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Psychedelic Marine
A Transformational Journey from Afghanistan to the Amazon
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Author(s) :
Alex Seymour
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Edition(s) at Erowid :
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Park Street Press
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.

"Excellent, thought-provoking, important, and gripping, it's the best book on the ayahuasca phenomenon in a very long while. A truly original and authentic account."
-- Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods

"I saw my life and my own path from the marines to the jungles of the Amazon in every page of this book. This infantryman approves! Semper fidelis!"
-- Cpl Ryan LeCompte, former USMC 0311 infantryman and founder of Venterans for Entheogenic Therapy

"This book offers crucial insights into how psychedelics can both heal PTSD and facilitate the universal mystical experience that breaks down the 'us and them' dichotomies that often lead to war. Highly recommended."
-- Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS

Alex Seymour enlisted in the Royal Marines Commandos as a teenager, serving for 6 years and completing 2 tours of duty on active service. Twenty years later he returned to the service as the oldest frontline commando in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. He is currently the Technology Account Director for a global technology company and lives with his wife and children in Buckinghamshire, England.