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Well you describe ethanol in such a way as to make me want to go out and buy some and drink it. It just sounds so lovely. As long as there are people who can defend it so eloquently I suppose it will continue. I just hope that the people I love aren't the ones who are smacked out on the highway by some drunk driver.

"Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that's one person every 50 minutes. These deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year."

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving

So keep on enjoying it... as long as it's not you or your loved ones being maimed or killed out on the highway I guess it's all good.

I don't trust people that don't drink. In vino veritas.

Though I can accept that some people just don't process alcohol well and drinking either feels bad for them and/or results in bad outcomes. These days many such people enjoy cannabis.

And yeah, the therapy industry standards for "alcoholism" are ridiculously stringent and unforgiving.

The mostly moral (only partly medical) crusade against vaping is a clearer and stronger and more hypocritical manifestation of American puritanism. The claim that "you're just trading one addiction for another" is particularly ludicrous medically (from a harm-reduction perspective)—but makes complete sense "morally."

"I was curious about this statistic because it seemed wildly exaggerated to me."

I've read that claims by advocacy group research and researchers should be discounted by 80%.

I’m not saying people should drive drunk, Art. Most adults drink alcohol, and only a small percentage have ever had a DUI.

If we’re going to stigmatize anything that can cause harm, there won’t be much left to do. We could eliminate all auto accidents by banning cars. We could eliminate many health problems by banning fatty foods. We could eliminate sexually transmitted diseases by banning sex.

Everything in life is a trade-off. There are risks to most activities - you can get hurt playing sports or walking up the stairs - but there are also benefits, or no one would engage in them.

\\"I’m not saying people should drive drunk, Art." - Michael//
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Alcohol is a drug, a central nervous system depressant, and the first part of the brain it affects are the parts that controls inhibitions. There is no such thing as drinking responsibly because it affects the part of our brain that causes us to act responsibly. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect this part of the brain. That is why from the very first drink alcoholics will go on a binge and keep drinking until they are totally inebriated... because the part of the brain that says "one is enough and you don't need anymore" is suppressed, and why people do stupid stuff under the influence of alcohol like drive drunk, or argue with policemen, or beat their wives, and why for mean drunks the more they drink the meaner they become. Stuff that we normally wouldn't do we'll do after we've been drinking because the inhibition centers of our brain have been affected.

If alcohol only affected the person who drinks alcohol I wouldn't care. Unfortunately that isn't the case. If someone could sit in their own house and drink till their liver turns yellow and they died of cirrhosis of the liver... I wouldn't care. That is exactly what our neighbor did. He died a couple of years ago and I never knew he was an alcoholic until after he died. His sister told me.

Families are torn apart by alcohol, husbands beat their wives and fight and scream and yell at them. Just recently a woman drove the wrong way down a road and had a head on collision and killed the people in the car she ran into, and it just causes untold misery. "Jul 30, 2009 Diane Schuler, Wrong-Way Highway Driver Who Killed 8 Had 10 Drinks, Was High" https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=8249454&page=1

And of course I know that prohibition doesn't work. Commercials convince us that drinking is fun and sophisticated and romantic and delicious and we should all partake and as long as there are people defending it and can write eloquently about how wonderful it is kids will start drinking and it won't affect them... till it does. Like the kid in New Zealand who killed a whole family of kids and now he'll be held accountable. Changed in an instant because alcohol is so fun and sophisticated and wonderful?

"An alleged drunk driver has been charged with 20 offences related to the horror smash in Sydney which left four children dead and three others injured.

Samuel William Davidson, 29-year-old, was allegedly behind the wheel of the out-of-control 4WD which ploughed into the group walking along Bettington Road in Oatlands, near Parramatta, last night at about 8pm.

The man, who was uninjured, was breath-tested following the incident and returned a reading of 0.150, three times above the legal limit." https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12305330

It only takes one time and then their whole life is changed. Reminds me of people who defend Pitbull dogs, and keep them in their house with small children, until their kid gets their face ripped off and then they say something stupid like "well it never happened before?" (Of course not because if it had the dog would already be gone.

So, after a drunk has killed someone and is locked up in prison, and it was his first offense, but that's okay because drinking alcohol is so fun and sophisticated and cool and romantic and he didn't mean to do it, and after all, "it was an accident."

I deliberately chose to start smoking 4 years ago for this very reason. Only a few cigarettes per day...

H.L. Mencken, Portrait of an Ideal World
From PREJUDICES: FOURTH SERIES, 1924, pp. 173–79.
First printed in the American Mercury, Feb., 1924, pp. 201–03

THAT alcohol in dilute aqueous solution, when taken into the human organism, acts as a depressant, not as a stimulant, is now so much a commonplace of knowledge that even the more advanced varieties of physiologists are beginning to be aware of it. The intelligent layman no longer resorts to the jug when he has important business before him, whether intellectual or manual; he resorts to it after his business is done, and he desires to release his taut nerves and reduce the steam-pressure in his spleen.

Alcohol, so to speak, unwinds us. It raises the threshold of sensation and makes us less sensitive to external stimuli, and particularly to those that are unpleasant. Putting a brake upon all the qualities which enable us to get on in the world and shine before our fellows—for example, combativeness, shrewdness, diligence, ambition –, it releases the qualities which mellow us and make our fellows love us—for example, amiability, generosity, toleration, humor, sympathy. A man who has taken aboard two or three cocktails is less competent than he was before to steer a battleship down the Ambrose Channel, or to cut off a leg, or to draw up a deed of trust, or to conduct Bach’s B minor mass, but he is immensely more competent to entertain a dinner party, or to admire a pretty girl, or to hear Bach’s B minor mass.

The harsh, useful things of the world, from pulling teeth to digging potatoes, are best done by men who are as starkly sober as so many convicts in the death-house, but the lovely and useless things, the charming and exhilarating things, are best done by men with, as the phrase is, a few sheets in the wind. Pithecanthropus erectus was a teetotaler, but the angels, you may be sure, know what is proper at 5 p.m.

All this is so obvious that I marvel that no utopian has ever proposed to abolish all the sorrows of the world by the simple device of getting and keeping the whole human race gently stewed. I do not say drunk, remember; I say simply gently stewed—and apologize, as in duty bound, for not knowing how to describe the state in a more seemly phrase. The man who is in it is a man who has put all of his best qualities into his showcase. He is not only immensely more amiable than the cold sober man; he is immeasurably more decent. He reacts to all situations in an expansive, generous and humane manner. He has become more liberal, more tolerant, more kind. He is a better citizen, husband, father, friend.

The enterprises that make human life on this earth uncomfortable and unsafe are never launched by such men. They are not makers of wars; they do not rob and oppress anyone. All the great villainies of history have been perpetrated by sober men, and chiefly by teetotalers. But all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs to terrapin à la Maryland, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity by men who, when the hour came, turned from well water to something with color to it, and more in it than mere oxygen and hydrogen.

I am well aware, of course, that getting the whole human race stewed and keeping it stewed, year in and year out, would present formidable technical difficulties. It would be hard to make the daily dose of each individual conform exactly to his private needs, and hard to get it to him at precisely the right time. On the one hand there would be the constant danger that large minorities might occasionally become cold sober, and so start wars, theological disputes, moral reforms, and other such unpleasantnesses. On the other hand, there would be danger that other minorities might proceed to actual intoxication, and so annoy us all with their fatuous bawling or maudlin tears. But such technical obstacles, of course, are by no means insurmountable. Perhaps they might be got around by abandoning the administration of alcohol per ora and distributing it instead by impregnating the air with it....

And then there is Keith Richards, who proves the addiction experts wrong!

Still rockin' into his 70s

Nice post, Michael!

I must say I an a much nicer person with a couple of alcoholic drinks---at least I think I am. My thoughts flow more freely and I don't censor myself as much as I do when I am alcohol free. I am much more of a conversationalist, friendlier, relaxed and more creative. As an alternative I suppose I could take a Xanax or other benzodiazepine. They affect the same receptors in the brain as alcohol. - AOD

Thanks for the Mencken quote, Roger. Great read!

I do not drink very often anymore after recently watching my brother become physically dependent on alcohol, which was terrifying to observe up close and in person, on two separate occasions. I spent hours trying to get him into a detox center unsuccessfully while he continued to drink in order to stave off withdrawal symptoms. I finally took him to the local ER and on the way he urinated in my car as though he thought he was standing in front of a urinal! His BAC was a 0.36. One or two more beers before I got him to the ER and that may have been the end of him.

His situation made me think of George Ritchie’s NDE where he saw spirits attaching themselves to drunks and compelling them to drink so the attaching earthbound spirit could continue enjoying drunkenness.

I got a whole bunch of beer that has passed its best by date and a lot of liquor collecting dust because I now associate it with the above events. I’ll probably drink again some day but for now I’m trying to be kind and generous and amiable like in the Mencken quote without the alcohol.

You know why people drive drunk? Because the part of the brain that tells them they are drunk and shouldn't drive is anesthetized from the alcohol. The part of the brain that says "this is a bad idea" isn't working and so they think they can still drive and eventually this person get in a wreck and sometimes there are innocent persons involved who are hurt badly and the drunk driver has to pay for it... and sometimes very dearly.

I'm just saying, let's lay the cards on the table. Liquor commercials say "drink responsibly" and I'm saying for a good percentage of people that's just not possible because it only takes a small amount of alcohol to start affecting the centers of the brain that tell us what is or is not a good idea are anesthetized.

There’s no denying that drunk driving is a serious national problem. But let’s keep it in perspective. In a country with 276 million vehicles on the road, roughly 10,000 Americans die in alcohol-related traffic accidents every year. This is about one-fourth of all fatal car accidents, and one-sixteenth of all fatal accidents in general (including non-vehicular accidents like slipping in the shower or falling down the stairs).

As many as 5,000 Americans die each year in auto accidents related to texting or cell phone use. The quickest way to reduce auto fatalities would be to convince people to stop texting behind the wheel.

In terms of all US fatalities, the two top killers are heart disease (650,000 deaths per year) and cancer (600,000 deaths per year). Both illnesses are correlated with lifestyle issues - diet, exercise, smoking. If we’re really concerned about living longer, we should concentrate on healthy lifestyles.

Does a healthy lifestyle mean teetotaling? If the alternative is alcoholism, then sure. But for most of us, *moderate* alcohol consumption may actually have beneficial health effects, especially on the cardiovascular system. And since heart problems kill *65 times* more Americans than drunk driving does, it’s at least possible that alcohol has a net positive effect on national health. (Possible, but not proven, since we don’t know how much our risk of heart attack or stroke may be reduced by moderate alcohol intake.)

Again, this is not to deny that the problems of addiction and abuse are very real. But addiction and abuse are possible in many areas - people addicted to texting cause car accidents; people addicted to unhealthy eating get cancer and heart disease and diabetes; people addicted to sex get (and spread) STDs; people addicted to prescription opioids commit suicide; etc. That's life.

Great post Michael, and a thought provoking one, especially the second half. I read so much spiritual material about how we should rise above the carnal pleasures; I'm sure that's easy to say in the spiritual world, but actually doing it in the physical world seems downright impossible. We need pleasure just to maintain our sanity in a world that's always trying to rise out of the gutter, only to be smashed in the face and thrown back in.

Another reason this post resonates so much is because for the past few years, I've been struggling with the spiritual implications of carnal pleasures. Being a man in his early 30's, I have a pretty strong sex drive. As I'm sure many people can attest, simply hoping it goes away, or praying for it to go away never works. I've felt guilty about it for years, wondering if excessive desires for sex and intercourse were really the intrusions of disembodied spirits who wish they still had a penis. Doesn't help that the spiritual world - via channeled material - seems to have that Puritan bent when it comes to sex and whatnot. I can understand not wanting embodied spirits to spend all their time getting drunk, high, and having excessive amounts of sex instead of fulfilling their life's purpose, but it seems spirits get annoyed at any kind of carnal pleasure.

After a lot of thinking and contemplation, though, I've come to the conclusion that if your 'vice' of choice - whatever it may be - doesn't harm anyone, affect your health, become the focus of your life, or interfere with your career or personal relationships, then it's probably just fine. Carnal pleasures are a temporary reprise from the world and its problems before the next round of dealing with what life throws our way, but they should always stay temporary. Trying to make them permanent only leads to misery.

All things in moderation. As an adult, provided what we’re doing isn’t harming others then as far as I can see it’s nobody’s business but our own.

Once it affects other people, the law is there to regulate it. Banning activities that are ‘human nature’ don’t result in the elimination of the problem, it just goes underground and into the hands of criminals. It then requires even more invasive and restrictive measures - alcohol (during prohibition) and drugs are good examples of the result of banning what people want for themselves.

"There’s no denying that drunk driving is a serious national problem. But let’s keep it in perspective......"

Excellent perspective, Michael. I would add that your points about cardiovascular disease, etc. are very salient in the debate on healthcare in the US. By my calculations based on the massive amounts of data available to me, 30% to 40% of healthcare costs can be tied to lifestyle choices, obesity being the most prominent.

So many people want to destroy the current healthcare delivery system in the US because they worry about the cost, especially for those who are in the middle to lower economic strata, but no one wants to look to the most obvious cost saving mechanism (which also improves quality of life); instilling healthy lifestyles.

This also reminds of the debate on gun control, with the anti-gunners not recognizing that of the 300 million or more guns in the country, very very few are used in crimes and, some are, in fact, used to prevent crimes and protect their owners.

It's just weird to me how large groups of people latch onto and thoroughly demonize one variable of an unpleasant phenomenon and then seek to eliminate it when the phenomenon itself is usually multivariant - and the demonized variable is often not causal.

It's like getting science and reason totally wrong.

\\"All things in moderation." - Paul//

For people who are addicted to alcohol there is no such thing as drinking in moderation. Your comment makes me think that you don't really understand alcoholism? It's like those stupid disclaimers at the bottom of liquor ads that say "drink responsibly."

I've explained it over and over again and it's like you don't get it or understand or just haven't bothered to read what I've written?

Drunks can't drink responsibly. If you are an alcoholic there is no such thing as drinking responsibly. And it's a lot more than just drunk drivers. Alcohol has ruined many a family. The people who are affected by having to live with a drunk is huge.

The effects of alcohol are almost always negative? Perhaps in terms of one's body, but drinking makes me feel great. Makes me more philosophical and I occasional post awesome stuff on facebook after drinking. It doesn't make me bad-tempered, or affect my cognitive abilities at all.

\\"It's just weird to me how large groups of people latch onto and thoroughly demonize one variable of an unpleasant phenomenon and then seek to eliminate it when the phenomenon itself is usually multivariant - and the demonized variable is often not causal." - Eric//
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I know prohibition doesn't work. It's been tried and it was a disaster. I'm not seeking to eliminate the drinking of alcohol, only to educate people before they drink it. Saying "drink responsibly" when we know that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and that it affects the brain and reduces the brain's ability to make rational decisions. The reason people drink and drive is because the inhibition centers of their brain has been anesthetized.

Wondering why a drunk person got out on the highway and killed 4 children is a stupid question. They did it because they were drunk and their brain was incapable of making any rational decisions.

Education! Education! Education!

Art

Here's an Atlantic article that argues for more stringent controls on booze:
"America's Favorite Poison: Whatever happened to the anti-alcohol movement?"
https://medium.com/the-atlantic/americas-favorite-poison-6f47302f25b1

"Education! Education! Education!"

But if alcohol makes it impossible to think rationally, as you say, then education isn’t going to help.

"For people who are addicted to alcohol there is no such thing as drinking in moderation."

Obviously. But most people aren’t addicted.

"I know prohibition doesn't work. It's been tried and it was a disaster. I'm not seeking to eliminate the drinking of alcohol."

You’ve said elsewhere that manufacturers and purveyors of alcohol should be held liable for any injury or damage that occurs as a result of drinking. This would have the effect of Prohibition since it would open the floodgates to unlimited lawsuits (whether meritorious or not).

"I've explained it over and over again and it's like you don't get it or understand or just haven't bothered to read what I've written?"

I think we get it. It’s just that you seem to equate drinking alcohol with being an irresponsible, reckless drunk. This seems like more of a caricature than an accurate portrayal.

It reminds me of that propagandistic movie "Super-Size Me," in which the filmmaker ate super-sized McDonald's meals three times a day and suffered serious weight gain and ill health. No one doubts that a steady diet of Big Macs is unhealthy. But the movie clearly meant to suggest that eating even an occasional Big Mac is a terrible idea. Fast food "in moderation" is different from bingeing on fast food every day, and arguments that blur this distinction are misleading at best.

\\"But the movie clearly meant to suggest that eating even an occasional Big Mac is a terrible idea." - michael prescott//
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Big Mac's aren't as addictive as alcohol. And after you eat one Big Mac there isn't something whispering in your ear that you need to eat more Big Mac's and if you do eat a prodigious quantity of Big Macs you won't go out on the highway and kill 4 kids.

Something just occurred to me: The Bible says that during the wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine. Furthermore, he drank wine at the last supper. If these accounts are historically accurate, then it seemed Jesus at least tolerated alcoholic beverages (but would probably have told people to enjoy them sparingly).

Just some food (drink?) for thought.

Michael,

Very good post. I agree with your reasoning!

Art,

Well, what are you actually proposing? Not Prohibition, so OK, what?

Drinking and driving is definitely a problem. Your words seem to imply, however, that a significant percentage of people who drink and drive (and end up actually causing accidents thereby) are having their inhibitions lowered and therefore "accidentally" end up behind the wheel plastered.

I have no doubt there is a certain percentage of people who get DUIs and/or get in wrecks fall into this category.

My take on the evidence, however, is that most people who drink and drive do so regularly. I.e., they are drunks who go to bars, get drunk, and drive. Some do so for decades and never get caught. Some do so and get multiple DUIs. Some kill or get killed.

The point is that, as with most things, there is a core group of people that cause the problems, and they are hard to deal with. They are also not the ones who are going to listen to your preachy comments.

\\"Art, Well, what are you actually proposing? Not Prohibition, so OK, what?" - Matt//
---------------------------------

Well, for a start, how about honesty? Eduction. Quit glamorizing alcohol as being romantic, sophisticated, innocuous, and saying "drink responsibly" when we know that alcohol is a drug. A drug that anesthetizes the brain and affects the part of the brain that controls inhibitions and tells us "don't do that!"

But as long as we got good writers who can paint the picture that drinking is so wonderful kids and adults will believe it and drink to escape reality, and a certain percentage will end up driving the wrong way down the expressway and killing people.

Alcohol is not good, not wonderful, and kills people. And there is a chance that if you do drink it you'll become an addict. Period.

"The point is that, as with most things, there is a core group of people that cause the problems, and they are hard to deal with. They are also not the ones who are going to listen to your preachy comments." - Matt

Yep. Like people that eat Tide Pods, people that grab rattle snakes and alligators by the tail and mess with them, people that have unprotected sex with total strangers and get horrible diseases, people that do dare devil extreme "sports" and break all their bones or get paralyzed or killed, people that inject drugs that have no idea of dosage, quality or even exactly what drug it really is an overdose and die...there is no end to human folly and the ways it is expressed. In the hands of irresponsible idiots, anything can be a deadly weapon and means of self-destruction.

When it comes to driving, IMO, old people are as bad as drunks. They're too old and stubborn to understand that it's time to hand over the car keys. Invariably, they have to have a crash before they are forced to stop driving. Young people are just as bad, believing that they are invulnerable and always being in a big excited hurry + being inexperienced behind the wheel.

So I don't see why alcohol gets singled out for being uniquely hazardous.

\\"They are also not the ones who are going to listen to your preachy comments." - Matt//
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Educate the young. Tell the truth. The lies that alcohol advertising tells should be tempered with the truth.

Alcohol ruins lives and it kills people. And then show them the grisly after effects of the alcohol related wrecks on highways and show them what alcoholism does to families. Show them people with yellow skin who are dying of cirrhosis of the liver.

My FIL was an old timey fundamentalist Church of Christ preacher. He said "if you never taste alcohol you'll never become an alcoholic." He claimed that he had never drank alcohol in his entire life. He died when he was 88 years old so he went his entire life without ever drinking or tasting alcohol.

You know ya'll needn't worry what I say or write because my experience over the last 67 years has been that no one ever listens to me anyway. It's not going to change one thing. Let's face it people love drinking alcohol! I read an article that said that agriculture and civilization all started because of beer and wine!

Did Beer Spur the Rise of Agriculture and Politics? Jennie Cohen

"The earliest farmers planted grains in order to brew beer for politically expedient feasts, according to a new study."

https://www.history.com/news/did-beer-spur-the-rise-of-agriculture-and-politics

Happy Valentines Day!

FYI, the negatives of cannabis use are being completely downplayed and overlooked right now, maybe worse than your (to my mind, not entirely wrong) concerns about alcohol, Art. A small but sizable group of people will go schizophrenic for life just from trying the stuff out. Many will have terrifying psychotic breaks that will last for varying amounts of time and will act in bizarre and humiliating, possibly dangerous ways. IQ drops for many users, memory impairments occur, and DUIs as well. This and more is in store for greater numbers of people now that cannabis acceptance is surging along with its potency. A lot of parents will see their children go from young people with lots of potential to lifelong dependents due to debilitating mental illness.

Of course, many more people will enjoy themselves quite a bit and a lot of people will make a lot of money. Because of this, the tyranny of the majority will rule and what I’ve stated above will continue to be denied or downplayed for the foreseeable future.

The best we can do is tell people and let them make informed decisions. I’d like to think more about all this from a paranormal angle. Aside from my comment above re: George Ritchie, has anyone encountered NDE or related material that bears on the question of substances and their role in our earthly lives?

I have found these German YouTube videos of extraordinary near death experiencers and people who have had out of body experiences. I don't know the name of this site as I don't speak German but these people describe experiences in length and detail and with such sincerity that I have not heard before in the American NDE sties. I highly recommend these videos. Here is one and you may be able to find others from that one. Don't miss these videos. You will be amazed at the reports and if you don't believe in a spirit world , you will after hearing these people report their experiences. - AOD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO1b1Xn5X-w

Art

I very rarely use alcohol myself as I never developed a taste for it. Far from not understanding alcoholism as you patronisingly suggest however I most certainly do having been in the receiving end of it all my childhood and being involved in voluntary activity which brings me into frequent contact with people who can’t or won’t regulate their alcohol intake and dealing with the damage it causes to their own and the lives of others. So you’re miles out.

I can tell you as a fact that prohibition doesn’t work. It doesn’t for drugs either. The fact is that if people can’t control their consumption of alcohol then they should abstain ideally. If they can’t, then when their behaviour and choices affect others the law should, and does, intervene. The vast majority of people who consume alcohol cause no problems for themselves or for other.

I agree with Philemon that the best we can do is to help people make informed decisions and intervene when they can’t or won’t.

Amos did you notice that when Sarah Friedrich was describing when she saw her husband's life and her life that it was all condensed into a single moment? A bolus of information. She is describing how information on holographic film is stored. It's interesting to me because it parallels and corroborates what physicists say and what the holographic universe predicts. I find that more than coincidental. It is evidential to me.

That is how holographic information is stored, like a bolus of information. That is how The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot describes it, past, present, and future all together as one. And recently there has been an online physics article about how everything is actually at one time.

"At its deeper level reality is a sort of superhologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously." And, "If a friend asks you to tell him what comes to mind when he says the word "zebra", you do not have to clumsily sort back through some gigantic and cerebral alphabetic file to arrive at an answer. Instead, associations like "striped", "horselike", and "animal native to Africa" all pop into your head instantly. Indeed, one of the most amazing things about the human thinking process is that every piece of information seems instantly cross- correlated with every other piece of information--another feature intrinsic to the hologram. Because every portion of a hologram is infinitely interconnected with every other portion, it is perhaps nature's supreme example of a cross-correlated system." http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

"the negatives of cannabis use are being completely downplayed and overlooked right now, maybe worse than your (to my mind, not entirely wrong) concerns about alcohol, Art. A small but sizable group of people will go schizophrenic for life just from trying the stuff out."

I don't know about that, Philemon. Lots of people use or have at least tried cannabis and not become schizophrenic.

I read the kind of studies that are used to support these politicized positions and mostly they are junk science. A certain percent of the population becomes schizophrenic (or some related psychotic disorder). Some of those people smoked pot. Some of them watched CNN. Some drank orange juice.

It's like all of the pharmaceutical ads on TV and the warnings of horrendous side effects they say the drug may cause. The reality is that within cohort taking the drug during the experimental phase, maybe one person presented with those symptoms and it had nothing to do with the drug being tested, but new laws say that if anyone in the test cohort presented with any symptoms, they must be reported as *possible* side effects. Usually these sometimes bizarre side effects are just conditions that would have happened to the patient whether or not they took the drug being advertised.

Okay Amos, I just watched the next one, Andrea Pfeiffer saying the same thing. She viewed her entire life all together as one... a bolus of information. That is what I'm talking about. Very holographic way of thinking about information.

You see, I have read and listened to so many NDEs that describe the other side like it is the original holographic film that our universe is projected from. It is just so obvious to me.

and it parallels what some physicists say about our universe. It is the definition of consilience.

Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram

https://www.nature.com/news/simulations-back-up-theory-that-universe-is-a-hologram-1.14328

It's interesting that Emanuel Swedenborg describes information or language on the other side in the same way. He says that each word the angels speak is so loaded with meaning that it describes a thousand of our words.

Swedenborg and the Holographic Paradigm

http://www.swedenborgstudy.com/articles/science-math/mt88.htm

Art,

Back in the 1980s, the youth were educated about alcohol--a lot. I was one of them.

We learned about alcohol in health class. It was definitely called a "drug," and we were told of the dangers and health hazards of drinking. In detail.

There was an all-school assembly in which we were shown a video from MAAD that gave us plenty of images of car wrecks, etc.

There was also a flurry of PSAs on TV about drugs and alcohol. "This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?"

Unless all of this kind of thing has disappeared (I doubt it), then youth are still being educated.

Personally, I never took a drink until age 22.

I have had two siblings die of alcoholism - a particularly horrible way to die - and have several others in my family. I gave it up entirely and am, to put it mildly, unenthusiastic about drinking.

To focus on the damage it does to alcoholics is to minimize the damage it can do to people who drink occasionally, those who get drunk and have accidents, who harm or even kill other people in accidents or when they get into fights, people, especially women, who are sexually assaulted by men who prey on drunks, people who rob and beat up people who are drunk who may not be alcoholics. And you don't have to be an alcoholic to develop diseases from it, cancers, heart disease, etc. An excellent book to read on the topic is Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People And Yours By Harold Johnson, published by Regina University Press.

I'd oppose trying prohibition again but I'd favor making it a lot harder and more expensive for people to get drunk and prosecuting people who commit crimes while drunk with enforced sobriety.

I like the idea that the universe is a daguerreotype, though you never hear anyone talk about that. Actually, I just thought of it.

"Lots of people use or have at least tried cannabis and not become schizophrenic." -Eric Newhill

That's absolutely true. The majority of people will not become schizophrenic from trying cannabis. The majority will be able to smoke even the strongest strains and be fine.

However, many will experience brief psychotic episodes and the rare exception will become schizophrenic. I've encountered a number of anecdotes to this effect. They are anecdotes, I confess. However, it has been scientifically established that for a small subset of people who are genetically predisposed, they will frequently experience temporary psychotic episodes and some will develop schizophrenia.

I consider myself among those so predisposed. Having tried cannabis on a few occasions I've had varying experiences, one included an incredible OBE that included some of the hallmark aspects of an NDE. However, some experiences were outright terrifying and I feared for my sanity for the duration. In one episode I heard terrifying voices and even experienced visual phenomenon. My heart raced for hours. On another occasion I had a thought, attempted to speak, and would begin hearing myself speak on a delay - as though my thought process and speech process were echoing over one another, melting into one another. It is hard to describe. I used very, very little on all occasions. The sources were always different. It was not "laced" as can be attested by others who obtained it and used it. I'll never try it again.

However, I recognize that just because I and others will have these bad experiences, does not mean that all people should be denied the opportunity to make their own choices and have their own experiences. I just know that there will always be some who will walk away changed. Maybe for life.

\\"I consider myself among those so predisposed. Having tried cannabis on a few occasions I've had varying experiences, one included an incredible OBE that included some of the hallmark aspects of an NDE." - Philemon//
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I have smoked marijuana exactly 4 times in my life. It was when I was in college, when I was about 19-20 years old. I did it because I wanted to fit in and be accepted. The very first time I tried marijuana I had a very strong euphoric feeling and felt like everything was right with the world, which strangely enough I have read similar things in several NDE descriptions. The next 3 times I tried marijuana I felt nothing and didn't like the feeling of smoke in my lungs. All it did was make me cough and I thought to myself, "this is stupid" and decided I didn't like it and haven't done it since. That was the end of my experimentation with drugs.

Later on in life, when I was much older, I actually had 2 fairly powerful mystical and profound mystical or transcendental experiences which I don't believe were caused or induced by any drugs? Those mystical experiences changed my whole perception of the world and why we are here. It was almost like I had an NDE without actually having an NDE? In the second mystical experience I actually felt that same euphoric feeling that I experienced the first time I tried marijuana and I felt that everything was okay and right with the world again.

Philemon,
Having a freak out type experience after consuming strong cannabis is not unheard of in the least bit. I have had it happen to myself. However, that is not the same the same as becoming psychotic for life. Instead the freak out wears off when the THC in you system decreases to a certain level.

You are trying to say that for those people who become psychotic for life, and who used cannabis, having the freak out experience permanently scarred their psyche and left them chronically insane. By what mechanism would that occur? Is there any research that explains how that would happen?

I'm not calling BS on cannabis being capable of causing an unpleasant experience under certain conditions. I am calling BS on the notion that an unpleasant experience can become permanent. You're going to have to explain, step by step, the process of going permanently insane via a bad cannabis experience. I don't think you can.

"The very first time I tried marijuana I had a very strong euphoric feeling and felt like everything was right with the world, which strangely enough I have read similar things in several NDE descriptions." -Art

Like you, I used the stuff mostly in order to fit in while in college. People would have it and offer it to me and I figured what the hell. The first numerous times nothing at all seemed to happen. However, in the OBE, I left my body, flew above a building, saw light pulsating in all living plants (including individual blades of grass... the effect was similar to fiber optic decorative grasses) was overcome with awe, saw beings of light floating high above where I was (and which I was separated from by an invisible barrier) and from which I felt I received a "download" which told me, explicitly, that "Everything is perfect as it is because everything is heading toward perfection and will be perfect. You are all loved beyond measure. You are all immensely honored for being willing to incarnate into this world. You are all incredibly brave for doing so. No matter what the appearance, everything is completely fine." This is, of course, a paraphrase and fails to capture the total euphoria and awe that was coursing through my whole being at the time. I then saw my body down below and experienced a quick descent where I was sucked down into my body through the top of my head. I spent the next several hours in ecstacy, attempting to tell people on campus about how "we're all perfect and everything is perfect and all is well - isn't it wondeful!?" etc., and looking like a total nutjob. Fortunately a friend took me into her car and drove me away from campus and hung out with me until the euphoria wore off. That was a GREAT experience. I'd use the stuff every day all day long if it would take me there again. However, the three or four times I used it after that were negative experiences, some of them amongst the most negative experiences in my life.

I don't know what to make of that experience. I want it to be true. It has kept my mind open ever since.

"You're going to have to explain, step by step, the process of going permanently insane via a bad cannabis experience. I don't think you can." -Eric Newhill

You're right, I can't do that and I'm not going to try. Interested parties can do some googling and they'll see I'm not entirely fabricating the idea. One of the things I've found as I've been on this spiritual journey investigating all things weird is that the effort to have third person perspective science confirm my first person experience seems to be a lost cause. The effort keeps us trapped in this awkward position where we pretend to not be a subjective being investigating a subjective world and self.

As I wrote above in my response to Art, I tried the stuff three or four more times after my euphoric OBE. If I had the mindset I have today at the time one bad experience would have been enough to turn me away from it, however, I wanted to be "objective" about it - so even though I was taken on one of the most horrifying experiences of my life I subjected myself to more horror two or three more times after my initial negative experience.

That's all I have to say on the matter.

Philemon,
Not to beat a dead horse, but feeling like you could have gone permanently insane and actually going permanently screwed up beyond ability to function insane are two entirely different things. Being permanently crazy is a hell of a thing. I mean when you it see up close and look into it, it defies reason or anything that can be understood.

IMO, it's so far out there that people sometimes want to be able to explain it away in safe terms; e.g It was the drugs! It was child abuse! It was pornography! It's the decline of religion!

Yet, regardless of what is on the increase or decrease, a certain proportion of insanity is always present in the human population.

"But wisdom is justified by all her children."

Huh?

"But wisdom is justified by all her children."

Other translations of that passage are here:

https://biblehub.com/luke/7-35.htm

Given the variety of interpretations, I'd say the meaning is obscure. Probably it means something like, "Wisdom can be found in both gluttons and ascetics, as long as their hearts are in the right place."

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