Psychedelic: (Greek) psyche, meaning “mind”: and delos , meaning “manifesting”
My main reason for making this post today is because when I was reading various definitions of the term psychedelic yesterday, I was mildly annoyed that many definitions solely make reference to drugs and no other methods of achieving a psychedelic state. I’m not anti psychoactive substance by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I’m all for it. I just found most of the descriptions very incomplete.
No drugs are needed to have a psychedelic experience. In fact, it may very well just sneak up on ya! In that case, we call it a mental breakdown; and then a doctor will give you drugs.
Outside of spontaneous mental glitchiness, or ingesting plants that we refer to as “psychedelics” , there is probably an infinite number of ways that one could achieve a psychedelic state of mind. It really depends on the person.
The thing being revealed or manifested, is your own mind, which is already inside you and has access to all of the information available, whether we are aware of it or not. A psychedelic state is simply one form of altered consciousness among many that humans can experience. The psychedelic experience can provide new insights to both the individual and the collective, and those insights are available to be discovered at all times, whether we choose to ingest a psychedelic plant or not. Things like drumming, dance, sweating, fasting, lack of sleep…(chronic overthinking?), these can all induce an altered state of consciousness that can open the doors of perception.
If you are like me, and you enjoy mincing words, there is a whole movie you can check out where you get to listen to several people discuss their ideas about which term is best: psychedelic or entheogen? Manifesting the Mind
Frankly, if we are talking about substances , we could just say psychoactive and leave it at that. As to what terminology anyone uses to describe an experience, I think that is up to the person who owns the experience and who cares?
I disagree with those who say that you cannot use a psychoactive substance recreationally and call it a sacred experience. There is nothing preventing a recreational experience from being sacred as well. Play and spirituality are not mutually exclusive, and play certainly can be sacred.
I can utilize a psychoactive plant with the intention of having a sacred , spiritual, psychedelic experience and perhaps experience nothing noteworthy. I would view it as sacred anyway because that’s what my intention was and because the plant itself is sacred regardless of my experience. So, nothing happening is no less sacred in my view than a mind bending, life changing meeting with my favorite angels.
Maybe a few weeks later I am socializing with friends and we utilize a psychoactive plant for recreational purposes. Suppose I then have a mystical experience that offers a great measure of enlightenment and inspiration. Who can say that my intention from the earlier time, when I had ingested the plant and experienced nothing…who is to say that my intention didn’t simply carry over into the second instance when I happened to ingest the plant while having fun with friends? Perhaps socialization and fun are was what was required in order for the plant to provide the experience I intended.