The psychedelic experience is one of the most lucid encounters one can partake in, veiling life in a filter what’s considered objective and subjective is challenged. Those previously acquainted with psychedelics have little doubt of their animated nature, life humming with energy reality shifts to a cosmic perceptive.
Research has found when psychoactive chemicals are ingested the brain’s Default Mode Network (a system of the brain concerned with thoughts of self, personal memories and reflection) shuts off and our vision of the world morphs. These trips induce intense experiences testing the bounds of fiction, everything is seen with ripe curiosity as compounds enhance our sense of novelty .
If animals sense life differently (heightened hearing of dogs, magnetic sense in birds, etc.) does that make their experience any less real? If we encounter unique sensations whilst under the influence of psychedelics, what’s to say they aren’t real?
The end of the 60’s saw the Controlled Substances Act halt all research into psychedelics and prod scientists away from an encouraging field; whilst caskets continued to return from Saigon, open mindedness was not conducive to a conservative Nixon government.
Without previously being under the influence of psychedelics it’s hard to comprehend the modification of reality, and how it attunes to a different frequency. The most common avenues, LSD and psilocybin, share similarities in their trip yet offer distinctive adventures.
Mushrooms morph the world, it appears like nothing is capable of staying in a fixed position and boundaries are constantly colliding. The environment oozes with a ceaseless flux of shapes and colours, inviting individuals to engage with their surroundings and test what the eyes are seeing.
Acid allows observation of the earth’s vibration; whilst scattered, everything feels at a peculiar state of uniform and a perennial pulse communicates to people. Nature lures attention and draws us closer for deeper inspection; on LSD, something as trivial as observing a tree becomes an insight into her atomic intricacies.
These mind-expanding experiences make it impossible not to engage with life, yet, dissonance does arise between what’s seen whilst tripping and what’s seen at baseline reality. Anyone with psychedelic experience cannot deny questioning their eyes during their encounter, with imagination operating at full capacity a vault of imagery, thought and idea is unleashed.
These mind manifestations can be nurturing or foreboding, however, selecting the right environment is essential to a positive trip. Psychedelics aren’t meant to be used recreationally and people should prepare themselves for the occasion, by treating the chemicals with reverence the teachings they offer can be contemplated and appreciated.
Aforementioned, when an individual ingests psychoactive substances the Default Mode Network (DMN) is deplenished and the mind is not constrained by typical thought patterns. Researchers have found a congruence between the DMN and the ego*, possibly, when psychedelics deplete the DMN it loosens our sense of self attached to ego, spawning a more authentic version of ourselves.
Those who’s minds work well with these chemicals become freer and increasingly spirited, integrating themselves with life and enhancing their interest in it. Hallucinogens are able to pierce the bubble surrounding the illusionary framework of society, when your reality is questioned it’s natural to inquire into the structures supporting its legitimacy, and who’s profiting from it.
The realm a trip opens has been broadly considered false by the establishment, however, who can indisputably say that their experiences weren’t real? Potentially, what we observe is an alternate frequency on the cosmic broadcast. The vast delta between the two stations is vibration; at baseline reality much of the earth is solid or still, under the influence of psychedelics nature throbs with vibration and matter distorts offering insight into fundamental atom behaviour.
If the settings established by the DMN is switched off, does it perhaps unveil a version the brain has suppressed? The network could have potentially evolved to help humans cope with their incessantly changing environment, and as the development of agriculture and the state made people more individualistic, we lost the esoteric sentiments cultivated by indigenous culture. This could be the true purpose for these chemical existing in nature, to allow humans to vividly see they are apart the cosmos’ omnipotent, everlasting system.
Allowing the conscious to periodically roam these realities can alleviate new questions indispensable to human advancement, from the Eleusinian mysteries to Steve Jobs, psychedelics have helped shape the world and to have them suppressed impedes on our freedom of thought. Education and further unstigmatized investigation can grant the knowledge required for us to decide whether we want to engage with the psychedelic realm.
Investigation into psychedelics bloomed in the 50’s and 60’s but was stoped dead by political agenda. It was a major derailment for prospective knowledge progression, but contemporary interest in examining these chemicals further have people questioning what they can offer the human experience. Life is a snafu woven in simplicity, for its full examination one must pull the thread and unweave the mysteries entangled throughout; this may mean confronting one’s ignorance of the fluctuating states of reality.
*Carhart-Harris, R.L. and Friston, K.J., 2010. The default-mode, ego-functions and free-energy: a neurobiological account of Freudian ideas. Brain, 133(4), pp.1265-1283.
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