Psychedelics

What’s the deal with psychedelics and people believing that it enhances the mind and opens consciousness? Does that make sense? Is there any truth to that statement at all.

What's the deal with psychedelics and people believing that it enhances the mind and opens consciousness? Does that make sense? Is there any truth to that statement at all.
Probably depends on who you ask. For instance, I bet this guy would have an interesting response for you http://alexgrey.com/bio/ I know Terence McKenna is ready with a few thoughts, he wrote 'Food of the Gods" an interesting, though not profound, book I listened to a while back.

Hmm, that doesn’t really answer much.

The only thing they really enhance is dealer’s wallets.
Psychedelics do alter sensory perception and thought processes]. Maybe artists (who aren’t that talented) can benefit from them to an extent, but the expanding your consciousness concept is a load of garbage.

Hmm, that doesn't really answer much.
sorry for being coy, I don't have any answers. Just suspicions.
The only thing they really enhance is dealer's wallets. Psychedelics do alter sensory perception and thought processes]. Maybe artists (who aren't that talented) can benefit from them to an extent, but the expanding your consciousness concept is a load of garbage.
Hmmm, not talented artists? Mid, do you really believe that simple dismissal: "expanding your consciousness is a load of crap" ?

Titanomachina, you might enjoy The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Doors_of_Perception

So really no one knows what exactly. Just suspicions.

Well, they have found evidence that giving them to people suffering from PTSD are helped by the drugs ability to allow them alternate perspectives on their trauma, and that helps them move past it.
Personally, I did get a very altered perspective on many things when I played around with them several years ago. The new perspectives were often very helpful.

Mid, do you really believe that simple dismissal: "expanding your consciousness is a load of crap" ?
AFAIK, expanding consciousness is a pseudoscientific concept, and the people who promote it are always woo-merchants.
So really no one knows what exactly. Just suspicions.
From personal experience, taking LSD on two occasions, during my lifetime, I would say that the first time, my mind was expanded only to the extent, that I came to realize how freakingly intense, taking LSD is. It was extraordinarily uncomfortable, and I didn't know if it would ever end. The 2nd time, I did have the benefit of recognizing, in retrospect, what a delusion feels like. (Good to know if you encounter persons who are delusional.) And despite that, it was a fun experience to look back on as it was with a group of good friends. Was my mind expanded by the LSD? I don't think it was, in any generally profound way. Is it beneficial to occasionally alter one's typical state of consciousness? I suspect, that it is. But that can be done in safer ways, like taking vacations to unfamiliar places, or "communing" with nature, or running a long time, or rhythmically beating drums in a dark cellar, or chanting a long time, or doing intense yoga, or meditation.
So really no one knows what exactly. Just suspicions.
Sums up life pretty well, don't you think?
What's the deal with psychedelics and people believing that it enhances the mind and opens consciousness? Does that make sense? Is there any truth to that statement at all.
What statement are you referring to? I agree with Mid Atlantic that consciousness can't be expanded. If psychedelics have any effect, it's probably negative. Consciousness can be shrunk or otherwise damaged (which we know for a fact) but psychedelics and mind altering drugs could make a person THINK his or her brain is being expanded. LSD probably does that to even greater effect. It did it to Timothy Leary. Lois

I don’t know, from watching people seems that most live in a very two dimensional existence with about the depth of a post card - or their TV screen.
Plenty of room for a little mind expansion - and you don’t need heavy psychedelics a little bud and bud can go far to loosen up the doors to perception.
I can think of a number of legitimate mind expanding moments, that have forever enriched my perceptions of the world around me.
For instance an especially fun one was ages ago at 19 in Yosemite, fantastic view over central valley, after the sun had set and there was a sliver of a crescent moon and I was imaging the fully lite half of the moon aimed straight at the sun that was slightly below the horizon, with me looking in on the edge of that imagined half-moon. Then that mental musing turning into a visceral triangulating of the relative position of the sun, moon and me on to the lob of the Earth. It was an amazing mind expanding moment that hasn’t left me and I’ll bet I’ve have a deeper appreciation for the moon and Earth and planets orbiting around the sun than most, because of it.
Or absorbing the reality of 90% of Earth’s history being without any land plants to influence continental landscapes - with huge tides that ripped across hundreds of miles of braided stream flood plains. Having the reality of that momentarily viscerally ripple through my mind and senses - was mind expanding and has left me with a heightened awareness of this planet’s life story.
Mind expanding is just that - expanding your mind to appreciate horizons never glimpsed before.
And all you who poop the thought of mind expanding, may I suggest spending a little more time with Alex Gray’s art.
That did not come from art school.

Thing is when your mind expands things get rather grey, at least in my experience. Life loses its luster and things just seem to become rather bleh.
Also bud does nothing for me but induce sleep

I don't know, from watching people seems that most live in a very two dimensional existence with about the depth of a post card - or their TV screen. Plenty of room for a little mind expansion - and you don't need heavy psychedelics a little bud and bud can go far to loosen up the doors to perception. I can think of a number of legitimate mind expanding moments, that have forever enriched my perceptions of the world around me. For instance an especially fun one was ages ago at 19 in Yosemite, fantastic view over central valley, after the sun had set and there was a sliver of a crescent moon and I was imaging the fully lite half of the moon aimed straight at the sun that was slightly below the horizon, with me looking in on the edge of that imagined half-moon. Then that mental musing turning into a visceral triangulating of the relative position of the sun, moon and me on to the lob of the Earth. It was an amazing mind expanding moment that hasn't left me and I'll bet I've have a deeper appreciation for the moon and Earth and planets orbiting around the sun than most, because of it. Or absorbing the reality of 90% of Earth's history being without any land plants to influence continental landscapes - with huge tides that ripped across hundreds of miles of braided stream flood plains. Having the reality of that momentarily viscerally ripple through my mind and senses - was mind expanding and has left me with a heightened awareness of this planet's life story. Mind expanding is just that - expanding your mind to appreciate horizons never glimpsed before. And all you who poop the thought of mind expanding, may I suggest spending a little more time with Alex Gray's art. That did not come from art school.
Profound experiences can lead to "mind expansion"? I guess there's no harm in looking at it like that. I can't get into Alex Gray's art, though.

……

“expanding your consciousness concept”

Profound experiences can lead to "mind expansion"? I guess there's no harm in looking at it like that. I can't get into Alex Gray's art, though.
_________________________________________ I'll skip on the obvious snide comeback begging to be made. Onward. How about your own anatomy? Another mind expanding experience considered. I think your response triggered a memory of another incredible cosmic giggle (and profoundly mind expanding moment) that has also added incredible layers of richness to my awareness of the life going on around me. It involved zero chemicals, nor meditation. First a little background I spent pretty much all of 76/79 in Germany and Switzerland and in my first year, with the help of my Swiss uncle I managed a six week job at a metzgerei, butcher, sausage maker, where I learned the fundamentals of meat cutting. Not that tough, learn some anatomy, figure out what muscle bundles are all about, connective tissue, bones and joints and lots and lots of practice, oh and a willingness to put up with frozen fingers all day. Then about a year later I landed an apprenticeship (one of my two set goals going to over there) at a truly first class restaurant, menu changed pretty much daily, and fresh food from all over. Including game, in Germany only Game Wardens can hunt and their catch can be sold to restaurants. So here I am brand new at the place and they had a test for me to see if I was bullshitting or if what I'd told them about my experience was real. The chef took me down to the basement and a hanging deer, already gutted, but that was it. The chef pointed at it, think you can butcher that? Well, sure (with the usual feigned confidence). Okay butcher it, wrap and label the piece and put them away - then he walked away leaving me alone to stare at this thing. With trepidation I started in, recalling all the lessons I learned. Absolute focus (guess that's a form of meditation in itself), first the scary skinning, went ok, then off come shoulders, etc., etc.,. Then suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks that this deer's skeleton and muscle anatomy are exactly like my own. The only difference was proportions of the various bones and muscles - but all the same bones! It was a spiritually enlightening moment in all its glory. Besides the deep satisfaction of successful finishing my task and being accepted by this crew, my hippy-dippy mind-expanded self had a whole new layer of life's miraculous complexity open up to me. Been with me ever since. But, then I was predisposed, having already been fascinated by human anatomy since I was a young kid. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In running though that memory a couple more times, I realize I need to make a correction, it wasn't quite as heroic as that. The Sou Chef accompanied the Chef down with us, he stuck around, helped me skin it, then gave me some basic instructions on how they wanted it quartered, then he hung around a few minutes until he was comfortable that I could manage it. Then he left and that was that, … oh, but the pieces were taken upstairs, double checked, then wrapped and labeled.

As far as I can determine, no one has shown scientifically that the human mind can be “expanded” by any means. Anyone who has evidence that it has been shown, should cite it here.
Lois

What's the deal with psychedelics and people believing that it enhances the mind and opens consciousness? Does that make sense? Is there any truth to that statement at all.
Most people who use their brains for a living are unlikely to do drugs that alter their minds. There are many prominent exceptions to this (Feynman and Sagan did drugs and they were BRILLIANT), but they are just that, exceptions. I have never done any drugs other than alcohol, but I think it would be interesting to experiment so I know what it's like. My uneducated opinion is that an altered state of mind isn't an expanded state of mind, it's simply altered from one you're used to. If ideas or insights come to you in that state, it would be nice to know if they required that state to come to you, or if there was something you could have done to get to that point without drugs. None of my friends do or have done drugs, so it's unlikely I will ever find myself in a situation where drugs are present, but if one does and I can do them safely, I might (if I don't chicken out.)
What's the deal with psychedelics and people believing that it enhances the mind and opens consciousness? Does that make sense? Is there any truth to that statement at all.
I lost count of how many times I tripped. A few times were a bit scary. A couple of us used the university system to look up just what the hell we were doing and as I remember it has something to do with increasing the rate of neurons firing. The most obvious affect is vision is crisper, and you notice things in more details, including the way light traces as you move. Patterns appear everywhere and things that aren't moving appear to move. If you have ever hunted, you know the experience of zooming in on one small item and having that expand to be your whole experience. A similar experience happens when you are with someone special. With LSD, that just happens with no effort, and sometimes it might be something you don't want to focus on. Tactile response is also increased. I don't remember hearing any better, but I did enjoy music more. As for thoughts, your senses aren't dulled, although I often mixed those kind of drugs with the experience, so hard to say. I don't think you really get profound insights, but you sure think you do. There have been some experiments with using psychedelics in therapy, under very controlled circumstances. Obviously controversial.