Psychedelics are the chameleons of the drug world—amenable to a variety of uses, dependent on the user’s attitude. The importance of set and setting cannot be overstated. If you use them as intoxicants, you will become intoxicated. If you want to see pretty shapes and colors and “trip out” to music, then they will act as sensory enhancers. If you want a new mode of consciousness that leads you to experience life in a novel way, they will satisfy that urge.
I maintain that there’s nothing wrong with any of these approaches. “Getting fucked up” is a completely legitimate reason to trip (though not the most productive one). There’s no need for self-described “serious” psychonauts to condescend to recreational users, decrying their use as disrespectful or idiotic. (See Sacredness is in the eye of the beholder for my detailed thoughts on that issue.) Everyone enjoys sovereignty over his or her own consciousness—this is the meaning of cognitive liberty.… Read the rest