I like to talk about my psychedelic experiences. I find that by trying to talk about them with others, especially people who have not had the experience, I am very aware of not sounding totally deranged; and the effort this entails seems to help me convince myself. By contextualising it for wider consumption, it seems to allow me to gain deeper insight into the possible meaning of the experiences themselves; and to integrate these lessons into my weltanschauung.
The method I favour is to establish myself as a credible person over quite a long period of time; and then casually slip into the conversation something along the lines of,' Have you ever had an out of body experience?'; I can then launch into the tale of my experiences out of the body, and decide on a case by case basis whether or not to mention the ingestion of lsd as the catalyst. I am constantly amazed at the positive responses I recieve from people when I let them in on my deepest darkest secrets. People are hungry for information from psychonauts, they are sick of the taboo on sharing these experiences. This blog seeks to redress this situation.
For the moment, I think I will focus on the content and narrative structure of the experiences themselves, and leave the actual nuts and bolts of what was taken and how for possible investigation at a later point in time. So, as usual, kudos to Chris Knowles at the secretsun, the impetus for this post comes from a comment in a thread at his facebook page.
At this point in time, I am pretty well able to bi-locate from the spice mine to my lounge room by opening and closing my eyes. I get up and change the music, which along with the itunes images is really bizarre and definitely in some kind of feedback loop with the consciousness of my friend, who is totally passed out, and I. I sit down, have another pipe and close my eyes. I am right back at the spice mine, where the lizardman seems amused with me, I am rather abruptly transported to the void. I become aware of another, obviously senior lizardman. We are not at the mine, although I know that he is the big lizardman there. We are in the void. The lizardman is performing a set of martial arts moves, with a two handed curved sword\blade. And he is putting on a bit of a show. Then he starts communicating to me how he is from a superior race, with a culture stretching back millions of years. That we are created by them, to generate the cerebro spinal fluid which contains their consciously created reality. This is quite a chunk to take in, and i get to thinking, what is so scary that these guys need to hide from it in there. At which point the sword starts to communicate with me. The edge of the blade of the lizardmans sword is decorated(?) with a precious metal, which glows blue and is intelligent. It explains that it is the real intelligence and the cultural driver behind the reptilian civilisation. It is magnificent to behold. Meanwhile back in the void, the chief lizardman has finished his exercises, and aware of the fact that I have been communicated to by the metal, is keen to demonstrate his prowess, and the union of sword and soldier that will occur when he draws that sword. As he draws the sword I realise that if he draws it, he must kill with it before he can sheath it. I let him know that a demonstration is definitely out of the question, I thought I could not be responsible for a death of a being just for my titillation. This caused him to scoff at me for being such a pussy; and the experience was pretty well over instantaneously. I will admit to regret over my intervention, I think that I may well have squibbed on the oppurtunity to learn a deep lesson about myself because of a persona mask I choose to identify with in the here and now. And so it goes.
Until today, I hadn't given this experience a whole lot of thought. It was by no means a typical experience for that point in time. It had elements of the more regular experience, but seemed to launch into different territory. Without getting too bogged down in technical details, the form of 'spice' we were using is virtually impossible to determine dose and purity, a real case of suck it and see. Today, when I mentioned it on facebook, it seemed to be fairly obvious that the lizardmen were representational of my left brain, linear, rational side; whilst the hive minded mantis represented the right brain, chaotic, intuitive side. According to google:
"An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent. "
Which does make sense. This experience happened about five years ago, and i have been hit with the meditation instruction fairly consistently over that time as well as a 'stop smoking' instruction. Both of which I have failed to make a serious concerted effort to comply with. I think you could be forgiven for interpreting the story as a meta narrative for what i was trying to achieve with the entheogen. I was using my left brained cultural imperialist, as a means to violently force the right brained keeper of the secrets to give up the prize I had failed to earn. That this sort of behaviour could have unforeseen consequences in my life and that I should proceed with caution. That is the interpretation that jumped out at me today. It is never just one thing, and is always relative to the perspective it is viewed from.
. Google had this to say with respect to the lizards:
"If you are in contact with reptile animal totems on any kind, tune into the message they are trying to convey to you. Very often, the message reveals hints about dealing with difficult situations (adaptation) – and doing so wisely, while still maintaining integrity. Also, the message might also relate to a matter of independence – a reminder to not be a slave to your external conditions – and realizing that internal changes will truly set you free. " Fair enough.
A C.G.Jung quote was put up in response to the summarised version of the story, which was particularly apt I thought. "The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge."
"If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the "House of the Gathering." Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day."
"Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries." Enough said.