Saturday, January 21, 2012

What LSD Does: A New Understanding

First off, I haven't done LSD in well over a decade, so don't get the impression that I'm some acid head, babbling nonsense.  However, I would consider myself an expert on the experience given the quantities I ingested in the late 80's and early 90's.  So, what is this experience that so deftly defies clear description?  I've figured out why/how everything looks different, how we see sounds, and seemingly hear voices from another world...

It's really quite simple, LSD causes a sensory shift. When 'tripping' the world has a different look to it.  Everything is the same, but somehow is different, like a different mood or lighting.  What has changed is actually the primary colors.  In normal life, the primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.  From those, all the others are made.  When hallucinating, the primary colors shift and become purple, green, and orange.  As such, the world looks very different though nothing has really changed.  This shift does not limit itself to light perception.

The shift effects our hearing as well.  the shift also sends part of the our audio sensation to our visual perception.  This results in the phenomena described as 'seeing sounds'.  This couldn't be more accurate; that is exactly what's happening.  A portion of the signal being sent from your ears to your brain is redirected to your visual cortex and interpreted as visual input which in turn provides us with that special experience.

Our ears are sensitive to the highest frequencies we can perceive, i.e. if our senses present us with a set range of perceivable frequencies, our hearing lies at one of the leading edges of that range.  Therefore, when the perceptual shift of LSD occurs, our hearing begins receiving input from a 'reality' that we previously could not perceive.  I postulate that it is from this new 'reality' that the voices sometimes heard emanate and that they are in fact real communication from some other being, be they subconscious utterances from humans or some other life form all together.

As for the patterns one sees in all things when hallucinating, that is our mind at work.  One of our primary functions is pattern recognition.  The 'new' input we are interpreting as a result of the shift is fundamentally different from that which we are accustomed.  As such, there is what one might call noise or parts of the signal which our minds don't know what to do with.  This in turn gives our minds some extra freedom of interpretation which manifests in our brains filling in the 'gaps' so that these patterns appear - i.e. so that things look logical/make sense.

That's the story so far.  Now if I could only find some LSD...

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