[via Google Translate]
RIO - At only 24 years old, the writer, chemist and Hamilton Morris documentary is already one of the best known psychedelic specialists today. Son of renowned filmmaker Errol Morris, he signed a controversial column in the magazine "Vice" and also runs a series of documentary videos on the site of the magazine: Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia (The Pharmacopoeia of Hamilton). In them, desbrava the world behind any phenomenon related to psychedelics - as, for example, the legend of Haitian zombies, people who are supposed to be placed in a vegetative state for years - without resorting to any kind of cliche and an admirable lucidity.
Performing a kind of gonzo journalism, combining scientific evidence with an extremely seductive narrative, he engages deeply with the culture and the objects of their research, often serving as guinea pigs in experiments crazy. Therefore, himself a psychonaut, someone who uses altered states of consciousness to investigate the mind itself.
We talked to Morris by e-mail about their projects and trips while he was preparing for one of his psychedelic research.
What type of project you're working on now?
HAMILTON MORRIS: I am investigating the mysterious murder of an expert on fungi of Texas and trying to organize a trip to capture, preserve and analyze a hallucinogenic fish in the western Mediterranean.
You've been through some kind of spiritual experience with any chemicals?
If you're talking about a magical realm of divine spirits, I never experienced anything like that. The world as we interpret it as a phenomenon is illusory, mediated by our sensory organs. What can there are variations of this illusion. The fact that a physical system as the brain could reach such a high level of complexity is something incredible. If there is anything that is worth to be worshiped is the variety - and depth - of illusions generated by the brain.
Do you think medical treatments that use psychedelics should be disseminated?
Depends on the treatment. Practically there is no evidence that psychedelics improve cognition. The performance on mental tasks most often decreases, but there is the tantalizing possibility of improving creativity, something that is still very difficult to quantify in a scientific study. It's always interesting to note that two of the most important discoveries in the history of biochemistry, polymerase chain reaction and the structure of the DNA double helix, were both made under the influence of LSD.
What was the biggest disappointment you've had in your research?
I really wanted to interview a named Zoe7 psychonaut, who claims to have solved the murder of JonBenét Ramsey (contestant beauty contest child died at age 6 in 1996) psychically to go back in time using a substance. But he never replied to my emails.