"There is a wealth of information built into us ... tucked away in
the genetic material in every one of our cells ... without some means of
access, there is no way even to begin to guess at the extent and quality
of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this
interior world, and insights into its nature."
- Alexander Theodore Shulgin, known informally as Sasha Shulgin - an
American medicinal chemist, biochemist, pharmacologist, psycho
pharmacologist and author.
The above quotation certainly is, not meant to advocate the use of
psychedelic drugs. I consider my readers more intelligent than that. If
not, they will not be reading this column. Therefore, assuming that you
know that you know, what I would like to see is that you know 'you' when
you know that you know that you know. Now that may appear confusing and
sound like a riddle; but I assure you that it is not. It conveys a
specified impression when read thoughtfully with a concentrated and
focused mind - a task not impossible. Nevertheless, most readers must be
wondering what I am up to since it all sounds very trippy. And for my
readers who are not familiar with the term trippy, it is a word that was
first used in the sixties to mean: of, relating to, or suggestive of a
trip on psychedelic drugs or the culture associated with such drugs such
as trippy music, a trippy experience, and so on.
In short, it implies to reflect the effect produced by taking a
psychedelic drug; one that affects the mind and the way that someone
sees things. When used as an adjective, it also means cool, freaky,
groovy, amazing, mind blowing; or all of the above, depending on the
context of its use. Although "trippy" is a fairly new word, the root
word, "trip," refers to soft psychedelic trips that were a common
feature amongst the flower children of the period - the 60's decade - of
my time as a student in good old Blighty: another British English slang
term for Britain or often specifically England. First used during the
Boer War, it was not until World War I that the word spread widely.
Blighty derives from bilayati, a regional variant of the Urdu word
vilayati, meaning "foreign", "British", "English" or "European. In
India, vilayati was a term used to mean European and specifically
English or British.
With regard to the use of psychedelics; trippy tales have been the
fashion from time immemorial - time extending beyond the reach of
memory, record, or tradition, indefinitely ancient and ancient beyond
memory or record.
Humans have been ingesting mind-altering substances for a very long
time. Hallucinogen-huffing bowls that were dated to be 2,500 years old,
have been found on islands in the Lesser Antilles and traditional
cultures from the Americas to Africa to the Indian sub continent have
used hallucinogenic substances for spiritual purposes.
Followers of Hindu religion are aware that the popular Hindu deity
Shiva, considered the supreme god and one of the three most influential
denominations in contemporary Hinduism was an ardent fan of the Chillum.
It is a pipe used for smoking marijuana: the cannabis plant or the
dried flower clusters and leaves of this plant, smoked or ingested as an
illicit drug to induce euphoria. Certain jurisdictions permit its use
for its presumed benefits in treating symptoms associated primarily with
Cancer and AIDS, such as nausea and loss of appetite.
Elisa Guerra-Doce, an associate professor of prehistory at the
University of Valladolid in Spain, says that the evidence shows that
people have been consuming psychoactive substances for centuries, or
even millennia, in many regions of the world.
Her research, published online Jan. 2 in Time and Mind: The Journal
of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture, showed the use of
psychoactive substances in prehistoric Eurasia. The new review brings
together data related to the early use of drug plants and fermented
beverages all over the world.
Opium, "magic" mushrooms, and other psychoactive substances have been
in use since prehistoric times all over the world, according to a new
review of archaeological findings. For example, the evidence shows that
people have been chewing the leaves of a plant called the betel since at
least 2660 B.C., according to Guerra-Doce's report.
The plant contains chemicals that have stimulant- and
euphoria-inducing properties. Nowadays the consumption of the leaf is,
confined mostly to Asia, including Sri Lanka.
Researchers have found the remains of human teeth that have the
characteristic reddish, bloodlike "betel stains" in a burial pit in
Duyong Cave on Palawan Island in the southern Philippines.
Researchers have also found the reddish stains on the teeth of human
remains that date between 2400 and 2000 B.C., and that were excavated
from the Bronze Age site of Nui Nap in Vietnam. In that case, the teeth
were, stained by betel nuts, and it is possible that its use was for
aesthetic reasons, as opposed to its psychoactive properties.
Here are some notable substances that send the mind tripping:
San Pedro cactus, which contains chemicals with hallucinogenic
properties, was in use in healing ceremonies by people living in the
Andean mountains of South America, primarily in northern Peru. The
earliest evidence of use of the cactus, researchers found was in the
parts of the cave occupied by people that date back to between 8600 and
'Magic' mushrooms. The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mesoamerica
has been documented, thanks to the discovery of so-called mushroom
stones, which are small sculptures resembling a mushroom.
The sculptures have been found at numerous sites dating back to
between 500 B.C. and A.D. 900 in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras and El
Salvador. There are also mushroom-looking pictographs in the prehistoric
mural paintings found at Villar del Humo in Cuenca, Spain, which may
represent hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Other, better-known, hallucinogens are the Opium Poppy, which is also
a food plant in certain countries; Tobacco, though proved harmful its
use is permitted, of course with a warning, but is not banned; and our
very own Beatle Leaf used for its digestive aiding properties but can
cause cancer of the mouth.
A hallucinogen after all is only a drug, a chemical compound. Like
all medication that constitutes chemical compounds, there are the good
ones and the bad. There are the ones that in controlled usage can be
good, but could become addictive.
The law of the land will regulate its use or its non-use. The problem
comes in when people take the law into their hands and behave in an anti
social manner. No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of
If we are looking for the source of our troubles, we should not look
to drugs; instead, we should test the people for stupidity, ignorance,
greed, and love of power and ill-gotten wealth.
In the final analysis, there is nothing more worth than the sum of
our experiences to put things back into the stream of history and of
human consciousness; and to the healthy, intellectual mind. It will
outweigh all other lucid existence, including those induced by
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