In the Sex, Drugs & Silicon Valley web video series, Laurie Segall explores how unconventional thinking is the foundation of creative innovation in Silicon Valley, the leading hub of high tech development. The five episodes cover smart drugs, psychedelics, swinging, polyamory, and Burning Man.
"The program is a voyage chart, a series of signals, which, like the pilot’s radio provides the basic orienting information required for the “trip.” - Timothy Leary
In a recent Shot's of Awe video, Jason Silva riffed on the potential of psychedelics as tools to transform our lives in profoundly positive ways. He expounded on these ideas in a recent article published in the The Daily Beast.
Silva references ex-Havard professor Timothy Leary's essay "On Programming Psychedelic Experiences" as a cornerstone for his a philosophical approach to these substances.
A) Psychedelic experiences are extremely sensitive to the context (ie: set and setting) in which we experience them.
B) We can program these experiences by intentionally curating the “set” and “setting” in which we ingest them.
C) Appreciating just how profoundly this sensitivity to set and setting can shape the texture (and “reality”) of a psychedelic experience, can give us insight into the nature of how "design" affects the mind, even in a non-psychedelic state.
What psychedelics can do, then is they can make us aware of these "feedback loops between our creative choices—and our consciousness." And thus of "the tremendous freedom we have in creating our own experience" says Rich Doyle.
"The idea is that one can literally “steer” awareness towards transformative encounters and ecstatic revelations. There have been accounts of how a single Ketamine trip will cure even the most extreme cases of depression. "
MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) is leading the charge to apply psychedelic technologies for therapeutic purposes. Additionally, "they are working with researchers and governments to investigate the therapeutic potential of medicines such as MDMA, or Ecstasy, which is being used to alleviate such psychological problems as PTSD, Depression, and many other ailments." [See Video Below]
The article continues: "Johns Hopkins University recently administered psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms, to patients dealing with terminal illness. The effects seemed to reconfigure their entire perception of death, giving them peace."
Beyond therapeutics, altered states induced by psychedelics can offer enormous self-growth opportunities for people in general - ranging from inspiration, finding meaning, increased emotional intelligence, productivity, and a richer life experience.
David Lenson: “A positive drug experience can confirm the collaborative model of consciousness, since the user relates to objects not as if they were dialectically opposed to his or her own subjectivity, but as if they were co-contributors to the creation of the world.”
This change in perception creates all kinds of creative, theatrical possibilities and subjectivities. Entire new ways to program and design experience emerge.