Originally posted on taoism101:

Taoists believe that the experience of ego death is evil.

Bliss, love, divine experiences, and visions of angels are carrier waves for sinister psychological forces.

Classic texts like The Philokalia,  The Way of the Bodhisattva, and the current understanding of the Tao Te Ching, all the way to modern books like Shaking Medicine and The Power of Now celebrate ego death but none of these books deliver the actual experience.

Ayahuasca does.

As you read this, Americans are chugging ayahuasca and reporting their experiences on youtube!

Now we can investigate the actual experience of ego death and not the sanitized version discussed by Eckhart Tolle, Bradford Keeney, and other spiritual writers.

Take the example from the video I have posted below… Taylor Marie is an attractive 20 something all American woman who is essentially advocating associating with oozing demons, little dead girls, hellish imagery, and terrifying…

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Originally posted on Ayahuasca and Depression:

Weaning off of antidepressant medications after taking them for many years is very challenging, both physically and emotionally.  I knew that if I wanted to benefit fully from an ayahuascaceremony I had to clear all traces of SSRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors) drugs from my body. However, this was difficult because I had become dependent on them to function in everyday existence. Those that have used these drugs can attest to their power and the surprising nature of their strong withdrawal symptoms and side effects.  It is important not to consume ayahuasca if you are taking any drug that affects your serotonin levels because combining the two can cause serotonin syndrome, a very serious and potentially fatal condition.  Ayahuasca also contains several compounds that are MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitor). MAOI drugs have very strong negative interactions with a wide variety of medications. It is important to understand the potential…

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Originally posted on Ayahuasca and Depression:

Ayahuasca is the name given to a brew that is usually a combination of two plants.  The first is a large vine, Banisteriopsis caapi.  This vine is also given the name of ayahuasca and it contains harmine, harmaline and tetrahydroharmine, which are all monoamine oxidase inhibitors. The second is a small ground plant, usually a member of the Psychotria genus, which contains the hallucinogenic DMT molecule.  The vine must be combined with the ground plant for the DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Due to the fact that the vine contains MAOI compounds, there are important dietary regulations that must be followed to avoid negative food-drug interactions.  Any food with high amounts of tyramine should be avoided with ayahuasca.

This plant mixture has been used for thousands of years by the native people of the western Amazon for its divination and healing purposes.  One of the most common themes of…

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“We believe that drug prohibition is the true cause of much of the social and personal  damage that has historically been attributed to drug use. It is prohibition that makes these drugs so valuable –  while giving criminals a monopoly over their supply. Driven by the huge profits from this monopoly, criminal gangs bribe and kill each other, law enforcers, and children. Their trade is unregulated and they are, therefore, beyond our control.

History has shown that drug prohibition reduces neither use nor abuse. After a rapist is arrested, there are fewer rapes. After a drug dealer is arrested, however, neither the supply nor the demand for drugs is seriously changed. The arrest merely creates a job opening for an endless stream of drug entrepreneurs who will take huge risks for the sake of the enormous profits created by prohibition. Prohibition costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars every year, yet 40 years and some 40 million arrests later, drugs are cheaper, more potent and far more widely used than at the beginning of this futile crusade.

We believe that by eliminating prohibition of all drugs for adults and establishing appropriate regulation and standards for distribution and use, law enforcement could  focus  more on crimes of violence, such as rape, aggravated assault, child abuse and murder, making our communities much safer. We believe that sending parents to prison for non-violent personal drug use destroys families. We believe that in a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children. And we believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths.”

http://www.leap.cc/about/why-legalize-drugs/

Originally posted on Spiritual Transformations:

Sacred ceremonies are containers within which psychic forces and people are held.  The form of the ceremony might differ, but there are essential elements in all traditions.  Take for example the peyote ceremony of the Native American Church.  nitetipiThe ceremonial space is a circular gathering with an opening in the east where the sun comes up.  This could be out in the open or enclosed within a Tipi or Hogan.  There is an altar, fire, and medicine.  There are sacred symbolic instruments which are used in traditional ways.  The pattern is well known by the participants.  The beginning involves prayers and activities such as making the crescent shaped altar, lighting the fire, placing the instruments and medicines in the right places at the prescribed times.  There will be another prayer with tobacco and/or cedar smoke by the leader(s) and the people, followed by sharing the peyote medicine.  Then the singing…

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A recent article
follows many that highlight the profoundly positive influences psychedelics can have on peoples experience of dying. Indeed, an unusual consequence of the restrictions on how psychedelics may be legally tested is that the positive effects that psychedelics (e.g. LSD) can have on peoples’ experience of dying has been verified scientifically beyond reasonable doubt.

Aside from the experiential benefits, there is the possibility (however slim) that these drugs will have a meaningful effect on an individuals post-death existence. The renowned discoverer of LSD Albert Hoffman speculated about whether such chemicals have not only a phenomenological impact, but a metaphysical one: by virtue of this, the very destiny of your “soul” could, in theory, be influenced by the experiences leading up to death. (In ‘LSD:My Problem Child’)

In our current society we assume that the state has the right to control factors that intimately influence our power to control the experience of death. “Designer death” is already a reality, the widespread use of pain-killers during the process of death is, in pure terms, about controlling the experience of death.

The state permits some experiences, but restricts others: LSD is illegal, but why shouldn’t a dying person have power over their own mind? Shouldn’t we have the right to die as we please? If the principle of Cognitive Liberty implies anything, it should be not only that we ought to just to have sovereignty in terms of how we live, but how we die as well.

Originally posted on Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society:

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is not your typical drug policy reform organization. Since 1986, MAPS has worked as a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to turn psychedelic drugs into prescription medicines to treat afflictions — including postraumatic stress disorder, pain, depression, and even addiction — for which conventional therapies offer little relief. The term “prescription psychedelics” may sound like something out of a 70s science fiction story — politically impossible and culturally strange — until you hear it explained in context by Rick Doblin, MAPS’ founder and executive director.

Points is pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with Doblin about his organization’s relationship to past psychedelic research efforts, its major goals and day-to-day operations (Part II), and the philosophy of addiction and recovery that informs its work (Part III). We proudly present below the first installment of a three-part interview we will showcase over the next week in celebration of MAPS’ 25th anniversary this year. Today, we’ll…

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