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Oceans, Insight, Oaks and Empathy
A month or so after my first experience with mescaline my friend D made his way up to my home town in Mississippi to stay a couple of days with another friend or mine, C. C's parents had gone out of town for the weekend for something I can't remember. So, we had the house to ourselves for the weekend- his parents, being flower children, of course would've had no qualms with our psychonautics, but having them gone left us room for greater creativity. C's house was on the campus of the high school we had all attended.
D arrived after nightfall with the bottle of mescaline tablets that we had gotten from the moon about a month earlier. I paid him twenty five dollars for the tablet (five more than I had paid for the first one) and took it soon afterwards. D also took one. Then, as is the case with mescaline, we waited. And waited%u2026
A few hours into the wait D and I began feeling the MDMA-like bodily sensations that mescaline gives. We just sat and talked about old memories from high school and so forth; we also conversed about the effects the mescaline was having: about how easily new ideas formed and even painful topics were easy to address and examine. The question struck us as to why couldn't we, and all people, simply feel this good, this weightless and empathetic, this tranquil and happy, all the time; seeing as how our motor skills were not in the least impaired we wondered why this state of mind and body could not have been the norm- why god or evolution, whichever, couldn't have made us this way all of the time. The ease of conversation was wonderful, with every topic drenched in empathy.
The time came when we agreed that the psychedelic effects of the drug should be starting. Remembering how extraordinary the mirror had been on my first mescaline trip, I went to the bathroom to see if the mirror would have the same effect. I was happy to see that it did, but not to the same degree. After a few minutes in the mirror I went back into the kitchen and sat at the small, round table in the center. It was just as Cameron asked, "You trippin' yet, man?" that the trip actually began.
My head rested in my hands, elbows propped on the table, the wood-grain on the brown table began to flow away to my right. I began to laugh hysterically at the wondrous sight- the wood-grain flowing across the table like a brown river, undulating like an ocean.
C and D asked me what was going on and I told them about the table and how beautiful it was. They agreed with my assessment- shit twas truly badass.
The house full of cigarette smoke and the weather outside very agreeable, we decided to go into the yard for some fresh air. Stepping outside was like entering a new world; the flora wasn't just alive- it was living.
I lied down under the oak tree growing in C's yard. Looking up at the tree's branches, they began to grow before my eyes. The branches stretched higher and further out, sprouting new stems and leaves along the way. The tree kept growing, taller and taller, breaking into the stratosphere of the night sky. I lied there, awestruck, narrating the event to D and C.
We all got up and went back into the house. D and I split another capsule. C turned the TiVo to a Lewis C.K. special and D and I blew multi-colored smoke rings. Turning our attention the TV I noticed the Christmas tree lights dancing around the tree- which seemed to grow just as the oak outside had; although I could clearly tell the tree was the same size and shape the entire time- because of the walls, furniture and ceiling remaining in their static positions- it all the same appeared to grow and expand.
The curtains and the walls rippled and quivered like gently lapping tides. Intricate patterns swirled and evolved, changing into different colors, growing bigger, then shrinking, rotating on their axis's in every direction.
This went on for an hour or two, watching the comedy special and the vibrant patterns play off each other, the three of silently competing in an unspoken smoke ring blowing contest.
We spent the rest of the night reminiscing and conversing over the aspects of the high mescaline gives, particularly the feeling of insight it brings. The analogy of having the brain of a baby struck me; under the influence of mescaline we were allowed to turn off all of the learned filters and biases that had come to clog our minds and prevent us from gaining any further insight or enjoyment from those things with which we had come the most familiar. Whereas in a sober mind these filters, accumulated over years of unconscious judgment, are always on, preventing any deeper thought or appreciation of quotidian experiences, mescaline can tear down these filters, leaving our brains like that of a baby's: simply absorbing everything around us, ready to learn, accept and evaluate instead of stubbornly rejecting all but what we already know. This is what makes me regard mescaline as such a highly attractive substance.
My second mescaline trip was much more pleasant and much less intense than the first, though much less remarkable. Even though I in fact ingested more on the second occasion there are numerous factors that need to be considered. Firstly, and most importantly I believe, was the fact that on the second trip I had been maintaining a regular diet. The first time I had been fasting for the past 48 hours, leaving my body wide open to absorb larger quantities of mescaline. I do not mean to say that the higher absorption is entirely responsible for the increased effects; the fact that I was aware of my fasting may have well played just as large, or larger, role is exaggerating the trip. Being aware of the fact that my fast would indeed increase the mescaline's effects would have certainly increased the effects further in itself. This aspect of preconceived expectations play into the third difference I mention between the trips.
The second difference in the two trips was that on the first trip I had consumed other substances than just the mescaline, most notably the marijuana. Having smoked marijuana, my sober mind was made all the further distant and my frame of reality cloudier. This, no doubt, made it more difficult for me to distinguish reality from illusion. While I believe that smoking marijuana increased the intensity of the experience, I do not believe this to have been a wholly bad thing. The negativity, I believe, came from the third difference: my setting.
My second trip was in a much, much more pleasant environment, completely absent of negative energies. These things combined, I believe, were the cause of the vastly different levels of intensity and enjoyment in the two trips.