Psychedelics: More Real than Real – Dimka Drewczynski

This article was written by Dimka Drewczynski and originally appeared in the PsypressUK 2013 Anthology of Drug Writing.

“There is no way you can use the word “reality” without quotation marks around it.”Joseph Campbell

Appreciating how the world exists depends on how well you can see and interpret it. Life is basically just trying to understand the state of how things actually are and attempting to respond in the best way suited. This requires recognizing various environmental stimuli, analyzing them, and initiating some response sequence. There are countless factors involved in making any decision, in humans the most variable is how each individual thinks they should respond. But we take for granted the basic, and seemingly autonomous, nature of our sensory system, and leave it to do its own thing. For the most part, people have the appropriate amount of eyes and comparable amounts of rods and cones within them. But what if you could see more, or hear more?

PSYCHEDELIC DAY

Traditionally, people that claim to hear or see more are classified as deluded or schizophrenic, but it may be possible to increase your input bandwidth to provide you with a more representative worldview. Psychedelics show us our world in a different light, but are they showing us something that we are missing, something that is real?

The sensory system and the brain have evolved into a fine-tuned machine. This machine is unlike any other machine in that it changes, bends and skews all the data that comes in based on previous experience, biases, attention, current state of sobriety, mood, etc. and imbues it with all the rich textures that create our reality. However, in terms of objective bookkeeping, the brain is the most unreliable machine that could have ever evolved. Our perception of the world around us is merely an abstraction, far from the objective replication we consider it to be. Our world has been filtered through a system with some bits truncated, others stretched and some excised completely. The agents of this prejudice are the memories created by our experience and the subsequent tailoring of our sensory systems to optimize behavioural output. Learning is a dynamic process that relies on memory to encode, store and retrieve previous experiences in order to optimize this output. And, focused attention pushes irrelevant stimuli to the margins further still. You don’t need an update of the osmolarity of your lymphatic fluids when reading a novel, nor would you want to know how many leaves are on a tree while hunted by some godless killing machine. Yet although, at some level, your brain is privy to this information, evolution has deemed your consciousness too easily distracted to deal with it.

Although we are not aware of it, the pruned information looms in our subconscious (or unconscious). It can seemingly rise from the dead in the form of dreams when we lie down to sleep at night. Many studies show that our brain is more aware of this unconscious information than we think, and altered states allow slivers of this otherwise inaccessible information to shine through.

via Psychedelics: More Real than Real | Psychedelic Press UK.

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One thought on “Psychedelics: More Real than Real – Dimka Drewczynski

  1. David Biddle August 9, 2014 / 1:14 PM

    This is interesting in many ways. When I was 14 or so (early ’70s) I read an account of a man who was hit on the head and could all of a sudden speak fluent German. It was baffling to everyone until after a year of trying to figure out what was wrong with him (wrong?) they discovered that he’d had a German au pair from the time he was born to about age three. The weird thing was that he’d never spoken German to anyone ever during that time period.

    That is the first psychological issue that sent me on what ended up being about a six year journey into the world of entheogens and mind exploration. I suppose I’m still exploring. Here’s the question I ask everyone these days when all of this comes up: Is there a point of exploration where you kind of get to the end of the project and understand all you need to understand? It’s never easy, but I am able to allow my unconscious mind to step up and be creative everyday (I’m a novelist and poet).

    There is great validity to entheogenic experience. But for me anyway there seems greater validity to living in a state of awareness that is not coated in the liquid of altered state solvents. The unconscious mind and an open perspective on life are there for me every morning when I wake up.

    Great notions you bring up though!

    Like

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