Sunday, May 22, 2016

Five top books for the psychonaut

Patrick Hemstreet is a novelist, neuro-engineer, entrepreneur, patent-pending inventor, special warfare-trained Navy medic, standup comic, and actor. He lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and sons. The God Wave is his first novel.

At he named his five top books for the psychonaut--"psychonauts explore the vastness and depth of the mind"--including:
The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

Oneironautics or the ability to travel within a dream on a conscious basis, sometimes referred to as lucid dreaming, seems to me to fall under the umbrella of psychonautics. Jedediah Berry’s very clever work explores this concept within a sinister setting.

This magnificent novel is the best fictional representation I have seen on the subject of dreams. Without giving too much away … our protagonist, Unwin, must unravel a mystery that crosses into the ethereal world of dreams. Unwin is unprepared and inexperienced, he is the consummate neophyte who must survive the crucible of the mind.

Unwin is a clerk at a detective agency who is constantly studying case files. Naturally he accrues quite a bit of knowledge in the process. Suddenly he is promoted to the rank of detective. He must now put his knowledge to use or face the consequences of failure. He is the archetype for not only the psychonaut but any seeker of wisdom. There is a point when study yields diminishing returns and the seeker must engage in practical application. This is true for psychonautics, science, and just about everything worth learning.

The Manual of Detection is a one-two punch. It is a gripping tale that traverses beautifully into the realm of dreams. A realm considered to be the first step removed from the conscious mind in psychonautical exploration. Berry’s work also gives the psychonaut a relatable character in Unwin; truly we are all novices at one point.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Manual of Detection.

--Marshal Zeringue