It’s amazing how psychedelics — from being initially known as the ‘party drugs’ and excessively being connected to the ‘underground’—are now seen as …
—- I am having a like/dislike relationship with the psychedelic frontier of treating mental disorders. Its not a Love/hate relationship, it is definitely a like/ dislike￼.
Let’s see if I can explain my ambiguity.
The psychedelic experience is so unlike any other experience someone can have, whether it be from introducing a chemical substance into one’s body or otherwise. , At its core, the psychedelic experience is a complete unanchoring of experience from what we generally understand as reality. But not only that, for, It seems to me that people who have not fully engaged with the potential of the psychedelic experience tend to reduce that experience to a real action￼￼￼￼￼￼. This is to say there is an incredible duplicity and large irony involved in the experience itself￼￼, and so to eliminate the incredulity which is inherent to the psychedelic experience, is to reduce the psychedelic experience to something that it is innately not part of. This activity somehow offends me deeply. This is a part of the “dislike” part of my attitude.
On the other hand, the “like” part of my attitude really stems from the fact that the insight which defies the very definition of what insight might be for mental health thereby compels me to understand that most people with mental health issues will not be able to comprehend such insight. So it is that I must acknowledge that there may be some sort of initial and profound help that can be gained through a scientific approach of using various psychedelic – in The loose sense of a group chemical compounds￼￼￼￼￼ – in the effort for mental health. I am open to psychedelics potential for treating mental health￼￼￼ issues.
However, there is another part of the “dislike” part of my attitude and it really Has to do, again, with the all too quick reduction to scientific empirical truth.
From a￼ Pure philosophical perspective, it is possible to conceptualize the action of psychedelics on mental health as the opposite of what empirical science will Tell us. Philosophy addresses the foundations of what it is to exist, what it is to be and what it is to know. From a conflation of those standpoints it is just as likely that a transformation in my view upon the world would influence a neurochemical State.
My dislike tends to stem from an apprehension where we might transform the empirical neurochemistry and translate into an improvement of mental health in the sense that we would want to believe, as opposed to what is actually occurring.￼￼￼ We might be all too ready to see statistical improvement as support for developing psychedelic compounds in the treatment of mental health yet more in the interest of money and big business, more in the interest of people who like to get high believing what science says to their support, rather than what is actually occurring for the person with the mental health issue.
￼Which is to say, a 30% improvement (whatever that might mean) ￼upon mental health from the approach of empirical Science Might be selling short the potential for what psychedelics are actually capable of achieving for mental health, that is, approached from the other way, approached from the standpoint that a fundamental change in the way that we are viewing the world necessarily corresponds with the change in neurochemistry￼￼￼￼. A change in the way I view things might have 100% effect on my mental health in a Beneficial Way And might appear to alter my neurochemistry in whatever way, but to approach it from the neurochemical side — empiricism simply does not have the bandwidth, it’s simply does not have the bit depth. ￼￼￼
I am concerned that those who see a promise in psychedelics will be all too quick to side with compromise Because it makes them happy that The statistics seems to confirm what they believed was right￼. From my experience, the psychedelic experience is not about being right, it is about understanding. Hence my comment about insight. ￼￼
Nevertheless, in the same way that we legalized marijuana, it may be that we have to approach a psychedelic treatment for mental health similarly. This is to indicate that the reason why marijuana is legal today is not because science proved anything good about it. We wanted marijuana legal because we saw and see the benefit of marijuana in actual lives, and so we used whatever leverage we could get, whether it be religious, which actually came first, or science or history. ￼But ultimately it is neither religion nor science nor history which has allowed us as a country at least to want to smoke weed legally. Science and religion are extraneous, even though for our purposes we have to pretend that they are primary.￼￼￼￼￼￼ alcohol is not legal because any sort of benefit except that we like it. Translating this imperative to psychedelics moves along a slightly different trajectory, but categorically it is the same to the same. As I have said, we can treat mental health by trying to alleviate symptoms and think that we’re doing good. Ok. We probably are doing some good. But I feel that we are leaving out the more significant in a profound implications of psychedelics in mental Health ￼by merely leaving it to “what helps”.
Hopefully this is just a sentiment and not what is actually occurring. ￼￼￼
￼… And I didn’t even mention the problem with “curing” mental illness￼. I’m just leaving that be for the benefit of doubt￼. And, you can look to my earlier post about that one.￼