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Ecology of Consciousness with Dr. Ralph Metzner

Ecology of Consciousness with Dr. Ralph Metzner

Recently, Synergetic Press publisher, Deborah Parrish Snyder, went to visit well-known counter-culture figure and pioneer in the field of consciousness studies, Dr. Ralph Metzner in Sonoma. There she found him continuing his prolific writing and received a copy of his latest book we would like to share with you here. 

Ecology of Consciousness: The Alchemy of Personal, Collective, and Planetary Transformation (Reveal Press | New Harbinger)

Dr. Metzner’s new book The Ecology of Consciousness presents a cartography of the mystified landscape of consciousness resulting from his lifetime of research into Eastern philosophy, mysticism, and shamanism. The book aims to approach questions surrounding consciousness that have danced before us throughout the centuries, by providing a comprehensive overview informed by a wide range of perspectives and traditions.

Spanning from ancient philosophies to New Age spirituality, the topic of consciousness has been the subject of much contemplation and debate, with The Ecology of Consciousness approaching the subject through the lens of psychospiritual and consciousness studies. The book’s purpose is to give you a more fully fledged understanding of consciousness, providing practical tools through which you can approach your spirituality, teaching age-old shamanic and alchemical traditions and how to connect them with the healing practices of today.

The Ecology of Consciousness

Praise for Ecology of Consciousness

John Allen reading The Ecology of Consciousness

“A truly marvelous, scientific transmission of the exploration of consciousness and objective alchemy (the chemistry of transformations of human understanding). This brilliant book should go on the most treasured shelf of one’s library. Ralph’s synergy of experience and experiments of transformation of understanding is unique, comprehensive, and precisely expressed.” — John Allen, Pioneer in Biosphere Science

“Not since Virgil showed Dante around Hell and Purgatory have we had as gifted a guide as Ralph Metzner help us comprehend and appreciate the major realms of consciousness. His blend of erudition, wisdom, common sense, and personal experience makes each approach he describes (from Alchemy to Buddhism, Agni Yoga through psychedelics, and more) inviting, understandable, and enlightening. In addition, the practices he presents to open these many gates make this not only an illuminating book, but give each of us a way to investigate, experience, and ultimately decide for ourselves our own best path or paths. The book fulfills Metzner’s intention, ‘to awaken spiritual intelligence and bring about a deeper connection with our essential nature.’” — James Fadiman, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

Other books of interest by Ralph Metzner

Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties, Ralph Metzner, Ram Dass and Gary Bravo

ram dass psychedelic cultureIt can be thought that no understanding of the history of the sixties could ever be complete without a grasp of the paradigm-shifting work of Leary, Alpert, and Metzner, the cultural resistance to their experiments, and the way in which psychoactive drug use became a part of contemporary society.

The book Birth of a Psychedelic Culture, constitutes a five-part conversational memoir between Dr. Ralph Metzner and Ram Dass, covering the five year period of 1960-65. It sets out to illuminate their Harvard experiments as well as the cultural context from which they emerged, featuring never seen before photographs and personal experiences of authors Ralph Metzner and Ram Dass, who vividly recall descriptions of particular “trips” as well as conversations with luminaries such as Aldous Huxley, Charles Mingus, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and others that appeared on the scene.

Birth of a Psychedelic Culture

About the Author

Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. is a recognized pioneer in psychological, philosophical and cross-cultural studies of consciousness and its transformations. He is a psychotherapist and professor emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. A recognized pioneer in studies of consciousness and its transformations, he collaborated with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) in the study of psychedelic drugs at Harvard University in the 1960s and coauthored The Psychedelic Experience. Metzner has authored, coauthored, and edited several books, including The Unfolding Self, The Well of Remembrance, Green Psychology, Maps of Consciousness, The Roots of War and Domination, Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca, Allies for Awakening, and Birth of a Psychedelic Culture, among others.

Exploring Psychedelic History with Don Lattin

Exploring Psychedelic History with Don Lattin

Don Lattin and publisher, Deborah Parrish Snyder

Changing Our Minds is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date books on psychoactive substances, their socio-cultural trajectories of use over time and their place in contemporary society. Lucid, well researched and written, Don covers the global movement of scientifically-grounded exploration of how psychedelic drugs – such as LSD, MDA, MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ketamine and many others – have been utilized to treat conditions like PTSD, depression, addiction, and end-of- life anxiety.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of research into the therapeutic potentials of these substances. Lattin details the body of these studies, but also works to move beyond the technical details of the science and research, making efforts to acquaint the reader with the plethora of compelling characters who have made it their life’s task to help make others aware that these mind-altering, psychoactive substances can have positively meaningful, life-changing effects when used in an intentional, controlled manner.

Psychedelics Today recently interviewed Don on the subject: 

In this episode of Psychedelics Today, Don explores psychedelic history, covering his personal experiences as well as the behind the scenes details that led to him writing his new book Changing Our Minds. 

Listen to the Podcast Here

Lattin is able to weave a multi-layered narrative, skillfully incorporating the numerous perspectives involved in today’s dialogue on psychedelics, encapsulating insights from neuroscientists, psychologists, psychotherapists, spiritual practitioners and many more. He spans the landscape, covering territory from neuroscientists using LSD as a research tool to investigate the neural mechanisms behind consciousness; psychologists facilitating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions; tech entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley micro-dosing LSD for cognitive and creative enhancement to consciousness explorers and spiritual practitioners using ayahuasca for their individual betterment.

Times are changing, and we have moved beyond the infamous ‘War on Drugs’ backlash response to the 1960s counter-culture. Many psychoactive substances are slowly on their way to being decriminalized, with the mental stigma and cultural baggage associated with psychedelics dissolving as they are becoming increasingly more accepted as tools for psychological, medical and spiritual growth.

Upcoming Author Event in California April:

SATURDAY, APRIL 28th 6:00-10:00pm – Join Don Lattin and other notable Bay Area authors at a Mad Hatters themed benefit cocktail party in order to raise money for the Walnut Creek Library. For more information and tickets, go to Walnut Creek Library Gala.

Praise for Changing Our Minds

Don Lattin’s Changing Our Minds is far and away the best book on psychedelic use and research available today… Lattin not only fully describes the important trends in research, but includes valuable back stories of the major researchers, and why they have given so much of their professional lives to such risky endeavors. Now, when people ask me, is there one book I can read about the multiple dimensions of current psychedelic research, I can say, Changing Our Minds will give you everything you need. — James Fadiman, PhD, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys

Changing Our Minds expertly explores the healing and spiritual journey catalyzed by psychedelic psychotherapy through the courageous voices of those who are pioneering the study of these treatments. An essential read for those interested in the expanding field of psychedelic research for therapeutic and spiritual uses, this volume lands at a crucial time during the re-emergence of psychedelic research as we approach the mainstream, scientific acceptance of psychedelic psychotherapy and the reintegration of the legal use of psychedelics into Western culture. — Rick Doblin, PhD., Founder & Executive Director of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

About the Author:

Don Lattin is an award-winning author and journalist. His five previously published books include The Harvard Psychedelic Club, a national bestseller that was awarded the California Book Award, Silver Medal, for nonfiction. His feature articles have been published in dozens of leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, where Lattin worked as a staff writer for twenty years.

Don Lattin’s “Changing Our Minds” Coming in April

Don Lattin’s “Changing Our Minds” Coming in April

Navigate the Resurgence in Psychedelic Research with Don Lattin

Don LattinThere’s a quiet revolution underway in our understanding of how psychedelic drugs work and how they can be used to treat depression, addiction and other disease. Meanwhile, from shamanic circles in the Amazon to underground tribes in cities across the U.S., a new generation of consciousness explorers have embraced sacred plant medicines as a means to promote psychological and spiritual growth.

The stories behind this cutting-edge medical research and religious exploration reveal the human side of a psychedelic renaissance. Bestselling author and journalist Don Lattin has been reporting for over forty years, in dozens of articles and four books that chronicle the socially and spiritually beneficial uses of psychedelic drugs and psychoactive plants. His new book, Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, is an engaging look at the stories and recent history as well as future prospects for using MDMA, psilocybin, and ayahuasca to treat mood disorders and promote spiritual well-being.

Lattin profiles neuroscientists, psychotherapists, volunteer research subjects, and ordinary people looking for safe and sane ways to cultivate psychedelic insight. At the end of the book, Don recounts his own journey to find an alternative treatment for depression, a trip that took him from a Swiss neuroscience lab to the South American jungle.

 

Advance Praise for Changing Our Minds

“Accurate, Comprehensive, and Powerful; If you want to understand the responsible use of psychedelics and feel its pulse, this book is for you.” —William A. Richards, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Author, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences

“Don Lattin’s Changing Our Minds is far and away the best book on psychedelic use and research available today… Lattin not only fully describes the important trends in research, but includes valuable back stories of the major researchers, and why they have given so much of their professional lives to such risky endeavors. Now, when people ask me, is there one book I can read about the multiple dimensions of current psychedelic research,, I can say, Changing Our Minds will give you everything you need.” —James Fadiman, PhD, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys

Changing Our Minds expertly explores the healing and spiritual journey catalyzed by psychedelic psychotherapy through the courageous voices of those who are pioneering the study of these treatments. An essential read for those interested in the expanding field of psychedelic research for therapeutic and spiritual uses, this volume lands at a crucial time during the re-emergence of psychedelic research as we approach the mainstream, scientific acceptance of psychedelic psychotherapy and the reintegration of the legal use of psychedelics into Western culture.”  —Rick Doblin, PhD, MAPS Founder & Executive Director

Author Events and Talks in California April/May:

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 1:00-1:30 pm  —  In the Marketplace at the MAPS Conference. Find the Author, publisher and the whole Synergetic Press team at the MAPS Psychedelic Sciences 2017 Convention.  Admission is free to Psymposia Stage in the convention Marketplace. Oakland Marriott Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland. Click here for Psymposia Schedule in the Marketplace.

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 4 pm  —  Author reading and signing. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera. http://www.bookpassage.com/event/don-lattin-changing-our-minds-corte-madera

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 7 pm  —  Reading and discussion about Changing Our Minds. Books, Inc. 1491 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.  http://www.booksinc.net/event/don-lattin-books-inc-Berkeley

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 1:30 to 5:30 pm  —  Don Lattin will be among the panelists talking about Buddhism and psychedelics at an afternoon seminar at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County. Sliding scale: $75-$200.  https://www.spiritrock.org/CalendarDetails?EventID=4600

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 7-9 pm  —  Talk and discussion on “Telling Psychedelic Stories,” based on his trilogy of books that explore those realms. California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco. http://www.ciis.edu/public-programs-and-performances/public-programs-event-calendar/lattin-don-ss17

***

Don Lattin is an award-winning author and journalist. His five previously published books include The Harvard Psychedelic Club, a national bestseller that was awarded the California Book Award, Silver Medal, for nonfiction. His feature articles have been published in dozens of leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, where Lattin worked as a staff writer for twenty years.

What do Psychedelics, Psychotherapy and Scientific Research Have in Common?

What do Psychedelics, Psychotherapy and Scientific Research Have in Common?

If you ask the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), you’ll find that these topics are much more closely related than the US government currently wants you to believe. And the people at MAPS are working to change those government policies through the power of scientific data.

MAPS has recently sponsored the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in human beings that has been completed since the early 1970s.

LDA1_last_capsule_sm

Experimental LSD capsule from the completed MAPS pilot study in Switzerland

The pilot-study included twelve patients who had anxiety related to a life-threatening disease. They were treated with therapy sessions to discuss their anxiety without any drugs, as well as participating in two LSD-assisted therapy sessions, using a double-blind, randomized method to administer the LSD.

Once the study was completed, it was found that there were positive trends and lasting benefits in the reduction of anxiety after the two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. The study results also indicate that LSD-assisted psychotherapy was safe to use and administer in these subjects. These results showing the safety and potential benefits of LSD justify conducting further research on its therapeutic potential.

Alex_Grey_St_Albert

St. Albert and the LSD Revelation Revolution by Alex Grey

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a semi-synthetic compound first developed in 1938 by Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz pharmaceutical company in Basel, Switzerland. After Dr. Hofmann first discovered some of its interesting effects in 1943, LSD quickly became recognized for its possible therapeutic effects. LSD also played a significant role in the discovery of the serotonin neurotransmitter system.

LSD is known for its ability to catalyze spiritual or mystical experiences and to facilitate feelings of interconnection. MAPS helps people to explore the potential of these substances to treat a variety of conditions, focusing primarily on the treatment of anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, as well as for spiritual uses, creativity, and personal growth.

There is considerable previous experience using LSD in the context of psychotherapy. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, psychiatrists (such as Stanislav Grof), therapists (like Ralph Metzner), and other researchers administered LSD as a treatment for alcoholism, or for anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.

The research that MAPS has completed and their plans for future research conform to the  development standards for other modern drugs and will help guide the way for the development of additional research into the risks and benefits of LSD-assisted psychotherapy.

Rick Doblin PhD, the Founder and Executive Director of MAPS, was one of the coauthors of the groundbreaking pilot study, and is a contributor to Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics. He was interviewed for the book by editor Allan Badiner and in that interview they discuss Rick’s personal history with working to legalize psychedelics, experience with trying meditation and ways of relating to skeptical relatives.

You can watch them talk about some of the ideas in Zig Zag Zen at Watkins Books in London in the video below:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or_xAWd8wdM” width=”360″ height=”280″]

And for more information from MAPS, you can check out their comprehensive Psychedelic Bibliography for scientific literature covering the risks and benefits of LSD and other psychedelics.

If you’re still hungry for more psychedelic information to feed your head, be sure to check out the Consciousness and Psychedelics section of our bookstore.

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