Why psychedelic history matters
“What’s different about the psychedelic renaissance of the 21st century, of course, is that it’s here and actually happening, with once marginalised ideas entering the mainstream in legitimate ways…what might actually be significant about the psychedelic renaissance of the 21st century is that it’s the first psychedelic renaissance from which the past can be viewed from a useful vantage point. “
Besides the wide variety of substances and practices, what complicates psychedelic history and makes a single definitive narrative impossible is both its criminality and the personal natures of its use, factors inseparable in most of western society. Psychedelic history is secret, for the most part, and when it’s not, it demands at least some amount of nuance…It is this secret history that is most in danger of disappearing, but also the most ready for chronicling… These complications in turn play large roles in shaping the way psychedelics move into the modern world and the way scientific research itself is being conducted… It has become obvious that all of the new developments pertaining to psychedelics are the product of a shared and coherent history that will continue to shape public policy, public perception, and the unregulated practices of users. Even if psychedelics do become a regulated part of therapeutic practices, the vast majority of users will almost always lie outside that realm.