(make visible, reveal)
The mind unveiled
It's in our DNA. It's changing everything (again). And it's all thanks to the most wide-spread pandemic in human history.
Psychedelia Psychedelic Medicine Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
We are in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance, a resurrection of the oldest frontier of psychological healing. We rediscovered it in the 50's surging into the 60's and 70's before the infamous The War on Drugs.
But they are much older than that.
DNA is genetic memory passed down through generations across mutations and evolution. It's very simple: Stimulus. Response. Programmed memory. Pass it on. The bigger the stimulus, the bigger the response, the bigger the programmed memory. Now, I could go into spiritual interconnectedness as an intrinsic part of the psychedelic experience and how there is no greater experience we could possibly have than feeling connected to everything...but I won't.
Shamanism was the first religion - several millennia years-old (at least). An animistic relationship with our world with practices of psychedelic-assisted ceremonies for healing and communion with something greater than ourselves. Across our entire history, humanity has held intense ceremonies through which tribal connections were at their peak. The creation of traditions, culture, beliefs, rituals of life, rites of passage, transitions, and death. We are social creatures who have evolved thanks to mutual support networks. What was at the core of many of these ceremonies? That's right...the psychedelic experience. At the deepest, most memorable moments of a human life were these substances shepherding us through the challenges and confusions inherent to life.
It seems we have reached the point of no return: "The Singularity" of Psychological Medicine. Psychedelic research is proliferating thanks to The War on Drugs beginning to subside. The very foundations of psychiatry and psychotherapy are being demolished and reshapen. We are quickly discovering that both of these mental health practices have endured "without a paddle." What I mean is if psychiatry and psychotherapy are a canoe helping us to navigate the waters of our stream of consciousness - they have been just that: a canoe. We have been flailing through DSM diagnostic evolution and pharmaceutical experimentation for centuries, attempting to help each other cope with life's challenges in an unsteerable canoe.
Psychedelics are the paddle. When these methods are combined with psychedelic substances, you get a rigid and ill mind, reopened by psychedelics, guided into health by mental healthcare professionals. Together they form the brick and mortar to build a bridge across the stream from illness to wellness.
COVID forced humanity into the isolation of its dark cave, the abyss of death and rebirth on the cyclical trajectory of the development of our race. We had nowhere to run to, none of the usual escapes and distractions. We were faced with our mortality. Stay on lockdown or you will become infected and you may or may not get ill, violently ill, or die. We have never as a planet endured that level of disconnect and I repeat: human beings are social creatures. The darkness of our separation, realization of mortality, and inescapability of our challenges through diesel on the fires of depression, anxiety, suicide, and more; lighting the revelation that mental wellness is a priotity. Our normal modes of psychiatry and psychotherapy remain insufficient to meet the task of psychological healing to achieve consistent states of health, happiness, and acceptance. We are (re)discovering the science of psychedelics and are finding the mechanical benefits are unparalleled for neuroplasticity to reprogram our brain and retrain new neural pathways so that we are best-able to rewrite the narrative of our individual narratives, our own hero's journeys.
So, what have we to look forward to?
Well, according to Mr. Joseph Campbell and his Monomyth of the Hero's Journey...transformation. Transformation as a species. Atonement for the wrongs we have committed against the earth, against each other, against ourselves, so that we may find forgiveness within. Return to the known - the sense of connection flowing through a world that is quite alive - and out of the unknown of our all-to-common feeling of separateness.
Okay...I lied. I'm going to talk about God. It is a great tragedy that our open connection to the unseen has become so loaded, soaked in blood, and shrouded in dogma; perhaps the greatest tragedy and impetus for the human race's hero's journey. This is our path. We cut our umbilical cord to the world to explore our identity and place in the universe. Our searching is leading us back to the open arms of loving connection. It suspect that we want to be correct. We cannot prove, therefore we cannot know. If there was a God, then... Why would God ever... The universe is a mechanical place for you - I get it. But consider this: in the death-after-death view, you 100% will not get a chance to be brought back to life to say, "HA! I told you! It's just a black void of nothingness! An end that leads to no other beginning! Morality is a lie! The Truth is nothingness! I was right! You're all idiots!" If that view serves you in living your best, most fulfilled and meaningful life - carry on. But, whatever you believe, you are correct, because it cannot ultimately be proven in our 3-D world. So why not take the chance of being wrong if it leads to deeper relationships during your fleeting existence? We are beginning to merge psychotherapy, psychiatry, and psychedelics. If it need be sterilized in a clinical setting to make it approachable to people who are so deeply removed from a sense of connection - so be it. The nature of these substances inherently carry the virtue of interconnectedness. It's a step in the right direction to bring psychedelics into the (currently sterile) clinical environment, yet removed from the moors of spirituality. I have faith (pun intended) that future practices will reintegrate such an integral experience. If you're reading this and you struggle with any of the things mentioned above (including God and religion) lay your scrutinizing eye on the research of psychedelic-assisted therapy as a possibility to undo your misery and - God-willing - enjoy your life.