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Invisibletekramrepus
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My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality
    #1672667 - 06/30/03 01:15 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Have you ever had a psychedelic experience, and during, perphaps even afterwards felt it was spiritual in nature? I have, and curious enough I decided to learn as much as I could about the cross between the two.
Let's get to understand what a psychedelic does, anyway. First off, a psychedelic is a psycho-active compound, that you ingest which alters the normal behavior of yourself. Since humans have yet to understand the way our minds function for the most part, we are still very far from understanding the complete way in which psychedelic compounds effect our mind. What we do know, is that they effect neurotransmitters in our brain. Different theories will bring different ideals regarding exactly "how" they effect the neurotransmitters in our brain.

Other things also effect the neurotransmitters in our brain. Examples are sleeping, our diet, exercise, meditation, and entertainment. All these things cause changes in our minds, specifically the neurotransmitters.

A Psychedelic at first was believed to cause madness, or insanity. We now know that psychedelics do less, in fact all they really do is cause a chemical reaction, or a different chemical sequence within our brains. Almost as if turning different switches on and off, they are almsot "exercising" our minds to an extent.

So what role do psychedelics have in spirituality? Spirituality is the harmony between mind, body, and soul. It can also be an experience, labeled as a "spiritual experience". Spiritual experiences have been noted often during "near death experiences", and do you think it's coincidental that NDE's as they are called have been shown to also change the way neurotransmitters work in our minds?


I believe that the mind is very habitual. When we do something, the same thing, commonly enough - it becomes part of our collective subconscious. This is what determines how a person reacts to things, seeings things, thinks, acts, etc. When a psychedelic "exercises" the mind in a specific manner, and turns off and on different switches, we are able to consciously observe our "habits". This observation, NOT THE DRUG ITSELF, causes reflection - which is the activation of a spiritual process.

Not only that, but when we break down our own habits, we are able to clearly see the habits of others, which leads to certain "external" realizations while on psychedelics. These realizations include government conspiracies based on patterns in society we note. The patterns include intelligent design of a sinister nature, and it is recognizable by observing well-hidden patterns throughout society. Other realizaitons involve metaphysical properties to life, aliens, peaceful routes for humanity, the dangers of humanities current trends, the unconsciousness of humanities current state, and many other important realizations.

So then, I ask - does a psychedelic truly do anything special, or is it the psychedelic that merely triggers what already exists within ourselves, that is - unlimited potential for consciousness expansion and awareness?





Please give your comments :smile: Im interested in opinions and discussion


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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1672690 - 06/30/03 01:24 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Wow... Good post, man!  Very well-written.

Quote:

So then, I ask - does a psychedelic truly do anything special, or is it the psychedelic that merely triggers what already exists within ourselves, that is - unlimited potential for consciousness expansion and awareness?




For me it's like this...

Psychedelics are a key that can open this door in my mind to the "unlimited potential for consciousness expansion and awareness."  If I had never used psychedelics, I don't know if that door would have ever been opened, or if I would have ever seen the secrets that lay inside there.

However, once the effect of the psychedelics wear off, the door is locked again, and the key is hidden.  The cool thing about psychedelics, though, is that they have made me aware of this door and the key that unlocks it.  And so now I am always searching for the key--for a way to unlock the door without the use of psychedelics, and hopefully to keep the door open.

One day I hope I will find a way. :smile:

Peace,

RebelSteve

 


--------------------
Namaste.


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Invisibletekramrepus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: RebelSteve33]
    #1672728 - 06/30/03 01:42 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Very important realiziation you have!

You are aware psychedelics open a door. You are aware that afterwards this door closes.

Now you search for something to open this door that isn't in an edible form!


Sounds similiar to Ram Dass, or more closely , sounds like me!

I suppose the next step is to figure out how psychedelics effect our mind, is it simply the mindstate that changes within us?

What if the psychedelic experience truly is a similiar experience to death? Is that why "letting go" is such a common phrase to psychedelic users? In death, one has to let go, or else he suffers much. He has to let go of his ego, his beliefs, his attachments, etc - or he suffers by continually clinging to a comfort zone.


Perphaps psychedelics are a death of the mind, or more accurately a death of the ego. :smile:


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OfflinemindXplorer
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1673665 - 06/30/03 11:50 AM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I dont find this true.

Psychedelics can help open the door, but the door never really closes. I have found days after using a certain psychedelic combo I felt more in-tune with my surroundings and I felt that my conciousness was still growing and expanding. Its true on psychedelics you reflect on alot of things going on in society, but I believe, like supermarket said, psychedelics triggers something that exists in our head. Drugs help get us there, but really it can be achieved without drugs (harder for us Americans though).

"What if the psychedelic experience truly is a similiar experience to death? Is that why "letting go" is such a common phrase to psychedelic users? In death, one has to let go, or else he suffers much. He has to let go of his ego, his beliefs, his attachments, etc - or he suffers by continually clinging to a comfort zone."

Wow that phrase describes exactly how I felt on a psychedelic experience. I wasnt able to let go and I had to cling on to a comfort zone to feel safe. Wow thats a perfect description.

Yes, I also feel that psychedelics have that "letting go" property. I had the need to "let go" but it never came for me. I guess to me this is ego death, when you finally except letting go.


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: mindXplorer]
    #1673759 - 06/30/03 12:43 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

You never really come down again. You just get used to the changes in perception as the pharmacological effects wear off, and of course you tend to get caught again in the thought-patterns that are useful in normal day-to-day life.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: mindXplorer]
    #1673764 - 06/30/03 12:47 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

My take is that my first acid trip changed my world forever... It was like going from black & white to color in a matter of hours.


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Invisibletekramrepus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Grav]
    #1673821 - 06/30/03 01:19 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

I dont doubt that Psychedelics have lasting effects, and memories.

But what does leave, in my opinion - is the mindset of the trip. I right now cannot grasp many concepts I've come to realize from LSD and Mushrooms. THerefore, I determine my mindset has returned to normal, or atleast close to it!


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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1673876 - 06/30/03 01:53 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

The problem I've had in intergrading what I've learned from psychedelics into something that stays with me all the time is that when I look at the way a large part of the population thinks, it brings me back down from where I was. I think this has to do with a low amount of self-confidence on my part, and that I'll learn not to be intimidated by other people's opinions so I can form my own ideas. This takes a lot of sober work, and I think that's the key to psychedelics, is using them to explore and learn, but not being dependant on them. That's probably why tolerance shoots way up on them, to make sure we don't rely on them too much. The brain has a lot of built in mechanisms to prevent that kind of thing.


--------------------
The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



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OfflineDailyPot
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Twirling]
    #1673949 - 06/30/03 02:34 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Supermarket, great post, I believe what you said to be very true :smile:


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Invisibletekramrepus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: DailyPot]
    #1674084 - 06/30/03 03:37 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Twirling, like I mentioned in previous posts, humans are highly habitual creatures.

Here is a hypothetical situation to examine this aspect of what I'm getting at.

Here we have one man, John Doe. His peers , 999 random people, tend to be destructive and ignorant in nature, and have rather big egos. John Doe secludes himself because he is able to reflect a small amount and dislikes what his "species" has become. John Doe secludes himself for 6 months, and in that time learns a great deal about himself and the world. He figures out how to help many people, and change views of others.

He returns with ambition in his heart, but The day he returns, he goes back to his 9-5 job to support his family. After weeks and weeks of planning to help people, he slowly loses grasp of what he remembered , and through conditioning via the Work Environment, Public Entertainment, Media, etc - he returns to normal, forgetting much of what he learned.





This is how it is often with a psychedelic trip. We "come back" with much knowledge we didn't previously have, due to reflection and obersvation and perphaps a more clearer mind frame.

However, once we return to the real world, we are forced to either spend most of our time "fighting" societies current trends, OR we must conform.

Either way, we can't do much.


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OfflineTwirling
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1674195 - 06/30/03 04:32 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, that's EXACTLY what I was talking about, although I was relating it to my desire to be strong enough not to be affected by societal trends and self-confidence. I feel a lot like John Doe, where as I come back, I tend to either fight social trends (which causes a lot of inner tension) or conform (which causes even more inner tension). Then once I return to the psychedelic mindset, it's like "DUH, I how could I possibly think that way?" and the cycle starts over again. It seems to me like there are a lot of limitations that society puts on the way people access spirituality. Look at societies where psychedelics are encouraged as a way to access ?the sprit realm?, or whatever the case maybe. It?s much easier for people to intergrate their experiences into their way of life because it?s accepted.

I think it's up to the people who can learn or think in this way to influence society rather than BE influenced by society. I'm not necessarily even talking about psychedelic drugs here, but anyone who can analyze and understand the human mind and figure out complex emotions. That's the goal of psychiatry, to get people to open up and understand themselves better. People have a tough time accepting psychoanalytic therapy because it?s uncomfortable to look at themselves. Or look at the musicians and artists who influenced the 60?s & 70?s. Psychdelia was a HUGE influence on Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Beatles, etc? Societies are very complex organisms, which can be influenced by wise people, but often those wise people are afraid to speak their mind because it?s very hard to stand your ground when nobody is initially on your side.

On a side note, it?s also dangerous to think these people have all the answers. Nobody does, and it?s certainly creates a messianic complex to believe somebody does. Instead, I think the great artists are able to challenge society and force them to grow and think about things they may never have. It?s a very slow, slow process, and often times there is a backlash from it (the ?me generation? etc..) but in the end people who are able to take what they learn and life and apply it no matter what have a positive effect on the world. It may not be immediate, and it may not even ?save the world?, but it can certainly push us in the right direction.


--------------------
The very nature of experience is ineffable; it transcends cognitive thought and intellectualized analysis. To be without experience is to be without an emotional knowledge of what the experience translates into. The desire for the understanding of what life is made of is the motivation that drives us all. Without it, in fear of the experiences what life can hold is among the greatest contradictions; to live in fear of death while not being alive.



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Offlinexfluffybunnyx
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: tekramrepus]
    #1674492 - 06/30/03 06:35 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

excelent post...
this is the reason i spend time reading this forum

how difficult a task it is to find your place in society
when you can't help but recognize the patterns and
endless loops your peers seem so eager to be caught in



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InvisibleClean
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: xfluffybunnyx]
    #1674651 - 06/30/03 07:24 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

xfluffybunnyx said:
how difficult a task it is to find your place in society
when you can't help but recognize the patterns and
endless loops your peers seem so eager to be caught in





i feel that everything we don't like about society can be traced back to "problems" within the individual.
in other words, to change what you don't like about society, you must first find and deal with those things in yourself.

Quote:

supermarket said:
Either way, we can't do much.




it is my opinion that once a person has come to terms with their first major psychedelic experience like the ones you are talking about , it is then that person's job to seek out, understand, and subsequently move on from those aspects of their personality considered to be "wrong" when seen reflected in human society.

sure, that doesn't tangibly accomplish a speck of anything in the world before your eyes, there still may be genocide, famine, and corrupt governments... but fundamental changes in the way a person operates will eventually effect that person's relationships, and in conjunction their emotions, as well as the emotions of the other people they relate with, and then just maybe the world really is a happier place :wink:


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OfflineGrav
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Clean]
    #1675177 - 06/30/03 10:49 PM (18 years, 7 months ago)

That time John Doe spends mentally apart from society is real time. It is not an illusion or a loophole out of reality.

Whatever he depends on after that is up to him.


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Anonymous

Post deleted by Administrator [Re: Grav]
    #1676098 - 07/01/03 05:44 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)



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Offlinelateralus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: YellowPurpleHills]
    #1678321 - 07/02/03 12:45 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Well, I think that theory is very western in its approach. And I dont believe thats how the brain works either. If that were the case, you could cut out that part of the brain(or transmitter or whatever) that was responsible for transmitting a horizontal line or or thing, and the person would no longer be able to 'detect' horizontal lines. I think the brain doesn't work that way. There is increasing evidence to suspect that all information in the brain is stored nonlocally, ie all throughout the brain at once. This was proven in some tests with rats where they had them memorize a maze to get food. They then cut out sections of the brains and no matter what section they cut out(as long as it didnt completely incapicitate them) they still ran the maze right as rain. (I read this in the book Holographic Universe by Michael talbot, great read btw).

Another thing I dont agree with in that is the fact that it really trivialises the method of action psychadelics take on consciousness, by explaining that its making the mind 'misfire' messages to create the effects. I see psychadelics as as primarily effecting ones consciousness, not ones brain. And I hardly consider the effects of psychadelics(such as psilocybin) as a chaotic 'malfuctioning brain' kind of experience. Its nature is very ordered to me, not in the least chaotic..

Lastly, I may be wrong but I was under the impression that psychadelic drugs only occupied neuroreceptors where endogenous neurotransmitters would normally go. In a sense 'pushing aside' regular transmitters and taking their place. This is why Timothy Leary stated 'LSD is the key' it fit into the neuroreceptors like a key in a lock, a hand in a pocket, a man in a woman;)(and the molecule coincidentally is somewhat shaped like a key).

I think we have a really long way to go before we can even begin to describe psychadelics method of action.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: lateralus]
    #1678351 - 07/02/03 12:58 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

I see psychadelics as as primarily effecting ones consciousness, not ones brain.
Uh huh. Funny though how until the brain's serotonin receptors are messed with, nothing happens

And I hardly consider the effects of psychadelics(such as psilocybin) as a chaotic 'malfuctioning brain' kind of experience.
I guess it is the "non-chaoticness" that sends people over the edge, seeing entities, destroying property, attacking others and ending up in the ER. Sounds quite ordered to me also.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinelateralus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Swami]
    #1678480 - 07/02/03 01:35 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

What I meant to say was 'I see psychadelics as primarily affecting ones counsciousness through the brain, not simply affecting the brain alone.' Nobody fully understands consciousness or where its 'located', not even you Swami. This was clearly my own opinion.

And I think those people you described mustve been pretty unstable to begin with to do the things you say they do. A death in the family can also lead people to do these things, but do you blame the person who died? Or the person responsible? Anyway what I meant, was the effects in my case are always similar, not just random chaos everytime. Its ok if you disagree with me or dont understand what I said, but I find it hard to believe Im that bad of a writer as to be incomprehensible..


Edited by lateralus (07/02/03 01:42 AM)


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: lateralus]
    #1678666 - 07/02/03 02:34 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

And I think those people you described mustve been pretty unstable to begin with...
Must have been!? Based on what? You profiled them before they tripped? You have some study to share with us? This is an incredibly weak AD HOC. You might as well say that those who die from snake poison or bullets or cancer had defective immune systems to start with.

...to do the things you say they do
Things I say? It is all in the Shroomery Trip Reports, not some Swami fabrication.

Webster

order - A condition of methodical or prescribed arrangement among component parts such that proper functioning or appearance is achieved

chaos - A condition or place of great disorder or confusion


Your basic higher dosage trip is unpredictable and generally confusing to most users, which is in line with disrupted brain function, not augmented brain function.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinelateralus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Swami]
    #1678847 - 07/02/03 03:27 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Yes there may be some in the trip reports, but are they the norm? No they are not. Go look. And again: Its just my opinion, I dont think youre understanding the difference between my opinion and fact. None of this can be considered fact period. This is all speculation based on what we know about the causal factors, and no one person can state their hypothesis as true no matter what at this point.

You contradict yourself when you say 'basic higher dose trip' a high dose is NOT basic in any sense. However a truly basic 'regular or average dose trip' is not confusing and chaotic to the point of emergency or disaster in most cases and the reports given would lead anyone with any reading comprehension to that same conclusion.

I beg to differ when you say that the experience itself is "in line with disrupted brain function".

As I see it freak outs are NOT the norm they are the exception to the rule, and thats why I would guess that any or all of these peoples bad, 'chaotic-brain-misfiring-malfunctioning' experinces can be attributed to other factors. Not the psychadelics themselves. I don't think that this is an unreasonable idea either.


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: lateralus]
    #1678902 - 07/02/03 03:46 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

As I see it freak outs are NOT the norm they are the exception to the rule,
What rule? Normal or not a freak-out is not a sign of coherency and order, now IS IT?

and thats why I would guess that any or all of these peoples bad, 'chaotic-brain-misfiring-malfunctioning' experinces can be attributed to other factors.
I have never seen anyone "freak out" in a non-life-threatening situation UNLESS they were tripping, that was the common factor in EVERY case.

Not the psychadelics themselves. I don't think that this is an unreasonable idea either.
It is quite unreasonable. Take a substance - have a bad reaction. Don't take the substance - no bad reaction. This is basic cause and effect.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineRhizoid
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Swami]
    #1678930 - 07/02/03 03:56 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Take a substance - have a bad reaction. Don't take the substance - no bad reaction. This is basic cause and effect.




That's needlessly simplified. Take a psychedelic in a bad set & setting - high probability of bad reaction. Take a psychedelic in a good set & setting - low probability of bad reaction. Don't take the psychedelic - even lower probability of bad reaction.

You're right of course in saying that psychedelics disrupt brain function. That's the whole point. And it's a miracle that there are drugs that can do this without being more toxic than they are.


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Offlinelateralus
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Swami]
    #1679004 - 07/02/03 04:23 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Freakouts are not a sign of coherency or order. I agree.

I have seen people freak out in a non-life-threatening situation plenty of times. People have nervous breakdowns, depression, similar things all the time. I saw someone break out crying and start cussing and screaming at a bank because they wouldnt cash her check one time:) People get delusional all the time, angry all the time, violent, etc.. In every one of these situations these people freak out on their own. I believe its the same with psychadelics. They may be a contributing factor, but by no means the causal factor.

If you kill someone while youre drunk because of impaired judgement you cant blame the alcohol. If you freak out on psychadelics you cant blame the drug. Well, you *could*, but youd be wrong. You would be the causal factor in both cases, not the substance.

Guns dont kill people: People do.
The same can be said of psychadelics

Now that its clear what they don't cause, lets look at what they do cause. People report enhanced clarity on a regular basis, people report enhanced vision and edge detection(scientifically proven), people report feelings of happiness, ecstacy, remorse, sorrow, anger(more rarely), people report pseudo-religious type spiritual awakenings, people report a positive change in perception(moreso than report in the negative), people report morphing textures, profound revelations, dissolving egos,boundary dissolution, heightened perceptions of thoughts and feelings of people around them. Lots of very good stuff here all experienced by the majority of people who use these substances.

I just don't like the picture you paint, I sense a tone of psychadelic bitterness in someone who will go around saying"psychadelics cause freakouts," blah, blah. Thats bs. Its untrue and completely unfounded scientifically.

This is really all I have to say about this.


Edited by lateralus (07/02/03 04:52 AM)


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InvisibleHelp on the Way
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Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: lateralus]
    #1679095 - 07/02/03 05:06 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

lateralus said:
Well, I think that theory is very western in its approach. And I dont believe thats how the brain works either. If that were the case, you could cut out that part of the brain(or transmitter or whatever) that was responsible for transmitting a horizontal line or or thing, and the person would no longer be able to 'detect' horizontal lines. I think the brain doesn't work that way.




Well...what i have to say comes from what i learned in the class i took on the human brain in college last semester. The brain has neurons that fire for vertical lines, and nearby ones for horizontal lines etc. Different neurons fire depeding on the specific angle. Also...formation of these neurons happen early in infancy. If a young kitten is forced to spend all its infancy in an environment consisting of only vertical lines, neuronal connections responding to horizontal lines wont be made in the brain. The result will be that the kitten (and cat when its older) will never be able to see horizontal lines. So while you cant cut out the part of the brain that sees horizontal lines (there are way too many) you can stop those connections from forming in teh first place by limiting exposure to them, and the kittens wont see horizontal lines. You talk about how information is stored nonlocally. But there is a BIG difference between storing information and neurons firing after recieving input from the world around them.


--------------------
:shocked: *Divine Moments of Truth* :shocked:


"Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns - it calls me on and on across the universe" ~ John Lennon

"Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" ~The Grateful Dead

"Religionists, with their guaranteed eventual paradise, of which they know nothing, taking it all on 'faith,' can't be expected to understand or sympathize with those with a yen to storm the Gate of Heaven and see for themselves what all the praying's about!" ~Robert Hunter


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Offlinelateralus
member
Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 126
Last seen: 14 years, 10 months
Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Help on the Way]
    #1679121 - 07/02/03 05:28 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

To be quite honest I wasn't sure exactly how that whole nonlocality thing related to anything except memory(as far as testing went) I understand that it is clear that you can destroy someones motor functions for example, but I was unsure of horizontal/vertical edge detection. I shouldve been more clear/honest in my post. Anyway, I dont know much about neuroscience/neurobiology/neurochemistry and I stand corrected.

But I wonder if this is true and if psychadelics cause neurons to fire chaotically, why then does or vertical and horizontal edge detection become increased? By 'western' i meant reductionist:/ I think theres too much we dont know about the brain and consciousness to explain it all so simply.


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InvisiblePhencyclidine
Molecule

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 2,915
Re: My take on Psychedelics and Spirituality [Re: Swami]
    #1704546 - 07/11/03 02:05 AM (18 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
I see psychadelics as as primarily effecting ones consciousness, not ones brain.
Uh huh. Funny though how until the brain's serotonin receptors are messed with, nothing happens




Yup. LOL. Obviously, psychopharmacology will just assume that effects on consciousness are the result of changes in the chemistry of the brain. Seems reasonable to me.


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