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About BrainDance

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  1. Drugs! Turn on, tune in, drop out...

    Our bodies don't deal with atropine or scopalamine very well at all, just throwing that out there. Datura inoxia is mostly likely not going to be your friend, natural isn't always better. If any genus of plants could be called evil (not saying any plant is evil, I'm just using that as a hypothetical) it would be the nightshades. There have been some horrible deaths linked to those plants, especially if you consider all the tobacco deaths. Then again eggplants and tomatoes are some of my favorite foods, and some people have apperantly gotten some insight from the deleriant state nightshades bring out, those that didn't die in the process. Of course, a lot of the "magic" in natural psychedelics comes from their complex mixture of different alkaloids, something man hasn't yet been able to truly replicate. That's why marinol just doesn't work like weed, it's not nearly as effective. The reason is, marijuana is full of a massive number of strange and not very well known cannabinoids. That's why different strains have drastically different effects. You have the "main psychoactive" THC, but THC on it's own seems to cause a lot of problems and anxiety in people. Then you have CBD, which on it's own doesn't seem active, but combined with THC it somehow does, and hundreds (if not more) other "minor" alkaloids. It just wouldn't be that easy for mankind to recreate that, and even if we could why bother? Nature has already done a great job of it.
  2. Drugs! Turn on, tune in, drop out...

    This is probably often the case, not always but I'm sure it's happened many times. Just putting this out there, if a person takes LSD, and the resulting experience triggers a sort of latent spirituality in them they didn't think they had. The person goes on to find themselves, it would appear that the drug was the catalyst for this, so wouldn't then the experience at least be a "good" thing? And not all psychoactive drugs cloud the mind, (although I know for this discussion we're mostly talking about so called "intoxicants.") Piracetam for example, is a nootropic that helps with memory and all that, it has the opposite effect and it appears to be pretty benign and nontoxic. At the end of the day though it's still your own thoughts. The thoughts and experiences someone has on an acid trip weren't inside the couple hundred micrograms of powder, it didn't create them, they were there all along.
  3. Anti flu vaccine vid from DI

    Smile, that sounds like a dangerous generalization. Why would you think that for the whole area of modern medicine? Modern medicine has done some great things, and for the most part has its heart in the right place, although there are some specific areas that are flawed, most of them are outside the medical sciences (and that's the problem right there.) You mentioned psychopharmaceuticals, and you have a great point with those. My field is clinical psychology, and most of us do think that the psychiatrists are too happy to jump into prescribing the latest SSRI or SNRI. I (and pretty much all other psychologists) see that, lots of those drugs have their place, but they'd might as well be sugar pills at best without lots of therapy, in fact therapy would be by far the most important part of working towards someone's mental health. Many of those drugs do have a point though, there's a pretty good reason to believe, when you understand the role serotonin seems to play, that inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, resulting in more serotonin, could lead to a decent "mental environment" so to speak to to work on some genuine psychological healing for someone with depression. The problem comes with pharmaceutical companies getting greedy, so many times perfectly fine SSRI has been phased out and replaced with a metabolite or analogue of it. The metabolite does literally the same thing, but the key is that since it's "new" they get to get a new patent on it, and therefore more money. And a lot of times new drugs have been made just for the sake of making new drugs (with the same motivation.) Paxil comes to mind, that drug is far too powerful an SSRI, I have never seen an SSRI lead to so many manic states in my life. It follows the old cliche' that you can have "too much of a good thing." That's not to say though that all psychopharmaceuticals are bad. Many of them are not fun things to be on, but antipsychotics have done a lot of good as the lesser of two evils. Thank God they stopped the brutal "therapy" of the lobotomy. Sure they have side effects, but the final result is, they're effective. They're very effective, and they reduce symptoms that could be terrible. Dealing with schizophrenia or another psychotic illness isn't something anyone deserves, and most pharmaceutical chemists, psychologists (even though we have better priorities in my opinion, putting therapy ahead of drugging someone up) and psychiatrists are there to help these people, and we've done a good job compared to mankind's past. The same can be said for other drugs. If I have a horrible allergy attack that fills my eustachian tube, I'm going to take claritin and pseudoephedrine. And you know what? Give it 45 minutes and my hearing will start coming back, my nose and face will be less red and itchy, and I'll have a much better day. And those two things aren't going to give me any nasty side effects.Of course, if I took too much claritin, and especially too much pseudoephedrine, my heartrate is going to go up, and I'm not going to feel that great. Again, too much of a good thing. I know a narcoleptic girl, and things are very hard for her. Amphetamine used to be prescribed for narcolepsy. And as I'm sure most of us know that's a terrible drug and has a whole host of side effects, but still it's better than being unable to function because of her disorder. I'd like to be able to say ginseng root helped her, but it just didn't. Thankfully, because of the work of some great chemists out there, working from their incredible understanding of the human body, a new drug was developed, Modafinil. Modafinil works to keep people awake without being a true "stimulant." No increase in blood pressure, it doesn't make it impossible or even challenging to get to sleep normally, she really hasn't run into any side effects. The only effect is that it keeps her from randomly and uncontrollably falling asleep, and is really a godsend. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry has worked to make this a very expensive drug, but it's not modern medicine that's at fault, modern medicine lead to this great breakthrough, it's the companies that market them. So it seems unfair to jump to conclusions and generalizations like that without looking at the whole picture.
  4. Birth Control/Retention

    Technically, yes. I think it's important to note that the odds of this happening are incredibly low. Since pre-cum comes from the prostate, and nothing from the testicles ends up in precum (in an ideal situation) it is very unlikely a person would get pregnant as a result. I'd guess that a more likely situation would be perforations in the condom, it's really that minute of a possibility. Of course, there is a chance that some "leftover" sperm or who knows what gets mixed in with pre-cum, so yes it's possible. Still something that I wouldn't sweat, it's something you want to be careful about but not a big issue really. I mean no matter what there are those possibilities, no matter what birth control you use. There's always a chance of failure, but sometimes to enjoy life you need to accept the risks, nothing wrong with that, it's just the way it is
  5. Anti flu vaccine vid from DI

    You are definitely right, and I did get a little carried away. I think I did sort of project the people who are influential when it comes to this issue onto you. I do worry that a lot of people are easily swayed without doing extensive research. So many people will read a book or two, or read a website from a source that's completely biased (on either side of any issue) and instead of extensively looking into every possible source of information they can exhaust, they settle there and consider themselves as having done "research." This is neither here nor there, it's not an issue any of us can do anything about, and could easily go into a huge rant (I think it would lead to me going on about public schools not teaching logic or critical thinking.) And sadly, a lot of people digest dangerous information, but again this isn't your fault or my own. There are people at fault though, and I think I projected some of that on to you. There are certainly people out there giving out dangerous information that do have some sway. And the vaccination issue always brings Jenny McCarthy to my mind. She gives out dangerous information, that's influenced a lot of parents, and shes in no position to give out this advice. Even if hypothetically she was right, the way she comes to these conclusions is completely flawed, shes a stubborn person, and stubborn people always spread dangerous information. I'm glad at least that everyone here seems interested in talking about issues like this, and no one is aggressive about having the only "truth" of the matter. I think my opinions are clear, but it's okay for other people to have different views, as long as innocent people aren't hurt. And I'm afraid theres a lot of that happening.
  6. Anti flu vaccine vid from DI

    The 1918 epidemic fact isn't actually true at all, the homeopathic practitioners reported low mortality. They never came out and said there was none, not at all. Even that claim though, it's really shaky. At the time no one really looked into their claims, there wasn't any verification, and most people seriously looking into the issue admit that it looks like the key word there is "reported." They reported a low death rate, but that doesn't make it the case. Most homeopathic practitioners I've met admit that it's highly suspect. And second, this whole vaccine hysteria is terrifying to me. It's okay to have distrust in modern medicine, and you yourself can take whatever course of treatment you want for whatever. When children don't get vaccines though, other children die. This is already the case, the fact is vaccines do at least vaccinate against the disease they are meant to (I think most people are worried about other effects, because you can't honestly argue that polio just happened to vanish do to shear coincidence.) Some children can't have their vaccines, either they just don't take or they will have problems with it and the doctors have identified. So they go through life with no immunity to some of these terrible diseases. That's okay though, up until the past decade and a half or so, maybe a little less, those kids were protected by herd immunity. The simple fact that, if one kid doesn't have immunity to something, but all the other kids do, there isn't really much of a way for him or her to get it. In the UK for example, a lot less children have been getting vaccinations recently. And there has been a death count, of these children who couldn't get their vaccinations (not to mentions the ones whose parents refused to get them.) It's drastically higher than it used to be, and while I can't say theres true evidence that it's the drop in vaccinations (correlation doesn't equal causation and all that) it looks to be the case. I mean, medicine isn't making up these deaths. These kids really died, and more of them will die. I'm sure your heart is in the right place, and there has to be something for that. I just worry that this is incredibly dangerous advice, and it's not something for people to toy around with if they don't have a strong understanding of the issue. It's tricky stuff, and I just worry that the people who are really pushing for this, when all is said and done the blood will be on their hands. I mean honestly karen, can you afford to be wrong? I don't mean to be offensive, this is just far more serious than people realize. There are innocent victims at risk.
  7. Origins of Taoism

    I think this is an important point, the whole idea of "ism" is a pretty Western concept, if not entirely a Western concept. The idea of religion as most people view it is also entirely different (and that's why, for example, "dharma" doesn't directly translate into English or other Western languages.) That said we are mostly, I think, Westerners here. The vast majority of our psychology is pretty ingrained into us, and people from other cultures do think in different ways, not just small cultural nuances but the very makeup of "Western" or "Eastern" thought is drastically different. I can't practice yet anyway, but when I finish up my program (clinical psychology) I wouldn't be able to effectively give therapy to a person from such a drastically different culture. The methods are just so different because the thoughts and behaviors are different. Neither is better than the other, it's just like blue eyes and brown eyes, different yet equal. So it's only natural for us to translate not only words but concepts into ways that are more understandable to us. A westerner practicing an Eastern philosophy will always be different than someone from another culture, you can't get rid of your "western spin." Another thing about "Taoism," going back to the authors of the "founding texts" so to speak (again I think the view of even having founding texts is something very Western of me) they didn't even identify with each other as being from the same philosophical school. They were only teaching their understanding of concepts that had evolved in China over a great period of time, I'd imagine from before the first settlements on the Yellow River. It just so happened that eventually people started to "get" the unified message in those texts, brought together a lot of great teachings. Still, that's not even so unified in Taoism, and it seems like it's mostly up to the individual practitioner, at least how it's been taken in the West. I don't think I can agree with you here. I think it's very important, no matter what you're undertaking in life, to understand how it came to be. For example, in Christianity I've always been a proponent of people reading the non-canonical texts, the Gnostic ones mostly. Not because I would think people would accept them as canon, but understanding those texts helps you understand the way people thought at the time, the political climate of the time, the desires and wishes of the people, what was important to them. If you understand these things, what you do accept as canonical will become a far more enriching experience. Understanding the history of Tao and it's practitioners/teachers, especially when these great people existed in a time and place very different from our own, I think is very important. When you understand Taoisms place in Chinese culture back then, how it fared with Confucius and his philosophies, and the flow of Taoism (non-peaceful times I think? Not to simplify, but from my understanding it seemed to be peoples choice when they weren't comfortable with their state) versus Confucianism. I think that message says a lot, completely content with every aspect of your life and state? Sure, just go with it (Confucius.) Are you uncomfortable with the way things are going? Do you see any flaws in the way people are doing things? (Which I think is always how people feel) then, maybe you should look for something else (Tao in this case.)
  8. Know-it-all

    I've only been here and incredibly short time, and I have to say I've noticed this as well. One one hand it doesn't really bother me though because I think it's an inevitability, but its still a little upsetting when you see too much of it. It certainly isn't everyone. I think most of us would agree that we're still in the very beginning of whatever "path" I guess you could say we're traveling on. I know I am, I've barely taken the first step. And I have a feeling I'll be here, at the beginning, for an incredibly long period of time. Still, hearing people talk about their "insights" being "on a higher level" for example, makes me cringe. And these same people seem to be trying to wax philosophic, trying to show off their "higher minds" but it doesn't sound like they are actually saying anything. Maybe some people need to take the time out and try and go over where they started in Taoism? Whatever happened to "A great nation lowers itself" or "When no credit is taken, accomplishment endures?" (sorry OP if I'm falling into the trap of quoting things I don't know the meaning of, I can't say I know for certain exactly what these quotes mean. I just felt they seemed relevant.) To me people acting like that just seems to go against Taoism. This is just how I feel though, obviously I can't know, I can't say what someone else is practicing is wrong, I can just say how I personally feel. My personal philosophy is to approach everything like I was an amateur, because I always will be. And if I convince myself I'm a master of something or above others in something I have a feeling I'll be dead wrong. And that would only set me back. At the same time, I think this is an aspect of the Internet. Every forum on the Internet has people acting in ways they would never act in real life. Trying to put on a specific image. I think it has something to do with the "Online Disinhibition Effect." All that said, it looks like the vast majority of people here are level headed people just trying to further themselves, and help others do the same thing. That's why I'm here and what I'm looking forward too, not hearing why other people are "too enlightened" and beyond the level of plebeians like me.
  9. I guess for my introduction I'll just explain where I'm at and how I got here. I'm pretty sure I'm a philosophical Taoist, I'm really not into any religious aspect of it in the slightest. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that, and I am a religious person myself, it's just that that religion isn't Taoism. My first exposure to Taoism happened a few years ago, I'm working on my degree in psychology and for some reason psychology professors seem to gravitate towards eastern philosophies. One of my professor has always worked in "Eastern psychology" into his classes. Not really about any specific religion, philosophy, or dharma, but just the eastern way of though. Although, he did seem to gravitate towards Buddhism. Later on I took a class in Tai Chi and meditation both with the same professor, who also happened to be a Clinical psychologist. He's a Taoist, and I learned about the basis of Taoism from him. A detailed explanation of how Tai Chi changed my outlook on things would be pretty complicated, and I can't objectively explain the entire thing. I'm not sure what to make of the entire idea of "chi" and its relation to Tai Chi, but there certainly is something going on. I just can't really define it. I work in a library as well, so putting books away one day I found the Tao Te Ching and started flipping through it, I always like to research things fully so I read through the entire thing, analysed it, moved onto the Chuang Tsu and did the same thing. The ideas in them seem to make a lot of sense that isn't just common sense, I don't really believe Tao is some conscious deity like energy, (and I'm not sure if anyone does) but it just seems the obvious cause of a world full of products, there has to be some force moving energy from big bang to heat death (if that's the correct theory so far, I'm not a physicist, I can only have a laypersons approach) and clearly humans have tried to make something more of their egos, bring them outside of the natural flow in a vein attempt at having value. My ideas on Taoism aren't fully formed yet or accurate, and I know I've got a long way to go, but that's where I'm at. I'm not really on board for any alchemy or magic, and personally don't think much of that really meshes with the philosophy. Why try and achieve physical immortality if you hold a philosophy that clearly says to accept death? I don't have anything against people who do though. And so that's where I'm at, Taoism seemed to me to be a sensible philosophy that goes beyond stating the obvious, and doesn't go against an objective scientific worldview. The philosophy has had a lot of insight in it that's really helped me out, and hasn't seemed to be corrupted by Western commercialism (and I hope I'm not the first to do that!) So hopefully I haven't completely missed the point of Taoism.