Alice - through Fire and Water

Or: Where is Wonderland?

A Book on Personal Development and on the Magic Realms of Human Intimacy

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"Loving Intimacy, what is that?," Alice often asked herself, when she left the therapy-room.

Her therapies had helped her in understanding the origins and patterns of her problems in that area - but the actual difficulties in her love-life remained, so she wasn't able to form a lasting relation with a man. Until…

Alice's quest for healing turns out to be a minor Odyssey with several set-backs - but she is single-minded and determined enough to stay on her chosen track. Step by step, she first finds competent professionals and later, some real friends, who all help and accompany her during her adventures in the worlds on the other side of the 'Looking Glass'.

This 'Looking Glass' grants Alice access to the outer and inner Land of Self-Healing and is the state-of-the-art, evidence-based Psycho-Therapeutic Medicine = ebPTM that applies Psycho-Active-Substances = PAS, to promote healing for old and complicated trauma as well.

Eventually, Alice and her friends - three couples altogether - wind up participating in 'Project Infinity', an MDMA- or 'Empathy'-supported research-study for couples, who are looking for healing or improvement for their often difficult and ailing relationships.

And finally, some real progress seems closer at hand than Alice would ever have dreamt possible…

If you're also interested in true fulfilment in your marriage or with your partner - witness the long and winding road that Alice and her friends are taking.

'Project-Infinity', the MDMA-supported couples therapy-study, really happened in the beginning of the 1980ies already - a time, when MDMA still was legal. The results, however, as good as they were, couldn't be published for decades, because of the anachronistic political taboo on Psycho-Active Substances = PAS.

Yet today, in 2018 and beyond, during the Global Psychedelic Renaissance, when MDMA is going to be applied in several countries in a big Phase-III-study for PTSD = Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder treatment, this book is in tune with the spirit of our time and could be just the right reader for you!

And if you'd like to help, you can support the re-integration of PAS as standard prescription medications in medicine and psychotherapy, by sending the information in the Open Letter at the end of the book to interested decision-makers.

And now: Enjoy reading all about the challenges Alice and her friends have to face, so they can heal themselves of old and anachronistic entanglements, taboo and trauma - in order to find the true Fountain of Youth at their own core and in their real Loving Intimacy as a free couple!

Reading Sample (pages 12 through 19)

The summer hums.
The afternoon makes lazy -
she played the piano's
fresh vitality.
Confused, she breathed
her new dress hazy -
while yearnig for
a sound reality.

Original German poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). Translated by the authors, the title 'Premonition' was added.

Alice - through Fire and Water
Or: Where is Wonderland?

In deep and heartfelt gratitude towards 'Lewis Carroll'*, the shy mathematic genius and author of the timeless children's books 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass'.

*The civil name of 'Lewis Carrol' was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898).

Preliminary comments and warning

The following novel is based on many case-reports, subsuming the experiences of numerous patients in the personalities of just a few. In reality, the cases portrayed took place during the last century, at the end of the 1970ies/ beginning of the 1980ies, when the use of MDMA and some related substances still was legal.
(MDMA = 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine)

During this therapeutic application of 'Empathy' - as MDMA is rightly called - the authors observed such strongly encouraging and effective results in single clients, groups and couples that they decided to present the data that had been gathered at the beginning of the 1980ies to a wider audience now - including a larger, MDMA-supported couples-therapy-study called 'Project Infinity'.

One might ask: Why only now, in 2018, after about 35 years - if this subject could have been discussed according to science and free of emotional bias. But that wasn't the case for a long time, and so we found it more realistic to wait.

But now, in 2018 / 19, at a time, which sees the Psychedelic Renaissance in full swing even at some universities - and while MAPS (see preface!) is preparing a 'phase-three-study' on MDMA-supported PTSD-treatment - we hope that society will treat these informations professionally and with good common sense.

Therefore, this novel wishes to inspire and foster scientific research and medical employment of suitable and pure Psycho-Active-Substances = PAS. This must not be interpreted as support for illegal - and dangerous! - substance abuse, which we strictly reject!

Instead, this book aims at removing irrational barriers, that obstruct PAS-research so far, and at ending a completely failed prohibition policy, in order to finally enable the urgently necessary access to all medically indicated PAS, particularly to MDMA or 'Empathy', in medicine and psychotherapy. This is the purpose of the following case-reports in the form of a novel.

Please note that the term: unconscient is used in this text (instead of the words: un- or subconscious), to describe processes in our personality, which are happening in parallel or 'below' our waking consciousness. Our unconscient houses major parts of our mind or psyche and is usually accessible only in dreams, during hypnosis - or whenever our more outward oriented 'knowing mind' shifts in the direction of our wider and inner awareness.

Alice - through Fire and Water

The ego is always a voice of denial.
Because it tends to maximize its own needs and - way too often - denies the needs of others.

The floods of refugees, Syrian and other, the bankrupting of Greece, the extreme poverty in slums, in famine and in war regions of this world are direct results of such a self-centered attitude in many decision-making people.

And our ego is so 'possessive' and invasive mainly, because our inner children are so often violated and gagged - which hurts all the time! But when we open our inner - or third - ear, we hear the loud and desperate cries of those imprisoned and unloved (inner children) quite clearly.

The beginning: Alice as a patient

For instance, there is this young woman who appears in our practice. She had to survive in a family of origin that was dominated by conflicts and violence. She tries to accent the professional and attractive side of her personality. She has completed university and embarked on a career in her chosen field, let's say industrial design, succeeding beyond all expectations at her job in the metal-finishing industry.

"I've made it!," she repeats several times.

There is a circle of good female friends also, one of them her 'best' friend, but - naming her problems now - she states: "I'm unable to establish a long-term relationship with a man. I meet them, we are together for a while - and sometimes it's very beautiful - but after a while they're all gone again! For instance Frieder, the last one: I still gave him the list for the day, we said goodbye as usual, but in the evening he had left with all his things!"

After further inquiry, a pattern emerges, which had recurred in her relationships so far: In the beginning, the couple frequently had a 'good sexuality', as the patient first reported. Only later she was able to speak about her problems in reaching an orgasm. After a while her partnerships had always cooled down, as she called it. "And as I'm scared of not getting out of this cold again, I made this appointment with you!"

What is indicated in such a case? Psychotherapy, certainly - especially since the patient also reports obsessions and a depressed mood. But what form of therapy?
Since this patient - in her mid-thirties - had completed a psychoanalysis (PA) - two to three hours per week; 250-300 hours in total - and two behavioral therapies (BT) - one hour per week; each 60-80 hours in total - without any tangible results concerning her primary problem, her prognosis seemed rather questionable.

Only by and by the patient 'conceded' that she had also benefitted from her analysis - by an older female psychologist - and from her behavioral therapies. She now understood her biography and her unconscient motives better, she reported. And her behavioral therapists - a female physician and a male psychologist - had strengthened her self-confidence, while they made it clear to her at the same time, how she was weaving a 'cocoon' around  herself and her partners with her obsessions - a multitude of checklists and control rituals.

After developing a game called 'cross spider or daddy longlegs?' with her therapist - in which she created fictional checklists for herself and others - some of her obsessions and fears subsided considerably.

When her therapist was away at conferences or on vacation, however, she suffered strong relapses. And during the last sessions of her therapy, it became apparent that she and her therapist had begun to fall in love with each other - and therefore they had discontinued therapy and ceased any other contact on 'rational grounds'. Both her therapist and herself had been single at the time, but they "just didn't feel good about the matter."

Therapist: "Even after ending that therapy?"

"Yes," she replies, my other behavioral therapist asked me exactly the same question."

But she still had't resolved her problems with her femininity, and she also "didn't want to ruin yet another relationship!"

Reading sample (pages 28 and 29)

Those fathers themselves mostly weren't allowed to show any pain, weakness or closeness during their childhood and therefore had to 'bury' their feelings and their empathy very early on in their lives; often even before their third birthday.

All that just to become a 'real man', or in other words: a conformist, an obedient killing machine, or production machine and 'ecstatic' consumer machine, conditioned to say 'Yes Sir!' and who, apart from that, often had very little say in his life.

Such fathers frequently unleash their rage and anger, including their sexual anger, on their wives and children. This uncontrolled fury, however, leaves festering wounds and unnecessarily constricting 'behavioural scars' on these 'broken home' family members, including the abusers.

But as they nearly always have repressed their own feelings - they often deny their violence and disavow their abusive behavior, when questioned by school-teachers or public authorities. And in many cases, sadly enough, they are even supported by the mothers of those abused children, fearing to lose their 'provider', coupled with their fears of this very 'provider'.

That's how it had been for Alice also. To add ridicule to injury, she later had been mocked and laughed at by her classmates for her allegedly cooked-up stories.

Despite that, Alice's actions - starting with tears and innuendos to teachers, then continued by a 'confession' in the principal's office, whom she told about the abuse - had succeeded to some degree - her father abstained from her after that. And she had even managed to protect her younger sister from their father - who already was 'trying it' again! - thus keeping her from a fate similar to her own.

Alice, however, remained deeply suspicious towards all men - and so she developed her sexual problems, plus deep-seated doubts regarding her ability to give and receive love. When she had heard that the school-principal had not believed her, but her parents - with her mother lying, to cover the father's abuse - 'What would people or the neigbours say?' - she had lost the last ounce of trust in her parents and withdrew completely.

And so, these events weren't allowed to be true, because they just couldn't be true. Unfortunately, situations like in Alice's case still are far too common - both in our 'western civilizations' and worldwide.
The role of women in Islam, for instance, often directly opposes the example of Chadidscha's and Mohammed's relationship. Because at first, Chadidscha had been Mohammed's employer, when he, as a young man, had reliably and successfully directed the trading caravans of this young and rich widow.

Reading sample - Alice wakes up (pages 50 through 53)

Alice: "What do you recommend,  after all this time and all my efforts so far?!"

Sam: "Perhaps I have an idea. In case that fits for you." And he started to tell Alice about the therapeutic potential of MDMA, a substance, which was legal in the early 1980ies, and gave her a photocopied application form for a group.
He warned her: "No matter how you decide, please keep this strictly confidential, as the legal situation can change any time! And listen to you inner voice! If it says "NO!", pay heed to that! But the MDMA experience is - almost always - very healing and heart opening. And you can 're-live' old trauma much easier in this fear-free, compassionate space - and often find new solutions."

Alice: "That does sounds pretty good - but I'll have to think about it and perhaps talk it over with my boyfriend?"

Sam: "How does he feel about therapy in general - and specifically, about this kind of therapy?"

Alice: "Well, I'm not really sure … but in this crisis we're in at the moment, we need a new impulse! Are you going to be part of this group?"

Sam: "Yes, I'll be one of the assistants."

Alice: "That would make it easier for me. Fine, I'll be in touch." After this, Alice went through a phase of intense ambivalent feelings, asking herself: "How safe is this?" "Can something bad happen?" "Will this do me any good at all?"

During the next session, Sam told her: "In very rare cases, there can be an anxiety-reaction, which usually can be resolved by a therapeutic approach. But in your case, I don't think this will happen, as I know you.
Besides, it says on the application form already, that there can be a 'low' in the mood, about three to four days after the Mediation Retreat, which evens out soon again, in virtually all cases."

From today's point of view - 2018/19 etc. - according to web-information, 5-HTP = Griffonia can be used both on the day before and after the experience to replenish the serotonin stores in the brain! 5-HTP is available at pharmacies with a prescription - small amounts suffice: 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)

Sam continued: "Regarding the benefits, as for instance the timeless and fearless space, it's up to you to create your own shamanic journey - within the rules of the group - mostly with your headphones plus eye-pads on - and to open up towards  your inner self; or by writing some insights down - or by painting a picture. But mainly, as I mentioned earlier, listen to your heart! Then you'll know what's good for you."

Still insecure, Alice tries to talk about the group with her 'boyfriend'. He responds with a markedly negative reaction and scolds Alice badly, insisting that 'drugs' are a most evil thing. Eventually, the conflict escalated, prompting a beneficial separation in the end.

After Alice and her ex-boyfriend had returned the keys to their apartments to each other, Alice felt better already. - "How good that I can decide by myself again, when the lights are turned on or off! - Heavenly!"

While doing some research in large libraries, where she gained access to articles and books written by Anne and Alexander Shulgin, Leo Zeff, Claudio Naranjo, John Lilly, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary and others, she also found a 'prophecy' by Sigmund Freud, who had predicted the future discovery of Psycho Active Substances = PAS for psychotherapy as early as 1925 and 1938.

Considering all this evidence plus the encouragement by some good friends, who had experienced 'Empathy' already, Alice mustered the courage to complete the application form - in which Alice named Sam as her contact person - and put it in the mail. The Meditation Retreat, as it also was called, took place in a beautifully refurbished farmhouse with shining wooden floorboards and parquet flooring in most rooms.

Reading Sample (page 62)

"It's best for you now to go back to the horizontal position," her escort suggests smiling, but with a secure grip.

The group room seems larger and brighter to Alice now - and she sees some people working with the doctors and therapists - and wonders aloud: "What are they doing? It's as beautiful here as in a church at Easter!"

Her escort explains: "Some people need a little support at the beginning, but this will clear up soon."

Then, quite baffled, Alice sees a patient on the floor writhing and shouting: "There's fear and pressure everywhere!"

A doctor and Sam take care of him; the leader advises: "Be your fear and this pressure - and contract all your muscles to feel that!"

The man complies, then the utters: "A bit better, but …."

Doctor: "OK, we'll be the pressure for you now, by shoving these pillows against you. But you can say 'stop' at any time, and we'll let go - OK?"

Patient: "All right."

Sam and the leader put several cushions on the man and press down …… "I need more pressure!," he calls out.

Reading Sample (page 111)

Finally, she sees inner images again. She is walking along a beach at the ocean, following footprints in the sand. There's a place on the beach, where an old skull is sitting. She passes it slowly. Then she remembers her flight-dream and looks up. She realizes that moon and sun are visible together in an evening sky; the moon is about half-way full. Suddenly, a shower of shooting-stars blooms across the sky, and a big, light-coloured bird flies above her from left to right.

While Alice still is seeing the after-images of those brighty shining meteors, she now perceives the outlines of the African Continent, as if it was projected on the embers of the sky above. She feels how she is flying towards this sky-borne Africa, zooming ever closer, until some light-reflecting bodies of water and a beautiful and huge city appear in her field of vision.

Over this city - and illuminated by some beams of light from the ground - several colourful, slowly moving blimps are trailing banners with some words on them. By now, Alice is near enough to read them: "Welcome to PANGAIA, the new and true Capital of the World!"

A jolt goes through Alice: "Where am I here - and in what age??," she murmurs to herself. Then, she can just turn in the nick of time, to avoid colliding with another 'rainbow-blimp' that also shows a festive banner, this time simply saying: "Enjoy the INTERSTELLAR VIBES of PANGA!"

Reading Sample (page 197 and 198)

"Je n'aime pas Muuulled Wiiiine!" - "I don't like Muuulled Wiiiine!," Paulette remarked, as she not only got red cheeks from the strong mulled wine but also some problems with her motorial coordination.

"You weren't listening to my warning!," Alice said giggling: "But don't worry, it'll be better soon!"

After everyone had sat down at a table with a nice view over the Christmas market, Hugo ordered a double cappuccino, a glass of water and a moist towel for Paulette and fanned her. "Ça va, mon amour?" - "Are you alright, my dear?" he asked.

Paulette started laughing and replied: "Bon, that Muuulled Wiiine doesn't seem so bad now!"

And on hearing this, the whole group began laughing also - until the ordered hot drinks and different cakes sat on the table, including 'Tiramisu'.

"The cake is good," Hugo said and dabbed Paulette's forehead with the cool towel.

She took another sip of her cappuccino and said: "Alors, why this secret meeting? We didn't come 'ere only to buy presents, drink coffee, eat cake and swap memories. At least I 'ope so, as we've got a lot to do!," she explained, giving Hugo a bright smile.

"You are definitely right," Magdalena said, "but we didn't want to talk about it on the phone." She took a brief look around while she said that. Fortunately, there was Blue-Grass music in the background - and a group celebrating someone's birthday created a noise, which made it possible to talk at their table without someone listening in.

Thomas nodded to encourage her, so Magdalena continued: "The true reason for our meeting is…"

But suddenly a champagne cork exploded from its bottle at the birthday table next to them, ricocheted from the ceiling and landed directly in Alice's hair.

"If that isn't an original omen!," she said, pulling the cork out of her hair. Then she walked over to the person standing over there, the maybe 18 years old 'birthday boy', who still had the bottle in his hands but was too consternated to pour the champagne.

"Watch out for your aiming, young man!," Alice warned, brandishing the cork, "And happy birthday!" She held her hand out, gave him a smile and said: "I am Alice!"

The young man needed a few moments to realize what was happening, before he roughly shook her hand and replied: "I'm Jimmy! Thanks a lot! I'm so sorry for the whole situation; I didn't mean to hit you!"

Reading Sample
Alice gets some advice from Magdalena (page 202 and 203)

"The group leaders asked us to only pass on the key points. You will receive the rest of the information as soon as you sign up; you've got their phone-number, don't you?,"  Magdalena replied and continued:

"The point of the Empathy-experience for couples is - to be in the Inner space, which we all know quite well by now, together as a couple, but this time without any group or therapists!
Each couple will get an appropriate dose by the doctors; perhaps with Booster, if it is necessary. After that, the couple can enjoy a cozy afternoon and evening at home, usually on a Saturday, with or without sexuality, just as they want.

And by 'suitable couples', the group leaders mean that the participants must be healthy, especially their cardio-vascular system, but also their entire organism. In particular, they must be mentally strong and stable to take part!

Thomas and I were both examined by MDs, and we were also asked quite thoroughly about our families of origin and about our current situation as a couple - also by means of some questionnaires, including one titled: 'Love, intimacy and joy of living', which we found pretty original - until we saw the questions...

Reading Sample (page 254 and 255)

"Tres joli!" - "How nice!," Paulette sighed, "what a day, what a light! Since the Empathy- experience, I've got a completely different look at the world - so much more open and direct. Except for the landing days. But we knew that before already. And the multivitamins are 'elping." (A/N: From today's point of view - 2018/ 2019 etc. - 5HTP/ Griffonia might be useful,  according to the Internet).

"It certainly was worth it for us. And what remains is what counts - since that week-end, there simply is more light and love in our life - ou quoi, mon amour chou-chou? Or what do you think, my dear?"

"Oh, oui - sure," Hugo replied, "c'etait vraiment phenomenal, cet amour - it was really phenomenal, to find all this love in us!"

"And that's exactly what we're thinking," Alice said and looked at the circle of friends. "The 'how to' is still to been seen, but we have decided - as a hobby or so - to engage ourselves for an improvement in the research and use of PAS = Psycho-Active-Substances, next to our professional duties.

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Premonition 12
Alice - through Fire and Water/ Where is Wonderland? 13
Preliminary comments and warning 13
Alice - through Fire and Water 16
The beginning: Alice as a patient 16
Alice wakes up51
Alice learns a thing or two74
Alice gets help with an important decision98
Alice visits Pangaia110
Alice finds friends114
Alice and George122
Alice and the three couples135
Alice hears about an amazing healing approach147
Alice and the three couples make a new plan181
Alice gets some advice from Magdalena203
Alice travels home225
Alice and her friends go beyond238
Alice goes boating with the three couples253
Alice explores a complex labyrinth of numbers263
Alice sets sail for life278
A last warning288


Detailed Online-Information on this book at the German National Library; see website below.
Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek: Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über abrufbar.

Authors: Gabriele Breucha & Anselm Keussen,
©opyright 2018 with Dr. med. Anselm Keussen.

Pictures on the front and back cover: Photographies of
Indian Silk-Paintings depicting Radha and Krishna bought by the authors in India in 1992.
©opyright 2018 for all pictures on and in this book with
Dr. med. Anselm Keussen.

Translated from the German original: "Und was macht die Liebe?", ISBN 978-3-00-044982-6, ©opyright 2015 with Dr. med. Anselm Keussen, chapter: 'Alice - Durch Feuer und Wasser' pp 584-681
by Gabriele Breucha & Anselm Keussen and Friends.

Production and Publishing House / Herstellung und Verlag:
BoD - Books on Demand, Norderstedt
ISBN 978-3-7528-4982-0
Available as print- and e-book at:

No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored by any method without prior permission in writing. All rights reserved.

Please note: The data in this book have been compiled as diligently as possible; but no guarantee can be given on any specific information contained in this text. Also, this book does not replace professional medical or psychotherapeutic counsel or treatment.

The only intention of this text is to contribute towards the long overdue recognition of the healing potential of many Psycho-Active Substances = PAS in medicine and psychotherapy in all human societies.