Week 1 – Journey

This week I reflected on my first thoughts and considerations on this semesters theme – Journey. I thought of a journey into the mind, through meditation, religious practice or through the use of psychoactive substances ( or “trip”). I reflected on Terence McKenna’s ideas of how psychedelics can alter our perception of things in a positive way.

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

McKenna speaks extensively on how the hunter gatherer groups and shamans used certain substances as medicine and ritual to connect them to a spiritual world.

I also found myself thinking of Star Trek, “to boldly go…” Although there are a lot of episodes throughout the shows many iterations with cheap sets, awkward costumes and weak premises – I can’t help but find its optimistic view of the future inspiring. So much of science fiction is dominated by dystopias or evil empires that need to be overthrown. Star Trek offers an alternate idea – a post money, want or need meritocricy where exploration is carried out to expand the knowledge of humanity. It is also worth noting the original series showed women, black and asian characters working together as equals in a time in which that was controversial.

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