Psychedelic Experience

The term "psychedelic experience", referring to experiences connected to psychedelia is vague – characterized by polyvalence or ambiguity due to its nature – however in modern psychopharmacological science as well as philosophical, psychological, neurological, spiritual-religious and most other ideological discourses it is understood as an altered state of awareness often distinct to, and induced by the consumption of certain psychotropics. In particular hallucinogens, many entheogens and specifically psychedelic compounds are known to cause this change in mental state.

In essence a psychedelic episode is, like other ontological notions of unique states of being (compare "enlightenment", religious experience, mystical experience, ego death, ecstasy, etc.) considered ineffable and rather a solely experiential phenomenon. However on some level the experience is communicable through more concrete or familiar effects on the senses: it has variously been characterized by the perception of aspects of one's mind usually believed to be unavailable to ordinary, waking consciousness, normally by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ordinary restraints, or products of artificially-induced chemical imbalances in the human nervous system. Psychedelic states are one of many of the experiences elicited by sensory deprivation, as well as illusions, delusions, changes of perception, and hallucinations in general – whether associated with a mental disorder, psychoactive drugs, etc.

Reportedly there is a common theme of "connectedness" or "unboundedness" which seems unique to many transcendent states of mind, and no less by the state of psychedelia – ranging from a sense of connectedness to everything in the immediate vicinity, to a sense of oneness with everything in the universe. This phenomenon can be juxtaposed with various metaphysical, spiritual and religious concepts such as ataraxia, monad, gnosis, henosis, kenosis, transcendence, the "Absolute" or the penultimate of self-actualization or authentication, or even theosis in Western thought – as well as rigpa or mahamudra, nirvana, cosmic consciousness, moksha, sunyata, dharmakaya, dharmata, etc. in the Orient.

Some who undertake psychedelic experiences come to see them as an ordeal, and mentally overbearing – in which case the result is often known as a "bad trip" or psychedelic crisis, closely linked to the psychological turmoil of panic attacks, depersonalization/derealization, hysteria and dysphoria. For others, such experiences come to be seen as personal re-enactments of a hero's journey. Spiritual practices and psychedelic drugs are the usual context when discussing means to achieve states of mind in which novel perceptions can arise, unhindered by everyday mental filters and processes.

Research that was done during the 1960s suggested that psychedelic drugs might have medical uses. More recently, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the Heffter Research Institute, and the Beckley Foundation have continued studying the effects of the psychedelic experience.

Read more about Psychedelic Experience:  Dynamics of Psychedelic Experience, Levels of Psychedelic Experience, Huxley's "Mind At Large"

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Famous quotes related to psychedelic experience:

    Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you’ve been to some of those places, you think, ‘How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?’
    Jerry Garcia (1942–1995)