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OfflineaoxomoxoaMan
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The fractal nature of visuals....
    #3529580 - 12/22/04 12:19 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Do you think its related to the way our brain works? The mind works on pattern recognition and fractals are just infinite representations of simple repeated patterns.
Also, I have heard somewhere about tripping allowing us to become more aware of our being on the cellular level.

Just some ideas I am having. Does anyone have any more info? Links? I find it very interesting that the basic CEVs and OEVs that most people have are of a similar nature.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: aoxomoxoaMan]
    #3529599 - 12/22/04 12:22 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

i dont think my usual visuals could be described as fractal, although they are so diverse it would be hard to generalize. ive seen giant birds fly overhead, alien faces on the black screen, a couch streching off into endless infinity, a bug superimposed at intervals closer and closer to my face, the floor moving like giant scabs, warping and morphing of the face, my cats hair spiking outwards, smoke pulsating in psychadelic colours to the beat...


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: aoxomoxoaMan]
    #3530581 - 12/22/04 07:40 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

The cellular level is definitely accessable, as is the DNA and passing through it's interface.

Turn the lights off and dream


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OfflinetrendalM
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: aoxomoxoaMan]
    #3530590 - 12/22/04 07:51 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Secrets of an Acid Head

New Scientist vol 170 issue 2296 - 30 June 2001, page 26

Tripping on hallucinogenic drugs reveals more about our inner selves than the hippies ever bargained for, says Dana Mackenzie

IN A DORM ROOM dimly lit by a lava lamp, a freshman awaits the beginning of his first LSD trip. Slowly, the walls come alive and begin to dance with colour. And then he sees whirling spirals of stars that disappear into the distance. A network of cobwebs that grows across the room. An infinite subway tube, surrounded by fluorescent lights...

Across campus, his science teachers experience their own psychedelic visions?but without resorting to illegal mind-altering substances. Jack Cowan, a mathematician and neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, has built a neural network so powerful it can trip out. His computer's hallucinations match with almost spooky accuracy the visions of acid trippers, shamans and seers?visions that have always been interpreted as revelations from a transcendental consciousness.

Now, after more than two decades, Cowan and his team think they have found where hallucinations really come from. And there's nothing transcendental about it. An LSD trip is really a journey into the brain, says Cowan. "It's just the innate tendency of the brain to make patterns when it goes unstable."

Cowan's goal is to find out how the brain makes sense of the visible world?not when we're tripping, but under ordinary circumstances. In the process, he may learn how it breaks down in other extraordinary conditions, such as migraine headaches. Hallucinations could even offer a route to the more profound depths of the mind, to emotions and conscious thought.

Hallucinations seem to come in an endless variety, as individual as dreams. So it seems improbable that they can even be categorised, never mind calculated by a computer. But in the 1920s, Heinrich Kl?ver, a neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, discovered they did indeed fall into a number of distinct categories. Kl?ver interviewed dozens of people who had taken the drug mescaline, and even took it himself. Keeping a commendably straight head, Kl?ver eventually saw patterns in the patterns.

In the earliest stages of a trip, most subjects reported seeing abstract, geometrical images. Other writers have noted the same thing. "The typical mescaline or lysergic acid experiment begins with perceptions of coloured, moving, living geometrical forms," wrote Aldous Huxley in 1954 in Heaven and hell. "In time, the pure geometry becomes concrete, and the visionary perceives, not patterns, but patterned things, such as carpets, coverings, mosaics." Kl?ver classified these patterns into four types or "form-constants": tunnels, spirals, cobwebs and honeycombs.

Unlike Huxley and Kl?ver, Cowan has never sampled the drugs he studies. "I feel bad about it," he says. "I have to rely on all these reports in the literature." He also hears plenty of personal accounts from students and others who attend his lectures. "Some people see these illusions when they're going to sleep or waking up," Cowan says. "People have seen them after taking anaesthetics. People claim to see them when they meditate, or have so-called near-death experiences." Cowan believes that the "tunnel of light" illusion commonly reported in near-death experiences is simply the first of Kl?ver's four form-constants.

Cowan was turned on to the study of hallucinations from an unexpected direction. In 1977 he was working on pattern formation with graduate student Bard Ermentrout when he stumbled across illustrations of Kl?ver's patterns. "We saw immediately that the hallucination patterns were similar to convection patterns," says Cowan.

The convection of hot water involves a delicate interplay of forces. When a pan of water is heated from below, the hot water at the bottom is more buoyant than the water above, and tries to rise. If the temperature difference is not too great, the lower layer sheds its heat by diffusion before it can rise very far, so the water remains stable. But at a certain critical temperature, diffusion is not enough to cool off the lower layer, so plumes of hot water start to rise. Between each pair of rising plumes, cold water descends, so a pattern spontaneously emerges: rolling tubes of water that form parallel stripes, or square or hexagonal cells. Cowan guessed that hallucinations must also be spontaneous patterns of activity produced by two competing forces?this time in the brain. One, like the water's buoyancy, tends to excite neurons while the other, like the diffusion of heat, tends to calm them down. He speculated that this could happen in the primary visual cortex, sometimes called V1. This is a layer of tissue two to three millimetres thick at the back of the brain which serves as the first layer of processing for images gathered by the retina.

To test their idea, Ermentrout and Cowan developed a mathematical model of V1 and gave it a dose of virtual LSD. Their model reflects the fact that each neuron tends to excite its neighbours and inhibit those a little farther away. Then when the eye sees a large, featureless object, like a big red blob of paint, every neuron in the middle of the image will be excited by nearby neurons and inhibited by those farther away. So it receives no net input from other neurons. It's the brain's way of saying, "There's nothing interesting happening here."

LSD upsets this balance. One of the effects of the drug is to allow neurons to fire when there is nothing in the visual field. Ordinarily, a neuron won't start firing unless the input from the retina and from neighbours exceeds a critical threshold. This ensures that if a neuron fires by mistake, it won't convince its neighbours to fire and the activity dies out. But drugs can lower the threshold?LSD does it by making the brainstem secrete less of the inhibitory chemical serotonin. If the threshold is lowered far enough, then excitation starts to beat inhibition, and spontaneous waves of activity form in the brain. It's like turning up the heat under the pan of water. The first patterns that form will be the same ones that are seen in the water: parallel stripes, checkerboards and hexagons.

So why don't LSD users see parallel stripes across their visual field? Because these patterns are in the cortex, not the retina, Cowan reasoned. A lot of cortical real estate is devoted to objects close to the centre of the field of vision, where our sight is sharp, while relatively little is used for peripheral vision. Mapped onto the cortex, an ordinary scene is grossly distorted: objects near the centre loom large, taking up most of the brain area. When you run this distortion backwards, evenly spaced parallel lines in the cortex appear sucked together into the centre of the visual field, creating the visual impression of either a spiral or a tunnel. The regular checkerboard and hexagon patterns turn into spiralling squares or hexagons.

So more than half a century after Kl?ver set out his form-constants, two of them were finally explained. LSD users see spirals and tunnels because those are the real-world objects that fit the patterns of neural firing in their cortex. Timothy Leary, the guru of "tune in, turn on, drop out" fame, speculated in The Psychedelic Experience, "These visions might be described as pure sensations of cellular and sub-cellular processes." So just as Leary guessed, the spaced-out brain is tuning into its own architecture.

But what about the other two form-constants, the cobweb and honeycomb illusions? These are both lacy, filigree patterns, while water boils in fat rolls, so it's obvious the convection analogy won't work here. Cowan was confidant that his theory would provide the framework to understand these hallucinations, too.

In the 1980s, it became clear that the neurons in V1 are not sensitive simply to the position of an image on the retina. Most of them are sensitive to edges, firing if they sense an edge passing through a particular point in the visual field but remain silent if that point is similar to its surroundings. These cells are arrayed in little patches called hypercolumns that represent a particular part of space (see Diagram). Within the hypercolumn, each neuron responds to an edge at a slightly different orientation.

Edge-detecting neurons in the brain

Instead of signalling to their neighbours in the same hypercolumn, these neurons contact their counterparts in different columns, which represent similar orientations in slightly different parts of space. Then, if there really is an edge, neurons with the right orientation excite each other, so the brain is more likely to detect it.

These long-range connections seemed essential to understanding the last two hallucination types, but they added a new level of complexity to Cowan's mathematical model of the cortex. Hot water was no longer a good analogy, because the forces at work there?buoyancy and viscosity?are all short range. Now equations were needed to describe something long range and direction-sensitive. The maths turned out to be like those of a hot gas in a magnetic field.

Cowan and his graduate student Matthew Wiener programmed in these equations, and found many possible waveforms could result. But they couldn't tell which of these patterns would be the first to appear spontaneously. They needed someone who could combine an expert's understanding of quantum mechanics and neuroscience, and in 1998, Cowan found just the person. Paul Bressloff of Loughborough University in Leicestershire had trained as a specialist in quantum gravity, then taken a detour into neural networks. In a few months of intense work at Chicago, he helped Cowan and Marty Golubitsky of the University of Houston work out the waves of activity that should emerge spontaneously among orientation-sensitive cells. The results appeared earlier this year in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (vol 356, p 1).

The winning patterns were those in which the edges naturally close up into small square or hexagonal cells. Cowan's theory precisely reproduces Kl?ver's two missing form-constants. When the fine-edged squares and hexagons on the cortex are filtered back through the retinal map, they look like lacy cobwebs and honeycombs.

So far so good. But has Cowan done any more than confirm a wiring pattern for the brain that neuroscientists had already worked out? He points out that to understand how the brain works, we need more than wiring: we have to know how these circuits actually behave.

In fact, Cowan's model does hint at this. One unexpected outcome is that subtle changes in the wiring of the model brain can cause significant changes to its preferred hallucination patterns. For example, if the long-range connections in the model always run between edge neurons that represent identical orientations, would generate hallucinations resembling herringbone twill. Clearly our brains are not wired this way; if they were, who knows what effect psychedelic visions of tweed blazers might have had on 1960s fashion. To produce cobwebs and hexagons, we actually need the connections to be a little more slapdash. Perhaps the human edge-detection system is wired this way because it helps us spot small, closed contours.

On the other hand, the herringbone patterns may emerge if the chemical stimulation is changed. Perhaps the theory can explain other kinds of visual disturbances that were thought to be unrelated to LSD hallucinations, such as the auras and zigzag patterns seen by people suffering a migraine attack. If so, it could tell us what changes in the brain cause migraines, and perhaps set us on course for a cure.

Lurking in the background is the much bigger issue of where the mind comes from. To what extent is the mind, and all the rich variety of inner experiences that gives us a sense of self, simply a product of physiological processes in the brain? Hallucinations could be a perfect place to start answering this question.

The apostles of the psychedelic sixties scorned the scientific approach to understanding an LSD trip. "Bobbing around in this brilliant, symphonic sea of imagery is the remnant of the conceptual mind," Leary wrote. "On the endless watery turbulence of the Pacific Ocean bobs a tiny open mouth, shouting (between saline mouthfuls), 'Order! System! Explain all this!'" To appreciate a hallucination, Leary said, you have to let go of the urge to rationalise it.

Tom Wolfe pitched in with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. "The White Smocks liked to put it into words, like hallucination and dissociative phenomena. They could understand the visual skyrockets. Give them a good case of an ashtray turning into a Venus flytrap or eyelid movies of crystal cathedrals, and they could groove on that... That was swell. But don't you see??the visual stuff was just the d?cor with LSD... The whole thing was ... the experience ... this certain indescribable feeling ... The experience of the barrier between the subjective and the objective, the personal and the impersonal, the Iand the not-I disappearing ... that feeling!"

Cowan makes no apologies for being one of the White Smocks. He thinks that the "visual skyrockets" and that "certain indescribable feeling" are part and parcel of the same experience. As the drug penetrates to deeper and deeper areas of the brain?visual layers, cognitive layers, emotional layers and, finally, whatever part of the brain gives us our sense of self-awareness?our subjective experience becomes enormously more complicated and richer. And yet what's going on at the cellular level may not be so different at each layer.

"Does that mean that everything can be observed and described?" Cowan asks. "I happen to believe the answer is yes. I don't think there's anything in the brain that science can't ultimately deal with." But the answers aren't going to come along tomorrow. "There are a hundred vision chips, a hundred sound chips. We now understand a bit more about one of the vision chips," he says. Cowan is already planning to look at other aspects of visual hallucinations, such as texture and size perception.

Journeying deeper still into the mind might not be much harder. The neocortex, the layer of the brain that includes V1, is the part that evolved most recently. It is also the part that supposedly makes humans so intelligent. Because it hasn't been around long, its cells are all structurally quite similar, even if their functions are quite different. "The reason this is a note for optimism," says Gary Blasdel of Harvard University, "is that when you really understand the operations that go on in a particular cortical area, it will generalise to other areas." Cowan's computerised visions might just be the beginning of a really cool trip.



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Invisibleredgreenvines
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I agree - we see the processing of seeing [Re: trendal]
    #3530806 - 12/22/04 09:22 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

when you look at a scene the eye quivers.
this is important becasue the eye is low resolution but vision is not.
between each position of a quiver movement, visual data blasts into the brain, shall we say every 60th to 100th of a second.
this visual data is preperceptive.
it is color blobs.
perception is applied accross a battery of images over ~1/4 of a second to extract progressions and to compose smoothed scenes.
the quiver track is like the scanning of cathode in the TV, which can create a whole scene from few colored dots because it scans.

when perception is hampered the folowing will be occur:
lack of depth perception
incomplete scene formation
overlapped scenes from different moments
movement smears
and lack of conversion of colored blobs to scenes during peak inhibition of perception.

perception uses timing circuits, many from cerebellum and some shorter right within the cortex.

the timing circuits which are like a synthesizer sequencer that feed back into the cortex normally help find edges and objects and patterns, but due to persistence, when stoned, they also generate unusual pattern filters on the partial visual data. (so we see preperceptive blobs and visual filter artifacts)

in that you will get intense plastic scenes of cartoon worlds out of partials and afterimages (CEV's) also mathematical progressions will form that would have merely be perception filters, but with persistence they become visual content data instead of visual test filters.

some perception filters that I have noticed are Rose shaped florals strung in vines or imprinted in terry cloth like surfaces; bright yellow tubular shapes filled with eyes at intervals or plant nodes; huge arched architectural spaces, extending to beyond imangination; and various fauna, bluebirds, bees, crustaceans, lizards, snakes, sheep, ducks, trucks, trains, etc.

actually any object that we have learned to see can have a sequenced perception filter associated, which when it plays can easily cascade into a wallpaper or layer of vision itself...


Edited by redgreenvines (12/22/04 09:26 AM)


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: trendal]
    #3532663 - 12/22/04 07:30 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

that was an intriguing read, I think the emotions one feels when seeing a hallucinations are just as important as the hallucination itself.


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InvisibleFucknuckle
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: chodamunky]
    #3533079 - 12/22/04 09:25 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Have you even rubbed your eye ball ? And see tiny fractal patterns ? The little tiny dots ? That is your nerve receptors in the back of your eyeball reacting to pressure. Those same nerve receptors are what get stoned from mushrooms, acid etc....That is what you see exploding in your visuals. The drug gets in between you brain and the receptors causing Huge Fractal patterns


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What it is, is what it is my Brother.
It is as it is, so suffer thru it.


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OfflineaoxomoxoaMan
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: Fucknuckle]
    #3533810 - 12/23/04 12:01 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Thaks for the article trendal. I really love getting lost in the trip. but, being a nerd I'm always thinking about what is REALLY going on...not that it matters...cause i really do belive that the experience is THE THING


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Careful with that axe Eugene...You might put an eye out.


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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: aoxomoxoaMan]
    #3533968 - 12/23/04 12:31 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

i would really like to see his virtual dose of LSD that he gave his computer


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InvisibleHendostan
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: chodamunky]
    #3534848 - 12/23/04 06:42 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

chodamunky said:
that was an intriguing read, I think the emotions one feels when seeing a hallucinations are just as important as the hallucination itself.



absolutely :thumbup:
i do enjoy the visuals though, they can be very entertaining :tongue2: i have had my vision split into fractals on a heavy mushroom trip, it was pretty disturbing. my whole field of vision all of a sudden looked like a shattered mirror, pieces here and there split apart and lines not meeting where they should. my field of vision as a whole was still discernable, but within it there were hundreds of fragments running through the scene. it only lasted a few seconds but i'll never forget how the world looked for that instant.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: Hendostan]
    #3535159 - 12/23/04 10:21 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

This morning I had ~450 mics of salvinorin in an inhalation, before exhaling I saw color dents in my opened eye visual field. These were like miniature copies of the scene projected on the inside of transparent celluloid bowls, or just smears of color that I have elaborated. (maybe fish scales or eyeballs). Emotionally I engaged with it very positively and resolved to put my things away quickly and lie back to close eyes. Rapidly I was moving yet still in a semi-architectural garden trellis with brown and bright green plastic girders jointed and bendy extending in directions with each imaginary glance.
Each mental projection was met with fullness of this construction of unfurling vine-girders. I tried to consider my theories but was unable to do more than ride the waves of heat. From amongst the tangled muchness that was open enough to be fresh feeling, bigheaded elves of the same plastic essence began to emerge somewhat dumb faced, and I nodded to them dodding, while the ocean of visual density subsided to a less raging torrent, that still continued in every direction in a kind of clarity that is not explicable except to construe that each view was fine and overlaid with perfect fullness accommodated by a brain that usually only accepts single Cartesian realities.


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InvisibleCJay
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Good shit [Re: Hendostan]
    #3535172 - 12/23/04 10:30 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Yes the experience.....

And what can be done within and without.

Shrooms & DMT also go far far farther than LSD and with a different lilt - take as much LSD as you want in the pitch black and not many true hallucinations will appear. Of course one can behold important visions, but they are usually very psychoanalytical and never that solid....patterns and sparkles and visual static dominate. The insight gained from LSD and the ability to percieve and observe more depth in all things is certainly a wonderful experience, and that can certainly carry off into regular consciousness.

Take as many shrooms as you want in the pitch black and you will enter another world - not just a world of patterns (and the patterns themselves are not just the simple patterns descibed in the article above) a world where imagination is alive. A wonderful experience that can go beyond any measure, and that WILL carry off into regular consciousness.

A world of perception where one can witness the birth of universes, meet alien entities, see into the past and future and discover magick.

You can pull anything from the topology as if from a compendium of all things; and in speaking with the other(s) one can produce these actual things rather than signifiers. Quite amazing.

One can protect and correct the DNA and fight off the dark beings that come to destroy.

Healing can commence here and the self can be explored as we meet with our mind, the other beings of hyperspace and the deep Other itself. All are slices of one pie ultimately, as we see the entire universe within and without us - The being of light shines through as does the being of shadow, separate in their separateness, but one in its oneness - and it is ourself and all selves.

:sun:Peace

Ahhh isn't it all great!


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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Re: Good shit [Re: CJay]
    #3535320 - 12/23/04 11:56 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I remember one of the best trips I've ever had

I was like 16

I was in the mall with my friends

I had dosed 3 or 4 good paper hits.

I was looking into the crowd of people and I noticed that everyone was surrounded by a unique set of patterns, like a forcefield. 

then I noticed that everyone's fields were interacting with eachother.  Especially if the people were looking at or talking to one another. 

then I noticed that each individual field was part of an even bigger, more universal field that I was also a part of. 

not just your average day at the mall :smile:


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: Good shit [Re: DoctorJ]
    #3535335 - 12/23/04 12:03 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

doctorJ
your day at the mall sounds gorgeous
love watching normal things in that way
cJay
I am worried about your DNA assumptions, you can certainly combat the evil forces of dreamland like dr. Strange, but these forces do not resolve at the level of DNA though they may be just as complex. Some well respected people have got that bit really wrong and it might take generations to correct that chicanery error.
Being open to psychedellics has to be kept separate from DNA claims.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good shit [Re: redgreenvines]
    #3536452 - 12/23/04 05:42 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

all things are one

all things are separate

what do you go for? where do you go?

above and beyond, as needs must and metaphors condense and the world is wrought out of many layers and means.

DNA is just one of them...a fleeting one unless one has cause

a fleeting one none-the-less


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Re: Good shit [Re: CJay]
    #3536542 - 12/23/04 06:11 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Take as many shrooms as you want in the pitch black and you will enter another world - not just a world of patterns (and the patterns themselves are not just the simple patterns descibed in the article above) a world where imagination is alive

I was thinking this too, for example: salvia hallucinations that I've had were nothing of the sort like described in the article, for me they don't fit into any catergory because they're just so bizarre but fascinating. Couple days ago I took 2 hits of 10x salvia - my wall, couch, and floor separated and turned into brick sized blocks and were moving up and down in a wave type pattern turning different colors  :eek: way cool!


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InvisibleDark_Star
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Re: Good shit [Re: CJay]
    #3537304 - 12/23/04 10:06 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I find LSD visuals to be much more realistic and much better than anything else i've ever done....I definately have true hallucinations on it. Everyone reacts differently.


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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: Dark_Star]
    #3538014 - 12/24/04 02:54 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

if it is your nerve receptors in the back of your eyeball creating those fractal like images when on lsd how does it form patterns of images..like a picture you've seen before that you thought was "trippy" suddenly forms into patterns of it..?


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"The psychedelic experience is just the temporary disruption of psychophysics and the telepathic emergence of synchronic linguistics "


~Leafing~


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OfflineaoxomoxoaMan
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: leafing]
    #3543360 - 12/26/04 01:21 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I find that when I have done MDMA (as few a times as I have) that when I am lying down before I go to sleep that I am able to manufacture my dreams. Meaning, I can pretty much step into or out of lucid dreams as I please...Ususually this is during or after the "comedown". And it lasts about 20 minutes and then I am asleep.


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InvisibleDark_Star
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Re: The fractal nature of visuals.... [Re: aoxomoxoaMan]
    #3545383 - 12/26/04 09:32 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

"Cowan and his team think they have found where hallucinations really come from. And there's nothing transcendental about it."
"Unlike Huxley and Kl?ver, Cowan has never sampled the drugs he studies. "I feel bad about it," he says. "I have to rely on all these reports in the literature." "
:rolleyes: It would interesting to hear what he would say after taking acid or mushrooms....it's easy to say something isn't transcendental when you haven't experienced it.


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