The effect psychedelics have on the human mind is talked about a great deal. In any debate over their use, both positive and negative viewpoints are offered as if every single mind-expanding substance has the same effect on everyone in the same way every time.
When drug use is examined within a broader context, the results, as clearly shown in Manifesting Minds, are so different from those found in academic studies and laboratory experiments.
Many areas of society, such as music, spirituality and the arts, have long traditions of psychedelic and hallucinogenic drug use, but the collection of essays that forms this book widens the debate greatly by including commentaries from some of the more enlightened minds of our age into drug use within the scientific, medicinal, healing and technological fields.
Although many of the drugs cited in these essays are outwardly banned, or, at least, frowned upon by society, the book fearlessly strides into contentious terrain and covers the use of drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy) and LSD, in areas such as sexuality.
Ayahuasca, a substance that has taken over from Peyote as the shamanic drug of choice, is also investigated along with Marijuana (Cannabis)—a drug that is slowly becoming decriminalized throughout the World.
The book also includes anecdotal commentary on the widespread use of drugs in certain high-end sports, like snowboarding and mountain climbing, how they are used to improve performance and overcome psychological barriers.
It seems that, no matter how hard legislative or prohibitive actions are applied to stamp out drug use, their popularity, both recreational and performance related, continues.
Our Review of 'Manifesting Minds' by Various
This book covers a broad range of applications. However, it does not look at the negative aspects of drug use—those situations where a person's addiction causes them to use (or some say, to abuse) the administered substance in a controlled environment.
The book does recognize that sometimes people are thrown into situations where they have to radically challenge their own perceptions and somewhat limited opinions of the impact that drugs have.
As several of the essays show, the need to challenge pre-conceived beliefs and ideas tends to occur to parents who are faced with their own children's substance experimentations. Indeed, the book contains several very moving accounts of such diverse, mainly generational, opinions regarding the use of drugs and how the parents resolved the situation with maturity and self-examination with the result that they came out of it with greatly improved personal relationships with their siblings.
Manifesting Minds is NOT a book for potheads seeking to justify their addiction. Instead, it is a carefully considered and valuable contribution to a very emotive debate.
Skilfully edited and compiled by Rick Doblin PhD and Brad Burge—both from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, the book delicately and sensitively examines drug use in a wide range of social environments.
It is a book that offers a totally radical and fascinating insight into the potential benefits of psychoactive substance use—when applied in contextual settings. Whether it is sport, sexuality, spirituality or creativity.
On the other hand, it is prepared to embrace the fact that, for some people, drugs simply do not work at all—which, in itself, adds greatly to the debate.
Despite its somewhat biased slant in favor of drug use and its lack of critical examination of substance dependency, this book offers a great deal of practical advice to anyone seeking a more balanced appraisal of modern drug use.
It is refreshing to read something that openly challenges entrenched opinions regarding a very contentious topic. A highly recommended read!