Persistent use of psychedelics peels away the layers of defences; across a stretch of time, as a single trip will, but diffused and comingling with everyday life. Just as psychotherapy delves deeper and deeper into the unconscious past, cumulatively; as bodywork will reveal muscular tensions not previously perceived. Cumulative revelation of the frozen energy buried in our being, strangling the spontaneity of life in us.
At certain points in these processes—psychedelic use, psychotherapy—one encounters walls and abysses. Illusory, the effort is not to jump over them but to break their illusory spell; this is the jump. A leap is made, a risk taken, new areas of freedom found, if courage allows.
If an abyss is reached, and is backed away from, or the leap is half-hearted, a form of psychosis will result. It may be individual: collapse of identity, withdrawal from everyday reality, paranoia, self-destruction. If a close-knit social groups is using psychedelics frequently, even though abysses may be faced by the individual at differing times, eventually a group leap will be necessary. Otherwise, group psychosis results. This is as easily recognized as psychosis as the individual case is. The group generates enough collective energy to maintain stronger delusions.
Encased in the concrete of acceptance by our peers, where it can do us no harm, fear, and ignorance, remain.
Manifestations of group psychosis include: loss of spontaneity in group dynamics, rigidification of individual social roles in the group (strangling the natural multiplicity of ‘individual’ identity), and the strong need for scapegoating—either within the group, or outside scapegoating, the collective denigration of other social groups. Only a weak collective needs to persistently put down other social groups to bolster the group ego.