Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

Note that the site is in archived, read-only mode. You can browse and read, but posting is disabled.


+1 vote
have people here had their the concepts of anarchy influenced -to a greater or lesser degree- by psychedelic experiences, or other unusual experience?

personally these experiences have helped guide a lot of my metaphysical ideas, which are the foundation of my ideas of anarchy and the individual. -will go into more detail if prompted-
by (2.1k points)
i like the question.

i have had several periods in my life when i was heavily into psychedelics. my first real psychedelic experience most definitely changed my perspective radically. i don't know that the change was in any way anarchic, other than somehow liberating me from certain intellectual constraints that i unknowingly held to.

as one who now has strong individualist leanings, the indescribable "connectedness" that acid (primarily, in my case) made me feel with the living world around me has given me an interesting aversion to the binary individual vs collective perspective that seems predominant. i never did experience the full "ego-death" that many psychedelic travelers speak of; but i surely experienced some dissolution of intellectual barriers, and heightened awareness of things outside myself that matter to me.

perhaps, in some way, my context-focused perspective was born from - or was given the space in which to grow from - those experiences.
may I prompt you for more detail? as much or as little as you like

dd: you may indeed, i just might need a bit more prompting. not sure what kind of details you are looking for? around my acid experiences? around how those experiences contributed to my perspective now?

one anecdote that may or may not be relevant:

there were a lot - i mean a lot - of homeless folks in my neighborhood back then. one day i was tripping, walking towards the subway station. i saw a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk up against a building. i just happened to catch his eye. we shared a glance for probably no more than a second (of course it seemed like hours to me); after which i was never the same person again. i felt a connection with that individual that was somehow deeper than any connection i had ever felt with anyone up to that point. the fact that he was homeless was completely irrelevant (at least consciously); i simply saw him as another individual, living an unhappy life. and it was the fact that his life seemed unhappy that struck me so hard. i didn't have any analysis about why he was unhappy; the mere fact that he was unhappy troubled me so viscerally that i cried for what seemed like hours. i always had a certain amount of empathy for others, but this was on a whole different level.

instead of getting on the subway, i walked over to central park to cry in solitude. i sat down by a big old tree, leaning back against it. i cried for a bit, and slowly started to become aware of the green beauty around me. i relaxed and let myself drift. at some point, i felt as if my body had merged with the tree, literally. i felt like part of the tree, but still conscious of myself as well. it felt so incredibly ... what's the word... fulfilling? relaxing? comfortable? at peace? it was the first time in my life that i felt a real connection to the "natural" world (since my world consisted of concrete and subways). it was rather profound.

i guess those experiences speak to the "connectedness" i referred to, while still not losing my individuality as part of it. but again, not sure how it relates to anarchic thought.

ya exactly, maybe others wouldn't but I assure u I understand exactly its relation to anarchy. it is exactly what I experienced and is the only way to understand what you said about the division of collectivism vs individualism being a false dichotomy. you are everything, and everything is you, simultaneously. the barriers that you draw between self and others blah blah why am I explaining u get it.

thanks man that was perfect exacytly what I wanted.
To those of you who have used psychadelics: I'm curious to know how it made you feel about fairness/justice. Did it make your desire for fairness stronger or weaker?

fairness and justice were nowhere near my awareness while tripping. those are socio-political-legal concepts, and my psychedelic experiences were anything but. feeling connection and empathy with other beings was almost omnipresent, but fairness and justice... not even remotely present. maybe that is an indicator of my anti-political, anti-economic perspective.

if i had ever felt anything along those lines, i am fairly certain it would have been stronger, since the majority of my trips (i have tripped several hundred times in my life, mostly before i was 30) were when i was still a progressive lefty.

@syrphant, im pretty much just going to echo @funky on this one; fairness and justice have figured very little in my experiences with psychedelics.  sure i notice manifestations of inequality and 'injustice' when im on a long walk on whatever substance, but i notice that anyway, drugs or no.  and even psychedelics have never made me feel that the notion of justice or fairness is any more real than any other abstract human value.  if anything i care about it less as im too busy just experiencing.

one thing i used to hate adults saying when i was a kid was 'life aint fair'.  but you know what?  they were right.  fairness is an impossible standard to hold the world too.  it will never be 'fair' that some people are born stronger, or to better conditions, or later or earlier that others.  but who cares?  whether its fair or not doesnt change that it is.  one thing that psychedelics, lovecraftian horror, and existential ponderings have taught me is that the universe doesnt care about me, or you, or anyone.  it is totally indifferent to our existence, it doesnt care whether we think the way things are is 'fair' or not.
Thanks. That's interesting. It seems to me that, in general, anarchist writers and thinkers - at least the anti-capitalist ones I'm familiar with - are intensely concerned about social justice. Based on your experiences I would think psychadelics probably do not lead to anarchism but to an acceptance of things as they are. Rather, I imagine that the personality traits and fringe social circles that lead one to use mind-altering substances are often the same ones that lead to anarchism. In other words, we have correlation but not causation. The two things: anarchism and psychadelics are quite possibly antagonistic, each weakening (or balancing) the other; they just tend to be associated because both appeal to the same kinds of people.
i never meant to suggest i thought psychedelics 'caused' anarchic tendencies, or visa versa -and personally i wouldnt use the term 'anarchism', but there you go-.  i merely wondered if peoples ideas -of anarchy, so as to justify the question being on the site, and avoid dot's wrath- had been influenced by psychedelic or similar experiences.

and i dont think psychedelics in general cause an acceptance of 'the ways things are'.  often the new and strange experiences that are brought about can radically alter a persons perception, tending to lead to more questioning, but thats just my experience.
syrphant, most people would say they're concerned with social justice, and anarchists are not different from that. you happen to have found yourself on a site that doesn't lean that way. a lot of the anarchist sites that do lean that way don't allow commenting, certainly not by anonymous people (crimethinc, etc). post-left and/or egoist-y anarchists, and those influenced by them, tend to be a bit more open to the chaos, as far as i can tell.

anarchist is a broad enough label that it doesn't necessarily describe much, except when it does.
wym by social justice dot
wanting things to get better, to be more "just," i dunno dude, it's not my term. i just know that people are into it, especially people who haven't thought about (or who reject) questions of mass and generalities...
if i had to estimate based on people i've known and talked with enough to find out about their thoughts and actions....

people who say they used psychedelics - around 1 out of 10

people who say they feel concerned about "social justice" - 1 out of 50

people who say they desire anarchy - 1 out of 10,000

people who say they want more money - 999 out of 1,000
interesting estimates, ba@.

the only one i would estimate very differently - based on my own experiences - is the social justice. i would put my estimation there at at least 5 out of 10. likely a factor of the family i grew i up with, the people i have known throughout my life, the places i have lived, activities i participate in, etc.
yes, funky, i sort of questioned that one in my mind as i wrote it....

but i considered the term "social justice" specifically in that estimate, and people i know who use that term. if i went off of more general (or specific?) comments of "wanting to make the world a better place" or wanting "equal pay" across gender and race, or that sort of thing, i'd estimate the number higher....maybe 1 of 5.

within my (and my mate's) immediate families, i'd estimate more like 1 out of 3 or 4. but they all seem to still aspire to make 50 dollars an hour in order to buy products from people who make 1 dollar an hour (or services from people who make 10 an hour), even if they say they want "social justice".
for sure, talking about wanting social justice - or any similar idea like the examples you gave - can be very different from how folks actually behave.
@dot: yes, this is a very tolerant, open group that certainly makes a misfit like me feel at home ;) I like you guys. This is probably not the right place to pursue the idea, but since we all like chaos... I've been struggling with fairness/justice of late - since the brawl we had over currency and toenails and plant-pimpin' - and I forced myself to listen to Kropotkin' Conquest of Bread audio book (I can't stand that guy, but I recalled he was anti-money and I needed the challenge).

I'll say, just to bounce it off you, that "fairness and justice" don't apply to what's likely random or unintentional (like Shinmin's statement that life isn't fair and the universe is indifferent, with which I certainly agree). That's more about being lucky and unlucky. On the other hand, when we look only at human behaviour and interaction we can talk about fairness: breaking one's word, the strong exploiting the weak, some taking more than their share, blame for something you didn't do, etc. etc.

I really see nothing in non-human life to suggest anything other than humans give a damn about justice; I suspect it is related to reason, another thing only human's seem to care about. That is, not being content with what, human's also like to know why. Oddly, fairness is sufficient to satisfy humans as to why, and in the interest of simplification I'll generalize that humans think injustice is a satisfactory reason for anger, irrational action and even suicide. I'll not even pretend to be an exception to this generalization.

It could've been the case that acid droppers, after seeing interconnectedness, feel a heightened sense of indignation and want more strongly to struggle to set things right. Agreeing with Kropotkin here, I'd say any social organization with privilege, assymetrical power, rulers, etc is naturally unfair. And the very idea pisses me off.

Yet I can't picture justice without the concept of exchange value of products of labor: what is a fair exchange? What was taken by force or knavery?

If I were to have a beer with Funky it might end badly: I would buy the first round, then Funky, rejecting the very concept of accounting, would feel nothing when I buy the second round, and the third. He'd say thanks, probably, but I'd say, "hey man, this isn't fair." He'd say, "you should give without expecting anything in return." I'd say, "it ain't about the money, it is the principle." He'd say, "money is an illusion." Me: "I know, but what I did to be able to compensate the brewer for her work was real, and That's what I'm giving. Doesn't my gesture make you feel a little desire to participate in a mutual project rather than just benefit from my project?" Funky: "you are a myopic, greedy bastard and a horrible father" Me: " You don't get to judge me if you reject morality."

edited to add: ;)
To head-off the inevitable accusation that I'm being authoritative: I'm thinking out loud. Putting it out there to see how it sounds. I expect no agreement, I'm not out to convince anyone of anything. Just you are the only people that are occadionally interested enough in my brain-excretions to make counter statements or recommend I go read something.

fairness seems to be - or at least can be - related to subjective "value", though not material value. if i say "i value friendship", that is not a material value, at least not in any way i can fathom. it can't be used for exchange, eg. well, i guess maybe in your strictly economic world it could, i just don't know how.

if we were having beers together, me buying you a round would have nothing to do with "fairness". it would have to do with me getting pleasure from giving you something that you enjoy. if i had bought the first round, would you offer to buy the second solely because you saw it as "fair"? your desire to give me something that makes me happy isn't enough (or is it a factor at all)?

it has no relation to economics or exchange value, for me.

but you are a horrible father and a myopic greedy fuck!  :-)

syrphant: knowing f@ as i do, your hypothetical situation would not go down that way.

your hypothetical could totally happen with other people though, and it makes me wonder why you continue to pay for beers, if part of being f2f with anyone is about the negotiation, the determining what you're there for and how that meets what the other person is there for. maybe the other person doesn't like beer but is drinking with you because they think it's what you want? maybe they think you enjoy being the generous one and demonstrating that you have more than you need? that doesn't need to matter if you have determined that who pays for the beer is a really important indicator of how interested someone is in the conversation, but a) that can be arbitrary, and b) you determine how much you're giving (and how much you're determining the beer means--why not just stop drinking beer, if that's not the point of the interaction), and c) assuming other people agree with your assumptions is highly dangerous along exactly all these lines.

ok - i'm supposed to be doing other things. must stop procrastinating!

syrphant: "If I were to have a beer with Funky it might end badly: I would buy the first round, then Funky, rejecting the very concept of accounting, would feel nothing when I buy the second round, and the third. He'd say thanks, probably, but I'd say, "hey man, this isn't fair."

why would you keep buying rounds if it bothered you? 

and why does someone rejecting accounting mean they would feel nothing?

i'd say even calling the beer buying a "round" implies you've started accounting...why not just call it a beer.

i often bring homemade cannabis edibles to small gatherings of friends....i never feel like they "owe" me something in return....i get a lot of pleasure simply by seeing their enjoyment of the snacks...

concepts of "fairness" and "justice"  hold no appeal for me....but i sometimes still need to shake those concepts implanted in my brain from years of conditioning through hierarchical institutions and other authority figures in my life.

syrphant" "just you are the only people that are occasionally interested enough in my brain-excretions to make counter statements or recommend I go read something."

i appreciate that syrphant...i often feel the same way when writing my thoughts here....which i just realized i've done for four years now.....leading me to again feel grateful for this "place".... :)

@syrphant rejecting morality does not imply that you cannot judge other people, or their actions.  there being no objective answer to questions of 'best pizza' doesnt stop you from making judgements as to what kind of pizzas you like best.  same goes for people, you can still think someone is awesome or kinda sucky, you just wouldnt claim it to be an 'objective moral fact', simply your own judgement.

also a quick 'yes' to the things said by @funky, @dot, and 'specially @bornagain
this feels like a digression from the question, but oh well...

shinmin, your point there is one i find myself trying to make all too often when talking with moralists.

i make "judgements" all the time; they are subjective, they apply only to the context in which i am making that "judgement", there is absolutely no intended implication of that judgement being universally applicable or "objective", and ultimately it is nothing more than "i like that" or "i don't like that" (with varying levels of amplitude).

you said it more succinctly.
your binary question is worded weirdly to me. this part:

"have people here had their the concepts of anarchy influenced -to a greater or lesser degree- by psychedelic experiences, or other unusual experience?

i read that as you implying that if i boofed some psychedelic then it automatically had some sort of influence concerning anarchy and me. that probably wasn't your intent.

my use of psychedelics hasn't been an influence on me concerning anarchy. nor towards a higher sense of "enlightenment". it's kinda funny when some people who take acid and pull start preaching how acid caused them to be "deeply enlightened". but it gets old fast.

details about your experience and guide would be nice.

Thanks for the interesting, enjoyable stimulation. @dot: you are right that "assuming other people agree with your assumptions is highly dangerous." That's certainly my experience, which leads me to bornagain's question "why does someone rejecting accounting mean they would feel nothing?"  and shinmin's statement "there being no objective answer to questions of 'best pizza' doesnt stop you from making judgements as to what kind of pizzas you like best."

The pizza judgement implies a certain ideal where objectives are attained (in consideration of priorities and perceived constraints, which are as much subject to debate as the objectives). The value judgements of good, bad, best, sucky, should and shouldn't and words with well-understood connotation are, in reality, measures of how well or how effectively the thing or action paddles the canoe towards the isle of eden.  Even if, when making the judgements, you aren't aware of your prioritized objectives you nonetheless reveal them. Sorry to burst bubbles, but that's morality. It is relative ethics to the extent we recognize ideals, objectives and priorities as entirely personal; if any of these are assumed to be shared we venture into absolute ethics in a community of some size.

Then... wait, I have to go. I'll be right back !

syrphant: "Sorry to burst bubbles, but that's morality."

you may call one's preferences for a pizza "morality", but i don't. no bubble burst here. 

i don't want to label what i like as "morality" or "relative ethics" or any other name. i'd rather just describe what i like and why i like it.

I'm back.

I've tried to argue that any judgement reveals objectives and priorities; if I were to make a conceptual model to evaluate things or actions these objectives and priorities would be assumptions. As dot says, assuming shared assumptions is dangerous to relationships.

That's where accounting comes in. Not money per se but running tallies of value -- as in, adding it up, like the Violent Femmes song. In some cases currency units are useful in discussions of value (is the best pizza worth 2 or 3 second-best pizzas?) I really, really suck at accounting. I hate it and avoid it. I've had problems that could have been avoided if I did better accounting, so I propose that accounting is good and rejecting it (as I do too often) not so good.

I give away too much. Too much because I see it now as clearly unsustainable: before long I'll not be able to give anything away. Like most people I get a small high (serotonin or endorphins or something) from giving. However, I notice the buzz varies with the value of what I give away: a big gift gets me a big high. Later, like with most highs, there's a crash or hangover where I feel bad - specifically, underappreciated. The level of pain seems related to the intensity of the high.

Recent example: the other day I gave something away; the person said, let me pay you for it. I admit I liked that gesture in itself; it assured me that the person did notice I was providing them something of value. (Someone with no concept of exchange value wouldn't feel the need to give something in return - what, how much, etc).  I just said, "if it makes you feel good, just give me howevermuch you want." They said, "is 10 euros ok?"  That actually hurt my feelings because what I was giving was, in my mind, worth much more than 2 packs of cigarettes. But I said, "yeah, that's fine." The transaction completed they left, and instead of feeling good, as I would have in the case of an appreciated gift, I felt underappreciated... let's say, like my life is worth less than I'd like it to be.

I have too many examples where I've given and not received and felt good initially only to feel unappreciated later. I gave a "friend" 3000 euros (a heck of a lot for me) for his start-up company. I told him it was a gift; he didn't have to repay it. He really needed it to pursue his idea and it gave me pleasure to help.  I meant it, totally. However, he is doing fine and has never once over many years even recognized any "debt" to me. Call it a "debt of gratitude" if you will, but my feelings are hurt to the point I don't consider that guy my friend anymore. I consider him an asshole. I don't like to give things to assholes, so I regret my gift.

How much pain could be avoided by replacing dangerous assumptions with mutually agreed values that everyone keeps track of?

To get this back round to psychadelics, anarchy may be broad, but the ideals, priorities and objectives of all the members of this community do overlap on at least one point: government doesn't paddle towards eden. That means our respective visions of eden have at least one common element: people don't force people to follow rules. Psychadelics must surely affect one's vision of eden.
based on the experiences you related, syrphant, i think you had expectations you tried to deny (perhaps to yourself), and that you didn't make clear to your friends.

but that doesn't make the case for more accounting to me. i have a good knack for accounting (i even used to write software for it), but letting go of looking at life through that sort of economic lens has led to me feeling generally more satisfied in my relationships.

i think psychedelics (while using them, at least) surely help to lose any concept of "rules".

syrphant, the scenario you described highlights precisely why i choose not to see the world through the economic lens of exchange value. as ba@ mentioned, you clearly had expectations, even if you did not initially acknowledge them. those kinds of expectations are imo absolutely unavoidable when your life is defined by economics and exchange value.

you willingly accept and embrace that economic perspective on life; the results are fairly predictable. if the outcomes make you feel shitty, maybe it's time to rethink that perspective. unless you like feeling shitty.

edit: "mutually agreed values that everyone keeps track of"

that right there is an unrealistic expectation, to me. individual values change, and keeping track of them seems like just more bookkeeping of individual desires - something i think is not possible. simply acknowledging the dynamic nature of individuals and relationships -  along with good, direct communication - seems like the only way to avoid such disappointments and "pain". trying to shoehorn that into some abstract bookkeeping system is of no interest to me whatsoever.

syrphant, how do you feel about asking a question about economics or something so that this thread can be more easily found for those who are interested?

your stories involve you giving things that are too big for yourself, and then feeling bad, rather than going slowly and feeling neither as good or as bad as you do now. to me you're describing something like an addiction (too dramatic, but you know...), where you're seeking the high, and then want people's help with the consequent low. i might argue that part of the high comes from the risk (how will the person respond), and the unexpected nature of your offer (many potential conflicting and fascinating motivations), and that--with that--the low is part of the deal, not something that can be avoided, really.

i have twice given people large things that were freely given in a spirit of largesse and affection, and then changed my mind about those people, once, partly, because i got to a place of scarcity and they didn't respond in a way that worked for me. but that is how i would talk about it. not that they owed me anything. it just spoke to their capacity, and how much in synch we were/n't. one of them i had given money to because i had a lot at the time and felt guilty about having money. my point there is that motivation is always mixed, on both sides of these exchanges, although now i'm not remembering why i thought that was important to say...

time for more tea.
Holy epiphany, dot! That is a deep and valuable insight: "the low is part of the deal." You're right, you know, I never thought about it that way.
yay! epiphanies are fun :)
Here's a response to Bornagain and Funky:

Your advice reminds me of Buddhist detachment from earthly desires in order to avoid pain. I suppose avoiding pain is not among my priorities. I want to fight; be part of a big, pointless struggle. So yeah, I guess I welcome the challenge of complex interaction. Call it the economic lens if you will, it distorts reality no more than any other lens at my disposal. I find more appealing dot's advice to quit being a whiny bitch and just roll with the punches.

Proper bookkeeping seems to me a more realistic and effective strategy than dropping out. The reason is I'm also very often on the "bad-guy" side of raw deals. Not by intent but by misunderstanding of expectations -- rather, poor communication/negotiation of exchange value -- that also feels shitty. When I first moved to this town I was interested in learning its history. I found an old man; he spent a full day with me telling me fascinating stories.  Weeks later my wife hears from someone that the old man is upset with me because I never wrote him a thank-you letter. Well, damn, that's true and I can only berate myself for it. We are from different generations; mine doesn't really do thank-you letters as a rule; I suppose I assumed my eagerness to listen to his stories was a fair trade for his time collecting and telling them.

We just aren't going to live in society without exchange. We can hardly avoid feeling indebted when we're on the receiving end, and can hardly avoid valuing what we do and desire. We can avoid communicating that value and the size of the corresponding debt, but is that really as nice and kind as it sounds? I admit, when I've done an act of generosity, I enjoy, in the back of my mind, the feeling that the receiver "owes" me something, especially that it should be hard for the receiver to do anything to hurt me in the future. I actually like the vagueness of the value in that direction because it buys me a vague quantity of good-will that might never be fully repayable. That's pretty nasty, I know. I should try to fight that feeling, but I'm probably not the only person who feels it.

But we want everyone to be totally free, right? Debt - just the feeling of owing someone something, especially when vague - can be exploited to control others. Best we all be squared-up, so nobody can possibly feel cheated or guilty.  Then everyone is free.
To bring it back round to psychadelics: When I halucinate I tend to see faces. Any pair of spots on a contrasting background can become eyes. The faces have emotions; they shift and transform. We interact. Is that just me? Is that also a feature of acid trips? Or are acid visuals more like non-living, unemotional kaleidescopes?

If seeing faces is very common for humans in states of augmented perception ;) I'll go on thinking interaction is reality and independence an illusion that, like property, only exists insofar as it is allowed to exist by mutual agreement.  Maybe the feeling of independence, like the feeling of ownership (in this case I guess self-ownership), is something we have to get from others in fair or unfair exchange?

I think an acceptable generalization is that anarchists like independence. I'm thinking it isn't actually something natural but I really really want it, so I assert it, I fight to have it respected and earn it fair and square (like I might want to be invisible and have to compensate others for pretending to not see me). Others might think freedom is the natural state and the fight is to defend it. If acid leads to either it probably leads to anarchist tendencies.

On the other hand, if it is all fuzzy, melting oneness I don't see how interaction - freeing or enslaving - could even seem important. In which case I'd say it just leads to dropping out or going with the flow, not really anarchist indignation.

if you feel indebted, or want others to feel indebted to you, i don't intend to tell you not to. if keeping track helps you to not feel cheated/exploited or to not cheat/exploit others, then i suppose you'll carry on in that way. it just doesn't work for me.

i don't try to avoid pain by detachment. i haven't "dropped out" of any struggle. i enjoy giving what i want to give. i enjoy receiving what i want to receive. i don't want to keep track of what i receive or give, by numbers or any other measure.

i feel plenty of pain in my life. i still fight against many things. but not from giving or receiving what i desire.

i didn't say an economic lens distorts "reality". but i think it creates a particular reality, a way of relating to other people that i've already experienced more of than i would like....even with good accounting skills.

i feel happy if someone asks me to tell them stories and listens intently to them.....i wouldn't need any more thank you than that. :)

Best we all be squared-up, so nobody can possibly feel cheated or guilty.  Then everyone is free.

oh dear. no no no no...

a. people can always feel cheated and guilty. always. you can't base things on what other people think/feel.

b. freedom doesn't come from that lack! that's already the direction this culture pushes us - that the atomized are free. you don't really think that?

a few quick responses to syrph:

"Proper bookkeeping seems to me a more realistic and effective strategy than dropping out. "

more effective than dropping out of what? economic relations? 

"Call it the economic lens if you will, it distorts reality no more than any other lens at my disposal."

i hear that. any lens distorts in some way.

"Debt - just the feeling of owing someone something, especially when vague - can be exploited to control others. "

absolutely! viewed in that way, debt is a weakness to be exploited. wouldn't you want to remove that opportunity from anyone you relate with? discarding - or at least minimizing - value exchange as the basis for relationships might address that at some level, don't you think?

but wait... i don't want to try to convince you of anything. i've made it clear where i stand on the issue of value exchange relationships, and you have as well. i think we understand each other reasonably well on that - we have very different ideas and desires around it. cool. is there any reason to drag that particular discussion out further? is there anything new to be said?

No, Funky, I guess there isn't anything new to be said here. These days I'm extremely confused about fairness/justice and by rephrasing and insisting here I must be trying to articulate the problem clearly. I know I'm going to have to let go of the desire for fairness now (and responsibility?), I'm just afraid of where that will lead. Probably another long period of anti-social behavior.  You, dot and Bornagain have already helped me plenty; I'll ask for no further guidance and we'll go talk about what you want to talk about. After all, I owe it to you ! ;)
dot: I don't know what I think right now; I feel incoherent, fluid -- what more appropriate thread than psychadelic anarchy ! ;)
syrphant: if you think there is more to get from the discussion, by all means carry on! i just don't want to start spinning on the "yay economics - boo economics" thing.

i definitely get trying to work through stuff by "talking" through it. so don't feel like i am trying to shut you down (as if i would or could). btw, i find you far less incoherent that the majority of folks i disagree with.

and regarding having to let go of fairness and responsibility - i'm not sure that is what i would suggest, per se. i guess i would simply question your definition of those terms, and what they mean to you. for me, the issue is attempting to somehow have an "objective" measure of them. if something feels fair (or unfair) to you, i think it absolutely makes sense to examine those feelings and where they come from. my personal aversion to terms like "fairness" and "justice" are based primarily on the fact that most people i come across use those terms in some (presumedly) objective way.

responsibility is something i take very seriously. in fact, it is having "responsibilities" thrust upon me that are not of my choosing that was one of the primary drivers for my anarchic (and individualistic) explorations. and particularly in light of (and contrary to) the overwhelming infection of political correctness and victimization ideology i see these days, personal/individual responsibility is something i value strongly. i find it far too frequent that individuals do not take responsibility for their own actions/behavior.

are we in the best thread for this discussion?
funky@, there is no compartmentalizing a good conversation! SIGH!

syrphant, fwiw, i read funky@ as trying to avoid either sounding or feeling as if they're trying to get you to agree with them. the line between explaining ourselves and convincing someone else can be a wobbly one, for all concerned, which i find fascinating in itself.

3 Answers

+3 votes

psychedelics had a huge influence on my life in general, around the same time i started reading @ lit. While there are a lot of components and a lot of insights i gained i would say chief among them was ego loss/death. really helped me view everything as equal heirs to the earth, gave me a renewed meaning to my own personal life to cut through my nihilism, and thus a more positive view of the fact that all the stars burn out eventually, the breaking down of barriers between me and other beings (the interconnectedness) helped me care more about the struggles of others and solidarity, maybe some other stuff i cant put my finger on, but i would say it less directly influenced my anarchy and more just overall as a person, and thus indirectly relates to my concept of anarchy.

a better illustration: now. after LSD and others, when i see two cops shoving someone in a car, i dont see two cops and a criminal, i see two people attacking and abusing another (and their wellbeings all depend on eachother (the interconnectedness))

edit:optimistic nihilism from realizing how unimportant i am

changed that to: gave me a renewed meaning to my own personal life to cut through my nihilism, and thus a more positive view of the fact that all the stars burn out eventually,

by (890 points)
edited by
wait, i don't understand. you say you gained ego death and insights from psychedelics. or did you mean you experienced ego death while on psychedelics? in ego death there is no you, yourself and u. nor any sense of self or awareness of your existence. to find meaning to your personal life during ego death is odd and doesn't make sense since there is no "i" or self to find meaning for yourself.. trying to find meaning for your personal self would imply you're aware, have a sense of self and your existence.  ego death isnt something you gain and it doesn't stick around for long time. ego death is hard to explain. im not sure what you meant by "gaining ego death"

what you're describing is more on par with stuff like lsd or ald-52 and a few other ones. to end up in ego death you'd likely have to take a lot.
didn't say "gained ego death" and didn't describe the experience so negating it is weird. those who have experienced it disagree that one cant experience it, as "you" aren't there, as you don't experience it as you, you experience it as everything, or everythingyou and that's part of the point.

obviously something profound will be analyzed by most people, even if not at the moment, and likely have some effect on them as a person.
and I did take alot
oh im sorry, the wording of the 2nd and 3rd sentence in your answer was confusing to me. so the 2nd sentence meant there are a lot of components and insights you gained and one of the components & insights you gained would be ego death? or would it be the insight alone or component alone? thanks for clarifying.

your follow up sentence reads like you were still meaning ego death rather than whatever it was you were actually trying to convey. hence my comment.  George is glad you clarified and now knows you weren't meaning ego death in the 3rd sentence of your answer, but something else.

i've experienced ego death a few times off a combo of dmt and other fun stuff and discussed it with a few people that have experienced it. it's fairly difficult to explain to others.

"those who have experienced it disagree that one cant experience it, as "you" aren't there, as you don't experience it as you, you experience it as everything, or everything you and that's part of the point."

George doesn't know what you're meaning by that sentence.
I was referring to ego death. a better way to word it would have been insights as a result of the experience of ego death.
0 votes
Great question; excellent conversation topic.  I've never tried pscyhadelics. I have some pschological issues that produce wierd experiences for me without them; my "natural" trips are not always comfortable, so I never wanted to push my mind further in that direction. In high-school I hung out with kids who enjoyed acid; they actually asked for me to be there - sober - to help them trip. I just remember them mostly laying on the floor and me producing sounds and visual effects and deep thoughts. I felt no desire to join them on the floor; I kinda felt they were going to a lot of trouble to get where I tend to drift off to sometimes and go to trouble to get back from.  Now in my older age I'd like to experiment with LSD but I wouldn't even know how to go about finding a dealer.

I reckon anyone who thinks deep is going to end up anarchist. I reckon anyone with a particularly heightened empathy for others and particularly intense awareness of things like time and change are going to end up thinking deep.  If psychadelics can dissolve the man-made reality we take for granted and reveal the truer, greater complexity, I'm sure they'll lead many people to anarchist thought.
by (600 points)

i wish i still had glasses as deeply rose-colored as yours, syrphant. and i wish i had some pure liquid to send you!

"I reckon anyone who thinks deep is going to end up anarchist. "

if only...

i also think that idea implies a sort of patronizing attitude shared by so many folks with strong ideas about how the world "should" be. as i mentioned above, my own psychedelic experiences opened doors in my mind that could never be closed again. yet all of my living experiences through 57+ years also play into the complex soup that is my mind, hopefully preventing me from allowing any one element of my experiences to color all of my "reality".

Look, if I sound patronizing maybe I'm trying to convince myself, 'cause in all honesty I'm the most confused, insecure member of this group. As you often remind me. Don't rub your moral.and intellectual superiority in my face; it's patronizing ;)

fuck superiority! i have no morals, and my intellect is constantly in question (primarily - though definitely not exclusively - by me).

however, i AM always right. (or is it left...?)
+2 votes
I have pretty limited experience with psychedelics, and I don't know if said use influenced my concept of anarchy, but it influenced me and who I am as an anarchist.

My first acid trip involved hallucinations of everything falling apart and the ruins roiling like a mass of snakes, as well as a sense that it was inevitable. This cracking open of something that had been spinning in my head, but that I couldn't reconcile with my understanding of the world didn't make me an anarchist, but it definitely had to do with my anti-civ awakenings, which is pretty integral to my anarchy, but predated my using the a-word.

The next day in PE class we played volleyball. Volleyball is not a sport to play while coming down and still seeing tracers.
by (22.1k points)
interesting first trip.

in my late teens, i often played handball and paddleball while tripping. i don't recall ever losing in those cases, as the ball always moved in slow motion, making it super easy for me to get the shots i wanted, put all kinds of english on the ball, anticipate where it was going, etc. basketball (the sport i loved most and most often played), on the other hand, i could never really get it going. the ball always seemed to weigh like 50 pounds.