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Level 1 trips can be enlightening

This is just a small corner of existence


 I took about 0.66 grammes of psilocybe semilanceata last night at 18.20. They had pretty much worn off by about 23.30. I think that even such a low dose can be very interesting and enlightening. I would be quite happy doing that amount once every couple of weeks for exploration.

 First some background. I'm 39 years old and have had a couple of mushroom experiences in the last few weeks thanks to quite coincidentally finding a very good field of mushrooms near me, though I am sure there are plenty of them growing up here (in the north-east of Scotland) that I just haven't been looking out for. Before finding these it was fourteen years since I had done any mushrooms or acid, or even smoked cannabis on a regular basis.

 This was my third time of eating from this batch of mushrooms. I picked over two hundred mushrooms and dried them out pretty well following instructions from this site. I've been sharing them with my girlfriend who had never had mushrooms or any psychoactive substance before. (She only took very small amounts the first couple of times she ate them. I thought she hadn't had the full experience so she then did a Level 3 trip while I stayed sober during which she didn't recognise her hands as her own and mistook me for the young Buddha. I think she got the full picture of what mushrooms can be like then.) 

 So I've been waiting for an opportunity to eat some more mushrooms but, as I'm much older than when I used to take hallucinogenic drugs quite irresponsibly, I wanted to do it when I had some space and time to really enjoy it. My girlfriend is away this weekend and I don't have much on, so I thought this would be a good opportunity. But with responsibilities like Christmas coming up and work and I'm a part-time student as well, I felt the smaller dose would be more appropriate.

 So to the trip. It was Saturday evening and it's cold outside this time of year so I planned to just stay in my room and I had Baraka and The Fall downloaded to my pc to watch while on the mushrooms. I took the mushrooms and the second I had swallowed them decided I wanted to play GWAP online (GWAP is Games With A Purpose - you play with a partner online to guess mystery words). It's funny how the plan can often change the second you eat the mushrooms. Before long I could feel that I wasn't performing very well on the game so I logged out (don't want anybody else to suffer from my bemushroomed state of mind), and went to bed with my clothes on to keep warm (the last mushroom trip I took a few of weeks ago really had me feeling cold) and watch Baraka.

 Watching Baraka during the most intense part of the trip was mostly okay.I chose to watch it because I knew there would be no words, and it would be very visual but also very human.  Watching the film it seemed familiar I couldn't decide if I had seen it before. I still can't be sure. There always seems to be a moment when the world just shatters and my mind panics even on a Level 1 trip. My biggest freakout this time was a scene in the movie that appears to be looking out of a window on a cityscape in New York. Suddenly everything seemed very cubic. Everything was in boxes. This seemed especially weird because on my previous mushroom trip I had flicked through a book and been looking at an M. C. Escher drawing I had never seen before that showed a universe of cubes linking up into infinity. I had turned away from the book and noticed how cube-like that lampshade was. The scene in Baraka that had seemed just a little too cubic for me was followed immediately by a screaming Kabuki man. This picture held a bit too long for me and it was then I panicked and turned my attention away from the film. I didn't realise quite why this freaked me out until the end of the film. There is quite of lot unpleasant stuff in Baraka actually to be watching it on a trip. There was the fluffy chicks in a factory that had their beaks cauterised, there was the endless panning over photos of Auschwitz victims, and there was the floor-to-ceiling skulls of Khmer Rouge victims. And I had chosen to watch the film because I thought it was going to be light and easy going! 

 Anyway, at the end of the film watching the credits I realised why I had freaked out a bit during the boxy city scene followed by the screaming Kabuki man. This was the special edition and I believe the film-maker had put in a reference to the disaster at the World Trade Center and 9/11. 

 Anyway, during the movie I had been getting the glimmering of words in my head. It's funny how words just sort of come to you on a trip. You experience them differently. There is a bunch of words which I can't really speak of or pronounce that I do hear most every trip (something like scritchy-scribbledy-scratchy-stain-zutshi-smack...?). But in this case I could understand the words - 'Child', 'Doesn't', 'Understand'. Perhaps I've been listening to Terrence McKenna too much, but I really get the feeling that the 'machine elves of hyperspace' are always just around the corner when I am on mushrooms. That there really is someone else out there, outside of this reality. They are there all the time and ready for communication at any instant, but polite enough to stay away if I wish to hold on to my sanity as I had been doing on this trip. 

 Anyway, I felt like I wanted to go online and find a video to watch to do with my course of study to program my mind while I was in this state. Unfortunately I didn't feel up to doing much searching online in this state and I got as far going onto Google video and seeing there a recommended video which I decided to watch next. It was an edition of Red Dwarf that involves time travel. Lister is feeling like a loser so goes back in time to give himself an invention that will ensure his wealth and fame. Rimmer then scuppers this idea by also going back in time to give the invention to himself. Interesting how a program about going back in time and giving oneself information had wormed its way into my reality while actually on a substance which makes you believe that such things are possible. I mean, when you are tripping time travel is possible! It feels like you are actually getting a message from yourself in the future, or from outside of time at least.

 Next, I got back on the plan and watched The Fall. This is a great movie that I really enjoyed. And again, even though I was no longer hitting my head on the ceiling of reality (ie, no longer at the intensest part of the mushroom trip) there were some interesting synchronicities in the movie. Firsty, there is a strong theme of seeing the world through a child's eyes. This kind of picked up on my earlier thoughts of 'Child. Doesn't. Understand.'. There is also the idea of how much of human reality is based in stories. We are story-telling creatures. (Not just in or within movies, but everything in our everyday reality is just stories that we are telling ourselves and each other, about our work, our roles, the things we are doing.) And the most interesting coincidences in this film were a couple of sequences that I had already seen in Baraka - there were the super-green steps of rice fields in Bali, and the  Balinese 'chek-chek' singers, and there was also the whirling dervishes. Surely the guy who made The Fall must've seen Baraka.

 Overall, I think that I would very much like to do mushrooms again, and just have to admit that there is always going to be a scary part to coming up. There is limitless timeless multiverses to explore and understand, and surely just small glimpses of them can help in operating in this tiny singular reality.  I hope so. 

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