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Arthur, James D

Category: Ordinary person

James Arthur has only written one book, [that I know of] but it is such a useful and personal book that I have put him on the site.  ‘Salvia divinorum – Doorway to thought-free awareness’ was originally published in 2008 under the title ‘Peopled Darkness – Perceptual Transformation through Salvia divinorum.’  It is described as ‘an engaging and informative bibliographic journey with the Diviner’s Sage; examining the salviaic experience with a calm voice and a detailed eye’ by one Literary review.

The real interest of the book is that it is full of real experience without the rambling analysis you occasionally get from those who think they have become experts from their own experiences.  Whereas some of the more painful to read books contain over three quarters or more of their text as angst and analysis, Arthur’s book contains no angst and only the bare minimum of analysis. 

The book follows a chronological journey, beginning with Arthur’s “first experiences”, to their “intensification,” as he tries differing strengths and methods of consuming salvia, through to an “augmentation” at later stages.  Finally, he is “taken” by those which he perceives as ‘personages’ within the salviaic experience and relates some of the communication that took place.  The state one achieves with Salvia is described by Arthur as “thoughtless awareness.”

As the various experiences begin to augment into a sequential journey, Arthur also develops the concept of “dream language,” which refers to the method of communication inherent in the experience. In other words he discovers symbolism and the symbol system.

His personages are also not always fairytale friends, he meets an old lady: “It was as if she, personally, couldn’t care less about the information she was relaying.” It is this rather disarming honesty which also marks the book out as special.  What is perhaps equally interesting is that the people he discovers reject him eventually because his motives for taking Salvia at that stage were entirely selfish.

He experiences quite a number of recognisable effects, which are also described in detail, for example, “the shrinking of the self,” which is a specific occurrence during several salviaic experiences. It is “characterized by an altered sense of body image.” Whilst the body disappears, “the self, on the other hand, [becomes] more and more concentrated and, like sunlight through a magnifying glass, is becoming more precise and palpable.”

I could find out practically nothing of who he is or what he looks like, which is rather annoying, but this entry will have to do as a means of linking his experiences together, until other evidence comes to light.

Observations

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