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LucidStudies - 2007 to 2009. Previously published as IndoleDreamStudies.
[Erowid Note: This author is now deceased. See http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/archive/index.php/t-472153.html.]
My name is Lucid. I am a journalist an artist and a psychedelic person. I have found the effects of psychoactive substances upon the lives of human beings to be a fascinating phenomenon ever since my first hallucinogenic experience was thrust upon me in early childhood unintentionally during a fateful visit to a doctors office.
I think it is safe to say that altered states of consciousness are the nearest manifestation that exists here on Earth to the force that we call magic. Magic is the ability to transcend mundane reality to create a complete new world with our own imaginations. To discover an existence beyond the basic world in which each of us lives. Many of our favorite games revolve around the concept of wizardry Dungeons and Dragons. Magic The Gathering. Since the beginning of time people have wanted the ability to craft a new reality using the power of imagination. This spirit extends even beyond the games we invented on the playground into the worlds that people create online in jobs that fill up entire adult lives.
The closest thing to magic that exists on Earth is experiencing an altered state of consciousness. And there are many ways to achieve an altered state of consciousness they may occur for instance during meditation or in a dream or in an isolation chamber or during the act of sex or even just spontaneously. But one of the easiest ways of achieving an altered state of consciousness is by ingesting a mind-altering drug. I have devoted one section of my life to studying the connections between psychoactive chemistry and human chemistry. The connections between altered states of consciousness and the altered human beings who live and learn from them.
I have been struggling to define just what the word psychedelic really means and I have come to a firm conclusion. What I realized is that being psychedelic is not about ingesting substances. In my personal opinion being a psychedelic person really consists of three things
1 Seeing the beauty of each individual moment. Whether it is a moment of terror or excitement of wonder or boredom of fellowship with others or the feeling of being alone. Even if the overall picture of life doesnt make complete sense each individual moment of life that we live is magical.
2 Being open to change. In order to survive people sometimes need to change everything about themselves. People change careers change friends change homes and surroundings and change the chemicals that we allow to enter into our systems. Change is the essence of all existence. Without the willingness to change there would be no future.
3 Having respect for every person around you. Each individual deserves the chance for love. It doesnt matter whether that individual happens to be a businessman or an artist gay straight or bisexual sober or intoxicated a child or an adult whether somebody works on the side of the law or chooses to break it. Though people may fight one another other every individual lives through the same basic set of trials and tribulations savors the same basic series of joys and simple pleasures. Every person is a manifestation of the mind of God and every person deserves a chance at respect.
I have come to realize that these are the things that define a psychedelic person. If you appreciate the beauty of every moment if you are always open to change and if you at least try to have love for every person that you meet you ARE a psychedelic person. Even if you choose not to ingest drugs. Its all in how you think about the world.
A Commentary on Experience Reporting
Words of advice on writing technique
One of the most common complaints about negatively-graded experience reports is that they contain too much writing that is in the moment. In the moment means you are reading the words of a severely intoxicated person rather than a clear-minded writer describing his intoxication. It is understandable that the notes one takes while experiencing a strong drug might be unclear but there is no reason that a report cannot have clarity.
Experience reporting is a job that consists of at least two distinct and separate parts. One must have an interesting experience and then one must write an article that describes it effectively. I find that this takes at least a few days of commitment. Here is my method
Step 1 Experience
The experience reporter spends a day taking whichever substance or substances he or she plans to report on. A journal or notebook is always on hand but it should not be allowed to become a distraction. This is the time to write a few brief notes NOT the time to write the actual report.
The most important things to note are the times when first effects are felt the nature of those effects and how the substance develops up until it plateaus. Also anything that might be easily forgotten should be written down. At the end of the day there will be a timeline that forms the center of the report.
Step 2 Report
The experience reporter goes back to his or her notes a day or two later and turns them into a full article. The timeline is now fleshed out adding colorful descriptions based on recent memories. The timeline should be made not only informative but entertaining to read.
Next it is time to write a preface and summary. Prefaces are usually brief and note any preparations that took place and any thoughts about the substance prior to taking it. Sometimes it is interesting to note the difference between how we expect a substance to behave and what it turns out to actually be. After the timeline the experience reporter summarizes the effects and draws his or her conclusions.
Step 3 Revise
Sometimes it is good to put a finished report away for at least a day or two and forget about it. Then later it can be re-read it as though it were a fresh report from an unknown author. The quality of each sentence can be pondered and time can be taken to carve away poor segments in order to emphasize the core strengths of the report. Anything that seems unnecessary or redundant can be either improved upon or removed.
This step may not be essential but it really can make a significant difference. In many cases it is editing more than writing that transforms an average outline into a very strong final report. If a particular experience is extremely important it might even be worth putting through more than one phase of revision.