- The term psychonaut comes from the Greek words psuchè (life breath, spirit, soul, mind) and nautès (sailor, navigator). It translates as 'sailor of the mind' or 'navigator of the psyche'. Its origin is commonly attributed to the German author and expert on psychoactive chemicals Ernst Jünger (1895-1998). Today 'psychonaut' is used as a generic term for individuals who seek to investigate their mind using intentionally induced altered states of consciousness. The aim of this investigation may be either spiritual in nature (as in *mysticism or *shamanism) or of a more mundane nature (as in scientific drug experiments designed to study the effects of * hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline, or cannabis). The exploration of the psyche by means of techniques such as meditation, prayer, * lucid dreaming, brainwave entrainment, * sensory deprivation, and the use of *hallucinogens or *entheogens is referred to as * psychonautics.ReferencesSiegel, R.K. (1992). Fire in the brain. Clinical tales of hallucination. New York, NY: Dutton.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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