A Teaser from "Psychedelic Spirituality" (Forthcoming)
The following is a short excerpt from my upcoming work which speaks of psychedelic, mind altering substances, their vast importance in spirituality past and present, and all related topics; from the drug war (and its failure) to theoretical physics, as intertwined with psychonaut culture. The trifecta of views regarding the usage or non-usage of "drugs" is one of the backbones of this work, because it connects with such great ease to the vast majority of public conceptions regarding the use of such substances- especially those for which drug scheduling is dubious at best (for example, psilocybin is not actually addictive and marijuana is not actually substantially physically harmful.)...
"Technically there are three schools of thought behind the usage of psychedelics, and this is perhaps the most important part of my own discourse here on the subject; psychedelic literature, action, and speech, falls into these three categories with such a level of ease that they might as well be doppelgangers for the philosophies they intertwine with. We might liken the drug war and its proponents with moralism but it is even more paired with outright asceticism or literally the withholding of, avoidance of, or shunning in some way of materialism. The stoner culture (as opposed to psychonaut culture at large) represents rather a form of hedonism or unregulated variant of pleasure for pleasure's sake. Psychonauts themselves fall within the category of Epicurean philosophy which of course involves not hedonistic materialism and surely not asceticism or moralism, but rather enjoyment of simple things.
These two latter groups at first appear similar until one applies the concept of how substances are used and for what goal. The stoner is most commonly just looking to get high for getting high's sake, while the psychonaut is attempting to glean spiritual or philosophical wisdom from the use of the same substances. The former is unconcerned with wisdom.
That is not to say that the recreational use of substances is inherently “bad” or “wrong”- at this point few people see a problem with the occasional beer or joint- but the manner in which the substances are used seems perhaps less pure or spiritual and is relegated to materialism. While the ascetic applies spiritual moralism (for that is how the drug war and temperance movement arose) or its more secular offshoots to mind altering substances and believes they should not be used because they are harmful on a spiritual or physical level the hedonistic stoner believes they should be used because they are desirable on the same levels. The psychonaut Epicurean meanwhile relegates the should/should not dichotomy to irrelevance and simply does these things for some spiritual purpose, disdaining the other two groups on the basis that both avoid actual wisdom which might otherwise be gleaned from the experience or lack thereof. Just as the moral ascetic may fast to attain a wise state, so may the psychonaut indulge to do the same; the materialist is unable to glean spiritual wisdom because it is not sought at all."