Saturday, 8 September 2012

Dec. 21, 2012 - the Einstein of consciousness emerges

“he not busy being born is busy dying”
Bob Dylan

“all pain is birth Pain”
Friedrich Nietzsche

I bought a six-lecture course through Wisdom University starring Stan Grof and a bunch of other psychedelic heavyweights.  In the free intro lecture Dr. Grof discusses the Mayan 2012 prophecies. 

Around 2012 the sun and earth align with the center of the galaxy, which the Mayans mythologize as the alignment between the Sun father and Milky Way mother.  Although it is true that this is occurring it happens over 36 years so much of the focus on December 21, 2012 (12-12-12) seems a bit misleading in that light.  The hippie astrology Mayan Shamans apparently quite different from the Aztec rigid Spartans used dozens of psychoactives and emphasized Grof’s perennial theme of death and rebirth.

The Mayans had a moon, sun, Venus, Mars and Jupiter calendar that intersected every fifty-two years. The last time would have been 1960 - with lots of social change ahead and then 1908 around the time of Einstein’s relativity theory’s emergence.

Grof argues that the Greek word apocalypse does not mean end of the world at all but instead the lifting of the veil.  This cleansing of perception is not strictly the experience of death and rebirth but the knowledge of how these perinatal forces shape our day-to-day reality.  The world is not what it seems we are simply making it that way.

“We are better artist than we realize.”

Robert Anton Wilson said “every perception is a gamble and reality is whatever you can get away with.”  If people realized the extent to which they are projecting their unprocessed birth trauma onto their lives they would stop thinking in such binary dualistic terms.  Lifting the veil not ending the world.

But Grof describes his own career as evolving from focusing on biographical Freudian thinking through the perinatal thinking that still has me occupied and on into the archetypal transpersonal realm.  In this vein of thought the perinatal blockages are secondary to the archetypal karmic needs that put the blocks there in the first place.

Regardless of why the blockages are there and since simplest explanation is usually best perhaps the 2012 apocalypse is related to a “lifting of the veil” of how we construct our reality. 

Timothy Leary proposed an eight circuit model of the brain with the first four taking imprints that by age 16 forged a reality tunnel through which each of us is condemned to experience the world.  With the recent surge in psychedelic and consciousness research it may be that we are getting closer to understanding how these reality tunnels work and open our minds to the shamanic technologies designed to transcend them.  

Dec. 21, 2012 is just over four months away - is there an Einstein lurking in the shadows with the e=mc2 of consciousness?

Fuck I hope so!

Friday, 4 May 2012

Psychedelic Religions of The Future

What would a non-indigenous psychedelic religion look like?

The Rastas, Sufis, Sadhus (cannabis) Bwiti (ibogaine) Native American Church (peyote) UDV and Santo Daime (DMT + harmaline) have all integrated drugs into their religious practice with encouraging results.  Conversely in the west no such institution has emerged and survived long enough to earn legal standing and exemption from drug-laws.  To be exempt from federal law members of the Native American Church must be at least 25% native although some states allow non-natives to participate. 

In fact several hundred small North American, European and Australian groups have formed celebrating psychedelic spiritual communion but none have emerged strong enough to unify Huxley’s three generations of post Hiroshima psychedelians – and this is a shame. But the United States Supreme Court has approved the use of Peyote for Native Americans and Ayahuasca (DMT/harmaline tea) for all people in the Santo Daime.  What other psychedelic religions might the future bring?

1.     Psychoactive use is a basic human drive behind food, drink, sex and sleep – a fifth drive – also many if not most animal species also get “altered” sometimes
2.     Hydraulic drugs like cocaine, alcohol, amphetamine, heroin, tobacco etc. stimulate the brain temporarily and often become the focus of addiction, whereas holotropic (growing towards wholeness) drugs like LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, ketamine, can help the brain heal and change it indefinitely, MDMA and cannabis sit on the fence between hydraulic and holotropic.  With one dose in well-adjusted, spiritually ambitious people about 2/3 will experience a peak mystical experience regarded as the greatest or one of the greatest of their lives.  (replicated, peer-viewed, double-blind, active placebo, independent raters for psilocybin)

As I discussed in my last blog “serotonin and original sin” using any hydraulic drug daily for more that four months may permanently dysregulate the system(s) the drug is working on.   Not only do holotropic drugs satisfy the fifth drive for altered states but also there is considerable evidence that they can help “reset” the brain after long-term hydraulic drug use.   Take the animal and human addiction research with ibogaine  - and the human research with ketamine

Those addicted to ketamine of course will have to take ibogaine but for all other classes of addicts from alcohol to xylophones clients should be given one to three sub-anesthetic doses with a male and female therapist.



Addiction, Anti-Social Personality Disorder, with or without Psychopathy, coercive paraphilia
Death Anxiety, PTSD, certain forms of depression and personality disorder, many psychosomatic conditions and paraphilias, creative problem solving, spiritual experiences and those who successfully complete phase One
Those who have completed at least phase Two
One to three Ketamine or Ibogaine sessions with a male and female therapy team
One to three MDMA sessions with a male and female therapy team
One to six full spectrum psychedelic experiences (LSD, Mescaline, Psilocybin) with a male and female therapy team

That’s the clinical use of psychedelics that I see unfolding over the next thirty years, but once clients have completed therapy they may choose to join a psychedelic religion like the Ayahuasca, Peyote, Cannabis, Ibogaine groups or they may choose to start their own.

I am doing a second printing of Shamanic Graffiti if you are interested in this demented, debased and debauched subject matter – 30$ for the hardcopy – 10$ for the digital – or with my pay what I say program replacing my pay what you can program 10$  -

Friday, 24 February 2012

Serotonin and Original Sin

I sing and play bass in a band called All Possible Humans, with this line up we have now done only two shows, the second of which I took 20 mg of cipralex the day before and the actual day of the gig.  After the first one I went into a deep depression that persisted for at least week afterwards, but the second one last Thursday has left me craving more of are unique blend electric rockabilly.  So why not just take cipralex every day you ask?

You can have my brain Lundbeck but you can’t have my dick!

One of my favorite books of all time is Dr. Peter Kramer’s Listening To Prozac, which I read while taking the drug for the first time – and the synergy between reading about and swallowing fluoxetine hydrochloride proved exhilarating.  Dr. Kramer has an undergraduate degree in comparative literature and even correctly diagnosed epilepsy in a patient based on her affinity for an epileptic poet.  He argues that Prozac increases hedonic capacity, affect tolerance and mental agility while reducing depressive/anxious thoughts and feelings.  Germane to psychedelic therapy he argued in 1993 that the nature-nurture debate had strayed too far towards nature.

Epilepsy is a kindled disease, which means it takes less and less stress to induce seizure due to a reverse tolerance.  Kramer made the argument that depression was similar, which it likely is, as less and less stress is needed to trigger an episode.  However the implication is that taking antidepressants will prevent this sensitization – unfortunately this does not appear to be the case.

A paper published in the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Psychology in July 2011 – - puts that claim into question.  Dr. Andrews et al looked at the long-term outcomes of people who received active vs. placebo antidepressants and while those receiving placebo had a relapse rate of 25% while those receiving antidepressants relapsed 42%.   The authors argue that the antidepressants elevate serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine alone or in combination so that when the drug is discontinued due to a “negative feedback loop” the brain ends up with lower neurotransmitter level and therefore even greater vulnerability to stress.  This is sometimes called “tardive dysphoria”

While some people have called into question the effectiveness of antidepressants because they only beat placebo by a small margin in most studies – this is likely really due to the mild nature of the depression in many subjects – “a brisk walk at dusk, sit-ups or a fruit cup” were all suggestions by the late Comedian Bill Hicks as mood improvers that may work too in these marginally depressed individuals. 

Personally I have taken antidepressants off and on since 1993 and I find the placebo argument absurd – these drugs affect the neurotransmitters involved with mood.  The problem is they tend not to sustain their effects, which has resulted in higher doses or more drugs being added – which may work for a while but not in the long run. 

Imagine the choice between fixing the diabetic’s pancreas versus supplementing it with cow insulin.  As infamous Yoga guru Bikram Choudry described it “if you take a drug the body goes to sleep.”  

Keep in mind this coming from a man who uses alcohol, caffeine and cannabis almost every day with a week break every three months.  But I’m not alone 80% use at least one psychoactive drug every day and another 15% use one at least once a month, 4% less than that but less than 1% of the population is completely drug free.  (statistics estimated based on a random survey of a touring a funk band)

But surely part of that reason for this regular psychoactive consumption could be that inferring with a brain chemical long enough causes a long-term change in that system – an allostatic load – indefinitely impeding its ability to return to homeostasis.  But then one researcher noted that if you added the energy of a pack of sugar over a year to an animal in nature the evolutionary advantage would be significant, therefore he argued humans and some other animals supplement their natural neurotransmitters with external psychoactive which has become as universal as masturbation in modern society.

Whatever broad evolutionary purpose psychoactives serve one the toothpaste is out of the tube, the camels nose under the tent, the thin edge of the wedge entered and the horse leaves the barn there is no turning back.  As surrealist writer Franz Kafka observed, “each level of liberation brings a greater level of slavery.”

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


The War on Drugs and the Partnership for a Drug-Free world if successful would eliminate over three trillion dollars of economic activity a year.  Obviously they mean an illegal drug free world but since they don’t say that let’s follow their thought experiment through to its conclusion. 

psychoactives – alcohol 1 163 Billion

illegal drugs –494.25 billion
cannabis – 181.8
cocaine – 100
ecstasy – 17
heroin – 68
illegal prescription – 100
amphetamine – 28.25

other – 5.25

psychiatric medicines – 40 billion

tobacco - 614 bn

caffeine – 92.5 billion
coffee – 70 billion
tea – 7.5
other caffeine drinks – 15 billion

that's 2 trillion 409 billion 500 million dollars a year on psychoactives – this doesn’t include the non-psychoactive pharmaceuticals worth another 600 billion plus over the counter drugs at another 60 billion - that’s over $3 000 000 000 000. Imagine the war on drugs has been won, over three trillion dollars is saved and the world is free but oh no I think I’m getting a headache – we should have kept at least one ibuprophen. 

It was estimated by the European Drug Monitoring Agency that there were 40 brand new psychoactive substances introduced in 2011.  These are mostly formulas from obscure chemistry journals manufactured in China and India and marketed to European and North American customers.  Some, like the synthetic cannabis K2 and stimulant mephedrone, though now illegal, are hugely popular.  In my math all these drugs along with hallucinogens, solvents, natural psychoactives like kava or valerian are included in the 5.25 billion “other” category. 

The sobering truth is each year human beings spend almost two and half trillion dollars (excluding non-psychoactive drugs) to alter their state through chemistry. 

Proponents of the war on drugs and a drug free world have there work cut out for them 2 and a half trillion on getting high – former U.C.L.A. professor Dr. Roland Siegel believed that since all human cultures and many animal species self-intoxicate getting high represents a universal life drive like sleep, eat, drink and sex.

Prostitution and porn are only 100 billion each and mercifully, despite the musings of Rick Santorum the elimination of the sex drive is no longer pursued as an available goal – but it was, the church tried to eradicate sex for pleasure.  The sex drive outlasted all the perverse old queens of the catholic church and the brain drive or drive to alter consciousness will outlast the dreamless serpents spearheading the gravy  train called the drug war (500 billion dollar drug cash).  The war on the sex drive was lost and the war on the brain drive will be too.  

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Knew American Gnosticism

With research using psychedelics extremely difficult and spiritual innovation with them illegal the immediate future of the human brain looks grim.

There are five psychoactive centered religions on planet earth that I am aware of –

1.  Rastafari – Cannabis
2.  Bwiti (Gabon, Africa) – Ibogaine
3.  Native American Church – Peyote
4.  Santo Daime – DMT + harmaline
5.  UDV – DMT + harmaline

Even if you are as Caucasian as Aldous Huxley should you be able to demonstrate that you have the “illegal” compounds for a religious ritual in one of the above churches (with the occasional exception of the Rastas) you will be protected right up to the Supreme Court.   Two scientific studies, one conducted in 1963 by Dr. Walter Pahnke and another in 2006 by Dr. Roland Griffiths conclusively prove that psilocybin will produce “mystical peak experiences” in about two thirds of spiritually ambitious subjects.  Whereas yoga and meditation require years of study to achieve such subjectively exalted states – well over half the time psilocybin and probably other classic psychedelics such as mescaline and LSD does it in one dose.

What the courts have affirmed is that we have the right to use drugs to produce spiritual experiences as long we do it in an established religious institution.  This limits the psychedelic experience to the primarily Christian based drug religions.   Stan Grof might be said to offer an alternative, spiritually and intellectually preferable.

Non-ordinary states evoke the unconscious - in brief Grof organizes non-ordinary states into four categories sensory, biographical, perinatal (around birth) and transpersonal.  Although progress only rarely occurs in a linear way through the levels generally Grof LSD’s subjects saw geometric patterns first, then “relived” childhood traumas like surgeries, accidents and physical or sexual abuse (belonging to the personal or biographical unconscious) and progress to symbolic death and rebirth.

The notion of using drugs to allow for the reliving of repressed trauma was well established by the time LSD emerged at the end of the 1940s and if this were all it did psychedelic therapy would be far more common and less controversial than electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which an estimated 100 000 Americans receive each year.  When one of Grof’s clients “relived” a surgery, accident or abuse memory he expected them to feel a lot better and they did.  But during subsequent sessions they would suffer even more intense experiences.

Grof noticed that each subject would eventually manifest the three clinical phases of birth and the state of the fetus before birth begins and labeled them Basic Perinatal Matrices or (BPM)s.  BPM I is the state of symbiotic union with the maternal organism, during BPM II the womb collapses and the fetus is helplessly squeezed and can perceive no possibility of escape, then the cervix dilates and the fetus begins it’s active survival struggle in BPM III – BPM IV is birth or rebirth.

The transpersonal level “includes ancestral, collective and past incarnation memories; authentic identification with animals and plants; and extrasensory perception.  Experiences of cosmic consciousness, archetypes, the clear white light, the meta-cosmic or supracosmic void, God, Gods or Goddesses might be considered transpersonal as well.”  In other words religion -  but don’t decide what the revelation is going to be before it occurs – start with an open mind and an open heart and see what happens.