TM often mentioned Psilocybin mushrooms in small, non-psychedelic doses increasing visual acuity. Does anyone know if this is legit? has this been properly tested? can it hold up against the very rigorous research standards of hard science? Any bibliography, links, or anything that can connect me to strong evidence of this would be greatly appreciated!! thanks!
Tue, March 2, 2010 - 5:54 PMhere is a bibliography of some of the work terence was referring to. hope you can find some of these.
1. Fischer, Roland & Richard M. Hill - "Interpretation of visual space under drug-induced ergotropic and trophotropic arousal" - Journal: Inflammation Research Issue Volume 2, Number 3 / November, 1971 (Publisher Birkhäuser Basel) ISSN 1023-3830 (Print) 1420-908X (Online),
2. Fischer, Roland & R. Hill, K. Thatcher & J. Scheib - "Psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space" - Journal Inflammation Research Issue, Volume 1, Number 4 / August, 1970 (Publisher Birkhäuser Basel) ISSN 1023-3830 (Print) 1420-908X (Online)
3. Fischer, Roland L. (Ph.D.) "The Realities of Hallucinogenic Drugs: A Compendium" - Criminology, Volume 4 Issue 3 Page 2-15, November 1966 (Blackwell Publishing Ltd)
4. Fischer, Roland L. (Ph.D.) - "A Cartography of the Ecstatic and Meditative States" - Science, November 26th, 1971
Mon, August 16, 2010 - 1:02 PMg'reg, TM did make that claim, it was central to his "stoned apes"/evolutionary origin of H. sapiens theory (or fairy tale in theory's clothing). It seems to have achieved status as an article of faith, a doctrine automatically accepted and believed by many if not most in his audience -- based on so many unquestioning comments about it I see, far and wide. As if it’s just understood as 'scientific fact' or 'proven' true.
A recent high-profile example: the film KNOW YOUR MUSHROOMS (aired a few months back on IFC) has the Telluride mushroom festival organizer saying:
"Terence McKenna ... has a whole theory ... It turns out in low dose, Psilocybe increases visual acuity. So in hunter-gatherer society if you got better eye sight, you hunt better, you're selected for advancement. So people who ate the mushrooms advanced..."
g'reg I'd like to applaud your spirit of inquiry instead of unquestioning acceptance. Nice wish, "Good luck finding" but -- may I recommend a direct path to obtain these articles. Most libraries don't carry those journals.
University libraries have a service called Inter Library Loan (ILL) available to anyone on campus, maybe accessible to others -- you'd have to call and inquire (or go through a friend enrolled there). ILL can usually get a xerox of almost any article I need, no matter how obscure the journal.
TM (FOOD OF THE GODS, etc.) did cite research by Fischer for his "enhanced visual acuity" claim -- but in a conspicuously vague way raising curiosity that for me borders on suspicion. He names authors, year of publication, quickly in passing. But no quotes, nor even minimal mentions any specific finding, to show this was in fact one of Fischer's findings. I’ve thought I must be the only one to notice that and scratch my head a little, till your post.
The way TM staged these refs gave me an uncomfy, unsure "maybe" sense. Maybe I'm not supposed to notice anything amiss. Maybe we’re not supposed to wonder. Maybe I'm supposed to just vaguely figure Fischer MUST have reported that. Maybe instead of questioning or looking into things, I'm just supposed to believe his research found "enhanced visual acuity" -- then go from there, build my understanding on that foundation. Especially if I'm letting my mind ride the wildest "possibilities" – never mind informed inquiry, critical reason, or the idea of actually finding out whether something is true or not.
Again bravo to you for the idea of checking sources for factual info -- rather than just believing/assuming (on account of "because...").
To see if Fischer’s research does report such a finding, one would have to read. If it does, well and good, let it be known. If not -- that'd raise further questions. Not up-in-the-air abstract philosphical questions, but right down here on the ground, nuts and bolts, like -- what gives? But I've seen little to no discussion of Fischer's work in popular circles, nor indications that anyone has checked it for TM's use of it.
If TM wanted us to "seriously consider the possibility" (and this seemed to be important to him) "stone apes" – would he resort to subterfuge, being sneaky? If so, it might make sense that he'd use citations to contrive an as-if-scientific basis for his "theory" -- for readers who don’t notice anything amiss in the way he positioned those Fischer citations.
Would TM have gone that far, to craftily imply something he knows is just not true, setting up readers to assume or interpret otherwise -- leaving himself a way out of the ethical question if anyone ever called him on it? ("Oh, I never directly stated that Fischer specifically concluded psilocybin enhances visual acuity, but some of Fischer’s findings suggested TO ME the POSSIBILITY that ... " etc.). I.e., plausible deniability?
I’m not aware Fischer has ever replied to TM's citations to his work, and I’ve wondered what he’d say. If I understand right, Fischer's been in Majorca for some years. I've long wanted to contact him to inquire directly, but haven't yet managed unfortunately. I have no email address for him. I'd like to hear Fischer's take on this -- who in the world would be better qualified to comment?
I've read some of Fischer et alia's research on psilocybin and visual perception, not all of it. It's extensive, more than just what TM cites. Psychology of perception is a highly technical subject. General readers would likely have trouble understanding Fischer's findings as reported. If TM was up to something "clever," trying to mislead or impress readers, get make them to go "oh wow!" (for his amusement and gratification, presumably) -- he might have considered: if anyone in his audience (who aren't specialized in perceptual psychology) checks Fischer articles, they'd be in over their head to understand his findings, what they actually mean.
The Abstract for one of Fischer's articles ("Interpretation of visual space ..." by Hill and Fischer --1971, Agents and Actions 2: 122-130) says "ergotrophic arousal inducing drugs" like psilocybin interfere with counter-adaptation to visual distortion. This differs from "trophotropic arousal inducing drugs" (like chlorpromazine, an anti-psychotic), which enhance counter-adaptation.
The counter-adaptation response is a gradual adjustment to the presence of a distorting sensory stimulus, like coke-bottle lenses. The distortion is noticed strongly by a subject at first. But over time 'counter-adaptation' response sets in, compensating, minimizing it . The subject's visual perception adjusts or adapts, normalizing their sense of sight. HIll and Fischer report psilocybin "interfere(s) with counter-adaptation to optical distortion ...".
That doesn't sound like enhanced visual acuity, or anything adaptive (such as a "stoned apes" theory might require). So far however, I've found only one passage in Fischer's research on psilocybin and visual perception, that directly addresses the adaptive or selective significance of what he and his colleagues discovered. See: "Induction and Extinction of Psilocybin Induced Transformation of Visual Space" (Pharmakopsychiat. 6: 258-263). It says:
"There is a 'natural' tendency to misjudge the position of the visual as compared to the gravitational vertical. A 160 µg/kg psilocybin-induced accentuation of this misjudgment ... is reported." Also: "Psilocybin ... consistently increases the natural misjudgment of the AVV." (Apparent Vertical Visual).
On page 263 they state: "At its worst, such disorientation may be compared to a 'jammed computer' state, a condition which MAY NOT BE CONDUCIVE TO THE SURVIVAL OF THE ORGANISM" (my capitalization, for emphasis).
Not only does Fischer report nothing consistent with what TM’s “enhanced visual” bit-- his findings contradict TM, invalidating his use of Fischer's work.
I think any college undergrad with a homework assignment to write a paper knows, one can insert a bunch of lit citations, implying one has read all that. It's soo easy. Is a reader really going to go get all those sources, and read them to see if your use of them stacks up? I don't think so, even when the readership is critically astute and educated, and maybe isn't so sure.
How much less likely would it be for TM’s audience to critically investigate? TM reinforced the style and taste for being astounded, amazed, astonished... and just making people go "Oh wow" -- i.e., the common, typically breathlessly enthusiastic comments one sees and hears in his fan base? Once people are listening and interested, would they want to find out anything to burst the bubble or spoil the fun of it all?
The psychedelic community nowadays seems mostly satisfied to hear or read stuff calculated to blow its mind. The subject has been severely exploited, become sensationalized. To me that spells a tragedy for any reasonable psychedelic hopes. How can the positive potential of such compounds for our society ever be realized unless the popular interest in it matures, gets off its tabloid diet of junk food of the gods? I don't see how it can, but I’d welcome a surprise.
Maybe things could turn around -- if more people like yourself asked intelligent questions instead of just taking juicy bait and hopping aboard (getting reeled in). Especially hard questions that could possibly lead somewhere, get answers. And risk discovery that some line of speculation ("theory" if one must) is not only wrong, but maybe even dishonest.
Kudos to you g'reg -- simply in asking your question you shine a light.
Sat, September 25, 2010 - 5:35 AMUPDATE
Since posting above, I've further investigated Tmack's "enhanced visual acuity" claim. I've corresponded with Richard M. Hill, Fischer's collaborator in researching psilocybin's effects on visual perception, and co-author of articles Tmack breezily cited in connection with his claim. Based on Hill's input, the "enhanced visual acuity" business proves to be false and misleading, exactly per the impression I'd already gathered.
The indications I presented above are now confirmed. Results are in, and conclusive.
Apparently Tmack was deviously engaging in verbal legerdemain, clever misdirection of reader attention. It is remotely possibly that Tmack read Fischer and Hill's research and sincerely but cluelessly misunderstood their findings -- an "innocent" interpretation of Tmack's shell game, a mix-up. Just an honest mistake. In context, I don't believe this is the case however. Tmack was not that stupid, he understood things he read well enough. And I can find nothing in Fischer et alia's research, as reported, that would invite such misinterpretation.
Much more likely -- for his own uniquely personal reasons, Tmack wanted unwary readers to take his Stoned Apes! "theory" seriously. He manipulated readers who didn't know any better for this purpose. Artfully mixing info and misinformation, while saying nothing at all about important points that would contradict his "theory" -- tiptoeing around them so as not to awaken doubts in readers' minds (as it appears).
Tmack's "theory" or speculation about how selection "would have" favored the superior-sighted mushroom-tripping hominids reflects by itself a dismal (but common) failure of accurate, informed understanding about evolutionary theory. Even if psilocybin did enhance visual acuity, as he alleged by insinuating such an effect had been discovered and reported by Fischer et alia -- Tmack never proposed there was a gene for eating magic mushrooms, present in his fondly fancied tripping hominids, absent in others.
Parents genereally try teach their children right and wrong, get their offspring to do as their elders instruct. But that is socially transmitted customs and behavior. Not a biological behavior directed by genes. Eating mushrooms (or not eating them) is pure tradition, absolutely relative to culture not biology. Such behavior cannot be inherited directly, it has no genetic basis for that. And a younger generation may perpetuate traditions, follow in the footsteps of their parents; or not -- in spite of parents' best efforts to get their young to emulate the example of their elders.
Even if psilocybin did enhance visual acuity, there would be no scientific basis for suggesting it could have been a factor in the evolution of Homo sapiens. But it's one step worse: the "fact" (research findings of Fischer et alia) McKenna took these wild speculative leaps from is, itself, a transparent falsehood. Apparently contrived by McKenna for his purposes. I assume he wanted to believe such a wild idea himself on one level of his schized psyche, but on another knew full well it was nonsense, a bankrupt effort -- alas, the troubled human condition with its conflicts between various impulses. How easy it is for all of us to keep secrets from ourselves, kid ourselves per whatever desperate wishes we realize.
In any case, I suspect McKenna was psychologically driven to deceive others, in order to try and persuade them that "stoned apes" (and his various other grandiose, ridiculous "speculations") might have merit. If he could just get enough people to take the idea seriously enough, to believe it might actually be true -- then and only then could he perhaps start to believe it himself, per his desperate wishes. Those with insecurities or inferiority anxieties often try to impress other people with an opposite impression of confidence and security, in a psychologically-driven effort to overcome their self-doubts. If they can get enough people to think they're great or brilliant or whatever, maybe they can shake off their sense of inferiority or insecurity. But it doesn't work, all it achieves is contempt for the people they fool so easily.
I acquired Richard Hill's email through institutional channels, and sent him an inquiry last month, as follows:
"I write to inquire if I may, concerning your research with Roland Fischer and others, published some years ago, on visual perception as affected by psilocybin. I'd be interested to know if you can confirm that your research discovered or reported that psilocybin, at whatever dosage, enhances visual acuity? I have read some (not all) of your work with Fischer, and thus know of some of your results. But I have not been able to confirm such a finding was reported, thus far. A 1992 book, FOOD OF THE GODS by Terence McKenna, seems to be the original source of this. There, this claim or interpretation is cited to your 1970 article (with Fischer et al.) 'Psilocybin-induced contraction of nearby visual space.'"
I received reply from Hill as follows: "Regarding visual acuity, our experiments were never designed to address (this) question, and thus any interpretations along those lines would be entirely spurious."
No wonder my study of that research never succeeded in finding any shred of support for the popular misconception that psilocybin enhances visual acuity, at whatever low dose. No such findings were ever reported. It is a tribute to McKenna's magic wand waving that he managed to subliminally implant this false "fact" in the minds of so many, who now believe it to be scientifically proven, a legitimate finding from psychedelic research. How strange though, that people who've actually taken the mushrooms fail to understand or realize what they have, and have not, experienced in the effects of psilocybin.
Even a guy who didn't believe any of this for a minute was taken on quite a wild goose chase to try and establish the fact that the whole claim is nonsense, lock stock and barrel. Sad to consider how much wilder a ride have those not critically questioning been taken on, led down "primrose path" (a phrase Tmack liked to use) left and right. It seems to be part of a major tragedy for Western civilization and its future -- the death of hope for any reasonable version of the psychedelic dream, that our society might one day be able to realize the positive, integrative psychospiritual potential of psychedelics. A contrary choice has been made, by manipulators such as McKenna and his enthusiastic celebrants, the manipulated -- to embrace exploitive sensationalism, wallow in gullbile nonsense. As if such the true value and significance of consciousness and its exploration via psychedelics resides in con art and deception.
We who've taken positive interest in this subject have been led down the low road. Who is responsible, other than ourselves? We've put on a pretty poor show, no wonder the society at large can only regard the subject as cause to roll eyeballs and step back from the post-hippie in-group cliquishness of popular psychedelic hero worship. Eschatons and entities, 2012ism and strange attractors can only repel intelligent, worthy interest, and these "memes" have pretty well driven the subject and its prospects over the fringed edge.
The questions g'reg raises here are now easy for me to answer conclusively, on good authority.
1) I do know, enhanced visual acuity is NOT "legit."
2) It was not tested for, nor a reported finding, in research by Fischer et alia (despite the appearance to the contrary Tmack staged)
3) No, it does not hold up to critical inspection; close examination instead reveals a web of deception, manipulating reader understanding)
Mon, March 19, 2012 - 4:55 PMDear baker
It’s all very well that you've done some research, but for someone who likes to profess healthy scepticism, you sure seem to leap to a strong opinion about TM supposedly having devious motives with regard to the visual acuity story. I’ve heard a lecture of his where he does go into some detail about an experiment that is indicative of the increased VA. If he was referring to the Fischer experiment therein, then he may have made a simple mistake – and none of us are immune to that. Or perhaps Fischer's collaborator has failed to see the connection Terence was thinking of. In any case many people report that they experience enhanced VA on shrooms.
You state that Terrence was intelligent enough to understand what he was reading, but in the next breath you imply that he was so stupid as to give false evidence (that could easily, or would likely, be checked up on) in his life’s works.
Terence had plenty of reasons aside from visual acuity as to why magic mushrooms could have potentially benefited human ancestors. Like for example the mystical experience of union with the universe – this could greatly help social cohesion. In other words shrooms could help members of the group NOT TO BE OVERLY SUSPICIOUS OF EACH OTHER.
Fri, March 30, 2012 - 4:18 AMDear Michael,
Thank you for your reply. Many clear indications of dishonesty on TM's part are evident, but averting attention from them is very much in fashion with his fans who hold him as a sort of unimpeachable paramount of psychedelic brilliance and virtue, much as any cult leader is enshrined. The 'inspiration' his fans realize tends toward fanatic-like aggression - easily demonstrated by simple application of critically informed comment on his 'theories' etc.
Sounds like you're uncomfortable with the ramifications, e.g. of " ... TM supposedly having devious motives with regard to the visual acuity story ..." If one holds TM's name unimpeachable, one will have trouble with discoveries like the fundamentally fraudulent nature of his claims about Fischer and Hill's studies (and a lot of other stuff). But their research says what it says, and they didn't discover 'visual acuity enhanced by psilocybin.'
So rather than 'strong opinion' as you call it, the perspective from which I speak is a matter of confirmable conclusions, findings of fact independently verifiable by anyone. The Fischer research and what it found isn't classified, no Top Secret clearance needed to access it. What emerges from this is more like the 'scientific creationist' version of evolution, where its about propagandizing, pretense in service to something considered far more important than petty scruples of factual honesty -- ends that justify means.
As for his 'devious motive' (yes this makes his followers uncomfy) -- in a 1992 interview, TM explained his purpose in crafting the Stoned Apes "theory" -- rather than various speculative justifications, which his fans are in effect compelled to muster when faced with these sharp contradictions -- I suggest TM can speak for himself about his motives, as he did:
M2: Why did you write Food of the Gods ?
TM: I felt if I could change the frame of the argument and get drugs insinuated into a scenario of human origins, then I would cast doubt on the whole paradigm of Western Civilization ... If you could convince people that drugs were responsible for the emergence of large brain size and language, then you could completely re-cast the argument from: "Drugs are alien, invasive and distorting to human nature" to: "Drugs are natural, ancient and responsible for human nature".
SO IT WAS CONSCIOUSLY PROPAGANDA, although I believe all that and I believe it's going to be hard to knock down. (capitals added for emphasis)
TM, like anybody else, can best speak for his own motive. I don't think the followers' 'explanations' or rationalizations can address this.
Similarly, fine for you to speculate that "perhaps Fischer's collaborator failed to see the connection Terence was thinking of ..." But from reading their actual research TM cited -- not just the stories he told us about what it says in their reports -- turns out there is no such "connection."
I think the researchers know their own findings and what they discovered.
Wed, August 8, 2012 - 4:53 PMBaker, you are basically not giving any real information.
Terence corroborated WITH Fisher and held his conclusions. Fisher agreed "it seems we are perceiving reality better WITH the drug than WITHOUT the drug" and while that quote appears to be tongue-in-cheek, Terence's entire career was tongue-in-cheek, so trying to charge him with intellectual dishonesty or misleading fans is a bunch of nonsense.
Secondarily, the conclusions of the original research are no objective benchmark. Terence has explained INCREDIBLY clearly in certain lectures what it was about the experiments that he uses as a crutch. Even if the originators didn't necessarily agree, MORE work needs to be done before you can discount McKenna's interepretation. Don't be so cynical - We don't live in a world where the "hard and fast methods of science" are the most progressive or even helpful.
Thirdly, there is no other tenable theory on this front. So.... yeah.
Wed, August 8, 2012 - 4:57 PMAlso, you have to use CONTEXT to make sense of these things.
THe neuropsychological model of Cave Art backs up part of T.s theory in this regard and every single subjective point Terence makes about community values, keeping the "Ego at bay" and what that might result in... is an ONTOLOGICAL discussion, not a physical, anthropological one.
It happens to be backed up by almost all modern users of the substance. If ten scientists tell you that you're not in any pain... but you fell pain... Its obvious the science is wrong. This happens often, and most often in areas that are precarious to the sciences.... This is one that the sciences have ignored on hte anthropological front, and active suppressed on the front of T.s possible explanation..
Sun, August 12, 2012 - 2:49 AMThanks Amadeus - I've pretty much addressed the visual acuity business above, and what I've found about it from inquiries and following up. Of course, the sort of protest or sentiments you express seem consistent with the 'customary and usual' -- i.e., emphatic endorsement of TMcKenna, i.e., whatever he said or wrote, regardless of how it comes out under microscope, or cross examination. Kind of past that now.
I believe the following is aware now, as I am -- of some 'bombshell' revelations of the "Deep Dive" podcast a month or two ago. Not very 'inspiring' -- either for questions of TM's integrity and honesty in general (ahem) ... or for the Following so deeply invested in the spell he cast of pseudo-psychedelic epiphanies and brilliance.
Many unfortunate aspects of cults in general, seem to undergird the TM preoccupation (as it becomes over time, with its 'ideas' and 'theories' dropping of like flies ... some just expiring (due date ahead this year on one). There's every indication of a 'thought control' mechanism at the core of TMism. Those who've been baited and lured into its web -- seem to have built their faith on an empty feeling of inspiration or exhilaration (the 'resonance' its called); and a dubious feeling of relief from alienation. TMism confers a security blanket sense of belonging, joining with an entire community of like-minded 'instant friends' (good fellow followers) -- who 'get it.'
Review of the excited discussion about TM's 'contribution(s)' -- deferring to the idiom of his celebrants -- it boils down to a liturgy, like religious rites of services. Invocation (of his name) followed by benediction (the story of glory) and -- denunciation of 'doubters' and 'haters' i.e. disapproval of what we can see and note, if we accord it the kind of serious, critically-informed regard it plaintively pleads for. Not unlike Intelligent Design demanding it be given place in evolutionary biology; and similarly expressing an 'inspired' message in veiled form, adopting costumery of something theoretical. A masquerade with devious purposes, by any other name.
And just like Christian apologetics, the TM-inspired discussion stands on three 'legs' --
1) Talk up TM's name and stake his claim to fame -- How Great He Art, what a genius, how brilliant etc (praise and worship)
2) Try to rebut criticisms - especially well-informed, points of fact that anyone who checks can verify
3) Criticize (incompetently of course) "the paradigm of Western civilization" and rational broadly-based, well-informed perspectives in general. Pretty much like other cults or forms of fanaticism -- with 'human origins' in focus, a lot in common with Intel-D; 'scientific' creationists don't just bluster at refutations of their nonsense, they try to pre-empt biology's entire foundation in evolution; which integrates evidence in whole fashion, comprehensive (rather than fussy cherry-picking, rigorously avoiding anything for which the 'creativity' and 'imagination' of its script writers can't come up with a good propaganda use).
Those are the three 'legs' of the TM discussion table. Again, thank you for you comments, I regret they can't seem to engage or address info I've replied with, to g'reg and his 'visual acuity' question.
PS As you reflect -- TM did indeed tell a little story in FOOD OF THE GODS, alluding to some conversation with Fischer ... but that's TM talk, not FIscher's story, is it?
Tue, November 19, 2013 - 1:45 AMYou know, Terence McKenna was good friends with Roland Fischer. It wouldn't surprise me if Fischer was aware of Terence using him as a source of citation. I'm not sure how you arrived at the conclusion that the "visual acuity" portion of Terence's rap was "central" to his Stoned-Ape Theory. It seems to me it was only one factor in a series of "three" factors which he claimed were all occurring if not simultaneously, not in any particular order. However, while all these factors would be important, if any one of them was central, it's likely to be the "third step" in his theory, not the first which is "visual acuity." You can find the full citation of Roland's at "Erowid.com." Where Terence's spiel is congruent with Roland's findings is in "low doses." We're talking very low doses of psilcoybin (160 micrograms per kilogram) introduced intravenously. Doses so low that you could conceivably have forgotten that you had taken it. Roland notes in Figure 3, 4 and 5 that at dose level there is a subtle Aniseikonia-like effect of the fore-shortening of nearby visual space that occurred with all volunteers that were administered psilocybin which were measured in 90 minute intervals, each interval having showing the effect to gradually increase slightly were recorded.
Terence McKenna once quoted Fischer in his talk "In Search of the Original Tree of Knowledge," where Roland said according to Terence, "Well you see, it's very interesting, apparently here we have data which argues significantly that we are perceiving reality better with the drug than without the drug." In my own experiences with light doses, I would attest that it's not a far-fetch claim to make. You can, in fact, experienced sharpened edges, a burst in even the vibrance of colour in your perception similar to that of turning the colour up on your television, and even the subtle aniseikonia that Roland emphasized in low doses. However, the first step, like step two, in McKenna's theory only accounts for an adaptive advantage, not a surge of evolutionary progress. That's where step three comes in.
The dose range involved with step three is what Terence called the "heroic dose" which was the catalyst for the thought and imagination. I'll quote Terence below where he speaks on this step. The third step is central to Terence's "Stoned Ape" theory, and it's the step in which he was at great pains to articulate. This is a segment taken from the end portion of "Psychedelics in the Age of Intelligent Machines" which you can also find a video of him giving this talk on YouTube. I'll link to this talk at the bottom of this post as if you'd like to hear it in its entirety as well as Fischer's full citation hosted at Erowid.com:
"Step three: You eat still more mushrooms. Now you're not foraging with sharpened fangs nor are you horsing around with your opposed gender acquaintances. Instead you're nailed to the ground in hallucinogenic ecstasy, and one of the amazing things about psilocybin above, say, five or six grams dried material, is it causes glossolalia - spontaneous spurts of language-like behavior under the obvious control of internal syntax. I believe syntax existed before spoken language, that syntax controls spatial behaviors and body languages and is not necessarily restricted to the production of vocal speech.
So there it is in a nutshell. We ate our way to higher consciousness. The mushroom made us better hunters, better survivors, among those in the population who used it, their sexual drive was increased, hence they outbred the more reluctant members of the tribe to get loaded, and finally, it created a kind neuroleptic seizure which led to downloading of these syntactically controlled vocalizations which became the raw material for the evolution of language and it's amazing to me that the straight people, the academics believe language is no more than 35,000 years old. That means it's as basic to human beings as the bicycle pump. It's something somebody invented 35,000 years ago. It's got nothing to do with primate evolution and the long march of the hominid and all that malarkey. No - it's just an ability, a use to which syntax can be put that previously had not been put, and before spoken language, things were very touchy-feely, and the wink and the nod carried you a great distance and gestural communication was very high.
That's why, and I should say this and then end, to me it begins and ends with these psychedelic substances. The synergy of the psilocybin in the hominid died brought us out of the animal mind and into the world of articulated speech and imagination. And technology developed and developed and mushrooms were in vade against faded, there was migrations, cultural change, but now, having split the atom, having sequenced our genome, having taken the temperature of Betelgeuse and all the rest of it, we're now back where we started.
And like the shaman who makes the journey into the well of darkness and returns with the pearl of immortality, you don't dwell in the well of darkness which was human history. You capture the essence of the thing, which is the god-like power of the shaman's myth, the technologist, the demon artificer, the worker of metals, the conjurer of spirits, and you carry that power back out of history, and it's in that dimension, outside of history, that you create true humanness and true community, and that's the adventure that we're in the act of undertaking."
Wed, November 27, 2013 - 9:59 AMThanks Kafei - I rather not argue or debate, if you don't mind. Especially with what others say, yourself or whoever "in Terence's name (amen)."
Thing is, I base my analysis of what Terence said, on his own word, written and spoken - right from the horse's mouth. What I conclude is based on that, not somebody's arguing about it. Especially as the Word of Terence compares and contrasts with relevant facts of record, established as such. Info that can be checked, double-checked, verified - sourced, documentable. For me its no a problem if truth as reliably determined, discovered, confirmed - contradicts his 'version of events." TM and his believers or admirers or followers (or whatever) inherit the consequences. The chips fall where they fall.
I submit, no use empty argument (as others above also try). Terence provided plenty of exposition, his word, his legacy. That's what I focus on. He was no ventriloquist's dummy. He could speak for himself (and omg did he ...). You must not realize, seeing your struggle to salvage some faint glimmer of glory - by futile arguing. Alas... alas.
Knowing the Terence pattern, having traced its outline and noted its features - I submit your post fits it to the tee for better or worse - adamant insistence on "phacts" not in evidence, empty claims that don't make sense, specious 'infaux' that turns out untrue when check out - whole tracts of incoherent illogic. Should that surprise you or me? Not if you know your Terence, chapter and verse. He expressly, specifically rejected reason, or knowing anything whatsoever, as a value or standard. He held it in contempt, derided it as anything to rely on or trust.
A consistent 'anti-rational' signal and message was just a big part of his whole act - playing on pervasive, alienated paranoia, Chicken Little “sky falling down” fear-mongering: “... for reason has grown too feeble to save us from the demons we have set loose!” (TRUE HALLUCINATIONS, Epilogue). It was high among his 'little ways' of beguiling anyone who didn't know better, drawing moths to his flame
Amid a profusion of empty airy assertions - I'd credit your post with one micro-shred of accurate factual info. The dose Fischer used to study effects of psilocybin on visual perception was 160 µg/kg (body wt) - as you correctly state.
Alas - in the same breath you put that detail into a false and misleading perspective - in homage to Terence. By removing that info from its valid, truthful context (whether willfully or helplessly driven by 'cognitive dissonance') - you in essence posed it in oppositional defiance to factual integrity and honesty - foundations of broader mutual understanding and human relations. And again, no surprise. As I consistently find (and your gesture re-affirms), the Terence cause resembles garden variety cultism, masquerading as some intellectual or philosophical thing. Or even scientific. Like, a theory. As in this 'stoned apes' crock.
That's a problem with lies Terence told (ignorant and dishonest, or both). They require more of the same to back them up, by anyone who'd dare try. "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."
My heart would go out to those ensnared in this web of deceit and manipulation - if only that could help. So far I conclude, it can't. One can only view with detached concern, realizing the situation for what it is - and issue notice for the cautionary tale it tells, wily-nily, in final analysis.
But let's dispel the false perspective you put Fischer's dose into, so fervently - and put the fact back in rightful place, shall we? Indeed, TM’s charming 'Science Says" story (which he cunningly pinned on Fischer) adamantly specifies, the 'visual acuity' (TM's fabrication about that research) - is a ‘low dose’ effect. Obviously you know the storyline.
And I gather you, in your own way, realize - Houston, there’d be a problem if it turned out - that not only did Fischer NOT discover or report ‘enhanced visual acuity.' He DIDN'T EVEN STUDY LOW DOSE EFFECTS !
Since documented facts reveal TM's deceit and exploitation - I don't puzzle or mystify at your "easy breezy" rating of Fischer's 160 µg/kg study dose as 'low.' It simply reflects that pattern, by oppositional defiance - carefully focused at microscale. As if to slip it past notice, make it hard to see - the ol' 'subtle' ploy. Like fake brushstrokes in a counterfeit painting, invisible to naked eye. Purpose: to hopefully pass unseen - as every con knows. Its just how they work (and Terence was a good 'n').
Well rise and shine, its wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee-time (and remember, this was all your idea) Let's look at psilocybin dosage range, and see just how ‘low’ a dose Fischer’s 160 µg/kg is - based in research, valid sources. Not fairy tales or airy assertions of false claims, facts not in evidence, based in some rigorously uncritical "Terence said" pseudostandard (i.e. quicksand):
12 µg/kg = Very Low Dose
115 µg/kg = Medium Dose
250 µg/kg = High Dose
See: Wackermann J, M Wittmann, F Hasler, FX Vollenweider, 2008. Effects of varied doses of psilocybin … Neuroscience Newsletters 345: 51-55.
Well, there it is (as the musical king said in AMADEUS ... (a fitting title I think, as following remark might clarify)
Obviously Kafei, you've offered no citation or source for your 'low' rating of dose Fischer used, and you're wildly off base - don't even know what you're talking about. That's the wages of Terence (who btw - never even mentioned what dose Fischer used btw).
No harm pointing out - same goes for your charming story of "Terence McKenna was good friends with Roland Fischer." As with your 'low dose' canard, that's reverently true to the Terence party line. But not to anything else. As such it figures as just another example of the problem with 'stoned apes' i.e., the Terence's Witnesses and their mission.
(But what kind of 'friend' would Terence have been to Fischer, by exploiting his reputation and scientific credibility that way? Blatantly lying about Fischer's research, just to gather a cult following to praise and worship Terence? That'd seem to me a strange way of being 'friend'')
You're not alone, casting that line. Having company is part of cultism's whole spell. "Instant friends" is one way it reels folks in to become 'fishers of men." Note how another poster tried exact same gag - airily declaring:
“Terence corroborated [sic] WITH Fisher ...” (Aug 8, 2012). That poor guy apparently doesn't even know what word he's trying to use: collaborate (meaning 'work together'), not 'corroborate.' And that's supposed to - what, convince or impress, or - ? He doesn't even realize the foot-in-mouth pratfall he does. But that's how he's gonna try and come off like he knows better? Or has remote deuce of a clue? Oh - K ...
Terence told many stories, and under test they generally fail - dismally. They prove to be false, with no plausible deniablity for 'innocent error' or 'honest mistake.' He comes out a liar and a con, mainly - a charismatic charlatan. But if you or Amadeus (and/or whoever) want to believe whatever he says hook line and sinker, on account of 'he said it' - that's fine for you. Go ahead, be my guest. But its not binding on anyone else, especially yours truly.
Seeing the contortions of rhetoric, the twisting and writhing of word and reason you engage - I suggest that's for you to realize, if you can, by whatever's left of your power of reason after its entrainment to the word of Terence. If you want to tout and adhere to a "Terence said" pseudostandard, go ahead you can have it, all yours. I prefer rigorously critical, impartial standards of reason, meaning, integrity of purpose and understanding. I distinguish those on clear understanding, from thought-programming doctrines. The latter can try with all their might to pass themselves off as 'idea' or 'philosophy' or 'theory ' or 'genius' or 'story-telling' - but it doesn't work with me.
Whatever you call the Word of Terence, it tests out as brain-wash: "The world is made of language" i.e., abracadabra... "Nobody is smarter than you ..." wham, Terence fans are smarter than anyone else, by His word. ("It becomes true, when we talk about it" - Big Bird Terrence [sic] McKenna ... video). And that ends prospects of communication, subverts our species greater prospects, as I find. With kind regrets.