by Krystle Cole
Note to the Reader
During the peak of one of my first LSD trips I came to the realization that all the knowledge of the universe was at my fingertips. So, I seized the moment and asked myself some the universal questions I had always wondered about.
I started with, “Why are we all here?”
And the answer came into my head as one word, “LOVE.”
Then I asked myself, “What is the purpose of this life?”
And again, instantly I knew it was “LOVE.”
I asked yet another question, “Who or what created us?”
And again “LOVE” cascaded throughout my being.
As you can begin to see, entheogens have helped shape, or unshape, my psyche and attitudes toward life. Before I used entheogens, I was not very interested in spirituality or discovering the answers to any of my questions about the universe. This is because I was the type of person that needed to see it, in order to believe it. I figured that there was really no point in trying to figure it all out, because no one could really ever know until they died.
Entheogens were a complete wake-up call for me; they totally changed my perspective on the nature of reality. They enabled me to see it, so to speak. Sharing with others the possibility of seeing it, is the reason I felt compelled to write this book. By far, my entheogenic journeys were the peak experiences of my life – I wouldn’t trade them for any other experience in the world.
I am not alone in this belief; during a study at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, researchers gave 36 volunteers psilocybin, the active constituent in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Two-thirds of the participants described the effects of psilocybin as among the five most meaningful experiences of their lives (Griffiths et al., 2006).
At the same time, I was also compelled to write this book for the purpose of harm reduction. I feel that many of the adverse psychological reactions like flashbacks and HPPD could be avoided if there were proper preparation before and integration after an entheogenic journey. I would like to make it clear that I do not advocate the use of illegal drugs, even though many entheogens are illegal. All substances that affect the central nervous system (legal or illegal) can have side effects, adverse reactions, and negative interactions with other drugs. Because of this, in no way am I recommending for readers to use entheogens before fully understanding the adverse reactions that could possibly occur.