The Failure of Physicalist Psychedelic Science

This article was originally published under a different title on The Third Wave.

Psychedelic research has given us so much. Thanks to the revival of psychedelic science, we’ve (re)discovered that psychedelic therapy can benefit sufferers of severely debilitating conditions where current treatments fail. We’ve started to develop an understanding of what psychedelics do to the brain, and how psychedelics can have such transformative power…

But there’s still something missing.

The “physicalist” view of reality struggles to explain the phenomenological aspects of the psychedelic experience.

Why is the mystical or spiritual experience so valuable for healing? Why does our mindset matter so much in determining the effects of a psychedelic? Why, after all is known about the brain, can we still not explain the correlation between physical structures and subjective experience?

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