Robert Forte, The Softer Side of CIA Psychedelic Mind Control |407|

#41
My reason for saying that you can maintain ego when dead is based on studying after death communications (and experiencing one such very convincing one myself). The ADCs are definitely coming from distinct entities with distinct personalities, intent, etc. Hence, ego is maintained. There is a huge body of literature on ADCs.
Agreed. Post death is not an ultimate state. We retain who we were for some 'time' because what we think of as ego is a cluster of psychological processes in action - and they are not negated by death of the physical body.

Supposedly ego is refined through experience on this or the metaphysical level of our reality until it has attained a harmony with deeper truths. That is unless you consider the ego to be the persona we create while we are incarnate in the physical body - in which case it ceases to be relevant when being in the physical body ceases to be relevant. But a sense of self remains - with a different sense of context.
 
#42
I agree, but I'd replace the word 'socialists' with fanatics. I don't think the 'Left' stand for the same things as they used to do. They stand for fanatical, contrived positions on gender change, feminism, climate change, immigration, human rights, and incredibly Clinton is a warmonger. I don't know how they got like that, which is why I wondered if they might have been covertly fed a low dose of a psychedelic!

David
I used to consistently vote Democrat. I voted for Obama his first term. Then they lost me with all the racism (accusatory finger pointing white people this and that). I eschew racism and identity politics.

I don't think they were given a psychedelic.....maybe some kind of amphetamine or that zombie powder that is used in Haitian voodoo practices.
 
#43
Agreed. Post death is not an ultimate state. We retain who we were for some 'time' because what we think of as ego is a cluster of psychological processes in action - and they are not negated by death of the physical body.

Supposedly ego is refined through experience on this or the metaphysical level of our reality until it has attained a harmony with deeper truths. That is unless you consider the ego to be the persona we create while we are incarnate in the physical body - in which case it ceases to be relevant when being in the physical body ceases to be relevant. But a sense of self remains - with a different sense of context.
I agree, but I think it is slightly more complex.

Having a physical body enhances the need for - and strength of - an ego. However, one comes into the physical realm to experience a body because one has an ego. There's a feedback loop.

Totally agree about what you say about the ego needing to come into harmony with higher powers and realities.

Someone up thread questioned why you would want to have no ego and suggested that, sans ego, you would cease to exist. I think that is true, but not a problem once ego and higher powers are aligned. A perfect player in the orchestra is distinct and yet is not distinct. If you want to fight the conductor and play to the beat of your own drummer, have at it. We're all doing that right now. You can do it indefinitely, I think. But one day you'll become weary and you'll return to the orchestra like the prodigal son. And you'll be able to introduce your own unique sound to the power and glory of the music, to some extent.

Psychedelics, for me, remind me of the goal and keep me on the path. They show me where I have faltered and caused my ego to get off track as opposed to come into harmony. I have had experiences where I want to go higher, but cannot due to spiritual force loss through clogs in my ego/source harmonics. I think this is related to "healings" (the cause of some illnesses). Psychedelics have long been involved in healing rituals. Work on the ego imbalance and the natural higher powers flow their energies through the system and heal.

This is all different from the Buddhist that decides to sit in a cave chanting OM for the rest of his life trying to escape off the wheel. Psychedelic spirituality involves active participation in life with occasional spiritual "Vacations" for refreshment and reminder. That's how it works for me and people I know who have stayed with the practice into middle age and beyond.

Forte explains that there are several psychedelic movements. This is true. There are people, usually young people, that take these things so they can go to a rave and get lost in the music and light show. I think they tend to use low doses. That's whole different thing. There are people that want to use them in therapy sessions. That's weird to me, but I guess it works for others.
 
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#44
My reason for saying that you can maintain ego when dead is based on studying after death communications (and experiencing one such very convincing one myself). The ADCs are definitely coming from distinct entities with distinct personalities, intent, etc. Hence, ego is maintained. There is a huge body of literature on ADCs.
And yet you claim that those distinct entities are annihilated.

Your own experience is evidence against the oneness theory. You came back from your trip and retained your self. Without an individual self you couldn't have even experienced anything.

I'll admit that I have never taken psychedelics, and I may have wrong ideas about what it is like. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to ignore all the data that suggests personal survival after death just because some people have experiences of "oneness".

It does seem true that without individual selves, there can't be any values. If we are all fated to merge into an anonymous collective mass, then there is nothing to strive for, to hope to attain or to hope to avoid - nothing to value or disvalue. Then we're faced with the depressing and (almost literally) dispiriting conclusion that nothing means anything, and there are no values.
Now, a thing can be depressing and still be true - but if a given line of thought leads us to a nihilism, we ought to retrace our steps and make sure we haven't gone off track. Nihilism, after all, is a moral, intellectual, and spiritual dead end.
Michael Prescott's Blog - The simple life
 
#45
And yet you claim that those distinct entities are annihilated.

Your own experience is evidence against the oneness theory. You came back from your trip and retained your self. Without an individual self you couldn't have even experienced anything.

I'll admit that I have never taken psychedelics, and I may have wrong ideas about what it is like. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to ignore all the data that suggests personal survival after death just because some people have experiences of "oneness".




Michael Prescott's Blog - The simple life
Raimo,
You didn't read what I wrote very closely. I distinctly said that after death most people DO maintain a sense of individual self. I wrote that ADCs and my personal experience at a highly evidential séance have proved that for me.

I said that eventually souls would merge with the ONE, but I also caveated that this merging is like a musician playing in an orchestra. He is merged with the orchestra (if he is playing his instrument well) and yet somehow he is still an individual. This is also how my psychedelic experiences have been. One, yet not One.

Try to stop being so literal.
 
#47
I said that eventually souls would merge with the ONE, but I also caveated that this merging is like a musician playing in an orchestra. He is merged with the orchestra (if he is playing his instrument well) and yet somehow he is still an individual. This is also how my psychedelic experiences have been. One, yet not One.
Thanks for the clarification.

I'm repulsed by the idea of merging, whether it happens immediately after death, or at some later time. As a spiritual personalist, I find the whole idea of oneness anti-spiritual and suicidal.
 
#48
I am getting very bogged down by this long video.

1) So far it seems to be gossip about people, many of whose names are new to me.

2) How established is it that Timothy Leary was co-opted by the CIA? Also, what exactly does that mean - did he just give them the information he had learned from doing psychedelics, or did he help them design abusive studies?

IMHO this was inside baseball for hard core addicts.

Can anyone tell me where, if anywhere I should go in the video to find something more interesting?

David
he was recruited by the CIA. how do we know this? first of all, he tells us. secondly, follow the money. his grants at harvard came from cia. he was recruited while a grad student, before he got into psychedelics, to spy on americans. he devotes a chapter to this in his book The Intelligence Agents. at the end of wwii the oss spilt into three divisions: the institute of personality assessment and research at berkeley, the harvard psych dept, and the CIA.... sorry for the rambling nature of the interview. lots of levels to this subject...
 
#49
Thanks for the clarification.

I'm repulsed by the idea of merging, whether it happens immediately after death, or at some later time. As a spiritual personalist, I find the whole idea of oneness anti-spiritual and suicidal.
Well whether we like it or not, may not be relevant. Remember that a lot of people become very accepting of death as they get older, without expecting any afterlife.

David
 
#51
I find the talk about "The Fascists" to be stupid and annoying, yet typical hippy conspiracy theorist clap trap. It detracts from good points that Mr. Forte has to offer.
yeah, that was a little jarring, then again, not too far off. the JFK thing is hard to fully process. We now know conclusively that a small group within the gov (black hat CIA folks including Dulles and others) pulled off a coup d'etat. I'm sure you probably know most of the details, but most folks do not... so maybe a little jarring is necessary.
 
#52
I'm wondering what you think about the role of entheogens and spirituality?

Are entheogens giving us a glimpse of the divine or are they clouding our vision of it?
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/overlap-of-nde-features-with-drug-induced-states.3598/#post-105430


NDE's are not like drug trips.

Here is a typical NDE
http://www.near-death.com/science/experts/barbara-whitfield.html

As I left my body, I again went out into the darkness, only this time I was awake and could see it happening. Looking down and off to the right, I saw myself in a bubble -- in the circle bed -- crying. Then I looked up and to the left, and I saw my one-year-old self in another bubble -- face down in my crib -- crying just as hard. I looked to the right and saw myself again in the circle bed, then to the left and saw myself as a baby -- back and forth about three more times, then I let go. I decided I didn't want to be the thirty-two-year-old Barbara anymore; I'd go to the baby. As I moved away from my thirty-two-year-old body in the circle bed, I felt as though I released myself from this lifetime. As I did, I became aware of an energy that was wrapping itself around me and going through me, permeating me, holding up every molecule of my being.

It was not an old man with a long white beard. It took me a long time to use the word God. In fact, I never used any word until I saw the movie Star Wars and heard about The Force. By then, I was already reading quantum physics, trying to figure out how I could explain what had permeated me and was me . . . and you . . . and all of us. Now it was here, and it was holding me. It felt incredible. There are no words in English, or maybe in this reality, to explain the kind of love God emanates. God was totally accepting of everything we reviewed in my life. In every scene of my life review I could feel again what I had felt at various times in my life. And I could feel everything everyone else felt as a consequence of my actions. Some of it felt good and some of it felt awful. All of this translated into knowledge, and I learned -- oh, how I learned! The information was flowing at an incredible breakneck speed that probably would have burned me up if it weren't for the extraordinary energy holding me. The information came in, and then love neutralized my judgments against myself. In other words, as we relived my life, God never judged me. God held me and kept me together. I received all information about every scene -- my perceptions and feelings -- and anyone else's perceptions and feelings who were in the scene. No matter how I judged myself in each interaction, being held by God was the bigger interaction. God interjected love into everything, every feeling, every bit of information about absolutely everything that went on, so that everything was all right. There was no good and no bad. There was only me and my loved ones from this life trying to be, or just trying to survive.

I realize now that without this God force holding me, I wouldn't have had the strength to experience what I am explaining to you.

I -- we at this point, for we are one, a very sacred one -- God and I were merging into one sacred person. We went to the baby I was seeing to my upper left in the darkness. Picture the baby being in a bubble and that bubble in the center of a cloud of thousands and thousands of bubbles. In each bubble was another scene in my life. As we moved toward the baby, it was as though we were bobbing through the bubbles. At the same time there was a linear sequence in which we relived thirty-two years of my life. I could hear myself saying, No wonder, no wonder. I now believe my no wonders meant No wonder you are the way you are now. Look what was done to you when you were a little girl.

My mother had been dependent on drugs, angry, and abusive, and my father wasn't there much of the time and did little to intervene. I saw all this childhood trauma again, in my life review, but I didn't see it in little bits and pieces, the way I had remembered it as an adult. I saw and experienced it just as I had lived it at the time it first happened. Not only was I me, I was also my mother. And my dad. And my brother. We were all one. Just as I had felt everything my grandmother had felt, I now felt my mother's pain and neglect from her childhood. She wasn't trying to be mean. She didn't know how to be loving or kind. She didn't know how to love. She didn't understand what life is really all about. And she was still angry from her own childhood, angry because they were poor and because her father had grand mal seizures almost every day until he died when she was eleven. And then she was angry because he left her.

Everything came flooding back, including my father's helplessness at stopping the insanity. If my father was home when my mother exploded into one of her rages, he would close all the windows so the neighbors wouldn't hear, and then he would go outside and visit with them. Again I witnessed my brother's rage at my mother's abuse, and then his turning around and giving it to me. I saw how we were all connected in this dance that started with my mother. I saw how her physical body expressed her emotional pain. I watched as I grew up and left my parents' house when I was eighteen. By that point I had watched my mother undergo twenty-six operations, twenty-five of which were elective. I saw myself as a child praying for a doctor who could help my mother. One part of her body or another was always in pain. She had two spinal fusions on her neck, two or three on her lumbar spine. Both knees, both elbows and one wrist were operated on.

As my life review continued, I again experienced my mother starving herself because she was told she had gotten chubby. Then she had to have several surgeries for intestinal problems and constipation, and during those stays in the hospital they would tube feed her because she was so thin. She even had her toes shortened. They called it hammertoe surgery. The real reason was because she had a huge collection of high-heeled shoes that were size four and one-half. (She always insisted on wearing spike heels even with her bad back.) Her feet were growing (as all of ours do as we get older) but she wanted them to remain a size four and one-half. I watched myself with her in a bubble as her orthopedic surgeon said, Florence, you have two choices. Get shoes a half size bigger or shorten your toes! He was laughing, but she chose the surgery. She was in plaster casts for six weeks, taking even more painkillers and sleeping pills.

I also saw her go through psychiatric hospitalizations. During one of these, around 1955, I couldn't visit her for three weeks. I was about eleven and was sure I had done something wrong. In one bubble I could see myself finally being allowed to visit her. I looked big for my age and my five-foot-two-inch frame towered over her four-foot-eleven one. She weighed about eighty-eight pounds. I was chunky. She lived on black coffee, sedatives, painkillers and tranquilizers. I loved to eat.

In the bubble I was pleading with her to cooperate with the doctors so she could come home. She said, Oh, honey. This is like a job. I don't need to be in here, but Daddy has three (health insurance) policies so I make us money when I'm here. Blue Cross pays all the medical expenses, and we get to keep the rest from the other two policies. I could now feel her saying that and she meant it. She believed it. I continued watching and realized that nothing could have helped my mother because she had no real understanding about why she was there. I could hear myself saying, No wonder, no wonder. And then the benevolent energy that was holding me would hold me tighter and with even more love.

We continued watching my mother in pain, always seeing doctors and always receiving prescription pain killers, sleeping pills and tranquilizers. My only feelings during this time were ones of loneliness. I felt so alone when she was in the hospital. Then I watched her abuse me when she was home. I could now feel that she abused me because she hated herself. I saw myself down on my knees by the side of my bed, praying for a doctor to help my mother. What I didn't realize as a child, but was understanding in the life review, was that she didn't want anyone to help her. She thought her job in life was to have doctors and be a patient. And she enjoyed being taken care of in the hospital.

I saw how I had given up myself in order to survive. I forgot that I was a child. I became my mother's mother. I suddenly knew that my mother had had the same thing happen to her in her childhood. She took care of her father during his seizures, and as a child she gave herself up to take care of him. As children, she and I both became anything and everything others needed. As my life review continued, I also saw my mother's soul, how painful her life was, how lost she was. And I saw my father, and how he put blinders on himself to avoid his grief over my mother's pain and to survive. In my life review I saw they were good people caught in helplessness. I saw their beauty, their humanity and their needs that had gone unattended to in their own childhoods. I loved them and understood them. We may have been trapped, but we were still souls connected in our dance of life by an energy source that had created us.

This is when I first realized that we don't end at our skin. We are all in this big churning mass of consciousness. We are each a part of this consciousness we call God. And we're not just human. We are Spirit. We were Spirit before we came into this lifetime. We are all struggling Spirits now, trying to get being human right. And when we leave here, we will be pure Spirit again.

As my life review continued, I got married and had my own children and saw that I was on the edge of repeating the cycle of abuse and trauma that I had experienced as a child. I was on prescription drugs. I was in the hospital. I was becoming like my mother. And at the same time, this energy holding me let me into its experience of all this. I felt God's memories of these scenes through God's eyes just as I had through my grandmother's eyes. I could sense God's divine intelligence and it was astonishing. God loves us and wants us to learn and wake up to our real selves -- to what is important. I realized that God wants us to know that we only experience real pain if we die without living first. And the way to live is to give love to ourselves and to others. We are here to learn never to withhold our love. But only when we heal enough to be real can we understand and give love the way love was meant to be.

As my life unfolded before my eyes, I witnessed how severely I had treated myself because that was the behavior shown and taught to me as a child. I realized that the only big mistake I had made in my life of thirty-two years was that I had never learned to love myself.

And then I was back, but not in my body. I was behind the nurse's station. I saw a metal circle with pillows tossing behind glass. They were the pillows I had urinated on when I separated from my body. I was watching them in a dryer.

I heard two nurses talking about my case and about how my day nurse was so upset after she found me that they had sent her home early. Then they were saying that I was going to be in a body cast for six months, even though they had told me six weeks, because my doctors thought that I couldn't handle knowing. So they were not going to tell me the truth.

Then I was back in my body, back in the circle bed. The same two nurses came in to check on me and I said to them, I left the bed again.

No, honey. You're hallucinating, they said.

I was not on painkillers at this point, so I insisted, No, I'm not hallucinating [ii]. I left the bed.

No, you're hallucinating. You can't leave the bed, they said.

Please call my day nurse and tell her I'm okay, I responded. Tell her I'm not angry with her. I know she was sent home early. And don't lie to me by telling me I'm going to be in a body cast for six weeks. Tell me the truth. I know I'm going to be in a body cast for six months. And you should have washed those pillows before you put them in the dryer. I don't care for myself, but I care for the next patient.
Here is a drug trip.
https://ewwty.com/2012/02/24/dimethyltryptamine-dmt-experience/3/

My world began to morph as I experienced an intense rushing sensation. The closest thing I can relate the initial sensation to is one of those launch roller-coasters that begins with an extreme boost of speed (rather than getting pulled up a long incline). It was hard to maintain awareness of my presence; it was as though my body became just another object in the room, disconnected from my soul or ego. It was weird, but I couldn’t spend much time dwelling on this feeling as this rapidly progressed. There was too much other stuff going on.

In a single moment, every single visually-seperable item in the room had not only its own energy, but its own personality to go with it. Every object in my field of vision darted around, each distorting themselves in their own unique manner. Peering about, I realized that my friend’s apartment, the walls of which were laden with those trippy posters only stoners and base-heads buy, was a horrible place to do this drug. I looked at the monkey poster on the wall in front of me, dumbfounded by the vividness with which every detail became animated.



The top monkey holding the tap as brew gushed into the beer-bong, bopping his head in sync with the vibrations of his headphones, foam dripping everywhere. The middle monkey holding the beer bong with his left hand, spinning his right in a rhythmic manner, smiling in such a way that suggested his awareness of my disbelief. The bottom monkey taking the endless beer bong like a champ, the pupils of his bloodshot eyes spinning in opposite directions, the stars rotating around his head just like a cartoon.

But it wasn’t just a repetitive looping animation. Their actions were totally autonomous from my consciousness. At one point, the bottom monkey took the hose out of his mouth as if to hand it to me, causing beer to spill out – to the top monkey’s dismay, who angrily scolded the bottom monkey as he released the tap. Feeling as though the bottom half of my body was soaking wet with beer, I panicked. “NO MONKEY, I CAN’T TAKE THAT BEER BONG,” I either thought to myself or screamed out loud, “CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRIPPIN’ ****ING BALLS RIGHT NOW?!” My point being, this wasn’t just a vivid hallucination; think about what it means that I saw the monkey remove the hose from his mouth. Parts of the actual image that didn’t even exist were being shown to me, i.e. the part of the monkey’s mouth and face behind the hose, which was revealed to me when he tried offering it.

Like I mentioned above, I had a simple method of overcoming hallucinations while on acid; I would just focus harder on it and remind myself I’m on acid, and the hallucination would return to its true form. That didn’t work here. No matter how hard I tried focusing on these hallucinations, on the fact they couldn’t be real, they didn’t stop. I just noticed more about them. What’s more, they seemed to scoff at my attempts to deny them as anything other than real. The whole thing was akin to the moving paintings that are all around Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Not only did the posters become completely animated, but the ones with human, or human-like, subjects objectively acknowledged my presence. It was ****ing surreal, but nothing compared to what came next.

The imagery became dizzying. The rest of the room was moving in my peripheral vision with the same level of vividness as the monkeys. In anything woven, such as my jeans, the individual strains of fabric appeared to flow in and out of each other, as though my eyes were suddenly able to witness the elastic energy with which such fabrics keep their form. As this progressed, I became disturbed by separate hallucinations – that is, brighter, vibrant moving imagery formed separate from that which actually surrounded me. In other words, there were both hallucinations being formed from what I could really see, and hallucinations being formed from… Well, no where.

Deciphering what was real and not became impossible and made me uneasy. Regret toward having surrendered such control set in. Next thing I knew, the poster’s background engulfed the monkeys like a black hole, which immediately expanded into the entirety of my vision in a radial manner, forcing my eyes shut.



The inside of my eyelids have always been a safe-haven during other psychedelic trips. Not this one. Hexagonal patterns – seemingly formed from phosphenes (the illusion of light/color you see when you close your eyes and rub them) – somehow formed within the confines of this familiar blackness. They flowed and pulsated with the flux of a river of molten lava. It was, at first, quite similar to looking at an assortment of neon lights through a kaleidoscope, but with less rigid movements. There was a certain coherence to the whole experience. It seemed logical.

Rapid flashes of imagery overtook my consciousness, as though my life was flashing before my eyes. Faces and places… but it was more than just images. Intense emotions came and went with their respective images with the same intense frequency. While this was going on, I continued to feel as though I was being forced upward. I couldn’t help but feel the presence of someone – or something – else. Almost as though there was an intelligence to the patterns. Or something behind them.



It was all so foreign. What’s odd is my ego was still present – unimpaired. What I mean is, I didn’t feel intoxicated as I do whilst drunk. My reasoning ability was left untouched. I was still me, despite being thrust into what I could only rationally presume is the spirit world.

Before I knew it, the random flashes of imagery subsided to reveal a world taking shape. Depth was created in the blackness of my unopened eyes through the coordinated flow of vibrant, flashing, colorful hexagonal patterns. The floor discernible from the walls by differences in their patterns and direction of flow. Aware that my eyes were closed, I was stupefied by the structural complexity of what I was witnessing in the darkness of my head.

Then, they revealed themselves.

I must once again pause to note that the following is not exaggerated. It is what I actually saw. I’m not filling the voids of my recollection with imaginative details. I went into this experience with the intent of paying close attention to whatever happened. I don’t need made-up details, there was far more than I could have even absorbed.


Without warning, three glossy-black humanoid-like figures – lacking any skeletal structure – appeared. Their movements had a certain graceful yet mischievous flow. I don’t remember seeing where they came from, it was as though they folded themselves out of the patterns. I had never seen nor conceived of such beings before. But there they were. They were entirely made up of a what can only be described as a black, viscous, malleable liquid. So vivid in every detail. So incredibly real. Impossibly real. Looking at me. Smiling.

Having seen a lot of random imagery thus far, I initially discarded them as just another fleeting hallucination. I opened my eyes, expecting to see some other random hallucinations upon closing them again. Instead, they – and the world I had just witnessed come to fore – remained. In an instant, I forgot I put myself in this state. I was simply there, dealing with it. I didn’t have the capacity to consider maybe these were the “gods” Alec “partied with.” All that went out the window of thought. My astonishment was inescapable. As was my fear. Their movements were mischievous. It seemed choreographed. They laughed in a very specific manner. Not in an evil manner. They made no noise, however. At no point did they speak. At the time this frustrated and frightened me further. It hadn’t struck me yet that verbal language wasn’t their mode of communication.

This is the part that was, without question, the most scary experience of my life. I’m certain it’s the only time I experienced the emotion of terror. Pure terror.

I didn’t trust them. My first thought was that they were demons, which is why I was so scared. Had I found myself in their presence under different circumstances, I may have assumed they were aliens. They seemed to transcend the other hallucinogenic aspects of the drug. Acknowledging them as objective entities was foreign to my belief system, and something I struggled against – without success. Denying them as real, intelligent, discarnate entities would have been as possible as denying the existence of the laptop with which I’m writing this. They were there. And they sure as hell knew a lot more about what was going on than I did.

Despite their odd makeup, I couldn’t shake a feeling of familiarity. Only in their faces and hands, and in some ways, their movements. The rest of them was alien. This only worked to scare me more, as my ego darted through the implications of this familiarity. I remember feeling as though they were absorbing my thoughts and experiences. Like they knew me better than anyone from the real world ever could. I felt they were laughing at my imaginative attempts to figure out what or who they are. They don’t make sense in the context of our reality. Even before they appeared, I feared I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be. Out loud, I sought answers. “Umm, ahh. What the ****ing…? Who…? are… is…? What are you guys? No… ****ing… way… is this happening.”

They approached, dancing along the way. Tribal. Ritualistic. Those were the first two adjectives that popped in my head upon witnessing their movements. Everything about them was so fundamentally different from the other effects of the drug. The hexagonal patterns were just that; patterns. They were predictable.

They came up to my face and started to pull at me; much in the same way a child does when they want you to come play. Masters of non-verbal communication, I knew this was what they wanted before they started being so explicit about it. I tensed up, trying to deny them my acknowledgement of their existence. I could open my eyes, but when I did I still saw them. It was like when you look at an image on a computer screen before shutting your eyes and seeing the imprint it leaves, only the other way around. When I opened my eyes, their figures remained imprinted in my opened-eye vision. Disturbed by my inability to escape them, I freaked out.

“Oh God. Oh God. Oh God!” I exclaimed. Curious, considering my agnostic nature. Every muscle in my body tensed up, resisting them.

I could hear a voice. A real one. It was Alec.

“James, it’s okay. Let them take you. They’re cool.”

He knew what I was experiencing.

Instantly every muscle in my body relaxed as I let go of the physical strain with which I resisted them. When I closed my eyes again, they were directly upon me. At my feet. In my face. They looked as though their bodies were entirely made up of a simple thick, amorphous blob, which they could manipulate in any manner they pleased. This is an ancient pop-culture reference, but if you remember that Nickelodeon show from the 90***8242;s called “The Secret World of Alex Mac,” it was like a thicker, black version of the liquid Alex Mac would turn into.

The extraordinary nature of this closed-eye hallucination was such that if my eyes peered left, I saw whatever was to my left (within the context of the close-eyed hallucination). If I wanted to see what was to the right of me, I would peer to the right. Everything about it came across as an objective world that exists regardless of my presence, as opposed to a hallucination that exists solely within my subjective perception.

Upon releasing all physical strain, I somehow managed to dispose of my fear. Not out of bravery, but curiosity. “Whatever these beings are, they’re not going away,” I thought, “But… What the hell are they?” I focused harder on them.

No longer intoxicated by fear, I could more clearly process what was going on. I was astonished to find that they were taking me, or my soul, into the light. Yes, the light. The one dying people talk of. Only it wasn’t actually a light, more like a portal, but somehow I knew what it was. I remember feeling that I should be scared, that maybe they’re gonna leave me up there. However, evaluating my surroundings in the most rational manner possible seemed like a better option than freaking out again. I figured if I was indeed dying, this would be my only chance to witness death. I focused on breathing, reminding myself that the familiar sensation created by doing so indicates my well-being.

Once we arrived, their hands were feeling my face and my body. I only remember one with detail, a female figure. Eerily similar to the greek god Medusa. Only upon closer inspection, her hair was comprised of tentacles (that she could control) rather than snakes. The other beings were of the same make-up, but for some reason, were less interesting to me. In addition to her hair, she had what appeared to be retractable tentacles protruding from the sides of her torso, which joined the hands in their physical inspection of me. The scariest part was I could feel them. I could feel them caressing my face and body. Each and every touch.

This turned into a very intimate dance; somewhat tribal. I know my ego was still fully present by how awkward I felt during this – as though I had been taken in by a Native American tribe, and they were blessing me with some ritualistic ceremony. By this point I was just focusing on remembering what was going on.

I should say, for the record, I do not have any kind of weird tentacle fetish, or fear of tentacles. Never have I had a traumatic run-in with an octopus or squid. There’s no event in my life that I can think of that would have caused me to see beings with retractable tentacles. They just had them. I remember at one point during the trip thinking to myself, “Tentacles? For real? Why ****ing tentacles?”

After going through the light they tried communicating something to me. In retrospect, I realized they were trying to calm me down; basically trying to say “don’t give into astonishment.” I couldn’t help it though; I was simply astonished. Upon realizing I had indeed given into my astonishment, it was almost as though they went, “Oh well, might as well dance then.” I remember feeling awkward, I’m not the dancing type. But it was a familiar awkwardness. It felt just like when someone tries to make you get up and start dancing at a wedding when you don’t want to. I got the overwhelming sense that they cared for me dearly. Although I had no way of knowing why. It was weird.

During this time, I recall seeing another being. It was a masculine figure, more human-like than the other three, who stood in the right-hand corner. His arms folded, he seemed to be overseeing everything. I never interacted with him. I wasn’t as worried about him, as he wasn’t all up in my face.

The most surreal, and easiest to recollect, part of the whole experience was coming down. By this time, I had basically accepted to myself – without much thought – that these beings were indeed real. Coming down from a drug has never felt so literal. Rather than merely feeling the drug wear off, the beings literally brought me back down, waving their arms mystically as they placed my soul back into my body. That’s exactly what it felt like, having my soul returned to my body; there’s simply no other way to describe it. After which, they just walked off nonchalantly. All of a sudden I was back in my body.

The visual distortions remained for about another five minutes as I grappled with what had just happened. I demanded answers from Alec, “What the **** were those things?”

“The gods, man,” he replied.


As we talked about our experiences, we found striking similarities to what we saw. Three black humanoid figures, seemingly made up of a viscous liquid. This was amazing to me, as it would support the hypothesis that DMT allows the user to access another plane of existence.

Being a devout rationalist, I discarded this as a possibility. Until the conversation continued. And Jay spoke the following words which shattered my grip on rationality.

“Did ya’ll notice a more human-looking figure, like, in the corner of the place they took you?”

My jaw dropped. No. ****ing. Possible. Way.

I no longer knew what to think. I still don’t.

Alec remembered seeing such a figure, and if you read my above account, you know I did too. How did we just happen to have such similar experiences?

I needed answers. What the **** were those beings I saw? Spirits? Demons? Angels? It made me realize none of us even know what any of these things look like. If us three had the same trip – with the same beings – independent of each other, surely someone else has. And if that’s the case, they surely must have written about it. It’s quite lonely a feeling, actually; seeing something every fiber of your being knows was real, yet knowing it would sound insane to the rest of the world.

I was really only concerned with finding that which dealt with the actual beings that I saw. I read through a lot of other people’s experiences, and the majority of them came across as somewhat similar to what my friends and I experienced; as though the subjects merely described the experience differently. After searching for a while, I only found two or three recounted experiences that described the beings I saw. The implications of this have left me dumbfounded.
First of all, of the countless of billions of animals that would have mutated over the billions of years there must be some trace of one of them somewhere.

In order to survive a mutation must have a base of common mutual mutations. To return to the giraffe case. If it evolved from a mutated giraffe
otherwise it would take an awful long time for it to evolve to get food to survive.
(http://forum.mind-energy.net/forum/skeptiko-podcast-forums/skeptiko-podcast/4402-steven-novella-attempts-to-debunk-eben-alexander-s-case?p=172162#post172162)

They are not similar.

 
#53
you guys are raising a lot of issues. im not sure where to jump in. the drugs are powerful, that's why they are effective to control populations. a very good book on all this is by John Potash, Drugs As Weapons Against Us. i fault it only because he doesn't acknowledge that psychedelics also can have healing, curative properties. the first thing wasson learned about psychoactive mushrooms was that they have opposite effects: cause debauchery and madness, and they can be used for healing.... i'm just mainly wanting to call attention to how much of this current renaissance is an op which exploits the positive and powerful to benefit the power structure.
 
#54
Hi Robert

I actually enjoyed the show, but then I have taken LSD and mushrooms, read a heap on the subject and am old enough to know who you were talking about. But I also wondered how the show would fly with those without the background to knit together the interesting strands of thought.

I like the idea that entheogens kicked off then original revolution in the consciousness of our ancestors and have, ever since, provided access to the metaphysical dimension of human consciousness (along without methods).

I have heard arguments that the department state promoted the spread of 'consciousness altering' substances in an effort to control elements of our culture - but I think that's a silly idea. On the other hand I think having a strategic interest is perfectly sensible if an idea of defence includes defence of the normal. Do entheogens represent an avenue of threat? That's a perfectly sensible question. As is then question 'Do they offer the prospect of some advantage?

I think if we stop thinking with our habituated materialistic thinking and start imagining things from then POV that the metaphysical is real we have to start thinking as if what entheogens open up to us is part of an actual reality in relation to which it is sensible to take the same precautions on behalf of a culture as might be considered for anticipated dangers in the material world.

I am not saying I agree - just that I can appreciate that there is sense in a government having some level of interest.

On mundane level, using entheogens as entertainment is problematic - because encounters with the extreme non-ordinary are risky. I took LSD laced with substances that kept me conscious and in my body - so I was firmly anchored on this side of the barrier while being opened up to tantalising hints of what might be. That radicalised my sense of what reality was, nevertheless, but it was not the full experience. In a way that was a pity, because it also distorted the perceptions that were available. It limited the depth of insight.

And yet I do think that the use of entheogens in the 60s and 70s had a transformative impact on our culture. The later use of consciousness altering substances I am not so sure about - in the sense that I don't see that opium derivatives, cocaine (in any of its forms) or any of the later manufactured substances had a similar opening affect. I thought too that cannabis was degraded from a friendly spirit that stimulated inspiration to a head kicker that was just favoured for the magnitude of the hit. I quit smoking because the experience became unpleasant.

Entheogens seem to have always been used a means for deeper connection with the metaphysical side our our reality - and a source of insight and wisdom. From what I read there are sanctioned applications that are used to treat addictions and PTS(D) - but not yet, in any public sense at least, about mapping the vertical axis of our reality (the horizontal axis being the material). That seems to concern a mixture of defence and religious interests because the implications are functional/operational as well as moral and hierarchical (who really is running the show and where do we fit in the scheme of things?)

I also see a strong link between entheogens and ET. I thought Strieber has been gesturing in the right direction, but is being ignored because he hasn't offered a tidy proposition. We have a choice - we can seek explanations or better questions - and the explanations brigade seems to dominate the discourse. I learned years ago that the challenge is not to find answers so much as it is to learn to ask smarter questions.

I know this is a bit of a ramble but I am getting to a point - I needed to articulate the context first, so your response can be shaped better.

So I am curious to know your thoughts on how entheogens are being employed now and where you think things are going - in the public domain and in the dark world of strategic secrets. If you are familiar with Strieber, do you think he is pointing in the right direction?
"I have heard arguments that the department state promoted the spread of 'consciousness altering' substances in an effort to control elements of our culture - but I think that's a silly idea." i'll just respond to this now... when i firsts studied this subject i was persuaded by the common narrative that the wasson was just a banker, and mushrooms were just his hobby, that grew into a second career. he summarized his career in an interview i conducted with him, published in my first book. since then i learned he was lying to me. his publication of his mushroom research in Life Magazine, which introduced the subject to a large audience was paid for by the CIA. So i have to ask, why was Wasson lying? Why did the CIA want to inform the general population of this so called magic mushroom. most scholars consider that article to have begun the "movement." given his political position and that of his closest friends, i think it was an op to bring about a brave new world scenario...

I can't say much about ETs. while i have read extensively about them, i have never had an experience of any ETs in an ordinary state of consciousness. i question most of the reports. i think they exist and had a role in the creation of our species... big subject. interesting but as far as i am concerned i have no first hand info....
 
#55
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/overlap-of-nde-features-with-drug-induced-states.3598/#post-105430

NDE's are not like drug trips.​
Here is a typical NDE​
As I left my body, I again went out into the darkness, only this time I was awake and could see it happening. Looking down and off to the right, I saw myself in a bubble -- in the circle bed -- crying. Then I looked up and to the left, and I saw my one-year-old self in another bubble -- face down in my crib -- crying just as hard. I looked to the right and saw myself again in the circle bed, then to the left and saw myself as a baby -- back and forth about three more times, then I let go. I decided I didn't want to be the thirty-two-year-old Barbara anymore; I'd go to the baby. As I moved away from my thirty-two-year-old body in the circle bed, I felt as though I released myself from this lifetime. As I did, I became aware of an energy that was wrapping itself around me and going through me, permeating me, holding up every molecule of my being.​
It was not an old man with a long white beard. It took me a long time to use the word God. In fact, I never used any word until I saw the movie Star Wars and heard about The Force. By then, I was already reading quantum physics, trying to figure out how I could explain what had permeated me and was me . . . and you . . . and all of us. Now it was here, and it was holding me. It felt incredible. There are no words in English, or maybe in this reality, to explain the kind of love God emanates. God was totally accepting of everything we reviewed in my life. In every scene of my life review I could feel again what I had felt at various times in my life. And I could feel everything everyone else felt as a consequence of my actions. Some of it felt good and some of it felt awful. All of this translated into knowledge, and I learned -- oh, how I learned! The information was flowing at an incredible breakneck speed that probably would have burned me up if it weren't for the extraordinary energy holding me. The information came in, and then love neutralized my judgments against myself. In other words, as we relived my life, God never judged me. God held me and kept me together. I received all information about every scene -- my perceptions and feelings -- and anyone else's perceptions and feelings who were in the scene. No matter how I judged myself in each interaction, being held by God was the bigger interaction. God interjected love into everything, every feeling, every bit of information about absolutely everything that went on, so that everything was all right. There was no good and no bad. There was only me and my loved ones from this life trying to be, or just trying to survive.​
I realize now that without this God force holding me, I wouldn't have had the strength to experience what I am explaining to you.​
I -- we at this point, for we are one, a very sacred one -- God and I were merging into one sacred person. We went to the baby I was seeing to my upper left in the darkness. Picture the baby being in a bubble and that bubble in the center of a cloud of thousands and thousands of bubbles. In each bubble was another scene in my life. As we moved toward the baby, it was as though we were bobbing through the bubbles. At the same time there was a linear sequence in which we relived thirty-two years of my life. I could hear myself saying, No wonder, no wonder. I now believe my no wonders meant No wonder you are the way you are now. Look what was done to you when you were a little girl.​
My mother had been dependent on drugs, angry, and abusive, and my father wasn't there much of the time and did little to intervene. I saw all this childhood trauma again, in my life review, but I didn't see it in little bits and pieces, the way I had remembered it as an adult. I saw and experienced it just as I had lived it at the time it first happened. Not only was I me, I was also my mother. And my dad. And my brother. We were all one. Just as I had felt everything my grandmother had felt, I now felt my mother's pain and neglect from her childhood. She wasn't trying to be mean. She didn't know how to be loving or kind. She didn't know how to love. She didn't understand what life is really all about. And she was still angry from her own childhood, angry because they were poor and because her father had grand mal seizures almost every day until he died when she was eleven. And then she was angry because he left her.​
Everything came flooding back, including my father's helplessness at stopping the insanity. If my father was home when my mother exploded into one of her rages, he would close all the windows so the neighbors wouldn't hear, and then he would go outside and visit with them. Again I witnessed my brother's rage at my mother's abuse, and then his turning around and giving it to me. I saw how we were all connected in this dance that started with my mother. I saw how her physical body expressed her emotional pain. I watched as I grew up and left my parents' house when I was eighteen. By that point I had watched my mother undergo twenty-six operations, twenty-five of which were elective. I saw myself as a child praying for a doctor who could help my mother. One part of her body or another was always in pain. She had two spinal fusions on her neck, two or three on her lumbar spine. Both knees, both elbows and one wrist were operated on.​
As my life review continued, I again experienced my mother starving herself because she was told she had gotten chubby. Then she had to have several surgeries for intestinal problems and constipation, and during those stays in the hospital they would tube feed her because she was so thin. She even had her toes shortened. They called it hammertoe surgery. The real reason was because she had a huge collection of high-heeled shoes that were size four and one-half. (She always insisted on wearing spike heels even with her bad back.) Her feet were growing (as all of ours do as we get older) but she wanted them to remain a size four and one-half. I watched myself with her in a bubble as her orthopedic surgeon said, Florence, you have two choices. Get shoes a half size bigger or shorten your toes! He was laughing, but she chose the surgery. She was in plaster casts for six weeks, taking even more painkillers and sleeping pills.​
I also saw her go through psychiatric hospitalizations. During one of these, around 1955, I couldn't visit her for three weeks. I was about eleven and was sure I had done something wrong. In one bubble I could see myself finally being allowed to visit her. I looked big for my age and my five-foot-two-inch frame towered over her four-foot-eleven one. She weighed about eighty-eight pounds. I was chunky. She lived on black coffee, sedatives, painkillers and tranquilizers. I loved to eat.​
In the bubble I was pleading with her to cooperate with the doctors so she could come home. She said, Oh, honey. This is like a job. I don't need to be in here, but Daddy has three (health insurance) policies so I make us money when I'm here. Blue Cross pays all the medical expenses, and we get to keep the rest from the other two policies. I could now feel her saying that and she meant it. She believed it. I continued watching and realized that nothing could have helped my mother because she had no real understanding about why she was there. I could hear myself saying, No wonder, no wonder. And then the benevolent energy that was holding me would hold me tighter and with even more love.​
We continued watching my mother in pain, always seeing doctors and always receiving prescription pain killers, sleeping pills and tranquilizers. My only feelings during this time were ones of loneliness. I felt so alone when she was in the hospital. Then I watched her abuse me when she was home. I could now feel that she abused me because she hated herself. I saw myself down on my knees by the side of my bed, praying for a doctor to help my mother. What I didn't realize as a child, but was understanding in the life review, was that she didn't want anyone to help her. She thought her job in life was to have doctors and be a patient. And she enjoyed being taken care of in the hospital.​
I saw how I had given up myself in order to survive. I forgot that I was a child. I became my mother's mother. I suddenly knew that my mother had had the same thing happen to her in her childhood. She took care of her father during his seizures, and as a child she gave herself up to take care of him. As children, she and I both became anything and everything others needed. As my life review continued, I also saw my mother's soul, how painful her life was, how lost she was. And I saw my father, and how he put blinders on himself to avoid his grief over my mother's pain and to survive. In my life review I saw they were good people caught in helplessness. I saw their beauty, their humanity and their needs that had gone unattended to in their own childhoods. I loved them and understood them. We may have been trapped, but we were still souls connected in our dance of life by an energy source that had created us.​
This is when I first realized that we don't end at our skin. We are all in this big churning mass of consciousness. We are each a part of this consciousness we call God. And we're not just human. We are Spirit. We were Spirit before we came into this lifetime. We are all struggling Spirits now, trying to get being human right. And when we leave here, we will be pure Spirit again.​
As my life review continued, I got married and had my own children and saw that I was on the edge of repeating the cycle of abuse and trauma that I had experienced as a child. I was on prescription drugs. I was in the hospital. I was becoming like my mother. And at the same time, this energy holding me let me into its experience of all this. I felt God's memories of these scenes through God's eyes just as I had through my grandmother's eyes. I could sense God's divine intelligence and it was astonishing. God loves us and wants us to learn and wake up to our real selves -- to what is important. I realized that God wants us to know that we only experience real pain if we die without living first. And the way to live is to give love to ourselves and to others. We are here to learn never to withhold our love. But only when we heal enough to be real can we understand and give love the way love was meant to be.​
As my life unfolded before my eyes, I witnessed how severely I had treated myself because that was the behavior shown and taught to me as a child. I realized that the only big mistake I had made in my life of thirty-two years was that I had never learned to love myself.​
And then I was back, but not in my body. I was behind the nurse's station. I saw a metal circle with pillows tossing behind glass. They were the pillows I had urinated on when I separated from my body. I was watching them in a dryer.​
I heard two nurses talking about my case and about how my day nurse was so upset after she found me that they had sent her home early. Then they were saying that I was going to be in a body cast for six months, even though they had told me six weeks, because my doctors thought that I couldn't handle knowing. So they were not going to tell me the truth.​
Then I was back in my body, back in the circle bed. The same two nurses came in to check on me and I said to them, I left the bed again.​
No, honey. You're hallucinating, they said.​
I was not on painkillers at this point, so I insisted, No, I'm not hallucinating [ii]. I left the bed.​
No, you're hallucinating. You can't leave the bed, they said.​
Please call my day nurse and tell her I'm okay, I responded. Tell her I'm not angry with her. I know she was sent home early. And don't lie to me by telling me I'm going to be in a body cast for six weeks. Tell me the truth. I know I'm going to be in a body cast for six months. And you should have washed those pillows before you put them in the dryer. I don't care for myself, but I care for the next patient.​

Here is a drug trip.​
My world began to morph as I experienced an intense rushing sensation. The closest thing I can relate the initial sensation to is one of those launch roller-coasters that begins with an extreme boost of speed (rather than getting pulled up a long incline). It was hard to maintain awareness of my presence; it was as though my body became just another object in the room, disconnected from my soul or ego. It was weird, but I couldn’t spend much time dwelling on this feeling as this rapidly progressed. There was too much other stuff going on.​
In a single moment, every single visually-seperable item in the room had not only its own energy, but its own personality to go with it. Every object in my field of vision darted around, each distorting themselves in their own unique manner. Peering about, I realized that my friend’s apartment, the walls of which were laden with those trippy posters only stoners and base-heads buy, was a horrible place to do this drug. I looked at the monkey poster on the wall in front of me, dumbfounded by the vividness with which every detail became animated.​
The top monkey holding the tap as brew gushed into the beer-bong, bopping his head in sync with the vibrations of his headphones, foam dripping everywhere. The middle monkey holding the beer bong with his left hand, spinning his right in a rhythmic manner, smiling in such a way that suggested his awareness of my disbelief. The bottom monkey taking the endless beer bong like a champ, the pupils of his bloodshot eyes spinning in opposite directions, the stars rotating around his head just like a cartoon.​
But it wasn’t just a repetitive looping animation. Their actions were totally autonomous from my consciousness. At one point, the bottom monkey took the hose out of his mouth as if to hand it to me, causing beer to spill out – to the top monkey’s dismay, who angrily scolded the bottom monkey as he released the tap. Feeling as though the bottom half of my body was soaking wet with beer, I panicked. “NO MONKEY, I CAN’T TAKE THAT BEER BONG,” I either thought to myself or screamed out loud, “CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRIPPIN’ ****ING BALLS RIGHT NOW?!” My point being, this wasn’t just a vivid hallucination; think about what it means that I saw the monkey remove the hose from his mouth. Parts of the actual image that didn’t even exist were being shown to me, i.e. the part of the monkey’s mouth and face behind the hose, which was revealed to me when he tried offering it.​
Like I mentioned above, I had a simple method of overcoming hallucinations while on acid; I would just focus harder on it and remind myself I’m on acid, and the hallucination would return to its true form. That didn’t work here. No matter how hard I tried focusing on these hallucinations, on the fact they couldn’t be real, they didn’t stop. I just noticed more about them. What’s more, they seemed to scoff at my attempts to deny them as anything other than real. The whole thing was akin to the moving paintings that are all around Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Not only did the posters become completely animated, but the ones with human, or human-like, subjects objectively acknowledged my presence. It was ****ing surreal, but nothing compared to what came next.​
The imagery became dizzying. The rest of the room was moving in my peripheral vision with the same level of vividness as the monkeys. In anything woven, such as my jeans, the individual strains of fabric appeared to flow in and out of each other, as though my eyes were suddenly able to witness the elastic energy with which such fabrics keep their form. As this progressed, I became disturbed by separate hallucinations – that is, brighter, vibrant moving imagery formed separate from that which actually surrounded me. In other words, there were both hallucinations being formed from what I could really see, and hallucinations being formed from… Well, no where.​
Deciphering what was real and not became impossible and made me uneasy. Regret toward having surrendered such control set in. Next thing I knew, the poster’s background engulfed the monkeys like a black hole, which immediately expanded into the entirety of my vision in a radial manner, forcing my eyes shut.​
The inside of my eyelids have always been a safe-haven during other psychedelic trips. Not this one. Hexagonal patterns – seemingly formed from phosphenes (the illusion of light/color you see when you close your eyes and rub them) – somehow formed within the confines of this familiar blackness. They flowed and pulsated with the flux of a river of molten lava. It was, at first, quite similar to looking at an assortment of neon lights through a kaleidoscope, but with less rigid movements. There was a certain coherence to the whole experience. It seemed logical.​
Rapid flashes of imagery overtook my consciousness, as though my life was flashing before my eyes. Faces and places… but it was more than just images. Intense emotions came and went with their respective images with the same intense frequency. While this was going on, I continued to feel as though I was being forced upward. I couldn’t help but feel the presence of someone – or something – else. Almost as though there was an intelligence to the patterns. Or something behind them.​
It was all so foreign. What’s odd is my ego was still present – unimpaired. What I mean is, I didn’t feel intoxicated as I do whilst drunk. My reasoning ability was left untouched. I was still me, despite being thrust into what I could only rationally presume is the spirit world.​
Before I knew it, the random flashes of imagery subsided to reveal a world taking shape. Depth was created in the blackness of my unopened eyes through the coordinated flow of vibrant, flashing, colorful hexagonal patterns. The floor discernible from the walls by differences in their patterns and direction of flow. Aware that my eyes were closed, I was stupefied by the structural complexity of what I was witnessing in the darkness of my head.​
Then, they revealed themselves.​
I must once again pause to note that the following is not exaggerated. It is what I actually saw. I’m not filling the voids of my recollection with imaginative details. I went into this experience with the intent of paying close attention to whatever happened. I don’t need made-up details, there was far more than I could have even absorbed.​
Without warning, three glossy-black humanoid-like figures – lacking any skeletal structure – appeared. Their movements had a certain graceful yet mischievous flow. I don’t remember seeing where they came from, it was as though they folded themselves out of the patterns. I had never seen nor conceived of such beings before. But there they were. They were entirely made up of a what can only be described as a black, viscous, malleable liquid. So vivid in every detail. So incredibly real. Impossibly real. Looking at me. Smiling.​
Having seen a lot of random imagery thus far, I initially discarded them as just another fleeting hallucination. I opened my eyes, expecting to see some other random hallucinations upon closing them again. Instead, they – and the world I had just witnessed come to fore – remained. In an instant, I forgot I put myself in this state. I was simply there, dealing with it. I didn’t have the capacity to consider maybe these were the “gods” Alec “partied with.” All that went out the window of thought. My astonishment was inescapable. As was my fear. Their movements were mischievous. It seemed choreographed. They laughed in a very specific manner. Not in an evil manner. They made no noise, however. At no point did they speak. At the time this frustrated and frightened me further. It hadn’t struck me yet that verbal language wasn’t their mode of communication.​
This is the part that was, without question, the most scary experience of my life. I’m certain it’s the only time I experienced the emotion of terror. Pure terror.​
I didn’t trust them. My first thought was that they were demons, which is why I was so scared. Had I found myself in their presence under different circumstances, I may have assumed they were aliens. They seemed to transcend the other hallucinogenic aspects of the drug. Acknowledging them as objective entities was foreign to my belief system, and something I struggled against – without success. Denying them as real, intelligent, discarnate entities would have been as possible as denying the existence of the laptop with which I’m writing this. They were there. And they sure as hell knew a lot more about what was going on than I did.​
Despite their odd makeup, I couldn’t shake a feeling of familiarity. Only in their faces and hands, and in some ways, their movements. The rest of them was alien. This only worked to scare me more, as my ego darted through the implications of this familiarity. I remember feeling as though they were absorbing my thoughts and experiences. Like they knew me better than anyone from the real world ever could. I felt they were laughing at my imaginative attempts to figure out what or who they are. They don’t make sense in the context of our reality. Even before they appeared, I feared I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be. Out loud, I sought answers. “Umm, ahh. What the ****ing…? Who…? are… is…? What are you guys? No… ****ing… way… is this happening.”​
They approached, dancing along the way. Tribal. Ritualistic. Those were the first two adjectives that popped in my head upon witnessing their movements. Everything about them was so fundamentally different from the other effects of the drug. The hexagonal patterns were just that; patterns. They were predictable.​
They came up to my face and started to pull at me; much in the same way a child does when they want you to come play. Masters of non-verbal communication, I knew this was what they wanted before they started being so explicit about it. I tensed up, trying to deny them my acknowledgement of their existence. I could open my eyes, but when I did I still saw them. It was like when you look at an image on a computer screen before shutting your eyes and seeing the imprint it leaves, only the other way around. When I opened my eyes, their figures remained imprinted in my opened-eye vision. Disturbed by my inability to escape them, I freaked out.​
“Oh God. Oh God. Oh God!” I exclaimed. Curious, considering my agnostic nature. Every muscle in my body tensed up, resisting them.​
I could hear a voice. A real one. It was Alec.​
“James, it’s okay. Let them take you. They’re cool.”​
He knew what I was experiencing.​
Instantly every muscle in my body relaxed as I let go of the physical strain with which I resisted them. When I closed my eyes again, they were directly upon me. At my feet. In my face. They looked as though their bodies were entirely made up of a simple thick, amorphous blob, which they could manipulate in any manner they pleased. This is an ancient pop-culture reference, but if you remember that Nickelodeon show from the 90***8242;s called “The Secret World of Alex Mac,” it was like a thicker, black version of the liquid Alex Mac would turn into.​
The extraordinary nature of this closed-eye hallucination was such that if my eyes peered left, I saw whatever was to my left (within the context of the close-eyed hallucination). If I wanted to see what was to the right of me, I would peer to the right. Everything about it came across as an objective world that exists regardless of my presence, as opposed to a hallucination that exists solely within my subjective perception.​
Upon releasing all physical strain, I somehow managed to dispose of my fear. Not out of bravery, but curiosity. “Whatever these beings are, they’re not going away,” I thought, “But… What the hell are they?” I focused harder on them.​
No longer intoxicated by fear, I could more clearly process what was going on. I was astonished to find that they were taking me, or my soul, into the light. Yes, the light. The one dying people talk of. Only it wasn’t actually a light, more like a portal, but somehow I knew what it was. I remember feeling that I should be scared, that maybe they’re gonna leave me up there. However, evaluating my surroundings in the most rational manner possible seemed like a better option than freaking out again. I figured if I was indeed dying, this would be my only chance to witness death. I focused on breathing, reminding myself that the familiar sensation created by doing so indicates my well-being.​
Once we arrived, their hands were feeling my face and my body. I only remember one with detail, a female figure. Eerily similar to the greek god Medusa. Only upon closer inspection, her hair was comprised of tentacles (that she could control) rather than snakes. The other beings were of the same make-up, but for some reason, were less interesting to me. In addition to her hair, she had what appeared to be retractable tentacles protruding from the sides of her torso, which joined the hands in their physical inspection of me. The scariest part was I could feel them. I could feel them caressing my face and body. Each and every touch.​
This turned into a very intimate dance; somewhat tribal. I know my ego was still fully present by how awkward I felt during this – as though I had been taken in by a Native American tribe, and they were blessing me with some ritualistic ceremony. By this point I was just focusing on remembering what was going on.​
I should say, for the record, I do not have any kind of weird tentacle fetish, or fear of tentacles. Never have I had a traumatic run-in with an octopus or squid. There’s no event in my life that I can think of that would have caused me to see beings with retractable tentacles. They just had them. I remember at one point during the trip thinking to myself, “Tentacles? For real? Why ****ing tentacles?”​
After going through the light they tried communicating something to me. In retrospect, I realized they were trying to calm me down; basically trying to say “don’t give into astonishment.” I couldn’t help it though; I was simply astonished. Upon realizing I had indeed given into my astonishment, it was almost as though they went, “Oh well, might as well dance then.” I remember feeling awkward, I’m not the dancing type. But it was a familiar awkwardness. It felt just like when someone tries to make you get up and start dancing at a wedding when you don’t want to. I got the overwhelming sense that they cared for me dearly. Although I had no way of knowing why. It was weird.​
During this time, I recall seeing another being. It was a masculine figure, more human-like than the other three, who stood in the right-hand corner. His arms folded, he seemed to be overseeing everything. I never interacted with him. I wasn’t as worried about him, as he wasn’t all up in my face.​
The most surreal, and easiest to recollect, part of the whole experience was coming down. By this time, I had basically accepted to myself – without much thought – that these beings were indeed real. Coming down from a drug has never felt so literal. Rather than merely feeling the drug wear off, the beings literally brought me back down, waving their arms mystically as they placed my soul back into my body. That’s exactly what it felt like, having my soul returned to my body; there’s simply no other way to describe it. After which, they just walked off nonchalantly. All of a sudden I was back in my body.​
The visual distortions remained for about another five minutes as I grappled with what had just happened. I demanded answers from Alec, “What the **** were those things?”​
“The gods, man,” he replied.​
As we talked about our experiences, we found striking similarities to what we saw. Three black humanoid figures, seemingly made up of a viscous liquid. This was amazing to me, as it would support the hypothesis that DMT allows the user to access another plane of existence.​
Being a devout rationalist, I discarded this as a possibility. Until the conversation continued. And Jay spoke the following words which shattered my grip on rationality.​
“Did ya’ll notice a more human-looking figure, like, in the corner of the place they took you?”​
My jaw dropped. No. ****ing. Possible. Way.​
I no longer knew what to think. I still don’t.​
Alec remembered seeing such a figure, and if you read my above account, you know I did too. How did we just happen to have such similar experiences?​
I needed answers. What the **** were those beings I saw? Spirits? Demons? Angels? It made me realize none of us even know what any of these things look like. If us three had the same trip – with the same beings – independent of each other, surely someone else has. And if that’s the case, they surely must have written about it. It’s quite lonely a feeling, actually; seeing something every fiber of your being knows was real, yet knowing it would sound insane to the rest of the world.​
I was really only concerned with finding that which dealt with the actual beings that I saw. I read through a lot of other people’s experiences, and the majority of them came across as somewhat similar to what my friends and I experienced; as though the subjects merely described the experience differently. After searching for a while, I only found two or three recounted experiences that described the beings I saw. The implications of this have left me dumbfounded.​
First of all, of the countless of billions of animals that would have mutated over the billions of years there must be some trace of one of them somewhere.​
In order to survive a mutation must have a base of common mutual mutations. To return to the giraffe case. If it evolved from a mutated giraffe​
otherwise it would take an awful long time for it to evolve to get food to survive.​

They are not similar.​
Jim,

Thanks for those well chosen first hand accounts.

I know you feel strongly against psychedelic drugs and drugs in general - and possibly you have good personal reasons for feeling that way - the most I have done is a few 'trips' on oral cannabis - but I think you are missing the point.

Both NDE's and taking psychedelics are dangerous, but the real point is that surely both must be telling us something important about consciousness. I mean, the psychedelics do what they do by binding to receptors in the brain. In other words they flip switches. That means the brain has its ability to trip built in, but turned off or greatly subdued. As you know, there are fMRI studies done that indicate that psychedelics quieten the activity of the brain - even though you might expect it to be intensely active while tripping. By analogy, in a cardiac arrest the brain becomes very quiet. I am rather cautious of fMRI studies of the brain, as I am of many other scientific procedures and theories, but the real point is surely a discussion of psychedelics is valuable if one is interested in getting a better idea of the nature of consciousness, whether or not it is advisable to try the experiment. I'd certainly not advise anyone to try an NDE experiment - though I suppose kids who perform choking experiments are in effect doing just that.

Remember that air force pilots reach the edge of consciousness under extreme G forces, and also experience strange mental effects. I don't think they see God, but who can doubt that their experience is also related to this whole phenomenon.

I'd also argue that many NDE's do not involve God, and that it would probably be possible to select an NDE account and a psychedelic account that would be very similar. There is clearly at least some overlap here.

David
 
#56
I enjoyed this show and didn't have any trouble following it. I find shows like this that are more based on stories and narratives have a certain kind of energy or power that is different than shows that are more focused on theory or analysis. There's a time and place for theory and analysis, too, of course. ;)

I really liked the analysis of how Ram Das and Leary seem to embody different aspects of the psychedelic experience. Kind of echoed the earlier analysis from the "social engineering" perspective, but in a more graspable way, for me.

I liked Alex's reference to spontaneous mystical experience or spontaneous altered states -- these comments jibe well with my own preferred understanding of life generally. It seems to me that folks slide around energetically on different scales of intensity. A lot of times when folks slide into an altered state, it's a miserable experience. Of course, everyone knows about bad trips on psychedelics, but I'm thinking more in terms of experiences like delirium (or "hospital delirium"), psychosis, manic episodes, episodes of intense emotional suffering, debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, suicidality (there's a lot of research now about suicidality that suggests that there's a kind of unique altered state syndrome that precedes suicide attempts), the list goes on and on.

I do some caretaking for a family member who periodically loses her mind; these episodes are very miserable. They can manifest in different ways, but the commonalities for her are that they're accompanied by a lot of energy and they're miserable and shitty experiences that lasts for days or weeks at a time. These are bad trips for her with no psychedelics required.

I can think of more mild altered states that I experience. I have gotten myself into desperate emotional places from time to time in life, as many people do, and have had times where my cognition has seriously lapsed because of the intensity of the emotions--these experiences definitely feel like altered states.

I also imbibe a "mild psychedelic" from time to time, and the pleasant experience of euphoria, aliveness, etc is sometimes accompanied by discomfort, fear, dread, pain, and general shitty feelings.

Something I like about this episode is that it's making me look at my own assumptions about these different kinds of altered states, especially the miserable altered states. A lot of the time, when I think of the different kinds of miserable altered states, I tend to slide into a more materialist paradigm to explain it. I'm not too worried about this tendency of mine; I think we all have to cope with the tough shit in life however we can, right?

This episode is definitely bringing up some questions about how I personally fit the full range of altered states (beyond just the euphoric or blissfully spiritual) in my mind.

I like to think of meaning and experience in terms of energy, at least as a metaphor. Sometimes the energy is basically harmonious, and sometimes it is disharmonious. Like in music. Life trips along like a succession of songs, some of them are sublime, some of them are just okay, some of them are kind of lousy, but generally, they are at least "in tune". Sometimes, though, the energy slides into something seriously weird, and it's kind of like somebody just mashing a bunch of keys on a piano--it's all discord and there's no sensible pattern or harmony to it. And then you have a musician like Thelonious Monk, who was able to play with dischord in a way that somehow made it more coherent -- his music was on the edge between "normal state of consiousness" and "altered state of consiousness" -- and I feel like he was able to create safe, temporary passage into the altered, discordant side.

In terms of what "causes" these different experiences, there may be something to concepts of Karma, interventions by spirits, as above/so below, etc. I do not know the answers. As I've mentioned before on these forums, I tend to favor some sort of hard agnosticism -- the causes of all kinds of mental states, for me, are deeply mysterious and probably beyond my ability to comprehend. For me, the relationship between "reality" and "experience" doesn't seem to support the realization of ultimate conclusions. (Or, ultimate conclusions end up being taken on faith, which I tend to avoid.)

This episode also has me thinking about spiritual practice, and how there may be different aspects to practice as there are different aspects to experience.

I was curious about Robert's comments regarding using psychedelics and going to a concert. "Partying" gets a bad rap sometimes, and I don't know if it's always absolutely justified. For me, I look at partying as having different aspects and textures like anything else. There can be powerful connection, release, alteration, emotional nourishment, feelings of awe, etc at a concert. ;) I understand that concerts are not specific recommendations of the great spiritual traditions, but I'm not so certain that any of the great spiritual traditions have the ultimate answers, at the end of the day. So for me, there's many grains of salt involved with these questions.

As always, I appreciate the episode and I appreciate this venue for exchanging ideas.
 
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#57
i'm just mainly wanting to call attention to how much of this current renaissance is an op which exploits the positive and powerful to benefit the power structure.
Hi Robert
I am immediately reminded of Graham Hancock's argument about the 'war on consciousness' which goes to the issue of our assumed liberty to go where we will, with our explorations of consciousness. This liberty is a very modern one because altered states of consciousness have occurred within cultures that accommodate them but also set boundaries. There always has been a presumption that benefit is communal, even if vested in an individual.

Our culture has invalidated that traditional point of view. Other-than-normal states of consciousness that are not alcohol induced seem to be regarded as an existential threat against the dominant mindset.

I get that powers want to be on top of the risk. That can look like responsible governance - but that depends on what is believed and what is known. I can see that the use of entheogens, as opposed to consciousness altering drugs in general, is being tightly controlled - as in the only way use can be sanctioned is under highly contrived projects.

So I am interested in your POV here:
1. What does the power structure believe, in your opinion?
2. What do you think they know?
3. What do you think their aim is?
 
#58
NDE's are not like drug trips.
Yes and no here. If you refer to what we now commonly call 'shamanic journeying' (I don't want a debate about whether this is real or just an artefact of contemporary drug tourism - that's another matter entirely) the experience is, or should be, out of body - and hence more like a NDE - but under entirely different conditions. That means that the experience is also different.

For a variety of reasons the 'trips' we take are very much in body. For example LSD has additives that maintain body awareness - and a good thing to. Going out of body in a social or unsecured setting would be immensely dangerous.

But then I have had out of body experiences at the tail end of a very nice 'clean' acid trip. By 'clean' I mean that there were not too many additives. And I was in a safe place.

NDEs are essentially Out of Body experiences induced at a time of physical crisis, and with a focused theme. Going out of body is not always a monumental experience in the way that NDEs are.

Drug induced OBEs are ideally associated with highly managed experiences conducted by competent operators - and for properly noble purposes rather than entertainment and curiosity.
 
#59
yeah, that was a little jarring, then again, not too far off. the JFK thing is hard to fully process. We now know conclusively that a small group within the gov (black hat CIA folks including Dulles and others) pulled off a coup d'etat. I'm sure you probably know most of the details, but most folks do not... so maybe a little jarring is necessary.
Alex, I am familiar with various angles and I see no reason to doubt that Oswald acted alone.

The only smoking gun - the only real evidence - points to Oswald. He was a wild card. The one you never figure; like the guy who killed John Lennon, or Squeaky trying to shoot Ford, or Hinkley popping off at Reagan. Oswald was able to accomplish his lone wolf mission because he was well trained by the USMC. It was an easy shot to make. Less than 100 yrds. The guy was a malcontent like Bradley Manning. The various agencies screwed up by not watching him closer. They were probably resource short and who would have guessed that Oswald would go that far? Kind of like the dummies that missed 9/11 coming. A couple FBI guys were concerned about muslims taking flight lessons, but the agencies had other priorities. Now we have America hating muslims in congress. They are a high security risk, IMO. But we can't do anything about it because of ideology and group think (in this case fears of being "racist"). Incompetence abounds. The conspiracy theories are based on misinformation about ballistics, etc and something like that game...what was it...the four degrees of Kevin Bacon (or something like that). Presidents and CIA guys disagree all the time. The CIA doesn't go and bump them off*. An extended family member (my wife's Uncle/mother in law's brother was the CIA station chief in Mexico City - since that station figures into some conspiracy theories) Great guy/great patriot. A guy like that isn't going to help kill the POTUS. These conspiracy theories are mostly BS. Some people look in the night sky and see the Greek constellations. Others see some totally different pattern. I just see stars.

* caveat = this recent attempt to get Trump out of office using phony dossiers, etc. People who have a long history in the intelligence community say that the crew of miscreants assembled under Obama was unprecedented. What was done to Trump is without historic parallel. But notice that they are being caught. Just as the Mafia/La Cosa Nostra also came to the light of day as a international Italian criminal organization. Also note that in both instances the evidence came from within (Admiral Rogers of the NSA went to Trump immediately after the election and informed of the coup attempt, spying, etc.). Informants from within the mafia testified as to how the organization works. The conspiracies cannot hold together because there is no organization on earth that consists of people who are of one mind. All organizations have people with different motives, different levels of dedication, different world views; not to mention personal motives for throwing others to the wolves. It's always like herding cats. The "CIA" is no different.
 
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#60
They are not similar.​
Why would they be similar?

You apparently have arbitrarily chosen NDEs to be some the ultimate standard by which all extended consciousness experiences must be judged. There are many NDEs that do not agree with each other. Some have an amoral universe where what you did on earth matters not. Hitler and Mother Teresa get equal hugs and kisses at death. You have NDEs where there is a heaven and hell. So your standard isn't really a standard.

Similarly, you have psychedelic experiences that are different from each other. I always cringe when people use descriptions of trips like the one you quoted. It's nothing like what I experience. The report sounds like it came from a confused idiot.

I think you are not understanding that all of these things are dependent on the individual experiencing them. If a certain kind of person has an NDE, they have a certain kind of NDE. If a certain kind of person takes a psychedelic, they have a certain kind of trip.

There isn't a solid objective world out there. It's all you.

For that matter, different kinds of people can go to the same city and have totally different experiences of it.
 
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