Posts tagged "hallucination"
'Dreaming While Awake' -- An Examination of Hallucinations by Mike Jay

‘Dreaming While Awake’ — An Examination of Hallucinations by Mike Jay

Today’s guest post is by Mike Jay, the celebrated author of High Society, an illustrated global history of drugs, among other books. His essays have appeared in Aeon Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the London Review of Books, covering topics as diverse as drugs and creativity, flying potions, influencing machines, brainwashing, and opium pipes.   In February 1758 the 90-year-old Charles Lullin, a retired Swiss civil servant whose sight had been progressively failing since a cataract operation five years before, began to see considerably more than he had become accustomed to. For the next several months he was visited in his apartment by...
Accepting Deviant Minds: Why 'Hallucinations' Are as Real as the Self

Accepting Deviant Minds: Why ‘Hallucinations’ Are as Real as the Self

This week’s guest post is by Kevin Simler. Kevin is a philosopher and blogger who believes in (pan)critical rationalism, keeping his identity small, and writing as an aid to thinking. This post was first published on his website, Melting Asphalt — one of my favorite sources for fresh critical perspectives on the mind, society, and everything in between. At a sleepover when I was 12, a friend told me that he could control his dreams. It didn’t happen every night, he said, but every so often he’d become aware of being in the middle of a dream. Usually at that point he’d wake up,...
The Perception Scope: How to Conjure Open-eye Visuals at Will

The Perception Scope: How to Conjure Open-eye Visuals at Will

People talk about how subtle psychedelic hallucinations can be. As long as your eyes are open, they say, objects may appear different — more vibrant, breathing in and out, or covered with patterns — but they won’t morph into faeries and slithering monsters like they do in the movies. Unless, of course, you take a heroic dose; then anything is fair game. I disagree. I see “things that aren’t really there” on any decent dose, sometimes into the following day. If you haven’t seen more than patterns and wobbling walls, you probably just need some direction and practice. In fact, with...
How to Conjure Visions in Ribbons of Smoke

How to Conjure Visions in Ribbons of Smoke

The image of smoke swirling through the air, catching the light as it dances upwards, can be absolutely breathtaking. In a dark room with a single stick of incense, you can follow the threads of smoke as they weave about, reacting to your every breath. Here’s the exercise. You will need: incense, a  candle, and materials for getting high (not strictly necessary, but cannabis amplifies the imagination in my experience). This works best indoors. Turn off all the lights except for a single candle. I mean all of them — if you have so much as a dim nightlight on,...
Discovering the Inner Sanctum: My First Solo LSD Experience

Discovering the Inner Sanctum: My First Solo LSD Experience

I had taken LSD once before, but it was a smaller dose taken in a social setting. This time it would be 250µg, alone in the comfort of my apartment. Here are a few anecdotes and musings from that sunny April day. Some were written in my expanded state of mind, while others were recollected in the following days and weeks. It was one of the most remarkable days of my life. I peer in the mirror, in awe at the living being before me. My hand is pale but splotchy, a red and purple thing against the pale and...