The Definitive ExoPo Propaganda-Buster Thread!

A study of the political relations between humanity and ET

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Postby caryn » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:00 pm

Well, you know I won’t disagree with you here….but you do realise what you’re saying, don’t you? We are creating our own reality – that makes nuts and bolts ET somewhat redundant.
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Postby David Griffin » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:18 pm

Not at all - it makes the ETH and metallic craft true for some but not all people at certain points depending on the data they've chosen to process to that point. That it no way means it isn't 'real' or valid as a hypothesis/occurance. Just as Saladin once saw a 'gin' on a magic carpet after he spent his childhood being told about such things.
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Postby ryguy » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:22 am

David Griffin wrote:First of all please put a quark or one of the other many quantum mechanical wave-icles on the table in front of me.

Most leading physicists believe these make up our universe/reality yet I can guarantee you've never held one in the palm of your hand and 'validated' that it existed according to the rules your requesting.

Show me yours I'll show you mine.



http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/top-quark-first-evidence.html

First Experimental Evidence for Top Quark Announced
April 26, 1994

By Lynn Yarris, LCYarris@lbl.gov
The long hunt for a crucial missing piece in the scientific picture of matter may be over. An international collaboration of physicists, including a team from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, has announced today the first experimental evidence for the subatomic particle known as the top quark.

The experiment was carried out at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's Tevatron, the world's most powerful collider, by the 440-member Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration. Though not claiming a confirmed discovery, the CDF group reports that analysis of high-energy collisions between beams of protons and antiprotons "points strongly" to the production of top quarks at a mass of about 174 GeV (billion electron volts), which is about as heavy as an atom of gold and makes the top quark by far the heaviest elementary particle ever observed.

The CDF group has presented their results in a paper submitted to The Physical Review.

The existence of the top quark is required by the Standard Model, the prevailing theory of the nature of matter. This theory holds there are six quarks, grouped into three distinct pairs, that combine to form composite particles, such as the protons and neutrons in the nuclei of atoms. The fifth of these six, called the bottom quark, was discovered at Fermilab in 1977. Scientists have been searching for its partner, the top quark, ever since.

"We were confident that we would eventually find the top quark," says Lina Galtieri, a physicist who heads the CDF group at LBL. "However, if we had gone much higher without finding it, then we might have to consider whether something was wrong with the Standard Model."


http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/?pid=1000496

The rarest of beasts
The top quark is the rarest and heaviest fundamental particle ever sighted. All the top quarks observed on Earth come from a single place–the Tevatron collider at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the only machine powerful enough to create them. At first, in the 1990s, only a few dozen were produced per year; today the collider cranks out thousands annually, and 1300 scientists from all over the world eagerly pounce on every trace these freshly minted tops leave behind. “We now have enough top quarks in our data that we can measure things that physicists could only dream of” in those early days, says Kevin Lannon of Ohio State University. But extracting information from those quarks is not easy, he adds: “We certainly don’t have them all sitting in a bucket under a microscope; otherwise we would know more.”


http://www.jhu.edu/gazette/janmar95/mar0695/quark.html

Score another point for particle physics.
Last April scientists announced they had found "strong
evidence" for the existence of a subatomic particle called the
top quark, believed to be the last fundamental building block of
matter to have its existence confirmed by research.

Now it's official. Last Wednesday two teams of scientists at
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory made a historic statement:
physicists have indeed observed the top quark
, one of 12
particles from which, according to current theory, all matter is
constructed.


No hallucinogenic drugs required either - just a particle accelerator.

Your turn.

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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:10 am

Slippery as ever, eh David? I remind you that you arrived here at RU talking about ExoPo and when we asked to see what you base your belief on, you offered the following claims which you have yet to validate to us:

Evidence takes many forms.

Evidence that were are being visited: 100%
Evidence of crashed alien hardware: 100%
Evidence of ET "bodies": 99%

Evidence of human/alien liaison: 98.99%

...on current western court / legal processes this case is done.


I am particularly interested in validation of your claims that I have emboldened.

It seems to me that you are leaving an endless number of loose ends on this forum...things you have not tied-off. I will continue to pull on these strings. And oh BTW, there are some dangling strings in this thread as well, namely, you have not even attempted to refute my points in the original post that identify where Webre's arguments are flat-out incorrect, viz-a-viz science and the scientific method. Wanna give those a try? In fact, my very first point also seems directly related to your call for me to prove a negative... at least you can't be faulted for not following your "messiah's" lead! :wink:

Ray

PS - Another BTW: If you have "99% evidence of ET "bodies" then why all this talk of hallucinogenics? If there are physical bodies, then isn't it really a cop-out to go on a "trip inside your head" to "meet the aliens"? Personally, I think you just use the hallcinogenic argument when you cannot validate your claims of physical evidence.... i.e. drugs become you "fallback evidence". :roll:
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Postby David Griffin » Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:59 pm

The quark is only visible as a "quark-like thing" under certain circumstances or environments. It isn't there all the time because the observer/environmental relationship is crucial to seeing the quark like nature of that particular element that makes up our world. If we turned off the hi tech machinery [the method of viewing/describing] or shifted settings and just at that moment someone walked into the lab, they would see something different - they would not see the quark. They could swear that quarks do not exist.

It's like you telling me to show you a UFO and I switched on a TV channel and you saw a few seconds of a saucer flying over Billy Meier's little Swiss ranch. Would it convince you - nahhh. But you're happy to take the word of CERN quantum kar-mechanics but not the word/data of contactees?? Bizarre?? I think so... contradictory? - yup.

And it's you lot that seem to be obsessed with the drug angle to all this. If i recall i merely brought it up to highlight that reality and/or definitions of what "is" are often subjective and interchangeable and pointed out that there isn't any "drug chemicals" and then "brain chemicals" - the two are the same. If you think otherwise go back and do 101 bio-chemistry.

Thing is on that note you can all come and tell me I'm wrong - go try DMT and see if you experience this 'alien other' in an unmediated sense just as Dr. Rick Strassman found happened with his tests in medical settings. You keep saying one method of researching this phenomena is 'delusional' or illusiory but none of you have bothered testing things by experiment - something that seems to be at the core of what RU'sters are about.

http://www.amazon.com/DMT-Molecule-Revo ... 0892819278

15 minutes.


Quote:

Evidence takes many forms.

Evidence that were are being visited: 100%
Evidence of crashed alien hardware: 100%
Evidence of ET "bodies": 99%
Evidence of human/alien liaison: 98.99%

...on current western court / legal processes this case is done


Your reality is mediated and influenced by what people say/claim/do. If you did not allow people's accounts to influence you in your knowledge gathering but decided to find everything out yourself you'd still be outside a cave trying to rub two sticks together.

On testimony alone those points stand. If you want more go ask the above government groups for access to their UFO spare parts collections. If they say "no" it doesn't mean they don't exist.
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Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:25 pm

David Griffin wrote:Quote:

Evidence takes many forms.

Evidence that were are being visited: 100%
Evidence of crashed alien hardware: 100%
Evidence of ET "bodies": 99%
Evidence of human/alien liaison: 98.99%

...on current western court / legal processes this case is done


(snip)

On testimony alone those points stand.


No, they certainly do not. Example: Given the intelligence services' meddling in the UFO "realm" it is easily a possibility that any "ET body" that some witness saw was a staged event. Besides, are you not aware that in investigations (as well as western court/legal processes) that eyewitness testimony is only considered "supporting evidence" and not "primary evidence"? (for the express reason that people can, and do, lie) You are, once again, avoiding providing ANY of the evidence you cited above... my belief is because it does not exist.

If you want more go ask the above government groups for access to their UFO spare parts collections. If they say "no" it doesn't mean they don't exist.


But by the exact same token, it doesn't mean it does exist either! Once again I point out that if it is the intention of the government intelligence services to wish for you to come to a conclusion (on your own) that there really IS such evidence (even if there isn't), then you are falling directly into their trap with your "inductive reasoning process".

Why don't you just admit that the statements you made above cannot be supported with physical evidence? There is no "there" there, David.

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Postby ryguy » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:26 pm

David Griffin wrote:The quark is only visible as a "quark-like thing" under certain circumstances or environments. It isn't there all the time because the observer/environmental relationship is crucial to seeing the quark like nature of that particular element that makes up our world. If we turned off the hi tech machinery [the method of viewing/describing] or shifted settings and just at that moment someone walked into the lab, they would see something different - they would not see the quark. They could swear that quarks do not exist.


Nope...that argument is completely inaccurate and all you're doing is displaying your naivety about science. The tools available to scientists such as the various scopes, probes, and more "hi-tech" tools such as EEG, EKG, MRI, or in quantum physics - the particle accelerator and related hardware - all provide humans to reach those parts of our universe which are beyond our human senses. These scientific tools were created to test a scientific hypothesis that there were things "there" that were unseen.

So, in the simplest terms, these tools - take the microscope for example - help scientists to convert the "unseen" to the "seen". The microscope takes microbes that are beyond the ability of our human 'sight' and magifies the organism into the range capable of our sense of sight. That is, in essence, what the tools of science do. And these tools start from the hypothesis that something is there (hypothesis based on other evidence of the effects of the "unseen things" on nature).

Your example that someone walking into the lab and not being able to "see" quarks aren't dependent on the perceptions, beliefs, consciousness "awareness", or body/brain chemistry of the person. It only depends upon the person using the tools required to bring the "unseen" within range of our vision. Anyone stepping foot in the lab would be able to see it, regardless of their personal bias, beliefs, or perceptions. Even you, David. Should you open your mind enough to accept the possibily that we are not the ones responsible for what we see.

It's like you telling me to show you a UFO and I switched on a TV channel and you saw a few seconds of a saucer flying over Billy Meier's little Swiss ranch. Would it convince you - nahhh. But you're happy to take the word of CERN quantum kar-mechanics but not the word/data of contactees?? Bizarre?? I think so... contradictory? - yup.


Nope. Not contradictory at all. But I find it funny that you mention Billy Meier because your arguments and personality are almost identical to Michael Horn. I had to ask others whether or not they knew you were not really him, because you walk and talk exactly the same, and have the same exact lack of understanding about real "evidence".

Here you are comparing the tools of science that, essentially "magnify" the unseen "things" in nature to a television or actually a video camera - which simply transmits or converts video from one location to another. Not the same. A video camera is not a scientific tool - it's a tool used to record an event. Of course, add zoom or infrared features, and maybe now you're talking.

The only same comparison would be if you show me where about 10 or 20 sane witnesses, several of them being credentialed pilots or anyone at least semi-trained in the ability to identify distance and speed of objects in flight. Provide proof that witnesses had not all hampered their senses through the use of hallucinogenics, and even better, provide a credentialed scientist's analysis of any material evidence - pieces of the disk, analysis of any chemical, electromagnetic, or related residual effects on the environment.

Do all of that, or even one or two, and you might have a case even close to being comparible to the evidence provided by the quantum lab's analysis and evidence. A TV video for heaven's sake? Are you even being serious?

And it's you lot that seem to be obsessed with the drug angle to all this. If i recall i merely brought it up to highlight that reality and/or definitions of what "is" are often subjective and interchangeable and pointed out that there isn't any "drug chemicals" and then "brain chemicals" - the two are the same. If you think otherwise go back and do 101 bio-chemistry.

Thing is on that note you can all come and tell me I'm wrong - go try DMT and see if you experience this 'alien other' in an unmediated sense just as Dr. Rick Strassman found happened with his tests in medical settings.


You are referencing drugs that alter the ability of our senses to accurately analyse the world around us. "Brain chemicals" lead to the proper neurobiological functioning of synapses...."drug chemicals" cause neurobiology to be altered in a way that causes the brain to malfunction. Essentially like putting diesel fuel in a gasoline-powered car. Not only does it cause the brain "engine" to malfunction (and see things that aren't there), but it causes a little bit of permanent damage each time we do it. For you to even suggest "experimenting" is naive, rediculous, immature, irresponsible, and just plain dispicable....to be blatantly honest. Hopefully readers out there are intelligent enough not to take anything you say at all seriously.

Now before you say "aha! Most psychedelics don't cause permanent brain damage!" I will elaborate to say that I'm not only referring to the kind of physical brain damage, but psychological damage that can result from unsupervised 'experimentation' of psychedelics.

Here, I'll offer you some quotes from an article on Albert Hofmann, the "father" of LSD, from this New York Times article:

Mr. Hofmann participated in tests in a Sandoz laboratory, but found the experience frightening and realized that the drug should be used only under carefully controlled circumstances.


..and most importantly, where this old guy expresses the understanding he has come to regarding the effects of LSD and psychedelics:

He took the drug dozens of times after that, he said, and once experienced what he called a ''horror trip'' when he was tired and Mr. Junger gave him amphetamines first. But his hallucinogenic days are long behind him.

''I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore,'' Mr. Hofmann said. ''Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley,'' who asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes of his fatal throat cancer.

[snip...]

Mr. Hofmann lives with his wife in the house they built 38 years ago. He raised four children and watched one son struggle with alcoholism before dying at 53. He has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. As far as he knows, no one in his family besides his wife has tried LSD.

Mr. Hofmann rose, slightly stooped and now barely reaching five feet, and walked through his house with his arm-support cane. When asked if the drug had deepened his understanding of death, he appeared mildly startled and said no. ''I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that's all,'' he said.


Psychedelics create a link between the subconscious and the conscious mind - which in our normal waking state, are safetly seperated so that we can function normally in a "non-dream" state. Removing that disconnect may cause us to "see" things dragged up out of our subconscious (which, of course, is probably a fantastic method of therapy) - however what is "seen" comes from within, not from outside of us.

The error you (and many, many others in the psychedelic community) make is in drawing a connection between psychedelic waking dreams, and what makes up the real world around you.

There is a reason Mr. Hoffman's hallucinogenic days "are long behind him". It's the same reason no one should ever, ever "experiment" with drugs that manipulate the normal healthy functioning of the human brain.

-Ry
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Postby David Griffin » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:45 am

Ryan,

The dichotomy you create by stating that addition of [increased] endogenous neurotransmitters to the brain causing 'abnormal' processing is so way off the mark it's not worth responding to.

DMT is produced in increased quantities during heavy dream sessions during sleep. Other psychoactive chemical releases are assumed responsible for NDEs etc etc. You cannot have an informed view of the UFO field or "paranormal" events without accounting for neurochemistry - essentially consciousness. To do so means we are "not playing with a full deck" in the words of Terence McKenna.

And you make it sound as if Albert has signed up to the 1980s Reagan/Bush War on Drugs - the Hofmann reference you make is far better answered by this introduction from next years Euro conference. Shout if you're attending - I'll see you there.

http://www.psychedelic.info/index_2_eng.html

Introduction

Psychedelics have been widely used for thousands of years nearly everywhere on the planet. Psychoactive plants have been central to most ancient sacred rituals and primitive medical treatments. They have been worshipped in all cultures as "Plants of the Gods" and considered as mediators between human beings and the universe, linking the physical to the spiritual dimensions of existence.

In January 2006 the International Symposium "LSD – Problem Child and Wonder Drug" took place at the occasion of the 100th birthday of Dr. Albert Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD. Several thousand visitors and more than 200 media people from 37 countries gathered in Basel to hear speeches from scientists and historians, to exchange ideas and disseminate information. It was the biggest conference of its kind worldwide. For the first time since the turbulent 1960s, a wide range of psychedelic issues and topics has been brought back to public discussion and re-evaluation.

The "World Psychedelic Forum" will expand upon this renewed interest, presenting a unique opportunity for experts, researchers, and interested persons from all around the globe, to exchange views and hear presentations of the latest research on the value of these remarkable psychedelic substances in medicine, psychology, science, religion, culture and the arts.

The term "psychedelic" is derived from the Greek "psyche" (soul) and "delos" (manifest), and means a state in which the soul manifests itself. It was coined in 1956 by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, in a now-famous exchange with writer Aldous Huxley; both recognized the potential of these compounds for self-awareness, and their correspondence to psychoactive plants held sacred for millennia.

Albert Hofmann experienced the extraordinary mental effects of LSD in the context of his work as a chemist in 1943. He so was placing a cornerstone for new insights and knowledge about by the time unexplored consciousness expanding substances. The following decade saw the publication of thousands of research papers about the nature and the effects of LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. But when LSD got out of the laboratories and "out of control", to be used for self-exploration by 1960s youth, Western governments generally declared psychoactive substances a menace, claimed it had no psychological, educational or therapeutic value, and linked it to dangerous and addictive narcotics. With a compliant mainstream media that sensationalized and parroted the official drug policy, the "authorities" not only prohibited research on these sacred compounds but criminalized the users, a situation that has prevailed ever since, except for example in the Netherlands and in Switzerland, and although inroads have been made in recent years that will be one of the many themes of this conference.

The classic psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin from magic mushrooms, mescaline from peyote and ayahuasca – the Amazonian "Vine of the Soul" – are not drugs in the medical sense but belong, according to Albert Hofmann "concerning their chemical structure and their pharmacological effects, to the sacred substances, re-discovered through LSD, and used in ritual settings for thousands of years." They are characterized by the fact that they are neither toxic nor addictive, and have the power to bestow benefits of both practical and transcendental value.

The global youth movement, that peaked some forty years ago with the "Summer of Love", was fueled by psychedelics. A historical view shows, that the "consciousness-expanded" hippie counterculture exerted an enduring influence on society. Without the soul-opening and sensory stimulus of psychedelics, many of the social, cultural and ecological advances taken for granted today would be absent from our lives.

At the "World Psychedelic Forum," more than fifty experts from all over the world will bear witness to, and shine light upon the multi-dimensional psychedelic experience with its tremendous potential for expanding consciousness and for self-awareness. We will hear of the renewal of research that foretells a promising future when psychedelic plants and their synthetic derivatives will reclaim their destined position as incomparably valuable tools for individual and collective evolution and thus supporting the needed consciousness change for humanity.


Preface

Alienation from nature and the loss of the experience of being part of the living creation is the greatest tragedy of our materialistic era. It is the causative reason for ecological devastation and climate change.

Therefore I attribute absolute highest importance to consciousness change. I regard psychedelics as catalyzers for this. They are tools which are guiding our perception toward other deeper areas of our human existence, so that we again become aware of our spiritual essence. Psychedelic experiences in a safe setting can help our consciousness open up to this sensation of connection and of being one with nature.

LSD and related substances are not drugs in the usual sense, but are part of the sacred substances, which have been used for thousand of years in ritual settings. The classic psychedelics like LSD, Psilocybin and Mescaline are characterized by the fact that they are neither toxic nor addictive. It is my great concern to separate psychedelics from the ongoing debates about drugs, and to highlight the tremendous potential inherent to these substances for self-awareness, as an adjunct in therapy, and for fundamental research into the human mind.

It is my wish that a modern Eleusis will emerge, in which seeking humans can learn to have transcendent experiences with sacred substances in a safe setting.

I am convinced that this conference furthers the idea that these soul-opening, mind-revealing substances will find their appropriate place in our society and our culture.

Dr. Albert Hofmann
Thursday, 19th April 2007

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Postby ryguy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:36 pm

David Griffin wrote:Ryan,

The dichotomy you create by stating that addition of [increased] endogenous neurotransmitters to the brain causing 'abnormal' processing is so way off the mark it's not worth responding to.


David - DMT is produced naturally and is meant to be maintained in a perfect chemical balance in the brain. When more required, more is produced. Or, it can be argued that in the case of near death experiences, it is released due to a "dying" brain malfunctioning.

What you suggest, is to unnaturally increase levels of DMT in the brain simply for the purpose of inducing waking dreams, with a belief that what we see in these dreams represent a 'reality' in and of itself - with aliens included. That's your "proof". What I'm suggesting here, and it is not at all "way off the mark", is that this is tantamout to a person injecting themselves with additional insulin when they have a normal functioning body capable of maintaining a perfect insulin balance. To do so would cause imbalance.

That isn't to say that such drugs can not be used as medicine for psychological purposes when a person's brain already has unbalanced chemistry. I would go even further to concede to you that such drugs may even have a valid and useful purpose in the field of psychotherapy - in order to help people dredge up things from their subconscious that are causing them pain and suffering within their normal conscious lives.

But this should not be conducted in some private form of "experimentation", Albert himself recommends what sort of careful "safe" environment is required in the link you yourself provided above:

Psychedelic experiences in a safe setting can help our consciousness open up to this sensation of connection and of being one with nature.


I believe it's safe to say that most medical and psychiatric professionals (at least those who wish to keep their license to practice) would disagree strongly with your statement that everyone should start "experimenting" with psychedelic drugs.

You know - this is starting to make all of your previous posts about having all that "evidence" make much more sense. I think Ray and Caryn may now be starting to understand what kind of "evidence" you're referring to.

I plan to go to several conferences this year in the U.S. - but I openly admit that not a single one will likely be dealing with the topic of psychedelics.

-Ry
Last edited by ryguy on Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ryguy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 1:21 pm

The following article is for anyone interested in learning more about DMT and it's effects on the brain. I will quote excerpts from his comments in here, for the full read - please click the link below. By the way, I don't believe his view encompasses all "supernatural" experiences that people have had, but he gives a fantastic description of DMT's biological/psychological effects. He did conduct "personal experiments" apparently...

Clifford Pickover Bio:

CLIFFORD PICKOVER is a research staff member at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, New York. He is the holder of more than a dozen patents dealing with computer interfaces, and he has written some twenty books on a broad range of topics, including A Passion for Mathematics: Numbers, Puzzles, Madness, Religion, and the Quest for Reality; Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves: Sushi, Psychedelics, Parallel Universes, and the Quest for Transcendence; Time : A Traveler's Guide, Surfing Through Hyperspace : Understanding Higher Universes in Six Easy Lessons, Black Holes : A Traveler's Guide, Keys to Infinity; The Science of Aliens, The Paradox of God and the Science of Omniscience; Calculus and Pizza: A Math Cookbook for the Hungry Mind.

Pickover's primary interest is in finding new ways to expand creativity by melding art, science, mathematics, and other seemingly disparate areas of human endeavor. His Internet Web site has attracted nearly two hundred thousand visitors.

----

[http://www.tripzine.com/listing.php?id=dmt_pickover

Hey Clifford, a friend recently pointed me to your article on DMT, Moses and Aliens. Since you asked people to voice their opinion I shall. I have studied this issue very closely for the past fifteen years, and though I have not published the results of all my research I would like to share with you some of the conclusions I've made about DMT and the dramatic phenomena it produces.

In short, I do not believe DMT is a gateway to an alternate dimension, nor does it induce contact with autonomous elves and alien entities. Yes, DMT produces a vivid other-worldly landscape when ingested, often including elves, aliens, insects, snakes, jaguars, etc. This is true for the majority of people who try it. Some people do not have such vivid responses, but many do. Although this may appear at first glance to be "shocking," it is actually no more shocking then the fact that most people dream at night, or that most people see geometric patterns (pressure phosphenes) when they close their eyes and press against their eyeballs.


Now don't get me wrong, DMT is stunning in its effect, no doubt. But, like anything, when you do it many times the magic tends to wear off and reveal itself for what it is; an exotic aberration of the brain's perceptual mechanics. To illustrate this point I would like to offer the following observations:

1. DMT acts primarily at the 5-HT2A receptor, which is where the hallucinogenic tryptamines work their visual magic. Without going into all the details here, let's just assume for a moment that a molecule with the proper shape acting at 5-HT2A site can significantly disrupt and/or enhance visual sensory processing, depending on dosage. If this is the case, then dumping DMT into the perceptual wetworks is akin to messing with the logic that produces the display on the computer screen you are looking at right now. Any programmer can tell you that a single line of code consisting of only a few characters can drastically alter the way your screen presents the data coming from your video card. It can make the screen flicker, blink, warp, twist, or fall into infinitely recursive fractalline chaos. When this happens is your monitor now displaying an "alternate reality" or "parallel dimension"? No, it is not. It is simply taking the same old data and processing it with a new factor in the base algorithm (disruption/excitement at the 5HT2A receptor). Even a very small tweak could produce dramatic results. Since the sensory processing system is so delicate, any abrupt chemical perturbation can cause it to become excited, unstable, or fall into chaos. When the visual system is disrupted for any reason we get phosphene activity, which is the visual system's version of a "ringing in the ears." Phosphene activity is chaotic, but as we all know chaos does not produce random noise, it is familiar and predictable, and produces some damn trippy patterns.

[snip...]

3. The archetypal DMT "entities" are pretty well categorized, with most people seeing elves or aliens or fairies or angels or some kind of loopy little spirits that dance about and tell riddles. Sometimes it is a spirit-animal like a jaguar or a snake, sometimes it is none of the above and goes totally off the map. But getting back to the elf thing (which is what many people find to be the most curious aspect), I initially found it very surprising to be confronted by elves in my DMT experiences, and on psilocybe mushrooms as well, and did indeed perceive them as externalized, morphing, disincarnate beings. I even managed to carry on rudimentary conversations of sorts. However, the more I experimented with DMT the more I found that the "elves" were merely machinations of my own mind. While under the influence I found I could think them into existence, and then think them right out of existence simply by willing it so. Sometimes I could not produce elves, and my mind would wander through all sorts of magnificent and amazing creations, but the times that I did see elves I tried very hard to press them into giving up some non-transient feature that would confirm at least a rudimentary "autonomous existence" beyond my own imagination. Of course, I could not. Whenever I tried to pull any information out of the entities regarding themselves, the data that was given up was always relevant only to me. The elves could not give me any piece of data I did not already know, nor could their existence be sustained under any kind of prolonged scrutiny. Like a dream, once you realize you are dreaming you are actually slipping into wakefulness and the dream fades. So it is with the elves as well. When you try to shine a light of reason on them they dissolve like shadows.

4. Which brings me to my last point. Psychedelics in general have an amazing capacity to activate the mind's eye, or what I call the imaginal workspace. In our day-to-day lives we have two active areas that are processing our perception of reality. The first is the primary workspace where all our sense data is compiled in our pre-frontal cortex to give us our waking picture of reality. The second is the imaginal workspace, where we can think about abstract thoughts or visualize the contents of our cupboards from memory (or whatever). The imaginal workspace is generally running in the background, helping us plan our actions by visualizing them in advance -- like driving to the grocery store for instance. We visualize the store, plan a route, and then go. All the while our primary workspace is taking up most of our attention. This balance flips, however, when we are caught in deep abstract thinking, like daydreaming or trying to solve a difficult problem. And when we sleep the primary workspace is actually taken-over by the imaginal workspace to process all the backlogged data that was set aside during the waking day. When this happens we dream, and our primary workspace is filled with imaginal data (memory compressed by the hippocampus), and suddenly we are immersed in an imaginal reality that looks and feels just as solid as waking reality. Since it is being processed in the primary workspace, the same high-end gear that we use to processes our waking reality, we can't tell the difference. The only difference between being awake and dreaming is the origin of the data that is being processed in the primary workspace. When you are awake you are processing external sense data in the primary workspace. When you are dreaming you are processing internal (imaginal/memory) data in the primary workspace.


There's much more....and one thing I think many of us here recognize is the danger inherent in this kind of drug experimentation when the people who use it are already predisposed to believing in the reality of things like Aliens and the like.

That is not all to say that there's no reality to paranormal or supernatural phenomenon from "outside" of our own mind - but it does show that while our perceptual reality is already difficult enough to ascertain with all of our senses in perfect working order - causing our senses to malfunction certainly doesn't "improve" our ability to understand very real phenomenon.

-Ry
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Postby cgreen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:40 pm

This is a fascinating and important discussion, and very complicated. That is, it is complicated to me because my knowlege of the psychodelics is narrow and biased. The writers here clearly know much more in the domains of spirituality, perception-enhancement, and how psychedelics (as opposed to psychotropics) at a minimum are subjective learning aids, and at a maximum are biochemically related to metabolites that are produced endogenously under many circumstances of both mental and physical stress.

The prototype, LSD, and the new popular N,N-dimethyltryptamine, are psychedelics that are now well understood in these effects: enlightenment and metaphysics, addiction (they are not addictive), and working memory enhancement (they do increase working memory under transient consitions of the lab rat, or human as seen with fMRI).

So...recognizing I know only two things for sure, here they are (I am reading these comments and learning more):

1. in animals and including humans...they (especially DMT) destroy permanently up-regulating cell surface receptors in the hippocampus. Over time, they therefore have all the good and bad-dehumanizing effects of constant use of Prozac. Thus, the psychological effects become entangled with the physiological, and disentanglement is hotly debated. But therapists have claimed usefullness in treating some schizotypal states...including schizophrenia. Others claim the effects are not permanent.

2. No phamacopia on them (LSD & DMT) makes much sense. DMT is a Class A drug in Great Britain, class 3 in Canada, and Class I in the United States...so, I couldn't prescribe it the US or GB without losing my medical licenses there, and would go to jail in the US if I did; but I could do some fMRI research in Toronto with it. I am perversly glad that it isn't my research area, so the decision to risk the loss of my licenses in those three jurisdictions isn't real!

At the risk of being misunderstood, and with apologies for being too brief (I just saw this thread and have to go read non-drug-related fMRI scans!) I will say that of the several dozen persons I know or know of in my hospital who are patients who have clearly abused psychodelics and are asking for help...none of them any longer have capability of reasonable reality-testing. I do not know if the drugs are the egg or the chicken. Of the 6 persons I know who use DMT for Religious purposes of enlightenment, all are fine and reasonable people...who can afford to travel to Brazil often to use it. They are all wonderful and loving, and very kooky friends of mine!

One final thought: fMRI emergent data shows that DMT decouples circuits between the insula and cingulate and the prefrontal cortex, and activates strongly (before destroying it with chronic use) the lateral hippocampus and the visual cortex simultaneously. So, the users do show neurophysiological evidence of enhanced (some say false) memories and hallucinations un-impeded by cognitive judgement during the episodes.

But later, reconnections of the neocortex and the pre-frontal cortex with the limbic-cingulate and the central hippocampus are safe. In the control experiments with sham DMT some experiencers also have hallucinations. Go figure.

This is not my area of work...that is, psychodelics and fMRI...but there are a dozen protocols (especially with MDMA-Ecstasy) in our department with other physicians...and I will try to get a better update.

My take: scary, scary stuff. Legally, ethically, morally, and medically. But...I am glad there are so many (PubMed shows hundreds of peer-reviewed articles) folks with the guts to try and sort it out. I pray they are careful with themselves and their subjects: the evidence to date shows reasonably high risk, and rewards that are complicated, subjective...and important.

My personal, uninformed, and hopeful hypothesis? These Psychodelics (especially DMT) act on the neural substrates that modulate ineffable experience: they are normal metabolites, and in exogenous doses of abuse can destroy and kill. We do not (yet) know how to disentangle the two. We need to carefully into the dark night of the mind to cause no harm in the face of seeking insight.

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Postby ryguy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:23 pm

Thanks Kit. I know discussing emergent science is not something many medical professionals are willing to do publicly, so we really appreciate you taking the time and having the courage to give us some insight on these drugs and their related research.

I've read up a bit on the effects of anti-depressants, only for the sake of educating myself in order to understand a close family member's need of them in order to function "normally" and become a more informed supportive family member. So I think it's always important look at the medical benefits of these drugs...just the concept alone of permanent neuro-biological change is fascinating. If a drug can "damage" a normally functioning brain - then clearly such a drug might be capable of fixing a damaged brain when administered appropriately (in the simplest laymen's terms, obviously) - assuming they discover that those changes are at least permanent or semi-permanent.

I know you're very busy so your analysis here is greatly appreciated.

-Ry
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Postby cgreen » Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:15 pm

Ryan wrote;

"If a drug can "damage" a normally functioning brain - then clearly such a drug might be capable of fixing a damaged brain when administered appropriately (in the simplest laymen's terms, obviously) - assuming they discover that those changes are at least permanent or semi-permanent."

He is exactly right-on!

I am not sure about psychodelics...but some psychotropics can permanently repair cell-signalling systems. In fact, Prozac has been shown to actually upregulate serotonin post-synaptic receptors in both cell culture and in animals...and so presumeably in humans who eventually are able to stop taking it. In the past, it was thought that they may be suffering "reactive" depression and not "endogenous." But now, some psychopharmacologists believe that actual healing takes place in people with endogenous depression.

What is happening (presumeably) is that receptor sprouting happens when the "stress" of circulating degradation enzymes is relieved (somewhat) by the reuptake inhibition (caused by the prozac blocking it on the surfaces that need to re-sprout protein receptors.)

The meaning? Some people make less neurochemical because they have a deficiency in a gene or in an activator, but have other genes that can repair.

Not surprising, the same things happen in the immune system, too...sometimes that is why certain people just don't get certain cancers.
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