According to the entheogen theory of religion: religion is essentially rooted in the experience of intense psychedelic tripping, the world religions consist of collections of stories which serve as metaphorical descriptions of psychedelic experiences (in particular the experience of mystical death and rebirth/ressurection/transformation).

This theory fits with the scientific evidence that entheogenic drugs trigger mystical/religious type experiences when they are administered in an appropriately conducive setting (the recent Johns Hopkins psilocybin study concluded this).

It would be interesting to get the atheist take on this theory, the issue here isnt religious beliefs (such as the belief in God) but rather religious/mystical/transcendent experiences of the kind that people commonly experience under the influence of entheogenic/psychedelic substances.

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@Gallup's Mirror What I meant by that is to say it's quite a thankless task to try and describe to someone who's never experienced, say, an orgasm what it's like to experience one. Words will always fall short of the splendor of the experience. In order to know what it feels like, one must have the experience. Otherwise, all the extrapolating and fanciful guessing will never touch the experience itself. Likewise, the same would apply to this mystical state of consciousness ever more so. It's the reason Buddhists don't go around preaching Buddhism, because they know that you cannot say what nirvana is, and instead know people will find their way to it if their curiosity persists.

It only "makes sense" if you blow your brains out on psychedelic drugs. For anyone who does exactly that and still knows it's woo-woo: it means you haven't done enough drugs.

I don't think "it only makes sense if you use psychedelics," I think some people can actually find this a plausible theory, even if they hadn't had any psychedelic experiences themselves. However, to know what this experience involves requires a direct experience. It's not something you can read in a book, "ego death" by its definition won't give you a picture, you cannot extrapolate from any other known experience to imagine what it's like, nothing can show you what it's like short of having this experience for yourself and your pathway to it doesn't necessarily have to be shamanic use of entheogens. And there is a physiological threshold, there is a physiological barrier that must be exceeded in order to have this experience in the first place. If you fail to burst through the threshold, then it's possible that these psychedelics will not elicit the so-called religious experience and mind-blowing psychedelic effects, and instead what you're left with is residual and subtle psychological effects with no accompanying hallucinations. So, this threshold makes all the difference between sunyata, and try again, Sam. 

I refer to Strassman's book in another thread where he has an entire page dedicated to the "threshold" involved in the use of entheogens, and I link to it in another thread: Where is God? I also mention this very idea, but I didn't give it the title "Entheogen theory of Religion." So, I agree, if someone attempts this art, and doesn't succeed the first time, then doubling the dose should do the trick. Because it is an art, it's something you coax into existence, and it's guaranteed to work if you can just manage to break through the physiological threshold.

I'm not sure what portion you're referring to as "woo-woo." Sam Harris, after looking at studies done with psilocybin and fMRI, there is obvious excitation and activity in dormant areas of the brain located in the temporal lobes, he thought maybe what may be happening is a kind of overhaul. For instance, as you sit there and read this, there is a level of microelectricity occurring in the brain. Now, if you have a surge of these mirco-electrical currents as what happens through the use of these entheogens, then what that could feel like experientially is as though you're having multiple experiences simultaneously. Sometimes people have an impression of having had "all experience," and this is what leads to metaphors involving "God," or the feeling of being "one with the universe," etc. It's like being struck by metanoetic lightning, and the result is this seemingly incomprehensible experience which when someone tries to define it, they're left with religious metaphor and references to the transcendental, i.e. God, Brahman, nirvana, satori, ego death, higher dimension, extraterrestrial, genius loci, Gaian mind, entelechy, cosmic consciousness, etc., etc.

Another good analogy, and I'll quote McKenna, because it's a better way to think about all of this than to merely reject it as "woo."

I mean, think about… and I don’t think you could discover consciousness if you didn’t perturb it, because as Marshall McLuhan said, “Whoever discovered water, it certainly wasn’t a fish”. Well, we are fish swimming in consciousness; and yet we know it’s there. Well, the reason we know it’s there is because if you perturb it, then you see it; and you perturb it by perturbing the engine which generates it, which is the mind/brain system resting behind your eyebrows. If you swap out the ordinary chemicals that are running that system in an invisible fashion, then you see: it’s like dropping ink into a bowl of clear water – suddenly the convection currents operating in the clear water become visible, because you see the particles of ink tracing out the previously invisible dynamics of the standing water. The mind is precisely like that, and the psychedelic is like a dye-marker being dropped into this aqueous system. And then you say, “Oh, I see – it works like this… and like this.”

Entheogens are often regarded as tools to probe the depths of consciousness, and as McKenna once said, "Psychedelics are to psychology what the telescope was to astronomy during Galileo's time." I believe these things should be studied more and haven't been properly evaluated. I don't believe there's any woo involved here, what these psychedelics are doing are giving us deeper glimpses into the nature of consciousness, and we don't know what that is, and we're definitely not going to find out by the time this thread is done, so I'll just leave it at that.

You mean exactly what I said:

Gallup: "It only "makes sense" if you blow your brains out on psychedelic drugs. For anyone who does exactly that and still knows it's woo-woo: it means you haven't done enough drugs."

Because you say essentially the same thing here, albeit verbosely:

Jimmy: It's not something you can read in a book, "ego death" by its definition won't give you a picture, you cannot extrapolate from any other known experience to imagine what it's like, nothing can show you what it's like short of having this experience for yourself and your pathway to it doesn't necessarily have to be shamanic use of entheogens. And there is a physiological threshold, there is a physiological barrier that must be exceeded in order to have this experience in the first place. If you fail to burst through the threshold, then it's possible that these psychedelics will not elicit the so-called religious experience and mind-blowing psychedelic effects, and instead what you're left with is residual and subtle psychological effects with no accompanying hallucinations. So, this threshold makes all the difference between sunyata, and try again, Sam. [...] So, I agree, if someone attempts this art, and doesn't succeed the first time, then doubling the dose should do the trick. Because it is an art, it's something you coax into existence, and it's guaranteed to work if you can just manage to break through the physiological threshold.

Your crackpot advice for those who realize they were just seriously fucked up on drugs and not having "a religious experience": double the dosage. And if it still doesn't work? Take more. If it still doesn't work? Take MORE.

As I told you once before: been there, done that, and I did not have a mystical or religious experience. It's just a dangerous and stupid thing to do.

Your sacred cow is nothing more than a no true scotsman fallacy.

Crackpot: Anyone who puts enough LSD on his porridge is guaranteed to have a religious experience.
Scotsman: I put enough LSD on my porridge and I didn't have a religious experience.
Crackpot: Well, you didn't TRULY put enough LSD on your porridge, because if you did, you're guaranteed to have a religious experience.

As I said, it's the ultimate woo: impervious to explanation, testing and falsification.

Gallup: "It only "makes sense" if you blow your brains out on psychedelic drugs. For anyone who does exactly that and still knows it's woo-woo: it means you haven't done enough drugs."

I'm saying that the "entheogen theory of religion" can be considered as a plausible possibility even if a person hasn't taken psychedelics. This idea doesn't "only make sense" if you take the "heroic dose" of a psychedelic. So, it's not a "No True Scotsman fallacy," although people often confuse it with that.

You described to me in the McKenna thread a psychedelic experience you claimed you had with some of your friends after a mountain hike, Gallup, and from your description, I believe you were definitely at the very edge of this experience, although I wouldn't consider what you've described a breakthrough to the classical mystical experience, the boundary dissolving "ego death" experience which is what these things are truly capable of.

It's not ultimate woo, because it can be tested and Dr. Rick Strassman has done this by intravenously injecting volunteers with pure N,N-Dimethyltryptamine and recorded his research in his book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule." There's a passage entitled "Under the Influence" where he discusses that the full-blown psychedelic effects do not occur until a certain threshold dose range is administered. Lo and behold, when people are given the "threshold" dose, they experience a topos of universality.

So, you can argue the evidence, if you'd like, Gallup, but I don't think you've really gone into this deeply enough. I think I could point out certain things to you that would be interesting, because you see, these entheogens are something that you have to learn how to use just as you would learn how to use a microscope. There's a certain technique to it, supposing you're a biologist or bacteriologist, you've got to learn the art of using the instrument.

I'm saying that the "entheogen theory of religion" can be considered as a plausible possibility even if a person hasn't taken psychedelics.

That's not what you said. You're losing track of your woo-woos, Jimmy.

You said: "these mystic states and their parallels to quantum mechanics and string theory" and that "consciousness can become sensitive to the 11-dimensional hyperspace as described in M-Theory, and that is what results in these so-called Mystical Experiences. So, he adopted the term quantum mysticism. That what Hindus call Brahman is one and the same with what an M-Theorist calls 11-dimensional Hyperspace, and this is what becomes intuit within this colossal altered state."

This idea doesn't "only make sense" if you take the "heroic dose" of a psychedelic.

Exactly, in that woo-woo is nonsensical, psychedelic drugs or not.

So, it's not a "No True Scotsman fallacy," although people often confuse it with that.

Feeble, ridiculous gainsaying.

As I said: what you're saying is completely unexplainable, untestable and unfalsifiable.

It's not ultimate woo, because it can be tested and Dr. Rick Strassman has done this by intravenously injecting volunteers with pure N,N-Dimethyltryptamine and recorded his research in his book "DMT: The Spirit Molecule." There's a passage entitled "Under the Influence" where he discusses that the full-blown psychedelic effects do not occur until a certain threshold dose range is administered. Lo and behold, when people are given the "threshold" dose, they experience a topos of universality.

"Topos of universality" is not 11-dimentional hyperspace in M-theory. It's a completely meaningless phrase: woo-woo. Lo and behold, when given the threshold dose, they experience being royally fucked up.

Fail.

So, you can argue the evidence, if you'd like, Gallup, but I don't think you've really gone into this deeply enough.

"Topos of universality" is gibberish, not evidence. There is nothing to argue about. It's as deep as a damp floor.

I think I could point out certain things to you that would be interesting, because you see, these entheogens are something that you have to learn how to use just as you would learn how to use a microscope. There's a certain technique to it, supposing you're a biologist or bacteriologist, you've got to learn the art of using the instrument.

As I said: no true scotsman. You keep finding new ways to restate it, but it always comes back to the same thing: you've got to get properly fucked up on drugs or you can't understand it. If you can't understand it then you're not getting properly fucked up on drugs. Different joke. Same punchline.

Fail.

The parallels between eastern mysticism and M-Theory were part of Michael Talbot's interpretation of the mystical altered state. I attributed it to Talbot, and yet you've incorrectly intertwined Talbot's claim as though it's something I claimed in that post in regards to what I said about the theory not having to only make sense if one has had the psychedelic experience. That's just one person's interpretation of the experience, and why did you make that twist there? You seem to be fabricating woo where there is none.

What I clearly stated if you review my post is that the Entheogen theory of religion in which this thread points to does not require you to take psychedelics for it to "make sense." It seems you're misinterpreting what I've said and finding new was to restate your argument, but fail to acknowledge the evidence.

The evidence is in the book, and Strassman makes a point that the psychedelic effects did not reliably emerge until a certain dose range was administered. I posted a link to a .pdf of the book that's contained in the title of the book in my previous post if you want to satisfy yourself. So, dose range does matter when it comes to eliciting the full-throttle psychedelic effects, and with Strassman's findings, I think it would be pretty much pointless to argue that in light of evidence.

What I meant by "topos of universality," is that when various people were given the threshold dose, the psychedelic effects that occurred contained thematic imagery and universal archetypes, and so when the volunteers described their experience, a lot of their metaphors were overlapping with each other, because the experience itself elicits a phenomenon in consciousness that isn't necessarily a projection of the personal unconscious, it is instead often described as an impersonal or transpersonal experience, hence why I believe it has even become to be called "ego death."

So, this is definitely not a case of "No True Scotsman," because you claimed in the McKenna thread that the psychedelic experience you had after hiking the mountain was the last psychedelic experience you had, and I maintain you had a sub-threshold dose relative to the full-blown psychedelic experience. And I believe Strassman has thoroughly established the point that there is a physiological threshold that must be exceeded in order to even elicit the boundary-dissolving, reality-obliterating, mind-boggling, ego-shattering, category-reconstructing full-blown psychedelic experience.

So, you can phrase it anyway you'd like, "getting properly fucked up on drugs," "threshold dose," "physiological barrier," it's all the same thing, and I do believe that exceeding the threshold to induce the experience is necessary to have an inkling of what the experience is like, it's necessary to the understanding of the experience, just as it would be necessary to have an orgasm to truly know what that experience is like, but it's not necessary to undergo the psychedelic experience in order to consider the theory.

The parallels between eastern mysticism and M-Theory were part of Michael Talbot's interpretation of the mystical altered state.

Woo woo. Like the "parallels" between western Christianity and the theory of relativity, and Islam and evolutionary biology. It's meaningless crap.

I attributed it to Talbot, and yet you've incorrectly intertwined Talbot's claim as though it's something I claimed in that post in regards to what I said about the theory not having to only make sense if one has had the psychedelic experience. That's just one person's interpretation of the experience, and why did you make that twist there? You seem to be fabricating woo where there is none.

No Jimmy, that's just you, cornered, and lying in an attempt to disown and obfuscate what you posted: an incoherent mixture of your own woo-woo, the woo-woo of others, and a dash of incorrectly applied scientific terminology. 

To wit: "And last, I just want to leave you with a the message that it's quite pointless to ask for opinions or thoughts on a theory like this of those who've never had these type of experiences. I mean, just look at the backlog of some of the posts I've left here, and you'll see why that is so!"

So you're NOT telling us here that we can't understand this "theory" without undergoing your alien mushroom mind wipe? Please, Jimmy. It's amusing when you embarrass yourself, but probably not to you.

You claim this is "evidence" for the positions you are presenting: that religion originated with drugs, that one has religious/mystical experiences on drugs, and one is "guaranteed" to have this experience if a "barrier" is exceeded.

It cannot be explained, tested, or falsified based on the way you present it. There is no science involved.

What I clearly stated if you review my post is that the Entheogen theory of religion in which this thread points to does not require you to take psychedelics for it to "make sense." It seems you're misinterpreting what I've said and finding new was to restate your argument, but fail to acknowledge the evidence.

Nothing you've stated is clear. There is no evidence. There is no Entheogen theory. A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experimentation. Evolutionary theory. Atomic theory. The theory of relativity. Those are theories.

Entheogen "theory" just means you're demonstrating to people who know: you're a crackpot who has no clue what he's talking about.

How exactly do we test that people on drugs are actually "experiencing" 11 dimensions, or whatever that crap is you want to call it, let alone explain how it's happening? By what means do we test how religion originated with psychedelic drugs? Fire up the ol' time machine?

As I said: there's no way to explain, test or falsify these claims. The rest is just you, yanking steaming logs out of your ass.

The evidence is in the book, and Strassman makes a point that the psychedelic effects did not reliably emerge until a certain dose range was administered. I posted a link to a .pdf of the book that's contained in the title of the book in my previous post if you want to satisfy yourself. So, dose range does matter when it comes to eliciting the full-throttle psychedelic effects, and with Strassman's findings, I think it would be pretty much pointless to argue that in light of evidence.

I didn't say the dose didn't matter. I said I didn't have a mystical/religious experience.

What I meant by "topos of universality," is that when various people were given the threshold dose, the psychedelic effects that occurred contained thematic imagery and universal archetypes, and so when the volunteers described their experience, a lot of their metaphors were overlapping with each other, because the experience itself elicits a phenomenon in consciousness that isn't necessarily a projection of the personal unconscious, it is instead often described as an impersonal or transpersonal experience, hence why I believe it has even become to be called "ego death."

Woo woo.

So, this is definitely not a case of "No True Scotsman," because you claimed in the McKenna thread that the psychedelic experience you had after hiking the mountain was the last psychedelic experience you had, and I maintain you had a sub-threshold dose relative to the full-blown psychedelic experience. And I believe Strassman has thoroughly established the point that there is a physiological threshold that must be exceeded in order to even elicit the boundary-dissolving, reality-obliterating, mind-boggling, ego-shattering, category-reconstructing full-blown psychedelic experience.

You do realize that's still a no true scotsman fallacy, don't you?

Of course you don't.

No Jimmy, that's just you, cornered, and lying in an attempt to disown and obfuscate what you posted: an incoherent mixture of your own woo-woo, the woo-woo of others, and a dash of incorrectly applied scientific terminology. 

Go back and read the post. I wasn't lying. I was merely giving an account of Talbot's interpretation of experience. The concept came from his book, but you seem to be accusing me of taking credit for the concept. In that paragraph, I only mentioned Michael Talbot's book and the concept behind it. 

Nothing you've stated is clear. There is no evidence. There is no Entheogen theory. 

Here's a link to Hoffman's website where he expounds quite thoroughly on this theory.

How exactly do we test that people on drugs are actually "experiencing" 11 dimensions, or whatever that crap is you want to call it, let alone explain how it's happening? By what means do we test how religion originated with psychedelic drugs?

It's been shown by John Smythies, Alexander Shulgin, and others that there are quantum mechanical correlates to hallucinogenesis. In other words, if one atom on the molecular ring of an inactive compound is moved, the compound becomes highly active. To me this is a perfect proof of the dynamic linkage at the formative level between quantum mechanically described matter and mind. However in order to prove something like Talbot's claim, I think, we'd first would have to have a grip on what consciousness is, and as of today, neuroscience is basically a shot in the dark in describing consciousness. Talbot, if you'd read the book, points out similarities in the notion of "Brahman" of Hinduism and the M-theorist's concept of "11 dimensional hyperspace." He's not the first to point out these parallels. Maybe you've read "The Tao of Physics"? It is speculation, but I find it a fascinating interpretation. 

Brahman and String Theory

Psychedelics and Surprises

So you're NOT telling us here that we can't understand this "theory" without undergoing your alien mushroom mind wipe? Please, Jimmy. It's amusing when you embarrass yourself, but probably not to you.

Yes, that's right. That's what I've been clearly articulating within the last few posts here that you needn't have the psychedelic experience in order to consider a theory like this. I think I've made that abundantly clear by now.

You claim this is "evidence" for the positions you are presenting: that religion originated with drugs, that one has religious/mystical experiences on drugs, and one is "guaranteed" to have this experience if a "barrier" is exceeded.

It cannot be explained, tested, or falsified based on the way you present it. There is no science involved.

No, I said the there's quite obvious evidence that psychedelics, in order to elicit the full-spectrum of effects, do require a specific dose range that must exceed a physiological threshold. This has been tested, and I even have given you a link to Strassman's book and the chapter which contains the threshold dosage which is necessary to induce psychedelic effects. I never said that there's evidence for the Entheogen theory itself, it's only a speculation that has been discussed in various forms. As I mentioned before, Huxley proposed this very idea in his book "Perennial Philosophy," likewise Richard M. Bucke discussed the same theory in his book "Cosmic Consciousness." It's nothing new, but the most contemporary form has been Michael Hoffman's angle which he does title "Entheogen theory of religion."

I didn't say the dose didn't matter. I said I didn't have a mystical/religious experience.

Okay, now you're changing around what you've said. You tried to imply earlier that the dose didn't matter, and that was the whole reason for your "No True Scotsman" accusation. Now, that I've given you evidence that it does, in fact, matter, you can no longer argue that anymore. I know you didn't have a mystical experience, because what you described in the McKenna thread was a typical of a sub-threshold dose. So, at this point, to accuse me of falling victim to a "No True Scotsman" fallacy would be ludicrous.

Woo woo.

This was your response to my phrase "topos of universality," but if you'd actually read through Strassman's book, you'd find it's not woo-woo. The entire book is fraught with these universalities and overlapping ubiquitous motifs. 

You do realize that's still a no true scotsman fallacy, don't you?

Of course you don't.

It's absolutely not, and I've thoroughly explained why it's not, but if you want to keep persisting it is, then indulge yourself with that non sequitur. I believe the more this thread develops, the more you embarrass yourself. So, have at it.

So how many prof/grad students that study M-theory are also heavy drug users? A few I expect, but I also expect that one does not 'need' DRUGS to do the work, but only a good clear mind. If you are some super-person, while on drugs, but otherwise 'no-one-special', off drugs, is this about an internal self perception, or are the results subject to peer review? If your brain is mush, I expect that the results would be just more of the same! Ever experienced 'word salad' from some of the mentally disturbed? It can be very interesting... 

Go back and read the post. I wasn't lying. I was merely giving an account of Talbot's interpretation of experience. The concept came from his book, but you seem to be accusing me of taking credit for the concept. In that paragraph, I only mentioned Michael Talbot's book and the concept behind it.

I didn't say you're taking credit for someone else's concept. I said you claimed it's necessary to blow your brains out (with psychedelic drugs being the recommended method) to understand the entheogen "theory" of religion, which you are now denying:

Your initial claims: "Alan Watts spoke of these mystical states being the root of religion, too, using Bucke's term "cosmic consciousness" to describe this. But just as Bucke didn't necessarily involve psychedelics, Watts knew that there is more than one path to this experience, whether it be natural, through meditation, through psychedelics, etc. [...] Then, there's Dr. Rick Strassman, the author of "DMT: The Spirit Molecule," who has speculated that even in the case of the natural experiences of this so-called "cosmic consciousness," it may be that endogenous DMT is what elicits this experience. So, it could all come back to "entheogens," even if this experience were to happen naturally. I've noticed a lot of people seem to want to make a distinction between a "natural experience" and a "entheogen-induced experience," when it may be pointless to do so, since they may be one and the same thing. And last, I just want to leave you with a the message that it's quite pointless to ask for opinions or thoughts on a theory like this of those who've never had these type of experiences."

So, according to you, when you wrote this, you actually meant the quite pointless thoughts and opinions of those who never underwent the experience are a reflection of their solid grasp of the theory. You didn't mean the magic mushroom mind-wipe is a requisite for having quite worthwhile thoughts and opinions on a theory like this.

You're not a very good liar, Jimmy.

Here's a link to Hoffman's website where he expounds quite thoroughly on this theory. [...] I never said that there's evidence for the Entheogen theory itself, it's only a speculation that has been discussed in various forms.

If there's no evidence, then as I said, Entheogen "theory" is not a scientific theory; it cannot be explained, tested, or falsified scientifically. So we're done here.

Gallup: I didn't say the dose didn't matter. I said I didn't have a mystical/religious experience.

Jimmy: Okay, now you're changing around what you've said. You tried to imply earlier that the dose didn't matter, and that was the whole reason for your "No True Scotsman" accusation. Now, that I've given you evidence that it does, in fact, matter, you can no longer argue that anymore. I know you didn't have a mystical experience, because what you described in the McKenna thread was a typical of a sub-threshold dose.

No, that's you lying again. I said it's a no true scotsman because your 'guaranteed experience' claim cannot possibly be falsified: anyone who does not describe his experience as religious/mystical has not had enough, no matter what the dosage. I took more than a 'heroic dose' and was an atheist (albeit a fucked up one) throughout the trip. That is not me saying the dose does not matter, that is you saying the dose does not matter. No scotsman who has TRULY had enough would not have had a religious/mystical experience: so take MORE.

So, at this point, to accuse me of falling victim to a "No True Scotsman" fallacy would be ludicrous.

Of course it's ludicrous, Jimmy. You're a loon. That's why I find you as funny as I do. I just can't get enough.

It's absolutely not, and I've thoroughly explained why it's not, but if you want to keep persisting it is, then indulge yourself with that non sequitur.

You've done no such thing. You write content-free gibberish and assign it a meaning that it simply does not have, or a conclusion that does not follow the premise, and then attack me falsely for doing what you yourself are doing; citing nonsensical "parallels" between acid trips and M-theory, referring to baseless speculation as a "theory", and "thoroughly explaining" why it's not a no true scotsman to modify an assertion to automatically exclude any case which falsifies it. 

I believe the more this thread develops, the more you embarrass yourself. So, have at it.

Oh, I'm quite sure you do believe that, and quite sincerely at at that. You believe all sorts of crackpot things, Jimmy. I'm sure, in your flip-flopped mind, you're not seen as a quasi-religious crackpot with a destroyed mind, lacking the ability to think and reason clearly, and who finds God and religion in psychedelic drugs. You're an intellectual Napoleon, leaving a trail of embarrassed, vanquished foes in your wake.

Bukkake on, Jimmy. Your entertainment value is the reason I come to TA. (No pun intended.)

I said you claimed it's necessary to blow your brains out (with psychedelic drugs being the recommended method) to understand the entheogen "theory" of religion, which you are now denying.

I'm not denying that, I simply never said that, because I don't believe it's necessary for someone to use psychedelics in order to consider this theory. It's merely a concept or theory to mull into consideration. Why would you need psychedelics to mull over an idea? That's absurd and imbecilic. Now, what I did say that it's necessary to have this experience to have a better understanding of what this experience involves in and of itself and I'll give you a prime example of what happens when one doesn't have a direct experience. I posted the concept of "mystical experiences" resting at the origins of religion at "AtheistNexus.com", but I didn't give it the title of "Entheogen theory of religion," and I got a follow up post which I'll quote below.

 The mystical experience is very much a feature of Homo sapiens. There exists a sense of wonder, just seeing water turn into ice or gas, or watching sunrises and sunsets, or the different features of the sky! Then, when one observes birth and death, a more mystical event does not exist as far as I am concerned. None of these involves a god/s. Nature, with all its diversity, presents wonder upon wonder.

So, you see, if someone has never had a "mystical experience," then this is basically the kind of conjuration one gets when they try and imagine what a "mystical experience" may be. In this post, the person is equating a "mystical experience" with the experience of watching a sunset or the emotional feedback one experiences in witnessing birth and death. You see, the "mystical experience" or "ego death" experience is of a different phenomenon altogether. It's instead better described as a colossal altered state of consciousness usually accompanied by intense hallucination. So, as you can see in the example of the post, if you're not familiar with this phenomenon by direct experience, you may be inclined to misinterpret it completely. And she's not the only one, I've had over and over the experience of attempting to describe what this experience truly involves, and eventually I found that it's thankless task. After all, when you have many people attempting to describe this experience by using terms like "four-dimensional" and "beyond dimensionality," this is not painting a comprehensible picture for the person who's never had this experience, you see. Now, hopefully I've cleared that up for you, Gallup, because you want to keep insisting on accusing me of something I didn't say.

 If there's no evidence, then as I said, Entheogen "theory" is not a scientific theory; it cannot be explained, tested, or falsified scientifically. So we're done here.

I wouldn't necessarily say that there's no evidence. That website I directed you to actually points out multiple instances of archaeological evidence of the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms in ancient times when some of these religions were just getting traction.

No, that's you lying again. I said it's a no true scotsman because your 'guaranteed experience' claim cannot possibly be falsified: anyone who does not describe his experience as religious/mystical has not had enough, no matter what the dosage. I took more than a 'heroic dose' and was an atheist (albeit a fucked up one) throughout the trip. That is not me saying the dose does not matter, that is you saying the dose does not matter. No scotsman who has TRULY had enough would not have had a religious/mystical experience: so take MORE.

When you described your experience, you said you took a "fist-full" and so how can you be sure that you had the "heroic dose"? You do realize that even if you were to take the dose range that Terence recommends, it's well over multiple handfuls, don't you? I mean, there's so many factors involved, and even if you took it in the fashion Terence suggests, you would have had to do it on an empty stomach. There's also the factor of potency, etc. And you even took the time to describe your experience and judging by the details of your experience, I would say that it was definitely sub-threshold, but not meagerly sub-threshold. I believe you may have been at the brink of this experience, but I maintain by the evaluation of your account that it was definitely not the full-spectrum hit. 

Alan Watts speaks about the use of Psychedelics

You've done no such thing. You write content-free gibberish and assign it a meaning that it simply does not have, or a conclusion that does not follow the premise, and then attack me falsely for doing what you yourself are doing; citing nonsensical "parallels" between acid trips and M-theory, referring to baseless speculation as a "theory", and "thoroughly explaining" why it's not a no true scotsman to modify an assertion to automatically exclude any case which falsifies it. 

You see, this goes back to what I pointed out in the post which I've copied and pasted from the "AtheistNexus.com". Just as that person interpreted the "mystical experience" through the lens of her own eisegesis, likewise you've done exactly the same. Only you didn't equate the "mystical experience" to witnessing a sunset as the AtheistNexus user did, but you've interpreted as "woo." This is because neither of you have had the experience, and so obviously you really don't know what to think about it. That's why, again, I insist that the experience is necessary in order to understand what it's about.

Inability to accept the mystic experience is more than an intellectual handicap. Lack of awareness of the basic unity of organism and environment is a serious and dangerous hallucination. For in a civilization equipped with immense technological power, the sense of alienation between man and nature leads to the use of technology in a hostile spirit---to the "conquest" of nature instead of intelligent co-operation with nature. -Alan Watts

Oh, I'm quite sure you do believe that, and quite sincerely at at that. You believe all sorts of crackpot things, Jimmy. I'm sure, in your flip-flopped mind, you're not seen as a quasi-religious crackpot with a destroyed mind, lacking the ability to think and reason clearly, and who finds God and religion in psychedelic drugs. You're an intellectual Napoleon, leaving a trail of embarrassed, vanquished foes in your wake.


No, I don't see myself as quasi-religious nor do I believe that I've "destroyed my mind," because despite the fact that I do speak about these topics obsessively, I've only had a handful of these so-called "ego death" experiences. It's not something you return to right away or that's addicting.You will literally spend the rest of your days ever afterward mulling it over and if you ever do return to it, you really have to have a chat with yourself before you eventually chicken out. You know, Terence McKenna once mentioned a friend of his who claimed he had a vile of DMT which he was saving for his grandchildren to able to use one day when they were old enough, and Terence replied, "But you're not even married!" Lol. The point being that this is not an endeavor that you engage in every few weeks or months. If anyone is using something like DMT twice or thrice a year, then they're abusing it. And I don't "believe" these ideas, I put them into consideration and some I even believe to be plausible. If they're crackpot ideas, then I'll simply discard them.

Bukkake on, Jimmy. Your entertainment value is the reason I come to TA. (No pun intended.)


Sure, if I'm going to do it, I may as well go out in the ejaculatory fashion of Peter North on all the trolls of the thread.

Gallup: I said you claimed it's necessary to blow your brains out (with psychedelic drugs being the recommended method) to understand the entheogen "theory" of religion, which you are now denying.

Jimmy: I'm not denying that, I simply never said that, because I don't believe it's necessary for someone to use psychedelics in order to consider this theory.

No, that's you lying again. One may consider something without ever coming to understand it. That is not the issue here. But as you're "not denying" above, you did essentially say that understanding the entheogen "theory" of religion requires blowing your brains out, and psychedleic drugs are the preferred method.

There is no reasonable alternative meaning for your words: "pointless to ask for opinions or thoughts on a theory like this of those who have never had these types of experiences" than to express that those persons expressing pointless thoughts and opinions were rendered so because they do not understand the "theory" for lack of having been wasted on magic mushrooms.

Jimmy: It's merely a concept or theory to mull into consideration. Why would you need psychedelics to mull over an idea? That's absurd and imbecillic.

No, that's you lying again. I didn't say you claim one needs psychedlic drugs to consider your woo-woo. (Indeed, any drug-free folks who express their "pointless" thoughts and opinions are showing they have considered it.) I said you claim one needs psycheledic drugs to understand your woo-woo crap about religion, drugs and m-theory. And you do.

I agree what you're saying is absurd and imbecilic, and add to that: your latest dodge was pathetic. But that's never stopped you from writing it, and me from enjoying a good and merry laugh from reading it.

And she's not the only one, I've had over and over the experience of attempting to describe what this experience truly involves, and eventually I found that it's thankless task. After all, when you have many people attempting to describe this experience by using terms like "four-dimensional" and "beyond dimensionality," this is not painting a comprehensible picture for the person who's never had this experience, you see.

Describe a sunset to a blind man. Describe a symphony to a deaf woman. Describe being fucked up on drugs to someone who has spent a lifetime being sober. The inability to do these things, or getting wasted on drugs or not, means exactly dick as scientific evidence regarding the entheogen "theory" of religion or the "parallels" between m-theory and eastern mysticism.
Now, hopefully I've cleared that up for you, Gallup, because you want to keep insisting on accusing me of something I didn't say.
Nothing needed clearing up. You wrote exactly what I said you wrote. I quoted it: "pointless to ask for opinions or thoughts on a theory like this of those who have never had these types of experiences". You were specifically talking about understanding the theory, not understanding the experience of being wasted. Don't hand me this crap that you didn't say that. You did.

 Gallup: If there's no evidence, then as I said, Entheogen "theory" is not a scientific theory; it cannot be explained, tested, or falsified scientifically. So we're done here.

Jimmy: I wouldn't necessarily say that there's no evidence. That website I directed you to actually points out multiple instances of archaeological evidence of the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms in ancient times when some of these religions were just getting traction.

Evidence that psilocybin-containing mushrooms were used in ancient times is not evidence that religions originated with the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms.

Gallup: No, that's you lying again. I said it's a no true scotsman because your 'guaranteed experience' claim cannot possibly be falsified: anyone who does not describe his experience as religious/mystical has not had enough, no matter what the dosage. I took more than a 'heroic dose' and was an atheist (albeit a fucked up one) throughout the trip. That is not me saying the dose does not matter, that is you saying the dose does not matter. No scotsman who has TRULY had enough would not have had a religious/mystical experience: so take MORE.

Jimmy: When you described your experience, you said you took a "fist-full" and so how can you be sure that you had the "heroic dose"? You do realize that even if you were to take the dose range that Terence recommends, it's well over multiple handfuls, don't you? I mean, there's so many factors involved, and even if you took it in the fashion Terence suggests, you would have had to do it on an empty stomach. There's also the factor of potency, etc. And you even took the time to describe your experience and judging by the details of your experience, I would say that it was definitely sub-threshold, but not meagerly sub-threshold.

Note that you are ignoring and fulfilling what I said. Your claim cannot be falsified. You change the conditions that must be satisfied to meet the "guaranteed" religious-mystical experience: no true scotsman.

Most notably this:

I believe you may have been at the brink of this experience, but I maintain by the evaluation of your account that it was definitely not the full-spectrum hit.

You didn't have the experience, Gallup. Nobody who meets the conditions doesn't NOT have the experience. Therefor, based on your account, you definitely didn't meet the conditions.

I said I ate half a baseball cap full. That was over 20 years ago, so I don't recall how many mushrooms, but if we were to weigh that volume, I promise you it exceeds McKenna's 5 grams (which is the weight of a nickel).

It's difficult to describe what it was like, except that I am positive I did not see any gods or find the 11th dimension. I was just being an idiot like you, thinking at the time that I was doing something worth doing, when I was really just destroying my mind with a dangerous and illegal drug.

This is because neither of you have had the experience, and so obviously you really don't know what to think about it. That's why, again, I insist that the experience is necessary in order to understand what it's about.
I know exactly what to think about it: I was fucked up on drugs. That's all. Telling me that I don't know that is exactly why, again, you're a looney tune pushing a no true scotsman fallacy. I've done it, Jimmy. Don't insist that I haven't truly done it because I don't buy your ridiculous woo-woo. That's all you're doing.

No, I don't see myself as quasi-religious nor do I believe that I've "destroyed my mind," because despite the fact that I do speak about these topics obsessively, I've only had a handful of these so-called "ego death" experiences. It's not something you return to right away or that's addicting.

I know you don't see yourself that way. That's part of your psychosis. Whatever ability you had for critical thinking and rational discourse has been destroyed, Jimmy, assuming you ever had any in the first place. Making all these wild assertions about m-theory, eastern mysticism, psychedelic drugs, stoned ape, alien mushrooms, without scientific evidence or sound reasoning, using various forms of fallacious reasoning and intellectual dishonesty; that is your mind: raving, obsessed and destroyed, unable to function properly.

And I don't "believe" these ideas, I put them into consideration and some I even believe to be plausible. If they're crackpot ideas, then I'll simply discard them.

Right. You don't "believe" them. You believe they're plausible. You'll discard them once they're shown to be crackpot ideas. But since they can't be scientifically explained, tested, or falsified, you'll cling to them for the rest of your days. *Wistful sigh* I remember that time I visited the 11th dimension while I was on drugs, like the eastern religious kooks do. I would discard that notion as totally nuts, but fuck it, it's plausible!

Sure, if I'm going to do it, I may as well go out in the ejaculatory fashion of Peter North on all the trolls of the thread.
Poor, Jimmy. You've still got it backward. You argue emotionally, obsessively, and dishonestly. You ARE the troll of the thread.

No, that's you lying again. I didn't say you claim one needs psychedlic drugs to consider your woo-woo. (Indeed, any drug-free folks who express their "pointless" thoughts and opinions are showing they have considered it.) I said you claim one needs psycheledic drugs to understand your woo-woo crap about religion, drugs and m-theory. And you do.


I can definitely stand by what I've said. Just take a look at this thread, it's a fine example. Does this thread seem fruitful to you towards unbias and open-minded opinions toward it? I'd wager not. I mean, to truly judge it, I believe one must experience it. Otherwise, it takes a great deal of open-mindedness to really consider what's being laid out here. Of course, you don't want to be so open-minded that the wind whistles between your ears, but open-minded enough to really take into consideration what is being claimed here. Take your own example. You haven't really considered any of this, you just keep repeatedly saying "woo" and posting Looney Tunes clips.

Describe a sunset to a blind man. Describe a symphony to a deaf woman. Describe being fucked up on drugs to someone who has spent a lifetime being sober. The inability to do these things, or getting wasted on drugs or not, means exactly dick as scientific evidence regarding the entheogen "theory" of religion or the "parallels" between m-theory and eastern mysticism.


Well, this is precisely the problem. That you cannot describe a symphony to a deaf women in the same way that you cannot describe a mystical experience to someone who's never had one. The analogy that you've used here is common amongst those who've had this experience. For instance, I recall someone describing their mystical experience with the analogy of an entire world that is blind, and for a brief moment, he was the only person that could see, then of course, because this experience is usually of a temporal duration, he returns to blindness and of course, cannot describe his experience to others. So, if an atheist, in that world, were to approach him and tell him that this moment of being able to "temporarily see" was simply "woo," he of course is not going to accept that answer.

Zen Monk who undergoes "Satori"

Evidence that psilocybin-containing mushrooms were used in ancient times is not evidence that religions originated with the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms.


Obviously, shamanic religions such as practiced by Aztecs regarded the mushroom as sacred, they called it "Teonanácatl," which is translated "divine mushroom." So, obviously, there is a connection between psychedelics and religious experience even in ancient times. I don't think it's a big leap to consider that perhaps Jesus, if he was a real person, was simply someone who had undergone a mystical experience that maybe could have happened naturally, likewise the other founders of the major religions, i.e. Gautama and Muhammad, etc. That's why I'm reluctant to call it the "Entheogen Theory of Religion," because that implies that all the founders were using substances. I believe Gautama may have induced it naturally through meditation.

I believe it's very credible that Christ being as human as you and I, who over the course of his life sometime had this experience of "cosmic consciousness" is definitely more plausible than that he was a sole son of a deity who was born through a virgin birth, so forth and so on.

Nothing needed clearing up. You wrote exactly what I said you wrote. I quoted it: "pointless to ask for opinions or thoughts on a theory like this of those who have never had these types of experiences". You were specifically talking about understanding the theory, not understanding the experience of being wasted. Don't hand me this crap that you didn't say that. You did.

You know, Terence McKenna once said something that I whole-heartedly believe, because I've come across it over and over again, and he said that as rationalists, we have no right to expect that this phenomenon exists. He believed that because this phenomenon is so beyond anyone's expectation and understanding whether you're a respected physicist or professor of philosophy, you're still in a way intellectually set-up to doubt it. You're always going to have this kind of skepticism toward it, because nothing can convince you short of having the experience for yourself. I know if I hadn't had it for myself, I would probably be inclined to think there's "woo" involved. So, even aside from all that, most people by virtue of psychedelics' illegal status and the obfuscation of techniques that induce this state, don't know that it exist.

So, you want to pin me with semantics, when I believe you're entirely missing the point. Another thing Terence said that seems to make more and more sense all the time is that there's two types of people: Psychedelic and clueless.

From the looks of the thread and the people who participate it that have not had this experience, i.e. yourself, it may be pointless because up to this point you haven't really said anything about it beyond "woo."

I said I ate half a baseball cap full. That was over 20 years ago, so I don't recall how many mushrooms, but if we were to weigh that volume, I promise you it exceeds McKenna's 5 grams (which is the weight of a nickel).

Terence said that for someone who weighs about 140 lbs, as a general estimation, you'd want to take at least 5 dried grams. So, of course, if you weigh more than 140 lbs, then obviously you'd want to go a little higher. You know, again, half a baseball cap isn't much even if we're talking about 5 dried grams. 5 dried grams would fill an entire baseball cap.

I know exactly what to think about it: I was fucked up on drugs. That's all. Telling me that I don't know that is exactly why, again, you're a looney tune pushing a no true scotsman fallacy. I've done it, Jimmy. Don't insist that I haven't truly done it because I don't buy your ridiculous woo-woo. That's all you're doing.

From all that you've described, from all what you've laid out here on the forum, the evidence points to a sub-threshold dose. You see, there's many factors involved when it comes to something like mushrooms, even if you do have 5 dried grams, if they lack the potency, they're not going to produce the effect. I've had this happen to myself with 5 dried grams, and it was my second time having this experience after about 2 years so I don't believe this was simply some kind of tolerance I had built up. It took me about fifteen to twenty minutes to chew 'em up and eat all of them, but unfortunately, I did not have the full-blown experience. I didn't even get closed-eye visuals (which usually are present within high doses), but only got distortions. So, I believe you simply cannot accept the possibility that you had a sub-threshold dose. That's why I insist that you don't know how to think about this, because like that woman on AtheistNexus.com, you have no experience to draw from to imagine what it's like.

Right. You don't "believe" them. You believe they're plausible. You'll discard them once they're shown to be crackpot ideas. But since they can't be scientifically explained, tested, or falsified, you'll cling to them for the rest of your days. *Wistful sigh* I remember that time I visited the 11th dimension while I was on drugs, like the eastern religious kooks do. I would discard that notion as totally nuts, but fuck it, it's plausible!

You know, there's one endeavor that theoretical physicists engage in wherein that cannot rely on the "scientific method," they instead have to make huge leaps of logic in order to hypothesize, and that is string theory or its culmination M-Theory. So, at the very frontier of science, we arrive at M-Theory, which is basically science's best shot at describing the universe. So, just because something cannot be scientifically tested or falsified, doesn't mean we stop our scientific and theoretical hypothesizing.

If you look closely into notions about M-theory and ideas born out of the mystical experience, such as "Brahman" in Hinduism, there is without a doubt striking similarities. It's as though both the mystic and the physicist have arrived at the same conclusion about the universe. The only difference is that the physicist found his way intellectually to his conclusion while the mystic found his way intuitively to the conclusion. And the difference between the concepts "Brahman" and "11-dimensional hyperspace" is that the mystic uses "Brahman" to also point to an experiential intuition while the physicist points to conceptual model. So, that the physicist only understands "11-dimensional hyperspace" through a conceptual model while the mystic understands "11-dimensional hyperspace" as a direct experience. Look into it, if you'd like. I'd imagine Google has hundreds if not thousands pages on this concept, not to mention the plenty of books that have been written about this stuff. And of course, something like that cannot be proven or disproven (yet), but it is an overwhelming impression in the mystical experience, but of course, if one is unfamiliar with M-Theory, they're of course not going to interpret it through that filter, but if it were described to them, I wouldn't doubt that they could relate.

Poor, Jimmy. You've still got it backward. You argue emotionally, obsessively, and dishonestly. You ARE the troll of the thread.

I do nothing of the sort. I argue rationally, honestly, and perhaps a bit obsessively, but you seem a bit obsessive yourself. However, I believe you argue emotionally and dishonestly, so maybe you ought to consider that it's perhaps you that is the troll. After all, who is this bukkake landing on?

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