Foundational Texts and Topics in Psychedelics

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Are you interested in the foundational texts and topics that have shaped psychedelic use and research today? Hosts Alex Criddle and Ava will take you through some of these fundamental ideas and texts that have shaped psychedelia.

What was going through the minds of those who initiated the psychedelic 60s? How did we get where we are today with the numerous ongoing clinical trials? Aldous Huxley, in searching for a name for the substances that were all the rage, wrote to Humphry Osmond, “To make this mundane world sublime, just half a gram of phanerothyme.” Osmond countered with, “To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” And so, the famous name—meaning “mind-manifesting”—was born and ready to shape the way we understand them.

Psychedelics are currently headlining for their therapeutic value, something that was previously touted before the public jumped on the psychedelic utopia bandwagon.

In this series we will explore some of the topics that seem to be foundational in the psychedelic world using readings from both early proponents and contemporary researchers.

We will explore the question of the self and ego dissolution, theories for why, and how, psychedelics work, the metaphysical frameworks that have been used to make sense of psychedelic experience, how psychedelics can alter metaphysical beliefs, where psychedelic therapy comes from and how it shaped therapy today, and why the utopias envisioned by many in the psychedelic 60s failed.

These salons will run toward the end of each month, dates TBD.

8 PM New York, 1 AM London, 2 AM Berlin

This is a monthly salon track. While you can attend individual salons within the track, it is highly recommended that you acquire an Interintellect membership: this will give you ongoing access to the community forum on Discord, discounts on all of our salons, and more.

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1April 27, 8PM EDTIs the Self an Illusion?

One of the most common topics surrounding psychedelics is ego dissolution: the notion that your ego dissolves and you become one with everything. This leads many psychedelic users to believe that the self does not exist and is an illusion.
2May 23, 8PM EDTHow do Psychedelics Work?

In this salon we’ll be exploring theories for how psychedelics work (including Carhart-Harris and Friston’s REBUS theory and Andrew Gallimore’s Integrated Information Theory), why psychedelics affect some people less than others, and if there is a way to make the psychedelic experience more replicable for different people.
3June 29, 8PM EDTPsychedelics and Altered 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?
4July 27, 8 PM EDTFoundations of Psychedelic Therapy

Therapy has become the framework for the majority of the discourse surrounding psychedelics over the past decade, the same locale was the catalyst for introducing psychedelics to the West decades earlier. We’ll look at these original psychedelic therapists and how they’ve informed modern therapeutic practices.
5August 31, 8 PM EDTPsychedelic Utopias: Where did the 60s go wrong?

During the initial psychedelic era, psychonauts, hippies, and normies alike were working towards world peace. Psychedelics didn’t change the world the way we expected them to—what happened? Where did famous psychedelic proponents and organizers such as Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Terence McKenna, and others go wrong, and what can we learn from their mistakes?