It was time to go all the way.
My friends are divided into two camps here. Some I love too much to hand them the burden of helping me, and others who would ring the police if I asked.
So I had to do this alone. But beneficent beings had guided me towards the door in three previous experiences out of five, which had all gone well, and this time, I was going to walk through it.
After 30 minutes of preparation in the garden, looking at flowers, burning incense and enjoying the summer sunshine, down went 30g home-grown fresh cubes and 3g dried. This was double anything I'd handled previously and the first time with fresh shrooms. If anything was going to introduce me to God, this was it.
The normal minor wobbles - the sweaty palms, tense chest and mild dread came and went. And in the way that it does, the ground began to move, one piece to the right; another piece to the left; yet another piece round in circles. I felt uncomfortable and decided to go inside. I went up to my bedroom, and waited patiently for my invitation to heaven.
Most of what happened next is a bit of a haze, but there were essentially five phases.
In the first phase, I realised how stupid I'd been. I knew these experiences typically lasted 6-8 hours, but given that time had just stopped, 6-8 earth hours were an irrelevance. The subjective time could potentially be infinite. I then realised that I did not know if I was still alive, and with some alarm, realised that it did not matter. I was still capable of conscious experience; whether that was as a living being on earth or something else was unimportant. But what rapidly became clear was that there was no way I was ever going to see my friends again, and particularly not my beloved fiancée. I had let her down badly.
In the second phase, which lasted several millennia (or perhaps 4-6 earth hours), a male voice choir repeated a monotonic short phrase ("intremantia harkness", or something similar) every 2-3 seconds, and I felt ill. And all the time, I knew this was a permanent state of affairs. It was truly awful, knowing that my new, permanent existence amounted to nothing more than hearing the same, meaningless, monotonous phrase over and over. On top of that I just felt generally awful. You really can't imagine how bad this was. You'd have to experience it. These words don't convey it at all. It's hopeless.
In the third phase, I considered calling someone on the telephone, which had been on the pillow beside my face the whole time. But that, of course, would be pointless, much like asking a non-player character in a video game if he knew where you'd left your car keys. I could see the telephone and the room I was in, but I knew that it was all illusion and none of it was really there. I knew that my friends weren't really there either, and worse, they never had been there. At that, though, I started to draw a little comfort. If they'd never existed, I hadn't actually lost them. This phase ended with the thought, "Ah, see how the illusion begins to return!"
The fourth phase lasted until approx 18 hours after starting, including a whole night with no sleep. (This '6-8 hours' is complete nonsense, I tell you.) I actually did ring a friend at this point, which was a huge relief. We had a huge laugh on the telephone. During the call, a gaping whole appeared in reality. This was a most alarming thing to happen and quite hard to explain. It occupied physical space, and yet at the same time did not exist. It's hard to explain when you come across a phenomenon like that and I spent an age trying to describe it down the telephone. In an outstandingly prescient moment, my friend asked me to photograph it and send her the pic, which I did. It actually turned out to be the reflection of the doorway to the bathroom in my bedroom window, but that's not nearly as interesting as a hole in reality, is it? But the rest of the time I just waited in bed, a victim of a vampire that sucks the emotion out of you so that nothing in life is anything but inanimate matter, hoping that I would fall asleep and return to my previous life.
The fifth phase, I burned my remaining shrooms, and warned anyone who would listen how utterly evil was the experience I'd had. I was exhausted, spent, used up. I could find nothing to make me happy. There was no pain, no interest, no love. Just a total dead zone. I mean, not only had I died, but the entire universe had died as well. Seriously, I mean, murderers, terrorists, nuclear war, they have nothing on the end of the universe, do they? You can't really get your head round the complete destruction of the universe unless you experience it. Well, it's worse than destruction, because it's a realisation that the universe never existed in the first place.
I think, now, time has healed me quite a bit. I was unprepared. These things need to be in the hands of proper teachers, experienced spiritual guides who can take you through it. Just trying to do it on your own based on what you've read in some Trip Report, even at the Shroomery, just isn't going to cut it. But having had the experience, maybe I'll go back and try again. FIrst, I'm chilling myself right out. I think it's important to be completely at peace, and just now, I'm heading nicely in that direction. Maybe in a few weeks.
Oh, there's a bit of advice for you. All that stuff about set and setting. They don't really explain what it means. One aspect of it is that preparing is not just 30 minutes beforehand. Proper preparation takes weeks, even months, of living your life the right way, in every respect. It's kind of like what the Christian bible has to say about the omniscience of God. It's kind of true. When you head out into shroomland, the world is created from what's in your head, so if there's bad shit in there, you universe is going to be made from bad shit. It's no good trying to pretend you didn't badmouth your work colleague or lie on your insurance application, you know you did it. You've got to be really pure.
Well, I hope that helps someone.