Topic: Psychoactive and Recreational Drugs
The eight-circuit model of consciousness is a hypothesis by Timothy Leary, and later expanded on by Robert Anton Wilson and Antero Alli, that "suggested eight periods [circuits] and twenty-four stages of neurological evolution". The eight circuits, or eight "brains" as referred by other authors, operate within the human nervous system, each corresponding to its own imprint and direct experience of reality. Leary and Alli include three stages for each circuit that details developmental points for each level of consciousness.
The first four circuits deal with life on Earth, and survival of the species. The last four circuits are post-terrestrial, and deal with the evolution of the species, altered states of consciousness, enlightenment, mystical experiences, psychedelic states of mind, and psychic abilities. The proposal suggests that these altered states of consciousness are recently realized, but not widely utilized. Leary describes the first four as "larval circuits", necessary for surviving and functioning in a terrestrial human society, and proposed that the post terrestrial circuits will be useful for future humans who, through a predetermined script, continue to act on their urge to migrate to outer space and live extra-terrestrially. Leary, Wilson, and Alli have written about the idea in depth, and have explored and attempted to define how each circuit operates, both in the lives of individual people and in societies and civilization.
The term "circuit" is equated to a metaphor of the brain being computer hardware, and the wiring of the brain as circuitry.
Leary uses the eight circuits along with recapitulation theory to explain the evolution of the human species, the personal development of an individual, and the biological evolution of all life.
- "8-Circuit Model of Consciousness" | 2011-01-10 | 12 Upvotes 6 Comments
Several species of fish are claimed to produce hallucinogenic effects when consumed. For example, Sarpa salpa, a species of sea bream, is commonly claimed to be hallucinogenic. These widely distributed coastal fish are normally found in the Mediterranean and around Spain, and along the west and south coasts of Africa. Occasionally they are found in British waters. They may induce hallucinogenic effects that are purportedly LSD-like if eaten. In 2006, two men who apparently ate the fish experienced hallucinations lasting for several days. The likelihood of hallucinations depends on the season. Sarpa salpa is known as "the fish that makes dreams" in Arabic.
Other species claimed to be capable of producing hallucinations include several species of sea chub from the genus Kyphosus. It is unclear whether the toxins are produced by the fish themselves or by marine algae in their diet. Other hallucinogenic fish are Siganus spinus, called "the fish that inebriates" in Reunion Island, and Mulloidichthys flavolineatus (formerly Mulloidichthys samoensis), called "the chief of ghosts" in Hawaii.
- "Hallucinogenic Fish" | 2020-02-12 | 148 Upvotes 55 Comments
Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil among others, is a medication to treat sleepiness due to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or obstructive sleep apnea. While it has seen off-label use as a purported cognitive enhancer, the research on its effectiveness for this use is not conclusive. It is taken by mouth.
Common side effects include headache, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and nausea. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, Stevens–Johnson syndrome, misuse, and hallucinations. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe. The amount of medication used may need to be adjusted in those with kidney or liver problems. It is not recommended in those with an arrhythmia, significant hypertension, or left ventricular hypertrophy. How it works is not entirely clear. One possibility is that it may affect the areas of the brain involved with the sleep cycle.
Modafinil was approved for medical use in the United States in 1998. In the United States it is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance. In the United Kingdom it is a prescription only medication. It is available as a generic medication. In the United Kingdom it costs the NHS about £105.21 a month as of 2018. In the United States the wholesale cost per month is about US$34.20 as of 2018. In 2016, it was the 284th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than a million prescriptions.
- "Modafinil" | 2010-07-17 | 17 Upvotes 23 Comments
Project MKUltra (or MK-Ultra), also called the CIA mind control program, is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects that were designed and undertaken by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, some of which were illegal. Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations in order to weaken the individual and force confessions through mind control. The project was organized through the Office of Scientific Intelligence of the CIA and coordinated with the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories. Code names for drug-related experiments were Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke.
The operation was officially sanctioned in 1953, reduced in scope in 1964 and further curtailed in 1967. It was officially halted in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities, including the use of U.S. and Canadian citizens as its unwitting test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra used numerous methods to manipulate its subjects' mental states and brain functions. Techniques included the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of torture.
The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at more than 80 institutions, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.
Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the United States Congress and Gerald Ford's United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States (also known as the Rockefeller Commission).
Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms' order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms's destruction order. In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to project MKUltra which led to Senate hearings later that year. Some surviving information regarding MKUltra was declassified in July 2001. In December 2018, declassified documents included a letter to an unidentified doctor discussing work on six dogs made to run, turn and stop via remote control and brain implants.
Psychedelic agents in creative problem-solving experiment was a study designed to evaluate whether the use of a psychedelic substance with supportive setting can lead to improvement of performance in solving professional problems. The altered performance was measured by subjective reports, questionnaires, the obtained solutions for the professional problems and psychometric data using the Purdue Creativity, the Miller Object Visualization, and the Witkins Embedded Figures tests. This experiment was a pilot that was to be followed by control studies as part of exploratory studies on uses for psychedelic drugs, that were interrupted early in 1966 when the Food and Drug Administration declared a moratorium on research with human subjects, as a strategy in combating illicit use.
- "Psychedelics in problem-solving experiment" | 2014-08-30 | 167 Upvotes 47 Comments
The Marsh Chapel Experiment, also called the "Good Friday Experiment", was a 1962 experiment conducted on Good Friday at Boston University's Marsh Chapel. Walter N. Pahnke, a graduate student in theology at Harvard Divinity School, designed the experiment under the supervision of Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, and the Harvard Psilocybin Project. Pahnke's experiment investigated whether psilocybin (the active principle in psilocybin mushrooms) would act as a reliable entheogen in religiously predisposed subjects.
- "Marsh Chapel Experiment" | 2020-04-11 | 48 Upvotes 12 Comments
PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story is a book by Dr. Alexander Shulgin and Ann Shulgin, published in 1991. The subject of the work is psychoactive phenethylamine chemical derivatives, notably those that act as psychedelics and/or empathogen-entactogens. The main title, PiHKAL, is an acronym that stands for "Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved".
The book is arranged into two parts, the first part being a fictionalized autobiography of the couple and the second part describing 179 different psychedelic compounds (most of which Shulgin discovered himself), including detailed synthesis instructions, bioassays, dosages, and other commentary.
The second part was made freely available by Shulgin on Erowid while the first part is available only in the printed text. While the reactions described are beyond the ability of people with a basic chemistry education, some tend to emphasize techniques that do not require difficult-to-obtain chemicals. Notable among these are the use of mercury-aluminum amalgam (an unusual but easy to obtain reagent) as a reducing agent and detailed suggestions on legal plant sources of important drug precursors such as safrole.
- "PiHKAL: “Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”" | 2021-11-29 | 29 Upvotes 2 Comments
Ayahuasca is a South American (pan-Amazonian) psychoactive brew used both socially and as ceremonial spiritual medicine among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin. It is a psychedelic and entheogenic brew commonly made out of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, the Psychotria viridis shrub or a substitute, and possibly other ingredients. A chemically similar preparation, sometimes called "pharmahuasca", can be prepared using N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and a pharmaceutical monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI), such as isocarboxazid. B. caapi contains several alkaloids that act as MAOIs, which are required for DMT to be orally active. Ayahuasca is prepared in a tea that, when consumed, causes an altered state of consciousness or "high", including visual hallucinations and altered perceptions of reality.
The other required ingredient is a plant that contains the primary psychoactive, DMT. This is usually the shrub P. viridis, but Diplopterys cabrerana may be used as a substitute. Other plant ingredients often or occasionally used in the production of ayahuasca include Justicia pectoralis, one of the Brugmansia (especially Brugmansia insignis and Brugmansia versicolor, or a hybrid breed) or Datura species, and mapacho (Nicotiana rustica).
- "Ayahuasca" | 2021-12-05 | 15 Upvotes 8 Comments