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

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Overview


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 ...
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Overview


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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199252930
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,256,443
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Prologue 1
Pt. I Preliminaries
1 General Background 13
2 Theoretical Foundations 30
3 Methodology and General Structure 41
Pt. II The Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience
4 Atmosphere and General Effects 55
5 Open-Eye Visualizations 69
6 A Structural Typology of Ayahuasca Visualizations 86
7 Interaction and Narration 99
8 The Contents of Visions 113
9 The Themes of Visions 141
10 Ideas, Insights, and Reflections 160
11 Non-Visual Perceptions 181
12 Consciousness I 194
13 Transformations 210
14 Time 226
15 Meaning and Semantics 242
16 Consciousness II 256
17 Light 273
Pt. III Theoretical Issues
18 Stages and Order 287
19 Contextual Considerations 305
20 Cognitive Parameters 331
21 Dynamics 344
22 A General Theoretical Perspective 361
23 Concluding Philosophical Reflections 386
Epilogue 405
App.: Quantitative Data 409
References 435
Index 453
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    A Bold Depiction of Ayahuasca

    This thorough, personal, scientific, literary, and informed study of the phenomenology of ayahuasca is a real masterpiece. The cognitive psychology is demanding at times, but the effort is well worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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