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The Awakening

Tree Hugs & The Ground Tunnel

It has been over seven years and many new experiences since my first trip, but it still lives with me to this day. Now I feel it's time to share.

I grew up in a cookie cutter town, with a monochromatic, fear-driven population. I felt like I was one of the few constantly seeking adventure, yearning to escape to new places and find my people. So when I got a chance to visit a perspective college of my friend's in upstate Vermont, I jumped at the chance.

To make the trip an experience, we decided to invite a few more friends to go camping and try mushrooms.

So we all packed into the car and went on our way. After we toured the campus, yadda yadda yadda, we found the campsite and got settled in. We set up the tents, stoked the fire, and settled in to a lunch of peanut butter-shroom sandwiches. I trusted that my more experienced friends had given me the correct amount for a first timer and chowed down on a sandwich filled with over an eighth of very potent mushrooms.

After we finished, we took a walk to the rusting playground at the front of the campground. We were the only campers there so it was nice being able to roam free. I sat down on the swing and asked how long it usually takes to set in. My friend looked over and simply said, "When you think you're peaking, it's only beginning." I let that settle in for a bit and then it hit me. The purest laughter just erupted out of me and wouldn't stop. This started a chain reaction and within minutes all five of us were weeping from laughing so hard. We then decided to head back to our camp site.

On our way I started to feel a bit intoxicated. Really relaxed and calm. Everyone else went off on their own adventure and I decided to sit by the fire in a chair that utterly engulfed me when I sat down in it. i zoned out for a bit and then noticed there was a presence near me. Nothing to be worried about, but I decided to look up from the ground, and there before me stood a huge tree on the river bank. Its branches were bare and wriggled far away from its trunk. And then the branches began to engulf me. Within second (by this point I had lost all sense of time) I was encased by the tree branches. I believe I may have started to talk to the tree, but my friend came over to check in with me and I snapped back to some sense of human reality.

When he went on his way again, I looked out to the field behind me and the image I saw will forever be the most intense visual I have ever experienced. The entire field, with mountains in the background, was blooming and unblooming with thousands of white flowers. And with every bloom the sun would rise and with every unbloom the moon would rise. This rotation continued for some time , and then I noticed my friend standing to the right of the field looking down into a stream. I went over to her and noticed she kept gleefully proclaiming, "The trout is out! The trout is out!" I looked over to the stream, and sure enough, I saw rainbow fish jumping all the way down stream.

I walked back over to the tent with the rest of my friends and went in. The tent became a sort of breathing organism with veins and liquid running all the way down its sides. It was a really magical place to be. My friend had lent me a pair of bright florescent socks, which wriggled and danced as my feet moved. And on a lucky whim, we had stopped into a dollar store on our way up for some peanut butter, and I had snatched up a rainbow koosh ball to play with which ended up becoming the most AMAZING organism. We named it Bill and he stretched and played with us in the tent for the rest of our trip.

Eventually the girls decided to adventure to the bathroom located on the other side of the campground at the peak of our trip. The walk to there and back felt like eons. I could only place my feet one foot directly in front of the other and I was extremely distracted my the mountains in front of me, which looked like a pop-up card. When I got to the bathroom, the floors looked like breathing moss and then turned into swampy ground when I was leaving.

When we got back to the site, the boys were playing with a neon green frisbee. Another group of people came to the site, but I thought they were invading our space and went back inside the tent alone. From there the world completely collapsed on itself. Different realities opened up and even though i hadn't previously understood what this meant, the concept of different realities became completely understandable. I also had the overwhelming sensation of universal connectedness. This understanding happened for a time, and then unfortunately things turned for the worst. 

The tent was no longer a safe haven. I felt panic stricken and was spiraling into nothingness. My entire world felt cold and wet and black. I felt that if I took my own life then I would simply die, fall into nothingness, and then be reborn again into the same nothingness. I had this gut wrenching visualization over and over and over again. At some point I remember the visualization and sensation of falling through the ground into an endless tunnel, and that's when my friend came into the tent and pulled my face away from the pillow. I had aparently been nearly suffocating, face down into my pillow. And then I reallized the entire inside of the tent was sopping wet. It had been raining our whole trip (over 8 hours) and non of us had noticed. Now coming down, we realized we had to drive all the way back because our belongings were soaked through. So still tripping, we managed to get the tent and supplies back in the car (I wasn't much help seeing that I thought all the poles in the tent were bent).

I came all the way down on our 4 hour long drive back. I slept in my friend's dorm and didn't feel all mentally there for many days after.

That was my first time being affected by any substance. Even though the coming down experience was terrifyingly horrific, I have always looked on my experience as an awakening. The general acceptance of different realities and universal connectedness I got from that trip has shaped my life path to a better one today. And now that I'm exploring new insights into perception and have actually felt true happiness, I have to thank mushrooms for opening up my mind. I don't think I would have ever gotten to such a peaceful and wholesome place so quickly without them.

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