Citation: Maya. "We Grow Together: An Experience with Cannabis, Mushrooms (exp10725)". Erowid.org. Nov 21, 2001. erowid.org/exp/10725
I just finished reading a negative feedback letter and response, from a person whose son decided to try DXM after investigating the DXM FAQ.
I am a 36 year old single-parent of two teenage boys, ages 15 and 13. However, I do not agree in the slightest with this parent, who obviously would prefer to keep their head stuck in the sand.
I myself have experimented with consciousness altering substances with
spiritual intent and the purpose to better understand myself and the world around me. I did not begin to explore such substances until approximately 7-8 years ago. When I was a teenager, I smoked marijuana a few times, and of course, experimented with alcohol on more than a few occasions, but nothing beyond the norm.
I had been on a spiritual path for quite some time when it became more apparent to me through much of the reading I was doing, and with my encounters with other people, that certain substances could be effective as a tool to self-exploration, shamanic journeying and spiritual understanding. My research revealed that many of these substances had, and continue to be a common ritualistic practice within various relgions and cultures. Initially, I rejected the idea, because of my previous fear based conditioning perpetuated by ignorance and the lack of wholistic information available through my early years. However, as my spiritual path progressed to reveal that conditioning was a limitation to understanding, I found myself at a critical cross-road whereby my previous opinions had been based on dogma rather than experiental wisdom. Making the choice to cross this threshold, has been one that I could never regret....and a major spiritual breakthrough.
I do not recommend this path to anyone else. It is a personal choice and my God given (free will) right to do as I like as long as I do not impose my choices or harm others. However, because of the man-made laws that attempt to over-ride Divine Law, we are subject to dealing with man-made consequences and punishments. For this reason, and also because I too would prefer that my children wait until they are older (a judgment based on my own experience) before making a responsible choice to explore or not explore mind/consciousness altering substances, I initially kept my experiences secret from my children and my practice and use was always only when they were away for the weekend.
However, just over a year ago, I realized that my eldest son, (14 at the time) was already investigating these things of his own accord, and I began to notice signs that he was at the very least experimenting with marijuana, and he was starting to hang out with some very rough, and very irresponsible mates. He started asking questions of a young friend of mine, about the use of LSD and magic mushrooms and when I learned that he was in fact about to consume some mushrooms, I realized that I had once again reached a growth edge that required going beyond rather than living in denial. Denial has never lead to evolutionary growth, but rather only to destructive tendency.
It was at this point that I found it very important to be open with him regarding my experiences. I gave him the information he required, factually, explaining the risks, the benefits, the manner of consumption, explained how set and setting affect the experience, and warned him about the legal implications. I agreed to let him smoke marijuana in the house with select friends, whom I knew and talked with their parents making sure that they were aware and supportive of what they were doing here. It was a huge step, and I was pretty nervous about the choice initially. However, in no time it had proven to be the right thing to do, as my son stopped hanging around with the rough crowd, who I learned later were getting involved with nasty substances such as crack and huffing aerosol, and mild crime related activity.
It was quite some time before he actually made a choice to persue a magic mushroom trip, and he did it right here in my home where I was available to him in case he needed a guide or assistance. He took a mild dosage with his girlfriend (her mother was also aware of this) of a test and tried mushrooms that a respected friend of mine obtained for him. I felt much more comfortable with this knowing that it was coming from a reliable source. He has done it only a few times since, once of which was with myself and my boyfriend, when we took my son to his first rave....(a three day music festival, and celebration of spirit and UNITY)
These experiences have brought us closer together as parent and child, and he has become much more open and honest with me in all areas of his life. He has NOT developed any chronic interest, and has made choices to avoid substances (at least for the time being) that even I myself have partaken of. (eg. LSD, MDMA) I have also become more open with my younger son, who is very aware of what is going on. He openly admitted to trying marijuana on a couple of occassions, and has decided that these sorts of explorations are not for him, but he holds no judgment for anyone else.
Despite all of this, I do understand the mind-set of the parent who complained to you. Parenting is a difficult challenge, and can sometimes be a very frightening experience. We love our children so much and we don't want anything bad to happen to them. However, perpetuation of ignorance will eventually only lead to self-destruction. We are in the peak stages of an information age, and there is really no point at all in trying to hide anything from our children. It is vitrually impossible to track down every source of information and tell them 'shhhhhhh, I don't want my kid to know about it.' The FACT is people that visit sites like Erowid are already LOOKING. They may have only heard rumours and clues up until the point they reach your site, but they are already motivated on the path to understanding.
I very much appreciate the time and energy that you have put into organizing The Vaults of Erowid. I include it in my bookmarks, so if my son decides to go exploring into realms that I myself am unfamiliar with, I know he will come up with a source of information that is both informative as well as responsible. There are plenty of sites on the net that provide irresponsible information, HOWEVER, I still would not track down the owners of these sites to bash them if my son was snooping around there and decided to experience something based on the info they provided. It is MY responsibility as a parent to guide my children to the best resources possible, and though I cannot always be around when they are learning and growing, however, now I can say that I know more about my kids than I used to, and personally, I like and trust what I see as they continue to open and flower. We grow together.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.