In my interview with the WI State Journal (see the previous post), I gave the reporter a bunch of quotes that wound up on the cutting room floor. Here are some of the outtakes:
First, on the topic of trust, especially of one’s guides:
My first trip ended with a major trial. I had a vision of a monstrous animal that embodied my fears. I was scared at first, but I remembered what my guides told me. They said that, if you encounter a being like that, don’t run away. Go up to it and look it in the eye. Then keep going and pass through its eyes, turn around, and look back out of its eyes.
I followed their instructions and my fear vanished. I realized that the fear was of my own creation and unnecessary. I also realized that my guides knew what they were talking about. I figured that, if I could trust them enough to make it through this trial, I’d be in good hands for the rest of the journey.
You don’t get this kind of expert guidance in a recreational setting. To be safe and to make real progress with psychedelics, you need trained guides.
Second, on surrender:
When I was at the peak of my second trip, I had a typical psychedelic experience of seeing the universe as a spinning mandala. It was a cosmic dance with everyone and everything in creation circling the divine source. I wanted to join in and I started to let go and dance, but I felt my individuality slipping away and I reflexively pulled back. I remembered that my guides had encouraged me to persevere and go with whatever happens. I let go and dissolved into the dance.
Oddly enough, this act of surrender continued into everyday life. You know those times when you’re sitting in traffic gnashing your teeth? Now I can relax and appreciate those moments as another turn in the cosmic dance.
Third, also on the topic of trust:
I’ve always had issues with authority figures. During my second trip, a bunch of these people showed up. It was a parade of old guys from my home town, coming at me from the center of the cosmic mandala. I was intimidated at first, but then I realized that they were exactly like me, doing their best on life’s journey.
Since then, when I encounter these guys in real life, they don’t bug me as much. I see the humanity in them and I understand that our similarities are much greater than our differences.
Fourth, more thoughts on trust and surrender:
My third trip, the one with the big dose of 40mg, was difficult. With psychedelics, however, the most difficult trips can also be the most rewarding.
At the peak of the journey I had experiences of birth and death. They might have been psychological visions, but that doesn’t mean they were easier than the real thing.
At the climax, everything disintegrated and I left this world. I came back into a chaotic universe with no place for me to hold on. My guides saw that I was having a hard time and said ‘You’re doing good work’ and ‘Your physical body is safe.’ Their help gave me the courage to keep going and tackle the labor of reassembling the universe.
Eventually, I asked my guide ‘Did I die?’ He gave me the wisest, most loving smile and said ‘Every day. But today, not clinically.’ I laughed and I knew it would be okay.
That trip put everything in perspective. Big problems seem smaller now. It’s all part of the journey.
Finally, some thoughts for the hallucinogen naive:
I feel that psychedelics can be valuable because they take you to the core of human nature. They strip away all the everyday distractions and show you the extremes of wonder and uncertainty at the center of your heart. It’s natural to be afraid of the unknown, but psychedelic experiences aren’t alien, they come from within us. I was astonished when I got to the bottom of the tunnel and discovered that it felt familiar. If you’ve ever been in love or cared for a child or aging parent, you might not be too surprised at what you find if you take a psychedelic journey.