Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Open City editor Pinchbeck’s book debut is a . Daniel Pinchbeck’s “Breaking Open the Head” is a rare find, not only in the “genre” but in all of contemporary literature: a truly sophisticated yet very. Breaking Open the Head has ratings and reviews. Shivatva said: Actually Daniel Pinchbeck (Breaking Open the Head, Pg) “Because they are so. Gary Lachman on Daniel Pinchbeck’s drug-assisted journey of self-discovery, Breaking Open the Head.

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The Bwiti stared silently into the jungle. Also, don’t forget he’s been accused of being a sexual predator. I wanted to laugh — the initiation seemed like an act of insane hubris on my part.

Holy smoke

Gabon remains the only peaceful country in a region of inescapable hostility, tribal conflicts, mindless genocides. I am an expert in none of them. According to the anthropologist Alfred Me- traux: Yet he is cut off from the archaic traditions he might like to embrace. I damiel my hard head. Just ipen the individ- ual slips between sleep and waking, reaching different intensities of awareness during the day, generations and epochs also fluctuate be- tween levels of consciousness and unconsciousness.

After eating the dry powder, I would be reborn. At the time, mushrooms cut through my painful feelings of postadolescent alien- ation, although they sometimes magnified my deepest anxieties. The self-enclosed logic of secular materialism denies any inde- pendent existence breaoing the soul, attributing all facets of the human per- sonality to the synaptical wiring of the brain.

Most fabu- lous was a long Dragon Train that breathed fire with a full-bar inside one of its always-crowded compartments.

Breaking Open the Head – Wikipedia

The world returned to the status of an original mystery, but nothing was more bizarre than my own consciousness, my place in the structure of all I could see and sense and know.

This is a great primer breakiing anyone who wants to learn more about the potential for hallucinogens to “open doors” as well as Shamanism. Suddenly I remem- bered her: In shamanic trances, the shaman holds on to his heda integrity. They brought me to a mat on the hard-packed earth and instructed me to lie down. It was easy for me to imagine myself and the botanist burned at the stake by angry Bwiti who felt we were ruin- ing their ritual — we were two pale-faced sad sacks desperate to know the tribal mysteries — but it was impossible that they would hurt the analyst.


Shakespeare allowed his audience of merchants and nobles to cathartically relive the animist and fantastic beliefs their society was in the process of shedding.

BREAKING OPEN THE HEAD: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism

Views Read Edit View history. Every year, perhaps imitating the jackrabbits, a few Burners crash their vehicles on this last lap of the hipster pilgrimage. Immediately, multicolored geometries overlaid my interior view screen, spinning and changing at hyperspeed.

The last two Parts of the book can be forgotten entirely.

I had told the Bwiti nothing about my life. Too pinchbdck people approach drug use, getting drunk and getting “high,” casually. The Internet, the synaptically self-assembling global brain of humanity, has provided system and structure to this formerly esoteric realm. Unprepared trippers often end their journeys in straitjackets.

To ask other readers questions about Breaking Open the Headplease sign up. There are generator-powered video projectors on billowing domes, films, man-made lightning bolts, flamethrowers, and multihued lasers arch- ing across the star-saturated desert sky. Burning Man consists of a semi-circle of rings, divided into streets with thematic names.

It is an endlessly involuting imita- tion of itself. Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I had my first vision: Because of the subject matter, I only hated it or more precisely, hated the author. They sat me alone at the center, in front of my mirror, which was surrounded by fern leaves and carved figurines.

My mother sent mixed signals about her Beat past.


The analyst was telling her visions, which seemed to be pouring into her. Henry James once described human consciousness as “a helpless jelly poured into a mold.

When I actually questioned him about it, I learned he had brought only one other customer to The King, a Dutch computer programmer. Other reports, many cautionary tales, describe the fervor of exper- imenters who mix multiple mind-alterers, looking for a rocket-ride to the far antipodes of the psyche. Ipnchbeck was a sense of recon- ciliation and hope in the phrase, but what did it mean?

Some of the Bwiti call this ceremony “breaking open the head. There is a selection of those who have entirely separated from the dominant culture — freaks, breakinh you will. Reading through Pinchbeck’s incredibly well-documented experiences with various plant substances such as iboga pinchbecl ayahuasca, along with his quest for knowledge in understanding the dwindling shamanic culture of the rainforests was a thrilling way to live vicariously through someone’s most intimate and trippiest moments.

From now on, they will no longer have an effect.

A postmodern Pop Art phantasm. The traditional shaman is healer, gardener, storyteller, forecaster, and initiator into the spirit realms. Their jet-black skin was painted with white stripes and dots. It seemed utterly real. I didn’t finish this book, I probably should have read the conclusion but I think it ended somewhere on the playa and I’ve always respected the solitude of the desert too much to get in to spaces like that.

Not to mention, as yet, those geometric and hallucinatory vistas of un- leashed Otherness, revealed to the closed eyes. Or drop acid and cut out the middle man. She insisted on eating the fungi she had found; he feared she was committing suicide.