"The Death of a Former Self" is a poem with psychedelic elements that explores the internal struggle between one's past and present self.
In the world of psychedelics, there's often a debate between the spiritual and scientific benefits. But what about the personal conflict between your past and present self? Enter “Death Of A Former Self,” a poignant argument between two sides of the same person.
It's not just about the frequency of trips, but about letting go of old fears and trusting one's own intuition. It's relatable, witty, and a must-read (or in this case, listen) for anyone navigating the maze of self-discovery.
Max Stossel, the author of this lyrical masterpiece, says this psychedelic poem is an argument between a previous version of himself and a more recent one about how often to do psychedelics.
“As a passion project without any budget, this has taken me about 3.5 years and to be honest, I feel that the old me and the new me have integrated in that time. Recently, not psychedelics but love sparked a new death and rebirth again. This piece speaks to a conflict between intuition and intellectualism, which still resonates with me. But most of all, I see it as a documentation of my fear of letting go and learning to trust myself,” Stossel says.
This poem, at its core, is really about fear and trust. Letting go can be scary, but sometimes it's necessary to move forward. And in a world where we're bombarded with conflicting information and opinions, learning to trust ourselves is more important than ever. “The Death of a Former Self” is a psychedelic poem, sure, but it's also a reminder that sometimes the most profound experiences come from within.
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Stossel says, “I am so grateful that the ‘old me' doesn't have the control he used to have. I hope people see this video and also understand how hard he fought to not relinquish the driver's seat, and it was his time.”
You can listen to the poem in video form below.
“After these initial intense experiences, I was afraid that the skeptic in me would be gone; that I would move through the world trusting only my feelings and ignoring the Darwinian wisdom of years of human history that have shaped the structures that govern our world. That voice is not gone today; I now exercise much better discernment over when to listen to it,” Stossel continued.
The author shares that when he first encountered psychedelic medicines, he was surrounded by individuals who would frequently consume them in large amounts, about every couple of weeks, without showing much reverence for the intense or profound experience. He observed a lack of integration among them, which made him feel disheartened.
“I tend to be distrustful of those who approach psychedelics with that attitude. In some ways, this poem came through to me as a voice inside yelling, ‘Integrate!' which is a beautiful reminder, too,” the author says.
Needless to say, there are risks for consuming psychedelic substances. MAPS provides useful guidance on how to approach responsibly, which is crucial due to the associated risks.
“I want to thank Jonathan Guyader, Elsa Secco, and Entropico for bringing this poem to life visually,” Stossel says.
You can see more of his poetry videos here.