Psychonauts

16 Sep 2023 10:46 - 18 Nov 2023 08:16
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    • book by Mike Jay on the history of drug self-experimentation
    • Early pioneers: Freud, before him Humphrey Davey with nitrous. Coleridge, de Quincey, Romanticism. Got into cannabis era (early 20th century) and beginning of psychedelic era.
    • William James was anti-Hegelian until his nitrous experience "made me understand better than ever before both the strengths and weaknesses of Hegel's philosophy" (p127)
    • Didn't know James was involved with psychics
    • The 'unseen region' was the capacious term James now used to describe the sources of experiences that might be claimed, or dismissed, as religious or mystical, pathological or drug-induced...in 1894 he had accepted its [Society for Psychical Research] presidency...James was more opposed to reductive and dogmatic science than ever, but he now framed his approach to the unseen region differently. Where the SPR were interested in there cases primarily as evidence for the reality of another plane of existence, James argued for their reality on their own terms. p160-1