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OfflineDigitalDuality
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brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels
    #2879941 - 07/12/04 12:23 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

After reading up some on the Book of the Dead, various looks into Buddhism, meditation, Alex Grey's theories of art, Rich Strassman's "DMT the Spirit Molecule".. I've actually gotten interested in the theory, that alot of the enlightened (or people that have had extreme mystical experiences known throughout the world (Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, various shamans, maybe those that experience NDE --near death experiences, practinioners of various forms of meditation regardless of religion, Confucious (sp?), some artists, etc..) were able to touch a piece of a being/force. Christians refer to this as the Christian god/Holy Spirit/Finding Jesus, others see it as enlightenment, some see it as communicating with the dead or natural spirits.or a connection to the karmatic ebb and flow of the world.

It might also be equally plausible that these people merely did something, or had something happen bio-chemically that produces the realizations that they do but not in reality.. that it may merely exist in our minds. Normally resulting in ego-loss. Also very common in psychonauts. Whether they do this with psychedelics, meditation reaching the 7th chakra, prayer, shamanic drumming,..they may all produce the same or similar effect (but unique to the individual and their environmental conditioning).

It has been recorded many times over that the state people get in while praying to Jesus, or the feeling of intricate and symbolic stained glass windows of beautiful churches, meditating, or being "hypnotized" by a genius artwork.. such as Van Gogh and Monet.. are all strickingly similar. Though an average person viewing from exterior perspective might see grave differences.

Rick Straussman, MD theorizes that the pineal gland in our brains produces the psychedelic found in many animals and plants: DMT. And that this entheogenic tryptamine compound may be responsible for our spiritual states. Including those that NDE, religion, experiencing or creating ?high? art, psychedelic drugs, and meditation can produce. This very chemical compound may also be the factor that results in the euphoria we experience exterior to our nerve endings from orgasm. He has dubbed this drug the "Spirit Molecule".

Studies have shown that those who fully experience NDE, religion, "high" art, psychedelic, and meditation normally produce a form of ego-loss as shown that Jesus Christ displayed himself. The even funnier thing is, that the pineal gland has been known to Hindus and Buddhists as the highest level chakra to reach during meditation. This is years before any medical discovery was made concerning the organ. It was originally thought to be the brain's "appendix".. useless.

DMT's effects.. are much more realistic than a dream and typical dream analysis doesn't work in the least when attempting to analyze meditative visions, discussions with god, or just psychedelic trips. Does this chemical merely produce hallucinations? Does it allow our minds (even if naturally produced) to connect to other plains of existence? Does it allow us to connect with god.. therefore either being enlightened in the eastern sense, or "finding Jesus" in the Christian sense? I dunno. It's just theory. But when you take in environmental conditioning, you can easily see the results this naturally occurring psychedelic in our brain might produce.

But please don't write this off as some wacked out theory. I don't think you can deny a bio-chemical possibility for the states we reach. The fact that psychedelics are used to further aid their meditative/prayer or shamanic visions and connection, and still are in tribal cultures throughout the world.. in Australia, with Native Americans, Amazonian tribes, may possibly be a clue that these cultures figured out long before the western world, a way to connect to a spirit world. A way that was already possible naturally without drugs, but these chemicals might actually stimulate the serotonin receptors the pineal gland sends DMT to. And each culture, gave it?s own interpreatation, accompanied with stories to go along.

I'm not going to say there's a heaven. A spirit world. A nirvana to find within ourself. I'm not going to say it's merely a chemical reaction, or a certain neuro-chemical process giving oppurtunity to a "radio signal. But there is something going on there, and there is theories and counter theories, and i think both are just as possible.

But whatever this something is, i do think there's a high possibility that it relates to naturally produced DMT from the pineal gland (Third Eye). And i think this is something that .. Jesus, Buddha, shamans (i'm not going to keep listing everytime) have experienced. Each with their own interpretation.

Is it a collective consciousness they are experiencing? A christian heave? A Nirvana from within? I am in a position to say, and i don't think anyone else is qualified to make that distinction either.

I'll step up and say that even reading Strassman?s Spirit Molecule i listed that focuses on the DMT study, in mainly theory.. and not very well supported.

But his explination of the pineal gland was half decent, but it remains a mystery to me in a lot of way, guess i have more reading to do.

The reason he thought this gland might have something to do with psychedelics (DMT in particular) was due to the fact that serotonin is there in the highest abundance than anywhere in the body. The pineal, he claims, has the ability to convert serotonin to tryptamine.. the basic buiding block for serotonin, melatonin, DMT, LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, and 5-MeO-DMT. I think the only widely used psychedelic that doesn't have a tryptamine core is mescaline.

Strassman's study (not that i'm defending it) began with a melatonin study, way before it ever touched on psychdelics.  It doesn't go into extreme depth of that study though.

The reason i don't bother defending it, is b/c even I.. someone who i wouldn't consider on par with most doctor's in the least, saw extreme flaws in his study.  He only used previous users of psychedelics for his study.  He set himself up in alot of ways to get feedback he wanted.  He claimed he didn't want a person unfamiliar with psychedelics, b/c it the disorientation might cause adverse effects vs though who have used them or do regularly.  Even with the group he got some interesting feedback..and there's some striking similarities between volunteer's experiences..    but in a way.. it's like going to punk rock concert and asking the majority of the poeple there, their feelings about anarchism.. you're gonna find what you want.  But that aside, it was an interesting read..

Here's some exerts from a small, but in depth review that explains it a little bit better than my scatter brained thoughts.. 

Quote:


Unlike other psychedelics that he had worked with, DMT showed nolessening of effect with repeated doses.

Dr. Strassman was drawn to DMT because it is made by our bodies and found throughout nature. Scientists have identified endogenous DMT in human blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid. It is a tryptamine, which is a family of chemicals derived from the amino acid tryptophan that includes serotonin. Japanese researchers found that the brain pulls DMT through the blood-brain barrier and into its tissues ...as if DMT is necessary for maintaining normal brain function," Dr. Strassman notes.


The source of DMT in the human body has not been identified, but Dr. Strassman believes that it is made primarily by the pineal gland. The pineal gland makes serotonin, melatonin, and beta-carbolines. Beta-carbolines prevent the breakdown of DMT by monoamine oxidase. The presence of beta-carbolines in the South American shamanic botanical 'tea' ayahuasca keeps the DMT in the drink from being broken down by the MAO in the stomach. From the metaphysical perspective, the pineal gland is linked to the crown chakra and to spiritual development.
http://www.lightparty.com/Health/SpiritMolecule.html





I guess the question would have to be posed..why does the "security system" of our brains readily welcome DMT so easily?  And why do we not develop a tolerance to it?  And what are the signifigant differences between DMT breaking that blood-brain barrier ..and other substances?

and thanks for the reading suggestions on your earlier post :smile:

Quote:


Article covering basics of the Pineal

The true function of this mysterious gland has long been contemplated by philosophers and Spiritual Adepts. Ancient Greeks believed the pineal gland to be our connection to the Realms of Thought. Descartes called it the Seat of the Soul. This gland is activated by Light, and it controls the various biorhythms of the body.

There is a pathway from the retinas to the hypothalamus called the retinohypothalamic tract. It brings information about light and dark cycles to a region of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). From the SCN, nerve impulses travel via the pineal nerve (sympathetic nervous system) to the pineal gland. These impulses inhibit the production of melatonin. When these impulses stop (at night, when light no longer stimulates the hypothalamus), pineal inhibition ceases and melatonin is released. The pineal gland is therefore a photosensitive organ and an important timekeeper for the human body.

Retinal research done with hamsters demonstrates another center for melatonin production. Located in the retina, this center implies that the eyes have their own built in circadian timepiece. This retinal system is distinct from the brains body clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).
Biologists found that they could throw the retinal rhythms out of sync with other circadian cycles. They also found that they could set and reset the retinal clock even when the SCN was destroyed.

The retinal clock produces (stimulates the production of?) melatonin. Researchers are now looking for the exact location (s) of this clock in the human eye (and expect to find it). No one yet knows what the separate clock is for or how it relates to the SCN.

In some lower vertebrates the Epiphysis Cerebri - Pineal Gland - has a well-developed eye-like structure; in others though not organized as an eye, if functions as a light receptor. In lower vertebrates, the pineal gland has an eye like structure and it functions as a light receptor and is considered by some to be the evolutionary forerunner of the modern eye.
http://www.crystalinks.com/thirdeyepineal.html





And from wikipedia
Quote:


The pineal gland, or epiphysis, is a small endocrine gland located near the middle of the brain.

The pineal body is located above the superior colliculus and behind and beneath the stria medullaris, between the laterally positioned thalamic bodies. The pineal body is part of the epithalamus.

It is responsible for the production of melatonin, which has a role in circadian rhythm. Melatonin is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. The production of melatonin by the pineal gland is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. Light can be detected by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) which has directs connections to the retina.

Fibers extends from SCN to the spinal cord into superior cervical ganglia and from there into the pineal gland.

It has been found that the pineal gland manufactures trace amounts for the psychedelic chemical, dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. The purpose of this endogeous chemical in the human brain is believed to play a role in dreaming and possibly near-death experiences and other mystical states. It has been suggested by the researcher Jace Callaway that DMT is connected with visual dreaming.
The pineal gland consists mainly of pinealocytes, but four other cell types have been identified: interstitial cells, perivascular phagocyte, pineal neurons and peptidergic neuron-like cells.

The pineal gland is a midline structure and is often seen in plain skull X-rays as it is often calcified.

It is occasionally referred to as the "third eye" in occult religions, and is believed by some to be a dormant organ that can be awakened to enable telepathic communication.

In fact ancient amphibians such as Ichthyostega, which existed in the Late Devonian Period, have an orifice on the top of the skull through which the pineal gland once was exposed and received light input. Over the course of time and for unknown reasons, the pineal migrated into the skull of later tetrapods and the skull orifice sealed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineal_gland






Many mystical experiences.. and psychedelic ones for that matter, get described in terms of ?bright light?  or an ?inner light?.. etc..  Could this play a game on pineal gland and the chemical processes containing melatonin?


Here's some info of some studies done about DMT tolerance..

Quote:

DMT Tolerance Study

The last DMT study is an attempt to develop tolerance to repeated administrations of DMT at one sitting. All other psychedelics, in man, have demonstrated tolerance to repeated administration. Thus, LSD at the same dose every day for three days, prevents that originally active dose from having any effect on the fourth consecutive day. Several days drug-free are necessary to return to the previous level of sensitivity. DMT, administered twice a day (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) for five days, in the only published human study that attempted to develop tolerance, demonstrated no tolerance. Animal studies have also given inconsistent results, with one study giving it every 2 hours for 21 days and finding only limited tolerance! Some animal studies have even suggested that sensitivity is increased depending on the timing and dose schedule. Finally, humans tolerant to LSD are not tolerant to DMT. Reports "from the field" are also not consistent. If any of you reading this have experience with repeated administration of DMT, I would be most interested in hearing about them.
http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v03n4/03408dmt.html




and here...
Quote:


    Tolerance of the behavioral effects of the short-acting, endogenous hallucinogen, N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is seen inconsistently in animals, and has not been produced in humans. The nature and time course of responses to repetitive, closely spaced administrations of an hallucinogenic dose of DMT were characterized. Thirteen experienced hallucinogen users received intravenous 0.3 mg/kg DMT fumarate, or saline placebo, four times, at 30 min intervals, on 2 separate days, in a randomized, double-blind, design. Tolerance to "psychedelic" subjective effects did not occur according to either clinical interview or Hallucinogen Rating Scale scores. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), prolactin, cortisol, and heart rate responses decreased with repeated DMT administration, although blood pressure did not. These data demonstrate the unique properties of DMT relative to other hallucinogens and underscore the differential regulation of the multiple processes mediating the effects of DMT.

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/dmt/dmt_journal4.shtml




I originally started this thread here:
http://www.bluelight.nu/vb/showthread.php?s=f9873c54b90c11073e65766ff65ed34f&threadid=147168

and at DMT world:
http://dmt.lycaeum.org/dmt/p2/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=683

I just wanted to see what thoughts were on a psychedelic specific board?  Any comments, critiques, or arguemetns against are very welcome


Edited by DigitalDuality (07/12/04 12:29 AM)


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: DigitalDuality]
    #2880004 - 07/12/04 12:36 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

That is a theory that has been around for 20 years or better, it is an updated version of Huxley's adrenochrome theory. I don't know if either one has merit. I tend to think that psychedelics can make one more susceptible to religious states, but it is not the sole reason that they occur. For a humerous reference to adrenochrome read "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter Thompson.


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Offlinepsikooz
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #2880736 - 07/12/04 03:50 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

As humans we name things. If there are musrhooms that open our frequency perception, we investigate to find what "chemical" is in them that causes us to "hallucinate". WE must step away from this and realize, that what is in our heads, is real, everything is just perception, it is a fake as you want it to be. REality is fake, but soooo real.

DMT is in our bodies, its everywere, DMT blows our frequency recption and allows us to experience the true nature of our "reality". Dont doubt what you experience.

peace and love.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: psikooz]
    #2880786 - 07/12/04 04:00 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

psikooz said:
Dont doubt what you experience.





Although I understand where you are coming from, this might not be a good phrase to carry around... everything must be open to questioning, even our own experiences, and especially our feelings. :wink:

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If I should die this very moment
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Offlinepsikooz
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2880890 - 07/12/04 04:20 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

yeah good point, but still, doubt is good, but when it is real for you, when it carries into your everday life, dont doubt it.


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OfflineFliquid
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: DigitalDuality]
    #2881293 - 07/12/04 08:07 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

But if its activated by lack of light, then its never activated for me. I sleep in the light all the time, I wish I could sleep in the dark.. Pitch black darkness.. I love darkness..


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: psikooz]
    #2882073 - 07/12/04 02:24 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

psikooz said:
yeah good point, but still, doubt is good, but when it is real for you, when it carries into your everday life, dont doubt it.




So, when I am going about my daily business.. driving to Wal-Mart, talking with my girlfriend, sitting on my computer, and all the while I hear this voice saying "I am the Lord, Jesus Christ, I command you to kill everyone in sight", and I also see him, and he appears so damn real..... should I throw my rational mind out the window and not doubt Jesus, since it is real for me and it carries into my everyday life?

I'm not trying to cut you down or anything, but things having the appearance of being real and appearing all the time in your life still need to be questioned, considered, doubted, scrutinized, and explored, as does everything. We are intellectual, thinking beings, we need to be on top of things. Thinking is what brings forth a deep understanding of reality, not believing without question what appears to be real. :grin:

:headbang: :headbang: :headbang: :satansmoking:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineArchemetis
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: DigitalDuality]
    #2883520 - 07/12/04 09:17 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)


i think certin chemicals like dmt are keys...chemical keys, but they still can open the door...and its the rooms content that matters and not the keys


Edited by Archemetis (07/12/04 09:34 PM)


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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: Archemetis]
    #2883793 - 07/12/04 10:29 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Psychadelics... can open the gates to heaven and hell, they break down the categories and laws with which we have learned to filter our creative potential and perception, and we are exposed to a world of infinite possibility, diversity... and beauty

And all these experiences are real. It doesnt mean you should always take drastic actions in the physical world based on them, but you should acnowledge their existance as mental and perceptual phenomenon, and realize that that does not immediatly make them delusions,lies,or hallucinations.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: Moonshoe]
    #2883840 - 07/12/04 10:39 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Oh yeah man, great post by the way, really wicked lots of good stuff in there.

One of the most common meditations i do is to focus on the pineal gland in specific ways, and i invariably experience some kind of psychadelic phenomenon, like a mild orgasm or body shiver, or seeing a pin point of light between my eyes, or just a feeling like energy rushing out the top of my head or out my forehead.

One small point though: the third eye chakra, located on the forehead , is actually not the final chakra, it is the second highest. The next one is believed to be located a few inches above the head, or intersecting the top of the head and stretching out above it. This chakra is said to contain the key to total union with divinity, whereas i have always understood the crown chakra (containing DMT) to contain more of the ability to percieve that divinity, to see with a second sight.

Another awesome pineal gland fact: according to the tradition of the tibetan buddhists, a reincarnating soul enters the fetus on the 49th day of gestation, exactly the same day that the pineal gland first appears.

I find that amazing.


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OfflineDigitalDuality
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: Moonshoe]
    #2884043 - 07/12/04 11:34 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Another awesome pineal gland fact: according to the tradition of the tibetan buddhists, a reincarnating soul enters the fetus on the 49th day of gestation, exactly the same day that the pineal gland first appears.




Also on the 49th day you can tell the gender of a child. As well.. that definately changed my views personally about abortion (for myself if i were ever in that situation)

Funny that you also mention orgasm, because it is also believed that DMT is released during orgasm in very small traces that aids us in feeling the euphoria that we do. There's also alot of documentation of epeleptics (sp?) also say their "spacing out" seems very divine in nature. Dostoevsky for one, adored his and claimed he wouldn't trade it for the world. There's been suspicision that DMT or 5-MeO-DMT naturally produced in the body might be triggered by these things.


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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: psikooz]
    #2884134 - 07/12/04 11:56 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

we investigate to find what "chemical" is in them that causes us to "hallucinate". WE must step away from this and realize...

Yes, let us not try to understand the mechanism, but instead wallow in ignorance as we can look back in history and see the myriad gains of guessing instead of establishing cause and effect.


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OfflineZenGecko
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: Swami]
    #2885074 - 07/13/04 08:14 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Go Swami, its your birthday....

Anyways, it seems that the important question here is really do these chemicals, and practices cause these experiences or do they simply allow us to have these experiences. Does shutting down/inhibiting, or stimulating certain brain regions or functions cause these experiences or do these things simply allow me to have the experience itself.

Personally i lean towards the allowing not causing. I can create a whole scene in my head, imagine all kinds of things but they just dont seem as real as whats happening around me, in the "real" world. But then i go to sleep, or i meditate, maybe even take a drug, and all of a sudden im barely if at all aware whats happening outside me, and im much more focused on whats going on in my mind...and in that moment these experiences feel much more "real" often as real as anything i've every experienced in the "real" world... and in the end the only thing that might make them less real then the pop can infront of me or the action of taking a drink from that can is that i've labeled them in my own mind as just a dream, a meditation experience, a drug experience.

I dont know about you but my dreams are just as real as my waking life except that occasionally during them and almost always after them i realize that it was actually a dream, not reality...but this distinction is only a mental one, a self imposed one. The realities may be seperate or only loosely able to interact with one another but that doesnt mean one is more or less real then the other does it?

Im not trying to prove my point of view here, im just stating it and giving (VERY) small sample of my experiences and knowledge that have led me to this opinion.

If i could choose to spend my entire life, or what seemed like a full life in a blissful dream, and be unaware at the time it was a dream, i would gladly choose that over the so called "real" world where happiness is not always so easily obtained.

If i drink from this mr pibb can, the chemicals in it..the can and liquid itself...the motion of the action, timing...setting...all interact with the structures and chemicals in my body/mind and produce an experience of taste, smell, sight, and an interpretation of that experience, if i meditate, pray, take a drug, those chemicals that are produced, inhibited or interact with my body/mind also form an experience and then an interpretation is also formed of that experience. its not the how or when or even the why of the experience its the truth of it and the practical application it has for me and my life that concerns me.

Lets say thru drugs, meditation, seizures...whatever... you have an experience..u realize the fundamental truth of being..in effect you become the most enlightened person on earth...yet somehow your still unhappy, people still dont like you, and your life generally sucks...well what good is being enlightened then and what does it matter now how you got that enlightenement?

Now alternately lets say you become this super enlightened person, hell maybe your not even enlightened your completely fucking deluded and wrong...but your damned happy, you bring joy to others and make the world a generally better place... do you care that your not enlightened? or that you are? does anyone else? do u really give a fuck how u got this way? aren't you just glad everything is cool?

Now that i've said all this it has occured to me that william james in the varities of religious experiences said something similiar....Well i agree with him i guess.. its the practical effects of an experience that are important, not the experience and not how the experience came to be. Though i still think it would be intresting to know if such things cause or allow these experiences, or if there is even a difference. And though that may be an important question...it takes a back seat the the question of the practical application of these experiences...atleast in my mind.

Sincerely,
That which is, and has no choice but to be.


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OfflineJacquesCousteau
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Re: brain chems (DMT/psychedelics) vs spritual vessels [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2885116 - 07/13/04 08:44 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
So, when I am going about my daily business.. driving to Wal-Mart, talking with my girlfriend, sitting on my computer, and all the while I hear this voice saying "I am the Lord, Jesus Christ, I command you to kill everyone in sight", and I also see him, and he appears so damn real..... should I throw my rational mind out the window and not doubt Jesus, since it is real for me and it carries into my everyday life?





One should not doubt their experiences, but doubt the legitimacy of such a claim. I would have to say that if this happened to me, I would step out of the situation and say:

"Wait a minute. If 'Jesus Christ' is talking to me, and 'Jesus Christ' was a teacher of love and kindness, why would he want me to kill everyone?

Oh, I know. It must not really be Jesus talking to me."

One should not doubt the presence of something that materializes itself before you, because (regardless of the "true" explanation for it) you did experience it. It would just be an act of denial to not acknowledge it's occurance.

So.. this way one is allowed to CONSIDER it without COMMITTING to it.

It's not unlike my view on religions: Read up on all of them, take them all into consideration with a grain of salt.. Make your own conclusions.

"Reconsider everything... Reconsider everything..."


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