Posts Tagged ‘Consciousness’

How Sex and Drugs Saved My Life (and Could Save the World)

 

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Sex and psychedelics are two of the most powerful tools available for facilitating healing and spiritual growth.

“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different… No account of the universe in its totality can be final which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.”

 – William James, Varieties of Religious Experience (1902)

I was nineteen years old when I found myself battling deep anxiety and depression, leading to years of cocaine, speed and then ketamine addiction. I was also struggling to find a healthy expression of sexuality in a patriarchal and objectifying world. My response was to find sugar daddies who would at least benefit me materially in exchange, compensating for my own dissociated relationship to sex. I was, seemingly, on a path to self-destruction. But falling headlong into addiction and maneuvering through often fraught casual encounters turned out to be two of the most important things I ever did – because along the way I stumbled upon the hidden healing and spiritual potential of sex and (psychedelic) drugs.

Over the next five years, sex and drugs switched roles in my life: the poisons became medicine.

Sex and drugs are powerfully tied together in the American imagination: through hedonism, scandal, taboo, stigma and crime. Perhaps not coincidentally, they are also two of the most powerful, immediate, accessible, and universal ways to experience “altered” states of consciousness. In my experience, it is precisely because they lead to these other states of consciousness, the very states western society often associates with escapism and even madness, that they are such profound tools for healing.

In order to achieve these altered states, the final requirement is surrender: a surrender of the ego, whether through orgasm (la petite mort) or an ego-death experience on psychedelics. “Surrender” is often a dirty word in our control freak and victory-obsessed culture. Perhaps this surrender, this loss of control, is what’s really so subversive about sex and drugs.

In surrendering to the unconscious, or to something greater than our egoic selves, one finds knowledge and ways of knowing that subvert the dominant western paradigm. Psychedelics in high doses have consistently been shown to facilitate peak spiritual or mystical experiences, in studies from the 1960s as well as recent research at Johns Hopkins University. There is a similar potential for peak experiences during sex. It is possible during orgasm to find oneself and one’s lover melding into one being, to experience visions, shapeshifting, a dissolving of the ego or a meeting with “God.” Dr. Jenny Wade’s research on what she terms “transcendent sex” shows that approximately 1 in 8 Americans will experience something like this spontaneously during sex, whether or not they ever share it with their partners.

How Sex and Drugs Help Us Reconnect

The notion of healing with sex and psychedelics shouldn’t really be surprising. Both psychedelic and sexual experience can enhance sensory perception, facilitate reconnection to emotions and memories, reestablish the sense of connection between self and other, and leave deep impressions from states of expanded consciousness. In his book Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner describes the “sensory gating channels,” the scientific “doors of perception,” that control how much sensory input reaches awareness. Seratonergic psychedelics, such as DMT (the active ingredient in ayahuasca), psilocybin (the active ingredient in “magic” mushrooms), LSD, mescaline, and bufotenin, all reduce gating activity of the thalamus and other gating parts of the brain.  Similarly, “frequent sex stimulates the formation of new neurons in neural networks, irrespective of the type or age of the organism.  Sensory gating channels open more widely, cognition improves, functionality increases.” Sex and psychedelics both open these sensory gating channels, allowing more information to reach consciousness – in a state commonly referred to as “altered.”

Sex and psychedelics hold strong potential for healing trauma. In The Birth of Pleasure, psychologist Carol Gilligan defines trauma as “the shock to the psyche that leads to disassociation: our ability to separate ourselves from parts of ourselves, to create a split within ourselves so that we can know and also not know what we know, feel and yet not feel our feelings.” Sex and psychedelics have the potential to heal because they can help us to reassociate. It was through sexual and psychedelic ritual that I began to reawaken to a deeper sense of self and a more profound connection to the world around me.

It was my psychedelic explorations that provided crucial insight into my addictive tendencies, allowing me to heal patterns that I now recognize as stemming from deep-seated anxiety and dissociation. Healing my own addiction made me realize just how much is missing from society’s current understanding of addiction as a whole. I believe it is time to redefine addiction, as Bruce K. Alexander does in his book, The Globalization of Addiction: “Addiction is neither a disease nor a moral failure, but a narrowly focused lifestyle that functions as a meager substitute for people who desperately lack psychosocial integration.” This reconceptualization shifts the focus away from the symptoms (particular drugs or habits) to the social dislocation and emotional pain that is at the root of all compulsive and self-destructive behavior.

There are, perhaps, infinite paths to healing and spiritual connection. However, at a time when all life on this planet is threatened by an ecological crisis humankind itself has created, born of compulsive consumption and disconnection from the natural world, time is of the essence. I believe there is a need to consciously catalyze new mindsets and perspectives as quickly as possible – through states that leave one with a profound sense of the interconnectivity of all life, of the illusion of the “I.”  Practices like breathwork and meditation can take years to develop before leading to full-blown mystical states. I know from experience what effective and efficient tools sex and psychedelics can be for catalyzing paradigm shifts overnight.

But they are just that: tools. One’s mileage may vary based on intention, mindset, ritual, setting, and how the experience is integrated afterwards. A sexual encounter can be a short-lived and forgettable mutual masturbation session – or an intentional encounter with the divine. An LSD trip can be an excuse to watch Disney movies stoned – or the six hours that forever changed one’s understanding of the nature of the universe. It was a subtle change in my awareness and intention that made the difference between my use of sex and drugs as agents of numbing and escape and agents of change and growth.

Today, partly because of the very illicit nature of sex and drugs in American culture, few are available to teach one how to use these tools. I myself had to stumble my way down this path, lacking role models or any formal guidance. In another culture or time things might have been different. Other societies have established legitimate roles for the ones who would facilitate connection to the collective and divine, using psychedelic plants and sexual experience.

The View from the Ancients

When one takes a longer view back through human history, modern western society appears to be the aberration. Practically every other culture has had carefully prescribed ways of altering consciousness, often through the use of psychoactive plants or sexual ritual. Those involving plant medicines or sexuality were often the most sacred rites, used to heal and connect to the divine. This is true even in ancient Greece, cradle of western civilization. Participants in the mysteries of Eleusis, the most important of all Greek religious cults, included Aristotle and Plato. The greater of these mysteries involved drinking the kykeon, a psychoactive brew most likely made from ergot, from which LSD is derived. Indigenous cultures around the world use psychoactive plant sacraments, from psilocybin mushrooms to iboga, ayahuasca to peyote. The Tantric tradition holds sexual intercourse as a sacred rite, called maithuna. Early Taoist sects performed sexual intercourse as spiritual practice, called HeQi (“joining energy”).

Today, living post-sexual revolution and in an era of increasing acceptance of some forms of drug-taking, American culture is rife with sex and drug references. Sex and drugs are “fun.” But sacred sexuality scholar Georg Feuerstein argues in Sacred Sexuality: The Erotic Spirit in the World’s Great Religions that today’s “obsession with fun betrays an absence of pleasure or happiness” and that “beneath our hunt for fun or fleeting pleasure there lies buried a deep desire to realize our ecstatic potential.” Like Feuerstein, I believe that “sacred sex, which is the experience of ecstasy, is the real sexual revolution.”

A revolution in American drug use would be welcome as well, responding to the deep desire for rites of initiation and transcendence that underlies the urge for fun and escape. From ancient times, socially sanctioned and supervised use of what is today called a “drug,” but which was then considered a “sacrament,” would often be introduced in the transition from childhood to adulthood. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that in a culture that is missing these rites of initiation, the teenage instinct to just “get fucked up” (or alter one’s consciousness) prevails. But without any instruction, guidance or context, one is left shooting (up) in the dark.

Sacred is not a word often associated with sex or drugs in American culture today, but perhaps that’s exactly the problem. As sex and drugs are brought out from the shadowy underbelly of American society and into conscious awareness, as their stigma is removed, maybe the puritanical and repressive roots of this country will finally be overthrown – allowing once more for ways of knowing and understanding that were nearly exterminated along with the indigenous peoples who once populated this land.

Spiritual Tourism is Not the Answer

Sex and drug education, teaching harm reduction, is just the tip of the iceberg. New studies on the importance of intimate touch as well as the healing possible using psychedelic medicine seem to be emerging weekly. Why not think consciously about roles for teachers and guides to facilitate these explorations?

The potential for sex workers to function as healers is vast and not unprecedented historically, possibly dating back to temple prostitution in ancient times. Even today, sex surrogates, “neo-tantrikas” and other sex workers are actively doing this work. It was my own sexual journey that led me to research older forms of sacred sex and temple prostitution as well as to investigate the incredibly human (but often untold) stories of client-provider relations in the sex industry today. My own experiences have confirmed that there is always potential for healing when two people get truly naked with each other. This healing can take place in any intimate context – but sexual teachers, healers and facilitators are needed to facilitate a societal shift away from superficial and disconnected pornographic representations and back to something more genuine, embodied and profound.

Psychedelic facilitators have existed throughout time as well, from indigenous healers and spirit workers to underground psychedelic therapists and medical professionals continuing this ancient work. As psychedelics such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin continue to gain acceptance within modern medicine as powerful and effective treatments for everything from anxiety and OCD to PTSD and depression, there will be a need to further develop and expand this role.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel in the attempt to build these new western traditions. There is much to learn from other cultures and times, ancient techniques for going into transcendent states, psychedelic states, states of erotic trance. But even this re-learning process is fraught as the western appropriation of “shamanistic” and other traditions such as ayahuasca and tantra – seemingly with the best of intentions – risks perpetuating old colonial patterns of “borrowing” knowledge and resources from indigenous and other peoples, while giving back little in return. Decolonizing our spiritual practices is surely as important as (and perhaps fundamental to) decolonizing our bodies and the earth. Respectful cultural exchanges with other traditions can provide inspiration for new ways of doing things – but it will take slow, organic work from within existing western paradigms to grow the traditions that will make lasting social change.

Individual and Collective Healing

There are vast new worlds to explore as the West re-approaches psychedelic plants and the healing potential of sexuality and intimate touch. “Altered” states can lead one into rich and fruitful dark places, if one is willing to go: ploughing the unconscious and bringing repressed emotions, memories and knowings into the light of the conscious mind. It is in the darkest psychedelic trips that I gained the most insight; it is the places that were most uncomfortable, the places I most wished to avoid, that had the most to offer. It was only possible to heal, however, because I was in safe and intentional spaces. The difference between a potentially scarring trip and a deeply nourishing one can be simply a matter of where, how and with whom it takes place.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at twenty years old and it was the conscious use of sex and drugs – not my doctor’s prescription – that helped move me through it. My journey from addiction and disembodiment to healing and reconnection taught me the importance of removing the taboos around sex and psychedelics and restoring them to their rightful place as healing and sacred.

Now it feels as if my own story is just a microcosm of the greater story of western civilization today. An estimated 23.1 million Americans need treatment for a problem related to illegal drugs and alcohol, and 18.2 million Americans are diagnosed with a form of mental illness every year. I would argue far more than that are suffering from other compulsions and ailments as a result of mass disconnection and social dislocation.

Indeed, all life on this planet is threatened by western culture’s dissociation, disembodiment and addiction to consuming – which has now brought us to a mass extinction event, an ecological mega-crisis. As the inventor of LSD Albert Hoffman writes in LSD, My Problem Child, “A concept of reality that separates self and the world has decisively determined the evolutionary course of European intellectual history.” It will take the rapid opening of humanity’s collective sensory gating channels, the correction of this fundamentally flawed paradigm, to change this course. Through the process of embracing the shadow, of re-associating and reconnecting, of finding healing and spiritual awareness, we can collectively shift away from the destructive path we are on. It is time to re-sacralize nature and the cosmos, to find our way back to reconnection and reintegration, to an understanding of the interconnectivity and intelligence of all life, before it’s too late. I believe the careful and intentional use of sex and psychedelics is our best hope for quickly catalyzing that change.

We have the right tools – if only we can learn to use them in time.

 

Originally published on Alternet.

 

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Occupy Love: Because We Are the 100%


“A profound shift is taking place all over the world. Humanity is  waking up to the fact  that the current system that dominates the planet is failing to provide us with health, happiness or meaning.  The dominant paradigm is based on separation, as exemplified by the financial system, and the corporate emphasis of profits before people.” – Occupy Love

Taking a moment to present to you the trailer for a very important documentary currently raising funds for completion. “Occupy Love” is a film looking at the bigger picture of the Occupy movement that made headlines last fall, arguing that the revolution is not only worldwide – the revolution is love.

The Indigogo campaign has raised almost $40,000 of its $50,000 goal, with 6 days left. So if the following video speaks to your heart, as it did to mine, you know what to do.

More from Occupy Love:

“Our headlong rush towards infinite growth is destroying our communities, our ecology, and threatening our very existence.  The climate crisis is hitting us with droughts, extreme weather, floods, sea level rise and more, yet corporate lobbyists block any attempts at mitigation.  Unemployment is at an all time high, and the gap between the wealthiest 1% and the remaining 99% is growing alarmingly.  

People are losing their homes, and the quality of life for the many is plummeting, while the few are raking in absurd profits.  Wall Street is making dangerous bets, greed is running rampant, and entire economies are collapsing.  Governments have been bought by the corporations, and many of us had lost hope.  Until now.



This crisis has become the catalyst for a profound transformation:  millions of people are deciding that enough is enough –  the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life.  We have experienced an extraordinary year of change, from the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, and now, erupting into North America: the Occupy Movement.  



This is a revolution rooted in compassion,  direct democracy, and shared power, as opposed to the “power over” model of the corporate world view.  The new story is one of Inter-dependence.  Love is the movement.  As the Occupy cry goes: “We are unstoppable. Another world is possible!”

To learn more and contribute to this campaign please visit Indiegogo.

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All But Forgotten: The Positive LSD Story

The revolutionary comedian Bill Hicks once said:

“Wouldn’t you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn’t that be interesting? Just for once?”

Well here’s your chance. Here are some people you may not have known were inspired by LSD:

•  Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs called taking LSD “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”  To this end, Jobs said that Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once.”

•  Many early computer pioneers took LSD for inspiration, such as Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse.

•  Francis Crick, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced the double-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.

•  Cary Grant (amongst many others in 1950s Hollywood) was treated with LSD by a psychiatrist in the 1950s, long before it was made illegal:

“All my life, I’ve been searching for peace of mind. I’d explored yoga and hypnotism and made several attempts at mysticism. Nothing really seemed to give me what I wanted until this treatment.”

“I have been born again. I have been through a psychiatric experience which has completely changed me. I was horrendous. I had to face things about myself which I never admitted, which I didn’t know were there. Now I know that I hurt every woman I ever loved. I was an utter fake, a self-opinionated bore, a know-all who knew very little. I found I was hiding behind all kinds of defenses, hypocrisies and vanities. I had to get rid of them layer by layer. The moment when your conscious meets your subconscious is a hell of a wrench. With me there came a day when I saw the light.”

Much to his friends’ surprise, Cary Grant began talking about his therapy in public, lamenting, “Oh those wasted years, why didn’t I do this sooner?”

(For more on Cary Grant, see the revealing Vanity Fair article, “Cary in the Sky with Diamonds”.)

•  Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winning American bio-chemist, told Albert Hoffman (the inventor of LSD) that LSD had helped him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences:

“Back in the 1960s and early ’70s I took plenty of LSD. A lot of people were doing that in Berkeley back then. And I found it to be a mind-opening experience. It was certainly much more important than any courses I ever took.”

Replying to his own postulate during an interview for BBC’s Psychedelic Science documentary, “What if I had not taken LSD ever; would I have still invented PCR?” He replied, “I don’t know. I doubt it. I seriously doubt it.”

•  Aldous Huxley is well-known for writing ‘The Doors of Perception’, an account of his experiences with mescaline. But on his deathbed, unable to speak, Huxley made a written request to his wife for “LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular”.  His wife duly obliged.

• “My trip led me to some epiphanies about who I was as a performer, what I wanted to do and how I needed to create my own opportunities.” – Adam Lambert, runner-up on American Idol told The Sun.

Since 1966, we’ve lived under worldwide LSD prohibition.  Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” said “We thought that by this time that there would be LSD given in classes in college and you would study it and prepare for it.”

Kesey gets right to the crux of the issues surrounding psychedelics in that statement. As tools, drugs such as LSD can used responsibly or irresponsibly – lead to good trips or bad trips, healing or trauma. Lacking a scientific or spiritual guide, the recreational use of psychedelic substances without planning, respect, or forethought can lead to some pretty unpleasant experiences. Which makes it all the more frustrating that there has been a complete moratorium on scientific research using LSD for over forty years (recently broken by a small handful of scientists who have finally been given permission to research LSD with terminally ill cancer patients.) 

Stanislav Grof, pioneering researcher into non-ordinary states of consciousness, remarked “Whether or not LSD research and therapy will return to society, the discoveries that psychedelics made possible have revolutionary implications for our understanding of the psyche, human nature, and the nature of reality.”  Isn’t it about time we awoke from our cultural amnesia?

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Posted: October 20th, 2010
Categories: Drugs, Inspiration
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In Search of Pandora: Escape… Then Meditate

Since the movie’s debut, there’s been a lot of publicity about Avatar viewers who experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after having to return from the movie’s magical world ‘Pandora’, back to our (comparatively) bleak one. Eliezer Sobel of the Huffington Post wrote this very interesting article about escaping into other worlds (whether by entering a 3D virtual reality like Avatar or having a good old-fashioned psychedelic experience).  He makes the inspirational point that:

“The alluring world of Pandora is not ‘out there.’ It surrounds us every moment, it is the very atmosphere in which we live and move and have our being. Hell and heaven are separated only by an infinitesimal turn of the mind and inner view.”

In a similar vein is Sue Blackmore’s refreshingly frank article “I Take Illegal Drugs for Inspiration”. She speaks about her experiences with different substances, and comes to the following conclusion:

“Are drugs the quick and dirty route to insight?  I wanted to try the slow route, too. So I have spent more than 20 years training in meditation – not joining any cult or religion but learning the discipline of steadily looking into my own mind.

Gradually,  the mind calms, space opens up, self and other become indistinguishable, and desires drop away. It’s an old metaphor, but people often liken the task to climbing a mountain. The drugs can take you up in a helicopter to see what’s there, but you can’t stay.

In the end, you have to climb the mountain yourself – the hard way. Even so, by giving you that first glimpse,  the drugs may provide the inspiration to keep climbing.”

As you leave a screening of ‘Avatar’ or the last traces of a chemically-induced buzz wear off, coming back down to social consensus “reality” is often depressing. You want to go back, to retain those feelings and thoughts during your day to day existence. You’ve been taken in for a sneak peak at something incredibly different.  Now you feel like you’re back where you started.  But you’re not really – the experience you had up there (or in the cinema!) can inspire and drive you to start climbing back the hard way.  I believe it’s possible to achieve all kinds of altered states without outside help or stimulation, but it takes a lot more patience, time, and effort.

So why bother? Because in the end most methods of ‘getting high’ still leave you with the inevitable process of coming down. Some descents are bumpier than others and it’s common to find yourself quickly seeking out another escape in order to avoid a crash landing. As Sobel put it:

“There is really not much use in continuously revisiting artificially induced states if it is at the expense of doing the actual work required to integrate the teachings from those selfsame states into one’s life in a meaningful and less transient manner. Philosopher and Zen practitioner Alan Watts compared it to a scientist in a lab who discovers something under the microscope; she doesn’t just keep on repeating the experiment and staring at the result; she takes new actions informed by her discovery. Or, switching metaphors, Watts also said, ‘When you get the message, hang up the phone.'”

In the 1960s, Dr. Richard Alpert (soon to become spiritual teacher Ram Dass) gave the Indian guru Maharaj-ji a massive dose of LSD, and was shocked to find it had no effect on his mind whatsoever.  Was he already living in – or beyond – the psychedelic state of consciousness?

Maybe spiritual teachers sell their philosophies all wrong. In this day and age, who wants to go through all that work just to become ‘enlightened’? How about marketing the practice of meditation as a way to achieve powerful natural highs that are entirely under your control – with no hangover! (You won’t believe it’s still legal!)

In all seriousness, it does sound amazing: To depend on nothing and no one else to make you happy. The ability to create your own ecstasy and internal bliss – anytime, anyplace.

Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that spirituality was the ultimate high – the greatest escape of them all?

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Cutting Edge: Articles for a New Age

As we start to sink our teeth into 2010, here is the Daily Transmission’s pick of the most interesting reads from the past weeks:

First head over to Brainwaving, where you’ll find the brilliant David Nutt’s article on the comparative dangers of taking ecstasy and horse-back riding:

Is Equasy More Dangerous Than Ecstasy?

Reading the full version of his article alerted me to an astounding set of statistics:

“A telling review of 10-year media reporting of drug deaths in
Scotland illustrates the distorted media perspective very well
(Forsyth, 2001). During this decade, the likelihood of a newspa-
per reporting a death from paracetamol was in per 250 deaths,
for diazepam it was 1 in 50, whereas for amphetamine it was
1 in 3 and for ecstasy every associated death was reported.”

Talk about distorting perception of danger…

Also at Brainwaving is an excellent review of the movie Avatar by Dr. Ralph Metzner, for anyone who’s interested in looking deeper into this newest cultural phenomenon:

Avatar: A Mythic Masterpiece For Our Troubled Time

A reprint at Reality Sandwich alerted me to Michael Garfield’s September 2009 article in H+ magazine on The Psychedelic Transhumanists. A dense read, but rich and thought-provoking if you have the time to dig in.

While you’re there you might want to watch the video of a man playing the piano with only his brain. Completely surreal: By Thought Alone: Mind Over Keyboard.

Back in the here and now, Naomi Klein makes a compelling argument that ties in corporate branding, Barack Obama, and “No Logo” over at the Guardian: Naomi Klein on how corporate branding has taken over America

Finally, a bit of a trend alert in the Evening Standard: The New Psychedelia. A cleverly compiled overview of the coolest new psychedelia-influenced fashion, art, music, and film.

The 60s are in the air… let’s just hope this trend goes beyond swirly prints and trippy sci-fi.

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Salvia Divinorum and the Not-So-Sage American Legislature

Reason magazine has a fantastic article called The Salvia Ban Wagon about the ridiculous panic-driven rush to make salvia divinorum illegal in the US. Highly recommended reading.

Salvia divinorum (literally “diviner’s sage”) is a psychoactive herb traditionally used in divination and healing, which was legal in the US until recent media attention triggered dozens of states to implement bans on its sale and use.

One of the fundamental obstacles we face is a society that cannot come to terms with the idea that experiencing other states of consciousness through the use of substances is a time-honoured, ancient, and important component of human existence.

It’s ironic considering we all accept certain substances, such as alcohol, as serving a purpose socially. We know alcohol is a tool that can be used to have a good time or be abused to have a bad one. But we can’t seem to carry that logic through to other currently illegal drugs.

More than just having a good time, ‘hallucinogenic’ or ‘psychedelic’ drugs allow one to enter states of consciousness that are not unnatural, but rather inaccessible to most of us in our modern society. Spend some time in a sensory deprivation tank, meditate alone in a cave for a month, and you’ll probably have a trippy experience more intense than any schedule I or class A drug. Some plant-based drugs provide a shortcut to that experience.

It’s funny because in America we have drugstores on every corner. So in terms of these mind-expanding or consciousness-expanding drugs, it must be the mind-expansion, not the drugs, that we’re afraid of!

Salvia has a long history of medicinal and spiritual use by the Mazatec shamans and the banning of this drug based on fear drummed up by the media and a few immature You Tube videos is a terrible shame. Let’s not repeat the mistake we made in the 1960s and rush to ban a drug that’s hurting no one. Instead let’s see this as an opportunity to re-examine our drug policies and attitudes towards altered states of consciousness in a society that so desperately needs a good shaking up.

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Posted: November 20th, 2009
Categories: Consciousness, Drugs, Politics
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Defend Our Right to Explore the Unlimited Potential of the Human Mind

A shout out today to the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE), I found the following posted on their website particularly inspiring:

The CCLE’s focus is on protecting the unlimited potential of the human mind, and we maintain that criminal drug prohibition infringes on the inalienable right to freedom of thought. We maintain that the war on drugs is not a war on pills, powders, and plants, anymore than the earlier governmental efforts to ban books or to censor publications was a war on paper and ink. These are wars against thinking certain ways, and for this reason we maintain that criminal drug prohibition is unconstitutional cognitive censorship, and inconsistent with the basic values and freedoms upon with the United States was founded. So long as a person does not endanger others, the CCLE maintains that the government lacks the constitutional authority to punish the person simply for self-determining his or her own cognitive processes.

The CCLE strives to protect the fundamental right to freedom of thought — a right that Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo has called “the matrix, the indispensable condition for nearly every other form of freedom.” Because our enumerated rights date back to a time in which the drafters could not have conceived of modern methods of mental enhancement, or mental surveillance and control, the CCLE is committed to gaining legal recognition of cognitive liberty and to expanding legal protection for our rights of mind.

Sounds about right!

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Posted: November 14th, 2009
Categories: Consciousness, Drugs
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Quantum Physics: A Point Where Science and Spirituality Can Finally Meet?

Following up on “Reality As You Know It Does Not Exist”, it’s time to look at the world through a new lens.  It seems to me that our great instruments, which we had built to confirm our concept of the world as a machine built out of predictable and understandable parts, have now shown us that the universe is an ethereal, drifting mirage!  Nothing is really solid, just slow moving energy.  The universe is a seething field of potential.

What is even more astonishing is the realisation that this potential only becomes a ‘reality’ when it is observed by a conscious mind.  Quantum physicists found that “the state of all possibilities of any quantum particle collapsed into a set entity as soon as it was observed or a measurement taken.”

When you put this together with the idea that everything (including us) in the universe is part of a dynamic web of interconnected and inseparable energy patterns, that the universe is only a series of relationships, you can see how it makes sense to say that we are all one.

So then the spiritual idea of God ‘creating the world’ would be equivalent to the scientific idea of our individual and collective consciousness actively shaping the world we live in, as it is doing this very moment. Prayer, meditation, and belief are ways of focusing consciousness, and work because we are all part of ‘God’ (rather than praying to some exterior force).

This unity (God, Brahman, Tao, Spirit, Energy, Light, Vibration) is central to all major religions, thus their common moral foundation of “Do unto others as to thyself” – because the other is no different from the self.

Food for thought, eh?

For More:

Space and Motion

Into The Quantum Realm

Star Stuffs

Quantum Life Changes

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Mankind Is No Island: A Film To Remind Us That We Are One

Winner of the 2008 New York short film festival Tropfest, The Daily Transmission is delighted to share with you this inspirational little movie.  Produced on a budget of $57 and shot entirely on a mobile phone, Mankind is No Island is an inspirational reminder to all of us that we are one.

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Posted: November 7th, 2009
Categories: Consciousness, Inspiration
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News Flash: Reality As You Know It Does Not Exist

The broth has been simmering for quite a while now, but I think we’re finally ready to taste it.

All signs point in one direction. The very system we built to understand solid reality has pulled the carpet out from underneath our feet. Quantum physics now shows the universe to be a seething field of energy and potential.

The most important aspect of this realization is that the state of all possibilities of any quantum particle collapses into a single set entity only when it is observed or measured. Hence, there is no one “reality” without an observer. No objective reality, only subjective reality. We create our own universe.

I’m no quantum physicist but the implications are mind-blowing.

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