I think the psychedelic path is sometimes the easiest path

Es­ti­mated reading time is 3 min­utes.

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.


Path: cover of the March 25, 1966, issue of Life magazine about LSD.

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.”


Path: photo of Beckley Park in England.

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 . . .


Path: fractal image that resembles a psychedelic mandala.

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!”


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