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LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven

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Just gonna park this post here, until someone else reads the 2019 book:  "LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven" by Christoper M. Bache, Ph.D., Professor in Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University.  "Bache set out to explore his mind, and the mind of the universe, as deeply and systematically as possible. Following protocols established by Stanislov Grof, Bache's 73 high-dose LSD sessions, over the course of 20 years, drew him into a deepening communion with cosmic consciousness." You guys are fans of the Dark Night? You'll love this book. A few Tibetan Vajrayana references. In the meantime, I'll try to keep reading  this book, being frightened, and hoping the material within doesn't secretly plant itself somewhere in my mind. I have my own thoughts about this, but I want to hear from more experienced and knowledgeable mind explorers.

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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2/28/20 12:53 AM as a reply to EdMelvin.
Have you experienced LSD and/or other psychedelic drugs yourself?

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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2/28/20 12:07 PM as a reply to Ni Nurta.
Ni Nurta:
Have you experienced LSD and/or other psychedelic drugs yourself?

3 times, recreational low doses, 1960's. Fairly enjoyable, no more after. Much later meditation and depression/anxiety revealed a brand new "reality" of the vistas of mental suffering. For 35 years now, NOTHING. Too sensitive, medication-phobic, brain now contains well-worn, intermittently active anxiety pathways. Hence, my fascination with related topics.

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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2/29/20 5:49 PM as a reply to EdMelvin.
Thanks for the link. I notice that there is an audio book too, which is probably how I'll tackle this - on my commute. Forward by Ervin Laszlo  seals the deal for me. emoticon

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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4/2/20 12:42 PM as a reply to EdMelvin.
Hmm, thank you for suggesting this book. I read about two thirds of it with great interest. I have mixed feelings.

I've been a pretty big fan of LSD, because it helped me have extremely weird and beautiful experiences. I think in the end, "it helps you have weird and beautiful experiences" may be a decent summary of what LSD offers.

After I'd have an interesting trip, I'd try so hard to relate the experience to my friends, and basically couldn't, no matter how eloquent I tried to be, or how many hours I sat trying to type it up. After a while, it occurred to me: hey, wasn't there something else I had run into where somebody had supposedly experienced something super important, but wasn't really able to say what it was? Oh yeah, Buddhism. In the early days when I had a very poor understanding of Buddhism, I remember being frustrated. I want to become enlightened too! Just tell me the big secret! My trips gave me an example in my own life that it was possible to experience something valuable that you couldn't really convey to anyone else in language.

I have a friend who is skeptical about LSD's abilities to confer insight. I am warming up to this view. I think LSD did help me solve some relatively small problems in my life, like getting over failed relationships and such. But doses like the author of the book you mentioned... I think his book ends up being a cautionary tale about that practice.

It's interesting to read trip stories, I guess. But we can't even relate to others what goes on in one's mind during a 300ug trip, never mind 600. So a lot of what he wrote is, no fault of his, indistinguishable from nonsense. He may have seen the truth, but I don't have any way to know it's the truth, and he has no ability to persuade anyone. It's not just weird -- that would be fine. But it's not falsifiable.

I also started to see signs at the end of my reading that there was a considerable amount of false insight, at least according to my best judgement. The author seems to have anxiety about ecological disaster, and that seems to have been incorporated into his trips, and very intriciate experiences were had with ecological disaster as a core component assumed to be happening. But according to my best judgement, we are not having an ecological crisis. And yes, I understand many people will disagree with me, but I'm not "anti-science" or whatever. I think the author has a bit of a doomsday fixation (very common, I make no judgement about that), and it became a building block of his trips. I think a more genuine insight would be something like a high-level vision of governments tending to grant more funds for research that supports the need for sweeping government intervention, media outlets eagerly regurgitating disaster scenarios without checking for historical precedent, etc.

Summary: as my meditation practice improves, I'm more inclined to believe that meditation is the way to get insights. Other people have said that LSD is like hang gliding, and meditation is like slowly climbing the mountain. I'm inclined to agree with that. It's possible that meditation also induces some brain malfunction that grants false insights, but the insights seem pretty consistent, and cause a person to be more like a saint, so this seems like an OK result even if it's not doing what I think it's doing.

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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4/4/20 1:18 PM as a reply to Brian.
Thank you for your great response ! For right now, I'm going forward with, and going to explore,  my theory that these hallucinogenic experiences are just different forms of the brain's process of DREAMING, or at least, some forms of possibly dis-organized brain responses.  These states can also happen during trauma and illness, not to mention NDE's.  Just like the author had LSD-influenced intense experiences, I TOO have had weird, SOBER dream states, consisting of intense horror, graphic, terrifying science fiction scenes, vast futuristic cities and panoramas, meetings with "holy men", deep feelings that I was on the cusp of knowing the secrets of existence, etc. But, what good does it really do for me ? I'm just as deluded as I was, many years ago. Maybe, the dream state is merely the brain purging it's garbage.

RE: LSD & The Mind of The Universe: Diamonds From Heaven
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4/5/20 11:35 AM as a reply to EdMelvin.
IMHO drug experiences, waking life, and sleeping all all places where there is awareness. None are more real than the others, or less full of moment to moment dharma. As you say, you have sober dream states.

Know all things to be like this: 
A mirage, a cloud castle, A dream, an apparition, 
Without essence, but with qualities that can be seen.

Know all things to be like this:
As the moon in a bright sky
In some clear lake reflected,
Though to that lake the moon has never moved.

Know all things to be like this:
As an echo that derives
From music, sounds, and weeping,
Yet in that echo is no melody.

Know all things to be like this:
As a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,
Nothing is as it appears. - Buddha

I believe that LSD was something that softened my hard beliefs about what was real or not real enough for seeing the non-dual nature of reality to shine through, and for that I am eternally grateful.