“An explorer of one’s own mind. A psychonaut often embarks on inner voyages with the aid of psychoactive substances, meditation, sensory deprivation, binaural beats, and other means. The goal of the psychonaut is to learn about self and reality by transcending normal consciousness. Psychonauts are distinguished from purely recreational users of psychoactive substances in their desire to learn and grow from these experiences.”
~ Peter J. Carroll
What does Psychonaut mean?
The word Psychonaut has been derived from Ancient Greek ψυχή psychē ‘soul, spirit, mind’ and ναύτης naútēs ‘sailor, navigator’. So the essence is someone who navigates through the depths of their soul, mind or spirit.
The methods used to navigate themselves range from ethnobotanics, psychedelics, sensory deprivation, lucid dreaming, meditation, fasting and more. The word ‘Psychonaut’ was coined by German writer Ernst Jünger, to describe Arthur Heffter, the pharmacologist who isolated mescaline from peyote for the first time.
Just like Albert Hoffmann, Arthur Heffter recorded the outcomes of dosing himself with these entheogens. There have been a lot of people who used psychedelics that have played an important part in human evolution.
But today this article doesn’t focus on the famous psychonauts, its job is to find the psychonauts amongst us.
Here I’ve listed 7 characteristics that may define you as a Psychonaut
1. You decided to find your own meaning of life.
“What fascinates me is that hardly anyone is wondering what we’re actually doing on this planet. Most accepted the work-eat-entertainment -sleep cycle as life and have no desire for a deeper understanding of our purpose in this universe.” ~ Jim Carrey
But not you, you wanted to squeeze every drop from the limited time of this existence. You broke the barriers of your conditioning when you jumped off the meticulously planned birth, study, work to death bandwagon.
You yearned to find purpose in the world where people have willingly accepted the spoon-fed belief of the rat race. You disown a society that defines success by how much gold you have rather than how much you have shared.
Your search for meaning keeps you on this voyage, your life’s learnings just add to the well-placed foundation stone of your undying thirst to make your existence more meaningful.
2. You have died multiple times and reborn even more
“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.” ~ Aldous Huxley
You realised that the character you played isn’t good enough for the next chapter of your story. The character that played the part where it dealt with the trauma, health issues, problems isn’t the one who is going to help you through this.
It’s the version of you that got you here, and to get through this chapter you found the need to reinvent yourself. This event no longer breaks you down, as you use the tools you have already mastered to seek your answers within.
Armed with this information, you let go of what has been stopping your transformation into the new you that walks in to the next phase of your existence.
3. You found the edge by falling off
“If you live in the dark a long time and the sun comes out, you do not cross into it whistling. There’s an initial uprush of relief at first, then-for me, anyway- a profound dislocation. My old assumptions about how the world works are buried, yet my new ones aren’t yet operational. There’s been a death of sorts, but without a few days in hell, no resurrection is possible.” ~ Mary Karr, Lit
Edges are tough to find, but you kept pushing towards the boundary until you finally fell off. After the fall, the realization dawned upon you that the fall was the easiest part.
You had no experience to guide you for the long crawl back up, each step of the way had to be dug out of the slippery sides of the abyss as you climbed back up.
Even though the climb up was obscured by the fog in your mind, you pulled and pushed yourself. When you finally make it through, you turn back and cast a guiding light for others to follow. Because you’re aware that this world needs more givers, more lovers and more people to be kind to heal its brokenness.
4. You accept that all culture has beauty in it
“We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are disempowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.” ~ Terence McKenna
You outgrew your culture, you accepted that like all cultures there is a balance of what you considered to be good and then there were things that you did not like.
Although this balance seemed to fit the scales for many, your moral compass pushed you out of the crowd and threw you into a cultural pot-pourri that this world has to offer.
Learning from ancient healing rituals, fasting as a celebration, the whirling sufis, discovering oneself at a music festival, finding magic in the forests, you have transcended the boundaries that were meant to keep you trapped in your cultural conditioning.
You dip into taboo and bathe in it, because your mind is liberated with the wisdom that has passed down by generations of ancestors rather than the fabricated misinformation broadcasted to you by today’s cultural engineers.
5. Your self mastery is your strength
“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
You have made peace with your past and realized your mistakes were steps on your journey to become a better version of your self. Your journey from dark to light and from light to dark has helped you recognize the process in others.
Your perspective of holding space for others has widened as you see that each one has their own trials and tribulations to overcome on their path. This helps you to hold your fort when others get cannonballed by the doings of others.
Your anger has been tamed and unleashed at your will, your shadow cuts through the dark of this world, invisible in the soot of the burning remains of our planet.
6. A psychonauts journey to truth is endless
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka
Since you embarked on the journey of finding the truth you realised, that something doesn’t seem right.
It wasn’t your mind, it was a tug deep inside that could not justify the brokenness of the world, while fixing your own brokenness helped you unveil the illusion and help reveal who you truly are.
You freed yourself from the narrative of truth handed down to you by listening to the yearning of your own soul. The path you chose wound around the mountain.
But you made stops, you slipped down a slope, but you enjoyed the slide. Climbing back up with lessons learnt, you stop and smell the flowers on the side.
You reach the top, but a new realization comes in to play, the mountain was part of a range.
7. Your perspective has an overview filter
You understand that humanity, unity and brotherhood between people around is more important than the hate triggers that are present on every screen you look at. You value your bonds with everyone no matter which box their labelled under by the society you live in.
Your perspective on matters of the current world scenario and affairs helps you decipher the truth amongst the conspiracy theories and the mainstream news. You then use this information to sharpen your own approach when manifesting your reality.
With a perspective like this, you have a strong desire to get away from the crowds, but you’re drawn back with the need to share your learnings to assist an evolution of consciousness.
I do hope you enjoyed reading this, although I would like to believe that most of these traits cover what a psychonaut is, I’m positive there will be more that can be added to the list.
“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.” ~ Nikola Tesla
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