Tag: Trippin Tuesday

Trippin Tuesday: Inside LSD (Updated)

from Erowid image vaults

Just wanted to give a heads up that National Geographic’s Explorer series will be premiering, Inside LSD, tonight (Tuesday 11/3) @ 7 PM and 10 PM; also showing on Sat Nov 7 at 4PM and Tues Nov 10 at 3 PM (TV Schedule).

review from NY Times

…as the 40th anniversary of Woodstock fades in the rearview mirror, the National Geographic Channel is giving LSD a second chance, as it were. On Tuesday night in its Explorer series, INSIDE LSD talks to scientists and therapists who are examining the narcotic (sic) anew, trying to learn specifically how it works in the brain and whether it might have uses that Jerry Garcia never envisioned. The program, as its narrator, Peter Coyote, says, is an attempt to separate the myth from the molecule.

One segment explores the possibility that some form of LSD could help sufferers of cluster headaches, and its footage of one such sufferer in the throes of an attack leaves you wishing the poor fellow relief no matter where it might come from. In another part of the program, a woman with terminal cancer talks about how an LSD trip helped her break free of the anxiety about death that was consuming her final months.

(note: I put “sic” after narcotic because LSD is not usually classified as such, medically or legally.)

Toad Dharmacology

Round about the cauldron go;

In the poison’d entrails throw.

Toad, that under cold stone

Days and nights has thirty-one

Swelter’d venom sleeping got,

Be thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

— Macbeth, Act 4, Scene I

Trippin’ at the Movies

These are my favorite trippy flicks.  Either because they are about altered states of consciousness, or because I enjoyed them while tripping, or both.  For me an LSD or shroom session usually lasts 8-12 hours between ingestion and returning to ‘normal’ baseline.  After about 6 or 7 hours I get to a point where even though I’m mentally tired, there is no chance of going to sleep.  This comedown time is also when I tend to start churning through uncomfortable psychic stuff and it helps to have a distraction.  A nice way to get through this transition is to watch a movie.  For the most part these should be colorful, upbeat and not too deep. Animation, documentaries and SciFi/fantasy are usually my favorite.  In my heightened emotional state I get lost in the story and have an abundance of empathy for the characters so anything too weird or heavy can be a bummer.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
It was December 31, 2000.  We stayed home that New Year’s Eve and celebrated with some L.  The local Public TV station was showing Kubrick’s 2001.  I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen this movie, but it was completely new and different in my altered state.  The special effects were amazing given that it was released in 1968.  I imagined that Kubrick made this movie with tripping people in mind.  The final scene, where the guy ages and dies blew me away.  I started having my own ‘god realizations’ at that point and felt like I was dying too.  It was very intense but I wasn’t scared at all. That was probably one of my top experiences ever and for my husband also.  It wasn’t just the movie that triggered it.  It took about three or four months to come down – that was my Kundalini phase. 

Cognitive Liberty

Of all the freedoms you have to lose, none is more fundamental than the freedom of thought. 

MAPS: Psychedelics and Self-Discovery

Artist: Michael Brown

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifed LSD and other psychedelics as Schedule I (no medical use) and effectively prohibited psychedelic research by scientists and mental health professionals in the US.   Now, more than 30 years later, it is still exceedingly difficult to get funding, support, or approval for this kind of research.  The very few studies that are going on today are in some part sponsored or supported by MAPS – the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Drugs.  “[Their] mission is to sponsor scientific research designed to develop psychedelics and marijuana into FDA-approved prescription medicines, and to educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of these drugs.” 

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Artist: Nisvan

Since Buddhism has been a topic of discussion here lately (On Religion and Buddhism at Docudharma), I thought I would weigh in from another perspective and talk a little about my experiences with Buddhism and the spiritual realm. 

The title of this essay comes from a book of the same name1 which discusses the role that mind-altering drugs play in spiritual practice.  The book is a collection of essays written by western Buddhist teachers and religious scholars such as Jack Kornfield, Allan Hunt Badiner, Lama Surya Das, Huston Smith and Stephen Batchelor.  They all relate personal anecdotes of how psychedelics opened the doors to higher consciousness. 

From the Foreword:

It is undeniable that a significant proportion of those drawn to Buddhism and other Eastern traditions in the 1960s (including the present writer) were influenced in their choice of religious orientation by experiences induced by psychoactive substances such as marijuana and LSD.  Despite the fact that experimentation with such drugs was illegal, potentially dangerous, and unmonitored, the startling shift in consciousness it occasionally provoked was considered to be worth the risks involved.  Now, thirty years later, many of these Buddhists are priests, meditation teachers, therapists, college professors, and writers: respected members of the very society against which they rebelled in their youth.  Yet although they often eschew the use of psychedelics themselves and warn others of the dangers of abuse, few would deny the role of these substances in opening their eyes to a life of spiritual and religious meaning.

Burning Man & Community

(Photos by A. Chandler Moisen, except where indicated.  Click the pics to enlarge)

Impressions of the Burning Man

The Burning Man was eighty feet high
Atop a temple of Moorish lace
Confections of stars and midnight suns
All on a lake bed flat and sere, already
Old when primates first appeared.
Fire dancers whirled as the stars chirped
Hosannas to the primal rite.
Nothing is lost, but all is gained,
Extravagance is the law of the land.
Open now, as the clouds pass by,
Fire is water, and water itself
Soars into the stratosphere.
High art falls into the dust,
No one complains, and all rejoice.
Surreal it is, and yet romantic,
Bacchus himself rides on the wind,
And here it is that once a year
Artists bring about the birth
Of Shiva’s endless pillar of fire.

~ Gawaine Caldwater Ross


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