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Evolution and Patterns
by Syzygy
Citation:   Syzygy. "Evolution and Patterns: An Experience with 2C-I (exp8213)". Jul 20, 2001.

20 mg oral 2C-I (powder / crystals)


20 mg powder 2C-I (4-Iodo 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) 5:50 pm. orally in a gelcap stored in freezer.

Summary - quick overview for the impatient
Experience - the long form of what happened
Analysis - a couple thoughts about the drug, a comparative section.
Commentary - what I 'understood' while playing psychonaut


Overall I would charecterize this drug as having a slow, but energetic build almost indistinguishable from 2C-B, though more stimulant in nature. Then (around the 2.5-3 hour) mark has a quick transformation into an MDA-like psychedelic, but with stronger body buzz and inclination to touch things (i.e. my and other's bodies) as with MDMA. The come-down was very pleasant, and despite intervals of feeling slightly 'stuck' (as when one is trying to make a connection between two things, is on the verge of doing so, but doesn't quite succeed) it was the most productive part philosophically (see Commentary). A strong stimulant, though I would have prefered it to be less so.


Set: Excited to compare this drug with 2C-B, spend time with my friend (call him Bob) and do a lot of thinking. I ate very little all day - a single falafel rap at 3:00 in preparation for this trip.

Setting: Northern state, November, in a medium sized city with nice parks. Most time spent in my house, because it is quite chilly outside.

5:50: 20 mg powder 2C-I (4-Iodo 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine) orally in a clear gelcap stored in freezer.

6:20-ish: energized, feel stimulated, slight body chill like 2C-B, but less intense, a little easier on the body perhaps. I notice that my ability to focus my eyes has decreased. Upon further inspection I discover that my eyes are very dialated. It is very easy to exert my self, and I enjoy doing so, I go up and down stairs very quickly, and without feeling any lactic acid build up.

6:50: my head is 'buzzy', went with friends, one of whom had taken 22 mg 2C-I (Bob), and two others who had not taken anything to eat some food. Funny things, biting sarcasm, and great witicisms are flowing from my mouth.

7:15: Went for a walk, very cold. We walk through a park, and I begin tripping harder, thus far indistinguishable from 2C-B (4-Bromo ...), I can still carry on good conversation without betraying that i am tripping, though an observer would notice that I am slightly energetic and free with the tongue - I am quite sure they would believe that I have simply had a drink of ethanol.

7:45: Walking through leaves, at least a foot of them, the world slopes away faster than normal, as though it's radius of curvature had been decreased. The leaves look like a mountain several yards high when I look at them, and walking through them is an orgiastic experience. I am laughing though no one was making a joke, the situation was just completely ridiculous. Only my fellow psychonaut (Bob) and I notice the leaves, my other friends are oblivious to this beautiful spectacle despite the fact that they are trudging through it. At this point, for the first time tonight I can definitely say that this is looking to be much stronger than 2C-B, I doubt I would be able to pass for sober at this point. SHIT! Looking at pavement with only several leaves on it is amazing, the leaves are on a seperate level than the pavement, and the pavement its self is several levels deep. Looking at bright objects or white ones is like looking at the object through a prism with a very small refractive index - that is, there are faint blue and red fringes on either side - blue to the left and red to the right. This is no doubt due to my dialated pupils.

8:00-8:45 We make it back to our house. I am glad to be inside, because it is very cold out. I go upstairs to my room, an go in. At this point I notice that, very similar to the first oncoming rush of MDMA, my body is buzzing pretty seriously, and I touching things - especially my own body. At this point I realize that the experience is similar to a strong MDA experience. I partially undress and lay in my bed attempting to simply meditate. Closed eye visuals are very pretty, if I choose to direct them I can conjure pictures of things -skulls, faces, very organic things, but if I simply let the visuals produce themselves, I see very complex patters of intertwining orange curves with circles placed at regular intervals along them. My mind is too energetic (amphetamine-ish feel) for me to meditate. I decide to look for my fellow psychonaut who had taken 22mg.

8:45-10:00 WOW, much stronger than 2C-B, in fact I can hardly compare the two, more similar to MDA but with a stronger body buzz. I go through waves of feeling social - getting into discussions with my fellow psychonaut and a cognitive science major, and feeling non-social - not as strong as DPT, but I feel like I should be alone and just think. See Analysis.

10:30- Have returned to the point where I can have conversations more easily now, I can now focus on what I want to do - think, and discuss, rather than being forced to focus on how hard I am triping. I talk at length about economics, philosophy, and social activism with Mr. Cog Sci. major and Bob.

10:30-12:30 (am) - coming down now, very productive part of the trip, I do a lot of writing. See Commentary.

1:00-2:30 - I had intended to go to sleep at 1:00, however I am too busy capturing my trip-thoughts on paper - lest I forget them, to go to sleep.

3:00 - REALLY hungry - probably because I haven't had dinner. Could go to sleep now, am feeling slightly fried - as with MDMA, but in retrospect this was simply because I was still trying to think just as hard while tripping, but without the catalyst of the drug - see Analysis.

4:00 go to bed, sleep till 1:00 pm the next day.

Day after: feel fine, eyes hurt a little because I was looking at computer screens and bright lights with dialated eyes - note to self, wear sunglasses next time. Not 'fried' at all, surprisingly, considering the MDA-like peak. I am very pleased at this.

It should be noted that I had not eaten much during the day, and thus this could be considered a stronger reaction than what would happened with 20 mg had I eaten more.


I speculate the MDMA-like body buzz to be a massive release of serotonin, though for such strong effects at only 20 mg it would a higher serotonin-release per molecule 2C-I than MDMA. I wonder if the brain damage potential is as great on re-uptake. I certainly feel NO negative side-effects the day after, with the exception of sore eyes. I highly suggest, and fully intend to wear sunglasses next time when inside to avoid eye strain and damage. DO NOT go outside in the bright after having dosed 2C-I (or 2C-B for that matter) unless you have some god sunglasses that block UV.

I went through periods of feeling socially active and slightly anti-social, I suspect this of being a carry over from the beggining of the trip. I did not want to weird out my friends who were not taking drugs (though I made sure they were aware that I had dosed) and thus I bottled up a little - this may have led (via the usual self-suggestion) to a wish to retreat lest I attract attention from others.

Not many open-eye visuals - only the side effects from having dialated eyes. Closed eye visuals were quite interesting, though I was too speedy to want to take full advantage of them, perhaps smoking a bit of marijuana next time would be helpful.


This is the philosophical part, wherein I have taken my notes from that evening and put it in words that you might read. I consider this the most important part of the trip report for someone who takes any substance as a means unto a state of higher consciousness. There is some development of ideas after the fact, but the ideas had their genesis, or at least finally made themselves known to me, during the later part of the trip.

In the steady state I might agree with Chomsky, that any idea will find a word for its self given enough time, but the problem is that words become over-used and lose their meaning, like distant memeories - less vivid reflections of forgotten beauty. Say 'God' to a room of people, and I wilI gaurantee that every one of them has a different impression of what that word means. Even well defined technical terms will provoke different reactions, because not everyone has had the same experiences with that word.

In the short term , in the transient, it is helpful to have words, abbreviations for thoughts, like theorems, so that you do not have to re-derive every new idea from first principles, but i do not believe that every thought has words yet, and thus we can impede thought - if only in the short term - by lack of good words. This is perhaps what critical thinking is, recognizing thought patterns and understanding their connections so that you can get answers in finite time. I will say this, that all language is a cliche, that good writing is singing the fundamental ideas that the old words were invented for, but with new lyrics.

I don't have the new words yet, but here are some old lyrics given a new twist, try not to come to conclusions until you read them all.

In the big bang there is some initial asymmetry. As the universe expands, the energy density decreases and as the energy density decreases the reactions which require more energy to sustain themselves happen less and less. Some interactions thus begin to happen with a greater likelyhood than the higher energy reactions. As one approaches the steady state, a new pattern emerges: interactions that destabilize spacetime such that another reaction of the same kind can occur (example: propagation of electromagnetic waves). As one approaches the steady state these interactions define the shape the universe will take. The reactions which do not involve self replication are two kinds, those that form products so stable that they exist permanently, or nearly so, and those that are too high-energy to retain coherence as the universe cools -these represent a transient solution, which disappears for the most part as time moves forward, and energy density decreases.

The same thing happens with molecules; there is a finite amount of energy available for the formation of molecules, and so bonds are broken and formed repeatedly. Finally there is a molecule (or maybe several) which are structured such that if they break, they can reform (incorporating the local primordial soup of other atoms and molecules), with varying degrees of versimilitude to the former structure. All of these molecules are likely one day, to break, and so as one approaches the steady state one sees the recurrence more and more of those things which have the ability of what we call replication -the ability to reform upon breaking into multiple pseudo-copies.

Now of these pseudo-copies some are bound to be more stable and some less so. The two limiting cases are extreme stability, such that no replication, or change can happen at all, or so unstable that the molecule cannot maintain coherence long enough to replicate again.

People often think that the new dominant species or ideas evolved from the old dominant species or idea. This is simply not true. The dominant paradigm evolved out of the fringe, the weak mudfish species that could not survive so they fled to the tidal pools, and from there to land.

The replications which are extremely stable (so as to be unreactive) serve as the trivial solutions to this complex differential equation (if you will). They are the sinks, points of negative divergence - the potential wells in configuration space. The unstable replications are the points of positive divergence, the hills in amongst the valleys.

Succesfull replication - call it pattern propagation if you will - plays the gambit between these two fates. It is only in dynamic equilibrium, in the compromise that the complex is formed - things which are complex enough so that they can replicate with small error and sequester energy for further reactions, yet not so complex that they cannot maintain their existence long enough to replicate. To phrase it another way, a replicating pattern which is to survive must not only have information carrying capacity, but also the capacity for memory through it's respective instantiations.

Herein lies the ghost of evolution. By recognizing the patterns among the things which exist we discover what Darwin called the forces of natural selection, the fitness functions that give rise to phenomena. In the simplest case these fitness functions are mathematical constraints (see below), and thus if we remove some of the constraints it may be possible to find patterns that satisfy the other constraints, but not one limiting case. For instance it might be possible to find an algorithm which computes all primes in an infinite amount of time, but it is of no practical use, since the fitness function by which we judge such algorithms is their ability to execute in finite or minimized time. That does not mean that these impossible algorithms, these patterns which complete only at infinity cannot give us insight; we simply must be willing and able to examine them.

Several examples. In classical mechanics the Lagrangian - the minimization of the difference between kinetic and potential energies integrated over time - serves as one such fitness function, and it has great predictive power in determining what will happen in physical systems - the path which satisfies the lagrangian is the path a particle will take. Likewise Newton's Law of Cooling, minimizing (to the point of nearing zero) the difference in heat between two bodies in convection with eachother as time progresses. In fact physical theories are subject to fitness functions themselves - Occum's Razor.

Each thought - each state of mind - is latent in the emergent properties of a given time varying arrangement of neuron connections. The limiting factor here is the minimal level of incoming energy (light for rods and cones, and number of ions in the ion channel for brain neurons). It is well-known that LSD, mescaline, and other psychedelics lower that energy - that is smaller and smaller disturbances propogate. Now more 'complex' states of mind -ones that involve more connections and thus more firing neurons working in harmony, have higher 'activation energies', especially thought patterns which are new to the brain. Whenever a pattern is formed it sets of a wave of new patterns in the mind which are closely related to that pattern, the old pattern 'jumps' to the new configuration (or multiple configurations) like proteins creating proteins similar to themselves, or like a wave in a dispersive medium deforming as it propagates. If the 'activation energy' for propogation of a pattern through a neural net is lowered (via chemicals, meditation, etc.), more dissimilar patterns of thought can be formed, and it is easier to see the connections and generalizations latent in the form of that upon which one is focused.

It should be quite obvious by now that the same pattern of evolution is evident, with small modification on each new level of complexity. I would argue that this is due to a magnification of the evolutionary process at the most fundamental level discussed in the first paragraph - that is, that the patterns governing any system of interacting elements will be evident in any phenomena which is an emergent property of that system.

By this argument the patterns evident in history are magnifications of the patterns evident in our own minds, and the interactions of those patterns with eachother. Prohibition of actions by law is a consequence of the regulating tendancies of our own minds, wars are the consequence of the aggressive tendancies of our own minds, and thusforth. This is why a community of militant people are likely to form a militant government, and nerdy students likely to form nerdy organizations. These organizations take on a 'life of their own', and so it is that we can talk of the actions of The US, or the DEA as though they were the actions of an individual.

Just as the neccessary pieces of pattern propagation for the neurons was the receptor, it's agonist, and the synapse across which that agonist travels, that neccessary for communication between humans are the external senses, the words/smells/pictures/textures that excite those sensory receptors, and the gulf of isolation between each person. Just as each point on a (mathematically ideal) wave front is the source of a new wave front (Hyugen's Prinicple - this is not strictly true physicaly, but mathematically it works quite well), each thought generator - each person - is the source of new idea. Like a radio tower or repeater, replicating more or less accurately each idea, and creating a new thought wave - which spreads throughout the population , a meme, a virus, a pattern propagating through minds, and each one with the ability to give it new lyrics, new life.

Are all of these things subject to the same pattern? If the cosmos, molecules, life, societies, and ideas can all evolve then can they truly be said to be alive? Or is this just an effect of my own neural-net brain, projecting it's self out into the universe and seeing reflections in mirrors? I don't know.

Well there you have it. Some of it feels wrong now - as though I am not taking into account everything I should be, but there is a gem of truth in there somewhere. Something about self-organization and evolution. Hope you enjoyed it.

Exp Year: 2000ExpID: 8213
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Jul 20, 2001Views: 54,338
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2C-I (172) : Various (28), First Times (2)

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