close
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Dionysian Buddhism: Guided Interpersonal Meditations in the Three Yanas by Claudio Naranjo to publish July 12, 2022

Dionysian Buddhism: Guided Interpersonal Meditations in the Three Yanas by Claudio Naranjo to publish July 12, 2022

SANTA FE, N.M. —

A work of sequenced and guided meditations for exploring emotional landscapes, Dionysian Buddhism: Guided Interpersonal Meditations in the Three Yanas by the late Dr. Claudio Naranjo will be released by Synergetic Press July  12, 2022.

Naranjo, a renown psychotherapist and early practitioner of the “Enneagram of Personality”, structured the meditations in Dionysian Buddhism to guide individuals towards acceptance of what is,  to meet pain with joy, expand awareness into consciousness, and to learn how to share in the full presence of others. 

The “Dionysian” context of Buddhism provides a lens in which to interpret non-attachment through non-interference with the stream of life. In Dionysian Buddhism, Naranjo draws on a wide range of Buddhist traditions, from Theravada to Vajrayana, in order to create a work that emphasizes both the experiential and multifaceted aspects of meditation. 

Naranjo first wrote Dionysian Buddhism in Spanish (Ediciones La Llave, 2013) and translated it himself into English.  “Only a change of consciousness might save our world,” Naranjo wrote. “And that in view of this collective shift in consciousness there is nothing more relevant we can do than start with ourselves.”


About Synergetic Press: For over 35 years as an independent publisher, our mission has been to promote mindful discussion of humankind’s present and future lives. We publish unique and paradigm-shifting ideas in subjects such as ecology, sustainability, psychedelics, consciousness, and environmental and social justice that inspire both individual and social change.

Now Available As Ebook: ‘The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments’ By William Leonard Pickard

Now Available As Ebook: ‘The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments’ By William Leonard Pickard

SANTA FE, N.M. — Synergetic Press is pleased to announce the ebook release of The Rose of Paracelsus: On Secrets and Sacraments, by William Leonard Pickard. The release, on March 29, 2022, marks the first-ever ebook publication of this 654-page work of psychedelic literature. 

Handwritten over four years from maximum-security federal prison cells, The Rose explores the potential of human cognition. This book, first published as a paperback in 2015, is a psychedelic biography of its author, William Leonard Pickard, a former Harvard chemist who served 20 years in prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute LSD. 

The Rose follows the narrator, a Harvard graduate student and researcher, as he uncovers an intricate, global psychedelic network through encounters with “the Six,” clandestine LSD chemists who synthesize planetary-scale batches of the substance, traversing states of consciousness and advancing human evolution. 

From Cambridge to Moscow, Oxford to Zürich, Princeton to Mazar-i-Sharif and Bangkok, this book illuminates lifestyles within a rare and elusive organization, one that has evolved special gifts: advanced capacities of thought, memory and perception.


About Synergetic Press: For over 35 years as an independent publisher, our mission has been to promote mindful discussion of humankind’s present and future lives. We publish unique and paradigm-shifting ideas in subjects such as ecology, sustainability, psychedelics, consciousness, and environmental and social justice that inspire both individual and social change.

Revised edition of ‘The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff, Pioneer in the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement’ to publish May 3, 2022

Revised edition of ‘The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff, Pioneer in the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement’ to publish May 3, 2022

SANTA FE, N.M. — Synergetic Press and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) are breathing new life into a classic book that details the work of an underground psychedelic-assisted therapy trailblazer. The Secret Chief Revealed: Conversations with Leo Zeff, Pioneer in the Underground Psychedelic Therapy Movement, revised second edition will be released on May 3, 2022.

The Secret Chief Revealed is an in-depth, first-hand account of Leo Zeff, Ph.D., a pioneering psychedelic therapist who conducted MDMA-assisted therapy sessions pre- and post-prohibition. Originally published by MAPS in 2004, The Secret Chief Revealed is written as a transcription of an interview conducted in the 1980s with Zeff about his research, studies, and practice with psychedelic-assisted therapy. The revised 2nd edition maintains much of the 2nd edition release, including thoughtful contributions from leaders and researchers in the psychedelic movement such as Albert Hofmann, Ph.D., a chemist, the inventor of LSD, and author as well as Stanislav Grof, M.D., a psychiatrist and founder of transpersonal psychology, LSD psychotherapy, and holotropic breathwork. 

“I am thrilled that Leo Zeff’s wisdom and expertise are continuing to reach new audiences through this revised second edition of The Secret Chief Revealed,” said Rick Doblin, Ph.D., founder and executive director of MAPS. “The therapeutic use of MDMA was first pioneered by Leo Zeff in 1976, after a courageous career providing psychedelic-assisted therapy in underground settings. Leo’s contributions to psychedelic therapy and mentorship towards my study of the benefits of using MDMA as adjunct to psychotherapy, and sitting for me for several of my own psychedelic therapy sessions, had a critical, foundational role to the formation of MAPS.”

The Secret Chief Revealed, revised 2nd edition includes contributions in the form of sentimental, narrative-style tributes to Zeff, with notable words from Ann & Alexander (Sasha) Shulgin, renowned psychedelic researchers and authors of the how-to chemistry book, PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story. Sasha Shulgin once called Zeff  “a most courageous and skillful psychologist, the person who effectively introduced MDMA into the medical arena of psychotherapy.”

The Secret Chief is the story of a great man whose story has come due,” author and editor Tom Lyttle wrote of the original work. “[Zeff’s] influence on a great part of psychedelic thinking is unquestionable and seminal. Our laws must eventually loosen up regarding the uses of psychedelics in therapy …  Applause to Myron Stolaroff for bringing this story to light, and for revealing the hidden history of psychedelic therapy and its elders.”

This revised second edition of The Secret Chief Revealed contains corrected errata, updated links to sources cited in the 2004 edition, and a new design. 


About Synergetic Press: For over 35 years as an independent publisher, our mission has been to promote mindful discussion of humankind’s present and future lives. We publish unique and paradigm-shifting ideas in subjects such as ecology, sustainability, psychedelics, consciousness, and environmental and social justice that inspire both individual and social change.

About MAPS: Founded in 1986, MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS is sponsoring the most advanced psychedelic therapy research in the world: Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. Since its founding, MAPS has raised over $130 million for psychedelic and marijuana research and education and has earned both the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency and a 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator.

‘Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof’ to publish January 2022

‘Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof’ to publish January 2022

SANTA FE, N.M. — Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof is an extraordinary compilation of twenty-two essays that honor the path-breaking lifework of Stanislav Grof, MD, PhD, the world’s leading researcher in psychedelic-assisted therapy, breathwork, and the exploration of non-ordinary states of consciousness. This new collection, copublished by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with Synergetic Press, will be released on January 11, 2022. 

Dr. Grof, a founder of transpersonal psychology, is recognized by many as having both inherited and extended the great revolution in psychology begun by Freud and Jung. His investigations of the nature and healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness led him to propose a model of the psyche which honors the full range of human experience. Unconstrained by the dogmatic prejudices of mainstream psychology and of the dominant reductive, mechanistic, and materialistic-scientific paradigm, Grof offers a liberated, and liberating, vision of psyche unbound.

Psyche Unbound features contributions from thought leaders of the last five decades, including a piece from Joseph Campbell’s 1971 lecture in the Great Hall at Cooper Union and Huston Smith’s 1976 summary of Grof’s work as it relates to the study of religion and mysticism. More recent writing includes reflections by renowned psychiatrists and researchers that discuss the importance of Grof’s contributions on the current wave of interest and research into psychedelic-assisted therapies and alternative states of consciousness.

Psyche Unbound includes essays that explore Grof’s work on numerous fronts including transpersonal sexual experiences, implications for social and cultural change, comparative studies with Asianreligious systems, the perinatal dimensions of Jean-Paul Sartre’s transformational 1935 mescaline experience, and parallel findings from quantum and relativistic physics.

Edited by Richard Tarnas, PhD, and Sean Kelly, PhD, Psyche Unbound has already received praise from some of modern psychology’s most formidable academics and visionaries.

“What is remarkable about this book is that while each essay discusses, describes, or elaborates on a major concept or contribution of Grof’s, few of the essays overlap in any meaningful way,” says James Fadiman, PhD, author and pioneer of psychedelic therapies, of the collection. “The result is a volume of original thinking, speculation, and elaboration that is deeply satisfying in its exploration of ways of knowing Grof encountered or created during his long career.”

Grof is himself the author and editor of many books, including Psychology of the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research; The Cosmic Game: Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness; Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy; and Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science, all published by SUNY Press. As well as the following titles from MAPS: The Way of the Psychonaut: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys (Vol. One) and The Way of the Psychonaut: Encyclopedia for Inner Journeys (Vol. Two), LSD Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Psychedelic Medicine, Modern Consciousness Research and The Understanding of Art.

Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof, which features a foreword by Rick Doblin, PhD, founder of MAPS, will be released January 11, 2022.

More information about the book, including biographies of Grof and collection editors Tarnas and Kelly, can be found here

Additional Praise for Psyche Unbound: Essays in Honor of Stanislav Grof

“Brilliant and deep, this volume celebrates and illuminates Stan Grof’s genius. His profound vision has created a powerful new paradigm for psychology, medicine, human and social development, and for understanding the nature of consciousness. His groundbreaking research and vast experience offers us wisdom, a wise heart and whole beneficial new perspectives across multiple fields. A truly important worthy tribute.”  — Jack Kornfield, PhD, Author of A Path With Heart

“An inspiring, highly personal look at Stanislav Grof’s groundbreaking work, and how it has created the modern foundation for what we now know as transpersonal psychology. This inspiring festschrift compiles twenty-two anecdotal and analytical essays from leaders in their fields whose work has been influenced by Grof, and relays the breadth and significance of Grof’s insights and theories throughout the years.” — Zaya and Maurizio Benazzo, Science and Non-Duality (SAND) Founders and Organizers 

“The festschrift is literally a tour de force. It weaves together insights into the transformative nature of consciousness throughout—and beyond—our lifespan. Wisdom is shared by leaders in this fascinating field and they open the shudders to an expanded horizon of human potentials. Psyche Unbound deserves a front row seat in the dynamic play of consciousness in a post materialist world.”Marilyn Schlitz, PhD, MA, Professor, Sofia University, Author of Death Makes Life Possible and Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation

Are Plants Conscious?

Are Plants Conscious?

It’s often the things we take for granted that have the most potential to provide significance and meaning in our lives. Like many things in our environment essential to our being and our becoming, plants are commonly overlooked, and so it might not feel natural or even useful to ask, are plants conscious? It can come as a surprise to learn that more than ninety-nine percent of all biomass on our planet consists of plants. They have an enormously consequential presence in our lives and yet in many ways we can easily misunderstand the nature of these fascinating beings. 

When we raise the question of what it is like to be a plant, a different picture begins to emerge, though we must remain aware of how easy it is for us to project the qualities of our own subjectivity into the answers we come up with. 

The specific question of whether plants are conscious remains open and our approach to answering this query informs the type of answer we arrive at. In the recently published book, The Mind Of Plants: Narratives of Vegetal Intelligence, a diverse group of authors, poets, naturalists, and social scientists examine their own connections to plants and elaborate on the questions and answers that these relationships produce. The editors of this collection intend to “inspire fresh ways of seeing—of feeling and of being with—the photo-synthetic personae with whom we share this precious, imperiled planet.” It is with this spirit of openness to a new phenomenology that our questions will prove most rewarding and conducive toward gleaming whether plants are conscious, and what we can learn from their intriguing and mysterious experience.

What is Consciousness?

A clear definition of what consciousness is has continued to elude consensus and, much to the dismay of apostles for scientific materialism, there continues to be ample disagreement regarding whether their current theories can accurately describe the faculties of consciousness displayed by earth’s organisms. 

The Oxford Living Dictionary defines consciousness as “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.” If we think of consciousness as the state of being aware of one’s surroundings it seems that plants qualify, after all, many plants direct the growth of their roots based on the amount of nutrients they encounter in soil and they extend their branches toward the direction where light emanates from. However, more nuanced definitions of consciousness include the ability to be aware of oneself, and to be intentional, or to have volition. Even with these more demanding constraints on the definition of consciousness, it is not immediately apparent that plants can be disqualified. Although consciousness is evidently and notoriously difficult to explain, certain characteristics of what we consider consciousness have been clearly observed within plants

Examples of Plant Consciousness

In recent years the debate over whether to classify plants as conscious or not has developed with several factions presenting evidence and making competing claims. There have been important publications that support the idea that plants are conscious including a study published last year in the journal Nature which examined the patterns of growth exhibited by the common bean as it sprouts and seeks a feasible path for its limbs. The researchers found a difference in how the beans grew when placed in a pot with a cane which they could grab hold of or when placed in an empty pot. This seems to suggest that the plants have some kind of sense which allows them to know if there was anything for them to climb on or not. 

Arguments Against Plant Consciousness 

There are of course many scientists who for several reasons believe that we cannot properly call plants conscious. Many of these points are outlined in a paper published in 2019 in the Journal Cell in which a group of biologists and plant physiologists argue that consciousness is too complex of a state for us to attribute it to the plant behavior observed. One of the authors of that paper, Lincoln Taiz, is a botanist working at UCLA who believes that proponents of plant consciousness fail “to consider the importance of brain organization, complexity, and specialization for the phenomenon of consciousness.” 

Monica Gagliano, a professor in the School of Biological Studies at the University of Western Australia, and co-editor of The Mind of Plants, responds to this by pointing out that if plants are conscious we should not expect the mechanisms by which consciousness is correlated in physical systems to necessarily be the same.

Rethinking Plant Intelligence

Plant Neurobiology is the recently developed field of study that looks at “how plants process the information they obtain from their environment to develop, prosper and reproduce optimally.” By rethinking plant intelligence, this field is providing new perspectives for how we view and relate to plants. Botanist Stefano Mancuso is Director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology which proposes renewing our view of plants by understanding them as “information processing organisms with complex communication throughout the individual plant.” The areas which Mancuso and his colleagues work on include plant behavior, plant intelligence, and plant signaling. In their research, they take the view that “plants are dynamic and highly sensitive organisms… capable of a refined recognition of self and non-self…”

The legacy of Western historical perspectives continues to be challenged and it seems in some ways science is approaching a closer balance with the view held by Indigenous knowledge for time immemorial that plants are conscious and even teachers. Let us accept that we are invariably influenced by the underlying ontology that we absorb and uphold. But, let us also acknowledge that our own mysterious capacity to reflect in consciousness allows us to play with our imaginative capacity and thus perform both measurements and interpretations of what consciousness is like on the far side of our subjective divide.

The Mind of Plants Book Launch Event

World renown ethnobotanist and researcher Dennis McKenna, PhD, will give an introduction at a global, live-stream event to celebrate the publication of The Mind of Plants: Narratives of Vegetal Intelligence, on October 28. 

The Mind of Plants event will feature the book’s editors, John Ryan, Monica Gagliano, and Patricia Viera as well as reflections from José María Pout, whose illustrations bring the plants to life throughout the collected works. Multi-instrumentalist January Kultura will also provide a deep listening experience for event attendees.

Learn more and register here.  

 

Pin It on Pinterest