I have done shrooms before but this was unlike anything I have ever experienced. It happened on my 19th birthday. My cousin arrived at my house early for my party, and said to me, "Come out to my car, I have a gift for you." When I got in his car he threw a big bag of mushrooms onto my lap. Shrooms hadn't even been on my mind, and now I had a big bag of them. It was very spontaneous. There is virtue in spontaneity.
Some more family members came over and everything was going great. There was a very warm vibe. As we were eating cake, I was suddenly overcome by a strong urge to take some of the shrooms. I thought to myself, "Everyone is going to leave in about an hour, which is when the shrooms will kick in. It will be perfect!" So I went into my room and quickly scarfed down a handful of shrooms, washing them down with ice cream. Then I came out and resumed the festivities.
The shrooms kicked in MUCH quicker than expected! Before opening presents, I briefly excused myself to go to the bathroom. I walked downstairs and saw my cat sitting there like cats often do, with her butt and her feet flat on the ground, and her upper body elevated by her front legs. At this point I realized the shrooms were starting. My cat possessed a sphinx-like quality that left me spellbound. She looked like a statue that was staring through me and into eternity. I laughed to myself in amazement at my new state of mind and rushed into the bathroom. When I got back upstairs things continued to escalate. Things were swirling around and I felt in a deep state of peace with all of my family around. I was so relaxed and contented that no one seemed to notice I was shrooming. I probably just seemed sort of giggly and spacey.
After presents everyone left except my cousin. He invited me over to his house, which I enthusiastically agreed to. My brother, however, didn't really want to go. He has a history of not getting along with my cousin. My mom, however, thought he should go and tried to convince him to go with me. He replied to her "I'm a grown man and make decisions for my fucking self!!" He was quite angry and thought my mom was trying to control him. Regularly this would have upset me a little bit, but in my current state my brother's emotionality had absolutely no influence on me whatsoever. I think the bottom line is that I didn't JUDGE his behavior as good or bad, as right or wrong. I simply acknowledged that he felt a certain way and accepted how he felt. Not judging things, as the Buddhists say, is the road to enlightenment.
My brother ended up coming and we got into the car with my cousin. As we were driving I looked out and saw other people driving and walking around on the street. This perfectly ordinary sight filled me with intense joy. I could barely contain myself. "We exist!" I thought. That single realization caused me to feel an ecstatic sensation of delight that I had never experienced before and have never experienced since.
Then I started thinking about myself. I started thinking about my physical body, how it occupies a position in space--how a physical, measurable piece of the universe is me! "I am part of this universe!!" I thought. "We are all part of this universe!!" My mind was reaching new levels of insight and understanding that were just mind boggling.
Then I started thinking about the universe. I was suddenly thunderstruck with philosophical understanding. "The universe exists!" I thought, barely able to believe it. I felt like a child who was experiencing existence for the first time. I conceptualized the universe as consisting of matter, all of which has been existing for an eternity--just shifting around in different configurations but still ultimately the same. I trembled with awe as I meditated on the immortality of the universe. Then, I realized that I am built out of pieces of this immortal universe!!! When I die, my body will decompose and it's pieces will simply return back to it!
I think it's fair to say that at that point I had attained enlightenment. But there was one more insight that was yet to come.
When we got to my cousin's house I saw that the Tao de Ching was on his night stand. It's a remarkable book of wisdom that was written by a Chinese sage named Lao Tzu in the 5th century BC. I pointed it out enthusiastically so my cousin picked it up and read the first page. I don't remember exactly what it said but I remember the concept. First Lao Tzu talks about the majesty of the universe, which corresponded perfectly to what I was experiencing. Then he confronts a question of gargantuan magnitude, one that has the capacity to induce a blinding sensation of awe: how did this majestic universe get here? Lao Tzu's answer: it is a profound, ineffable mystery. Word's cannot answer this question. A truly enlightened person, if asked such a question, would simply bow his head in silence--and that would be the correct answer. In my altered state, I got a glimpse of that profound mystery which no words can express. It was the most thrilling thing I have ever experienced.
A lot of people report having "spiritual" experiences on these types of drugs. "Spirit," in my mind, refers to something non-physical. My trip, however, involved only the physical world, which was plenty. For the physical world, when viewed from a certain angle, is infinitely mesmerizing. This trip taught me that "spirit" is not necessary for deep spiritual fulfillment.