Very late post (super busy with school, GRE's, work, what have you), but I went to a concert this last April and wanted to share an experience I had. I was there to see Bonobo (an amazing band you need to check out!) I was listening to the music and dancing off to the side of the stage, but on a raised platform. At some point I noticed that everyone was moving together, and I just don't mean dancing to the same beat (because duh we are all hearing the same thing), I mean really together. It was if for a few moments the entire crowd became a singular mass. May be I was just tired or was really into the music, but it was breath taking. There were so many different types of people in that crowd: young, middle aged, old, black, white, asian, etc. It was breath taking and beautiful because of these differences. At that moment, no one was aware of anyones race, religion, sexual orientation; at that moment all anyone cared about was listening and moving to the music, and they were all doing it together. Music transcends all of our petty opinions about each other. I hope one day the world at large will realize that our differences are that which make us beautiful, but that we are more alike than we are different, which is what makes us one.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS): Curing depression and opening our hearts
The war on drugs began in the 1970's, most notably with psychedelics. Most people when they think of someone doing magic mushrooms or LSD imagine someone trying to fly or in a corner trying to hide from their hallucinations. At the other end of the spectrum there is the hippy who does not work, does not contribute to society and spends all day "tripping." Well, I am happily here to tell you that is a terrible misconception brought on by the war on drugs and society's inability to open their mind. Psychedelics under controlled conditions can actually cure depression, help with PTSD (I am looking at you veterans affairs) and generally make you a more loving, open person. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, founded by Dr. Rick Doblin, is dedicated to the scientific research of psychedelics and marijuana in treatment of psychiatric disorders. I unfortunately did not stumble upon this till this morning, but three months ago Dr. Doblin and his team did an AMA on Reddit.com. For those who do not know what an AMA is, it stand for "ask me anything." It has allowed countless scientists, politicians, writers, etc., to answer questions from curious readers. I would really love for you to go read their AMA:
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1s0mt7/i_am_rick_doblin_phd_founder_of_the/, but I just want to share with you one question and answer from the forum:
"Hey Rick et al., Matt Johnson here from Johns Hopkins [University School of Medicine, a very prestigious school!]. Glad you're doing this AMA. My question is: What do you think the world would be like today if psychedelic research (including therapeutic use research) had not shut down in the 1970? That is, both in terms of medicine and the larger culture. Good luck with all the questions... Thanks!"
"Hey Matt! If psychedelic research had not been shut down in the 1970s, and if the cultural crackdown had not taken place, I believe there is a very good chance that the United States would never have invaded Iraq and that the War on Drugs would have ended. The reason I say this is that the whole process of scapegoating and finding external enemies is in part because of our inability to handle our own flaws and imperfections, which we then project outward. Also, the process of dehumanization, the demonization of others, is reduced if we have a culture where spiritual experiences and a sense of unity are more widespread, and where we realize that we share more in common in other people than we have differences.
The UNESCO charter says, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” I think the psychedelic mystical experience is one of the strongest defenses of peace that can be constructed. Albert Einstein said that the splitting of the atom changed everything but our mode of thinking, and that as we “drift toward unparalleled catastrophe,” what shall be required by mankind to survive is a whole new mode of thinking. This new mode of thinking is, I believe, a spiritual orientation.
For me personally, and for many others, psychedelics, more so than traditional religious rituals, have opened the door to spiritual experiences. I therefore think that if our culture had mainstreamed psychedelics in the 1970s rather than demonized them, 45 years later we would have a more spiritual world, a more compassionate world, and would be dealing with the stresses of globalization in much healthier ways.
-Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director"
"The grass is not greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it." - unknown
Watching the Nye vs. Ham debate has compelled me to make a few comments on science. First, Ken Ham throughout his debate has used the fact that there is no evidence that contradicts creationism. Though he is wrong, I have a few things to say. Before I launch into this, I'm not attacking the idea of god. I'm talking about the idea that the world is 6k years old and that evolution, as proven by most scientists, is not the best theory we have. So, that's out of the way.
First, the fact that the data collected does not disprove creationism means nothing. Take, for example, ghosts. Most scientists do not believe in ghosts not because there is evidence that contradicts the idea, but because there is no evidence to support it. Supporting evidence is the key. In science there is never absolute truth, we can never know a truth, only that there are thousands, may be even millions, of experiments that SUPPORT a certain claim. So, to the best of our knowledge given the umpteen amount of evidence we have gathered through unbiased experimentation, the theory of evolution is the most probable, i.e., the best idea we got.
Second, science is not a religion, it is not a belief. Let me illustrate what I mean by that statement. Indulge me with this example: imagine there is a person who lives on an island that believes and questions nothing. There are no beliefs, no preconceptions, they just live. This person is 100% free of bias. Then, for unbeknownst reasons (like I said bear with me), he/she becomes curious about the world. This person has all the necessary tools, etc., to answer their questions. This person would eventually come to the same conclusion that science would. Science, or the scientific method rather, is just the search for knowledge, the search for how and why, in an unbiased manner. In essence, it is the search for the closest possible thing we'll ever get to truth. But, that being said, we are not free of bias, we're human. There is the beauty of the scientific method; it is designed with that in mind. Hypotheses, or educated guesses, only become accepted theories after thousands of repeated studies and rigorous critical analyses by thousands of other scientists.
So, yes the world could have been created in 6 days, 6k years ago, but all of the evidence supports the contrary.
Here is the link to the debate, if you are curious http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6kgvhG3AkI
About this Blog
This is a place for the dumping of my thoughts, an electric pensieve if you will. If there is something you would like me to discuss or post in my next blog, comment and I'll get to it as soon as I can. Hope you enjoy the drippings of my mind.