Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs eBook Newly Available
For those who like to save paper, keep things minimal, or merely have their research library on easy tabs, we are excited to announce that the Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs (ESDP50) Volume 2: Proceedings of the 2017 conference held in Tyringham Hall, UK, is now available in eBook format!
McKenna’s Milestone Publication
The milestone publication, ESPD50, emerged as the brainchild of Dennis McKenna. McKenna, having attained a copy of the original publication from the 1967 conference, found himself inspired to shape his career in light of the book, delving into a lifelong investigation of the pharmacology of traditional medicinal plants.
“The realization that real science was being pursued in this field was a revelation to me, partly because it opened the possibility that one day I, too, might be able to achieve a place in this exclusive fellowship. At first, I thought I would be able to prove to my parents that I was serious about psychedelics and not just a confused hippie in search of cheap thrills, but they were not very reassured. However, over the years, they came to recognize the merits of my chosen career.”—Dennis McKenna, ‘The Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs: Reflections on a Book that Changed My Life.’
The first international gathering of researchers held on this subject was in 1967. It was an interdisciplinary group of specialists gathered in one place to share their findings on a topic that was gaining widespread interest: The use of psychoactive plants in indigenous societies. It was intended that follow-up conferences should be held about every 10 years. However, the War on Drugs soon limited any advances in this field of research, putting a prohibitive ban on psychoactive drugs, denying their medicinal value altogether.
The Future of Medicine
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of research into the medicinal and therapeutic properties of psychoactive substances. In spite of their prohibitive ban, researchers persevered. With their substantial discoveries and findings helping to reverse public opinion and reestablish the medical legitimacy of certain substances.
In June 2017, a group of interdisciplinary researchers from around the world convened to review their research and findings together in what was known as the second Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs Symposium. The papers given at the 2017 Symposium, organized by Dr. Dennis McKenna, have been collected and curated into what is now known as the ESPD50, representing the most significant body of knowledge in this field available.
McKenna Speaks at ESPD50 Conference
Interested in ESPD50, but find the science hard to digest? Make your reading interactive by watching the video lectures of individual authors presenting their research papers at the 2017 Symposium here
For decades, the keepers of the psychedelic therapy and ethnobotany flames have guarded and passed along rare copies of the published proceedings of this January 28–30, 1967 conference at UC San Francisco, which were released later that year as “Public Health Service Publication No. 1645” and briefly sold for $4 by the U.S. Government Printing Office.
This month, the historic research papers from that mostly forgotten conference, along with the proceedings of a symposium held in England last year to mark the 50th anniversary of the San Francisco gathering, have been published by Synergetic Press in a beautifully boxed, two-volume hardcover edition.
—Don Lattin, award-winning journalist & author of Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy
Much of their discussion centers around the indigenous peoples of the world who have utilized these miraculous psychedelic fungi and plants (even the skin secretions of frogs and toads) in their cultures and religions. Of course, what’s most exciting is the potential for additional therapeutic discoveries, once the substances are better understood.
This year we are organizing a series of events to deepen our conversation with pioneers and visionaries working in an array of fields of study about the world around us and within us. Our first event is in Santa Fe is next month, details are below. Future events will be held in San Francisco and London.
SOLD OUT! We will prepare webcasts of the presentations in the near future for those who missed this event. Please sign up for our newsletter to receive notice of when they will be available.
SYNERGETIC SYMPOSIUM & SALON
on Earth Consciousness & Lore of the Amazon
Conversations on Ayahuasca, Ethnomedicine, and the Biospheric Imperative with
RALPH METZNER • DENNIS MCKENNA • RICK DOBLIN • ALLAN BADINER • JOHN ALLEN • GEORGE GREER • VALERIE PLAME WILSON • GAY DILLINGHAM • MICHAEL GARFIELD
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6 4:00 – 11:00 PM
Talks • Dinner • Visionary Art • Poetry • Music • Dancing
A time during the program will be made for introductions and brief presentations from local leaders of communities and groups engaged in Earth awareness, in raising consciousness, spiritual studies, and frontiers in developing frontiers in medical research with entheogens.
The Symposium & Salon are designed to share the wisdom and inspiration of our speakers and artists, to generate ideas and insights, and to nourish our vibrant local community.
• Symposium $40
• Dinner $25
• Salon $20
• Package $75
Your hosts, Deborah Parrish Snyder and Michael Gosney, are happy to answer any questions, or provide further information at deborah at synergeticpress.com
About the Speakers and Moderators
Dr. Ralph Metzner is author of many books, practicing psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies including a book coauthored with Ram Dass, Birth of a Psychedelic Culture(Synergetic Press). Dr. Metzner has been involved in consciousness research for over fifty years, including psychedelics, yoga, meditation, and shamanism. He is co-founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit educational organization devoted to healing and harmonizing the relationship between humans and the Earth.
Dr. Dennis McKenna is an American ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author. He is the brother of well-known psychedelics proponent Terence McKenna and is a founding board member and the director of ethnopharmacology at the Heffter Research Institute, a non-profit organization concerned with the investigation of the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic medicines.
Dr. Rick Doblin is founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a twenty-five-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment. He wrote his doctoral dissertation (in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government) on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.
Allan Badiner is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics(Synergetic Press), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology (Parallax Press, 1991) and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism (Parallax, 2002). Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.
John Dolphin Allen is author of Me and the Biospheres(Synergetic Press), poet, playwright who invented, conceived and co-founded the Biosphere 2 project – the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology. Biosphere 2 set a number of world records in closed life system work including, among others, degree of sealing tightness, 100% waste recycle and water recycle, and duration of human residence within a closed system (eight people for two years). Allen has also conceived and co-founded nine other projects around the world, pioneering in sustainable co-evolutionary development.
Dr. George Greer conducted over 100 therapeutic sessions with MDMA for 80 individuals from 1980 to 1985 with his psychiatric nurse wife, Requa Tolbert. Their review of this work remains the largest published study of the therapeutic use of MDMA. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Past President of the Psychiatric Medical Association of New Mexico. He was also the Clinical Director of Mental Health Services for the New Mexico Corrections Department during the 1990s. He has been the Medical Director of the Heffter Research Institute since 1998.
Valerie Plame Wilsonis a former career covert CIA operations officer who worked to protect America’s national security and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Valerie sits on the boards of Global Data Security, a cyber security company that safeguards digital data, and Starling Trust, a predictive behavioral analytics company.She also serves on the nonprofit boards of the Ploughshares Fund, Global Zero, the Penn State School of International Affairs, the United Way of Santa Fe County, and Postpartum Support International. Valerie is affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute, a trans-disciplinary scientific think tank addressing the most compelling and complex problems in the world today.
Gay Dillingham is Co-Founder, former President and Chair of Earthstone International, LLC, an environmental IP company manufacturing recycled glass into an engineered “white foam glass.” Gay served as Chair of the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board for six of eight years of her tenure and passed historic greenhouse gas regulations in 2010. Gay owns a production company, CNS Communications, and is an award-winning producer/director. Her latest film, Dying to Know, celebrates the unique friendship of Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, exploring their extraordinary lives and perspectives on death. She is executive director of the Livingry Foundation, served two years as board chair for the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers, and currently serves on the boards of Santa Fe Community College, New Voice of Business, and the World Security Institute.
Michael Garfield writes music for the head and heart – intelligent, emotional performances that captivate attentive audiences and reward repeated listening. Alternately tender and apocalyptic, simultaneously chill and energetic, his intensely technical yet vulnerable music reimagines folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating “solo artist with guitar” to suit an age of existential wonder, cybernetic systems, and emerging planetary consciousness. Michael’s music has been featured in the award-winning PBS documentary series Arts in Context, as well as on numerous podcasts (including Expanding Mind and The Psychedelic Salon). Passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, he frequently co-improvises with fire dancers, aerialists, live painters, and visual projectionists.
Synergetic Press is proud to support and collaborate with Rick Doblin and his team at The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) This membership-based non-profit research and educational organization has been working for three decades to develop medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. We are honored to introduce Rick to our community here in New Mexico at this event. Here are just a few of the ways MAPS is working —
MAPS supports research into the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted treatment for drug addiction. They also support conferences, meetings, and publications about the scientific, therapeutic, sustainable, and spiritual uses of ayahuasca, and serve as non-profit fiscal sponsor for organizations that support these uses. They completed the first North American observational study of the safety and long-term effectiveness of ayahuasca treatment for addiction and dependence. The paper describing the results of the study was published in June 2013 which you can download by clicking here: Current Drug Abuse Reviews
MAPS will celebrate it’s 30 year anniversary on April 17, 2016, Oakland, California. Addresses from leading psychedelic researchers, participants in MAPS-sponsored research, forward-thinking philanthropists, acclaimed visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey, and others. Keynote from MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, with a multimedia performance by Android Jones and Phadroid, a visual musical performance by DJ Spooky. Tickets and information at: 30 Year Anniversary. More information on their series of Psychedelic Dinner Salons at Psychedelicdinners.org, a community outreach effort to support MAPS program of medical research with MDMA for treatment of PTSD.
AYAHUASCA READER, Edited by Luis Eduardo Luna and Steven F. White, Second Edition (JUNE)
Reflecting on this next turn around the Sun and this auspicious moment in human and planetary history, brings to mind some of the key ideas that drive me and our work here at Synergetic Press:
We live in the ANTHROPOCENE: The Age when humans are recognized as the dominant geological force of the planet;
BIOSPHERICS is the interdisciplinary science essential to understanding planetary and cultural dynamics;
The NOOSPHERE, a sphere of intelligence around the planet that is emerging to determine our evolutionary future.
The concept of the noosphere was developed in the 1920s by Vladimir Vernadsky, Édouard Le Roy and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Nearly 100 years ago, in scientific, philosophical, and artistic circles people were discussing the idea of the noosphere, a world in which all of humanity become responsible stewards of the biosphere. I heard about the noosphere in 1984 when I was working at the Biosphere 2 project and published the first English translation of Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere. Thirty years later, the noosphere has become an essential concept for understanding today’s ecological and culturological crises.
Humanity is undergoing a process of “planetization” becoming a truly global culture and entering a new era of the human journey.
-Teilhard de Chardin
In the Guardian recently, David Suzuki applauded the landmark Paris agreement on climate change as an indication that “the Age of the Humans won’t necessarily lead to an age of destruction.” But, to change course, we humans must act swiftly and on a grand scale.
However, I’ve been exposed to countless BIG IDEAS about sustainability, consciousness … what practical changes have I made as a result? Christian Schwägerl’s book The Anthropocene, made me really question everything I think I need to live, what I throw away, and how. I began to examine each purchase and found ways to recycle as much as possible. Tony Juniper tells us in What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? that we produce enough food on the planet to feed everyone, but upwards to 50% of the food now produced is wasted. Staggered by this statistic, I have since paid close attention to what’s in the fridge, saving money and produce. Working on Zig Zag Zen with Allan Badiner and Alex Grey inspired me to reenergize my body and brain through meditation and seek to be more conscious of my actions and daily choices in life.
Every book Synergetic Press publishes contains ideas to help us understand how to be better to the planet, better to ourselves. The time is now to think, innovate, regenerate … make the planetary situation personal.
Pioneer in biospherics and Synergetic Press author, John Allen, with Mark Nelson and other project co-founders and directors, talk about why they built the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology, Biosphere 2, and how eight people lived and worked inside it for two years (1991-1993) growing their food, recycling their air, water and wastes. This experiment, built to put Vernadsky’s theory of the biosphere into practice, defined many aspects of the metabolic connection between humans and the environment that sustains them, while greatly advancing the field of space habitat design. The project has been noted as the first experiment to examine the value of natural ecosystems services in this man-made world.
And for a brilliant overview on the Anthropocene, see this talk at the Royal Institution in London with Leicester University professor, Jan Zalasiewicz and Christian, moderated by Robin McKie, scientific editor of the Observer. CLICK HERE TO VIEW
In April we celebrated publication of the new edition of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, edited by Allan Badiner and Alex Grey, with events in Santa Fe where editors Alex and Allan were joined by Rick Strassman and Allyson Grey for an engaging discusion of the topics.
In July, Zig Zag Zen released in London with events at Breaking Convention conference and legendary Watkins Bookstore. Zig Zag Zen is a unique collection of wisdom from scholars, teachers, and artists on the best practices for spiritual exploration and the interface with psychedelics.
Our dear friend Ornette Coleman passed away on June 11. Our condolences go out to his son, Denardo, and extended family in this time of loss. We will always remember the delight and inspiration that he and his music brought us over the years.
The video below is a clip from the award-winning documentary Ornette… Made in America, featuring the opening celebration for the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Center in the city of Coleman’s birth, Fort Worth, Texas. The city of Fort Worth welcomed back their native son with a mayoral proclamation of September 29, 1983 as “Ornette Coleman Day,” and Coleman was presented with a key to the city. On that night, Caravan of Dreams opened with Ornette and Prime Time on stage, while dancers twirled around the cameras in this film directed by Shirley Clarke. (Courtesy of Global Ecotechnics)
And we leave you with a poem by his friend, Johnny Dolphin.
Ornette Coleman’s Manhattan
Ship searching out cross-currents, Myself stalking this big city Ornette and me circling higher in simple talk Until words turn prayer flags Whipped into tatters on passes between peaks While music shatters into microtones Leading captured melodies into ancient slavery. My poems are your saxophone Your sax reads my reading; Words and music make mad lucinations Navigating existence into pulse. You threw away keys, I threw away logics, We honed our intuition Rapping in an old warehouse pad. Our Apollonian attractors dive, Nitroxed in gaudy Dionysian reefs. Trip of trips Stately fandango Cold sober in every drunken gene, While sweet potato pie Concentrates our eye.
May 6th, 2015 marks John ‘Dolphin’ Allen’s 86th solar orbit as a crew member aboard Spaceship Earth. On his birthday, we reflect on the exceptional life of our inspiring friend.
A poet, playwright, savant, and inventor and co-founder of Biosphere II, Allen emerged from modest beginnings in Oklahoma during the dust bowl to become one of the most productive and eccentric personalities of the 20th century. An expert in mining and metallurgy, as well as high finance, this restless graduate of Colorado School of Mines and Harvard Business School simply could not accept the state of civilization ‘as is’ and took to a life of adventure, exploring the cultures and biomes of our planet and returning to spearhead work groups that would develop the foundations for what he calls, “synergetic civilization.”
Building on the experiences and esoteric transmissions acquired through his world travels, Allen and his cohorts began in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1967 with the ‘Theater of All Possibilities’ acting group and would go on to develop ‘eco-technic’ enterprises, referred to as ‘synergias’ all around the world. The short list includes:
Synergia Ranch (organic farm, orchard, adobe construction company and more) in Santa Fe, NM, the Research Vessel Heraclitus (a ferro-cement ship, based on the design of a Chinese Junk, that has seen 18 expeditions), the October Gallery in London, UK (home of the ‘transvangarde’ art movement), the Vajra Hotel in Katmandu, Birdwood Downs ranch in Australia, Las Casas de la Selva sustainable forestry project in Puerto Rico, the Institute of Ecotechnics (which has held annual conferences on pressing ecological concerns at the highest level since the early 1970s), and more; all culminating in the massive Biosphere II closed systems experiment in Oracle, AZ that took place in the early 90’s.
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John is currently based at Synergia Ranch in Santa Fe, NM. And though he spends the majority of his time writing, he still travels Spaceship Earth yearly to visit and inspire the synergias that he worked so hard to seed. Happy Birthday Johnny- we will always be grateful for your tireless work and living inspiration!