Mushrooms and Mysteries

Chat about a topic supported by books, TED Talks, podcasts, personal experience, philosophies of mankind mingled with humor (shout out to IOT), and maybe we’ll even do a google hangout or conference call once a month.
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alas
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by alas » Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:41 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 4:27 am
dogbite wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:12 am
I'm aware of those things.

To use the word genuine then is to cast all spiritual experiences in equality.

As you/we now reject the validity of some to all of the spiritual experiences we had in mormonism. So they are not all genuine in the same sense after all.

So to say psilocybin is a genuine spiritual experience while rejecting some to all of your mormon spiritual experiences makes me wonder what you meant by genuine.

I don't think you've addressed that. It may be me forcing Freudian meaning on your usage, but I don't think so currently.
OK, I think I understand the disconnect now. Thank you so much for helping me see what I was overlooking!

You and I seem to be using the word "genuine" to mean two entirely different things. I think you are using it within a more typically Mormon context, as in associated with the literalness of truth claims. I am using it in a more, I dunno, anthropological or neurological context.

We have all had spiritual experiences in the LDS church. We were taught that if you feel the spirit while hearing about, or praying about, singing about, or watching a film strip about X, then you must conclude that X is literal truth. If you have a spiritual experience while watching a sunset it's because God is telling you that he made that sunset so you will have more faith in him and his One and Only True Church. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I have used the example of a member of my High Priest group who bitterly criticized someone for claiming they had a spiritual experience just being out in nature. High Priest Guy insisted that you cannot have a genuine spiritual experience outside of a church setting, because the purpose of spiritual experience is to testify of the truthfulness of the church. If Nature Guy claims he had a genuine spiritual experience while sitting on a rock looking at the stars without acknowledging Joseph Smith or Russell Nelson or even Elohim, in High Priest Guy's worldview, that must mean Nature Guy is claiming that sitting on a rock looking at the stars is The One and Only True Church, and we can't have that. So Nature Guy's spiritual experience must be a lie, a case of mistaken identity, or a demonic deception that he mistook for a genuine spiritual experience. It cannot possibly be genuine by High Priest Guy's standards.

I had a conversation with my bishop once about spiritual experiences. I asked him if he believed people in other religions have spiritual experiences. He conceded that appears to be the case, but they obviously either aren't genuine, or they are some lesser form of spirituality designed to nudge the recipient toward the One and Only True Church, because you cannot possibly have a genuine spiritual experience in context of a false religion.

When I talk about spirituality I'm talking purely about the experience, not the context. For me, a genuine spiritual experience is one that is transcendent and can stand on its own without the need any context at all. Our pattern-seeking nature makes us want to assign context, and we can even use context as a tool for generating spiritual experiences, but THAT is the part that is not genuine, in my opinion.

"Spirituality" can be snapshotted in a brain scan image as a blood flow pattern. Is it that all it is, or is that pattern a reaction to something else? Who knows?

Somehow this experience makes us feel connected to nature, or that we are catching a glimpse of something bigger than ourselves. For whatever reason it feels like an outpouring of love and it is nourishing and enriching. It gives us a broader perspective than the box we normally live in. It makes us more empathetic. It is a real thing, and it does not belong to a religion; it belongs to anyone in possession of a human brain.

I think the purest form of spirituality is to be able to just accept that gift as your nature-given right, regardless of whether you achieve it spontaneously, or from meditation, hymn singing, psilocybin, or listening a Mark Knopfler guitar solo. And I believe it has absolutely nothing to do with ancient books, or institutions, or ideologies, even though it can also be found within those contexts.

If we want to talk about context within the church, if I am to be honest with myself, I was doing everything in my power to try to convince myself that tiny little molehills of spirituality that trickled down to me were actually mountains of faith, and in retrospect I now understand that I had very few tools with which to do that. Psilocybin is one of the things that has helped me break through some barriers to make this spiritual experience thing, whatever it is, a much more real and significant part of my life than it actually was within the church context. I'm not trying to talk you or anyone else into doing the same, I just want to dispel misinformation and unnecessary prejudice.

Does that help at all?
Could we explain this difference in the meaning of genuine as being between it being a genuine experience and a genuine interpretation of the experience?

To say, “we have all had the Mormon spiritual experiences” isn’t quite true. I never did have the typical Mormon spiritual experiences. But I had moments of … say, enlightenment, or answers to prayers. One happened when I was in the temple. But it had nothing at all to do with the temple. Now, I could interpret it to mean that I am closer to God in the temple, therefore the temple is of God and the church is true. Or, I could interpret it as that was just where I happened to be at a moment when God communicated with me. The experience would remain the same. The moment of joy, the enlightenment, the knowledge given, all that stays the same. It is genuine. But the interpretation would be different.

Now, looking at your typical “Mormon spiritual experience”. Say I am reading the BoM and something touches me very deeply. Big powerful feeling. Interpretation: the Book of Mormon is True.

Then when I leave the church, how do I look back on that experience? Was it a genuine spiritual experience? I would still say that t was, but that my interpretation of it would change. Instead of saying the book is true, I would say that the particular passage touched me. But I wouldn’t say that the experience wasn’t genuine, just that my original interpretation wasn’t genuine.

Same deal with the two dudes discussing if a spiritual experience in the woods is genuine. The experience was certainly real, so genuine. But what is the interpretation? Does it mean that if I have a spiritual experience in the temple the church is true, but if I have have one in the forest the church isn’t true? That is interpretation rather than experience. The burst of joy may be identical, but my interpretation be different. So, it wouldn’t be that all those spiritual experiences were not genuine, but the way we interpreted them was exactly the way we had artificially been taught to interpret them, and not necessarily correct. So, it was the interpretation was not correct, but the experience itself was genuine.

And it doesn’t matter if the experience was self induced or induced by a communal experience or whatever.

But it is next to impossible to go back and say, what is a different interpretation that I could give this because our actual memory of the even is shaped by the interpretation that we put on it for years.

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Hagoth
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:15 am

This whole branch of neuroscience, by the way, started in Utah when Michael Fergusson started putting returned missionaries, who claimed to be able to induce a spiritual experience on demand (by reading scriptures, listening to favorite conference talks, etc.), into fMRI machines and looking for common patterns. It then branched out to Buddhist meditators, Sufi mystics, chanting monks, Jedi masters (I'm assuming) and so forth. Now many studies have identified a common brain response across these traditions. The surprise was that it is the same brain state created by psychedelics.

When we talk about spirituality we have to also take into account the variable of magnitude. Pretty much anyone who goes to a megachurch can find some degree of a spiritual experience, but there is a much smaller population that can bump it up to the next level to a full-on mystical experience, where the adept reports achieving - even if only temporarily - total enlightenment, being transported into an otherworldly realm, basking in the overwhelming love of God, or being visited by deity. When we're talking about psychedelics, it's more of less a matter set, setting and dose to produce an experience that is, neurologically, undiscernible from other mystical approaches. And that brings us back to the meaning of "genuine," doesn't it?

Talk to someone who has had a large dose DMT experience and then go read Ezekiel. They seem very similar. Was Ezekiel's experience spontaneous or might it have had something to do with acacia (the Bible's shittim wood), some species of which are so DMT-rich you can get a psychedelic dose simply by inhaling the smoke of, for instance, a burning bush. Or an ember from an altar, like the one held to Isaiah's lips to purify him before the onset of visions. Acacia was used throughout the Ancient Near East, as was harmala, which besides being used by middleastern mystics as a powerful mind-altering drug on its own, is also a potent Multi-Amine Oxidase Inhibitor, so when used with acacia it creates the Old World equivalent of ayahuasca. Frankincense and coffee were also MAOIs that were used with acacia to the same ends. Muhammed prescribed acacia to ensure that “wisdom will enlighten his heart.”

Here's the interior of a mosque dome. Ask anyone who has used DMT where this mandala comes from:
persian-2_sm.jpg
persian-2_sm.jpg (150.25 KiB) Viewed 1292 times
What I'm getting at is that it's beginning to look more and more like the traditional mystical experiences that led to the development of the western religions may have had as much to do with psychedelics as anything. Add to this new archaeological evidence that temple altars at the time of the Israelites were used for burning copious amounts of cannabis (God speaking through a pillar of smoke?), the realization that the priestly anointing oils described in the Old Testament are recipes for skin-absorbed psychoactive ointments, that the kykeon drank at Greek Eleusinian mysteries involved ergotized barley (LSD), and that the early Christian and Gnostic wines were chock full o' psychopharmacology...

I'm just sayin'
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by wtfluff » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:25 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:15 am
...
Now many studies have identified a common brain response across these traditions. The surprise was that it is the same brain state created by psychedelics.
...
Is there a scientific name for these experiences that doesn't involve ghosts?
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:26 am

alas wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 7:41 am

Could we explain this difference in the meaning of genuine as being between it being a genuine experience and a genuine interpretation of the experience?

To say, “we have all had the Mormon spiritual experiences” isn’t quite true. I never did have the typical Mormon spiritual experiences. But I had moments of … say, enlightenment, or answers to prayers. One happened when I was in the temple. But it had nothing at all to do with the temple. Now, I could interpret it to mean that I am closer to God in the temple, therefore the temple is of God and the church is true. Or, I could interpret it as that was just where I happened to be at a moment when God communicated with me. The experience would remain the same. The moment of joy, the enlightenment, the knowledge given, all that stays the same. It is genuine. But the interpretation would be different.

Now, looking at your typical “Mormon spiritual experience”. Say I am reading the BoM and something touches me very deeply. Big powerful feeling. Interpretation: the Book of Mormon is True.

Then when I leave the church, how do I look back on that experience? Was it a genuine spiritual experience? I would still say that t was, but that my interpretation of it would change. Instead of saying the book is true, I would say that the particular passage touched me. But I wouldn’t say that the experience wasn’t genuine, just that my original interpretation wasn’t genuine.

Same deal with the two dudes discussing if a spiritual experience in the woods is genuine. The experience was certainly real, so genuine. But what is the interpretation? Does it mean that if I have a spiritual experience in the temple the church is true, but if I have have one in the forest the church isn’t true? That is interpretation rather than experience. The burst of joy may be identical, but my interpretation be different. So, it wouldn’t be that all those spiritual experiences were not genuine, but the way we interpreted them was exactly the way we had artificially been taught to interpret them, and not necessarily correct. So, it was the interpretation was not correct, but the experience itself was genuine.

And it doesn’t matter if the experience was self induced or induced by a communal experience or whatever.

But it is next to impossible to go back and say, what is a different interpretation that I could give this because our actual memory of the even is shaped by the interpretation that we put on it for years.
I love this, Alas! I wish more people could step back and take in a wider view like this.

I also think we can have a spiritual experience as a kind of feedback loop that reinforces something that we believe deeply, whether it's literally true or not. You hear someone in GC says something that resonates with something you truly believe deep down inside and your brain gives you a chemical zap that reinforces that idea. I think that's why I could never get an answer from God that the Book of Mormon is true, but I could get a classic bosom burn when I finally prayed to know if it was a made-up 19th century document. I had been suppressing my subconscious realization that it is not true and hoping God would tell me it is, but somewhere below the surface my brain was responding to that unwelcome realization.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:38 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:25 am
Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:15 am
...
Now many studies have identified a common brain response across these traditions. The surprise was that it is the same brain state created by psychedelics.
...
Is there a scientific name for these experiences that doesn't involve ghosts?
Various researchers have different names for it. Andrew Newburg calls all of it enlightenment, but he uses "little E" and "big E" to differentiate between "feeling the spirit" types of enlightenment and mystical degrees of enlightenment. David Nutt, refers to it in terms of Default Mode Network suppression, Robin Carhart-Harris calls it ego dissolution.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:50 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:15 am
Was Ezekiel's experience spontaneous or might it have had something to do with acacia (the Bible's shittim wood), some species of which are so DMT-rich you can get a psychedelic dose simply by inhaling the smoke of, for instance, a burning bush. Or an ember from an altar, like the one held to Isaiah's lips to purify him before the onset of visions.
Or, for that matter, the buckets of "mixed wine" that Joseph Smith passed around in the Kirtland temple and Morley farm before people started having mass visions.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by dogbite » Fri Jun 10, 2022 11:59 am

I'm in better agreement with you now.

I've worked with people doing Ketamine for the PTSD/anxiety sort of reduction. I've watched similar things help people. It's interesting to me that with the psilocybin there is an emphasis on a guided therapist experience to get the benefit. It seems the symbolism (like all symbolism really) is open to interpretation but that there is a suggestibility to the experience that can be used to supply beneficial meaning.

Ecstasy seems to just reset PTSD chemistry to default without the need for a guided experience.

I think the experience of spirituality is all inside us. You make contact with yourself in a new way, a self reinforcing way.

Humans are clearly feeling animals who happen to think. Not thinking animals that feel.

On a sort of related note:

https://bigthink.com/13-8/is-consciousness-necessary/

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 10, 2022 1:27 pm

dogbite wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 11:59 am
I'm in better agreement with you now.

I've worked with people doing Ketamine for the PTSD/anxiety sort of reduction. I've watched similar things help people. It's interesting to me that with the psilocybin there is an emphasis on a guided therapist experience to get the benefit. It seems the symbolism (like all symbolism really) is open to interpretation but that there is a suggestibility to the experience that can be used to supply beneficial meaning.

Ecstasy seems to just reset PTSD chemistry to default without the need for a guided experience.

I think the experience of spirituality is all inside us. You make contact with yourself in a new way, a self reinforcing way.

Humans are clearly feeling animals who happen to think. Not thinking animals that feel.

On a sort of related note:

https://bigthink.com/13-8/is-consciousness-necessary/
Hey, I read Blindsight. It's a very interesting novel!

Yeah, I think we're more on the same page than we thought. After my faith crisis I was very allergic to anything that sounded even remotely churchy or New-Agey, but psychedelics have moved me back a little bit. Now I'm kind of hovering between Pantheism and Daoism. Nature comes with laws that somehow work together to produce a creative force: hydrogen to heavy elements to life to complex behavior to David Gilmour. I'm much more inclined to give that process a name like God than I am the idea of a guy on a throne. My son, having come away with similar impressions, says that God is bottom-up, rather than top-down. I like that. My version of that is: God is verb, not noun. A cosmos where such amazing things happen inside and outside of us is God enough for me, and for me spirituality is when my meat abacus catches a glimpse of a scale larger than my normal day-to-day existence.

My original interest in The Divine Assembly was as an anthropological phenomenon, even though I was already using mushrooms for spirituality on my own. I think it's a fascinating, historic, and important development, but I had no interest in group tripping. I was very pleasantly surprised when I finally did a sacrament ceremony (which has no ritual at all besides drinking the tea, sitting together and sharing thoughts/impressions) at how much richness the community adds to the experience.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:01 am

wtfluff wrote:
Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:25 am
Is there a scientific name for these experiences that doesn't involve ghosts?
I apologize that I have kind of talked all around this topic without stating clearly that, while I think the state of mind we call spirituality is real and important, I don't think it has anything to do with ghosts or gods, or visitors from the grave, or any other kind of invisible beings.

I am fascinated with the idea that our senses only capture a narrow slice of what's going on all around us, and our brains reduce even that to the barest trickle of information that we need to operate and survive. We all have this other internal sense (sense of wonder?) that offers a completely different way of experiencing the universe, but it has been and stolen and subjugated by institutional religion.

It's mindboggling that certain plants and fungi have evolved alongside us that just happen to produce chemicals that plug into our brains in a way that magnifies that sense of wonder and helps us see a completely different perspective on nature in which the key component is interconnectedness.

Here on NOM we talk a lot about learning to think for ourselves and breaking free of the church's manipulation of the facts. This attitude has spilled over into my approach to owning my spirituality, and my life is much more spiritual as a result than it ever was inside the church. But it doesn't demand that I abandon science and reason for faith. If anything it makes scientific inquiry that much more relevant and fascinating.

That's really my message.

The secret seems to be finding ways to suspend your Default Mode Network so the rest of your brain come out and play. I was having some promising but very limited success doing that with meditation after a couple of years of practice. Mushrooms put the pedal to the medal. Now I've found holotropic breathwork to be a really powerful tool for doing the same.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by wtfluff » Sat Jun 11, 2022 11:48 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:01 am
...
Here on NOM we talk a lot about learning to think for ourselves and breaking free of the church's manipulation of the facts. This attitude has spilled over into my approach to owning my spirituality, and my life is much more spiritual as a result than it ever was inside the church. But it doesn't demand that I abandon science and reason for faith. If anything it makes scientific inquiry that much more relevant and fascinating.

That's really my message.
...
And while you're "talking around topics", I'm doing the same thing. :D

My pet peeve when we talk about these experiences is calling them "spirituality" or "spiritual". Back to my original question: What's the difference between a spirit and a ghost? Could the same experiences be called "ghostuality" or "ghostual?"

Now that Fergusson has proven that this sort of "brain state" can be detected with fMRI, does he think that it requires spirits, or ghosts, or something else supernatural to get the brain into that state?

If these experiences are plainly brain chemistry, then it's science. Nothing supernatural (spiritual) necessary.


Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, I know it's a useless diatribe, and will change nothing...
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by alas » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:03 pm

I just read a great article explaining some of this. Like is there a name for this that doesn’t involve ghosts? ANd are the experiences “genuine”.

But I can’t link to it because I am on an IPad, and it was in my news feed, which dosen’t give any way to link. I will see if I can’t find a title to increase ya’lls chance of googling it.

So, anyway, it put things in layman’s terms, not psychobabble. So it was explaining how the shrooms work their magic. But not in guru terms, so I will add that in.

Basically, they flood the brain with serotonin. Which makes you very happy, this is what the gurus mean when they say they were surrounded by God’s love or filled with the most beautiful love and happiness. This serotonin dump causes more than feeling great, it helps the neurons connect with each other. It floods your brain, causing all kind of short circuiting between say you sense of smell and identification of color, so in your trip you think you are smelling pink, or your vision goes bonkers causing a hallucination. This is the psychedelic experience. Also, this flood increases the communication between brain cells. See, in depression the communication is slowed and limited, so you can see why this is a way to cure depression in less than an hour compared to the weeks it takes for medication to increase serotonin. But the increased communication between cells is enlightenment, where suddenly you see all kinds of connections between things you never saw before. This is like going from a single telephone connection, or at best a conference call, to a zoom meeting where everybody can just jump on the net to look up extra information. All kinds of wonderful connections that you were unable to make before. This also causes you to feel connected to the outside world in new ways, or ways you just couldn’t see before. It also jumps your thinking out of old ruts. So, with depression the thinking gets into negative ruts, self critical tape played over and over in your brain. With PTSD, the brain has really strong connections to certain things, screaming danger at the things that can remind you of the trauma. So, a car backfires and the vet jumps for cover from gunfire, while normal people just hear a car go bang. Or the rape victim shudders in fear when her lover touches her. These things that cause PTSD episodes are called triggers. So, the serotonin dump allows new brain connections to be made, and these connections don’t just last while they are on the drug, but there is growth of dendrites, so the new thinking becomes permanent, or at least accessible when the person thinks about the trigger. The depressed person feels good and can see a way out of depression, and their negative self talk kinda gets short circuited.

So is the experience on drugs genuine? What could be more “genuine” than something that permanently changes your thinking? Is it “real”, well yeah, because those thoughts caused by new brain connection are real thoughts. Some of the thoughts may be drug induced gibberish, but that means the dose was too high. But when someone has a brilliant idea, it is them making a new brain connection, something they hadn’t thought of before, and it may turn out to be a good idea or a bad idea, but the point is they got a NEW idea. The serotonin dump causes new ideas, some good and some not so good. That has to be sorted, which is part of why doing drugs under the supervision of a therapist works best.

Most of therapy when I was doing counseling was about getting new ideas into the clients head. It was getting their thinking out of ruts by challenging their habitual thinking and giving them new ideas to consider. Gee, the drug can do in a couple of sessions what it used to take me months to accomplish.

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by alas » Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:24 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 11:48 am
Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 7:01 am
...
Here on NOM we talk a lot about learning to think for ourselves and breaking free of the church's manipulation of the facts. This attitude has spilled over into my approach to owning my spirituality, and my life is much more spiritual as a result than it ever was inside the church. But it doesn't demand that I abandon science and reason for faith. If anything it makes scientific inquiry that much more relevant and fascinating.

That's really my message.
...
And while you're "talking around topics", I'm doing the same thing. :D

My pet peeve when we talk about these experiences is calling them "spirituality" or "spiritual". Back to my original question: What's the difference between a spirit and a ghost? Could the same experiences be called "ghostuality" or "ghostual?"

Now that Fergusson has proven that this sort of "brain state" can be detected with fMRI, does he think that it requires spirits, or ghosts, or something else supernatural to get the brain into that state?

If these experiences are plainly brain chemistry, then it's science. Nothing supernatural (spiritual) necessary.


Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, I know it's a useless diatribe, and will change nothing...
Obviously if drugs will do it then, no, it does not require anything supernatural. The serotonin dump is not at all supernatural. It is a chemical process in the brain.

But on the other hand, the fact that drugs or meditation can both induce this state doesn’t rule out that the supernatural might also. Maybe the brain experience can be triggered by something supernatural. That is what religion claims. So, I don’t personally discount that there can be something that you would call supernatural. You may of course discount anything supernatural because science can totally explain lots of this “spiritual” state.

I think people might be more open to whatever supernatural, more prone to see ghosts or God, while in this brain state. But then they are more open to lots of things. Including hallucinations. Could this brain state make another dimension visible? Could there be other dimensions overlapping with this one that are visible under proper conditions.

But on the other hand they are for sure more likely to think or interpret what they do experience as supernatural. In your words, more likely to imagine ghosts or God while in this brain state.

So, everything drug or serotonin dump induced can be explained by science and there is no need to believe that any supernatural anything happens.

So, no, it isn’t “real” in the sense that if the religious person says they saw and talked with God that you have to believe them. Not everything that comes out of a drug trip is real or genuine or actually happened. But is it real or genuine in that it can change a person’s outlook on life permanently? I would say that yes it is.

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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 12, 2022 6:27 am

alas wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:24 pm

So, everything drug or serotonin dump induced can be explained by science and there is no need to believe that any supernatural anything happens.

So, no, it isn’t “real” in the sense that if the religious person says they saw and talked with God that you have to believe them. Not everything that comes out of a drug trip is real or genuine or actually happened. But is it real or genuine in that it can change a person’s outlook on life permanently? I would say that yes it is.
And that's probably how I should have begun this discussion. My point is that whatever happens in the brain that causes "enlightenment," for want of a better word, can be achieved very directly via psychedelics. And much more. My focus lately has been on research to support the legalization of psilocybin for religious purposes, with the intent of demonstrating that it is as legitimately "spiritual" as locking yourself in a cell and fasting and chanting until you have a transcendent experience. Maybe we should burn books because they change peoples' outlook too. People are deathly afraid of "drugs" like psychedelics. Meanwhile we watch hundreds of thousands of Americans die every year from legal drugs.

Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry has not produced substances that are as safe and effective as this mushroom for treating depression. Nothing has proven even remotely as effective for treating addiction. And yet, after fifty years of strict illegality, a few institutions are barely beginning to get permission from the government to investigate. What a massive, egregious waste of time.

I find it amazing, whether coincidental or not, that a mushroom has evolved to be chock-full of a perfect serotonin analog. I find it more amazing that blocking serotonin uptake with this particular analog has such a profound effect on people's sense of wonder and belonging in nature in a way that persists long after it has left your system and your endogenous serotonin is back at work doing its normal job.

Not to say that it's always a pleasant experience, or that it's for everyone. It can be very challenging and even terrifying, especially if you are unable to let your ego dethatch for a few hours. Even so, 2/3 of people who have experienced "bad trips" in clinical sessions still claim it was one of the most insightful and important experiences of their life.
alas wrote:
Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:03 pm
Most of therapy when I was doing counseling was about getting new ideas into the clients head. It was getting their thinking out of ruts by challenging their habitual thinking and giving them new ideas to consider. Gee, the drug can do in a couple of sessions what it used to take me months to accomplish.
I like the phrase "shaking the snow globe." When people walk across snowy terrain they tend to form tracks that become deeper and fewer over time until only a few paths are used, over and over again, to cross the snow. Then a blizzard comes along and covers up all the tracks, setting you free to form new ones. It's good to shake the snow globe once in a while to find new perspective.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:04 am

I'm reading How To Change Your Mind right now and it is very illuminating. Thanks for the great read Hagoth! In some ways, and this may sound strange, but even reading this book has helped me to be open to letting go of my ego a bit more.

Such a fascinating subject!
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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Hagoth
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:12 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:04 am
I'm reading How To Change Your Mind right now and it is very illuminating. Thanks for the great read Hagoth! In some ways, and this may sound strange, but even reading this book has helped me to be open to letting go of my ego a bit more.

Such a fascinating subject!
This just in.

Netflix will be airing a limited documentary series next month based on the book. The world is changing.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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stealthbishop
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:25 am

Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Jun 20, 2022 7:39 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:12 am
stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 11:04 am
I'm reading How To Change Your Mind right now and it is very illuminating. Thanks for the great read Hagoth! In some ways, and this may sound strange, but even reading this book has helped me to be open to letting go of my ego a bit more.

Such a fascinating subject!
This just in.

Netflix will be airing a limited documentary series next month based on the book. The world is changing.
Definitely going to watch that! Thanks so much for the heads up!
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:20 pm

Greetings fellow Sapes! Just stopping by to see how you wonderful humans are doing and saw Hagoth post up on one of my favorite topics. What a great thread! I love the QnA going on here.

I too have become a member of the Divine Assembly. I've yet to venture to an event, but I believe strongly in the cause, education and space this new org is providing. For me and a lot of family this new sacrament and the experiences it's provided have been life changing. Like many here, Mormonism turned me into a skeptical scientific athiest total non-believer in anything in the religious and even philosophical topics. I've been able to come back from that a bit and now own my own spirituality and metaphysical experiences, thanks to this crazy fungus that has evolved on this planet, along side us.

I've had several amazing journeys on vitamin P over the past four years, first obtaining it from friends then later growing my own. DW and I listened to Pollan's first book on the topics, then started easing our way in with 1G then up to 5G. It had been over a year since my last big trip because I had to get my head screwed on right (had 4 verts fused in my neck with a titanium plate and 8 screws this year in March). But a week ago I jumped back in and shook the snow globe a bit on 2Gs. I can attest to the effectives of the lemon juice tek, as I experienced no nausea like I had in the past when I just ground them up and consumed them. I'm excited to try 4Gs next using this tek.

Even though I only take the big trips 1-4 times per year, I have been use the fungus at least every 2-3 days in a micro dose, 10th of a gram. I've been pretty consistent in my micros for the past year. There is a lot of buzz online over the micro dosing and it's becoming a bit of a craze, but I'm all for it! On this tiny dose you barely, if at all, notice any effects, they are quite subtle. But for the several folks I know personally who have tried it, they all report positive results, usually in the form of a better attitude, less stress and higher mental acuity. For me personally I've noticed those things and more; like a steady level of THC tolerance (I'm also a daily user of medical MJ) and enhanced THC psychedelic experiences.

I have yet to experience a full ego death from the fungus, but it's on my todo list. I have experienced ego dissolution and confusion. I'm guessing I'd need to do about 6-8G to get to this experience. My trips have been by myself, with my DW or one of my kids. Always at home or my favorite place out on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, miles from any other people. Set and setting are so important for the bigger journeys, removing distractions, getting your mind to a good positive place and open to an incredible new experience. I've experience uncomfortable things, but never scary and every one of my trips have ended with amazing amounts of positivity that lasts for days weeks and beyond.

The fungus doesn't have any alien or cosmic knowledge it will bestow upon you. Call BS on anyone who goes on one of these trips and comes back as some prophet that wants to tell the world how they should live their lives. What it gives you is an experience like non other, a chance to explore beyond your default perception of reality and take you to places you've never seen. At higher doses, the things you'll experience in your own mind can be as vivid and real as anything you've seen in normal reality. The open eye experience is just as amazing, as the reality you've known your whole life starts to distort and dissolve. It can be unsettling and disorienting and it's absolutely amazing and wonderful! At the lower medium doses you get into child like state where everything looks stunning, amazing and fascinating.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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stealthbishop
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Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Tue Jun 21, 2022 3:20 pm
Greetings fellow Sapes! Just stopping by to see how you wonderful humans are doing and saw Hagoth post up on one of my favorite topics. What a great thread! I love the QnA going on here.

I too have become a member of the Divine Assembly. I've yet to venture to an event, but I believe strongly in the cause, education and space this new org is providing. For me and a lot of family this new sacrament and the experiences it's provided have been life changing. Like many here, Mormonism turned me into a skeptical scientific athiest total non-believer in anything in the religious and even philosophical topics. I've been able to come back from that a bit and now own my own spirituality and metaphysical experiences, thanks to this crazy fungus that has evolved on this planet, along side us.

I've had several amazing journeys on vitamin P over the past four years, first obtaining it from friends then later growing my own. DW and I listened to Pollan's first book on the topics, then started easing our way in with 1G then up to 5G. It had been over a year since my last big trip because I had to get my head screwed on right (had 4 verts fused in my neck with a titanium plate and 8 screws this year in March). But a week ago I jumped back in and shook the snow globe a bit on 2Gs. I can attest to the effectives of the lemon juice tek, as I experienced no nausea like I had in the past when I just ground them up and consumed them. I'm excited to try 4Gs next using this tek.

Even though I only take the big trips 1-4 times per year, I have been use the fungus at least every 2-3 days in a micro dose, 10th of a gram. I've been pretty consistent in my micros for the past year. There is a lot of buzz online over the micro dosing and it's becoming a bit of a craze, but I'm all for it! On this tiny dose you barely, if at all, notice any effects, they are quite subtle. But for the several folks I know personally who have tried it, they all report positive results, usually in the form of a better attitude, less stress and higher mental acuity. For me personally I've noticed those things and more; like a steady level of THC tolerance (I'm also a daily user of medical MJ) and enhanced THC psychedelic experiences.

I have yet to experience a full ego death from the fungus, but it's on my todo list. I have experienced ego dissolution and confusion. I'm guessing I'd need to do about 6-8G to get to this experience. My trips have been by myself, with my DW or one of my kids. Always at home or my favorite place out on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, miles from any other people. Set and setting are so important for the bigger journeys, removing distractions, getting your mind to a good positive place and open to an incredible new experience. I've experience uncomfortable things, but never scary and every one of my trips have ended with amazing amounts of positivity that lasts for days weeks and beyond.

The fungus doesn't have any alien or cosmic knowledge it will bestow upon you. Call BS on anyone who goes on one of these trips and comes back as some prophet that wants to tell the world how they should live their lives. What it gives you is an experience like non other, a chance to explore beyond your default perception of reality and take you to places you've never seen. At higher doses, the things you'll experience in your own mind can be as vivid and real as anything you've seen in normal reality. The open eye experience is just as amazing, as the reality you've known your whole life starts to distort and dissolve. It can be unsettling and disorienting and it's absolutely amazing and wonderful! At the lower medium doses you get into child like state where everything looks stunning, amazing and fascinating.
Thanks a lot for posting this RH! Really helpful to know your experience. I'm definitely curious about this topic. I'm wondering about your opinion if it could help with traumatic memories or rumination of painful memories?
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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RubinHighlander
Posts: 1750
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:30 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 am
Thanks a lot for posting this RH! Really helpful to know your experience. I'm definitely curious about this topic. I'm wondering about your opinion if it could help with traumatic memories or rumination of painful memories?
So my DW lost her father when she was a teenager, he committed suicide, had a lot of health issues with diabetes. It has haunted her deeply, as they went searching for him. He was up in Logan canyon, Tony grove. She didn't find him but he was wrapped in a blanket she had made for him. We had that blanket out just a few days ago talking about it.

A couple years ago DW and I went on a fungus trip together. We usually spend the morning cleaning, getting the house looking and smelling nice, remove any distractions (you can get OCD/fixated on fungus and start cleaning). We slugged down our funky fungus OJ, probably about 4Gs each and started in the tub with a bath bomb. About an hour into the trip DW puts her head down and drifts off into another world. I was very still and just relaxed and watched and listened. She started talking to her dead father. She said "I know dad, I know I'm not supposed to carry this guilt. I know it's not my fault. It's okay dad, it's okay. You can take it away now, take it away." and she got into loop, repeating that over and over, as she stroked her arm from shoulder to fingers with her other hand. I then reached over and just touched her, began to rub her shoulders. She came out of it and described to be being out in space and there was an asteroid there that was her father, but she knew it was just her memory of him (key point here, we've never experienced anything on our trips that was like evil or deceiving. Strange, sometimes a bit scary, but the brain is in a different highly functional state here, like the brain scan shows). She told me what he said to her then he just drifted away into space and that's when I eased her out of the vision. Not only that, but the crunchies she had under her shoulder blade (from longs hrs at work on the computer) were gone, at least for a few weeks. We worked on those crunchies for hours with the massager, trying to hammer them out and boom, they just went a way in a poof. Offe to the cosmos with DWs dead father on that asteroid. This is some real trippy hippy shitake mushrooms right here! We were like whaaaaaaa?!

It was a mind blowing experience that's hard to describe, something no institution on the planet could ever provide, now matter how much money they spend on a big fancy building or how much hyperbole they wrap around their cultish ceremonies.

Since then DW is still sad at times about her dad's death, but now she's in a much better place with it emotionally.

That's my direct evidence of the real divine nature of this existence, that a fungus carries this molecule that pairs up so well in our big ape brains, to modify it's very perception of really in such a poignant and profound way. It's made me question my atheisms!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

User avatar
stealthbishop
Posts: 344
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:25 am

Re: Mushrooms and Mysteries

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:12 am

RubinHighlander wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:30 am
stealthbishop wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 am
Thanks a lot for posting this RH! Really helpful to know your experience. I'm definitely curious about this topic. I'm wondering about your opinion if it could help with traumatic memories or rumination of painful memories?
So my DW lost her father when she was a teenager, he committed suicide, had a lot of health issues with diabetes. It has haunted her deeply, as they went searching for him. He was up in Logan canyon, Tony grove. She didn't find him but he was wrapped in a blanket she had made for him. We had that blanket out just a few days ago talking about it.

A couple years ago DW and I went on a fungus trip together. We usually spend the morning cleaning, getting the house looking and smelling nice, remove any distractions (you can get OCD/fixated on fungus and start cleaning). We slugged down our funky fungus OJ, probably about 4Gs each and started in the tub with a bath bomb. About an hour into the trip DW puts her head down and drifts off into another world. I was very still and just relaxed and watched and listened. She started talking to her dead father. She said "I know dad, I know I'm not supposed to carry this guilt. I know it's not my fault. It's okay dad, it's okay. You can take it away now, take it away." and she got into loop, repeating that over and over, as she stroked her arm from shoulder to fingers with her other hand. I then reached over and just touched her, began to rub her shoulders. She came out of it and described to be being out in space and there was an asteroid there that was her father, but she knew it was just her memory of him (key point here, we've never experienced anything on our trips that was like evil or deceiving. Strange, sometimes a bit scary, but the brain is in a different highly functional state here, like the brain scan shows). She told me what he said to her then he just drifted away into space and that's when I eased her out of the vision. Not only that, but the crunchies she had under her shoulder blade (from longs hrs at work on the computer) were gone, at least for a few weeks. We worked on those crunchies for hours with the massager, trying to hammer them out and boom, they just went a way in a poof. Offe to the cosmos with DWs dead father on that asteroid. This is some real trippy hippy shitake mushrooms right here! We were like whaaaaaaa?!

It was a mind blowing experience that's hard to describe, something no institution on the planet could ever provide, now matter how much money they spend on a big fancy building or how much hyperbole they wrap around their cultish ceremonies.

Since then DW is still sad at times about her dad's death, but now she's in a much better place with it emotionally.

That's my direct evidence of the real divine nature of this existence, that a fungus carries this molecule that pairs up so well in our big ape brains, to modify it's very perception of really in such a poignant and profound way. It's made me question my atheisms!
What a difficult experience for your DW. Thanks to you and her for sharing it. This sounds so powerful. I'm so glad she is in a better place.

I'm so intrigued by this topic and people's experience with it. Who knows, perhaps, I'll become a member of the Divine Assembly maybe?
"Take second best
Put me to the test
Things on your chest
You need to confess"

-Depeche Mode

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