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57 Greatest Psychedelic Quotes Celebrating Science, Spirit—and A Little Mischief 

"Drugs allow us to taste the beyond but do not make us masters of the transcendental.” —Satyananda Saraswati

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DoubleBlind Mag

Dr. Tamara Haywood //
Updated October 21, 2022

DoubleBlind Mag is devoted to fair, rigorous reporting by leading experts and journalists in the field of psychedelics. Read more about our editorial process and fact-checking here.

Many people still think of psychedelics solely as the type of substance favored by suspect creative subcultures: artists, writers, and musicians, especially those from the 1960s. However, as our understanding of psychedelics has grown, we see that it’s not just creative folk or revolutionary types waxing poetic about their experiences while tripping. Psychedelics are the subject of serious, in-depth discourse by many Western researchers, scientists, and mental health professionals—and have been since the 1950s.

The potential of psychedelics to improve well-being and expand our consciousness is recognized by athletes, artists, scientists, researchers, and therapists alike. Not to mention, psychedelic plants and fungi have been part of many indigenous cultures since time immemorial. We’ve compiled some of our favorite psychedelic quotes from past and present across the spectrum of art, science, and spirit below.

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57 Best Psychedelic Quotes

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

—Humphry Osmond, English psychiatrist and psychedelic researcher who investigated LSD and coined the word “psychedelic.”

2.  “Shrooms are full of shit. That’s the whole story. Grown in shit, it’s their essence: they try to humble you in these ways that bring you down to their level.”

―A.D. Aliwat, Author of In Limbo

3.  “The walls turned to gold, the bedcover was gold, my whole body was becoming gold, liquid gold, scintillating, warm gold. I was gold. It was the most pleasurable sensation I had ever known, like an orgasm. It was the secret of life, the alchemist’s secret of life.”

— Anaïs Nin, diarist and author

psychedelic quote

4.  “I am certain that the LSD experience has helped me very much. I find myself with a heightened color perception and an appreciation of beauty almost destroyed by my years of depression… The sensation that the partition between ‘here’ and ‘there’ has become very thin is constantly with me.”

—Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in a 1957 letter 

5.  “Everyone thought I was crazy, I bit this guy’s ear off…I did all this stuff, and once I got introduced to the shrooms … my whole life changed. To think where I was – almost suicidal – to this now. Isn’t life a trip, man? It’s amazing medicine, and people don’t look at it from that perspective.”

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—Mike Tyson, professional boxer

6.  “LSD is a catalyst or amplifier of mental processes. If properly used it could become something like the microscope or telescope of psychiatry.”

—Stanislav Grof, M.D., psychedelic therapy pioneer

7.   “Although many of us think of psychedelics as dangerous drugs, it’s time for a rethink. They are non-toxic, non-addictive, have very few side effects, and could potentially offer relief for people suffering from a range of psychological difficulties.”

—Dr. Rosalind Watts, Ph.D., Founder of ACER Integration, clinical psychologist, and former clinical lead for Imperial College psilocybin trial

8. “What the experience does is it presents you with the idea of mortality right there. It’s your own mortality, the mortality of the planet…that is the central issue of consciousness.”

—Sting, musician, featured in the Have a Good Trip documentary film

9.   “As we experience a resurgence of interest in psychedelics, we can again fantasize about a different future.”

—Erika Dyck, Ph.D., Associate Director for the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines

Read: 9 Celebrities on Their Life-Changing Psychedelic Experiences

psychedelic quote

10.  “I think psychedelic medicine has the potential to help heal the wounds of those suffering from racial trauma and bring healing to the consciousness of those who perpetrate and perpetuate racial violence.”

—Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D., certified psychedelic therapist

11.  “There are aspects to those two particular drugs [psilocybin and LSD] that the places you can go in your brain are much deeper and more healing than anything else.”

—Kristen Bell, actress 

12.  “In many, many ways, all of us are indebted to Indigenous peoples and their traditions and their knowledge when we are interested in these medicines.”

—Beatriz Caiuby Labate, Ph.D., anthropologist, and Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines 

13.  “Early research on the use of psychedelics to treat trauma has focused primarily on combat veterans, a vast majority of whom are men. Without careful attention paid to make psychedelic therapy safe and inviting for women and people who are genderqueer or transgender, norms which make it safer for cisgendered men to participate in such healing will only intensify.”

—Betty Aldworth, Director of Communications and Marketing for MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)

psychedelic quote

14.  “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.”

―Terence McKenna, ethnobotanist, mystic, and advocate for the responsible use of psychedelic plants 

15.  “I had never seen anything like Iboga. It was basically like, here’s the red pill: You’re unplugging from the Matrix. As I was unplugging, I was going down these rabbit holes of who I really am… who we were really are… how important this earth is… the spirit world… my ancestors… Personally, I have African roots, so Iboga felt like I was going home. That’s my medicine.”

—Chor Boogie, artist in conversation with Chacruna.

16.  “I take mushrooms almost every day. I mean, microdosing is a game-changer!… Psilocybin is good for everybody,” Handler continued. “It puts you in a good mood, keeps you upbeat, and makes you appreciate nature. So ya, legalizing mushrooms? For sure.”

—Chelsea Handler, comedian

psychedelic quote

17.  “I like doing it in the Grand Canyon or in the woods… It does remind you of your space in the universe — your place in the universe — and reframe things for you. I think you can have some very profound experiences.” 

—Susan Sarandon, actress

18.  “For working purposes, you might separate the personal, the community and the planet, but within the vision, the cosmology of Indigenous communities of the Amazon rainforest, you do not separate the individual from the community from the planet, that’s fictitious. Individual health is collective health, collective health includes the territory. We’re talking about one ecosystem which is inseparable and it’s very important to view it as one.”

—Miguel Evanjuanoy, an Inga from Colombia, engineer, and member of UMIYAC, the Union of Indigenous Medics and Yageceros of Colombia

19.  “Drugs allow us to taste the beyond but do not make us masters of the transcendental.”

—Satyananda Saraswati, yoga teacher, guru, and founder of the Divine Life Society

20. “Iboga needs collective support, because it’s starting to disappear now in Gabon, because it’s being poached and poached for businesses outside of Gabon. If people just look at ibogaine, we will lose the tree, the culture, the people around that tree, thousands of years of knowledge. There’s medicine in that, too.”

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—Marie Lou Miboka Aboghé, President of Blessings Of The Forest, Gabon

21.  “Whilst I’m all for psychedelic science—I think it’s fantastic—I don’t think we necessarily have time to wait for the science to tell us these medicines are useful. The indigenous cultures have already shown us the ways.”

—Gail Bradbrook, British environmental activist, and co-founder of Extinction Rebellion

psychedelic quote

22.  “Be smarter every day by listening to your intuition, looking at the world with your forehead. Jump, dance, sing, so that you live happier. Heal yourself, with beautiful love and always remember…You are the medicine.”

—Maria Sabina, curandera

23.  “To hold a fresh psilocybin mushroom in one’s hand is to possess the very nature of anything can happen. Their beauty meets their potency, both chemically and symbolically. Infatuation happens instantly and doesn’t easily fade. You will want to pay homage to their form in needlepoint, stained glass, and patches sewn onto jackets. I am Team Mushroom, give me my T-shirt, you will say. The persistent need for symbolic representation of the mushroom was something I judged as bad taste, until I became that person.”

—Bett Williams, author, The Wild Kindness

24. “I believe mushrooms can lead the human being into some form of mature sanity, leaving behind the immaturity of the last twelve thousand years.”

—Kilindi Iyi, mycologist and teacher

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

—John Lennon, musician 

psychedelic quote

26.  “We can pray about all we want to, but there has to be action in our prayer. We have to meet our creator. We have to work towards that prayer,”

—Sandor Iron Rope, President of the Native American Church of South Dakota and former chair of Native American church of North America, on how the Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative is a prayer that began with his grandparents, placed into action

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27.  “And so much of these plant psychedelic entities are at least 4,000 years old. Now, when you experiment – when you work with these plant psychedelics, what I have found is that these entities are actually there. They are aware of you, they are aware that you are a person, and they are able to communicate with you.”

—D. M. Turner, psychedelic researcher, psychonaut, and author of The Essential Psychedelic Guide

28.   “And the hot chocolate came, and the foam or the whipped cream was, like, breathing, and it was too alive to drink.”

—Sarah Silverman, said in Have a Good Trip film

29.  “With psychedelics, if you’re fortunate and breakthrough, you understand what is truly of value in life. Material, power, dominance, and territory have no value. People wouldn’t fight wars, and the whole system we have currently would fall apart. People would become peaceful, loving citizens, not robots marching around in the dark with all their lights off.”

—Gary Fisher, one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike 

30.  “In my travels, it was told to me that the mushroom is an organic technology for access to the multiverse memory bank, created to enable one to go into that library. But it takes discipline, courage, practice, patience, and tenacity to get what you want and go where you want to go.”

—Kilindi Iyi

31.  “Taking this drug, LSD-25, reality becomes objective… so reality is innocence, is pure, and is of divine beauty. In the same moment that the reality becomes to you this divine beauty, there is also the other side, reality is just of divine beauty because we don’t give any meaning to it, as is innocence. But in the same moment, to not give meaning to reality means that you don’t understand reality any longer. Reality becomes scenes without any meaning. So you can become a saint or you can become a crazy man.”

—Federico Fellini, film director

Read: Inside the Chemistry Lab Where the MDMA Godfather Synthesized Novel Psychedelics

psychedelic quote

32.  “Mycelium mushrooms have been one of my greatest teachers of trust. The word mycelium means ‘more than one.’ The mycelium organism is a dynamic root system of mushrooms that utilizes trust as a mechanism to build and sustain a vast, reciprocal, underground network that connects the roots of trees and plants and skillfully shares nutrients and resources to support the health of the entire ecosystem with which it moves. This mycelial network cannot exist without trust. The mycelium communication highway recognizes and believes in the collective ability to channel and receive nutrients where needed, protect against parasites, and expand roots into necessary sites of growth. The network process also fosters intergenerational relationships that welcome the myriad of ancient wisdom and connections that reside in older trees to benefit younger trees. These mushrooms affirm a commitment to building relationships of trust that encourage all life to bloom. One that I aspire to embody more and more in my organizing practice.”

—Adaku Utah, Igbo healer, speaker, and writer

33.  “Every tree, every plant, has a spirit. People may say that the plant has no mind. I tell them that the plant is alive & conscious. A plant may not talk, but there is a spirit in it that is conscious, that sees everything, which is the soul of the plant, its essence, what makes it alive.”

—Pablo Amaringo, artist and curandero

34.  “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, co-founder of Apple, pioneer of the personal computer era 

35.  “No lie, a rainbow shot out of my dick.”

—A$AP Rocky, rapper, said in Have a Good Trip film

psychedelic quote

36.  “I suddenly became strangely inebriated. The external world became changed as in a dream. Objects appeared to gain in relief; they assumed unusual dimensions; and colors became more glowing. Even self-perception and the sense of time were changed. When the eyes were closed, colored pictures flashed past in a quickly changing kaleidoscope. After a few hours, the not unpleasant inebriation, which had been experienced whilst I was fully conscious, disappeared. What had caused this condition?”

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—Dr. Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist to first to synthesize, ingest, and discover the psychedelic effects of LSD, Laboratory Notes (1943)

37.  “I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to points. I thought, ‘Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn’t, then there’s a point to it.”

―Harry Nilsson, musician

38.  “For us, the mushroom is a very sacred being. It is a deity because it has a spirit, it has a voice, and it is a sentient being.”

—Inti García Flores, Mazatec historian and Director of the “Renato García Dorantes” Mazatec Historical Archive, on Chacruna

39.  “Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.”

—Timothy Leary

psychedelic quote

40.  “It’s mind-altering when you slip into someone else’s shoes. That’s psychedelic, man.”

—Bryan Cranston, actor

41.  “See with a different eye, visualize with a colorful mind, manifest your thoughts with the energy within.”

―Michael Bassey Johnson, progressive author, poet, dramatist, and owner of the photography brand ‘Kurious Observer’

42.  “Through all of history, mankind has ingested psychedelic substances. Those substances exist to put you in touch with spirits beyond yourself, with the creator, with the creative impulse of the planet.”

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—Ray Manzarek, American keyboardist, singer and co-founder of The Doors

43.   “In consciousness dwells the wondrous, with it man attains the realm beyond the material, and the Peyote tells us where to find it.”

—Antonin Artaud, writer, poet, dramatist, visual artist, essayist, actor and theatre director

44.  “When I speak of ancient healing technologies, that is exactly what [psilocybin mushrooms] are. They’ve been on the planet for thousands and thousands of years. Your mushroom spores are 460 million years older than any other plant or fungi. They’re making a huge psychedelic renaissance right now because we need the help. We are in trouble. A lot of people are suffering from anxiety and depression and PTSD, and just life seems to be harder to live as opposed to dying.”

—Ayana Lyi, healer, organizer, and founder of the Detroit Psychedelic Conference

45.  “Ayahuasca was definitely one of my favorite drugs I’ve ever done. When I did it, I asked everyone else in the room, ‘Did your entire life just change? Are you a new person?”

—Miley Cyrus, singer and songwriter

psychedelic quote

46.  “It’s a very salutary thing to realize that the rather dull universe in which most of us spend most of our time is not the only universe there is. I think it’s healthy that people should have this experience.”

―Aldous Huxley, author of Moksha: Writings on Psychedelics and the Visionary Experience

47.  “All deities and demons, all heavens and hells are internal.”

―Timothy Leary, The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

48.  “Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you’ve been to some of those places, you think, ‘How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?’”

—Jerry Garcia, American musician best known for being the principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist with The Grateful Dead

49.  “Who was this ‘I’ that was able to take in the scene of its own dissolution? Good question. It wasn’t me, exactly.”

—Michael Pollan, journalist and author of How to Change Your Mind

50.  “Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you’ve been to some of those places, you think, ‘How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?’”

—Jerry Garcia, American musician best known for being the principal songwriter, lead guitarist, and vocalist with The Grateful Dead

psychedelic quote

51.  “You have to take seriously the notion that understanding the universe is your responsibility, because the only understanding of the universe that will be useful to you is your own understanding.”

—Terence McKenna

52.  “Objects and their functions no longer had any significance. All I perceived was perception itself, the hell of forms and figures devoid of human emotion and detached from the reality of my unreal environment. I was an instrument in a virtual world that constantly renewed its own meaningless image in a living world that was itself perceived outside of nature. And since the appearance of things was no longer definitive but limitless, this paradisiacal awareness freed me from the reality external to myself. The fire and the rose, as it were, became one.”

―Federico Fellini

53.  “I became tuned in on the network of neurological signals and cellular wisdoms that radiate at hundreds of millions per second.”

—Timothy Leary

54.  “To make this trivial world sublime, take half a gram of phanerothyme.”

—Aldous Huxley

55.  “Shrooms are a very insightful drug — very introspective. I did shrooms recently and then quit a job the next day. So yeah, I’ve made some real-life decisions as a result.”

—Seth Rogen

56. “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

57. “I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”

—Hunter S. Thompson, journalist and author

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