Psychedelics vs. Technology
Throughout most of human history, taking psychedelics was a ceremonial practice that everyone would take part in as they passed from childhood to adulthood. These plants (ayahuasca, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms) are like nature’s preventative medicines. They teach you lessons about yourself and your connection to nature. The transformative experiences gained from taking psychedelics would shift the person’s consciousness forever-ideally for the better.
According to Terrence McKenna’s “Stoned Ape Theory,” psilocybin mushrooms may have actually created consciousness. The mushrooms permanently altered the brains of the apes who took them, creating conscious apes, aka Homo sapiens. Their expanded minds were passed on across generations, so that descendants who didn’t consume the mushrooms themselves still retained the consciousness of their ancestors. (Or at least that’s the theory.)
However, cultures who stopped taking psychedelics remained on a lower level of consciousness, disconnected from nature. They forgot the connection to the environment that their ancestors maintained through psychedelics. So people from these cultures destroyed nature and built technology.
Tribal societies remained “primitive” because they continued taking psychedelics. The plants prevented them from building a technological civilization.
So are psychedelic plants good or bad? Are we meant to take them and stay “primitive”? Or are we supposed to ditch them and build a technological civilization? That is the ultimate question: Is civilization good or bad?
It may seem bad since civilization develops so many problems, both to the environment and to humans themselves. Human brains have not evolved to live in a technological civilization, which is why so many people today have psychological disorders. Our brains are literally wired to live in tribes as hunter-gatherers, not to live alone in some secluded suburban house with a picket fence.
However, just because our brains evolved to live in primitive tribes, that doesn’t mean we have to live that way forever. The answer may be to press on with civilization, and over time, we will evolve to adapt to living in this new environment created by technology. Artificial intelligence (created by civilization and technology) might be the bridge to take human evolution to the next level-much quicker than natural biological evolution would have. Still, it may be beneficial to continue using psychedelics along the way to retain our connection to nature.
Originally published at https://steemit.com on June 19, 2018.