James Fadiman

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James Fadiman
Born (1939-05-27) May 27, 1939 (age 84)
New York City, New York
Occupation(s)Researcher, author, lecturer
SpouseDorothy Fadiman
RelativesWilliam Fadiman (father)
Vera Racolin (mother)
Anne Fadiman (first cousin)
Clifton Fadiman (uncle)
William James Sidis (first cousin once removed)

James Fadiman (born May 27, 1939) is an American writer known for his research on microdosing psychedelics. He co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, which later became Sofia University.

Early years[edit]

Fadiman was born in New York City to a Jewish family and grew up in Bel Air. His father, William Fadiman, was a producer, story editor,[1][2] and book reviewer in Hollywood,[3] one of his credits being The Last Frontier.[1][3][2] His mother, Vera Racolin, was a socialite, former model, and philanthropist known for her charitable support of numerous causes, including the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Rescue League, and the Boys & Girls Club.[4][5][6] Both his paternal grandparents, Isadore and Grace Fadiman, and his maternal grandparents, Mandel and Natalie (Natasha) Racolin, were Russian Jewish immigrants who settled in New York City near the turn of the 20th century.[7][8][9][10]

Education/research and psychedelic counterculture[edit]

Fadiman received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Master's degree and a doctorate (both in psychology) from Stanford University, the PhD in 1965.[11] While in Paris in 1961, his friend and former Harvard undergraduate adviser Ram Dass (then known as Richard Alpert) introduced him to psilocybin.[12][13][14]

As a graduate student at Stanford, Fadiman was Stewart Brand's LSD guide on Brand's first LSD trip in 1962, at Myron Stolaroff's International Foundation for Advanced Study in Menlo Park, California.[12][15][16][17] While living in Menlo Park, Fadiman and his wife were Ken Kesey's Perry Lane neighbors and friends.[16][18][19]

In 1963, Fadiman worked at Stanford's Augmentation Research Center, a division that did research on networked computing.[17] He was also part of the team in the psychedelics in problem-solving experiment at the International Foundation for Advanced Study, which was abruptly halted in 1966.[12][20]

Fadiman is a proponent of microdosing[21] and collects anecdotal reports from those who practice it.

Transpersonal psychology and personality theory[edit]

Fadiman and Robert Frager cofounded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now known as Sofia University) in 1975.[22] [23] He was a lecturer in psychedelic studies there.[24][23]

Fadiman was a president of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology.[25] He was also a director at the Institute of Noetic Sciences from 1975 to 1977.[23]

In 1976, Fadiman and Frager published a textbook on personality theory, Personality and Personal Growth, which was one of the first to incorporate Eastern theories of personality alongside Western approaches and the first of its kind to include chapters on women.[23][26] Personality and Personal Growth has been republished in seven editions as of 2012.[26]

Personal life[edit]

Fadiman is married to documentary filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman[19][22] and is the father of arts educator Renee Fadiman[27] and Florida Atlantic University professor Maria Fadiman. His uncle was Clifton Fadiman,[3][19] and he is a cousin of Anne Fadiman.[3] His brother, Jeffrey A. Fadiman, is a professor of international marketing at San José State University and a language and area specialist of Eastern and Southern Africa, with published work on the Meru tribe of Mount Kenya.[28][29][30][31][32]

Fadiman is the first cousin once removed of child prodigy William James Sidis. Sidis was the son of Sarah Sidis (née Mandelbaum), who was the sister of Fadiman's paternal grandmother, Grace Fadiman (née Mandelbaum).[33]

Fadiman has a chapter giving advice in Tim Ferriss's book Tools of Titans.


  • The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys Paperback (2011) ISBN 978-1594774027
  • Personality and Personal Growth (7th Edition) (with Robert Frager) (2012) ISBN 0-13-144451-4
  • The Other Side of Haight: A Novel (2004) ISBN 0-890-87984-2
  • Essential Sufism (1998) Castle Books ISBN 978-0785809067
  • Unlimit Your Life: Setting and Getting Goals (1989) ISBN 0-890-87562-6
  • Motivation and Personality (with Robert Frager and Abraham Harold Maslow) (1987) ISBN 0-06-041987-3
  • Transpersonal Education: A Curriculum for Feeling and Being (1976) Co-edited with Gay Hendricks. Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-1393-0461-4
  • Your Symphony of Selves:Discover and Understand More of Who We Are (2020) (co-authored with Jordan Gruber). ISBN 9781644110263
Workshops and talks


  1. ^ a b "William Fadiman". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Pesselnick, Jill (August 9, 1999). "William James Fadiman". Variety. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d "William Fadiman, 90, Writer and Producer". New York Times. August 7, 1999. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
  4. ^ "Vera Louis ( Racolin,Fadiman) Obit 2". Palm Beach Daily News. April 12, 1997. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Vera Louis (Racolin Fadimin) Obit1". Palm Beach Daily News. April 12, 1997. p. 1.
  6. ^ "Interview of William Fadiman".
  7. ^ "Interview of William Fadiman".
  8. ^ https://www.myheritage.com/site-family-tree-297285971/gottstein
  9. ^ https://www.thecityreview.com/CarterBH/uws/riverside/rsd98.html
  10. ^ "Professor Bernard Choseed Memorial Fellowship and the Natalie and Mendel Racolin Memorial Fellowship".
  11. ^ "Behavior Change Following Psychedelic (LSD) Therapy". Likewise. Retrieved March 10, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Doody, Tim (July 27, 2012). "The Heretic". The Morning News. The Morning News. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  13. ^ Fadiman, Anne (November 9, 2012). "Jim Fadiman: Researcher in the Sky with Diamonds". Yale Daily News.
  14. ^ Kohli, Manav (October 10, 2013). "James Fadiman: Psychedelic Research and Applications". The Forum.
  15. ^ "Brand (Stewart) papers at Stanford University Special Collections & University Archives". Online Archive of California - California Digital Library. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Bernstein, David (August 8, 2008). "Stewart Brand". The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde. University of California Press. pp. 239–251. ISBN 9780520256170. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Turner, Fred (August 15, 2008). From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. University of Chicago Press. p. 61. ISBN 978-0226817422. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  18. ^ Robins, Cynthia (December 7, 2001). "Kesey's Friends Gather in Tribute". SF Gate. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  19. ^ a b c The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. p. 5.
  20. ^ Harman, Willis W.; Fadiman, James (1970). "Selective Enhancement of Specific Capacities Through Psychedelic Training". Psychedelics: The Uses and Implications of Hallucinogenic Drugs. Doubleday & Company. ISBN 978-0385087742.
  21. ^ Barnett, Michaela (September 9, 2019). "The Mythology of Microdosing Continues to Grow. Can Science Catch Up?". Behavioral Scientist.
  22. ^ a b "Jim Fadiman on Psychedelics". To the Best of Our Knowledge. May 26, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  23. ^ a b c d Brown, David Jay (October 24, 2015). "Creativity, Problem Solving, and Psychedelics: An Interview with James Fadiman". Frontiers of Psychedelic Consciousness: Conversations with Albert Hofmann, Stanislav Grof, Rick Strassman, Jeremy Narby, Simon Posford, and Others). Park Street Press. pp. 44–57. ISBN 9781620553923. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Gulker, Linda Hubbard (May 5, 2011). "James Fadiman: Talking and writing about psychedelics". Menlo Park, California: InMenlo.
  25. ^ "Board of Directors". Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  26. ^ a b Taylor, Eugene (July 7, 2009). The Mystery of Personality: A History of Psychodynamic Theories. Springer. pp. 298–. ISBN 9780387981048. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  27. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/reneefadiman
  28. ^ https://www.sjsu.edu/people/jeffrey.fadiman/docs/BUS%20133A_Syllabus_Spring2016.pdf
  29. ^ "Palm Beach Daily News 12 Apr 1997, page 2".
  30. ^ "Jeffrey a Fadiman | People | San Jose State University".
  31. ^ "How a 24-year-old White American discovered Timbuktu in 1960". May 7, 2022.
  32. ^ "Coastsider becomes an honored elder". October 26, 2011.
  33. ^ "Grace Fadiman".
  34. ^ "Psychedelic Horizons Beyond Psychotherapy Workshop – Part 1/4". Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  35. ^ "Buddhism and Psychedelics: A Community Discussion with Kokyo Henkel and James Fadiman (Video)". Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. October 20, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  36. ^ "Science and Sacraments: Clips of the Cast". Coleen LeDrew Elgin, Elgin Productions. November 8, 2012. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  37. ^ "Inside LSD (Full Length Documentary)". National Geographic Channel. November 8, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2013.
  38. ^ "Drugs in Our Culture". Prelinger Archives. Retrieved December 20, 2013.

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