toxin lesson

when you eat mushrooms, you are basically giving yourself food poisoning on purpose. Poisoning yourself, and for whatever reason, biological or cosmic, who knows, the symptoms of the toxin you are ingesting produce certain significant psychological effects. You can learn something from these effects if you know how to interpret them in a certain way. If you don't know how to interpret them, however, my guess is that you will feel very much like a small child, or some kind of primitive humanoid, and powerful emotions, light and dark, joy and fear, will rain down all over you, but you'll lack a vocabulary to make sense of these experiences and integrate them into a whole.

there are plenty of other toxins, you know, that you can put in your body that do nothing other than make you feel weird, or are potentially fatal. The mushroom toxin is spiritual. we say the word "spiritual" because it coincides with spiritual ideas and feelings and also because we don't have another good word for it really. Spiritual is the word that's been handed down to us. The mushroom makes mincemeat out of the ego. You don't eat the mushroom, the mushroom eats you. The mushroom breaks the ego down, and in that sort of broken down state you are very vulnerable to things you experience. There is a sort of dawn of time feeling. As if I'm the first human to experience a sunset, or a thunderstorm. You may feel radically creative, and this is beacuse your self is being born all over again along with whatever you're creating.

That's why it's a pretty good idea to be with people you like and do things you like to do anyway, in a free and easygoing environment. Everything in the world is going to happen to you for the first time. You may more or less disintegrate into a bundle of sensations, like a sort of pre-mirror stage infant, or an adult schizophrenic.

the great lesson, I think, from the mushroom, is the lesson of integration, of how to belong to a whole, and why you should bother in the first place. First you undergo a kind of ego-death, and then your self is left looking for something to orient it, to guide it, to focus it. It can be another person or some music or anything. That's why it's a great goddamn idea to do something creative, because the creative process overlaps with the process of self-integration in a beautiful way, and you can experience a very profound feeling of harmony, a sort of attunement of all your parts with themselves and with the world.

And depending on how things go, you might find yourself wandering alone in the rain, like a ghost out of time, like I did at one point. By the way, did you watch the "don't hug me I'm scared" video we posted? Because the part where they trip out and there's a storm actually happened to me. Like just as I was peaking, the sun went down and this HUGE thunderstorm swallowed up the whole world, and it was the scariest fucking thing ever. BUT after you return to the world, all the things in it, and everyone there, will have a new glow, because you're experiencing being re-integrated with all of that, and in turn becoming a self again. voila.

be with others, that is where your strength will come from. by yourself you're nothing, you're just a shitty accidental blip, that could just disappear. I don't mean you shouldn't ever hang out by yourself or something. On the one hand, others you know and love are nothing without you: you cast a light on the world that only you can cast, and the world shows itself in a unique way because of you. But the self that you are is best fulfilled when it radiate outwards in your dealings with others, in the care that you extend towards them, yourself and the world. the end.

- Lyndon Withers

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