The Essential Psychedelic Guide

The Essential Psychedelic Guide by D.M. Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Link to the full book here.

This was a breathtaking sneak-peek into the experiences and philosophy of a dedicated and fascinating psychedelic explorer. The style and presentation reminded me a bit of Shulgin’s PiHKaL, which, coming from me, counts as high praise. Describing the experience entheogens typically produce in words is a bit like describing works by Escher, Van Gogh or Giger to a blind person (with all due respect), and, as far as this kind of experience counts as going on trips, it felt like what reading the original Lonely Planet mush have felt like, but back when Lonely Planet used to be cool.

Turner’s death by drowning while apparently on ketamine after his encounter with the ‘water spirit’ of DMT, and its ‘dissatisfaction’ with his mixing of the natural and ominpresent DMT with the artifical ketamine, was hair-raising to say the least, but I felt it was a fitting, gloriously sad ending to a life as full of curiosity as this one.

I’ve always thought that for every single precious nugget of information we have today like, for example, that the death cap isn’t the ‘yummy cap’, or for every controversial or varyingly successful foray into pineapple-on-pizza territory, there must have been someone out there in spacetime by necessity whose sense of experimentation had to be stronger than their sense of self-preservation. These people inadvertenly took one for the team, the collective team, even if they couldn’t know it at the time. Humanity owes these awesomely curious outliers who were never meant to survive, these unsung heroes, a lot of credit we will never give them.

Here’s to the explorers who died so that today we’re in a position to take informed decisions.

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