Yup. Got this under my belt. As soon as … two weeks old.
Interesting self-assessment and extrapolation. Worth a read, I’d say. A note on booze: As for myself, I’ve come to see some quality in alcohol in regards to giving you (easier) access to some well-buried blind spots in your psyche. If you can get there in better ways, then I’d always recommend those over intoxicating yourself (along with the usual aftermath of a hangover). By and large, though, I think Ben Freeman makes compelling points concerning our (culturally approved) use of alcohol vs. other mind- or consciousness-altering substances.
In 2009, I was brutally made to remember an NDE-type experience I had at age four and in the context of a surgical procedure. After it was brought back to my memory I struggled in making sense of it and “integrating” it. I’m fairly certain that this experience contributed to my lifelong C-PTSD, but is not its root cause. Before I digress any further: I had always wondered about NDEs and if they were all they are allegedly said to be in the literature. I had my doubts. Now this paper pretty much reconciles my doubts with my own thoughts surrounding all reports on NDEs both ancient and more recent in so far as they might be an echo to traumatic experiences made before, during and after child birth, largely referring to Stanislav Grof’s idea of “birth perinatal matrices” in four stages.
I have to say that this makes more sense than anything else I’ve been reading on the subject in years – going on five years as of today. To me, it’s a conclusive and comprehensive “stab” at reconciling post-traumatic symptoms with near death experiences and revealing their similarities as to their genesis.
If nothing else, this paper offers at least an additional view on NDEs and non-conventional states of consciousness as they occur during psychedelic experiences. Worth a read, I think. And to me a potential answer to a lot of questions I’ve been harboring. See for yourself, if so inclined.
James Jesso: “How much is too much psilocybin? Is ‘five dried grams in silent darkness’ safe? I take the long road around to explore these questions by first exploring the concepts of how our relationship with our parents when we are children influence our sense of self (attachment theory, orienting voids, and compass points.) I am sorting out these ideas and…. ”
I have to admit that for the past 10 years or so, I have repeatedly contemplated upon trying mushrooms, particularly psilocybin myself. My reasoning was like this: I know for a fact now that I am strongly challenged in all regards “attachment” or to be quite blunt: I don’t. Attach. To people, that is. Whenever I did make a comittment, like e.g. a romantic relationship, they all ended in me being left by my former partners. After all these failures and particularly after having gotten divorced from the person I thought to be the love of my life, I had to sit myself down and face the fact that I am simply incapable of forming a sustainable, meaningful, emotionally sound and intimate relationship with another person. Hell, matter of fact, to this day I’m unable to have a healthy “relationship” or even just friendly attitude towards myself. Without going down the abyss of self-contempt, self-sabotage and self-destructive behaviours of all kinds, let’s just say that I can’t feel and perceive myself in a healthy way. That being said, I thought that a psychedelic experience and particularly that aspect of “self dissolution” and “blending into a larger realm”, which is often described as non-judgemental, all encompassing, all loving, might provide me with a visceral experience of total acceptance or even – love. I am pretty sure today that I missed out on the first and so I thought that by experiencing it once in all its glory, it might set off a process of more self acceptance, compassion with myself or even love of self and thus ultimately – put me on a healing trajectory. So far, so good.
But… I never actually took the plunge (of trying psilocybin or any mind/perception altering substance other than alcohol). After watching James’s podcast episode on the question, what amount of psilocybin might be safe and for whom at all, I know what held me back: It was a less conscious, but lingering concern for finding myself in an experience that – from all the personal accounts and reports I read or watched – might be just a tad bit too close to what I’ve experienced at age four (the meaningless void/hellish kind of NDE or altered state of consciousness much like that Nancy Evans Bush described in her book and later work). In other words, I was apprehensive of the whole thing to the point of avoiding it so far as I felt that the nature of a psychedelic experience might have me retraumatized beyond the point of ever getting to fix it ever again. In yet different words: Whatever “reason” and sense of confidence – built or retained – I might have saved, it could all be destroyed by one bad trip.
I guess, I have to say a mountain-sized thank you to Jesse for warning me and others in plain language about some of the risks involved in trying psychedelics. I guess, I’d be more trusting and less concerned, if I had access to an environment that might help me handle the experience and in particular – walk me through the integration phase post-tripping. I heard that for a while Dr. Gabor Maté offered Ayahuasca retreats particularly for survivors of (complex) PTSD. I had subscribed to a mailing list and heard back from them only once – and the price tag on the whole thing was just impossible for me to do at all seeing as I have become disabled, had to burn all my savings prior to being entitled for support from welfare and I’m now relegated to the sidelines of life. But who knows, maybe I’ll find other, safer ways of giving myself access to mushrooms – or maybe Jesse will talk about that in a future podcast.
This’ll make you cry. At the same time, I couldn’t withstand the beauty of this process and the genius of Gary and what he makes of it:
(Only the title is in German, the scribbles and drawings have English captions and speech bubbles to them)
The vagus-brain connection helps keep you calm, clear-headed, and courageous.
And on a sidenote, if I may: All that we think we are is located in this frail network of “neuronal twigs” and that funny bulb at its top….
The next time you feel emotionally stuck or have an inexplicable emotional reaction, try this simple process to transform your feelings.
Trauma from when one was a child can range from a crippling fear of abandonment to physical abuse and anything between the two. Many adults are forced to deal with the trauma they experienced as children throughout their lives. 7 Behaviors Common Among Adults Who Went Through Trauma At A Young Age