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Ayahuasca
May 26, 2006 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Hell and Back: "Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within." Interesting tale found via this interview with Charles Grob on the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics. The legal status of ayahuasca in the US was recently discussed here.
posted by homunculus (56 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
isn't dmt what the pineal gland releases before you (think you're gonna) die? (and sometimes while you sleep)
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 12:20 PM on May 26, 2006


If you're looking for an intelligent discussion of ayahuasca, and other indigenous religious pharmaceuticals, ethnobotanist Wade Davis' The River is particularly excellent.
posted by docgonzo at 12:23 PM on May 26, 2006


DMT: The Spirit Molecule is mostly terrible (Strassman leads the test subjects to an amazing and brazenly unscientific degree), but the trip narratives are fascinating.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:29 PM on May 26, 2006


What a story. I'd like to read more stories like this in my morning American paper than stories about kids killing people with handguns and about how the sun causes cancer and we should all be afraid. Not a very deep and strange and terrifying and wonderful world we are encouraged to live in, is it?

Just pretend buying things and taking pills will fix that nagging feeling that we are just barely living...
posted by kozad at 12:34 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Encounters with the Greys are not uncommon among DMT users. here's one account, and possibly another.
posted by freq at 12:56 PM on May 26, 2006


Just pretend buying things and taking pills will fix that nagging feeling that we are just barely living...

I fail to see the distinction between shamanistic ritual substances and manmade ones with regard to feeling more alive.

Both affect physiology whose chemistry, limits, and nature compose the mind entirely -- that same mind which may be convinced it is impenetrable nothingness or omniscient totality by a mote of the right substance here or there.

I'm not suggesting happiness is unknowable, just that the physical brain doesn't distinguish how you achieve it, the endorphin rush of a shopping spree included.
posted by abulafa at 1:03 PM on May 26, 2006


I spent six years in Brazil and know several people who used ayahuasca. One friend said he laid under the stars and jungle trees sang beautiful songs to him. Others talked of flying.

I only knowingly tried this strange tea made from the bark of jungle vines once. This was in the Amazon about eight days up the Rio Jurua out of Cruzero do Sul.

My problem with this experience was I also had malaria but didn't know it yet. Because of the disease, the result was a strange dream where I had been reduced to a small creature that was constantly chased by predators.

I thought I was being eaten by ants but woke up and my pet monkey was biting my toes. I think she was trying to wake me up so I would feed her.

I told this story in a Sierra Magazine article I wrote at the time but prudently left out the psychedelic experimentation part.

Another time at cannaval in Recife a man gave me a drink he called Indian Wood. It was dark milky stuff. I thought it was just some sort of rum mixture and grabbed his bottle and took several massive gulps. The last reality I knew for several hours was the man shaking his head saying, "Man you took way too much."

Suddenly all the carnaval dancers turned into Native dancers in full feathered regalia. I was magically transported to a cava in New Mexico. I knew this cava as I had once visited it several years earlier. I felt I was really in a tribal crowd of people and part of a strange ceremony. It was so real I could feel the heat and smell the people. I woke up in a hotel room with a lovely American teacher I had met. She said I had been acting insane and took me home for my own safety. I found I could make love four hours and had enormous energy.

The next day we all went back looking for Indian Wood. We found some but it was only cheap rum and awful tea, and gave us no results at all. It's likely the original tea was ayahuasca.
posted by BillyElmore at 1:06 PM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


Its interesting how he talked about how the 'life-long depression' he'd felt was gone afterwards. I've noticed that a good, strong Psilocybin trip will clear out any depression I might have been feeling at the time.

But still, claming that one chemical is somehow the 'wrong' way to treat depression and another one is 'right' is silly. It's just that tripping is a much more entertaining way to do it.

I've also had friends who took mushrooms and had a very bad experience, which lingered on making them feel sort of 'unreal' or disconnected from the world for a while.
posted by delmoi at 1:13 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Boingboing had a great thing a while back with Joe Rogan (discussed here) talking about how awesome DMT is.

My understanding of Ayahuasca pretty gibes with the National Geographic story, which made it puzzling to hear drug tourists talking about how great it was to go on guided trips at jungle lodges when I visited Madre De Dios in Peru.
posted by peptide at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2006


My experiment with Ayahuasca wasn't too successful -- I ingested a lot of Syrian Rue as an MAOI to enhance the effects of the Ayahuasca, which I prepared myself. I ended up feeling incredibly manic and upset all at once for several hours, which seems more the result of the MAOI.

I have, though, experimented with a number of other psychadelics, among them 5-MeO-DMT (toad venom).

I am always resistant to this type of trip report, since they always peddle to a populist notion of what a profound experience must be like, which always boils down to a holistic vision of universal suffering and absolute love (in other words, a remarkably Christian experience.) The trip itself is invariably a kind of carnival of ghouls and spirits who emanate by turns terror and empathy. It feels as though they are mapping a complex experience along very simple, readymade literary conventions.

My personal experience had been that the higher the dose, the less you can account for the derangement using simple narratives. Certain meridian experiences are like vanishing horizons of comprehensibility. They are plateaus of consciousness so far beyond language that it is impossible to talk about them; I can only describe them negatively, as non-lingual, non-sensical, etc.

This is why I am also resistant to the Shamanic tradition, which, by way of ritual, suggestion, etc., attempts to predetermine the nature of the experience along certain pathways.
posted by ori at 1:19 PM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


"...Therapeutic uses of psychedelics..."

There's an oxymoron.
posted by 517 at 1:21 PM on May 26, 2006


There's an oxymoron.

There's a knee-jerk response.
posted by flaterik at 1:38 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


517: There's an oxymoron

The FDA isn't so sure.
posted by Gyan at 1:39 PM on May 26, 2006


All my involvement with many people who do hallucinogens has demonstrated to me that they fuck you up and they do it for a very long time. Maybe not in the seeing-mad-shit way but in other more subtle and pervasive ways.

The idea that you can do some of these things and then just walk away from them, without consequence, is the very rare exception, not the rule.

Gyan: Last time I checked, E wasn't a hallucinogen.
posted by 517 at 2:13 PM on May 26, 2006


"Is Kira OK?" Christy asks Hamilton.
"She just had a little exorcism," Hamilton explains with relish. "She's fine."
"Bloody hell; was that what it was?" says Katherine.
"She just picked up some travelers," Hamilton says. "We had to get rid of them."
"Bloody hell!" Katherine says again. "Is this what you'd consider a normal ceremony, Hamilton?"
"About one out of a hundred ceremonies is as intense as this one. We kicked some real demon butt tonight."


Metafilter: Kicking some real demon butt tonight
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 2:19 PM on May 26, 2006


Awesome story. She's a good writer, too.
posted by Asparagirl at 2:30 PM on May 26, 2006


517 : "All my involvement with many people who do hallucinogens has demonstrated to me that they fuck you up and they do it for a very long time."

Well, that proves it. Anyone else is lying.

"The idea that you can do some of these things and then just walk away from them, without consequence, is the very rare exception, not the rule."

Who said about walking away without consequence? If that were the case, they couldn't even be potentially therapeutic.

"Last time I checked, E wasn't a hallucinogen."

Last time I checked, that page mentioned studies on various drugs, MDMA simply being the first listed.
posted by Gyan at 2:34 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


517: switch booze with hallucinogens, and you may be onto something.
posted by Freen at 2:43 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm wrong, it looks like E is a hallucinigen.

"...Well, that proves it. Anyone else is lying..."

You want to tell me MDMA is different as does do some good in therapy, I will believe it. I never even knew it was a hallucinegen.

You want to tell me that LSD, shrooms, or whatever else does anything other than fuck you up, you are the rare exception or you are lying.
posted by 517 at 2:44 PM on May 26, 2006


yeah, ignore the spellcheck or lack there of.
posted by 517 at 2:45 PM on May 26, 2006


517 : "You want to tell me that LSD, shrooms, or whatever else does anything other than fuck you up"

Define "Fuck you up" first. For all I know, effects that some may consider neutral or positive, you think of as negative.
posted by Gyan at 2:50 PM on May 26, 2006


Psychedelics can be wonderful or terrible. For me, they were mostly wonderful even when they were terrible (which is one of the most useful lessons I learned from them.) Broad sweeping statements like "they fuck you up and for a long time" should we swept where they deserve to be: in the anecdotal rubbish bin. Ram Dass took as many psychedelics as any mortal could, and was one of the clearest, most compassionate, most awake, and most articulate people I've ever had the pleasure of talking to for a couple of hours. Psychedelics are not good for everyone, but neither are coffee or aspirin.

For what it's worth, I've taken many different psychedelics, and found DMT to be absolutely the least interesting of them all. The stuff tastes like burning plastic and produced 20 minutes of spectacular special effects, but not much else. Yes, I saw the little insectoid self-transforming schmoos that secretly run the universe, some say. So what. I got less practically applicable information about life from seeing them than any mushroom or acid trip I ever took. But maybe they have more to tell someone else.

Just FYI, because DMT gets way too much hype in my opinion.
posted by digaman at 2:52 PM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


"DMT is the strongest hallucinogen there is. If it's possible to get more loaded than that, I don't want to know about it, and I say so when I'm there. I say, 'My God, if you can get more loaded than this, keep it away from me.' So that's it, it's the strongest. It's also the shortest acting. DMT when smoked in most people is, return you to normal in under ten minutes. Under ten minutes! Now, this is interesting because people who think there's nothing to this should actually invest the ten minutes to find out what's, you know... A ten minute DMT trip is worth twenty years of academic pharmacology, art history, psychology and all this other malarkey. Because then you just say, 'Okay, I got it, I got it...' Another very interesting thing about DMT is, it occurs naturally in the human brain. Well, now what's going on here? He's saying the strongest drug, the fastest drug, is the most natural drug? It means that, you know, you don't have to sail off into 3-hydroxy-4-peridal- enmethylmarubyshtick or something like that to get into the exotic realms. No -- a human metabolite, which takes only ten minutes to undergo its entire exfoliation and quenching, is the strongest of all.

Well, then, what is it? What does 'strong' mean? What is a strong psychedelic? You know, it's highly personal. Every psychedelic trip is. But what happens on DMT for a large number of people -- I mean, we don't have any statistics, but -- it is a completely confounding experience. I mean, you may have had the expectation, you might think if you had never had a psychedelic experience that it sort of begins like the Bach B minor fugue, and goes from there as you rise into the realms of light and union with the deity or something like that. That's not what happens on DMT. What happens on DMT I referred to this morning: a troop of elves smashes down your front door, and rotates and balances the wheels on the afterdeath vehicle, present you with the bill and then depart. (laughter) And it's completely paradigm shattering. I mean, you know, union with the white light you could handle. (laughter) An invasion of your apartment by jeweled self-dribbling basketballs from hyperspace that are speaking demotic Greek is *not* something that you anticipated and could handle. Sometimes people say, 'Is DMT dangerous? It sounds so crazy. Is it dangerous?' The answer is, only if you fear death by astonishment. (laughter)

Remember how you laughed when this possibility was raised. And a moment will come that will wipe the smile right off your face."

-Terrence McKenna
posted by Freen at 2:55 PM on May 26, 2006


Cause prolonged dissociation, less impulse control, less ability to to deal with stress. Cause anti-social personality changes, depression, apathy, anxiety or touch off other psychological disorders that had not been apparent before.

There is one other way of looking at what I have seen and that would be the whole cause and effect thing; whether those personality traits caused the drugs to be sought out or the the use of drugs caused the personality traits. I am open to the idea that there is a lot of interaction from both sides on that matter. But I am also certain that the initial use of hallucinogens happens before the personality changes.

There is no enlightenment to be found with those, or any, drugs.
posted by 517 at 2:59 PM on May 26, 2006


517, before this turns into a huge very non-psychedelic war of limited perspectives -- it's obvious that either you, your friends, or your family members have had some very bad experiences with psychedelics. I'[m sorry to hear about that, and I wish you, your friends, and your family well. But I would also suggest to you that you learn more about the traditional use of psychedelics by many different cultures throughout history. In these cultures, psychedelics have been proven to have a very beneficial effect on most people who take them. For a deep glimpse into this world, I highly recommend Warren D'Azavedo's Straight with the Medicine, a beautiful compendium of first-person accounts of following the Peyote Way. It will broaden your mind.
posted by digaman at 3:01 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


"...anecdotal rubbish bin..."

As you give your own, "No Harm" anecdote.
posted by 517 at 3:02 PM on May 26, 2006


Absolutely, 517. Though because I've written quite a bit about psychedelics, I promise you that MY anecdotal rubbish bin is bigger than YOUR anecdotal rubbish bin. [grin]

But yes. If you want to learn more about what you're talking about, check out some books on the subject of traditional use. It's not about getting wasted.
posted by digaman at 3:05 PM on May 26, 2006


"...It will broaden your mind..."

"...war of limited perspectives..."

I am sorry to go on the attack but you seem to be one of the rare exception that have a positive experience with these thing. I am not drawing from one person who did one thing one time. I can think of 6 separate individuals in which I noticed the same things happening.

I am somewhat familiar with some of the traditional uses of psychedelics in South America. If you view the traditional people who use these substances as benefiting from them I would suggest that you have had this view presented to you and have not questioned it seriously enough to find evidence that it is wrong.

These things don't open your mind, they limit it.
posted by 517 at 3:11 PM on May 26, 2006


That 's OK, 517, maybe you'll relax enough about the subject someday to be less inclined to to put down books you haven't even bothered to read and the people who read them.

Until then, peace.
posted by digaman at 3:16 PM on May 26, 2006


517 : you confuse a) recreational use of substances to get-fucked-up (some would argue this is self medication, others would say it's wanton hedonism and self destruction, all sensible would say that society being what it is and people not doing this under the most controlled environment and various purity, dose and setting errors leads to misery and fucked-uppiness: for the joys hand heartbreaks of this type of activity see erowid).

and b) genuine clinical uses. see MAPS studies for details. Most recreational drugs have valid uses under the right context.

I have to plug my friend daniel's entertaining books Breaking Open the Head and 2012, both fascinating well written shamanistic travelogues, from the perspective of a once-materialistic but now-fully-spiritual person. Irrespective of whether you agree with his newfound fantastical worldview, they are excellent writing.

For more rational, less mystical writing, Benny Shannon or John Horgan may be a good place to go.

Mmm...long sentences.
posted by lalochezia at 3:18 PM on May 26, 2006


Digaman: Yeah, I am guessing that we disagree on this topic on a fundamental level and there is no point in arguing it.
posted by 517 at 3:21 PM on May 26, 2006


Theres an astral plane of difference between going to the amazon and having a cleansing and getting fucked out of your head on mushrooms from the local golf course.

This story reminds me of a process called theophostics.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:27 PM on May 26, 2006


Theres an astral plane of difference between going to the amazon and having a cleansing and getting fucked out of your head on mushrooms from the local golf course.
Not necessarily - as I referenced above, I found a lot of what I derisively called "drug tourists" floating around various parts of the Amazon. And there are members of a certain subcultural mindset that will, when told that you are going down there, always respond with "so are you going to try the Ayahuasca/Huachuma/whatever that new unscheduled shit is called?" These are either burnouts or freeform astral travelers, depending on your vantage point. They are also contributors to the tourist economy that many of the people indigenous to those areas are forced to rely on.
posted by peptide at 3:55 PM on May 26, 2006


517 : "I can think of 6 separate individuals in which I noticed the same things happening."

You do know that "rare" is used to indicate incidence of less than 1 in 100, and "very rare", even uhm.. rarer. If your sample size is a couple dozen, there's no scope to evaluate epidemiology of effects that are uncommon, especially given that there are an estimated 25 million people alive in the US today, who have tried LSD.

Refer to Cohen and Malleson's surveys instead for acute reactions,

LSD-induced prolonged psychosis arriving at numbers of around 4 in 1,000 individuals (0.8 in 1,000 volunteers and 1.8 in 1,000 psychotherapy patients in Cohen 1960 [31]; 9 per 1,000 psychotherapy patients in Melleson 1971 [32]). Note: psychosis doesn't mean just "seeing-mad-shit".

..and Janiger's follow-up for long-term effects on those who took it between 1954 and 1962 as part of psychiatric research, before it was popularized.
posted by Gyan at 3:58 PM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


Freen citing McKenna: A ten minute DMT trip is worth twenty years of academic pharmacology, art history, psychology and all this other malarkey.

Oy vey. I'm convinced McKenna and Leary did as much to foster a culture of paranoia, misinformation and idiocy about psychoactives as did the DEA.
posted by ori at 4:13 PM on May 26, 2006


This story reminds me of a process called theophostics.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:22 PM on May 26, 2006


Hey sgt.serenity, does this story remind you of anything?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:29 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes, I saw the little insectoid self-transforming schmoos that secretly run the universe, some say.

Machine Elves?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:14 PM on May 26, 2006


I've eaten probably over a hundred hits of LSD and, while there's no denying there was the occasional bad trip, the overwhelming majority of the experiences my friends and I had were freaking great. I found that days later, long after the drug's obvious effects were gone, I was able to appreciate the beauty in things I had taken for granted before. I was a jaded, hateful motherfucker, but, for instance, after taking acid, sunsets were beautiful again, and have been since.

Even the bad trips, while seemingly bad at the time, usually turned out to be me coming to grips with an unpleasant truth about myself that I had previously been in denial about.

Anyway, about psychedelics, what I always tell people us this: Everything isn't for everyone. Use some personal discretion. If you don't think you can handle something, don't try it. If you think you can, then proceed, but with caution.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:59 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not crazy Doc...
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on May 26, 2006


Stop badgering 517 just because he does not subscribe to your salvation-by-hallucination manifesto.

Some people go into psychosis or hallucinogens trigger schizophrenia. And those states are not cleansing in any way.
Just look at Brian Wilson.

So yes, these things are dangerous.

I'm glad they worked so well for you though.
posted by jouke at 9:48 PM on May 26, 2006


your salvation-by-hallucination manifesto.

It's funny: scrolling all the way up, I don't see anyone taking that position. But hallucinations can take many forms.
posted by digaman at 10:28 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


517:

If psychedelics (or any substance that alters perceptions) are so awful, why are humans drawn to them the way we are? And apparently have been for quite a long long time, if the archaeological record is to be believed (stone pictographs of a shaman with mushrooms growing out of his body, in the Sahara, back when it was a grassland, about 10,000 years ago).

To paraphrase Bill Hicks, the truth about drugs is they're just damned fun.

I've never had a bad trip. Only fun ones. I can't really speak to anyone else's experience, though. They're highly personal.

And as for people going into psychosis or whatever as a result of using these substances, maybe some people just aren't psychologically ready for altering their perceptions of reality. I suspect that's what it is. If you can't let go and enjoy the experience, then I can almost guarantee that you're going to have a bad trip.

I have NEVER laughed so hard as when I was tripping.

And a little tip to everyone, Cardassians are just FUNNY to watch in that state of mind. Seriously. FUNNY.

And I'm going to have to agree with Lalochezia about Daniel Pinchbeck. Great reads.
posted by geekhorde at 10:33 PM on May 26, 2006


And actually jouke, I'm objecting to the typical response from society that 517 is exhibiting, namely that all psychedelics are dangerous, bad and have no redeeming value. I have not found this to be true. In fact, I have found this to be the opposite of true.
posted by geekhorde at 10:36 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


517 writes "I am sorry to go on the attack but you seem to be one of the rare exception that have a positive experience with these thing."

It prompted me to quit drinking and smoking cigarettes, both of which would have killed me, the first probably sooner than later. Rather, it helped me find it within myself to change for the better. It was a profound experience. It left me a bit rattled for a while, and I didn't go in as an amateur but neither with the intention of a relevatory, life-changing trip, but that's what happened. I'd never claim that it would do the same for anyone else, but I know it has. In controlled settings and with trained therapists, the outcome can be shaped in such a way to bring others through similar experiences (and indeed this was done with a great deal of success before current drug scheduling made such research illegal).

I doubt that you have any scientific knowledge of the subject and only know about anecdotal effects of recreational use as an outsider. I understand your fears, but your judgement of a subject about which you know so little isn't worth much. Therapeutic, ritualistic and even recreational use of hallucinogens is historically and culturally important and has enriched the human spiritual experience. Not everyone is meant to take such journeys, but ignorance does not shine a light on which path is right for you. You aren't even a tourist in the land you inhabit.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:50 PM on May 26, 2006 [2 favorites]


jouke writes "Some people go into psychosis or hallucinogens trigger schizophrenia. And those states are not cleansing in any way."

There is very little evidence that hallucinogens cause schizophrenia or similar disorders. Such disorders can triggered by the substance, but the disorder doesn't originate with the substance. People who are predisposed to schizophrenia (probably bi-polar) will be triggered by something, as is true of some other mental disorders. It could be a hit of acid, or it could be something which causes trauma like an accident, but it will happen, typically surfacing during certain age ranges.

Have you read The Eden Express by Mark Vonnegut (Kurt's son)? If not, you should. His schizophrenia was triggered by mescaline and prompted him to go into medicine, as his disease wasn't understood very well at the time and so he received poor treatment for years (he now feels schizophrenia might be a misnomer, and that he specifically is bi-polar). IIRC, his conclusion was that it ran in his family and would have surfaced eventually. However, the way his friends at the commune "helped" him by accomodating him probably didn't help, though neither did the hospitals at the time. People with such disorders often self-medicate with alcohol. It doesn't really help them, but I don't think we should make it illegal.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:09 PM on May 26, 2006 [1 favorite]


"..., but ignorance does not shine a light on which path is right for you. You aren't even a tourist in the land you inhabit."

Yup, you must have done a lot of hallucinogens to have such insight into my experience of life.

Any other insults you want to throw at me to prove you point?
posted by 517 at 12:13 AM on May 27, 2006


Hey sgt.serenity, does this story remind you of anything?

Yes it does.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:13 AM on May 27, 2006


For those who are interested in the historical. anthropological, spiritual, societal, botanical, and experiential background and implications of psychedelics, I would highly recommend Dale Pendell's trilogy, particularly the final volume, Pharmako/Gnosis, which just came out. Pendell is one of the smartest and most learned writers on the subject, and his writing style is deeply innovative, blending poetry (he's a friend of Gary Snyder, one of the best American poets), first-person reports, and history in highly provocative ways. His books are not for everyone -- the War on Drugs crowd won't like them -- but for the well-informed explorer, they're invaluable.
posted by digaman at 8:53 AM on May 27, 2006


517 quoting krinklyfig:


"..., but ignorance does not shine a light on which path is right for you. You aren't even a tourist in the land you inhabit."

'Yup, you must have done a lot of hallucinogens to have such insight into my experience of life.

Any other insults you want to throw at me to prove you(r) point?'

Actually, that didn't look like an insult to me. That looked like an honest assessment of where you're coming from.

So, DO you have much experience with psychedelics? Because if you don't have much personal experience with them, I think you could see how those of us who DO might be reluctant to take anything you say seriously. And from your previous comments and attitudes, that's really the only conclusion I could come to. I suspect the same for Krinklyfig.

No offense intended. I'm just not sure you have much to actually substantially add to this discussion if all you're going to be is a nattering naybob of negativism.

Benefits of psychedelics? Look at the rates of alcoholism, homelessness, joblessness amongst Native Americans (arguably the highest in American society). Then look at the same thing amongst those Native Americans who partake in the peyote ceremony of the Native American Church. The evidence is compelling that peyote use essentially makes those who are part of this community less likely to succumb to alcoholism and its subsequent ill effects. I don't have citing evidence at the moment. I will find it later after work.

I think a lot of the experience has to do with intentions and attitudes. If all you want out of the experience is to 'get fucked up' then you probably will. But if you want something else, then I think that's possible as well.
posted by geekhorde at 9:19 AM on May 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


geekhorde, the Peyote Wisdom section of the Psychedelic Library site has several very interesting articles on the Native American/Peyote culture.
posted by Cedric at 10:12 AM on May 27, 2006


So that was a "yes" by proxy then?
posted by 517 at 10:32 AM on May 27, 2006


Let's get out of this K-hole of disputing people who are simply dead set against entertaining notions that psychedelic experience can have a positive effect on some people. It really is a religious issue at some level, as well as a historical and anthropological one, and just like you can't really convince someone who has decided that Buddhism is "a dangerous cult" to meditate, you can't really talk someone who has decided otherwise into believing that psychedelics can be a positive experience for people other than them and their friends who have had bad experiences. Psychedelics are too powerful to be recommended lightly, and too personal to lend themselves to sweeping statements pro or con.
posted by digaman at 10:51 AM on May 27, 2006


"ee I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don't think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of your records,tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know all those musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs, man."

- Bill Hicks
posted by Freen at 11:08 AM on May 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


If you want to feel insulted that I am objecting to your wholesale dismissal of viewpoints that you seem to be ignorant of, then so be it. I'm not bothered by that.

If you're implying that that is somehow an ad hom attack, then I think you're wrong.
posted by geekhorde at 7:42 PM on May 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


I would so love to try some good hallucinogens and psychedelics. Alas, I do not trust my brain. It does not function "normally" in ordinary life (it's a depressive brain); I'm not sure it would react at all well to extraordinary drugs.

It would be a blessing if some controlled studies were made on the interactions of various brain deficiencies, SSRIs, NSSRIs, MAOIs, and the varieties of natural-source brain-chemical alteration drugs.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


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