I Want To Believe - Why We Need Science Fiction and Psychedelic Therapy

photo by Barney Sperlin(g)
I'm working on a commissioned art project, and to set the mood I'm streaming The X-Files Season 4.  I'm up to the Bruce Campbell episode (I love him so much.) So now I'm digressing, because if you should be painting then apparently you write.

There's so much social media hype telling us to back away from social media.  It's Orwellian, right?  Connecting with people who are not proximal but share interests isn't wrong; connecting with bots and arguing moot points is.  Instant gratification builds unhealthy addiction to instant gratification.  We need to practice focusing on long-term goals. We need to remember how to process long sentences and find definitions in the context.

We need actual Science Fiction.  Also, we need actual science.

 In my angsty pre-teen years, I found solace in the worlds created by Ray Bradbury and Robert A. Heinlein.  Heinlein gave us the word grok, a very useful term for this blog's subject matter.  Bradbury's work stood the test of time for me, and I got to meet my hero in Palm Springs.  A childhood influence (who may well have been alien herself) introduced me to Children of Wonder, an anthology compiled by William Tenn.  You can't get that book any more, but I have it - wasn't easy to acquire.

Science Fiction told the story of the future, and scientists made it happen (maybe not precisely, but we will get to Mars.)  Fiction is important to members of a culture, because the truth is often too horrifying to swallow.  We need to be able to distance ourselves, sometimes, from the truth before we can internalise it.

Science fiction taught me to discern the bridge between what is real and what isn't yet proven wrong.  It taught me to believe.  Belief is what's missing in our world right now.

Belief is a very powerful healing tool; the most powerful.  All the medicine in the world won't work without it.  If you're here because you saw the words Psychedelic Therapy,  get yourself a copy of The Electric Koolaid Acid Test.  It won't take long to read but  you need to know what happened the first time there was a movement.  What went wrong the first time.

The first generation hippies found the hallucinogenic experience beautiful, and they spread it far and wide.  That actually made it more terrifying for some.  Hippies can be scary.  Therefore, the science was shut down.

We still need those answers. 

Belief, apart from augmented chemical therapy, can come in the form  of religion, self-help courses, or scientific research. Chemical therapy alters the way your body works (and your brain is part of your body.)  It affects the hardware.  Belief is your software, and you need it in order to act.  Otherwise your hardware just sits on the shelf.

Ideally you research what you believe to test its veracity.  Please do that.

It's entirely feasible to believe in science and spirit at the same time.  Don't just take anything anyone hands you as complete - research it.  Accept what applies to you, and be realistic about it.  If someone is handing you religion or science and you don't like how it feels, dig deeper.  Get some background on what's uncomfortable.  Know what's fact and what's theory, and what's been proven untrue.

Talk to your inner self - you don't need drugs or anybody's permission to do that.  And then do us all a favor and write a science fiction story about it.

Further Reading - Here, let me get you started:

Psychedelic Search Engine
Here's a resource being built that will supply research papers on psychedelic therapy.  If you are involved in this research, please consider adding to their database.

CIA: declassified papers on MK Ultra
^^^^That Right There.  If I have to explain, you can google.
CIA: declassified papers on LSD
See who knew, what they knew, and when they knew it.

Psychedelics and Psychosis: The Limitations and Risks of Chaos Consciousness
From Psychedelic Support, via Mad in America - some discussion of what people shouldn't engage in psychedelics."Someone with depression whose thoughts are focused on a very tight loop of negative, self-denigrating sentiments may very well benefit from a little increased cross talk."

And There Was Light - Walking With God, Part 1/5
Roab Copman chronicles MDMA therapy from his honest first-hand perspective.

 Christianity and Modern Science - Huffington Post
I personally withhold judg(e)ment until a thing can be proved or proved untrue.  There is much that science cannot measure with the tools we've created so far.  This link goes to an article by someone else perusing the juxtaposition of science and Christianity.  I'm not saying I espouse it; I'm starting your research for you.

Here are some favorite books from my formative years:
The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein
Methuselah's Children - Robert A. Heinlein
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
The Machineries of Joy - Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles/The Illustrated Man/The Golden Apples of the Sun - Ray Bradbury

Try the new generation:
The First - A hulu Original TV Series
Please watch this, and several times. I need hulu to be motivated toward filming a second season.
We Are Mars - Cheryl Lawson
Short Cry - A Tale of Madness - A.G. Kalelski

grok - transitive verb - Merriam-Webster
Thank you, Merriam-Webster, for this:
Grok may be the only English word that derives from Martian. Yes, we do mean the language of the planet Mars. No, we're not getting spacey; we've just ventured into the realm of science fiction. "Grok" was introduced in Robert A. Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. The book's main character, Valentine Michael Smith, is a Martian-raised human who comes to earth as an adult, bringing with him words from his native tongue and a unique perspective on the strange, strange ways of earthlings. "Grok" was quickly adopted by the youth culture of America and has since peppered the vernacular of those who grok it, from the hippies of the '60s to the computerniks of the '90s.


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