The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

Author: James Fadiman
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by pmoriarty   2022-04-27
I hope that if you do this, you only do it with an trained psychedelic therapist who you like, respect, and trust... and who provides lots of therapy before and lots of integration after.

Unfortunately there's not yet enough known about these substances to predict whether they'll work for a rare condition.. besides, everyone's different, and everyone reacts to these substances differently. They're pretty unpredictable. So it might work for you, it might not.

A lot also depends on how they're used, where, and with whom -- what's known as "set and setting". I'd recommend reading James Fadiman's Psychedelic Explorer's Guide[1] for lots of good advice on this subject.

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by pmoriarty   2022-04-16
"People need to be careful with psychedelics."

Absolutely. Psychedelics are incredibly powerful substances and they need to be treated with respect. Everyone considering doing them should educate themselves thoroughly beforehand and use them in maximally safe, constructive ways. James Fadiman's Psychedelic Explorer's Guide[1] has lots of great advice on how to do this.

"The afterglow wears off pretty quick."

It really depends on the substance and how it's used. Ketamine, for example, commonly needs to be readministered relatively frequently (though some people have lasting effects), while many people get very long lasting effects from between one to three therapeutic MDMA or psilocybin sessions (sometimes lasting for years).

It's people who tend to use psychedelics outside of a therapeutic context, to "party" and/or without constructive intention or post-trip integration that tend to lack lasting effects.. but even then it's not at all uncommon for the experiences to be life-changing.

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by pmoriarty   2022-04-16
"the research and therapy environment is extremely different than DIY"

True, but that doesn't mean that the DIY environment couldn't be brought closer to the therapeutic one.

I strongly recommend James Fadiman's Psychedelic Explorer's Guide[1]. It has lots of great advice on how to use psychedelics therapeutically.

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by pmoriarty   2020-02-05
"you could also end up in a hellish, confused world of angst and terror for what seems like an eternity"

This is why it's incredibly important (especially for super powerful psychedelics) to prepare properly, take them in a safe place with an experienced person you like and trust, and integrate the experience afterwards in to your life.

That said, even difficult experiences might ultimately benefit you, if you try to learn from them and integrate them properly (perhaps with the aid of a therapist).

James Fadiman's Psychedelics Explorer's Guide[1] has a lot of great information on making the most of one's psychedelic experience, and doing so safely and constructively.

You could also maximize the chance the experience will be a good and constructive one by doing it in a therapeutic, shamanic, or sacred context.

But make sure to vet whoever you do it with thoroughly, as there have been some abuses by people in power in these contexts before (I'm particularly thinking of reports of rapes by shamen in Peru, and other reports of DMT facilitators shocking users with tazers or forcing water or tobacco snuff up their nose/mouth during the experience).

Be safe people!

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by pmoriarty   2019-12-16
I'd encourage you to read at least the trip reports on erowid[1] and The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman.[2] You might also be interested in reading LSD, Spirituality, and the Creative Process: Based on the Groundbreaking Research of Oscar Janiger.[3]

Then, if you decide to try it, prepare yourself for a very special journey -- one that you'll only be able to go on once in your life (as you'll never again have a first time with that particular substance.. an experience many chase over and over again later in life, but few ever manage to recapture it). You'll want to be in a safe, supportive environment, ideally with an experienced trip sitter you like and trust, and without any prior commitments for that day and ideally the next. The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide has more specific advice on how to prepare.

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by mistermann   2019-05-17
I believe we lack enough fundamental knowledge to critically analyse it with any sort of certainty, most of what is known comes from theory combined with individual experiences.

This book is often recommended:

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
"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 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   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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by pmoriarty   2017-08-19
There have been some studies on the effect of psychedelics on creativity. A particularly relevant study by Oscar Janiger has been documented in LSD, Spirituality, and the Creative Process.[1] Other studies (including ones on microdosing) are discussed in The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman.[2]

That said, this is a wide open field that could greatly benefit from more research. I am hopeful that such research will once again become acceptable to the scientific establishment before too long, as a number of studies on other effects of psychedelics have recently been completed with much success.

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