If you’re a philosopher, you have no excuse for not trying psychedelics.
You might be a great philosopher and make incredible contributions to the field. If you’ve never tried a hallucinogenic drug, there’s always something that you’re missing. I can have a conversation about metaphysics with you and be amazed by your arguments. Nonetheless, at the back of my mind will be the fact that you don’t have the psychedelic insight. As someone who has it, that’s something I can’t ignore. It’s relevant to all metaphysical and epistemological questions, and to all issues that depend on metaphysical and epistemological assumptions – in other words, to all philosophy.
The psychedelic experience is something like sight. It’s not one experience, but a medium for a specific kind of experience. Close your eyes for a moment. Can you remember what vision is like? Sort of. You can conjure images in the mind’s eye. But now open your eyes again. Is vision exactly what you pictured when you closed your eyes? Not even close. The psychedelic experience is like that – you can sort of remember what it’s like. But you don’t understand it unless you’re currently in it. For this reason, the psychedelic experience is impossible to explain. If you’ve never had it but have heard stories, you understand it as well as a blind man understands color from descriptions.
A quick glance through user testimonials will show you that everyone who trips gets something different from it. Even so, there’s something distinctive about the psychedelic experience.…