Moving forward by looking back: critiques of commercialized mindfulness and the future of (commercialized) psychedelics

Article


Elf, P., Isham, A. and Leoni, D. 2023. Moving forward by looking back: critiques of commercialized mindfulness and the future of (commercialized) psychedelics. History of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals. 65 (1), pp. 33-62. https://doi.org/10.3368/hopp.65.1.33
TypeArticle
TitleMoving forward by looking back: critiques of commercialized mindfulness and the future of (commercialized) psychedelics
AuthorsElf, P., Isham, A. and Leoni, D.
Abstract

Much has been written in the academic and popular press on the positive consequences of psychedelic-induced mental states. Following the disappearance of psychedelic research from the public eye between the 1970s and early 2000s, a second wave of psychedelic research is gaining increasing interest from private sector actors looking to explore commercial opportunities. The commercialization of psychedelic substances will likely have consequences for how they are used, to what ends, and to what degree of efficacy. We reflect on the critiques of commercialized mindfulness and explore how they may apply to the future of commercialized psychedelics. Mindfulness and psychedelics share several qualities, including their often spiritual origins and self-transcendent nature. However, mindfulness has already undergone a period of commercialization and represents a precedent case for imagining the possible outcomes of the commercialization of psychedelics. By considering the problems associated with separating the practice from its spiritual roots, co-optation to reinforce neoliberal principles, and alterations to administration to cut costs, the article demonstrates the tensions that arise when trying to implement practices rooted in enhancing well-being in societies dominated by consumer capitalism.

Keywordspsychedelics; capitalism; mindfulness; self-transcendent experiences; commercialization; well-being; mystical experiences
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
Research GroupCentre for Enterprise, Environment and Development Research (CEEDR)
LanguageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Wisconsin Press
JournalHistory of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals
ISSN2694-3034
Electronic2694-3042
Publication dates
Print09 Oct 2023
PrintOct 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted12 May 2023
Deposited06 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Restricted
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3368/hopp.65.1.33
Permalink -

https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/v8q81

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 27
    total views
  • 2
    total downloads
  • 4
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Low-carbon good lives
Isham, A., Loukianov, A. and Elf, P. 2024. Low-carbon good lives. in: Overdevest, C. (ed.) Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Sociology Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 405-411
Developing Brazil's sustainable finance entrepreneurship ecosystem: The role of keystone actors and institutional logics
Elf, P. and Owen, R. 2023. Developing Brazil's sustainable finance entrepreneurship ecosystem: The role of keystone actors and institutional logics. in: Hussain, J.G., Salia, S. and Scott, J.M. (ed.) Entrepreneurial Financial Resilience and Financial Innovation in a Turbulent Era Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 190-207
Applying sequential mixed-methods approaches when working with businesses: insights from longitudinal research into the influence of business on sustainable lifestyles
Elf, P. 2023. Applying sequential mixed-methods approaches when working with businesses: insights from longitudinal research into the influence of business on sustainable lifestyles. in: Sage Research Methods: Business SAGE Publications. pp. 1-25
Finance and funding for upscaling sustainable fashion
Lyon, F., Elf, P., Owen, R. and Werner, A. 2023. Finance and funding for upscaling sustainable fashion. in: Charter, M., Pan, B. and Black, S. (ed.) Accelerating Sustainability in Fashion, Clothing and Textiles London Taylor & Francis (Routledge).
Self-transcendent experiences as promoters of ecological wellbeing? Exploration of the evidence and hypotheses to be tested
Isham, A., Elf, P. and Jackson, T. 2022. Self-transcendent experiences as promoters of ecological wellbeing? Exploration of the evidence and hypotheses to be tested. Frontiers in Psychology. 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1051478
The problematic role of materialistic values in the pursuit of sustainable well-being
Isham, A., Verfuerth, C., Armstrong, A., Elf, P., Gatersleben, B. and Jackson, T. 2022. The problematic role of materialistic values in the pursuit of sustainable well-being. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 19 (6). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063673
Self-transcendent experiences and sustainable prosperity: CUSP working paper no. 32
Elf, P., Isham, A. and Jackson, T. 2022. Self-transcendent experiences and sustainable prosperity: CUSP working paper no. 32. Guilford Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity.
Advancing the circular economy through dynamic capabilities and extended customer engagement: insights from small sustainable fashion enterprises in the UK
Elf, P., Werner, A. and Black, S. 2022. Advancing the circular economy through dynamic capabilities and extended customer engagement: insights from small sustainable fashion enterprises in the UK. Business Strategy and the Environment. 31 (6), pp. 2682-2699. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2999
Shall we dance? Recreational dance, well-being and productivity performance during COVID-19: a three-country study
Vecchi, M., Elf, P., Ueno, A., Dilmperi, A., Dennis, C. and Devereux, L. 2022. Shall we dance? Recreational dance, well-being and productivity performance during COVID-19: a three-country study. Journal of International Marketing. 30 (2), pp. 56-72. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069031X221079609
The role and potential of tripartite partnerships to promote strong sustainable consumption in the context of Brazil: an evaluation of possibilities and risks
Oliveira, V. M., Elf, P., Correia, S. É. N. and Gomez, C. R. P. 2022. The role and potential of tripartite partnerships to promote strong sustainable consumption in the context of Brazil: an evaluation of possibilities and risks. Local Environment. 27 (1), pp. 112-130. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2021.2013787
Above and beyond? How businesses can drive sustainable development by promoting lasting pro-environmental behaviour change: an examination of the IKEA Live Lagom project
Elf, P., Isham, A. and Gatersleben, B. 2021. Above and beyond? How businesses can drive sustainable development by promoting lasting pro-environmental behaviour change: an examination of the IKEA Live Lagom project. Business Strategy and the Environment. 30 (2), pp. 1037-1050. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2668
Facilitating positive spillover effects: new insights from a mixed-methods approach exploring factors enabling people to live more sustainable lifestyles
Elf, P., Gatersleben, B. and Christie, I. 2019. Facilitating positive spillover effects: new insights from a mixed-methods approach exploring factors enabling people to live more sustainable lifestyles. Frontiers in Psychology. 9, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02699