Q&A Session: “Understanding the Shadow”

Ann Shulgin

Abstract: Every child born in this world needs to be "socialized," in order to take his or her place among others and to be accepted. Such socializing consists of being taught to repress certain instincts and desires, and to emphasize with others. The accumulation of so-called "undesirable" and un-lovable traits over the years becomes a hidden, unconscious monster figure, buried in the basement of each adult psyche, gaining power in the dark, glimpsed only when there is a breakdown of the usual constraints. Many Shadow monsters show themselves when their owners get drunk or take too much of the wrong drug. Spiritual growth and ultimate enlightenment can occur only when the Shadow is brought into the light; when its owner is able to see it and acknowledge its existence. Until this occurs, the Shadow is experienced only in projection—on other people, on other races, other nations, and other Gods—thus causing, among other things, wars without end.

Ann Shulgin is a researcher, writer, and beloved elder of the Tribe. In conjunction with her past work as a lay therapist, she used MDMA, 2C-B, and similar compounds before they were scheduled. Ann's unique insights into both the beneficial and the challenging effects that psychedelics can have are invaluable. With her chemist/pharmacologist husband Sasha, Ann co-authored the books Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved: A Chemical Love Story (PIHKAL) and Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved: The Continuation (TIHKAL). She is currently working on Book 3, the Shulgins' next offering in this series.

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