Re: hypocrisy. Had second thoughts about that myself as soon as I'd posted. Certainly had no intention of suggesting that I avoid hypocrisy in any of my everyday life! I came over a little DEA there, for which apo's. Ta for your clarifications - any misapprehension on my part simply down to ignorance.
What I was trying to get over was that the feelings of bond-slipping & escape velocity which some of you have experienced with the aid of (not simply because of) lysergia aren't always the most easily-assimilated of emotions. I referred to my panic symptoms not to suggest anything negative about the process of tripping, merely to propose that the individual's initial experience of mental freefall can be overwhelming. For all my doubts, I would far rather have had my first inner journeys assisted & in the company of friends than had them burst in on me at inopportune moments
Furthermore, although I've had some great support & education over the years, I've also been pooh-poohed in no uncertain terms by parts of the medical establishment - indeed, I was once refused any medication or even advice by a GP, who assumed I was suffering what she termed "acid flashbacks" (perhaps this experience has left more of a mark on me than I care to admit).
I think what I was trying to get over was that if you're not actively seeking those other levels of perception, instinct or self-preservation seems to encourage the mind to turn away from them. The controlled experimental use of LSD such as practised by Huxley I have no problem with (if it was good enough for Cary Grant, it's good enough for me!) - in fact, I'm glad that the notion of tripping is discussed more & more in modern western society. For the longest time, it's remained a taboo (strangely when you consider that most other cultures down the ages have accepted the shamanic or mystical as a valid & necessary part of their being). In the UK especially, we still suffer mightily from an historical emphasis on control & order. My blood boils regularly at the everyday tabloid mentality, which proscribes that half-arsed dream-analysis & yr daily two-line horoscope are perfectly acceptable, but any other, further discussion of the subject is off-limits - that higher orders & spiritual leanings are to be placed on the exact same level as the pint-after-work or the Sunday-drive.
It's taken years for me to talk frankly about my difficulties with my family for just this reason - the idea that you should just pull yourself together (ignoring the fact that it's the process of attempting to understand which is causing the blockage). Ultimately, I was able to explain the condition & my resultant behavioural anomalies by explaining that, somehow, the deeper you go in periods of doubt, the higher the highs when you return to a balanced level of existence. Not so far, in the end, from what everyone here has been saying about the acid experience. The expanding of perceptual horizons, & all that.
I have to say that I feel a good deal better these days as a result of having to accept that I have a tendency towards mental exhaustion & depression - ultimately, I had to accept that the condition isn't exactly curable, but it is possible to co-exist with it. In other words, I've had to learn to trip, because sometimes my natural chemical balance is going to send me on one whether I like it or not. Although I wouldn't go through it all again given the choice, I'm glad I learned certain things as a result of my problems. The frank & open discussion of mental exploration & the possibilities of this life we lead which HH specialises in (& offered with love as well! So terribly rare in today's McLife) can only benefit all of us in the long run. So, thanks for the reply, & sorry again if I came over at all Sunday School on the matter.