The Psychedelic Future of the Mind

Can our society make a place for psychedelics intended not only to return people to normality (the medical model) but also to go beyond ordinary reality? If so, what might we find there? In his new book, The Psychedelic Future of the Mind: How Entheogens Are Enhancing Cognition, Boosting Intelligence, and Raising Values, Thomas B. Roberts has one answer.

So far, we have put a toe in the water by permitting limited experiments with the use of psychoactives for such curative tasks as ending alcohol abuse or assisting therapy for post-traumatic stress; by allowing marijuana to be ingested (in Colorado and Washington states) alongside some of our society’s traditional drugs of choice (such as beer, wine and hard liquor); and by legalizing the traditional use of mescaline in rituals of the Native American church and the importation of ayahausca “tea” by two churches that, after being founded in Brazil, are now represented in the U.S. Meanwhile, for a generation, according to surveys on use, a massive underground activity has continued in spite of the war on drugs.

The constraints on progress for drug reform are so many that the medical model offers a path of least resistance, forcing a wide-ranging reform organization like MAPS to focus much of its energy on validating psychedlics through medical research.

Arguably, or so I heard from participants at a conference sponsored by MAPS, one of the dangers posed by psychedelics is, by lifting the curtain around ordinary reality, to occasion doubt about authority structures built on a narrow assumption of what’s possible. Whatever dangers exist for certain people (those who are “pre-psychotic,” for example), these substances pose a challenge to the assumption that the ordinary work-a-day world is all there is, and that other worlds are distortions, distractions, or as Oliver Sacks may be taken as implying in his new book, “hallucinations.”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.



  1. Anonymouse on

    McKenna has stated that the place of psychedelics in human evolution should not be understated. Imagine the first person that ate fly agaric or psilocybin, while not understanding what was happening to them, and having to interpret their experience, what a mind blowing consciously expanding significant emotional event – to say the least.

    The missionaries helped to discourage and eliminate the use of psychedelics, because it challenged their doctrine. We continue this pattern of fearing our personal inner world and subsequent truths to this day. Our reality has become a prison of consciousness limiting the all important evolution and expansion of consciousness itself, while waiting for salvation.

    Ascension or any other form of conscious evolution should be encouraged, if not be a right of passage. Imagine where we would be if self realization was more important than our incessant accumulation of material possessions. The system requires our acceptance and devotion because it cannot function without us, but we have not yet realized that we can exist without it.

    We cannot overlook that certain substances will evoke a similar experience in all users, it is a lot like buying a plane ticket to a specific destination. Take this and go here, take that and go there. The importance being the introduction of other worldly realms into our seemingly finite reality. The gateway to incomprehensible possibilities may very well be unlocked with psychedelics allowing the mind to become a vehicle of evolutionary proportions.

    Drink Me!


  2. bb54 on

    I am really glad to see such an intelligent article in cannabis culture columns.The psychedelic future of the mind is a new science well worth exploring.The goal of the human brain to understand itself will be facilitated with the use of psychedelics.Also it is possible that a greater respect and understanding of the true nature of our mother earth will be achieved through the visions that psychedelics give us of our world.