☙ Psychedelia ❧
Explorations in the Psychedelic Experience
An illustrated, annotated presentation of the current holdings of my private library on the subject of psychedelic drugs, which includes virtually every major English language book-length work on their use in psychiatry published during those earliest decades of the 1950s and 1960s.
My personal record of readings on the subject of “the psychedelic experience,” which I conducted (and kept a record of) during my years of most intense and studious — and certainly most laborious — research, conducted between 1985 and 1993. This bibliography should by no means be considered to be an exhaustive, all-encompassing, let alone up-to-date listing of all the literature on psychedelic drugs, nevertheless it could well serve as a foundation for anyone interested in newly exploring the subject, with a particular emphasis on the first “Psychedelic Renaissance” period of the 1950s and 1960s (but also including many other important works beyond that).
Welcome to the psychedelics section of my website. If perchance you landed here through an online search and were hoping to discover an exhaustive, comprehensive, all-encompassing resource regarding “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Psychedelic Drugs,” then I’m afraid that you may well find yourself sorely disappointed.
I’m not anybody special in the world of psychedelics. I’m a researcher, but I haven’t actually done any formal research (like, in a lab or something); I’m a writer, but I haven’t actually had any articles on this subject published in peer-reviewed journals or popular magazines or anywhere outside of discussion forums; I love psychology and have explored all sorts of paths toward psychological growth and healing, but I’m not a therapist myself, and not qualified to do that sort of work.
So who am I, and what am I?
Well, I’m just a guy who had tendencies toward mysticism as a child, who was thoroughly intrigued with the whole “drug scene” of the 1960s and for whom later drug use (and abuse) was almost preordained and inevitable; who had extraordinarily profound, life-changing experiences with psychedelics in his teens and 20s; who then for several years, on into his 30s, put in an enormous amount of intense study of all the past literature in an effort to understand those experiences (which is what would become my bibliography on the subject); and who has ever since — via online discussion forums and other avenues — followed all the subsequent research being done with these substances.
This is just a hobby of sorts for me — and I don’t mean indulging in the taking of these drugs, but I mean just researching them, and following the research being done with them around the world — but I’m not anybody special or notable in this area of study. I have an extensive private library on the subject, but as the years have gone by my pursuits in that regard have had less and less to do with keeping up with all the latest literature being published, and instead have become increasingly focussed on just collecting all the earliest psychiatric texts from the 1950s and ’60s concerning the then-blossoming field of psychotherapy with LSD, etc. — but even in that regard I’ve pretty much run out of anything further to acquire for my collection, as far as English-language literature goes I’ve pretty much accumulated them all now (to the best of my knowledge), and read the vast majority of them, too.
I turned to psychedelics in my youth because I was “seeking something,” and eventually I found what I was looking for, and while I haven’t used any sort of psychedelic drug since the early 1990s, my interest in their therapeutic potential from an intellectual, scholarly perspective has never waned. When it comes to doing them, though, I just don’t feel the inclination to do so any more.
As the great Alan Watts once said, “When you get the message, you hang up the phone.”
— Ron Koster, Psymon
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