X-Message-Number: 25330
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 2004 09:58:58 EST
Subject: Re: Berge posting, better living through chemistry


In a message dated 12/15/2004 5:00:52 AM Eastern Standard Time, 

> I have had a mystical experience
> on LSD--total ego-dissolution, cosmic consciousness, and if that is
> not expanding your mind then I don't know what is. Such experiences
> may not do good things for the kind of valuation of personal identity
> that is valued here on Cryonet, however. I used to be a functional
> atheist and materialist, regarding philosophies such as Buddhism as
> deathist crap, but now I am not so sure

(Rudi writing)

Eivind Berge wrote the above, as part of a well written and courageous 
posting on Cryonet today.

I am glad someone articulated the objection to John DeRivas posting that all 
drug use is drug abuse.  (To be fair, I don't think this is what John meant, 
nor was this idea central to his posting.)

And it is acknowledged that this is probably not the forum to advocate and 
discuss the finer points of "mind expanding drugs."

But I wanted to shout a loud "amen" to Berge's posting in at least two 

contexts.  One was his observation that the war on drugs is mostly a war on 

The other is deeper and more profound.  While I have yet to do LSD, it is my 
opinion that I have had some valuable insights and experiences with altered 
mind states.  And some great fun.

I am unabashed in my view, if a bit more cautious than this posting would 
indicate, that psylicybin mushrooms do indeed expand one's consciousness, and 
should be a college or graduate course.

These ought to be a "required course" for those of us interested in what 

makes us "us."  Similar to the "Soma" experience in Aldous Huxley's classic book
"Island."  (A utopian book balancing his dystopian "Brave New World."

I am not very evangelical about anything, (well, excepting cryonics and 

cryonics insurance...and a bunch of other things, I guess) but I really think 
individuals would BENEFIT from the insights allowed by altered states.  

But Berge is also correct in his observation that cryonicists have enough of 
an uphill battle against entrenched worldviews antithetical to ours that to 
add this battle to the mix is counterproductive.

In closing, I wanted to share that the "cosmic consciousness" Berge 

experienced, and I believe I have experienced, does change perspectives about 

preservation of our egos.  Perhaps like Berge, I consider myself a rationalist,
materialist, and empericist.

I don't tolerate "fuzzy brained mysticism," and tend to vilify religions. 

Instead I am unabashedly oriented toward maximizing my awareness and building up
my individualized, egoistic sense of self.  

So it is with amazement and skepticism that I must report that I personally 
have experienced some level of consciousness in which I felt I was eternal, 
timeless, beyond differentation and separation.  

So, we may be god after all.




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