Books Inc. Berkeley proudly welcomes Don Lattin to the shop for a discussion of his book God on Psychedelics!
In God on Psychedelics, veteran journalist Don Lattin trains his eye on some previously unexamined questions. Why do relatively few people in the burgeoning psychedelic renaissance connect chemically induced mystical states with their own religious traditions? Can sacred plant medicines be a source of renewal for Christians, Jews and other people of faith?
Some clergy and laity think they can. Judaism and Christianity each have centuries-old mystical paths. Yet since the early 1960s, and in the current psychedelic revival, countless North American psychonauts have turned to Buddhism, Hinduism or Native American spirituality to understand the revelatory experience they encountered on magic mushrooms, LSD and other psychoactive drugs.
Today, psychedelics are increasingly used as therapeutic tools to help those suffering from depression, trauma and substance abuse. Meanwhile, decriminalization campaigns and cognitive freedom crusades are sprouting up across the nation, inspiring churches and other fellowships to move beyond the divisive doctrine and denominationalism of old-time religion.
Don Lattin has been writing about altered states of consciousness since the 1970s - first as an award-winning religion reporter for daily newspapers in San Francisco and more recently as a bestselling author.
God on Psychedelics takes the reader on a magical mystery tour across the nation's changing religious landscape, exploring a new kind of trinity that blends psychedelic insight, psychological healing and spiritual revival.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy just about every page." --NY Times critic Dwight Garner on The Harvard Psychedelic Club.
"Carefully researched and disarmingly honest." --Religion scholar Huston Smith on Distilled Spirits.
"Reaches beyond market themes to social issues, culture wars, the search for community, and the varieties of spirituality." --American religion historian Martin Marty on Shopping for Faith.
Don Lattin is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books. His most recent works are GOD ON PSYCHEDELICS -- Tripping Across the Rubble of Old-time Religion, and CHANGING OUR MINDS - Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy. They chronicle a quiet revolution underway in our understanding of how psychedelic drugs can be a source of spiritual renewal and work as therapeutic tools to treat depression, addiction and other diseases of the soul. Don’s previously published work is titled DISTILLED SPIRITS -- Getting High, then Sober, with a Famous Writer, a Forgotten Philosopher, and a Hopeless Drunk. It’s a memoir/group biography that looks at how writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, opened new doors in Western religious thought. Distilled Spirits is a prequel to THE HARVARD PSYCHEDELIC CLUB -- How Timothy Leary, Andrew Weil, Ram Dass, and Huston Smith Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. It was a national bestseller and won the 2010 California Book Award, Silver Medal, for non-fiction. Lattin’s journalistic work has appeared in dozens of U.S. magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle, where Don worked as a staff writer for nearly two decades.