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Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures

 
 
 
 
Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures
Author: Charles Hayes
ISBN 13: 9780140195743
ISBN 10: 140195742
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Penguin Compass
Publication Date: 2000-11-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 512
List Price: $22.00
 
 

The psychedelic experience has been both demonized and mythologized, but what \ is it really like to trip?
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Tripping: An Anthology of True-Life Psychedelic Adventures, the first major \ compilation of personal testimonies about psychedelic experiences, contains \ narratives by 50 people of various nationalities and walks of life about \ their most unforgettable altered states -- from the heavenly to the horrific. \ In gripping, often suspenseful tales suffused with a high sense of adventure, \ Tripping liberates the psychedelic experience from the closet of social \ stigma as well as from the mists of Sixties counter-cultural idealism.
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Relating the harrowing straits and exhilarating peaks of the psychedelic \ inner odyssey are many accomplished writers, including former Grateful Dead \ lyricist John Perry Barlow, war photographer Tim Page, Beat poet Anne \ Waldman, science fiction writer Robert Charles Wilson, thriller writer Steven \ Martin Cohen, Ecstasy expert Bruce Eisner, and phenomonologist Paul Devereux.
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Most of the narratives, however, come from "ordinary" people from Sydney to \ Belfast to San Francisco, for whom their anonymity brings out an intensely \ personal, confessional dimension. The stories, edited mostly from taped \ interviews by journalist Charles Hayes, enable readers to either "trip" \ vicariously or compare notes on their own experiences.
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Specially featured is a lengthy conversation with the late Terence McKenna, \ the man who many believe inherited Tim Leary's mantle as the leading \ spokesman for psychedelics from the late Seventies until his death in April \ 2000. A veteran of myriad "heroic doses," McKenna discusses some of his own \ trips for the first time, as well as a range of issues, including his own \ provocative brand of eschatology, politics, and anthropology, at the center \ of which is an abiding faith in the power of psychedelic drugs.
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Tripping's balanced, objective perspective portrays both positive and \ negative impacts of psychedelic experiences, depicting both the tolls and the \ rewards of such chemically-induced excursions from reality. Types of episodes \ run the gamut from encounters with godhead and alien or discarnate entities; \ out-of-body experiences, freak-outs, flashbacks, psychosis (momentary and \ otherwise), and acts or events of apparent magic or miracle. The trips \ described were catalyzed not just by classic psychedelics such as LSD, but by \ a wide array of psychotropics, from the sacred plants of indigenous peoples \ to the latest synthetic "smart drugs."
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Some sample plotlines
\ At a summer festival, a man on LSD believes he's attending the final \ celebration of the gods and that his mission is to mate with his chosen one \ before the entire tribe moves on to a higher sphere at the climax of the \ "orgasm death dance."
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A young man eats some peyote buttons on a hike in the Grand Canyon, and \ stumbles upon a near-death experience.
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A group of army buddies test the limits of their bodies' endurance during an \ acid session by a campfire.
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The ministrations of the "shining ones", astral beings accessed during an LSD \ trip, lure a college student to higher realms of consciousness.
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A psychedelic ingested at the notorious Altamont concert of 1969 triggers a \ bizarre odyssey through the San Francisco city jail and mental health system \ for a fellow who believes he's an angelic revolutionary.
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After a déjà vu of enlightenment during which he begins speaking in tongues, \ a tripper plummets into the flipside of that experience in an episode of \ horrific eternal recurrence that revisits him in flashbacks.
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A wooden carving of Christ speaks out loud to a seminary student during a \ church service, reshaping her theology and the depth of her faith.
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The narratives in Tripping are placed in larger contexts by Hayes's essays, \ which include a synopsis of the history and culture of psychedelics from the \ ancient Greek mystery rites to today's Ecstasy-fueled rave events; an \ exposition on the kinetics of tripping (what can go right and wrong on a \ trip), including basic medical and psychological background; and a concise \ index of psychedelic substances.
\ The illustrations in Tripping are provided by renowned visionary artist Alex \ Grey and four computer graphics masters.
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About The Author
Charles Hayes has been a writer/editor for a variety of businesses and \ organizations, a communications manager for a marketing firm, and a \ journalist whose work has appeared in The Earth Times and E Magazine. A \ resident of Westchester County, New York. \ \

Library Journal

The bulk of this book consists of 50 first-hand accounts of the authors' experiences on various drugs, including cannabis, peyote, LSD, and Ecstasy. The narrators, drawn from across the globe, include poets, musicians, healthcare professionals, and members of the clergy--not to mention a few librarians. Although many speak anonymously, others, like poet Anne Waldman and journalist Steve Silberman, write under their own names. Several stories recount similar experiences: feelings of unspeakable bliss, a direct connection with God or Nature, a vision of one's own birth or death. There are also horrific experiences like that of Kenny who, high on LSD, burned over 60 percent of his body after jumping into a bonfire. Supplemental essays discuss the basic features of the psychedelic experience and the cultural history of tripping. The author intends the book for "psychonauts" who want to compare notes and for the uninitiated who wish "to vicariously experience the thrills and trauma of the trip." It is the latter to whom the book will appeal most.--William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\