Review of Listening Into the Heart of Things-on MDMA and LSD by Samuel Widmer (1989)

In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018. Henderson,NV, USA: Michael Starks. pp. 573-575 (2016)
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Abstract
This is an early volume from a much respected psychedelic psychotherapist. He has written several other books since this one but until recently none of his books were on Amazon and still you can only find a German edition and a Spanish one (from 1993) but no English one (except a couple used copies). This is sad since these drugs have enormous therapeutic potential but afaik government suppression still prevents their use. The most interesting and readable parts are the case histories of drug therapy, especially his own-e.g., on pages 114, 166 and 178. Though a very advanced therapist compared to many, he is far from finished with his intellectual growing up and clings to his psychoanalytic background even though he often mentions its extreme shortcomings. The often painfully awkward text is full of insights from his own therapeutic voyages and those of his patients interspersed with psychoanalytic nonsense. Part of the awkwardness may be due to bad translation from the German but the lack of a rational spiritual framework is a major problem (as with most therapy-or most life for that matter) that he only occasionally seems to recognize. He also sometimes veers off into the ozone-e.g., after many pages of sensible dialog he can opine that varicose veins and cancer are a result of the splitting of a psychosis (p99)! He quotes Zen and Sufi stories, Krishnamurti and Al Ghazali and even Castenada (seemingly unaware of his exposure as a fraud 20 years ago!), yet he seems oblivious to the fact that meditation is the most powerful therapy there is and to the presence around him in his own country and all over the globe of the most diverse and effective therapeutic community that has ever existed-that of the students of the great Indian mystic (ie, psychotherapist) Osho. What a great pity! He could have learned so much and advanced his therapy so far. But like most people he deliberately or unconsciously avoids anything which might wake him up too much. It's possible however that he just avoids mentioning Osho as he's radical enough to trigger the control templates in the monkey brain and enlightenment has the power to change one's whole life and not just put a bandaid on as other therapies usually do. Widmer refers repeatedly to the great LSD therapy pioneer Stanislav Grof, whose writings are one of the first that the interested reader may want to consult. Also, anyone who has a serious interest in psychedelic therapy should read Myron Stolaroff´s " The Secret Chief "-an account of the most remarkable clandestine therapist of this type of all time. It tells the story of the late Leo Zeff, who helped thousands to find themselves with the skilled and varied use of a wide variety of psychedelics. As the book is hard to find you may wish to read the info on Zeff on the web. In addition the clinical chapters in the excellent Ecstasy:the complete guide by J. Holland(2001) and her web page www.drholland.com (and elsewhere on the net) provide a broad framework and guide to therapy that is lacking here. A lovely book to add to any drug or therapy library, if you can find it. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my article The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language as Revealed in Wittgenstein and Searle 59p(2016). For all my articles on Wittgenstein and Searle see my e-book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Wittgenstein and Searle 367p (2016). Those interested in all my writings in their most recent versions may consult my e-book Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization - Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 662p (2016). All of my papers and books have now been published in revised versions both in ebooks and in printed books. Talking Monkeys: Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071HVC7YP. The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle--Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071P1RP1B. Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711R5LGX
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