Do Psychedelic Effects Become More or Less Intense With Age?

I have come across many accounts of psychonauts who say they prefer lower doses of psychedelics as they gain more experience with them. Perhaps this is because, as I’ve discussed before, psychedelics can feel more daunting as you get older. And this can be for several reasons: less fearlessness and risk-taking, more experience with the…

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The Individual as a Multiplicity of Selves

One common view in the philosophy of self sees the notion of a discrete, concrete self as an illusion. This concept is known as anatta (not-self) in Buddhism, and it was later defended by the Scottish philosopher David Hume (although he didn’t explicitly draw on Buddhism when making his arguments against the reality of self).…

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Psychedelic Theodicy: The Tendency to Deny and Downplay the Harms of Psychedelics

A theodicy is an attempt to justify or defend the Omni-God (an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing god), given the fact of evil in the world. The evil in the world is of two kinds: human-caused evil and natural evil. These refer, respectively, to the sometimes atrocious and abhorrent suffering that people cause to other people or…

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Ram Dass’ Teaching on Viewing Neuroses as Shmoos

One of my favourite lessons from the late spiritual teacher Ram Dass relates to his relationship with his neuroses. Based on Ram Dass’ character – who he was as a person, and how he presented himself to others – one might assume that he was untroubled by negative habitual thought patterns. But in his talks,…

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The Backlash Against Overdiagnosis and Self-Diagnosis Has Fed Into Mental Health Stigma

It might be assumed that the problems of mental health overdiagnosis and self-diagnosis culture would only serve to promote more openness around mental health (despite the fact they sometimes pathologise normal and understandable distress). However, the backlash against these intertwined phenomena has resulted in increased cynicism and scepticism towards a general culture of emotional openness.…

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