The Best Psychedelic Quotes in 6 Categories — Inspiring Words to Expand Your Mind

To celebrate the beauty and wisdom of the psychedelic experience, we’ve compiled a list of the best psychedelic quotes across 6 categories: Science, Creativity, Consciousness, Culture, Life and Spirituality. Let’s dive in!

Alexandra Plesner
5 min readSep 5, 2023

Originally published on Psilocybin San Francisco.

Science:

“To fathom hell, or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.”

– Humphry Osmond

“The psilocybin experience is a way to connect with our own sense of spirituality and find meaning in our lives.”

– Rick Doblin

“Psychedelics show you what’s in and on your mind, those subconscious thoughts and feelings that are hidden, covered up, forgotten, out of sight, maybe even completely unexpected, but nevertheless imminently present.”

– Rick Strassman

“Psychedelics are not suppressed because they are dangerous to users; they’re suppressed because they provoke unconventional thought, which threatens any number of elites and institutions that would rather do our thinking for us.”

– Terence McKenna

“Psychedelics are to the study of the mind, what the microscope is to biology and the telescope is to astronomy.”

– David E. Nichols

“Every person’s body chemistry is different. The effect of one single drug that appeals to me might have a different effect on someone else. There’s no way to tell what the perfect psychedelic drug would be because it would be perfect for only you.”

– Ann Shulgin

“After having personally conducted over the last fifty years more than four thousand psychedelic sessions, I have developed great awe and respect for these compounds and their enormous potential, both positive and negative. They are powerful tools and, like any tool, they can be used skillfully, ineptly, or destructively. The result will be critically dependent on the set and setting.”

– Stanislav Grof

Creativity:

“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.”

– Terence McKenna

“The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind; and anything less is a dithering while Rome burns.”

– Terence McKenna

“Surrealism to me is reality. Psychedelic vision is reality to me and always was.”

– John Lennon

“The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.”

– Julia Cameron

“The mind is like a parachute; it works best when it’s open.”

– Frank Zappa

“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important, creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”

– Steve Jobs

Consciousness:

“The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.”

– Aldous Huxley

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.”

– Eckhart Tolle

“Psychedelics are catalysts for a deeper understanding of the mind and consciousness.”

– Stanislav Grof

“The psychedelic experience is a doorway to a higher state of consciousness.”

– Alan Watts

“The mind is a powerful tool, and psychedelics can help us harness its full potential.”

– Tim Ferriss

Culture:

“Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing.”

– Terence McKenna

“My hope is that the concept of altered states of consciousness is accepted by society.”

– Amanda Feilding

“The psilocybin experience can help us access parts of ourselves that are normally hidden from view.”

– Paul Stamets

“Psychedelics are a way of shaking up the snow globe.”

– Robin Carhart-Harris

“Psilocybin can help us break down the barriers between ourselves and others and foster a sense of empathy and compassion.”

– Katherine MacLean

“Psychedelics are a way to tap into the universal consciousness and experience oneness with all things.”

– Alex Grey

Life:

“If life wasn’t real, it would be the craziest psychedelic trip ever.”

– Joe Rogan

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

– Alan Watts

“Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego.”

– Terence McKenna

“There is a wealth of information built into us … tucked away in the genetic material in every one of our cells … without some means of access, there is no way even to begin to guess at the extent and quality of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this interior world and insights into its nature.”

– Alexander Shulgin

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

– Socrates

Spirituality:

“The mystical experience is the birthright of every human being.”

– Stanislav Grof

“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can’t be organized or regulated. It isn’t true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.”

– Ram Dass

“The spiritual journey does not consist in arriving at a new destination where a person gains what they did not have or become what they are not. It consists in the dissipation of one’s own ignorance concerning oneself and life, and the gradual growth of that understanding, which begins a spiritual awakening.”

– Aldous Huxley

“The psilocybin experience is a way to connect with the universal consciousness and tap into the power of the universe.”

– Alex Grey

“The psilocybin experience is a way to connect with the natural world and gain a deeper appreciation for our place within it.”

– James Fadiman

Conclusion

These quotes offer a glimpse into the profound insights and perspectives that psychedelics can inspire. Whether you’re seeking scientific knowledge, spiritual awakening, creative inspiration, expanded consciousness, or a deeper understanding of life, the world of psychedelics holds a treasure trove of wisdom.

Remember, these quotes are just a taste of the vast universe of psychedelic experiences and insights. If you’re intrigued, we encourage you to explore further, read the works of these visionary thinkers, and embark on your own journey of discovery.

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Alexandra Plesner

Strategic designer, primary based in London, working worldwide.