Skeptics need to embrace conscious experience more

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Skeptics need to embrace conscious experience more

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:17 pm

Well now I've got your attention I should elaborate what I mean by this. I think this is more an endemic problem with many peoples warped perspective on certain scientific disciplines as they relate to the holistic picture of all disciplines as a whole, and people fervently seeking for truth in whatever discipline takes their fancy, whether it's biological materialism, neuroscience, genetics, or any other field that often denies the authenticity of conscious experience, by reducing them to material correlates. And in doing so people are placing far too much faith in the truth-fullness of these currently popular reductionist approaches. As I discussed in another thread I started reductionism simply does not work for biology, yet many of the disciples of science (not the scientists themselves often but the cultural stragglers who use it as a belief system) are still laboring under the notion that these step for step reductionist models are revealing something deeply profound about the nature of reality.

Well I have news for you. There is no reality. There are only people who know this, and people who don't know this and are therefore being manipulated by the people who do know this.

Even linear maths fails at this level in the face of the chaos theory and butterfly effects implicit in the system, which likely stems from quantum indeterminacy effects, but we wont go off on that tangent.

This was solidified in my mind with my banning from JREF forum, there are certain viewpoints there that are considered utter woo, and any mention of conscious experience being real was seen as nonsense. They were all seen as illusory, nonsense, reducible and not important. Literally they (as a collective) would deny that people have conscious experiences, the very notion that an idea someone has could be correct or worth considering, or an experience that someone has on a psychedelic drug is real to them, was seen as absurd. Well these things happen. Dreams are real experiences. They happen. Indigestion is a real subjective experience, we feel it, it happens. Psychedelic experiences, done by swapping out the normal brain chemicals running the system, are real experiences, they happen, people can remember them.

Now in the face of some of the older trains of thought there are some extremely promising fields that seem to be feeding back into the cognitive psychology and hard neuroscience, psychopharmacology and the study of altered states, that actually documents the subjective states and the effects they have on consciousness, seem to actually now be finally gaining traction in the scientific community in the face of the political pressure.

Frankly I look at the history psychedelic science I am horrified. It's not like these things have been studied in depth for hundreds of years, the indole hallucinogens, back when LSD was first discovered in 1948 they put it on the shelf for five years, then Hoffman tried it, but it didn't actually really make it into the journals until 1965. The original excitement in the psychology community when LSD was discovered was like the hysteria in the physics community when the atom was first smashed. People were reporting astonishing results for all matters in psychology, breakthroughs with chronic alcoholism without recidivism, spectacular results with psychopathies usually thought untreatable. Well DMT and psilocybin and related compounds were studied even less, we are talking maybe ten or so papers until the ENTIRE class of hallucinogens, or anything like them, was made absolute schedule I illegal in 1967, not even useable for scientific research with 'no clinical benefit'. A two year windows of opportunity. Then that was it.

I've started a few threads on this topic showing this position to be absurd. It's simply unlike the history any other scientific discipline. It's like people simply lost their nerve decades ago and in the face the political government pressure and scare tactics and literally were forced to stop all research.

I was in this same basket too for a while until for the first time in over fifty years studies into the effects of psilocybin were allowed, conducted mainly by Roland Fischer. That and I happened to try them to see what the fuss was all about. After that I could very clearly see the perspective of how they could act as a kind of evolutionary wedge and further catalyst to changing our past evolution. Not just mushrooms really but other substances, like DMT/ayahuasca, ibogaine, etc, could be equally good candidates, just mushrooms seem the most plausible for inclusion in a primates diet. DMT requires some type of cooking and preparation.

Selected references:

Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance (Psychopharmacology August 2006, Volume 187, Issue 3, pp 268-283)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 006-0457-5

Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later (J Psychopharmacol August 2008 vol. 22 no. 6 621-632)
http://jop.sagepub.com/content/22/6/621.short

Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects (Psychopharmacology, December 2011, Volume 218, Issue 4, pp 649-665)
http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 ... 011-2358-5

Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness
J Psychopharmacol November 2011 vol. 25 no. 11 1453-1461
http://jop.sagepub.com/content/25/11/1453.short


Press release:

In 2006, the United States government funded a randomized and double-blinded study by Johns Hopkins University, which studied the spiritual effects of psilocybin in particular. That is, they did not use mushrooms specifically (in fact, each individual mushroom piece can vary wildly in psilocybin and psilocin content[14]). The study involved 36 college-educated adults (average age of 46) who had never tried psilocybin nor had a history of drug use, and who had religious or spiritual interests. The participants were closely observed for eight-hour intervals in a laboratory while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms[15].

One-third of the participants reported that the experience was the single most spiritually significant moment of their lives and more than two-thirds reported it was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences. Two months after the study, 79% of the participants reported increased well-being or satisfaction; friends, relatives, and associates confirmed this. They also reported anxiety and depression symptoms to be decreased or completely gone. Despite highly controlled conditions to minimize adverse effects, 22% of subjects (8 of 36) had notable experiences of fear, some with paranoia. The authors, however, reported that all these instances were "readily managed with reassurance."[15]

Roland Griffiths has conducted pioneering research at John Hopkins university showing that the correct dose of psilocybin mushrooms can cause mystical type experiences that have substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance [31] At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers. These effects were still apparent even 14 months after taking the ingesting the psilocybin [32][33] Obviously for evolving apes a plant/fungi that produces such a drastic change that the effects are still felt 14 months after ingestion would have produced huge interest and effected their long term physiology. Other studies of his have also shown that these mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness [34], which would greatly effect the perspective of habit forming apes in prehistory.

As Medicine

There have been calls for medical investigation of the use of synthetic and mushroom-derived psilocybin for the development of improved treatments of various mental conditions, including chronic cluster headaches,[16] following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits. There are also several accounts of psilocybin mushrooms sending both obsessive-compulsive disorders ("OCD") and OCD-related clinical depression (both being widespread and debilitating mental health conditions) into complete remission immediately and for up to months at a time, compared to current medications which often have both limited efficacy[17] and frequent undesirable side-effects.[18] The effect of mushrooms to break OCD habits when applied to primates would be a lot more apparent, as animals operate on habits and instincts with less conscious introspection than humans do.

"Developing drugs that are more effective and faster acting for the treatment of OCD is of utmost importance and until recently, little hope was in hand. A new potential avenue of treatment may exist. There are several reported cases concerning the beneficial effects of hallucinogenic drugs (MDMA, psilocybin and LSD), potent stimulators of 5-HT2A and 5-HT2C receptors, in patients with OCD (Brandrup and Vanggaard, 1977, Rapoport, 1987, Moreno and Delgado, 1997) and related disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (Hanes, 1996)."[19]


From a sociological perspective we certainly need some type of strong medicine as a species to rid us of all our bad habits, archaic religions, and cultist thought systems, but not the sort of medicine with a huge half life where you can't feel it working, I mean the kind of medicine where you can feel it working. And anyone who has ever tried these things knows that the experience is the medicine, sure it likely has all sorts of fascinating neurophysiological correlates that we can better understand the physical mechanisms by, but the primacy of the experience is what is really important, and needs to be included in the data.

Mckenna said it perfectly here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNx-g5eNJSw

The boundary dissolution is alarming to the ego, it doesn't like that feeling. And it tells you that you are dying. And psychedelic voyagers have to learn that when that red switch goes off you just have to turn it off, it's set wrong. Just turn it off; no, your not dying. But it tells you that your dying because the ego very strongly identifies with the equilibrium of the physical body, and as the physical body begins to slide into the intoxication the ego begins to say "Whats happening here, wait a minute, in losing coherency, you've made a mistake joe, what are you doing joe, joe, im coming apart, joe!" yet, the dissolving of the ego that is the dissolving of this maladaptive behavior pattern that has made our sexual and social politics so complicated. In other words: the ego is not a good thing. It's existence in each one of us and so expressed to form is a symptom of neurosis, cultural neurosis. And the psychedelics dissolves this ego, yet the ego protests this noisily as this goes on


We need these ego dissolving experiences so much as a society it is a travesty they are illegal, and an even greater tragedy that research into them has been all but denied until very recently. And guess what? The very first long term study into psilocybin allowed in the last few years has shown itself to be not only tremendously positive as a medicine but people only need a single dose for long lasting medicinal benefits, some of the research I outlined above in this thread. We haven't even started clinical trials into many of the other efficacious yet illegal psychedelics the underground community have been using as medication for the last 50 years.

So I think that as a community skeptics need to be far more embracing of these states, not just embracing the study of them but as being open to the authenticity of the experiences; on people and society as a whole, as I expect very soon they will be used as strong medicine to cure all sorts of ailments and the people that banned me from JREF for merely discussing the science of psychedelics, or argued against them being studied, are going to be seen as being on the wrong side of history.

We stand on the brink of consciousness re-invigorating the life sciences, just look at all these new emerging fields that are counter the old dominant paradigms. The old paradigm of a gene for everything to explain life and this and that is being uprooted by epigenetics, the philosophy of materialism is slowly being uprooted by quantum physics and neuroplascitiy and biofeedback of conscious choices and experiences is now reinvigorating much of traditional neuroscience. And at the core of these consciousness experiences feeding back into the current models we have the entire array of psychedelic experiences that are still just as much a mystery to science as they were when first discovered over fifty years ago, although progress is certainly now being made. And these trends are only going to increase with time as the boundaries between previously institutionalized disciplines are gradually dissolved over time.

My two cents.
Last edited by zeuzzz on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:37 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:24 pm

Blah, blah, blah. "You don't find my crazy {!#%@} interesting or even slightly possible so you're oppressing me." Quoted from a conversation that I had with a relative in 1963.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:28 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Blah, blah, blah. "You don't find my crazy {!#%@} interesting or even slightly possible so you're oppressing me." Quoted from a conversation that I had with a relative in 1963.


Was waiting for your usual completely pointless comment, as you did in my other thread, which actually spawned a rather long and productive dialogue. A shame you cluttered up the first posts with complete irrelevant nonsense without addressing the subject material, and then left the conversation when actually asked to deal with the topic at hand. Which I expect you will do here.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:51 pm

zeuzzz wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Blah, blah, blah. "You don't find my crazy {!#%@} interesting or even slightly possible so you're oppressing me." Quoted from a conversation that I had with a relative in 1963.


Was waiting for your usual completely pointless comment, as you did in my other thread, which actually spawned a rather long and productive dialogue. A shame you cluttered up the first posts with complete irrelevant nonsense without addressing the subject material, and then left the conversation when actually asked to deal with the topic at hand. Which I expect you will do here.

GFY
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Shen1986 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:52 pm

zeuzzz wrote:This was solidified in my mind with by banning from JREF forum, there are certain viewpoints there that are considered utter woo, and any mention of conscious experience being real was seen as nonsense. They were all seen as illusory, nonsense, reducible and not important. Literally they (as a collective) would deny that people have conscious experiences, the very notion that an idea someone has could be correct or worth considering, or an experience that someone has on a psychedelic drug is real to them, was seen as absurd. Well these things happen. Dreams are real experiences. They happen. Indigestion is a real subjective experience, we feel it, it happens. Psychedelic experiences, done by swapping out the normal brain chemicals running the system, are real experiences, they happen, people can remember them.


Yeah so a person who has schizophrenia has also real experiences when he has hallucinations that everyone want to kill him or that he saw a ghost? Sorry zeuzzz your claim is the same as if I would trust a schizophrenic or a paranoid person that he is watched by the his "enemies" and he then blames you that you are his enemy. For the paranoid person or for the schizophrenic are these "illusions" real he is feeling threated and he is feeling attacked but its not reality.

zeuzzz wrote:We stand on the brink of consciousness re-invigorating the life sciences, just look at all these new emerging fields that are counter the old dominant paradigms. The old paradigm of a gene for everything to explain life and this and that is being uprooted by epigenetics, the philosophy of materialism is slowly being uprooted by quantum physics and neuroplascitiy and biofeedback of conscious choices and experiences is now reinvigorating much of traditional neuroscience.


I see not changed in paradigm. Also materialism is not falling apart. Maybe for you and your conclusions it is falling apart but not for real scientists. Quantum Mechanics are physics that means it is still materialism and not spiritism.

zeuzzz wrote:And at the core of these consciousness experiences feeding back into the current models we have the entire array of psychedelic experiences that are still just as much a mystery to science as they were when first discovered over fifty years ago, although progress is certainly now being made. And these trends are only going to increase with time as the boundaries between previously institutionalized disciplines are gradually dissolved over time.


First define the entire array of psychedelic experiences that are such a mystery and second there is work done so there are not such a mysteries like you are making it sound and the last what you wrote is your dream and not a fact. I do not see any trends which are increasing or decreasing. Science is still materialistic besides some woo proponents who want to push their own wacky ideas.

There is even a conference which deals with psychedelics:

At Psychedelic Science 2013, over 100 of the world's leading researchers and more than 1,900 international attendees gathered to share recent findings on the benefits and risks of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, 2C-B, ketamine, marijuana, and more, over three days of conference presentations, and two days of pre- and post-conference workshops.


Taken from: http://www.maps.org/conference/

So there is some work done in these things and I think in the future we will be able to "crack even this nut".

My two cents of your thoughts.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:25 pm

Shen1986 wrote:There is even a conference which deals with psychedelics:

At Psychedelic Science 2013, over 100 of the world's leading researchers and more than 1,900 international attendees gathered to share recent findings on the benefits and risks of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, 2C-B, ketamine, marijuana, and more, over three days of conference presentations, and two days of pre- and post-conference workshops.


Taken from: http://www.maps.org/conference/

So there is some work done in these things and I think in the future we will be able to "crack even this nut".

My two cents of your thoughts.


Pretty much my favorite organization :D Gona be massive in a decade or two when their trials go into phase II or III and keep showing the groundbreaking results they are now. They've fought with laws all over the world to even get the permission to do the research. MDMA pretty much cures PTSD* on the natch (as a conjunct with psychotherapy) along with depression [pre clinical trials], psilocybin cures OCD*, even smoking addiction, anxiety, depression and the domain called 'social openness', LSD helps cancer patients suffering end of life anxiety come to terms with their death by putting it in perspective, that study was completed just a few weeks back by MAPS. And I'm not even going down the countless ailments Marijuana can benefit, when those flood gates open clinically (mainly legally at this point) we will see a resurgence in these substances, and I expect cannabis will be at the forefront the whole way.

Not saying anything about recreational use here, people do drugs for fun and for stupid reasons in general, sure.

Big Pharmaceutical companies will likely see this as a threat to profits, the scope of these agents is so wide. And they know it. Not to mention the worldwide cultural power of the alcohol lobby has via the media with various PR fronts like 'partnership from a drug free America'. The funding list of that organization makes for such surreal reading it's quite unbelievable.

* Currently considered largely untreatable with a myraid of complex and expensive pharmaceutical drugs marketed as treatments depending on a host of complex psychoanalytical considerations on a 'patient by patient' basis.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:44 pm

Shen1986 wrote:First define the entire array of psychedelic experiences that are such a mystery


The DMT experience, is the main one, but there are others. I guess you might have had to have been there to know fully what I am speaking about, these are just words on a screen. A video animation combined in 720p with an in detail description might be more in order.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzABrsZppXM

In fact Dr Strassman who was allowed to do the first (and last) ever clinical trials into DMT had to stop them eventually for personal reasons due to the nature of what he was reporting, and his own sanity and reputation as a serious scientist. He never touched the stuff personally.

The 'yet untested' in this next text from wiki literally makes me LOL. Well I've tested it for one. I know dozens of others that have too. I've read clinical trials on it too. It's true; it's not untested.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltr ... Conjecture
Several speculative and yet untested hypotheses suggest that endogenous DMT is produced in the human brain and is involved in certain psychological and neurological states [LOL]. DMT is naturally occurring in small amounts in rat brain, human cerebrospinal fluid, and other tissues of humans and other mammals.[28][51][52][102] A biochemical mechanism for this was proposed by the medical researcher J. C. Callaway, who suggested in 1988 that DMT might be connected with visual dream phenomena: brain DMT levels would be periodically elevated to induce visual dreaming and possibly other natural states of mind.[103] A new hypothesis proposed is that in addition to being involved in altered states of consciousness, endogenous DMT may be involved in the creation of normal waking states of consciousness. It is proposed that DMT and other endogenous hallucinogens mediate their neurological abilities by acting as neurotransmitters at a sub class of the trace amine receptors; a group of receptors found in the CNS where DMT and other hallucinogens have been shown to have activity. Wallach further proposes that in this way waking consciousness can be thought of as a controlled psychedelic experience. It is when the control of these systems becomes loosened and their behavior no longer correlates with the external world that the altered states arise.[84]

Dr. Rick Strassman, while conducting DMT research in the 1990s at the University of New Mexico, advanced the controversial hypothesis that a massive release of DMT from the pineal gland prior to death or near death was the cause of the near death experience (NDE) phenomenon. Several of his test subjects reported NDE-like audio or visual hallucinations. His explanation for this was the possible lack of panic involved in the clinical setting and possible dosage differences between those administered and those encountered in actual NDE cases. Several subjects also reported contact with "other beings", alien like, insectoid or reptilian in nature, in highly advanced technological environments[13] where the subjects were "carried", "probed", "tested", "manipulated", "dismembered", "taught", "loved" and even "raped" by these "beings". Basing his reasoning on his belief that all the enzymatic material needed to produce DMT is found in the pineal gland (see evidence in mammals), and moreover in substantially greater concentrations than in any other part of the body, Strassman ([13] p. 69) has speculated that DMT is made in the pineal gland. Currently there was no published reliable scientific evidence supporting this hypothesis. Until Rick Strassman published his data showing DMT found in the pineal glands of live mice.

In the 1950s, the endogenous production of psychoactive agents was considered to be a potential explanation for the hallucinatory symptoms of some psychiatric diseases as the transmethylation hypothesis[104] (see also adrenochrome), though this hypothesis does not account for the natural presence of endogenous DMT in otherwise normal humans, rats and other laboratory animals.

In 2011, Nicholas V. Cozzi, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, concluded that INMT, an enzyme that may be associated with the biosynthesis of DMT and endogenous hallucinogens, is present in the primate (rhesus macaque) pineal gland, retinal ganglion neurons, and spinal cord.[105] In August 2012, Steven Barker, Ethan McIlHenny, and Rick Strassman, developed a new method to measure the three known endogenous hallucinogens and their major N-oxide metabolites in blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, ocular fluid and/or other tissues by using state-of-the-art liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS) equipment. For the first time in history, they were able to detect the DMT-N-oxide metabolite in blood and urine.[106]


For reference I wrote this list of scientific references on endogenous DMT in our bodies on another forum a while back.

and second there is work done so there are not such a mysteries like you are making it sound and the last what you wrote is your dream and not a fact. I do not see any trends which are increasing or decreasing. Science is still materialistic besides some woo proponents who want to push their own wacky ideas.


Tell me then, is matter made of inherently materialistic 'stuff' or is our conception of matter more an emergent phenomenon of it projected onto it by our senses?
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:15 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:GFY


Another case of 'my minds made up, don't confuse me with facts' ? :lol:
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Gord » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:14 pm

You were banned for breaking JREF's rules, not because you have special knowledge about "conscious experience".
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:05 pm

Gord wrote:You were banned for breaking JREF's rules, not because you have special knowledge about "conscious experience".


Fair point. Not the subject of this thread though, just a minor side point that's contributed to my thinking on this, and the provocative title of this thread.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Canadian Skeptic » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:21 am

Zeuzzz, setting aside the possible applications of psychadelics, why would their potential health applications suggest that materialism is wrong? If anything, shouldn't the opposite be true?

In effect, what this means is that all of our conscious awareness can be manipulated through the application of physical chemicals, suggesting that our consciousness is itself the result of a physical process.

We have to keep in mind that if one of us is tripping on acid and the wall starts melting -- the wall does not *actually* melt.

zeuzzz wrote:Tell me then, is matter made of inherently materialistic 'stuff' or is our conception of matter more an emergent phenomenon of it projected onto it by our senses?


Inherently materialistic stuff.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Pyrrho » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:29 am

Yeah, our experience of reality is actually virtual reality generated by our brains. That's a primary reason why we skeptics don't trust "conscious experience," because the mechanism of the brain can get things wrong. Doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist. Yeah, at some level it's all quantum fluctuation, apparently. Doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist. We can only experience reality at the level we can experience reality, and at this level, it hurts if I fall off a ladder, because of gravity and impact forces when my physical manifestation is stopped by the physical manifestation we call the ground. Its the way things work as far as we can tell and that's the way it seems to be.

Anyway, can't build bridges using metaphysics.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Shen1986 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:32 am

zeuzzz wrote:Tell me then, is matter made of inherently materialistic 'stuff' or is our conception of matter more an emergent phenomenon of it projected onto it by our senses?


I do not know.. I can only tell what I think and I think that matter is matter which we perceive with our eyes and senses which are not superior and I know that DMT or other hallucinogen even when the experience feels real it does not have to be "real". I had a schoolmate who had schizophrenia and he told me that he could smell things and see things that did not exist and he had to take medication to be in our reality because if he would not do it he would hurt someone. This is my answer and to talk what is or what is not matter is premature we do not know a lot of these things and even Quantum Mechanics are not giving us the final answers we want maybe there is even something beyond Quantum Mechanics.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Austin Harper » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:09 pm

I have a semantic problem with Dick's quote. If something does exist, it can go away whether you believe in it or not. If it doesn't exist, it can't go away whether you believe in it or not because it was never really there in the first place.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:22 pm

Pyrrho wrote:Doesn't mean that reality doesn't exist.


Where do you cut the line though? I've tried to average in most peoples perspective of reality (which are genuinely rather congruent) with what their 'really is', and I can assure you that

a) Many people experience reality in a completely different way than we often assume, even in terms of what the words they say mean.
b) Under the influence of certain pseudo-pharmacological states people tend to become a lot more open and honest about so called culturally sanctioned 'metabolic reality' and how they can change their overall 'reality' for the better.
c) It's all very well saying to someone 'this is the reality' but at a point these are always subjectively derived decisions based on the subjective bias of the observer based on a linear assumption of the discipline they choose to adhere the most to.

Also our personal reality is as much to do with our subjective (although pharmacologically testable) state of mind as it has do with our conscious experience of these these states.

People have majorly different pharmo-kineitcs in general.

We can only experience reality at the level we can experience reality, and at this level, it hurts if I fall off a ladder, because of gravity and impact forces when my physical manifestation is stopped by the physical manifestation we call the ground. Its the way things work as far as we can tell and that's the way it seems to be.

Anyway, can't build bridges using metaphysics.

Obligatory Philip K. Dick quote: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."


I like this. Apart from the part where I have to fall off a ladder :P
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:12 am

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby AKALuke » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:16 am

zeuzzz wrote:Well I have news for you. There is no reality.

...snip...

Dreams are real experiences. They happen. Indigestion is a real subjective experience, we feel it, it happens. Psychedelic experiences, done by swapping out the normal brain chemicals running the system, are real experiences, they happen, people can remember them.


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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby clarifyit4me » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:02 am

AKALuke wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Well I have news for you. There is no reality.

...snip...

Dreams are real experiences. They happen. Indigestion is a real subjective experience, we feel it, it happens. Psychedelic experiences, done by swapping out the normal brain chemicals running the system, are real experiences, they happen, people can remember them.



Another contradiction, first you say "there is no reality". Then you contradict yourself by saying "dreams are real". Make up your mind dude! If there is no reality then there is nothing real, including your dreams. Yes they are you experiences but an experience is not real. It is just an experience; your experience of eating your last meal yesterday, where is it now? It is not in your body - it is the body. Dreaming is a mental state under observation that's why it is called dreaming . Digestion and all other body functions do happen and you do feel them, but all these things are momentarily happening and are secondary, what is primary ? You know you feel but what are you feeling and more importantly who is feeling?

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby clarifyit4me » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:24 am

Of course you can say its me AKAluke or what every you call yourself, but that is the given. I'm joe bloggs I live at so and so, I do so and so for a living, this is my family; we live here. This is the BS but nobody on this forum here has the intelligence or the courage to open their eyes and look. Why? Because we all like to dream, it is much more cosier than dealing with the reality of nothingness, hence the reason why you cling to your dreams in hope of something or other.

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Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experience

Postby AKALuke » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:42 am

Do you realise Clarifyit4me that I was quoting zuezzz and those are not my views right?

ETA. Removed comment incorrectly directed at cliarifyit4me.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby clarifyit4me » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:51 am

And do you realise I was actually addressing both of you? both of you seem to think that reality can be describe via some mental construct or verbal definition. Everybody is locked into there own world view from the perspective of the mind. But the reality is indiscribable.

In this post somewhere you said that "every one has their own reality" or words to that effect, but it is incorrect to say that. Everyone has there own dreams would more appropriate. Because that all it is, dreaming; nobody can refute this fact because everything we know is contained in this dream state of waking up and going to sleep. Of course you can step out of it but that is only if you want to.

However, most of you don't, and would much rather rant and rave about some concept of reality that is given.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby AKALuke » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:03 pm

You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby clarifyit4me » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:01 pm

AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


Haha! Everybody is dreaming including me, the only difference is I know it and you don't . And you have posted more than once on this thread, go count.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby SweetPea » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:14 pm

clarifyit4me wrote:
AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


Haha! Everybody is dreaming including me, the only difference is I know it ..
In your dreams.

clarifyit4me wrote:
SweetPea wrote:You do not know.
I know I do not know. Can we change the game now Sweetpea


In the western world, even homeschoolers have standards to abide by. What happened?
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby SweetPea » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:30 pm

Do black holes make things go away?
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=24129

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:06 pm

clarifyit4me wrote:
AKALuke wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:Well I have news for you. There is no reality.

...snip...

Dreams are real experiences. They happen. Indigestion is a real subjective experience, we feel it, it happens. Psychedelic experiences, done by swapping out the normal brain chemicals running the system, are real experiences, they happen, people can remember them.



Another contradiction, first you say "there is no reality". Then you contradict yourself by saying "dreams are real". Make up your mind dude! If there is no reality then there is nothing real, including your dreams. Yes they are you experiences but an experience is not real. It is just an experience; your experience of eating your last meal yesterday, where is it now? It is not in your body - it is the body. Dreaming is a mental state under observation that's why it is called dreaming .


They are all real experiences. I was referring to 'reality' in terms of people who think there is only one, the awake one, the one we are all most familiar with (in terms of long term memory transcription), the one where the laws of physics are fully operable and we wake up, go about our day, then sleep.

But you have to be more exact here, as it's no good saying this is reality as many people perceive reality in totally different ways. Can reality be averaged out between the majority of users and how they describe it? Does that include colorblind people? Psychotic people? Anxious people? Stoned people? For these people reality is obviously completely different to Joe somebody or Sally someone.

Digestion and all other body functions do happen and you do feel them, but all these things are momentarily happening and are secondary, what is primary ?


Consciousnesses is primary. I've got quite a strong opinion on the primacy of consciousness over materialism, maybe due to my personal experiences which have clouded my more rational approach to these issues, or maybe I'm onto something. This lecture by Peter Russell (The Primacy of Consciousness - Peter Russell - Full Version) is interesting.

You know you feel but what are you feeling and more importantly who is feeling?


Your consciousness is it feeling due to the warning signals given by the endocrine system and nervous system.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby AKALuke » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:10 am

clarifyit4me wrote:
AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


Haha! Everybody is dreaming including me, the only difference is I know it and you don't . And you have posted more than once on this thread, go count.


I would appreciate it if you would state the post numbers please.

Prior to this post

AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


I had posted only once.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:12 am

For those previously put off by me synonymizing mysteries of consciousness with the mysteries of DMT experiences I can highly recommend this 30 minute talk on DMT by one of the most knowledgeable people about it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuEXBBaFAbw

"You know I come before you with all of this stuff unfinished. This is not a teaching or a system, it's an eyewitness account of a hyperdimensional automobile accident of some kind. We are not saying what the conclusions are. We don't know what the conclusions are. But this is big news. [mckenna continues]"
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:40 am

I would love some people who have tried it to be able to speak to here ... as it stands [depending on your personal cultural programming] I'm just going to come off as the weirdo druggie whos 'done way too much DMT' and has fried my brain ... again it's the kind of thing you have the experience to really understand. And I'm not advocating people do it, just as it stands I seem to be the only person here who has.

So I guess I'm preaching to the unconverted at this point ['converted' being baaaad religiously connotated phraseology], so feel free to crucify me about this if you feel the need, but try to keep it evidence based.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby SweetPea » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:06 am

AKALuke wrote:
clarifyit4me wrote:
AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


Haha! Everybody is dreaming including me, the only difference is I know it and you don't . And you have posted more than once on this thread, go count.


I would appreciate it if you would state the post numbers please.

Prior to this post

AKALuke wrote:You're dreaming. I only posted once in this thread and I only quoted someone else.


I had posted only once.
Good luck with that, AKALuke. The troubles go way beyond his problem with counting to 1.
How do the Deniers get so lucky?
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:54 pm

Does anyone have any thoughts on the aforementioned (in my previous youtube link) necroptic substances? In other words as there is a biochemistry of giving birth there might also be a biochemistry of dying, and that DMT parallels and anticipates this based on certain cognitive functions based on the death state itself. Would not be dissimilar the the adrenal gland anticipating danger by pumping adrenaline through your bloodstream to elevate your consciousness and heart rate and other psychosomatic triggers.

I can supply the references that DMT is a very natural endogenous neurochemical found in all mammals if needed.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:47 pm

This thread in a three minute clip: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=56 ... 0477510518
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby fromthehills » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:47 am

I have experience with hallucinogens. The experience can be the best, or the worst. I've had multiple very good times. I had one very bad time.

During these times, they seem very spiritual, very profound. To some, it is really just a fun way to party. For me it seemed very important. But when you pull your head out of this for just a moment; if you quit bowing to McKenna, whom has nothing but anecdote; If you do research that does not confirm your bias, you will find that it is a disabling of normal brain function, and not a profound, conscious awakening thing.

I think you should do what ever you want to your own brain. I have, and I had a great time. I May have even been able to shed my violent nature due to tripping on mushrooms. I was a guy that would start punching before taking an insult, back in my teens and early twenties. Or maybe I just matured. My memory is still of tripping, and understanding that violence wasn't necessary.

Here's my beef with you: Even though it is well understood by neurologists and neuroscientists that the chemical reaction of hallucinogens is disabling to normal brain function, that there is no evidence for "universal conscience" that McKenna brays on about, and that every brain can react differently to these chemicals and therefore possibly dangerous to some, et al. And the skeptical position is to look at this evidence, but your position seems to be that since we don't accept your experience as some profound thing, that we are deniers of a sort. That's BS. You are very much evangelical in your conviction, but the evidence is against you.

Have fun, enjoy, don't hurt anyone, and godspeed. Just don't {!#%@} tell me that you are somehow tapping into some greater conscious. You're wrong.

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:42 am

Tongue in cheek post. Love Bill Hicks, Love George Carlin, Love Doug Stanhope.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7yTJTZiNek

I will get back to replying to the above good post by fromthehills in a bit.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby kennyc » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:34 am

fromthehills wrote:...
Here's my beef with you: Even though it is well understood by neurologists and neuroscientists that the chemical reaction of hallucinogens is disabling to normal brain function, that there is no evidence for "universal conscience" that McKenna brays on about, and that every brain can react differently to these chemicals and therefore possibly dangerous to some, et al. And the skeptical position is to look at this evidence, but your position seems to be that since we don't accept your experience as some profound thing, that we are deniers of a sort. That's BS. You are very much evangelical in your conviction, but the evidence is against you.

Have fun, enjoy, don't hurt anyone, and godspeed. Just don't {!#%@} tell me that you are somehow tapping into some greater conscious. You're wrong.


Exactly. Behavior no different than the god-botherers and their proselytizing about their god(s).

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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:42 pm

fromthehills wrote:you will find that it is a disabling of normal brain function, and not a profound, conscious awakening thing.


I would argue that snapping people out of their ordinary states of mind they are set in can be very beneficial in terms of psycho-therapeutic introspection into how they normally act not under the influence of these exogenous chemicals, which in turn can be carried into their everyday sober life. Roland Griffiths research seems to show this happens (as linked to above)

Here's my beef with you: Even though it is well understood by neurologists and neuroscientists that the chemical reaction of hallucinogens is disabling to normal brain function, that there is no evidence for "universal conscience" that McKenna brays on about


You put it in quotes so I don't really have a choice but to ask for evidence of Mckenna ever mentioning the term 'universal consciousness' ?

Let alone your proclamation that he 'brays about it'.

and that every brain can react differently to these chemicals and therefore possibly dangerous to some, et al.


Agreed. I'm not advocating some type of utopian usage for everyone, everyone tends to react differently to not only established pharmaceutical drugs but also these kind of substances. But in terms of established side effects I think you will be far harder pressed to find serious detrimental health effects from these psychedelics substances than you would side effects from most of the commonly prescribed medications. Maybe you can prove me wrong ?

And the skeptical position is to look at this evidence, but your position seems to be that since we don't accept your experience as some profound thing, that we are deniers of a sort. That's BS. You are very much evangelical in your conviction, but the evidence is against you.


I don't ask you to accept any experience I had. This thread has nothing to do with my personal experience. This thread is about a niche set of substances. Substances that are testable, that produce an experience that can be reproduced between individuals, and that can be recorded in data after the experience has happened.

What this thread should really be about (and it might get there eventually) is the bizarre congruence of subjective experiences noted by people using these substances and what they as a collective report about these states.

My last Mckenna quote here :p

"There are thousands of altered states, we know them, orgasm, indigestion, two cappuccinos, where tequila takes you. There are endless altered states, and I'm not interested in them particularly any more than anyone else is, I mean they are part of life. What I am interested in, as an experimentalist, as a connoisseur of nature, somebody who loves fossils butterflies rainbows, that kind of thing, is this family of compounds called the indole hallucinogens. And they cause hallucination. The reason I am so fascinated by hallucinations because to my mind when you are hallucinating you an absolutely clear proof that you are not generating this material. It's not funny ideas. It's not racing thoughts. It's not insight into what your girlfriend really meant yesterday. That kind of things we can do by just inspecting our own mind. But a true hallucination is to be in the presence of that which previously could not be imagined. And if it could previously not be imagined then there is no reason to believe that you generated it out of yourself. You know whats in your cupboard, you know whats in your chest of drawers, for Gods sake you ought to know whats in your own mind."

These things are too coherent between people to be neurological chaos. They are some kind of apprehension/projection in the superstructure of the mind.

I honestly don't know how else to word it other than that, but please pick it apart!

Have fun, enjoy, don't hurt anyone, and godspeed. Just don't {!#%@} tell me that you are somehow tapping into some greater conscious. You're wrong.


Would hate to hurt anyone :(

I'd need to know what you define as 'greater conscious' first to understand why you said this.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby zeuzzz » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:07 pm

I would add the obvious caveat that people with serious mental health disorders (dormant or not) should not approach these things, yet I'm also aware of how many people with serious mental health disorders seem to get 'cured' by these substances. I've a lot of cognitive dissonance in this area ...

Ultimately I don't think sharing information and ideas is harming anyone.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby scrmbldggs » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:17 am

zeuzzz wrote:...Mckenna...

"...The reason I am so fascinated by hallucinations because to my mind when you are hallucinating you an absolutely clear proof that you are not generating this material. It's not funny ideas. It's not racing thoughts. It's not insight into what your girlfriend really meant yesterday. That kind of things we can do by just inspecting our own mind. But a true hallucination is to be in the presence of that which previously could not be imagined. And if it could previously not be imagined then there is no reason to believe that you generated it out of yourself. You know whats in your cupboard, you know whats in your chest of drawers, for Gods sake you ought to know whats in your own mind."

These things are too coherent between people to be neurological chaos. They are some kind of apprehension/projection in the superstructure of the mind...
(Emphasis added.)

I think that's where many are mistaken. We do not know what exactly is in there and how much. There's awareness of only a fraction of what the brain is dealing with.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby Gord » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:07 am

scrmbldggs wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:...Mckenna...

"...The reason I am so fascinated by hallucinations because to my mind when you are hallucinating you an absolutely clear proof that you are not generating this material. It's not funny ideas. It's not racing thoughts. It's not insight into what your girlfriend really meant yesterday. That kind of things we can do by just inspecting our own mind. But a true hallucination is to be in the presence of that which previously could not be imagined. And if it could previously not be imagined then there is no reason to believe that you generated it out of yourself. You know whats in your cupboard, you know whats in your chest of drawers, for Gods sake you ought to know whats in your own mind."

These things are too coherent between people to be neurological chaos. They are some kind of apprehension/projection in the superstructure of the mind...
(Emphasis added.)

I think that's where many are mistaken. We do not know what exactly is in there and how much. There's awareness of only a fraction of what the brain is dealing with.

It's in there already.

I've often been awakened by something funny that has happened in my dreams. Occasionally I've woken up because of something surprising in my dreams. Dreams and hallucinations are generated within our own minds, not intercepted from other minds, and not experienced for realsies on another plane.
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Re: Skeptisism has become a cult against conscious experienc

Postby kennyc » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:58 am

Gord wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:
zeuzzz wrote:...Mckenna...

"...The reason I am so fascinated by hallucinations because to my mind when you are hallucinating you an absolutely clear proof that you are not generating this material. It's not funny ideas. It's not racing thoughts. It's not insight into what your girlfriend really meant yesterday. That kind of things we can do by just inspecting our own mind. But a true hallucination is to be in the presence of that which previously could not be imagined. And if it could previously not be imagined then there is no reason to believe that you generated it out of yourself. You know whats in your cupboard, you know whats in your chest of drawers, for Gods sake you ought to know whats in your own mind."

These things are too coherent between people to be neurological chaos. They are some kind of apprehension/projection in the superstructure of the mind...
(Emphasis added.)

I think that's where many are mistaken. We do not know what exactly is in there and how much. There's awareness of only a fraction of what the brain is dealing with.

It's in there already.

I've often been awakened by something funny that has happened in my dreams. Occasionally I've woken up because of something surprising in my dreams. Dreams and hallucinations are generated within our own minds, not intercepted from other minds, and not experienced for realsies on another plane.



Yep......and when you alter that brain/mind with ummmmm mind-altering-substances you get what is expected. Idiots posting on the internet.
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