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The Return of the Dragon

Irish45

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I highly recommend this book. It’s really short and can be read in a day. The book argues that the increased social acceptance of psychedelics is going to lead to the return of pagan “gods” and possibly pagan practices like human sacrifice.

 

Arachne

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Newsflash: All drugs affect the mind.
 

RaphaCam

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Psychedelics (and Brazilian law) happen to be the theme of my graduate thesis, one I'm currently expanding into a book. I've had many experiences with psychedelics, specially Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, but I never took a dose that led me to see solid shapes or entities without first closing eyes. Most of these were great, and the ones that weren't were at least enlightening. I'm also very glad that the time of scarecrows like Charles Manson or fearmongerers like Richard Nixon is gone and we can finally not only openly and informedly talk about pros and cons, but also restore the medical use of these substances.

That being said, I don't think it was particularly wise to experiment with psychedelics, and I fully support the Orthodox being wary of them, since they may induce dreamlike states that leave us spiritually vulnerable to demonic influences and prelest, but I don't think people outside the Church should be forced into sobriety either, specially if there's a religious or medical context.

There's a really hard job coming up for our bioethicists, who need to debate to which extent it might be permissible for Orthodox Christians to undergo treatments with psychedelics, specially since they're all so different from one another. For example, no psychedelic I'm aware of induces dreamlike states at low doses, some like LSD won't provoke those even in average recreative doses, and some like MDMA won't even at high doses. There are some psychiatric conditions for which psychedelics can be extremely useful, like MDMA for PTSD, ibogaine and DMT (as in ayahuasca) for drug addiction, DMT and psilocybin (as in magic mushrooms) for chronic drug-resistant depression, DMT and LSD for neurodegenerative disease, and DOI for brain inflammation. I have tripped my way out of my worst OCD breakdown ever myself, using fully legal magic mushrooms.

If our bioethicists don't catch up, we will be left with very poor generalisations that won't match the quickly coming novelties, and all will be left for parish-level guesswork. Until then, the best thing to do as Orthodox Christians is simply to follow the law and avoid losing complete control of consciousness.
 

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Some more and more directly and specifically, however, than others.
Some target the mind and others don't, but they all affect it to some degree. Those who fixate on psychotropics haven't seen someone go absolutely loopy on paracetamol. Biochemistry can't be compartmentalised.
 

biro

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Jetavan: I did, too.
 

Irish45

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The book gives a fair assessment IMO. The first half covers a lot of the benefits from modern research. I found it fascinating when he presented statistics about atheists rejecting the atheistic beliefs after psychedelic experiences. The author also has experience with psychedelics. The second half is where he really starts to argue about the potential downfalls. It’s a really interesting book, especially when he looks at it in light of a Christian perspective. His analysis on the word pharmakeia(which appears in the Bible many times) was interesting to me.

I’ve use mushrooms one time myself back about 16 to 18 years ago, I wasn’t a huge fan. But yea, The book is like three bucks on Kindle, so I just downloaded the Kindle app and read it on my phone. It’s a really quick read.

Psychedelics (and Brazilian law) happen to be the theme of my graduate thesis, one I'm currently expanding into a book. I've had many experiences with psychedelics, specially Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, but I never took a dose that led me to see solid shapes or entities without first closing eyes. Most of these were great, and the ones that weren't were at least enlightening. I'm also very glad that the time of scarecrows like Charles Manson or fearmongerers like Richard Nixon is gone and we can finally not only openly and informedly talk about pros and cons, but also restore the medical use of these substances.

That being said, I don't think it was particularly wise to experiment with psychedelics, and I fully support the Orthodox being wary of them, since they may induce dreamlike states that leave us spiritually vulnerable to demonic influences and prelest, but I don't think people outside the Church should be forced into sobriety either, specially if there's a religious or medical context.

There's a really hard job coming up for our bioethicists, who need to debate to which extent it might be permissible for Orthodox Christians to undergo treatments with psychedelics, specially since they're all so different from one another. For example, no psychedelic I'm aware of induces dreamlike states at low doses, some like LSD won't provoke those even in average recreative doses, and some like MDMA won't even at high doses. There are some psychiatric conditions for which psychedelics can be extremely useful, like MDMA for PTSD, ibogaine and DMT (as in ayahuasca) for drug addiction, DMT and psilocybin (as in magic mushrooms) for chronic drug-resistant depression, DMT and LSD for neurodegenerative disease, and DOI for brain inflammation. I have tripped my way out of my worst OCD breakdown ever myself, using fully legal magic mushrooms.

If our bioethicists don't catch up, we will be left with very poor generalisations that won't match the quickly coming novelties, and all will be left for parish-level guesswork. Until then, the best thing to do as Orthodox Christians is simply to follow the law and avoid losing complete control of consciousness.
 

RaphaCam

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Some target the mind and others don't, but they all affect it to some degree. Those who fixate on psychotropics haven't seen someone go absolutely loopy on paracetamol.
Not so fun fact: some pills have both codeine and paracetamol, and if people take them enough to get an average recreative opioid high, the paracetamol will kill them for acute liver poisoning. If the pills don't have paracetamol, there's not much life risk in taking doses many times higher.

Just like in concoctions like ayahuasca and jurema wine it's not really the DMT that makes these mysteries induce gastrointestinal discomfort and have dangerous chemical interactions with other drugs (like cocaine or most antidepressants). It's substances like harmine and harmaline, natural antidepressants that allow DMT to get to the intestines, buyable without prescriptions in Brazil. Ayahuasca cultists interestingly worship the vine that contains these substances rather than the shrub with DMT, while jurema cultists do worship the tree they take the DMT from.

Biochemistry can't be compartmentalised.
I don't see what you mean here, it seems pretty naturally compartmentalised. Psychedelics, for example, are essentially agonists (stimulators) of a very specific serotonin receptor (2A subtype), which has particular brain functions. In all terms from ethnobotany to bioethics, sociology to forensic medicine, they'll be read much differently from, say, dopamine receptor agonists like cocaine or caffeine.
 
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RaphaCam

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The book gives a fair assessment IMO. The first half covers a lot of the benefits from modern research. I found it fascinating when he presented statistics about atheists rejecting the atheistic beliefs after psychedelic experiences. The author also has experience with psychedelics. The second half is where he really starts to argue about the potential downfalls. It’s a really interesting book, especially when he looks at it in light of a Christian perspective. His analysis on the word pharmakeia(which appears in the Bible many times) was interesting to me.
Interesting! I've met atheists that have become spiritualised after psychedelic experiences. Those are known to be particularly common with DMT, I recall an explanation about how it creates a very specific mental state by collapsing some particular brain waves, in such a way that the experience is extremely conscious. I've only used DMT in very low doses, though, as a snuff rather than the much more common and intense ayahuasca or changa, so I wouldn't know personally.

I'm eager to see his assessment of pharmakeia. I believe this word was used even for wine?

I’ve use mushrooms one time myself back about 16 to 18 years ago, I wasn’t a huge fan. But yea, The book is like three bucks on Kindle, so I just downloaded the Kindle app and read it on my phone. It’s a really quick read.
Good, I'll download it too. It can be a great add for my book.
 

Irish45

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Considering your subject matter expertise, I’ll be interested in what you think about the book. I’m more of a simp on the topic so perhaps I’m wrong about it’s quality. I’d love too hear what you think.

I don’t remember him mentioning wine, but he mentions several ways in which it’s translated

I never heard about it changing the brain waves of atheists, but that makes total sense and I don’t doubt it.

Interesting! I've met atheists that have become spiritualised after psychedelic experiences. Those are known to be particularly common with DMT, I recall an explanation about how it creates a very specific mental state by collapsing some particular brain waves, in such a way that the experience is extremely conscious. I've only used DMT in very low doses, though, as a snuff rather than the much more common and intense ayahuasca or changa, so I wouldn't know personally.

I'm eager to see his assessment of pharmakeia. I believe this word was used even for wine?

Good, I'll download it too. It can be a great add for my book.
 
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