Bringing ‘The True Light of Darkness’ to life
There is always something extra-special about reading a book about magic mushrooms. The powerful, magical Psilocybe fungi has an incredible grasp on the psychonaut’s imagination. As a result, ‘mushroom discourse’ is among the most hotly debated in psychedelia – state a fact wrong at your peril as one PsypressUK.com contributor found out a year or two ago – and although the world isn’t exactly over-run by magic mushroom books, those that do find their ways onto the bookshelf so often reflect the pre-eminence of the mushroom.
When mushroom-aficianado James W. Jesso was first in touch with us about his previous book Decomposing the Shadow: Lessons from the Psilocybin Mushroom (DTS) I experienced that same rush of excitement that comes with another mushroom voice springing up into the world – and I wasn’t disappointed. The book bubbled with new language and approaches, whilst giving nods to previous theoretical, therapeutic, and serendipitous mushroom moments. Interestingly, having found something similar myself, James recently wrote:
‘As I toured with DTS, I got the same comment over and over: ‘I was hoping to hear more about your story’. DTS is a work of non-fiction written in a textbook-like tone which hardly scratches the surface of my story; the project was a deliberately a depersonalized academic approach. I have since come to understand that such an approach is limited in that it often engages only the intellect. Whereas in storytelling I can come from a more vulnerable place, engage the (figurative) heart, and thus connect with more people.’
This is where his new book The True Light of Darkness (TLD) has taken and sprung from. Of course, the mushroom is the fruiting body of its community – the mycelium – and if ever there was a potent metaphor for crowd-funding then there it is! As with the aforementioned work, James is crowd-funding his new book – 63% funded so far as I write – and needs a little more help to get over the line. Please visit here for more details:
In the intervening period between these publications James has produced some excellent articles – some of which we’ve been lucky enough to feature on psypressuk.com and in the PsypressUK Journal. Check them out here. Not only is James giving voice to the mushroom, he has allowed the mushroom to weave its mycelium through his own narrative voice, creating a startling blend. Having been lucky enough to read a draft of TLD, I can honestly say that this is a book well worth getting behind, and I greatly look forward to reading a hardcopy in the future and, with any luck, many more words by James. As he notes:
‘This is about more than just getting a book funded, it’s about deepening the culture around psilocybin so it can spread and inspire others. It’s about letting others know they are not alone in the darkness they have faced and the benefits they have earned. This book is a fruiting body of something much larger than the author, and this campaign is the spore liberation.’