The Illegal Search for Self Awareness

There is a wealth of information built into us ... tucked away in the genetic material in every one of our cells ... without some means of access, there is no way even to begin to guess at the extent and quality of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this interior world, and insights into its nature.

Our generation is the first ever to have made the search for self-awareness a crime, if it is done with the use of plants or chemical compounds as the means of opening the psychic doors. But the urge to become aware is always present, and it increases in intensity as one grows older.

This is the search that has been a part of human life from the very first moments of consciousness. The knowledge of his own mortality, knowledge which places him apart from his fellow animals, is what gives Man the right, the license, to explore the nature of his own soul and spirit, to discover what he can about the components of the human psyche.

How is it then, that the leaders of our society have seen fit to try to eliminate this one very important means of learning and self-discovery, this means which has been used, respected, and honored for thousands of years, in every human culture of which we have a record? Why has peyote, for instance, which has served for centuries as a means by which a person may open his soul to an experience of God, been classified by our government as a Schedule I material, along with cocaine, heroin, and PCP? ... Part of the answer may lie in an increasing trend in our culture towards both paternalism (authorities supply need and thus are able to dictate conduct) and provincialism (a narrowness of outlook, a single code of ethics)...

The government and the Church decided that psychedelic drugs were dangerous to society and with the help of the press, it was made clear that this was the way to social chaos and spiritual disaster.

What was unstated, of course, was the oldest rule of all: Thou shalt not oppose nor embarrass those in power without being punished.

—Alexander Shulgin in PiHKAL.

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