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MAGIC MUSHROOMS - Coming down
13. Coming down
Experienced trippers know it, and psychiatrist treating people with bad tripping experience will tell you, coming down in a gentle way is very important. During the trip one lets go of the defense mechanisms, part of the whole ego is disappearing. That in itself is a great experience, as the world can be seen and felt as fresh and new, reality is let in anew.
When the peak of the trip is over and normal awareness takes over again, the world assumes its former shape and color, but you are for a while quite unprotected. The normal armor of insensitivity, ego and masks is not yet in place. This can be a great feeling and you would probably like to stay in that state for as long as you can, but then the world moves in. The telephone starts to ring, you switch on the television, run to the shop to get some food before they close, you die for a cigarette, feel the need to share your experience with those that are close to you but are also the ones that push your buttons, in short reality knocks!
Try not to give in too soon. Many a bad trip wasn't a bad trip, but a badly managed coming down. In that sensitive, special state you are like a newborn baby, don't spoil that. Taking time to relax, to integrate the experience in a nice and gentle way is the best gift you can give yourself and others. That way the positive discoveries, the newly discovered feedback-loops, the sense of wonder you had during the trip stay with you longer and may even remain a permanent part of your personality. People are, in that coming down phase, usually very nice, sensitive and sympathetic. You can recognize the really experienced trippers and psychonauts because they seem to have integrated those qualities. In that respect they resemble monks and spiritual people; those who, in different ways maybe, through meditation, isolation and exercise have wandered in the same space as the one you experience in a mushroom-trip. The process of gradual re-entering the normal perceptual state is, maybe even more than the trip itself, a chance to gently change your personality, alter your defense-mechanism, to let go of patterns that are no longer useful to you. A good metaphore is to see a psychedelic trip as similar to putting a bar of iron in the fire. As it heats up, it become soft and pliable, it can be bent in any form. That is what a blacksmith does, and as he takes it out of the fire he can use his hammer to form (and strengthen) it until it is cooled down and hard again.
The same with your personality, in the trip it is soft and even pliable. One can gently change it a bit. These changes however become cristallized and solid in the coming down stage and therefore one has to be extra careful. A too harsh exposure to the old patterns, having your buttons re-activated by people around you, phonecalls from parents, etc., is not so good. In this vulnerable state try to come down slowly and consciously. Ask yourself if your reactions to outside events really have to be as they were before. The whole concept of chill-out rooms at parties is in this respect really very good. One has understood that people taking all kinds of substances need a safe, quiet and comfortable place to come down from their high, whether that is induced by drumming, dancing or chemicals.
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