Salient: Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Vol. 32, No. 10. 1969.
"Let's Call It A Day"
"Let's Call It A Day"
"Let's Call It A Day" is the commonest of session mistakes, and perhaps the one least deserving of being called a game, since it so often results from ignorance, rather than from any dishonesty or evasion. It is simply the attempt to terminate the session too early.
An LSD session lasts at least 12 hours, more often 16. But between the fourth and sixth hours the intensity of the experience drops sharply and the remaining hours are a kind of levelling out. This time has sometimes been called the "re-entry period." The re-entry period retains the accelerated thoughts of the earlier part of the session, with somewhat more visual distortion and somatic sensations, and less of the euphoria and flexibility of mood. It feels a lot more like the normal state than the earlier hours, but it is not the normal state. Most people who have not been told otherwise assume that the session is over when they reach this point around the fifth hour and try to go back to everyday activities, go out, eat dinner or try to sleep.
This is a mistake, because rushing back to everyday activities tends to dissipate the insights of the session, and it also tends to be depressing or "a bringdown." Sleep is impossible, and premature attempts usually make you uncomfortable. Eating too early in the session can make you feel sick.
Actually some of the most valuable work of the session can be done during re-entry. This is the time when you can think over the insights of the session, from a vantage point somewhat closer to your usual state. In fact whether your experience is merely an isolated event or is relevant to your life as a whole may depend largely on how you use your re-entry time. Stay in one place, together with your session-mates. You can talk more now than you did before, but periods of silence are still helpful. Sit quietly and meditate; don't become distracted. This takes patience, because re-entry hours pass very very slowly. By the eleventh hour it is O.K. to-eat a light meal or to go off by yourself if you want to. After sixteen hours you should go to bed and get some sleep. If you have difficulty sleeping at this time a light dose of librium or phenobarbital will help. You will be somewhat high until you go to sleep.
A Few Tips:
• A session is tiring enough without staying up all night. Get a good night's sleep and start in the morning.
• Shun mirrors. On LSD you usually look awful to yourself in the mirror, probably because your pupils are dilated, and you see all your pores. You don't really look that bad.
• Don't stare at a companion, just because his face is changing into a multitude of different forms. He doesn't know why you're staring.
• Respect the undrugged state — you have to live in it. Write your memoranda in a form that will make sense to you tomorrow.
• To avoid bad session games: Stay in one place; Don't talk too much; Be considerate of your companions.
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So You've Had LSD
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So You've Had LSD: It was your own, unique experience. You may be wondering whether various aspects of your session were typical or not. Undoubtedly some were and some weren't. Since you are a unique person, your experience was not quite like anybody else's. If in the coming weeks you find, talking it over with your friends, that something happened to you which nobody else is expressing, that, at any rate, is very typical.
I think most people, just after a session, realise intuitively that they should not turn on again soon — but sometimes they forget how they felt and do it anyway. Therefore you should make a decision now about how long you are going to wait and stick to it.
If you do take LSD again, your next session will be different from the first — in fact each following session will also be different. There is something very special about a first session which is never quite repeated. Do not try to repeat or relive past sessions, but be open to what each new experience has to add to what you have learned.
Now that you have had this experience, what do you do about it? People have been asking this question ever since psychedelics were discovered, and it has never really been answered. Do you go turn on everyone that you can (hoping that maybe they'll figure out what to do about it)? Do you emulate the hip crowd, adopting their "psychedelic" fashions and jargon? Should you become a monk? Take up Buddhism or astrology? To whom should you turn for advice?
Because the use of LSD is a controversial social issue you will have to decide what part you will play in the social and legal conflicts over this issue. It may be my own bias, but I feel that everyone who owes something of value to LSD should take some part. There is something eroding to one's integrity about keeping silent and doing secretly what others are going to jail for. Of course you do not want to go to jail yourself and thus curtail the good you can do. It is necessary to learn the law regarding LSD and to learn for what people are prosecuted and for what they are not. One is not, for instance, prosecuted for writing or speaking out about his experience or the LSD issue in general.
The ways in which people incarnate their vision are as individual as their lives, and this article can go no further in telling you how to do it. You will find some of the answers in your sessions and in your life experiences between sessions.