The “noetic handshake”: psychedelics as epistemic tools
Reconciling lived experience with objective “truth” remains a bane of scientific research. The field of psychology straddles this line almost by definition. Jung and other pioneers aside, however, the social sciences have yet to yield any meaningful breakthroughs.
Is it ever going to be possible to pull aside the veil dividing the world “out there” with the world “in here”?
The Institute for Noetic Sciences (iONS) would like to think so, referring to the convergence of the subjective and the objective the “noetic handshake.”
Psychedelics may provide one of the best tools, possibly even serving as research instruments, in the quest to understand consciousness and the nature of reality.
In an iONS webinar that aired May 20, 2022, Christopher Bache discusses the role psychedelics may play in helping us understand the human experience and also the nature and structure of reality.
For 20 years, Bache worked with the protocols developed by Stanislav Grof to deploy LSD as an epistemic tool. This method is a far cry from using psychedelics for personal trauma healing; this is more along the lines of using psychedelics as Magellan used boats. This is true psychonautical exploration--the reason why many (if not most) people try psychedelics in the first place.
The psychedelic renaissance remains–if not stuck then stalled–at the level of clinical psychology.
However, as we see drug policy reform roll out worldwide, researchers may one day have the freedom to design studies that leverage psychedelics as epistemic tools for gathering data.
This unconventional approach to epistemology and ontology is slowly emerging in academia.
An upcoming event seems particularly exciting, in which Chris Lethby touches on the problems and promise of psychedelics as “a way to acquire metaphysical knowledge of non-physical levels of reality, or paranormal knowledge of various forms.”