The Psychedelic Renaissance and David Jay Brown
This article has developed into a booklet. If reading the books of David Jay Brown has given me anything valuable, it is the discovery of the Californian Ideology, or Silicon Valley ideology, which is the scariest sign of The Matrix Conspiracy, I have seen until now. It is also called transhumanism. So, in this booklet I will give some length to the thoughts this awakened in me. An actual account of transhumanism is given in my Ebook Evolutionism – The Red Thread in the Matrix Conspiracy.
David Jay Brown (born 1961) is an American writer, interviewer and a so-called “consciousness researcher”. He holds a master’s degree in psychobiology from New York University. He has studied parapsychology, and the effects of psychoactive drugs. With parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake, he studied pets and people who apparently anticipate events. Brown has served as a guest editor for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and he has published many interviews of prominent thinkers.
Brown has experimented on himself with psychoactive drugs, including the anesthetic ketamine. He appeared on The Montel Williams Show in the early 1990s to defend the use of nootropic substances popularly known as "smart drugs". Brown said Montel Williams did not want to hear about any notional "smart" use of drugs and instead warned his viewers against methamphetamines.
Brown claims that MDMA, an illegal psychoactive drug popularly known as "ecstasy", may be a useful treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Brown wrote in Discover in 2009 and in Scientific American in 2010 that a study by Michael and Annie Mithoefer showed potential for mitigating the suffering of chronic PTSD.
Brown is the author of a popular book on lucid dreaming, Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Psychedelics, and Shamanic Healing, and has been interviewed widely on the subject. He has appeared on numerous podcasts and radio shows talking about lucid dreaming—such as George Noory's Coast to Coast AM," "Dreamland" with Whitley Strieber, and Gaia TV's show "Open Minds" with Regina Meredith and his work was profiled by Maria Grusauskas in the Santa Cruz Good Times and in High Times Magazine.
Brown´s official website:
Mavericks of the Mind (apparently an award-winning website about Brown´s interview work with “leading-edge thinkers about the evolution of consciousness, psychedelics, health, unexplained phenomena, and the future evolution of the human species”).
Brown also appears on this website:
SexAndDrugs.info (How Pharmaceuticals, Smart Drugs, Herbs and Nutrients Effect Sexuality. Brown is currently working on two new books--a book with Annie Sprinkle about combining sex and drugs called Sex on Drugs, and a new book of interviews for St. Martin's Press entitled Renaissance of the Mind. David also teaches workshops with Annie Sprinkle on sex and drugs; to find out more visit: www.anniesprinkle.org)
In this article I will deal with two of his books:
The New Science of Psychedelics: At the Nexus of Culture, Consciousness, and Spirituality (2013).
Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics (2016).
I will focus on The New Science of Psychedelics, which also is a kind of autobiography, and a personal account of Brown´s philosophy. I will return to the other book in the end of this article.
My main goal with this article is to make aware of the confusion of spirituality and psychedelics Brown is making, all in the name of science. In that way it can be seen as a continuation of my booklet The Psychedelic Experience versus the Mystical Experience. The theses put forward in Timothy Leary´s The Psychedelic Experience (a bible for the counterculture) is just about the basic theses put forward in numerous New Age books today, which are dealing with psychedelics, shamanism, and Tibetan dream yoga. This is also the case with Brown. There isn´t much in Brown´s thoughts, which Timothy Leary hasn´t thought also.
Brown is an example of a psychedelic renaissance, and it is this I will investigate in this article. So, the article is not only about Brown, but about the thoughts behind the psychedelic renaissance as such. Because with the concept of plastic shamanism, I claim that we with the psychedelic renaissance are witnessing an exploitative form of colonialism and one step in the destruction of Indigenous cultures, and eventually all the original wisdom traditions. I´m quite serious about this. I actually think this will happen.
The main thesis put forward by Leary, Brown and other users of psychedelics in connection with spiritual practice is that we with psychedelics are able to skip all preliminary work with spiritual practice. Psychedelics are a fast track to enlightenment. And Brown is going even further: psychedelics are the solution to all problems in the world, and science is the way to understand this. In The New Science of Psychedelics he writes:
Because psychedelics affect all aspects of the human mind, they affect every aspect of human culture. Science, art, medicine, politics, philosophy, and spirituality have all been transformed by individuals experienced with the psychedelic mind state, and the work I have done with MAPS on their theme bulletins demonstrated how psychedelics have revolutionized the different frontiers of human culture (page 266).
Brown obviously considers psychedelics as an ideology, and he believes that the future is a psychedelic future, where all people should be using psychedelics because this is a part of our genetic nature. In other words: it is natural for humans to use psychedelics and therefore unnatural not to use psychedelics. People who are against psychedelics are considered unnatural. Therefore it is necessary to start a psychedelic revolution where people have to be de-programmed into using psychedelics. This is not something I make up. This is Brown´s ideological black and white thinking in a nutshell. And he is not the only one promoting this ideology. In The New Science of Psychedelics he writes:
[…] It was through interacting with this crowd [R.U. Sirius and Mondo 2000] that I began to sense how psychedelics could be integrated into Western society and how they were dramatically affecting the direction of our future evolution (page 164).
I think our entire evolutionary history is recorded in our genetic code and that it is available for us to review in the appropriate state of consciousness. Additionally, I suspect that the future stages of our future evolution are also already encoded in our DNA, the same way that an acorn contains an oak tree, and that we can glimpse previews of our future evolutionary stages while on high doses of psychedelics (page 165).
The means for this goal will run through different stages and continues (page 165): “The first stage of psychedelic development involves healing from our inevitable, earlier wounds”.
On page 210 he writes:
Timothy Leary summarized what he thought the teleological goals of DNA and the evolutionary process were in the clever acronym SMILE. This stood for space migration, intelligent increase (or intelligent squared), and life extension. We´ve discussed space migration as part of DNA´s goal to “get high,” – an immortality strives for in the earthly realm, as is evidenced by the role of our culture´s most revered institution: medicine.
Healing should be accomplished through the use of psychedelics. This is something we already see in the promotors of psychedelic therapy: the start of the revolution needs to begin in the health sector. It is therefore not surprising that Brown is all in for different kinds of New Age thoughts, since New Age also promotes propaganda through alternative medicine.
Brown believes the internet can be one of the main propaganda tools. On page 162 he writes:
Now, of course, we´re in full swing, with a psychedelic Internet culture sweeping across the globe.
I believe Brown is right about the psychedelic internet culture, but I don´t share Brown´s optimism about this. In my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions, I write under the topic on Confabulation:
There is no doubt about that The Matrix Conspiracy (which is a strong advocate for the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy) will be made propaganda for through mass media phenomena such as Transmedia Storytelling, Alternate Reality Games (for example The Blair Witch Project), Viral Marketing/Internet Hoaxes and Collaborative Fiction - (as an example of such a New Age internet hoax, read my article Time Travel and the Fascism of the WingMakers Project, a project which shares all Brown´s ideas of our “biological spirituality”).
If you believe that our DNA is encoded with Brown´s ideology, the next step is a genetic engineering programme where the use of psychedelics is central. Pure and simple fascism.
Already here we have the clear Brave New World ideology which is so tempting for all the biologists in the Matrix Conspiracy fascism, who want to be philosophers instead of the philosophers (Rupert Sheldrake, Bruce Lipton, Robert Lanza, Gregg Braden, Ken Wilber etc., etc). Aldous Huxley´s novel Brave New World foresees the end of democracy in a pseudoscientifical, technological fixated meritocracy. The novel is about a totalitarian state, which keeps psychological and genetic control with everybody, so that they surrender to the claimed “blessings” of the progress of the instrumental or technical reason; that is: through the reductionisms of psychologism and biologism. In this connection it is interesting that Brown´s education is a master degree in psychobiology, a combination of psychology and biology.
Everything, also humans, and human problems, are treated instrumental or technical. Psychology and genetics are controlling people down to the smallest details, children are being born and “growed” on bottles, brains are being trimmed, characters are being converted after the needs of the dominant state. Notice the similarities with the New Age product called NLP which are about programming your brain so that you can become a success in society; that is: so that you work in favour of Consumer Capitalism.
The people in this meritocracy are considered as being happy. If they experience some kind of negativity, they are in large quantities supplied with the drug Soma, which makes them “happy” again. All religion, philosophy, literature and art, which remind people about the past have been removed. History is bunk. Science is strictly political controlled. The entertainment is so-called sensitivity-entertainment. You can go to sensitivity-parties, or you can watch sensitivity-movies, etc. Everywhere the people are meeting sensitivity-influences.
Somewhere in the novel there is a discussion between the main character Johannes and the President about the lack of truth and beauty in this society. The President argues that it might very well be that there isn´t any truth and beauty, but the people are happy (happy means stoned, that is!). Johannes objects, and says that the whole society is completely meaningless. The President continues: “Yes, but the people are happy!” – Aldous Huxley was also a user of psychedelics, and it is interesting that Brown can´t see his critical view of the future.
One of the ironies of history is that visions of our networked future can be bracketed by the imaginative nightmares of Huxley and his fellow Etonian George Orwell. Orwell feared that we would be destroyed by the things we fear – the state surveillance apparatus so vividly evoked in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Huxley's nightmare, set out in Brave New World, his great dystopian novel, was that we would be undone by the things that delight us. It is set in the London of the distant future – AD 2540 – and describes a fictional society inspired by two things: Huxley's imaginative extrapolation of scientific and social trends; and his first visit to the US, in which he was struck by how a population could apparently be rendered docile by advertising and retail therapy. As an intellectual who was fascinated by science, he guessed (correctly, as it turned out) that scientific advances would eventually give humans powers that had hitherto been regarded as the exclusive preserve of the gods. And his encounters with industrialists like Alfred Mond led him to think that societies would eventually be run on lines inspired by the managerial rationalism of mass production ("Fordism") – which is why the year 2540 AD in the novel is "the Year of Our Ford 632".
In this world nobody falls ill, everyone has the same lifespan, there is no warfare, and institutions and marriage and sexual fidelity are dispensed with. Huxley's dystopia is a totalitarian society, ruled by a supposedly benevolent dictatorship whose subjects have been programmed to enjoy their subjugation through conditioning and the use of a narcotic drug – soma – that is less damaging and more pleasurable than any narcotic known to us. The rulers of Brave New World have solved the problem of making people love their servitude.
Which brings us back to the two Etonian bookends of our future. On the Orwellian front, we are doing rather well – as the revelations of Edward Snowden have recently underlined. We have constructed an architecture of state surveillance that would make Orwell gasp. And indeed for a long time, for those of us who worry about such things, it was the internet's capability to facilitate such comprehensive surveillance that attracted most attention. In the process, however, we forgot about Huxley's intuition. We failed to notice that our runaway infatuation with the sleek toys produced by the likes of Apple and Samsung – allied to our apparently insatiable appetite for Facebook, Google and other companies that provide us with "free" services in exchange for the intimate details of our daily lives – might well turn out to be as powerful a narcotic as soma was for the inhabitants of Brave New World.
Huxley predicted, for instance, the ways in which technology, in the control of powerful elites, can control our decision-making with social media, pornography, the commercialisation of sex, advertising and reality TV. He foresaw the ubiquitous prevalence of drugs, both legal and illegal, and how pharmaceuticals such as Ritalin would sedate growing numbers of children. Genetic engineering, euthanasia, a national lottery and even corruption at the top of world sport are all a part of his nightmare future.
Our Brave New World eschews the futuristic landscapes, flying machines and technical wizardry that much of sci-fi is obsessed with, and focuses instead upon a human story set in a ruthless totalitarian regime.
This is a world where people think they are always happy, always get what they want, and never want what they can’t have. It is a place in which artifice rules, whether in scents, flavourings or fabrics. A world where life is created in test tubes and children are conditioned to prioritise consumerism, sexual pleasure and unswerving dedication to a World State. Here real emotion and ideals are purged, concepts such as family, religion, empathy and honour are banned and “history is bunk”.
Brave New World speaks powerfully to a 21st-century world in which we have become enslaved by a compulsion for easy pleasure without accountability and where a banal popular culture opiates the masses. A world where, day by day, big business encourages us to sacrifice our privacy and spy on friends and families through social media. Huxley’s idea of “feely” interactive films anticipates reality TV, selfies, mass pornography and the internet voyeurism of our own time. His death centres foresaw the euthanasia clinics in modern Europe and his concerns about genetic engineering have proved terrifyingly prescient.
Huxley’s view of the future was very different from that of George Orwell, who in 1948 wrote the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. While Orwell’s dystopia was based on oppression through fear, the earlier Brave New World offered a blueprint for a society controlled by enforced happiness. Today the New Thought ideology and the ideals of positive thinking are common everyday propaganda (see my article The New Thought Movement and the Law of Attraction).
In Brave New World, Huxley presents a picture of a global dictatorship controlling a totalitarian, consumerist welfare state. He depicts a world in which there is no war, poverty, unemployment or crime and in which threats are rarely used or needed. Rule is by “bread and circuses” and citizens are well-off, safe, never ill and unafraid of death. They are oblivious to real human emotions and passions. They have no mothers or fathers, no wives or children – no bondsor attachments, no rejection, jealousy or hurt. Theirs is a world without religion or war, where lust and pleasure have replaced love and empathy. Huxley’s sense of infant conditioning speaks powerfully to an age in which children as young as four are addicted to iPads, glued to televisions and nurtured on fast food and artificial snacks laced with addictive chemicals. It speaks to an age in which adults interact with a tablet, laptop or smartphone rather than other human beings. Huxley describes the world he foresees as a sinister, insidious nightmare in which the inhabitants live sterile lives, subdued by the drug soma in a numbed utopia.
He considered the future “the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise and the noise of desire” arguing that “all the sources of our almost miraculous technology” will be thrown together in an “assault against silence”. He talked of a technology which “penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions … news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but merely create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemies”. He viewed music with suspicion but also with great respect, believing that when composed meaningfully, “after silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music”.
Rather than seeing the problem in all this, Brown´s ideology seems directly inspired by the Rulers of Brave New World: On Page 305 he writes:
When psychedelic research begins to integrate with applied neuroscience and advanced nanotechnology in the future, we can begin to establish a serious science of pleasure and fun. Most likely this would begin with a study of sensory enhancement and time dilation (slowing down the perception of time), which are two of the primary effects that psychedelic drugs produce.
Serious research and development could be used to create new drugs and integrate neurochemically heightened states with enhanced environments, such as nanotechnologically advanced amusement parks and super-realistic virtual realities.
On page 210 he writes:
Tell me: what is the number-one killer of human beings in the world?
If you answered heart disease, cancer, AIDS, accidents, environmental toxins, or wars, you missed the obvious. Hands down, the number-one killer is, of course, the aging process. Aging makes us more vulnerable to diseases and accidents. Slowing down or reversing the aging process would be the most naturally effective approach to curing almost all diseases, and this valuable insight has been an important theme in much of my work. It was the subject of two of my past books, Mavericks of Medicine and Detox through Oral Chelation.
I´ve also written many dozens of articles about the benefits of cognitive enhancers like Hydergine, Deprenyl, and Piracetam (my three personal favorites); the intelligent use of nutritional supplements, medicinal herbs, and little-known forms of alternative medicine; as well as the new, cutting-edge technologies that are creating medical breakthroughs. I suspect that within a few decades, if not sooner, all human diseases will become curable, and the aging process itself will become reversible.
Brown tells about Ray Kurzweil, whom he interviewed for two of his books. Like him Brown believes that physical immortality will be developed in successively more successful stages and that staying alive as long as possible will give us the greatest opportunity to be around when the most important breakthroughs in nanotechnology and genetic engineering come along (page 211).
So, Kurzweil spoke to Brown about how nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and advanced robotics will eventually allow humans to live for indefinite periods of time without aging. Kurzweil thinks that “nanobots, blood cell-size devices that could go inside the body and keep us healthy from inside,” will be available in about two decades. So Kurzweil believes that if we can just stay alive for another fifteen or twenty years we´ll be able to live forever.
Nanotechnology would not only allow for radical life extension but also for a dramatic improvement in all physical capabilities, including brain functions. Kurzweil believes that the line between biology and technology is going to completely blur together in the decades to come and that nanotechnological brain implants will substantially increase our intelligence and dramatically expand the power of the human mind.
So, here we can talk about a computer scientist who wants to be a philosopher instead of the philosophers. The bad philosophy coming out of it is what the “The Silicone Valley philosopher” Jaron Lavier, calls “cybernetic totalism” (see my related articles The Dream Hypothesis and The Brain-in-Jar Hypothesis, The Matrix Conspiracy and Simulation theory).
The power of the mind and its relationship to medicine is another important theme in Brown´s work, which he is discussing in the chapter called The Psychobiology of Gods and Goddesses. The claim is that medicine, biotechnology and spirituality should be integrated, and this will eventually result in immortality.
Biologists who want to be philosophers instead of the philosophers always, always, end in some kind of Nietzschean Superman philosophy. On page 214 Brown writes: “This may involve developing an immortal, nanotechnologically proficient, self-repairing superbody of our own design” […].
Most of Brown´s ideas come from others. Timothy Leary was one of the first to start promoting ideas about life extension: he began doing so in the late 1970s. He believed attaining physical immortality was one of the “goals” of biological evolution. Leary´s enthusiasm inspired longevity researchers and helped to popularize transhumanist ideas about how science would soon conquer the aging process and allow us to virtually live forever.
As we can see from the above: Brown is an exceedingly progressivist and biological reductionist. He doesn´t have any sense of the Wholeness though speaking about it a lot. Like Sheldrake he is reducing the Wholeness some kind of self-invented scientifically sounding fantasy, such as Sheldrake´s “morphic resonance.” Terms such as “morphic resonance” is nothing else than scientistic sounding terms used with the aim of replacing “antiquated” terms such as God, and therefore religion with science, or rather: the pseudoscience of scientism. There are a lot other pseudoscientific terms meant to replace the term God, as for example Robert Lanza´s Biocentrism, or Stephen Hawking´s M-theory (see the Matrix Dictionary on Robert Lanza and Stephen Hawking).
The relation between reductionism and the Wholeness is a central part of my online book Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien. In chapter 6, Philosophy of History, I discuss the naivety of evolutionism and its oblivion of cosmology and the cycles of life. Brown is only focusing on the up-cycles of life, and refuses to see the down-cycles. He constantly talks about the hights, about getting high and rising upwards. He believes that life can be transformed into one big up-cycle. This is quite typical for defenders of ideological evolutionism, whether this is left-wing or right-wing. Their evolutionary system-thinking will allow them to justify all kind of historical negativity as necessary stages on the evolutionary ladder. Take the New Age guru Ken Wilber, who also defends the notion of “the evolution of consciousness”. In his new book Trump and the Post-Truth World, he is obviously against Trump, but must explain him as a positive step upwards, that can teach us about the final goal (the goal of Wilber´s own system – read excerpt from the book). On Twitter he writes: “The election of Donald Trump is an evolutionary self-correction that has been decades in the making”. About Trump: see my articles The Confabulation of Trump and Donald Trump.
The best argument against immortality is the polarity-argument. Within the Wholeness everything is defined by its negation. This is a very simple logical law which is impossible to get around, and when contemplating it, you are automatically being led to the Wholeness. What is the good? This you know because you know what evil is. What is evolution? This you know because you know what devolution is. What is immortality? This you know because you know what mortality is. What is an up-cycle? This you know because you know what a down-cycle is. What is life? This you know because you know what death is. Thinking in extremes is to think in one pole of a pair of opposites. The more extreme you´re thinking, the more binding you get to the opposite pole. Within the Wholeness this is an unbalance, and it will be balanced through a contra-balance. This is a law we can see everywhere. A crest of a wave will be contra-balanced by a trough of the wave. Light only exist in relation to darkness. Without this law there would be no life at all, no truth, no beauty and no goodness. The thought about immortality is thinking in an extreme and it will be contra-balanced through the opposite extreme. The legend of Frankenstein is still the most genius literary example of such a contra-balance of extreme thinking. All spiritual practice is about balancing between extremes. When your thoughts slide out in one extreme, then it is about remembering the other extreme, and bring it in. A person who somehow does this in a natural way will not have the same experience of psychedelics as people thinking in extremes. This is probably also the explanation why some people simply not are being hooked on taking drugs, though that they have tried it.
Moreover, in Brown´s talk about genetic intelligence and genetic awareness, he is reducing consciousness to something biological, and, when talking about immortality, the binding of consciousness to something physical. This implies the problems of identification, dependence and detachment. I have discussed this problem in my Tolkien book in chapter 1; Metaphysics, Ontology, part 1: The Problem of Mind, and in chapter 4; Philosophical Anthropology, part 1: Death and Immortality, and part 2: Identity and Identification.
Brown is exposing what I call “atheist spirituality”, a concept I will develop later in a Matrix Dictionary entry. If you should take Brown seriously, it would involve a complete redefinition of what traditionally is meant by spirituality. When I call it “atheist spirituality”, then this is because the involved biological reductionism can´t embrace spirituality (the Soul and the Wholeness). Spirituality seems to be used for propaganda only. This can also be an explanation why Brown thinks that the psychedelic experience in fact is the same as the mystical experience, and that the psychedelic experience was what the mystics talked about.
In my article on Richard Dawkins, I write that some New Age directions openly claim to be examples of “Atheistic spirituality”. An example is the Canadian Raelian movement. It is also interesting that Brown actually is fascinated with Dawkins´s notion of the Meme. The Meme is Dawkins´s social darwinistic fantasy, and it has no more scientific truth than Rupert Sheldrake´s notion of morphic resonance. Brown even tried to get an interview with Dawkins. Dawkins first said yes, but declined when he heard that Brown also was interviewing Deepak Chopra. But what Dawkins doesn´t understand is, that he, with his concept of the Meme, actually are delivering an idea which New Age fully can embrace. In my article on the Simulation Theory, I describe how Dawkins and Chopra (Atheist fundamentalists and New Age idealists) both, comically enough, are supporting this theory, but for different reasons.
Brown is not a declared atheist, though, and he also talks about life after death. But this is incompatible with his biological reductionism.
Atheist spirituality is also what comes to my mind when reading the fascinating fantasy writer Philip Pullman. Pullman is the author of His Dark Materials, which were made famous in the movie The Golden Compass. This work has been very controversial since it is about a quest of killing God. Although Pullman has stated he is "a Church of England atheist, and a 1662 Book of Common Prayer atheist, because that's the tradition I was brought up in", he has also said he is technically an agnostic. He has singled out elements of Christianity for criticism: "if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against." However, he said that his argument can extend to all religions. Pullman has also referred to himself as knowingly "of the Devil's party", a reference to William Blake's revisionist view of Milton in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Pullman is a supporter of Humanists UK and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. In 2011 he was given a services to Humanism award by the British Humanist Association for his contribution as a longstanding supporter.
Pullman has his concept of The Golden Compass from Milton:
On heav’nly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view’d the vast immeasurable Abyss
Outrageous as a Sea, dark, wasteful, wilde,
Up from the bottom turn’d by furious windes
And surging waves, as Mountains to assault
Heav’ns highth, and with the Center mix the Pole.
Silence, ye troubl’d waves, and thou Deep, peace,
Said then th’ Omnific Word, your discord end:
Nor staid, but on the Wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in Paternal Glorie rode
Farr into Chaos, and the World unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice: him all his Traine
Follow’d in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then staid the fervid Wheeles, and in his hand
He took the golden Compasses, prepar’d
In Gods Eternal store, to circumscribe
This Universe, and all created things:
One foot he center’d, and the other turn’d
Round through the vast profunditie obscure,
And said, thus farr extend, thus farr thy bounds,
This be thy just Circumference, O World.
—John Milton, Paradise Lost bk vii, lns 210-31 (1667)
The conception of a world driven by a celestial mechanics not altogether fathomable by humans, is distinctly a classical Greek idea. Plato called God the Divine Geometrician, and invoked the challenge of Prometheus – the challenge directed to humankind to unlock these secrets (remember the title of Mary Shelley´s famous novel: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus).
Milton´s Golden Compasses describe a world of order and reason, a place where the possibilities open to humankind are great. But it also describes the limits of this world, beyond which lies maddening and incomprehensible Chaos.
This notion was present even in the Homeric vision in which gods regularly appeared equipped with instruments capable of bringing devastation or favor to humankind at their whim.
I will return to Pullman in a coming pop culture blog on The Golden Compass.
As I read my way through Brown´s books, the number of thought distortions grew and grew, and I began to think that this isn´t something I can give a serious critique on. But another thought also struck me: Brown is taken completely serious by a very large audience, and I thought that precisely this factor made it worth writing a critical article, even a long article. Moreover, Brown´s books can be seen as an introduction to the fascist aspect of the Matrix Conspiracy. His ideas are widely shared, and he mentions the names of the inspirators. If you read my blog post on The WingMakers Project, you´ll find many of his ideas reflected: the focus on biology and genetics; that our DNA contains information about our future evolution, and that we are developing towards an entirely scientistic ruled world. Even the Time Travel aspect of the WingMakers project is more or less shared by Brown.
I will begin with giving the back-cover descriptions of Brown´s books, and show some of the reviews. The reviewers are of course selected by Brown himself. I will therefore supply the reviews in order to show the names of people who share his ideas, so that people can study on if they are interested.
Finally I will give a description of Brown´s writing method, his personal ideas and history, and what´s the main problem is with Brown being taken completely serious.
The New Science of Psychedelics: At the Nexus of Culture, Consciousness, and Spirituality (2013).
Back cover description:
What does the future hold for humanity, and can psychedelics help take us there?
• Shares insights from the author’s discussions with Terence McKenna, Edgar Mitchell, Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra, Candace Pert, and others
• Investigates the role of psychedelics in lucid dreaming, sex and pleasure enhancement, morphic field theory, the survival of consciousness, encounters with nonhuman beings, and the interface between science and spirituality
For as long as humanity has existed, we have used psychedelics to raise our levels of consciousness and seek healing--first in the form of visionary plants such as cannabis and now with the addition of human-created psychedelics such as LSD and MDMA. These substances have inspired spiritual awakenings, artistic and literary works, technological and scientific innovation, and even political revolutions. But what does the future hold for humanity--and can psychedelics help take us there?
Sharing insights from his discussions with luminaries such as Terence McKenna, Edgar Mitchell, Candace Pert, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Jerry Garcia, Albert Hofmann, Annie Sprinkle, and Rupert Sheldrake, author David Jay Brown explores the revelations brought about through his psychedelic experiences and his work with visionaries of the psychedelic and scientific communities. He investigates the role of psychedelics in lucid dreaming, time travel, sex and pleasure enhancement, morphic field theory, the survival of consciousness after death, encounters with nonhuman beings, and the interface between science and spirituality. Examining the ability of psychedelic drugs to incite creativity, neurogenesis, and the evolution of consciousness, he explains that they are messengers from the plant world designed to help elevate our awareness and sense of interconnectedness.
Revealing not only what psychedelics can teach us about ourselves and the world around us, Brown also shows how they are preparing humanity for a future of enlightened minds and worlds beyond our solar system.
“David Jay Brown´s book is a persuasive and necessary argument as we collectively move toward the mainstreaming of psychedelics and face the unique survival challenges of the twenty-first century. This is an outstanding book to read and share widely.” Rick Doblin, Founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
“This is a simply splendid book! David Brown is a leading-edge activist, explorer, and philosopher who has blended an astounding number of personal experiences as well as commentaries from amazing people into a narrative that goes well beyond other books about psychedelics. He reevaluates not only the well-known areas of healing, psychotherapy, creativity, and spirituality but also extends his wise deliberations and deep explorations into areas that most of us still shy away from – freely discussing alien encounters, psychedelic sex, mixing and matching various substances, parapsychology, consciousness after death, and more – drawing on his own extensive voyages and explorations for telling examples. He is unafraid to explore the dark sides of his own personality as well as his joys as needed to illuminate challenging aspects of the multi-faceted psychedelic universe.” James Fadiman, Ph.D,, author of The Psychedelic Explorer´s Guide
David Jay Brown writes it all up in a sure hand with a flare appropriate to the subject matter so that the reader is as much entertained as informed.” R.U. Sirius, author of Everybody Must Get Stoned.
“If your taste is for paradigm busting, you´ll find lots of food for thought in The New Science of Psychedelics. On the menu are parapsychology, unexplained phenomena, strange powers, scientific mysteries, confounding conventional science, odd animal behavior, morphic fields, the Gaia hypothesis, alien beings, entities, for bidden knowledge, kundalini, survival after death, and more.” Thomas B. Roberts, author of The Psychedelic Future of the Mind.
“The New Science of Psychedelics is a knockout! David Jay Brown tackles the touchy topic of “sex in drugs” with the wisdom of hands-on experience, an expanded mind, and the ability to get into deep places, This book reads like an honest, intimate love letter!” Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., sex worker turned EcoSexologist and Coauthor of Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century.
“Dave´s particular mixture of youthful curiosity, honest skepticism, and appetite for adventure remind me of Tom Sawyer. Reading this book is like riding a raft with Tom down the psychedelic Missisippi. You meet anew all the famous natives who live along its shores – Tim Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, John Lilly, and many others. This book captures both the peculiar terrors and the deep delights these mind-altering substances can induce. A nononsense personal exploration of a controversial area of scientific research recounted in a light and engaging manner.” Nick Herbert, author of Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics.
Dreaming Wide Awake: Lucid Dreaming, Shamanic Healing, and Psychedelics (2016).
Back cover description:
A detailed guide to mastering lucid dreaming for physical and emotional healing, enhanced creativity, and spiritual awakening
• Offers methods to improve lucid dreaming abilities and techniques for developing superpowers in the dream realm
• Explains how to enhance dreaming with supplements, herbs, and psychedelics
• Explores the ability of lucid dreamers to communicate with the waking realm and the potential for shared lucid dreaming and access to our unconscious minds
In a lucid dream, you “awaken” within your dream and realize you are dreaming. With this extraordinary sense of awakening comes a clear perception of the continuity of self between waking and sleeping and the ability to significantly influence what happens within the dream, giving you the opportunity to genuinely experience anything without physical or social consequences. In this way, lucid dreaming offers therapeutic opportunities for fantasy fulfillment, fear confrontation, and releasing the trauma of past experiences. With development and practice, lucid dreaming can provide a powerful path to greater awareness, heightened creativity, spiritual awakening, and communication with the vast interconnected web of cosmic consciousness.
In this detailed guide to mastering the practice of lucid dreaming, David Jay Brown draws from his more than 20 years’ experience using these techniques and his interactions with dozens of experts on consciousness, physics, dreaming, and entheogens, such as Stanley Krippner, Rupert Sheldrake, Stephen LaBerge, Robert Waggoner, Dean Radin, Terence McKenna, and many others. He explores the intimate relationship between lucid dreaming, shamanic journeying, visionary plants, and psychedelic drugs and how they are used for healing and spiritual development. Offering methods for improving both lucid dreaming and shamanic journeying abilities, he explains how to enhance dreaming with oneirogens, supplements, herbs, and psychedelics and offers techniques for developing superpowers in the dream realm.
Summarizing the scientific research on lucid dreaming, Brown explores the ability of lucid dreamers to communicate with people in the waking realm and the potential for dream telepathy, shared lucid dreaming, and access to the vast unconscious regions of our minds, opening up a path that takes us beyond dreaming and waking to dreaming wide awake.
”David Jay Brown´s book is a brilliant synthesis of current research, ancient and indigenous wisdom, and extensive personal experience. Based on a wealth of hard data, historical research, and dream diaries, Brown deftly ties together not only lucid dreams but also similar events from other altered states. While the book centers on lucid dreams, it incorporates parallel experiences in psychedelic use and shamanism, giving us, perhaps, the first sophisticated synthesis for exploring difficult to access realms of consciousness. Filled with practical and doable suggestions on how to enhance lucid dreaming and how to maximize its healing effects, Dreaming Wide Awake is a splendid, well-written, revelatory, yet pragmatic look at the dreaming mind.” James Fadiman Ph.D., Microdose Researcher and Author of The Psychedelic Explorer´s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys.
“Encyclopedic yet personal, rigorous yet highly accessible, Brown´s book is enormously successful. The author covers every conceivable theoretical and practical aspects of lucid dreaming: from neuroscience to shamanism, anthropology to the occult, ethnobotany to telepathy, the electronic to the pharmacologic. In so doingm he brings clarity and relevance to this mysterious and potentially highly influential consciousness-altering tool.” Rick Strassman, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule and DMT and the Soul of Prophecy
“For millenia, many tribal shamans have used lucid dreaming and psychedelic plants to obtain information that they have used in helping and healing members of their community. In this groundbreaking book, David Jay Brown has brought together findings from contemporary science to demonstrate the similarity between these two types of altered consciousness and how the insights they provide can help alleviate nightmares, restore health, hasten recovery from injuries, and even yield creative insights. Dreaming Wide Awake may evoke e new field of research, both experimental and applied, that will enhance human potentials in ways that have been too long neglected.” Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., coauthor of Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work with Them.
“With his customary precision and style, David Jay Brown illuminates the dreamtime…and he tells you how you can work and play in that dream space. An important book for true dreamers.” R.U. Sirius, musician, digital culture iconoclast, and author of Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the Singularity.
“Kapow. Brown´s Dreaming Wide Awake connects the multidimensional dots that are strewn throughout the tired cosmos. He goes far and deep into the mysteries of the dreaming mind and, even more impressively, does this with his feet planted on the ground and armed with a skeptical but compassionate outlook.” Ryan Hurd, coeditor of Lucid Dreaming: New Perspectives on Consciousness in Sleep and author of Dream Like a Boss.
“A Fascinating read. With curiosity and heart, David Jay Brown invites the reader to explore a unique fusion of shamanism, psychedelics, and lucid dreaming. Watch the doors between worlds swing open!” Clare Johnson, Ph.D., author of Breathing in Color and Dreamrunner.
So, any doubts that we have to do with a scientific genius? No, not if you are a New Ager, and are in for everything The Matrix Conspiracy stands for.
As mentioned: Brown´s book is so filled with scientific and spiritual distortions that one could write a whole book about it. I won´t repeat the main issues with psychedelics, which I already have done in my booklet The Psychedelic Experience versus The Mystical Experience. Brown is just more or less repeating what Timothy Leary and Stanislav Grof already have done in a much better way. Instead I will make three new comments about the psychedelic renaissance, which I will believe will be much wider than the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s:
1) The Abuse of Science
2) The Abuse of Spirituality
3) The Thoughts Behind Brown´s California Model
1) The Abuse of Science
A red thread in Brown´s books are the attempt of building a bridge between science and spirituality. It can sound confusing when I speak about New Age as part of the anti-science movement, since New Age seems obsessed with science, and call everything they think and do, for science. But that is because they demand so-called “alternative sciences” which breaks with traditional science. What they are against is traditional science. Therefore they also are obsessed with the concept of paradigm shifts. The concept of alternative science and paradigm shifts are an ongoing theme in Brown´s books.
The bridge between science and spirituality is an expression you hear all the time within New Age. And they try to create “alternative sciences” all the time. Each new number of a New Age magazine or New Age promoting website with respect for itself, must contain at least one new “revolutionary” new “scientific” theory, which is the beginning to a “paradigm shift” in science. The number of new forms of “alternative sciences” within New Age is therefore today almost comically large.
So, the “bridge” in New Age is built of sand, namely pseudoscience grounded in anti-intellectualism and anti-science.
But could you in fact talk about such a bridge? Yes, and that is philosophy. I have tried to point that out several times, with minimal success. Brown is doing the same as his hero Rupert Sheldrake: doing philosophy and not science. Had his book presented itself as philosophy and not science, my critique wouldn´t have been the same. But what Brown is doing is that he presents a philosophy, and then avoids the difficult task of philosophical argumentation (which only a few is capable to) by presenting it as science and in a scientific sounding language. In this way he manages to add scientific authority to some very problematic ideas. In that way it is a part of modern scientism. Scientism is the ideology of science. The term scientism generally points to the cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards (read more in my article Bridge between Science and Spirituality).
In appendix 2 and 3 to his book, Brown has included two interviews with him, which very well reveals that his whole project is philosophy, though he obviously isn´t aware of this. In the first interview The Man Behind Mavericks of the Mind, by Ian Koslow from Time-Peace, he answers, when asked of what he hoped to achieve with the interviews:
When Rebecca and I first began doing interviews together back in 1989, we wanted to ask leading-edge thinkers important questions that few people were asking them in interviews. We were particular interested in philosophical questions about the nature of reality and consciousness and about the interface between science, creativity, and spirituality. Our fascination with these topics had emerged from our late night, cannabis-fueled discussions and our occasional psychedelic journeys together.
We were actually quite surprised that nobody had really interviewed all these brilliant thinkers about these philosophical topics before. We were interested in questions like: How did consciousness arise? What happens to consciousness after death? Will the human species survive, and, if so, how will humans evolve in the future? What is the nature of God? What inspires creativity? How is technology affecting human evolution and human consciousness? […] (page 316-317).
Brown is constantly referring to these “leading-edge thinkers” as philosophers, or great thinkers. It is people like: Timothy Leary, Terence Mckenna, Robert Anton Wilson, Noam Chomsky, Ram Dass, Albert Hofmann, Jack Kevorkian, George Carlin, Sasha Shulgin, Deepak Chopra, Rupert Sheldrake, Alex Grey, Jerry Garcia, Ray Kurzweil, Stanislav Grof, John Lilly, etc. The only one which actually can be characterized as a philosopher is Noam Chomsky. In his book the answers to such question are not thrown out as philosophical arguments, but as insinuations of that we are dealing with science.
Brown´s pseudoscientific trick is that he is mixing credible research with anecdotal evidence, while making room for spurious speculations about the significance of these events. He provides extensive notes and refers to a wealth of scientific studies. However, he doesn’t distinguish between scientific studies and much smaller studies without much statistical significance. He provides a lot of data which then seem to back up his own unconventional ideas about psychedelic experiences. He introduces a topic, provides multiple instances of scientific or anecdotal evidence, and concludes by synthesizing the research to draw his own spurious conclusions. He doesn’t stop at conclusions though, and goes on to speculate on further philosophical (and practical) questions that only seem to be suggested by the evidence he cites. Pure pseudoscience.
Brown´s aim is unquestionable scientism. The last chapter of his book The Study of Divine Intellígence is also the answer to the question: What is the nature of God? He begins by confirming that he believes that the psychedelic experience and the mystical experience is one and the same:
Perhaps the most vital function of psychedelics is their ability to reliably produce spiritual or mystical experiences (page 313).
Hereafter he confirms his belief in scientism:
In his book The Physics of Immortality, physicist Frank Tipler introduces the idea that if a conscious designing intelligence is genuinely a part of this universe, then ultimately religion – or the study of this designer intelligence – will become a branch of physics. Psychedelic drug research may offer one pathway toward establishing this science of the future (page 313-314).
Frank Tipler is one of the many pseudoscientists of The Matrix Conspiracy. Check out the critics on this Wikipedia entry.
Brown is not just removing religion and replacing it with science, he is also replacing spiritual practice with psychedelics. He claims that this is necessary in order to “guide our evolutionary direction”, because “we seem to be firmly set on a path toward inevitable self-destruction. I think that psychedelics can help us back on track and help us heal the damage that we´ve done to ourselves and to the Earth” (page 314).
Maybe Brown himself is a part of this path toward self-destruction? In Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, in chapter 1, Metaphysics, Cosmology, part 1: The Instrumental and Communicative view of Nature, and part 2: Reductionism, I claim that it is precisely scientism that is due to the path of destruction, yes that it is indeed a part of the One Ring, and its technological “magic”.
Let´s try to look at his spurious ideas (besides the ones already mentioned), which also shows a level of naivety, that could sound like listening to some teenagers, who have had their first trip on cannabis (this is also the reason why I almost gave up writing this article). So, when presenting this, I would like to invite the reader to consider the scientific and philosophical credibility of the above-mentioned reviewers of Brown´s books, as well as the people he has interviewed. The examples are from his book The New Science of Psychedelic (which actually also is a kind of autobiography).
Already on the back cover description Brown claims, that as long as humanity has existed, we have used psychedelics to raise our levels of consciousness and seek healing - first in the form of visionary plants such as cannabis and now with the addition of human-created psychedelics such as LSD (read about the adverse effects) - and MDMA (MDMA is ecstasy - read about the adverse effects). Instead of mentioning the adverse effects, Brown claims that these substances have inspired spiritual awakenings, artistic and literary works, technological and scientific innovation, and even political revolutions. Furthermore, Brown explores the “revelations” brought about through his own psychedelic experiences and his work with “visionaries “of the psychedelic and scientific communities.
On page 14 he writes:
It´s now been more than thirty-four years since my first acid trip, and I´ve taken the illegal sacrament well over a thousand times. There´s hardly a psychedelic substance listed on the encyclopedic website Erowid that I haven´t tried at some point in my career. (I love Erowid! I think that one can effectively argue that Erowid – the largest drug resource on the Internet – has helped to save more lives than any other educational resource in human history.) Additionally, with the exception of only several weeklong or monthlong breaks, I´ve used cannabis almost every day since I was around fourteen.
It is no surprise that the spiritual practitioners, who inspires Brown, are the Hindu Sadhus (which many people have seen sitting and smoking cannabis). He found that
“cannabis and meditation went extremely well together and that the sacred plant enhanced my ability to transcend conceptual or verbal awareness” (page 3).
Here he uses language from the spiritual traditions. The idea of transcending conceptual or verbal awareness refers to the highest spiritual states of mind, known as Enlightenment, Samadhi, Satori, Unio Mystica, etc. I highly doubt that cannabis that easily could create such states. But he (and other fellow stoners) actually believes that psychedelics can create states of enlightenment. On page 179 he writes:
Again and again, the most common response I got from regular salvia users was that they used it as part of spiritual practice, which echoes the original intention of the Mazetec shamans. J.D. Arthur explains why this is so in his fascinating book Peopled Darkness. Arthur writes, “Salvia can restore, if only for a few moments, our birthright of pure thoughtless awareness that lies quietly beneath the clatter of thought.” What Arthur is describing appears to dovetail with the goal of many Eastern spiritual practices, such as Buddhism and Hinduism.
Appears to, yes, in his imagination. Brown continues in this style throughout the book. On page 197 he writes:
Few things in life feel better than getting high and getting laid. My dear friend and renowned sex expert Annie Sprinkle has quoted me on this statement a number of times as we both agree on this and that combining these two ancient forms of pleasures can lead to ecstatic experiences that defy description and bring users closer to the divine.
Good excuse for having your sexual lusts satisfied: You are divinely sanctified.
Early in my career as a struggling writer she [Annie Sprinkle] sent me money to help with my rent when I was too broke to afford it, and she patiently sat on the phone with one night for hours when I was completely drunk, sobbing to her over a girl who had just left me. I consider Annie to be a true bodhisattva, an enlightened being who returns to this earthly realm to help all sentient beings attain Buddhahood (page 197-98).
On page 200 kundalini becomes a sanctification of masturbation:
Here´s a subject that I´ve never seen discussed before: using psychedelics to enhance masturbatory self-pleasure. When I´ve tripped alone masturbation always played a vital role. It releases deeply clogged kundalini energies and can be enormously pleasurable. It also enhances the power of my imagination and helps me to balance the intense psychedelic energies, which can sometimes become too agitating. I´m aware that a number of other people have discovered this as well.
Already in the beginning of the book he claims that meditation became an essential tool “once I began to explore the far reaches of hyperspace with psychedelics. Whenever I ran into difficult psychological terrain on my psychedelic journeys I was always glad that I knew how to meditate when the energies became too overwhelming to process or understand. This eventually led to my realization that all spiritual practices appear to work best when combined with psychedelics.” (page 3).
All spiritual practices? Such a statement of course provokes the question whether Brown has tried out all spiritual practices, and whether he has experienced the end goal of spiritual practice, enlightenment? The statements above imply this if you actually believe that the psychedelic experience and the mystical experience is one and the same. But already now we have a sense of the quality of his so-called “scientific investigation” and “spiritual practice”.
Take for example the above statement about that the drug resource Erowid has saved more lives than any other educational resource in human history. There you are. That sets the standard for his “scientific investigations.” Brown´s own worship of drugs is implied in it. I think his point is that Erowid is a fantastic guide for stoners and trippers. It is selective thinking, since drugs also have killed quite a few people. If it should count as a scientific investigation he also should have mentioned the negativity of using drugs (which Erowid itself does, though this only functions as a guide to the wonders). The negative effect of drug use is, with a few exceptions, neglected in Brown´s books, since the aim is the ideology of psychedelics. In fact, if you are claiming anything that goes against Brown´s “revelations” you will be put in a certain category of the “closed-minded” and even in a category of an evil conspiracy against drugs. The concepts of the closed-minded versus the open-minded, and a conspiracy are brought in the few places where Brown is mentioning any negativity combined with drugs.
On page 15 he for example writes:
There´s no scientific or sociological evidence that using cannabis leads to using harder drugs like heroin, cocaine, alcohol, or tobacco. In fact, it appears to be just the opposite, as many of the people who use cannabis tend to become more health-conscious, and many stoners and trippers actually helped to start the health-food industry, as well as many early yoga and fitness centers. Unlike alcohol, cannabis tends to make people more sensitive and aware of their bodies.
While there might not be any scientific evidence that cannabis leads to harder drugs (the gateway hypothesis), I guess that there is a lot of sociological (or psychological) evidence that shows that cannabis can lead to harder drugs, though it depends on the persons and their background. I´m not going to supply this article with any scientific support (it´s an article investigating the philosophical aspects of Brown), but I guess the evidence should be easy to find just by googling it, or by watching society. I have personal been in teenage environments experimenting with cannabis, and while cannabis never became a problem for some, it certainly became a problem for others, who, for some personal reasons, like Brown, became obsessed with the experience, and hereafter consciously either sought out stronger psychedelics, or ended up as hash addicts. And their denial of the negativity completely resembles Brown´s own denial of any negativity. I have had two friends who´s creative careers (one of them a piano player in a quite famous Danish rock band) were spoiled by hash abuse. But that´s only a personal comment.
I will also mention that I agree that there is a certain problematic anxiety towards psychedelics. During the decade of the 1960s philosophers and policy makers came to face a host of new, largely unsuspected challenges that went to the heart of their enterprises. Many, both intellectuals such as Professor Timothy Leary and Norman O. Brown as well as representatives of the Counterculture such as Ken Kesey, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane, viewed experimentation with “alternative states of consciousness” as ushering in a new era of human liberation and self-realization, an “Age of Aquarius” as it was sometimes called, an expression we today see continued in the New Age movement, where also the psychedelic renaissance is in its start phase. Others, usually representing “the Establishment,” responded by sustained attempts to discredit these “New Age” experiments and movements devoted to “consciousness alteration” and began a cycle of legislative repression that assumed that any other than the normal, rational state of consciousness was ethically wrong and politically subversive.
I´m for example clearly of the opinion that cannabis ought to be legalized. Especially the fear of cannabis is in my view absurd. I´m also in for scientific progress and for developing new forms of medicine. But this development should be followed by improvements in peoples´ ethical and epistemological foundation. And when looking at the modern anti-philosophical zeitgeist, this is not looking good.
I also agree that psychedelics can start a creative process. Psychedelics certainly create a stop in the normal everyday stream of consciousness. But good creativity is in my opinion entirely due to that the artists are gifted with talent already before they started. And the use/misuse of psychedelics is also due to the artist´s special personalities (see my pop culture files on the Beatles and David Bowie). The gifted personalities also know when psychedelics take overhand (I will write more on psychedelics as creative inspiration in pop culture articles on for example The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Follow my blog series on philosophy and popular culture.
Throughout the book Brown continues with thought distortion after thought distortion, especially thoughts distortions such as selective thinking and confirmation bias; thought distortions which ought to be avoided in science. He even gets involuntarily comically. For example, right after the above quote about the gateway hypothesis , he completely contradicts it:
However, anyone who has experienced with the classical psychedelics – cannabis (THC), magic mushrooms (psilocybin), peyote (mescaline), or ayahuasca (DMT) – has probably noticed that the effects of these substances have unusual similarities that can seemingly be placed along a continuum. A high dose of cannabis often seems like a low dose of magic mushrooms or LSD. A high dose of LSD or magic mushrooms for many people is like a low dose of DMT or ayahuasca. A low dose of DMT is like a high dose of LSD. So, in a sense smoking marijuana prepared me for my LSD experience, and I used the meditation techniques that I had learned prior to using marijuana to help control my marijuana and later my LSD experiences.
Brown himself therefore becomes an example on that cannabis can lead to stronger drugs. But of course, the drugs Brown mentions, probably doesn´t count as harder drugs in his world.
[such self-contradictions you see on almost every second page. In the Chapter What Happens To Us After We Die? he writes: “I don´t think that anyone alive knows – not our smartest neuroscientists or our most highly achieved Buddhist lamas […] (page 222) – and already on page 223 he contradicts its: “Is it possible, as some people claim, that altered or mystical states of consciousness can give us insight into what happens after death? I think so.” What? He just said that the highest lamas don´t know, and these must be thought to be experts on mystical states of consciousness. But of course, when Brown is talking about mystical states of consciousness he is talking about the psychedelic experience. He continues: “Psychiatric researcher Stanislav Grof also thinks that his psychedelic experiences shed some light on what happens to consciousness after death”. So, not surprisingly, psychedelics are the answer!]
On page 3 he said that he has used cannabis since he was fourteen, which, according to his claim that he learned meditation prior to psychedelics, means that he has learned meditation before that age. This can only be a few months before, because on page 2 he says he learned Transcendental Meditation in 1974. He is born in 1961 which means that he also was about fourteen when he learned meditation. This doesn´t really give him much prior time to learn meditation. But again, this says something of the standard of his “investigations”. According to Brown, then learning meditation is the same as going on a course and learning a technique (which can be acquired in a couple of hours). Hereafter he thinks he is able to talk about all spiritual practices.
Brown´s explanation of a conspiracy trying to deny the value of drug use is especially worked out in the chapter called Why are Psychedelics Drugs Illegal? Brown claims that there are a number of important reasons why world governments, and I quote:
are so genuinely frightened of psychedelics substances and there is a strong cultural taboo around them. Scientific evidence supports the fact that the draconian prohibition currently being practiced is most definitely not because of the danger of physical or psychological harm, especially because these are known to be so physically safe and so many medical benefits are now being discovered for them. Not to mention the fact that nowhere in the US Constitution does it say that the government is allowed to “protect us” from the consequences of our own free and informed choices that don´t harm others (page 38).
Hidden under the guise of protecting people from a nonexistent health menace, the governments´ true agenda – conscious or not – appears to be to suppress people from activating states of consciousness that allow them to transcend cultural value systems, to think for themselves, and to question the authority of their culture´s values. Psychedelics dissolve personal and conceptual boundaries. They put one in touch with something deeper than culture, a primordial genetic awareness, and the flaws of an antiquated culture, and the ways that it can be improved become obvious. It´s very hard for someone who has tasted the cultural transcendence that psychedelics offer to ever fall for the deceptive manipulations of the corporate-controlled media, and there are unquestionable government officials who are afraid of this (page 39).
Brown quotes one of his fellow stoners, Terence Mckenna, who said:
Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you might jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structure and culturally-laid-down models of behavior and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong (page 39).
However, preaches Brown, “what seems to infuriate people who have never done psychedelics most of all is that people who have done psychedelics often find those who have never tripped to be extremely funny”.
[…] Stoners and trippers commonly laugh at the unquestioned rituals of conventional, materialistic, consumer-driven attitudes toward money, greed, and power. I suspect that this humorous attitude toward conventional custom is, again, a genetically wired response from activating our higher brain circuits although it sure can upset some people. But this may because the controversy and attention is actually necessary to spread the word about cannabis and psychedelics around the globe. It may be that cannabis and psychedelics are illegal because genetic intelligence recognizes that this is simply the best way to inform people about them. Nonetheless, as Timothy Leary once said, “LSD can cause psychotic reactions in people who haven´t taken it.”(page 39-40).
That Brown supports the fascistic concept of the evolution of consciousness can be seen in his own evolutionary theory (what I call Brown´s California model) which he describes in the chapter Head West and Get High, Young Man. Here Brown tells the story about that when he had completed his master´s degree in neuroscience at New York University in 1986, he drove across country to California, the place that he love more than anywhere else on Earth. A “beautiful, awe-inspiring, cannabis-fueled drive across the country…” where he exposes his ego-inflation, self-love and even racist viewpoints.
Heading west was important to him. Not surprisingly, he learned from Timothy Leary and Brian Wilson that for thousands of years the most experimentally minded and cultural innovative people have been steadily migrating in a westward pattern around the planet. Brown had read Leary´s essay “Spinning Up the Genetic Highway” (in his book The Intelligence Agents) when he was tripping on blotter acid during a break from college at the age of eighteen, and he realized that he needed to move to California as soon as possible if he wanted to find other people who thought like him. He writes that someone once asked Leary, “What do you do after you turn on?” Leary replied, “find the others.”
Again, Brown gets involuntarily comical here:
I´ve always been amazed by how quickly I can tell whether a person whom I´ve just met has ever done psychedelics at some point in his life. I estimate that I can judge with around 95 percent accuracy after just a few minutes of talking with the person. I´ve met other people who tell me that they can do this too, and it appears to be an ability that is genetically wired into our species. It seems that people who have used psychedelics are able to recognize signals from other people who also have, and these signals remain invisible to people who have never had a psychedelic experience (page 28).
When someone is faking psychedelic knowledge it is usually easy to spot, and it´s why narcotics officers often look silly to stoners and trippers […]
Well, I´ll bet that I also quite easy can spot stoners and trippers, and to me they often look silly as well. Brown´s book itself actually appears more than a bit silly to me. But I´m of course closed-minded. By the way, if one should follow Brown´s argumentation, then I could say that also experienced spiritual practitioners can tell quite quickly whether another person is an experienced spiritual practitioner. And Brown is not one of them.
Back to Brown´s California-centric, fascistic theory of evolution. He writes:
Westward migration made sense to me while I was tripping, because I realized that migrating west means that you´re moving against the spin of the planet, which spins from east to west. From an extraterrestrial vantage point (i.e., high off the planet) moving west can be seen as a climb upward over time, as though humans for thousands of years have been faithfully ascending a giant mountain that stretches from India to Hawaii (page 28-29).
Brown´s claim is that if one studies the history of human civilizations, it seems that those areas of the world where people have been the most culturally experimental and technologically innovative have steadily moved west since the beginning of the first developed countries that exist to this day. He writes:
The oldest surviving nations on the planet can be found in the East, and those places where great cultural advancements have taken place seem to light up in a westward (i.e., upwardly) directional sequence, beginning in India and China, expanding into the Middle East, and winding into eastern Europe, then into western Europe and Great Britain, to the east coast of America, and finally to the west coast of America, where California and Hawaii represent the current peaks of this global migration process (page 29).
There you are. A progressivist form of fascism, directly taken out of the handbook of The Matrix Conspiracy Fascism. Brown continues:
When one travels eastward from California, one encounters societies that have increasingly older and older histories, less and less tolerance for individual differences, more and more suspicion about anything new or different, and greater and greater respect for and attachment to authority and tradition. Traveling west from China, one sees this pattern going in reverse, until one reaches California and Hawaii, where there is considerable lifestyle and cultural experimentation and tolerance for individual differences. I agree with Wilson and Leary that traveling eastward takes you into the past, and moving westward carries you into the future. The planetary time zones on Earth should not be separated by hours, Leary said, but rather by centuries (page 29).
Greater tolerance for individual differences? Firstly, he completely contradicts his own “tolerance” by talking in a condescending way about cultures in the East. Secondly, I guess that America, hereunder California, shouldn´t be taken as the first example of a higher tolerance than other places in the world. Racism in the United States against non-whites is widespread and has been since the colonial era. Again, this article is not a scientific article, but anybody with just a tiny bit of historical knowledge (or just by watching television) knows about the treatment of Native Americans and African Americans, which continues today (try to make a quick Wikipedia search for racism in America). And this is not only limited to Native Americans and Black Americans; just about anybody with another skin color than white are subjects of intolerance in America. If Brown thinks that California is beyond this take a look at the history of racism in California (you´re in for a long study). In the end of this article I will show why some Americans (hereunder Brown) are completely ignorant to history.
Personally, I also have some difficulties spotting the cultural superiority of California. Is it Hollywood? In fact, to me California seems completely without any deep culture at all. It is all superficial entertainment and pornographic industry. And the city of Los Angeles consists of straight lines without any circular center. A city without history. Houses like squares, or houses imitated from European houses, often easily build with a simulated brick façade. The only thing I can agree with is the technological innovation, but towards that I´m a pessimist.
The negativity of the past and the positivity of the future is something that Brown takes for granted. But we don´t all do that. I don´t see the future like Brown does. I for example see a future Los Angeles in the image of the movie Blade Runner. But that might be what Brown considers to be groovy? It certainly sounds so. I prefer a storyteller´s night in an Inn in a deep ancient forest. Storytellers of the ancient, like Tolkien, like Karen Blixen.
But the westward migration patterns in Brown´s world makes sense to him in the larger context of understanding that there was an evolutionary momentum behind human progress, moving it ever upward, and he realized that there was a long history indeed,
behind getting high. Our early ancestors climbed up out of the ocean on to dry land. Then they grew taller, rose onto their hind legs, and began climbing into the trees. Some animals took off into the air and learned to fly; we eventually learned to do so as well with our technology.
Brown says that the locus of consciousness in every animal species is always located near the top of its head – as close to the Heavens as physiologically possible, which has the highest perceptual vantage point. He writes:
When I´ve done LSD or psilocybin I often felt like the locus of my consciousness shifted from the center of my head to a point that is actually a few inches above my head. It is no accident, I realized, that people refer to cannabis intoxication as a high. Consciousness has been literally evolving higher and higher for eons; the brains of animals evolved into higher and higher positions of physical elevation throughout our evolution, and the cannabis plant seemed to be hitching a ride on this trend. Throughout evolution consciousness has been rising upward, against the force of gravity, toward the stars (page 30).
After having considering all of this Brown feels the need to ask:
Why has California primarily settled from Europe and not Asia? Where were all the great Asian explorers in history? Why did the world explorers who settled the Americas come primarly from western Europe and not eastern Asia? Why is California so psychedelic, so tolerant and open-minded, and so culturally experimental compared to the rest of the world? The answers to these questions, I suspect, reside in our understanding of planetary spin. We evolved by moving upwards, by getting high, by moving against the spin of the Earth (page 30).
Well, I´m quite sure that Brown must have been quite high when writing this, and maybe a bit dizzy after all his evolutionary spin. Let´s take Brown´s “logic” seriously. Why stop the westward movement in California (and Hawaii)? Why not evolve even higher and move further west? Eventually we would then come to an even higher evolved part of Earth: Asia! And people in Asia could then look towards east. What would they eventually see? An utterly stoned California with David Jay Brown faltering on the top of the cake.
2) The Abuse of Spirituality
Consciousness doesn´t evolve. The concept of the evolution of consciousness is one of the greatest lies in modern time, mainly starting with Theosophy (see my article The Fascism of Theosophy).
Consciousness awakes, and that´s entirely another matter, since consciousness is transcendent in relation to evolution. If consciousness is a part of evolution there isn´t any freedom. But this is of course a pre-modern point of view. Antiquated and outdated by New Age. An example of old-thinking, as depicted in George Orwell´s dystopian novel 1984.
The pre-modern aspect of my practice is help to find a religion that suits you. And with religion I mean a religion with a tradition for a spiritual practice that through experience has been adjusted and corrected through hundreds of years. Thus Gnosticism and Mysticism arised in the early and medieval Christianity, Sufism in Islam, Hasidism and Kabbalah in Judaism, Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism, Zen and Dzogchen in Buddhism. In China you´ll find Taoism. But even older are Shamanism and Paganism; religious practices which I under one call the old religion and the old art. This art is global. You´ll be able to find variations of traditional shamanism all over the world. Hara practice is fundamental for all these (Hara is a downwards movement, not an upwards movement). In Zen and Taoism this is quite explicit. In the others implicit or hidden in symbolism.
The unusual about this is due to the global popularity of New Age, which (together with atheist fundamentalism) works against religion, either in an attempt altogether to eliminate religion, or through reductionism. In New Age the latter is happening though an exploitative form of spiritual colonialism and one step in; first: the destruction of Indigenous cultures (plastic shamanism is today systematically organized, for example through ayahuasca journeys), and secondly: the destruction of all the other wisdom traditions. The latter is spreading under the slogan: “these traditions can best be understood when integrated with Western psychology and psychotherapy” (= reduced to). The ignorance in this is that spiritual awakening is connected to ancestral and ancient layers, cords, eventually the history of your own Soul, and therefore only can be understood within their original context.
I have talked about the three traditional aspects of spiritual practice (which in Brown´s model of evolution is antiquated):
1) Critical thinking (spotting thought distortions created by dualistic unbalance, both in oneself and in others). I also call this aspect The Navigator, or the philosopher - see my book A Dictionary of Thought Distortions
2) Investigating the shadow (ignorance, the unconscious, the painbody, the cause of suffering, your own dark side, the ego). This aspect I call Learning to see with the Heart, or Heartmeditation (Tonglen) – see my articles The emotional painbody and why psychotherapy can´t heal it, and Suffering as an entrance to the source).
3) The spiritual practice (going beyond all ideas and images). This aspect I call The Compass, or Hara Awareness – see my page The Compass.
Brown is neglecting all three, and are only dealing with certain “spiritual” phenomena, which have to do with the upper chakras, especially the third eye. He is an example of the top-heavy Indo-European symbolism of spiritual growth seen as an evolutionary ladder. His advocacy of a progressivist worldview somehow justifies this, but progressivism versus traditionalism is a philosophical discussion which I won´t go further into in this article (I have discussed this in my online book Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien in chapter 6, Philosophy of History, and chapter 9, Political Philosophy).
Brown also reveals personal things which are quite problematic. His description of personal experiences mirrors a block of the four lower chakras. On page 9 he says:
I´ve used cannabis this way for creativity, as an imagination enhancer, as well as an antidepressant, a sexual enhancer, a sacrament, and a way to relax and relieve anxiety, and connect with deeper aspects of myself and nature.
For the first time Brown seems quite honest about negative aspects of himself. In the chapter My Experiences with Schizophrenia, Psychosis, and Bipolar Disorder, he writes:
Nonetheless, I have had my own bouts with genuine mental illness. I suffer from a mild form of what´s known in psychiatric literature as rapidly cycling, bipolar II disorder, which means that my brain quickly cycles between relatively extreme emotional highs and lows, and I´ve has some difficulty balancing these intense emotions at times over the years. This is less severe than ordinary bipolar disorder, but the symptoms are similar and have been debilitating at times.
However, I would never chose to sacrifice my range of emotions for a stable middle ground, because I see my wide emotional range as what makes me feel alive, passionate, and creative, despite the hell that it can sometimes put me through. Psychiatric drugs, like Nardil, lithium, and SSRIs, which I´ve tried, put a floor and ceiling on the range of my emotional states, which not only prevents me from getting depressed but also from becoming happy – not to mention the horrifically subduing effects on my sex drive and sexual performance.
The best treatments I´ve found to help me keep my brain in emotional balance are cannabis, phenibut, L-trytophan, hydergine, L-theanine, Gerovital, and Deprenyl (page 151-52).
A psychiatric diagnosis doesn´t invalidate a person´s statements. That could be an Ad Hominem argumentation, where you are going after certain aspects of a person, which are irrelevant to the point in discussion. But in Brown´s case this is not irrelevant, in fact, it is highly relevant, since it shows why Brown is so much in for New Age. A typical trait of New Age is namely all its self-made treatment methods reflecting so-called “single cause-single cure” approaches to therapy, which has led many a therapist down a dead-end trail and has created no end of problems for clients. The typical scene is, that the innovators found themselves doing something: sitting in a hot tub, berating patients, or feeding them out of baby bottles (in Brown´s case: psychedelics). It felt good or worked for the therapists, so they made some assumptions in order to create an ideology that would support practicing the method on others.
Without much thought, and little or no proof, the technique was expanded to become a “cure-all” for all people, often loaded with scientific sounding language and the use of the word paradigm shift again and again. Brown has experienced how psychedelics work up-lifting on himself and he hereafter extrapolates this to an entire world-revolutionary ideology. But in the same New Age style: there isn´t any sign of that Brown himself has been cured, or, has reached his evolutionary founded superhuman ideal. On the contrary. It is no surprise that Brown´s poor energy-system desperately is seeking to contra-balance his extreme upbeat way of thinking about constantly getting high, getting upwards, up, up, up. We have already looked at the energy laws in connection with the problem of immortality.
What especially is bothering me here, is how much Brown is distorting spirituality, and teaching people to think in his own extreme way, and to use psychedelics in combination with spiritual practices he hasn´t got any experience with, and which he doesn´t understand intellectually either. In his book Dreaming Wide Awake we have to do with a person lecturing about some of the highest Tibetan spiritual practices, a person who instead ought to spend many years working on his own personal issues (which requires that he doesn´t use drugs). But again, this is typical New Age, where the traditional experiential requirements as a spiritual teacher has been removed. I have seen this so many times. New Age is due to its relativism a haven for people with psychiatric diagnoses, who here can play out their fantasies. I have seen people going directly from psychiatric hospital to a position as spiritual teacher.
As mentioned: Brown has reduced the traditional concept of enlightenment to a stage on an evolutionary line. This is clear New Age. According to Ken Wilber, “evolutionary enlightenment” means "the realization of oneness with all states and all stages that have evolved so far and that are in existence at any given time." Wilber´s integral vision of enlightenment is the integral evolution of matter and consciousness. According to this theory, human development parallels the evolution of all being. It is clearly reductionist; consciousness is reduced to matter, and it can therefore not contain any spiritual transcendence into something divine, as this traditionally is understood. It can only be called atheist spirituality. A trait which bears witness to my idea that New Age is much more an ideological movement which has hi-jacked spirituality as a good propaganda tool. An analogy for this is how China claims that they will decide who the next Dalai Lama will be (read about it). We all know that this will be the farewell to Tibetan Buddhism. This is the reason why Tibatan Buddhist teachers have begun to teach their secrets to outsiders, but, as I write in my article Why I don´t Teach Tibetan Dream Yoga, I think this will be misused.
Take for example Dream Yoga, which is the Tibetan teaching of lucid dreaming. All masters within this tradition warn against using drugs in combination with dream yoga, a warning Brown avoids by explaining that Dream yoga is developed out of a shamanistic tradition, where they always have used drugs.
According to him. Not according to the mystic Kate Thomas in her article Disbelieving "Sacred Medicine", or the historian of religion, Mircea Eliade, in his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Eliade’s proposal is that the shaman’s use of psychoactive plants represents a "decadence in shamanic technique”). I have myself undergone a traditional Shamanic initiation, a so-called shaman illness, so I know, at least personally, that this initiation, and traditional shamanic abilities, nothing whatever have to do with psychedelics. About my shamanic illness, read my article The Philosophy of Hara Healing. About Kate Thomas, read my booklet The Psychedelic Experience versus the Mystical Experience.
What is important in dream Yoga, and in all other traditional spiritual practices, is the development of bidirectional consciousness, a consciousness which both is directed into towards its own form, and out towards its contents. Bidirectional consciousness is probably the best way to explain what the difference is between psychedelic experiences and mystical experiences. A psychedelic experience is per definition an experience of the content of consciousness, whether this is the personal or collective images of time. In a psychedelic experience you lose yourself in the explosion of content. In fact, it is advised that you “go with the flow.” Birectional consciousness is the direct opposite. This consists quite simple in stopping the fascination of the anti-spiritual (ego-based) experiences and their temptations, and instead lead the awareness in towards the form of consciousness. This will lead the consciousness towards the more universal images of time, which work in synchronism with the Now (I will write a blog post explaining bidirectional consciousness in details, but for now you can read about it in my article The Mandala of Kant and Longchenpa).
The essential is the constant, relaxed stay in un-distracted Rigpa-continuity.
A psychedelic experience will cause distraction - language, comments, associations, experience-production, loss of apperceptive wakefulness into dual consciousness - and this transforms the situation qualitatively from nondual consciousness to the common dual mind, now filled with so-called spiritual experiences with their blend of imagination, healing, inspiration and what in today's language is called self-assertion: nutrition and air to the ego.
Here, the experiences turn around and goes towards Kant, Jung, Joseph Campbell, and religious interpretations. There is nothing wrong in this, except that you lose the direction towards enlightenment. The danger is spiritual crises and misinterpretations, or blends of personal, collective and universal images. I have described this in my booklet The Psychedelic Experience versus The Mystical Experience. This has especially to do with the reduction (mix) of ontological realms (universal and collective images) to psychological realms (personal images). Campbell, due to his inspiration from Jung, tended towards this.
Bidirectional consciousness is the state where you begin to ask philosophical questions: where does the content of consciousness come from? Where do the thoughts come from? Who am I? The central meditation technique of Ramana Maharshi was to ask the question Who am I? to everything that happened to him. This meant that if he was feeling joy, he would ask where this joy comes from. And, if he was feeling sadness, he would ask where this sadness comes from. He did so by continuing saying that, for example “the joy is not mine”, “the sadness is not mine”, etc. These feelings are not his since they disappear, and he remains the same. It is the state where philosophy begins and psychology ends. I will therefore claim that all true philosophers have a sense of bidirectional consciousness, even if they haven´t trained it. This is also the reason for my continuing emphasis on the centrality of philosophy in spiritual practice. All philosophical questions ask for the form, the essence, the nature, the universal source of it all. The content is unimportant in philosophy. The content is what science investigates.
You can of course have an intellectual understanding of bidirectional consciousness, but if you begin to experience it, first through many years of neutral observation (also known as mindfulness), and the balancing of energy and chakras through Hara exercises (see my page The Compass) – then the world as content begin to lose attraction (the transition from neutral observation to bidirectional consciousness happens by itself). The magnet of attraction, which the ego is controlled by – (the ego´s identity with the material world: instincts, sexuality, emotions, desire, experiences, collective ideals, ownership, personal power) – will gradually begin to lose its attraction. Investments in the material world´s ups and downs, its demands, temptations and dramas, become undramatized, uninteresting, even meaningless, in relation to the consciousness´ opening direction in towards its spiritual essence: the now, the Wholeness, life itself, and finally: the eternal Otherness, from where the Good, the True and the Beautiful is streaming as grace and forgiveness. This is an element of a complete negation which not is produced by yourself, and which you therefore can´t control trough any means, whether it is will, thoughts, actions, psychedelics.
I now think we have a good argument for the difference between the psychedelic experience and the mystical experience, and why the psychedelic experience is without spiritual essence. But there are many other arguments.
In my article Paranormal Phenomena Seen in Relation With Clairvoyance, I have described the confusion of personal and collective images as collective fantasies. Psychedelic experiences are collective fantasies. The one aspect of the fantasies is a kind of archetypical, mythologically symbolizings of more personally, unclarified matter (for example thought distortions - see my book A dictionary of thought distortions). The second aspect of the fantasies is relatively valid information about incidents, for example in other centuries, or astral dimensions. The misguiding happens because the two aspects are blended together (also see my article Paranormal Phenomena Seen in relation with Mystical Experiences).
In my article on Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), I write about how Timothy Conway describes an important thing in the art of discrimination, namely that of the difference between divine and demonical energy transformation, which is one of my own main topics. I have investigated this several places – see for example my article The Philosophy of Karen Blixen and in my book Lucifer Morningstar – a Philosophical Love Story. In my new online book Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien, I have shown that the One Ring is an example of a demonical use of energy transmission.
Conway says in his article on Osho:
It's well known to the true sages that powerful but ultimately confused, constricted discarnate entities regarded as "demons" or "titans" (Skt.: asura, rakshasa, etc.) can create such electric energies through human beings as a way of then "feeding" on the aroused emotions and psychic states of the hordes of people who surround the human channel. That's why many Zen masters often warned their students to simply regard all unusual states and energies as makyo, distracting "diabolical phenomena," and instead wake up to the Open, Infinite Awareness, the formless "Big Self" or pristine "Buddha-Nature."
Conway´s remark on Zen masters warning their students is something I have emphasized again and again. I have often said that the Wholeness can be in three states: sleep, dream and awake. This corresponds to the personal, collective and universal images in time. The collective images in time is a very dangerous intermediate area between the personal and the universal images. All spiritual practice is about avoiding this area. All advocates of psychedelics guide people into this area. In spiritual practice it is the form of the consciousness which is important, not the content of the consciousness. Both the personal and collective images in time belong to the content of consciousness. So, it is about discriminating between the content and the form of consciousness. A meditation practice must develop into bidirectional consciousness; that is: a consciousness which both is directed into its own form, or source, and out towards the content. The training begins with the continuing discrimination between neutral observation and distraction; an increasing awareness of the difference between the states of neutral observation and the states of distraction. You can recognize true spiritual teachers from whether they make this discrimination.
Conway also demonstrates an interesting model of discrimination. He writes:
Now, for an alternate, "bigger picture" context, in a hopefully-clarifying threefold model I have presented elsewhere (click here to read more extensively), we can say it is 1) Absolutely true that "nothing is really happening," that all manifestation is "dream-like" and ultimately "empty" because there is only God, only Absolute Being-Awareness-Bliss, the One Alone, the all-transcending and unmanifest Spirit. 2) A step down from this strictly nondual "Absolute-truth level" (paramarthika-satya) of the ONE Alone to the "blessed many" is what we might call the "psychic-soul" truth-level in which "whatever happens in the manifest worlds is perfect," because all souls are sooner or later coming Home to perfect virtue and Divine awakening from soul-hood into Spirit, so that there's fundamentally nothing "wrong" or "problematic." 3) Finally, more pragmatically and usefully, there is the mundane, "conventional-truth level" (vyavaharika-satya) involving the play of opposites, crucially including justice-injustice, true-false, good-evil, appropriate-inappropriate, skillful-unskillful. All three of these levels (Absolute truth, psychic-soul truth, and mundane conventional truth) are simultaneously true within this overall Nondual (Advaita) Reality. One level is Absolutely True, the other two levels are "relatively true" or "experientially true" within the play of the many.
Losing the capacity to distinguish these three levels is a mark of great folly, not enlightened wisdom. And so, for instance, to excuse or overlook injustices occurring in the Rajneesh movement or elsewhere on this planet because "whatever happens is perfect" or because "this is all a dream, there's only God" is a tragic confusing of levels, and makes a mockery of the courageous work of all those who have ever endeavored to bring truth in place of lies, healing in place of harm, justice in place of injustice.
Said in another way: the Wholeness (level 1) is indescribable because it can´t be put in opposition to anything. Only the parts can be described because you can put the parts in opposition to their negations. You can describe the good because you know what the evil is, etc. Yin and Yang. The polarity argument. The polarity argument is an impossible logic to get around. Confusing the Wholeness (level 1) and the parts (levels 2 and 3) ends in relativism, a theory which is completely anti-spiritual, even nihilistic. The advocacy of relativism is a fundamental mistake in Rajneesh´s teachings.
This confusion is in a high degree due to the modern psychologizing of religions and philosophy. Philosophical counseling for example (true spiritual counseling), claims that our problems are due to a separation of the observer and the observed (see my article Philosophical counseling as an alternative to psychotherapy). In its practice it directs itself away from the observed, towards the observer himself. And its questions become of existential, conceptual, ethical, epistemological and metaphysical kind.
Psychotherapy is a branch of psychology, and therefore something scientific, which directs itself towards aspects of the observed, that can be empirical tested. Therefore it must not contain philosophical and/or religious theories. An example on such a scientific based psychotherapy is Cognitive Therapy, which also has shown to be the most effective kind of psychotherapy. But today there has gone inflation in psychotherapy which often is considered to be an important part of spiritual practice.
The main problem is that you in psychotherapy don´t look at the observer, which in philosophical counseling is the cause of the problems. The observer compares the Now´s facts with earlier, and hope/desire/fear something else, and thereby makes the Now into a problem. Guild-feelings, regret, anger, complaints, gloom, bitterness and all forms of lack of forgiveness, are created by too much past and too little presence in the Now. Discomfort, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are created by too much future and too little presence in the Now.
What creates all this is the observer and his or her philosophy. This both applies to the client in psychotherapy, and the psychotherapist himself. In fact, the reason why Jeffrey Masson considers all psychotherapy corrupt, is because of this detail. The psychotherapist doesn´t look at his or her own philosophy. Since psychotherapy´s aim is to change people, and this is achieved according to the therapist´s own notions and prejudices, the process is necessarily corrupt.
Brown, for example, seems completely unaware of that he always interprets his experiences from his pre-conceived ideas. This is also what Leary, Grof and a lot of other psychological reductionists are doing all the time. They don´t examine their own ideas. But this is precisely what philosophy does, and that´s the whole difference between philosophy and psychology.
If you remain in, or explore the worlds of the collective time, which psychedelics gives access to, then you in other words distract your awareness in past or future. This can cost awakeness and life energy, and can in addition cause Ego-inflation and other spiritual crises (see my article Spiritual Crises as the Cause of Paranormal Phenomena).
In dream yoga and in all other traditional spiritual practices it is in other words very important that you do not move accent from awake day to dreams and sleep, do not use drugs or one-sided development techniques, which promise you great experiences concerning either lucidity or astrality. All traditional spiritual practices emphasize this.
You have to have patience. Even for people with a regular and well-ordered practice (2-3 hours every day) there can pass weeks, months or years between the reflections into the processes of dreams and sleep. However if practice is appropriate, the spiritual consciousness will with time automatically penetrate the nightlife´s vegetative forms of consciousness.
The spiritual process (meditation in the awaken hours and Dream Yoga during sleep) is both a slow process of awakening. The consciousness about the universal images of time, which work in synchronism with the Now, penetrates little by little everyday life. You gather time around you in transparent presence. Investments in the past and the future of the material world, whether it is the personal or collective time, becomes undramatized and uninteresting in relation to the Now´s open intensity.
In this way the grab, which the material world´s past and future has in your mind, is automatically reduced. The past and the future are no longer maintained by that energy, which from the challenges of the situations, becomes canalized into the specific reaction-pattern of the past and the future. This gives a constant increasing sense of freedom, of an unconditional state. The past and the future of the material world lose their attraction. The energy flows back to the Now. The Now becomes the important; your awareness is being filled by the clarity of the presence. The magnet of attraction, which the ego, and all demonical powers, are controlled by - (the ego´s identity with the material world: instincts, sexuality, emotions, desire, collective ideals, ownership, power) - loses its attraction.
It should be easy by now to see that Brown is advising people to do the direct opposite. A devastating example of spiritual misguiding. Unfortunately Brown also is a person most people probably will listen to and follow. Due to his promises.
Our culture of today is characterized by a top-heavy Indo-European symbolism of spiritual growth seen as an evolutionary ladder. When talking about spiritual awakening we therefore also see a very common type of awakening, namely the so-called top-down awakening. Brown is exclusively focusing on the top-down awakening, though he of course isn´t aware of it. Though only a few people can be characterized as top-down awakened, then the problems connected to top-down awakening are mirrored in the more common top-heavy symbolism which most people today are focusing on. I will therefore describe what top-down awakening is.
(I have found the concept of top-down awakening in a book by the spiritual teacher Mary Shutan called The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and the Conditioned Layers of Reality. The theoretical insight in this book is fully comparable to Stanislav Grof and Christina Grof´s work on spiritual crises, but in the same way as I can´t recommend the Grofs´s therapeutic practice Holotropic Breathwork, I can´t recommend Shutan´s large amount of visualization exercises. In the following though, I will follow Shutan´s theory (because it precisely describes what I myself have experienced).
A top-down awakening in simple terms means that your crown and third eye chakras are open and that you have quite a bit of energy surrounding your head and shoulders (in a top-down awakening this is constantly, but psychedelics can cause it momentarily). Basically, you are receiving input from the heaven/sky but not the earth (remember Brown´s focus on getting high, and his California model of moving towards the sky). This is figuratively speaking though. The heaven/sky is more akin to what I call the dangerous areas of the collective time, which are mirrored in the three upper chakras. And the earth is the heart (love) and hara (existence). As I have said many times: heart and hara in this description must not be confused with psychic chakras, but rather with love and existence.
Due to genetics, spiritual pursuits, or other reasons (for example psychedelics) you have opened yourself to what you might interpret as the divine, spirit, and different and hidden layers of reality. It is fairly easy actually to open to what you think is spirit and to begin to be more connected to what you might interpret as spiritual matters. In reality it is the collective time you have opened up to.
Many people end up with this type of awakening because they became interested in spiritual pursuits, started attending classes, doing drugs, reading literature, and finding gurus and other teachers who show them how to seek outside of themselves. Others begin life with a top-down awakening due to family history of psychic abilities or previous life abilities carried forward into this life.
The issue with this type of awakening is that it is not grounded in anything. It is not required to do much personal work or to open your first three chakras to have this type of awakening. The person experiencing this type of awakening begins to separate from this earth, this reality. They often will claim to not want to be here, or to originate from elsewhere. This very much may be true, but a recognition of the human body, the body that you are carrying this lifetime, and a desire to be grounded and do personal work, which is often quite difficult, is necessary for a full awakening, or to come to a state of balance if you are experiencing this type of awakening.
The person undergoing a top-down awakening will have immense energy circulating into their crown, third eye, and around their head and shoulders. Unfortunately for the experiencer of this, the energy is not able to move much further down because the throat chakra and heart chakra require the lower chakras to be open to open themselves fully. These can´t be opened through psychedelics, since they have to do with hara balance/unbalance, and therefore a balanced/unbalanced energy-system. A balanced energy-system is due to that the thoughts not are slipping out in extremes. This has again to do with a balanced relation to reality, and to everyday relationships, where you of course must be absolutely healthy and sober in order to be aware of thought distortions, both in yourself and in others. All this has to do with the lower chakras. The level of a psychedelic trip is, as we already have examined, dependent on extreme thinking. The “good” trip is dependent on building up an energetical wave crest. This is thinking in extremes.
In a top-down awakening the energy is stuck in the upper body- leading to a bottleneck of energy, headaches, neck pain, disassociation, ego issues (these are some of the people who tell others how awakened they are or that they are enlightened but still are quite judgmental and lack focus on their own issues), and significant mental health issues including mania and depression can develop.
It is also quite common for the top-down awakened to be in a great deal of physical pain. Hip, back, foot, and leg pain are prevalent, but the all-over pain that comes with issues such as Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, and other Autoimmune and Connective Tissue disorders are common in this category. It is also common for the experiencer to carry weight around the mid-section but have thin legs, and a constant raising of the shoulders towards the ears. As mentioned: these are common symptoms for a top-heavy focused society, even if you are not top-down awakened.
Other symptoms include: being open to spiritual guidance, psychic abilities, mediumship and channeling capabilities, understanding of patterns and concepts from a different vantage point (which is due to many of these individuals being halfway out of their body so they really do have a different perspective), headaches, sinus pain, closed off feelings in the throat, thyroid issues, cravings for meat, chocolate, carbohydrates, or other grounding foods, delusions, paranoia, and feelings of heaviness or stuckness in the shoulders, upper back, heart, neck, and head.
What is happening energetically to the top-down awakened?
This is a significant energetic imbalance, and the energetic field of the experiencer often appears to look like an inverted cone. Often the experiencer is partially or fully out of their bodies/disassociated, and they prefer to remain this way (it is interesting that Brown is completely amazed over out-of-experiences). They feel different and separate from everyone else, and some remain in elaborately set up illusions of their own creation. This is because the ego-inflated awakened has awakened enough to be able to create in reality, but for this group it is rarely on a conscious level- so the creation of significant blocks, illusions, and other issues of a spiritual and physical nature is quite common due a relay of unprocessed personal and emotional material creating reality for them.
A top-down awakening is BY FAR the most common spiritual awakening to get stuck in, simply due to the top-heavy focused society. It also can be the most dangerous because it creates an environment energetically where you are not quite a part of any reality. With the ability to easily shift through dimensions, times, perspectives, and being fully or partially out of your body, it creates opportunity for other energies to attach (we have looked at demonical energies), and for you to lose a sense of identity or purpose. Without the support that earth and grounding offer (heart and Hara, love and existence), it is difficult to filter the intense energies that are coming through. The more the lower chakras are blocked the worse the imbalance is.
With this type of awakening it is common to see people keep their spiritual lives and their physical lives quite separate. By this, I mean that they may be all about love, light, angels, and awakening in workshops or online, but in their daily lives they are often quite miserable and do not want to participate in life. Mary Shutan says she often works with people struggling with depression and anxiety who put on an outward appearance, a mask of being spiritual and enlightened but in their daily lives they are struggling to function, to engage with others, or to want to be on Earth. I have also met so many of these people. They create spiritual theories which justifies it, they write books that justifies it, and thereby inspire others to end in the same situation. This is an incredible common symptom in New Age circles due to the immensity of spiritual misguiding; spiritual misguiding which precisely are caused by the top-down awakened. It is all about role-playing: through courses and spiritual educations you buy yourself new levels and titles, just like in a role-playing game. It is not good to be on the low level where most people are.
The central difficulty with the top-down awakening is therefore that it is difficult for people to want to do their personal work (work with the lower chakras). Or rather: what they believe is personal work is controlled by the Mythology of Authenticity: the Dungeon Master of The Scientology Game (my expression “The Scientology Game” has only figuratively something to do with the actual movement called Scientology).
It can be entertaining to go to workshops, to visit gurus, to spiritually seek. For the experiencer to be healed, to come to a state of balance, or to progress further in their spiritual path, they must begin to do the personal work that they have been avoiding. But the New Thought movement directly teaches people to avoid their dark personal baggage. So, to let go of the ego, the Facebook memes that tell you what awakening is supposed to be like, and go internally to find out is a scary proposition. You must be completely alone in this quest. The days of guru-centric enlightened masters is in my view today corrupted, and something I advice people to avoid. (see my blog post A Shadow Odyssey).
By working through personal baggage and reestablishing a personal connection with the Earth (heart and Hara, love and existence), with ancestry (the dark, ancient inertia, which Brown calls antiquated), and by dropping the mask that comes with being spiritual comes a state of balance, strength, power, and full realization. To do this I suggest that people find a religion to support them, and an accept of that the divine eventually is an external source you can´t control.
This leads to the next point. Using psychedelics will have a devastating effect on peoples´ karma. When you through psychedelics seek to open up for collective non-ordinary experiences, without having been working with realization of the Ego´s (the observer´s) nature, you will intervene disruptive in the self-regulating structures of chakras and dreams, or, said differently: you will intervene in how your karma is working in thinking and time. Therewith you will also intervene in the balancing and development-specific function of compensatory karma. Unknowingly you will create heavy energetical swings without understanding, that the karmic consequences are being equivalent heavy contra-balances and back-swings. Brown seems himself to be in a possession state, a possession of psychedelic experiences, which is mirrored in the level of fierceness in his methods, which almost seem to be attempts to rape spirituality (in my first book Meditation as an Art of Life – a basic reader, I have made many descriptions of the balancing and development-specific function of the energy laws. Also see my articles What are Chakras?, What is Karma?, and What is Dream Yoga?).
3) The Thoughts behind Brown´s California Model
What is the background for thoughts like Brown´s? Besides the roots in New Age as such, then Susan Jacoby's book The Age of American Unreason is a good bid. It might be viewed as a kind of sequel to Richard Hofstadter's 1963 classic, “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.” A cultural history of the last forty years, The Age of American Unreason focuses on the convergence of social forces—usually treated as separate entities—that has created a perfect storm of anti-rationalism. These include the upsurge of religious fundamentalism, with more political power today than ever before; the failure of public education to create an informed citizenry; and the triumph of video over print culture. Sparing neither the right nor the left, Jacoby asserts that Americans today have embraced a universe of “junk thought” that makes almost no effort to separate fact from opinion.
Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon - one that is at odds with the American heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science.
With mordant wit, she surveys an anti-rationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought." Disdain for logic and evidence defines a pervasive malaise fostered by the mass media, triumphalist religious fundamentalism, mediocre public education, a dearth of fair-minded public intellectuals on the right and the left, and, above all, a lazy and credulous public.
Jacoby offers an unsparing indictment of the American addiction to infotainment--from television to the Web--and cites this toxic dependency as the major element distinguishing the current age of unreason from earlier outbreaks of American anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism. With reading on the decline and scientific and historical illiteracy on the rise, an increasingly ignorant public square is dominated by debased media-driven language and received opinion.
At this critical political juncture, nothing could be more important than recognizing the "overarching crisis of memory and knowledge" described in this impassioned, tough-minded book, which challenges Americans to face the painful truth about what the flights from reason has cost them as individuals and as a nation.
Jacoby singles out their attraction to the pseudoscience of social Darwinism in the post–Civil War period, noting that the popularity of this ideological rationale for “untrammeled capitalism” demonstrated the susceptibility of intellectuals to irrationalism, the confusion of sociology with hard science, and the dangers of a little knowledge: “Many Americans possessed just enough education to be fascinated by the late-19th-century advances in both science and technology, but they had too little education to distinguish between real scientists and those who peddled theories in the guise of science.” Jacoby rightly identifies pseudoscience and religion as two “critical ingredients” of unreason since then. Indeed, they often work in tandem: The “sciences” of mind cure and New Thought flourished, and Mary Baker Eddy “discovered” Christian Science in the 1860s. Then came Scientology, the “science” of positive thinking, and, more recently, New Age healer Deepak Chopra’s nonsensical references to quantum physics (see the entries on The Matrix Conspiracy Fascism and Deepak Chopra).
What can be a serious problem in the future, is that a new kind of pseudoscience is trying to unite New Age pseudoscience with some of the pseudoscience of reductionism (See The Matrix Dictionary on Richard Dawkins).
Anti-science views have been amplified by the political wave of populism that is sweeping not only over America but also Europe. The problem is that America successfully has made itself into a world educator, and therefore it is imprinted in most people all over the world, that everything that comes from America should be taken as role models for all. People like Brown therefore has an immensely influence, due to the very fact alone that he is American.
Populism is the key factor in the election of Donald Trump as the President of US. The key elements of this kind of populism are anti-elitism and nativism, which can translate into anti-immigrant views. The role of globalization in the creation of not only economic but also knowledge inequality has amplified these feelings of resentment (see my article The Confabulation of Trump).
Another facet of the politicization of science is the effect of the postmodernism movement, which occurred in the latter part of the twentieth century, but has roots back to the Sophists in ancient Greece. I have characterized postmodernism as the intellectualism (or rather anti-intellectualism) behind New Age and the Self-help industry ( see my article Constructivism: the Postmodern Intellectualism behind New Age and the Self-help Industry).
This movement represents a distrust of the Enlightenment principle of rationality. Although the term postmodernism has traditionally been applied to the humanities, it has broad implications for attitudes toward science, promoting the idea that truth is contextual, depending on one´s culture, education, and life experiences. This attitude is misplaced when dealing with scientific facts. Journalism has a great role in promoting the “other side” of disagreements regarding scientific issues, even when the weight of evidence overwhelmingly supports one conclusion. This mistakenly gives opinion the same weight as fact.
One of the unfortunate results of postmodernism is that individuals see scientific issues in ways that fit their preconceptions and make them comfortable. As individuals mature, they may gravitate toward the political party whose views they share on other nonscientific issues. The public´s gravitation to biased television reporting, social media, and Internet resources that fit their worldview as sources of information on scientific issues further calcifies their opinions. To see this in the New Age movement is especially disturbing, because New Age at the same time are promoting spiritual issues, which in that way are being deeply distorted. It is namely so, that when you make a google search on spiritual issues, you will almost inevitable end up on a New Age promoting site. Related to this is the Matrix Dictionary entry on The Illusion of Knowledge.
Brown´s California-centric ideology fits very well with the optimistic concept of the American Dream. The social critic Barbara Ehrenreich has persuasively argued that the all-positive approach, with its rejection of the possibility of failure, helped bring on the present financial crises. The psychological evidence, backed by ancient wisdom, certainly suggests that positive thinking is not the recipe for success that it purports to be.
Americans are a "positive" people - cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: This is their reputation as well as their self-image. Precisely as Brown characterizes them. But more than a temperament, being positive is the key to getting success and prosperity. Or so we are told.
In the utterly original debunking book Bright-Sided – How Positive Thinking is Undermining America, Barbara Ehrenreich confronts the false promises of positive thinking and shows its reach into every corner of American life, from Evangelical megachurches to the medical establishment, and, worst of all, to the business community, where the refusal to consider negative outcomes - like mortgage defaults - contributed directly to the current economic disaster. With the myth-busting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of positive thinking: personal self-blame and national denial. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best - poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.
Especially when we look at Browns progressivist optimism, Enrenreich´s critique fits well. Ehrenreich clearly see the similarity with Soviet-style Communism, which we do not usually think of as a cheerful sort of arrangement. But it exemplified the use of positive thinking as a means of social control. Writing of the former Yugoslavia at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Dubravka Ugresic observed that “former communists, modern capitalists, nationalists, religious fanatics” were all picking up on the fresh breeze of positivity from the West. “They have all become optimists.” But this was hardly something new, she went on, because “optimism has a stain on its ideological record…If anything has survived Stalinism itself, it is the Stalinist demand for optimism.” In the Soviet Union, as in the Eastern European states and North Korea, the censors required upbeat art, books, and films, meaning upbeat heroes, plots about fulfilling production quotas, and endings promising a glorious revolutionary future. Czechoslovakian literature was suffused with “blind optimism”; North Korean short stories still beam with “relentless optimism.” In the Soviet Union itself, “being charged with a lack of historical optimism meant being charged with distortion of the truth or transmission of false truths. Pessimism and ideological wavering meant the same thing…in various disputes, the possibility of an alienated and lonely hero in socialism was forbidden in the name of the demands for historical optimism and a positive hero.”
The penalties for negative thinking was real. Not to be positive and optimistic was to be “defeatist,” and, as Ugresic writes of the Soviet Union, “defeatists paid for the sin of defeatism. Accusing someone of spreading defeatism condemned him to several years in Stalinist camps.”
Brown is just one symptom of the rising Matrix hybrid between Western capitalism and Chinese Communism: a progressivist fascism. Let me end this article with a last quote from Brown himself, where he exposes that he shares just about all the central Matrix Conspiracy thoughts: philosophical idealism, New Thought, postmodernism, scientism and management theory. The quote is from Appendix 3, Altered Statesman – an interview with David Jay Brown, by Damon Orion from Good Times:
Damon: And what is DNA trying to do?
David: I think DNA is ultimately trying to create a world where the imagination is externalized, where the mind and the external world become synchronized as one, so that basically whatever we can imagine can become a reality. Literally. And I think that everything throughout our entire evolution has been moving slowly toward that goal. In the past thousand years, it´s been very steady. And through nanotechnology, through artificial intelligence, through advanced robotics, I think we´re entering into an age where we´ll be able to control matter with our thoughts and actually be able to create anything that our minds can conceive of. We´re very quickly heading into a time where machines are going to be more intelligent than we are, and we´re going to most likely merge, I think, with these intelligent machines and develop capacities and abilities that we can barely imagine right now, such as the ability to self-transform. What we can do with computers – digital technology, the way we can morph things on a computer screen – is the beginning of understanding that that´s how reality itself is organized, that we can do that with physical reality through nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, that the digital nature of reality itself will allow us to externalize whatever we think. So, I think that eventually reality will become like a computer graphic screen, and we´ll be able to create whatever we want. That sound right? [Laughs.] (page 328-329).
Note that Brown and his interviewer apparently love the thoughts he here share - the [laughs] is not my input. Also note that the truth of the statement requires that philosophical idealism is a true metaphysical theory, which I several times have shown is not the case (read the below links). Even Brown´s own beloved quantum physics disproves it (see my article Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Niels Bohr). I do believe, though, that Brown is right that we actually develop towards this future, but since philosophical idealism is a false theory, it will go completely wrong. Remember Frankenstein!
Related articles on the Matrix Conspiracy, where I also disprove Brown´s theories:
The Matrix Conspiracy
The Dream Hypothesis and The Brain-in-Jar Hypothesis
Quantum Mechanics and the Philosophy of Niels Bohr
The Matrix Conspiracy Updates
The Matrix Conspiracy Fascism
Bridge between Science and Spirituality
Related articles on plastic shamanism:
The Psychedelic Experience versus the Mystical Experience
What is Dream Yoga?
Why I Don´t Teach Tibetan Dream Yoga
Related articles on the anti-intellectual movement:
Anti-intellectualism and Anti-science
The Illusion of Knowledge
Predator Open Access Publisning
Gaia.com (Brown has appeared on Gaia TV's show "Open Minds" with Regina Meredith, and this website is a good way to discover what kind of thinking Brown is in for).
Related articles on Biologists who want to be philosophers instead of the philosophers:
Gregg Braden (this guy is not a trained biologist, but advocates the same kind of New Age biologism as Brown)
Ken Wilber (famous New Age biologist)
Richard Dawkins (famous atheist fundamentalist biologist)
The WingMakers Project (this is an example of a self-made mythology created by the means of New Age biologism).
Related pop culture files:
Alice in Wonderland