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Psychedemia; Exploring The World Behind The Trip

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“Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.

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Here’s Tom with the weather” ~ Bill Hicks

By Alex Grey 2006.

By Alex Grey 2006.

Today I was browsing Facebook and I came across a video about an academic conference on psychedelics, called Psychedemia. This video gives an hour long overview on the subjects which were discussed during the conference. To sum up in their own words:

Psychedemia is an academic conference hosted at the University of Pennsylvania from September 27-30, 2012. This conference will feature university scholars and researchers from across the country in the fields of medicine, psychology, neuroscience, ethics, rhetoric, and anthropology to discuss recent ideas and discoveries in psychedelic studies. Researchers will be brought together with clinicians and professionals in interdisciplinary symposia that will explore an array of culturally-pertinent subjects. Psychedemia

A lot of different speakers are shown in this documentary; the documentary was created to give an overview of the conference which lasted for 4 days. But although you see a lot of short clips, the overall result is very interesting to say the least. The medical, ethical and philosophical implications can be huge, if psychedelics were allowed back into the mainstream. And a lot of questions I have asked myself are raised at the end of the documentary.

Watch the documentary here:

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Here’s a short summary of what caught my attention.

After a short introduction, ‘our’ psychedelic past – the history of the use of and the research on psychedelics in the west – is examined. Did you know that in the early 50´s and 60´s there was a lot of research on psychedelics? Even the CIA worked with LCD (read more in the book Acid Dreams). In some ten minutes a lot of research is shown with some famous names on the list; to name a few Albert Hoffman, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary and (from recent times) Rick Strassman. If you’re not familiar with these names, I suggest you search them if you’re interested in (the research on) psychedelics.

After the short lesson in history, the therapeutic applications are described. There is actually quite a bit of research on the application of psychedelics. This research is done in a controlled and scientific way, while providing a safe environment for the volunteers. Research suggests psychedelics (e.g. psylocibine mushrooms) can be used for relieving anxiety with cancer patients or used to deal with depressions. Shelley White wrote two articles on this subject recently on CE. You can read them here (Psychedelic Mushrooms for depression) and here (The healing power of psychedelic mushrooms).

The next part is called Primum non nocere which can be translated in ‘first, do no harm’ (Wikipedia). This part focuses on the ethical issue of withholding psychedelics and their potential healing applications from the public. Shouldn’t these psychedelics with this high potential be made available as a medicine? Isn’t a matter of human dignity to start acting honestly with natural substances? Like Lazyboy stated it in a clear and unmistakable way in their song Underwear goes outside the pants: “Why is marihuana not legal? It’s a natural plant that grows in the dirt. You know what’s not natural? Eighty year old dudes with hard-ons. But we’ve got pills for that”

Another topic of interest is the issue of taking tourists to the Amazon for ayahuasca ceremonies. Considering the tourist business, some good questions were asked by one of the attendants of the conference: Should we utilize ayahuasca without using the knowledge, experience and songs of traditional wisdom keepers (Curanderos) from indigenous tribes? Is there danger in taking ayahuasca without the guidance? Is their culture respected and protected? An important question, cause these tribes have world views which differ radically from ours; there is a lot to learn from their ancient knowledge, so we should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Art is up next. I think most of you may know the work of Alex Grey, a famous artist who paints vivid imagery which has inspired millions – he worked with the band Tool a lot, take a look at the artwork of Tool’s album Lateralus if you’re interested. Next to Alex Grey, there is a whole culture of psychedelic inspired art. I like the idea of art as a means of trying to portrait the unspeakable, art as language without words. The main thread is that art is – just as science or religion – a way of expressing what consciousness is like. And I must say I like that point of view. It gives room to bring them all together in one whole, without the need of excluding one part or another.

The final part of the documentary is my favorite. It’s about philosophy. The implications of the use of psychedelics are discussed. What would it mean for human growth and potential, if we’re to start utilizing psychedelics instead of steroids and prescription drugs? It basically asks the same questions Graham Hancock asked in his controversial TED talk [see more here] (thank you TED for all the extra attention you’ve drawn to it, though the reason why is highly questionable). The question is whether the materialistic approach to consciousness is sufficient. Or is mind all and everything? At first psychedelics seem to be purely mind manifested, but if you look at it, it’s actually chemicals which influence the neurosystem of the brain – which is material. So it might be that we’ve been asking the wrong question or at least looking for the answer in the wrong direction. There might actually be no distinction between mind and matter, observer and the observed..

This hour long documentary has made me raise my eyebrows a lot and I can’t wait to see more of the speakers. Those who are just as me interested in more after seeing this and are looking for the full presentations; I’ve got some good news! The channel owner [Zaarc] who uploaded the video has the following to say: “Yes, we will begin regularly releasing the uncut talks and interviews to this channel on May 1st, 2013. “

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Woody Harrelson Shares A Powerful Video: ‘Thoughts From Within’ He Calls It

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Woody Harrelson shares some spoken word with a deep message.

  • Reflect On:

    How do you view our current world? Does it truly resonate with you? Is it something you want to support? If you could put your energy into a world of thriving abundance, would you? Then why so much energy into the way things are?

I sit here today having been reminded of a Woody Harrelson video after watching a movie he acted in. I recalled the first time I saw this video. It was one of the first realizations I had, about 9 years ago, that many celebrities also go through life with trials and tribulations of the average person. Perhaps not in all ways, but certainly in many. This is an obvious thought of course, but sometimes not all that common.

When I saw this video, I remember thinking, wow, I love what he is sharing, and coming from his place of influence this truly has a powerful message. This is an awesome video made by Woody Harrelson sharing some powerful thoughts from within.

In the video Woddy lays out a spoken word masterpiece that touches on all of the main aspects of our current society. If you truly take the time to listen, there is much to reflect on. And of course, there is an inspiring side of it all too.

This one is a bit of a throw back, but it’s a good one. Enjoy it!

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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Consciousness

Josh Radnor From How I Met Your Mother Just Started A Conscious Band with Ben Lee

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You might be here because you are a fan of the hit TV show, How I Met Your Mother, or maybe you have fond memories of blasting “Catch My Disease” in your car on a hot summer day. Whatever the reason may be, you are about to discover a lesser-known side to actor-writer-director Josh Radnor and Australian singer-songwriter Ben Lee—who now form the musical duo Radnor & Lee.

In this very first episode of Uplifted Life’s new Redefining Success Podcast, Kosta Stoyanoff and I had the privilege of having a conversation with both of them over Skype only a few days before they left for their Brazil tour. We talked about their new musical venture, the effects of having achieved success and fame at a young age, what true success ought to be, spirituality, meditation, self-development and more! Playing the hosts was definitely out of our comfort zones, but we are glad we did it and were able to extract some valuable insights from these two amazing human beings.

There is a rumor circulating that they are a religious born again band because they don’t shy away from using words like word God in their lyrics. The truth is that they do not subscribe to any particular label and are simply fascinated by life’s bigger questions. In our 30-minute conversation with them, we found them to be incredibly grounded, intelligent and wise individuals who simply strive to get back to the basics of what really matters in life and care about becoming the best and most compassionate version of themselves. It was awesome to chat with two public figures who choose to use their influence to spread a positive and conscious message through their art!

Our intention with the Redefining Success Podcast is to collect gems of wisdom from individuals who see beyond our culture’s materialistic idea of success and have discovered a more fulfilling, whole and healthy view of what it means to lead a truly successful life. We believe that doing our part in helping rewrite the cultural story surrounding success can inspire a positive change in how we lead our lives—from our relationships to the way we do business.

Like Uplifted Life for more uplifting content and stay tuned for more episodes!

Hope you enjoy the conversation and make sure to share it to inspire others!

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Click HERE to share on Facebook

Ben Lee’s Website: www.ben-lee.com
Josh Radnor’s Museletters: joshradnor.instapage.com
Like Radnor & Lee on Facebook: fb.com/radnorandlee
Listen to Radnor & Lee on Itunes and Spotify

 

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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The Oldest Song In The World – A Sumerian Hymn Written 3500 Years Ago (Listen)

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Music is a very special gift that people from all around the world, from various cultures and from every socio-economic class, enjoy. Human beings have been creating and listening to music for thousands of years, it is almost an essential part of our being.

Music has the power to evoke powerful emotions, it can lift us out of a bad mood and put a smile on our face, give us the energy and encouragement we need to get that workout done and more. We connect over music, we make music together, we meditate and zone out to music, and we even ‘trip out’ to music. What would our lives be like without music? Most likely Rather dull , and it seems as though  the ancients felt the same way.

Below is a video of a hymn that is said to have been written thousands of years ago, it may even be the oldest song in the world. This version is played using computerized tones, but if you can, imagine it being played on stringed instruments. Either way, it still has a joyous and almost comical feel to it, check it out.

Is this something you could jam to? Or at least is this something you could imagine your greatest ancestors rocking out to? Regardless of how you feel about the song, it’s pretty awesome that we actually have the equivalent to sheet music that was turned into a potential soundtrack for the ancient times. Essentially, this gives us the ability to glimpse into the past, an opportunity we may not have otherwise received. Sometimes what is put into words isn’t as powerful to our senses as actually hearing the same song that our ancestors may have listened to.

Here’s A Little History

In 1972, after 15 years of research, Professor of Assyriology from the University of California, Anne Kilner, was able to transcribe one of the oldest known pieces of music notation in the world. The music was inscribed on clay tablets that contained signs of the “Hurrian” language. These tablets had been excavated in the early 1950’s from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit – now known as Ras Sharma. One of the tablets contained both words and music and has now come to be known as the oldest preserved music notation in the world.

Kilmer was able to transcribe this piece of music into a modern music notation, other people have also attempted to transcribe this music and the interpretations tend to differ a little bit. The tablets date back to around 1400 B.C. The music is a hymn to the moon God’s wife, Nikal. The tablets also happened to contain instructions for a singer as well as a harpist and how to properly tune the harp.

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The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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