THE GOD CAPSULE is the clever term applied to a hit of LSD in “The God Capsule: Can Psychedelics Prove a Biological Basis for Spirituality?” An article by Alexander Zaitchik (November 8, 2017), it addresses the psychedelic path and its effects of LSD on the human meat system. In it, David Nutt, co-director of the Beckley-Imperial College psychedelic research program in London, states:
“Our psychedelic imaging studies show a strong association between experiences of god and a breakdown in activity linking the posterior cingulate cortex to the frontal brain regions.
I am He as you are He as you are me and we are all together sitting on a cornflake waiting for the van to come.
Growing evidence suggests religious and other belief systems are inevitable products of the ways in which the brain works.
The posterior cingulate cortex integrates inputs from the senses, especially sight, plus inner sensations such as position-sense and time, in relation to the brains predictions or inferences. It is the master controller of ‘normal’ consciousness, so when it is switched off, another less constrained form of consciousness emerges.”
Definitely doesn’t sound like Mr Nutt has partaken of capsulized deity—the substances he is studying. Of course, I am inferring, and I often infer when reading about psychedelic because reading someone go on about the effects of alcohol who has never imbibed let alone been buzzed let alone been drunk is a waste of time. I apply the same to people discussing LSD and related chemicals.
I thought the term “God capsule” was familiar—that I had seen it years ago. My first thought was the 1966 issue of Life with the LSD cover story, but that was “Turmoil in a capsule.” Close but that wasn’t it. A search of the Internet via Google did not bring up anything relevant, so perhaps it’s newly minted. Either way, it’s a great term!
Nutt’s not so nutty after at all!
Nutt’s forthcoming book on psychedelic neuroscience describes his team’s findings that indicate mystical experiences are linked to reduced blood flow in the posterior cingulate cortex. This part of the brain, the upper part of the limbic node, is imperative in the creation of our sense of self/ego.
“Since most people believe in some form of god (sic), it is a social norm. I suspect spirituality isn’t located in a single brain region, but rather it emerges from a network change. Brain science tells us it’s time to put transcendence and spirituality, not politics and rituals, back into the heart of religious belief. Let the brain give religion back to god.”
Beckley Park, home to the Beckley Foundation Psychedelic Research Programme. I think both Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary would have been happy tripping here, but Ken Kesey might have found it too tame. (Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun. If the sun don’t come you get a tan from standing in the English rain.”
What’s it all about?
As I try to keep up with the world of science and its investigations into the world of psychedelics, I enjoyed the article. I also added a link to it to my Facebook page, where I added a humorous comment to the link.
Pleased with myself and the comment, I went back to the “God Capsule” article and posted an expanded version of my Facebook comment on the Comments section at the end of the article. Here’s my comment:
On my first trip 46 years ago, I took a rather large dose of psychedelics (two hits of acid—one from Boston, the other from San Francisco, reputedly 250-400 mics each—and a cap of supposedly synthetic psilocybin) and I sat in the snow in the dark in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania and looked AT a tree and then INTO the tree and I saw God and the tree was God and I asked God, “What’s it all about?” and God answered, “Goo-goo-goo-joob!” and I was enlightened …
FEATURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page was lifted from the article “Psychedelic Drugs Might Actually Tap into a Higher Power” by Madison Margolin on the Inverse website. This is the opening paragrpaph:
“Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a veteran psychonaut and founder of the Jewish renewal movement, once said: ‘To understand the depth of religion, one needs to have firsthand experience. It can be done with meditation. It can be done with sensory deprivation. It can be done a number of ways. But I think the psychedelic path is sometimes the easiest way, and it doesn’t require the long time that other approaches usually require.’ ”
To which I say, “Outasight!”