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post about doors of perception

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rokob committed Feb 7, 2019
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title: The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell
date: '2019-01-25T20:30:11Z'
categories: book
- book
- drugs
- good
- nonfiction
- philosophy
- death
pagecount: 142

[*The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell*][book-amaz] is actually two essays really put
together as a book. The first *The Doors of Perception* is essentially a mescaline trip report with
an attached perspective on how this reflects on the everyday world. The second *Heaven and Hell* is
concerned with questions of death, afterlife, Tibetian Book of the Dead stuff.

The main point of the first part is:

> To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve
> of the brain and nervous system.
The concept of brain as "reducing valve" has been continued in a lot of theory of mind work based on
the usage of psychedelics. It is an interesting worldview, basically following in the lineage of
Plato. It is hard to have a psychedelic experience and not feel that something about "normal" life
is reduced from what is really going on.

The other theme was around how these experiences can be related madness:

> The event was this succession of azure furnace doors separated by gulfs of unfathomable gentian.
> It was inexpressibly wonderful, wonderful to the point, almost, of being terrifying. And suddenly
> I had an inkling of what it must feel like to be mad.
Overall this book is a good, short read that is often cited in later works on the psychedelic
experience. Therefore if for no other reason than you might hear references to it this is a
worthwhile read.


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