Psychedelics can be incredibly useful when used wisely. It is true that some purists see them as a shortcut as it takes almost no work to attain a mental state that some people work for years trying to reach. The way I see it is that if it can be found in nature, then humans were intended to find it. This is why I prefer psilocybin mushrooms, but there is also ayahuasca, DMT, LSD among others that can be helpful, but again—use wisely.
The effect of psychedelics, when studied, show a decrease of alpha brain waves in the area of the brain that processes individuality and selfhood including within the brain’s default mode network (DMN). As the sense of self dissolves under the effects of these drugs, the ego goes with it. In spirituality, the ego is blamed for man’s separation from the whole. We see ourselves as individual entities when in actuality, the notion of separateness blinds us from our true reality of sameness. Human beings developed the ego in order to promote our own survival, but at the same time, the ego is largely responsible for all the greed, corruption, and destruction that is so present in our species.
So, with the help from psychedelics, one can shut down this function of the brain and experience a state of oneness and connection. Many people walk away from psychedelic experiences feeling more in touch with themselves, others, and the natural world. If this is the general consensus, then I think it almost imperative that this practice become more widespread. Just one “trip” can leave a person with a better outlook which might positively contribute to the way they participate in the world. Afterall, this is the sort of action that we need from humanity.
This is all said with a grain of salt, however. This experience should be revered and only done when the intention is pure and the practitioner is ready. Set and setting is crucial. In the beginning, be in a good headspace in a place where you feel comfortable. Start in small doses or better yet, find a guide to lead you through a journey.
It’s also common that after having a “spiritual” experience under the influence of these drugs, that a person might consider themselves quite spiritual, having seen God or experienced the universe. Be wary of this trap. A true spiritualist puts in the hard work day in and day out. They might use psychedelics as a tool, but not a crutch to uplift their own sense of what it is to be spiritual. A lot of these people exist out there, so our work is to learn how to recognize the legitimate practitioners from the burning man acidheads.