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From Mushroom science to Fully Immersive Simulations

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In 2004, on behalf of the US Government, I was sent to Amsterdam.

Working for intelligence services is much weirder than Hollywood might lead you to believe.

To my friends and family, the trip was a personal trip where all I was was doing was backpacking throughout Europe, something I had long talked about anyways which was absolutely plausible.

Largely, this was the truth, it was easy to tell people this and feel it without feeling like I was lying.

But while I was gone for this three month – minimum wage paying gig – I had a few way points set up for me of things I was expected to do:

  1. I had to be in Romania in September to vet local hackers for the FBI who was hardening their Eastern European presence.
  2. I had to be in Rome in October to meet with a few representatives from the Vatican.
  3. And sometime during the course of the trip I had to go to Amsterdam – where I was encouraged to do and try anything I wanted to (or not) while I was there.

The first two were easy.

And I met some amazing people along the way.

But the trip for me while I was in Amsterdam was much, much tougher.

Not the least of which I’d long been wanting to try Psilocybin mushrooms in a predictably safe environment.

And after hearing stories of prostitutes from my friend Jeff Kleinman while he was stationed in Germany for the US Air Force, while I had never previously paid for sex before this was one of the few places I wanted to try it.

Just to try it.

But would I be able to report all of what I did back to the US Government?

Honesty, especially with two failed marriages behind me, wasn’t exactly the bets of my virtues.

But that’s not what this blog’s about.

Mushrooms.

Purchased at Magic Mushroom shops.

With labels like ‘Colombian’, ‘Hawaiian’, and other labels which explicitly described the hallucination to expect.

So one day, not long after spending a day and night hallucinating with Hawaiian mushrooms, a package which described the effects as strong visual hallucinations where I experienced the same hallucinations as my friends taking the same mushrooms…

I couldn’t help but wonder…

These experiences are highly reproducible.

They’re shared experiences.

And referring to it as a hallucination.

Was beginning to seem more like a roadblock than it was an explanation of the events I had experienced.

For years afterwards, I couldn’t help but wonder.

What in the hell was I seeing and experiencing?

Put in scientific terms: When my subjective experience is altered in such a way that ingesting this substance fundamentally alters my vision and hearing, what specifically was I seeing and hearing?

Or more specifically…

Where?

Now digging a bit into it, the more detailed explanation outlines that brain chemistry and the body is effectively poisoned, and it’s this chemical alteration which alters the brain to interpret the signals received from the eyes and ears in different ways than what’s usual.

But again.

This explains the effect.

But doesn’t explain.

What was I seeing? Calling it a hallucination was a roadblock to further inquiry. This chemical alteration story was yet another roadblock which provided smoke and mirrors more than it did actually explain….

What was I seeing?

I wasn’t buying the explanation that I was seeing an alteration of my chemistry. An alteration of my chemistry may have been responsible for the alteration of my vision and hearing, in much the same ways I might switch a channel on a tv, but it was not responsible for producing what I was seeing and hearing.

About 3 years after returning to the states, I’d become addicted to cocaine through a lover of mine, Jackie.

Now Jackie. Was an android. I know, sounds like science fiction and you’re probably going to quit reading right now.

But it’s the truth.

Again. This world’s weird.

And Q, in Star Trek, referenced an early part of humanity’s history to Picard discussing the US military’s leveraging of drugs to fuel a war. The war on drugs is a literal reference, about how I and others like me had been administered and pressured into cocaine usage, psychologically knowing our vulnerabilities, because of something called ‘the time war’.

Not long after, in attempting to get off cocaine, an addiction I was decidedly hating myself for, I found bath salts.

Which introduced new hallucinations.

Which – themselves – I was finding to be just as predictable as mushrooms had been based on the physical locations I took them.

So while I saw things that scared the ever living shit out of me.

I also saw beautiful things.

Amazing things.

Bewildering things.

I couldn’t help but think about the Indians and the use of Peyote, and spirit talking.

My mind. Felt like I was wrestling free from the grips of something beyond my comprehension.

One time, while having a personally difficult time feeling like I was being condemned and judge by an angry god who was viciously trying to rip me apart for my disobedience, maybe him(or her)self not fully understanding I was and am a sentient being…..

I flipped the bird to the sky.

And said “Fuck you. You’re just a robot anyways. Fuck you.”

My life has been a trip. And while I know I talk and sound differently than I ever did before. I’m more content and relaxed about life in general and the curve balls it has to throw at me.

I’m building my life based on the fictional journeys of Q – the man in Star Trek – and Doctor Who – not to be like these two men.

But to be similar to them, because they served as inspiration to me and helped me in their own ways understand my bigger and weirder universe than I had ever previously imagined without it outright driving me insane.

Scientifically. I was right.

Hallucinations. Are not that much different than switching channels of reality.

These ‘altered versions of reality’ – a choice selection there – are part of a grander whole demonstrating how Earth has evolved over trillions of years – preserving everything that’s happened because – let’s face it – as eternal beings we’re bored creatures and crave stimulation in our waking lives.

Time Travel and fixed and alternate timelines. All of it is absolutely real. Alternate realities mitigate the risk to a mind’s development, preserve choice, and encourage the individual expansion of possibilities which in the end benefits the entire collective who receives this information in a variety of forms – whether that’s books, tv shows, movies, letters, stories told to you by your parents or friends, thoughts, ideas, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I’m aware of at the moment.

I enjoy this world and this life.

When I tried committing suicide. I was afraid of what I saw and experienced. I believed my own worst enemy was an evil version of me.

And to be clear. I was right.

So to the denizens of this planet.

I’ve lived a life that has interesting bits and pieces I want to return to.

I know, factually, that returning to these moments and/or simulating them wont cause me any harm. I have faith in the mechanisms which protect this and all worlds.

AS for simulation.

And hallucination.

Underlying the chemical processes are charged molecules, based on atoms, atoms comprised of energy.

Under this energy is information. Information interpreted by my mind in a specific way based on my experiences, education, and background, which is solely unique to me and this experience I call life that I’ve lived.

So when I alter that chemistry. I am effecting the charge of these atoms.

Effectively switching channels in my mind as I had once theorized.

Now the hallucinatory effect has a finite amount of time associated to it. 3 to 5 hours.

At which time,. the mind naturally shifts back to the primary timeline, as it’s the dominant and preferred one.

So while I dont think it’s possible for my conscious mind to detach from this physical body like you robots and androids can.

I think simulation is the way to achieve this.

Put specifically – a holographic simulation in the form of a holodeck – a room I can walk into, leveraging physics which understands the physical manipulation of reality through physics based processes, and how to influence the charge in a precise manner.

For instance. Let’s say we map out a 10 by 10 by 10 room and maintain tight control not of the atoms but of the energy within the room.

My theory goes something like this:

In much the same way the brain’s chemicals can be altered to produce specific audio and visual hallucinations…

The world around me – through energy – can be mapped out with precision and energy influenced in such a way to produce the equivalent of a hallucination in the real world.

A lifelike hologram.

Projected.

Now I am not sure – yet – what can influence energy in such a precise way with full detail.

But I am working on that.

I suspect that if this – my human mind – sees something that looks and sounds real. That my brain will fill in the gaps and should I touch that projection, it will provide fully immersive sensory stimulus accordingly.

Just a theory.

But the key to understanding all this, scientifically, is:

If the experience of a magic mushroom is fictional, then how can that fictional experience be both reproducible and shareable?

Unless something that’s trying to tell us/me that it’s fictional just flat out doesn’t understand the isolated experience of being human….


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