Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study

Could shamanism one day be a part of mainstream Western culture?

"The psilocybin study looks exactly identical to naturally occurring religious experience."  - Dr. Roland Griffiths

Coincidentally I am reading Huxley's final novel Island which is about  small island nation that is able to create a Utopia in a large part by the direct spiritual experience in the form of magic mushrooms.  If the idea of direct experience, compared to the traditional religious experience, this quote from Island might make things a little clearer for you: "Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief."

The people of the island say this as part of their ritual because, even though they are religious people, they are also realists and rationalists.  When the mushrooms are used properly -- when they're held up with the highest regard or esteem -- they are one of the tools for making direct contact with the soul and the realms of consciousness that our modern culture has squashed and repressed (sometimes violently).

Moving on, I can imagine a future North America or Europe that encourages, or even requires, its delinquents (another topic Huxley's islanders tackle with mushrooms and a broader sense of community) to receive psilocybin therapy in order to deal with his issues (most of our delinquents are male, after all).

On a side note, my first child was born this week.  I'm exhausted and ecstatic at the same time.  I find my mind wandering and imagining what kind of man he will grow up to be.  What will his skills be?  Will he be artistically inclined?  Scientifically?  Or maybe good with his hands?  What will his job title be?  Doctor?  Teacher?  Or maybe psilocybin therapist?  After watching this TED talk, I'd be okay with that.

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