Philosophy, Metaphysics, Ontology
A philosopher who does his job well invariably upsets the hive and has to deal with the
forces set up to preserve the old order and prevent change.
A philosophy restricted to conventional language has no way of conceiving of an
intelligence that doesn’t work according to plan.
Aggressive feelings and impulses are usually strikingly reduced and interpersonal and
philosophical tolerance increases considerably.
An important aspect of the discussions in the preparatory period is exploration of the
subject’s philosophical orientation and religious beliefs.
Anyone with philosophic ambitions and a thoughtful desire to increase intelligence could
learn how to use drugs effectively.
Creeds, dogmas and philosophical systems are only ideas about the truth, in the same way
that words are not facts but only about facts.
Death and rebirth experiences are very complex and have biological, emotional and
intellectual, as well as philosophical and spiritual facets.
Divine madness is described by the Greek philosopher Plato as a gift from the gods: “The
greatest blessings come by way of madness, indeed of madness that is heaven-sent.”
Drugs could free man’s consciousness and bring about a new conception of man, his
psychology and philosophy.
Drugs have light to throw on the history, phenomenology and philosophy of religion and
the practice of the religious life itself.
Eastern philosophy and psychology is more easily adapted to the findings of modern
science than the logic of Western psychology.
Eastern philosophical theories of 4000 years ago adapt to recent scientific discoveries of
nuclear physics, biochemistry, genetics and astronomy.
Experiential identification with inorganic matter is often accompanied by fascinating
insights of a philosophical, mythological, religious and mystical nature.
For thousands of years, the greatest artists, poets, philosophers and lovers have used
He may reach philosophic conclusions of rare profundity and of “absolute truth,” perhaps
in areas completely foreign or little known to him previously.
In addition to being instruments of philosophic revelation, mystical unity and
evolutionary insight, psychedelic drugs are very powerful aphrodisiacs.
It is noteworthy that most of the world’s highest religious and philosophical thought
originated in altered states of consciousness in individuals.
Magnificent revelations, both spiritual and philosophical can occur marking the highest
union of experience and intellect.
Members of the new breed seek a culture founded in higher consciousness, a culture
whose institutions are based on love, a culture that fulfills the perennial philosophy.
Metaphysical doctrines are propositions which cannot be operationally verified on the
level of ordinary experience.
metaphysical knowledge—It is impossible for one who experiences it to entertain the
slightest doubt of its truth.
Paradise refers to a state of metaphysical ecstasy, a sanctuary of eternal youth, gardens of
incredible beauty, roads paved with gold. (eyes closed)
Perennial philosophy sees human as essentially commensurate with the entire universe
and ultimately divine.
Psychedelic drugs allow us to study—directly, experientially, empirically-the problems
which have perplexed philosophers for millennia.
Religious training or metaphysical inquiry seems to provide the ideal context for these
Science and philosophy have been betrayed because of our irrational rejection of
psychedelic evidence. It is a professional duty to help redress this error.
Subjects are apt to engage in philosophical and metaphysical conversations that would
normally be foreign to them.
The aim is to bring about the experience of liberation, not to construct a philosophical
The changes of consciousness have ontological relevance through offering valid insights
into the nature of human existence and the universe.
The discovery of LSD is as important to philosophy and religion as the discovery of the
microscope was to biology.
The essence of metaphysical realization is the discovery that the conscious self, the
ultimate knower in man, is substantially identical with the infinite.
The experiences they produce are of an infinite variety. They might be aesthetic,
psychological, philosophical insights or emotional releases.
The hippies raising questions about alternative realities was ontological promiscuity and
probably more threatening than their erotic looseness.
The keynote of the experience is the tremendous exciting sense of an intense
The literature of creativity clearly indicates that true artistic, scientific, philosophical and
religious inspiration is mediated by nonordinary states of consciousness.
The psychedelic experience can become a source of revelatory, aesthetic, scientific,
philosophical or spiritual insight.
The psychedelic experience is incomprehensible to one committed to a conformist
The realm of insights or problem solutions is in any area which is meaningful to that
individual be it social or personal, intellectual, religious, philosophical, things like that.
The rejection of any source of evidence is always treason to that ultimate rationalism
which urges forward science and philosophy alike.
The terms in which a man interprets this experience are naturally drawn from the
religious and philosophical ideas of his culture.
The vivid experiences of the mystics may be our only means of testing the truth of
religious and metaphysical hypotheses.
There appears to emerge a universal central perception, apparently independent of the
subject’s previous philosophical or theological inclinations.
These experiences occur in a complex psychological, philosophical, mythological and
These plants and drugs as expanders of human consciousness could revolutionize
psychology and philosophy.
Transcendence is no longer a metaphysical concept. It has become reality. (It has always
been a reality.)
We discovered the long-sought after philosopher’s stone, the key to increased
What historians describe as history is simply those aspects of the past which, according to
their own philosophy of life, they regard as particularly important and significant.
With its internal, invisible, indescribable phenomena, the psychedelic experience is
incomprehensible to a rational, achievement-oriented, conformist philosophy.
A deeper understanding of the transformative process, based on the synthesis of
historical, anthropological and experimental data, could have important implications for
many different areas, including psychiatry, art, philosophy, religion and education.
A truly unselfconscious person has a kind of unaggressive but nonetheless unshakable
assurance, which at a deep level is religious faith or at its deepest level a kind of
After such experiences, contemplation may take on new meaning for the Western man
who finds little time to ponder the meaning of his own existence and the philosophical
presuppositions upon which his religious, political, scientific, and ethical convictions rest.
Art and religion, philosophy and science, morals and politics—these are the instruments
by means of which men have tried to discover a coherence in the flux of events, to
impose an order on the chaos of experience.
Individuals found a new ability to understand universal religious symbols, the metaphors
of holy scriptures and other sacred texts and the language of certain complicated
It opens access to most extraordinary realms of experience, offers remarkable
philosophical and spiritual revelations and mediates fascination insights into the cosmic
processes by which reality itself is created.
It was clear that the range of lifestyles and outlook that my society had shown me ran the
gamut from A to B; so like many others of my generation, I began exploring non-Western
philosophies and concepts.
LSD can catalyze and precipitate a sudden dramatic transformation. On occasion, one
LSD experience has drastically changed an individual’s world-view, life philosophy and
entire way of being.
Mysticism has revolutionized, again and again, the philosophies of mankind. (In today’s
“modern” world, there is surely a need for it to happen again because we are spiritually
Oftentimes, those who underwent psychedelic therapy reported dramatic personality
changes involving not only the relief of neurotic symptoms but a wholesale revamping of
value systems, religious and philosophical beliefs, and basic lifestyle.
Perennial philosophy offers a rich spectrum of spiritual techniques through which it is
possible to recognize and experience one’s own divinity and achieve liberation from
Psychedelic research will be of great value in such diverse areas as philosophy,
parapsychology and the creative arts and in the study of literature, mythology,
anthropology, comparative religion and still other fields.
Psychologists, philosophers, and educators who are unfamiliar with consciousness
research will be as out of date as they would be today if they were unfamiliar with Freud,
Religions whose philosophy has been least preoccupied with events in time and most
concerned with eternity, have been consistently the least violent and the most humane in
Since psychedelic drugs expose us to different levels of perception and experience, use of
them is ultimately a philosophic enterprise, compelling us to confront the nature of
That Plato had some kind of profound ecstatic experience is indicated by the famous
Parable of the Cave, found in the Seventh Book of the Republic. Ingesters of LSD have
had no trouble in recognizing and understanding the metaphysical dimensions.
The brain replaced the genitals as the forbidden organ that must not be touched or turned
on by the owner. The only way in which consciousness-change experiences could be
discussed was in terms of philosophic-religious.
The educational topics, philosophical issues, intellectual questions, and personal insights
which evolved from my LSD experiences and subsequent investigations are a continuing
source of growth.
The fact that many people take LSD in an attempt to find a solution to their emotional
dilemmas or from a deep need for philosophical and spiritual answers should not be
The longer religion attempts to hold an absolute position and to be a substitute for
metaphysical knowledge, the more untenable, embarrassing and discredited that position
The metaphysical hunger that provides one reason for the interest in these drugs is a
permanent human condition, not an aberration that is created by the drugs nor one that
can be eliminated by suppressing them.
The process of serial LSD sessions transcends the framework of traditional depth-
psychological analysis and offers unique possibilities for a serious philosophical and
The spiritual leadership of a stable and unified society must have access to metaphysical
knowledge, i.e., to an effective realization and immediate experience of the ultimate
The universe is not a collection of bits and pieces, divided in time and space, but is in
reality the metaphysical “One,” wherein everything is tied up with everything else in a
pattern which is absolute for the entire universe.
This new psychedelic style has produced not only a new rhythm in modern music, but a
new decor for our discotheques, a new form of film making, a new kinetic visual art, a
new literature and has begun to revise our philosophic and psychological thinking.
Unlike Freud, Jung was aware that his findings were incompatible with the existing
philosophy of science and required an entirely new paradigm. (Jung was a friend of
We are going to see many of the hypotheses of our Christian mystics and many of the
cosmological and ontological theories of Eastern philosophers spelled objectively in
We are in need of a kind of philosophy or vision, an intellectual grasp of its nature and
recognition of its value, so that the psychedelic experience may be incorporated into our
lives as wisdom.
ancient and Oriental religions and philosophy—It has become increasingly clear that
these systems of belief reflect profound understanding of the human mind and of unusual
states of consciousness, embodying knowledge that deals with the most universal aspect
of human existence, and thus is highly relevant for all of us.
Even positivistically oriented scientists, hard-core materialists, skeptics and cynics,
uncompromising atheists and antireligious crusaders such as Marxist philosophers and
politicians, suddenly become interested in the spiritual quest after they confront these
levels in themselves.
In view of the enormous variety and scope of these phenomena, most of which lie far
beyond the conceptual framework of traditional psychology and the philosophy of
Western science, it is not surprising that Western scientists and educated laypersons alike
tend to take these claims with a grain of salt.
Introducing transpersonal experiences into psychology creates a conceptual bridge
between Western science and perennial philosophy. It also throws new light on many
problems in history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, and
It is highly desirable that each guide possess a broad background especially including
knowledge of history, literature, philosophy, mythology, art and religion. Materials from
all of these fields and from others, emerge in many of the sessions and the guide must
recognize the materials if he is to be of maximum effectiveness.
It is inept and boorish to claim that a certain philosophical or theological position is “the
Truth” and still more so to attempt to prove it. (You can experience “the Truth” but not
describe it. It can’t be put into a “certain philosophical or theological position” based on
Many transpersonal experiences have a strong influence on the individual’s values,
attitudes and interests. Thus, experiences of the collective and racial unconscious can
generate a sensitivity to the needs and problems of another culture and create a deep
appreciation for its religion, art and life philosophy.
Organized religion had little offer. Faith in an invisible divinity was not enough. What
LSD promised was the direct, unmediated experience of self-transcendence—the
mystical enlightenment where we KNOW what the philosophers and the prophets talk
Our mental functions are linked to biological processes in our brains. However, this does
not necessarily mean that consciousness originates in or is produced by our brains. This
conclusion made by Western science is a metaphysical assumption rather than a scientific
fact, and it is certainly possible to come up with other interpretations of the same data.
Physicists and mathematicians report that after using LSD they have developed “a
feeling” for such concepts as the photon, the hypercube or imaginary numbers. Similarly,
philosophers have reported they have “understood” the meaning of existentialism, and
theologians report having “experienced” that which they had been preaching for years.
The critical issue here is the ontological status of non-ordinary states of consciousness—
whether we see them as pathological conditions that should be indiscriminately
suppressed or veritable alternatives to our everyday states of consciousness that can
contribute to our understanding of the psyche and have a great therapeutic potential.
The current preoccupation with these latter-day mind modifiers ranges from a hedonistic
sensuality to a search for the highest of philosophical abstractions, from a tool for
deriving scientific data to a sacrament taken to achieve loss of self and union with the
The nature of consciousness is ultimately the only problem worthy of total intellectual
effort. It is the concern of all the world’s philosophies and religions. (Actually, the nature
of consciousness is not a problem. The problem is society’s lack of understanding about
Their color shines forth with a brilliance which seems to us preternatural, because it is in
fact entirely natural, entirely natural in the sense of being entirely unsophisticated by
language or the scientific, philosophical and utilitarian notions, by means of which we
ordinarily re-create the given world in our own dreary human image.
There appears to emerge a universal central perception, apparently independent of the
subjects’ previous philosophical or theological inclinations. It is that behind the apparent
multiplicity in the world of science and common sense, there is a single reality, infinite
and eternal, all beings united in this Being.
We are dealing with an issue that is not new, an issue that has been considered for
centuries by mystics, by philosophers of the religious experience, by those rare and truly
great scientists who have been able to move in and then out beyond the limits of the
Abraham Maslow urged that there was a need to “depathologize” the psyche, that is, to
look upon the “inner core” of our being not as the source of metaphysical darkness or
illness but as the source of health and as the wellspring of human creativity. It was his
belief that Western civilization had obscured the importance of this inner core by
approaching it more as a superstition than as a reality.
Detailed study of psychedelic phenomena would require a long-term systematic team
cooperation of experts from diverse disciplines, such as psychology, psychiatry,
neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, ethno-botany, modern physics, zoology, ethology,
genetics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, anthropology, history of art,
theology, philosophy and comparative study of religion and mythology.
Elements of plant consciousness can be accompanied by philosophical and spiritual
ideation and insights. Several subjects, for example, have pondered over the purity and
unselfishness of plant existence and have seen plant life as a model for ideal human
conduct; unlike animals and man, most plants do not kill and do not live at the expense of
Harvard—Over 400 “subjects” shared high-dosage psychedelic experiences with the
researchers in an atmosphere of aesthetic precision, philosophic inquiry, inner search,
self-confident dignity, intellectual openness, philosophic courage and high humor. The
historical impact of this “swarm” of influential scholars has not yet been recognized by
the still-timid press, popular or scientific. (That was Timothy Leary.)
LSD subjects often consider the possibility that consciousness is a basic cosmic
phenomenon related to the organization of energy and that it exists throughout the
universe; in this context, human consciousness appears to be only one of its many
varieties and outgrowths. Episodes of consciousness of inorganic matter can be
accompanied by various insights of a philosophical and religious relevance.
Modern consciousness research has confirmed the basic thesis of perennial philosophy
that the consensus reality reveals only one aspect or fragment of existence. There are
important realms of reality that are transcendental and transphenomenal. The impulse in
human beings to connect with the spiritual domain is an extremely powerful and
important force. It resembles, in its nature, sexuality.
Myth is obviously a kind of non-logical philosophy; it expresses in the form of a story or,
very often, in the form of some visual image, or even in the form of a dance or a
complicated ritual, some generalized feeling about the nature of the world and of man’s
experience in regard to it. Myth is unpretentious, in the sense that it doesn’t claim to be
strictly true. It is merely expressive of our feelings about experience.
The experience of cosmic consciousness provides important insights for deepening our
understanding of the highest forms of creativity. The literature on creativity is filled with
examples of extraordinary artistic, scientific, philosophical, and religious inspiration that
came from a transpersonal source and that occurred in non-ordinary states of
The individual is flooded by light of supernatural beauty and experiences a state of divine
epiphany. He or she has a deep sense of emotional, intellectual and spiritual liberation
and gains access to breathtaking realms of cosmic inspiration and insight. This type of
experience is clearly responsible for great achievements in the history of humanity in the
area of science, art, religion and philosophy.
We felt that we were involved in a fascinating historical event—the first research project
in which experimentally induced mystical experiences were being woven into the fabric
of daily work and play. We saw ourselves as pioneers developing modern versions of the
traditional techniques for philosophic inquiry and personal growth. (That was Timothy
With the Hebrew-Christian universe, God, the Absolute itself, is good as against bad and
thus to be immoral or in the wrong is to feel oneself an outcast not merely from human
society but also from existence itself, from the root and ground of life. To be in the wrong
therefore arouses a metaphysical anxiety and sense of guilt, a state of eternal damnation.
(This, of course, is absurd brainwashing, a vicious con game.)
The richness of the experiential content is augmented by the fact that the process involves
an endless variety of illustrative material from biology, zoology, anthropology, history,
mythology and religion. Psychedelic sessions focusing on the death-rebirth process not
only have great therapeutic potential, but are a source of invaluable scientific,
sociopolitical, philosophical and spiritual insights. (That material is seen with the eyes
The summer of 1967 was known as the “Summer of Love” and saw a great emergence of
unstructured communal living, new found sexual freedoms, and growing interest in
eastern philosophy and religion. Displays of spontaneity, trust, non-possessiveness and
non-evaluativeness among the new arrivals were attempts to deal with what was
commonly thought to be hypocriticalness, rigid adherence to rules and a lack of
emotional spontaneity between people.
All philosophical problems become clear.
All types of dualistic philosophy are ultimately unsatisfactory.
Deep insights of a personal, social and philosophic nature take place.
Experiential self-exploration is an important tool for a spiritual and philosophical quest.
Feelings with overtones of metaphysical insight arise.
It has an ontological status which seems to me to be universal.
Liberation is from social rather than physical or metaphysical conditions.
LSD is perfectly in tune with the wisdom of Buddha or the great philosophies of the past.
Most radical of all, the very ontological foundations are shaken.
Prior to any metaphysical knowledge, we have no direct consciousness of interior truth.
Psychedelic drugs can deepen the grasp of philosophic systems.
The spiritual search and philosophical quest become important new dimensions of life.
There are very few great philosophers, literary giants and thinkers of genius.
Unitive consciousness is the goal of all religions and philosophers of mind development.
All the fine distinctions between logic, metaphysics, ethics and aesthetics seemed to be
He reported a “continuous stream of penetrating insights and deepened philosophical
He said that he did not “really think it possible to study and understand modern
philosophy without at least having tried a psychedelic.”
I had no idea how liberating—both metaphysically and symbolically their venture would
It began to dawn on me that the origins of some philosophical and religious ideas might
be better understood by a scholar who had ingested and experienced the psychedelics.
Subjects who had previously ridiculed alchemy and the ancient forms of divinization
suddenly discovered their deeper meaning and found genuine appreciation of their
He had the feeling that his experience and analysis of it were valid and cast serious doubt
on many of his previous philosophical certainties. His doubt deepened as he began to
suspect that the experience which at first he had interpreted as a regressive preverbal one
also could be seen, because of its complexity, as a kind of evolutionary preview into
future post-verbal modes of communication.
During the experience, I felt I understood what mystics throughout the ages have claimed
to be the universal truth of existence. I had an academic background in philosophy and
comparative religion, but I realized that mystical teachings had now taken on an added
dimension. My perception seemed to have shifted from a flat, two-dimensional
intellectual understanding of the literature, to a three-dimensional sense of immersion in
the mystical reality.
The perennial philosophy and the esoteric teachings of all time suddenly made sense. I
understood why spiritual seekers were instructed to look within, and the unconscious was
revealed to be not just a useful concept, but an infinite reservoir of creative potential. I
felt I had been afforded a glimpse into the nature of reality and the human potential
within that reality, together with a direct experience of being myself, free of illusory
identifications and constrictions of consciousness.
I found myself giggling about philosophical concepts of reality.
I had awakened from a long ontological sleep.
an age of spiritual vacuity, machines, world wars, political tyrannies, materialistic
philosophy, legalized ethics and debilitating self-consciousness (We can do a lot better.)
an experience or state of consciousness called moksha or liberation—Indian philosophy
is primarily this experience.
an infinite, personal experience of the reality to which most forms of religion and
philosophy come no nearer than an intellectual or emotional description
astonishment at the absolutely incredible immensity, complexity, intensity and
extravagance of being, existence, the cosmos—ontological shock
beauty, fun, philosophic wonder, religious revelation, increased intelligence, mystical
romance, glamour, sexuality
breaks down the solid world of Newtonian objects into a system of subjective
experiences related to different senses
can bring spiritual and philosophical understanding of such high level that everything is
redefined and appears in a new perspective
confront the awesome illumination of the metaphysical void and new energy
Huxley’s view of the scientist as one who bridges the disciplines of religion and
philosophy with science
LSD the power to transform a combative, violent, competitive race into gentle mystics
metaphysical anxiety, the terror of being ultimately wrong and rotten to the core (That’s a
con game. You are ultimately right and pure at the core.)
philosophizing on subjects pertaining to life in a manner which, at times, appears to be
out of keeping with his intellectual level
produces an intellectual ecstasy and understanding that defies description—past
philosophical reading will take on living meaning
profound new understanding associated with fascinating philosophical and spiritual
sees man’s unity with God in an ontological and natural principle in which all beings are
that branch of metaphysics termed ontology or the metaphysics of Being: the study of
life’s essential nature
that self-discovery could be pleasant, that philosophy was fun, that science could be a
pagan love of life, that revelation was joyful, the positive spirit of the 1960’s
the absurd or dangerous nonsense that within every culture, passes for philosophy,
practical wisdom and political argument
the love of metaphysics and mysticism which carry one’s interests beyond the surface of
the sensible world
the metaphysical realization that man’s consciousness is a particular mode of the ultimate
reality and is, in essence, identical with the ground of the whole universe
the potentials—social, creative, psychological, cultural and ontological—which may be
experienced by means of the consciousness-expansion process
the realm of feeling rather than thoughts, the spirit of poetry rather than formal,
the relation of the stranger and more remote areas of the mind with all kinds of cultural,
religious and philosophical aspects of life
the session influencing her emotional condition and deepening her philosophical and
the spiritual dimension, will discover the critical importance of the basic ontological and
to unveil the ineffable Other, the revelation of which might help put his or her soul in
what Aldous Huxley called “perennial philosophy”, an understanding of the universe and
of existence that has emerged again and again in different countries and historical periods
activities of those circuits of the brain that lead to philosophic inquiry, scientific
curiosity, somatic awareness, hedonistic lifestyle, humorous detachment, high-altitude
tolerant perceptions, chaotic erotics, ecological sensitivity, utopian communality
metaphysics—refers to the knowledge of that which is beyond the natural order to the
universal, infinite and eternal, as distinct from and beyond the individual, the finite and
originating in the transpersonal realms of the human psyche: the interest in ontological
and cosmological problems; an abundance of archetypal themes and mythological
sequences; encounters with dieties of different cultures; ancestral, phylogenetic
memories; elements of the racial and the collective unconscious; the experiential world of
extrasensory perception and other paranormal phenomena (These things are seen with the
a genuine metaphysical revelation
a metaphysical revelation
a metaphysical unity underlying differences, underlying the world
a metaphysics of ecstasy
a non-conceptual, experiential philosophy
a mystical philosopher
a scientific and philosophic adventure into the vastness of the universe of the mind
a tremendous metaphysical breakthrough
aesthetic experiences on philosophical issues
aesthetic, philosophic and interpersonal enlightenments
an insight to which I cannot help ascribing some metaphysical significance
Einsteinian physics and Buddhist philosophy
feelings of euphoria and philosophical insight
getting strong metaphysical insights into the world
great metaphysical truth
his or her new life philosophy
important psychological, philosophical and spiritual dimensions
Leary-Doctor of Philosophy, A. Watts-Doctor of Divinity, Huxley-Secretary of nature
LSD the key to the religious or mystical state, could lead to a truer metaphysics of being
metaphysic, “beyond physics,” beyond investigation and experiment
metaphysical insights, intellectual insights
metaphysical knowledge the most immediate kind of experience
metaphysically tinged emotions
metaphysically starving youth reaching out for beatific visions
metaphysics of the DNA, archetypal dynamics
new philosophical and spiritual insights into the nature of reality
perceptual effects, their emotional and metaphysical connotations
philosophic exultation accompanying new cortical discoveries
profound philosophic visions
purely philosophical introspections, visual feasts, sensual raptures
satisfies the subject’s intellectual, philosophical and spiritual craving
spent hours in pure metaphysical joy
the cultural value and philosophic implications of altered states
the flood of ontologic emotion
the great philosophic visions of antiquity
the importance of the spiritual and philosophical quest in human life
the philosophical and spiritual dimensions of the LSD experience
the philosophical understanding of existence
the profound wisdom of the great spiritual philosophies and mystical traditions
the religious-ontological nature of the psychedelic experience
the rich philosophical and spiritual content of these phenomena
the sexual implications of the Taoist philosophy of nature, Taoist sexual practices
the social, philosophical and religious implications in the discoveries made
the timeless, metaphysical realm
this astounding new way of feeding metaphysical appetites
this emergent scientific philosophy of expansion