I receive news from various websites by email, and recently I got an interesting text written by Paul Austin from the organization “The Third Wave”. This organization seeks to promote microdosing of psychedelics. The email was titled “Psychedelics are a skill?” I have to say that the text impressed me and led me to many thoughts. I immediately thought – yes, it is a skill like any other. But I wouldn’t limit it to just psychedelics – they are just a specific tool. What it really comes down to are “holotropic states of consciousness” – states of expanded consciousness.
Said this way, I believe it is clear that being able to use “holotropic states of consciousness” is a truly specific personal skill-ability, and not everyone has it. Some people are better at it than others. Of course, it can be learned like any other skill, but not everyone is willing to do so or sees a reason or feels a need. But if a person decides to learn how to use holotropic states of consciousness, then it is clearly a “skill” in which they need to continuously improve if they want to use it properly.
Holotropic states of consciousness can be achieved in various ways – through meditation, holotropic breathwork, staying in the darkness, making sports, and of course, using psychedelics. The initial motivation may be a desire to experience something extraordinary or just to try it out. It can also be driven by a desire for self-discovery and healing of traumas, or in the case of psychedelics, perhaps just a desire to “have some real fun.” There are many reasons. Some people can endure the initial motivation for a long time, but others may find that these states of consciousness have also other uses. And so, some people begin to deepen their artistic creation through expanded consciousness, while others use it to solve practical problems, and others use it for deep self-work or philosophical exploration. Conversely, shamans may use it to find answers to questions and problems of others or for spiritual healing.
Holotropic states of consciousness can be used in many different ways, but not everyone uses all the possibilities. Currently, people are developing these “holotropic skills” more intuitively and are usually led by their “inner healer.” But I hope that the time will come when we will systematically research altered states of consciousness and the developed ability to use holotropic states of consciousness will be considered a valued skill. I imagine a job applicant mentioning in their cover letter something like “I have been training in using holotropic states of consciousness since my youth and continuously work to deepen this skill.”
If that happens, then it will be different times than today. Today, it may seem impossible, but history knows many examples of something being stubbornly rejected for many generations only to be later accepted as “normal.” I believe the same will happen with the use of holotropic states of consciousness. One day it will be completely commonplace, and people will wonder why previous generations didn’t understand it. “Can you believe it, they were even afraid of it and banned it? That must have been a really strange time, I can’t even imagine…”