The joyous cosmology: adventures in the chemistry of by Alan W. Watts

By Alan W. Watts

The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts’s exploration of the perception that the consciousness-changing medications LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin can facilitate “when observed with sustained philosophical mirrored image by means of someone who's in seek, now not of kicks, yet of understanding.” greater than an artifact, it really is either a riveting memoir of Watts’s own experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions on the character of lifestyles and the life of the sacred.

Includes Watts’s article “Psychedelics and spiritual adventure”

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When these ways work it is quite obvious that something more has happened to the student or patient than a change in his way of thinking; he is also emotionally and physically different; his whole being is operating in a new way. For a long time it has been clear to me that certain forms of Eastern “mysticism”—in particular Taoism and Zen Buddhism— do not presuppose a universe divided into the spiritual and the material, and do not culminate in a state of consciousness where the physical world vanishes into some undifferentiated and bodiless luminescence.

18 Anything—even a glass of beer or a walk upstairs—may be dangerous to a person in poor health. Naturally, such contingencies are quite beyond the bounds of this discussion. prologue There is no difference in principle between sharpening perception with an external instrument, such as a microscope, and sharpening it with an internal instrument, such as one of these three drugs. If they are an affront to the dignity of the mind, the microscope is an affront to the dignity of the eye and the telephone to the dignity of the ear.

20 prologue From these reflections there arise intuitive insights of astonishing clarity, and because there is little difficulty in remembering them after the effects of the drug have ceased (especially if they are recorded or written down at the time), the days or weeks following may be used for testing them by the normal standards of logical, aesthetic, philosophical, or scientific criticism. As might be expected, some prove to be valid and others not. It is the same with the sudden hunches that come to the artist or inventor in the ordinary way; they are not always as true or as applicable as they seem to be in the moment of illumination.

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