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The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience

The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience

Paperback

By (author) Benny Shanon

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 234mm x 26mm | 719g
  • Publication date: 23 January 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199252939
  • ISBN 13: 9780199252930
  • Illustrations note: 7 tables and 4 halftones
  • Sales rank: 215,426

Product description

This is a pioneering cognitive psychological study of Ayahuasca, a plant-based Amazonian psychotropic brew. Benny Shanon presents a comprehensive charting of the various facets of the special state of mind induced by Ayahuasca, and analyzes them from a cognitive psychological perspective. He also presents some philosophical reflections. Empirically, the research presented in this book is based on the systematic recording of the author's extensive experiences with the brew and on the interviewing of a large number of informants: indigenous people, shamans, members of different religious sects using Ayahuasca, and travellers. In addition to its being the most thorough study of the Ayahuasca experience to date, the book lays the theoretical foundations for the psychological study of non-ordinary states of consciousness in general.

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Author information

Benny Shanon is a Professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holder of the Mandel Chair in Cognition.

Review quote

... a great book ... it makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of consciousness ... The strength of the book lies in the rich descriptions and analyses of the ayahuasca experience ... deserves to be widely read by those who are seriously interested in understanding the nature of consciousness and reality. Journal of Scientific Exploration The experiences described in this book are quite literally mind-blowing and the cosmic vision it describes will be of great interest to TC readers. Highly recommended. The Cauldron It deserves to be read by anyone interested in religion, mysticism, and conciousness - and who is not? it should be required reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists, because it shows how absurdly simplistic are the biochemical, darwinianm and genetic models now dominating mind-science. John Horgan, Maps Vol XIII 2003 Shanon's authorial persona is earnest, serious, straightforward, absolutely trustworthy. Antipodes is suffused with a sense of genuine adventure. John Horgan, author of Rational Mysticism Shanon's pioneering work Thomas B Roberts, Northern Illinois University

Table of contents

PROLOGUE ; GENERAL BACKGROUND; THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS; METHODOLOGY AND GENERAL STRUCTURE ; ATMOSPHERE AND GENERAL EFFECTS; OPEN EYE VISUALIZATIONS; A STRUCTURAL TYPOLOGY OF AYAHUASCA VISUALIZATIONS; INTERACTION AND NARRATION; THE CONTENTS OF VISIONS; THE THEMES OF VISIONS; IDEAS, INSIGHTS, AND REFLECTIONS; NON-VISUAL PERCEPTIONS; CONSCIOUSNESS I; TRANSFORMATIONS; TIME; MEANING AND SEMANTICS; CONSCIOUSNESS II; LIGHT ; STAGES AND ORDER; CONTEXTUAL CONSIDERATIONS; COGNITIVE PARAMETERS; DYNAMICS; A GENERAL THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE; CONCLUDING PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS ; EPILOGUE ; APPENDIX (QUANTITATIVE DATA) ; BIBLIOGRAPHY