The War on Consciousness

Graham-Hancock-War-on-Consciousness

By Graham Hancock

Special Guest Writer for Wake Up World

We are told that the “War on Drugs” is being waged, on our behalf, by our governments and their armed bureaucracies and police forces, to save us from ourselves. “Potential for abuse and harm” are supposed to be the criteria by which the use of drugs is suppressed — the greater a drug’s potential for abuse and harm, the greater and more vigorous the degree of suppression, and the more draconian the penalties applied against its users.

In line with this scheme drugs are typically ranked into a hierarchy: Schedules I, II, and III in the US, Classes A, B, and C in the UK, and so on and so forth all around the world. Thus, to be arrested for possession of a Schedule I or Class A drug results in heavier penalties than possession of a Schedule III or Class C drug. Generally if a drug is deemed to have some currently accepted medical use it is likely to be placed in a lower schedule than if it has none, notwithstanding the fact that it may have potential for abuse or harm. In the absence of any recognized therapeutic effects, drugs that are highly addictive, such as heroin or crack cocaine, or drugs that are profoundly psychotropic, including hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, or DMT, are almost universally placed in the highest schedules and their use attracts the heaviest penalties.

The notable exceptions to this system of ranking according to perceived “harms” are, of course, alcohol and tobacco, both highly addictive and harmful drugs — far more so than cannabis or psilocybin, for example — but yet socially accepted on the grounds of long customary use and thus not placed in any schedule at all.

The Failed War

When we look at the history of the “War on Drugs” over approximately the last 40 years, it must be asked whether the criminalization of the use of any of the prohibited substances has in any way been effective in terms of the stated goals that this “war” was supposedly mounted to achieve. Specifically, has there been a marked reduction in the use of illegal drugs over the past 40 years — as one would expect with billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money having been spent over such a long period on their suppression — and has there been a reduction in the harms that these drugs supposedly cause to the individual and to society?

It is unnecessary here to set down screeds of statistics, facts, and figures readily available from published sources to assert that in terms of its own stated objectives the “War on Drugs” has been an abject failure and a shameful and scandalous waste of public money. Indeed, it is well known, and not disputed, that the very societies that attempt most vigorously to suppress various drugs, and in which users are subject to the most stringent penalties, have seen a vast and continuous increase in the per capita consumption of these drugs. This is tacitly admitted by the vast armed bureaucracies set up to persecute drug users in our societies, which every year demand more and more public money to fund their suppressive activities; if the suppression were working, one would expect their budgets to go down, not up.

Meanwhile the social harms caused by the “War on Drugs” itself are manifest and everywhere evident. In the United States, for example, there have been more than 20 million arrests for the possession of the Schedule I drug marijuana since 1965 and 11 million since 1990. The pace of arrests is increasing year on year, bringing us to the astonishing situation where, today, a marijuana smoker is arrested every 38 seconds.1 The result, as Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, recently observed, is that marijuana arrests outnumber arrests for “all violent crimes combined,” meaning police are spending inordinate amounts of time chasing nonviolent criminals.2 And it goes without saying that those who are arrested for the use of marijuana and other illegal drugs do suffer immense harm as a result of the punishments inflicted on them—including, but not limited to, personal trauma, loss of freedom, loss of reputation, loss of employment prospects, and serious, long-lasting financial damage.

Inventory of Harm

Such matters are only the beginning of the long inventory of harm caused by the “War on Drugs.”

Western industrial societies, and all those cultures around the globe that increasingly seek to emulate them, teach us to venerate above all else the alert, problem-solving state of consciousness that is particularly appropriate to the conduct of science, business, war, and logical inquiry, and to such activities as driving cars, operating machinery, performing surgery, doing accounts, drawing up plans, accumulating wealth, etc., etc., etc. But there are many other states of consciousness that the amazing and mysterious human brain is capable of embracing, and it appears to be a natural human urge, as deep-rooted as our urges for food, sex, and nurturing relationships, to seek out and explore such “altered states of consciousness.” A surprisingly wide range of methods and techniques (from breathing exercises, to meditation, to fasting, to hypnosis, to rhythmic music, to extended periods of vigorous dancing, etc.) is available to help us to achieve this goal, but there is no doubt that the consumption of those plants and substances called “drugs” in our societies is amongst the most effective and efficient means available to mankind to explore these profoundly altered states of consciousness.

The result is that people naturally seek out drugs and the temporary alterations in consciousness that they produce. Not all people in every society will do this, perhaps not even a majority, but certainly a very substantial minority — for example the 2 million Britons who are known to take illegal drugs each month3 or those 20 million people in the US who have been arrested for marijuana possession since 1965. And these of course are only the tip of the iceberg of the much larger population of American marijuana users, running into many more tens of millions, who have, by luck or care, not yet fallen foul of the law and are thus not reflected in the arrest statistics.

Needless to say, it is of course exactly the same urge to alter consciousness that also impels even larger numbers of people to use legal (and often extremely harmful) drugs such as alcohol and tobacco — which, though they may not alter consciousness as dramatically as, say, LSD, are nevertheless undoubtedly used and sought out for the limited alterations of consciousness that they do produce.

For the hundreds of millions of people around the world whose need to experience altered states is not and cannot be satisfied by drunken oblivion or the stimulant effects of tobacco, it is therefore completely natural to turn to “drugs” — and, since the “War on Drugs” means that there is no legal source of supply of these substances, the inevitable result is that those who wish to use them must resort to illegal sources of supply.

Herein lies great and enduring harm. For it is obvious, and we may all see the effects everywhere, that the criminalization of drug use has empowered and enriched a vast and truly horrible global criminal underworld by guaranteeing that it is the only source of supply of these drugs. We have, in effect, delivered our youth — the sector within our societies that most strongly feels the need to experience altered states of consciousness — into the hands of the very worst mobsters and sleazeballs on the planet. To buy drugs our sons and daughters have no choice but to approach and associate with violent and greedy criminals. And because the proceeds from illegal drug sales are so enormous, we are all caught up in the inevitable consequences of turf wars and murders amongst the gangs and cartels competing in this blackest of black markets.

It should be completely obvious to our governments, after more than 40 years of dismal failure to suppress illegal drug use, that their policies in this area do not work and will never work. It should be completely obvious, a simple logical step, to realize that by decriminalizing drug use, and making the supply of all drugs available to those adults who wish to use them through legal and properly regulated channels, we could, at a stroke, put out of business the vast criminal enterprise that presently flourishes on the supply of illegal drugs.

It ought to be obvious, but somehow it is not.

Instead the powers that be continue to pursue the same harsh and cruel policies that they have been wedded to from the outset, ever seeking to strengthen and reinforce them rather than to replace them with something better. Indeed the only “change” that the large, armed bureaucracies that enforce these policies has ever sought since the “War on Drugs” began has, year on year, been to demand even more money, even more arms, and even more draconian legislative powers to break into homes, to confiscate property, and to deprive otherwise law-abiding citizens of liberty and wreck their lives. In the process we have seen our once free and upstanding societies — which used to respect individual choice and freedom of conscience above all else — slide remorselessly down the slippery slope that leads to the police state. And all this is being done in our name, with our money, by our own governments, to “save us from ourselves”!

Winners and Losers

Who benefits from this colossal stupidity and systematic wickedness? And who loses?

The beneficiaries are easy to spot.

First, the large and ever-expanding armed bureaucracies, funded with large and ever-growing sums of public money to suppress the use of drugs, have benefited enormously. Everyone who works for them, including the PR people and spin merchants who concoct the propaganda used to sell their policies to us, including their subcontractors both public and private, and including the (often privately run) prisons stuffed to bursting point with their victims, are the beneficiaries of this catastrophic failure on the part of our governments to think laterally, generously, and creatively. Whether you are a Drug Enforcement Administration agent or a prison guard, you naturally have a deeply vested interest in maintaining the miserable status quo, justified by the “War on Drugs,” that keeps you in your job, that ensures your monthly paychecks continue to come in, and that continuously expands your budgets.

The second main category of beneficiaries is – of course! – the criminal gangs and cartels that the present misguided official policies have empowered as the sole source of drugs in our societies. Over the past 40-plus years they have earned countless billions of dollars from the sale of illegal drugs which, had they only been legal, would not have earned them a single penny.

Who are the losers? First and most directly those millions upon millions of good, nonviolent people in our societies who have been jailed or otherwise punished for the possession and use of drugs. And second (regardless of whether or not they use illegal drugs themselves), virtually everyone else in our societies as well. For the quality of life of all of us has been diminished by the growth of the police state and by the murderous activities of the criminal gangs enfranchised, and kept in business, by the blind and mindless perpetuation of this failed and bankrupt “War on Drugs.”

So, in summary, the criminalization of drug use has brought no positive effects, only negative ones, and it has not stopped or even reduced the use of dangerous and harmful drugs. On the contrary, we have been so little “saved from ourselves” by this phony war that the use of almost all illegal drugs, far from decreasing, has dramatically increased during the past 40 years.

Learning from Tobacco

A contrary example, but one that is most instructive, concerns the use of tobacco in our societies.

Tobacco has never been illegal; far from that, its use has been actively encouraged by clever advertising campaigns mounted by the multibillion-dollar tobacco industry. But the use of tobacco does undoubtedly lead to great harms, both for the health of the individual and the health of society at large, and facts about these harms have been widely and successfully disseminated without a single tobacco user ever being arrested or persecuted.

It’s interesting in this connection to compare the success of public information campaigns about the dangers of tobacco use with the utter failure of public information campaigns about the dangers of marijuana use. The reason the anti-marijuana campaigns have failed is that millions of users know from their own direct, long-term experience that marijuana does not do them any great harm and (with reference to the most recent anti- marijuana propaganda) most definitely does not drive them mad. It may well be true that very small numbers of fragile teenagers whose mental health was already compromised have had their latent schizophrenia or other similar conditions worsened by the use of marijuana — but the vast majority of marijuana users are not at all affected in this way. Likewise efforts by government agencies to persuade us that new, stronger strains of marijuana presently available on the market (e.g., “skunk”) are more dangerous to our health than traditional strains of marijuana because they deliver much more of the active ingredient THC to our systems, have not persuaded anyone. Regular marijuana users presented with a stronger strain simply adjust their consumption, consuming far less of it than they would of a weaker strain in order to achieve the same effect, and feel intuitively that smoking less of any substance has got to be better for their lungs and general health than smoking more.

The consequence of this disconnect between personal experience and “facts” purveyed by official public information campaigns is that huge numbers of people no longer believe anything that our governments have to say to us about drugs. There is an increasingly widespread recognition that tainted, unreliable, and tendentious information is being passed on — information that cannot be trusted. And this distrust of official sources of information is, of course, only worsened by the propagandistic character, witch hunts, and scare tactics of the “War on Drugs” and by the realization that the health information purveyed in anti-drug campaigns is not underwritten by caring and nurturing official policies but instead by draconian criminal sanctions and punitive authoritarian attitudes.

Where the health hazards of tobacco use are concerned, on the other hand, since there are no criminal sanctions against tobacco users, no large, armed bureaucracies to enforce them, and no special interests to serve by the dissemination of misleading information, the evidence has been accepted and believed by most rational adults freely making up their own minds, precisely as one would expect.

The result? While the use of illegal drugs has everywhere skyrocketed over the past 40 years, regardless of the violent persecution of the users of these drugs, the use of tobacco, in a climate of free choice and reliable information, has plummeted to an all-time low. The consumption of tobacco, once seen as a socially approved, even desirable, and, indeed, “stylish” habit, has come to be regarded as a pariah-creating activity that only idiots would indulge themselves in. Although there are, of course, still many tobacco users — because nicotine is intensely addictive — their numbers continue to fall dramatically year on year as more and more of us make the free choice to give up the habit for the sake of our health.

Is it not obvious that the “tobacco model” could be applied with equal success to all illegal drugs? In other words, is it not obvious, if our governments really wish us to stop using drugs, that immediate legalization of adult personal use must follow, that the giant, armed bureaucracies that persecute drug users must be closed down, and that the whole matter must be thrown open, in the way that tobacco use has been thrown open, to the effects of good, reliable information and the sound commonsense of the vast majority of the population? If that happens then we can be certain that drugs that are genuinely harmful to health and wellbeing (in the way that tobacco certainly is) will fall out of favor with their users in exactly the way that tobacco has done. And if it turns out that some of these drugs are in fact not so harmful, then it should not concern us at all if some adults make the free choice to continue to use them.

Of course, even against a backdrop of legalization and good information, some adults will make the free choice to continue to use genuinely harmful drugs as well, just as some adults today do continue to make the free choice to continue to use tobacco. But that, too, is as it should be in a truly free society. Republican Congressman Barney Frank was spot on the truth of what a free society really means when he announced a proposal in August 2008 to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams (almost a quarter of a pound) of marijuana. “The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government’s business,” Frank said on Capitol Hill. “I don’t think it is the government’s business to tell you how to spend your leisure time.”

It goes without saying that Frank’s proposal is unlikely to succeed in the hysterical climate of disinformation that presently surrounds this subject, and we must ask ourselves why this should be so. Why are commonsense proposals for the legalization of drugs never adopted, or even seriously considered by our governments? Why, on the contrary, are such proposals dogmatically opposed with even more propaganda and tainted information emanating from the big, armed anti-drug bureaucracies?

That legalization of drugs would shrink the budgets of those selfsame bureaucracies, and ultimately put them out of business, is part of the answer. But to find the real engine that perpetuates the “War on Drugs” we need to look deeper and ask fundamental questions about the relationship between the individual and the state in modern Western democracies.

Freedom of Consciousness

What is Western civilization all about? What are its greatest achievements and highest aspirations?

It’s my guess that most people’s replies to these questions would touch—before all the other splendid achievements of science, literature, technology, and the economy—on the nurture and growth of freedom.

Individual freedom.

Including, but not limited to freedom from the unruly power of monarchs, freedom from the unwarranted intrusions of the state and its agents into our personal lives, freedom from the tyranny of the Church and its Inquisition, freedom from hunger and want, freedom from slavery and servitude, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought and speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to elect our own leaders, freedom to be homosexual — and so on and so forth.

The list of freedoms we enjoy today that were not enjoyed by our ancestors is indeed a long and impressive one. It is therefore exceedingly strange that Western civilization in the twenty- first century enjoys no real freedom of consciousness.

There can be no more intimate and elemental part of the individual than his or her own consciousness. At the deepest level, our consciousness is what we are—to the extent that if we are not sovereign over our own consciousness then we cannot in any meaningful sense be sovereign over anything else either. So it has to be highly significant that, far from encouraging freedom of consciousness, our societies in fact violently deny our right to sovereignty in this intensely personal area, and have effectively outlawed all states of consciousness other than those on a very narrowly defined and officially approved list. The “War on Drugs” has thus unexpectedly succeeded in engineering a stark reversal of the true direction of Western history by empowering faceless bureaucratic authorities to send armed agents to break into our homes, arrest us, throw us into prison, and deprive us of our income and reputation simply because we wish to explore the sometimes radical, though always temporary, alterations in our own consciousness that drugs facilitate.

Other than being against arbitrary rules that the state has imposed on us, personal drug use by adults is not a “crime” in any true moral or ethical sense and usually takes place in the privacy of our own homes, where it cannot possibly do any harm to others. For some it is a simple lifestyle choice. For others, particularly where the hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, and DMT are concerned, it is a means to make contact with alternate realms and parallel dimensions, and perhaps even with the divine. For some, drugs are an aid to creativity and focussed mental effort. For others they are a means to tune out for a while from everyday cares and worries. But in all cases it seems probable that the drive to alter consciousness, from which all drug use stems, has deep genetic roots.

Other adult lifestyle choices with deep genetic roots also used to be violently persecuted by our societies.

A notable example is homosexuality, once punishable by death or long periods of imprisonment, which is now entirely legal between consenting adults—and fully recognized as being none of the state’s business — in all Western cultures. (Although approximately thirteen US states have “anti-sodomy” laws outlawing homosexuality, these statutes have rarely been enforced in recent years, and in 2003 the US Supreme Court invalidated those laws.) The legalization of homosexuality lifted a huge burden of human misery, secretiveness, paranoia, and genuine fear from our societies, and at the same time not a single one of the homophobic lobby’s fire-and-brimstone predictions about the end of Western civilization came true.

Likewise, it was not so long ago that natural seers, mediums, and healers who felt the calling to become “witches” were burned at the stake for “crimes” that we now look back on as harmless eccentricities at worst.

Perhaps it will be the same with drugs? Perhaps in a century or two, if we have not destroyed human civilization by then, our descendants will look back with disgust on the barbaric laws of our time that punished a minority so harshly (with imprisonment, financial ruin, and worse) for responsibly, quietly, and in the privacy of their own homes seeking alterations in their own consciousness through the use of drugs. Perhaps we will even end up looking back on the persecution of drug users with the same sense of shame and horror that we now view the persecution of gays and lesbians, the burning of “witches,” and the imposition of slavery on others.

Meanwhile it’s no accident that the “War on Drugs” has been accompanied by an unprecedented expansion of governmental power into the previously inviolable inner sanctum of individual consciousness. On the contrary, it seems to me that the state’s urge to power has all along been the real reason for this “war”—not an honest desire on the part of the authorities to rescue society and the individual from the harms caused by drugs, but the thin of a wedge intended to legitimize increasing bureaucratic control and intervention in almost every other area of our lives as well.

This is the way freedom is hijacked—not all at once, out in the open, but stealthily, little by little, behind closed doors, and with our own agreement. How will we be able to resist when so many of us have already willingly handed over the keys to our own consciousness to the state and accepted without protest that it is OK to be told what we may and may not do, what we may and may not explore, even what we may and may not experience, with this most precious, sapient, unique, and individual part of ourselves?

If we are willing to accept that then we can be persuaded to accept anything.

About the author:

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Graham Hancock is the author of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The SealFingerprints of the Gods, and Heaven’s Mirror. His books have sold more than five million copies worldwide and have been translated into 27 languages. His public lectures, radio and TV appearances, including two major TV series for Channel 4 in the UK and The Learning Channel in the US – Quest For The Lost Civilisation and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age – have put his ideas before audiences of tens of millions. He has become recognised as an unconventional thinker who raises controversial questions about humanity’s past.

Graham HancockHancock graduated from Durham University in 1973 with First Class Honours in Sociology. He went on to pursue a career in quality journalism, writing for many of Britain’s leading newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Guardian. He was also co-editor of New Internationalist magazine from 1976-1979 and East Africa correspondent for The Economist from 1981-1983.

Throughout the early 1980, Hancock’s published 6 books, his breakthrough to bestseller status coming in 1992 with the publication of The Sign and The Seal, his epic investigation into the mystique and whereabouts today of the lost Ark of the Covenant. Fingerprints of the Gods, published in 1995 confirmed Hancock’s growing reputation; selling more than three million copies, it was described as ‘one of the intellectual landmarks of the decade’ by the Literary Review. Subsequent works Keeper Of Genesis and Heaven’s Mirror have also been Number 1 bestsellers, the latter accompanied by Hancock’s three-part television series Quest For the Lost Civilisation.

In 2002 Hancock published Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age to critical acclaim, and hosted an accompanying TV series. The culmination of years of research and on-hand dives at ancient underwater ruins, Underworld offered tangible archaeological evidence that legends of floods destroying ancient off-coastal civilizations were not to be dismissed out of hand.

Hancock’s recent ventures include Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith which explores evidence of the continuation into modern times of a secret astronomical cult, Supernatural: Meetings with The Ancient Teachers of Mankind, an investigation of shamanism and the origins of religion, and his latest work Entangled, a story of a supernatural battle of good against evil fought out across the dimension of time on the human plane; a work inspired by his journey to the Amazon to drink visionary brew Ayahuasca, used by shamans for more than 4000 years.

To learn more, visit www.grahamhancock.com or follow Graham Hancock on Facebook.

via The War on Consciousness | Wake Up World.

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Zen Master Alan Watts Discovers the Secrets of Aldous Huxley and His Art of Dying

Few figures were as influential as Alan Watts and Aldous Huxley in popularizing experiments with psychedelic drugs and Eastern religion in the 20th century. Watts did more to introduce Westerners to Zen Buddhism than almost anyone before or since; Huxley’s experiments with mescaline and LSD—as well as his literary critiques of Western technocratic rationalism—are well-known. But in a countercultural movement largely dominated by men—Watts and Huxley, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, etc—Huxley’s widow Laura came to play a significant role after her husband’s death.

In fact, as we’ve discussed before, she played a significant role during his death, injecting him with LSD and reading to him from The Tibetan Book of the Dead as he passed away. In the interview above, Laura speaks with Watts about that experience, one she learned from Aldous, who performed a similar service for his first wife as she died in 1955. The occasion of the interview—conducted at Watts’ Sausalito home in 1968—is the publication of Laura Huxley’s memoir of life with her husband, This Timeless Moment. But talk of the book soon prompts discussion of Huxley’s graceful exit, which Watts calls “a highly intelligent form of dying.”

Watts relates an anecdote about Goethe’s last hours, during which a visitor was told that he was “busy dying.” “Dying is an art,” says Watts, “and it’s also an adventure,” Laura adds. Their discussion then turns to Huxley’s final novel, Island (which you can read in PDF here). Island has rarely been favorably reviewed as a literary endeavor. And yet, as Watts points out, it wasn’t intended as literature, but as a “sociological blueprint in the form of a novel.” Laura Huxley, upset at the book’s chilly reception, wishes her husband had “written it straight.” Nonetheless, she points out that Island was much more than a Utopian fantasy or philosophical thought experiment. It was a document in which “every method, every recipe… is something he experimented with himself in his own life.” As Laura wrote in This Timeless Moment:

Every single thing that is written in Island has happened and it’s possible and actual … Island is really visionary common sense. Things that Aldous and many other people said, that were seen as so audacious – they are common sense, but they were visionary because they had not yet happened.

Those things included not only radical forms of living, but also, as Huxley himself demonstrated, radical ways of dying.

Related Content:

Aldous Huxley’s Most Beautiful, LSD-Assisted Death: A Letter from His Widow

Aldous Huxley Reads Dramatized Version of Brave New World

Leonard Cohen Narrates Film on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Featuring the Dalai Lama (1994)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Mushroom Clouds

Psychedelic-Vision

When the world arises in me,
It’s just an illusion:
Water shimmering in the sun,
A vein of silver in mother-of-pearl,
A serpent in a strand of rope.

From me the world streams out
And in me it dissolves,
As a bracelet melts into gold,
A pot crumbles into clay,
A wave subsides into water.

I am God sounds a bit arrogant doesn’t it? How about this, I am God and so are you. Better? Well, only if you really understand the allegory. God is a concept that stands for that which we can’t identify. That which gives us life and co-creates this experience. Him, Her, It, the Force, Consciousness and many others names can symbolically be given to what some call God. I think it’s fair to say most have given up the thought that God is an old white bearded man in the sky, hopefully. Not all, and maybe not most. I do not personally know most people. I’ve only met a tiny percent of the world’s population, so most is mostly a useless word. Useless words shouldn’t be used. Too late now, but I’ll make a mental note about that. (Which would be useless as I can’t remember anything for very long anymore). (I just used useless again, didn’t I? I’ll never learn).

This Consciousness is in everything, absolutely everything, and in fact is all there really is. The last psychedelic trip I took was very interesting. I could see, feel and literally Be everything I saw. A rock, the wall, food. Everything was consciousness and I was connected intimately with everything I saw. I literally became that thing. Alas, explaining a trip to someone who’s never tripped is like explaining color to someone born blind. It’s impossible. But many might say, “Yes, but you were in a drug induced hallucination.” But no, it was a spiritual experience. Watch the movie DMT, The Spirit Molecule. Read how the Shamans used mushrooms. Catch up on some Terrence McKenna lectures. Better yet, take a trip if you’re an adult. You’ll never be the same again. (Don’t just find some stuff and take it, do it right, read up on it and have an experienced guide with you if possible. LSD is actually not the best for this, but it’s the easiest to get and will work just fine. Disclaimer: I did not just endorse hallucinogenic drugs, that was just your interpretation and twisting of my words. (Shame on you, implying and what not). :P

Or just start meditating, that is the slow way, but it will get you there. You will understand that reality is mostly made up of beliefs. Belief that an object is solid is the biggest illusion. It’s a mostly empty spaced atoms vibrating at a speed that makes it impossible to pass your hand through it. But it is not solid. And all ‘matter,’ including us, is connected to the invisible force I prefer to call Consciousness. There is no time, that’s also an illusion, a tool that helps humans function, but it’s not real. It would seem that Consciousness is flickering off and on, pulsating eternally, folding and unfolding into Itself, allowing us to experience that which is Ourselves. We are like a computer and Consciousness is like the server. We are like a virtual reality game. Reality too is evolving, and we will always be a part of it. Death is an illusion that only exists in the minds of the living. There is no end to existence. Don’t you think it odd that you exist right now, in this time, but never did before and never will again? It just doesn’t work like that.

Science and physicists know the nature of reality isn’t grounded in their fundamental materialism that they seem to be stuck in. Until mainstream science takes the leap and admits publically that there is a Force that animates us things will not change, but evolution by nature betters itself, so the time will come when we realize the system of fiat money and dependence on material things hurts us. It might be 10 years or 100 years or a thousand years. The reason the flimsy paradigm of science isn’t changing quicker is because of the fucking 5oo year persecution of the church. That resulted in science setting itself up us only materialistic with spirituality strictly taboo. Religion and science were once one entity. In ancient Egypt, they KNEW there was no death. They KNEW intuitively, from direct experience, not belief, that death was an illusion. They didn’t even have a word for death. The Hindus call the ‘dead’ the disappeared. They are still here, but their body has disappeared. The Buddha said everything is an illusion, the Hindus called illusion Maya. Mysticism and science do belong together.

To get your knowledge of reality from a religious book issued by a government for the purpose of control is insane. Words written by other humans are not to be worshipped. The meaning of the words have been lost anyways. The ‘Jew Peter’ is mythically ‘Jupiter,’ (and mystically something else long forgotten, or driven underground or out of existence), but it’s a form of chasing your own shadow. I.E. The statue in Rome of Peter is an old statue of Zeus, or Jupiter, right in plain sight and we don’t/won’t see it. Belief over rides reality. (Kennedy’s head went backward and part of his brain landed on the trunk, yet they say he was shot from behind AND called it a MAGIC bullet, and people believed). We really need to stop and analyze our beliefs. We can learn that we assign a belief to everything. There is nothing in our reality but beliefs, illusions, and not knowing this is hurting us, not helping. We need both a  spirituality based on reality and a “material experience” to be fully Human. Our purpose is to evolve and become Love. To realize our full potential, or better said, Remember our full potential, as it seems we had it at one time and lost it. That paradigm will come, I predict, when science makes that long awaited announcement to the public about what it already suspects.  Many PhDs are speaking out even now (but mainstream ain’t having anything to do with it yet), and their theories are harshly ridiculed by their peers. Stubborn and stupid, indeed it is. Oh well, it’s all in cycles. A circular circus. Like the snake biting it’s own tail.

Bill Hicks 101

Bill_Hicks_take_some_mushrooms

“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.” ~ Bill Hicks

 

Ahead of his time? You bet. Born December 16, 1961 –  Died of cancer February 26, 1994 RIP Bill Hicks, thanks for your comedy/philososphy

First Study in 40 Years Legitimizes LSD for Psychotherapeutic Use

escape-into-reality

The public image problem for psychedelic substances is finally correcting itself, due in large part to the willingness of some scientific communities to ignore taboos and press ahead with modern research into the efficacy of their use as therapeutic medicines. Cannabis is the front-runner in the campaign to end the war on consciousness and open the door for psychoactive substances as publicly available medicine. Psilocybin is now touted as a natural and potent remedy for chronic depression, and the healing benefits of the South American medicine Ayahuasca are widely discussed in the Western world, and is even showing promise as an anti-cancer agent.

Now, 40 years of prohibition against medical research into the psychological benefits of synthetic compound lysergic acid dyethlyamide (LSD) has finally come to an end with positive results. Peter Gasser, M.D., a private practice psychiatrist in Solothurn, Switzerland has recently published the significant findings of a recent study of the effects that LSD has on patients with certain anxiety disorders.

“A double-blind, randomized, active placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted to examine safety and efficacy of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-assisted psychotherapy in 12 patients with anxiety associated with life- threatening diseases. Treatment included drug-free psychotherapy sessions supplemented by two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions 2 to 3 weeks apart.” [Source]

The study is considered to be a success because while showing no lasting adverse reactions to treatment with LSD, study participants showed significant and sustained long-term reductions in state anxiety over a 12-month period:

“These results indicate that when administered safely in a methodologically rigorous medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting, LSD can reduce anxiety, suggesting that larger controlled studies are warranted.”

Peter, an Austrian subject in this study remarked, “My LSD experience brought back some lost emotions and ability to trust, lots of psychological insights, and a timeless moment when the universe didn’t seem like a trap, but like a revelation of utter beauty.” This statement is characteristic of many people’s experience with LSD, both clinical and recreational, and brings further testimony to the case for legitimizing these medicines for public use.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has for years been the forerunner in the advocacy of legalization of research into the medical benefits of psychoactive substances. In a recently released MAPS press-alert the organization notes that, “there is considerable previous human experience using LSD in the context of psychotherapy. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, psychiatrists, therapists, and researchers administered LSD to thousands of people as a treatment for alcoholism, as well as for anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.”

Originally formulated by the renowned Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman, LSD produces an effect that can amplify consciousness and bring about positive lasting changes in perception and one’s feeling of ‘connectedness’ to the universe and the web of life that supports human beings:

“LSD in oral doses of more than 100 Kg produces vivid psychosensory changes, including increased sensory perception, illusionary changes of perceived objects, synesthesia, and enhanced mental imagery. Affectivity is intensified. Thoughts are accelerated, with their scope usually broadened including new associations and modified interpretation and meanings of relationships and ob- jects. Hypermnesia and enhanced memory processes typically occur. Ego identification is usually weakened. The general state of con- sciousness can be compared to a daydream, but with pronounced affectivity and enhanced production of inner stimuli (Grof, 1975; Hintzen and Passie, 2010).” [Source]

Research into the psychotherapeutic benefits of LSD began in the 1950′s but was brought to an abrupt halt in 1966 when LSD was made illegal by the Unites States government, ostensibly due to overuse of LSD as a recreational substance by America’s youth. The Executive Director of MAPS, Rick Doblin, Ph.D. states that, “this study is historic and marks a rebirth of investigation into LSD-assisted psychotherapy. The positive results and evidence of safety clearly show why additional, larger studies are needed.”

In a world dominated by scientific materialism and marked by a war on consciousness the criminalizes the free exploration of one’s own mind and body, legitimate and positive scientific research is the key that can unlock long-held cultural taboos and misunderstandings about the nature of psychoactive substances.

About the Author

Buck Rogers is the earth bound incarnation of that familiar part of our timeless cosmic selves, the rebel within. He is a surfer of ideals and meditates often on the promise of happiness in a world battered by the angry seas of human thoughtlessness. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com.

Sources:
– http://www.maps.org/research/lsd/Gasser-2014-JMND-4March14.pdf
– http://www.maps.org/media/view/press_release_lsd_study_breaks_40_years_of_research_taboo/

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

Take LSD, Stay Out of Prison? Large Study Links Psychedelic Use to Reduced Recidivism

Well sure, it dissolves the Ego. Bill Wilson, Founder of AA, experimented with LSD as a cure for alcoholism. See The Terrence McKenna youtube archives for more on DMT, LSD, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens. Should members of congress, the President, and corporate moguls be made to take LSD? Hell yes!! Grace Slick was almost successful in slipping Richard Nixon some acid in the 60s.

Man-biting-mushroom-via-Shutterstock-300x208

A study of more than 25,000 people under community corrections supervision suggests the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD can keep people out of prison.

The research is the first in 40 years to examine whether drugs like LSD and “magic” mushrooms can help reform criminals.

“Our results provide a notable exception to the robust positive link between substance use and criminal behavior,” the researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine wrote in their study, which was published in the January issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

“They add to both the older and emerging body of data indicating beneficial effects of hallucinogen interventions, and run counter to the legal classification as well as popular perception of hallucinogens as categorically harmful substances with no therapeutic potential.”

Psychedelic substances piqued the interest of researchers beginning in the 1950s. Studies indicated that the drugs could be combined with psychotherapy to treat a number of conditions, including alcoholism and drug addiction.

But scientific investigations into the therapeutic potential of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and other psychedelic drugs ground to a halt in the 1970s, when they were outlawed by the federal Controlled Substances Act.

“Offenders may be especially likely to benefit from hallucinogen treatment because involvement in the criminal justice system often results from drug-seeking behavior and impulsive conduct exacerbated by compulsive substance use,” the researchers explained in the study.

From 2002 to 2007, the researchers collected data on 25,622 individuals under community corrections supervision in Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC), a program for individuals with a history of drug abuse.

Only about 1 percent of those in the program were diagnosed with a hallucinogen use disorder. Cannabis use disorders, cocaine use disorders, and alcohol use disorders were the most common diagnoses in the group.

The researchers found those diagnosed with a hallucinogen use disorder were less likely to fail the TASC program compared to those without a hallucinogen use disorder. That means those with a hallucinogen use disorder were less likely to violate TASC rules or other legal requirements, less likely to fail to appear in court, and less likely to be incarcerated.

The study controlled for a large number of potentially confounding factors, including race, employment, marital status, age, criminal history, drug abuse history, gender, educational attainment, and more.

“The current findings should not at all be interpreted as advocating for recreational hallucinogen use. Nevertheless, they demonstrate that, in a real-world, substance-related intervention setting, hallucinogen use is associated with a lower probability of poor outcome,” the researchers wrote.

“We believe this calls for the continued scientific investigation of this unique class of substances.”

Source

via Take LSD, Stay Out of Prison? Large Study Links Psychedelic Use to Reduced Recidivism | EndAllDisease.comEndAllDisease.com.

9 Huge Government Conspiracies That Actually Happened

Prohibition Research Committee

AP Photo

The Prohibition Research Committee, pictured above, traveled the country trying to find one “drunk” reformed by the legislation.

1. The U.S. Department of the Treasury poisoned alcohol during Prohibition — and people died.

The 18th Amendment, which took effect in January 1920, banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol — but not consumption. Despite the government’s efforts, alcoholism actually skyrocketed during the era.

To keep up with America’s thirst, bootleggers not only created their own alcohol but also stole industrial versions, rendered undrinkable by the inclusion of certain chemicals (namely methyl alcohol). Liquor syndicates then employed chemists to “re-nature” the alcohol once again, making it safe for consumption, according to Deborah Blum, author of “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.”

By mid-1927, however, the U.S. government added much deadlier chemicals — kerosene, chloroform, and acetone among those most well known — which made alcohol more difficult to render consumable again. Adding 10% more methyl alcohol caused the worst efforts.

Although New York City’s chief medical examiner, Charles Norris, tried to publicize the dangers, in 1926, poisonous alcohol killed 400 in the city. The next year, 700 died.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

Wikimedia Commons

A doctor administers an injection to one of the Tuskegee patients.

2. The U.S. Public Health Service lied about treating black men with syphilis for more than 40 years.

In 1932, the Public Health Service collaborated with the Tuskegee Institute to record the history of syphilis in the black male community, hoping to justify a treatment program. 

Called the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Malethe study initially included 600 black men — 399 with the disease and 201 without. While the men were told they would receive treatment, however, the researchers never provided adequate treatment for the disease. Even when penicillin became the preferred and available treatment for syphilis, researchers kept their subjects in the dark. 

Although originally planned to last only six months, the experiment continued for 40 years. Finally, in 1972, an Associated Press article prompted public outrage and a subsequent investigation. A government advisory panel deemed the study “ethically irresponsible” and research ended almost immediately.

As a result, the government settled a class-action lawsuit out of court in 1974 for $10 million and lifetime health benefits for all participants, the last of whom died in 2004.

Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine

Wikimedia Commons

Jonas Salk, who created the inactivated polio vaccine in 1955.

3. More than 100 million Americans received a polio vaccine contaminated with a potentially cancer-causing virus.

From 1954 to 1961, simian virus 40 (SV40) somehow showed up  in polio vaccines, according to the American Journal of Cancer. Researchers estimate 98 million people in the U.S. and even more worldwide received contaminated inoculations.

Jonas Salk, known creator of the inactivated polio vaccine, used cells from rhesus monkeys infected with SV40, according to president of the National Vaccine Information Center Barbara Fisher, who testified before the Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness in the U.S. House of Representatives on this matter in 2003, after researching the situation for 10 years.

The federal government changed oral vaccine stipulations in 1961 — which didn’t include Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine — specifically citing SV40. But medical professionals continued to administer tainted vaccines until 1963, according to Michael E. Horwin writing for the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology in 2003. And even after 1961, the American Journal of Cancer found contaminated oral vaccines.

Although researchers know SV40 causes cancer in animals, opinions vary on a direct link between the virus and cancer in humans. Independent studies, however, have identified SV40 in brain and lung tumors of children and adults.

The Centers for Disease Control did post a fact sheet acknowledging the presence of SV40 in polio vaccines but has since removed it, according to Medical Daily.

photo from Gulf of Tonkin

Wikimedia Commons

A photo of three Vietnamese boats taken from the USS Maddox (on Aug. 2).

4. Parts of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which led to U.S. intervention in Vietnam, never happened.

After evading a torpedo attack, the USS Maddox reportedly engaged three North Vietnamese boats in the Gulf of Tonkin on both Aug. 2 and 4, 1964, according to the Pentagon Papers. Although without U.S. casualties, the events prompted Congress to pass a resolution allowing President Lyndon John to intervene in the Southeast. 

Talk of Tonkin’s status as a “false flag” for U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War has permeated public discourse almost since the time of the attacks, especially after the government admitted that the second incident may have involved false radar images.

But after resisting comment for decades, the National Security Agency finally declassified documents in 2005, admitting the incident on Aug. 4 never happened at all.

Those involved didn’t necessarily intend to cover-up the incident to propagate a war. But the evidence does suggest “an active effort to make SIGINT fit the claim of what happened during the evening of 4 August in the Gulf of Tonkin,”according to NSA historian Robert J. Hanyok.

Fidel Castro

Wikimedia Commons

Fidel Castro speaking in Havana in 1978.

5. Military leaders reportedly planned terrorist attacks in the U.S. to drum up support for a war against Cuba.

In 1962, the joint chiefs-of-staff approved Operation Northwoods, a covert plan to create support for a war in Cuba that would oust communist leader Fidel Castro.

Declassified government documents show considerations included: host funerals for “mock-victims,” “start rumors (many),” and “blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.” They even suggested somehow pinning John Glenn’s potential death, should his rocket explode, on communists in Cuba.

The advisors presented the plan to President Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, according to investigative journalist James Bamford’s book, “Body of Secrets.” We don’t know whether McNamara immediately refused, but a few days later, Kennedy told Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, the plan’s poo-bah, that the U.S. would never use overt force to take Cuba.

A few months later, Lemnitzer lost his position.

“There really was a worry at the time about the military going off crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn’t for lack of trying,” Bamford told ABC News.

Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Wikimedia Commons

Ken Kesey, author of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” voluntarily participated in Project MKUltra.

6. The government tested the effects of LSD on unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens.

Under the code name “MKUltra,” the U.S. government ran a human-research operation within the CIA’s Scientific Research Division. Researchers tested the effects of hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, torture, and most memorably, LSD, on U.S. and Canadian citizens. Most had no idea.

To conduct these experiments, the CIA paid prisons, hospitals, and other institutions to keep quiet. The department even enticed heroin addicts to participate by offering them heroin, according to documents from a joint hearing to subcommittees of Congress, where President Kennedy spoke.

That day, he regaled Congress with “chilling testimony.” Over 30 universities became involved in various studies. Notably, many lacked oversight by medical or scientific professionals. At least one participant, Frank Olsen, died, reportedly from suicide after unknowingly ingesting LSD. 

In January 1973, then CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all documents pertaining to MKUltra. When Congress looked into the matter, no one, not even Helms, could “remember” details. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, more documents were located, but the full timeline remains incomplete.

The events inspired investigative journalist Jon Ronson’s best-selling book, “The Men Who Stare At Goats,” now a movie of the same title starring George Clooney.

Glomar Explorer Project Azorian

Wikimedia Commons

The Hughes Glomar Explorer, the recovery ship designed for Project Azorian.

7. In 1974, the CIA secretly resurfaced a sunken Soviet submarine with three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

The CIA’s secret “Project Azorian” aimed to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean to retrieve three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, each carrying a one megaton nuclear warhead.

With President Nixon’s approval, CIA director Richard Helms placed all the plans in a secret file called “Jennifer,” thus keeping the information from everyone but a select number of government officials.

After a FOIA, the NSA finally published an article from the CIA’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, revealing that the department succeeded in resurfacing portions of the sub, named K-129.

The CIA redacted text in these documents that prevent determining the operation’s exact level of success, but the crew of the Glomar Explorer, the recovery ship, did haul contents to Hawaii for unloading.

Reagan Iran Contra Scandal

Wikimedia Commons

8. The U.S. government sold weapons to Iran, violating an embargo, and used the money to support Nicaraguan militants.

In 1985, senior officials in the Reagan administration facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, then under embargo. The government, with the National Security Council’s Oliver North acting as a key player, later used the profits to fund the Contras, anti-communist rebels, in Nicaragua.

The whole situation began with seven American hostages taken by a hostile group in Lebanon with ties to Iran. Through an elaborate exchange involving Israel, the U.S. planned to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for the hostages’ freedom. The situation quickly derailed, although the Lebanese did release all but two hostages.

After a leak from an Iranian, the situation finally came to light in 1986. After repeatedly denying any involvement, the Reagan administration underwent 41 days of congressional hearings, according to Brown University’s research project on the scandal. They subpoenaed government documents as early as 1981 and forced declassification of others.

Reagan’s involvement in and even knowledge of the situation remains unclear. The hearings never labeled the sale of weapons to Iran a criminal offense, but some officials faced charges for supporting the Contras. The administration, however, refused to declassify certain documents, forcing Congress to drop them.

Nayirah C-SPAN

YouTube/guyjohn59

“Nayirah”

9. A public relations firm organized congressional testimony that propelled U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

In 1990, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl identified only as “Nayirah” testified before Congress that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers pulling infants from their incubators at a hospital and tossing them to the ground to die.

A later investigation revealed that PR giant Hill & Knowlton arranged her testimony for a client, Kuwaiti-sponsored Citizens for a Free Kuwait, and furthermore that Nayirah was the daughter of Kuwait’s Ambassador to the U.S., according to The New York Times.

Tom Lantos, a representative from California who co-founded the committee that heard Nayirah, coordinated the whole thing. Perhaps not coincidentally, his committee rented space in the PR firm’s headquarters at a reduced rate. Citizens for a Free Kuwait would go on to donate money to foundations with ties to said committee sometime after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

At first, Amnesty International affirmed the girl’s testimony. But after reinvestigation, the group and other human rights organizations switched positions. They didn’t necessarily question the accuracy, just her withheld bias.

Nayirah’s testimony helped build support for the Persian Gulf War, though Congress would have likely pursued involvement without her words.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/true-government-conspiracies-2013-12#ixzz2sgo8xB16