Psychedelic Revelations: The Sacred & the Profane


Julian Palmer

Date of original publication

Mar 01, 2022



Talking points


Ground zero of the psychedelic scene


Is mainstreaming psychedelics counterproductive?


Reaching for spirituality on tap


Where's the culture moving toward?


Don't get struck by the awe


The lack of dialogue in the US


How things have grown?

Before the current surge of interest in psychedelics, before even the 1960s wave, these natural substances were part of our human heritage, our relationship with nature, and long lineages of shamanic mediation, for which indigenous people have been the caretakers. However modern “dominator culture,” (as Terence McKenna called it) has been controlling the pace of allowing this full spectrum of consciousness that psychedelics access, to resurface.

And yet, the stresses of life and the imbalances in the Western globalized world have left our world out of balance. Western civilization, driven by ego and the mind, has given a whole generation antidepressants, which may have provided temporary relief but failed to address the underlying issues. Now, organizations like MAPS (The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) have done the groundwork to bring psychedelics back into the conversation for planetary healing.

They have engaged with the Pentagon, FDA, doctors, therapists, and established regulatory frameworks and settings. Studies, such as those conducted by Johns Hopkins and sponsored by MAPS and others globally, have shown the potential of psychedelic medicines to lower ego consciousness, release trapped energies, and alleviate the anxieties and stresses accumulated in a sick and imbalanced world. But unlike the 1960s Psychedelic revolution, the current medical psychedelic “renaissance” aims to absorb psychedelics into the culture, not transform it.

Connecting to the Sacred, or Microdosing for Optimal Worker Performance?

The problem lies in the current medical model's limitations and the lack of accessibility. The high costs, issues with sourcing, purity, and legal patents restrict access to psychedelic therapy. While psychedelic medicine is booming, there is still a profane commodification of the sacred and a lack of cultural conversation beyond the medical model.

The true promise of psychedelics lies beyond the medical framework, where mystical experiences are integral to healing, as stated in key studies by Johns Hopkins. The difference lies in the context of the experiences. There is a concern about the co-opting and capturing of psychedelics, diverting them from their true evolutionary and spiritual potential into reductionistic models. Mainstream psychology and even transpersonal psychology may seem insufficient to fully interpret and understand the psychedelic dimensions.

For instance: Imperial College in London is currently sponsoring extended-use DMT immersion exploration, using IV drips to titrate DMT infusions into volunteers. Their reports of alien beings, architecture, worlds and information transfer signal psychedelics open up awareness of a multi-dimensional reality far from the therapists’ goal of curing trauma. And if our indigenous ancestors used these substances to reveal an alive and intelligent ecosystem beyond the physical world, why did the powers that be want to quash that awareness?

Discover the inner landscape
of the visionary state

MK-ULTRA and LSD: Stretching the Cultural Envelope 

The Dominator Culture mind frame has long been aware of the power of these substances–and threatened by them. It’s well documented that the US government, under its MK-Ultra program, used them as weapons and experimented with altering human consciousness since the 1940s. But the release and containment of psychedelics in the 1960s seems to have been part of a targeted agenda to stretch and grow the collective consciousness, aligning with booming technological advancements.

Essentially, we've gone from a linear consciousness to a nonlinear consciousness in a very short amount of historical time, and it's almost as if we needed these substances to midwife us into this capability to handle our modern technologies. Like nowadays, if you gave your iPhone to someone from 1923, they wouldn't know what to do with it. It would blow their mind, they wouldn't be able to conceptually even process it.

It’s as if every technology surge needs to be accompanied by a consciousness upgrade, which is why psychedelics are being eased back in now.

And yet, while psychedelics have the potential to reveal deeper aspects of our being and expand our understanding of reality, the current rush towards their commodification within a dying world paradigm raises stark concerns. 

AI and Gaia Mediated through the Planet’s Psychedelic Secretions?

There is a discernible pattern emerging with psychedelics and it's not just about individual healing; there's a growing consciousness capacity to hold greater bandwidth collectively. Simultaneously, our externally created technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are advancing rapidly, sometimes beyond our control, like runaway trains.

However, we must remember that we are products of Gaia, and we are also creators of AI. Is there an unbroken continuum of consciousness evolving and shaping its own form, with everything working harmoniously? Can we trust this process? Or is AI and its implications merely an extinction event for the ego mind, further separating us from the space of the heart? Could AI's expansion be perceived as a devouring of the resources of the mother to be born in our civilization's cresting?

Is this state of affairs an abnormality, something that has consumed the entire planet? Or could it be, as McKenna suggested, a birth canal? It may appear chaotic, with bloodshed, screams, and the harsh realities of a flawed civilization that has consumed Earth's bounties. However, perhaps this is precisely what we are meant to do. We are like embryos, growing and preparing for our imminent birth.

Is the next step in human evolution being born through us or with us? 

On a civilizational level, the psychedelic awakenings are intriguing because they reveal emerging patterns that suggest something greater than the sum of its parts is coming into focus. I still don't know exactly what that is, and I don't believe anyone is in control of it. Many people have their own agendas, attempting to divert and commodify it, similar to the commercialization of psychedelics.

The real cultural challenge we face lies in the potential danger of psychedelics being used to pacify the awakened individuals, a “soma” for the masses, ala Brave New World. Whether this is intended or not, it is a possible byproduct. However, the crucial issue is determining the direction our culture is heading and how much time we have left.

Over multiple generations, particularly at the tail end of our history, there is now a resurgence of shamanic practices, plant medicine, and psychedelics. Consciousness at large doesn't care about the specifics of how it's achieved; it simply aims to awaken those who are still asleep.

The psychedelic movement, starting with the mass distribution of LSD since the 1960s, played a crucial role in shifting the energetic culture of that generation. It opened up new avenues for technological advancements and fostered a blooming of consciousness across the planet.

We are gradually forming a collective consciousness, a hive mind like the insects, whether we embrace it or not. It goes beyond our physical structures like skyscrapers and societal frameworks. 

We are clustering in ways that create a distributed consciousness through our screens. When you log on, you're connected to a hundred people, each providing little bursts of dopamine, fostering a slow-motion, titrated form of telepathy.

In this sense, the eight billion strong human population is part of Gaia's biome, and Gaia itself is just a small node within the vast galactic biome. All of it is alive, constituting an interconnected organism that is becoming self-aware. Henri Bergson once said that the “universe is a machine for creating gods.” This extends beyond technology; it encompasses the organic and material aspects as well.

It's a process we're all going through. But it seems like in this arc and this stage of the process, all the filters are starting to lift. And if we understand that, then if we look back at what's been happening in the last few generations, it's like the whole planet has been trying to wake us up.

Back to the sacred, from the profane.

The true potential of psychedelics lies in their capacity for individual and collective healing, as well as expanding our consciousness. It is crucial to navigate these developments with caution, ensuring that the commodification and reductionistic approaches do not overshadow the true transformative power of these substances.

Key takeaways

  • Psychedelics, central to human heritage and shamanic traditions, have historically connected us to nature and spiritual realms. The "dominator culture," however, has inhibited the understanding and spread of these substances, controlling the consciousness expansion they offer.
  • With organizations like MAPS championing the cause, there is a resurgence in the interest and acceptance of psychedelics for therapeutic use.
  • Psychedelics promise more than just individual healing; they hint at a collective consciousness expansion. The rapid technological advancements, like AI, seem to run parallel to this expansion.
  • The real challenge is discerning the broader cultural direction and ensuring that the transformative power of psychedelics isn't suppressed or misdirected.