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MAGIC MUSHROOMS - Set and Setting: purpose
5. Set and Setting: purpose
Diving into the ocean of your subconscious is best done when in a good spirit, in good condition, in a nice atmosphere and with some nice people around. For minimal risks and the most beautiful and the best trip it is important to be in a good "Set and Setting", as all the experts say. If you just swallow some mushrooms when you feel lousy and have nothing to do, then you may be asking for problems. You might encounter hidden corners of your mind, forgotten traumas or experience a frightening peek over the threshold between sanity and paranoia.
Apart from this it is important that you ask yourself why you want to make a mushroom-trip. The motives can range from a need for a change in your life to just pleasing your lover in going along. Are you just curious? Is it the first time? Haven't you got anything else to do or do you join because you don't want people to think that you are a square? You will have to make some conscious choices, like why you trip on your own, or why together with this specific person or that group. Consider these and the following questions carefully.
Where, with whom, with what, why?
Where you do it is important. And we don't mean it to be just warm and cozy, it is also important that you will not be disturbed, that there is help available or at least one person who knows you are tripping (a back-up is important, only the thought that you can call someone you know can have a soothing effect) and that it is safe. You can leave a note for the people that live in your house or ask a friend to call a few hours afterwards to check if everything is okay with you. Also take into account that strangers (police, FBI) may come by, because you don't want them to find you with a bunch of shrooms next to you. This is especially true outside of Holland, where the authorities are less tolerant and friendly.
With whom or with what , not only means what kind of mushrooms or in what form you eat or drink them, it is also about the whole environment and the people around you (or maybe with no one around).
Ask yourself, if you are in a group, if `sitters' are available, who don't take anything themselves and can watch over you. Are there some people in the group that take it a little sooner or a little later, do you help each other, do you choose a buddy before a trip, and how far are you prepared to go. Be clear! Don't let issues like sex hang in the air, they will very likely come up, and it is much better to be clear about them beforehand. Later in this book we will write a little more about this subject.
It might be important to discuss and become aware of the bonding-effects, an invisible tie with some of the people of the group. You will see them when they are vulnerable and that might move you to open your heart for them. Often they stay in your life; that can be wonderful, but maybe it is not exactly what you want. So be careful if you take a trip with people you don't know.
Why is a question you have to ask yourself before you set out on a trip. The wrong motivation, like wanting to escape from something or forget something unpleasant, can and probably will cause quite some trouble and in some cases a bad trip or worse. But then, if you do it to learn about yourself, about your relation with others, about your body or if you want to come in closer contact with your spiritual or mystical side, then this will undoubtedly surface too.
Although you can take mushrooms for many reasons, and having some fun or the sheer lust for adventure are as good a reason as any, one should at least consider the purpose of the trip.
Don't do it to impress anybody, to get back at your parents, to escape the bad world. That might easily backfire and most psychiatrists we asked about this confirm that the amplification process of a psychedelic trip is not exactly what you need if you are ill, depressed, angry, unhappy or borderline schizoid. The bad trips and accidents can usually be traced back to a pre-existing situation or state of mind.
There are positive reasons to choose such an experience. Maybe at a time of indecision, to help you make up your mind about a relationship, a new job, or a career decision. Some even advice to take a psychedelic trip when checking out a guru or holy man, you can spot the impostors more clearly.
A celebration or anniversary might be a good reason, in the old days the seasons, special constellations of the sun and moon and celestial movements were often used for such endeavors and rituals.
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