The last revolution will be psychedelic and will involve drugs. The prophecy of Aldous Huxley
by Giulio Lanza
(Originally published on April 25, 2019 on l’Occidentale https://loccidentale.it/lultima-rivoluzione-sara-psichedelica-e-avra-a-che-fare-con-le-droghe-la-profezia-di-aldous-huxley/)
The modern age has been characterized by many revolutions: religious, political, social.
This process has been extensively studied and illustrated especially in the context of conservative critical thinking. Some, even if they are exhausted, remain vital in subsequent episodes, overlapping and mixing. For a long time, the revolutions, using a terminology of the schools that underline its unitary character, the Revolution – have affected nations and societies, to the point of touching the essence of man himself, with what we conventionally start in 1968 and that we can consider still in progress (anthropological revolution, also called fourth revolution).
On this front we must look with the utmost attention to the fact that we are facing a phase that Aldous Huxley (in the photo), author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception, called the “ultimate revolution”, in which the role of drugs becomes central.
In recent years, in fact, we have witnessed the emergence of a pervasive propaganda in favor of the spread of drugs of abuse which, also depending on the substances in question, has been divided into more or less these phases:
- harm reduction proposals, with or without legalization of all drugs;
- proposals intended as a tool to improve the health of those who already use drugs and to fight the organized crime that produces and sells;
- re-branding of drugs of abuse as medications, with simplistic marketing according to which if a substance can in some clinical conditions be used as a medication it would be good by definition, any use made of it (based on the assumption, medication = good);
- active promotion of drugs of abuse, especially hallucinogens, such as LSD or psilocybin / magic mushrooms, a real marketing on mass media, for now mainly digital / online: this is the most recent phase and includes the promotion of substances that do not yet have a market, presented, through popularization articles of a heterogeneous nature – for example on shamanism and other “primitive” ecstatic techniques – as “micro-doses” (more or less micro) for the healthy, aimed at allegedly improving the functioning of the organism, or to the increase of creativity and even to the prevention of seasonal diseases such as the common cold: therefore truly as a panacea for everyone, young and old, sick or healthy. Real forms of fanaticism are manifested – above all but not only on the web – with regard to hallucinogenic substances presented as a source of well-being and even “illumination”.
In reality, marketing on the use of hallucinogenic substances is a hyper-modern phenomenon, sometimes mystified as a return to very ancient situations and primordial knowledge. An example is LSD, presented as equivalent to Ergot, from which it was synthesized in 1938. This type of claim must be subjected to evaluation and falsification considering: quality (eg, LSD), quantity (eg, proposed mass use), context of use (post-industrial society), method of use (eg, hypodermic needle for heroin, semi-synthetic substance; free base for smoked cocaine, etc.).
Between “ancient” use and “modern” use in many cases the difference is evident: for example, between chewing coca leaves (containing low doses of cocaine absorbed orally) in a culture that has integrated this use for centuries, on one side, and smoking the free base, crack, on the other; or between the use of smoked opium (containing morphine) on the one hand and intravenous injection of heroin, synthesized from morphine, on the other.
Or again, to understand the importance of contexts, think of the devastating introduction of alcohol into the Native American culture of whose tradition it was not part.
LSD – along with other hallucinogenic substances – is even part of a so-called cyberdelic (cyber + psychedelic) culture that combines the use of hallucinogens with personal computers, smartphones, video games, the internet and virtual reality.
In essence, from the proposal of a drug policy that presented itself as realistic, that is the containment of a non-extirpable evil, we are increasingly moving towards the promotion of a dystopian society, towards the marketing by those who produce online shamanism courses to learn how to use hallucinogenic drugs, once they will become available, either for therapeutic use (even for disorders with little distinct and entirely subjective connotations) or as a pastime.
Ultimately, the anthropological mutation of the individual cannot be separated from a mutation in the perception of reality.
Reality? Only a hallucination, one of many infinitely possible, which is increasingly presented as a construction – presumed arbitrary – of the mind, even literally as a hallucination.
Since a hallucination by definition is a subjective perception without an external object, or a false perception, in itself it presupposes a normality, a true perception, with a corresponding external object.
The presentation of consciousness as a hallucination, on the other hand, presupposes two things at the same time: that reality does not exist except as a false state of subjective consciousness and that consciousness as such is false, or relative, or infinitely changeable: therefore there would be no state of awareness that can be considered normal; or “normality” could not be other than an unconscious state, such as that of simple matter, including biological matter, cells, receptors, etc., just like inanimate matter or simple organisms.
If reality is nothing but a fiction of the mind, hallucinogenic substances that profoundly alter consciousness, thought, emotions, perceptions that inform us about both internal and surrounding reality, would be in this sense a way towards enlightenment on the deeper and lower reality of matter. They would make us aware of the more animal, instinctive, individual reality, unfiltered by all mental functions in continuous interaction with the natural, social, family, historical and cultural external environment of which each of us is the result. This is how the anthropological mutation of the “ultimate revolution” takes shape.
Aldous Huxley has not only described a “Brave New World” to us, but also a “new man”.
Last Updated on September 15, 2020 by Federico Soldani