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Did you see yesterday's New York Times? One of the articles was a real trip.
Or perhaps metaphysically.
Researchers are charting whether the use of hallucinogens have an impact on an array of disorders that include depression, obsessive compulsive, cancer, anxiety and alcoholism. And like research that started in the early 60's today's work indicates that clinical use of psilocybin works. And like research done nearly five decades earlier you can hear the voice of Jerry Garcia in the background.
According to one participant, a medical doctor himself, the experience was transcendent. Actually, Dr. Clark Martin's words are more than sufficient:
It was a whole personality shift for me. I wasn’t any longer attached to my performance and trying to control things. I could see that the really good things in life will happen if you just show up and share your natural enthusiasms with people. You have a feeling of attunement with other people.
More than a year after participating in the study Dr. Martin says the impact has been significant and palpable in terms of how he views life, his relationships and his state of mind.
It sounds like he had a transformative experience of the type that psychedelic evangelists loved to expound about in the mid 60's when the face of God could be seen in a flower petal.
I have always been fascinated by the fast track. Fascinated and a bit scared. Maybe I am too rooted in the idea of "quick to burn - quick to fade." And yet the idea of making my way to the head of the line with little effort is very appealing.
And yet maybe I am guilty of looking too much through a black-and-white prism. Maybe the hard work has been the years of severe depression Dr. Martin endured. Or the hopeless alcoholism of some nameless stranger you see when you walk your dog. Or the cancer riddled body of dear friends like our much beloved neighbor Sister Mary Elsbernd. And the quick exit from misery afforded by non-traditional medicine is simply an elixir to be applauded rather than attacked.
Too much in life is inexplicable. Maybe it's way too complicated or maybe our perspectives are too striated to allow for deviation. So we willingly or unwittingly settle for group speak and group think. In a culture with precious little political debate and only two parties carrying the water, so to speak, and a compliant media that more often than not serves as a public relations megaphone for those who pay the most, the "company line" is far too often adopted.
Whatever the company line is.
I think that's what happened in the 60's when Timothy Leary's company line was "Turn on, tune in, drop out" as he personally crusaded for an expansion of thought through an expansion of the tests he had conducted at Harvard. For his efforts Leary essentially was branded public enemy one by the government whose company line was perhaps more puritanical, eschewing any advocacy of mind altering experiences of the chemical kind even if good was achieved.
And here we are today with a non-traditional means of medicating achieving promising results and promising as well a distortion of a non-chemical type as folks line up, I expect, to rattle their pitchforks to criticize and condemn.
There's a lot of that going on today, the criticizing and condemning. It's as if we hit a fork in the road of civil discourse and society suddenly was hijacked and taken down a dirt path of incivility. The last time we as a culture experienced this type of divide was right around when Leary was doing research at Harvard.
Fifty years later, back to square one.
And though Leary isn't so widely known today as back then, you can bet that if the use of psychedelics gains any further traction toward true medicinal and curative uses his bloated mad-scientist visage will loom above the debate like a deranged Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, leering and ominous, altering the debate. Pretty much like Bill Ayers was inserted into the last presidential election in a last-ditch attempt to alter the terms of that debate.
So where does this bring us? All I can say is what a long, strange trip it's been. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I guess what else I can say is that I can take or leave Leary. He's an interesting guy, but I view him like some of his compatriots of the time who say he had a huge ego and a desire for the limelight. So much so, some say, that it likely sabotaged some utility that might have been captured through his Harvard research.
But whether you like Leary or not the bottom line is that recent research was conducted in a double-blind clinical setting to establish that the use of psychedelics had a powerful and lasting impact on a range of severe ailments. If I or somebody I love was similarly afflicted, I would want access to such treatment. If I or somebody I love was similarly afflicted, I would not view psychedelic use through a so-called moral prism but instead an efficacious one.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.