Video: Eliott Edge “What I think about when I take psychedelics…”

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Recorded earlier this year during a panel discussion at VRTO2018 moderated by Voices of VR’s Kent Bye, in this short clip the I talk about two of my favorite topics: psychedelics and virtual reality.

This clip begins with my answer to Kent’s question to our panel, ‘What questions or ideas do you wrestle with when you take psychedelics?’

This clip and the transcript below are edited highlights. The complete talk features unique and outstanding commentary from speakers Tina Madry, Brett Leonard, Scott Mason, Audri Phillips, and Jeffrey Lynn Damon. You can snag the talk Kent Bye’s website or my Youtube.

ELIOTT EDGE:
My biggest question that I wrestle with when I take psychedelics is, ‘How can I get more people to take psychedelics? How can I do more propaganda and evangelism?’ If everyone here even just tried LSD or psilocybin or something like that, everyone would be markedly different. That’s what it does. It actually civilizes you. It makes you more open. It makes you get in touch with parts of yourself that you repress, and when you are on a psychedelic those often get healed.

The kind of psychedelic drug use I do is not recreational. I do it for—I am also in psychoanalysis, I have been doing it for a year. So I do it strictly for therapy. Not that you shouldn’t do it recreationally, you certainly should. But the big question I have when I take it is that, ‘How can we get more people to do this?’ Because it is civilizing us. And the fact that is was repressed in the 50s and 60s really held back research, it was banished to the basement chemists, and the potential for it to uplift us and unite us all I think anyone who’s taken it would say, ‘Yeah, that’s what the 60s were about, man.’

First of all my opinion is psychedelics are like sex, it’s unfortunate if you go out your entire life without having it. And as long as you’re not a dissociative personality type or schizotypal or schizophrenic, I encourage you to when you when you walk out these doors that you start dialing numbers and looking for tabs, man.

[Laughter]

But this guy’s a researcher so he’s gonna say ‘Be careful! Be careful! Don’t listen to that young man.’

But where is this all leading to? What’s the point of all this? For me my opinion is that what you’re really looking at is the next episode, folks. Like, the monkey’s over. Like, the last—really the thing is this, I think my big hope for VR is that it’s basically gonna meltdown materialistic, patriarchal, dominator culture. And it’s actually going to like queerify everyone. Everyone’s gonna get way more soft. Way more loving. Because you were like talking about like you could do a torture VR? Like no, no, no, no. Torture VR is not going to fly. And people can only do so much shooting in the first-person thing. Eventually the art’s going to take over. The emotion is going to take over. And the human being as we know it, and as we’ve known it since, I don’t know, Western male mind took over the world—that’s going to get smoothed out. And we are going to be using VR to communicate more and more ideas, expressions of art, feelings, wants, needs, desires, fears, hopes—and the monkey’s over. It’s just over. And the AI is going to show up. Like, this is it. This is the last gasp, and it’s either that the planet’s going to go kaput, or everyone’s going to get like, soft.

BRETT LEONARD:
The planet’s going to fine.

[Laughter]

ELIOTT EDGE:
The planet will be fine. The planet will be fine.

BRETT LEONARD:
It’s us that may not be here.

ELIOTT EDGE:
Yeah, but I think that VR is going to be used because, like I’m saying, culture is already a virtual reality. Uh—Program. So once we are playing in more and more virtual realities, this is my whole book is about, it’s like once we play more and more in virtual realities we are going to realize [snaps fingers] ‘This is a virtual reality. It doesn’t need to be this way. It’s arbitrary. We made it up.’ A law, is a code, is a joke. That’s it. We could drop them if we want. But all our institutions are… fake.

[Laughter]

BRETT LEONARD:
A-ho!

AUDRI PHILLIPS:
I like that.

[Applause]

ELIOTT EDGE:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

A YouTube version of the complete VRTO2018 panel talk can be found here.

Kent Bye’s complete episode from Voices of VR #700: Six Psychonauts on VR, Psychedelics, & Consciousness Transformation

Author of '3 Essays on Virtual Reality', global speaker, artist, humorist, futurist, netizen, critic & psychonaut Patreon.com/OddEdges EliottEdge.com IEET.org

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