Aaron Moritz has written an interesting piece on the potential of psychedelics, and explains how the psychedelic revolution currently erupting from the staunch billows of our increasingly Orwellian culture differs from that of the 60's:
Psychedelic substances are re-surging into the popular culture in ways unrivaled since the starry-eyed, long-haired baby boomers of the 1960′s dropped acid and discovered peace and promiscuity. However, today’s generation of visionary psychonauts are making a much more measured movement to the mainstream than the hundred thousand hippies who descended on San Francisco in 1967′s summer of love. While they were encouraged to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” by revolutionary ex-Harvard scientist turned LSD evangelist Timothy Leary, modern proponents such as philosopho-comedian Joe Rogan and alternative archaeology researcher Graham Hancock feel quite a bit more level headed, and dare I say credible, in their advocation of these consciousness bending chemicals.
Hints of revolution seem almost part and parcel with the transformative potential psychedelics undoubtedly yield, yet today these hints seem slightly less radical, and far more deeply connected to a realization of individual emotional growth, as well as social and personal maturity. Before being cast as deadly outlaws and lumped in with speed and heroin by Richard Nixon’s cocksure ‘war on drugs’, psychedelics like LSD and magic mushrooms were making waves as powerful new tools in the psychological community’s toolbox.
Today’s arsenal of dubiously effective, chronically administered, and arguably soul-crushing amphetamines and serotonin manipulating zombification pills are given to adults and children alike for everything from sadness to boredom. In contrast, these psyche-hacking shamanic medicines can often produce positive and lasting changes in just a few doses. A small, yet strong and growing body of research, as well as a poignant parade of personal anecdotes, are continuously demonstrating their therapeutic benefit for such tough nuts to crack as post-traumatic stress disorder, anti-social tendencies, addiction, and fear of death. All of this as the fire and brimstone predictions peddled by the DEA and classroom DARE programs prove themselves decidedly overblown. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (or MAPS), is a non-profit organization that is leading the charge in a new wave of studies, picking up from and offering validation to the work of those fringe 1960′s researchers who saw the potential boon psychedelics could yield in our creative, spiritual, and interpersonal lives.