“Sensitive and with an eye to guiding others who are seeking psychedelic medicine, James W. Jesso highlights the tutorial nature of the psilocybin experience, showing how psilocybin mushrooms can be used as a therapeutic tool to face, and subsequently integrate, buried psychological traumas. A courageous and valuable addition to the growing field of psilocybinetics!”
"Jesso’s telling of his insightful journeys on the mushroom are both poignant and intriguing. What begins as a humorous tale of the psychedelic experience unravels into a deeply honest portrayal of one exploring the dark crevices of their own mind; their shadow. A necessary process for healing, yet unfortunately many of us do not have the courage to do so. Hopefully through reading his words, it will spark inspiration for others to use this sacred and ancient medicine to heal the wounds that are ingrained within us all.
Thank you for sharing your story, it was a necessary read for my own process and I am filled with nothing but gratitude."
"Behind every great theory there lies a great story, and James' adventures and learning curves with the Psilocybe mushroom is no exception. The True Light of Darkness is an engaging and entertaining tale of the author's bemushroomed ways, and deserves to be picked and tried by the curious and the psychonauts alike."
"Eloquently written and flowing with ease, 'The True Light of Darkness' takes readers through the personal innerscape of James during his deeply turbulent emotional rides into the dark recesses of his psyche. Committed to a respectful, honouring, and humble relationship with the mushroom, James provides a map to the psilocybin terrain that is accessible and useful for experienced as well as beginner psychonaughts alike. His languaging of the intense emotional and mental chaos, as well as the process by which he applies and integrates the experience to evolve his individual "psychospiritual maturation", told through story narrative, extends beyond the contextual use of the mushroom itself. If utilized, the conceptual tools that James presents give readers the ability to effectively navigate mental and emotional turmoil, including depression, regardless of whether one chooses to ingest mushrooms."
“James has written three cautionary tales of high-dose mushroom experiences, each one focused on reaching for the light by going through the darkness. His ability to re-create the journey in compelling detail, combined with his own observations made during and later while integrating the insights is accurate, savvy and sensitive. He directly confronts his deepest demons: self-loathing and being unable to love with courage, candor and even a sense of humor. A welcome addition to the mapping of consciousness."
"James Jesso’s new book, “The True Light of Darkness”, is a journey down the rabbit hole that even the most adventuresome Alice would have avoided, preferring instead to keep safe company with her hookah-smoking Caterpillar. But Jesso’s goal is to be searingly honest and fearless in his entheogenic quest to illuminate the darkest corners of his psyche, to get to the root of the depression, anxiety and loneliness that has shadowed his entire adult life.
Powerful stories of his work with the psilocybin mushroom are interwoven with philosophical asides and psychological insights that help ground readers as they enter realms of non-ordinary states of consciousness, some of which may be unfamiliar or emotionally intimidating. But Jesso is always there to hold your hand, even as he himself is at the end of his tether, terrified of what lies ahead. Anyone who saw the film “Altered States” will feel the same mix of foreboding and anticipation as they enter the sensory isolation tank with Jesso in the final story of the book.
Part psychological thriller, part meditation on the transformative potential of psychedelics, at heart this book is a spiritual autobiography revealing Jesso’s quest for healing, integration and forgiveness. It’s beautifully written. You don’t have to be a psychonaut or even a mushroom lover to enjoy and deeply appreciate this book. I suspect Jesso has other rabbit holes to explore and we’ll all benefit from whatever he finds."
“The True Light of Darkness is a journey into a place of feeling, understanding, knowledge and inner strength. It is a brave expose of uncovering the veils and depths of being, when our egos are confronted with questions of who we are. The book looks at Psilocybe medicine in the true context of its ability to fragment and integrate. It is a noble contribution to the fungal pharmacy.”
“The True Light of Darkness is James W. Jesso's latest foray into documenting not just his own psilocybin explorations, but in laying down maps of consciousness for those that come after. Jesso bravely recounts three engaging journeys across the emotional, physical and psychic spectrum to reveal the healing power these entheogenic substances have in disentangling the mind, freeing repressed emotion and erasing societal conditioning. There are some witty, insightful and downright hilarious moments in Jesso's journeys, and collectively they enrich the cultural tapestry not just as trip reports, but as reflections of the eternal mystery. Jesso gives language to the highs and lows, the mystical intuitions and the transmissions from within, but he crafts the delivery in an everyman style that you can relate to, and you will certainly want to read.”
"Jesso's book is a vulnerable, humorous, and weird foray into the deeply unpleasant places egos often go when tossed overboard into the psychedelic superconscious. As a set of awkward but illuminating trip reports, and as a map of mental traps that frequently ensnare this generation's psychonauts, The True Light of Darkness is a prime example of how daring curiosity, committed practice, and at least a little masochism all converge as integral components of the frontier attitude, and lifestyle, therapy like this requires."