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When we  take a close look at psychedelic drugs,these hallucinogenic substances, if you will we come to find that they are the oldest drugs used among humans. This is because these substances occur naturally in mushrooms, cacti and a variety of other plants. They can do a lot to a persons mind, we find that there are many chemical reactions taking place. What happens is your brain triggers your serotonin receptors,causing visual/auditory changes and changes in thought patterns resulting in altered state of mind or consciousness. These psychedelic drugs fall into one of the three catagories of chemical compounds: tryptamines, phenethylamines, or lysergamides. The term psychedelic comes from the Greek words (psyche, "soul, mind") and (delein, "to manifest"), so is meant to mean "soul-manifesting", this implies that psychedelics can gain access your soul and can unlock the human minds true potential.

     Psychedelics have a very long past in the history of religion. Numerous ancient cultures used them, including the Ancient Egyptian,  Ancient Greek, Inca Mycenaean, Vedic, Maya, and Aztec cultures. They can be used to help cure physical and mental ailments. Many Native Americans claim that the usage of psychedelic drugs can cure alcoholism. When one ingests these substances, they are able to see things such as the shape suggestibility, warping of surfaces color variations, repetitive geometric shapes, or even intense colors the user has never reportedly seen before. Some groups have used these drugs for the exploration of whats believed to be a spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world. Someone that uses these altered states of mind for exploration is known as a psychonaut. Examples of some psychonauts are shamans, and tibetan buddhist lamas. Psychonautics is a means of inner exploration does not have to involve drugs. By the usage of techniques like brainwave entrainment, hypnosis, meditation, hallucinogenics or entheogens, lucid dreaming, or even sensory deprivation it is believed that you can achieve exploration of the psyche.

     Many psychedelic experiences have taken place in a religious context. Many psychonauts believe in something called Astral projection (or astral travel) which is esoteric and it describes an intentional out-of-body experience. Which assumes that the existence of a soul or consciousness called an "astral body"  exists. An astral body is an entity separate from the physical body and capable of travelling outside it throughout the universe. Mainstream psychedelic drugs include, but are not limited to: DMT, LSD, mescaline, psilocybin. In recent studies, its been shown that psychedelics are physiologically safe and they don't lead to addiction. Despite many psychedelic drugs not being found addictive, and there's no evidence to support long term mental health damage, many of the drugs have been declared illegal under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Some psychedelics can produce dissociative feelings such as analgesia, amnesia and catalepsy at anesthetic doses. They also produce a sense of detachment from the surrounding environment, Its considered dissociative anesthesia, since the user feels disassociated from his environment. Some dissociative experiences can include depersonalization, which includes feeling detached from your own body. You feel unreal. You are able to observe your actions but not actively take control. For example being unable to recognize yourself in the mirror but still maintaining rational awareness that the image in the mirror is in fact you, like watching yourself in a movie, or looking down upon yourself from a third point of view. These are also known as an out-of-body experiences. Some dissociatives can have effects of a CNS depressant, thereby carrying similar risks as opioids, which slow your breathing and heart rate to levels resulting in death when used in very high doses.

     While psychedelic drugs hold no clear connection between them and organic brain damage, however, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) exists. This is a condition where some of the visual effects of drugs persist for a long time, sometimes permanently, although science and medicine have yet to determined what causes this to happen, it is a risk you take when undergoing the effects of these drugs. A large major study in the U.S. found that aside from personality disorders and other substance use disorders, lifetime hallucinogen use could not be associated with other mental disorders, and that risk of developing a hallucinogen use disorder was very low. Psychotomimetic, meaning "mimicking psychosis", reflects the thoughts of some early researchers that the effects of psychedelic drugs are similar to naturally occurring symptoms of schizophrenia, and recent studies have shown that there is overlap in the mechanisms by which all types of psychedelics mimic psychotic symptoms. It is thought that in psychedelic drugs, in proportion to other effects, changes in thought, perception, and mood should fade away, intellectual or memory impairment should be minimal, being thrown into a stupor, narcosis, or excessive stimulation shouldn't be a regular effect, autonomic nervous system side effects should be minimal and that all addictive craving are absent. Although they seem safe, you may experience a bad trip, psychedelic specialists don't consider  these unpleasant experiences to be undesirable or unhealthy, focusing instead on the potential for their psychological healing, to lead to the breakthrough of some of the unresolved psychic issues humans have.

    A bad trip, also known as a drug-induced temporary psychosis is an unpleasant, potentially dangerous, disturbing, and possibly traumatizing experience. When the user ingests a high dose of the drug,a bad trip is more prone to occur. It is said that with bad trips the psychedelic effect is much more intense.  These bad trips can be defined by feelings of mild anxiety and states of sheer unrelieved terror, ultimate entrapment, cosmic annihilation or insanity. A person going through a psychedelic trip possesses temporarily a level of higher conscious awareness. Psychological "death" and "rebirth" may occur, meaning you are thrown into a complete transcendence − beyond space−time, beyond self, and beyond words. There aren't any visions, any sense of self, or any thoughts. Theres only an ecstatic freedom and pure awareness . You can then realize that the immediate now, whatever its nature, is the fulfillment and goal of everyone living. For you must experience death before you can be spiritually reborn. Symbolically your past must die, and to your old ego, before you can take your place in this new spiritual life into you have initiated. A psychedelic experience is said to reveal aspects of the mind that are normally hidden. When a psychedelic experience occurs, everything that you see and think during the course of your trip is what the user defines as the real, whereas the real world is perceived to be an illusion.

     The Psychedelic era was a time when psychedelic drugs influenced social, musical and artistic changes. This was sometime between the early 1960s to the mid-1970s. Psychedelic drug use encourages unity, breaking down of the boundaries, political awareness heightening, empathy for others, and even questioning of authority. If you're interested in reading more about psychedelics, you can read The Psychedelic Review. Written by those who have explored the potentials of consciousness exploration during the psychedelic era. 

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