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Psychoactives and Magick

To: FiatLVX Christian Magick Elist
From: (NocTifer)
Subject: Psychoactives and Magick
Date: 499412xx

The division between various socially-accepted psychoactives (such as
nicotine, alcohol, sucrose and caffeine) and those which are outlawed
in some states even while likely less health-risk (such as psilocybin, 
peyote, marijuana and lysergic acid diethylamide) is one which is
wholly cultural and biased toward preservation of the social machine.

When examining information regarding subjective effects of these
substances I find it quite easy to isolate sources of experience from
a lack, quite apart from any indication to that effect within text.
One of these is the usage of the term 'drugs' and how someone chooses
to distinguish this from 'food' (the only meaningful separation here
which I recognize is a *legal* one).  Another is in regards to the
term 'hallucinogen' versus the more favorable 'psychedelic'.

I continue to regard psychoactive substances as a powerful aid in
ritual, and I think that it can be a powerful combination to effectively 
engage these.  I think that humans have an inborn need to engage 
nonordinary states of consciousness and this manifests in many different 
ways.  Further reading on the effect of attitude and environment ('set' 
and 'setting') within such experiences is suggested to the wary (Weil's 
_The Natural Mind_ is excellent).

Any competent pharmacologist will tell you that different substances
affect different people in different ways.  While there are some
statistical similarities such that we can classify substances based
on common response, it is almost impossible to predict with certainty
specific reactions in particular people.

I've heard, for example, that some people are rather immune to the
depressant effects of alcohol, though this could merely be high
tolerance or lack of experience as cause.  Correspondingly, there are
stories of famous personages (notably Indian gurus) who have consumed
large dosages of psychedelics and experienced no noticeable effect
(allegedly due to their integrated state of consciousness, though I
have speculated that it may be a resolved ego-state, which could be
seen as the same thing).

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