Searching for the Philosophers’ Stone
A deeply personal account of the scientific, shamanic, and metaphysical encounters that led to the development of Metzner’s psychological methods • Recounts the author’s meetings and friendships with Albert Hofmann, Alexander Shulgin, the McKenna brothers, Wilson Van Dusen, Myron Stolaroff, and Leo Zeff • Details his lucid dream encounters with G. I. Gurdjieff, profoundly healing sessions with Hawaiian healer Morrnah Simeona, experiences with plant teachers iboga and ayahuasca, and ecological and mystical lessons learned from animal teachers • Shares his involvement in the beginnings of the therapeutic use of MDMA and how it safely and effectively supports the healing of trauma, PTSD, and interpersonal relationships Just as the search for the philosopher’s stone is the core symbol of the alchemical tradition, Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., psychotherapist and one of the respected elders of the psychedelic research community, sees it as the central metaphor of his life-long quest to find methods of healing and insight through heightened states of consciousness. Through captivating stories Metzner shares his encounters from the 1960s through the 1990s with genius scientists, shamanic healers, mystics, plant spirits, and animal guides that led to the development of his “alchemical divination” psychological methods, a structured intuitive process of accessing inner sources of healing and insight. He details lessons learned with psychedelic research legends Albert Hofmann, Alexander Shulgin, Terence McKenna, and Dennis McKenna. He reveals his deeply healing encounters with the Kahuna bodywork healer Morrnah Simeona, the first to introduce the Hawaiian Ho’oponopono healing method to the West, and his experiences with West African trance dancing and the psychoactive plant-drug iboga. Metzner recounts in vivid detail his unwelcome encounter with malignant sorcery during an ayahuasca experience in Ecuador and the lessons it taught him about connections with spirits, both harmful and beneficial. He tells of his involvement in the beginnings of the therapeutic use of MDMA and shows how it is an effective and safe substance to support psychotherapy for healing trauma, PTSD, and interpersonal relationships. In sharing his remarkable encounters, Metzner shows how the most meaningful lessons in the alchemy of life come not only from the geniuses we meet but also from the spirits we encounter along the way.