- THE PSYCHEDELIC TOOL -
Prior to the generalised adoption of the base 10 positional numerical system for all mankind, other forms of quantity and operations representation take precedence. In particular, additive systems, such as Roman numerals, use symbols that combine to represent numbers. At the time, few users are convinced of the relevance of a change of perspective. Since the 16th century, after almost half a millennium of hesitation, the base 10 positional numerical system spreads and wins the battle of symbolic representation. The explosion of creativity that results is impressive: this simple paradigm shift, this different way of seeing the world, changing our perception, opens the way to the era of scientific knowledge, and the unpredictable technological developments that we are today the creators and users of. I insist on the notion of technological evolution, progress being only guaranteed by the magnanimity of the culture that welcomes it.
Therefore, we can not exaggerate the incredible potential release a change of perspective can make, individually as collectively. This unlocking of potential is never guaranteed and carries a risk: any change of model is accompanied by a crisis of meaning.
For thousands of years, we have had natural technologies (in the etymological sense, a knowledge logia of art τέχνη) that allow us to open the field of our consciousness to rich and colourful visions of the world. These technologies have been widely used by shamans and other magicians and healers who anticipate what we call the "civilised world."
Today, this "civilised world" wants nothing to do with this ancestral wisdom. Whatever the reasons that lead us to this state of affairs. Most urban individuals today exist in a state of semipermanent anxiety. Access to spiritual foods is through the mercantile recycling of New Age seminars, self-development with a strong individualistic-American tendency that focuses on "doing" and "having", or heartless psychological therapies. Often, these disciplines are used only in the service of the reintegration of the individual to the environmental culture, his reintegration being the passport to his perceived mental hygiene.
In short, we still use, for our mind, our soul, the exploration of the dream world, creativity, imagination ... Well, we still use the Roman numeral system. It works by the way. But it's complicated, cumbersome, awkward, uneconomical and not very interesting. Psychedelics (Ayahuasca, LSD and psilocybin to evoke three entheogenic substances that I know well) equip the user with an imaginary exploration tool comparable to the positional numbering system to represent numbers.
The use of psychedelics is certainly not a guarantee of originality, much less creativity. It is necessary that the soil conducive to the activation of epiphanies and other corresponding images and concepts is already present: like any amplifying substance, the spirit of the plant tends to work with the existing, and if the subject is not initially talented a minimum artistically or scientifically , taking these little natural geniuses will not create ex nihilo talent. The imagination feeds on readings, walks in nature, exposure to art, practice of bodily activities, meeting with others, men, women, visions, cultures, systems, etc. In this sense, a very simple and mechanical cosmology of the Existent can generate an experience difficult to reconcile for its user. I am not personally for an ecumenical preaching about psychedelics. Often, moreover, it is an irreversible experience.
If the user has good dispositions, then the doors of perception that the psychedelic experience opens are vertiginous and sublime. The fact that some people have access to these radical insights and visions remains a wealth, especially in a social and economic climate more mono-maniacal and paradoxical than ever. With 8 billion people in 2019, people's governance can only be done by trying to establish maximum predictability of the system, that is, make people as mechanical in their habits as possible.
Our pockets of freedom belong to us: in that sense, taking psychedelics is a profound political act. It is impossible to expose yourself to it without feeling deeply disconnected from the array of values in place. This matrix has, moreover, at least at the moment these lines are written, interest in killing in the egg the enthusiasm of those vectors of creation of uncertainty that are the psychonauts. This is the case since the rise of the movement in the 1960s in the West.
The Plant Spirit does not create imagination, beauty, wonder ... Let's insist on it.
The uniqueness of experience, if we have the chance to be projected into a dreamlike adventure, beautiful and incomprehensible, has the ability to catapult us into that reality that we think we know so well, and to realise, often with emotion, the absolutely miraculous and infinite.
A beautiful and strange veil covers all, and the tired and worn appearance of day to day disappears in favour of a dramatic and meditative reverberation of the objects and energies of everyday life.
Not to mention the first epistemological lesson of the psychonaut, which is of the order of the sanitary imperative: to introduce a good dose of humour, fluidity, relativity and flexibility in the construction of our understanding of the world. These maps and models that we constantly apply to reading things are crutches that are bound to disappear.
As far as I am concerned, I think that the explosion of the doors of perception that accompanies psychedelic capture has the ability to extract the psychonaut, the creator, the musician, the scientist ... if it is put to good use, humbly, with enthusiasm, heart and diligence, from the realm of mediocrity.
For me, the discovery of psychedelics was the catalyst for a personal crisis that had been going on for years. The dissolution of the mental and emotional barriers - deeply buried in my Being by the rigid cultural conditioning of childhood and the difficult context in which I grew up - enlightened me greatly.
A natural and direct consequence is to develop a practical ability to move from one level of existence to another without much difficulty.
We also note that many of our logical categories, of our mutually exclusive taxonomies, bind us to weak world views: whether we like it or not, we intuit the symbol of yin and yang a bit more quickly, a dynamic process that suggests the polar opposites are not independent processes, but self-generators, in constant alternation. This perception of the interpenetration of things facilitates access to a receptive and open state of mind.
Personally, I think the line between stupidity and genius is extremely thin. Likewise, from a more normative point of view, it seems to me that the line of demarcation between the deep, the inspiring, and the funny is also unclear.
What is very clear to me is that this line of demarcation, this diffuse border ... is that where the salt of life is collected. This place, by far the most risky, is where all the battles of the true, the beautiful and the good are disputed. And that is where there is by far the greatest gain for our humanity.
This place, in a way, is where we end up naming, categorizing new ideas. Those who are currently in preparation, superimposed. One day, we end up freezing our understanding with words, enough of us give those ideas a shared vocabulary, and that's it: we co-create and complete our reality. We slow down the wave function and force a model of reality. Waiting for the next ...
There is no need for psychedelics for this. But for those who need a little reinvigorating reinforcement, be my guest …