I know this has been discussed before, but I have read Sam Harris' book Free Will and Michael Shermer's book The Believing Brain, and I must say that I agree with both authors. Studies show that our brains make a decision on an unconscious level three tenths of a second and sometimes more before we even consciously know we're going to act. To take a short quote from Shermer's book: "The neural activity that precedes the intention to act is inaccessible to our conscious mind, so we experience a sense of free will. But it is an illusion, caused by the fact that we cannot identify the cause of the awareness of our intention to act".
But without multiple people seeing the same alien at the same time, and verifying that it really is an alien and not some guy in a mask, these accounts just aren't credible even if they truly feel they have experienced one.
Strassman speculates in his book that perhaps what the extraterrestrial encounter may be is a natural induction of N,N-DMT. Of course, like I said, it's being filtered through the unique personality of the individual, so if you're not familiar with fractals, and say you're obsessed with UFOs, then there's a strong possibility you could call this "fractal intelligence" an extraterrestrial. Just as a religious person might think it "God."
Of course, if you haven't the concepts of "God" or "extraterrestrial" in your background, then the less likely you are to describe your experience as "God" or "extraterrestrial."
Perhaps if I saw an alien myself I might think what I saw was real. It may even fool me enough that I won't skeptically understand that it could be in my mind or something else. But even me "changing my mind" wouldn't make it true if it's not. I'd just be lowering my standards.
Sure, but just don't let the typical depiction of the alien as the anthropoidal form of the big head, wide and dark lenticular eyes, and the human-like body bombard you with pre-conceived notions about the "alien." I mean, it may be completely alien in the very sense of the word, meaning that it would be unrecognizable to you. It won't come on as a humanoid, but rather self-dribbling jeweled geometric basketballs perhaps. In other words, there's other possibilities to consider here. If Strassman's speculation holds any weight, then it may be the "alien abduction" is just another way of describing the DMT experience. Terence McKenna used to say something as to break the barriers in people's minds in relationship to their pre-conceived notions about extraterrestrials. He would joke about an alien race that looked as though it was about to invade Earth, but pointed out that an extraterrestrial race would disguise themselves as an alien invasion as to not alarm people as to what's really going on.
I'm also not really that fascinated with fractals. ;)
You know, neither was I. It wasn't until I had a psychedelic experience that I found fractals to be very fascinating. In fact, in my first experience with psilocybin-containing mushrooms, when I was viewing these fractals, I didn't know what fractals were. I thought I was looking at tribal patterns that seem to have a transparent overlay of whatever I'd look at. It wasn't later that I'd realize what I was looking at were fractals. In Sacred Geometry, if you look into the so-called "Flower of Life," you'll see that within these concentric circles, any pattern can be drawn out of this geometric grid. Now, don't let the word "sacred," once again, throw you off or mislead you. It's simply a word for reverence, not to imply anything "supernatural" as most people tend to think.
So, out of this geometric pattern, all patterns in nature can be drawn out. That's why I like the analogy of the television set. In the very same way that your TV is capable of projecting so many patterns by turning off signals here and leaving them on there, it then portrays the current image on the screen. So, the potential to display, say, "The Walking Dead" is already possible within the physics of the TV even before the show is filmed. It's simply by virtue of physics and logistics that it's necessary that the show is filmed first before the debut episode of the new season is aired, and so the TV then can display these "new patterns."
Well, the implication being that consciousness works very similarly, that you can travel to Jupiter, and your brain will then reflect the light on a specific geographic area of that planet, and so you'll have the experience of "walking on Jupiter," because your mind will project the patterns that give way to that experience. But you see, the brain's capability, the brain's potential to do this had always been there in the very same way that the TV's potential to display the "Walking Dead Show" had always been there, but in order to cast this projection of the reflection of light, you first need to stand on Jupiter to make it happen. Unless, I don't know, you have a dream that perfectly simulates that experience, which may or may not be possible, but if it is possible, then of course it'd be highly unlikely.
So, what happens when you turn on all possible RGB signals on your TV? You get a "white light." I'm not saying that perhaps this is what people are talking about in reporting a "white light" in the near-death experience, but it's an interesting way of looking at it. This is what I think happens when someone takes a "heroic dose" of psychedelics, it's like turning on all the neural pathways of the brain, and what you are left with is the challenge of trying to describe an experience that, in some sense, contains the entire gamut of experience happening at once. You're turning on all possible patterns.
This is what "sacred geometry" is talking about, a kind of intrinsic pattern in nature that contains or can produce any possible pattern, and some, if not all, of the natural phenomena in nature are based on these golden mean, phi, and fibonacci sequences which express themselves fractally. While you may not be interested in such things, these basic sequences interpenetrate all aspects of nature.
Perhaps one day some will be brought to me and I'll be like - sure...why not try. ;-)
You know, prior to psychedelics, I really had no interest in any of these things, fractals, determinism, religion, atheism, altered states, etc. Now, as a result of these psychedelic experiences, I've become obsessed with all these topics. A side-effect of DMT, you might say, is the inability to shut up about DMT. Terence McKenna once said that, “The less intelligent you are, the less challenging the psychedelic experience becomes because the less capable of entertaining the implications you are. It has to do with your own intelligence... Truly stupid people aren’t interested in psychedelics because they can’t figure out what the point of it is. It feeds off intelligence. It’s a consciousness-expanding drug. If you don’t have any consciousness you can’t expand it.” Someone else phrased that, "The more mind you have, the more fun it is to perturb it with LSD." I think you'd be a perfect candidate for this experience, especially when your intense interest in the topic of determinism. If you ever are offered the opportunity to have this experience, I'd love to hear your take on it, because as of right now, the only people experimenting with mushrooms nowadays seem to be inarticulate teenagers living in trailers playing XBOX. However, I don't think that's the case with ayahuasca.
I'm not sure if you've ever visited the "EgoDeath" website I linked to earlier, but the concept there according the Hoffman, is the whole notion of this phenomenon of "ego death" which psychedelics induce as the revelation of determinism. The revelation of "no free will."
@Matt Lukin......Your long diatribe actually said it all with just two acronyms, DMT and LSD....It sounds like you are recommending these substances to us.....These drugs cause hallucinations and mind bending thoughts that are not beneficial....Whatever mind trip you experience , please do not accept it as fact and use it as an educational tool....
I whole-heartedly disagree. The so-called diatribe is basically the point-of-view or consensus in the psychedelic community. These things are seen as great tools for exploring consciousness. These substances aren't for everyone, and I do not recommend them. I feel if you're curious enough, you'll probably naturally find your way to them or stumble upon them in some fashion or the other. And I describe what sense it is taken as "fact," because this whole enterprise is entirely misunderstood.
That long post you see above this one is my attempt at describing what this experience is like to someone who's never had this experience. That's why it's so prolix, because you first have to tear down pre-conceived notions that everyone has. It's not dancing mice, it's not pink elephants or prancing leprechauns. It's nothing of that sort. It's instead something a little more mind-boggling to wrap your understanding around, and that post is basically my shot at describing how a "heroic dose" of a psychedelic compound can colossally alter your state of consciousness.
@Matt..Do yourself a favor and get help in a re-hab facility...You are obviously losing control......Seriously!!!!!.....
Okay, this is precisely what I'm talking about when it comes to misconceptions and pre-conceived notions. -_-
First of all, psychedelics aren't addictive substances, they do not create addiction. In fact, most people try 'em once, and that's enough, because they experiencing something so frightening and terrifying that they never return to it. I've only had a handful of these experiences myself spanning across years. So, what you've said here doesn't make sense and instead simply proves my point.
Moreover, you say I'm losing control. This would imply I have free will. However, if I don't possess free will, how could I lose control?
The fact that you think these things are not beneficial is simply prejudice on your part, because a) you've never tried these substances and b) you're completely unaware of all the current research going on these days that are showing how beneficial these substances truly are.
Depends on how you're defining truth here. I'm not sure if you've read the dialogue between Trick and I, but I describe in what sense can a psychedelic experience be related to truth.
What Alan Watts, McKenna, and Strassman are speculating upon is that the psychedelic experience is quite akin to the states of mind as described in eastern philosophy, nirvana, samadhi, satori, sunyata, etc. Likewise, as described in many other forms of mysticism. This is not baseless speculation, and in fact, there's now evidence that proves that this is so, and it continues to pile on. That psychedelics do have the potential to launch you into these classically described mystical altered states of consciousness.
Please, Jonathan, take a listen, if you will.