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Reader Note: This is a composite of two separate mushroom trips, both of which were 4 gram trips in a natural setting. I blended the two experiences together, and wrote them as if they were a single trip because I feel it gives the reader a more comprehensive understanding of the mushroom experience.
Approximately 20 minutes after consuming four dried grams of psilocybe cubensis mushrooms, I arrived on my bicycle at the entrance of a rather large public park. I secured my bike, then entered the park, carrying with me a backpack containing several bottles of water, some fruit, a notepad, and an MP3 player. As I entered the park my legs began to feel weak, so I begun looking for a place to rest. After a fairly extensive survey of the area available to me, I eventually sat beneath a tree which I had selected for its seclusion, and aesthetic beauty. Perfect branch placement, great leaf color and distribution, no discernible imperfections in its structure. It was an astonishingly gorgeous tree, beautiful in every respect. I felt privileged to sit beneath it and stare up at an ever so partially cloudy sky. My experience with mushrooms so far was quite limited, so I was both nervous and eager to see what was going to happen. I stopped worrying, maintained a serene composure, closed my eyes, and started listening to a Pink Floyd playlist on my iPod. I was two songs in, about midway through Shine on You Crazy Diamond when I noticed that one of my faculties of perception was not functioning in its usual fashion: my vision. My eyes were closed, but I could see objects through my eyelids as if they were glowing. I moved my head left and right, and I could discern everything in my environment without opening my eyes. After enjoying this strange new ability for a moment, I decided to open my eyes to see if anything else was different with my vision.
Immediately noticeable to me was a slight, but nevertheless unmistakeable improvement in my sense of sight. Sharpness, edge detection, color saturation, all noticeably increased. And it was like looking at the world for the first time, everything is beautiful. My eyes now had to ability to discern details on various objects that I was usually unable to see. I first examined my body, and I was able see every tiny imperfection in my skin, and then noticed that I could see thousands of previously imperceivable microorganisms on the plant life around me. Somehow, my eyes now had the resolving properties of a microscope. I could sit and stare at even the most mundane of objects for an eternity, as the newly-perceivable details and radiant colors were richly hypnotic. As I was closely inspecting everything around me, I noticed that much of the biological life around me, especially mobile life such as bugs, had a slim aura surrounding the outlines of their bodies, just a subtle glowing effect. Strange to say the least, but this was obviously what I had been seeing moments ago when my eyes were closed. I also noticed that I could see further and clearer than ever before. As if all the air had been sucked off the surface of the planet, and I could see infinitely into the distance, like I was in outer space or on the moon where no atmosphere was present. Crystal clarity. As I thought about this, my ears popped, which is odd because the only time this happens to me is when I change altitudes. Was the mere act of thinking about going into space enough to trick my body into thinking I was changing altitudes? Perhaps as I thought about space, some aspect of my consciousness had actually traveled there, possibly through astral projection, and it was sufficiently convincing to my physical brain to cause the effect of changing altitude? As I was lying there against the tree, I could not get over the clarity with which I could perceive my environment, which still suggested to me an absence of oxygen. A memory is spontaneously pulled from my mind, completely unsolicited, which is played back to me: it is that of Morpheus saying You think that's air you're breathing? Was the mushroom trying to suggest that oxygen, and by extension the physical world, was actually illusory? Having recently read The Holographic Universe, my brain then gets itself into an infinite thought loop about whether reality is actually real. Logically, at this point on my trip, I could not make a determination as to whether the world I was seeing was in fact real, or some holographic projection created within my brain, so I concede defeat on this issue just so I could move on to something else.
After checking the time on my phone, I decided to lay down on the grass. With my back to the earth, I looked directly up at the clouds for what felt like hours. As I was intently observing their movements a visual narrative was presented to me. As I lay there looking at them, some of them begin morphing into shapes, similar to what happens in cartoons, where a cloud instantaneously transforms into something when a character is thinking about it. Only here they change shape much more slowly, almost unbearably slow, and at no point does it ever feel like an hallucination; the visuals feel real and authentic. Eventually the cloud I was focused on settles on a final form: a human sperm. It was unmistakeable, there was no room for any confusion at all; this cloud wanted to present itself as a sperm. My eyes shifted horizontally across the sky, whereupon I saw another cloud morph into a perfect circle. It took me all of about two seconds to conclude that this was meant to be an egg. Then, sure enough, the sperm cloud began to move toward the egg cloud, they merged, and then their combined mass took the form of a human fetus. What did I just watch? Were the clouds reenacting my own birth, or were they suggesting to me that I should reproduce? The visuals were clear as day, but the message I got from them was a bit foggy(excuse the pun). I did not know how to interpret what I saw, but I became surprised when I glanced at my cell phone and checked the time. Watching those clouds morph felt like it took a whole hour, possibly even longer, but according to my phone only three minutes had passed since I had checked it before. I realized now that I no longer had the ability to accurately judge the passage of time. 10 minutes could feel like 30 seconds, and 30 seconds could feel like 10 minutes. Strangely, loosing this fairly basic ability to determine the duration of events did not bother me at all.
Suddenly, and completely out of my control, fragments of my past were played back to me. Memories of my childhood are shown rapidly, hundreds of them, back to back. Brief flashes of moments from my youth; going to the zoo at the age of four; driving a car at age fifteen; Disneyworld at age ten; trick-or-treating at age six; being in the womb; sleeping over at a friends house for the first time at age five; spending a week at summer camp at age eight; helping my father wash the family minivan at age seven. Hundreds of memories came rushing back to me; many of which I had not consciously been able to remember in any detail. Having seen these distant memories I've long since forgotten played back to me in vivid detail for reanalysis, I reached an alarming conclusion; every single experience I've have had so far in life, from birth up until now, leaves an extremely detailed record in my mind, but the sober mind is unfortunately not capable of accessing those memories. It occurs to me that this must be how regression hypnosis works, but mushrooms are a more effective method of recovering information stored in the unconscious. Then came pieces of music, smells, images, everything and anything joins in on this collage of neurological chaos. My life is flashing before my eyes, like a machine gun, my brain fires thousands of memories pulsing through my mind. I experience about a hundred different smells in the span of ten seconds. I could hardly recognize them all: cinnamon; fresh cut grass; new car smell; vanilla; peaches; my mother's perfume; buttered popcorn; new born baby skin; coffee; nail polish remover; campfires. And as my brain cycled through all these smells, it simultaneously does the same with sounds. Nearly every sound or piece of music I had ever heard in my life is recalled; blended, layered, and combined into just about a minute of time. The combination of smell and sound overwhelms my senses, and just as I feel as though I can't take it any more, this sudden onslaught of reminiscence is complete. Both relieved and saddened, I rested back against the tree to recover from that intense experience.
I closed my eyes for a few minutes, and just as I was about to reach a state of sublime relaxation, I was disrupted by what felt like an itch on my left arm. Slowly opening my eyes, and directing my field of vision toward the sensation on my body, I saw a spider crawling on my arm. Normally, I have an irrational phobia of arachnids, but my mood was such that I had no desire to interfere with this spider's movement. Not only did I not choose to brush the spider off, but rather I choose to let it remain. I felt compelled to study its movement, the gracefulness with which it operates all eight of its legs across the terrain of my arm. As I began to concentrate all my mental efforts on this lone spider, somehow, intuitively, I became aware of every thought going through this spider's mind. I had previously regarded telepathy as an impossibility, but here I was, personally experiencing 1:1 telepathic cross-species communication with this arachnid perched upon the epidermal layer of my body. At this moment, we were one single consciousness; our consciousness had been merged together as I shared an intimate bond with this spider. A feeling of pride washed over me, as this creature had chosen to navigate the surface of my body; it had selected me over the limitless number of objects in the environment it could explore. As I watched a living thing walk on me, I immediately thought of the earth, who routinely allows other living things to walk upon her. I knew at that exact moment how the earth feels to have people walk upon its surface. As I thought about this, I immediately felt a deep, ancient connection with the earth; like I have always been a part of this earth before I was born, and will be long after I die. This strong spiritual connection to the earth transcends the biological matter my consciousness is currently linked with. Nature cherishes mutual cooperation, so just as a human walks upon the surface of the planet, and a bug can crawl across the surface of a person's body, surely undiscernable microorganisms are walking upon the surface of the spider's body. Fractals are everywhere in nature, but experiencing the sensation of BEING embedded within a fractal system of organization delivered to me a pulse of intellectual ecstasy.
Suddenly my body had a burst of energy, I could sit no longer. I took off running, with the intention of going on a jog around the park. I had left my phone and iPod just sitting there on the ground, not even taking the time to conceal them in my backpack. The concept of possessions was just so absurd as to be laughable. I felt like a god, so much energy flowing through me as I ran, my body just appeared as a blur as I dashed around the park. My run was interrupted when I heard a female voice, and after looking around to find its source, I realized there wasn't anyone around. Then I heard the voice again, unable to discern any specific words, but I intuitively knew it was calling me. My attention moved to a tree a few dozen yards away, all alone, isolated from the others. I again, intuitively knew that the voice had been calling me over to this specific tree. I stood close to this tree, and with curiosity, extended my hand, placing my palm upon its trunk. As I pressed my palm firmly against its base, I felt a marvelously intimate bond with the tree, probably the strongest bond I have ever had with any other living organism, even other people. Just as with the spider, my consciousness merged with this tree. This time, there was so much more content available to me; a wealth of information that I could receive telepathically. My brain spontaneously recalls a memory from the movie Avatar, where Sigourney Weaver makes the statement that each tree is a node, a connection point. The mushroom pulls memories from my mind and plays them back to me in order to help me understand what is going on. I realize right then what I am supposed to do: I am supposed to scan through the information available in this tree's memory bank. As I started to do it, I realized with some astonishment that this tree had kept, or has access to, a visual record of the planet. So, like footage from a surveillance camera, I could rewind and playback the images and video that were stored within its memory. As I rewind back across vast intervals of time, an influx of information enters my brain; thousands of images are displayed to me of past civilizations, ancient geological formations, varying conditions of climate, the widely diverse evolutionary process of biological life. Essentially, I am visually shown the entire history of the planet. As I scanned this tree's memory storage, I looked up at it with awe, noticed that as I was scanning its memory, the tree's leaves were rapidly cycling through different colors: from green, to yellow, to orange, to red, and then back to green. This portion of the trip was so categorically overwhelming, that most if not all of the information I saw was not written to my long term memory. Devastatingly, in retrospect, I am unable to remember specifics on this experience.
Well aware of the fact that vast amounts of my trip would be forgotten, I ran all the way back to the original tree I sat under, both my backpack and electronic stuff were still there. I pulled out my notebook to write down some things before I lost them completely, but quickly realized I was too late. The information I was shown at the other tree was long gone. A state-bounded memory, like a dream, that does not leave a long term record. I did not have the energy to run back, so I sat down and ate an apple. I took a bite, and it was like eating an apple for the first time, as if I had a few extra million taste buds or something. The taste was much more pronounced, an eminently delectable medley of flavor put me into a state of heavenly bliss; I probably have an orgasm from the taste. I am in the best mood I have ever been in my life, the most euphoric I've ever been. I feel so ecstatic and full of energy, like I'm 2 years old again; the ideas which my brain produces seem so much more spontaneous and creative. My brain feels like it's been wiped clean, and all the junk has been cleaned out. I have been liberated from nearly all pre-defined systems of belief; all government propaganda, all cultural conditioning, all assumptions about time and space...all are discarded and suspended. I am free to think without prejudices, biases, and assumptions. I sit beneath the tree, analyzing myself, then re-analyzing myself. I move on to thinking about my relationship to other people, and to the planet, and reach the conclusion that we are not separate, but part of a unified system of consciousness and energy. This is the happiest I have ever been in my life. I soon noticed with disappointment that my trip was fading. The mental clarity I had been accustomed to was dissolving rapidly as I was gently deposited back into my normal frame of mind. Ordinary consciousness is so dull, I didn't want to go back. As my body finished processing the psilocybin, and serotonin began serving as my neurotransmitter once again, all I could think is one thought: I must do this again.