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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Why Are Some People More Sensitive to Psychedelics Than Others?

When different people take the same dose of any psychedelic, some will have a more subjectively intense experience than others. This is due to dose-independent factors, or what many psychonauts, psychedelic enthusiasts, and researchers call set and setting. Set is your mindset going into the experience, whereas setting refers to all the environmental factors that…

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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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