Grim Determination and Artless Willpower

Thanks for the latest account. It is all interesting stuff. I think all experiences are valid. I'll copy your accounts to my web-site; I feel they will be of interest to other people also.

Yes, Salvia can be a wonderful experience. I find it sometimes quite sensual, like the liquid flow of a green metallic form of consciousness running through my body.

But, it can be a difficult experience too. I have had many such experiences. I usually find them instructive in some sense. I feel that I am being taught some kind of lesson. Sometimes the lesson is hard and unpleasant. But, at the same time as being open to the lesson, I think that one also has keep ones wits about oneself. - As Terence McKenna has said>.

I think this relates very much to Castaneda’s (i.e. Don Juan’s) ideal of the warrior. I have read all of Castaneda’s books. I think ‘Journey to Ixtlan’ and ‘Tales of Power’ (the 3rd and 4th books) are the best and contain all one really needs to know. In later books Castaneda seemed to de-emphasise the power-plants. - I don’t really understand why he did this. For me this resulted in writing that was not as clear. The warrior philosophy derives its original impetus from the use power- plants. It is a response to them. And I do not think that I would still be using plants today if I had not read these books.

In fact, I had used psychedelics (LSD) in my younger days at university, but I stopped after my first really bad experience. I stopped for seven years. It was not until I felt that I had started to understand the warrior’s attitude that I felt able to try again with psychedelic mushrooms.

Anyway, what this means is that as well as being open to the lesson, one also has to treat these dimensions as real, - not just simply a projections of the unconscious self. The classical psychoanalytical perspective can only see these experiences as being to do with the unconscious, with repressed or hidden personal material coming to the surface. This is sometimes what they are, or sometimes there is an element of this, but it is often not the whole story. Sometimes when an entity challenges you it is best not to wonder what it all means and how this is a manifestation of your own doubts and fears, but to simply tell it to fuck off.

Don Juan when asked what a warrior would do in this or that terrifying situation said he would probably shake in his boots. If the situation were even more terrifying he may even wet his pants. But, in any case, he would always try to act as if he knew exactly what he was doing. This is being immaculate. It is not having no fear, it is simply not indulging in it.

You seem to realise this in your conclusions, so I am only saying here that I agree with you.

Of course, there are aspects of the self that do get revealed, so it is never easy to unravel it or come up with a straightforward strategy of what to in every conceivable situation. Salvia seems particularly full of surprises to keep you on your toes!

I think what counts the most is intent. I have had many frightening experiences since I started with psychedelics again, even since reading Castaneda. And one should look for the path of least resistance, not make things deliberately difficult, but sometimes a bit of grim determination and artless willpower helps too.

I hope that more enjoyable experiences are forthcoming. You may find this easier with untreated leaf, or you may not. You may find that growing Salvia for yourself helps you develop a relationship with the plant, and that this leads to better experiences, or you may not.

Unfortunately I cannot promise anything specific. I can’t even encourage you to persist if you feel you must stop. But I don’t think that you have exhausted all the possibilities. For one thing, there is still the possibility of trying the best method of ingestion, chewing the fresh leaf, at some future point.

I have a feeling that Salvia has something else to show you.