Here's a lecture I came across this evening by a guy named Erik Davis, who really looks to be head-first into the world of Psychonautic and Psychedelic research.
The lecture below brings up some very interesting stuff, particularly two guys, James Kent and Brion Gysin, both of whom I am now digging to find more about.
Hope you enjoy it,
Info about the vid:
Erik Davis - “Psychedelics: Between Natural and Supernatural”
Setting aside the growth of MDMA into one of the most popular controlled substances on the planet, the most dynamic and meaningful development in underground psychedelic use over the last fifteen years has been the explosion of an explicitly spiritual ayahuasca culture in the West. In contrast to earlier waves of Euro-American interest in “ethno-botanically active” substances like peyote and psilocybe mushrooms, today’s “tea” drinkers largely operate within a ritual and imaginative context grounded directly in shamanism, mestizo or otherwise, as well as syncretic South American religious sects. At the same time, with the important but problematic exception of Roland Griffiths’ 2008 Johns Hopkins study, the current wave of above-ground medical studies of psychedelics derives their legitimacy from the adoption of strictly secular and naturalist frames of reference drawn from Western medicine and psycho-pharmacology. What does this tension tell us about the challenges and promise of integrating psychedelics into contemporary culture?
Erik Davis is one of the most articulate writers and speakers on spirituality and contemporary alternative religion. He is the author, most recently, of Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica, and also penned The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, the cult classic TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Information Age, and a critical volume on Led Zeppelin. A frequent speaker at universities and festivals alike, Davis has contributed to dozens of books and journal and has taught at UC Berkeley, Pacifica, and the California Institute of Integral Studies. He also hosts the weekly net radio show Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network, and posts at techgnosis.com. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Rice University.