"...entactogens [literally "to touch within"] offer a whole new mode of introspective well-being. They belie the worry that the happiness of our emotionally enriched descendants will be shallow. For the happiness of post-Darwinian superminds won't be soma-like and one-dimensional á la Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. On the contrary, their spectrum of mental superhealth promises to be rich, profound and unimaginably diverse.
Contemporary states of depersonalisation and derealisation are typically associated with dysfunction of the serotonin neurotransmitter system. By contrast, drugs like MDMA ("Ecstasy") can induce in hugely exaggerated form the opposite of this syndrome. By triggering the release of a lot of extra serotonin and dopamine - and thereby causing post-synaptic intra-cellular cascades we still don't fully understand - the entactogens deliver an enhanced sense of self and reality, a greater sense of authenticity, and a wonderful I'm-Alive-On-The-Planet sense of this-is-the-real-me. Better still, the heightened awareness of selfhood one enjoys on MDMA and its congeners is very different from the hard-edged egotism promoted by dopaminergic "power-drugs" like cocaine and the amphetamines.
Today perhaps most of us feel relatively self-alienated. We often feel "out of touch" with ourselves - certainly by comparison to what will be normal for our succcessors. This self-alienation is not properly corrected by "psychic anaesthetisers" such as Prozac. This is because the selective serotonin reuptake-inhibitors (SSRIs) tend to flatten rather than intensify emotion. What's needed instead are analogues and enhancements of today's entactogens and empathogens. Full-blown mental health demands the development of designer-drugs that are safe, clean and sustainable i.e. act via long-term receptor re-regulation and altered gene-expression profiles rather than explosive monoamine release. Germ-line gene therapy can follow, culminating - in one scenario at least - in genetically preprogrmmed well-being for all sentient life.
By offering at once a clearer sense of self, spiritually-enriched emotion, more lucid introspection, and unprecedented self-love fused with a profound love of others, this extraordinary family of feeling-enhancing compounds opens up beautiful new modes of introspection and selfhood. Although chemically-catalysed, such new modes of existence don't feel weird. So one doesn't feel "drugged".
Today, we think of feelings of unreality as having a neurophysiological basis; but equally, one's fluctuating sense of "how real" things seem is itself chemically-based. Reality does not admit of degrees; yet our "sense of reality" certainly does. This sense can be chemically manipulated too. Thus the psyche can be redesigned so that all our states of consciousness feel more compellingly real than anything accessible to contemporary Homo sapiens..."
THE MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF PARADISE
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Sensualism . com
The Good Drug Guide
The Hedonistic Imperative
MDMA ( Ecstasy ) : research
Critique of Brave New World