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Psychedelics Spirituality

Psychedelics are substances that stimulate the expansion of consciousness towards perceptual realms that are usually unexplored. They are potent portals that lead us to see more of ourselves, a larger part, a universe that we could say is close to that of lucid dreaming.

They cause a form of temporary mini-awakening, a peak of awareness. Some of these substances are called by the shamans “flesh of the gods” because they are profoundly spiritual nourishment, which can open us to the most intimate vision of God.

What these substances do is raise the vibratory state of the energy body, literally giving us access to different versions of reality or even to the Intelligence that generates all those versions.

This experience can feel like a “fit of madness” if the person is having difficulty digesting the new large amount of information. Indeed, “madness” is almost always a necessary step to then access a broader understanding. In my experience, if you consider yourself a psychically balanced person, madness will only be a quick passage, perhaps terrible, intense and unexpected, but rapid and followed by an equally fierce and much longer-lasting state of ecstasy, as you learn to digest the new information and give it a new sense within psychically fragile, an intense psychedelic experience can certainly bring latent psychosis to the surface.

Usually, psychedelic substances are not recommended for those suffering from mental problems. I think that it should be understood more thoroughly. The careful use of these substances (especially LSD and psilocybin) has been used many times in the clinical setting to treat addictions, depression, various psychic pathologies, and even physical ailments. So, in reality, under the right guidance (who traditionally was the shaman, the medicine man, and who today in the West could be the holistic operator expert in these paths), these substances always have a function of knowledge and medicine. That said, a real psychedelic journey is a breathtaking rollercoaster ride of the psyche, and everyone should be well aware of this before setting off because it’s a journey you can’t go back from once the engines are running.

These portals that we call psychedelics are potent catalysts. They give you a push towards the stars … or the depths, depending on what you need to explore and how much resistance you offer to the journey. For this reason, you should know what you are doing when you use these tools: do your research, be present in what you do … or trust, instinctively, without reservations. In reality, if you are sincerely called to a substance, intuition will give you the necessary indications for what you need to experience, but not always being able to understand how open our call is, solid preventive research is a healthy habit in my opinion.

It is also instrumental in having an expert guide with you and in being in a pleasant, lively, bright place. But sometimes it happens to take a journey alone and in the dark, and that’s okay too because the night of the Soul is also a place rich in knowledge.

Channel energy with the body to avoid attacks of insanity

One thing I’ve learned the hard way is the importance of channelling the enormous amount of energy that is released from psychedelics. We must understand that we are essentially energy systems, structures within which energy moves and these movements generate thoughts, emotions, actions, behaviours.

What we call “ego” is nothing more than another energetic structure, the one with which we identify with most of the time, but which represents only a small and temporary part of who we are. When you take a psychedelic substance, such powerful energy is released into your system that your ego structure is heavily overloaded and essentially goes haywire, allowing your entire system to reset.

This energetic overload is what generates the “attacks of madness”, paranoia, anxiety and any form of fear. All symptoms that worsen if you try to understand with your mind the experience you are experiencing: why the rational mind does not it can digest a large amount of energy that is circulating in your system.

What you should do if you feel this sense of energy overload instead … is to use the physical body. The best thing is to relax the body and let it free to do what it wants: it is useful to let it free to go into vibration and accompany these spontaneous spasms and beats by helping the body to channel energy.

You can feel vibrations in the whole body, or only in parts of it, and it is very functional to relax and imagine all those vibrations discharging to the ground just as if they were electric current.

Another useful way to use the body is to keep it in its symmetry, making symmetrical gestures, moving arms and legs harmoniously. Balance is always what allows us to find consistency and digest any experience quickly and intelligently. If you find your body squirming or becoming asymmetrical during an adventure, try to bring it back into symmetry, and you’ll soon realize how beneficial it is.

During my first psychedelic experiences, I was mentally focused on understanding the background and remembering it to be able to recall it once I got sober, I hardly paid attention to the body, and this led me to make a great effort. Later I realized how much the body is a brain capable of understanding and remembering. You don’t need to remember the experience with the mind; if you channel the energy with your physical body this will be absorbed and digested in the form of awareness: you may not remember the experience in detail, but you will have made your awareness that it resulted, and that’s all that matters.

The risk of escaping the world

For all these substances, there is the risk of escape, of using them to run the world rather than to integrate it with your discoveries. And this risk exists for all experiences, such as lucid dreaming and astral travel, which lead you to see realms that are larger than yourself, sometimes immensely larger.

Those realms are so beautiful, real and bright that you can give in to using them as an escape from your “painful and mundane everyday life”, instead of sowing a seed of change and awareness in it.

 Remember so much of who we were before we were born. If we remembered, the sense of nostalgia for that immense Being would make it intolerable for us to live in this high-contrast reality. So, we wrap ourselves in that “veil of forgetting” to make our experience here more efficient, fruitful and exciting. And from under that veil of forgetting, starting to remember is infinitely more exciting than being born knowing everything. You play forgetting and remembering all the time because in this way you can process the same information in more different and creative ways.

In the spiritual environment, there are many schools of thought which are absolutely against the use of “drugs” of any kind.

I also had this position for a few years, but in the end, I could no longer deny my curiosity and my desire to explore this aspect of the spiritual quest as well. Being a very methodical, cautious and sober person, I have always felt safe about the risks to my health, and I must say that my sobriety has well balanced my wild curiosity so far. If I had to follow only the stimulus of interest, I would probably be led to ingest any substance to see the effect it has on my psyche, which is undoubtedly not advisable!

Do psychedelics cause addiction?

The main reason why “drugs” are not recommended for spiritual research is that there is always a risk of psychological addiction. If you begin to think that you can experience those expanded states only by using the substance and therefore feel dependent on it to access those states, then you are at risk of psychological dependence, and it is worth pausing for reflection. But this, on the other hand, is not only true for psychedelics: it is more or less true for everything that we consider essential in our life.

Suppose you are devoted to a teacher, and you place only in him the possibility for you to awaken. In that case, you are psychologically dependent on your teacher, and this takes away your awareness. If you think you can evolve quickly just by having that person next to you, or by implementing that given technique, or by eating a particular food … you are psychologically addicted to these things, and again you give away your awareness. We are all psychologically dependent on something; it is rare to see a person totally free from addictions, totally present and aware.

Therefore, taking “drugs” on one’s spiritual path causes a risk of psychological dependence. Still, this risk also exists for all the other things we surround ourselves with, and sometimes it is so subtle that we live in a state of addiction for years without even realizing it. The difference is instead that psychedelics are extremely potent, and with great power comes to higher risk as well. As for physical addiction, no substance today considered “psychedelic” has this side effect. However, there are substances usually not considered psychedelic, such as MDMA or cannabis, which can have a significant impact on the body. MDMA almost always causes a sharp drop in serotonin in the days following intake, which results in a decline in energy and mood (effects likely avoidable by taking natural serotonin supplements such as 5-HTP before and after the experience. ). Cannabis, when taken daily and for long periods, can cause physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

A substance that certainly gives a healthy physical, as well as psychological addiction, is opium (from which heroin comes). Opium is not considered a psychedelic substance today, and even if it is an exciting substance for its effects on the body and psyche. The use is not recommended for most people because the risks of contracting a strong physical and psychological dependence are too high.

Alcohol: From Sacred Drink to Social Cancer Finally, how can we not mention alcohol. This substance, which we now consider an everyday social drink, was once used as a psychedelic stimulus in sacred contexts (the Greek rites dedicated to the God Dionysus, who later became Bacchus in Roman times, immediately come to mind, but different types of alcohol have always been used in plus various spiritual traditions).

Today alcohol is, in my opinion, the worst substance you can use to explore expanded states of consciousness: it has devastating effects on the physical body, causes physical and psychological addiction, and often stimulates aggression rather than contemplation. While people die daily from drinking alcohol, there has not been a single death recorded to date from taking a psychedelic alone (yes, you can take LSD and then jump off the 10th floor, but it’s virtually impossible to overdose of physically. a psychedelic). That said, it is natural to ask why of all the substances that man has known to meet the divine, alcohol is the only one left legal, while all the others have been exiled as outlaws.

Like many others, I suspect that the decision was made at the table when in the 1950s the first serious research on psychedelics revealed how much they could help the resolution of the most diverse psychic traumas and bring people to a higher level of awareness. As always, anything that wakes people up catches the eye of those interested in keeping them as a pack of unwilling zombies.

LSD was one of the first substances used in the clinical setting to treat depressive states and addictions. The work of Dr Stanislav Grof, who carried out psychotherapy sessions with the controlled use of LSD with excellent results. Just as the research was beginning to become well known and exciting, during the 1960s, lawmakers and preachers alike came down with their guillotines.

Suddenly LSD and other psychedelics were diabolical substances that turned people into bloodthirsty monsters, cannabis was the substance of choice for blacks and Mexicans who raped young Americans, and anyone who dared to do scientific research into that was just a hippy disguised of the worst kind. Use psychedelics only to take a “trip.”

I have been on profoundly ecstatic journeys and dark journeys … very often a mixture of the two. But always, in any case, I came out of those trips with immense baggage of awareness, and I must say that the most challenging work was perhaps digesting and integrating that expanded awareness into my common understanding in the weeks following the journey.

On the other hand, I have never been particularly interested in the “recreational” use of psychedelics: probably because I am so sure that the worlds revealed by these substances are real and genuine, that once I leave for the trip, I feel I have no time to waste, I must collect every detail, every reflection of that greater reality, and this is the only recreational aspect that interests me … the game I feel I have to play.

When you use these substances to take a “trip”, only to have “hallucinations”, to get away from the banality that you perceive in the everyday world, it is as if, having a Ferrari, instead of taking a nice ride, you stay out admiring the car body. And suppose you believe that everyday reality is the only possible reality, while everything else is “hallucination” or “altered state of consciousness”. In that case, you will perceive the psychedelic journey as a distortion of fact, not as access to more reality. Vast, and it will be more difficult for you to use it as a portal to a leap of awareness. These substances are powerful masters, but only if you believe them to be and respect them for it.

. Everyone lives what he has to live, and the quality of the journey is also dictated by the relationship you have with that particular teacher. Sometimes, for example, I happened to take a substance with a know-it-all attitude, considering it to be nothing more than a catalyst for an experience of which I was in total control. But when the essence overwhelms you like an irresistible wave, and your psyche explodes into a universe where your rationality can control a newborn, then, if you are wise, you humbly kneel to that teacher who is the Infinite. , apologizing for your arrogance, and letting him do the rest.

Psychedelics: A Magic Awakening Pill?

Although I must confess that I have hoped a few times to return permanently “enlightened” from a psychedelic trip, I must say that things are not so plain and simple. Psychedelics are like magnifying glasses on your psyche: they show you what already exists inside you and nothing more. They deliver it to you in an accelerated, violent and powerful way; yet they cannot show you something that you are not ready to see, to digest. If this happens, experience a fit of insanity, or go unconscious.

If by magic pill we mean something external to us that solves all our spiritual research in one fell swoop, I don’t think this substance exists. Simply because I don’t believe that something external can accelerate our awakening. However, if we internally already possess the seeds of that awakening, what the substance can do is accelerate the germination of those seeds, and so in this sense, we could say that yes, they are a kind of magic pill. But for the magic pill to work, it still needs delicate alchemy: the right state of mind, the right moment, the right internal balance.

For this reason, it doesn’t make much sense for me to take a substance once and hope to learn the lesson. Sure it is possible, but I see these substances as masters: and a series of gradual studies always works better than a single address in which you try to learn everything.

I’m not talking about a lifelong psychedelic diet, but rather a cycle of intakes interspersed with long periods of supplementation. As with any real medicine, I was taking it only makes sense if it leads to healing.

If you feel you need to take medicine all your life, it is a distraction from illness rather than treatment. Psychedelics, intended as medicine to heal from the myopic perspective of the ego, only make sense if they ideally lead you to a point where you recover from that myopia without having to resort to the substance. In other words, at some point, you learn the lesson and move on. You may still use it sporadically, but it will be for reminder purposes only.

States of consciousness and the concept of time The list of substances that fall into this category is huge, and many of them are considered illegal in Italy (not in other countries), while others, such as Calea zacatechichi or melatonin in drops are perfectly legal. Much more interesting than single substances is trying to understand what are the parallels between the experiences experienced during lucid dreaming (spontaneous or induced) and the use of psychedelics or entheogens. During lucid dreaming, an extension of consciousness is experienced. Conscious at the same time, at least partially, of both the waking and dreaming personalities. If not enlightened, superconscious levels of awareness descended from a kind of potential super character that some call the soul. Extension of consciousness that makes the lucid and controlled dream also has a sort of relationship with time: if the waking ego is confined to the present moment and the past and the future it has only memories and suppositions, the subconscious and superconscious levels succeed in some way to transcend the present moment and to relate to the history and end concretely and constructively. Read also Emotions on the path of yoga >> Everything is one We mentioned another characteristic of lucid dreams: control. Controlling the invention is generally the second step after becoming aware of being dreaming. How can you control the surrounding environment? Realizing that one is the surrounding environment as much as the personality contained in it. This amniotic paradox is also very common in psychedelic, and spiritual experiences, a kind of objective interconnection with the fabric of reality, the famous “all is one” of Asian cultures. Everything becomes extended, porous, penetrable, and objects and subjects merge. Identity and identification capacity are strengthened, and everything can be known from the inside, by identification, and not by reflection, deduction, experimentation from the outside. The dissolution of the ego This experience of unity is linked to another fascinating phenomenon, known among psychonauts as “ego-death”, or dissolution of the ego. When consciousness loses its usual perimeters of form and is reflected in objects, in subjects and in the space that contains them, the ego structure dissolves temporarily, which can sometimes be too intense and unmanageable for some.

A useful way to start research with a psychedelic:

Psychedelic substances are still illegal or decriminalized in (except the Ayahuasca blend): the following paragraph does not want to instigate you to violate the law or to take psychotropic substances, but it was written with educational, informative and harm reduction proposals.

You take a small dose of the substance (the amount at which you begin to feel its effects distinctly), and you begin to familiarize yourself with its vibration. Always test the sense if it is a laboratory product (there are chemical test kits on the market, and they are legal to buy).

Increase the dosage gradually over 2 to 3 sessions. Between each session, you allow a variable time interval for each substance (from 1 week to 1 month), both to avoid addiction and to be able to integrate the experience and avoid psychological dependence.

During each session, do everything the intuition suggests to you to integrate the experience and digest the information, it is not so much about understanding or rationally controlling what happens, but about letting go in a confident but at the same time attentive and receptive state.

Ideally, by increasing the dose and looking for perfect alchemy each time, you can have an extraordinary experience compared to all the others. You have the feeling that you have reached a peak of consciousness, and at the same time, you have the feeling of being able to hold something of that experience in the following days, when your consciousness has returned to a normal state. If by recalling your psychedelic experience, you manage to reactivate even a minimum of that peak vibration you experienced in yourself, then you are on the right track.

This peak experience is the one you should aim for. Once you have achieved and verified that you can retrieve at least a fragment of that vibration and activate it in your ordinary consciousness, then it is time to take a long pause and work on learning to start that significant vibration more and more into your familiar beat.

When you have the impression that you have forgotten the taste of that significant vibration, and can no longer recall it, then you can use the substance again as a reminder. Or you can go back to using it simply because you feel the time is right because you think it has something new to show you. If you begin to think that you can experience those expanded states only by using the substance and therefore feel dependent on it to access it, then you are at risk of psychological dependence, and it is worth pausing for reflection.

Each substance then has its characteristics, and some substances produced in the laboratory must be taken in microscopic doses: so if you choose to undertake a path of this type you must do your research, check the exact dosage, the most known undesirable effects, and all that allows you to take full responsibility for the journey you are about to undertake.

Remember that all psychedelics are potent catalysts of consciousness, so don’t take them lightly.

Although mass psychedelic utopianism came and went in waves, the hippie movement of the late 1960s still echoed on the rave scene of, spiritual seekers, artists and grown-up hedonists investigating the value of these drugs.

The protagonist of the conference entitled “Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics” (Horizons: perspectives on psychedelics), held in New York from 19 to 21 September, was an older and wiser movement, intent on probing the links of these substances with medicine, art, spirituality and culture. It was made up of 300 people: an assortment of hippies and academics with white button-down shirts, which barely exceeded the number of dreadlocks, and NASA t-shirts.

Psychedelics are “the most powerful psychiatric drug ever conceived,” said psychotherapist Neal Goldsmith, curator of the conference. But when they are used in the form of medicine – albeit with all the necessary precautions – they cause mystical experiences, which is why “science must expand”. Appropriate research, he said, could change government policies that classify psychedelics as dangerous drugs, which are prohibited from being used in a medical setting.

The most promising of current medical research, said Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, involves combining MDMA (Ecstasy) with intensive psychotherapy to treat disorders caused by psychedelics. Post-traumatic stress. The first studies, he said, had “very encouraging results” with patients who were unresponsive to interview therapy and regular care.

The group hopes to get FDA approval within ten years. But drug companies don’t seem interested:

  • The MDMA molecule is in the public domain.
  • The number of pills the therapy uses are too low to be profitable.
  • The drug is the subject of constant controversy.

The only way to give it legitimacy, Doblin said, will be to act on the support that Planned Parenthood has given to RU486.

During the conference, the boundaries between disciplines were often blurred. Purdue University pharmacologist David Nichols has called himself a “reductionist scientist,” but finds it extraordinary that a tenth of a milligram of a drug, staying in the brain for four hours, can forever change an individual’s worldview. The artist Alex Gray projected slides of some of his paintings inspired by a trip and presented films of iridescent and iridescent colours, fish and worms, defining them as symbols of a “visionary culture” that seeks to free the world, hoping a group soul that replaces the culture that invests 38 billion dollars in military campaigns. According to animator Isaiah Saxon, artists can rise to the role of the shaman in an industrial society that has no room for figures of this type.

Spirituality is the key element that unites many of these drug users. Gabrielle, a 32-year-old mother, said that thanks to a trip, she lost her ego and became part of something bigger. “Nature wants us to understand that we are all the same,” he said, recalling an ayahuasca experience he had in a California forest, during which he visualized lattices crisscrossed by intricate lines of delicate colours and saw the redwoods rejoice when the life-giving mist has poured into it. When you understand that you are part of the universe, said Craig Reuter, 25, you become aware of how responsible you are for your actions, because “whatever you do spreads outward, like the drops of water in the giant. Lake of existence “. Sue, a 45-year-old teacher, said that psychedelics induce introspection and allow her to focus on figurative language, governed by the right side of the brain, rather than verbal.

Canadian psychoanalyst Dan Merkur illustrated five ways in which cultures have used psychedelics for spiritual transformation:

  • the “mass religious awakening” of hippie culture
  • the teachings imparted by profound connoisseurs of religious disciplines such as shamans
  • group ritual use, such as the indigenous ceremonies based on ayahuasca and peyote
  • their more recent use in the West in the therapeutic field

Some heroin users have reported having been successful in treating their addiction to ibogaine.

, The Phenylethylamines I Have Known and Loved) and Tihkal (Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved, The tryptamines I have known and loved), are cult figures in the psychedelic world. Sasha Shulgin, a white-bearded chemist, has synthesized psychedelics in his laboratory, which he takes with his wife Ann, and whose effects he has catalogued in his books. At the conference, the two tempered the participants’ flattery with a dry joke, saying that although taking a trip can make you feel the same emotions of a sexual relationship, you don’t see the same images.

“I’m not a regular drug user,” Sasha replied when asked what his favorite chemical is. “Except for red wine,” added his wife.

This thingcomplex  varies because it nullifies the magic of the substance. Although it is an exceptional drug for therapeutic purposes, he said, it is useless and selfish for therapists to take it during a session, during which “you have to focus on the patient’s introspection,” he explained.

This call for caution was the main topic of the entire conference. Doblin suggested that “patience is the fastest way” to make drugs like MDMA legitimate as a drug. Suppose proponents of psychedelic therapy don’t want to missteps. In that case, he said, they must avoid the mistakes of the past, such as when Timothy Leary began touting LSD as a panacea for cultural hedonism. (In 1966 Leary told Playboy that “during intercourse preceded by a well-dosed LSD intake, a woman could have reached several hundred orgasms”.)

In 1961, Doblin recalled, Harvard psychology professor David McClelland pointed out the flaws in Leary’s campaign for psilocybin. The emphasis on mysticism risked leading to alienation from society. Initiates often felt superior to those who had never tried a trip. The feeling of cosmic fusion with humanity did not prevent them from being insensitive to others. Their faith in the omnipotence of thought led to the denial of 

Saxon – who helped animate the video for Bjork’s song “Wanderlust”, creating a dreamlike three-dimensional arctic landscape populated by grassy tundra, vine-filled streams and prehistoric bighorn sheep – said he took psilocybin. At the same time, he conceived the video, but not while he was making it. And although Alex Gray and his wife, Allyson, suggest using psychedelics during rituals to initiate teens into adulthood, they also caution that “you have to want to have an ego before you can transcend it.”

Several lecturers stated that they have absolutely no interest in recreational use of the substances. On the other hand, if they had not done so, they would not have been able to talk about the more severe aspects of psychedelia. Brian Jackson, 36, a sound engineer and musician, said he hadn’t taken psychedelics for a long time, partly because New York isn’t the ideal environment to do so and partly because it was too big to attend raves, but getting high on psychedelics led him to consider their possibilities in the medical field and take action against prohibition. According to writer Daniel Pinchbeck, the boundaries between recreational and spiritual use are not clear at all, and by participating in rave-style parties, you risk becoming a slave to the group.

Saxon is probably the one who has perhaps approached the question most convincingly, stating that: “Taking a large dose of psychedelics makes you lose control and prevents you from understanding whether you are using them for recreational purposes or not.”

, Hypothesized Robert Forte, a psychology and religious scholar, drugs such as LSD would make people less sensitive to far-right propaganda because they allow you to feel “a sea of ​​love”.

On the other hand, while obliterating the sense of reality for a few moments can be enlightening, eliminating a sceptical attitude can be dangerous in a society full of capitalist, religious and political cheaters who plagiarize the minds – especially those who show up under the false guise of supporters of the counterculture or who profess to be against the system.

In the concluding session of the conference, Pinchbeck suggested that the current resurgence of psychedelic culture is because Saturn has formed a right angle to Pluto. And when an audience member asked who doubted of the “official 9/11 story”, more than half of the bystanders raised their hands. Forte then launched into a series of conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the manipulated history of the Holocaust; He also confessed that shortly before his death Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered the effects of LSD in 1943, had confided in him that he thought that Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks.

While abandoning the realm of logical and verbal language to access that of intuition can also be stimulating, the advertising industry has spent more than half a century refining ways to bend people’s sensitivity to visual and symbolic stimuli. Accountants with mint breath burst onto dreamlike scenarios that have nothing to envy to the 1968 Fillmore Auditorium light shows.

Ultimately, though, all of this only highlights the fact that psychedelics is a powerful tool, not a panacea. Although the Fender Stratocaster and Marshall amplifier are masterpieces of sound technology, buying them doesn’t help you sound like Jimi Hendrix, unless you have the same talent, experience and Soul as him.

“I think time will scale it all down,” Goldsmith said. “There is as much need to break old paradigms and feed innovative thoughts as there is a need to catch up with meaningless statements.”

In a 2007 essay entitled “The Ten Lessons of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Rediscovered”, Goldsmith envisioned a “science of poetry”, a “world view that combines shamanism and quantum mechanics. “By integrating the collective spirituality typical of tribalism with the objective observations of modernity, we would understand that human consciousness is a ineffable realm of thoughts and emotions: a miracle of nature that is much greater than the sum of its parts.”

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