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InvisibleKid
Carpal Tunnel
Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 2,365
Psychedelics and mysticism
    #351056 - 06/28/01 10:29 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

What do you really hope to gain from using psychedelic drugs?

I remember what I wanted to gain when I was younger. It first started with lucid dreaming. I wanted to see what my brain could tell me. Simple oneironautical exploration. I had some pretty cool lucid dreams. Then I read about LSD.
I then tried LSD. I read a lot of things there were to read about it before trying it. I wanted insight into this universe I lived in. I really believed that LSD would be the key to some kind of divine inspiration. The trips were beautiful, but no more or less insightful than reading about quantum physics, string theory, or metacognition (or anything).
Then I started doing a lot of DXM. I wanted insight into human situations and myself from exterior viewpoints. DXM gave me the insights I wanted about myself, but it didn't do anything to *change* my personality (except when severly/chronically intoxicated).

As for other chemicals (mushrooms, pot, and alcohol), they aren't really worthy of notice.

It's been my experience with psychedelics that though they offer some absolutely beautiful (and terrifying) experiences, their power to change your forever is fairly limited. This is what a number of others I know who've had extensive use of psychedelics seem to say. Sure, psychedelics are awesome, but they're not necessarily going to make you a better person, or give you mystical information. They're not going to do the thinking for you. There might not be anything special about them at all.

Then I look to the 60s. What did the 60s psychedelic culture achieve? Not very much. There was some great psychedelic music and some books that came out. It promoted some ideals of peace and love, which have now come to be highly resented. T-shirts with "kill all hippies" are not too uncommon sights. The sexual revolution of the 60s and following loss of sexual mores is blamed for the spread of STDs.
Not one religion stands from the 60s. The most notorious "religion" of the psychedelic 60s was The Manson Family.
And where are all the acidheads and other psychedelic users from the 60s? Surely they're not all dead. Nor are they all in prison. They're now our bankers, lawyers, politicians, authors, etc. etc. Essentially, they've returned to more conservative values. The psychedelic revolutionary momentum died out.

World-wide there's only one religion on Earth that uses a psychedelic as a sacrament (Native American Church and peyote). History does have examples of previous psychedelic religions though: The Elusian Mysteries; sacred Soma; the mushrooms and Morning Glories of central america (and MGs in Hawaii).
I think the question that's relevant here is why don't those religions exist anymore? and why doesn't a modern psychedelic religion seem to be in place? What's missing? Why did the ancient ones die out?

It looks a lot like the Elusian religion and the religion that used Soma diliberately kept their psychedelic sacrements a secret. Perhaps they were worried that their sacrememnts would be misused; profaned. Is this why psychedelics nowadays don't have the power to bring people together? Are modern psychedelic users profaning sacred chemicals? Or is the (post)modern world too fragmented to allow for psychedelic religions? In a world of incrasing relativism, can large groups of people really for mystical ideas close enough together to constitute a religion?

My main interest is why it seems that psychedelics, all considered, don't really help an individual live a more mystical or religious life. They seem to have a short lived power. The rest is just the lifelong memories of beautiful (or terrible) trips. If you want to live a mystical life, why bother with the psychedelics? It's the quick and easy route. Yes, it's easier than fasting for 40 days, or depriving yourself of sleep for long periods of time, or learning to become an adept lucid dreamer.

Even more to the point: why is it that people think _altered_ states of consciousness provide mystical insights? To me this is an indication that mystical is only defined as being different from the ordinary? But why isn't the everyday mystical? It's a lot easier to remember your sober state of mind anyway, and doesn't that make it easier to integrate mystical insights?

A bit rambly, but lemme know your comments.






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Offlineoneoverzero
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351069 - 06/28/01 10:43 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Helter-Skelter means hurried and confused, confused and disorganized...

Get to the Heart of Soul


--------------------
[red]0011 0001 0010 1111 0011 0000[/red]


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InvisibleKid
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: oneoverzero]
    #351127 - 06/29/01 12:36 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

> Helter-Skelter means hurried and confused, confused and disorganized...


And your point is?



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InvisiblePynchon
Slow Learner

Registered: 04/28/01
Posts: 578
Loc: New Zealand
Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351140 - 06/29/01 12:55 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Its a bit unfair to expect psychedelics to automatically induce a mystical state and even when they do, its up to you to retain or discard it. I agree that the everyday should be recognised as mystical...something about familiarity and contempt springs to mind. The so-called psychedelic movement died out because thats exactly what it was - a movement based on altered states of conciousness, with little ritual or direction to sustain it.

btw, there is atleast one other major sacrament-using religion: the Santo Daime church, who use ayahuasca in a pseudo-christian context.



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OfflineTraveller
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351194 - 06/29/01 03:23 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

psychedelics can inspire people to look for something more in their lives, psychedelics can make people realise that they really have no idea of what's going on and that they take EVERYTHING for granted almost every second of every day, psychedelics can make people temporarily aware of energies moving within their own bodies or outside in the world around them that they were previously unaware of....

obviously the crucial word is CAN, psychedelics can do many many things in my experience and I was thrown into their world with absolutely no idea of how to use them. still LSD opened my eyes when i was 15, it amplified my curiousity (already my most obvious trait) many many times, and it allowed me to dance, to really dance without any thought of who i was or what i looked like.

Still I believe that psychedelics alone can do nothing more than inspire you to learn and do things you may not have done, or give you insights into the things you are already doing, UNLESS you are being taught things with them by someone who knows. I know very little, but even the few things I know about how to get certain effects by doing certain things (staying completely still, staring at a point, allowing your eyes to unfocus, listening...) can have a HUGE effect on a first-time or novice tripper. seeing as i know so little and have had no teacher but myself imagine the things that could be done by someone who knew what they were doing, someone with a tradition of plant-aided mental gymnastics thousands of years old.......

as for those religions dying out, i think if you checked out any tribe in africa or the amazon or hung out with one of the few aboriginal elders or bushmen still alive you would discover that they still have "medicine men" or shamans who know about plants, all sorts of plants, and that anywhere in the world there are native plants that get you good'n'fucked up, and that those old dudes know very well which ones do what and how to prepare them to get the desired effect.

and....

eating one little sugar cube with a tiny drop of LSD in it can only alter the chemical makeup of the body a tiny tiny bit right? creating an altered state of consciousness, or simply changing the way we think and perceive things. right? well i think if you took one of these internationally famous stereotypical burger eating diet cola drinking smoking couch potatoes and checked out the chemicals floating around in their body you would find a whole lot of shit you wouldn't find in the determined only-organic vegetarian. i think you would also find differences in the way they think and perceive...so if you took that burgereater and put him on a pure organic diet for two weeks i bet he would find himself in an "altered state of consciousness". i've tested this theory on myself and found myself thinking and perceiving in many many different ways.....i've lost the plot of this here post so i'll stop writing now.



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Offlineoneoverzero
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351204 - 06/29/01 04:16 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

>And your point is?

Why do you ask?

Get to the Heart of Soul


--------------------
[red]0011 0001 0010 1111 0011 0000[/red]


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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351271 - 06/29/01 09:34 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Nothing. We can hope only to get Nothing. There is absolutely nothing a psychedelic drug can do to a person who doesn't want to change - 'cause he won't anyway. There is absolutely nothing psychedelics can do to a person who does want to change, 'cause he will anyway. And yet...

What can a trip to Paris do to a New Yorker? I mean one does return from Paris every time, right? When you go mountain biking with friends, what do you bring back? And what do you hope to achieve from scuba diving in the Carribian? However... what will scuba diving in the Carribian do to somebody who has never seen more then a glass-full of water? What will do a trip to Paris to someone who has always lived in a Nigerian tribe? So... should you expect someone who has never seen water to create a religeon the first time he sees the ocean? Sure, some may do that....

Here is something Khalil Gibran wrote. It seems to be about mystics:

....we came where we saw a man tracing his shadow on the sand. Great waves came and erased it. But he went on tracing it again and again.
"He is the mystic," said my soul

-------
just another attempt of a finger to point at itself


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OfflineCrobih
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351286 - 06/29/01 10:08 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Their power is not unbelievable. They will not make you be happy one. It does brain chemistry.
But you will have strong experinces behind you that will help you cope with those shitty situations that do not really matter. I can not be to frustrated about parking place, when is the life in itself even questioned.
Next, they thought me things I allready knew. But some gut shit or something did not let me do what I think its proper. Now it is not hard to me (even it is still far from that exact point) to do what I think I have to do.

/////
Now let me be a little bit more exact.
Drug insights are really important things for understanding. They help me out with new point of view. It is very important thing to have two solid points in YOURSELF, that help you see things from more sides than one. But it does not mean two sides are enough. Two sides are just 2 times morethan one side.

////
Those sides do not have effects on brain chemistry, so you will stay in your brain, because it is only brain you have. You will stay same inteligent, same inert, same caring....but you will understand things much more and you will be not that ignorant towards JUST LIVING.
For end, friend of mine I introduced to halucinogens exited from his life cirlce of job/girl/car/bar and founsd out there is much more in the world than he tought. This is more than enough to consider halucinogens noble.

____________________________________
Friend to PGF, the Last Resort of lucidity in Western Hemisphere (sp?)


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Offlineoneoverzero
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Crobih]
    #351358 - 06/29/01 12:19 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

What is to be gained? Currently the FDA has approved psilocybin for a study into the treatment of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) after many reports of OCD people who self-medicated with mushrooms to great success. The Federal Government has something to gain from psychedelics.

Get to the Heart of Soul


--------------------
[red]0011 0001 0010 1111 0011 0000[/red]


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OfflineCrobih
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: oneoverzero]
    #351554 - 06/29/01 05:52 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

REally? D you have reference? It is great thing too see :)
I am really happy if that is true. After a long time somebody non from this field is looking at psychedelics as usefull thing.

____________________________________
Friend to PGF, the Last Resort of lucidity in Western Hemisphere (sp?)


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Offlineoneoverzero
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Crobih]
    #351587 - 06/29/01 07:05 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Crobih I searched for 10 min's... there's so much info on the web, and this was obscure news (the type that doesn't get prime time). I can tell you more from my recollection. The research is in the process of raising the $10,000 necessary to purchase the chromographically isolated psilocybin from a manufacturer that has agreed to make it. They are working out the legal framework with lawers so the company isn't sued in case a participant "freaks out". There is also the paperwork necessary from the DEA for the handling of the drug - who have been cooperative about the study. This is the first FDA approved study using psilocybin in decades.

As a gesture for not finding the actual link here's this too:

FDA Panel Pre-Approves GHB As Cataplexy Treatment
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ghb/ghb_media9.shtml

Get to the Heart of Soul


--------------------
[red]0011 0001 0010 1111 0011 0000[/red]


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Offlineoneoverzero
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: oneoverzero]
    #351592 - 06/29/01 07:21 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

AHAH!!! I found it...
http://www.maps.org/news/1099news.html

Get to the Heart of Soul


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[red]0011 0001 0010 1111 0011 0000[/red]


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OfflineThong Rind
journeyman

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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: oneoverzero]
    #351701 - 06/29/01 11:17 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Here's another FDA/DEA approved study. It's a little dated.
It took close to five years to get through the red tape.
Art Bell had the author on the other night for a two hour interview.

http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v08n3/08304str.html

All the volunteers for the study were experienced psychedelic users. One third drop out after the first low dose trial.

The main focus of Bells show involved the alien forms encountered by half the remaining volunteers during the rest of the trials.

According to the author the trials ended because some members were taking things into their own hands (religion?).

He saw things going the way Leary had things go at harvard.

I look forward to reading the book.

Now back to my grain alcohol.



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OfflineAstronomicus
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351704 - 06/29/01 11:30 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Imagine if psychedelics did have the power to change ones character and perception for the remainer of ones lifetime, irrevocably. Then who would have the courage to take them.



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Offlinejonnyshaggs420
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351707 - 06/29/01 11:50 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Members of hereditary lines of witchcraft still use "flying ointments" in some rituals. These ointments consist mostly of tropane alkaloids and provide an extrememly psychedelic experience.

I think psychedelics can be a gateway to leading a mystically charged life, rather the "trips" you experience are a brief opening of the gateway for your mind to view for a short time. From there you can choose to remain blind to the experience or follow other paths to acheive that lifestyle. Such as the "40 days and 40 nights" experience, fasting, deep central meditations, lucid dreaming, astral travelling, etc,etc.

I don't care about jack shit, I just wanna pick my nose!!!
------Jonny Socko


--------------------
Vote Jonnyshaggs in the next election for GOD...Its the responsible choice


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OfflineBBin
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: Kid]
    #351897 - 06/30/01 11:35 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

The psychedelic movement did not die, it faltered. The sixties were not pointless, humanity learned a lot of things in those days, even if a lot of it was forgotten again in a psychedelic haze. Psychedelics can be very usefull, not as a shortcut, because it wont wont bring you 'here, now,' but more like a spotlight of sorts, highlighting the possibilities of what seems to be possible. Of course, then comes the task of getting to the places that were highlighted, and this we must achieve on our own power. Psychedelics dont give you anything, yet they may open and awaken certain things, or not, depending on what you have inside.
To me, the most important thing psychedelics have shown me is the connection of souls that occurs when two or more people let down their shields to really communicate and share thoughts. Amazing energy, incredible synchronisity, awesome beauty, all found within the 'other' with whom you connect. Psychedelics can be wonderfull tools in showing ourselves who is 'our selves', they can point out with painfull clarity what games you play to keep and steal petty energy, they show you the 'you' you use as a shield to hold others outside, they can explain to you what ego actually is. Getting past the ego is your own task, but at least now you know where you stand with yourself, and others.
I started out using lsd purely recreationally, totally ignorant of what it was, totally unaware of any psychedelic community or movement, totally blinded to what these substances could do and have done already. After a few summers of extensive use it brought me into a state of being that was at once a crisis, because i was in doubt to who i was and why, yet also a blessing, because i was starting to awaken to what was possible to achieve. This was of course accompanied by mountains of doubt and insecurity due to the fact that i was in the middle of puberty and totally unaware of anything psychedelic, in literature or art or anything. I felt isolated, playing around with madness, and it looked like i was going to lose the game eventually. From that isolated position i can now see a path towards where i am, here, and to where i am headed, here. For me, this part of the journey was and is about breaking through the walls i have built for myself, or rather, about realising that those walls are selfmade and not really there when realised, its about getting to the heart of who i am as a person in order to let go of what is surrounding it to let it spiral away while my true self remains. A Self who is in contact with humanity as a whole, a oneness which stands undivided because it has purified itself in unification. The ego is heavy, it drags us down, so we just have to let it go, letting it drag itself down, leaving our Selves free to float into light and love. Not just for a moment but for an infinity beyond the continual Becoming which is Time.
Psychedelics are nothing but chemicals, we are the ones who give them any meaning or use, if we so choose it. We are the ones who envision the possibilities and we are the ones who can make them a reality, beyond any illusion.
Purify, Unify. Sacred heart, Infinite eye.

Thought is born blind but Mind knows what is Seeing


--------------------
Thought is born blind but Mind knows what is Seeing


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Offlinedavidgergen
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Registered: 06/23/01
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Re: Psychedelics and mysticism [Re: BBin]
    #352076 - 06/30/01 07:45 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

well said, bro.



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