Metaphysical Insight: Psychedelics, Noetic Experiences, and Spinoza’s God

The feeling of gaining direct knowledge of something grand or important about reality is a common aspect of mystical experiences generally and psychedelic mystical states more specifically. This is known as a noetic experience, one of the four defining qualities of a mystical experience, as propounded by the American psychologist and philosopher William James in…

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Mescaline Revelations: Hume, Buddhism, and the Illusory Nature of the Self

One of the most interesting aspects of psychedelics is how the experience ties into philosophy. I am especially drawn to the notion that they can attract one to – or concretise – certain philosophical ideas, theories, and systems. For example, in The Subjective Effects of Nitrous Oxide (1882), the psychologist William James wrote how the…

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Becoming a Yes-Sayer: Psychedelics, Nietzsche, and the Affirmation of Life

To Friedrich Nietzsche, the correct response to the trials, tribulations, and tragedies of life was one of embrace: a yes-saying attitude. This has since become known as the Nietzschean affirmation of life, and we can juxtapose it with the Schopenhauerian rejection of life: a no-saying to suffering.  Nietzsche championed “Saying yes to life, even in…

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Mescaline, Veganism, and Schopenhauer’s Philosophy

A psychedelic experience can often be a chance to put our fundamental beliefs and opinions under the spotlight, whether intentionally or not. I’ve had a few experiences like this, particularly through solo experimentation with mescaline HCl, with the most profound experiences featuring major shifts in how I view myself and existence itself. In moments of…

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Why the Term ‘Drug’ is Difficult to Clearly Define

‘Drugs’, much like ‘religion’, evade a precise definition. There are standard, dictionary definitions of the term ‘drug’, either a substance (other than food) that influences motor, sensory, cognitive, or other bodily processes, or a substance that is used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease. Drugs are generally understood to be either psychoactive…

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