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Opinion: The psychedelic renaissance is at risk of missing the bigger picture Options
 
RhythmSpring
#1 Posted : 5/27/2023 9:59:22 PM

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https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/23721486/ketamine-dmt-lsd-psychedelics-magic-mushrooms-legalization-recreation-psilocybin

Quote:
“The problem with the current biomedical vision is that it’s very much based on an individualistic understanding of mental health and human flourishing,”


Quote:
Clark echoed the idea that careful regulatory policy is essential, but rejected that medicalization is the best approach in the meantime. As she pointed out to me, holding psychedelics in an exclusively medicalized waiting room could worsen the existing diversity problem. “You want to talk about the history of Black people or Native people with the medical establishment?” Clark said. “Who’s driving the conversation around the medical and therapeutic being the safest and only way?”

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Good quality Syrian rue (Peganum harmala) for an incredible price!
 
Voidmatrix
#2 Posted : 5/28/2023 12:15:26 AM

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Being African American, aspects of this topic weigh on my mind heavily. There aren't many black people or black communities that work with or interact with psychedelics in anyway. It's commonly considered a "white thing" to do or be into. African Americans also tend to get less quality of care, not only because of financial hardship, but also because of a variety of stereotypes, such ad being more likely to be drug seeking, and also a physically "tougher" "race" that needs less in the way of the mitigation of pain. I could go on, but it's par for the course as is the marginalization of black people in schools, jobs, and the prison system. I don't think I need to mention the history of intentional medical malpractice on black people (such as Tuskegee).

Back to psychedelics, when considering the individual, communal, and generational trauma of many black people in the U.S (not to mention around the world, and particularly in Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa), there could be tremendous healing benefit and broadening of mind and awareness by such a community being able to interact with these molecules and entheogens. But we can look at the vulture-capitalist system and see that barely any of them will be able to afford such experiences that they are already culturally adverse to due to historical precedence.

Take a look at the psilocybin pricing for therapy in Oregon. It's a farce.

Many of these aspects aren't relegated to African Americans alone. There are plenty of underprivileged white people as well as Hispanic, Native, Asian, Middle Eastern, etc people that also won't be able to take advantage of this Renaissance.

It angers me. And solidifies why I do underground guidework and may never go above board. This should be accessible to everyone in my opinion. The charge for even getting a license to administer some of this stuff is around $12,000 if I'm not mistaken (which is that much more of a joke considering prop 122 says that these plant medicines can be shared). I find such tactics abhorrent.

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What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
RhythmSpring
#3 Posted : 5/28/2023 5:45:08 AM

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The classism inherent in psychedelic regulation is absurd.
From the unspoken
Grows the once broken
 
dragonrider
#4 Posted : 5/28/2023 2:44:16 PM

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Wow, that looks like an easy way to get rich.
Seems like anyone could easily make twice as much money this way, in just one month, than most people would in a whole year.

You just have to make them sign something first, so that you're not actually responsible in case it goes wrong.Twisted Evil

Ka-ching ka-ching.
 
Jees
#5 Posted : 5/28/2023 6:10:51 PM

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Imho the shamanic practices at-large suffered from the same problem. The plants got owned, recuperated, also for money, and scary thoughts are spread if not followed accordingly. The use became 'reserved'.
 
Jees
#6 Posted : 5/30/2023 9:00:33 AM

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OrangeEnergy wrote:
That's capitalism folks.
How many people at the top of corporate structures, do we think, are regular users of psychedelics in a ceremonial fashion?
Corporations, and those who run them, are sociopathic in nature. The bottom line is all that matters, and all other considerations are secondary and are rationalised away by this mindset, so long as profits are improved.
Psychedelics, as with everything else, are just another market to be exploited, for these people.

https://www.thecorporati...om/film/about-film.html

I think of this particular mind set you're talking of as a direct derivative of a strict natural tendency to win, concur, rule.. Imho humans did not invent this in the slightest, only execute the inner mechanisms that are it's very constituents and act accordingly. The urge to more-and-stronger is in the fundament of nature, together with the collateral damage indifference. It is very difficult to hold high ethics that condemn certain natural tendencies. I for one admit using more than necessary electronics and nice to haves in life. I am part of the problem and admit to my unnecessary greed. Many are so in denial and should self reflect honestly.
 
OneIsEros
#7 Posted : 5/30/2023 1:49:11 PM

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A little thought. I personally don’t think much of psychedelic therapy. I think therapy will do more for psychedelics, than psychedelics will do for therapy. What I mean to say by that is: therapeutic use of psychedelics, like medical use of marijuana, is just a stepping stone to legalization for totally free use - at which point the issues with therapy pricing will most likely dissolve. It’s just a stepping stone.

MDMA and the other entactogens I believe will be the main contributors to psychotherapy, because they fit in well with that model. I don’t think therapists are going to use psychedelics with the same level of success, mostly because truly successful use of psychedelics is shamanic, and shamanic practices are not going to find their way into therapists’ offices because they’re too magical, and the skills too inaccessible. Maybe next century, sometime after psychedelics are legalized fully, it’ll crop up after shamans become more prevalent in day to day life, and it receives some study. Until then I 100% absolutely support the medicalization of psychedelics and don’t give the slightest shit about corporate profits because I don’t think they’d be able to use these things properly anyhow even if they had the best intentions. It’s just another step to legalizing psychedelics and entactogens and decriminalizing all drugs generally, and hopefully legalizing a select few hard drugs to be given out for free for addicts.

War is Hell, and the war on drugs is ongoing. Fortunately, when it comes to psychedelics, the drugs are winning. Unfortunately, with the hard drugs, the drugs are also winning. I’ve lived in societies that are largely hard drug free, and let me tell you, I am saddened that the cat’s out of the bag on that one and won’t be going back in - ever. But drugs won the war - all of them. From here on out it’s just figuring out how to proceed through the cultural denial, like reassuring a dementia patient with bullshit lie after bullshit lie (oh we just want medical marijuana, oh we just want to do therapy, oh we just want to try an opiate dispensal project as a social experiment, oh we just want onnnnne, maybe two safe injection sites….). In BC in Canada drugs are still criminalized, but they basically just choose not to enforce the laws because everyone understands it’s pointless. It’s just gonna be a long muddled process that won’t always be ideal, but is indeed underway.
 
Voidmatrix
#8 Posted : 5/30/2023 2:09:30 PM

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Isn't this sensationalizing shamanism a bit to say that psychedelics won't be very useful in a therapeutic setting? I ask because I am not a shaman, but I do practice guidework, and while it is ritualistic and ceremonial, akin to shamanic practice, I am not a shaman, yet many that I've done this work for have received a great deal of therapeutic benefit.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
OneIsEros
#9 Posted : 5/30/2023 2:52:30 PM

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Yes, it is possible that less than shamanic practice can achieve results. But from what I’ve seen of the tentative clinical setting designs, the “therapy” seems to basically be entirely passive. Eye shades, headphones, somebody to hold someone’s hand. Basically “sit back and let it happen”. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to get results, it just means that the doctors don’t know how to actively use psychedeics.

I don’t think I’m sensationalizing shamanism, I think we tend to actually under sensationalize shamanism, because there is embarassment about magical practice. Magical practice is basically the functional height of psychedelic use in all communities that have real traditions surrounding them, as in virtually any traditions that go back any further than the 1960’s.

That said I would be curious to know what your techniques are.
 
Voidmatrix
#10 Posted : 5/30/2023 3:03:30 PM

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OneIsEros wrote:
Yes, it is possible that less than shamanic practice can achieve results. But from what I’ve seen of the tentative clinical setting designs, the “therapy” seems to basically be entirely passive. Eye shades, headphones, somebody to hold someone’s hand. Basically “sit back and let it happen”. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to get results, it just means that the doctors don’t know how to actively use psychedeics.

I don’t think I’m sensationalizing shamanism, I think we tend to actually under sensationalize shamanism, because there is embarassment about magical practice. Magical practice is basically the functional height of psychedelic use in all communities that have real traditions surrounding them, as in virtually any traditions that go back any further than the 1960’s.

That said I would be curious to know what your techniques are.


I think I understand your stance a bit better. Thank you.

Because of my inherent position within philophic skepticism, I don't affirm or deny anything and look at things through the lens of phenomenology. That said, my practice of guideworking is very much a hybridization between a clinical approach as well as that of ceremony, using and employing aspects from a wide array of practices around the world, from shamanic, to Buddhist, to Hindu, to Yoruba, to general occult and esoteric.

Sorry for not going more indepth. I snuck away at work to respond Very happy I'll gladly provide more detail if you like.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
fink
#11 Posted : 5/30/2023 11:19:50 PM
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Whenever an underground culture gets commercialized the underground population in general feels somehow violated. In most cases the wave will crest, roll over and eventually crash back into relative obscurity. In this case, the alternative outcome is that the commercialization has such a positive reception that a new mainstream culture is forged.

Despite my disdain for the capitalist method, despite a feeling of having the quiet refuge violated, these experiences don't appear to lie to us. If the truth is that people are taking advantage of the user then the medicine will highlight that.

The outcome may well backfire on the profiteering parties. The outcome may well be the catalyst that puts an end to the strangle hold capitalism forces on the people of Earth all together.

Wouldn't that be something? If the globalist regime accidentally committed suicide by opening more eyes than it can suppress. Perhaps we should trust the plants.

I don't know much, but I do know this. With a golden heart comes a rebel fist.
 
murklan
#12 Posted : 5/30/2023 11:44:26 PM

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fink wrote:
The outcome may well backfire on the profiteering parties. The outcome may well be the catalyst that puts an end to the strangle hold capitalism forces on the people of Earth all together.

Wouldn't that be something? If the globalist regime accidentally committed suicide by opening more eyes than it can suppress. Perhaps we should trust the plants.


Hooray!!

But before that... Things might get a bit weird. It might be that psychedelics are indeed opening more eyes and hearts to the gospel of love, connection, ego dissolution, god or what positive image we might have to strive for. But they might also be 'unspecific amplifiers' and reflect, feeds of and twist the tales and culture that it lives in. And today's cultures are.. quite unstable perhaps? Realities drifting apart, trust in a common world-view is hard to maintain. I'm not trying to paint the whole picture black here, a lot of good is also happening.
 
RhythmSpring
#13 Posted : 5/31/2023 12:34:22 AM

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Yay! I love that this is being talked about, and I love the perspectives being shared. Funny--The first time I posted this thread, it got no responses. Then, I tried to "bump" it, and accidentally deleted it. Whoops! I tried to reconstruct it--but this time, I added the word "Opinion" to the beginning of the title. It's amazing how we gravitate towards subjective matters--stories, personal opinions--more than "objective" matters (studies, scientific conclusions, which we are quite inundated with and which also often lead to power struggles as opposed to an invitation to dialogue)... but, I digress.

OneIsEros wrote:
...truly successful use of psychedelics is shamanic, and shamanic practices are not going to find their way into therapists’ offices because they’re too magical, and the skills too inaccessible.


OneIsEros wrote:
Maybe next century, sometime after psychedelics are legalized fully, it’ll crop up after shamans become more prevalent in day to day life, and it receives some study. Until then I 100% absolutely support the medicalization of psychedelics and don’t give the slightest shit about corporate profits...


I'm definitely with you on these points.

OneIsEros wrote:
I don’t think I’m sensationalizing shamanism, I think we tend to actually under sensationalize shamanism, because there is embarassment about magical practice.

Absolutely. And, tragically, the reason for this embarrassment I think has to do with thousands of years of persecution of witches and other "heathen" practices and cultures. Look at how Europeans treated Native American "savages" under the influence of the "intoxicants" of San Pedro and Peyote, or the "savages" of African tribes. Do you think that fear of magic just goes away by itself? I think it's a legitimate fear we need to address as a society. Why do some of us fear magic? Is it because it represents a painful reconciliation with negative karma with the Earth? Is it because we have guilt and project it unto the "unclean" folks? Is it because we do not understand it? I think most of us here on the Nexus appreciate and accept to a degree "magic," but there are a lot of people out there who do not.

Thankfully, I think things are headed in the right direction with legalization. Not only that, I want to respond to this concern:

murklan wrote:
But they might also be 'unspecific amplifiers' and reflect, feeds of and twist the tales and culture that it lives in. And today's cultures are.. quite unstable perhaps? Realities drifting apart, trust in a common world-view is hard to maintain.


I think LSD, MDMA, and other research chemicals (cuz when does the "research" ever end?) are the "unspecific amplifiers." But natural psychedelics, which are not single, isolated chemicals, but rather a whole host of naturally balanced chemical constituents, often with generations of cultural history and practice, are not 'unspecific amplifiers,' but specific tools that pair with intention in order to create nuanced benefit within and without. In other words, as long we keep an eye on the public's potential fear of magic (a rare but extremely volatile fear), continuing to use these natural organisms respectfully will get us far in society without triggering backlash.
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OneIsEros
#14 Posted : 5/31/2023 1:10:11 AM

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I think the rejection of magic is less because of a historical suppression of witchcraft by the church, and more rooted in the Enlightenment rejection of the church’s superstition itself, and all of the horrible things done in superstition’s name to begin with - and now we just regard it as delusion, and delusion is unsavoury. Remember, the first institutions outside indigenous cultures or within them but originating from outside them to have incorporated psychedelics in them were not hospitals - they were churches, a couple in Brazil with ayahusca and one in America with peyote.

I’d tend to disagree with the natural>synth thing too. LSD, for me, is only rivaled by ayahuasca in terms of how well it allows me access to “mystical” realms. Mushrooms have never done too much for me. LSD, I woke up into white light. That is the experience that set me to pursue years in monasteries. And MDMA, arguably, is the most specific amplifier of all - it just acts as an amphetamine for affectionate brain functions. And of course, the Mesoamerican societies weren’t exactly peaceful, though they were very psychedelically involved. True, Xochipilli was unique among the Aztec gods for refusing blood sacrifice - but that didn’t stop the rest of their pantheon demanding it. Contrast this with psychedelically naive Jainism and Buddhism criticising Vedic rituals for animal cruelty, and the surrounding psychedelically-naive Hindu culture later dropping those practices. (Okay, MAYBE Soma was a psychedelic - we don’t know - but even there, Soma was Vedic - the later Himdu ahimsa ideal was a rejection of that Vedic Soma-period’s animal sacrifices - which had by then forgotten what Soma was). Like the reformed LSD evangelist Tim Scully, I’d say psychedelics are good - but probably not the savior.

All that said - I do want to emphasize this last point, to underline a very strong agreement with you. I do not think these things are non-specific amplifiers. I think they CAN amplify evil, because curse magic IS a thing in shamanism, and shamans are indeed often brutally murderous people - so they’re not totally neutral. But I do think that they are nonetheless basically amplifiers of GOOD, which can be perversely used for evil. So though I do not accept a too optimistic vision of their sociologically revolutionary potential - and I do think things like LSD aren’t “less than” - I do agree that they are good, sacred, parts of our world, and not simply neutral, even if appropriable by neutral or malicious intents. And I am happy when I meet people who agree on that point, because I think it does point to some of the magic in it Pleased
 
Voidmatrix
#15 Posted : 5/31/2023 2:05:21 AM

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Something I'd like to mention with respect to both "magick" and psychedelics being a "savior" or all good is that receptivity of the journeyer needs to be present. Without one being open to such types of experiences and the changes they can influence, that individual will never have the insights, understanding, or experiences of which we are talking about. Thus, there are plenty of people that will stay ignorant, naive, corrupt, selfish, etc and may be exacerbated by the psychedelic, no matter the psychedelic.

I think also that there's a difference in how people talk about magic. Here we speak of it as something evocative, invoking very specific things experienced internally, that broadens our awareness and understanding. However, there are those that speak of magic in "unrealistic" terms about fantastical and fanciful things that is removed from its esoteric core. This latter way of talking about magick I feel also turns most lay people off to the magick that we here are referring to.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
OneIsEros
#16 Posted : 5/31/2023 2:18:21 AM

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I, for one, mean magic in both senses. My telepathic experiences were not magic in the sense of my mystical experiences, but they were indeed literal telepathy. For those who know, you know. For skeptics who don’t, you don’t. For skeptics who think they know it isn’t a thing - well, those are not skeptics, they are simply disbelievers Razz Shamanic cultures mean it literally in both senses.
 
Voidmatrix
#17 Posted : 5/31/2023 2:51:11 AM

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OneIsEros wrote:
I, for one, mean magic in both senses. My telepathic experiences were not magic in the sense of my mystical experiences, but they were indeed literal telepathy. For those who know, you know. For skeptics who don’t, you don’t. For skeptics who think they know it isn’t a thing - well, those are not skeptics, they are simply disbelievers Razz Shamanic cultures mean it literally in both senses.


Were these experiences had while on psychedelics? I've had a few obvious experiences that were very direct, but aided by psychedelics. There are also more subtle instances with my interactions with others.

Now, I won't say that I know anything other than, I've had experiences that I interpret in x way, and as such there is the appearance y quality.

The skeptic statements seem like they are directed at me. When I mentioned the fantastical and fanciful claims, I meant of the sort that, say, defies the appearances of things we call the laws of physics. Telepathy doesn't fall into that category for me. Nor does changing certain types of aspects of one's body, interacting with spirits of various kinds, channeling energy, etc. I neither affirm nor deny these things. Just like anything else. But I have had experiences that align with some of these concepts.

A skeptic that makes an explicit claim about something not being the case is committing a fallacy in my opinion by way of making a positivist claim that it is known that x thing is not the case, for then their statement falls under the same scrutiny by which it also employs to x.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
OneIsEros
#18 Posted : 5/31/2023 5:08:14 AM

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Yes, it was, although I did not mean it in an accusatory way - just an exhaustive way. Disbelief is definitely justifiable - I would go so far as to say the most justified of those positions, from a perspective that has not had enough conclusive personal experience. I have heard of people talk about “shamanism” in glowing terms and then, upon having that term explained (uncensored) compare it disparagingly to faith healing. Which they’re justified in doing, in my opinion. While radical agnosticism is a purer skepticism, epistemically on this matter I think disbelief is probably the more responsible position. That is in terms of public epistemology though. In terms of private epistemology, I’d say belief in one’s own experiences is justified.

Example of what I mean: lucid dreaming. From a public epistemological standpoint (ie things “scientifically proven”) - lucid dreaming was not known to exist. It was always available for private epistemic proof - that is to say, people could simply learn how to do it and prove to themselves, but only to themselves, that it was indeed real. Then Stephen Laberge in the 1980’s strapped motion sensors on people’s eyelids, got them to communicate in morse code from a dream state, and heralded lucid dreaming into the public realm of known phenomena after thousands of years of being an exclusively privately proven phenomenon. Much of the claims in shamanism, I’d say, fall into private epistemic affairs - for now.

I’d probably disagree and say that telepathy would be a violation of physics as we understand it, I just think you may be reifying the “laws” of physics and so contrasting things like say telepathy or corporeal levitation as being in different categories. In either case, it would just be a phenomenon not yet accounted for by our present models of how the world works.

In terms of my own experiences: plenty both on and off psychedelics, and very, very definitive. I have spoken sentences in people’s minds and they heard the words. Made people laugh at jokes and then have them leap back in shock when they realized what happened. Peered into people’s minds and turned on a trip for them when neither of us had taken anything. I cannot do it on command, it is always spontaneously in the moment, but it has happened so many times throughout my life that I simply cannot deny it, and nor can the people who have experienced it with me, both while sober and on psychedelics. But it would be very difficult to replicate in laboratory conditions - not that it can’t in principle, but it’d be difficult. Maybe some people in the world can do it more reliably. I have heard of a select few rare monks in the Thai Forest tradition who could do it without difficulty, but, in that tradition they would be violating monastic codes to do it in front of anyone who is not themselves ordained. Claims of corporeal levitation have also been made. The monastic codes permit monks to tell stories about other monks. I hope someday it will be verified. As a private affair, the issue is settled for me. As a public affair, it would be epistemically irresponsible to believe without personal verification, and for my part as a private affair the converse is true. Agnosticism may not be as epistemically responsible, but I do appreciate the open mindedness Pleased Full on belief without personal experience, would probably be my least preferred option.
 
Voidmatrix
#19 Posted : 5/31/2023 10:19:41 AM

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I feel I've contributed to derailing this thread, so I'll bow out of this conversation after responding.

When I brought this up I was speaking in terms of what other people are receptive to, not my beliefs which somehow seems to be where this has come to. You're misunderstanding my point. That said, I suspend absolute judgment, especially on things I've never experienced, but also to my own experience. I feel everything can be part of some potential delusion, even such modes of thought that claim to be see through or passed delusion. Such a claim may be delusional in and of itself. I don't really have beleifs.

What is the nature of rigor for which you claim others are justified in such and such a belief?

I feel I'm more justified in suspending judgment than making a claim that lends itself toward disbelief. And I don't know what you mean by your use of "responsible" in this context. It's responsible to first and foremost be honest with oneself in my opinion, and my honesty with myself says I have seemings, reasoning, and intuitions that substantiates some things but also seeming, reasoning and intuions to the contrary as well. As such, I don't know

Saying some perceived phenomenon will be explained by something in the future is wishful thinking and I state that as the fallacy. And just because something has happened in the past doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen in the future (in the case of substantiating lucid dreaming and the same happening for other phenomena of the same or a similar class).

I also never claimed to be agnostic (the last part again seems directed particularly at me). And your thanking me for my open-mindedness seems a bit condescending. Again I'm not affirming or denying and operate off of how things seem to be. Amd how things seem to be ia potentially layered with supervenience and polyvalency, so a great deals seems possible to me. To deny certain types of experience because it doesn't align with my personal experience would be akin to my denying the alps don't exist because I've never been to see them.

And yes it's a tall order to expect people to accept and/or believe something they've never experienced, hence why I brought up receptivity in the first place. But again, I don't understand this agnostic/skeptical epistemic "responsibility" that you have mentioned. If you mean in the sense of certain knowledge, that's predicated by the idea that anything can be known and isnt a supposition to just one of many appearances how things seem to be. That is, if you mean responsible in the sense of providing positivist information that is more than just an interpretation of some experience of some potential phenomena, then I think there is a lofty expectation inherent to such an idea. There's a plethora of ways to think and things to believe, many of which are contrasting.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


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OneIsEros
#20 Posted : 5/31/2023 3:14:11 PM

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Oh, I just mean that, barring skepticism as an ideal (and there are many kinds of it), there are different forms of knowing. Without going down the rabbit hole of what would in fact constitute “unhypothetical knowledge” and whether or not knowing is indeed possible at all or what degree there is - I’d just say that historically people have “known” lucid dreaming was a real phenomenon when they experienced it themselves in a way that, again, without going down the rabbit hole of precise epistemic justification, others could not know. Anyone who had not experienced it took people at their word, until it was proven in laboratory conditions to the world. What I mean by epistemic responsibility is nothing really moral. I just mean some beliefs deserve more critical dissent than others. Flat Earth theory, for example, or flying spaghetti monsters. These are straw examples that put the point in a dramatic sense, rather than in a precisely formulated definition.

My only point in mentioning all of this is basically that, it’s like I said: shamanism is undersensationalized. It’s actually culturally appropriative, if you get down to it. Just like the “Buddhism without beliefs” crowd that constantly misinterprets the Buddha’s apparently “skeptical” claims that render him Socratic rather than simply stating matters of private vs. public epistemology, people do indeed get “turned off” when we speak of “unreal magic removed from its esoteric core”.

In the case of my own religion where I see this happen, it is deeply problematic. On the one hand, yes, monks are prohibited in the rules from showing off any psychic abilities, so there is an analagous case of wanting to protect a valid “esoteric core” there. The Buddha did not want the dharma cheapened to magic tricks. But, the problem is; in the Western appropriation of at least Theravada Buddhism, this has resulted in laypeople ridiculing that very same esoteric core, in a way that implies that silly supersititious Asian people needed to have their religion redeemed of magical nonsense like the notion of rebirth and karma. But karma, rebirth, and nibbana in the fullest, literal sense are indeed the esoteric core itself for that tradition. No metaphors intended.

Similarly, with shamanism, there are indeed both different levels of shamanic practice and different directions, ie healing vs malevolent and to varying degrees in each case. But there’s a certain tendency for people to disparage the genuine esoteric core of this practice in favour of the very appropriative psychotherapeutic paradigms that exists in the West, making the visionary into something more akin to a Freudian/Jungian dream analysis, however active it may be. That is not what a shaman is doing. They are doing magic in a literal sense. And you are right, it does turn people off, and they do often have an idea when confronted with this that it is the shamans who are “missing the bigger picture”, rather than us. I demure, but, I also concede that as you say, it’s a tall order. So I have no hard feelings about it. I definitely want to make it known that shamanism is not psychotherapy though, because this miscommunication often borders on the appropriative, and I would prefer that uncensored wholesale traditions be communicated, letting the chips fall where they may in light of that.

Also, for that reason, I don’t think you contributed to a derailment, I think you brought up an excellent point. Which is: what are this movement’s ideas about what the “bigger picture” or “esoteric core” is, exactly? And what are the dynamic social implications of that?
 
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