hoffman
GOLD Member since Feb 2007

hoffman

stranger
Location: Shanghai, China

Total posts: 23
Posted:I am reprinting a column by Teafaerie, which recently was printed on May 12, 2009, in www.erowid.org regarding the author's experience in technical and performance breakthroughs in fire spinning and flow arts while under the influense of entheogens. I agree with much the author writes and believe that entheogens or psychedelics work in the area of spinning at least, by allowing our minds to rise above the old habits we have developed in our minds and muscles from performing the same or similar movements over and over again when spinning and allow our minds and body to behave and respond like that of a beginner or a little child (like a Beginners' mind). When we are practicing new moves it is sometimes difficult to get our heads around how the new movement should work because we have entrenched neuromuscular pathways from doing similar movements and are therefore have mind block how the new move can be done. When we are little high from LSD for example, our minds are no longer limited by our old habits and consequently can sometimes just do the new move quite easily, almost naturally.

Its a bit long, but well worth the read.

Cheers,


Hone Your Own Flow
teafaerie | Musings | Monday, May 11th, 2009
When Im on psychedelic drugs, Im much worse at most of the things that I try to do. Im worse at tying my shoes, for instance, and Im worse at keeping track of time. I suck at operating electronics when Im stoned, and at finding large objects in small pockets. Im bad at remembering what I was just thinking or saying, I can scarcely read printed text, and making sense of subway maps is entirely out of the question. The dire warnings about the operation of heavy machinery are well founded, as are the tough laws against attempting to drive a car.

On the other hand, there are a few things that Im better at when Im high. Such, in any event, is my consistent perception. Importantly, sober observers tend to agree with me, and video records made at various altitudes confirm my suspicions.

Im active in the fire spinning and flow arts community, which means that I like to set things on fire and swing them around. Sometimes the thing is a hula hoop or a big staff, other times its something more like a baton or a small ball on the end of a chain. I mostly dont practice with real fire, of course (for which sobriety is emphatically recommended), but I practice quite a bit. I do it every day. I know what I can do and I know whats just barely out of my reach, and I can state with complete confidence that Im noticeably more awesome at twirling things around on, say, a touch of acid than I am when Im stone cold sober.

This is assuming that all conditions are nominal and I can rally my focus to give it a good go and what have you; but the effect is fairly consistent, tested over maybe 100 experiences in a wide variety of sets and settings. It doesnt require a whole lot of drugs. Theres a point of diminishing returns, obviously. Sometimes I just like to take a little bit. A good +1 on ye olde Shulgin Scale is enough to give me an appreciable edge. I think it has something to do with time dilation, though I dont think that this is a complete explanation. I do occasionally get this sort of Bullet Time effect where I seem to be watching my tool swing around in slow motion, and I have plenty of time to pluck a falling object out of the air without quite having to rush.

I had this practice for a long while and spinning became a real trip anchor for me, and eventually also something like a sail. Accordingly, I started hanging out with more spinners and attending related events, which is kind of how I met my best friend Seuss, with whom I spent a few months at a skill toys retreat in Thailand and co-founded a flow arts school in LA. As a result of all this our house has become something of a crash landing pad for itinerant flowbos on the international fire-spinning circuit, so I get a chance to talk in depth with quite an impressive cross-section of the subcultures superstars. In the beginning, I was surprised by the percentage of top-tier performers who would cop to having made enormous breakthroughs in their arts on psychedelics. Now I kind of tend to assume it, unless Im told otherwise. Its by no means the rule, so please dont think Im suggesting that all or even most flow arts practitioners use drugs. I know plenty of straight or straightish spinners who are truly amazing, though many of them are way into yoga or some other integrated physio-energetic practice in addition to spinning.

The ecstatic dance community reports similar phenomena. Almost everybody has a story about the time they finally clicked into the trance, and nine times out of ten the experience involved some kind of psychedelic or empathogen. What they tend to say about it always sounds vaguely Eastern to me, with people talking about Chi and feeling in tune or in harmony with their tool, or even with the Universe itself. Some of them speak of a mysterious energy field that seems to both control their actions and obey their commands. Is this perception just a hangover from our Star Warssoaked youth, or is there something to it? For sure a sense of unity with all things is an almost hackneyed psychedelic clich, as is the impression that one is suddenly possessed of extraordinary skill, knowledge, or good fortune.

Another well-worn trope of the psychedelic experience is the perception that events seem to mysteriously constellate themselves around the vagaries of whim or will, or in accordance with some underlying congruity between the individual and her environment. Carl Jung called this phenomenon synchronicity, and he thought it to be objectively true, whatever that means. He found that it often occurred when a patient was unusually inflated, or at a particularly critical phase of therapy.

My personal experience with synchronicity, manifestation and repetition of pattern as related to psychedelics is far too bizarre to elucidate in this forum. Id lose whatever shred of credibility I might hope to cling to if I told you half of the less impressive stories in my exceedingly outr collection. Im not just talking about opening up to the right pages in books and little parlor tricks of that nature, either. The repetition thing is particularly interesting to me. For instance, I happened to eat apricots and almonds at the peak of my very first candyflip, and Ive been randomly offered both foods together on no less than ten subsequent occasions, all while under the influence of the same combination of chemicals. The stranger holding the bag of trail mix always looks at me kinda funny when I suddenly burst out laughing and cant seem to stop. Ive given up trying to explain it to them. But I always accept the munchies. Its sort of a tradition.

Yeah yeah, I know. Were pattern-recognizing machines. Thats what we do. I was one of those kids who read Illuminatus in high school and I thought the number 23 was following me around for a while, right up until I decided to make myself obsessed with a different random number on purpose. Lo and behold, the new number starting appearing everywhere in my life. Just like any number would if you happened to be especially programmed to notice it. One of the things that drugs do is goose the button that says This Is Important! This Means Something! even when the situation is totally trivial. For sure this is part of whats going on here. Tough to pick it all apart, though.

I think enhanced pattern recognition is a big piece of the puzzle, actually. According to several friends (ahem) high up in the field, a lot of computer programmers do their best work with just a little bit of an edge on, too. I once had a friend who got his PhD in mathematics. In order to do this you have to *discover something new in math*. I can still remember him sitting on the floor of the rec. room on half a hit of acid, shuffling and
reshuffling pages of numbers, trying to pick the whole pattern up in his head and turn it sideways so he could see it from a different angle. This might also explain why some musicians find that psychoactives enhance their art. And indeed I hesitate to speculate about who would be left holding their statuettes if they started stripping folks of their Grammys and whatnot on the grounds that some of the past winners made use of performance-enhancing substances. That being said, in my experience many tripping musicians are rather like drunk musicians: overweening, underprepared, and incompetent. Except when they arent.

On June 12, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis pitched a rare no-hitter against the Padres in the opening game of a double header in San Diego. He claims to have been under the influence of LSD when it happened, although he did not reveal that part of the story until many years after the fact. He had forgotten that it was a game day until after hed already dosed. Apparently he was in the groove and success was inevitable, even though by all accounts he pitched a pretty wild game, walking several batters, dodging imaginary line drives, and almost hitting a couple of guys.

Psychedelics have been associated with the stimulation of the linguistic function in more than one context. I myself have had mixed luck attempting to amuse the muses in this manner. Writing is definitely a flow thing for me, though, and while its sadly true that most of my high-flung output is pure crap, what I still think of as the best thing Ive ever written was produced on several grams of P. cubensis, straight upstream of consciousness, all-in-one-go, with almost no cross-outs or editing. (You can find it at mammafesta.tumblr.com and judge for yourself.) At other times, I couldnt complete a sentence on an eighth of mushrooms if my life depended upon it. Its not all that reliable, but when it works it works.

It goes without saying that plenty of users never experience anything remotely like this at all. I just find it interesting that so many of the people whom I bring it up to seem to know what Im talking about. Ive heard some fascinating stories. Certainly the commonality of these themes is well borne out in the literature.

Then of course theres anti-flow, which is when everything goes haywire and you cant do a damn thing right. Yes, it does happen. Lets not even talk about it, though.

So whats going on here? Is it a Chi thing, like a surge in The Force that I grew up wanting to believe in? Or is it something more akin to having a faster processor speed and a better connection? Is it the result of some kind of perceptual shift, like time dilation, increased visual acuity, or super-sensitized kinesthetic awareness? Is it a concentration thing? Is it just the placebo effect? Is it immersion in the Tao or some more Jungian organizing principle? Is it magic? Is it an illusion? Is there a difference? The debate flows on.

It really is a thing though. If youve never had it happen to you, try dancing more.


spirituality can be seen as just intiution.....

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear,...

Total posts: 4693
Posted:it is a bit too long, will read when im not assignmenting, definitely sounds interesting though!

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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FireTom


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Total posts: 6650
Posted:hmm that has been a damn whole lot of words trying to explain why spinning on psychedelics is enhancing - concluding with asking whether it really is.

Thanks for mentioning that these "eye" (or better: brain) "opening experiences" were also established by people without the usage of substances - other than that I'd recognize it as a pure advertiser.

However. In my perception and understanding it is about a higher computing rate or better: being less prone to distraction.

Synchronizations (sad to put it this way) happen all the time - out of us being aware of it. We're simply too preoccupied as to recognize that in fact every small moment of our existence is made from the same synchronism - we're so busy evaluating all the time and so little in the present moment that we're missing a great deal of that what is actually happening around us.

Another great deal is fading away as we're growing up and try to find our way in this world.

For example: have you ever noticed that everything seems to be moving, or has sort of a "liquid surface" when tripping? It's been believed to be some sort of a "visual"... fact of the matter is, that everything IS moving ALL of the time (on an atomic level) - it only would be so distracting, that we simply blur it out, in order to get where we want to go. I guess newborns are still able to perceive "reality" - until they recognize "okay, that's freaky, but it's the way it is - so let's get over it and move on"... similar to when they explore and get aware of their bodies "wow yeah, here I got 'hands' and there I got 'feet'... now what?"

However, I'm drifting into length. For all my life I knew that the conditions I personally experienced when "high" would also be accessible without the substance, the trigger, the "switch" and I do encourage you to find that alternate route.

As to "being moved by an external power" - this is one reason I do not enjoy myself going on (trance) events anymore, where (quite a number of) patronage are high on substances.

If you'd get to feel which kind of forces are at work there - not to speak of "see" - you would know what I mean. Not judging at all... I'm more like a child who's going "woooooow" (as in "holy crap") - only evaluating that these are not the realms (and beings) that I feel particularly comfortable with anymore.

Sometimes I got compliments for the creative way that I'm dancing, when on such event (it's kind of a martial arts dancing style) and I keep nodding "thanks" (thinking: "if you'd know, you'd know - but trust me, you don't really want to know")

So, yes - the use of entheogens may enhance your "performance" - at the same time you're inviting something that will sit on your lap for quite some time after that (much like a parasite). Not saying "good" or "bad" only saying

a) you can do (even better) without them
b) you should know

shrug
meditate


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Couple of things:

First, the so-called performance enhanced experience disappears when the drugs do. So, one would have to keep taking drugs to keep up that level of performance. And from the authors experience, not ever trip increases performance. Some, apparently consist of anti-flow where everything goes haywire. Then there are tolerance problems, which for lsd and psycilocibin are at least ten days.

Secondly, I think it's like Fire Tom suggests.

Originally Posted By: Fire TomWe're simply too preoccupied as to recognize that in fact every small moment of our existence is made from the same synchronism - we're so busy evaluating all the time and so little in the present moment that we're missing a great deal of that what is actually happening around us.

Third, there are a number of ways to explore what teafairy calls the Chi thing. Personally, Id recommend reading Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugene Harrigel. And of course there is that other great classic, Indian Club Swinging" by William Jackson Schatz.

Fourth, Id suggest that which is beyond "knowledge" cannot be known "through knowledge". The state induced by the psychedelic substance is just another form of "knowledge".

And finally, spinning "fire" while out-of-mind on psychedelics, good grief, are you serious???

Hope that helped.

smile cheers




If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I just learned the reverse weave. No big deal except I've been spinning for around 10 years and therefore had severely entrenched forward weave patterns burned in the body/mind.
Breakthrough? stone cold sober and a small dose (5 mins) of Nick Woolsey. Does this make Nick and entheogen? Or possibly it's Bali that has the same effect!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:you're in Bali? Still?

But Nick could well end up on the list of Poienthogens.. mind you!

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali, Australia

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Ya, THe first retreat went so well Nick has run a second one.. today's our last day. And for me, Bali has gone so well I'm staying till August. Once upon a time you could get entheogenic omelettes here apparently, special mushrooms.. but now its very cleanskin here...kind of nice actually, lots of travellers but no hazed out gaggles of stoners...

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Stoneperformance enhanced experience disappears when the drugs do. So, one would have to keep taking drugs to keep up that level of performance

nope.

we're not talking about an enhanced physical ability whilst "high" but making mental breakthroughs which become solid in the mind.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:simta, you obviously missed point four wink

Fourth, Id suggest that which is beyond "knowledge" cannot be known "through knowledge". The state induced by the psychedelic substance is just another form of "knowledge".


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:well i dismissed it because i don't think it's right.

"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:hmm, Stone there is some misunderstanding somewhere...

first the experience stays because it's not a matter of the mind. the memory is stored in the muscles. maybe not instantly accessible, but definitely accessible. one wouldn't have to take more - or even drugs again to get back to the point.

thus it is not about "knowledge" and I would oppose the theory that "the psychodelic subbstance is just another form of "knowledge"".

However I'd recommend anybody who wants to "try this at home" to read thoroughly into the aspects (side) and (after) effects of psychodelic drugs, before attempting to go down this road.

Certainly these states can be attained 'naturally' - without a 'switch'/ substance... which is what I'd recommend, when looking at the "backdoor" of psychodelics.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Originally Posted By: simtawell i dismissed it because i don't think it's right.

Well thanks, why don't you think it's is right ?

laugh3 next thing you will be telling me you have free will.

Fire Tom, there is a misunderstanding somewhere...

Simta says its not about an enhanced physical ability, but making mental breakthroughs which become solid in the mind.

You say, it's not a matter of the mind because, the memory is stored in the muscles.

My proposition is you will not make any lasting breakthroughs on lsd or psyclocybin, the chemical in question.


My suggestion is stick to watching smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Thanks for making me aware that on this one I'm not disagreeing with you but with Simta... redface

... apart from that, how much of an "expert" would you call yourself in the use of entheogens? just curious.

Cause I mean, hey - different people do have different experiences on the same substances - I experience that every day with those on medic... errrm... meditation... often wondering where they go and especially where they're coming back to... wink

Originally Posted By: StoneMy suggestion is stick to watching smile

There is no second meaning to that, or is it "trolling", Stonie? wink

peace hug peace


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Understanding of poi theories can be advanced in that state because of a) a lack of distraction, b) enhanced visual aid through hallucinating the patterns and c) the disposal of rigid thinking... lsd in particular will mean you may start to apply things you know in new ways quite simply because it speeds up how quickly you pick up and drop ideas, you can hold onto something if you choose to as well, practically becoming obsessive over a particular motion.

I spin better straight, but there *can be* advancement, though I think its mostly for intermediate-advanced level spinners.. beginner spinners won't get a lot out of lsd.


I am not pro drugs, for the record. I do believe they can be used positively but rarely are they due to the extremity of the war on drugs pushing those that dont agree with it to believe practically the opposite. If you are going to take drugs go research them realistically using a range of resources, try find some that are unbiased in either direction, read biased reports and compare them with one another to try get a realistic view.

Hallucinogens can be especially dangerous due to their effect on your ideology, I know a few people that've picked up some dangerous ideas in their quest for understanding.

It requires a SYSTEMISED approach. Look at the reasons you're taking things, the intoxicants will prod you with reasons why you should be doing them but they're almost always wrong. Don't get the idea that use is 'just a phase' because who knows when the start and end time for a phase is?

I am not going to go deeply into my views on entheogens in a public forum as I don't feel its right to do so with the amount of misinformation around... if anyone would like to talk to me about it on a one on one basis in which I can actually know who is reading what I type then I'd be happy to engage in further conversation, but there is too much danger my words can be taken out of context and applied in combination with a number of ideas and chunks of misinformation that I disagree with.


hug

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Fire Tom,

Fire has an amazing affect when people take psychedelics, so perhaps they are better off watching.

The answer to your other question would be PhD wink


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I didnt really read the OP properly... but were we were talking about practice and not fire performance I thought...

I would not under any circumstances condone the use of fire while intoxicated to the level that psychedelics bring.


hug

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Stone
My proposition is you will not make any lasting breakthroughs on lsd or psyclocybin, the chemical in question.


there is living evidence which contradicts your proposition.

the reason i dimissed your earlier point is because understanding how poi works in your head does transmit to better spinning.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Originally Posted By: simtathere is living evidence which contradicts your proposition.

the reason i dimissed your earlier point is because understanding how poi works in your head does transmit to better spinning.

Living proof of an hallucination .lol.

Personally, I think teafairy was on to something with the Chi thing. If you want to become a great spinner, then you have to go beyond the illusions of the mind. If you dont know what that means, then try reading something like Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugene Harrigel.

Remember there is no spoon. And may the force be with you smile


cheers


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:no hallucination.

there are probably many people on the board that could confirm that they have seen/had it happen to them. most people though would never want that to be known on this board due to the quite judgemental nature of people on here with issues associated with drugs.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Wot, no hallucinations? Id ask for me money back.

I think you are dreaming if you think taking hallucinogenic drugs will improve your spinning, long-term.

You can suggest that because people dont agree with you, it must be due to the judgemental nature of people on here about drugs, but you would be wrong.


Ok, I'll just add that personal experiences, from when I was young and silly, left me in no doubt that it caused me to loose coordination big time.



EDITED_BY: Stone (1243896162)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:I do agree with Simta, but also agree this is not really the appropriate place to discuss it!

I believe this is an all ages POI forum, and that one should be cautious about public discussions encouraging illegal substance use, no? Thats just good common sense.


There are other places more suitable , in my opinion, for a good engaging debate on the use and potential of entheogens as performance enhancers.


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost, Canada

Total posts: 1247
Posted:I do agree with Simta, but also agree this is not really the appropriate place to discuss it!

I believe this is an all ages POI forum, and that one should be cautious about public discussions encouraging illegal substance use, no? Thats just good common sense.


There are other places more suitable , in my opinion, for a good engaging debate on the use and potential of entheogens as performance enhancers.


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Stone
Ok, I'll just add that personal experiences, from when I was young and silly, left me in no doubt that it caused me to loose coordination big time.

just because you haven't had that experience doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

did i say substances would be a regular part of my spinning regime? or have i simply stated that in a certain circumstance i have been witness to someone having a breakthrough moment which improved their ability to spin considerably, this ability carried through beyond the high and they condensed a years worth of practise into a moment.

i've also talked to many people who have had/seen similar situations.

it is because of peoples attitude towards these substances that does colour their viewpoint, you see no way this could happen because you haven't seen it happen and of course no positive could come out from taking an illegal substance.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:The breakthroughs I've experienced tend to be tech breakthroughs... I don't think you'd get far working on the basics or even basic concepts... its been about applying the basics in new ways.

A new advanced concept is rarely going to leave you.

The quality of the spinning varies... sometimes the execution is downright rubbish and sometimes it can be quite good and I know this because of video. When it is rubbish Its usually due to it being a totally new concept and that always looks rubbish when I first start playing with it anyway. But thats only referring to coordination.

Is my personal experience being refuted? Are you telling me its misguided? If so... based on what evidence? I could provide you with bucketfuls of anecdotal evidence from the time that I finally busted the buzzsaw flower right up to line isolation combinations I haven't seen anyone else do yet...

At this point I refer to my above post for the disclaimer that was contained within it.


hug

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