Explaining Psychedelic Experiences Rationally

 
kuzon
 
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kuzon
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19 March 2018 03:59
 

I feel like it’s important to be able to relate these experiences to reality.

For example with Sam’s MDMA experience: How do you rationally explain dissolving the self so much that you want everyone to be happy? Why is this conclusion ‘correct’ as opposed to someone who comes to the conclusion that all beings should suffer or that the mailman wants to kill everyone?

 
EN
 
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EN
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19 March 2018 04:38
 

It’s not “correct”.  It’s just his subjective interpretation of his experience.  If it works for him - fine.  But it’s no basis for universal, objective morality.

 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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19 March 2018 08:21
 

I think the basis for validity there is more or less what is ‘self-evident’. I.e., people will find that state self-evidently preferable.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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19 March 2018 10:47
 

It’s still reality.  It just feels different. 

The thing about psychedelics is…once you’re in…you’re in.  The average human starts out with a familiar set of feelings and sensations they’ve accepted as their individual perceptual state of awareness.  Absent the influence of any drug.  Suddenly, there’s a dramatic adjustment in perception after ingesting particular doses of particular drugs.  Some drugs are harder than others and everyone reacts differently.  Psychedelics deliver a substantial kick to the nervous system creating a profound shift in perception that dissolves concepts that confound the default state of the average human.  Things like ego and morality and validity and self.  They fade into the background as the vibrating weirdness takes hold.  There’s no time for individuality when your senses are constantly alerting your attention to the cascading images of familiar surroundings that look considerably altered from this strange new angle.  And you wonder how you never noticed before.  You may venture forth along a straight flat surface and yet somehow know that you’re still travelling up.  The physical world seems to have changed and you stop to ponder that for a second and realize it just seems that way and imagine how long it’s been since you took your last breath.  Then convince yourself to make time for that in future.  The inundation of stimulation makes the experience less of a joyride and more like an expedition for the mind. And the human vessel is forced to drive it around for the duration of the trip.  It’s not necessarily a preferred state to be in for longer than the desired effect.  It simply provides a glimpse into our own untapped perceptual system that cannot otherwise be accomplished in quite the same way.  It exposes the difference in the way we observe our every day experiences.  And I think that’s the takeaway.  Knowing that everyone has their own individual set of memories and experiences that returns to the foreground as they make their way back from the peak.  And tending to that, coz…once you’re back…you’re back.  That is what people seem to wanna tap into without the chemical component.  The thing that binds humans together before inevitably pushing them apart.  That thing. 

The one that renders us equal.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 March 2018 18:57
 

Having had such experiences myself, I have to say LJ - that was very well described.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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19 March 2018 18:58
 
EN - 19 March 2018 04:38 AM

It’s not “correct”.  It’s just his subjective interpretation of his experience.  If it works for him - fine.  But it’s no basis for universal, objective morality.

Can you clarify? Are you implying that something else might be the basis for UOM or that UOM isn’t possible at all?

 
 
Chaz
 
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Chaz
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20 March 2018 22:02
 

Misery loving company is not unique. Unfortunately, the effect of seeing someone who is on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum is a negative experience. In a good mood, seeing someone that’s down, brings us down. In a bad mood, seeing someone happy, makes us feel worse. Oddly enough, seeing someone who is in the same mood as we are is a positive effect. Knowing someone else feels like you do is comforting.

 
Quadrewple
 
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Quadrewple
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17 April 2018 15:28
 

My purpose in experimenting with psychedelics is to introduce a safe level of destabilization to my mind, so I can learn more about myself based on how my mind reacts to that change.

One’s map of reality is largely shaped by the various chemicals and neurotransmitters in our brain, and the older we are, the more we rely on the stability of those things in order to feel that we are in control of our lives.  The problem with this approach is that at some point in most of our lives, we will have something very bad happen to us - something which destabilizes the chemical makeup we have come to rely on (death of loved one, car accident, loss of job, etc).  When that time comes, I think that those of us who’ve already been destabilized and learned what our weak links are through that process are going to have an advantage over others.  Psychedelics are one safe way to destabilize ourselves, provided you take proper precautions.

So there is the process of destabilization (as your consciousness reacts to the introduction of the psychedelic) which provides your mind with experiences it has never had before, and there is the process of restabilization (as your mind slowly gets back to its “normal” state).  But because your mind has the immediate reference experience of being “destabilized,” this restabilization doesn’t feel like it would ordinarily - you see it not as a default state, but a state you are changing into.  The power of this cannot be understated.

This is why the trip I had on mushrooms was so useful…..I was able to go to a place with no fear and no physical pain and that was absolute heaven (what had been destabilized was the program of fear which was always running in my mind.)  But at a certain point, I felt the fear coming back and I realized just how deep and complicated this program of fear was (restabilization) and this actually led to me seeking out counseling which led me to my diagnosis of panic disorder.

Ultimately, a structure can be stable while at the same time being grossly sub-optimal - I realized that firsthand from this psychedelic experience.  People oftentimes use extreme examples to illustrate a point.  I think that psychedelics create extreme responses in the brain, and so are immensely useful for illustrating truths about oneself.
Let’s say you took 0.00000000001 micrograms of cyanide every day, not knowing its toxic properties….would you EVER come to the conclusion (on your own) that cyanide was poison?  Probably not, because the amount you’re taking wouldn’t have the power to illustrate its toxicity to you.  It took this fear program coming back into my mind with immense speed and power, with immense juxtaposition from my psychological state an hour earlier for me to understand its true weight, significance, and its TOXICITY.  I felt a magnified version of the fear I had been feeling on a daily basis since my childhood, and this made it impossible to accept the low grade version I was living with every day.

That which remains after successive destabilization tends to be stronger than that which has never been tested in that way.

[ Edited: 17 April 2018 15:33 by Quadrewple]