Psychedelic Drugs: The Alteration of the Self
first. More likely the two will alternate asyou struggle to have any kind of controlover your mind. In other words, an acidtrip is tailor made just for you, evenmore accurate than a wife or husband atknowing just where your buttons are andwhat you are most worried or frightenedabout. It is all just too familiar, includingyour most vulnerable areas.There is no such thing as an incognitoacid trip, as in just being a bystander.Acid is not passive like watching amovie, reading a book, or looking at art.Instead, it is interactive like playing avideo game, and in this video you arethe main point of it all, and has yournumber down cold. Here inside andprivileged information is the name of thegame. Whatever is THE most vulnerablearea of your psyche, that is where youwill end up on an acid trip, so bewarned.
Second, the “you” who decides to take
the drug will be the first casualty of the
process, so don‟t count on your normal
sense of self-control or self-preservation. The
gets hammeredstraight away on LSD and is usuallyshattered before the first couple of hoursgo by. Imagine driving without a steeringwheel and you will be close to the rightimage. Your sense of self is the victimon any intense acid trip.
It is like instantly being in the after-death bardo state that the Tibetan Buddhist write of, only here it is the bardo state after you lose your sense of self or have found empty and useless. Who else is there? That you will find out, but it is obviously no one you know.
Back at the Beginning
LSD was virtually unknown in the early1960s, although rumors of it were allaround us. The word on the street backthen was that acid (as we came to callit), unlike any drug we knew up to thatpoint (aside from Peyote), actually couldalter the mind itself. Of course, most ofthis was pure speculation because fewof us had yet taken or had any realexperience. We trembled at what thatmight mean, but of course were stillintrigued. Not everyone rushed out to tryit. It was that down side that gave uspause, that acid could permanently alterand damage the mind. What could that
That phrasealone kept many drug enthusiasts atbay.I know from personal experience thatLSD is a very powerful drug, onecapable of altering consciousness notonly temporarily, but in many ca ses fora long time afterward - years. Noargument. What I want to discuss hereis the fact that part of the problem withconsciousness-altering drugs like LSD isnot only the drugs themselves, but ourown lack of knowledge and familiaritywith the context and nature of the minditself and with the various states of theself and consciousness. This is true nowas it was true back then.
Let‟s start off with the
ancient Easternview that the true nature of the mind
cannot be altered, but the “self‟ can be.
Here in the West we tend to think of themind, consciousness, and the self asthe same thing. And I am not simplyengaging in semantics here, so those ofyou with a history of hallucinogenicdrugs bear with me. You should be ableto understand what is coming. I havesomething to say that should interestyou
. What „is‟ true is that LSD and other
allucinogens are „self‟
-altering drugs,consciousness-altering drugs, which isanother matter altogether from
, one we will discuss.