Psychedelic medical trials are popping up all over the place and making them the new wonder drug on the block (or super food, because you know, they DO come from plants). But before trying psychedelics, there are some really important things to know.
Disclaimer: I’m not condoning the use of psychedelics in places where it’s illegal, and I truly do believe they should only be available in medical trials. I included a link at the bottom explaining why I believe that.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business.
1. Mindset before psychedelics is more important than anything else
If you’ve read anything about taking psychedelics, you’ve probably heard the term “set and setting”. Mindset is the “set” part and is key when it comes to having a good trip.
Having a healthy mindset isn’t just about being happy that week-it’s more than that. It’s not something for people that have any sort of mental disorders, or generally stress out in any way. Unless, of course, you’re under the care of a licensed physician.
No, like really, do not trip if you aren’t in a good state mentally. It will not go well for you, and I like you and want the best for you.
Along with not stressing out and having good vibes overall, openness is crucial. You need to be open to the experience, NOT just on your phone distracting yourself, or pushing away negative or scary things that may surface.
Just remember that you need to accept whatever comes your way. Pay attention to the journey.
2. It can be transformative… or not
There are a lot of factors that play into whether the experience can be spiritual and transformative or not.
To start off, don’t go into it expecting big, crazy things to happen. Simply let the journey guide you and explore whatever your trip has to offer, without any preconceived ideas about what you want out of it. Enter with an open mind.
Go into the experience with a clean slate, not expecting that your entire worldview is going to change. Because frankly, it might not.
Actually, I met a guy in Amsterdam who took 25g of magic truffles (which are legal there). It was his first time and typically people only take 7g their first time. You’d think he would have an experience that would rock his world, in either a good or bad way, or have any affect whatsoever.
It affected him so little, that he almost forgot he took anything. Why did this happen?
I have 3 theories. First, our brains are all different. Psychedelics typically bind to the serotonin receptors in our brain and everyone has different brain chemistry. Second, it could have been his mindset or the setting he put himself in. He wasn’t totally mentally healthy when he took the mushrooms. Third, he might not have taken enough given his brain chemistry.
Because, on the other hand, I met another person who only took 5g of an even weaker strain of truffle and it affected him greatly. We’re all different.
And, if you’re on technology the whole time, ignoring any emotions that surface, or just plain close minded or judgmental about things, no amount of psychedelic is going to change you. You need to be open and accepting to transformation and teaching.
3. Setting is critical
Tripping in a good setting, which is the space or the room where you have your trip, is CRITICAL. Here are some things I recommend for setting up a good trip room or space:
- Avoid people because you might get paranoid
- Make sure you feel as comfortable as possible
- Don’t use technology
- Natural lighting is generally better
- Nice, relaxing music helps if you want it (set up a playlist beforehand)
- Have easy access to nature or be in nature
- Throw your phone away and never look at it again
I’m mostly kidding about the last one, but not using your phone and succumbing to the psychedelic experience will make it that much better.
I’m sensitive to light especially when I’m sleeping or trying to concentrate on my thoughts. Luckily I found this Meditation Mask Michael Pollan mentions in How To Change Your Mind. He used it for tripping and I kid you not it’s completely changed my life. I use it every night for sleeping because it blacks everything out-no light gets in which is so different from other sleep masks I’ve gotten.
I also use the Meditation Mask for meditation, or sometimes at night to look at visuals on my eyelids (kind of weird, but it’s actually fun!). It will transform your trip because it’ll hone in on your thoughts, emotions, and visuals during your trip so click on the link to get yours before your trip!
4. Having a trip sitter YOU TRUST is important
I highly, highly, highly recommend finding someone to watch over you before trying psychedelics. The most important thing here is that it’s better to have someone around if you need anything at all.
You might need someone to talk to, be paranoid about what’s happening, need food, start having a really intense time. Each trip is different and it’s better to have someone around to take care of you just in case.
Have someone sit you that you trust so you don’t worry about bothering them or anything. Trips can be very emotional and you’ll want someone you trust, not just someone you’re acquainted with. You’ll already know that they love you and want the best for you so you can feel super safe in their hands.
5. You should take a large dose
Psychedelics are not addictive and you can’t overdose. This doesn’t mean that you should take an insane amount your first time, but generally you should take more than the recommended doseas long as you have a good trip sitter.
Terence McKenna, in True Hallucinations, talks about how people should take “5 times the dose [they are taking].” 5 times the normal dose!!
This is because most doses that people take don’t lead to any real transformation. In small doses it’s really just another drug experience. It’ll be a nice, good time and you’ll be able to have fun and rave and do whatever. You might see some pretty colors and have some visuals, but you won’t derive much meaning from it.
On the other hand, large doses have the potential to cause major transformation. Large doses can lead to “ego death” which is a shattering, profound experience. It’s where you and your emotions no longer exist and your ego is completely gone.
Some people consider this universal consciousness, some people think it’s God, some people say it’s a form of Nirvana or an “awakening”. Large doses can lead to that, which sounds ridiculous and crazy, but it is truly a spiritual and mystical experience for people.
It can also lead to unlearning and depatterning old habits. In Psychedelic Revolutionaries by P.W. Barber he discusses how alcoholics need high doses to convert them to sobriety. This was also the case for Bill Wilson, founder of AA, who had a spiritual experience on a high dose of belladonna (which a doctor gave him!). After that, he founded AA because he discovered the spiritual through psychedelics.
So, if you want to have a powerful experience then take a lot. If you don’t want to take a lot the first time then the second time you should be ready for it.
Have a nice trip
Please remember these 5 things, and especially 1, 4 and 5.
I really believe psychedelics should only be prescribed by doctors until people understand them more, but I hope I gave you enough information that will help you use them well.
Be safe, expand your mind, and happy tripping.
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