Another way of saying “ego” is that I strongly distinguish between “you” and “me,” you know? That’s what ego tells you: who you are, and how important you are, and how you’re not her or him or that or that, you’re this. Psilocybin tends to dissolve that language-reinforced misperception.
It shows you that behind your eyebrows is a world richer by far than any of the crap that’s being peddled on Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue in New York City or anywhere else. In other words, it shows you the pathetic nature of materialism by reintroducing you to the reality of the spirit—not as a religious abstraction that’s used to beat you over the head to follow somebody’s moral recipe, but as a felt experience of the indwelling of an extreme power. A power that connects you to all the life of the past on this planet, to the planetary future, to the universe at large. So, really, it’s a rediscovery of our birthright as human beings.
The answer is to go within using the classical tools of self-redefinition, transformation, and ego-diminishment. We can reinoculate ourselves against the ills of civilization by simply availing ourselves to the shamanic tools that were available before the fall into history. And, you know, the fact that this poses some problem for the currently constituted constabulary is of no concern to anybody who’s thinking on a scale of millennia. That’s just a kink in the social machinery brought on by stupidity and anxiety. It isn’t sufficient reason to turn away from a reasonable program that would carry us toward a group psychology, that would then allow us to turn toward the real threats that face us as a species and a planet, and do something about it.
A woman on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or in Malibu or in Scottsdale—in other words, one of these quite upper-class, college educated, wealthy communities—a woman in that situation, if she has a child, that child will be between 800 and 1,000 times more destructive of the resources of the Earth than a child born to a woman in Bangladesh or Pakistan or Zaire. We tend to think of the population problem as a population problem—it’s a resource abuse problem, and the main resource abusers are the citizens of the high-tech societies. So if you have a house full of kids and you’re buying them all 140-dollar pairs of running shoes, you go on the list of major social criminals.
And how many steps backward in the process of trying to define and honor the human spirit have occurred because of drugs like sugar, opium, tea, coffee? Look at the caffeine drugs: they’re the only drugs on Earth that modern industrialists recognize to the point that they write them into contracts with workers—the coffee break. This isn’t because they love workers, it’s because it makes workers work!