Why would anyone take that stuff?

If you’re going into surgery, nobody asks why you want an anesthetic. If you’ve got a bleeding wound, nobody asks why you want a bandage. Yet the question comes up all the time with psychedelics.

There’s an easy answer if you suffer from PTSD or addiction or depression: you’re desperate. You’re trapped in a box of hell and psychedelic therapy offers hope.

Some of us, however, are free of serious medical conditions but still interested in psychedelics. We seek insight, growth, liberation. These spiritual goals may seem vague or frivolous compared to the deadly serious needs of the clinically ill. Perhaps these goals are optional, but does that mean that they aren’t important?

Philosophers and spiritual leaders from the Buddha on down tell us that everyday life is like a disease or a prison sentence. They say that the first step in solving the problem is to realize the seriousness of the condition. Psychedelic drugs are very good at that.

Perhaps the walking well need psychedelics just as much as the critically ill.

Posted in: Reason and Magic

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