Another myth being commercialized is that psychedelic drugs will make you a peaceful, righteous human. The notion that the world’s problems would be solved if more people took entheogens is a hallucination in and of itself. However, there are countless examples of psychedelics that prove time and again that psychedelics, in and of themselves, are not used to facilitate “peace” — with some experts calling the trend a “false promise.”
For instance, researchers believe Vikings could have used psychedelics for “unearthly abilities” before going to war. Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson credited toad venom, or DMT, for inspiring a return to fighting at the age of 54. Scientific literature is filled with examples of hallucinogenic experiences that are not innately “peaceful.” In my research experience, when a psychedelic therapy session confronts trauma or ego death, it isn’t always a tranquil experience. There are also oppressive, racist groups that seem to be linked to overuse of psychedelics.
The use of these substances does not suddenly turn people into peaceniks. Taking psychedelics will not inherently make someone better at things they do not already know how to do well. Mostly, they will just get better at taking psychedelics. Practice is the path to mastery.
We live in an exhilarating time for psychedelics. Society has begun searching for drugs that act outside the common psychedelic serotonin receptors, the targets of LSD and mushrooms. Almost anyone can join the search, provided we are careful about navigating the gap between speculation and science. In short, there’s a lot of promise, so let’s avoid the traps and do things responsibly.