Psychedelics are substances which after consumption induce non-ordinary states of consciousness. Such states include visual and auditory changes of perception and altered cognitive processes.
Although the rise of interest in psychedelics may seem like a recent development in the Western world, psychedelic plants and fungi have been used in indigenous medicinal traditions for thousands of years. The scientific world has studied the benefits of psychedelics since the 1950’s and has consistently reported positive effects on behavior, cognition, spirituality and consciousness.
The term “psychedelic” was first proposed at the New York Academy of Sciences in 1956 by Humphry Osmond, an English psychiatrist known for his research into practical applications for psychedelics. He explained its meaning as ‘mind manifesting’ or ‘mind revealing’ – a combination of the Greek words Psyche and Dēlōsē (from “mind”, ψυχή (psyche), and “manifest”, δήλος (delos)).
There are indications that psychedelics may have been used in ancient Greece. On the Eleusinian plain near Athens, it’s presumed a week-long ceremony was celebrated, now commonly referred to as the Eleusinian Mysteries. The pinnacle of these ceremonies most likely consisted of a powerful psychedelic experience. Some of the great Greek and Roman philosophers, such as Marcus Aurelius, Cicero and Plato, have written about the importance of their Eleusian experience and its influence on their philosophical inquiries.
As an increasing number of scientific observations confirm the positive effects on our wellbeing, psychedelics have been gaining more and more recognition in the academic world in recent years. As scientific research continues, promising results are being made in neuroscience, mood and mental disorders, addiction and habit formation.
When supported by our program and in a broader context of habitual changes, psychedelics can be applied as a tool for personal growth and transformation.
Read on to learn more about what happens in the mind during a psychedelic experience.