(this material is from Wikipedia) Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_Science
Though an exhaustive list would be difficult to produce, there are several main themes which together form the core of the spirituality that Corbin defends. The Imagination plays a crucial role in the human and divine orders. It is the primary means by which we engage with Creation and provides the link “without which the worlds are put out of joint.” Prayer is the supreme form of the creative imagination, and as such is the ultimate exercise of human freedom. Opposing the imagination is rigid literalism in its myriad forms. Corbin presents a vehement triple critique of idolatry, dogma and the institutionalization of religion, coupled with a radical assessment of the doctrine of the Incarnation. He considered himself a Protestant Christian but he abandoned a Christocentric view of history. The grand sweep of his theology of the Holy Spirit embraces Judaism
as manifestations of a single coherent story of the ongoing relationship between the individual and God. He pleaded for recognition of the over-arching unity of the religions of Abraham. He was a passionate defender of the central role of the individual as the finite image of the Unique Divine. It is the bond between the human soul and the face of the Heavenly Twin, the Angel Holy Spirit, who appears uniquely to each of us, which is the ethical bond par excellence. This mystical spirituality depends upon the capacity of the human soul to travel a path towards the Angel, and towards perfection. The status of Person is not simply bestowed upon us at birth – it is a goal to be achieved. The true journey of our lives is measured on a vertical scale. Our progress on this path is gauged by our capacity for love and, linked to this, our ability to perceive beauty. His mysticism is no world-denying asceticism but regards all of Creation as a theophany of the divine. Beauty is the supreme theophany, and human love for a being of beauty is not a hindrance to our union with the Divine, but a threshold to Divine Passion. This vision has much in common with what has become known as Creation Spirituality, and the figure of the Angel Holy Spirit is similar to what is sometimes called the Cosmic Christ. Some who desire a future for the prophetic tradition which transcends mutual suspicion, hatred and violence postulate one in which Corbin’s work can play an important role.
An example of Corbin's lucid articulation of metaphysical concepts, which is not unrelated to his own spiritual hermeneutics, is finely demonstrated in his Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi
. Despite the fact that much of the information- both historical and doctrinal- presented in this book has been corrected and updated in more recent Ibn Arabi scholarship- particularly the works of William Chittick, Michel Chodkiewicz, Claude Addas, James Morris, and Gerald Elmore- Corbin's elucidations of such concepts as the metaphysics of the heart and the function of imagination are phenomenal. In a chapter entitled "Theophanic Imagination and Creativity of the Heart", Corbin makes a sharp distinction between two functions of imagination. On the one hand, it deals specifically with "theogony", that is, the Divinization of the Cosmos through the Divine Names. Corbin distinguishes theogony from creatio ex nihilo
, which understands the cosmogonic process as beginning in one point in time, and which insists on maintaining some type of a ‘distance’ between the Principle and Its creation. Corbin uses the phase "theogony of the cosmos" to refers specifically to cosmology, but that type of cosmology which takes place within the Primordial Cloud (the linguistic place where words become articulated or ‘existentiated’), in which the Principle and Its manifestation are not separate from one another, except from the standpoint of the manifestations’ multiple levels of being as descents from their Principle. Since reason can only understand creatio ex nihilo, imagination is required in order to understand the cosmos as theophany. The other function of imagination which Corbin identifies is its purely spiritual/psychological role as “an imaginative potency in man”.
The purely psychological functions of the imagination also play a ‘creative’ role in that the imaginal faculty allows for certain modes of ‘creation’ to come about. How this takes places is related to the fundamental distinction between the two types of imagination (to be distinguished from the two functions of imagination mentioned above) articulated by Ibn Arabi: "conjoined imagination" (al-khayal al-muttasil
) and dissociable or, as Corbin suggests, autonomous imagination (al-khayal al-munfasil). The former denotes the existence of an imagination connected to the imagining subject, whereas the latter denotes an imagination which is entirely separate from the subject, subsisting in its own right in the World of Images or the Imaginal World
). It is the autonomous imagination that allows the emergence of the images which present themselves to the "conjoined imagination". The way in which imagination is ‘creative’ is intimately related to an understanding of these two types of imagination. When an image from the World of Images presents itself to the subject, its (re)presentation takes place in the imagining subject’s imaginal faculty (Phenomenological reality), thus allowing for the significance of the image proceeding from the World of Images to emerge, that is, the significance that that image holds for the imagining subject. The (re)presentation of the image depends entirely on two concepts, that of the heart (qalb)- which Corbin astutely refers to as the ‘organ of mystic physiology’- and that of spiritual will (himma
), or, perhaps more accurately in this context (Corbin does not translate the term), ‘creative imaginal potency’.
But it is important to keep in mind that when the Image from the World of Images represents itself to the imagining subject, it reflects in his ‘heart’ which itself functions like a mirror. The mirror of the heart reflects that Image which is cast upon it, thus producing a purely imaginal representation of the Image’s true ‘mode’ of being. Objects in mirrors are both real and unreal. They are real because they convey to us, rather accurately, the reality of that image which is reflected in it, yet they are also unreal in that the image is, actually, not ‘there’, and is, in fact, non-existent. Images in mirrors are, therefore, at once existent and non-existent, which is precisely the way Ibn Arabi envisions the ‘situation’ of the cosmos. When the Image from the World of Images reflects into the heart of the mystic, it is the mystic’s imaginal faculty, his Active Imagination as governed by his himma
, which can then ‘create’ that image into a ‘representation’ or ‘apparition’ of the Image itself, thus reproducing the Image in a purely ‘imaginal’ way which stands ‘outside’ of the imagining subject. It is with this important concept in mind that the notion of ‘theophanic prayer’ may be understood, and which Corbin discusses in detail in the following chapter. Theophanic prayer refers to a method in which God reveals Himself to the mystic in the mystic’s ‘act’ of prayer, or, rather, how the mystic ‘creates’ an Image of God for himself in prayer. The formless form of God is made manifest to the mystic by virtue of his himma
, thus producing an Image of the Divinity to whose qiblah he has turned his attention. But it is through the Image of the Divine produced in the heart of the mystic that this can, in fact, take place. God at this point is reminiscent of the vaporware of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is actually God who reveals Himself to Himself in the act of prayer, but it is to the degree of the purity of the mystic’s heart (read ‘spiritual consciousness’), that he will have a vision of God’s Image and, by the same token, that God will have a vision of Himself, His own Image. Thus prayer is a purely ‘creative’ act for the Gnostic because it allows him to recast the Image of the Divine presented to his heart by virtue of the creative power of his himma
. This imaginal power creates a mode of presence of the Divine which simply would be unperceivable without recourse to imagination. It should also be noted that Corbin looks at how the notion of creative imagination plays itself out in several key events related in the Qur’an and hadith. For example, the Qur’an mentions one of Prophet Solomon’s companions (someone who had “Knowledge of the Book”) who was able to reproduce, in an instant, the throne of the Queen of Sheba. What happened was “that the “transfer” of the throne took place on the plane of Imaginative Presence…”. This example finely illustrates the importance of the power of imagination in producing images instantaneously, but which can only take place on the plane of Imagination itself, the possibility of which is entirely determined by one’s himma
To take a shot at these questions, we must examine what physics says of the physical and see if that can be mathematically extended to produce predictions matching anecdotal observations of the etheric and astral.
To clear up semantic confusion, “etheric” can refer to either of two things: first is the “etheric realm” of occultism which is a luminescent mirror world interpenetrating the physical, and second is the “ether” of archaic science which is the medium in which everything exists.
Perhaps the two are identical, but for this article I will be referring to the “etheric realm” of occultism since that is where we have empirical data.
What is the etheric?
Minerals, plants, animals, and people have physical bodies, but what makes them alive is something beyond the physical. Without that extra factor, entropy would cause disintegration of the physical as happens after death. Tracing the physical processes of the body down to the smallest scales brings us into the quantum domain. Processes that seem mechanical and predictable on the large scale have their origins in quantum jumps that are neither predictable by physical science nor controllable by physical means.
So that extra factor is something that biases these quantum jumps at the small scale to offset the forces of entropy at the large scale. This is the etheric body, a subtle energy body interpenetrating the physical and shaping the quantum processes that give rise to its biological activities. In other words, the etheric body is an energy template that biases the probability of acausal biological events to produce ordered and intelligent life. It is a formative field made of coarse life-force energy.
Using the terminology of chaos theory, it is an attractor field (a structured field made of strange attractors).
Since the physical body resides in a physical environment, the etheric body must reside in an etheric environment. And just as a physical body can exist without an etheric (as is the case with a corpse) so can the etheric exist without the physical. This means etheric life-forms may exist around us who, because they lack physical bodies, are imperceptible to our physical senses.
Occult perception (known as second sight) lets one view the local etheric environment.
For beginners this requires entering a trance state in between sleeping and waking, where the mind is decoupled from linear time and mechanized thoughts. It happens naturally in hypnagogic and hypnopompic states while going to sleep and waking up, although advanced occultists and shamans can switch into this while walking around and talking.
In this state, one can observe etheric life-forms, the etheric field around living things, and also etheric thought-forms which are produced by mental/emotional energy cast off by people throughout the day that continue in the ether like eddies in water until running out of energy and fading.
It is also known that alien/hyper-dimensional entities can hang around in the etheric, not fully materializing into the physical, in order to quietly observe. This is also true of time travelers who are unable or unwilling to fully lock phase with our particular time stream and thus can only observe us. All these can be seen with second sight, however. The etheric realm is therefore a superset of the physical, and the parts we can see through second sight is just the close halo of the physical extending into the etheric realm.
From a quantum viewpoint, the etheric state appears to involve partial delocalization of the wave function, as will be discussed below. And it takes delocalization of your own consciousness to view it through second sight.
While the physical realm and our normal waking consciousness are both highly localized or collapsed into a single sharp focal point, the etheric plane is more diffuse, like the tranced consciousness needed to perceive it. That diffuseness is what allows the etheric body to shape quantum events, to bias probability, because it is a structure diffused across multiple possibilities instead of being localized to just one as our physical body is.
Other clairvoyants have described the etheric realm as a mirror world, not only in mirroring the physical when, say, the etheric body has similar morphology to the physical it enlivens, but that very often perception shows things as reversed - reversed in time, reversed in space. I’m getting ahead of myself, but that phenomenon appears to involve more the parts of the etheric that blend into the astral, complicated by the fact that what we see with second sight is what our mind decodes of the energy patterns constituting etheric life-forms, and it is therefore biased by our own personal lexicon of symbolic visuals.
Although relatively speaking, what you see of the etheric is closer to its actual reality than what you would see in the astral.
Another thing to notice is that if the etheric realm is indeed a mirror world in every sense of the term, where time intervals do run opposite those of the physical, then it sheds further light on how it can bias probability. Probabilities deal with probable futures and to shape quantum events means to have these be attracted toward certain probable futures and repelled from others.
So it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this attraction and repulsion seems to come from those probable futures. Some type of resonant action between the current quantum system and the most strongly attracted probable future helps that future manifest. This resonance is encoded in the etheric field, and it acts upon the physical by pulling on it from the direction of the future - meaning it is an influence that originates in our perceived future and flows backward in time.
To illustrate this, if you are given five choices then you have five probable futures all sending their influences back in time and intersecting you in the present. The choice you most feel a tug toward is the probable future with the strongest reverse-time attraction force. You still have freewill and can choose one of the lesser alternatives, which is especially important if that strongest future is a bad one and willpower is needed to get you toward the healthier alternative. Etherically you are resonant with the strongest of your immediate probable futures.
In addition to being mere psychology, habit also has an etheric basis because repeated behaviors set up a type of momentum in the etheric that biases probability toward continuation of that behavior. And not only behavior, but for instance the type of activity that goes on in a house can imprint the etheric to attract similar activity in whoever moves in next.
So a transfer of etheric patterns can take place. You could receive the pattern of illness or bad luck from someone else’s etheric field through close interaction and thus start attracting those. In fact, etheric entities (and devices built by aliens) can be latched onto you in order to alter your behavior, health, and probability of experience.
Certain schools of occultism teach how to create your own etheric thought-forms to accomplish tasks, and the darker of those schools teach how a thought-form programmed to start a fire in your enemy’s home will do just that. Of course, it won’t start a fire by heating the carpet until it smolders, rather it heightens the probability that an accident causing a fire will occur.
All this shows that the etheric is intimately involved in probability.
So the etheric is closely associated with the physical realm, loosely mirroring its shape and diffusing outward in all spatiotemporal directions. It is the seat of raw life-force energy and influencer of probability. In contrast, the astral is as far removed from the etheric as the etheric is from the physical, and is thus two orders different from the physical. It is more reflective of internal psychic space than an external physical space.
The astral body is the seat of soul-based emotions. Whereas the etheric pulls on physical quantum events, the astral seems to pull on mental and emotional events. The astral realm, instead of mirroring physical form, symbolically mirrors emotional and psychic energy patterns.
Second sight also allows perception of the astral when an astral entity blends into the etheric environment. But to fully enter an astral realm requires that consciousness shift completely out of the physical and etheric environment and enter into something that is more like shared mind-space rather than space-time.
Astral beings are not defined by structure and form, but by abstract symbolic meaning and conscious signature.
An astral traveler can still decode all this into an internally recreated visual environment, but the real reality behind it isn’t comprehensible in terms of distance and time.
What Physics Says About Spacetime
To relate the physical to etheric and astral, we can examine what is known about the physical at its most fundamental level. That would be the structure of flat space-time.
Brief background: the Theory of Special Relativity gives a mathematical framework describing how time stretches and length contracts depending on velocity relative to an observer. Space and time are shown to not be independent of each other, but part of a single structure called space-time. Two observers traveling at different velocities perceive each other’s length and rate of time as different compared to when they were at rest.
Why? Because each are rotated at different angles in space-time.
To have two observers measure two different values of distance and time and both be right was thought impossible under the old physics. This comes with treating time as mere ticks on a clock.
Relativity treats time as a fourth spatial dimension, however, where the separation between two events is measured between two points in the four-dimensional space-time. That four dimensional separation stays constant no matter the velocity of the observers, and everything works out. Two observers are just looking at the same thing from two angles.
That interval of flat four dimensional space-time is written like this:
c = speed of light
(I left out the ∆ for the sake of simplicity)
This is just a four dimensional version of the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem gives distance between two points in an orthogonal coordinate system (right-angled measuring grid).
For instance, the two and three dimensional versions of the Pythagorean theorem are:
(Where x and y are sides of a rectangle, and z is the height of a cube or rectangular prism)
The time component of space-time can only be treated as a physical dimension if its squared value is meaning that the unsquared value is where is an imaginary number .
While space is real, time has an imaginary direction. Literally, the fourth dimension has units of “imaginary meters” or “imaginary light seconds”. The coordinate system of space-time (physical realm) therefore looks like this:
At low velocities where there is barely any rotation into the fourth dimension, we can get by doing all our physics with real time. But in truth, time is imaginary compared to space.
What does this mean, that time is imaginary?
Quantum Physics and Time
Relativity treats time in a strange way.
Quantum physics does as well. How the two relate, and how that ties into the etheric and astral realms, is the focus of the rest of this article.
In quantum physics, time is treated as the changing phase of a wave function. Phase is the alignment of a wave relative to some starting point, and the wave function is the diffuse set of probabilities of which one slice we perceive as a tangible manifested reality.
The wave function is written like so:
This definition states that the total wave function is simply a time-dependent phase factor multiplying a space-dependent wave function. If you compare this to Relativity, you’ll see that what in space-time is imaginary (the time component) becomes here a phase factor, while what was real (the space component) becomes a wave function depending on that component only.
The phase factor is really important. What we observe as particles and atoms (and by that logic everything in the universe) is just a fuzzy wave of possibilities before observation.
What happens upon observation is that we, as points of consciousness, lock phase with one “frame” of that wave function so that, with both now having the same wave alignment, both share the same reality, both are tangible to each other, and other possibilities not phase-locked get shut out.
(As stated earlier, if you diffuse your consciousness to something other than a sharp point, you can likewise perceive things in their fuzzier probabilistic state).
There is absolutely no way for science to mathematically predict what particular tangible state a wave-function will collapse into; that is decided by consciousness and the etheric template, not the physical.
When two things (even two people) have the same quantum phase, their phase difference is zero and they are completely real to each other. The only reason you and I would be able to shake hands is because we have the same quantum phase, which in this case is the same time-dependent phase factor. This means we are both occupying the same moment in time. Upon meeting we would be near the same position in space as well, and this allows us to solidly interact. If our phase difference is slightly different, our interaction will be less tangible.
That time for us is a mere quantum phase factor, that it has an imaginary direction, goes hand in hand with our being pulled along the river of time collectively even against our wishes, while we retain total freedom to move around in space. What is real to us, we have complete freedom to move around within.
What is imaginary, we can only navigate to the degree that our consciousness changes.
Etheric and Astral Physics
With this background in Relativity and quantum physics, we can now take a shot at interpreting how the etheric and astral realms relate to the physical. Whatever the relation, it should be simple and explain the empirical observations regarding these while still matching up with the physics of space-time and quantum mechanics.
The major clue is that time is imaginary while space is real… interesting that time can be imaginary… could space become imaginary too? What about other imaginary numbers beside ?
These were the questions I asked. And it leads straight into quaternions, which are an extension of imaginary numbers. Instead of just being the square root of minus one, the other imaginary numbers j and k relate to each other in similarly odd ways.
The rules for quaternions are as follows:
The difference between real and imaginary numbers is basically a ninety degree rotation into a dimension of impossibility. By that I mean, if you ask a fifth grader what is the square root of negative one, they’ll say it is impossible since no number times itself can give a negative value. But that is what happens to be defined as, something that exists and can be worked with despite seeming impossible.
The same goes for the etheric relative to the physical - tell any scientist of the etheric realm and he will find it impossible, yet the influence of the etheric hides right behind the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the unpredictable phase-locking of the wave functions. It exists and can be worked with, but is impossible under thinking of conventional physics which treats the intelligent and ordered biasing of phase-locks as mere “randomness” that can only be analyzed statistically like a game of Plinko.
And for this same reason, science still does not know what time truly is - they know space very well, because it is real, but time is imaginary and we move along it mysteriously at a steady pace.
All the above points to the etheric having a relationship with the physical what imaginary numbers have with the real numbers. And to convert from real to imaginary, you just multiply by .
That is what must be done, to take the coordinates of space-time times an and thus “operate” upon it a virtual ninety degree rotation:
So whereas the physical realm has imaginary time and real space, the etheric realm has real time and imaginary space. We can take it further and multiply by to theoretically get the astral:
And if we operate upon the astral coordinates with the third imaginary number we get back the physical:
Summarizing the structure of the coordinates:
Physical Realm: (imaginary time, real space)
Etheric Realm: (negative real time, imaginary space)
Astral Realm: (negative j-imaginary time, negative k-imaginary space)
These are the raw coordinates. The Pythagorean space-time intervals are as follows:
These two are just opposite in sign.
This implies that,
Of course, at moments of quantum choice multiple paths open up into the future, and thus multiple futures have paths tracing back to the present moment.
This precisely matches what was stated earlier about probable futures exerting influences via the etheric that go backward in time and intersect the present. So the etheric is indeed associated with some kind of “reverse time” phenomenon, at least as far as its interactions with our physical realm is concerned.
As for the raw coordinates of the etheric, time is real instead of imaginary and space is imaginary instead of real. In that sense it is more like time-space instead of space-time. I’m not sure how to interpret this exactly. But to make an educated guess, this implies that within the etheric, one has total freedom to move forward or backward in time just as we physical beings have total freedom to move around in space.
Inversely, our consciousness is quantum phase-locked into a collective rate of time and mobility in time is limited, while for the etheric entity it would be spatial geometry, form, path, and position would be the restrictors instead of time.
Maybe that explains why etheric phenomena depend so much on geometry:
the etheric energies of a room being dependent on furniture arrangement
shape of pyramids and domes being concentrators of etheric energy
ghosts being tied down to particular locations and sometimes seen doing the same thing or walking the same path over and over
the use of specially arranged items and repeated motions in rituals to invoke etheric entities
spatially periodic arrangement of atoms in a crystal lattice making it function as an amplifier and transducer of etheric energies
We can take a closer look at the quantum physics of the etheric plane, if that is even possible. Earlier it was shown how space-time coordinates related to the wave function, where imaginary components became a phase factor multiplying another wave function depending only on the real components.
Applying this to the etheric case:
And continuing onto the astral case:
I’m not sure whether the etheric wave function should have the last part be or but in either case that wave function is a function of time, and if periodic would be a frequency. Therefore the etheric wave function is a spatial phase factor times a frequency factor. That may be where the resonance phenomenon of the etheric body comes into play.
I wrote of this in Ether Body and FRV where the resonance spectrum of your etheric body (aka aura) determines what probable futures you resonate with and are mutually attracted toward. The aura has spatial characteristics, not only localized to your body and varying in frequency over different regions of the body, but also extending outward a certain distance, which is why cities have certain vibes due to everyone’s auras contributing to the collective aura of the city.
It is also why you can get bad reactions to people with bad vibes if you get too close to them, or say, why having a roommate of bad vibes can drag you down as well (aside from the psychological osmosis) including bringing you the same mishaps and misfortunes that are resonant with him or her.
I should also mention that the physical wave function shown earlier is, in realistic cases, just one of many wave functions comprising the totality of a particle, atom, molecule, substance. Likewise, there are many etheric frequencies making up a rich spectrum unique to each individual (unless the individual is not an individual but some artificial humanoid construct cast from the same mold and thus carrying identical energy signature as others like it - see Human Simulacra for more on that idea).
That sums up my interpretation of the etheric wave function.
The astral case is interesting because all components of the astral coordinates are imaginary and thus the wave function consists purely of phase. This shows that, as required, the astral realm is completely different from the physical. Whereas the etheric somewhat mirrors the physical, the astral is perpendicular to both the physical and the etheric. Its wave function has no spatial or temporal wave function component, just pure phase. It is beyond space-time and time-space.
From a Relativistic point of view, the astral realms would reside exactly on the event horizon of existence, on the light cone, in a timeless state of eternity and zero space.
This is evident from the following Special Relativity equations:
Or the General Relativity equations, in terms of the gravitational potential :
When or then time goes to infinity and length goes to zero, both losing their meaning.
Those conditions happen at the event horizon, at the speed of light, on the light-cone in space-time diagrams. All quantum wave functions would, in that state, lose their real spatial and temporal dependence and the only thing left would be phase.
And that is why existence in the true astral realms is so abstract, symbolic, timeless and spaceless.
The astral is the phase space, phase time, within the bubble of eternity. And from this state, physical realms are accessible by simply rotating into them via transformation through k, though only in accordance with the phase pattern one holds in the astral state. This may very well be the process of incarnation.
Reincarnation would involve consciousness first rotating out of the physical, then out of the etheric, and finally into the upper strata of the astral before doing the reverse and entering into a new fetus.
When or then time and space return - with Real and Imaginary flipped. Talk about going through the looking glass! That is the multiplication of spacetime by which is how the etheric realm was derived. The physical plane exists under the light barrier, etheric beyond the light barrier, and astral at the light barrier.
This is another reason etheric processes act acausally instead of causally - they operate in a region of reality that are not causally connected to us (in the same way one domino knocking down another are causally connected) but rather acausally by “unpredictably” affecting the phase of the physical wave function.
We can combine the physical, etheric, and astral into one coordinate system if coordinates are made complex instead of purely real or purely imaginary.
If so, it would look like this:
This is to allow for entities occupying multiple realms. For instance, the coordinate (ic3 – c5, 2+4i, 0, 0) is located neither entirely in the physical nor in the etheric, but has projections onto each. We would observe this point located at 2 meters and 3 imaginary light-seconds, while in the etheric realm it appears to be at 4 imaginary meters and -5 light-seconds.
But in truth this point is neither in the physical nor in the etheric, but in between.
The coordinate can also be represented in polar form with magnitude and phase, where a 45° phase angle means being halfway between physical and etheric, 0° fully physical, and 90° fully etheric.
This is probably the same phase discussed earlier in connection with the quantum wave function:
As mentioned earlier, 0° quantum phase difference means phase lock or full tangibility between two beings (or a system and its observer) and just now 0° polar phase was defined as the physical plane - the plane of tangibility.
This also suggests, however, that if another collective reality is at 23° and everyone in it were also at 23° then those people would be fully tangible to each other, yet phased out from us at 0° and thus imperceptible. Aliens who hang around invisibly to observe us are probably phased out in this manner to varying degrees, although that they can see us without us seeing them must then be due to our being focused on just one special phase while they can see multiple phases at once.
Aside from the phase angle associated with there are also phases for j and k in the astral realm, though my interpretation of those is left for another research note.
What separates one timeline from another?
Consider two moments in time, both occurring at noon on the same day but located in parallel timelines. In the first you have spaghetti for lunch, the other you have curry.
Where are these two moments relative to each other?
Well, they both have the same physical time since they both happen at noon. But if time is complex, then they must have different complex time values despite having the same imaginary one. One could be (.435c + ic12) and the other (.482c + ic12).
This shows that choices we face each split off into different complex time values. If ten minutes before lunch I can think of three places to go, then my timeline splits into three timelines with unique complex time values. The space-time diagrams of Relativity (with light cones) only show and not – they don’t allow for real time and therefore parallel timelines.
Although that could be easily added by layering light-cones or having them be joined at the axis with rotation from light cone to light cone signifying changing phase angles.
I would go so far as to say that, to represent all this more accurately, the light cone has to be folded up into a light bundle containing our reality similar to how a fiber optic cable can carry the video data of a movie, and that reality would thus consist of an intricate network of these light bundles intersecting and diverging at nodes, the nodes representing choice points where one can switch from one causal time segment to an array of others.
It should be clear that all these phase angles, realms, and the complex regions between them make for a vast and mind-boggling hyper-dimensional game board.
The complex spaces may even have a fractal structure, which would make opportunities for experience and evolution of life truly infinite. That is assuming any of this math speculation is even correct, and given that I only received these ideas less than a week ago there is plenty of room for error.
If nothing else, consider this research note an exercise in creative thinking.
Dr. Charles T. Tart on September 7th, 2015
State-Specific Sciences: Altered State Origin of the Proposal
Charles T. Tart
Perhaps the most important and creative idea I’ve had in my half-century career as a psychologist has been the establishment of state-specific sciences
. The basic idea is to greatly expand our ability to gain knowledge by practicing the essence of science in a variety of states of consciousness, instead of just one, and to be able to study and eventually use the unusual experiences of altered states more clearly. Little has been done by others to actually establish such sciences as of this time (2015), and I believe that, for a variety of reasons, the idea is still ahead of its time, but I have high hopes for it. I’m also aware that just because an idea seems exciting and plausible does not necessarily mean it is correct, so it may turn out to be an idea that is false, as some people said at the time, but we shall see…Note on Eye Candy: Various charts from my systems approach to understanding and using Altered States of Consciousness, taken from my States of Consciousness book.
Here’s how it came about.
By the early 1970s, I had finished my graduate degree and spent a decade focusing my empirical research primarily on the nature of hypnosis and on using posthypnotic suggestion to influence the content and processing of stage I-REM dreaming during the night. I had also been a subject while in graduate school of a psychiatrist colleague’s (Martin Keeler) experiments with psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD and psilocybin, so I had some personal experience of the drastic changes that these kind of drugs could make to mental functioning. And although consciousness per se was still largely a taboo topic in science back then, I was familiar with a very wide variety of early studies and reports on things like creative states, what little was known of meditation at the time, lucid dreams, and the like.
I had also, through the kindness of Michael Murphy, the founder of Esalen Institute, attended a number of human potential programs at Esalen. One of the growth techniques I became aware of was Structural Integration, commonly known as Rolfing. This was a therapy developed by New York physiologists Ida Rolf. To greatly oversimplify, she observed that, probably as a result of various physical traumas through life, our body became poorly aligned within the Earth’s gravitational field, connective tissue grew into permanent tensions to try to compensate for this, and as a result a lot of physical energy was wasted or took pathological directions. She developed a form of therapy (10 sessions) in which a Rolfing therapist, using intense physical manipulation techniques (not just fingers but elbows with full body weight behind them, e.g.) softened and broke hardened connective tissue until the body was optimally aligned vertically in the gravitational field. Some of the Rolfing practitioners also felt that this released many psychological traumas that had been incorporated in chronic bodily tensions and practices. I could look in the mirror and see that my posture was not all that good, and decided to go through the standard 10 sessions of Rolfing. I was ambivalent about this, already knowing that it was usually a quite painful procedure, and I’ve always been afraid of pain.Pain-Induced Altered States:
I was living in Davis in 1971, so drove down to San Francisco for my first Rolfing session with Seymour Carter. My expectations of it being extremely painful work were, unfortunately, repeatedly confirmed throughout the approximately 90 minute session! I tried to be a strong, silent manly type, but I’m sure I let out a fair number of moans and groans! When I stood up at the end of the session, though, I felt taller and many of my bodily motions felt smoother, as if my joints had been rusty and now the rust had been removed and my joints had been oiled.
I drove straight back to Davis, and in that hour of driving all of the ideas that later came out in my proposal for establishing state-specific sciences arose in my mind, in a comprehensible and orderly manner. I got home, grabbed my portable electric typewriter and took it to a table in my back yard (it was a pleasant afternoon) and began typing.
Almost all of the proposal came out within the hour, with no corrections or editing, and by three days later I had run off more than 100 mimeographed copies of the proposal to distribute at the Council Grove conference on consciousness that I was going to attend in Kansas in a few days.
So what was my proposal for state-specific sciences?
Stripping it down to the barest of essentials, if you ask what science is, it’s a set of procedures for (1) better observation of what happens in reality and (2) for creating, testing, and refining theories, explanations, as to why things happen the way you observed. What is usually left out in thinking about science, though, is that the process of essential science is done by a human being, done by a creature with characteristics, both innate and acquired, that can make it more sensitive to some kinds of things, less sensitive or blind other kinds of things, able to reason and see clearly about some kinds of relationships, but not about others.
Besides characteristics inherent to all human beings, each of us has been socialized into a particular culture and so is biased to observe things and think about things in accordance with the values of that culture. But when you look at the way the mind can change its functioning in various altered states of consciousness (ASCs), you realize that the “ordinary” or “normal” state for any particular culture has many semi-arbitrary characteristics. So doing science in one’s ordinary state of consciousness is doing it with, as it were, a specialized instrument.
It would be, by analogy, as if all astronomy were done through telescopes whose lenses were made from a kind of glass that was inherently red. Those telescopes would be more sensitive to certain kinds of light, less sensitive to other. There’s nothing wrong with the observations and theories based on them made with the red-biased telescopes, of course, but it’s wrong to assume that they are the complete picture. So what I basically proposed is that we develop detailed knowledge of various ASC’s, the strengths and weaknesses of each of those, and then practice science within
each of those. That would give us a variety of “instruments,” and so give us additional ways of observing and thinking.Note on Eye Candy: Various charts from my systems approach to understanding and using Altered States of Consciousness, taken from my States of Consciousness book.Creative Flow in the Wisdom of Hindsight:
I’ve been a student of my own, as well as others’ mental processes my whole life, and knew what had happened was quite amazing. I was not that fluent a writer, and to have a complex proposal like that just pour out of my fingertips on to the typed page in practically final form was very unusual. I had never experienced creativity like that, and I later reasoned that some combination of the strong physical pain from the Rolfing session, my attempts to lie still on the worktable so I could be worked on, and the many brief ASCs induced by the pain, states centered around the painful stimulation and my efforts to be quiet and manly, must have shaken up and eliminated all sorts of mental blocks in my mind. (Induction procedures for ASC are discussed in the systems approach to consciousness in my States of Consciousness
book) As I thought about what I’d written about in the proposal, I could see that practically each individual item was something I had thought about the some extent at some time or another in my past, but these had been isolated, unconnected thoughts. The creative miracle was them just pouring out.
I spoke briefly at the 1971 Council Grove conference on this material, and many attendees (researchers interested in consciousness) made encouraging comments, so I did a little bit of editing and submitted it to Science
. Since this was about expanding our potential uses of science in general, not just in terms of properties of ASCs, I thought it deserved to get as wider distribution in the scientific community as possible. I feared it would be too far out for the editors of Science
, but they accepted it. Their acceptance letter included comments from two anonymous referees. One of these referees clearly understood the revolutionary import of the proposal and thought it was an excellent idea. Years later I found out that this referee was Elmer Green, who was uniquely knowledgeable for understanding the state-specific sciences proposal. The second referee was, I concluded from the tenor of his remarks, probably a professor of agriculture or something pretty irrelevant to my proposal, but he went along with publishing the paper. The paper appeared as a feature article (seven pages) in a 1973 issue of Science
.Reaction: Brilliant or Crazy?
As most of us who have published scientific articles know, the vast majority of these articles disappear with scarcely a trace, perhaps a few citations in passing in some specialty journal, and that’s it. To my amazement, and I assume the amazement of the editor of Science
, my proposal drew over 100 letters to the editor! With journal space always being considered precious, Science
only published four of them, with some balance between letters stating it was a good idea and those saying the idea was nonsense. They sent all the rest of the letters to me, and these were not anonymous like refereeing reports, but showed the writers names and affiliations.
These letters to the editor were very interesting. Roughly half of them said state-specific sciences were a good idea, let’s get on with developing them, we will learn a lot. The other half said science depended on the scientist being in a normal
, sane state of consciousness, any and all ASCs were obviously inferior and crazy states, you couldn’t possibly do science in any ASC, Science
should not have published the article. I recognized the names of many of the writers in the “This is crazy” category: they were prominent senior scientists in a variety of fields. From what I could trace down of the names of the writers in the “This is wonderful” category, these were younger scientists.
The most interesting letter, or actually pair of letters, submitted to the editor, was from a psychiatrist I had met once at a conference who was just a little older than me. His first letter was like the letters from the older scientists, this whole idea was, to use the appropriate psychiatric term, nuts! His second letter, written a few days later, reported that he was in an altered state of consciousness one evening and he thought about the state-specific science proposal, and it made perfect sense! He was embarrassed at having to contradict his own position, but his scientific integrity compelled him to…
This proposal for state specific sciences has been widely reprinted in many journals and books. I was also invited to write an updated version of it for a journal I was told was the South American equivalent of Science, Ciencia e Cultura, Journal of the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science
, and I was happy to report that I could see the possible beginnings of state specific sciences in several fields. One was in mathematics, were a number of mathematicians I spoke or corresponded with about their mental state when they were actually doing creative mathematics strongly suggested they were in altered states of consciousness, and that they needed to be in that kind of state to fully comprehend other mathematicians work at times. This was the state specific communication I talked about in the proposal. Another was the extensive information exchanges that were going on between lucid dreamers on the World Wide Web,. In lucid dreams a person’s state of consciousness changes drastically within a nocturnal dream, so they feel as if their mind is sharp, lucid, knowing that they are dreaming, but they can then deliberately experiment with the qualities of the state.
As I concluded in that article,
It is difficult to predict what the chances are of developing state-specific sciences. Our knowledge is still too diffuse and dependent on our normal SoCs. Yet I think it is probable that state-specific sciences can be developed for such SoCs as auto-hypnosis, various meditative states20, marijuana intoxication, LSD intoxication, self-remembering, reverie, various emotional states, and biofeedback-induced states , in addition to lucid dreaming. In all of these SoCs, volition seems to be retained, so that the observer can indeed carry out experiments on herself or others or both. Some SoCs, in which the wish to experiment during the state may disappear, but in which some experimentation can be carried out if special conditions are prepared before the state is entered, might be alcohol intoxication, ordinary dreaming, hypnagogic states, and high dreams . Some SoCs, like those associated with NDEs, may simply be too dangerous to deliberately experimentThe original Science article:
Tart, C. T. (1972). States of consciousness and state-specific sciences. Science, 176, 1203-1210.Later expanded version:
Tart, C. T. (1998). Investigating altered states of consciousness on their own terms: A proposal for the creation of state-specific sciences. Ciencia e Cultura, Journal of the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science
, 2/3, 103-116.
My published articles in general:http://paradigm-sys.com/charles-t-tart-articles.html
Ongoing blog, essays:blog.paradigm-sys.com
An old interview which may be worth a read. Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_SciencePosted by Greg at 12:40, 30 Apr 2004/ From the Daily Grail
Today we've managed to have a chat with one of the world's most respected researchers and commentators on altered states of consciousness (ASCs), Dr Charles Tart. I thought we might start off by "filling in the blanks" for those not familiar with his work, or even with the research into ASCs over the years.
Dr Tart was born in 1937 and grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. He was active in amateur radio and worked as a radio engineer while a teenager. He studied electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before electing to become a psychologist. He received his doctoral degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1963, and then received postdoctoral training in hypnosis research with Professor Ernest R. Hilgard at Stanford University.
Dr Tart is internationally known for his psychological work on the nature of consciousness (particularly altered states of consciousness), for his research in scientific parapsychology, and as one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology. His two classic books, ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS (1969) and TRANSPERSONAL PSYCHOLOGIES (1975), became widely used texts that were instrumental in allowing these areas to become part of modern psychology. He is currently a Core Faculty Member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (Palo Alto, California) and a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (Sausalito, California), as well as Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California, where he served for 28 years.
Thanks for joining us Dr Tart. First off, a little history - considering where it has led, I'd be interested in knowing what inspired the change in your early study pursuits, from Electrical Engineering to Psychology?CT:
As a teenager, electronics was my hobby and a burning interest. I was a ham radio operator, enjoying learning about and building the equipment more than the actual talking on the air with other hams, and I taught myself enough electronics to pass the government tests for a First Class Radio Telephone license. That allowed me to work as an engineer in various radio stations, responsible for keeping the equipment tuned and running. It was a great way of working my way through college, as my main job was to be there and log the meter readings every half hour, so I could study in between. Of course if anything happened that took the station off the air, I had to work fast and furious to put it back on - no broadcast, no commercials, no income! So it was natural for me to plan to become an electrical engineer. Also, I was really interested in parapsychology, but it never occurred to me that I could make a living in it - most people still can't, actually, given the lack of money in the field and the prejudice against it - nor did I realize I could become a psychologist, which would be close and fit in with all my interest in the human mind generally. I don't think my high school had anything like vocational counseling when I was there in the early 50s, or, if they did, I was already so set on electrical engineering that I paid no attention to it.
Once I became a student at MIT, though, several things happened. On the positive side, some other students and I formed a parapsychology club and I got to personally meet and correspond with some of the leading figures in the field, like J. B. Rhine, Gardner Murphy, and Eileen J. Garrett, so my interest went up enormously. Mrs. Garrett introduced me to Andrija Puharich, a parapsychologist who was "far out" even by parapsychological standards, but he seemed to have found a way to use electronic equipment (a Faraday cage system) to enhance ESP functioning, and that kind of enhancement was exactly what the field needed (and still needs). I was able to spend the summer of my sophomore year working with him as a research assistant. On the negative side, I found I didn't really have the very mathematical kind of mind that was needed for engineering, so I put these things together, found out I could become a psychologist and, with the assistance of J. B. Rhine, transferred to Duke University after my sophomore year. All in all, a very good move!GT:
That's quite an incredible list of influential contacts so early in your career, and I didn't know that you worked with Andrija Puharich. Do you think that the revolutionary work undertaken by individuals and groups in the 1950's (such as the Round Table Foundation) had an influence on the rise of the experimental "counter-culture" of the 1960's and 70's...or were they simply parts of a larger trend in the way humans thought about themselves?CT:
No, I'm sorry to say that Puharich's research has been almost totally ignored by scientific parapsychologists at the time and since then. I fear this has been a big loss. Puharich had a lot of influence in more fringy, "New Agey" circles, but that has not resulted, to my knowledge, in any solid scientific discoveries. As to the counter-culture, that was created by a combination of existential discontent with a shallow, materialistic culture, plus a desire for actual spiritual experience, not just being told what to believe, plus the introduction of oriental meditation techniques - something you could actually *do* instead of just believe - plus psychedelic drugs, which showed many, many people that there were more profound experiences possible than consumerism - to vastly oversimplify a complex historical phenomena, of course.GT:
In your work you seem to have covered basically the whole range of subjects that come under the banner 'ASC', from remote viewing, to OBEs, Psi and hallucinogens. Amongst these, do you have a favourite area of study?CT:
First an important correction. Psi, the study of telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. does not normally come under the ASC banner. You can study consciousness and ASCs without knowing anything about psi, and it's a lot "safer" careerwise because ASCs are fairly accepted in science while parapsychology, the study of psi, is strongly rejected. When I created my ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS book (1969), e.g., I deliberately avoided psi as much as possible as I knew I was pushing the prejudices of the establishment back then to think about ASCs, and if I'd done more than mention psi in passing, the automatic rejection of psi would have resulted in the ASC material being rejected, instead of it being accepted so widely. Now personally and scientifically, I know psi is an important aspect of consciousness, but I still generally keep them distinct for tactical reasons - I want to be effective in communicating, not uselessly rouse people's prejudices.
Within the ASC field, my initial research for a number of years was with hypnosis and dreams, then psychedelics, then meditation, to oversimplify a complex career. But the interesting thing is that I'm now much less interested in "exotic" altered states than in ordinary consciousness! This is because we spend most of our time in ordinary consciousness (consensus consciousness is the technical name I coined for it) and so it has enormous importance - that's usually where we mess up! - and because our understanding of ASCs implicitly assumes we already understand ordinary consciousness, which is not at all the case! My most recent book, MIND SCIENCE: MEDITATION TRAINING FOR PRACTICAL PEOPLE, teaches people the classical concentrative and insight meditation practices, but then mainly goes into how to be more mindful in the course of everyday life. I've seldom heard of anyone getting in trouble because their thoughts on the meditation cushion weren't mindful, but we sure get in trouble through mindlessness in everyday life!GT:
I know from your writings that you are a great fan of the scientific process, but you also do criticise the philosophy of physicalism, ie. the belief that reality is all reducible to certain kinds of physical entities. In the past you have suggested State Specific Sciences as a "scientific way" of researching ASCs further. Could you give a quick recap on SSS, and I would also like to ask whether you truly think that matters of consciousness can be answered by science?CT:
Science, to me, is a commitment to put DATA, what actually happens and can be observed, internal experiences as well as external observations, ahead of all your theories and beliefs, no matter how much you like them and are attached to them. That's a hard commitment to live up to, we do so fall in love with our clever ideas! Putting that on the spiritual level, one of my favorite sayings is that "There is no God but Reality. To seek Him elsewhere is the action of the Fall." Seek the highest, yes, but if you let your ideas, desires and beliefs about the highest get in the way of learning from actual experience, you have fallen into ignorance. So a basically scientific - not the scientistic approach of physicalism, but genuine science - approach to life is quite applicable to one's spiritual search. Be open to experience, try to observe it as mindfully and openly as possible, form tentative beliefs about what is, but always keep checking those tentative, working beliefs back against direct experience. Spiritual teachers I really admire, like the Buddha and Gurdjieff, have given this advice - don't believe blindly, keep open and figure things out.
One of the categories of experience is experience in various ASCs - dreaming, meditative states, emotional states, etc. That kind of experience should neither be dismissed as irrational and so ignored, nor as automatically being THE TRUTH. It's data, it's experience, and as such, just like the data of ordinary life, you form tentative, working interpretations and beliefs about it, but you keep testing these against further experience. Humility, in a big way!
It's not easy. Even with ordinary experiences, when we form a belief that makes us feel good or special, we easily tend to fix that belief into THE TRUTH and defend it from new experience. With ASC experience, which can be more intense than ordinary experience, it's easy to get fixated, so we have to be open to it - some kinds of things only make "sense" in an ASC - but not get overly attached and forget our basic humility. My proposal for state-specific sciences, in a nutshell, is to systematically apply the basic procedures of essential science (and common sense) to the unusual experiences that happen in various ASCs. The idea is still, I'm afraid, ahead of its time. Lots of people have thought it a great idea, but few have even begun the work to make it real.
Science has worked very well in many other areas, so let's try it! After all, as Henry Ford said, "Those who think they can and those who think they can't are both right." If we don't try, or try with a defeatist attitude, of course we'll get nowhere. I don't know that we'll get all the answers from science, but let's see how far we can go!GT:
You've written about this tension between science and consciousness research as a paradigm clash, which you say have historically been characterised "by bitter emotional antagonisms, and total rejection of the opponent". Is this part of the reason why you created the website journal TASTE ("The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences")?CT:
Yes. One major reason is to provide an outlet for scientists who've had transcendent experiences to express them and get the social support of being on a site with others who've had similar experiences. A second reason, why I hope as many people as possible read the experiences on TASTE, is that I want to destroy the stereotype that scientists, as it were, have no souls……. If I can help destroy that stereotype, more scientists will be able to look at these kind of experiences and help us learn more about them.GT:
Viewing TASTE, it certainly seems that a lot of scientists do have transcendent experiences, but do not talk about them publicly for fear of being ostracised. In the same respect, do you find that a larger number of scientists support the research on ASCs privately, while staying removed from the debate on a public level?CT:
Right. There can be very real consequences of "coming out" with personal transcendent experiences for a scientist, ranging from mild social ostracism at the least consequential end to losing her job (she must be a little crazy, we can't have her teaching students...) at the more consequential end of the spectrum.GT:
And as a final question: You've been at the center of consciousness and parapsychology research for around 40 years now - any thoughts of slowing down? Or is this all just too engaging to leave alone?CT:
Why would I want to stop doing something that I enjoy doing and that I think is of some service to helping others understand the mind? As long as this body holds up, there are so many interesting things to think about, research, write about, and encourage others to think about, research, and write about!GT:
Dr Tart, reading through your work has certainly inspired me not only to research further into areas of consciousness, but has also changed the way I think about myself and the world around me. Personally I'd like to thank you for all the great research you have contributed to a number of fields, and on behalf of TDG readers I'd like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer these questions for us.[Attached is more information about the TASTE website, as well as a small description of one of the awards that TASTE has been honoured with. More information on Dr Tart, as well as other content including free publications, can be found at his personal website]The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences
Over the years many scientists, once they've realized I'm a safe person to talk to, have told me about unusual and transcendent experiences they've had. Too often I'm the first and only person they've ever spoken to about their experiences, for fear of ridicule from their colleagues and adverse, prejudicial effects on their careers. Such fears have, unfortunately, too much of a basis in fact. It's not that there are a lot of scientists with nasty intentions deliberately trying to suppress their colleagues; it's just the social conditioning of our times.
I want to change that, and I ask your help in doing so.
Scientists today often occupy a social role of "high priests," telling laypeople and each other what is and isn't "real," and, consequently, what is and isn't valuable and sane. Unfortunately, the dominant materialistic and reductionistic psychosocial climate of contemporary science (what sociologists long ago named scientism, an attitude different from the essential process of science), rejects and suppresses a priori both having and sharing transcendent, transpersonal and altered states (or "spiritual" and "psychic," to use common words, in spite of their too vague connotations) experiences.
From my perspective as a psychologist, though, this prejudicial suppression and rejection psychologically harms and distorts the transcendent (and other) potentials of both scientists and non-scientists, and also inhibits the development of a genuine scientific understanding of the full potentials of consciousness. Denial of any aspects of our nature, whatever their ultimate ontological status, is never psychologically or socially healthy.
The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) site that I have opened is intended to help change this restricted and pathological climate through the operation of a World Wide Web site in journal form that allows scientists from all fields - from anthropology through botany through mathematics through physics through psychology through zoology, to name just a few - to share their personal, transcendent experiences in a safe, anonymous, but quality controlled space that many people have ready access to.
- Allows individual psychological growth in the contributing scientists by providing a safe means of expression of vital experiences;
- Leads toward a more receptive climate to the full range of our humanity in the scientific professions, which, in turn, will benefit our world culture at large;
- Provides research data on transcendent experiences in a highly articulate and conscientious population, scientists;
- Facilitates the development of a full spectrum science of consciousness by providing both data and psychological support for the study of transcendent experiences;
- Helps bridge the unfortunate gaps between science and the rest of culture by illustrating the humanity of scientists.
Please take a look at TASTE: the URL is http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/tart/taste
. If you find it valuable, please pass this information on to friends and colleagues. I have no budget for advertising, so must depend on word of mouth to get this information around.
If you have a web site of your own and can add a link to TASTE, thank you! Feel free to copy one of the TASTE experiences as an example on your web site, if you like.
In terms of conventional, slower publicity, if you can recommend any journals I should send notices to, please let me know. If you are the editor of any publication, you have my permission (and thanks!) to print this notice in your publication.
And if you value The Archives of Scientists' Transcendent Experiences as much as I do and would like to make a financial contribution to help support it, email me about it. TASTE is sponsored by the Institute for the Scientific Study of Consciousness Inc., and all contributions are fully tax deductible.
Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., Editor
Professor Emeritus, Psychology,
University of California at Davis
Professor, Core Faculty, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,
Palo Alto, CA
"BEST SCIENCE SOCIAL INNOVATION OF 2000
The Science Social Innovations Award 2000 goes to Professor Tart in California for The Archives of Scientist's Transcendent Experiences (TASTE) on the web (at www.issc-taste.org
). Professor Tart believes that the materialistic and reductionist psychosocial climate of contemporary science has rejected and suppressed both the having and the sharing of transcendent, transpersonal, spiritual or psychic states and experiences.
The website is a safe and anonymous, quality-controlled space that scientists can contribute to and that the general public can have access to. It will lead, he hopes, to a more receptive climate within the scientific profession to the full range of our humanity.
[The Institute for Social Inventions is an educational charity founded in 1985 and based in London, with as patrons, inter alia, Brian Eno, Anita Roddick, Sir Peter Parker and Fay Weldon. Schemes around the world are drawn to the Institute's attention by its international correspondents and are judged by the directors of the Institute.]"
Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Multi-Dimensional_Science
A hallucinogen is a psychoactive agent which can cause hallucinations, perceptual anomalies, and other substantial subjective changes in thoughts, emotion, and consciousness. The common types of hallucinogens are psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants. Although hallucinations are a common symptom of amphetamine psychosis, amphetamines are not considered hallucinogens, as they are not a primary effect of the drugs themselves. While hallucinations can occur when abusing stimulants, the nature of stimulant psychosis is not unlike delirium.
L. E. Hollister's criteria for establishing that a drug is hallucinogenic are as follows:
- in proportion to other effects, changes in thought, perception, and mood should predominate;
- intellectual or memory impairment should be minimal;
- stupor, narcosis, or excessive stimulation should not be an integral effect;
- autonomic nervous system side effects should be minimal; and
- addictive craving should be absent.
Nature of nomenclature
A debate persists on criteria which would easily differentiate a substance which is 'psychedelic' from one 'hallucinogenic'. Sir Thomas Browne in 1646 coined the term 'hallucination' from the Latin word "alucinari" meaning "to wander in the mind". The term 'psychedelic' is derived from the Ancient Greek words psychē (ψυχή, "mind") and dēloun (δηλοῦν, "to make visible, to reveal"), or "mind-revealing".
'A hallucinogen' and 'a psychedelic' may refer correctly to the same substance. 'Hallucinations' and 'psychedelia' may both refer to the same aspects of subjective experience in a given instance. The term psychedelia carries an added reference to psychedelic substance culture, and 'psychedelics' are considered by many to be the 'traditional' or 'classical hallucinogens' including DMT
, and LSD
. 'A hallucinogen' in this sense broadly refers to any substance which causes changes in perception or hallucinations, while psychedelics carry a positive connotation of general perceptual enhancement. In contrast to Hollister's original criteria, adverse effects may predominate with some hallucinogens with this application of the term.
Psychedelics (classical hallucinogens)
One "Blotter" sheet of 900 LSD
The word psychedelic
(From Ancient Greekψυχή
(psychê) mind, soul
(dêlos) manifest, reveal
+ -ic) was coined to express the idea of a drug that makes manifest a hidden but real aspect of the mind. It is commonly applied to any drug with perception-altering effects such as LSD
and other ergotamine derivatives, DMT
and other tryptamines including the alkaloids of Psilocybin spp.
and other phenethylamines.
The term "psychedelic" is applied somewhat interchangeably with "psychotomimetic" and "hallucinogen",
The classical hallucinogens are considered to be the representative psychedelics and LSD is generally considered the prototypical psychedelic.
In order to refer to the LSD-like psychedelics, scientific authors have used the term "classical hallucinogen" in the sense defined by Glennon (1999): "The classical hallucinogens are agents that meet Hollister's original definition, but are also agents that: (a) bind at 5-HT2 serotonin receptors, and (b) are recognized by animals trained to discriminate 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylphenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOM) from vehicle.
Otherwise, when the term "psychedelic" is used to refer only to the LSD-like psychedelics (a.k.a. the classical hallucinogens), authors explicitly point that they intend "psychedelic" to be understood according to this more restrictive interpretation (e.g. see Nichols, 2004).
One explanatory model for the experiences provoked by psychedelics is the "reducing valve" concept, first articulated in Aldous Huxley
's book The Doors of Perception
In this view, the drugs disable the brain's "filtering" ability to selectively prevent certain perceptions, emotions, memories and thoughts from ever reaching the conscious mind. This effect has been described as mind expanding
, or consciousness expanding
, for the drug "expands" the realm of experience available to conscious awareness.
Research chemicals and designer drugs
A designer drug is a structural or functional analog of a controlled substance that has been designed to mimic the pharmacological effects of the original drug while at the same time avoid being classified as illegal (by specification as a research chemical
) and/or avoid detection in standard drug tests.
Many designer drugs and research chemicals are hallucinogenic in nature, such as those in the 2C
produce analgesia, amnesia and catalepsy at anesthetic doses.
They also produce a sense of detachment from the surrounding environment, hence "the state has been designated as dissociative anesthesia since the patient truly seems disassociated from his environment."
Dissociative symptoms include the disruption or compartmentalization of "...the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity or perception."p. 523
Dissociation of sensory input can cause derealization
, the perception of the outside world as being dream-like or unreal. Other dissociative experiences include depersonalization
, which includes feeling detached from one's body; feeling unreal; feeling able to observe one's actions but not actively take control; being unable to recognize one's self in the mirror while maintaining rational awareness that the image in the mirror is the same person.
Simeon (2004) offered "...common descriptions of depersonalisation experiences: watching oneself from a distance (similar to watching a movie); candid out-of-body experiences
; a sense of just going through the motions; one part of the self acting/participating while the other part is observing;...."
The primary dissociatives achieve their effect through blocking the signals received by the NMDA receptor
set (NMDA receptor antagonism
) and include ketamine
(DXM), and nitrous oxide
However, dissociation is also remarkably administered by salvinorin A
's (the active constituent in Salvia divinorum
shown to the left) potent κ-opioid receptor
Some dissociatives can have CNSdepressant
effects, thereby carrying similar risks as opioids
, which can slow breathing or heart rate to levels resulting in death (when using very high doses). DXM in higher doses can increase heart rate and blood pressure and still depress respiration. Inversely, PCP can have more unpredictable effects and has often been classified as a stimulant and a depressant in some texts along with being as a dissociative. While many have reported that they "feel no pain" while under the effects of PCP, DXM and Ketamine, this does not fall under the usual classification of anesthetics in recreational doses (anesthetic doses of DXM may be dangerous). Rather, true to their name, they process pain as a kind of "far away" sensation; pain, although present, becomes a disembodied experience and there is much less emotion associated with it. As for probably the most common dissociative, nitrous oxide
, the principal risk seems to be due to oxygen deprivation
. Injury from falling is also a danger, as nitrous oxide may cause sudden loss of consciousness, an effect of oxygen deprivation. Because of the high level of physical activity and relative imperviousness to pain induced by PCP, some deaths have been reported due to the release of myoglobin from ruptured muscle cells. High amounts of myoglobin can induce renal
Many users of dissociatives have been concerned about the possibility of NMDA antagonist neurotoxicity (NAN). This concern is partly due to William E. White, the author of the DXM FAQ
, who claimed that dissociatives definitely cause brain damage.
The argument was criticized on the basis of lack of evidence
and White retracted his claim.
White's claims and the ensuing criticism surrounded original research by John Olney
In 1989, John Olney
discovered that neuronal vacuolation and other cytotoxic changes ("lesions") occurred in brains of rats administered NMDA antagonists, including PCP
Repeated doses of NMDA antagonists led to cellular tolerance and hence continuous exposure to NMDA antagonists did not lead to cumulative neurotoxic effects. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, barbiturates and even diazepam have been found to prevent NAN.LSD
have also been found to prevent NAN.
, as their name implies, induce a state of delirium
in the user, characterized by extreme confusion and an inability to control one's actions. They are called deliriants because their subjective effects are similar to the experiences of people with delirious fevers.
Included in this group are such plants as Atropa belladonna
(deadly nightshade), Brugmansia
species (Angel's Trumpet), Datura stramonium
(Jimson weed), Hyoscyamus niger
(henbane), Mandragora officinarum
(mandrake), and Myristica fragrans
(nutmeg), as well as a number of pharmaceutical drugs, when taken in very high doses, such as diphenhydramine
(Benadryl) and its close relative dimenhydrinate
(Dramamine). Uncured tobacco
is also a deliriant due to its intoxicatingly high levels of nicotine
In addition to the dangers of being far more distracted from or unable to distinguish reality than with other drugs and retaining a truly fragmented dissociation from regular consciousness without being immobilized, the anticholinergics are toxic, carry the risk of death by overdose, and also include a number of uncomfortable side effects. These side effects usually include dehydration
(dilation of the pupils).
Most modern-day psychonauts
who use deliriants report similar or identical hallucinations and challenges. For example, diphenhydramine, as well as dimenhydrinate, when taken in a high enough dosage, often are reported to evoke vivid, dark, and entity-like hallucinations, peripheral disturbances, feelings of being alone but simultaneously of being watched, and hallucinations of real things ceasing to exist. Deliriants also may cause confusion or even rage, and thus have been used by ancient peoples as a stimulant before going into battle.
History of use
Psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants have a long history of use within medicinal and religious traditions around the world including shamanic
forms of ritual healing
, initiation rites
, and rituals of syncretistic
movements such as União do Vegetal
, Santo Daime
, and the Native American Church
In the context of religious practice, psychedelic drug use, as well as other substances such as tobacco
(hypnotic), are referred to as entheogens
. In some places peyote
is classified as 'sacrament' for part of religious ceremonies, and is legally condoned for such use.
Hallucinogenic substances are among the oldest drugs used by human kind, as hallucinogenic substances naturally occur in mushrooms
and a variety of other plants
. Numerous cultures worldwide have endorsed the use of hallucinogens in medicine, religion and recreation, to varying extents, while some cultures have regulated or outright prohibited their use. In most developed countries today, the possession of many hallucinogens, even those found commonly in nature, is considered a crime
punishable by fines, imprisonment or even death
. In some countries, such as the United States and the Netherlands
, partial deference may be granted to traditional religious use by members of indigenous
ethnic minorities such as the Native American Church
and the Santo Daime
Church. Recently the União do Vegetal
, a Christian
-based religious sect whose composition is not primarily ethnicity-based, won a United States Supreme Court
decision authorizing its use of ayahuasca
. However, in Brazil, ayahuasca
use in a religious context has been legal since 1987. In fact, it is a common belief among members of the União do Vegetal
presents no risk for adolescents within the church, as long as they take it within a religious context.
Traditional religious and shamanic use
Historically, hallucinogens have been commonly used in religious or shamanicrituals
. In this context they are referred to as entheogens
, and they are used to facilitate healing, divination, communication with spirits, and coming-of-age ceremonies. Evidence exists for the use of entheogens in prehistoric
times, as well as in numerous ancient
cultures, including the Rus'
, Ancient Egyptian
, Ancient Greek
cultures. The Upper Amazon
is home to the strongest extant entheogenic tradition; the Urarina
, for instance, continue to practice an elaborate system of Ayahuascashamanism
, coupled with an animistic
Shamans consume hallucinogenic substances in order to induce a trance. Once in this trance, shamans believe that they are able to communicate with the spirit world, and can see what is causing their patients' illness. The Aguaruna of Peru believe that many illnesses are caused by the darts of sorcerers. Under the influence of yaji
, a hallucinogenic drink, Aguaruna shamans try to discover and remove the darts from their patients.
Early scientific investigations
Although natural hallucinogenic drugs have been known to mankind for millennia
, it was not until the early 20th century that they received extensive attention from Westernscience
. Earlier beginnings include scientific studies of nitrous oxide
in the late 18th century, and initial studies of the constituents of the peyote cactus in the late 19th century. Starting in 1927 with Kurt Beringer
's Der Meskalinrausch
(The Mescaline Intoxication), more intensive effort began to be focused on studies of psychoactive plants. Around the same time, Louis Lewin
published his extensive survey of psychoactive plants, Phantastica
(1928). Important developments in the years that followed included the re-discovery of Mexicanpsilocybin mushrooms
(in 1936 by Robert J. Weitlaner
) and Christmas vine
(in 1939 by Richard Evans Schultes
). Arguably the most important pre-World War II
development was by Albert Hofmann
's 1938 discovery of the semi-synthetic
drug LSD, which was later discovered to produce hallucinogenic effects in 1943.
Hallucinogens after World War II
After World War II there was an explosion of interest in hallucinogenic drugs in psychiatry
, owing mainly to the invention of LSD. Interest in the drugs tended to focus on either the potential for psychotherapeutic
applications of the drugs (see psychedelic psychotherapy
), or on the use of hallucinogens to produce a "controlled psychosis
", in order to understand psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia
. By 1951, more than 100 articles on LSD had appeared in medical journals, and by 1961, the number had increased to more than 1000 articles.
Hallucinogens were also researched in several countries for their potential as agents of chemical warfare
. Most famously, several incidents associated with the CIA
's MK-ULTRAmind control
research project have been the topic of media attention and lawsuits.
At the beginning of the 1950s, the existence of hallucinogenic drugs was virtually unknown to the general public in the West
. However this soon changed as several influential figures were introduced to the hallucinogenic experience. Aldous Huxley
's 1953 essay The Doors of Perception
, describing his experiences with mescaline
, and R. Gordon Wasson
's 1957 Life magazine article (Seeking the Magic Mushroom
) brought the topic into the public limelight. In the early 1960s, counterculture
icons such as Jerry Garcia
, Timothy Leary
, Allen Ginsberg
and Ken Kesey
advocated the drugs for their psychedelic
effects, and a large subculture
of psychedelic drug users was spawned. Psychedelic drugs played a major role in catalyzing the vast social changes initiated in the 1960s.
As a result of the growing popularity of LSD and disdain for the hippies
with whom it was heavily associated, LSD was banned in the United States in 1967.
This greatly reduced the clinical research about LSD, although limited experiments continued to take place, such as those conducted by Reese Jones in San Francisco.
As early as the 1960s, research into the medicinal properties of LSD was being conducted. It has been found that LSD is a fairly effective treatment for mental disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). "Savage et al. (1962) provided the earliest report of efficacy for a hallucinogen in OCD, where after two doses of LSD, a patient who suffered from depression and violent obsessive sexual thoughts experienced dramatic and permanent improvement (Nichols 2004: 164)." LSD, along with other hallucinogens, possesses a considerable amount of medicinal properties, which is why further research on the medical uses of hallucinogens is paramount.
Starting in the mid-20th century, psychedelic drugs have been the object of extensive attention in the Western world. They have been and are being explored as potential therapeutic agents in treating depression
, posttraumatic stress disorder
, obsessive–compulsive disorder
, and other ailments. Early military research focused on their use as incapacitating agents. Intelligence agencies tested these drugs in the hope that they would provide an effective means of interrogation
, with little success.
Yet the most popular, and at the same time most stigmatized, use of psychedelics in Western culture has been associated with the search for direct religious experience
, enhanced creativity
, personal development, and "mind expansion". The use of psychedelic drugs was a major element of the 1960s counterculture
, where it became associated with various social movements and a general atmosphere of rebellion and strife between generations.
Despite prohibition, the recreational, spiritual, and medical use of psychedelics continues today. Organizations, such as MAPS
and the Heffter Research Institute
, have arisen to foster research into their safety and efficacy, while advocacy groups such as the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics
push for their legalization. In addition to this activity by proponents, hallucinogens are also widely used in basic science research to understand the mind and brain. However, ever since hallucinogenic experimentation was discontinued in the late 1960s, research into the therapeutic applications of such drugs have been almost nonexistent, that is until this last decade where research has finally been allowed to resume.
Legal status and attitudes
In Canada, mescaline is listed as prohibited under schedule III of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Acts, but peyote is specifically exempt and legally available in Canada.
As of 2008, most well-known hallucinogens (aside from dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine and dimenhydrinate) are illegal in most Western countries. In the United States hallucinogens are classified as a schedule 1 drug. The 3-pronged test for schedule 1 drugs is as follows: the drug has no currently accepted medical use, there is a lack of safety for the use of the drug under medical supervision, and the substance has a high potential for abuse.
One notable exception to the current criminalization trend is in parts of Western Europe
, especially in the Netherlands
, where cannabis is considered to be a "soft drug
". Previously included were hallucinogenic mushrooms, but as of October 2007 the Netherlands officials have moved to ban their sale following several widely publicized incidents involving tourists.
While the possession of soft drugs is technically illegal, the Dutch government has decided that using law enforcement to combat their use is largely a waste of resources. As a result, public "coffeeshops" in the Netherlands openly sell cannabis for personal use, and "smart shops" sell drugs like Salvia divinorum
, and until the ban of psilocybin mushrooms
took effect, they were still available for purchase in smartshops as well. (See Drug policy of the Netherlands
Despite being scheduled as a controlled substance in the mid-1980s, MDMA
's popularity has been growing since that time in western Europe
and in the United States.
Attitudes towards hallucinogens other than cannabis have been slower to change. Several attempts to change the law on the grounds of freedom of religion
have been made. Some of these have been successful, for example the Native American Church
in the United States, and Santo Daime
. Some people argue that a religious setting should not be necessary for the legitimacy of hallucinogenic drug use, and for this reason also criticize the euphemistic use of the term "entheogen". Non-religious reasons for the use of hallucinogens including spiritual
and even hedonistic
motives, each subject to some degree of social disapproval, have all been defended as the legitimate exercising of civil liberties
and freedom of thought
Several medical and scientific experts, including the late Albert Hofmann
, advocate the drugs should not be banned, but should be strongly regulated and warn they can be dangerous without proper psychological supervision.
Psychedelics and mental illnesses in long-term users
Most psychedelics are not known to have long-term physical toxicity. However, entactogens such as MDMA
that release neurotransmitters may stimulate increased formation of free radicals
possibly formed from neurotransmitters
released from the synaptic vesicle
. Free radicals are associated with cell damage in other contexts, and have been suggested
to be involved in many types of mental conditions including Parkinson's disease
, and Alzheimer's
. Research on this question has not reached a firm conclusion. The same concerns do not apply to psychedelics that do not release neurotransmitters, such as LSD
, nor to dissociatives or deliriants.
No clear connection has been made between psychedelic drugs and organic brain damage. However, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder
(HPPD) is a diagnosed condition wherein certain visual effects of drugs persist for a long time, sometimes permanently, although science and medicine have yet to determine what causes the condition.
How hallucinogens affect the brain
LSD, mescalin, psilocybin, and PCP are drugs that cause hallucinations, which can alter a person’s perception of reality. LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin cause their effects by initially disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin.
It is distributed throughout the brain and spinal cord, where the serotonin system is involved with controlling of the behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems. This also includes mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception. Certain hallucinogens, such as PCP, act through a glutamate receptor in the brain which is important for perception of pain, responses to the environment, and learning and memory. Thus far, there have been no properly controlled research studies on the specific effects of these drugs on the human brain, but smaller studies have shown some of the documented effects associated with the use of hallucinogens.
Naming and taxonomy
The class of drugs described in this article has been described by a profusion of names, most of which are associated with a particular theory of their nature.Louis Lewin
started out in 1928 by using the word phantastica
as the title of his ground-breaking monograph about plants that, in his words, "bring about evident cerebral excitation in the form of hallucinations, illusions and visions [...] followed by unconsciousness or other symptoms of altered cerebral functioning". But no sooner had the term been invented, or Lewin complained that the word "does not cover all that I should wish it to convey", and indeed with the proliferation of research following the discovery of LSD came numerous attempts to improve on it, such as hallucinogen
, and entheogenic
The word psychotomimetic
, meaning "mimicking psychosis
", reflects the hypothesis of early researchers that the effects of psychedelic drugs are similar to naturally-occurring symptoms of schizophrenia, though it has since been discovered that some psychedelics resemble endogenous psychoses better than others. PCP and ketamine are known to better resemble endogenous psychoses because they reproduce both positive and negative symptoms of psychoses, while psilocybin and related hallucinogens typically produce effects resembling only the positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
While the serotonergic psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, etc.) do produce subjective effects distinct from NMDA antagonist dissociatives (PCP, ketamine, dextrorphan), there is obvious overlap in the mental processes that these drugs affect and research has discovered that there is overlap in the mechanisms by which both types of psychedelics mimic psychotic symptoms.
One double-blind study examining the differences between DMT
hypothesized that classically psychedelic
drugs most resemble paranoid schizophrenia
drugs best mimicked catatonic subtypes or otherwise undifferentiated schizophrenia.
The researchers expressed the view that "a heterogeneous disorder like schizophrenia is unlikely to be modeled accurately by a single pharmacological agent."
The word psychedelic
was coined by Humphrey Osmond and has the rather mysterious but at least somewhat value-neutral meaning of "mind manifesting". The word entheogen
, on the other hand, which is often used to describe the religious and ritual use of psychedelic drugs in anthropological studies, is associated with the idea that it could be relevant to religion. The words entactogen
, at last, have all been coined to refer to classes of drugs similar to the classical psychedelics that seemed deserving of a name of their own.
Many different names have been proposed over the years for this drug class. The famous German toxicologist Louis Lewin used the name phantastica earlier in this century, and as we shall see later, such a descriptor is not so farfetched. The most popular names—hallucinogen, psychotomimetic, and psychedelic ("mind manifesting")—have often been used interchangeably. Hallucinogen is now, however, the most common designation in the scientific literature, although it is an inaccurate descriptor of the actual effects of these drugs. In the lay press, the term psychedelic is still the most popular and has held sway for nearly four decades. Most recently, there has been a movement in nonscientific circles to recognize the ability of these substances to provoke mystical experiences and evoke feelings of spiritual significance. Thus, the term entheogen, derived from the Greek word entheos, which means "god within", was introduced by Ruck et al. and has seen increasing use. This term suggests that these substances reveal or allow a connection to the "divine within". Although it seems unlikely that this name will ever be accepted in formal scientific circles, its use has dramatically increased in the popular media and on internet sites. Indeed, in much of the counterculture that uses these substances, entheogen has replaced psychedelic as the name of choice and we may expect to see this trend continue.
Hallucinogens can be classified by their subjective effects, mechanisms of action, and chemical structure. These classifications often correlate to some extent. In this article, they are classified as psychedelics
, and deliriants
, preferably entirely to the exclusion of the inaccurate word hallucinogen, but the reader is well advised to consider that this particular classification is not universally accepted. The taxonomy used here attempts to blend these three approaches in order to provide as clear and accessible an overview as possible.
Almost all hallucinogens contain nitrogen
and are therefore classified as alkaloids
and salvinorin A
are exceptions. Many hallucinogens have chemical structures similar to those of human neurotransmitters, such as serotonin
, and temporarily modify the action of neurotransmitters and/or receptor sites.
A classical classification, mainly of historical interest, is that of Lewin (Phantastica, 1928):
Class I Phantastica roughly correspond to the psychedelics, which is a more modern term usually used as synonym to "hallucinogen" by people with positive attitudes towards them. Here the term is used a bit differently to discriminate one particular class of hallucinogens which it seems to describe best. They typically have no sedative effects (sometimes the opposite) and there is usually a clearcut memory to their effects. These drugs have also been referred to as the "classical" hallucinogens.
Class II Phantastica correspond to the other classes in our scheme. They tend to sedate in addition to their hallucinogenic properties and there often is an impaired memory trace after the effects wear off.
Pharmacological classes of hallucinogens
One possible way of classifying the hallucinogens is by their chemical structure and that of the receptors they act on. In this vein, the following categories are often used:
Problems with structure-based frameworks is that the same structural motif can include a wide variety of drugs which have substantially different effects. For example, both methamphetamine
are substituted amphetamines, but methamphetamine has a much stronger stimulant action than MDMA, with none of the latter's empathogenic effects. Also, drugs commonly act on more than one receptor; DXM
, for instance, is primarily dissociative in high doses, but also acts as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, similar to many phenethylamines and in fact, the phenethylamine moiety is embedded in the structure of DXM. LSD also contains both the indole backbone and the phenethylamine moiety.
Even so, in many cases structure-based frameworks are still very useful, and the identification of a biologically active pharmacophore
and synthesis of analogues of known active substances remains an integral part of modern medicinal chemistry
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The literature about psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants is vast. The following books provide accessible and up-to-date introductions to this literature:
- Ann & Alexander Shulgin: PIHKAL (Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved), a Chemical Love Story
- Ann & Alexander Shulgin: TIHKAL (Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved), the Continuation
- Charles S. Grob, ed.: Hallucinogens, a reader
- Winkelman, Michael J., and Thomas B. Roberts (editors) (2007).Psychedelic Medicine: New Evidence for Hallucinogens as Treatments 2 Volumes. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.
Erowid is a web site dedicated entirely to providing information about psychoactive drugs, with an impressive collection of trip reports, materials collected from the web and usenet, and a bibliography of scientific literature
Evidence: Academic resources on hallucinogens- and MDMA research, relapse prevention and harm reduction.
The Shroomery has detailed information about magic mushrooms including identification, cultivation and spores, psychedelic images, trip reports and an active community.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is a nonprofit research and educational organization which carries out clinical trials and other research in order to assess the potential medicinal uses of psychedelic drugs and develop them into medicines.
Trips Beyond Addiction | Living Hero Radio Show and Podcast special. With Dimitri Mobengo Mugianis, Bovenga Na Muduma, Clare S. Wilkins, Brad Burge, Tom Kingsley Brown, Susan Thesenga, Bruce K. Alexander, PhD ~ the voices of ex-addicts, researchers from The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and Ibogaine/Iboga/Ayahuasca treatment providers sharing their experiences in breaking addiction with native medicines. Jan 2013