Psychedelic Medicine: The Healing Powers of LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ayahuasca (2017)
Dr. Richard Louis Miller et al
In case you're wondering what is meant by 'psychedelic medicine' or why a growing number of people are advocating for this research, here's the author making a case that's about as good as any I've heard so far:
"When we expand our consciousness we liberate ourselves from the slavery that is inherent in all cultural and institutional systems. The slavery derives from repetition of daily life until the behavior becomes institutionalized, thereby creating culture. Rigidified, institutionalized culture is the ultimate peer pressure, which stifles, dominates, and controls both creativity and consciousness expansion. Once a person ingests a psychedelic medicine and experiences the Deep Within and expanded consciousness, there is no going back to narrow consciousness and constricted thinking. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Once we experience alternate realities we can never again say this is the only one reality. When we experience ourselves as electrochemical beings of light, as molecules stuck together taking material form, our lives take on new meaning. Psychedelic medicine can facilitate our using the power of the mind to change our very genetic structure. We can change the slings and arrows of outrageous genetic misfortune into a Cupid's bow of a sculpted self." --from the Introduction to 'Psychedelic Medicine'Clearly Miller's strong belief in the importance of psychedelics informs his book, a collection of interviews with many of the leading psychedelic researchers of today such as ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna, psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, MAPS founder Rick Doblin and psychedelic advocate Amanda Feilding. In the interviews we hear a bit about the history of earlier research, the nature of consciousness and other interesting asides as each scholars discusses their research and its implications for the future with author Richard Miller, an American clinical psychologist, radio host and founder of the highly regarded Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program. Recent headlines have been alerting us to the promise of psychedelic medicine for any number of applications - PTSD, mental illness, terminal illness - and this book offers a timely way to get caught up on much of this important research.
After this post about the amazing form that is the human body, I felt like sharing this example of new computer-generated animations that accurately depict functions of the human cell at the molecular level. More of Drew Berry’s stunning work can be found on the WEHIMovie YouTube channel.
Discovering Traces Of The Profound In Numbers
After spending a few months filling up on historical documentaries that both informed and disturbed my mind, I needed a change and so turned my focus to math … numbers … science!
Since I just posted a lot of ayahuasca content, I was thinking this post would seem a sharp switch in subjects but in reality, some mathematicians would argue the state of mind induced by contemplating complex numerical concepts is very much like experiencing a psychedelic state of mind. And I think it’s that kind of insight and passion for a subject that we want to see in someone we consider a teacher, or least I do. I do love a good story well told by a learned mind – and when the story’s about something of which I know little, like the complex mathematical concepts, so much the better. But when the stories infect the listener with the wonder, magic and mystery of the world?! Well, that’s just like manna for the mind!
By the way, all this fawning over math is coming from someone largely uninterested in the subject. The highlight of my mathematical achievements in school was burning through algebra class two days straight by arguing with the teacher against the mathematical statement; 1.999… = 2. My 16-year old mind wasn’t having it! There was no time left over for homework assignments for those two days and I was a hero.
And to be clear, not even these modern movies and lectures could make me a fan of math; I have no newfound interest in memorizing formulae or plotting equations. But with creative explanations and visual models in the films below, now I can at least glimpse the spaces these concepts are describing, which has been helpful in following consciousness science. And thinking of math as a language to describe space, as taught by The Story of Maths, was also a new exercise for me. These films make clear how this ‘language’ of numbers inspires proficient mathematicians to comprehend larger spiritual truths about our world, all of which reminds me of an insight revealed by the awakening; there are many paths to the same center.
Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live (2013)
Dr. Schafer gets right down to business with his title for - Chapter 1: Materialism is Wrong: The Basis of the Material World is Nonmaterial.
"Behind the visible surface of things is the infinite ocean of possibility. Its waves are so beautiful and inviting. "What a wonderful world," Louis Armstrong sings. What a wonderful life, in which the playful waves in the cosmic ocean dare you, tease you, and play a game of hide-and-seek with you, all the time hoping that you will catch one and turn it into a beautiful poem, a painting, a song, or a wonderful act of human kindness." --Lothar Schafer, 'Infinite Potential'This book is an excellent explanation of the key concepts in quantum physics which are leading many in the sciences to consider a new non-materialist model of the universe and of life itself. Instead of seeing all forms and things as made of hard, dead matter, Dr. Schafer uses the recent developments in his field to demonstrate how all form is arising out of a field of interconnected and infinite potential. He goes on to describe how this field, which can arise to become anything, transforms into the 'material' forms we perceive all around us. (There's a good interview with Dr. Schafer available to subscribers of E. Tolle's website - a snippet is posted on youtube)
So, a field that can be anything … exists around and in all things … It may sound like we're talking about The Force but those who've altered their consciousness to encounter the vast presence of Source consciousness (the God Mind, the Over-soul, The One Mind ...) will quickly recognize the similarities.
Supernormal: Science, Yoga, and the Evidence for Extraordinary Psychic Abilities (2013)
Dean Radin, PhD
In his recent book, Dr. Radin explores a fascinating question; what would we learn about the validity - or lack of same - of psychic phenomenon if we analyzed the anecdotal information we've recorded over the years with scientific rigor?
"Gaining a deeper understanding of consciousness will play an increasingly important role in twenty-first -century science. If the evolution of knowledge in this century exceeds that of the last, which seems likely, then we can look forward to a future that's likely to redefine our concepts of reality far beyond any of the strangest concepts we've encountered so far." --Dean Radin, 'Supernormal'After a nice walk-through of yoga's origins and its shorter history in the U.S., Radin focuses on the 'supernormal' abilities linked to the yogic siddhis (powers achieved by advanced meditatives) during his detailed analysis, using data from controlled experiments in peer-reviewed scientific journals. (I definitely picked up some tidbits about my newly reinvigorated yoga practice!) Radin also takes a quick look at some of the other methods people use to alter consciousness: extreme sports, psychedelics and shamanism, for example. And because there are so many methods, many people end up encountering the 'supernormal' at least once in their lives. It is for this reason, Radin argues, that a belief in spirit beyond form has persistently arisen in all human cultures. After further discussing the way in which beliefs color our perceptions, Dr. Radin dives into a thorough examination of the experimental data surrounding each of the siddhis; it gets pretty deep into math and statistical explanations but if you're up for it, the book makes an interesting case about the nature of 'supernormal' phenomenon.
A Physicist, A Buddhist And A Mathematician Walk Onto A Stage …
After experiencing a profound shift in awareness that is an awakening, I was eager for any and all information that could help me get a grip on what had happened. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting to find much content on ‘awakening’ or ‘source’, mostly because I’d never heard much about such things and I considered myself fairly well informed. So fully expecting to have to wander into the darker realms of the web and into the land of flashing-pink-click!-here!-blinking-blue websites, I started searching the net for information about ‘consciousness’.
Turns out, there’s a whole other world out there. One of scientists and spiritual teachers of all kinds coming together around an effort to bring forward a shared understanding of consciousness and reality. Fortunately for me, SAND.com (Science and Nonduality) was the first such group I came across. Suddenly, I was awash in as much information as I could absorb about concepts like ‘non-dual’ (everything arises from a single consciousness) and ‘non-path pathway’ (accessing truths from all wisdom traditions). Suddenly, I found many people who could describe, in detail, the type of experience I had just encountered. An awakening, especially for those like myself who learn to swim by diving into the deep end, can feel a bit disorienting; finding groups! of people who were all talking about an experience I now shared was oh-so-soothing to the psyche.
The following collection of videos will give you some idea of what I’m on about. These discussions and lectures introduce a number topics familiar to the non-dual student: The Good Friday Experiment; an explanation of the symbiotic relationship that created human cells; quantum entanglement; a demonstration of how consciousness creates reality in real-time; data suggesting the subconscious uses information from both the past and future to make decisions.
This stuff is so cool.