بخش 63کتاب: چگونه ذهنیت خود را تغییر دهید / فصل 63
- زمان مطالعه 8 دقیقه
- سطح خیلی سخت
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
I had no idea how long the trance lasted, time was utterly lost on me, but when Fritz gently brought me back to the present moment and the reality of the room, simply by encouraging me to slow and relax my breathing, he reported I had been “in it” for an hour and fifteen minutes. I felt flushed and sweaty and triumphant, as if I had run a marathon; Fritz said I looked “radiant”—“young like a baby.”
“You had no resistance,” he said approvingly; “that’s a good sign for tomorrow.” I had no idea what had just happened, could recall little more of the hour than riding the horse, but the episode seemed to have involved a terrific physical release of some kind. Something had let go of me or been expunged, and I felt buoyant. And humbled by the mystery of it. For here was (to quote William James) one of the “forms of consciousness entirely different” from the ordinary and yet so close by—separated from normal waking consciousness by . . . what? A handful of exhalations!
Then something frightening happened. Fritz had gone up to the house to prepare our dinner, leaving me to make some notes about the experience on my laptop, when all at once I felt my heart surge and then begin to dance madly in my chest. I immediately recognized the sensation of turbulence as AFib, and when I took my pulse, it was chaotic. A panicky bird was trapped in my rib cage, throwing itself against the bars in an attempt to get out. And here I was, a dozen miles off the grid smack in the middle of nowhere.
It went on like that for two hours, straight through a subdued and anxious dinner. Fritz seemed concerned; in all the hundreds of breathwork sessions he had led or witnessed, he had never seen such a reaction. (He had mentioned earlier a single fatality attributed to holotropic breathwork: a man who had had an aneurism.) Now I was worried about tomorrow, and I think he was too. Though he also wondered if perhaps what I was feeling in my heart might reflect some psychic shift or “heart opening.” I resisted the implied metaphor, holding firm to the plane of physiology: the heart is a pump, and this one is malfunctioning. We discussed tomorrow’s plan. Maybe we want to go with a lower dose, Fritz suggested; “you’re so susceptible you might not need very much to journey.” I told him I might bail out altogether. And then, as suddenly as it had come on, I felt my heart slip back into the sweet groove of its accustomed rhythm.
I got little sleep that night as a debate raged in my head about whether or not I was crazy to proceed in the morning with LSD at any dose. I could die up here and wouldn’t that be stupid? But was I really in any danger? Now my heart felt fine, and from everything I read, the effects of LSD were confined to the brain, more or less, leaving the cardiovascular system unaffected. In retrospect, it made perfect sense that a process as physically arduous as holotropic breathwork would discombobulate the heart.* Yes, I could take a rain check on my LSD journey, but even the thought of that option landed like a crushing disappointment. I had come this far, and I had had this intriguing glimpse into a state of consciousness that for all my trepidations I was eager to explore more deeply.
This went on all night, back and forth, pro and con, but by the time the sun came up, the earliest rays threading the needles of the eastern pines, I was resolved. At breakfast, I told Fritz I felt good and wanted to proceed. We agreed, however, to go with a modest dose—a hundred micrograms, with “a booster” after an hour or two if I wanted one.
Fritz sent me out on a walk to clear my head and think about my intention while he did the dishes and readied the yurt for my journey. I hiked for an hour on a trail through the forest, which had been refreshed overnight by a rain shower; the cleansed air held the scent of cedar, and the barkless red limbs of the manzanita were glowing. Fritz had told me to look for an object to put on the altar. While I was looking and walking, I decided I would ask Fritz to give me his pledge that if anything whatsoever went wrong, he would call 911 for help regardless of the personal risk.
I returned to the yurt around ten with a manzanita leaf and a smooth black stone in my pocket and a straightforward intention: to learn whatever the journey had to teach me about myself. Fritz had lit a fire in the woodstove, and the room was beginning to give up its chill. He had moved the mattress across the room so my head would be close to the speakers. In somber tones, he talked about what to expect and how to handle various difficulties that might arise: “paranoia, spooky places, the feeling you’re losing your mind or that you are dying.
“It’s like when you see a mountain lion,” he suggested. “If you run, it will chase you. So you must stand your ground.” I was reminded of the “flight instructions” that the guides employed at Johns Hopkins: instead of turning away from any monster that appears, move toward it, stand your ground, and demand to know, “What are you doing in my mind? What do you have to teach me?”
I added my stone and leaf to the altar, which held a bronze Buddha surrounded by the items of many previous travelers. “Something hard and something soft,” Fritz observed. I asked for the assurances I needed to proceed and received them. Now he handed me a Japanese teacup at the bottom of which lay a tiny square of blotter paper and the torn scraps of a second square—the booster. One side of the blotter paper had a Buddha printed on it, the other a cartoon character I didn’t recognize. I put the square on my tongue and, taking a sip of water, swallowed. Fritz didn’t perform much of a ceremony, but he did talk about the “sacred tradition” I was now joining, the lineage of all the tribes and peoples down through time and around the world who used such medicines in their rites of initiation. Here I was, in range of my sixtieth birthday, taking LSD for the first time. It did feel something like a rite of passage, but a passage to where, exactly?
While waiting for the LSD to come on, we sat on the wooden skirt of decking that circled the yurt, chatting quietly about this and that. Life up here on the mountain; the wildlife that shared the property with him because he didn’t keep a dog: there were mountain lions, bears, coyotes, foxes, and rattlesnakes. Jittery, I tried to change the subject; as it was, I’d been afraid during the night to visit the outhouse, choosing instead to pee off the porch. Lions and bears and snakes were the last thing I wanted to think about just now.
Around eleven, I told Fritz I was starting to feel wobbly. He suggested I lie down on the mattress and put on my eyeshades. As soon as he started the music—something Amazonian in flavor, gently rhythmic with traditional instruments but also nature sounds (rain showers and crickets) that created a vivid dimensional sense of outdoor space—I was off, traveling somewhere in my mind, in a fully realized forest landscape that the music had somehow summoned into being. It made me realize what a powerful little technology a pair of eyeshades could be, at least in this context: it was like donning a pair of virtual reality goggles, allowing me immediately to take leave of this place and time.
I guessed I was hallucinating, yet this was not at all what I expected an LSD hallucination to be, which was overpowering. But Fritz had told me that the literal meaning of the word is to wander in one’s mind, and that was exactly what I was doing, with the same desultory indifference to agency the wanderer feels. Yet I still had agency: I could change at will the contents of my thoughts, but in this dreamy state, so wide open to suggestion, I was happy to let the terrain, and the music, dictate my path.
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