In this article, we'll explore the reasons behind our fear of psychedelics and how it connects to the universal fear of losing control. We'll start by looking at why some individuals might be uneasy about losing control, then examine its broader societal impact. Lastly, we'll dive into the current psychedelic renaissance and the increasing commercial interest in the field, which has the potential to liberate minds and reshape our world.
Why People Fear Psychedelics
At a personal level, the fear of psychedelics is closely tied to the fear of losing control. It arises from the worry that during a psychedelic experience, we may lose our sense of self. Why does this thought terrify us? Perhaps because we often tightly grasp our carefully crafted self-image, and the idea of it dissolving can be unsettling. This resistance to change and uncertainty is a fundamental aspect of human nature, even though change and uncertainty are the only certainties in life.
Why Governments Fear Psychedelics
When we examine this fear from a governmental perspective, it becomes more intricate. Psychedelics have long been stigmatized and subject to legal restrictions. Advocates argue that these restrictions exist because "psychedelic experiences disrupt the various organizational and hierarchical structures that individuals and society rely on". As philosopher Terence McKenna famously stated, "Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned you might jump out of a third-story window, but because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally accepted behaviors."
The Psychedelic Renaissance
Today, we are witnessing a shift in how we perceive psychedelics. They are gradually gaining acceptance and integration into mainstream medicine. But what's driving this change? It's certainly not altruistic; as always, money and power play a role. Corporations and entrepreneurs recognize profit potential in patents and treatment techniques related to psychedelics. However, this profit motive doesn't diminish the profound impact the psychedelic resurgence can have on both personal and societal levels, as psychedelics hold the potential to free minds.
So as activist Saul Alinsky once asked, "If the ends don't justify the means, what does?" In the case of psychedelics, the greedy narrative could support the evolution of mankind, for once, as psychedelics can offer a glimpse into a reality where everything we need is already present in the here and now. This challenges the very foundations of capitalism and consumerism, which thrive on the perpetual pursuit of more. The potential for a world where more minds are freed by psychedelics is exhilarating. It's a journey into uncharted territory, where societal norms, perceptions, and boundaries are redefined. We will explore what this utopian reality could look like in our next opinion piece.