Dissolving the dichotomies Posted by Michaelangelo on April 03, 2002 at 10:22:46:
This is from an article at www.tikkun.org
If death is another name for the process of undoing to which all of our doings must and do lead, then the psychedelic experience is most certainly concerned with death, with endings that, if we could only see, become beginnings in other forms. McKenna once wrote that psychedelics anticipate the dying process, and just four month's from his own passage, he told a group at Esalen, "If psychedelics don't prepare you for the Great Beyond, I don't know what really does." In revealing that the emperor wears no clothes, that things fall apart, psychedelics decrypt the death bound into things and offer us a chance to capture—or recover—the rapture of union, to snap out of the trance that sustains the illusion of our separateness. There is a diaphanous quality to things seen on the psychedelic, a sympathetic blurring of the lines, an overdrape of molecular fabric that suggests that we are a part of everything.
Such a vision proved to be the stuff of psychic liberation for the late Israeli Holocaust survivor Yehiel De-Nur, who tells, in Shivitti (Gateways Books and Tapes) of a miraculous breakthrough during a 1976 LSD-assisted psychotherapy session in Leiden, Holland with Dr. Jan Bastiaans, the psychiatrist who identified Concentration Camp Syndrome. During the session, De-Nur relived the hell of Auschwitz and then saw his own face over that of his tormenter, deducing that all of humanity—including himself—was complicit in the Nazi horror, that it could have been him on the other side of the dynamic, herding people into the ovens, that there was a collective burden of guilt for all to share. Far from being a "bad trip" in which he recoiled at identifying with a fiendish executioner, the epiphany catalyzed a redemptive rebirth for his stricken soul, dissolving the victim/perpetrator dichotomy.
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