Psychedelics and Mystical Experiences

#1
Hi All, when I first posted here a few people asked me questions about my use of psychedelics compared to mystical experiences, or some such! I just posted this to another forum in response to a question, so thought I would copy and paste here. It's long, pretty rambling, badly formatted and generally hard to read no doubt. Also, some context will obviously be lost (as posted on another forum where some may know my life & background a little more):

These are my experiences:

1) LSD - in my early to late teens, I did around a dozen or so trips, maybe more. (context: I'd had & been interested in spirituality, mystical experiences & altered states of consciousness since I can remember, so around 4 or so!).

Primary impression (in retrospection, of course, as it is 20+ years later): synthetic, sensual & thought based. Only ONE of these trips I could even remotely consider analogous to "mystical", kundalini or enlightenment type experiences. That was during the peak of the absolute "cleanest" LSD I'd ever taken (a black "microdot"), many times stronger and cleaner than any of the others I had taken and were generally available (in london, amongst kids in early 1990s). During that trip I encountered what appeared to be synethesia, extreme time distortion, seeing with eyes closed, telepathy with my co-trippers, the word "LSD-25" written everywhere across the air....which I *think* I only found out years later was the scientific name for a very good type of LSD.......but anyway, during the absolute peak of this intense trip I lost all sense of a "self" within physical time and space. I became what, in retrospect now, I would call a synthetic absolute consciousness state. I had to keep reminding myself, out loud (in reality or my mind, I could not tell you! I think I was saying it physically out loud) that "my name is manjit, I have 2 parents called so & so, my friend's name is so & so, I go to so and so school" etc etc I was doing this to ground myself in some sort of reality, as the emptiness & expanse of the absolute state was awe-full....albeit blissful..... Now, in retrospect, I would call this experience a synthetic version of the absolute state of consciousness that can be experienced at a certain stage of meditation (either insight or concentration)....and which I did experience without the use of any substances a decade later. The natural experience is far "cleaner" and more, errrm, natural than through the use of LSD, and also far more pleasant (perhaps for a variety of reasons which can be speculated about).

2) MDMA - Taken around half a dozen or so tabs up to my mid 20s, of which I know reliably most were of very good quality. Never really affected/impressed me too much, though I could clearly sense the changes physically & emotionally.....to be honest, I think simple spiritual life & practice pretty much can put you into a 24/7 state to what MDMA can temporarily, which is why, personally, I thought MDMA was very nice and pleasant, but just like I normally feel, just very slightly "more"! On a physical level, something does occur that is hard to pin down......as a young man in a club on a love drug, it is asonishing just how many women can be attracted to you in an almost "supernatural" manner
Again, this is something that can also occur through non-drug related "tantric" practices, and I'm basing that on experience not theory. Most interestingly, the day after the best MDMA experience I had, I had the exact same experience.......and I mean EXACT........that I had during intensive meditation when what I would call a "heart chakra" opening occurred - basically an intense, long lasting orgasm of love pouring out of the heart during which rivers of tears may be cried. This is love but not of a sexual kind. Compassion. But also real orgasmic pleasure *physically* sensed in the chest area. This experience absolutely fascinated me, as this experience was so identical to the meditation based chakra opening (labels I don't necessarily agree with), that I'm fairly certain on a personal level, there is SOME connection there betweem the traditional "path" of mystical ascent in for example indian or tibetan tantra, and the use of certain plants or chemicals. As, actually, bot the indian and tibetan texts from 1000+ years ago clearly state anyway......
3) Mushrooms - Pretty much a weaker version of very good lsd, slightly less synthetic feel though. I haven't had enough experience with these to be an expert. The strongest dose I ever took of mushrooms was AFTER my "kundalini" and "enlightenment" experiences (whatever any of those words mean). I specifically sought them out and took them purely to see how it would affect me now (then, 10 or so years ago, right after my kundalini episodes), how it would effect the "spiritual" or kundalini or enlightened state of consciousness. It occurred how I suspected it would....whilst I knew I was tripping quite hard, my consciousness remained completely unimpressed and unperturbed, and basically chuckled all the way through the trip.....trips "pre-kundalini" were always accompanied by at least some level of anxiety at some point, either before or during....but not this time. Basically, I was unimpressed by mushrooms, but I may be biased because I took my only strong and memorable dose after my brain was already completely fried by kundalini :) (aside: of course, I could just have been tripping that the trip wasn't affecting me!!)
4) Salvia Divinorum - Again taken after my "kundalini" episodes some 10 or so years ago. I personally didn't enjoy the smoking of it, the experience felt very "druggy" or hallucinatory to me. But, others have had significant experiences with it. Perhaps my "gear" was poor quality, and I never used the extracted or stronger stuff. However, for me, the much more difficult and costly way of using the sub-lingual tincture (maybe in conjunction with smoking) was quite impressive & profound. It's very, very hit and miss....it worked on the 3rd try for me I believe, so I can imagine how others would give it up. I also showed the substance great respect, and ritualised the usage of it....perhaps it "opened" up to me on my 3rd attempt when it knew I was serious! Anyway, as an experienced lucid dreamer/astral projector and more than cannot be described, I was still none-the-less mildly intrigued by the Salvia :) I've written down my experience in full on this forum, but basically it was like a subtle lucid dream world you gently find yourself falling into, and there meeting archetypal beings that feel very very real indeed. One main experience was meeting old mother nature and her husband (?!?!?) out in some forest somewhere, feeling their energy, and then her getting angry and shouting at me "tell them not to fuck with me". I have no idea what that meant (fuck with nature, or Salvia??), but I feel obliged to recall it every time I discuss Salvia, just in case haha :) I subsequently read a report, years later, on erowid where somebody had shared the exact same experience (except the swearing part)......I think Salvia and indeed all plants have an intelligence in some dimension of reality. Occassionally, a plant like salvia is kind enough to throw a molecule or 2 of something that lets us interface with their reality.....it's a sideways glance at reality, but certainly not an absolute one.....
5) Ahhhh, DMT :) My favourite, yet the only one I haven't tried?!?! Why? First, I know about DMT through numerous sources going back 10 years. I've read both Rick Strassman's book (and have his new one by my bedside), seen the documentary and about 30 others, checked out the experiences of people on forums etc etc I also know several people that have taken it personally. Incidentally, I have some ayahuasca (the various parts of it) at home for the last 10 years, but I've never considered taking it for several reasons.

The thing with DMT that impresses me most is, that the reports of people who "break-through" on it are in many ways identical to my "peak" kundalini awakening experiences. As are, in some ways, NDEs. But DMT users will often report unique, indescribable experiences of profound meaning & scope...and I think to myself "oh shit, that's kind of like what I experienced at the absolute peak of the energetic transformations.....and I thought I was so unique and special!!! I thought I had seen & experienced things that nobody else could comprehend and understand, but then I see some kid on youtube seeing & speaking the exact same things I learnt over 20 years of devotion!!!

But hey, as they say it's quite likely it's an endogenous chemical, one of the very few chemicals allowed past the blood brain barrier, is possibly released by the pineal gland during death etc etc.

Perhaps it really is the materio-chemical interface between matter and other realms of the consciousnsess?

I don't really know, just speculating, of course. I, too, have a slight aversion to reducing "sprituality" this way, but we must at least consider it.

Incidentally, on Christmas Eve a friend of mine called me up to say someone offered him DMT. I'm not pushing him to get it, but there's a chance he will. If he does, I will definitely try it until I break through to compare it to my own experiences. That would be interesting. But I'm not concerned either way :eek:)

Peace:

 
#2
Hi All, when I first posted here a few people asked me questions about my use of psychedelics compared to mystical experiences, or some such!]
I don't get the "compared to." An experience is no less mystical or spiritual because the safe door was blown open instead of cracked.

To be aware of anything while in physical means it gets processed by the brain. The brain is the interface. So whatever means one uses to switch channels there is going to be a change in the brain.
 
#3
I don't get the "compared to." An experience is no less mystical or spiritual because the safe door was blown open instead of cracked.

To be aware of anything while in physical means it gets processed by the brain. The brain is the interface. So whatever means one uses to switch channels there is going to be a change in the brain.
I completely agree!

I think the way of thinking you are hinting at is a relic of a particular, peculiar, post-Victorian way of thinking. The way of thinking through which so much of the tibetan & indian teachings of tantra we have today have been filtered through (Blavatsky et al onwards), so as to dismiss or literaly demonise the sexual and "herb" aspects to the path of tantra.....it is not so well know, nowadays, despite the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism, that a great many of the greatest tibetan tantrics engaged & wrote about sexual practices with a "consort". I don't consider it a consipiracy, more a convenient forgetfulness of that which is inconvenient to their cultural conditioning.

Anyway, I think it is merely a question of degree rather than fundamental difference between, for example, the manipulation of the body-mind organism through yogic, taoist, tibetan or any other spiritual practice which consists of prayer, repitition, chanting, meditation, physical postures or movements etc - ie. the entire spectrum of spiritual "practices" they engage in as a human being, and taking a plant or chemical to manipulate the body & mind.

As a caveat, the spiritual path is a gradual process, whereas taking DMT for eg., may be like ripping your identity apart without any psychological, emotional, physical etc preparation the "spriritual" practices may confer? Whilst they may both "reveal" the same "truth", there may well be more possibility of emotional, psychological & physical scarring or "issues" through the method that generally omits any kind of preparation....

Regardless, I don't think any of this is "recreational", and shouldn't be taken lightly....
 
#4
the entire spectrum of spiritual "practices" they engage in as a human being, and taking a plant or chemical to manipulate the body & mind.
I perceive it more as manipulating the brain's access to mind. Other than that, yeah. Well-stated. ;;/?
 
#5
Manjit thanks for sharing your experiences and reflections.

I think Salvia and indeed all plants have an intelligence in some dimension of reality. Occassionally, a plant like salvia is kind enough to throw a molecule or 2 of something that lets us interface with their reality.....it's a sideways glance at reality, but certainly not an absolute one.....
In some mystical paths, the concern is not to be detoured but to attain union with the source of being. For this reason, psychoactive agents are avoided. Not really interested in debating this now. But your post seemed a good reference point.
 
#6
Hi Manjit.

Thanks for sharing. There are no greater tools for disolving the ego and disolving social conditioning, there are no greater tools for exploring consciousness, and introspection, there are no greater tools that can demonstrate the profound life changing effects beyond an actual near death experience. Greater by far to what any psychologist can probe or offer. But knowledge, maturity and courage can be what separates a blundering way to go about it and a productive one.

People who think it is just about dosing up and seeing cool visuals and maybe contacting an entity have no idea. The traditionalists heads down in scripture has no idea. The Dalai Lama has no idea, he really doesn't. I have mediated for a few decades as well, it is not like I reject that path, entheogens are not a path, they are a tool for the path. I use them for meditation. These so called spiritual leaders can be just as delluled as the rest of us, sometimes I think more so. You don't have the option of buring the skeletons in the entheogenic experience, you don't get the option of denial, that part is stripped away.

Shamanism is not a religion! Although it is the source of them. The entheogens are tools, and in animism spirits themselves.

Actually mushrooms are my favourite. I think I may have taken them well over five hundred times. At one point every weekend for about 6 months. A quarter of an ounce dry is quite an experience. I consider a standard dose of LSD quite mild in comparison. By todays standards thanks to the big bust of the 90's LSD seems a shadow of the past unfortunately.

I grow a variety of cacti, ayahuasca (caapi, psychotria), acacia, momosa tenuflora, brugmansia, khat, calea and a few other ethnobotanicals, all quite legally of course.

I am currently studying applied sciences in biology, I am thinking of pursuing ethnopharmacology on a professional level. A couple of years away from that. But already way ahead on the prac. :)
 
#7
As for science, it has only been recently that some of the tabboo generated in the 60's has been eased and we are seeing some more research. Originally they were of great interest to psychologists and were effective. Then we had the CIA interests and attempted weaponization in the form of mind control. Did not work. It is the oppositte, disolving cultural baggage and liberating the mind, hard to take authority seriously really.

Now the interest is multi fold. The mystical experience being one aspect. One curiosity is the correlation between meditation and the effects of psilocybin, the active constituent being psilocin, which is almost identical in molecular structure to DMT, save for one oxygen atom.

The neuro correlates of the mystical experience operates on systems within the network of perception in the brain. Centres that are responsible for the perception of time as well as those responsible for objectivity and subjectivity are effectively reduced or switched off. The result is the feeling of timeless oneness to the universe. If you are having an experience like this it is going to be reflected in the physical brain patterns.

Personally I find it fascinating these things so fundamental like time and objectivity are somehow modulated by the brain.

Entheogens could benefit psychology and neuroscience like astronomy benefits from the telescope.
 
#9
They aren't fundamental and they're not modulated by the brain.
Well, gee that is helpful.

Let me rephrase, perception of those fundamental things is modulated by the brain. You switch them off and the mystical experience results. Same is true of meditation if you are good enough. But it is not the same for multiple reasons I have mentioned. Don't cherry pick my comments and take them out of context. I am refering to experimental evidence in this case, how about you?

If you wish to understand what exactly I was talking about then ask instead of just saying "is not".
 
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#10
Well, gee that is helpful.

Let me rephrase, perception of those fundamental things is modulated by the brain. You switch them off and the mystical experience results. Don't cherry pick my comments and take them out of context.

If you wish to understand what exactly I was talking about then ask instead of just saying "is not".
??? You made a clear statement. I posted a response to it. There was nothing taken out of context. Nor was there anything I didn't understand. What you've posted here is not a rephrasing but an entirely different statement. My response to it is - they aren't fundamental and it depends what you mean by perception. As you use the term, Does a tuner modulate "perception" of what's on TV?
 
#11
??? You made a clear statement. I posted a response to it. There was nothing taken out of context. Nor was there anything I didn't understand. What you've posted here is not a rephrasing but an entirely different statement. My response to it is - they aren't fundamental and it depends what you mean by perception. As you use the term, Does a tuner modulate "perception" of what's on TV?
Let me explain what happens instead of you jumping the gun on whatever you think it is I am saying. If you had of just asked I might have said....

Blood is reduced in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Interestingly overactivity in this area is associated with depression. The default mode network DMN is that part of the brain that is associated with selfing and also with mundane tasking.

The DMN two core centres are the PCC and mPFC. These two centres create the dual “self in space” and “self in time” narratives.

Your experience of being separate to your environment, your perception of self, your perception of time, your personal historic narrative are all modulated perhaps even derived from this part of the brain. We do have a pretty good idea on the neural correlates to the mystical experience.

My simplistic statement which you have taken out of context for the sake of argument alone relates to this fascinating research.

It actually makes complete sense to me. And why there are some similarities with NDE, specificaly timelessness and this other illusory self that has been fabricated.

Perfect sense.
 
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#12
The DMN networks are the deeper areas of the brain, as mentioned overactivity in these regions is related to depression, which makes sense as depression is overly negative introspective thoughts. Thoughts regarding the self. Disfunction here is also related to mental disease, schizophrenia, alzheimer's etc..

The DMN works in unison with the task positive networks TPN, when attention is focused, like as you focus on breathing in meditation excercises, the feel of your body and heartbeat. The TPN relates to mindful practise. When the TPN network becomes active the DMN declines. This is the inner dialouge that threatens to distract and take you out of the moment. This is why meditation can contribute to general well being and concentration.

And also why entheogens have shown real positive psychological effects with depression, addictition, fear, anger etc...
Both can literally rewire your brain and thought process.

But seriously such dry clinical descriptions just don't do it justice, but it does go a long way in understanding the physiology involved and also can shine a light on other mental conditions and can even self evaluation of your own mental state.
 
#13
Let me explain what happens instead of you jumping the gun on whatever you think it is I am saying. If you had of just asked I might have said....
Apparently you stated it even without my asking. :) And apparently you think that expounding in details changes the fact that you are claiming "the brain is modulating experiences." I am stating that it is not.
 
#14
Yes Saiko, There is a change in the brain, Its permanent, but may only affect a particular set of experiences. Your comment is very meaningful for me because this morning in meditation, I had a realization my brain is allowing me to become non-symbolic, at least for duration in meditation time, due to my LSD experiences from 40 years ago
- Changes in the brain may persist but are rarely permanent in the sense of "cannot be altered."
- The brain is not in a fundamental sense - allowing anything. You (as a far more than physical being) allow something and set the interface (the brain) in a way that corresponds. Of course, those with a strong belief in the physical being primary and a view that linear time as fundamental (it isn't) will have a tough time seeing that. And since it isn't within the narrow framework of materialism/physicalism that dominates science - those people have no ready way to access that knowledge.
 
#15
Apparently you stated it even without my asking. :) And apparently you think that expounding in details changes the fact that you are claiming "the brain is modulating experiences." I am stating that it is not.
The details explain my statement that you, for some reason, personal I believe, chose to take out of context.
The details expand on the experimental evidence I had in mind when I wrote it.
The results are up for interpretation, I was speaking of the findings. Take it or leave it.

You seem to have issues.

I am not a materialist yet I have no issue with the mind body connection or well known correlates of consciousness. I certainly have no problem with good science.
 
#16
The details explain my statement that you, for some reason, personal I believe, chose to take out of context.
The details expand on the experimental evidence I had in mind when I wrote it.
The results are up for interpretation, I was speaking of the findings. Take it or leave it.

You seem to have issues.

I am not a materialist yet I have no issue with the mind body connection or well known correlates of consciousness. I certainly have no problem with good science.
Please just stop. You've expressed your viewpoint. And if my stating that your claim is incorrect means "I have issues" then hey . . .lol. BTW you can't win an insult battle with me so I'd suggest you not start one.

To address your last statement - it's so ambiguous as to be meaningless. Obviously there's a mind-body connection. It's the nature of that connection that is the topic. As for "good science" :eek:
 
#17
Please just stop. You've expressed your viewpoint. And if my stating that your claim is incorrect means "I have issues" then hey . . .lol. BTW you can't win an insult battle with me so I'd suggest you not start one.

To address your last statement - it's so ambiguous as to be meaningless. Obviously there's a mind-body connection. It's the nature of that connection that is the topic. As for "good science" :eek:
Please do tell us where you have gained the ability to determine what is "correct" or "incorrect"? Why do you have to be such an asshole?
 
#18
Well I can understand how my initial comment could be taken out of context, I mean time itself is not changing of course. I made an assumption that I thought would be understood. Oh well. Of course Saiko acknowledges that adding perception changes things completely. When all we have is perception of course.

So to continue, for some unknown reason the goal posts are shifted to denying that the brain modulates experience?

Here is an experiment, go to sleep, then wake up. Wtf? Even the food you eat can affect the state of mind. Brain damage is real btw. Which reality are we talking about here?
Actually I can alter my neurochemistry in a number of ways and turn perception on its head, even time and space. So I know it is true.

So I am puzzled I am not sure what the beef is.
 
#19
Hi All, when I first posted here a few people asked me questions about my use of psychedelics compared to mystical experiences, or some such! I just posted this to another forum in response to a question, so thought I would copy and paste here. It's long, pretty rambling, badly formatted and generally hard to read no doubt. Also, some context will obviously be lost (as posted on another forum where some may know my life & background a little more):

These are my experiences:

1) LSD - in my early to late teens, I did around a dozen or so trips, maybe more. (context: I'd had & been interested in spirituality, mystical experiences & altered states of consciousness since I can remember, so around 4 or so!).

Primary impression (in retrospection, of course, as it is 20+ years later): synthetic, sensual & thought based. Only ONE of these trips I could even remotely consider analogous to "mystical", kundalini or enlightenment type experiences. That was during the peak of the absolute "cleanest" LSD I'd ever taken (a black "microdot"), many times stronger and cleaner than any of the others I had taken and were generally available (in london, amongst kids in early 1990s). During that trip I encountered what appeared to be synethesia, extreme time distortion, seeing with eyes closed, telepathy with my co-trippers, the word "LSD-25" written everywhere across the air....which I *think* I only found out years later was the scientific name for a very good type of LSD.......but anyway, during the absolute peak of this intense trip I lost all sense of a "self" within physical time and space. I became what, in retrospect now, I would call a synthetic absolute consciousness state. I had to keep reminding myself, out loud (in reality or my mind, I could not tell you! I think I was saying it physically out loud) that "my name is manjit, I have 2 parents called so & so, my friend's name is so & so, I go to so and so school" etc etc I was doing this to ground myself in some sort of reality, as the emptiness & expanse of the absolute state was awe-full....albeit blissful..... Now, in retrospect, I would call this experience a synthetic version of the absolute state of consciousness that can be experienced at a certain stage of meditation (either insight or concentration)....and which I did experience without the use of any substances a decade later. The natural experience is far "cleaner" and more, errrm, natural than through the use of LSD, and also far more pleasant (perhaps for a variety of reasons which can be speculated about).

2) MDMA - Taken around half a dozen or so tabs up to my mid 20s, of which I know reliably most were of very good quality. Never really affected/impressed me too much, though I could clearly sense the changes physically & emotionally.....to be honest, I think simple spiritual life & practice pretty much can put you into a 24/7 state to what MDMA can temporarily, which is why, personally, I thought MDMA was very nice and pleasant, but just like I normally feel, just very slightly "more"! On a physical level, something does occur that is hard to pin down......as a young man in a club on a love drug, it is asonishing just how many women can be attracted to you in an almost "supernatural" manner
Again, this is something that can also occur through non-drug related "tantric" practices, and I'm basing that on experience not theory. Most interestingly, the day after the best MDMA experience I had, I had the exact same experience.......and I mean EXACT........that I had during intensive meditation when what I would call a "heart chakra" opening occurred - basically an intense, long lasting orgasm of love pouring out of the heart during which rivers of tears may be cried. This is love but not of a sexual kind. Compassion. But also real orgasmic pleasure *physically* sensed in the chest area. This experience absolutely fascinated me, as this experience was so identical to the meditation based chakra opening (labels I don't necessarily agree with), that I'm fairly certain on a personal level, there is SOME connection there betweem the traditional "path" of mystical ascent in for example indian or tibetan tantra, and the use of certain plants or chemicals. As, actually, bot the indian and tibetan texts from 1000+ years ago clearly state anyway......
3) Mushrooms - Pretty much a weaker version of very good lsd, slightly less synthetic feel though. I haven't had enough experience with these to be an expert. The strongest dose I ever took of mushrooms was AFTER my "kundalini" and "enlightenment" experiences (whatever any of those words mean). I specifically sought them out and took them purely to see how it would affect me now (then, 10 or so years ago, right after my kundalini episodes), how it would effect the "spiritual" or kundalini or enlightened state of consciousness. It occurred how I suspected it would....whilst I knew I was tripping quite hard, my consciousness remained completely unimpressed and unperturbed, and basically chuckled all the way through the trip.....trips "pre-kundalini" were always accompanied by at least some level of anxiety at some point, either before or during....but not this time. Basically, I was unimpressed by mushrooms, but I may be biased because I took my only strong and memorable dose after my brain was already completely fried by kundalini :) (aside: of course, I could just have been tripping that the trip wasn't affecting me!!)
4) Salvia Divinorum - Again taken after my "kundalini" episodes some 10 or so years ago. I personally didn't enjoy the smoking of it, the experience felt very "druggy" or hallucinatory to me. But, others have had significant experiences with it. Perhaps my "gear" was poor quality, and I never used the extracted or stronger stuff. However, for me, the much more difficult and costly way of using the sub-lingual tincture (maybe in conjunction with smoking) was quite impressive & profound. It's very, very hit and miss....it worked on the 3rd try for me I believe, so I can imagine how others would give it up. I also showed the substance great respect, and ritualised the usage of it....perhaps it "opened" up to me on my 3rd attempt when it knew I was serious! Anyway, as an experienced lucid dreamer/astral projector and more than cannot be described, I was still none-the-less mildly intrigued by the Salvia :) I've written down my experience in full on this forum, but basically it was like a subtle lucid dream world you gently find yourself falling into, and there meeting archetypal beings that feel very very real indeed. One main experience was meeting old mother nature and her husband (?!?!?) out in some forest somewhere, feeling their energy, and then her getting angry and shouting at me "tell them not to fuck with me". I have no idea what that meant (fuck with nature, or Salvia??), but I feel obliged to recall it every time I discuss Salvia, just in case haha :) I subsequently read a report, years later, on erowid where somebody had shared the exact same experience (except the swearing part)......I think Salvia and indeed all plants have an intelligence in some dimension of reality. Occassionally, a plant like salvia is kind enough to throw a molecule or 2 of something that lets us interface with their reality.....it's a sideways glance at reality, but certainly not an absolute one.....
5) Ahhhh, DMT :) My favourite, yet the only one I haven't tried?!?! Why? First, I know about DMT through numerous sources going back 10 years. I've read both Rick Strassman's book (and have his new one by my bedside), seen the documentary and about 30 others, checked out the experiences of people on forums etc etc I also know several people that have taken it personally. Incidentally, I have some ayahuasca (the various parts of it) at home for the last 10 years, but I've never considered taking it for several reasons.

The thing with DMT that impresses me most is, that the reports of people who "break-through" on it are in many ways identical to my "peak" kundalini awakening experiences. As are, in some ways, NDEs. But DMT users will often report unique, indescribable experiences of profound meaning & scope...and I think to myself "oh shit, that's kind of like what I experienced at the absolute peak of the energetic transformations.....and I thought I was so unique and special!!! I thought I had seen & experienced things that nobody else could comprehend and understand, but then I see some kid on youtube seeing & speaking the exact same things I learnt over 20 years of devotion!!!

But hey, as they say it's quite likely it's an endogenous chemical, one of the very few chemicals allowed past the blood brain barrier, is possibly released by the pineal gland during death etc etc.

Perhaps it really is the materio-chemical interface between matter and other realms of the consciousnsess?

I don't really know, just speculating, of course. I, too, have a slight aversion to reducing "sprituality" this way, but we must at least consider it.

Incidentally, on Christmas Eve a friend of mine called me up to say someone offered him DMT. I'm not pushing him to get it, but there's a chance he will. If he does, I will definitely try it until I break through to compare it to my own experiences. That would be interesting. But I'm not concerned either way :eek:)

Peace:

I don't get the "compared to." An experience is no less mystical or spiritual because the safe door was blown open instead of cracked.

To be aware of anything while in physical means it gets processed by the brain. The brain is the interface. So whatever means one uses to switch channels there is going to be a change in the brain.
Hi Manjit.

Thanks for sharing. There are no greater tools for disolving the ego and disolving social conditioning, there are no greater tools for exploring consciousness, and introspection, there are no greater tools that can demonstrate the profound life changing effects beyond an actual near death experience. Greater by far to what any psychologist can probe or offer. But knowledge, maturity and courage can be what separates a blundering way to go about it and a productive one.

People who think it is just about dosing up and seeing cool visuals and maybe contacting an entity have no idea. The traditionalists heads down in scripture has no idea. The Dalai Lama has no idea, he really doesn't. I have mediated for a few decades as well, it is not like I reject that path, entheogens are not a path, they are a tool for the path. I use them for meditation. These so called spiritual leaders can be just as delluled as the rest of us, sometimes I think more so. You don't have the option of buring the skeletons in the entheogenic experience, you don't get the option of denial, that part is stripped away.

Shamanism is not a religion! Although it is the source of them. The entheogens are tools, and in animism spirits themselves.

Actually mushrooms are my favourite. I think I may have taken them well over five hundred times. At one point every weekend for about 6 months. A quarter of an ounce dry is quite an experience. I consider a standard dose of LSD quite mild in comparison. By todays standards thanks to the big bust of the 90's LSD seems a shadow of the past unfortunately.

I grow a variety of cacti, ayahuasca (caapi, psychotria), acacia, momosa tenuflora, brugmansia, khat, calea and a few other ethnobotanicals, all quite legally of course.

I am currently studying applied sciences in biology, I am thinking of pursuing ethnopharmacology on a professional level. A couple of years away from that. But already way ahead on the prac. :)
The unique feature of psychedelic-assisted spirituality is its wide accessibility. Unlike all other spiritual practices - meditation, gymnastic exercises, breathing methods, magickal rituals, relaxation and concentration techniqes, fasting and praying - it does not require years of persistent activity to achieve transpersonal heights. What is necessary, as Timothy Leary found, is "dosage, set and setting" - the last two terms mean, respectively, friendly social environment and desired semiotic context. In such positive circumstances, distressing "bad trip" is very unlikely; and "meta-programming" oneself for the state of expanded consciousness and increased intelligence, which leads one beyond social conditioning, to the synergy of simultaneous unification and individuation.

It is the quickness and power of experienced transformation which lead Leary to his successful public program - the rehabilitation of the violent criminals. Leary, instead of trying to "reform" them forcefully (and ineffectually), simply showed them how much of the world's kindness and beauty they missed because of their cruel and hostile attitude, by sessions of psyhedelic trancedence in a positive social set and semiotic setting. And it worked.

Leary himself, however, soon landed in prison himself, and spent quite a long time there. This was understandable: when he talked about rehabilitation of violent persons, he meant not only "criminals" in the legal and moral sense. He also meant ones who intiate violence in accordance with, or even in defence of, local dominant legal and moral system - brutal policemen and heartless judges, ruthless intelligence agents and militant political leaders, coercive psychiatrists and "mental health" officials. He wanted "legal" initiators of violence to liberate themselves from their own inner prison along with the "illegal ones". When he escaped from the prison, he left this wonderful note to the prison guards:

In the name of the Father and the Mother and the
Holy Ghost — Oh, Guards— I leave now for freedom. I
pray that you will free yourselves. To hold man captive
is a crime against humanity and a sin against God.
Oh, guards, you are criminals and sinners. Cut it
loose. Be free. Amen.
Some mystics and magicians seem to be unsympathetic towards psychedelic spirituality exactly because of its exeptional easiness and availability. But, I suppose, this is the point they got wrong: if we really aim to the massive spiritual transformation and global paradigm shift, we will inevitably need the method to provide the glimpse of Eternity to everyone, the technique simple - and yet strong - enough to allow everyone to taste the transpersonal.

And, when child liberation movement will fully recover its original 1960s - 1970s power, and regain its dominance over authoritarian child protection movement of the present days (I hope this time is not so far from now), even age restrictions won't be a barrier to the participation. Manjit started his transcedent journey in his early teens; I don't see any reason - except for the pervasive ageist/adultist prejudices - why other adolescents, and even children, shouldn't start their own one.
 
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Manjit thanks for sharing your experiences and reflections.



In some mystical paths, the concern is not to be detoured but to attain union with the source of being. For this reason, psychoactive agents are avoided. Not really interested in debating this now. But your post seemed a good reference point.
Using a psychoactive agent may be a means of investigation into a transcendental state. When walking a path to self discovery there can be no other ultimate authority except the experience itself. The point is there is no one path for everyone in order to embrace one's ignorance and move beyond it.
 
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