Poetic Licence

A recent article titled Researchers Debate the Role of Mysticism in Psychedelic Science cites a paper titled Moving Past Mysticism in Psychedelic Science by two Dutch researchers who warn that “if science states that psychedelics induce mystical experiences that are key to their therapeutic action, this is too easily misinterpreted as research advocating a role for the supernatural or divine.”

The problem with “Psychedelic Science” is that it is based on scientific rationalism. The problem with scientific rationalism is that it is spiritually autistic because it doesn’t understand the importance of poetic licence. Scientific rationalists often pit science against religion, assuming that religion is nothing more than superstition, or outdated bad science. But the scientific metaphysical worldview (as opposed to the humble practice of natural science) is not so much the enemy of religion as the enemy of poetry.

This is a problem when it comes to the science of psychology or the science of psychedelics because although the human brain may be scientific, the human mind is not. The human mind is essentially poetic.

If you don’t understand the psychological importance of poetic licence, you don’t understand psychology; if you don’t understand psychology, you don’t understand psychedelics; if you don’t understand psychedelics, you don’t understand religion; if you don’t understand religion, you don’t understand God; and if you don’t understand God, you don’t understand love.

Any psychedelic research that doesn’t advocate a role for poetry, imagination, mysticism, magic, the supernatural or divine is completely missing the point. Shamanism and the sacramental use of psychedelics is an art, not a science.