With humankind reaching its critical moment of choice of whether to continue wandering blindly into our own collective demise or whether to take the "path less traveled" of going within, taking stock of the inside of our own minds, reconciling with the emotions, thinking patterns, and behaviors that are contributing to the destructive, self-enslaving, and soul-crushing ways of life that most humans are collectively unwittingly abiding by, finding the true "self" within (the soul that's temporarily having a human experience, that is!), and choosing to live in alignment with natural law so that all beings on this planet can live in a state of harmony, well-being, and freedom!
What on Earth could possibly provide expedited assistance in doing said work on one's soul and mind? What agents are available to help us clear our fundamental worldview of the illusions that entrap us in an incomplete human existence? What kind of medicine is there for sickness of the soul? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about psychedelics—the pharmacological tools given to us by our very own mother Earth.
Ancient cultures from every corner of our planet have been using these unique medicines and have developed sacred rituals around them to encase the use of them into "best practices" for their descendants to continue to gain the benefits of psychedelics for generations on end. It was only in the 20th century that these substances became demonized and outlawed by governments due to psychedelics' inherent ego-dissolving, authority-doubting, societal structure-questioning effects.
A popular example of that is: if humans take psychedelics and remember that we're all one, we wouldn't go fight in our governments' wars... or even perceive governments as having any dominion over us... or perceive that any human has dominion over any other human, or non-human individual, for that matter. It's easy to see how tugging at the thread that holds together the mental prison in which we all reside (or, as some refer to it, "the matrix") quickly unravels the entire stitchwork of mental programming installed in us by the humans who believe they own the world. In other words, the insights gained from psychedelic experience are an existential threat to fiat authority. It is precisely for this reason that psychedelics have been made illegal by nearly every government on our planet.
Thankfully, however, psychedelics have made their way through to the present—even in modern westernized culture—and the "tribal revival" is starting to swell. In the 1960s, a small group of Harvard researchers have dedicated themselves to bringing these medicines back to the people and, for a time before the US government clamped down, were able to conduct experiments to gather a treasure trove of relevant data. Many publications about psychedelics—ranging from dry scientific to allegorical mystic and everything in between—have come out within the last century.
I personally have become very fascinated by the topic of psychedelics over my years of related research, and I feel that it is one of the most important things that humans of our time should learn about, considering the many on the conveyor belt of our prescribed, conditioned lives who have reached their wit's end and are searching for what more there is to this miraculous existence. While some, in their desperation to escape their default reality, have haphazardly experimented with psychedelics without the in-depth knowledge required to gain profound benefit from their use (and in some cases, experienced ill effects), many others have committed themselves to the discipline of studying entheogens and the integration methods for assimilating the clarity experienced during a psychedelic trip back into "real life".
I've amassed quite a few books on psychedelic science, history, anthropology, and literature—including staples to any proper psychedelic library, such as works by Aldous Huxley, Stanislav Grof, Albert Hofmann, Timothy Leary, Terrance McKenna—and there are many more still that are on my "to-read list". While reading and contemplating these works on one's own is a respectable endeavor, I believe that adding a communal dimension to the study of psychedelics is an essential "next step" to the evolution of mankind, if we indeed are to evolve out of the spiritual crisis we currently find ourselves in.
In an effort to grow the community of psychedelic seekers and students, I propose a "Psychedelic Book Club" in which participants read the same book for the same period of time and meet to discuss the passages, extrapolate meaning, bring up insights, share personal experiences, and enrich our learning together in a salon-style Meetup.
Whether you're newly curious about psychedelics and want to dive into the foundational works on the topic, or you've been studying psychedelics already and want to join in on a scholarly discussion with peers to enrich your knowledge and understanding, or you're a veteran psychonaut and just want to connect with others and make new friends interested in this subject, this is the place for all of us to come together and help take each other to the next level, wherever we currently are on our respective journeys.
This is meant to be all-inclusive of the whole Tampa Bay / Old Tampa Bay area. I live in St. Petersburg but am willing to drive to wherever is most central to all the event-attending members of this group. When enough people join and show interest, I'll take a poll of what part of town would be optimal to meet, and I'll secure an appropriate venue in that area. (no coffee shops, as they tend to be noisy and full of distractions)
I look forward to seeing who finds their way to this MeetUp group and shows up! :-)