The Secret Chief - Chapter 3: The Individual Trip
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements
The Individual Trip
Myron: Let's get into your procedures.
Jacob: All right. I'll start with the individual trip first, because the group trip follows the individual one. The first trip is always with LSD. I like to start at eight o'clock in the morning. I like to do it preferably in their own home, if it's convenient, secure, and nobody's going to be there, nobody's going to interrupt, and it isn't too far away for me to go to. (Laughs.) I get there maybe a half hour before that, before eight.
I set up my equipment. My equipment consists of headphones, two face masks, a cassette player and separate recorder, tapes for music, and a special cup. (Jacob shows the box he takes along with him.) I carry these along with me which is part of my ritual that I have. I talk about the transformation experience and how the cup is always a very important symbol of the transformation experience.
I have this setup with the earphones coming out of this machine. This is the way I play my music to them. Music is all on cassettes. The records scratch and they don't work very well at all. Then I have another tape recorder in there which is used to record everything that's said. I record the whole trip. I have a remote control here that I use so that I only turn it on when something's being said.
These are some of the things that I go over with them. The structure is first. Structure is a very important thing, and what structure is, is a set of agreements that I ask them to make with me. These are the things that I ask them to agree to with me:
1. They will not leave the house where we're having the trip at any time during the trip without prior clearance from me.
2. They agree that there will be no physical harm or violence to themselves or to me or to anything else in the house.
3. Reiteration of the security requirement. They agree they will not reveal to anybody else where and with whom they had this trip without prior clearance from me, ever.
4. I ask them to agree - now if this is a woman or somebody gay - I ask them to agree that there will be no sex taking place between us. I'll explain the background for these agreements in a minute.
5. The last one I ask them to agree is that at any time during the trip if anything is going on and I tell them to stop it, stop doing it, and I make clear, "This is under structure; it's not just a recommendation or suggestion," they agree that they will stop it. Or if I tell them to do something and I make clear it's under structure they agree that they will do it. I tell them to look at this one very, very carefully, because when they agree to that they are virtually putting their lives in my hands and the only thing they have to go on is whatever faith they have in me - that I would never let them do anything that would be harmful to themselves, nor would I ever require anything of them that would be harmful to them. These are bills to faith. That puts them back on their faith, see.
I review it, and then I say, "Do you have any questions or qualifications or anything that you want to know about it?" When they say no, I say, "Do you agree to abide by this structure?" They say, "Yes." I say, "Thank you."
Now, the first one, not to leave the house: I don't want them wandering around without prior agreement. Sometimes when they're coming down from a trip if they want to go out and walk around because its so beautiful, fine, I'll walk with them. They ask and they check with me.
Physical harm and violence: Sometimes people are afraid they're going to be angry, they're always talking about the unexpressed anger that they've got. They're afraid that might happen so when they make that agreement they feel safe about the anger, they're not going to destroy anything or hurt anybody.
The fourth one about sex: Sometimes women get real turned on. Sexually they get really connected with their sexuality and they're scared, they don't know what to do with it so they'll tend to squelch it. I don't want them to do that. I want them to find it and hang on to it and know that they're safe, nothing's going to happen. The same thing with a gay person. If it comes up, let it come up, what the hell.
Okay. They've agreed to abide by this structure. I ask them to read this, a late 17th century prayer. It's the only thing I've ever found down through the years that really is the most suitable for beginning a trip. I ask them to read it quietly to themselves once and read it through a second time:
Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of thee;
O Father, give to Thy child that which
Smite, or heal; depress me or raise me up;
other desire than to accomplish Thy will.
- François de Salignac Fenelon
Then we have a dropping ceremony, and I explain the cup and I have water in it and I have the capsule with their medicine in it, too. After they've read the prayer then I give it to them. I've already explained the significance of the cup as a symbol of transformation all the way back to Jesus and to earlier days and all that kinda stuff. I have them take the cup and the capsule, swallow the medicine whatever it happens to be, and drink the water from the cup.
After this dropping ceremony I ask to see their pictures. I have them organize them according to this list, their own pictures first with the youngest on top and the oldest one on the bottom. Their youngest age and the oldest. Same with the mother and father and all the relatives if there's any chronological period of time that's involved. The last one I ask them to look at is their wife or lover currently.
Just before that I organize them all in this fashion: First the pictures of themselves, then the mother, then the father. Now, some of the other pictures will have mother and father in them, too. They may have some very significant picture show up that isn't on that list for mother, father, family, or something like that. A house that they lived in or a pet that they had, goodness knows what, maybe an army picture. Whatever really gives them an emotional charge, positive or negative. That's what I call other significant pictures. They're to pull those out to really get to cover the ground there. Sometimes they bring too many, I screen them out.
Now, once they've dropped the medicine, I say, "Let's look at your pictures." They'll show them to me, and I arrange them in the order that I want to use them, and that's it. We don't take them apart and look at them. I set the organization and have them identified into their stacks, because we'll be doing that later. Then we sit and we talk. I ask them if they've had any dreams the night before or whatever. When they have them I say, "Well tell me about it." I just want them to tell me the dream. I frequently get something out of the dream.
I explain to them, and I've already talked about this before to them but I say, "You know when you go along through the transition from one stage of consciousness to another one sometimes you run into difficulties. If you do, like if you get frightened or something like that, all you have to do is put out your hand. I'll see it, I'll be sitting right there. If not just say, 'Jacob.'" Their hand's out there, and I'll go over and I'll take their hand and put it in mine. No talking, or anything like that. I just hold it nice and firm and solid. God, what they say afterwards about what happened during that holding the hand, what a tremendous experience they had. If they want me to I'll put my arms around them and hold them in my arms. I encourage them when they get frightened to stay with it, don't try to do anything about it, just let yourself be afraid. I explain to them I will be here all the time. I always have a security bucket and a package of kleenex, in case they get nauseated they've got the bucket there.
We'll sit and talk about different things until they feel themselves starting to turn on. Then, fine, I ask them to go to the bathroom and empty their bladder, then come back and lie down. Then I put their eyeshades on, the earphones on, and cover them nice and cozy and comfortable and turn on the music. I tell them that I'll check in with them after an hour to see if they're turned on. They turn on with the music. Beautiful turn-on music, too.
Myron: How do you tell if they're turned on?
Jacob: What I do is I've got a microphone, see, and I'll turn on the microphone and I'll talk. I'll say, " (whatever their name is), do you feel turned on yet?"
They'll say, "Oh, yes."
I'll say, "Good. Have a good trip." And I just turn off the thing and let it go.
Or they'll stop and they'll think and say, "I'm not sure."
I say, "Are you as turned on as you'd like to be?"
Sometimes they say, "No, I think I could be more turned on."
I say, "Good, I'll give you a booster."
Or they'll say, "Gee, I'm really not sure. I haven't done this before. I don't know what it is to be fully turned on."
I say, "Okay. I'll check back with you again in fifteen minutes." I don't think they are, but I want to check back anyway, because sometimes they might turn on, it takes an extra fifteen minutes. I check back with them in fifteen minutes and I say, "Are you turned on now?" They'll still be questioning. As long as they're able to question they aren't turned on enough, I'll say, "Well, I'll give you a booster."
I check with them again thirty minutes later. Most of the times they are already turned on. If not, I give them another booster. If they're not really turned on I'll keep going until I check in and they say, "Oh, yeah." Sometimes I watch them, I can tell from the way they are. I can tell they're really stoned. They're going through quite a trip.
Myron: How long do you wait for the second booster?
Jacob: Thirty minutes. Between boosters, thirty minutes between any boosters until they're really turned on. A booster would go 125 micrograms unless not a thing's happening, they feel pleasant and all that but not a thing's happening. Then I'll give them 250 micrograms. I mention to them, "Look, sometimes you get real turned on by a piece of music and it's a great experience and it ends and you're kind of disappointed. All you have to do is say, 'Play it again,' and I'll play it again for you. You go right back out again." I tell them that music is the vehicle that takes you to all the different places you go on your trip. Music is the vehicle that takes you to all the different places.
Myron: Isn't silence the vehicle sometimes?
Jacob: Oh yeah. I say, "If you ever want to be quiet, have silence, let me know." Most of the time they want the music. Oh yes.
Sometimes I'll just not play anything for a while but in just a little bit they'll say, "The music's off." You've never heard music in your life, really, you'll see that you've never really heard music in your life until you've heard it on the trip. Which is true, everybody knows who's had that. I tell them, "Anytime I'm playing a piece of music that's not consonant with where you are, that's bothering you or you don't like it, just say, 'Change the music,' and I will." Once in a while that happens. Most of the time with the kind of music I have they dig it all the way through.
I can tell when they're starting to come down because until that time they are absolutely still. Every now and then I've got to get down on the floor to look to make sure they're still breathing! (Laughs.) I do that as a kind of a ritual. I don't do it because I'm scared any more. (More laughter.) When they start to come down, they start to move around, they may want to go to the bathroom. Sometimes in the middle of the trip they want to go to the bathroom. That's fine, I take them in the bathroom and stay with them unless they want me to go outside. I ask them before they come out to stop and look in the mirror, the bathroom mirror. Just take a good look. They do, you know, God they report things - whatever they saw and all that. Later. Not during this visit. I take them back, lie them down, put them back.
All right. When they have come down enough that they're able to talk but they're still hallucinating a little bit - that may be five, six hours into the trip, around that time - some may be a little bit earlier, some may be a little bit later, seven or eight hours - and they're functional, they can move around, I have them get up. I've told them this is what'll happen. I have them get up and they go sit down at a table some place and we do the picture trip.
What the picture trip is, I start out with pictures of themselves. I have them in front of me. I take the first one and I hand it to them and I tell them, "Just look at it, just look at it and see what you experience. Look at it as long as you want to. When you're through looking at it, hand it back. If you have anything to say, fine. Say it. If not, you don't have to say anything." One at a time I hand them the pictures. The pictures, they don't react much to the two- to four-year-old pictures. Some time around the age of six is a very significant picture for them. That's the point in life where we lose our naturalness and we start taking on the acts of the world and behaving the way people tell us to and start squelching our own naturalness. Frequently they get to that picture and they start to cry. And cry and cry and cry. "Gee, what an unhappy face!" Or they say, "I don't know."
I'm taping everything that's being said. They'll do a lot of talking and a lot of crying. And a lot of ruminating, and remembering. This talking is very important to them later on when they go back and listen to it. It reconnects them with their whole experience. I give them the tape. After we've gone through all the pictures we just sit around. If they want to listen to music some more, fine. Listen to music. Then maybe about four o'clock in the afternoon, say, I arrange to have the baby-sitter come by.
I don't like to leave them alone on the day of their trip. I want to have somebody stay and spend the evening until they go to sleep or spend the night. It's got to be somebody they know, love, and trust as well as somebody who has tripped if it's at all possible. Because somebody who has tripped knows how to serve somebody who's just tripped without asking a whole bunch of stupid questions that they can't answer. Just takes care of them, and just listens to them talk if they have something to say. Or leaves them alone if they want to be alone. I tell them, "I will not leave until you say it's okay for me to leave." The person who comes as their sitter may be their wife or husband. They may not have tripped but they may be the most suitable person. I brief that person about how to take care of things.
Myron: Generally in a marriage you have the partner absent during the trip?
Jacob: Only me and the person on the trip. Unless I'm doing a couples trip, but they've already tripped individually first. Although when the other one comes in there's quite a bit of relating that goes on because this person is so transformed and has come to a new level of feeling of love about their spouse or lover or whoever it may be. Then, oh, I might fix them a little plate of some fruit, crackers or cheese or something to eat, you know some sensory thing, have a glass of wine, something like that. I stay with them and the sitter until it's okay for me to leave. I pack up my stuff and I go on home. And that's it.
I'm available for them to see or to call and I leave my number and everything. If anything comes up they want to call me about, anything at all, I tell them, "Don't hesitate at all, call me any time."
That's the individual trip.
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements