Is it cheating to use psychedelics in the pursuit of personal and spiritual growth?
Plant teachers and psychedelic medicines are part of an especially powerful spiritual path that only few can handle. They aren’t for everyone, just as tantra or vipassana meditation isn’t for everyone. It is a genuine path of healing and spiritual growth that has been around for longer than any religion we have today and that has at some point in time been part of the practice of all of them. They are at the very core of the mystical experience that once upon a time gave birth to religions, although those religions have since fundamentally perverted the insights given. Psychedelics are the tools of healers, shamans, witches, visionaries, psychonauts, spiritual explorers and messengers. They are tools of change and enlightenment, of love and transcendence. They are catalysts of evolution and reconnect people to the source.
Mental health problems often have their root cause in stress, trauma, abuse, addiction, and such. When we do not take care of unpleasant or challenging parts of life we eventually become ill. Sometimes it takes on physical expressions such as pain, but often it takes on mental expressions such as anxiety or depression. The only way I know of to actually recover from such states is to work with one’s personal development, to solve one’s life issues.
The problem with antidepressants is that they tend to put a lid on the symptoms without addressing the cause. I suppose the Swedish healthcare system hopes that a therapist will take over from there, but that contact often seems to be poor or non-existent. Therefore we today find ourselves in the situation that we are casually mass medicating the people with antidepressants without proper therapeutic backing, which means that many are getting medical help to put a lid on things, but are not getting the therapeutic support they need to actually solve the underlying problem. For many the antidepressants effectively lower the willingness to work with themselves, which sabotages their recovery. In addition there are all the terrible side effects reported, covering pretty much everything from apathy and obliterated sexual drive to suicide attempts.
I am not saying that such drugs have no raison d’être. They can be very helpful, especially in emergency situations. But before taking such drastic measures as to expose someone to medications with potentially lethal side effects, there are many other things you might try first.
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There is a great lack of awareness about how one can help oneself and others suffering from mental illness. Our educational system is so obsessed with measurable subject knowledge that it has very much neglected the truly important life lessons. Life skills should be a major school subject and include such things as how to take care of oneself, how to heal and evolve. A knowledgeable population can do far more for its recovery and well-being than the healthcare system can ever hope to do.
In time depressed people program themselves to feel bad. It is often manifested in how they eat, dress, what the listen to, what routines they have, and more. Many find themselves in bad relationships, they are unhappy with their job or just generally miserable. Life coaches, nutritionists or Ayurveda doctors could be helpful to break negative patterns and focus on good goals.
Mental illness is reflected in the body. In the beginning only in the energy system, but over time it will become more physical. Movement is generally good because it gets the body’s energy flowing. Two traditions that are particularly good at working with our body and energy flow are yoga and chi gong. Dancing is also a great therapeutic tool.
Many feel alienated from their bodies and need much more body contact than they get, or allow themselves to receive. There are plenty of body therapies that may be helpful, such as medical massage, tactile massage, tantric massage, healing and courses in body awareness.
While in a meditative state we release tensions and stress while also finding inner silence. In that silence it is often easy to find answers to why one feels bad and what needs to be done about it. In order to work therapeutically with meditation it is important to be prepared to take care of the stuff that it turns up. There are many more related practices in the alternative field, such as regressions, dancing, drum journeys and nature contact.
It is good to have a wise person to talk to when needed. Someone who can listen, reflect, challenge, inspire and help us find the answers ourselves. There are many people trying to do just that under such titles as psychologist, therapist, counselor, life coach, priest, witch and shaman. Other titles are less formal, such as a best friend or mother. It may be a tough journey to get out of a depression and it is good to have the support of someone.
There is much in nature that can be helpful in curing depression. St John’s Wort is for example an excellent way of naturally raising the serotonin levels. 2-3 cups of St John’s Wort tea for a few weeks makes a noticeable difference. The old Indian health system Ayurveda is also particularly interesting, because it works with food as medicine. The underlying idea is that disease is an imbalance in our body, which can be balanced with the right food. When it comes to the link between health and food, which have a strong correlation, your average Ayurveda doctor generally knows significantly more than both Western doctors and nutritionists.
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It is worrisome that doctors are the first to meet these patients. Doctors are specialized in medicine and therefore see medical solutions to the problems they encounter in humans. A therapist could, for example, meet a patient and see a person who needs to work with her bad self-confidence and make a plan for how to do so. A doctor on the other hand will listen to the patient’s symptoms and then turn to their library of drugs to find one that matches the symptoms.
In a way one can of course say that doctors are just doing their job. They are experts in medicine. When I look at it from the outside, I see a profession which lacks self-awareness. When it comes to really solving problems such as depression the doctor is a novice. If you want to help other people it is incredibly important to understand ones tools and their limitations. A person who has a broken leg should for example not be treated with healing and a change of diet. That person needs an emergency room doctor. A person who will treat a fracture with healing alone is probably somewhat of a charlatan, but is probably mostly clueless to their own limitations.
In my eyes a doctor who will medicate someone with antidepressants without further thought falls into the same category of dangerously ignorant people who should be called quacks. Medicines such as antidepressants are in no way a reasonable first response to someone feeling bad. Antidepressants are a disproportionate response, and when one adds that the medication lacks a proper therapeutic connection to the tools that the patient wants to work with, it shows a profound ignorance on the doctor’s side.
To summarize what I have written – it is currently the wrong profession that has the first contact with the patient, which often sabotages recovery. Antidepressants are the wrong tool to use, it is regularly used way too early and the connection to other therapy is at best patchy.
If we actually want to have a healthier population, this is a system error that needs to be addressed.
Photo: Electronic Shaman by Surian Soosay on Flickr
Because of my past sex addiction it has become important for me to set up rules when it comes to sex. Here are some of the rules that I have found.
I only have sex with people I like.
This may seem obvious, but many have probably had sex with someone they don’t really like, simply because they lost control to sexual desire, because they were bored or because they felt sorry for the person. Liking someone does not mean I have to be in love or want to have more than a casual sexual contact. It simply means that I need to like the person. For me that rule is often easy to live by, since I usually find it easy to like people, but I have backed away more than once from people who I thought were incredibly sexually attractive because I just didn’t like them. In those cases it has been because they were racist, homophobic, ego manical, condescending or show other similar negative traits that put me off.
I do not have sex with people who use our sex to hurt themselves.
There are many who use sex in a very destructive way, where they could just as easily have numbed themselves with alcohol/drugs or cut themselves with razor blades. Sometimes they have several types of these behaviors which make them easy to spot. If I consciously allow myself to be used by someone who hurts themselves with me, I hurt myself. Therefore I can’t have sex with someone who wants to use our sex in that manner, even if I truly like the person and have a different approach. With that said, it is of course possible to have sex with that person if the person is aware of the problem and wants to use sex to release and heal, but that is of course something entirely different.
I only want to do what you want to do.
For a long time I was so focused on my own fantasies that I almost nagged my way to experiencing them. Very unsexy, I know. Over time it has become quite obvious to me that I’m only interested in doing what my partner also wants to do. Everything else puts me off. I very much appreciate having a partner who wants to explore and who is willing to try things even when they aren’t of huge interest, but now I always respect a no, because why would I want to do something with someone who does not want to? It’s like going on holiday with someone who does not want to go on holiday, or go to the cinema with someone who does not want to go to the cinema. Chances are that it will be a completely miserable experience.
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In addition to the rules, I also have an intention to how I approach sex. It may vary slightly, and as with the rules they are not finished, but here are a few important parts.
I strive to be consciously present.
For me my sex abuse dissolved when I found mindfulness in sex, or meditation if you like. Therefore, it is something that I actively seek. As long as I am aware, it is quite easy, because all I really need to do is to consciously touch, massage or be very close. Then I’m there. I often connect through touch.
I strive to have sex that is more than enjoyment.
My best sexual experiences and my most stimulating sexual relations have made clear to me that sex can be so much more than just pleasure. Above all I’m very interested in exploring sex as a way to heal and grow. In this context pleasure sometimes feels rather like a lovely side effect and sex only for pleasure is easily perceived as somewhat flat. I definitely think that sex for pleasure is good too, but I find it very difficult to imagine myself in a longer sexual relationship where pleasure is the only purpose.
My sperm is my life force and I take conscious care of it.
There are spiritual traditions that focus a lot on that the man should not lose his energy by ejaculating. I respect that approach, but that is not the message I’m getting. I am instead being told not to waste my life energy, which I do if my partner doesn’t take care of it. Therefore it has become important to me that my partner takes care of my sperm. If my partner does not want to, or if it is assumed that I should cum in a condom or sock, I prefer to save my life energy by not ejaculating at all. In the past it was important to me to cum and it was something I chased in sex, but now it’s something I only do if I’m with someone who appreciates and takes care of my life force. My experience is that it is a transfer of energy.
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I would love to hear what rules, guidelines or intentions you have for sex. Please feel free to write a comment or send me an email if you feel it is too personal.
I think I was 16 at the time. We were having sex when she suddenly told me that she had been unfaithful. I was immediately turned on by the thought that she had been with another and asked her to tell me more, which she did. The details about how she had been to a party, where she followed this older guy to a barn, made me so excited that I had never experienced anything like it.
Then I came.
And then my head turned inside out. Feelings of disgust and shame washed over me. An anger bubbled up in me that led to a fight, but a well-aimed kick to my balls left me curled up on the floor.
After that relationship, I promised myself never again to be the one who loves the most. I promised myself to always put myself first. I built a wall around my emotions, sedated myself with alcohol and even though I had intense loves even after that, there were always parts of myself that were shut down. After a while it all went on autopilot. I had several girlfriends who were unfaithful to me and I ruined relationships by being shut down and egotistical.
I didn’t think much of it all until almost 20 years later, when I came across a particularly tough energy block in the stomach area. At first it was really vague. I went at it with deep meditation, psychedelics, with sex and yoga. It has taken me several years to reach the point where I actually know what it is. It was last year that it really became clear, first in one very important relationship, and then in another. I have clawed at it, massaged, cleared and wished it away. And I have certainly made a lot of progress, but it isn’t completely gone.
It has taken me a long time to get here, but now I know what I need to do to remove it completely.
I need to activate the block, go into the trauma and choose differently. I need to meet up emotionally where 16-year-old Daniel was unable to do so. Enter the trauma and choose differently.
I think I know how it will play out. I need to have a relationship with someone I am deeply in love in. I need to hold her in my arms while she has sex with another. I need to feel turned on and excited, and then I need to come. When I trigger the trauma I need to keep my awareness and set a new reaction pattern to my feelings. I see that I will probably break down and cry, but when I have done so and when I have decided to always be the one who loves the most, I will be free.
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Trauma doesn’t lie in the event itself, but in our reaction to it. Our reaction in the moment of trauma is often unconscious. An extremely effective way to resolve a trauma is to trigger it and then consciously choose another reaction to it.
Horny teachers, naughty schoolgirls, doctors with perverted persuasions and meter maids in suspiciously high heels. Sexual role playing might be great fun, but can also be used as a tool for self exploration, intimacy and sharing.
There is a great difference between acting a role and finding that aspect of yourself. If you are acting it’s like a costume that you put on, which works nicely with the naughty little outfits you find in your local sex shop. But what schoolgirl or meter maid actually dresses like that? It is very much an exaggerated fantasy, which is all good and well, but I find that it is a game of dress up.
If you on the other hand find that aspect of yourself, you are exploring within, but the representations you find there might not be as two dimensional and unproblematic as in theatrical role playing. If you truly connect to your inner horny teacher, there might be some quite worrying imbalances expressing themselves. By meeting those imbalances, playing with them and talking to our partner, we have the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience. We can find a greater understanding for our tendencies and actively choose which to express, rather than being pushed around unconsciously by fantasies. In doing so together we come closer, find a greater understanding and can support each other.
In the same way that we might explore our shadow sides, we might of course explore our highest forms and aspirations. To take this to a yogic level, you might have sex as god and goddess, as Shiva and Shakti. Or you might find your own inner most enlightened and pure state, to meet that state of your partner.
But role playing in that sense doesn’t have to be limited to exploring personas. In yoga I have often been reminded to remember the energy of the beginning. Whenever you go into a new relationship, there is that very special buzz of something fresh and unexplored. There are many people that explore their naughtiness in order to spice up their stale sex life after many years, but going back to the beginning can do the same. Invoking the energy of the beginning, seeing your lover once more as if it was the very first time, can spice things up without the theatrics.
Taking that one step further, I would like to share with you a scenario that might not be the first that comes to mind when you think of sexual role playing.
– What if… we both pretend that this is our first sexual experience ever? That we are both virgins. That you are my first, and I am yours.
Main photo: Kiss And Makeup by JD Hancock on Flickr
The blotters were triple dipped, so I accidentally took way too much LSD. I fell between realities and had difficulty standing on my legs. It was a long night and that morning I went to the chill to relax. It was pretty full.
I found a spot where I sat down and meditated. With my eyes closed I got in touch with a girl in the room; a girl that I had barely even glimpsed when I entered.
– If a spot opens up, let’s go and lie down there together, she seemed to say to me.
A few minutes later a couple stood up and left. Without even looking in the girl’s direction I crawled over to the spot and lay down. A few seconds later, she sat down next to me and let her nails slowly wander down my back.
She slid down beside me and pulled a blanket over us. Her nose and mouth right next to mine, but I still hadn’t actually seen her. Caresses. She connected her breathing with mine and guided me to build up the sexual energy. With nothing more than breathing and light caresses, she then led me to the most lovely orgasm. I came for her completely under the blanket, but without ejaculating.
It was not until an hour later that I actually looked into her eyes and started talking to her. She was really nice and cozy, but what fascinated me the most was the seemingly telepathic contact that still persisted.
She walked away with her friends and after a while I heard her voice in my head:
– Daniel, I’m standing in the parking lot. Can you come?
It was crystal clear, as if I was standing in front of her listened intently. That happened several times. She told me things telepathically, I heard them clearly and every time they seemed to be correct.
We hung out the next day and I told her about my telepathic experience. She smiled and told me about the book she learnt the technique from.
Spiritual Growth – being your higher self by Sanaya Roman.
Main photo: space s(m)urf by new 1lluminati on Flickr
My friend phoned me and told me that she loved it that I dare be so provocative. It took me a while to understand that it was yesterday’s blog post she was referring to.
– What do you mean provocative? I really do not understand.
– Lots of men must have been really pissed off when they read that.
I don’t know… Are you? I just assumed that most of my closer friends actually managed to get outside themselves by now, that you actually manage to satisfy your partner. But I don’t usually interview you about your sex life, so maybe you don’t?
Maybe it’s like that tantra class when the teacher asked the class how long we thought that a standard intercourse lasted and I answered 20-30 minutes. Half of the class looked at me as if I were a complete idiot from another planet.
The correct answer turned out to be somewhere between two and four minutes. Two and four minutes. I’m not trying to sound like a tantric master here, but a quickie for me is between 40 and 60 minutes. In extreme cases, I guess I can get that down to 10 to 20 minute, if I really… No, I really can’t remember the last time I came so quickly. * When I’m into it 3 to 5 hours and more is not unusual.
But two to four minutes, is the answer. Does that mean that every time I have sex for three hours, 180 men barely keep it together for a minute?
If that is the competition, it really doesn’t take much to qualify as a sex god. Now, there are probably those who think that those quotes which I blogged yesterday were actually my own, but they weren’t. However, I really recognize myself in what my friend said. It is a bit scary that several girls have told me that I am the best they have ever had, while I myself thought that the sex was quite ordinary.
I spoke to an old mistress yesterday who told me that she had had four sexual partners since me. None of them made her come. They all came, but no one got her to come. And it’s not like it’s hard to get her to come, she always came several times, but … no.
But but but but but but…
All of you, I’m not quite sure how many you are, sitting there thinking “that Daniel is lying his teeth out. He was a crappy lay.” I was a crap lay until April 2013. I was one of those men who primarily hunted my own orgasm. I don’t think I was ever down to two to four minutes, my big cock has always helped save the show and I have at least tried to give my partner an orgasm or two, but I have been a miserable and selfish fuck.
I was particularly lousy before age 32, because then I did not dare even talk with my partners about what we liked, what we wanted to do and everything else. It was dead silent between us in relation to sex, so we groped our way around and every once in a while did something right. That’s retarded!
This post is getting a little flimsy and I fumble for the point.
You men. I suspect I am not alone in having had this feeling. Have you ever been to the pub and seen men behave so badly towards women that you are so utterly disgusted and nauseated that you are ashamed to be a man?
That is how I feel when I hear that my former mistress hasn’t had an orgasm by four men in a row.
That is how I feel when I hear that a normal sexual intercourse is two to four minutes.
That is how I feel when someone I have sex with for the second time, and that has obviously had a score of sexual partners before me, explains that I’m the best they ever had.
This is not okay.
Not at all.
I managed to get out of my own sexual fog little more than a year ago. That’s how long I have been a pretty good lover. I other words, I’m a beginner. Honestly, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m doing the best I can and trust my intuition and big cock, but I shouldn’t be considered a sex god. Not yet anyway. I should be right at the beginning, but I am obviously in the forefront. That is not right.
– I really want to meet God.
– Really? How far are you willing to go to meet him?
– How do you mean?
– Well, can you see yourself embarking on a pilgrimage? Would you perhaps walk to Mecca?
– Nah, it’s really not my thing to walk that far. Just think how sore your feet would feel after that.
– Buddhists have their deep meditation where they often live in silence and meditate for several months.
– Oh no, I’d go crazy. It’s really no fun being quiet. I like having people and talk all around me.
– What about psychedelics? Can you imagine using mushrooms or LSD?
– Do you mean that I should take drugs to meet God?
– Some people do.
– Completely out of the question! That’s illegal!
– Dancing? Many dance themselves completely sweaty and ecstatic to achieve contact with the divine.
– Nah, I don’t like sweating a lot. It’s not for me. I hardly dance when I go out, because it gets so sticky.
– Perhaps tantric sex? You know the whole thing with the Indian Kama Sutra, and such. You could invite God with sex.
– Honestly, it would be nice to meet God and all, but I don’t want him in my bedroom when I’m having sex.
– So let me see if I understand you correctly. You can pretty much see yourself walking round the corner to the hot dog stand in comfortable shoes to meet God. Somewhere where there are people talking, but where the atmosphere is nice and sober. You could possibly discretely sing along to some song on the radio, but if you get lucky God doesn’t get to tag along.
– Well, now that you mention it.
– You don’t sound very dedicated to meeting God. Is there anything else you can see yourself doing to get in contact?
– Well, perhaps I can buy him a hot dog?