What is the meaning of “Cognitive Liberty”?

Cognitive Liberty is defined as the human right to mental self-determination. Although Cognitive Liberty has not yet been acknowledged in any official way, it is considered by some ethicists and legal scholars as worthy of being held as a fundamental right; to be given the same value as other civil rights such as Freedom of Speech, Religion, and Assembly. It could even be argued that the idea of Cognitive Liberty is the foundation and first principle of these expression rights so essential to our Liberal society. It’s fairly easy to deduce that absent the right of sovereignty over one’s private mind, that other expression rights crumble before they even have a chance to attain their rightful function; which is the protection of human free will.

The original impetus behind the concept of Cognitive Liberty was the advent of new technologies evolving from neuro-scientific research. Technologies that can “read” thoughts and deeply shape a person’s state of mind are no longer a thing of Science Fiction. The distinction between the expression of thought and the state of mind that produces the thought is becoming more prominent with regard to the debate on what expression rights are fundamental. Our state of mind is increasingly becoming vulnerable in a way it never has been before because of these technologies. Our state of mind, the actual mode of our consciousness, can now be infringed upon. Until now, Freedom of Expression was always considered in terms of what is the content of thinking. Cognitive Liberty considers the how of thinking; the state of mind that lays the groundwork for expression. Or, rights that protect the how of what a person is thinking as well as what is expressed. Bringing us to the importance of the right of Cognitive Liberty regarding entheogens.

The entheogenic experience often creates valuable changes in consciousness. Changes that yield insights and frame an experience in innovative ways that can profoundly affect the creation of art, literature, and music, our relationship with nature, our experience of interpersonal healing and understanding, as well as, most profoundly to us, entheogenic, religious experiences of the Divine. Entheogenic experiences of the Sacred, and opening wide the doors to higher consciousness. The time could come when entheogenic influences on humanity might threaten the programs of certain established sectors of society, such as corporate medicine, mainstream education, and politics. Entities that would have an interest in squashing not only free speech but the expansion of multi-dimensional ways of looking at the truth that might interfere with their agendas for us. This is not what we want.

Indeed, your mind and its conscious precursors are as much a part of you as your body is. The protection of our Divinely given consciousness, and especially our free will choices of how we want to work with our consciousness, and by extension with our creative talents, with how we share our consciousness with other people, other living things, and within the deepest inner magic of our being. This is our Divine birthright. With all the hidden possibilities that evolve with it. Our consciousness is the leading edge of our lives and must function from our free will. Not someone else’s. We believe that free will of the mind is not just a gift of the Divine, but the manifestation of the Divine Itself. Protection of this right should be one of our most solemn duties.

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Suzi Kalypso

Founder, Temple of Eden

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