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    Thread: Psychonauts! Let's talk about altered states of consciousness.

    1. #1
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      Psychonauts! Let's talk about altered states of consciousness.

      Hello fellow psychonauts!

      Please detail any especially interesting experiences with altered states of consciousness that you have had,
      And any insights you may have about the subject, ie; meditation, drugs, sensory deprivation, lucid dreaming, astral projection, tantric sex, hypnosis, biofeedback, breath work, etc.

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      Lucid dreaming is still one of the best and most amazing altered state of consciousness that I've experienced! Just the other day I had a lucid dream that had me waking up blissfully happy and it inspired me. I dreamed myself as an Olympic athlete. It wasn't just some dream plot. My transformation into an Olympic athlete in the dream was physical, mental, emotional, complete!

      At first the experience in the dream was physical. I could feel my muscles working! And feeling your muscles working feels even more amazing when you know you're dreaming (I hate "foggy" dreams) In the swim competition my entire focus was on one thing, to swim faster and faster and faster. There is something liberating about being and focusing on that moment. No room for drama, no room for doubt, only the water and swimming faster! Even now days later, all I want, is to hop into that pool and just swim like an Olympic athlete.

      After owning that competition I was so happy I ran for the hell of it. I ran because I could run. I ran because it felt good to run. I ran faster and faster and faster and laughed my ass off as I did (and I really was running fast)! Afterwards I decided to fly, which for me was a mistake. Something about running, faster and faster, was a lot more freeing than flying.

      When I woke up, I woke up with the feeling that I can do anything I desire. No room for self-doubt or self-loathing! Now I understand why they say Olympic athletes operate at a different state of being. If they were in ordinary daily consciousness, there would be no way that they could accomplish the amazing feats that they do. I tried to hold onto that Olympic state of feeling for as a long as I could, but its faded...

      I know its not the same kind of altered state of mind you get while meditating...But for me, that Olympic state of mind is definitely different than my ordinary state of mind. (and I learned it spontaneously through a dream, thanks dream!)

      I really want to take some swim lessons now

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      Completed Lucid Task <span style='color: #9900CC'>~Dreamer~</span>'s Avatar
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      Great thread, Atras!
      I know you're very familiar with my thoughts/experiences in all these areas, but I've decided to take a bit of a leap and share some of my experiences publicly.
      I will keep it pretty brief for now, but if anyone would like me to expand, I'd be happy to have further discussions via PM.

      I'll start with the less taboo topics:

      - I have been in a float tank once, for 1.5 hours of sensory deprivation. It was an incredibly relaxing and revitalising experience, and I'd love to do it on a regular basis if I could afford it. There was recently a Kickstarter campaign for the 'Zen Float Tank' which was a more affordable floatation unit for home use.

      - Meditation and mindfulness have been hugely beneficial in my psychological healing and spiritual growth. Both practices have also been helpful for increasing my dream awareness and lucidity, especially when combined with MILD incubation techniques.

      - I have recently been exploring brainwave entrainment, using isochronic tones for relaxation, meditation, energy boosts, and sleep. I have had good results so far, although I can't say for sure that it's not a placebo effect (I'm not complaining if it is - good results by any means are fine by me!) I will begin testing isochronic tones for lucid dream induction in the near future.
      I plan to invest in some biofeedback devices soon, and try IAmCoder's Lucid Scribe sleep monitor and REM detector, among others.

      Here's a topic I don't generally talk about with people I don't know, but it may be of interest:

      - I have schizophrenia, which was triggered by very mild cannabis use when I was 14 years old. I have accumulated a lot of experience with psychotic episodes and altered states over the years, without the use of any drugs.
      A couple of years ago, I tried smoking DMT, and had what would be described as a "breakthrough" trip. Something very interesting I gained from the experience was the understanding that psychosis and the psychedelic state are one and the same - the same realm and key experiences, but with very different underlying emotions. For me, the underlying feeling during psychosis is fear, whereas the underlying feeling on DMT was peace. But many other elements are very much the same: the feeling of oneness and connectedness, timelessness, ego death, increased pattern recognition, vivid colour perception, changes in depth perception, etc.

      My experiences with psychosis, as well as depersonalisation, which I often experience for extended periods of time after psychotic episodes, have helped me to develop a natural tendency to constantly test my reality and mind state. I try to be aware of whether my mind is functioning rationally, and I always keep in mind that anything I'm experiencing in this moment could be a hallucination, delusion, or dream. When I perform reality checks, I have no trouble genuinely believing that what I'm experiencing may not be 'real' in the physical sense that waking life is.
      I imagine that people who use psychedelics for spiritual growth might also have an increased understanding that our perception of the waking world is as flexible as our perception of the dream world. I think this can greatly aid lucid dream induction.

      I look forward to following this thread and hearing about other people's experiences!
      Neo Neo, Xanous, juroara and 7 others like this.

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      If any insight is gained from these altered states of consciousness, for me, it is that there is so much left to explore. Mystery is alive in our selves. There is not just outer space there is an inner space and it is vast! I hope to hear more about other people's experiences soon!

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      Dthoughts, definitely agree with you on the mystery! And Juroara, I've had very similar experiences in the dreamstate. Not too long ago I dreamt about being a opera singer/musical theater person and what it felt like to walk onto stage and just sing. I had feelings of confidence, of acting and playing a part, except it was brief so not much singing.

      Hmm I'll start off with a Reiki experience actually, then a psychedelic one. In high school I used to go to Reiki sessions most weekends and it was usually a small group of people or less who attended. It was hosted at someone's house and a massage table was used for the healing sessions. Usually music was used, several people healing one person if they were in attendance, but rarely crystals/stones were used. Leading up to this, I had tried an OBE rope technique that seemed to work, and I had imagined a rope right above my stomach and "climbed" out of my body. Anyway when me and my friend got to the Reiki session there was a big group there this time. I think about 7 people total (which was a lot for it lol).

      I was already familiar with both healing people and being healed so I knew what to expect. However I didn't expect the other healers/practitioners to notice the "leftover" visualization from my supposed OBE experience. When I was being healed, someone immediately remarked that they saw something lodged in my aura, at the exact spot I had visualized my rope. Then they proceeded to pile on a bunch of crystals and stones (only thing I remember is rose quartz, and I think some amethyst) and took out what looked like the shape of a snake or straight object. I then was immediately feeling a sensation of something being lifted off of me (keep in mind several people were facilitating the flow of Reiki to me) and my entire being felt like it was overflowing with positive feelings and lightness. After the session I felt soooo much better, so much lighter, and that I had so much more energy lol. They told me not to mess with those kind of things as well. Although of course the next chance I could I tried to OBE again but it has not worked since then.



      This next one is harder to describe... and I can definitely relate to Dreamer with what they were describing:

      Quote Originally Posted by ~ Dreamer ~ View Post
      But many other elements are very much the same: the feeling of oneness and connectedness, timelessness, ego death, increased pattern recognition, vivid colour perception, changes in depth perception, etc.
      Its really weird for me because part of whats been causing me fears and apprehension is the whole oneness and ego death thing. This video comes to mind, as its also verbalizing what I'm talking about:



      So I've already read things about oneness, and enlightenment, and meditated in my own way a lot before my psychedelic experiences. And in a way what I saw during my psychedelic experiences was both affirming what I had already encountered in meditation or Reiki as well as providing a new spin on things. But what I wasn't prepared for was encountering the ego death or apocalyptic phenomenon that occurs at higher dosages. I'm still wanting to be anonymous with what I'm referring to, so I'll refer to it as Z. It is very long lasting and the thing does occur in nature. Anyway this ego death stuff has either come in flashes, as in on and off and on and off, or sometimes it has been a sustained thing. For me, after thinking about it a lot while sober, I seem to go through certain stages or steps in the process. And I don't think I've gone all the way to the depths either, so what I'm saying will just scratch the edges of ego death/oneness.

      So I will first notice a sense of increasing awareness of the space around me. For example if its a room, I will become more aware of the space in the room as well as the space outside of the room and outside of the building. Next I usually feel like my awareness expands and occupies these areas, and also the the separation between me and objects around me seems to "dissolve". I will be looking around and notice how everything around me relates to me and connections the objects have to certain things (their origin, people, function, and ultimately how it ties back to me). Then I start to get body sensations (Z usually feels very Earthy and in-the-body, but this ego death stuff takes it into a new direction) and feel light, and warm, and sometimes aroused. This is when things start to get "weird". And I said "weird" because it seems weird to the self, but its probably not arbitrarily weird. So it feels that there is something else there (of the room if you're still following that analogy), and this something is part of the oneness because it feels as though your own consciousness is part of a singular consciousness. And this singular consciousness is like a stream which flows through everything in this world. So at this point it feels as though your breach into this space had been felt by everybody, from the person next door to someone across the country. From here on out, laws of physics that deal with large objects (timespace, relativity, particles) begin to break down as well as with the self (being anchored in the body, senses of perception). At this point reality itself feels as if its some kind of mechanism that is being propagated by something, and visuals at this point may or may not be overwhelming my perception. A place with no time, oneness, this "something", and maybe a feeling of comic hilarity, since things like love and unconditional love feel real and worthwhile, but the "whole thing" of reality just seems so nonsensical. I haven't had a breakthrough all the way through ego death in my opinion, but this is as far as I've been. I'm planning on going to the depths with Z again at some point so I can explore this for myself even further, and having some friends nearby to watch over me if need be.

      Edit 1: so here is my first post in this thread lol
      Edit 2: grammar
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-02-2014 at 05:07 PM.

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      Atras sent me this video a while ago when I explained the similarities above to him:



      I don't agree with everything Terence McKenna believes, but I think he has an interesting perspective.

      I guess a key difference between schizophrenics and people who take psychedelic drugs is that with drugs, you have control over when/where you enter the altered state, and the amount of time it will last.
      This is something I've been considering experimenting with lately. I know there are certain things that can trigger a psychotic episode for me, which I generally try to avoid. But perhaps I could explore the state and get a better handle on it if I did induce psychosis, in the same way someone might induce hallucinations with drugs.
      I would be very cautious in this situation, and have a 'sane' friend supervising the experiment to make sure I didn't get too caught up in my delusions or anything.

      Something I've spoken about with Atras before is the interesting dichotomy between many meditation practitioners and psychedelic advocates, who each discount the other method as a weaker path to heightened consciousness.
      There are people like Terence McKenna, who doesn't understand why someone would spend years meditating to achieve the same result as they could in 30 minutes by taking mushrooms.
      There are people like Eckhart Tolle, who believes that LSD induces a violent and inferior version of meditative enlightenment.
      I have great respect for many teachers in both camps, but I don't feel that there needs to be a comparison of this nature.
      Atras and I both feel that the two methods can be used harmoniously for slightly different purposes, and don't have to be pitted against each other.
      Perhaps you can post your thoughts on this here, Atras, because I would just be paraphrasing what you've said to me anyway.
      Last edited by ~Dreamer~; 07-02-2014 at 06:01 AM.

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      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      I don't agree with everything McKenna says either, but generally I think a lot of what he says is spot on when he's specifically talking about the psychedelic experience. I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist so I couldn't say the relationship to schizophrenia, but I think there's something to be said if there are similarities apparent.

      Yes I think that caution and safety should be considered first and thats good that you've thought of all these things. I've had my reckless moments but I'd like to think that I've been careful enough since I'm still here to talk about these things. I've certainly had a glimpse of the limitlessness of the psychedelic realm and got my ass kicked, and its helped me to have a more careful scrutiny because of that scary experience. But again I'm coming from the perspective of someone who has some anxiety and depression, so I can't speak from your point of view. Although I hesitate to call it psychosis, I think that whatever "it" is called, this region of experience can be worthwhile for more serious explorers. If not, then there's a lot to read about or trying to meditate to reach it. And yeah I'd definitely say have a close friend with you, or in the next room, if attempting to go this far. I just feel like its uncharted territory for most of us and going it alone can be a recipe for recklessness and bad trips.

      I'd agree that things like meditation and psychedelics have their uses and that neither outweighs the other. To me it seems like its all fair game, as I saw another post on this forum about the "risks of meditation" and how people had suffered (supposed) physical and psychological conditions after meditation. And of course there are risk factors for psychedelics as well, ranging from minimal/nothing to a lot depending on whats involved and circumstances. But I think that these are just all ways of "getting there", and some ways work better for some people than others. If whatever is treated with respect and an open mind then why should it be superior or inferior to anything else? Plato said something along the lines of philosophy being a preparation for death and the formless. I like the formless part, because it implies leaving the body behind and coming into contact with the immaterial. Then things like meditation and psychedelics both touch upon the formless, so I think that it wouldn't be wrong to say that they both have equal footing for reaching heightened consciousness. I also think it shows us that these "ways" of getting there will eventually have to be given up and let go of. I also like that "heightened consciousness" phrase
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-02-2014 at 06:34 AM.

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      I've always been pretty ambivalent about McKenna myself. I kind of wrote him off as a credible source, too, but a friend of mine owned a copy of The Psychedelic Experience and read part of it once in the early stages of a trip and I did end up applying that information both that time and the next time I tripped. What he said was something I had pretty much grasped anyways, and amounted to his own way of saying "Go with the flow," but he went into more detail of the various ways our minds initially resist it and I found that information helpful. I like the way he used Fraberge eggs to describe DMT as well.

      Quote Originally Posted by Terence McKenna
      I guess it’s called a peak experience, or a core revelation, or being born again, or having your third eye opened, or something, which was a revelation of an alien dimension; a brightly lit, inhabited, non three-dimensional, self-contorting, sustained, organic, linguistically intending modality that couldn’t be stopped or held back or denied. . . I found myself in the sort of auric equivalent of the Pope’s private chapel, and there were insect elf machines proffering strange little tablets with strange writing on them. And it all went on, they were speaking in some kind of — there were these self-transforming machine-elf creatures — were speaking in some kind of colored language which condensed into rotating machines that were like Faberge eggs, but crafted out of luminescent super-conducting ceramics, and liquid crystal gels, and all this stuff was so weird, and so alien, and so “un-English-able” that it was a complete shock.
      I like to believe I've personally gotten to the point where I don't need to control my set or setting. I could enter the psychedelic state in any situation and rise to the challenge. The thing is, I'm speaking to LSD, Mushrooms, and that vein, DMT is a different animal. I've had a bad DMT trip myself, and I don't remember details but I remember coming back shaking from the experience. Whatever happened awoke me to some terrifying piece of knowledge and I don't know exactly what it is but it haunts me. Every other time though, I did get that sense of profound peace. And part of my confidence comes from my openness to experience in the universe because part of me can see through the surface of my experiences. I point my attention toward this nameless, spatial, underlying truth and let the drug do the rest of the work.

      Regarding Eckhart Tolle's take on psychedelics, I'd be more willing to trust his opinion because unlike McKenna, he never said a word in the two books of his I read that didn't strike me as true, at least on an intuitive level. Psychedelic practitioners seem to often take a little crazy back with them, along with revelation. Francis Crick could conceptualize DNA's double-helix design but would also conclude that humans had alien DNA. I myself have similar revelations from my own trips regarding the mechanics of life and evolution that I've attempted to form into a congruent thought. I believe my realizations on this track are sound, but I've also managed to convince myself that on an intergalactic level, Earth is like the North Korea of the galaxy, and life here is being held hostage by a frightened Cabal clinging to an illusion of power.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 07-02-2014 at 08:31 PM.

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      Out of the Matrix Neo Neo's Avatar
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      I think this is telling me I should look into Eckhart Tolle lol, I know I've got one of his audio books somewhere... there's also Ramdass as well.

      I don't know, I feel that McKenna really put his trust into the mushrooms and that he was probably convinced they would do the job for most anyone. I think he also assumed that people would do their research and take care of their set and setting as well. Then again he talked a lot during his lectures so perhaps he did cover all his bases, but I can't seem to get around his "go for the heavy doses" deal since there seem to be too many unknown factors with people. Just for me, if I were to give advice to a complete stranger, I wouldn't advice "going all out" the first time unless I absolutely knew they could have a safe environment with everything in order. Also the timewave zero gets iffy since we're still here, but hey maybe a change did happen. I think a lot of his other "crazy" ideas can be fair game though even if I don't completely agree with them. At least in the United States, since our drug laws are changing, I think erring on the side of safety and dispersion of information is better than being gung-ho on the furthest outer reaches of the universe.

      With my own experiences though, I feel that there are guiding forces at work. This sounds out there, but its like these psychedelics find you (or at least me) at very interesting times, sometimes out of nowhere. Mushrooms found me at a time when I was questioning my belief system and phasing out of christianity. (I had previously had some kind of spiritual-Reiki-nondenominational belief system) And so it acted as a catalyst that brought me out of mainstream religion to the path that I was already on. Then Z found me because a friend told me about it, and has been generally friendly for a long time until I got owned during a heroic dose lol. I shouldn't laugh, but I can in retrospect. It is like sacred plant medicine and I swear this stuff has a consciousness of its own and finds its way into people's lives.

      Hmm, well even McKenna said that psychedelics weren't for everybody, and I think part of what he meant was handling these heavy and heroic dose level trips. Whether its something short-lived but intense like DMT, or more prolonged like mushrooms, it seems to me that there is a certain point that someone will know whether or not they can handle it or not. Its like he said, someone can either work through issues at the high dose levels or just don't go that far and do milder forms of exploration. I definitely think that issues like these will be a major part of the process as decriminalization continues to take place in the USA. Since I think that most anyone can handle light and medium level trips but it depends on the person whether or not they can handle deeper trips. I feel like I'm just rambling on lol, but at least for me I've also had a curiosity about the nature of reality so that is why I have stayed my course. But there have been moments where I would've hight-tailed it outta there if I could have lol. But again not that it should be prevented or made illegal like it is now, but I think people need to know what happens at these varying levels of phenomenon.

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      High level doses make everything more and more real, and can help convince you the arbitrary, crazy thoughts are true. My most profound revelations come from higher doses but medium doses are better for depression and working through problems. Even at my highest dose, I wouldn't have been able to bring any revelations back with me unless I had been texting them to a sober friend. This was like 10 hours into a trip that lasted 3 days, the peak had subsided and the night was over and he was at work and I don't even think he read everything I sent him, but I wrote it as if to try and help him understand, and as I slowly came down throughout the day, I became more and more comprehensible.

      Every other time, my insight tastes stale upon waking. Its profundity did not extend past the drug induced intensity of emotion, it did not ring true sober. And no amount of psychedelic trips have helped me meditate more often, or retain a mindful state as a default mindset. They don't create the habits necessary to really, as McKenna would say, change your operating system. They only show you that your operating system is only that, and not the default setting for the universe itself. That's why I think they're great for initiation but don't help for much after one has been initiated (except to reinitiate every once in a while if one slips back into the fold), and ceremonial initiation usually involves some sort of Usher to detect who's ready to handle it and who isn't. It's said that shrooms and acid can usher themselves, like you said. My own experiences correlate to an extent with that idea, too. It'd only make sense. If we agree there is underlying pattern to existence, then the substances used to connect with this underlying pattern will probably also be linked to coincidences. And so my friends have repeated that acid chooses you when you're ready, or that no matter how many shrooms you take, the shrooms decide how hard you trip. It follows this superstition that life only gives you what you can handle. This is an especially comforting belief when experimenting with psychedelics, but it's also total bullshit. People develop split personalities and other PTSD-related illnesses specifically because life gave them more than they could handle and their minds broke in the coping process. People do too much acid or too many shrooms all the time, people who should have never touched them. One guy on shrooms thought his friends turned into demons so he cut them to pieces. This is in Oregon where they're very abundant, and I don't know if the shrooms tried to avoid being ingested by this guy beforehand or not, but even if they had some influence and made it slightly harder to be found, in the end it's only an influence not a controlling factor.

      That's a big part of what I've come to understand. Yes, there is an underlying order or pattern to existence, and there is an underlying force of spiritual progression, but there's also an underlying chaos and the course of the future you experience is unwritten.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 07-03-2014 at 08:21 AM.

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      I think one amazing altered state of consciousness is the one caused by pure LSD. Its one drug I love to use in a recreational way, but dont get me wrong, im not an addict. The state of mind caused by this drug is amazing. You feel pure euphoria that youve never felt before. It tops any other feeling of happiness one has ever felt. When you listen to music on it you feel like your listen to the universe- no joke. The music sounds SO AMAZING. And the visuals that come along with this drug are crazy. You can see anything from unicorns and flying turtles to clones of people you know that arent even with you. And depending on the amount you do, you can even have a spiritual experience. This stuff changed my life- for the better and made me a more positive person and now i enjoy life alot. Im not saying "yo everyone you HAVE to do this drug" but I am saying that you should try it out- it will change how you think completely- for the better.

      Ive also always wanted to try DMT, but its SO hard to find where I live.
      Last edited by gab; 07-03-2014 at 04:14 AM. Reason: 2 posts merged
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    12. #12
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      I want to try hippy flipping and floating in a sensory deprivation tank with an IV. Around an hour into my float, hit me with DMT through the IV. Then you can just drop me into the pool.
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      that would be one crazyyy experience Original Poster! I want to try a sensory deprivation tank as well, and just managing one thing let alone hippy flipping would be an accomplishment. I've heard that people hallucinate by the sensory deprivation alone so I can't imagine what an psychedelic would escalate it to.

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      I'm sure it'd be great. When I finally got around to doing shroomies in silent darkness in my bed, it felt like my body was a liquid highway inhabited by forms and all sorts of (intelligent) life. Mind you some where demonic and scary in appearance but I didn't have much to do with those. I could just avoid them if must. There was one scary looking thing and a voice in my head told me to let "This one" as in, opposed to the other scary things; eat me. Which I did and some multi-coloured shark ate a piece of my imaginary legs. Only to spit them back out into my energy body as diamonds full of optomistic charge and healthy psychological well-being. Point is. I could easily resist them by not allowing anything in. But eventually, after opening up and allowing myself to be vulnerable I got even better rewards. So it's basically a win-win with mushrooms. Throwing in DMT in the mix can be quite scary. An entity asked to "eat me" on DMT as well and I politely refused cus it looked scary as PHUUCK. haha.

      But to be honest. I would be scared to enter a sensory deprivation tank while sober. So... step by step for me. haha. Personally not a big fan of MDMA. It's great and all but there have been notable negatives for me and my friends. But. I've heared that it is basically impossible to be scared with that stuff. Rick Doblin the founder of MAPS actually said that MDMA is a surefire way to bring a bad trip back to positive and has done so in the past while doing LSD-therapy on patients.
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      Terence McKenna said to go for it right? He seems like he knows what he's talking about.

      I've never been in a tank at all and I'd jump at the opportunity without drugs but hippy flipping enhances the visuals as it is, so in the tank you're guaranteed a waking lucid dream of an epic scale. I don't even know where you'd go on the DMT but coming back would be the kicker, because you'd lose your sense of identity and in the tank you wouldn't even have a sense of a body to return to, what would you have? What would you think of your identity at that point? In fact, screw hippy flipping, you just need a DMT trip in a tank. The DMT might jump start the process in the tank, too, so you could do it almost immediately.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 07-04-2014 at 12:53 AM.
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      Haha, I know someone on the net who has a tank of his own. I believe he likes to do DXM in it the most. Maybe I should give him a call to ask him if he did DMT or if he would allow some guests

      Certainly adhere to your lines of thinking here. The after-effects when the DMT flash wears off is always accompanied by hightened perception and generally great sense of awareness and mental clarity. I can see how that might be useful in a sensory deprivation tank. I havent been into one myself, unfortunately. Would love to try one also.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-04-2014 at 02:05 AM.

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      Completed Lucid Task <span style='color: #9900CC'>~Dreamer~</span>'s Avatar
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      I think the general consensus with float tanks is that it's best to take it slow - even in terms of time floating, you should build yourself up to the longer floats.
      It's said that a once-off float won't benefit you nearly as much as regular floating, which makes sense to me. A portion of the first float is spent getting used to the feeling of being submerged and isolated, so you're not fully immersed in the experience yet.
      I wouldn't be recommending any drugs for the first float, or maybe even the first few. Sensory deprivation is an interesting experience in and of itself.
      But I can imagine the DMT afterglow would be nice in a tank, and the environment is pretty perfect for an intense trip.

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      Morning Dreamer , I am generally so tired that I would probably fall asleep in a deprivation tank haha. The same thing happened to me during a Hemi-sync event while testing sound technology and hypnosis. Everybody there reported interesting and beautiful transcendental experiences while I was left sleeping for the most parts. I did have some interesting lucid daydreams and could use my imagination like a canvas to paint anything I wanted. Or during the hypnosis it mentioned something like "You will now see a staircase" and actually 3-4 seconds exactly before that I was already walking on a staircase. (I think it is related to studies done where particular choices where measured in the brain 3-4 before actual cognition) I'd be interested to test those sounds in a deprivation as well.
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      I've had trouble with Hemi-syncs as well. I was on grooveshark.com and trying some, but mostly not much out of the ordinary happened for me, compared to what happens when I normally meditate. Perhaps I'm a hardhead to Hemi-syncs lol. Guided meditation or hypnosis has proved more fruitful for me personally. I doubt I'd fall asleep in a sensory deprivation tank unless it was so relaxing or I go no sleep the night before haha.

      Oh and Dreamer I have not heard that before about doing several sensory deprivation sessions. That would make sense, as someone would get used to relaxing and easing into the experience the more they do it. Joe Rogan also talks about sensory deprivation tanks sometimes but I forget offhand what he's said about them. Just that he recommends them
      Last edited by Neo Neo; 07-04-2014 at 05:19 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by ~ Dreamer ~ View Post
      When I perform reality checks, I have no trouble genuinely believing that what I'm experiencing may not be 'real' in the physical sense that waking life is.
      I imagine that people who use psychedelics for spiritual growth might also have an increased understanding that our perception of the waking world is as flexible as our perception of the dream world. I think this can greatly aid lucid dream induction.

      I look forward to following this thread and hearing about other people's experiences!
      That reminds me of a dream yoga practice I did once. Instead of doing a regular RC to confirm I'm awake, I instead intentionally convinced myself that I was dreaming. I walked about in the bedroom and continued to repeat "this is a dream!". Or I'd point at random objects and say "this is a dream object!"

      What happened afterwards made me really uncomfortable - my waking reality really felt identical to a dream! It lasted for a couple of minutes. I shook off the feeling and told myself "im awake, im awake" until I felt normal again. I guess I wasn't ready for dream yoga!

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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      What happened afterwards made me really uncomfortable - my waking reality really felt identical to a dream! It lasted for a couple of minutes. I shook off the feeling and told myself "im awake, im awake" until I felt normal again. I guess I wasn't ready for dream yoga!
      You may not have been ready, at that time, for dream yoga, but you sure seemed to have experienced an altered state of consciousness!

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      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo
      I've had trouble with Hemi-syncs as well. I was on grooveshark.com and trying some, but mostly not much out of the ordinary happened for me, compared to what happens when I normally meditate. Perhaps I'm a hardhead to Hemi-syncs lol.
      You are probably not a hardhead to Hemi-Sync lol. People often dub their random Binaural beats as Hemi-Sync technology. But it doesn't even come close to what I'm describing. So at the risk of sounding like a wisearce; The stuff I am talking about when I say Hemi-sync is a 50 hour training session voiced by Robert Monroe himself. It has 30-45 minute sessions each chapter and begins with attuning the physical body. He explains how to use imagination to release stress related thoughts and getting used to altered states. Then they move on to intentional energetic practices akin to hypnosis practice like letting go of fears and imagining it float upwards from yourself like a bubble. I know this method is also used in therapeutic hypnosis. The sounds are carefully tailored to produce minimum brain changes and eventually higher frequencies when going out of body, which is the main goal of these Hemi-sync sessions. I am not sure if one could NOT have an experience using the real Hemi-sync sounds. People who are more in tune like Kundalini Yogaists tend to go much further than the hypnosis implies. They teach methods how to achieve this state naturally with mnemonic imagination. You could for example imagine a number related to a "focus practice" and return to that state of mind. Focus 23 for example is said to habitually give experience in the realms of christian heavens. Focus 26 is a higher frequency and habitually gives experience of a sort of hell or purgatory. It goes all the way up to focus 40.

      Hemi-sync is the only way I have ever been near an OBE. There's some fine techniques in there. It has literally opened me up to my surroundings and could see the city from the comfort of my bed. I "am" a hard-head though but it still produced this experience briefly. In one session I was supposed to peak at a friends house and I did and saw my friend lying in bed partly naked haha. It felt real and not like some kind of expectation because I had to look into her house first and never saw her in any of the other rooms.
      Last edited by Dthoughts; 07-04-2014 at 11:12 AM.
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      Yeah I don't know, I probably wasn't doing it right or over-thinking what was going on, but that makes sense if it was a long training session! Haven't heard the name Robert Monroe in a while but yeah that's awesome about it working. I think I was trying something similar but it was on my own and not in any kind of therapeutic session. It sounds like someone needs to go through at least some kind of guided practice for Hemi-syncs to work correctly.

      I think I was trying things like those Focus ones, so I don't know, some things were happening but I didn't have any kind of full blown OBE. And actually I forget how far I made it so I think some Hemi-syncs included floating out of the body, but I know I didn't get to anything really advanced.

      I did find a past life regression hypnosis that works for me though, so that has been promising!

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      Wow nice posts guys! Thanks for discussing.

      Quote Originally Posted by ~ Dreamer ~ View Post
      Atras sent me this video a while ago when I explained the similarities above to him:

      I don't agree with everything Terence McKenna believes, but I think he has an interesting perspective.

      I guess a key difference between schizophrenics and people who take psychedelic drugs is that with drugs, you have control over when/where you enter the altered state, and the amount of time it will last.
      This is something I've been considering experimenting with lately. I know there are certain things that can trigger a psychotic episode for me, which I generally try to avoid. But perhaps I could explore the state and get a better handle on it if I did induce psychosis, in the same way someone might induce hallucinations with drugs.
      I would be very cautious in this situation, and have a 'sane' friend supervising the experiment to make sure I didn't get too caught up in my delusions or anything.

      Something I've spoken about with Atras before is the interesting dichotomy between many meditation practitioners and psychedelic advocates, who each discount the other method as a weaker path to heightened consciousness.
      There are people like Terence McKenna, who doesn't understand why someone would spend years meditating to achieve the same result as they could in 30 minutes by taking mushrooms.
      There are people like Eckhart Tolle, who believes that LSD induces a violent and inferior version of meditative enlightenment.
      I have great respect for many teachers in both camps, but I don't feel that there needs to be a comparison of this nature.
      Atras and I both feel that the two methods can be used harmoniously for slightly different purposes, and don't have to be pitted against each other.
      Perhaps you can post your thoughts on this here, Atras, because I would just be paraphrasing what you've said to me anyway.
      Quote Originally Posted by Neo Neo View Post
      I don't agree with everything McKenna says either, but generally I think a lot of what he says is spot on when he's specifically talking about the psychedelic experience. I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist so I couldn't say the relationship to schizophrenia, but I think there's something to be said if there are similarities apparent.

      Yes I think that caution and safety should be considered first and thats good that you've thought of all these things. I've had my reckless moments but I'd like to think that I've been careful enough since I'm still here to talk about these things. I've certainly had a glimpse of the limitlessness of the psychedelic realm and got my ass kicked, and its helped me to have a more careful scrutiny because of that scary experience. But again I'm coming from the perspective of someone who has some anxiety and depression, so I can't speak from your point of view. Although I hesitate to call it psychosis, I think that whatever "it" is called, this region of experience can be worthwhile for more serious explorers. If not, then there's a lot to read about or trying to meditate to reach it. And yeah I'd definitely say have a close friend with you, or in the next room, if attempting to go this far. I just feel like its uncharted territory for most of us and going it alone can be a recipe for recklessness and bad trips.

      I'd agree that things like meditation and psychedelics have their uses and that neither outweighs the other. To me it seems like its all fair game, as I saw another post on this forum about the "risks of meditation" and how people had suffered (supposed) physical and psychological conditions after meditation. And of course there are risk factors for psychedelics as well, ranging from minimal/nothing to a lot depending on whats involved and circumstances. But I think that these are just all ways of "getting there", and some ways work better for some people than others. If whatever is treated with respect and an open mind then why should it be superior or inferior to anything else? Plato said something along the lines of philosophy being a preparation for death and the formless. I like the formless part, because it implies leaving the body behind and coming into contact with the immaterial. Then things like meditation and psychedelics both touch upon the formless, so I think that it wouldn't be wrong to say that they both have equal footing for reaching heightened consciousness. I also think it shows us that these "ways" of getting there will eventually have to be given up and let go of. I also like that "heightened consciousness" phrase
      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I've always been pretty ambivalent about McKenna myself. I kind of wrote him off as a credible source, too, but a friend of mine owned a copy of The Psychedelic Experience and read part of it once in the early stages of a trip and I did end up applying that information both that time and the next time I tripped. What he said was something I had pretty much grasped anyways, and amounted to his own way of saying "Go with the flow," but he went into more detail of the various ways our minds initially resist it and I found that information helpful. I like the way he used Fraberge eggs to describe DMT as well.



      I like to believe I've personally gotten to the point where I don't need to control my set or setting. I could enter the psychedelic state in any situation and rise to the challenge. The thing is, I'm speaking to LSD, Mushrooms, and that vein, DMT is a different animal. I've had a bad DMT trip myself, and I don't remember details but I remember coming back shaking from the experience. Whatever happened awoke me to some terrifying piece of knowledge and I don't know exactly what it is but it haunts me. Every other time though, I did get that sense of profound peace. And part of my confidence comes from my openness to experience in the universe because part of me can see through the surface of my experiences. I point my attention toward this nameless, spatial, underlying truth and let the drug do the rest of the work.

      Regarding Eckhart Tolle's take on psychedelics, I'd be more willing to trust his opinion because unlike McKenna, he never said a word in the two books of his I read that didn't strike me as true, at least on an intuitive level. Psychedelic practitioners seem to often take a little crazy back with them, along with revelation. Francis Crick could conceptualize DNA's double-helix design but would also conclude that humans had alien DNA. I myself have similar revelations from my own trips regarding the mechanics of life and evolution that I've attempted to form into a congruent thought. I believe my realizations on this track are sound, but I've also managed to convince myself that on an intergalactic level, Earth is like the North Korea of the galaxy, and life here is being held hostage by a frightened Cabal clinging to an illusion of power.
      I love both Eckhart and McKenna. They are very inspiring and wise. And since both are humans, I think they can also be a little short sighted in some areas. Regarding the dichotomy between psychedelics and meditation, I think they are a little short sighted because of their life's dedication to their individual choice of means for consciousness expansion. When you have dedicated everything to one practice, something that is seen as opposing becomes so threatening that you automatically fight against it before even fully understanding what it is.

      I know Terrance McKenna to almost mock meditation and mindfulness, being unable to understand why one would devote decades to meditative practice to achieve the same thing that can be achieved with 20 minutes of DMT or 6 hours of Mushrooms. Eckhart on the other hand partakes in 1 LSD trip, and suddenly understands everything there is to know about LSD, saying all it does is enhance sensory perception, but does not lead to any real expansion in consciousness.

      What they are both missing is that they are different tools used for different purposes. I'm not gonna pretend to know for sure what those purposes are, but to me it seems that metaphorically speaking, psychedelics provides the spark, and meditation provides the flame. LSD and shrooms and dmt can be seen as kindling to start the fire. Just like it is hard to make a log catch on fire with a small flame, it is hard to make most people suddenly change their lifestyle and adopt a more mindful and spiritual way of living out of the blue. There needs to be something that sparks that interest and desire to go this way, and that understanding that shows them what a lifestyle focused on consciousness can provide. Psychedelics give you an intense experience with the expansion of consciousness, in order to be life changing and powerful enough to alter your perception and thoughts and inspire you to change. Meditation on the other hand is the firewood. It is what sustains the expansion of consciousness and allows it to permeate into your life. Eckhart mentioned how violent LSD seems, compared to the gentle expansion of consciousness provided by a meditative and mindful lifestyle. He's right, but this is for a reason. Meditation is supposed to cause permanent changes in your lifestyle, and thus is not going to be as intense or immediately profound as the psychedelic experience, but this is okay because in order for these changes in consciousness successfully permeate into your life, they need to be brought on gently and slowly over time.

      I am often wary to put too much trust in any one spiritual teacher. I think a lot of them can offer huge amounts of insight and inspiration, but relying on any one of them for all my philosophical endeavors I find dangerous, because they too are only human, thus can make mistakes, be wrong about some things, and often, allow their ego to delude them into thinking that they know everything because they are the spiritual master.

      Quote Originally Posted by OneUpBoy71 View Post
      I think one amazing altered state of consciousness is the one caused by pure LSD. Its one drug I love to use in a recreational way, but dont get me wrong, im not an addict. The state of mind caused by this drug is amazing. You feel pure euphoria that youve never felt before. It tops any other feeling of happiness one has ever felt. When you listen to music on it you feel like your listen to the universe- no joke. The music sounds SO AMAZING. And the visuals that come along with this drug are crazy. You can see anything from unicorns and flying turtles to clones of people you know that arent even with you. And depending on the amount you do, you can even have a spiritual experience. This stuff changed my life- for the better and made me a more positive person and now i enjoy life alot. Im not saying "yo everyone you HAVE to do this drug" but I am saying that you should try it out- it will change how you think completely- for the better.

      Ive also always wanted to try DMT, but its SO hard to find where I live.
      Pure LSD is definitely amazing. For the longest time I have been using not the best quality acid, and still have pretty awesome experiences out of them. Just recently I got my hands on extremely potent, pure acid. Took 1.5 tabs, which would usually give me a light experience, I tripped for 24 hours, having an experience that is equivalent to about a ten strip of normal potency acid.

      Trip started with unbelievable euphoria, much more intense than you would get on MDMA. I started coming up really slowly, then by the 2nd hour, the trip suddenly shot up. By the peak, my visuals were unbelievable. I could see every single molecule in every cell in every detail forming and morphing into infinitely complex geometrical patterns at extremely high speeds. When I turned off the lights, all I could see was millions of tiny orbs of light flying and dancing around the room, forming them into the same infinitely complex geometrical patterns. When I turned my phone on the light from the phone would be sucked out of the phone and into these patterns. When I went outside, It looked like an alien landscape. Everything was so unbelievably saturated with intense, vibrant color. It was so colorful though that you wouldn't recognize it. Normally saturated red would be considered gray compared to how red the reds were while I was frying (if that makes sense).

      And while I already knew this to be true, it made even more sense now. That what you see on acid is not something that is not there, instead it is actually seeing something that is already there that you have not been able to see before. This trip made me realize the infinite complexity of reality. I started to understand that the normal state of consciousness is like a very small window into reality, while the psychedelic experience is the expanding of this window, making it larger and larger and larger, allowing you to see more and more and more of consciousness, until eventually this window opens and you can actually step out into pure consciousness, the type of experiences you would get on DMT or Salvia or very high doses of shrooms. This explanation being a metaphor of course.

      The interesting thing is, while this trip on LSD was very profound for me, it was not very spiritual. I was able to see reality ripped open, but I still maintained my own ego and did not get that "God view" feeling and spiritual "lessons" that I often get on plant psychedelics. Making me think, maybe since plant psychedelics come from consciousness itself (nature) they have more of an innate spiritual experience to them. While LSD being semi synthetic, is almost more of like a reality hack. You don't get it packaged neatly into a box with a bow tie, instead you just get it how it is. Would be interested to see other people's opinions and the dichotomy between plant vs synthetic psychedelics.

      Quote Originally Posted by Original Poster View Post
      I want to try hippy flipping and floating in a sensory deprivation tank with an IV. Around an hour into my float, hit me with DMT through the IV. Then you can just drop me into the pool.

      That would be quite the interesting experience. If one is already in an altered state of consciousness, to suddenly be thrust into the DMT Experience without their anticipation would probably be profound.

      Quote Originally Posted by ~ Dreamer ~ View Post
      I think the general consensus with float tanks is that it's best to take it slow - even in terms of time floating, you should build yourself up to the longer floats.
      It's said that a once-off float won't benefit you nearly as much as regular floating, which makes sense to me. A portion of the first float is spent getting used to the feeling of being submerged and isolated, so you're not fully immersed in the experience yet.
      I wouldn't be recommending any drugs for the first float, or maybe even the first few. Sensory deprivation is an interesting experience in and of itself.
      But I can imagine the DMT afterglow would be nice in a tank, and the environment is pretty perfect for an intense trip.
      I am actually going to be doing my first float session tomorrow! Going to keep my first few experiences drug free. I want to explore what a pure sensory deprivation experience has to offer, and then experiment with psychedelic tools to expand the experience.


      As far as my own experiences with altered states, they have mostly been with psychedelics. I have been recently training in meditation. Woudln't say I have achieved altered states of consciousness from it yet, but am definitely reaping some benefits, namely incredible relaxation and mental clarity.

      I have also recently been experimenting with binuaral beats used as a supplement to meditation. Have had actually unexpected results. During one experience, I lost concept of my body and time. I felt perfectly at peace with everything, floating in absolute nothingness. Felt like it lasted an eternity, was only 15 minutes. Very interesting experience. Every other time I tried it, I didn't get quite those results, but the binuaral beats did definitely help with slowing down my brain.

      Most of my altered states have come from psychedelic use. I have mostly only used psychedelics in low to medium doses, which is still incredibly beneficial. Two features of LSD that are in all of my experiences are the softening of the ego and the "bigger picture" perspective. The ego softening I experience on LSD is similar to that of MDMA, where everyone I talk to , I feel love for, and if there is a problem that arises, I feel the need to be compassionate and understanding about it rather than immediately defending or confronting. The "bigger picture" perspective is really interesting. It is this all knowing feeling where it feels as if you have been lifted out of the fog that you've been shrouded in all your life, and can clearly analyze and delve into your problems, seeing them from an objective point of view. On LSD, this takes form in an introspective way, where I am able to see everything clearly that is related to my personal issues, relationships, life choices, experiences, etc. On mushrooms, I get the same objective perspective shift, except it is from more of a spiritual form. In this, I lose all concept of time and space, I feel as if I have been lifted from the fog again, but instead of having clear knowledge and insight about my life, I have clear knowledge and insight about the nature of reality and consciousness. I sometimes feel as if I am God, seeing everything from an objective point of view. And also while this happening, I fear to go back to a normal state of consciousness, because I know if I do, I will once again be shrouded in the fog and oblivious to the truth that I have just re-realized. While the LSD perspective is easy to handle, sometimes the mushrooms perspective can be very frightening. Which brings me to the next type of altered state I have experienced, which is a little bothersome.

      The first time I have experienced this was on Salvia. This was the 4th time I tripped on Salvia. The first three times were your typical laugh your ass off youtube video trip. This time was very different.

      Here is my trip report:
      "So I took 2 hits of salvia. My consciousness slowly started to fade, until eventually I blacked out I left this reality and appeared in some weird, colorful, 2-d reality where I am stuck to some kind surface and unable to move, completely trapped. I see in front of me someone else stuck, with an elephant head. My mindset is what scared me the most. For some reason, a realization washed over me that my reality that I've always lived in was not real, almost like a momentary illusion, and that my true reality was being stuck in this 2-d realm, and that I would never be able to get back, because it's not real. It's hard to explain exactly how I felt, but I didn't know I was on Salvia, it felt like I was waking up from a dream, our reality being the dream, and this crazy trapped reality being some type of world that I existed in. I didn't really remember much of my real life, it felt like I had been in this crazy reality forever, and the part that scared me the most, is that it felt familiar. I had no question in my mind that this was the way it was, but I was still terrified because even though I knew that was the way it was, it scared me that I would be stuck forever. Then suddenly, everything disappeared. I was in complete nothingness. I couldn't see or hear anything, i had no body, and I felt as if I was existing outside of time and space. I still had the mindset that I was trapped and would never be able to return. That I had my go at life but Now I was back to being trapped in nothingness, forever.

      Eventually I came back to reality, and for about 30 minutes, I could see and feel that other reality right next to me, like all I had to do was roll back over to get into it. So I avoided laying down. I told myself I wouldn't do Salvia again, but as a week went by, I kinda got over that fear and decided to try again.

      My friend convinced me that it was only a bad trip and wouldn't happen again. I did it again, and this time, the same exact thing happened. At the beginning of the trip though, instead of blacking out, it started with me feeling as if I was being compressed into 2d space, but at the same time I became aware of extra dimensions (I thought of it as the 5th dimension, although I really had no reason to be this specific). Then, I got this intense rush of dreadful nostalgia that scared me to death. And immediately all my memories of the last time this happened came rushing back and I said to myself "oh no, what have I done, not again." Then I started to get this objective view of reality, where it seemed like I was looking down on reality as if it was a board game, and at the base of this board, I could feel this all knowing female presence. Then I went back to that terrible 2d reality. Even though a week went by since the last time I tripped, it felt like only seconds had gone by. I felt like i had been tricked by some powerful force in going back to this place, and felt like no matter what I did, I would always come back here in the end."

      After that, I tried Salvia 5 more times, always having the same exact trip.

      On the peaks of two of my most intense mushroom trips, one of my most intense LSD trips, and one of my DMT trips, I would experience this reality again. It was never as intense as Salvia, but I would always experience the same nostalgic dread, as well as the feeling that I was returning to the reality that I have always been from, that this reality was an illusion, and the feeling of that same female presence and feeling that reality was really all existing in the same place outside of time, almost like a board game that you can't see until you rise above into the "5th" dimension, yet somehow it also felt 2 dimensional, like there was no space. And every time, I would have the same thoughts of "oh no, not again." Along with the extreme urge to fight it as hard as possible, to avoid going back.

      Has anyone else experienced something similar to this or have any insights on this? What I wonder is if this is actually showing me some truth of reality, or if it is more of a subconscious thing.
      Last edited by Atras; 07-05-2014 at 08:47 AM.

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      I accidantilly broke through on Salvia the first time I used it. And I broke through into this "trap" where I'm stuck on this wheel. I have a body but it is not the same as my 3d human body. It is very uncomfortable and there's people stuck right next to me. We are all made of the same body. I feel watched and contemplate if this is some kind of joke. I can utter one syllable (that goes like Hwuuuuuh) and breathe out to affect this reality and feel momentum move as if I am trying to push a plastic membrane. Next to me I see myself in this state with a look just as helpless as I felt. The closest analogy I can think of is like being a pin on a zipper. Uttering a syllable is like trying to unzip yourself but the fleshy structure and gravity of all the other pins keeps jolting you back to your original momentum (zipped position). ^^

      I could sort of make out the structure of the whole thing and it's like spiraling upwards and kind of folded on top of each other layer for layer. It reminds me of the structure of the human brain. During the experience I have the intense feeling of being watched/observed from all sides or behind the structures.

      Afterwards I do manage to get out and step outside of a portal/machine into an empty sort of waiting room. And somehow manage to feel myself being rolled back into my normal non-folded reality. I smoked it again and was instructed by a woman not to smoke Salvia Extracts in this way. It said "You do this everytime and each time you are in this space you realize it is pointless".

      So to conclude I think things we experienec on Salvia are very similar. But it's not 100% real. There is a reality to it. But comparing there are some important differences. For example, while you see an elephant man. I see a piece of myself. etc. It seems more like a symbolic representation of something that IS real and Salvia is trying to show you. Once on a deep Mushroom trip where I saw you Atras and Wakingnomad in my trip during the IOSPD startup. I was so much back into this Salvia feeling a woman came to me again and told me that my life or universe is analogous to being a single cell for a multi-celled organism. I live to be the structure of something bigger than myself. This was accompanied with this vision of the Salvia Zipper and made perfect sense at the time. I don't take thoughts I have in altered states very seriously but when entities tell me things I tend to take this very seriously. So i still don't exactly know what that structure is but I do know i'm never smoking Salvia ever again unless extracted by yours truly. ^^
      Alysendra likes this.

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