RE: Psychedelics

From: mez (
Date: Fri Nov 24 2000 - 12:58:11 MST

From: Anders Sandberg []
> Personally I think other means such as self-hypnosis and
> self-suggestion (enhanced for example by ritual) can be even very
> useful metaprogramming tools.

I completely agree. Metaprogramming is not in any way tied to the use of
psychedelics. Self-hypnosis, self-suggestion, meditation, visualization,
NLP, lucid dreaming, and other techniques may all be useful. Even more
mainstream psychological techniques such as Cognitive Therapy are forms of

(BTW, I do not mean to endorse all the techniques above. While they *may*
all be useful, there is a lack of data on the effectiveness of most of

> In my view (as a computational neuroscientist interested in learning),
> the idea isn't bad at all. My main problem with it is that most of the
> drugs around produce states that may produce a very fluid view of
> reality, but they also make the users so confused that it is hard for
> them to do the desirable changes.

Yes, often psychedelics can produce confusion, but again I would say that
this is affected by many variables:

Set - the mood, desire, and expectation of the person entering the
psychedelic experience. If you choose to have a very clear, lucid
experience, chances are better that you will.

Setting - The atmosphere and environment in which you take the drug. If
you want to have lucid experience, choose a peaceful atmosphere you are
comfortable with. The home, parks on a sunny day, museums, and many other
venues can be useful for this.

Experience - Initial psychedelic experiences are often confusing, in part
because one is really not sure what to expect. Second and subsequent
experiences are more known quantities, and thus less rife with confusion
and also more amenable to sculpting by the person embarking on the

To be clear, my initial psychedelic experiences were purely recreational
(though driven by a desire to broaden my experience of the world and
myself, which I find quite extropic). It was only later that I found them
to be useful tools, particularly in combination with other techniques
listed above.


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