Uses Of Hallucinogens In Medicine

The use of pure hallucinogenic compounds in medicine has the same basis as the use of the source plants in magico-religious ceremonies. The effects in both cases consist of profound psychic alterations in the experience of reality. Not only is perception of the outside world affected, without a subject, an ego, that perceives this reality. The subjective experience of so-called objective reality is the result of interactions between external sensory signals, mediated by the sense organs, and the ego, which brings this information to the level of conscious awareness. In this situation, one can think of the external world as a sender of information or signals and the deep self as a receiver. The translator m this case is the ego. In the absence of one of these—either the sender or the receiver—reality does not exist. There is no music on the radio, and the screen is blank. If we adhere to this concept of reality as the product of the interaction between sender and receiver, the perception of a different reality under the influence of hallucinogens may be explained by the fact that the brain, which is the site of consciousness, undergoes dramatic biochemical changes. The receiver is thus set for wavelengths other than those associated with normal, everyday reality. From this perspective, the subjective experience of reality is infinite, depending on the capacity of the receiver, which can be greatly changed through biochemical modification of the brain field.

In general, we experience life from a rather limited point of view. This is the so-called normal state. However, through hallucinogens the perception of reality can be strongly changed and expanded. These different aspects or levels of one and the same reality are not mutually exclusive. They form an all-encompassing, timeless, transcendental reality

The possibility of changing the wavelength setting on the "ego receiver," and, with this, to produce changes in the awareness of reality, constitutes the real significance of hallucinogens. This ability to create new and different images of the world is why hallucinogenic plants were, and still are, regarded as sacred.

What is the essential, characteristic difference between everyday reality and the images seen during hallucinogenic inebriation? In normal states of consciousness—in everyday reality— ego and outside world are separated; one stands face to face with the outside world; it has become an object. Under the influence of hallucinogens, the borderline between the experiencing ego and the outside world disappears or becomes blurred,


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