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Pharmako/Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. August 2009

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55 von 58 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Essential Reading, a Modern Classic 16. April 2006
Von Stephen Silberman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
"Pharmako/Gnosis" is the crown jewel of Pendell's superb trilogy, and indispensable reading for anyone interested in psychedelics, botany, anthropology, and earnest inquiry into the nature of existence. Covering LSD, mescaline and peyote, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, esoterica like Syrian rue and even xenon inhalation, as well as other signposts on what he calls "the Poison Path," Pendell continues his profound investigation of mankind's relationship with plants and chemicals that can seem like helpful teachers, demons, pernicious addictions -- or all three at once. (The truly addictive substances are mostly discussed in the previous two volumes of the trilogy, "Pharmako/Poeia" and "Pharmako/Dynamis.")

Even if you never touch the stuff yourself, Pendell's trilogy is worth reading as one of the most graceful and powerful breakthroughs in prose in many years. Combining poetry, deep history, science, psychological insight, and Zen-style humor in the face of "the Great Matter," Pendell has created a voice that is wholly his own. He can be radiantly tender in one passage, saltily irreverent in another, and certain sections of this book -- such as "Splitting the Hair" and "The Two-Dragon Problem" -- come as close to saying the Unsayable as any literature I know, outside of such Zen classics as "The Blue Cliff Record." A section called "The Hallucinogenic Properties of Maize" is a brief tour-de-force that should bring a knowing smile to fans of "The Matrix" and other works that suggest that what we call normal waking consciousness is worthy of closer scrutiny.

Like the Poison Path itself, Pendell's books are not for everyone. They may be difficult reading at first for those who are totally unfamiliar with botany or Zen, and their frequent flights into personal witnessing of altered states may piss off readers who are expecting an "objective" textbook or how-to-get-high cookbook. But stick with them -- these sly books instruct even as they tease or confound expectations, and will still be whispering in the inner ears of shamans and potential initiates many generations from now, long after most so-called drug books of our era have been forgotten. And Pendell's Coyote-like wit -- taking the narrator to task for his own pomposity in italicized sections that the author calls "the back channel" -- never allows him to wallow in the kind of self-importance or vacuous yakking that afflicts so many self-appointed psychonauts.

At the level of book design, Pendell's luminous and subtle use of images is nothing short of revelatory. The sudden appearance of Walt Whitman's youthful face after a particularly lovely passage, for example, says more than another ten pages of prose could have. Mercury House has done an admirable job of bringing the author's hard-won mapping of the other world into this one.

In some of the book's most memorable passages, the author seems to step aside to let the spirits of the plants themselves speak -- no easy trick without seeming ridiculous. Bravo to Pendell for creating a guide to uncovering essential experience (with the help of potent allies) that will be, in the words of Allen Ginsberg, "good to eat a thousand years."
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
My Bible 30. Januar 2010
Von Byron Cale - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I have read, from the bible, the koran, the bagdavad gita and many other religious tomes
Dale Pendels trilogy is the first to have touched my soul and I'm not even sure that was his intention in the first place. I have purchaced two sets of these books, one to lend out and one set to have close by. I loved them. Great work Mr Pendell. Should be in the school curriculum.
Received exactly as advertised 5. April 2014
Von Kathy Scott - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Receipt of this item was quick and exactly as advertised. My son is enjoying the content and is very interesting.
No regrets. 22. März 2014
Von Patrick Baies - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This book is poetry. I also did not expect to receive the Expanded Edition. That was a pleasant surprise. Kazoo.
A Feast. 21. Februar 2014
Von A Reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
These three books are beautiful.

Poetic, informative, sneakily subversive, and personal.

People looking for a straight textbook read might not like them as much, but I couldn't put them down.
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