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Great book for anyone heavy enough to deal with it. Here's a review from the net:
I figured the subject header would garner some attention. This is a semi-review of the book "Shivitti" by Ka-Tzetnik 135633, aka Yehiel De-Nur, and I thought you might be interested in seeing how others use LSD. This is a stunning book. De-Nur is a Holocaust survivor, spending most of the war at the infamous Polish concentration/death camp in Auschwitz. As is the case with many people, De-Nur's psyche was scarred severely by his experiences and perceptions during those unfathomably hellish years in human history. After his liberation from the camp, he was seized by the flaming desire to record what went on there, and the subsequent book became a classic testimonial of human suffering. Because De-Nur felt that the writing was not his doing, but rather all those who suffered and died at Auschwitz, he distanced himself from the book, and all his subsequent books, by using his Auschwitz identity, the serial number branded into his arm, K.Z. 135633. I imagine he's a pretty intense guy.
Where does LSD fit into the picture? "Shivitti" chronicles De-Nur's mid-1970s experiences with LSD psychotherapy, under the guidance of a doctor by the name of Jan C. Bastiaans, a Dutch psychiatrist. Each chapter highlights either De-Nur's actually drug sessions, or his subsequent reflections on them. Every experience involves his reliving the horrors and tortures experienced while in Auschwitz, combined with the hyper-reality religious symbolism incorporated into his trip. At various points he comes to specific revelations about the nature of evil, the roles of man and God and how they were played out during the Holocaust, and so forth. His horrific trips frighten him intensely (duh), and as a result, he becomes quite afraid of his LSD sessions, in contrast to the other residents of the healing center. If I read it correctly, De-Nur realizes that while his earlier books were always written in the third person (after all, HE wasn't writing them, the dead were), during his theuraputic sessions recalling his experiences in print he comes to use the first-person, a major breakthrough for him. Eventually, he is able to overcome his thirty years of fear and depression, the result of intense LSD psychotherapy.
My thoughts? THIS THING WAS AMAZING! First of all, I consider myself pretty well-informed, but I had no idea this kind of stuff went on past the 1960s, even in liberal socialist Western European nations. I can't believe this book isn't more widely known and read by members of the psychedelic community (it's not well-known, and I now have no memory of how I learned of its existence). After all, how many mainstream writers are willing to write of their beneficial drug experiences so completely candidly? Very few indeed. I don't know much about Hebrew authors, but my impression is that De-Nur is seen as one of the most important writers in the language (is he well-know here and I just don't know it?), and he openly admits to having used LSD, and NOT GOING INSANE (yeah, WE know it doesn't do that, but a whole lotta people don't) afterwards. Now if only I could learn to write a proper book review...
Sounds fascinating. Thanks for letting us know about it. It's good to see a post on this forum that's NOT about something SF/Fantasy related. I mean, I have nothing against SF/Fantasy but there's more to life . . .
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