Ten years ago, I ate 3.5 grams of psilocybe cubensis mushrooms for a simple, silly reason: I wanted to see things move. I have always been a textual person, a writer, and I wanted to unlock my visual imagination. What I experienced that sweet December night profoundly transformed the way I move through reality and engage with my fellow human beings. The visuals had very little to do with it.
While other elements of my late teenage life had edged open a door from the lonely, angry place I often found myself, it was that first dose of psilocybin that helped me step through. It is entirely possible that I would have eventually arrived at this place of joy and compassion without psychedelics, but the point is moot. They have been powerful allies along the path.
I harbor no illusion that psychedelics are a good idea for everyone. For many people, they may in fact be a very bad idea. They certainly won’t save the world. But they do have the capacity, when used safely and responsibly in an informed context, to better individual lives.
As non-profit organizations like MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) and the Heffter Institute increasingly receive federal approval for clinical trials into the therapeutic benefits these drugs can offer, and as psychedelics re-enter the mainstream consciousness of culture at large, I hope that the people whose lives they touch decide to work towards the betterment of society instead of dropping out of it. Turn on, tune in, and take part.
I’d like to thank the ListServe for giving this indolent scribe a deadline.