Hey Scott thanks for the read and for sharing your experience in such a thoughtful and articulate way. The amount of people coming forward that have had profound experiences with pscyhedlics/illicit substances in general is astonishing and I completely agree with your friends characterisation of these things as tools.
In my eyes, anything that can shift your perspective and make you appraise your circumstances in a new light is a good thing. Who cares whether one attains this through endogenous or exogenous processes? It’s an idea that is inherently illogical and yet always pushed on us by the culture that we’ve been born into. I’m glad to read that this experience served as a catalyst for putting you on the path that you’re on now. You come across as a great writer and thinker that has a lot to contribute towards improving those around you and people that you interact with here on Medium in general. Peace!