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Spirit Matters: A Memoir

Click Here To Purchase Spirit Matters: A Memoir


Author: Matthew J. Pallamary

ISBN: 978-1-4343-1801-5

Matthew J. Pallamary’s Spirit Matters: A Memoir is a powerful attestation that splendidly recreates one man’s quest for truth.  While it may not endear him to the proponents of the war on drugs, it nonetheless deserves a reading with an open mind even though at times it may read like one long psychedelic journey.

Pallamary begins by telling us how he grew up in the Irish Catholic ghetto of Dorchester in Boston and he confesses that from his father he inherited an “insane streak” or “maniacal drive,” while from his mother he took her passive wound. Consequently, as Pallamary states, “ my female passive and male aggressive responses to feeling unloved acted like magnets, providing alternating polarities to the steady stream of violence that found its way in me.”

His goal in life was to become a successful criminal only he never wished to harm anyone. In addition, one of his principal ambitions that eventually evolved into one of the driving forces of his life was to try as many new experiences as possible. And as we learn, when it came to drugs, there was no stopping him in experimenting with everything that he could lay his hands on. To Pallamary, in his quest for new experiences, he felt driven to try everything he could and the more illicit the better.

It was in his early teens that Pallamary began to consume alcohol and as he states, it only took him so far, and the farther it took him, the less he remembered and the more he paid for the next day. His friends introduced him to marijuana and hashish and the first time he tested them he enjoyed the “buzz.” From here Pallamary ventured into sniffing glue with a can of Weldwood contact cement and paper lunch bags and he didn’t care too much about the consequences.

During his senior year in high school he was introduced to the world of LSD. Incidentally, he hardly attended school skipping at least eighty days out of a 180-day year.  The principal reason why he did attend school was to sell pot and drugs.

These drugs included names like Pure Microdot, Blue Cheer, Orange Sunshine, and lots of blotter acid, like Mr. Natural, Green Frog, Mickey Mouse, and others. Pallamary even became a kind of expert as to the effect of these drugs on our systems. In fact, he alleges he had the time of his life during most of his acid trips and as a result gained new ways to look at the people and the world around him. Although, he does admit that he did have some scary moments that rattled him.

Not satisfied with these drugs, Pallamary also began to explore others and he tried speed in the form of Mini-Whites, Black Beauties, Crystal Meth, Dexedrine, and Yellow Jackets along with downers including Reds, Yellows, Seconal, Tuonal, Quaaludes, and other barbiturates. In other words, he was not afraid to try anything regardless of its consequences.

After barely passing high school and realizing that he would wind up in prison if he continued to sell illegal drugs, he decided to enlist in the air force. However, this did not deter him from securing drugs and as he mentions, “I felt a great thrill being stoned under their noses in the middle of a military basic-training facility where you supposedly had your mind and body under control.” He was fortunate that he was never busted even though there were some very close calls.


On New Year’s Eve of 1979 at the age of twenty-four, Pallamary informs us that he took two hits of LSD, smoked a lot of cannabis, and indulged in his last high. It was at this time that he decided to clean up his act and he enrolled in yoga classes and it was at this time that he was introduced to Roy Masters, who had a radio show called “How Your Mind Can Keep You Well.” Masters also authored a book with three meditation tapes and Pallamary asserts that he finally heard a male authority figure that he respected because he spoke and lived the truth.

Pallamary devoured many books on spirituality, however, he came to the conclusion that they all seemed to be saying the same thing. It was time for him to say something of his own. As a result, he pursued a creative writing course and discovered that he had a passion for writing. This in turn led him to explore horror and dark science fiction, which drew him to researching vampires and werewolves and eventually into the study of shamanism.

The last part of the book deals with Pallamary’s experiences in the jungles of the Amazon where he pursues his curiosity of shamanism and in particular with Ayahuasqueros also called ayahuasca that he claims it takes you to the upper, lower, and middle worlds so you can experience them all.

Pallamary has laid his life before us to show how he has walked many paths in search of truth. And as he concludes, “My path has taken me from early, lost innocence in a civilized ‘jungle’ to the real jungle, where spirit did indeed touch my soul and show me the infinite teaching of the limitless expanse of consciousness that spirit truly is.”

To be fair to Pallamary, even after reading Spirit Matters: A Memoir, my feelings pertaining to mind altering drugs haven’t changed, however, it certainly has deepened my understanding. Moreover, I may not agree with his method of searching for the truth, nevertheless he certainly has written a book with a great deal of insight and eloquence. What baffles me is that with all of his experiences with these mind- altering drugs and plants, he is still alive to tell his story! 

Click Here To Purchase Spirit Matters: A Memoir

The above review was contributed by: The Publisher & Editor of, Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, Retired Title Attorney: Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily, the couple meld Norm's words with Lily's art. To check out their travel site click on   Click here to view Norm’s Reviews & Interviews.

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