The Brink: Journey to the seam of life and death.
Hey everyone, I am new to the Shroomery community. I really like the atmosphere you all have %u201Ccultivated%u201D here and I hope to be a part of it. This is my first mushroom experience. This report is quite long and detailed, probably full of information you don%u2019t care about. But it was such a powerful experience to me, I wanted to share it and hopefully it will be helpful to anyone interested in trying mushrooms or understanding their effects.
Sometime ago, four friends and I took a trip to the Appalachian mountains for a week. With us, we brought 12 grams of magic mushrooms. Aside from Salvia, I have never tripped on anything, so I was mostly unaware of what to expect. The day we ate the mushrooms was the vernal equinox, the first day of spring and everything felt right.
Only three of us partook in the %u2018shrooms. I took about 4 grams, and my two other friends took 3.5 and 5.5 grams. As we sat down to eat them, the large pile of stems and caps sitting before me was only made more daunting by the taste of the first mouthful . The gluey texture of the chewed mushrooms stuck against my molars was disgusting in the true sense of the word.
About halfway through, I was getting annoyed, and just finished them all in one or two more large bites. By the time I finished eating the fungus, I had developed a killer stomach ache. It was difficult to tell the origin of the pain: the mushrooms or the fact I hadn't eaten much or very well in the past couple days. At this point, my anxiety was growing and it was not helping my stomach ache at all.
A few minutes after ingestion, I began having some random, bizarre thoughts. A while later, my friends and I took a walk on a path near our cabin as they start to set in. I began to feel like I do when I smoke large a lot of cannabis. Colors started to appear more vivid than usual and I felt very heavy.
We decided to drive to one of the many national parks, so we began getting ready. A short time later, I physically felt anxiety rising in my stomach. I knew this feeling all too well. I rushed to the side of the porch and I purged my entire stomach. It was like the vomit scene from The Exorcist. Purely projectile. I have never thrown up as violently as the four times I did then.
But the feeling of peace I had afterwards was overwhelming but it wasn't long before my stomach ache returned. Getting ready to leave, I really could feel the mushrooms kicking in. I was seeing very interesting visuals on the walls and when I closed my eyes. My thought processes were becoming absolutely ridiculous. I couldn't help but find meaning in absolutely everything, as if my life were some divine narrative. As I walked to the car, I was becoming inexplicably scared and anxious and I thought:
%u201CDear God, what have I done to myself?%u201D.
We got in the car and headed to the park, with a sober friend driving. The place we were staying was quite a drive from anything. I am not sure how long I was in the car, but by this point, time had become essentially meaningless so I guess it doesn%u2019t matter. Being in the car was pretty uncomfortable at times with my stomach cramps and the lack of leg room, but was very interesting at other times. I could truly feel how fast we were going, and I began to feel the earth we were driving on and felt it was feeling me back. Looking at the rolling hills on the horizon, I saw the Earth as living animal.
We were listening to music the whole car ride, but I hardly remember any of the music from the first hour or so. I felt myself kind of fading away, things sounded as if I was very far away. I was having a hard time understanding anyone because I could not hear them very well. As I began to drift away, I was expanding. I was feeling the ground underneath me, the car, the trees and the mountains in the distance. But the most interesting thing was the sensation of being in my friends minds. Not that I could read their thoughts or anything, but I felt as I was swimming around in their heads. It was very peaceful.
I was seeing myself from above now. Then I started to question how I could be feeling these things. And I began to wonder if I was dying. I have heard of people seeing themselves from the outside during a near death experience. I remembered I ate mushrooms and I wondered if perhaps we were given poison mushrooms instead of Psilocybin mushrooms.
I began to philosophize and ponder my existence. It was undeniable at the time, that the world was a product of me. I am the animal that is the universe, exploring myself for whatever reason in this human form. All my friends were me, but just separated. They were representing different parts of me. As I mentioned before, I was finding meaning in everything. I kept wondering why I drew these people into my life and what it means. Everything external was an extension of me! My psilocybin experience practically convinced me into a form of solipsism.
I could not fucking believe what was happening to my brain. That a chemical did this to me%u2026.
As I approached the peak, I was the most fucked up I have ever been, as if my mind had broken. My inner monologue was no longer in words. My mind was racing, I was panicking that I was dying so at this time, it was hard to enjoy the beautiful landscape all around me. And it began to get dark and I was definitely fading out this time, until I remembered to breathe. Breathing was no longer involuntary, so for some time, I was fully concentrating on breathing so I wouldn%u2019t die. All the while, my stomachache had not ceased, further convincing me I ate poison.
I had the strongest urge to close my eyes and just go to sleep and wait for this to be over. I was suffering. Since I was consciously concentrating on my breathing, I seriously thought if I went to sleep, I would probably die. After quite awhile, I was done struggling. I was tired of worrying and suffering and I let go. I almost wished to die, to end the pain. I surrendered to death. I didn%u2019t tell any of my friends I thought I was dying. I was embarrassed to what I had done to myself. They would find out when they found me in a seizure or in a curled up heap, asphyxiated on my own vomit. At the time, my death seemed so inconsequential. The only thing I felt concerned about was the big deal everyone was going to make about trying to revive me and calling the paramedics and the attention I would receive, which I didn%u2019t want.
(It%u2019s hard to coherently piece together my thoughts now)
Having accepted death was a very freeing sensation. Besides death, what else is there to fear? I could begin to relax and enjoy the scenery a bit more. The visuals were astounding. Statues were moving around, walls and trees seemed impossibly high. The whole mushroom experience up this point felt very visceral, very animal, but strangely familiar. I can%u2019t quite put my finger on the reason why it felt so familiar. I almost felt like I had been there before a million times.
The Lashing of the Ego:
We then started to pass through a tourist trap town and got stuck in traffic. The juxtaposition of this shitty little, consumerist town in the arms of the magnificent mountain was making me feel even sicker. I felt guilty to be a part of it, a part of humanity. I kept making eye contact with people walking around on the side walk and their gazes felt very sharp and judging. I%u2019m not sure if I hallucinated that, but I am sure I looked pretty fucked up and my pupils were probably huge. I was wishing I had brought my sunglasses with me so I could hide behind them, but instead I felt so exposed. For some reason I knew they knew what I had done to myself and they were disgusted.
I had often gone to this town with my family as a child and I remembered I had a family. I began to think about how they would feel if they saw me like this and I felt even more guilt. I began to feel like the world%u2019s biggest loser, zapped out of my mind, perhaps dying from poison mushrooms. I felt as if the disapproving stares from pedestrians were telling me to go to work and to fit in with them. I was screaming inside of myself, %u201CWhat do you want from me?%u201D
I am existing. As far as I know, I didn%u2019t ask for this, but I am here. But everyone had expectations for me; those random people walking, my friends, my family. But I just want freedom and to live my way. I can%u2019t quite describe this in words, but it was one of the most powerful experiences of the trip. I didn%u2019t feel accepted or understood by anybody. I wanted peace and to be left alone, but there is always something else to be done apparently.
One of my sober friends was trying to talk to me about something that seemed completely inconsequential to me in my cosmological state of mind and I had to inform him I was not here at the moment, which I felt a tad guilty about, because he genuinely wanted to talk to me and that echoed within me.
I began to realize that everyone is given a burden of responsibility, whether we ask for it or not and in a way, I was evading that responsibility. We have to take care of each other because we are here. For the first time, I really saw that I am not the only person that cares about me. It was as if I realized for the first time my friends and family truly love me and actually care about what I think and they enjoy my company. I was sickened it took me so long to have this realization. I saw my selfishness, my laziness, my wastefulness. While that was a part of who I am, that was not me. That was my ego.
There was also a Santa convention in town the day we were passing through the town%u2026. It was beyond trippy because there were so many of them walking around and I couldn%u2019t tell if they were real. It was even stranger because the image of Santa echoes back to my earliest memories, somehow convincing me even further I was dying.
My mind was still a vortex, though I had already peaked. I was starting to get uncomfortable because it felt like I wasn%u2019t coming down and I was STILL cramped in the back seat of a car. I was finding it hard to think. The best simile I can come up with is it was like I was unsuccessfully looking for a place to plant my consciousness so I could start to think normally again. That doesn%u2019t make much sense, but I%u2019m sure those of you who have tripped will get it.
Soon after passing through town, we finally arrived at the park. I had never been happier to get out of a car. I stumbled out of the car liked the fucked up lunatic I was and couldn%u2019t for the life of me walk straight. And I began looking at the other people there any many of them were wearing tie-dye shirts like I was wearing and it was very scary at first. Again, I realized how fucked up and obvious I must look. But, when I looked at these people, they didn%u2019t seem nearly as angry as the people in town. They smiled when I looked at them and I smiled back. Maybe they saw how messed up I was, but I saw them as fellow voyagers in this thing called life, and perhaps even they were tripping too. There were also more Santa%u2019s out walking around on the trail for whatever reason%u2026very trippy.
I%u2019m still quite out of my mind at this point, I still haven%u2019t really remembered my name or why I was here, I was just following these people called my friends. I was trying to think too much, worrying about getting lost or losing my other friends that were tripping, but again, I saw the futility of it all and just surrendered. I had to just wait%u2026..
In close proximity to one sober friend, I sat on a rock in silence and didn%u2019t think about much of anything. I%u2019m not sure for how long. Existence was scaring me. I couldn%u2019t find a reason for why I was here. I couldn%u2019t think and I had no purpose. It was the most boring thing I ever felt. So I just observed. I looked at the beautiful trees and this magnificent machine called nature. And sooner or later I was back in my head, and soon enough my friends who had disappeared were back. I felt so relieved and safe. Not only because my friends were safe and that we together, but that I had control over my mind again and could formulate thoughts and sentences. And I realized there is no point to existence! This is like sandbox mode of a video game. With our amazing hands and enough willpower, we can literally do any-fucking-thing we want! And we sat on a bench in relative silence living in THE MOMENT, the only real one, absolutely enjoying life. I could have sat on that bench all day and I would have been happy.
With my newfound sense of self and relief, I was just euphoric, yet feeling remarkably sober. I was talking much clearer and more intelligently than I would if I was really stoned (or so I thought at the time). I so happy I was alive, to be sharing this beautiful day and beautiful world with such great people. My stomach ache was finally gone as well. We drove around a bit more and looked at some truly beautiful mountains and they were simply blowing my mind with their size. We drove back to the cabin and I was just in absolute acceptance of everything. Everything was perfect, everything was going to be ok and there is nothing to worry about%u2026.EVER. I was in awe of the world and everything was blowing my mind.
The sensation of the sun and wind on my face made me feel so alive. I felt like someone who had faced death and returned to the land of the living. The conversations we had in the car were just great. I felt a strong connection and such love for everyone I was with and I was especially thankful for my sitter who was driving and watching out for us. I wouldn%u2019t have made it without him. It was just amazing me that he cared that much about us. We were listening to music and I could actually listen this time. We listened to many amazing songs, but the one I will always remember is Dazed and Confused by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page%u2019s fuzz effect on that song%u2026. WOW%u2026%u2026
We returned to the cabin and I just felt great. Visuals persisted for a couple hours and we watched The Matrix, very fitting with my philosophical experiences of that day. I was very contemplative for the rest of the day, trying to make sense of what happened to my mind. Before my experience, I was a strict rationalist, atheist, etc. But even though I have no evidence, I know I am something else%u2026 I am still an atheist, but I know death will not be my end. The experience definitely rocked my reason based world.
I learned so much, had so much fun and shared so much with my friends that day. I would have to say that day was the best day of my life so far. Mushrooms were definitely a good thing for me. I can%u2019t believe having the best day of my life is illegal.
Looking back on the experience, I am still trying to make sense of it. Was everything I experienced just drug induced mental garbage? Or was it something far more real than this world? Doing some research after my experience, I have found that psilocin actually dampens brain activity, putting you in a state similar to dreaming or something. In my speculation, being fully conscious with dampened brain activity allows what you really are (mind, consciousness, soul, what have you) to be freer than when sober. I think your consciousness is less restricted to your body. And when you die, when brain activity goes to zero, I think your mind is fully free (based on near death experiences).
Anyway, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed and feel free to let me know what you think with any comments or questions.