Many psychedelic proponents feel a need to ground their claims for the evaluative significance of chemically induced mystical experience in prior metaphysical claims about higher realities endowed with special moral authority. Herein, I recommend a shift in perspective according to which we need not posit moral supernature to justify the revelatory capacity of such experiences to tell us how to best act and be.
Marta Kaczmarczyk is an expert in persuasive science and technology. She is interested in demystifying the psychedelic experience and creating a scientific framework that would be more accessible to the Western mind and more relevant than the shamanic or new age framework which is popular in the psychedelic community. She is a co-founder and a coordinator of Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands; a non-profit organization focused on advocating a safe use of psychedelic substances.
Christian Jarrett is a senior editor at Aeon, working on the forthcoming Psyche website focused on psychological wellbeing. A cognitive neuroscientist by training, his writing has appeared in BBC Future, WIRED and New York Magazine, among others. His books include ‘The Rough Guide to Psychology’ (2011) and ‘Great Myths of the Brain’ (2014). His next, on personality change, will be published in 2021.
Dr Peter Sjöstedt-H is an Anglo-Scandinavian philosopher of mind who specializes in the thought of Whitehead and Nietzsche, and in fields pertaining to panpsychism and altered states of sentience. In the words of futurist, philosopher and pop star Alexander Bard: ‘One of our favourite contemporary philosophers, Peter Sjöstedt-H…think a psychedelic Nietzsche’.