RE: Psychedelics

From: mez (
Date: Thu Nov 23 2000 - 00:11:27 MST

From: Zero Powers []
> One of the reasons I've never gone for a second trip (besides
> the fact that
> I'm now a "responsible" husband and father) is I heard that use,
> particularly repeated use, can lead to "flashbacks." Granted
> my trip was
> thoroughly enjoyable, but I don't know that I'd want it
> kicking back in at
> unexpected times. Say, while on the job....
> Do you think that flashbacks are also widely overstated?

As a matter of fact, I do think flashbacks are overstated, both in terms of
frequency and in terms of what they actually comprise.

When I used to imagine what a "flashback" would be like, I imagined walking
down the street and suddenly having a full on psychedelic experience, as if
I had consumed a hallucinogen and were once more under its full effects.

I have never had such an experience. Nor has anyone reported such an
experience to me.

What I have experienced is as follows:

1) During a psychedelic experience, one observes some phenomena - perhaps
the brownian motion of cream dispersing through your coffee cup. That
phenomena, which might normally be ignored as quite ordinary, this time
seems quite profound and enchanting. Perhaps there is even some new and
valid insight into something occurring in the system.

2) Later, in a "sober" state, one comes back into contact with that same
phenomena. This time the swirling of cream in coffee is far more
interesting when it was before you observed it in a psychedelic state. The
observation also triggers memory of that psychedelic state, and perhaps
elicits the observation of other perceptual details that one normally
overlooks in day to day life. However one's overall conscious state
remains quite "sober".

I find this pattern to be about what I expect. When under the influence of
a psychedelic, one files away experiences and learns from them, much as one
would in any other conscious state. So it is not surprising that the
things one learned (illusory or not, useful or not) return to consciousness
when triggered by the same stimuli which originally elicited them.

Over the longer term I have found that there is a closer coupling of my
"sober" and "psychedelic" states of consciousness. As a less experienced
tripper I was less able to discern potentially useful insights from those
that would make little sense when the drug wore off. I was also less able
to bring useful meta-programming out of the psychedelic trip and into
effect in my everyday existence. I feel that time and experience have
honed both of these skills.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:30 MDT