The Secret Chief Revealed

Author: Myron J. Stolaroff
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by pmoriarty   2018-11-10
"I'm not talking about a sterile windowless room with bright lights and various people walking in and out telling you to do things. More like a therapy setup, similar to how they're experimenting with MDMA. Someone who knows what they are doing guiding things, helping you explore your mind."

Indeed. I highly recommend reading "The Secret Chief Revealed"[1], about Leo Zeff, a pioneering psychedelic therapist. His "clinic" was not a hospital with whitewashed walls, but more like a cozy apartment (it might have even been his apartment.. I don't have the book on hand myself right now). Here's an excerpt from the book that I wrote down. It doesn't talk about the setting much, but reveals some of his approach:

"Zeff did not like to refer to psychedelics as "drugs" rather "medicine". It could be used properly or improperly, just as morphine or antibiotics. Working as a Jungian therapist Zeff believed he was there to basically assist his clients in finding their own solutions, more of less waiting it out. With LSD the solutions came much quicker, often with a single trip. In therapeutic use of LSD Zeff had his clients agree to a basic set of rules: 1. they would not leave the house or place where the trip was taking place without his permission, 2. they agreed that there would be no physical harm or violence to them, him or anyplace they were, 3. reiterate the security agreement - they must agree that they will never reveal to anybody else where and with whom they had the experience without his prior approval, 4. there would be no sex during the experience, 5. the client had to agree to follow Zeffs directions no matter what, the client had to agree to follow his commands without question and have faith in him. Prior to taking the medicine they would then read a prayer aloud. The clients were asked to bring in photographs of family and important people and places in their lives as well as personal articles which would stimulate a therapeutic conversation which would take place prior to the effects of the medicine. Once the medicine took effect the client would lie down, put a cover over their eyes and headphones on so that they could listen to music.

"Music was played the entire time during the experience. Zeff believed this to be very important. This is one area in which I wish the conversation/text had delved deeper. The music which was considered so important is barely discussed other than to say that it was always on. It is mentioned that the music would very based upon the clients tastes, the impression I get is that classical or jazz were the main genres."

Here is the beginning of a much more recent account of psychedelic therapy (I encourage reading the full article[2], as it is excellent), the methodology of which is clearly influenced either by Zeff or other early psychedelic therapy pioneers:

"When Mettes arrived at the treatment room, at First Avenue and Twenty-fifth Street, Tony Bossis and Krystallia Kalliontzi, his guides, greeted him, reviewed the day’s plan, and, at 9 A.M., presented him with a small chalice containing the pill. None of them knew whether it contained psilocybin or the placebo. Asked to state his intention, Mettes said that he wanted to learn to cope better with the anxiety and the fear that he felt about his cancer. As the researchers had suggested, he’d brought a few photographs along--of Lisa and him on their wedding day, and of their dog, Arlo--and placed them around the room.

"At nine-thirty, Mettes lay down on the couch, put on the headphones and eye mask, and fell silent."

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by pmoriarty   2018-11-10
I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about something I rarely hear mentioned to newcomers:

It's very common for one's first or early psychedelic experiences to be really special.. more powerful, more magical, more intense than any later experiences. A lot of people wind up chasing that magic later without success.

Don't squander the opportunity. Prepare yourself well. Think of it as a trip to another planet which you'll only get to take once. Think carefully about why you're going, where you'll be, when you'll go, what you'll bring, how you'll travel, and who you'll travel with. These could make or break the experience.

It's also important to try to bring back and integrate what you learn from your trip. Try to record what you learn in some way: write it down, paint it, draw it, sing it, something... even if you're exhausted afterwards. Like dreams, psychedelic insights are so fleeting. If you don't get them down soon you could easily lose them.

Check out The Secret Chief Revealed[1] and The Psychedelics Explorer's Guide[2] for some more detailed recommendations on preparing for and making the most of your experience.

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by pmoriarty   2018-11-10
This is an excellent book, and I second its recommendation. I'd also recommend The Secret Chief Revealed[1], about Leo Zeff, an early psychedelic therapist.

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by pmoriarty   2018-11-10
Ketamine is itself a psychedelic.

With all psychedelics, it's very important to integrate the insights you gain during the experience back in to your ordinary life, or they are likely to fade.

It's also important to use psychedelics constructively: with a constructive intention, with an experienced sitter that you trust, in a safe setting. There are lots of other things one can do to prepare. I'd recommend reading "The Secret Chief Revealed" and "The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide".[1][2]

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by pmoriarty   2018-11-10
"Was this person insane in the first place? No, I lived 4 years of my life with this guy and he was one of the smartest, most intelligent people I've ever met."

Intelligent people can have mental issues. They can be really good at hiding them too -- both from other people and sometimes even from themselves.

I've read over and over again of people living together for decades, and one day they find out that the other person is a serial killer or an abuser or some other sort of criminal, and they had no idea, even after living their whole lives with them. People are really good at deceiving each other, and often the people closest to them are just in denial, and either overlook or make excuses for behavior and signs that sometime look worrisome in retrospect or when seen by people who aren't so involved.

Psychedelics, especially at large doses, are certainly not without risks. Some people just aren't ready to face what they might reveal. Many people also don't treat them with much respect, viewing them merely as party drugs or sometimes even destructively. There are ways to use them constructively, and ways of maximizing the chances of having a productive experience and of integrating what one learned during that experience back in to one's ordinary life.

For specific recommendations on maximizing the positive potential of psychedelics I'd recommend reading "The Secret Chief Revealed" and "The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide":

by jMyles   2017-10-08
Amazing book to answer that question:

by pmoriarty   2017-10-05
It might not be legal or sanctioned by the mainstream psychological community yet, but it's definitely an option (if you can track down a therapist willing to do it).

Psychedelic therapy has been practiced virtually since psychedelics started to be widely used in the mid-20th century. In the 1950's and 60's, LSD and other psychedelics were used therapeutically. In the 1980's, efore MDMA became known as a party drug, it was used therapeutically. Indigenous people have traditionally used psychedlics in a sacramental context in which goals and results could arguably be seen as therapeutic.

When these drugs were made illegal, the above-ground therapy stopped, but some therapists dared to continue their work despite great risk to themselves. To give just one example, a book called *"The Secret Chief Revealed"[1] chronicles the work of one such underground psychedlic therapist, Leo Zeff, who led hundreds of therapy sessions with MDMA.

Today the practice of psychedelic therapy continues, and there are even university programs that teach it. It's still mostly underground, but is starting to rise aboveground and becoming a real option as research in to psychedelic therapy gets positive results and positive media coverage, as more doctors and patients become aware of it, and as the so-called Psychedlic Renaissance grows.

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by pmoriarty   2017-08-19
By the way, two good books that go in to much more detail on what makes for a good trip are:

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide[1] and The Secret Chief Revealed[2]. The latter was written by a therapist who conducted hundreds of therapy sessions with MDMA.

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