Book Review: How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World
Stephen Gray has compiled an assortment of unique perspectives in this book, and there is uniform agreement about one thing: We are living through calamitous times, and conventional problem solving is not cutting it. Thus, each writer in How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World challenges the reader to think outside the box—often way outside the box—so as to meet and respond to the direness of our crises.
The book often deals directly with psychedelics—Gray provides a useful primer about the history and indigenous uses of “the great medicines” early on—but thematically the writers are often most concerned with the cosmic lessons one can glean from psychedelic experiences. Zoe Helene, for instance, writes about confronting universal feminine trauma in the book’s third chapter while Tyson Yunkaporta writes about embracing radical change without resorting to reductionism.
There are also several chapters penned by herbalists and plant experts. Michael Stuart Ani, for instance, writes about plant rituals and their wisdom. Minelli Eustacio-Costa argues that cannabis is a powerful tool in fostering collective liberation.
“Many are seeing and feeling a death and rebirth process underway that is drawing the whole species in,” writes Gray in the book’s first chapter. Many of the book’s contributors, including Gray himself, understand that the challenges facing humanity and all life on earth will not be easily solved, nor without suffering. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal, and How Psychedelics Can Help Save the World provides powerful cosmic visions for a path forward.