Thursday, September 22, 2005

Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck

Status: In progress

Its been a while since I've updated this blog which is not all that surprising considering my tendency to get bored with things very quickly, but now that its actually listed on someone else's blog (and hence might actually be read) I've decided I'd better update it a bit! I've also decided to start writing about the books that I'm currently still reading.

Anyways, to get to the actual book we're talking about here. Its one of those books I picked up on a book sale because it looked mildly interesting and I was not disappointed. Its about a guy who is seeking spiritual meaning in life by experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs. He calls it a "Chemical Adventure". He travels the world in search of a drug that will give him deeper meaning and its fascinating to learn of the history behind many of these drugs. The title is from the practices of the Bwiti tribe of Gabon. After feeding an initiate the iboga root (which causes hallucinations for hours), they knock them on the head with a stick to "break open their head" and increase the visions.

Thus far I've learnt about the history of the magic mushroom as well. The aspect about this book that can get a bit much is the language. The author is clearly an intellectual and often writes in the flowery language that some intelligentsia are prone to. It can get a bit tedious. Overall, though, its an interesting read and I'm probably enjoying it more for the fact that its different from what I would usually read.


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