Outer Space / Inner Space
Extroception / Introspection
Nihil est in intellectu quod non sit prius in sensu.
(Transl.: Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.)
Psychedelics widen the perceptual range. They admit access to dimensions of reality which are otherwise very difficult (if not impossible) to perceive. The scientific ramifications can hardly be overstated. This enhancement of the human sensorium could herald a Kuhnian paradigm-shift in 21st century science.
"The most complex physical object in the known universe is the human brain and the most complex mental phenomenon is the human psyche. Human- kind has travelled through outer space and we now possess detailed charts of the moon and many other extraterrestrial objects. However, hitherto modern science is unable to provide a comprehensive cartography of the varieties of human experience (Fisher, 1971), despite the efforts of the extraordinary Swiss depth psychologist Carl Gustav Jung who provided a rudimentary “skeletal” map of the psyche. Ergo, the great frontiers of 21st century science are internal and psychological and it should be psychologies primary focus to systematically chart these largely unexplored “antipodes of mind” – the “terra incognita” – as Aldous Huxley eloquently formulated it (Huxley, 1956, p.71). In this context, it has been effectively argued that the discovery of several unique psychoactive chemical substances is methodologically as important to the study of the mind as the invention of the microscope to progress in chemistry or the telescope to astronomy (Grof, 2000, p.297). This paper reviews a powerful endogenous psychoactive agent, N,N-Dimeth- yltryptamine (DMT, a structural analog of serotonin and melatonin), which catalyses unique and highly astonishing phenomenological experiences. An eclectic, interdisciplinary approach is adopted and DMTs pertinence for systematic research in psychology and neuroscience is discussed." (Germann, 2015, p. 89)