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What is the purpose in Psilocybin? Options
 
pete666
#21 Posted : 12/9/2018 9:32:10 AM

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0_o wrote:
From all I have seen logic is the only thing that frees one from the box of magical thinking.
Otherwise people believe anything and yet understand nothing.


Yes, this is a common belief and I understand it. And our civilization is a proof it works to some extent. But what if the logic is just an illusion? What if it works only when there is someone willing to believe in it? Then yes, it may work, but it doesn't mean it is a common rule. It is just a result of someone living in the box of logical thinking.

If there were any purely illogical concepts, they would be unreachable for our kind of civilization. Yes, there may be some people using it, but not a civilization as o whole.
Acceptance of the fact that our reality is not real doesn't in fact mean it is not real. It just leads to better understanding what real means.
 

Trippy glass for trippy people.
 
0_o
#22 Posted : 12/9/2018 1:07:49 PM

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Quote:
What if it works only when there is someone willing to believe in it?

Plenty of people don't believe in it, yet it never stops working.
People believe many things, yet in none of the cases of these varied beliefs has any ability to affect or alter reality been demonstrated.


Humans are a vain species who like to believe that the universe exists for them, they often even claim that we create reality itself, yet what is this but arrogance?
 
pete666
#23 Posted : 12/9/2018 6:45:38 PM

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0_o wrote:
Plenty of people don't believe in it, yet it never stops working.

Reality taught me to never Smile use words like never, always, sure...

0_o wrote:
People believe many things, yet in none of the cases of these varied beliefs has any ability to affect or alter reality been demonstrated.

It depends on what kind of demonstration we are talking about. If about double-blind or tripple-blind experiments, then of course, it will never work like that. Anyone who understands the principles understands why it can't or rather won't work.

0_o wrote:
Humans are a vain species who like to believe that the universe exists for them, they often even claim that we create reality itself, yet what is this but arrogance?

Yes, if it comes from humans, then yes, it is just an arrogance.
Acceptance of the fact that our reality is not real doesn't in fact mean it is not real. It just leads to better understanding what real means.
 
RoundAbout
#24 Posted : 12/9/2018 8:49:54 PM

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Beatriz wrote:
Permit me to be blunt. This is a lot simpler than you are making it.

Generally speaking, there are two reasons for something without a brain to secrete a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter. It can be an attractant or a repellant. You can usually tell which is which by seeing where the chemical is expressed and what it causes the local animals to do.

Two examples: (1) nicotine is considered an anti-herbivory chemical in the tobacco plant. The whole plant produces it, and the bugs stay away. Humans enjoy its effects, but if we swallow our chewing tobacco, it can kill us too. (2) THC is produced exclusively in the flowers of the cannabis plant, and bees and other insects are shown to be attracted to it. Like nectar, the THC acts as payment for pollinators, and we love it too.

Which of these two cases does the mushroom resemble? The cannabis flower, of course! Mushrooms are fruiting bodies, serving the same function for the mycelial organism as a fruit serves for a plant. Their goal in life is to produce spores and encourage those spores to find their way to somewhere they can germinate effectively.

Where do P. cubensis mushrooms germinate best in the wild? In the dung of grazing animals like cows, who eat the mushrooms and give the spores a free ride to a perfect little environment. Fungi are metabolic cheapskates, and don't have many calories, so the best way to encourage cows to eat them is to provide a chemical incentive.

Almost all animals have similar neurotransmitters, especially our close mammalian relatives. The cows have clearly been getting high as balls for millions of years. The most successful mushrooms were the ones who gave Bessie the best elf-visions so she came back for a second helping.

Next time you enjoy mushrooms, thank aeons of evolution and the good taste of our ruminant friends for gardening up such a delicacy for us.


Caveat: I have very limited knowledge about biology.

This sounds nice for P. Cubensis in our modern environment, but does it really apply to most/all psilocybin containing mushrooms throughout natural history? (+ other similar molecules... humour me and look at this list and the diversity it contains: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_psilocybin_mushroom_species)

I honestly doubt it.

There are often multiple functions to plant secondary metabolite, some of which may be dominant in one environment vs. others. THC may attract pollinators, but cannabis pollen is also very well suited to wind dispersal and then capture by the resinous flowers (hence why you should kill your males so people don't have to pick seeds out of their outdoor grows). Perhaps the reason it confers an evolutionary advantage in some environments is UV absorption, allowing it to grow at higher elevations where it thrives. The precursor common to terpenes and THC probably allows for selection between resin vs. cannabinoid production depending on the environmental conditions, and this versatility may be advantageous. Perhaps it has another dominant function in another environment. The analogy used in the popular book The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins is that evolution is blind.

I think a good example that highlights the deceptive simplicity of secondary metabolites is the role of alkaloids in Phalaris grasses and their connection to staggers and other undesirable conditions in livestock. Look at the volume of research, and the investment of time and money it represents. It truly is... staggering (haw haw haw). Yet the amount of contradiction within the entire body of literature is remarkable. These are professional researchers who likely hold both public and private funding for their labs, testing hypotheses over decades.

As an aside, something I found interesting is the different role of neurotransmitters within the animal kingdom (specifically mammals vs. insects). A quote from Kennedy and Wightman (2011):

Quote:
...across the taxa, glutamate functions as a key excitatory neurotransmitter and ACh plays a key role in memory and neural plasticity, but 5-HT activity has opposite effects on aggressive behavior and dopaminergic neurons are implicated in aversive learning in insects but reward in mammals. The underlying neuronal functional apparatus governing synaptic release and recycling, receptor interactions, and signal transduction mechanisms are also preserved in both taxa, including the role of NO as a secondary messenger.


Edit: Deleted unhelpful comment.
 
Randomness
#25 Posted : 12/11/2018 12:59:02 PM

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There seems to be a diverse variety of far fetched ideas on this subject. Given the wide spectrum of substances to be found in fungi it does stand to reason that different species would have evolved over time to have more of a specific compound as it is beneficial for survival in the environmental niche they occupy. All animals plants and fungi perform biosynthesis using similar compounds so it is hardly surprising that some of these compounds interfere with the way we regulate our consciousness.

What would be interesting to know is if psylocibin encourages or discourages larger animals from eat the mushrooms, if it performs a function such as keeping insects or competing bacteria/ fungi away from the developing fruiting body/mycelium or lastly is just a secondary metabolite of another unrelated process.
 
Loveall
#26 Posted : 12/11/2018 3:22:40 PM

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Here is a more boring theory: Psilocybin evolved to trick the bugs, making them feel full so they would stop eating.

Paper attached. Title is: Horizontal gene cluster transfer increased hallucinogenic mushroom diversity

Of course, the theory suggesting psylocybin was dispersed by a higher intelligence in the form of self-replicating space faring spores to catalize higher concious states in serotonin based neurological life forms that may arise throughout the Galaxy is a lot more fun.
“... (a) psychedelic substance occasionally causes psychotic behaviour in people who have not taken it.”
Excerpt from a McKenna talk transcript / audio.
 
RoundAbout
#27 Posted : 12/11/2018 4:05:29 PM

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Loveall wrote:
Here is a more boring theory: Psilocybin evolved to trick the bugs, making them feel full so they would stop eating.

Paper attached. Title is: Horizontal gene cluster transfer increased hallucinogenic mushroom diversity

Of course, the theory suggesting psylocybin was dispersed by a higher intelligence in the form of self-replicating space faring spores to catalize higher concious states in serotonin based neurological life forms that may arise throughout the Galaxy is a lot more fun.


Thanks for this. The truth is generally more fun in the long run, isn't it?

The suggestion that this sort of behavioral modification is especially effective against social insects like termites is interesting. I wonder if the impact of 5-HT agonists has been studied in colonies of social insects.
 
Loveall
#28 Posted : 12/12/2018 7:39:33 PM

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Here are follow up questions for the wild mushroom hunters:

1) Are Psilocybin mushrooms eaten less by invertebrates? That is, do they have fewer insects holes compared to other mushrooms in the field?

2) When there are insect bites on wild Psilocybin mushrooms, are they more potent? Reason for this question is because plants that produce chemichal deterrents can sometimes make more when they sense an insect attack.

Thanks for any empirical data/observations on this!

“... (a) psychedelic substance occasionally causes psychotic behaviour in people who have not taken it.”
Excerpt from a McKenna talk transcript / audio.
 
Bancopuma
#29 Posted : 12/12/2018 10:42:01 PM

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The purpose of psilocybin likely depends on the species that produces it.

Psilocybin has evolved to tweak serotonin receptors, the compound it seems to structurally mimic. Serotonin is an incredibly ancient compound in evolutionary terms, having a variety of different roles in different organisms. One thing to remember is that fungi are very ancient organisms indeed, and fungi are thought to have been producing psilocybin from around 10-20 million years ago, having evolved from more ancient muscarine producing ancestors (see linked study below). So psilocybin fungi were around long, long before anyone was around to trip out on them. Dennis McKenna stated that serotonin conducts nerve transmissions in the muscles of slugs...so psilocybin could be a slug repellent. However as stated, serotonin has many different roles in organisms, depending on species, and in us humans it is one of the key neurotransmitters that modulates consciousness. And when Mankind entered the picture, things changed. It is pretty curious that many Psilocybe species seem to thrive in environments modified by humans.

Certainly, psilocybin will have a use of some kind. Evolution abhors waste and is harsh when it comes to weeding out things that don't work, and it takes precious life energy and resources on the fungi's part to produce psilocybin when it could be investing that energy into others things, like growth and reproduction. If it didn't have a role, it very likely wouldn't exist.

http://journals.plos.org...71/journal.pone.0064646

Some more relevant research:

Study:

http://www.biorxiv.org/c...early/2017/08/16/176347

Article:

https://www.inverse.com/...silocybin-bug-repellent

Quote:
Abstract

Secondary metabolites are heterogeneous natural products that often mediate interactions between species. The tryptophan-derived secondary metabolite, psilocin, is a serotonin receptor agonist that induces altered states of consciousness. A phylogenetically disjunct group of mushroom-forming fungi in the Agaricales produce the psilocin prodrug, psilocybin. Spotty phylogenetic distributions of fungal compounds are sometimes explained by horizontal transfer of metabolic gene clusters among unrelated fungi with overlapping niches. We report the discovery of a psilocybin gene cluster in three hallucinogenic mushroom genomes, and evidence for its horizontal transfer between fungal lineages. Patterns of gene distribution and transmission suggest that psilocybin provides a fitness advantage in the dung and late wood-decay niches, which may be reservoirs of fungal indole-based metabolites that alter behavior of mycophagous and wood-eating invertebrates. These hallucinogenic mushroom genomes will serve as models in neurochemical ecology, advancing the prospecting and synthetic biology of novel neuropharmaceuticals.


The TL;DR version is that psilocybin may have first evolved in fungi as an insect repellent.

An interesting recent development was the discovery of psilocybin being made and used by an entomopathogenic fungus that parasitises cicadas...it appears to be using psilocybin to modify the behaviour of the cicadas, bending them to its will and making them hyper-sexualised in behaviour which benefits the fungus by aiding it in the spreading of its spores. This is a pretty nifty example of a "simple" organism wresting control of a much more complex organism and bending it to its own whims through psychoactive manipulation. In the case of psilocybin, found in mushrooms as well as this parasitic fungus (worth noting the latter are very distantly related to each other, with psilocybin evolving independently in both), it also calls into its question its role in the various fungal species it is found in. If it simply acts as a deterrent, as some hypothesise, one would expect it to be concentrated in the vulnerable fungal mycelium, where it is only found in trace amounts. Perhaps it has a more interesting and mysterious role to play in these fungi.

Quote:
Greg Boyce, a member of Kasson’s team, looked at all the chemicals found in the white fungal plugs of the various cicadas. And to his shock, he found that the banger-wings were loaded with psilocybin—the potent hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms. “At first, I thought: There’s absolutely no way,” he says. “It seemed impossible.” After all, no one has ever detected psilocybin in anything other than mushrooms, and those fungi have been evolving separately from Massospora for around 900 million years.


Article on the research:

https://www.theatlantic....2018-07-30T14%3A05%3A34

The view of Paul Stamet's mycologist professor, Michael Beug is worth hearing:

Quote:
I asked him if there is reason to believe that psilocybin is a defense chemical for the mushroom. Defense against pests and diseases is the most common function of the so-called secondary metabolites produced in plants. Curiously, many plant toxins don’t directly kill pests, but often act as psychostimulants as well as poisons, which is why we use many of them as drugs to alter consciousness. Why wouldn’t plants just kill their predators outright? Perhaps because that would quickly select for resistance, whereas messing with its neurotransmitter networks can distract the predator or, better still, lead it to engage in risky behaviors likely to shorten its life. Think of an inebriated insect behaving in a way that attracts the attention of a hungry bird.

But Beug pointed out that if psilocybin were a defense chemical, “my former student Paul Stamets would have jumped on it long ago and found a use for it as an antifungal, antibacterial, or insecticide.” In fact Beug has tested fungi for psilocybin and psilocin levels and found that they occur only in minute quantities in the mycelium—the part of the organism most likely to be well defended. “Instead the chemicals are in the fruiting bodies, sometimes at over 2 percent by dry weight!”—a stupendous quantity, and in a part of the organism it is not a priority to defend.

Even if psilocybin in mushrooms began as “an accident of a metabolic pathway,” the fact that it wasn’t discarded during the course of the species’ evolution suggests it must have offered some benefit. “My best guess,” Beug says, “is that the mushrooms that produced the most psilocybin got selectively eaten and so their spores got more widely disseminated.”

Eaten by whom, or what? And why? Beug says that many animals are known to eat psilocybin mushrooms, including horses, cattle, and dogs. Some, like cows, appear unaffected, but many animals appear to enjoy an occasional change in consciousness, too. Beug is in charge of gathering mushroom-poisoning reports for the North American Mycological Association and over the years has seen accounts of horses tripping in their paddocks and dogs that “zero in on psilocybes and appear to be hallucinating.” Several primate species (aside from our own) are also known to enjoy psychedelic mushrooms. Presumably animals with a taste for altered states of consciousness have helped spread psilocybin far and wide.


From:

https://www.theatlantic....-magic-mushroom/561860/

My own hunch is along these lines...that originally psilocybin may have evolved as a defensive compound, but has been co-opted instead as an attractant compound that aids in the spread of the spores and thus reproductive success of these fungi.
 
PsyDuckmonkey
#30 Posted : 12/13/2018 12:03:12 AM

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0_o wrote:
Humans are a vain species who like to believe that the universe exists for them, they often even claim that we create reality itself, yet what is this but arrogance?

Not "humans". I mean, "humans" are part of the universe. It would be like saying that Super Mario is the reason the Super Mario games exist. Of course he isn't, he's just a character in the game.

However, in a way, the player actually is the reason the game exists. And Super Mario is, in a way, the avatar of the player.

If the players see themselves as beings above and external to the game, is it arrogance? And is it the arrogance of the players, or the arrogance of Super Mario?
Do you believe in the THIRD SUMMER OF LOVE?
 
0_o
#31 Posted : 12/13/2018 2:23:09 AM

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I see it more as like Koopa Troopas saying that they create all worlds through their perception. That the worlds exist because of them.
 
Tony6Strings
#32 Posted : 12/13/2018 2:48:16 AM

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0_o wrote:
I see it more as like Koopa Troopas saying that they create all worlds through their perception. That the worlds exist because of them.


I will see your Koopa Troopas and raise you a Troggle.
olympus mon wrote:
You need to hit it with intention to get where you want to be!

"We have arrived at truth, and now we find truth is a mystery- a play of joy, creation, and energy. This is source. This is the mystic touchstone that heals and renews. This is the beginning again. This is entheogenic." -Nicholas Sand
 
pete666
#33 Posted : 12/13/2018 7:08:57 AM

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PsyDuckmonkey wrote:
0_o wrote:
Humans are a vain species who like to believe that the universe exists for them, they often even claim that we create reality itself, yet what is this but arrogance?

Not "humans". I mean, "humans" are part of the universe. It would be like saying that Super Mario is the reason the Super Mario games exist. Of course he isn't, he's just a character in the game.

However, in a way, the player actually is the reason the game exists. And Super Mario is, in a way, the avatar of the player.

If the players see themselves as beings above and external to the game, is it arrogance? And is it the arrogance of the players, or the arrogance of Super Mario?


Nice wording.

If Super Mario can touch magic star object in his game and he is then allowed to become the player with shared context of Marios mind for limited time and he finds out there is a switch on the console, he realizes the game is just his projection regardless how real it seems to be.
Marios good friend Yoshi doesn't know there is such magic star and believes the game is "real" and there is nothing around it.
They both play it, they meet each other within the game, but does the game exist when they both switch off their console? Does it exist for Mario when he switches his console off and Yoshi doesn't?
Acceptance of the fact that our reality is not real doesn't in fact mean it is not real. It just leads to better understanding what real means.
 
Johnsonptd
#34 Posted : 12/13/2018 4:47:46 PM

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I haven’t thought this much about something since I was made to in school. Feels like when my teacher asked us “what is music?” Thinking about all the nibbles I see on every mushroom, wondering if the survival of fungi is improved or necessary with added incentive. It makes sense, burdocks prickly so they can spread seeds by sticking to animals, berries sweet to be eaten and seeds spread. I spent every dime I had to get more magic after sailing that ocean blue. I feel a strong bond, obsession of this substance for my, our, continued survival. As if it is a rare and very much needed mineral for our growth as a race.

Pondering the ways of evolution, Fibonacci sequence, writings in a particular book. All of the consciousness expanding, mind altering, reality shattering plants that exist on every continent. And the fact that we have receptors for all of them. Ghosts and energy bodies that haunt their place of living. Water fasting and how incredibly enhanced the senses become, very similar to the effect of Psychedelics. Nassim Haramein’s Holofractographic universe.

Mushrooms grow in darkness, on the waste products of the living. Life after death they say to me, as they grow, and after those special ones are eaten. I thought I was dying on every ego dissolving trip. And I did, mentally. Because I believe that I am my thoughts. Cybin says no. What I know about this life is shit, and not even what grows out of it. One summer I found a bunch of mushrooms growing in our field on horse manure. After identifying what they were online there wasn’t much on the edibility of them. So I ate them. Nothing happened. Tasted meaty.

I read somewhere that way back in the beginning of our planet’s vegetative growth, there were no flowers, no crystals, no birds, just ordinary plants, stones, and critters. As evolution continued, stones became crystals, plants developed flower tops, and flying squirrels lost some weight, or rather some critters learned to travel by air. That these things had become “en” “lightened.” It doesn’t mention mushrooms, so I’m inserting them into this equation. Psilocybin being the “wings” of the mushroom. The mushroom, bird, stone, and plant have “spiraled out” on the Fibonacci sequence to another stage of evolution. What came first, the bee or the flower? Are bees a living extension of flowers? Trees produce fruiting bodies to give back, nourish, sustain other life forms. I don’t like to think of it as purely survival. But more of a symbiotic relationship, a dance of form and chaos. A song of life(forms). Like music. “Artists paint their pictures on canvas, musicians paint their pictures on silence.” This question destroyed my plans this morning
 
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