The first cage is the mind.
Psychedelics break the shackles. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong. When you let go of every opinion, belief or conviction that you are consciously or unconsciously holding onto, you have the opportunity to finally be free.
From a blank slate, you have the possibility of consciously deciding which beliefs or frames you wish to adopt. You have agency in the perspectives you want to hold. Do you want to see reality from those that will support you, that are conducive to the life you want to lead?
Everything comes down to perspective. How we perceive reality comes down to the perspectives we take. Two different people in what looks like the same experience from the outside can be going through two totally different lived experiences. “Truth is subjectivity” as Kierkegaard once said, and there is no denying that our internal experience plays a central role in our experience of life and reality.
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
― Victor Frankl
As humans our ability to create meaning, to find it in our experiences, is what makes us unique. It’s what makes us who we truly are. Victor Frankl is someone who underwent an incredible atrocity, but yet still was able to find meaning, freedom, and purpose in his existence.
Psychedelics ability to enable us to see things from a new angle and offer a new perspective is ultimately their greatest power. It gives us a real chance to see difficulties or hardships from the past in a new light and find meaning and purpose in them. It also allows us to see new connections, sparking our creativity.
“Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”
It’s almost a bad joke that we are not free to use these plants and substances which can help us find inner freedom. That we do not enjoy cognitive liberty. That people are locked in cages for their use or involvement with them. The fact that people have had their physical freedom taken from them is a gross injustice. I believe this to be a key civil rights issue of our time and with psychedelics’ ability to help us to see past division, to see our unity and interconnectedness, they can inform and accelerate other civil rights movements present in the world today. Understanding our connection with the planet, they can help our ecological awareness and movement too.
Freedom is something I believe we all ultimately strive for. With their power to break boundaries and burn down limiting beliefs, psychedelics allow us to believe in the impossible. They allow us to dream. And for that reason psychedelics are the greatest tool that we have for freedom. And I believe we should legalize, and liberate, psychedelics.
This post is day 16 of PSYJuly 2021.