Books on DMT and Ayahuasca

A collection of books on the subjects of DMT, ayahuasca and related topics.


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The Antipodes of the Mind - Benny Shanon

In this book, Israeli psychologist Benny Shanon (who imbibed ayahuasca over 100 times), gives a fascinating account of both his own visions and those of others. He attributes ayahuasca with having transformed him from a “devout atheist” into a spiritual believer, awestruck by the mysteries of nature and the human mind.

Yet he openly acknowledges that these experiences can pose risks. In his book Shanon quotes an ayahuasca shaman and warns that ayahuasca can also be “the worst of liars,” leaving some users gripped by delusions.

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Transfigurations - Alex Grey

Transfigurations is the follow-up to Alex Grey’s Sacred Mirrors (1991) and is one of the most successful art books of the 1990s. It includes all of Grey’s major works, such as the masterful seven-panelled altarpiece "‘Nature of Mind’.

His portrayals of human beings blend anatomical exactitude with visionary depictions of universal life energy. Alex Grey’s striking artwork leads us on the soul’s journey from material world encasement to recovery of the divinely illuminated core.

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The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo

Recognised as one of the world’s great visionary artists, Pablo Amaringo was renowned for his intricate, colourful paintings inspired by his shamanic visions. A master communicator of the ayahuasca experience (where snakes, jaguars, subterranean beings, celestial palaces, aliens, and spacecraft all converge) Amaringo’s art presents a doorway to the transcendent worlds of ayahuasca intended for contemplation, meditation, and inspiration.

This book contains 47 full colour reproductions of Amaringo’s latest works with detailed explorations of the rich Amazonian mythology underlying each painting.

The Cosmic Serpent - Jeremy Narby

Whilst living amongst Peruvian Indians, anthropologist Jeremy Narby learned of their phenomenal knowledge of plants and biochemical interactions, gained under the influence of ayahuasca. Despite his initial scepticism, Narby found himself engaged in an increasingly obsessive quest.

He researched cutting-edge scholarship in subjects as diverse as molecular biology, shamanism, neurology and mythology, which led him inexorably to the conclusion that the Indians' claims were literally true: to a consciousness prepared with drugs, biochemical knowledge could indeed be transmitted, through DNA itself.

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DMT: The Spirit Molecule - Dr. Rick Strassman

From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted U.S. Government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

Strassman's research connects DMT with the pineal gland, considered by Hindus to be the site of the seventh chakra and by Rene Descartes to be the seat of the soul. DMT: The Spirit Molecule makes the bold case that DMT, naturally released by the pineal gland, facilitates the soul's movement in and out of the body and is an integral part of the birth and death experiences, as well as the highest states of meditation and even sexual transcendence.

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Tryptamine Palace - James Oroc

James Oroc shares his personal experiences with 5-MeODMT (The venom from Bufo alvarius toad found in the Sonoran desert), which led to a complete transformation of his understanding of himself and of the very fabric of reality. Driven to comprehend the transformational properties of this substance, Oroc combined extensive studies of physics and philosophy with the epiphanies he gained from his time at Burning Man.

He discovered that ingesting tryptamines unlocked a fundamental human capacity for higher knowledge through direct contact with the zero-point field of modern physics, known to the ancients as the Akashic Field. In the quantum world of nonlocal interactions, the line between the physical and the mental dissolves.

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DMT Dialogues: Encounters with the Spirit Molecule - David Luke

Cutting-edge explorations and discussions of DMT experiences and plant sentience from leading luminaries in the field of psychedelic research. This book distills the potent exchange of ideas that occurred at Tyringham Hall, including presentations and discussions on DMT entities, the pineal gland, the possibility of DMT as a chemical messenger from an extraterrestrial civilization, the Amazonian shamanic perspective on Invisible Entities, morphic resonance, and the science behind hallucinations.

Contributors to the talks and discussions include many leading thinkers in this field, including Rupert Sheldrake, Rick Strassman, Dennis McKenna, Graham Hancock, Jeremy Narby, Erik Davis, Ede Frecska, Luis Eduardo Luna, Peter Meyer, Jill Purce, David Luke, and Cosmo Feilding Mellen, among many others.

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PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story - Alexander Shulgin

PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved) is a unique book written by renowned psychopharmacologist Alexander Shulgin and his wife Ann Shulgin. This book gives details of their research and investigations into the use of psychedelic drugs for the study of the human mind, and is also a love story.

The second half of the book describes in detail a wealth of phenethlyamines, their physical properties, dosages used, duration of effects observed, and commentary on effects.

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TIHKAL: The Continuation - Alexander Shulgin

The man who gave the world MDMA taught more people about DMTs effects, as well as how to make it.

Book I: The Story Continues: This is the continuation of the love story from PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story with a blend of travel, botanical facts, scientific speculation, psychological and political commentary.

Book II: The Chemistry Continues: Describes in detail a wealth of tryptamines in the same format as Book II of PIHKAL, plus appendices presenting topics such as cactus alkaloids, natural beta-carbolines, current drug law, and all known tryptamines (from the literature) that might be psychedelic.

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Food Of The Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution - Terence McKenna

A journey to some of the Earth's most endangered people in the remote Upper Amazon. . . . a look at the rituals of the Bwiti cults of Gabon and Zaire; a field watch on the eating habits of 'stoned' apes and chimpanzees - these adventures are all a part of ethnobotanist Terence McKenna's extraordinary quest to discover the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. He wonders why, as a species, we are so fascinated by altered states of consciousness. Can they reveal something about our origins as human beings and our place in nature? 

As an odyssey of mind, body and spirit, Food of the Gods is one of the most fascinating and surprising histories of consciousness ever written. And as a daring work of scholarship and exploration, it offers an inspiring vision for individual fulfilment and a humane basis for our interaction which each other and with the natural world.