Psychedelic Means Open Mind

Definition of the word Psychedelic

Psychedelic Alexandre Porto

Dec 12, 2020 · 5 min read

meaning of psychedelic
The Voyage of Life: Old Age — Represents a man that has found enlightenment at the end of the river of life — Thomas Cole, Public domain

First, there is the problem of knowing what psychedelic substances are.

The word ‘psychedelic’ comes from two Greek words: Psyche and Delos meaning mind-revealing.

Psychedelics can be defined as any chemical substance that causes changes in perceptionthoughts, or feelings by acting on the brain.

It is unknown exactly how these substances work, although there are several hypotheses.

It is likely that psychedelics work by temporarily disrupting the mechanisms of serotonin production and transmission in the brain.

The neural communication between different parts of the brain becomes more random in a psychedelic state, which allows for new connections to be made and previously hidden patterns to come into view.

Psychedelics also cause an increase in the activity of certain parts of the brain, such as those that process sensory information.

Some claim this overloads the visual system and causes hallucinations.

There are many ways to categorize psychedelic drugs, but they generally fall into two classes: tryptamines and phenethylamines.

Tryptamines include DMT — dimethyltryptamine — and psilocybin — 4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine.

Phenethylamines include mescaline — 2-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine — , LSD — Lysergic acid diethylamide — , MDMA or ecstasy — 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine.

cave drawing in wall
Cave painting from the Lascaux cave – DaBler, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Traditional Tool

Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years in many different cultures.

They are often associated with religious practices, including shamanism and voodoo, but they also have a long history of recreational use.

The use of sacred substances for religious and healing purposes is well-documented in early human history.

For example, it is speculated that the earliest known cave paintings were created by shamans using psychedelics.

It is a shame that this topic has to be approached in such an ‘us versus them‘ manner.

We can see how we have been programmed as a society to think of things like drugs, and illicit substances generally, as being something outside of the norm, which must be fought against by those who are sane.

This insane way of thinking is propagated by mainstream media, political parties, and lobbyists paid for with blood money from big pharmaceutical companies.

These entities make sure that their products are seen as safe and helpful to people’s health (even if it kills more than 100 000 Americans per year).

It is not the substances that are bad, but it is the culture which surrounds them.

The same can be said about all other ‘licit‘ activities in society today. These include drinking, smoking tobacco, eating fast food, and watching TV.

woman reading book
Fabio Cipolla (1852–1935), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These are all things that have been normalized within our culture, and they are not good for us. In fact, they have a very similar effect on the brain as psychedelic tools.

As I see it, the human world is built on a foundation of beliefs and assumptions.

There and back again

We are all raised in families that teach their children how to behave and what to believe. People then grow up, get jobs, and leave home, where they learn more about the culture around them.

leaving home to explore
Illustration about Leaving Home To Discover the World — N. C. Wyeth, Public domain

Many people use psychedelic substances in the same way that they learn about their culture.

They experiment with different types of psychoactive drugs to experience a different viewpoint than what their family taught them.

However, some governments have decided that people should not be allowed to have psychedelic experiences without permission.

They pass laws making it illegal for people to buy and sell psychedelics.

And in my opinion, the governments that do this are being hypocritical.

Humans should be free to make their own choices about how they view reality.

Humans should be free to choose whether they want to have psychedelic experiences or not.

Exploring Psychedelics

psychedelic image
Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

There are many benefits to exploring psychedelics. People who have transcendental psychedelic journeys have found great insights into their own existence.

Psychedelics are very interesting and can offer a wide variety of insights into one’s own existence.

For example, if one were to take LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) it could provide insight into the nature of our reality and perception in general.

However, I disagree that there are only benefits to using psychedelic drugs.

There can be some downsides to using them as well.

I do not believe that psychedelic drugs can make one a better person. I believe that it is only one’s own actions, and their own choices which determine whether they are good or bad.

One of the benefits of developing your relationship with the psychedelic tool is that it can help make you more open-minded.

discovering the self
A philosopher, probably Socrates, who considers his reflection in a mirror. — Rijksmuseum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I would also say that it could help you to discover new things about yourself.

It is true that many people have found great insights into their own existence through the use of psychedelic drugs.

Psychedelics can provide unique experiences, and these experiences can be quite valuable in some cases to a person’s development as an individual.

That being said, there are many dangers associated with the use of these substances. Some people might not be ready for these types of experiences and could end up harming themselves or others.

There are also many risks involved with taking these drugs, such as coming across dangerous substances that might not be properly labeled.

There is also the risk of encountering people who could have ill intentions towards you.

be aware of the wolf
Careful with the wolf — Jessie Willcox Smith (1863–1935), Public domain
In summary,

Psychedelics can provide benefits to a person’s development as an individual. However, there are many dangers associated with the use of these substances.

Psychedelic drug usage should be limited to those who have already developed as individuals and are capable of knowing what is best for themselves.

If people were able to be freer in their thinking and more accepting of others’ personal freedoms, then they would not find it necessary to protect themselves from these substances.

If you use a substance responsibly, with the intent of expanding your mind in positive ways — I can’t see what is wrong with that!

Yet we live in an insane society that does not want individuals who are empowered by knowledge.

I hope that you will continue to fight the good fight for the legalization of psychedelic substances.

It is something that I really do believe needs to happen if we are ever going to create a better world.