The Doors of Perception
Why this book?
It is almost cliché to recommend Doors of Perception in a list of books about psychedelics, but the book is a true gem. The work of a brilliantly curious writer, it takes us inside a world of mind alteration and sets in motion a conversation that nourished an early generation of psychedelic enthusiasm. The book is a reflection of Huxley’s mescaline experience, which he took under the direction of British-trained, but Canadian-based psychiatrist Humphry Osmond. In his Los Angeles home, Huxley met Osmond for the first time, and a month after his auspicious first trip, Osmond coined the word ‘psychedelic’ in his correspondence with Huxley. The book took on a life of its own, part memoir, part guidebook as psychedelic experimentation captivated the minds of researchers and psychonauts during the Cold War, and continues to be a rich entry point into this expanding field.