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MAGIC MUSHROOMS - Shamen - therapy
12. Shamen - therapy
It is possible to see a trip as a kind of tuning and cleaning out of the mind. To have a good look in all nooks and crannies and corners, to embrace some lingering sadness, to track down frustrations and traumas and maybe handle some physical complaints or to find out more about their cause. Remember that to select change as a purpose doesn't really work. Real change is a consequence, you can only strive to achieve a total understanding, a total consciousness about what is and what will be, namely the unchangeable. Starting from there, if you deal with them, live or relive them, problems get solved spontaneously; not by working hard on them but by working your way through them. Feeling is healing
One of the great lessons of the psychedelic experience is that we as humans have such a great capacity to feel. In our normal state we suppress that, most of the time we don't even feel our own body. In a psychedelic trip we become aware of so much more, so much detail and finesse in color, shape, smell, sounds and body sensations that we are overwhelmed. We might feel for the first time how tense we are, how we hide all kinds of pain and fear and anger, deny our emotions and refuse to feel. But the truth is, that if we allow ourselves to really feel, then our system will most of the time take care of the problem by healing itself. That goes for others too, if we learn, through the psychedelic experience, to let them in, feel them, not separate ourselves from them we are already healing them (and ourselves) in the process. Feeling is healing, you don't have to do anything else. When you become aware of the real core problems, they disappear or are more easily accepted. The guided trip
There are people who can assist you professionally on a mushroom-trip. They often call themselves shamen and they rely on age-old rituals and the approach of medicine men and healers of foreign cultures. Sometimes real shamen from the jungle come here. This approach works well, but maybe it is a bit too much, for it is usually a whole commotion with singing, drumming and strange ceremonies, and maybe only afterwards will you understand their real value. Also `real' psychotherapists or psychiatrists are sometimes willing to apply these substances so that deep traumas might surface. It is not for nothing that the eminent psychotherapist, psychiatrist and pioneer psychonaut, Stanislav Groff, talks about an `universal decoder', about the function of the trip to help associations and connections to surface and to get more clarity. In several countries there has been research about this. Also in the Netherlands psychedelic therapy was allowed for a long time to help people who were suffering from war-traumas. Unfortunately this has not been developed any further.
There are other drugs used too. The entheogen XTC, for instance, has been used for some time and with good results in psychotherapy, but unfortunately this is all prohibited by now (except in Switzerland). Still it is possible to find people that can assist you, there are workshops and people who will function as `sitters'. This means that they don't take anything themselves, but take care of things, bring blankets, hold you if necessary and help you to feel safe. It is important that such a person stimulates you on the right moment and helps you with visualizations and breathing exercises. They need to be well grounded as a lot of sadness, anger and projection can come up. Because this is too risky for `official' therapists (their professional organizations reject this, because of legal problems) it may take a while before you find a good guide.
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