Corpsey

call me big papa
I'm reading Pollan's book atm. His own experiences make fairly banal reading, which tbf accords with what he says about the ineffability of such experiences.

But some of the characters in the story are fascinating e.g. Al Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Paul Stamets...

And I've got to the science part, which I thought I could safely skip over but actually it's pretty fascinating - the shutdown of the default mode network by psilocybin, how that dissolves the sense of a controlling ego and allows sensory and emotional experiences in that would have been filtered out.

Made me want to read Huxley's book again, as the quotes from it are much more impressive than Pollan's own prose.
 
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Corpsey

call me big papa
One thing I'm wondering is when people microdose do they do that using liquid acid to precisely measure 10mg or whatever, or do they just cut a tab up and make a rough estimate?
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Leary as CIA. MK Ultra. Inside the LC.
Al Hubbard who introduced a lot of ppl to LSD (including execs at fortune 500 companies) also worked for the OSS, which later became the CIA. He believed psychedelics would change the world from the top down, and strongly opposed the counter culture. Hated Leary, too.
 
I tried to make sense of the DFN reduced activity wrt processing trauma on the spirituality thread, would be interested in your thoughts
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I'm reading Pollan's book atm. His own experiences make fairly banal reading, which tbf accords with what he says about the ineffability of such experiences.

But some of the characters in the story are fascinating e.g. Al Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Paul Stamets...

And I've got to the science part, which I thought I could safely skip over but actually it's pretty fascinating - the shutdown of the default mode network by psilocybin, how that dissolves the sense of a controlling ego and allows sensory and emotional experiences in that would have been filtered out.

Made me want to read Huxley's book again, as the quotes from it are much more impressive than Pollan's own prose.
That's a good reminder - I got a copy for Christmas which I haven't touched yet.
 
I haven’t read that book but went along to a talk pollan gave in greenwich a few months back and he talked about the impossibility of applying the journalistic approach to the experience. Some people need a sensible head like to give things the nod though don’t they?

Check this guy for a methodological approach to explaining the sensory effects
http://psychedelic-information-theory.com/What-is-Nonlinear-Hallucination

I’ve just been reminded of the host suggesting mdma had a role in conflict resolution in northern ireland as the troubles were coming to an end in early 90s which is a ridiculous stretch but interesting to entertain. And gets a bit muddled when you consider paramilitaries morphing into drug gangs in some places and kneecapping vigilantes in others
 

pattycakes_

Active member
Listened to a bit more than half of it on audiobook at work and was really taken by Pollan. Allowed himself to be swept up, but tried to keep it rational. Especially interesting when he found himself at a point of conflict with his long held scientific views and finding the space in between them and the far out to make the most sense. Very relatable guy.
 
The production of fast, nonlinear data in the psychedelic state is often described as a download; an inconceivably large amount of information that compiles into memory almost instantly. The only way this amount of information can be processed through the brain is via nonlinear analysis; linear attempts to formalize psychedelic nonlinear information into words or pictures typically fall short of capturing the holistic perspective.
there's another answer to our shite psychedelic art thesis corpsey
Subjective reports indicate that DiPT causes a unique nonlinear pitch transposition in audio networks, causing subjects to hear sounds modulated down an entire octave or more depending on the pitch and volume of stimulus.
That pitch transposition *with* delay is one of the most stunning effects of DMT too. I was gonna put that in the overwhelming sonic experiences thread
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
there's another answer to our shite psychedelic art thesis corpsey
On that subject, Pollan describes the altar of one of his psychedelic guides as featuring a bric a brac of spiritual symbols (crystals, buddhas, etc.)

And he says that he would be inclined to see it as a sort of trashy mish mash - but that psychonauts see all religions as manifestations of the same underlying essential religion.
 
And an interesting conversation is which came first.. Do we see religious symbolism, buddhas and crosses in these visionary states because that form of consciousness allows us to reveal and visualise our programming? What’s been indoctrinated?

Or are are these symbols propagated in a dogmatic sense by those who have had religious experiences or visions, druids on shrooms coming back and drawing what they’ve experienced, telling stories about it, trying to learn from the geometry
taking it all a bit too literally and going on and on and on and on about it, codifying it and bullying others into believing it too

It has to be both, feedback through multiple complex interconnected systems, modulation or disruption of our sensory systems reveals a lot of the pattern forming, building -a-whole-picture trickery that our brain does to make sense of the world, we ‘see how we see’, through or senses, through narrative and emotional patterns too, stepping outside of your script

the modulation gives a new perspective, a vantage point, and we can learn a lot from stopping and reflecting, or going high up to have a look around

What do you think droid am i talking shite again or what?
 
eg

Faith in the ultimate truth of spirit visions can result in the subject manifesting occult beliefs and theologies that may be harmless but may become problematic. The most common non-beneficial side-effect of spirit visions is a lingering messianic complex, or the subject’s belief that he or she is the chosen beneficiary of prophecy which must be urgently delivered to the public.4 The most acute forms of this complex are clinically referred to as persistent recurring delusional psychosis and delusions of grandeur. Traditional shamen understand that the spirits are fickle and can use the subject’s own secret fears and wishes to play elaborate tricks; a more cynical reading of the literature may also conclude that many traditional shamen readily succumb to delusions of grandeur.5 Psychedelic spirituality should emphasize the role of spirits as assistants, helpers, and possible tricksters; not as religious commanders who must be obeyed. Spirit visions must be carefully parsed with a sober mind before being accepted as truth or prophecy.
 
What is Psychedelic Information Theory?

The general theory underlying all of PIT is that psychedelics create information when introduced to human neural networks. The spontaneous creation of new information is the essential function of psychedelic activation, and this new information is imprinted into memory and reproduced as music, art, or stories shared with other people. More specifically, PIT presents physical models which describe this generative process, and the dynamics of various psychedelic phenomena like complex hallucination, shamanism, and group mind.

How does PIT describe psychedelic action?


One way to visualize what I’m describing in PIT is through what I call the “Pond and the Pump House” metaphor. Imagine a perfectly round pond with perfectly still water, with a small pump house sitting on an island in the center. When the pump house is turned on it sends out perfectly circular ripples through the water that, over time, create a neatly ordered standing wave of activity. In this metaphor the pond is the surface of the neocortex; the pump house is the body, heartbeat, and respiration; and the ripples are waves of sensory perception seen in an EEG reading of cortical activity. When the pump is on and moving at different speeds, the ripples on the surface of the pond are active and take on different coherent patterns; when the pump is turned off the ripples fade and the pond becomes still and quiet. These are metaphors for consciousness moving from waking to sleeping states.

Now imagine we add a psychedelic to this model. PIT proposes that psychedelics alter the wave patterns of consciousness by creating a tiny tremor under the pond that vibrates the entire structure. Adding the psychedelic to the system creates a competing standing wave that can be seen immediately in the ripples on the surface. The pump keeps pumping, creating its usual standing waves, but because of the tremor there is a new layer of complexity to the ripple patterns. The tremor adds energy to the system, and as it does the standing waves in the pond become more chaotic. Instead of simple coherent ripple patterns, you begin to see overlapping patterns and fast transitions between multiple standing wave states. The complex interference patterns overlap on themselves and exhibit the formal qualities of nonlinear feedback system, such as fractals or cellular automata.

The interference pattern in the ripples of the pond described here is how PIT models a competing tryptamine agonist (a hallucinogen) in the finely timed aminergic system of perception, modulated by serotonin and dopamine. This complex interference pattern is what I am describing with the Control Interrupt Model of psychedelic action. According to PIT, each hallucinogen creates a slightly different tremor or vibration in the signaling pathways of multisensory awareness, which in-turn creates a unique and distinct interference pattern in the standing waves of perception. Some hallucinogenic tremors may be big and rolling, others may be quiet and subtle, others may be sharp and disruptive. The difference in tremor speed and feel created by each psychedelic molecule would be accounted for by the differing receptor affinities and metabolic pathways for each hallucinogen.

How do psychedelic interference patterns relate to the techniques of shamanism and psychedelic therapy?

Let’s go back to our pond metaphor. Assume there are sand dunes created at the edges of the pond that correspond to the long-term memory of the standing wave patterns created by the pump house. If you check these dunes after each psychedelic tremor you might find new tiny fractals, spirals, curves, cracks, and filigreed patterns etched into the sand. These sand etchings correspond to the memory of the psychedelic experience now embedded in the patterns of the neural network, and these memory patterns then inform behavior, change beliefs, and are presented over and over again in art, music, and philosophy. That is a metaphor for transformative psychedelic therapy.

Now let’s assume there is a tribe of people living at the shores of this pond, and this psychedelic tremor hits once a week. It would be perfectly reasonable to assume that these people would adopt the psychedelic sand patterns as a kind of tribal identity, and embed those patterns into their clothes, tattoos, face paints, pottery, and so on. This is exactly what tribes who take psychedelics do; they embed the colorful fractal patterns created on the surface of their brains onto the surfaces of their bodies, their artwork, their walls, and their world. The physical spilling over of complex psychedelic patterns from a single underlying ripple effect is the foundation of PIT. Psychedelic Information Theory studies the movement of complex information from the genesis of initial hallucinogenic interference pattern to the outward organizing effect on belief, personality, behavior, and tribal structure.

Now, to go one step further, assume that whenever the psychedelic tremor strikes, the tribe of people living at the shores all gather in a circle and begin to sing, or stamp their feet, or beat large drums in unison. The songs produced by the tribe will naturally fall into harmony with the tremor and begin to shape the ripples in the pond through harmonic interference. Over time, if the tribe sings loud enough, they will produce a standing interference pattern, or group hallucination, in the ripples of the pond. This can be described as a shared state of consciousness locked through a standing resonant feedback wave. Shaping interference patterns in consciousness through singing or resonant feedback describes the basic ritual techniques of psychedelic shamanism. Through resonant feedback the shaman and the tribe can master the nonlinear dynamics of the interference pattern to work various forms of magic on the surface of the pond.

The Control Interrupt Model reduces hallucinogenic action to a high speed sensory attack and decay envelope. Why did you decide on that model?


While studying the effects of various hallucinogens, I would always notice a carrier wave, or a high-pitched frequency, or a pulsing, or a throbbing, or a tingling, or some kind of stable interference that was familiar to that substance. And after studying various trip reports for various substances, I realized I was not alone in recording these simple observations. This stable interference is often reported to permeate all sensation; touch, hearing, vision, the entire body. I began to measure the frequencies of these pulses and tingles for different hallucinogens and realized that they all fell into alpha and beta states of consciousness, between 4 to 30 pulses per second, and each drug had a slightly different timing and feel to the way the pulses came on and interrupted consciousness. The slower the interruption, the more of a throbbing or stuttering I felt; the faster the interruption, the more of a tingling, vibration, or high-pitched tremor I felt.

At some point in my analysis of different drugs, I would always say, “That stable interrupt frequency is interesting, I should take a closer look at that,” or, “Isn’t it weird that I always feel this throbbing on this specific drug, which feels very similar to the pulsing I noticed on this other drug.” And then as I began analyzing that one simple pulse interaction, I wondered if pulse interruption in frame perception was all that was needed to produce hallucination. Mind machines produce phosphenes within a small range of light pulse frequencies, so what if hallucinogens did something similar in the same pulse range? What if those pulses were the drug’s only action, and the throbbing was the perceptual aggregate of modulatory interference at sensory binding junctions? During the process of formally describing the action of these pulses, it became obvious that the pulsing interference was a carrier wave for hallucination, like the flickering frame rate of an animation reel. The pulses created an overlapping hallucinogenic flicker, or an overlapping modulatory ripple, in multisensory awareness, that creates the chaotic substrate for complex hallucination. It was an extrapolation of psychedelic pharmacology that scaled up to make sense in gross perception, which was the exact kind of model I was looking for.

The more I analyzed the various properties of the flicker or pulsation for each drug, the more I realized that this specific pulsing function was the thing that caused each drug to produce unique geometric hallucinations, like Chladi forms taking on different standing wave patterns on steel plates resonating at different frequencies. I then realized that each hallucinogen could be modeled with a unique interrupt frequency and properties of saturation attack, decay, sustain, and release (ADSR) to describe the onset and feel of distinct hallucinations. An ADSR envelope is a wave modeling technique used in electronic synthesizers to shape the tones and sounds of various musical instruments, but can be used to model the “voice” for any standing wave. The ADSR envelope for each hallucinogen corresponds to receptor agonism and affinity, which naturally shapes the tone and feel of each hallucinogen’s unique sensory patterns. After reducing hallucinogenic action to a function of wave interference in perception, it was then only natural to extrapolate hallucination as a cascading event that starts with a small, stable, perturbation in perceptual feedback that grows in amplitude over time to entrain the functional output of the entire system. This model does not rely on anything other than targeted receptor agonism to drive the resulting emergent process.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Pollan points out that Albert Hoffmann, the discoverer/guinea pig for LSD didn't see any of those now cliched visions people associate with acid. Since these experiences are so influenced by set, setting, expectation, whatever you take into the trip (including cultural baggage) will determine what you see/experience. So Huxley, whose account of mescaline was so hugely influential, was already into Eastern philosophy and so on before he took it — so what he saw kind of confirmed what he already believed. OTOH, neuroscience seems to confirm a lot of what Huxley said had a solid materialist basis.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Pollan points out that Albert Hoffmann, the discoverer/guinea pig for LSD didn't see any of those now cliched visions people associate with acid. Since these experiences are so influenced by set, setting, expectation, whatever you take into the trip (including cultural baggage) will determine what you see/experience. So Huxley, whose account of mescaline was so hugely influential, was already into Eastern philosophy and so on before he took it — so what he saw kind of confirmed what he already believed. OTOH, neuroscience seems to confirm a lot of what Huxley said had a solid materialist basis.
Reminds me of what pattycakes said about seeing Mayan or Aztec deities while tripping on mushrooms. I've seen them too, under the same circumstances. I don't think they're in any way universal archetypes encoded in our very DNA or anything like that; rather, it's a product of your prior knowledge that those cultures made extensive use of psychedelics, especially mushrooms.

Similarly, the couple of times I did bufotenine I remember having distinctly Inca or Chavin-looking visuals, again because I knew of the association of the drug with these cultures in ancient Peru.

chavin_art.jpg

Jonathan Meades writes about his LSD experiences in An Encyclopedia of Myself. It's an interesting snapshot of the late '50s and early '60s, before the drug was associated with hippies (or beatniks, as they'd have been in those days), and was regarded mainly as a scientific research tool that was going to revolutionise psychology and neuroscience. He says it was very popular with researchers at Porton Down, near Salisbury where he grew up. There must have been research going on in this country into the possible application of acid as a weapon of psycho-chemical warfare, I'd have thought, equivalent to MK Ultra.
 
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Corpsey

call me big papa
When I did acid at a festival a few years ago some crazy Scots (not being stereotypical, they WERE crazy Scots) were playing all sorts of records and they played "Castles in the Sky" — and I was looking at the sky and it went rainbow coloured.
 

pattycakes_

Active member
Gonna read the above in a bit but just want to throw this in here: Robert Anton Wilson talks about this in his book Cosmic Trigger which in many ways works as a perfect compliment to the Pollan book, I happened to listen to it right after. He says that in the 50s when he had literally no knowledge of it, he was given Peyote. When he asked if it was legit, his dealer said 'the fuck, the ancient Mexicans have been taking it on a full moon for centuries.' He takes it, and sooner or later is visited by green entity who tells him a bunch of interesting shit and all the rest. Further down the line, he meets other people who've also done it and they all met that same entity. Turns out the ancient Mexicans call that spirit Mescalito. The same shit happenes with ayahuasca and iboga. Idk, seems pretty strange that people who had no idea of what to expect would share the same experience, to meet the same characters fitting the same description without any prior knowledge.
 
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