This book is not your typical "stoner type" purporting the transcendent information that can be rendered from the adventures that are experienced when utilizing the ontological (as I like to call them) technologies of entheogens; some may be relieved, but do not get comfortable yet, because what this is, is your SCHOLARLY and EXPERT types purporting the transcendent information that can be rendered from the adventures that are experienced when utilizing the ontological technologies of entheogens. I have to say that I am elated to see scholars that actually utilize theirs credentials to go against the grain of the Establishment and pursue something that is novel and innovative, rather than adhering fervently to what they have been spoon fed from textbooks; it is indeed those individuals that push the paradigm of what is conventional, and that fringe screams the taboos that shatter the virgin ears of those drones that wish to adhere to what they have been assigned-the ideological war begins.
This book is not all about drug induced altered states of consciousness; it digs down deep into the ontology of the human race and what it means to be sentient beings. The book itself should be considered as an essential piece of literature for developing a canon on this subject. The previous statement may cause some religious right wing fundamentalist to go ape-sh**, but this book has such a high level of ontological (a term I use to replace spiritual) resonance that it cannot be denied that level of vindication. This is beyond cogent in the defense of altered states of consciousness; the philosophical depth of this book is transcendent of measurement.
The book is presented in parts and is obviously a joint effort. The initial section is a series of chapters that is an overview of Strassman's scientific work from the FEDERALLY (yeah, Big Brother authorized it) sanctioned experiments with dimethyltryptamine, and his perspective on the nature of DMT. The second phase is a collection of chapters that brings forward an anthropological perspective of DMT and its use in indigenous tribes from Luis Eduardo Luna derived form his decades of studies with the substance, or substances containing it. Luna gives a detailed list of expectations and executions all deduced from his experience, after which he goes into a pontification of magic mushrooms. The third section of the book is navigated by Ede Freska which is, by my interpretation, the spear tip of book. His beginnings are that of the prototypical Eastside/Westside pitting that we see in similar subject matter of this stature that also interlaces the ideological turf war of Science vs. Intuition. Then he walks you through the study of plant consciousness (which I found really intriguing) and alludes to the level of consciousness in animals as well. Freska also delves into the Sitchin and von Daniken ancient astronaut theories and other perspective of the "gods" with a new perspective that I believe is quite tenable with the correlations of modern mythology and that of the archaic period. Lastly, we are introduced to Slawek Wojtowicz and he brings forward perspectives on past life regressions and draws forth interpretations of reality by utilizing our very fortuitously prophetic science-fiction.
It bewilders me that science has been tweaking the chemicals of the brain utilizing pharmaceuticals and society accepts this due to the "experts-and-corporations-know-best" attitude, which obviously by now is insidious, but when one inquires to use a natural plant that our human culture has been experiencing for thousands of years, possibly eons, in his/her own home to journey on an introspective panorama of his/her psyche then we must sound the alarms and release the hounds!
The one thing that should be served as a caveat is that if you have no experiential overlap here then you will think all of this is quite devoid of any credibility, especially when you get to the section of Strassman's portion of the book called "Subjective Effects". LOL! If you have never experienced any of this you will be like "WTF?!"
By far, the most prudent aspect of this book is the fact that scholars are coming out of the closet in support of the profound information that can be extracted from these very surreal, but real, experiences.
The book itself is a trip, but without the DMT.
* The book also has three intermissions about every third of it that has a collection of some very eccentric and abstract art (of which I will be purchasing some copies of).