I have a book recommendation today: “Breaking Open the Head” by Daniel Pinchbeck. Pinchbeck was a journalist from New York, a self-described skeptic, who decided, in the spirit of scientific inquiry, to take “A Psychedelic Journey Into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism,” which also just so happens to be the book's subtitle. He travels around North and South America and seeks out spiritual experiences involving hallucinogenic drugs, including yage in South America, peyote in Mexico, and even more modern spiritualities here in America involving LSD and DMT. It is fascinating. (My recommendation comes with a caveat, though: the experiences he records are very interesting and make for great reading, but by the end, one can only surmise that he has maybe been at it too long; after his experiences, he took to writing books about the end of the world in 2012.)
Mescaline. This is an important drug in the world of the spiritual. It comes from a cactus, and if you'll refer to the movie poster at the start of this article, you'll see that that is exactly what young Michael Cera is holding. Crystal Fairy is the film, and Cera stars as Jamie, an American who meets with some friends in Chile to find the San Pedro cactus, cook it to extract the mescaline, and ingest it on the beach. In a weed-and-coke fueled bit of over-friendliness, he invites along a fellow American, a quirky girl named Crystal Fairy, whose antics rapidly get on his nerves as they travel to have this deep experience. This is a fantastic film; my full review can be found here.
Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus and 2012 (for that is the full title of the film) is currently playing at Village 8 as part of the Louisville Exclusives series. It is scheduled to play until this Thursday, the 22nd. Village 8 is located at 4014 Dutchmans Lane. Further theater information and showtimes can be found at the Village 8 website.
Image: Internet Movie Database