Posts Tagged ‘psychedelics’

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Did psychedelic mushrooms and group sex play a role in human evolution?

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Medical potential of psychedelic drugs, explained in 50+ studies

 

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New Study Is The First Ever To Map The Human Brain On LSD

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The beautiful and tenacious Amber Lyon investigates the healing power and history of MDMA, psilocybin, LSD and others.

 

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The Doors is one story of rock icon Jim Morrison, directed and written by Oliver Stone with Randall Jahnson.  The film combines historical recreation with shamanistic mysticism weaving in and out like threads of a dream.  This is, in my opinion, one of Stone’s best films alongside JFK.

The Doors movie is a pack of lies.”
-Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek, The Doors’ late keyboardist, greatly disliked the film, and he called it a “powder movie,” implying that cocaine was more of an inspiration than were psychedelics.  He also disliked Val Kilmer’s portrayal of fallen rocker Morrison.

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The band’s initial formation was linked to psychedelic experiences in the mid 60s, and that is a plot point in the movie.  The band’s name is itself an allusion to a psychedelic awakening and is taken from a William Blake quote about the “doors of perception.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

Obviously a reference to Plato’s Cave in there.  We are the blind, deaf, dumb slaves and only through opening these doors of perception can we realize our full lives, our potentials, our true places in the universe.  These were the kinds of ideas that drove Jim Morrison.  These themes reappear in his songs and in his personal journey.

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With such a controversial story, the principal character long dead, the survivors fighting with the director for their own visions it’s amazing the film got made in the first place.  Robbie Krieger, John Densmore and Patricia Kennealy all served as advisers on the Stone film, however they did complain that Stone went his own way much of the time.  The historical accuracy of the film is challenged, but this is a fictional portrayal of a very mystical character.  “The Lizard King” was not your typical subject, and I’m not seeing that the inaccuracies greatly changed the public’s perception of Morrison.  He did, in the end, kill himself with heroin.  He was known for excess and bouts of outrageous behavior.  If the specifics changed somewhat for dramatic effect and through the fog of memory and time, the main thrust does not seem to have been significantly altered — to me anyway, but then again Manzarek was there.  The most formidable detractor of the film has been the Doors’ keyboardist.  His main beef is the concept of “sensationalism.”

“What are the poems about? And man, they’re about much further out stuff than the sensationalism going around now, the sensationalism of the Oliver Stone movie.”

Is this a valid critique?  Did the film gloss over the more esoteric and provocative ideas of Morrison in favor of sex, drugs and rock and roll?  Perhaps so, but a two hour poetry reading just doesn’t work either.  Balance is key, and Morrison’s verses without the edgy sound of the band would have gone nowhere.  This marriage of intellectual and visceral is part of the terrain.  What is sensationalism?  Is it a real thing?  Does it actually exist?  Or is it more of an opinion that someone was expecting one thing, and got something else instead?

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Ray Manzarek also complained loudly about Oliver Stone’s presentation of Jim Morrison:

“Jim with a bottle all the time. It was ridiculous . . . It was not about Jim Morrison. It was about Jimbo Morrison, the drunk. God, where was the sensitive poet and the funny guy? The guy I knew was not on that screen.”

Excess and wild behavior are more cinematic, but the idea that Morrison wasn’t presented sober and with emphasis on his words and ideas is false.  Much screen time is devoted to the early period, Morrison’s poetry, acclimation to stardom and interviews.  Manzarek was biased before production even began and refused to talk to Kilmer or anyone involved on the project after talks with director Stone broke down.

As a first-person eyewitness, however, Ray Manzarek is not shy about Morrison’s legendary excesses:

“Jesus Christ, at the fucking University of Michigan homecoming with the football players, Jimbo took over and Jim was simply not able to perform. It was so bad that John and Robbie left the stage. I picked up a guitar and played some John Lee Hooker kind of stuff hoping we could get through at least something and Jim was just drunk as a skunk berating tuxedoed guys and gowned, coiffured girls who had come to hear the band with that hit song Light My Fire and instead they get The Dirty Doors. It was like a tragedy, man. (laughs)  We got banned from the Big 10.  The letter went out.  Never hire this filthy, dirty, disgusting band ever again.”

Robbie Krieger:

“When the Doors broke up Ray had his idea of how the band should be portrayed and John and I had ours”.

Stone’s talent for combining various film formats and looks that signify different time periods and subplots works fantastically to deepen our understanding, or at least our appreciation for, Morrison.  This is, however, not a happy tale, and everyone already knows how it ends.  That kind of hurdle can kill a lot of films, as suspense is somewhat diminished.  But The Doors lived on, and Morrison lived on past his own demise and to this day.  The movie attempts to show why.  The band arguably changed rock and roll forever, and they did so in the most turbulent period, the late 1960s, dragging music from corporate plastic prefabricated product into the realms of mystery and psychological aggression.

Stone makes movies for grownups, and the material is blunt, sexual, edge of the law and beyond.  He isn’t restrained by the usual Hollywood sensibilities, pandering to 13 year olds and the producers who think like them.  He presents the facts, and he presents the interpretation of the visions taken from Morrison’s works and interviews.  Stone attempted to expand the consciousness of the film beyond what is in front of the camera and to tie it to the age, the shifting culture – all very difficult to do.  Some were unconvinced, or perhaps they misunderstood the intent, but Stone out on a ledge is far more interesting than most directors’ straight bio-pic.  Keeping with Morrison’s own intent, to cleanse the doors of perception, Oliver Stone approached the material from every conceivable angle, to subvert preconceptions.  That’s a very Morrison thing to do, and it should be appreciated as such.

The surviving band members have since put together a documentary, When You’re Strange (2010) from old documentary footage.  Manzarek is highly pleased with this portrayal.

When You’re Strange: The End

 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr2D63oj8Uo&feature=player_embedded

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CBC Investigation of LSD (1966)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcDXUt2VvL4&feature=player_embedded

 

“The documentary How To Go Out Of Your Mind – The LSD Crisis was made for Canadian TV in 1966 and features some great footage of Tim Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Meltzner on the grounds of the legendary Millbrook estate.”

CBC does a fair job investigating the new epidemic of acid spreading through the land in 1966. Timothy Leary, the high priest of acid, is given an open mic to explain the drug, his view of it, and many individuals are shown and asked to comment.

Leary’s warnings about the drug near the midpoint are particularly noteworthy. In other parts of the video, Leary drifts off to mysticism and religion, abandoning science in favor of a cultish spiritualism.

Be warned young grasshopper. LSD is not like other drugs. It has the capacity to alter your brain, the actual neurons, the actual connections inside. Leary sees the positives of this experience while dismissing a large number of negatives. This is indeed risky experimentation, and having a babysitter or minder cannot shield the brain cells themselves from the effects of the acid.

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The other side of the coin is seen in one Syd Barrett, the founding member of Pink Floyd. Syd was the creative center and driving personality of the band up until the early 1970s. He suddenly fell in with an acid cult of sorts and must have taken too large a dose. He was forever brain damaged beyond repair and seemingly beyond recognition.

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A shocking moment is recounted by David Gilmore and Roger Waters, as they finished up a recording session on Dark Side of the Moon (1973), an homage to the casualty Barrett. A large, bald obese man stumbled into the sound booth as they mixed one of the tracks. Nobody knew who it was, and started asking around who let the stranger in. When Gilmore and Waters realized that this was Syd, they were shocked to their cores, devastated.

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Probably the most brutally honest and emotional TED talk ever. Of course it was censored by them.

 

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—C E N S O R E D T E D x T A L K— The War on Consciousness, Graham Hancock at TEDxWhitechapel

Published on Mar 14, 2013

Graham Hancock’s TEDx talk censored by TED’s science board.

“I am fighting these charges from TED’s Science Board which in my opinion are untrue and amount to nothing more than an ideologically driven attempt to censor my work.” – Graham Hancock

Do they realize that two Nobel prize winning scientists (Francis Crick and Kary Mullis) have been inspired by psychedelics to produce the work that got them the prize?

Obviously critical members of the TED scientific board have little or no literacy in the psychology, pharmacology, scientific research, and anthropology of psychedelic/entheogenic substance use. If they did they would realize that there is an overwhelming accumulation of evidence from scientific research for the medical and psychotherapeutic benefits of this class of substances, most of which are natural products that are far safer, physiologically, than alcohol and a myriad of drugs over-used in Western society much to it’s detriment.

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer

Read ‘The New Inquisition’ by Robert Anton Wilson if you would like an intellectual understanding of why such so-called “scientific boards” think in this way about new paradigm ideas and methods.

Most scientists are still stuck in the Newtonian era of science, they do not understand quantum physics, what it implies, and the connection to consciousness as an animate meta-biological force that is primary to nature and timelessly extends beyond nature.

Transmission theory of consciousness is a new paradigm for understanding brain functionality that supports this new paradigm in science, it asserts that the brain is actually a confining receiver of consciousness like a TV set (signal still exists when TV is off), as opposed to a producer of consciousness (a theory that can’t account for the mind).

Dr Stan Grof on LSD in 1956:

“I couldn’t believe how much I learned about my psyche in those few hours. I experienced a fantastic display of colorful visions, some abstract and geometrical, others figurative and filled with symbolic import. The sheer intensity of the array of emotions I felt simply amazed me. I was hit by a radiance that seemed comparable to the epicenter of a nuclear explosion, or perhaps the light of supernatural brilliance said in oriental scriptures to appear to us at the moment of death. This thunderbolt catapulted me out of my body. First I lost my awareness of my immediate surroundings, then the psychiatric clinic, then Prague (Czechoslovakia), and finally the planet. At an inconceivable speed my consciousness expanded to cosmic dimensions. I experienced the Big Bang, passed through black holes and white holes in the universe, identified with exploding supernovas, and witnessed many other strange phenomena that seemed to be pulsars, quasars, and other cosmic events.”

“I was able to see the irony and paradox of the situation. The divine manifested itself and took me over in a modern scientific laboratory in the middle of a scientific experiment conducted in a communist country with a substance produced in the test tube of a 20th-century chemist.”