Mailbag: Methoxphenidine, Personal Space and the 50:50 Rule


BC wrote:

Me and a friend tried MXP and were blown away by it’s qualities. In particular it got to where I could take very small doses and experience great insights and feelings all the while not being too “far out”

Since these blissful times I have stopped everything. Occasionally I smoke herb but even that I started to see as being a major obstacle in my life. After years of doing drugs I was starting to feel their effects- as in I was getting thinner and losing some of my life force. Even with MXP-which I absolutely loved- I hated to report that no matter how much I ate I was losing weight. This killed me- because everything else was great on it.

I had so many mind bending experiences on it and me and my friend got to where we pretty much communicated on this telepathic level. An abundance of deep pleasant experiences and also a very driven spirit while on MXP. Also, how is it possible to feel so much energy and yet sleep like a baby if you so choose. The sleep we would get was amazing- like brain fully recovering.

Anyway, curious as to what your thoughts are on it- came across your blog. Some friends reported nothing from it.

Please let me know anything you know about it.



Hi BC,

I enjoyed MXP very much. Sleep = NMDA antagonism. Energy = dopamine. It releases a lot more dopamine than ketamine, which is also what gives it that “sparkle”. I found it highly addictive. I would go on nights out and just look forward to getting home and sinking into an MXP trip. It would make everything look like it was made of candy. It was great.

The insights and all that you are describing are because, in my experience, MXP triggers an “Arising & Passing Away”. Read Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha to learn about this:  LSD can also trigger this.

I have also had telepathy with my brother, but that was on ketamine.

I have also given up substances (6 weeks now) because I started to hurt everywhere all the time. I’ve stopped the escapism now, although it was good at points. Even alcohol, I only have about 3 beers a week and that is usually because I’m out and it’s customary.

Personal Space and the 50:50 Rule

During another conversation, with Pat, I mentioned that I’d been to see Imagine Dragons live last night after some friends invited me.

Pat wrote:

Were they any good? I wouldn’t mind seeing them, they have a few good songs.

I honestly can’t tell you if they were good or not. I don’t like crowds. I don’t have anxiety at all any more and it’s actually quite strange because I used to naturally assume that “not enjoying something social” = “anxiety”. So thinking about it last night while at the gig, I just found that being surrounded by people and having no personal space correlates directly with feeling “crowded” in my mind – so thoughts don’t have space to foment.

I remember one guy standing so close to me, before the band even started, that I eventually turned around and said, “Are you trying to get past, mate?” He thought for a moment then said, “Yeah, I suppose I am” and walked through, then away. He then went and did the same to another group of people. I realized he was there on his own and was trying to attach himself to a group, and probably picked us because we were joking around and having a good time. I felt sorry for him at that moment (compassion). Then the band started and everyone just squashed in closer and closer. I just stood there for the 2 hours in more of an analytical mode, creating some mental space with a jhana and thinking about the universe and stuff. So it wasn’t unpleasant. But I didn’t “give myself to the moment”, and simply won’t at any kind of crowded event. The only times I ever did were generally on super-reality drugs like MDMA where everything “is” the moment and there is very little sense of self. (It has been shown scientifically that the ring of brain areas which light up during self-referential thought no longer link up in that way while on MDMA.) Before the band played, their support act Sunset Sons were on, and I enjoyed them because I had a lot more personal space around me and we were making little jokes about their songs amongst ourselves, so it was more of a “step in, step out” experience, which I prefer.

When looking back over a lot of similar situations, things make a lot more sense now. E.g. I bet I would have loved seeing Prince live last year if I had just had 3 feet of space around me. In my long experience these things can’t really be changed and should actually just be catered for. I’ve wasted a lot of my life trying to change what are, it seems, “core” personality traits. Nowadays I am quite diligently following the “50:50 rule” which I made up recently and talked about here:

“I like to remember the rule of 50% free will, 50% determinism. So you keep a loose grip on the reins. You let the universe/activity play out ‘as it wants’ in equal measure to your own control of it. This element of acceptance lets the ‘river run around you’ while you direct your course.”

A similar sentiment has been expressed in the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

However, my 50:50 rule pertains not just to everyday wisdom as the above does, but describes the fundamental relationship between free will and determinism that makes up the basis of experience here in the material world. Thus it can be applied to every facet of that experience, and has particular significance in personal change, creative acts, magick, and future-shaping.

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18 Responses

  1. AnarchistSleeperCell says:

    Hiiii maaaaate

    “I just stood there for the 2 hours in more of an analytical mode, creating some mental space with a jhana and thinking about the universe and stuff.”

    Having been on a few nights out with you over the years 🙂 I remember seeing you in this state at some point EVERY TIME. Usually on a dance floor. I always notice because my goal is always to get wasted enough to allow myself to “give myself to the moment” so it always surprised me when I saw you looking like you weren’t into it as much as me.

    As you know I work away a lot, often alone. Recently I’ve cut down drinking alone a lot and I’ve realised that makes me feel VERY loneley. That probably sounds really obvious but the strength of emotion has really surprised me.

    I know that’s not really relevant but I’m currently drunk……alone…..


    • Illuminatus says:

      I get nothing from dancing and don’t even really understand it as a “thing”. I also don’t like feeling “on show” unless I’m good at something. So dancing is a non-starter for me, yet I will sing karaoke in front of hundreds of people without a hint of shyness.

      The result of this is that going on the dance floor is never my idea. And I am under the impression that the guys I am with usually head towards the dance floor towards the end of the night not because they really like dancing, but because they are hoping for a miracle and that a girl will come and pull them. Alternatively, they are trying to strangle some final fun out of a night that has already peaked. Either way, the act of wandering onto the dance floor has a stench of desperation around it. I don’t know if others are really feeling that way or whether it’s just me, but my solution has now been to simply not do it at all, and I’ve never been happier.

      Re your drinking, I know you’ve been wanting to cut down on that for some time. Well I personally no longer drink in the week and find sleep and rest a lot more satisfying as a result. Also, the first beer at the weekend is now like a treat (but successive beers are far more sedating than they were in the past — I think 3 is kind of my limit for actually enjoying alcohol, now). Next time you are driving past, come and see me for a bit and I’ll show you myofascial unwinding the right way (I haven’t put any videos of it on this site yet so don’t bother searching). That is how you actually “unwind” — I believe it is the origin of the phrase. It’s relaxing and actually fixes the body.

  2. James says:

    Dancing is about vibing.

  3. Vick says:

    I know it’s not related but I figured it will get more views here.

    I’ve been taking piracetam, theanine and caffeine for the past couple weeks and saw quit a big improvement in my meditation sessions.
    Today I didn’t take anything and noticed my focus went way down.

    Does anyone have any experience with nootropics and meditation long term?
    Say in six months on nootropics Ill be able to easily cycle through all the jhanas quickly, if I stop taking them will I lose that ability?
    Or will my “attainments” remain?

    • Illuminatus says:

      For a few months I was messing around with phenibut and 3-FPM a lot, and thought I was making gains in concentration meditation, but when I quit all substances 7 weeks ago or so my skills shot up about 200%. But those are “drug drugs”, despite phenibut being cited as a nootropic.

      Piracetam makes me fog-brained and caffeine makes me extremely jittery and uncomfortable (any more than 2 cups of coffee). I tried theanine for a while some years ago and it was a placebo at best; at worst even large doses did nothing. So drugs have different effects on different people. I have no idea what would happen to your practice if you came off them. I was surprised that quitting substances gave me a significant increase in skill, but after a while I thought that it probably made sense.

      My general thought is that attainments made on drugs are attainments in their own right, but are different to the attainments made not on drugs. E.g. a phenibut jhana can only be made on phenibut; the non-phenibut version is different. Same as how an MDMA state requires MDMA.

      But maybe with drugs that actually grow new neurons, skills would be retained after coming off them. However I messed around with 7,8-dihydroxyflavone for a while, which does exactly that as it mimics BDNF, and didn’t find its state remained after coming off it. (However, with that drug in particular, it really did give the “socially fearless” state they discovered in rat models, and which I used to talk about re BDNF a while ago — but it lasted literally ~1 hour then stopped abruptly.)

      • Vick says:

        I can see how it shot up when you quit, every time a drank alcohol, took phenibut or kratom my concentration suffered a day or two after so I stopped taking stuff as well except phenibut+alcohol maybe once a month or so.

        Placebo is still powerful. There are other racetams and noopept, if you take enough of it I think it turns emotions almost off.
        I took noopept once before going out for the hell of it, drank more alcohol than I usually drink and didn’t feel it at all.
        But I also didnt feel like talking to anyone or doing anything really so it was a weird night out.

        Maybe with enough practice you could mimic MDMA 😛

        Yeah that’s what I was hoping since nootropics alter the mind physically over time.

        All I really need is to silence my mind for at least 30 minutes with no thoughts and without losing clarity of mind, and fourth jhana would be nice too of course.

        I think I’ll give it a couple more days off any nootropics and see how my sessions go.
        I’ll miss the sale on the scale though..

  4. Illuminatus says:

    “All I really need is to silence my mind for at least 30 minutes with no thoughts and without losing clarity of mind, and fourth jhana would be nice too of course.”

    The best way to achieve this in my experience is to begin tracking times of days when concentration meditation comes easiest. E.g. for me the above would be extremely easy after working all day, at say 5:30pm, because my mind is already focused from the work and, as a night owl, my neurotransmitter levels are peaking around that time. In fact I usually spend 30 minutes doing insight meditation when I get in from work because it’s so easy and painless to move through the stages of insight and get a fruition at those times.

    But I find any kind of meditation gruelling and pointless first thing upon waking. Concentration meditation is easiest for me around midday, a while after eating. At night my meditation flips into insight almost immediately, usually starting with a very obvious Arising & Passing Away and I think this “concentration meditation in the day, insight at night” correlates roughly with left brain in the day, right brain at night and is something to do with my night owl or bipolar cycle (and matching the correct meditation to that cycle has basically eliminated my bipolar symptoms).

    So, track, and stop doing meditation at the bad times, and really turn it up during the good times.

    • Vick says:

      Thing is there isnt a consistent pattern, sometimes I can easily concentrate in the morning (an hour after I wake up), sometimes only in the second session in the afternoon.
      Sometimes my evening session is good but sometimes I keep drifting into thoughts.

      Today is was really bad, my attention was wobbly and foggy, but that might be because I didnt take any nootropic or even drink coffee.

  5. Vick says:

    Ended up buying a 2 month supply, I’ll take them for 2 months then stop for a week and see what happens.

    BTW did you take a choline source or ALCAR with piracetam? If you didnt it might be the reason for the fogginess.

    • Illuminatus says:

      I took noopept with choline and aniracetam with choline; both were meaningless to me.

      • Vick says:

        Wow even noopept, thats a pretty strong one.

        Some sources say that nootropics mostly have effects on people with deficiencies, it’s very possible that after spending so much time meditating and in jhanas you just dont need them.

        • Illuminatus says:

          I talked a bit about cholinergic drugs here:

          They made me feel brain-dead. All the benefits others describe of nootropics (such as the racetams), e.g. brighter colours, lateral thinking, a quicker mind, are what I experience during my “manic” (awake) phase anyway, and have done for years. Cholinergics just flatten that (literally doing the opposite to what they do for other humans).

          This does suggest to me two broadly different “hardwares” extant in modern humans, but the Neanderthal model to account for “my” (very right-brained, holistic, visionary) hardware vs. the standard linear, bland left-brained thought of most people does not appeal to me any more because plenty of “Neanderthals” (e.g. Koanic himself) are left-brained to the point of schizophrenia.

          I am still leaning to the idea that there is something VERY wrong with the modern human brain, in that the left brain is so dominant (and thus “nootropics” just give right-brain glimpses). I have some ideas as to why this is which don’t invoke things like genetic engineering (which are fun to think about regardless). One is that sleeping in modern comfy beds and working at desks winds fascia giving a background of “problems” (nerve pain) for the left brain to “solve”. I’ve got some other ones too. It’s quite easy to make the case for modern life turning the left brain up. Bipolars are those whose right brains regularly intervene to “derail” the left brain’s plans.

          Anyway, I’m waffling. Back to work.

          • Vick says:

            I dont experience brighter colors and all that, I think they just make me feel normal.
            Normally I just feel fatigue, foggy mind, “wobbly” attention during meditation almost as if I’m drifting to sleep.
            If I go out to the mall or just run errands I feel completely drained afterwards.
            Even while at the gym and lifting weights I still feel mentally tired.

            That post reminded me of life lol, I’m hoping meditation and in the future iih and or kriya yoga will fix me up.

            I got a new hard (cheap) mattress but it got soft very quickly, I think I’ll try to sleep on the yoga mat for a couple nights see how it goes.

            Anyway, I’m bitching again, back to reading about god and the universe and stuff.

            • Illuminatus says:

              I think those symptoms are just a lack of the reward circuit being turned on regularly enough. I think this is also the cause of “ME” (chronic fatigue syndrome).

              I had to completely reprogram my worldview before beginning to experience the pleasure circuit regularly, i.e, from waking onwards throughout the day. For me this came from realizations like, “This is it.” There had to come some ability to take pleasure in the most mundane aspects of reality. Even up until 7 weeks ago I was still searching for that in substances. Now I’m happy every day without them.

              I think basic premises — the fundamental assumptions one makes about reality — are the basis of a happy life.

              • Vick says:

                True, I don’t find much pleasure in life.

                My current assumption about reality is that we are immortal souls incarnating on earth for fun\spiritual progress, on a deeper level we are all god\consciousness experiencing itself.

                How does one find pleasure in the most mundane aspects of reality?

                I still have a feeling it could be due to bad sleep, I constantly wake up for no reason and go back to sleep. Wake up tired with bags under my eyes no matter how much I sleep, 6 or 10 hours.

                Sometimes I take a nap during the day and feel really good, it only lasts until I go to bed again.
                I tried changing my diet, I’m exercising, in decent shape etc.
                Tried adrenal fatigue pills.
                Don’t really want to be depended on sleeping pills.

                If there is enough stimulation, ie video games or something exciting like riding a motorcycle I feel awake, phenibut+caffeine+alcohol feel amazing and wide awake.

                • Vick says:

                  Sorry about that, no more bitching from me, I promise.

                  So far its been around a week on piracetem+oxi+ani+alcar and the results amazing, I just hope they will stay after I stop.

                  Also I started doing the LBRP and energy work before bed and it seems to help with the sleep.

                  • Illuminatus says:

                    Hey Vick, I actually have a reply to your question above half-written in a new Mailbag but I got sidetracked by life. I’ll finish it by the end of this week.

                    • Vick says:

                      Thanks! looking forward to it!

                      I actually made some changed myself.
                      Since December first I decided to be ruthless with my thoughts, no more dwelling on negativity, complaining, suicide etc. As soon as my mind drifts there I stop it and empty it.
                      Also no more complaining about life\work with other people.
                      Read and remind myself I really do create reality with my thoughts (recently quit a few things I thought about happened) and that I have to keep watch at all times until my nasty habit of negativity passes.
                      LBRP and energy work every night.

                      So far it seems to work, before I used to feel extremely fatigued mid day for a few hours at a time and thats when the mind went berserk.

                      In the last two weeks there was only one “bad” day, which wasn’t so bad compared to before.

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