On the Need for Metaphysics in Psychedelic Therapy and Research

It will be argued that psychedelic-induced metaphysical experiences should be integrated and evaluated with recourse to metaphysics in psychedelic-assisted therapy.

The case will be put forward that there is a potential extra benefit to participants in psychedelic-assisted therapy if they are provided with an optional, additional, and intelligible schema and discussion of metaphysical options at the integrative phase of the therapy.
Metaphysics is not mysticism, despite some overlap; and certainly not all psychedelic experience is metaphysical or mystical – all three terms will be defined and contrasted.

In psychedelic-assisted therapy one sees the potential fusion between reason-based philosophy and practical therapy – it is where the Psychedelic Turn and the Metaphysical Turn meet

Speaker Bio:Dr Peter Sjöstedt-Hughes is philosopher of mind & metaphysics who specialises in the thought of Whitehead, Spinoza, Bradley, and Nietzsche, and in fields pertaining to altered and panpsychological states of consciousness. He is a research fellow and lecturer at the University of Exeter where he has co-founded the Exeter Psychedelic Research Group, the ambit of which includes taught modules, conferences, workshops, and publications. He also works for Psychedelic Press, Breaking Convention, and Dreamshadow Group. Peter is the author of Noumenautics, Modes of Sentience, co-editor of Bloomsbury’s Philosophy and Psychedelics volume, the TEDx Talker on ‘psychedelics and consciousness’, and he is inspiration to the recreation of inhuman philosopher Marvel Superhero, Karnak.

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This Psychedelic series is Curated by Maya Bracknell Watson 

Maya Bracknell Watson is an interdisciplinary artist, poet, performer, retired cult leader and psychedelic and parapsychology researcher. Having just graduated from Chelsea College of Arts, her work over the last six years has been informed by her concurrent shamanic training, work with the Wixárika (Huichol) tribe from Mexico, and role as a research assistant under Dr David Luke of Greenwich university in the study of the psychedelic compound N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and other worlds. Walking between the worlds of the arts, science and the occult, she combines media and investigative techniques from each to inform and articulate one another in the exploration of ontology, consciousness and altered states, mytholopeia and mythology, ecology, the human condition and its relation to the environment, otherness and mortality. She describes her practise and research as contemporary Memento Mori (‘remember you will die’), and explores what that means in a time of mass ecocide and species extinction.

Follow her on the crooked path on Instagram @maya_themessiah