Reviews for Psychedelic Information Theory
Psychedelic Information Theory will prove, no doubt, to be an important work primarily because it provides researchers, in both the sciences and humanities, with numerous new avenues down which to investigate. For example; the Frame Stacking Model the text employs in describing the change from linear to non-linear consciousness; or which methods, or media, have most successfully transmitted the psychedelic meme and whether they can demonstrate increased complexity. Underlying the theory, PIT provides us with a serious, and in many respects successful, recalibration of the different psychedelic knowledge bases. In great respect to the author, I believe PIT will attract both plaudits and criticism with equal fervour and, in doing so, help proliferate serious psychedelic research for some time to come.
In his new book, "Psychedelic Information Theory: Shamanism in the Age of Reason," James Kent has attempted to describe both the experience and underlying mechanisms of consciousness, in the language of classical wave mechanics, with terms like neural oscillators, periodic drivers, wave entrainment, resonance and coherence. Of particular interest are his characterizations of psychedelic agents as nonlinear feedback amplifiers, and descriptions of shamanic technique as periodic drivers to entrain a psychonaut's chaotic interference patterns towards multi-stable strange attractors. His book offers the first steps in developing a more refined and quantifiable theory and terminology of psychedelic action. It suggests many rich opportunities for further research that are bound to reveal some pragmatic and novel applications. Not since "The Invisible Landscape," by the McKenna brothers, have I found a book so original and propitious.
Review by Rak Razam, author of Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey
By carefully deconstructing the types of hallucination and the mechanisms which trigger them, James L. Kent has proven himself to be the "Mythbuster" of the New Psychedelic Age. His book, Psychedelic Information Theory is the everyman's guide to inner consciousness, unraveling the scientific foundations of altered states and their application in the modern age, as well as in the shamanic paradigm. PIT challenged my views on the psychedelic experience: I might not agree with some of the conclusions, but I have a firmer grip on the basics because of it. Kent helps outline the mechanics of the mind, but his reductionist approach also leaves room for further mysteries to grow, and for spirit to soar, just not in the tie-die romanticism the psychedelic layman might first think.
In his book, Psychedelic Information Theory, James Kent lays out the multidisciplinary neuroscience that informs his Control Interrupt/Non-Linear Destabilization premise. This premise suggests that the primary action of psychedelics (mostly around 5-HT receptors, since that's where research exists) is to destabilize neural network switching related to serotonergic and cholinergic visual processing, as well as the auditory, olfactory, and tactile senses... Kent's clear trail through volumes of research gave me a solid understanding of how rod and cone vision, phosphenes, the visual information processing rate, and the brain's pattern-recognition function all come together (or come apart) to modulate entoptic (pattern overlay--"Patterns... Colors...") and eidetic (internal visual world--"Machine Elves") hallucinatory states.
Review by Deepak Sonpar
Reading James Kent’s interviews with ‘stalwarts’ in psychedelic study, drew him to my attention. What struck me was his intuitive intelligence and objective queries. He was also then working on his book, and many like myself, witnessed its laborious evolution through many stages of editing, which he was humble enough to place on the internet. In its final avatar which has been acclaimed, the book is an extremely well researched and scholarly study. I wish him all luck in enjoying his (comparatively young) life, being blessed with an unbiased and holistic understanding of neurobiology and its dynamics.
Neal Marshal Goldsmith, author of Psychedelic Healing
I wanted to thank you for sending me your extraordinary book. I love it and believe it is a special book that over the years will increasingly emerge as important to our field. Thanks for writing (and sending) it!
Web Resource: www.amazon.com