How many undervalue simplicity! But it is the real key to the heart.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
You go down a rabbit hole and get lost in a bewilderingly labyrinthine warren. Eventually, exhausted, you sit down in a corner of the warren to watch a shadow puppet show someone has put on. Engrossed in the show, you soon forget that there is such a thing as fresh air and a sun shining in a gloriously blue sky.
Psychedelics can simplify your life and they can complicate it. They can cut straight through the Gordian knots of your entangled mind or they can spin more mind-webs to confuse the hell out of you.
Our culture is hooked on over-thinking. Is there free will? Are we morally responsible for our actions? Is consciousness an illusion? Is God just the collective projection of an existentially timorous species? Are goodness, beauty and truth just social constructs?
All interesting questions, no doubt. But these rabbit holes lead further and further from the clear light of day.
Computer scientists and analytical philosophers have one thing in common: they are left hemisphere dominant. Many of them, by the way they think and talk, probably also have a mild case of autism. And the cleverer they are, the further from common-sense they can go, without once breaking any rules of logic.
When it comes to philosophers, of whatever stripe, Nietzsche’s diagnosis that most of them merely rationalize their own pathologies is to the point. In his view, “the kind of person who engages in philosophical activity does so because she has certain physiological and psychological characteristics.” (Jared Riggs, A Nietzschean Diagnosis of Philosophers).
Nietzsche specifies what these characteristics are, from an ascetic morality to an anti-nature drive to “inactive, brooding, unwarriorlike elements” (Genealogy of Morals III: 10). But the simplest diagnosis, in my view, is left hemisphere dominance, with its ensuing dissociation and hyper-rationality. (If you don’t know about the brain hemisphere research, look up Iain McGilchrist).
This is why philosophy will never take the place of religion and why religion is so perennially important. Because in truth, it’s not that complicated. In the clear light of revelation, whether prompted by drinking an Amazonian brew or by non-psychedelic means (prayer, fasting, etc.), it’s actually very simple:
There is a God. God is infinite light and consciousness. God is love. God is good. We should move towards the light and be loving and good. We should worship God and give thanks and praise.
And that’s basically it!