Others Articles ' special 60's ' Sunday Freaks 15

There are many speculations and sketchy assumptions about how psychedelic facilitates the management of depression and this has engendered a few theories.  The cerebral stimulations that are associated with the frivolous use of psychedelics have shown to have lasting effects. This provides unmistakable insight into the reason behind the fact that people who use psychedelics for recreational purposes do not get similar gains when compared with people that use psychedelics in controlled and prescribed conditions.

Over the years, there have been extensive clinical investigations into use of psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms and LSD in the improvement of depression. New experimental findings have indicated that psychedelics have therapeutic effects that can help with the management of depression which is a lasting cognitive disorder that is very problematic to treat. Experimental investigations have revealed recognizable improvements on mood even when administered once.  

A couple of lifestyle and behavioral changes must be incorporated by people who have had depression before in the bid to maintain general wellbeing, in most cases, a blend of changes is required. These lifestyle and behavioral changes often encompasses the following: eating balanced diet, creating more time for relaxing activities, regular workout routines, and self-meditation for sustenance that prevents a relapse. 
 
Discoveries have strongly suggested that Psilocybin which gotten from psychedelic 'shrooms is most likely a potent therapy for anxiety and depression with special emphasis on people that suffer from cancer. Additionally, the therapeutic outcome lingers for an extended period and helps maintain overall psychological balance over a month.

According to an Associated Press report psilocybin was reported as potent alternative to placebo and has revealed noteworthy health improvements in those the drug was administered.  One of the advantage of the shroom as unraveled by the study is that the shrooms has an effect that triggers an inclination towards supernatural and magical behavior. The use of psychedelics has shown to have a profound impact in the management of depression with concomitant benefits that expands the cognitive capabilities and emotional awareness of people in ways that allows them to overcome the feeling of fear while offering an intense and deeper understanding of the environment and world. The use psychedelics empowers the mind in ways that foster emotional transparency while strengthening bonds with your core spiritual beliefs in ways that radically improves perception of  yourself and your existence.    

There are also other potent psychedelics to be found on the internet that could also have an inspirational and maybe therapeutical potential. For example in trufflemagic.com one can find magic truffles. Magic truffles are a type of mushroom that grows beneath the ground and are better known for their hallucinogenic and psychedelic effects. Magic truffles contain the substances psilocin and psilocybin.

Let's wait and see if Science will prove that psychedelics  unlock passages in the brain that were previously blocked, thereby fostering the unrestricted flow of emotions allowing the individual to be more in touch with underlying feelings.
 
Credits for the article to Nico Brown
 
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 10:36

Three all time classic Psychedelics

In every period of their history, human beings use sacred plants for mystical experiences. Here are a few of the most famous ones.


Salvia divinorum

Salvia  leaf is physically safe. The plant is a member of the family of Labiatae plants.
The plant itself  is a fascinating psychoactive, not chemically related to any other one. Mazatec Indians, (Oaxaca - Mexico)used Salvia in religious and healing ceremonies.
 Salvia  is a truly unique visionary herb and offers a deep experience of introspection. Anyone who has tried that he came to a  state of awareness and self-reflection. Some choose to go there just for a strong feeling of meditation. Salvia Divinorum contains salvinorin (a chemical substance). Salvinorin is the psychoactive substance that creates Salvia's mind-altering effects. Also the effects of Salvia are instant when used, the plant is completely safe without any toxicity and side effects. It is good to mention the obvious saying that of course when under the influence of these kind of psychedelic substances, you should avoid driving any vehicle in order to protect yourself and the others. A good idea would be also that if you are a newbie to try this with friends and not alone and in a place that you feel comfortable and safe.  


Peyote

Peyote cactus, was also one of the plants that has been used for thousands of years by Native American Indians as a part of their very important mystical and  religious ceremonies. The small, cactus grows in the American Southwest and northern Mexico contains a psychoactive ingredient  that is called Mescaline, a strong  hallucinogenic chemical. Mescaline  use was prohibited in several US states in the 1920s and 30s, but during the sixties remained legal in most of the US states. Many hippies had the opportunity to try the psychedelic presents of peyote, and describe their experiences as life changing. Nowadays peyote is used to cure addictions to hard drugs and  alcohol but also depression.


Magic mushrooms
 
Magic mushrooms are fungi originally grown in Americas but also in Asia. This kind of mushrooms are used for ages but the last decades were known as “Magic” because of the psychedelic  LSD-like effect  that produce. Psychologist Timothy Leary was one of the first scientists that supported the use of this kind of mushrooms for psychological use. Psilocybin is the chemical compound contained in the Magic mushrooms responsible for the psychoactive effects of these fungi.These effects were until the fifties mostly unknown to the  Western world. An article that appeared in Life magazine made the so called in our days “shrooms” very  popular
Since in many countries magic mushrooms are nowadays outlawed, people can try the magic truffles - a similar fungi - also known as "Philosopher's Stones" and  contain also psilocybin and psilocin. Recently scientific research found out that there is a possibility that Magic mushrooms can potentially be used to cure depression. The effects of Magic Truffles are similar to the ones of Magic Mushrooms. They contain the same chemicals that make you experience another perception of the reality around you.

Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 19 October 2014 09:05

The Science Behind Cannabis and Creativity

During a government background check in 1988, Steve Jobs famously remarked:
“The best way I would describe the effect of the marijuana and the hashish is that it would make me relaxed and creative.”
So, was one of the most creative minds of our time onto something, or was he just a turtleneck-wearing stoner who happened to be a genius?

We work in a creative industry. Our success depends on our ability to generate exciting ideas and fresh campaigns, to adapt to various budgets, resources, and constraints. The best thing about our line of work is that, oftentimes, we can go as far as our imaginations will take us. That’s also the scariest thing.
That’s why we’re always looking for an edge. We’re always interested in what other creative people are doing to produce their best work, and you know what?
A lot of them are smoking weed.

I’m not suggesting we swap out our coffee machine for a vaporizer or turn the supply closet into a green room, but I do think it’s an interesting debate. Marijuana is more popular than ever with people of all ages. The legalization movement has gained a lot of traction over the past few years, and it may not be long until weed is completely legal across the country.
So, without debating the politics or the economics of the sticky icky—or even the moral implications—I want to explore the issue on a deeper level. Does marijuana help the creative process or not?

The Science and Neuroscience
We’re not the first ones to ask this question, obviously. The effects of marijuana on creativity have been studied extensively by everyone from prestigious PhDs in university laboratories to white kids with dreadlocks in their college dorms. The findings have been a bit of a mixed bag.
One of the keys to creativity is divergent thinking, meaning the ability to view things in a multitude of different ways. It’s what makes creative people creative. It’s what makes people, upon viewing your creation, say, “I’ve never thought of it that way,” or “Wow, what was he smoking?”

With that in mind, a 2010 study by Morgan, Rothwell, et al. showed that one of marijuana’s primary properties is its ability to increase hyper-priming, or your ability to make connections between seemingly unrelated concepts. It’s the cause behind those famous and well-parodied “Aha!” moments when a high person suddenly realizes a deep truth about himself after noticing something inconsequential like a dead worm on the sidewalk; or how a weed-fueled conversation can go from whether or not the guy from ABC’s “Nashville” was also in an episode of “Boy Meets World” (he was) to the pros and cons of Taco Bell quesadillas in no time flat.
Marijuana also causes your brain to release the neurochemical called dopamine, which gives users the signature calm, euphoric feeling. It also helps reduce your inhibitions and turn off your “inner-editor” while writing, drawing, or brainstorming. People high on marijuana often describe their thoughts and feelings as moving more freely, almost flowing through them.

Last, research suggests that cannabis blurs the lines between a person’s five senses, allowing for an increased capacity for wonder and awe. It enhances your ability to marvel at things, somehow allowing you to experience events in a profound, internal way.

But it’s not all cheese puffs and genius works of art for weed smokers. A study done in 2010 by Bourasa & Vaugeois claims that the supposed creative benefits of marijuana don’t hold up statistically. The study showed no positive effect from marijuana on divergent thinking and that it may even have a negative impact in this area.
So, how do we explain the disparity between studies? Maybe creativity is tougher to define than we’re led to believe. Maybe it’s more complicated than a series of tests or response times engineered by psychologists.
Even if we were to agree that divergent thinking is the most important aspect of creativity, it’s still only one aspect. Weed isn’t some magical substance that can turn any old schlub into Picasso. True creativity also requires intelligence and a whole lot of hard work.

The High and Creative
If science isn’t your thing, maybe anecdotal evidence will be more up your alley. Let’s put it this way; if weed were a brand, it’d have dozens of high profile celebs fighting over who gets the right to endorse it.
Kevin Smith, director, screenwriter, and actor, credits his discovery of marijuana with helping him climb out of a creative rut after a slew of film failures.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys claims that smoking weed helped him write the massively acclaimed album Pet Sounds.
Alanis Morissette smokes weed regularly when writing music. ALANIS MORISSETTE, PEOPLE.
Famous people have made their stance clear: marijuana is a heck of a way to jump-start your creative process. As Bill Hicks said:
“See, I think drugs have done some *good* things for us, I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a Favor: go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your CDs and burn ‘em. ‘Cause you know what? The musician’s who made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years… Rrrrrrrrrrrrreal —— high on drugs.”

The Argument Against
So, we should all go ahead and toke up so we can crank out the next great American novel, right? Not so fast.
For the time being, at least, marijuana is still illegal in most states, and there’s already been enough said about the potential health hazards of smoking on a regular basis. But even beyond that, there are some pretty serious drawbacks to getting high and creating that we need to consider.
You know the stereotypical pothead you see in movies and on television? The one that’s spacey, aloof, and has trouble forming intelligible sentences? Well, there’s the dark side of pot for you. Sure, it’s great to be able to make unique connections between ideas, but it also means you may have trouble focusing on and completing tasks.
For example, researchers at NASA conducted a study during which they gave various drugs to spiders and recorded their efforts at spinning webs before and after. The spiders on weed attempted to spin webs, but often gave up about halfway through. Classic pothead behavior. You might guess, then, that weed and deadlines don’t mix.
The portions of web that they did manage to complete were often significantly less precise than their sober counterparts, so it’s probably safe to say that surgeons and airplane pilots should go ahead and pass on the pipe, too.
Using marijuana to ignite creativity certainly isn’t for everyone. People that need to operate at a high intellectual level, or anyone that holds another person’s life or well-being in his hands, should abstain. The impairments that weed often inflicts just aren’t worth the potential creative boost.

Summary
The decision to use marijuana as a creative stimulant is a personal choice. The data suggests that, while there’s no guarantee you’ll smoke your way into a massive breakthrough, some users may find a little bud is just the thing their right-brain needs to get going.
We don’t endorse drug-use of any kind, but we’re not blind to the world we live in, either. It’s out there, and people are using it, so it’s important that we try to understand it.

We’ve laid out some of the pros and cons of smoking marijuana; how it can help you, how it can hurt you, what it can do for you, and what it can do to you. The facts are available. What you choose to do with them is up to you.
Published in NEWS Archives
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 07:37

The use of Ganja in India

The white man goes into his church and talks about Jesus; the Indian goes into his tepee and talks to Jesus
— Quanah Parker
 

There are three types of cannabis used in India. The first, Bhang, consists of the leaves and plant tops of the marijuana plant. It is usually consumed as an infusion in beverage form, and varies in strength according to how much Cannabis is used in the preparation. The second, Ganja, consisting of the leaves and the plant tops, is smoked. The third, called Charas, consists of the resinous buds and/or extracted resin from the leaves of the marijuana plant. Typically, Bhang is the most commonly used form of cannabis in religious festivals.

 
Cannabis or ganja is associated with worship of the Hindu deity Shiva, who is popularly believed to like the hemp plant. Bhang is offered to Shiva images, especially on Shivratri festival. This practice is particularly witnessed at temples of Benares, Baidynath and Tarakeswar. Bhang is not only offered to the deity, but also consumed by Shaivite (sect of Shiva) yogis. Charas is smoked by some Shaivite devotees and cannabis itself is seen as a gift (“prasad,” or offering) to Shiva to aid in sadhana. Some of the wandering ascetics in India known as sadhussmoke charas out of a clay chillum.
 
 
In Indian tradition marijuana is associated with immortality. The myth of the churning of “Amrita” by Hindu Gods is said to be the making of cosmic ‘Bhang’ (a marijuana drink) . This Amrita is known as the elixir of eternal life.  After churning the ocean, the demons attempted to gain control of the Amrita, but the gods were able to prevent this seizure, giving cannabis the name ‘Shudha Vijaya’ meaning ‘Pure Victory’. According to one description, when the elixir of life was produced from the churning of the ocean by the devas and the asuras, Shiva created cannabis from his own body to purify the elixir (whence, for cannabis, the epithet angaja or body-born). Another account suggests that the cannabis plant sprang when a drop of the elixir dropped on the ground. Thus, cannabis is used by sages due to association with elixir and Shiva. Wise drinking of bhang, according to religious rites, is believed to cleanse sins, unite one with Shiva and avoid the miseries of hell in the after-life. In contrast, foolish drinking of bhang without rites is considered a sin. Early Indian legends maintained that the angel of mankind lived in the leaves of the marijuana plant. It was so sacred that it was reputed to deter evil and cleanse its user of sin. In Hindu mythology hemp is a holy plant given to man for the “welfare of mankind” and is considered to be one of the divine nectars able to give man anything from good health, to long life, to visions of the gods. Nectar is defined as the fabled drink of the gods. Tradition also maintains that when the nectar or Amrita dropped from heaven, cannabis sprouted from it.
Shiva churning Bhang
According to legend, Lord Siva, the Supreme God of many Hindu sects, had some family squabble and went off to the fields. He sat under a hemp plant so as to be sheltered from the heat of the sun and happened to eat some of its leaves. He felt so refreshed from the hemp plant that it became his favorite food, and that is how he got his title, the Lord of Bhang. Cannabis is mentioned as a medicinal and magical plant as well as a “sacred grass” in the Atharva Veda (2000 B.C.) which releases us from anxiety and refers to hemp as a “source of happiness”, “joy-giver” and “liberator”.  It has been venerated and used as a sacrifice to the Gods. Indian Tradition, writing, and belief is that the “Siddhartha” (the Buddha), used and ate nothing but hemp and its seeds for six years prior to announcing (discovering) his truths and becoming the Buddha.
 
BUDDHA
Fifteenth-century documents refers to cannabis as endowing light-heartedness, joy and rejoice, and claimed that among its virtues are “astringency”, “heat”, “speech-giving”, “inspiration of mental powers”, “excitability” and the capacity to “remove wind and phlegm”.
Among fakirs (Hindu and Muslim Ascetics) bhang is viewed as the giver of long life and a means of communion with the divine spirit. Like his Hindu brother, the Muslim fakir reveres bhang as the lengthener of life and the freer from the bonds of self. Shirdi Sai Baba, a well renowned Saint used to smoke hemp in a chillum (pipe); this chillum is believed to have magical and spiritual attributes.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the section on “mysticism”:
 
"The Vedas (Hindu sacred writings) are hymns to the mystic fire and the inner sense of sacrifice, burning forever on the ‘altar Mind’. Hence the abundance of solar and fire images: birds of fire, the fire of the sun, and the isles of fire. The symbol system of the world’s religions and mysticisms are profound illuminations of the human-divine mystery. Be it the cave of the heart or the lotus of the heart, ‘the dwelling place of that which is the Essence of the Universe, "the third eye", or the eye of wisdom’ - the symbols all refer back to wisdom entering the aspiring soul on its way to progressive self-understanding. ‘I saw the Lord with the Eye of the Heart. I said, "Who art thou?" and he answered, "Thou"’."
 
The ancient Indian mystics said, “…that in the ecstasy of bhang (marijuana) the spark of the Eternal in man turns into light the murkiness of matter or illusion and the self is lost in the central soul fire. Raising man out of himself and above mean individual worries, bhang makes him one with the divine force of nature and the mystery ‘I am he’ grew plain. (Taken from the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report which was written at the turn of the twentieth century.)
 
In the early 20th Century AD,  the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission set up to study the use of hemp in India contains the following observations :
"…Bhang is the Joy-giver, the Sky-filler, the Heavenly- Guide, the Poor Man’s Heaven, the Soother of Grief…No god or man is as good as the religious drinker of bhang…The supporting power of bhang has brought many a Hindu family safe through the miseries of famine. To forbid or even seriously restrict the use of so gracious an herb as the hemp would cause widespread suffering and annoyance and to large bands of worshipped ascetics, deep-seated anger. It would rob the people of a solace on discomfort, of a cure in sickness, of a guardian whose gracious protection saves them from the attacks of evil influences…” . I find it so ironic that the British Raj didn’t attempt any prohibition on the plant so as not to hurt the sentiments of the Indian people; The plant was later prohibited much later, by our own Indian Government, post Indian Independence! L
 
According to Earnest Abel in “Marijuana - The First Twelve Thousand Years - 6” , the Sikh community in India used hemp as Sukhnidhan, sometimes referred to as Bhang, is a war beverage, first created and prepared by Guru Gobind Singh, consisting of a mixture of water, almond nuts, milk and cannabis. Narrated by many Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Persian native accounts, the Singhs used Sukhnidhan and consumed Sukhnidhan daily. The Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report describes the traditional use of cannabis in the Sikh religion.
 
“Among the Sikhs the use of bhang as a beverage appears to be common, and to be associated with their religious practices. The witnesses who refer to this use by the Sikhs appear to regard it as an essential part of their religious rites having the authority of the Granth or Sikh scripture. Witness Sodhi Iswar Singh, Extra Assistant Commissioner, says :”As far as I know, bhang is pounded by the Sikhs on the Dasehra day, and it is ordinarily binding upon every Sikh to drink it as a sacred draught by mixing water with it. Legend—Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru, the founder of the Sikh religion, was on the gaddi of Baba Nanak in the time of Emperor Aurangzeb. When the guru was at Anandpur, tahsil Una, Hoshiarpur district, engaged in battle with the Hill Rajas of the Simla, Kangra, and the Hoshiarpur districts, the Rains sent an elephant, who was trained in attacking and slaying the forces of the enemy with a sword in his trunk and in breaking open the gates of forts, to attack and capture the Lohgarh fort near Anandpur. The guru gave one of his followers, Bachittar Singh, some bhang and a little of opium to eat, and directed him to face the said elephant. This brave man obeyed the word of command of his leader and set out on horse back with his shield and spear to attacked the elephant, who was intoxicated and had achieved victories in several battles before, with the result that the animal was overpowered and the Hill Rajas defeated. The use of bhang, therefore, on the Dasehra day is necessary as a sacred draught. It is customary among the Sikhs generally to drink bhang, so that Guru Gobind Singh has himself is said to have said the following poems in praise of bhang: “Give me, O Saki (butler), a cup of green colour (bhang), as it is required by me at the time of battle. “Bhang is also used on the Chandas day, which is a festival of the god Sheoji Mahadeva. The Sikhs consider it binding to use it on the Dasehra day-The quantity then taken is too small to prove injurious.” As Sikhs are absolutely prohibited by their religion from smoking, the use of ganja and charas in this form is not practised by them. of old Sikh times, is annually permitted to collect without interference a boat load of bhang, which is afterwards. distributed throughout the year to the sadhus and beggars who are supported by the dharamsala. Sukhnidhan is offered as a holy drink or Kara Parshad to all visitors in a Gurdwara. This is regarded as food blessed by the Guru and should not be refused.”
 
By the sixteenth century A.D., it found its way into India’s popular literature. The Dhurtasamagama, or “Rogue’s Congress”, a light farce written to amuse audiences, has two beggars come before an unscrupulous judge asking for a decision on a quarrel concerning a maiden at the bazaar. Before he will render his decision, however, the judge demands payment for his arbitration, In response to this demand, one of the beggars offers some bhang. The judge readily accepts and, tasting it, declares that “it produces a healthy appetite, sharpens the wits, and acts as an aphrodisiac”.
 
In the Rajvallabha, a seventeenth-century text dealing with drugs used in India, bhang is described as follows:
“India’s food is acid, produces infatuation, and destroys leprosy. It creates vital energy, increases mental powers and internal heat, corrects irregularities of the phlegmatic humor, and is an elixir vitae. It was originally produced like nectar from the ocean by churning it with Mount Mandara. Inasmuch as it is believed to give victory in the three worlds and to bring delight to the king of the gods (Siva), it was called vijaya (victorious). This desire-filling drug was believed to have been obtained by men on earth for the welfare of all people. To those who use it regularly, it begets joy and diminishes anxiety.”
 
 
Cannabis was also an important part of the Tantric religious yoga sex acts consecrated to the goddess Kali. During the ritual, about an hour and a half prior to intercourse the devotee placed a bowl of bhang before him and uttered the mantra: "Om hrim, O ambrosia-formed goddess [Kali] who has arisen from ambrosia, who showers ambrosia, bring me ambrosia again and again, bestow occult power [siddhi] and bring my chosen deity to my power."  Then, after uttering several other mantras, he drank the potion. The delay between drinking the bhang and the sex act was to allow the drug time to act so that it would heighten the senses and thereby increase the feeling of oneness with the goddess.
Published in NEWS Archives
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 06:41

The story of Malana

A remote primitive little village in the Himalayas, Malana was isolated from the outside civilization for thousands of years. Was never invaded or ruled by an external administration. The people there had been living in harmony with nature, an innocent pure existence with their own language, their own world, their own democracy. Their people’s republic has been governed by a village council with an upper house and a lower house like the bicameral assemblies of our parliament. The council members are chosen by the village folk through a process of unanimous selection - not an election! Their court has been resolving all their internal disputes. No manipulation, no favoritism, they have their God in front. All decisions have been unanimous; every individual’s opinion is considered – unlike the present form of democracy that leads to dictatorship of the majority. And the secret of their civilization has been trust. the democracy of trust. Since a given word is taken as absolute, they have never felt the need for formal education.
 
In popular belief they are supposed to be the descendants of some deported Greek soldiers of Alexander, yet some traces their existence rooted deep in Hindu mythology. Their ancestral roots may be debatable but their democratic setup with participatory court procedure has similarity to that of ancient Greece.
 
And they have been producing some very good quality hashish. Blessed by Lord Shiva good quality cannabis plant grows in abundance there. For ages the use of cannabis has been an integral part of their lives, from medicine to footwear. But in the past they had never traded it; neither did they know the value of it. Their only trade with the outside world had been sheep wool.
In the seventies came some white men. They taught the villagers how to rub the cream – the cleaner and more potent hashish suitable for an international market. Those foreigners drew them into business. Malana cream became an international brand. Hashish production grew like a home industry for each household. The poor villagers started earning money and they didn’t know the value of money either.
The Indian government took notice of a hidden backward tribe who as par laws of the state were into criminal activity. The outlaws were to be brought under the rule of our mainstream democracy. Malana became a part of our national electorate, a part of our mainstream administration.
 
And the invasion begins… To give them the light of our civilization government starts building a series of dams, tunnels through the mountain to generate hydel-power. Malana gets electricity, Television, satellite dishes, mobile phones, a vehicular road. With them comes all the vices of a modern world, comes money, comes greed. The incursion of political parties also means creation of political polarity among the beautiful people of a peaceful hamlet. With no knowledge or perspective of the outer world innocent illiterate villagers take sides of political parties and create a divide within.
 
And the fire strikes… In January 2008, in a devastating fire, caused by an electrical short circuit, half the village including four ancient temples gets completely destroyed. The villagers comprehend that the political divide has disturbed their unity so the God is angry. The people who haven’t lost their houses accommodate those who have lost theirs. But the fire annihilates; the curse of the modern world has hit hard upon the hidden treasure of this ancient civilization - their trust.
The rebuilding of Malana witnesses transition of an ancient civilization. Rules of the modern world, which promote homogenization and convenience, force replacement of traditional methods and practices. In our democracy it’s illegal to cut trees, so the villagers are forced to build concrete houses instead of their traditional stone and wood ones. Poor villagers cannot understand how come the government can destroy their jungle to built the dam or the road and they themselves are prohibited to cut a few trees to rebuild their homes! Concrete house means outside knowledge, outside people, more money; so comes outside aids with their political interests! An age-old traditional society crumbles; the influential individuals turn corrupt, families break apart, brothers fight.
 
For the poor villagers hashish still remains their only means to earn some money, and it’s a very little money, not even enough to make their living forget about rebuilding their homes. Their production is very restricted now because of police watch. They don’t understand why they have to give away something, which has been so special to them for thousands of years! For them governance is for the people, so why can’t the government make special sanctions for these poor people in crisis! They don’t realize why they have to become a part of India and loose their sovereignty!
 
We can see the end is very near. In the name of progress of human civilization, like thousands others, another ancient civilization is getting engulfed by a modern one, loosing its unique identity to homogenization. When the whole world is looking for an answer to the shortcomings of the present form of democracy, we witness a beautiful model of self-governance, one of the world’s oldest forms of democracy for the people being obliterated by the rule of the majority.
 
I feel destined to record such a reality… some moments of truth, some disappearing myths, some wisdom of trust… a dying account of an obscured victim of human progress!
 
Fear and Loathing in the Magic Valley of Malana, India’s Cannabis Country
By Shweta Desai, 10th January 2014 (Republished with permission) 
 
Deep in India’s Himalayas, in the remote and isolated Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, is the quiet village of Malana. When autumn arrives each year, Malana is enveloped in what was once a hopeful air brought on by the new harvest, as lanky cannabis trees bloom wild in panoramic fields and against scattered houses. Farmers and villagers begin cultivating in late September, rubbing the buds of fully bloomed plants between their palms to extract the brown hashish resin known mystically as Malana’s crème. Today this time of year carries with it the dark pall of police interference.
 
Cannabis/Marijuana in Malana, India
 
Malana’s crème has a notorious legacy in international stoner culture. It has won the Best Hashish title twice, in 1994 and 1996, at High Times magazine’s Cannabis Cup. Marijuanaphiles the world over have since made this region a popular weed-tourist destination, branded in travel and ganja-hunting literature as the exotic and alluring “Malana and the Magic Valley.” It was inevitable that the farmers would start to realize the global potential of their plants—and that the cops would take any and all measures to prevent these rural agriculturalists from increasing production. The most effective tool in authorities’ arsenal is satellite technology, but the farmers have found a workaround.
Malana is perched on a treacherous cliff, and until recently the only way to reach it was by foot. This helped marijuana farmers avoid the close monitoring of local and national police. But new roads connecting the village with surrounding towns and cities have resulted in a harsh reality for farmer-businessmen ambitious with their valuable crop. Because of these recently paved roads, cops are now able to respond quickly to intel provided by satellite Global Positioning Systems (GPS). They have destroyed Malana’s visible, free-range hemp crops three times in each of the last three years, prosecuting villagers—this year there have been 42 cases—who were growing crops on their private land. Repeated offenses can lead to cancellation of land ownership. This approach by the authorities has prompted citizens to cultivate cannabis in large tracts of government forest, making it difficult to prove ownership.
“The plant was here long before the police came—or the foreigners, the road, the electricity,” says 22-year-old Shanta, a grower. “Even before this bhang [cannabis] became the famous Malana crème. Why are we being made criminals?”
Perhaps the most interesting question is not why, but how.
“With the GPS system we can spot the exact locations of the crops,” says Vinod Dhawan, superintendent of police in the Kullu District. “These places are videographed and marked once the crop is destructed to ensure the villagers don’t come back for cultivation.” With Western customers, comes Western-like authoritarian overreach.
 
Marijuana/Cannabis in Malana, India
 
Satellite images procured by the Narcotics Control Bureau—the country’s main drug enforcing agency—have identified 52 independent regions in the districts of Kullu, Mandi, Chamba, Kangra, Sirmour and Shimla, including an estimated 2,500 villages, where cannabis cultivation is a major source of livelihood. The police can act only when they have some information, of course, but the percentage of crop destruction stands at around 40 percent of Malana’s annual take. It’s not a tenable business model for farmers with no other income, so they’ve taken their farms elsewhere.
“We go deep in the forests, where the police cannot see the farms,” says Shanta, who treks five hours each day from Malana into the forests to reach his cannabis farms.
“It takes an expertise of a mountain climber and at least eight hours for the police to climb the high peaks where these farms are,” says superintendent Dhawan. “With the production of cannabis in the valley taking place between September and November, it is practically impossible for us to eradicate cannabis 100 percent in two months time.’’ With little incentive and a tiny budget, the police are fighting an uphill battle.
High yield coupled with cheap labor makes India’s retail prices among the lowest in the world based on quality. The popularity of Malana’s hashish is now intrinsically attached to the livelihood of the villagers, with the majority of the 2,000 or so inhabitants involved in cannabis farming in one way or another. But the production and cultivation of cannabis in India was not always prohibited. Its consumption even today is widely accepted in both religious and social settings. In fact, the government used to set up weed retail shops during holidays like Holi, a festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil.
But growing international pressure in the 1960s, largely led by the United States of America’s war on drugs, led India to codify recreational drugs like weed with harder ones like cocaine and heroine under the Indian Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985. Conviction under the law for cultivation or sale of any of these carries a prison term of no fewer than 10 years.
For local farmers in Malana, not cultivating marijuana is like living on an island and not fishing.
Historically, Malana’s villagers used the indigenous plant’s strong fibers to make shoes and its seeds to brew hash oil for cooking. It remains integral as a religious offering to the presiding local deity, Jamlu Devta. It is only recently that the locals have started to truly understand the financial value of their treasure. The cultivation of the crème is a full-fledged trade industry—one unlike any other the people have.
“The police say it’s a drug,” Shanta says. “That it is dangerous. But this is just a plant—a naturally grown one. We don’t know why this is dangerous.”
According to the “World Drug Report 2012″ from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, India has over the course of the last decade become one of the major global sources of hash, along with Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Lebanon. The reported cannabis cultivation in India stands at 10,539 acres, which is low in comparison with Afghanistan (59,305 acres), Mexico (40,772 acres) and Morocco (23,227 acres).
Villagers say of the 1 million pounds of cannabis and 500,000 pounds of hashish produced in India, a meager 330 pounds comes from the Malana village. The rest, they claim, is from surrounding villages, and even Nepal. Though tasked with cracking down on cannabis production and preventing its circulation in the cities, the police are aware of the sociological difficulties of playing by the book.
 
 
“Cannabis is a social and cultural issue,” says Dhawan. “We take all the possible action, but we cannot fight this menace by registering offenses against the local villagers and putting them behind bars all the time. We cannot make these people from Malana orphans.”
Filmmaker Amlan Dutta, a vocal supporter of legalization of cannabis in India, agrees with Dhavan.
“The harsh reality is that hashish has become a means of livelihood,” says Dutta. “However, cannabis farming for social and cultural reasons should not be criminalized.”
 
In his award-winning documentary BOM: One Day Ahead of Democracy, Dutta highlights the transition in Malana due to development and the struggle for sustenance under the growing police intimidation. Decriminalization of cannabis, he says, would relieve the drug enforcing agencies from the added burden of destroying cannabis plantation and registering criminal offenses against the villagers. It would also allow people from Malana to grow cannabis legally as in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, where the Indian government provides production licenses for medicinal and research purposes.
 
Filmmaker Amlan Dutta smoking...something.
 
In the last few years, Dutta initiated the BOM BOM trust with like-minded supporters to retain Malana’s self-sufficient, weed-heavy economy. The trust offers vocational training in sheep rearing, wool production, jam making, honey collection and the creation of alternate products from cannabis like hemp oil and hemp paper. It also sponsors students from Malana for higher education in Kullu valley.
“The villagers know that their sustenance is on something which is illegal,” Dutta says. “So it has become a criminal community. If we can reduce their dependency on hashish production in any way and legalize the cannabis cultivation, we still can save Malana.”
 
 
Published in NEWS Archives
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 06:05

The Story of Charas, Malana & Parvati Valley !

In India, there has been a long recorded history of the sacramental use of the Cannabis plant popularly known as "Ganja" in India. Even today there are many religious / spiritual sects in India who use Ganja to attain altered states of consciousness which bring them closer to their inner divinity, allowing wisdom and intuition to rise within their consciousness. A million and more Naga Babas, the Nihangs of Punjab, the Pandas of Orissa all use Cannabis in one form or another and have been doing so for many many years. So how did this amazing plant get to be ostracized by modern society ? Someone obviously doesn't want us all to wake up from the slave driven reality we help co-create.


The illegality of Cannabis in India doesn't stop millions of people living here, who choose to use the herb on a regular basis regardless of the so called law. How is it that we still accept a law which makes a plant illegal ? Doesn't matter which part of the world you live in, there has got to be some sense and coherence in the way we choose to live our lives, freely, without having to accept inane laws that are made to diminish our frequency and keep us enslaved in our self created prisons. The fact is that most people who use Cannabis regularly know the true worth of the sacred herb. The history of the plant and its long recorded use by sages and ascetics is evidence of the magical potential it holds as a plant teacher, a friend.

While most people in the world use Cannabis, the flowering tops (buds) of the female plant, there are some who make use of the resin collected from the buds of a mature plant. Charas, the holy resin from the Cannabis plant is considered a gift from Shiva and is said to aid all Shaivites (People who follow Shiva) in their Sadhana. In the Hindu Kush mountain ranges of India, its Cannabis Indica which thrives and is known to be quite different from Cannabis Sativa strain in its effects.

Cannabis Sativa has a higher level of THC compared to CBD, while Cannabis Indica has a higher level of CBD compared to THC. Cannabis strains with relatively high CBD:THC ratios are less likely to induce anxiety. This may be due to CBD's antagonistic effects at the cannabinoid receptors, compared to THC's partial agonist effect.

 

CBD is also a 5-HT1A receptor (serotonin) agonist, which may also contribute to an anxiolytic-content effect. This means that the high concentrations of CBD found in Cannabis indica mitigate the anxiogenic effect of THC significantly. The effects of sativa are well known for its cerebral high, while indica is well known for its sedative effects which some prefer for night time use.

Both types are used as medical cannabis. Indica plants are normally shorter and stockier than sativas. They have wide, deeply serrated leaves and a compact and dense flower cluster. The effects of indicas are predominantly physical and sedative.
 

An interesting documentary called Goonj, about the scene in Himachal, particularly around the Malana village where most villagers have been growing Cannabis as their main cash crop. The documentary features one of India's well known film actors, Naseeruddin Shah who has always been pro cannabis and doesn't shy away from accepting the fact that he loves the herb too and sees the illegality of the plant absolutely illogical.

Charas from the Himalayas goes all around the world and due to its high quality and popular demand it's value also increases manifold as it crosses borders and makes its way into Europe. In Amsterdam for instance, the coffee shops sell different varieties of Cannabis, Charas and Hashish openly to their customers. Good Charas from India could be anywhere between €10 and €20, maybe more if its really top notch quality !

In India, because of its huge supply and demand, the prices have been sky rocketing. As the Charas leaves the villages of Himachal and makes its way to other Indian cities, the price for a tola (10 gms) could range anywhere between 1k - 3k. The purity of the stash can be questionable though, with all kinds of other stuff added to it as it exchanges hands. Parvati Cream from Himachal is considered the best variety of Charas one can smoke while in India. Its also sometimes referred to as "Junglee Maal" and is really really potent stuff !

The Smoking Babas : Holy Men of India

Although most people prefer rolling a joint which has a mixture of tobacco and charas, in larger groups of regular smokers Chillums are passed around more often with an opening salutation to Shiva ...
 
... Bom Bholenath ...
Published in NEWS Archives
Saturday, 13 September 2014 10:42

LUMINOKAYA ART EXHIBITION. MOSCOW

Дорогие друзья!
 
SHANTI GALLERY & QUANTUM TRIBE приглашает вас 19 СЕНТЯБРЯ на долгожданное аудио-визуальное мероприятие, на котором будет представлена коллекция новых работ художника LUMINOKAYA, совместные лайв анимации от ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya под музыкальное сопровождение от ASTROPILOT - live. В верхнем зале для вас выступит с атмосферным диджей сетом IVGENERATE.

~VISION~

LUMINOKAYA art exhibition - выставка новых работ
www.luminokaya.com 

www.goa-freaks.com/visionary/luminokaya

ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya - live animations
https://www.facebook.com/acaciavisuals 


~SOUND~

ASTROPILOT - live
http://www.mixcloud.com/astropilot/astropilot-live-at-utopia-boom-landing/

IVGENERATE - dj-set
https://soundcloud.com/ivgenerate/f


Начало мероприятия в 20:00.

Место проведения: Галерея-ресторан «Shanti»

Адрес: Москва, Мясницкий проезд, 2/1, телефон ресторана: 8(495) 783-68-68

ОРГВЗНОС - 500р


Выставка продлится до воскресенья 21 сентября.

В течении выставки у вас будет уникальная возможность лично пообщаться с создателем работ и участниками мероприятия.

По вопросам приобретения работ обращайтесь на почту This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Интересующимся мировой психоделической живописью рекомедуем свежий выпуск интерактивного журнала Sunday Freak на сайте www.goa-freaks.com , посвящённого VISIONARY ART & VISIONARY ARTISTS.
 
Published in News
Thursday, 14 August 2014 16:40

10 Seriously Psychedelic Movies

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is an adaptation of Roald Dahl's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." It tells the story of Charlie Bucket, a young boy from a poor family who wins a golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Instead of an assembly line, Charlie encounters a world of wonder within Wonka's factory walls.
Waking Life
Waking Life
Richard Linklater's animated feature, "Waking Life," is a benchmark for psychedelic movies. Its unnamed main character shifts through his dreams, discussing the meaning of life and the universe. Each dream involves distinct animation styles, which blend elements of reality with dreamlike mindscapes.
Fantasia
Fantasia
Disney's "Fantasia" is unlike the studio's other feature films. Disney originally conceived the film as a comeback vehicle for Mickey Mouse. He had produced the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" as a short, but the film ran over budget. Instead of extending it, Disney decided to produce seven other short segments and set them to classical music. The movie lacks a plot; instead, each segment is a visualization of the piece of music that accompanies it.
Un Chien Andalou
Un Chien Andalou
One of the most surreal movies ever made predates special effects and even sound. "Un Chien Andalou" (An Andalusian Dog) was the brainchild of the surrealist artist Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. The movie does not make much sense. It jumps between bizarre and sometimes disturbing sequences. The black and white imagery and the lack of spoken words add to its unearthly nature.
 
Brazil
 
Brazil
In "Brazil," Jonathan Pryce plays Sam Lowry, a bureaucrat in a futuristic society who dreams of leaving his complicated world for somewhere void of technology and bureaucracy, which he imagines to be Brazil. However, an administrative error makes him a wanted man. The movie blends a dystopian society with dream sequences, making it quite psychedelic.
 
La Jetee
 
La Jetee
Fans of "12 Monkeys" may recognize the plot of this 1960s short film. It takes place in a future after World War III. A man goes back in time to get food and supplies from the past and possibly prevent the catastrophic world war that destroys civilization. While he is there, he continually remembers an incident from his childhood, which took place during the year to which he has returned.
 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Johnny Depp plays journalist Raoul Duke in the screen adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's book of the same name. Fuelled by drugs, Duke and his lawyer drive to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race. The movie shows the world from Duke's perspective, and since he consumes a lot of psychedelic drugs, the result is often trippy.
 
Memento
 
Memento
"Memento" tells a strange and captivating story, following a man named Leonard as he tries to piece together his wife's murder. But Leonard has lost his ability to retain new memories, and he can't remember anything after his wife's death. Each day he must try to recover what he learned the day before through clues he leaves for himself.
 
Being John Malkovich
 
Being John Malkovich
In "Being John Malkovich," John Cusack plays a puppeteer who discovers a hidden doorway that leads directly into the mind of the actor, John Malkovich. It allows him to enter John Malkovich's mind for 15 minutes at a time. He and his wife, Lotte, make frequent trips into Malkovich's head, causing them to question the meaning of life and who they really are.
 
Pi
 
Pi
"Pi" is an unconventional movie about a mathematician searching for the secrets of the universe through numbers. Max (Sean Gullette) is a chaotic genius who also suffers from paranoia and migraines. He builds a supercomputer that can predict the stock market. One day, the computer spits out a 216-digit number that may contain the meaning of the universe.
Psychedelic movies incorporate surreal or dreamlike settings or stories, blending elements of reality with dreams, hallucinations, or figments of the imagination. Many also play with time, leaving the viewer with a feeling of displacement.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 09:50

Trippest short cartoons ever

Today we will try to give you a lovely naturally psychedelic morning. Make your wakeup coffee meanwhile loading - and enjoy 5 best of Goa-Freaks.Com choice of the trippest short cartoons ever:
 
 
 
 
 
Published in NEWS Archives
With instrumental originality, sound exploration, studio effects and extended improvisation as the central elements of psychedelic music, these songs were chosen by Sunday Freaks editors as the best examples that helped define the genre.
 
TOP 100 PSYCHEDELIC SONGS OF 60-s RECOMMENDED BY SUNDAY FREAK.
 
With instrumental originality, sound exploration, studio effects and extended improvisation as the central elements of psychedelic music, these songs were chosen by Sunday Freaks editors as the best examples that helped define the genre.
 
Impact & lasting influence were primary factors with lyrical content considered to a lesser degree. Those artists known specifically as vocal groups were excluded.
 
 
TOP 100 PSYCHEDELIC SONGS OF 60-s RECOMMENDED BY SUNDAY FREAK.
 
  1. Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles
  2. The American Metaphysical Circus - The United States of America
  3. Grace - Country Joe & The Fish
  4. Interstellar Overdrive - Pink Floyd
  5. Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix Experience
  6. At The Mountains of Madness - H.P. Lovecraft
  7. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
  8. Dark Star - Grateful Dead
  9. Bass Strings - Country Joe & The Fish
10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles
11. Spare Chaynge - Jefferson Airplane
12. Strange Days - The Doors
13. Other Side of The Sky - Gong
14. My White Bicycle - Tomorrow
15. Translucent Carriages - Pearls Before Swine
16. White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
17. Beacon From Mars - Kaleidoscope
18. Season of The Witch - Donovan
19. Venus In Furs - The Velvet Underground
20. Magoo - Country Joe & The Fish
21. Comin' Back To Me - Jefferson Airplane
22. Astronomy Domine - Pink Floyd
23. Feel Flows - The Beach Boys
24. The Parable of Arable Land - The Red Crayola
25. I Am The Walrus - The Beatles
26. Shifting Sands - West Coast Pop Art Experiemental Band
27. Horse Latitudes - The Doors
28. Bracelets of Fingers - The Pretty Things
29. The Red Telephone - Love
30. Electrallentando - H.P. Lovecraft
31. Castle In The Clouds - Gong
32. Zig Zag Wanderer - Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
33. The Child Bride - Earth Opera
34. Section 43 - Country Joe & The Fish
35. Eight Miles High - The Byrds
36. I've Got Levitation - 13th Floor Elevators
37. Hallucinations - Tim Buckley
38. Still I'm Sad - The Yardbirds
39. Maiden of The Cancer Moon - Quicksilver Messenger Service
40. Dear Mr Fantasy - Traffic
41. 1906 - West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
42. The Ballad of Freddie & Harry - Clear Light
43. Itchycoo Park - Small Faces
44. Nightfall - The Incredible String Band
45. Keep Your Mind Open - Kaleidoscope
46. Hurdy Gurdy Glissando - Steve Hillage
47. Cloud Song - The United States of America
48. Sky Pilot - Eric Burdon & The Animals
49. Mind Gardens - The Byrds
50. Oxo - Bruce Palmer
51. Mechanical World - Spirit
52. Dancing Madly Backwards - Captain Beyond
53. Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun - Pink Floyd
54. Heaven Is In Your Mind - Traffic
55. And The Gods Made Love - Jimi Hendrix Experience
56. Orange & Red Beams - Eric Burdon & The Animals
57. Ether Ships - Steve Hillage
58. Leiyla - West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
59. Creation - The Incredible String Band
60. Rack My Mind - The Yardbirds
61. White Bird - It's a Beautiful Day
62. In My First Mind - Steve Miller Band
63. Splash, Now I'm Home - 13th Floor Elevators
64. Two Weeks Last Summer - Dave Cousins
65. See Emily Play - Pink Floyd
66. A Child's Smile - Clear Light
67. And I Wish I Were Stoned - Caravan
68. The Beauty of Time Is That It's Snowing - Steve Miller Band
69. Yoo Doo Right - Can
70. Now Your Time Has Come - Tomorrow
71. Joy of a Toy - Soft Machine
72. Images of April - Pearls Before Swine
73. Paper Sun - Traffic
74. Rosemary - Grateful Dead
75. I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time - Third Bardo
76. Ritual #1 - West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
77. Just The Thought - Eric Burdon & The Animals
78. Paranoia #2 - Hawkwind
79. Flashback - Moving Sidewalks
80. Death By Fire - Earth Opera
81. Magic Man - Caravan
82. Pat's Song - Country Joe & The Fish
83. Lather - Jefferson Airplane
84. You're Gonna Miss Me - 13th Floor Elevators
85. Walking Thru My Dreams - The Pretty Things
86. Medication - The Chocolate Watch Band
87. Roller Coaster - 13th Floor Elevators
88. Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers
89. Armenia City in The Sky - The Who
90. Green of My Pants - The Red Crayola
91. Fantasy - Fifty Foot Hose
92. A Question of Temperature - The Balloon Farm
93. She Comes In Colors - Love
94. Iron Butterfly Theme - Iron Butterfly
95. Alice In Blunderland - Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
96. Piece For Piano & Electric Bass Guitar - The Red Crayola
97. 10,000 Words In a Cardboard Box - Aquarian Age
98. Upside Down - Hawkwind
99. Madman Running Through The Fields - Dantalian's Chariot
100. The Spiritual Death of Howard Greer - Touch
And now we publish our own selection of the books, highly recommended to those who want to expand and open their consciousness without any drugs. Psychedelic literature gives you the main thing you are seeking through years of experience- THE KNOWLEDGE!
Happy reading!
 
PSYCHEDELIC LIBRARY
LSD My Problem Child - Albert Hofmann
Be Here Now - Ram Dass
Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story - Alexander Shulgin, Ann Shulgin
LSD - Otto Snow
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test - Tom Wolfe
Sacred Mushroom of Visions - Ralph Metzner
Psychedelic Prayers: And Other Meditations - Timothy Leary
Your Brain Is God - Timothy Leary
High Priest - Timothy Leary
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead - Timothy Leary
The Invisible Landscape - Terence McKenna, Dennis McKenna
Thr Archaic Revival - Terence McKenna
True Hallucinations - Terence McKenna
Food of the Gods - Terence McKenna
Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs
The Crying of Lot 49 - Thomas Pynchon
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
The Doors Of Perception - Aldous Huxley
Advanced Techniques of Clandestine Psychedelic & Amphetamine Manufacture - Uncle Fester
Adventures Beyond the Body - William Buhlman
Animals and Psychedelics - Rob Montgomery , Giorgio Samorini
The Shaman & Ayahuasca - Don Jose Campos, Geraldine Overton, Alberto Roman, Charles Grob
Ayahuasca Visions - Pablo Amaringo, Luis Luna
Sacred Vine of Spirits : Ayahuasca - Ralph Metzner
The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge - Jeremy Narby
DMT: The Spirit Molecule - Rick Strassman
Shedding the Layers - Mark Flaherty
The Ayahuasca Diaries - Caspar Greeff
Fishers of Men - Adam Elenbaas
Heavenly Highs - Peter Stafford
Pineal Gland & Third Eye - Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler
Supernatural - Graham Hancock
Inner Paths to Outer Space - Rick Strassman
The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide - James Fadiman
Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing - Michael Muhammad Knight
Hallucinogens: A Reader - Charles S. Grob
The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia - Paul Devereux
One Pill Makes You Smaller - Lisa Dierbeck
The Chemistry of Mind-Altering Drugs - Daniel M. Perrine
Peyote and Other Psychoactive Cacti - Adam Gottlieb
Peyote : The Divine Cactus - Edward F. Anderson
The Hummingbird's Journey to God: Perspectives on San Pedro - Ross Heaven
Plant Spirit Shamanism - Ross Heaven, Howard G. Charing
Plants of the Gods - Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Ratsch
Psilocybin Mushroom Handbook - L. G Nicholas, Kerry Ogame
Psychedelic Monographs & Essays - Thomas Lyttle
The Psychedelic Sacrament - Dan Merkur
Off the Wall: Psychedelic Rock Posters from San Francisco - Jean Pierre Criqui
Mushrooms and Mankind - James Arthur
The Psychedelic Future of the Mind - Thomas B. Roberts
The Psychedelic Renaissance - Dr Ben Sessa
The New Science of Psychedelics - David Jay Brown
Brotherhood of the screaming abyss - Dennis McKenna
Psychedelic Shamanism - Jim DeKorne
Psychedelic Trips for the Mind - Paul Krassner
Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford
Sacred Plant Medicine : The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism - Stephen Harrod Buhner
Soma : Divine Mushroom of Immortality - R. Gordon Wasson
Persephone's Quest - R. Gordon Wasson, Stella Kramrisch, Carl Ruck, Jonathan Ott
The Great Shark Hunt : Strange Tales from a Strange Time - Hunter S. Thompson
Sisters of the Extreme - Various
Cosmic Trigger I : Final Secret of the Illuminati - Robert Anton Wilson
What the Dormouse Said - John Markoff
The Road of Excess : A History of Writers on Drugs - Marcus Boon
The Joyous Cosmology : Adventures in the Chemistry of Conciousness - Alan Watts
The Road to Eleusis - R. Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann
Are You Experienced ? - Ken Johnson
The Secret Chief - Myron J. Stolaroff
The Natural Mind - Andrew T. Weil M.D.
Earth Ascending - Ph.D. Jose Arguelles
States of Consciousness - Charles Tart
The Private Sea : LSD & the Search for God - William Braden
Transfiguration - Alex Grey
Storming Heaven : LSD and the American Dream - Jay Stevens
The Teachings of Don Juan ( series ) - Carlos Castaneda
Psychedelic : Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s - David Rubin
Tryptamine Palace : 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad - James Oroc
Electrical Banana : Masters of Psychedelic Art - Norman Hathaway, Daniel Nadel
The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes : The Art of Alan Aldridge - Alan Aldridge
Art of the Dead - Phil Cushway
High Art : A History of the Psychedelic Poster - Ted Owen
Sex, Rock 'n' Roll & Op. Illusions - Victor Moscoso
Visionary Plant Consciousness - J. P. Harpignies
Yellow Submarine.. the Beatles (hardcover) - Charlie Gardner
Hallucinogenic Plants (A Golden Guide) - Richard Evans Schultes, Elmer W. Smith
Ecstasy : The MDMA Story - Bruce Eisner, Peter Stafford, Stanley Krippner
Codex Seraphinianus - Luigi Serafini
Art Forms in Nature - Ernst Haeckel
Salvia Divinorum : Doorway to Thought Free Awareness - J. D. Arthur
Mushroom Wisdom : How Shamans Cultivate Spiritual Consciousness - Martin W. Ball
Ayahuasca in My Blood : 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming - Peter Gorman
Ayahuasca Reader - Luis Eduardo Luna, Steven F. White
Cleansing the Doors of Perception - Huston Smith
Sacred Mushrooms : Secrets of Eleusis - Carl A. P. Ruck
Etidorpha The End of Earth - John Uri Lloyd
Psychedelic Healing - Neal M. Goldsmith
Decoding Eternal Tales : Psychedelic Art of John Thompson - John Thompson
Global Tribe : Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance - Graham St. John
Orange Sunshine - Nicholas Schou
The Art of Peter Max - Charles A. Riley, Peter Max
Illuminatus - Robert Venosa
LSD Psychotherapy - Stanislav Grof
The Futurological Congress : From the Memoirs of Ijon Tichy - Stanislaw Lem
Grudge Punk - John McNee
Vurt / Pollen - Jeff Noon
Visions of a Huichol Shaman - Peter T. Furst
The Shaman's Mirror : Visionary Art of the Huichol
Trout's Notes on San Pedro & Related Trichocereus Species - Keeper of the Trout
Left in the Dark - Tony Wright, Graham Gynn
Entangled - Graham Hancock
Enter Through the Image - L. Caruana
The Art of the Fillmore : 1966-1971 - Gayle Lemke, Bill Graham
Memoirs of an ExHippie : Seven Years in the Counterculture - Robert A. Roskind
The legends, myths, mysteries from Hippies till nowadays will be published here to introduce you the history of establishment of World's Psychedelic Culture:
 

Two weeks ago we chose Terence McKenna as our Freaks Hero....

A few months before Terence McKenna passed away, he gave a last interview to countercultural writer and pundit Erik Davis. Our attention was caught by the part in which McKenna discusses the metaphysical meaning of animation and the part where he names some of his favorite cartoons. What follows is the transcribed section of the interview in which Terence discusses animation and then the actual psychedelic animation videos which Terence mentions in the interview.

Terence McKenna on Psychedelic Animations – From Erik Davis’s last interview with Terence McKenna

“I encourage everybody to think about animation, and think about it in practical terms. To look at objects, and pose these things to themselves as a model of old problems, because out of that will come a language rich enough to support an actual form of human communication that’s been very elusive and maybe never at hand at all.”

“It’s very interesting when you talk to people or listen to people, how many people who take psychedelics have cartoon-like encounters with beings. And you say: Gee, this is weird, cartoons only go back to 1920 or 1915 or something. How weird that an out there technical phenomena could just grab a whole section of human psychology and camp there with that kind of tenacity. And to me that indicates it has an archetypal claim on that territory”

Absolute psychedelic genius. Robert Crumb.“Well, The great genius of Disney… Disney is my idea of – beyond Edison and Ford or anybody  - of what we really mean by an American genius. Because he had mice who wear gloves living inside his head, but he was able to create a mechanical technology to show people these mice. So instead of just being put quietly away by his brother or something like that, he said: “No, no, you don’t understand. Money! This is worth money! If we can show people these glove wearing mice and talking ducks and all this stuff.”

“And then he was a sufficiently American Yankee genius that he saw how to take a flip book and put it on celluloid and do all that. Yeah, I think Disney is a very very far out person. He went to the platonic ideas and came back with baskets full of [???] released them in American towns and cities, and did very well.”

Erik Davis: “Animation is a great place to see the reflection of things that are happening at the culture at large.”

Mckenna: “And certain people take it to incredible Heights. Do you know that animation called “Asparagus”? You should check it out. It’s about 20 – maybe it’s 15-20 years old – but it’s very highly detailed, as realistic as a van Eyck painting, and totally surreal. Also, do you know that one by Sally Cruikshank called “Quasi at the Quackadero”? that’s a DMT extravaganza carnival basically, a cartoon carnival, but a carnival crazy enough to convince you you should go take drugs basically. And Max Fleischer is a genius and all these people.”

Absolute psychedelic genius. Robert Crumb.

Erik Davis: “Fleischer is great. I think Fleischer is the true origin of underground comics. I think you find the most pregnant images of a certain kind of seedy – like the way that Robert Crumb presents a certain kind of seediness – and sort of failure of the bodies and spaces, and yet that’s infused with a kind of like magical eye. So you really have that both in Fleischer. You really have the mania of the Betty Boom but also a certain kind of quotidian, almost proletarian graininess to these characters.”

McKenna: “Yes, it would be very hard to imagine postmodernity without Crumb’s input. I consider him an absolute psychedelic genius. Very few people have had the influence without the karma that crumb had. He basically did all that stuff, sold the drawings and moved to a chateaux in southern France and called it quits. And got away with it.”

Asparagus – Susan Pitt (1979)

Suzan Pitt’s Asparagus was screened together with David Lynch’s “Eraserhead” for two years on the midnight movie circuit. It has a loose plot, lots of phallic imagery and surreal, psychedelic content.

Quasi at the Quackadero – Sally Cruikshank (1975)

Quasi at the Quackadero is about two ducks and a pet robot who visit a futuristic psychedelic amusement park in which you can view your thoughts, watch yesterday’s dreams, or go visit the past.

Max Fleischer Videos

 Max Fleischer was one of the leading pioneers of American animation who worked in animation since the 1910s. He invented the Rotroscope technique which has since been used in films such as Waking Life and Scanner Darkly, as well as a number of other animation techniques. Fleischer’s biggest animation stars were Betty Boop, Bimbo and Popeye the Sailorman. A few  of his videos were already featured on the Daily Psychedelic VideoBetty Boop – Ha Ha Ha,  Bimbo’s Initiation and  the Saint James Infirmary Blues in Betty Boop’s Snow White.

Wikipedia says has this to say about Fleischr’s style of animation:

“Fleischer cartoons were very different from Disney cartoons, in concept and in execution. The Fleischer approach was sophisticated, focused on surrealism, dark humor, adult psychological elements and sexuality. The Fleischer milieu was grittier, more urban, sometimes even sordid, often set in squalid tenement apartments with cracked, crumbling plaster and threadbare furnishings. Even the jazz music on Fleischer’s soundtracks was rawer, saucier, more fitting with the unflinching Fleischer look at America’s multicultural scene.”

Below are three short and psychedelic animations by Fleischer Studios. The first one was banned because of the explicit use of nitrous oxide. In the second one, Betty Boop and her partner Bimbo sell a magic potion by the name of “Jippo”, which can cure every malady and cause fantastic transformations. The third one follows Bimbo through his incredible psychic initiation.

 

This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.

 
Today we decided to make a deep search to find the roots and try to highlight the future of Psychedelic Visual Media. So, lets see:
 
How Psychedelic Aesthetics Took Over the World.
If one were to judge the state of the psychedelic visual style in 1980, one would probably consider it to be an obsolete fad which receded into the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although decades have passed since the psychedelic sixties, psychedelic elements are today deeply integrated into contemporary visual culture from Avatar to videos by Beyonce and Rihanna.
The story of psychedelic visuals did not begin in the 1960s. It is in fact an extremely long tale which stretches from mankind’s prehistorical mystical visions, through the psychedelic revolution of the sixties, to modern consumerist media society and beyond. In order to understand the appeal which the psychedelic visual style holds for our postmodern culture one must get back to the roots of psychedelic aesthetics in the visionary experience.
 
Huxley’s  analysis of psychedelic aesthetics
“Prenatural light and color are common to all visionary experiences” wrote Aldous Huxley in his Heaven and Hell “and along with light and color there comes in every case, a recognition of heightened significance. The self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their colour.”
 
The origin of intense coloring in the visionary experience. Aldous Huxley.
Visionary experiences has many possible characteristics, but the most common of which, according to Huxley, is the experience of light: “Everything seen by those who visit the mind’s antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colors are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state, and at the same time the mind’s capacity for recognizing fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened.”
 
Huxley’s lengthy discussion about the aesthetics of the visionary and psychedelic experience in Heaven & Hell remains one the most perceptive pieces about the roots of psychedelic aesthetics. His rich background as a scholar of aesthetics, a scholar of mysticism and a pioneering practitioner of psychedelic journeys, allows him to examine the issue of the visual characteristics of psychedelia from a large historical and philosophical perspective which is essential if one is to decipher the true meaning of psychedelic aesthetics.
 
All psychedelic visions are unique, claimed Huxley, yet they all “recognizably belong to the same species”. What they have in common are the preternatural light, the preternatural color and the preternatural significance, as well as more specific architectures, landscapes and patterns which tend to reoccur a
 
cross psychedelic and visionary experiences. For Huxley this intense color and light was one of the primary and most indelible characteristics of what he called the mind’s antipodes, the unknown territories to which the psychedelic voyager is transported.
Looking at the traditions of various cultures, past and present, Huxley found a common ground between their accounts of the heavens or the fairylands of folklore and  the lands of the antipodes. He noted the existence of Other Worlds, mythological landscapes of fantastic beauty in many of the world’s cultural traditions. In the Greco-Roman tradition there were the Garden of Hesperides, the Elysian Plain and the Fair Island of Leuke. The Celts had Avalon, while the Japanese had Horaisan and the Hindu Uttrarakuru. These other worldly paradises, noted Huxley, abound with intensely colored and luminescent objects which bring to mind the psychedelic visionary experience. “Every paradise abounds in gems, or at least in gemlike objects resembling as Weir Mitchell puts it, ‘transparent fruit.’” Wrote Huxley. Ezikel’s version of the Garden of Eden notes the many various stones in the garden, while “The Buddhist paradises are adorned with similar ‘stones of fire’”. The New Jerusalem is constructed in glimmering buildings of shimmering stone. Plato’s world of the ideals is described as a reality where “colors are much purer and much more brilliant than they are down here”.
 
 
Mystical paradises were always glowing with color and light.Avatar.
Huxley introduces many more examples of ancient cultures which establish the import and centrality of glimmering gems and precious stones in various mythologies. The implication he draws from this consistency is that the “otherwise inexplicable passion for gems”must have had its roots in “the psychological Other World of visionary experience”. In other words, “precious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary.”
Moreover, Huxley notes, “among people who have no knowledge of precious stones or of glass, heaven is adorned not with minerals but with flowers”. Many more examples follow for the various intensely colored, shiny and often luminescent objects in which man had sought the semblance of the Other Worlds, among them candles, works of jewelry, crowns, silks and velvets, medals, glassware, the vision inducing stained glass windows of churches and even ceramics and porcelain ware.  All these, argued Huxley, act to transport human beings into higher realities: “contemplating them, men find themselves (as the phrase goes) transported –carried away toward that Other Earth of the Platonic Dialogue, that magical place where every pebble is a precious stone.”  Shiny objects, argued Huxley, remind the unconscious of the mind’s antipodes and so allow us to experience a taste of visionary consciousness.
The human urge to be transported into the numinous realm has found its expression in mythologies and religion, but also in art. Huxley notes a number of artists who used colors in transporting ways such as Caravaggio, Geroges de Latour, and Rembrandt. Indeed, he notes:
“Plato and, during a later flowering of religious art, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that pure bright colors were of the very essence of artistic beauty”.
Although Huxley argues that this categorical equation of beauty with bright colors leads to absurdity, he also finds this doctrine to be not altogether devoid of truth. “Bright pure colors are the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beauty”: the beauty of works of art which can transport the beholder’s mind in the direction of its antipodes.
Modern taste is often reserved about using intensely bright colors, and prefers the more restrained and undemonstrative palette of minimalism and modernist design. The reason, argued Huxley, is that “we have become too familiar with bright pure pigments to be greatly moved by them”. In the past, pigments and colors were costly and rare. The richly colored velvet and brocades of princely wardrobes, and the painted hangings of medieval and early modern houses were a rarity reserved for a privileged minority, while the majority of the population lived a drab and colorless existence. This all changed with the modern chemical industry and its endless variety of dyes and colors. “In our modern world there is enough bright color to guarantee the production of billions of flags, and comic strips, millions of stop signs and taillights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containers”, and all those objects which in the past might have possessed a transporting numinous quality were reduced by the new industrial consumer market into ordinary banality.
 
The evolution of psychedelic aesthetics in modern times
The potential of psychedelics to act as powerful catalysts for creativity in general and for visual artists specifically was  noted by researchers of psychedelics already in the 1950s. Oscar Janiger who administered psychedelics to artists was immediately flooded with artists enthusiastic to explore their creativity through the use of psychedelics. “Ninety-nine precent expressed the notion that this was an extraordinary, valuable tool for learning about art”. Ron Sandison noted a patient whose style changed completely after a psychedelic experience “and she began to paint in the style she wanted to, which was imaginative”.
Many more anecdotal accounts of the artistic merit of psychedelics appear during these years. However, the great aesthetic shift ushered by psychedelics would only come as a result of their popularization in the mid-1960s. The psychedelic revolution has brought the visionary aesthetic which stood at the center of many works of art and religion back to the foreground of western culture, but now through the prism of the emerging pop culture of the 1960s.
San Francisco psychedelic poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanely Mouse & Alton Kelley redefined the boundaries of numinous aesthetics by integrating it into commercial psychedelic posters which advertised bands and  rock concert. These psychedelic artist, who experimented with colors and forms  were inspired to a great extent by the Art Noveau movement of early 20th century and it’s emphasis on organic forms and lines, as well as in the idea of life as art. The aesthetic of these  posters would define a new artistic style that would be widely distributed and collected.  Meanwhile, psychedelic art flourished outside the poster genre. Visual artists such as Mati Klarwein, Robert Fraser and Milton Glaser designed psychedelic album covers for the likes of Miles Davis, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.
 
 
Mati Klarwein’s psychedlic cover to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
Other forms of psychedelic aesthetics have emerged in various cultural domains. Psychedelic fashion was popularized by rock artists and countercultural figures and even introduced into couture by designers such as Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Psychedelic light shows by psychedelic light show artists and groups such as Marc Boyle, Mike Leonard and The brotherhood of light became a popular trend in music concerts. (Here one should also note an extremely popular form of  psychedelic aesthetics, which is the luminescent culture of Burning Man Festival, whose fascination with glowing colors  have turned it over the years into a distinct form of light-worship, a spiritual fest ordered around the heavenly glow Huxley referred to in his work). Psychedelic architectural and inner designs flourished in the communes and were experimented with by a variety of architects and designers as thoroughly documented in the book “Spaced Out”.
What these various genres of psychedelic aesthetics had in common was the use of intensive coloring, extensive use  of natural lines, extensive use of op-art as well as of elaborate patterns and designs that sought to transport the viewer into a different state of consciousness. 
 
Like the other forms of psychedelic culture, psychedelic aesthetic was a new artistic genre which was rooted in the psychedelic experience and at the same time a cultural artifact which attempted to recreate some of the elements of the psychedelic experiences within the domain of culture.
 
 
A distinct form of light worship. Burning Man.
Yet, by the late sixties psychedelic aesthetics have already left the realms of the counterculture, and started being absorbed by the larger culture, as their commercial potential began being tapped into by various enterprises from Pepsi and McDonalds to Campbell and General Electric so that by the mid-1970s, the psychedelic visual style had been largely absorbed into the mainstream consumer culture which the hippies sought to change.
The evolution and reemergence of psychedelic video
Psychedelic art, fashion, design and architecture were all contributed greatly to the creation of a psychedelic culture expressed in various artistic forms. Yet when it comes to reproducing the psychedelic experience, it seems that film and video had an altogether different potential. Psychedelic visions are after all not not static, buy dynamic and related to sound. An effective use of moving pictures and a soundtrack can powerfully recreate elements of the psychedelic experience. This would appear to be part of the reason, why psychedelic film and video would achieve an even greater popularity than did the more static reproductions of the psychedelic experience such as art, fashion, design and architecture.
Already Huxley noted in his Heaven and Hell  that the equivalent of the magic-lantern show of earlier times is the colored movie. “In the huge, expensive ‘spectacular’, the soul of the masque goes marching along” wrote Huxley. He was fascinated by various films with visionary properties, such as Disney’s The Living Desert and claimed that film has the power to create a “vision inducing phantasy”. Psychedelic elements have actually emerged on film already as early as the 1920s as could be seen in this short silent animation film from 1926 as well on Disney’s 1940s films Fantasia and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which both contained elaborate psychedelic sequences, and whose chief visualist is reputed to have participated in Kurt Beringer’s mescaline experiments in 1920s Berlin.
 
The 1960s psychedelic genre of film distinguished itself through such films as “Psych-Out” (1968), “The Trip ”, (1967), “Easy Rider ” (1969) and of course the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (1968) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey  which was frequented in cinema by numerous tripping hippies who immensely enjoyed the closing hyper-psychedelic 30 minutes sequence.
And while the attraction and novelty of the psychedelic style seemed to diminish in the beginning of the 1970s, the attempts to recreate the psychedelic visual aesthetic on film kept evolving. Experimental movie makers such as Vince Collins and Toshio Matsumoto explored psychedelic aesthetics throughout the 1970s, while new motion pictures introduced movie-goers to more elaborate and sophisticated cinematic renditions of the psychedelic experience, created about with the help of new production techniques and technologies in films such as Ken Russel’s 1980’s Altered States  and Terry Gilliam’s 1998 version of  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
But while these might seem as solitary examples, a far deeper cultural momentum was at work, advancing the integration of psychedelic aesthetic into popular culture. As I showed above, Huxley already noted the visionary aspect of commercial designs such as colorful printed advertisements or neon lights. As technology and media evolved side by side with late capitalism, psychedelic aesthetic and consumer society would find a common field of resonance. Electronic media, which media theorist Marshall McLuhan described as humanity’s nervous system, and which Erik Davis called a technology of the self, would become a new and most effective form of consciousness altering medium. The visual properties of psychedelics, which expressed themselves not only through color but also through a new and more dynamic approach to video editing, would become integrated into the popular culture, while better, bigger screens and higher resolutions created a distinctly psychedelic hyper-real quality in many of the new clips and videos.
And so, while it might have earlier seemed that psychedelic aesthetic became a thing of the past, a quick examination of today’s popular culture would teach us something radically different. Psychedelic visual style is to be found in the music clips of the many of today’s leading music artists, and not only alternative groups such as MGMTChemical Brothers or Birdy Nam Nam but also in the music clips of many of today’s leading pop artists from Beyonce to Lady GagaRihannaKesha and Nicki Minaj . Psychedelic visionary aesthetic also became an integral part of today’s commercial world from Takashi Murakami’s impeccable Louis Vitton’s commercials to commercials by SonyHyundai and Yoplait. Psychedelic videos are being created today, by web users, as well as by commercial firms and popular artists at a higher rate than ever before.
This does not mean that all these videos are psychedelic in the same way. One could distinguish between more superficial use of psychedelic motives characterized mostly by psychedelic coloring, design and editing, which can be found in more mainstream oriented productions, and more distinctly and explicitly psychedelic videos which include more hardcore psychedelic motives such as multi-perspectivism SaveFrom.netmulti-dimensionalityfigure transformationmandalas and fractalic imagery. In this way one could distinguish between soft-psychedelia and hard-psychedelia.
“the self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their color” wrote Huxley. “Significance is here identical with being”. In this, Huxley wished to point out that in contrast to surrealism, for instance, the psychedelic aesthetic is not symbolic of anything else. It is the thing itself. Its beauty needs no explanation, for it is self-evident in its color, richness and harmony. The meaning of the psychedelic visuals is “precisely in this, that they are intensely themselves”.
And this is perhaps what makes psychedelic aesthetics so appealing to today’s popular culture. The psychedelic aesthetic style, which is rooted in the visionary Other Worlds described by the mystics of humanity, is so successful precisely because it is distinguished first and foremost by its “suchness”; because it does not symbolize anything concrete, and can hence be seen as arguably indifferent to content and used for a wide variety of purposes. At the same time the powerful responses it evokes, a result of mankind’s age old fascination with the colors and light which characterized the psychedelic visions of the Other Worlds, turn it into such a powerful mind-altering tool for media.
 
The future of psychedelic media
One might ask whether the use visionary elements in consumer culture still holds and delievers  the deeper psychedelic values, or whether psychedelic visual style has become abused by other purposes. One thing should be clear, however: psychedelic aesthetics in media are here to stay. They are integrated into the cultural production system, and new technologies such as 3D screens and video glasses are about to make them ever more effective and powerful.
The advent of 3D screens, which are making their way into the consumer electronics market these days are one factor which is bound to make psychedelia an even more prominent force in our visual culture. The psychedelic experience has always been about perceiving new and unimagined dimensions, and the addition of a new dimension to media, has an inherently psychedelic quality to it. As a genre which is based on bending our perception and creating rich media environments to inspire awe, psychedelic visuals can benefit greatly from the new possibilities unleashed by the new dimensions. Indeed, Avatar, the most successful 3D film up to date, is distinguished by its extensive use of psychedelic aesthetics. Meanwhile Independent psychedelic video makers have already started to integrate the 3rd dimension into their works with mesmerizing results. The first examples of 3D psychedelic videos are so much more psychedelic and transporting than 2D psychedelic videos that this suggest that psychedelic videos will profit from the integration of the 3rd dimension into media more than any other genre of video.
Meanwhile, augmented reality projects such as the “Google Glasses” suggest that in the not so remote future one might perceive the world through high-resolution 3D screens. This in turn raises the possibility that the augmented reality glasses will be used not only to present useful data, but also to produce visual filter effects (such as changing colors or patterns) which will be screened on reality and allow us to see reality through altered senses, much in the same way that Instagram allows us to manipulate still pictures today. Rich augmented reality environments would repackage our surroundings, freeing us from the visual constraints of the real world and transporting us into other more magical realities which will present themselves from within our glasses. Thus a new market for virtual psychedelic environments and landscapes might emerge.
Psychedelics and electronic media are both powerful mind-altering tools capable at producing awe-inspiring transformational visual experiences. Psychedelic visual culture has had an appetite for using new media to enhance and recreate psychedelic experience since the invention of the strobe light and the days of Stewart Brand’s “Trips Festival”. New developments in technology and media suggest that the wedding of the psychedelic visual culture and electronic media will only become stronger in the years to come.

 

The legends, myths, mysteries from Hippies till nowadays will be published here to introduce you the history of establishment of World's Psychedelic Culture: 
How to Hallucinate Without Drugs
 
 
trippy patternsWhat's that you say ? Get high without drugs ? Pfffftt ! You must be joking ! While it's fair to say that quite a lot of people in the psychedelic music scene have or currently do enhance their lives though the use of psychedelic drugs there are also a number of people for whom such drugs hold no appeal for their own personal reasons
One of the most common reasons is that some people simply grow tired of using drugs because of the associated down that comes after the high. Did you ever experience that exhausted feeling one has Monday morning after tripping all weekend ? That can add up after time and cause people to seek more natural psychedelic alternatives that have fewer after effects.
 
So with that in mind I thought it might be nice to share some of the current methods to get high without drugs. That is to say, how to make yourself hallucinate in a more natural way. There are many web pages devoted to the causes of hallucinations and getting high without drugs ( LSD, MDMA etc) but these tend to focus on obtaining a feeling of euphoria such as one experiences after intense exercise. What I want to concentrate on in this list is the visual high that comes with the psychedelic experience and if it can be obtained without psychedelic drugs.
 
 
1. Light
 
The use of light to have a hallucinogenic experience is an idea which is growing in popularity. For some people, being subjected to a series of repeating flashes of light is enough to induce a psychedelic trip.
 
There a number of companies which offer products that allow you to attempt this at home. These devices are typically constructed of a pair of goggles in which there are a number of small LED lights which are set to flash off and on at a particularly frequency level. They are often sold under names like "mind machines", "dream makers" and other such terms that make you leave your wallet firmly in your pocket however recent scientific research and an increasing amount of user feedback has been giving weight to the argument that these machines do in fact work.
 
Devices range from the cheap and simple to the quite exorbitant depending on the materials and technology involved. One of the more recent devices to be making a splash is the Lucia no. 3 developed by a couple of Psychologists and neuroscientists. It uses stroboscopic lighting techniques to activate your pineal gland which in turn produces visions not unlike a psychedelic trip.
 
Trip glasses :
 
Create your own :
 
 
2.Dance
 
Dance has even used by humans for thousands of years to allow us to enter a trance like state and cross over the bridge into the spirit world. Native cultures such as the Australian Aborigines, African tribespeople, Sufis and American Indians have utilized the power of dance to make contact with the spirits as they enter a world of vivid color and surreal architecture and archetypes.
 
 
3. Breathing and Meditation
 
picture of person mediating on rock in a tranquil lake
Breath control and meditation have long been used by many cultures inn Asia as a means of clearing negative thoughts, finding inspiration, spiritual enhancement and becoming more self aware. Now that such practices have become world wide it is easy to find a teacher who can guide you on the meditative path. I wouldn't suggest telling your teaching you are only interested in meditation in order trip balls though.
 
Many people who practice insight meditation have reported experiencing hallucinations. From simple shapes and colors such as one might see on a low LSD dose to full on "out of body" experiences where entire characters and environments are formed and interacted within. Nobody knows for sure why it happens and the suggested reasons put forth by teachers, yogis and even Buddhist masters differ just as much as the visions reported. Some people have said that unexpected visionary hallucinations while meditating have caused long term psychological issues so it would be wise to do as much research on the topic before you dive into the deep end.
 
 
4. Sleep Deprivation
 
I have had an interest in sleep deprivation and hallucinations since I read an Aldous Huxley essay on the subject as a teenager. It was some years later when, after a particularly busy weekend, I experienced some of what Huxley mentioned all those years before. I had not slept for close to three or four days. Suddenly I began to have audio hallucinations ( hearing things that were not there ) and began to see waves of colors and geometric shapes. I fell asleep and woke about 20 hours later ! I'm no scientist but it was easy enough for me to conclude that lack of sleep definitely has an effect on how certain areas of the brain and the visual cortex function. To read more about the science behind sleep deprivation try this link :
 
 
5. Dreaming
 
For most of us dreaming is a pleasant and surreal excursion during sleep in which our brain processes the thoughts, ideas and emotions we experience during our waking life. A kind of cerebral washing machine of you like. Generally speaking dreams are unhinged and out of our control. No matter how many times you dream about your wildest desires we often wake up right before things get really juicy ! However on occasion I have had the feeling being very much in control my dreams. Like a movie director or those dudes in the movie Inception, it felt like I could simply think about a wall, a river or a thin crust pizza and it would magically appear ( no anchovies please ).
 
After mentioning this to a friend of mine, he lent me a book about lucid dreaming which detailed the process of being able to fully control your dreams at will ( after considerable training and effort ). I imagined with lucid dreaming one could experience any kind of fantastical hallucinogenic visions one could possibly think of. The psychedelic world would be my psychedelic oyster. Unfortunately after a few failed attempts I gave up on the idea. That's the problem with non-drug induced hallucinations I guess - if it doesn't work first time it's difficult to keep trying because you have that bias of having experienced instant gratification through the entheogenic and the synthetic methods of self exploration.
 
Despite my own failed attempts to create a practice of full dream control I haven't given up on the idea as a viable means of hallucinating without drugs. Some people argue the point that Lucid dreaming can not be called a hallucination as they have strict definitions on what constitutes a hallucination. That is, in essence, that it should be experienced during a non-dream, awake state. Part of me agrees and part of thinks that if you are lucid dreaming and controlling your dreams, are you really asleep ? Which also leads to arguments about what really constitutes sleep and pretty soon it's, as they say in Discworld "turtles all the way down".
 
6. Cheese
 
If you can't be bothered with lucid dreaming but would still like to make your dreams a little more surreal then look no further than cheese. Stilton cheese to be more precise. A 2005 study conducted by The British Cheese Board concluded that close to 80% of men and women reported strange and vivid dreams when they ate Stilton cheese 30 minutes before bed. That's quite a significant figure. A selection of different cheeses were provided for the research with the Stilton coming out on top in the number of reported fantastical dreams experienced by the 200 participants in the study.
 
I have also experienced such dreams after eating blue cheese. It does have a very high amount of calories and the stink it leaves in your mouth might melt the bristles off your tooth-brush so it's not something I would eat regularly. Some people point out that cheese contains high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan which can relax the body and mind and may be the reason for "cheese dreams". I doubt that however because other foods have just as much or more grams of tryptophan per 100 grams of food. Eggs and soybeans for example are higher in tryptophan than cheese and yet I don't recall ever having "egg dreams" nor "tofu dreams".
 
Another possible reason for cheese dreams I have heard is that cheese takes a long time for your body to digest so if you eat it before bed then your brain is too active at a time when it should be resting which results in vivid dreams. This also sounds like hocum to me as I regularly eat before bed ( as my wasist line can proove !) and again never experience the kind of dreams I have after eating cheese. Does cheese have some hidden chemical that is secretly effecting our nightly visions and creating a natural way to get high ? Maybe, but science hasn't provided us with an answer as of yet.
 
7. Nutmeg
 
Nutmeg isn't the most useful of spices. Apart from fruit pies and eggnog at Christmas time, most of us rarely touch the stuff. So it might come as some surprise that nutmeg has another use, one which is just as likely to make you feel as good about yourself as the festive season. Eat nutmeg, get high !
 
Nutmeg contains small amounts of a compound called myristicin, which is chemically similar to mescaline, the active compound in the peyote cactus. The downside about this legal high is that you need to consume an enormous amount of the stuff to have any noticeable hallucinogenic effect. If you can handle that then you should also know that the effects can last for up to 48 hours and that you will likely experience a lot of vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea. Some people have had positive experiences on nutmeg so it's not all doom and gloom. You can read a nutmeg trip report here :
 
 
8. Isolation Tanks / Flotation tanks
 
In the depths of my record collection is a treasured copy of the soundtrack to the 1980 movie "Altered States". The movie which stars a young William Hurt and Richard Dreyfus details a Harvard scientist's search for an out of this world spiritual experience through the use of an isolation tank. In the end the guy gets more than he bargained for. I won't give the plot away here as I think it's kind of a cool movie and well worth watching is you are interested in exploring inner space.
 
If you have never heard of an isolation tank ( sensory deprivation tank ) before, it is a light-less, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. They were first used by John C. Lilly in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now also used for meditation and relaxation and in alternative medicine.
 
Isolation tanks use the idea of sensory deprivation ( the removal of one or more sensory stimuli ) to promote hallucinatory images within the mind. Users reports are mixed after the first experience however if they persist in their isolation tank usage and are able to "let go" then many have reported the most fantastic journeys. I would love to try one some day but sadly there aren't any available in my home town. Maybe I should make it part of a holiday in another city some time... a trip within a trip !
 
9. Magnets
 
Over the past 20 years an increasing amount of research has been conducted into magnetic fields and their influence on the human brain. Apart from obvious medical applications that might arrive from such research there are also a number of more alternative research applications that are hinting at magnets being responsible for a number of hallucinogenic states.
 
Some scientists are suggesting that natural magnetic fields may be the reason why people see ghosts or why groups of people have shared UFO or alien sightings. Science has proven that magnets do indeed create hallucinations - colorful lines and geometric patterns - akin to what people experience when under the influence of hallucinogens such as psychedelic mushrooms, LSD or peyote cactus. In the future magnets and transducers could well become the new entertainment playground. Imagine a home console where games are played inside your mind rather than taken in through your eyes ? Sounds like fantasy ? Japan's SONY corporation already has a patent for such a system in place :
 
 
Here is a link to a bit of the science behind magnets and their effects of the the brain ( PDF Format ) :
 
 
While I don't know of any devices for tripping on magnets at home there have been a number I personalized size devices created by people in the past. These are typically made by converting bicycle or football helmets into a comfortable magnet housing with gauges for field strength etc. One such device that captured the public's imagination was the God Helmet.
 
10. Drumming
 
Tribal drumming is a traditional ritual technique used by shamans to enter the spiritual world. The practice is thousands of years old and is passed down the generations as a way of keeping in contact with their ancestors or seeking healing advice. The repetitive nature of tribal drumming is key to the hallucinations it can produce. The short repetitive sequencing in tribal drumming reduces the amount of sensory input and encourages the brain to generate images and feelings which are spiritual or mystical in nature. Earl Vickers wrote a nice article about tribal drumming, music and consciousness which you can read about here http://www.sfxmachine.com/docs/musicandconsciousness.html
 
SF Special Reporter
 
 
Here you will be informed about the freaky alternative science facts and researches from all over the World and Outer Space. We will publish our researches in alternative science field to open some of the main mysteries of the Humanity: 
The nature of Audio-Hallucinations.
 

Hearing Things

In 1973 the journal Science published an article that caused an immediate furor. It was entitled "On Being Sane in Insane Places," and it described how, as an experiment, eight "pseudopatients" with no history of mental illness presented themselves at a variety of hospitals across the United States. Their single complaint was that they "heard voices." They told hospital staff that they could not really make out what the voices said but that they heard the words "empty," "hollow," and "thud." Apart from this fabrication, they behaved normally and recounted their own (normal) past experiences and medical histories. Nonetheless, all of them were diagnosed as schizophrenic (except one, who was diagnosed with "manic-depressive psychosis"), hospitalized for up to two months, and prescribed antipsychotic medications (which they did not swallow). Once admitted to the mental wards, they continued to speak and behave normally; they reported to the medical staff that their hallucinated voices had disappeared and that they felt fine. They even kept notes on their experiment, quite openly (this was registered in the nursing notes for one pseudopatient as "writing behavior"), but none of the pseudopatients were identified as such by the staff. This experiment, designed by David Rosenhan, a Stanford psychologist (and himself a pseudopatient), emphasized, among other things, that the single symptom of "hearing voices" could suffice for an immediate, categorical diagnosis of schizophrenia even in the absence of any other symptoms or abnormalities of behavior. Psychiatry, and society in general, had been subverted by the almost axiomatic belief that "hearing voices" spelled madness and never occurred except in the context of severe mental disturbance.

This belief is a fairly recent one, as the careful and humane reservations of early researchers on schizophrenia made clear. But by the 1970s, antipsychotic drugs and tranquilizers had begun to replace other treatments, and careful history taking, looking at the whole life of the patient, had largely been replaced by the use of DSM criteria to make snap diagnoses.

Eugen Bleuler, who directed the huge Burghˆlzli asylum near Zurich from 1898 to 1927, paid close and sympathetic attention to the many hundreds of schizophrenic people under his care. He recognized that the "voices" his patients heard, however outlandish they might seem, were closely associated with their mental states and delusions. The voices, he wrote, embodied "all their strivings and fears ... their entire transformed relationship to the external world ... above all ... [to] the pathological or hostile powers" that beset them. He described these in vivid detail in his great 1911 monograph, Dementia Praecox; or, The Group of Schizophrenias:

The voices not only speak to the patient, but they pass electricity through the body, beat him, paralyse him, take his thoughts away. They are often hypostasized as people, or in other very bizarre ways. For example, a patient claims that a "voice" is perched above each of his ears. One voice is a little larger than the other but both are about the size of a walnut, and they consist of nothing but a large ugly mouth.

Threats or curses form the main and most common content of the "voices." Day and night they come from everywhere, from the walls, from above and below, from the cellar and the roof, from heaven and from hell, from near and far ... When the patient is eating, he hears a voice saying, "Each mouthful is stolen." If he drops something, he hears, "If only your foot had been chopped off."

The voices are often very contradictory. At one time they may be against the patient ... then they may contradict themselves ... The roles of pro and con are often taken over by voices of different people ... The voice of a daughter tells a patient: "He is going to be burned alive," while his mother's voice says, "He will not be burned." Besides their persecutors the patients often hear the voice of some protector.

The voices are often localized in the body ... A polyp may be the occasion for localizing the voices in the nose. An intestinal disturbance brings them into connection with the abdomen ... In cases of sexual complexes, the penis, the urine in the bladder, or the nose utter obscene words ... A really or imaginarily gravid patient will hear her child or children speaking inside her womb ...

Inanimate objects may speak. The lemonade speaks, the patient's name is heard to be coming from a glass of milk. The furniture speaks to him.

Bleuler wrote, "Almost every schizophrenic who is hospitalized hears 'voices.'" But he emphasized that the reverse did not hold ó that hearing voices did not necessarily denote schizophrenia. In the popular imagination, though, hallucinatory voices are almost synonymous with schizophrenia ó a great misconception, for most people who do hear voices are not schizophrenic.

Many people report hearing voices which are not particularly directed at them, as Nancy C. wrote:

I hallucinate conversations on a regular basis, often as I am falling asleep at night. It seems to me that these conversations are real and are actually taking place between real people, at the very time I'm hearing them, but are occurring somewhere else. I hear couples arguing, all kinds of things. They are not voices I can identify, they are not people I know. I feel like I'm a radio, tuned into someone else's world. (Though always an American-English-speaking world.) I can't think of any way to regard these experiences except as hallucinations. I am never a participant; I am never addressed. I am just listening in.

"Hallucinations in the sane" were well recognized in the nineteenth century, and with the rise of neurology, people sought to understand more clearly what caused them. In England in the 1880s, the Society for Psychical Research was founded to collect and investigate reports of apparitions or hallucinations, especially those of the bereaved, and many eminent scientists ó physicists as well as physiologists and psychologists ó joined the society (William James was active in the American branch). Telepathy, clairvoyance, communication with the dead, and the nature of a spirit world became the subjects of systematic investigation.

These early researchers found that hallucinations were not uncommon in the general population. Their 1894 "International Census of Waking Hallucinations in the Sane" examined the occurrence and nature of hallucinations experienced by normal people in normal circumstances (they took care to exclude anyone with obvious medical or psychiatric problems). Seventeen thousand people were sent a single question:

Have you ever, when believing yourself to be completely awake, had a vivid impression of seeing or being touched by a living being or inanimate object, or of hearing a voice, which impression, as far as you could discover, was not due to an external physical cause?

More than 10 percent responded in the affirmative, and of those, more than a third heard voices. As John Watkins noted in his book Hearing Voices, hallucinated voices "having some kind of religious or supernatural content represented a small but significant minority of these reports." Most of the hallucinations, however, were of a more quotidian character.

Perhaps the commonest auditory hallucination is hearing one's own name spoken ó either by a familiar voice or an anonymous one. Freud, writing in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, remarked on this:

During the days when I was living alone in a foreign city ó I was a young man at the time ó I quite often heard my name suddenly called by an unmistakable and beloved voice; I then noted down the exact moment of the hallucination and made anxious enquiries of those at home about what had happened at that time. Nothing had happened.

The voices that are sometimes heard by people with schizophrenia tend to be accusing, threatening, jeering, or persecuting. By contrast, the voices hallucinated by the "normal" are often quite unremarkable, as Daniel Smith brings out in his book Muses, Madmen, and Prophets: Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity. Smith's own father and grandfather heard such voices, and they had very different reactions. His father started hearing voices at the age of thirteen, Smith writes:

These voices weren't elaborate, and they weren't disturbing in content. They issued simple commands. They instructed him, for instance, to move a glass from one side of the table to another or to use a particular subway turnstile. Yet in listening to them and obeying them his interior life became, by all reports, unendurable.

Smith's grandfather, by contrast, was nonchalant, even playful, in regard to his hallucinatory voices. He described how he tried to use them in betting at the racetrack. ("It didn't work, my mind was clouded with voices telling me that this horse could win or maybe this one is ready to win.") It was much more successful when he played cards with his friends. Neither the grandfather or the father had strong supernatural inclinations; nor did they have any significant mental illness. They just heard unremarkable voices concerned with everyday things ó as do millions of others.

Smith's father and grandfather rarely spoke of their voices. They listened to them in secrecy and silence, perhaps feeling that admitting to hearing voices would be seen as an indication of madness or at least serious psychiatric turmoil. Yet many recent studies confirm that it is not that uncommon to hear voices and that the majority of those who do are not schizophrenic; they are more like Smith's father and grandfather.

It is clear that attitudes to hearing voices are critically important. One can be tortured by voices, as Daniel Smith's father was, or accepting and easygoing, like his grandfather. Behind these personal attitudes are the attitudes of society, attitudes which have differed profoundly in different times and places.

Hearing voices occurs in every culture and has often been accorded great importance ó the gods of Greek myth often spoke to mortals, and the gods of the great monotheistic traditions, too. Voices have been significant in this regard, perhaps more so than visions, for voices, language, can convey an explicit message or command as images alone cannot.

Until the eighteenth century, voices ó like visions ó were ascribed to supernatural agencies: gods or demons, angels or djinns. No doubt there was sometimes an overlap between such voices and those of psychosis or hysteria, but for the most part, voices were not regarded as pathological; if they stayed inconspicuous and private, they were simply accepted as part of human nature, part of the way it was with some people.

Around the middle of the eighteenth century, a new secular philosophy started to gain ground with the philosophers and scientists of the Enlightenment, and hallucinatory visions and voices came to be seen as having a physiological basis in the overactivity of certain centers in the brain.

But the romantic idea of "inspiration" still held, too ó the artist, especially the writer, was seen or saw himself as the transcriber, the amanuensis, of a Voice, and sometimes had to wait years (as Rilke did) for the Voice to speak.

Talking to oneself is basic to human beings, for we are a linguistic species; the great Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky thought that "inner speech" was a prerequisite of all voluntary activity. I talk to myself, as many of us do, for much of the day ó admonishing myself ("You fool! Where did you leave your glasses?"), encouraging myself ("You can do it!"), complaining ("Why is that car in my lane?"), and, more rarely, congratulating myself ("It's done!"). Those voices are not externalized; I would never mistake them for the voice of God, or anyone else.

But when I was in great danger once, trying to descend a mountain with a badly injured leg, I heard an inner voice that was wholly unlike my normal babble of inner speech. I had a great struggle crossing a stream with a buckled and dislocating knee. The effort left me stunned, motionless for a couple of minutes, and then a delicious languor came over me, and I thought to myself, Why not rest here? A nap maybe? This was immediately countered by a strong, clear, commanding voice, which said, "You can't rest here ó you can't rest anywhere. You've got to go on. Find a pace you can keep up and go on steadily." This good voice, this Life voice, braced and resolved me. I stopped trembling and did not falter again.

Joe Simpson, climbing in the Andes, also had a catastrophic accident, falling off an ice ledge and ending up in a deep crevasse with a broken leg. He struggled to survive, as he recounted inTouching the Void ó and a voice was crucial in encouraging and directing him:

There was silence, and snow, and a clear sky empty of life, and me, sitting there, taking it all in, accepting what I must try to achieve. There were no dark forces acting against me. A voice in my head told me that this was true, cutting through the jumble in my mind with its coldly rational sound.

It was as if there were two minds within me arguing the toss. The voice was clean and sharp and commanding. It was always right, and I listened to it when it spoke and acted on its decisions. The other mind rambled out a disconnected series of images, and memories and hopes, which I attended to in a daydream state as I set about obeying the orders of the voice. I had to get to the glacier ... The voice told me exactly how to go about it, and I obeyed while my other mind jumped abstractly from one idea to another ... The voice, and the watch, urged me into motion whenever the heat from the glacier halted me in a drowsy exhausted daze. It was three o'clock ó only three and a half hours of daylight left. I kept moving but soon realized that I was making ponderously slow headway. It didn't seem to concern me that I was moving like a snail. So long as I obeyed the voice, then I would be all right.

Such voices may occur with anyone in situations of extreme threat or danger. Freud heard voices on two such occasions, as he mentioned in his book On Aphasia:

I remember having twice been in danger of my life, and each time the awareness of the danger occurred to me quite suddenly. On both occasions I felt "this was the end," and while otherwise my inner language proceeded with only indistinct sound images and slight lip movements, in these situations of danger I heard the words as if somebody was shouting them into my ear, and at the same time I saw them as if they were printed on a piece of paper floating in the air.

The threat to life may also come from within, and although we cannot know how many attempts at suicide have been prevented by a voice, I suspect this is not uncommon. My friend Liz, following the collapse of a love affair, found herself heartbroken and despondent. About to swallow a handful of sleeping tablets and wash them down with a tumbler of whiskey, she was startled to hear a voice say, "No. You don't want to do that," and then "Remember that what you are feeling now you will not be feeling later." The voice seemed to come from the outside; it was a man's voice, though whose she did not know. She said, faintly, "Who said that?" There was no answer, but a "granular" figure (as she put it) materialized in the chair opposite her ó a young man in eighteenth-century dress who glimmered for a few seconds and then disappeared. A feeling of immense relief and joy came over her. Although Liz knew that the voice must have come from the deepest part of herself, she speaks of it, playfully, as her "guardian angel."

Various explanations have been offered for why people hear voices, and different ones may apply in different circumstances. It seems likely, for example, that the predominantly hostile or persecuting voices of psychosis have a very different basis from the hearing of one's own name called in an empty house; and that this again is different in origin from the voices which come in emergencies or desperate situations.

Auditory hallucinations may be associated with abnormal activation of the primary auditory cortex; this is a subject which needs much more investigation not only in those with psychosis but in the population at large ó the vast majority of studies so far have examined only auditory hallucinations in psychiatric patients.

Some researchers have proposed that auditory hallucinations result from a failure to recognize internally generated speech as one's own (or perhaps it stems from a cross-activation with the auditory areas so that what most of us experience as our own thoughts becomes "voiced").

Perhaps there is some sort of physiological barrier or inhibition that normally prevents most of us from "hearing" such inner voices as external. Perhaps that barrier is somehow breached or undeveloped in those who do hear constant voices. Perhaps, however, one should invert the question ó and ask why most of us do not hear voices. Julian Jaynes, in his influential 1976 book,The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, speculated that, not so long ago, all humans heard voices ó generated internally, from the right hemisphere of the brain, but perceived (by the left hemisphere) as if external, and taken as direct communications from the gods. Sometime around 1000 B.C., Jaynes proposed, with the rise of modern consciousness, the voices became internalized and recognized as our own.

Others have proposed that auditory hallucinations may come from an abnormal attention to the subvocal stream which accompanies verbal thinking. It is clear that "hearing voices" and "auditory hallucinations" are terms that cover a variety of different phenomena.

While voices carry meaning ó whether this is trivial or portentous ó some auditory hallucinations consist of little more than odd noises. Probably the most common of these are classified as tinnitus, an almost nonstop hissing or ringing sound that often goes with hearing loss, and may be intolerably loud at times.

Hearing noises or hummings, mutterings, twitterings, rappings, rustlings, ringings, muffled voices or is commonly associated with hearing problems, and this may be aggravated by many factors, including delirium, dementia, toxins, or stress. When medical residents, for example, are on call for long periods, sleep deprivation may produce a variety of hallucinations involving any sensory modality. One young neurologist wrote to me that after being on call for more than thirty hours, he would hear the hospital's telemetry and ventilator alarms, and sometimes after arriving home he kept hallucinating the phone ringing.

Although musical phrases or songs may be heard along with voices or other noises, a great many people "hear" only music or musical phrases. Musical hallucinations may arise from a stroke, a tumor, an aneurysm, an infectious disease, a neurodegenerative process, or toxic or metabolic disturbances. Hallucinations in such situations usually disappear as soon as the provocative cause is treated or subsides.

Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint a particular cause for musical hallucinations, but in the predominantly geriatric population I work with, by far the commonest cause of musical hallucination is hearing loss or deafness ó and here the hallucinations may be stubbornly persistent, even if the hearing is improved by hearing aids or cochlear implants. Diane G. wrote to me:

I have had tinnitus as far back as I can remember. It is present almost 24/7 and is very high pitched. It sounds exactly like how cicadas sound when they come in droves back on Long Island in the summer. Sometime in the last year [I also became aware of] the music playing in my head. I kept hearing Bing Crosby, friends and orchestra singing "White Christmas" over and over. I thought it was coming from a radio playing in another room until I eliminated all possibilities of outside input. It went on for days, and I quickly discovered that I could not turn it off or vary the volume. But I could vary the lyrics, speed and harmonies with practice. Since that time I get the music almost daily, usually toward evenings and at times so loud that it interferes with my hearing conversations. The music is always melodies that I am familiar with such as hymns, favorites from years of piano playing and songs from early memories. They always have the lyrics. . . .

To add to this cacophony, I now have started hearing a third level of sound at the same time that sounds like someone is listening to talk radio or TV in another room. I get a constant running of voices, male and female, complete with realistic pauses, inflections and increases and decreases in volume. I just can't understand their words.

Diane has had progressive hearing loss since childhood, and she is unusual in that she has hallucinations of both music and conversation.

There is a wide range in the quality of individual musical hallucinations ó sometimes they are soft, sometimes disturbingly loud; sometimes simple, sometimes complex ó but there are certain characteristics common to all of them. First and foremost, they are perceptual in quality and seem to emanate from an external source; in this way they are distinct from imagery (even "earworms," the often annoying, repetitious musical imagery that most of us are prone to from time to time). People with musical hallucinations will often search for an external cause ó a radio, a neighbor's television, a band in the street ó and only when they fail to find any such external source do they realize that the source must be in themselves. Thus they may liken it to a tape recorder or an iPod in the brain, something mechanical and autonomous, not a controllable, integral part of the self.

That there should be something like this in one's head arouses bewilderment and, not infrequently, fear ó fear that one is going mad or that the phantom music may be a sign of a tumor, a stroke, or a dementia. Such fears often inhibit people from acknowledging that they have hallucinations; perhaps for this reason musical hallucinations have long been considered rare ó but it is now realized that this is far from the case.

Musical hallucinations can intrude upon and even overwhelm perception; like tinnitus, they can be so loud as to make it impossible to hear someone speak (imagery never competes with perception in this way).

Musical hallucinations often appear suddenly, with no apparent trigger. Frequently, however, they follow a tinnitus or an external noise (like the drone of a plane engine or a lawn mower), the hearing of real music, or anything suggestive of a particular piece or style of music. Sometimes they are triggered by external associations, as with one patient of mine who, whenever she passed a French bakery, would hear the song "Alouette, gentille alouette."

Some people have musical hallucinations virtually nonstop, while others have them only intermittently. The hallucinated music is usually familiar (though not always liked; thus one of my patients hallucinated Nazi marching songs from his youth, which terrified him). It may be vocal or instrumental, classical or popular, but it is most often music heard in the patient's early years. Occasionally, patients may hear "meaningless phrases and patterns," as one of my correspondents, a gifted musician, put it.

Hallucinated music can be very detailed, so that every note in a piece, every instrument in an orchestra, is distinctly heard. Such detail and accuracy is often astonishing to the hallucinator, who may be scarcely able, normally, to hold a simple tune in his head, let alone an elaborate choral or instrumental composition. (Perhaps there is an analogy here to the extreme clarity and unusual detail which characterize many visual hallucinations.) Often a single theme, perhaps only a few bars, is hallucinated again and again, like a skipping record. One patient of mine heard part of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" nineteen and a half times in ten minutes (her husband timed this) and was tormented by never hearing the entire hymn. Hallucinatory music can wax slowly in intensity and then slowly wane, but it may also come on suddenly full blast in mid-bar and then stop with equal suddenness (like a switch turned on and off, patients often comment). Some patients may sing along with their musical hallucinations; others ignore them ó it makes no difference. Musical hallucinations continue in their own way, irrespective of whether one attends to them or not. And they can continue, pursuing their own course, even if one is listening to or playing something else. Thus Gordon B., a violinist, sometimes hallucinated a piece of music while he was actually performing an entirely different piece at a concert.

Musical hallucinations tend to spread. A familiar tune, an old song, may start the process; this is likely to be joined, over a period of days or weeks, by another song, and then another, until a whole repertoire of hallucinatory music has been built up. And this repertoire itself tends to change ó one tune will drop out, and another will replace it. One cannot voluntarily start or stop the hallucinations, though some people may be able, on occasion, to replace one piece of hallucinated music with another. Thus one man who said he had "an intracranial jukebox" found that he could switch at will from one "record" to another, provided there was some similarity of style or rhythm, though he could not turn on or turn off the "jukebox" as a whole.

Prolonged silence or auditory monotony may also cause auditory hallucinations; I have had patients report experiencing these while on meditation retreats or on a long sea voyage. Jessica K., a young woman with no hearing loss, wrote to me that her hallucinations come with auditory monotony:

In the presence of white noise such as running water or a central air conditioning system, I frequently hear music or voices. I hear it distinctly (and in the early days, often went searching for the radio that must have been left on in another room), but in the instance of music with lyrics or voices (which always sound like a talk radio program or something, not real conversation) I never hear it well enough to distinguish the words. I never hear these things unless they are "embedded," so to speak, in white noise, and only if there are not other competing sounds.

Musical hallucinations seem to be less common in children, but one boy I have seen, Michael, has had them since the age of five or six. His music is nonstop and overwhelming, and it often prevents him from focusing on anything else. Much more often, musical hallucinations are acquired at a later age ó unlike hearing voices, which seems, in those who have it, to begin in early childhood and to last a lifetime.

Some people with persistent musical hallucinations find them tormenting, but most people accommodate and learn to live with the music forced on them, and a few even come to enjoy their internal music and may feel it as an enrichment of life.

Ivy L., a lively and articulate eighty-five-year-old, has had some visual hallucinations related to her macular degeneration, and some musical and auditory hallucinations stemming from her hearing impairment. Mrs. L. wrote to me:

In 2008 my doctor prescribed paroxetine for what she called depression and I called sadness. I had moved from St. Louis to Massachusetts after my husband died. A week after starting paroxetine, while watching the Olympics, I was surprised to hear languid music with the men's swim races. When I turned off the TV, the music continued and has been present virtually every waking minute since.

When the music began, a doctor gave me Zyprexa as a possible aid. That brought a visual hallucination of a murky, bubbling brown ceiling at night. A second prescription gave me hallucinations of lovely, transparent tropical plants growing in my bathroom. So I quit taking these prescriptions and the visual hallucinations ceased. The music continued.

I do not simply "recall" these songs. The music playing in the house is as loud and clear as any CD or concert. The volume increases in a large space such as a supermarket. The music has no singers or words. I have never heard "voices" but once heard my name called urgently, while I was dozing.

There was a short time when I "heard" doorbells, phones, and alarm clocks ring although none were ringing. I no longer experience these. In addition to music, at times I hear katydids, sparrows, or the sound of a large truck idling at my right side.

During all these experiences, I am fully aware that they are not real. I continue to function, managing my accounts and finances, moving my residence, taking care of my household. I speak coherently while experiencing these aural and visual disturbances. My memory is quite accurate, except for the occasional misplaced paper.

I can "enter" a melody I think of or have one triggered by a phrase, but I cannot stop the aural hallucinations. So I cannot stop the "piano" in the coat closet, the "clarinet" in the living room ceiling, the endless "God Bless America"s, or waking up to "Good Night, Irene." But I manage.

PET and fMRI scanning have shown that musical hallucination, like actual musical perception, is associated with the activation of an extensive network involving many areas of the brain ó auditory areas, motor cortex, visual areas, basal ganglia, cerebellum, hippocampi, and amygdala. (Music calls upon many more areas of the brain than any other activity ó one reason why music therapy is useful for such a wide variety of conditions.) This musical network can be stimulated directly, on occasion, as by a focal epilepsy, a fever, or delirium, but what seems to occur in most cases of musical hallucinations is a release of activity in the musical network when normally operative inhibitions or constraints are weakened. The commonest cause of such a release is auditory deprivation or deafness. In this way, the musical hallucinations of the elderly deaf are analogous to the visual hallucinations of Charles Bonnet syndrome.

But although the musical hallucinations of deafness and the visual hallucinations of CBS may be akin physiologically, they have great differences phenomenologically, and these reflect the very different nature of our visual worlds and our musical worlds ó differences evident in the ways we perceive, recollect, or imagine them. We are not given an already made, preassembled visual world; we have to construct our own visual world as best we can. This construction entails analysis and synthesis at many functional levels in the brain, starting with perception of lines and angles and orientation in the occipital cortex. At higher levels, in the inferotemporal cortex, the "elements" of visual perception are of a more complex sort, appropriate for the analysis and recognition of natural scenes, objects, animal and plant forms, letters, and faces. Complex visual hallucinations entail the putting together of such elements, an act of assemblage, and these assemblages are continually permuted, disassembled, and reassembled.

Musical hallucinations are quite different. With music, although there are separate functional systems for perceiving pitch, timbre, rhythm, etc., the musical networks of the brain work together, and pieces cannot be significantly altered in melodic contour or tempo or rhythm without losing their musical identity. We apprehend a piece of music as a whole. Whatever the initial processes of musical perception and memory may be, once a piece of music is known, it is retained not as an assemblage of individual elements but as a completed procedure or performance; music isperformed by the mind/brain whenever it is recollected; and this is also so when it erupts spontaneously, whether as an earworm or as a hallucination.


From Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks. Copyright 2012 by Oliver Sacks. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Saturday, 01 February 2014 06:17

Page 5: Freaksfiles - Hallucinations

This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.
 

Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE (born 9 July 1933) is a British-American neurologist, writer, and amateur chemist who is Professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine. Between 2007 and 2012, he was professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, where he also held the position of "Columbia Artist". Before that, he spent many years on the clinical faculty of Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He also holds the position of visiting professor at the United Kingdom's University of Warwick.

Sacks is the author of numerous best-selling books, including several collections of case studies of people with neurological disorders and hallucinations.
In this highlights of his few interviews he describes visual hallucinations, auditory hallucinations, olfactory hallucinations and hallucinations produced by illness, fevers, sledeprivation, drugs, grief, trauma and exhaustioNS

...On a memorable hallucination while taking LSD

"I had been reading about the color indigo, how it had been introduced into the spectrum by [Isaac] Newton rather late, and it seemed no two people quite agreed as to what indigo was, and I thought I would like to have an experience of indigo. And I built up a sort of pharmacological launchpad with amphetamines and LSD, and a little cannabis on top of that, and when I was really stoned I said, 'I want to see indigo now.' And as if thrown by a paintbrush, a huge pear-shaped blob of the purest indigo appeared on the wall.

"Again it had this luminous, numinous quality; I leaped toward it in a sort of ecstasy. I thought, 'This is the color of heaven.' ... I thought maybe this is not a color which actually exists on the Earth, or maybe it used to exist or no longer exists. All this went through my mind in 4 or 5 seconds, and then the blob disappeared, giving me a strong sense of loss and heartbrokenness, and I was haunted a little bit when I came down, wondering whether indigo did exist in the real world.

"I would turn over little stones. I once went to a museum to look at azurite, a copper mineral which is maybe the nearest [to] indigo, but that was disappointing. I did in fact have that experience again, but when I had it the second time, it was not with a drug, it was with music — and I think music can take one to the heights in a way comparable with drugs."

...On hallucinations that accompany bereavement

"With any hallucinations, if you can do functional brain imagery while they're going on, you will find that the parts of the brain usually involved in seeing or hearing — in perception — have become super active by themselves. And this is an autonomous activity; this does not happen with imagination. But hallucination, in a way, simulates perception, and the perceptual parts of the brain become active. ... There's obviously a very, very strong passionate feeling of love and loss with bereavement hallucinations, and I think intense emotion of any sort can produce a hallucination."

....On the hallucinations accompanying his migraines

“ I usually get the zigzag, but I may also see lattice patterns, like tessellations; sometimes these lattice patterns seem to cover people's faces or a piece of paper I'm writing on. I mostly get complex geometrical patterns
"I usually get the zigzag, but I may also see lattice patterns, like tessellations; sometimes these lattice patterns seem to cover people's faces or a piece of paper I'm writing on. I mostly get complex geometrical patterns; I've never actually seen ... images with a migraine, although on at least on two occasions, I've had a smell — in particular a smell of hot buttered toast — with a strong sense that I was about 3 years old, being put in a high chair, and about to be given hot buttered toast. A sort of olfactory hallucination often goes along with recollection in that sort of way.

"The first time I got that, I was in hospital and I went searching for the toast. The second time, I was driving on the Bronx River Parkway, where there was obviously no toast to be had."

....How visual migraines may have inspired ancient patterned art

"There are all sorts of complex geometrical patterns, very symmetrical, some of them looking like the finest doily. ... Patterns like this tend to appear in migraine, but they may also appear with fever. They also appear with various drugs. They may also be seen as one is falling asleep, and one can't help comparing them with various forms of ornamental art and cave art, and wondering whether individuals or cultures have been inspired by some of these patterns which are built into the nervous system."

 

 

 

Saturday, 11 January 2014 15:34

Page 3: Freakstories - Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann (January 11, 1906 – April 29, 2008)- a Swiss scientist known best for being the first person to synthesize, ingest, and learn of the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Hofmann was also the first person to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin. He authored more than 100 scientific articles and numerous books, including LSD: My Problem Child.[2] In 2007 he shared first place, alongside Tim Berners-Lee, in a list of the 100 greatest living geniuses, published by The Telegraph newspaper. Hofmann was born in Baden, Switzerland, the first of four children to factory toolmaker Adolf Hofmann and his wife Elisabeth (born Elisabeth Schenk). Owing to his father's low income, Albert's godfather paid for his education. When his father became ill, Hofmann obtained a position as a commercial apprentice in concurrence with his studies. At the age of twenty, Hofmann began his chemistry degree at the University of Zürich, finishing three years later, in 1929.
His main interest was the chemistry of plants and animals, and he later conducted important research on the chemical structure of the common animal substance chitin, for which he received his doctorate, with distinction, in the spring of 1929. Regarding his decision to pursue a career as a chemist, Hofmann provided insight during a speech he delivered to the 1996 Worlds of Consciousness Conference in Heidelberg, Germany: "One often asks oneself what roles planning and chance play in the realization of the most important events in our lives. This [career] decision was not easy for me. I had already taken a Latin matricular exam, and therefore a career in the humanities stood out most prominently in the foreground. Moreover, an artistic career was tempting. In the end, however, it was a problem of theoretical knowledge which induced me to study chemistry, which was a great surprise to all who knew me. Mystical experiences in childhood, in which Nature was altered in magical ways, had provoked questions concerning the essence of the external, material world, and chemistry was the scientific field which might afford insights into this." In april 1943 he discovered a molecule that chaged the World. LSD. Hofmann, interviewed shortly before his hundredth birthday, called LSD "medicine for the soul" and was frustrated by the worldwide prohibition of it. "It was used very successfully for ten years in psychoanalysis," he said, adding that the drug was misused by the Counterculture of the 1960s, and then criticized unfairly by the political establishment of the day. He conceded that it could be dangerous if misused, because a relatively high dose of 500 microgrammes will have an extremely powerful psychoactive effect, especially if administered to a first-time user without adequate supervision. In December 2007, Swiss medical authorities permitted psychotherapist Peter Gasser to perform psychotherapeutic experiments with patients who suffer from terminal-stage cancer and other deadly diseases.
 
Completed in 2011, these experiments represent the first study of the therapeutic effects of LSD on humans in 35 years, as other studies have focused on the drug's effects on consciousness and Hofmann acclaimed the study, and continued to say he believed in the therapeutic benefits of LSD.In 2008, Hofmann wrote to Steve Jobs, asking him to support this research; it is not known if Jobs responded.
The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has supported research in the field of psychoanalysis using LSD, carrying on Hofmann's legacy and setting the groundwork for future studies. Hofmann was due to speak at the World Psychedelic Forum from March 21 to March 24, 2008, but was forced to cancel because of bad health. Hofmann died of a heart attack on April 29, 2008 and was survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He and his wife, Anita, reared four children, one of whom died at the age of 53. Hofmann revealed that LSD had not affected his understanding of death and explained "I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that’s all.” Honors and awards The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) honored him with the title D.Sc. (honoris causa) in 1969 together with Gustav Guanella, his brother-in-law. In 1971 the Swedish Pharmaceutical Association (Sveriges Farmacevtförbund) granted him the Scheele Award, which commemorates the skills and achievements of the Swedish Pomeranian chemist and pharmacist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Here is the link to ALbert Hoffmann Foundation
 
 
Here you will be informed about the freaky alternative science facts and researches from all over the World and Outer Space. We will publish our researches in alternative science field to open some of the main mysteries of the Humanity:
 
The nature of hallucinations
 
The general theory of hallucinations here delineated rests upon two fundamental assumptions.
One assumption states that life experiences influence the brain in such a way as to leave, in the brain, enduring physical changes that have variously been called neural traces, templates, or engrams. Ideas and images are held to derive from the incorporation and activation of these engrams in complex circuits involving nerve cells. Such circuits in the cortex (outer layers) of the brain appear to subserve the neurophysiology of memory, thought, imagination, and fantasy.
 
The emotions associated with these intellectual and perceptual functions seem to be mediated through cortex connections with the deeper parts of the brain (the limbic system or “visceral brain,” for example), thus permitting a dynamic interplay between perception and emotion through transactions that appear to take place largely at unconscious levels.
 
Conscious awareness is found to be mediated by the ascending midbrain reticular activating system (a network of nerve cells in the brainstem). Analyses of hallucinations reported by sufferers of neurological disorders and by neurosurgical patients in whom the brain is stimulated electrically have shown the importance of the temporal lobes (at the sides of the brain) to auditory hallucinations, for example, and of other functionally relevant parts of the brain in this process.
 
A second assumption states that the total human personality is best understood in terms of the constant interplay of forces that continually emanate from inside (as internal physiological activity) and from outside the individual (as sensory stimuli).
Such transactions between the environment and the individual may be said to exert an integrating and organizing influence upon memory traces stored in the nervous system and to affect the patterns in which sensory engrams are activated to produce experiences called images, fantasies, dreams, or hallucinations, as well as the emotions associated with these patterns. If such a constantly shifting balance exists between internal and external environmental forces, physiological considerations (e.g., brain function) as well as cultural and experiential factors emerge as major determinants of the content and meaning of hallucinations.
 
The brain is bombarded constantly by sensory impulses, but most of these are excluded from consciousness in a dynamically shifting, selective fashion. The exclusion seems to be accomplished through the exercise of integrative inner mechanisms that focus one’s awareness on selected parts of potential experience. (The sound of a ticking clock, for example, fades in and out of awareness.) Functioning simultaneously, these mechanisms survey information that is stored within the brain, select tiny samples needed to give adaptive significance to the incoming flow of information, and bring forth only a few items for actual recall from the brain’s extensive “memory banks.”
From Encyclopedia Britannica (www.britannica.com)

What Are Visual Hallucinations?

Hallucinations, defined as the perception of an object or event (in any of the 5 senses) in the absence of an external stimulus, are experienced by patients with conditions that span several fields (e.g., psychiatry, neurology, and ophthalmology). When noted by non-psychiatrists, visual hallucinations, one type of sensory misperception, often trigger requests for psychiatric consultation, although visual hallucinations are not pathognomonic of a primary psychiatric illness.
Visual hallucinations have numerous etiologies. Here, we discuss possible mechanisms and offer a differential diagnosis of visual hallucinations, with an emphasis placed on conditions that arise in the context of medical and surgical illness. Treatment typically rests on the underlying etiology, so timely recognition and an understanding of causative mechanisms are crucial.
What Causes Visual Hallucinations?
Numerous hypotheses have been suggested to explain the genesis of visual hallucinations. These have been summarized and categorized: psycho physiologic (i.e., as a disturbance of brain structure), psycho biochemical (as a disturbance of neurotransmitters), and psychodynamic (as an emergence of the unconscious into consciousness). Visual hallucinations can be the result of all 3 processes, given the interplay among disturbances of brain anatomy, brain chemistry, prior experiences, and psychodynamic meaning.
To date, no single neural mechanism has explained all types of visual hallucinations; however, the similarity of visual hallucinations that are associated with seemingly diverse conditions suggests a final common pathway. There are three pathophysiologic mechanisms thought to account for complex visual hallucinations.

The first mechanism involves irritation (e.g., seizure activity) of cortical centers responsible for visual processing. Irritation of the primary visual cortex causes simple elementary visual hallucinations, while irritation of the visual association cortices causes more complex visual hallucinations. These data are supported by both electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings and direct stimulation experiments.

Lesions that cause differentiation of the visual system may lead to cortical release phenomenon, including visual hallucinations. Normal inputs are thought to be under the control of inhibitory processes that are effectively removed by differentiation. It has been further suggested that differenced neurons undergo specific biochemical and molecular changes that lead to an overall increase in excitability.

A multitude of lesions can cause this loss of input and inhibit other cognitive functions. Of note, visual hallucinations may be induced by prolonged visual deprivation. One study reported visual hallucinations in 10 of 13 healthy subjects blindfolded for a period of 5 days; this finding lends strong support to the idea that the simple loss of normal visual input is sufficient to cause visual hallucinations.
Finally, due to its role in the maintenance of arousal, the reticular activating system has been implicated in the genesis of visual hallucinations. Lesions of the brainstem have led to visual hallucinations (as in peduncular hallucinosis). Further, visual hallucinations are common in those with certain sleep disorders, and occur more frequently in those who are drowsy. The observation that visual hallucinations occur more frequently in those who are drowsy (even in the absence of frank sleep pathology) suggests that the reticular activating system plays a role in visual hallucinations, although the precise mechanism has not yet been established.
Monday, 22 July 2013 15:56

Hallucinogens - Vine of the Souls

Ayahuasca:  Vine of the Souls
 
"Every tree, every plant, has a spirit. People may say that a plant has no mind. I tell them that a plant is alive and conscious. A plant may not talk, but there is a spirit in it that is conscious, that sees everything, which is the soul of the plant, its essence, what makes it alive. I feel a great sorrow when trees are burned, when the forest is destroyed. I feel sorrow because I know that human beings are doing something very wrong. When one takes ayahuasca one can sometimes hear how the trees cry when they are going to be cut down. They know beforehand, and they cry."
- Pablo César Amaringo Peruvian ayahuasquero


 
Deep in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest grows a sacred vine known for its magical powers. This vine is known by many names, but the most well known of them all may be ayahuasca (aye-yah-wah-skah). In the Quechua language, aya means spirit or ancestor, and huasca means vine or rope. It is reputed that those who consume this vine of the souls are bestowed with the ability to commune with spirits, diagnose illness, treat disease, and even predict the future. While the existence of this vine is certainly no big secret, it is only recently that western science has decided to study the magical properties of this sacred medicine.

Archaeological evidence may date ayahuasca use in Ecuador back five millennia. However, western knowledge of ayahuasca dates back only as far as 1851 when a group of Tukanoan Indians invited British botanist and explorer Richard Spruce to participate in a ceremony which included a visionary drink they called caapi. Spruce only drank a small amount of the "nauseous beverage," but he couldn't help noticing the profound effect it had on his new friends. The Tukanoans showed Spruce the plant from which the caapi was made, and he was able to collect good specimens of the plant in full flower. Spruce named the plant Banisteria caapi, and further research led him to conclude that caapi, yage, and ayahuasca were all Indian names for the same potion made using this one vine.

Since these early findings, indigenous use of various ayahuasca potions has been reported throughout the Amazon as far east as the R'o Negro in Brazil and as far west as the Pacific coastal areas of Colombia and Ecuador. It is also found as far north as the Panama coast, and southward into areas of Amazonian Perœ and Bolivia. At least 72 indigenous groups have been found to use similar preparations known by a total of over forty different names.

Preparation Ayahuasca potions are normally prepared by soaking or steeping lianas of Banisteriopsis caapi or related species for various lengths of time. The specific method varies from group to group, but the simplest method is a cold water infusion where pieces of the stem are first pounded and allowed to stand in cold water, after which the plant material is strained off and the remaining potion drunk. Some groups will immerse the pounded stems in hot water, cooking the plant material anywhere from an hour to all day long. The longest of these preparation methods involves repeated boiling and filtering of the plant matter and extract until only a thick concentrate remains. This process normally comprises a whole day's work, taking up to fifteen hours to prepare a single batch.

Banisteriopsis caapi is often the only plant used to make ayahuasca. However, it is not an uncommon practice to add one or more admixture plants to the brew during its preparation. Admixture plants help to flavor the experience of each specific batch of ayahuasca, and often contain stimulants or visionary compounds, like caffeine, nicotine, or DMT. In ayahuasca potions made using DMT-containing additives, it is most likely that DMT is the key visionary ingredient, responsible for most if not all of the potion's powerful entheogenic effects.

Pharmacology of Ayahuasca DMT was first synthesized in 1931, fifteen years before it was discovered to be a naturally occuring compound. DMT is found in many psychoactive Amazonian snuffs prepared from the resin of numerous species of Virola trees, and was first naturally extracted from a shamanic snuff made from the crushed seeds and pods of Anadenanthera peregrina in 1955. In 1956, Stephen I. Szara and colleagues became the first to experience the effects of the hydrochloride salt of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine via intramuscular injection at doses ranging from 0.7 to 1.1 mg per kg body weight. He found the drug to produce what he described as a "psychotic effect partially similar to that caused by mescaline or LSD-25." Szara found that after injecting 50 to 60 mg of DMT, entheogenic effects commenced within two to three minutes, lasting about 45 minutes to an hour. He described the effects thus: "Eidetic phenomena, optical illusions, pseudo-hallucinations and later real hallucinations, appeared. The hallucinations consisted of moving, brilliantly colored oriental motifs, and later I saw wonderful scenes altering very rapidly. The faces of the people seemed to be masks. My emotional state was elevated sometimes up to euphoria..."

By 1977, it was established that smoking DMT free base produces a more potent and rapid effect than does injection. Thirty mg of DMT smoked was found to produce almost instant peak effects, lasting a total of only five to ten minutes. However, DMT has been tested in doses of up to an entire gram ingested orally without producing any effects whatsoever. So the question remained: Since DMT appears to be completely inactive orally, how can the average 29 mg found in an orally ingested dose of ayahuasca produce a visionary effect?

The answer to this question lies in the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). This enzyme normally functions in our digestive systems to break down any monoamines present within the foods we eat so that they do not upset the balances of monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism going on in our brains. DMT, being a monoamine, is completely oxidized and decomposed by MAO in the gut when it is ingested orally. However, the §-carboline alkaloids from the Banisteriopsis liana are know to inhibit MAO to the point where the accompanying DMT from the admixture plant can survive in the digestive tract and make its way to the brain.

The structure of DMT (as well as those of other entheogenic compounds) is remarkably close to that of the important modulatory neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT). Such neurotransmitter shuffling is thought to bring about the disinhibition of normally controlled and regulated processes within the brain. The binding of serotonin-like molecules to the 5-HT receptors affects serotonergic neurons which can stimulate a wide range of things - from repressed emotions and memories to the brain's image-processing system. This unique combination of neural stimuli results in a wondrous explosion of transcendent emotion and internal kaleidoscopic imagery.

Shamanic Use of Ayahuasca The mestizo shamans of the Peruvian Amazon generally refer to themselves as vegetalistas. These plant-doctors help the people of rural areas and the urban poor who often have no other available help in critical situations requiring medical attention. Most vegetalistas tend to specialize, using just one or few plant teachers in their practices. Thus there are tabaqueros who use tobacco; toeros who use various Brugmansia species; catahueros who use the resin of catahua (Hura crepitans); paleros who use the bark of various large trees; perfumeros who use the scents of various fragrant plants; and ayahuasqueros who use ayahuasca.

The shamanic use of ayahuasca is usually within the context of healing. The shaman or ayahuasquero takes ayahuasca to better diagnose the nature of the patient's illness. Vegetalistas claim they receive their healing skills from certain plant teachers, who are believed to have a madre or spirit-mother. The role of the shaman is to mediate the transmission of medicinal knowledge from the plant teacher to the human world for use in curing.

The plant teachers are believed to teach the neophyte shaman a number of power songs or supernatural melodies called icaros, either during an ayahuasca session or in dreams following the ingestion of other plant teachers. The plant teachers give the magical songs to the vegetalista so that he or she may sing or whistle them during healing sessions. Some shamans place so much emphasis on the healing power of the icaros that once he or she has learned a good number of them, the ayahuasca is no longer necessary for healing.

Artist and Peruvian vegetalista Pablo Amaringo has painted a series of his past ayahuasca visions, depicting them in great detail. In order to do this, Amaringo will attempt to recall one of his visions, sometimes by singing the icaro he sang at the time of the vision. This brings back the image so vividly that Amaringo is able to project it onto a canvas and then simply trace it adding colors later. Images from ayahuasca visions are a predominate feature of Amazonian art. It has been suggested that this visual art along with the melodies of the icaros combine with the synaesthetic effects of the potion to produce an "aesthetic frame of mind" central to the healing process. The design the shaman paints onto his or her body is believed to represent a healthy energy pattern, and is often revealed by the ayahuasca.

When a person becomes sick, their energy pattern becomes distorted. Under the influence of ayahuasca, the shaman can see the distortion in the patient's energy pattern and attempt to restore a healthy pattern using suction, massage, medicinal plants, hydrotherapy, and restoration of the patient's soul. The similarities between these shamanic methods and techniques used in traditional Chinese chi-gong, or "energy directed" medicine, should be noted. Interestingly, a shaman usually chooses medicinal plants based on visible characteristics, like shape or color. For example, a plant which produces flowers shaped like an ear may be used to treat ear diseases. Part of the novice shaman's training involves scrutinizing nature to learn about the properties or "hidden virtues" within the surrounding plants and animals.

Modern Interest in Ayahuasca From the first written mention of ayahuasca by a Jesuit priest near the end of the 17th century to current research dealing with ayahuasca, our knowledge of this ancient Amazonian ethnomedicine has grown considerably. In just the last few decades, a fair number of publications have been written on the topic; anthropologists have begun studying how ayahuasca is used to heal; and research groups have started studying the potion's long-term physiological and psychological effects. Another interesting modern phenomenon is the growing number of Christian churches throughout South America who have opted for ayahuasca as their sacrament during communion instead of the usual symbolic bread and wine sacraments. These churches claim that the potion helps to promote intense concentration and direct contact with the spiritual plane.

The first of these ayahuasca churches were initially formed in the 1920s in Brazil, and today two groups, the Uni‹o de Vegetal (UDV or 'Herbal Union') and the Santo Daime [see related article], continue to flourish. These neo-Christian churches now mainly exist in urban areas, and represent the modern movement of ritual ayahuasca use from the primal rainforest into the big city.

In these churches mass is held once a week. The church members cultivate the plants needed to make the potion, and oversee its preparation and storage. On special occasions, ayahuasca is dispensed in small cups at communion. The dose is only a couple of ounces, but the ayahuasca they produce has been reported to be very strong. As the celebration usually lasts all night long, it is not unusual for members of the church to take several doses during the course of the evening.

In 1985, the Brazilian government added the ayahuasca liana to its list of controlled substances. The UDV soon petitioned the ban and the Brazilian government appointed a commission to investigate the issue. The commission found no evidence of social disruption associated with the sacramental use of ayahuasca (which the commission members tried themselves) and ayahuasca was removed from the Brazilian controlled substances list in August of 1987. More problems arose in 1988 when an anonymous source alleged that the churches consisted of fanatics, drug addicts, and ex-guerrillas given to smoking Cannabis and taking LSD during their rites. Yet another study of the issue was ordered by the government, this time to investigate the physiological aspects of ayahuasca's pharmacology. The conclusions of this study prompted the Brazilian government in June of 1992 to exempt Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis - as well as the ayahuasca potion - from its illicit substances list. This legal decision has opened the doors to the further expansion of these churches, which have since held ceremonies in several cities all over the world. An international scientific research team, the Hoasca Project, has recently begun studying the long term effects, both psychological and physiological, of chronic ayahuasca use by these church members.

Ayahuasca and the Future It is hard to say what the future may hold for ayahuasca. It could prove to be a useful tool in helping science better understand the biochemistry of consciousness and the genetics of pathological brain function. Pharmaceutical MAO-inhibitors are widely used in western medicine as anti-depressants, and further research into the psychotherapeutic benefits gained from the tryptamines remains to be done.

As far as religion is concerned, the potential for expansion of ayahuasca-using churches seems unlimited. Incorporation of a powerful psychoactive sacrament into religious ceremonies could have far-reaching effects on modern spiritual practices and beliefs. However, it remains to be seen whether entheogen users here in the U.S. would be attracted to the idea of psychedelic Christianity.

All in all, ayahuasca represents a unique plant-based medicine. The fact that its traditional use by Amazonian Indians has survived the continual influence of Western acculturation is testimony to the central and important role it has in their world-view. In fact, in many Amazonian tribes the first thing the parents will give a newborn baby is a drop of ayahuasca - right in the mouth. To them it is the supreme medicine, and a true gift from the gods.

Vine of the Souls:  A Closer Look at Amazonia's Visionary Medicine by Charlie Kidder - The Resonance Project - Issue 1, Summer 1997
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 07:44

Psychedelic Clothing

 Anjuna Flea market is sweaty and sticky, so to make your life more easy we want to offer you the choice of online shops we prefer to visit time to time to update our super psychedelic wardrobe and introduce you the people behind the World’s trance party fashion.
 
FLOWER OF LIFE
 Famous for the last decade, this Bali based label is one of our favorite. Italian Luca Fotonico is one of true Goa freaks and he told us few words about his creations.
“…MY JOURNEY INTO SPIRITUALITY BEGAN WHEN I STARTED TRAVELING AND STUDYING AND WORKING WITH CRYSTALS. I MET MANY COLOURFUL PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY WHO WERE BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL PSYTRANCE COMMUNITY.
ONE DAY ON THE DANCE FLOOR IN GOA I DISCOVERED THE SACRED GEOMETRY... THE FLOWER OF LIFE.... IT WAS PURPLE COLOR EVERYWHERE, IN THE SKY, IN THE OCEAN, ALL OVER ME AND ON THE SAND. THEN I HAD THE MOST AMAZING AWAKENING OF MY LIFE ! 
THE FLOWER OF LIFE IS THE SACRED GEOMETRY TEMPLATE FFROM WHICH ALL LIFE SPRINGS. THE ANCIENTS CALLED THIS PATTERN THE 'FLOWER OF LIFE' BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A FLOWER AND IT REPRESENTS THE LAWS AND PROPORTIONS FOR EVERYTHING ALIVE AND EVEN NOT ALIVE: EVERYTHING THAT IS MANIFESTED!!!
THIS IS THE NAME OF THE LABEL, PLUS PLEAIDIANS. 
SINCE 1990 I AM IN THE PSYTRANCE COMMUNITY. AFTER TRAVELING AND ORGANISING TRANCE PARTIES ALL OVER THE WORLD, INCLUDING BALI AND BRAZIL I LANDED IN GOA.....
IN GOA I BEGAN TO SELL MY CLOTHES IN THE FLEAMARKET. BRINGING THE MESSAGE OF AWAKENING, THROUGH THE TRUE DESIGNS OF SACRED GEOMETRY, AND MAYAN MYTHOLOGY PRINTED ON T SHIRTS.  MANY PEOPLE STILL WEAR THESE TSHIRTS TODAY AFTER OWNING THEM FOR MANY YEARS!
NOW AFTER 15 YEARS OF OUR UNDERGROUND LABEL WE ARE READY TO GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO BUY ON LINE ALL OF OUR BEST DESIGNS..”
 
CHILL OUT PLANET .
We are talking to one of the founders of the label – Liolik and the label manager Alex
“ Chill Out Planet psychedelic clothing came from the underground scene of Russia's two major cities: St. Petersburg and Moscow. In the begging it was a community of creative individuals experimenting in the field of psychedelic arts including designers, painters, Djs, musicians, party promoters and other cultural figures.
So we decided to unite efforts of designers and produce some clothes.
That's how our first very limited collection of underground psychedelic clothing appeared in 1996 and was widespread mostly among our friends and supporters. They were warmly welcomed by the underground community as it was probably the only psychedelic and fluorescent clothing they could get in Russia. So we decided to continue developing this idea and Chill Out Planet studio began to produce psychedelic clothing on a professional basis
As soon as international cultural exchange came to Russia, the Chill Out Planet psychedelic clothing got known all over the globe in such countries as India, Japan, Northern and Southern America and Europe. As it often happens in Russia, only after artworks of the Chill Out Planet clothes have been recognized internationally, they became increasingly famous back home and it has become almost like a uniform for party goers in the Russian psychedelic scene.
Nowadays the Chill Out Planet is a dynamically developing psychedelic clothing company with world wide distribution We focus both on creating original and remarkable artworks for our clothes as well as on quality of materials and technology we use to produce our items. So our fan base is growing around the globe. You can find Chill Out Planet psychedelic clothing at shops in most hot spots for psychedelic culture such like Goa, London and Moscow as well as at world famous psychedelic festivals like Boom, Ozora, etc and of course you are very welcome to use our online shop for a full catalog of our products which can be delivered to you anywhere in the world…”
 
UGGAGULA.
  French based T-Shirt printing brand. Started by lovely couple from the east of the country – Gerome and Masha ( ex- member of Chill Out Planet) , is famous for its high quality fluorescent and glow in the dark prints. Top designs from Luminokaya, Chris Dyer, Ihti Anderson and some of other famous psychedelic artists and long lasting hi resolution pictures made this label one of the most popular T-Shirt producers nowadays.
 
  PLAZMALAB
  By the phone call we got some information from Idan, the label owner.
“Plazmalab is a digital design fashion studio from Tel Aviv. We create our own unique clothing style and design. It is all originally created, sewn and prototyped in our laboratory. The prints are original artworks made by amazing in-house artists and various international talents. We specialize in digital design and futuristic styling. We mix urban and digital culture to thread our own style of high quality clothing that is both comfortable and cutting edge.
Every t-shirt print has been crafted in our studios and is an original artwork inspired from the things we love.
The mission of Plasmalab is to create unique and original fashion and art, whilst allowing you to wear something you love and believe in.
Plazmalab’s online shop features street art t-shirts, long sleeve shirts and uniquely designed hoodies and jackets. We create our own unique clothing style and designs. It was originally sewn and prototyped in our laboratory. The prints are original artworks made by amazing in-house artists and various international talents. The e-shop offers winter and summer collections as well as On-Sale and Accessories selection…”  
http://www.plazmalab.com

NOMAD WEAR.
We really like many T-Shirts of this production.
 

“Nomad-Wear brings you professional quality digital printing directly on to shirts, hoodies, accessories etc. Unique collections from psychedelic and visionary artists.”
 
SPACE TRIBE.
One of the true veterans on trance fashion scene. In early 90-s all Goa was wearing that mega fluorescent colorful fractadelic T-Shirts, hoodies, pants and even underwear. All parties were decorated by Ollie’s backdrops and Goa kids were playing with Space tribe teddybears.
We connected to Ollie trough Skype and that’s what he told us:
“ ..Space Tribe morphed into existence on the paradise beaches in Goa, India in the early 90's. There we all were, enjoying the parties & high on life, but not happy with the clothing that was generally available. We wanted to wear something that expressed our joy of life and somehow a pair of jeans with a benetton t shirt didn't come close . . . . Normal is Boring ! 
Our journies led us to beautiful Bali, one of the planet's creative hotspots, where we started experimenting ! And thus, the Tribe was born . . . . Created in Chaos ! 
The range of Space Tribe goodies has grown to include a wide selection of clothing and accessories, from the full colour UV collection through to our range of 'mandala' prints on black jackets 'n' T's & a wide assortment of innovative pants. 
Then there's the more off the wall stuff, that we make just for the fun of getting it out there on the planet, & making the world a brighter place to be in . . . . Giant UV party banners . . . . fractal teddybears . . . . UV crash helmets . . . . (There was even the time we made hand carved UFO sunglasses !). We still have quite a few unreleased ideas. Check them out on our website…”

PSYLO
Founded in 1999, the Israeli/Iranian team, traveling between cities world-wide, began making the comfortable, stylish, durable and fun clothes they needed for their personal expression and their adventurous lifestyles. In time, they learned to design for functionality and to apply their original ideas. Today Psylo clothes have developed into a fusion of urban street fashion with a strong underground influence.
Over the years, the growing company has expanded into an international creative team with full manufacturing facilities. For the last 13 years, the factory, with personally-trained staff, has been based in Bali, Indonesia, famed for its strong traditions of design, arts and crafts. Here, the tailors and artisans are competent in the necessary complex and cutting-edge stitching techniques, mineral washes, color discharge, hand knitting and a variety of application techniques, combined with the highest quality fabrics.
The Psylo design team finds inspiration in arts and crafts of ancient history world-wide. The key to the Psylo look is tribal and ethnic art, influenced by tattoos, body art and primitive, sacred symbolism, combined with the 21st century manifestation of music and fashion. What emerges is a style of street wear with an underground culture at its core.

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 03 March 2013 06:50

Cultural History of Tripping part4

 The Psychedelic in Society:
A Brief Cultural History of Tripping part 4

…Since the cataclysms of the Sixties and Seventies, a more tenacious if less overtly messianic subculture has grown up around the psychedelic. Nowhere in the industrial world is psychedelic consciousness more above-board and appreciated than in the computer software business, where it is regarded as the inspiration for cybernetics -- the very definition of twenty-first century communications efficiency -- by many of its most illustrious practitioners.
 
 
According to Jaron Lanier, a pioneer in the virtual reality industry, “…almost to a person, the founders of the [personal] computer industry were psychedelic style hippies…..
Within the computer science community there’s a very strong connection with the ‘60s psychedelic tradition, absolutely no question about it.

In the TNT docudrama Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), Apple founder Steve Jobs is depicted on an acid trip in which he conceives himself the conductor of his own cosmic symphony.
 
Bob Wallace, one of the early developers of Microsoft, who now runs Mind Books, the online purveyor of tomes devoted to psychedelic and alternative consciousness, has said that his conception of shareware as a formal business application was psychedelically inspired. Lotus spreadsheet designer Mitchell Kapor, co-founder with Grateful Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet advocacy organization, has attributed certain “recreational chemicals” with sharpening his business acumen. Bob Jesse left his position as vice president of business development at Oracle, the world’s second largest software company after Microsoft, to head the Council on Spiritual Practices, a non-profit organization that advocates (among other things) the responsible use of entheogens (divine-manifesting drugs) for religious purposes.

 
Such a marriage of technology and psychedelic consciousness – and a resoundingly profitable and influential one at that -- might have been foretold by Marshall McLuhan’s 1968 observation that “the computer is the LSD of the business world.”
            The possibility that industrial success might in any way be attributed to the psychedelic is not overtly bantered about in Wall Street boardrooms, where psychedelic acuity is not yet measured out in lucre as an asset or variable in a company’s fortunes. But according to author and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, firms “such as Sun Microsystems that lead the Valley of the Nerds [Silicon Valley] recognize the popularity of psychedelics among their employees.” You need only one look at the covers of the cyber-age magazines Wired and Mondo 2000 to conclude that the computer cognizant have had at least some contact with the whirring currents of the psychedelic Mainframe.

            The phrase “We’re all connected!,” often exclaimed during a psychedelic experience, might just as well be uttered by a PC user tapping into the mycelium-like World Wide Web for the first time. Cyberspace is, in many respects, an electronic mirror of the hyper spatial web of synaptic nerves running through the Universal Mind, the Indra’s Net of impulses and receptor sites that some say they’ve accessed by psychedelics.
 
(According to ancient myth, Indra, the king of the Hindu pantheon, created a vast web comprised of strings of jewels. Each jewel both reflected and was reflected by all the others, thus revealing both its uniqueness and its universality.) A sort of invisible yet real medium of contact between any and all points, cyberspace is a habitat for the mitosis-like proliferation of the idea germs called memes, and an endless mind field on which to explode the fractal equations that portray the parallel orders of controlled chaos in the universe.

There is no doubt that with the advent of the new millennium, the psychedelic culture will continue to rise, both responsibly and otherwise, as psychedelics are increasingly seen as tools for penetrating the veils of quotidian maya and mass-media illusion spun by corporate greed. According to the best hopes of the new psychedelic vanguard, the expanded intelligent use of these plants and chemicals will usher in an eon of shamanic vistas and stronger definitions true to primordial forms: a pagan, aboriginal order in which the spirit will reign pre-eminent.

THE END

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Friday, 01 March 2013 09:19

Cultural History of Tripping part3

Third part of our global research of the inner communications between psychedelic World and normal human society.
The earliest known religious texts are a collection of hymns called The Rig Veda, written by Aryans who swept down into India from Siberia. Among the one thousand twenty-eight verses, considered the foundation of the Hindu religion, a hundred and twenty are devoted to praise for the rootless, leafless plant called Soma, which is deified for conferring immortality and divine inspiration. “We have drunk the Soma; we have become immortal; we have gone to the light; we have found the gods.” (Rig Veda 8.48.1-15)

 
Wasson conjectured that Soma was Amanita muscaria, the red-capped Fly Agaric mushroom depicted ubiquitously to this day in European folktale literature, and used ritualistically by Siberian and some Native American tribes. This conclusion was based, in part, on the Amanita’s unique property of being able to inebriate people who drink the user’s urine, which is corroborated by a reference in The Rig Veda to ceremonial urine drinking. Wasson tried Amanita several times himself, but never really got off. Terence McKenna believes that Soma is actually the Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, in part because of the generally weak and erratic performance of the Amanita mushroom in modern trials. In this volume, however, I’ve included an Amanita trip tale that corroborates Wasson’s theory, an excerpt from Clark Heinrich’s book Strange Fruit (1995), which is now available in an (expanded) American edition as Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Uncovering the ancient ethnobotanical truth about Soma is an ongoing endeavor, but there is little doubt that the very ether of Indian religion is a psychotropic, probably mycelial, plant.
 
            The average American today still has little if any inkling of the traditions for the sacramental use of mushrooms and other plants by cultures across the globe, lumping all drugs into one baggie-full of stupefying intoxicants that will turn you into a sick, lazy low-life bound for jail or an early death. Unlikely as it may seem, however, an appreciation for the induced visionary experience is apparent not so far beneath the surface of mainstream modern culture. For me this remnant sensibility is epitomized in the vision of Walt Disney (a known cocaine user), whose imagineered™ re-creations of classic fables often alluded to the fruitful alterability of consciousness.
The pivotal scene in Dumbo (1941), for instance, is the transformation of consciousness and augmentation of capacity -- in this case, the big-eared elephant’s motor skills -- via a hallucinatory delirium brought on when the dejected pachyderm drinks a barrel full of water into which, unbeknownst to him, a bottle of spirits had been accidentally spilled. To the foreboding lyrics and serpentine melody of “Pink Elephants on Parade,” Dumbo begins seeing things “you know that ain’t” (a succession of fractals and geometrical patterns, forms morphing into new ones, and scenes of Oriental mystery and erotica), then passes into oblivion, from which he wakes up in the highest branches of a tree. Thus Dumbo earns his wings not through an act of obeisance to the Ten Commandments but in the throes of a psychotropic-induced visionary state.
 
Fantasia (1940) features scenes that portray synthesthesia (“See the music, hear the pictures,” reads the video's promotional copy) and other phantasmic phenomena that make it one of the most beloved of all films to view while tripping. According to psychedelic scholar Peter Stafford, Disney’s "chief visualist" for the project was a mescaline subject of Kurt Beringer (an associate of Carl Jung and Herman Hesse), who published The Mescaline Inebriation in 1927. In the early decades of Disneyland, a pink elixir was served upon entry in the Enchanted Tiki Room to accentuate the pleasure of the tropical respite and render the bird songs that much sweeter. The psychoactive element of the potion was “make believe,” of course, but today, in deference to stricter notions of “family values” now in vogue, the suggestive little cocktail is no longer offered to visitors.

To be continued ………
Published in NEWS Archives
Thursday, 28 February 2013 07:09

Cultural History of Tripping part2

we continue with the global social research of The Psychedelic in Society: A Brief Cultural History of Tripping
….  Veneration for the induced visionary experience has roots in virtually every culture on earth, however sublimated or repressed it is today. In fact, one could argue that the use of visionary plants and hallowed drafts has been seminal to the development of civilization. Two of the most pervasive and influential cultures the planet has ever seen, that of Hellenistic Greece and Aryan India, contained at their very core inspirations derived from the ingestion of psychedelic concoctions.
For two thousand years before its eradication by Christians in the fourth century A.D., the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries was the peak-experience of the ancient Greeks, a “holy institution,” according to religion historian Huston Smith, for regularly opening ”a space in the human psyche for God to enter.” After a half year of rites, the pilgrimage to Eleusis just west of Athens climaxed with the re-enactment of a sacred drama that was enhanced by the drinking of  kykeon,  a grainy beverage believed to contain barley ergot. Among notable initiates were Socrates, Plato, Sophocles, Aristotle, Aeschylus, Cicero, Pindar, and possibly Homer. A communion between gods and men, between the living and the dead, the ceremony at Eleusis was a symbolic journey to the underworld to claim back from death Persephone, the daughter of the grain goddess Demeter. The setting for this ur-psychedelic experience was a  telesterion  (initiation hall) at the very site where Persephone is said to have emerged from Hades
with the newborn son she’d conceived in death there. A series of breathtaking, masterfully orchestrated special effects enthralled the senses and conjured the specter of deliverance from the forces of darkness through a ritualized resurrection. The whirlpool of stimuli that washed over initiates involved an Oz-like chimera of voices, music, perfumes, mists, light and shadows. At the peak of the crescendo, the “bellowing roar of a gong-like instrument that outdid…the mightiest thunderclap, coming from the bowels of the earth” announced the arrival of the queen of the netherworld.
                       All were forbidden by penalty of death to tell what they’d seen. According to Carl A.P. Ruck, co-author with R. Gordon Wasson of  The Road to Eleusis  (1978), “Even a poet could only say that he had seen the beginning and the end of life and known that they were one, something given by God. The division between earth and sky melted into a pillar of light.” Of course, some couldn’t hold their tongues about such a marvel. A scandal ensued when some aristocratic Athenians began celebrating the Mysteries at dinner parties in their homes with groups of    “drunken” revelers. Socrates himself was tried and condemned for using the sacred brew recreationally. (Such a profanation of the holy potion might have a modern-day parallel in the spilling of LSD into the well water of the mass media and youth culture during the early Sixties).
 
                        Notably, the Mysteries were not freely conjured by anyone who could get their hands on the kykeon. They were the exclusive charge of two families who served as hierophants for two thousand years. Clearly, the indoctrination and rites leading up to the swigging of the mash were at least as influential as the concoction itself in weaving the phantasm that stole over the pilgrims’ senses. Such congregational participation and extensive preparation for a psychedelic experience is almost unheard of in the modern West. If anything like the Eleusinian Mysteries had survived the hi-tech world of today, it would almost certainly be diluted and profaned, taking the form of a commercialized adventure-tourism attraction involving a multimedia circus of light and sound somewhat akin to the group-mind experience of a Trance  Festival or a rave. Re-creation of the kykeon brew has proved elusive, however, even to such consummate ergot specialists as Albert Hofmann, who used the fungus in his 1938 invention of LSD.

To be continued….

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 09:05

Cultural History of Tripping part1

The Psychedelic in Society: A Brief Cultural History of Tripping
The term  psychedelic  is derived from the  Ancient Greek  words  psuchē  (ψυχή - psyche, "soul") and  dēlōsē  (δήλωση - "manifest"), translating to "soul-manifesting".
A  psychedelic experience  is characterized by the striking perception of aspects of one's mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ostensibly ordinary fetters. Psychedelic states are an array of experiences including changes of  perception  such as  hallucinations,  synesthesia, altered states of awareness or focused consciousness, variation in thought patterns,  trance  or  hypnotic  states,  mystical  states, and other mind alterations.
 
These processes can lead some people to experience changes in mental operation defining their self identity (whether in momentary acuity or chronic development) different enough from their previous normal state that it can excite feelings of newly formed understanding ranging from  revelation  &  enlightenment  to the opposing polarity of  confusion  &  psychosis. Psychedelic states may be elicited by various techniques, such as meditation, sensory stimulation[1]  or  deprivation, and most commonly by the use of  psychedelic substances. When these psychoactive  substances are used for  religious,  shamanic, or  spiritual  purposes, they are termed  entheogens.

The term was first coined as a noun in 1957 by  psychiatrist  Humphry Osmond  as an alternative descriptor for  hallucinogenic drugs  in the context of  psychedelic psychotherapy.
 
Psychedelics are notorious today because of the rude splash they made in the Sixties and Seventies, when the tidal wave of altered consciousness they unleashed billowed across the social landscape, upsetting many an apple cart, Newtonian and otherwise, along the way. During the course of this insurrectional drive to expand the human mind, millions of students, artists, and other seekers were ushered by chemical agents toward – and, hopefully, through -- the Doors of Perception, a term borrowed from William Blake by Aldous Huxley to describe, in his 1954 book of the same title, the expansive universe to which drugs such as LSD can open up the mortal brain -- a realm in which everything appears, in Blake's words, "as it is, infinite."
 
Timothy Leary’s calls to “tune in” psychedelically and Ken Kesey’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests, the multimedia LSD extravaganzas immortalized by Tom Wolfe, steered untold legions through these portals into a molten state of being which is all but smothered today beneath the buttoned-down collars of straight-laced yuppie composure. Because most psychedelic drugs have been illegal since 1966, there are no accurate polls to determine the numbers of people who experimented. But many at least temporarily heeded Leary's clarion call to abandon middle-class security and catch the wave of revelation by gulping down psychotropic chemicals. Leary's death in 1996 has sparked a burst of introspection on the impact of the drugs he proselytized, and the high numbers of Baby Boomers who stormed heaven with them now have the stature to contemplate the fruits of their rebellions.
 
The demographics of tripping are actually much broader than one might suspect. You needn't be a hippie to have a psychedelic background. The corporate and civic leaders who are running the country today are likely to have once been experimental long-hairs in their school days.

 
We know that President Bill Clinton and both major-paty candidates vying to succeed him, Texas governor George W. Bush and Vice-President Al Gore, have admitted or intimated they've used illegal drugs. Indeed, many in high places today have been in even higher ones in their youth, touring the outer galaxies of their own minds on acid and other psychedelics. Millions have a unique lens embedded in their minds composed of the rarefied fibers of their hallucinogenic experiences. Meanwhile, many who didn't "turn on" are wondering, "What did I miss?" Still others, psychedelic veterans among them, find “recreational” drugs and the culture of their “indulgence” disquieting, and for good reason from their perspective. Trips, after all, were known to go awry.
 
As the new millennium begins, the use of psychedelics is again on the rise after tapering off in the 1980s. How could this be happening? Wasn’t the first time around, the convulsive Sixties and Seventies, too unsettling for anybody to want to go back? Well, the fact is that human beings will always want to suspend everyday reality, be it by legal means or otherwise, and they will always be at least curious about alternate states of consciousness, especially those that are consecrated in many of the world’s ancient traditions.
To be continued…
 
Published in NEWS Archives
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