2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Can psychedelics and culture coexist, an analysis of psychedelic culture and spiritualism

Alex March, 2022, Stage 2

Currently psychedelics are undergoing a revitalisation in medical and metaphysical research. The question pressing now is how and if these substances, which produce experiences of alterity and perceptual disruptions, can be integrated into normal society. To explain this, this work has explored ideas of perception outlined by Kant, the mystical ideas of Watts and Leary before finally critiquing and evaluating how psychedelics on a cultural and counter-cultural level relate to society. From this research, the conclusion is drawn that psychedelics are not as easily compatible with normal society as a simple attempt to make them medically acceptable. This is due to their deeply rooted political, historical and still current rejection of normalizing society in favour of individual empowerment away from institutional control.

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