The Journey Book Project

Trippin' with the Dalai Lama

* based on a true story, as told to Undergrowth magazine...

The fourth method of awakening [i.e. enlightenment] is through the use of specific herbs. In Sanskrit it is called aushadi... knowledge of the herbs is a closely guarded secret.
- Swami Satyananda Sarawati, Kundalini Tantra

There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Hindus and probably the Buddhists of earlier days did regard the taking of psychedelic drugs as part of the wide range of sadhanas which led to ecstasy... The mythological and iconographical corollary to this is, apart from the personification of soma as the quintessence of all mind-affecting beverages, the frequent epithet of oiva as the lord of Herbs (Ausadhisvara).
– Agehanada Bharati, The Tantric Tradition

The Dalai Lama story... well, there's not much to it. It might all have been a hallucination really, the eternal play of Lila as if wafts down from the hills of Mount Meru. I am an unreliable narrator at best, dear reader, and you must remember that this was in my psychopuppy stage, when I used to take psychedelics and explore with the Buddhist masters. So Caveat Lector, and don’t try this in your home reality grid.

Into the Light> by Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna is one of the leading figures in the global psychedelic and scientific communities investigating plant entheogens and indigenous plant medicines. He was involved with the “Hoasca Project” studying ayahuasca usage by members of the Church de Vegetal and recently issued the manifesto “Ayahuasca and Human Destiny”. Along with his late brother Terence, Dennis co-wrote the book “The Invisible Landscape” which revealed their psychedelically influenced insights into the nature of reality and spacetime they received during “The experiment at La Cholerra” in South America in 1971 (later recounted in Terence’s book “True Hallucinations”).

Adventures in Innerspace> by Erik Davis

| |

Let's say you're a buttoned-down organic-chemistry jockey at Merck. One day you tweak a molecule ripped off from a Peruvian native medicine, and you wind up with a powerfully psychoactive compound. Instead of squelching anxiety, instilling a reliable boner, or giving young minds that magic amphetamine edge, the drug helps you touch the hem of God -- or at least something a lot like the hem of God. At times it hurtles you into a blazing hieroglyphic phantasmagoria more sublime and gorgeously bizarre than anything on the demo reels of Hollywood FX shops. On other occasions it leads you to the lip of a fundamental insight into the dance of form and emptiness. And though later attempts to communicate your insight founder on the shoals of coherence, the experience still leaves you centered and convinced that ordinary life is fed by deeper springs.

The Shaman's Path> by Kevin Furnas


all artwork by Gerhard Hillman


In school I had been taught that there were only two possibilities in life; you could either join the crowd and make yourself fit the society or else withdraw and live in some hypothetical cave. While total isolation seemed a rather drastic, if humorous solution to inner doubt, I continued on my path in hopes of finding a more flexible means of being true to myself. At the time I was undergoing a crisis of belief in the veracity of my own Western cultural upbringing and the ensuing struggle led me on a quest for truth. I was uncomfortable with the modern view of reality, and so despite the immense pressure placed on me to conform I attempted to discover whether an alternative existed.

verb's picture

Dreams of the Ocean

Dreams of the Ocean
'Dreams of the Ocean'
by Tim Parish, January 2007
drawn while working in Bangkok, Thailand

EVOLVER > Daniel Pinchbeck interview > by Tim Boucher

| |

Daniel Pinchbeck is one of the leading voices in today’s psychedelic counter-culture, exploring the connections between psychedelics & shamanism and their importance in the modern era. Though he’s published feature articles in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Wired, The Village Voice and is a regular columnist in Arthur magazine, it was his 2003 book, Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism, which seems to have really given him a higher profile among those interested in alternative religion and spirituality.

Evolver illustration by Tim Parish

The Shulgin Rating Scale

The Shulgin Rating Scale is a simple scale for reporting the subjective effect of psychoactive substances at a given dosage, and at a given time. The system was developed for research purposes by the American biochemist 'Sascha' Shulgin and detailed in his book PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved: A Chemical Love Story).

Talking with Kevin

| |

Kevin Furnas was a Western shaman from San Francisco who had been training with ayahuasca and other plant medicines for over a decade. He dieted extensively with plants at the Sachamama Ethnobotanical Gardens retreat outside Iquitos for nearly two years, receiving knowledge and wisdom from the plant doctors directly. He was an ayahuasquero and vegetalista in the Amazonian tradition, performing healing ceremonies with ayahuasca and other plants.

Still Seeking> by Rak Razam


50 years ago a New York banker’s trailblazing story of participating in a holy, age-old ritual in the mountains of Mexico with Indians who “chew strange growths that produce visions” was published, sparking off the psychedelic revolution of the 60s and a new horizon for neuroscience today

May 13, 1957, during the height of the post-war Eisenhower years, an article written by the influential banker and amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, 'Seeking the Magic Mushroom', was published in Life magazine, part of the Time-Life stable. In homes across the nation, everyday Americans weathering the poles of luxury capitalist growth and communist menace were rocked by the strange article, part anthropology and part-adventure narrative, that introduced proof of a hitherto speculative practice by indigenous Mexican Indians, who "chew strange growths that produce visions". A serpent was set loose in suburbia. The chain of events Wasson’s story unleashed popularised knowledge of altered states of mind and, some say, was the first spark of what was to become the psychedelic revolution. Now, fifty years later, Westerners are still seeking the ‘magic’ mushroom, as the time-honored sacrament of Mesoamericans comes out of the fields and into the medical fold as a valuable tool in the burgeoning field of neuroscience.

The Doors of Perception

The Doors of Perception

illustration: by Gwyllm Llwydd
Syndicate content