You Have Had Major Breakthroughs With Entheogenic Substances — Now What?

Photo credit: agsandrew

Psychedelic or entheogenic substances have a long history in shamanistic rituals and relatively long history in transformation processes, psychotherapy, and trauma treatment. One of the first big and important waves in scientific research with respect to psychedelic therapy and related fields was triggered by the discovery of LSD by Albert Hofman in 1938. He set off an impressive amount of research and case studies investigating the potential of psychotropic substances and plants. By the time the US war on drugs declared LSD illegal in 1968, the therapeutic community had published thousands of articles about its usefulness in transformational work, psychotherapy, and trauma treatment.

Today, entheogenic substances like MDMA, LSD, ketamine, psilocybin, mescaline, Ayahuasca, Iboga, mushrooms, and others are being used by therapists and shamans around the world with promising results to treat several kinds of diseases. These include PTSD as well as a variety of other disorders such as anxiety, depression, addictions, and other trauma-related disorders. With the ever-growing popularity of these modalities and research gaining momentum on a larger scale, professionals have been devoting themselves to develop protocols for treatment methodologies.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” — J. G. Jung

One of the most important aspects of working with entheogenic substances is the integration process which can be understood as a reorganization of emotions, mind, body, and spirit after the experience of a non-ordinary state of consciousness. It’s the practice you want to pursue when you feel that you actually want to make use of the realms and insights revealed to you and not just keep on living the same way as before with the memory of this interesting type of experience. In general, integration involves psychological and somatic processing of the experience and a successful assimilation of insights into one’s life for the purpose of growth respectively wholeness and well-being. But how to go about it?

Nowadays, there are new businesses emerging where people are offering their services to support consciousness explorers in their integration process — so-called psychedelic integration coaches. These people assist in processing and integrating the vast amount of information, emotions, ideas, and new perspectives an individual discovered during the experience of a non-ordinary altered state of consciousness. Processing, no matter how it is done, is important because otherwise, most people tend to feel somewhat overwhelmed and it is likely that they end up with a worse mindset than before as the probability of people trying to sweep things under the carpet is pretty high. However, the aspects of their subconsciousness are no longer hidden but on the surface and so people will be confronted with these things in other ways which in most cases can be really exhausting. This emphasizes the fact that entheogenic substances can open doors, but it’s still the individual that has to walk the way through. The work has just begun…

By expressing yourself and talking to others you can heal yourself. The power of hearing your own voice is incredible.

For me personally, one of the most effective and efficient ways to process and integrate information, insights, and other things gained in experiences is by expressing myself in various forms. For example in creative work. This includes journaling, writing articles or poems, making music, painting, dancing, and other practices that establish a greater connection to my physical body and bring me out of my head space. But I also like open-minded discussions with people I truly trust. Having said that, I feel that the modalities used for effective and efficient integration work have to harmonize with the individual’s characteristics and the particular stage in life. Some people may have other preferences than others and need something very specific, giving their circumstances. So I recommend everybody to try to taste as many things as possible and feel into each to weigh what might be constructive methods for oneself. As you probably know, in any moment, reflection is a great guide. Other practices that can create great benefits are for example breathwork, meditation, ecstatic dance, yoga, bodywork, shamanic and archaic ecstasy techniques, fasting, specific kinds of diets, and many others. You see, the spectrum of possibilities is really huge. You just have to explore, experience, and learn for yourself.

Independent of the methodology you are applying to support your process, the main focus you want to pursue is to raise self-awareness, shine light on shadow aspects of the self, establish a different relationship with these mostly unconscious shadow aspects and break through seemingly definite concepts and ideologies related to them, and thereby come step by step closer to your wholeness as a human being. Period.

Disclaimer:

This article does not promote or recommend the use of illegal drugs. Many of the substances referenced to in the content are illegal in many countries. This article does not constitute medical advice. As always, please consult your doctor before taking any medicine.