Psychanaut (psychonaut, psychenaut)
Psychanaut is a term coined from the combination of two Greek words: Psyche (soul or mind) and Naut (sailor or traveler), that is, a traveler of the mind/soul. As an astronaut is an explorer of outer space, a Psychanaut is an explorer of inner space.
Tools used by Psychanauts
psychanauts tend to be pluralistic and universal in their approach, using various techniques in their inner explorations such as:
- Multiple world spiritual mystical traditions
- Tantric sex
- Lucid dreaming
- Brainwave entrainment
- Astral projection
- Sensory deprivation
- Ego death
- Food choices
- Breathing techniques
Personality Traits of Psychanauts
Psychanauts tend to be quite open minded and intellectually curious, with well developed sense of empathy. They have a quirky sense of humor. Creative, unconventional and philosophical in nature, psychanauts are often involved in various artistic, musical, spiritual, or psychological work.
Many psychanauts are very interested in physical health, viewing the body as temple of the soul. They share a sense of the interconnectedness of life and thus are also environmentally conscious. Their lifestyle choices reflect these attitudes.
Psychanauts use meditation, trance technologies and/or mind-expanding tools more for their ability to act as entheogens than for any inebriating (or social) effect, and their use most often has a deep spiritual significance. Because techniques that alter consciousness are deeply personal, and can induce a state of susceptibility, psychanauts generally prefer to undertake these explorations either alone, or in the company of trusted companion(s). Therefore, they tend to be adverse to using altered consciousness in a “party” context; Psychanauts generally regard the latter sort of use as irresponsible. Often psychanauts lead quiet lives, practicing simple kindness as a lifestyle.
Goals of psychanautical work – Cosmic Consciousness and Personal Empowerment
Psychanautics may be considered an attempt to generate a “user’s manual for the human mind”. Goals of psychanautic practices are twofold: expanded spiritual consciousness through direct experience, and improvement of psychological and cognitive performance through study of personal motivations and attitudes.
Psychonauts usually are drawn to writings by philosophers, psychologists, historians, sociologists and well know literary psychonauts such as Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Bertrand Russell, Ram Dass, Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Terance McKenna, Daniel Pinchbeck, Dan Carpenter, etc.
You’ll probably find a wide variety of music in the Psychanaut’s arsonal, from old Hendrix and Yes to Classical music to Trance, New Age, Steve Hackett and countless indi projects.
Key to the psychonaut experience is conscious modification of brain wave frequencies, which can lead to quite distinct perceptual states; a detailed examination and understanding of one’s own thought processes, habits, and beliefs is also sought. Entheogen related visions are seen as a form of subliminal symbolism or as a real but distinct reality; as with other processes of the mind, psychanauts seek to understand these. These states often simultaneously dissociate the mind from the ego and offer an objective view of one’s mental processes.
Psychological concepts of Carl G. Jung and Dr. Abraham Maslow accurately reflect the psychonaut’s experiences.