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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » oh how I hunger during these long summer nights

oh how I hunger during these long summer nights


Intellectual expectations are appropriate when subjects have had much
psychedelic experience. Indeed, LSD offers vast possibilities for accelerated
learning and scientific-scholarly research. But for initial sessions,
intellectual reactions can become traps. The Tibetan Manual never tires of
warning about the dangers of rationalization. “Turn you mind off” is the best
advice for novitiates. Control of your consciousness is like flight
instruction. After you have learned how to move your consciousness around –
into ego-loss and back, at will – then intellectual exercises can be
incorporated into the psychedelic experience. The last stage of the session
is the best time to examine concepts. The objective of this particular
manual is to free you from you verbal mind for as long as possible.

Religious expectations invite the same advice as intellectual set. Again, the
subject in early sessions is best advised to float with the stream, stay “up”
as long as possible, and postpone theological interpretations until the end of
the session, or to later sessions.

Recreational and aesthetic expectations are natural. The psychedelic
experience, without question, provides ecstatic moments which dwarf any
personal or cultural game. Pure sensation can capture awareness.
Interpersonal intimacy reaches Himalayan heights. Aesthetic delights –
musical, artistic, botanical, natural – are raised to the millionth power. But
all these reactions can be Third Bardo ego games: “I am having this ecstasy.
How lucky I am!” Such reactions can become tender traps, preventing the
subject from reaching pure ego-loss (First Bardo) or the glories of Second
Bardo creativity.

The Psychedelic Experience: A manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

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