The Joyous Cosmology

Title: The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness
Genre: Science/Philosophy
Author: Alan W. Watts (1915-1973)
Foreword: Timothy Leary, Ph.D. (1920-1996) and Richard Alpert, Ph. D. (1931-)
Publisher: Pantheon Books, New York, New York
Year: 1962
Pages: 100
Format: Hardcover, with dust jacket.
Provenance: Label from Samuel Weiser bookstore in New York City pasted inside front cover.
Dedication: "To the people of Druid Heights"
Opening Sentence: "Slowly it becomes clear that one of the greatest of all superstitions is the separation of the mind from the body."
Random Passage: "The Divine Comedy. All things dissolve in laughter. And for Robert this huge heap of marvelously incongruous uselessness is a veritable creation, a masterpiece of nonsense. He slams it together and ropes it securely to the bulbous, low-slung wreck of the supposedly chic convertible, and then stands back to admire it as if it were a float for a carnival."
Goodreads Review: "This book does an incredible job at explaining the many thoughts that cross the minds of people who are fortunate enough to really explore their inner self while under the influence of certain chemicals. There is no way to explain what happens to consciousness during these experiences but Alan Watts does an incredible job at giving an idea." — Mason, April 16, 2008.
Notes: Renowned philosopher Alan Watts wrote The Joyous Cosmology after experimenting with psychedelic drugs in the late '50s and early '60s, reflecting on what effects they had on his perceptions of reality. A later edition of the book contains this quote (also included on Watts' Wikipedia entry): "If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen."


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