The theory goes a little like this; our global connectiviness, call it consciousness, sociology, or the internet, existes by maintaing a balance between two forces. To borrow Frued's terms but leaving aside the sexual obsession, these two forces can be called Eros and Thanatos. A simpler but much more ambiguous explanation would lend the terms Good and Evil. Eros is the drive to connect, love, nurture, help, and so on, where Thanatos is the drive to destroy, deconstruct, hate, and hurt. The theory asserts that when one force becomes too powerful, thus shifting the balance our existence requires to maintain, a zeitgeist begins to emerge allowing the birth of the opposite force to explode forth which reestablishes balance.
I know little about the history of humanity so I won't pretend to take you on a knowledgable trip through our collective past, however I have been exposed to an interesting supporting claim to the balancing theory. Credit is due to Alexander Shulgin, I am only filter regurgitating his findings, who I'm sure would admit he was another filter of more original idea, and such is the creative process.
In 1942, a group of american scientist discovered they could control nuclear fission, thus the birthing of man's ability to end all life on the planet. Oppenheimer recalls the event as such (1). (The sadness in his eyes eclipses any acting I've ever seen.) The balance between Thanatos and Eros had shifted wildly in the favor of destruction.
A year later, seemingly by accident, Dr. Albert Hofman accidentally assimilated a chemical he had created 5 years ago. What ensued was the introduction of LSD, and as it applies to the theory of Thanatos and Eros, an explosive resurgence of the Eros force. Man believed he had mastered matter, this translucent substance reminded him he had not yet even fully explored himself.
My peers and I struggle to understand the Zeitgeist between the 40s and 70s. We fail to appreciate how close this planet was to total destruction. We can't comprehend the significance and reverberating repercussions of the counter culture. I could and normally do fall into rants lampooning my peers but I should stop. That comes from a place of Thanatos rather than Eros.
Psychedelics are not for all. They are not a panacea. However, they are important. They are powerful. They are useful. If you have the mental durability and conscious curiosity, try them. Be responsible.
A quick rant on drugs and addiction. Coffee and sugar; drugs. Television and texting: addictions. Ultimately the term "drug" and "addiction" are arbitrary symbols we as a group have accepted to have some kind of meaning that was constructed by a group of people other than ourselves. Take a second and stand back for a moment and think about this. You fear these substances. You use excuses like they're illegal or they're bad for your health, but you speed, drank before you were 21, eat and drink absolutely synthetic shit. You're afraid because deep down you know the life you live is not the life you dreamt of, and in order to kill that voice inside of you that cries with agony and regret, you willingly offer your consciousness to noise. Don't be afraid, with a little risk, the rewards are far greater than the monotony you subscribe to everyday. Risk your life, death is guaranteed regardless.