Psychedelics as a tool for spirituality and personal growth
Most of human history is driven by trauma and ego. These and a shortage of empathy, inability to see others’ perspectives and projection of pain onto others are key ingredients in dysfunctional organisations, coercive cultures and broken families. Most of the current world, including those parts of it which cause most anger and frustration – unaccountable political systems, power dynamics, the cruelty and mercilessness of unfettered capitalism – would be significantly ameliorated by a radical increase in empathy.
There are certain substances – natural and synthetic – with properties that include cultivating deep empathy on a chemical level inside the human brain. They facilitate direct and profound personal spiritual experiences, heal severe psychological damage and trauma, enable the reevaluation and repair of personal relationships, and can facilitate the adoption of healthier attitudes across life. Most of these effects are actively being studied in scientific and medical institutions across North America and Europe.
They certainly aren’t a silver bullet for our contemporary ethical, spiritual, social and mental health crises by any means, nor a replacement for the years of reflection and moral education required to be a good citizen. However, they make a impressive start.
Many of these substances are on a direct pathway towards legalisation (or at least regulation) in the west, a few years behind cannabis. If proven safe, are there any moral arguments against encouraging the widespread use of these substances for personal and spiritual growth, mental wellness and spiritual reconnection?