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Level 5 Down Under

Did I die?

It started with a plate of maybe 100-150 mushrooms. I had previously picked 50 the afternoon before with a friend and was drying them on red plastic plates in my dorm room. Five of my friends I had met while studying abroad in Australia and I had set out alarms for the next Saturday morning to take full advantage of the daylight for our trip. This would be my first time. Naively, I did little research into the actual effects of mushrooms and had only previously done small doses of marijuana. We decided to make tea with our dried mushrooms. Cut up, there was a very large mound--maybe two grape fruits worth. We began a slow boil on the stove an added lemons and black tea bags for taste. We added the mixture and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so. An overwhelming fungal smell swept through the dorm. We each poured a mug of shroom tea and relaxed and chatted in our dorm's community kitchen. We drank a whole mug so we each decided to pour another. We return to one of my friend's rooms and people started show trip symptoms (e.g. patterns morphing, things breathing, etc.). After 40 minutes, everyone was experiencing a mild trip while I still was not feeling anything. Feeling discouraged, I decided to eat two spoonfuls of the slimy, chopped shroom at the bottom of the pot in the kitchen. I started feeling a little funny, but nothing I would perceive as a full-blown trip. We decided to venture outside into the Australian wilderness. As I walked down the narrow hallway, I began to notice the walls expanding and contrasting...almost breathing. I knew it was starting. 

The trip began to escalate extremely quickly. I remember lots of changes in perception happening and began laughing hysterically. When I made it to the end of the stairwell. The bricks on the ground were morphing into a sea and I became paranoid/fearful of the ground. I began clutching the wall until one of my friends told me to calm down and just "go with the flow and accept the trip." Southern Australia's climate changes rapidly and we quickly found ourselves in a brief shower. I felt every raindrop hit my skin and radiate throughout my body. I looked at my hands and realized how bizarre they looked. They were so detailed and unique. Everything became enhanced. My vision...the colors. The world looked like someone turned up the saturation on the color to extreme levels. When we finally made it to the "trip spot" in the wilderness I was at a full-blown level 5 trip. Time had ceased to exist...if it had ever existed in the first place. The world was infinitely beautiful and indescribable. A duck flew and landed in the water in front of us and flapped its wings in the golden ripples of the water. I saw each individual droplet glide off the duck's feathers. For awhile, I had thought that I had died...that the mushrooms we had picked were actually poisonous and I was in some sort of heaven. My shroom trip did feel like a heaven...eternal bliss and beauty. I questioned every motive of society and the true meaning of self. At the peak, there was no self...no me. Only the universe in its vast expansive and I was somehow a part of it...or was it. I felt as though I was completely connected to the world and that humans were just another system. 

Objects had personalities. Sounds were often visible with echoes. Objects seemed to flow through me at times. My depth perception was way off and I often had difficulty walking. To someone who has never had a trip before, it is hard to imagine eternity...but that's where you go. You relive all your memories, see the faces of all the people you've met, and when you are done...you just exist in pure nirvana. 

When I finally started come back into my body...it was because it needed something (i.e. I had to pee or I was too cold). The sky was a billion geometric shapes and I was amazed that a brain could even conceive something so infinitely intricate. When coming down, objects seemed to vibrate at an unbelievable speed. They were all humming and shaking. The sun was setting and it was still misting out. I wept because it was so beautiful. The whole trip lasted maybe 9 hours with aftereffects lasting for several hours after that. It still remains the single most important, insightful, profound, and influential experience of my life. 

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