The Use of Major Psychedelics in Healing Psychological Trauma

At some point in the near future, the potential for using psychedelic medicines to help heal the major psychological traumas that cause most mental illnesses will be a hot topic. Unfortunately, we will have to begin almost from the beginning, as the bulk of our historical knowledge about these substances has been destroyed.

Despite this, there is still a considerable amount of shamanic knowledge in the underground culture, certainly much more than what exists in the mainstream medical establishment, for whom the retarded calculus of “drugs = brain damage” still dominates thinking.

The essential thing that has to be understood is that psychedelics, like cannabis, serve to decondition the mind and brain, only in a much deeper and more sudden way than cannabis.

Deconditioning is here used in the clinical psychology sense to mean a process of unlearning – in particular, of unlearning involuntary subconscious reactions to things that may have been useful to deal with the problems of the past but which no longer are.

This is principally why the psychedelic experience is so difficult. It is also why the psychedelic experience is so exhilarating. One sees things as they actually are, as one did when a child, without the experience being filtered through hundreds of layers of conditioning collected over many forgotten years.

It is possible to condition oneself into a mental illness by thinking too hard about things, because the brain (crudely speaking) works like muscles in the sense that the more it is exercised the stronger it becomes.

Because anxiety and depression are often little more than a habitual fixation of thinking on either the future or the past, respectively, a psychedelic experience often has the effect of deconditioning a person from thought patterns that made them unhappy.

This is why a lot of practiced psychedelic users take them when they feel it’s time to reset the thinking. Usually this is after a certain amount of time has passed since the last experience.

Likewise, many people have suppressed traumatic memories. The suppression often makes good short-term sense in that it allows the damaged person to deal with their immediate problems of survival, but it often makes bad long-term sense in that the warping effect it has on someone’s personality magnifies over time.

This points the way to the major positive use of psychedelics in healing mental illness. Any mental illness that has been caused by overconditioning in an area of the brain/mind could be helped by a medicine that deconditions a person from the thoughts they did not want to have.

It could also give them an opportunity to bring up the suppressed memories and to consider them in a new light, free of the conditioned anxiety response that usually accompanies recollection of past traumas.

Where more research will be necessary is to make sure that the patient does not lose conditioning in areas of the brain/mind that actually helped them in their life.

There are many concepts and habits that people have learned for good reasons, in particular concepts around good social conduct that make life much easier for all of us. An 18-year old adult will have been conditioned for almost their entire life about many things.

So in order to be able to use these tools effectively, mental health practitioners will have to educate themselves past the barbaric superstitions that currently inform our approach to pre-pharmaceutical medicines.

Much of this will involve sitting down with drug users and talking to them to discover what benefits they have found in the use of various substances in their explorations of the mind.

This cannot happen until society comes to appreciate both that psychoactive drug users are people who have followed the prehistoric shamanic path, and that this path is still necessary in our society to protects us from the excesses of groupthink, of tradition and of mindless, knee-jerk programmed reactions and thinking.

The Red Pill and Those Who Have Seen Beyond

The phrase “to get redpilled” means to get woken up, usually painfully, to the true nature of things, especially in the context of having previously believed something that wasn’t true. It comes from the famous scene in the 1999 film The Matrix.

In the scene, Morpheus offers Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) two pills: a blue one and a red one. If he takes the blue one, he will wake up again in his ordinary life having forgotten that he ever realised there was anything unusual about it. If he takes the red one, he wakes up into the real world, which is, of course, the foundational reality underneath the matrix.

And there, as Morpheus puts it: “We see how deep this rabbit hole goes.”

It is thus slightly different to merely learning something through suffering, which is a superset to the specific case of learning that something previously thought to be true was in fact false.

This means that the red pill, and the phrase “to become redpilled” is the modern expression of an ancient sentiment. It is how 21st century people talk about having taken some steps along the shamanic path – the path for those who have seen beyond.

Usually a person gets redpilled by being treated much worse than they expected to be by an authority figure, and thereby becoming aware that the promises of solidarity from those authority figures – promises which are the very foundation of that authority – are worthless.

Many young people are redpilled by the Police. There are two major ways this happens.

The first is getting arrested for something like using medicinal cannabis. Getting put in a cage for using a medicine that improves your mental health immediately liberates a person from the illusion that the Police are there to protect and serve the citizenry.

The second way is by taking a complaint to the Police and being told to fuck off. This has forever been the case if one was a woman reporting the domestic violence of one’s husband, or a racial minority reporting being abused by one’s employer.

People are also redpilled by doctors. Telling a doctor about how cannabis is an effective medicine for your condition, only to be told to fuck off because the doctor makes more money out of pharmaceuticals than they ever could out of cannabis, will redpill anyone.

And, of course, most people have been redpilled by politicians, because one only needs to live through two electoral cycles to have seen all this shit before.

The Greatest and Silent Generations were redpilled by the Great Depression and by World War II. The Baby Boomers were redpilled by Vietnam and by the Drug War. Generation X were redpilled by the War of Terror and also by the Drug War.

Fundamentally, to get redpilled is to see beyond social conditioning. It is when one realises that the cozy patchwork of moral values in which one had wrapped oneself in was nothing more than a half-arsed convenience arrived at by one’s lack of intellectual capacity.

It is when you see beyond the comfortable little paradigm that your local authority figure knows what’s best for their people under their control.

It is when you realise that your working with the system simply and necessarily perpetuates it, and usually to your detriment.

It is when you realise that you have the freedom to choose your attitude to reality and thereby the consequences that come with that.

If a person gets redpilled from their social conditioning, this is the same as seeing beyond. And so writing “for those who have seen beyond” is also writing for those who have been redpilled.

This also means that any of the traditional shamanic methods for seeing beyond – psychoactive drugs, sensory deprivation, vision quests, sleep deprivation, rhythmic music, sexual ecstasy, fasting, meditation – are all potentially ways to redpill oneself.