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2 hours ago, kali Wylder said:

When you say experience with psychotropics, are you saying your an old hippie who did a lot of drugs way back when? I'm curious because I'm one of them.

 

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30 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I loved Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk

Lots to think about...

I am simmering for awhile...  :)

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7 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Do either of you have the sense this has happened to you?

Yes?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Yes?

I realized after Kali's answer that I'd not thought my question through very well. Both of you were long term users of psychotropics (though not necessarily LSD and/or psilocybin), and so the question of whether a single use resulted in a permanent shift in perspective would be difficult to impossible to answer. The effect many drugs have on the mind lasts only for the duration they're in the body. You get anesthetic (perhaps NO) and out you go, but a few hours later, you're back to normal. In the Marsh Chapel Experiment, and in the anecdotal accounts of people like Steve Jobs, just one or a few uses of certain psychotropic drugs produced a lasting change in perception, often explained as an expanded consciousness accompanied by a greater feeling of connectedness. These characterizations are similar to those you hear from people who have spiritual epiphanies.

One theory is that hallucinogens send the brain on a mad dash to make sense of the altered consciousness, during which new neural wiring is laid down. That wiring remains after the experience, and colors future perceptions. I also recall reading of a theory that compared the use of psilocybin to "simulated annealing" in AI (which was employed in a powerful software design tool I routinely used). I just Googled "psilocybin simulated annealing" and find this...

https://froese.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/froese-et-al-18-a-role-for-enhanced-functions-of-sleep-in-psychedelic-therapy.pdf

The term "annealing" comes from metallurgy, where a process of heating heating a metal above some critical temperature, then cooling it slowly, releases internal stress and promotes growth of larger metallic crystals. The idea behind "simulated annealing" in AI is that, by temporarily increasing the ease of adjusting neural connections, decision thresholds, or whatever self learning mechanisms the AI uses (effectively increasing disorder), then slowing returning to normal, the system can more rapidly converge on a correct understanding (which has more order).

Normally, the brain must adapt to new stimulus at the rate we all expect, requiring significant repetition to acquire new skills. Yet the brain can make spectacular leaps on its own, as in epiphanies. Brain damage can both destroy and create (or reveal, or unlock) tremendous capabilities.

So much to discover!

Edited by Madelaine McMasters

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37 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Normally, the brain must adapt to new stimulus at the rate we all expect, requiring significant repetition to acquire new skills. Yet the brain can make spectacular leaps on its own, as in epiphanies. Brain damage can both destroy and create (or reveal, or unlock) tremendous capabilities.

 So much to discover!

If one has a big enough “epiphany”, it can stay with you. Kind of like a religious conversion. But, people tend to forget. I assume we’ve already covered use of psilocybin for PTSD, and ketamine for fibromyalgia (and/or similar pain syndromes). I heard stories on NPR about the one, and know someone who went through the other. Interesting that research is increasing so long after the 60’s.

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1 minute ago, Love Zhaoying said:

If one has a big enough “epiphany”, it can stay with you. Kind of like a religious conversion. But, people tend to forget. I assume we’ve already covered use of psilocybin for PTSD, and ketamine for fibromyalgia (and/or similar pain syndromes). I heard stories on NPR about the one, and know someone who went through the other. Interesting that research is increasing so long after the 60’s.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 ended research on psychoactive drugs in the US, placing all of them in Schedule I. Europe did much the same thing in 1971. There has been some easing in recent years, particularly with marijuana, but also with more potent drugs...

https://newatlas.com/lsd-brain-mapping/42932/
https://newatlas.com/lsd-brain-imaging-sense-self/53874/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603820/

As experimental evidence of therapeutic benefits emerges, I expect regulations will relax and research will increase. I also expect the growing body of evidence to chip away at the supernatural explanations for things we believe.

As I see it, spirituality doesn't require spirits.

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47 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

expect regulations will relax and research will increase

It is, as in the two therapies I listed. I think the public isn’t being told about all the current research so we don’t all rush to signup.

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14 hours ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

This conversation has reminded me of The Discovery. A movie with Robert Redford and Jason Siegel. I've decided that I liked it.

Haha I've got to watch this tonight. I love Apocalyptic movies, I think because I want to see how humankind might survive the coming climate change crisis. But this one has a fun twist on the Apocalypse -- people are dying because they're committing suicide in order to get to the 'heaven' that has recently been discovered to actually exist.

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A fun and artistic video on the discovery of LSD -- Alberts bicycle trip as he began to trip:

 

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56 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

As I see it, spirituality doesn't require spirits.

So as an atheist are you atheist-izing against spirituality in general (a non-material reality that is part of our material one), or only the kind that would include 'spirits' in its definition?

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10 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

It is, as in the two therapies I listed. I think the public isn’t being told about all the current research so we don’t all rush to signup.

I prefer milder, slower avenues to ego-dissolution -- however it's possible some might need a type of electro-shock therapy if in a very pronounced ego rut!

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

ketamine for fibromyalgia (and/or similar pain syndromes).

I had not heard of that, but will pass the info on to a friend suffering the ravages of fibro...

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15 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I loved Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk when I saw it years ago. Do note that the two sides of the brain she mentions are entirely within the body. She never mentions any external force or connection. The energy she mentions is, I think, just the energy of sensing expressed in a spiritual way, but not describing anything more than our five senses. And I don't think she believes in anything supernatural or paranormal. The NYTimes quotes from her book "Religion is a story that the left brain tells the right brain." That is pretty much what I've been proposing all along. Similarly Daniel Kahneman suggests that the human desire to define oneself via stories, along with confirmation bias, might be the basis for religion. Again, there is no need for supernatural or paranormal activity, we're naturally predisposed to imagine the supernatural.

You may know more about Ms. Taylor than I, and if she does believe in the paranormal, I'd like to know.

I saw Jill's story some years ago too, but did not uncover the following info about her connecting to the paranormal until now. Reading a reviewer of Jill's book who is not too fond of new-age stuff (on the Goodreads site), the reviewer said she almost didn't read the book due to Jill mentioning starting her day doing Angel Card Readings.  Apparently Angel Card readings are:

"At first glance Angel cards seem to be another form of tarot cards, but aside from using cards the similarity ends. Tarot cards are a very definitive type of divination, based on metaphysical concepts such as alchemy, esoteric symbols, and numerology. Angel cards, on the other hand, rely on channeled information from the etheric realms. The reading is produced by the interaction of energies of the seeker and the response of the angels to the querent's questions."

So yeah, pretty paranormal-ish.
I have no idea if Jill felt she was contacting actual angels, or how she would define an 'angel', but for sure card readings can help one contact the subconscious. And then, does it matter what you call what you're contacting? (what's in a name really).  The important aspect is to get information one needs.
I'm just not hung up on what people call things, or believe, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
However, I have to admit, this is a little too strange even for me! lol  It's probably because of my fears -- I like to feel alone and safe when I'm in my house :) Basically, if there are spirits lurking in this 'unseen' side of reality I don't want to meet them! lol

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

So much to discover!

But on to why I posted Jill's story in the first place, I share your fascination with understanding how the brain works, and Jill is explaining her experience in terms of right-brain/left-brain differences (not talking about clearly delineated areas of the brain, but rather processes -- left brain being more linear and right brain more holistic. While more holistic processes happen in the right brain there is crossover, and likewise for linear processing. Frequently left-brain/right-brain is used to describe the processes now and not where they're always located in the brain).
Anyway, it is interesting how her initial damage to the 'left-brain' caused her to have these more 'right-brain' mystical experiences described by mystics/meditators and psychoactive drug users.

Like Jill, I believe that religion is a story we tell ourselves, but that does not mean an 'unseen' aspect of reality does not exist -- it only means we make up things, imagine stories, about what this 'unseen' world consists of. I think Jill was alluding to this view of religion, and in no way denigrating the 'right' side of her brain or the paranormal after she began experiencing her reality in a more mystical way after the 'left' side of her brain was damaged by the stroke.

I think the Western world in particular has an imbalance and relates to reality too much through the 'left-brain', and that if they felt more connected to the world outside their ego they would be more inclined to value and protect that world.
Hence my frequent denigration of left-brain processes when they exclude right-brain processes.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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40 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

A fun and artistic video on the discovery of LSD -- Alberts bicycle trip as he began to trip:

 

Ever read “The Doors of Perception”?

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

So as an atheist are you atheist-izing against spirituality in general (a non-material reality that is part of our material one), or only the kind that would include 'spirits' in its definition?

In general, I don't care what other people believe, so long as their behavior doesn't harm themselves or others. I've felt the same things as people who believe those feelings come from a creator or from some supernatural connection, but it seems more likely to me that those feelings arise from natural mechanisms I don't yet understand, because I have been able to discover natural explanations for quite a few "mystical" feelings I've had in my life. I've also been able to convince (often with very little effort) other people I have mysterious powers or abilities when it's really been nothing more than noticing something most people don't, then figuring out why I noticed it, then improving my ability to notice it. While I'm improving, my ability becomes less mysterious to me, and more mysterious to others. And that makes perfect sense.

My closest friends are surprised to discover I'm atheist, because they'd considered me to be highly spiritual. I enjoy looking up in the night sky in my telescope and falling into the eyepiece, and my descriptions of the night sky often get people to comment on the poetry or spirituality of my musings. I'm a storyteller, so I think this is nearly unavoidable.

I haven't read Taylor's book. I have only her TED talk to work from. But I got (the perhaps mistaken) impression that she was coopting spiritual imagery to explain her neurobiology because that's exactly what it felt like, not because spirits (for lack of a better term for paranormal/supernatural connections) had visited her. If I read her the wrong way, I'll chalk that up to confirmation bias. I'm not immune to it. Nobody is.

3 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

I have no idea if Jill felt she was contacting actual angels, or how she would define an 'angel', but for sure card readings can help one contact the subconscious. And then, does it matter what you call what you're contacting? (what's in a name really).  The important aspect is to get information one needs.
I'm just not hung up on what people call things, or believe, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else.
However, I have to admit, this is a little too strange even for me! lol  It's probably because of my fears -- I like to feel alone and safe when I'm in my house :) Basically, if there are spirits lurking in this 'unseen' side of reality I don't want to meet them! lol

Right, I'm not sure now whether she's being literal or metaphoric. I can feel I've been visited by an angle and tell you that, but I'll immediately follow up with my own assessment of how that feeling arose. My explanation will invariably be that I get such feelings all the time, and have generally figured out what triggers them (along with endless other nutty feelings) and how both enjoy them and ultimately dismiss them as subconscious errors.

It may well be that there's no benefit to distinguishing whether spiritual feelings arise from the beyond, or from within, but I suspect that ultimately, there is. Science is going to continue to probe this, and if we pooh-pooh it, firmly holding to metaphysical explanations, science is going to get way out ahead of us with nobody to watch over it. Look at it another way... we've been working on metaphysics for thousands of years, and not a hell of a lot of change has resulted from it. But in the only 4-5 centuries of the scientific method and the technology it has spawned, we've turned almost everything we know on its head and reshaped the planet. If you wanted to have a vote, or at least some insight, in how the future unfolds, would you study physics... or metaphysics?

I made my choice... if I ever really had one.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:

Can you cite any well designed experiments detecting telepathy, repeated independently and peer reviewed? Until then, there's this. Remember, the burden is on you.

That 'this' you linked off to describes flawed experiments where the factors needed for telepathy to occur in humans are not included (an emotional bond between participants, and relevant information being communicated).

Here's a link to some better experiments, though I might not check them out, as I need no experiments to know telepathy exists. I lived in an ashram for several years and encountered many devout meditators from India, and I have all the proof I need due to my direct experience. I'm certain I was not fooled in any way.

I don't expect you to believe because of my experience, of course.

Anyway, here's some better experiments to check out. I probably will look at a few eventually :)

http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

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3 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:
4 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm certain I was not fooled in any way.

I will never possess that certainty, and that may make all the difference.

Well you might if you had the experiences I've had.  ?

I forgot to mention, equally important in my world view is the experience I had with the Lakota Indians and shamanic healings. Talk about a trip, I will never need LSD or even pot after that...

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7 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

but it seems more likely to me that those feelings arise from natural mechanisms I don't yet understand, because I have been able to discover natural explanations for quite a few "mystical" feelings I've had in my life. 

It’s a shame that neither science nor the religions (which claim to have unlocked) have provided us easy access to the Answers, whether Bliss, Acceptance, etc. Sometimes the only way is to just live a human life.

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8 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:
9 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm certain I was not fooled in any way.

 I will never possess that certainty, and that may make all the difference.

Some say, if you experience the “real deal”, it comes with that certainty - but even that can be fleeting.

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13 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

If you wanted to have a vote, or at least some insight, in how the future unfolds, would you study physics... or metaphysics?

If I followed my guru’s examples - both. He’s often quoting info on quantum physics experiments, and not canards like Sheldrake either. 

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16 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I am curious about you two. The most fascinating aspect of the Marsh Chapel Experiment, and others experiments with psilocybin, is that one "trip" on the stuff can produce a lifelong "shift" in consciousness. Steve Jobs made such claims about the few times he took LSD. The drugs make lasting changes in brain wiring that persist long after the drug is gone. Do either of you have the sense this has happened to you?

Hard to say, started at 14-15, paused for years at a time, stopped in 20’s - 30’s. Experiences stand out, but I’m not sure what I was like “before”.

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