【海外記事】あなたは「アシッドテスト」に合格できるか? - サイケデリックと精神的優生学について:後編

Hatena Feedly


あなたは「アシッドテスト」に合格できるか? - サイケデリックと精神的優生学について:後編





The dark side of this spiritual Darwinism is a tendency to classify other humans, other groups, other races, as backward, degenerate, animalistic, unfit, and requiring control, confinement, sterilization and possibly extinction.


To take one example, we could consider Richard M. Bucke’s book Cosmic Consciousness (1901). It’s a very influential text, arguably foundational for the New Age, for transpersonal psychology, and for psychedelic culture. It’s also an exceedingly strange book.

 一例を挙げるならば、リチャード・M・バック ※1 の著書『宇宙意識』(1901年) ※2 があります。この本は、ニューエイジトランスパーソナル心理学サイケデリック・カルチャーの基礎となったと言っても過言ではないほど、影響力のあるテキストです。この本は、非常に奇妙な本でもあります。 

Bucke argues that a handful of humans — mainly him and his friends — have attained an experience called ‘cosmic consciousness’, which are the first rays of the dawning of a new species. This new species will appear more and more, and eventually run the world and supersede homo sapiens.


While preaching this coming evolutionary shift, Bucke was also a psychiatrist running an asylum in Ontario. He believed insanity was caused by defective sexual organs, and operated on hundreds of women under his care. He also believed some races were incapable of cosmic consciousness and were fated to become extinct.


In many pioneers of the ‘human potential movement’ one finds a similar attitude. ‘People like us’ are the evolutionary elite, the peak experiences, the transcenders, the first buds of homo novus. But we are surrounded by morons, mental defectives languishing at the bottom of the evolutionary scale. These subhumans or untermenschen should be controlled, confined and possibly sterilized, so that elite humanity can evolve to its full potential.

 「ヒューマン・ポテンシャル・ムーブメント(人間性回復運動)」 ※3 の先駆者たちの多くには、同じような態度が見られます。「私たちのような人間」は、進化のエリートであり、ピーク体験者であり、超越者であり、ホモ・ノバスの最初の芽である。しかし、私たちの周りには、進化のスケールの底辺に位置する白痴や精神的欠陥者がいる。これらの亜人やウンターメンシェン ※4 は制御され、監禁され、場合によっては不妊化されるべきであり、そうすればエリート人類はその可能性を最大限に進化させることができる。

One finds this Nietzschean categorization of humanity into superhumans and subhumans in the ideas of HG Wells, Madame Blavatsky, Annie Besant, Aldous and Julian Huxley, Alexis Carrel, Sri Aurobindo, and many others from the New Age / progressive / psychical research occulture of the 1890s-1930s. And it appears again in the human potential movement of California after the war.

 H・G・ウェルズ ※5 、マダム・ブラヴァツキー ※6 、アニー・ベサント ※7オルダス・ハクスリー ※8ジュリアン・ハクスリー ※9 のハクスリー兄弟、アレクシス・カレル ※10 、スリ・オーロビンド ※11 など、1890年代から1930年代にかけての「ニューエイジ / プログレッシブ / サイキック・リサーチ・オカルチュア」に属する多くの人々の思想の中に、この「ニーチェ的な人類の超人と亜人への分類」が見られる。そしてそれは、戦後のカリフォルニアの「ヒューマン・ポテンシャル・ムーブメント」の中に再び現れた。 

https://miro.medium.com/max/1400/0*i37W6Xv4czVuRTS4.png※ ニーチェの信奉者であるマズローは、ピラミッドの頂点に立って「自己超越者」になれるのは一握りの人間だと考えていました。


Now it’s interesting to consider this overlap of the human potential movement and Nietzschean eugenics with regard to psychedelics.


So far, I don’t think there has been much work done on the relationship between the histories of psychedelics and eugenics, but it’s there. To take two examples, Havelock Ellis and Aldous Huxley, two of the first westerners to take and write about mescaline, were both lifelong champions of eugenics.

 これまでのところ、「サイケデリックの歴史と優生学との関係」についてはあまり研究されていないと思いますが、それは実際に存在しています。2つの例を挙げると、メスカリン ※12 を飲んで書いた最初の西洋人であるハヴロック・エリス ※13オルダス・ハクスリー ※8 は、どちらも生涯にわたって優生学の擁護者でした。

The post-war culture of psychedelics was shaped by the spiritual Darwinism / evolutionary spirituality of Modernist elitists like Huxley and his friend Gerald Heard.

 戦後のサイケデリック文化は、ハクスリーやその友人ジェラルド・ハード ※14 のようなモダニストのエリートたちの「精神的ダーウィニズム / 進化論的スピリチュアリティ」によって形成されました。

Psychedelics are seen as the catalyst for the evolutionary advancement of….who? The select few? The young? The beautiful people? Everyone?


For Timothy Leary, LSD was ‘creating a new race of mutants’. This new master-race would, eventually, run the world. For Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, LSD was likewise creating a new race of superheroes, telepathically connected and able to control global events. Terence McKenna and Daniel Pinchbeck also describe psychedelics as evolutionary catalysts for the dawning of a new era, a new level of consciousness, a whole new species.

 ティモシー・リアリー ※15 にとって、LSD ※16 は「ミュータントの新しい人種を作り出すもの」でした。この新しい種族が、最終的には世界を支配することになるだろう。ケン・キージー ※17 とメリー・プランクスターズ ※18 にとって、LSDは同様に、「テレパシーでつながり、世界の出来事をコントロールできるスーパーヒーローの新しい種族」を生み出していました。テレンス・マッケナ ※19 とダニエル・ピンチベック ※20 もまた、「サイケデリックは新しい時代、新しいレベルの意識、全く新しい種の幕開けのための進化の触媒である」と述べています。

McKenna’s famous book, Food of the Gods (1992), shares its title from HG Wells’ eugenic sci-fi tale of 1904, in which some humans consume a magic chemical which makes them grow far superior to ordinary humanity. The ‘Children of the Food’ are destined to surpass homo sapiens. A similar story is told in Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End (1953), a favourite text of the Merry Pranksters.

 マッケナの名著『神々の糧(Food of the Gods)』(1992年) ※21 のタイトルは、H・G・ウェルズ ※5 が1904年に発表した優生学的なSF物語と同じである。「食物の子供たち」はホモ・サピエンスを凌駕する運命にある。同様の話は、アーサー・C・クラーク ※22 の『幼年期の終わり』(1953年) ※23 にも描かれており、メリー・プランクスターズのお気に入りのテキストでもある。 

It’s not clear, then, if everyone will make the evolutionary leap, or just a few cosmic mutants. This was — and remains — a lively debate in psychedelic circles. Are psychedelics for everyone? Can everyone handle them?


Within the context of this spiritual Darwinism, it’s interesting to think of psychedelics as ‘the acid test’ — the test of one’s fitness to join the next stage, the evolutionary elite of superheroes.


There have been previous versions of ‘the test’. For Thomas Malthus, it was ‘are you economically productive?’ For Darwin it was ‘have you reproduced?’ For Francis Galton and other meritocrats, it is ‘can you pass the exam?’ For Ernst Junger, it was ‘can you fight with courage?’

 この「テスト」には「過去バージョン」がありました。トーマス・マルサス ※24 にとっては、「あなたは経済的に生産的ですか?」ダーウィンにとっては「あなたは繁殖しましたか?」フランシス・ゴルトン ※25 やその他の実力主義者にとっては「試験に合格できるか?」エルンスト・ユンガー ※26 にとっては、「勇気を持って戦えるか?」


For psychedelic Darwinians, it is ‘can you handle a heroic dose?’


Within this frame, it’s obviously pretty brutal if you have a bad trip and freak out. You have failed the acid test. You are not a superhuman after all. In fact, in some ways you’re less than human. You’re on the rubbish dump of evolution.


As a side note, it’s interesting to consider how all these psychedelic leaders somehow ‘failed the test’ — Leary runs from the Buddha in Varanasi, Ken Kesey blows the ‘acid graduation’, Terence McKenna fails to build his alien artefact, Daniel Pinchbeck fails to incarnate as Quetzalcoatl in 2012 and instead pervs on women. These could all be interpreted as variations of Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim, the ultimate story of ‘failing the test’.

 リアリー ※15 はバラナシの仏陀から逃げ出し、ケン・キージー ※17 は「アシッドの卒業式」を吹き飛ばし、テレンス・マッケナ ※19 はエイリアンのアーティファクト(人工物・工芸品)を作ることに失敗し、ダニエル・ピンチベック ※20 は2012年にケツァルコアトルアステカ神話の文化神・農耕神)として受肉することに失敗し、代わりに女性に色目を使っています。これらはすべて、ジョゼフ・コンラッド ※27 の『ロード・ジム』 ※28 のバリエーションとして解釈することができ、「テストに失敗する」ことの究極の物語である。

Personally speaking, I totally bought into the mythology of the Merry Pranksters when I was a teenage raver. I also thought of myself as ‘young, immune’…a superhero! So when I had a bad LSD trip aged 18, and felt shattered for months afterwards, I took it as a colossal failure, a proof of my unfitness, even my unworthiness to exist.

 個人的には、私は10代のレイバーだった頃、メリー・プランクスターズ ※18 の神話を完全に信じていました。自分のことを「若くて免疫がある」と思っていたし、スーパーヒーローだとも思っていた。だから、18歳のときにLSD ※16 トリップでひどい目に遭い、その後何ヶ月も打ちのめされたときは、大失敗であり、自分が不適格であること、さらには存在価値がないことを証明していると受け止めました。

So one can see how these sorts of rigid either / or classifications of ecstatic experience can play out in harsh and dehumanizing ways.



Let’s return, finally, to the Grofs’ concept of ‘spiritual emergency’.


In some ways, the concept was a very helpful advance from the unfortunately rigid classification of ecstasy as either pathological and totally bad, or divinely inspired and totally good.


It recognized a middle-ground, admitting that ecstatic experiences can be both beautiful and terrifying, both meaningful and bewildering, both empowering and traumatizing, both connecting and alienating.


However, as Noorani points out, there is still the sort of defensive manoeuvre we saw at earlier stages in the history of transpersonal psychology.

 しかし、ヌーラニTehseen Noorani)が指摘するように、トランスパーソナル心理学の歴史の初期段階で見られたような防衛策がまだ存在しています。 

The Grofs insist, to paraphrase, these experiences — spiritual emergencies — are part of elite humanity’s evolutionary transition to a higher level of consciousness.


Those experiences — common-garden psychotic experiences — are merely mental illness, probably organic or physiological in nature, and indicative of evolutionary regression.


These experiences happen to people like us, people engaged in advanced spiritual practice, Esalen people, self-transcenders. Rich, educated, white people. The elite.

 このような体験は、私たちのような、高度な精神修養に従事する人々、エサレン(アメリカのヒッピーの聖地) ※29 の人々、自己超越者たちに起こります。金持ちで、教育を受けた、白人。エリートですね。

Those experiences happen to other people, at the bottom of the pyramid, ‘mass man’.


What my co-editor Tim Read and I found, when we gathered together accounts of ‘spiritual emergencies’ for the book Breaking Open: Finding a Way through Spiritual Emergency, was that it was not in practice very easy to draw a clean line between spiritual emergency and psychosis.

 共同編集者であるティム・リードと私は、『Breaking Open: Finding a Way through Spiritual Emergency』という本のために「スピリチュアル・エマージェンシー」の証言を集めたとき、分かったことがあります。実際には、「スピリチュアルな緊急事態と精神病との間に明確な線を引くことはあまり容易ではない」ということが。


Some of our contributors had temporary psychotic experiences after taking psychedelics or after intense spiritual practice. Some crises were triggered by a bereavement, personal crisis, or even a political crisis.


Sometimes it was a one-off experience, sometimes it happened more often.


Sometimes it was subsequently interpreted entirely positively by the experiencer, sometimes it was interpreted more ambiguously.


What these experiences had in common, what makes the label ‘spiritual emergency’ somewhat useful, is that the people who had the experience felt there was something meaningful in it. They felt the experience was both awe-inspiring and also terrifying. The experiences felt ecstatic, even mystical. They didn’t feel simply delusional and pathological.


Almost all our contributors also found certain self-care and mutual aid practices helpful, such as finding a calm, supportive and safe environment; grounding themselves in the body and in material reality; finding sympathetic people to connect to; and seeing their experience through a frame of kindness, patience and potential growth, rather than a frame of breakdown and disease.


For all of our contributors, their crises did not mark the start of a long slide into worse mental functioning.


What caused these crises? We simply don’t know. We don’t know to what extent the causes were genetic, physiological, chemical, cognitive, social, economic or spiritual. But it’s likely to be a combination of all these levels. It doesn’t have to be either physiological or developmental or cognitive-spiritual.


Nor do treatments have to be either cognitive-spiritual or chemical. Some of our contributors find medication helpful, others don’t.


As Mike Jackson ※30 and Charles Heriot-Maitland ※31 have noted, it’s difficult to draw a clean line between mysticism and psychosis — experiences of ego dissolution exist on a continuum, depending on how much insight and skilful means a person has to navigate the experience, and also depending on how supportive their cultural and socio-economic context is.


 Mike JacksonやCharles Heriot-Maitlandが指摘しているように、神秘主義と精神病の間に明確な線を引くことは困難です。「自我の解消の経験」は、その人がどれだけの洞察力と巧みな手段を持っているか、また文化的、社会経済的な背景がどれだけ支えになっているかによって、連続的に存在します。

In conclusion, the term ‘spiritual emergency’ was helpful in marking out a middle-ground between ‘psychosis’ and ‘spiritual experience’. But transpersonal psychologists tried too hard to bracket off this type of experience from common-garden psychosis rather than admitting a continuum. As a result, the term itself has not had much influence, even within New Age and psychedelic circles.


Can we not extend the same respect and dignity to psychosis in general as we do to spiritual emergencies?


In other words, can we recognize that for some people, psychotic experiences are not simply breakdowns or symptoms of disease, but also sometimes beautiful, meaningful, and even spiritual experiences?


Can we recognize that labels are sometimes helpful, but they are also crude and historically contingent classifications of mental states that are dynamic and hard to pin down?


Mental experiences in general, and ecstatic experiences in particular, are ambiguous. They are not well-approached with rigid either / or classifications. They are not easy to pin on a map, to say ‘this was nothing but a brain pathology’ or ‘this was definitely a shamanic initiation’ or ‘this was definitely the cave descent on the hero’s journey’ or ‘this was definitely a spiritual emergency on the path to an evolutionary shift’.


Our maps are crude, not to be confused with the territory itself. Instead of fixating on labels or causes, we can shift our focus to ‘what helps now?’


Mental states and indeed all experiences are not essentially ‘good’ or bad’. It depends on the view you take of them. That’s as true of cancer as it is of psychosis.


As Noorani has suggested, we need to consider our classification of psychosis as the terrifying Other of our rational civilization.

 ヌーラニTehseen Noorani)が提案したように、私たちは「精神病」という分類を、私たちの「合理的な文明の恐るべき他者」として考える必要があります。

Altered states of consciousness are something that happens to lots of people. They’re neither totally bad nor totally good. Neither proof of our unfitness, nor proof of our divine election.


It depends on how we relate to them.


I hope we can learn to support people to come to terms with their experiences, to make friends with them, and to find ways to integrate them, including self-care, mutual aid, economic support, and if it’s helpful medication.


‘Coming to terms’ means finding the frame, the view, and the terminology that you find liberating. ‘Spiritual emergency’ is one such term, not perfect, but sometimes useful.



medium.com より翻訳引用 


リチャード・モーリス・バック(Richard Maurice Bucke, 1837年3月18日 - 1902年2月19日)は、モーリス・バックと呼ばれ、19世紀後半のカナダの著名な精神科医である。







Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind (English Edition)


















































































ロード・ジム (河出文庫 コ 9-1)













「Philosophy for Life」などの著書がある。


「Centre for the History of the Emotions(感情史センター)」名誉研究員。