I came across this discussion on the current shift in our understanding of what it is a lot of psychedelics actually do, as mind-limiters which make possible a more intimate encounter with the world as it is:
“There are likely to be analogous effects on other sensory inputs; sound, bodily sensations such as temperature, kinaesthetic awareness, proprioception, taste and smell. So psychedelics, named after the apparent mind-manifesting effects, may actually reveal instead a lack of ‘mind’ as we currently understand this terminology. The reducing valve theory of Huxley has already gained acceptance with regard to integration of brain centres. This visual phenomenon of visible colour waves could provide an easily accessible concrete example of its application. Psychedelics may well reveal the building blocks of our raw state of perception. This could explain that sense of familiarity many people have commented on, the coming home. For really, we ALWAYS see the world this way with our sensory apparatus, the non-psychedelic reality being constructed post-here&now by constant activity within our filtering brain.”
This sits well with the account of gnosis I’ve been pushing for here—a gnosis rooted in becoming as-if dead, as-if a mute thing in the world, in order to bring a portion of that worldliness back with us as we rearticulate ourselves back into our living skin. It is about becoming more embedded in the world, unless we get caught up in a reactive ego-inflation that has us blowing up scale of that process.
The as-if dead movement is what allows us to pick up more clearly on there being an other kind of life and awareness going on outside our head, one that isn’t human, one that doesn’t well map onto the anthropomorphic fantasies we often use to animate our understanding of ourselves, other people, and the world of spirits. That other-awareness is then what we work to give voice to in human terms by finding ways to link that alien voice with a humanized understanding.