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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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VOLUNTEERS IN THE NYU psilocybin trial are required to write an account of their journey soon after its completion, and Patrick Mettes, who worked in journalism, took the assignment seriously. His wife, Lisa, said that after his Friday session Patrick labored all weekend to make sense of the experience and write it down. Lisa agreed to share his account with me and also gave Patrick’s therapist, Tony Bossis, permission to show me the notes he took during the session, as well as his notes from several follow-up psychotherapy sessions.

Lisa, who at the time worked as a marketing executive for a cookware company, had an important meeting on that January morning in 2011, so Patrick came by himself to the treatment room in the NYU dental school on First Avenue and Twenty-fourth Street, taking the subway from their apartment in Brooklyn. (The treatment room was in the dental college because, at the time, both Bellevue and NYU’s cancer center wanted to keep their distance from a trial involving psychedelics.) Tony Bossis and Krystallia Kalliontzi, his guides, greeted him, reviewed the day’s plans, and then at 9:00 a.m. presented Patrick with a chalice containing the pill; whether it contained psilocybin or the placebo, none of them would know for at least thirty minutes. Patrick was asked to state his intention, which he said was to learn to cope better with the anxiety and depression he felt about his cancer and to work on what he called his “regret in life.” He placed a few photographs around the room, of himself and Lisa on their wedding day and of their dog, Arlo.

At 9:30, Patrick lay down on the couch, put on the headphones and eyeshades, and fell quiet. In his account, Patrick likened the start of the journey to the launch of a space shuttle: “a physically violent and rather clunky liftoff which eventually gave way to the blissful serenity of weightlessness.”

Many of the volunteers I interviewed reported initial episodes of intense fear and anxiety before giving themselves up to the experience, as the guides encourage them to do. This is where the flight instructions come in. Their promise is that if you surrender to whatever happens (“trust, let go, and be open” or “relax and float downstream”), whatever at first might seem terrifying will soon morph into something else, and likely something pleasant, even blissful.

Early in his journey, Patrick encountered his brother’s wife, who died of cancer more than twenty years earlier, at forty-three. “Ruth acted as my tour guide,” he wrote, and “didn’t seem surprised to see me. She ‘wore’ her translucent body so I would know her . . . This period of my journey seemed to be about the feminine.” Michelle Obama made an appearance. “The considerable feminine energy all around me made clear the idea that a mother, any mother, regardless of her shortcomings . . . could never NOT love her offspring. This was very powerful. I knew I was crying . . . it was here that I felt as if I was coming out of the womb . . . being birthed again. My rebirth was smooth . . . comforting.”

Outwardly, however, what was happening to Patrick appeared to be anything but smooth. He was crying, Bossis noted, and breathing heavily. This is when he first said, “Birth and death is a lot of work,” and seemed to be convulsing. Then Patrick reached out and clutched Kalliontzi’s hand while pulling up his knees and pushing, as if he were delivering a baby. From Bossis’s notes:

11:15 “Oh God.”

11:25 “It’s really so simple.”

11:47 “Who knew a man could give birth?” And then, “I gave birth, to what I don’t know.”

12:10 “It’s just too amazing.” Patrick is alternately laughing and crying at this point. “Oh God, it all makes sense now, so simple and beautiful.”

Now Patrick asked to take a break. “It was getting too intense,” he wrote. He removed the headphones and eyeshades. “I sat up and spoke with Tony and Krystallia. I mentioned that everyone deserved to have this experience . . . that if everyone did, no one could ever do harm to another again . . . wars would be impossible to wage. The room and everything in it was beautiful. Tony and Krystallia, sitting on [their] pillows, were radiant!” They helped him to the bathroom. “Even the germs (if there were any present) were beautiful, as was everything in our world and universe.”

Afterward, he voiced some reluctance to “go back in.”

“The work was considerable but I loved the sense of adventure.” Eventually, he put his eyeshades and headphones on and lay back down.

“From here on, love was the only consideration . . . It was and is the only purpose. Love seemed to emanate from a single point of light . . . and it vibrated . . . I could feel my physical body trying to vibrate in unity with the cosmos . . . and, frustratingly, I felt like a guy who couldn’t dance . . . but the universe accepted it. The sheer joy . . . the bliss . . . the nirvana . . . was indescribable. And in fact there are no words to accurately capture my experience . . . my state . . . this place. I know I’ve had no earthly pleasure that’s ever come close to this feeling . . . no sensation, no image of beauty, nothing during my time on earth has felt as pure and joyful and glorious as the height of this journey.” Aloud, he said, “Never had an orgasm of the soul before.” The music loomed large in the experience: “I was learning a song and the song was simple . . . it was one note . . . C . . . it was the vibration of the universe . . . a collection of everything that ever existed . . . all together equaling God.”

Patrick then described an epiphany having to do with simplicity. He was thinking about politics and food, music and architecture, and—his field—television news, which he realized was, like so much else, “over-produced. We put too many notes in a song . . . too many ingredients in our recipes . . . too many flourishes in the clothes we wear, the houses we live in . . . it all seemed so pointless when really all we needed to do was focus on the love.” Just then he saw Derek Jeter, then the Yankee shortstop, “making yet another balletic turn to first base.”

“I was convinced in that moment I had figured it all out . . . It was right there in front of me . . . love . . . the only thing that mattered. This was now to be my life’s cause.”

Then he said something that Bossis jotted down at 12:15: “Ok, I get it! You can all punch out now. Our work is done.”

But it wasn’t done, not yet. Now “I took a tour of my lungs . . . I remember breathing deeply to help facilitate the ‘seeing.’” Bossis noted that at 2:30 Patrick had said, “I went into my lungs and saw two spots. They were no big deal.

“I was being told (without words) not to worry about the cancer . . . it’s minor in the scheme of things . . . simply an imperfection of your humanity and that the more important matter . . . the real work to be done is before you. Again, love.”

Now Patrick experienced what he called “a brief death.”

“I approached what appeared to be a very sharp, pointed piece of stainless steel. It had a razor blade quality to it. I continued up to the apex of this shiny metal object and as I arrived, I had a choice, to look or not look, over the edge and into the infinite abyss . . . the vastness of the universe . . . the eye of everything . . . [and] of nothing. I was hesitant but not frightened. I wanted to go all in but felt that if I did, I would possibly leave my body permanently . . . death from this life. But it was not a difficult decision . . . I knew there was much more for me here.” Telling his guides about his choice, Patrick explained that he “was not ready to jump off and leave Lisa.”

Then, rather suddenly around 3:00 p.m., it was over. “The transition from a state where I had no sense of time or space to the relative dullness of now, happened quickly. I had a headache.”

When Lisa arrived to take him home, Patrick “looked like he had run a race,” she recalled. “The color in his face was not good, he looked tired and sweaty, but he was on fire. He was lit up with all the things he wanted to tell me and all the things he couldn’t.” He told her he “had touched the face of God.”

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