بخش 65کتاب: چگونه ذهنیت خود را تغییر دهید / فصل 65
- 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
You could say the medicine makes you stupid, but after my journey through what must sound like a banal and sentimental landscape, I don’t think that’s it. For what after all is the sense of banality, or the ironic perspective, if not two of the sturdier defenses the adult ego deploys to keep from being overwhelmed—by our emotions, certainly, but perhaps also by our senses, which are liable at any time to astonish us with news of the sheer wonder of the world. If we are ever to get through the day, we need to put most of what we perceive into boxes neatly labeled “Known,” to be quickly shelved with little thought to the marvels therein, and “Novel,” to which, understandably, we pay more attention, at least until it isn’t that anymore. A psychedelic is liable to take all the boxes off the shelf, open and remove even the most familiar items, turning them over and imaginatively scrubbing them until they shine once again with the light of first sight. Is this reclassification of the familiar a waste of time? If it is, then so is a lot of art. It seems to me there is great value in such renovation, the more so as we grow older and come to think we’ve seen and felt it all before.
Yet one hundred micrograms of LSD had surely not propelled me into the lap of God, as it had Leo Zeff; even after the booster (another fifty micrograms, which I was eager to take, in hopes of going deeper and longer). I never achieved a transcendent, “non-dual” or “mystical-like” experience, and as I recapped the journey with Fritz the following morning, I registered a certain disappointment. But the novel plane of consciousness I’d spent a few hours wandering on had been interesting and pleasurable and, I think, useful to me. I would have to see if its effects endured, but it felt as though the experience had opened me up in unexpected ways.
Because the acid had not completely dissolved my ego, I never completely lost the ability to redirect the stream of my consciousness or the awareness it was in fact mine. But the stream itself felt distinctly different, less subject to will or outside interference. It reminded me of the pleasantly bizarre mental space that sometimes opens up at night in bed when we’re poised between the states of being awake and falling asleep—so-called hypnagogic consciousness. The ego seems to sign off a few moments before the rest of the mind does, leaving the field of consciousness unsupervised and vulnerable to gentle eruptions of imagery and hallucinatory snatches of narrative. Imagine that state extended indefinitely, yet with some ability to direct your attention to this or that, as if in an especially vivid and absorbing daydream. Unlike a daydream, however, you are fully present to the contents of whatever narrative is unfolding, completely inside it and beyond the reach of distraction. I had little choice but to obey the daydream’s logic, its ontological and epistemological rules, until, either by force of will or by the fresh notes of a new song, the mental channel would change and I would find myself somewhere else entirely.
This, I guess, is what happens when the ego’s grip on the mind is relaxed but not eliminated, as a larger dose would probably have done. “For the moment that interfering neurotic who, in waking hours, tries to run the show, was blessedly out of the way,” as Aldous Huxley put it in The Doors of Perception. Not entirely out of the way in my case, but the LSD had definitely muffled that controlling voice, and in that lightly regulated space all sorts of interesting things could bubble up, things that any self-respecting ego would probably have kept submerged.
I had had a psycholytic dose of LSD, one that allowed the patient to explore his psyche in an unconstrained but still deliberate manner while remaining sufficiently combobulated to talk about it. For me it felt less like a drug experience—the LSD feels completely transparent, with none of the physiological noise I associate with other psychoactive drugs—than a novel mode of cognition, falling somewhere between intellection and feeling. I had conjured several of the people closest to me, and in the presence of each of them had come stronger emotions than I had felt in some time. A dam had been breached, and the sensation of release felt wonderful. Too, a few genuine insights had emerged from these encounters, like the one about my father as a son, which turned on an act of imagination (of empathy) that even grown children seldom have sufficient distance to perform. During our integration session, Fritz mentioned that some people on LSD have an experience that in content and character is more like MDMA than a classic psychedelic trip; maybe what I had had was the MDMA session I’d had to pass up. The notion of a few years of psychotherapy condensed into several hours seemed about right, especially after Fritz and I spent that morning unpacking the scenes from my journey.
As I steered my rental car down the mountain and toward the airport for the flight home, I was relieved that the experience had been so benign (I had survived! Had roused no sleeping monsters in my unconscious!) and grateful it had been productive. All that day and well into the next, a high-pressure system of well-being dominated my psychological weather. Judith found me unusually chatty and available; my usual impatience was in abeyance, and I could outlast her at the table after dinner, being in no hurry to get up and do the dishes so I could move on to the next thing and then the thing after that. I guessed this was the afterglow I’d read about, and for a few days it cast a pleasantly theatrical light over everything, italicizing the ordinary in such a way as to make me feel uncommonly . . . appreciative.
It didn’t last, however, and in time I grew disappointed that the experience hadn’t been more transformative. I had been granted a taste of a slightly other way to be—less defended, I would say, and so more present. And now that I had acquainted myself with the territory and returned from this first foray more or less intact, I decided it was time to venture farther out.
Trip Two: Psilocybin My second journey began around an altar, in the middle of a second-story loft in a suburb of a small city on the Eastern Seaboard. The altar was being prayed over by an attractive woman with long blond hair parted in the middle and high cheekbones that I mention only because they would later figure in her transformation into a Mexican Indian. Seated across the altar from me, Mary’s eyes were closed as she recited a long and elaborate Native American prayer. She invoked in turn the power of each of the cardinal directions, the four elements, and the animal, plant, and mineral realms, the spirits of which she implored to help guide me on my journey.
My eyes were closed too, but now and again I couldn’t resist peeking out to take in the scene: the squash-colored loft with its potted plants and symbols of fertility and female power; the embroidered purple fabric from Peru that covered the altar; and the collection of items arrayed across it, including an amethyst in the shape of a heart, a purple crystal holding a candle, little cups filled with water, a bowl holding a few rectangles of dark chocolate, the two “sacred items” she had asked me to bring (a bronze Buddha a close friend had brought back from a trip to the East; the psilocybin coin Roland Griffiths had given me at our first meeting), and, squarely before me, an antique plate decorated in a grandmotherly floral pattern that held the biggest psilocybin mushroom I had ever seen. It was hard to believe I was about to eat the whole thing.
The crowded altar also held a branch of sage and a stub of Palo Santo, a fragrant South American wood that Indians burn ceremonially, and the jet-black wing of a crow. At various points in the ceremony, Mary lit the sage and the Palo Santo, using the wing to “smudge” me with the smoke—guide the spirits through the space around my head. The wing made an otherworldly whoosh as she flicked it by my ear, the spooky sound of a large bird coming too close for comfort, or a dark spirit being shooed away from a body.
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