When you turn 50, if you have not done so already, take a psychedelic like psilocybin.
Do it with intent. Seek clarity. Or to tackle a problem. Get a fresh perspective.
Never use it to run away from problems or escape the daily reality of your life. Just occasionally for recalibration and focus. Never more than required. And put aside the folly of youth of just getting high.
Use it to grasp your place in the world.
Hopefully, it will be a natural source (like magic mushrooms), and from your trust network. Ask of the quality and strength. Be comfortable with your choice.
Take in a familiar place with someone who can put up with a stoned person. Have the music you like readily accessible.
Take a prescribed amount. Maybe a bit more. You may get a little nausea at first, but you will be OK. You will get fucking high. But you will not overdose if the source is natural. (Seriously, this would be easier if it were regulated and you can a one time prescription every decade after 40.)
Set aside a day.
Tune out the world.
Lay back and relax.
Embrace the experience, knowing it will rewire the brain a bit. And enjoy accessing parts of mind that you seldom use or forgot about. It is in many ways better and cheaper than a therapist or prescription medication when used appropriately. You can also curb you desire in seeking “mindfulness.”
A well engineered experience brings forth moments of creativity, clarity and empathy.
But most of all, consider your mortality. Honestly, there is no better time when you have access to entire mind. Consider the gift you have been given and what you want to do with it. And how to make those things happen. And matter.
My most memorable trip was in 1990. As a gay man who managed to make it through the 80s, my trip helped put any risks I had taken into perspective and face the future head on. It also reminded me of my friends who did not make it here with me (even until today), and I knew I had to live a life worthy of their collective potential. It was and still is one of my responsibilities. And I embarked on a year of travel in 1991.
Most importantly, that trip helped me learn how live, refine who I am, reduce my fear of the unknown and focus on the future. And I learned to accept my own mortality and accept that when your number is up, it’s up. Its positive effects have remained with me ever since.
This is for brother Krishna, my friends Liza and Denis who died way too young last year, and for friends, still living, who are going through a rough patch.
Please note, I did not write this to promote recreational drug use. It is about a singular or only occasional experience. Unfortunately it is a controlled substance, when regulated may be better. Please keep in mind there are folks traveling to the Amazon specifically for ayahuasca – a similar hallucinogenic experience. Physicians are using psilocybin to treat depression, addiction, PTSD, and those faced with a terminal illness. In the right context, usage can be helpful and beneficial.