I feel that it is desperately important that we collectively consider and voice concerns regarding the current legal status of psychedelics. We need to not jump to fear-based conclusions and make the scientific study of these chemicals harder. There’s too much evidence of their value when used respectfully and appropriately.
While as with many other drugs and medicines, they do have the potential to be abused, that doesn’t imply that they are inherently bad or harmful. Honestly, I suspect the issue is largely just that the issue of hallucinations makes people feel uncomfortable. The fear of being or going insane is fairly common.
Of course, the sad reality is that “sanity” is relative. We all have dysfunctional thought patterns, attitudes, and behaviors that should be addressed for our own best interests and the best interests of those around us. Einstein once said that “Sanity is a set of prejudices acquired by age 18.” I’m personally inclined to say that what most people consider sanity is a prison of fear and lies keeping them from the truth, from learning and growing, from true greatness.
But, I digress. There is a great deal of promising research on psychedelic-assisted therapies. Psychedelics often seem to facilitate the processing and release of old emotions from trauma and to facilitate insight and wisdom.
And when we consider the countless cultures which rely on psychedelics as part of their spirituality, considering them mystical, considering them medicine, it seems a shame that our society is so fearful. But, that seems to be how things often go, a few people do something stupid, people overreact and in their panicked overreaction, society becomes more restrictive. The “sane” often behave like panicky animals. We should all be on guard against prejudices and assumptions. We should all be on guard against letting fear do our thinking for us. It’s not the most rational part of the mind. It doesn’t have a broad, expansive vision. It doesn’t consider carefully. Fear jumps to conclusions.
In America, we claim to support freedom of religion; but in regulating psychedelics, we strangle religious freedom. We throttle the ability of people to experience things held sacred for millennia and bring valuable insights back from their experiences.
Don’t dismiss the possibility of danger, of course; but, look more carefully. Be scientific in thinking. Gather evidence. Ask questions. Look deeper. Where other people stop looking, satisfied with limited information and then living with mistakes born of that limited perspective, go beyond. Go beyond the prison of sanity, the prison of fear, explore your intelligence and creativity.
The world needs the wise, the so-called sane have made a bloody mess of things.
And, if psychedelics offer us the possibility of going beyond our limited perspectives, of seeing and understanding more about ourselves, more about our shared human experience, more about the interconnected oneness of things, than all the better. If psychedelics work as part of spiritual practice bringing clarity and wisdom, then they should be valued and respected, not demonized and feared. Fear ignorance, not that which reveals Truth.
Ego has made a mess of the world and psychedelics strip away ego, revealing its folly. We need this. We all need this.