This article was originally published in the Psychedelic Press UK Journal (January, 2014 Volume.1)
Looking at the lives of those fully invested in the consensus reality of the conventional Western world, there is a consuming grayness, or flatness, that seems to permeate throughout. The socioeconomic and philosophical constructs, or conceptual frameworks, by which adults are ‘educated’ or trained to utilize in the conceptualizing of raw experience are grossly engineered to generate ‘business professional robots’ rather than happy, intelligent and inspired people.
We are all subject to social conditioning. As we develop, we are educated to the loaded constructs of ‘grow up’ and ‘be an adult’, “let go of childish games and fantasies’ and ‘get real’. And so, from once young inspired children playing and interacting with a world beaming with magic and wonder, we become adults whose perception of life is often inspired by constructs built upon society’s faulty assumptions about the nature of reality. The pivotal assumption for the nature of this discussion is that of closed-minded deterministic materialism: the world is a machine, the maintaining of established socioeconomic patterns of mediocrity is of vital importance, and anything that steps in the way of one’s role to turn their cog in the machine, especially the supreme distraction of wonder, is a waste of time. The manner in which we interact with a personal sense of ‘awe’ is the turning-point for the revitalization of the gray reality we propagate.
As children, we are naturally inspired into wonder and awe by the world around us because it’s all new. Our imaginations run wild and every moment is a potential adventure (assuming we have healthy childhoods). Admittedly, this immature mindset about the world isn’t going to function in the unfortunately drab social systems we have established; and so we have this awe and wonder exorcised. In turn, we place the aforementioned conceptual frameworks of the business professional robot. The issue here is that we swing the pendulum too far into the opposite direction of the underdeveloped childish perceptions of magical wonder. We institute hedonic adaptation to prevent being amazed and distracted from our ‘adult’ tasks. Eventually, this becomes our only truth; the world loses color and along with it, we lose our creativity, spontaneity, vibrancy and general zest for life. Or we create unhealthy relationships to fantasy worlds and concepts to escape the drab realities we are forced into believing as truth.
If we are going to find our way out of this drab existence and its consequences on life in general, we need to dissolve the mental dampening systems we have in place; we need to turn back up the vibrancy and reconnect with the sense of wonder we have lost.
Now there are many ways to do this, from travels to other countries, taking courses in different topics, reading inspiring books that apply to daily life, or anything that shakes up the norm and offers novelty into one’s experience. One of the most powerful methods I have worked with for recreating a connection to the magical essence of life, while simultaneously dissolving the failing conceptual frameworks of the business professional robot that poison the minds of human beings, is psilocybin mushrooms.
When one chooses to participate in the consumption of the ‘magic’ psilocybin mushroom, the aforementioned frameworks begin to shake away. The meaningfulness we apply to our experience of life is increased in its mental, emotional and spiritual potential. The perception of a magical and beautiful world is unlocked once again and we can see the beauty of life flowing through everything, just as clearly as we can see the sun shining on a bright day. We lift the conceptual filters poising the eyes of the ‘adult’ mind and reconnect with the innocent eyes of the child-like mind. Yet, we are not children again: we are still maturely developed adults, with an intellect capable of contemplating the potential implications of such an experience. When we do this, we begin to cross-reference the new and very novel data of this magical experience with the previously established structure of societal conditioning. Doing this begins to reshape the frameworks we have in place. We being to expand our awareness beyond the assumptions we have had instilled in us. When we return from this journey with the mushroom, we have something beautiful to take with us into our normal lives, something to offer us transcendence from the compulsive, unconscious role-playing out of business professional robot. We can become creative, inspired beings of wonder and awe again.
This brings up an important point, if we choose to use these mushrooms from the intention of escapism and immaturity, leaving what we learn in those experiences behind in the trip, they do almost nothing for us. In turn, we have lost a powerful opportunity for growth and healing, as well as failed to show respect to a powerful medicine. Unfortunately, like the framework of the business professional robot, there is a framework instilled in us that marginalizes the mushroom. This, in my opinion, must change. We need a new framework for interacting with this experience – one that enables an understanding of the mushroom’s potential and offers a change in our Western cultural preconceptions of them. In effort to shift the cultural tides and re-sanctify this mushroom, I have invested years of my life and many, many hours of investigation into developing a new model for this experience. I present it in my book Decomposing The Shadow: Lessons From The Psilocybin Mushroom, and have been honored to see it change lives in similar vein to how it has changed mine.
Reigniting this spark of awe is of vital importance, regardless of what method or means we use to do it. We cannot continue to live in this world of drab materialism and robot reality. It is drying up our minds, flattening our experiences or worse, generating ongoing depression. In turn, the actions we create in this world reflect our state of being and we can see the results worldwide in the ongoing degeneration of the planet’s integrity. We have a great heritage to pass along to generations to come and I cringe to think what that heritage looks like if it doesn’t include an awareness of magic in the world.