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Sex, Religion and Drugs

Brain

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In the «sex-drugs-religion» triad, the conflicting component is religion, long and fanatically. All of the world's religions restrict us from walking down the paths to getting high. Bans are imposed for the following reasons: it is a sin; drugs were invented by the Devil; it is far from the purity of consciousness and the experience of union with God (fundamental to every religion). Neurobiology, however, reports, «it's all bullshit».

Close your pale legs, wear a skirt below your knees, and fear God
It's pretty clear what's wrong with drug prohibition. As soon as an honest accountant who believes in God (a church-going accountant) starts using heroin, he will crawl into a brothel to pawn his employer's securities, his family icon, and his wife's kidney. But if he takes a timely look at the cross under the starched collar on his chest, the temptation to become a junkie might disappear.

Thus, religion acts as the ideal abbot to save the accountant's soul, and society as a whole, from going to pawnshops and dubious Tor references. But what's wrong with sex?

Unlike drugs, the sexual sphere is not under total prohibition and will never fall into this category.

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One modern scientific theory calls sex the true cause of religion.

«Be fruitful and multiply», as the first commandment of the Torah says, for that is what it was all about. Following this logic, the original strategic goal of any religion is to make men and women love each other under the flags of reproduction and without any perversion.

To do this, it was enough to invent ethics and quality porn. However, starting with the folklore of various cults, religion did approach the topic of sexuality seriously. And it did not approach it empty-handed, but armed with dogmatism.

To this day, the Abrahamic religions are the most obsessive. Together, they have produced an incredible number of absurd recommendations.

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Catholicism at one time regulated permissible positions (blowjobs, doggy style, and standing positions were absent there). Judaism forces women to perform the ritual of ablution in the mikveh after completing their period and men after ejaculation (this also applies to those who have touched a dead man, are ill with gonorrhea, and so on). A Muslim who has a harem of concubines cannot afford to have group sex with them, even if everyone wants it and loves each other. Homosexuality is out of the question.

On the one hand, most religions glorify sex as a sacred act, because life is sacred and must go on. One can cite at least the fact that one of the canonical books of the Bible, the Song of Songs, is demonstrated in the erotic genre and narrates the joy of matrimony.

On the other hand, a great deal of taboo and detailed absurdity reinforces the associations of «sex is guilt» and «sex is shame». There is some incomprehensible contradiction in this endeavor.
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If we equate religion with the concept of church, it is easily dismissed: the classical institution of church seeks to preserve its power, and the potential of a mind free of «dogmas» would be enough to overthrow that power. But we know that religious practice is not reducible to either the regulation of society or moral education, and the category of the «divine» exists without the Pope's commentary.

In the realm of creation theory, this inconsistency of concepts can also be resolved, but only in a «perverse» and absurd way: by separating the divine nature of man from his sinful flesh.

In this case, life-giving sex becomes the link. And while, for example, unorthodox Judaism maintains that sex is the sacred portal between body and spirit, most denominations, especially Christianity, view sex as a functional but dubious way to prolong mammalian life. The most powerful argument in this war is the concept of the Fall.
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In early times, the story of Adam and Eve was not interpreted as the fall of woman and man. Moreover, antiquity, with its cult of celebration and poetization, was ashamed of the legend of the magic serpent and the two naked asexuals and treated it allegorically.

Eden - as an ideal state of mind, a world of Platonic ideas
.
Exile - as the loss of the golden age and the purpose of life. The legend of the lost paradise was interpreted as anything but a punishment for lust. This was the case until the end of the fourth century, when the star of Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis appeared in the theological-literary «sky».
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/how-st-augustine-invented-sex
Harvard professor Stephen Jay Greenblatt, in an article with the promising title «How St. Augustine Invented Sex», analyzes in detail how and why the Christian theologian creates the concept of sin.

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As an extremely sexually active man, Augustine already at an advanced age embraced Christianity and took a vow of monasticism. He was also an ambitious writer-philosopher, which helped him to make a spectacular and proving case for why anyone would want to give up orgasm in the name of God.

To do this, he «turns» the Book of Genesis 180 degrees and treats the expulsion from Eden as a credible event, and thus as a real retribution for a very specific act.

In doing so, he radically changes the traditional view of a number of beautiful concepts: he interprets passion as lust, the body as a stigmatized evil, and sex in the name of pleasure as a morally unacceptable activity. The interpretation caught on, clinging to culture and upbringing, and to this day causes a great deal of controversy and indignation.

Sexual ecstasy is analogous to divine ecstasy
«Spirituality, sexuality and the brain are linked by passion. Lovers have mystical experiences», — states Daniel J. Amen, a neuroscientist and neuropsychiatrist who was one of the first to use CT scans of the brain in psychiatry. He made this comment during a roundtable discussion in which a Harvard psychiatrist and four esotericists (including a Catholic, a Jew and a member of Islam) had made the same comment.

He also adds a little quip that lovers, to induce a state of romantic ecstasy, often use the same means as religious leaders: music, candles, poetry and communion. Thus Daniel J. Amen summarizes the admirable thesis «sexual ecstasy is analogous to the divine», which he has advanced based on neurobiology research in the field.

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To prove his theory, Amen cites scientific studies of the right hemisphere of the brain, in particular the temporal lobe, which many scientists associate with spiritual experiences. Its unofficial scientific name is the «God zone».

For example, the neuroscientist and philosopher Michael Persinger, believes that the ability to experience oneness with the divine came about as a consequence of brain evolution. Moreover, it also has a specific neurotransmitter - temporal lobe transients (natural electrical bursts in the temporal lobe).

In the course of Persinger's experiments it turned out that when the desired area is stimulated by a low voltage pulse, its owner experiences a religious revelation: he feels unity with God or his actual presence nearby.

Daniel J. Amen also refers to studies of Finnish scientists who have recorded a more revealing result for us. According to their conclusions, the outer side of the right temporal lobe begins to show high activity not only at the moment of spiritual experience or under the influence of low-frequency tension - it wakes up at the moment of orgasm in women. Moreover, all other brain areas decrease their own activity at this moment.
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Thus, sexual ecstasy and divine ecstasy from the point of view of our brain are phenomena of the same order (at least in women).

The connection between mysticism and orgasm begins to strengthen at the preparatory stage, at the moment of foreplay. Modern neurobiologists, who have studied the brain up and down, agree that lust is not an ordinary feeling.

We know where and how fear, anger, or joy are formed, all of which, in one way or another, involve the amygdala, which is responsible for specific emotions. At the moment of arousal, impulses go to another part of the brain, the ventral striatum. In other words, this is the «reward center» that is activated both during orgasm and in the moment of gastronomic pleasure.

Falling in love in general is extremely difficult to trace with the help of scientific instruments. On tomograms one can see how «active potentials» arise in people in love in the dorsal striatum, an area of the brain that is especially active in long-term drug addicts.

The striatum is part of a larger part of the brain, the basal ganglia, associated with the processing of movement, feelings, and pleasure. One of the main stimulants of this area is dopamine. Inseparable ties with this interesting neurotransmitter are
«butterflies in the stomach» or, more precisely, «butterflies in the dorsal striatum» as well as cocaine.

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What is interesting is that during studies of the effects of cocaine on the body, this drug is treated with radioactive isotopes to track which part of the brain is activated under its influence. Only one area is illuminated on the screen: the basal ganglia.

The basal ganglia include the striatum, which, as we mentioned, is divided into dorsal and ventral parts. The latter contains the adjoining nucleus, or
«pleasure center». It is here that the circle of «lust-drugs-religious experience» closes.

A group of scientists from Utah State University conducted a study involving 19 Mormon church followers. In the experiment, believers initiated a religious experience by listening to Messiah speeches, reading passages of scripture, watching movies on biblical subjects, etc.

For purity of analysis, the researchers selected those participants in the experiment who rated their religious feeling as similar to their reaction to the worship service (ecstasy, peacefulness, and a sense of warmth). The fMRI imaging showed that at the moment of the greatest enthusiasm (the subjects pressed a special button), the area of the adjoining nucleus was activated as well.

Thus, our brain registers orgasm, drug-induced ecstasy, and religious feeling in a similar way and in the same area of the brain. However, the mystical experience described by St. Augustine (and he is not the only one) suggests a far more powerful effect than mere ecstasy or appeasement.

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Using Maslow's terminology, we are talking about «Peak experiences».

In this way the American psychologist identified the phenomena associated with a sense of fullness of existence, universal unity and consciousness of «absolute truth».

According to Maslow, the leitmotif of all spiritual writings is a metaphorical description of such states, created by those who have experienced them, for those who have not succeeded in experiencing them. «Peak experiences», first, are more often experienced by people who have successfully realized their personal potential; second, such experiences can radically change the worldview of any person; and, third, they bring one into a state of altered consciousness.

As you understand, these terms come close to the category «drugs as an experience of self-knowledge». Indeed, the main activator of «peak states» is psychedelics, which has been repeatedly confirmed by scientists and creative individuals from around the world. In addition, psychedelics are known to be used in many religious cults as mediators.

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Large-scale scientific research in this field boomed in the 1950s, then rolled gently into turmoil over the hysteria of the rock 'n' roll 1960s and briefly fell into oblivion.

Interest in the enormous potential of psychedelics found a renaissance in our time with the development of neuroscience, which, incidentally, came about thanks to these psychoactive substances. But of the whole spectrum of substances we are interested in only one, the main one in this «Pink-Floyd parade» — dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.

DMT has earned the title of the «main drug» as the only psychedelic that the human body produces on its own (by the way, we also produce other «drugs» — for example, endorphin, close to morphine).

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Judging from legalized human studies, the DTM trip is a reflection of the experience of St. Augustine, with references to the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the out-of-body travels of major-league yogis. Not surprisingly (at the prompting of Rick Strassman, M.D.), DMT has come to be called the «spirit molecule». Descartes called the epiphysis «the receptacle of the soul».

Thus, in order to know God, the Universe, and yourself, one must either go into serious spiritual practice or wait for the final results of the psychedelics research, followed by legalization, to reach the nearest drugstore.


Likewise, instead of a church service, one might go to bed with a heated partner, and vice versa. Also, you can go to a dealer you know, and fill your pockets with DMT or LSD. The main thing in any of these scenarios is to first perform an important sacred-drug-sexual ritual: to allow oneself to think bigger.
 

miner21

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Have you ever heard of stoned ape theory? Religion came from magic mushrooms
 

Brain

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Of course! In his book Food of the Gods, Terence McKenna describes this theory. However, I personally have little faith in this theory.
 

miner21

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Do you have a theory on how religion started? Maybe it just came from humans trying to make sense of the world?
 
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