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Come join the Australian Psychedelic Society - Melbourne for an evening of expert talks on LSD, including a look at the past few years of Bicycle Day and psychedelic advocacy in Melbourne. WHAT IS BICYCLE DAY? Bicycle Day celebrates the first day in which LSD was purposefully ingested - April 19th, 1943. On this day, the chemist, Albert Hofmann ingested what he thought to be a small dose, before riding his bicycle home. Since this day, LSD has forged an influential place in the history of Western culture. SPEAKERS ASH BLACKWELL will emcee for the evening. Ash has been a grass-roots drug law reform campaigner for nearly a decade. He joined the Drug Law Reform Party in 2013 when it was founded and ran as a candidate for the seat of Wills in 2016. He was the founding Vice-President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia and has co-hosted the weekly radio show Enpsychedelia on 3CR community radio since 2015. Ash has a passion for human rights and harm reduction and has been highly involved in several grass roots activities, including; the campaign for pill testing, the High Alert campaign against sniffer dogs, the Victoria Street Drug Solutions residents group campaign for the Supervised Injecting Room. He has also worked with the New Nicotine Alliance and Legalise Vaping Australia to provide a safer alternative for smokers. DR PRASH works in the psychiatry department of a major metropolitan hospital. His primary intellectual and research interest is in the therapeutic use of psychedelics and their potential role in psychotherapy. He sits on the clinical advisory board of The Australian Psychedelic Society and some of you may know Prash from the research discussion group Psychonauts Onymous, which brought together individuals professionally or intellectually connected to the psychedelic paradigm. When not pontificating on the topic at talks and conferences, he is actively seeking your money, or that of your philanthropist grandparents, to help get psychedelic research off the ground in Australia. JENNY VALENTISH is the author of the Walkley-nominated research-memoir hybrid, Woman of Substances, which investigates the female experience of drugs and alcohol. It will be published in the UK and US in 2018. Jenny is a consultant for Australia’s National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, an ambassador for Monash University’s Brain & Mental Health Laboratory, and a board member of SMART Recovery Australia. She regularly updates her Facebook page with related stories. GREG KASARIK is a psychedelic activist and mystic. Described by The Age newspaper as, "a drug user who is probably too honest for his own good", Greg Kasarik is a drug law reform advocate, who is open and honest about his use of Enthogens for spiritual and religious purposes. Since 2010, he has been campaigning for the Victorian Government to provide regulated access to "Transcendent Compounds" for these purposes and as part of this campaign, he has completed a 28 day Hunger Strike and publicly taken LSD four times on the steps of the Victorian parliament house, after having announced his intentions to all members of the Victorian Parliament. On the fifth occasion, on Bicycle Day, 2016, Greg was arrested and charged with LSD possession. In January of 2017, after being unsuccessful in having the matter referred to the Victorian Supreme Court under the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act (2006), Greg pleaded guilty and the charges were dismissed. He immediately announced to the court that he was once more in possession of LSD and was escorted from the court and immediately re-arrested on charges of LSD possession. At his latest court appearance in early May, Greg successfully argued the legal aspects of the case for referral to the Supreme Court, but was unsuccessful in obtaining referral, because the matter was not considered important enough for a referral. Since then, Greg has continued to lobby the Government and politicians for implementation of sensible drug policy. Greg is also the founder of the post-dogmatic” spiritual movement, “Community of Infinite Colour”, which is based on the realisation that with greater understanding, comes less certainty about what can be “known”. He openly admits that he “doesn’t have a clue what is going on” and encourages others to engage with their own spiritual journey, that engages with both their lived experience and the realities of the universe that they happen to inhabit. CAM DUFFY Cameron has an interest in the science and art of health, human optimization, and peak experiences. He currently works as a practicing counsellor in the field of dual diagnosis assessment and treatment. His research background includes the philosophy of transpersonal experiences and associated paradigms. Cameron is also passionate about issues relating to human rights and cognitive liberty. WHERE 11A Hope Street, Brunswick WHEN 6pm-9pm, Thursday 18th April TICKETS $20 - Eventbrite FACEBOOK
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/01/70015?currentPage=all BASEL, Switzerland -- When Kevin Herbert has a particularly intractable programming problem, or finds himself pondering a big career decision, he deploys a powerful mind expanding tool -- LSD-25. "It must be changing something about the internal communication in my brain. Whatever my inner process is that lets me solve problems, it works differently, or maybe different parts of my brain are used, " said Herbert, 42, an early employee of Cisco Systems who says he solved his toughest technical problems while tripping to drum solos by the Grateful Dead -- who were among the many artists inspired by LSD. "When I'm on LSD and hearing something that's pure rhythm, it takes me to another world and into anther brain state where I've stopped thinking and started knowing," said Herbert who intervened to ban drug testing of technologists at Cisco Systems. Herbert, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, joined 2,000 researchers, scientists, artists and historians gathered here over the weekend to celebrate the 100th birthday of Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD here in 1938. The centenarian received a congratulatory birthday letter from the Swiss president, roses and a spontaneous kiss from a young woman in the crowd. In many ways, the conference, LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug, an International Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Albert Hofmann, was a scientific coming-out party for the drug Hofmann fathered. "LSD wanted to tell me something," Hofmann told the gathering Friday. "It gave me an inner joy, an open mindedness, a gratefulness, open eyes and an internal sensitivity for the miracles of creation." Bent with age but still eloquent, Hofmann said he hoped the symposium would encourage the renewed therapeutic and spiritual use of LSD in supervised settings. Lysergic acid diethylamide, a derivative of lysergic acid found in the alkaloids of the ergot grain fungus, has been illegal worldwide since the mid-1960s and still generates controversy. The conference was picketed Saturday by a splinter group from Scientology opposed to drug use. The storied history of LSD as a mind-expanding tool began five years after Hofmann discovered LSD-25, and had what he described as a "peculiar presentiment" compelling him to resynthesize the drug. Without ingesting the substance, Hofmann managed to accidentally absorb enough of the chemical to experience its effects. In a second intentional trip, Hoffman said he had a frightening experience that gave way to feelings of rebirth. During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was found to be a promising tool for psychiatry and psychotherapy and was studied by the CIA as a potential interrogation weapon. It was criminalized after it escaped from the lab to be widely embraced by the youth culture. Hofmannn said millions of people have taken LSD, but some had bad reactions when they took counterfeit drugs. He would like to see a modern Eleusis, the ancient Greek site that held the rituals of Eleusinian Mysteries which took place for two millennia beginning in 1500 BC. During the LSD symposium, mythologist Carl P. Ruck and chemist Peter Webster presented their research suggesting that an ergot preparation was the active ingredient for the Kykeon beverage used during the ritual. "When Hofmann synthesized the chemical in LSD, he stumbled upon a 4,000-year-old secret," said Ruck, author of Road to Eleusis. In 1958, Hofmann was the first to isolate the psychoactive substances of psilocybin and psilocin from Mexican magic mushrooms (psilocybe mexicana) which were among a variety of sacred plants used around the world to invite ecstatic and spiritual experiences. The United States Supreme Court is now considering an appeal brought by the New Mexican chapter of the Uniao do Vegetal, or UDV, which uses the outlawed ayahauska brew in its ceremonies and cites the Eleusinian Mysteries as a precedent for a psychoactive Eucharist. At the symposium, presentations of electronic trance music and psychedelic art by painter Alex Grey encouraged meditative and spiritual reflection for participants -- especially those in altered states of consciousness. Participants eager to describe their modern-day spiritual LSD experiences were encouraged to contribute to a library of drug experiences on the Erowid website. Earth and Fire Erowid, who operate the site, presented a sampling of comments at the symposium and documented the two to five known deaths that have been associated with LSD. Geri Beil of Cologne, Germany, who attended the symposium, recalled his own ecstatic LSD experience on an Indian beach on New Year's day, 2000. "I was crying from happiness, so thankful to my parents that they created me," said Beil. "This experience has not disappeared; it has had a lasting effect." Like Herbert, many scientists and engineers also report heightened states of creativity while using LSD. During a press conference on Friday, Hofmann revealed that he was told by Nobel-prize-winning chemist Kary Mullis that LSD had helped him develop the polymerase chain reaction that helps amplify specific DNA sequences. "When you study natural science and the miracles of creation, if you don't turn into a mystic you are not a natural scientist," said Hofmann. In his presentation, artist Alex Grey noted that Nobel-prize-winner Francis Crick, discoverer of the double helical structure of DNA, also told friends he received inspiration for his ideas from LSD, according to news reports. The gathering included a discussion of how early computer pioneers used LSD for inspiration. Douglas Englebart, the inventor of the mouse, Myron Stolaroff, a former Ampex engineer and LSD researcher who was attending the symposium, and Apple-cofounder Steve Jobs were among them. In the 2005 book What the Dormouse Said, New York Times reporter John Markoff quotes Jobs describing his LSD experience as "one of the two or three most important things he has done in his life." But the symposium wasn't just a census of LSD-using notables. Attendees included psychotherapists and psychiatrists who discussed research into the therapeutic usefulness of psychedelic drugs. Dr. Michael Mithoefer presented the preliminary findings of his study in Charleston, South Carolina, which is investigating whether MDMA is effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder in people traumatized by crime or war. Harvard University professor, Dr. John Halpern, discussed his proposed study -- now awaiting DEA approval -- using MDMA to treat anxiety in cancer patients. The Florida-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is supporting studies and research in Canada investigating the use of ibogain to treat drug addiction. And a study at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, supported by the Heffter Research Institute, is investigating whether psilocybin effectively eases the anxiety of terminal cancer patients. Psychiatrist Charles Grob says his research group has located six of the needed 12 subjects and is looking for more participants. While the data has yet to be analyzed, Grob told seminar participants that all the participants in the study have shown promising reactions, and he applauded the opportunity to share the data in an international gathering. "It's very encouraging to see such a large number of people, including very knowledgeable people, getting together and sharing a common vision that these compounds have tremendous potential to facilitate healing, especially in areas that do not respond well to conventional treatments," said Grob. "There is global healing in these compounds which have been used for millennia by indigenous people that have much to teach modern man and modern woman." MAPS founder Rick Doblin says his goal is to make psychedelic medicines into prescription drugs, lamenting that LSD is not yet being studied for therapeutic purposes. "We have been deeply touched by our experiences with psychedelics and it is hard that there is not a single legal study with LSD given to humans anywhere in the world," said Doblin. "We need to bring what is underground and illegal back into a legal context." But Doblin notes that a group of people who say LSD provides relief from their cluster headaches have organized online and are pushing for a study at Harvard to explore a possible therapy using the drug. If Harvard accepts the MDMA study, Doblin says it could pave the way for the symbolically important return of psychedelic research at Harvard that halted during the tenure of Timothy Leary. His goal, says Doblin, is to secure an LSD study in time for Hofmann's 101st birthday. Dr. Andrew Sewell, a psychiatrist and neurologist from the Harvard Medical School who studies alcohol and drug abuse, says most problems with LSD occur when users take an unknown dose they don't feel comfortable with, in an uncontrolled setting, without supervision to shield them from dangerous situations. "LSD flashbacks are well-confirmed phenomenon but they are relatively rare and don't seem to cause as much trouble as the media would have you believe," said Dr. Sewell at the LSD symposium. Dr. Sewell says people who have underlying mental disorders should not take LSD because it could make their symptoms worse. "Like any powerful drug, if LSD is used incorrectly it can cause more harm than good," said Dr. Sewell. "LSD is a potentially dangerous drug and should be taken under medical supervision." "There is no evidence that LSD causes permanent brain damage -- and quite a lot of evidence that it doesn't," said Sewell. "We are lucky that we have over 1,000 papers written in the '50s and '60s when LSD was given to thousands and thousands of research subjects so we have a pretty good idea at this point what it does and does not do." Asked if the world needs his invention, Hofmann said he hoped that the Basel LSD symposium would help create an appropriate place for LSD in society. "I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD," said Hofmann. "It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be."
On the Real Meaning of LSD and Hallucinogens There is an article, I believe, from the recent New Yorker about someone who took Acid (LSD) in the seventies and wonders what happened to the youth of today who prefer the shutting down drugs such as Prozac versus the opening up drugs such as Acid. He claims that society no longer wants to take risks, preferring to keep it safe. He believes that our choice of drugs is indicative of the general zeitgeist, reflecting the world we live in. In the early years (the 70’s) we craved freedom; now we crave security. He seems to be nostalgic for those old Acid days. And doesn’t discuss their dangers enough; and I believe it is one of the most dangerous drugs around. What does it do? Grosso modo, it immediately depletes serotonin and other Gaba chemicals('he later posted on the website as a reply that this sentence is wrong and should have been edited out before being published' - Distracted), and diminishes the work of the gates, thus allowing all kinds of pain on all levels from surging ensemble toward the prefrontal cortex. Gamma amino butyric acid is a repressor holding down pain and blocking against feeling hurt. What Acid does is disrupt gating and allow us to feel our pain…..but all at once. Since that constitutes an overload, the exact feelings are blocked or disconnected but their energy level gets through to higher centers. And what do those higher centers do? They absorb all that force and begin the cognitive defense against it. They do what any person does when overloaded with imprinted pain; they manufacture far-out, bizarre ideas to encapsulate the force. This is true with LSD and in everyday life. That is why LSD is sometimes called a psychotomimetic. The ideas are far out because they are forced by a heavy load into concocting something. And the leitmotif of the feeling, the feeling of feeling, gets through so that the content of the hallucination somehow reflects what the person is dealing with. Someone is trying to kill me (death is near). Or they feel a cosmic oneness with the universe, which seems like an hallucination to me. Since what the person is thinking is idiosyncratic solely to her. And what helps eradicate the hallucination it for the moment is a tranquilizer/pain-killer. It is so easy to see the connection between pain and hallucinations since pain-killers stop those beliefs in their tracks. The frontal cortex is the last refuge of defense; going psychotic to keep from becoming insane. Absorbing heavy energy with beliefs before they can affect the heart to produce a fatal cardiac arrest. It is not the drug that makes hallucinations; it is the pain that has no specific context that drives the higher levels to become exotic. There is a context but it is usually a very early imprint with no specific scene attached. Its force, however, is preverbal with life-threatening consequences. There is no specific scene for the cortex to hang onto. If at first you had a good trip, it is because you have a good enough defense system to allow only some of the pain through….like smoking pot. But you will have a bad trip when first line terrors and rage surge through to produce the equivalent of a nightmare. And indeed, the trip is a nightmare. Daymares are nightmares with the sunlight. Otherwise, no difference. Terror is terror, day and night. The physiology does not change when the sun goes down. It bursts through unchecked because beliefs which work in see-saw fashion with imprinted feelings, are not strong enough to hold them down. Then you make no sense. These neural gates are not Huxley’s ‘Doors to Perception; on the contrary they block perception in specific ways and allow only global perceptions”; so-called Universal Truths. You are never “one with yourself or with the cosmos.” You mind has flown into pieces and you can only recapture pieces of yourself. You feel liberated because the lid of the repressive load has been temporarily lifted. It is primal therapy on speed. Instead of getting to one feeling at a time and integrating it; you get to all at once and it is really too much. But you do not have enough critical faculties left to understand what is happening. We did LSD research decades ago and found the brain very speeded up but with low amplitude which means to us the breakdown of defenses. We see on patients on the verge of deep non-verbal feeling that defenses mount with the heightening of the amplitude. When they crash, so does the amplitude. And after some ten trips the effects last for years; trouble sleeping, needing tranquilizers, cannot concentrate and unstable behavior, in general. That is the danger of rebirthing and drugs that prematurely unleash early pains out of sequence. You can and do often get hallucinations; “at one with the cosmos,” etc. I have seen it over and over in those who take drugs, smoke pot all of the time, or go to rebirthing centers. They come to us overloaded and seemingly “in space.” They are not all there. When a booga booga therapist thinks this is a good response to his therapy, watch out. When his beliefs merge with the patient all is lost. When the therapist thinks that “at one with the universe” is to be fervently sought they are both hallucinating. Integration is the sine qua non of progress in psychotherapy. Nothing artificial can make that happen. It is a biologic law; not to be abrogated because someone has invented a quick way to ourselves. To defy biologic laws is to contravene nature and natural law. To bypass nature means not to get well, for it is only through nature that we can be cured. We need to go at nature’s pace, follow the rhythm of the evolution and not hurry the process up. The human brain is a delicate instrument. We need to play it carefully. LSD has been used for treating depression. What it does is ease the cap of repression and thereby easing depression, which, as I have said over and over, depression is repression elevated to a high level. One no longer feels the specific feelings; they are usually preverbal and heavy valence so that they cannot be accessed easily. The writer in the article (Marc Lewis) went from LSD to heroin. No surprise since the gates had been flung open by LSD and needed closing. What better way than through a powerful painkiller. If he did our therapy he would not need heroin. He would have felt the pain in all its agony one piece at a time. LSD shows us nothing except how it feels not to repress pain for a brief moment. That is good. Getting there through drugs is definitely not good. Doing the artificial can never produce natural responses. And it is always nature we are after. We are after inner harmony, and only nature can provide it. http://cigognenews.b...of-lsd-and.html This is an interesting way of thinking, a kind of thinking I don't think many of the people in circles we know would agree with. It seems heavily based on his belief of Primal Therapy so i'm trying to understand more about his Primal Therapy theories to better understand what he's talking about in this blog. Anyone else know about Primal Therapy and can shed some light on the topics discussed in this article? :D