Improving Long-Term Hedonic Tone

Defining Hedonic Tone

If we take “hedonic tone” to mean the general level of pleasure you derive from everyday activities, then we shall soon realize that hedonic tone is indeed the filter through which you come to evaluate your life and every event that happens in your life.

Considering hedonic tone on a 1-10 scale, if we take 1 as being “little or no pleasure”, then we will see that people with a low hedonic tone will find life to be a struggle. Their main focus will be on “getting things” or “fulfilling conditions” in order to improve their low hedonic state. The lower the general hedonic tone, the more “things” will be needed, the more “conditions” will need to be met, before reaching an acceptable hedonic level (if at all).

Pause for a moment and consider the things you do or think about every day in order to raise your hedonic tone — much of them often desperate and seemingly impossible goals, such as “get X amount of women into bed” or “make Y amount of money” or “get the job of my dreams”, and so forth. A low general hedonic tone demands far more of an individual before allowing itself to rise. This could theoretically lead to high achievement, but more practically it leads to ongoing frustration and perpetuation of low hedonic tone. The cycle is self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating, as more demands are made, many of which take a long time to cultivate in practical terms, and which do not deliver that level of instant gratification which our hedonic drives really respond to.

Let’s consider someone with a general hedonic tone of 10, which would be “deriving pleasure from all of the simplest things”. I know such people, although they are rare. I know a guy who says things like “Isn’t it great having a fish at work? Whenever I’m bored I just look at the fish and feel awesome.” This kind of mindset is entirely foreign to those with generally low hedonic tone, who are instead busying themselves with far more complex and often unattainable (in the short-term) goals.

  • For people with generally high hedonic tone, everything is great already — and getting more is just a bonus.
  • For people with generally low hedonic tone, life is a total drag until something great happens — and then they are “satisfied” for just a short while until they are shortly reminded of how unlikely and how difficult achieving or getting such a thing was, at which point they get bummed out again and return to their default state of low hedonic tone and wait for the “next big thing” to come along.

Another important observation I have made is that those with high default hedonic tone get more of the good things in life, and with far less effort. This makes sense if we just consider that most of the “getting” we think of involves social dynamics. Unless you live in a third-world country, most of the “getting” in life is about fostering rewarding relationships with other people. People with high hedonic tone (HHT) are happier already, by virtue of deriving pleasure at far lower thresholds. People like happy people. When we see a happy person, our mirror neurons fire and we feel happy also. We want to be around the source of this happiness (the HHT person), so we keep them around, and give them things, and revel in shared happiness. Low hedonic tone (LHT) individuals however fair much worse because, by virtue of their lack of pleasure, the pain of getting their most basic needs met is evident on their faces and in their body language and this acts as a repellent for other people — remember, we are all seeking pleasure and avoiding pain first and foremost.

The social value of being happy through experiencing ongoing pleasure should be obvious, but if it isn’t, please take a few minutes to consider this last paragraph and think of examples where you have seen this in action. We know mirror neurons are massively important in socializing, and that if you are feeling pain signals in response to something, everyone else is picking up on that. That’s even things like “These people don’t like me” — “No no, think positively!” <— This internal conflict manifests simply as pain on your face despite your awareness of it and best efforts to stifle feeling like an idiot or a loser. I gave that example because most of the email in my mailbag every week is along the lines of “I still feel like people think I’m an idiot.” You’ve got to realize that the internal conflict itself is based in pain signals (low hedonic tone), and that your face is the transmitter of this internal conflict — hence, feeling like an idiot repels others from you, not vice-versa. Your low hedonic tone causes these internal conflicts and causes these pain signals which then transmit to others causing a self-fulfilling prophecy. The solution: raise your hedonic tone.

Raising Hedonic Tone

This is not a finished post. This is the beginning of my analysis into raising hedonic tone in the long-term, with my findings so far. The idea behind this post is to cause a simple realization: that all your thoughts day-to-day are a RESULT of your general hedonic tone. Happy people do NOT have this sheer amount of negative thoughts. Therefore, playing with the thoughts themselves is fairly pointless. If you don’t like apples, chop the apple tree down — don’t pick the apples and throw them away, expecting them not to grow back. Change your hedonic tone, and the thoughts change automatically. Think again of the guy looking at the fish. NO INTERNAL CONFLICT. His brain is set up to experience pleasure, and his daily experiences then reflect that.

Biologists and neuroscientists have generally maintained for several decades that default hedonic tone is based in our DNA and cannot be changed. As is usual when dealing with something like the human brain, this is not the full story. For example, we now know that DNA can be turned on and off. We do not come with a “fixed template” which never changes — rather, we come with an adaptive template where large parts of it can be turned on or off in line with environmental and internal events.

Rather than saying something vague like “think positive!”, I am going to try and provide advice from my own observations on how to experience more pleasure and filter life through a higher hedonic tone. This has come from my own testing, and I’d like everyone also to test it, and provide their own tested methods.

1) Setting hedonic tone upon waking. We have all heard the phrase “I got out on the wrong side of bed this morning” as an excuse for why someone is in a bad mood for the rest of the day. There seems to be a lot of truth in this — hedonic tone seems to be “set” for the day set upon waking, i.e. whatever state you wake up in seems to perpetuate throughout much of the day. Saying “I got out on the wrong side of bed” however dismisses the whole phenomenon as being chance-orientated, e.g. “This is how I woke up, this is how I’m going to be, it’s just one of those things and I can’t do anything about it.” Much human fable and idiom is about continuing to perpetuate the idea of chance and fate to avoid having to take responsibility for our own emotional state and actions. Don’t be like everyone else. The good news is that your hedonic state can be manipulated during this period immediately upon waking. Ordinarily, people let their thoughts filter into their heads as they come and take them very seriously, e.g. “Got to go to f**king work again…” or “That thing I went to sleep to avoid having to think about is back in my head”. Instead, sweep away any negative thoughts and spend at least 10 minutes smiling genuinely, letting good feelings wash over you, and breathing comfortably, which seems to “let good feelings in”. You will know when this is complete when you are feeling good and everything seems “quiet” (the end of thoughts always seems “quiet”). I talk more about ways to feel good in the second part of this post: http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum/meditation/generating-a-positive-emotional-state-(step-by-step)/ — use this by all means, and discover your own ways to make yourself feel good upon waking, and post them in this thread. Cold showers I have also found to be effective at sweeping away negative thoughts as it puts your awareness squarely back in your body.

Consider the cascade effect of waking up in a bad mood — your attention is on negative things, causing more negative things to happen such as focusing on being late, blah blah, or hurrying around and making mistakes which cause more bad thoughts and feelings. Then your first social interactions are negative because the pain is pouring out of you, and you are souring the air by virtue of your mood. You’re a jerk, everyone thinks you’re a jerk, and the day is wasted.

Now consider stopping this cascade as soon it starts by sweeping away such thoughts and instead smiling and changing your mood to POSITIVE. A new cascade starts and you are set up for the day. The time has come to acknowledge how such cascades begin and take responsibility for allowing them to perpetuate. Choose to activate a positive cascade every day.

2) Consciously drawing your attention to, and deriving pleasure from, the small things in life. This may take some practice but that is no reason not to do it. The idea is simply enjoyment of the smallest moments of your morning, from the first cup of coffee, to the thrill of the cold shower (if you take them — and if you don’t, START), to feeling the spring air as you leave the house, to noticing the sunlight, birds, bees and trees. Think again of the guy who likes the fish: seek pleasure from the tiniest things.

This point is best done, of course, after point one. You are then to continue drawing your attention to, and seeking pleasure from, things in your environment for the rest of the day. Is that effort? Is cycling negative, meaningless, destructive and energy-sapping thoughts through your head for hours each day more effort? You will find that it is. Seeking pleasure in the small things is actually the EASIER path.

3) Regular breaks, meditations, re-centring, or “pleasure top-ups”. Every few hours you should sit still or go somewhere peaceful for around 10 minutes and simply let all thought loops end. I talk about how to do this in the first part of this post: http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum/meditation/generating-a-positive-emotional-state-(step-by-step)/ Then, you should draw your attention back to pleasurable things, and purposely feel happy. Again, think of the guy and the fish. He is doing just this, and he is so well-practised at it, the process happens very quickly for him. The process can become fast for you, too.

I believe, over time, that taking conscious control over your hedonic tone on a daily basis will turn up your default hedonic tone in the long term. This kind of conscious management is the control we have over ourselves above the DNA level, and I believe there is a large scope for such control.

This is not about “quick fixes”; it is about ongoing conscious management to raise hedonic tone in the long term. If you want quick fixes, go and buy yourself a Ferrari. You’re no better off in the long-term however than if you’d just taken the time to enjoy a sunset.

However, I have found that there is a huge capacity for fast reward by just choosing to be happy. Hedonic tone affects the quality of thought and feeling you will have over the course of the day, which greatly affects the quality of your human social interaction through mirror neurons. If you take time to enjoy a sunset, you might find that that girl you like suddenly seems to like you back, or that that business deal is suddenly looking a lot more promising. Setting hedonic tone is about getting the little things right so the big things follow naturally as a matter of course.

Posted in Depression, Emotional Management, Meditation | 2 Comments

Joint Seminar with Illuminatus & Aaron Sleazy / Nottingham, England / 27th August 2011

Overview

Illuminatus (http://www.personalpowermeditation.com) and Aaron Sleazy (http://www.aaronsleazy.com) team up for a seminar for anyone interested in fixing fundamental issues about social anxieties. While Illuminatus will talk about the topic of social anxiety in general, Aaron Sleazy will tell you how to put this knowledge to good use when it comes to bedding women.

The seminar will take place on 27th August 2011 in Nottingham, England, in a central, easy-to-access location.
Start: 4.00pm
End: 8.00pm

Nottingham can easily be reached via Birmingham Airport or East Midlands Airport. Also, there are very frequent train and bus rides to and from London.

The Speakers

Illuminatus is a leading authority on meditation and personal development. He has enjoyed a cult following on the seduction forum mASF as “Corvette”, and has gained widespread attention due to his ability to analyse social interactions and emotional states at a level deeper than anybody else. Due to the dogmatic and restrictive nature of seduction-related forums, he searched for other venues to discuss his insights, but being discontented, he founded Personal Power Meditation in 2009. He has recently released his first book, “The End of Social Anxiety”, which establishes a comprehensive model of the formation and experience of social anxiety and provides straightforward and easy-to-understand practical exercises to facilitate a total recovery from the condition.

Aaron Sleazy first gained notoriety on mASF also. He is mostly known for a very quick style of sexual escalation and seduction that is completely opposed to the mainstream dogmas advocating processes which, in his view, are countereffective in most cases. Due to his outstanding success and rapidly growing popularity, the owners of mASF saw their financial success threatened and consequently banned him and anyone associated with him. Since then, Aaron Sleazy has built his own presence on the Internet and released two books. His first book, “Sleazy Stories”, is an illustration of his extremely powerful style of seduction. In his second book, “Debunking the Seduction Community”, he attacked the seduction industry for teaching ineffective methods and financially exploiting desperate men. He is currently working on a third book, which will reveal the basics of seduction. This work is influenced by his experience as a seducer and coach, and thus focuses on relatively simple steps which anybody can do to improve their level of success.

Programme:

1) Illuminatus on Overcoming Social Anxiety (90 min)

  • What social anxiety is and its negative behavioural effects
  • Your reality model: Beliefs at the core of social anxiety, how those beliefs were formed, and how they manifest to affect your behaviour today
  • Why drugs (including alcohol) aren’t a long-term solution
  • How to experience your anxiety intentionally and think about it more like a scientist
  • Seeing how your brain edits your reality via ‘overlays’, and training yourself to detach from those overlays
  • Understanding equanimity and training yourself to stop labelling emotions “good” and “bad” in order to reduce resistance and suffering
  • The biological basis of the stress response: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and how to manipulate them intentionally
  • Cultivating unconditional happiness by changing your perspectives, plus exercises for feeling good on purpose
  • How to deal with trauma and other “bad things” when they arise

2) Break: 15 min

3) Aaron Sleazy on Foundations of Success with Women (90 min)

  • Figuring out what you want and whether you can get it
  • Why some men are successful, but most are not
  • What women want, and what you can do if you can’t quite deliver
  • Some easy fixes, some hard ones, and some impossible ones
  • Various roadblocks and how to overcome them
  • Realistic expectations, a.k.a. becoming the “Guy Next Door”
  • Meeting girls in different scenarios (work, nightclubs, and everywhere in between except online)
  • Minimal investment, maximal outcome
  • Starting and ending relationships

4) Break: 15 min

5) Joint Q&A Session: 45 min

Registration details:

  1. Send an email to illuminatus@personalpowermeditation.com
  2. Either pay 69.00 pounds (GBP) via PayPal (offer valid until: 12th August 2011) or pay 89.00 pounds at the door (cash only)
  3. You will receive a confirmation of your registration and, if applicable, of your PayPal payment as well, within 24 hours
  4. You will be informed about the exact location of the seminar in due time

See you soon in Nottingham!

Best regards,

Illuminatus & Aaron Sleazy

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The Norway Shootings

I was really sad to hear about the shootings on Utoeya and bomb blast in Oslo this weekend. It’s a tragedy and I am shocked. My thoughts go out to everybody affected by it.

I have the luxury of distance in my thoughts and feelings about it, and I want to share them here so that some lessons can hopefully be taken from events like these.

———————–

Predictably, people have already been quick to write the gunman off as “evil”. Black-and-white thinking is a human coping mechanism to make quick judgments about a situation that is uncertain or which is too emotionally charged to make detailed distinctions about. It’s very easy to put something we fear or don’t understand or has hurt us into a box marked “evil” and be done with it. It’s difficult to accept that people like this are made of the same stuff we are, because that would mean facing the prospect that anyone around us is capable of such acts. Unfortunately, that is true.

But if humanity is to grow from such events, we have to remember that there is a psychology at work here which causes someone to do such terrible things. That guy was born a blank slate like the rest of us — no one is inherently evil. However, somewhere along the way, facets of his psychology were influenced leading him to believe that this behaviour was somehow in his benefit. We all share the same basic drives, but our past experiences shape our psychology in various, often unpredictable ways with the result that sometimes people go about sating those drives in horrific ways.

We need to look at the factors which can shape someone’s psychology in ways that result in this outcome. Initial news reports claim that the man was driven by fundamentalist Christian beliefs, although no one is sure yet what his intentions were. Fundamentalist religion however is a powerful mind virus which establishes very clearly defined “Us vs. Them” psychological boundaries. Killing other humans is the ultimate expression of an Us vs. Them mindset. Humanity needs to look at the factors which contribute to the cultivation of Us vs. Them mindsets and make a leap of consciousness to a point where people are no longer ruled by such ancient and potentially disastrous mental programming. This involves humans actively learning about their own tendencies towards Us vs. Them thinking and educating one another on such programming and the kinds of situations which are likely to activate it.

The next issue is the long-term paranoia that invariably results following such trauma. While it is prudent for politicians to look into gun control where relevant and put measures in place to prevent situations like this in future, it is more important from a psychological perspective for individuals affected by such events to remind themselves that these events are statistically rare — and ultimately unpreventable. When one person or a small group of people flip out one day and decide to commit such acts, no amount of paranoia or fear-based thinking is going to prevent them. The focus for people affected by such events therefore needs to be on returning to normality as quickly as possible, and not letting their experience wreck their lives for the next several years or decades. Thinking about the atrocity with vengeance, finding someone to blame, and cultivating feelings of fear, paranoia and anger only returns us to the Us vs. Them mindsets responsible for such tragedies in the first place.

Posted in Current Affairs, Emotional Management | 1 Comment

E-book launched: The End of Social Anxiety

I’m proud to present my first e-book, ‘The End of Social Anxiety’, a book of exercises which will help anyone to overcome social anxiety.

The book is written in plain English and is accessible to anyone. No prior experience of meditation or personal development is required.

The End of Social AnxietyClick here to learn more about The End of Social Anxiety

UPDATE:
Now available for Amazon Kindle

Amazon US: The End of Social Anxiety
Amazon UK: The End of Social Anxiety
Amazon DE: The End of Social Anxiety

Contents

  • About me
  • Introduction
  • What is social anxiety?
    • What causes social anxiety
    • What social anxiety looked like for me
  • What do you want from this book?
    • False goals
    • What life actually looks like now
  • Why your doctor probably can’t help you
    • The nature of your experience of reality
  • Step 1: Choosing to experience your anxiety
    • The opponent response
    • Functioning in spite of anxiety
    • Potential objections
    • The cold shower approach
  • Step 2: Seeing your mind’s overlays on your perception of reality
    • Why overlays?
    • Changing the overlays
    • Living in the present moment
    • Seeing through overlays
      • Meditation 1: Observing overlays
      • Meditation 2: Presence walks
    • Two commands to keep you present
    • Keep doing it the new way
  • Step 3: Cultivating equanimity
      • Meditation 3: Observing emotions with equanimity
    • Potential objections
  • Step 4: Happiness
    • The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
      • A quick note on addictions
    • Activating the PSNS
      • Breathing and the SNS
      • Meditation 5: Breathing correctly
    • Why aren’t we happy anyway?
      • The conditional happiness worldview
      • The unconditional happiness worldview
      • Asking yourself the right questions
      • Meditation 6: Unconditional happiness
    • Potential objections
  • When things go wrong
    • What if bad things keep happening?
  • About Personal Power Meditation

Click here to learn more about The End of Social Anxiety

Posted in Anxieties & Phobias, Emotional Management, Products, Social Dynamics | Comments Off

The Essentials of Happiness

I’ve started to experience a “switch” recently to a more harmonious, happiness-based way of living, which is really wonderful. This came from many realizations made over the years as a result of my life experiences and my meditation, and I wanted to share what I think are the real basics of feeling happy in life, plus some extras which I think can help but are often red herrings.

The Essentials

  • Nutrition. Find out what is right for you. This may take some experimenting, and your own research into vitamins and nutrients.
  • Good sleep. Whatever is the right amount for you.
  • Exercise. It doesn’t even have to be much, just enough to get the blood pumping each day.
  • Leaving negative people behind. If you live with them, move out. That is basic input control. Happiness-based worldviews are difficult to maintain when surrounded by opposing worldviews, because humans are social beasts and find it easy to absorb the habits of negativity via various means such as being dragged into other people’s drama, and also just by observing others’ negative habits which filter into your brain via the miracle of mirror neurons (every time you see someone do something, a copy is made in your brain). This also means having a personal boundary you enforce (but not from a position of fear or anger) to stop other people’s negativity getting into your life. That could just be saying “no” or changing subject. It could also involve spending less time with negative people, or moving away from them, as I already said. I have found that bringing a worldview of love and happiness into your interactions with other people from the start of the interaction can mean they adapt to your happiness instead of you adapting to their negativity. It is about whomever is bringing the dominant worldview. Ultimately, if someone isn’t make you happy, leave them to their own lives.
  • Having at least a handful of positive people in your life. Your friends should be made up mostly of either neutral and positive people. Again, you will pick up the habits and worldviews of positive people by interacting with them regularly. “Neutral” could be someone who doesn’t really have a strong worldview either way, but who just adapts to whatever worldview is put in front of them at the time, e.g. friends who have fun if you’re having fun.
  • Living in the present moment for at least an hour each day. This puts you back in touch with your instincts, which seems very important for happiness, I have noticed. It means self-talk and negative habits are put aside for a while, so you can realize experientially that they are not useful and usually achieve nothing. We pursue negative emotions and ways of thinking because it has become part of our learned survival strategy for a seemingly dissatisfactory life. Living in the present moment destroys the illusion that life is not already satisfactory as it is. I recommend a presence walk every day.
  • Choosing to feel happiness and love for the world as your default, habitual emotive state, and having those feelings replace your habitual negative self-talk, fears, anger and general dissatisfaction with the world. I recommend making yourself feel good via a happiness meditation every day, such as sitting and smiling and imagining feeling energy rising into your head. Focusing on love for life and for the world seems to be the best way to consistently make me happy. If you have mental or emotional objections to feeling this way, such as thoughts and feelings saying “But this isn’t fixed yet, I cannot feel happy till this is fixed!”, then remember that that is part of the illusion of dissatisfaction, and let those feelings fade and be replaced with love and happiness.
  • Sunlight. Happiness/love meditations seem to emulate the kind of natural neurotransmitter “blooms” we experience when sunlight hits our eyes. The sunlight has to go into your eyes (through CLOSED eyes, I am not saying look directly at the sun), not just hit your skin (although that is also nice), and it causes this same white light perception in the brain that happiness meditations also create, which I believe are releases of feel-good neurotransmitters. Sitting in sunlight also makes happiness meditations ten times easier and more effective. I believe the sun is one of the most potent anti-depressants around. Here in England, on the rare occasion we get a bit of sun for a few days, it just seems to sort out everyone’s moods, temporarily at least.

Extras

These are often included in many people’s lists as “essentials”, but I have found that they are simply reflectors or amplifiers of happiness, rather than being necessary to feel happy. I think people often use these as “conditions” to be met before allowing themselves feel happy, so they can be red herrings.

  • Sex/romantic love. Obviously these can make you feel very happy, but I don’t think they’re essential for happiness. For love, hanging out with positive people and just feeling good seems to be enough to get this need met. In fact, being happy already seems to be pretty much the best way to actually find romantic relationships, because happiness is one of the main attractive traits people can have, in my personal experience of being more attractive when I am happy, and finding happy people a lot more attractive. That is the opposite way of thinking to many people, who believe they must find love in order to be happy. That is putting the cart before the horse. It seems more like you get what you give.A relationship also seems to be a mirror for the kind of energy you put into it. If you base your relationships on fear, jealousy, anger or insecurity, then those are the main emotions you will get back from it. People would often be better off alone in such relationships. A happy relationship is based on primarily feeling happiness and love for your partner. Any negative emotions you have just tend to get reflected back at you. So a romantic relationship is not so much a source of happiness as it is an ongoing reflection and amplifier of your existing happiness.
  • Purpose in life, or your own personal goals. Doing purposeful activities seems to help achieve a sense of focus which helps you maintain clarity and control over your thoughts and emotions. There is also a sense of achievement gained, which does provide rewarding neurochemicals. However, I think being happy already is the main way in which to actually do your best work towards your purpose. If you are doing your purpose in order to become happy, then your purpose becomes a prerequisite of happiness, and consequently can become a chore. I think you can live an extremely happy life without purpose, if you simply live in the present moment and choose to feel love for life and for the world. A purpose is therefore again a reflector and amplifier of wherever your emotions are at right now.
Posted in Anxieties & Phobias, Depression, Emotional Management, Meditation | 2 Comments

Nootropics #5: Tramadol

Introduction

I had been loath to try opiates during this blog series, following my short and immediate addiction to codeine some years ago whilst taking the drug for a broken foot. I still remember popping that first pill. Waves of nauseating pleasure, an immediate cessation of all pain — both physical and emotional — and, when it had worn off, an immediate yearning for more. It was lucky that I ran out after a week of eating them compulsively. The pills weren’t even mine — they’d been given to me by my brother, who’d been prescribed them after a skiing accident. Had I been given my own prescription, there could have been all sorts of trouble.

However, I had reached a point in this series where I had expended most neurotransmitters in my quest for soma. I’d neglected the area of opioids out of fear of re-addiction, but the truth is that they are such an enormous piece of the human psychological puzzle, for completeness I would have to revisit them. To put it simply, opioids are the human mind-body’s well-being, relaxation and pleasure drugs. They are released after stress or trauma to calm you, dull pain, and are responsible for “second wind” and “runner’s high”. They are also released during orgasm and make up the main “rush” sensation of orgasm. They are released in reward for survival and reproduction behaviours, and along with serotonin, make up that “satisfied” feeling after doing such behaviours.

My interest in the psychological implications of opioids was re-peaked several weeks ago after attending a boxing gym for the first time. About an hour after my gruelling two-hour workout ended, I found myself drifting into an opioid high brought on by the intense exercise. This high struck me as one of the most enjoyable and peaceful highs I’d ever experienced. Its anti-depressant effects were far more powerful than SSRIs and other prescription drugs. Aside from prompting me to begin exercising every day, my mind also returned to the idea of artificial opioids as a nootropic.

I originally thought of Vicodin, partly for the romance of recreating the experience of one of my favourite TV characters, House. I found a few sites willing to ship Vicodin to the UK (most opiates are illegal in the UK without prescription) but found it to be very expensive. Luckily, I saw tramadol on one of the sites for much cheaper — roughly £1 a pill. Unfortunately the minimum order was 50 pills, so I was looking at spending at least £50. Would this be worth it for a drug experiment? I decided to rest on the issue and wait for a sign. That sign came that night whilst watching a skit on Harry Hill’s TV Burp, featuring — you guessed it — tramadol. I bought the 50 tabs and waited for the order to arrive.

Before talking more about the drug itself, I thought it would be interesting to share how the pharmaceutical company, based in India (as usual), went about getting the drug through customs. Firstly, they emailed me saying in no uncertain terms that what we were doing was illegal, and that they would do their best to hide this illegality from the authorities. I thought that was quite candid from what appeared to be a professional online pharmacist. They said that due to the extra precautions they would be taking, not to be surprised if the package was very late. However, it arrived just four days later, to my delight. To get the package through customs, they had created fake paperwork claiming me to be a registered pharmacist. To avoid sales tax, they had labelled up the package with its actual contents but marked it “Commercial Sample”. It reached me, and I paid no taxes, so all in all I was pretty impressed by this skulduggery. :D

Tramadol

Tramadol hydrochloride is a centrally acting opioid analgesic, used in treating moderate to severe pain. Tramadol possesses weak agonist actions at the μ-opioid receptor, releases serotonin, and inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine. Tramadol is a synthetic analog of the phenanthrene alkaloid codeine and, as such, is an opioid and also a prodrug (codeine is metabolized to morphine, tramadol is converted to O-desmethyltramadol). Opioids are chemical compounds which act upon one or more of the human opiate receptors. The euphoria and respiratory depression are mainly caused by the μ1 and μ2 receptors; the addictive nature of the drug is due to these effects as well as its serotonergic/noradrenergic effects. The opioid agonistic effect of tramadol and its major metabolite(s) are almost exclusively mediated by the substance’s action at the μ-opioid receptor. This characteristic distinguishes tramadol from many other substances (including morphine) of the opioid drug class, which generally do not possess tramadol’s degree of subtype selectivity.

Tramadol is molecularly similar to Effexor (Venlafaxine) and has similar SNRI effects, with antinociceptive effects also observed. It has been suggested that tramadol could be effective for alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and phobias because of its action on the noradrenergic and serotonergic systems, such as its “atypical” opioid activity.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramadol

I had found out that tramadol was a cousin of venlafaxine during my research before buying the drug. Imagine my delight and sweating anticipation when I discovered that tramadol not only had morphine-like opiate effects, but also acted as a serotonin releaser and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor? It was like all my dreams coming true at once.

When the tramadol arrived, I couldn’t even wait awhile to try it, even though it was only midday on a Monday. I ripped it open and took a look. It arrived in capsule form, 50mg doses. I opened up one of the capsules and found that the tramadol was in the form of a white powder. I thought about the possibility of snorting it, maybe mixed up with some other prescription drugs, to create a soma-like superdrug. I have not tested this yet however. I ate two capsules (a 100mg dose) and waited for the magic to happen.

The High

The first inklings of a come-up occurred about an hour after ingestion. The first thing I noticed was the familiar waves of nausea, very reminiscent of codeine. Soon, these waves of nausea started to feel extremely pleasurable. Within about 2 hours, they had stopped making me nauseous and felt simply exhilarating. By this point I had become very light-headed and the world seemed dreamlike.

After about 3 hours, I was feeling very much like I was wrapped in a warm blanket. The waves of pleasure were unabating. I had yet to see any of the serotonergic or norepinephrinic effects yet, so I knew there was more to come. These kicked in at this point. This part of the high was VERY similar to venlafaxine, except with the opioids really taking the edge off the stimulatory effects of the serotonin and norepinephrine. At the same time however, the serotonin and norepinephrine were taking the edge off the drowsiness caused by the opioids. It was like having the best of both worlds — alert, yet contented. Warm and peaceful, but without sleepiness.

By the time my brother got home 5 hours after I took the drug, I was in another world. My eyes were now bulging from pleasure and I was hardly able to form a coherent sentence, such was my babbling intoxication. Breathing felt very good at this point. This high continued to climb for another two hours, before beginning to descend into one of the most gradual come-downs I’ve ever experienced. The total length of the high was 7 hours. The come-down however lasted another 2 or 3 hours, still with the opioid effects present but waning. That is a lot of bang for your buck.

Respiratory Arrest

There was one downside of the drug, and that was the night of the first time I took it. I went to bed whilst still coming down from the drug, and it was here that I first saw the respiratory depression effects of tramadol first-hand.  It was like if I didn’t breathe on purpose, I simply wouldn’t breathe. This made me scared to fall asleep, lest I never wake up. However, I was so relaxed, I felt myself drifting off. That’s when the dreams started. I dreamt about rats all night. They were in the house, and under the floorboards. We killed them all by gassing them, but then they were all just dead underneath the floorboards, and the smell was wretched. I dreamed this dream for about 6 hours. I kept waking up, gasping for breath — the tramadol really was depressing my respiration — then falling straight back to sleep and going back to the same dream.

At this point I thought that if I mixed tramadol with other depressants such as alcohol or sleeping pills, I might die.

Tramadol Nights

I was wrong about that. I went out socializing on this drug, drinking copiously as usual, and even taking sleeping pills one night because my girlfriend was staying and I can’t sleep with someone else in the bed. Needless to say, I’m still alive — not that I recommend taking high-dose tramadol, alcohol and sleeping pills. Only an idiot would do that.

Tramadol on nights out reminds me of when I first found MDMA. I would say, at higher doses (I have gone up to 250mg in a night before), it is actually almost as potent as MDMA, except without the rampant excitability. I think opioids are something that let you settle into absolutely any activity softly and enjoyably.

I found intimacy and sex on tramadol to be even better than on MDMA or venlafaxine. There is something about opioids that make touching and affection out of this world. I am convinced now that opioids have some extremely primal connection to touching, probably from the Circuit I infant-mother bond (opioids are classed by Leary as the primary Circuit I trigger, and I completely agree). It was very easy to feel “loved-up” with opioids sloshing around my system.

Addictive Potential

After the first day on the drug, I found myself for the next several days thinking about tramadol again. However, this was probably at least partly to do with wanting to test-drive it on a night out at the weekend. I have to say however that I have found myself thinking about tramadol in anticipation many times since I first took it — moreso than any other drug except tobacco, the most addictive drug I have ever taken. However, I have remained careful with this drug. I have decided only to take it once a week at most. This is to keep addiction at bay, and also so I don’t become tolerant to it. It’s too good to waste, as I did with MDMA.

Side Effects

There are very few side effects from tramadol. I would say there are far fewer side effects than, say, venlafaxine, which can keep me buzzed and sleepless for days sometimes.

Legality

Tramadol is a prescription-only drug and is mostly likely illegal for you to obtain without a prescription. I won’t be telling anybody which site I got the tramadol from, so don’t bother messaging me about it. I’m sure you can find it somewhere on Google. :)

Posted in Drugs, Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness | 4 Comments

The Essence of Circuit V

The ‘Release Technique’ (http://www.releasetechnique.com/) has been brought up for discussion on the forum, and opinions asked about it.

I don’t need to buy this product to understand what it’s about, and why and how it works.  At its core, beneath the mountains of marketing, the useless CDs and DVDs, training manuals and seminars, which only serve to rake you of your hard-earned cash, will be some very simple technique that goes something along the lines of “Imagine this emotion as energy — now imagine releasing that energy from your body.”

This method, like EFT, Sedona, and countless others, is Circuit V body-knowledge with just the label changed (and even “Circuit V” is a label itself, so don’t think I’m discriminating in favour of the Eight-Circuit Model).

The phenomenon is simple. You can control the electric impulses in your body. You can use this facet of body-knowledge to “release” or rewire emotions just by imagining them moving about as energy. Once you understand this, you don’t need his particular technique, or any technique. You certainly don’t need a 20-DVD guide telling you how to do it. You can make your own techniques. The body-knowledge alone is enough.

  • Try heating your own hands up by imagining molten lava flowing slowly and stickily down your arms and collecting, glowing, in your hands. Do this for 5 minutes. Your hands will heat up.
  • Find your heartbeat in your field of awareness. Now imagine it ticking in sync with a clock. Now imagine the clock’s second hand slowing down. You will feel your heart also slow down, and you can time it to prove it.
  • Go and stand in front of a mirror and imagine a circle in front of your eyes. Now imagine that circle flying away, getting bigger as it goes away from you. Your vision will become blurred. Immediately check the mirror — your pupils will have dilated.
  • Imagine energy rising up through you, and pooling in the top of your brain. Breathe in through your nose as you do this, as though that is helping bring the energy up. Within a few moments, you will feel high, spiritual and powerful.
  • Now find some negative emotion you have, and imagine it pouring out of a hole in the end of your finger. A sudden calm will come over you, and the emotion will be gone.

ALL of these will work, because you are manipulating your mind-body under your own free will. And that is what Circuit V is. The knowledge that you can change your own mind-body, when you like, and for the effects you want, just by having the belief that you can, then intending it so. It is the body-knowledge that belief can and will change the mind-body. And that is the principle that 99% of these self-help methods rely on and have at their core. You don’t need products, manuals or seminars to learn this. It is an innate part of you.

The reason these “methods” come with 20-DVD box-sets, overpriced training seminars, and exorbitant “consultation fees” for any one-on-one training, is twofold:

  • They want your money.
  • By having you invest your time and money, and throwing enough mumbo-jumbo at you to convince you of the efficacy of their method, your own belief in the method is bolstered. Since these methods rely entirely on belief, the method begins to work because you believe it does.

Except you can make your own methods by understanding this one point alone, without having to pay anyone ANYTHING.

Posted in Eight-Circuit Model of Consciousness, Emotional Management | 3 Comments

Your Basic Guide to Lifting Depression

1) Input Control

This means if you are surrounded by losers and abusers, or just plain dickheads, or you hate your job because it’s making you miserable, or something is harming you, LEAVE. You cannot think clearly about a situation when you are in the middle of it. Use common sense and know when it’s time to leave. This is the first and most important change you can make in dealing with depression — identifying the causative factors and distancing yourself from them. You will have an immediate rebound healing period after you distance yourself from the cause of your depression, if your depression is indeed caused by externalities. If you’re not sure whether it is externalities or not, book yourself a 2-week holiday away from everything and see how you begin to feel. Then your brain will highlight to you which things are depressing you back at home, because thinking about them will bring back a hurt that had begun to subside during the break. At this point you can decide whether to change the way you think about that one thing, or whether you’re better off actually leaving it and getting rid of it from your reality.

This also means stop reading the newspaper or watching TV news, or otherwise absorbing negative ideals about the world into your ongoing representation of reality.

2) Health

Much of depression is about not meeting basic needs or going about it in ways that aren’t right for you.

  • Get enough sleep. Find out what “enough” is for you.
  • Eat right. Look into different diets, and find what’s right for you. Hunger is often a cry for essential vitamins you may be missing rather than calories. Insulin after eating carbs causes a depressive crash. Your mood is tightly linked to your diet and metabolic processes. I recommend the paleo diet because it’s right for me. It takes a few days to adjust to not eating white carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, grain and refined sugar) since these things are in 90% of western food in the supermarket, but after that you are flying. No insulin crash. Keen senses and alertness as you go back to “hunter-gatherer” mode mentally and physically, instead of “rest and store fat” mode most of the western world is stuck in.
  • Socializing, affection and sex — whatever is the right amount for you.
  • Exercise — find the type that is right for you.

Never assume anything society tells you is correct about these things. Actually try different things for yourself and find what’s right for you.

3) Some passion or project

Feel-good chemicals like dopamine, norepinephine, serotonin and opioids are released on a supply-and-demand basis. If you spend your days vegetating in front of the TV, of course you are not going to feel alive.

Throw yourself daily into something you like doing which stretches you or makes you apply yourself. This could be playing with your kids, or building websites, or doing the gardening. Anything generating periods of flow will release these neurochemicals. Anti-depressants, plus self-medicated drugs such as alcohol, tobacco and street drugs, all hijack these systems. If you are using these drugs habitually, it is time to get some projects going which will release these neurochemicals without them.

4) Learn to make yourself feel good regardless of outside influences

This could be via meditation, yoga, NLP, EFT or whatever method works for you. The goal here is to be able to feel good completely regardless of whatever else is happening in your life. Even if the shit is hitting the fan in a big way, you should still have some fall-back method in place whereby you can sit, for an hour if that’s how long it takes, and feel good. I know I can feel good within 10 minutes if I apply myself to meditation.

Why is this important? Well it reduces the emphasis the human brain naturally places on externalities for feeling good. Your brain is basically geared to seek survival and reproduction activities, and to feel good in response to successfully doing those activities, and to feel bad in response to failing at those activities. This is where addictions come from. It is also where relying on validation from others, and frustration at whether you are achieving your long-term aims come from.

You need some time every day where you stop pursuing and just feel good regardless of any externalities. This is a confidence issue — you will stress out less about situations, people and things if you come to the experiential realization that they are not essential for your own personal happiness. It is also a way to put space around your problems. When you are feeling good, your problems will naturally seem further away in your mental representations of them. With this space, you gain perspective. This step is the kind of subtlety that has the power to transform entirely the way you relate to the world.

5) Lower your expectations about life — across the board

As a consumerist society the onus is placed on the individual as his or her own personal architect of reality. We have been told since birth that we can be whatever we want to be. This almost unlimited choice in a sea of possibilities leads to overthinking just about everything we do. From overthinking develops expectation. From expectation develops the possibility of disappointment. Everything we choose to do, when we have created an expectation of it, has the potential to somehow disappoint and frustrate us. We feel this as depression, especially if we are intelligent and feel we are consistently not reaching our potential.

Ultimately, in my experience, 99% of thought on any future event is redundant conjecture which only serves to build preconceptions and false models of how things will turn out. For example, you book a holiday and in the months leading up to it you imagine the holiday in every detail. When the actual holiday arrives, it cannot possibly live up to the expectation you created in your mind because your brain works in extremes and ideals. Your brain makes imagery out of archetypes. If you imagine a sunny holiday, you imagine the SUNNIEST holiday possible. It’s like how when they make a film out of your favourite book you will almost always say: “It was okay, but it was NOTHING compared to the book.” This is because the book exists in your mind and is built from your archetypes and ideals — pure projections of your beliefs about the world.

In another example, let’s say you want to become an entrepreneur or someone successful doing something you love. When you live in the world of high expectations, you will measure everything you do in the present against that expectation. Instead, have low expectations about what is going to happen in the immediate present. Accept that you’re going to fuck everything up probably 100 times before learning stuff. Understand that it’s about the process not the end result — and that the end result will almost certainly look very little like how you imagined it.

By having very low expectations about life, if those expectations are fulfilled you are happy, and they can also be frequently surpassed. This is about learning to enjoy the small things in life again, and stopping this cycle of beating yourself up for not being the person you want to be.

You’re still here, you’ve eaten, got a roof over your head, probably some people who love you — your own expectations aside, you’re doing pretty well. If in doubt, go back to step #4.

6) Understand your own mental processes and beliefs and how your thoughts affect your mood

I use meditation to watch my thoughts and emotions. There are many methods available for this out there however. I am also constantly looking at the world to determine if what I believe about it actually is true. Many depressions come from unrealistic expectations about the world, as I said in the last point. However, these expectations are often programmed into us from an early age by society, and continue to be fed back to us via TV and media, and reflect societal ideals rather than how the world actually works.

I’ve put this one last because, while it is often put forward as the first thing for people to look into, its effects are slow in comparison to say, getting out of an abusive relationship, or starting to eat properly.

Ultimately this kind of self-analysis does indeed change your logical model of how the world works and puts things that once bothered you into perspective. This is about spotting faulty thinking and improving it in line with truth so that your beliefs tally up with what you actually observe, which stops this ongoing cognitive dissonance most people experience on an ongoing basis as a result of faulty thinking and beliefs.

Posted in Depression, Emotional Management | 6 Comments

Featured Post: ‘How Boys are Failed by Modern Schooling’ — by Silvertree

In traditional societies, at puberty the boys and girls are separated. The boys become warriors/hunters in training which can last into their early 20s. The girls get promoted to women and move to the bottom of the village management pyramid. Many boys die in their early years because the hunt and war are dangerous. The ones that survive and learn the ropes get to start taking women for wives in their 20s.

Video games definitely replace young men’s need for combat and the hunt.

The problem is, young men are ill suited for schools we have, which are designed to turn out office workers and academics. Girls have no problem sitting at a desk all day and being quiet and well behaved. Boys naturally are physical and active. Typical ‘no winners or losers’ modern PC gym classes just don’t take care of that urge. Those are girl games, which tend to be cooperative and are designed to give everyone good emotions. I think it would make school better for boys if there was more emphasis on rough and dangerous boy sports from the beginning. Wrestling and boxing come to mind, but also dangerous teams sports like rugby, American football, soccer, Australian football, and hockey.

I also think it would help to have more alpha male teachers. The few they have have much better behaviour in their classes. The boys naturally follow their lead. One class my daughter was in was taught by one of the basketball coaches, and had he had no problems with otherwise wild problem boys. He was a former American football player. Having a large alpha male teaching solved all their behaviour problems.

I wonder if my daughter’s disdain for the boys in her school is the natural urge to find a 20-something who is a certified adult male? Her one boyfriend was very alpha, a year older, had a car and money, and was an avid fisher and hunter.

Original thread: http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum/general/the-secret-powers-of-time/msg2976/#msg2976

Posted in Featured Posts, Social Dynamics | Comments Off

Nootropics #4: Bupropion

Note (04/02/2012): I have personally discredited this blog post. The reason is primarily that the experience described in the article, in retrospect, was mainly a product of the alcohol consumed plus the placebo effect (I experienced the results I expected based on the prior knowledge of the drug’s supposed effects).

Since writing this article, I have tried bupropion several times, and in higher doses, and never particularly achieved the same results. The drug does however have mild dopaminergic effects, such as slightly increased talkativeness and sex drive, but that is basically the limit. I have kept the post up for archive purposes only.

Introduction

Bupropion (also known as WellbutrinZybanVoxraBudeprion, or Aplenzin; formerly known as amfebutamone) is an atypical antidepressant and smoking cessation aid. The drug is a non-tricyclic antidepressant that differs from most commonly prescribed ones (SSRIs), as its primary pharmacological action is norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibition. It binds selectively to the dopamine transporter, but its behavioural effects have often been attributed to its inhibition of norepinephrine reuptake. It also acts as a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist. Bupropion belongs to the chemical class of aminoketones and is similar in structure to stimulants cathinone and diethylpropion, and to phenethylamines in general.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bupropion)

When I first read that bupropion was a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, my thoughts immediately turned to cocaine. Having already found a legal MDMA replacement in venlafaxine, I was interested to see if I could find a cocaine analogue too. From a research perspective, I was also interested in seeing what the behavioural effects of increased dopamine looked like, in isolation from serotonin. I’ve already said pretty much everything I’m going to say about serotonin in my writings on MDMA and venlafaxine, but I hadn’t really explored dopamine as much as I wanted to. I see dopamine as a kind of dark partner to serotonin: yang to its yin. Dopamine is all about drives and motivation. Serotonin is all about satisfaction and rest. I wanted to see what behaviours a pure dopamine boost would draw out of me.

I’d experimented with dopamine before by using cocaine, but the purity of street cocaine is notoriously bad in the UK, and every time I’d taken it I’d been on other stuff already such as alcohol. I wanted to see dopaminergic behaviours isolated, to improve my model of how humans are motivated on a chemical level. This experiment was very telling from this perspective, and I enjoyed my experience on this drug immensely, as you will shortly find out. :)

The High

The bupropion arrived from India in interesting foil strips, which you have to to rip into to get at the pills, as opposed to simply pressing them out of a blister pack. I liked this touch for some reason — it made it seem officially cool.

I decided to chew up the drug to see how it tasted — my interest in chemicals has become increasingly bizarre to the point of neurotic over the years. But it paid off — the first thing I noticed was that bupropion does indeed have a slight numbing effect. My eyes lit up as I was reminded of hedonic cocaine experiences of yore.

I took the drug in the morning, and I estimate it took literally around 8 hours before I felt anything. The mind-bending mega-high of serotonergic superdrugs like venlafaxine was clearly absent here: we were dealing with a different chemical creature entirely. The first sensation that something was different started when I began thinking about my dinner plans that night. Delicious hunger and anticipation starting coursing through my veins — a reaction that shocked and delighted me.

The next thing I noticed was that my humour had become more fluid and silly. Everything seemed to have a tinge of hilarity about it. This reminded me of my mega-doses of St. John’s Wort I took when reviewing that drug, which can be read about here: http://www.personalpowermeditation.com/forum/drugs/drugs-review-st-john’s-wort/

Something about dopamine certainly stirs the passions in ways serotonin does not. In my opinion, this is because dopamine is the main motivation and reward chemical, pushing humans to chase their primal drives with a gusto, whereas serotonin is essentially a “satisfied” drug: dopamine gets you to do, serotonin passes the signal that you’ve DONE it, and can now chill out. When melting on serotonin drugs, I would often find myself simply relaxing into a chair, deep breathing, and having the sense that nothing at all needed to be done — that all was right in the world, and absolutely nothing needed changing. Not so on dopamine drugs. Instead, on dopamine, everything you think of just seems like a really great idea, which must be put into action right now.

My friend came over and we went to pick up both our girlfriends for a meal at a pizza restaurant in town. The hilarity from my dopaminergic state was already spilling over, and everyone was in high spirits. We went into the restaurant, and the first thing I noticed was that the smell of the pizza made me begin salivating immediately. The girls also looked incredibly hot — I was having trouble controlling myself, and told my girlfriend to come and sit on my lap, at which point I started full-on making out with her right there in the restaurant. Classy behaviour. I went to the toilet and splashed some cold water on my face to try and snap out of it and start behaving myself. This wasn’t to last.

I ordered a large beer — one of those massive 660ml bottles of Nastro (Italian premium lager) you can get at these places. The first taste of the beer was like ambrosia. My eyes lit up in manic delight, as I necked almost the entire bottle in a single swig. I was losing control of my drives entirely — and everything felt shiny, shimmering, and inherently awesome. I started talking like a speed freak, with the kind of bullshit coming out of my mouth typical of a cocaine binge. I was enjoying this trip immensely.

The food arrived, and I tucked in to my huge 14-inch pizza. Each piece was a little slice of heaven. I just kept “mmmming” and “aaaahing” my way through the entire pizza, shovelling huge forkfuls of the stuff into my massive gob. This whole night was the best thing I’d ever done. I finished the entire pizza before my friend and the girls had barely got through two slices of their own, and immediately ordered another large beer. I had had about four at this point, and my appetite showed no sign of abating. I asked the girls if they were going to eat all of theirs, and they said no — I ended up eating half of theirs each, and some of my friend’s. So I ate about two and a quarter 14-inch pizzas, and was still hungry. Dessert time! This was all highly amusing to my friends, who hadn’t been told I was on “stuff”, although I’m sure they were beginning to get suspicious, knowing my reputation for pharmaceutical endeavours.

At this point, I was thoroughly stimulated beyond expectation. My eyes were wide with mania. I was nodding my head and moving my body uncontrollably to the light music they had on in the restaurant, wishing instead I was at a loud nightclub going mental. Highly cocainic behaviour. Next, I decided that I needed cigarettes. And that they were going to taste and feel absolutely incredible. I left the restaurant on my own and went and got some. Now, bupropion is supposed to be a smoking cessation aid. The logic behind this is that it antagonizes nicotonic receptors (I did not notice this at all), and also increases dopamine by reuptake inhibition so you’re not relying on cigarettes for their dopamine spike, instead enjoying the dopamine already present and locked in in the brain. However, logic will tell you that anything increasing dopamine will simply be felt so much harder on dopamine reuptake inhibitors, since it all gets locked in. Smoking for me was indeed far more intense on this drug. I actually found it to be a smoking enhancer rather than a cessation aid. It very much reminded me of cocaine in this respect. People on cocaine will often chain-smoke while high, for these very reasons of dopamine spiking and retention we’ve just discussed.

My dopaminergic state was showing no signs of abating. In fact, it had only become more intense during the course of having overstimulated myself on so many levels. Turning to go back into the restaurant, I caught a glimpse of my girlfriend through the window, and saw how fucking hot she looked. Bewilderingly, I found myself with a massive boner right there and then, just on my way back to the table! I began to sweat. I looked at the girls, and my vision swirled and glistened: I could see their archetypes. An archetype is a visual representation of a single facet of the human psyche, which all early religions based their deities upon, e.g. Pagan representations, and of course the Greek and Norse gods. On this occasion I was of course seeing the Goddess of Fertility archetypes in the girls. Freyja in Norse mythology, and Aphrodite in Greek.

Freyja: http://www.freyjafirst.com/Gallery/preview/freyja_012.jpg

Aphrodite: http://www.logoi.com/pastimages/img/aphrodite_2.jpg

Usually I have to do tantric sex, another dopamine turbo-charger, in order to clearly see female sexual archetypes. But there they were. I now fully understood the intense, polarizing and subverting power of the human sex drive — how it controls us so much of the time, how it guides our behaviour towards what our brain sees as the divine. How we cannot think of anything else when in such lustful states. I was sweating, shaking, wide-eyed, and absolutely sex-obsessed. I remember my thoughts being somewhere along the lines of “Sex… where’s the sex… need sex… she looks so fucking hot… sex… sex… oh my God… sex…” I insisted we leave immediately, and paid up. My friend drove us home, with me still sweating in my priapic state. I dragged my girlfriend out of the car by the hand and took her straight up to my room. I threw her down on the bed, and began kissing her passionately. I had no time for foreplay, but it turns out we didn’t need it — my intense sexual state had transferred to her, and she was already soaking wet. I got my massive boner out, which was far bigger than normal. I estimate around 3/4 of a inch had been added by my dopaminergic horniness. I put it inside her, knew immediately that I was going to cum straightaway, and didn’t even fight it. :) My hard-on didn’t even go down. I was lustful and hungry for sex all night, and we did it about four times before bed then twice again in the morning — although I lasted longer on the successive occasions, fortunately. :)

Better than Viagra.

Cocainic Cocktails

A week later, I got Bliss round and we decided to mix up some drugs. I mixed bupropion with sertraline, an SSRI, figuring that providing the serotonergic component would make a very close analogue of cocaine. I was not disappointed. The combined effects of the two drugs were practically indistinguishable from cocaine, except that the high lasted about 12 hours — these mind drugs have very long half-lives — and there was no crash. So you can put together a highly effective cocaine analogue for a fraction of the price, and fully legally too. This is great news. It just shows again that you can have all the fun of Class A drugs without the arrest warrant, and without the dangerous impurities drug dealers introduce when cutting their stash.

Conclusions

As far as highs go, bupropion delivers a high that is far more transparent than most. Instead of sending you “Status OK” signals (which feel fairly blatantly artificially generated when on serotonin drugs, hence the coarseness of the high on those drugs), dopamine drugs simply enhance whatever basic drives you are experiencing anyway. It makes those drives seek satiation regardless of set or setting. It is Freud’s id, turned up to 11. I found the high to only be evident in response to these drives. For example, you can sit there on serotonin drugs in a completely satisfied daze, blissful in your chemical heaven. Bupropion however does not feel like this at all. There is a sense of clarity and purpose in the high, rather than the artificial coarseness of venlafaxine. Bupropion reminded me a lot of khat in this respect. To me, now, the effects of dopamine are quite evident in their function and how they enhance a high. I got those same clear and beautiful dopamine overtones from overdosing on St. John’s Wort. There is something of the divine in dopamine.

The most surprising and delightful thing about this high is that, whilst certainly your drives have a far higher intensity, everything you do in way of sating those drives becomes incredibly, cosmically enjoyable. Everything seems like a good idea. You cannot feel like an idiot on this drug. If you’re doing something, the reason is clear to you, and you are being fully rewarded the whole time you are doing it. I would say the only downside is that the urges remain even though you have indeed satisfied them physically. You will eat, and still be hungry. You will have sex, and still be horny. There is a sense of ultimate futility in this, and it simply sheds light on humanity’s compulsion to follow drives which are primal and ultimately unable to ever be truly satisfied, since by design, they must continue to cause you to chase, as your survival as an organic entity depends on it. There is no lasting satisfaction to be gained from chasing drives. This is because no emotional state is permanent when it is based in the physical.

Posted in Drugs | 2 Comments