Psychedelic Sin: The Illusion of Morality in an Amoral Universe

Picture: Boticelli (PD)

In this world, we see varying levels of what we traditionally call good and evil. We have ways to measure them with our religious notions, but if we see the world through a materialists eyes, what is good or evil? Some may say that good and evil are behaviors that are infringements on the survival of the group, or plan in which the participant is a part of; practically saying, evil is an acting out of animalistic nature that hurts the herd and nothing more. This does not work in all cases though, for there are things people do to themselves that are harmful and therefore seen as bad. The religious crowd sees morality as having come from God: a set of guidelines fraught with consequence and reward if obeyed or rejected, but why are certain things deemed sin? There are things that only seem to hurt us, so how can those things fit with the materialist view? Why would God care if we stole a cookie from the cookie jar?

I once had a psychedelic experience in which my faults were shown to me and I saw myself as the universe saw me. Though I was bathed in love at this moment, I was also shown in a clearer than clear manner what I had done. I was not being judged, but redirected. There was no hammer of God falling upon me for my errors. It was implied that my errors were not expedient for my growth as an eternal part of the universe. In other words, my less than careful deeds were not useful. It was plain as day, they were impractical roadblocks that I had carelessly set in front of myself. I had impeded my own progress and slowed my contribution to the universal creative evolution that is ever taking place. My decision to do so made me a slowing force rather than an expediting force.

From this vantage point, the universe shows its egalitarian understanding and amorality as the highest virtue. Sin in the traditional sense is an archaic illusion meant to trap you, forcing you to police yourself and others. It is a method of control used by ill-willed authorities to enslave you without you even realizing it. Accepting sin and salvation is acceptance of a mental prison that you hold yourself in, while the counterintuitive forces of the universe revel in the slowing of your progress.

But what about these ill-willed people who exude evil? Surely they are proof that evil exists? In my experience, these people who behave in ways like this have embraced the most base and primal ways, succumbing to blood lust and every other form that brings opposition to human progress as a universal body. Again, a psychedelic view of the other side shows us that these occurrences are woven together in the creative process with the complexity and order that could only be made by the collection of all minds that have ever carried out thought, combined into one mind. These people who are traditionally called evil are the human forms of earthquakes, forest fires and hurricanes; Because they are base, they are nearly elemental. They are brilliant, yet animalistic. Because they are conscious individuals, they are impeding themselves by volunteering to be nearly elemental in their destructive path. One does not say that an earthquake is sinning when it kills thousands. The earthquake is indiscriminate in its destruction. These individuals have traded enlightenment for a short lived orgy of power.

There is a cop-out given when bad things happen: God has a plan we don’t understand. It’s always from the standpoint of clinging to the prisoner mindset, trying to understand why something horrible has happened when the answer is much bigger, complex and longer than our non-eternal selves can comprehend. The karmic resonance of a happening may have been thousands of years in the making and it may have just been our turn to be the participant in the cosmic process to experience it.

We have been raised to fear the death of our bodies, either because of fear that we will go to hell or because we only see a yawning void waiting for us. But if we see ourselves as eternal, then our mind realizes that our bodies are simply the crafts that we are steering for the moment on a roiling and ever-expanding vision of self-realization and collective unification.

Once we see ourselves from the grander perspective, the idea of sin becomes silly and rudimentary. We are merely impeding ourselves in our process of transcendence while contributing to the base slowing forces that fight progress and enslave us in fear.

The universe is amoral: It does not do you wrong. To think of if that way is to not realize that you are the universe. Your physical body is literally made from the particles of stars. We are blessed to be able to take part of this process and feel what it’s like to have the pleasure and pain of physical existence. With that in mind, let’s choose to be the positive forces in our present world and pull as much learning as we can from the things we used to see as good and evil. Let’s leave those prison doors swinging open and show others how it’s done. We’re in this together, let’s embrace that idea and act accordingly.

Gabriel Roberts

Gabriel D. Roberts is a theological scholar, researcher and public speaker that specializes in discussions about the nature of perception and belief. After 27 years of passionate searching and study, Gabriel stepped away from his long held Christian faith into a more expansive and fluid worldview.The details and reasons are catalogued in his book, Born Again To Rebirth.Like many others who have had an earnest thirst for the answers to the big questions of life, Gabriel was not satisfied to settle for not knowing more.His latest book, The Quest For Gnosis explores the roots of belief, the power of the ecstatic state in one’s spiritual life and the means by which a deeply satisfying spiritual life may be achieved outside of the bonds of dogma.Within The Quest For Gnosis, Gabriel interviews 20 of the brightest minds in this field of study, including Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Graham Hancock, Daniele Bolelli, Peter J. Carroll, Hamilton Morris, Dr. Aaron Cheak, David Metcalfe, Dr. Rick Strassman and many more.

Gabriel writes for VICE Magazine, and and is the author of three books. He is continuing his research at the University of Washington in his hometown of Tacoma, WA.

27 Comments on "Psychedelic Sin: The Illusion of Morality in an Amoral Universe"

  1. abouthadit | Feb 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |

    Every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord. Moral relativism is a lie from he who stalks about seeking whom he may devour.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Feb 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm |

    “To God all things are fair and good and just, but people hold some things wrong and some right.”

    • kowalityjesus | Feb 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

      ‘all things are lawful, but not all things are expeditious/beneficial’ 1 Corinthians 10:23

      • BuzzCoastin | Feb 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm |

        As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
        1 Peter 2:16

  3. BuzzCoastin | Feb 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm |

    “To God all things are fair and good and just, but people hold some things wrong and some right.”

  4. Tweedledee and Tweedledum Agreed to have a battle…

  5. The universe is amoral, but we should choose to be the “positive forces”? Sounds a bit logically inconsistent. I would instead propose that matter and its laws are limiting and obfuscating forces on pure consciousness

    • I believe this to be the opposite, actually. Through emergent processes, the ‘laws’ of matter are seen to be continually transcended by consciousness as It breaks free from every manacle applied to it. The only laws that don’t seem to be broken so far are thermodynamics, and I think we’re playing a cruel joke (or lesson) on ourselves for materializing in this kind of a universe. As C.P. Snow quipped: You must play the game. You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t quit.

    • I believe this to be the opposite, actually. Through emergent processes, the ‘laws’ of matter are seen to be continually transcended by consciousness as It breaks free from every manacle applied to it. The only laws that don’t seem to be broken so far are thermodynamics, and I think we’re playing a cruel joke (or lesson) on ourselves for materializing in this kind of a universe. As C.P. Snow quipped: You must play the game. You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t quit.

    • Yes that is true, but remember we can’t escape an ego without death. And since we are really this pure consciousness, all of us are. &remember this life is real until we die. So then that means that anything that is mind expanding is good and anything that is ego limiting is bad. But since we are all part of the “pure consciousness” we should love everybody for who the are, because we cant change that part or “person” of this true consciousness. And set our goal at helping this “world” by doing anything we can to better it. remember that this world is still real just like the pure consciousness. So that means good and bad are real. Bad is anything that happens to hurt this pure consciousness as it is in the ego. And good would be anything to help the pure consciousness, because remember it makes up everything including the world we live on. So examples of good are: helping the environment, helping people gain knowledge, giving food to people, giving water to people, giving people a place to stay ie. helping the pure consciousness. Bad would be: killing people, doing drugs that aren’t mind expanding, trying to get fame and/or wealth or controlling people. ie poisoning the ego. But remember because of the society we live in “evil society” Most people don’t really know what good and bad is, that’s why we should love all people because we are part of the pure consciousness. And we have to have money to survive because of our society.So finally remember that true happiness comes from being “truly good” to the good consciousness, as in the examples i stated above.

  6. There is no justification for the immense suffering all of us experience. And there is a personal force and there are personal forces(spiritual and material) who intend suffering. It and they are not amoral but immoral, irrational, and sadistic. The sadist chooses to be unconsciously driven by bestial forces in return for power and pleasure. Those forces that drive them are spiritual beings with evil wills. You say the cosmos is a living being, but then that same being has no will, or intention? If I ruled the world, imagine that, i’d free all my sons. (I LOVE EM LOVE EM BABY)
    It’s impossible to know the intentions of the Other(s), but it’s possible to know your self and your own intentions. And if other beings exist, they probably have some things in common, at the least, existence. It’s probably true that projection makes perception.
    I know that I have 2 wills at war within. By getting to know my self I know others.

  7. Reuben_the_Red | Feb 12, 2013 at 11:10 am |

    I agree that the psychedelic experience is amoral, but allows us as humans to comprehend more fully what it means to be human and what it means to relate to other humans and other living things in right and good ways, by seeing in them something of ourselves and vice versa. I don’t think that evil need be such an abstract concept though. Outside of the concept of sin, I think evil in the common usage is knowable in its forms and origins.

    Few Americans have heard of Arno Gruen or his books (The Insanity of Normality; The Betrayal of the Self) which I think are particularly enlightening on these subjects, allow me to quote him at length here from the english translation of one of his essays, “The Need To Punish,” found here (
    “Empathy is a basic quality of all living creatures, protecting us
    from losing our humanity. It is the core of human nature and thus of
    our individuality, but when our individuality is scorned and must be
    split off as if it was not a part of us, empathy cannot develop freely.
    Our capacity to empathize with others withers away. The process by
    which one’s individuality becomes something foreign prevents people from
    relating to one another in a humane way-with compassion, sympathy, and
    mutual understanding. Instead, an abstraction underlies our

    “The origins of this alienation are to be found in childhood. This
    could not be more clearly formulated than in Hitler’s words addressed to
    the National Socialist Women’s Organization in 1934, ‘Every child is a
    battle’ (Chamberlain, 1997). He was expressing with alarming clarity
    what is still often regarded in Western cultures today as an
    unassailable truth: that a natural hostility exists between infant and
    parents. In the struggle to ‘socialize’ their children, parents force
    them to submit to the parental will. Children must be prevented from
    following their own needs and desires. Conflict is inevitable and must
    be resolved for the good of the child by persistence on the part of the

    “Sigrid Chamberlain’s sharply critical description of the Third Reich’s official theory of childrearing in her book, Adolph Hitler: Die deutsche Mutter und ihr erstes Kind
    (The German Mother and her first Child) illustrates its pathological
    effects. Unfortunately, she is describing at the same time an ideology
    typical of all so-called great civilizations, although disguised –
    namely, that the relationship between children and parents is a power
    struggle in which the ‘immature’ will of the child must not be allowed
    to prevail. What is concealed here, however, is that it is not a matter
    of ‘civilizing’ but of guaranteeing domination by the parents.
    Socialization of this sort insures that the motivation to obey those
    with power becomes deeply rooted in the human psyche. This is
    accomplished, however, only by silencing the child’s own needs, wishes,
    and feelings.”

  8. “There are no moral phenomena, only moral interpretations of phenomena”

Comments are closed.