How do psychedelics impact and serve Self-realization
VERY timely. Thank you for sharing and I love the audio read. Made this more meaningful--forced a lean back mode.
Hey Scott, I know this post is almost a year old but I stumbled upon this post in particular and was introduced to your entire Substack. So, for that I am grateful. I am 29 and I had my first psychedelic experience at about 26 and it changed my life forever and for the better. They’ve given me guidance, let me cry out the tears that I never got to. Helped me make changes to my lifestyle. Quit everything from alcohol, friendships / relationships that were bad for me. I came into each experience with intentions. I wanted to find myself and find the answers or assistance to gain the answers. And psychedelics gave me that and I will be forever grateful. It has taught me to be more mindful of my body and what goes into in all regards. From food, to stress, to over the counter medications. I try and stay as natural as I possibly can because our bodies have the power to achieve great things.
So, thank you for this. You give me tremendous hope for my 30’s.
Nice piece! I think we need more writing that seeks to authentically evaluate the benefits and also the downsides of psychedelics. The focus in the psychedelic movement has been to push the positive aspects without considering the negative possible outcomes. For myself, I benefitted greatly for a while (they were the focus of my first books, particularly Breaking Open the Head) but then I think they became destructive and it took me a number of years to rebalance. Now I use them more carefully and judiciously and feel strong benefit again. And of course it is ultimately an individual choice, but people won't be in a good position to make such a choice without a full spectrum of honest information. I also see that you don't discuss the "middle world" of spirits / demons / entitities that is the special provenance of shamanic work... You might want to come back and address it. I feel this is one reason many Eastern-tinged spiritual teachers ignored psychedelics - like Ken Wilber for instance - because they were only oriented toward Satori / transcendence (can't recall Wilber's term at the moment) and didn't feel the "middle world" of entitities was important to address. I vehemently disagree with this, for many reasons... partly because our world seems, to me, infested by these middle world spirits, who cause a kind of cultural possession trance... ("Wetiko" is one term that has become popular). Anyway good to encounter your writing here and thanks for recommending my newsletter too. Kind regards, Daniel
This is an amazing piece! Love the fish analogy. Well done.
I align with a lot of this essay - especially having done my first therapist assisted psychedelic experience a few weeks ago! A few interesting observations I gathered, aside from the experience being completely beautiful, blissful, and forever life-changing, was that I:
1) never wanted the feeling to end, but it did, and I grieved through that
2) wrote a book of ideas, memories, and realizations after the session, meditated and chanted for days after, and in doing so, didn’t surrender nor give my mindbody the rest it truly needed (typicallllll achiever and perfectionist tendencies 😋)
3) the most profound outcomes have been the weeks following - the subtle integrations - most notably through a softer, more open heart, and what I call “kundalini-lite” physical uncoilings via bikram yoga and cardiovascular exercise.
^^ totally personal outcomes, but wanted to share in case anyone reading finds it useful!