Psychedelic Press Volume XII
Psychedelia in the Movies Part I - Roger Keen
Antichrist Psychonaut - Peter Sjostedt-H
Green Star Soup - Nathan Horowitz
Psychedelic 'Antibiotic' Therapy - Joseph Langley
Archaic Revivals and Shamanism - Roger K. Green
Psychedelic Society Revisited - Ido Hartogsohn
Cover illustration by Reuben Quatermass
* Please note this is journal '2015 Volume IV' in our old numbering system.
Editor: Robert Dickins
Editor-at-large: Andy Roberts
The question of a psychedelic society is permeating wildly – how could it not? The sense of psychedelic nostos is palpable these days, and in a broad sense this is what the latest Psychedelic Press print journal is all about (http://bit.ly/1Nlw0HY):
As Ido Hartogsohn states in his article, 'Psychedelic Society Revisited': ‘Such a society will, moreover, not just abstain from confining itself to one version of reality. Rather it would put the great mystery of being, the paradoxical, unfathomable nature of reality, at its very centre.’ This was what Breaking Convention was all about in July – where one discipline’s answer always posed wider cultural questions; and where one study’s hypothesis is an historian’s trip-narrative trajectory.
The psychedelic intensity of such conferences come from two places: the mystery of the psychedelic experience, and the global society from where participants emerge. Society is constantly becoming psychedelic, able to conglomerate zones such as BC, with increasing verve and gusto, which only goes to feed Society stronger doses and in more thoroughly understood environments.
Thin, barely perceptible, tracks across the wilderness soon become byways when enough people walk them - much to the chagrin of the landowner - and other humans quickly begin to follow… tracking paths they may not even realise were a psychedelically-mediated origination.
Peter Sjöstedt-H’s article 'Antichrist Psychonaut' looks at the fierce nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his penchant for soporifics and trippy experience. One of the most interesting revelations in Peter’s exposition is that the intersection of philosophy and madness in the philosopher’s thought has obscured the intentionality of his medicinal voyages into the extremities of mind as a source for his thought. Many philosophers have followed this path since; not many of them realised just how Nietzsche voyaged.
Elsewhere in the journal, Roger Keen’s 'Psychedelia in the Movies: Part 1' examines the evolving manner in which the psychedelic experience has been portrayed on film. On the one hand, film-makers grapple with technique in order to reproduce, in another they signal the place of psychedelics in, firstly culture, but also society to their viewers. And from the meditations of art to the practicalities of being, Nathan Horowitz in 'Green Star Soup' describes a session with the mescaline-containing cactus San Pedro.
First hand, second hand, third hand, fourth: our evidence lies in our everyday thoughts. The luminescent creation of Dr. Joseph Langley contains the contradictions of a society left questioning if it is psychedelic or not. In 'Psychedelic ‘Antibiotic’ Therapy for Mental-Micro-Organisms', Ben Sessa’s wonderful literary creation embodies the excruciating contradictions of living in a psychedelic society, although being constantly told – in his case professionally – that such a place does not exist.
Filters created through States, laws, and ideologies require that assumptions be examined at every turn, lest they obscure the reality on the ground. Roger Green’s 'Archaic Revivals and Shamanism in the Liberal Global Imaginary' does just this. As he very succinctly notes,
"I would argue […] that the convention in the United States since the late 1960s has been to affirm liberal flourishing in spite of government control. The affect has been to establish a citizenship whose moral authority transcends that of the nation state, which is why the rite of illegal drug use becomes for many a rite of passage"
So, let us not be fooled by the illusion that this is not a psychedelic society in which we live. Not only do the laws of the land presume us to already be one, otherwise such legislation would be fantastical assumption making, but they also therefore represent the counter-culture. The laws are running counter to our culture – people will widely recognise this when their scented pillows are outlawed by the Psychoactive Bill for exciting or depressing their nervous system.
Let’s not hope for a psychedelic society, let’s just continue to embody it and the tide of reason will eventually wash away the laws drawn erroneously in sand on the beaches.