Distilled Spirits is an intoxicating concoction that blends a religion reporter's memoir with the compelling stories of three men —Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson—whose work and inspiring friendship transformed the landscape of Western religion and spirituality in the twentieth century.
Huxley, the prophetic English essayist and celebrated author of Brave New World, ignited a restless generation that chased utopian dreams and sought enlightenment through psychedelic drugs. Heard, an Anglo-Irish mystic, journeyed to California with Huxley in the 1930s to lay the foundations for the New Age and human potential movements. Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, joined forces with Huxley and Heard in the 1940s and 1950s, when Wilson began a series of little-known experiments to see if LSD could be used to help diehard drunks discover a power greater than themselves.
Their life stories are gracefully brought together by veteran journalist Don Lattin, who reveals his own sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious misadventures as a religion writer "worshiping at the altar of drugs and alcohol." Lattin recounts his rocky personal journey from 1960's and 1970's counter-culture, through the fast-living, cocaine-fueled 1980's and 1990's, to his long struggle to get sober and find a faith that works for him. By weaving an intimate account of his own recovery with the lives of the book's three central characters, Lattin shows us the redemptive power of story telling, the strength of fellowship, and the power of living more compassionately, one day at a time.