, author of many popular books on the search for ancient civilizations, most of which reside in my own bookshelves.
We are told that the “war on drugs” is being waged, on our behalf, by our governments and their armed bureaucracies and police forces, to save us from ourselves. “Potential for abuse and harm” are supposed to be the criteria by which the use of drugs is suppressed – the greater a drug’s potential for abuse and harm, the greater and more vigorous the degree of suppression, and the more draconian the penalties applied against its users. …
The notable exceptions to this system of ranking according to perceived “harms” are, of course, alcohol and tobacco, both highly addictive and harmful drugs – far more so than cannabis or psilocybin for example – but yet socially accepted on the grounds of long customary use and thus not placed in any schedule at all.
Hancock’s recent book Supernatural is an accounting of otherworldly experiences in indigenous cultures throughout the world that he attributes to the ingestion of psychedelic drugs in order to expand consciousness.
Having grown up in the 1960s and indulged in the expansion of consciousness through chemical means myself, I have mixed feelings about the use of these drugs to facilitate the experience of higher states. There’s no doubt that psychotropic drugs offer experiences that are outside the realm of ordinary reality (thereby taking us into the realm of Neptune), but there is no guarantee that the psyche will be prepared for what is experienced there.
In addition, there is no guarantee that having once visited those Elysian fields through psychotropic substances we will be able to return with any kind of […]