The psychonaut, as distinguished from the oneironaut, is a traveler who experiments on himself, rather than acting as a healer to others. The psychonaut seeks to map his own ego, his own identity, through self-exploration and personal medication. He turns inward to find the undiscovered countries, to visit those dark corners of the maps where monsters of the id live.
What is that old adage? "I have met the monster, and he wears my face." We like to reinvent ourselves with each generation, and so we forget that medieval demonologists were nothing more than amateur psychologists.(That makes Freud our Satanic Father and Jung our Gnostic Mother. But all children, wishing as they do to rewrite history, give hateful names to their parents.)
Many of us (oneironauts, by the way, not spiteful children) began our careers as beatniks and collegiate burnouts. Seduced by the leaf, the powder, and the reagent, we discovered aptitudes for alchemy, neurochemistry, and ethnobiology. Well, some of us did. The rest of us simply gobbled up the work done by our betters: Burroughs, Gysin, McKenna, Leary, Dr. Ehrillimbal (I dare you to try to find an oneironaut who can't readily quote from his Journal of Exploratory and Experimental Pharmacology), Fulcanelli, PKD, Lambra, McElholn, and Davis.
We are the individuals who, collectively and selectively, are the counterweight to the secret cabals, the hidden fraternities, and the zealous conspiracies which seek to de-individuate us. We are the hidden soldiers who strive to keep the sparks of personal liberty burning. We chart the hidden pathways of the id in an effort to find ways to hide from them, ways to preserve ourselves from their continual efforts of brain smoothing.
Have you ever bothered to really consider why jail sentences for possession of illegal drugs are equivalent or worse than murder? They don't really care if we kill each other—it just makes their jobs easier after all—but if we are caught possessing the tools of liberation and enlightenment? Yes, that just won't do at all.
Gnosis destroys the barbaric drive of consumerism. That is the primal secret they all fear. If we are all fully realized human beings, we will awaken from our wage slavery and our dependence on materialism and cheap sensationalism. We will no longer feed them as we will have discovered how to self-nourish our souls and minds.
Yes, we are the enemy. But so are they. And the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Do you not remember that syllogism? As one of our historical brothers once claimed on his deathbed: "Nothing is true, everything is permitted." Thus, to live is to act, to react is to not live. Our bodies drag us down; our wills imprison us.