The real work starts after the psychedelic ceremony.
Working in Amsterdam selling legal entheogens like psilocybin, LSA, Salvia divinorum, etc… I often had people come and say that they tripped and they didn’t feel anything. Worse yet, some people would claim that they had a super strong experience but felt like they didn’t learn from it and the experience didn’t trigger the deeply transformative journey they were expecting. Today we are going to speak a little about this addressing the most important points that most psychonauts miss when they are tripping as a way of self-development.
First, it is important to say that most people overestimate the importance of the effects of the psychedelic substance, and they underestimate the work that they have to do themselves during the journey and in the weeks after in the stage of integration (the stage in which we reflect on the experience and apply the lessons in our normal routine). One common thing I hear my clients say during a ceremony is that even though they know for sure that the effects are there, at moments it feels like they are not even tripping. Some psychonauts even claim that they could achieve that state of altered consciousness and ‘distortions’ of the senses even without the substance. And this is true.
The truth is that we don’t need drugs to trip. In fact, ancient tribes and civilizations were reported to have developed throughout generations methods of creating mystical experiences without consuming a specific substance. The main methods of tripping without drugs are dancing, singing, fasting, exhaustion, and by controlling the breath flow. Even though there are specific methods one could try in order to trigger a mystical journey, there are happenings in our lives that could spontaneously trigger a psychedelic experience, such as the birth of a child or a particularly beautiful sunset.
This is to say that we all that the substance is adding to our journey is the chemical context to allow the body to easily flow with the mind to whatever dimensions of reality we would like to visit. Beyond that, psychedelic substances have the added benefit of increased mental flexibility, allowing our neurons to reassess their configurations in a more integrated and novel way than without the use of entheogens. This allows for months of mental flexibility and it makes it easier for participants to substitute old habits for new more positive ones.
Nevertheless, all the facilities that psychedelics offer are not a necessity. We have the capacity to achieve the mental places we can visit during a psychedelic experience without using any drugs. Yes, they do make it easier for ordinary people to visit extraordinary (and ineffable) psychedelic landscapes, but just witnessing the effects of the drug is not enough!
Modern psychonauts have to understand that the effects are just a small part of the mystical experience. In fact, one could argue that the changes in senses and alterations in perception could actually get in the way of the positive changes we want to see in our lives. Maybe the fantastical effects of the trip are what is keeping you from the transformative experience you seek.
The solution to this is to prepare better and engage with the integration practice that starts after the trip with consciousness and energy. If you want to help plan your next transformative experience or need help integrating, visit our website and contact me. We can find something that fits your objectives.