MIND GAMES by Robert & Jean Houston Masters


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The team that played with psychedelic toys in an earlier incarnation has moved on to the art of achieving drug-free cosmic union. Now as Wizards of Om rather than LSD (The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience, 1966), Masters and Houston have written a mystic manual, based on experiments at the Foundation for Mind Research. The book consists of four ordered sets of ""games"" designed to lead the players (and the reader) down psychic paths to death, rebirth, and a richer life. The road is through self-induced trances occasionally preceded by periods of fasting or isolation. While in trance, the players follow a guide intoning suggestions to unlock the door at the end of the deep stone staircase and journey down the river. . . . It all sounds like something out of Creature Feature or the literature of magic circles. But perhaps mysticism suffers in translation. The real danger of this book is the tease that one can play with his mind and get away scot-free -- emotions intact, reason preserved, ideology pure. Moreover there is the hard-sell: no chemical risk, you do it right in your own living room, etc., etc. The book is filled with caveats, of course: you shouldn't get emotionally attached to your guide or fellow trancees, and you should not play at it if you're weak or neurotic, competitive or exploitative. There is no question that hypnosis and autosuggestion are real but little understood phenomena, but most behavioral scientists or even committed mystics approach their use with caution. Which is advised.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1972
Publisher: Viking