Published by: Park Street Press
Publication date: 09/22/2017
Formats: paperback, ebook
After returning from a tour of duty during the war in Afghanistan, Alex Seymour needed a way to cope with the extremes he experienced as a member of the Royal Marine Commandos, losing 7 men in his unit, and having his best friend critically injured by a Taliban bomb. Drawing upon his pre-deployment experiences with DMT and psilocybin mushrooms, Alex knew that entheogens could help him release his fears and traumas. But he also knew that simply taking psychedelics wasn’t enough–he needed ceremony, something sacred to draw meaning from his experiences, to help him reassess not only the war and his role in it, but his entire life. So he set out for the Amazon in search of the hallucinogenic brew known as ayahuasca and a shaman to guide him. The result is a crazy, page-turning adventure where he journeys deep into the jungle and himself.
Alex soon finds himself deep within the jungle on an incredible adventure, sailing on the Amazon river with an ayahuasca shaman and his troop of 8 female shamanas, whose ethereal songs help guide participants during the nightly ayahuasca ceremonies. Accompanied by others seeking wisdom and a redemptive experience from their First World professional lives, Alex finds his core beliefs fundamentally challenged, replaced by the power of direct experience of the sacred, which allows him to release his fears from the war and set an inspiring path for the future.
Painting a vivid portrait of both the anguish of war and the transcendent world of shamanic ritual, the author shows how young people often enlist in the military to satisfy our human need for a rite of passage into adulthood, a ritual sorely missing in our culture. He explores how ayahuasca can offer a way to help soldiers prepare for war and help combat veterans heal from war and overcome PTSD–as well as alcoholism and addiction. From Afghanistan to the Amazon, the author shows how ayahuasca frees your consciousness from inherited beliefs and fears, offering a truly transformative rite of passage.
…the work does offer an interesting firsthand account of encounters far removed from many readers’ calm and orderly lives.
Publishers Weekly, July 2016
Psychedelic Marine is a unique, mind-stretching, powerful story that captivates you from page one to the end. If you want your spirit to be lifted and inspired and to know what is possible beyond the boundaries of convention, this is a must-read.
Chris Walton, MSc, best-selling author of The Gamma Mindset
A true story of a man who pushed the boundaries way beyond any semblance of comfort zone through the devastation and horror of war and who went on to find healing, transformation, and salvation by dissolving the boundaries of ordinary consciousness into the vast spaces of the transpersonal realm.
Tom Soloway Pinkson, Ph.D., vision quest leader, psychologist, and author of The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol
More than a report of one marine’s experience, this book is a call to the armed forces medical corps, the Veterans Administration, and veterans’ groups . . . to fund research to support treating PTSD with ayahuasca and other psychedelics.
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind
A revealing juxtaposition of two life experiences most can only begin to imagine, bringing to life the stress and fatigue of a marine’s lot in Afghanistan and his subsequent metaphysical quest for enlightenment.
Jake Wood, author of Among You: The Extraordinary True Story of a Soldier Broken by War
Alex Seymour deployed to Afghanistan to test himself and rediscover his full potential through warfare. Little did he know it was a stepping stone to his hardest test as a warrior–taking ayahuasca in the jungle in Peru where he would surrender to his greatest fears and find that the ultimate answers had been inside himself all along.
Ian Benouis, West Point graduate, former Black Hawk helicopter pilot and combat veteran, and cannabi
A raw, honest, and powerful account of a marine and a profound healing, this book stands out for its account of personal transformation of a military man into a self-governing individuator, surrendering to nothing but the sacred source within his own heart. Highly recommended reading!
C. Michael Smith, Ph.D, clinical psychologist, medical anthropologist, author of Jung and Shamanism
…a rare book that both acknowledges the transformative power of war with its confrontation with death and the transformative power of psychedelics, with the confrontation with ego death. Sometimes it takes more courage to face one’s inner world than to face enemies in the outer world. I read this book cover to cover and recommend others do so as well.
Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS
Hands down the most accurate depiction of what it’s like both as a combat veteran and a psychedelic warrior. The worlds appear to be vastly different, but Alex was able to bridge the connection. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either world.
Cpl Ryan LeCompte, former USMC 0311 infantryman, founder of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy
Little by little, one step at a time, one person at a time, but very effectively, the Amazonian visionary brew ayahuasca is changing human consciousness precisely where such changes are most urgently needed–in the very heartland of Western technological, industrial, and military power. Psychedelic Marine is a truly original and authentic account of the transformations that this ancient and sacred medicine can set in process.
Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods