The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios
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About The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios
A look inside almost half a century of pioneering research in the Amazon and Peru by a noted anthropologist studying hallucinogens, including ayahuasca
• Reveals how ayahuasca successfully treats psychological and emotional disorders
• Examines adolescent drug use from a cross-cultural perspective
• Discusses the deleterious effects of drug tourism in the Amazon
Ayahuasca is an alkaloid-rich psychoactive concoction indigenous to South America that has been employed by shamans for millennia as a spirit drug for divinatory and healing purposes. Although the late Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes was credited in the early 1950s as being the first to document the use of ayahuasca, other researchers, such as the distinguished anthropologist Marlene Dobkin de Rios, were responsible for furthering his findings and uncovering the curative capabilities of this amazing compound.
The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios presents the accumulated experience of de Rios’s 45 years of pioneering field studies in the area of hallucinogens in Peru and the Amazon. Her investigation into ayahuasca--which she undertook in collaboration with more than a dozen traditional Mestizo folk curanderos, shamans, and fellow ethnobotanists--focuses on the use of this revolutionary plant in the treatment of recalcitrant psychological and emotional disorders. She also shares some of her theories that prove that the ancient Maya used psychedelic plants as part of their religious rituals, thereby demonstrating the impact of plant psychedelics on human prehistory. In addition, Dobkin de Rios examines altered states of consciousness derived from the use of biofeedback and hypnosis and discusses her current work on the deleterious effects of drug tourism in the Amazon.
About the Author(s) of The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios
Marlene Dobkin de Rios, Ph.D. (1939-2012), was a medical anthropologist, associate clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine, and professor emerita of anthropology at California State University, Fullerton, where she taught cultural anthropology from 1969-2000. She is the author of seven books and several hundred professional articles.
Praise for The Psychedelic Journey of Marlene Dobkin de Rios
“In her new book, Marlene Dobkin de Rios summarizes her experiences and observations from forty-plus years of research in this field. The book is a treasure trove of information on the use of visionary plants in ancient and native cultures of South and Central America. Of special interest are the passages discussing the increasingly influential ayahuasca rituals and the effects of LSD and ayahuasca on creativity and artistic expression. This book will be of great interest not only for scholars and researchers but also for large audiences of laypeople interested in consciousness and spirituality.”
Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of Beyond the Brain, Psychology of the Future, The Cosmic Genius, and Spiritual Emergency
“An informative, insightful, and colorful journey with one of the founders of the modern anthropology of hallucinogens. Dobkin de Rios’s work has influenced the mind-set of all those who seek understanding through indigenous cultures’ use of psychoactive plants. This is a valuable academic resource as well as a moving autobiographical account.”
Rick Strassman, M.D., author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and clinical associate professor of psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
“This book describes the life and work of one of anthropology’s premier border-crossers. Marlene Dobkin de Rios was one of the first to postulate that hallucinogenic substances played an integral part in the development of many aspects of human culture and has clearly and forcefully distinguished between the constructive and the destructive uses of these substances. She has built bridges between anthropology and psychology, theory and practice, and traditional and modern cultures. Over the course of her adventurous life, she has learned love magic from women concerned about her then single status, used fortune-telling cards as an ethnographic research method, and counseled burn victims and other traumatized individuals using insights gleaned from her studies of shamanism. A fascinating book about a fascinating individual.”
John R. Baker, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, Moorpark College, and coauthor of Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion
“Dobkin de Rios is one of the few professional anthropologists who has had the courage to describe her personal experiences with psychedelics. Hers is a compelling story about how direct experience resulted in both wisdom and discernment.”
John W. Hoopes, director of Global Indigenous Nations Studies Program and associate professor of anthropology, University of Kansas
"It is of interest to those who share her enthusiasm with hallucinogens and everyone interested in the discipline's earlier history."
Michael Heinrich, Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, University of London, Feb 2010
"De Rios writes in a very accessible, easy style that even a novice in the field--like myself--can understand. . . . For anyone following a more shamanic path, I'm sure that de Rios's insights in the field of ethnobotany and how native healers around the world use those plants will be of great value to their personal spiritual practice."
Bronwen Forbes, Pagan Book Reviews, April 2010
“This academic resource is a journey in itself. One of the first medical anthropologists to explore hallucinogens, de RIOS furthered findings by the late Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans, who documented the use of ayahuasca (Diplopterys cabrerana) in the 1950s. In this book she summarizes her forty years of research on visionary plants of Peru, the Amazon, and the Mayans. She moves gracefully from autobiographical anecdotes to scholarly information in a readable story line.”
American Herb Association, September 2012