MDMA, Self-love and Terminal Illness
Ray J.

I am a man dealing with a terminal disease. The work with entheogens and other forms of altered states has given me a real sense that there is something greater than what we can perceive on our own. I do not fear death, and it is largely due to various works I have done with holotropic breathwork (HB) and sacred substances. (BTW, I am not deemed by society as an intellectual, liberal, or whatever is associated with dropping out, the drug culture etc. I am a conservative 55 year old stock and bond trade who just happened to bow into a new paradigm while still functioning in the old...but...)

As a holotropic facilitator, as well as a human being, I am not at all hesitant to talk about sacred substances. Sacred of course being in the eye of the beholder. Water is a sacred substance as well as psychoactives. I have seen people call certain drugs "sacred" as a subconscious excuse to merely get high. IMHO, even that is okay as long as you are honest with yourself. Timothy Leary once commented that LSD must be a really powerful in those that have never tried it.

I watched a show on TV yesterday about Ecstasy. It was a typically biased show reminiscent of the 50's complete with trembling parents, doctors in white coats with charts, and an overwhelming statement that Ecstasy is B-A-D. For me, X opened my mind to self-love. I had never contemplated or considered that I was lovable, or worthy of love. All of my conscious games were running from the fact that deep down I felt conditional rather than unconditional love.

I did my first ecstasy experience with a sound set and setting. I had a sitter, a wonderful person who knew the power of the experience. She did not let me externalize the feeling. She steadfastly had me take my feelings inside rather than externalize them on her, or anyone else. As I lay there, I had a burning in my heart. As I went inside the burning, I understood that I was a good person and worthy of love. I was worthy of loving myself as well as having others love me. If you got "linear" about the experience, I could talk about what it did to my serotonin levels, how the experience was "robbing" my body to create the experience. However, is it really robbing me or merely borrowing and transferring some energy? After all, I must have been robbed before to actually think of myself as so insignificant. The experience stayed with me for years, even now.

Yet, it was a starting place so I could find this place on my own. At least I knew it was there. Having a sitter, and being able to process the experience, allowed me to understand that what I experienced was not a result of the drug. The drug/medicine allowed me to access what was always there. In a book I heard them equate this to riding in an airplane high above the world, the only thing you can see is the clouds. All of a sudden there is a gap in the clouds and you see the earth. You see green trees, houses, rivers, and a whole new world you had not see before. When the clouds cover the scene again, you still know about the other world and so can achieve realization of it. The trap is to depend on the drugs for the experience all the time.

It is best to treat the experience as sacred and follow the Grof breathwork model for safe set and setting. I have found most of my own truths through the HB but once in a while needed (or wanted) another way of access. Sadly, if it was legal in our society, I doubt it could be held as sacred. We hold very little as sacred. Without sacred space, most meaning and transformation can be lost.


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