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Psychedelics and Altered Metaphysical Beliefs
June 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm EDT
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Are you interested in the foundational texts and topics that have shaped psychedelic use and research today? Join Alex Criddle and Ava for their series on Foundational Texts and Topics in Psychedelics. In this salon, we wonder: Do psychedelics reliably alter people’s metaphysical beliefs?
According to studies and many self-reports, psychedelics seem to reliably alter individuals’ long-term metaphysical beliefs. There are significant shifts from physicalism and reductionism to a non-physicalist and non-materialist view of the world. Is this a good thing? How do we decide what is a veridical belief from a false one? How do we understand reality?
Aldous Huxley famously wrote The Doors of Perception in response to his experience with psychedelics. His name, along with Terence Mckenna and Alan Watts’ names, have become synonymous with a particular psychedelic culture. Huxley detailed the nature and content of his experience and offered a few contemporary theories at the time. Opening the doors of perception has become a meme surrounding those who have insight into the true nature of reality.
Questions and topics we will explore:
- Why do psychedelics so reliably alter people’s metaphysical beliefs? What are the implications of the changed worldview?
- Do psychedelics give us insight into the nature of reality?
- How should we responsibly evaluate these changed beliefs?
- Psychedelics Alter Metaphysical Beliefs by Christopher Timmerman et al.
- Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
- The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience chs. 7 and 8 by Robert Masters and Jean Houston
- The Varieties of Religious Experience Lectures XVI And XVII by William James