Are Entities and Plant Spirits Real? A Guide to Skeptical Tripping

By Psychedelic Frontier on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, hits: 6732


When reading this, I think it would be healthy  to also consider that dogma and unwarranted absolute certainty can take many forms, not just the kind outlined in this article. Many self-proclaimed "skeptics" these days wrongly use the word as a means to dismiss anything that contradicts their belief system or the orthodox paradigm, ignoring how true skepticism and scientific approaches work. This side of the coin is well summarized in this image here, which compares true open-minded skepticism to pseudo or closed-minded skepticism.  

I think what we can take away from all of this, and the following article, is that it is important to question everything, especially our own models and understanding of reality, no matter what they happen to me. It is possible to, in some sense at least, never believe in anything 100 percent. We would do well to remember Robert Anton Wilson's reasoning for using E-prime...

(All of this also begs the question: What do we mean by "real" or "reality" anyways? This is an important topic that has been touched on brilliantly elsewhere. )

Via Psychedelic Frontier:

Trips are like dreams. A genuine insight may bubble up from deep in your subconscious, handily solving a problem that your sober mind found intractable. Or you might emerge with absolute nonsense, the product of synapses firing without the guidance of logic and consistency.

You don’t take your dreams as absolute truth upon waking, and psychedelics should be no different. It’s crucial to think critically about which lessons to take back into consensus reality, and which to leave behind.

Wisdom or Dogma?

Many psychonauts spread their personal beliefs and speculations as though they were fact. Sometimes they take an ancient myth, like Amazonian animism, and dress it up in the new-age language of spirits, energies, and vibrations. “Mother Ayahuasca,” they say, “is the plant world’s way of communicating with us, raising us to a higher vibration.”

Other times they’ll offer a testable scientific hypothesis, but disguise it as established fact. A good example is the myth that DMT is responsible for dreaming, and is released when a person dies. These are interesting ideas, but when presented as Unquestionable Truth they limit rather than liberate us.

The desire to share is natural and well-meaning — after a profound psychedelic experience, people want to communicate their new “knowledge” to others. Whether the insight concerns aliens and discarnate entities, human history and genetics, half-baked quantum theories, or the imminent apocalypse, the uncritical explorer rushes to share it with anyone who will listen.

A noble goal, to be sure. But dogma dressed up as wisdom is still dogma. Door-to-door evangelists also have genuine compassion; that doesn’t make them any less annoying. Their smiles are a little too smug, their enthusiasm a little too salesman-like. They forget that enlightenment comes in many forms, and one size definitely does not fit all.

Read the rest on Psychedelic Frontier


0 # Entheogenerator 2014-04-17 07:44
Excellent passage! Very relevant considering a few threads I have seen recently on the forum. Thanks for sharing! :-)
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