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The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk!
    #554793 - 02/17/02 09:20 PM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Anyone who has a serious interest in entheogens has probably heard the terms "set" and "setting." "Set" basically means where you stand in life, how you feel about yourself and your relationships, whether you have any psychiatric disorders, etc. "Setting" of course, means the circumstances in which you consume and experience the entheogenic substance. Most advice on how to have a "good" trip involves making sure that the set and setting are conducive to a pleasant experience. The point I wish to make is that sometimes it is valuable to deliberately arrange the "set" and "setting" so that you have a BAD trip.

Let me make clear from the start that this is something only experienced trippers should try. By "experienced," I mean people who have already experienced bad trips, not of their own choosing, and who have some idea of what to expect. People who have come out of those bad trips and still have all of their marbles intact. People who have also had plenty of good trips and who realize that a bad trip is not the be all and end all of the entheogenic experience.

Why try to have a bad trip? There are a lot of reasons. First of all, let us remind ourselves that entheogens are not "escapist" substances in the way the alcohol, weed, coke, smack, etc. are escapist substances. The point is not to run away from reality or to kill pain--the point is to achieve a deeper understanding of what life in general, and what your individual life, is all about. Now, reality is filled with a great deal of unpleasant and fucked up shit. Our lives, our relationships, our political structures, our culture, are all packed with bullshit up to the gills. One reason for this is because modern life for most people IS already a drug, albeit a drug of the "escapist" variety--we dose ourselves on television, on mindless entertainment, on shopping, and most importantly, on the little and big lies we tell ourselves every day just in order to make to the end of the day and fall into bed, exhausted and deluded. Society thrives on these delusions, the delusions of the masses who think that this is the way reality is, has been, and always must be.

A so-called "bad" trip is a trip in which all of this bullshit comes to the surface of consciousness. Unpleasant thoughts which we normally supress take on mass and shape, they become impossible to ignore. All of the problems we usually avoid, all the lies we tell ourselves, come howling back at us with a vengeance. We can't escape anymore. We have to face that reality.

This is horrible, of course. But it is also an awakening. Unlike what the New Age camp wants to believe, spirituality isn't just about goodness and light. There are incredibly dark forces at work in the world, there IS such a thing as evil, and the only way people, as individuals and as a society, can grow stronger and better is by facing up to the evil that exists both in us and around us and gauging its true power and extent. Bad trips are one of the many ways of doing that.

How do you have a bad trip? If you want to do it the safe way, try starting off by watching a really disturbing movie or documentary while tripping. "Dancer in the Dark" comes to mind, or "Breaking the Waves" by Lars von Trier. Documentaries on the state of the global environment are uniformly depressing. Try one of those. As a second stage, try going to a club or a party where you despise both the people and the music. Try tripping after you have a fight with your parents or girlfriend or roommate or whatever. Claustrophobic spaces are also great for this. Any situation that pisses you off or depresses you even when stone sober is a pretty good bet for a bad trip.

For more advanced and courageous initiates, try tripping in a really bad part of town. If you hate big cities, go trip in the biggest, dirtiest city near you. If you hate rednecks, go hang out where they do and trip there. If you're really fucking nutters, trip while riding the most frightening amusement park ride you can find. Go somewhere unfamiliar, with no money in your pocket, get lost, and trip.

Once you're back down to baseline, spend the next few days thinking about the experience and maybe write down some of your memories and observations. The one thing that makes bad trips such as these manageable is that you at least know that it was YOUR choice to have a bad trip and this, at the very least, should give a certain sense of balance and control

Once again, be advised to carry out these experiments in a relatively sane and rational way. The purpose is definitely not to go and get yourself killed or wind up in the hospital. Try to establish some kind of safety net, like taking a sober friend along or at least telling a friend what you're planning to do and making sure they have some way to get to you in case something goes wrong.

You may find that, with the proper precautions, a deliberately bad trip may be one of the most rewarding experiences you can ever have. It will make you grateful for your normal, everyday life, and it will make you doubly grateful for the good trips that are waiting for you down the road.

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #554966 - 02/18/02 12:42 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Very interesting post. I can see the merit of bad trips as being even more powerful and life changing than good trips. However, I think its important to have some kind of sitter around so you don't hurt yourself in your anguish. Although I've never had full blown "bad trip" I kind of would like to, I think it would be a very enlightening experiecne.

I don't, nowever, think you need to be in a bad set or go someplace unpoleasant to have a bad trip. You can convince yourself to go someplace unpleasant whenever you want, just by thinking it (I have done this). That's how a bad trip starts after all, the state of your mind. Start thinking negatively or fearfully and you'll have a bad trip. I would like to try this sometimes, but in a controlled environment.

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #554972 - 02/18/02 12:49 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

I agree with ska. THe most productive way to do it is probably at home, probing your mind for "issues" or recent events that unsettle you. Dig up some deep-rooted emotions that need to see the daylight. At least you will be able to work with some internal matter, and not be overwhelmed by anxiety and fear of external forces.

Eternally boggled, flummoxed, bewildered and surprised.

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #555079 - 02/18/02 05:08 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

In most of my trips I have some part where it goes bad, and afterwards I find it indeed to be the most rewarding experiences.
Another good thing about is is that is that I am suprised I got out of it completely normal, and survived. This gives me a good feeling, a better self esteem. I also learn the most about my self in bad trips, I can discover who I really am
Other good things are indeed experience itself. It makes the trip more balanced if a part is bad.
It also makes me feel glad I can be in reality, and doesnt make metend to see tripping as an escape.
And the best part: bad trips are the most interesting ones to tell about :smile: 

its all placebo

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #555126 - 02/18/02 07:11 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Ridiculous! Setting yourself up for a bad trip would be like getting someone to deliberately piss you off so you could then ponder on why you got pissed of!! Before you then say "exactly", I would say why couldn't you work that one while sober? Bad trips can be brought on by external factors and it's usually because the incensed tripper is unprepared/unable to react in these situations eg.
walking a quite road tripping to suddenly become startled by loud voices, under normal (sober) circumstances you probably wouldn't flinch or give it much thought but while high! Tell me then what are going to learn from this encounter?
Bad trips caused by internal conflicts possibly originating from the subconscious are more likely to reveal something of worth if the trip can be programmed towards those ends.
I went walking in some woods near me on the weekend at night (high) and several times heard my name wispered in close proximity, damn scary! I'm sure it would have been even if I was sober. All I learned from that experience is that I probably wont be walking in woods late at night alone while under the influence
If you *want* a bad trip, take an heroic/stupid dose, one that you could never comprehend being prepared for and then tell me how it went.

We are the music makers, We are the dreamers of dreams...

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: Roger_irrelevant]
    #555434 - 02/18/02 02:52 PM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Roger--I think your analogy is a bit off. When you get some to piss you off your cognitive functions are more or less the same before and after. When you take a bad trip you don't sit around wondering, "why am I having a bad trip?" because you know that already--you're having a bad trip because you chose to. The point is that when you're tripping, your cognitive functions are completely different and therefore the results are unpredictable. Sensations tend to become more acute and powerful and normal thought patterns are replaced by other, also unpredictable, patterns.

Even if cognitive functions weren't the issue, however, your analogy still wouldn't hold water. Why do people go to see horror movies, after all? Do you think they sit there thinking, "why am I getting disturbed?" too stupid to realize that they're getting scared because they went to a horror movie? The reason people go to horror movies, go skydiving, or test limits and face dangers in various other ways is because fear and danger somehow make certain people feel more alive; and being able to overcome and control fear and danger is an even more powerful feeling. When you add hallucinogens to that mix you've got a very challenging, but also potentially very rewarding experience.

As for what other people said about most trips being a combination of both good and bad, I agree with you completely. In fact, it could very well happen that a trip you deliberately try to make bad could somehow turn good. Yeah, there are lots of peaks and valleys, it's not a flat, consistent experience. I think in general its easier to have "bad" trip with acid than it is with shrooms, just because most shrooms are so funny and mellow.

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: Roger_irrelevant]
    #555757 - 02/18/02 09:57 PM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Well then why trip at all? One could have the same experiences while totally sober. If you are startled while tripping it is very likely to change the course of the trip, maybe for worse maybe better. Why? Because it changes the way your cognitive mind is transcribing information. Your suddenly frightened so you think differently, thus think about other things, possibly memories, fears, anxieties. While tripping your mind functions entirely different, so sober examples cannot be comparable.

P.S. you probably wouldn't have heard the wispers in the woods if you were sober. Odds are your mind misinterpreted one set of sounds that lead to you thinking it was your name. Now that your mind had "heard" this it continued to search for this sound, eventually making it up to satisfy its own inability to actually find the sound again. AKA paranoia.

Vote Jonnyshaggs in the next election for GOD...Its the responsible choice

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #556106 - 02/19/02 09:19 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

Very interesting hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm !

--------mushworld.com-----More info than you can throw a stick at-

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: jonnyshaggs420]
    #556412 - 02/19/02 03:45 PM (22 years, 2 months ago)

I absolutely agree that a trip is best when there is a bad part that you conquer. The bitter makes the sweet even sweeter. But I don't think what we are describing here are bad trips. A bad trip is not one that you overcome. A bad trip is one that overcomes YOU. A trip in which you don't learn that you can handle fear, your problems, or your own scary subconcious. A truly bad trip is one where you learn a horrible lesson about yourself, and instead of becoming enlightened during the course of the trip, the fear and suffering increases and all you can do is sob and hopefully clutch on to another person until it is over.
Granted I only have had one trip that was like this, but I came away from it with the opposite of the wise afterglow. I despised myself for weeks because I everything about the trip had gone horribly wrong and I realised it was all because of who I was.

As I said before, I agree with MOST of what everyone is saying. Yes, spirituality should acknowledge and deal with the negative aspects of life, and one shouldn't ignore them while tripping. If you deal with them you can gain insight and self esteem. But I think set is very, very important. You shouldn't try and open your eyes to something if your not ready within your life to learn it or face it. You have to be ready. You don't force a six year old kid to think about the horrors of rape. He will deal with that later. Maybe one day I will trip in a setting that I am afraid of, but not if I don't feel ready to do it. This was the mistake I made at my one truly bad trip at a rock concert (not that I am afraid of concerts, but I knew that I don't like crowds of rowdy drunks when I am trippin). I knew I wasn't ready to try such an experience but I did anyway. It sucked.

Society in every form is a blessing,
but government at its best is but a necessary evil
- Thomas Paine

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: gluke bastid]
    #556535 - 02/19/02 05:50 PM (22 years, 2 months ago)

i agree with a little of both of what i've read

like gluke said, a truly bad trip is not as easy to shrug of as you all are making it out to be. i had one when i took acid once, and it fucked me up for a long time...what i "learned" or programmed into my mind rather, was that my problems WERENT fixable...that it was ALWAYS going to be this way...trips like this are extremely dangerous. heres the thing though, i wasnt ready for what i took, and that glimpse of what i saw. i was already depressed before that(though not as much) so my set was all wrong. i've done acid since then, to try and counter the effects, but it didnt work. it eventually faded away(depression) by the way this was all about 5 years ago, i dont take cid anymore....

i have however taken shrooms many times since then, and i have leanred alot from them, i have had the "bad" trips your talking about. i agree that we learn something from these types of trips, and that is essentially part of what "trippings" about. i've never had a experiance on shrooms that i walked away from without learning something about myself, my friends, or the world live in.

i also agree that you dont need to go anywhere to have a badf trip, thats a bad idea, you'll just be distracted. bad trips like someone said, ultimetly come from within, just question yourself and you life anyway you can if you want to have one....personally, i've never tried to have one...sometimes it just happens.

the biggest thing to remember, besides what you just learned :wink: is that yourt thoughts during a bad trip speed up to incedible rates, you have to slow it down to not get lost, so progress and relizations can be made. and also, if you already depressed and confused in a big way, i wouldnt "try" to have a bad trip...not on acid anyway, if your in that mind set, you might have one anyway. what we learn from bad trips sometimes is painful, but that means your growing i guess.

Religion is for people who are afraid of going to Hell; spirituality is for those who have been there.

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Re: The value of bad trips--Read at your own risk! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #557310 - 02/20/02 09:17 AM (22 years, 2 months ago)

I think that's a pretty cool idea but from my "bad trips" I'm scared shitless to try to repeat them!!!!!! I don't ever want to experience those feeling again and I don"t believe I will.... its like I coughed or vomited them out forever......

I don't ever want another bad trip.....but then I dosed really high too....

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