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Altered States of Awareness & Altered States of Conscious

Posted on Jun 02 2009 under random things | Tags: , , ,

[note – this writing was published posthumously and as such I have no idea where this text is taken from. No infringement of copyright is intended – just information sharing.]
Altered States of Awareness & Altered States of Conscious

The Investigation by Alexander Majaedee

To introduce this investigation into altered states I will start by saying that I am of no interest, we are the interest. To understand something you must know all you can about the subject, this usually involves study and learning, research and experiment.
I hope I have done justice to the quest…

This a collection of information, opinion, truth & lies, an open investigation into Altered States, what they are, their science, effect and practices on how to get there…. Oh Yea..

The Wikipedia @

An altered state of consciousness is any state which is significantly different from a normal waking beta wave state. The expression was coined by Charles Tart and describes induced changes in one’s mental state, almost always temporary. A synonymous phrase is “altered states of awareness”. An associated body of research has been conducted in trance and this is becoming the predominant auspice terminology. Trance includes all “altered states of consciousness” as well as the various forms of waking trance states.

An altered state of consciousness can come about accidentally through indigestion, fever, sleep deprivation, starvation, oxygen deprivation, nitrogen narcosis (deep diving), or a traumatic accident.
It can sometimes be reached intentionally by the use of a sensory deprivation tank or mind-control techniques, hypnosis, meditation, prayer, or disciplines (e.g. Mantra Meditation, Yoga, Sufism or Surat Shabda Yoga). It is sometimes attained through the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and opiates, or psychoactive plants and chemicals such as LSD, DXM, 2C-I, peyote, marijuana, mescaline, Salvia divinorum, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca or datura (Jimson weed). Another effective way to induce an altered state of consciousness is using a variety of neurotechnologies such as psychoacoustics, light and sound stimulation, cranial electrical and magnetic stimulation, and such; these methods attempt to induce specific brainwave patterns, and a particular altered state of consciousness.
Naturally occurring altered states of consciousness include dreams, lucid dreams, euphoria, ecstasy, psychosis as well as purported premonitions, out-of-body experiences, and channeling.

James, William The varieties of religious experience (1902)
ISBN 0-14-039034-0
Tart, Charles T., editor. Altered States of Consciousness (1969)
ISBN 0-471-84560-4
Tart, Charles T. States of Consciousness (2001)
ISBN 0-595-15196-5
Wier, Dennis R. Trance: from magic to technology (1995)
ISBN 1-888428-38-4
Hoffman, Kay (1998). The Trance Workbook: understanding & using the power of altered states. Translated by Elfie Homann, Clive Williams, and Dr Christliebe El Mogharbel. Translation edited by Laurel Ornitz.
ISBN 0-8069-1765-2

William James
U.S. psychologist and philosopher William James (1842-1910) is regarded by most psychologists of religion as the founder of the field. He served as president of the American Psychological Association, and wrote one of the first psychology textbooks. In the psychology of religion, James’ influence endures. His Varieties of Religious Experience is considered to be the classic work in the field, and references to James’ ideas are common at professional conferences.
James distinguished between institutional religion and personal religion. Institutional religion refers to the religious group or organization, and plays an important part in a society’s culture. Personal religion, in which the individual has mystical experience, can be experienced regardless of the culture. James was most interested in understanding personal religious experience.
If personal religious experiences were what James preferred, dogmatism was something he disliked. The importance of James to the psychology of religion – and to psychology more generally – is difficult to overstate. He discussed many essential issues that remain of vital concern today.
In studying personal religious experiences, James made a distinction between healthy-minded and sick-souled religiousness. Individuals predisposed to healthy-mindedness tend to ignore the evil in the world and focus on the positive and the good. James used examples of Walt Whitman and the “mindcure” religious movement to illustrate healthy-mindedness in The Varieties of Religious Experience. In contrast, individuals predisposed to having a sick-souled religion are unable to ignore evil and suffering, and need a unifying experience, religious or otherwise, to reconcile good and evil. James included quotations from Leo Tolstoy and John Bunyan to illustrate the sick soul.
William James’ hypothesis of pragmatism stems from the efficacy of religion. If an individual believes in and performs religious activities, and those actions happen to work, then that practice appears the proper choice for the individual. However, if the processes of religion have little efficacy, then there is no rationality for continuing the practice.

Other Early Theorists

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) gave explanations of the genesis of religion in his various writings. In Totem and Taboo, he applied the idea of the Oedipus complex (involving unresolved sexual feelings of, for example, a son toward his mother and hostility toward his father) and postulated its emergence in the primordial stage of human development.

In Moses and Monotheism, Freud reconstructed biblical history in accordance with his general theory. His ideas were also developed in The Future of an Illusion. When Freud spoke of religion as an illusion, he maintained that it is a fantasy structure from which a man must be set free if he is to grow to maturity.
Freud views the idea of God as being a version of the father image, and religious belief as at bottom infantile and neurotic. Authoritarian religion is dysfunctional and alienates man from himself.

Carl Jung
The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung (1875-1961) adopted a very different posture, one that was more sympathetic to religion and more concerned with a positive appreciation of religious symbolism. Jung considered the question of the existence of God to be unanswerable by the psychologist and adopted a kind of agnosticism.
Jung postulated, in addition to the personal unconscious (roughly as in Freud), the collective unconscious, which is the repository of human experience and which contains “archetypes” (i.e. basic images that are universal in that they recur regardless of culture). The irruption of these images from the unconscious into the realm of consciousness he viewed as the basis of religious experience and often of artistic creativity. Some of Jung’s writings have been devoted to elucidating some of the archetypal symbols, and include his work in comparative mythology.
Jung had a very broad view of what it means to be empirical. Suppose, for example, that I hear a voice from deity but you do not, even though we are sitting next to each other. If only one person experiences something, for Jung it is an empirical observation. For most contemporary scientists, however, it would not be considered an empirical observation. Because of this, there has been little research in the psychology of religion from a Jungian perspective.

Alfred Adler
Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler (1870-1937), who parted ways with Freud, emphasised the role of goals and motivation in his Individual Psychology. One of Adler’s most famous ideas is that we try to compensate for inferiorities that we perceive in ourselves. A lack of power often lies at the root of feelings of inferiority. One way that religion enters into this picture is through our beliefs in God, which are characteristic of our tendency to strive for perfection and superiority. For example, in many religions God is considered to be perfect and omnipotent, and commands people likewise to be perfect. If we, too, achieve perfection, we become one with God. By identifying with God in this way, we compensate for our imperfections and feelings of inferiority.
Our ideas about God are important indicators of how we view the world. According to Adler, these ideas have changed over time, as our vision of the world – and our place in it – has changed. Consider this example that Adler offers: the traditional belief that people were placed deliberately on earth as God’s ultimate creation is being replaced with the idea that people have evolved by natural selection. This coincides with a view of God not as a real being, but as an abstract representation of nature’s forces. In this way our view of God has changed from one that was concrete and specific to one that is more general. From Adler’s vantage point, this is a relatively ineffective perception of God because it is so general that it fails to convey a strong sense of direction and purpose.
An important thing for Adler is that God (or the idea of God) motivates people to act, and that those actions do have real consequences for ourselves and for others. Our view of God is important because it embodies our goals and directs our social interactions.
Compared to science, another social movement, religion is more efficient because it motivates people more effectively. According to Adler, only when science begins to capture the same religious fervour, and promotes the welfare of all segments of society, will the two be more equal in peoples’ eyes.

Gordon Allport
In his classic book The Individual and His Religion (1950), Gordon Allport (1897-1967) illustrates how people may use religion in different ways. He makes a distinction between Mature religion and Immature religion. Mature religious sentiment is how Allport characterized the person whose approach to religion is dynamic, open-minded, and able to maintain links between inconsistencies. In contrast, immature religion is self-serving and generally represents the negative stereotypes that people have about religion. More recently, this distinction has been encapsulated in the terms “intrinsic religion”, referring to a genuine, heartfelt devout faith, and “extrinsic religion”, referring to a more utilitarian use of religion as a means to an end, such as church attendance to gain social status. These dimensions of religion were measured on the Religious Orientation Scale of Allport and Ross (1967). A third form of religious orientation, has been described by Daniel Batson. This refers to treatment of religion as an open-ended search(Batson, Schoenrade & Ventis, 1993). More specifically, it has been seen by Batson as comprising a willingness to view religious doubts in a positive manner, acceptance that religious orientation can change and existential complexity, the belief that one’s religious beliefs should be shaped from personal crises that one has experienced in one’s life. Batson refers to extrinsic, intrinsic and quest respectively as Religion-as-means, religion-as-end and religion-as-quest, and measures these constructs on the Religious Life Inventory (Batson, Schoenrade & Ventis, 1993).

Erik H. Erikson
Erik Erikson (1902-94) is best known for his theory of psychological development, which has its roots in the psychoanalytic importance of identity in personality. His biographies of Gandhi and Martin Luther reveal Erikson’s positive view of religion. He considered religions to be important influences in successful personality development because they are the primary way that cultures promote the virtues associated with each stage of life. Religious rituals facilitate this development. Erikson’s theory has not benefited from systematic empirical study, but it remains an influential and well-regarded theory in the psychological study of religion.

Erich Fromm
The American scholar Erich Fromm (1900-1980) modified Freudian theory and produced a more complex account of the functions of religion. Part of the modification is viewing the Oedipus complex as based not so much on sexuality as on a “much more profound desire”, namely, the childish desire to remain attached to protecting figures. The right religion, in Fromm’s estimation, can, in principle, foster an individual’s highest potentialities, but religion in practice tends to relapse into being neurotic.
According to Erich Fromm, humans have a need for a stable frame of reference. Religion apparently fills this need. In effect, humans crave answers to questions that no other source of knowledge has an answer to, which only religion may seem to answer. However, a sense of free will must be given in order for religion to appear healthy. An authoritarian notion of religion appears detrimental.

Rudolf Otto
Rudolf Otto (1869-1937) was a German Protestant theologian and scholar of comparative religion. Otto’s most famous work, The Idea of the Holy (published first in 1917 as Das Heilige), defines the concept of the holy as that which is numinous. Otto explained the numinous as a “non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self.” It is a mystery (Latin: mysterium tremendum) that is both fascinating (fascinans) and terrifying at the same time; A mystery that causes trembling and fascination, attempting to explain that inexpressible and perhaps supernatural emotional reaction of wonder drawing us to seemingly ordinary and/or religious experiences of grace. This sense of emotional wonder appears evident at the root of all religious experiences. Through this emotional wonder, we suspend our rational mind for non-rational possibilities.
It also sets a paradigm for the study of religion that focuses on the need to realise the religious as a non-reducible, original category in its own right. This paradigm was under much attack between approximately 1950 and 1990 but has made a strong comeback since then.

Psychometric approaches to religion
Since the 1960s psychologists of religion have used the methodology of psychometrics to assess different ways in which a person may be religious. An example is the Religious Orientation Scale of Allport and Ross (1967), which measures how respondents stand on intrinsic and extrinsic religion as described by Allport. More recent questionnaires include the Religious Life Inventory of Batson, Schoenrade and Ventis (1993), and the Age-Universal I-E Scale of Gorsuch and Venable (1983). The former assesses where people stand on three distinct forms of religious orientation – religion as means, religion as end, and religion as quest. The latter assesses Spiritual Support and Spiritual Openness.

Religious Orientations and Religious Dimensions
Some questionnaires, such as the Religious Orientation Scale, relate to different religious orientations, such as intrinsic and extrinsic religiousness, referring to different motivations for religious allegiance. A rather different approach, taken, for example, by Glock and Stark (1965), has been to list different dimensions of religion rather than different religious orientations, which relates to how an individual may manifest different forms of being religious. (More on Stark’s work can be found in the article on Sociology of Religion.) Glock and Stark’s famous typology described five dimensions of religion – the doctrinal, the intellectual, the ethical-consequential, the ritual, and the experiential. In later work these authors subdivided the ritual dimension into devotional and public ritual, and also clarified that their distinction of religion along multiple dimensions was not identical to distinguishing religious orientations. Although some psychologists of religion have found it helpful to take a multidimensional approach to religion for the purpose of psychometric scale design, there has been, as Wulff (1997) explains, considerable controversy about whether religion should really be seen as multidimensional.

Questionnaires to assess religious experience
Since 1970 various questionnaires have been developed to assess religious experiences, including Hood’s (1975) M-Scale and the Francis-Louden Mystical Orientation Scale (Francis & Louden, 2000). Hood’s M-Scale is relevant to mysticism. A more recent psychometric approach than that proposed by Allport and Ross (1967) has come from Vicky Genia (Genia, 1997). Genia has developed the Spiritual Experience Index (S.E.I.), on which people are assessed on two orthogonal dimensions – spiritual support, referring to gaining solace from religion; and spiritual openness, referring to openness to different spiritual traditions. She has argued that the most mature forms of spirituality are those high in both spiritual support and spiritual openness. She proposes that people go through stages to reach this peak of spiritual maturity, making her work relevant to developmental approaches to religion. A comprehensive list of questionnaires used in psychometric approaches to the study of religion is given in Hill and Hood (1999). Hill and Pargament (2003) have answered many of the criticisms that may be levelled against psychometric approaches to the study of religion, in an article which considers the problems inherent in attempts to distinguish religion and spirituality.

Developmental approaches to religion
Main articles: James W. Fowler and Stages of faith development
Attempts have been made to apply stage models, such as that of Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg, to how children develop ideas about God and about religion in general.
By far the most well-known stage model of spiritual or religious development is that of James W. Fowler, a developmental psychologist at the Candler School of Theology, in his Stages of Faith (ISBN 0-06-062866-9). He follows Piaget and Kohlberg and has proposed a staged development of faith (or spiritual development) across the lifespan in terms of a holistic orientation, and is concerned with the individual’s relatedness to the universal.
The book-length study contains a framework and ideas considered by many to be insightful and which have generated a good deal of response from those interested in religion, so it appears to have at least a reasonable degree of face validity. James Fowler proposes six stages of faith development as follows: 1. Intuitive-projective 2. Symbolic Literal 3. Synthetic Conventional 4. Indiduating 5. Paradoxical (conjunctive) 6. Universalising. Although there is evidence that children up to the age of twelve years do tend to be in the first two of these stages, there is evidence that adults over the age of sixty-one do show considerable variation in displays of qualities of Stages 3 and beyond. Fowler’s model has generated some empirical studies, and fuller descriptions of this research (and of these six stages) can be found in Wulff (1991). However, this model has been attacked from a standpoint of scientific research due to methodological weaknesses. Of Fowler’s six stages, only the first two found empirical support, and these were heavily based upon Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. The tables and graphs in the book were presented in such a way that the last four stages appeared to be validated, but the requirements of statistical verification of the stages did not come close to having been met. The study was not published in a journal, so was not peer-reviewed, and never drew much attention from psychologists. Other critics of Fowler have questioned whether his ordering of the stages really reflects his own commitment to a rather liberal Christian Protestant outlook, as if to say that people who adopt a similar viewpoint to Fowler are at higher stages of faith development. Nevertheless, the concepts Fowler introduced seemed to hit home with those in the circles of academic religion, and have been an important starting point for various theories and subsequent studies.
A recent contributor here has put forward a stage model, Vicky Genia (see information in Psychometric Approaches to Religion).

Religion and coping with stress
Psychologists of religion have looked at how individuals may use religion as a resource in coping with stress. A major contributor here is Kenneth Pargament, whose work shows the influence of attribution theory. Pargament has distinguished styles of coping into the deferring, in which people leave God to see to their problems; the non-religious, in which they do not appeal to God; and the collaborative, in which people believe that a co-operation of God and their own efforts are necessary to help them to cope with stress. Some of Pargament’s papers have been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Evolutionary psychology of religion
Evolutionary psychology is based on the hypothesis that, just like hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, and immune systems, cognition has functional structure that has a genetic basis, and therefore evolved by natural selection. Like other organs and tissues, this functional structure should be universally shared amongst humans and should solve important problems of survival and reproduction. Evolutionary psychologists seek to understand cognitive processes by understanding the survival and reproductive functions they might serve.
Pascal Boyer is one of the leading figures in the cognitive psychology of religion, a new field of inquiry that is less than fifteen years old, which accounts for the psychological processes that underlie religious thought and practice. In his book Religion Explained, Boyer shows that there is no simple explanation for religious consciousness. Boyer is mainly concerned with explaining the various psychological processes involved in the acquisition and transmission of ideas concerning the gods.
Religious persons acquire religious ideas and practices through social exposure. The child of a Zen Buddhist will not become an evangelical Christian or a Zulu warrior without the relevant cultural experience. While mere exposure does not cause a particular religious outlook (a person may have been raised a Roman Catholic but leave the church), nevertheless some exposure seems required – this person will never invent Roman Catholicism out of thin air. Boyer says cognitive science can help us to understand the psychological mechanisms that account for these manifest correlations and in so doing enable us to better understand the nature of religious belief and practice. To the extent that the mechanisms controlling the acquisitions and transmission of religious concepts rely on human brains, the mechanisms are open to computational analysis. All thought is computationally structured, including religious thought. So presumably, computational approaches can shed light on the nature and scope of religious cognition.
Boyer moves outside the leading currents in mainstream cognitive psychology and suggests that we can use evolutionary biology to unravel the relevant mental architecture. Our brains are, after all, biological objects, and the best naturalistic account of design in nature is Darwin’s theory of evolution. To the extent that mental architecture exhibits intricate design, it is plausible to think that the design is the result of evolutionary processes working over vast periods of time. Like all biological systems, the mind is optimised to promote survival and reproduction in the evolutionary environment. On this view all specialised cognitive functions broadly serve those reproductive ends.
For Steven Pinker the universal propensity toward religious belief is a genuine scientific puzzle. He thinks that adaptationist explanations for religion do not meet the criteria for adaptations. An alternative explanation is that religious psychology is a by-product of many parts of the mind that evolved for other purposes.

Religion and drugs

James H. Leuba

The American psychologist James H. Leuba (1868-1946), in A Psychological Study of Religion, accounts for mystical experience psychologically and physiologically, pointing to analogies with certain drug-induced experiences. Leuba argued forcibly for a naturalistic treatment of religion, which he considered to be necessary if religious psychology were to be looked at scientifically. Shamans all over the world and in different cultures have traditionally used drugs, especially psychedelics, for their religious experiences. In these communities the absorption of drugs leads to dreams (visions) through sensory distortion.
William James was also interested in mystical experiences from a drug-induced perspective, leading him to make some experiments with nitrous oxide and even peyote. He concludes that while the revelations of the mystic hold true, they hold true only for the mystic; for others they are certainly ideas to be considered, but hold no claim to truth without personal experience of such.

Drug-induced religious experiences
See main article entheogen on the use of psychoactive substances in a religious or shamanic context.
The drugs used by religious communities for their hallucinogenic effects were adopted for explicit and implicit religious functions and purposes. The drugs were and are reported to enhance religious experience through visions and a distortion of the sensory perception (like in dreams in a state of sleep).
▪ Cannabis, which grows all over the world except in very cold climates, is used in religious practices in Indian and African communities
▪ Certain Psychedelic mushrooms are used by cultists among the Indians in Latin America, especially in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. The chief species is Psilocybe mexicana, of which the active principles are psilocybin and its derivative psilocin, in their chemical composition and activity not unlike LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide); the latter is synthesised from the alkaloids (principally ergotamine and ergonovine) that are constituents of ergot, a growth present in grasses affected by the disease also called ergot. Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) is another mushroom having hallucinogenic properties that has not been thoroughly studied. It may be extremely important, since it may have been the natural source of the ritual soma drink of the ancient Hindus and the comparable haoma used by the Zoroastrians. Fly agaric is mildly toxic at high dosages and is said to have, in addition to its hallucinogenic properties, the ability to increase strength and endurance. It is said also to be a soporific.
▪ Peyote used by some Indian communities of Mexico. The chief active principle of peyote is an alkaloid called mescaline. Like psilocin and psilocybin, mescaline is reputed to produce visions and other evidences of a mystical nature. Despite claims of missionaries and some government agents that peyote – from the Nahuatl word peyotl (“divine messenger”) – is a degenerative and dangerous drug, there appears to be no evidence of this among the members of the Native American Church, a North American Indian cult that uses peyote in its chief religious ceremony. Peyote, like most other hallucinogenic drugs, is not considered to be addictive and, far from being a destructive influence, is reputed by cultists and some observers to promote morality and ethical behaviour among the Indians who use it ritually.
▪ Ayahuasca, caapi, or yajé, is produced from the stem bark of the vines Banisteriopsis caapi and B. inebrians. Indians who use it claim that its virtues include healing powers and the power to induce clairvoyance, among others. This drink has been certified by investigators to produce remarkable effects, often involving the sensation of flying. The effects are thought to be attributable to the action of harmine, a very stable indole that is the active principle in the plant. While the Indians themselves attribute the properties of the drink Ayahuasca to B. caapi, this is not the common scientific view; the MAOIs present in the B. caapi instead allow the extremely psychedelic ingredients in other plants added to the brew, noticeably plants containing DMT, to be activated and produce an intense experience.
▪ Kava drink, prepared from the roots of Piper methysticum, a species of pepper, and seemingly more of a hypnotic-narcotic than a hallucinogen, is used both socially and ritually in the South Pacific, especially in Polynesia.
▪ Iboga, a stimulant and hallucinogen derived from the root bark of the African shrub Tabernanthe iboga is used within the Bwiti religion in Central Africa. The active ingredient in T. iboga is ibogaine, a drug that has been studied for its use in treating addiction.
▪ Coca, source of cocaine, has had both ritual and social use chiefly in Peru.
▪ Datura, one species of which is the jimsonweed, is used by native peoples in North and South America; the active principle, however, is highly toxic and dangerous. A drink prepared from the shrub Mimosa hostilis, which is said to produce glorious visions in warriors before battle, is used ritually in the ajuca ceremony of the Jurema cult in eastern Brazil.
▪ Salvia divinorum, a member of the sage family of plants, is a hallucinogen used by Mazatec shamans for “spiritual journeys” during healing.

The effects of meditation
The large variety of meditation techniques shares the common goal of shifting attention away from habitual modes of thinking and perception, in order to permit experiencing in a different way. Many religious and spiritual traditions that employ meditation assert that the world most of us know is an illusion. This illusion is said to be created by our habitual mode of separating, classifying and labelling our perceptual experiences. Meditation is empirical in that it involves direct experience. Though it is also subjective in that the meditative state can be directly known only by the experiencer, and may be difficult or impossible to fully describe in words.
Concentrative meditation can induce an altered state of consciousness characterised by a loss of awareness of extraneous stimuli, one-pointed attention to the meditation object to the exclusion of all other thoughts, and feelings of bliss.

Recommended reading

Robert Aziz, C.G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity (1990), currently in its 10th printing, is a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0166-9.
Robert Aziz, Synchronicity and the Transformation of the Ethical in Jungian Psychology in Carl B. Becker, ed. Asian and Jungian Views of Ethics. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999. ISBN 0-313-30452-1.
Robert Aziz, The Syndetic Paradigm:The Untrodden Path Beyond Freud and Jung (2007), a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press ISBN 13:978-0-7914-6982-8.


Adler, A., & Jahn, E., Religion and Psychology, Frankfurt, 1933.
Allport, G.W. & Ross, J.M., Personal Religious Orientation and Prejudice, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1967.
Allport, G. W., The individual and his religion, New York, Macmillan, 1950.
Batson, C.D., Schoenrade, P. & Ventis, L., Religion and the Individual, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993.
Erikson, E., Young man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History, New York, W. W. Norton, 1958.
Fowler, J. Stages of Faith, Harper and Row, San Francisco, 1971.
Francis, L.J. & Louden, S.H., The Francis-Louden Mystical Orientation Scale: A Study Among Male Anglican Priests, Research in the Scientific Study of Religion, 2000.
Freud, S., The future of an illusion, translated by W.D. Robson-Scott, New York, Liveright, 1928.
Freud, S., Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics, New-york, Dodd, 1928.
Freud, S., Moses and Monotheism, London, The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psychoanalysis, 1939.
Fromm, E., Psychoanalysis and Religion, New Haven, Yale University, 1950.
Genia, V., The Spiritual Experience Index: Revision and Reformulation, Review of Religious Research, 38, 344-361, 1997.
Glock, C.Y. & Stark, R., Religion and Society in Tension, Chicago, Rand McNally, 1965.
Gorsuch, R. & Venable, Development of an Age-Universal I-E Scale, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1983.
Hill, P. C. & Hood, R., Measures of Religiosity, Birmingham, Alabama, Religious Education Press,1999.
Hill, P. C. & Pargament, K., Advances in the Conceptualisation and Measurement of Spirituality. American Psychologist, 58, p64-74, 2003.
Hood, R. W., The Construction and Preliminary Validation of a Measure of Reported Mystical Experience, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1975.
James, W., The Varieties of Religious Experience, Cambridge, Ma., Harvard University, 1985.
Jung, C. G., Modern Man in Search of a Soul, New York, Harcourt Brace, 1933.
Jung, C. G., Psychology and Religion, Yale University Press, 1962.
Jung, C. G., Psychology and Religion, Yale Univ. Press, 1992.
Jung, C. G., Psychology and Western Religion, Princeton Univ. Press, 1984.
Hood, R. W., The Construction and Preliminary Validation of a Measure of Reported Mystical Experience, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 1975.
Leuba, J. H., The Psychology of Religious Mysticism, New York, Harcourt, Brace, 1925.
Leuba, J. H., The Psychological Origin and the Nature of Religion, Folcroft, Pa, Folcroft Library Editions, 1978.
Wulff, D. M., Psychology of Religion: Classic and Contemporary (2nd ed), New York, Wiley, 1997.
Further reading
Fontana, D., Psychology, Religion and Spirituality, Oxford, Blackwell, 2003.
Fuller, A. R. (1994). Psychology & religion: Eight points of view (3rd ed.). Lanham, MD: Littlefield Adams. ISBN 0822630362.
Hood, R. W. Jr., Spilka, B., Hunsberger, B., & Gorsuch, R. (1996). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach. New York: Guilford. ISBN: 1572301163
Levin, J., God, Faith and Health: Exploring the Spirituality-Health Connection, New York, Wiley, 2001.
Loewenthal, K. M., Psychology of Religion: A Short Introduction, Oxford, Oneworld, 2000.
Meissner, W., Psychoanalysis and Religious Experience, London and New Haven, Yale University Press, 1984.
Paloutzian, R. (1996). Invitation to the Psychology of Religion, 2nd Ed. New York: Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 0205148409.
Wulff, D. M. (1997). Psychology of religion: Classic and contemporary (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley. ISBN 0471037060.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with neuroethology.
Neurotheology, also known as biotheology, is the study of correlations of neural phenomena with subjective experiences of spirituality and hypotheses to explain these phenomena. Proponents of neurotheology claim that there is a neurological and evolutionary basis for subjective experiences traditionally categorized as spiritual.[1]

Aldous Huxley used the term neurotheology for the first time in the utopian novel Island. The discipline studies the cognitive neuroscience of religious experience and spirituality. The term is also sometimes used in a less scientific context or a philosophical context. Some of these uses, according to the mainstream scientific community, qualify as pseudoscience. Huxley used it mainly in a philosophical context.
The use of the term neurotheology in published scientific work is currently uncommon. A search on the citation indexing service provided by Institute for Scientific Information returns five articles. Three of these are published in the journal Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, while two are published in American Behavioral Scientist. Work on the neural basis of spirituality has, however, occurred sporadically throughout the 20th century. Keywords for such work include ‘deity’, ‘neurophysiological bases’, ‘spirituality’ and ‘mysticism’.
In an attempt to focus and clarify what was a growing interest in this field, in 1994 educator Laurence O. McKinney published the first book on the subject, titled “Neurotheology: Virtual Religion in the 21st Century”, written for a popular audience but also promoted in the theological journal Zygon. According to McKinney, neurotheology sources the basis of religious inquiry in relatively recent developmental neurophysiology. According to McKinney’s theory, pre-frontal development, in humans, creates an illusion of chronological time as a fundamental part of normal adult cognition past the age of three. The inability of the adult brain to retrieve earlier images experienced by an infantile brain creates questions such as “where did I come from” and “where does it all go”, which McKinney suggests led to the creation of various religious explanations. The experience of death as a peaceful regression into timelessness as the brain dies won praise from readers as varied as author Arthur C. Clarke, eminient theologian Harvey Cox, and the Dalai Lama and sparked a new interest in the field.

Defining and measuring spirituality
Neurotheology attempts to explain the actual neurological basis for those experiences, often subjective to the extreme,which have been popularly called “spiritual”, “out of body” or other terms for forms of abnormal cognition such as:
▪ The perception that time, fear or self-consciousness have dissolved
▪ Spiritual awe
▪ Oneness with the universe
▪ Ecstatic trance
▪ Sudden enlightenment
▪ Altered states of consciousness
▪ Increase of N, N-Dimethyltryptamine levels in the pineal gland or epiphysis.
These subjective experiences are seen as the basis for many religious beliefs and behaviors.

Early studies in the 1950s and 1960s attempted to use EEGs to study brain wave patterns correlated with “spiritual” states. During the 1980s Dr. Michael Persinger stimulated the temporal lobes of human subjects with a weak magnetic field. His subjects claimed to have a sensation of “an ethereal presence in the room”. This work gained publicity at the time, although it was unresolved as to the mechanism that may have elicited this response.
Some current studies use neuroimaging to localize brain regions active, or differentially active, during experiences that subjects associate with “spiritual” feelings or images. David Wulf, a psychologist at Wheaton College, Massachusetts, suggests that current brain imaging studies, along with the consistency of spiritual experiences across cultures, history, and religions, “suggest a common core that is likely a reflection of structures and processes in the human brain”, echoing McKinney’s primary thesis that feelings associated with religious experience are normal aspects of brain function under extreme circumstances rather than communication from God.

An attempt to marry a materialistic approach like neuroscience to spirituality naturally attracts much criticism. Some of the criticism is philosophical, dealing with the (perceived) irreconcilability between science and spirituality, while some is more methodological, dealing with the issues of studying an experience as subjective as spirituality.

Philosophical criticism
Critics of this approach, like philosopher Ken Wilber and religious scholar Huston Smith, see the more materialistic formulations of the approach as examples of reductionism and scientism that are only looking at the empirical aspects of the phenomena, and not including the possible validity of spiritual experience with all of its subjectivity.

Scientific criticism
In 2005, Pehr Granqvist, a psychologist at Uppsala University in Sweden, questioned Dr. Michael Persinger’s findings in a paper published in Neuroscience Letters. Granqvist claimed that Persinger’s work was not “double blind,” in that those conducting Persinger’s trials, who were often graduate students, knew what sort of results to expect, with the risk that the knowledge would be transmitted to experimental subjects by unconscious cues. The experimenters also were frequently given an idea of what was happening, according to Granqvist, by being asked to fill in questionnaires designed to test their suggestibility to paranormal experiences before the trials were conducted. Granqvist set about conducting similar experiments double blinded, and published finding implying that the presence or absence of the field had no relationship with any religious or spiritual experience reported by the participants.
Persinger stood by his findings, arguing that several of his previous experiments have explicitly used double-blind protocols, and that Granqvist failed to fully replicate Persinger’s experimental conditions by, for example, miscalibrating the software, and using a magnetic field exposure time too brief to induce the hypothesized effect.

Matthew Alper. The “God” Part of the Brain: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God
James H. Austin. Zen and the Brain: Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness
James H. Austin. Zen-Brain Reflections: Reviewing Recent Developments in Meditation and States of Consciousness
Andrew Newberg, Eugene G. D’Aquili and Vince Rause. Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief.
ISBN 0-345-44033-1
Skatssoon, Judy. “Magic mushrooms hit the God spot”, ABC Science Online, 2006-07-12. Retrieved on 2006-07-13.

Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience and freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or
thought, regardless of anyone else’s view.

To deny a person’s freedom of thought is to deny what can be considered one’s most basic freedom; to think for one’s self.
Since the whole concept of ‘freedom of thought’ rests on the freedom of the individual to believe whatever one thinks is best (freedom of belief), the notion of ‘freedom of religion’ is closely related and inextricably bound up with these. While in many societies and forms of government, there has been effectively no freedom of religion or belief, this same freedom has been cherished and developed to a great extent in the modern western world, such that it is taken for granted.
This development was enshrined in words in the United States Constitution by the Bill of Rights, which contains the famous guarantee in the First Amendment that laws may not be made that interfere with religion “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Today nearly all democratic nations around the world contain similar language within their respective Constitutions.
A US Supreme Court Justice later (Benjamin Cardozo) went on to reason in Palko v. Connecticut (1937) that:
“Freedom of thought… is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our history, political and legal.”[1]
In other words, without the right to freedom of thought, other rights such as the right to freedom of speech hold little meaning.
Such ideas regarding freedom of thought, as developed over time, ultimately became a vital part of international human rights law. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), it is listed under Article 18:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
The Human Rights Committee states that the above Article 18, which became legally binding on member states with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
“distinguishes the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief from the freedom to manifest religion or belief. It does not permit any limitations whatsoever on the freedom of thought and conscience or on the freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of one’s choice. These freedoms are protected unconditionally.”[2]
Similarly, Article 19 of the UDHR guarantees that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference…”

Drug prohibition
Main articles: Cognitive liberty and Prohibition (drugs)
Despite the many laws concerning freedom of thought, amongst philosophers, there is no consensus on what thought itself actually is. However, the field of neurochemistry uses a pragmatic view in linking thoughts to patterns of brain activity – ‘almost everyone now agrees… that the subject of mental properties and events is a physical thing.’ [1]
Patterns of brain activity can be altered by taking psychoactive drugs – ranging from caffeine to Prozac to LSD. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime defines a psychoactive substance as “any substance that people take to change either the way they feel, think, or behave.”[3]
Authors such as Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and Terence McKenna have argued that certain psychoactive drugs, or ‘entheogens’, may be used to favorably alter the way we think. Religious groups have also traditionally used specific plants to alter thought, aiding members in worship or helping to put them in touch with God. Examples of this are the Rastafari movement’s use of cannabis, Islamic Sufi mystics’ use of hashish to be present with the Godhead, indigenous peoples’ of the Amazonian Basin ritualistic usage of the ayahuasca tea in order to connect with the spirit(s) of the jungle, Native American use of peyote and the chewing of khat (heralded as a “pipeline to Allah” among many Muslims in Eastern Africa).
Some non-governmental organizations, such as the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, argue that placing limits on the use of certain drugs is akin to placing a limit on thought itself – thus violating the right to cognitive liberty.
Constitutional rights-based arguments against blanket drug prohibition have featured in US legal history since the 1960s. In February of 2006, the US Supreme Court upheld the right to religious drug use in the União do Vegetal case (Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, Docket #04-1084). This case now features in arguments for and against drug prohibition. The distinction to be made is that government regulation of drug use is not prohibiting any thought but rather prohibiting conduct.
A recent British case involving this line of legal argument is that of Casey William Hardison, who is awaiting a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights after being refused a final appeal at the House of Lords, the highest court in Great Britain. Hardison is currently serving a twenty year sentence for producing a variety of entheogenic drugs.

Suppression of freedom of thought
One obvious impediment to those who would suppress freedom of thought, is that no one human being can possibly even know what everyone else is really thinking — let alone successfully regulate it.
This impossibility of controlling thought is perhaps summarized in the Biblical context nowhere more succinctly than in Ecclesiastes 8:8: “There is no man that hath power over the spirit, to retain it; neither hath he power in the day of death.” In other words, trying to control the thoughts of others is as futile as trying to control death. A similar sentiment is expressed in the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament, where he seems to liken those who vainly attempt to control the emotions of their neighbours to “the children in the marketplace” who try to produce dancing with a happy song and mourning with a dirge, and then express frustration at their futility in trying to do so. (Matt. 11:16)
Laws that attempt to regulate what goes on inside a person’s head have long been regarded with suspicion. Queen Elizabeth I removed one such law, several hundred years ago, because, according to Sir Francis Bacon, ‘She would not make windows into men’s souls’. [2]
While freedom of thought is said to be one of the fundamental principles of most democracies, the attempted suppression of freedom of thought is a prominent characteristic of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. Freedom of expression can be limited in several ways — through censorship, arrests, book burning, or propaganda, and this tends to discourage freedom of thought. Examples of effective campaigns against freedom of expression are the Soviet suppression of genetics research known as Lysenkoism, the book burning campaigns of Nazi Germany, and the radical anti-intellectualism enforced in Cambodia under Pol Pot.
Freedom of expression can also be stifled without institutional interference when the views of the majority become so widely accepted that other ways of expression are repressed. For this reason, some condemn “political correctness” as a form of limiting freedom of thought. Although proponents of “political correctness” claim that it aims to give minority views an equal representation, critics point to instances in which the majority view is also the view which is seen as “politically correct.” For example, college student Max Karson was arrested following the Virginia Tech shootings for politically incorrect comments that authorities saw as “sympathetic to the killer.” Karson’s arrest raised important questions regarding freedom of thought and whether or not it applies in educational settings.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, which states that thought is inherently embedded in language, would support the claim that an effort to limit the use of words of language is actually a form of restricting freedom of thought.
A possible counter-point is that such efforts have increased the number of terms available for use in describing social groups and events, contributing to freedom of thought, rather than stifling it.

Internet censorship and freedom of thought
A current example of propaganda, censorship and therefore suppression of freedom of thought, is the control of information on the world wide web in such countries as Iran[1], Saudi Arabia, Egypt[2], China, and others [4]. In October 2006, Iranian mullahs ordered internet service providers to reduce connection speeds for home and cafe computers.

Places of power
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The term places of power was introduced by Carlos Castaneda, attributed to a Mexican Indian sorcerer Don Juan Matus.
Places of power are locations alleged to possess “energy fields” with a certain significance for humans, which can be characterized as “positive” or “negative”.
The concept is widely used in spiritual practice (though practitioners do not necessarily use this term). According to practitioners, they can give energy, heal and facilitate entering altered states of consciousness, including meditative states.

Ley line

“Ley Lines” redirects here. For Takashi Miike’s 1999 film, see Ley Lines (1999 film).
Ley lines are hypothetical alignments of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths. Their existence was suggested in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, whose book The Old Straight Track brought the alignments to the attention of the wider public.
The existence of alignments between sites is easily demonstrated. However, the causes of these alignments are disputed. There are several major areas of interpretation:
▪ Archaeological: A new area of archaeological study, archaeogeodesy, examines geodesy as practiced in prehistoric time, and as evidenced by archaeological remains. One major aspect of modern geodesy is surveying. As interpreted by geodesy, the so-called ley lines can be the product of ancient surveying, property markings, or commonly travelled pathways. Numerous societies, ancient and modern, employ straight lines between points of use; archaeologists have documented these traditions. Modern surveying also results in placement of constructs in lines on the landscape. It is reasonable to expect human constructs and activity areas to reflect human use of lines.
▪ Cultural: Many cultures use straight lines across the landscape. In South America, such lines often are directed towards mountain peaks; the Nazca lines are a famous example of lengthy lines made by ancient cultures. Straight lines connect ancient pyramids in Mexico; today, modern roads built on the ancient roads deviate around the huge pyramids. The Chaco culture of Northwestern New Mexico cut stairs into sandstone cliffs to facilitate keeping roads straight.
▪ New Age: The ley lines and their intersection points resonate a special psychic or magical energy, often including elements such as geomancy, dowsing or UFOs, stating that, for instance, UFO’s travel along ley lines (in the way that one might observe that cars use roads and highways). These points on lines have electrical or magnetic forces associated with them.
▪ Sceptical: Sceptics of the actuality of ley lines often classify them as pseudoscience. Such sceptics tend to doubt that ley lines were planned or made by ancient cultures, and argue that apparent ley lines can be readily explained without resorting to extraordinary or pseudoscientific ideas.

Alfred Watkins and The Old Straight Track
The concept of ley lines was first proposed by Alfred Watkins. On June 30, 1921, Watkins visited Blackwardine in Herefordshire, and went riding near some hills in the vicinity of Bredwardine when he noted many of the footpaths therein seemed to connect one hilltop to another in a straight line. He was studying a map when he noticed places in alignment. “The whole thing came to me in a flash,” he would later explain to his son. Some people have portrayed this “flash” as being some sort of mystical experience
However, some time before Watkins, William Henry Black gave a talk titled Boundaries and Landmarks to the British Archaeological Association in Hereford in September 1870. Here he speculated that “Monuments exist marking grand geometrical lines which cover the whole of Western Europe”. It is possible that Watkins’ experience stemmed from some half-recollected memories of an account of that presentation.
Watkins believed that in ancient times, when Britain had been far more densely forested, the country had been crisscrossed by a network of straight-line travel routes, with prominent features of the landscape being used as navigation points. This observation was made public at a meeting of the Woolhope Club of Hereford in September 1921. His work referred back to G. H. Piper’s paper presented to the Woolhope Club in 1882 which noted that
“A line drawn from the Skirrid-fawr mountain northwards to Arthur’s Stone would pass over the camp and southern most point of Hatterill Hill, Oldcastle, Longtown Castle, and Urishay and Snodhill castles.” The ancient surveyors who supposedly made the lines were given the name “dodmen”.
Watkins published his ideas in the books Early British Trackways and The Old Straight Track. Nevertheless, they were generally received with skepticism in the archaeological community. The archaeologist O. G. S. Crawford refused to accept advertisements for the latter book in the journal Antiquity, and most archaeologists since then have continued to be unaccepting of Watkins’ ideas.
In 2004, John Bruno Hare wrote, “Watkins never attributed any supernatural significance to leys; he believed that they were simply pathways that had been used for trade or ceremonial purposes, very ancient in origin, possibly dating back to the Neolithic, certainly pre-Roman. His obsession with leys was a natural outgrowth of his interest in landscape photography and love of the British countryside. He was an intensely rational person with an active intellect, and I think he would be a bit disappointed with some of the fringe aspects of ley lines today.”[1]
Despite the largely negative reception to his ideas, some experts have made observations similar to Watkins’: Megalithic researcher Alexander Thom offered a detailed analysis of megalithic alignments, proposing a standardization of measure by those who built megaliths. However, Thom avoided using the term “ley line” in his discussion of megaliths. The discovery by Europeans of the Nazca lines, man-made lines on desert pavement in southern Peru, prompted study of their astronomical alignments.

The New Age approach: magical and holy lines
Watkins’ theories have been adapted by later writers. Some of his ideas were taken up by the occultist Dion Fortune who featured them in her 1936 novel The Goat-footed God. Since then, ley lines have become the subject of a few magical and mystical theories.
Two British dowsers, Captain Robert Boothby and Reginald Smith of the British Museum, have linked the appearance of ley lines with underground streams and magnetic currents. Underwood conducted various investigations and claimed that crossings of ‘negative’ water lines and positive aquastats explain why certain sites were chosen as holy. He found so many of these ‘double lines’ on sacred sites that he named them ‘holy lines.’
Two German Nazi researchers Wilhelm Teudt and Josef Heinsch have also claimed that ancient Teutonic peoples contributed to the construction of a network of astronomical lines, called “Holy lines” (Heilige Linien), which could be mapped onto the geographical layout of ancient or sacred sites. Teudt located the Teutoburger Wald district in Lower Saxony, centered around the dramatic rock formation called Die Externsteine as the centre of Germany. Nazism often employed ideation of superiority and associated Aryan descent with ancient higher cultures, often without regard for archaeological or historic fact. See Nazi mysticism.
By the 1960s, the ideas of a landscape crossed with straight lines had become conflated with ideas from various geomantic traditions; mapping ley lines, according to New Age geomancers, can foster “harmony with the Earth” or reveal pre-historic trade routes. John Michell’s writing can be seen as an example of this. He has referred to the whole face of China being heavily landscaped in accordance with the laws of Feng Shui. Michell has claimed that Neolithic peoples recognised that the harmony of society depended on the harmony of the earth force. And so in China, ancient Greece and Scotland men built their temples where the forces of the earth were most powerful.

A skeptical approach: chance alignments
Some skeptics have suggested that ley lines do not exist, and are a product of human fancy. Watkins’ discovery happened at a time when Ordnance Survey maps were being marketed for the leisure market, making them reasonably easy and cheap to obtain; this may have been a contributing factor to the popularity of ley line theories.

One suggestion is that, given the high density of historic and prehistoric sites in Britain and other parts of Europe, finding straight lines that “connect” sites (usually selected to make them “fit”) is trivial, and may be easily ascribed to coincidence. The diagram to the right shows an example of lines that pass very near to a set of random points: for all practical purposes, they can be regarded as nearly “exact” alignments. Naturally, it is debated whether all ley lines can be accounted for in this way, or whether there are more such lines than would be expected by chance. (For a mathematical treatment of this topic, see alignments of random points.)
Regarding the trade-route theories, skeptics point out that straight lines do not make ideal roads in all circumstances, particularly where they ignore topography and require users to march up and down hills or mountains, or to cross rivers at points where there is no portage or bridge.

Are alignments and ley lines the same thing?
The existence of the observed alignments is not controversial. Both believers in magical and ancient theories of ley lines and skeptics of these theories agree that these alignments exist between megaliths and ancient sites.
Most skeptics believe that their null hypothesis of ley-line-like alignments as due to random chance is consistent with the evidence. They believe that this consistency removes the need to explain the alignments in any other way. Some Chaos Magicians have views consistent with that approach, claiming it to be in accord with their generative view of chance. Still, others believe that further theories are needed to explain the observed evidence. See hypothesis testing, falsifiability and Occam’s razor for more on these topics.
In discussing the arguments for and against the chance presence of ley alignments it is useful to define the term “alignment” precisely enough to reason about it. One precise definition that expresses the generally accepted meaning of Watkins’ ley lines defines an alignment as:
a set of points, chosen from a given set of landmark points, all of which lie within at least an arc of 1/4 degree.
Watkins remarked that if this is accepted as the degree of error, then:
“if only three accidentally placed points are on the sheet, the chance of a three point alignment is 1 in 720.”
“But this chance by accidental coincidence increases so rapidly in geometric progression with each point added that if ten mark-points are distributed haphazard on a sheet of paper, there is an average probability that there will be one three-point alignment, while if only two more points are added to make twelve points, there is a probability of two three-point alignments.”
“It is clear that a three-point alignment must not be accepted as proof of a ley by itself, as a fair number of other eligible points are usually present.”
“A ley should not be taken as proved with less than four good mark-points. Three good points with several others of less value like cross roads and coinciding tracks may be sufficient.”
The Leyhunter’s Manual (page 88), 1927
One should also bear in mind that lines and points on a map cover wide areas on the ground. With 1:63360 (1-inch-to-the-mile) maps a 1/100-inch (1/4 mm) wide line represents a path over 50 feet (15 m) across. And in travelling across a sheet, an angle of 1/4 degree encompasses something like an additional 600 feet (200 m).

The demonstration of the plausibility of the current evidence under the null hypothesis is not a formal disproof of ley line claims. However, it does make skeptics likely to consider ley line theories as unsupported by the current evidence.
Most skeptics would be willing to reconsider the hypothesis of ley lines if there were non-anecdotal evidence of physical, geomagnetic or archeological features that actually lie along the lines. Skeptics believe that no such convincing evidence has been presented.
There is a broad range of beliefs about and theories of ley lines, many of which are not falsifiable, and which are thus not generally amenable to the scientific method. Some people find ley lines compatible with a scientific approach, but much of the literature is written by people who are indifferent to or actively oppose such an approach.

Scientific investigation
According to claims by investigators of ley line theories, some points along the lines possess higher magnetic energy than the average geomagnetic intensity. This data has been published in “Places of Power” (Paul Devereux; Blandford Press, 1990) and “Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy?” (John B. Carlson; Science, 1975).
Some geomantic researchers have investigated this phenomenon by studying telluric currents, geomagnetism, and the Schumann resonance (among other physical phenomena). Current data is inconclusive.

Ley lines in fiction
▪ In a number of sword and sorcery universes use ley lines as channels of subtle magical power, the intersections of which are sites of higher than usual magic energy. Examples of this can be seen in the Warcraft series of video games and the Magic: The Gathering card game series.
▪ Alan Garner lists Watkins’s The Old Straight Track in the appendix to The Moon of Gomrath, sequel to The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, as the principle inspiration for the Old Straight Track which is one of the core motifs of his book.
▪ Pinvin Careless and his Lines of Force, a play by Peter Terson, has as its central character an old man who wanders the country visiting sites on ley lines.
▪ In the Palladium Books universe of role-playing games, ley lines have been depicted by the authors as being normally unseen lines of magical energy. In games (such as Palladium Fantasy, Rifts and most recently Chaos Earth), these lines contain abundant amounts of Potential Psychic Energy (P.P.E.), from which magic and/or psychic-oriented characters can draw power to enhance their own. In addition, at points where two or more ley lines intersect, an interdimensional portal (or rift) may open at the nexus. If a person steps through an open rift, he is essentially crossing through a tear in the space-time continuum. This can result in his ending up at another rift, typically one connected to one of the lines that composed the first rift, miles away from where he started, if not in another dimension entirely. An important fact in the Rifts universe is that when a person dies, all the P.P.E. in their body is doubled, then absorbed by the Ley Lines. In Rifts and Chaos Earth, then entire world is plunged into an apocalypse when a nuclear exchange overloads the Ley Lines, which burn off the excess energy by triggering earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters, causing a cascade effect that wipes out human civilization.
▪ In the anime Outlaw Star, the Galactic Leyline is an ancient artifact said to be able to manipulate causality to general supernatural effects.
▪ Ley lines appeared in Hellblazer No.15, in which the character Mercury explains to John Constantine that they are walking over a ley line, which will give them a “positive charge”.
▪ In Doctor Strange’s Shamballa Graphic Novel, the supreme mage must disrupt the sicked ley lines and restore the flux of arcane energy through the planet.
▪ Robert Holdstock’s novel Mythago Wood takes place in a small tract of primal forest (Ryhope Wood) that grows at a major intersection in the ley matrix. It won the World Fantasy Award for best novel.
▪ Newly discovered “ley lines” outside the fictional village of Crybbe, set old evils against New Age in Phil Richman’s Curfew (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1993).
▪ Ley lines could be seen to be discussed in Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, when the novel weaves telluric currents into the narrative and talks of ancient sacred sites as being transmitters or receivers of this energy. This is developed within the story to include modern structures such as the Eiffel Tower and linked to the overarching “conspiracy” or “The Plan” that underpins the novel.
▪ Ley lines were also used in the game Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon, where a mad recluse and the Knights Templar try to gain power by standing at a convergance of ley lines, at the moment their power peaked and would surge through the Earth, into the person being there at that precise time.
▪ Ley lines were mentioned in the introduction of the game Watchmaker.
▪ In British comedian Bill Bailey’s stand up routine “Part Troll” he suggests that Little Chefs were originally built on leylines and then the roads came and connected them up.
▪ In the sprite comic 8-Bit Theater, references are made to leylines, powerful lines of magical energy that span the earth, forming nexus’ when they intersect. The character Black Mage is said to be such a nexus.
▪ Paragon City in City of Heroes is said to be placed on a convergence of ley lines, explaining the amount of paranormal events and fact that there are so many heroes and villains.
▪ In So Weird, Bricriu (inhabiting Jack) tells Fi that “they” are aware of her “sniffing around the ley lines.”
▪ In Harry Turtledove’s Darkness Series, Ley lines are used as routes for magical transports analogus to trains and steamships.
▪ In Wild Arms 3, ley lines is the life force of a planet which was compared to the bloodstream in humans. Temples are built over places that have a strong ley line concentration, using the human analogy would compare it to organs.
▪ The ley lines that traverse London feature heavily in the work of Iain Sinclair.

▪ Alfred Watkins, Early British Trackways (1922)
▪ Alfred Watkins, The Old Straight Track: Its Mounds, Beacons, Moats, Sites and Mark Stones (1925); reprinted as ISBN 0-349-13707-2
▪ Alfred Watkins, The Ley Hunter’s Manual (1927)
▪ Tony Wedd, Skyways and Landmarks (1961)
▪ Williamson, T. and Bellamy, L., Ley Lines in Question. (1983)
▪ Tom Graves, Needles of Stone (1978) — mixes ley lines and acupuncture; online edition at [2]
▪ Paul Broadhurst & Hamish Miller The Sun And The Serpent (1989, 1990 (paperback), 1991, 1994, 2003 (paperback))
▪ David R. Cowan, Chris Arnold, & David Hatcher Childress, “Ley Lines and Earth Energies: An Extraordinary Journey into the Earth’s Natural Energy System”
▪ Bruce L. Cathie, “The Energy Grid”

The term Earth mysteries is used to describe an interest in a wide range of scientific and psuedo-scientific phenomena. It includes the study of ancient sites and landscapes (including archaeology, archaeoastronomy, and ley lines), unusual natural objects, bizarre events and phenomena, anomalous archaeological artifacts known as anachronisms (e.g. the Antikythera mechanism), and strange creatures (Cryptozoology). The discipline is regarded with skepticism by academics since much of its subject matter lacks any evidence for existence. It tends to attract fringe authors whose sensational literary style attempts to compensate for limited analytical skills and poor scientific method. Respected science fiction authors such as Arthur C. Clarke have put their names to popular books on the subject which have gone some way towards exposing the flawed methodologies of less disciplined authors.
Earth mysteries have their modern origin in the works of Charles Fort and gained momentum in the 1960’s partly as a result of the counterculture movement. The term is thought to have originated in the 1970’s. Certain phenomena which were once disputed and termed by some as ‘earth mysteries’, such as ball lightning, have been proven to exist and are studied by reputable scientists but much of its subject matter, such as a supposed species of flying ‘Rod (cryptozoology)’ or ley lines lack any credible evidence or rationale. Other well attested phenomena such as the Tunguska event which have commonly accepted rational explanations are often given a psuedo-scientific or paranormal spin by believers in ‘earth mysteries’.

▪ Danny Sullivan (2005) “Ley Lines”. 200 pages/
▪ “Astronomical Enigmas: Life on Mars, the Star of Bethlehem, and Other Milky Way Mysteries”. 2005. 304 pages
▪ John Michael Greer (2003). “The New Encyclopedia of the Occult”. 608 pages.
▪ Richard Grossinger (1986). “Planetary Mysteries”. 269 pages
▪ Thomas Burnet (1691). The Sacred Theory of the Earth
▪ James Hutton (1795). Theory of the Earth
▪ Earth Mysteries,
▪ Earth Mysteries,
▪ Earth Mysteries: Introduction
▪ Earth Mysteries: Stonehenge
▪ Earth Mysteries, Stone Circles, Stonehenge
▪ Top 10 Earth Mysteries.
▪ Earth Mysteries, Dorset Earth Mysteries Group (DEMG)
▪ Surrey Earth Mysteries Group; Ley lines, earth energies and ancient mysteries in Surrey.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Geomancer” redirects here. For other uses, see Geomancer (disambiguation).

Geomancy (from Greek geōmanteia< geo, "earth" + manteia, "divination") from the eponymous ilm al-raml ("the science of sand"), is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground, or how handfuls of dirt land when someone tosses them. The Arabic tradition consists of sketching sixteen random lines of dots in sand. In Africa one traditional form of geomancy consists of throwing handfuls of dirt in the air and observing how the dirt falls. It can also involve a mouse as the agent of the earth spirit. Ifá, one of the oldest form of geomancy, originated in West Africa. In China, the diviner may enter a trance and make markings on the ground that are interpreted by an associate (often a young boy). In Korea, this tradition was popularized in the ninth century by the Buddhist monk Toson. In Korea, Geomancy takes the form of intrepreting the topography of the land to determine future events and or the strength of a dynasty or particular family. Therefore, not only were location and land forms important, but the topography could shift causing disfavor and the need relocate. The idea is still accepted in many South East Asian societies today, although with reduced force.[1] Geomancy formed part of the required study of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in the late 19th century, and also survives in modern occult practice. In the 19th century CE, Christian missionaries in China translated Feng Shui as geomancy, but this is a misnomer. In recent times the term has been applied to a wide range of other cultic, fringe, and pseudoscientific activities, including Bau-Biologie. This article deals with geomancy in its traditional meaning. Literary background The poem Experimentarius attributed to Bernardus Silvestris (Bernard Silvester), who wrote in the middle of the 12th century, was a verse translation of a work on astrological geomancy. Either Gerard of Cremona (c. 1114-1187) or Gerard of Sabionetta (Sabloneta), who lived in the thirteenth century, wrote or translated Astronomical Geomancy from Arabic into Latin. An original in Arabic is possible, as the traditional method of structuring a geomantic divination follows the direction of Arabic writing. There has been disagreement among scholars over which of these two men was responsible for this text. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "geomancy" appeared in vernacular English in 1362 (vernacular English at this time was the language of the lowest classes; Latin and French were the common languages of the middle class, gentry, and nobles). Geomancy's first mention in print was Langland's Piers Plowman where it is unfavorably compared to the level of expertise a person needs for astronomy ("gemensye [geomesye] is gynful of speche"). In 1386 Chaucer used the Parson's Tale to poke fun at geomancy in Canterbury Tales: "What say we of them that believe in divynailes as ... geomancie ..." Shakespeare also used geomancy for comic relief. It was explained as divination (in the same sentence with pyromancy and hydromancy) in the best-selling Travels of Sir John Mandeville (1400, ISBN 0-14-044435-1), as "geomantie that superstitious arte" in a book of alchemy (1477), and defined in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa's Philosophy of Natural Magic: Complete Work on Natural Magic, White & Black Magic (1569, ISBN 1-56459-160-3) as a form of divination "which doth divine by certaine conjectures taken of similitudes of the cracking of the Earthe." European geomancy does owe some of its valuations to medieval astrology (the "houses" for example). In Ben Jonson's Elizabethan comedy The Alchemist, the character Abel Drugger is a practicioner of geomancy. Literary critic Brett Tingley wrote of this "the beliefs of Drugger reflect the common geomancy beliefs of the 17th century". Western methodology Geomancy in western tradition requires no instruments and no calculations; it is based solely on the human propensity for pattern recognition. Diviners in medieval Europe used parchment or paper for drawing the dots of geomancy but they followed the traditional direction of notation (right to left) for recording the dots. Western occultism still defines geomantic technique as marking sixteen lines of dashes in sand or soil with a wand or on a sheet of paper. The dashes aren't counted as they are made (thus constituting a form of spontaneous divination). The geomancer counts the number of dashes made in each line and draws either a single dot (for an odd number) or two dots (for an even number) next to the lines. The pattern of dots produced by the first to fourth lines are known as a figure, as are the fifth to eighth lines and so on. Those four figures are entered into two charts, known as the Shield and House charts, and through binary processes form the seed of the figures that fill the whole charts. The charts are subsequently analysed and interpreted by the geomancer to find solutions, options and responses to the problem quesited, along with general information about the geomancer (unless the geomancer is performing the divination for another, in which case information is shown about the person the charts were cast for) providing an all-round reading into the questioner's life. This form of Geomancy is easy to learn and easy to perform. Once practiced by commoners and rulers alike, it was one of the most popular forms of divination throughout the Middle Ages. The four binary elements of each figure allow for 2×2×2×2, or 16 different combinations. As there are 4 root figures in each chart, the total number of possible charts equals 16×16×16×16, or 65536. The charts are also interpreted differently depending on the nature of the question, making it one of the most thorough kinds of divination available, and with only 16 figures to understand is extremely simple. Bovis scale From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Bovis scale, allegedly named after a French radiesthesist called either Antoine or Alfred Bovis (1871-1947), is a concept used by dowsers and adherents of geomancy to quantify the strength of a postulated "cosmo-telluric energy" inherent in a location. The unit of the Bovis scale has no known definition and isn't in any way based on physics. The "measurement" consists of the dowser walking around the place with an object (ilke a pendulum, dubbed "biometer") and declaring the Bovis number. A number of 6,500 is considered "neutral", lower figures affect human "energies" negatively, higher numbers positively. Numbers above 10,000 are in the "ethereal range", considered Places of power. Aldous Leonard Huxley (July 26, 1894 – November 22, 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and essays Huxley functioned as an examiner and sometimes critic of social mores, norms and ideals. Huxley was a humanist but was also interested towards the end of his life in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. By the end of his life Huxley was considered, in some academic circles, a leader of modern thought and an intellectual of the highest rank[citation needed]. Early years Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England. He was the son of the writer and professional herbalist Leonard Huxley by his first wife, Julia Arnold; and grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, one of the most prominent English naturalists of the 19th century, a man known as "Darwin's Bulldog." His brother Julian Huxley was also a noted biologist. Huxley began his learning in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, then continued in a school named Hillside. His teacher was his mother who supervised him for several years until she became terminally ill. After Hillside, he was educated at Eton College. Huxley's mother died in 1908, when he was fourteen. Three years later he suffered an illness (keratitis punctata) which "left [him] practically blind for two to three years".[1] Aldous's near-blindness disqualified him from service in World War I. Once his eyesight recovered sufficiently, he was able to study English literature at Balliol College, Oxford. He graduated in 1916 with First Class Honours. Following his education at Balliol, Huxley was financially indebted to his father and had to earn a living. He taught French for a year at Eton, where Eric Blair (later known by the pen name George Orwell) was among his pupils, but was remembered by another as an incompetent and hopeless teacher who couldn’t keep discipline. Nevertheless, Blair and others were impressed by his use of words. [2] For a short while in 1918, he was employed acquiring provisions at the Air Ministry. But never desiring a career in administration (or in business), Huxley's lack of inherited means propelled him into applied literary work. Huxley completed his first (unpublished) novel at the age of seventeen and began writing seriously in his early twenties. His earlier work includes important novels on the dehumanizing aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, and on pacifist themes (for example, Eyeless in Gaza). In Brave New World Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. The religions of our day have been replaced by the worship of Henry Ford, marking their calendars in the year of Ford beginning in 1908 when he released his first automobile. In this book Huxley warns us about the side effects of a utopia society. Huxley was strongly influenced by F. Matthias Alexander and included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza. Middle years During World War I, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. Here he met several Bloomsbury figures including D.H. Lawrence, Bertrand Russell and Clive Bell. Later, in Crome Yellow (1921) he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. In 1919 he married Maria Nijs, a Belgian woman he had met at Garsington. They had one child, Matthew Huxley (1920–2005), who had a career as an epidemiologist. In 1937, Huxley moved to Hollywood, California with his wife Maria and friend Gerald Heard. At this time Huxley wrote Ends and Means; in this work he explores the fact that although most people in modern civilization agree that they want a world of 'liberty, peace, justice, and brotherly love', they have not been able to agree on how to achieve it. Heard introduced Huxley to Vedanta, meditation and vegetarianism through the principle of ahimsa. In 1938 Huxley befriended J. Krishnamurti, whose teachings he greatly admired. He also became a Vedantist in the circle of Swami Prabhavananda, and introduced Christopher Isherwood to this circle. Not long after, Huxley wrote his book on widely held spiritual values and ideas, The Perennial Philosophy, which discussed teachings of the world's great mystics. During this period he was also able to tap into some Hollywood income using his writing skills, thanks to an introduction into the business by his friend Anita Loos, the prolific novelist and screenwriter. He received screen credit for Pride and Prejudice, 1940, and was paid for his work on a number of other films. However, his experience in Hollywood was not a success. When he wrote a synopsis of Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney rejected it on the grounds that 'he could only understand every third word'. Huxley's leisurely development of ideas, it seemed, was not suitable for the movie moguls, who demanded fast, dynamic dialogue above all else. For most of his life since the illness in his teens which left Huxley nearly blind, his eyesight was poor (despite the partial recovery which had enabled him to study at Oxford). Around 1939 Huxley encountered the Bates Method for Natural Vision Improvement and a teacher (Margaret Corbett) who was able to teach him in the method. In 1940, relocating from Hollywood to a forty-acre ranchito in the high desert hamlet of Llano, in northernmost Los Angeles County, Huxley claimed his sight improved dramatically as a result of using the Bates Method, particularly utilizing the extreme and pure natural lighting of the Southwestern American desert. He reported that for the first time in over 25 years, he was able to read without spectacles and without strain. He even tried driving a car along the dirt road beside the ranch. He wrote a book about his successes with the Bates Method, The Art of Seeing which was published in 1942 (US), 1943 (UK). However, while Huxley undoubtedly believed his vision had improved, other evidence suggests that Huxley may have been fooling himself. In 1952 Bennett Cerf was present when Huxley spoke at a Hollywood banquet, wearing no glasses and apparently reading his paper from the lectern without difficulty: "Then suddenly he faltered—and the truth became obvious. He wasn't reading his address—he had learned it by heart. To refresh his memory he brought it closer and closer to his eyes. When it was only an inch away he still couldn't read it, and had to fish for a magnifying glass in his pocket to make the typing visible to him. It was an agonizing moment."[3] (p. 241: quotes Bennett Cerf re Huxley's vision in 1952) On 21 October 1949 Huxley wrote to George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, congratulating Orwell on "how fine and how profoundly important the book is". His letter to Orwell contained the prediction that: "Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience".[4](p. 605:quotes Aldous Huxley re Huxley's opinions in 1949 about the technologies to be employed by governments) Later years After World War II Huxley applied for United States citizenship, but was denied because he would not say he would take up arms to defend America. Nevertheless he remained in the United States and in 1959 he turned down an offer of a Knight Bachelor by the Macmillan government. During the 1950s, Huxley's interest in the field of psychical research grew keener and his later works are strongly influenced by both mysticism and his experiences with the psychedelic drug mescaline, to which he was introduced by the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in 1953. Indeed Huxley was a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use "in a search for enlightenment", famously taking 100 micrograms of LSD as he lay dying. His psychedelic drug experiences are described in the essays The Doors of Perception (the title deriving from some lines in the book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake) and Heaven and Hell. The title of the former became the inspiration for the naming of the rock band, The Doors. Some of his writings on psychedelics became frequent reading among early hippies. In 1955 Huxley's wife, Maria, died of breast cancer and in 1956 he remarried, to Laura Archera, who was herself an author and who wrote a biography of Huxley. In 1960, Huxley himself was diagnosed with cancer and, in the years that followed, with his health deteriorating, he wrote the utopian novel Island, and gave lectures on "Human Potentialities" at the Esalen institute which were foundational to the forming of the Human Potential Movement. On his deathbed, unable to speak, Huxley made a written request to his wife for "LSD, 100 µg, i.m.". According to her account of his death (in her book This Timeless Moment), she obliged with an injection at 11:45 am and another a couple of hours later. He died peacefully at 5:21 pm that afternoon, November 22, 1963. Media coverage of his death was overshadowed by news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred on the same day, as did the death of the Irish author C. S. Lewis. Literary themes Crome Yellow (1921) attacks Victorian and Edwardian social principles which led to World War I and its terrible aftermath. Together with Huxley's second novel, Antic Hay (1923), the book expresses much of the mood of disenchantment of the early 1920s. It was intended to reflect, as Huxley stated in a letter to his father, "the life and opinions of an age which has seen the violent disruption of almost all the standards, conventions and values current in the present epoch." Huxley's reputation for iconoclasm and emancipation grew. He was condemned for his explicit discussion of sex and free thought in his fiction. Antic Hay, for example, was burned in Cairo and in the years that followed many of Huxley's books were received with disapproval or banned at one time or another (similar to D.H. Lawrence's). Huxley, however, said that a novel should be full of interesting opinions and arresting ideas, describing his aim as a novelist as being 'to arrive, technically, at a perfect fusion of the novel and the essay'; and with Point Counter Point (1928), Huxley wrote his first true 'novel of ideas', the type of thought-provoking fiction with which he is now associated. One of his main ideas was pessimism about the cultural future of society, a pessimism which sprang largely from his visit to the United States between September 1925 and June 1926. He recounted his experiences in Jesting Pilate (1926): 'The thing which is happening in America is a revaluation of values, a radical alteration (for the worse) of established standards', and it was soon after this visit that he conceived the idea of writing a satire of what he had encountered.".[5] A widespread fear of Americanization had already existed in Europe since the mid-nineteenth century and Brave New World (1932) can be read as Huxley's support of it. His novel - along with Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, helped form the anti-utopian or dystopian tradition in literature and has become synonymous with a nightmarish future world in which the human spirit is subject to conditioning and control. He devoted his time at his small house at Llano in the Mojave Desert, Southern California to a life of contemplation, mysticism and experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs. His suggestions in The Doors of Perception (1954) that mescalin and lysergic acid were 'drugs of unique distinction' which should be exploited for the 'supernaturally brilliant' visionary experience they offered provoked even more outrage than his passionate defence of the Bates method in The Art of Seeing (1942). However, the book went on to become a cult text for the beat generation and the psychedelic Sixties (Huxley was to appear on the sleeve of the Beatles' 'Sergeant Pepper' album). His last novel, Island, was published in 1962, the year after his Los Angeles home and most of his personal effects had been destroyed in a fire which Huxley said left him 'a man without possessions and without a past'. Films Notable works include the original screenplay for Disney's animated Alice in Wonderland (which was rejected because it was too literary[6]), two productions of Brave New World, one of Point Counter Point, one of Eyeless in Gaza, and one of Ape and Essence. He was one of the screenwriters for the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice and co-authored the screenplay for the 1944 version of Jane Eyre with John Houseman. Director Ken Russell's 1971 film The Devils, starring Vanessa Redgrave, is adapted from Huxley's The Devils of Loudun, and a 1990 made-for-television film adaptation of Brave New World was directed by Burt Brinckeroffer. Quotations Wikiquote has a collection of quotations re. Aldous Huxley ▪ On truth: "Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects... totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations." ▪ On psychological totalitarianism [1] (1959): "And it seems to me perfectly in the cards that there will be within the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing … a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods." ▪ On social organizations: "One of the many reasons for the bewildering and tragic character of human existence is the fact that social organization is at once necessary and fatal. Men are forever creating such organizations for their own convenience and forever finding themselves the victims of their home-made monsters." ▪ On heroin [2]: "Who lives longer: the man who takes heroin for two years and dies, or the man who lives on roast beef, water, and potatoes till ninety-five? One passes his twenty-four months in eternity. All the years of the beef-eater are lived only in time." ▪ On words: "Words form the thread on which we string our experiences." ▪ On experience: "Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." – Texts and Pretexts, 1932 ▪ After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.- Music at Night, 1931 ▪ "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." ▪ "Liberty? Why it doesn't exist. There is no liberty in this world, just gilded cages." Antic Hay, 1923 ▪ "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that History has to teach." Carlos Castañeda (December 25, 1925 (?) – April 27, 1998) was the author of a series of books that purport to describe his training in traditional Mesoamerican shamanism, which he referred to as a form of sorcery. The books and Castaneda, who rarely spoke in public about his work, have been controversial for many years. Supporters claim the books are either true or at least valuable works of philosophy and descriptions of practices which enable an increased awareness. Critics claim the books are shams, works of fiction, and not empirically verifiable works of anthropology as claimed. In his books, Castaneda narrates in first person the events leading to and ensuing after his meeting a Yaqui shaman named don Juan Matus in 1960. Castaneda's experiences with don Juan allegedly inspired the works for which he is known. He claimed to have inherited from don Juan the position of nagual, or leader of a party of seers. He also used the term "nagual" to signify that part of perception which is in the realm of the unknown yet still reachable by man, implying that, for his party of seers, don Juan was a connection in some way to that unknown. Castaneda often referred to this unknown realm as nonordinary reality, which indicated that this realm was indeed a reality, but radically different from the ordinary reality experienced by human beings. Nagual has been used by anthropologists to mean a shaman or sorcerer who is capable of shapeshifting into an animal form, and/or, metaphorically, to "shift" into another form through Toltec magic rituals, shamanism and experiences with psychoactive drugs (e.g., peyote and jimson weed).[1] Carlos Castaneda's works have sold more than 8 million copies in 17 languages. Oddly enough, even though purportedly the first four books were originally written in Spanish, a translator was needed in order to produce their Spanish editions[citation needed]. Biography Castaneda claimed to have been born in São Paulo, Brazil on Christmas Day in 1931. Immigration records, however, indicate that he was born six years earlier in Cajamarca, Perú. Castaneda also claimed that "Castaneda" was an adopted name, but records show that it was given by his mother Susana Castañeda Navoa. His surname appears with the Ñ in many Hispanic dictionaries, even though his famous published works display an anglicised version. He moved to the United States in the early 1950s and became a naturalized citizen in 1957. He was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (B.A. 1962; Ph.D. 1970).[citation needed] Castaneda wrote twelve books and several academic articles detailing his experiences with the Yaqui Indians indigenous to parts of Central Mexico. His first three books, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, A Separate Reality and Journey to Ixtlan were written while Castaneda was an anthropology student at UCLA. Castaneda wrote these books as if they were his research log describing his apprenticeship with a traditional shaman identified as don Juan Matus. Castaneda was awarded his bachelor's and doctoral degrees for the work described in these books. His writings have been criticized by academics, and are seen as highly suspect in terms of strict anthropological fieldwork. Many have tried to corroborate Castaneda’s stories with his own personal history and that of his fellow apprentices. Considering that Castaneda described, as part of his efforts to follow the precepts he learned from the old nagual, don Juan Matus, a personal effort to erase his own personal history, a lack of corroboration from others is not surprising. Indeed, to this day, the facts relating to his birth place and age and the nature of his death [some reports state he died of liver cancer, which is also uncorroborated] remain controversial. Contradictory evidence suggests Castaneda wrote in the traditional allegorical style of the storyteller (ethnopoetics) common to many native Indian cultures. Perhaps the most highly contested aspects of his work are the descriptions of the use of psychotropic plants as a means to induce altered states of awareness. In Castaneda's first two books, he describes the Yaqui way of knowledge requiring the use of powerful indigenous plants, such as peyote and datura. In his third book, Journey to Ixtlan, he reverses his emphasis on 'power plants'. He states that Don Juan used them on Castaneda to demonstrate that experiences outside those known in day-to-day life are real and tangible. Castaneda later disavowed all use of drugs for these purposes. He stated that they could inalterably damage the luminous ball of energy emanations from the body, as well as the physical body.[citation needed]. In Journey to Ixtlan, the third book in the series, he wrote: My perception of the world through the effects of those psychotropics had been so bizarre and impressive that I was forced to assume that such states were the only avenue to communicating and learning what don Juan was attempting to teach me. That assumption was erroneous. Castaneda was a popular enough phenomenon for Time magazine to do a cover article on Castaneda on March 5, 1973 (Vol. 101 No. 10). His fourth book, Tales of Power, ended with Castaneda leaping off a cliff into an abyss, marking his graduation from disciple to man of knowledge (actually a leap from the tonal into the nagual, or unknown). Some writers thought this must necessarily mark the end of his series. They were very surprised to see he continued to produce further books. Despite an increasingly critical reception Castaneda continued to be very popular with the reading public. Twelve books by Castaneda have been published, and three videos released. In 1997 Castaneda sued his ex-wife, Margaret Runyan Castaneda, over her book, A Magical Journey with Carlos Castaneda; but this was dropped when Castaneda died. Death Castaneda purportedly died on April 27, 1998 from liver cancer in Los Angeles. Little is known about his death. There was no public service, Castaneda was apparently cremated and the ashes were sent to Mexico. Journalist Robert Marshall, writing for Salon states that Castaneda did indeed die in 1998 from liver cancer and was cremated by a Culver City mortuary. Mysteriously, a number of women from his inner circle vanished shortly after and are presumed dead from a planned suicide. Only one of these women has been found. The remains of Patricia Partin, sometimes referred to by Castaneda as Blue Scout, Nury Alexander and/or Claude, were found in 2004 near where her abandoned car had been discovered a few weeks after Castaneda's death in the spring of 1998. Her remains were in a condition requiring DNA identification, which was made in 2006. The other women remain missing, and are presumed to be dead.[2] Works The nine popular works (as opposed to the academic or scholarly works) of Carlos Castaneda are organized into three sets of four, where each set corresponds to a Toltec mastery: the mastery of awareness, the mastery of transformation, and the mastery of intent.[citation needed] For each mastery there is also a compendium that describes essential teachings from the overall body of work. The three compendiums were published posthumously. Thus, each mastery is described in four works: three works presented in story form and one work compiled as a cross-set reference: The Mastery of Awareness The Mastery of Awareness entails the re-emphasis of awareness from the world of the tonal (every day objects) to the world of the nagual (spirit). During this stage of development the warrior-traveler endeavors to minimize self importance, and to find and store power. First and foremost, the student is encouraged to take action and assume responsibility for her or his life. ▪ The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) ▪ A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (1971) ▪ Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan (1972) ▪ Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico (compilation) (1998) The Mastery of Transformation During The Mastery of Transformation the warrior-traveler endeavors to cleanse and retrieve energy and to hone his only link to spirit, the intuition. The warrior-traveler becomes impeccable by empirically testing this connection and eventually banishing all doubts, accepting her or his fate, and committing to follow a path with heart. ▪ Tales of Power (1975) ▪ The Second Ring of Power (1977) ▪ The Eagle's Gift (1981) ▪ The Active Side of Infinity (compilation) (1999) The Mastery of Intent Mastery of Intent – Once the warrior-traveler has accumulated enough surplus energy, enough personal power, the dormant second attention is activated. Dreaming becomes possible. The warrior-traveler maintains impeccability, walks the path with heart, and waits for an opening to freedom. ▪ The Fire from Within (1984) ▪ The Power of Silence: Further Lessons of Don Juan (1987) ▪ The Art of Dreaming (1993) ▪ The Wheel Of Time : The Shamans Of Mexico (compilation)(2000) Ideas Castaneda's works elucidate the mystical world view expounded by Don Juan Matus. The appeal of Don Juan's philosophy might be summed up in a quote by Don Juan from Castaneda's first book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge: For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length. And there I travel—looking, looking, breathlessly. Don Juan's teachings are reminiscent of various mystical traditions and supernatural beliefs, and include many practices that purport to focus one's energy and awareness into a "second attention," leading to higher consciousness and views of non-ordinary reality outside the bounds of everyday reality. In The Art of Dreaming, Castaneda wrote that Don Juan contended that our ordinary world- ...which we believe to be unique and absolute, is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. He asserted that even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our own world is. (viii) According to Castaneda, the most significant fact in a person's life is one's dormant awareness. The primary goal of a warrior (also warrior-traveler) is to elevate awareness. To increase awareness in this way requires all of the discipline that constitutes a "warrior's" way of life. Don Juan often used a warrior metaphor, and he told Castaneda on August 20 1961, "A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. Going to knowledge or going to war in any other manner is a mistake, and whoever makes it will live to regret his steps" (The Teachings of Don Juan, 43). Sufficient personal power leads to the mastery of Intent and awareness. Such mastery is chiefly the controlled movement of what is known as the assemblage point, a center of a bundle or cocoon of energy emanations, called the Eagle's emanations, emerging from the body. When we are young, our luminous cocoon is not yet rigid and the assemblage point flows fluidly. Humans' cocoons are intersected by filaments of awareness, producing perception, but as people grow and live in ordinary existence, they concretize only a small bundle of emanations, which becomes their perceived reality (we are "energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world," as noted above). Excessive attention on only a small area this way limits awareness, which hardens into a narrow world view that excludes reality outside of normal awareness—non-ordinary reality. Ultimately, Castaneda argues, everything we perceive, feel and how we act is determined by the position of the assemblage point. Conscious movement of the assemblage point permits perception of the world in different ways (non-ordinary reality). The goal of the warrior is to achieve totality of the self by illuminating all the Eagle’s emanations within the cocoon at once and aligning them with the greater whole of existence and experience. Small movements lead to small changes in perception and large movements to radical changes. Ultimately, most adults can only move or shift their assemblage point in dreams, by way of drug use, love, hunger, fever, exhaustion, through inner silence, or as is preferred, through Intent of awareness. The most straightforward or common form of movement of the assemblage point is achieved through dreaming. Descriptions of dreaming in Castaneda's books and the varied techniques he employs to achieve mastery of awareness often resemble lucid dreaming. For example, as a first step in the mastery of awareness and intent, don Juan recommended that Castaneda try the simple exercise of looking at his hands while he was dreaming, and from there, build up his ability to focus his attention while dreaming. In Journey to Ixtlan, a friend of don Juan's, don Genaro, warns that “intent is not intention.” Our energy body, as a metaphysical entity, is composed of Intent. Through techniques such as stalking the self (recapitulation of one's life experience, erasing personal history and developing the warrior’s mood), dreaming (setting up dreaming, dreaming and ascension) and handling Intent (changing awareness, stopping the world, collapsing the world), the warrior aims at regaining luminosity that has been lost through the ordinary awareness of everyday life, and ultimately to control Intent. Brief description of books 1 The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqui Way of Knowledge - description of plant allies and way towards knowledge: mescalito (peyote) - the protector of man; seeing beings as liquid colors; mushrooms- learning to handle, to fly, and to perceive one's animal form; datura- female spirit, hard to handle, gives strength, lengthy procedure. This book was unique in the series in that the last part included a detailed scholarly "Structural Analysis" of Don Juan's teachings. 2 A Separate Reality - Discusses the ideas of will, controlled folly, and seeing (as opposed to looking) as tools a warrior uses to be a man/person of knowledge. 3 Journey to Ixtlan - lessons about the warrior's way, or stopping the world, routines, personal history, self-importance, death as an advisor, not-doing, dreaming 4 Tales of Power - description of points of perception in body or luminous cocoon, tonal (1st attention, known, right side awareness) and nagual (2nd attention, unknown, left side awareness), dreaming double 5 The Second Ring of Power - describes events after Don Juan's departure, experiences with the women warriors of the original nagual's party, 2nd attention (second ring of power), losing "human 'form'", human mold, dreaming, gazing 6 The Eagle's Gift - description of the force that creates, destroys, and rules the universe (or at least the 48 bands of earth), also source of emanations themselves, description of the eagle's command to man, the rule of the nagual, various levels of petty tyrants, and way towards freedom, self-stalking and dreaming, power spots. Note that Don Juan described the energy-structure/entity called eagle a thing that is not what we call an eagle, but rather a thing so vast as to be incomprehensible. 7 The Fire From Within - step by step (actually chapter by chapter) elucidation of the mastery of awareness or the new seers' knowledge: everything is energy (the Eagle's emanations or luminous emanations), the luminous cocoon and assemblage point (glow of awareness), the known (1st attention or tonal), unknown (2nd attention or nagual), unknowable (outside luminous cocoon), petty tyrants as a way to move assemblage point and foster warrior's way, twin worlds of organic and inorganic (more correctly, matter-beings and non-matter-bound beings -- carbon-based/not carbon based wasn't what was meant), shifting the assemblage point and other bands of awareness, bundles of emanations that are the basis for the different species source of awareness and forms/molds, the human mold, the rolling force or tumbler (that hits luminous cocoon), the death defier, self-stalking, intent, and dreaming. 8 The Power of Silence - stories about essentially the mastery of intent, set into what were called sorcery cores. 9 The Art of Dreaming - steps to mastering control and consciousness of dreams. 10 Magical Passes - descriptions with photos of sorcery-based physical movements intended to increase well-being, a system which became known as Tensegrity 11 The Active Side of Infinity - recapitulation, making a log of significant life events (as seen by the spirit) 12 The Wheel of Time - recollection of the mood in which each previous book was written; significant quotes from each previous book Criticism Octavio Paz wrote: "I am more interested about Castaneda's work rather than the stories behind his personality. Who cares if he was from Brazil or Peru? Who cares if he really lived with the Yaquis, Mazatecs or Huichol indians? Who cares if Don Juan & Don Genaro really existed? This is merely 'poor thinking'. What I am interested on is about Castaneda's work: Ideas, philosophy, paradigms, etc. If Castaneda's books are fiction, great, then they are the best fiction books I have ever read." Octavio Paz wrote in 1973: 'I may say: The class 'Anthropologist' is not included in the class 'poet' but in some rare cases, one of those is named Carlos Castaneda'. In net, you guys are wasting a life trying to find the charlatan instead of focusing on his work. According to Robert J. Wallis in his 2003 book Shamans/Neo-Shamans: Contested Ecstasies, Alternative Archaeologies, and Contemporary Pagans At first, and with the backing of academic qualifications and the UCLA anthropological department, Castaneda’s work was critically acclaimed. Notable old-school American anthropologists like Edward Spicer (1969) and Edmund Leach (1969) praised Castaneda, alongside more alternative and young anthropologists such as Peter Furst, Barbara Myerhoff and Michael Harner. The authenticity of Don Juan was accepted for six years, until Richard de Mille and Daniel Noel both published their critical exposés of the Don Juan books in 1976 (De Mille produced a further edited volume in 1980). Most anthropologists had been convinced of Castaneda’s authenticity until then - indeed, they had had little reason to question it - but De Mille’s meticulous analysis, in particular, debunked Castaneda’s work. Beneath the veneer of anthropological fact stood huge discrepancies in the data: the books ‘contradict one another in details of time, location, sequence, and description of events’ (Schultz in Clifton 1989:45). There are possible published sources for almost everything Carlos wrote (see especially Beals 1978), and at least one encounter is ethnographic plagiarism: Ramon Medina, a Huichol shaman-informant to Myerhoff (1974), displayed superhuman acrobatic feats at a waterfall and, according to Myerhoff, in the presence of Castaneda (Fikes 1993). Then, in A Separate Reality, Don Juan’s friend Don Genaro makes a similar leap over a waterfall with the aid of supernatural power. In addition to these inconsistencies, various authors suggest aspects of the Sonoran desert Carlos describes are environmentally implausible, and, the ‘Yaqui shamanism’ he divulges is not Yaqui at all but a synthesis of shamanisms from elsewhere (e.g. Beals 1978). As early as 1973, a Time Magazine article had questioned the more worldly claim to importance of Castaneda's books: to wit, that they are anthropology, a specific and truthful account of an aspect of Mexican Indian culture as shown by the speech and actions of one person, a shaman named Juan Matus. That proof hinges on the credibility of Don Juan as a being and Carlos Castaneda as a witness. Yet there is no corroboration beyond Castaneda's writings that Don Juan did what he is said to have done, and very little that he exists at all. But serious analytical criticism of Castaneda's books did not emerge until 1976 when Richard de Mille published Castaneda's Journey: The Power and the Allegory, in which he argues: "Logical or chronological errors in the narrative constitute the best evidence that Castaneda's books are works of fiction. If no one has discovered these errors before, the reason must be that no one has listed the events of the first three books in sequence. Once that has been done, the errors are unmistakable."[3] The most damning instance of this, according to de Mille, is Castaneda's relations with a witch named 'la Catalina.' "In October 1965 Carlos-One went through an ordeal so unexpected and disturbing that he sadly withdrew from his apprenticeship and avoided Don Juan for more than two years. The ordeal was a night-long confrontation with a powerful enemy who had assumed don Juan's bodily form though not his accustomed gait or speech.... Curiously, when Carlos-One begged don Juan to explain what had happened during the "special" event, 'the conversation began with speculations about the identity of a female person' (Castaneda's emphasis) who had snatched Carlos's soul and borrowed don Juan's form. The lady was not named, and the reader was left to wonder whether the galvanizing impersonatress was in fact a certain 'fiendish witch' called "la Catalina," who had been mentioned briefly on 23 November 1961, four years earlier. At that time don Juan had said he was harboring certain plans for finishing her off, about which he would tell Carlos-One 'someday.' Poor Carlos-One had to wait ten years to learn about those plans in Tales of Power, but Table 2 reveals that Carlos-Two, traveling a parallel time track, carried out those plans with moderate success in the fall of 1962, when he met the magic lady six times in a row, once as a marauding but indistinct blackbird, once as a sailing silhouette, and four times face to face "in all her magnificent evil splendor" as a beautiful but terrifying young woman. Reacting to those encounters, he felt his ears bursting, his throat choking, his hands frozen, his body chilled, and his arms and legs rigid. The hair on his body literally stood on end. He shrieked and fell down to the ground. He was paralyzed. He began to run. And he lost his power of speech. Here we are asked to believe that a flesh-and-blood anthropologist who enjoyed this tumultuous supernatural affair with a glorious witch in 1962 did not recall her name in 1965, did not make the connection between the last meeting and the previous six when sorting through his field notes in the safety of his apartment, did not put it all together when naming her in his first book, but found the memory "as vivid as if it had just happened" on 22 May 1968, a few pages into his second book. Even if we could credit this uncharacteristic amnesia, we would still have to account for don Juan's equal failure to name 'la Catalina' in 1965. The puzzle is easily solved by switching from the factual to the fictive model. The abrupt, unsatisfying ending to The Teachings is not a symptom of ethnographic battle fatigue, for our campaigner has already survived six such battles with colors flying. It is only a serialist's preparation for the next episode, a cliffhanger that makes us hungry for another book. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) ISBN 0-520-21757-8 A Separate Reality: Further Conversations with Don Juan (1971) ISBN 0-671-73249-8 Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan (1972) ISBN 0-671-73246-3 Tales of Power (1975) ISBN 0-671-73252-8 The Second Ring of Power (1977) ISBN 0-671-73247-1 The Eagle's Gift (1981) ISBN 0-671-73251-X The Fire from Within (1984) ISBN 0-671-73250-1 The Power of Silence: Further Lessons of Don Juan (1987) ISBN 0-671-73248-X The Art of Dreaming (1993) ISBN 0-06-092554-X Readers of Infinity: A Journal of Applied Hermeneutics (1996) Number 1/2/3/4 Magical Passes: The Practical Wisdom of the Shamans of Ancient Mexico (1998) ISBN 0-06-092882-4 The Active Side of Infinity (1999) ISBN 0-06-092960-X The Wheel Of Time : The Shamans Of Mexico (2000) ISBN 0-14-019604-8 Books by other authors Florinda Donner[-Grau]. Shabono: A Visit to a Remote and Magical World in the South American Rain Forest by (1992) ISBN 0-06-250242-5 This book was originally published before Witch's Dream in 1985. Florinda Donner-Grau. The Witch's Dream. 1st edition 1985 ISBN 0-671-55198-1; current re-print(1997) ISBN 0-14-019531-9 Florinda Donner-Grau. Being-In-Dreaming: An Initiation into the Sorcerers' World (1992) ISBN 0-06-250192-5 Taisha Abelar. The Sorcerer's Crossing. 1st hardback edition 1992. 1993 edition ISBN 0-14-019366-9 Victor Sanchez. The Teachings of Don Carlos ISBN 1-879181-23-1 Richard de Mille. Castaneda’s journey : the power and the allegory (1976)- ISBN 0884960676 - Capra Press, Santa Barbara, CA. Richard de Mille (ed.). The Don Juan Papers: Further Castaneda Controversies (1980) - ISBN 0915520257 - Ross-Erikson, Santa Barbara, CA. / (1990) ISBN 0534121500 Wadsworth Pub. Co., Belmont, CA. Jay Courtney Fikes. Carlos Castaneda: Academic Opportunism and the Psychedelic Sixties (1993) Daniel C. Noel The Soul of Shamanism: Western Fantasies, Imaginal Realities (New York: Continuum, 1997) Robert J. Wallis. Shamans/neo-Shamans: Ecstasy, Alternative Archaeologies and Contemporary Pagans. London: Routledge, 2003. ISBN 0-415-30203-X Amy Wallace. The Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda (2003) Filming Castaneda: The Hunt for Magic and Reason" by Gaby Geuter (2004) ISBN 1-4140-4612-X Kelley, Jane Holden. YAQUI WOMEN: Contemporary Life Histories (1997) Edward Plotkin The Four Yogas Of Enlightenment: Guide To Don Juan's Nagualism & Esoteric Buddhism (2002) ISBN 0-9720879-0-7 Armando Torres Encounters with the Nagual: Conversations with Carlos Castaneda (2002) Spanish (2004) English ISBN 968-5671-04-4 Neville Goddard. "Awakened Imagination" by heavily influenced the work of Castaneda.[citation needed] Alice Kehoe, Shamans and Religion: An Anthropoligical Exploration in Critical Thinking. 2000. London: Waveland Press. ISBN 1-57766-162-1 Graham Kane: Toltec Dreamer: A Collection of Memorable Events from the life of a Man-of-Action (2002 UK) Little Big Press. ISBN 0-9543630-0-0 Martin Goodman: I was Carlos Castaneda: The Afterlife Dialogues (2001 New York) Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80763-3 Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. (b. 1937) is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness), as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, and for his research in scientific parapsychology. His two classic books, Altered States of Consciousness (1969) and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975), became widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology. Charles Tart was born in 1937 and grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. He was active in amateur radio and worked as a radio engineer (with a First Class Radiotelephone License from the Federal Communications Commission) while a teenager. Tart studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before electing to become a psychologist. He received his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963, and then received postdoctoral training in hypnosis research with Professor Ernest R. Hilgard at Stanford University. He is currently (2005) a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Palo Alto, California) and a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (Sausalito, California), as well as Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, where he served for 28 years. He was the first holder of the Bigelow Chair of Consciousness Studies at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and has served as a Visiting Professor in East-West Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, as an Instructor in Psychiatry at the School of Medicine of the University of Virginia, and a consultant on government funded parapsychological research at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International). The Pigasus Awards , which seek to expose parapsychological fraud, awarded Tart in 1981 for discovering that the further in the future events are, the more difficult it is to predict them. As well as a laboratory researcher, Tart has been a student of the Japanese martial art of Aikido (in which he holds a black belt), of meditation, of Gurdjieff's work, of Buddhism, and of other psychological and spiritual growth disciplines. His primary goal is to build bridges between the scientific and spiritual communities, and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches for knowing the world and for personal and social growth. Altered States of Consciousness (1969), editor. ISBN 0-471-84560-4 Transpersonal Psychologies (1975) On Being Stoned: A Psychological Study of Marijuana Intoxication (1971) States of Consciousness (1975) Symposium on Consciousness (1975) With P. Lee, R. Ornstein, D. Galin & A. Deikman Learning to Use Extrasensory Perception (1976) Psi: Scientific Studies of the Psychic Realm (1977) Mind at Large: Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Symposia on the Nature of Extrasensory Perception (1979, with Harold E. Puthoff & Russel Targ) Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential (1986) Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities (1989) Living the Mindful Life (1994). Body Mind Spirit: Exploring the Parapsychology of Spirituality (1997). Examines the relationship between parapsychological abilities and human's spiritual nature, and was voted the March 1998 best metaphysical book selection of Amazon.Com. Six Studies of Out-of-Body Experiences (1998). [1] Mind Science: Meditation Training for Practical People (2001). States of Consciousness (2001). ISBN 0-595-15196-5 He has had more than 250 articles published in professional journals and books, including lead articles in such scientific journals as Science and Nature. Claudio Naranjo Is a Chilean-born anthropologist and psychiatrist who is noted for his inter-disciplinary work with mind-altering substances as well as the Enneagram of Personality and Gestalt psychotherapy. In the 1960s Dr Naranjo worked directly with Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt therapy. Dr Naranjo is considered a major figure in the Human Potential Movement and the Fourth Way movement. Dr Naranjo suggests that the ideal feeling enhancer will "elicit an expansion of emotional awareness without interfering with thinking". Given the mood-congruence of thought this aspiration may in the end prove unattainable. But the development of safer "soul medicines" to deepen and optimise our emotional repertoire promises to enrich human life in decades to come. Dr Naranjo was the first author to publish on the use of ibogaine in psychotherapy[1]. Dr Naranjo is also founder of the EduSAT program for educators which organizes periodic seminars on psychotherapeutic work using the Enneagram of Personality in the US, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Germany and Argentina. He currently lives in Berkeley, California. John Cunningham Lilly (January 6, 1915 – September 30, 2001) was an American physician, psychoanalyst and writer. He was a pioneer researcher into the nature of consciousness using as his principal tools the isolation tank, dolphin communication and psychedelic drugs, sometimes in combination. He was a prominent member of the Californian counterculture of scientists, mystics and thinkers that arose in the late 1960s and early 70s. Albert Hofmann, Gregory Bateson, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Werner Erhard, and Richard Feynman were all frequent visitors to his home. Career summary Lilly was a qualified physician and psychoanalyst. He made contributions in the fields of biophysics, neurophysiology, electronics, computer science, and neuroanatomy. He invented and promoted the use of the isolation tank as a means of sensory deprivation. He was also a pioneer in attempting interspecies communication between humans and dolphins. His eclectic career began as a conventional scientist doing research for universities and government. But as he followed his own inquiries, Lilly delved into what mainstream science considers fringe areas. An able publicist, he published many books and had two Hollywood movies based loosely on his work. His reputation enabled him to attract private funding for his more unconventional later work. He progressed ethically during his career from conventional and often invasive research (in which the mind under study was seen as a complex object), into an increasingly consensual peer to peer interactions with other beings, especially dolphins. Career history John Lilly was born on Jan. 6, 1915, in Saint Paul, Minnesota and showed an early interest in scientific experiment. He studied physics and biology at the California Institute of Technology, graduating in 1938. He studied medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and received a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. During World War II, he researched the physiology of high-altitude flying and invented instruments for measuring gas pressure. After the war he trained in psychoanalysis and at the University of Pennsylvania he began researching the physical structures of the brain and of its consciousness. In 1951 he published a paper showing how he could display patterns of brain electrical activity on a cathode ray display screen using electrodes he specially devised for insertion into a living brain. In 1953, he took a post studying neurophysiology with the US Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Corps. In 1954, following the desire to strip away outside stimuli from the mind/brain, he devised the first isolation tank, a dark soundproof tank of warm salt water in which subjects could float for long periods in sensory isolation. Dr. Lilly himself and a research colleague were the first to act as subjects in this research. His quest next took him to ask questions about the minds of other large-brained mammals and in the late 1950s he established a centre devoted to fostering human-dolphin communication; the Communication Research Institute on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. In the early 1960s, Dr. Lilly and co-workers published several papers reporting that dolphins could mimic human speech patterns. Subsequent investigations of dolphin cognition have generally, however, found it difficult to replicate his results. In the early sixties he was introduced to psychedelics like LSD and ketamine and began a series of experiments in which he took the psychedelic in an isolation tank and/or in the company of dolphins. These events are described in his books Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory and Experiments and The Centre of the Cyclone, both published in 1972. His career then took the turn of becoming something of a mix between scientist, mystic and writer, publishing 19 books in all, including notably The Centre of the Cyclone which describes his own LSD experiences and Man and Dolphin and The Mind of the Dolphin which describe his work with dolphins. In the mid and late 1970s he was an adviser to the then up and coming film maker George Lucas. In the 1980s he led a project which attempted to teach dolphins a computer-synthesised language. In the 1990s Lilly moved to the island of Maui in Hawaii, where he lived most of the remainder of his life. One of the most fundamental insights he found from his experiments is cited from his book Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: “ Such uses of one's own biocomputer as the above can teach one profound truths about one's self, one's capabilities. The resulting states of being, of consciousness, teach one the basic truth about one's own equipment as follows: In the province of the mind, what one believes to be true is true or becomes true, within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the mind, there are no limits. In the province of the mind is the region of one's models, of the alone self, of memory, of the metaprograms. What of the region which includes one's body, other's bodies? Here there are definite limits. In the network of bodies, one's own connected with others for bodily survival-procreation-creation, there is another kind of information: In the province of connected minds, what the network believes to be true, either is true or becomes true within certain limits to be found experientially and experimentally. These limits are further beliefs to be transcended. In the network's mind there are no limits. But, once again, the bodies of the network housing the minds, the ground on which they rest, the planet's surface, impose definite limits. These limits are to be found experientially and experimentally, agreed upon by special minds, and communicated to the network. The results are called consensus science.” Later vision Later in life, Dr. Lilly laid out the design for a future "communications laboratory" that would be a floating living room where humans and dolphins could chat as equals and where they would find a common language. He envisioned a time when all killing of whales and dolphins would cease, "not from a law being passed, but from each human understanding innately that these are ancient, sentient earth residents, with tremendous intelligence and enormous life force. Not someone to kill, but someone to learn from." Cultural references Dr. Lilly's work inspired two movies made without his direct involvement, The Day of the Dolphin, in 1973, in which the US Navy turns the animals into weapons, and Altered States, in 1980, in which scientists combining drugs and isolation tanks see reality dangerously unravel. Lilly and his tools on consciousness (isolation tank, dolphin communication, drugs) are mentioned in the anime Serial Experiments Lain. Lilly was also referenced in the 2001 song "Oz is Ever-Floating" by the eclectic rock group, Oysterhead, as well as British rock group, Kasabian, in their song, Cut Off on their self-titled album (2004). Lilly's sensory-deprivation tank is also mentioned in The Simpson's episode Make Room for Lisa, where Homer and Lisa have a float session, as well as the Treehouse of Horror segment that has dolphins taking over Earth. Also, although not credited, in the short story Johnny Mnemonic (and the eponymous movie), there is a dolphin on drugs in a tank that communicates with the Lo-Teks and performs a sort of mind-meld with the main character Johnny at the end of the film. Lilly is referenced in a song by Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects called Vitamin K Experience (A Homage To The Scientist/John Lilly) on the CD Sol Niger Within Laurie Anderson's CD The Ugly One with the Jewels features a song about Lilly: "John Lilly, the guy who says he can talk to dolphins, said he was in an aquarium and he was talking to a big whale who was swimming around and around in his tank. And the whale kept asking him questions telepathically. And one of the questions the whale kept asking was: do all oceans have walls?" Lilly's work was also part of the inspiration for the story of the Ecco the Dolphin games for the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis. Timothy Francis Leary, (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American writer, psychologist, advocate of psychedelic drug research and use, and one of the first people whose remains have been sent into space. As a 1960s counterculture icon, he is most famous as a proponent of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD. He coined and popularized the catch phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out." Early life Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out (Original Movie Soundtrack) Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, as an only child[1] and the son of an Irish American dentist who abandoned the family when Timothy was 13. He graduated from Springfield's Classical High School. Leary attended three different colleges and was disciplined at each.[1] He studied for two years at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. At West Point, due to an incident where he lied about smuggling liquor during a school field exercise, Leary was ceremoniously “silenced” by the entire corps of cadets and eventually forced to resign his commission[citation needed]. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Alabama in 1943. An obituary of Leary in the New York Times said he was a "discipline problem" there as well, and that he "finally earned his bachelor's degree in the U. S. Army during World War II"[1], when he served as a sergeant in the Medical Corps. He received a master's degree at Washington State University in 1946, and a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1950[2]. The title of Leary's Ph.D. dissertation was, "The Social Dimensions of Personality: Group Structure and Process." He went on to become an assistant professor at Berkeley (1950-1955), a director of psychiatric research at the Kaiser Family Foundation (1955-1958), and a lecturer in psychology at Harvard University (1959-1963). He was officially expelled from the faculty of Harvard University for failing to conduct his scheduled class lectures, however his contribution to the spreading popularity of then-legal psychedelic substances among Harvard students due to his research and other activities played a large part in the move to dismiss him. Leary's early work in psychology continued the exploration by pioneers such as Dr. Harry Stack Sullivan, Dr. Karen Horney, and others, of the importance of interpersonal forces to mental health. Dr. Leary specifically focused on how interpersonal process might be used to diagnose personality patterns or disorders. He developed a complex and respected interpersonal circumplex model, published in The Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality, that offered a means by which psychologists could use MMPI scores to quickly determine a respondent's characteristic interpersonal modes of reaction. It is a credit to the robustness of his ideas that circumplex models continue to figure prominently in interpersonal research. [3] In 1955 his first wife, Marianne, committed suicide, leaving him a single father with a son and daughter.[1] Leary later described these years disparagingly, writing that he had been "an anonymous institutional employee who drove to work each morning in a long line of commuter cars and drove home each night and drank martinis. . . like several million middle-class, liberal, intellectual robots."[citation needed] Psychedelic experiments and experiences On May 13, 1957, Life Magazine published an article by R. Gordon Wasson that documented (and popularized) the use of psilocybin mushrooms in the religious ceremony of the indigenous Mazatec people of Mexico.[3] Anthony Russo, a colleague of Leary's, had recently taken this psychedelic (or entheogen) Psilocybe mexicana during a trip to Mexico, and related the experience to Leary. In August 1960[4], Leary traveled to Cuernavaca, Mexico with Russo and tried psilocybin mushrooms for the first time, an experience that drastically altered the course of his life (Ram Dass Fierce Grace, 2001, Zeitgeist Video). In 1965 Leary commented that he "learned more about... (his) brain and its possibilities... (and) more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than... (he) had in the preceding fifteen years of studying doing [sic] research in psychology" (Ram Dass Fierce Grace, 2001, Zeitgeist Video). Upon his return to Harvard that fall Leary and his associates, notably Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass), began a research program known as the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The goal was to analyze the effects of psilocybin on human subjects (in this case, prisoners and later students of the Andover Newton Theological Seminary) using a synthesized version of the then-legal drug — one of two active compounds found in a wide variety of hallucinogenic mushrooms including Psilocybe mexicana. The compound was produced according to a recipe by research chemist Albert Hofmann of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. Leary argued that psychedelics, used with the right dosage, set and setting, and with the guidance of psychology professionals, could alter behavior in unprecedented and beneficial ways. The goals of Leary's research included finding better ways to treat alcoholism and to reform convicted criminals. Many of Leary's research participants reported profound mystical and spiritual experiences, which they claim permanently altered their lives in a very positive manner. According to Leary's autobiography Flashbacks they administered LSD to 300 professors, graduate students, writers and philosophers, and 75% of them reported it as being like a revelation to them and one of the most educational experiences of their lives. They also gave LSD to 200 clergymen, and 75% reported that they had the most religious experience of their lives. In the Concord Prison experiment, they administered psilocybin to prisoners, and after being guided through the trips by Leary and his associates, 36 prisoners allegedly turned their backs on crime. The normal recidivism rate of prisoners is about 80%, but of the subjects involved in the project about 80% did not return to prison. However, the results of this experiment have been largely contested by a follow-up study, citing several problems including differences in the length of time after release that the study group versus the control group were compared, and other methodology factors including the difference between subjects re-incarcerated for parole violations versus imprisoned for new crimes. This study concluded that only a statistically slight improvement could be shown (as opposed to the radical improvement originally reported). In his interview within the study, Leary expressed that the major lesson of the Concord Prison experiment was that the key to a long-term reduction in overall recidivism rates might be the combination of the pre-release administration of psilocybin-assisted group psychotherapy with a comprehensive post-release follow-up program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous groups to offer support to the released prisoners. The study concluded that whether a new program of psilocybin-assisted group psychotherapy and post-release programs would significantly reduce recidivism rates is an empirical question that deserves to be addressed within the context of a new experiment.[5] Leary and Alpert founded the International Foundation for Internal Freedom in 1962 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Around this time, their Harvard colleagues grew uneasy about their research, and about rumors and complaints (some by parents of students) that reached the university administration about alleged distribution of hallucinogens to their students.[citation needed] To further complicate matters, their research attracted a great deal of public attention; as a result, many people wanted to participate in the experiments but were unable to do so because of the high demand. In order to satisfy the curiosity of those who were turned away, a black market for psychedelics formed near the Harvard University Campus (Weil, 1963). According to biographer Robert Greenfield, in May of 1963 Leary and Alpert were dismissed from Harvard after college authorities alleged that undergraduates had shared in the researchers' drugs.[6] According to Andrew Weil, Leary was fired for not showing up to his classes (while Alpert was fired for allegedly giving psilocybin to an undergraduate in an off campus apartment) (Weil, 1963). This version is supported by the words of Harvard President Nathan M. Pusey who, regarding Leary's termination, released the following statement on May 27, 1963: "On May 6, 1963, the Harvard Corporation voted, because Timothy F. Leary, lecturer on clinical psychology, has failed to keep his classroom appointments and has absented himself from Cambridge without permission, to relieve him from further teaching duty and to terminate his salary as of April 30, 1963" (New York Times, 03/12/1966, p. 25). Leary's activities interested siblings Peggy, Billy and Tommy Hitchcock, heirs to the Mellon fortune, who in 1963 helped Leary and his associates acquire the use of a rambling mansion on an estate in the town of Millbrook (near Poughkeepsie, New York), where they continued their experiments.[6] Leary later wrote: "We saw ourselves as anthropologists from the twenty-first century inhabiting a time module set somewhere in the dark ages of the 1960s. On this space colony we were attempting to create a new paganism and a new dedication to life as art."[citation needed] Later the Millbrook estate was described as "the headquarters of Leary and gang for the better part of five years, a period filled with endless parties, epiphanies and breakdowns, emotional dramas of all sizes, and numerous raids and arrests, many of them led by the local assistant district attorney, G. Gordon Liddy".[6][citation needed] Others contest this characterization of the Millbrook estate as a citadel of debauchery. In his book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", Thomas Wolfe portrays Leary as only interested in research, and not using psychedelics merely for recreational purposes. According to "The Cryptic Trip" chapter of Wolfe's book, when the Merry Pranksters visit the residence, the Pranksters do not even see Leary who is enganged in a three day trip. Leary's group even refuses to give the Pranksters acid. In 1964, Leary co-authored a book with Alpert and Ralph Metzner called The Psychedelic Experience based upon the Tibetan Book of the Dead. In it he writes: “A psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity. Such experiences of enlarged consciousness can occur in a variety of ways: sensory deprivation, yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, religious or aesthetic ecstasies, or spontaneously. Most recently they have become available to anyone through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, etc. Of course, the drug does not produce the transcendent experience. It merely acts as a chemical key - it opens the mind, frees the nervous system of its ordinary patterns and structures.” Repeated FBI raids ended the Millbrook era. Regarding a 1966 raid by G. Gordon Liddy, Leary told author and Prankster Paul Krassner, "He was a government agent entering our bedroom at midnight. We had every right to shoot him. But I've never owned a weapon in my life. I have never had and never will have a gun around." On September 19, 1966, Leary founded the League for Spiritual Discovery, a religion declaring LSD as its holy sacrament, in part as an unsuccessful attempt to maintain legal status for the use of LSD and other psychedelics for the religion's adherents, based on a "freedom of religion" argument. (Although The Brotherhood of Eternal Love would subsequently consider Leary their spiritual leader, The Brotherhood did not evolve out of IFIF.) On October 6, 1966, LSD was made illegal, and controlled so strictly that not only was possession and recreational use criminalized, but all legal scientific research programs on the drug in the U.S.A. were shut down as well. During late 1966 and early 1967, Leary toured college campuses presenting a multi-media performance called "The Death of the Mind", which attempted to artistically replicate the LSD experience. Leary said the League for Spiritual Discovery was limited to 360 members and was already at its membership limit, but he encouraged others to form their own psychedelic religions. He published a pamphlet in 1967 called Start Your Own Religion to encourage people to do so (see below under "writings"). On January 14, 1967, Leary spoke at the Human Be-In, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and uttered his famous phrase, "Turn on, tune in, drop out." The phrase came to him in the shower one day after Marshall McLuhan suggested to Leary that he come up with "something snappy" to promote the benefits of LSD.[1][citation needed] At some point in the late Sixties, Leary moved to California. He made a number of friends in Hollywood. "When he married his third wife, Rosemary Woodruff in 1967, the event was directed by Ted Markland of 'Bonanza.' All the guests were on acid."[1][citation needed] In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Leary (in collaboration with the writer Brian Barritt) formulated his circuit model of consciousness, in which he claimed that the human mind/nervous system consisted of seven circuits which, when activated, produce seven levels of consciousness (this model was first published as the short essay, 'The Seven Tongues of God'). The system soon expanded to include an eighth circuit; this version was first unveiled to the world in the rare 1973 pamphlet Neurologic (written with Joanna Leary while he was in prison), but was not exhaustively formulated until the publication of Exo-Psychology (by Leary) and in Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trigger in 1977. Wilson contributed significantly to the model after befriending Leary in the early 70s, and has used it as a framework for further exposition in his book Prometheus Rising, among other works. Leary believed that the first four of these circuits ("the Larval Circuits" or "Terrestrial Circuits") are naturally accessed by most people in their lifetimes, triggered at natural transition points in life such as puberty. The second four circuits ("the Stellar Circuits" or "Extra-Terrestrial Circuits"), Leary claimed, were evolutionary off-shoots of the first four which would be triggered at transition points we will have when we evolve further, and would equip us to encompass life in space, as well as the expansion of consciousness that would be necessary to make further scientific and social progress. Leary suggested that some people may "shift to the latter four gears" (i.e. trigger these circuits artificially) by utilizing consciousness-altering techniques such as meditation and spiritual endeavors such as yoga, or by taking psychedelic drugs specific to each circuit. An example of the information Leary cited as evidence for the purpose of the "higher" four circuits was the feeling of floating and uninhibited motion experienced by users of marijuana. In the eight circuit model of consciousness, a primary theoretical function of the fifth circuit (the first of the four developed for life in outer space) is to allow humans to become accustomed to life in a zero or low gravity environment. Trouble with the law Leary's first run in with the law came on December 20, 1965. During a border crossing from Mexico into the United States, his daughter was caught with marijuana. After taking responsibility for the controlled substance, Leary was convicted of possession under the Marihuana Tax Act and sentenced to 30 years in jail, given a $30,000 fine and ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment. Soon after, however, he appealed the case, claiming the Marihuana Tax Act was in fact unconstitutional, as it required a degree of self-incrimination. Leary claimed this was in stark violation of the Fifth Amendment. On December 26, 1968 Leary was arrested again, this time for the possession of two roaches of marijuana, which Leary claimed were planted by the arresting officer. On 19 May 1969 The Supreme Court concurred with Leary. The Marihuana Tax Act was declared unconstitutional, and his 1965 conviction was quashed. The case was known as Leary v. United States. On the day his conviction was overturned Leary announced his candidacy for Governor of California, running against Ronald Reagan. His campaign slogan was 'Come together, join the party'. On 1 June 1969 Leary joined John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Montreal Bed-In and Lennon subsequently wrote Leary a campaign song called "Come Together". On 21 January 1970, Leary received a ten-year sentence for his 1968 conviction. When Leary arrived in prison, he was given psychological tests that were used to assign inmates to appropriate work details. Having designed many of the tests himself (including the "Leary Interpersonal Behavior Test"), Leary answered them in such a way that he seemed to be a very conforming, conventional person with a great interest in forestry and gardening.[4] As a result, Leary was assigned to work as a gardener in a lower security prison, and in September 1970 he escaped. Leary claimed his non-violent escape was a humorous prank and left a challenging note for the authorities to find after he was gone. For a fee paid by The Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the Weathermen smuggled Leary and his wife Rosemary Woodruff Leary out of the United States and into Algeria. He sought the patronage of Eldridge Cleaver and the remnants of the separatist USA Black Panther party’s “government in exile”, and started cheerleading for violent revolution in the USA. After staying with them for a short time, Leary claimed that Cleaver attempted to hold him and his wife hostage, but the Leary's were somehow able to extricate themselves from the Panthers lair. In 1971 the couple fled to Switzerland, "where they were sheltered and effectively imprisoned by a large-living arms dealer, Michel Hauchard, who claimed he had an 'obligation as a gentleman to protect philosophers,' but mostly had a film deal in mind."(Luc Sante, New York Times Book Review, June 24, 2006) In 1972, Nixon's attorney general, John Mitchell, convinced the Swiss government to imprison Leary, which they did for a month, but the Swiss refused to extradite him back to the US. In that same year, Leary and Rosemary separated. After a brief spell with heroin addiction[citation needed], Leary became involved with French-born socialite Joanna Harcourt-Smith. Leary "married" Harcourt-Smith in a pseudo-occult ceremony[citation needed] at a hotel two weeks after they were first introduced; she would use his surname until their breakup in early 1977. They traveled to Vienna, then Beirut and finally went to Kabul, Afghanistan in 1973. "Afghanistan had no extradition treaty with the United States, but this stricture did not apply to American airliners," Luc Sante wrote in a review of a biography of Leary. That interpretation of the law was used by U.S. authorities to capture the fugitive. "Before Leary could deplane, he was arrested by an agent of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs."[6] At a layover in the United Kingdom, as Leary was being flown back to the United States, he requested political asylum from Her Majesty's Government, to no avail. He was then held on five million dollars bail ($21 mil. in 2006), the highest in U. S. history to that point[citation needed]; President Richard Nixon had earlier labeled him "the most dangerous man in America."[1] The judge remarked, "If he is allowed to travel freely, he will speak publicly and spread his ideas."[citation needed] Facing a total of 95 years in prison, Leary was put into solitary confinement in Folsom Prison, California, where at one point he was in a cell immediately adjacent to Charles Manson. Manson had difficulty understanding why Leary didn't try to control people when he gave them LSD (like MK-ULTRA attempted to do). "They took you off the streets," Manson allegedly said, "so that I could continue with your work."[citation needed] Leary cooperated with the FBI's investigation of the Weathermen and radical attorneys, and soon the underground became aware that he had become an informant, implicating friends and helpers in exchange for a reduced sentence[citation needed]. Leary would later claim no one was ever prosecuted based on any information he gave to the FBI (as noted in an Open Letter from the Friends of Timothy Leary: “The Weather Underground, the radical left organization responsible for his escape, was not impacted by his testimony. Histories written about the Weather Underground usually mention the Leary chapter in terms of the escape for which they proudly took credit. Leary sent information to the Weather Underground through a sympathetic prisoner that he was considering making a deal with the FBI and waited for their approval. The return message was "we understand." Many of his oldest friends, including Ken Kesey, Paul Krassner, Allen Ginsberg, Jerry Rubin, and Ram Dass, were openly contemptuous of Harcourt-Smith and felt that she had "led him by his dick" (in the words of Krassner)[citation needed]. These sentiments were echoed at a rally against the "new" Leary organized by Kesey at Stanford University.[citation needed] While imprisoned Leary remained a productive writer, sowing the seeds for his incarnation as a futurist lecturer with the StarSeed Series. In Starseed (1973), neurologic (1973), & Terra II: A Way Out (1974), Leary transitioned from Eastern philosophy and Aleister Crowley to outer space being a medium for spiritual transcendence as his principal frame of reference. Neurologic also added the idea of "time dilation/contraction" available to the activated brain through the cellular, DNA, or atomic level of reality. Terra II is his first detailed proposal for space colonization. Leary’s muse peaked with Exo–Psychology, Neuropolitics, and The Intelligence Agents. Hollywood Leary was released from prison on April 21, 1976 by Governor Jerry Brown after Leary testified with immunity in the prosecution of many former friends and close associates who were accused of political and drug–related crimes. After briefly relocating to San Diego, Leary established residence in Laurel Canyon and continued to write books and appear as a lecturer and (by his own terminology) "stand up philosopher". In 1978, he married filmmaker Barbara Blum and raised her young son as his own (they would divorce in 1993). Leary cultivated a friendship with former foe G. Gordon Liddy, the notorious Watergate burglar, and far–right–wing radio talk–show propagandist. They toured the lecture circuit in 1982 as ex-cons (Liddy having been imprisoned after high-level involvement in the Watergate scandal) debating the soul of America. The tour generated massive publicity and considerable funds for both figures. Along with the personal appearances, a successful documentary that chronicled the tour and the concurrent release of the[citation needed] autobiography, Flashbacks helped to return Leary to the spotlight. Allowed back into the privileged system he had once lampooned and attempted to disrupt, he was able to move into a Beverly Hills address. While his stated ambition was to eventually cross over as a mainstream Hollywood personality, reluctant studios and sponsors ensured that this never occurred. Nonetheless, constant touring ensured that he was able to maintain a very comfortable lifestyle by the mid-1980s, while his colorful past made him a desirable guest at A-list parties throughout the decade. He also attracted a more intellectual crowd which counted John Frusciante (Leary appeared in Johnny Depp's and Gibby Haynes' 1994 film Stuff which showed the squalid conditions that Frusciante was living in at the time), Robert Anton Wilson, David Byrne, science fiction wunderkind William Gibson, and Norman Spinrad amongst its ranks. While he continued to frequently use drugs on a private basis, rather than evangelizing and proselytizing the use of psychedelics as he had in the 1960s, the latter day Leary emphasized the importance of space colonization and an ensuing extension of the human lifespan while also providing a detailed explanation of the eight-circuit model of consciousness in complex, interesting books such as "Info-Psychology", among several others. He adopted the acronym "SMI2LE" as a succinct summary of his pre-transhumanist agenda: SM (Space Migration) + I2 (intelligence increase) + LE (Life extension). Leary's colonization plan varied greatly throughout the years. Because he believed that he would soon migrate into space, Leary was opposed to the ecology movement. He dismissed many of Earth’s problems and labeled the entire field of ecology “a seductive dinosaur science”. He ridiculed groups like Greenpeace, and individuals sympathetic to environmentalism. Until later in his life, when the aspirations of groups like the L5 Society became hopelessly distant in time, Leary thought that by leaving on the nose of a rocket he was going to escape the growing consequences the rape of the environment may bring. Leary crowed that only the “larval”, intellectually and philosophically backward humans, would choose to remain in “the fouled nest”. According to his initial plan to leave the planet, 5,000 of Earth's most virile and intelligent individuals would be launched on a vessel (Starseed 1) equipped with luxurious amenities. This idea was inspired by the plotline of Paul Kantner's concept album Blows Against The Empire, which in turn was derived from Robert A. Heinlein's Lazarus Long series. In the 1980s, he came to embrace NASA scientist Gerard O'Neill's more realistic and egalitarian plans to construct giant Eden-like High Orbital Mini-Earths (documented in the Robert Anton Wilson lecture H.O.M.E.s on LeGrange) using existing technology and raw materials from the Moon, orbital rock and obsolete satellites. By the early 1990s, Leary had begun to incorporate computers, the Internet, and virtual reality into his aegis of thought. Leary established one of the earliest sites on the World Wide Web, and was often quoted describing the Internet as "the LSD of the 1990s"[citation needed]. He became a promoter of virtual reality systems,[7] and sometimes demonstrated a prototype of the Mattel Power Glove as part of his lectures (as in From Psychedelics to Cybernetics). Around this time he cultivated friendships with a number of notable people in the field, including Brenda Laurel, a pioneering researcher in virtual environments and human-computer interaction. In 1989 Leary's eldest daughter, Susan, committed suicide after years of mental instability. After separating from Barbara Leary in 1992, Leary began to associate with a much younger, artistic and tech-savy crowd that included people as diverse as actors Johnny Depp, Susan Sarandon, and Dan Aykroyd, and his granddaughters, Dieadra Martino and Sara Brown; grandson, Ashley Martino; stepson, Zach Chase; author Douglas Rushkoff, publisher Bob Guccione, Jr., and goddaughters: actress Winona Ryder and artist/music-photographer Hilary Hulteen. He was frequently spotted at raves and alternative rock concerts, including a memorable mosh pit experience at an early Smashing Pumpkins concert[citation needed]. In spite of his declining health, Leary maintained a regular schedule of public appearances through 1994. Death In early 1995, Leary discovered that he was terminally ill with inoperable prostate cancer. He did not reveal the condition to the press upon diagnosis, but did so after the death of Jerry Garcia in August. Leary authored an outline for a book called Design for Dying, which attempted to show people a new perspective of death and dying. "The most important thing you do in your life is to die" he claimed happily, welcoming death with the same energetic excitement he had welcomed most other challenges in his life. Leary's de facto "family"--his staff of technophilic Gen Xers--updated his website on a daily basis as a sort of proto-blog, noting his daily intake of various illicit and legal chemical substances, with a predilection for nitrous oxide, cigarettes, his trademark "Leary biscuits" (see below), and eventually heroin and morphine. His sterile house was completely redecorated by the staff, who had more or less moved in, with an array of surreal ornamentation. In his final months thousands of visitors, well wishers and old friends visited him in his California home. Until the final weeks of his illness, Leary gave many interviews discussing his new philosophy of embracing death. For a number of years, Leary was reported to have been excited by the possibility of freezing his body in cryonic suspension. He didn't believe that he would be resurrected in the future, but he recognized the importance of cryonic possibilities. He called it his "duty as a futurist," and helped publicize the process. Privately he dismissed cryonics as "a joke" and did not seem to regard the process with much seriousness. Leary had relationships with two cryonic organizations, the original ALCOR and then the offshoot CRYOCARE. A cryonic tank was delivered to Leary's house in the months before his death. However, Leary subsequently requested that his body be cremated, which it was, and distributed among his friends and family. Leary's death was videotaped for posterity at his request, capturing his final words. This video has never been publicly seen but will be included in a documentary currently in production[citation needed]. At one point in his final delirium, he said, "Why not?" to his son Zachary. He uttered the phrase repeatedly, in different intonations and died soon after. His last word, according to Zach Leary, was "beautiful". With the movie Timothy Leary's Dead, filmmakers capitalized on his initial desire for cryogenic preservation by creating a fake decapitation sequence. Seven grams of Leary's ashes were arranged by his friend at Celestis to be buried in space aboard a rocket carrying the remains of 24 other people including Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek), Gerard O'Neill (space physicist), Krafft Ehricke (rocket scientist), and others. A Pegasus rocket containing their remains was launched on February 9, 1997, and remained in orbit for six years until it burnt up in the atmosphere. Influence on others The Psychedelic Experience was the influence for John Lennon's song "Tomorrow Never Knows" on The Beatles' album Revolver. Leary once recruited John Lennon to write a theme song for his California gubernatorial campaign (which was interrupted by his prison sentence), inspiring Lennon to come up with "Come Together", based on Leary's theme and catchphrase for the campaign. Leary was also present when Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono recorded Give Peace A Chance during one of their bed-ins in Montreal and is mentioned in the lyrics of the song. Leary was the explicit subject of the Moody Blues song "Legend of a Mind", which memorialized him with the words, "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, no, no he's outside looking in" (a lyric later incorporated into the Bongwater's cover version of the Moody Blues song "Ride My Seesaw"). At first, Leary detested the line, but later found the sense of humor to adopt "Legend of a Mind" as his theme song when he hit the lecture circuit. Leary, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and others recording "Give Peace A Chance". Photo By Roy Kerwood A number of other musical groups have admired and been influenced by Leary, including the progressive metal band Tool (who used one of his monologs to start the song Third Eye on their live album Salival), the metal band Nevermore, Marcy Playground, earlier works by Porcupine Tree, and new wave band Devo (Leary even appearing in one of their films). Nevermore mentions Leary in their lyrics, and titled one of their albums "The Politics of Ecstasy" (after Leary's book of the same name). Also, on Nevermore's self entitled album there is a song named "Timothy Leary". The Psychedelic Trance band Infected Mushroom uses a soundclip of Leary saying "Turn on, tune in, and drop out" in a song. Leary made a cameo appearance in "STUFF", a short film directed by Johnny Depp and Gibson Haynes about the Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar player John Frusciante. He also appears on "Gila Copter" from the Linger Ficken' Good album by the Revolting Cocks and also appears in the video for "Cracking Up". Leary also appears as the father in the Suicidal Tendencies video "Possessed to Skate". He is also mentioned in the song "The Seeker" by The Who: "I asked Timothy Leary/ But he couldn't help me either". He appears in Blind Melon's video "Galaxie" as a magician. In the movie, The Ruling Class, the character, Jack Gurney (played by Peter O'Toole), who thinks he is Jesus, claims that the voice of "Timothy O'Leary" told him he was God (see film clip here). Timothy Leary's ideas also heavily influenced the work of Robert Anton Wilson. This influence went both ways and Leary admittedly took just as much from Wilson. Wilson's book Prometheus Rising was an in depth, highly detailed and inclusive work documenting Leary’s eight circuit model of consciousness. Although the theory originated in discussions between Leary and a Hindu holy man at Millbrook, Wilson was one of the most ardent proponents of it and introduced the theory to a mainstream audience in 1977's bestselling Cosmic Trigger. In 1989, they appeared together on stage in a dialog entitled The Inner Frontier[8] in Cleveland, Ohio hosted by the Association for Consciousness Exploration,[9] (the same group that had hosted Leary's first Cleveland appearance in 1979[10][11]). Wilson and Leary conversed a great deal on philosophical, political and futurist matters and became close friends who remained in contact through Leary's time in prison and up until his death. Wilson regarded Leary as a brilliant man and often is quoted as saying (paraphrase) "Leary had a great deal of 'hilaritose', the type of cheer and good humour by which it was said you could recognise a deity". Leary's endorsement of carefree LSD usage is also reflected upon in a more negative light in the concluding chapter of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In addition, Owsley Stanley, one of the pioneers of the era, would later write of him, "Leary was a fool. Drunk with 'celebrity-hood' and his own ego, he became a media clown- and was arguably the single most damaging actor involved in the destruction of the evanescent social movement of the '60's. Tim, with his very public exhortations to the kids to 'tune in, turn on and drop out', is the inspiration for all the current draconian US drug laws against psychedelics. He would not listen to any of us when we asked him to please cool it, he loved the lime-light and relished his notoriety... I was not a fan of his." Author and Merry Prankster Ken Kesey remained a supporter and admirer of Leary throughout his career, "Leary can get a part of my mind that's kind of rusted shut grinding again, just by being around him and talking." World religion scholar Huston Smith was turned on by Leary after the two were introduced to one another by Aldous Huxley in the early 1960s. The experience was interpreted as deeply religious by Smith, and is captured in detailed religious terms in Smith's later work Cleansing of the Doors of Perception. This was Smith's one and only entheogenic experience, at the end of which he asked Leary, to paraphase, if Leary knew the power and danger of that with which he was conducting research. In Mother Jones Magazine, 1997, Smith commented: "First, I have to say that during the three years I was involved with that Harvard study, LSD was not only legal but respectable. Before Tim went on his unfortunate careening course, it was a legitimate research project. Though I did find evidence that, when recounted, the experiences of the Harvard group and those of mystics were impossible to tell apart—descriptively indistinguishable—that's not the last word. There is still a question about the truth of the disclosure." Trivia ▪ The term "Timothy Leary tickets" is an affectionate nickname given to the small squares of blotter paper to which liquid LSD has been applied. ▪ Leary on several occasions flirted with the occult and was a member of the magical order of the Illuminates of Thanateros.[citation needed] ▪ Leary was at one time a member of the Advisory Board to the Libertarian International Organization (LIO). ▪ Leary appeared at the Starwood Festival in 1991 and 1992[7]. In front of hundreds of Neo-Pagans in 1991, he declared, "I have always considered myself, when I learned what the word meant, I've always considered myself a Pagan." (Quote from CD: Timothy Leary Live at Starwood) ▪ Leary biscuits are crackers topped by a piece of cheese, butter, or other fatty topping, covered in turn with a bud of marijuana and microwaved briefly.[12] ▪ Film rights for a biography of Leary were bought by Miramax in April 2006. A feature film is now in development. ▪ Leary was the godfather of Winona Ryder, Uma Thurman (daughter of his ex-wife Nena), Joi Ito, Genesis P-Orridge's daughters Caresse and Genesse P-Orridge. ▪ Timothy Leary is mentioned in the Dog Fashion Disco song "The Acid Memoirs." Leary's phrase "tuning in and dropping out" is also used in the song. ▪ Timothy Leary is mentioned in The Magnetic Fields song "Technical (You're So)" off the album "The House of Tomorrow." ▪ Timothy Leary is the subject of the Moody Blues song "Legend of a Mind." ▪ Timothy Leary is mentioned in the Marcy Playground song "It's Saturday" on the album "Shapeshifter" ▪ Timothy Leary is mentioned in The Who song "The Seeker" which was released as a single in 1970. ▪ Timothy Leary is mentioned in the songs "Manchester England" and "The Flesh Failures/Let The Sunshine In" for the musical Hair and subsequent film Hair ▪ Leary appeared in the music video for the song Galaxie by Blind Melon in 1995. ▪ The rock band Tiamat named a song "Four Leary Biscuits" on their album "A Deeper Kind of Slumber". ▪ Heavy metal band Nevermore released a song about Leary in 1995 that bears his name. ▪ A quote of Timothy Leary is heard on a live version of Tool's "Third Eye" on the album Salival. ▪ Several Timothy Leary quotes can be heard on the Porcupine Tree recording Voyage 34. ▪ In World War I Leary's father, "Tote" Leary, was drafted as a dental surgeon into the U.S. Army (commissioned a first lieutenant,[13] then promoted to captain just before the war ended in 1918) and assigned to West Point, where he “Consorted with fellow officers and gentlemen such as General Douglas MacArthur, then the superintendent of West Point; Captain Omar Bradley; and Lieutenant George Patton. It was at West Point on January 17, 1920, on the day after Prohibition became the law of the land, that Tim Leary was conceived. Abigail would later recall that during her pregnancy, the smell of distilling moonshine and bathtub gin hung over officers' row like a "rowdy smog." Tote once told his son that while Prohibition itself was bad, it was not nearly as bad as no booze at all. At 10:45 A.M. on October 22, 1920, seven days before his father's thirty-second birthday, Timothy Francis Leary was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Once Abigail gave birth to a son, General MacArthur, who had also been raised on an army post, took a special interest in the family.” He appears as himself in the Cheech and Chong movie Nice Dreams. He appears as "Dr. Byrthfood" in the Devo video project We're All Devo. "Timothy Leary" a biography by Robert Greenfield, Chapter 1."[13] Creative works Writings ▪ The Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality. Leary, Timothy. 1957. ▪ The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Leary, Timothy and Metzner, Ralph, Alpert, Richard, Karma-Glin-Pa Bar Do Thos Grol. 1964. (ISBN 0-8065-1652-6) ▪ Psychedelic Prayers & Other Meditations. Leary, Timothy. 1966. (ISBN 0-914171-84-4) ▪ Start Your Own Religion. Leary, Timothy. 1967. (ISBN 1-57951-073-6) ▪ The Politics of Ecstasy. Leary, Timothy. 1968. (ISBN 0-914171-33-X) ▪ High Priest. Leary, Timothy. 1968. (ISBN 0-914171-80-1) ▪ Confessions of a Hope Fiend. Leary, Timothy. 1973. ▪ Mystery, magic & miracle: Religion in a post-Aquarian age, (A Spectrum book). Heenan, Edward F. and Jack Fritscher, Timothy Leary. 1973. Prentice-Hall. (ISBN 0-13-609032-X) ▪ What Does WoMan Want?: Adventures Along the Schwartzchild Radius. Leary, Timothy. 1976. Describes techniques of "Hedonic Engineering" (Leary's name for tantric sex). ▪ The Periodic Table of Evolution. Leary, Timothy. 1977 ▪ Exo-Psychology: A Manual on The Use of the Nervous System According to the Instructions of the Manufacturers. Leary, Timothy. 1977. Starseed/Peace Press. ▪ Changing My Mind Among Others. Leary, Timothy. 1982. Prentice Hall Trade. (ISBN 0-13-127829-0) ▪ Flashbacks. Leary, Timothy. 1983. Tarcher. (ISBN 0-87477-177-3) ▪ Flashbacks. Leary, Timothy. 1983. (ISBN 0-87477-497-7) ▪ What Does Woman Want. Leary, Timothy. 1987. New Falcon Publications. (ISBN 0-941404-62-5) ▪ Info-Psychology. Leary, Timothy. 1987. (ISBN 1-56184-105-6) ▪ Info-Psychology: A Revision of Exo-Psychology. Leary, Timothy. 1988. Falcon Pr. (ISBN 0-941404-60-9) ▪ Change Your Brain. Leary, Timothy. 1988. (ISBN 1-57951-017-5) ▪ Your Brain is God. Leary, Timothy. 1988. (ISBN 1-57951-052-3) ▪ Game of Life. Leary, Timothy. 1989. New Falcon Publications. (ISBN 0-941404-64-1). (Original Edition Published in 1977) ▪ Uncommon Quotes: Timothy Leary. Leary, Timothy. Audio tape. 1990. Pub Group West. (ISBN 0-929856-01-5) ▪ Chaos and Cyber Culture. Leary, Timothy and Michael Horowitz, Vicki Marshall. 1994. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 0-914171-77-1) ▪ HR GIGER ARh+. Giger, H. R. (foreword). 1994. Benedikt Taschen Verlag. (ISBN 3-8228-9642-X) ▪ Surfing the Conscious Nets: A Graphic Novel. Leary, Timothy and Robert Williams. 1995. Last Gasp. (ISBN 0-86719-410-3) ▪ The Lost Beatles Interviews Leary, Timothy (Afterword) and Geoffrey Giuliano, Brenda Giuliano. 1996. Plume. (ISBN 0-452-27025-1) ▪ Intelligence Agents. Leary, Timothy. 1996. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-56184-038-6) ▪ Concrete & Buckshot: William S. Burroughs Paintings. Leary, Timothy and Benjamin Weissman. 1996. Smart Art Press. (ISBN 1-889195-01-4) ▪ Design for Dying. Leary, Timothy, with Sirius, R. U. 1997. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. ISBN 0-06-018700-X (cloth); ISBN 0-06-092866-2 (pbk.); ISBN 0-06-018250-4 (intl). ▪ El Trip de La Muerte. Leary, Timothy. 1998. Editorial Kairos. SPANISH. (ISBN 84-7245-408-8) ▪ The Delicious Grace of Moving One's Hand: The Collected Sex Writings Leary, Timothy. 1999. Thunder's Mouth Press. (ISBN 1-56025-181-6) ▪ Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out. Leary, Timothy. 1999. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-57951-009-4) ▪ Politics of Self-Determination (Self-Mastery Series). Leary, Timothy. 2001. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-57951-015-9) ▪ The Politics of Psychopharmacology. Leary, Timothy. 2001. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-57951-056-6) ▪ Musings on Human Metamorphoses. Leary, Timothy. 2002. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-57951-058-2) ▪ Evolutionary Agents. Leary, Timothy and Beverly A. Potter. 2004. Ronin Publishing. (ISBN 1-57951-064-7) ▪ Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality: A Functional Theory and Methodology for Personality Evaluation. Leary, Timothy. 2004. Resource Publications. (ISBN 1-59244-776-7) (Original Edition Published in 1957) ▪ L.S.D. (1966) ▪ Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1967) ▪ You Can Be Anyone This Time Around (1970) ▪ Flashbacks (1983) ▪ The Inner Frontier with Robert Anton Wilson (1989) ▪ From Psychedelics to Cybernetics (1989) ▪ Origins of Dance (1990) ▪ How to Operate Your Brain (1992) ▪ Right to Fly (1996) ▪ Beyond Life With Timothy Leary (1996) ▪ Timothy Leary Live at Starwood (2001) recorded in 1991 ISBN 1-59157-002-6 ▪ Timothy Leary: A Cheerleader for Change (2001) ACE/Llewellyn Collection - Recorded in 1985 ISBN 1-59157-004-2 ▪ The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on Tibetan Book of the Dead (with Richard Alpert & Ralph Metzner) (2003) Also Appears On: ▪ Seven Up - Ash Ra Tempel (1972) ▪ Tune In (Turn On The Acid House) - (1988) Psychic TV, 12" EP, Temple Records (UK)- Samples Timothy Leary ▪ Trance-Techno Express: From Detroit to Berlin & Back - Various (1993) ▪ Ancient Lights and the Blackcore - with Scorn, Seefeel, Yanomami Shamans from the Amazon, and DJ Cheb I. Sabbah (1995) ▪ Krautrock - Various [Polygram] (1997) ▪ Sub Rosa Underwood, Vol. 3: A Sampler - Various (1998) ▪ Intermenstral - Various (2001) 1 ^ a b c d e f g [1] "Timothy Leary, Pied Piper Of Psychedelic 60's, Dies at 75," obituary, New York Times Book Review, June 1, 1996 2 ^ Cashman, John. "The LSD Story". Fawcett Publications, 1966 3 ^ 4 ^ Cashman, John. "The LSD Story". Fawcett Publications, 1966 5 ^ 6 ^ a b c d .html?pagewanted=print "The Nutty Professor," by Luc Sante, New York Times Book Review, June 24, 2006, review of "Timothy Leary: A Biography," by Robert Greenfield 7 ^ [,9171,971015-2,00.html] 8 ^ Lesie, Michele (1989) High Priest of LSD To Drop In. Cleveland Plain Dealer 9 ^ Local Group Hosts Dr. Timothy Leary by Will Allison (The Observer Fri. Sept. 29th, 1989) 10 ^ Two 60s Cult Heroes, on the Eve of the 80s by James Neff (Cleveland Plain Dealer Oct. 30th, 1979) 11 ^ Timothy Leary: An LSD Cowboy Turns Cosmic Comic by Frank Kuznik (Cleveland Magazine November 1979 12 ^ Recipe from 13 ^ a b Greenfield, Robert, "Timothy Leary" a biography, as excerpted on the web site for The New York Times 14 ^ The 8-Circuit Maze - Multi-media presentation at the Starwood Center presented by The Association for Consciousness Exploration[2] 15 ^ Legend of a Mind Stanislav Grof (born 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight. Grof is known in particular for his early studies of LSD and its effects on the psyche—the field of psychedelic psychotherapy. He constructed a theoretical framework for pre- and perinatal psychology and transpersonal psychology in which LSD trips and other powerfully emotional experiences were mapped onto one's early fetal and neonatal experiences. Over time, this theory developed into an in-depth cartography of the deep human psyche. Following the legal suppression of LSD use in the late 1960s, Grof went on to discover that many of these states of mind could be explored without drugs and instead by using certain breathing techniques in a supportive environment. He continues this work today under the title "Holotropic Breathwork". Grof received his M.D. from Charles University in Prague in 1957, and then completed his Ph.D. in Medicine at the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences in 1965, training as a Freudian psychoanalyst at this time. In 1967, he was invited as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA, and went on to become Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center where he worked with Walter Pahnke and Bill Richards among others. In 1973, Dr. Grof was invited to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and lived there until 1987 as a scholar-in-residence, developing his ideas. Being the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA) (founded in 1977), he went on to become distinguished adjunct faculty member of the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at the California Institute of Integral Studies, a position he remains in today. Notably, Grof's brother, Paul Grof, was chairman of the World Health Organization committee that evaluated the psychoactive compound MDMA (street name ecstasy). Stanislav helped Rick Doblin deliver information about the drug to his brother. Paul ultimately dissented from the committee's decision to regulate Ecstasy as a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Bibliography ▪ Realms Of The Human Unconscious: Observations From LSD Research (1975) ▪ The Human Encounter With Death (1977) with Joan Halifax ▪ LSD Psychotherapy (1980) ▪ Beyond Death: The Gates Of Consciousness (1981) with Christina Grof ▪ Ancient Wisdom And Modern Science (1984) Edited by Stanislav Grof ▪ Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death And Transcendence In Psychotherapy (1985) ▪ Human Survival And Consciousness Evolution (1988) Edited with Marjorie L. Valier ▪ The Adventure Of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness And New Perspectives In Psychotherapy (1988) ▪ Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes A Crisis (1989) Edited with Christina Grof ▪ The Stormy Search For The Self: A Guide To Personal Growth Through Transformative Crisis (1990) with Christina Grof ▪ The Holotropic Mind: The Three levels Of Human Consciousness And How They Shape Our Lives (1992) with Hal Zina Bennet ▪ Books Of The Dead: Manuals For Living And Dying (1993) ▪ The Thirst For Wholeness: Attachment, Addiction And The Spiritual Path (1994) by Christina Grof ▪ The Transpersonal Vision (1998) book and audio ▪ The Cosmic Game: Explorations Of The Frontiers Of Human Consciousness (1998) ▪ The Consciousness Revolution: A Transatlantic Dialogue (1999) with Peter Russell and Ervin Laszlo. Foreword by Ken Wilber ▪ Psychology Of The Future: Lessons From Modern Consciousness Research (2000) ▪ Caterpillar Dreams (2004) with Melody Sullivan ▪ When The Impossible Happens: Adventures In Non-Ordinary Reality (2006) ▪ The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness And The Mystery Of Death (2006) John Curtis Gowan (b 1912 - d 1986) was a psychologist who studied, along with E. Paul Torrance, the development of creative capabilities in children and gifted populations. Gowan was the author of several works including: ▪ The Development of the Creative Individual ▪ Trance, Art & Creativity ▪ Operations of Increasing Order ▪ Development of the Psychedelic Individual Bruce Jay Ehrlich (better known by his writing name Bruce Eisner) (born Brooklyn, New York, February 26, 1948) is an American writer, psychologist, and counterculture spokesman best known for his book Ecstasy: The MDMA Story. He received his psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1979, his M.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is currently completing his Ph.D. in Psychology from Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center, San Francisco, California. He is owner of the Mind Media Life Enhancement Network and President of the Island Foundation. Books ▪ Ecstasy: The MDMA Story (1989.1994) [ISBN 0-914171-68-2] [edit]Articles ▪ Why We Get High. By Bruce Eisner, Original publication: Island Views Newsletter, 1995-1996. ▪ A Call for a Psychedelic Sanctuary. By Bruce Eisner, Original publication: Island Views Newsletter, 2001. ▪ MDMA, Personality and Human Nature: The Power to Transform People. By Bruce Eisner. ▪ LSD and Aldous Huxley’s Island: Setting Sail for a Better Country. By Bruce Eisner published in Gaia News No. 14. [edit]Fiction ▪ By Bruce Eisner and Timothy Leary, 1996, published on New World Disorder, 2004. [edit]Interviews conducted ▪ Interview with an Alchemist: Bear Owlsey.By Bruce Eisner; Original Publication: Psychedelic Island Views, 1997. ▪ Modern Alchemy: Modern Alchemy: Interview with Ann and Sasha Shulgin. By Bruce Eisner with Peter Stafford, original publication: Psychedelic Island Views, 1997. ▪ Psychedelic Culture An Interview with Terence Mckenna. By Bruce Eisner original publication: Psychedelic Island Views, 1998. ▪ Timothy Leary's Ultimate Trip. By Bruce Eisner original publication: Psychedelic Island Views, 1996. [edit]Interviews given ▪ Interview with Bruce Eisner. Original Publication: Cruzio.Com's Hawk Magazine; May, 1996. [edit]Lecture Videos ▪ LSD and Aldous Huxley’s Island: Setting Sail for a Better Country. International Symposium on LSD,, Basel, Switzerland. January 2006 ▪ The History and Future of LSD. International Conference on Altered States, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 2001 External links ▪ Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing, Eisner's personal blog ▪ Island Web: Island Foundations website ▪ The Mindware Forum Weblog ▪ Bruce Eisner's Profile on Amazon Author Connect ▪ Extasis (Ecstasy: the MDMA Story in Spanish) ▪ Better living through technology/ The impact of Leary's Exo-Psychology theory ▪ The Mind Media Life-Enhancement Network Psychedelic experience From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Altered states of consciousness can also be reached through other means; See meditation, yoga, spirit quests, etc. A psychedelic experience, or trip, is characterized by the perception of aspects of one's mind previously unknown, or by the creative exuberance of the mind liberated from its ordinary fetters. Psychedelic states are one of the stations on the spectrum of experiences elicited by sensory deprivation as well as by psychedelic substances. On that same spectrum will be found hallucinations, changes of perception, synesthesia, altered states of awareness, mystical states, and occasionally states resembling psychosis. The word psychedelic comes from a combination of two Greek words: psyche (ψυχή) and delos (δήλος). Literally, it means "mind manifesting". The psychedelic experience is an intimate experience, but there are many common themes, and ranges from a sense of connectedness to everything in the immediate vicinity, to a sense of oneness with everything in the universe. Potentially, the range of the drug-induced psychedelic experience goes far beyond other drugs, illicit in particular. Simply because "trip drugs", or hallucinogenic drugs have these effects, in contrast to say heroin, and its depressant effects. Many who undertake such experiences come to see them as an ordeal, and mentally overbearing. For many, such experiences come to be seen as personal re-enactments of the hero's journey. Psychedelic drugs can be used as a means to achieve states of mind in which different perceptions unhindered by everyday mental filters and processes can arise. Hallucinations and the mental, emotional and long term impact of the experience are positive and enduring for many. There has been research, largely during the 1960s, suggesting that psychedelic drugs may be able to lead to breakthrough experiences during psychotherapy and or have documented pharmaceutical advantages. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies or MAPS is a more current organization that studies the effects of psychedelics. They have a number of books and other scientific journals that have documented psychedelic experiences and information. Levels of psychedelic experience The Psychedelic Experience FAQ describes five different levels of psychedelic experience: Level 1 This level produces a mild "high" effect, with some visual enhancement (e.g. brighter colors) and music sounds "wider," or more piercing to the ears. This level can be achieved from a normal dose of cannabis or a very low dose of a classic psychedelic such as psilocybin. Occasionally common prescription drugs like SSRIs and the like can produce mild 'trippy' effects, as well, though they are not normally classified as psychedelic experiences because they are so mild. Level 2 Bright colors; visuals (e.g. things may appear to move or breathe); some two-dimensional patterns become apparent upon shutting eyes. Apparent increase in visual field (ie. seeing an almost 360 view around your head). Confused, cyclic or reminiscent thoughts. Change in short term memory leads to continually distracting thought patterns. The need to see 'normal' reality becomes less, the urge to venture 'beyond the void' becomes more. Level 3 tripping can intersperse with level 2 as long as eyes are shut. This state can be achieved from a high dose of THC or a low dose of psilocybin or LSD. Level 3 Very obvious visuals, everything looking curved and/or warped, patterns, kaleidoscopes or fractal images seen on walls, landscapes, faces, etc. Closed eye hallucinations become three dimensional. There is some confusing of the senses (synesthesia). Time distortions and "moments of eternity". Movement at times becomes extremely difficult (too much effort required). A normal dose of either psilocybin or LSD can produce this effect. Level 4 Strong visual effects, e.g. objects morphing into other objects. Dissolving or multiple splitting of the ego (e.g. things start talking, or feeling of contradictory things simultaneously). The loss of sense of self can bring a shift in the sense of reality, often accompanied by a sense of ineffable lucidity. Time becomes very distorted and participants may perceive an activity lasting only minutes to have encompassed hours of their own reality. Out-of-body experiences and ESP-type experiences. A high dose of psilocybin can produce this effect, as can a normal to high dose of LSD. Level 5 Total loss of visual connection with reality. The senses cease to function in the normal way. Total loss of ego. Feelings of merging with space, other objects or the universe. Feelings of reaching to the beginning or the end of space and time. The loss of reality becomes so extreme that it defies explanation. Dream or movie like states, people have been reported seeing themselves in entirely different settings than their original setting. Earlier levels are relatively easy to describe in terms of measurable changes in perception and thought patterns. The only thing still reported to be working at a recognizable level, is the mind's voice of thought. Much is unknown about what a person actually experiences during this period, because most people actually come back explaining the experience as "unexplainable" or "uncommunicable". This effect can be produced in high doses of LSD and extremely high doses of psilocybin or with extremely high doses of the strongest extracts of salvia divinorum. Methyl-tryptamine, also known as alpha-methyltryptamine, α-MT, AMT or IT-290, is a synthetic drug of the tryptamine family. First developed as an antidepressant, in the 1960s it was produced commercially for this purpose in the Soviet Union under the trade name "Indopan" in 5mg and 10mg pills. Like many other tryptamines, at sufficient dosages it is a psychedelic hallucinogen. Its effects may take 2-3 hours to onset, and can last for 18 to 24 hours. It also acts as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and a stimulant. On 4 April 2003, an emergency United States DEA order resulted in α-MT being placed, along with 5-MeO-DIPT, on Schedule I of the Controlled AMT is chemically related to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter. It acts by mimicking the effects of serotonin at the 5-HT2 receptor and by interfering with neurotransmitter reuptake and degradation mechanisms. α-MT has a stereocenter, and S-(+)-α-MT is the more active stereoisomer. Dosage An oral dosage of 5-10mg will produce a stimulating effect, and 20-30mg usually results in hallucinogenic effects that can last 24 hours. While a dosage of 60-80mg is generally considered a strong dosage, some users have been known to use large amounts of α-MT, and report dosages of up to 150mg being taken. The freebase can also be smoked, and 5-20mg is generally used. Effects AMT is a long-acting psychedelic/euphoric stimulant. It is known to cause nausea and vomiting in many recreational users. Erowid lists the following effects:[1] Positive ▪ increase in energy (stimulation) ▪ mood lift, smiling ▪ visual patterning and closed eye visuals ▪ increased awareness & appreciation of music ▪ empathogenic qualities Neutral ▪ general change in consciousness (as with most psychoactives) ▪ blurred vision ▪ restlessness ▪ yawning ▪ pupil dilation Negative ▪ anxiety, tension ▪ nausea and vomiting ▪ decrease in coordination ▪ muscle aching ▪ headaches ▪ jaw clenching (trisma) Ayahuasca (Quechua, pronounced [a.ja.ˈwa.ska]) is any of various psychoactive infusions prepared from the Banisteriopsis spp. vine, native to the Amazon rainforest (which is also called ayahuasca). The resulting drinks are pharmacologically complex and used for shamanic, folk-medicinal,and religious purposes. Preparation Sections of vine are macerated and boiled alone or with leaves from any of a large number of other plants, including Psychotria viridis (chakruna in Quechua) or Diplopterys cabrerana (also known as chacropanga). The resulting brew contains MAO inhibiting harmala alkaloids and the powerful hallucinogenic alkaloid N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic which is active orally only when combined with an MAOI. Harmala alkaloids in Banisteriopsis caapi serve as MAOIs in Ayahuasca. Western brews sometimes substitute plant sources such as Syrian Rue or other harmala containing plants in lieu of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, but the vine itself is always central to traditional usage. Ayahuasca being prepared in the Napo region of Ecuador. Brews are also made with no DMT-containing plants; sometimes they are made with plants such as Justicia pectoralis, Brugmansia and sometimes made with no plants other than the ayahuasca vine itself. Tobacco is a common additive in traditional brews. The potency of this brew varies radically from one batch to the next, both in strength and psychoactive effect, based mainly on the skill of the shaman or brewer, as well as other admixtures sometimes added. Natural variations in plant alkaloid content and profiles also affect the final concentration of alkaloids in the brew, and the physical act of cooking may also serve to modify the alkaloid profile of harmala alkaloids.[1][2] Individual polymorphisms in the cytochrome P450-2D6 enzyme affects the ability of individuals to metabolize harmine.[3] Some natural tolerance to the regular use of Ayahuasca (say, once weekly) may be seen as an upregulation of the serotonergic system.[4] A phase 1 pharmacokinetic study on Ayahuasca (as Hoasca) with 15 volunteers was conducted in 1993, during the Hoasca Project.[5] A review of the Hoasca Project has been published.[6] Names ▪ "caapi", "cipó," "hoasca" or "daime" in Brazil ▪ "yagé" or "yajé" (both pronounced [ʝa.ˈhe]) in Colombia; popularized in English by the beat generation writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg in The Yage Letters. ▪ "ayahuasca" or "ayawaska" in Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru, also to a lesser extent in Brazil ("vine of the dead" or "vine of souls": in Quechua, aya means "spirit," "ancestor," or "dead person," while waska means "vine" or "rope"). The name is properly that of the plant B. caapi, one of the primary sources of beta-carbolines for the brew. ▪ "natem" amongst the indigenous Shuar people of Peru. Urarina shaman, 1988 It should be noted that the spelling ayahuasca is the hispanicized version of the name; many Quechua or Aymara speakers would prefer the spelling ayawaska. In the central andeans of Perú Ayacwasca means :"Ayac" (spirit or dead) and "Wasca" (vine, cord or rope) Usage Ayahuasca is used largely as a religious sacrament, no matter which culture it is associated with. Those whose usage of ayahuasca is performed in non-traditional contexts often align themselves with the philosophies and cosmolgies associated with ayahuasca shamanism, as practiced among indigenous peoples like the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia. While non-native users know of the spiritual applications of ayahuasca, a less well-known traditional usage focuses on the medicinal properties of ayahuasca. Its purgative properties are highly important (many refer to it as la Purga, "the purge"). The intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea it induces can clear the body of worms and other tropical parasites,[7] and harmala alkaloids themselves have been shown to be anthelmintic[8]. Thus, this action is twofold; a direct action on the parasites by these harmala alkaloids (particularly harmine in ayahuasca) works to kill the parasites, and parasites are expelled through the increased intestinal motility that is caused by these alkaloids. Ayahuasca cooking in the Napo region of Ecuador. Dietary taboos are almost always associated with the use of Ayahuasca; in the rainforest, these tend towards the purification of one's self- abstaining from spicy and heavily seasoned foods, fat, salt, caffeine, acidic foods (such as citrus) and sex before, after, or both before and after a ceremony. A diet low in foods containing tyramine is recommended, as the interaction of tyramine and MAOIs can lead to a hypertensive crisis. This extreme dietary specificity is largely a modern one, as most tyramine is produced as food ages, and is therefore not usually a problem in traditional South American cultures. These dietary restrictions have developed as a means of making ayahuasca ingestion easier on the body, as well as having strong traditional and spiritual significance. Today, the name 'ayahuasca' can mean a variety of botanical concoctions containing one or more MAOIs and DMT or one of its chemical analogues. The synthetic pharmahuasca is sometimes called ayahuasca as well. In this usage, the DMT is generally considered the main psychoactive active ingredient, while the MAOI merely activates orally ingested DMT. However, most ayahuasqueros and others working with the brew claim the B. caapi vine to be the defining ingredient; according to them, it is not ayahuasca unless B. caapi is in the brew. The vine is considered to be the "spirit" of ayahuasca, the gatekeeper and guide to the otherworldly realms. In some areas, it is even said that the chakruna or chaliponga admixtures are added only to make the brew taste sweeter. This is a strong indicator of the often wildly divergent intentions and cultural differences between the native ayahuasca-using cultures and psychedelics enthusiasts in other countries. In modern Europe and North America, ayahuasca analogues are often prepared using non-traditional plants which contain the same alkaloids. For example, seeds of the Syrian rue plant are often used as a substitute for the ayawaska vine, and the DMT-rich Mimosa hostilis is used in place of chakruna. Australia has several indigenous plants which are popular among modern ayahuasqueros there, such as various DMT-rich species of Acacia. In modern Western culture, entheogen users sometimes base concoctions on Ayahuasca. When doing so, most often Rue or B. caapi are used with an alternative form of the DMT molecule, such as psilocin, or a non-DMT based hallucinogen such as mescaline. Nicknames such as Psilohuasca, Mush-rue-asca, or 'Shroom-a-huasca, for mushroom based mixtures, or Pedrohuasca (from the San Pedro Cactus, which contains mescaline) are often given to such brews. Such nicknames are by many considered inappropriate and culturally insensitive seeing as "huasca" means "vine" and none of the above are vines, nor do the psychedelic experimentalist trappings of such concoctions bear any resemblance to the medicinal use of Ayahuasca in its original cultural context. This is usually only done by experienced entheogen users who are more familiar with the chemicals and plants being used, as the uninformed combination of various neuro-chemicals can be dangerous. It seems unlikely that Ayahuasca could ever emerge as a "street-drug", given the difficulty of making the tea and the intense experience it provides. Most Western users employ it almost exclusively for spiritual purposes, in line with both traditional, animist usage and organized churches such as the União do Vegetal (or UDV). A diet is almost always followed before use, including a day of fasting, to rid the body of tyramines and other contraindicated chemicals; a "dieta" is often followed as well, to spiritually cleanse the body before and after the experience. Most recreational drug users have never even heard of Ayahuasca, DMT or MAOIs, or the possibility of alterations to the shamanic brew. Introduction to the West Ayahuasca is mentioned in the writings of some of the earliest missionaries to South America, but it wasn't for some time that it became commonly known in the West. The early missionary reports generally claim it as demonic, and great efforts were made by the Roman Catholic Church to stamp it out. When originally researched in the 20th century, the active chemical constituent of B. caapi was called telepathine, but it was found to be identical to a chemical already isolated from Peganum harmala and given the name harmaline. William Burroughs sought yagé (still considered to be "telepathine") in the 1950s while traveling through South America, in the hopes that it could relieve or cure opiate addiction. The Yage Letters, written between Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were probably the first major introduction of Ayahuasca to the West. Ayahuasca was made more widely known by Terence and Dennis McKenna's experiences with Amazonian tribes as detailed in the book Invisible Landscape, which they co-authored. Their journey to the rainforest to search for Ayahuasca was spurred by their reading of Burroughs and Ginsberg. Dennis later extensively studied the pharmacology, botany, and chemistry of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, which were the subjects of his master's thesis. In Brazil, a number of modern religious movements based on the use of ayahuasca have emerged, the most famous of them being Santo Daime and the União do Vegetal (or UDV), usually in an animistic context that may be shamanistic or, more often (as with Santo Daime and the UDV), integrated with Christianity. Both Santo Daime and União do Vegetal now have members and churches throughout the world. Similarly, the US and Europe have started to see new religious groups develop in relation to increased ayahuasca use. PaDeva, an American Wiccan group, has become the first incorporated legal church which holds the use of ayahuasca central to their beliefs. Several notable celebrities have publicly discussed their use of ayahuasca, including Sting, Tori Amos, and Paul Simon (who wrote the song Spirit Voices about his experience with the brew in the Amazon). Some Westerners have teamed up with shamans in the Amazon rainforest regions, forming Ayahuasca healing retreats that claim to be able to cure mental and physical illness and allow communication with the spirit world. Though both anecdotal reports and scientific studies affirm that ritualized use of ayahuasca may improve mental and physical health,[9] the monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) component of the brew is a powerful compound that interacts with many foods that some Westerners would not consider dangerous, from liver to Vegemite. Therefore, observing strict dietary restrictions is required before taking ayahuasca. "Ayahuasca tourism" "Ayahuasca tourists" is a slighting term for those who quest for a transcendent experience through using ayahuasca and usually implies insincere Westerners who want a taste of an exotic ritual. Not all Westerners who have teamed up with Amazonian shamans are considered "ayahuasca tourists", or provide modified services directed specifically to Westerners. Genuine pilgrims from Colombia, Argentina, or Mexico also come for ayahuasca healing. People such as these include many explorers of consciousness, writers, researchers, medical doctors, journalists, amateur anthropologists and ethno botanists, alongside vision quest seekers, and knowledge seekers who take part in ayahuasca retreats. The retreats offer the encounter with ayahuasca as an opportunity to re-balance and re-centre their lives, to clear emotional blocks, in a way that has to do with healing and personal evolution. Initiation Usually a visitor who wishes to becomes a "dietero" or "dietera" that is, a male or female apprentice-shaman learning the way of the teacher plants undergoes a rigorous initiation. This can involve spending a year in the jungle. This initiation challenges and trains the initiate through extreme circumstances covering isolation, deprivation from utilities available in civilisation and its conveniences, enduring radical weather of heavy rains, storms, intense heat, insects and solitude.[citation needed] Modern descriptions Wade Davis (author of The Serpent and The Rainbow) describes the traditional mixture as tough in his book One River: "The smell and acrid taste was that of the entire jungle ground up and mixed with bile." [p.194] Mainstream writer Kira Salak for National Geographic magazine describes her personal experiences with ayahuasca in the March 2006 issue. She includes how it cured her of depression as well as providing detailed background information about the brew. Here is an excerpt from the article about Charles Grob's findings: The taking of ayahuasca has been associated with a long list of documented cures: the disappearance of everything from metastasized colorectal cancer to cocaine addiction, even after just a ceremony or two. It has been medically proven to be nonaddictive and safe to ingest. Yet Western scientists have all but ignored it for decades, reluctant to risk their careers by researching a substance containing the outlawed DMT. Only in the past decade, and then only by a handful of researchers, has ayahuasca begun to be studied. At the vanguard of this research is Charles Grob, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at UCLA’s School of Medicine. In 1993 Dr. Grob launched the Hoasca Project, the first in-depth study of the physical and psychological effects of ayahuasca on humans. His team went to Brazil, where the plant mixture can be taken legally, to study members of a church, the União do Vegetal (UDV), who use ayahuasca as a sacrament, and compared them to a control group that had never ingested the substance. The studies found that all the ayahuasca-using UDV members had experienced remission without recurrence of their addictions, depression, or anxiety disorders. Unlike most common anti-depressants, which Grob says can create such high levels of serotonin that cells may actually compensate by losing many of their serotonin receptors, the Hoasca Project showed that ayahuasca strongly enhances the body’s ability to absorb the serotonin that’s naturally there. 'Ayahuasca is perhaps a far more sophisticated and effective way to treat depression than SSRIs [antidepressant drugs],' Grob concludes, adding that the use of SSRIs is 'a rather crude way' of doing it. And ayahuasca, he insists, has great potential as a long-term solution. Plant constituents Traditional Traditional Ayahuasca brews are always made with Banisteriopsis caapi as an MAOI, although DMT sources and other admixtures vary from region to region. There are several varieties of caapi, often known as different "colors", with varying effects, potencies, and uses. DMT admixtures: ▪ Psychotria viridis (Chakruna) - leaves ▪ Diplopterys cabrerana (Chaliponga, Banisteriopsis rusbyana) - leaves ▪ Psychotria carthagensis (Amyruca) - leaves Other common admixtures: ▪ Justicia pectoralis ▪ Brugmansia (Toé) ▪ Nicotiana rustica (Mapacho, variety of tobacco) ▪ Ilex guayusa, a relative of yerba mate Western Although traditional plant materials are often used, sources with similar chemical constituents are often substituted for the traditional ingredients. MAOI: ▪ Harmal (Peganum harmala, Syrian Rue) - seeds ▪ Passion flower DMT admixture sources: ▪ Acacia maidenii (Maiden's Wattle), Acacia phlebophylla, and other Acacias, most commonly employed in Australia - bark ▪ Anadenanthera peregrina, A. colubrina, A. excelsa, A. macrocarpa ▪ Mimosa hostilis (Jurema) - root bark - not traditionally employed with ayahuasca by any existing cultures, though likely it was in the past. Popular in Europe and North America. Legal status Internationally, DMT is a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The Commentary on the Convention on Psychotropic Substances notes, however, that the plant itself is excluded from international control[1]: The cultivation of plants from which psychotropic substances are obtained is not controlled by the Vienna Convention. . . . Neither the crown (fruit, mescal button) of the Peyote cactus nor the roots of the plant Mimosa hostilis nor Psilocybe mushrooms themselves are included in Schedule 1, but only their respective principles, mescaline, DMT and psilocin. A fax from the Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board to the Netherlands Ministry of Public Health sent in 2001 goes on to state that "Consequently, preparations (e.g.decoctions) made of these plants, including ayahuasca, are not under international control and, therefore, not subject to any of the articles of the 1971 Convention." [2] The legal status of these plants in the United States is somewhat questionable. Ayahuasca plants and preparations are legal as they contain no scheduled chemicals. However, brews made using DMT containing plants are illegal since DMT is a Schedule I drug. That said, some people are challenging this, using arguments similar to those used by peyotist religious sects, such as the Native American Church. A court case allowing União do Vegetal to use the tea for religious purposes in the United States, Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on November 1, 2005; the decision, released February 21, 2006, allows the UDV to use the tea in its ceremonies persuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Religious use in Brazil was legalized after two official inquiries into the tea in the mid-1980s, which concluded that ayahuasca is not a recreational drug and has valid spiritual uses. (More on the legal status of ayahuasca can be found in the Erowid vault on the legality of ayahuasca.) In France, Santo Daime won a court case allowing them to use the tea in early 2005; however, they were not allowed an exception for religious purposes, but rather for the simple reason that they did not perform chemical extractions to end up with pure DMT and harmala and the plants used were not scheduled. Four months after the court victory, the common ingredients of Ayahuasca as well as harmala were declared stupéfiants, or narcotic schedule I substances, making the tea and its ingredients illegal to use or possess. See [3] and [4] (French) for more information. Legal Status in the UK : Before 18th July, 2005 'Psilocybe' Magic Mushrooms were not a controlled drug unless they had been concentrated by drying for example. [5] As a consequence a thriving business grew around collecting and selling them openly. This sadly led to a change in law whereby possession is now an offence of a Class A drug. ▪ Adelaars, Arno. Ayahuasca. Rituale, Zaubertränke und visionäre Kunst aus Amazonien, ISBN 978-3-03800-270-3 ▪ Burroughs, William S. & Ginsberg, Allen. The Yage Letters. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1963. ISBN 0-87286-004-3 ▪ De Rios, Marlene Dobkin. Visionary Vine: Hallucinogenic Healing in the Peruvian Amazon, (2nd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1984. ISBN 0-88133-093-0 ▪ Hancock, Graham Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind. London: Century, 2005. ISBN-10: 1844136817 [6] ▪ Heaven, Ross. Charing, Howard G 'Plant Spirit Shamanism: Traditional Techniques for Healing the Soul'. Vermont: Destiny Books, 2006. ISBN 1-59477-118-9 ▪ Lamb, F. Bruce. Rio Tigre and Beyond: The Amazon Jungle Medicine of Manuel Córdova. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1985. ISBN 0-938190-59-8 ▪ Luna, Luis Eduardo. Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1986. ISBN 91-22-00819-5 ▪ Luna, Luis Eduardo & Amaringo, Pablo. Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of A Peruvian Shaman. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1999. ISBN 1-55643-311-5 ▪ Luna, Luis Eduardo & White, Stephen F., eds. Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine. Santa Fe, NM: Synergetic, 2000. ISBN 0-907791-32-8 ▪ Matteson Langdon, E. Jean & Baer, Gerhard, eds. Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8263-1345-0 ▪ McKenna, Terence. Food of the Gods. ▪ Metzner, Ralph, ed. Ayahuasca: Hallucinogens, Consciousness, and the Spirit of Nature. New York: Thunder's Mouth, 1999. ISBN 1-56025-160-3 ▪ Narby, Jeremy. The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998. ISBN 0-87477-911-1 ▪ O'Rourke, P.J. "All the Trouble in the World". New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994. ISBN 0-87113-611-2 ▪ Ott, Jonathan. Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangæan Entheogens. Kennewick, Wash.: Natural Products, 1994. ISBN 0-9614234-5-5 ▪ Perkins, John. The World Is As You Dream It: Shamanic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 1994. ISBN 0-89281-459-4[7] ▪ Pinchbeck, Daniel. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. New York: Broadway, 2002. ISBN 0-7679-0743-4[8] ▪ Polari de Alverga, Alex. Forest of Visions: Ayahuasca, Amazonian Spirituality, and the Santo Daime Tradition. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 1999. ISBN 0-89281-716-X ▪ Reichel-Dolmatoff, Gerardo. The Shaman and the Jaguar: A Study of Narcotic Drugs Among the Indians of Colombia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1975. ISBN 0-87722-038-7 ▪ Schultes, Richard Evans & Raffauf, Robert F. Vine of the Soul: Medicine Men, Their Plants and Rituals in the Colombian Amazonia. Oracle, AZ: Synergetic, 1992. ISBN 0-907791-24-7 ▪ Shanon, Benny. The Antipodes of the Mind: Charting the Phenomenology of the Ayahuasca Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-19-925293-9 ▪ Stafford, Peter G. Heavenly Highs: Ayahuasca, Kava-Kava, Dmt, and Other Plants of the Gods. Berkeley: Ronin, 2004. ISBN 1-57951-069-8 ▪ Strassman, Rick. DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street, 2001. ISBN 0-89281-927-8 ▪ Taussig, Michael. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. ISBN 0-226-79012-6 ▪ Wilcox, Joan Parisi (2003). Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul. Rochester, Vt.: Park Street. ISBN 0-89281-131-5 Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa L., Cannabis indica Lam., and Cannabis ruderalis Janisch. These three taxa are indigenous to central Asia and surrounding regions. Industrial hemp products are made from Cannabis plants selected to produce an abundance of fiber and minimal levels of THC (Δ9- tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive molecule that produces the "high" associated with marijuana. The drug consists of dried flowers and leaves of plants selected to produce high levels of THC. Various extracts including hashish and hash oil are also produced.[1] The cultivation and possession of Cannabis for recreational use is outlawed in most countries. Description Cannabis is an annual, dioecious, flowering herb. The leaves are palmately compound, with serrate leaflets. The first pair of leaves usually have a single leaflet, the number gradually increasing up to a maximum of about thirteen leaflets per leaf (usually seven or nine), depending on variety and growing conditions. At the top of a flowering plant, this number again diminishes to a single leaflet per leaf. The lower leaf pairs usually occur in an opposite leaf arrangement and the upper leaf pairs in an alternate arrangement on the main stem of a mature plant. Cannabis usually has imperfect flowers with staminate "male" and pistillate "female" flowers occurring on separate plants,[2] although hermaphroditic flowers sometimes occur.[3] Male flowers are borne on loose panicles, and female flowers are borne on racemes.[4] It is not unusual for individual plants to bear both male and female flowers in some strains, a condition called monoecy.[5] On monoecious plants, flowers of both sexes may occur on separate inflorescences, or on the same inflorescence.[3] Cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other volatile compounds are secreted by glandular trichomes that occur most abundantly on the floral calyxes and bracts of female plants.[6] All known strains of Cannabis are wind-pollinated[7] and produce "seeds" that are technically called achenes.[8] Most strains of Cannabis are short day plants,[7] with the possible exception of C. sativa subsp. sativa var. spontanea (= C. ruderalis), which is commonly described as "auto-flowering" and may be day-neutral. Cannabis is naturally diploid, having a chromosome complement of 2n=20, although polyploid individuals have been artificially produced.[9] Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant which includes one or more species. The plant is believed to have originated in the mountainous regions just north west of the Himalayas. It is also known as hemp, although this term usually refers to varieties of Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. Cannabis plants produce a group of chemicals called cannabinoids which produce mental and physical effects when consumed. As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried buds or flowers(marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively known as hashish oil.[1] In the early 20th century, it became illegal in most of the world to cultivate or possess Cannabis for drug purposes. Reproduction & Breeding systems Some Cannabis sativa seeds Cannabis is predominantly dioecious,[7][10] although many monoecious varieties have been described.[11] Subdioecy (the occurrence of monoecious individuals and dioecious individuals within the same population) is widespread.[5][12][13] Many populations have been described as sexually labile.[14][15][16] As a result of intensive selection in cultivation, Cannabis exhibits many sexual phenotypes that can be described in terms of the ratio of female to male flowers occurring in the individual, or typical in the cultivar.[17] Dioecious varieties are preferred for drug production, where the female plants are preferred. Dioecious varieties are also preferred for textile fiber production, whereas monoecious varieties are preferred for pulp and paper production. It has been suggested that the presence of monoecy can be used to differentiate between licit crops of monoecious hemp and illicit dioecious drug crops.[5] Mechanisms of sex determination Cannabis has been described as having one of the most complicated mechanisms of sex determination among the dioecious plants.[17] Many models have been proposed to explain sex determination in Cannabis. Based on studies of sex reversal in hemp, it was first reported by K. Hirata in 1924 that an XY sex-determination system is present.[14] At the time, the XY system was the only known system of sex determination. The X:A system was first described in Drosophila spp in 1925.[18] Soon thereafter, Schaffner disputed Hirata's interpretation,[19] and published results from his own studies of sex reversal in hemp, concluding that an X:A system was in use and that furthermore sex was strongly influenced by environmental conditions.[15] Since then, many different types of sex determination systems have been discovered, particularly in plants.[10] Dioecy is relatively uncommon in the plant kingdom, and a very low percentage of dioecious plant species have been determined to use the XY system. In most cases where the XY system is found it is believed to have evolved recently and independently.[20] Since the 1920s, a number of sex determination models have been proposed for Cannabis. Ainsworth[10] describes sex determination in the genus as using "an X/autosome dosage-type." Dense raceme of carpellate flowers typical of drug-type varieties of Cannabis The question of whether heteromorphic sex chromosomes are indeed present is most conveniently answered if such chromosomes were clearly visible in a karyotype. Cannabis was one of the first plant species to be karyotyped, however, this was in a period when karyotype preparation was primitive by modern standards (see History of Cytogenetics). Heteromorphic sex chromosomes were reported to occur in staminate individuals of dioecious 'Kentucky' hemp, but were not found in pistillate individuals of the same variety. Dioecious 'Kentucky' hemp was assumed to use an XY mechanism. Heterosomes were not observed in analyzed individuals of monoecious 'Kentucky' hemp, nor in an unidentified German cultivar. These varieties were assumed to have sex chromosome composition XX.[21] According to other researchers, no modern karyotype of Cannabis had been published as of 1996.[22] Proponents of the XY system state that Y chromosome is slightly larger than the X, but difficult to differentiate cytologically.[23] More recently, Sakamoto and various co-authors[24][25] have used RAPD to isolate several genetic marker sequences that they name Male-Associated DNA in Cannabis (MADC), and which they interpret as indirect evidence of a male chromosome. Several other research groups have reported identification of male-associated markers using RAPD and AFLP.[26][16][27] Ainsworth commented on these findings, stating that "It is not surprising that male-associated markers are relatively abundant. In dioecious plants where sex chromosomes have not been identified, markers for maleness indicate either the presence of sex chromosomes which have not been distinguished by cytological methods or that the marker is tightly linked to a gene involved in sex determination."[10] Environmental sex determination is known to occur in a variety of species.[28] Many researchers have suggested that sex in Cannabis is determined or strongly influenced by environmental factors.[15] Ainsworth reviews that treatment with auxin and ethylene have feminizing effects, and that treatment with cytokinins and gibberellins have masculinizing effects.[10] It has been reported that sex can be reversed in Cannabis using chemical treatment.[29] A PCR-based method for the detection of female-associated DNA polymorphisms by genotyping has been developed.[30] Aspects of Cannabis production and use Cannabis field seized by authorities ▪ Medical Cannabis discusses its use as a medication. ▪ Cannabis (drug) discusses its use as a recreational drug. ▪ Spiritual use of cannabis discusses sacramental and religious use. ▪ Hemp discusses its uses as a source of housing, oil, food, fibers, and industrial materials. ▪ Cannabis (drug) cultivation discusses aspects of cultivation for medicinal and recreational drug purposes ▪ Legal issues of Cannabis focuses on the law and enforcement aspects of growing, transporting, selling and using cannabis as a drug. ▪ Cannabis rescheduling in the United States ▪ Drug policy of the Netherlands ▪ Health issues and the effects of cannabis discusses the pharmacology, physical, and mental effects of Cannabis when used as drug. References 1 ^ a b Erowid. 2006. Cannabis Basics. Retrieved on 25 Feb 2007 2 ^ Lebel-Hardenack, S. and S. R. Grant. 1997. Genetics of fucking determination in flowering plants. Trends in Plant Science 2(4): 130–136. 3 ^ a b Cristiana Moliterni, V. M., L. Cattivelli, P. Ranalli. and G. Mandolino. 2005. The sexual differentiation of Cannabis sativa L.: A morphological and molecular study. Euphytica 140(1-2): 95-106. Retrieved on 25 Feb 2007 4 ^ Bouquet, R. J. 1950. Cannabis. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved on 23 Feb 2007 5 ^ a b c Mignoni, G. 1999. Cannabis as a licit crop: recent developments in Europe. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved on 5 Oct 2006 6 ^ Mahlberg, Paul G. and Eun Soo Kim. 2001. THC (tetrahyrdocannabinol) accumulation in glands of Cannabis (Cannabaceae). The Hemp Report 3(17). Retrieved on 23 Feb 2007 7 ^ a b c Clarke, Robert C. 1991. Marijuana Botany, 2nd ed. Ron Publishing, California. ISBN 0-914171-78-X 8 ^ Small, E. 1975. Morphological variation of achenes of Cannabis. Canadian Journal of Botany 53(10): 978-987. 9 ^ Small, E. 1972. Interfertility and chromosomal uniformity in Cannabis. Canadian Journal of Botany 50(9): 1947-1949. 10 ^ a b c d e Ainsworth, C. 2000. Boys and girls come out to play: the molecular biology of dioecious plants. Annals of Botany 86(2): 211-221. Retrieved on 24 Feb 2007 11 ^ de Meijer, E. P. M. 1999. Cannabis germplasm resources. In: Ranalli P. (ed.). Advances in Hemp Research, Haworth Press, Binghamton, NY, pp. 131-151. ISBN 1-56022-872-5 12 ^ Schumann, E., A. Peil, and W. E. Weber. 1999. Preliminary results of a German field trial with different hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) accessions. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 46(4): 399-407. Retrieved on 24 Feb 2007 13 ^ Ranalli, P. 2004. Current status and future scenarios of hemp breeding. Euphytica 140(1): 121-131. 14 ^ a b Hirata, K. 1924. Sex reversal in hemp. Journal of the Society of Agriculture and Forestry 16: 145-168. 15 ^ a b c Schaffner, J. H. 1931. The fluctuation curve of sex reversal in staminate hemp plants induced by photoperiodicity. American Journal of Botany 18(6): 424-430. 16 ^ a b 17 ^ a b Truta, E., E. Gille, E. Toth, and M. Maniu. 2002. Biochemical differences in Cannabis sativa L. depending on sexual phenotype. Journal of Applied Genetics 43(4): 451-462. Retrieved on 24 Feb 2007 18 ^ Bridges, C. B. 1925. Sex in relation to chromosomes and genes. American Naturalist 59: 127-137. 19 ^ Schaffner, J. H. 1929. Heredity and sex. Ohio Journal of Science 29(1): 289-300. 20 ^ Negrutiu, I., B. Vyskot, N. Barbacar, S. Georgiev, and F. Moneger. 2001. Dioecious plants; a key to the early events of sex chromosome evolution. Plant Physiology 127(4): 418-424. 21 ^ Menzel, Margaret Y. 1964. Meiotic chromosomes of monoecious Kentucky hemp (Cannabis sativa). Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 91(3): 193-205. 22 ^ Shao Hong and Robert C. Clarke. 1996. Taxonomic studies of Cannabis in China. Journal of the International Hemp Association 3(2): 55-60. Retrieved on 25 Feb 2007 23 ^ Peil, A., H. Flachowsky, E. Schumann, and W. E. Weber. 2003. Sex-linked AFLP markers indicate a pseudoautosomal region in hemp (Cannabis sativa L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 107(1): 102-109. 24 ^ Sakamoto, K., K. Shimomura, Y. Komeda, H. Kamada, and S. Satoh. 1995. A male-associated DNA sequence in a dioecious plant, Cannabis sativa L. Plant & Cell Physiology 36(8): 1549-1554. Retrieved on 25 Feb 2007 25 ^ Sakamoto, K., T. Abe, T. Matsuyama, S. Yoshida, N. Ohmido, K. Fukui, and S. Satoh. 2005. RAPD markers encoding retrotransposable elements are linked to the male sex in Cannabis sativa L. Genome 48(5): 931-936. Retrieved on 25 Feb 2007 26 ^ Törjék, O., N. Bucherna, E. Kiss, H. Homoki, Z. Finta-Korpelová, I. Bócsa, I. Nagy, and L. E. Heszky. 2002. Novel male specific molecular markers (MADC5, MADC6) for sex identification in hemp. Euphytica 127: 209-218. 27 ^ 28 ^ Tanurdzic, M. and J. A. Banks. 2004. Sex-determining mechanisms in land plants. Plant Cell 16 (suppl.): S61-71. 29 ^ Mohan Ram, H. Y., and R. Sett. 1982. Induction of fertile male flowers in genetically female Cannabis sativa plants by silver nitrate and silver thiosulfate anionic complex. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 62: 369-375. 30 ^ Journal of Industrial Hemp 2003 Vol 8 issue 1 page 5-9, Female-Associated DNA Polymorphisms of Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), Hong Shao, Shu-Juan Song, Robert C. Clarke DOM (or STP, allegedly standing for Serenity, Tranquillity and Peace, but based on the name of a motor oil called STP and thus named by Owsley Stanley) is a psychedelic hallucinogenic drug and a substituted amphetamine of the phenethylamine class of compounds, sometimes used as an entheogen. DOM was first synthesized by Alexander Shulgin. The full name of the chemical is 4-methyl-2,5-dimethoxyamphetamine. DOM has a stereocenter and R-(-)-DOM is the more active stereoisomer. In his book PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved), Shulgin lists the dosage range as 3 to 10 mg. DOM is generally taken orally. DOM is classified as a Schedule 1 substance in the United States, and is similarly controlled in other parts of the world. Internationally, DOM is a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1]. Not much information is known about the toxicity of DOM. According to Shulgin, the effects of DOM typically last 14 to 20 hours. Clinical studies have indicated that repeated exposures to DOM can result in the rapid development of tolerance in as little as three days. In mid-1967, tablets containing 20mg (later 10mg) of DOM were widely distributed in the Haight-Ashbury District of San Francisco under the name of STP. This short-lived appearance of DOM on the black market proved disastrous for several reasons. First, the tablets contained an excessively high dose of the chemical. This, combined with DOM’s slow onset of action (which encouraged some users, familiar with drugs that have quicker onsets, such as LSD, to re-dose) and its remarkably long duration, caused many users to panic and sent some to the emergency room. Second, treatment of such overdoses was complicated by the fact that no one at the time knew that the tablets called STP were, in fact, DOM. Another structural isomer of DOM is also known to be active. This compound has the methoxy groups at the 2,6 positions instead, and is known as Ψ-DOM. Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), also known as N,N-dimethyltryptamine, is a psychedelic tryptamine. It is not to be confused with 5-MeO-DMT and is similar in chemical structure to the neurotransmitter serotonin. DMT is created in small amounts by the human body during normal metabolism[1] by the enzyme tryptamine-N-methyltransferase. Pure DMT at room temperature is a clear or white to yellowish crystalline solid. DMT was first chemically synthesized in 1931. It also occurs naturally in many species of plants. DMT-containing plants are used in several South American shamanic practices. It is one of the main active constituents of snuffs like yopo and of the drink ayahuasca. DMT is generally not active orally unless it is combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as harmaline. Without an MAOI, the body quickly metabolizes orally-administered DMT, and it therefore has no hallucinogenic effect unless the dose exceeds monoamine oxidase's metabolic capacity (very rare). Other means of ingestion such as smoking or injecting the drug can produce powerful hallucinations and entheogenic activity for a short time (usually less than half an hour). Hallucinogenic properties DMT is a powerful psychoactive substance. If DMT is smoked, injected, or orally ingested with an MAOI, it can produce powerful entheogenic experiences including intense visual hallucinations, euphoria, even true hallucinations (perceived extensions of reality). A trip sitter is recommended to assist the drug user in staying physically and mentally healthy, and, in the case of smoked DMT, to catch the pipe if the user loses awareness of it. Smoked: If DMT is smoked, the maximal effects last for a short period of time (5 - 30 minutes dose dependent). The onset after inhalation is very fast (less than 45 seconds) and maximal effects are reached within about a minute. The Business Man's lunch trip is a common name due to the relatively short duration of vaporized, insufflated, or injected DMT. Insufflation: When DMT is insufflated (snorted through the nostrils) the duration is markedly increased, and some users report diminished euphoria for increased "spiritual" qualities of effect. Insufflated Yopo along with Ayahuasca were the original methods used by primitive tribes. Injection: Injected DMT produces an experience similar to inhalation in duration, intensity, and characteristics. Oral ingestion: DMT, which is broken down by the digestive enzyme monoamine oxidase, is practically inactive if taken orally, unless combined with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI). The traditional South American ayahuasca, or yage, is a tea mixture containing DMT and a MAOI. There are a number of admixtures to this brew, but most commonly it is simply the leaves of Psychotria viridis (containing DMT), and the vine Banisteriopsis caapi (the source of MAOI). Other DMT containing plants, including Diplopterys cabrerana, are sometimes used in ayahuasca in different areas of South America. Two common sources in the western US are Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) and Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica). These invasive grasses contain low levels of DMT and other alkaloids. Taken orally with an appropriate MAOI, DMT produces a long lasting (over 3 hour), slow, but deep spiritual experience. MAOIs should be used with extreme caution as they can have lethal complications with some prescription drugs, such as SSRI antidepressants, and some over-the-counter drugs.[2] Induced DMT experiences can include profound time-dilation, visual and audio hallucinations, and other experiences that, by most firsthand accounts, defy verbal or visual description. Some users report intense erotic imagery and sensations and utilize the drug in a ritual sexual context.[3][4]Professor Alan Watts described the effects of DMT as "Load universe into cannon. Aim at brain. Fire." In a 1988 study conducted at UNM, psychiatrist Rick Strassman found that approximately 20% of volunteers injected with high doses of DMT had experiences with a perceived alien entity. Some of these beings are often described as elves, or "aliens," "guides," or "helpers." Visually some are said to resemble clowns, reptiles, mantises, bees, spiders, cacti, gnomes, and stick figures. At least one subject reported sexual contact with these beings, and some others reported erotic experiences. Usually, the reported entities were experienced as the inhabitants of the mental reality the subjects reported visiting on DMT. [5] Indicated for: ▪ ? Recreational uses: ▪ Euphoria ▪ Psychedelic effects Unethical uses: ▪ ? Other uses: ▪ Mystical Experience ▪ Shamanic ▪ spiritual/Religious Contraindications: ▪ Do not use if suffering from Schizophrenia or similar conditions, or if such runs in your family. As with all psychoactive substances, Set & Setting are of utmost importance. Side Effects When DMT is vaporized, the vapor produced is often felt to be very harsh on the lungs. According to a "Dose-response study of N,N-dimethyltryptamine in humans" by Rick Strassman "Dimethyltryptamine dose dependently elevated blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter, and rectal temperature, in addition to elevating blood concentrations of beta-endorphin, corticotropin, cortisol, and prolactin. Growth hormone blood levels rose equally in response to all doses of DMT, and melatonin levels were unaffected."[6] Chemistry DMT is a derivative of tryptamine with two additional methyl groups at the amine nitrogen atom. DMT is often synthesized by the Speeter-Anthony synthesis from indole using oxalyl chloride, dimethylamine, and lithium aluminium hydride as reagents. DMT is usually used in its base form, but it is more stable as a salt, e.g. as a fumarate. In contrast to DMT's base, its salts are water-soluble. DMT in solution degrades relatively fast and should be stored protected from air and light in a freezer. Highly pure DMT crystals, when evaporated out of a solvent and depositing upon glass, often produce small but highly defined white crystalline needles which when viewed under intense light will sparkle, and appear colorless under high magnification. Speculations Several speculative and as yet untested hypotheses suggest that endogenous DMT, produced in the human brain, is involved in certain psychological and neurological states. As DMT is naturally produced in small amounts in the brains and other tissues of humans, and other mammals[1], some believe it plays a role in promoting the visual effects of natural dreaming, near-death experiences and other mystical states. A biochemical mechanism for this was proposed by the medical researcher JC Callaway, who suggested in 1988 that DMT might be connected with visual dream phenomena, where brain DMT levels are periodically elevated to induce visual dreaming and possibly other natural states of mind. [7] Dr. Rick Strassman, while conducting DMT research in the 1990s at the University of New Mexico, advanced the theory that a massive release of DMT from the pineal gland prior to death or near death was the cause of the near death experience (NDE) phenomenon. Several of his test subjects reported NDE-like audio or visual hallucinations. His explanation for this was the possible lack of panic involved in the clinical setting and possible dosage differences between those administered and those encountered in actual NDE cases. Several subjects also reported contact with 'other beings', alien like, insectoid and reptillian in nature, in technological environments[5] where the subjects were 'probed', 'tested' and sometimes even 'manipulated' by these 'beings' (see Abduction phenomenon). In the 1950s, the endogenous production of psychoactive agents was considered to be a potential explanation for the hallucinatory symptoms of some psychiatric diseases as the transmethylation hypothesis.[8]. Unfortunately, this hypothesis does not account for the natural presence of endogenous DMT in otherwise normal humans, not to mention rats and other laboratory animals. The proposal by Dr. Callaway was the first to suggest a useful function for the endogenous production of DMT; i.e. to facilitate the visual phenomenon of normal dreaming. Ethical concerns do not allow for the testing of this hypothesis in humans, as the biological samples must come from the living human brain. It is unknown if other animals actually do dream, as it is quite impossible to know this without their ability to tell us that they have had a dream, although REM sleep is highly correlated with dream sleep. Writers on DMT include Terence McKenna and Jeremy Narby, though most scientists who study psychedelic drugs treat their writings with skepticism. McKenna writes of his experiences with DMT in which he encounters entities he describes as "Self-Transforming Machine Elves". McKenna believed DMT to be a tool that could be used to enhance communication and allow for communication with other-worldly entities. Other users report visitation from external intelligences attempting to impart information. These Machine Elf experiences are said to be shared by many DMT users. From a researcher's perspective, perhaps best known is Rick Strassman's DMT: The Spirit Molecule (ISBN 0-89281-927-8); Strassman also proposed that DMT is made in the pineal gland, although this is only speculation. It should be noted that DMT falls in the Tryptamine group, which also contains Serotonin, Melatonin (a hormone the Pineal Gland does indeed produce, and which contains an indole ring similar to DMT), and Psilocybin. Legal status DMT is classified in the United States as a Schedule I drug. In December of 2004, the Supreme Court lifted a stay thereby allowing the Brazil-based União do Vegetal (UDV) church to use a decoction containing DMT in their Christmas services that year. This decoction is a "tea" made from boiled leaves and vines, known as hoasca within the UDV, and ayahuasca in different cultures. In Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, the Supreme Court heard arguments on November 1, 2005 and unanimously ruled in February 2006 that the U.S. federal government must allow the UDV to import and consume the tea for religious ceremonies under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. There are no drug tests that would show DMT usage. None of the basic NIDA 5 drug tests or any extended drug test will show a result for DMT. [2] DMT is classified in Canada as a Schedule III drug. DMT, along with most of its plant sources, is classified in France as a stupéfiant. DMT is classified in the United Kingdom as a Class A drug. Culture In Brazil there are a number of religious movements based on the use of Ayahuasca, usually in an animistic context that may be shamanistic, sometimes mixed with Christian imagery. There are four main branches using DMT-MAOI based sacraments in Brazil: 1 Indigenous people - they are the oldest culture in the whole South America to use ayahuasca or analogue brews, such as the ones made from Jurema (Mimosa hostilis). 2 Santo Daime (Saint Giveme) and Barquinha (Lil'Boat) - the former was founded by a simple man, called Raimundo Irineu Serra, in the early 30s as an esoteric Christian religion with shamanic tendencies. The Barquinha cult was derived from this one. 3 União do Vegetal (Vegetable's Union) - another Christian ayahuasca religion, with a more Masonic tone. Today it's divided into at least three sects. 4 Neo-shamans - there are some shamanic facilitators in Brasil using ayahuasca and analogous brews in their rituals and séances, mainly in the State of São Paulo. LSA also known as d-lysergic acid amide, d-lysergamide, ergine, and LA-111, is an alkaloid of the ergoline family that occurs in various species of vines of the Convolvulaceae and some species of fungi. As the dominant alkaloid in the hallucinogenic seeds of Rivea corymbosa (ololiuhqui), Argyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose) and Ipomoea tricolor (morning glories, tlitliltzin), it is often stated that ergine and/or isoergine (its epimer) is responsible for the psychedelic activity. In fact, the effects of synthetic LSA and iso-LSA are not particularly psychedelic, see Mixing the Kykeon below for a summary of human trials, and Chapter 17 and entry #26 of TiHKAL for further discussion. Whether or not these compounds account for the hallucinogenic effects of the seeds remains unclear. Ergine is a DEA schedule III drug in the United States. Effects Erowid lists the following effects:[2] Positive ▪ mood lift ▪ feelings of insight ▪ increase in sensual and aesthetic appreciation ▪ feeling interested in things one normally ignores ▪ feeling engaged with the world ▪ open- and closed-eye visuals Neutral ▪ general change in consciousness (as with most psychoactives) ▪ altered perceptions ▪ changes in perception of time ▪ unusual thoughts and speech ▪ day-after effects are light, but no work should be planned ▪ enlagred pupils Negative ▪ anxiety ▪ nausea and gas (common), possible vomiting ▪ delirium, dizziness, confusion ▪ paranoia, fear, and panic (infrequent, more common with higher doses) Hallucinogenic history A closeup opened "Heavenly Blue" Morning Glory flower. LSA in morning glory seeds has been used as a hallucinogen for centuries by many Mexican Native American cultures; they were known to the Aztecs as tlitliltzin, the Nahuatl word for "black" with a reverential suffix. In South America, the seeds are also known as badoh negro. Their traditional use by Mexican Native Americans was first described by Richard Schultes in 1941 in a short report documenting their use going back to Aztec times (cited in TiHKAL by Alexander Shulgin). Further research was published in 1960, when Don Thomes MacDougall reported that the seeds of Ipomoea tricolor were used as sacraments by certain Zapotecs, sometimes in conjunction with the seeds of Rivea corymbosa, another species which has a similar chemical composition, with lysergol instead of ergometrine. LSA was assayed for human activity by Albert Hofmann in self-trials in 1947, well before it was known to be a natural compound. Intramuscular administration of a 500 microgram dose led to a tired, dreamy state, with an inability to maintain clear thoughts. After a short period of sleep the effects were gone, and normal baseline was recovered within five hours.[3] The greater spread of knowledge has led to a rise in recreational use of LSA by people other than Native Americans.[citation needed] Ibogaine Is an indole alkaloid, a long-acting hallucinogen which has gained attention due to its application in the treatment of opioid addiction and similar addiction syndromes. It occurs naturally in a number of dogbane plants, among them above all in Tabernanthe iboga. Formulations Isolated and standardized ibogaine is sold by Sigma-Aldrich in form of its crystalline hydrochloride salt. Natural alkaline ibogaine and related indole compounds tend to (auto)oxidize quickly in air atmosphere[1] as opposed to their salt form which is stable. So, working under inert atmosphere or under acidic conditions is crucial to prevent decomposition during extraction. The total alkaloid extract from Tabernanthe iboga rootbark is said to have about 1/5th the potency of pure ibogaine hydrochloride and the fresh, properly prepared extract contains all the alkaloids used in African traditional religion and medicine.[2] In Africa, Tabernanthe iboga is consumed as a stimulant by chewing the rootbark. In Bwiti religious ceremonies, the rootbark is pulverized and swallowed with water to produce intense psychoactive effects. The name "Indra extract" has become synonymous with the total alkaloid extract of iboga rootbark. However, that name actually refers to a particular stock of about 44kg of an iboga extract manufactured by an unnamed European industrial manufacturer in 1981. This stock was later purchased by Carl Waltenburg, who distributed it under the name "Indra extract". Waltenburg used the extract to treat heroin addicts in Christiana, Denmark, a squatter village where heroin addiction was widespread in 1982.[3] Indra extract was offered for sale over the internet until 2006, when the Indra web presence disappeared. Iboga extracts are still often called "Indra extract", but it is unclear whether any of them are actually from Waltenburg's original Indra stock, or whether any of that stock is still in existence or viable after over 2 decades. Whether the extraction was once performed properly is unknown, so the real composition of the product remains uncertain. History Ibogaine was first isolated from Tabernanthe iboga in 1901 by Dybowski and Landrin[4] and independently by Haller and Heckel in the same year. Samples of the plant were obtained from Gabon, Africa in the mid 1800s where it has been used in initiation rites of the Bwiti religion. The challenging total synthesis was accomplished by G. Büchi in 1966.[5] Since then, several further totally synthetic routes have been developed.[6] The use of ibogaine in treating substance use disorders in human subjects was first proposed by Howard Lotsof in U.S. Patent 4,499,096 which was awarded in 1985. Ibogaine's ability to attenuate opioid withdrawal confirmed in the rat was first published by Dzoljic et al. (1988).[7] Ibogaine's use in diminishing morphine self-administration in preclinical studies was shown by Glick et al. (1991)[8] and ibogaine's capacity to reduce cocaine self-administration in the rat was shown by Cappendijk et al. (1993).[9] Animal model support for ibogaine claims to treat alcohol dependence were established by Rezvani (1995).[10] Data demonstrating ibogaine's efficacy in attenuating opioid withdrawal in drug dependent human subjects was published by Alper et al. (1999)[11] and Mash et al. (2000).[12] However, there have been as yet no peer-reviewed studies demonstrating any statistically significant long term improvement following ibogaine administration to humans with drug problems. Effects At low doses, ibogaine has a mild stimulant effect. At higher doses, temporary effects include hallucination and ataxia. The most studied long-term therapeutic effect is that ibogaine seems to catalyze partial or complete interruption of addiction to opioids. An integral effect is the alleviation of symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Research also suggests that ibogaine may be useful in treating dependence to other substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine, and nicotine, and may affect compulsive behavioral patterns not involving substance abuse or chemical dependence. Ibogaine has been used as an adjunct to psychotherapy by Claudio Naranjo, documented in his book The Healing Journey.[13] Pharmacology The pharmacology of ibogaine is quite complex, affecting many different neurotransmitter systems simultaneously.[14][15] Because of its fairly low potency at any of its target sites, ibogaine is used in doses anywhere from 5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight for minor effect to 30 mg/kg in the cases of strong polysubstance addiction. It is unknown whether doses greater than 30mg/kg in humans produce effects that are therapeutically beneficial, medically risky, or simply prolonged in duration. Mechanism and Pharmacodynamics Among recent proposals for ibogaine mechanisms of action is activation of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) pathway in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the brain. The work has principally been accomplished in preclinical ethanol research where 40 mg/kg of ibogaine caused increases of RNA expression of GDNF in keeping with reduction of ethanol intake in the rat, absent neurotoxicity or cell death.[16] Ibogaine is a noncompetitive antagonist at α3β4 nicotinic receptors, binding with moderate affinity.[17] Several other α3β4 antagonists are known, and some of these such as bupropion (Zyban), and mecamylamine have been used for treating nicotine addiction. This α3β4-antagonism correlates quite well with the observed effect of interrupting addiction. Co-administration of ibogaine with other α3β4-antagonists such as 18-MC, dextromethorphan or mecamylamine had a stronger anti-addictive effect than when it was administered alone.[18] Since α3β4 channels and NMDA channels are related to each other and their binding sites within the lumen bind a range of same ligands (e.g. DXM, PCP),[19] some "older" sources suggested that ibogaine's anti-addictive properties may be (partly) due to it being an NMDA receptor antagonist.[20] However, ligands, like 18-MC, selective for α3β4- vs. NMDA-channels showed no drop-off in activity. It is suspected that ibogaine's actions on the opioid and glutamatergic systems are also involved in its anti-addictive effects. Persons treated with ibogaine report a cessation of opioid withdrawal signs generally within an hour of administration. Ibogaine is a weak 5HT2A receptor agonist[21] and although it is unclear how significant this action is for the anti-addictive effects of ibogaine, it is likely to be important for the hallucinogenic effects.[22] Ibogaine is also a sigma2 receptor agonist.[23] Metabolites Ibogaine is metabolized in the human body by cytochrome P450 2D6, and the major metabolite is noribogaine (12-hydroxyibogamine). Noribogaine is most potent as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and acts as moderate κ- and weak µ-opioid receptor full agonist and has therefore also an aspect of an opiate replacement similar to compounds like methadone. Both ibogaine and noribogaine have a plasma half-life of around thirty minutes, although the half-life or noribogaine is slightly longer than the parent compound. It is proposed that ibogaine is deposited in fat and metabolized into noribogaine as it is released.[24] Noribogaine shows higher plasma levels than ibogaine and may therefore be detected for longer periods of time than ibogaine. Noribogaine is also more potent than ibogaine in rat drug discrimination assays when tested for the subjective effects of ibogaine.[25] Noribogaine differs from ibogaine in that it contains a phenolic hydroxy instead of a methoxy group at the 12 position. Analogs A synthetic derivative of ibogaine, 18-methoxycoronaridine (18-MC) is a selective α3β4 antagonist that was developed collaboratively by the neurologist Stanley D. Glick (Albany) and the chemist Martin E. Kuehne (Vermont).[26] Voacangine, a close natural analog of ibogaine found in the tree bark of the Voacanga africana tree, is a common ingredient in the semi-synthesis of ibogaine because it is more abundant and easily accessible than iboga rootbark.[27] Based on their structural similarity to ibogaine and 18-MC and their binding properties in vitro, it is likely that other alkaloidal components of T. iboga and V. africana such as voacangine, ibogamine and coronaridine also contribute to the anti-addictive properties of the extracts from these plants. Usage Addiction Interruption Proponents of ibogaine treatment for drug addiction have established formal and informal clinics or self-help groups in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, France, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand where ibogaine is administered as an experimental drug. Although the full nature of Ibogaine is still emerging, it appears that the most effective treatment paradigm involves visionary doses of ibogaine of 10 to 20 mg/kg, producing an interruption of opiate withdrawal and craving. Many users of ibogaine report experiencing visual phenomena during a waking dream state, such as instructive replays of life events that led to their addiction, while others report therapeutic shamanic visions that help them conquer the fears and negative emotions that might drive their addiction. It is proposed that intensive counseling and therapy during the interruption period following treatment is of significant value. Some patients require a second or third treatment session with ibogaine over the course of the next 12 to 18 months as it will provide a greater efficacy in extinguishing the opiate addiction or other drug dependence syndrome. A minority of patients relapse completely into opiate addiction within days or weeks. A comprehensive article (Lotsof 1995) on the subject of ibogaine therapy, detailing the procedure, effects and aftereffects is found in, "Ibogaine in the Treatment of Chemical Dependence Disorders: Clinical Perspectives".[28] Chronic pain management In 1957, Jurg Schneider, a pharmacologist at CIBA, found that ibogaine potentiates morphine analgesia.[29] Further research was abandoned and no additional data was ever published by Ciba researchers on ibogaine/opioid interactions. Almost 50 years later Patrick Kroupa and Hattie Wells released the first treatment protocol for concomitant administration of ibogaine with opioids in human subjects indicating ibogaine reduced tolerance to opioid drugs.[30] Kroupa, et al., published their research in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Journal demonstrating that administration of low "maintenance" doses of ibogaine HCl with opioids decreases tolerance. Side effects At therapeutic doses, ibogaine has an active window of 24 to 48 hours, is often physically and mentally exhausting and produces ataxia for as long as twelve hours, in some cases even longer. Nausea that may lead to vomiting is not uncommon throughout the experience. Such unpleasant symptoms tend to reduce the attractiveness of ibogaine as a recreational drug at therapeutic doses, however, at lower doses ibogaine is known to have stimulant effects. Some users administer ibogaine by enema in order to avoid nausea. In one study using dogs as the subject, ibogaine has been observed to increase sinus arrhythmia (the normal change in heart rate during respiration).[4] Ventricular ectopy has been observed in a minority of patients during ibogaine therapy. [5] It has been proposed that there is a theoretical risk of QT-interval prolongation following ibogaine administration, but no actual occurrence of this phenomenon has been published to date. [6] There are 8 documented fatalities that have been loosely associated with ibogaine ingestion. [7]. Autopsies have failed to implicate ibogaine as the sole cause of death due to some patients having significant pre-existing medical problems, and some patients surreptitiously consuming other drugs such as heroin against medical indications during or after ibogaine treatment. Research An ibogaine research project was funded by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse in the early 1990s. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) abandoned efforts to continue this project into clinical studies in 1995, citing other reports that suggested a risk of brain damage with extremely high doses and fatal heart arrhythmia in patients having a history of health problems, as well as inadequate funding for ibogaine development within their budget. However, NIDA funding for ibogaine research continues in indirect grants often cited in peer reviewed ibogaine publications. In addition, after years of work and a number of significant changes to the original protocol, on August 17, 2006, a MAPS-sponsored research team received "unconditional approval" from a Canadian Institutional Review Board (IRB) to proceed with a long-term observational case study that will examine changes in substance use in 20 consecutive people seeking ibogaine-based addiction treatment for opiate dependence at the Iboga Therapy House in Vancouver. Legal status Ibogaine and its salts were regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1967 pursuant to its enhanced authority to regulate stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens granted by the 1965 Drug Abuse Control Amendments (DACA) to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, it was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, along with other psychedelics such as LSD and mescaline. Since that time, several other countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and Switzerland, have also banned the sale and possession of ibogaine. In early 2006, a non-profit foundation addressing the issue of providing ibogaine for the purpose of addiction interruption within establishment drug treatment care was formed in Sweden.[31] Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, LSD-25, or acid Is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug. It is synthesized from lysergic acid derived from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye. The short form LSD comes from its early codename LSD-25, which is an abbreviation for the German "Lysergsäure-diethylamid" followed by a sequential number.[1][2] LSD is sensitive to oxygen, ultraviolet light, and chlorine, especially in solution, though its potency may last years if it is stored away from light and moisture at low temperature. In pure form it is colorless, odorless and mildly bitter.[2] LSD is typically delivered orally, usually on a substrate such as absorbent blotter paper, a sugar cube, or gelatin. In its liquid form, it can be administered by intramuscular or intravenous injection. The threshold dosage level for an effect on humans is of the order of 20 to 30 µg (micrograms). Introduced by Sandoz Laboratories as a drug with various psychiatric uses, LSD quickly became a therapeutic agent that appeared to show great promise. However, the extra-medical use of the drug in Western society in the middle years of the twentieth century led to a political firestorm that resulted in the banning of the substance for medical as well as recreational and spiritual uses. Despite this, it is still considered a promising drug in some intellectual circles, and organizations such as the Beckley Foundation, MAPS, Heffter Research Institute and the Albert Hofmann Foundation exist to fund, encourage and coordinate research into its medical uses. Origins and history Perforated blotter paper, soaked with LSD solution then dried, as illustrated above, is one popular form of dispensing the drug. Main article: History of LSD LSD was first synthesized on November 16, 1938[3] by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, as part of a large research program searching for medically useful ergot alkaloid derivatives. Its psychedelic properties were unknown until 5 years later, when Hofmann, acting on what he has called a "peculiar presentiment," returned to work on the chemical. He attributed the discovery of the compound's psychoactive effects to the accidental absorption of a tiny amount through his skin on April 16, which led to him testing a larger amount (250 µg) on himself for psychoactivity on April 19, the so-called bicycle day.[1] Until 1966, LSD and psilocybin were provided by Sandoz Laboratories free of charge to interested scientists under the trade name "Delysid".[1] The use of these compounds by psychiatrists to gain a better subjective understanding of the schizophrenic experience was an accepted practice. Many clinical trials were conducted on the potential use of LSD in psychedelic psychotherapy, generally with very positive results.[4] Ball and stick representation of the LSD molecule. Regulation and research This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. (help, get involved!) Any material not supported by sources may be challenged and removed at any time. This article has been tagged since March 2007. Cold War intelligence services were keenly interested in the possibilities of using LSD for interrogation and mind control, and also for large-scale social engineering. The CIA conducted extensive research on LSD, the records of which were mostly destroyed. LSD was a central research area for Project MKULTRA, the code name for a CIA mind-control research program begun in the 1950s and continued until the late 1960s.[5] Tests were also conducted by the U.S. Army Biomedical Laboratory (now known as the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense) located in the Edgewood Arsenal at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Volunteers would take LSD and then perform a battery of tests to investigate the effects of the drug on soldiers. Based on remaining publicly available records, the projects seem to have concluded that LSD was of little practical use as a mind control drug and moved on to other drugs. Both the CIA and the Army experiments became highly controversial when they became public knowledge in the 1970s, as the test subjects were not normally informed of the nature of the experiments, or even that they were subjects in experiments at all. Several subjects developed severe mental illnesses and even committed suicide after the experiments, although it is not clear whether this was due to the experiments. Most of the MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973. The controversy contributed to President Ford's creation of the Rockefeller Commission and new regulations on informed consent. The British government also engaged in LSD testing; in 1953 and 1954, scientists working for MI6 dosed servicemen in an effort to find a "truth drug". The test subjects were not informed that they were being given LSD, and had in fact been told that they were participating in a medical project to find a cure for the common cold. One subject, aged 19 at the time, reported seeing "walls melting, cracks appearing in people's faces … eyes would run down cheeks, Salvador Dalí-type faces … a flower would turn into a slug". After keeping the trials secret for many years, MI6 agreed in 2006 to pay the former test subjects financial compensation. Like the CIA, MI6 decided that LSD was not a practical drug for mind control purposes.[6] LSD first became popular recreationally among a small group of mental health professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists during the 1950s, as well as by socially prominent and politically powerful individuals such as Henry and Clare Boothe Luce to whom the early LSD researchers were connected socially. Several mental health professionals involved in LSD research, most notably Harvard psychology professors Dr. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, became convinced of LSD's potential as a tool for spiritual growth. In 1961, Dr. Timothy Leary received grant money from Harvard University to study the effects of LSD on test subjects. 3,500 doses were given to over 400 people. Of those tested, 90% said they would like to repeat the experience, 83% said they had "learned something or had insight," and 62% said it had changed their life for the better. Their research became more esoteric and controversial, as Leary and Alpert alleged links between the LSD experience and the state of enlightenment sought after in many mystical traditions. They were dismissed from the traditional academic psychology community, and as such cut off from legal scientific acquisition of the drug. Drs. Leary and Alpert acquired a quantity of LSD and relocated to a private mansion, where they continued their research. The experiments lost their scientific character as the pair evolved into countercultural spiritual gurus associated with the hippie movement, encouraging people to question authority and challenge the status quo, a concept summarized in Leary's catchphrase, "Turn on, tune in, drop out". The drug was banned in the United States on October 6th, 1966, with scientific therapeutic research as well as individual research also becoming prohibitively difficult. Many other countries, under pressure from the U.S., quickly followed suit. Since 1967, underground recreational and therapeutic LSD use has continued in many countries, supported by a black market and popular demand for the drug. Legal, academic research experiments on the effects and mechanisms of LSD are also conducted on occasion, but rarely involve human subjects. Despite its proscription, the hippie counterculture continued to promote the regular use of LSD, led by figures such as Leary and psychedelic rock bands such as The Beatles, The Doors, The Grateful Dead. Acidhead has been used as a — sometimes derogatory — name for people who frequently use LSD. According to Leigh Henderson and William Glass, two researchers associated with the NIDA who performed a 1994 review of the literature, LSD use is relatively uncommon when compared to the abuse of alcohol, cocaine, and prescription drugs. Over the previous fifteen years, long-term usage trends stayed fairly stable, with roughly 5% of the population using the drug and most users being in the 16 to 23 age range.[7] Henderson and Glass found that LSD users typically partook of the substance on an infrequent, episodic basis, then "maturing out" after two to four years. Overall, LSD appeared to have comparatively few adverse health consequences, of which "bad trips" were the most commonly reported (and, the researchers found, one of the chief reasons youths stop using the drug).[8] Dosage LSD blotter paper LSD is, by mass, one of the most potent drugs yet discovered. Dosages of LSD are measured in micrograms (µg), or millionths of a gram. By comparison, dosages of almost all other drugs, both recreational and medical, are measured in milligrams (mg), or thousandths of a gram. Hofmann determined that an active dose of mescaline, roughly 0.2 to 0.5 g, has effects comparable to 100 µg or less of LSD; put another way, LSD is between five and ten thousand times more active than mescaline.[1] While a typical single dose of LSD may be between 100 and 500 micrograms — an amount roughly equal to one-tenth the mass of a grain of sand — threshold effects can be felt with as little as 20 micrograms.[9] According to Stoll, the dosage level that will produce a threshold hallucinogenic effect in humans is generally considered to be 20 to 30 µg, with the drug's effects becoming markedly more evident at higher dosages.[10][9] According to Glass and Henderson's review, black-market LSD is largely unadulterated though sometimes contaminated by manufacturing by-products. Typical doses in the 1960s ranged from 200 to 1000 µg, while street samples of the 1970s contained 30 to 300 µg. By the mid-1980s, the average had reduced to about 100 to 125 µg, lowering still further in the 1990s to the 20–80 µg range. (Lower doses, Glass and Henderson found, generally produce fewer bad trips.)[8] Dosages by frequent users can be as high as 1,200 µg (1.2 mg), although such a high dosage may precipitate unpleasant physical and psychological reactions. Estimates for the lethal dosage (LD50) of LSD range from 200 µg/kg to more than 1 mg/kg of human body mass, though most sources report that there are no known human cases of such an overdose. Other sources note one report of a suspected fatal overdose of LSD occurring in 1974 in Kentucky in which there were indications that ~1/3 of a gram (320 mg or 320,000 µg) had been injected intravenously, i.e., over 3,000 more typical oral doses of ~100 µg had been injected.[11] LSD is not considered addictive, in that its users do not exhibit the medical community's commonly accepted definitions of addiction and physical dependence. Rapid tolerance build-up prevents regular use, and there is cross-tolerance shown between LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. This tolerance diminishes after a few days' abstention from use. Effects Pharmacokinetics 3D representation of LSD molecule. LSD's effects normally last from eight to twelve hours[2] -- Sandoz's prospectus for "Delysid" warned: "intermittent disturbances of affect may occasionally persist for several days."[1] Contrary to early reports and common belief, LSD effects do not last longer than significant levels of the drug in the blood. Aghajanian and Bing[12] found LSD had an elimination half-life of 175 minutes, while, more recently, Papac and Foltz[13] reported that 1 µg/kg oral LSD given to a single male volunteer had an apparent plasma half-life of 5.1 hours, with a peak plasma concentration of 1.9 ng/mL at 3 hours post-dose. Notably, Aghajanian and Bing found that blood concentrations of LSD matched the time course of volunteers' difficulties with simple arithmetic problems. Some reports indicate that although administration of chlorpromazine (Thorazine) or similar typical antipsychotic tranquilizers will not end an LSD trip, it will either lessen the intensity or immobilize and numb the patient, a side effect of the medication.[14] While it also may not end an LSD trip, the best chemical treatment for a "bad trip" is an anxiolytic agent such as diazepam (Valium) or another benzodiazepine. Some have suggested that administration of niacin (nicotinic acid, vitamin B3) could be useful to end the LSD user's experience of a "bad trip".[15] The nicotinic acid in niacin as opposed to nicotinamide, will produce a full body heat rash, due to widening of peripheral blood vessels. The effect is somewhat akin to a poison ivy rash. Although it is not clear to what extent the effects of LSD are reduced by this intervention, the physical effect of an itchy skin rash may itself tend to distract the user from feelings of anxiety. Indeed, nicotinic acid was experienced as a stressor by all tested persons. The rash itself is temporary and disappears within a few hours. It is questionable if this method could be effective for people having serious adverse psychological reactions. Affinity of LSD for various receptors, averaged from data from the Ki Database LSD affects a large number of the G protein coupled receptors, including all dopamine receptor subtypes, all adrenoreceptor subtypes as well as many others. LSD binds to most serotonin receptor subtypes except for 5-HT3 and 5-HT4. However, most of these receptors are affected at too low affinity to be activated by the brain concentration of approximate 10–20 nM.[16] Recreational doses of LSD can affect 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT5A, 5-HT5B, and 5-HT6 receptors. The hallucinogenic effects of LSD are attributed to its strong partial agonist effects at 5-HT2A receptors as specific 5-HT2A agonist drugs are hallucinogenic and largely 5-HT2A specific antagonists block the hallucinogenic activity of LSD.[16] Exactly how this produces the drug's effects is unknown, but it is thought that it works by increasing glutamate release and hence excitation in the cortex, specifically in layers IV and V.[17] In the later stages, LSD might act through DARPP-32 - related pathways that are likely the same for multiple drugs including cocaine, amphetamine, nicotine, caffeine, PCP, ethanol and morphine.[18] A particularly compelling look at the actions of LSD was performed by Barry Jacobs recording from electrodes implanted into cat Raphe nuclei.[19] Behaviorally relevant doses of LSD result in a complete blockade of action potential activity in the dorsal raphe, effectively shutting off the principal endogenous source of serotonin to the telencephalon. Physical Physical reactions to LSD are highly variable and may include the following: uterine contractions, hypothermia, fever, elevated levels of blood sugar, goose bumps, increase of heart rate, jaw clenching, perspiration, pupil-dilation, saliva production, mucus production, sleeplessness, paresthesia, euphoria, hyperreflexia, tremors and synesthesia. LSD users report numbness, weakness, trembling, and nausea[citation needed]. LSD was studied in the 1960s by Eric Kast as an analgetic for serious and chronic pain caused by cancer or other major trauma.[20] Even at low (sub-psychedelic) dosages, it was found to be at least as effective as traditional opiates while being much longer lasting (pain reduction lasting as long as a week after peak effects had subsided). Kast attributed this effect to a decrease in anxiety. This reported effect is being tested (though not using LSD) in an ongoing (as of 2006) study of the effects of the psychedelic tryptamine psilocybin on anxiety in terminal cancer patients. Furthermore, LSD has been illicitly used as a treatment for cluster headaches, an uncommon but extremely painful disorder. Researcher Peter Goadsby describes the headaches as "worse than natural childbirth or even amputation without anesthetic."[21] Although the phenomenon has not been formally investigated, case reports indicate that LSD and psilocybin can reduce cluster pain and also interrupt the cluster-headache cycle, preventing future headaches from occurring. Currently existing treatments include various ergolines, among other chemicals, so LSD's efficacy may not be surprising. A dose-response study, testing the effectiveness of both LSD and psilocybin is, as of 2007, being planned at McLean Hospital. A 2006 study by McLean researchers interviewed 53 cluster-headache sufferers who treated themselves with either LSD or psilocybin, finding that a majority of the users of either drug reported beneficial effects.[22] Unlike attempts to use LSD or MDMA in psychotherapy, this research involves non-psychological effects and often sub-psychedelic dosages; therefore, it is plausible that a respected medical use of LSD will arise.[23] Psychological LSD's psychological effects (colloquially called a "trip") vary greatly from person to person, depending on factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength. They also vary from one trip to another, and even as time passes during a single trip. An LSD trip can have long term psychoemotional effects; some users cite the LSD experience as causing significant changes in their personality and life perspective. Widely different effects emerge based on what Leary called set and setting; the "set" being the general mindset of the user, and the "setting" being the physical and social environment in which the drug's effects are experienced.[citation needed] Some psychological effects may include an experience of radiant colors, objects and surfaces appearing to ripple or "breathe," colored patterns behind the eyes, a sense of time distortion, crawling geometric patterns overlaying walls and other objects, morphing objects, loss of a sense of identity or the ego, and powerful, and sometimes brutal, psycho-physical reactions described by users as reliving their own birth. LSD experiences can range from indescribably ecstatic to extraordinarily difficult; many difficult experiences (or "bad trips") result from a panicked feeling that he or she has been permanently severed from reality and his or her ego.[citation needed] If the user is in a hostile or otherwise unsettling environment, or is not mentally prepared for the powerful distortions in perception and thought that the drug causes, effects are more likely to be unpleasant than if he or she is in a comfortable environment and has a relaxed, balanced and open mindset.[citation needed] Many users experience a dissolution between themselves and the "outside world".[24] This unitive quality may play a role in the spiritual and religious aspects of LSD. The drug sometimes leads to disintegration or restructuring of the user's historical personality and creates a mental state that some users report allows them to have more choice regarding the nature of their own personality. Some experts hypothesize that drugs such as LSD may be useful in psychotherapy, especially when the patient is unable to "unblock" repressed subconscious material through other psychotherapeutic methods,[25] and also for treating alcoholism. One study concluded, "The root of the therapeutic value of the LSD experience is its potential for producing self-acceptance and self-surrender,"[26] presumably by forcing the user to face issues and problems in that individual's psyche. Many believe that, in contrast, other drugs (such as alcohol, heroin, and cocaine) are used to escape from reality. Studies in the 1950s that used LSD to treat alcoholism professed a 50% success rate,[27] five times higher than estimates near 10% for Alcoholics Anonymous.[28] Some LSD studies were criticized for methodological flaws, and different groups had inconsistent results. Mangini's 1998 paper reviews this history and concludes that the efficacy of LSD in treating alcoholism remains an open question.[29] Many notable individuals have commented publicly on their experiences with LSD. Some of these comments date from the era when it was legally available in the US and Europe for non-medical uses, and others pertain to psychiatric treatment in the 1950s and 60s. Still others describe experiences with illegal LSD, obtained for philosophic, artistic, therapeutic, spiritual, or recreational purposes. Sensory / perception LSD causes expansion and altered experience of senses, emotions, memories, time, and awareness for 6 to 14 hours, depending on dosage and tolerance. Generally beginning within thirty to ninety minutes after ingestion, the user may experience anything from subtle changes in perception to overwhelming cognitive shifts. LSD does not produce hallucinations in the strict sense, but instead illusions and vivid daydream-like fantasies, in which ordinary objects and experiences can take on entirely different appearances or meanings. Changes in auditory and visual perception are typical.[24][30] Visual effects include the illusion of movement of static surfaces ("walls breathing"), after image-like trails of moving objects, the appearance of moving colored geometric patterns (especially with closed eyes), an intensification of colors and brightness ("sparkling"), new textures on objects, blurred vision, and shape suggestibility. Users commonly report that the inanimate world appears to animate in an unexplained way; for instance, objects that are static in three dimensions can seem to be moving relative to one or more additional spatial dimensions.[31] Many of the basic visual effects resemble the phosphenes seen after applying pressure to the eye and have also been studied under the name "form constants". Auditory effects are not that pronounced and include echo-like distortions of sounds, a general intensification of the experience of music, and an increased discrimination of instruments and sounds. Higher doses often cause intense and fundamental distortions of sensory perception such as synaesthesia, the experience of additional spatial or temporal dimensions, and temporary dissociation. Spiritual LSD is considered an entheogen because it can catalyze intense spiritual experiences where users feel they have come into contact with a greater spiritual or cosmic order. Some users report insights into the way the mind works, and some experience long-lasting changes in their life perspective. Some users consider LSD a religious sacrament, or a powerful tool for access to the divine. Several books have been written comparing the LSD trip to the state of enlightenment of eastern philosophy. Such experiences under the influence of LSD have been observed and documented by researchers such as Alan Watts,Timothy Leary and Stanislav Grof. For example, Walter Pahnke conducted the Good Friday Marsh Chapel Experiment under Leary's supervision, performing a double blind experiment on the administration of psilocybin to volunteers who were students in religious graduate programs, e.g., divinity or theology.[32] That study provided evidence that hallucinogens may induce mystical religious states (at least in people with a spiritual predisposition). Potential Risks of LSD use Although LSD is generally considered nontoxic, it may temporarily impair the ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers, thus making the user susceptible to accidents and personal injury. There is also some indication that LSD may trigger a dissociative fugue state in individuals who are taking certain classes of antidepressants such as lithium salts and tricyclics. In such a state, the user has an impulse to wander, and may not be aware of his or her actions, which can lead to physical injury.[33] SSRIs are believed to interact more benignly, with a tendency to noticeably reduce LSD's subjective effects.[34] Similar and perhaps greater reductions have also been reported with MAOIs.[33] As Albert Hofmann reports in LSD – My Problem Child, the early pharmacological testing Sandoz performed on the compound (before he ever discovered its psychoactive properties) indicated that LSD has a pronounced effect upon the mammalian uterus. Sandoz's testing showed that LSD can stimulate uterine contractions with efficacy comparable to ergobasine, the active uterotonic component of the ergot fungus (Hofmann's work on ergot derivatives also produced a modified form of ergobasine which became a widely accepted medication used in obstetrics, under the trade name Methergine). Therefore, LSD use by pregnant women could be dangerous and is contraindicated.[1] Initial studies in the 1960s and 70s raised concerns that LSD might produce genetic damage or developmental abnormalities in fetuses. However, these initial reports were based on in vitro studies or were poorly controlled and have not been substantiated. In studies of chromosomal changes in human users and in monkeys, the balance of evidence suggests no significant increase in chromosomal damage. For example, studies were conducted with people who had been given LSD in a clinical setting.[35] White blood cells from these people were examined for visible chromosomal abnormalities. Overall, there appeared to be no lasting changes. Several studies have been conducted using illicit LSD users and provide a less clear picture. Interpretation of these data is generally complicated by factors such as the unknown chemical composition of street LSD, concurrent use of other psychoactive drugs, and diseases such as hepatitis in the sampled populations. It seems possible that the small number of congenital abnormalities reported in users of street LSD is either coincidental or related to factors other than a toxic effect of pure LSD.[35] Flashbacks and HPPD There is a reported possibility of "flashbacks", a psychological phenomenon in which an individual experiences an episode of some of LSD's subjective effects long after the drug has worn off — sometimes weeks, months, or even years afterward. Flashbacks can incorporate both positive and negative aspects of LSD trips. Colloquial usage of the term flashback refers to any experience reminiscent of LSD effects, with the typical connotation that the episodes are of short duration. However, psychiatry recognizes a disorder in which LSD-like effects are persistent and cause clinically significant impairment or distress. This syndrome is called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), a DSM-IV diagnosis. Several scientific journal articles have described the disorder.[36] The issues of HPPD and flashbacks are complicated and subtle, with no definitive explanations currently available. Any attempt at explanation must reflect several observations: first, over 70 percent of LSD users claim never to have "flashed back"; second, the phenomenon does appear linked with LSD use, though a causal connection has not been established; and third, a higher proportion of psychiatric patients report flashbacks than "normal" users.[37] Several studies have tried to determine how likely a "normal" user (that is, a user not suffering from known psychiatric conditions) of LSD is to experience flashbacks. The larger studies include Blumenfeld's in 1971[38] and Naditch and Fenwick's in 1977,[39] which arrived at figures of 20% and 28%, respectively. A recent review suggests that HPPD (according to the DSM-IV definition) caused by LSD appears to be rare and affects a distinctly vulnerable subpopulation of users.[40] Differences in the estimated prevalence of flashbacks may partly depend on the multiple meanings of the term and the fact that Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder can only be diagnosed in a person who admits to their health care practitioner that they have used hallucinogens. Debate continues over the nature and causes of chronic flashbacks. Explanations in terms of LSD physically remaining in the body for months or years after consumption have been discounted by experimental evidence.[37] Some say HPPD is a manifestation of post-traumatic stress disorder, not related to the direct action of LSD on brain chemistry, and varies according to the susceptibility of the individual to the disorder. Many emotionally intense experiences can lead to flashbacks when a person is reminded acutely of the original experience. However, not all published case reports of chronic flashbacks appear to describe an anxious hyper-vigilant state reminiscent of post-traumatic stress disorder.[37] An alternative theory regarding flashbacks postulates that it is a form of perceptual learning.[citation needed] Although unusual perceptual experiences may be just as common among people with no history of having taken the drug, people who have taken LSD may be more likely to associate these otherwise normal psychological events with the experiences they remember having had while on LSD.[citation needed] Under this theory, HPPD would be a separate, more serious, and far less common psychological condition. "Mere" flashbacks, in comparison, may be experienced by a broad segment of the population, and only attributed to LSD by those who have tried the drug.[citation needed] Psychosis There are some cases of LSD inducing a psychosis in people who appeared to be healthy prior to taking LSD. This issue was reviewed extensively in a 1984 publication by Rick Strassman.[41] In most cases, the psychosis-like reaction is of short duration, but in other cases it may be chronic. It is difficult to determine if LSD itself induces these reactions or if it merely triggers latent conditions that would have manifested themselves otherwise. The similarities of time course and outcomes between putatively LSD-precipitated and other psychoses suggests that the two types of syndromes are not different and that LSD may have been a nonspecific trigger. Several studies have tried to estimate the prevalence of 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;[42] 9 per 1,000 psychotherapy patients in Melleson 1971[43]). Although, this is the same percentage of people in general society who suffer from psychosis[citation needed]. This had led scientists[attribution needed] to believe that LSD does not cause psychoses, only triggers it in cases of people with a predisposition to schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. There is no higher rate for psychoses occurring amongst LSD users to those occurring without the use of LSD[citation needed]. Chemistry The four possible isomers of LSD. Only LSD is psychoactive. LSD is an ergoline derivative. It is commonly produced from reacting diethylamine with an activated form of lysergic acid. Activating reagents include phosphoryl chloride and peptide coupling reagents. Lysergic acid is made by alkaline hydrolysis of lysergamides like ergotamine, a substance derived from the ergot fungus on rye, or, theoretically, from ergine (lysergic acid amide, LSA), a compound that is found in morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor) and hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa) seeds. LSD is a chiral compound with two stereocenters at the carbon atoms C-5 and C-8, so that theoretically four different optical isomers of LSD could exist. LSD, also called (+)-D-LSD, has the absolute configuration (5R,8R). The C-5 isomers of lysergamides do not exist in nature and are not formed during the synthesis from D-lysergic acid. However, LSD and iso-LSD, the two C-8 isomers, rapidly interconvert in the presence of base. Non-psychoactive iso-LSD which has formed during the synthesis can be removed by chromatography and can be isomerized to LSD. A totally pure salt of LSD will emit small flashes of white light when shaken in the dark.[44] LSD is strongly fluorescent and will glow bluish-white under UV light. Stability "LSD," writes the chemist Alexander Shulgin, "is an unusually fragile molecule."[2] It is stable for indefinite amounts of time if stored, as a solid salt or dissolved in water, at low temperature and protected from air and light exposure. Two portions of its molecular structure are particularly sensitive, the carboxamide attachment at the 8-position and the double bond between the 8-position and the aromatic ring. The former is affected by high pH, and if perturbed will produce isolysergic acid diethylamide (iso-LSD), which is biologically inactive. If water or alcohol adds to the double bond (especially in the presence of light), LSD converts to "lumi-LSD", which is totally inactive in human beings, to the best of current knowledge. Furthermore, chlorine destroys LSD molecules on contact; even though chlorinated tap water typically contains only a slight amount of chlorine, because a typical LSD solution only contains a small amount of LSD, dissolving LSD in tap water is likely to completely eliminate the substance.[2] A controlled study was undertaken to determine the stability of LSD in pooled urine samples.[45] The concentrations of LSD in urine samples were followed over time at various temperatures, in different types of storage containers, at various exposures to different wavelengths of light, and at varying pH values. These studies demonstrated no significant loss in LSD concentration at 25 °C for up to 4 weeks. After 4 weeks of incubation, a 30% loss in LSD concentration at 37 °C and up to a 40% at 45 °C were observed. Urine fortified with LSD and stored in amber glass or nontransparent polyethylene containers showed no change in concentration under any light conditions. Stability of LSD in transparent containers under light was dependent on the distance between the light source and the samples, the wavelength of light, exposure time, and the intensity of light. After prolonged exposure to heat in alkaline pH conditions, 10 to 15% of the parent LSD epimerized to iso-LSD. Under acidic conditions, less than 5% of the LSD was converted to iso-LSD. It was also demonstrated that trace amounts of metal ions in buffer or urine could catalyze the decomposition of LSD and that this process can be avoided by the addition of EDTA. Production Glassware seized by the DEA Because an active dose of LSD is astonishingly minute, a large number of doses can be synthesized from a comparatively small amount of raw material. Beginning with ergotamine tartrate, for example, one can manufacture roughly one kilogram of pure, crystalline LSD from five kilograms of the ergotamine salt. Five kilograms of LSD — 25 kilograms of ergotamine tartrate — could provide 100 million doses, sufficient for supplying the entire illicit demand of the United States. Since the masses involved are so small, concealing and transporting illicit LSD is much easier than smuggling other illegal drugs like cocaine or cannabis in equal dosage quantities.[46] Manufacturing LSD requires laboratory equipment and experience in the field of organic chemistry. It takes two or three days to produce 30 to 100 grams of pure compound. It is believed that LSD usually is not produced in large quantities, but rather in a series of small batches. This technique minimizes the loss of precursor chemicals in case a synthesis step does not work as expected.[46] Forms of LSD A typical full size page of LSD blotter paper is 900 ¼ inch squares. LSD is produced in crystalline form and then mixed with excipients or redissolved for production in ingestible forms. Liquid solution is either distributed as-is in small vials or, more commonly, sprayed onto or soaked into a distribution medium. Historically, LSD solutions were first sold on sugar cubes, but practical considerations forced a change to tablet form. Early pills or tabs were flattened on both ends and identified by color: "grey flat", "blue flat", and so forth. Next came "domes", which were rounded on one end, then "double domes" rounded on both ends, and finally small tablets known as "microdots". Later still, LSD began to be distributed in thin squares of gelatin ("window panes", "gel tabs") and, most commonly, as blotter paper: sheets of paper impregnated with LSD and perforated into small squares of individual dosage units. The paper is then cut into small square pieces called "tabs" or "hits" for distribution. Individual producers often print designs onto the paper serving to identify different makers, batches or strengths, and such "blotter art" often emphasizes psychedelic themes. LSD has been sold under a wide variety of often short-lived and regionally restricted street names including Acid, Trips, Alice Dee, Blotter, Liquid A, Lucy, Microdots, Sunshine, Twenty-five, Windowpane, etc., as well as names that reflect the designs on the sheets of blotter paper.[47][48] On occasion, authorities have encountered the drug in other forms — including powder or crystal, and capsule. More than 200 types of LSD tablets have been encountered since 1969 and more than 350 paper designs have been observed since 1975. Designs range from simple five-point stars in black and white to exotic artwork in full four-color print. Legal status This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. (help, get involved!) Any material not supported by sources may be challenged and removed at any time. This article has been tagged since March 2007. LSD is Schedule I in the United States[49]. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute LSD without a DEA license. The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (adopted in 1971) requires its parties to prohibit LSD. Hence, it is illegal in all parties to the convention, which includes the United States, Australia, and most of Europe. However, enforcement of extant laws varies from country to country. LSD is easy to conceal and smuggle. A tiny vial can contain thousands of doses. Not much money is made from retail-level sales of LSD, so the drug is typically not associated with the violent organized criminal organizations involved in cocaine and opiate smuggling. Canada In Canada, LSD is a controlled substance under Schedule III of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Every person who seeks to obtain the substance without disclosing authorization to obtain such substances 30 days prior to obtaining another prescription from a practitioner is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years. Possession for purpose of trafficking is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for 10 years. Hong Kong In Hong Kong, Lysergide and derivatives are regulated under Schedule 1 of Hong Kong's Chapter 134 Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, and can only be used legally by health professionals and for university research purposes. The substance can be given by pharmacists under a prescription. Anyone who supplies the substance without prescription can be fined $10,000(HKD). The penalty for trafficking or illegally manufacturing the substance is a $5,000,000 (HKD) fine and life imprisonment. Possession of the substance for consumption without license from the Department of Health is illegal with a $1,000,000 (HKD) fine and/or 7 years' imprisonment. United Kingdom In the United Kingdom, LSD is classed as a class A drug. This means that, without a license, possession of the drug is punishable with 7 years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine, and trafficking is punishable with life imprisonment and an unlimited fine (see main article on drug punishments Misuse of Drugs Act 1971). United States: Prior to 1967 Further information: Project MKULTRA Beginning in the 1950s the Central Intelligence Agency began a research program code named Project MKULTRA. Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions, usually without the subject's knowledge. The project was revealed in the US congressional Rockefeller Commission report. Prior to October 6th, 1966, LSD was available legally in the United States as an experimental psychiatric drug. (LSD "apostle" Al Hubbard actively promoted the drug between the 1950s and the 1970s and introduced thousands of people to it.) The US Federal Government classified it as a Schedule I drug according to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. As such, the Drug Enforcement Administration holds that LSD meets the following three criteria: it is deemed to have a high potential for abuse; it has no legitimate medical use in treatment; and there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision. (LSD prohibition does not make an exception for religious use.) Lysergic acid and lysergic acid amide, LSD precursors, are both classified in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. Ergotamine tartrate, a precursor to lysergic acid, is regulated under the Chemical Diversion and Trafficking Act. LSD has been manufactured illegally since the 1960s. Historically, LSD was distributed not for profit, but because those who made and distributed it truly believed that the psychedelic experience could do good for humanity, that it expanded the mind and could bring understanding and love. A limited number of chemists, probably fewer than a dozen, are believed to have manufactured nearly all of the illicit LSD available in the United States. The best known of these is undoubtedly Augustus Owsley Stanley III, usually known simply as Owsley. The former chemistry student set up a private LSD lab in the mid-Sixties in San Francisco and supplied the LSD consumed at the famous Merry Pranksters parties held by Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, and other major events such as the Gathering of the tribes in San Francisco in January 1967. He also had close social connections to leading San Francisco bands the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and The Holding Company, regularly supplied them with his LSD and also worked as their live sound engineer and made many tapes of these groups in concert. Owsley's LSD activities — immortalized by Steely Dan in their song "Kid Charlemagne" — ended with his arrest at the end of 1967, but some other manufacturers probably operated continuously for 30 years or more. Announcing Owsley's first bust in 1966, The San Francisco Chronicle's headline "LSD Millionaire Arrested" inspired the rare Grateful Dead song "Alice D. Millionaire." United States: 1970 to the present Pickard and Apperson ran an LSD lab in this former missile silo in Kansas. American LSD usage declined in the 1970s and 1980s, then experienced a mild resurgence in popularity in the 1990s. Although there were many distribution channels during this decade, the U.S. DEA identified continued tours by the psychedelic rock band The Grateful Dead and the then-burgeoning rave scene as primary venues for LSD trafficking and consumption. American LSD usage fell sharply circa 2000, following a single major DEA operation. Pickard and Apperson The decline is attributed to the arrest of two chemists, William Leonard Pickard, a Harvard-educated organic chemist, and Clyde Apperson. According to DEA reports, black market LSD availability dropped by 95% after the two were arrested in 2000. These arrests were a result of the largest LSD manufacturing raid in DEA history.[50] Pickard was an alleged member of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love group that produced and sold LSD in California during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is believed he had links to other "cooks" associated with this group — an original source of the drug back in the 1960s — and his arrest may have forced other operations to cease production, leading to the large decline in street availability. The DEA claims these two individuals were responsible for the vast majority of LSD sold illegally in the United States and a significant amount of the LSD sold in Europe, and that they worked closely with organized traffickers. While this claim may have some bearing, the extent of Pickard's direct influence on the overall availability in the United States is not fully known. Some attest that "Pickard's Acid" was sold exclusively in Europe, and was not distributed through American music venues[citation needed]. In November of 2003, Pickard was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, and Apperson was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment without parole, after being convicted in Federal Court of running a large scale LSD manufacturing operation out of several clandestine laboratories, including a former missile silo near Wamego, Kansas. Modern Distribution LSD manufacturers and traffickers can be categorized into two groups: A few large scale producers, such as the aforementioned Pickard and Apperson, and an equally limited number of small, clandestine chemists, consisting of independent producers who, operating on a comparatively limited scale, can be found throughout the country. As a group, independent producers are of less concern to the Drug Enforcement Administration than the larger groups, as their product reaches only local markets. In April, 2007, Canadian psychologist Andrew Feldmar was permanently barred from entering the United States[51]after a border patrol agent used the internet to uncover a 2001 paper by Feldmar, Entheogens and Psychotherapy, which admits to therapeutic LSD use during the 1960s.[52] 1 ^ a b c d e f Hofmann, Albert. LSD—My Problem Child (McGraw-Hill, 1980). ISBN 0-07-029325-2. Available online here or here; accessed 2007-02-01. 2 ^ a b c d e Shulgin, Alex and Ann Shulgin. "LSD", in TiHKAL (Berkeley: Transform Press, 1997). ISBN 0-963-00969-9. 3 ^ Dr. Albert Hofmann; translated from the original German (LSD Ganz Persönlich) by J. Ott. MAPS-Volume 6 Number 3 Summer 1996 4 ^ PSYCHEDELIC LSD RESEARCH By A. Kurland, W. Pahnke, S. Unger, C Savage and S. Grof 5 ^ ACHRE Report, chapter 3: "Supreme Court Dissents Invoke the Nuremberg Code: CIA and DOD Human Subjects Research Scandals". 6 ^ Rob Evans, "MI6 pays out over secret LSD mind control tests". The Guardian 24 February 2006. 7 ^ Goldsmith, Neal M. (1995). "A Review of "LSD : Still With Us After All These Years"". Newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies 6 (1). Retrieved on 2006-01-31. 8 ^ a b Henderson, Leigh A.; Glass, William J. (1994). LSD: Still with Us after All These Years. ISBN 978-0787943790. 9 ^ a b Greiner T, Burch NR, Edelberg R (1958). "Psychopathology and psychophysiology of minimal LSD-25 dosage; a preliminary dosage-response spectrum". AMA Arch Neurol Psychiatry 79 (2): 208–10. PMID 13497365. 10 ^ Stoll, W.A. (1947). Ein neues, in sehr kleinen Mengen wirsames Phantastikum. Schweiz. Arch. Neur. 60,483. 11 ^ LSD Vault: Dosage. Erowid (2006-07-06). Retrieved on 2007-01-31. 12 ^ Aghajanian, George K. and Bing, Oscar H. L. (1964). "Persistence of lysergic acid diethylamide in the plasma of human subjects". Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 5: 611–4. PMID 14209776. 13 ^ Papac DI, Foltz RL (1990). "Measurement of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in human plasma by gas chromatography/negative ion chemical ionization mass spectrometry". J Anal Toxicol 14 (3): 189-90. PMID 2374410. 14 ^ Gilberti, F. and Gregoretti, L. L. (1955). "Prime esperienze di antaonismo psicofarmacologico". Sistema Nervoso 4: 301–309. 15 ^ Agnew N, and Hoffer A. L. (1955). "Nicotinic acid modified lysergic acid diethylamide psychosis". J. Ment. Sci. 101: 12. 16 ^ a b Nichols, David E. (2004). "Hallucinogens". Pharmacology & Therapeutics 101 (2): 131-81. PMID 14761703. 17 ^ BilZ0r. "The Neuropharmacology of Hallucinogens: a technical overview". Erowid, v3.1 (August 2005). 18 ^ Svenningsson P. , Nairn A. C., Greengard P. (2005). "DARPP-32 Mediates the Actions of Multiple Drugs of Abuse.". AAPS Journal 07 (02): E353-E360. DOI:10.1208/aapsj070235. 19 ^ Jacobs B. L., Heym J., Rasmussen K. (1983). "Raphe neurons: firing rate correlates with size of drug response". European Journal of Pharmacology 90 (2-3): 275-8. PMID 6873185. 20 ^ Kast, Eric (1967). "Attenuation of anticipation: a therapeutic use of lysergic acid diethylamide". Psychiat. Quart. 41 (4): 646-57. PMID 4169685. 21 ^ Dr. Goadsby is quoted in "Research into psilocybin and LSD as cluster headache treatment", and he makes an equivalent statement in an Health Report interview on Australian Radio National (9 August 1999). Pages accessed 2007-01-31. 22 ^ Sewell, R. A.; Halpern, J. H.; Pope, H. G. Jr. (2006-06-27). "Response of cluster headache to psilocybin and LSD". Neurology 66 (12): 1920–2. Retrieved on 2006-07-18. 23 ^ Summarized from "Research into psilocybin and LSD as cluster headache treatment" and the Clusterbusters website. Pages accessed 2007-01-31. 24 ^ a b Linton, Harriet B. and Langs, Robert J. "Subjective Reactions to Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25)". Arch. Gen. Psychiat. Vol. 6 (1962): 352–68. 25 ^ Cohen, S. (1959). The therapeutic potential of LSD-25. A Pharmacologic Approach to the Study of the Mind, p251–258. 26 ^ Chwelos N, Blewett D.B., Smith C.M., Hoffer A. (1959). "Use of d-lysergic acid diethylamide in the treatment of alcoholism". Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol 20: 577-90. PMID 13810249. 27 ^ Maclean, J.R.; Macdonald, D.C.; Ogden, F.; Wilby, E., "LSD-25 and mescaline as therapeutic adjuvants." In: Abramson, H., Ed., The Use of LSD in Psychotherapy and Alcoholism, Bobbs-Merrill: New York, 1967, pp. 407–426; Ditman, K.S.; Bailey, J.J., "Evaluating LSD as a psychotherapeutic agent," pp.74–80; Hoffer, A., "A program for the treatment of alcoholism: LSD, malvaria, and nicotinic acid," pp. 353–402. 28 ^ Minogue, S. J. "Alcoholics Anonymous." The Medical Journal of Australia May 8 (1948):586–587. 29 ^ Mangini M (1998). "Treatment of alcoholism using psychedelic drugs: a review of the program of research". J Psychoactive Drugs 30 (4): 381-418. PMID 9924844. 30 ^ Katz MM, Waskow IE, Olsson J (1968). "Characterizing the psychological state produced by LSD". J Abnorm Psychol 73 (1): 1-14. PMID 5639999. 31 ^ See, e.g., Gerald Oster's article "Moiré patterns and visual hallucinations". Psychedelic Rev. No. 7 (1966): 33–40. 32 ^ Video of the experiment can be viewed here. 33 ^ a b "LSD and Antidepressants" (2003) via Erowid. 34 ^ Kit Bonson, "The Interactions between Hallucinogens and Antidepressants" (2006). 35 ^ a b Dishotsky NI, Loughman WD, Mogar RE, Lipscomb WR (1971). "LSD and genetic damage". Science 172 (982): 431-40. PMID. 36 ^ See, for example, Abraham HD, Aldridge AM (1993). "Adverse consequences of lysergic acid diethylamide". Addiction 88 (10): 1327-34. PMID 8251869. 37 ^ a b c David Abrahart (1998). A Critical Review of Theories and Research Concerning Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Mental Health. Retrieved on 2007-02-02. 38 ^ Blumenfield M (1971). "Flashback phenomena in basic trainees who enter the US Air Force". Military Medicine 136 (1): 39-41. PMID 5005369. 39 ^ Naditch MP, Fenwick S (1977). "LSD flashbacks and ego functioning". Journal of Abnormal Psychology 86 (4): 352-9. PMID 757972. 40 ^ Halpern JH, Pope HG Jr (2003). "Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder: what do we know after 50 years?". Drug Alcohol Depend 69 (2): 109-19. PMID 12609692. ; Halpern JH (2003). "Hallucinogens: an update". Curr Psychiatry Rep 5 (5): 347-54. PMID 13678554. [1] 41 ^ Strassman RJ (1984). "Adverse reactions to psychedelic drugs. A review of the literature". J Nerv Ment Dis 172 (10): 577-95. PMID 6384428. 42 ^ Cohen, Sidney (January 1960). "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: Side Effects and Complications". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 130 (1): 30–40. PMID 13811003. 43 ^ Malleson, Nicholas (1971). "Acute Adverse Reactions to LSD in Clinical and Experimental Use in the United Kingdom". Brit. J. Psychiat. 118 (543): 229–30. PMID 4995932. 44 ^ 45 ^ Li Z., McNally A. J., Wang H., Salamone S. J. (October 1998). "Stability study of LSD under various storage conditions.". J Anal Toxicol 22 (6): 520–5. PMID 9788528. 46 ^ a b "LSD in the US – Manufacture", DEA Publications. 47 ^ Honig, David. Frequently Asked Questions via Erowid. 48 ^ Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade. Office of National Drug Control Policy (2005-04-05). Retrieved on 2007-01-31. 49 ^ From [2]: LSD is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. 50 ^ Seper, Jerry. "Man sentenced to life in prison as dealer of LSD". The Washington Times 27 November 2003. 51 ^ O'Brien, Luke. Canadian Psychologist Who Used LSD Forty Years Ago Permanently Barred from Entering U.S. 52 ^ Feldmar, Andrew Entheogens and Psychotherapy Further reading ▪ Stevens, Jay. Storming Heaven: LSD And The American Dream ([3]) ▪ Aldous FAB, Barrass BC, Brewster K, et al. "Structure-Activity Relationships in Psychotomimetic Phenylalkylamines," Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol. 17, 1100–1111 (1974) ▪ Grof, Stanislave. LSD Psychotherapy. (April 10, 2001) ▪ Lee, Martin A. and Bruce Shlain. Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond [4] Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a hallucinogenic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class. It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) and the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana), and in a number of other members of the Cactaceae. It is also found in small amounts in certain members of the Fabaceae (bean family), including Acacia berlandieri. Mescaline was first isolated and identified in 1897 by the German Arthur Heffter and first synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Späth. Usage and history The use of peyote in Native American religious ceremonies has been noted since the earliest European contact, notably by the Huichols in Mexico, but other cacti such as the San Pedro have been used in different regions, from Peru to Ecuador. Dosage and effects In traditional peyote preparations, the top of the cactus is cut from the roots, and dried to make disk-shaped buttons. It is chewed to produce its effect or soaked in water for an intoxicating drink. However, the taste of the cactus is bitter, so users will often grind it into a powder and fill them in capsules to avoid having to taste it. The effective human dosage is 0.3–0.5 grams of pure mescaline, with the effects lasting for up to 12 hours. Hallucinations occur at 300-600mg, which is the equivalent to approximately 20 mescal buttons. Users typically experience visual hallucinations and radically altered states of consciousness, often experienced as pleasurable and illuminating but occasionally is accompanied by feelings of anxiety or revulsion. Like most psychedelic hallucinogens, mescaline is not physically addictive. Mescaline-containing cacti can induce severe vomiting and nausea, which adds an important part to traditional Native-American or Shaman ceremonies as it is considered cleansing. Method of Action It is speculated that mescaline, along with LSD, Psilocin, 5-Meo-DMT and tryptamine bind to the 5-HT receptors, specifically the 5-HT2A receptor which is a G protein-coupled receptor. Binding to the receptor active site in the neuron causes the G protein to dissociate and become activated with GTP. This released G protein complex stimulates various physical and chemical changes within the cell. It can directly alter the membrane sensitivity to ion transport via conformational changes, stimulate the release of ions from cellular storage, and also stimulate transcription and editing of the primary transcript with the end result of increased ionic activity -- all of these methods leading to a change in the neuronal potential. In certain neural cells, this stimulation is inhibitory in action (resulting in the changed perception of edges) while in others it is excitatory, resulting in the positive symptoms of the 'hallucination' or 'vision (religion)' . 1 Charles D. Nichols and Elaine Sanders-Bush (2001). "Serotonin receptor signaling and hallucinogenic drug action". The Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research 2: 73–79. Pharmacokinetics [Referenced from Rostock, D. T. (2003, Spring). Pharmacological constituents of mescaline and salvinorin-A. University of Idaho, Department of Psychology.] Although the ED50 is variable with dosage and individual, the LD50 has been measured in various animals and is reported as follows: Crystals: 212mg/kg i.p. (mice) Crystals: 132 mg/kg i.p. (rats) Crystals: 328 mg/kg i.p. (guinea pigs) It is reported that mescaline is 1000-3000 times less potent than LSD, and 30 times less potent than psilocybin. About half the initial dosage is excreted after 6 hours, but some studies suggest that it is not metabolized at all before excretion. Slow tolerance builds with repeated usage, and it is suggested that a cross tolerance can be developed with LSD. Legal status In the US it was made illegal in 1970 by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. It was prohibited internationally by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1] and is categorized as a Schedule I hallucinogen by the CSA. Mescaline is only legal for certain natives. Penalties for manufacture or sale can be as high as five years in jail and a fine of $15000, with a penalty of up to one year and fine of $5000 for possession. In the underground economy of the late 1960's mescaline was widely sold. Much (although an unknown fraction) of the purported mescaline was not actually mescaline, but some other psychedelic such as LSD. Quality control in an underground, and later illegal, product can be problematic. Most people trusted their dealers, and most dealers trusted their chemists. Many of these chemists had studied at good universities[citation needed]. But such universities offered few courses in the chemistry of psychedelic drugs, and even fewer PhD's for developing new methods of synthesizing them. Chemistry A common synthetic approach starts from 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde. The chemical make-up is C11H17NO3 (PiHKAL entry). It is also synthesized from syringaldehyde, vanillin, and gallic acid. 3,4,5-trimethoxynitrostyrene can be reduced to mescaline using catalytic hydrogenation. 3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA or Tenamfetamine), is a psychedelic hallucinogenic drug and empathogen/entactogen of the phenethylamine family. It was first synthesized by G. Mannish and W. Jacobson in 1910. There are about 20 different synthetic routes described in the literature for its preparation. Medical use MDA was first used in animal tests in 1939, and human trials began in 1941 in the exploration of possible therapies for Parkinson's disease. From 1949 to 1957, more than 500 human subjects were given MDA in an investigation of its potential use as an antidepressant and/or anorectic by Smith, Klein, and French. The United States Army also experimented with the drug, code named EA-1298, while working to develop a truth drug or incapacitating agent. One human subject died in January 1953 after being intravenously injected with 500mg of the drug. MDA was patented as a cough suppressant by H. D. Brown in 1958, as an ataractic by Smith, Klein, and French in 1960, and as an anorectic under the trade name “Amphedoxamine” in 1961. Several researchers, including Claudio Naranjo, have explored MDA in the field of psychotherapy. MDA is very comparable to MDMA and is often described as a little more "trippy" and less euphoric than its cousin. Synthesis One method of MDA synthesis, is to turn safrole into isosafrole via isomerization. The isosafrole is then oxidized, using a Wacker process or a peroxyacid, to produce MDP2P (methylenedioxyphenylacetone). Finally, it is converted to MDA via reductive amination of Ammonia. This synthesis is very similar to that of MDMA (Ecstasy) and of MDEA. Recreational use MDA began to appear on the recreational drug scene around 1963 to 1964. It was then inexpensive and readily available as a research chemical from several scientific supply houses. Although now illegal, MDA continues to be bought, sold, and used for recreational purposes, often in the form of tablets purporting to contain MDMA (Ecstasy). Effects The MDA molecule A recreational dose of MDA is commonly between 80 and 160mg. The “R” optical isomer is more potent than the “S” optical isomer. Although there is some debate, the duration of the drug is now generally believed to be roughly 6 to 10 hours(In the late 90s, Shulgin changed his opinion of the duration to 3-6 hours). The effects of the drug are quite similar to those of MDMA (Ecstasy), including empathogen/entactogenic effects, though typically less intense than a similar dosage of MDMA. Because of these effects, MDA was called the “hug drug” and was alleged to stand for “Mellow Drug of America” in the 1960s. Some users feel that MDA has more psychedelic or hallucinogenic qualities than MDMA. The toxicity of MDA is not fully known. The LD50 in mice has been reported as 92mg/kg by intraperitoneal injection. Erowid lists the fatality rate at roughly 2 in 100,000 users. MDA is considered to be more potentially neurotoxic than its methylated cousin MDMA.[citation needed] It is a direct metabolite of MDMA. Legality In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was enacted in the United States, placing MDA into Schedule I. It is similarly controlled in other nations. In Canada MDA is a Schedule III drug. Internationally, MDA is a Schedule I drug under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1]. MDEA (also MDE), which stands for 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine, is a psychedelic hallucinogenic drug and empathogen-entactogen of the phenethylamine family. It is chemically very similar to methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), the active chemical in the drug "ecstasy". MDEA differs from MDMA in that it has one more carbon atom, and two more hydrogen atoms in the substituent on the nitrogen atom. The difference is evidenced in its name by the "ethyl" prefix, rather than the "methyl" prefix designating a single-carbon chain (see Alkanes). MDEA is sometimes sold as a substitute for ecstasy on the black market. It can be prepared by reductive amination of MDP2P. MDEA works by releasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood and perception. It requires a slightly larger dose (100–200 mg.) than MDMA with major effects lasting typically between three and five hours.[1] The subjective effects of MDEA are similar to MDMA. The euphoric "loved up" feelings associated with MDMA use are not as pronounced. The effects are also not as stimulating as MDMA, MDEA has somewhat of a stoning effect and may be responsible for rumors of heroin-laced ecstasy pills. However, MDEA does have a mildly hallucinogenic effect. This, coupled with an increase in the user's energy levels (similar to amphetamine use) had led some users to conclude that MDEA is more suitable as a nightclub drug. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), most commonly known today by the street name ecstasy, (often abbreviated to E, X, or XTC) is a semisynthetic entactogen of the phenethylamine family. It is considered a recreational drug, and has long had a strong association with the rave culture. MDMA is illegal in most countries, and its possession, manufacture or sale may result in criminal prosecution. The primary physiological effect of MDMA is believed to be the stimulation of secretion, as well as inhibition of re-uptake, of large amounts of serotonin, as well as dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Many users report subjective feelings of openness, empathy, energy, euphoria, and well-being. Tactile sensations are enhanced for some users, making physical contact with others more pleasurable. Other side effects, such as jaw clenching and elevated pulse, are common. Some users report effects similar to those of soft stimulants such as caffeine, and a few report effects comparable to hard stimulants such as cocaine. The short-term health risks of taking MDMA include hypertension, dehydration and hyperthermia, with the last two particularly notable in the rave context of dancing for long periods of time, as the drug's stimulatory effects can mask the body's normal sense of exhaustion and thirst. The risk of hyperthermia may be increased by a high fat diet, and the mechanism the activation of uncoupling protein (UCP) in mitochondria. [3] MDMA can impair judgment, resulting in other dangers such as driving under the influence or practicing unsafe sex[citation needed]. Because the lethal dose is many times higher than the typical recreational dose of 100-150 mg, overdoses are rare, but between 10 to 100 people die each year in the US with MDMA in the blood samples.[citation needed] The effects of long-term use in humans are debatable and the subject of much controversy, particularly with regard to the risks of severe long-term depression as a result of a reduction in the natural production of serotonin. Studies are difficult to undertake due to the illegality of the drug, and at least one study purported to show brain damage but was later retracted by its authors. The chief executive of the UK Medical Research Council stated MDMA was "on the bottom of the scale of harm", and the Science & Technology Committee rated it of lower concern than for alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, believing it should be changed to less harmful category B, while at the same time found methamphetamine should be scheduled up to the most harmful category A.[1] History The MDMA molecule A patent for MDMA—referred to as methylsafrylamin—was originally filed on December 24, 1912 by the German pharmaceutical company Merck, after being first synthesised for them by German chemist Anton Köllisch at Darmstadt earlier that year.[2][3] The patent was granted in 1914; Köllisch died in 1916 unaware of the impact his synthesis would have. At the time, MDMA was not known to be a drug in its own right; rather, it was patented as an intermediate chemical used in the synthesis of a hydrastinine (a drug intended to control bleeding from wounds). During 1927, Max Oberlin used MDMA as a mimic for adrenaline as the compound has a similar chemical structure. At this time the first animal studies were performed to demonstrate the effects of MDMA on blood glucose levels and vascular tissue.[2] This study was discontinued due to the high costs of the chemical synthesis. Interest was revived in the compound as a possible human stimulant by Wolfgang Fruhstorfer in 1959, although it is unclear if tests were actually performed on humans. The synthesis of the compound first appeared in 1960.[4] The U.S. Army did, however, carry out lethal dose studies on animals of MDMA and several other compounds in the mid-1950s. It was given the name EA-1475, with the EA standing for either (accounts vary) "Experimental Agent" or "Edgewood Arsenal."[5] The results of these studies were not declassified until 1969. Due to the wording of the existing Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, MDMA was automatically classified as a Class A drug in 1977 in UK and was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States from May 31, 1985.[6] However this link contradicts the US Department of Justice classification table.[7] Before then, it was used both as an adjunct to psychotherapy and as a recreational drug. MDMA began to be used therapeutically in the mid-1970s after the chemist Alexander Shulgin introduced it to psychotherapist Leo Zeff. As Zeff and others spread word about MDMA, it developed a reputation for enhancing communication, reducing psychological defenses, and increasing capacity for introspection. However, no formal measures of these putative effects were made and blinded or placebo-controlled trials were not conducted. A small number of therapists—including George Greer, Joseph Downing, and Philip Wolfson—used it in their practices until it was made illegal. MDMA appeared sporadically as a street drug in the late 1960s (when it was known as the "love drug"), but it came into prominence in the early 1980s in certain trendy yuppie bars in the Dallas area, then in gay dance clubs. From there use spread to rave clubs, and then to mainstream society. The street name of "ecstasy" was coined in California in 1984. The drug was first proposed for scheduling by the DEA in July 1984.[4] During the 1990s, along with the growing popularity of the rave subculture, MDMA use became increasingly widespread among young adults in universities and later in high schools. It rapidly became one of the four most widely used illegal drugs in the U.S., along with cocaine, heroin and cannabis. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, ecstasy was widely used in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe, becoming an integral element of rave culture and other psychedelic/dancefloor-influenced music scenes, such as Madchester and Acid House. Recreational use Recreational uses: ▪ euphoria Other putative uses: ▪ Anxiety ▪ PTSD Contraindications: ▪ Not for use in combination with stimulants (amphetamines, large doses of caffeine, soda, energy drinks, etc). ▪ Not for use in combination with diuretics (alcohol). ▪ Not for use in individuals with high blood pressure, hypertension, or blood clotting disorders. ▪ Not for use in individuals who have displayed allergies to amphetamine drugs. ▪ Must never be used in combination with MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor) drugs. Side effects: Endocrine: ▪ hyponatremia Eye: ▪ dilated pupils ▪ nystagmus Psychological: ▪ euphoria ▪ strong sense of empathy ▪ increased serotonin amount Skin: ▪ sweaty palms ▪ heavy sweating ▪ increased heart rate ▪ increased body temperature ▪ heightened touch sensations Miscellaneous: ▪ "chattiness" ▪ restlessness ▪ chattering teeth ▪ muscle spasms The primary effects of MDMA include feelings of openness, euphoria, empathy, love, and heightened self-awareness. Some users also report a tactile effect that many users refer to as the "feels" or "touchies". This is a very pleasurable sensation when touching other objects. Its initial adoption by the dance club sub-culture is possibly due to the enhancement of the overall social and musical experience. Taking MDMA or ecstasy is commonly referred to as rolling and many other slang names. MDMA use has increased markedly since the late 1980s, and spread beyond its original subcultures to mainstream use. Prices have also fallen since the 1980s. In countries where distribution is more extensive prices can sometimes be as low as €0.50 per tablet, such as in the Netherlands but other places in Europe it is common to pay €3-6 each. In Ireland their general price is €3:50-€4.In countries where distribution is more difficult, such as the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, prices are accordingly higher at up to US$10–40, NZ$40-70 and AUD$20–40 respectively per tablet. In the United Kingdom it is common to pay around £2 to £3 for a tablet on average, and in larger quantities around £1 a tablet. Prices have been driven very low in Canada due to large supply, CAD$5 to CAD$10 is the average price per tablet, while prices decrease in quantity such as two for CAD$5 or three for CAD$10 depending on quality. Prices are also usually higher when the drug is purchased in a club or at a rave. Supply Because its manufacture is generally illegal, almost all MDMA is supplied via clandestine routes. The synthesis of MDMA is more complex than that of analogues such as methamphetamine, but still well within the grasp of a university-level chemistry student. Arguably the most difficult part of the synthesis is procuring the necessary chemical precursors: some have few legitimate uses outside of clandestine drug production, and purchases of them are often illegal or heavily monitored by government agencies like the DEA. The clandestine nature of MDMA supply and demand means that purity is rarely known to the typical recreational user. MDMA is often cut with various substances, including caffeine, methamphetamine and ephedrine. Inexpensive tests such as the Marquis reagent can prove or disprove the presence of MDMA (as well as other substances) but do not indicate the total percentage of MDMA in the sample. Administration MDMA is typically ingested, although insufflation, and taking as a suppository is possible as well. The drug is commonly found in pressed pills or powder capsules. The typical recreational dose of 100-150 mg creates a "high", which takes effect within 30-60 minutes and lasts 4-6 hours. Some users take additional doses to prolong the high. Ecstasy-pills Pills come in a variety of "brands", usually identified by the icons stamped on the pills. An example would be "Red Mercedes", which gets its name because of its red color and Mercedes-Benz logo imprinted on it. Most are named after famous persons or places such as "D&G's" (Dolce & Gabbana). However the brands do not consistently designate the actual active compound within the pill, as it is possible for "copycat" manufacturers to make their own pills which replicate the features of a well-known brand. Although full and proper characterization of ecstasy pills requires advanced lab techniques such as high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (usually referred to as LC-MS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (usually referred to as GC-MS) and gas chromatography-infrared spectroscopy, it is also possible to use a less accurate presumptive alkaloid test known as the Marquis reagent. Many organizations sell pill testing kits containing this reagent. DanceSafe is one such company, and it includes an extensive database of photographs of different pills, along with the results of a laboratory analysis of their contents.[8] is a non-profit site that tests the purity of street pills and compiles results.[9] allows users to post reports of pills they have purchased and share the experience, pictures, and testing results. Other users can then post what they think about the pill in question or even rate the report on the pill. In parts of Canada and the United States, tests of pressed pills and capsules have been found to contain only small proportions of pure MDMA, containing instead caffeine, ketamine and methamphetamine in proportions larger than the MDMA.[citation needed] MDMA is also often combined with many other drugs when pressed into tablets which include amphetamines (speed), cocaine, MDEA, MDA, and rarely mescaline. Doing MDMA in combination with LSD is often known as "candy flipping", also ecstasy pills that include methamphetamines are known as "meth bombs." However,the majority of pills do not include ingredients such as methamphetamine, heroin, or LSD, contrary to popular belief. MDMA powder/crystals The pure form of MDMA hydrochloride, used by pill-manufacturers and recreational users. Because of the extremely bitter taste, some users prefer to put the MDMA powder into capsules before consuming. MDMA powder, usually the hydrochloride, is often simply called 'crystal'. This powder is produced in MDMA labs and provided to the pill-manufacturers to press the tablets at a different place. In many parts of the world the usage of plain MDMA powder instead of pills is popular. One of the reasons for this might be the control over dosage and purity. When pressed into pill tablets, MDMA powder is always mixed with pill binders because pure MDMA cannot be pressed. Effects For more details on this topic, see Effects of MDMA on the human body. Use in psychotherapy Some scientists have suggested that MDMA may facilitate self-examination with reduced fear, which may prove useful in some therapeutic settings, leading in 2001 to permission from the United States FDA for testing in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder in conjunction with psychotherapy. A parallel similar study is currently underway in Switzerland which should finish in 2008.[10] MDMA has been classed in an entirely new category of drug action as an "empathogen" and/or an "entactogen."[11][12] Synthesis Industrial scale methamphetamine/MDMA factory in Cikande, Indonesia Safrole, a colorless or slightly yellow oil, extracted from the root-bark or the fruit of sassafras plants is the primary precursor for all clandestine manufacture of MDMA. There are numerous synthetic methods available in the literature to convert Safrole into MDMA via different intermediates. One common route is via the MDP2P (3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone, also known as piperonyl acetone) intermediate. This intermediate can be produced in at least two different ways. One method is to isomerize Safrole in the presence of a strong base to isosafrole and then oxidize isosafrole to MDP2P. Another, reportedly better method, is to make use of the Wacker process to oxidize safrole directly to the MDP2P (3,4-methylenedioxy phenyl-2-propanone) intermediate. This can be done with a palladium catalyst. Once the MDP2P intermediate has been produced it is then consumed via a reductive amination to form MDMA as the product. There are restrictions on obtaining safrole or sassafras oil because it is a DEA List I chemical. It is unlikely that anyone obtaining safrole in large quantities for the purpose of manufacturing MDMA would be able to do so without arousing the suspicion of law enforcement. It is also important to note that MDMA is a federal DEA Schedule I compound in the United States and any attempt to manufacture MDMA is a federal offense.[13] According to DEA Microgram newsletters very little safrole is actually required to make MDMA. [14]"Ocotea cymbarum is an essential oil... that typically contains between 80 and 94 percent safrole," "a 500-milliliter bottle of Ocotea cymbarum sells for $20 to more than $100," "An MDMA producer with access to the proper chemicals can use a 500-milliliter quantity of Ocotea cymbarum to produce an estimated 1,300 to 2,800 tablets containing 120 milligrams of MDMA." Legal issues Use, supply and trafficking of ecstasy are currently illegal in most countries. In the United States, MDMA was legal and unregulated until May 31, 1985, at which time it was added to DEA Schedule I, for drugs deemed to have no medical uses and a high potential for abuse. During DEA hearings to criminalize MDMA, most experts recommended DEA Schedule III prescription status for the drug, due to its beneficial usage in psychotherapy. The judge overseeing the hearings, Francis Young, also made this recommendation. Nonetheless, the DEA classified it as Schedule I.[15] That same year, the World Health Organization's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence recommended that MDMA be placed in Schedule I of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Unlike the Controlled Substances Act, the Convention has a provision (in Article 7(a)) that allows use of Schedule I drugs for "scientific and very limited medical purposes." The Committee's report stated: The Expert Committee held extensive discussions concerning therapeutic usefulness of 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. While the Expert Committee found the reports intriguing, it felt that the studies lacked the appropriate methodological design necessary to ascertain the reliability of the observations. There was, however, sufficient interest expressed to recommend that investigations be encouraged to follow up these preliminary findings. To that end, the Expert Committee urged countries to use the provisions of article 7 of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances to facilitate research on this interesting substance. In the United Kingdom, MDMA is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess without a license. Penalties include a maximum of seven years and/or unlimited fine for possession; life and/or unlimited fine for production or trafficking. A mandatory seven year sentence is now the penalty for a third conviction for trafficking. Medical use and clinical studies In 2001, the FDA granted permission for experimental administration of MDMA to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. This research is being sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). For further information on this, see MAPS's MDMA Research Information and the recent article from MSNBC/Newsweek. This research in patients builds on studies in which MDMA was given to healthy volunteers. The first of these healthy volunteer studies was conducted by Dr. Charles Grob, with other studies done by Dr. Franz Vollenweider in Switzerland, Drs. John Mendelson and Reese Jones at the University of California San Francisco, and Drs. Magi Faree and Rafael de la Torre in Spain. Safety and contraindications Information in this article or section has not been verified against sources and may not be reliable. Please check for inaccuracies and modify as needed, citing the sources against which it was checked. The illegality of MDMA in many countries makes study of its effects difficult. Some safety considerations to consider with the use of ecstasy, which may or may not be conclusive, are the following: ▪ The dose and purity of ecstasy pills vary dramatically. The MDMA dosage may be stronger or weaker than is advertised. The pills may also contain other substances. In some cases, pills marketed as ecstasy do not contain MDMA or the similar MDEA or MDA, but instead are substituted with various substances like ketamine, methamphetamine, and caffeine. Some users purchase pill testing kits to verify that pills are actually MDMA. Organizations such as DanceSafe provide pill testing kits.[16] ▪ Hypertension is a risk factor given the increased cardiac load.[17] ▪ The use of ecstasy can be very dangerous when combined with other drugs (particularly monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and antiretroviral drugs, in particular Ritonavir). Combining MDMA with MAOIs can precipitate a hypertensive crisis and can result in a near-fatal repercussion.[citation needed] ▪ Ecstasy affects the regulation of the body's internal systems. Continuous dancing without sufficient breaks or drinks can lead to dangerous overheating and dehydration. Drinking too much water without consuming a corresponding amount of salt can lead to hyponatremia or water intoxication. ▪ Because of the manner in which ecstasy acts on neurotransmitters in the brain, its use may produce temporary depression as an after-effect for some users.[18] ▪ A small percentage of users may be highly sensitive to MDMA; this may make first-time use especially hazardous. This includes, but is not limited to, people with congenital heart defects. (Some scientists have suggested that a small percentage of people lack the proper enzymes to break down the drug. One enzyme involved in MDMA's breakdown is CYP2D6, which is deficient or totally absent[citation needed] in 5-10% of the Caucasian population and those of African descent, and in 1-2% of Asians.[19] However, there is no clear evidence linking lack of this enzyme to problems in users, and the connection remains theoretical.) Poly substance use Main article: Poly drug use MDMA is known for being taken in conjunction with other recreational drugs. It is said to complement psychedelics such as LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms by preventing difficult experiences and bad trips. Use is so prevalent, most of the more common combinations have been given nicknames that are well known throughout the drug culture. Examples include "candy flipping", MDMA combined with LSD[20], also known as trolling (tripping and rolling) , hippy flipping, which is MDMA combined with mushrooms, or triple flipping, which is MDMA with mushrooms and LSD Many users use mentholated products while taking MDMA, as it is believed to heighten the drug's effects. Examples include menthol cigarettes, Vicks[21] lozenges, etc. This sometimes has deleterious results on the upper respiratory tract.[22] Psychedelic mushrooms is a general term for fungi that contain psychoactive substances. It may refer to: ▪ Psilocybin mushrooms – mushrooms containing psilocin and psilocybin, and sometimes other psychoactive tryptamines. Such mushrooms belong chiefly to the genera Psilocybe and Panaeolus (= Copelandia), as well as certain members of Gymnopilus, Inocyb, Conocybe, and other genera. ▪ Amanita muscaria and relatives, such as Amanita pantherina – mushrooms containing ibotenic acid, muscimol, and muscazone. Psilocybin mushrooms (also called psilocybian mushrooms) are fungi that contain the psychedelic substances psilocybin and psilocin, and occasionally other psychoactive tryptamines. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common are magic mushrooms[1] or 'shrooms.[2] Categorization Psilocybe cyanescens, referred to sometimes as Wavy Caps. Psilocybin mushrooms contain psilocybin and/or psilocin and psychedelic tryptamines that are structurally similar to serotonin, a strong regulator of mood, state of mind, and consciousness. Several species of Psilocybe also contain the alkaloid baeocystin, which is a demethylated derivative of psilocybin. Other genera that contain psilocybin include Conocybe, Copelandia, Gymnopilus, Inocybe and Panaeolus. History Several mesolithic rock paintings from Tassili n'Ajjer (a prehistoric North African site identified with the Capsian culture) have been identified by author Giorgio Samorini as depicting the shamanic use of mushrooms, possibly Psilocybe.[3] This interpretation remains controversial, however.[citation needed] Hallucinogenic species of Psilocybe have a long history of use among the native peoples of Mesoamerica for religious communion, divination, and healing, from pre-Columbian times up to the present day. Mushroom-shaped statuettes found at archaeological sites seem to indicate that ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is quite ancient. Mushroom stones and motifs have been found in Mayan temple ruins in South America,[4] though there is considerable controversy as to whether these objects indicate the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms or whether they had some other significance with the mushroom shape being simply a coincidence.[citation needed] More concretely, a statuette dating from ca. 200 CE and depicting a mushroom strongly resembling Psilocybe mexicana was found in a west Mexican shaft and chamber tomb in Colima state. Hallucinogenic Psilocybe were known to the Mexicans as teonanácatl (literally "god's mushroom" - agglutinative form of teó (god) and nanácatl (mushroom) in Náhuatl) and were reportedly served at the coronation of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II in 1502. Aztecs and Mazatecs referred to psilocybin mushrooms as genius mushrooms, divinatory mushrooms, and wondrous mushrooms, when translated into English.[5] Bernardino de Sahagún reported ritualistic use of teonanácatl by the Aztecs, when he traveled to South America after the expedition of Herando Cortés. After the Spanish conquest, Catholic missionaries campaigned against the "pagan idolatry," and as a result, the use of hallucinogenic plants and mushrooms, like other pre-Christian traditions, were forcibly suppressed.[4] The Spanish believed the mushroom allowed the Mexicans and others to communicate with "devils". In order to gain control over the people they had to convert them to Christianity, and in doing so the Spanish pushed for a switch from teonanácatl to the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist. Despite this history, in some remote areas the use of teonanácatl has remained. By the 20th century, hallucinogenic mushroom use was thought by non-Indians to have disappeared entirely. Some authors even held that Mesoamerican cultures did not use mushrooms as hallucinogens at all and that the Spanish had simply mistaken peyote for a mushroom. Later investigations by Blas Pablo Reko, Richard Evans Schultes, and R. Gordon Wasson demonstrated that hallucinogenic mushrooms were still widely used by several indigenous Mesoamerican peoples, particularly the Mazatecs of Oaxaca. At present, hallucinogenic mushroom use has been reported among a number of groups spanning from central Mexico to Oaxaca, including groups of Nahua, Mixtecs, Mixe, Mazatecs, Zapotecs, and others. There has not, however, been any confirmed observations of hallucinogenic mushroom use among the Maya peoples, either in the pre-Columbian or post-Contact eras. According to the BBC, the first documented use of psychedelic mushrooms was in the Medical and Physical Journal: In 1799, a man who had been picking mushrooms for breakfast in London's Green Park included them in his harvest, accidentally sending his entire family on a trip. The doctor who treated them later described how the youngest child "was attacked with fits of immoderate laughter, nor could the threats of his father or mother refrain him." In 1955, Valentina and R. Gordon Wasson became the first Westerners to actively participate in an indigenous mushroom ceremony. The Wassons did much to publicize their discovery, even publishing an article on their experiences in Life in 1957.[6] In 1956, Roger Heim identified the hallucinogenic mushroom that the Wassons had brought back from Mexico as Psilocybe and in 1958, Albert Hofmann first identified psilocin and psilocybin as the active compound in these mushrooms. Inspired by the Wassons' Life article, Timothy Leary traveled to Mexico to experience hallucinogenic mushrooms firsthand. Upon returning to Harvard in 1960, he and Richard Alpert started the Harvard Psilocybin Project, promoting psychological and religious study of psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs. After Leary and Alpert were dismissed by Harvard in 1963, they turned their attention toward evangelizing the psychedelic experience to the nascent hippie counterculture. The popularization of entheogens by Wasson, Leary, and others has lead to an explosion in the use of hallucinogenic Psilocybe throughout the world. By the early 1970s, a number of psychoactive Psilocybe species were described from temperate North America, Europe, and Asia and were widely collected. Books describing methods of cultivating Psilocybe cubensis in large quantities were also published. The relatively easy availability of hallucinogenic Psilocybe from wild and cultivated sources has made it among the most widely used of the hallucinogenic drugs. Effects When psilocybin is ingested, it is broken down to produce psilocin, which is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects.[7] As with many psychoactive substances, the effects of psychedelic mushrooms are subjective and unpredictable. A common misconception, even seen in the professional environment, is that the effects experienced from psilocybin are due to a poisonous nature of the compound, yet the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a branch of the Center for Disease Control, rated psilocybin less toxic than Aspirin or Nicotine.[8] The intoxicating effects of psilocybin-containing mushrooms typically last anywhere from 4 to 7 hours.[9][10] The experience is typically inwardly oriented, with strong visual and auditory components. Visions and revelations may be experienced,[9] and the effect can range from exhilarating to distressing. There can be also a total absence of effects, even with large doses. This depends on the strain of mushroom, the quality of the yield and conditions of growth. A single dried mushroom of one of the common Psilocybe cubensis variety. When bruised, it will often turn a bluish or purplish color; however, this is not a suitable indicator of the presence of psilocybin, seeing as a number of poisonous mushrooms also have cyanic reactions to bruising. As with other psychedelics such as LSD, the experience, or "trip," is strongly dependent upon set and setting. A negative environment could likely induce a bad trip, whereas a comfortable and familiar environment would allow for a pleasant experience. In a shamanic setting, the Mazatecs purify themselves before a velada (or "vision quest") by abstaining from meat, eggs, alcohol, and sex for four days. The veladas are always done in the dark, in a protected and sealed space which no one may enter or leave until all have regained their composure. Modern psychonauts often speak of "packing for the trip," by which is meant a loading of information into the brain prior to "departure," for example, by reading a philosophical writing or indulging in a thought provoking document or film in the days prior to a planned experience. There have been calls for medical investigation of the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms for the treatment of chronic cluster headaches, following numerous anecdotal reports of benefits.[11] Physical Typical doses may cause a number of small effects, such as loss of appetite.[12] Higher doses (typically 2½ grams and above) cause numerous effects such as feelings of coldness,[9] numbness of the mouth and adjacent features,[12] nausea, weakness in the limbs (making locomotion difficult),[12] excessive yawning which usually occurs during the come-up, swollen features, pupil dilation,[9][12] and stiffness in points of the body, often the result of the users staying in awkward positions because of their inability to accurately judge the flow of time and their level of fatigue. Sensory As with many hallucinogens, the sensory effects are often the most dramatic of the experience. Common doses cause effects such as a noticeable feeling of heaviness, relaxation, enhancement and contrasting of worldly colors,[10] strange light phenomena (such as auras around lights sources),[9] surfaces that seem to ripple, shimmer, or breathe,[10] and other such visual hallucinations.[1] Higher doses elicit a variety of intensified and distinct perceptual changes: complex open and closed eye visuals of form constants or images,[12] objects that warp, morph, or change solid colors (juxtaposed with the free-flowing colors of LSD), a sense of melting into the environment, trails behind moving objects, and auditory hallucinations. Natural and artificial sounds seem to be heard with increased clarity; music, for example, can often take on a profound sense of cadence and depth.[10][12] Intriguingly, some users speak about the feeling of their senses overlapping or synesthesia, a rather interesting experience wherein the user perceives, for example, a visualization of color upon hearing a particular sound. The surface detail of everyday objects is viewed with increased acuity.[10] Unusual natural designs, such as wood grain, flow like rivers. Interesting textures can be quite stimulating to some users. A simple action such as pouring water into a glass can be extremely visually stimulating. Dr. Frank van der Heijden at the Vincent van Gogh Institute for Psychiatry in the Netherlands claims brief psychotic disturbances, such as transient hallucinations and dysperceptions are more common in psilocybin mushroom users than in nonusers.[13] Emotional Feelings of bliss, relaxation, wonder, anxiety, sadness, or fear have all been reported.[9] Some users may experience intense episodes of hilarity, such as laughing for the duration of the psychedelic experience.[1][12] Emotions can be experienced with increased sensitivity.[9] Higher doses carry the increased possibility of a surreal event known as ego death,[10] whereby the user loses the sense of boundaries between their self and the environment, creating a sort of perceived universal unity. Users may experience intense feelings of connectivity with a higher power. Contradictory emotions, such as euphoria and despair, can be experienced simultaneously.[10] A sense of paranoia may be present,[9] and if provoked enough, could culminate into a bad trip. However, the possibility of a bad trip happening can be reduced by a comfortable set and setting. In 2006, a US government funded, randomized and double-blinded study by Johns Hopkins University,[14] studied the spiritual effects of psilocybin mushrooms. The study involved 36 college-educated adults who had never tried psilocybin or had a drug abuse history and had religious or spiritual interests; the average age of the participants was 46 years. The participants were closely observed for eight-hour intervals in a laboratory while under the influence of psilocybin mushrooms. One-third of the participants reported the experience was the single most spiritually significant experience of their lifetimes and more than two-thirds reported it was among the top five most spiritually significant experiences. Two months after the study, 79 percent of the participants reported increased wellbeing or satisfaction; friends, relatives, and associates confirmed this. The study also found "about a third of subjects reported significant fear, with some also reporting transient feelings of paranoia." Psychological Common experiences typically exhibit changes such as an increased ability to concentrate on memories,[9] feelings of time dilation,[9][10] abstract and distractive thought patterns (can cause indecisiveness),[10] phonetic experimentation with vowels, consonants, or click consonants (known as glossolalia), and epiphanies about life.[9] In a way, mushrooms allow what would typically be bypassed by the brain's own natural filters to be magnified, along with the ideas and emotions that may accompany such thoughts. This can be seen as both good and bad, as it may allow for an ease of the ability to focus on stressful matters, or it could also lead to a bad trip. As dose increases, so do the alterations in perception and consciousness. Significant amounts of time can be spent in deep philosophical or introspective silence.[1] This introspective mindset, if negative, can often be painful and uncomfortable for the user to experience[9] and can last minutes to hours. Users can lose touch with reality in varying degrees, and their egos may undergo a number of separations.[10] The loss of reality can be quite intense if a large amount has been taken; often users will attempt to describe the experience, but will be frustrated by the lack of proper words. Dosage Dosage of mushrooms containing psilocybin depends on the potency of the mushroom (the total psilocybin and psilocin content of the mushrooms), which varies significantly both between species and within the same species, but is typically around 0.5-2% of the dried weight of the mushroom. A typical dose of the rather common species, Psilocybe cubensis, is approximately 1 to 2 grams,[15] corresponding with 10 to 25 milligrams psilocybin and psilocin, while about 2½ to 5 grams[15] dried material or 25 to 50 milligrams of psilocybin/psilocin is considered a heavy dose. Fresh mushrooms are approximately 90% water. Drying the mushrooms breaks down the psilocin much faster, thus shifting the psilocybin/psilocin ratio. Exposure to heat generally breaks down the psychoactive ingredients. When eaten dry, 1 to 1.5 grams of mushrooms provide a small "trip" that can last up to 3 hours. The effects then are relatively mild, depending on the tolerance of the subject. With 3 to 3.5 grams one experiences a strong and solid trip which can last more than 5 hours. Legal status Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.[7] Schedule I drugs are drugs with a high potential for abuse that have no recognized medical uses. The classification of psilocybin mushrooms as a schedule 1 drug has come under criticism because shrooms are considered soft drugs with a low potential for abuse. Parties to the treaty are required to restrict use of the drug to medical and scientific research under strictly controlled conditions. Most national drug laws have been amended to reflect this convention (for example, the US Psychotropic Substances Act, the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), with possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin being prohibited under almost all circumstances, and often carrying severe legal penalties. Possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms, including the bluing species of Psilocybe, is therefore prohibited by extension. However, in many national, state, and provincial drug laws, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms, as well as a strong element of selective enforcement in some places. The legal status of Psilocybe spores is even more ambiguous, as the spores contain neither psilocybin nor psilocin, and hence are not illegal to sell or possess in many jurisdictions, though many jurisdictions will prosecute under broader laws prohibiting items that are used in drug manufacture. A few jurisdictions (such as the US states of California, Georgia, and Idaho) have specifically prohibited the sale and possession of psilocybin mushroom spores. Cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms is considered drug manufacture in most jurisdictions and is often severely penalized, though some countries and one US state have ruled that growing psilocybin mushrooms does not qualify as "manufacturing" a controlled substance. British Virgin Islands In the British Virgin Islands, where the mushrooms grow naturally, it is legal to possess and consume psilocybin mushrooms; however, their sale is illegal. This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it. Bulgaria In Bulgaria, possession and consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms is legal, but psilocybin in its pure form is considered a "Class 1" drug. This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it. Canada Mushroom spore kits are legal and are sold openly in stores as the spores themselves are not illegal. Psilocybin and psilocin are illegal to produce, sell, or possess because it is a schedule III controlled substance.[16] This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it. A large batch of the Psilocybe semilanceata (Liberty Cap) variety. Czech Republic In the Czech Republic, a law legalizing the possession of small amounts of psilocybin mushrooms for personal use has been passed by the Czech Parliament and is considered likely to be signed by the Czech president. If passed, the law will go into effect in 2007.[17] Denmark The sale, possession, and consumption of psilocybin have long been illegal; however the sale, possession, and consumption of psilocybin mushrooms was not illegal until July 1, 2001, when the Danish Ministry of Health prohibited them.[18] This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it. Japan Prior to 2002, psilocybin mushrooms were widely available in Japan and were often sold in mail-order shops, online vendors and in head shops throughout Japan; according to Hideo Eno of Japan's Health Ministry narcotics division, prior to 2002, "You can find them [psilocybin mushrooms] anywhere."[19] In June 2002, Japan Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry added psilocybin mushrooms to Schedule Narcotics of Narcotic and Psychotropic Drug Control Law, possibly in preparation for the World Cup, and in response to a widely reported case of mushroom poisoning.[19] Use, production, trafficking, growing or possession of psilocybin mushrooms is now illegal in Japan. Mexico Psilocin and psilocybin are prohibited under the Ley General de Salud of 1984, which also specifically mentions psilocybin-containing fungi as being covered by the law, and mentions Psilocybe mexicana and Psilocybe cubensis in particular.[20] However, these laws are rarely, if ever, enforced against indigenous users of psychoactive fungi. The Mexican government has also specifically taken the position that wild occurrence of Psilocybe does not constitute drug production.[21] The Netherlands See also: Drug policy of the Netherlands In the Netherlands, unprocessed psychoactive mushrooms are legal to possess, are treated as soft drugs under the Netherlands' drug policy, and can be obtained in "smart shops" which specialize in ethnobotanicals. Psychoactive mushrooms, whether dried or fresh were legal until 2001, when the Supreme Court of The Netherlands ruled dry mushrooms to be an illegal preparation of psilocybin and psilocin. The limitation to fresh mushrooms (which go bad quite fast) is severely reducing the export of psychoactive mushrooms. In a series of court cases during 2003-2005 this was challenged by a Dutch mushroom wholesaler.[22] The vice president of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) of the UN testified to the court that the UN does not see dried or prepared psilocybin mushrooms as a controlled substance. Explanation: Psilocybin mushrooms are not listed as controlled substances, therefore preparations are also not controlled. Preparations of the controlled substances psilocybin and psilocin (i.e. tablets, etc) are controlled. Various mushroom experts have testified that there is no way to see the difference between passively and actively dried mushrooms.[citation needed] The court decided to agree to other viewpoints of De Sjamaan in order not to touch the subject of the UN's stance. The court also decided not to publish the testimony of the vice president of the INCB. The high court ruled that: ▪ There is no definition in regards to water content, which differentiates between a dry mushroom and a fresh mushroom. ▪ Passively dried mushrooms (natural desiccation) are legal. ▪ A police officer is not skilled to differentiate between a fresh and dry mushroom. New Zealand In New Zealand, psilocybin mushrooms are class A drugs, putting them in the highest class of illicit compounds along with heroin and LSD. They do not have to be prepared in any way for possession to be illegal. This section is a stub. You can help by expanding it. Republic of Ireland Until 31 January, 2006, unprepared psilocybin mushrooms were legal in the Republic of Ireland. On that date they were made illegal by a ministerial order. This decision was partly based on the death of Dubliner Colm Hodkinson, age 33, at a Halloween party on 30th October 2005, after consuming legally purchased magic mushrooms and jumping off of a balcony .[23] This was given as the spur for the sudden ban (introduced without prior notice being given to retailers). It was debated (particularly in student newspapers) whether or not this may have been simply an excuse for the ban, as Hodkinson had been consuming cannabis as well as alcohol during the day, which could have combined towards his death. Afterwards, at the inquest into Hodkinson's death, the results of the toxicology report revealed that the level of alcohol in his system was below the legal driving limit. The report also concluded that minimal traces of cannabis had been consumed and that psilocybin was the only substance that had been consumed in any significant volume. United Kingdom As of 18 July 2005, both dried and "prepared" (that is, made into a tea) psilocybin mushrooms were made illegal in the United Kingdom. Prior to this date, fresh mushrooms were widely available (even in city centre shops), but Clause 21 of the Drugs Bill 2005 made fresh psychedelic mushrooms ("fungi containing psilocin"), a Class A drug.[24] Prior to these laws being passed, possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin was prohibited, but courts had ruled the law did not apply to naturally-occurring substances containing these compounds, and for a brief period Psilocybe cubensis and other psilocybin mushrooms were sold in farmers markets. Mushrooms spores are not illegal, due to the fact they do not carry psilocin until they are cultivated. United States of America In the United States, possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms is illegal because they contain the Schedule I drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Spores, however, which do not contain psychoactive chemicals, are only explicitly illegal in California, Idaho, and Georgia; however, in California, mushroom spores are legal to possess if they are not intended for use in cultivation and if they are not imported from outside California.[25] The Florida Supreme Court in 1978 ruled that possession of wild psilocybin mushrooms is not illegal;[26] however, whether knowingly gathering wild psilocybin mushrooms for later use is illegal or not was not addressed in the decision.[27] In all states, except New Mexico, growing psilocybin-containing mushrooms from spores is considered manufacture of a controlled substance.[26] In New Mexico, on June 15, 2005, the New Mexico appeals court ruled that growing psilocybin mushrooms for personal use is not manufacture of a controlled substance.[28][29] Drug trade Production It is not difficult to cultivate Psilocybe mushrooms (esp. Psilocybe cubensis). The legal availability of spores and mycelium varies by country and state. Most of the other supplies needed for mushroom cultivation (mason jars, potting supplements, rye, brown rice flour) are easily obtained. One can also purchase kits through the mail or Internet that include everything one needs for personal growing. These grow kits are often used by amateur growers, with varying rates of success and yields; contamination of the supplies is a common problem. Trafficking Because mushrooms can be grown indoors (namely Psilocybe cubensis and Panaeolus cyanescens), they are generally grown within the same national borders as they are sold. There have been few high-profile cases of mushroom producers and traffickers being caught or prosecuted. While mushrooms may be distributed by organized crime, more often they are moved by informal affiliations of acquaintances and fellow users, and do not often travel long distances. They are sold in plastic bags containing either whole dried or powdered, sometimes crushed, fungi, and are generally sold by weight. They are sometimes incorporated into chocolate or baked into brownies, cakes, or muffins. The typical price for an ounce of dried mushrooms can range from as little as $70 to $400 depending on the quality of the product, as well as their availability in the area. The quality of the product is generally about the same, varying only as can be expected with a non-synthetic psychedelic. The major factor in the quality of this drug is how well they have been stored, with well dried whole mushrooms kept in cool dark places being ideal. Contaminated grows yield poor quality, possibly toxic mushrooms. One should be extremely cautious of any mushrooms which have unusual growths or mold, as well as any mushrooms which may have been harvested from the same grow as mushrooms with these growths. The potency of mushrooms can vary greatly depending on the growing conditions, and buyers of mushrooms run the risk of ingesting a poisonous, mis-identified species, or being cheated by substitutions or cutting of the mushrooms with other, non-psychedelic varieties, or by non-psychedelic varieties laced with other psychedelics, most often LSD. Notes 1 ^ a b c d Kuhn, Cynthia; Swartzwelder, Scott and Wilson, Wilkie (1998 & 2003). Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy. W.W. Norton & Company Inc, pg. 83. ISBN 0-393-32493-1. 2 ^ Taking care of ourselves. Cornell University: Women's Resource Center. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 3 ^ The oldest Representations of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in the World.. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 4 ^ a b Stamets, Paul [1996]. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, 11. ISBN 0898158397. 5 ^ Stamets, Paul [1996]. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, 7. ISBN 0898158397. 6 ^ Wasson RG (1957). "Seeking the magic mushroom". Life (June 10). article reproduced online 7 ^ [ Psilocybin Fast Facts]. National Drug Intelligence Center. Retrieved on 2007-04-04. 8 ^ The Good Drugs Guide. Magic Mushrooms – Frequently Asked Questions (htm). Frequently Asked Questions. The Good Drugs Guide. Retrieved on 2007-01-04. 9 ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Erowid and contributors (2006). Effects of Psilocybin Mushrooms (shtml). Erowid. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 10 ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Good Drugs Guide. Psychedelic Effects of Magic Mushrooms (htm). The Good Drugs Guide. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 11 ^ Clusterbusters. Psilocybin Mushrooms (html). Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 12 ^ a b c d e f g Soochi (2003). Physical Effects of Mushrooms. Shroomery. Mind Media. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 13 ^ Witchalls, Clint. "Trip down the high street", The Independent (reproduced on LookSmart Find Articles), 2006-06-16. Retrieved on 2007-04-016. 14 ^ Hopkinds scientists show hallucinogen in mushroom creates universal "mystical" experience.. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved on 04-04-2007. 15 ^ a b Erowid (2006). Dosage Chart for Psychedelic Mushrooms (shtml). Erowid. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 16 ^ Chapter 19 (Bill C-8). CanLII. Retrieved on 2007-04-05. 17 ^ [1] 18 ^ Danish Ministry of Health Makes Psilocybin Mushrooms Illegal. NORML. Retrieved on 2007-04-05. 19 ^ a b "Japan culls magic from mushrooms", BBC. Retrieved on 2007-04-05. 20 ^ [2] 21 ^ [3] 22 ^ De Sjamaan 23 ^ Man jumped to death after taking magic mushrooms (asp). Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings (2006). Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 24 ^ [4] 25 ^ Legality of Psilocybin Mushroom Spores (2004-11-29). Retrieved on 2007-03-38. 26 ^ a b Psilocybin Mushrooms Legal Status (shtml). Erowid (2006). Retrieved on 2007-1-9. 27 ^ [5] 28 ^ Barry Massey (2005). Growing hallucinogenic mushrooms not illegal, state appeals court rules (html). Free New Mexican. Santa Fe New Mexican. Retrieved on 2006-12-01. 29 ^ [6] ▪ Allen, John W. (1997). Magic Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle: Raver Books and John W. Allen. ISBN 1-58214-026-X. ▪ Letcher, Andy (2006). Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom. London: Faber and Faber Limited. ISBN 0-060-82828-5. ▪ Nicholas, L. G; Ogame, Kerry (2006). Psilocybin Mushroom Handbook: Easy Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation. Quick American Archives. ISBN 0-932551-71-8. ▪ Stamets, Paul (1993). Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 1-58008-175-4. ▪ Stamets, Paul; Chilton, J.S. (1983). Mushroom Cultivator, The. Olympia: Agarikon Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0. ▪ Stamets, Paul (1996). Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. ISBN 0-9610798-0-0. ▪ Kuhn, Cynthia; Swartzwelder, Scott; Wilson, Wilkie (1998 & 2003). Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. ISBN 0-393-32493-1. External links ▪ The Shroomery Detailed information about psychedelic mushrooms including identification, cultivation and spores, psychedelic images, trip reports, a dosage calculator, and an active community. ▪ Magic Mushrooms Magic ▪ The Vaults of Erowid - Psilocybin Mushrooms ▪ Mycotopia Information on Ayahuasca, Psilocybe Mushrooms, Cactis and Cannabis, including research, legislation, media coverage, bibliography and lots of links ▪ Jeremy Bigwood: Scientific Publications (archived at Wayback Machine) Psilocybin (also known as psilocybine) is a psychedelic alkaloid of the tryptamine family, found in psilocybin mushrooms. It is present in hundreds of species of fungi, including those of the genus Psilocybe, such as Psilocybe cubensis and Psilocybe semilanceata, but also reportedly isolated from a dozen or so other genera. Psilocybin mushrooms are commonly called "magic mushrooms" or more simply "shrooms". The intensity and duration of recreational and entheogenic use of psilocybin mushrooms vary depending on species of mushrooms, dosage, individual physiology, and set and setting. Chemistry Psilocybin is a prodrug that is converted into the pharmacologically active compound psilocin in the body by dephosphorylation.[1] This chemical reaction takes place under strongly acidic conditions or enzymatically by phosphatases in the body. Psilocybin is a zwitterionic alkaloid that is soluble in water, moderately soluble in methanol and ethanol, and insoluble in most organic solvents. Albert Hofmann was the first to recognize the importance and chemical structure of the pure compounds psilocybin and psilocin. Hofmann was aided in this process by his willingness to ingest extracts isolated from Psilocybe. Hofmann's colleagues at the University of Delaware were also trying to isolate the active principle, but were unsuccessful.[2] Biology Psilocybin is a naturally-occurring compound found in high concentrations in some species of Psilocybe and Panaeolus (collectively called "psilocybin mushrooms" or "psilocybian mushrooms"), and at low levels in a large number of species of the Agaricales. The spores of these mushrooms are completely free of both psilocybin and psilocin. The total potency varies greatly between species and even between specimens of one species in the same batch. Younger, smaller mushrooms are relatively higher in alkaloids and have a milder taste than larger, mature mushrooms. Mature mycelium contains some amount of psilocybin, which can be extracted with an acidic solution, usually of citric acid or ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). Young mycelium (recently germinated from spores) does not contain appreciable amounts of alkaloids. Most species of hallucinogenic mushrooms also contain small amounts of the psilocybin analogs baeocystin and norbaeocystin. Many types of psilocybin mushrooms bruise blue when handled or damaged — this is due to the oxidization of active compounds though bruising is not a definitive method of determining a mushrooms potency. Pharmacology Psilocybin is rapidly dephosphorylated in the body to psilocin which then acts as a partial agonist at the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in the brain where it mimics the effects of serotonin (5-HT). Psilocin is an 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A/2C agonist. Medicine Psilocybin has been studied as a treatment for several disorders. In 1961, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert ran the Harvard Psilocybin Project, carrying out a number of experiments concerning the use of psilocybin in the treatment of personality disorders and other uses in psychological counseling. In the United States, an FDA-approved study supported by Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) began in 2001 to study the effects of psilocybin on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.[3] MAPS has also proposed studying psilocybin's potential application for the treatment of cluster headaches based on anecdotal evidence presented to them by a group of cluster headache sufferers.[4] In 2006, the MAPS study found psilocybin effective in relieving obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms, in some cases for more than a few days.[5] In a current study of psilocybin, led by Charles Grob, 12 subjects are being administered with either the hallucinogen or a placebo in two separate sessions. Grob hopes to reduce the psychological distress that is associated with death by treating patients with psilocybin.[6] "Lewis, Judith. "The Hallucinogenic Way to Die." LA Weekly. Mar. 2004:AlterNet Toxicity The toxicity of psilocybin is relatively low; when administered intravenously in rabbits, Psilocybin's LD50 is approximately 12.5mg/kg. In rats, the oral LD50 is 280mg/kg — almost one and a half times that of caffeine.[7] Death from psilocybin intake alone is unknown at most recreational or medicinal levels. The psilocybin content of psychoactive mushrooms is quite variable and depends on species, growth and drying conditions, and mushroom size, but averages around 5mg/g of dried mushroom, or 1mg/2g of fresh mushroom.[citation needed] Effects Psilocybin is absorbed through the lining of the mouth and stomach. Effects begin 10-60 minutes after ingestion of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, and last from 2-6 hours depending on dose, species, and individual metabolism. Typical recreational dosage is from 10-50mg Psilocybin, approximately 1-5g dried mushroom or 10-50g wet mushrooms. The effects of psilocybin are often pleasant, even ecstatic, including a deep sense of connection to others, confusion, hilarity, and a general feeling of connection to nature and the universe. Difficult trips may occur when psychedelic compounds are taken in a non-supportive or inadequate environment, by an inexperienced person, or in an unexpectedly high dose (see: set and setting). At low doses, hallucinatory effects occur, including walls that seem to breathe, a vivid enhancement of colors and the animation of organic shapes. At higher doses, experiences tend to be less social and more entheogenic, often catalyzing intense spiritual experiences. For example, in the Marsh Chapel Experiment, which was run by a graduate student at Harvard Divinity School under the supervision of Timothy Leary, almost all of the graduate degree divinity student volunteers who received psilocybin reported profound religious experiences. (A brief video about the Marsh Chapel experiment can be viewed here.) In 2006, a group of researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine led by Roland R Griffiths conducted an experiment assessing the degree of mystical experience and attitudinal effects of the psilocybin experience; this report was published in the journal Psychopharmacology. Thirty-six volunteers without prior experience with hallucinogens were given psilocybin and methylphenidate (Ritalin) in separate sessions, the methylphenidate sessions serving as a control and active placebo; the tests were double-blind, with neither the subject nor the administrator knowing which drug was being administered. The degree of mystical experience was measured using a questionnaire on mystical experience developed by Ralph W Hood; 61% of subjects reported a "complete mystical experience" after their psilocybin session, while only 13% reported such an outcome after their experience with methylphenidate. Two months after taking psilocybin, 79% of the participants reported moderately to greatly increased life satisfaction and sense of well-being. About 36% of participants also had a strong to extreme “experience of fear” or dysphoria (eg, a “bad trip”) at some point during the psilocybin session (which was not reported by any subject during the methylphenidate session), with about one-third of these (13% of the total) reporting that this dysphoria dominated the entire session. These negative effects were reported to be easily managed by the researchers and did not have a lasting negative effect on the subject’s sense of well-being. [1] This research was widely covered in the major media outlets.[2] A very small number of people are unusually sensitive to psilocybin's effects, where doses as little as 0.25 grams of dried Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms (normally a threshold dose of around 2 mg psilocybin) can result in effects usually associated with medium and high doses. Likewise, there are some people who require relatively high doses of psilocybin to gain low-dose effects. Individual brain chemistry and metabolism plays a large role in determining a person's response to psilocybin. Psilocybin is metabolized mostly in the liver where it becomes psilocin. It is broken down by the enzyme monoamine oxidase. MAO inhibitors have been known to sustain the effects of psilocybin for longer periods of time; people who are taking an MAOI for a medical condition (or are seeking to potentiate the mushroom experience) should be careful. Mental and physical tolerance to psilocybin builds and dissipates quickly. Taking psilocybin more than three or four times in a week (especially two days in a row) can result in diminished effects. Tolerance dissipates after a few days, so frequent users often keep doses spaced five to seven days apart to avoid the effect. Adverse effects The consumption of psilocybin may cause Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).[8] Social and legal aspects Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.[3] Schedule I drugs are illicit drugs that are claimed to have no known therapeutic benefit. Parties to the treaty are required to restrict use of the drug to medical and scientific research under strictly controlled conditions. Most national drug laws have been amended to reflect this convention (for example, the US Psychotropic Substances Act, the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), with possession and use of psilocybin and psilocin being prohibited under almost all circumstances, and often carrying severe legal penalties. Possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms, including the bluing species of Psilocybe, is therefore prohibited by extension. However, in many national, state, and provincial drug laws, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms and the spores of these mushrooms, as well as a strong element of selective enforcement in some places. For more details on the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms and Psilocybe spores, see: Psilocybe: Social and legal aspects. Because of the ease of cultivating psilocybin mushrooms or gathering wild species, purified psilocybin is practically nonexistent on the illegal drug market. Salvia divinorum, also known as Diviner's Sage,[2] Magic Mint,[2] María Pastora,[3] Sally D, Sage of the Seers, or simply Salvia (although the genus name is shared among many plants), is a powerful psychoactive plant, a member of the sage genus and the Lamiaceae (mint) family.[4] It has long been used as an entheogen by the indigenous Mazatec shamans for healing during spirit journeys.[5] The plant is found in isolated, shaded and moist plots in Oaxaca, Mexico.[5] It is thought to be a cultigen.[6] The Latin name Salvia divinorum literally translates to "sage of the seers".[7] The genus name Salvia is derived from the Latin salvare, meaning "to heal" or "to save".[8] The primary psychoactive constituent is a diterpenoid known as salvinorin A.[9][10 History Salvia divinorum was first found in Oaxaca Mexico where it is used by the Mazatec Indians to facilitate visions and to treat diarrhea, headaches, and a magical disease called panzon de borrego, otherwise known as swollen belly. It was first recorded in print by Jean Basset Johnson in 1939 as he was studying Mazatec shamanism.[11] He later documented its usage and reported its effects through personal testimonials.[12] It was not until the 1990s that the psychoactive mechanism was identified by a team led by Daniel Siebert.[13] Flowering Salvia divinorum The history of the plant is not known, but there are three possibilities as to its origin. Since it is found in one small area and only one indigenous group uses it, it is either native to this area, is a cultigen of the Mazatecs, or is a cultigen of another indigenous group.[7] Wasson theorized that this plant was the mythological pipilzintzintli, the "Noble Prince" of the Aztec codices.[3] However, this theory is not without dispute. The Aztecs were extremely knowledgeable in plant identification, and their records report that pipilzintzintli has both male and female varieties. Salvia divinorum, however, is monoecious, meaning it produces flowers of both sexes on a single plant. Skeptics of this theory report that the Aztecs would have known the difference between male and female flowers. Wasson gains validity, however, as a number of Aztec historical accounts classify plants as male or female in a metaphorical, rather than botanically anatomical manner. Botany Unlike other species of salvia, Salvia divinorum produces few seeds, and those seldom germinate. For an unknown reason, pollen fertility is reduced. There is no active pollen tube inhibition within the style, but some event or process after the pollen tube reaches the ovary is aberrant.[14] Partial sterility is often suggestive of a hybrid origin, although no species have been recognized as possible parent species. The ability to grow indistinguishable plants from seeds produced by self pollination also weakens the hybrid theory of origin, instead implying inbreeding depression, or an undiscovered incompatibility mechanism. The plant is mainly propagated by cuttings or layering. Although isolated strands of S. divinorum exist, these are thought to have been purposely created and tended by the Mazatec people. For this reason, it is considered a true cultigen, not occurring in a wild state.[6] All known specimens are clones from a small number of collected plants. Two strains are in major circulation: the Wasson/Hofmann strain, obtained upon request from a Mazatec shaman in Oaxaca in 1962, and the Blosser ('Palatable') strain, obtained around 1980. The Palatable strain is said to have a more acceptable taste than the Wasson/Hofmann strain, although most reports suggest that there is little difference. Additional commercial strains are in circulation, but all seem to be similar in potency, effect, and growth. The numerous different names have more to do with marketing than with the formal identification of botanically distinct strains. Chemistry For more details on this topic, see Salvinorin A. Salvinorin A The active constituent is a trans-neoclerodane diterpenoid known as Salvinorin A, chemical formula C23H28O8.[15] Unlike other known opioid-receptor ligands, salvinorin A is not an alkaloid — it does not contain a basic nitrogen atom.[16] When considered by weight alone, salvinorin A is the most potent naturally-occurring psychoactive compound known.[17] It is active at doses as low as 200 µg.[13][15][17] Research has shown that salvinorin A is a potent and selective κ (kappa) opioid receptor agonist.[18][15] It has been reported that the effects of salvinorin A in mice are blocked by kappa opioid receptor antagonists.[19] This makes it unlikely that another mechanism contributes independently to the compound’s effects. Salvinorin A is unique in that it is the only naturally occurring substance known to induce a visionary state via this mode of action. Salvinorin A has no actions at the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, the principal molecular target responsible for the actions of classical hallucinogens.[19] Salvinorin's potency should not be confused with toxicity. Rodents chronically exposed to dosages many times greater than those to which humans are exposed did not show signs of organ damage.[20] Many other terpenoids have been isolated from S. divinorum, including other salvinorins and related compounds named divinatorins and salvinicins. None of these compounds has shown significant (sub-micromolar) affinity at the kappa opioid receptor, and there is no evidence that they contribute to the plant's psychoactivity. Ingestion Traditional methods Mazatec shamans use two methods of ingestion. Often they simply eat the fresh leaves. Sometimes they crush the leaves to extract the leaf juices, which they then drink (usually mixed with water). Reportedly, dosages vary from as few as 6 leaves to as many as 120 when using these methods. Modern methods Smoking Dry leaves can be smoked in a pipe, but most users prefer the use of a water pipe to cool the smoke. The temperature required to release salvinorin A from the plant material is quite high (about 240°C). A regular flame will work, but the direct application of something more intense, such as the flame produced from a butane torch lighter, is often preferred. Many people find that untreated dried Salvia leaf produces unnoticeable or only light effects, perhaps due to the relatively low concentration of salvinorin A in unprocessed leaves. More concentrated preparations or extracts, which may be smoked instead of natural strength leaves, have become widely available. These range in relative concentration from about five times, written as 5x, up to 60x, and sometimes even as high as 100x. The multiplication factors are generally indicative of the relative amounts of leaf used in preparation. The numbers therefore may also be roughly indicative of the relative concentration of the active principle salvinorin A, but the measure should not be taken as absolute. Potency will depend on the naturally varying strength of the untreated leaf used in preparing the extract, as well as the efficiency of the original extraction process itself. Extracts reduce the overall amount of smoke that needs to be inhaled, thus facilitating more powerful experiences. The use of highly concentrated extracts is an issue of some concern, particularly when undertaken by inexperienced users without the aid of a sitter. Chewing The traditional Mazatec method of chewing the leaves may also be employed. However, salvinorin A is generally considered to be inactive when simply ingested, as the chemical is effectively deactivated by the gastrointestinal system.[21] Therefore, the 'quid' of leaves is held in the mouth as long as possible in order to facilitate absorption of the active constituents through the oral mucosa. Chewing consumes more of the plant than smoking, though produces a longer-lasting experience. Tinctures Sublingual tinctures made with grain alcohol (95%+) are another popular form of prepared Salvia. The tincture is diluted down to 50-75% abv with warm water to minimize mouth irritation and tissue damage from the alcohol, then held in the mouth while the salvinorin enters the body via buccal absorption. The effects ramp up slowly over a period of 20-30 minutes, and taper off over 45 minutes after the tincture is finally swallowed or spit out. The experience comes on more gradually, and dissipates much more slowly, compared with the relatively short duration of smoked Salvia. An easily-made tincture consists of a 1:1 mix of alcohol with finely powdered leaf material. After the solid leaf material settles to the bottom, a few milliliters of the fluid poured off the top is one dose of tincture. The tincture must remain in a solution of 95% alcohol and mixed with hot water only moments before consumption, as even small amounts of water drastically reduce the alcohol's ability to hold salvinorin. [1] Combinations Some choose to use a tincture or quid, and then smoke leaves or extract after the first sensations are felt, typically around the 15-20 minute mark. This produces an experience resembling the often overwhelming quality of smoked extract, while also stretching the intense sudden nature of smoked Salvia to the duration of a tincture or quid, around 50-60 minutes. Due to the longer duration of effects, this is not recommended for inexperienced users of Salvia, since unpleasant or frightening trips will not end quickly as they would in the case of just smoking. Attainment of effect Some types of people seem to be particularly resistant to the effects even after repeated attempts. Others find their sensitivity quite variable from one experience to the next. Regardless of sensitivity eventually observed in the longer term, many people fail to achieve significant effects with their initial attempts. Anecdotal reports suggest the possibility of increasingly stronger effects with repeated use of similar amounts of Salvia. This could be attributable to practice or to learning more efficient ingestion techniques. For example: It is said that some methods of smoking salvia are more effective than others. By emptying the lungs before taking a long and gradual inhalation, a greater effect can be attained. It is also said that holding your breath also helps, as well as the presence of multiple lighters. Some suggest, however, that 'reverse tolerance' or increased sensitization may be a result of the body's response to the active principle over time. Onset of the effects may be subtle and not immediately noticeable. There are often a few seconds of preceding latency. In any case, caution is advised if considering further ingestion before time has been allowed for prior amounts to clear the system. Duration of effect If Salvia is smoked the main effects are experienced quickly. The most intense 'peak' is reached within a minute or so and lasts for about 1-5 minutes, followed by a gradual tapering back. At 5-10 minutes, less intense yet still appreciable effects typically persist, but giving way to a returning sense of the everyday and familiar until back to recognizable baseline after about 15 to 20 minutes. [2] Chewing the leaf makes the effects come on more slowly, over a period of 10 to 15 minutes, the experience then lasting for about 40 to 50 minutes but producing much milder and lighter effects than other methods of dosing. The bitter taste of the leaf is usually so objectionable that most individuals will not chew the leaf long enough to obtain any kind of psychedelic effect. Experience Psychedelic experiences, in relating by definition to realms of mind, are necessarily somewhat subjective. Individual variations in reported effects are to be expected. However, from the many experience accounts posted to the Internet (The drug database Erowid has over 800 entries) some general trends can be vouched. Most people find that the effects of salvinorin are not conducive to socializing, thus those with any experience with the plant emphasize that Salvia is not a ‘party drug’. External stimuli can be distracting. Motor-control is negatively affected. It is advisable to have a sober trip sitter present, particularly for initial experiences, prior to possible assessment of individual sensitivity. The effects of Salvia are regarded by many to be highly spiritual. Many find Salvia useful for meditation. Consciousness is retained until the highest doses, but body control, awareness of the external environment, and individual personality may be affected with even modest amounts. Even those experienced with the use of other psychoactive substances may feel confused and less in control. At lower doses, spontaneous laughter, mild closed-eye visuals, stuttering or strobing visual effects, enhanced or distorted depth perception, and a heightened sense of color and texture may be experienced. Moderate doses appear trance-like. Time distortion and open-eye visuals become increasingly apparent. Fractal patterns and geometric shapes may be noticeable with eyes open, and can be confusing. Many people experience sensations of falling, similar to, but more pronounced than what is occasionally felt at the onset of sleep. The user may experience fully formed visions of other places, people, and events, especially with eyes closed. At high doses the effects become more powerful and may additionally include reports of perceptions of dimensional distortion, vertigo, feelings of intense exhilaration and/or panic, sensations of wind or physical pressure, hearing voices, flanging of sound, significant open and closed-eye visuals, loss of speech, dissociation, reports of experiencing alternate realities, out-of-body experiences, visiting parallel universes, as well as perceived contact with beings or entities, dissolution of one's ego and life changing experiences. Many users report twisting or splitting feelings. It is also not unusual that, while experiencing the effects, a person will not remember that they have taken Salvia, which can cause the user to panic. A strong feeling of déjà vu is commonly reported as an effect of large doses of Salvia. The experience is quite different from that of most other psychoactives and may be overwhelming, even with a conducive, reassuring and comfortable set and setting. Most Salvia practitioners recommend darkness and silence as the best environment; however, minimal, ambient or relaxing music can be helpful. According to experience reports, Salvia is sometimes known to cause distinctly similar and specific visions in different people. A number of users have reported contact with an entity supposedly associated with the plant, ("the Shepherdess/Salvia Goddess"). Another common experience is visions of clowns or of being in a circus-like environment. Erowid Many Salvia users, during high-dose out-of-body experiences, may suddenly 'merge' with objects. With the significant time distortion typical of Salvia, participants may report the feeling of living a lifetime as another person, or as an inanimate object, such as a wall or a piece of furniture. The experiences can be pleasant, or frightening and confusing [3]. Interestingly, the effects of Salvia divinorum are often mistakenly described as 'LSD-like' by people who have not tried it, most notably politicians and reporters. Actual users on the other hand more often describe its effects as unique (38.4%), and more like meditation, yoga or a trance (23.2%). This compares to only 17.7% of users who linked it to any of the other serotonergic psychoactives (mescaline, psilocybin, LSD, etc.).[22] An example of Salvia inspired Visionary art Expression Salvia can shift perception into altered states of consciousness and sensation. Such powerful experiences may be interpreted as enlightening, frightening, or just plain strange. Many take time to integrate and try to make sense of their experience in the hours, days or weeks following. Some but not all find it useful to be alone for an hour or so to gather thoughts and absorb the experience. Others find it is useful to talk through, sharing the imagery and ideas with another person. For some the experience is so far removed from everyday reality they find it difficult to describe. Recall may be likened to that of an elusive dream, with memory quickly fading on wakening. Many feel compelled to communicate the details of their experiences to a wider audience, as evidenced by the numerous reports posted on the Internet on various websites and forums. As well as such firsthand phenomenological accounts some may go on to write more extensive prose and/or poetry [4]. A remarkable example of such inspired writing is Dale Pendell’s Salvia divinorum chapter from his book Pharmako/poeia which won the 1996 Firecracker Alternative Book Award.[5] Although Salvia experiences can be quite conceptual and abstract for some, many people describe their visions more pictorially. Rather than using words, for some temperaments the strong visual motifs are best rendered in the form of drawing or painting. Examples of such Salvia inspired artwork can readily be found on the Internet, [6] [7] [8] [9]. Others claim musical inspiration from the plant. Some examples of this include the songs "Salvia Divinorum" by 1200 Micrograms and "Salvia" by Deepwater Sunshine [10]. There are several consistent forms that appear in salvia influenced artwork. The form constants appear in specific variety; twisting flat forms subdivided into stringy tubes in grid patterns. These shapes often take the form of leaves, wings, and feathers. Spiral curves within triangular compositions of ambiguous dimension and scale are also common. Shapes usually flow together and create non-continuous representations of space. Eyes, aliens, fields, wheels, and flowing landscapes are well-used Salvia symbols. Color is often used vividly and emotionally, such as bright oranges and yellows over muted blues and greens. Multiplicity of form is often depicted. After effects Short term After the peak effects, normal awareness-of-self and the immediate surroundings return but lingering effects may be felt. These short-term lingering effects have a completely different character than the peak experience. About half of users report a pleasing 'afterglow', or pleasant state of mind following the main effects. Researchers (Baggott, et al) from the University of San Francisco conducted a survey of 500 Salvia users which identified that they 'sometimes or often' experience the following common (>20% occurrence) lingering after effects:[23]
▪ Increased insight – 47%
▪ Improved mood – 44.8%
▪ Calmness – 42.2%
▪ Increased connection with universe or nature – 39.8%
▪ Weird thoughts – 36.4%
▪ Things seem unreal – 32.4%
▪ Floating feeling – 32%
▪ Increased sweating – 28.2%
▪ Body felt warm or hot – 25.2%
▪ Mind racing – 23.2%
▪ Lightheaded – 22.2%
▪ Increased self-confidence – 21.6%
According to some notable sources (principally Daniel Siebert’s sagewisdom website) a few people report mild headache, insomnia, irritability or bronchial irritation after taking Salvia. These symptoms seem to be reported more often by smokers than by quid chewers.
Long term
While ‘improved mood’ is one of the most commonly noted short-term effects following usage, Baggot’s Salvia user survey results also found that 25.8% of respondents reported antidepressant-like mood improvements lasting 24 hours or longer.[22] These findings are in-line with known properties of k-Opioid agonists as well as anecdotal reports and findings of clinicians.[24]
Results from a study by William A. Carlezon et al[25] using ‘Forced-Swim tests’ (where rodents are forced to swim in a narrow cylinder from which they cannot escape) have been used to suggest that Salvia divinorum may have “Depressive-Like Effects”. However, extrapolation from the observation of temporary physiological effects in rats to suggest more serious psychological consequences is questionable, particularly given that Salvia’s short-term effects on motor-control have already been observed and well documented in human subjects.
Salvia has not been found to be either physically or psychologically addictive. The results of the Baggot survey, which used the standard psychiatric drug dependence diagnostic framework, indicate that Salvia has little if any potential as a drug of dependence.
Both scientific and anecdotal user evidence indicates that chemical constituents of Salvia may in fact have potential as therapy for drug addictions to stimulants (e.g., amphetamines) and opiates.[26] Research has shown that the plant contains neoclerodane diterpenes that have therapeutic potential for helping people who have drug abuse problems. The neoclerodane diterpenes in Salvia are k-Opioid agonists. k-Opioid agonists, according to Tidgewell et al, (AAPS Journal), “possess utility in the treatment of opioid dependence and have been shown to have anti-depressant activity as well as block stress-induced behavior responses.”[27]
Most users report no hangover or negative after-effects the next day. This is consistent with the apparent low toxicity of Salvia indicated by research conducted at the University of Nebraska.[20]
Other effects
Some media reports have raised concerns about the possibility of LSD-like flashbacks occurring after use of Salvia. Reports of flashbacks have not been established. At least one user reported experiencing ongoing negative psychological effects, having three flashback experiences in four months after taking a concentrated form of Salvia (10x extract). Though the linked account does mention other drug usage in a couple of cases: “During one of them I had smoked absurd amounts of marijuana, and during another I was on shrooms”. Salvia flashbacks may be true enough but also ordinarily quite rare phenomena.
A report on several Salvia species[10] has looked at the efficacy of some ‘folk’ uses of the genus. Salvia divinorum, as one of the species included in the study, was found to work as a diuretic.
Unknown effects
While there are no proven health risks associated with the use of Salvia as a psychoactive drug, medical professionals generally caution against the ingestion of smoke from any substance into the lungs. Salvia’s long-term effects on the human body are not well known at this time. Further study of its indigenous use in Mexico and its effect on the health of the Mazatec people who have been using it for centuries would be useful in this regard.

The relatively recent emergence of Salvia divinorum in modern Western culture in comparison to its long traditions of indigenous use elsewhere contrasts widely differing attitudes on the subject.
The opinion that Salvia divinorum is a highly dangerous hallucinogenic drug appropriate for Schedule I or equivalent classification has been sufficiently prevalent amongst politicians to result in the enactment of various laws against its cultivation, sale, or use in a number of countries and in some states in the US.
Opponents of such prohibitive measures argue that this is due to an inherent prejudice and a particular cultural bias rather than an actual balance of evidence, pointing out inconsistencies in attitudes toward other more toxic and addictive drugs such as alcohol and nicotine.[28]
Those advocating consideration of Salvia divinorum’s potential for beneficial use in a modern context argue that more could be learned from Mazatec culture, where Salvia is not really associated with notions of drug taking at all and it is rather considered as a spiritual sacrament. In light of this it is argued that Salvia divinorum could be better understood more positively as an entheogen rather than pejoratively as a hallucinogen.
Other entheogenic plants with traditions of spiritual use include peyote (and other psychoactive cacti), iboga, virola, ayahuasca (an admixture of plants containing DMT + MAOI), tlitliltzin (“Morning Glory”), and various types of psychoactive fungi.
In fact, US legislation specifically allows two of these to be used in a spiritual context. The Native American Church is allowed to use peyote and Uniao do Vegetal (or UDV) is permitted ayahuasca. Although not consistently granted (varying from state to state), the principal grounds for such concessions are constitutional.

Legal status
For more details on this topic, see Legal status of Salvia divinorum.
Salvia divinorum is legal in most countries and, within the United States, legal in the majority of States. However, some politicians have called for its prohibition. Most of these proposals have not made it into law, with motions having failed, stalled or otherwise died, for example in the United Kingdom, at national level in the United States, and at more local level within States such as Alaska, Illinois, Oregon and Wyoming, though the situation is subject to further change depending on the outcome of more recent bills as yet still at the proposal stage.
A reason for Salvia’s mostly favorable legal status so far is that there’s been little real evidence to suggest that its use is problematic. Salvia divinorum is not a newly discovered or synthesized drug. It has been revered for perhaps centuries by the Mazatec people of Oaxaca, Mexico as a sacred plant, capable of facilitating spiritual experiences. The rise of the Internet since the mid-1990s saw the growth of many businesses selling dried Salvia leaves, extracts and other preparations. During the 10-15 years in which it has become more available in modern Western culture police have not been reporting it as a significant issue with regard to public order offenses. Medical experts, accident and emergency rooms have not been reporting cases that suggest particular health concerns. Salvia divinorum is understood to be nontoxic and nonaddictive.
Despite this, countries such as Australia (the first country to ban it) and a few American states have created anti-Salvia laws. To justify prohibition some politicians have argued that Salvia effects are “LSD-Like” and that this alone is sufficient to raise alarms about its safety [11]. Many Salvia media stories also headline with comparisons to LSD. However, while LSD and Salvia’s active constituent salvinorin A may have comparative potencies, in the sense that both can produce their effects with low dosage amounts, they are otherwise quite different. LSD is a synthesised drug not found in nature whereas salvinorin occurs naturally in plant form. The two substances are not chemically similar or related. They are ingested in different ways. They produce different effects, which manifest themselves over different timescales. The effects of Salvia when smoked typically last for only a few minutes as compared to LSD, whose effects can persist for 8-10 hours. News stories typically do not mention this significant difference in timescale and in particular fail to report Salvia’s much shorter duration of effect.
Another argument made against Salvia, while conceding that not much is known about it and that it may not be a particular problem at the moment, is that legislation is needed to stop it from becoming a problem in the future. For example, Senator Randy Christmann (R) stated – “we need to stop this before it gets to be a huge problem not after it gets to be a huge problem” [12] and Assemblyman Jack Conners (D) argued -“Salvia divinorum use may not be a runway epidemic, but it certainly is a phenomenon that warrants attention. We should take preventive steps now to prevent wholesale problems later on…” [13]
There also seems to be the implication that because a few other States or countries have banned Salvia divinorum then it follows that there must obviously be a problem with it. For example, in October 2005 MP John Mann raised an ultimately unsuccessful Early Day Motion calling for Salvia divinorum to be banned in the UK, saying – “The Australians have clearly found a problem with it. There’s obviously a risk in people taking it.” [14]
While not objecting to some form of legal control, in particular with regard to the sale to minors or sale of enhanced high-strength extracts, most Salvia proponents otherwise argue against more prohibitive measures.[29] Some countries and States such as Missouri have imposed the strictest Schedule I or equivalent classification against Salvia divinorum even in its natural and untreated form.
There haven’t been any publicized prosecutions recorded under any Salvia laws. Legislation may prove difficult to police. The plant has a nondescript appearance; the leaves are not distinctive and it does not have a distinctive odor like cannabis. Salvia divinorum looks like and can be grown as an ordinary houseplant without the need of special equipment such as hydroponics or high-power lights.

Refers to a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world, mostly animal spirits[citation needed]. There are many variations in shamanism throughout the world, though there are some beliefs that are shared by all forms of shamanism:
▪ The spirits can play important roles in human beings.
▪ The shamans are to control and cooperate with the spirits for the community’s benefit.
▪ The spirits can be either good or bad.
▪ Shamans get into a trance by singing, dancing, entheogens and drumming.
▪ The songs and dances describe the spirit’s journey or the shaman’s own personal journey to the other world.[citation needed]
▪ Many shamans imitate many animals and bird spirits. This happens when the shaman’s spirit leaves the body and enters into the supernatural world.
▪ The shamans can treat illnesses or sickness. The main purpose of shamanism is to understand nature and heal the sick.
▪ The most important object is the drum;[citation needed] it symbolizes many things to a shaman. Sometimes drums are decorated with rattles, bells or bones to represent different spirits and animals, depending on the region and the community.
▪ Many shamans sacrifice animals such as lambs. They believed that it would help people in healing and gain support from the spirits.[1]
Its practitioners claim the ability to diagnose and cure human suffering and, in some societies, the ability to cause suffering. This is believed to be accomplished by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. Shamans have been credited with the ability to control the weather, divination, the interpretation of dreams, astral projection, and traveling to upper and lower worlds. Shamanistic traditions have existed throughout the world since prehistoric times.
Some anthropologists and religious scholars define a shaman as an intermediary between the natural and spiritual world, who travels between worlds in a state of trance. Once in the spirit world, the shaman would commune with the spirits for assistance in healing, hunting or weather management. Ripinsky-Naxon describes shamans as, “People who have a strong interest in their surrounding environment and the society of which they are a part.”
Other anthropologists critique the term “shamanism”, arguing that it is a culturally specific word and institution and that by expanding it to fit any healer from any traditional society it produces a false unity between these cultures and creates a false idea of an initial human religion predating all others. However, others say that these anthropologists simply fail to recognize the commonalities between otherwise diverse traditional societies.
Shamanism is based on the premise that the visible world is pervaded by invisible forces or spirits that affect the lives of the living. In contrast to animism and animatism, which any and usually all members of a society practice, shamanism does not require specialized knowledge or abilities. It could be said that shamans are the experts employed by modern, animists or animist communities. Shamans are, however, often organized into full-time ritual or spiritual associations, as are priests, being the unordained priests of instinct.

Shaman |ˈshämən; ˈshā-| noun (pl. -mans) originally referred to the traditional healers of Turkic-Mongol areas such as Northern Asia (Siberia) and Mongolia, a “shaman” being the Turkic-Tungus word for such a practitioner and literally meaning “he (or she) who knows.” The words in Turkic languages which refer to shamans are kam, and sometimes baksı.
The Tungusic word šamán is from Chinese sha men (Chinese: 沙门,沙弥), “Buddhist monk,” borrowed from Pali śamana, ultimately from Sanskrit śramana “ascetic,” from śramati “he fatigues” (see shramana). The word passed through Russian and German before it was adopted into English.
Another explanation analyzes this Tungusic word as containing root “sa-”, this means “to know”. “Shaman” is “he/she who knows”:[2][3] a person who is an expert in keeping together the multiple codes through which this complex belief system appears, and has a comprehensive view of them in his/her mind with certainty of knowledge.[4]
Accordingly, the only proper plural form of the word is “shamans” and not “shamen”, as it is unrelated to the English word “man”. Similarly, the feminine form is not “shamaness” but “shamanka”.
In its common usage, it has replaced the older English language term witch doctor, a term which unites the two stereotypical functions of the shaman: knowledge of magical and other lore, and the ability to cure a person and mend a situation. However, this term is generally considered to be pejorative and anthropologically inaccurate. Objections to the use of shaman as a generic term have been raised as well, by both academics and traditional healers themselves, given that the word comes from a specific place, people, and set of practices.
[edit]Criticism of the term “Shaman”
Certain anthropologists, most notably Alice Kehoe in her book “Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking”, are highly critical of the term. Part of this criticism involves the notion of cultural appropriation. This includes criticism of New Age and modern Western forms of Shamanism, which may not only misrepresent or ‘dilute’ genuine indigenous practices but do so in a way that, according to Kehoe, reinforces racist ideas such as the Noble Savage.
Kehoe is highly critical of Mircea Eliade’s work. Eliade, being a historian rather than an anthropologist, had never done any field work or made any direct contact with ‘shamans’ or cultures practicing ‘shamanism’. According to Kehoe, Eliade’s ‘shamanism’ is an invention synthesized from various sources unsupported by more direct research. To Kehoe, what Eliade and other scholars of shamanism treat as being definitive of shamanism, most notably drumming, trance, chanting, entheogens and hallucinogenics, spirit communication and healing, are practices that
▪ exist outside of what is defined as shamanism and play similar roles even in non-shamanic cultures (such as the role of chanting in Judeo-Christian rituals)
▪ in their expression are unique to each culture that uses them and cannot be generalized easily, accurately or usefully into a global ‘religion’ such as shamanism.
Because of this, Kehoe is also highly critical of the notion that shamanism is an ancient, unchanged, and surviving religion from the Paleolithic period.
(see also Plastic shaman)
Hoppál also discusses whether the term “shamanism” is appropriate. He recommends using the term “shamanhood” for stressing the diversity and the specific features of the discussed cultures. This is a term used in old Russian and German ethnographic reports at the beginning of the 20th century (p. 15, par. 3 of[5]). He believes that this term is less general and places more stress on the local variations. Hoppál mentions similar thoughts on ISSR, 2001 Summer (abstract online in 2nd half of 2nd paragraph), where he also conjectures a contemporary paradigm shift.
See books and small online materials on this topic [6].

The shaman may fulfill multiple functions in his or her community,[7] such as healing[8]; leading a sacrifice; preserving the tradition by storytelling and songs, fortune-telling; acting as a psychopomp (literal meaning, “guide of souls”). As a psychopomp, the shaman may accompany the incarnating soul of a newborn baby[9], or inversely, the departing soul of the newly-dead. They may also serve the community by maintaining the tradition through memorizing long songs and tales.
A shaman acts as a “mediator” in his or her culture.[10] The shaman is seen as communicating with the spirits on behalf of the community, including the spirits of the dead. In some cultures, this mediator function of the shaman may be illustrated well by some of the shaman’s objects and symbols. E.g. among the Selkups, a report mentions a water fowl species as a spirit-animal: ducks are capable of both flying and diving underwater, thus they are regarded belonging to both the upper world and the world underneath.[11] Somewhat similar remarks apply for the identification of the shaman and the jaguar in some Amazonian cultures: the jaguar is capable of both swimming in the water and climbing trees.[12]
“The shaman’s tree” is an image found in several cultures (Yakuts, Dolgans, Evenks) as a symbol for mediation. The tree is seen as a being whose roots belong to the world underneath; its trunk belongs to the middle, human-inhabited word; and its top is related to the upper world.[13]
[edit]Distinct types of shamans
In some cultures there may be additional types of shamans, who perform more specialized functions. For example, among the Nanai people, a distinct kind of shaman acts as a psychopomp.[5] Other specialized shamans may be distinguished according to the type of spirits, or realms of the spirit world, with which the shaman most commonly interacts. These roles vary among the Nenets, Enets, and Selkup shamans (paper [14]; online [15]).
[edit]Ecological aspect
In tropical rainforests, resources for human consumption are easily depletable. In some rainforest cultures, such as the Tucano, a sophisticated system exists for the management of resources, and for avoiding the depletion of these resources through overhunting. This system is conceptualized in a mythological context, involving symbolism and, in some cases, the belief that the breach of hunting restrictions may cause illness. As the primary teacher of tribal symbolism, the shaman may have a leading role in this ecological management, actively restricting hunting and fishing [16]. Not only Tucanos, but also some other rainforest Indians [17] have such ecological concerns related to their shamanism. Besides Tukanos, also many Eskimo groups [18] think that the shaman is able to “release” game animals (or their souls) from their hidden abodes.

[edit]Soul concept, spirits
The plethora of functions described in the above section may seem to be rather distinct tasks, but some important underlying concepts join them.
[edit]Soul concept
In some cases, at some cultures, the soul concept can explain more, seemingly unassociated phenomena [19]:
may be based closely on the soul concepts of the belief system of the people served by the shaman (online [8]). It may consist of the retrieving the lost soul of the ill person [20]. See also the soul dualism concept.
Scarcity of hunted game
can be solved by “releasing” the souls of the animals from their hidden abodes. Besides that, many taboos may prescribe the behavior of people towards game, so that the souls of the animals do not feel angry or hurt, or the pleased soul of the already killed prey can tell the other, still living animals, that they can let themselves to be caught and killed [18] [21]. The ecological aspect of shamanistic practice (and the related beliefs) has already been mentioned above in the article.
Infertility of women
can be cured by obtaining the soul of the expected child to be born.
The beliefs related to spirits can explain many phenomena too, for example, the importance of storytelling, or acting as a singer, can be understood better if we examine the whole belief system: a person who is able to memorize long texts or songs (and play an instrument) may be regarded as having achieved his/her ability through contact with the spirits.[22]

The word “shaman” refers to “he/she who knows”:[2][3] a person who is an expert in keeping together the multiple codes through which this complex belief system appears, and has a comprehensive view on it in his/her mind with certainty of knowledge.[4] The shaman uses (and the audience understands) multiple codes: he/she expresses meanings in many ways (in musical, verbal, choreographic forms, and meanings are manifested also in objects, e.g. amulets).
The shaman knows the culture of his/her community well [17] [23], and acts accordingly. Thus his/her audience knows the used symbols and meanings — that’s why shamanism can be efficient: people in the audience trust it.[24] Such belief system can appear to its members with certainty of knowledge — this explains the above described etymology for the word “shaman”.[25]

Sami shaman with his drum
There are semiotic theoretical approaches to shamanism ([5] [26]; online: [27] [28]):

Juha Pentikäinen, in his introduction to Shamanism and Northern Ecology, explains how the Sámi drum embodies Sámi worldviews. He considers shamanism to be a ‘grammar of mind’ (10), because shamans need to be experts in the folklore of their cultures (11)

Such approaches can be related also to hermeneutics [29] (“ethnohermeneutics”, online [27]).
Other fieldworks use systems theory concepts and ecological considerations to understand the shaman’s lore. Desana and Tucano Indians have developed a sophisticated symbolism and concepts of “energy” flowing between people and animals in cyclic paths. Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff relates these concepts to the changes how modern science (systems theory, ecology, some new approaches in anthropology and archeology) treats causality in a less linear way [16]. He suggests also a cooperation of modern science and indigenous lore (online [30]).
According to Vladimir Basilov and his work Chosen By the Spirits, a shaman is to be in the utmost healthy conditions to perform their duties to the fullest. The belief of the shaman is most popular through the people located in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. The traditions of the shamanism is also imbedded in the Tadzhiks and Uzbeks regions. The shaman’s bodies are to be formed in a strong manner, someone having a small build would be turned away at once. Age is a requirement as well, definitely being over the age of fifty would disqualify those that want to be involved in serving the spirits. The shamans are always of the higher intellect and are looked at in a different perspective, they have a way that makes them quick on their feet and at ill will curing those in need.
One of the most significant and relevant qualities that separate a shaman from other spiritual leaders is their communications with the supernatural world. As early as the beginning of the century self-hypnosis was very highly thought of by those who worship. Another characteristic of the shaman is the talent to locate objects and discover thieves, shocking those of their tribe and those others also around to witness. The belief in the spirits or the supernatural is what attracts those to believe in the shamans. Those who have ill children or are in failing health of their own is what draws them to the shaman spiritual healings. Although the shamans are still in existence, the population is surely declining.[31]

[edit]Initiation and learning
In the world’s shamanic cultures, the shaman plays a priest-like role; however, there is an essential difference between the two, as Joseph Campbell describes:
“The priest is the socially initiated, ceremonially inducted member of a recognized religious organization, where he holds a certain rank and functions as the tenant of an office that was held by others before him, while the shaman is one who, as a consequence of a personal psychological crisis, has gained a certain power of his own.” (1969, p. 231)
A shaman may be initiated via a serious illness, by being struck by lightning and dreaming of thunder to become a Heyoka, or by a near-death experience (e.g., the shaman Black Elk), or one might follow a “calling” to become a shaman. There is usually a set of cultural imagery expected to be experienced during shamanic initiation regardless of the method of induction. According to Mircea Eliade, such imagery often includes being transported to the spirit world and interacting with beings inhabiting the distant world of spirits, meeting a spiritual guide, being devoured by some being and emerging transformed, and/or being “dismantled” and “reassembled” again, often with implanted amulets such as magical crystals. The imagery of initiation generally speaks of transformation and the granting powers to transcend death and rebirth.
In some societies shamanic powers are considered to be inherited, whereas in other places of the world shamans are considered to have been “called” and require lengthy training. Among the Siberian Chukchis one may behave in ways that “Western” bio-medical clinicians would perhaps characterize as psychotic, but which Siberian peoples may interpret as possession by a spirit who demands that one assume the shamanic vocation. Among the South American Tapirape shamans are called in their dreams. In other societies shamans choose their career. In North America, First Nations peoples would seek communion with spirits through a “vision quest”; whereas South American Shuar, seeking the power to defend their family against enemies, apprentice themselves to accomplished shamans. Similarly the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia have an elaborate cosomoligcal system predicated on the ritual consumption of ayahuasca. Coupled with milleanrian impulses, Urarina ayahuasca shamanism is a key feature of this poorly documented society[1].
Putatively customary shamanic “traditions” can also be noted among indigenous Kuna peoples of Panama, who rely on shamanic powers and sacred talismans to heal. As such, they enjoy a popular position among local peoples.
Note: The Lakota-tradition (with the Heyoka and Black Elk above) are not really shamanic. There is a big difference between the Lakota-culture and shamanic-cultures. In shamanic-cultures there is the use of psycho-active substances (peyote, fly agaric, psylo, etc.) In the Lakota-culture pain is often used instead of psycho-active plants. While a siberian shaman would use fly agaric, a Lakota medicine-man would do a sundance. The Lakota-medicine-people have some bias against the use of psycho-active plants.
[edit]Shamanic illness
Shamanic illness, also called shamanistic inititatory crisis, is a psycho-spiritual crisis, usually involuntary, or a rite of passage, observed among those becoming shamans. The episode often marks the beginning of a time-limited episode of confusion or disturbing behavior where the shamanic initiate might sing or dance in an unconventional fashion, or have an experience of being “disturbed by spirits”. The symptoms are usually not considered to be signs of mental illness by interpreters in the shamanic culture; rather, they are interpreted as introductory signposts for the individual who is meant to take the office of shaman (Lukoff, 1992). Similarities of some shamanic illness symptoms to the kundalini process have been often noted [2]. The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuan, the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China (Noo and Shi, 2004).
[edit]Practice and method
The shaman plays the role of healer in shamanic societies; shamans gain knowledge and power by traversing the axis mundi and bringing back knowledge from the heavens. Even in western society, this ancient practice of healing is referenced by the use of the caduceus as the symbol of medicine. Often the shaman has, or acquires, one or more familiar helping entities in the spirit world; these are often spirits in animal form, spirits of healing plants, or (sometimes) those of departed shamans. In many shamanic societies, magic, magical force, and knowledge are all denoted by one word, such as the Quechua term “yachay”.
While the causes of disease are considered to lie in the spiritual realm, being effected by malicious spirits or witchcraft, both spiritual and physical methods are used to heal. Commonly, a shaman will “enter the body” of the patient to confront the spirit making the patient sick, and heal the patient by banishing the infectious spirit. Many shamans have expert knowledge of the plant life in their area, and an herbal regimen is often prescribed as treatment. In many places shamans claim to learn directly from the plants, and to be capable of harnessing their effects and healing properties only after obtaining permission from its abiding or patron spirit. In South America, individual spirits are summoned by the singing of songs called icaros; before a spirit can be summoned the spirit must teach the shaman its song. The use of totem items such as rocks is common; these items are believed to have special powers and an animating spirit. Such practices are presumably very ancient; in about 368 BCE, Plato wrote in the Phaedrus that the “first prophecies were the words of an oak”, and that everyone who lived at that time found it rewarding enough to “listen to an oak or a stone, so long as it was telling the truth”.
The belief in witchcraft and sorcery, known as brujeria in South America, is prevalent in many shamanic societies. Some societies distinguish shamans who cure from sorcerers who harm; others believe that all shamans have the power to both cure and kill; that is, shamans are in some societies also thought of as being capable of harm. The shaman usually enjoys great power and prestige in the community, and is renowned for their powers and knowledge; but they may also be suspected of harming others and thus feared.
By engaging in this work, the shaman exposes himself to significant personal risk, from the spirit world, from any enemy shamans, as well as from the means employed to alter his state of consciousness. Certain of the plant materials used can be fatal, and the failure to return from an out-of-body journey can lead to physical death. Spells are commonly used to protect against these dangers, and the use of more dangerous plants is usually very highly ritualized.
[edit]Shamanic practice
Generally, the shaman traverses the axis mundi and enters the spirit world by effecting a change of consciousness in himself, entering into an ecstatic trance, either autohypnotically or through the use of entheogens. The methods used are diverse, and are often used together. Some of the methods for effecting such altered states of consciousness are:
▪ Drumming
▪ Singing
▪ Fasting
▪ Icaros / Medicine Songs
▪ Listening to music
▪ Sweat lodge
▪ Vision quests / vigils
▪ Dancing
▪ Mariri
▪ Swordsmithing
▪ Use of “power” or “master” plants to induce altered states or aromatics used as incense such as
▪ Ayahuasca – Quechua for Vine of the Dead; also called yage
▪ Cannabis
▪ Cedar
▪ Datura
▪ Deadly nightshade
▪ Fly agaric
▪ Iboga
▪ Morning glory
▪ Peyote
▪ Psychedelic mushrooms – alluded to euphemistically as holy children by Mazatec shamans such as Maria Sabina.
▪ Sweetgrass
▪ Sage
▪ Salvia divinorum – sometimes called Diviners’ sage
▪ San Pedro cactus – named after (St. Peter), guardian and holding the keys to the gates of heaven, by the Andean peoples; Quechua name: Huachuma
▪ Tobacco
Shamans will often observe dietary or customary restrictions particular to their tradition. Sometimes these restrictions are more than just cultural. For example, the diet followed by shamans and apprentices prior to participating in an Ayahuasca ceremony includes foods rich in tryptophan (a biosynthetic precursor to serotonin) as well as avoiding foods rich in tyramine, which could induce hypertensive crisis if ingested with MAOIs such as are found in Ayahuasca brews.

Goldes shaman priest in his regalia
As mentioned above, cultures termed as shaministic can be very different. Thus, shamans may have various kinds of paraphernalia.

Shaman’s drum
In many cultures (lots of peoples in Siberia, many Eskimo groups [32] [18] etc.) a drum is used.
The beating of the drum allows the shaman to achieve an altered state of consciousness or to travel on a journey. The drum is for example referred to as, “‘horse’ or ‘rainbow-bridge’ between the physical and spiritual worlds” [33]. The journey mentioned is one in which the shaman establishes a connection with one or two of the spirit worlds. With the beating of the drum come neurophysiological effects. Much fascination surround the role that the acoustics of the drum play to the shaman.
There are two different worlds, the upper and the lower. In the upper world, images such as “climbing a mountain, tree, cliff, rainbow, or ladder; ascending into the sky on smoke; flying on an animal, carpet, or broom and meeting a teacher or guide”, [34]are typically seen. The lower world consists of images including, “entering into the earth through a cave, hollow tree stump, a water hole, a tunnel, or a tube”[35]. By being able to interact with a different world at an altered and aware state, the Shaman can then exchange information between the world in which he lives and that in which he has traveled to.
[edit]Gender and sexuality
While some cultures have had higher numbers of male shamans, others have had a preference for females. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest known shamans—dating to the Upper Paleolithic era in what is now the Czech Republic—were women.[36]
In some societies, shamans exhibit a two-spirit identity, assuming the dress and attributes of the opposite sex from a young age, for example, a man taking on the role of a wife in an otherwise ordinary marriage. This practice is common, and found among the Chukchi, Sea Dyak, Patagonians, Araucanians, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Navajo, Pawnee, Lakota, and Ute, as well as many other Native American tribes. Indeed, these two spirited shamans were so widespread as to suggest a very ancient origin of the practice. See, for example, Joseph Campbell’s map in his The Historical Atlas of World Mythology: [Vol I: The Way of the Animal Powers: Part 2: pg 174] Such two-spirit shamans are thought to be especially powerful, and Shamanism so important to ancestral populations that it may have contributed to the maintenance of genes for transgendered individuals in breeding populations over evolutionary time through the mechanism of “kin selection.” [see final chapter of E.O. Wilson’s “Sociobiology: The New Synthesis] They are highly respected and sought out in their tribes, as they will bring high status to their mates.
In Korea, almost all of the shamans are female.
Duality and bisexuality are also found in the shamans of the Dogon people of Mali (Africa). References to this can be found in several works of Malidoma Somé, a writer who was born and initiated there.
Tuva is the only region in the world to have shamanism as an official religion. The Tuvans’ higher than average syphilis infection rate (according to the Moscow Times, 2.5% of the population) has been blamed on a Shamanist tradition of the Republic, which says a woman is more fertile if she has had a large number of sexual partners before marriage.[citation needed]
In some cultures, the border between the shaman and the lay person is not sharp:

Among the Barasana, there is no absolute difference between those men recognised as shamans and those who are not. At the lowest level, most adult men have some abilities as shamans and will carry out some of the same functions as those men who have a widespread reputation for their powers and knowledge [37]

The difference is that the shaman knows more myths and understands their meaning better, but the majority of adult men knows many myths, too [38].
Also in many Eskimo groups, many laic people have felt experiences that are usually attributed to shamans: daydreaming, reverie, trance [29]. It is the control over helping spirits that is characteristic mainly to shamans, the laic people use amulets, spells, formulae, songs [29] [18].
It can vary from culture to culture how the shaman gets his/her sustenance and takes part in the everyday life. In many Eskimo groups, he/she makes services for the community, and gets a “due payment” [18] (it is sometimes said to be given to the helping spirits [29]) , but these goods are only “welcome addenda”, they are not enough to enable shamanizing as a full-time activity: the shaman lives like any other member of the group according to his/her sex, e.g. like a hunter or a housewife [29].

Shamanistic practices are sometimes claimed to predate all organized religions, dating back to the Paleolithic (Shamanism in Prehistory, by Clottes), and certainly to the Neolithic period[citation needed]. Aspects of shamanism are encountered in later, organized religions, generally in their mystic and symbolic practices. Greek paganism was influenced by shamanism, as reflected in the stories of Tantalus, Prometheus, Medea, and Calypso among others, as well as in the Eleusinian Mysteries, and other mysteries. Some of the shamanic practices of the Greek religion later merged into the Roman religion.
The shamanic practices of many cultures were marginalized with the spread of monotheism in Europe and the Middle East. In Europe, starting around 400, the Catholic Church was instrumental in the collapse of the Greek and Roman religions. Temples were systematically destroyed and key ceremonies were outlawed or appropriated. The Early Modern witch trials may have further eliminated lingering remnants of European shamanism (if in fact “shamanism” can even be used to accurately describe the beliefs and practices of those cultures).
The repression of shamanism continued as Catholic influence spread with Spanish colonization. In the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Catholic priests followed in the footsteps of the Conquistadors and were instrumental in the destruction of the local traditions, denouncing practitioners as “devil worshippers” and having them executed. In North America, the English Puritans conducted periodic campaigns against individuals perceived as witches. More recently, attacks[citation needed]on shamanic practitioners have been carried out at the hands of Christian missionaries to third world countries. As recently as the nineteen seventies, historic petroglyphs were being defaced by missionaries in the Amazon. A similarly destructive story can be told of the encounter between Buddhists and shamans, e.g., in Mongolia (See Caroline Humphrey with Urgunge Onon, 1996).
Today, shamanism survives primarily among indigenous peoples. Shamanic practice continues today in the tundras, jungles, deserts, and other rural areas, and also in cities, towns, suburbs, and shantytowns all over the world. This is especially widespread in Africa as well as South America, where “mestizo shamanism” is widespread.

[edit]Shamanism and New Age movement
Main article: Neoshamanism
The New Age movement has appropriated some ideas from shamanism as well as beliefs and practices from Eastern religions and a variety of indigenous cultures. As with other such appropriations, the original practitioners of these traditions frequently condemn New Age use as misunderstood or superficially understood and/or applied.[3]
There is an endeavor in some occult and esoteric circles to reinvent shamanism in a modern form, drawing from core shamanism – a set of beliefs and practices synthesized by the controversial Michael Harner – often revolving around the use of ritual drumming and dance, and Harner’s interpretations of various indigenous religions. Harner has faced much criticism for implying that pieces of diverse religions can be taken out of context to form some sort of “universal” shamanic tradition. Some of these neoshamans also focus on the ritual use of entheogens, as well as chaos magic. Allegedly, European-based Neoshamanic traditions are focused upon the researched or imagined traditions of ancient Europe, where they believe many mystical practices and belief systems were suppressed by the Christian church. Some of these practitioners express a desire to practice a system that is based upon their own ancestral traditions. Some anthropologists and practitioners have discussed the impact of such “neoshamanism” as ‘giving extra pay’ (Harvey, 1997 and elsewhere) to indigenous American traditions, particularly as many Pagan- or Heathen-‘shamanic practitioners’ of legitimate cultural traditions do not call themselves shamans, but instead use specific names derived from the older European traditions – the völva or seidkona (seid-woman) of the sagas being an example (see Blain 2002, Wallis 2003). Shamanism has also been used in New Age therapies which use enactment and association with other realities as an intervention [4][5]

[edit]Areal variations
While shamanism had a strong tradition in Europe before the rise of monotheism, shamanism remains as a traditional, organized religion in Uralic , Altaic people and Huns; and also in Mari-El and Udmurtia, two semi-autonomous provinces of Russia with large Finno-Ugric minority populations. It was widespread in Europe during the Stone Age[citation needed], and continued to be practiced throughout the Iron Age by the various Teutonic tribes and the Fino-Baltic peoples.[39]
See also Sami shamanism, Huns , Finnish mythology , Tengri and the appropriate parts of Shamanism in Siberia.
Main article: Shamanism in Siberia
Siberia is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism.[5] It is inhabited by many different peoples. Many of its Uralic, Altaic, Paleosiberian (see the main article) peoples had living shamanistic practices even in modern times. Many classical ethnograpical sources of “shamanism” were recoded at Siberian peoples.
Many hunter-gatherer groups, or reindeer breeders practiced shamanism as a living tradition also in modern times (e.g. Samoyedic people), especially those living in isolation until recent times (Nganasans).[5]
When the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949 and the border with Russian Siberia was formally sealed, many nomadic Tungus groups that practiced shamanism were confined in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia. These include the Ewenki and the Oroqen. The last shaman of the Oroqen, Chuonnasuan (Meng Jin Fu), died in October 2000.
In many other cases, shamanism was in decline even at the beginning of 20th century (Selkups).[5]
More detailed discussion (where living shamanistic practices were documented also in modern times) can be found in the main article.
Main article: Korean shamanism
Shamanism is still practiced in South Korea, where the role of a shaman is most frequently taken by women known as mudangs, while male shamans (rare)are called baksoo mudangs. Korean shamans are considered to be from a low class.
A person can become a shaman through hereditary title or through natural ability. Shamans are consulted in contemporary society for financial and marital decisions.
The Korean shamans use of the Amanita Muscaria in traditional practice is thought to have been suppressed as early as the Choseon dynasty. Another (extremely poisonous) mushroom was renamed as the Shaman’s mushroom, “무당버섯”. Korean shamans are also reputed to use spiders over the subject’s skin. Colorful robes, dancing, drums and ritual weapons are also features.
[edit]Other Asian areas
There is a strong shamanistic influence in the Bön religion of some Central Asians, and in Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism became popular with shamanic peoples such as the Tibetans, Mongols, and Manchu beginning in the eighth century. Forms of shamanistic ritual combined with Tibetan Buddhism became institutionalized as the state religion under the Chinese Yuan dynasty and Qing dynasty. However, in the shamanic cultures still practiced by various ethnic groups in areas such as Nepal and northern India, shamans are not necessarily considered enlightened, and often are even feared for their ability to use their power to carry out malicious intent.
In Tibet, the Nyingma schools in particular, had a Tantric tradition that had married “priests” known as Ngakpas or Ngakmas/mos (fem.). The Ngakpas were often employed or commissioned to rid the villages of demons or disease, creations of protective amulets, the carrying out of religious rites etc. The Ngakpas should however, been grounded in Buddhist philosophy and not simply another form of shaman, but sadly, this was most often not the case. There have always been, however, highly realised and accomplished ngakpas. They were in their own right great lamas who were of equal status as lamas with monastic backgrounds. The monasteries, as in many conventional religious institutions, wished to preserve their own traditions, sometimes at the expense of others. The monasteries depended upon the excesses of patrons for support. This situation often led to a clash between the more grassroots and shamanic character of the travelling Chodpa and Ngakpa culture and the more conservative religious monastic system.[40]
Shamanism is still practiced in the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa), where shamans are known as nuru, and in a few rural areas in Japan proper. Many Korean believed that the Shinto religion is the result of the transformation of a shamanistic tradition into a state religion.
[edit]Eskimo cultures

Yup’ik shaman exorcising evil spirits from a sick boy, Nushagak, Alaska, 1890s.
Main article: Shamanism among Eskimo peoples
Eskimo groups comprise a huge area stretching from Eastern Siberia through Alaska and Northern Canada (including Labrador Peninsula) to Greenland. Shamanistic practice and beliefs have been recorded at several parts of this vast area crosscutting continental borders.[18][29][21]
[edit]Shamanistic features

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When speaking of “shamanism” in various Eskimo groups, we must remember that (as mentioned above) the term “shamanism” can cover certain characteristics of various different cultures [5]. Mediation is regarded often as an important aspect of shamanism in general [5]. Also in most Eskimo groups, the role of mediator is known well [41]: the person filling it in is actually believed to be able to contact the beings who populate the belief system. Term “shaman” is used in several English-language publications also in relation to Eskimos (academic [18] [29]; popular [12]). Also the /aˈliɣnalʁi/ of the Asian Eskimos is translated as “shaman” in the Russian literature ([42]; another in English [41]).
The belief system assumes specific links between the living people, the souls of hunted animals, and those of dead people.[43] The soul concepts of several groups are specific examples of soul dualism (showing variability in details in the various cultures).
Like most cultures labelled as “shamanistic”, the Eskimo groups have several special features, or at least ones that are not present in all shamanistic cultures. Unlike in many Siberian cultures, the careers of most Eskimo shamans lack the motivaton of force: becoming a shaman is usually a result of deliberate consideration, not a necessity forced by the spirits.[18]
[edit]Certain relatedness, but far from homogeneity
Main article: Eskimo#Certain relatedness of Eskimo cultures, far from homogeneity
Another possible concern: do the belief systems of various Eskimo groups have such common features at all, that would justify any mentioning them together? There was no political structure above the groups, their languages were relative, but differed more or less, often forming language continuums (online [44]). There was a certain relatedness in the culture of the Eskimo groups.[18][45][46] But this relatedness allowed great diversity, far from homogeneity.[18]
Although a large distance separated the Asiatic Eskimos and Greenland Eskimos, some groups had certain similarities in their shamanistic seances.[41] Similar remarks apply for comparisons of Asiatic with North American Eskimo shamanisms[12]. Also the usage of a specific shaman’s language is documented at several Eskimo groups [29] [18], including Asian ones ([41], p. 128 of [42]). Similar remarks apply for aspects of the belief system not directly linked to shamanism: tattooing (online English [47]); accepting the killed game as a dear guest visiting the hunter (p. 218 [42]); usage of amulets (p. 380 of [42]); lack of totem animals (online Russian [48]; paper [49]).
Some examples for the diversity: the myths concerning the role of shaman had several variants, and also the name of their protagonists varied from culture to culture (see the many local names of Sea Woman in the main article). Also the soul conceptions, e.g. the details of the soul dualism showed great variability, ranging from guardianship to a kind of reincarnation. Conceptions of spirits or other beings had also many variants (see e.g. the tupilak concept).
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In the early century traditonal healers in parts of Africa were often refer in a derogatory manner to as “witch doctors” by early European settlers and explorers.

Native American “conjuror” in a 1590 engraving
Native American and First Nations cultures have diverse religious beliefs. There was never one universal Native American religion or spiritual system. Though many Native American cultures have traditional healers, ritualists, singers, mystics, lore-keepers and “Medicine People”, none of them ever used, or use, the term “shaman” to describe these religious leaders. Rather, like other indigenous cultures the world over, their spiritual functionaries are described by words in their own languages, and in many cases are not taught to outsiders.
Many of these indigenous religions have been grossly misrepresented by outside observers and anthropologists, even to the extent of superficial or seriously mistaken anthropological accounts being taken as “more authentic” than the accounts of actual members of the cultures and religions in question. Often these accounts suffer from “Noble Savage”-type romanticism and racism. Some contribute to the fallacy that Native American cultures and religions are something that only existed in the past, and which can be mined for data despite the opinions of Native communities.
Not all Indigenous communities have roles for specific individuals who mediate with the spirit world on behalf of the community. Among those that do have this sort religious structure, spiritual methods and beliefs may have some commonalities, though many of these commonalities are due to some nations being closely-related, from the same region, or through post-Colonial governmental policies leading to the combining of formerly-independent nations on reservations. This can sometimes lead to the impression that there is more unity among belief systems than there was in antiquity.
Navajo medicine men, known as “Hatałii”, use several methods to diagnose the patient’s ailments. These may include using special tools such as crystal rocks, and abilities such as hand-trembling and trances, sometimes accompanied by chanting. The Hatałii will select a specific healing chant for that type of ailment. Navajo healers must be able to correctly perform a healing ceremony from beginning to end. If they don’t, the ceremony will not work. Training a Hatałii to perform ceremonies is extensive, arduous, and takes many years, and is not unlike priesthood. The apprentice learns everything by watching his teacher, and memorizes the words to all the chants. Many times, a medicine man cannot learn all sixty of the traditional ceremonies, so he will opt to specialize in a select few.
Among the Mapuche people of South America, the community “shaman”, usually a woman, is known as the Machi, and serves the community by performing ceremonies to cure diseases, ward off evil, influence the weather and harvest, and by practicing other forms of healing such as herbalism.

Urarina shaman, 1988
In the Peruvian Amazon Basin and north coastal regions of the country, the healer shamans are known as curanderos. In addition to Peruvian shaman’s (curanderos) use of rattles, and their ritualized ingestion of mescaline-bearing San Pedro cactuses (Trichocereus pachanoi) for the divinization and diagnosis of sorcery, north-coastal shamans are famous throughout the region for their intricately complex and symbolically dense healing altars called mesas (tables). Sharon (1993) has argued that the mesas symbolize the dualistic ideology underpinning the practice and experience of north-coastal shamanism. [50] For Sharon, the mesas are the, “physical embodiment of the supernatural opposition between benevolent and malevolent energies” (Dean 1998:61). [51]
In the Amazon Rainforest, at several Indian groups the shaman acts also as a manager of scare ecological resources (paper [16] [17]; online [30]). The rich symbolism behind Tukano shamanism has been documented in some in-depth field works [16] [52] [38] even at the last decades of the XXth century.

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Although Fuegians (the indigenous peoples of Tierra del Fuego) were all hunter-gatherers,[53] they did not share a common culture. The material culture was not homogenous, either: the big island and the archipelago made two different adaptations possible. Some of the cultures were coast-dwelling, others were land-oriented.[54][55]
Both Selk’nam and Yámana had persons filling in shaman-like roles. The Selk’nams believed their /xon/s to have supernatural capabilities, e.g. to control weather.[56][57] The figure of /xon/ appeared in myths, too.[58] The Yámana /jekamuʃ/[59] corresponds to the Selknam /xon/.[60]
[edit]Pacific Region
Australia In Australia various aboriginal groups refer to their “shamans” as “clever men” and “clever women” also as kadji. These Aboriginal shamans use maban or mabain, the material that is believed to give them their purported magical powers. The Western Australian term maban is also cognate with the term “shaman”. Besides healing, contact with spiritual beings, involvement in initiation and other secret ceremonies, they are also enforcers of tribal laws, keepers of special knowledge and may “hex” to death, one who breaks a social taboo, by singing a song only known to the “clever men”.

The nutmegs Myristica are a genus of evergreen trees indigenous to tropical southeast Asia and Australasia. They are important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.

Mace within nutmeg fruit
Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20–30 mm long and 15–18 mm wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 grams dried, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or arillus of the seed.
Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter (see below).
The outer surface of the nutmeg bruises easily.
The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada to make a jam called Morne Delice. In Indonesia, the fruit is sliced finely, cooked and crystallised to make a fragrant candy called manisan pala (“nutmeg sweets”).
The most important species commercially is the Common or Fragrant Nutmeg Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia; it is also grown in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. Other species include Papuan Nutmeg M. argentea from New Guinea, and Bombay Nutmeg M. malabarica from India; both are used as adulterants of M. fragrans products. Culinary uses

Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavor. Mace is often preferred in light-coloured dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like colour it imparts. Nutmeg is a flavorsome addition to cheese sauces and is best grated fresh (see nutmeg grater).
In Indian cuisine, nutmeg powder is used almost exclusively in sweet dishes. It is known as Jaiphal in most parts of India. It may also used in small quantities in garam masala.
In the Middle Eastern cuisine, nutmeg powder is often used as a spice for savoury dishes. In Arabic, nutmeg is called Jawz at-Tiyb.
In other European cuisine, nutmeg and mace are used especially in potato dishes and in processed meat products; they are also used in soups, sauces and baked goods.
Japanese varieties of curry powder include nutmeg as an ingredient.
Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

[edit]Essential oils

Nutmeg seeds
The essential oil is obtained by the steam distillation of ground nutmeg and is used heavily in the perfumery and pharmaceutical industries. The oil is colourless or light yellow and smells and tastes of nutmeg. It contains numerous components of interest to the oleochemical industry, and is used as a natural food flavouring in baked goods, syrups (e.g. Coca Cola[citation needed]), beverages, sweets etc. It replaces ground nutmeg as it leaves no particles in the food. The essential oil is also used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries for instance in tooth paste and as major ingredient in some cough syrups. In traditional medicine nutmeg and nutmeg oil were used for illnesses related to the nervous and digestive systems. Myristicin and elemicin are believed to be the chemical constituents responsible for the subtle hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg oil. Other known chemical ingredients of the oil are α-pinene, sabinene, γ-terpinene and safrole.
Externally, the oil is used for rheumatic pain and, like clove oil, can be applied as an emergency treatment to dull toothache. Put 1–2 drops on a cotton swab, and apply to the gums around an aching tooth until dental treatment can be obtained. In France, it is given in drop doses in honey for digestive upsets and used for bad breath. Use 3–5 drops on a sugar lump or in a teaspoon of honey for nausea, gastroenteritis, chronic diarrhea, and indigestion.
Alternatively a massage oil can be created by diluting 10 drops in 10 ml almond oil. This can be used for muscular pains associated with rheumatism or overexertion. It can also be combined with thyme or rosemary essential oils. To prepare for childbirth, massaging the abdomen daily in the three weeks before the baby is due with a mixture of 5 drops nutmeg oil and no more than 5 drops sage oil in 25 ml almond oil has been suggested.

[edit]Nutmeg butter
Nutmeg butter is obtained from the nut by expression. It is semi solid and reddish brown in colour and tastes and smells of nutmeg. Approximately 75% (by weight) of nutmeg butter is trimyristin which can be turned into myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid which can be used as replacement for cocoa butter, can be mixed with other fats like cottonseed oil or palm oil, and has applications as an industrial lubricant.

There is some evidence that Roman priests may have burned nutmeg as a form of incense, although this is disputed. It is known to have been used as a prized and costly spice in medieval cuisine. Saint Theodore the Studite ( ca. 758 – ca. 826), was famous for allowing his monks to sprinkle nutmeg on their pease pudding when required to eat it. In Elizabethan times it was believed that nutmeg could ward off the plague, so nutmeg was very popular. Nutmeg was traded by Arabs during the Middle Ages in the profitable Indian Ocean trade.
In the late 15th century, Portugal theoretically took over the Indian Ocean trade, including nutmeg, under the Treaty of Tordesillas with Spain and a separate treaty with the sultan of Ternate. But their control of this trade was always only partial and they remained largely participants, rather than overlords. The authority Ternate held over the nutmeg-growing centre of the Banda Islands was quite limited, and the Portuguese failed to gain a serious foothold in the islands themselves.
The trade in nutmeg later became dominated by the Dutch in the 17th century. The British and Dutch engaged in prolonged struggles and intrigue to gain control of Run island, then the only source of nutmegs. At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Dutch gained control of Run in exchange for the British controlling New Amsterdam (New York) in North America.
The Dutch managed to establish control over the Banda Islands after an extended military campaign that culminated in the massacre or expulsion of most of the islands’ inhabitants in 1621. Thereafter, the Banda Islands were run as a series of plantation estates, with the Dutch mounting annual expeditions in local war-vessels to extirpate nutmeg trees planted elsewhere.
As a result of the Dutch interregnum during the Napoleonic Wars, the English took temporary control of the Banda Islands from the Dutch and transplanted nutmeg trees to their own colonial holdings elsewhere, notably Zanzibar and Grenada. Today, a stylised split-open nutmeg fruit is found on the national flag of Grenada.
Connecticut gets its nickname (“the Nutmeg State”, “Nutmegger”) from the legend that some unscrupulous Connecticut traders would whittle “nutmeg” out of wood, creating a “wooden nutmeg” (a term which came to mean any fraud) [1].

[edit]World production
World production of nutmeg is estimated to average between 10,000 and 12,000 tonnes per year with annual world demand estimated at 9,000 tonnes; production of mace is estimated at 1,500 to 2,000 tonnes. Indonesia and Grenada dominate production and exports of both products with a world market share of 75% and 20% respectively. Other producers include India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Caribbean islands such as St. Vincent. The principal import markets are the European Community, the United States, Japan and India. Singapore and the Netherlands are major re-exporters.
At one time, nutmeg was one of the most valuable spices. It has been said that in England, several hundred years ago, a few nutmeg nuts could be sold for enough money to enable financial independence for life.
The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7–9 years after planting and the trees reach their full potential after 20 years.

[edit]Risks and toxicity
In low doses, nutmeg produces no noticeable physiological or neurological response. Large doses of 30 g (6.322 tsp) or more are dangerous, potentially inducing convulsions, palpitations, nausea, eventual dehydration, and generalized body pain. In amounts of 5–20 g (1.054-4.215 tsp) it is a mild to medium hallucinogen, producing visual distortions and a mild euphoria. It is a common misconception that nutmeg contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). This is untrue, however nutmeg should not be taken in combination with MAOIs [2]. A test was carried out on the substance which showed that, when ingested in large amounts, nutmeg takes on a similar chemical make-up to MDMA (ecstasy). However, use of nutmeg as a recreational drug is unpopular due to its unpleasant taste and its side effects, including dizziness, flushes, dry mouth, accelerated heartbeat, temporary constipation, difficulty in urination, nausea, and panic. A user will not experience a peak until approximately six hours after ingestion, and effects can linger for up to three days afterwards.
A risk in any large-quantity (over 25 g, 5.269 tsp) ingestion of nutmeg is the onset of ‘nutmeg poisoning’, an acute psychiatric disorder marked by thought disorder, a sense of impending death, and agitation. Some cases have resulted in hospitalization.

[edit]Nutmeg in literature
Nutmeg appeared to fascinate the 16th-century Europeans, as reflected in this nursery rhyme:
I had a little nut tree,
Nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg,
And a golden pear;

The King of Spain’s daughter
Came to visit me,
And all for the sake
Of my little nut tree.

Her dress was made of crimson,
Jet black was her hair,
She asked me for my nut tree
And my golden pear.

I said, “So fair a princess
Never did I see,
I’ll give you all the fruit
From my little nut tree.
– [3]
This nursery rhyme is believed to refer to the 1506 visit of the Royal House of Spain to King Henry VII’s English court. The ‘King of Spain’s daughter’ refers to the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The princess is probably Katherine of Aragon who was betrothed to Prince Arthur, the heir to the English throne. He died, thus Katherine married King Henry VIII. Prince Arthur was reputed to have deformed genitals (his little nut tree would bear nothing) and the ‘silver nutmeg’ refers to England’s spice trade with the East, while the ‘golden pear’ refers to trade with the West (the golden pear is the ancient Greek Symbol for the Hesperides or West). The Spanish were hoping to gain these by marriage of the Spanish Princess to the English prince, though they were aware there would be no children from the marriage. The last verse is therefore ironic.
Another version has a different ending:
I had a little nut tree,
Nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg
And a golden pear.

The King of Spain’s daughter
Came to visit me,
And all for the sake
Of my little nut tree.

I skipped over ocean,
I danced over sea,
And all the birds in the air
Couldn’t catch me.
– [4]
The last verse in this version is supposed to refer to Prince Arthur’s death shortly after he married the Spanish princess.

A psychonaut (from the Greek ψυχοναύτης, meaning literally a sailor of the mind) is a person who uses trance technologies from any of the world’s religions, modern psychology, meditation, and other assorted paradigms, to explore the psyche, their own consciousness, and potentially improve real performance of certain psychological tasks. The term is often associated with the use of hallucinogens or entheogens as guides, or means, to achieve inward spiritual experiences. This is quite distinct from religious use, or social and leisure use of drugs, although invariably these overlap.
According to Jonathan Ott, the word psychonaut was originally coined by the German author Ernst Jünger.

Use of the term
Psychonaut is a modern term used to describe one who uses trance technologies and, more specifically mind-altering substances, more for their ability to act as entheogens than for their inebriating (or social) effect. In effect, they are used as a means to achieve states of mind in which different perceptions, unhindered by everyday mental filters and processes, can arise. Psychonauts believe that when a mind-altering substance is used with this intent, its effects can be life altering and are not mere hallucinations. An alternate description is that while some aspects of the experience may be hallucinatory, the realizations caused by those hallucinations and the mental, emotional and long term impact of the experience are real, usually positive, and enduring.
The term is often associated with neoshamanic practices; however, many distinguish between the mental exploration of the psychonaut and authentic, healing-oriented shamanic practice.

[edit]Associated concepts, technologies, and practices
[edit]Brain function
Psychonautics can be considered an attempt to generate a user’s manual for the human brain. Unlike psychology, which is concerned with understanding other people, psychonauts are more concerned with understanding themselves, and the process of self exploration; accordingly, they engage in direct exploration of themselves and their own thought processes.
As such, psychonauts seek to understand mental process and functioning and employ such knowledge in their activities. Key to this is auto-modification of brain wave frequencies, which can lead to quite distinct perceptual states; a detailed examination and understanding of one’s own thought processes, habits, and beliefs is also sought. Hallucinatory states, drug-induced or otherwise, are seen as a form of subliminal symbolism or as a real but distinct reality; as with other processes of the mind, psychonauts seek to understand these. Psychological theories and concepts are also often taken into account, particularly those of Carl G. Jung and Abraham Maslow.
This is also ideally practically applied in bettering one’s self through the knowledge of one’s own thought processes; with this understanding and heightened perception of one’s own internal dialogue, it is thought that one is more able to control their own ego, and detach themselves from what is seen as a herd mentality common to modern culture.
[edit]Mythical archetypes and concepts
Psychonauts, as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, place emphasis on various mythical archetypes and concepts, believing that these are useful to coming to understand one’s own thought patterns and the nature of existence, reflecting realities and meanings that should be understood, rather than being irrelevant fantasy. As in shamanic practice, the Axis mundi is often employed, often overlayed with chakras and other relevant concepts of bodily function; the Kabbalist Tree of Life and its chakra-like sephirot is one notable example of this in mythology. The nature of karma is often explored in trying to understand one’s own situation, actions, and relation to the outside world.
Psychonauts are often interested in metaphysics, the branch of philosophy dealing with the ultimate nature of reality or existence; it is thought that in coming to some understanding of how the universe functions and the nature of existence, one would be better able to govern themselves accordingly and integrate their life experiences.
[edit]Technologies and practices
The technology and practice most often associated with psychonauts is the use of psychedelic drugs for mental exploration. The method of use varies widely; such usage is often (but not always) entheogenic and informed by traditional shamanic uses of psychedelic drugs and rituals surrounding such usage.

Cannabis is often used individually, or in combination with many hallucinogens to amplify and extend the experience.
As dreams are considered by psychonauts to be a window into thought processes, many keep dream journals in order to better remember dreams and further their understanding of their own symbolic internal dialogue. Many attempt to not only remember their dreams, but engage in lucid dreaming, in which one is consciously aware of their state while dreaming.
Certain types of meditation, such as those practiced in eastern religions. This can range from Zen-type meditation where the user focuses on their breath or a koan, or repeating/focusing on a mantra in one’s head, as done in some forms of Raja Yoga. Transcendental Meditation is also practiced by some psychonauts.
Ritual is often employed for purposes of grounding and centering one’s self, to set one’s focus and intentions, and to instill a conception of the significance and depth of psychonautical practice. Repeated use of ritual may also train the brain to associate certain activities and states of consciousness with specific situations, creating deeper experiences and allowing one to more easily enter altered states of consciousness.

Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
Components of flow
As Csikszentmihalyi sees it, components of an experience of flow can be specifically enumerated; he presents the following:
1 Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one’s skill set and abilities).
2 Concentrating and focusing, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
3 A loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
4 Distorted sense of time – one’s subjective experience of time is altered.
5 Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
6 Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
7 A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
8 The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
9 When in the flow state, people become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975. p.72).
Not all are needed for flow to be experienced.

Flow is so named because during Csikszentmihalyi’s 1975 interviews several people described their ‘flow’ experiences using the metaphor of a current carrying them along. The psychological concept of flow as becoming absorbed in an activity is thus unrelated to the older phrase “to go with the flow” which means “to conform”.

[edit]Group flow
Csikszentmihalyi suggests several ways in which a group could work together so that each individual member could achieve flow. The characteristics of such a group include:
▪ Creative spatial arrangements: Chairs, pin walls, charts, however no tables, therefore primarily work in standing and moving.
▪ Playground design : Charts for information inputs, flow graphs, project summary, craziness (here also craziness has a place), safe place (here all may say what is otherwise only thought), result wall, open topics
▪ Parallel, organized working
▪ Target group focus
▪ Advancement of existing one (prototyping)
▪ Increase in efficiency through visualization
▪ Existence of differences among participants represents an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.

[edit]Applications suggested by Csikszentmihalyi versus other practitioners
It is worth noting that only Csikszentmihalyi seems to have published suggestions for extrinsic applications of the Flow concept, such as design methods for playgrounds to elicit the Flow experience. Other practitioners of Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow concept focus on intrinsic applications, such as spirituality, performance improvement or self-help. Reinterpretations of Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow process exist to improve performance in areas as diverse as business [1], sport psychology [2], and standup comedy [3].
[edit]Religion and spirituality
Csikszentmihalyi may have been the first to describe this concept in Western psychology, but as he himself readily acknowledges he was most certainly not the first to quantify the concept of Flow or develop applications based on the concept.
For millennia, practitioners of Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Taoism have honed the discipline of overcoming the duality of self and object as a central feature of spiritual development. Eastern spiritual practitioners have developed a very thorough and holistic set of theories around overcoming duality of self and object, tested and refined through spiritual practice instead of the systematic rigor and controls of modern science.
The phrase “being at one with things” is a metaphor of Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow concept. Practitioners of the varied schools of Zen Buddhism apply concepts similar to Flow to aid their mastery of art forms, including, in the case of Japanese Zen Buddhism, Aikido, Kendo and Ikebana.
The idea of overcoming duality of self and object is a key theme of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert Pirsig (1974). “When you’re not dominated by feelings of separateness from what you’re working on, then you can be said to ‘care’ about what you’re doing. That is what caring really is: ‘a feeling of identification with what one’s doing.’ When one has this feeling then you also see the inverse side of caring, quality itself.” (page 290)
In education, there is the concept of overlearning which seems to be an important factor in this technique, in that Csikszentmihalyi states in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience that overlearning enables the mind to concentrate on visualizing the desired performance as a singular, integrated action instead of a set of actions.
The concept of “being in the zone” during an athletic performance fits within Csikszentmihalyi’s description of the Flow experience, and theories and applications of “being in the zone” and its relationship with athletic competitive advantage are topics studied in the field of sport psychology.
The legendary soccer player Pele described his experience of being in the zone: “I felt a strange calmness.. . a kind of euphoria. I felt I could run all day without tiring, that I could dribble through any of their team or all of them, that I could almost pass through them physically.”[citation needed]

Trance: etymology
Trance is from Latin ‘transīre’: to cross, pass over and the multiple meaning of the polyvalent homonym “entrance” as a verb and noun provide insight into the nature of trance as a threshold, conduit, portal and/or channel.
Trance, n. [F. ‘transe’ fright, in OF. also, trance or swoon, fr. ‘transir’ to chill, benumb, to be chilled, to shiver, OF. also, to die, L. ‘transire’ to pass over, go over, pass away, cease; trans across, over + ire to go; cf. L. ‘transitus’ a passing over. See Issue, and cf. Transit.
An intransitive usage of the verb ‘trance’ now obsolete is ‘to pass’, ‘to travel’ is cognate with shamanic journeying and vision quests.

[edit]Trance: working models
Trance is increasingly used as a meta-paradigm and inclusive term for different states of consciousness and what has come to be known as altered states of consciousness. No value judgement on the states is intended. The trance as meta-paradigm model has been developing through the confluence of various fields over the last few decades.
Hoffman (1998, p.9) asserts in relation to trance that: “Over the past few decades, less of a value judgement has been made regarding whether these states are deeper or lighter or better or worse than ordinary consciousness. This means that usual, everyday consciousness no longer unequivocally ranks first, as it had for so long in the West.”

[edit]Trance: critique of term usage
Some people respond passionately to the usage of the term trance. Trance has a parallel history of negative associations and connotations. This article seeks to embrace these differences and engage them as a mutually rewarding dialogue, rather than contrive a homogenous position. Brian Inglis (1989) provides an interesting literature review and overview of the absence and oversight of ‘trance’ in reference materials.

[edit]Trance: working definitions
▪ Enchantment: a psychological state induced by (or as if induced by) a magical incantation
▪ a state of mind in which consciousness is fragile and voluntary action is poor or missing
▪ a state resembling deep sleep
▪ Capture: attract; cause to be enamored; “She captured all the men’s hearts”; in the sense of entranced
▪ a condition of apparent sleep or unconsciousness, with marked physiological characteristics, in which the body of the subject is liable to possession
▪ A state in which the soul seems to have passed out of the body into another state of being, a rapture, an ecstasy. In a general way, the entranced conditions thus defined are divided into varying degrees of a negative, unconscious state, and into progressive gradations of a positive, conscious, illumining condition.
▪ One of the most common altered states of consciousness Trance is characterized by extreme disassociation often to the point of appearing unconscious.
▪ A state of hypersuggestibility.
▪ An induced or spontaneous sleep-like condition of an altered state of consciousness, which permits the subject’s physical body to be utilized by the discarnate as a means of expression
▪ an altered state of awareness induced via hypnotism in which unconscious or dissociated responses to suggestion are enhanced in quality and increased in degree
▪ a trance induced by the use of hypnosis; the person accepts the suggestions of the hypnotist
▪ meditation is a form of trance

[edit]Trance: definition
Trance conditions include all the different states of mind, emotions, moods and daydreams that human beings experience. All activities which engage a human involve the filtering of information coming into sense modalities and hence, brain functioning and consciousness. Therefore, trance may be understood as a matter of functionality and efficiency ~ to economize consciousness resource usage.
Trance states may also be accessed or induced by various modalities and is a way of accessing the unconscious mind for the purposes of relaxation, healing, intuition and inspiration. There is an extensive documented history of trance as evidenced by the case-studies of anthropologists and ethnologists and associated and derivative disciplines. Hence trance, may be perceived as endemic to the human condition and a Human Universal. Principles of trance are being explored and documented as are methods of trance induction. Benefits of trance states are being explored by medical and scientific inquiry. Many traditions and rituals employ trance. Trance also has a function in religion and mystical experience.
Castillo (1995) states that: “Trance phenomena result from the behavior of intense focusing of attention, which is the key psychological mechanism of trance induction. Adaptive responses, including institutionalized forms of trance, are ‘tuned’ into neural networks in the brain and depend to a large extent on the characteristics of culture. Culture-specific organizations exist in the structure of individual neurons and in the organizational formation of neural networks.”
Hoffman (1998: p.9) states that: “Trance is still conventionally defined as a state of reduced consciousness, or a somnolent state. However, the more recent anthropological definition, linking it to ‘altered states of consciousness’ (Charles Tart), is becoming increasingly accepted.”
Hoffman (1998, p.9) asserts that: “…the trance state should be discussed in the plural, because there is more than one altered state of consciousness significantly different from everyday consciousness.”

[edit]Notables in trance
▪ Henri Bergson.
▪ John Horgan in Rational Mysticism (2003) explores the neurological mechanisms and psychological implications of trances and other mystical manifestations. Horgan encorporates literature and case-studies from a number of disciplines in this work: chemistry, physics, psychology, radiology and theology.
▪ Huston Smith
▪ Dennis Wier in Trance: from magic to technology (1995) defines trance in terms of causes and effects. See

[edit]Trance: origins & history
[edit]Temple of Epidaurus: healing sleep
According to Hoffman (1998: p.10), pilgrims visited the Temple of Epidaurus an asclepieion in Greece for healing sleep. A seeker of healing would make pilgrimage and be received by a priest who would welcome and bless them. This temple housed an ancient religious ritual promoting dreams in the seeker that endeavoured to promote healing and the solutions to problems, as did the oracles. This temple was built in honour of Asclepios, the Greek God of Medicine. The Greek treatment was referred to as incubation, and focused on prayers to Asclepios for healing. The asclepion at Epidaurus is both extensive and well preserved, and is traditionally regarded as the birthplace of Asclepius. (For a comparable modern tool refer dreamwork.)
[edit]Oral lore & storytelling
Stories of the saints in the Middle Ages, myths, parables, fairy tales, oral lore and storytelling from different cultures are themselves potentially inducers of trance. Often literary devices such as repetition are employed which is evident in many forms of trance induction. Milton Erickson used stories to induce trance as do many NLP practitioners.
Already in the 16th century it was widely known that march music can lead soldiers marching in unison into trance-like state where they act like automatons. This effect was widely employed in the 16th, 17th and 18th century wars when the firearms finally came on their own. Mliitary instruments, especially snare drum and other drums were used to create a monotonous ostinato at the pace of march and heartbeat, and high-pitched fifes, flutes and bagpipes were used for their “piercing” effect to play the melody. The mesmerized soldiers would march, disdaining the oncoming fire and occassional deaths of their comrades, against the enemy arquebus and musket fire which they normally wouldn’t have dared to do.
As the mystical experience of mystics generally entails direct connection, communication and communion with Deity, Godhead, deity and/or god; trance and cognate experience are endemic. Refer: Crazy Horse, etc.
[edit]Christian Mystics
Many Christian Mystics are documented as having experiences that may be considered as cognate with trance, such as: Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart and Francis of Assisi.
[edit]Mesmer and the origin of hypnotherapy
▪ Mesmer
▪ Milton Erickson, the founder of hypnotherapy who died in 1980, introduced trance and hypnosis to orthodox medicine and psychotherapy – hypnosis here, is something different from traditional clinical hypnosis.

[edit]Trance in American Christianity
Taves (1999) charts the synonymic language of trance in the American Christian traditions: “power” or “presence” or “indwelling” of God, or Christ, or the Spirit, or spirits. Typical expressions include “the indwelling of the Spirit” (Jonathan Edwards), “the witness of the Spirit” (John Wesley), “the power of God” (early American Methodists), being “filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (early Adventists), “communing with spirits” (Spiritualists), “the Christ within” (New Thought), “streams of holy fire and power” (Methodist Holiness)), “a religion of the Spirit and Power” (the Emmanuel Movement), and “the babtism of the Holy Spirit” (early Pentecostals). (Taves, 1999: 3)

[edit]Anglo-American Protestants: a case study in trance
Taves (1999) well referenced book on trance charts the experience of Anglo-American Protestants and those who left the Protestant movement beginning with the transatlantic awakening in the early Eighteenth Century and ending with the rise of the psychology of religion and the birth of Pentecostalism in the early Twentieth Century. This book focuses on a class of seemingly involuntary acts alternately explained in religious and secular terminology. These involuntary experiences include uncontrolled bodily movements (fits, bodily exercises, falling as dead, catalepsy, convulsions); spontaneous vocalizations (crying out, shouting, speaking in tongues); unusual sensory experiences (trances, visions, voices, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences); and alterations of consciousness and/or memory (dreams, somnium, somnambulism, mesmeric trance, mediumistic trance, hypnotism, possession, alternating personality). (Taves, 1999: 3)
[edit]Current trance practice
Today hypnotherapists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, sport psychologists and NLP practitioners, amongst others, use various forms of trances.
Neurolinguistic Programming (or NLP) which is so popular today, is a further development of Milton Erickson’s hypnotherapy, for which, however, he did not supply an orthodox methodology. Erickson would put his patients in trance with short stories. While keeping the ego of his patients occupied, he would target his healing messages straight at their unconscious mind, which he believed to have considerable self-healing powers. In this way he healed himself of the paralysis that affected him when young and which he did finally succumb later in life.

[edit]Trance and Consciousness
Beta brain waves designate the general state of waking consciousness. As a consequence, this state has been ‘normalised’. This normalisation is a challengable value judgement. This consciously awake beta state may still be considered as a trance because it involves the selective filtering of information and utilises cognitive, awareness and mentation resources in specific ways.
William James (Neophytou, 1996):

Our normal waking consciousness is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it by the flimsiest screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different…. No account of the universe in its totality can be final, which leaves these other forms of consciousness quite disregarded.

Gurdjieff (Neophytou, 1996):

Consciousness [normal waking] is a state of light Hypnosis and few people are ever truly awake.

Aldous Huxley (Neophytou, 1996):

Normal consciousness is a narrow segment of our potential consciousness. He regarded the brain and sense organs as a kind of reducing valve thru [sic] which experience was funneled to protect us from being overwhelmed.

[edit]Trance: NLP, Hypnosis, Possession, Channelling, Altered States of Consciousness
▪ Hypnosis
▪ Possession
▪ Channelling
▪ Altered States of Consciousness
▪ Consciousness
▪ Dreaming
▪ Meditation
▪ Concentration

[edit]Trance induction and sensory modality
Trance-like states which are often interpreted as religious ecstasy can be deliberately induced using a variety of techniques, including prayer, religious rituals, meditation, pranayama (breathwork or breathing exercises), physical exercise, coitus (and/or sex), music, dancing, sweating (e.g. sweat lodge), fasting, thirsting, and the consumption of psychotropic drugs such as cannabis. Sensory modality is the channel or conduit for the induction of the trance. Sometimes an ecstatic experience takes place in occasion of contact with something or somebody perceived as extremely beautiful or holy. It may also happen without any known reason. The particular technique that an individual uses to induce ecstasy is usually one that is associated with that individual’s particular religious and cultural traditions. As a result, an ecstatic experience is usually interpreted within the context of a particular individual’s religious and cultural traditions. These interpretations often include statements about contact with supernatural or spiritual beings, about receiving new information as a revelation, also religion-related explanations of subsequent change of values, attitudes and behaviour (e.g. in case of religious conversion).
Benevolent, neutral and malevolent trances may be induced (intentionally, spontaneously and/or accidentally) by different methods:
▪ Auditory driving through the sense of hearing by chanting, auditory story telling, mantra, overtone singing, drumming, music, etc.;,
▪ Kinesthetic driving through the sense of feeling and movement through the kinetosphere by dance, story telling by movement, mudra, embodying rituals, yoga, breathwork,oxygen deprivation, etc.;
▪ Visual Driving through the sense of sight by yantra, visual story telling, mandala, cinema, theatre, art, architecture, beauty, strobe lights, form constants, symmetry;
▪ Olfactory driving through via scent through the sense of smell by perfume, pheromones, incense, flowers, pollen, indeed any scent for which we have an association or memory, etc.;
▪ Gustatory driving through the sense of taste and indigestion; including: starvation, herbs, hallucinogens and drugs. As the intake of food and beverage entails intra-bodily chemical reactions through digestion, some infer that all food may be considered ‘medicine’ or ‘drugs’ and therefore contribute to the induction of discernable psycho-physical states (refer Ancient Medicine). It is sometimes attained through the ingestion of psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and opiates, or psychoactive plants and chemicals such as LSD, 2C-I, peyote, marijuana, mescaline, Salvia Divinorum, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, or datura (Jimson weed).
▪ Disciplines: Yoga, Sufism, Surat Shabda Yoga; meditation; and
▪ Miscellaneously: traumatic accident, sleep deprivation, nitrogen narcosis (deep diving), fever, by the use of a sensory deprivation tank or mind-control techniques, hypnosis, meditation, prayer; and
▪ Naturally occurring: dreams, lucid dreams, euphoria, ecstasy, psychosis as well as purported premonitions, out-of-body experiences, and channeling.

[edit]Auditory Driving; trance and music
Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of auditory driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of hearing. Auditory driving works through a process known as entrainment.
The phenomenon of auditory driving is culturally still clearly evident and may be found in electronic dance music culture, which in many ways may be considered a modern version of shamanism. The same effect is caused by many jam bands. Churches which chant their services may also induce the same effects resulting in a trance state through the use of odd inflections and off-kilter or polyrhythmic structures.
[edit]Rhythmic induction
The usage of repetitive rhythms to induce trance states is an ancient phenomenon. Throughout the world, shamanistic practioneers have been employing this method for millennia. Anthropologists and other researchers have documented the similarity of shamanistic auditory driving rituals among different cultures.
Said simply, entrainment is the sychronization of different rhythmic cycles. Breathing and heart rate have been shown to be affected by auditory stimulus, along with brain wave activity. The ability of rhythmic sound to affect human brain wave activity, especially theta brain waves, is the essence of auditory driving, and is the cause of the altered states of consciousness that it can induce.

[edit]Photic or visual driving; trance and visual art
Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of photic or visual driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of sight. Photic or visual driving works through a process known as entrainment.
Nowack and Feltman have recently published an article entitled “Eliciting the Photic Driving Response” which states that the EEG photic driving response is a sensitive neurophysiological measure which has been employed to assess chemical and drug effects, forms of epilepsy, neurological status of Alzheimer’s patients, and physiological arousal. Photic driving also impacts upon the psychological climate of a person by producing increased visual imagery and decreased physiological and subjective arousal. In this research by Nowack and Feltman, all participants reported increased visual imagery during photic driving, as measured by their responses to an imagery questionnaire.
Dennis Wier ( Accessed: 6 December 2006) states that over two millennia ago Ptolemy and Apuleius found that differing rates of flickering lights effected states of awareness and sometimes induced epilepsy. Weir also asserts that it was discovered in the late 1920s that when light was shined on closed eyelids it resulted in an echoing production of brain wave frequencies. Weir also opined that in 1965 Grey employed a stroboscope to project rhythmic light flashes into the eyes at a rate of 10-25 Hz (cycles per second). Grey discovered that this stimulated similar brain wave activity.
Recent research by Budzynski, Oestrander and others, in the use of brain machines suggest that photic or direct electrical stimulation of the brain in the theta range appears to facilitate rapid learning, produce deep relaxation, euphoria, an increase in creativity, problem solving propensity and may be associated with enhanced concentration and accelerated learning.

[edit]Kinaesthetic Driving
Charles Tart provides a useful working definition of kinesthetic driving. It is the induction of trance through the sense of touch, feeling or emotions. Kinesthetic driving works through a process known as entrainment.
The rituals practiced by some athletes in preparing for contests are dismissed as superstition, but this is a device of sports psychologists to help them to attain an ecstasy-like state. Interestingly, Joseph Campbell had a peak experience whilst running. Roger Bannister on breaking the four-minute mile (Cameron, 1993: 185): “No longer conscious of my movement, I discovered a new unity with nature. I had found a new source of power and beauty, a source I never dreamt existed.” Roger Bannister later became a distinguished neurologist.
Mechanisms and disciplines may include kinesthetic driving may include: dancing, walking meditation, yoga and asana, mudra, juggling, poi (juggling), etc.
Sufism (the mystical branch of Islam) has theoretical and metaphoric texts regarding ecstasy as a state of connection with Allah. Sufis practice rituals (dhikr,sema) using body movement and music to achieve the state. Idries Shah amongst others, have asserted that the source of G. I. Gurdjieff’s teachings are the Naqshbandi Sufis.

[edit]Trance: types and varieties
▪ Maenads & Bacchae: In Greek mythology, Maenads were female worshippers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine and intoxication, and the Roman god Bacchus. The word literally translates as “raving ones”. They were known as wild, insane women who could not be reasoned with. The mysteries of Dionysus inspired the women to ecstatic frenzy; they indulged in copious amounts of violence, bloodletting, sexual activity, self-intoxication, and mutilation. They were usually pictured as crowned with vine leaves, clothed in fawnskins and carrying the thyrsus, and dancing with wild abandon. They also were characterised as entranced women, wandering through the forests and hills.¹ The Maenads were also known as Bassarids (or Bacchae or Bacchantes) in Roman mythology, after the penchant of the equivalent Roman god, Bacchus, to wear a fox-skin, a bassaris.
▪ Samadhi: Kriya yoga, a type of yoga popularized in the West by Paramahansa Yogananda, provides techniques to attain a state of ecstasy called Samadhi. According to practitioners, there are various stages of ecstasy, the highest of which is called Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Different traditions have different understanding of Samadhi.
▪ Bhakti: (Devanāgarī: भक्ति) is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning devotion and also the path of devotion itself, as in Bhakti-Yoga. Within Hinduism the word is used exclusively to denote devotion to a particular deity or form of God. Within Vaishnavism bhakti is only used in conjunction with Vishnu or one of his associated incarnations, it is likewise used towards Shiva by followers of Shaivism. Saints in these traditions exhibit different trance states or ecstasy.
▪ Agape or Divine Love: the term ‘Agape’ appears in the Odyssey twice, where the word describes something that creates contentedness within the speaker.
▪ Communion: In the monotheistic tradition, ecstasy is usually associated with communion and oneness with God. Indeed, ecstasy is the primary vehicle for the type of prophetic visions and revelations found in the Bible. However, such experiences can also be personal mystical experiences with no significance to anyone but the person experiencing them.
▪ Rapture or Religious ecstasy: is an altered state of consciousness characterized by greatly reduced external awareness and expanded interior mental and spiritual awareness which is frequently accompanied by visions and emotional/intuitive (and sometimes physical) euphoria. Although the experience is usually brief in physical time, there are records of such experiences lasting several days or even more, and of recurring experiences of ecstasy during one’s lifetime. Subjective perception of time, space and/or self may strongly change or disappear during ecstasy.
▪ Siddhi: is a Sanskrit term for spiritual power (or psychic ability); it literally means “a perfection.” It is known in Hinduism and Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism. These spiritual powers or perfections supposedly vary from relatively simple forms of clairvoyance to being able to levitate, to degrees of omnipresence, to become as minuscule as an atom, to manifest or materialize objects, to have access to memories from past lives, access to the akashic records, and more. The term became known in the West through the work of H.P. Blavatsky. Siddhi powers are said to be obtainable by meditation, control of the senses, devotion, herbs, mantras, pranayama, or good birth.
▪ Peak experiences: is a term developed by Abraham Maslow and used to describe certain extra-personal and ecstatic states, particularly ones tinged with themes of unification, harmonization and interconnectedness. Participants characterize these experiences, and the revelations imparted therein, as possessing an ineffably mystical (or overtly religious) quality or essence.
▪ Stigmata: In his paper Hospitality and Pain, iconoclastic Christian theologian Ivan Illich “Compassion with Christ… is faith so strong and so deeply incarnate that it leads to the individual embodiment of the contemplated pain.” Illich’s thesis is that stigmata manifests from exceptional poignancy of religious faith and desire to associate oneself with the suffering Messiah. Interestingly, stigmatics have manifested the Holy Wounds in different bodily locations possibly due to subjective interpretation or envisioning.
▪ Eschatology and the Messianic Age
▪ Rapture of the deep
▪ In Christianity, the ecstatic experiences of the Apostles Peter and Paul are recorded in Acts 10:10, 11:5 and 22:17.
▪ Some charismatic christians practice ecstatic states (called e.g. “being slain in the Spirit”) and interpret these as given by Holy Spirit.
▪ In hagiography (writings on the subject of Christian saints) many instances are recorded in which saints are granted ecstasies. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia[1], religious ecstasy (called supernatural ecstasy) includes two elements: one, interior and invisible, in which the mind rivets its attention on a religious subject, and another, corporeal and visible, in which the activity of the senses is suspended, reducing the effect of external sensations upon the subject and rendering him or her resistant to awakening.

[edit]Tools of trance
▪ Process Art or art as meditative or magical ritual such as Namkha or God’s eyes, and mandala and yantra.
▪ Rite
▪ Ritual
▪ Alex Grey
Hoffman (1998: p.10) asserts that: “…as the anthropologists and ethnologists (for example Felicitas Goodman) tell us, there are no traditional rituals or ceremonies that truly work and change our reality without the use of trance.”

[edit]Trance and shamanism
▪ Shamanism, witches, paganism, esoterica, magic.
Trance states have also long been used by shamans, mystics, and fakirs in healing rituals, being particularly cultivated in some religions, such as Tibetan Buddhism.
Some anthropologists and religion scholars define a shaman as an intermediary between the natural and spiritual world, who travels between worlds in a trance state. Once in the spirit world, the shaman would commune with the spirits for assistance in healing, hunting or weather management. Ripinsky-Naxon describes shamans as, “People who have a strong interest in their surrounding environment and the society of which they are a part.”
Other anthropologists critique the term “shamanism”, arguing that it is a culturally specific word and institution and that by expanding it to fit any healer from any traditional society it produces a false unity between these cultures and creates a false idea of an initial human religion predating all others. However, others say that these anthropologists simply fail to recognize the commonalities between otherwise diverse traditional societies.
Achieving ecstatic trances is a major activity of shamans, who use ecstasy for such purposes as traveling via the axis mundi to heaven or the underworld, guiding or otherwise interacting with spirits, clairvoyance, and healing. Some shamans use drugs from such plants as peyote and cannabis (also see cannabis (drug)) or certain mushrooms in their attempts to reach ecstasy, while others rely on such non-chemical means as ritual, music, dance, ascetic practices, or visual designs as aids to mental discipline.

[edit]Trance and divination
Divination is a cultural universal which anthropologists have observed as being present in many religions and cultures in all ages up to the present day (refer sibyl). Divination may be defined as a mechanism for ascertaining information by interpretation of omens or an alleged supernatural agency[1] and as divination often entails ritual as different to fortune-telling is often facilitated by trance.
[edit]Nechung Oracle
In Tibet, oracles have played, and continue to play, an important part in religion and government. The word “oracle” is used by Tibetans to refer to the spirit, deity or entity that enters those men and women who act as media between the natural and the spiritual realms. The media are, therefore, known as kuten, which literally means, “the physical basis”.
The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India, still consults an oracle known as the Nechung Oracle, which is considered the official state oracle of the government of Tibet. He gives a complete description of the process of trance and possession in his book Freedom in Exile. [2].
[edit]Edgar Cayce
Edgar Cayce (1877 – 1945) was an American psychic who claimed to channel answers to questions on subjects such as health, astrology, reincarnation, and Atlantis while in a kind of sleep trance. Cayce’s methods involved lying down and entering into what appeared to be a trance or sleep state, usually at the request of a subject who was seeking help with health or other issues (the subjects were not usually present). The subject’s questions would then be given to Cayce, and Cayce would proceed with a “reading”. At first these readings dealt primarily with the physical health of the individual (“physical readings”); later readings on past lives, business advice, dream interpretation, and mental or spiritual health were also given.

[edit]Australian shaman, The Dreaming and trance
The Dreaming, Dreamtime, Maban, Indigenous Australians, totems…
Lawlor (1991: p.374) states that:
The supernormal, supersensory powers of Aboriginal wise woman and men of high degree, by their own accounts, comes directly from initiations administered by the ancestral sky heroes themselves and by the totemic spirits. Those who have gone through these initiations alone, in a deep trance that makes them lose their personal identities and confront manifestations of the ancestral powers, are held in the highest regard.
Lawlor (1991: p.303) states that:
One such animal dance ceremony was observed and photographed by Gillen and Spencer. More than 30 naked men gathered in a large circle. One by one, each man performed the dance of the animal to be hunted while the others sang and slapped their buttocks to create a percussive beat for the dancer. The slapping sound was so loud that it could be heard for miles across the surrounding desert. The dance continued for hours, with each man dancing frenetically until he dropped from exhaustion. The eyes of the onlookers soon became glazed with entrancement; their penises were erect in a state of ecstatic arousal. Finally, after the last man had performed the animal dance and collapsed in exhaustion, the entire group leaped on him, emitting a loud abandoned cry. The next day the hunt began.

[edit]Trance and health
Trance has been shown to be very psychologically beneficial, by helping to relieve built up stress, allowing one to reflect on life issues without censorship or guilt, and generally giving the psyche respite from operating at alpha or delta states. Trance forms though such as meditation may be contraindicated for certain individuals with a history of mental illness and people on certain psychotropic medications, for example. There have been studies published in defensible journal of peers (provide source) that grace and thanksgiving (for example) said, enacted, thought and felt prior to consumption of meals may assist with digenstion and nutrient uptake and utilization by the bodymind (refer Agape feast, eucharist, ganachakra, etc.) Generally, one is only in a theta state for a period of minutes, right before going to sleep, and when waking up. Being in a theta state for 15 minutes is considered to be an ‘extended period’. With the use of auditory driving, or other meditative techniques, this time can be extended significantly.

[edit]Trance and scientific disciplines
Convergent disciplies of neuroanthropology, ethnomusicology, electroencephalography, neurotheology and cognitive neuroscience, amongst others, are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness resulting from neuron entrainment with the driving of sensory modalities. For example polyharmonics, multiphonics, and percussive polyrhythms through the channel of the auditory and kinesthetic modality.
Neuroanthropology and cognitive neuroscience are conducting research into the trance induction of altered states of consciousness (possibly engendering higher consciousness} resulting from neuron firing entrainment with these polyharmonics and multiphonics. Related research has been conducted into neural entraining with percussive polyrhythms. The timbre of traditional singing bowls and their polyrhythms and multiphonics are considered meditative and calminative and the harmony inducing effects of this potentially consciousness alterning tool are being explored by scientists, medical professionals and therapists.

[edit]Trance, brain waves & brain rhythms
Scientific advancement and new technologies according to Wier such as computerized electroencephalography (EEG), EEG topographic brain mapping, positron emission tomography, regional cerebral blood flow, single photon emission computed tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, amongst others, are providing measurable tools to assist in understanding trance phenomena. All brain waves are analogous to different types of trance in that they utilise brain and consciousness resources differently and provide different input and information filters.
Though a source of contention, there appear to be three current streams of inquiry: the neurophysiological, the social-psychological and the cognitive behaviorialist. The neurophysiological approach is awaiting the development of a mechanism to map physiological measurements to human thought. The social-psychological approach currently measures gross subjective and social effects of thoughts and some critique it for lack of precision. Cognitive behaviorialists employ systems theory concepts and analytical techniques.
There are four principal brain wave states that range from high amplitude, low frequency delta through to the low amplitude, high frequency beta. These states range from deep dreamless sleep to a state of high arousal. These four brain wave states are common throughout humans. All levels of brain waves exist in everyone at all times, even though one is foregrounded depending on the activity level. When a person is in an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brain wave pattern, their brain also exhibits a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though only a trace may be present.
Upon waking from a deep sleep in preparation for arising, your brain wave frequencies increase through the different stages of brain wave activity, moving from delta to theta and then to alpha and into beta.
[edit]Alpha waves
Alpha waves are any of the electrical waves from the parietal and occipital regions of the brain, having frequencies from 8 to 12 hertz (cycles per second). Some scientists consider the range 8 – 13 Hz and are most usual when we are mentally alert, calm and relaxed, or when day-dreaming. Alpha waves are a sign of relaxation, as they indicate a lack of sensory stimulation in a conscious person.
[edit]Beta waves
Beta waves are the most common of the brain wave patterns that occur when awake. These occur during period of intense concentration, problem solving, and focused analysis. The frequency of beta waves is between 13-30 Hz (cycles per second).
[edit]Delta waves
Delta waves occur primarily during deep sleep or states of unconsciousness. The frequency of delta waves is between 0.5-.4 Hz (cycles per second).
[edit]Gamma waves
Gamma waves
Provide a thumbnail description.
[edit]Theta waves
Theta waves occur when we are mentally drowsy and unfocused, during deep calmness, most daydreaming, relaxation or tranquility, as for example we make the transitions from drowsiness to sleep or from sleep to the waking state. The frequency of theta waves is between 4-7 Hz (cycles per second) though some researchers regard theta to be 5 to 8 cps.
In brain wave frequencies, theta is the frequency range where drowsiness, unconsciousness, dreaming states and deep tranquility happen. Most daydreaming occurs while in the theta range. It is normally a very positive mental state and prolonged states of the theta brain wave frequency while conscious can be extremely productive and a time of very meaningful/creative mental activity.
With practice, meditation can also lower a person’s brain wave frequency to theta while allowing the meditator to remain conscious.

[edit]Trance and spirituality
God Good Godspell Gospel Spell Hymn Chant Mantra Overtone Overtone singing Transcendence Immanence Union Satchitananda Samadhi Rigpa Entrainment
The Vaishnava Bhakti Schools of Yoga define Samadhi as “complete absorption into the object of one’s love (Krishna).” Rather than thinking of “nothing,” true samadhi is said to be achieved only when one has pure, unmotivated love of God. Thus samadhi can be entered into through meditation on the personal form of God, even while performing daily activities a practitioner can strive for full samadhi.

▪ ¹ Wiles, David (2000). Greek Theatre Performance: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. Source: [3]

▪ Cameron, Julia (1993). The Artist’s Way. Oxford, London: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-34358-0
▪ Horgan, John (2003). Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
▪ James, William The varieties of religious experience (1902) ISBN 0-14-039034-0
▪ Tart, Charles T., editor. Altered States of Consciousness (1969) ISBN 0-471-84560-4
▪ Tart, Charles T. States of Consciousness (2001) ISBN 0-595-15196-5
▪ Inglis, Brian (1990). Trance: A Natural History Of Altered States Of Mind. London, Paladin. ISBN 0-586-08933-0
▪ Wier, Dennis R. Trance: from magic to technology (1995) ISBN 1-888428-38-4
▪ Hoffman, Kay (1998). The Trance Workbook: understanding & using the power of altered states. Translated by Elfie Homann, Clive Williams, and Dr Christliebe El Mogharbel. Translation edited by Laurel Ornitz. ISBN 0-8069-1765-2
▪ Piers Vitebsky, The Shaman: Voyages of the Soul – Trance, Ecstasy and Healing from Siberia to the Amazon, Duncan Baird, 2001. ISBN 1-903296-18-8
▪ Nowack, William J & Feltman, Mary L. (date?) “Eliciting the Photic Driving Response”. American Journal of Electroneurodiagnostic Technology. Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 43–45.
▪ Von Gizycki, H. , Jean-Louis, G., Snyder, M., Zizi, F., Green, H., Giuliano, V., Spielman, A., Taub, H. (1998). “The effects of photic driving on mood states” in Journal of psychosomatic research. Vol. 44, N. 5, pp. 599-604. New York, NY: Elsevier. ISSN 0022-3999
▪ McDaniel, June (1989). The Madness of the Saints: Ecstatic Religion in Bengal. University of Chicago Press. ISBN-10: 0-226-55723-5 (Paper); 0-226-55722-7 (Cloth) & ISBN-13: 978-0-226-55723-6 (Paper); 978-0-226-55722-9 (Cloth).
▪ Michaelson, Jay (1997). “Paths to the Divine: Ecstatics and Theology in R. Dov Baer of Lubavitch”. Source: (6 December 2006).
▪ Neophytou, Charles (1996). The Encyclopedia of Mind Body and Spirit. Millennium Edition. Yanchep, Western Australia: Lindlahr Book Publishing. ISBN 0-646-26789-2
▪ Lewis, I. M. (2003). Trance, Possession, Shamanism and Sex. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 14, Number 1, March-June 2003, pages 20-39.
▪ Hubbard, Timothy L. (2003). Some Correspondences and Similarities of Shamanism and Cognitive Science: Interconnectedness, Extension of Meaning, and Attribution of Mental States. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 14, Number 1, March-June 2003, pages 26-45
▪ Vyner, Henry M. (2002). The Descriptive Mind Science of Tibetan Buddhist Psychology and the Nature of the Healthy Human Mind. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 13, Number 2, September-December 2002, pages 1-25.
▪ Rich, Grant Jewell (2001). Domestic Paths to Altered States and Transformations of Consciousness. Volume 12, Number 2 (September-December 2001).
▪ Wallis, Robert (1999). Altered States, Conflicting Cultures: Shamans, Neo-Shamans and Academics. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 10, Numbers 2-3 (June-September 1999).
▪ Goodman, Felicitas D. (1999). Ritual Body Postures, Channeling, and the Ecstatic Body Trance. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 10, Number 1 (March 1999).
▪ Castillo, Richard J. (1995). Culture, Trance, and the Mind-Brain. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 6, Number 1, March 1995, pages 17-34.
▪ Heinze, Ruth-Inge (1994). Applications of Altered States of Consciousness in Daily Life. In Anthropology of Consciousness. Volume 5, Number 3, September 1994, pages 8-12.
▪ Taves, Ann (1999). Fits, Trances, & Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
▪ Smith, Huston (2000). Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals. Tarcher/Putnam, ISBN 1-58542-034-4, Council on Spiritual Practices, ISBN 1-889725-03-X
▪ Lawlor, Robert (1991). Voices Of The First Day: Awakening in the Aboriginal dreamtime. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, Ltd. ISBN 0-89281-355-5

Alpha waves are electromagnetic oscillations in the frequency range of 8–12 Hz arising from synchronous and coherent (in phase / constructive) electrical activity of thalamic pacemaker cells in the human brain. They are also called Berger’s wave in memory of the founder of EEG.(Brazier 1970)
Alpha waves are commonly detected by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) and predominantly found to originate from the occipital lobe during periods of relaxation, with eyes closed but still awake. Conversely alpha waves are attenuated with open eyes as well as by drowsiness and sleep. They are thought to represent the activity of the visual cortex in an idle state.
An alpha-like normal variant called mu (μ) is sometimes seen over the motor cortex (central scalp) and attenuates with movement, or even with the intention to move.

Beta wave, or beta rhythm, is the term used to designate the frequency range of brain activity above 12 Hz (12 transitions or cycles per second). Beta states are the states associated with normal waking consciousness. Low amplitude beta with multiple and varying frequencies is often associated with active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration. Rhythmic beta with a dominant set of frequencies is associated with various pathologies and drug effects. For instance, beta activity can be accentuated by sedative-hypnotic drugs such as benzodiazepines or barbiturates. It can also be absent or reduced if the patient underwent cortical damage.
The Beta wave is not generally classed into the electromagnetic spectrum as its own type of wave, it falls alongside the gamma waves, it is categorised and related to the electromagnetic spectrum through this.
Beta Waves are also split into three sections. High Beta Waves(19Hz+) Beta Waves(15-18Hz) and Low Beta Waves(12-15Hz).
These waves reside within E.L.F. range (Extremely Low Frequecies) and are electromagnetic in nature.

A delta wave is a large, slow (2 Hz or less) brain wave recorded with an EEG and is usually associated with deep sleep.

Delta waves
Delta activity is characterized by frequencies under 3 Hz and is absent in awake healthy adults, but is physiological and normal in awake children under the age of 13 years. Delta waves are also naturally present in stage three and four of sleep (deep sleep) but not in stages 1, 2, and rapid eye movement (REM) of sleep. Finally, delta rhythm can be observed in cases of brain injury and comatic patients.
Human non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep is divided in the categories 2,3, and 4 by the percentage of slow waves.

A gamma wave is a pattern of brain waves, associated with perception and consciousness. Gamma waves are produced when masses of neurons emit electrical signals at the rate of around 40 times a second (40 hertz or Hz), but can often be between 26 and upwards of 70 Hz. By one definition, gamma waves are manifest at 24 Hz and higher, though researchers have recognized that higher level cognitive activities occur when lower frequency gamma waves suddenly double into the 40 Hz range. Research has shown gamma waves are continuously present during low voltage fast neocortical activity (LVFA), which occurs during the process of awakening and during active rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Some researchers do not distinguish gamma waves as a distinct class but include them in beta brain waves.
Linked to higher reasoning faculties
Gamma waves are involved in higher mental activity. Transient periods of synchronized firing over the gamma waveband, of entire banks of neurons from different parts of the brain, have been proposed as a mechanism for bringing a distributed matrix of cognitive processes together to generate a coherent, concerted cognitive act, such as perception. For example, it has been suggested that gamma waves are associated with solving the binding problem. Recent studies have shown that recognition of new insights occur when patterns jump from 20 to 40 Hz.

Theta rhythms are one of several characteristic electroencephalogram waveforms associated with various sleep and wakefulness states. When seen in this fashion, they are between 4 and 8 Hz, and involve many neurons firing synchronously, probably in the hippocampus and through the cortex. Theta rhythms are normally absent in healthy awake adults but are physiological and natural in awake children under the age of 13 years. Nonetheless, theta activity can be observed in adults during some sleep states, and in states of quiet focus, for example meditation (e.g. Aftanas & Golosheykin, 2005). They can equally be seen in cases of focal or generalized subcortical brain damage and epilepsy.
Theta-frequency EEG activity is also manifested during some short term memory tasks (reviewed in Vertes 2005). Some suggest that they reflect the “on-line” state of the hippocampus; one of readiness to process incoming signals (Buzsaki, 2002). Conversely, theta oscillations have been correlated to various voluntary behaviors (exploration, spatial navigation, etc.) and alert states (piloerection, etc.) in the rat (Vanderwolf, 1969), suggesting that it may reflect the integration of sensory information with motor output (for review, see Bland & Oddie, 2001). A large body of evidence indicates that theta rhythm is likely involved in spatial learning and navigation (e.g. Buzsaki 2005).
Theta rhythms are very strong in rodent hippocampi and entorhinal cortex during learning and memory retrieval, and are believed to be vital to the induction of long-term potentiation, a potential cellular mechanism of learning and memory. A putative functional role of the theta rhythm has been put forth by Dr. Michael Hasselmo in a series of papers (Hasselmo et al. 2002, Hasselmo and Eichenbaum 2005). Based on evidence from electrophysiological studies showing that both synaptic plasticity and strength of inputs to hippocampal region CA1 vary systematically with ongoing theta oscillations (Hyman et al. 2003, Brankack et al. 1993, Pavlides et al. 1988), it has been suggested that the theta rhythm functions to separate periods of encoding of current sensory stimuli and retrieval of episodic memory cued by current stimuli so as to avoid interference that would occur if encoding and retrieval were simultaneous.
Underlying large-scale synchronization which results in rhythmic slow activity of field EEG are theta-frequency membrane potential oscillations, typically sodium-dependent voltage-sensitive oscillations in membrane potential at near-action potential voltages (Alonso & Llinas, 1989; Chapman & Lacaille, 1999). Specifically, it appears that in neurons of the CA1 and dentate gyrus, these oscillations result from an interplay of dendritic excitation via a persistant sodium current (INaP) with perisomatic inhibition (Buzsaki, 2002).
Electrophysiological or pharmacological stimulation of the medial septum and the diagonal band of Broca projecting to hippocampus also induces theta-like rhythms (Manseau et al. 2005).
It is likely that human sources of theta rhythm are similar to those found in other mammals, and thus it is likely that cholinergic projections from the basal forebrain drive the theta rhythm seen in human EEG patterns. Similarly, humans show hippocampal theta rhythms that are probably mediated by inputs from the ascending brainstem synchronizing system via the medial septum.

Neurologists and psychologists for decades agreed that there were specific facts about the brain and intelligence that were unchanging:
• intelligence is genetically determined
◦ people with high intelligence are born that way
◦ experience can’t increase or decrease innate intelligence; experience can’t change the structure of the brain

• growth in the total number of brain cells we have is completed by age two; neurons cannot reproduce themselves
However, psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted studies 1 which were to turn the world of brain and intelligence research upside down. They discovered that:
• rats showed higher levels of AChE (the brain enzyme related to learning and memory) when placed in “enriched environments” (well-lit, multilevel cages filled with swings, slides, ladders, bridges, an assortment of frequently changing stimuli, and a variety of challenges)
Intelligence could be increased.

• the brains of rats placed in “enriched environments” increased in weight; stimulating experiences had caused the rats’ brains to grow
Neuroanatomist Marian Diamond proved that rats raised in “enriched environments” showed:
• increased thickness of the cerebral cortex or “gray matter”
• a 15 percent increase in the actual size of individual neurons in the cortex
• increases in protein in the brain paralleling the increases in cortical weight, proving that the growth effect was on tissue and not just on fluid content of the brain
• an increase in the amount of dendritic branching (dendrites are the hairy branching fibers which project in large numbers from the body of each neuron and which receive inputs from other neurons and conduct them to the cell body, thus, an increase in branching means a greater amount of potential information available to each neuron)
• an increased number of dendritic spines per unit length of dendrite (spines are the small projections that cover the surface of dendrites)
• increases in the number of synapses and in the size of synaptic contact areas (synapses are the spots where different neurons are connected and by means of which communication among neurons takes place)
• an increase in the ratio between the weight of the cortex and the weight of the rest of the brain (thus the enriched environment does not simply stimulate and trigger generalized growth throughout the entire brain, but is specifically beneficial to that area of the brain devoted to thinking, learning, and memory)
• a 15 percent increase in the number of glial cells, the “glue” cells that are the most numerous cells in the brain and which hold together, support, and nourish the brain neurons, act as guides for neural growth, assist in learning, and seem to form some mysterious communicating network of their own
Later studies 2 showed that significant structural changes in the brains of rats in “enriched environments” can take place almost instantaneously.

The human brain is about five times as large as that of a chimpanzee, yet contains only about 30 to 50 percent more neurons. The difference between humans and chimps comes from the development of cerebral cortex and the larger number of glial cells 3. The cerebral cortex is a layer of nerve cells forming a convoluted outer shell over the brain, the “thinking cap” or “gray matter” atop the brain, in which much of the thinking or higher intellectual activity of the brain takes place.

All these studies focused on one conclusion: increased brain stimulation in an enriched environment produces not only a growth in size and weight of the cortex but completely alters and enriches the quality of the entire cerebral cortex.

Stimulating the Brain and Mind

Human performance in all areas can be deliberately improved through environmental, biochemical, and psychophysiological manipulation of the brain and mind. One way this takes place is by using machines designed by researchers to stimulate the human neocortex through exposure to experiences which are novel, changing, and challenging, and which provide the brain and mind an opportunity to exercise itself by means of self-observation and self-transformation.

The brain is an electrically powered and electricity- generating organ. Composed of an estimated one hundred billion neurons, each neuron produces and transmits electrical impulses which travel from the cell body down long fibers called axons until they reach a junction, or synapse, with another neuron. At the junction point the electrical impulses fire chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, across the synaptic gap to receptors on the next cell. Having received the message, that neuron then generates its own electrical impulse and sends it to other neurons to which it is connected. Each neuron can be connected to thousands of other neurons, each simultaneously sending and receiving impulses to and from thousands of other neurons–so one neuron can electrically alter millions of other neurons.

To get an idea of how complex this electrical system is, the National Academy of Sciences estimates that “a single human brain has a greater number of possible connections among its nerve cells than the total number of atomic particles in the universe.”

In our ordinary waking state, we primarily experience beta brain waves (which vibrate at a frequency ranging from about 13 to 30 hertz or cycles per second). During deep relaxation, we move to alpha waves (8-13 Hz) and we ordinarily only experience theta waves (4-7 Hz) in those brief moments between waking and sleeping. The ultraslow delta waves (0.5-4 Hz) occur during sleep.

Scientists have found that when meditators reach a state of deep awareness and internal mental serenity the two hemispheres of their brain–which ordinarily generate brain waves of different frequencies and amplitudes–become synchronized, both hemispheres generating the same brain waves.

In 1956, James Olds reported on research in which he had electrically stimulated the brains of rats. Implanting electrodes in rats’ pleasure center of the brain, he attached a device that allowed the rats to activate the electrical impulse. He found that the rats would become so obsessed with self-stimulation that they would literally starve themselves to death.

The human body has its own chemical self-stimulants, endorphins. Naturally produced in our bodies and brains, this group of molecules reduces pain, alleviates stress, gives pleasure, enhances or suppresses memories, and determines what information we allow into our brains.

Dr. Robert Heath, head of the neurology/psychiatry department at Tulane University School of Medicine was the first to implant electrodes in the human brain. He found that each brain stimulus–pleasure or pain–is capable of overwhelming or inhibiting other stimuli. Thus, pleasure can overcome depression or pain and vice versa.

Biofeedback is the use of mechanical means to amplify certain internal cues, make us aware of them, and make it possible to control mental and brain states. Extensive research has shown that what were thought to be “involuntary” psychophysiological states, such as blood pressure, body temperature, etc., are in fact controllable through the use of biofeedback.

“Biofeedback means getting immediate ongoing infomation about one’s own biological processes or conditions, such as heart behavior, temperature, brain-wave activity, blood pressure, or muscle tension. Information is usually fed back by a meter, by a light or sound, or subjects simply watch the physiological record as it emerges from the monitoring equipment. Biofeedback training means using the information to change and control voluntarily the specific process or response being monitored.”

Elmer Green, Beyond Biofeedback

In 1958, Joe Kamiya, a psychologist teaching at the University of Chicago, began experiments on brain wave frequencies. Kamiya attached a sensing electrode to the left side of the back of the subjects’s head–the left occiput, where alpha brain waves are move evident. When a tone sounded, the subject was to guess whether he was in alpha. Kamiya was able to tell if the subject’s guess was correct from the EEG (electroencephalograph) readings and answered “correct” or “wrong.” The first subject Kamiya worked with, Richard Bach, reported correctly 65% on the second day of testing, and on the fourth day was able to report correctly 100% of the time. In a second experiment, the subject was able to enter the alpha state or not enter the state on a specific cue. It was thus established that people could control brain waves which had been thought to be involuntary states. This was the beginning of brain wave biofeedback. Psychology Today did an article on Kamiya in 1968 and the field exploded.

The first meeting of biofeedback professionals occurred as part of the 1968 International Brain and Behavior Conference in Colorado. The following year the first specific meeting of biofeedback researchers was held in Santa Monica, California, with 142 persons attending. It was at this meeting that the attendees decided to name their group the Biofeedback Research Society, later changed to Biofeedback Society of America and then to the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.

One of the early researchers, Elmer Green of the Menninger Clinic in Kansas, used biofeedback instruments to study Eastern yogis. He discovered that certain yogis could control their internal states merely through meditation and thought.

Maurice “Barry” Sterman, a professor emeritus in the departments of Neurobiology and Psychiatry at UCLA, began an experiment in 1965 on brain wave states in cats. He accidentally discovered a specific EEG rhythm state during which the cat, waiting for a reward of food, became absolutely still, though extremely alert. Sterman named this frequency “sensorimotor rhythm” (SMR). He isolated the 12 to 15 hertz frequencies (SMR) in the EEG of the experimental cats and operantly conditioned them to create this state. Sterman then worked with a human subject, a young lady who suffered from epileptic seizures two or more times per month. Epilepsy is accompanied by an invasion of unwanted theta wave frequency in the brain. The subject was connected to the EEG equipment and was tasked with keeping a green light on (presence of SMR) and a red light off (presence of theta waves). The subject was able to create SMR for long periods and her seizures reduced in number and intensity. She remained seizure-free after the experiment for a number of months.

Other researchers replicated Sterman’s results with epilepsy and in 1982 Sterman received a research grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). However, the disparity between biofeedback and ordinary medical procedures was becoming a major issue in the health care field and NIH pulled Sterman’s funding. Ordinary medical procedures involve something being done to the “patient,” the application of a drug, the use of surgery, etc. Biofeedback involves persons taking responsibility for their own conditions and actively participating in their therapy. Plus, biofeedback had arisen within psychology, not medicine.

“Occassionally I had heard half-joking remarks about researchers in biofeedback sounding like snake-oil salesmen. It didn’t bother me until one of our own doctors cautioned against the concept of biofeedback as a panacea. Then I gave it serious thought. Why did biofeedback prove helpful in the treatment of so many and varied disorders? Suddenly I realized that it isn’t biofeedback that is the ‘panacea’–it is the power within the human being to self-regulate, self-heal, re-balance. Biofeedback does nothing to the person; it is a tool for releasing that potential.”

Alyce Green, Beyond Biofeedback

The medical establishment began deriding biofeedback as an unproven, unscientific fad. The research of Sterman and others followed the most rigorous experimental requirements, but the medical mafia was intent on destroying this upstart phenomenon.

In the 1970s and 1980s, biofeedback research languished, though a few brave persons pushed forward and today there is a resurgence in the field. Margaret Ayers, whose graduate training was in clinical neuropsychology, uses biofeedback therapy with different kinds of medical problems: drug addiction, alcoholism, head injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, and coma. Coma is the condition of a brain which is accompanied by dominant theta wave activity. The biofeedback equipment used with coma patients trains them to inhibit theta wave frequencies. A number of Ayer’s coma clients have regained a great deal of their normal functioning. Siegfried and Sue Othmer, Ross Quackenbush, Eugene Peniston, Roger Werholtz, Lester Fehmi, Bob DeBoer, and others are using similar biofeedback procedures on clients with a diversity of medical or psychological problems.

Higher States
Dr. Gerald Oster, a biophysicist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City discovered that pulsations called binaural beats occurred in the brain when tones of different frequency were presented separately to each ear.

Robert Monroe developed tapes which send signals separately to each ear–signals of 400 and 404 hertz, for example–resulting in the sounds blending inside the brain and setting up a binaural beat frequency of 4 Hz (theta waves), producing a state of brain hemisphere equilibrium and altered states. At his Institute of Applied Sciences in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia, Monroe trains people in achieving altered states using Hemi-Sync tapes. Some of the trainees feel they achieve out-of-body experiences. At present, a week’s training session costs $1695 at the Institute, plus, of course, transportation to the Institute and back.

Some brain state researchers are critical of Monroe’s methods. Dr. Lester Fehmi, director of the Princeton Behavioral Medicine and Biofeedback Clinic, says that Monroe’s effect is real, “but it doesn’t teach you how to get there.” Dr. Elmer Green of the Menninger Foundation agrees. “It’s only when the volition is involved, and you want to do something, either to escape or to accomplish something, that you really learn something.” The hypnogogic image states which Green discovered in his research sometime involve extra-sensory perception (ESP) and precognition. It may be that these states are the same as those which Monroe and his clients experience, which Monroe chooses to interpret as out-of-body states but Green interprets as hypnogogic imagery.

There is a thriving biofeedback industry, with pricey training programs and pricey machines. Some of the machines run as high as $7,000 and one wonders why someone doesn’t produce a reasonably-priced biofeedback machine for the average consumer who is also a serious student of altered states of consciousness.

• James H. Austin. Zen and the Brain
• Barbara Brown. New Mind, New body
• C. Maxwell Cade. The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness
• Michael Hutchison. Megabrain
• Elmer and Alyce Green. Beyond Biofeedback
• Robert Monroe. Journeys Out of the Body
• Robert Monroe. Far Journeys
• Jim Robbins. A Symphony in the Brain
• Schultz & Luthe. Autogenic Training
• Mark S. Schwartz. Biofeedback
• Anna Wise. The High-Performance Mind

Where Science and Magic Meet

Dr. Serena Roney-Dougal

Altered States of Consciousness and Yogic Attainment in Relation to Awareness of Precognitive and Clairvoyant Targets

In the 1970s, there were several experiments which suggested that meditation and relaxation help one to attain a state of consciousness which is conducive to psychic (psi) awareness (e.g., Braud & Braud,1974; Honorton, 1981; Schmeidler, 1970,1994 ; Stanford & Palmer, 1973). Traditional yogic texts suggest that as one develops yogic ability, so do the �siddhis� or psychic powers, manifest.
The psi – conducive state is a theory formulated out of this research which states that psi functioning is enhanced when there is:
1) cortical arousal sufficient to maintain conscious awareness;
2) muscular relaxation;
3) sensory reduction of input;
4) internal attention.
In other words when the receiver is in a state of sensory relaxation and is minimally influenced by ordinary perception and proprioception (Braud, 1975).
In meditation there is internal noise reduction (& distractions); external noise reduction (& distractions); and various psycho-physiological correlates, e.g. alpha rhythm, increased skin resistance, which have been found to be associated with greater psi awareness (Honorton, 1977).
This experiment is designed to explore, within the context of an ashram, where there are many people who have studied yoga for varying lengths of time and have achieved different levels of awareness, whether or not different levels of yogic ability, and different states of consciousness are conducive to psi functioning.
From January – March 2002, an initial series of experiments was run at the ashram (Roney-Dougal , 2002). These experiments were in two major classes: the group and the individual experiments. The group experiments were looking at the relationship between various altered states and psi awareness, and the individual sessions explored the hypothesis that greater degree of yogic attainment is related to greater psi awareness
The group experiment was run as part of the practical classes undertaken by year 1 and 2 postgraduate students. A basic free-response design was used in which a computer programme chose a static picture at random from a pool of 70 pictures. The students visualised this picture and after the session saw a set of four pictures of which the target picture was included. These were ranked on a four-point scale. The results gave an interesting, albeit very preliminary, suggestion that meditation facilitates awareness at a psychic level (higher scoring), and that the 2nd year students, who had studied yoga for a longer period of time, scored higher than the 1st years. None of the sessions were statistically significant.
The individual sessions were run with any person at the ashram who was interested in participating, with year 1 postgraduate and certificate course students helping to run the experiment. The same free-response programme was used in these sessions as in the group experiments. They did not give any significant results, but gave a suggestion that those who had lived a yogic lifestyle for more years were more aware at a psychic level.
Building on these findings, two experiments were run from January to March 2003, one with the first year postgraduate students as part of their parapsychology course, and the other with individuals who were living and working in the ashram, comprising visitors, students, sannyasins and swamis with a range of 4 months to 33 years experience of yoga. The same free �response design was used in the classes as this had been found to work sufficiently well in the first year. Changes in methodology were made where necessary, such as doing the sessions well before the exams so more students could participate, doing fewer preliminary tests in the first session so that students were less confused and tired when the experimental test occurred. Otherwise the design was kept the same, to see if significant results would emerge in this situation, and if it was feasible to run a more tightly controlled experiment in future years, when circumstances permitted. This first part of this paper describes the group experiments, with the postgraduate students, and the second part describes the session with the individuals.

These results are still preliminary exploratory trials, learning to work within the classroom ashram environment.
In 2002, there was psi-missing with the prelimininary test session. At the time it was felt that this was due to the students doing too many preliminary tests, so that they were too rushed and confused by the time the experimental test occurred. Therefore, this year the students did less preliminary testing, so the class was less rushed and they were more at ease with the procedure. This resulted in improved overall scoring. The relaxation session gives a consistent score over both years. The meditation session compares favourably with the score from the previous year, which was in the psi-hitting range but not significantly so, as does the yoga nidra, which compares very favourably with the psi-missing of the previous year. This suggests that the lessons learnt from the first year are resulting in an environment which is more conducive for psi testing. It is therefore appropriate now to move from the preliminary exploratory stage to one with proper controls and predetermined statistical analysis.
Because not all the students were able to attend each week the participant numbers declined over the four weeks of testing. This needs to be rectified if valid results are to be obtained, particularly with the confounding effect of attitude. The other problem with this design is that it is not counterbalanced, all the students doing the sessions in the same order. It is therefore also possible that there are order effects, the students becoming gradually more accustomed to the procedure, learning from mistakes in previous sessions and so becoming more skilled as the series progressed. A more controlled counter-balanced design is needed if this is to be rectified and this would need committed participants and splitting the class into at least two groups.

Overall, whilst inconclusive owing to the drop in student numbers and the lack of a counterbalanced design, this year�s class research once again suggests that meditation is a psi-conducive state, and there is a possibility that relaxation and yoga nidra are too. The combined scores from 2002 and 2003 confirm the usefulness of meditation in creating a psi-conducive state of consciousness.
Despite the concerns, these tests show the possibility that meditation is a psi-conducive technique, corroborating the findings from the 1970s. As with all research this leads to a host of other questions which it would be interesting to address, such as what is the optimum length of time of meditation, or the optimum type of meditation. Hopefully in future years we can both conduct more controlled trials and start to look at these other questions.

This section of the paper deals with a related but so far unexplored hypothesis: that degree of yogic attainment is psi-conducive. The yogic lore (Satyananda Saraswati, 1982) states that as one progresses in yogic attainment so does one�s psychic ability emerge. The folklore considers that the more adept one is as a yogi, the more psychic one is, but this has never been explored scientifically. These exploratory studies are designed to look at this parameter.
Building on the preliminary studies from 2002, this year research was undertaken with individuals who were living and working in the ashram, comprising visitors, students, sannyasins (those who have taken some degree of yogic initiation; jigyasu and karma sannyasins) and swamis (also known as poorna sannyasins, as they have taken full yogic initiation), with a range of 4 months to 33 years experience of yoga.

This experiment has achieved the objective of finding a methodology that is appropriate for an ashram situation, so that controlled experiments can now be run. There was a wide range in nationalities and ages taking part in this research so we are far removed from the typical university experiment that uses undergraduate students as participants.
It has also shown that, even in a preliminary design, the basic hypothesis that yogic attainment may be related to psi awareness is one worth exploring, this showing up particularly strongly when looking at direct hits. In this experiment there were some people who only did one session and some that did six. I personally consider that one does not get a true score from just one session, as the participants are learning the methodology, so the next experiment will have a fixed number of participants doing an equal number of sessions.
A major problem that needs to be addressed is the psi missing among the students: why is it happening and how can it be rectified. There are various possible reasons for the psi missing:
1) Negative emotionality of targets was a major contributor to some psi-missing with certain people. Though from a Western perspective the video clips were not particularly violent or negative, for people living in an ashram where there is no television, radio, newspapers, etc., to see a tidal wave drowning people, or a person in battle with a monster, was a shocking experience. There were a number of comments in which people ranked these targets fourth just because they did not want to see them again! I have, therefore, created a target pool that has only positive emotional or neutral targets, drawn from the Northampton University target set
2) One possible problem occurred at the judging stage. Because the participants were novices with regard to parapsychology free-response methodology I worked with them at the judging stage. Some of the participants found this intrusive and unhelpful, though many said it was useful. This is an aspect of the free-response design that I feel has not been sufficiently looked at, and which I feel to be of greatest importance. Psi is a two stage process, the first stage is being open holistic, intuitive, global, dream mind for reception of the information; the second stage is using the analytical, logical, judging mind to decide whether the information is relevant to the actual target or is from some other source. This is true for all psychics, mediums, etc. and is an area deserving intensive study. I shall initially deal with this area by formulating careful instructions which I shall leave with the participants whilst they do the judging on their own, after an initial first training session with me.
3) Two of the psi-missing students were also involved in the class experiments where they both showed overall psi-hitting. It is just possible that some of the social and cultural dynamics exhibit most strongly with the students, e.g. age and gender dynamics, ashram rules. But it is also possible that as the hypothesis was solely a comparison, that the students unconsciously scored very low so as to enable the swamis to score better whatever!! There is a strong element of compliance in Indian society � a desire to please however that may manifest, in this case supporting the hypothesis by psi missing.
4) This psi-missing, or scoring precisely at chance, in comparative studies is one which has been noticed before in parapsychology. This suggests an experimenter effect. I noticed that I was relaxed about the psi-missing of the students in that there was a feeling that this gave greater latitude for error for the swamis. However, there was tension around the psi-missing in general and this is dealt with when looking at the karma yoga attributes.
5) The participants were working in my room. The ashram has a rule that no one is allowed into anyone else�s room. I was in the guesthouse and my room was being used as an office and I had permission to run the experiment. However, some people were uncertain as to the permissibility of entering my room and there could well have been a level of discomfort, despite the fact that many people remarked on how much they liked working there as it is a very beautiful room. I would ideally like to have the person meditating in the mandir (temple), as this was found to be excellent venue for psi-hitting the first year, but this would be problematic practically. If an alternative venue can be arranged that would be ideal, or else to have a clear permission to use my room for research so that there is no uncertainty in anyone�s mind.
6) Another factor is one of yogic stricture, which states that one must not put emphasis on the siddhis. Despite Sw. Niranjanananda Saraswati, who is the head of the ashram and the university, giving permission for this research, there is a strong element within the consciousness of people in the ashram that psi is to some extent a forbidden topic. This is very similar to the fear of psi (Tart, 1984) which is so prominent in Western society, Here it does not manifest as denial of psi, but psi is considered to be an unwise direction in which to focus one�s intent � the focus is to be on spiritual development rather than developing the siddhis.
7) Another factor is that of ownership resistance (Batcheldor, 1984). In the classroom situation one�s personal score is less noticed within the overall score of the group. In the individual sessions there is a noticeable feeling of �doing well,� or the reverse, which several people remarked on. This will be dealt with more fully in the following discussion of karma yoga.
One of the most interesting lessons to come out from running this experiment was the realisation that the instructions I was giving to participants in the pre-trial discussion, and which often were discussed in the post-trial feedback were remarkably similar to the attributes of karma yoga as defined by Sw. Niranjanananda Saraswati in his book �Yoga Darshan,�(Saraswati, Niranjanananda,1993). Someone had recommended I read this for another purpose altogether. I think that these are worth outlining here.
Sw. Niranjanananda lists six attributes of karma yoga as follows:
1) Efficiency
�In order to be efficient, it is necessary to be keen, to have awareness, and concentration, to be one-pointed and not distracted. You must be able to observe the whole event or situation in order to become efficient.� (ibid) In the context of a psi session this means that one aims to become aware of the target video and nothing else, not the other videos in the pool (displacement) or any other psychic event. In other words the more you have learned to focus your mind to pick up only information about the target, the more likely you are to have a direct hit and not be confused by other information that may come to mind during the session. This is a clear attribute of yogic attainment that was exhibited by some of the swamis.
2) Equanimity
�This means that there is balance of mind in both success and failure. If our mind becomes disturbed by failure and success, then we swing like a pendulum, from one side to the other, from a positive and optimistic approach during success, to a negative and pessimistic approach during failure. This swing of the mind from success to failure and failure to success is very disturbing and distracting . . . In order to maintain mental balance, one has to abandon attachment and the desire for a result and achievement. Abandon any self-fulfilling expectations which enrich the ego, or which create a loss of self-image.�(ibid.)
I found that problems with equanimity and its related aspects were one of the prime factors behind the psi-missing shown in this study. One of the related factors is:
3) Absence of expectation
�There is a very beautiful sentiment given in the Bhagavad Gita: “It is not possible for embodied beings to renounce action, but it is possible to renounce the results of action.�(ibid.) So, never think of renouncing action, only think of renouncing expectation of the results of the actions performed.� When we do research we all have our expectations, our hopes and desires, normally formally outlined in the hypothesis. The experimenter holds these expectations and the participants try to perform accordingly to please the experimenter. There were some participants who, when they did not get a direct hit, would make a remark about how they were not fulfilling the expectations of the experiment. Everyone wanted to be �successful.� Some came with an expectation of �failure.� Learning that it is the process that is important and that whatever happens is a learning was very difficult for most people, including the experimenter!!
4) Egolessness
�Egolessness . . . implies that one has to be simple, sincere and desireless. To cultivate egolessness, two important qualities are essential: sincerity in our commitment, goal and direction, and simplicity in thought and action.� (ibid.) Problems with ego were present throughout the sessions for most of the participants .
5) Renunciation of limited desire
�One who is in control of the self and who is devoid of desire is a true renunciate. The first point of the statement is being in control of the self and the second point is being devoid of desire. It is understood that when we begin our journey, the motivating factor is a desire. �I wish to is the form of our desire. It is not elimination or renunciation of this desire but the renunciation of other limiting desires that is necessary. We must know which are the limiting desires that hold us back and which are the propelling desires that push us forward.� (ibid.)
This is an interesting factor because participants take part in research from a variety of motives. The one that seems to lead to the most positive results is one of interest in the process, in what is going on and inquiring how it works. This desire gives a motivating force that does not involve ego and allows for equanimity. It is also a key factor in the experimenter effect, since the experimenter has the greatest desire for a particular result. If one�s desire is to show how psychic one is, then this is a limiting desire that will results in missing the target. So the balance is to maintain the interest , the desire, the enjoyment of learning about one�s mind through psychic awareness, without expectation of immediate �success�.
6) Duty or dharma
The sixth attribute of karma yoga is considering every action to be a duty. �When action is performed with the idea of duty it produces a very deep experience of bhakti, (which is) surrender, belief, trust and faith in a higher nature, a higher reality guiding us. This duty is to be understood in relation to one�s individual, social, global and universal dharma. When one develops the awareness of dharma as an inherent commitment, duty or obligation towards other beings, then one develops a giving or helping nature.� Obviously having this attitude helps in a psi experiment because with it one has complete equanimity with no problems re success or failure, ego, etc.
I think that by fully realising karma yoga there is a potential for better working with the particular dynamic of psychic awareness under laboratory conditions, and the problem of both experimenter effect and psi missing.

What is needed now is a controlled experiment in which a designated number of participants perform a particular number of sessions, so that everyone does the same number and their scores are equivalent. The particular type of meditation is a point to be explored in future experiments; the amount of discussion during the judging process is another point which needs further exploration.

This was an excellent preliminary exploration of this topic. Whilst the results did not show significance they were all in the predicted direction suggesting that years of living a yogic lifestyle is related to greater psi awareness � or at least less susceptibility to whatever causes psi-missing. The analysis developed and used this year will become the standard for next year�s controlled study.
There was no shortage of participants and many of them were so interested in the research that they were willing to devote an hour every week to assist. The yogic questionnaire is developing well so that the measures we are obtaining from it are revealing interesting and unexpected results. Further fine-tuning of the design and procedure will hopefully reveal further interesting information next year.


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Altered States of Consciousness
by Andrew T. Weil, M.D.


The single most important fact to emerge from research on consciousness-altering drugs in this century is that individual responses to them result from set and setting as much as from the drug itself. Occasionally particular combinations of set and setting completely reverse the “pharmacological action” of a drug as described in a text on pharmacology. For example, with proper suggestion and in a restful setting, amphetamines can produce sedation. Drug, set, and setting, therefore, appear to be interdependent in shaping drug responses; no one factor seems vastly more determining than any other.

This principle is logical enough. No physiological event takes place without a corresponding event in the central nervous system. Therefore, every “bodily” response is actually a psychosomatic response. In the case of medical drugs like digitalis and atropine, no one is very much interested in the psychic component of response, so that we have come to think of these substances as producing constant physiological responses (although there is still enough variation from patient to patient to make their clinical administration a ticklish business). In the case of “psychoactive” drugs like heroin and LSD, the psychic component of response becomes the focus of attention; but, because we do not understand it according to present models of consciousness, we try in vain to make these drugs, too, fit our simplistic conceptions of pharmacology. How nice it would be if we could derive a method of predicting an individual’s response to a psychoactive drug from purely pharmacological considerations. But we cannot do so.

Two upsetting conclusions follow from this line of reasoning: First, it is impossible to talk meaningfully about the effects of psychoactive drugs, except by reference to their effects on specific individuals on specific occasions; and secondly, pharmacology is not a useful approach to understanding the effects of these drugs either on individuals or on society. A pharmacologist, of course, would disagree with me, but his view of things would be as biased in its own way as that of the law-enforcement officer who favors continued efforts to stop people from using drugs by means of the criminal law. Most of what is written about LSD and heroin in pharmacology texts is meaningless in this sense: It says nothing about what will happen to you if you take LSD at eight o’clock tonight; gives you no power to help me if I come to you for assistance in breaking a heroin habit; and is quite irrelevant to any considerations of what the United States ought to do about the continuing increase in negative use of these drugs.

What we need is a new science of consciousness, based on subjective experience rather than on objective physiology. The materialistic psychology that has dominated Western thought about consciousness is no longer adequate to the task of explaining the mind in terms that are useful to us. (An especially galling aspect of the drug problem for the medical profession is that psychologically ignorant users of drugs appear to have more practical information about their effects than doctors have.) I predict that, from an experiential viewpoint, many unifying principles of drug states will become visible. In the pharmacological model, there is some unity; for example, alcohol, barbiturates, and minor tranquilizers are grouped together as sedative-hypnotics-a useful grouping, because it alerts us to the danger that drugs like chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and meprobamate (Equanil) produce a dependence resembling dependence on alcohol. But pharmacology offers no clue why the psychological changes of a marijuana high have much in common with those of an LSD trip, or why heroin users may be able to satisfy their need for a certain experience by inhaling nitrous oxide, a general anesthetic.

In the following pages, I will review briefly what is known and what is not known about the major pharmacological classes of psychoactive drugs-briefly, because, in view of the limited usefulness of this scheme of classification, it is not worth discussing, except at the most general level.


Alcohol and the barbiturates are associated with stubborn forms of drug dependence, marked by relatively constant, doserelated physiological changes, some of which become irreversible over time. These changes include tolerance (probably the clinical correlate of the induction of degradative enzymes in the liver) and withdrawal (a syndrome that persists until metabolism readjusts to its predrug state). Unlike narcotics, alcohol and barbiturates cause life-threatening reactions when they are withdrawn from addicted persons. Chronic use of sedative-hypnotics is associated with structural damage to the nervous system; this association is stronger than for any of the other classes of drugs discussed below. Alcoholism is particularly associated with chronic liver disease, possibly because alcohol is directly toxic to liver cells. Barbiturates are often implicated in accidental selfpoisonings, because tolerance to the lethal dose does not develop as fast as tolerance to the hypnotic dose. The minor tranquilizers have been promoted as anti-anxiety agents, but they behave just like mild sedative-hypnotics.

Most persons use sedative-hypnotics to reduce anxiety by substituting a “high” state of consciousness that permits sleep, relaxation, or the mild disinhibition valued in certain social encounters.

These drugs are associated with dependence because (1) they do not affect the source of anxiety; (2) the development of tolerance encourages more and more frequent use; (3) their use in our culture is strongly linked to destructive (especially self destructive) behavior patterns; and (4) people in our society do not know how to make use of altered states of consciousness.

The pharmacological model of- these drugs offers no hope of cure or prevention of dependence on sedative-hypnotics. It can, however, offer treatment of acute toxic episodes and withdrawal reactions. It seems unlikely that elucidation of the exact metabolic derangements underlying dependence will open the way to any pharmacological means of intervening in the course of the disease.

Nothing important is known about the action of these drugs on the mind. Since their major action is depression of neurological activity in the central nervous system, it has been assumed that the “paradoxical stimulation” observed with low doses (the high that precedes the stupor of alcohol intoxication) is the result of inhibition of inhibitory brain centers (which are conveniently postulated to respond to lower doses). However, some researchers have suggested that low doses may have direct excitatory action on nerve cells. That this kind of debate should still be going on in 1970 suggests how far we are from understanding conscious experience in physiological terms. (If alcohol intoxication were looked at by an experiential science of consciousness, it might turn out that the high is not causally related to the drug, which might be a pure depressant, after all.)

It is ironic that we have chosen our one sanctioned intoxicant from this class of drugs. In no other class is pharmacological action (in this case, on liver and nerve-cell metabolism) so clearly related to long-range physiological deterioration.


Like sedative-hypnotics, narcotics are central depressants that produce stubborn dependence. Unlike sedative-hypnotics, they are not directly associated with long-range physiological damage or life-threatening withdrawal reactions. Tolerance to narcotics develops faster than tolerance to sedative-hypnotics; hence, visible dependence develops faster. Because narcotics are illegal, their use is much more bound up with antisocial, negative, and, often, self-destructive behavior.

“Addiction” to and “withdrawal” from narcotics have become stereotypes in the public mind, but reality does not often conform to these conceptions. Far from being a physiological constant, dependent on dose and frequency of administration of a drug, the physical craving for narcotics is very much a matter of set and setting. Some individuals, when they find tolerance appearing, work out a method of spacing injections of heroin so that they never become really “hooked,” even though they use the drug regularly for years. (The number of such persons is unknown but may be greater than the number of hooked addicts; they often lead stable lives and may never come to the attention of groups concerned with narcotics.) Other people seem not to be able to handle the development of tolerance and quickly go on to experience strong physiological dependence. Similarly, withdrawal reactions from narcotics are strongly shaped by nonpharmacological factors. In a supportive setting with strong positive suggestion, a heroin addict can undergo comfortable withdrawal with no medication other than aspirin.

Narcotics do not affect the primary reception of pain or other sensory stimuli; rather, they alter secondary perception. A person in pain, given morphine, might say, “The pain is still there, but it doesn’t bother me.” In other words, the pain is perceived through an altered state of consciousness. Pharmacological research on narcotics has been unproductive. In the first place, no real success has been achieved in separating the analgesic and addicting properties of this class of compounds. Secondly, the metabolic changes accompanying narcotics dependence are beyond our present understanding; even if they were understood, there is no reason to think our difficulties with addiction would be any fewer. Thirdly, no purely pharmacological method of controlling addiction has come along.

The problems associated with heroin (death from overdose; hepatitis; crime; mental and physical deterioration) appear to have no causal relationship to the pharmacological action of the drug. Rather, they correlate better with features of the social context in which heroin exists in our country. In fact, the discrepancy between pharmacology and experience is best illustrated by phenomena accompanying dependence on drugs of this class.


Drugs that stimulate the central and sympathetic nervous systems include the amphetamines (a chemical class), several drugs that are chemically but not pharmacologically distinct from the amphetamines (like methylphenidate-Ritalin; and phemnetrazine-Preludin) , and cocaine. These drugs cause the release of norepinephrine from adrenergic nerve endings. Tolerance to them develops very quickly, but withdrawal from them, although sometimes a psychological ordeal, has few physiological accompaniments in contrast to withdrawal from sedative-hypnotics or narcotics.

Little is known about the neurological consequences of chronic, heavy use of amphetamines. Speed freaks who take enormous doses of amphetamines intravenously develop a paranoid psychosis that looks suspiciously organic and may be correlated with depletion of the body’s stores of norepinepbrine. (It may just as well be correlated with the prolonged wakefulness induced by these drugs.) To date, there is no firm evidence of actual neurological deterioration resulting from any of these drugs, including cocaine. Although low doses do not change eating behavior in most people (contrary to the claims of pharmaceutical-industry advertising), very high doses do shut off the hypothalamic hunger center and can result in severe malnutrition. The high incidence of hepatitis among amphetamine users has led to speculation that the drug may be directly toxic to liver cells. (If this hepatitis is, indeed, chemical, it may also be due to a common contaminant of black-market methadrine.)

Until recently, amphetamine dependence was considered less serious than narcotic dependence, because it was “Iess physiological.” In fact, however, amphetamine dependence is more serious, because it is inherently less stable. When a person begins to use a tolerance-producing drug, he must soon face the problem of trying to stabilize his use in order to keep his life from being disrupted. More than any other class of drugs, the amphetamines foil a user’s attempt to reach equilibrium with his habit, because they induce such powerful and unrelenting tolerance. Consequently, users develop erratic patterns of use, such as “spree shooting” and alternation with barbiturates and, eventually, with heroin. The high correlation of amphetamine use with impulsive and violent behavior is consistent with this pharmacological instability.

Abusive oral use of diet pills may be associated with serious psychological problems but is not accompanied by the physical changes associated with intravenous use.


Hallucinogens stimulate the central and sympathetic nervous systems (some are simple derivatives of amphetamine) but, in addition, induce perceptual changes and the kinds of mental states associated with trance, mystic rapture, and psychosis. Except for the visual hallucinations (in particular, the everchanging, geometric patterns seen on surfaces), most of these effects are common in altered states of consciousness unrelated to drugs. The hallucinogens differ from one another only in duration of action and in relative prominence of stimulant versus psychic effects. Pharmacological research tells us little more about them than about the amphetamines; it offers no satisfactory explanation for the effects of hallucinogens on consciousness. No one takes these drugs frequently enough to get into pharmacological trouble with them. (Tolerance is so rapid that regular consumption is impractical; you can’t stay high on LSD for too long at one stretch.) Therefore, the pharmacological body of data is quite irrelevant to our understanding of the difficulties people get into with hallucinogens. Also, there is no indication that use of these drugs is associated with physical damage of any kind, in either short- or long-term use.

Most bad trips on hallucinogens are nonpharmacological panic reactions. Others are nonspecific toxic psychoses-overdose reactions that disappear when the drug wears off.


Marijuana differs from the hallucinogens in two ways: It does not cause hallucinations, and it is not a stimulant. In fact, marijuana has virtually no significant pharmacological actions, which probably accounts for its popularity. It provides a high with minimal physiological accompaniment, so that people who are anxious about it can easily pretend to themselves that they have done nothing to their bodies or minds. For the same reason, it is useless to study marijuana in the pharmacological laboratory, because there is no physiological handle on the phenomenon under consideration.

Except for the possibility of lung disease related to chronic inhalation of the drug, there is no evidence that marijuana is physically harmful in short- or long-term usage. No other drug is like marijuana in having so few physiological effects. For this reason, it seems wise to think of marijuana as a class unto itself, no more closely related to the hallucinogens than to the sedative hypnotics. Its unique chemical structure is consistent with this idea.


Persons who enjoy the altered state of consciousness called delirium (actually, a nonspecific response of the brain to a toxin) will occasionally induce it by inhaling volatile solvents and petroleum distillates such as glue. Repeated use of defiriants appears to be correlated with structural damage to the central nervous system. In addition, petroleum distillates are frequently toxic to the liver, especially when taken with alcohol. Delirium is characterized by confusion, disorientation, and hallucination; it is sometimes called “acute brain syndrome” or “toxic psychosis,” and it can also occur in response to overdoses of any of the classes of drugs mentioned above, including marijuana.

General anesthesia is an altered state of consciousness induced by a heterogenous class of chemicals, some of which (ether and nitrous oxide) are occasionally taken for nonmedical purposes. It is instructive to reflect that no satisfactory theory has been proposed thus far to explain general anesthesia in pbarmacological or neurophysiological terms, even though millions of persons have been put into this state under close observation. Because the psychic phenomena of general anesthesia can be reproduced nonchemically (by hypnosis, for example), it is tempting to speculate that this altered state of consciousness, too, would be better understood from the point of view of subjective experience rather than from the point of view of objective pharmacology.

Drug users who are deprived of their usual drugs sometimes resort to special substances like nutmeg and morning-glory seeds to get high. Many natural products of very diverse pharmacology have been so employed, and it seems likely that set and setting determine whether they produce pleasant altered states of consciousness, sickness, or, indeed, no effects at all.



The general thesis of this paper is that drug experience can be understood only if it is viewed as an altered state of consciousness rather than as a pharmacological event. A subthesis is that this approach will make it possible for society to reduce significantly the problems now associated with the use of psychoactive drugs.

All of us experience occasional states of consciousness different from our ordinary waking state. Obviously, sleep is such a state. Less obviously, perhaps, are daydreaming and movie watching unusual modes of awareness. Other distinct varieties of conscious states are trance, hypnosis, psychosis, general anesthesia, delirium, meditation, and mystic rapture. In our country, until recently, there has been no serious investigation of altered states of consciousness as such, because most Western scientists who study the mind regard consciousness as annoyingly nonmaterial and, therefore, inaccessible to direct investigation. Their research has focused on the objective correlates of consciousness instead of on consciousness itself. In the East, on the other hand, where nonmateriality is not seen as a bar to direct investigation, much thought has been devoted to altered states of consciousness, and a science of consciousness based on subjective experience has developed.

It would make sense to study all forms of nonordinary consciousness together, because they seem to have much in common. For example, trance, whether spontaneous or induced by a hypnotist, is in many ways simply an extension of the daydreaming state in which a person’s awareness is focused and directed inward rather than outward. Except for its voluntary and purposeful nature, meditation is not easily distinguishable from trance. Zen masters warn their meditating students to ignore makyo-sensory distortions that often take the form of visions seen by mystics in rapturous states or hallucinations similar to those of schizophrenics. And, curiously, the state of being high on drugs shares many characteristics with these other forms of altered consciousness, regardless of what drug induces the high.

It is my contention that the desire to alter consciousness is an innate psychological drive arising out of the neurological structure of the human brain. Strong evidence for this idea comes from observations of very young children, who regularly use techniques of consciousness alteration on themselves and one another when they think no adults are watching them. These methods include whirling until vertigo and collapse ensue, hyperventilating and then having another child squeeze one’s chest to produce unconsciousness, and being choked around the neck to cause fainting. Such practices appear to be universal, irrespective of culture, and present at ages when social conditioning is unlikely to be an important influence (for example, in two- and three-year-olds). Psychiatrists have paid little attention to these common activities of children. Freud, who did note them, called them “sexual equivalents”-which they may be, although that formulation is not very useful for our purposes.

As children grow older, they soon learn that experiences of the same sort may be had chemically-for instance, by inhaling the fumes of volatile solvents found around the house. General anesthesia is another chemically induced altered state of consciousness that many children are exposed to in their early years. (The current drug-using generation was extensively tonsillectomized, by the way.) Until a few years ago, most children in our society who wanted to continue indulging in these states were content to use alcohol, the one intoxicant we make available legally. (Incidentally, there are some good reasons that alcohol may not be a wise choice for sole legal intoxicant-apart from its devastating medical effects.) Now, large numbers of young people are seeking chemical alterations of consciousness through a variety of illegal and medically disapproved drugs. It is possible to see this change as primarily a reaction to other social upheavals-and, certainly, much has been written about the social causes of drug use. It may be more useful, however, to consider what many drug users themselves say: They choose illegal drugs over alcohol in order to get better highs. There is no question that social factors influence the forms of drug use in a society, or that changes in patterns of use of intoxicants go along with major cultural upheavals, but we must remember that every culture throughout history has made use of chemicals to alter consciousness.* Instead of looking for explanations of drug taking in a foreign war or in domestic tension, therefore, perhaps we should pay more careful attention to how we allow people to satisfy chemically their innate drive to experience other states of awareness.

Most societies, like our own, are uncomfortable about having people go off into trances, mystic raptures, and hallucinatory intoxications. Indeed, the reason we have laws against possession of drugs in the first place is to discourage people from getting high. But innate, neuropsychological drives cannot be banned by legislation. They will be satisfied at any cost. And the cost in our country is very great, for, by trying to deny young people these important experiences, we maximize the probability that they will obtain them in negative ways-that is, in ways harmful to themselves and to society.

Why are altered states of consciousness important? Primarily because they seem to be doorways to the next stages of evolutionary development of the human nervous system. We commonly assume that a major division of our nervous system (the autonomic system) is involuntary-beyond our conscious control -and that this leaves us open to many kinds of illnesses we can do nothing about (for example, cardiovascular diseases). Yet, hypnotized subjects often show an astonishing degree of autonomic control, to the extent of developing authentic blisters when touched with cold objects represented to them as being red hot. And Yogis frequently demonstrate voluntary control of heart action and blood flow that astonishes physicians; they themselves ascribe their successes to regular periods of meditative effort, asserting that there is no limit to what consciousness can effect through the “involuntary” nervous system. In addition, creative genius has long been observed to correlate well with psychosis, and much of the world’s highest religious and philosophic thought has come out of altered states of consciousness.

At the very least, altered states of consciousness appear to have potential for strongly positive psychic development. Most Americans do not get the chance to exploit this potential, because their society gives them no support. The prevailing attitude toward psychosis is representative. We define this experience as a disease, compel people who have it to adopt the role of sick, disabled patients, and then ply them with special kinds of sedatives that we call “antipsychotic agents” but that simply make it hard for them to think and to express their altered state of consciousness in ways disturbing to the staffs of psychiatric hospitals. The individual learns from early childhood to be guilty about, or afraid of, episodes of nonordinary awareness and is forced to pursue antisocial behavior patterns if he wants to continue having such episodes. Negative drug taking has become a popular form of this kind of behavior.

I implied earlier that alcohol may not fulfill the need for alteration of consciousness as well as other drugs. Like all psychoactive drugs, it does induce a high with positive potential. (A vast body of prose, poetry, and song from all ages testifies to this “good side” of alcohol.) The trouble, however, is that an alcohol high is difficult to control; in drinking, one slips easily into the dose range where the effects become unpleasant (nausea, dizziness, uncoordination) and interfere with mental activity. Marijuana, on the other hand, maintains a “useful” high over an extremely wide dose range and allows a remarkable degree of control over the experience. But, as with other drugs, set and setting determine the effects of marijuana by interacting with the drug’s pharmacological action. Unfortunately, current social factors create strongly negative sets and settings, thus increasing the likelihood that users will be drawn into the negative side of consciousness alteration instead of being encouraged to explore its positive potential.

By focusing our attention on drugs rather than on the states of consciousness people seek in them, we develop notions that lead to unwise behavior. Users who think that highs come from joints and pills rather than from their own nervous systems get into trouble when the joints and pills no longer work so well (a universal experience among regular consumers of all drugs) : Their drug use becomes increasingly neurotic-more and more frequent and compulsive with less and less reward. In fact, this misconception is the initial step in the development of drug dependence, regardless of whether the drug is marijuana or heroin, whether it produces physiological dependence or not. And dependence cannot be broken until the misconception is straightened out, even though the physiological need is terminated. (Hence the failure of methadone to cure addicts of being addicts.) By contrast, a user who realizes that he has been using the drug merely as a trigger or excuse for having an experience that is a natural and potentially valuable element of human consciousness comes to see that the drugged state is not exactly synonymous with the experience he wants. He begins to look for ways to isolate the desired aspect of the chemically induced state and often finds that some form of meditation will satisfy his desire to get high more effectively. One sees a great many experienced drug takers give up drugs for meditation, but one does not see any meditators give up meditation for drugs. This observation has led some drug educators to hope that young people can be encouraged to abandon drugs in favor of systems like the transcendental meditation of Maharishi Mahesh.

Society labors under the same delusions as dependent users. It thinks that problems come from drugs rather than from people. Therefore, it tries to stop people from using drugs or to make drugs disappear rather than to educate people about the “right” use of drugs. No drug is inherently good or evil; all have potential for positive use, as much as for negative use. The point is not to deny people the experience of chemically altered consciousness but to show them how to have it in forms that are not harmful to themselves or to society. And the way to do that is to recognize the simple truth that the experience comes from the mind, not from the drug. (Once you have learned from a drug what being high really is, you can begin to reproduce such state without the drug; all persons who accomplish this feat testify that the nonpharmacological high is superior.) Ironically, society’s efforts to stop drug abuse are the very factors causing drug abuse. There really is no Drug Problem at all, rather a Drug-Problem Problem. And it will continue growing until we admit that drugs have a positive potential that can be realized.

Many non-Western societies have experimented with this alternative. The primitive Indian tribes of the Amazon basin, for example, make free use of drugs but have no problems of abuse. That is, although these groups use a multitude of hallucinogenic barks seeds, and leaves, no one takes the drugs to express hostility toward society, to drop out of the social process, to rebel against his parents or teachers, or to hurt himself. These Indians admit that their world contains substances that alter consciousness; they do not try to make them go away or to prevent theiruse. They accept the fact that people, especially children, seekout altered states of consciousness. And, rather than attempt to deny their children experiences they know to be important, they allow them to have them under the guidance of experts in such matters, usually the tribal shamans. Recognizing that drugs have potential for harm, the shaman surrounds their use with ritual and conveys the rationale of this ritual to his charges. Furthermore, the states of consciousness induced by drugs in these remote areas are used for positive ends, and are not just lapsed into out of boredom or frustration. Some drugs are used only by shamans, for communing with the spirit world or for diagnosing illness; others are used by adolescents in coming-of-age rites; still others are consumed by the whole tribe as recreational intoxicants on special occasions.

I am not suggesting that we return to a primitive life in the jungle, but I do think we have much to learn from these Amazonian peoples. One reason we are so locked into wrong ways of thinking about drugs is that no one can see a goal worth working for, only problems to work against. The Indian model is an ideal -not something to be substituted overnight for our present situation, but something to be kept in mind as the direction to move toward. Let me list the three chief features of this ideal system as proposals for our own society:

1. Recognition of the importance of altered states of consciousness and the existence of a normal drive to experience them. There is a considerable lack of enlightenment in scientific circles concerning the nature of consciousness, in both its ordinary and its nonordinary forms, and there would doubtless be resistance from the professional community to these propositions. But, because consciousness is, above all, a matter of inner experience, most laymen are quite willing to accept these ideas. Many adults have simply forgotten their childhood experiences with altered states of consciousness and recall them vividly as soon as they try to. Therefore, I think the possibilities for re-education are good.

As thinking about drugs moves in this direction, society will become less and less inclined to try to frustrate the human need for periods of altered awareness, so that the role of the criminal law in this area should diminish. At the same time ‘ there may be a culmination of the present efforts of younger scientists to bring the study of altered states of consciousness into the “respectable” disciplines and institutions. A very great body of information exists on these states; it simply needs collecting and arranging, so that we can begin to correlate it with what we know objectively about the nervous system.

2. Provision for the experience of altered states of consciousness in growing children. Rather than drive children to seek out these states surreptitiously, we must aim to do as the Indians do: let children learn by experience under the watchful guidance of an elder. “Drug education” in the United States means thinly disguised attempts to scare children away from drugs. True education would let those who wanted to explore consciousness do so without guilt and with adult support and supervision. Such explorations should include drug experience, because drugs are legitimate tools for altering awareness. Because they have a potential for negative use, they cannot be used wantonly but must be used in certain prescribed ways, at certain times, and for certain purposes. Thus, we must develop a “ritual” for drug experience analogous to the Indian tribal rituals. We will also need analogs of the shamans-persons who, by virtue of their own experience with altered states of consciousness, are qualified to supervise the education of the young.

3. Incorporation of the experience into society for positive ends. It is not enough that we come to tolerate alterations of consciousness. We must put them to use for the good of individuals and society. We have come to think of drug experience as an escape from reality; but, if it is so in our society, we have made it so. People who can openly and purposefully spend time away from ordinary consciousness seem superior when they function in ordinary consciousness. They are healthier, both physically and mentally; they lead more productive lives; and they can become numerous enough to constitute a great natural resource in any society. In addition, they may be utilizing their nervous systems to their fullest potentials goal most of us are far from reaching.

To these three aims, I would add a fourth, not derived from the Indian pattern:

4. Encouragement of individuals to satisfy their needs for altered consciousness by means that do not require external tools. Any tools used to alter consciousness-not just drugs-tend to cause dependence, because they delude people into believing that the experience comes from them rather than involuntarily from within the mind. To guard against this tendency, therefore, we must educate people and not try to do away with the tools. Our goal should be to train people to live safely in a world where there are things with potential for both harm and good, to show them that inimical forces can be changed into friendly ones. To do this, we should not try to shield young people from things that may harm them; they must learn by experience. Perhaps it is possible to convince adolescents that meditation is better than drugs as an approach to altered consciousness, but they will not believe it unless they have been through drug experience and seen its limitations for themselves.

I will conclude by affirming my belief that this system is a real possibility and not a hopeless, unattainable ideal. As such, it is well worth working toward. The first step need be nothing more than to stop what we are now doing to prevent us from reaching the goal. And that is nearly everything we are doing in the name of combating drug abuse.

by Prabhath P
From quantum physics to telepathy, psycho kinesis and dream states, meditation is finally expanding its horizons to match the evolving consciousness. The question is, will the seeds of this integration fructify into awareness?
Unlike the instant high of drugs, meditation integrates the consciousness

Even the sacramental might not be the final level since the continuum of consciousness could stretch
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An altered state of consciousness is any state that differs significantly from baseline or normal waking consciousness. This waking consciousness is a fragmented stream while deep altered consciousness is characterized by wholeness and unity. An intense altered state can be induced through years of meditative practice or, sometimes, by ingesting chemical substances.

All of us have experienced altered consciousness at some time in our lives. In normal life, one may slide into mild altered states while daydreaming, being absorbed in a television programmed, listening to music or, sometimes, through euphoric lovemaking.

A growing number of people are now experiencing a variety of non-ordinary states of consciousness. These include near-death experiences, past-life memories, out-of-body travel, intuitive knowledge, telepathy and clairvoyance. It is not outer space but the inner space, which is now the final frontier for exploration.

Variety of Altered States

Altered states can vary, dreaming being a common one. An interesting variation is lucid dreaming in which the dreamer becomes aware and is able to consciously direct the dream.

Hypnotic trance is also a well-known altered state. Trance varies in intensity from light trance to deep somnambulism. Even a surgery can be performed under deep hypnotic trance. This can be induced by any visual, auditory or kinesthetic trigger, which focuses attention. Hypnosis also helps a person recall unconscious memories. But deep trance is different from meditation since it involves a loss of memory of the period of trance.

It is believed that in out-of-body travel, the individual explores non-physical realms in what New Agars call the enteric body. In near-death experiences, those who return from the brink of death describe an extraordinary awareness in which they seem to pass through a dark tunnel towards a blinding light. They also claim to experience a rapid review of their own lives in the form of images streaming past. Many sportspersons also acknowledge being in a state called the ‘zone’ where they move effortlessly in flow.

Extrasensory phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, intuition and channeling are also supposed to be honed in altered states of awareness. Today, a host of traditional and new techniques are available to induce altered states. Meditation, yoga, tantra, drumming, chanting, ecstatic dance, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, biofeedback, mind-music, electronic brain machines and chemicals among others are in use.

Altered states of consciousness captured attention with the emergence of the counter culture in America during the 1960s. The Flower Children introduced psychedelics in the form of LSD that could induce the same effects as a shaman’s magical brew. The sense of being on a voyage into other dimensions, of ‘tripping’, is the essence of a classic psychedelic experience. Users report a psychopharmacological virtual reality similar to the traditional mystical experience where they experience timelessness, non-linear or non-verbal communication and connectedness. The latest addition to this is techno shamanism that uses technological devices to trigger altered states.

The meditative awareness of enlightenment that encompasses all states of consciousness could be considered the ultimate altered state. But there is a crucial difference between meditation and the instant high of drugs. Meditation, in spite of difficult transition periods, helps to integrate the expanded consciousness with everyday life and enhances overall well-being.

The Spiritual Perspective

Ancient spiritual traditions see the universe as the manifestation of an infinite consciousness, which the Hindus call Brahman or Satchidananda, Buddhists the Void, Taoists the Tao, and the Kabalists the Great Unman fest. All mystical traditions have cartographies of various levels of consciousness in their spiritual journey.

The Hindu tradition offers diverse explanations of altered and transpersonal consciousness. The tantrum concept of seven centers of psychic energy or chakras and the cosmic energy of kundalini delineates the characteristics of the types of consciousness that

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