What does Psychonautics mean?
Psychonautics is the practice of one’s self-exploration into various realms of their psyche, often by way of psychotropic substances. One who goes on such inward journeys is said to be a “psychonaut”.
However, psychonautics is more than just a way to justify the use of recreational drugs. Any serious practitioner is generally much more methodical in their use of mind-altering substances, often recording as much detail as is possible for further review and refinement of technique.
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While quite often psychonautics is engaged in by way of mind-altering drug usage, there are numerous ways to indulge in this practice. There are even aspects of “accepted” religious rituals that can be said to be psychonautic in nature.
Any form of meditation or any action taken as a way of altering one’s state of being and or to engage with one’s own self can be said to be psychonautics.
Some non-drug related methods of psychonautics include astral projection, lucid dreaming, and any form of sensory deprivation. Some practitioners also use various machines that are meant to induce a state of self-awareness.
Psychonautics is not recognized as an actual science and as such there is very little in the way of scholarly articles on the subject, but there are numerous societies, groups, and individuals for whom psychonautics is a way of life.