Using certain psychoactive substances from LSD, Psilocybin, all the way down to THC have given me significant self revelations that ultimately changed the outcome of my character over the years. I will briefly describe each of their effects to the best of my ability.
LSD: Allowed me to let go of a lot of emotional baggage and connect with others in a deeply meaningful way. It also had some ability to strengthen certain mental processes. Hence the reason many people micro-dose for its nootropic benefits.
Psilocybin: Generally not a cozy experience for me but quite informative nonetheless. It forces me to reconcile certain aspects of my life that I've swept under the rug and ignored.. Despite the implicit discomfort associated with these experiences, I always come out of it with some sort of resolution to a deep problem. What's more, I always reach the same conclusion with each trip: My soul cannot bear inflicting pain on another being. Most of my pain comes from my own selfishness and inconsideration of others throughout my life.
THC: I don't smoke marijuana recreationally but when I do, it enhances the voice of my conscience. Like psilocybin mushrooms, it lets me know right away if I have unfinished business but it also has a tendency to help me empathize with others. If I'm lucky, it might also produce a Buddha-like state where I can actually relax and laugh at the little things in life. This may seem trivial but I am usually not so excitable.
Everyone has different experiences. Someones experience may be opposite of mine but this doesn't discount the fact that we can draw something valuable from them outside the "party" setting.
We know these substances have been used shamanically in almost every ancient culture across the world. Some have even posited that certain psychedelic mushrooms could account for growth factors of the larger cortical structure of the human brain over our evolution. Others have drawn connections between the use of psychedelics and the development religions as a whole.
Perhaps discuss what your experiences have been with these substances for better or worse.
No direct experience Jesse but I find the subject matter fascinating. This really should be a hub article, by the way (if it isn't in the works already).
Have you seen the movie, "Altered States?" It's about this researcher who uses mushrooms with Native American tribe ritual and reaches scary heights of spirituality. It's a cult favorite. That movie opened my eyes to the psychedelic drug/spirituality/mental illness connection, especially when I worked with chronic patients. I remember thinking, decompensations are a combination of delusions and reaching new heights of spirituality and connection to God.
You gotta see the movie.
… of course I do not concur. In fact, I know a father who exposed his children to all this stuff as teens. So the kids thought it was spiritual and cool. One, as a young adult, ended up quite mentally deranged. Now, why do you suppose that happened?
I know many a boomer who never got back their sober self. Never could rely on themselves or fit in with society sporting long scraggly hair, disheveled clothes and living unstructured lives. A 67 year old guy, (won't call him a man,) who lives in my town is really struggling these days ... having always relied on substances to be functional. Oh, he is spiritual alright: Only thinking of others, never charging people the appropriate amount, (undercharging big time, thinking every person was was his brother and friend) never saving a dime, always living with his mother rent free.
Now, at age 96, the mother has died ... and guess who needs to get off the substances, face reality and GROW UP! And are all those people he undercharged stepping up to the plate with rent free rooms?
Sorry to hear about that family. It's not a strong enough argument against the utility of these substances. Just because people misuse or abuse them doesn't mean that they are inherently destructive. If someone takes any kind of drug within a pathological family, its not going to make things better. Dosing a bunch of kids isn't the same thing as creating a healthy environment where one can sit down and use them for their intended purpose. It's not a cure for anything, it's a tool for self-reflection.
As a side note, one thing I've noticed about your replies that I've seen since I've been on HP is that you're quite bitter and resentful. If this remains consistent then I have no choice but to regard your feedback as nothing but cynicism. I'll moderate as needed.
Drugs, natural and not, even when used for spiritual reasons, are dangerous because the consciousness could be opened too much for the individual's karma; madness can and has resulted. We all know people who never quite recovered from their spiritual LSD experiences they took part in during the 60's and 70's.
We evolve by meditating. Thats the sure-fire way to advance in spiritual awareness. Meditating allows you to unfold naturally at your own pace ...
I do not recommend tampering with the perfect brain God gave you. Your mother spent nine months to make that high-functioning brain for you and the evolutional process took who knows how long. I repeat don't mess with the brain. The experimenting has already been done, the Guinea pigs were the boomers. Many did not survive their lemming like leap into drug fueled "spirituality."
Science is telling a different story. These substances are being used clinically with no adverse affects. Quite the opposite. Moreover, states are beginning to decriminalize them on these findings. Boomers grew up in a different time with different struggles. The hippie movement isn't a good representation of psychedelics themselves and neither was the MK-Ultra experiments. Too much propaganda out there. Residue from the Nixon and Reagan administration. I have a career in studying the brain and human biology. There's evidence to support your claim that it ruins the brain.
YOU SAID: "There's evidence to support your claim that it ruins the brain."
SO YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT.
of course in the final analysis, Heres my new phrase:
Its YOUR Pain.
I T S Y O U R P A I N
AND maybe you should just keep all this nonsensical advice
TO Y O U R S E L F
Jessie, I looked at the YouTube video, found the professor's lecture interesting. He did mention, a few times, the dangers of using the mushrooms for mystical/spiritual exploration. I think that's the main point Kathryn L Hill is making, albeit argumentative.
Kathryn, you make excellent points, especially in your third post. I just wish your harsh delivery didn't overshadow the value of what you have to offer. I'm sure Jessie's experience is very individual and in the minority of most who choose to experiment in this way. He certainly was not promoting it but asked if others had similar experiences, "for better or worse." I could be wrong and misinterpreting but either way, I appreciate his sharing his experiences and your pointing out the dangers. Peace.
Yes but her argument didn't exactly reflect the dangers. It was just two circumstances mashed together that ended up in a complex family dysfunction. Correlation does not equal causation. That and burned out hippies aren't a great example either because many of them went off to do harder drugs or alcohol. It was a bad example. Better points can be made on that. So, I accept arguments high and low but I don't appreciate being called a liar followed by cryptic ranting.
There's a difference between anecdotal evidence and personal bias. And there's another difference between personal bias and irrational fear. Just like if my first experience with a dog was a bad one and I assumed every dog and dog owner matched the description of my first experience. That's ridiculous and I would need counseling for that.
Also, what Dr. Peterson was referring to was the dangers associated with (A) a particular type of mushroom that's not generally recommended to begin with and (B) jumping into these experiences without any knowledge or wisdom about them.
"Beware of unearned wisdom" - Carl Jung
So there's a level of due process and responsibility like anything else in this world. Driving a car. Owning a gun. Having children. All powerful experiences but negative consequences are often brought about by mishandling and not the things themselves.
I could also make the argument that the most legal and accepted drug in the world (alcohol) is by far the MOST destructive substance we know of. It destroys families daily. Kills people on the road. Rots the liver. Prompts suicide (especially in veterans). The list goes on.
Thanks. Times are changing. And the time has come to set the record straight and dispel the fear and propaganda. Among other things...lol
There's evidence to support the truth that all psychotropic substances negatively affect the natural built-in operation and function of the typical human brain. The human brain is a magical thing and should not be tampered with. Why would you? The foundation of spirituality is respect of the marvelous forces and intelligence of nature as it manifests within you and without.
Why not start with this simple realization rather than tamper with the very tool which allows you to have awareness and behold and accept the light of life directly.
Drugs are never good for anyone ever. It is best to deal with the brain naturally, so as to preserve the mind. This is what I believe.
Take it or leave it, as always.
" ... the time has come to set the record straight and dispel the fear…"
Fearing to tamper with God's brain is a perfectly rational fear. It took eons of time to to perfect, grow, evolve, and/or preserve your brain. Appreciate the brain you were given and even if you have troubles with mistakes in replication, just deal with them, don't try to correct them with drugs such as Adderal, Ritalin, anti-depressants, etc. They will only bring forth pain in the end. Don't get addicted to substances so that when you run out, you go nuts and end up shooting people in movie theaters, running down crowds of people in a truck or jumping out a window in desperation.
Using drugs for spirituality can cause depression. You might reach a state of altered awareness, cheap bliss, but you will always have to come back to an un-altered state. This unaltered state may cause disappointment and misery. Why open Pandora's box? Keep it closed and enjoy life with the awareness you have gained honestly.
Your belief: Psychoactive substances such as LSD, Psilocybin and THC "changed the outcome of my character over the years."
A character IS the result of many forces.
My belief: One can only "develop" one's own character directly through sober-state self-awareness, will-power / direct effort.
That's actually a reasonable counter argument..
I've been in sober recovery for 5 years. I don't drink or use drugs for fun. I meditate daily. Maybe once a year I set aside time to use psychedelics which help me re-orient myself with my higher power. It's a tune up. Not a weekend bender. They've opened my mind up to say many things, I would be remiss to say that they didn't contribute to radical changes in my personality. For the better, I would say. I don't expect anybody to understand who hasn't walked in my shoes. And it's taken a LOT of work to get where I am and yes, these tools are just part of it. But I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Developing character is also about balance. Unless something causes my life to become unmanageable, I can remain in balance. The whole bleeding deacon, purist rhetoric is ridiculous. Using that logic, no one should be able to have coffee, sugar, and nicotine.
psychedelic use is not to be recommended for the average person, as you should well know. The average person needs to develop him or herself at his or her own rate of spiritual growth. Natural is better than not natural. Thats been my experience in dealing with others and, as you may or may not know, I have dealt with a lot of abnormal types who did psychedelics for both recreational and spiritual reasons. What I have witnessed:
It hurts the brain, and ultimately it weakens the MIND.
don't do it.
LSD: How did it allow you to
A. Let go of emotional baggage?
B. Connect with others in a deeper way?
C. Strengthen certain mental processes?
forced (?) you to "reconcile certain aspects of my life that you "swept under the rug and ignored …"
helps you hear the "voice of your conscience" and "empathize with others."
produces "a Buddha-like state" where you "can actually relax and laugh at the little things in life."
Then you say:
"Everyone has different experiences. Someone's experience may be the opposite (!) of mine, but this doesn't discount the fact that we can draw s o m e t h i n g valuable from them …
haha. You got me dead to rights!
Here's an idea: Write a hub about how spiritual and wise you are while simultaneously judging others and being a negative stain on the wall.
You seem to have all the answers about how to live and have no problem letting others know that they're wrong. Problem is, thats ALL you seem to do. So, in my neck of the woods we call that being a nasty intolerant person. No one wants to be around someone like that. Yet you seem to think you are the best thing since Christ himself. I'm afraid you're not invoking any sense of growth or wisdom from me.
I am not judging you.
I have many answers and I am not "only letting you know (you) are wrong". I am countering your point of view. This is why we call it a forum. If you think I am a "nasty intolerant person", that is your own perception and you are certainly entitled to it, but saying so, does not strengthen your argument.
Luckily, you do not have to be around "someone like (me)."
I am not even trying to invoke some sort of "growth or wisdom" in you.
I am countering what I believe to be very dangerous ramblings, which I am surprised are even allowed to be discussed here on a open public forum. As you know these substance have been traditionally very
ILLEGAL! with good reason.
Dangerous ramblings? There's nothing dangerous about what I said. I didn't advocate for use or even suggest that everyone should. It is YOUR opinion that has condemned and imprisoned people over something that doesn't come close to the dangers of smoking cigrettes or drinking alcohol.
Your rigid "war on drugs" mentality is a complete failure of the United States government. But, good for you. Like a fundamentalist stick in the mud. You've set your own example. Doesn't apply to me or my OP.
"They've opened my mind up to say many things"
My Belief: The psychedelics did not do it. Your willingness and need to open up caused the ultimate opening up. I also do what you have explained, naturally. Furthermore, at the right time when I am inspired by my SELF (inner need). Yes, we can change. Change is needed and good. I am glad you were able to change according to your will. I am sure you can now do it without any substance whatsoever, by conscious awareness and will power. In this way, the change is more lasting.
As I Believe
It's like trying to describe color to the color blind. These tools have a rich history in every culture across the world dating back thousands of years. Perhaps if they had Kathryn Hill to explain the world to them, they might've been better off seeing as though the ancients were just a bunch of druggies with no sense of will power or spirituality lol
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