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What Is Microdosing (And Why You May Want To Try It)

What's the Deal with Microdosing

For many, the idea of taking psychedelics, even in small doses, sounds scary. It's easy to see why. Psychedelics are illegal in most countries. They are potent substances and are known to cause hallucinations and melt inhibitions. The stereotypical image of a trippy hippy, appealing to some, is understandably uninviting to many others.

But today, a new way of using psychedelics is slowly creeping into the mainstream— business execs and life-hack experts in Silicon Valley are particularly vocal fans of this new approach. While some embark on spiritual retreats using psychedelics in shaman-guided ceremonies, others are taking a less extreme approach.

It’s called microdosing.

Microdosing involves taking a small, basically imperceptible amount of psychedelics. For those interested in experimenting with psychedelics and different states of mind, microdosing can be a way to test the waters without fully diving in.

Why should I take microdosing seriously?  

Though there have not yet been official scientific studies, thousands of anecdotal reports on microdosing are promising. They explain why more and more people from all walks of life are experimenting with this new way of taking psychedelics, despite the legal status and stigma surrounding psychedelics.

Over the past few years, articles about microdosing as a tool for productivity and self-improvement have appeared in mainstream publications like NBC, Rolling Stone, Forbes, and The Huffington Post.

According to the proponents, it has a lot of offer. People report increases in mood, focus, and creativity. They experience lessened symptoms of depression and anxiety and report feeling more at ease with themselves and in the presence of others. Others used microdosing to quit  bad habits, like smoking or drinking. Many of these users say that microdosing has significantly changed their lives.

"microdosing involves taking a small, subperceptual dose of psychedelics."

However, those skeptical about microdosing remain unconvinced by the reports. To them, microdosing sounds like a phenomenon cooked up by the media to incite controversy. Perhaps the people attesting to the wonders of microdosing are just endorsing their addictions, which would make supporting them dangerous and irresponsible.

In response to those skeptics, it’s important to clarify some common misunderstandings about psychedelics. It’s also crucial to distinguish microdosing from taking a full dose.

Psychedelics Vs. Other Drugs

One of many unfortunate consequences of the war on drugs is that all criminalized substances have been lumped together under the banner of “drugs.” The truth is, not all drugs are equal.

Microdosing involves using small amounts of a specific class of drugs: psychedelics. Psychedelics primarily affect an individual’s state of consciousness—how they perceive and how they think. They don’t numb pain, they aren’t addicting, and they aren’t even guaranteed to be enjoyable.

People don’t typically use psychedelics to escape their problems or to escape the world. They don’t use them because they're hooked and can’t help it. Overwhelmingly, people who use psychedelics say they're motivated by a desire to explore and discover themselves.

The word itself has clues to the nature of these substances. It combines the ancient Greek words psyche: mind or soul, and delos: manifest, visible). Psychedelics are substances that aid the manifesting of the mind and soul.

Image Credit: David McCandless

Image Credit: David McCandless

Users of psychedelics report an experience markedly different from those of other drugs. Whereas many drugs provide brief and costly pleasure, psychedelics have the potential to provide lasting insight. Psychedelics change perspectives. Spiritual experiences, in religious and non-religious users alike, are frequent.  

Separating psychedelic substances from drugs like heroin or cocaine is important. A lack of distinction has meant that support for proper scientific studies is scant because psychedelics are mistakenly thought of as synonymous with dangerous “drugs.” Strict laws and public stigma prevent scientists from studying and many people from experiencing the benefits of psychedelics.

The criticisms of microdosing often attack the broader category of drugs without understanding the meaningful differentiations between psychedelics and other substances. To realize the potential for microdosing, the public most slowly start to distinguish psychedelics as a separate class of substances.

Micro Dose

Another important distinction to make about microdosing: it involves taking incredibly small amounts. Many people are hesitant about taking psychedelics because of their potency because on psychedelics, it's possible to experience extremely uncomfortable feelings and emotions, for hours on end, without the ability to stop them. And though there are precautions to take to try to avoid this possibility, the nature of a psychedelic trip is unpredictable.

Microdosing almost completely reduces the risk of an overwhelming trip. Once you are comfortable with microdosing, you can easily go about your regular day, interact with friends or strangers, and work or study. In fact, the point is that you should able to do so.

The purpose behind microdosing is also not what most people would expect when thinking about taking psychedelics. You don’t microdose to go to outer space and trip out. The effect is a slight but noticeable shift.

Microdosing is a process of self-evaluation and change. It allows you to notice yourself in different states. With a few days in between each time you dose, you start to observe the differences in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. There is only a small difference between when you feel it and when you don’t. Ideally, you will learn to bridge the differences without microdosing.

"Microdosing is a process of self-evaluation. It allows you to notice yourself in different states."

Still, traces of a full psychedelic trip are present while microdosing. That too is the point. Psychedelics have a lot to offer but can be overwhelming and hard to process. It’s not easy to absorb and work through vivid hallucinations or radical changes in perspective. Microdosing affords a more accessible experience, one that's easier to absorb and integrate into life.

Reality won’t shatter, but a lot of work-stress bullshit might. You won’t hallucinate, but did the flowers outside always look that vibrant and beautiful? You won’t have trouble making sentences, but you’ll have some difficulty suppressing your smile.

Changing the Perception

Most people currently see psychedelics through a narrow lens. But the lens is widening, thanks to a new wave of outspoken users. Far from the stereotypical image of a slacker, or a criminal, or a hippy, these are intelligent, productive, successful figures. Their presence helps highlight the difference between psychedelics and drugs and between productive use and destructive abuse.

"Reality won't shatter, but a lot of work-stress bullshit might."

Microdosing is not about dependence and disengagement. On the contrary, it involves engaging with yourself and challenging your habits and behaviors. It requires, most importantly, a willingness to grow and learn.

Importantly, the psychedelic effect is extremely minimal . Not only does this help dispel notions of drug abuse, but it illustrates the potential for microdosing to go mainstream. When microdosing, you should feel comfortable enough to engage in regular tasks. 

The confusion around psychedelics probably explains why microdosing sounds like such a controversial fad. But in reality, microdosing is a low-risk way to just have a pretty good day (regardless of your disposition).






 

   

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What to Expect on a Magic Mushroom Trip

So, you’ve decided to eat some mushrooms. Good on you.

If it’s your first time, you might feel a bit nervous. That’s appropriate. A mushroom trip is an intense experience. This guide will familiarize you with the nature of a mushroom trip, so you know what to expect from that experience.

If you want to make sure your trip has only good vibes and awesome hallucinations, you should read something else. You are not reading that sort of guide.

Not that your trip must be challenging and morbid, but the most important thing you can do to prepare is to accept all the possibilities of experience.

Be Ready

Be ready to feel like someone stepped into your head and shuffled things around, or that they took some things out, or put some things in. Be ready for hysteric laughing fits, awe, profound insights, confusion, anxiety, and discomfort. Be ready for anything.

No amount of mental preparation can compare to the actual experience. It’s one thing to convince yourself you’re ready for anything before tripping, but it’s another thing entirely to have an inexplicable yet sure feeling that the setting sun will bring sinister spirits into the world.

Still, recognizing that anything can happen will make you feel more comfortable as you start to trip. Additionally, if you experience an uncomfortable moment (or three), and you can't shake it, remember the whole experience is temporary. Your sense of helplessness will subside. Acknowledging the transience of your trip helps to relieve certain stressors.

People and Places

People and places can make or break your trip. Treat your future, tripping self like a baby. Set yourself up so that if you do revert to a baby state, you’ll be safe.

One way to insulate yourself against stressful and demanding situations is to go out into nature. Quiet, open space in nature, secluded from strangers and authority or security figures is probably your best bet, just in case you forget how normal people are supposed to behave and freak out.

Another great thing to do is to surround yourself with good people. Tripping alone for the first time is risky, so I would advise you to go with someone experienced. It would be safest and most controlled with a babysitter— someone who has had experience tripping before, that chooses to stay sober to take care of you and whoever else might be tripping. You can learn more about setting up a safe and comfortable environment for your trip here.

I’ve found that having a person who is solid and cool can really help keep things controlled. Once, I was tripping in the backseat of a car with my friends. Some trivial thought freaked me out and sent me into a deep existential crisis. I don’t remember about what, but I was stuck in a spiral of worry, and I couldn’t get myself out.

I stopped my giggling and babbling and said something about not knowing anymore. Then I grew quiet and withdrawn. My good friend in the front seat turned around to me and casually said, “Hey, it’s fine. You’re here to have fun.” That simple sentence calmed me down, and from there my whole trip turned around. I thought I was facing some impossible struggle, but my friend straightened me out with just a few words. Go with people you trust and feel comfortable around.

Ingestion

After your preparations, all you have to do is eat the mushrooms. People respond to the taste differently. Most of the people I’ve asked about it didn’t like the taste and had to power through eating them.

Some folks put the mushrooms on top of pizza or another food, to make it more appetizing. Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve always enjoyed the taste. It’s earthy, soft, almost chewy, and similar to the non-magical mushrooms you’ve eaten before.

You may start to feel queasy about an hour or so after ingesting the mushrooms. Your hands might get clammy. Part of this response is due to the chemicals in the mushrooms, and part of it is your body’s normal reaction to ingesting a powerful and novel substance.

Onset

For whatever reason, people sometimes get this anxiety about whether or not they are tripping. They’ll make comments about not quite feeling it yet, about “kind of” noticing some effects, but still downplaying them.

Don’t be one of those people. Don’t micromanage your trip. Just eat the mushrooms, and let them do their work.

Usually, after the queasiness and discomfort subside, you will begin to notice the onset of effects. Since changes in thought are more subtle and difficult to observe, you’ll probably realize you’re tripping by just looking around.

Colors will be more vibrant. They might seem to glow. You’ll notice surfaces glittering or an unusual richness of texture. You will find yourself smiling uncontrollably. You will start feeling giggly.

And then, suddenly…you will be tripping.

The Trip

This is it. This is what you came for. Like I said, be ready for anything. Sometimes, a trip will feel like a whirlwind. You’ll just have to hold on tight and go along for the ride.

Other times, you will have a lot more control during your trip. You’ll feel like you can navigate through a totally new mindset. If you have a trip like this, it’s a good chance to explore yourself, or to turn inwards. Consider examining your personal problems, relationships, goals, ideas, beliefs, and fears.

Your sense of time and space perception during a trip gets pretty warped. The distortion manifests itself in beautiful ways— like staring at a flower for twenty minutes without even noticing. However, if you’re experiencing distress, thirty seconds of thought might feel like a deep, anxious struggle that goes on for a half hour. Exercise your power of thought here. Give your attention to something else. There’s no point in keeping yourself in a state of discomfort. Remember your reasons for embarking on your trip.

Really, it’s nobody’s place but your own to say what you should or should not do during a trip. You are about to experience a complete change in your thinking and perceiving of the world. Everything else is up to you.

The Comedown

Calling it a comedown is misleading. The tail end of a mushroom trip might just be my favorite part. I’ve never experienced any sickness, any disorientation or disillusionment. Compare that to other drugs, like coke, MDMA, or even alcohol. Recently, after a night of heavy drinking, a friend of mine couldn’t even get a few steps out the door without vomiting. Another friend, who was snorting coke and MDMA for nearly the whole night, slept for 15 hours straight, sweating profusely.

Contrary to the deep regret and discomfort that usually follows a long night of hard, substance-fueled partying, the comedown of a mushroom trip is always a mellow, introspective, and life-affirming experience.

To me, going on a mushroom trip feels like losing my mind. I forget a lot of things that I usually take for granted— simple things, basic concepts. Once, I forgot the concept of gender during a trip. Another time I forgot the concept of purchasing. I once forgot so much that I figured the only thing I knew how to do was give a smile. So, for the next hour or so, I just smiled at everyone until they returned one.

Coming back from a place so far removed from “normal” thinking can be therapeutic. For one, there’s the relief and appreciation of getting all your thoughts back. You start to find the right words for things; you start to recognize more complicated concepts. It’s very exciting. It’s like relearning everything you’ve come to know during your whole life over the period of an hour. There is no other experience quite like it.

On top of that, you’ll notice how imaginary our lives are. During the trip, you’ll be put on a plane of really raw existence. You’ll be stripped of that little voice in the back of all of our heads, endlessly analyzing and ascribing meaning to everything. And when you come back from that, you will notice the voice is not real, and you will recognize how those judgments and fears feel artificial and contrived.

Afterward

When trying mushrooms, you will feel, think, and perceive new things. Whatever insights you might have encountered on your trip, keep them in mind over the next few days. The mushrooms themselves won’t automatically change your life. But if you treat the trip as educational, if you don’t disregard it as just stupid fun, you will find that your life will be positively affected, as if the trip was a catalyst for a host of changes waiting to happen.

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The History of Magic Mushrooms

Deep in the mountain ranges of Tassili, Algeria, there are ancient rock carvings of a stunning and ethereal nature. Historians estimate that they were made anywhere from 4,000-7,000 years BCE, a timespan of prehistoric rock art known as the Roundhead period.

Many of the figures carved in Tassili are unusually large headed. Others are without strict form, even missing parts of their bodies. There are some figures which appear to be floating in space or leaving their bodies. Roundhead period carvings are often thought to depict the experience of shamanistic rituals and processions. They are also considered the earliest evidence of humans using psilocybin.[1] 

In one carving, a row of masked figures holds up mushrooms in their right hands. Two parallel dotted lines from each mushroom connect to the top of the figures’ heads. In another scene, a large, masked figure is shown with mushrooms growing from its hands, forearms, and thighs.

Central America:

Some thousands of years after the Roundhead carvings were made, around 1,000-500 BCE, people erected entire temples for mushroom gods in what is now Mexico and Guatemala. Similar mushroom stones and motifs dated from 200 AD also appear throughout Central America, suggesting continued, ritualistic use of psilocybin containing mushrooms.

During the 13th-16th centuries, statues and depictions of reverent mushroom usage were made by people in Aztec, Mixtec, and other cultures in Central America. However, as European travelers, traders, missionaries, and colonizers arrived in these areas, they attempted to forbid and outlaw mushroom usage, deeming it unholy, indulgent, and dangerous.[2]

 The Early Experience of Mushrooms in the West:

In the early 1900’s, a botanist calling himself Mr. W. ingested a psilocybin mushroom for scientific research purposes. Mr. W detailed his experience, which appeared in the September 18th, 1914 issue of Science magazine. Below is an excerpt from Mr. W’s report.

“…All my motions seemed to be mechanical or automatic, and my muscles did not properly nor fully obey my will…I had no distinct comprehension of time; a very short time seemed long drawn out, and a longer time seemed very short; the same as to distances walked…”[3] 

Encouraged by Mr. W’s experience, several ethno-botanists and anthropologists visited Mexico over the next few decades to study and collect psilocybin mushrooms. They witnessed and detailed veladas, or Mazatec healing rituals, which used mushrooms.

Then, in 1955, R. Gordon Wasson and Allan Richardson actually participated in a mushroom velada ceremony. Two years later, Wasson published an article about his experience in Life Magazine. The article brought psilocybin mushrooms to the mainstream, public eye for the first time.

Five years after Wasson’s article was published, a Swiss scientist named Albert Hofmann first synthesized psilocybin while working under a pharmaceutical group. Hofmann is also known for inventing the substance LSD. In 1960, another figure who would change the world through LSD began to experiment with psilocybin— Timothy Leary.

The Harvard Psilocybin Project:

In August of 1960, Leary, a professor of psychology at Harvard, traveled to Mexico and tried psilocybin mushrooms. After trying pure, extracted psilocybin again, Leary felt confident about the chemical’s potential and began experimenting with it, giving it to his graduate students at Harvard. Dr. Leary conducted his projects with the help of another professor, Dr. Richard Alpert. Today Alpert is better known by his guru-given name, Ram Dass.

The Psilocybin Project at Harvard studied several different applications of psilocybin mushrooms. In one experiment, researchers under Dr. Leary and Dr. Alpert administered psilocybin in a prison, testing if it could reduce recidivism rates and act as an effective psychotherapy aide. Another experiment gave mushrooms to graduate divinity students to test psilocybin’s effects on spiritually disposed subjects.[4] [5]

Both of the experiments had promising results. Six months after treatment in the prison, the recidivism rate of the subjects who received psilocybin was 40% lower than expected. Nearly every divinity student who received psilocybin reported profound spiritual experiences. In a follow-up study conducted 25 years later, a majority of the students confirmed that their experience with mushrooms had made lasting, positive changes in their lives.[6]

The Dark Ages:

Things took a turn in 1963. Due to the due to disapproval of other faculty members at Harvard, the school stopped the psilocybin experiments and fired Leary and Alpert. Academics openly criticized their project, writing off the experiments as irresponsible and dangerous. For every other psychedelic researcher, the example of Leary and Alpert acted as a warning: research in psilocybin was no longer just fringe or unusual, but dangerous.

In October 1968, the US federally banned psilocybin. Two years later, along with other psychoactive/hallucinogenic substances like LSD, mescaline, and cannabis, psilocybin was classified as a Schedule I drug.

Following the ban, there was scant FDA approved research on psilocybin, and in 1977 all research with humans ended. For the next couple of decades, the promising field of psilocybin research was put on hold. But finally, in the late 90’s, research resumed and interest in psilocybin mushrooms was slowly revitalized.

The Resurgence:

Since then, the inquiry into mushrooms has continued to grow. In 2006, survey results and research reported that psilocybin could help with frequent cluster headaches, as well as induce mystical experiences.

A 2011 study conducted at John Hopkins School of Medicine found that nearly 60% of subjects given psilocybin under controlled conditions underwent significantly positive personality changes in areas like openness, imagination, feelings, and aesthetics. The researchers have also been working on administering psilocybin treatments to cancer patients experiencing distress, anxiety, and depression. [7]

Another study in 2013, financed by the UK’s Medical Research Council, investigated the effects of psilocybin treatment on patients with severe depression. At the time, the study received some mainstream media attention when the leading researcher, David Nutt, expressed frustration at how the legal status of psilocybin impeded with his research.

But in May 2016 the Lancet Psychiatry Journal published Nutt’s research. Nutt and his team of researchers discovered encouraging results, just like the past researchers at Harvard. Every one of the 12 patients who volunteered for the experiment reported relief from their depression for three weeks following treatment. Five of the patients even experienced relief for the next three months.[8]

Today and Tomorrow:

The psilocybin mushroom has undergone an almost seasonal journey throughout history. First venerated as a sacred spiritual tool by ancient civilizations like the Aztec and Maya, it was targeted by Spanish colonial figures to portray the religious practices of other cultures as savage, and worthy of colonizing.

After a relatively calm period, scientists and explorers rediscovered psilocybin. They began experimenting with the potential uses of mushrooms, but right before implementing their promising results, psilocybin mushrooms were criminalized and vilified again.

Today, a Third Wave of interest surrounds the psilocybin mushroom. Though there are still laws prohibiting their use and slowing down research, many sensible and free thinking individuals are shedding their attitudes of fear and disrespect against psilocybin. People are beginning to seriously consider the medicinal, therapeutical, and spiritual potential of these magical mushrooms again.

[1] http://www.artepreistorica.com/2009/12/the-oldest-representations-of-hallucinogenic-mushrooms-in-the-world-sahara-desert-9000-–-7000-b-p/

[2]https://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_timeline.php#ref_2

[3] Verrill, A. E.. A Recent Case of Mushroom Intoxication. Science Vol XL. (1914): 408-10.

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concord_Prison_Experiment

[5]Metzner, Ralph. Dr. Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment: A 34 Year Follow-Up Study. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Vol. 9. (1998)

[6] Doblin, Rick. Pahnke’s “Good Friday Experiment”: A Long Term Follow-Up And Methodological Critique. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology Vol 23. (1991) 

[7]http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/single_dose_of_hallucinogen_may_create_lasting_personality_change/

[8]Carhartt-Harrris, Robin et al. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: on open-label feasilbility study. Lancet Psychiatry. (2016)

 

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Psychedelics and Self-Actualization

Perched at the apex of the pyramid illustrating Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs, you will notice a mystifying concept— self-actualization.

To Maslow, the pinnacle of human existence meant the pursuit of self-actualization. After one meets the basic physiological needs and attains a certain level of love and comfort, then the individual begins to explore and realize his or her full potential. 

Maslow’s theory was first published in the early 20th century and has since received its fair share of criticism. Still, Maslow's approach has permeated into mainstream awareness because the structure of the hierarchy makes sense to the average layman. 

It makes so much sense, in fact, that the desire for self-actualization, for realizing the full human potential and becoming better, has blossomed into a multi-billion dollar mega-industry. Self-help books, fitness trainers, gym memberships, health foods, non-profit, even for-profit social ventures are always promising the customer some self-fulfillment or satisfying development. 

These tools and services can all be very useful. But they can’t work magic alone. Too many people expect to buy something or pay someone and have the work done for them. They want to set and forget any questions of restlessness or potential. It doesn’t work like that. Self-actualization is an ongoing, self-critical, challenging process. No product can change that fact, and no product should.  

So, what now? 

In a culture awash with distractions, how can someone interested in personal growth navigate past the emotionally enticing services sold around every corner? How can they understand and, even, challenge their greatest potential? 

Two ways come to mind:

1.    Reaffirm self-actualization as a process that is rewarding because it is a process. 
2.    Use psychedelics.

Self-Actualization As A Process

As an animal, it is part of our nature and instinct to seek. Exploring gives our life meaning and pleasure. It takes us from A to B. Humans need this ability to grow. Self-actualization, ultimately, is a more sophisticated and knowledgeable version of this primitive, seeking instinct. 

But a big problem arises when people expect an external pursuit to finish the job. For, pursuing an external object for internal satisfaction will never amount to becoming a whole, permanently satisfied being. 

Seeking and self-actualization are processes. They must constantly be pursued for a person to remain happy. Think of your left bicep. Yes, you can train your bicep to lift or move certain amounts of weight and accomplish. But, to maintain a high level of strength, you must test it. You must subject it to the timeless pursuit of bicep curls and one-arm pull-ups (maybe?)  If you do not test it, the bicep will become weaker. 

Unfortunately, many people mistake their natural desire to evolve as a hassle to deal with, like pulling a tooth. When they can’t shake their seeking impulses, they often misunderstand such desires as an outcome of unfulfillment or lacking. 

But this idea of seeking, of exploration, signifies a person's basic needs are met. People should feel blessed to have the urge to seek, because it means they are ready to become better. 

Treating self-actualization as an instinctual process allows a person to hear their internal voice, instead of seeking the final attainment of an external object or achievement. It’s about the journey, not the destination.  

 After realizing this, you will no longer expect objects to save you from imperfection. Instead, you will begin to focus on the tools that can help you continue to explore and grow. 

Which brings us to those lovely drugs called psychedelics.

Psychedelics As A Tool For Self-Actualization

Currently, we are within a period of resurgent interest in psychedelics, specific to how such substances uncover mysteries about the nature of our mind. Recently, scientists revealed brain scans of people under the influence of LSD.  The scans showed increases in activity between areas of the brain that usually do not communicate with each other. 

The results go a long way in supporting the idea that psychedelic usage takes us out of our “default mode network”, or DFM. The DFM is a name given to the network of brain regions accounting for everyday patterns of thought, including memories, ruminations, judgments, and all the thoughts that contribute to the sense of self. 

The default network, more or less, is responsible for thoughts in your head that appear like an unexpected present from your Great Aunt at Christmas. Yes, you weren't expecting them. Yes, sometimes the gifts are most excellent. But many times, you only get the same pair of gray wool socks that came in the stocking last year. 

Still, in other situations, these default thoughts become barriers. They stand between you and your better self. Chronic anxieties, grudges, fears, and doubts remain common to any person who calls himself a homo sapiens. And since they are endemic to humankind, we often tie them to aspects of human character. Many times they remain this way - at least as long as you allow them to control your actions and limit your beliefs.

Psychedelics, however, provide a radically different and liberating experience, removing you from this default mode. Aside from the science, there is a wealth of anecdotal testimony attesting to the transformative and educational effects of psychedelics. Seasoned psychedelic users (a.k.a. Psychonauts), or even those lucky enough to have experienced a single transformative trip, often report losing their sense of self. 

Many have used psychedelics to help find new solutions for old problems. Psychedelics make many users feel like children, a byproduct of the decreased default mode network activity, which becomes cemented during adulthood. Often, users discover new insights, or examine habitual thoughts, behaviors, and feelings from an outside or detached perspective. 

Psychedelics, when under controlled and informed use, offer so much more than out-of-this-world hallucinations or funny stories. In truth, these substances reveal deeper aspects of self by expanding consciousness. 

As a tool, psychedelics can be used to confront challenging aspects about one’s self, to examine and re-examine goals, desires, and beliefs from a new perspective, and to discover hidden facets of our minds that have been obscured by default, automatic thinking. 

In realizing your potential, having the ability to step back and perceive your life from a different perspective proves incredibly valuable.

As You Think, So Shall You Become

The beauty of self-actualization as a process comes from its expansive nature— your potential is only limited by imagination. And when self-actualization becomes an enjoyable process, you experience discontent without feeling shameful, knowing that it signifies bounty and human instinct. 

Psychedelics play an important role in self-actualization by acting as a powerful tool in overcoming our default mode, which often provides limiting, discouraging, or misguided thoughts and beliefs. Furthermore, the experience of an altered state of mind while under psychedelic influence often acts as a wake-up call. 

In taking psychedelics, the point is not to just 'get high' and replicate the empty process of chasing to feel fulfilled. 

Rather, consuming such substances provides an insight into the possibility of a different way of thinking. It shows you that there is more to your mind than you know. It provides new content for you to think about, and entirely new perspectives and lenses to view such novel content through.

As Bruce Lee said, “As you think, so shall you become”. When you take the plunge to explore your mind, you consequently explore our own possibilities. 

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Why You Should Consider Taking Psychedelics

In writing content on this blog, The Third Wave's mission is to inform and educate people about the responsible use of psychedelics.

We don't explicitly encourage psychedelic use for every individual. Consuming such potent substances entails responsibilities. Each person must carry out due diligence on the reasons why they want to take a psychedelic.

But as we've written about before, there are measurable benefits to taking a substance like LSD. In our next series of blog posts, we will highlight these advantages, providing details on why LSD can be a powerful tool for change. We will include concrete examples of authority figures who leveraged LSD for personal and career gain. 

Productivity (Well, With Microdoses) 

In the past, we have written extensively about the benefits of microdosing. Hell, we spent months (yes, really, months) putting together an easy-to-digest and super informative infographic about microdosing.

As mentioned in both of these resources, anecdotal reports show that microdosing with psychedelics leads to a substantial boost in energy and focus. With higher levels of energy and focus often comes higher levels of productivity.

We will expand more on this in a future article dedicated to only productivity.

Entrepreneurship

In experiments done with LSD in the 60s on monkeys, those who consumed LSD were more likely to be ostracized by their group.

Why?

Because the monkeys who consumed LSD refused to follow the expectations of their companions. 

What's the relevance of monkeys taking LSD to entrepreneurs?

Entrepreneurs are most effective when they think differently. Innovation is critical to developing a profitable business. When you think outside the box and outside of mainstream expectations, creative ideas are more likely to come about.

Take Steve Jobs as an example. In our post on Psychedelic Quotes, we included the following quote:

"It reinforced my sense of what was important creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could."

Jobs knew the only way to create 'great things' was to think differently. It was to give the people, not what they think they want, but what they need. 

And his experience with LSD was a catalyst for such perspective shifts.

We will fully expand on these ideas in our upcoming post, "Why Entrepreneurs Should Take Psychedelics."

Therapeutic Use 

Of the dozens of books on LSD and psychedelics, the premier text when it comes to the therapeutic use of such substances is Stanislav Grof's LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research Into Realms of the Human Unconscious.

In his book, Grof delves deep into the world of the perinatal domain, which holds memories of the various stages of birth, and the transpersonal domain, which integrates the spiritual and transcendent experiences of the human experience within the framework of modern psychology.

Through his 17 years of experience with LSD therapy, Grof discovered the myriad benefits of psychedelic therapy. He wrote LSD: Doorway to the Numinous as a way to explain the breakthroughs many of his subjects made while under the influence of psychedelics.

In the past, therapists have used LSD to help treat a laundry list of mental ailments:

- Alcoholism
- Depression
- Anxiety with Terminal Illnesses
- Assistance with General Psychotherapy

The best reference for current psychedelic research is an article written by Michael Pollan for the New Yorker: The Trip Treatment.

Self-Actualization 

For those who do not deal with any serious mental health issues, psychedelics can be an excellent tool to accelerate one's development towards self-actualization.

Self-actualization is a pseudo-scientific term coined by Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who created Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. 

According to Maslow, a 'self-actualized' individual has...

- Clear insights into the nature of reality
- Accepted themselves and the world around them, 
- Focus on problems outside themselves
- Thoughts and beliefs not confined by social conventions. 

Maslow coined this term after studying individuals like Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.

So, how do psychedelics lead to accelerated development towards self-actualization?

One of the benefits to psychedelics is their ability to enable the user to see things as they are, rather than how they wish things were. 

In short, psychedelics break down the ego, enabling individuals to see the truth of reality since psychedelics eliminate their subconscious protections.

The best example I can give is myself. As an ambitious individual, I always look for ways to improve my quality of life. At a younger age, many of my psychedelic trips focused on self-improvement because of my slight obsession with personal development in my normal day-to-day life. 

My entire psychedelic experience was viewed through the lens of, 'How can I improve my life?' Because of a psychedelic's ability to disintegrate the ego, I gained clear insights into the eventual answer.

We wrote more about this in our piece, "Psychedelics and Self-Actualization"

More to Come

As mentioned throughout this article, this is only the first piece in our new series 'Why Should You Take a Psychedelic?"

Over the following months, we will publish extensive articles on each of the four points above. 

Once we finish each article, we will link back to them from this article.

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What Would Happen if Everyone Took 1 Hit of LSD?

“What would happen if everyone in the world took one dose of LSD?” she asked.

"Great question," I replied.

Up to this point, I had sat on the cusp of my chair, leaning into our conversation with body and mind.

But her question gave me pause. 

I sat back, assumed the Rodin-esque position, and thought. What ‘would’ happen if everyone in the world took one hit of LSD?

I rolled off an acceptable answer - the entire global economy would collapse, and war would be a remnant of past civilizations - but such a response simplified the robust implications of widespread psychedelic use.

So, I did a little research, then wrote this article as a response to her question.

Three huge systematic changes would occur if everyone were to take one hit of LSD: 

1. Diminished Desire for Material Items
2. More Meaningful Work
3. Taking Better Care of the Environment
 

Before I dive into the details about each of these three changes, I want to be clear about three assumptions I'm making in writing this article:

1. I don’t believe everyone in the world will, or even should take LSD. This post is only to extrapolate the associated benefits of psychedelics to a larger scale.

2. In this situation, I assume all individuals who consume one hit of LSD will have a guide, be in a relaxed state of being, and take it in a comfortable setting.

3. ‘Everyone’ does not refer to every individual on the planet. Instead, by ‘everyone,’ I'm talking about people who live in a Westernized country. 

“I feel connected, man. Like, I want to hug that tree.” 

Most of the benefits of taking psychedelics come from an internal shift in perspective. When under the influence of LSD or Magic Mushrooms or Mescaline, humans experience a visceral, emotional connection to the energy of seemingly separate life forms. 

In viscerally understanding such a deep level of connection, our perspective shifts, giving us visions of an entirely new world.

Such ‘breakthroughs’ in personal understanding, when multiplied by millions of people, can cause an entire perspective change for society. 

In fact, many historians theorize that the sweeping conservation movement of the 1970s stemmed from the 1960s countercultural movement. Through drugs like marijuana, LSD, and psilocybin, millions of people experienced a genuine connection to other energy and life forms. 

Through this understanding, these ‘awakened’ humans made every effort possible to reduce the detrimental impact of modern industrial society on the natural world. 

Why?

For karmic reasons. What comes around, goes around. In poisoning the Earth, we poison ourselves. For as much as humans want to believe we can conquer the natural world, it is Mother Earth who dictates everything we do. We are, in every sense, completely reliant on her natural resources.

But the widespread effects of the 'Psychedelic Sixties' have now been cast to the fringes of society. All psychedelics have been illegal for nearly 50 years now. And although millions of people use psychedelics every year, its use has remained a mostly underground scene.  

Until the past few years.

With the loosening restrictions on marijuana use and the power of the Internet, more people are 'waking up' to the enchanting power of psychedelics. More people are questioning the government's intentions as to why these drugs are illegal. And more people are using psychedelics than ever before.

And what perfect timing! With the destruction of Planet Earth seeming more imminent with every passing day, humanity thirsts for the clairvoyant understanding of our unitive connection with all life forms around us. 

Only by coming to a discerning, informed understanding of the power of psychedelics will humans re-awaken to the importance of these substances in the context of 21st-century civilization.

Developing this understanding on a widespread scale is only part of the larger push towards saving Planet Earth for future generations.  The entire value system Western society operates on - materialism, greed, progress for the sake of progress, infinite GDP growth - is a broken system that will eventually bankrupt the most valuable resource for human life: the Natural World. 

While there are myriads of ways for humans to understand our inextricable ties to Planet Earth, one guaranteed method is the responsible use of psychedelics. 

Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author, and a major proponent of responsible psychedelic use, highlights the difference between psychedelics and meditative disciplines like yoga:

“If someone gives you 100 micrograms [1 dose] of acid something is going to happen. Two hours later the significance of your existence will have just been borne down on you like an avalanche. And again this can be terrifying or it can be absolutely sublime depending on various causes and conditions [read: Set and Setting]. But the one thing it cannot be is boring. And that is you can’t say that about yoga or meditation or just going into solitude or anything else that – any other, you know, non-pharmacological means of inquiry.”

When such an experience occurs within appropriate boundaries, the experience is often sublime. 

More importantly, however, it initiates a dramatic shift in life perspective.

If we multiply such a dramatic change in life perspective by 1.1 billion - the approximate population of Western countries - the global shift in how humans view our connection to the world would be tremendous.

What shifts would we likely see?

Diminished Desire for Material Items 

In the 1960s, The International Foundation for Advanced Study carried out studies on the effects of LSD and Mescaline when consumed by creative professionals in California. Their job occupations ranged from engineer to writer to project manager. While not the typical definition of ‘creative type,’ all of these professions involve a high-level of problem-solving and require a certain degree of innovative thinking.

Six to nine months after the participants consumed a high dose, the researchers followed up with the participants. The researchers discovered some interesting behavioral changes in the participants, including a lower level of interest in external status, and an increased focus on internal purpose. 

Much of the over consumption of material goods in today’s world is because Western society has lost touch with its roots of humanity.  We don't understand, or know, our actual purpose as humans. Instead, our entire life purpose has been superficially constructed to meet the demands of a never-ending economic machine.

To quote the Fight Club character, Tyler Durden : “God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives.”

Amidst the distractions of 21st-century life, it has become nigh impossible to listen to our internal needs and desires. As such, humanity is left with a gaping black-hole of purpose, often filled in by unnecessary consumption.

Consumption distracts. And through mediums of constant distraction - shopping, social media, unfulfilling work - people avoid asking the most challenging questions they will ever ask of themselves: 

Questions like: “What is my purpose? Where and how will I find fulfillment? What is my bliss?”

Taking LSD, or any psychedelic for that matter is an excellent chance to look inside and grapple with such questions. 

By facing these issues directly, other 'truths' become evident.

One such truth is the uselessness of overabundant material consumption. 

By inhaling commoditized goods - clothes from mid-level retailers, smartphones from the local tech shop, furniture from corporate behemoths - humans continue the cycle of a broken system. 

After all, in our society, there is no negative stigma tied to mindless consumption. In fact, it is encouraged by Western cultural values because of the system's reliance on continuous GDP growth. 

Oh, you're spending more money? Great! Our economy thanks you. 

But after the head-splitting perspective shift of a psychedelic trip, there is little to no interest in the external expectations of society. Instead, an insatiable desire to create awesome shit dominates one's internal motives. 

Creation is forever. Creation molds your world purpose from an inside-out manner. And when humanity acts on such creative desires - day in and day out - then humanity will understand the accessibility of joy in the context of everyday life.  

Our western culture, and its worship of GDP and ‘consumer goods’, propagates a major fallacy: "that buying shit makes you happy" 

Taking psychedelics creates an archaic revival, a harkening back to times before the advent of modern technology. Suddenly, the individual yearns for a simple life, without the burdens of an existence built on superficial meaning.  

In understanding the value of this simplicity through a direct experience of joy, ecstasy, and, ultimately, transcendence, people re- awaken to the fact that much of what society claims we ‘need’ to be happy is utter shit. 

As Steve Jobs is quoted as saying,  "LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.”

Creation, not consumption.

But what happens, then, to a society built on materialism when nothing gets bought? 

What happens when everyone yearns to create, eliminating mindless consumption in the process?

Well, we....

Pursue More Meaningful Work 

Point #2 builds on Point #1:

Much of humanity remains cut-off from the field of consciousness on which we rely. In remaining in a state of separation, humanity experiences an internal state of loneliness.

This state of constant separation is what I refer to as a 'spiritual crisis.'  

As I explained above, after taking one hit of LSD, material desires would drop off the table. And when you buy less shit, you need less money. When you are less concerned about the trappings of ’material success’ (commonly called ‘Keeping up with the Joneses,’), you need less money. You don’t need to buy a nice car. Or have a big house. Or wear designer clothes. 

You come to a stark realization: In playing the ‘status game,’ you will not see an increase in your quality of life. 

Which often leads to another hard-to-swallow conclusion:

Much of the work Western society keeps itself busy with is fucking useless. 

What, after all, does an individual need if he or she wants to be 'happy'?

- Necessities of living: food, shelter, water, human interaction.
- Desire or purpose to improve the lives of other people

And once we have these basics covered?

Much of the 'extras' in life have no real effect on our capacity to be happy.

Dan Gilbert makes this point in his TED talk, The Surprising Science of Happiness,  by showing the negligible difference between natural happiness and synthetic happiness.

"Natural happiness is what we get when we get what we wanted, and synthetic happiness is what we make when we don't get what we wanted. And in our society, we have a strong belief that synthetic happiness is of an inferior kind.

Why do we have that belief? Well, it's very simple. What kind of economic engine would keep churning if we believed that not getting what we want could make us just as happy as getting it? With all apologies to my friend Matthieu Ricard, a shopping mall full of Zen monks is not going to be particularly profitable, because they don't want stuff enough."

So if happiness is just as 'real' when synthetically created, and if we don't need all that 'stuff' to be happy, then what's the point of working long, hard hours in pursuit of buying more shit?

In the same study I referred to in point #1, the participants came to a similar conclusion. 

When discussing career ambitions, one of the participants said:

'Last week I demoted myself. I asked not to be boss. More inclined to study and read then to get ahead financially. Before, there was a compulsion to get somewhere, be a vice president. That feeling is gone.'

This aspect of the study came to one significant conclusion:

"This population may be less interested in materialism, but more interested in productive and satisfying work."

So if we don't NEED all this stuff to be truly happy, then much of the economic machine we invest our creative energy in would fall apart.

Walmart? Useless.

Amazon? Equally useless.

Your local shopping mall? Yeah, again, useless.

As a quick, off-the-top of my head number, western society could likely cut out 50%+ of our GDP without directly affecting the base quality of life for most individuals of Western society. 

In fact, by cutting out the majority of the biggest corporations, our oligarchic model of fossil fueled destruction would cease to be an overwhelming force in the extinction of humanity.

Which leads to point #3:

Taking Better Care of the Environment 

Step #1: LSD catalyzes an internal shift in perspective, so the individual feels no internal gratification from buying the majority of material goods.

Step #2: Gone with the desire to buy and buy and buy is also the motivation to work long hours for loads of money. Individuals start to invest more time in creative projects that may have no economic benefit. 

Step #3: As the economic machine begins to unravel, so does the grip fossil fuel companies have on society's nutsack. 

The connection, in this case, is quite simple:
 
1. Manufacturing requires loads of energy
2. Much of the world's energy production relies on fossil fuels
3. Fossil fuel companies use extractive techniques (like fracking, oil drilling, mountaintop removal), which cause severe damage to the Earth (side note: not to mention, when burning fossil fuels, toxins poison the Earth's atmosphere).

So, as the desire to buy material items dissipates, businesses make fewer goods. 

When businesses produce fewer goods, they use less energy. 

When companies use less energy, fossil fuel behemoths earn less money.  

But even if we address point #3 as separate from point #1 and point #2, there is still a viable argument for why consuming psychedelics encourages stewardship of the Earth.

To sum up this discussion, I will directly quote from Alan Watts essay "Psychedelics and the Religious Experience," in which he writes about his experiences with psychedelics:

"I see that I am a link in an infinite hierarchy of processes and beings, ranging from molecules through bacteria and insects to human beings, and, maybe, to angels and gods - a hierarchy in which every level is in effect the same situation...

From this it is but a short step to the realization that all forms of life and being are simply variations on a single theme: we are all in fact one being doing the same thing in as many different ways as possible. As the French proverb goes, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose (the more it varies, the more it is one)... 

But the intellectual jump that mystical and psychedelic experiences make here is in enabling you to see that all these myriad I-centers are yourself—not, indeed, your personal and superficially conscious ego, but what Hindus call the paramatman, the Self of all selves. As the retina enables us to see countless pulses of energy as a single light, so the mystical experience shows us innumerable individuals as a single Self."

Although Watts's observations are of a mystical nature, his experience speaks to the importance of psychedelics in helping humans feel as one with all energy and life forms. 

When one directly experiences connection to the Godhead, it inspires an overwhelming desire to take care of all life forms which inhabit the Earth.

So, What Happens Next 

As I said at the beginning of this article, I don't expect everyone in the world to take one hit of LSD. And, yes, I understand LSD can cause serious issues in those who are pre-disposed to mental illness.

However, imagine if only the foremost intellectuals, business leaders, and political elite were to take one hit of LSD. Imagine the 'trickle-down' effect such an experiment would have on the rest of Western society. 

In talks with Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley expressed a similar sentiment. Huxley warned Leary of attempting to induce the masses into taking LSD.

Huxley's foresight went unheeded, and, largely as a result of Leary's irresponsible evangelizing, LSD is still illegal to this day.

We don't need a repeat of LSD use by those who are not prepared to respect and sanctify such powerful substances.

But we do need to change how we treat this Earth  And LSD or any other psychedelic, will play a significant role in affecting this change for future generations.

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LSD Stories

In this article, I tell you about 10+ LSD stories, including microdosing, moderate doses, and heroic doses.

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Manual for Overcoming Objections About Using Psychedelics

The focal point of this article is to provide psychedelic enthusiasts with an easy-to-understand manual they can show to interested users who are apprehensive about the various aspects of psychedelic use.

I have written this guide to help friends handle many of the objections and hesitations I hear from friends and family members who say, “Yeah, I’d like to try psychedelics because I know they can be an extremely powerful catalyst for change BUT...."

Many reasons follow the ‘BUT,’ and they all come from a decision behavioral theory called ‘Loss Aversion.” Loss aversion refers to a person’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.

Loss aversion plays an important role in the decision-making process of trying psychedelics.

In this case, the ‘loss’ is thought of as long-term psychosis and/or having a bad trip. Many people are content with life, and thus, they don't believe the upside outweighs the possible risks. 

Important note: 

Some people, no matter how many facts you give them, will not budge on their decision. As emotional creatures, many people don’t have the capacity to make informed decisions based on logic. Their emotional (fight or flight primitive instincts) often get the better of ‘em. It is best to leave these people alone.

Another note: Recently I read the book 'Ibogaine Explained' by Peter Frank. At the end of the book, Frank says: 

"Ibogaine improved my life dramatically, and I immediately began encouraging all my friends to do a session. I considered giving up my job and becoming a provider. I eventually learned the hard way that ibogaine cannot help everyone. I spent a good deal of my own time and money providing treatments to my friends, only to find that many of them got little benefit. I now know that my transformation with ibogaine was mainly a product of my own desire to change."

Replace 'Ibogaine' with 'Psychedelics' and the same rules apply. Those who will get the most value out of psychedelics are those who have a desire or curiosity for more.

Therefore, use this guide carefully. Don't use it to force someone into psychedelic use. Instead, use the information to allay certain fears for those who are on the fence.

Objection #1: I’m worried psychedelics will make me go crazy/insane

What you could say:

"You have a legitimate concern. Psychedelics must be used with respect, responsibility, and reverence for they are powerful substances. Diving deep into one’s consciousness is not an exercise for the uninitiated. 

But unless you are part of the 1% of human beings who are pre-disposed to schizophrenia, you will not develop long-term psychosis as a result of psychedelic use. 

While bad trips may lead to short-term psychosis (as long as one week) all symptoms disappear with due time. 

Research: See 'Prolonged Adverse Reactions to Lysergic Acid Diethylamide'

So, can psychedelics initiate a psychotic episode in people who have no predisposition to mental illness?

In extremely rare cases, psychedelics can trigger some level of psychosis but ONLY if consumed in an irresponsible manner:

1. If the person who consumes the psychedelic does not KNOW they have consumed the psychedelic

This happened in the 1950s and 1960s, most egregiously by the CIA when they ‘spiked’ people without the individuals knowing. Such ‘spikings’ resulted in the occasional death of individuals who thought they had gone insane. 

2. If the amount of psychedelic consumed is above and beyond a reasonable level

Such irresponsible consumption most often happens with LSD due to the ease in consuming such large amounts. The threshold dose (or, in laymen terms, the amount of LSD that will cause an individual to ‘trip’) is about 20 micrograms (about 0.00002 grams) . A moderate dose of LSD is 100-200 micrograms. An intense dose of LSD is about 400 micrograms (only the extremely experienced should experiment with such high dosages). Psychosis has been brought on, in rare cases, when individuals consume upwards of 1000-10,000 micrograms. If one avoids these extremely high amounts, then there should be no problems. 

(To be honest, even these cases of crazy consumption, less than .01% of people have any legitimate chance at triggering long-term psychosis. The human brain is incredibly resilient.)

Objection #2: I’m worried about having a bad trip

If you consume a small to moderate dose for your first trip it is unlikely (though, not impossible) that you will have a bad trip. 

The best way to ensure you have a good trip is to pay attention to the 6 S’s - especially set and setting. 

Back in the 1950s, when scientists first used LSD in experiments, they used it because they thought it did a tremendous job of replicating psychosis. 

As a result, many 'test subjects' had bad trips. 

Why?

Because of two reasons:

1. The setting in which the trip occurred: neutral, sanitized hospital rooms, with a ton of ‘alien’ machines and an uncomfortable bed
2. The expectations for the trip - the scientists EXPECTED to replicate psychosis, and many of the test subjects knew this before submitting to the test. 

As LSD use became more frequent, so did the emphasis on set and setting.

Thought leaders like Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, and Ralph Metzner reiterated the importance of 'Set and Setting' to every psychedelic user.

Why is set and setting so important? When under the influence of a psychedelic, our brain is more vulnerable. Our psyche opens up to the world around us, allowing it to be duly influenced by incoming messages. 

To remain in a relaxed state, it is important that many of these signals are familiar. 

Many experts recommend one of two settings for a psychedelic trip:

1. In a comfortable room, with a couch, pillows, ample lighting and a generally pleasing aesthetic appeal. Such a setting is ideal for introspective trips.
2. In an outdoor setting one knows quite well. Most of my trips have occurred in an outdoor setting, and I've enjoyed nearly every one. I often go to the same spot when tripping on psychedelics. Outdoors is better for more of an extroverted trip.

For your mindset, shortened to 'set', it is important to be in an open, positive mood. 

If you have had a recent string of bad luck, or you just aren’t in the greatest of moods, it is best not to trip on psychedelics. 

It is also critical to address many of the myths about psychedelic use - especially the ones about psychosis - before tripping. 

Myths around psychedelic use were responsible for many of the bad trips in the 1960s. Initial apprehension of having a ‘bad trip’ actually increases the likelihood of having a bad trip. Dr. Sidney Cohen, a leading LSD researcher in the 1960s, noted this trend in his research paper, "Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: Side Effects and Complications."

Objection #3: I don't think there are any benefits to psychedelics

As I said above, if this is the main objection, you are better off not trying to convince the user to try psychedelics.

Instead, ask him or her if they are open to learning more about psychedelics and the potential benefits.

If they say 'no', then move on to the next subject.

If they say, 'yes' you could recommend a few of the following resources:

1. Sam Harris's essay entitled 'Drugs and the Meaning of Life'
2. From Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Medicines
3. The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman

Objection #4: It is illegal, and I do not want to risk any criminal behavior

If your friend wishes to try psychedelics but they do not wish to risk purchasing it, then it is best to assume that risk for them. 

If it is a matter of them not wanting to break the law, then refer to the 'Don't Try to Convince Them' message above. They are not a good candidate for psychedelic use. 

Objection #5: I’m worried about flashbacks and LSD becoming lodged in my spinal cord

For more on this myth, see these two resources:

1. Myths about LSD
2. Chapter 7 of the Psychedelic Explorer's Guide

As I think of more objections, I will write up short guides to help you in addressing them.

And please, leave comments below to let me know if you hear any common objections, and your advice on handling them.

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LSD Trip Report

In this article, you will learn how to create an LSD trip report, and see detailed examples from various individuals. 

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