Writing With Intention: Evoking Your Will Onto Paper

I want to start by saying Alan Moore is a huge reason I am writing about this topic. He is famous for his comics like Watchmen, V for Vendetta, and The Killing Joke. His work never shies away from the shadow which is why I think he has such a loyal fanbase. His ideas on magic have a great influence on me as well. Believe it or not Moore is a magician. Moore believes that art, consciousness, language, and magic are all the same phenomena experienced in different ways. I personally believe magic is a phenomena that is born from the synergy of consciousness, art, and language. Magic is the form and they are its expressions. It’s like looking at the same image through different lenses, and his abstraction makes much more sense. Magic cannot be experienced directly, but rather its only experienced through its relations to the world around it. Anytime we express our spirit we are expressing magic itself.

Could it be that easy though? You just have to focus on good energies and speak your intentions into the air to manifest your will upon others? Can you really send good vibes? Actually yes, and there is evidence that you can manifest magic upon yourself as well. Think of them as wards you place upon yourself to give yourself strength. Whether these wards draw energy from life itself or if it is the source of life I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone understands if this is simply a placebo effect or not. Next time you are planning for an interview, preparing for an exam, or helping someone with their homework speak your intentions out loud. In private if you have to. Keep filling yourself up with purpose.

I feel like I’m digressing though. Whether the effect is placebo or there is a higher power enacting upon us the truth is these rituals work. I personally think that the brain has a higher chance of retaining an idea if it is spoken out loud because the sound must be processed through the ears. How do I know if something is real if I can’t experience it, and furthermore how can I experience an idea unless I first create its phenomenon.

Can we speak a moment about words? Pneuma is the Greek word for “breath of life”, “spirit”, and “soul”. The concept of breath is very important in ancient texts. The upanishads discuss in detail the practice of pranayama. It is used in between asanas to join the body, mind, and soul. Is it any wonder both meditation and physical yoga both focus on breathing? You are focusing on your spiritual essence. Without physical air the spirit cannot exist because they are one in the same. You must speak your intentions in open air in order to manifest them! Voila! Magic! Just thinking about your intentions do not satisfy.

So how does one write with intention and what does that even mean? It means that you should write like you talk, and you should talk in the open air. Use the sacred spoken word to your advantage. Stare into the mirror every morning and let your words fly out of your mouth, bounce against the walls of your surroundings, and reverberate back into your mind. Let the emotions your writing evokes inside of you flow freely for a while. This is what Alan Moore means when he says he is a magician. He is harnessing the spiritual energy from speech to channel his ideas.

It took me forever to write my blog posts because I missed this important ingredient. I kept thinking about how I can write something others would want to hear. I research a lot of forums. I read a lot of books. I wanted to write something that was absent of magic. I can copy the ideas of others and mask my intentions. There are plenty of content creators and influencers who do this efficiently. That’s not art though. Art needs magic to exist. Once I started writing the content I needed to hear it was easy. My passion, fueled by purpose, rushed through my veins once again forcing my pen to the paper. It was an energy I could not stop. If you are a writer like me who has been scratching your head trying to find the answers then take a moment to say your words out loud first. Let the intentions of each word ring through your ears so you can feel them flow through you.

This is a trap

So I wanted to preface this post by warning you that this entire post is meaningless. There is no spiritual meaning behind any of the words I write, and for all intensive purposes there is no real reason anyone should take what I have to say seriously.

With that out of the way I can continue with my madness. I have been absent from writing for a while. From a business perspective I have not utilized the capital I spent purchasing this blog. I have no idea why I even decided to purchase a domain in my own name. Maybe this is a way for me to fill the void I have created over the years by relentlessly searching for meaning outside of myself. Maybe this is my path that was determined for me by some cosmic force I will never understand. My favorite one is this was all a narcissistic ploy to cement myself as a digital effigy in this web of significance known as the internet so no one will ever face the true reality that I’m scared to face my own impermanence. I want to become a egotistical millionaire and someday create a chain of restaurant franchises in my own name like Jimmy John did. I wish to construct a temple of mirrors so maybe god will hear me louder when I pray.

I will inevitably have to leave the limbo of deterministic thought though and with it leave this shallow pool of comfort. There comes a moment in every persons life where they have face the reality that no one will ever know if they were good enough to anyone they have loved. We have to have faith and trust that we are good people worthy of love and affection. We have to have faith in ourselves. Faith is the very root of love and it is our pain that gives it meaning. Life needs death and love needs pain.

No one asked to be born. The realities we create are funnels for us to dilute our otherwise chaotic experiences into some tangible logic to help us pretend there is any sort of order, direction, or meaning to our own suffering. Love is a trap.

I have been afraid to write because I am afraid of what I might say. I have nothing to claw onto outside of myself so I can point the finger at someone else whenever I end up neck deep again in my own bullshit. I can no longer shrug my shoulders and create sanctimonious catch phrases like my life was some 90’s sitcom with me as the punchline. Existing in the present is a terrifying experience that I too seldom have the emotional energy to linger in. Existence is a trap.

My favorite thing about spirituality is that it completely destroys the western analytic narratives. The Enlightenment showed us through science, technology, and the dogma of reason we can release our souls from the clutches of the church. We are now free to explore the wonders of self identity and its infinite possibilities. I often think of this while staring at the 25 different brands of deodorant that mockingly stare at me while I am lost in the paralysis of indecision at the supermarket. Reason is a trap.

If I am lucky I will use my privilege that I was born with, combined with enormous amount of effort, to create a portfolio of funds that benefit from the exploited labors of fellow workers so I can create a solid foundation for myself and my family. I can otherwise choose to throw away all of this and face fascism in the face alienating myself from any chance of success I have and hope that I won’t end up a disappointing failure with nothing to show when I can’t provide for my own family. This meat prison I was sentenced to is a trap.

I am not the only one though. We are all trapped. Sometimes these traps are our own design without us even knowing it. I have written more drafts for posts than I have essays in college. Most of them end up as deleted because I am searching for something real. I am searching for something outside of myself because I need to feel like I mean something because I don’t feel like I mean anything to myself. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do. I don’t know where I am suppose to go. I am circling the walls of my own mind looking for the door. Is this all that is real?

This blog has no meaning to me because ultimate I have no idea if meaning even exists. I have no idea if even I exist. I wish I could put a tab under my tongue and wake up tomorrow completely disillusioned to my own reality. I hope this blog means something to you. I hope by writing this I have summoned a door for you to escape your own trap even if for only a moment because the hardest traps to escape are the ones we created.

Watch the weather change

These words are used as a slogan on my profiles and the blog itself. The phrase has many meanings, and I chose it because of its multifaceted interpretations I have.

I originally heard this phrase in my favorite song triage by Tool. You can find the song here. Although the lyrics aren’t explicitly stated Tool has a way to speak to the unconscious mind. The name Tool itself came from acknowledging that their music is intended to be used as a means to explore consciousness. When I try to interpret the phrase I originally thought of a stoic meditation. I imagined Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree watching the weather change as he reaches his different stages of enlightenment. I imagine Buddha reaching the final epiphany of impermanence as he realized that the world goes through repeating cycles.

But then… I started this blog. My intent for this blog is a much similar task. I wish to ascend the collective unconscious of the working class. This blog in a way is meant to be a Tool for the reader to leverage in their own personal enlightenment. A tool to be used as the reader rides the spiral upwards.

My first couple blog ideas were a mix of spiritual and political. I like the overlapping dynamic between different social studies. I own a trading company that uses the Brownian Motion Model of the markets in its research. The Brownian Motion process, or Weiner process, was not originally intended to be used in the markets, but rather to explain the horizontal movements of a particle as its pulled vertically down from gravity. Two unrelated paths of study converging to a singular model.

So my when I started to brainstorm topics I was looking at writing a piece over Bill Ayers. I haven’t finished this piece yet so for those who are unfamiliar he was the leader of an anti-fascist activist group The Weathermen. I’m sure you already see where I’m going with this. The name came from a Bob Dylan song. The lyrics are “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” This phrase encapsulated perfectly the grassroots efforts that The Weathermen we’re based in. You don’t have to be a weathermen to know it’s raining. You can feel it. Your experiences in this political climate are real and valid even if you lack the proper terms to describe your disposition.

The other interpretation I had thought of is the study of conflict theory. In Marx’s conflict theory exists two main groups within a society. The ruling class, and the working class. This is a bare bones class analysis, and lacks intersectionality, but is an ongoing conversation among intellectuals. It provides a framework for discussion. The discussion primarily surrounding the idea that the solution to the conflicts between the working class and the ruling class was revolution, and how do we achieve such a revolution. I believe climate change depleting land and resources are going to a catalyst to the inevitable revolution.

As land and resources diminish it created tension. How do we ensure a revolution to solve the conflicts Marx discussed? Watch the weather change. Let tension build up so the class conflict becomes unavoidable. You can’t create a strong enough PR marketing campaign to hide the destruction.

When you see the phrase “Watch the weather change” don’t analyse the meaning from a singular perspective. Take time to really fall into the rabbit hole. Seriously there are so many inadvertent references from the Cold War “Theres a cold wind blowing” referring to Russia’s winter wind blowing throughout Europe to the Scorpions Winds of Change referring to liberalism sweeping through Europe in the 80’s. There are many references to a winds of change. Jung talked of collective unconscious archetypes, and I believe this is one of them. An emergent apparatus of consciousness formed by the common experience of weather.

If you enjoyed this post please do me a favor. I am officially a verified Brave Creator! What does this mean? It means I now accept tips from my readers. I will post ideas from my head without charge. I ask nothing in return, but if you would like to tip me this is one way to do so. If you would like to learn more about this amazing tool you can check it out here!

Critique of praxeology

original edit: lifestonellc.com/politics/economics/debunked-praxeology/

I’m moving old posts over to my new website for copyright purposes. I will be copyrighting the entire blog once everything is moved over. Thank you for following my content! -Ian O.

What is praxeology

Praxeology is the study of a priori human action and conduct. Praxeology was first derived from ancient Greek philosophers but was adapted by Scholastics for economic and social sciences. In the late nineteenth century Carl Menger used it to found the Austerian school of economic which taught Ludwig Von Mises. Mises later taught economist Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard.

What is a priori?

A priori and its counterpart A posteriori are two Latin words for art which was popularized by Immanuel Kant.

A Priori = knowledge or art that must be deducted by reason.

A posteriori = knowledge or art that does not rely on reason to exist.

As you can guess (Post)eriori is the latter form of knowledge which is derived from priori.

Example of a priori would be “Humans are mortal. I am a human.” and an example of a posteriori would be the conclusion “Thus I am a mortal because I am human.”

To combine both topics praxeology is the study of logical human action and conduct. The final assumption for all of Mises and Rothbard economic theory relies on the idea that humans, or rather consumer, act as rational bodies that will make the best decision when consuming a product.

Consumers interact in the market. Consumers are rational agents. Therefor Consumers will act rationally within a market.

How is this a problem?

There are 3 different approaches to help explain why this is not an accurate method of thinking. Humans don’t act in their own self-interest all of the time. Have you ever heard of a man who sacrificed his life for another? What about drug addicts that continue to harm their bodies? Trauma victims? Marketing agencies that prey on people? All of these scenarios specifically break down why praxeology cannot be true as an absolute ideology.

Sociology

As a business & finance major one topic that I need to include is marketing. I’m going to talk about marketing in a way that is intended to show the fallacy of praxeology, but marketing in itself is not a malicious art. The first principle of any sales or marketing study is rhetoric. I am using rhetoric in this essay to convince you of my idea so it goes to show not all business tactics are bad. I’ll discuss this later in another topic…

Massification, Lifestyle Advertising, and Tobacco

Source: This 1930 ad for American Tobacco Company’s Lucky Strike cigarettes used an image of a physician to make health claims like “Luckies are less irritating” and “Your Throat Protection—against irritation—against cough”

I feel like I could literally just leave this image here and it would do justice, but I have a commitment to my readers so let’s get right into it. There is a special term in marketing called Lifestyle Advertising, and it is one of the most effective methods of advertisement. The Marlboro Man really takes the cake. One of my favorite youtubers Coffee Break really hit the nail on the head with “Sell an identity, not a product”. The Marlboro Man was an icon of manliness & freedom. It showed that men can be rugged but compassionate. What man doesn’t want to be a Marlboro Man? Woman love Marlboro Men and so the trends were cemented.

If you are still in disbelief I’ll read you some statistics from the CDC.

  • In 2016, cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies spent $9.5 billion on advertising and promotional expenses in the United States alone.
  • About $26 million each day.
  • About $250 per year for each U.S. adult smoker

The demography target is youth and young adults, women, and racial minorities.

  • Tobacco ads make smoking appear to be appealing, which can increase adolescents’ desire to smoke
  • 38.3% of Middle Schoolers preferred Marlboro.
  • Marketing toward women is dominated by themes of social desirability, empowerment, and independence, which are conveyed by advertisements featuring slim, attractive, and athletic models.
  • Marketing to Hispanics and American Indians/Alaska Natives has included advertising and promotion of cigarette brands with names such as Rio, Dorado, and American Spirit.
  • The tobacco industry has targeted African American communities in its advertisements and promotional efforts for menthol cigarettes.

Notice how each group is in some way underrepresented in America? This is done on purpose because they have the highest chance of needing a “smoke fix” when times get tough. They are selling peace of mind not tobacco. This advertising can directly influence a customer’s decision making which creates a paradox with Mises idea that consumers act independently in their best interest.

Here is some more reading material…
Here.
Here.

Edward Bernays – The King of Propaganda

“Is it healthier to eat a hearty breakfast or a skimpy breakfast?” This was a famous question proposed to psychologists by Edward L. Bernays. You can find it on youtube.

The outcome was the a (heart)y breakfast which included bacon and eggs. That physician that answered was then paid by Beechnut Packing Company to ask 5,000 other physicians who agreed with him. This research study was published in the newspapers advocating bacon and eggs as a meal to increase the health of the American Public. This was done to improve the sales of bacon. This profiteering tactic is used by almost all major companies in the United States.

I will say this. Edward was a genius and he is directly responsible for the well-known business sector known as “public relations”. It is corporate propaganda at its core. If you can’t control the media’s view on your business then you’re pretty much going to get screwed so it’s kind of important. Edward was a genius at manipulating the masses.

Jonestown Massacre

A cult is “A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.” This goes much farther than religion though. A cult can be a political group, a self-help group, nationalism itself or any sort of overzealous group usually run by a maniacal leader.

Jim Jones was this maniacal leader. He believed the ideas of socialism and Jesus Christ were overarching and this was seductive to a lot of people who had felt they were abandoned due to capitalism. Jones started in the Peoples Temple in the mid 60’s and 70’s as a member. He relocated to Guyana and in 1978 reports surfaced of human rights violations. After a congressman had visited Jonestown and when leaving with a group of members who wanted to ex-communicate from the cult violence ensued which resulted in a number of murders. This was dwarfed however by the mass suicide that took place resulting in over 900 suicides. The American term “drinking the Kool-Aid” was created from this tragedy.

I’ll repeat from earlier in case you forgot… “Mises and Rothbard economic theory relies on the idea that humans, or rather consumer, act as rational bodies that will make the best decision when consuming a product”.

Psychology

I would like to add that humans act but they also react. The ability for consumers to blindly follow trends is enough to overthrow Praxeology as an economic foundation, but there is more to discuss. Consumers also act independent while not in their best interest.

Trauma & Addiction

When consumers face trauma the potential for addiction increases especially as mental health treatment becomes harder to find. We have already covered smoking, but the culture runs much deeper. Sugar, alcohol, video games, porn, opioids, prescription drugs, shopping itself etc. can all be abused. When the consumer is left to their own vices and ends up harming themselves an economist is left with an ethical dilemma. If a free market allows a man to drink himself to death how do economists rationalize this? Most people I’ve spoken to that have been asked this question usually respond with “He made his own choices”. I am displeased with this answer. It is an ethical and financially irresponsible answer.

Conclusion

Mises was an interesting man and his ideas were pretty sound if not for the flawed platform they were built on. This platform was widely accepted as reasonable during his time. I don’t think Mises was a bad man. Every scholar accepts the fact that they will one day be discarded as new scholars presented better models. This is what academia is all about.

I think Mises biggest mistake was being so heavily influenced by Kant. Scholars in general don’t really have a great understanding of universal ethics because societies morals are purely a social construct. Our moral values are rooted in our consciousness not our subconscious. We should build economics on top of the lowest level of human needs nor moral structures. I often discuss with my peers Maslow Hierarchy of needs as very undervalued when discussing economics and political sciences. We need to move past outdated ideas if we want better ideas to flourish.

Stoned Human Hypothesis

photo credits: Alex Grey

As a collective society, and ultimately conscious, it would behoove the individual to have the right to partake responsibly in mind altering substances. There is new information and neurological testing we have now showing the benefits of using medical psychedelic use. Under proper environment we can start to claw back the growing amount of mental health issues in America. According to a 2018 study by Mental Health in America 76% of youth, or 1.7 Million kids, with depression in America are not getting treated. 18% of adults have a mental health condition and 9.6 Million adults experience suicidal tendencies (Nguyen 5).

They say that during the paleolithic era we had a massive increase in cognitive development. Scientists have multiple theories on what could have caused such an increase. Terence and Dennis McKenna wrote their hypothesis that suggests our ancestors evolved into intelligent species due to psilocybin use. Their theory is widely criticized for lacking scientific evidence however, the discussion on a solidified theory is almost impossible. Britannica online states, “Moreover, in many instances it is impossible to identify assuredly the hominin species that commanded a Paleolithic industry, even when there are associated skeletal remains at the site” (Tuttle). Our brain sizes grew rapidly starting with Australopithecus at 440 grams to Homo Sapiens at 1,350 grams. The major cause of this expansion is a widely ongoing debate due to limited supply of fossil evidence.

Timothy Leary and Terence McKenna were both unfairly given a stigma during to the war on drugs. Nixon viewed the war on drugs as “public enemy number 1”. We may never know if the McKenna brother’s stoned ape hypothesis may prove true, however I hope to convince you that psychedelics may still evolve us as a society.

The human body develops mental calluses that prevent us from feeling trauma, but it does not get rid of the trauma. On psychedelics that trauma becomes real again and you are faced with battling it. The information in this paper is a mixture between using legitimate academic evidence and my personal opinion based on subjective experience. After the first 3 months I noticed significant improvements in my mood. My biggest improvement was an overwhelming increase in compassion. I felt intimately connected to everyone and everything I did. Having a burst of passion has allowed me to break through depressive episodes that previously would hinder me.

In order to sequester bias I believe it is important to start by describing the properties of psychedelics. There is a lot of myth that has been pushed by hollywood. Movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and video games like Grand Theft Auto all teach kids what drugs feel like without actually having to be specific. I understand the need for creativity, but it paints a false picture. These apples of sodom do have their consequences so dispelling myths can allow for future responsible and ethical use. The psychedelics binds to the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor. This receptor in the brain is responsible for multiple mental illnesses. According to the National Institute for Biotechnology Information “Disorders in which the 5-HT2A receptor seems to be involved range from schizophrenia, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and attention deficit–hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, to autism spectrum disorders” (Raote). This receptor is important because psychoactive drugs work as agonists for the receptor and allow serotonin to flood in. Chemicals such as lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, have crystals that jam these receptors open and causes abnormal states of psychosis before the protein folds around the crystal and absorbs it into the spinal fluid. This psychotic state if handled correctly can allow the user to experience events using different parts of their brain instead of the normal mental pathways that were developed.

We are currently studying the effects of psychedelics for the potential use to create medications. This could help treat depression and attention deficit disorder. “The development of selective receptor antagonists is at an advanced stage but there is a need for selective agonists” (Barnes 1102). What this translates into is we are able to turn off this group of receptors very well but we don’t have much knowledge on drugs that would activate them. This is important for treating illnesses such as schizophrenia, chronic anxiety, and other panic related disorders which is caused by an abnormal amount of serotonin going through the receptors. This feeling may distort emotions and create a disconnection from reality.

We need to have an open and honest discussion about how we want to handle psychedelics in the community. Research for depression, PTSD, addiction, and many others could all make breakthroughs in our healthcare system. Unfortunately, as our healthcare system continues to worsen more and more people are turning to self medication as a way to treat their mental illness. In a journal published by Plos One “Psychedelics have been used in the Americas for thousands of years. Over 30 million people currently living in the US have used LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline” (Krebs).

There is a common belief that using psychedelics may lead to heavier drug use, but this is just a myth. Using psychedelics under proper supervision does the opposite. I believe this myth was created by our politicians as a way to promote fear and stifle innovation. The war on drugs have inhibited us from pursuing the development of alternative medications.

“There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, lifetime use of specific psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote), or past year use of LSD and increased rate of any of the mental health outcomes. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems” (Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study).

This is not to say that improper use of psychoactive substances don’t have adverse consequences. A common occurrence in reckless psychedelic use is ego death. This event can be both destructive, yet therapeutic. When it comes to the mind you have to destroy your previous conceptions in order to allow new ones to form. People who have faced near ego death experiences often have a renewed outlook on life. According to a study on patients who go through near death experience “Some individuals when they come close to death report having experiences that they interpret as spiritual or religious” (Greyson). The leading cause of death in psychoactive drug use is suicide. On the surface this may sound like the psychedelics are creating insanity, but what’s actually being experienced is the brains need to detach from ego. Thus why some individuals experience the spiritual like event ego death.

Syd Barrett was one of the original member of Pink Floyd from the years 1963 to 1972 before having to leave due to increasing personal issues and developing early onset schizophrenia. A documentary of his experiences by Kris DiLorenzo states “Someone who’s almost grokked the universe and then lost the definition on the tip of their tongue knows what it’s like to be a crazy diamond” (DiLorenzo). It can be hard to really put into words how psychedelics make you feel so art and music is a prefered form of expression. Often his band mates would put acid in his coffee to allow him to channel his inner creativity on stage. During the time that the band was experimenting with psychedelics little was known about the true dangers of reckless acid use. Constant psychedelic experiences may trigger early onset schizophrenia in some people much like trauma does. It is important to consider all possible options when seeking mental health treatment so you don’t create more problems than you solve.

Little is known about the full effects of psychedelics, but we are studying the effects in more detail thanks to advancement in technology. In a recent study from done by the psychiatric department at New York University School of Medicine it has been shown that acute psychedelic experience mixed into a therapy session decreased the relapse rate among addicts. “The participants discussed in this paper experienced acute and lasting alterations in their perceptions of self, in the quality of their baseline consciousness, and in their relationship with alcohol and drinking” (Bogenschutz). The experience these participants went through helped them see their addiction from a different perspective and started to promote healing.

Similar to addiction we have also found better ways to help treat our troops when they return from war. We have evidence suggesting using low dosage of psychedelics can help treat PTSD by reducing trace fear-conditioning. The psychedelic experience clears out the cobwebs of our brain. Our brain creates connections like a circuit board and the psychedelic experience prevents that circuit board from working correctly so the brain has to take new paths which can help erase triggers in patients. This should be done under the supervision of a licensed medical professional that can interact with the patient and help guide the trip. A study with Experimental Brain Research states “PSOP facilitates extinction of the classically conditioned fear response, and this, and similar agents, should be explored as potential treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions” (Catlow). This test showed positive outcomes in the trial on mice. The next step would be testing on humans.

It has been proven that patients who use psychedelics often have lower chances of being diagnosed with depression even after they stopped using. The reason for this is similar to treating PTSD. Psychedelics promoted brain growth and allows the brain to create connections not available previously. The effects of psychedelics is similar to our current SSRI medication which we use to treat clinical depression. A study by Frontier Pharmacology found that there was very positive results from test patients. “Future therapeutic work with psychedelics should recognize the essential importance of quality of experience in determining treatment efficacy and consider ways of enhancing mystical-type experiences and reducing anxiety” (Roseman).

We have a lot of evidence to show that using psychedelics properly can lead to beneficial results. I have to ask the question “so why do we fear it so much?” Charles Manson, MKUltra tests, and Unabomber are all great examples of unbridled drug use. Psychedelics are very dangerous if used incorrectly. During the war on drugs these characters have been leveraged to create propaganda which has crippled the psychedelic community while more harmful substitutes are taking more lives. Opioids and synthetic opioids are becoming a crisis. A study done by the Center for Disease control stated “Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013” (Vital Signs).

With our recent surge in marijuana studies I think we should continue moving forward with studies on psychedelic use. We can have a lot of breakthroughs in both society and among our community if we start to throw away prejudice. There is a lot of studies currently being done that will hopefully allow medical breakthroughs to happen which will loosen up opiums hold on the world. This concern is not a matter of science as much as it is a discussion on ethics. If we have the ability to do better than I personally believe it is not a concern of possibility but a concern of conviction. We must continue to innovate.

Works Cited

Barnes, Nicholas M. “A Review of Central 5-HT Receptors and Their Function.” A Review of Central 5-HT Receptors and Their Function, edited by Trevor Sharp, Neuropharmacology, 1999, pp. 1083–1152.

Bogenschutz, Michael P., et al. “Clinical Interpretations of Patient Experience in a Trial of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 9, 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00100.

Catlow, Briony J., et al. “Effects of Psilocybin on Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Extinction of Trace Fear Conditioning.” Experimental Brain Research, vol. 228, no. 4, 2013, pp. 481–491., doi:10.1007/s00221-013-3579-0.

DiLorenzo, Kris. “Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd and Mental Illness.” Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd and Mental Illness, Feb. 1978, pp. 26–32.

Greyson, Bruce. “Near-Death Experiences and Spirituality.” Near-Death Experiences and Spirituality, Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science, 2006, pp. 393–414.

Krebs, Teri S., and PÃ¥l-Ørjan Johansen. “Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study.” PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 8, 2013, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063972.

Nguyen, Theresa, et al. “Mental Health in America – Printed Reports.” Mental Health America, 20 Dec. 2017, www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/mental-health-america-printed-reports.

Raote, Ishier, et al. “Serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) Receptor Function: Ligand-Dependent Mechanisms and Pathways.” Serotonin Receptors in Neurobiology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1853/.

Roseman, Leor, et al. “Quality of Acute Psychedelic Experience Predicts Therapeutic Efficacy of Psilocybin for Treatment-Resistant Depression.” Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 8, 2018, p. 974., doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00974.

Tuttle, Russell Howard. “Human Evolution.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Feb. 2018, https://www.britannica.com/science/human-evolution/Increasing-brain-size.“Vital Signs.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7 July 2015, www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/index.html.