The Secret Chief - Chapter 6: Outcomes
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements
Myron: What we might talk about now is you've had this large number of people who have come to you and have had individual trips and group trips. Could we talk about some of the kinds of changes that you've seen in people as a result of this?
Jacob: You know that's a very difficult thing to do. The only thing I can do at the moment is to recall what they were like when they first came to me, and then to see them as they are now - beautiful loving friends of mine out there in the world doing great things. Really doing great things. All of them. And continuously on the path of further exploring and further searching. I always try everything that comes along. When something comes along that I try that is very fruitful to me and could be fruitful to my people, I let them know about it. And they go do it. If they find something that's really good they let me know about it, and I go do it.
Your question now: "Can you say what happened to them?" One of the first things that they learn to do is to take complete responsibility for themselves and their lives. This is something that we all keep working on all the time. More and more and more. No more blaming. No more attributing the cause of anything out there to anybody else. That's really the heart of the whole training that I'm involved in. You could describe it in one sentence, that's it.
There's many manifestations, many ways that you can go about it. The people change from a very disturbed, mixed-up state to a clear place where they function much more creatively, in terms of relations to themselves and outside. They affect the lives of everybody they come in contact with in a positive way for the most part, whereas before they affected them negatively. They gave them trouble. They are much more satisfied with themselves. And they are committed to the process, to the growth process, to continually exploring. This is true for most of the people I've worked with. Some have drifted off, I don't know what else to say. It's not their bag right now.
Myron: How about sensory enhancement?
Jacob: Yeah, our eyes become open! It's like the Garden of Eden. Our eyes become open, and our senses. We're much more aware, much more acutely aware. For food, that happens. Especially right after the trip. You fall back in your old ways all the time, too.
You're trying to find out whatever I've discovered about different kinds of outcomes from tripping. Transformation is the only word that will fit. From one way of looking at things to another one, whatever they're looking at. I always tell my people, it's one of my favorite statements: Nobody has ever been able to achieve transformation by their own unaided efforts. This is a belief that I have. It requires some sort of a medium. The medium can be a medicine, the medium can be alcohol, the medium can be transformation of consciousness. Could be a deep crisis in their lives. Could be a priest or a minister or a psychotherapist as the facilitator. It could be something that they smoked, it could be some one of thousands of things that grow that they would ingest that turn them on. Turning on is the phrase that I use now for getting into a state where transformation occurs.
But just by sitting there and trying to do it, I don't know if anybody else has done it. Even Milarepa. He did it by sitting for a number of years in a cave meditating. Sensory deprivation. I think that's the best word that we have that tells what happens on an LSD trip. They've taken blood samples from people who have been in that meditative state and from people in the middle of a trip and they find that the changes in the blood are very similar. The serotonin content of the blood and I don't know all about that chemical stuff. I'm not good on the chemical stuff. The same things, the same results come. The visions that they have.
Myron: I'm curious about the progression that people make with these different materials. First they start with LSD and then possibly when they join the group they'll repeat that or try psilocybin and then you recommend MDA...
Jacob: If they're doing all right we'll talk about the different materials and the kinds of trips they may choose or they may say, "I don't know, I don't have any basis for choosing." So we'll say, "Well, try this. This is usually the next one that people take."
Myron: And after MDA then maybe you'll have them try Adam.
Jacob: No. Another psychedelic with yagé. We try to get them through the spectrum of things as soon as we can so that they know which ones to choose.
Myron: Then after yagé maybe MDMA.
Jacob: Well, psilocybin. It may take a year or so before they've gone through the spectrum. There's also tripping at home, too; people will do that with other group members. They'll have a little group combine and have a trip with somebody sitting with them, so they have other chances to trip once they've been a member of the group.
Myron: Once they've been exposed to the whole spectrum, is there any kind of weighting? What is the popularity distribution of the different things? Are there any particular favorites?
Jacob: Adam is definitely first, MDMA is first. It depends on where they're at and what kind of trip they want. If they haven't got anything special they may just want to have Adam again because it's such a beautiful trip. If they've got things they want to work on they'll take a psychedelic, or they'll take MDA or something like that. We don't use much MDA any more. A work trip is a yagé trip or an ibogaine trip where they've got things to work out.
Myron: Do you have any feelings about what each of these things are specifically best for? You did give me that.
Jacob: Mostly there is much more likenesses between them all than there is differences. They all turn you on, they all bring you back to your center.
Myron: I am a little surprised at your initial dose because that seems higher than what some people use as an introduction. I guess really what you're providing are very profound experiences and you're really pretty focused and oriented to make sure that they get the most profound kind of experience.
Jacob: Right. And it goes very smoothly, because it's a routine kind of thing. Yet it draws my attention, holds my energy, and all of that.
I really wasn't aware of how much energy went into this kind of thing until I stopped, really started cutting down. It took me two to three days to recuperate, because it takes one hell of a lot of energy out of a person.
Myron: I wanted to ask you, with individual sessions, too, do you find it tiring?
Jacob: Oh you, damned right! Absolutely. I don't schedule anything for the next day, as I'm very tired the next day. When I come home from the thing I just plop into bed. Even though I'm sitting still all the time! And I'm reading! You know, keeping my mind interested, but there's a draw of energy that's fabulous.
Myron: I thought it was the most tiring thing a person could do. I probably had problems where I was probably too involved, but I know our Medical Director quit sitting with people just as soon as he had others who would do it.
Jacob: I was very involved in the very beginning. Now I'm not that way involved.
Myron: Do you find that you're less tired?
Jacob: No. No. I'm still very tired.
Myron: It takes a lot of energy.
Jacob: Yes indeed. I'm still very tired. But I don't get emotionally involved with them. I don't cry when they're crying and when they experience something I don't identify with it. I just sit there quietly and I'm aware of what's going on and when they start to cry or when they're doing something that indicates where they're at in their trip I say, "That's great, oh, fine, stay with it, kid." Something like that.
Myron: It must be enormously satisfying. Even with the little bit of work that I have been involved in there's nothing more satisfying than when another person makes these discoveries.
Jacob: Right. It's what I said earlier, there's nothing more satisfying than turning somebody on to themselves. At the end of a weekend when I'd see what fantastic things have happened to these people, I'd say, "Whatever I've had to go through, it's worth it to produce these results!"
See Appendix I for examples of personal accounts.
It is now sixteen years since these interviews were conducted. Simply rereading them has brought back the richness of these encounters, and an immense appreciation of the expanded vistas that psychedelics make possible to the earnest explorer. They support and confirm a wealth of additional accounts given by other researchers. 
Immersed in the impact of this work, it seems to me incomprehensible that our society has sunk so deeply into unconsciousness as to be unaware of such possibilities. The general public, unfamiliar with the power of our minds, remains for the most part locked in mass hypnotism, secured within the self-constructed walls that lock out the prodigious possibilities of life, the joy and exuberance waiting to be claimed. Our birthright of wisdom and compassion has been sacrificed on the altar of self-interest, materialism, and reductionism. So opposed are we to discovering the errors of our decisions that we have made practically all substances which can reveal to us our true nature illegal to possess.
Nothing would have pleased Jacob more than to know that the telling of his story has helped our society understand that there are powerful tools available for self realization - that vast new possibilities in life await us when we take on the responsibility of making these new tools available and learn how to use them. We will then recognize Jacob as a true pioneer and dedicated servant of humanity.
NOTE - Chapter 6
Adamson, S. Through the Gateway of the Heart. San Francisco: Four Trees Publications, 1985. Shulgin, A. T. & A. Shulgin, PIHKAL. Berkeley, CA: Transform Press, 1991.
Stolaroff, M. J. Thanatos to Eros: Thirty-five Years of Psychedelic Exploration. Berlin: VWB - Verlag für Wissenschaft und Bildung, 1994. Available from Thaneros Press, P.O. Box 773, Lone Pine, CA.
Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Epilogue | Appendix I | Appendix II | Acknowledgements