This book is the amazing story of a guy (who from his writing seems very smart) that went for an acid trip, and almost never came back. It’s a story about how you can go crazy little by little without the people around you noticing, and suddenly it happens – and in most cases there is no way back. The current psychological/psychiatric system is not built to treat patients – it’s main (and sometimes only) job is to keep them nice and quiet so they don’t bother society:
It’s amazing how long you can run around doing crazy things before people catch up to you. The only people I fear in this world are psychopaths, because society has no defense against them. The famous ones kill dozens, sometimes hundreds of people, and these are just the sub-par psychos who need to be up close for the kill and have childhood issues. The rest of them are running nations and armies and businesses [my emphasis]. Psychopaths are better at all these things because they don’t care what happens to anyone around them
The author does a lot of introspection on what happened to him, and why it happened, creating enthralling tales of how the brain works, how it adapts. How loss of sleep can bring your consciousness out of control and make you believe anything. How belief is so ephemeral. And our brains are simply ill-equipped to handle so many things:
… many of the greatest minds in history have been working on mysteries like consciousness for millennia with no progress.. [and] we’re no more equipped to solve them than a rat is equipped to learn calculus – Given that the mind is a product of natural selection… it should have a mere ability to solve problems that are sufficiently similar to the mundane survival challenges of our ancestors. According to the saying, if you give a boy a hammer, the whole world becomes a nail. If you give a species an elementary grasp of biology, and psychology, the whole world becomes a machine, a jungle, a society. I will suggest that religion and philosophy are in part the application of mental tools to problems they were not designed to solve
Simply awesome. Go and read it.