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RE: [hackers-il] RE: Book Recommendation: "Feeling Good" by DavidBurns

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  • Gilad Ben-Yossef
    ... BTW, I was not trying to convince anyone to do drugs or the other way around. I just pointed out what benefit I got from there. I thought it was worth
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 13, 2002
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      On Wed, 2002-11-13 at 16:03, Arik Baratz wrote:
      >
      > > -----Original Message-----
      > > From: Gilad Ben-Yossef [mailto:gilad@...]
      >
      > > I think you're belittling mind altering drugs. They can serve as
      > > excellent "teachers" too, if you just listen.
      >
      > I'm cool, go on...

      BTW, I was not trying to convince anyone to "do drugs" or the other way
      around. I just pointed out what benefit I got from there. I thought it
      was worth sharing.


      >
      > > A lot of people who have deep emotional problems of the type
      > > you already
      > > described are prone to what doctors euphemistically refers to as "self
      > > medicate", that is they consume mind altering drugs as "pain
      > > killers for
      > > the soul" in an attempt to treat their painful emotional
      > > symptoms, just
      > > like someone else might take a pain killer to quench symptoms of a
      > > chronic back injury or the like.
      >
      > Yup. On one hand, well, it works, right? On the other hand, mind altering
      > drugs are. Having your mind altered... Rewritten... De-magnetized and
      > reformatted for lower capacity... Having filtering firmware installed
      > between sections of your mind... Induction coils to absorb the spikes
      > of emotion... Spacers to separate your thought process from your
      > feeling... Injections of different lines of thoughts and different
      > associations...

      More like de-programed, freed for a moment from the filter forced on
      your mind by society and upbringing. Be shown that the world looks just
      like this only because you look at it just like that, and that infinite
      other possible worlds exists and you can arrive at any one of them by
      simply changing your view point.

      And yeah, sure, there's a price to pay for knowledge and it is not
      cheap. Damaging you mind is not the problem, I'm afraid. The problem is
      that once you cross the line you can never unlearn that the "realness"
      of reality is just an illusion and that it's all just one big shared
      hallucination we conjure together. Until you learn to cope with this it
      can really drive you mad.

      There's a known Zen Koan that catches the spirit of this quite well. it
      says that before you start seeking enlightenment the sea is just a sea
      and the mountain a mountain. When you start waling the path the sea is
      no longer the sea and the mountain is not a mountain no longer, but once
      you reach enlightenment the mountain is again just a mountain and the
      sea just a sea.

      > I don't know about you, but it gives me the creeps.

      Staying for ever trapped in the Matrix and being sure it's reality gave
      me the creeps ;-)

      > > As time goes by you learn that different drugs do different
      > > things: THC
      > > makes you playful and relaxed and takes away the "edge" of the hard
      > > feelings, Alcohol will make you upbeat and emotionally numb all
      > > together. Selective inhibitors of Seratonine re-uptake system
      > > will make
      > > you feel "alright" and full of energy but will keep you from sleeping,
      > > and so on and so on.
      >
      > Why did you put quotes around "alright"? And AFAIK the insomnia disappears
      > after a few weeks of use.

      Two months or so, at least in my case. There is no special meaning to
      the quotes. The feeling is just as usual only you are happier. Except
      for the down period that sometimes catches you at evening. Those can be
      a drag but comparing to the down sides of something like Marijuana or
      LSD it's really nothing.

      >
      > > After time you learn that this isn't really limited to "drugs" - some
      > > foods (like chocolate) have delicate emotional effects too. Simply
      > > eating when you're been hungry will make you more relaxed and at ease
      > > with yourself and if you're very anxious sometimes you just
      > > need to grab
      > > a good night of shut eye.
      >
      > Ok, why do you need to experience the more psychoactive drugs to enjoy the
      > effect of the lesser? I bet every parent knows what the effect of sugar
      > on their kid is (which is interesting because for some people sugar is an
      > upper and for some - present company included - a downer). I can tell how
      > much caffeine is in a drink after I consume it, yet I never consumed anything
      > stronger than caffeine.

      You don't need to take drugs to realize the effect. I just described the
      path I went through, in which observing the changes in my world that
      happened when I took drugs have lead me to realize how much things who I
      treated seriously before and suffered from (feelings of anxiety,
      loneliness and depression) are not some big cosmic problem but like a
      storm gushing over sea - the waves may be very high, but in the depth
      everything is as should and quiet as usual and all I really need to do
      is get some sleep or eat or whatever other small thing that is the real
      cause of all this "storm".

      I know it's sounds trivial, but it was a true revelation for me and I
      arrived to it partially thanks to mind altering drugs.


      > > And then some remote echo of something you may have read but
      > > never quite
      > > understood surfaces and answers you: "Why, who is asking the
      > > question?"
      >
      > <WARNING - the next paragraph might be depressing to the uninitiated. And maybe to the initiated too.>
      >
      > Oh, that one's easy. There's no 'you' in the sense that you imagine that
      > exists. There is only your brain, an intricate machine, highly
      > fragile, and prone to effects of sorts, from chemicals to heat to
      > ...

      To say that you are you brain and that awareness is just a side effect
      does not add any meaningful data. It might very well be true, but it
      doesn't matter at all as far as I'm concerned, it's just multiplying
      entities needlessly. You could just as well say that we're software that
      is running on the hardware which is the Multiverse and the laws of
      nature is the operating system. It makes just the same sense and adds
      just the same information.[1] the question i asked has nothing to do
      with the field your relating to in your answer.

      [1] Indeed, one can look at Heisenberg uncertainty principle as some
      really neat method for Nature to avoid rendering parts of the universe
      that no sentient entity is watching at that specific moment, just like a
      modern 3d graphics card will not render polygons that you wont see
      because they are obscured by others... :-)


      > Me? I say I like to watch.

      Me too. The graphics is stunning although the plot is too complex to
      comprehend... :-)


      --
      Gilad Ben-Yossef <gilad@...>
      http://benyossef.com
      "Denial really is a river in Eygept."
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