For decades, the public perception of psychedelics has been skewed by a pervasive stereotype about their users. To debunk this myth, I am showcasing real-life stories of accomplished professional and scholarly individuals willing to “come out” about their experiences. My guest this morning, Professor Chris M. Bache, is the poster child for this growing tribe of distinguished psychedelic elders.
Bache is professor emeritus in Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, where he taught for 33 years. Classically trained in the philosophy of religion at the University of Notre Dame, Cambridge, and Brown University, he recognized early in his career that psychedelics represented a major turning point in Western philosophy.
Convinced that the deepest contributions to his discipline would be made by philosophers speaking out of an experiential rather than just theoretical basis, he divided his life into two streams: In public, he became an academic in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University, teaching courses in Buddhism, transpersonal studies, psychology of religion, and comparative mysticism for over thirty years.
Meanwhile, in 1979, he began privately experiment with psychedelic exploration, which became the foundation for his philosophical inquiry. Since retiring in 2015, Chris has spoken and written openly about his psychedelic history, bringing the shamanic side of his life forward.
Chris’s passion has been exploring the philosophical significance of nonordinary states of consciousness, especially psychedelic states. He has written four books: Lifecycles – a study of reincarnation in light of contemporary consciousness research; Dark Night, Early Dawn – a pioneering work in psychedelic philosophy and collective consciousness; The Living Classroom, an exploration of teaching and collective fields of consciousness; and LSD and the Mind of the Universe, the story of his 20-year journey with LSD.
Chris is the father of three grown children and a Vajrayana practitioner.