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Tue Aug 7, 2012, 02:59 PM

Brilliant article on Psychedelics covers creative-breakthroughs, transcendent experiences, and more

Last edited Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:00 PM - Edit history (3)

There is increasingly more and more evidence that taking psychedelics, in a safe, supportive setting (a controlled, natural environment with a guide at hand) and with an informed/prepared/healthy mindset, can be incredibly beneficial on a wide variety of levels - from therapeutically, to physiologically, to creatively, to transcendentally. A recent article at The Morning News by Tim Daly covers all that, and more, incredibly well - and since it's quite in-depth (and quite long), I'll cut right to it. In adhering to the four-five paragraph limit, I'll try to pick a few excerpts that stand out.

The article is centered around Dr. James Fadiman, one of the early pioneers in psychedelic research, and starts by describing one of the last legal psychedelic studies in the '60s (an embargo which lasted until the mid-'90s), which focused on practical problem-solving. In it, top professionals from various fields were asked to bring in problems that they had been working on for months but were making absolutely no progress on. With problems in hand (and in mind), the researchers administered LSD to the volunteers, and after a few hours of relaxing/listening to music, had them go to work:

"In surveys administered shortly after their LSD-enhanced creativity sessions, the study volunteers, some of the best and brightest in their fields, sounded like tripped-out neopagans at a backwoods gathering. Their minds, they said, had blossomed and contracted with the universe. They’d beheld irregular but clean geometrical patterns glistening into infinity, felt a rightness before solutions manifested, and even shapeshifted into relevant formulas, concepts, and raw materials.

But here’s the clincher. After their 5HT2A neural receptors simmered down, they remained firm: LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties. Fadiman and his colleagues published these jaw-dropping results and closed shop."


There's also mention of some of the more high-profile, psychedelically induced breakthroughs (both of which led to being awarded the Noble Prize):

"Francis Crick (discovered the double-helix structure of DNA) is one and the other: Kary Mullis, who was intermittently under the influence of LSD as he developed the polymerase chain reaction, a genetic sequencing technique through which scientists can detect certain infectious diseases, map the human genome, and trace ancestral heritage back thousands of years."


It also touches on current (though incredibly restricted/limited) research and the positive therapeutic effects being observed:

"Though draconian laws still keep psychedelics from the general public, next-generation administrators at the FDA and DEA have been approving research studies again. The taboo broke with a 1992 investigation of how dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a fast-acting psychedelic, impacts consciousness; DMT wasn’t burdened by the cultural baggage of its three-lettered cousin. And what began quite haltingly had become, by the middle of the last decade, if not routine then certainly notable: Terminated research from the ’60s was being replicated and even furthered in dozens of studies by big-name players, including Johns Hopkins, NYU, and UCLA. These studies, which almost exclusively explore the psychotherapeutic potential of psychedelics (as opposed to, say, how they might influence creativity), are getting results that would make a Big Pharma rep salivate. Of the hundreds of volunteers who’ve participated, a high majority have said that psychedelics, given in a safe, supportive setting, helped them to, depending on the study, accept imminent mortality, overcome drug and alcohol addiction, mitigate obsessive-compulsive urges, or heal post-traumatic stress disorder."


All the while and throughout, emphasizing the importance of set and setting (particularly being accompanied by an experienced guide):

“I think guides are wonderful,” Fadiman said, “which often gets me dismissed as a radical conservative—a kind of fun thing to be in this crowd. But look, you don’t go to the airport and say, ‘I want to fly a plane.’ And a pilot says, ‘Here’s the keys, pick one of those, and give it a shot.’”


Again, it's longer than most articles, but is truly worth the read. Most of this is also available in Fadiman's equally wonderful, level-headed book (on which the article seems to be based). One of the interesting things he proposes in it are "research and training centers for psychedelic experiences that are safe and secure" - facilitating "wise, reverent and compassionate use" for anything from scientific/intellectual endeavors, to personal therapeutic/self-discovery purposes, to looking to "establish or re-establish or discover a connection to the universe/Divine." And while, for the last one, there are dozens of ways to apprehend the "unitive state" (like meditation, physical postures, breathwork, physical austerities, etc...), pyschedelics - under the proper conditions - are often the most efficacious for the most amount of people (and can offer a shattering clarity like no other).

When it comes to exploring "inner-space" - like the microscope in biology and telescope in astronomy - psychedelics can be very useful tools. Guides can help to facilitate safe and productive sessions, including follow-up interpretation and integration - otherwise, as Alan Watts has said, the experience may be limited to "ecstasy without the insight" (along with there being varying degrees of insight). It's a matter of acknowledging their legitimacy (including the states they induce), and making them available in safe and supportive ways.

I also have a thread from awhile back that delves into some of the specific medical benefits achieved through psychedelic therapy, for anyone interested.







"This is an experience of inestimable value to everyone, and especially to the intellectual."
---
"What we ordinarily call 'reality' is merely that slice of total fact which our biological equipment, our linguistic heritage and our social conventions of thought and feeling make it possible for use to apprehend...LSD permits us to cut another slice."
- Aldous Huxley


"No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves those other forms of consciousness quite disregarded." - William James


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." - Albert Einstein


"The potential for a mystical experience is the birthright of all human beings." - Stanislov Grof


"The approach to the numinous is the real therapy." - Carl Jung


"If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite." - William Blake


"To become more aware is your birth right... Whether or not you ever choose to use psychedelic experiences as part of your self-discovery, your decision should be an informed one." - James Fadiman



And, just in case anyone missed the link to the article:

The Heretic
by Tim Doody

18 replies, 3222 views

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Reply Brilliant article on Psychedelics covers creative-breakthroughs, transcendent experiences, and more (Original post)
drokhole Aug 2012 OP
Voice for Peace Aug 2012 #1
drokhole Aug 2012 #5
Lucinda Aug 2012 #2
Scuba Aug 2012 #3
drokhole Aug 2012 #6
kooljerk666 Aug 2012 #8
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2012 #9
kooljerk666 Aug 2012 #4
drokhole Aug 2012 #10
kooljerk666 Aug 2012 #16
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2012 #7
drokhole Aug 2012 #12
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2012 #13
Blue_In_AK Aug 2012 #11
otherone Aug 2012 #14
drokhole Aug 2012 #15
sandrita1 Aug 2012 #17
Warren DeMontague Aug 2012 #18

Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 03:36 PM

1. thank you! this is a GREAT article

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Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:55 PM

5. My pleasure, Voice for Peace!

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 03:45 PM

2. Bookmarking for later...thanks!

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:28 PM

3. Don't forget Doc Ellis's no hitter...

http://www.gettingit.com/article/691


The LSD No-Hitter

When the subject of baseball and drugs comes up, the story of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis and his celebrated "LSD No-Hitter" stands out above all others. On June 12, 1970, the 25-year-old pitcher was between starts, so he stayed back in his Los Angeles hotel while his team flew on to San Diego to play the Padres. Ellis invited his girlfriend over, and they dropped hits of acid around noon.

As he tells it in his autobiography, In the Country of Baseball: "I had taken LSD ... I thought it was an off day. That's how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at 12 noon. At one, my girlfriend looked in the paper and said 'Dock, you're pitching today'."

...

"I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched, I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the catcher's glove."

"The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes; sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't."



No word if Ellis went on to solve complex problems. Interesting article, thanks for posting.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:56 PM

6. Ha, how could I forget!

I love this treatment of it:

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Response to drokhole (Reply #6)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:18 PM

8. holy shit that was great...........

 

i was born in 61 & was a pirates fan. Willie Stargell, Bill Mazarowski (sp) Matty A'lou (sp) I used to love those guys. And Clemente!!

now i hate taxpayer subsidized pro sports & never watch but that brought back memories & I am seeing slight trails, probably from the trippy animation & warped out sound shifting & the music was great too.

I miss the 70's

That was worth watching. 5 stars (out'a 4)

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Response to kooljerk666 (Reply #8)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 06:30 PM

9. I was always just too young to really enjoy it. It was frustrating, everybody was having

 

such a good time and I was always the cool little kid that couldn't join in.

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 04:43 PM

4. deconstruction of false belief systems is my favorite....

 

just thinking & figuring out all the crapola they try to program u with is false & laughing out loud was my
favorite part of the psychedelic experience.

I followed the Grateful Dead from washington dc to rhode island 2x a year from 1983 to 1993 & even after 2-3 thousand doses, it is still gives me wonderful understanding of my mind & emotions. (a few hundred shows & the rest were in the woods).

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Response to kooljerk666 (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 06:57 PM

10. Well put. A "values changer," as George Carlin said...



And not just deconstruction of false belief systems, but belief systems in general (which is what I think you were saying, anyway). Can make anyone, from religious fundamentalist to scientific materialist, reassess their basic (possibly hidden/unconscious) assumptions, cultural conditionings, worldviews, and reality maps. Psychologist Ralph Metzner had a good quote (among the many out there from numerous individuals, just happens to be one close to hand):

"I understood how my normal perception of the world was constricted and limited by many prohibitions I had somehow accepted."


Thanks for your insight and for sharing your experience!

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Response to drokhole (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 9, 2012, 10:59 AM

16. i was trying to think of something wise.......

 

all I came up with is your welcome.

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 05:11 PM

7. K&R This is the real danger of mind expanding pharmaceuticals. You cannot kill an idea

 

and when you literally change the way you think, you are going to have ideas. One of the most common realizations that come with altering your individual thought process is that there is really nothing but the lure of stuff forcing you to exchange your one and only life making somebody else's dreams come true.

Obviously this is anathema to everybody that depends on stealing the efforts of others to make their livelihood.

If enough people simply refuse to do as they are told, the entire hierarchical system collapses and we are all suddenly much more equal.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 07:16 PM

12. Not least of which, to the Pharmaceutical Industry itself...

Since most substances are outside of patentability, grow naturally, and work in low doses (and infrequent administration).

That is to say, your point is spot on. Religious authority is built almost exclusively on being gatekeepers of consciousness and the ostensible gateway to the divine. Capitalism and ruthless competition, fear-based control, divisive politics, certain scientific "truths"...many have much to lose. In the words of the great Bill Hicks, they "have a lot invested in this ride!":



To borrow one more quote from Fadiman's book:

"Radical revisions in human thought do not come easily, especially to any institution whose own structure or status might be endangered."

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Response to drokhole (Reply #12)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 08:46 PM

13. "...and we kill those people" The loss of Bill Hicks was a real tragedy. n/t

 

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Tue Aug 7, 2012, 07:01 PM

11. Definitely my drugs of choice,

but hard to come by at my advanced age.

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Wed Aug 8, 2012, 11:29 AM

15. kick

Here's a video from some of the earliest LSD research (in the '50s). You can see the wonder and awe in the woman's eyes. I especially like philosopher Gerald Heard's speech/appeal at the end:

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 03:19 PM

17. Illegalities

You make excellent points about the creative benefits of psychedelics. But, what's standing in the way of society going forward in this field is, obviously, the illegal status of these substances. Considering that so many innovations have come about with the help of LSD, etc., you'd think governments, Big Pharma, and every other power would be working overtime to loosen the laws. Why wouldn't they want to use whatever is available to create the next BIG THING(s)? Even a baby step-like only allowing mental health professionals to prescribe to patients-would be helpful.
p.s. For the record, I've only tried psychedelics (LSD) once, many decades ago, just because they are now illegal. Hope the law changes.

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Response to drokhole (Original post)

Wed Aug 15, 2012, 11:38 PM

18. K&R

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