The First Psychedelic
An Interview with Mike Jay

November 1, 2019

Interview by
Joanna Harcourt-Smith

In this week’s episode Mike Jay speaks with Joanna about: a long history before Aldous Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception”: Chavín de Huántar, in the Peruvian Andes; the difference between Western approaches and indigenous approaches to these plants; collective, ecstatic bonding; the difference between Huxley and Sartre experiences with mescaline; being with the transfigured world, here and now; Merleau-Ponty and the embodied psychedelic experience; the difference between mescaline and the other psychedelics; the male bias in the Western psychedelic literature; a new generation of women in the psychedelic world; finding a solution beyond the war on drugs; meeting the plants in their own terms.

Mike Jay is an author and cultural historian whose subjects include science, medicine, drugs, madness, literature and radical politics. His newest book is “Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic”.


“I Can’t Sit Still”, original music by Evarusnik

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