The Value of Fear in a Psychedelic Experience

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benefits of fear on a psychedelic experience

It’s always the first kind of question I get when I meet people that haven’t done psychedelics, “Is it going to be painful?” “Am I going to throw up?” Will I go crazy?” “What will people think of me?” “Am I going to have to think about the bad things I’ve done?” The mere fact that they are asking the question tells me the answer will eventually be “yes.”

I remember being deathly afraid of taking showers for a long time when I was young. I don’t even remember why, it was just so different and foreign compared to my nice calm baths. Then one day, I finally found the courage to try and, of course, my fear quickly vanished as I miraculously survived water violently crashing down on me from the faucet above.

I was afraid simply because I didn’t know the truth. The truth that was only realized in the subjective experience. Until then, I had only known the relative ease of stepping into a bathtub. It was the mystery of the unknown that kept that truth from me.

Think about how many fears you overcame throughout your life. Things that, at one time, you couldn’t experience, but later, could do without hesitation. Notice each of those fears you overcame added a valuable piece of understanding to your library of wisdom and, as a result, opened new doors of novel experiences.

Now how about things you are still afraid of today? Could it be that on the other side of those fears lies an experience that would teach you a valuable lesson and open doors to a life that’s more productive and more fulfilling?

The visionary psychedelic medicines all have at least one thing in common: they make the unconscious conscious. Since our fears prevent new experiences, they are barriers to discovering the unconscious truths revealed from those experiences. Therefore, It makes perfect sense there’s such a motley of rationalizations people have when they think of taking psychedelics. However, I’ve seen enough people engage in responsible psychedelic experiences and confront their fears to know that these fears are really just opportunities. Truly, the most valuable opportunities. The stronger the fear, the more important the lesson behind it.

Try looking at your fears this way, like a beacon leading to living a fuller, more productive and healthy life… so long as we have the tools to confront them successfully. Do be aware, confronting fears when you are not ready or not in a suitable setting can make it worse. It can drive you deeper into your resistance to that unknown, so if you’re going to do it, do it right, especially when powerful medicines are involved. Consider your intentions, your stability, the facilitators, the setting, your preparation and your ability to make changes in life to support the new perspective.

Looking back, I could have just kept taking baths forever and I probably would have survived… but then I never would have an efficient morning routine, I’d be handicapped from using bathless bathrooms, I’d be missing out on life as I waited for the tub to fill…

So what are you missing out on?

 

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Christopher Gunlock
Christopher works full time as a psychedelic integration coach, educator, and plant medicine ceremony organizer. His platform, www.Openmindintegration.com offers psychedelic preparation and integration services, access to trip sitters/guides, and legal plant medicine ceremonies. He served for 2 years as executive director at the Psychedelic Society of Minnesota, where he acted as public representative, lead event organizer, media director, and hosted hundreds of hours of integration circles. He holds a Masters in Integrative Medicine from The George Washington University School of Medicine and a B.S. in Mathematics from Maharishi International University. There he trained in Vedic philosophy, traditional medicine and advanced transcendental meditation.

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