Am I the only atheist who took massive amounts of psychedelic drugs and remained an atheist?
  • Hello Super Friends,

    First post here so I guess I'd start with a community question. I have been an atheist since about age six (after a rather traumatic admission by my parents about the inauthenticity of the Santa Claus story, I didn't need to be informed about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, or God). I put things in two categories: the demonstrable, and the guttural noises primates make at one another. Sometimes there is a congruence between what people say and what can be observed or shown, but there is no necessary connection between the two. My initial DISTRUST of the words people say (being educated at Catholic schools, and feelings of having been deceived by my parents) led me toward a bias toward the demonstrable, toward the empirical, the observable, I called these things "real" and prioritized the objective over the subjective.

    Naturally this led me toward the ideologies of Naturalism, Scientific Materialism, and all founded on the bedrock of Rationalism that had developed out of my youthful mind's attempts at coping with the realization that not only could people be mistaken about their beliefs, but people are more than capable and willing to deceive others into believing a picture or reality they themselves knew to be false. I held these beliefs strongly until my early twenties, until psychedelics. I did not consider these schools of thinking to be ideologies, but rather the results of humankind's best efforts toward understanding the universe in a disinterested and unbiased manner.

    Well without belaboring the point or making this longer than it needs to be, what happened to my belief in Rationalism and Scientific Materialism after ingesting psychoactive compounds was the same thing that often happens to people's belief in fundamentalist religious systems, or their loyalties in political or philosophical orthodoxies - my beliefs dissolved. I was able to see with these substances the totality of the interlocking structure of assumptions ABOUT reality that the "Scientific worldview" represented. I saw this structure as more an informational set of definitions and instructions rather than some 'true picture of Reality,' which is still what a large portion of the academic scientific community thinks they are providing the public.

    While I've had Goddess contacts, Born Again experiences, multiple NDEs, astral travelling, feeling of psychic connection to animals while on psychedelic substances - I have never been compelled to take many or any of my experiences LITERALLY to have actually happened to me. I consider them more waking dreams, or deep meditative sessions in which the non-linguistically communicative portions of my brain can give "me" (the ego) THEIR view of consciousness from their corner of the mind imagistically.

    I believe it was Hume who says it is the INTENSITY of an experience that leaves the impression on our mind, not the rationality of an experience or the observability of an experience. Psychedelics offer people experiences FAR more intense than their everyday reality - leading them to ascribe more importance to their trip experiences than their mundane experiences (we've all had our moments in the "Psychedelic Messiah" mode '... why isn't EVERYONE DOING THIS???'). But I try not to let my mind fool my brain, or my brain fool my body. I still believe, after it all, that I am an organism - just a very fortunate one. WHAT I am I do not know (matter, energy, information, your pick), but I know I am NOT a "Who" (personhood can be so restrictive). It appears to me that whatever you look for in this universe you will find, whatever question you ask clearly will contain it's answer, and that the Light of Consciousness is still on and no one knows when their light, or anyone else's will meet the great snuffing.

    Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend. Love you all. :D
    Post edited by DrStrib at 2012-02-28 03:25:07
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  • Why don't you take those experiences seriously? You've seen something and felt something, what's not real about it?

    "Oh, that's just a hallucination, I didn't really experience what I experienced." Says who? Scientist? Adults in general?
  • I totally agree with everything you just said. And I would dare to even take it on step further. I honestly believe that psychedelic drugs have not changed me as a human being. Of course they have aided my introspective view on myself and helped me think outside the box. I still truly believe that my tendencies and personality as a human being are totally the same as before I took psychedelic drugs.

    The common answer to people who think this way about psychedelic drugs is 'Well, you haven't been there man. I thought like that before I took psychedelic drugs too' But, what if I did? I've had a variety of different psychedelic experiences on psilocybine, DMT and LSD and I don't feel a different man because of it.

    I believe if you approach your psychedelic trips more scientifically and really compare it to all the information you've gained looking into psychedelics you get a totally different outcome and don't feel as overwhelmed and lurked into the pitfall of radically changing your believes because of these psychedelic experiences. You end up going into psychedelic trips where you recognize patterns and common themes before they're even happening.

    I believe I've gained from every psychedelic experience I've had. Good and bad. But that's also as much as I consider it. A psychedelic experience.
  • You're not the only one :) I'm that way too. In fact, I'd say psychedelic drugs were essential for my transition away from religion to atheism. Salvia was my first big experience.... there is no God in salvia.
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  • I've remained Agnostic throughout my experiences. Actually I guess I was a christian when I first took psychsdelics and have become agnostic since, though I imagine I was on that path already.

    I don't, however, subscribe to the belief that these experiences are somehow less "real" than any others I've had. My body is just being tuned to perceive what's actually there in a different way. I can't see infrared light without special equipment but I'm sure its still there whether I can see it or not.
  • orgone said:

    Hello Super Friends,

    While I've had Goddess contacts, Born Again experiences, multiple NDEs, astral travelling, feeling of psychic connection to animals while on psychedelic substances - I have never been compelled to take many or any of my experiences LITERALLY to have actually happened to me. I consider them more waking dreams, or deep meditative sessions in which the non-linguistically communicative portions of my brain can give "me" (the ego) THEIR view of consciousness from their corner of the mind imagistically.

    Hope everyone's having a lovely weekend. Love you all. :D



    Logical Positivism blinded me too...

    It's illogical to live life that way, but if it makes you happy feel free. Atheists are wrong in my philosophical war, so have fun with your existential nightmare! :)



    The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. -- Paul Valéry
  • Why don't you take those experiences seriously? You've seen something and felt something, what's not real about it?

    "Oh, that's just a hallucination, I didn't really experience what I experienced." Says who? Scientist? Adults in general?



    Starting at the end just to get it out of the way, if you read clearly what I wrote it's pretty obvious I wouldn't doubt the "reality" of my experiences based on what people older than me or what the scientific community thinks about them.

    I'm not ready to just accept the concept of "Reality" a priori. Like "God" when people say "Reality" not only are they assuming that the concept makes sense, but that you think they same thing they do when they say those words.

    From a perspective of pure phenomenology, I cannot deny my experiences, they are all I have. What I'm skeptical about is the entire process of metaphysical projection and inductive reasoning. Why would I have a notion that a) there are processes going on outside of my nervous system that I can know about or b) that I could be certain I can assess the true nature of the relationship between my sensations of this supposed Metaphysical Reality, at that Reality in-and-of-itself. How could I triangulate my experiential position? How could I know I was really doing so, and not fooling myself into thinking I am? etc.
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  • @Oracle42 Projection is a tough habit to break out of. You use a lot of pronouns, could you tell me what "that way" means?

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  • I've remained Agnostic throughout my experiences. Actually I guess I was a christian when I first took psychsdelics and have become agnostic since, though I imagine I was on that path already.

    I don't, however, subscribe to the belief that these experiences are somehow less "real" than any others I've had. My body is just being tuned to perceive what's actually there in a different way. I can't see infrared light without special equipment but I'm sure its still there whether I can see it or not.


    i agree 100%, but kinda in a weird way, i believe in god and the lack of a god simultaneously(a kin to particles that are in motion and still at the same time and can spin in two different directions at the same time). kinda cool the new studys that are being done right now that r showing the psilocybin actually decrease's activity in parts of the brain and doesn't activate new different parts so its like ppl say that it cuts through the conditioning and not just making ur brain go crazy w/ new things happening
  • Oh and as a point of quick clarification. I'm a subscriber to weak atheism. I'm not making any positive claims about the non-existence or non-reality of entities, I just have no belief in any of the gods described in any of the religions I have come into contact with on this planet, and would not satisfy any religious person's definition of 'faithful' or 'believer.'

    I believe that unicorns, leprechauns, and Darth Vader exist. If you didn't think of a horned horse, a little man in green, and a big dude who wears a cape and breathes funny, that's ok - others did think of those things. The question "Is Darth Vader a product of the human imagination?" is answerable. We can know if Spider Man is a creation of Stan Lee if and only if he is indeed that. I have the same relationship to deities. I'm am not an agnostic because I believe it is in principle possible for one to know if Batman exists as a product only of the human mind.
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  • orgone said:

    @Oracle42 Projection is a tough habit to break out of. You use a lot of pronouns, could you tell me what "that way" means?



    That way = Blind Logical Positivist
    The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. -- Paul Valéry
  • @Oracle42

    If you're asserting that I AM a logical positivist I suppose I ask what makes you say so. I've read Ayer and I'm a fan of Wittgenstein and know about the whole thing Quine and Russell were trying to accomplish, but I don't consider myself to be a subscriber to many of their ideas. I'm familiar with the criticisms.

    If you just want to keep barking though, let me know now. I can save time entertaining you.
    image
  • orgone said:


    If you just want to keep barking though, let me know now. I can save time entertaining you.



    I was speaking from my experience and you asked what I meant. Now you're all bent out of shape?

    What's wrong Pope?
    The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. -- Paul Valéry
  • Off the bat, a 6-years old doesn't make good, conscious, unbiased choices.
    Everything a 6-year old does, is heavily connected to the growing environment, and usually in these cases the child has grown in a very atheist environment, which would explain that.
    But your case is more interesting than that, you were deluded by your parents, which made you later in life choose the strict extreme opposite of that spectrum.

    It's silly to take anything 'seriously' or 'not seriously' when you think about it (it being the subject you're taking or not taking seriously) long enough.
    I think that is, because everything you experience is just the projection your brain decides to give you.

    There's countless things flying through the air all the time, radio signals for example, but they're not projected to be a part of your reality, because your sight or other senses aren't precieving them.

    Psychedelics just alter the projection.
    The reason it's usually seen as the higher state of consciousness is the feeling of realness you have in these trips, how does it feel so much more real, and close, and warm, if it isn't more real than the "scientific material world" as you said.

    "I have never been compelled to take many or any of my experiences LITERALLY to have actually happened to me. "
    It sounds like you haven't had experiences that are deep enough, or if you have, it seems like you are ignoring them to a degree.

    I cannot decide if I'm atheist, agnostic or theist, because everytime I decide to decide (heh) it ends up in me thinking about it forever, ending up in a lot of writings filled with my thoughts about it.
    I'm never going to be any of those, but that's exactly how I like it.

    I'm not sure if I said anything worth-a-while at all, but most importantly, I hope you are having a great weekend too, and I love you too man, I really do :).
    Call me for a fun time. (703) 697-1776
  • @Oracle42

    If you can't see the poverty in your attempts to communicate your ideas, what can I say? You're a winner.

    And I happen to be the founder of the First True Orthodox Discordian Church, I was it's only Pope, and I excommunicated myself and everyone else from the congregation. If you must know.
    Post edited by orgone at 2012-02-25 20:00:02
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  • orgone said:


    You're a winner.



    Have fun with that...

    The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. -- Paul Valéry
  • Thanks everyone for the words so far, I appreciate your future contributions.

    I was in the acid trade for years and have certainly had more than my share of time in the Spirit World.


    @DivineHabitatGandalf

    I appreciate your comments, but I have to tell you unless you think you have a unique angle on reality statements like, "It sounds like you haven't had experiences that are deep enough" make you sound like a Wilsonian "Cosmic Shmuck" :)

    Don't give in to astonishment anyone?
    Post edited by orgone at 2012-02-25 20:06:42
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  • orgone said:


    statements like, "It sounds like you haven't had experiences that are deep enough" make you sound like a Wilsonian "Cosmic Shmuck"


    Now that I read what I wrote I understand what you mean, I wasn't implying that you haven't had any real experiences.
    I have met people that have maybe taken salvia 5x once, or something similiar, and then say that what they have seen is just their brain losing cells and flipping out, which is frustrating.
    You clearly have had really deep experiences, like you stated:
    "Goddess contacts, Born Again experiences, multiple NDEs, astral travelling, feeling of psychic connection to animals while on psychedelic substances "

    What I was implying in other hand was:

    it seems like you are ignoring them to a degree.



    It sounds like you are either consciously or subconsciously ignoring these real experiences that you had.
    I formed that sentence very terribly, thank you for pointing that out, I should pay more attention on that kinda stuff as it distorted the message I was trying to get out!

    I love you even more now :3
    Call me for a fun time. (703) 697-1776

  • if drugs taught me anything it's how narrow my own perception truly is, by showing me my underlying thought processes and previously unseen social dynamics, I realized the limitations of the brain as an instrument to perceive reality. You think an all-knowing disembodied intelligence/love wouldn't be able to conceal itself from you?

    orgone said:

    I'm am not an agnostic because I believe it is in principle possible for one to know if Batman exists as a product only of the human mind.



    wtf does this even mean?
    Post edited by wolfmanalpha at 2012-02-25 20:33:28
  • Just cause...

    "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
    - Edgar Allan Poe
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  • I've remained Agnostic throughout my experiences. Actually I guess I was a christian when I first took psychsdelics and have become agnostic since, though I imagine I was on that path already.

    I don't, however, subscribe to the belief that these experiences are somehow less "real" than any others I've had. My body is just being tuned to perceive what's actually there in a different way. I can't see infrared light without special equipment but I'm sure its still there whether I can see it or not.


    i agree 100%, but kinda in a weird way, i believe in god and the lack of a god simultaneously(a kin to particles that are in motion and still at the same time and can spin in two different directions at the same time). kinda cool the new studys that are being done right now that r showing the psilocybin actually decrease's activity in parts of the brain and doesn't activate new different parts so its like ppl say that it cuts through the conditioning and not just making ur brain go crazy w/ new things happening


    I've had some extremely hightened communication abilities with animals (dogs and birds specifically) while on mushrooms. I wouldn't call it exactly psychic but i was substantially more on tune with them than I would normally be. Maybe these studies hold some explanation for this. By slowing down parts of our brain perhaps we are on a more primitive level of conciousness and are able to respond to cues that we would otherwise ignore.

    Pure speculation but it's possible.
  • That spikes the question whether or not Dr.Dolittle was really just all about psychedelic mushrooms.
  • orgone said:

    Why don't you take those experiences seriously? You've seen something and felt something, what's not real about it?

    "Oh, that's just a hallucination, I didn't really experience what I experienced." Says who? Scientist? Adults in general?



    Starting at the end just to get it out of the way, if you read clearly what I wrote it's pretty obvious I wouldn't doubt the "reality" of my experiences based on what people older than me or what the scientific community thinks about them.

    I'm not ready to just accept the concept of "Reality" a priori. Like "God" when people say "Reality" not only are they assuming that the concept makes sense, but that you think they same thing they do when they say those words.

    From a perspective of pure phenomenology, I cannot deny my experiences, they are all I have. What I'm skeptical about is the entire process of metaphysical projection and inductive reasoning. Why would I have a notion that a) there are processes going on outside of my nervous system that I can know about or b) that I could be certain I can assess the true nature of the relationship between my sensations of this supposed Metaphysical Reality, at that Reality in-and-of-itself. How could I triangulate my experiential position? How could I know I was really doing so, and not fooling myself into thinking I am? etc.

    You don't have to triangulate anything with anything. Reality is reality.
  • I hope you remain a member of this board for awhile, orgone, so that I can have access to more of your thoughts for some time to come.
  • "Do you like music?" Dr. Robert asked.

    "More than most things."

    "And what, may I ask, does Mozart's G-Minor Quintet refer to? Does it refer to Allah? Or Tao? Or the second person of the Trinity? Or the Atman-Brahman?"

    Will laughed. "Let's hope not."

    "But that doesn't make the experience of the G-Minor Quintet any less rewarding. Well, it's the same with the kind of experience that you get with the moksha-medicine [psychedelics], or through prayer and fasting and spiritual exercises. Even if it doesn't refer to anything outside itself, it's still the most important thing that ever happened to you. Like music, only incomparably more so. And if you give the experience a chance, if you're prepared to go along with it, the results are incomparably more therapeutic and transforming. So maybe the whole thing does happen inside one's skull. Maybe it is private and there's no unitive knowledge of anything but one's own physiology. Who cares? The fact remains that the experience can open one's eyes and make one blessed and transform one's whole life." - excerpt from 'Island' by Aldous Huxley
  • @wolfmanalpha

    I was just trying to state that I put God in the category of Spider Man and Darth Vader. Things that most certainly exist, as products of the human mind. It's possible that Superman is more than just a comic book character, but if he is INDEED only that, then we can know that fact.


    @HonkyGeorge

    Well I guess that solves the mystery then, good ol' fashioned Naive Realism. "What I see is reality."


    @jenkins

    Thank you for the compliment.


    @YOU

    Thank you for that, I don't read a lot of fiction but I do like Huxley. I might have to pick up Island.
    Post edited by orgone at 2012-02-25 23:13:40
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  • orgone said:


    @YOU

    Thank you for that, I don't read a lot of fiction but I do like Huxley. I might have to pick up Island.



    I don't read much fiction either, but Island by Huxley is one of the view books that I revisit again and again. It was his last book and, in my opinion, his greatest accomplishment as a writer.

    The book is basically a roadmap of Huxley's personal philosophy after a lifetime of pondering and psychedelics.

    If anybody is on the fence about reading Island, check out this page with some quotes from the book: http://island.org/Huxley/quotes.html. My love for Island made me realize what it must be like to be a Christian that thinks the world would be a better place if everyone would just read the bible. I had previously never had a book elicit that kind of response in me.
  • Michelle said:

    Has any Atheist looked into sacred geometry and remained an Atheist?



    I would say yes, but it's sort of like two people who have done conspiracy research, they always come to the table with a different set of facts. What do you mean by sacred geometry?
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  • Regardless of any intake of drugs, I find it strange that people decide that there's definitely a god, or there's definitely not a god. God is such an abstract idea, nobody really knows anything about it, and yet people are taking hard stances deciding that he's real and he gives you a shit ton of sexy ass virgins or that god doesn't exist and it's ridiculous to believe that he does. BY THE WAY, GOD IS DEFINITELY A HE, NO MATTER WHAT.
  • I wasn't aware that everyone except you found religion when they took massive amounts of psychedelics
    My heroes are midgets with real jobs.
  • You can still be an atheist and think the universe is filled with immeasurable energy and spirits. Most atheists just don't believe there's a man like god in the clouds caring about what we do. If you describe god as the energy of the universe, then an atheist could believe in that.

    But atheist is a weird description, and different people use it to describe different beliefs.
    "Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home of all these weird creatures that lock up their spirits, drill holes in themselves, and live for their secrets. They're all uptight" -Radiohead
  • athiesm and agnostisism are strange terms..many athiests don't agree on what that means exastly and the same for agnostics... I'm agnostic but I don't agree with the definition.
    My heroes are midgets with real jobs.
  • I don't know about God, but I have had conversations with (what I later discovered to be) psychopomps whilst on psilocybin that, experientially, were more real than conversations that I have in my office on a daily basis. I entered heavy psychedelic experiences as pretty much agnostic and left the same. However, I had no idea that I believed in "spirits" or "daemons" until I realized that they were running around my bedroom and sitting talking with me on my couch.

    One of my favourite McKenna quotes that I independently found to be true was something along the lines of.. If UFOs were to land on the Whitehouse lawn tomorrow they wouldn't be as strange or mysterious as the beings you meet whilst on a quarter ounce of mushrooms.
    Post edited by wtf_cakes at 2012-02-29 17:11:39
    "A ship is safe in its harbor, but that's not what ships are for.” - William Shedd
  • wtf_cakes said:



    One of my favourite McKenna quotes that I independently found to be true was something along the lines of.. If UFOs were to land on the Whitehouse lawn tomorrow they wouldn't be as strange or mysterious as the beings you meet whilst on a quarter ounce of mushrooms.



    no kidding right?

    I want to see machine elves

    My heroes are midgets with real jobs.
  • Who is the master that makes the grass green?
  • I wasn't aware that everyone except you found religion when they took massive amounts of psychedelics



    ... you'd be surprised, maybe you wouldn't, but it would definitely be wonderful if it wasn't such an incredibly common interpretation.

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  • I think that sometimes people use psychedelics and wake up the god part of their brains. Those that don't know that it's a physical phenomenon go overboard and start believing in men in the sky that are pulling everyone's strings.

    http://www.godpart.com/
    Post edited by Apocaloptimist1 at 2012-09-09 15:22:49
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  • A friend of mine who is best described as hyper-rationalist. I have tripped with him on a few occasions, always expecting him to have some kind of consciousness bending experience like so many do. But he always retained his stance of "this is all chemical, and I am experiencing a poisoning". While that is entirely true, it was interesting to have our whole group of friends babbling about omniconsciousness, one-mindedness. One vivid memory I recall is having a conversation about the afterlife with 4 or 5 others, until he piped in "You're going to die. You will be as dead as any dead animal has ever been". While we all waxed slightly more poetic on the idea, his rational, scientific perspective was a nice change to the psuedo-hippy babble we usually partook in :)
    ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པ་དྨེ་ཧཱུྃ་
  • I think another, possibly more inclusive and less red herring prone way of asking the question that opened this thread would be: "Am I the only person who's beliefs remained the same after taking massive amounts of psychedelics?"

    I propose this with all respect to the OP.

    Framed this way, I think we could find an answer unencumbered by our feelings towards atheism and atavism and work towards a potentially more useful question: "What is it about the consumption of massive amounts of psychedelics that calls into question or affirms our spiritual beliefs?"

    I am very suspicious of the culture of psychedelics because it is begins largely begins with the assumption of spirit quests and whatnot.

    I always think about the gang banger kids I went to school with who were the biggest acid heads I ever encountered. They were not spiritual seekers and their trips were never pre-programmed with ideas about jaguar spirits and the like. I never heard one of them describe anything remotely spiritual.
  • @chadfredlott

    It is important to note from a careful reading of the OP that my beliefs did not remain the same. It would be hard to go on the amount of trips I went on and take nothing away from it, that would be a feat in itself.
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  • I have done mushrooms at least a dozen times and smoke pot regularly. I've also tripped at least a couple dozen times on salvia, and a handful on DXM. Throughout all that I remained an atheist, and my ideas about consciousness were based on Daniel Dennett's: mind is a property of the information processing that the brain does, and you cannot have a mind without a brain. It was only until this year that I did acid for the first time have I really begun to develop what I would consider "spiritual" beliefs. However, I only consider the acid a "catapult" that sent me into the stratosphere. What got me into the catapult of crazy spiritual ideas were Rogan and Duncan's podcasts. For the week or two before I dropped, I listened to as many Terence McKenna lectures as I could get my mitts on. I listened to his interview with Ram Dass. After the trip, which was very therapeutic but not worldview-altering, I kept listening to Terence and found more Ram Dass. I read the Bhagavad Gita. I started reading some intro texts to Buddhism. I read books like "I am That." I started to "realize" that mind is all One. This is even a scientific truth: all matter is energy. All energy is One. Therefore, all is One. I started wanting to learn more about Gnostics and Gnosticism. Then one day, I googled "Illuminati" and found the website http://armageddonconspiracy.co.cuk and I was amazed at the scientific and philosophical depth and proficiency that appeared on that site. I had previously taken philosophy classes in college on epistemology and philosophy of science, and I'm not a science or math expert but I follow philosophy as a hobby. The discussions on those pages are the most plausible defense of mathematical realism I've ever read, and I'm more and more convinced every day that the universe is eternal and reincarnates until we reach God. As of right now I am still suspending belief, because it seems like maybe (worst case) they are just crafting an extended metaphor for how mathematics interacts with reality, and in that sense it's like elaborate fiction: harmless, but very fascinating and engrossing. However, their analysis of politics and religion is very, very accurate in my view. So I'm not 100% convinced that this is the "ultimate truth" by any means, but my brain is lapping up the material like intellectual candy, and I'm pretty enamored with the content. So, am I an atheist? I'm not sure, but I still deny the Abrahamic God exists because the concept is so fraught with inconsistencies, contradictions, and a fundamental disconnect with reality (for example: the problem of evil). But I do believe that our awareness comes from one divine loving source of awareness that arises out of pure Being, and I might believe that the substrate of the universe itself is monads aka mind aka souls. Maybe I'm just crazy!
    Post edited by urbster1 at 2012-09-10 21:35:33
  • orgone said:

    @chadfredlott

    It is important to note from a careful reading of the OP that my beliefs did not remain the same. It would be hard to go on the amount of trips I went on and take nothing away from it, that would be a feat in itself.



    I don't think you did, but I wasn't as clear as I should've been. I meant the thread title, not Original Post as a place for clarity, considering where it seemed to go.

    It looks like you came out of the experience with sort of a Wittgenstein approach for grouping families of rationalisms that support a functional, yet differently informed atheism.

    Almost like you got out of one car headed to LA and then got into a different car headed to LA, but with a different reason for going.

    I could've just read this wrong/differently.



  • Just stumbled across this site and skimmed this thread, found it interesting and joined.
    Has it occurred to anyone else here that psychedelics, like any other substance, when ingested, have an effect that tells one something about ones self and the substance itself, no less no more. Take sugar, tastes sweet, delve into the experience of sugar deeply enough and you can tease out subjectively felt effects that are verified by studies of sugar metabolism. There is nothing inherently sweet about sugar, but sweet is a subjective reaction to sugar inherent in human biology. Sweetness is no more or less real than blue or six. Blue and six cannot be put in a box and sent to aliens from Alpha Centauri. Blue, Six and sweet are abstractions that human consciousness relates to "reality". The experience of mescaline is neither in the mescaline molecule nor out somewhere in the ether, but somewhere in the mix of mescaline, human physiology and consciousness. Trying to define exactly what "sweet" is, is no less a metaphysical dilemma than the conundrum of psychedelic experience. After decades of wrestling with making sense of psychedelics I think that is the most valid insight I have had. Weather that makes Psychedelia mundane, or ordinary experience more profound and mysterious is completely subjective and the two are not mutually exclusive. At any given time my sense of it may be skewed strongly one way or the other. Experience speaks for itself, Consciousness is the flip side, it hears the speech. They are in fact the same thing, like gravity and mass.
  • @winowingwalker
    Good stuff! Thanks for the bump.

    I wish more people felt the lesson of psychedelics is learning how you learn. A flower is not Sun, soil, air, water, genetic potential, evasion of predators, or gathering resources but something that occurs when all of these phenomena operate in tandem. It is a "synthete" of multiple processes without all of which there would be no "flower" to ponder over the essence of.

    Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
    When he's underwater does he get wet?
    Or does the water get him instead?
    Nobody knows, Particle man.
    Post edited by orgone at 2013-02-07 17:11:39
    image
  • There is nothing inherently sweet about sugar.



    This is part of a much broader conversation about whether the qualities that we assign to things are inherent. As you said, there is nothing inherently sweet, and I would argue that no-thing is inherent at all.


    "It is not that we claim non-existence, we merely remove claims for existing existents."
    Buddhapalita


    Or

    On the basis of the Buddha's view that all experienced phenomena (dharma) are "dependently arisen" (pratitya-samutpanna), Nagarjuna insisted that such phenomena are empty (sunya). This did not mean that they are not experienced and, therefore, non-existent; only that they are devoid of a permanent and eternal substance (svabhava). Since they are experienced elements of existence, they are not mere names (prjnapti)


    Or

    Geshe Sonam Rinchen commenting on Nagarjuna "...Everything that exists does so dependently and everything that is dependently existent necessarily lacks independent objective existence."


    All qualities that we assign to things are "dependently existent," more specifically, dependently existent upon our perception.

    See:
    Pratītyasamutpāda
    Śūnyatā
  • I eat pot brownies on a regular basis, I have found it's a great way to have a good night, write some new music, enjoy music, movies, sex. When I'm deep down the rabbit hole, religion never crosses my mind, but I've had 30 years in a super religious community to study, think, to notice the major issues with all major religions.

    All of my trips have definitely helped me, I would say they have allowed more introspection as well as a wider view of consciousness and my place in the universe. I can see why many religious folk don't enjoy tripping, I can think of nothing more horrible than eating 2 pot brownies then having human sacrifices, genocide, child sacrifice, slavery, subjugation of women, etc. flying through my head in my most vulnerable moments. To imagine a supreme ruler in the sky that supposedly creates humankind sick, then commands them to be well, with the threat of never ending torture of course.............a being that can convict me of thought crime. That just seems like it would never, ever, ever mix with mushrooms. But apparantly it did for many original founders of the ancient religions, so I dunno.
    "Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home of all these weird creatures that lock up their spirits, drill holes in themselves, and live for their secrets. They're all uptight" -Radiohead
  • I can see why many religious folk don't enjoy tripping



    Where does this idea come from? Ever heard about the Good Friday experiment?

    The Marsh Chapel Experiment (a.k.a. "the Good Friday Experiment") was a 1962 experiment conducted on Good Friday at Boston University's Marsh Chapel. Walter N. Pahnke, a graduate student in theology at Harvard Divinity School, designed the experiment under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project.[1] Pahnke's experiment investigated whether psilocybin (the active principle in psilocybin mushrooms) would act as a reliable entheogen in religiously predisposed subjects.

    In a 25-year follow-up to the experiment, all of the subjects given psilocybin described their experience as having elements of "a genuine mystical nature and characterized it as one of the high points of their spiritual life".

    In 2006, a more rigorously controlled version of this experiment was conducted at Johns Hopkins University by Roland R. Griffiths, yielding similar results.[6] In a 14-month follow-up to this study, over half of the participants rated the experience among the top five most meaningful spiritual experiences in their lives, and considered the experience to have increased their personal well-being and life satisfaction.


  • I can see why many religious folk don't enjoy tripping



    Where does this idea come from? Ever heard about the Good Friday experiment?

    The Marsh Chapel Experiment (a.k.a. "the Good Friday Experiment") was a 1962 experiment conducted on Good Friday at Boston University's Marsh Chapel. Walter N. Pahnke, a graduate student in theology at Harvard Divinity School, designed the experiment under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project.[1] Pahnke's experiment investigated whether psilocybin (the active principle in psilocybin mushrooms) would act as a reliable entheogen in religiously predisposed subjects.

    In a 25-year follow-up to the experiment, all of the subjects given psilocybin described their experience as having elements of "a genuine mystical nature and characterized it as one of the high points of their spiritual life".

    In 2006, a more rigorously controlled version of this experiment was conducted at Johns Hopkins University by Roland R. Griffiths, yielding similar results.[6] In a 14-month follow-up to this study, over half of the participants rated the experience among the top five most meaningful spiritual experiences in their lives, and considered the experience to have increased their personal well-being and life satisfaction.




    Yeah, I've seen that before, it's pretty interesting stuff.

    "Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home of all these weird creatures that lock up their spirits, drill holes in themselves, and live for their secrets. They're all uptight" -Radiohead
  • I started off atheist and felt alright with believing in what science had proven beyond reasonable doubt, and having faith in that the rest would be answered by science one day.

    I still feel this way, except that the true nature may be too complex for science to ever understand. I mean, how would we prove a theory on multiverses of multiverses?

    My mushroom experiences opened me up to the possibility that more may be possible than is currently assumed in science, but I still believe there is a scientific explanation for it. If we can study it and measure it. Whatever "it" is.

    The most "religious" experience followed smoking 50 milligrams of DMT in one, long drag and held for 30 seconds or more. It let me experience what it would be like if conscience really is a field, just like the electromagnetic field, which gets excited in certain nodes, the way metal excites the electromagnetic field. As Roe Rogan said: we may be "antennas" for consciousness.

    During the same experience, I also encountered intelligent beings best described as rainbow-colored elves. I don't believe they were real or fake. Maybe DMT makes you experience all of your senses and thoughts in the same dimension and those elves are excitations in that "field"? A part of your subconscious encoded in a symbol so that you can interpret it. In the geometric field patterns of the DMT universe, it would be very difficult to understand a certain part of the field without symbols.

    They told me things I didn't know before, but it may have been my subconscious speaking. Basically, I have no idea what the truth is and I can't see how anyone could. It certainly warrants research.
    Post edited by Hoodrat at 2013-02-08 09:19:23
  • In the book "An Ocean of the Ultimate Meaning: Teachings on Mahamudra," the author describes a level of consciousness (a similar concept to the jhanas) that Buddha refused to teach because it was so intoxicating that it could cause even the most careful to think that it was the true reality and that their path was over.

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