A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

IbogaLife, an organization in Costa Rica, seeks to help addicts transition from heroin to sobriety through a powerful psychoactive drug, ibogaine, which is derived from a Central West-African bush called iboga. Abby Haglage describes visiting IbogaLife ceremonies, where she witnessed a young woman named Grace undergo the treatment: In the first stage of the ibogaine … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

NYU psychiatrists have been experimenting with using psilocybin to treat cancer patients. For Nick Fernandez, a study participant who was diagnosed with leukemia in high school, the experience was transformative: [A]s the drug began to take effect, the blackness inside his head turned into an onrushing cascade of white dots that swiftly morphed into a kaleidoscope … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

Christine Sismondo traveled to the Peruvian rainforest to try ayahuasca, a brew with an active ingredient, dimethyltryptamine or DMT, “that, some claim, can cure illness and addiction, help people gain insight into primary relationships and, for others, offer glimpses into the origin of life.” She describes her own experience ingesting and then purging the drug: … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader writes: I have been following your blog for some time, and I have really enjoyed the occasional post on psychedelics.  I've read about psilocybin, LSD, and ayahuasca, but never about a plant that changed my life years ago: ibogaine.  It is native to West Africa, and people who experiment broadly with psychedelics consider … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader introduces a new drug to the discussion thread – which also happens to be the subject of a  fascinating little piece in the new Atlantic: As a teenager I discovered the Grateful Dead and the psychedelic subculture.  During these early years I had many beautiful experiences with psychedelics, usually mushrooms, usually at shows, … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader writes: I've struggled a great deal to make sense of some of my psychedelic experiences, being all too aware of how they can be reduced to mere "chemicals acting on the brain."  That's certainly not what they felt like, but I can't convey that sense of profundity to someone who hasn't had those … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader writes: The previous contributor wrote: There isn't any doubt that psychedelics seem to bestow insights on those who take them. Almost everyone who trips says that they got a lot out of it. What I'm questioning is how real that is. I'm saying that as a person who has tripped many many times, … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A different take: There seems little doubt to me that psilocybin is a very queer substance. Whether its effect on the brain merely simulates profound spirituality or whether it actually recreates it chemically is a philosophical conundrum we won’t solve very soon. But that we recognize it somehow as transcendent, that it can be measured … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader writes: You may want to consider a Poseur Alert for your most recent reader: "After I came down from my Oregon sky odyssey, I felt a brief urge to return – to escape back – into the third-eye-pleasure-dome." Give me a freaking break. I can't think of many recent Poseur Alerts that top … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd

A reader writes: My inaugural psilocybin trip happened with a cast of fellow actors under the guidance of one of the last surviving Merry Pranksters.  Tom Wolfe described the particulars better than I ever could, so I’ll skip them here to comment on the larger discussion of Journey v. Escape. After I came down from my Oregon … Continue reading A Journey, Not An Escape, Ctd