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I just read an article that described psychonautics as pseudoscience. The authors of the article were apparently dismissive of psychonautics as being somehow illegitimate. The commentary was made in passing and wasn't elaborated upon, but it got me to thinking that this probably is a mainstream view of psychonautics and psychonauts. If good sources for this can be found, it definitely merits inclusion under a criticism section. (talk) 10:31, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Are the claiming to be doing science in the first place? (talk) 21:16, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
If something resembles science or is taken as science but it is not science, it is usually called pseudoscience. I'm sure there's a quite a bit of pseudoscience to be found in psychonautics, though I can't call anything to mind. ButOnMethItIs (talk) 03:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
If there isn't a claim of doing science then writing that it is, or might be, pseudoscience resembles slander in a way, doesn't it? Like they claim it to be a science, but they are liars, kind of.. PaleZoe (talk) 02:47, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

"Psychologist Dr Elliot Cohen of the UK Institute of Psychonautics and Somanautics defines psychonautics as "the means to study and explore consciousness (including the unconscious) and altered states of consciousness; it rests on the realisation that to study consciousness is to transform it."

Pretty sure study and exploration of the psyche is science, and claims to be. (talk) 04:28, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

How so? Poetry can be study and exploration of the psyche too, and not claim to be science. Not all study or exploration is scientific, and to claim so cheapens the definition of science I think. Denial (talk) 11:46, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
The overall purpose of poetry is not study and exploration, it's entertainment. The purpose of psychonautics is, like I quoted from a professional, "the means to study and explore the consciousness." If you think that this lady is a cook, that's, but that would mean that this is pseudoscience. You're right, no one claims poetry is science, because it's all about emotions, and perhaps informing another. But psychonautics is different in that it purposely attempts to discover the concious through the use of psychotics. Exploration in the name of discover, study for the sake of revealing, is scientific, especially if their is an institute devoted to the science (or pseudoscience) of Psychonautics. (talk) 01:00, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
For some reason you equate study in general with the application of the scientific method in a strict sense. There is little reason in doing so. If you check and search for "study" you will find a great variety of definitions. For instance, it is complitely accurate to say: "A six-year old child is studying an anthill." Nobody, who utters the aforementioned sentence means that the child is applying scientific method in her endeavor to understand what the ants are doing, but just that the child is observing the anthill and possibly even making some crude mental notes of what the ants are doing under certain circumstances. It is quite similar with psychonautics and meditation and various other disciplines of study. Often they do not claim to apply the scientific method. It is only when they make this unfounded claim of being science (explicitly or implicitly) that they can be accurately described as pseudoscience. The bottom line is that the child interested in the anthill - as well as practitioner of meditation or psychonautics - are all

1) studying something 2) not applying the scientific method 3) not claiming to be scientific 4) not doing pseudoscience (talk) 15:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Stub + rewrite[edit]

The majority of views at the second AFD seem to agree the article is substandard and needs stubbing and rewriting to remove large chunks of unsuitable content. I've had a go - it's far from complete, but as far as it goes it is a reasonable stub. I found it worked better to write an article from sources on psychonautics, than psychonauts, so I have moved the pages there.

Possible topics and sections needed (examples): -

  • Philosophy section covering views on the use of substances for exploration of the psyche;
  • History section of this kind of usage from religion through into contemporary culture, and across a range of specific cultures from Tibet to Shamanism to the hippie era (which is different from the history of the word);
  • Actual and discussed use of the topic in therapy (main article: Psychedelic therapy);
  • Psychological aspects of such usage;
  • Current views from various fields such as therapy through to drug abuse analysis;
  • Descriptions of the subjective experiences it labels (as discussed in scholarly writings) possibly linked to more complete articles on that topic.

FT2 (Talk | email) 02:42, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Brilliant! Thank you! Jojalozzo 04:00, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Note that I just slapped the references in for the time being - they aren't done to standard at all, at this point although the info is there. Considerable copyediting and other work is still needed. FT2 (Talk | email) 04:43, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Recommencing work on this article in the near future (with luck). Images added, stuff above to source. Neesds to address valid talk page points by other users above. For example
  • "Approaches similar to psychonautics but not denoted as such, often due to the modernity of the term, are also described in numerous sources...." (allows us to give due weight to cases such as religious figures, not often described as "psychonauts" but likely covered by the same kinds of description)
  • Skeptics views (if sourced and not tiny-minority)
FT2 (Talk | email) 02:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


Based on the drug use to induce the dreams or dream state, the characters of the Christopher Nolan's film "Inception" are by definition "Psychonauts". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:50, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

POV in text under photo of Aldous Huxley[edit]

The phrase considered by some a leader of modern thought and an intellectual of the highest rank is POV, not to mention vague (who is it that considers him such?). Perhaps it should explain why he is significant in terms of the subject rather than using such language. (I.e. what has he done to be considered a psychonaut.) Autarch (talk) 18:53, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Notable psychonauts[edit]

I propose removing that section entirely. I doubt that all these people are especially known for their psychonaucy, in some cases I doubt we're allowed to call them psychonauts at all; the actually notable ones can be covered in the article, indeed one or more are already linked to in the text. If really necessary and accurate, I think we can add a sentence including a handful of names someplace else in the article. The list gives no explanations as to what makes these people notable psychonauts, like whether they have written about the topic extensively or if they just like to get high every now and then. — Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 23:38, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, that's been nagging at me since I first did some cleanup and watchlisted this article. Seems like rather than Psychonaut, the relevant category on the associated articles is usually Category:Psychedelic drug advocates, not always directly supported in the article but usually commonly known to be true. I suggest that the best solution would be to create List of psychedelic drug advocates and reference that here. At least that's a more objective criteria; psychonaut as it is used here is relatively subjective, and for living people shouldn't be used I think unless the subject uses the term themselves. Yworo (talk) 00:49, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I went ahead and removed the section. In case there was anything useful in there, putting the list here:
Extended content

Notable psychonauts[edit]

— Jeraphine Gryphon (talk) 07:50, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Notable Psychonauts Missing[edit]

The Notable Psychonauts seem to address only those who explored via drugs, yet there are citations that meditation and prayer are also valid methods.

For example, Rabbi Akiva should surely be considered a notable psychonaut as he used meditation and prayer to access levels that others were incapable of achieving. See for example - "[only] Rabbi Akiva entered in peace and left in peace. "

Should I add him? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:22, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

@ He seems to be less a psychonaut and more a (more or less normal) religious person. I'd oppose adding him besides if you have a ver ygood WP:RS explicitly calling him a psychonaut. --Fixuture (talk) 19:21, 15 January 2017 (UTC)