The Political Significance Of LSD: What You're Not Being Told

Authored by Vikram Zutshi via Open Democracy,

The shifts in consciousness brought about by psychedelics could help to dissolve our fear of 'the other'...

Microdosing” on psychedelic substances like LSD - ingesting just enough to heighten cognitive faculties, enhance creativity, improve concentration and alleviate depression - is currently back in vogue among people not normally associated with anything remotely ‘countercultural’ in the USA.

The term psychedelic was coined in 1958 by British psychiatrist Humphrey Osmond and is derived from the Greek words psyche ("soul, mind") and delein("to manifest"), hence "soul-manifesting," the implication being that psychedelics can access the soul and develop unused potentials in the human mind. It’s a contention that’s gaining increased acceptance in mainstream universities.

New York University, for example, is hosting clinical trials using psilocybin to treat alcohol addiction. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been at the forefront of research in treating patients suffering from chronic treatment-resistant PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with MDMA, commonly known as ‘Ecstasy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently designated its MDMA-assisted psychotherapy project as a ‘breakthrough therapy.’ Apart from MDMA, MAPS also advocates the use of Ayahuasca, Ibogaine and medical marijuana for a variety of conditions ranging from bipolar syndrome and drug addiction to autism-related disorders, ADHD and clinical depression.

The therapeutic use of psychedelics isn’t new. Between 1953 and 1973, the US federal government funded over a hundred studies on LSD with more than 1,700 subjects participating. Psychedelics were tested on convicts, substance abusers, people suffering from chronic depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenics and terminal cancer patients. LSD was also tested on artists and scientists to explore its effects on creativity, and on divinity students to examine spirituality from a neuroscientific perspective. The empirical data gathered from these tests was largely positive.

LSD “truly was an acid, dissolving almost everything with which it came into contact, beginning with the hierarchies of the mind… and going on from there to society’s various structures of authority” says author Michael Pollan in his book How To Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics. And that’s what makes this subject socially and politically interesting.

“It is curious to me that what I see as the two greatest threats - environmental crisis and [political] tribalism - these drugs directly address both those mindsets” Pollan told the Guardian in a recent interview.

“They undermine our tendency to objectify nature, to think of ourselves as separate from it. They undermine tribalism in that people tend to emerge from these experiences thinking that we are all more alike, all more connected.

If this is true, then those of us committed to social transformation must start to take the use of psychedelics much more seriously. But what’s the actual or potential connection between LSD and politics?

It was a Swiss chemist called Albert Hoffman who discovered the drug by accident in 1938. While conducting research on another pharmaceutical compound he absorbed the drug through his skin and staggered home to lie down on his sofa, where, “in a dreamlike state, with eyes closed”, he wrote later, “I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours.” Hoffman felt he had been given the keys to unlocking the mysteries of the universe, “the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive reality.”

A few decades later in August 1960, Timothy Leary, a clinical psychologist from Harvard University, traveled to Cuernavaca in Mexico and ingested psilocybin (‘magic’) mushrooms for the first time, an experience that radically altered the course of his life. In 1965, Leary commented  that he had "learned more about ... (his) brain and its possibilities...[and] more about psychology in the five hours after taking these mushrooms than...in the preceding 15 years of studying and doing research in psychology." Leary became a lifelong evangelist for the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

Theoretical physicist Carlos Rovelli, author of The Order of Timesays his romance with quantum theory and the mysteries of the space-time continuum were sparked by his LSD trips as a student radical at the University of Bologna. “It was an extraordinarily strong experience that touched me also intellectually,” he told the Guardian. “Among the strange phenomena was the sense of time stopping. Things were happening in my mind but the clock was not going ahead; the flow of time was not passing any more. It was a total subversion of the structure of reality. How do I know that the usual perception is right, and this is wrong?”

Rovelli has spent the better part of his life grappling with the relationship between space, time and consciousness, fundamental concepts that underlie existence and how we simultaneously perceive the world and shape it. “If I observe the microscopic state of things,” he writes, “then the difference between past and future vanishes … in the elementary grammar of things, there is no distinction between ‘cause’ and ‘effect.’” The concept of time, he says, “has lost layers one after another, piece by piece.” We are left with “an empty windswept landscape almost devoid of all trace of temporality…a world stripped to its essence, glittering with an arid and troubling beauty.”

Large parts of the world are being polarized at a rate rarely seen before, helped in no small measure by social media ‘filter bubbles’ and algorithms that divide people sharply along the lines of nationality or ideology, their underlying human connections rendered increasingly irrelevant. Perhaps such deep hatred and suspicion of the other was always there, but now it has taken center stage and is being used as a potent election strategy by populist and hyper-nationalist leaders the world over. Like herds of cattle, large numbers of people are being programmed and deployed as pawns for a larger agenda.

Therefore, perhaps real change begins with rewiring our perceptual framework. Psychedelic substances have been ingested sacramentally by indigenous cultures to achieve this goal since the dawn of time, and now they’re being validated by the scientific and medical communities. The shifts in consciousness that can be brought about by psychedelics can help in dissolving the man-made boundaries or fear of the other that are implanted in our collective psyche.

While Silicon Valley bio-hackers microdosing on LSD to enhance their workplace performance may not be looking to bring about tectonic shifts in collective consciousness, there’s no reason to restrict the use of psychedelics to these groups and purposes. They could also work as a potent catalyst to awaken humankind to the dangers of toxic nationalism and rabid nativism that threaten to engulf us.

Comments

Leakanthrophy Whoa Dammit Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

Drugs are for weak individuals. If you feel the need to try same drug more than 5 times in your life.. you're weak. 2-3 times should be the norm. Enough to understand it and move along. 

Except DMT. That's awesome. Shouldn't be called a drug, instead a mind enhancement substance.

Snorting it will give you enhanced cognitive abilities, making you become a fly on the wall inside other people's brains. Is like you're connected to universal knowledge and having psychological superpowers.

Hallucinogenic, psychedelic or euphoric effects might be reserved only to low intellect sheeple...AND WOMEN. Ingesting it with wine makes them ecstatic as fuck. The girls were in 7th heaven every single time, while for me, with wine, made no difference whatsoever. Or maybe it wasn't the DMT, just me being awesome.

In reply to by Whoa Dammit

ravolla Leakanthrophy Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:13 Permalink

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In reply to by Leakanthrophy

ravolla wadalt Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:22 Permalink

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In reply to by wadalt

ravolla powow Fri, 06/08/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

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In reply to by powow

11b40 IridiumRebel Sat, 06/09/2018 - 09:09 Permalink

As I have been know to say, there are 2 types of people in the world - those who have seen the music, and the rest who have only heard it.

There was a time when my motto was that I would try anything twice, just to be sure.....but it was a much different, and safer world, especially in the underground campus culture.  Things really started changing in the late 60's-early 70's, depending on where you were, as drugs went mainstream, and the creeps poured in.

Like you, I wouldn't do it now, but would not trade those times for anything.  Finished High School in '65 & stayed single until '76.  During that 10 year span, I lived in total immersion of the 60's experience - sex(the pill!), drugs, rock & roll, war/anti-war, integration/civil rights, political dissent, and lot's of travel.  5 colleges on 2 continents & 3 states to get a 4 year degree. 

By the time I finally settled down, I was ready & now have been married to the same great lady for 42 years.  Never could have happened had I not gotten those demons out of my system.

 

In reply to by IridiumRebel

bigkahuna 11b40 Sat, 06/09/2018 - 09:30 Permalink

That sounds exciting.

When I was in college, there were lots of people I knew who smoked the weed and did the drugs. In the back of my mind, I always was a little jealous of them because they could seemingly afford this luxury - not only monetarily, but academically. It did not become apparent to me that they were "tuning out" until my sophomore or junior year, when they just seemed to disappear. The guys I knew who used this stuff in college just vanished. No goodbye, no communication at all - just gone. Did not realize until months later tat they had left - very busy in college. Still back in that day, I had assumed that they were doing well and enjoying whatever affluence that they always appeared to have. Not until years later did I know that their motivation and cognitive abilities became so impaired that they were unable to continue. The drugs of the 90s look to be orders of magnitude more dangerous than the 60s. These guys, who I once believed were friends of mine - to this very day, keep to themselves. If the drugs were about communing with others, they have failed. In fact, they lead straight to isolation and perdition in my observation - over the long term. Anyone who reads this and is thinking about poisoning their mind with drugs like LSD, Marijuana, shrooms, or anything else - be warned, you are going to lose - lose - lose. Keep your mind free. I know there are exceptions - but that is it. Exceptions are not now, never have been, never will be the rule.

In reply to by 11b40

Lyman54 bigkahuna Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

Most of my friends who were heavy into dope when I went to school either ended up dead or became perpetual welfare bums.   Even pot eventually takes it toll.  A fellow I worked with said pot wasn't addictive like booze yet admitted he spent over $200 dollars a week on it.  When they brought in drug testing he lost his job and his family left him but he still smokes dope.

In reply to by bigkahuna

SixIsNinE deplorableX Sat, 06/09/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

if only the sold out Tylers would focus for a moment on the sold out shillllllllllllllllllllllllls of NASA and their fake Jesuit spinning waterball home base.

 

we don't move even .000000001 mph yet even ZH zeroloungers fall for the Jesuit GloBull b uLLLshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

 

In reply to by deplorableX

Lea Troy Ounce Sat, 06/09/2018 - 06:07 Permalink

The connection between dope and the US economic "elite" is nothing new.

Quote, "A few decades later in August 1960, Timothy Leary, a clinical psychologist from Harvard University, traveled to Cuernavaca in Mexico and ingested psilocybin (‘magic’) mushrooms for the first time, "

That's fake news. The first dude who traveled to South America to ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms was called Gordon Wasson, and he was a vice president at... J.P. Morgan & Co. His story was printed by Cold warrior Henry Luce in Life magazine, on May 13, 1957. The piece was titled "Seeking the Magic Mushroom".
Google it.

Plus, it's common knowledge Leary was on the CIA payroll.

Looks a bit less "counter-cultural" and a bit more like mass manipulation, doesn't it?

That's because it was. It all had to do with countering left-wing radicalism by introducing an hedonistic mindset among the young. And it worked like a breeze.

Today, the whole of America is lost in a medicated or opiate stupor, and wants to add legal pot, and whatever other poison you name -- like in the piece above which is actually barefacedly pushing some of the most dangerous drugs in the world, things that can make you go flat out insane -- to its dizzying array of dopes.

Bye bye, America.

 

 

In reply to by Troy Ounce

Faeriedust Lea Sat, 06/09/2018 - 09:34 Permalink

I will grant you that it may have diverted immediate, tangible armed rebellion into self-discovery and deeper changes to society.  But in the end, that was a better route to change.  Changes made by the sword are temporary and mainly consist of one group of badasses taking over the grift from another batch of thugs.  The understandings that came from altered consciousness have permeated our society, restored a sense of the Divine among the majority of the upper classes who had become heartless materialists when Christianity became obsolete, and formed a foundation for a far more substantial and permanent revolution than anything which could have been accomplished in the 70's.  Look around you.  The leftism of the EU, the growth of NGOs, the emergence of women into full equality with men and the environmentalist movement are all examples of how the "drop-out" generation evaded direct and pointless physical conflict and accomplished world-making changes.  If it was a CIA plot, it backfired, because the CIA was respected and appreciated in the 60s, and now even the hardest John-Birchers view it with disdain and openly question its judgment when it makes public statements.

In reply to by Lea

Infnordz Faeriedust Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

"The leftism of the EU, the growth of NGOs, the emergence of women into full equality with men and the environmentalist movement" are all signals of poisonous corruption and ironically make rebellion/war _increasingly more likely_, including vicious civil wars!

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/27/the-european-union-always-was-a-cia-project-as-brexiteers-discov/

The EU is a straight-jacket for Europe, including the Euro, designed to make Europe less competitive and easier to manage by the USA, because of inevitable crony-capitalist, political corruption, and being undemocratic because of the Soviet like political structure!  Brexit is in-progress because the British public can see it's a Lemon after being tricked in by Edward Heath, covertly pushed by the USA; Italy would be very smart to exit too, because they are getting royally screwed by the EU, and would do much better outside!  The Euro is enriching Germany by making it products cheap for export, while strangling other Eurozone countries because they can't revalue their divergent economies.

NGOs include globalist/oligarchical/corporate proxies like think tanks, Common Purpose, Soro's subversion NGOs which are dangerous and undemocratic, including evil NGOs ferrying unwanted, inferior, dangerous economic migrants from Africa and the Middle East to Europe, which had caused a man in Italy to do deadly payback for a nasty murder by a group of African immigrants, with wide public support.  I don't trust any disaster, medical, or environmental charities (NGOs) now because there is evidence of collusion with state agencies and many have such significant overheads that they can hardly be called good value.

"the emergence of women into full equality with men" is an understated disaster, because feminism had pushed well past full equality into 'legal' male oppression, decades ago, despite insatiable feminist BS otherwise, and has caused significant cumulative cultural, moral and demographic damage, which will probably destroy countries via women's obviously Hypergamy lust-based disloyalty!

The environmentalist movement has been infested by communists, (Green on the Outside, Red on the inside), so has become more interested in left driven political agenda than in honest environmentalism.

In reply to by Faeriedust

the artist Infnordz Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

The concepts of equality, civil rights, human rights and environmentalism are not inherently bad. Who doesn't want clean water. 

All sane people want these basic things. What you are eluding to is the corruption and perversion of those concepts. That corruption has nothing to do with psychedelics and everything to do with empowering of the Central State. That pendulum of control and command was well under way before psychedelics came on the scene and is in direct conflict with it. 

If anything, the history of these substances being so toxic toward the Central State to the extent that they are public enemy #1 should cause any Liberty minded person to pause. Psychedelics and public mind control just does not pass the smell test. Except for one example where Statists understand the power of psychedelics for the individual and so they sought to keep it for themselves and from the masses. In other words Statists want to use it against us but do not want it used against them. 

The neo-feminist movement, for example, does not trace its roots to LSD or any other substance. It happens to overlap in time but they are not related in any way. Neo-feminists would look back in horror at some of the film of the psychedelic 60's iconic images of objectifying women etc. 

Marxists and Frankfurt school types certainly tried to use the movement and co-opt some of its imagery etc but so did nearly every other movement and culture in the western world. (You cannot escape the psychedelic influence. It occupies cultural foundations everywhere, even religious ones). 

The era of that kind of control over what we think and the direction in which we move as a group is over. What is about to happen culturally in terms of the psychedelic movement is what everyone wanted to happen earlier but was stonewalled by Statists everywhere. Hold on to your hat. The Wild West of Ideas is upon us. 

In reply to by Infnordz

the artist Lea Sat, 06/09/2018 - 13:31 Permalink

LSD, like the internet and more specifically Social Media, are things that are totally beyond control by an individual, entity, group, society or govt. 

Not to say they did not see promise or attempt to control it but all of that effort failed. 

The reality is that LSD and some other psychedelics will subvert any attempt at control and fillet any subversion of Liberty wide open for all to examine. 

Attempts to control are futile which is probably why it all got locked up and propagandized so fervently. 

The cat is outta the bag. Social Media, like LSD is the Wild West of Ideas. In both phenomena the truth is nimble and beautiful where lies are sloth and ugly. 

My opinion of the "60's" is that we saw the results of this powerful tool for insight and truth and liberty in its infancy juxtaposed and directly in conflict with all the tools of the Central State. It was no match. 

We live in a different world today. There is no radio or tv to tell me what I should listen to or watch. We expose ourselves to what we want when we want... And so this next psychedelic wave will take on a totally new form outside the control of the Central State or cult of personality.  

Many of the young people who are inspired by Ron Paul and his movement are psycho-nauts and I think that the resurgence of Libertarian philosophy has its roots in the psychedelic community. 

All to say that the fear that MK ultra types are going to use this against us is fantasy. LSD is our greatest tool to expose people to Liberty. I for one am happy to see its resurgence and because of it the Central State has no idea what is about to happen. 

In reply to by Lea

the artist detached.amusement Sat, 06/09/2018 - 14:00 Permalink

I caught that too. Fortunately to the psychedelic user, the truth is nimble and beautiful and lies are ugly and slow. 

Nativism and nationalism are too beautiful to ignore in the face of ugly and contorted multiculturalism. 

My overall point is that we have nothing to fear from LSD or psychedelics. They reveal the world as it is, nothing more. LSD culture formed the basis for anti-statist movements everywhere. Observe how we as a country began to view the CIA and other alphabet agencies. More to come. 

In reply to by detached.amusement

LightBeamCowboy detached.amusement Sat, 06/09/2018 - 14:45 Permalink

Right. Comrade Vikram completely misses that the "dangerous nativism" he decries is a direct result of Europe and the US being intentionally swamped with Muslims who are not bashful about their own religious nativism. Maybe we should give LSD to all 1.2 billion Muslims so they'll see the light and stop talking about killing kafirs and taking over the world.

In reply to by detached.amusement

el buitre bamawatson Sat, 06/09/2018 - 09:33 Permalink

I was a child of the '60's and did more than my share of tripping.  Never had a bad experience and it opened my eyes to different realities and deprogramming.  That said, let us remember that Timothy Leary was a self-admitted CIA asset toward the end of his life.  The monstrous experiments of the CIA under MK Ultra on children in Montreal involved the forced mega dosing of these children with LSD daily for months.  The CIA was looking for a pharmaceutical shortcut to child personality dissociation into alters.  Most of the LSD in the USA in the 60's was Sandoz, supplied through the mega dealer and buddy of Cherry Garcia, Oswley via the CIA.  The CIA put a huge amount of LSD in the water supply of a small French village in the early 1950's unbeknown to the villagers which resulted and many suicides.  One reason that the CIA pushed LSD in the 1960's is they were afraid that the anti Vietnam protesters were making too much progress with the American public, and wanted to transform these clean cut college students into bearded tie-died self proclaimed freaks which would alienate the public from giving their positions a fair hearing.  All that said, I am a firm advocate of circumspect use of psychadelics but they do have their downside when in the hands of the government psychopaths.

In reply to by bamawatson