The sanctity of the Mushroom and I.
As a good friend of mine once described me, I am a hoarder. Instead of material inanimate objects, I hoard ideas, lessons, knowledge (if you will). I am inspired by and admire nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, philosophers and free thinkers, psychonauts and so on. About 2 weeks ago, I’ve experience a sudden and peculiar urge to experience a sacrament of a medicinal nature in the form of the psilocybin mushroom. Around the same time for the past two years, as the warm rays of the sun seem to abandoning us, the days get shorter and the gloom of winter approaches, I’ve been immersing myself more in meditation and Eastern philosophical readings such as the Bhagavad Gita. It’s probably the appropriate place to start this tale as I believe the Universe or whatever greater cosmic force you believe in, sets the stage up for any psychedelic experience.
I’ve asked friends to recommend me some books to read as my reading list was dwindling down. One of the books recommended to me was the new translation of the Bhagavad Gita by Steve Mitchell with whom I was acquainted earlier through Byron Katie’s “Loving What Is”. The day I received the book in the mail was also the day that the famous psychedelic enthusiast and artist Alex Grey was on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Hearing someone speak of the great plants that have given us so much visions, poetry, art and music, with such earnestness was what, as I’ve mentioned, lit a fire under my butt to put some effort into procuring one of nature’s many gifts to us, more specifically the mushroom.
I’ve spoke to a buddy of mine with whom I’ve shared many a conversations regarding psychedelic, hallucinogenic and transcendental experiences. He was on board! Next came time to procure the substance which wasn’t too difficult on our part, thankfully! A day or two later, I went to obtain a haircut and the radio station the barbershop had on was playing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles, a sign of sorts as I took it but also “Ironman” and “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, both some of my favorites to listen to in the mushroom experience. I know I was in the right path.
Throughout the week leading up to our journey, I made sure to meditate daily, finish reading the Bhagavad Gita, perform yoga consistently and partake in a group yoga practice. I watched my diet very carefully and the day before the journey, I’ve done a juice cleanse and entered a 24 hour fast prior to ingestion. The evening before I finished jotting down what I wanted to experience, my motivations for it and surrendered myself to the trip. The morning of, I woke up with my wonderful and loving girlfriend, got my sketchpad, pencils and sharpies, vast amounts of water, a few light snacks of mainly fruit and nuts and some warm clothes for it is Autumn after all. Said “see ya later” to her and my parents and went on my way.
I converged with my friend and we were on our way! Once we got to the hiking area on a mountain I found for us, there was no turning back. We hiked around looking for a place to settle down, perfect in the scenic and areal sense. We wanted to feel the sun, and look at beautiful nature (being a city slicker blows in this regard). We were seeking a “perfect” spot and found a few, then took a break and ingested what we came here to ingest. I’ve taken a moment to pray, if you may call it that, and gave my thanks to everything I am grateful for in my life, re-iterated my intentions, of which there quite a few but I focused on the primary ones, took a few deep breaths and dived both feet in, figuratively. After about 10 minutes at this location we decided to circle back to one we’ve found previously.
By the time we’ve reached this location the giggles were setting in. We were clowning around that there’s no perfect way for us to lay down as if we were on a couch.
Maybe if I try laying down this way… - my buddy
We took a few funny pics and proceeded to settle in as comfortably as we can with a wonderful view.
That beautiful red tree was like our guide.
After about 20-30 minutes I began to feel the come on to it’s fullest. Perceiving the different colours of not only the forest but the rocks themselves, with many stages of moss’ lives growing everywhere…
I decided to relocate down to the edge of the rocks where I assumed I would spend the rest of my excursion. Armed with my sketch pad, and my favorite 2HB pencil, my Jamaican Rasta hat, hoodie and shades I was ready!
That is, indeed, a walking stick, by the way :-D
So, I lay there feeling the warm of the sun on my face and that same warmth radiating from the rocks below. The view was gorgeous…
The firmness of the rocks, however, was nothing to write home about. After experiencing some nice sensory sensations from the sky, trees, naked branches, moss, wind and some old school 1960’s psychedelic music like Janice Joplin, Led Zepplin and a little Beatles (post their introduction to hallucinogens and psychedelics) I decided to climb down and spread out on the grassy knoll that at this point in the deciduous season was covered with foliage…oh how soft!
And, at this point I also decided to utilize my headphones and go into my own little mushroom bubble…The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd was flying through my ears and my brain and I closed my eyes and spent the next hour or so experiencing this great sensation. I felt more open and closer to the cosmic force that is surrounding us at all times. I also felt that we are minuscule and no matter how beautiful our planet and nature and even humans are we are but a grain of sand in the greater scheme of things, all the while we are still meaningful and important.
A curious quote jumped into my head from a few weeks back when a forum member on a forum I frequent asked me “Do you think that we have a purpose? Do you look for a purpose in your life?”. I thought it was a very humorous and rather naive question to which I responded “No, I live my life WITH a purpose”.
I began to ponder this for a while and think about it in the sense of altruism and the joy that we get psychologically (and in recent years’ research, apparently, neurologically as well) from helping others.
I drew quite a bit and my trip really took off as the Dark Side of the Moon was over and Jimi Hendrix’s Live from Woodstock came on! I drew a rather nice portrait of Jimi Hendrix (I will post some of my art sketches from the experience at a later date when I clean them up a bit) and then kept jotting down thoughts that Hendrix would speak in between tracks like “people call others names like passive people ‘hippies’ because those people aren’t in LOVE, man!” and the like…Granted, very psychedelic and appropriate.
I am glad I’ve listened to that album because it’s long, live and improvisational and it was something that I’ve not experienced yet (if this was the Jimi Hendrix Experience band it would be more appropriate haha). Those that know rock history know that Hendrix often played in impromptu ensembles and that this concert was at 8 am and he hasn’t slept for 3 days…he also collapsed once it was over.
I felt a bit fidgety and I rank a TON of water…the giggles came back I needed to pee but didn’t want to stand up, or couldn’t stand rather well and when I realized that if I don’t get up, I’ll have to pee my pants, NOT an option!
Some of the things I’ve stated as my intentions during the trip didn’t really come through HARD but I felt a certain peace, happiness and to my surprise no conflicting feelings as is often the case with the psilocybin knocking down some of your ego’s beliefs…This made me even happier that I am on the right path as an entity…whatever that path or purpose may be.
I also felt that I should trust the universe (or G-d in my cosmic sense of understanding, or thinking I understand, the concept) but not be too passive and push for things I want. I understood it to be as I heard Terence McKenna say once that “If you want something, the universe will remove obstacles in your way as long as you’re courageous…it loves courage!”
I came out of my bubble when I realized how I was a bit hungry. The first thing I found in my bag was a rather ripe banana, I, instinctively, squeezed it into my mouth and began to chew it like an animal. I tossed the peel onto the tree…my co-pilot left his shell and began to laugh hysterically at what he was witnessing;
We spoke a bit and then relaxed over a few tokes of marijuana, always a great friend to the mushroom. I sketched a bit more and decided to enjoy the remnants of this warm Autumn day.
We talked for a bit although words were barely coming out and it was hard for me to make sense of explaining my experience to my buddy. We were both half stammering as we spoke and couldn’t recall words to express our ideas. That was fun, I have some of it recording and it is quite silly.
We packed our backs and headed back to civilization, which at this point I really began to loathe. I hated the concrete and the noise overshadowing and overpowering great mother nature/Gaia. I wanted to be surrounded by her beauty more than I ever could in a city like NYC. It’s loud, it’s filthy, it’s full of people who don’t “get it” as I described at that moment so I was a bit irritated on our journey back but still giggly and smiley at the same time. Quite the paradoxical behaviour!
So, was there any take away? Let’s examine this and I promise I will BE WRAPPING IT UP SHORTLY!
- I am a big proponent of a plant based diet although working with people in the nutritional field I don’t push my beliefs on people who trust my knoweldge and experience (for which I am grateful and I love you like my brother…Great White Hype Samuel L. Jackson quote…haha) BUT…for some reason after this experience and the connection I felt with the Earth I actually wanted MEAT it was quite strange to me and just as strange to my homie when I uttered those words. I don’t plan on eating meat often (last time I did was months ago and before that was probably 2+ years and only when I was cooking a meat dish for someone) but I do have a greater appreciation for the various Native American tribes and Ingeniousness populations who hold the animals they hunt and kill to great admiration and appreciate that animal’s life in order to sustain and clothes themselves…I think, before I understood the concept but after this experience for whatever reason, I “GET IT”.
- I didn’t get any direct answers or anything as I wanted but I felt a strong sense of the “Self” and the “Knower” (both Buddhist and Hindu meditation and yoga concepts) and that was very interesting as I was able to pin point each one in my own mind…Psychedelics have a great way of bringing the subconsciousness to the foreground even if slightly.
- Don’t take things too seriously, enjoy life, ignore silly people, and be OK with everything, allow things outside of my control to occur. Work on being more emotionally intelligent (a term I remember from a psycho/neuro lecture I saw years before that). Give and make others happy without expecting anything in return and it GREAT things will come back around 10 fold. See good in everyone, accept them and love them, even if they aren’t in your life…Buddhist concept of “lovingkindness” and a pre-meditation concept of spreading love to others “May all people, even if I haven’t met them or take them for granted find true happiness and harmony/May people who have transgressed against me find happiness and harmony”.
- And following up on that…I definitely, DEFINITELY, feel the presence and energy of a great cosmic force, Shalom, Hashem, YHWH, The Eternal One, around me and hope to continue to feel this after the jet lag of the experience “wears off” (according to the John Hopkins study it lasts for even a year later…I hope I’ll revisit the mushroom sooner, much sooner, than that) . I was, once again, given a glimpse of the vast and beautiful world, planet, universe that is ever prevailing and that no matter how dark the world may seem, especially with everything happening currently, it is of no real importance because even if we destroy this beautiful planet, we ourselves will perish but everything else will go on…I have the utmost faith that this will NOT happen. Nature is a teacher, nature is guidance and in nature is our salvation, hope and answers.
- And, if you remember me saying that the universe sorts of puts a path forward in front of you…the next day in class WE SAW THE SAME DOCUMENTARY…I THOUGHT I WAS STILL DREAMING Check this out here.
- I am grateful for the experience the mushroom chose to bestow upon me. I am grateful for my loving girlfriend, my caring professors, my ever loving parents, family and friends…I am grateful for being ALIVE.
Peace, Love, Best and Better!