Greg Kasarik

"Act with Empathy"
 
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Using Entheogens and Transcendent Compounds - A Beginner's Guide to Safe Tripping

 LSD

Transcendent Compounds are among some of the most powerful psychoactive substances known to man. They are sacred and I firmly believe that their occurrence is no accident. They exist so that we may use them to experience some of the Transcendence of the Divine Mind, while in our mortal shells.

 

A Transcendent journey using these substances can be one of the most life changing and important things that will ever happen to you. You can experience beauty, joy and love that is simply beyond anything that you will experience outside of the experience. It can provide reassurance and spiritual certainty, even as it undermines everything that you were ever taught, or thought you knew about the Divine. It can ease the pain that surrounds the transition to death and provide assurance for the living that we are more than simply just bags of meat, waiting to die.

 

The profound experiences can provide a catalyst to change you as a person in ways that you would never have dreamt, although it isn’t magic and you still need to motivate yourself to implement the changes in your own life.

 
 

However, while there are a range of positives that might be experienced while within a Transcendent state, there is also the risk of having a negative experience. Decades of research and centuries of use by indigenous societies tells us that the best defence against negative experiences while using Transcendent Compounds, is to educate yourself about what to expect and to ensure that you are as well prepared for the experience as you can be.

 

If this is the only guide that you read, then you just haven’t done your homework. Get out buy a book, browse the web, read trip reports and talk to people about their experiences. Only then can you be confident that you have fully prepared yourself for what could be the trip of a lifetime!

 

 
 
Legality

 

While you may have made a decision to embark upon your spiritual journey with the aide of Transcendent Compounds, you need to remember that despite being non-toxic, non-addictive and psychologically safe to use, their use is needlessly banned in almost every country in the world.

 

As such, despite the platitudes that governments hypocritically spout regarding the freedom of religious practice, mine (and potentially yours) is arbitrarily rendered illegal, subversive and dangerous. Because of this, you could easily find yourself arrested, prosecuted and fined, or even sent to jail, merely for practicing your religious beliefs without the risk of harming anybody, including yourself.

 
 
 
Set and Setting

 

Since the advent of exploration of the Divine Mind through the use of Entheogens, it has been known that both “set” and “setting” are both vitally important for ensuring an enjoyable journey. Set refers to the person’s mindset, while setting refers to the physical environment, people and animals present.

 

In indigenous settings, such as South America, where the DMT containing brew, Ayauascha is used, an intensive ritual of diet and meditation is often the prelude to ensuring an appropriate mindset. The setting is ensured by the location and ritual of the consumption of the compound itself. Together these preparations ensure the person receiving the sacrament (and these compounds are genuine article sacraments, although in a mystical, rather than Christian sense), is best prepared to have a positive experience and also to accept the guidance of the Shaman should this be necessary.

 

Before using any of the compounds (and this includes the seemingly innocuous ones, such as MDMA and THC), it is important that you research so that you are fully aware of what to expect and what not to expect. You can also be aware of what can be done in the case of a potentially negative reaction, or bad trip.

 

“Bad trips”, rarely dominate an entire session with Transcendent Compounds, but can be quite disconcerting while they are being experienced. While they can lead to quite valuable spiritual or personal insights but as with all journeys it is best to plan your trip to avoid bad things happening.

 

For example, given the importance of “setting” it is generally not a good idea to involve authority figures in negative experiences, either through the police, or hospital. Research indicates that both of these tend to make a bad experience worse, both because they can take a negative and judgmental attitude to drugs, but also because they are highly impersonal and won’t have a clue about what you are going through.

 

You don’t need to be completely free of negative feelings in order to have an appropriate mindset for taking Transcendent Compounds. But an absence of any major psychological, emotional, or personal issues, or trauma is advised. So while it might be appropriate to trip if even if you have been diagnosed with depression, or have had a dysfunctional family, it is not a good idea to do so if you are in the middle of a major depressive episode, or have just had a huge fight with one of your parents. As you move further into your Transcendent journeying, you will get to know what works and what doesn’t work with you.

 

While set is often something that seems to just happen to us, setting is something that we have total control over. With experience, you will discover the sorts of settings that you prefer, such as indoor, vs outdoor, or night vs day, but the important thing to take into consideration during your first few experiences is to ensure that you are in a safe location, with people you trust, who are aware of what to do if you experience difficulties and how to guide you through these shoals safely. Difficulties don’t even have to mean “bad” experiences. For example, you might experience a particularly powerful, positive emotion and break into tears of joy and then get embarrassed for “crying”. Good sitters will reassure and guide you away from your embarrassment and back to the reason for your joy.

 

For example, I was once approached for advice by a person who reported only having negative experiences while taking LSD, even in small doses. They wanted to know how they could change their experiences around in order to enjoy some of the truly transcendent realities that people such as I report experiencing. It turned out that this person only took LSD when she went to raves (outdoor dance parties in the middle of the Australian bush), where she was always surrounded by people that they either didn’t know, or didn’t trust. Had the compound been taken in a controlled environment, such as her own home with a person that she could trust her experiences would have been certain to be much more positive. Unfortunately, by the time she consulted me, her negative experiences may have created an underlying expectation that things would go wrong, which may have been a significant “set” related barrier for her to overcome.

 

 
 
 
Sitters and Guides

 

Just as traditional societies incorporate a guide into their rituals for the use of these compounds, so to should you. At the very least, you should have someone with you whom you trust and who is aware of the nature of the experience that you are likely to have on the compounds. Ideally, it should be someone who is mature and who has enough experience and empathy to relate to your experience and to help guide you through any difficult spots. For the most part, they shouldn’t partake of the compound themselves, although this isn’t a hard and fast rule, as some experienced guides prefer to have taken a small amount of the compound, so they can better flow with your experience. Under no circumstances should the guide take so much as to be unable to respond to your needs. They aren’t there to trip, but to help and guide your experience.

 

As you become more experienced with the process of tripping, you may find yourself journeying in search of particular aspect of understanding, or wisdom. In these cases an experienced guide can be useful. The person’s role is not so much to ensure that nothing goes wrong with your trip, but to instead to engage with you in order to keep your mind focused on the question for which you were seeking. They should not do this in a controlling, or authoritarian manner, insisting that you journey down the path that you had laid out before you. Rather they should gently guide you and accept if you instead feel the need or desire to move in another direction. A trip is often best if it is conceived as a journey with only a provisional destination. It will often take you where you need to go, rather than were you thought you should be and it is important that the guide recognise that your answers and questions are unlikely to be the same as theirs.

 

 
 
 
Communication and Confidentiality

 

It is important that anybody that you share a trip with is someone that you trust and with whom you can communicate freely. This is because it is important that you feel free to express your thoughts and feelings as appropriate, particularly if you are having a particularly beautiful or even negative experience. If you are feeling that your ability to communicate is inhibited by a person with whom you are sharing the experience this will adversely impact on your journey.

 

During a trip all sorts of strange things might happen and you might find yourself saying, or doing things that don’t entirely make sense, or which you might not otherwise have told anyone. For this reason, it is vital that anyone that you trip with is knows the major rule of a shared trip: Anything that happens on the trip stays on the trip. In other words it is not appropriate for anyone involved to discuss things of a private or potentially embarrassing nature that may have occurred during the experience. Ultimately, it is best if the trip is not discussed with others, except in broad terms that omit these kinds of details.

 

 
 
The Aphrodisiac Effect

 

One little mentioned effect of a number of the Transcendent Compounds is that they can act as strong aphrodisiacs. It was probably no accident that the 1960s counter culture was accompanied by a sexual liberation.

 

This isn’t to say that if you consume these compounds, you will automatically become incredibly horny and start shagging anyone, or everyone. Set and setting applies here and not every trip has a sexual component to it. But remember that these are quite powerful mind altering substances and sexuality is a key part of human personality and quite frequently on the minds of many of us. It would be foolish to pretend that it wasn’t going to come up at any stage of the experience.

 

However, unlike alcohol these compounds don’t seem to make someone physically attractive to you. So if a person isn’t interested in another person, then this is unlikely to change and they will regard sexual advances from someone that they aren’t interested in quite poorly.

 

Under no circumstances should you try to give these compounds to someone with the intent of trying to have sex with them. If they don’t want to beforehand, they won’t want to while tripping and your advances could result in quite a negative experience for them. This in turn could rebound on you quite badly, with the compound causing a heightened sense of rejection and alienation and therefore quite a bad trip for you as well.

 

If you think that sex might be an issue during a trip, you are best to discuss it beforehand, like mature adults. It might be embarrassing to bring up, but it will save much embarrassment and hurt later.

 

Having said this, sex with a consenting partner, that you trust and care about, can be absolutely amazing while using many of these compounds. Their use is often accompanied by an increased sense of intimacy, empathy and bonding with a loved one and this can take you to levels that you would not otherwise experienced.

 

With the exception of MDMA, I don’t suggest tripping with a partner with whom you are feeling antagonism, or unresolved hostility. There are simply too many things that could go wrong in this scenario. Even with MDMA, which is an Empathogen and has been used successfully in couple’s counselling I would urge caution, particularly in the coming down period, where many people report feeling somewhat down and irritable. Once again, being aware of the compounds and their properties is vitally important.
 
 
 

 

Initial Dosage Suggestions.

 

With respect to dosage, it is important to remember that Transcendent Compounds are sacred compounds that can help you to get in touch with the most powerful forces of the Infiniverse. They are not to be treated lightly as if taking them were some sort of teenage drinking game, in which the idea is to get trashed as much as you can. These are powerful psychoactive substances that need to be treated with appropriate respect.

 

First trips with any new compound should always be with what is called a “threshold” dose. This is the dose that most people will notice an effect and provides a good indication of how sensitive a person is to the compound. For example, with LSD a threshold dose for most people seems to be about 50 millionths of a gram. Despite the fact that a standard “tab” is traditionally 100 millionths of a gram, it is best to see if the lower dose is all that a person needs. For example, I know one person who finds that 25 millionths of a gram is his ideal dose, whereas I barely notice it and certainly wouldn’t experience anything meaningful, or entheogenically useful at that level.

 

By taking the threshold dose you allow for taking more, should you still looking around long after it should have kicked in and reporting negligible, or no effects. If you take too much, you can’t take it back, so it is better to err on the side of caution.

 

With many compounds, it can be difficult to determine the dosage, especially if like mushrooms, they grow in the random environments of nature and come in a variety of species with a variety of strengths. This is where a trusted person with experience should be relied on to ensure that you don’t take more than you should.

 

 

Also be skeptical if you seem to be King Kong, super-impervious to your first few doses of any of these compounds, particularly if they come from the same source. This is because many can degrade over time and if this has happened to your sample, you may find the real dose at what you thought was a safe level to be altogether different. For example, I once took four tabs of LSD which had degraded to the point where they were barely equivalent to a normal single dose. If these had been my first sampling and I hadn’t done my research, I could have gone on to a really stupid number when I decided to double the dose in order to get a deeper experience.

 

Be careful when pushing to a higher dosage of any of the Transcendent Compounds. There is an excellent correlation between high doses and freaking out. Just because you know someone who uses a high dosage, it doesn’t mean that you should too. Using these compounds is not a game and requires maturity. If you go into it with the mindset of a teenager at a drinking game, you will have a bad experience and bad experiences can be quite terrifying, I’m told.

 

My maximum dose is 400 millionths of a gram of LSD and this is because I find that it gives me everything that I need for a good trip, with lots of potential for connection with the Divine. I could go higher, but have yet to see the need. Most people I know never go beyond 200 and one person I know is happy to stay at 25. I’d love to know if they are experiencing the same sorts of things as I, or whether my higher dose also is an indication of a more intense experience.

 

Irrespective, my maximum dose is a reflection of where I am at, and theirs is a reflection of where they are at. It isn’t a contest and there won’t be any prizes awarded for taking stupid amounts, irrespective of where your mates are at. Bragging rights don’t accrue to the person who takes the most of a compound. Rather they accrue to the person who makes the most productive use of them. No point in taking more than you should have, freaking out with a massive bad trip and never going near the things again, thereby loosing access to a vital path for your growth and development.

 

The damage of high doses of LSD can be seen in the experience of the 1960s, where thousands of doses of LSD was freely available at a very cheap price. I recall seeing footage of an “Acid Party”, where the host put at least ten drops of acid from a small bottle onto each cube of sugar, before giving it to people. Assuming that each drop contained a 100 millionths of a gram, which seems to be standard, these people were each taking massively more than anyone in their right mind should, unless they have specific goals in mind and are an experienced tripper.

 

With this kind of irresponsible and cavalier attitude it is hardly surprising that that decade saw a reaction against what is actually one of the safest mind altering compounds around. While there was no risk of overdose, it was the LSD equivalent of lining up a dozen shots of high proof alcohol and letting rip. Encourage kids to do that on a regular basis and see how their parents tear you to shreds when they find out.

 

 
 
 
Frequency of Use.

 

With no potential for addiction, there is no real need to be concerned by regular use of Transcendent Compounds. Intriguingly, some even mitigate against regular use and the “benders” that alcohol and other compounds can seemingly encourage.

 

For example the body becomes tolerant to LSD, Psilocybin and Mescaline very quickly. As a rule of thumb, if you a threshold dose today you’ll need to double it tomorrow in order to get the same effect. The day after, you’d need to double tomorrow’s dose and so on. If you tried to stay in a tripping state of mind for more than a week, you’d need enormous dosages just to achieve a threshold tripping experience. Given the chemical similarity, between each of these compounds, tolerance developed with one affects the other two, so there isn’t even the option of changing compounds to stay in the game.

 

Intriguingly, while Psilocybin has a fairly quick “come down” time, that of LSD seems to drag on forever. The come down time is the time it takes for you to go from definitely experiencing a trip, to definitely not experiencing a trip. With Psilocybin it seems to be an hour and a half, after which a person can go to sleep. Depending on the dose with LSD, this can be more like five, or six hours. The sensation is akin to having had friends over and after having a great night, reaching the point at which you just wish that they would bugger off, go home and let you do your thing. Indeed, depending on dose, sleep can often be elusive for 24 hours after taking an LSD trip. The day after a trip can often be spent in something of an enjoyable daze, as you reintegrate the experiences into yourself. Overall, the effect of this is to not encourage over consumption of the compound, especially once you realise that you really need to put aside a good 48 hours in order to adequately enjoy and recover from LSD.

 

I see nothing wrong with a person using these compounds on a weekly basis, particularly if the person was using low doses, or actively exploring a particular spiritual question. The real test of whether it would be appropriate would be whether it was interfering with their other commitments and friendships. In addition, the Transcendent nature of the experience means that a period of regular use is often followed by a period of abstinence, where a person meditates on what they have experienced and integrates it into their worldview, or simply enjoys reliving the experience, with no need to disturb it with a new Transcendent experience.

 

In addition, it is often the case that a person will seek to use these compounds frequently when they first encounter them, but then significantly reduce, or even cease use, once they have achieved a certain state of transcendent understanding that is sufficient for their needs.

 

The most frequently used Entheogen is cannabis and people need to be aware that its active compound, THC can be quite addictive, especially if used as an escape, rather than as an adjunct to spiritual growth. The problem here is that people often consume it in the same manner and for the same reasons that they would consume alcohol: to relax at the end of the day and to forget about the cares of life for a while. While it would be convenient to say that all of our problems regarding cannabis dependency would be solved if only people treated it as a Transcendent Compound, the fact is that it is enjoyable to take and people will use it for reasons that have nothing to do with spiritual awakenings. We need to face this fact and acknowledge that abuse of cannabis is can be a real issue.

 

Thankfully, it turns out that Cannabis is nowhere near as addictive as the other common alternative, alcohol. While the dependency of THC is very real and can have real life and serious negative consequences, it is much easier to treat than the addiction of alcohol, which will make you its slave and quite likely kill you. THC, the active ingredient isn’t toxic, and its negative effects have been greatly overstated by decades of virulently inaccurate anti-drug propaganda. However, take care and look after yourself.

 

 
 
 
Driving and using heavy equipment.

 

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any research having been done regarding driving and Transcendent compounds, so it is difficult to say what suitable frameworks might apply.

 

Driving while under the influence of any of these is just plain stupid. They are taken specifically to mess with your perception of the world, so getting into a car is murderously moronic.

 

Personally, I’d suggest 12-24 hours elapse between consumption and driving for any of these compounds, with the exception of Mescaline and LSD, both of which will still have you tripping at the 12 hour mark. With these I’d suggest a good sleep and 24 -48 hours before you even consider driving, especially for LSD and even more so for larger doses.

 

And remember, like the person coming out of the pub after a few beers, you won’t realise how trippy you really are, so don’t assume that because you think you are OK, you actually are. The fact is that you are still under the influence and one of the reasons that you don’t realise that you are, is because you are under the influence. After tripping with one friend, where we had taken 2 tabs of acid, they firmly believed that they were OK to drive 14 hours after we had taken the substance. I insisted that they weren’t and the person later recounted how they realised the truth of this during the taxi ride home and were quite glad that I hadn’t allowed them to drive.

 

Ultimately, it is up to us all to act like mature adults and to adopt a zero tolerance policy on using Transcendent Compounds and driving. The truth is that if we screw this most basic aspect of social responsibility up, then we can guarantee that our religious practice will remain outlawed indefinitely.

 

 
 


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