PSYCHEDELICS, DYING & HEALING — Tools for the Metaphysical Journey ?

If I really want to drive my wife over the edge I can remind her of my desire to try LSD.

It's true that I passed over opportunities to indulge in its recreational use in my youth. And it is also true that the substance was abused, tainted, diluted and ingested by young people whose heads were already poorly aligned.

 But even before Timothy Leary and his gang exploded on the pop culture scene in the 1960s, there was reason to believe that psychedelic drugs were more than hallucinatory escapes from reality. On the contrary, there was much historical, ethnographic and even scientific evidence to support their role in achieving real insights into the deeper nature of reality. 

The recent NYTimes article How Psychedelics Can Help Patients Face Death revisits the healing potential of these substances.

It describes how they helped dying individuals make peace with their own passing. It describes contemporary researchers but it takes note of someone I read about over ten years ago, Stanislav Grof.  A Czech psychiatrist and serious researcher in the field of mind and consciousness his breakthrough work with LSD and states of consciousness in the 1960s faced serious political and societal backlash and was suspended because of societal pressures. His efforts pointed to psychedelics as truly opening gates to deeper more profound states of awareness. This perspective had been supported by Aldous Huxley and other intellectuals as well.

It also supports the belief of more "primitive" hunter-gatherer cultures who used mushrooms with psilocybin and other bio-active chemicals. These substances were used to access knowledge of the spiritual domain. Perhaps they were not incorrect.

Hopefully the bias against exploring the mind altering properties of these substances will evaporate. Good scientific investigation needs to be supported and it is time that it be re-visited.

It makes little sense to ignore a potential road map for the metaphysical journey and to promote ultimate awareness and healing.

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