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Using Psychedelics Wisely

By Myron J. Stolaroff on Friday, 21 February 2014, hits: 5404


HONESTY

For the serious spiritual seeker, or for that matter anyone seeking knowledge, the single most important characteristic is honesty. This means the courage to look at whatever is presented by the deep mind, the ability to admit one's shortcomings when they become apparent, and the determination to change one's behavior in line with the truth one has experienced.


ONGOING DISCIPLINE

Experts in the field now generally agree that it is wise to conduct psychedelic explorations within the framework of a spiritual discipline or growth program that will continually call attention to fundamental values and goals. A good discipline will outline a body of ethics for personal behavior that will support the changes required. Good ethics will also help us stay clear about our objectives, and will keep the door open to increasing depths of experience. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that the more we are prepared to pass on to others whatever spiritual largess we have accumulated, the more we will be given.

For myself, I found training in Tibetan Buddhist meditation a potent adjunct to psychedelic exploration. In learning to hold my mind empty, I became aware that other levels of reality would more readily manifest. It was only in absolute stillness, accompanied by a special, highly developed quality of listening, that many subtle but extremely valuable nuances of reality appeared. While I achieved this to some extent in ordinary practice, I found this effect to be greatly amplified while under the influence of a psychedelic substance. This in turn intensified my daily meditation practice.


PSYCHEDELICS AS WAY-SHOWERS

The role of psychedelics is often misunderstood. Many feel that having had wonderful experiences, they now have the answers and are somehow changed. And no doubt in many respects they are. But users often overlook the fact that there are usually heavy walls of conditioning and ignorance separating the surface mind from the core of our being. It is a blessing that psychedelics can set aside these barriers and give access to our real Self. But unless one is committed to the changes indicated, old habits of personality can rapidly reestablish themselves.

At this point many feel that repeating the experience will maintain the exalted state. It may, but most often real change requires hard work and dedicated effort. Unfortunately this is not always clear during the experience itself; it has merely pointed the way and shown what is possible. If we like what we see, it is now up to us to bring about the changes indicated.

There is a grace period following profound psychedelic experiences when changes can be rapidly made. At this time one is infused with the wonder and power of the new information. Moreover—and this is an area where some valuable research can be done—the drug experience releases a great deal of bodily and psychic armoring that is tied to our neuroses. This rejuvenation is quite noticeable after a good psychedelic experience, when, without the dragging weight of physical habit patterns, behavior can be more readily changed.

On the other hand, if you make no effort to change, old habits rapidly reassert themselves, and you find yourself sliding back into your previous state. In fact, it can be worse than before, because now you know that things can be better and are disappointed to find yourself mucking around in the same old garbage.

Another factor makes this process even more uncomfortable. A lot of the energy formerly tied up in repressed material is now released. This energy may be used quite fruitfully to expand the boundaries of your being to the new dimensions you have experienced. But if you return to old patterns of behavior, you now have more energy to reinforce them, making life more difficult. For this reason, these experiences must not be taken lightly, but with serious intent.

Comments  

0 # Shadowed 2014-02-28 15:29
Is that it? Low dose + breath through the uncomfortable passages?

I heard Anne Shulgin's talk from Psychedelic Science '13 and started looking for books and hypnotherapists to do this work, now it seems I only need to venture 2 meters to my stash :eek:
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