#67 Survival and thrival

Today’s rabbit hole concerns whether psychedelic realms and its contents are benevolent, malevolent, or indifferent to the humans observing them.

This idea stems from a conversation I had with my friend Grant about the nature of the universe. Although the universe provides the conditions for humans to have evolved and thrive on this planet we call earth, I believe the universe doesn’t care whether we live or die. Did the universe care when a hurtling asteroid killed the dinosaurs? Doubt it. From a universal standpoint, the universe is neither good nor bad, it just is. It’s not a question of caring or not caring whether humans or likely other conscious beings scattered across the billions of galaxies in the universe’s domain survive or go extinct; it doesn’t matter. We care because we’re here and we want to continue being here, so the only thing we have going for us is our own intervention in matters that might do us harm. The harm that our local environment or cosmic neighborhood inflicts upon us can be diverted from our deep desire to continue to exist. Even though our home planet, our galaxy, and our universe likely don’t care that we are here matters not if we care enough to continue being here.

How do we continue being here? Humans create technologies that shelter, feed, and clothe them. We take an active role to ensure the continued survival and thrival (note: thrival is not a word, but it should be) of us and our progeny. In a universe that doesn’t care, we care enough to make stuff that keeps us alive because once alive most of us prefer to stay alive; once alive, most don’t want to die (e.g. think of transhumanists) or die prematurely at the very least.

Similarly, are psychedelic visions benevolent, malevolent, or indifferent to our observing presence during a trip? My guess is that they don’t care either. Otherworldly entities might be curious about us, they might come up close and observe us observing them, but I don’t think they care; that’s the feeling I get most times. They are somewhere else, in some other realm that certain chemical keys afford an experience of them. I don’t think they care because it feels like they have a more bird’s-eye perspective of our condition, existentially but also during the intoxicated state. They seem to know something we don’t, they have access to possibly infinite degrees of realms where they can pass freely, moving through and between dimensions, with a greater knowledge base, either acquired or given upon their physical death, who knows. All I know is that these beings and higher intelligences are not bound by our physical constraints. When they view me viewing them, they might glance over at me as a curiosity to take in for a moment, but for the most part they go about their business as usual.

The overall feeling I get from psychedelic realms and beings is indifference. Sometimes, however, they care. Sometimes, depending on my intentions and thoughts I have during the experience, they’re actively engaged in my, let’s say, personal development. They advise, counsel, and even get angry with me. I even provoke the more aggressive characters since I know they can’t do anything to me. And I’ll change the scenery when things get heated, go to another part of the house or think about something else and then they’re gone. At other times, some beings are very pleasant, smiling and cracking jokes with me. They have personalities just like us.

Back to creating stuff that keeps us alive: are there concepts or technologies we can create for or in the hyperdimensions to keep us “alive” in addition to helping us thrive in these potentially indifferent realms? Are there psychedelic techniques and technologies that can make the experience more maneuverable, manageable, understandable compared to not having anything at all? Further, if technologies make our physical life easier, more productive, and allow us to exceed our human capabilities, are there things we can pair with psychedelic experiences that would allow the same exceedingness but for nonphysical visionary states of consciousness with opened or closed eyes?

Again, I have personally experienced much indifference from psychedelic contents (but not exclusively). I wonder whether there is anything we can do during these profound experiences to increase our ability in some way in these realms and with their inhabitants. Also, I wonder whether using said accompaniments would turn these beings’ indifference into increased engagement. They might think: what is this human up to, why or how is he doing what he does? We could get closer to something, perhaps even getting a better understanding of these realms by pairing them with tech that we designed with a specific purpose. That might get their attention in a storming-the-gates kind of way.

Furthermore, technology can be both value-neutral and value-laden, depending how you consider it. Irrespective of this, technology can do something, and what I’m most interested in is what technologies designed for psychedelics will allow us to do in altered states of consciousness. At the end of the day, I presume all humans want to survive and thrive however they define these terms, and I believe we can do both even after ingesting a psychedelic.

Scroll to Top