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One Thousand Tormented Lives
My experiences with Salvia Divinorum are more extensive with than that of any other substance. I would say around 100 experiences would be a safe estimate. These ego-destroying trips are immensely powerful, but I will describe here the most intensely overwhelming experience I have ever had with salvia, or any other substance for that matter.
After salvia had begun to be controlled in Mississippi I spent quite a while scouring the internet finding the cheapest, most potent salvia I could find. I ended up buying one gram of 40x and one gram of 80x for a very reasonable price. The salvia arrived in my P.O. Box a week later. A week after I received the salvia I had gotten curious enough of its claims to such extreme potency for the meager price that I was charged.
So, after I had finished class for the day I went back to my room and dug my trusty bong out of my bottom drawer. I went to the huge communal bathroom and filled a cup with water to fill my bong with. Back in my room, I cracked the back window facing the woods, filled my bong and packed the bowl with the 80x salvia. I turned on "Becoming Insane" by Infected Mushroom on the stereo, sub-woofers booming. I knew that the synesthesia that came with the salvia trance would be greatly amplified by the music, but, had I known the extreme condition I was about to enter I may have left the music out of the equation.
The techno pulsing through the room, I bent down out of the window and put my butane lighter's flame to the packed salvia. As the salvia started to burn I began my first huge inhale. The blue flame of the torch incinerated the salvia at the extreme temperature necessary to get
the full effect. I didn't burn up the entire bowl on the first breath so I let a little smoke out of my nose and went right back to breathing in the rest of the plant's smoke. I finished burning all the salvia right at the beginning of my second breath. I held the smoke in my lungs and noted the peculiar and familiar taste of salvia. It was just as I was making this mental note of the plant's taste that I was snatched away from everything.
This world was destroyed- not just as it exists to my perceptions- but from my memory and my understanding. This is a typical effect that salvia has to varying quantitative and qualitative degrees, but what I was going through at this
point was completely beyond the scope of anything I could comprehend or adequately explain.
My ego was entirely destroyed, as were all my memories of this existence. As the salvia overtook me I had not the slightest comprehension of my surroundings, my memories, or anything associated with reality; this was as far removed from the realm of reality I had ever been, and without any error, ever will be. The total loss of ego controls was beyond any possibility of self awareness- a sensation I find hard to believe enjoyable in any aspect. Far beyond the extreme ego destruction was the sheer terror involved in this trip.
As mentioned earlier, my reality was utterly diminished. In my dissociated state I somehow could see my room and what was around me, but these surroundings did not register as any form of my reality- yet my body went on existing in it unbeknownst to my mind. It was as if my conscious mind was completely overtaken by this new realm of insanity and some subconscious realms of my mind kept my body aware of its surroundings- even though, in my mind, I had never even known that physical reality. Where I was now, in this egoless eternity, I had always been, and would always exist.
The first thing that happened was my body exploded into an infinite number of particles- and Aristotle had been correct- the atoms in my body could be split indefinitely, into and infinite regression of smaller and smaller pieces. My body had been split and scattered all across my new universe, but my mind remained its own entity. All the particles from my being began to be violently pulled in a circular rotation. I found myself asking, "Who am I? What am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why am I here?"- all the questions so innate in man. I explored my existence until I arrived at my first conclusion- I was one of an infinite number of yellow buckets with no purpose unto ourselves, existing only to serve the purpose of whoever was using us. I became intensely depressed- I had no purpose, no need for a will in the first place- all my actions were predetermined by some force or entity that had no intention of ever understanding my struggles or emotions. I moved from depression to outrage and anger. My inability to control my state of existence coupled with my knowledge of my inner will conflicted with one another and was altogether painful. I asked, "What is this thing that is dictating my future and my purpose? Why is it so distant?" I grew to hate this omnipotent entity: "Why would it give me this awareness of my will and existence, yet dictate my fate? This curse- my sense of self ownership- must be the cruelest of any punishment if I am not to exercise it%u2026 Only something entirely malevolent would play such a sadistic game%u2026"
Yet my life went on and on- eon after eon- the passing of time accelerating all the while. My pitiful little existence as this yellow bucket was finally ended; I simply became no more. Within an instant I was reborn, though. Right back into the pathetic life of a bucket caught in some extreme external force of torsion, whipping me about in huge, swift circles, still being entirely controlled by this unknown tyrant. My memories from my previous life still intact, I began to fight back against this uncaring deity. Meanwhile, my physical body went on acting in reality. It went over and stopped the pulsing techno-trance, which was a great relief to my conscious existence, far off in its own realm, going on as a rebellious bucket%u2026 As I made apparent my desire to rebel and take my existence into my own control, the force of the vast, looping spirals tightened into a diameter of about a washing machine tumbler. I was shaken, but not deterred- I wanted to live for my own purposes.
Time passed ever more rapidly, with my deaths and rebirths repeating at an alarming pace. Depression of a deeper, more bitter, self-loathing variety became more pronounced with each rebirth. I was left with yet another failed attempt to claim my life as my own with each successive life; but I was making progress and would not simply accept my subservience. The deity began to communicate to me, "Why would you even want to serve some purpose of your own devices? You don't even have any legitimate purposes of your own! What would you live for if it was for you to decide? Nothing." I understood the what I was being told. I was a silly little rebellious bucket without a cause. Immediately I resolved in my mind to find my own purposes and aims in my life- once I had claimed it from the exceedingly wise, albeit evil, deity.
I continued to fight off the overwhelming hold on my independence. The atoms in my body continued to be ripped and pulled in every direction, spiraling out of control. At last, after 999 failures in as many lives, I took my life as my own, finally fading back into the sober little life I had left just 8 minutes ago. My head was still reeling. The stark gravity of just how realistic that salvia induced existence had been was almost crippling. I immediately sat down to regain my hold on reality.
Firmly seated in my chair I was very near trembling. Back into my comfy little human existence, the overwhelming level of realness of what I had just experienced rocked my mind. Though I had been in that dissociated state that salvia sometimes brings close to a hundred times, never had I been confronted with an experience so entirely indistinguishable from a common existence, yet so incredibly alien. Reflecting on how extraordinarily bizarre the trip had been, the fact that it had seemed so completely real became all the more astonishing; as I mentioned, while I existed in that state nothing that happened seemed odd- it was simply my existence. But now, sober, the realness of the trip was petrifying.
The afterglow of the intense experience lasted about another 30 minutes, with me stuck in awe of that plant's power; I couldn't think straight or think of anything else. I was sweating profusely and breathing heavily as if I had ran for miles. Only weeks later did days start passing without my mind wandering back to the trip at least occasionally. I even felt a certain level of anxiety for a few days- something that none of my other drug experiences have ever induced.
Though terrifying and utterly unenjoyable, the experience was not without any positive aspects; thinking back on the trip it is easy for even a third party to detect the religious context. I had long waged an internal war against my bitterness and angst towards the Christian God and those who most adamantly thrust Him upon me. I was the most outspoken non-Christian in my all Christian academy. The faculty and staff there fabricated outright lies and treated me very unjustly, and engaged in all other matters of underhanded, despicable behaviors all based on the fact that I did not claim their beliefs. Beginning as simply dismissing that religion and not practicing it as my own, I was alienated and agitated (by the administration, not most of the students) to the point where I had become internally militant towards Christianity. I did not externally express my anger with any of this out of fear of further agitating the already near-harassing condition I was stuck in. Still, I was filled with a sense of injustice that I could only soothe by privately researching and destroying the Christian philosophy; I became exceedingly educated on not just Christianity's and Yahweh's bloody history, but its poorly constructed theology and philosophy too. By doing this I could assure myself that those pushing this meritless philosophy upon me, and completely ignoring its behavioral doctrine in the process, were uneducated, archaic and simple-minded. All the same, I was filled with silent rage.
When I graduated from high school I immediately moved on and dismissed all that I had been pummeled with while there- I could finally live by the philosophy I had constructed (piecing together utilitarian and pragmatic ideas with more post-modern and humanist ones I found necessary to truly benefit modern society- and not a small bit of youthful "carpe diem"). But, as much as I wanted to live by my own rules, which I believed superior to that of what I was being indoctrinated with, I was truly without a legitimate path on which to exercise this philosophy.
Almost a year after graduating, I was still in the same stalemate with my life I had been in high school. I had plans and goals for the future- but they were very poorly constructed and ill-conceived. In my day to day life this inner crisis was simply unpronounced- I was genuinely happy at that time; yet, I knew that someday this happiness would be taken from me by the world outside unless I could resolve a solid plan for my future.
This mind-blowing experience with salvia, I believe, was a simple amplification of what I had been suppressing in my subconscious all along: "You have your freedom of will- now, what will you do with it? You wanted it so bad- now you're going to squander it? Would you have been better off if you had never pushed yourself intellectually and remained unquestioning, following what you've been told- just taking it at face value?"