Breaking Convention: Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness

Breaking Convention: Essays on Psychedelic Consciousness

Edited by David Luke, Cameron Adams, Anna Waldstein, Ben Sessa & Dave King
Strange Attractor Press, 2013

These essays are a glimpse of Breaking Convention: A Multidisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness, which in 2011 brought together over 80 speakers and 600 delegates from 30 countries to Canterbury, UK to discuss these substances and their effects.

Psychedelic consciousness is a personally meaningful experience that can bring us into contact with the unknowable, help repair fragmented minds and increase our wellbeing. However, psychedelic plants and other substances have been globally prohibited for over half a century with little regard for their spiritual, therapeutic and recreational use throughout human history.

The prohibition of psychedelic ‘drugs’ has limited the exploration of consciousness and the healing potential of psychedelics. Yet, in the last two decades, a door has opened allowing legal medical and therapeutic research on psychedelics to resume. This opening has allowed other scholars to become increasingly bold in stating their interest in psychedelic substances.

A multidimensional trip into psychedelic consciousness, science and culture. Topics covered range from Neolithic worldviews, prehistoric rituals and Amerindian epistemology to weaponized hallucinogens, religious freedoms, trip lit and the death of the ’60s dream. This collection of 22 original essays transects a wide range of disciplines to offer empirical, mystical, imaginal, hermeneutic, queer, phenomenological and parapsychological perspectives on the exploration of psychedelics, taking in scientific debates on MDMA, manifestos, policy challenges, anaesthetic revelations and communications from the herbs along the way.

"Breaking Convention lives up to its name. It is a panoramic survey of the controversial world of psychedelic substances, their history, and their use. There is something here for everyone: psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, psychotherapists, political activists, and readers who simply want to know more about the drugs and herbal brews they or their friends have been ingesting … a bold testament to the pursuit of knowledge."
- Stanley Krippner, PhD

"From shamanic rituals to the 1960s cultural revolution, from psychopharmacology to ethnobotany, from phenomenology to parapsychology, from MDMA to ayahuasca, this collection of essays covers a vast range of contemporary studies of mind-expanding substances. Provocative and highly recommended."
- Ralph Metzner, PhD

Cameron Adams • Joseph Bicknell • Ras Binghi Congo-Nyah • Neşe Devenot • Rob Dickins • Rick Doblin • Jon Cole • Val Curran • Kevin Feeney • Amanda Feilding • Tom Froese • Jonathan Hobbs • Mike Jay • Axel Klein • Reka Komaromi • Beatriz Caiuby Labate • Andy Letcher • Luis Eduardo Luna • David Luke • Kirkland Murray, • Peter Oehen • Andy Parrott • Vít Pokorný • Ffion Reynolds • Andy Roberts • William Rowlandson • Ben Sessa • Angela Voss • Anna Waldstein


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