‘Hallucinogens, not psychedelics’. A letter to the Editor of The New England Journal of Medicine (2021)

“Narcotics that induce hallucinations are variously called hallucinogens (hallucination generators), psychotomimetics (psychosis mimickers), psychotaraxics (mind disturbers), and psychedelics (mind manifesters).

No one term fully satisfies scientists, but hallucinogens comes closest. Psychedelic is most widely used in the United States, but it combines two Greek roots incorrectly, is biologically unsound, and has acquired popular meanings beyond the drugs or their effects.”

Origins of the cyber-psychedelic subculture (2021)

In this article, two covers are presented from conferences proceedings sponsored by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, about Cybernetics – 1953 Macy Conferences – and Neuropharmacology – 1955 Neuropharmacological Conferences, in which U.S. neurophysiologist and behavioural scientist Ralph Waldo Gerard proposed the term ‘psychotomimetic’.

‘Entheogens’ and ‘The Road to Eleusis’ (2022)

“When the recent surge of recreational use of so-called ‘hallucinogenic’ or ‘psychedelic’ drugs first came to popular attention in the early 1960’s, it was commonly viewed with suspicion and associated with the behavior of deviant or revolutionary groups.”

“Not only is ‘psychedelic’ an incorrect verbal formation, but it has become so invested with connotations of the pop-culture of the 1960’s that it is incongruous to speak of a shaman’s taking a ‘psychedelic’ drug.”

“We therefore, propose a new term that would be appropriate for describing states of shamanic and ecstatic possession induced by ingestion of mind-altering drugs.”

‘Pneumadelic’? Osmond, 1957: “my own preference being ‘psychelytic’, or ‘psychedelic’ ” /3 (2021)

“There is one golden rule that should be applied in working with model psychoses. One should start with oneself.”

“Our psychotomimetics resemble the hypothetical endotoxin that Carl Jung called toxin-X and that we have called M (mescalinelike) substance.”

Osmond views raise an interesting paradox of experience over logos: if in order to discuss rationally about such substances one has to use them and if using them disorganizes the psyche, would it ever be in fact possible to discuss rationally about them? Or the move to use them implies – a priori – an abandonment of human rationality?