Why did I love this book?
I have to start with a classic, one of the most influential trip reports ever written, one that helped kickstart the psychedelic 60s. Huxley had a profound interest in mystical experience, and a longing to know first-hand what the great mystics had beheld and felt. In his mescaline experiences, Huxley believed he’d come close. Borrowing heavily from Indian philosophy to explain his raptures, he set the stage for the explosion of interest in Eastern spirituality that marked the 60s. No wonder the Beatles included him on the cover of Sergeant Pepper. I love his measured tone and his theory that psychedelics turn off the ‘reducing valve of consciousness’ to reveal ‘mind-at-large’, an idea now getting support from cutting-edge neuroscience.