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Psychedlic reality VS "normal" reality: Leo Gura fails the "effective test"

This thread is not about whether psychedelics can be useful or not.

Probably, they can.

There seem to be some evidence they can be helpful in creative breakthroughs, or in psychoanalysis and therapy.
This thread is also not about that.

Psychedlic Reality VS "Normal" Reality

This thread is about:

  • Psychedelic-fueled realities (and the cognitive analysis of those realities, including their consequences and life-effectiveness)
    VS
  • Realities that your mind in its more typical states experience (and the analysis of those realities, including their consequences and life-effectiveness)

Stated in a sentence, this is about which state is better for analyzing reality, and which one is more effective in shaping that reality.

I started this thread after listening to an interview with Leo Gura (these days I often watch YB vids while eating, a great way to maximize your time).

Leo Gura has an approach to self-development that revolves around psychedelics and psychedelic-driven states of mind.

Leo says that:

  1. There is no "normal" brain functioning, everything is an hallucination (be it under psychedelics, or without, it's just a different type of hallucination)
  2. Psychedelics can lead you to a different way of thinking, which adds more levels to the "normal" states
  3. Science is no preferred method to learn about reality (but his criticism of science left some to be desired in my opinion)
  4. The realities we can grasp through psychedelic-induced states are equally good, or superior, to those achieved via science

Points 1 and 2 cannot be disproven, and he might have a point in both.

However, in my opinion, this train of thought gets you lost in a sea of relativism and wheel-spinning.

The way I see it, there is little to be gained in discussing it 1 and 2 at length.

And about 3 and 4, Leo is in good part wrong because he get lost in that relativity.

There is one thing that Leo Gura fails to consider:

"Normal" states of mind are proven and effective

The "normal" states of conscience might be an hallucination.

But they're proven.

And have been proven, over and over, as extremely effective.

The "hallucination" we live in normal life, as Leo would call it, has been selected to be effective for life.

And if there are multiple realities, in this reality, the human brain in its "normal" state has been proven over and over again -over billions of people and over millions of years, as a matter of fact- to be extremely effective.

Of course everyone has a slightly different experience than another man, and his "reality" might vary from day to day.
But that range is limited, and cannot be compared to you put psychedelics in the mix.

Our normal states of conscience, even with their relativity and slight differences, have made humans one of the most effective and powerful species ever existed.
Possibly, the most powerful ever.
Certain with the highest capacity to shape the environment around them -and that's a key definition of power- and certainly the species that can most easily use/and or kill any other species -and that's another "darker" sign of power-.

Science is equally proven

And the same can be said of N.4.

Much of what we've achieved has been achieved through science in its larger sense, including engineering and craftmanship.

Engineering and craftmanship are founded on science in their most advanced form -think of airplanes, earphones, mobile devices, etc.-.

But even in their simplest form, humans' breakthrough often follow the scientific principle.

Take the bow as an example of a weapon that started giving humans an edge over other animals:

  1. Come up with an hypothesis: "if I attach a string to a flexible sheet of wood, I might be able to launch a projectile with it"
  2. Build it:
  3. Test it: does it work better than throwing arrows just by hands?
  4. If it doesn't work, scratch the idea, or start over
  5. Perfect it
  6. ... Rule your halucinated reality

Hallucinated States of Mind Are Untested and/or Ineffective

... In this reality at least.

But this is the only reality we can observe.

And in this reality, it's men in their "normal" states that achieve their goals, and advance civilization.

Sure, Steve Jobs and some others founders recently have touted psychedelics as a tool for greater mind breakthrough.
But don't get that confused, those psychedelics are a tool to work and achieve in this reality, not outside of it.

It's more of "get this boost for a while, and then come back to normal life to get shit done".

Those other halucinated states Leo Gura talks about might work great in some other realities.
But there is no proof of evidence of that, and Leo Gura can't provide any.

The Hallucinated Mind Failure of Performance

Put Leo Gura, or any psychelic-high individual in a difficult environment, and he's toast.

Animals in our caveman days would have feasted with them -quite literally-.
Or he would have starved because of his limited "normal-world" capabilities -can't hunt, lay traps, or gather too well, I suppose-.

But you don't need t go back to the state of nature.
Put halicinated Leo gura in 99% of real-life situations, and he's gonna perform very poorly.
He:

  • Will not find a woman halucinated
  • Will not make friends / allies halucinated
  • Will not develop good relationships halucinated
  • Will not find a job halucinated: yes, he's doing fine on YouTube. Yet, even there, I'd bet most of his (productive) work is done when in "normal" states

Heck, he will not even be effective at doing groceries halucinated!

In short, it' sa false relativity to compare drug-induced realities to the reality(-ies) we mostly experience in our "normal", baseline-states.
The "normal" baseline level of brain functioning is battle-stated, and proven to effectively work in a multitude and wide varieties of situations.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Lucio: Points 1 and 2 cannot be disproven, and he might have a point in both.

However, in my opinion, this train of thought gets you lost in a sea of relativism and wheel-spinning.

The way I see it, there is little to be gained in discussing it 1 and 2 at length.

And about 3 and 4, Leo is in good part wrong because he get lost in that relativity.

I am on the same page here.
It seems that he is playing too much on the definition of hallucination.

I think most people regard hallucination as perceptions that deviate heavily away from what's actually going on in our environment.
If the majority perceives the same "reality" and measuring instruments like cameras or thermometers measure the same thing, many would regard that as a grounded perception of the world and probably would not use the word "hallucination" to describe that perception.

This is what Lucio described as "normal" states of mind in being proven and effective.

Mild Forms of Hallucinations - Alcohol, Caffeine & Nootropics

I think there's a reason why psychedelic drugs are not taken by the vast majority of people in their daily lives.
It's because of what Lucio mentioned.
The hallucinations induced make you ineffective in carrying out day-to-day tasks.

I don't think most people consider alcohol, caffeine & nootropics to cause hallucinations.
But they do alter people's perception of the world slightly.
Though, as Lucio mentioned, they are much closer to the "normal" baseline level under average doses.

We can argue that 1 pint of beer may help you to socialise in the evenings.
Because one's normal state of mind may overweigh the risks of striking up conversations with strangers for example.
But maybe this disinhibition is a result of the depressant effects of alcohol.
So not really a good example because it does not "sharpen" your perception of reality.

I'm not sure if this is a good point.
Because scientists consider hallucinogens to be a different class of drugs than depressants and stimulants.
I was thinking of blurring the lines between the drugs to talk about effects on mental cognition as hallucinations.

Heck, he will not even be effective at doing groceries halucinated!

I remember not trusting myself to walk home after some drinking.
Took an Uber.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Great points, Matthew, I think you improved on the initial point:

I think most people regard hallucination as perceptions that deviate heavily away from what's actually going on in our environment.
If the majority perceives the same "reality" and measuring instruments like cameras or thermometers measure the same thing, many would regard that as a grounded perception of the world and probably would not use the word "hallucination" to describe that perception.

Exactly.

Yeah, two things from your message:

  1. Mild VS Heavy: Yeah, mild levels of altered consciousness are quit different than "heavy", which is what Leo mostly refers to
  2. Alcohol VS psychedelic: yes, the two are very different. There are good use case for low levels, but at high levels alcohol also makes you far less effective (while dangerously leading you to believe you're more effective)

Did you know the guy, Matthew?

I've never gotten into this psychedelic thing, albeit I know they're getting more popular and "hip" among various founders, entrepreneurs... And various progressives :).

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Probably because of where I am living that psychedelics are not too much in the culture.
So I don't know Leo Gura.
And I haven't read too much into psychedelics too.

I am more into nootropics.
I have been taking MindLab Pro and Performance Lab for Sleep for a few months.
What I like is that there are no noticeable, negative side effects and feeling of dependence.

I don't really actively follow anything though.
I only review reviews once in a while.
As you said,

  • I try it out
  • It works for me
  • I use it when it helps
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