Friday, September 26, 2008

Psychedelic Mind Tools Revisited

"The waves of mass psychedelic utopianism have come and gone, but the hippie movement of the late 60s echoes in the rave scene of the 90s. And there's a small but devoted community of scientists, spiritual seekers, artists and grown-up hedonists exploring the value of these drugs.

The "Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics" conference. held in New York Sept 19-21, sought to present an older and wiser psychedelic movement. focusing on medicine, art. spirituality and culture. It drew around 300 people, a mix of academic and hippie types, with the white button-down shirts slightly outnumbering the dreadlocks and the NASA T-shirts.

Psychedelics are "the most powerful psychiatric medicine ever devised" said psychotherapist Neal Goldsmith. who curated the speakers. But because the way they work as medicine--when used in the proper setting--is by generating mystical experiences, "science has to expand". Solid research, he added, could change government policy, which classifies psychedelics as dangerous drugs with no accepted medical use."

Read more of Steven Wishnia's report on the Horizons conference at AlterNetLink.

Thanks to Gaby for sending me this article.
Thanks to Ron Cobb for the cartoon.


Kevin said...

Visionary psychedelic utopianism: yes yes yes! I'm very interested in ayahuasca particularly. In the article, I especially liked the insight of the guy who observed that "everything you do ripples out like drops of water in a giant pond of existence." It's something to bear in mind with respect to one's own actions, both in a cautionary sense and in the suggestion that one might have more positive influence on the state of the universe than seems readily apparent. Or so I'd like to think.

I don't trust the government to behave reasonably about this, and I certainly don't trust the pharmaceuticals. But maybe I'm just paranoid. Maybe with the right nudging the gummint can be persuaded or otherwise induced to get out of the way of individual freedom of consciousness, or at least to look the other way.

Your blog is fun.

Seamus said...

Drugs can be fun, and I am not against them per se, but I believe the high I get from deep meditation beats any acid I ever had hands down. (although maybe the acid was no good).

Maintain your Rage dudes!