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View Full Version : A Snippit of My Research: confirm or disconfirm please!



WCH
03-16-2009, 05:42 AM
Okay! Done some interviews! Here's a thought to chew on:

Everyone I've interviewed thus far who does something he calls "alchemy" reports the regular use of psychedelics prior to developing interest in alchemy, and to some extent the use of psychedelics can be implicated in their development of that interest. What's more, without exception, they have all reported a decline in the frequency of psychedelic use after developing a regular practice, often describing psychedelics as "too violent," and that with alchemy they learned how to make subtle changes to consciousness.

Thus, a tentative answer to my research question ("what is the role of psychoactive substances in contemporary alchemical/spagyric practice?") would be that psychoactive substances, particularly psychedelics/entheogens/plant sacraments/empirogens, act as a sort of "gateway" into the practice, increasing a non-practitioner's receptivity toward the ideas of alchemy, and thus making it far more likely that he/she will pursue alchemical practice.

At the same time, it seems that powerfully psychoactive plants are appealing first experiments for novices, as it is incredibly obvious whether or not the transformation was done well/correctly. Salvia and Cannabis seem to be the biggest culprits here... people just getting into the practice seem to love to experiment with them, but often that experimentation drops off over time as they come to focus on other things. This simply reaffirms the above, that the psychoactives serve as a gateway into alchemical practice, rather than having a central role within it.

What say you? Is this accurate in your experience, or is it due to my horrible, unavoidable sampling bias?

Awani
03-16-2009, 09:29 AM
This simply reaffirms the above, that the psychoactives serve as a gateway into alchemical practice, rather than having a central role within it.

Well put. In my case I would have to agree. But the root/seed of my interest in alchemy was planted unconsciously before I ever tried cannabis, so it was always there in the back of my mind.

Good work!

:cool:

Salazius
03-16-2009, 11:27 AM
I tried a legal psychoactive plant (I say legal if any cop are watching, and it's probably the case), far after my beginnings in alchemical works.

For me, psychoactive plants are more of interest in shaman/spagyrics than alchemy.

kerkring
03-16-2009, 02:55 PM
Never tried any psychoactive plant, legal or illegal.

Dizardos
03-16-2009, 03:52 PM
I never used psychedelics and never will either. For me the use of psychedelic substances has no relation to alchemy at all and I would thus not consider it a necessary practice to open the 'gateways' to it.

What I would find more likely is that people who use psychedelic substances are the type of people who often are open to new experiences and thus are far more likely to accept alchemy as a serious topic.

Awani
03-16-2009, 04:06 PM
So far I think all views are correct!

It takes some form of unbiased mind to seriously study such a crack-pot topic as alchemy!

:D

WCH
03-17-2009, 12:47 AM
For me, psychoactive plants are more of interest in shaman/spagyrics than alchemy.Yes. Spagyrics is really what I'm studying rather than alchemy as a whole. That's why my research question says "alchemical/spagyric" -- thing is that nobody I've interviewed claims to only practice spagyrics, and at least one had never even heard the word before I told it to him, despite the fact that it describes what he does.

I would thus not consider it a necessary practice to open the 'gateways' to it. It's certainly not necessary by any means. But regular psychedelic use seems to foster an interest in those who weren't already interested, and to give a little nudge to those who are. You could easily have already been interested and gotten into it without psychedelics... but lots of people who wouldn't have otherwise been interested in it became interested after eating acid or mushrooms.