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TOTD 04 Feb 2002

What the psilocybin experience seems to argue is that there is a kind of parallel universe that is not at all like our universe, and yet it is inhabited by beings with an intentionality... No reductionist, no empiricist could experience what I have experienced without having to seriously retool their philosophy.

-Terence McKenna

Historically, humans have invariably preferred the comfort of old paradigms to the challenge of new ones; those with a vested interest in the status quo never want to "seriously retool their philosophy." As far as I know, such rearrangements are always forced upon us.

-Jim Dekorne


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 4th, 2002 04:02 pm (UTC)
Change and Force
I have found, through repeated exposure to skeptics over the years, that you can beat someone vigorously around the head with data and they will stubbornly cling to their preferred beliefs. "I have my worldview... do not disturb me with the idea it might be flawed."

This happens as much in the religion of science as the science of religion. As much in the philosophy of politics as the politics of philosophy.

We are really very constipated, thought-wise. It is so easy to rationalize something different as hallucinatory, illusiary, or coincidental.

McKenna offered one way of freeing the mind, with substances. Shamans in many cultures have used it, but with careful sociocultural preparation. The same thing can be accomplished with movement, and sensory bombardment (deprivation or stimulation).
Using substances outside of context and without proper briefing/debriefing can be devastating and fracturing to the body and the mind.

Of course, that could be considered a "forced rearrangement", but it's certainly self induced.
Feb. 5th, 2002 09:13 am (UTC)
Re: Change and Force
Yes, I've bumped heads with many a dyed-in-the-wool adherent of scientism and Monday morning rationality.

As for the dangers of using entheogens outside of a ritualized context, I'm just finishing up Jim DeKorne's book, Psychedelic Shamanism, in which he voices some of the same concerns you have articulated here.
Feb. 5th, 2002 10:40 am (UTC)
Re: Change and Force
I am a cautious proponent of hallucinogens within context, though that may be because I haven't tried any of the heavy duty ones myself, I don't know. One of the reasons I haven't, frankly, is because I often find the other side an insidiously more attractive place to be than current consensual reality. No use in rolling in the chocolate, so to speak.

As a "short cut to enlightenment" it may cut out years of your heinie going to sleep sitting in zazen... if your structure is solid enough to take the earthquake and the aftershocks. Be a vector, not a participant... let all move through you, experience it and let it go. The sieve gets wet but doesn't bear the weight of the water.

LOL... don't get me started about attachments ;-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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