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Entheogenic Influence on Daily Life
by Zam
Dec 9, 2002
How have psychedelics really influenced your day to day behavior, in either a worthwhile or unhealthy way?

Although it is difficult to say from whence cometh anything (life is not a controlled experiment, as a friend of mine likes to say), I would say that entheogens seem to have enriched my normal experience of the world.

I have recently (the last few years) chosen to try to incorporate entheogens into my spiritual life path and have, so far, been quite impressed by the power and potential of mushrooms, cannabis, LSD, and MDMA. For me, these entheogens have been tools to help me focus my energy on spiritual practices both with and without entheogens. They have helped me learn about patience and about expectation by putting me in situations which I would have previously described as 'negative'.

I think they have helped me learn to take the good with the bad, as I go from having moments of intense realization to 8 hours of headaches and extreme insomnia-ed fatigue and sometimes a day or more of unpleasant after-effects. I have learned that the biggest difference between an awful experience and a good one is one of attitude and perspective.

I've found entheogens have helped to increase my feelings of beauty, wonder, and sense of magic and mystery. During an entheogenic experience, I have found wonder and beauty in things which I normally ignore or miss. By remembering those feelings or by remembering to try to cultivate an awareness of the beauty and spirit thats around me, I have found that I am more likely to notice the texture of a mountainside, the blueness of the sky, the warmth of a breeze.

I have also found that entheogens help me become more tolerant of others' behaviours. I have found that entheogens can offer a perspective from which 'bad' or 'evil' behaviour is, instead, confused or wounded. MDMA in particular, has helped push me towards feelings of compassion and love and connection for all people, all beings, and all things in the universe. For me, having a memory of this feeling has helped me work through feelings of anger and cynicism and has helped me work towards health in my relationships.

I've also become more aware of my role in interpersonal strife, recognizing that when I react angrily, fearfully, or negatively to a situation or person, I am an inseparable part of the thing which I dislike. This realization has helped me see how I can help to create a 'better world' around me by choosing my words carefully, increasing the mindfulness in my interactions with others, and working to reduce my personal negativity.

Entheogens have also added to my spiritual path because they are an avenue of experience which many have described in terms of religious experience. For me it was important to explore this potential avenue of discovery because entheogens seemed to offer so much potential and I had been heavily programmed with seemingly inconsistent negative imagery around psychedelics. By learning about the risks, dangers, and potential rewards, I was able to integrate yet another aspect of my culture and touch the expansive realms of the mind that are more readily accessible with entheogens.

Entheogens have also helped me remember to relax and learn to make time (without entheogens) for play and relaxation. Entheogens can sometimes impart feelings of childlike fun, silliness, giddiness, laughter, and joy. Although, for me, these feelings do not usually predominate in most experiences, they act to remind me that joy and happiness are a part of being human and they can be enormously healing.

I have also become more open to the spiritual paths of others, partially because I have touched on experiences which are so different from my usual experience of the world that I realize that my perspective is only one of many.

There are many other ways in which I feel that entheogens have touched my life and my spirit and, as I find myself feeling more spiritually healthy, I realize that I may be able to do more to cultivate health around me in my community.