What psychedelic drugs illustrate about religion, death and consciousness

The last sixty years have witnessed what may well be the greatest unplanned mass experiment in the history of neuroscience. Thousands of people have deliberately experimented on themselves by taking chemicals that altered their experience of reality — chemicals like LSD, mescaline, psilocybin and DMT.

I’ve never experimented with these myself and don’t plan on it; I value my brain’s unimpaired function, thank you very much. But I find this mass experiment fascinating because of the chemistry of these chemicals (see previous posts) and what they reveal about consciousness. There are several things we can learn about life, consciousness and our religious beliefs from the reported effects of these drugs. Please note that these are not scientific conclusions; I’m not claiming they are because they aren’t. These are just my personal opinions, a chemist musing about life and consciousness if you will. But they’re also what seem to me like obvious if unscientific conclusions we can draw from our mass experiment with drugs.

Note: I apologize for the speculative, unscientific and perhaps (to some) offensive nature of some of the conclusions in this post. But these are interesting questions to think and/or argue about. So if you disagree with me — that’s what the comments box is for!

1) Brain biochemistry IS consciousness.

Briefly glance at the structure of some neurotransmitters and some popular drugs and you’ll notice something interesting.

DMT

DMT

MDMA

MDMA

Mescaline

Mescaline

Psilocin

Psilocin

Serotonin

Serotonin

Dopamine

Dopamine

You don’t have to be a chemist to see the resemblance between the drugs and the neurotransmitters. The drugs are similar and yet different. Those differences are crucial to the way they work and how they get processed inside your body. But even without knowing anything else about their chemistry, you can make a guess about how these drugs work based on their structures: they mimic or interfere with the activity of neurotransmitters in your brain.

If you talk to anyone who’s used DMT or psilocin/psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) at one time or another they’ll tell you they experienced some very vivid hallucinations — and an almost completely altered perception of reality. This clearly implies that brain biochemistry is consciousness. If consciousness resided in some kind of soul or spirit as the ancients believed, then taking chemicals would have no effect on your consciousness. If you can alter your consciousness by taking a chemical to interfere with or mimics neurotransmitters, on the other hand, then consciousness must be biochemical in nature.

2) There is probably no afterlife.

This follows from (1). Psychedelic drugs like shrooms demonstrate that consciousness is a property of the brain, and the brain is a biochemical engine in the same way that the engine in your car is a mechanical one.

When your car’s engine dies, does another car nearby immediately start up as the “spirit of the car” transfers from one automobile to another? Of course not. You intuitively know that makes no sense. So if consciousness is a property of the brain (which is a biochemical engine), why would it transfer from one vehicle to another when the brain dies? that doesn’t make any sense.

The counter-argument in favor of an afterlife would be near-death experiences. I don’t honestly know very much about these beyond the occasional news story; psychedelic drugs, however, illuminate a possible explanation for these too. We know from users’ experiences with LSD and other drugs that altering brain biochemistry can induce vivid hallucinations where the brain takes things you see or have experienced (colors, shapes, voices, etc.) and reassembles them into something you’ve never seen or experienced, a little like cutting up ugly photos to make them into a beautiful collage. NDEs are typically people who are hospitalized, anesthetized and on the verge of death — undergoing experiences, in other words, that are likely to alter brain biochemistry in ways that might generate vivid hallucinations of the kind that have been reported. Please take note that I’m speculating here — I don’t know this for sure — but it would make sense.

The probable non-existence of an afterlife is definitely kind of disappointing — I’m sure all of us would like to live forever if that were possible. But to me anyway (and please contradict me if you disagree) it seems like a logical conclusion that follows from (1).

3) Traditional religions are probably false.

This follows from (1) and (2). Most religions claim that consciousness resides in some sort of non-material entity called a soul that persists after death. Experiments with psychedelic drugs, however, demonstrate that brain biochemistry is consciousness which probably doesn’t persist after death. So our experience with psychedelic drugs suggests the two main claims made by most religions may be false. Indeed, psychedelic drugs like psilocin/psilocybin tend to induce spiritual sensations similar to those reported by devotees of traditional religions during fasting and prayer, which suggests that spiritual sensations during prayer and meditation are also a kind of hallucination that has its roots in brain biochemistry.

This doesn’t mean there is no God or higher power necessarily; it just means that if the universe was created by a God, it’s not any of the ones from the religions we know, but rather an unknown agent or agents who started the show then left it to run on its own without intervening further in observable ways. The usual name for this belief is Deism.

Just like the non-existence of an afterlife, this may sound like a fairly bleak and disappointing conclusion. But in many ways, it’s a much brighter prospect than the one offered by most religious traditions. Consider, for example, the story that is Christianity:

1395028_399987793468257_911918116_n-1

Don’t tell me that isn’t what Christians believe; it is. I used to be one, I ought to know. This IS the Bible story neatly summarized in one paragraph, and frankly it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, at least not to me anyway. Back in ancient times, however, it probably made more sense. People back then were used to serving kings who often behaved like arbitrary lunatics. They knew that kings were different from ordinary folk; kings were whimsical and cruel and powerful and beyond reproach like a force of nature or something. So when our ancestors invented the Bible/Koran/Talmud/Roman mythology etc. they imagined God(s) who acted much like the kings they served. Hence the strangely inconsistent behavior that God displays throughout the Bible.

But again — and I want to emphasize this because people in our modern religion-vs.-atheism debate seem to forget this — atheism and traditional religions aren’t the only two alternatives out there. It’s entirely possible the universe was created by an entity beyond our imagining or experience, something akin to George Lucas’ “The Force” (and yeah, I know, I’m indulging in some very unscientific speculation right now). This belief as I said before is usually called Deism, and if true it would mean the universe and possibly even our lives are part of some kind of plan we cannot alter (albeit one we know nothing about). Nowadays I think a growing number of us incline to this view, which is why you run into so many people who say they are “spiritual but not religious”; they agree that traditional religions are pretty crazy but aren’t willing to say the universe is an unplanned accident (because that seems pretty crazy too).

And even if the universe IS an outright accident that doesn’t make life purposeless either; we can all find meaning in doing the best we can to make life better and more livable for each other while we’re here. I think this quote sums it up nicely:

x

4) Perception is not necessarily reality.

Like optical illusions, psychedelic drugs demonstrate that the biochemical engine called the brain is easily fooled. Our perceptions are clouded by our emotions, our experience, the drugs we take (e.g. caffeine or alcohol or THC), our desires and the limitations of our biology (bees, for example, can see some wavelengths of ultraviolet light as a color invisible to us). This is one of the reasons why we invented science as a way to figure out how our world works. We need controlled experiments that can be repeated because we’re all too liable to believing what we want to believe and seeing only what we want to see.

5) Who you are is more malleable than you imagine.

There are two ingredients in the recipe that determines your personality: genes and experience, aka “nature” and “nurture”. Clearly your genes play a critical role; identical twins tend to have many more similarities in terms of personality and behavior than unrelated strangers. But so too does experience. Bear in mind that when you learn or form memories there are actual physical changes taking place in your brain; connections between neurons are being formed or strengthened or weakened. So the things that happen to you cause physical changes in your brain that in turn become part of who you are. Which means that your identity and personality may be both more and less malleable than you probably imagine.

Psychedelic drugs demonstrate just how malleable these things truly are in an alarming and direct kind of way. If taking a drug like DMT can alter the way you interact with reality so briefly and so completely, what does that imply about “who you are”?

You’ve probably wondered at some point what life would have been like or who you would have become if you’d lived in another time period, i.e. who would you have been if you’d lived in the Middle Ages? This is actually a meaningless question, because if you’d been born in any other time period your childhood experiences would have been different and so you would be a completely different person. Just like your genes, your experience is part of who you are, because it caused physical changes in your brain that became part of the way you think.

Out of the five conclusions I draw from humankind’s experience with psychedelics, this is possibly the most profound. I think at some point in the future it will change how we think about criminal justice. Your personality and inclinations are shaped by your genes and your experience, and you chose neither of these. So perhaps we should see criminals not as perpetrators but as people who thanks to a particular combination of genes and experience have ended up with antisocial tendencies. Perhaps these antisocial tendencies can be reliably corrected. Perhaps someday in the distant future, criminal justice may cease to focus on punishment and turn instead to treatment, curing prisoners of their antisocial tendencies rather than punishing them.

At this point in time it’s tough to imagine what such a world would look like; “an eye for an eye” is built into our culture. But surely culture is also more malleable than our ancestors believed. Perhaps a world where criminal treatment and criminal justice become synonymous is closer than we imagine.

66 thoughts on “What psychedelic drugs illustrate about religion, death and consciousness

  1. Wow. Wow. WOW! Those are good “Wow’s”. Most of that is nearly identical to what I have believed to be true for more years than I can count. It’s so close that I am beginning to suspect that you infiltrated my brain, stole my thoughts and regurgitated them here, albeit in a more organized and eloquent way than I could muster. Keep up the good work.

  2. Have you studied current quantum physics in depth? Your article is boarding on a very small part of the truth… But still far far from being enlightened work.

  3. You’re summary of Christianity is teologically wrong. And your numerous descriptions of the effects of the drugs are pathetic, you keep excusing yourself for not knowing, so you really shouldn’t say anything, because you don’t. You sound like a sad sad sad man.
    Christ didn’t kill himself, you missed the whole point about God being made into flesh, and his upmost sacrifice. It’s quite simple, yes, but not as you put it, and I understand why.
    There are registered accounts of Tibetian monks taking extreme doses of LSD and not reporting any effects. And how about the placebo effect? Does consciousness have the capacity to heal your own body? Your assumptions are ludricous, made on false prerrogatives.
    I cant believe I wasted my time on this garbage.
    Go study!

      • I would have to agree with Eric about the anger factor in Mike Zoom’s comment. It seems to me that this is an open concept and questions about what has been stated as some absolute facts, but if everything was concrete, we would not be listening to a different take on what may or may not be true.

        As I read this I felt no emotion, rather an observation of ideas which I can consider. What I gather from this post is that perspectives are formed from different points of view. Anything can make sense, depending on the point of view from which you think. In other words, Everyone is made the same and we are a part of evolution, so things and Ideas that once were believed as true previously was only a snapshot of something bigger we see today, which makes the previous, incorrect as fact.

        Everything is unfolding and there is no conclusion to this existence, only perspectives.

        Thanks for the post ╰დ╮❤╭დ╯

      • SECOND THAT! ERIC – virtual Textbook example of ‘facade-projection’ which does abound in most of what the Good Author imparts to us – the CLEAR-RECORDED (in situ) ‘FACT’ that a small set of words; even a phrase, if you like PROVOKES – Such VOLUME esp. given that the RESPONDER is the Same the ‘authors of that which is being responded to’, ARE WIDELY VARIANT; even topically DIS-similar in quite intriguing – very telling as well…

        WELL SAID: WELL OBSERVED; ‘pokes’ at NO one & CLEAR-SALIENT Subjective-Objective Observations [Empirical (as they Must ‘by necessity’ BE ) THAT said ‘tied’ as disparate ‘Sets’ in UNION by the ‘Harmonies of Human Experience’.

        NEITHER IS MY ‘SUPPORT’ Comment’ a ‘poke’ at the Author; merely subtle & constructively offered Suggestions that s/he REALLY ought find some ‘alone-time’ for Either Self-or-Other Assisted (a ‘friendly’ but NOT TOO CLOSE ‘Therapist’ Peer in THAT Field might furnish an asset; sig. p/u) Authentic Scathingly Self-Honest Evaluation….even as an ‘on-going’ Work-in-Progress supported & linked perhaps by some Journaling stick to pen-&-paper tho’ CLEAR Psycho-Neurological motor-link reasons for that [Human Sentience is GREAT at forgetting ‘things’ / “stoffe”, or ‘missing’ “stoffe” one wishes NOT to OWN – ever more so NOW!

        IT WOULD BE FOR ONE’s IMPROVEMENT AS A THINKER; WRITER-CREATOR-INVENTOR AND CERTAINLY AN ASSET IN ANY ENDEAVOURS UNDERTAKEN IN FUTURE W/REGARD to ANY CAREER in Intra-Mural Multi-Disciplinary MEDICINE [related to your SELF-STATED ‘penchants’ as an Authentically Trained & Accomplished ACADEMICIAN/SCIENTIST-Therapist-Clinician…et cet.]

        Here ‘sitting as record’ to ALMOST Any of the continually re-echoing Items of Topical Interest that continue to ‘re-peat’ themselves as ‘leitmotiv’ in these ‘broadcasts’ of your ‘personal Symphony’…

        Mez; ZOOM; Eric; Giovanni; ‘Success’; Jesse; Ruzzel; “Tom DC” et alia ALL have some ‘Pro’ EXCELLENT VERY ‘spot-on’ FEEDBACK to OFFER you: per se They are as such Friends like Brothers & Sisters you’ve not YET met- What Gifts to GIVE Freely & Generously – Kindly.

        Within the ‘game-boundaries’ of UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD & MUTUAL ENLIGHTENED INTERDEPENDENCE – this Process-Event Is [like; IT IS!] a TREASURY of THINGS I REALLY NEED TO TAKE A CLEAR-HARD LOOK AT & WORK ON – the Souciant- Salient QUESTION that HANGS with Your BEST-OUTCOME in the Balance is Will ONE take up the Gauntlet…?

        I don’t want to know and Don’t need to:

        THE HARDEST COMPETITOR TO BEAT IS ALWAYS YOURSELF…but matey if 7 people say you look like a duck, act like a duck and walk like a duck – well…take it to it’s LOGICAL conclusion: SINE QUA NON!

        Tse’chig Lu’chig: SANGYAIS!

        Menpa-LAMA NAMGYAL, Togdhen

    • The whole Tibetian monk thing is just a rumor. Richard Alpert (“ram das”) says he gave it to a monk who felt nothing. This was when he was blindly following a 19 year old kid around India (his guru). He is known to fall in love with young men. The whole story is very pompous and slightly delusional.

      If you want registered accounts look at the thousands of people who took part in LSD experiments. Give someone enough acid and they’ll trip. Idk what point yout trying to make with the monks

  4. Drug-Induced God
    Chapter 10 [The God Part Of The Brain]

    The sacred drink of soma used by the Vedic Hindus, the morning
    glory seeds and mescaline ingested by Native Americans, the sacred
    mints of the Greek mystery religions, the use of cannabis by the
    Scythians, the yaje or ayahuasca of the Amazonian jungle peoples,
    and the iboga of the peoples of equatorial Africa are all examples of
    psychedelic drugs used to evoke a spiritual experience. Because of
    the universal nature of this phenomenon, the word entheogens—
    meaning “God generated from within”—has been created to describe
    this class of “God-inducing” drugs.
    To the ancient Aztecs, the connection between entheogens and the spiritual realm was so clear that they referred to peyote as the “divine messenger” and psilocybin as “God’s flesh.”

    It is so widely recognized that certain drugs can stimulate a spiritual
    experience that some secular governments, which normally forbid
    the use of drugs, have legalized certain entheogens when ingested
    as a religious sacrament.

    “In 1994, the U.S. government enacted the
    American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments, providing
    consistent protection across all fifty states for the traditional ceremonial use of peyote by American Indians…
    In its report on the 1994 legislation, a U.S. House of Representative’s committee reported that ‘peyote is not injurious,’ and that the spiritual and social support provided by the Native American Church (NAC) has been effective in combating the tragic effects of alcoholism among the Native American population.”

    From William James’s experiments with nitrous oxide to Aldous
    Huxley’s experiments with lysergic acid (LSD), it is widely noted that
    certain plants and/or chemicals can induce experiences indistinguishable from certain mystical states. Stanislov Grof, in his work Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research, cataloged the experiences of individuals who were administered experimental doses of LSD. Based on his studies, Grof found that the symptoms described by those who had taken the drug were nearly identical to those who had undergone a mystical experience.
    But how is it that a drug could have the ability to rouse such feelings
    as these in us? How is it possible that chemicals can have the
    capacity to induce sensations as allegedly sacred and sublime as a
    spiritual or transcendental experience? What does this say about
    such drugs? Or, more significantly, what does this say about a spiritual/transcendental experience?
    In order to answer such questions, we need take a look at the
    drugs themselves. As we know, all drugs, including the psychedelics,
    or entheogens as they are now called, are always the same in regard
    to their molecular structure. This is true of any drug. For example,
    on a molecular level, aspirin is always aspirin; penicillin is always
    penicillin. Accordingly, the same rule must also apply to each of the
    various entheogenic drugs. In other words, the chemical makeup of
    any entheogenic drug represents a constant. The atomic structure of
    an LSD molecule is the same whether ingested in Bangkok or
    Bolivia, at sea level or on top of the Himalayas.
    The same can be said, more or less, about human physiology.
    Granted, though there is a certain degree of variance among individuals within our species, underlying this diversity is a distinct physiological uniformity. Since we are dealing with two constants—
    same drug, same physiology—it’s no surprise that entheogenic drugs
    should have this same particular effect on individuals from such a
    diverse range of cultures. This still leaves us with the crux of the
    problem, which is: why do these drugs have this particular effect on
    us? Why do they have a distinct tendency to elicit what we refer to
    as spiritual/mystical/transcendental/religious experiences?
    No drug can elicit a response to which we are not physiologically
    predisposed. Drugs can only enhance or suppress those capacities we
    already possess. They cannot create new ones. For example, the fact
    that we possess the capacity for sight—that we possess the physical
    mechanics to “see”—means that it is within the realm of possibility that a drug would be able to either enhance or suppress one’s visual capacities.
    The fact, however, that we do not possess the physical capacity
    to fly, for instance, means that no drug can ever enhance or suppress
    our nonexistent powers of flight. Again, a drug can only affect us as
    much as we possess some physiological mechanism that might be
    receptive to a drug’s particular chemistry.
    The fact, for instance, that novocaine has the universal effect of
    desensitizing one to pain means that we must possess pain receptors
    that are capable of being suppressed. In the same way, the fact that
    psychedelic drugs have a cross-cultural tendency to stimulate experiences we define as being either spiritual, religious, mystical, or transcendental means we must possess some physiological mechanism whose function is to generate this particular type of conscious experience. If we didn’t possess such a physical mechanism, there’s no way these drugs could possibly stimulate such experiences in us. In essence, the fact that there exists a certain class of drugs—molecular combinations—that can evoke a spiritual experience supports the notion that spiritual consciousness must be physiological in nature. Herein lies the basis for an ethnobotanical argument against the existence of either a spiritual reality or a soul.

    • This is very interesting but I might not really understand it.

      For example let’s assume I take a hallucinogen and I would have the sensory experience of chewing a carrot but in reality I am not chewing on.
      After the chapter of that book couldn’t I conclude that therefor something like carrots don’t exist?

      • Actually you would be able to infer from that that your body naturally has the ability to chew carrots. Chewing is not something put on you by an outside force, but is, instead, inherent in the physiology of the body.

  5. Loads of holes in this post. Seems quite sensational and emotionally motivated. I don’t really understand the need for people who do don’t believe in God to prove why God doesn’t exist to everyone else… If we truly believe in something, such as God’s existence or lack thereof, wouldn’t we be free of the need to prove anything to anyone else.

    • I think you’re asking, since I’m not religious (I’m basically an agnostic/deist) why would I try to persuade anyone to share my views? I think what I think, so why would it matter whether anyone else agrees with me? And that’s a good question. I used to think that arguments about religion were pretty futile but it’s still a subject I find interesting because 1) I was raised religious so it was something I thought about a lot before I eventually “deconverted” if you will and 2) religion plays an important role in politics, healthcare and education, especially in Muslim-majority countries but also here in the US, and I don’t think that’s a good or healthy situation. There are still far too many people out there who get offended if you criticize their religious beliefs but at the same time use those religious beliefs to justify political initiatives.

  6. I could not resist but to reply to this. I have a profound interest in these topics and hopefully we could shed some light on one another. You have, however, engaged in the fallacy of equivocation. Brain chemistry might be conciousness, but conciousness does not equal soul. Your analogy of the “soul” with the car is also invalid, as the terms are only analogous if you bracket the chemical function of the brain and disregard other “human” stuff such as emotion and/or raw experience as it is felt. Thus, you have also engaged in the fallacy of division.

    Im not sure if you are aware of this, but the dmt molecule is actively and naturally produced within our brain, within most animal’s brains, and it can pretty much be synthetized out of every organic life form. Dmt is a very simple triptamine. Dmt is also produced in darkness and it is the main agent that helps us dream. It is also directly linked to near death experiences, and might be directly correlated with our faculty of imagination which you also seemed to completely disregard. Again, this is a molecule that is naturally produced within us. So, when taken externally and increasing dmt’s quantity in our brain, we seem to undergo certain vivid experiences that are “unconcious” whilst highly vivid and “concious”. This might point to the idea that yes, perhaps conciousness, per se, is chemically based, but settling there ignores a much more profound posibility. This is going to sound very “new agey”, but, perhaps there are certain hidden falculties already present within us that point to a grander, more interconected, highly spiritual experience of which a simple chemical molecule such a dmt is only the fascilitator.

    For someone who claims to have been a christian you must have never been a really good one, in the sense that you probably never cared about it to begin with and thus you simply missed its purpose. Your view about religion is the same view that every anti-religious-fanaticism fanatic seems to fall for; a commonplace perception, a superficial one. Religion, theist religions–not spiritual beliefs such as buddhism, hinduism, etc–have their source and purpose in the echatological mystery that is very present to human’s condition, and its belief is founded more on the idea of life rather than on the fact of “conciousness”. Religious beliefs are grounded in a very simple and humble, to say the least, optimist act, of imagination; that is, of imagining ourselves as eternal substances. Why? Because out of the echatological mystery, there are only two logical posibilities that could occur to our “conciousness” post mortem, one pessimist, another optimist: 1) nothing, and thus eternal unconciousness insofar as death is the “end” for us, or, 2) something, in which we could somehow survive, where “somethingness” ultimately ends up being called, God. Religious belief is fundamentally grounded in number 2. It is a vital concern, a deeply personal one, optimistic and positive, and not at all the social and manipulative concern that many uninformed individuals try to make it seem.

    Since we dont have an affirmative answer to this echatological situation (hence its mystery), and the situation will persist even if we choose to ignore it, under the shadow of the memento mori one should be compeled to choose. Therein lies the ultimate conception of a “soul”, it is no longer just experience, conciousness, feelings, identity, “chemistry”, or memory, it is simply life, to choose life, to want life after death. NOT to assert its factuality, but to believe it. So, when you say there is probably no afterlife, what if there actually is? what would you want it to be? And how would your answer to that question affect you, now, in this life you are living for a moment?

    Just for the record, i am neither a religious practicioner nor a hallucinogenic substances user. I suggest you look into these issues a little further. I agree with you that we should be able to engage in these speculative conversations without necesarilly getting all scientifical when it comes to the final proposition we want to discuss, as these are, as of now, still mysteries. But, for the same reason, we must be carefull not no be biased in these issues, informed maybe, but not biased.

    • “Dmt is also produced in darkness and it is the main agent that helps us dream. It is also directly linked to near death experiences…”

      Although you are correct that DMT is produced naturally by humans and many other organisms, your other claims about it are unfounded. DMT has never been linked to dreaming, and there is zero evidence linking it to near-death experiences. These were speculations made by Rick Strassman, and not conclusions supported by current scientific evidence.

  7. Man was not created with original sin. Sin came into the picture when we went against God’s command not to eat the fruit of one particular tree in the garden.

    • This thing about Adam and Eve being responsible for everything bad that’s happened since is yet another Christian doctrine that makes no sense to me.

      First off if by Adam and Eve we mean two human individuals who are the ancestors of everyone living today — this story is fiction, they did not exist. We can use various techniques in modern population genetics to estimate the effective size of our ancestral population during past population bottlenecks and it was NEVER just two individuals. See for ex:

      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7357/full/nature10231.html

      But let’s assume for a minute just for the sake of argument that the Genesis story is true in part in some way. How could a decision to break a command made by two individuals transfer guilt to all of their descendants? Do you believe guilt is hereditary? are you responsible for crimes committed by your ancestors? Even more importantly, let’s remember the God of the Bible is supposed to be omniscient, therefore s/he created the apple of knowledge or whatever KNOWING that Eve would eat it — indeed, this is supposedly part of God’s plan. Therefore Christian doctrine effectively does hold that God is responsible for original sin since this sin was foreseen and planned by God. I don’t think you’ll find any theologians who will acknowledge this but it’s an inescapable conclusion.

      • “How could a decision to break a command made by two individuals transfer guilt to all of their descendants?”

        Thanks for asking. The choice to break a command apparently involved ingestion of a detrimental nutrient. It resulted in transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of diseases and behavioral disorders associated with nutrient-dependent single amino-acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all species via the physiology of reproduction. For example, the detrimental effect of a ‘forbidden’ nutrient shows up in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

        Other animals need not be told what to eat or what not to eat. We were told not to eat something, but we chose to eat it anyway and we ended up with diseases across generations.

        Now many people blame God for giving us the choice to ignore what He told us about what not to eat. Or, they assume there is no God because it makes no sense to us that God would Create disease. Whatever went wrong appears to have gone horribly wrong during the past 5-10,000 years

        http://www.nature.com/news/past-5-000-years-prolific-for-changes-to-human-genome-1.11912#/b3

      • That literally had to be the most convoluted answer I’ve ever heard….

        If God knows everything, and knows everything that we are going to do before we did it and he created everything, then he created that detrimental nutrition as you call it. So God created something he knew would ruin humanity, then created the humans and told them not to do it, all while knowing they were going to do it… So you can say God set us up to fail and to be miserable.

      • There are so many things wrong here it’s difficult to know where to start.

        First off: detrimental nutrient is an oxymoron. I think the word you’re looking for is “poison”.

        Second, epigenetic changes like DNA methylation have very limited heritability. There’s no way you could make a permanent and sweeping change in human physiology through these kinds of modifications. Cancer, BTW, is also found in animals.

        “nutrient-dependent single amino-acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types of all individuals of all species via the physiology of reproduction” is meaningless. Cell types, individuals and species are not differentiated by “single amino-acid substitutions” in a specific protein. Different cells in your body have different patterns of gene expression, not “single amino acid substitutions”, and there are MANY genetic differences between species; they don’t all come down to single-letter swaps. Nor are single amino acid substitutions “nutrient dependent”. Just stop and think about this for a moment. If small changes in the concentration of a specific nutrient caused your cells to substitute one amino acid for another during translation, that would affect ALL genes, not just one, in a way that would be nonselective and disastrous.

        The Nature paper you reference is about the origin of genetic variation in the modern human population. Since our population has grown exponentially over the last 5-10K years, you now have lots of genetic variants not present in the ancestral population that result from mutations. Not sure what this has to do with your claim.

        Moreover none of this has anything to do with the Bible story which is fairly clear. The Bible claims that two humans ate an apple which gave them knowledge of good and evil in some magical way. By doing so they broke a command and therefore God punished them (and all their descendants). This isn’t a story that makes sense to me for the reasons I gave above. Trying to salvage it by tacking on this pseudoscientific explanation doesn’t help.

      • I think the argument that Kohl is trying to make with the Nature article is that there was a dramatic increase in mutations 5,000 – 10,000 years ago because that’s when the events in Genesis took place. The problem is, if you want to make that argument, you also have to accept that humans have been around for more than 10,000 years, which contradicts young-earth creationist claims.

        Also it looks like you didn’t do your homework on the problem you bring up with free will and omniscience. You’re informally making what’s called the “argument from free will.” Theologians have been countering it since at least Boethius, who lived in the 6th century AD.

      • Please do not overlook the possibility that our brain is a temporary biochemical connection to the physical world, that when used properly acts to introduce our consciousness to to the timeless Divine Reality. also please remember that we (our consciousness) are a form of energy that is bound by all of the laws of conservation of energy. We will be around a long time. The Idea then of an introductory physical relationship with the sets of laws that govern the universe to enable the beginning of our eternal understanding is simple. I agree that mind altering drugs are not necessary to advance our understanding.

        It is much simpler than that: there is no detrimental nutrient. The universe is a designed system, as with any designed system there are limits to its use beyond the design….Eve and the apple is a message from the designer that attempts to convey exactly that. It makes no attempt to explain that which we are designed to discover, the world of physical reality with its 9 integers that explain it all, it uses the objects and consequences of the physical laws to exemplify (to those paying attention) the explanation given of the spiritual laws.
        there are two systems to learning, example and instruction,; discovery and revelation; physical and spiritual, two sets of laws that govern the universe, one that we can discover on our own and another that requires instruction…..

  8. DMT is actually released by the human brain during intense dreams, and right before we die… There are scientists who believe that a release of DMT is what causes visions of heaven and other such things seen during near death experiences.

    I’ve experienced a lot with a lot of the substances you posted above… I create my own DMT by extracting it from the root bark of Mimosa Hostilis and have seen almost everything ever described in near death experiences.

    Great article.. I’m glad you can keep an open mind even though you don’t use them yourself.

    • No current evidence suggests that DMT is released during intense dreams or at death. The scientist most associated with these claims is Rick Strassman, and unfortunately his speculations are frequently repeated as scientific truths.

      Now that doesn’t detract from this incredible chemical. The DMT experience is mind-blowing, like nothing else I have ever encountered. But I don’t want to overstate the case for its role in biology — we should stick to claims that are supported by the available evidence.

  9. Good article quite interesting. I’m currently studying chem and I’m no expert but a lot of what is said here I agree with.
    I believe we have souls but don’t believe they make us who we are.
    When you move your finger, walk around, look somewhere any bodily control you exert I believe comes from the soul ultimately. Yes signals are sent to command such actions but if you trace the signal all the way back to its origin what causes it?
    Anyways though this is a scientific article and he isn’t hating on religion just stating facts that a god such as the traditional ones seem unfounded in reality but there’s no reason why you can follow a religion to have something to believe. Everyone should believe in something but some of the commenters here have missed the point.

  10. remember people we are living on a planet, in a universe we don’t understand at all. our consciousness is the foundation of living within this space. nothing is quite really as it seems

  11. Biochemistry of the brain is probably like any other human physiological mechanism–an evolutionary adaptation designed to allow existence and reproduction. Why does that have to be the only or core consciousness of a human? Why does having a biochemical mechanism designed to allow us to move through the world as it is day to day have to preclude the presence of a linked or even separate higher or core consciousness or essence that does survive death?

    As for the Christian doctrine, it doesn’t seem so silly to me. Humans clearly exhibit selfless and selfish tendencies. They were designed that way, probably for evolutionary reasons (sometimes in the long game of species survival it helps for individuals to be selfish and other times selfless). But along the way, people do have some will of their own (of course shaped by genetics and experience, but people can and do make choices contrary to the limitations of both). So there you have original sin and free will. All of which leads to the inescapable acknowledgment by most people that we are incapable of always making selfless or “good” choices. Therein comes Christ. God made incarnate and sacrificed to let us know He knows we cannot be totally selfless but not to despair of it. That is not cruel in the least, but an act of ultimate love for humanity.

    Moreover, the Christian message, particularly the words attributed to Jesus Himself seem so sublimely True. His precepts seem so right in your bones, yet so impossible to perpetually attain (again signaling their correctness in the sort of vein of the nothing good is easy adage). Does anyone doubt that the world would be a much better place if people adhered to Christ’s teachings? You could say the same thing about any number of philosophers and religious leaders, but then I think you haven’t dealt with the points in my second paragraph above.

    Lastly, I am not a scientist of any kind, having majored in the liberal arts and then graduated from law school. But there are certainly serious and well educated people more versed in science than me who are Believers–e.g. Frances Collins and John Polkinghorne. Does their belief or any of the preceding establish the Truth of Christianity with certainty? Of course not. But I hope it is a brief but thoughtful, as opposed to angry, attempt to show why Christianity is not necessarily to be readily dismissed and your theory (similarly not readily dismissed) is not necessarily without questions itself.

    In any case, glad I saw this article posted by a liberal friend of mine. Very interesting and thought provoking.

    PS–in my own personal life I have had many “meaningful synchronicities” that suggest there is more than meets the eye (at a minimum) or the scientific instrument, as it were. But these experiences have no place in convincing those who have not had similar experiences (and of course some will argue “rational” explanations for the most mind-boggling coincidences). I just note that a combination of thought and experience can inform an individual’s belief, and these meaningful coincidences have had an influence on my thinking.

  12. Welp, leave it to a chemist to reduce the amazing anomaly of consciousness to a bunch of chemical reactions.

    Just because certain substances have the ability to alter our consciousness doesn’t mean that the sum total of our consciousness located in the brain. When your vision is altered when you put on sunglasses, does that mean that the sum total of your perception of vision is located inside your eyeball?

    • I like your analogy and you make a good point. But in the case of an eyeball, we have other anatomical parts which are worth analyzing. It makes sense to examine the brain, and the rest of the human body, in characterizing the phenomenon of vision. In doing so, we have discovered the whole visual system, from the retina and the optic nerve to the visual cortex.

      But with consciousness, where else would you look? To what do we owe the conscious experience, if not biochemistry? What else should we test and experiment on in order to isolate this phenomenon?

      Occam’s razor leads me to resist hypothesizing about extraneous entities or fields, whether immortal souls or a pervasive matrix of consciousness. I think these kinds of suggestions complicate rather than resolve the problem of consciousness’s origins. For now the evidence leads me to conclude that a functioning brain, or similar neural network, is sufficient for producing consciousness. Although the mysteries of consciousness abound, and the case is hardly closed!

      • If you haven’t… You should watch the documentary “The Spirit Molecule” it’s available on Netflix or easily pirateable if you are so inclined. Brings a lot of scientific fact to the fiction.

        Also, the book “The Cosmic Serpent. DNA and the origins of life” Talks about Ayahuasca (so DMT’s” role in lots of different things… Culture, and throws out some interesting hypothesis that’s backed up with some scientific evidence. It’s still far reaching and for at this stage of our technology unable to prove (maybe when we can analyze DNA on a more intricate scale) but very interesting.

        I know none of what i said is definitive… But I’ve experimented a lot, read a lot of books on experiences of both sides (near death & DMT) and they do seem to be very similar (plus I’ve seen pretty much every religious deity from every faith on different journeys). So, for me I realize at this moment neither side is provable or disprovable but I have a lot of experience on both sides of the court and after growing up extreme Christian conservative I definitely lean away from that as agnostic. But, I find every possible idea fascinating and am not going to completely crap on it or say it’s impossible like a lot of others on here. Religion in itself is fascinating… Just too much killing for my like.

      • Thank you. Yes, I did realize there were limits to my analogy, but it was the best I could do off the top of my head.

        I make no claims to knowing all the answers, but I do dislike simplistic answers and “case closed” stamps on things as un-pin-downable as consciousness.

  13. I hope the afterlife is real too.

    This does make sense, it got me thinking.

    The only thing i could come up with against it is weak. That is; that maybe the soul communicates with the brain somehow or vice versa (remember there are things especially these things if there real that is beyond our understanding) and drugs interrupt the communication between the two. Then that makes me think if that is true and the soul is our consciousness how does the transfer of complete control to the souls take place when we die. I said it was weak.

  14. I think it’s too liberal of a statement to argue that there’s no afterlife because our consciousness stems from our brain’s biochemistry. It’s a logical assumption to make, and I think it makes a lot of sense, but you approach the argument with the assumption that consciousness is born from our brains. For all we know, our consciousness may be filtered by our brains, but it might not actually stem from it. I don’t argue with the fact that our mind plays a huge role in our sentience, but to say that it’s the sole root of it is a huge blanket statement that we’re not ready to make. We don’t yet understand what sentience is like for things that exist but don’t have brains. But to say that something without a brain has no sentience would be false in my opinion.

  15. ” If consciousness resided in some kind of soul or spirit as the ancients believed, then taking chemicals would have no effect on your consciousness. ”

    You are conflating soul and spirit with thought. Thought is a product of the physical brain, so of course it is affected by neurotransmitter analogs. Soul lies outside of the timely world and is not affected by drugs at all (frankly, I doubt the soul is affected by death). Spirit mediates between soul and thought and is colored by biochemistry, though not controlled by it in the classical view.

    The psychoactive drugs make thought go haywire and in so doing,challenge the spirit, the mediator. This is an experience that is probably beneficial to only few, and no doubt those few are vocal about it.

  16. This could go on endlessly, I want to make an intelligent comment, having used some of the listed drugs, regained consciousness and sorted some of this out without the aid of mathematics.
    You science guys are better educated than I am and ask really cool questions with awesome answers… However, I understand something arguable, that your necessary, accurate, intelligent and careful observations have missed… an object your calculations naturally avoid like opposing pole magnets, where the solution infinitely continues to divide. I doubt that I can explain the idea in a way that you can accept it, as you should have already seen this aspect of the situation.
    I am compelled to try.

    All of the above arguments on the subject are based on either understanding of the laws of physics or understanding of religious ideas. Some of the arguments approach a combination..

    What they all share is FAITH….The physicist has confidence because his peers have repeated the experiment in the world of physical reality with equal success, as far as we can understand it it works this way,in alignment with all of the other irrefutable (preexistent ) laws of physics that we have DISCOVERED and agree upon. Understanding of these laws gives us an almost absolute assurance that our rocket will land on the moon, which by the way is called FAITH. The only reason it is referred to as proof is because of our ability to observe the objects in motion,do not loose sight of the fact that we cannot “see” any of these laws of physics, we only see their consequence. Every one of those laws is invisible.

    The religion oriented thinker insists upon another set of (invisible, irrefutable, preexistent ) set of laws which have been actually been REVEALED. Our experience with the application of this different set of laws has also proven to produce predictable results, regardless of which “revelation “we choose thus originating the term FAITH.

    Comprehension of the operation of the world of physical reality necessitates seeing how individual items combine……

    There are two sets of laws that combine to govern the operation of the universe.

    Both sets require observation of their combined consequences in order to understand them.

    each set has its own purpose

    faith is required for understanding of either, set, it is also necessary to see their combination.

    The first set are the laws we discover, their design enables comprehension of the nature of the second set.

    The second set, has been being shown to us since before we began to discover the first set.

    These two sets do not conflict, one is the shadow of the other. Individually they deal with separate aspects of our existence, while one supports the other they cannot individually explain all aspects of each other.

    To answer your question then:
    Physics will not completely explain consciousness. Consciousness can explain physics.

    Consciousness is divided into many parts, like mathematics some of those parts are not explainable unless you understand the applicable rules at your own level of understanding.
    Rocks do not understand plants, plants understand minerals ect…

    Both sets of laws require simultaneous obedience for complete understanding. One cannot be discussed in great detail without consideration of the other.

    Every detail of this idea has been revealed to us over 170 years ago…..every detail……

  17. “If you can alter your consciousness by taking a chemical to interfere with or mimics neurotransmitters … then consciousness must be biochemical in nature.”

    Though I think there are very good reasons to doubt it, it may well be the case that we are nothing but our brains. But that conclusion is by no means necessitated by the fact that chemicals introduced into the brain alter the form of your experience and your behavior.

    Correlation alone never establishes causation, even if the correlations are very tight. Just because two things vary together doesn’t mean that one causes the other or is identical with the other. Causation and identity need to be established in other ways.

    When you are playing a highly immersive video game, the form your experience takes is governed by what is going on in the computer. If some alteration is made to the code or interface, or the computer malfunctions, your experience of the game changes and the way you interact with it changes, as does your behavior in the game world. Does this force you to conclude with certainty that you are the very computer or software? Hardly.

    I think there is a dire need for the public school system to teach critical thinking skills, with an emphasis on logical fallacies.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

    As for consciousness and brain chemistry, at present we have no solid evidence to support any particular idea about how the two are related. And it is a very, very hotly contested matter among people whose profession it is to try to answer such questions. The experts are all over the place, from denying subjective experience altogether, to property dualism, to epiphenomenalism, to substance dualism, to monistic idealism, and so on and so forth. No two experts agree.

    Consider that when it comes to things that we know with a good degree of confidence, like the earth being round or sex causing pregnancy, there is very little controversy. There is a strong consensus among the experts. With things that we don’t understand very well at all, there is always very little consensus and much contentious disagreement. We see this always at the horizons of knowledge. When we didn’t really understand the solar system very well, there was a lot of argument about whether the earth or the sun was at the center, what shapes the orbits had, and so on. Now we have a strong consensus and nobody argues about it anymore. And when it comes to those things that we don’t understand very well today, where there is little consensus, it is premature to adopt any strong positions or conclusions. We just don’t know.

    It is impossible to predict with confidence what will turn out to be the right view. Some areas where we currently don’t have a consensus, areas which are very hotly debated, are consciousness, cosmology, foundational physics, and so on. Right now, we just don’t know what consciousness is or how it is related to the brain, what physical stuff really is, or what the universe is, how exactly it came about, how it will end, and so on. I don’t know and neither do you. More understanding is needed before any of us can be said to be justified in believing any particular view on these things.

    And the relationship between the brain and consciousness is one of the most hotly contested areas of all. There is no consensus. If you take a strong position, it is not by reason of evidence. More likely, it has to do with your personality, your preferences, the emotional and maybe financial payoffs you get, your peer group, and so on.

    • AS FOR WHAT ]MR] SHEETNER [TWO/2 yrs ago] imparted & you [date-stamped similarly ] so glibly & blithely offered your 0.5 ‘sense’ ‘about’ …as if it were even Meaningful, rather than the meringue of clumsy ‘hoi_polloi’ caprice that it is:

      POST-FACTO
      SHEETNER’s ‘REPLY’ is NOT REMOTELY An OPINION at all, if you KNEW ‘whereof you speak’ you’d KNOW that much at least – which would be something; ‘…Rather A Very WELL-considered and well-thought out Sequential Array of well-integrated Capably Organised LOGICAL Posits w/Rhetorical Queries – each w/Internalised Responsum for Clarification…’,

      Or, was it just ‘comment for comment sake’ … No need Answer S_V_P!

      …one senses it will simply be yet another tiresome “troll flatus-flame” at best unless (devoutly to be wished!) someone who knows children should NOT play w/fire has taken your Zippo away!

      ***********
      contact anytime here @ GOTMYPOST-DOCHOWSABOOT’CHOO? DOT.COM

  18. “If you can alter your consciousness by taking a chemical to interfere with or mimics neurotransmitters … then consciousness must be biochemical in nature.”

    You are partially mistaken. The soul may very well be only biochemically made, but the spirit of a person isn’t. Because of this, our thinking ability is not purely biochemical. According to the ancients, including the bible, we are made of body, soul, and spirit. The body is a gateway for the soul to be blocked inside the body and thus sense earthly things or to be freed to access the spirit and thus sense spiritual things. This gateway to spiritual things can be relaxed and thus opened by various means – faith, meditation, etc, including drugs. Drugs open an already existing door. A drug doesn’t alter reality, it opens the door to see reality on a different plain… a different reality that’s already there, normally not seen but ready to see, if the door is opened. The way the body is a gateway is not so much biochemical as it is simply setting aside the body to let the spirit loose. The body doesn’t create the door, it IS the door, a door to be moved out of the way by the soul or by sickness or drugs.

    The body can interfere with our thinking, as does Alzheimer’s, but this doesn’t mean our thinking mode is strictly biochemical. The soul, being bodily bound, moves through the body and is sensed by the body and when this sensing of the soul is blocked by sickness the body can’t clearly sense its soul and thus connects and disconnects from the soul at random… creating memory problems and\or spatial problems and even hallucinogenic states.

    The spirit though, stays intact, but this can’t be sensed by the body unless the door has been opened, and sickness often doesn’t always open the door, but when it does, the effects can be very similar to drug induced visions of the spirit world, but can lead to delirium. When this door is opened (the body moved out of the way,) the person changes from someone sick and partially/fully mentally disable to someone who thinks rationally, but often from a different plain, which may not be discernible from an observer or the sick person. The sick person, not knowing what in the world is happening, may fall into a soul derived delirium which then closes the door… a “bad trip,” as some call it when it’s genesis is drugs. Lacking faith while sick can also cause this.

    Some say these visions are demonic and some say they aren’t… I can’t clearly say, I can only say, as an opinion, that we are not just biochemical, we are spirits also – the spirit world does exist and we can access it, and do so sometimes through soul means such as prayer, faith and meditation or through drugs or even sickness – all of these being a means to set the body aside long enough to see the spirit world.

    It may not be advisable though, to try to sense the spirit world through drugs or sickness because such things opens a flood gate of things from a different reality that they can’t understand because it’s all coming so fast, they can’t assimilate it and thus end up rationalizing it in ways that are not a true interpretation of the experience.

    Traditional religious ways of opening the door does so slowly and thus the experience can be assimilated properly and understood. Drugs may be able to do this, if the soul is prepared and thus aware that a flood is about to happen. This is why a sitter is often needed… someone who can encourage the person through the process until they have done it enough to relax through it and understand it for what it is – a vision from another dimension that they may or may not be able to understand or communicate to others.

  19. Another idea is that your brain may be a receiver of consciousness, instead of a generator of consciousness. Taking a psychedelic substance, like DMT,psilocybin,cannabis,LSD, etc. may change the frequency (or alter it like, HUE,color etc) or radio station. For example if the brain is a receiver of consciousness an analogy would be that if you turn off a TV set, its still receiving the signal. Altered states of consciousness may be akin to changing the channel, from channel normal (baseline consensual reality) to something else, another frequency. Just a thought to bear in mind.

  20. THIS IS A ALL WRONG. CURRENT PHYSICS AGREES THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS A FIELD THAT PERTURBS ALL MATTER BECAUSE OF THE OBSERVER EFFECT IN QUANTUM MECHANICS WHICH REQUIRES THERE TO BE AN OBSERVING IDENTITY FOR PARTICLES TO HAVE A DEFINATE STATE. CONSCIOUSNESS IS BEYOND ALL MATTER, SPACE AND TIME, ALL THESE ARE SUBSYSTEM IN HIGER CONSCIOUSNESS. OBVIOSULY THE AUTOR OF THIS HAS NOT GONE ALL THE WAY AND EXPERIENCED DEEPER STATES OF TRUTH; NONE THE LESS NEW CURRENTLY NEUROSCIENCE AND PHYSICS CONFIRM THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE TO BE FASLE AND IT PRETTY ACCEPTED. MANY OTHER PEOPLE ALSO SAYING THIS IS WRONG, PLEASE TAKE IT OFF

  21. First off I don’t think it is necessary to bring up tired examples of how ridiculous organized religion is. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for the sake of your argument and those who are arguing for religion aren’t making any valid points either. Regardless of what “this religion” or “that religion” says and whether or not it was accurately represented in this article makes NO DIFFERENCE. The debate is absolutely pointless, on both sides. Just had to get that out of the way…

    One more thing, let’s not make any assumptions about what religion purports the soul to actually be. Nobody ever said the the soul is responsible for consciousness. What I’ve come to believe is that the soul is using the body as a ‘vehicle’ to experience life in the human form. The soul is at the mercy of the body. In fact, you could say that its just “along for the ride”. I do not know where the soul comes from, whether it is made or transferred…but I still choose to believe in it. I know it’s all conjecture but I don’t care.

    This aside…I thought the article had an interesting premise. As an avid user of various drugs and in particular, psychedelics, brain chemistry and it’s effects on how we perceive the world has always been of great interest to me. Chemistry is literally everything.

    However, I think that death, the soul and “consciousness” are still subjects which are outside the realm of logic and science. Logically, you die and rot in the ground. What is logic though? What are the essential principles of science based on? Well, simply put, observations. We observe and analyze the results and we are making huge assumptions about the fundamental nature of reality without even realizing it. We assume that everything was there and we came to be and we can see and touch and taste this “material” reality. But what is “material” reality really?

    One interesting theory is that the universe is literally “made” of consciousness. That the universe is in fact, the ‘mind of God’, that God ‘is’ the universe. If we are to accept this theory I would argue that the natural order of things, is to create more extensions of this consciousness: plants, animals, human beings. Meaning the divine purpose of everything would really just be to sort of… “check it all out”

    My point is, while that may be complete and total hogwash….what makes this assumption about the fundamental nature of reality less valid than any other? Science is a useful tool for describing “the what and the how” in a language we can work with. We can build computers, understand evolution and synthesize LSD…but the truth is that we still don’t know shit about anything.

  22. Free yourself from the rat mind running in an endless maze all this fkin bs language fueling it HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA open your heart to infinite love and pure awareness it has no form is birthless, deathless, timeless, spaceless, boundless Our Real Identity❤

  23. This is exactly my viewpoint on life and existence. Coming from someone who grew up in a radically Christian home and grew apart from it after psychedelic drug experimentation, this is brilliantly worded. Well done, sir. Psychedelics gave me this beautiful perspective on life and the universe and I’m glad to see that someone else shares my same viewpoints, even if it did not come from psychedelics.🙂

  24. Very nice reading ,and comments too. !
    I totally agree with the comment about duality, faith, that we cant describe one without the other…

  25. If I use a finger to alter the radio reception of a stereo, does that imply that the stereo is made up of a finger? The chemicals mentioned alter the perception of consciousness, not consciousness itself, which is untouchable fire to it being all that”touches” “it”.

  26. See now I only have one problem with your conclusions , and that would be the fact that you make no link between the physical and the metaphysical. Yes it is theoretically correct to assume that if a change in chemical construct causes a change in the system, that the system is ultimately dependant on chemical co-ordination. Yet you are lacking the insight into the fact that everything in the universe that is physically capable of being represented , is obviously comprised of chemicals. What gave your brain the ability to fire electrochemical impulses in continuous, chaotic sequencing in the first place? A ‘soul’ is simply a humans way to describe the quality of conciousness, it allows us to make a general , simplistic observation on a part of our being that is quite hard to explain. We constrict ourselves with the foundations of our physics, forgetting how every theory was first a phylisophical view, just without the physical evidence. The chemical make up of your brain allows you to transmit specific electromagnetic impulses which allow you to think in a more elaborate way, allowing you to become aware of your ability to think in the first place. Just because it is a physical representation of a philosophical object , doesn’t make it any less spiritual. Therefore , if you say conciousness is biochemical, why does that mean it doesn’t exist in a higher form? If you can explain why a chemical exists in the first place, then you can make assumptions such as that. So if a neurotransmitter is replaced by a chemical of a similar functional group , and something as intricate as the brain doesnt only accept that , but has proven to highten sensory perception, cognitivity and awareness , then you should wonder why an entheogenic substance has the ability to do so. I believe in the true religion of the psychedelic experience. I have dabbled my mind in a variety of these substances and can tell you that my brain functions at a optimum rate, thank you very much, and I’m only 18 years old.

  27. so you’re telling me that Nothing happens after death? What of the energy within that brain? Does it die?… No… That would violate the first law of thermodynamics. I respect your view on death in a scientific and biochemical perspective, but you too should keep an open mind to other beliefs, not slandering Christianity as you did in your post.

    The universe has much more to teach you that you cannot handle right now, it is what we like to call ‘superstition’.

    Don’t worry, once you are dead the truth will be revealed.

  28. U greatly misunderstand the ancient teachings… The pineal gland aka the 3rd eye 👈 very well documented. This is the “soul”. So yes, ur on point about the consciousness dwelling in the skull. But u should really research

  29. Thank you for an interesting read. It would be a great field of study once sanity prevailed and peer review established some reliable indicators. Appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s