Although it is not a critical part of this discourse, the sad connection that for me shows a weakness from the 1960’s and tends to weaken Sheldrake’s credibility, is the incorporation of psychedelic drugs into the worldview, uncritically. It seems to me that an ideology, philosophy, or spirituality that tends to use psychedelics as even an enhancer, cannot help but be suspect at the outset. Graham Hancock is another one, in my opinion, who’s work is important and truthful, as well as challenging to the mainstream, yet who’s credibility is damaged by his allegiance to psychedelics.
Now I realize that what both Sheldrake and Hancock believe and propose does not require drugs in any way for their truth or practice. However, in the discussion of consciousness, it is inevitable that the subject of altered states of consciousness comes up, and of course the part that psychedelics have played in the past. Neither one seems to be willing to take a principled stand against the practice, and apparently that is because they do not have any such principle.
That seems to be, as I have pointed out already, an unfortunate artifact of the period in which Sheldrake and others came to prominence, but many others have been able to leave it behind, both in practice and principle. Continue reading