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LSD and endogeneous serotonin

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  • #16
    Ah! yes. The friend, acquaintance or stranger who can talk you down from that strange and dangerous place. These people are a manifestation in our plane, always warmly remembered, of a higher being. At least that's how mine seemed at the time...
    You see, it's... it's no good, Montag. We've all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

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    • #17
      Philip K Dick had a bit of a love affair with LSD - though he always maintained 'officially' that he kept it separate from his work.

      Reading some of his stuff - it makes you wonder. There was even a story that Mr Dick claimed to have gotten a lot of his inspiration via a laser beam from space. Go figure...
      Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

      Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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      • #18
        Dick's work was overall more influenced by all the speed he took to get as many books out as possible and cover his wife's credit card habit. Or so the legend goes. Again, I'd say that acid probably influenced his aesthetic more than his creativity. Certainly seems to have helped him to hear voices and stuff.

        As much as I love the man's body of work (even the damn books where he wrote the same basic thing over and over with slightly different characters during the aforementioned speed period) I don't think I'd want to achieve his "brilliance". Who here I wonder, if they could get there by taking enough drugs, would do so at the price of the undeniably miserable life he led?
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        • #19
          No, thanks. It's like Nandrolone for physical training: If plaudits and personal glory are the prime motivations for one's work, I think one must be a bit of a toss-pot, really. Everyone likes their efforts to be recognised and rewarded, naturally, but when it reaches the stage of needing to use dangerous chemical boosting to achieve the goal, it seems to get a bit sordid. Is that a bit sanctimonious? It ties in with my concerns about how we define 'success' which I've blathered on about elsewhere. In literature, what is 'successful'?: The fellow who writes a deliberately mass-market-appeal formula novel and makes a million quid; the author who is moved to write a book from personal taste, and sells lots; or the one who spends ten years researching a magnum opus and then sells a hundred copies to the ultra-niche market? I tend towards the latter two - The Wallace & Gromit creator (God, I'm highbrow today...) Nick Park has said that he would rather have the characters mean a lot to a few people, than a little to a lot of people. Which is an attitude I like, because it reverses the current rather nauseating trend to equate 'success' with 'lowest common denominator mass appeal', which may be intellectual snobbery on my part, but what the hell. The drug-boosted thing also somehow detracts from the 'purity' of personal effort (he says, sipping at his strong cafe noir) - in both imaginitive creativity and physical exertion (the relationship between which has not been much explored, I feel) the 'naturalness' of the exertion is somehow integral to the 'quality' of the result. Probably. Hmmm...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by devilchicken
            Philip K Dick had a bit of a love affair with LSD - though he always maintained 'officially' that he kept it separate from his work.

            Reading some of his stuff - it makes you wonder. There was even a story that Mr Dick claimed to have gotten a lot of his inspiration via a laser beam from space. Go figure...
            Then there's the story of the pink ray that cured his son.

            If PKD hadn't been quite such a good writer (to the bone), then I don't know what might have become of him.

            The story of how he woke up one day to discover that the World, underneath the present day facade, was frozen forever in First Century Roman Palestine, has the power of a mystical Gnostic Christian revelation. But (I suspect) only in his imagination and hands.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Dead-Air
              Dick's work was overall more influenced by all the speed he took to get as many books out as possible and cover his wife's credit card habit. Or so the legend goes. Again, I'd say that acid probably influenced his aesthetic more than his creativity. Certainly seems to have helped him to hear voices and stuff.

              ...
              The Paranoia seems to have totally overwhelmed the man at times, like the time he seems to have made a dash for Canada under the impression that the DEA were out to assassinate him, or was it the FBI? It was some shadowy US Government conspiracy, anyway.

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              • #22
                HArummph!

                Looky here, you non-medical types. There's three major neurotransmitters that affect mood and perception; seratonin, norepinepherine and L-dopa. Picture these three as a triangle. Too much of one or another, it warps the triange. Same for too little. Excess seratonin that is not taken up by neuroreceptors becomes an irritant, causes more seratonin to be produced, and thus more irritation without sedation. We call this "clinical depression". Too much norepinepherine, you get mania or scizophrenia. Too much L-dopa, catatonia and so forth.

                LSD and other hallucinogenics temporarily violently alter the transmission and reception of the 'big three' and other neurochemicals, thus altering perception.

                I recommend a high fever instead. It's legal, cheap, and produces more pretty colors.

                Sounds to me like a bunch of amatuers playing hit-or-miss with the chemicals. I do a lot of work with polysubstance abusers, and my basic line is "if you have to do anything, stick with the pot". Doing anything long-term or regularly that is not air, water or some food is going to lead to long-term negative effects.

                Oh, yeah- Nicotine addiction is the hardest of all. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you've tried to quit and failed (like me) go scream at the Human Genome Project to hurry up and find the 'addiction OFF switch'. It's the only sure cure I see on the horizon.

                As for hallucinogens, if you must do some do your best to do so in a safe environment to avoid bad trips.

                So there.
                Miqque
                ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

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                • #23
                  Phil Dick wasn't the only influential sf writer who did much of it on speed. Others I know are still alive and kicking. He just overdid it and was unlucky, I suspect. No question that Phil was a speed-freak rather than an acid-head. It just sounded more respectable to say it was all done on LSD rather than amphetamine sulphate. That said, the halliconogenic qualities of sleeplessness are well-known. As I said somewhere else, staying awake and drinking lots of coffee can get you some of the delusions if not all the hallucinations of an acid trip. The fact is that there is no experience to match that of LSD in some form. But I suspect it would be very hard to write on. Dick's output was not high, compared to that of many pulp writers, any more than mine is. Max Brand, who swanned around in an old Italian palace for a good deal of his life, was a lot more productive, for instance. Edgar Wallace turned out 'the weekly Wallace' on nothing more than strong tea. They warned him it would kill him, mind you, and he ignored the doctors. Much as Balzac was the precursor of Too Much Coffee Man. Dick, again in common with similar personalities who are often writers (L. Ron Hubbard, for instance) was also a great self-inventor. It was no surprise that he became interested in the nature of reality. It was unlikely he was still in touch with his own.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                    ... Dick's output was not high, compared to that of many pulp writers, any more than mine is. ...
                    Quality, not quantity, Mr M. :)

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                    • #25
                      Exactly. I was once asked why I wrote novels in three days. I said I COULD do it in two, but I needed the third day for the polish. :)

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                        Exactly. I was once asked why I wrote novels in three days. I said I COULD do it in two, but I needed the third day for the polish. :)
                        I dunno why, but that reminds me of an old story involving hamsters and duct tape; something about "On the third day, the hamster explodes..."
                        :roll:
                        Miqque
                        ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

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                        • #27
                          We rarely use duct tape on hamsters, these days.

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                          • #28
                            ?

                            Whaat the f**k is endogenous serotin!
                            \'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
                            Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'

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                            • #29
                              The levels of neurotransmitter 5-HT naturally produced by one's own body.
                              Low levels of 'endogeneous serotonin*' tend to cause depression and general miseriness.

                              *It's got a lovely meter to it, that phrase. Sort of meaty. :)

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                                The fact is that there is no experience to match that of LSD in some form. But I suspect it would be very hard to write on.
                                I've written a bit under said influence, but it sure wasn't prose. Another legend is that Jim Morrison wrote "The End" while tripping on 30 hits of acid. One wonders if he was also looking at a Psych 101 text book at the same time.
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