, aloveiz rated it it was ok The least insulting thing I can say about this book is maybe that Pinchbeck was too young to write this when he did. In general, I got the feeling he wrote this to enhance his hip, New York bachelor, image. He travels around being the witness, relaying different accounts of psychedelic or shamanistic encounters without The least insulting thing I can say about this book is maybe that Pinchbeck was too young to write this when he did.
He travels around being the witness, relaying different accounts of psychedelic or shamanistic encounters without expounding on differentiations between the terms. His personal anecdotes all seem too recent, and too egotistical. But the best part of this book is the message that really gets driven home to the heart of who we are, the potential of what we have yet to learn about ourselves, something humankind has barely scratched the surface of-- which he saves for the few chapters toward the end.
Without getting too cheesy here, I have to say if there ever was a perfect role model of a modern-day shaman, he is it. With a supreme command of the English language, Pinchbeck accounts the history of his and many great minds of the "Beat" generation while venturing into unfamiliar cultures, ritualistic initiations, and transcendent states of being and alteration through a number of organic substances and synthetic Since November of to present day August 27, I have read an estimated books.
With a supreme command of the English language, Pinchbeck accounts the history of his and many great minds of the "Beat" generation while venturing into unfamiliar cultures, ritualistic initiations, and transcendent states of being and alteration through a number of organic substances and synthetic solutions. Now you know. This is it.
Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism
In Breaking Open the Head, Pinchbeck explored shamanism via ceremonies with tribal groups such as the Bwiti of Gabon , who eat iboga , and the Secoya people in the Ecuadorean Amazon , who take the psychedelic tryptamine brew ayahuasca in their ceremonies. Philosophically influenced by the work of anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner ,   through his direct experience and research Pinchbeck developed the hypothesis that shamanic and mystical views of reality have validity, and that the modern world had forfeited an understanding of intuitive aspects of being in its pursuit of rational materialism. Examining the nature of prophecy during this period, Pinchbeck investigates the New Age hypothesis of Terence McKenna that humanity is experiencing an accelerated process of global consciousness transformation, leading to a new understanding of time and space. Pinchbeck concludes with an account of receiving a transmission of prophetic material from the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl ,. While acknowledging that the validity of such an experience is unknown, Pinchbeck describes how a voice identifying itself as Quetzalcoatl began speaking to him during a trip to the Amazon. At the time, he was participating in the ceremonies of Santo Daime , a Brazilian religion that includes sacramental use of ayahuasca. In May , Pinchbeck launched Reality Sandwich.