“The waves of the sounds ran through my hair like a caress. The music ran down my back and came out of my fingertips. I was small, light, mobile. I could use any method of levitation I wished. I could dissolve, melt, float, soar. Wavelets of light touched the rim of my clothes, phosphorescent radiations. I could see a new world with my middle eye, a world I had missed before. I caught images behind images, the walls behind the sky, the sky behind the infinite. The walls became fountains, the fountains became arches, the domes skies, the sky a flowering carpet, and all dissolved into pure space. I looked at a slender line curving over into space which disappeared into infinity.”
This is how Anais Nin describes her first experience with LSD in her diaries, and it is as eloquent a representation of LSD usage consequences as they come. Hallucinogens and psychedelic drugs have been used all throughout history, for meditative, medical, religious, artistic, or recreational purposes. And yet, many people are either widely misinformed or simply don’t make the most of their psychedelics.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with using psychedelics to simply have a good time, trip with your buddies and then go home. It’s swell. But there are also many ways in which the world of psychedelic drugs can help a person discover themselves, solve issues that might plague them, and perceive the universe in a way so different, that their entire worldview, their entire being, is altered forever. There is a reason why psychedelics have been used in spiritual activities continuously (such as the Native American practices that used mescaline containing cacti), and let us not forget that LSD, the king of psychedelics, was originally created to be used as a treatment method for alcoholism.
What basically happens when you take a psychedelic drug is this: your senses, perception, and emotions are all magnified and intensified to an unimaginable degree, and your brain is left at a loss. It swells up and takes in all this new sensory data; colors, sounds, sight, touch and hearing, all of it becomes jumbled in an almost cosmic symphony of great beauty or great terror, depending on whether you are predisposed to have a good or bad trip. Everything is more; everything goes deeper than usual.
And while this new state of perception and reality can be good fun, it can also function as a gateway into another state of consciousness; into a world of mirrors, each one reflecting another you; and another, and another, and another. And within this state of consciousness, you feel and see bigger, more abstract and absolute cosmic truths. How there is interconnectedness in everything. How love is the only principle. How we are small and weightless in the grand scheme of things.
“Without being a mathematician I understood the infinite.”
And through this prism you can view yourself; you can examine things that are bothering you, or things that you are dissatisfied with, and you can find another way to look at your options, at your solutions, at yourself. This is what psychedelics do. They uncover the self you never knew you had and bring you face to face with them, in an open dialogue. If one person is a tiny universe and the universe is connected with everything, then all the truths and answers are within yourself, within your grasp…. And so on.
Of course, one should always begin their trip with an open mind but also with caution. Some claim they see God itself, some see new laws of physics. Whether you choose to completely accept these findings or take them with a grain of salt, that depends solely on you. But the psychedelic experience is an evolutionary process. It is a trip within yourself and your hidden mind, and as such, it grows and changes as you do. It doesn’t mirror the outside world; it mirrors the world(s) inside of you.
“Therefore, I felt, the chemical did not reveal an unknown world. What it did was to shut out the quotidian world as an interference and leave you alone with your dreams and fantasies and memories. In this way it made it easier to gain access to the subconscious life. But obviously, by way of writing, reveries, waking dreams, and night dreams, I had visited all those landscapes. The drug added a synthesis of color, sound, image, a simultaneous fusion of all the senses which I had constantly aspired to in my writing and often achieved.”
Psychedelics are a key to your own door. And the door leads to another door, and it never really stops. You can use it to boost your creativity. You can use it to boost cognitive performance or inspiration. There is a bunch of prospects and possibilities, and it is up to you to harness them. So keep an open mind, do your homework, and prepare to embark on a journey to the center of the self.
See you on the other side.
art by Alex Grey
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