Re: Consciousness was Re: This is SL4. This is SL4 on drugs. Any questions?

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 21:56:59 MDT

On Monday, September 9, 2002, at 07:12 AM, Samantha Atkins wrote:

> On Tuesday 10 September 2002 02:05, Ben wrote:
>> I stick by my intuition that psychedelics can provide an alternate way
>> of
>> looking at the universe, a perspective outside the normal states of
>> consciousness .. a glimpse of something *beyond* the human mind. They
>> can
>> also be used just to get one's jollies, to do nasty things to other
>> peoples' minds, etc. etc.
> It is not just an intuition of course. Psychedelics are one way of
> experiencing other states of consciousness I think we make the world
> artificially small if we assumed that altered states are all
> pathological or
> worthless or irrelevant to Singularity. Few states could be more
> "altered"
> than being uploaded. :-)

Altered states of consciousness are boring. They're fun to play around
with for a while, until you realize that you can do more interesting
thinks that getting a new vantage point. For example, in high school I
often slept in Calculus class (mostly due to lack of sleep due to my
rigorous schedule and because we never did much beyond two dimensional
integration so it wasn't very hard) and noticed that my `altered state
of consciousness' of being only 25% awake had the effect of allowing me
to see through problems to find the most efficient answer. Well, yeah,
that was neat and all, but there wasn't much that I could do with it
other than solve a problem a little faster.

There are much more fundamental changes that you can make, though. Will
your `consciousness' be altered? No, but the stuff that's going on
*behind* the consciousness is where things get interesting. You can
learn to think better and more in tune with reality.

This is what bothers me about the idea of altering your state of
consciousness. It doesn't accomplish anything. All it does is distort
reality in a different way than your normal state of consciousness
does. Perhaps after a trip or getting high, you will notice that the
only reason the altered state of consciousness was neat was because you
could notice that it didn't match up with reality, whereas normally you
don't notice the mismatch. Most likely not.

Gordon Worley "Man will become better when you show him what he is like." --Anton Chekhov
PGP: 0xBBD3B003

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