I think that what these psychedelics do, is they actually do connect you to the whole circle. You stand outside of the moment from which you embarked on your psychedelic experience, and you see eternity like a vast landscape deployed in front of you. So what I think psychedelics are is they're about time, and they somehow make all time co-present.
Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.
The questions of God - meaning in Milton's phrase 'The god who hung the stars like lamps in heaven' - I don't think psychedelics can address that definitively, but there is another god, a goddess, the goddess of biology, the goddess of the coherent animal human world, the world of the oceans, the atmosphere, and the planet. In short, our world! The world that we were born into, that we evolved into, and that we came from. That world, the psychedelics want to connect us up to... Our individuality, as people and as a species, is an illusion of bad language that the psychedelics dissolve into the greater feeling of connectedness that underlies our being here, and to my mind that's the religious impulse. It's not a laundry list of moral dos and don'ts, or a set of dietary prescriptions or practices: it's a sense of connectedness, responsibility for our fellow human beings and for the earth you walking around on, and because these psychedelics come out of that plant vegetable matrix they are the way back into it.
And when you start using a lot of psychedelics, and particularly a lot of the natural psychedelics, my experience has been that I come in contact with some very old entities. And these entities have been around for a while, at least since humans first started experimenting with these plants.
D. M. Turner
There is that sense that we have to all come together, the challenges have become so great for the human species that it's going to take all of us to find our way out. One of the ways to achieve this goal, of course, is to expand the freedom of religions so that those people who use psychedelics within their religious practise are able to do so. -Rick Doblin
If psychedelics are exopheromones that dissolve the dominant ego, then they are also enzymes that synergize the human imagination and empower language. They cause us to connect and reconnect the contents of the collective mind in ever more implausible, beautiful, and self-fulfilling ways.
This is where I think the psychedelics come in because they are anticipations of the future. They seem to channel information that is not strictly governed by the laws of normal causality. So that there really is a prophetic dimension, a glimpse of the potential of the far centuries of the future through these compounds.
I think it's the sheer power of the hallucinogens that puts people off. You either love them or you hate them, and that's because they dissolve world views. And if you like the experience of having your entire ontological structure disappear out from under you, if you think that's a thrill, you'll probably love psychedelics.
Psychedelics are extraordinary tools, when used with psychotherapy, because in one day you can let go of so much, and have insight into so much. Sometimes more than in a year of traditional psychotherapy. I think they should be used in psychotherapy. But I don't know who should be entrusted with the toolbox - priests or psychiatrists? That is the difficulty.
The efficacy of psychedelics with regard to art has to do with their ability to render language weightless, as fluid and ephemeral as those famous "bubble letters" of the sixties. Psychedelics, I think, disconnect both the signifier and the signified from their purported referents in the phenomenal world - simultaneously bestowing upon us a visceral insight into the cultural mechanics of language, and a terrifying inference of the tumultuous nature that swirls beyond it. In my own experience, it always seemed as if language were a tablecloth positioned neatly upon the table until some celestial busboy suddenly shook it out, fluttering and floating it, and letting it fall back upon the world in not quite the same position as before - thereby giving me a vertiginous glimpse into the abyss that divides the world from our knowing of it. And it is into this abyss that the horror vacui of psychedelic art deploys itself like an incandescent bridge. Because it is one thing to believe, on theoretical evidence, that we live in a prison-house of language. It is quite another to know it, to actually peek into the slippery emptiness as the Bastille explodes around you. Yet psychedelic art takes this apparent occasion for despair and celebrates our escape from linguistic control by flowing out, filling that rippling void with meaningful light, laughter, and a gorgeous profusion.
Things are pretty strange in this world and people do it many ways and you are just an atom in a galaxy of possibilities and your opinions and your science and 'What I think' and all that, is just so much noise in a very complex and busy world. And its that same humbling perception that comes out of psychedelics. It just shows you, you're very parochial.
What they [psychedelics] cause is what I'm advocating, a fundamental revaluation of cultural values, because culture as we're practicing it currently is causing a lot of pain to a lot of people, and animals, and ecosystems, none of whom were ever allowed to vote on whether they wanted this process to go in this direction.
Whoever uses psychedelics should treat them with greatest respect. When Aldous and I used them, we prepared the ambience and ourselves the day before. The day of the session was kept as a holy day, and there were beautiful fruits and flowers around. The result was, that we had no negative experiences.
Certainly neo-Platonism, Plotinus and Porphyry and that school are psychedelic philosophers. Their idea of an ascending hierarchy of more and more rarefied states is a sophisticated presentation of the shamanic cosmology, which is the cosmology that one experientially discovers when they involve themselves with psychedelics.
Psychedelics are not flashlights into the chaos of the Freudian unconscious, they are tools for mathematically unpacking your mind into a higher dimensional space. In the Newtonian and print created space that we are walking around in you, are like a self extracting archive, that hasn't self extracted itself yet.
To my mind this makes psychedelics central to any political reconstruction, because these are the only force in nature that actually dissolve linguistics structures; lets the mechanics of syntax to be visible, allows the possibility for rapid introduction and spread of new concepts; gives permission for new ways of seeing; and this is what we have to do, we have to change our minds.
Psychedelics are not a substitute for faith. They are a door to authentic faith, born of encountering directly the sacred dimension of everyday experience. This is not the only gate to that discovery, but it is the most ancient and universal, and potentially the most accessible to the majority of the human race.
Where psychedelics comes together with that is that it's going to require a transformation of human language and understanding to stop the momentum of the historical process, to halt nuclear proliferation, germ warfare, infantile 19th century politics, all these things. It cannot be accomplished through a frontal assault upon it by political means.
With psychedelics, if you're fortunate and break through, you understand what is truly of value in life. Material, power, dominance, and territory have no value. People wouldn't fight wars, and the whole system we have currently would fall apart. People would become peaceful, loving citizens, not robots marching around in the dark with all their lights off.
It is curious that what these psychedelics do, on a scale of a community, is they release new ideas. . . . And that this is how culture moves forward. That culture is a phenomenon dependent on the generation of ideas, plans, notions, connections. So this is precisely what these compounds are doing.
Part of what the psychedelic point of view represents is living a certain portion of your life without answers. Just accepting that certain dilemmas will never resolve themselves into some kind of a complete answer. That's why psychedelics are so different from any system being sold, from one of the great elder systems like Christianity, to the latest cult out of Los Angeles.
If you take psychedelics and the Internet and music and put all of that together you have the basis for a new community that is wider and deeper than you know. The people who are building the new machines, who are designing the new circuitry, who are writing the new code are ALL freaks. They work for capitalist dogs, of course, because we all do, but the creative thrust of these technologies is being driven by people just like you and me.
The cultural integration of psychedelics won't happen overnight, and the question of young people is perhaps the most difficult involved. The first step is for people who have knowledge of these substances to share it, "coming out" about their own experiences. Drug education should be honest and present a balanced picture of risks and benefits.
In other words, all these things you might cling to, Catholicism, democratic ideals, Hasidism, Marxism, Freudianism, all of these things are exposed [through use of psychedelics] as simply quaint cultural artifacts, painted masks and rattles assembled by people of good intent but clearly not great grasp of the situation.
And so much of these plant psychedelic entities are at least 4,000 years old. Now, when you experiment - when you work with these plant psychedelics, what I have found is that these entities are actually there. They are aware of you, they are aware that you are a person, and they are able to communicate with you.
D. M. Turner
Once you get to this place on what we might metaphorically call your spiritual quest, once you get to the place where you hear about psychedelics, the issue is no longer then about where is the gas peddle on the spiritual vehicle. The issue suddenly becomes, where is the brake? Because this is the fuel to go where you want to go. This is the power to lift you where you want to be lifted.
I think the real test of psychedelics is what you do with them when you're not on them, what kind of culture you build, what kind of art, what kind of technologies... What's lacking in the Western mind is the sense of connectivity and relatedness to the rest of life, the atmosphere, the ecosystem, the past, our children's future. If we were feeling those things we would not be practicing culture as we are.
Drugs are about dulling perception, about addiction and about behavioral repetition...What *psychedelics* are about is pattern- dissolving experiences of an extraordinarily high or different awareness. They are the exact opposite of drugs. They promote questioning , they promote consciousness, they promote value examinations, they promote the reconstruction of behavioral patterns.
The pro-psychedelic plant position is clearly an antidrugs position. Drug dependencies are the result of habitual, unexamined, and obsessive behavior; these are precisely the tendencies in our psychological makup that the psychedelics mitigate. The plant hallucinogens dissolve habits and hold motivations up to inspection by a wider, less egocentric, and more grounded point of view within the individual.
No wonder psychedelics are threatening to an authoritarian religious hierarchy. You don't need faith to benefit from a psychedelic experience, let alone a priest or even a shaman to interpret it. What you need is courage""courage to drink the brew, eat the mushroom, or whatever it is, and then to pay attention, and make of it what you will. Suddenly, the tools for direct contact with the transcendent other (whether you call it God or something else) is taken from the hands of an anointed elite and given to the individual seeker.
I suddenly started feeling that the magic of psychedelics wasn't in some other world or some other place, but that they put you in communication with other people. Most of the really heavy things that happened to me were when I was stoned with other people, - when it get all honest, when it got really high and all golden and beautiful and bright and white-colored under the power of truth, when you looked at them and saw true compassion, and you knew they really did love you, and you knew you really did love them.
These substances function as unspecific amplifiers that increase the energetic niveau in the psyche and make the deep unconscious dynamics available for conscious processing. This unique property of psychedelics makes it possible to study psychological undercurrents that govern our experiences and behaviors to a depth that cannot be matched by any other methods and tools available in modern mainstream science. In emotional and psychosomatic disorders, for positive personality transformation, and consciousness evolution.
One way to think about what psychedelics are is as catalysts for language development. They literally force the evolution of language. You cannot evolve faster than your language because the language defines the culture of meaning. So if there's a way to accelerate the evolution of language then this is real consciousness expansion and it's a permanent thing. The great legacies of the 60's are in attitudes and language. It boils down to doing your own thing, feeling the vibe, ego-trip, blowing your mind...
I've been sober now for 18 years. With all the drugs, psychedelics and narcotics I did, I was [really] an alcoholic. Honestly, I only used to do cocaine so I could sober up and drink more. My last five years of drinking was a nightmare. I was drinking a half-gallon of rum with a fifth of rum on the side, in case I ran out, 28 beers a day, and three grams of cocaine just to keep me moving around. And I thought I was doing fine because I wasn't crawling around drunk on the floor.
What is happening, I think, it's really bigger than psychedelics, it's bigger than human evolution. We are not making the waves in this ocean. We are corks, riding the waves of the ocean. But we are privileged, by perhaps chance alone, to occupy a unique moment in the history of the universe. A moment when the universe goes through some kind of self-transforming, evolutionary, inflationary expansion. That's what's happening.
To one degree or another, everybody is connected to the Mystery, and everybody secretly yearns to expand the connection. That requires expanding the soul. These things can enlarge the soul: laughter, danger, imagination, meditation, wild nature, passion, compassion, psychedelics, beauty, iconoclasm, and driving around in the rain with the top down. These things can diminish it: fear, bitterness, blandness, trendiness, egotism, violence, corruption, ignorance, grasping, shining, and eating ketchup on cottage cheese.