Track: Psychedelics – Science, Spirituality and Therapeutic Potential
The blind spots of psychedelic research: the future of consciousness expansion
The present wave of academic interest in psychedelics is met with enthusiasm among the media and the users of these mostly illegal substances, but there are a few blind spots that deserve attention:
- too limited a focus on diagnose-treatment combinations of too limited a set of problems, aiming only (and thus biased) at protocols and treatment by an elite with a status and financial interest in the outcome of their experiments.
- a focus on individual effects, individual therapy and healing, ignoring Group Mind effects
- too little attention for the negative spiritual impact, the magical dimension so obvious present in older, indigenous ritualistic usage.
- Too much emphasis on post-session self-reporting and questionnaires; ignoring the difference between the actual state and experience in the trip and the post-facto, mostly cognitive evaluation.
- Little or superficial interest in out-of-the box applications of psychedelic substances like in child birth, sexual therapy and enhancement , creativity enhancement, identity transformation, homeopathic use and micro-dosing, primate consciousness comparison, combinations with other therapy forms, immersion like VR and Group Identity processes'
- The commercialization of for instance ayahuaca poses a threat to serious research.
Luc Sala is a physicist, media entrepreneur and writer, with degrees from Delft TU and Erasmus (Rotterdam business school) who has been part of the psychedelic movement since the Eighties, working with Mckenna, Leary, Shulgin, Hofmann, Krippner and many others (see YouTube Mindlift channel) and has written some 20 books. Direct contact with many luminaries in the field, but als practitioners, ayahuasceros has led to the development of a therapeutic model around Substitute Identity formation (see www.lucsala.nl/lucidity.htm) for PTSD and other personality problems. Subjects of the books are ritual, psychedelics, consciousness, identity, festivalization and much more, most available as free downloads at academia.edu. Experience with all kinds of substances, in group (ritual) settings and in therapy, but looking for new and improved applications with a critical view on how commercialization treats these 'sacred' tools. The legal situation in the Netherlands allows much more open communication, also about personal experiences.