mdp thesis

a cognitive mapping experience

Category: Observation

Framework for Consciousness

framework of consciousness

Over winter break, I reframed my thesis and brief after conducting more research into studies of hallucinations and the work of Oliver Sacks and the various philosophies and cultural upheavals of the 1960s in psychedelia. In my own reflection on widespread drug use and its generative assumptions and misinterpretations, philosophical views surrounding the subject have been overlooked due to its untestable nature. However, taking an analytical and historically bent scientific evaluation of the holisitc influence of drugs, it makes sense to come to an overall framework that could attempt to explain drug experiences and their influence on reality in tangible terms.

Points to Consider:

  • Changing perceptions around drug use has to take into account a holistic viewpoint towards reality generation, not the representative nature of what drugs have come to be perceived according to its recent human use
  • This point of view is a framework to build, test and hypothesize upon, and helps consolidate the impact of drugs as “facilitated experiences” on a user’s psyche
  • The depictions of drugs (media, art, authorship, research) has been overtly cast from the male perspective since the heyday of the 1960s… How does a gendered (queering) feminine approach change the way we see and value altered consciousness? How does a non-white, Eastern, culturally historical viewpoint change the way drugs can be seen?
  • By deconstructing drugs as objects of experience, commitment and integration, can this tackle/call attention to the bigger problems of the destructive and untrue biases towards addiction, illicit drug users and its real consequences?
  • By shifting the conversation towards its historical ties to spirituality, healing and transformation as a positive force, I hope to speak towards both political embodiment of activism through the subject but towards one that fosters collective and long term positive growth and potential for the future (vs one that just creates a stagnant “solution” without looking at drugs in all of its historical analysis – racial injustices, scientific breakthroughs, and eastern practices)
  • Hypothesis and Prototyping is used here as a call towards using drugs and tangible forms of experimentation towards research in new fields of Science that ultimately begin with unknown variables and models – one that recognizes the longstanding values of Eastern practice and medicine, Traditions and Shamanic Spiritualism

HTID (Flexy Perspective)


A fiction of events

We took the first half when we arrived, it took about 30 minutes for the initial effects to take over. I began to feel very chatty, my mind was floaty and began to feel my eyes feel heavy. I sat down finding it hard to dance in a coordinated way. After sitting we began to talk about everything, life, our friendship, and the project. I felt so happy to be with a close friend sharing this experience. It was then that we met friends sitting next to us, we talked to them for what seemed like a few minutes but when we checked the time we had been sitting and talking for about an hour.

We got up and wondered to the dance area outside, we danced and talked about the stages, the vibes, saying how amazing everyone looked. This Dane and chat continued for the rest of the dj set we were watching. We then moved to the indoor stage. We danced some more and enjoyed the environment. I then started to play with my orbit, it felt amazing to dance with it, to have it tug at my finger tips, massaging my hands as I dance. The feeling led to visuals when closing my eyes.

The time passed so quickly, I felt at times I would close my eyes and start to dance, then I’d get lost in the moment and time would fly by. One moment we an hour left of the show and the next I open my eyes, and boom the dj is saying good night.

I felt happy, disoriented, and energetic. …it was fun memorable experience.

Feels Concert (Elaine’s Account)


We park a ways down the road about a mile away from the venue. In front of us was a truck carrying a group of young people that got very excited when they pulled in  front, waving their arms in the air as they hopped out. Jameson and I got the two beers from the back and started drinking them before heading to the venue. The sun was about to set on the horizon as we got closer, passing a beach port on the left. It was a nice sunny day on the beach as this concert was outside. I had an air of nostalgia as I heard the music cascading through the open air. It had been at least 5 years since the first 420 Fest I heard djs playing on an amphitheater venue. We walked up to the almost non existent line and the security checked my fanny pack but no pat down. That was so surprisingly easy, I thought – the security even asked me what my poi balls where, I joked as I described them and they laughed saying they looked like mangos on strings. It was sunset as we walked in through this archway bridge and into the grassy resort grounds. I first noticed a pair taking a selfie on the bridge and then a small group of colorful women twirling hula hoops on a patch of grass. Then the stage appeared in the near distance as the groovy sounds of Jai Wolf ripped in the air. There were people dressed beachy bohemian with tanks and dip dyed shorts, some girls in rave gear with fluffies, leg wraps and bikini wear. Guys wore t-shirts and pants but some had bandanas, kandi and backpacks.

We first went towards the back middle where the production crew was set up. I mentioned to Jamie about my drug project and ironically a guy in front puffed out a long smoke and was holding a pipe in his hand as he walked into the crowd. After I snapchatted to some friends, we headed towards the back. I wanted to see the other hula hoopers and poi dancers towards the back. We hung out there and I started to wander, taking photos of glovers and noticing the free water offered. We went into the crowd and I saw a group of guys and girls taking selfies in front of us. They were all sucking on pacifiers of different colors, some had hoodies on as well. Kudos to what they were on or taking later. After a bit of dancing including getting really excited as Jai Wolf played Indian Summer to close, where many attendees ran into the crowd at this point, Trippy Turtle came on. The energy changed and got much more groovy than feels and people were jumping to the beats. After a bit of this I went to use the restroom and then as we came out again night was creeping up faster.

We wandered to the tents and I got two Mai Tai’s for the both of us and we hung out to the left of the stage where more people were sitting down, some getting massages, light shows or just hanging out with friends. Then a girl came over and casually asked us if we knew anyone selling coke. We said no we didn’t. We hung out there for a bit and then wandered over to the back again and I started to play with my poi lights. Two girls came up behind me and very excited and asked to get a light show. I told them I had gloves if they would rather that. I took them out and started gloving to the music and they sat down to watch. It was very interesting watching them because they were clearly rolling – their eyes would roll back and into the center as I moved my hands and they would say things like “Oh wow… omg… wow… you are so good.” After maybe 3 or 4 songs I finished off and they thanked me for the show. I then casually asked where they were from and if they were rolling, which they were. They had taken Molly and were already rolling and having a great time. We chatted some more about raves and the one girl went to get water – props to hydration! I then played with my poi some more and danced with Jamie and then the Do You Like Drugs song came on and Cashmere Cat played it for a while, getting everyone to jump and rally! Everyone felt like they were singing to it and it felt very communal at that moment with the high energy. It made me think of how so many people were pretty much on drugs there and it was pretty openly accepted for an event compared to something like an Insomniac or Hard concert. We then got hungry and went to get some food at the food truck and sat down on the left side again. Cashmere Cat was about to end and it was a very chill night under the stars. It felt very freeing and lighthearted with everyone having a good time, clearly many rollers and smokers but people were smiling and happy even though it ended at 10pm.