The Ecstatic Imagination provides the first general theory of psychedelic experiences. Merkur refutes several theories that have been used to explain single categories of psychedelic experience, and offers instead a unitary theory that is applicable to all varieties. The book treats self-reports of psychedelic experiences as a wealth of neglected data which forms the basis to expand the psychoanalytic model of human imagination. An exhaustive phenomenology of the varieties of LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin experiences in Western and Native American cultures is joined together with psychoanalytic theories drawn from the classical, ego psychological, and object relations schools. Where existing theories prove inadequate to the discussion of data, original formulations are offered. The result is a rigorously psychoanalytic approach to the process of self-actualization.
--- from the publisher