We are living amidst a psychedelic renaissance in both cultural and academic circles. A time where, moving past the politically orientated moves to criminalize psychedelic substances, the wealth of potential to be found across psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, all contained within a little mushroom, is being recognized.
In this era of constantly accelerating research, mostly done in medical or neuroscientific circles, Jung’s psychology opens up a space to consider the phenomena in its depth dimension. This three-part seminar will begin by considering the effects of psychedelics through the lens of the most recent developments in neuroscientific research. Questioning the traditional materialist method of interpreting the results of these findings, and the proposed use of an alternative idealist ontology, will then be used to create a bridge from traditional neuroscience to analytical psychology—fields often arbitrarily split from one another. From this basis, the possibility of interpreting the neuroscientific research as a way to understand the neural correlates underlying an ‘abaissement du niveau mental’, as conceptualized by Jung, will then be discussed. Finally, a Jungian lens will be used to explore the unconscious dynamics underlying a “psychedelic trip” in order to elucidate the profound therapeutic potential of these substances.