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Joined: 16 Sep 2002
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transcedental psychedelic experiences accepted by the masses  Reply with quote  

http://slate.msn.com/id/2082647/??PS=8313
Post Fri May 09, 2003 2:55 pm
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Sheika



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Calgary, AB
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wow i found this rather fascinating. thankyou for the post
Post Fri May 09, 2003 5:32 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21537
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Tripping De-Light Fantastic
Are psychedelic drugs good for you?
By John Horgan
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2003, at 8:44 AM PT

A year ago, hoping to dispel the postpartum gloom that had gripped me after I finished writing a book, I hiked into a forest near my home and pitched a tent under some pine trees. I spent that day and evening listening to the forest, scribbling in my journal, and thinking—all while under the influence of a psychedelic drug. The next morning I returned to my wife and children feeling better than I had in months.

What I did that day should not be illegal. Adults seeking solace or insight ought to be allowed to consume psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. U.S. laws now classify them as Schedule 1 drugs, banned for all purposes because of their health risks. But recent studies have shown that psychedelics—which more than 20 million Americans have ingested—can be harmless and even beneficial when taken under appropriate circumstances.

Citing this research, some scholars and scientists are proposing that the prohibitions against psychedelics—or entheogens, "God engenderers," as believers in their spiritual benefits prefer to call them—should be reconsidered. This legal issue has recently been brought to a head by a religious sect in New Mexico that is suing the United States for the right to drink a hallucinogenic tea called ayahuasca in its ceremonies. A federal court is expected to rule on the potentially momentous case any day now.

"There is no doubt that hallucinogens can be used unwisely," says Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at the UCLA-Harbor Medical Center, who testified in the ayahuasca case and is a leader of the effort to rehabilitate the reputation of these substances. "But these studies show that they can be used safely within certain parameters."

After LSD's astonishing effects were discovered by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann 60 years ago, many psychiatrists considered it and similar compounds potential treatments for psychological ailments. That is why the psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond called the drugs "psychedelic," from the Greek root for "mind-revealing." By the mid-1960s, medical journals had published more than 1,000 papers describing the treatment with psychedelics of some 40,000 patients afflicted with disorders ranging from schizophrenia to alcoholism.

One remarkable study from this period, known as the Good Friday experiment, probed the capacity of psilocybin (the active ingredient of so-called magic mushrooms) to trigger spiritual experiences. On Good Friday, 1962, the Harvard psychiatrist Walter Pahnke dispensed psilocybin and placebos to a group of 30 divinity students and professors assembled in a Boston church. A majority of those who received psilocybin reported sensations of profound awe and self-transcendence that had lasting positive effects.

By the early 1970s, the surging popularity of psychedelics among the young—urged by Timothy Leary to "turn on, tune in, and drop out"—had triggered a backlash. Psychedelics were outlawed, and virtually all research on them was shut down amid rising concerns about their adverse social and medical effects. In 1971, the Journal of the American Medical Association warned that repeated consumption of psychedelics would usually result in permanent "personality deterioration."

Further research has shown these fears to be exaggerated, says John Halpern, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. To be sure, psychedelics can cause acute and sometimes persistent psychopathology, especially in those predisposed to mental illness. But Halpern maintains that these compounds are usually harmless when ingested by healthy individuals in appropriate settings.

As evidence, Halpern cites a five-year study he recently completed with a Harvard colleague of members of the Native American Church, who are permitted by U.S. law to consume the mescaline-containing cactus peyote as a sacrament. Church members who had taken peyote at least 100 times showed no adverse neurocognitive effects compared to a control group.

Similar results have emerged from a study of ayahuasca by UCLA psychiatrist Grob and other scientists, results that Grob describes in the essay collection Hallucinogens. Ayahuasca, a tea brewed from two Amazonian plants, contains the potent psychedelic dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. Although the tea often triggers nausea and diarrhea, Indian shamans have prized it for its visionary properties for centuries, and since 1987 it has served as a legal sacrament for several churches in Brazil. The largest is the Uniao Do Vegetal, or UDV, which combines elements of Christianity with nature worship and claims 8,000 members.

Grob and his colleagues found that UDV members were on average healthier physiologically and psychologically than a control group. The UDV adherents also had elevated receptors for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has been correlated with resistance to depression and other disorders. Many of the UDV members told the scientists that ayahuasca had helped them overcome alcoholism, drug addiction, and other self-destructive behaviors.

These findings emboldened UDV adherents based in New Mexico to sue the U.S. Justice Department for the right to drink their sacrament. The case dates to 1999, when federal agents seized 30 gallons of ayahuasca that the UDV group had imported from Brazil. Last August, a federal judge in Albuquerque ruled in favor of the UDV worshippers. The judge contended that the Justice Department had not shown that ayahuasca poses enough of a health risk to warrant restricting the UDV members' right to practice their religion. The Justice Department lawyers appealed, and the case is now before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver.

Of course, even advocates of entheogens admit that they pose risks. Ayahuasca can cause cardiac irregularities and other dangerous side effects, Grob notes, when combined with amphetamines, antidepressants, cheese, red wine, and other common substances. Ayahuasca drinkers generally fast before sessions to reduce the risks of these side effects.

In the new book The Antipodes of the Mind, an in-depth study of ayahuasca visions, the Israeli psychologist Benny Shanon recalls that the tea transformed him from a "devout atheist" into someone awestruck by the wonders of nature and of human consciousness. But he warns that ayahuasca can also be "the worst of liars," leaving some users gripped by belief in ghosts, telepathy, and other occult phenomena. Similarly, in Cleansing the Doors of Perception, the eminent religious scholar Huston Smith recalls that during the Good Friday experiment, in which he participated, one subject became so agitated that he had to be injected with Thorazine. Smith nonetheless contends that entheogens can serve a spiritual purpose, if used with reverence; after all, mind-altering substances have played an inspirational role in many religions, including Hinduism and the Eleusinian cult of ancient Greece.

I have firsthand experience of the double-edged nature of entheogens, which I've taken sporadically since my late teens. There have been moments of vertiginous anxiety; one particularly bad trip in 1981 left me with unsettling flashbacks for months. But overall the pros have outweighed the cons. I usually end up feeling the way I did after my LSD sojourn last summer: existentially refreshed, with a renewed appreciation of ordinary existence.

Entheogens are far less addictive and toxic than alcohol or tobacco. Why should we continue to be denied their benefits, in religious or non-religious contexts? Risks could be minimized by making these substances available only through licensed therapists, who can screen clients for mental instability and advise them on how to make their experiences as rewarding as possible. Some people might be prescribed entheogens for a specific disorder, such as depression or alcoholism. And just as drugs such as Prozac and Viagra are prescribed not just to heal the ill but also to enhance the lives of the healthy, so might entheogens.

This scenario may not be so far-fetched, given last year's court decision favoring the UDV in New Mexico and other developments. A sanctioned study of psilocybin's capacity for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder is now under way at the University of Arizona. And UCLA psychiatrist Grob recently received FDA approval to investigate whether psilocybin can relieve anxiety in late-stage cancer patients. Maybe those of us who enjoy an occasional psychedelic sojourn will be able to do so without feeling like outlaws. Wouldn't that be a trip?
Post Fri May 09, 2003 8:17 pm
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ObliO



Joined: 20 Nov 2002
Posts: 766
Location: mexican war streets
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LegalizeSpiritualDiscovery
Post Fri May 09, 2003 8:55 pm
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SneepSnopDotCom
COCKRING WRAITH


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 3087
Location: Wisconsin
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Tripping allows a person to a momentary window outside of all the external psychological bombardments that ultimately make up our personality... The government doesnt want us all sitting in the woods staring at bugs and communicating with them telepathically while we slowly lose our need for clothing... so many bankers would lose money on that... so guess what??? It's bad for you, just ask a 4 yr old.
Post Fri May 09, 2003 9:58 pm
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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Sage Francis wrote:
One remarkable study from this period, known as the Good Friday experiment, probed the capacity of psilocybin (the active ingredient of so-called magic mushrooms) to trigger spiritual experiences. On Good Friday, 1962, the Harvard psychiatrist Walter Pahnke dispensed psilocybin and placebos to a group of 30 divinity students and professors assembled in a Boston church. A majority of those who received psilocybin reported sensations of profound awe and self-transcendence that had lasting positive effects.



That's funny, about seven years ago on "holy Thursday" (The day before good Friday) I had the worst bad trip of my life. It fucked me up for years and I have only recently(past year or so) been back to my normal self. I've taken shrooms many times since and regreted it each time. But the good thing about this whole experience is that I ended up dropping/smoking a hell of a lot less and I probably would be a serious drug addict right now if it wasn't for that.

I'm planning a shroom party in a couple of weeks. I think I'm gonna enjoy it. I'm just not going to smoke this time.
Post Fri May 09, 2003 10:57 pm
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wordsauce



Joined: 27 Jul 2002
Posts: 331
Location: Urbana, IL
dmt trip and illegality of pscyhodelics  Reply with quote  

i had an opportunity to try DMT last fall, the active ingredient in ayahuasca. (it is sold over the counter in head shops at Japan). i have tripped on mushrooms, acid, and amt, but dmt was not a new interpretation of reality, but a complete different understanding of it. i felt like i died, but i didn't care (and this actually corresponded with me puking on myself, but i was already out of my body). i proceeded to go on a journey of color, sensation, and energy. i saw much, but it is hard to put in words because i am not sure if any of it was material.

i feel i have benefitted overall from my experiences tripping, both good and bad. i about the illegality of these drugs, i am unsure which is worse. their staying illegal or their becoming legal. in the former, a lot of people are discriminated against. in the latter, a lot of unprepared minds will be negatively affected if they mistaken legality as being safe.

in the end, i think the people that are seeking trips are the people that will be able to see beyond its illegality. if you want to trip, you can.
Post Sat May 10, 2003 12:59 am
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Hellen Earth
could be a girl. could be a guy.


Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1278
Location: Fitchburg, MA
Word  Reply with quote  

I just finished reading a book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, about a week ago. It was about a doctor's recent experiments with DMT on humans, it's pretty interesting, by Rick Strassman if anyone is interested in looking it up. I would love to try it....but it's near impossible to get a hold of.
Post Sat May 10, 2003 10:22 am
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McLirious



Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 533
Location: Portland, OR
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Does Sage Francis partake in psychedelic drug use?

I think the Good Friday experiment was recounted in the book Be Here Now. The author talked about the results and how the subjects who received the placebo were all like,"I think I might be feeling something." While those who received psylocibin were all like, "I SEE GOD!!!" That passage made
me grin and chuckle.

I just saw a Natl. Geographic show about drug use and they followed a community of indigenous Mexicans on their journey to harvest peyote. It was an ancient tradition and the parents were feeding peyote to their young children. Pretty wild stuff, has anyone else seen it?
Post Sat May 10, 2003 11:49 am
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Awww Ðämn



Joined: 03 Jul 2002
Posts: 2511
Location: barbary coast
robotrippin  Reply with quote  

DMT? is that the stuff that is in Robutussin?

a couple of years ago when i moved to San francisco, I met a lot of dumb kids. i didn't know too many heads in the new city because no one i knew from my hometown was going to SFSU. So I started hanging out with random people who lived in the student subsidized housing complex by baker beach that my boyfriend at the time lived at. they were mostly spoiled art students.

so one night all of us are kicken it at this guy charley's place. he had a ton of issues and guilt because his parents sent him out to the west coast to go to an expensve ass art school and all he did was sit around the house playing video games and sulk about sulking basically. i think hanging around me only worsened his guilt because i was busting my back with two part-time jobs trying to make ends meet and he was given the luxury to not work and didn't paint one damn thing.

so about 4 of us we're drinking and talking shit and listening to records and he seems to be unusually chipper. We're all like "Cool. Charley's alright." and then around midnight he comes out of the bathroom all spacey and detached with a small bottle in his hand. I ask him if everything's alright and he mumbled that he just drank a whole bottle of Robotussin. (!!) We're all freaking out like "Why the fuck did you do that for?!". cause this guy did not have the temperament to deal with weed let alone something as fucked up as robotrippin.

It's like 2am and all of us are keeping an eye on him, but trying to pretend that we aren't so he doesn't freak the fuck out. I notice his movements are very quick and disjointed and his eyes are shifting like crazy. charley was a hummingbird. It seemed like he needed a gallon of ritaliin. So then his stupid roommate comes home with some weird raver girls. They were kinda out there and made us all a little uncomfortable cause we didn't know what they were talking about and they were dressed pretty crazy. One of the girls had a red balloon and i was noticing Charley staring at it and seeming to be very disturbed by the balloon. Even though he was very still, you could tell he was increasingly becoming volatile and fucked up thoughts were collecting. All of a sudden he grabs the balloon and cries "i can't fucking deal with this thing!!" and pops it with both hands.

now everyone is startled especially the people who just came in and didn't know that he drank robotussin. so he's feeling like he's being scrutinized and examined and starts towards the living room windows (4th story). someone screams "He's gonna try to jump out!!!" so all of us grab him and try to wrestle him to the floor. He was incredibly strong and 5 people including myself are trying to pin him down while he's screaming "If i don't kill me i'm going to kill you!!" over and over. my friend larry got punched in the face. i was so scared, cause this guy is usually really quiet. i just couldn't beliieve how fucking strong he was and how hard it was to dead weight him and pin his flailing arms and legs cause he was just out of control. all the pent-up feelings we're coming out at full force. so we had to all basically sit on his torso, arms, and legs until he got too tired from resisting, which was pretty much all night. he fell asleep finally and we all had to take turns being night watchman. it was a fucking nightmare.

and when he woke up he didn't remember a damn thing.


Last edited by Awww Ðämn on Sat May 10, 2003 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sat May 10, 2003 12:35 pm
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mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11613
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sip sip sipin on some syrup<cant spell it like they say it in the song>
Post Sat May 10, 2003 12:42 pm
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SneepSnopDotCom
COCKRING WRAITH


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: Wisconsin
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Robotussin is DXM or something... DMT though, is utterly fascinating... people claim that they literally see what they describe as "Elves"... basically inexplicable shapes that seem to have an intelligence...

If there is a drug that allows my brain to interact with a whole different life form, then I am allllll for it. Then again, it could be poison and these people are killing their brain so badly that they think they are seeing Elves. In that case, fuck seeing Elves. So I dunno....
Post Sat May 10, 2003 1:17 pm
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natas sevol dog



Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 345
Location: dallas area
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is there a big difference between 5-meo-dmt(i think thats right) and just dmt? i know the 5meo one is(or atleast was a few years ago) legal, but thats about it
Post Sat May 10, 2003 1:58 pm
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Sheika



Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Calgary, AB
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SneebDotCom wrote:
Robotussin is DXM or something... DMT though, is utterly fascinating... people claim that they literally see what they describe as "Elves"... basically inexplicable shapes that seem to have an intelligence...

If there is a drug that allows my brain to interact with a whole different life form, then I am allllll for it. Then again, it could be poison and these people are killing their brain so badly that they think they are seeing Elves. In that case, fuck seeing Elves. So I dunno....


yep it is DXM
Post Sat May 10, 2003 5:36 pm
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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I don't buy this "alternate consciousness" and "new level of thought" crap. Its your brain on a fucking chemical. If you inhale gasoline, you're not going to figure out the truth to life's secrets. I'm all for legalization, simply because I don't think chemicals are the gvoernment's responsibilty, but lets get real here - psychadelic drugs are not a gateway to "higher conciousness" any more than any other chemical is.
Post Sat May 10, 2003 5:44 pm
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