Re: Chapter 4 - Mycelial Minds


 I suppose it may be true that fungi may just be challenging and enhancing our perception of reality, even though I've never had any real epiphanies after drinking red wine, which is my fungi mediated drug of choice;) 
Our reality may just be a string of well trodden perceptions, ideas and relationships. It probably works in a similar way to our vision- we see only part of the picture in front of our eyes at any given moment.  The rest is handily provided by our very clever brain.  All of it is based on the fact that reality as we know it is most of the time comfortably predictable, and something our brain has been handling all our lives.  It's difficult to break through that.
It is possible that psychedelics get away or create havoc with all these well trodden pathways.  People talk about becoming one with global consciousness, but I found Michael Pollan’s ‘dissolution of ego’ to be the most appealing description.  People become consciousness with no ‘I’ attached, ready to explore, become something or someone else, or just be. Sheldrake ‘became’ the plant he studied, did he not? Maybe even ‘zombie’ ants with intact brains are happily not ants anymore?  I would like that, but who knows:)  I am sure the possibilities are endless.
It's all very interesting, I agree.

On Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 3:52 PM Herbert Lewis <herbertlewis@...> wrote:
On Tue, Nov 16, 2021 at 04:08 AM, Magda wrote:
I find consciousness and reality as is fascinating enough, so I don’t do drugs at all.

Magda, Sheldrake speculated about the possibility that the use of hallucinatory effects of "magic mushrooms" might actually enhance your perception of reality.

 He quotes the philosopher David Abram as explaining:  "It takes less cognitive effort to make sense of the world using preconceived images updated with a small amount of new sensory information than to constantly form entirely new perceptions from scratch."  In fact Sheldrake cites authors who claim that our perceptions are formed by our expectations and are only occasionally interrupted by unexpected events.  Most of what we perceive as reality is formed by our preconceptions and presuppositions (most significantly, our Weltanschauung).  

Sheldrake wrote "Fungi, too, trick us out of our preconceptions."  When he wrote that he was referring to the study of fungi behavior and characteristics.  He describes how the more he's "studied fungi, the more my expectations have loosened and the more familiar concepts started to appear unfamiliar."  In describing his participation in an experiment involving ingesting LSD he also related experimenters using the drug to induce imaginative solutions to their scientific problems by loosening the knots of their preconceptions and presuppositions or reality.  The author himself participated by taking a controlled LSD dosage and spending his "high" time considering "the lives of the blue flowers, Voyria" and how they managed to live without photosynthesis.

This possibility holds no attraction for me because of the widely reported potential for adverse unintended side effects.    I have never tried recreational drugs with the exception of alcohol.  I have a beer or two for dinner most evenings and occasionally a shot or two of JD.  But I've never imbibed alcohol with the intent of enhancing my perception of reality.  Nonetheless, I suppose even my liquor consumption would qualify as relevant to Bekah's question.  Beer is brewed and whiskey is distilled with the aid of yeast and yeast is a form of fungi.


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