Entry: Psychedelics and Societal Collapse

Minty Horseradish
Oct 1, 2020 · 4 min read

Nothing is the same as it was before. And every day is a new adventure of possibilities and uncertainty. Every moment is divine, sacred, mysterious and both incredibly beautiful and incredibly painful. We no longer know how long we have, but we’ve never known. Everything is impermanent, and everything is immortal.

These are the thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis now.

As I reconnected to my childhood love for activism and the “environment” this past year I stumbled across Deep Adaptation and spent the winter leaning into the grief, despair and the pain of inquiring into what accepting societal collapse might feel like. I entered into a sombre dark night of the soul.

In a knee-jerk reaction to my existential crisis, I threw myself into the changes and actions I needed to make in my life to address the screaming dissonance that reverberated through my soul. And yet, it still didn’t feel enough… like a tidal wave about to crash I was watching the world in slow motion.

This summer I was inspired to go even deeper in my inquiries, beyond thought, beyond self, pushing my boundaries to the edge of how I could face my own mortality. My curiosity and play with psychedelics helped to guide me through these barriers, revealing to me the divinity and magic of the world we live in. It peeled away the veil between reality and the ineffable unknown: from the enormity of our universe and the breath of our galaxy to the microscopic scope of each living being, everything continuing and connected into this flow of life and consciousness whose sole purpose — so far appears to me — is to create, create and create.

My dark night was rudely awoken and shattered, here I was fighting to stay afloat in the lake of the apocalypse when really, what is there to fight for? We are all going to die one day so what are we holding onto?

So in the face of collapse, I find myself in a different kind of night… one where I am dissolved into an infinite amount of inquires. What do I do now knowing that none of this matters? Should I fight for a new world? Should I help others in a practical manner? Or should I just live in the embodiment of love, joy and creation to allow permission for others to do the same?

Tom Chi tells the story of cyanobacterium who lived on our planet approximately two and a half billion years ago and whose life span lasted only two weeks. Each organism’s sole purpose was to photosynthesis, create oxygen and die. These tiny beings would have never known that it's one small task was part of a great unimaginable whole on a timescale that was incomprehensible to it. But ultimately each tiny life contributed to the evolution of a million different beings on this planet and in doing so it made a mark on our collective canvas.

“We’re here to liberate all beings”, so confidently states my friend, Will, when I ask him what his purpose is, and maybe he’s on the right path, maybe the only way through our impending doom is finding freedom in spiritual liberation.

Liberation, a concept that felt so foreign to me not that long ago, a concept that was spoken about in meditation retreats and read about in books, but now maybe liberation can be found in the face of collapse. In the face of owning and seeing our own fragile mortal self in a world full of broken stories. In the face of this, what if we had no fear of death, what if we had no fear of suffering? True freedom from our very fears is surely reaching nirvana itself.

Psychedelics have been a portal for me through which objective reality could be viewed, truths are revealed again and again. The state of the world, the mindless destruction we engage in with ourselves and those around us. But psychedelics can also offer the gifts of awe, presence and gratitude which I can only describe as being in macroscopic orgasmic bliss. And thus, I feel that it is through these medicines that nature provides a solution for us, to hold our hand as we a walk through the shadows, to be liberated in understanding that there are no problems to solve if we could just be and exist in our very being of creation. In the knowing that all is perfectly imperfect.

And so I sit between this space of movement and of reflection, what is the story I want to create out of this one precious life.

What if the most radical thing we could do in the face of societal collapse is to trip? What if the most radical thing we could do in the face of extinction is to pause and honour our own divinity?

Nothing matters and everything matters.