Thursday, August 22, 2019

Jung and the Use of Psychedelics Essay Example for Free

Jung and the Use of Psychedelics Essay Carl Jung had many theories of the unconscious mind, and apparently had the personal capacity for very lucid dreams along with exceptionally vivid visions. In the fall of 1913, Jung dreamed of a â€Å"monstrous flood† that engulfed most of Europe; he saw â€Å"people drowning and civilization crumbling. † Because of his extremely vivid visions, he worried at times that he might be experiencing a psychotic break. (Boeree p. 1). Jung identifies the ego with the conscious mind, and the personal unconscious with anything which is not presently conscious, but could be. The use of LSD apparently increases the ego, or the conscious mind, and brings the personal unconscious either closer to the surface, or completely out into the sunlight. It is well-documented that the therapeutic use of LSD can accomplish in a relatively short amount of time what years and years of psychotherapy sometimes cannot. Inhibitions are released and the unconscious mind delivers up its issues in order to enable the patient to deal with them, leading ultimately to recovery. As it relates to Jungian theory, the LSD experience can have no simple explanations and parallels. The effects of LSD on the human mind are far from â€Å"standard,† but rather the â€Å"result of a complex interaction of the drug, the psychological and physical environment, the personality structure of the subject and therapist, and the set or expectancy as to what the drug would do. † (Terrill p. 1). In other words, there is no â€Å"typical† LSD drug experience, but it is rather wholly dependent on the person’s own unique personality, physical environment and what the person is expecting from the drug experience. In terms of mood, there are a wide range of reactions, from feelings of euphoria, increase in anxiety, and a general intensity of feelings. Many subjects show an increased concern with immediate events and a lack of concern about past and future. (Terrill p. 2). Most subjects seem to have an increased sensitivity regarding their interactions with others, and hallucinatory effects are quite common, especially those involving the senses. The external world becomes â€Å"unstable, receding and approaching, flowing and vibrating. † (Terrill p. 2). Of course the dosage of the LSD drug is a factor as well. In general when therapists are working with small doses, the results are only to heighten suggestibility and allow the â€Å"emergence of the unconscious materials. † (Eigen p. 2). These small doses could continue for months or years. A massive dose of LSD (750-1500mcg—is given with the goal of achieving therapeutic results in one â€Å"overwhelming session,† and can be compared somewhat to a religious conversion. This type of treatment has been used with some success for alcoholics or those with severe psychotic problems. More typical is a moderate dose of LSD, used in such conditions such as criminal psychopathy, sexual deviations, depressive states, phobias, and compulsive syndromes. This moderate dosage has also been used with autistic children to enable them to become more responsive. (Masters p. 3). The shadow in Jungian theory is the â€Å"dark side† of the ego, and all the evil that human beings are capable is stored there although the shadow is amoral—neither good nor bad, rather more like animals. (Boeree p. 6). Animals do not consciously decide to do something based on whether it is good or bad, they just act on instinct and react to the situation at hand. Everything in us that is unconscious, repressed, undeveloped or denied becomes our shadow, and until we confront our own shadow, we cannot truly have self-awareness. (Boeree p. 8). In typical psychotherapy a person’s shortcomings are brought out, but not so much his assets. Therefore, his shadows are brought into the light, but the missing link is that the good parts of his personality are disregarded. Because LSD causes an inflation of ego, it can be â€Å"an effective antidote for low self-esteem. † (Savage p. 4). While LSD allows the person to face his shortcomings and bring out his shadows just like typical psychotherapy, at the same time he can â€Å"experience some of the wealth and reservoirs which lie within him. † (Savage p. 4). A complex is a â€Å"pattern of suppressed thoughts and feelings that cluster around a theme provided by some archetype. † (Boeree p. 8). As an example, if you pretend all your life that you are only good and don’t even have the capacity to lie, cheat or steal, then all those times when you do good, the other side of you goes into a complex around the shadow. That complex begins to develop a life of it’s own and â€Å"it will haunt you. † (Boeree p. 8). There are many related instances of LSD bringing these complexes to the surface quickly. Interestingly, in a book about one woman’s LSD treatment, the woman described her results this way: â€Å"I found that in addition to being, consciously, a loving mother and a respectable citizen, I was also, unconsciously a murderess, a pervert, a cannibal, a sadist and a masochist. † (Grinspoon p. 3). The woman went on to say that at the end of nine sessions, over a period of nine weeks, she had essentially faced her â€Å"demons† and in the process had lost her fear of dentists, the tensions in her body and her dislike of clocks ticking. In this particular case, LSD therapy helped this woman to face her own shadows and complexes and deal with them. In Breaking Open the Head, Daniel Pinchbeck takes us along for his own spiritual journey through the use of psychedelics. He details amazingly vivid dreams and visions, and while cautioning about the over usage of LSD and other psychotropic drugs, he states that, â€Å"We need the courage to confront what lies behind the openings of our own minds. † (Pinchbeck p. 7).

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