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This column will hopefully explore a little more some of the more positive aspects of psychedelics, and how to gain most from the experience we usually refer to as tripping.

The first thing to realize about gaining meaningful experience through the use of any psychedelic is that the drug itself is not the answer. Rather the drug may be a tool to help the individual begin to look at oneself and the realities around one. The case of Baba Ram Das, formerly known as Richard Albert, is a good one to exemplify this. Dr. Albert was a research psychologist at Harvard in the early 60's, with Tim Leary. With his first psychedelic experience he found a part of himself that he had been seriously looking for, but had never been able to see. The only way he knew to get there was with the psychedelics, but through the years he found that the psychedelics were far too temporary for him, and he moved to yoga and meditations to find his satisfaction. There are many things to learn from Ram Das's experience-- that the psychedelics may be a valid tool for self-exploration, that it is not by any means the only method (therefore it is bullshit to force them on anyone), and that people can grow by changing their methods.

Now, suppose you are interested in some real self-exploration with the psychedelics, what kinds of things that you can do may help work with the psychedelic as a tool? First, some pre-planning is pretty important-- that is some thinking about where your head is at? What do you want from the experience? How disappointed will you be if that desire is not immediately met? Are you aware of things about yourself that you don't understand or that you don't really like? This type of thinking is important to do.

Another very important thing to consider is when, where and with whom you are going to trip? At a party with rock and roll and alot of people boogeying? It may be a killer good time, but it is not really good for some self-exploration. Neither does self-exploration demand that you be by yourself in a dark room, however. Being with a couple of other people who are into what you are trying to work with is a good idea, and it may be best for one of them to be tripping and one not to be (to deal with any external hassles that may arise). Forcing yourself to sit in one place and meditate is not really a good idea, if it really becomes a matter of unpleasant forcing, without seeing anything interesting. However, if the meditation feels interesting or exciting, by all means continue. A couple of good exercises involve fixing your breathing (this is also good to just calm down with), or to fix your attention on an object. It is a good idea, ií you are going to do this with others to make sure they know what you are doing, so that they will not disturb you when you don't want to go out to get food, etc.

Remember, that self-insight is not an instant process, even with the purest acid; it just does not always happen. Don't worry about it if it doesn't happen right away, for the growth that is involved may take some time, and sume frustration.

An extremely important thing in self-exploration with psychedelics is the time after the experience. There are usually too many things that go on in the psychedelic experience to sort them all out at the time. The time spent after the trip is at least as important as the trip itself. This time has to be spent in reflecting on the material that was uncovered during the trip. The images and feelings that were aroused in the trip should be explored and may be very important in understanding whatever there is to understand. The time that this may take to do well may range from a few days to a number of weeks. Until you are comfortable with your own integration of the trip, you should not trip, for just an "entertainment" trip. The reason for this restriction to serious self-exploration is one of allowing complete bringing together of the experience and to also allow the re-building of psychic energy to allow further self-exploration.

Another important factor in self-exploration is the amount of acid that you use. There is no reason to use an extremely large dose; in fact the extreme disorientation of a large dose may inhibit remembering enough of the trip to successfully bring it into your head as a growth experience.

Life to the Life Culture!