How does a no-bullshit rationalist's worldview come to terms with psychedelics?
#1
Anyone who has dabbled in psychedelics would know that these chemicals alter one's perceptive and cognitive abilities so fundamentally that one begins to question reality in ways that was previously inconceivable, and as long as the "afterglow" of the experience stays(which maybe a week for some people, a few months for some and an entire lifetime for many), the very conduct and thought process of the individual stays profoundly altered as well.

What these chemicals are more or less known to do is alter the neurochemistry or rather, inhibit certain enzymes in the brain from achieving completion of their functionality the way they normally do. What if logic the way we perceive it, and rationality itself, which plays the most important part in our lives today, is just one of the states of consciousness a human being can belong in? What if just because of the material usefulness of this state of consciousness we tend to reject all the other states that may be possible? If so much can happen over a minor change in the neurochemistry of the brain, might it not be possible that through the observance of certain bodily or mental ordeals, one could induce a chemical change in the brain so that what is real becomes something close to the mystical and religious or more surreal ways of reality; and pretty far away from our ordinary experience of reality in which alone freethinking, rationality, logic, etc,. appears to be of paramount significance?

After all, the chemistry of our brain in what we call the "normal state" is as much influenced by social/cultural/biological/genetic conditioning, as psychedelics influence(and various ordeals like fasting, yoga, meditation or intense physical/psychological trauma certainly appear to influence) the neuropharmacology in a direct way. Would it not be terribly unfair and almost fascistic to call one state of the brain-- the logical, problem solving, rational state-- "natural" and extol it beyond any reasonable degree just because it is the most prevalent?

Now, these ideas are obviously not something that is being put forth for the first time, a lot of things have been proposed on similar lines and been rigorously researched at least since the invention of LSD. Don't mean to provoke a nasty argument here...I would just like to know what Nirmukta thinks of it.
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#2
Yet whatever happens in the brain -- rational thought OR mystical trance --- has a chemical and therefore material basis.

So anything supernatural need not be postulated.
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#3
(28-Jun-2015, 12:58 PM)nastikashiromani Wrote: Yet whatever happens in the brain -- rational thought OR mystical trance --- has a chemical and therefore material  basis.

So anything supernatural need not be postulated.

Who said anything about anything supernatural being postulated? I wasn't making a simplistic darb claim like the psychedelic experience proves the existence of a hitherto unknown higher power or something....

Rational thought, mystical trance and everything in between are all just different states of consciousness is the basic message of the psychedelic experience.

It is only in the rational state that we seem to think about stuff in terms of a chemical acting upon the brain producing an altered perception etc,. when you are in a slightly altered, hallucinogenic state, what we call chemicals appear as much a sentient, feeling and tending organism as anything...What I am driving at is that, the rational state of consciousness-- the mode of normal existence-- is itself very much a result of the maneuvering of the neurochemistry of the brain in a certain way like you said.

My "postulation", if you want to call it that, is that the rational state of consciousness is not "saner" or more valid than any other form of mystical or psychedelic or irreal states of consciousness. Because there is no neutral, "correct" form of consciousness, it doesn't make the least sense to shower praises on one form of consciousness-- the rational-- and neurotically cling to it like your life depended on it, just because it is the most prevalent form of human existence and because of all the purely utilitarian benefits it has reaped.
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