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Computers Are Drugs

Shots of Awe

There’s a fascinating organization called MAPS, Multi-disciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. This is a nonprofit think tank that advocates for the responsible investigation of psychedelic plants & chemicals and exploring their potential as tools for transformation, interpersonal transformation.

We’re kind of living through a psychedelic renaissance where all of a sudden, people are starting to take these tools, these cognitive technologies that have been used for thousands of years, a little more seriously. We’re starting to take out the magnifying glass and stop being alarmist and actually paying attention and studying potential of these tools.

The program is a voyage chart, a series of signals, which, like the pilot’s radio provides the basic orienting information required for the “trip.” – Timothy Leary

There’s a fascinating article written by Timothy Leary back in the 60s called, Programming the Psychedelic Experience. The idea here was that if you could successfully pattern and sequence the input signals that the subject would receive when he was on a psychedelic odyssey, you could literally assure functional output. You could almost guarantee a functional catharsis that there would be of value to the psychedelic session. Leary described the psychedelic experience as a period of increased reactivity to stimuli, both from within and from without.

You are immediately plunged into a dialogue with your own subconscious. Things start to erupt. Things start to emerge. New patterns start to be perceived and at the same time, the world becomes a Sensurround system, the fidelity, the resolution of the input signals gets boosted. So all of a sudden, you are overwhelmed, almost eclipsed by the signals coming in. You are like a mind in flight. You are in orbital position. You are seeing the big picture.

But if you don’t have navigation, if you don’t pattern those signals by carefully choosing beautiful music, curating excellent ecstatic poetry, reveries that you can read while you are tripping, controlling the environment, hanging around people whose company induces feelings of well-being, by patterning those signals, you’re NOT authoring the song. The soul surfing that you’re actually doing is of no use without a navigation system that helps you harness the true essence of ecstasies.

The people that engage in these mystical states are known as Psychonauts. There’re literally soul surfers investigating psyche through first person experience. There are all kinds of answers that we can find within. There are all kinds of spaces that we can explore. The new space is inner space and it’s fascinating.

We have to look deeper into this mystery. We need to explore these numinous realms, the archetypal realms from within. We need to go Carl Jung on our own brains using a cocktail of chemical technologies that will thrust the body mind into luminal spaces of exploration. We need to engineer inception like dream spaces to explore and the technologies are not all going to be external. Some of them are going to be internal.

Computers are drugs but drugs are computers. This is the essence. This is why we should be open to this stuff because it’s absolutely fascinating.


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