Psychedelics as Trickster Chemicals

There are many ways to define and conceptualise psychedelics. For example, these chemicals may be referred to as plant medicines or entheogens, based on their ability to generate healing or spiritual experiences, respectively. The Aztecs called Psilocybe mexicana (a species of psychedelic mushroom) teonanácatl, which in the Aztec Nahuatl language means ‘divine mushroom’ or ‘flesh…

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Seeing the World Anew: Psychedelics, Child-Like Wonder, and the Will to Novelty

A commonly reported feature of the psychedelic experience is seeing the world with fresh eyes – as if for the first time. This has also been likened to a child-like state of wonder, where everything in the world is transformed from dull and lifeless to fascinating and animated.  While reverting back to this child-like form…

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Can an Intentionally Bad Movie Achieve ‘So Bad It’s Good’ Status?

In my previous post on what defines a ‘so bad it’s good’ movie, one essential feature I looked at was a movie intending to be good but unintentionally becoming bad – and bad to such a degree that it becomes aesthetically valuable. Because of incompetence and/or limited budget, the film can take on characteristics –…

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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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How Psychedelics Can Affect People’s Career Choices and Attitudes Towards Work

An underexplored effect of psychedelics is how their use can affect both the career choices someone makes and the attitudes they have towards work in general. The LSD guru Timothy Leary famously told a countercultural audience – 30,000 hippies who gathered at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 1967 – to “turn on, tune…

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