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#177- Psychedelic Science A Conversation with Roland Griffiths

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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02 December 2019 11:12
 

In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Roland Griffiths about the current state of research on psychedelics. They discuss the historical prohibition against their use; the clinical and scientific promise of psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, DMT, MDMA, and other compounds; the risks associated with these drugs; the roll of “set and setting”; the differences between psychedelics and drugs of abuse; MDMA and neurotoxicity; experiences of unity, sacredness, love, and truth; the long-term consequences of psychedelic experiences; synthetic vs natural drugs; the prospects of devising new psychedelics; microdosing; research on psilocybin and long-term meditators; the experience of encountering other apparent beings; psilocybin treatment of addiction; and other topics. In his Afterword, Sam discusses his experience on a large dose of psilocybin—his first psychedelic experience in 25 years

#177- Psychedelic Science A Conversation with Roland Griffiths

This thread is for listeners’ comments.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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03 December 2019 11:50
 

Sam picked a great time to cut the podcast short.  “Hey do you want to hear about my trip on a large dose of psilocybin?  Pony up.”  Well I’ve been freeloading long enough (sans the $25 I donated early on in his podcast days) so I forked it over.  He reminded me of one of my roommates in college, except my roommate didn’t have an interesting story to tell, just needed money after spending all of his on a large dose of psilocybin. 

Anyway I found the description worth the price of admission.  I also think it can explain why some people can be convinced that they’ve encountered god or had revelations from him.  If DMT is something that exists naturally within us, could something trigger it and convince us that we’ve had a “real” experience? 

[ Edited: 03 December 2019 11:59 by DEGENERATEON]
 
GreenInferno
 
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03 December 2019 13:11
 

From the description and benefits listed by Sam in taking psychedelics, it sounds like any person who has had those transformative experiences would have an advantage in life over those who haven’t taken them.

What independent evidence is there that those people have overcome obstacles or gained advantage that they otherwise would not have?

 
 
Crukstrom
 
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04 December 2019 01:05
 

I love how these strict academicians are crucified to the unbending view of brain as a box of consciousness experiencing its “self” as only a result of deep time evolutionary process. Not even the slightest nod to the possibility that the intelligent entities encountered on the chemically induced “trips” could be from outside the confines of the skull? Even Sam can’t help but occasionally refer to the “cosmos” as if it is a separate entity.

 
Traces Elk
 
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04 December 2019 04:00
 
Crukstrom - 04 December 2019 01:05 AM

I love how these strict academicians are crucified to the unbending view of brain as a box of consciousness experiencing its “self” as only a result of deep time evolutionary process. Not even the slightest nod to the possibility that the intelligent entities encountered on the chemically induced “trips” could be from outside the confines of the skull? Even Sam can’t help but occasionally refer to the “cosmos” as if it is a separate entity.

What do I get if I allow that anything you speculate “could be”? Do I get to bend more spoons from nothing but possibility? More importantly, what do you get if I allow it? Do you get a better reception for saying shit on the internet? Yep, that’s your takeaway.

If this shit was worth anything, nobody who speculates about shit like this would mind if anyone was skeptical of these “entities” you mention. You used the word “crucified” and you think no one is going to notice your contempt?

Why isn’t what we have without all that shit enough? Same old cock about how I can change my attitude toward experience with nothing but experience. Could we usher in the Age of Aquarius with something more? Looking a bit late for that.

[ Edited: 04 December 2019 04:10 by Traces Elk]
 
 
Crukstrom
 
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04 December 2019 07:41
 

Complete respect for the discipline to keep honestly in line with strict scientific method. Where would we be without it? Quantum entanglement seems to be indicating a state of existence with a behavior not bound by the everyday rules of physical objects and their position in space relative to each other. Meta-physical does not have to be a bad word. Speculation is certainly to be kept in a hypothetical realm but some “spooky action at a distance” reported by so many conscious minds after ingesting hallucinogens certainly at the very least teases the idea of a bigger picture.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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04 December 2019 08:01
 
Crukstrom - 04 December 2019 07:41 AM

Complete respect for the discipline to keep honestly in line with strict scientific method. Where would we be without it? Quantum entanglement seems to be indicating a state of existence with a behavior not bound by the everyday rules of physical objects and their position in space relative to each other. Meta-physical does not have to be a bad word. Speculation is certainly to be kept in a hypothetical realm but some “spooky action at a distance” reported by so many conscious minds after ingesting hallucinogens certainly at the very least teases the idea of a bigger picture.

Psychedelic plants and drugs are called hallucinogens, for exceptionally good reasons.

 
 
Traces Elk
 
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04 December 2019 08:09
 
Crukstrom - 04 December 2019 07:41 AM

Complete respect for the discipline to keep honestly in line with strict scientific method. Where would we be without it? Quantum entanglement seems to be indicating a state of existence with a behavior not bound by the everyday rules of physical objects and their position in space relative to each other. Meta-physical does not have to be a bad word. Speculation is certainly to be kept in a hypothetical realm but some “spooky action at a distance” reported by so many conscious minds after ingesting hallucinogens certainly at the very least teases the idea of a bigger picture.


Ooooooh, looky!!! He knows the phrases “quantum entanglement” and “spooky action at a distance”. Entanglement with what? Interaction with what?

Metaphysics is not the same thing as half-assed references to a couple of phrases, not from the physics literature, but from commentary on physics literature.

So many conscious minds? Really, based on anecdotes? Anecdotes of what? Appeals to popular tales? You can treat them however you like; don’t try to sell that shit to me.

 
 
Crukstrom
 
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04 December 2019 10:26
 

Oooh looky! He knows how to troll, hurl insults and get angry. That’s great, we have such a shortage of that online.  The ability to think and reason and communicate ideas is by its very nature metaphysical so the concept of more subtle states of existence should not be too difficult to entertain. It certainly is not a very good reason to get angry.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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04 December 2019 11:00
 

While your right about the trolling, you do offer some ideas worthy of scrutiny. Citing quantum entanglement without suggesting how it entangles the issue is dodgy at best. If you propose that ” more subtle states of existence should not be too difficult to entertain”, there are a lot patrons here who would ask you why.

I can agree that “ingesting hallucinogens certainly at the very least teases the idea of a bigger picture”, it also teases a few ideas of a smaller picture. You seem to favor a big picture. Why?

In a modern forum environment, everything is a reason to get angry. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 
 
Traces Elk
 
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04 December 2019 12:50
 
Nhoj Morley - 04 December 2019 11:00 AM

In a modern forum environment, everything is a reason to get angry. We apologize for any inconvenience.

In a modern forum environment, it beggars belief (and at the very least, my patience) that someone’s still dovetailing quantum entanglement and hallucinogens in the same post. Furthermore, I don’t cut any slack for someone who begins with an underhanded slap at science like “these strict academicians are crucified to the unbending view of brain”. It’s not that everything is a reason to get angry, Nhoj, and you really know it. Maybe you have your admin hat pulled on a little too tight today.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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04 December 2019 13:43
 
Traces Elk - 04 December 2019 12:50 PM

In a modern forum environment, it beggars belief (and at the very least, my patience) that someone’s still dovetailing quantum entanglement and hallucinogens in the same post. Furthermore, I don’t cut any slack for someone who begins with an underhanded slap at science like “these strict academicians are crucified to the unbending view of brain”. It’s not that everything is a reason to get angry, Nhoj, and you really know it. Maybe you have your admin hat pulled on a little too tight today.

There is no one here rooting for your patience not to be beggared. There are no guidelines for posters to alert them to what you might or might not cut slack about. You bring your patience at your own risk and under your own supervision. The only reason you have to cut anyone slack (again, especially newcomers) is that it is proper non-twitter forum decorum and it is modestly enforced. Such smiting is usually proportional and you know it. You also know how form-fitted an old hat can get.

You often managed to be a sort of guidepost (if spiked with razors) for some, and once or twice for me. You could be more than just another provoked land mine.

If this seems like old times, I would observe that in the olde days most folks and especially newbies got one or even two fairly cordial “yes, buts… ” before the dinner bell rang. That’s all I’m asking.

 
 
Crukstrom
 
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04 December 2019 15:53
 

I would be happy to elaborate as best as I can just give me a day to put that together. I was trying to keep my comments compressed to save time.

 
scorch
 
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05 December 2019 09:58
 

Personally, I came here to hear more about Sam’s experience on psilocybin.

 
Crukstrom
 
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05 December 2019 21:02
 

Concerning the idea of entities encountered in the mind during after ingesting certain hallucinogens. A lot of this depends on ones basic view of the origin of consciousness. Is it: Big bang somehow creating building blocks of matter that over deep time evolve into a primordial mud that ultimately evolves into a complex neuronal network that at some point declares “I am“?...or did the universe arise out of a fundamental field of Consciousness, as is discussed in the Annika Harris podcast (where the concept of Panpsychism was discussed (in no mocking manner)) and then evolve(devolve?) into individual self aware units otherwise known as human beings? I’m not saying there are not other models that could be considered but those two are the basic ideas I approach these discussions from.

In the first model it would seem that consciousness occurs inside the confines of a human skull and the only way ones own consciousness could move into another’s would be through speech or mime ore written word etc. Assuming that, it’s not to hard to conclude that entities encountered in a “trip” would be solely the product of ones own skull bound imagination.

Assuming the other model where individual human body/mind consciousness occurs in an ocean of unbounded consciousness, entities encountered in a trip could be some organized forces in that ocean of consciousness that one became aware of due to an adjustment in the perception process brought on by the hallucinogenic compound that was ingested.     

How a person stands on these two models greatly influences any discussion that may ensue.

Due to a couple of non drug induced inner awareness experiences I happily and easily view the “fundamental field of consciousness underlying all of existence” view as the most complete model. Often I wonder how can I possibly relate this kind of thinking to anyone else, considering that at this point there is basically zero experimental scientific evidence to support it? All I can come up with is that currently there are some ideas in physics that ask the reader to abandon their usual sprocket and cog view of the universe.

I brought up quantum entanglement because it seems a big issue with the theory is how can a particle “communicate” with another particle that is possibly a billion light years away in an instant, as if no distance were there at all? A thought experiment posits that possibly at some fundamental level existence time and space no longer occur. In that case a particle might become less of a thing and more of a value and if there is no space and time at that fundamental level then there is only value and values simply change without any reference to space or time. So some spin or whatever of a particle changes and its paired opposite also changes simply because they are paired at the level of values. All of a this is simply an idea that may introduce some different ways of thinking about the universe. Something more subtle than the physical body/mind mechanical cause and effect models that the human mind seems to most easily comprehend.

Like I said, if the notion of the universe as a field of consciousness sounds like so much bullshit to you then I am indeed full of shit but it’s not much stranger than quantum entanglement or electron probability clouds or mud evolving to the point of being able to say that it is not mud.

 

 

 
Traces Elk
 
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05 December 2019 22:36
 

Quantum mechanics is in broadest terms the study of the interactions of energy and matter when the effects of quantization of energy are important, as in very small particles and systems. Quantum entanglement experiments are concerned with the property of spin of isolated elementary particles. Your attempts to relate this to the functioning of human neurophysiology are inadequate, because when large masses of particles are interacting, as they do in the organs of the human body, they are interacting with each other. When you beat your head against a wall, the wall does not begin to acquire consciousness. Even when you butt heads with another human being, in a figurative sense, of course, opinions only change slowly. Acquiring an education in physics and chemistry takes years and lots of effort. You won’t succeed in faking it.

[ Edited: 06 December 2019 14:21 by Traces Elk]
 
 
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