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Review for Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), San Jose, CA, USA

Rating: 3 stars  

Having experienced mescaline as a young and reckless adolescent just for some colourful kicks, I soon discovered that there was an intrinsic meaning present and an elder fortunately showed me the respect and reverence that these pants deserved. From here I was shown their true potential to reveal our true place as humans in the cosmic web of life, our significance and our misplaced self-importance. These latter events left me with profoundly life-altering and personally trans-formative experiences that I will never forget and guided my life in directions that seemed to be fortuitous becoming an integral part of who I am now some 25 years later. That organizations like MAPS exist vindicates the validity of these experiences for me as not just 'crazy trips' but as the spiritual and deeply insightful phenomenon that they are. It is clear that the (historically recent) current drug enforcement and prohibition paradigm has continually been shown as ineffective, counter-productive and destructive and a war which unfortunately Psychedelic/entheogenic substances have been caught in. Plant substances hold enormous value for the human condition and their millennial old presence in ritual/ceremonial religious contexts across the globe vindicates the validity of studying and examining the effects on these substances with academic rigour. As my own experiences so profoundly changed my inner being, when I came to academics late in life, I found within my Cultural Studies major that the vicissitudes of everyday life, our inculcation and socialization into negative patterns of consumption and behaviour are so entirely capable of being reconfigured by psychedelics. Not only for the momentary stripping away of the ego and the profound connection and visualization of all living networks from the micro to the macro cosmic level, but for the deep realization that we are all connected and more similar than different. I am hoping to go on and examine an apparent revival in legitimate psychedelic-entheoegenic cultures and how they affect peoples articulations of spirituality in the spirit of James William's 'Varieties of Religious Experience'....for this I am endlessly grateful to MAPS for providing scientific literary resources and ongoing academic investigation through a range of disciplines. This may well be one of the most important techniques and fields of study in the 21st century if we are to progress from the ego-based destructive drive that is turning humanity against it self and its environment and move toward a new era of cooperation, awareness and sustainability through legitimate scientific discourse

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see an incorporation of more Arts, Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies research into MAPS repertoire to examine hoe psychedelics/entheogens are being discovered, used, perceived and expressed in contemporary society.

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Role:  Volunteer