Posts Tagged: ‘psychedelics’

Imagine an entire town overcome by a collective waking nightmare. It’s the stuff of fantasy to be sure. Just read Brian McNaughton’s “The Return of Lrion Wolfbaiter” or play a little “Skyrim.” You’ll get there.

But is it also the stuff of history? Is there a scientific explanation for events such as the Salem Witch Trials, when a sleepy, repressed new England town erupted into an orgy of superstitious accusations, urine cakes and heart-wrenching persecution?

It brings us to ergot poisoning. Ergot is a fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that contains toxic compounds similar to LSD. When it infests grains it sometimes makes its way into contaminated bread. And if everyone gets their bread from the same baker…

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So here’s the question: Do slugs trip on psilocybin when they consume it? Because in humans, the substance generates a wide variety of mind-altering effects. Time changes. Reality shifts. Sometimes we feel a deeper connection with the universe and openness to each other.

But what about slugs?

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Inspired in large part by Emory University’s “For I am the Black Jaguar” exhibit (get the book here), we explore some of the common ground between psychedelically-fueled spirituality and scientific research into the effects and nature of psychedelic experience.

Here’s what we have for you…

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Christmas is magic.

Christmas is transformative.

And since we’re dropping two episodes on the psychedelics, science and shamanism the week of Dec. 25, I keep wondering if everyone’s favorite holiday curmudgeon didn’t smoke DMT on that fateful Christmas Eve.

Because what happens in “A Christmas Carol?”

Why, a self-centered old miser barricades himself in an empty house and experiences a ghostly visitation from a dead friend. Next, three outlandish spirit entities arrive and take him on a mind-rending journey through time and space.

At the end of that journey, Scrooge re-engages the world with a profoundly increased sense of openness — which brings us to DMT.

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Can psychedelic drugs help prepare terminal patients for death? Can substances like MDMA ease the dying through the ultimate transcendent experience? While the scientific study of psychedelic experience has been somewhat of a touchy subject since the 1960s, some researchers continue to seek out the beneficial aspects of these powerful, mind-altering substances. What actually goes on inside the mind during a “trip” and how might we use that to ease our passage through death?

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Hallucinogenic drugs are currently illegal, but they were once commonly used in psychological treatment. In this episode, Josh and Chuck discuss the rise and fall of psychedelics in treating mood disorders — and why they’re starting to gain favor again.

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