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Thread: How Do You Feel About Psychedelic Drug Use?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horned God View Post
    This is true in that the the most important experiences of life do not require chemical assistance. However, the intense connection to the world around me I have experienced while on psychedelics has only been equalled a handful of times in my "real" life and always at incalculably greater risk and cost both mental and physical as well as emotional and financial.


    Some experiences I have had that rival the psychedelic in terms of intensity include falling in love, sky diving and mountaineering. I count all of these to be far more dangerous than taking psychedelics, and not always any more profitable.
    Maybe to say so reveals me as simply insane (I do wonder sometimes), but I have had some pretty odd experiences without chemical assistance.

    Some of them were sleep related (I've been prone to intense dreams that have a profound effect on the direction of my waking thought at times), others happened while awake (it sounds bizarre, and I can say that 99.999% of my life I don't have these weird states of consciousness at all) for instance I once saw a vision, while completely awake, of these brightly coloured luminescent lines, which divided and joined together, making themselves into one form after another, matter, living things, a sort of simplistic evolutionary montage of ever more complex forms and then I snapped out of it suddenly and said (without any intent on my part) something about being all things or something odd like that (I don't entirely remember what I said this happened several years back).

    I have taken mushrooms in the past and frankly my non-drug experiences have been probably more profound to me (but the surprise when stuff like that happens always kind of adds to the magic), but they were different too, my experiences with psychedelics have generally devolved into ever increasing neuroticism until I get to a point where I am so exhausted with self-criticism and antagonistic self-analysis that I just give up - which I think is a worthwhile experience but not one I need to repeat over and over again.
    Denn das Schöne ist nichts
 als des Schrecklichen Anfang, den wir noch grade ertragen,
 und wir bewundern es so, weil es gelassen verschmäht, uns zu zerstören.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablutive View Post
    Maybe to say so reveals me as simply insane (I do wonder sometimes), but I have had some pretty odd experiences without chemical assistance.
    It's true some people are carrying slightly less ballast than others.


    I once saw a vision, while completely awake, of these brightly coloured luminescent lines, which divided and joined together, making themselves into one form after another, matter, living things, a sort of simplistic evolutionary montage of ever more complex forms and then I snapped out of it suddenly and said (without any intent on my part) something about being all things or something odd like that (I don't entirely remember what I said this happened several years back).
    Were you just after waking up when this occurred? If so it could have been a hypnopompic hallucination. These are quite normal and nothing to worry about. If you were wide awake at the time of the hallucination then it is something more unusual, but not an unheard of experience for otherwise sane individuals. Religion probably arises out of this kind of experience.

    I have taken mushrooms in the past and frankly my non-drug experiences have been probably more profound to me (but the surprise when stuff like that happens always kind of adds to the magic),
    The full mushroom dose is about 3grams of dried or 30grams of fresh liberty caps. I suspect you didn't take anywhere near as much as that.

    Now, I am not recommending that this is something you should do. You would have to experiment with increasing the dose over a period of time. I am just making to point that there are several levels to the psychedelic experience. The intense introspection is one of the most valuable effects imo but higher doses tend to have quite a different character. They are more visual and feel much more like actually leaving your life behind and going a journey (a journey on a loony tunes roller-coaster to be sure but one with many interesting stops on the way.). Of course the higher doses are also more perilous mentally so can't be wholeheartedly recommended.


    but they were different too, my experiences with psychedelics have generally devolved into ever increasing neuroticism until I get to a point where I am so exhausted with self-criticism and antagonistic self-analysis that I just give up - which I think is a worthwhile experience but not one I need to repeat over and over again.
    Yes, this is the common experience. Mushrooms are not a recreational drug. You take them only when you want to have a long hard look at yourself and at life in general from a totally different perspective. It can be painful to look at life without the filter of cultural norms which we have grown up with in place, sometimes extremely painful, but also valuable.

    Just to take one example, you could look at a beef sandwich while tripping can become profoundly aware of the fact that in this world "life feeds on life" and that many sections of meat industry cause an extreme amount of suffering to reasonably intelligent animals. Many people find being forced to confront the reality of the situation we are all in extremely troubling. But confronting rather than ignoring difficult realities is the only way to begin to deal with them.

    However as you have intimated, Psychedelics tend to be self limiting for the same reason that they are useful. There is only so much of reality you can take with all of your mental defences torn away from you, before you are completely drained emotionally.

    Constant tripping is not necessary though. After a certain number of psychedelic experiences you can start to look at the world and automatically know what you would think of a certain situation if you were tripping and compare that to how you view the situation sober.

    My lasting impression is that the low to medium dose mushroom experience is if anything a more sober and realistic way of viewing the world than normal sobriety. Imo the reason it is not as highly valued by society is largely that it is less useful for earning a living.It doesn't allow you to ignore all the awfulness that your subconscious knows you are dunked in while you and everyone around you gets on with the important business of making money.
    Close observation may result in feelings of horror, wonder and awe at world you find yourself inhabiting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Horned God View Post
    While I believe there is a unique insight to be gained into the nature of reality from the use of psychedelic drugs, I would make it very clear that these substances are certainly not for everyone. They should not for instance be taken by anyone with any history of schizophrenia or any tendencies in that direction.
    Right, I heard this argument more often than once. But what lasting insight into the fabrics of reality did someone really gain from the use of psychedelic drugs? And how did this change or affect his life for the better?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn View Post
    Right, I heard this argument more often than once. But what lasting insight into the fabrics of reality did someone really gain from the use of psychedelic drugs?
    Psychedelics at least the ones I've tried, mushrooms, DMT, Ayahuasca, all perturb the users perceptions to a greater or lesser extent. The term "psychedelic" comes from the Greek words psyche "the mind" and delos "visible". So the experience of taking psychedelics might be described as being like opening up the mind and having a look at the workings inside.it gives you an outside perspective on your self. It shows you your thought processes at work, with your ego taken out of the equation. So you could say it gives you a glimpse of yourself as others see you. At the same time your consciousness is expanded and you are far more aware of how your actions are affecting the people around you.

    If there is anything in your life that you are hiding from or trying to ignore, be it some aspect of your behaviour or your own mortality or the mortality of the people you care about, a strong psychedelic trip will force you to confront it and examine it at length.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thorburn View Post
    And how did this change or affect his life for the better?
    I feel that the period of time I was using psychedelics has made me a better and more caring person in general. And in particular I am more understanding towards members of my family. I appreciate them more. It can see things form their point of view more easily and my relationships have improved as a result.
    Close observation may result in feelings of horror, wonder and awe at world you find yourself inhabiting.

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    Drugs are a way to bypass spiritual developement.

    when spiritual developed you have similar experiences but can handle them and they give you deep insights.

    If you use drugs as a shortcut you can have similar experiences but are not able to fully use them. Yes, you get insides but you have no framework to deal with it.

    With Ayahuasca it might be a little different as that particular plant spirit boils things down so you can understand. But then, it is not your effort therefore the insights are not your insights.

    (Ayahhuasca is also a healing plant and therefore a little different than others)
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Psychedlics and spirituality... I found this controversial but very interesting experience on the web.

    The Path to DMT: Psychedelic Drugs, Meditation, and the 
Pineal Gland

    Posted By: Rick Strassman SEP 22, 2014

    [disinfo ed.’s note: Excerpted from DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible by Rick Strassman, MD.]

    The notion of Hebrew Bible prophecy as a model for the DMT experience, and for the Western psychedelic drug experience in general, started forming in my mind several years after completing my drug studies in the mid-1990s. That research project represented the culmination of a decades-long interest in the biology of spiritual experience that began during my undergraduate training in the late 1960s. In these next two chapters, I trace the impetus for my research; its intellectual, biological, personal, and spiritual backdrops; the data that the project generated; and how those data forced me to search outside my preexisting models for more adequate ones. That search ultimately led to the Hebrew Bible and its notion of prophecy.

    Altered States of Consciousness: East Meets West

    During the middle of the twentieth century, two powerful mind-*altering technologies burst upon the West. One came from the West itself and the other from Asia. Both provided reliable and widely accessible methods for profoundly altering human consciousness. The Western side of this coin brought forth the psychedelic drugs, especially LSD. The other produced Eastern meditation practices, particularly those of Hinduism and Buddhism.*

    *In addition, fascination with the newly described near-death experience contemporaneously drew attention to yet another highly altered state of consciousness, albeit one under much less voluntary control.1

    Psychedelic Drugs

    The term psychedelic means “mind-manifesting” or “mind-disclosing.” When it qualifies the word drug, it refers to a family of chemical compounds that regularly occasion a unique constellation of psychological effects. These effects include seeing visions; hearing voices and other information-bearing sounds; feeling intense emotions, both positive and negative; experiencing unusual thought processes and novel insights; and undergoing changes in the sense of self.

    Several other names exist for these substances, examples of which are LSD, mescaline from peyote cactus, psilocybin from “magic” mushrooms, and DMT. The traditional medical-legal term is hallucinogen, although this is overly restrictive because these drugs do not routinely cause hallucinations. Psychotomimetic (mimicking psychosis) inordinately emphasizes serious psychopathology and ignores these drugs’ reinforcing and sought-after qualities. We rarely encounter the term today. The more recent entheogen, meaning “generating divinity from within,” also is too exclusive for general use because it implies a belief in spirituality that not everyone shares, and it refers to a particular type of experience that not everyone undergoes.

    I prefer the term psychedelic because it casts the widest possible net for the range of effects these substances elicit. They nearly invariably reveal to the mind previously invisible processes and contents. At the same time, the term subsumes the highly complex and variable responses they bring about, beatific or horrific, insightful or confusing. While psychedelic has accumulated a significant amount of cultural *baggage from the divisive and chaotic 1960s, it also is the most flexible and inclusive term. For that reason, I have decided to use it, rather than pejorative or overly restrictive ones.*

    LSD originated in the modern European pharmaceutical laboratory in the 1940s2 and was one of the three legs of the scientific tripod upon which scientists erected the edifice of modern biological psychiatry, or human psychopharmacology, the preeminent model for understanding mental function and the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Another leg of this tripod was the nearly simultaneous synthesis of the antipsychotic medication Thorazine (chlorpromazine). The third was the discovery of the presence and LSD-like properties of the neurotransmitter serotonin.†

    *Other drugs sometimes receive the name psychedelic but are not technically members of the “classical” compounds. MDMA (“ecstasy”) is a methamphetamine derivative with qualitatively different psychological and pharmacological effects than those of LSD, psilocybin, and DMT. Ketamine and the closely related drug PCP, as well as Salvia divinorum, share subjective effects with the psychedelic drugs, but their pharmacology is distinct.

    †Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that provide communication among nerve cells and between nerve cells and adjacent tissues, such as muscle or endocrine glands. For an in-depth discussion of these issues, see chapter 1 of DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

    Eastern Meditation

    Ancient East Asian religious traditions were the source of the multitude of meditation techniques that flooded the West at nearly the same time as did the psychedelic drugs. Hinduism and Buddhism had received some Western attention during the early 1900s; however, it was not until the psychedelic drugs had unleashed a massive level of public interest in altered consciousness that Eastern religious meditation practices began assuming their current level of popularity. The Beatles initiated an interest in Transcendental Meditation, a Hindu spiritual practice originating in India, after their “psychedelic” phase, and American West and East Coast academics and countercultural figures also popularized Buddhism, especially Japanese Zen Buddhism.

    It did not take long for similarities between descriptions of *psychedelic drug effects and those resulting from the practice of meditation to become apparent. For example, here are representative verses of an ancient Buddhist text:

    There were banners of precious stones, constantly emitting *shining light and producing beautiful sounds. . . . The finest jewels appeared spontaneously, raining inexhaustible quantities of gems and *beautiful flowers all over the earth. There were rows of jewel trees, their branches and foliage lustrous and luxuriant.3

    I found the psychedelic qualities of accounts of meditation such as these intriguing and puzzled over their implications. I began considering how resemblances between the effects of psychedelic drugs and meditation might reflect the action of common underlying biological mechanisms in both states. When the phenomenology of the two sets of subjective experiences resembled each other, one could propose similar alterations in brain activity. This idea contained practical applications as well. Did psychedelic drugs provide a shortcut to success in Buddhist meditation? Did Buddhist meditation represent a non-drug method for entering into psychedelic states?

    Personal Factors

    While I was considering how to bridge psychedelic *psychopharmacology and the effects of Buddhist meditation, I decided to learn more about meditation firsthand and explored various options before settling on Zen Buddhism. Up until then, my religious background consisted of a relatively ordinary Jewish upbringing within a Conservative Jewish* *household. During the six supplemental hours per week of Jewish *education I received from the age of five to thirteen, we studied the Hebrew language; learned about Jewish history, culture, and *festivals; and read from the Hebrew Bible. However, we learned little about God other than His *historical involvement with the Jewish people over the millennia. Direct spiritual experience and the methods to attain it were not part of our *curriculum. While Hebrew prayers were a large part of the Saturday Sabbath synagogue service, their recitation seemed rote and passionless. After my bar mitzvah at age thirteen, lacking any intellectual, emotional, or spiritual connection with Judaism, I drifted away from it.

    *Conservative Judaism is one of the three major sects of contemporary Judaism. It occupies the middle ground between Orthodox traditionalism and Reform liberalism. Newer sects include Reconstructionist and Renewal.

    In addition to Buddhism’s entrance into popular culture, academic courses in Buddhist studies were just beginning to form when I was an undergraduate student. I was fortunate to be attending Stanford University at a time of unprecedented growth in the scholarly study of Buddhism. The stimulus for this growth was government funding for research attempting to explicate the role of Buddhism in the Vietnam conflict. Highly publicized politically disruptive acts, such as self-*immolation by protesting Buddhist monks, baffled the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Defense. As a result, money soon began flowing to American universities to establish a Department of Buddhist Studies to help the American government understand this mysterious religion. Nancy Lethcoe, a newly minted Doctor of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies, joined the faculty at Stanford, and I took her class on Indian Buddhism in 1972.

    Buddhism intellectually and emotionally stirred me as very few things had before. In addition, it represented a time-tested tradition that integrated and applied highly altered states of consciousness into one’s life. To the extent that meditational and psychedelic drug states resembled each other, one could consider Buddhism as a model for how to live a more consistently “psychedelic” everyday life.

    I was not alone in this belief. Countless Western men and women have begun Buddhist practice after first using psychedelic drugs.4 Both psychedelic drugs and meditation elicit states of *consciousness that point toward an enlightened state of mind: one in which time, space, and personal identity do not exist; opposites reconcile seamlessly; and death no longer holds any sting.* The memory of and longing for that glimpse of enlightenment pushes and draws them along the Buddhist path, a path seemingly unavailable in their
    own culture.

    After learning Transcendental Meditation and visiting a number of Hindu and Buddhist centers in the United States, I began Buddhist practice within a Zen† order in my early twenties. I quickly found confirmation within that religious community of my ideas about the relationship between Buddhism and psychedelics. Among the dozens of its young members, nearly everyone had his or her first intimation of enlightenment‡ during a psychedelic drug experience, usually with LSD. These monks and laypeople then found in Zen a model for living a spiritual life that was consistent with the insights they had obtained from their psychedelic drug experiences.

    *As I discuss in chapter 5, the interactive and relational psychedelic-like visions resulting from meditation are not Buddhism’s final goal. This became clear to me only after some years of study and practice within Zen.

    †Zen is a sect of Japanese Buddhism, arriving by way of China more than nine hundred years ago. Chinese Buddhism originated with the influx of Indian teachers five hundred years earlier.

    ‡This glimpse of enlightenment, or bodhicitta, is the most important stage in Buddhist training.5

    The Japanese term for the Zen meditation practice I learned is shikan taza, which roughly means “just sitting.” It involves directing attention to what is taking place both within one’s mind and body as well as in the external world in as continuous and focused a manner as possible. Deceptively simple, but difficult in practice, the sustained and energetic application of this technique is capable of leading to a direct apprehension of the bases of experience, and ultimately, of the nature of phenomenal existence itself. From this basic meditation technique and resulting states of consciousness emerges all of Buddhism.

    The Pineal Gland and Consciousness

    After establishing a meditation practice and finding a spiritual community with whom I could study and train, I began accumulating *information and formulating ideas within an academic context *regarding the relationship between biology and spirituality. In doing so, I took a slightly different approach than scientists at that time.

    Academic research into the biology of meditation in the 1960s and 1970s never considered a possible role for endogenous psychedelic substances. Rather, researchers chose to examine less controversial topics, such as changes in brain waves and indicators of stress, including adrenaline metabolism and blood pressure.6

    Scientists who were examining the relationship between endogenous psychedelic substances and non-drug altered states similarly overlooked those resulting from meditation. Instead, they focused on psychoses, in particular schizophrenia. In both the psychotic and psychedelic drug state, one hears and sees things that others do not, self- and body-image change radically, and thoughts lead to highly unconventional and unshakeable conclusions. Researchers hypothesized that drugs blocking the effects of LSD might similarly block psychotic symptoms, based on the idea that the two syndromes reflected the workings of the same biological processes. In other words, if there were an endogenous LSD-like substance causing psychosis, blocking LSD might block that endogenous substance’s psychotomimetic effects. Naturally, DMT dominated researchers’ interest because it was the only known endogenous psychedelic whose biological and psychological effects had been characterized at the time.

    My approach instead was to consider the possibility that the body synthesized a compound with psychedelic properties that produced highly prized spiritual experiences, rather than highly maladaptive psychotic experiences. And rather than proposing that meditation influenced brain waves or stress hormones that were relatively remote from the immediate subjective state, I wondered whether a hypothetical “spirit molecule” directly occasioned the meditational experiences themselves. In the same vein, it seemed possible that this compound mediated the subjective elements of other nonpsychotic, non-drug-induced altered states such as dream sleep and the effects of fasting and prayer.

    Where in the body might this spirit molecule arise? In my search for its origin I was led to the pineal gland by another Stanford mentor, Jim Fadiman. The pineal gland, a tiny organ sitting deep within the recesses of the human brain, has been for millennia an object of great interest to several systems of “esoteric physiology,” including Hinduism and Judaism. Even the rationalist Descartes referred to the pineal gland as the “seat of the soul,” the conduit between the human and spiritual worlds. Consistent with a role for the pineal gland in consciousness, its location in the brain is ideal for affecting visual and auditory pathways, as well as for releasing secretions into the cerebrospinal fluid that continually bathes the entire brain.* Most intriguing, I learned that the pineal gland contains the precursors and enzymes necessary for the synthesis of endogenous psychedelics such as 5-methoxy-DMT† and DMT.‡

    *See chapters 3 and 4 of DMT: The Spirit Molecule for an in-depth discussion of the possible role of the pineal gland in consciousness.

    †5-methoxy-DMT is a close chemical cousin of DMT, endogenous, and highly psychoactive. I will discuss this compound in chapter 22.

    ‡We now know that DMT occurs in the mammalian pineal gland.7

    Right after I completed my clinical and research training early in the 1980s, I was not in a position to embark directly on a human psychedelic drug study. Fortunately, at that time we understood very little about melatonin, the most well-known product of the pineal gland. Some research even alluded to it possessing significant psychoactivity. Therefore, I decided to initiate my search for a biological basis of spiritual experience with the pineal gland and launched the most thorough investigation of melatonin’s effects in humans to date.

    At the end of this two-year project, we discovered relatively modest physiological functions for melatonin, but no psychedelic effects, even at rather high doses. I needed to look elsewhere than melatonin in my search for an endogenous psychedelic substance. By this time I had established myself as a successful clinical research scientist and also had learned a great deal about previous investigators’ findings regarding DMT. It seemed a good time to design and implement a study with this truly psychedelic endogenous compound.

    What DMT Is

    DMT, or dimethyltryptamine, is the simplest “classical” psychedelic. This family of compounds also includes LSD, psilocybin, and *mescaline. While the duration of their effects differs, they all occasion similar subjective effects and share nearly identical pharmacological properties. DMT is a strikingly small and simple molecule. Its molecular weight, the sum of the weights of all its individual atoms, is only slightly greater than that of glucose, or blood sugar. DMT is the product of several biological modifications of dietary tryptophan, the same amino-acid building block with which melatonin and serotonin synthesis begins. While scientists knew of DMT’s presence in psychedelic plants as early as the 1940s, it was not until the mid-1950s that we learned that DMT itself was profoundly psychedelic.8

    DMT is widespread throughout the plant kingdom. Hundreds, if not thousands, of species possess it, a unique abundance of which exist in Latin America. Many indigenous cultures in this region use DMT-containing plants for their psychedelic properties in healing, recreation, hunting, and spiritual practice.9 The increasingly popular Amazon psychedelic tea ayahuasca contains DMT as its visionary ingredient.* DMT also occurs in every mammal that scientists have studied, *including humans.10

    *DMT is orally inactive because enzymes in the gut break it down nearly instantly. In ayahuasca there is, in addition to a DMT-containing plant, another plant possessing inhibitors of the gut’s destructive enzymes. These inhibitors are called beta-carbolines. The beta-carbolines inhibit the function of monoamine oxidases, the enzymes that break down DMT in the stomach, blood, and liver. This combination of plants in *ayahuasca provides an orally active DMT formulation.

    The discovery of endogenous DMT in humans in the 1960s initiated a wave of provocative research attempting to determine an association between DMT and psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia using the psychotomimetic model. While results were inconclusive before the first wave of human research with psychedelics ended in 1970, they did confirm DMT’s psychedelic properties and established that it was physically and psychologically safe when administered to healthy volunteers.

    DMT possesses certain unique features among the psychedelics that make it particularly intriguing. One is that it seems essential for normal brain function. I say this because of data indicating that DMT is one of the few compounds for which the brain will exert energy to get into its confines. The blood-brain barrier prevents most endogenous and exogenous substances from entering the brain from the bloodstream. However, compounds the brain requires but cannot synthesize on its own receive special treatment, such as glucose for fuel and certain amino acids for protein synthesis. DMT is another such compound.11 If DMT were necessary for brain function, it would explain this startling finding and suggest a critical role for DMT in the regulation of human consciousness.

    More recently, we have learned how mammals synthesize endogenous DMT, and it appears that lung tissue is the major site for its production in rabbits12 and humans.13 Researchers have identified the gene responsible for the enzyme that finalizes DMT synthesis. After inserting the human gene into a virus and infecting mammalian cells with that virus, those cells begin producing DMT.14

    Human research with DMT, and with all other psychedelic drugs, ceased with the enactment of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 in the United States and comparable laws elsewhere.* While scientists had discovered a highly promising avenue of inquiry, it had yet to attain the level of maturity that comes from unrestricted study of the relevant phenomena. For example, scientists had not yet developed sensitive enough technology to determine whether differences existed in DMT levels between normal and psychotic people. We knew nearly nothing about ayahuasca. And there was no consideration of the possible role of endogenous DMT in spiritual experience.

    *Psychedelics reside in the Controlled Substances Act’s Schedule I. This category includes drugs that have no known medical use, are highly abusable, and are not safe even under medical supervision.

    Notes

    1.Moody, Life after Life.

    2.Hofmann, LSD: My Problem Child.

    3.Cleary, Flower Ornament Scripture, 55.

    4.Badiner and Grey, eds., Zig Zag Zen.

    5.Gyatso, A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night.

    6.Benson and Klipper, The Relaxation Response.

    7.Barker, Borjigin, Lomnicka, and Strassman, “LC/MS/MS Analysis of the Endogenous Dimethyltryptamine Hallucinogens.”

    8.Sai-Halász, Brunecker, and Szára, “Dimethyltryptamin: Ein Neues Psychoticum.”

    9.Rätsch, Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants.

    10.Barker, McIlhenny, and Strassman, “A Critical Review of Reports of Endogenous Psychedelic N,N-Dimethyltryptamines in Humans.”

    11.Takahashi, Takahashi, Ido, et al., “11C-Labeling of Indolealkylamine Alkaloids and the Comparative Study of Their Tissue Distribution,” 965–69; and Yanai, Ido, Ishiwata, et al., “In Vivo Kinetics and Displacement Study of Carbon-11-Labeled Hallucinogen, N,N-[11C]Dimethyltryptamine.”

    12.Thompson and Weinshilboum, “Rabbit Lung Indolethylamine N-Methyltransferase.”

    13.Thompson, Moon, Kim, et al., “Human Indolethylamine N-Methyltransferase.”

    14.Ibid.

    Excerpted from DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible by Rick Strassman, M.D. © 2014 Park Street Press with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International.

    Rick Strassman, M.D., is clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and president and cofounder of the Cottonwood Research Foundation. From 1990 to 1995 he performed the first new human studies with psychedelic drugs in the United States in more than 20 years, focusing on the powerful naturally occurring compound DMT. The author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and coauthor of Inner Paths to Outer Space, he lives in Gallup, New Mexico
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    I don't believe drugs change consciousness. I have seen to many druggies which mostly expose the opposite.

    Drugs alter the perception (or third eye if you want) so you perceive what is behind the veil of appearance, albeit most are not ready for that.

    Whether the new perception has an effect on your consciousness is questionable for me.

    It might also be depended for what reason you take drugs
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Moderator Leliana's Avatar
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    I've never taken 'magic mushrooms' or any of the harder drugs but I'm an occasional drinker and like beer, wine, cocktails and hard liquors in social company or, less frequent, alone when I'm fed up with some stuff in my life or when I had a bad hair day. So rotgut is not unfamiliar to me.

    Then I smoked a joint on just a handful of occasions in my life.

    If you want to experience unknown layers of your consciousness with a moderate, harmless and non-addictive 'psychedelic' drug, try 300 to 600mg of Lyrica/Pregabaline. It's prescribed for neuropathic pain, generalized anxiety disorder and for the prevention of epilepsy.





    It feels like a mix of drunkeness and a joint trip. It takes about 60 to 90 minutes to flood in, lasts for 5-7 hours and then you get so tired that you can sleep like a goddess. In that 5-7 hours you are relaxed, happy, social, a party animal and perceive your daily life and its ups and lows differently. You're ecstatic about regular stuff and daily stress doesn't burden your thoughts and mind. You fly across the room, have new ideas and see problems and chances from different angles.

    With Lyrica/Pregabalin you can save a lot of money as you don't need alcohol or a joint at all. About 600mg make up for three big beer and a moderate amount of grass. At least to me.

    When I go out, I take two Lyrica and have a great evening. And then I sleep well without any hangover on the next day. Personal experiences may differ, though. Maybe you just sleep tight and nothing else, sooo...'bad luck' I guess.

  9. #49
    Eala Freia Fresena
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    That's behavioral change, not change of consciousness in a spiritual sense.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    The following might be of interest:

    As we know, the Tollund Man had small amounts of ergot in his digestive system. The nucleus common to all ergot alkaloids is lysergic acid of which LSD-25 is a derivative.

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    There is still debate as to what effect the small amount of ergot might have had on The Tollund Man; some think the ergot’s hallucinogenic power would have helped him commune with the spirits, as he passed from the earthly world to the world of his dead ancestors.
    [Source]

    Ergot

    Ergot of rye is produced by a lower fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that grows parasitically on rye and, to a lesser extent, on other species of grain and on wild grasses. Kernels infested with this fungus develop into light-brown to violet-brown curved pegs (sclerotia) that push forth from the husk in place of normal grains. Ergot of rye (Secale cornutum) is the variety used medicinally.

    Ergot has a fascinating history. Once it was dreaded as a poison, but over the course of time it has become to be regarded as a rich storehouse of valuable medicines. Ergot was first mentioned in the early Middle Ages, as the cause of outbreaks of mass poisonings affecting thousands of persons at a time. The illness appeared in two characteristic forms, one gangrenous (ergotismus gangraenosus) and the other convulsive (ergotismus convulsivus). Popular names for ergotism - such as "mal des ardents", "ignis sacer", "heiliges Feuer" or "St. Anthony's fire" - refer to the gangrenous form of the disease. The patron saint of ergotism victims was St. Anthony, and it was primarily the Order of St. Anthony that treated these patients. Until quite recently, outbreaks of ergot poisoning approaching epidemic proportions were recorded in most European countries including certain areas of Russia. However, in the seventeenth century it was discovered that ergot-containing bread was the cause of the poisonings. This, coupled with progress in agriculture, caused the frequency and extent of ergotism epidemics to diminish considerably. The last great epidemic occurred in certain areas of southern Russia in the years 1926-27.

    Ergot as a Medicine

    The first mention of a medicinal use of ergot, as a drug to precipitate childbirth, is found in the notes of the Frankfurt city physician Adam Lonitzer in 1582. Although ergot had been used since olden times by midwives, it was not until 1808 that this drug gained entry into academic medicine. The use of ergot for these purposes did not last, however, since the uncertainty of dosage led to uterine spasms and dangers to the child.

    The early 1930s brought a new era in ergot research, beginning with the determination of the chemical structure of the main chemically active agents, the ergot alkaloids. Finally, W. A. Jacobs and L.C. Craig of the Rockefeller Institute of New York succeeded in isolating and characterizing the nucleus common to all ergot alkaloids. They named it lysergic acid.

    The Discovery of LSD

    Albert Hoffman, the inventor of LSD In the late 1930s, Albert Hoffman was working in the pharmacological department of Sandoz, in Basel, Switzerland. He was studying derivatives of lysergic acid, including systematically reacting the acid group with various reagents, to produce the corresponding amides, anhydrides, esters, etc. One of these derivatives was the diethylamide, made by addition of the -N(C2H5)2 group, and it was named LSD-25.
    [Source]
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