Syndeogens: Psychedelics as Connection-Generating Agents

I previously wrote about how we can think of psychedelics as trickster chemicals, based on how their effects often align with the attributes of the trickster archetype. This is not meant to replace other terms for psychedelics, such as entheogen or medicine, but merely supplement them. But there are other unique and common effects that…

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The Meaning-Enhancing Effect of Psychedelics Can Be Both Helpful and Harmful

During a psychedelic experience, everything can appear more meaningful and significant – everything in both the outer world (what we are perceiving) and the inner world (all the thoughts and ideas we are having). Geometric hallucinations can appear deeply significant, as can spontaneous insights about ourselves, the world, and fundamental reality. Psychedelics have long been…

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Some Reflections on the Backlash Against Psychedelic Hype

The hype surrounding psychedelics can be characterised as an overly positive picture of the benefits of psychedelics and an attitude of overlooking, ignoring, or downplaying the harms and risks of these compounds. We can view this as Pollyannaism applied to psychedelics. The growing psychedelic industry can be seen as following the trend of the Gartner…

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Tripping Imperfectly: The Most Common Regrets of Psychonauts

In a 2021 paper published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, researchers describe how psychedelic users turn their challenging trips into valuable experiences through the particular narratives users construct around their bad trips. One crucial finding was that many users identified a lack of competence as the cause of their negative psychedelic experiences. This…

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Psychedelic Use Sometimes Leads People to Nihilism

It’s often assumed, because of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, that tripping can help people shed nihilistic and depressive worldviews. In fact, this does happen for many, with feelings of existential joy and a yes-saying to the world suffusing the psychedelic state – and these feelings of optimism and life affirmation can carry over…

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