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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Philosphy foundation

The foundation of Western philosophy is probably rooted in psychedelics

In the 1960s, intellectuals such as Aldous Huxley were fascinated by the effects of LSD, but today most professors are far too worried about respectability and tenure to investigate psychedelics themselves. Which is somewhat ironic, given that the field of Western philosophy has a huge debt to psychedelics, according to Peter Sjöstedt-H, a philosophy doctoral candidate at University of Exeter who has written a book on the philosophical significance of drugs. In fact, one of Plato’s most-cited theories may have been a direct result of hallucinogenics.

In Plato’s Phaedo, the philosopher says he was inspired by the Eleusinian Mysteries, an ancient religious ceremony where participants took kykeon. It’s widely believed (thought cannot be definitively proven) that kykeon was a psychoactive substance, which would explain the visions that participants experienced during the ceremony. Sjöstedt-H notes that Plato references the Mysteries and “seeing that his body is but a shell, which one can escape through these experiences,” before he introduces his landmark notion of substance dualism: Namely, the idea that body and soul are distinct.

“Under psychedelic experience, you can completely lose the link between ‘you,’ yourself as a body; and ‘you,’ yourself as the person that you think you are, including your memories,” says Sjöstedt-H. “There’s this loss to the self, and the self is often associated with the body, so I can certainly see why a psychedelic experience would incline one towards a more dualistic view of the world.”

If the Mysteries did indeed involve psychedelics, Sjöstedt-H says we can credit them with inspiring some of the greatest and most influential thoughts in history.
Olivia Goldhill
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