Tag Archives: trauma

Extracting parasitic energies and demons

DO NOT DO THIS
UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE AFRAID.
IT IS NOT A GAME.

A method for removing parasitic energies from a person

This method was explained to me by mother Ayahuasca and pieced together the understanding I already had. When doing such work I ask for help from Archangel Ishmael, but other angels and spirits can be equally helpful to work with.

  1. Call in/meditate with the energy you are working with. When I do so Ishmael appears right behind me and I can easily channel his energy to my hands.
  2. While standing up, locate the parasitic energy. It will likely be attached in a specific place, such as a chakra or the spine.
  3. To remove the energy you must first detach it. I do so by channelling Ishmael’s power through my hands into the spot where the parasitic energy is attached.
    ∙ Another way that I have encountered is by pumping in energy at the base of the spine to detach the parasitic energy.
  4. When the energy is detached, push the energy out into a limb and out, for example through a foot into the ground. It is best to do this in nature. If done indoors the parasitic energy can linger and try to get back in, but once it realizes that it won’t be getting back in it will move on.
    ∙ Another way of doing this is to have the client hold a crystal in one hand and to push the parasitic energy into it. After that it can be released somewhere else.

In the event of possible violent extraction

If the parasitic energy is strong and aggressive it can take over the person’s body and violently fight for its survival. If the person is well rested and fit that can pose quite a challenge or even a hazard. One way of lessening the intruding energy’s ability to do so can be to weaken the body, so that there is less force in the fight. That can be done by dieting, fasting and working with the person when s/he is tired. I have heard that it is quite common to also have several strong helpers that can hold the person if s/he becomes violent.

Aftercare

If a parasitic energy has been in place for a long time there will be other unfavourable patterns that have gathered together with it, such as habits, ways of thinking and so on. Removing the parasitic energy doesn’t mean that habits and thought patterns automatically disappear. You need to be aware of which behaviours are your own and which are effects of the intruding energy. Work to find patterns that aren’t yours and change or reprogram them.

There will also be a void after the energy and you need to be careful not to invite new parasitic energies in its place. As with many things in life uncertainty is often more scary than that which you know is bad. We stay in bad relationships because we are afraid to move out into uncertainty. It is the same with parasitic energies. You not only need to kick them out, you also need to keep the door closed.

Closing the door

There are many things one can do to close the door. Here are a few:

  1. The Promise. Promise yourself to keep them out. One way of doing that is to say out loud that no such entity is welcome in your body. Here is a technique for giving yourself a strong promise.
  2. Protect yourself. Some like to imagine themselves surrounded by heavenly light, call on angels or wear protective jewellery. Others feel no need for protection and don’t need it. Do or don’t do in any way that you feel is good for you.
  3. Fight off attacks. Be observant of your body, feelings and thoughts. If you feel that you are under attack, call on your protection, say “you are not welcome here” and stand your ground. Keep the door shut.
  4. Change behaviours. As I wrote above we may have other negative patterns that are linked to the parasitic energy, but that have not been removed. Observe yourself and make changes or reprogram yourself. Here is a post about reprogramming.
  5. Solve underlying issues. Many parasitic energies are covering up deeper issues or trauma. By solving them you permanently close that door, because the energies can no longer use your triggers and insecurities to sneak back in.

Photo: Christine by Kurtis Garbutt on Flickr

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In the gateway

The metaphors we use often help us unlock new understandings, but it is important to also be aware of the barriers they can place on how we understand things. If I for example say that the human body is like a machine then that might be a great way of gaining new perspectives on how my body works. But if I cling to the metaphor I might forget all the ways in which my body doesn’t work like a machine. Some people go as far as confusing what they are talking about with the metaphor, so they end up thinking that their body IS a machine.

There is a theory called “gateway drug theory” that links use of lighter drugs to the use of heavier drugs later on. The theory is based on the very simple metaphor of a gateway or door. Once you try something it opens up the door to something else. One reason that the theory is so popular is that it is very easy to understand and communicate, because people have a general understanding that something comes first and then other things follow.

Gateway drugs

Most people I hear arguing along the lines of “gateway drugs” are talking about cannabis as a gateway drug that leads on to heavier drugs. There are definitely people who get introduced to other drugs by using cannabis first, but I think cannabis is not the best example of a gateway drug.

There is little inherent to cannabis to lure people to try other substances. It is possible to use cannabis to try to escape or dampen reality, so if one is looking for that experience cannabis might lead you further in exploring drugs such as opiates, alcohol and amphetamine. It is also possible to use cannabis to explore ones inner working, so people who seek tools to heal and grow might go on to try psychedelics.

But in itself cannabis isn’t a plant which urges you to try other plants or substances. One major reason that people go from cannabis to other illegal plants or substances is that they are often in contact with dealers who offer more than cannabis. In that case it isn’t really the cannabis which is the gateway, but rather the person selling or the criminal setting.

There are other drugs which are much more fitting to describe as gateway drugs and the three most common are ALCOHOL, NICOTINE and PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION. These are often used as an escape from reality, so people who are looking for such an outlet can be attracted to other substances that do the same.

The two legal substances ALCOHOL and NICOTINE have a similar aura to them which often expresses itself as I DON’T GIVE A SHIT. People who drink are commonly much more aggressively risk taking and self-destructive than people who use cannabis and people who try illegal substances are often drunk the first times they do so. Smokers and drinkers alike are already in the habit of poisoning themselves, so the step to other harmful substances is shorter. Since alcohol and nicotine effectively shut us down it is less likely that heavy drinkers and nicotine addicts turn to psychedelics, other than to heal from substance abuse. To stay in their own energy they will rather go to amphetamines, opiates and prescription medications.

This is of course why the concept of gateway drugs often implodes, because the people who most fiercely adopt the theory are often unwilling to link it to legal substances which are much more common gateway drugs than cannabis has ever been.

Light and heavy drugs

It should be noted when talking about the gateway from light to heavy drugs that alcohol is a heavy drug. Since alcohol is legal we often think of it as light, if we think of it as a drug at all. But the fact of the matter is that alcohol is one of the heaviest drugs out there, in many ways comparable to heroin. Nicotine is likewise a much heavier drug than we give it credit for. It has an extreme addictive potential, which is also comparable to heroin.

Gateway experiences

The metaphor of the gateway can be valid, but I don’t feel that it is correctly applied. It isn’t the drug which is the gateway – it is the user’s history.

Who becomes an addict? Who faces issues of substance abuse?

There are root causes to these things. People who are traumatized, who have been bullied or neglected, people who have been abused, used and hurt. People who have never felt loved, who have low self-esteem, who have a history of mental illness. These are the people who stand the greatest chance of ending up in addiction and substance abuse.

It didn’t start with the drug. It started long before with the person being mistreated and the following drug use, if it is destructive, is mainly self-medication or a try to flee from the situation. With that understanding a “gateway experience theory” would be much more true, since it shows what really opened up the door in the first place.

This is however quite provocative for many, because that gives an explanation that focuses in on all the things that have hurt that person in the first place. That opens up the understanding that other people have traumatized the person, which is very uncomfortable for many to own up to. It is often easier to focus on the person with a drug problem, rather than the many ways that primary others and society as a whole has traumatized that person.

Gateway people

So let’s follow that line of reasoning. Who are the “gateway people”?

Some would have you think that the gateway people are others. They are the bad company that the person just happened to run into, or such. That is seldom true. The most common gateway people are our parents and other significant others. Addiction is often passed on to one’s children and that addiction can look very different in the parent compared to the child. The parent might be a work-o-holic or sex-o-holic, while the child might become an alcoholic or drug user.

But we don’t only pass on our addictions. We pass on our insecurities, emotional blocks and instabilities, our frustrations and angers. All of these are what people later go on to abuse drugs to avoid facing.

As you can imagine this is also problematic if you as a parent are looking for someone else to blame. In that case it is so much simpler to focus on the one thing that it doesn’t look as if you have anything to do with – THE DRUG.

The gateway reexamined

The gateway is a good metaphor, but applying it only to a drug misses the point by a mile. One major problem to the “gateway drug theory” is that it has the word “drug” in there. So many other factors are more important than which plant or substance one uses first. Gateway experiences and people are much more important.

The metaphor also misses the point because it is linear; you are in one room and then simply cross over into another. Addiction and substance abuse is seldom that easy. B doesn’t always follow A, because it gets mixed up with C, gets triggered by H and also leads to X. Thinking that there is a direct link between, for example, smoking cannabis and later on shooting heroin, is so overly simplified that it becomes nonsense. Unfortunately many people can’t make sense of all this, so they are easily seduced by simple nonsense, but it is nonsense none the less.

Another drawback to the gateway drug reasoning is that the metaphor has us looking away from where the problems are being created. If we let ourselves confront the actual problems we would be obligated to solve them, which is hard for individuals and society alike. So we keep avoiding the actual problem and keep pointing fingers away from ourselves. Seeing the drug as the gateway is just another way of laying blame outside ourselves, when the true solution lies within.

Photo: Gateway by Georgie Pauwels on Flickr

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Mårten on the subject of time and how it can break

These are notes from a channelled conversation with a spirit contact named Mårten. In it he discusses time, trauma and identity. This is a rough translation from Swedish.

● ● ●

– Trauma changes time, there becomes a gap in it. Strong traumas fracture our experience of time. When something happens in a place that time is carved into it. In a place with many traumas, such as Auschwitz, time is fragmented and chaotic. It still is. Time has not moved on, which means you can go there and experience it again.

– It is the same for people. Time can break for them. For someone traumatized by losing someone, for example, time can become so fragmented that the experience could just as well have happened 7 seconds ago, as 7 years ago. A person like that breaks every day.

– Thus both a place and a person can get stuck in a certain time.

Identity and time

– Time is linked to the identity we create in the life we ​​live now. In our basic state that time does not exist, it is only now. When we are through meditation work our way down to our basic state we come to now, which also brings great security. In the ego, identity, we create time. It is with the help of the time we then create memories, what we’ve been through and what we dream about.

– Our memory teaches us the basic, practical social things. Therefore we need time, in order to learn and create our selves. We build our dreams on what we have experienced.

– When it works you go from one time to the next, but when there is a trauma time is fractured. Small images are spread and shattered. If that happens you can get stuck or move on without the image. It is the image of one’s self or expectations for the situation.

Fragmented time

– People with traumas have fragmented time. This may occur in many ways, for example by assault, accidents, vulnerable situations, lost love, alcohol and drug addiction, psychoses, neuroses, depression and apathy.

How can we mend fragmented time in a person?
– It depends. The person has to want to.

– One way is by remembering. A piece of time breaks. The pieces are still there in your backpack. You feel broken. Putting together the pieces begins by remembering how the image was before it was broken. This is not something to do by yourself.

– Go into the difficult things to reach the realization that it is okay that it happened.

Can you bring such time fractures to the next life?
– Yes, as karma.

How does one work with time that has been shattered by alcohol?
– By remembering. It is still there, that what was before the intoxication. There is something about yourself that you do not remember.

I forget who I was during that time. I don’t remember the hardest parts.
– You behaved in a way when you were drunk that you now do not want to remember as a part of you. Compare before and after. What disappeared in-between?

– The biggest key is identifying yourself. Every day and in every situation you decide how and who you want to be. You have to decide all the time, facing each new situation. A large part of our identification is based on how we have been and what we have been through in life. It determines our decisions and how we choose to be today.

Paused and enlarged time

– Sometimes time is broken in a way that it stops right there. We note details that we always remember afterwards. Pause. Then the problem is not to remember, but to get the image to assume the same proportions as the rest. The image stands out from everything else. That is as great a trauma. An equal displacement in the ability to identify.

– It depends on how time was broken, what one has done since, and our attitude.

Remembering and patterns

– There are some keys, but they have so many different variables. To remember has so many different variables. Remembering with the mind can be one tool, but you can also remember with the body or by saying things aloud.

– Then there is the aspect of patterns. We have time to create patterns and logic. We learn order and how to create patterns. This means that trauma of various kinds also create patterns, which often makes it happen again if it has happened once. Maybe that could also be a way to remember, until we actually remember it, until we actually see what is going on.

– The process is the whole thing, our process. Things happen and we get stuck. That’s why we have all these lives and continue to reincarnate, because we didn’t learn. So we bring it along to the next life too.

– It is through our identity and the experience of this life that we can get through the illusion and down to ourselves. See it as our core or essence. On it are various layers. Identity is one layer. That means that whatever we do in life can not damage the core. Any dirt will be on the outside of it.

Energy inward and outward

– Energy that harms, that stems from the illusion that the ring of identity is the self, is directed outward. We create the illusion that we are separate from God.

– Real healing energy can mend the identity ring. Then the energy is directed inwards, towards the core, and then we realize that we are God, that everything is connected, that everything has meaning, that we are complete. When we look for explanations outside of ourselves we direct the energy outward.

How do we direct the energy inward?
– Just do it. When we actually do what we know is right for us. It all ties together. When I know what I need to do I am in contact with the core, and then the energy is directed inwards. When we disconnect the mind, which is a huge process. When we become aware that we are not our thoughts. When we wake up.

– Most people have a little energy inward and little energy outward. Being in contact with ones intuition and feelings makes the energy go inward. The mind switched on, then the energy will go outward. The more energy goes inward, the greater humility the person will have. It becomes a tool. Such a person is aware that she is not the work she performs. She doesn’t identify strongly with such things.

– The essence, our soul – whatever we experience, we cannot damage it. Our identity can be damaged and create a “broken person”, slit personality and other disorders, but inside of that the soul is intact.

– With techniques for getting in contact with oneself so much healing occurs by itself, because that is the nature of energy – to heal.

Hallucinogens as medicine

– Hallucinogens can be excellent tools in this context, but the identity ring cannot be too broken. The identity ring needs to be quite intact, because it is through it that we create the context and intention. If the ring is broken the energy goes outward and becomes harmful.

– How noticeable hallucinogens are depends on how strong your identity ring is. If your ring is full, you are in balance.

Getting stuck in a time

– There is another way for time to break. We talked about 1. gaps, 2. that it is frozen and magnified, and 3. that a piece of time breaks so that it becomes choppy and fragmented. One can also get stuck in a time, often in a sequence. With a longer period of difficult things you can start reliving what is happening. It is repeated for real or it feels like it is being repeated. Outside time continues, but on the inside the same time pattern is repeating itself.

Four time injuries

– The person who has had a time injury needs to identify what kind.

Four time injuries:
● gaps
● frozen and magnified
● broken, shattered, fragmented, choppy
● stuck in a time

– In recovery we need to create a new identity based on the present. The past is no longer relevant.

Photo: Trolley Drain by darkday on Flickr

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Why doctors should not be the first to meet patients with mental issues

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.

Efexor by mikael altemark on Flickr
Efexor by mikael altemark on Flickr

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.

● ● ●

Self help

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.

Lifestyle changes

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.

Movement

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.

Body therapy

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.

Meditation

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.

Talking

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.

Traditional medicine
Bushy Park 10-08-12 - 15 by Garry Knight on Flickr
Bushy Park 10-08-12 – 15 by Garry Knight on Flickr

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.

● ● ●

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.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen by Mark on Flickr
Stop, Collaborate and Listen by Mark on Flickr

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

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Small, small dreams

– What did you dream of becoming or doing when you were a teenager?

I thought back of what I expected from life and dreamed of, and eventually came to the conclusion that my expectations were not only way off, but that they were also set far too low.

My great desire for a long period was to be a journalist and work at the same newspaper as my mother. I eventually became a journalist and worked at several newspapers, but never at the one where my mother worked. After a few years I felt I was done. I had learnt what I was there for.

Then began a journey of personal and spiritual development.

I recovered from addiction.
I healed and got to know my true essence.
I got in touch with the spirit world and my children.

I found transition points between realities.
Got to know angels.
Explored my psyche and universe.

It is sometimes said that a psychedelic trip can be the same as ten years of therapy in one evening. I’m nowhere close to being finished, but I have by now had many lifetimes of therapy and in contact with others I can really notice the difference.

I connected upwards, downward, inside and out.
I ran to face my fears and to challenge my traumas.
Did found both the guru and the shaman in me.

My teenage dreams seem so small now. Journalist at a newspaper. So simple.

I am an explorer. I move between realities, times and levels of awareness. I am a father who takes care of his children. I am an expression of the highest divine. I am Daniel.

But I still wonder what I should be or do when I grow up.

Photo: Close Up of the Human Eye by Hugo A Quintero G on Flickr

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Substance abuse is in the person, not in the substance

Substance abuse is part of the person, not the substance.

That people feel the need to numb themselves, to switch off and escape, is almost always a result of something within that is really uncomfortable and hard to handle. Some have been abused, lost someone they love, been bullied or otherwise traumatized. Others feel bad in less visible ways. They suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, they feel unimportant or unloved.

Many who flee into addiction have that in common that they lack other ways to cope. They stun themselves to escape. There are many ways to numbing oneself, many of which are legal but equally destructive as the illegal ways. The most obvious way is to numb oneself with drugs, where alcohol is the most common but also one of the most dangerous escape drugs. There are of course plenty of more or less dangerous substances, such as heroin, amphetamines and Spice. But if we really want to remedy abuse we need to understand that it is just as easy to abuse such things as gambling, sex, food and relationships.

The big problem with the Swedish drug policy is that it lacks this basic understanding. It chases symptoms (substances) instead of the root causes that drive people to flee from themselves. It is inherent in the very name – drug policy. It’s not an abuse policy. It’s not a policy of well-being. Everything prohibitionists have to say seems to focus almost solely on the substances.

The same backwards approach recurs in school drug education. The education essentially only tries to scare students from trying drugs. They are bombarded with terrible stories of drug abuse and a long list of negative effects that drugs can have. When I look back at my own education, I think it is remarkable that it never offered a single tool to take care of my mental health.

If we really want to reduce substance abuse we first need to help people to feel good. If we want people to feel good, we need to 1) not traumatize them, and 2) give them the tools to deal with the trauma that they will still be exposed to. If we really want to protect our young from abuse, we need to give them the tools to manage tough experiences in life, to process abuse, to handle losses and deal with bullying. They need to feel loved and important and included and given the opportunity to build a strong sense of self.

And those who still fall into addiction because they cannot find another way, we need to help. To help is something we do far too rarely today. Instead we pour our resources into chasing, controlling, forcing and punishing people. It is not only extremely costly for society, but it helps to perpetuate the problem. People do not recover by being systematically stigmatized, just as we cannot get children to stop fighting by beating sense into their heads.

Today’s drug policy is fundamentally flawed because it focuses on drugs, instead of focusing on people. Tear up the legislation and start over. Focus on people’s well-being. Redirect resources to not only help those stuck in addiction, but also to give everyone access to the tools to heal themselves from whatever they might want to flee from. In this way we will not only deal with abuse, but we will also put an end to a war that society wages against its own people and that it cannot possibly win.

Photo: Nalewka by The Integer Club on Flickr

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When the oppressed oppress

I once signed up to be an exchange student i Macau, China. It was a deeply transformative experience, but not in the way that I had imagined. I fled the place after just four weeks with my ego shattered, which plunged me into a four year long depression.

You see, I went to Macau thinking that I was the great globetrotter that could handle anything. I was hard headed, to say the least. What I didn’t know when I signed up was that Macau is extremely racist towards white people.

In nearby Hong Kong the Chinese generally get along well with whites. There the British ruled and they did so very well, letting the Chinese be a part of the system they built. Macau was a very different story. The Portuguese ruled Macau and they did so in an apartheid manner, oppressing the Chinese and keeping them away from any kind of power. So while they like Westerners in Hong Kong, they absolutely hate them in Macau. And I unknowingly stepped straight into that with my white male globetrotter ego flying high.

They treated me like shit, so after only a few perfectly awful weeks I fled in chock. Of course, being a white Westerner I have the privilege to flee uncomfortable situations, which refugees and such do not. In retrospect I am very happy that I had that experience. Yes, it did shatter my ego, but my ego was in desperate need of being shattered. Yes, it did plunge me into a four year long depression, but working through that gave me so many insights into how people work and tools to help. And it has also given me humbleness towards the hardship that refugees face. But having said that, I suffered nothing less than a deep trauma.

There are many that are like the Chinese I met in Macau. People who have been so oppressed and that are so angry over the discrimination that they feel they have suffered, that they are willing to unleash the same kind of hell on others. They have been so badly mistreated that once the table has turned they mistreat others. Two for me obvious examples are the Jews in Israel and some feminists, especially the younger more radical ones. Although I can definitely understand the reaction, I cannot sympathize with it, since it adds to and thus perpetuates the problem.

Photo: Angry mob? by Karla Fitch on Flickr

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Stories of illegal healing

Yesterday I randomly searched YouTube for people’s stories about how they have healed and grown using illegal substances. Despite deep stigma and threats of reprisals these stories are not hard to find.

All these people are someone’s child. They are siblings, parents, friends, colleagues. You probably know several people who have similar stories, even if you haven’t heard them. Each story is about someone’s life, and every life is a universe in itself.

Listen to their stories. If you still think that these substances should be illegal, stigmatized and users hunted by the judicial system – please, explain your reasoning to me. Tell me why Ruth shouldn’t have been given Ibogaine for her crack and heroin addiction, why Rachel who was sexually abused at age four should not have been given MDMA-assisted therapy, why Alex’s parents should not give autistic Alex cannabis and why Deepak Chopra, one of today’s great spiritual inspirators, should not have taken LSD.

Tell me why people should respect the law more than they value their own recovery.

Iboga / Ibogaine

Howard Lotsof accidentally discovers Ibogaines ability to abruptly break heroin addiction.

Ruth Zupan solves a crack and heroin addiction with Ibogaine …

Patrick solve intractable PTSD with Iboga …

Psychedelic mushrooms / Psilocybin

1 grams of psychedelic mushrooms solves Stickys long and complex depression, and his social anxiety.

Annie got terminal cancer and with it very much worry and anxiety, which psychedelic mushrooms solved.

He became one with the universe …

LSD

My own story where I solve a 13-year long alcohol addiction on my first dose of LSD…
http://wilby.nu/my-first-lsd-trip/

The famous philosopher and writer Alan Watts about his encounter with LSD and what he could not deny was a true spiritual experience…

Deepak Chopra’s first spiritual experience was with LSD…

MDMA

As an adult Rachel Hope solves intractable PTSD that she has had since she was sexually abused as a young child…

Bob Walker solves 50-year old intractable war trauma with MDMA…

Cannabis

After receiving a joint from her son Belinda Hethcox treats fibromyalgia with cannabis…

David suffers from Parkinson’s, but has a decent life and is able to feel pride thanks to cannabis.

Autistic Alex injured himself seriously but was helped by cannabis.

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If you have any favourite stories, please feel welcome to post the links in the comment section.

Photo: Don’t cry my love by Axel Naud on Flickr

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A future for addiction treatment

After several blog posts where I have explained how profoundly detrimental today’s drug laws are and how legalization could work, it feels important to write something about addiction treatment after such a paradigm shift.

The question is: what kind of addiction treatment do we want to see in the future? But before I go into that, I first want to say something about addiction and addicts.

What is addiction?

No name by Christian Scheja on Flickr
No name by Christian Scheja on Flickr

I define addiction as something compulsive where the person despite serious negative consequences is not capable of changing their behaviour. Addiction is often surrounded by a lack of awareness about ones problems, or an unwillingness to face them.

Note that such a definition can be applied to very many things in life, not only substances. It is common for people to abuse relationships, sex, games, television or food, just to name a few. It is especially important to emphasize that addiction is never inherent to what is being abused, but is something in the addict him/herself.

When people talk about substance abuse in the public debate, it is easy to get the idea that the substance is the cause of addiction, because as soon as anyone uses an illegal substance they are seen as addicts. That is a profoundly erroneous notion that hinders a sensible understanding and good care. Anyone who has sex is not a sex addict. Similarly, not everyone who smokes cannabis is a drug addict. If there is no compulsive behaviour and serious negative consequences, they are merely using the substance. Sending a cannabis user to treatment is as stupid as treating someone who has a healthy relationship with food for bulimia.

The addiction is always in the person. We relieve addiction by helping people to heal their problems, not by chasing substances. If we manage to remove the substance without solving the underlying problem, then the addiction will simply jump and start using another substance or any other area of life. Then nothing is won, because the process of freeing oneself starts over.

What makes an addict?

One can probably find many features that characterize addicts, but these are two that I have seen in all addicts I’ve met.

Fleeing. Behind the addiction is a fear of meeting something within oneself or in the surrounding. It can often be such things as old traumas, abuse, problematic upbringing, shame or guilt. There may also be a fear of actually being as good as one can be. In such cases the abuse becomes a self-sabotage, which is also a way to flee, even if it is from a situation that is potentially better than the one the person is in.

Loss of control. This is the compulsive aspect that I talked about earlier. The situation has spiralled out of control. However, I think that it is incorrect to say that the drugs or someone else has taken control. All power in a person’s life originates from that person. If anything or anyone else is in power, it is because the person has given it away, but often that is not the case. Instead the power is still there but is not being used. Regardless of which, the long term solution is to rediscover and exercise power in one’s life; that is to reintroduce control.

But moving on to addiction treatment.

Help me outta here! Thanks! by Gerry Thomasen on Flickr
Help me outta here! Thanks! by Gerry Thomasen on Flickr

I want as many people as possible get the help they need to recover from addiction. That is not happening today. Instead the support that is being given is often contradictory, since society stigmatizes addicts and prevents or even sabotages the recovery process.

Education. The best prevention* that I can think of is to give young people the tools to deal with difficult situations, resolve trauma and rid themselves of such issues that might make them want to flee. We need to start working on personal development, so that we can identify and deal with the reasons why people want to flee from themselves. When there is no longer a need to flee, the fleeing will stop.

Our society works quite differently today. We learn to avoid that which scares us, rather than to face and deal with it. We prefer to distract or sedate ourselves rather than facing the discomfort. Antidepressant medication is a typical example of this, as it puts the lid on the symptoms instead of curing the cause. I’m not saying that antidepressants are never needed. They can be a very valuable emergency response, but the prolonged mass medication that we see today is a direct result of people not having the tools to deal with the unpleasantness that they encounter in life.

Addiction treatment. I want to see addiction treatment that is much more accessible and less stigmatizing than the one we have today. Reaching out for help should be a small step and help should be available to anyone who seeks it. The aim of treatment should primarily be to tackle the root causes of the addiction and since it is a disease it should be financed within the health care system, but should include more methods of treatment than those available today.

* By preventative work I do not mean to discourage people from using substances. I mean to prepare people to face life in such a way that they do not need to use substances to flee from themselves and thereby end up in an addiction.

Main photo: The Help by Marina del Castell on Flickr

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A better tomorrow with drugs

Today’s repressive drug laws are at a dead end. The war on drugs harms society and citizens in a multitude of ways, of which I listed some in yesterdays blog post. Ironically it also prevents effective treatments for such things as addiction. But where can we go from here? Let’s imagine that all substances are legal. How can we organize the community to limit the damage and help addicts?

Legalizing all drugs would of course not mean that you could buy them next to the sweets at your local supermarket. And everything doesn’t just fall into place because they come under government control. There would probably need to be a combination of solutions, some of which already exist and others that don’t. Here are some possible parts to such a system.

State control.

hug me by jo marshall on Flickr
hug me by jo marshall on Flickr

In the current situation the entire drug trade is a black economy that is largely controlled by criminal organizations. If all substances were legalized they would become part of the regular economy, where it becomes possible to set up rules for manufacturing and quality control products. The substances would be provided with a table of content, just like any other commodity. The goods may additionally be provided with other labels, such as organic and fair trade.

Those working in the trade would have the same rights as other workers, would have the support of existing labor laws, would have the right to organize themselves into unions and would become tax payers.

Sales could take place within established models, such as the state control (pharmacies/tobacco sales) or as a state monopoly (in Sweden all alcohol is sold by the state run Systembolaget). Age limits could be imposed on substances and they could also be differentiated, so that one would have to be older to purchase some of the more potent compounds.

Taxing substances.

When drugs come under government control it is possible to steer people away from more harmful substances by levying heavier taxes on them. It’s would be easy to see which substances are economically costly for society and adjust the taxes accordingly.

Possibility to withdraw the right to use certain substances.

People should be able to lose their right to use certain substances if they commit crimes or harm themselves or others when they use them. I think it is strange that those who repeatedly get into fights drunk, drive intoxicated or get wasted on the verge of dying, still have the right to buy as much liquor as they can pay for.

When one shows that they aren’t able to handle a certain substance, it should be possible to revoke that person’s right to do so, in the same manner that one can lose ones driving license or license to practice medicine.

The possibility to exclude oneself from certain substances.

40+30 Tutorial by bark on Flickr
40+30 Tutorial by bark on Flickr

Many people are very aware of which substances they should not take. For example I know many who say they have no problem drinking beer, but go berserk if they drink hard liquor. It’s the same with all substances. What is pure bliss for one, can be hell for another. What one is able to take a couple of times a year without developing a craving for, another becomes addicted to after just a few doses.

But then again, many people know perfectly well what substances are dangerous for them. It could be made easy for them to take responsibility with the choice to voluntarily waive the right to use certain substances. They could also be able to set limits for themselves, by specifying how much of a substance they may purchase during a certain time period.

Many addicts will arrive at the point where they want to break free from their habit. During a certain period the window of change is open. The problem is often that they relapse because the substance will continue to be available to them. If they can exclude themselves from the right to buy certain substances, such as if an alcoholic does not allow him/herself to buy liquor, it would effectively help in the recovery process.

Licenses to handle certain substances.

With some particularly heavy drugs such as heroin, it would be possible to introduce a license allowing an educated person to handle the substance. For most substances it would probably be enough with basic education in school and a little everyday common sense, but with substances that carry serious consequences, it is important to be sure that those who use them have proper knowledge about risks and safety. The education for such a license may contain things like responsible management, how to use in a safe manner to prevent spread of infection, and how to deal with accidental overdoses. Such a license may be revoked if the person is irresponsible and for example sells substances to other people or uses them in an unsafe manner.

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In addition to the distribution itself – what can we do to get control of the situation regarding different substances?

Universal education in dealing with drugs and addiction.

I often wonder how drug education in schools can be allowed to be so absolutely worthless. The “education” is basically designed solely to scare people not to try anything. As a teenager I was an exchange student in the United States and the school that I went to worked in exactly the same way when it came to sex education. There was no information about STDs, contraception or sex. The whole message was only “you should not have sex until you get married”, and it was really crammed down the teenagers throats. It is a dangerous kind of indoctrination that creates ignorant and bigoted citizens, while increasing the actual risks.

Instead we should have a proper drug education, which includes such themes as:
∙ What is an altered state of mind and how you can you work with it?
∙ How to use drugs safely.
∙ What to do if you or someone else feels bad under the influence.
∙ How to manage an overdose.
∙ How to identify and get rid of substance abuse.

Use tax revenues for addiction treatment and prevention.

Libby hugging Tomoko by Loren Kerns on Flickr
Libby hugging Tomoko by Loren Kerns on Flickr

A legalization would generate tax revenue that I think primarily should go to addiction treatment and prevention. Even more money is now being spent on hunting, harassing and punishing people.

If we add a substantial part of those resources to create good addiction treatment, we will soon have the best addiction treatment the world has ever seen. Health care should be accessible and able to quickly help addicts who express a desire to receive care. Addiction is a disease and addicts should be treated as patients, not criminals.

There will always be addicts, but it is my firm belief that the addiction is to be found in the person – not in substance. People flee into abuse because they are fleeing from themselves, from the traumas they try to forget or from situations that are unbearable. Good prevention work builds on this understanding and aims to help people face themselves, help them process past trauma and to make their lives bearable. It helps them to stop fleeing and encourages them to take responsibility for their own lives. Much of today’s preventive work lacks this basic understanding.

Make substances available for scientific research, therapists, health care workers and healers.

There are many substances that are currently incorrectly classified as drugs with no medical value. This applies above all to psychedelics that are proven to be extremely effective in curing such things as addiction, depression, post-traumatic stress, empathy disorders and death anxiety. There are lots of stories about absolutely miraculous healing taking place with these substances, and they are at the same time very safe when used correctly.

Another substance that is being discussed greatly right now is cannabis and not only in its mind-altering form, but also as tinctures without the mind-altering properties. It is used with good results for such things as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, depression and end of life care. There seems to be some evidence that it also has cancer fighting properties.

These substances need to be made available to those who need the help and for the professionals who are working on this – from therapists, to regular health care workers, and also in alternative treatments. Today there are plenty of alternative therapists and traditional healers such as shamans, who have the knowledge and who have been passing it on for thousands of years. Here are exciting cross over’s to be made, when traditional methods of healing meet western medicine. Such work is already taking place. To fully take advantage of this scientific research needs to get started as soon as possible.

Making up for abuse committed by the state.

While the intention has probably been good, many people have been abused and badly treated under the current legislation. The current drug laws have stigmatized people, forced them into alienation, punished them, led people into a criminal lifestyle, actively withheld health care for sick addicts and has also led to many unnecessary deaths.

There is a need for redress and reconciliation. The very least the government should do is to apologize for the abuse that occurred under the current legislation.

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This blog post has been inspired by, among other things:
∙ A challenge from a friend who is a politician to show how legalization could work.
∙ The TEDx talk by James Leitzel that does just that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_Px4nYbJoQ
∙ Organisations and initiatives such as Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (http://www.maps.org/) and Transform (http://www.tdpf.org.uk/).

Main photo: Love by Nicola Romagna on Flickr

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