language – Psychedelic Frontier make the most of your dose Fri, 11 Jan 2019 12:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48719013 ‘Remember’: A Mind-Blowing Series of Beautiful Illustrations Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:55:38 +0000 ‘Remember’: A Mind-Blowing Series of Beautiful Illustrations

I recently discovered this incredible series of illustrations by Chops Wanderweird, called Remember. It’s as thought-provoking as it is beautiful, with a retro children’s-book vibe that I really love. Plus those intricate geometric lines, lovingly rendered in gorgeous colored pencil and ink, make me feel like I’m tripping!

As you look through the pages you’ll catch snatches of ideas explored by Alan Watts, Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, and other psychonauts and philosophers. Yet there’s something utterly original about this project. Prepare to get your mind blown. (Click each image for full-size and use arrow keys to navigate.)

Oh, and buy the book — it makes a great gift!

Intrigued? That’s just the first half! Check out the rest here.

Continue reading ‘Remember’: A Mind-Blowing Series of Beautiful Illustrations at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 6—Asking Questions Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:38:36 +0000 Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 6—Asking Questions

This is the conclusion of a six-part series about the Prohibition debate. You can check out Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, though they are not necessary for understanding this post. In Part 5 I discussed cognitive liberty as a basic human right, and in this final section I review the questions we should be asking about drug policy.

Legality does not constitute endorsement

Prohibition supporters often say that repealing prohibition would “send the wrong message” to America’s youth. But the legislative body is not in the business of sending messages. We do not pass laws to communicate how people should be living their lives, but to forbid certain aggressive behaviors that harm others.

Opting not to punish a certain behavior is a far cry from “endorsement” – it just means that the behavior does not violate the rights of others to such an extent that it warrants punishment.

Continue reading Reclaiming the Prohibition Debate, Part 6—Asking Questions at Psychedelic Frontier.

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What is Cognitive Liberty? Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:30:48 +0000 What is Cognitive Liberty?

This is the fifth in a six-part series about how the Prohibition debate is tainted by our unquestioned assumptions. You can check out Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4, but they are not necessary for understanding this post.

Politicians, the media, and everyday citizens tend to frame the prohibition debate as “Should we legalize marijuana?” This language reveals entrenched cultural views not only about drugs, but about the role of government and the freedoms “allowed” to the private citizen.

“Legalize” implies that the role of the government is to selectively allow some things. It isn’t – the role of law is to disallow certain behaviors, as exceptions, because they violate the rights of others. Every behavior is fair game until it is outlawed by a democratic process. So a government does not “legalize” anything — it just takes a behavior off of the prohibited list when that behavior is shown not to violate the rights of others.

Continue reading What is Cognitive Liberty? at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Word Clouds Show What It’s Like to Be on Drugs Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:23:31 +0000 Word Clouds Show What It’s Like to Be on Drugs

What does the language of drug experience look like? What words do we turn to again and again to describe an LSD trip or a cannabis high? has created some slick graphics to answer these questions (although they are not the first). They performed “extensive linguistic analysis on thousands of written user experiences” drawn from the Erowid database. The graphics cover eight popular drugs, including LSD, DMT, MDMA, and mushrooms. The words shown are the ones most unique to each particular drug, and the size of each word indicates its frequency in user reports.

One major problem with an analysis like this is that these reports are self-selected. People are unlikely to post a report about an average or typical drug experience, and may instead share the most sensational or extreme ones. They may also be more inclined to share an unpleasant experience than a euphoric one, leading to a negative bias in the report database.

Continue reading Word Clouds Show What It’s Like to Be on Drugs at Psychedelic Frontier.

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DMT-Nexus Publishes First Issue of New e-Zine: ‘The Nexian’ Mon, 17 Feb 2014 12:30:38 +0000 DMT-Nexus Publishes First Issue of New e-Zine: ‘The Nexian’

Check out The Nexian, the first ever e-zine produced by members of DMT-Nexus. It’s a free PDF download with 56 pages of trip reports, horticultural advice, interviews, and DMT-inspired artworks by members of the Nexus community.

One feature that stands out to me is Jungle Stewing: An Interview with Antrocles. Antrocles is Antony Galvan, a DMT enthusiast who runs a healing retreat inspired by his work with the Secoya tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon. He talks about the relationship between language and the psychedelic experience:


If there’s one thing I’ve really gleaned from these tribes is that if you’re going to work with these plants, do it right. I’ve met too many people who are just in it for the fireworks. […]

For a long time, I never put it together with the visual aspect of DMT, where I was being just so blown away by the visual aspect of it, and the symbolism of what I was being shown- I thought that was actually the important thing. 

Continue reading DMT-Nexus Publishes First Issue of New e-Zine: ‘The Nexian’ at Psychedelic Frontier.

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The War on Sweets Mon, 03 Feb 2014 12:40:58 +0000 The War on Sweets

This is the fourth in a six-part series about how the Prohibition debate is tainted by our assumptions and prejudices. You can check out Parts 1, 2, and 3, but they are not necessary for understanding this post.

We often focus on what would happen if cannabis were legalized. This is a terrible way to frame the debate. It’s worthwhile to consider the effects of any legislative act, of course, but we focus way too much on societal effects and not enough on human rights. We consider the ends at the expense of the means.

An example will illustrate my point. Suppose a society outlaws unhealthy foods and mandates exercise from every citizen under threat of imprisonment. (Suspend your skepticism and assume for the moment that a majority of citizens would support this legislation.)

Forty years later, this is the new normal: some people are healthier, but obesity and heart disease remain major problems due to rampant illegal snacking.

Continue reading The War on Sweets at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:30:56 +0000 Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead

The vine has spread her tendrils across the world and a genuine archaic revival was underway. My bags were packed, South America beckoned, and the ancient mysteries of the rainforest awaited. I wanted in on it…

Rak Razam

I sat down with Rak Razam, the writer, producer, and main subject of the new film Aya: Awakenings, for a 45-minute interview covering everything from the legacy of Terence McKenna to the intense 5-MeO-DMT trip that occurs at the climax of the film.

The documentary, an adaptation of the book of the same name, covers the ayahuasca tourism phenomenon through the lens of Rak’s personal experiences in Peru.


The Interview

Stream it here or download the mp3.

Rak describes his film as an etheogenic journey for the audience:

There’s this synesthesia that happens in the film, where because of the narration taking you on the emotional left-brain journey, and the soundscapes and the visuals, it hits all the right spots of our sensory modalities and triggers a shamanic reaction.

Continue reading Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead at Psychedelic Frontier.

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The Power of Words Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:45:15 +0000 The Power of Words

This is the third in a six-part series about how the Prohibition debate is tainted by our assumptions and prejudices. You can check out Parts 1 and 2, but they are not necessary for understanding this post.

Those who rule symbols, rule us. —Korzybski

Consider the power of words. If we uncritically accept the state-sponsored language, the DEA’s job is to enforce laws that apply to illicit substances. But a humanitarian perspective may sound more like this: the DEA robs and kidnaps individuals who possess, create, or sell some substances, almost none of which are especially poisonous when compared to commonly available items like bleach or gasoline. The DEA is not alone here, but works in conjunction with the state and federal legislatures that draft the laws, the courts that uphold the laws, and local police departments across the country, among other agencies.

Continue reading The Power of Words at Psychedelic Frontier.

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The Gravity of Law: Taking Human Rights Seriously Thu, 09 Jan 2014 12:30:35 +0000 The Gravity of Law: Taking Human Rights Seriously

In Part 1 of this six-part series, I discussed the importance of comparing terms and assumptions before debating drug policy. In this post, I re-examine the nature of law and our disturbingly casual attitude towards coercion and punishment.

The primary function of any government is to protect its constituents’ human rights. The secondary goal is to uphold the smooth functioning of society. Secondary functions include zoning laws, market regulations, welfare programs, and tax collection—these activities don’t protect individual rights per se, but they (arguably) keep society running smoothly without excessively infringing upon our rights.

Not everyone will agree with my definition of government’s functions, or the way I have ordered them, but that’s okay – the whole point of outlining our fundamental beliefs is to identify where exactly we diverge in opinion, and why. In my operating definition, protecting human rights is the prime function of government.

Continue reading The Gravity of Law: Taking Human Rights Seriously at Psychedelic Frontier.

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Myths and Lies of Prohibition Mon, 06 Jan 2014 12:30:17 +0000 Myths and Lies of Prohibition

I have already examined the psychology of Prohibition and our neurotic desire for control. In this six-part series, I focus on the skewed language and unquestioned assumptions that taint the Prohibition debate.

Language always lies… We proceed from one fiction to another, every time we open our mouths to speak.

—Robert Anton Wilson

Language hypnotizes us. We are raised with the phrases and conventions of our culture, and no matter how insidious or wrong-headed they prove to be—no matter how independent-minded we pretend to be—these ideas carry great power over us for our entire lives. When we name things, imbuing them with connotations of good and bad, approved and taboo, we make them real. Not objectively real, but real in our minds—which for human beings is practically the same thing.

When we act as though our concepts are real—as though currency had value, as though laws had power, and as though “sin” and “vice” and “crime” were more than just socially disapproved behaviors—we make them so.

Continue reading Myths and Lies of Prohibition at Psychedelic Frontier.

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