If meditation is the best known and respected path for introspection, then the psychedelics cheat by putting you on the motorway, where you are more likely to crash.
I don't think you could discover consciousness if you didn't perturb it, because as Marshall McClune said, "whoever discovered water, it certainly wasn't a fish". Well, we are fish swimming in consciousness; and yet we know it's there. Well, the reason we know it's there is because if you perturb it, then you see it; and you perturb it by perturbing the engine which generates it, which is the mind/brain system resting behind your eyebrows. If you swap out the ordinary chemicals that are running that system in an invisible fashion, then you see: it's like dropping ink into a bowl of clear water -- suddenly the convection currents operating in the clear water become visible, because you see the particles of ink tracing out the previously invisible dynamics of the standing water. The mind is precisely like that, and the psychedelic is like a dye-marker being dropped into this aqueous system.
When I personally say psychedelic I have something very specific in mind that a substance or a plant should do. It should not inhibit clarity, in other words not episodes of forgetfulness, lack of memory, passing out or confusion. It shouldn’t interfere with that at all, and it should transform thought and be accompanied by visual hallucinations with eyes closed. The CEVs (closed eye visuals) are what it's all about. They can be evoked simply by shutting your eyes and staring at the inside of your eyelids with the expectation of seeing something. The closest thing I can think of to explain the visuals you see is it can be like a lucid dream caught just on the concrescence between hypnagogia and deep sleep.The biggest danger with psychedelics is not reading about them online on a forum, it's that while you are in that open state having used it some moron will mess with you.
At bedrock, the universe is more like a DMT flash than it is like an 18th century garden party, as we were previously assured by the clockwork mechanist practitioners of science. An incredible ability to not register radical change seems to be a precondition of existing in the presence of radical change.
The psychedelic community is cleverly invisible. Because our choices in gender expression, fashion, and so on have, by crypto-osmosis, come to dominate the values of the culture, we can no longer tell ourselves from straight people.
Basically, when you smoke DMT what happens is pure confoundment. DMT does not provide ‘an’ experience which you analyze. Nothing so tidy goes on. The syntactical machinery of description undergoes some kind of hyper-dimensional inflation, instantly. And then you cannot tell yourself what it is that you understand. In other words, what DMT does can’t be downloaded into as low dimensional a language as English.
One toke of DMT away is this absolutely reality-dissolving, category-reconstructing, mind-boggling possibility. And I feel like this is a truth that has to be told.
Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.
When you see these people, like Daniel Dennet or any of these talk show materialists so many look up to, it's a shame. As these people haven't gotten the news that's coming out of quantum physics, or they have, but they don't understand it's implications.
Let me describe the state of play here. The way science works is that science respects fidelity of theory to experimental results. What really thrills a scientist is when a theory makes predictions down to 4 or 5 decimal points and then you perform and experiment and it's spot on, so now everyone involved is fairly confident they are on the right track. But only one science is ever that good to that many sig fig; physics (macrophysics). Shortly following is chemistry, it's good, but its not that good. Then we have biology, ecology, demography, etc, these are pretty loose. Sociology is even looser. And this is how science has been structured for several thousand years starting with Gallileo and physics, it's been a pyramid of envy directed towards the paradigmatic science of physics that can produce this unrivaled congruence between theory and experimental data.
So physics continues to charge forward into matter, asking deeper questions. But when you pass the atomic level, where leptons like electrons, baryons and mesons, etc, are the fundamental forms of matter, things change. It's like smoking DMT. Utter madness breaks out in the properties of matter. Whereas before you had these wonderfully exact models you now have backwards flowing time, quantum entanglement, bell non locality, superposition, quantum teleportation, wave particle duality
It used to be in physics there was only one singularity; The Big Bang. And so one singularity is OK, essentially science said, give us one free miricale, and we can run it from there onwards. Then relativity came along and introduced the concept of black holes based on the extraneous extrapolation of peturbation theory derived masses of bodies in our solar system to the cosmos at large. And what do black holes have in the center of them? A singularity. And how many black holes are there in the universe? Something like 10^14, at a guess. That's a lot of singularities for a theory that at first only wanted one to use as a springboard to overcome the cause and effect problem and for a theory that should be trying to avoid producing singularities. In effect 10^14 singularities is an admission of total intellectual defeat. If there are 10^14 singularities your not even doing science, you might as well be channeling atlantis or something.
So it troubles me because I think this quantum mechanics is rich, physics is feeding back, and a model of consciousness will eventually come out of studying the properties of the deeper levels of matter. But the conclusions are all going to support the non scientific non rational fasions; in other words bell nonlocality is real, all matter in the universe is in contact with all other matter through some sort of entanglement of higher space based on their original connectivity, quantum teleportation is a possibility, these violations of backwards flowing time and rational casuistry are all real, superposition and the same particle being in multiple locations at the same time is real.
In other words science/physics prosecuted its agenda of deconstructing nature to the point where it let loose the elves of madness, paradox, peculiarity and contradiction. And in terms of something relating to consciousness that can relate to these confounding properties, it would have to be DMT and psychedelics. There appears to be sketchy blueprint of a bridge between quantum physics and a more realistic model of consciousness being constructed based on the similarities between the peculiarity, paradox and contradictions of a DMT experience and the madness, paradox, peculiarity and contradiction and quantum theory. Pensrose has made a noble start already.
Matter is not lacking in magic, when you get down to quantum levels; matter is magic. When you get to the bedrock of it all, reality seems far more congruent with a DMT flash than a mechanical clockwork machine.