My friend and I, let's call him K, decided to take some mescaline that I had been holding on to for a few months. I would consider myself an experienced psychonaut; I have somewhere between 50 to 60 mushroom experiences under my belt,
and at this point in time I had taken LSD a few times and mescaline once before. I had my first experience with mescaline a few months before the date of this experience that I'm about to relate to you. When I first tried this amazing psychedelic, I had an
exceedingly blissful experience that involved becoming enveloped in that familiar feeling of spiritual unity with the cosmos, or God, or the Brahman, or whatever you'd like to call the ultimate transcendent mystery behind the phenomenal world of appearances.
Despite having this intensely beautiful experience, nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience on this particular occasion.
I'm not sure what the dosage amounted to when K and I split the mescaline I had in half, but I would guess it was somewhere around 150-200 mg each, which isn't necessarily a hefty dosage. However, I've personally found that the psychedelic experience is largely not dependent on dosage. In fact, some of my most transcendental experiences have been on low dosages in comparison to mellower experiences that I've had on higher dosages. The way that these compounds interact with our psyches, and the variables that result in a particular psychedelic experience seem to be so subtle, multitudinous and precise that you can never really know what to expect.
The mescaline we had our hands on was a white powder that had been extracted by a friend of a friend. I was pretty worn out on this day and although a part of me was feeling hesitant about the commitment I was making, I swallowed the time-release capsule
that contained my half of the powder. This was it, the familiar anticipation, and the familiar waiting game. K and I lazily wandered around my house for a while, migrating from room to room while we eagerly awaited the onset. After about an hour, my body began to
become thoroughly relaxed, and I immediately felt an indescribable feeling of "all-rightness" assure me that I would make it through this experience. For about half an hour there were more and more strange physical sensations, I was conscious of my bodily systems in a way that eludes us in our ordinary state of perception; of course, this is something that happens pretty often on psychedelics. I looked at K as I drank a glass of water and said "I can feel this go through my stomach and intestines as I digest it, it's amazing how much information is filtered out of our awareness." K nodded, mentioning that he was having similar sensations and then, in a very frank way I said "I mean, I can even feel my shit in there." We both laughed.
Focusing on my awareness of my body, I became aware of awareness in itself, separate from the operations of my corporeal form. I was in the strange paradoxical state of experiencing myself in the apparently linear world of space-time while also being aware
of myself as being a sort of timeless entity. This, however, was just the beginning, and I feel pretty tuned into this state in my normal waking life already. The colors and hues around me became very beautiful, seeming to have a more artistic and archaic texture to
them, the details of the environment became very pronounced. In the patterns of the hard-wood floor and the walls there were appearing many different symbols and mythological characters that possessed a very ancestral quality. I felt I was in touch with what
Carl Jung would call the collective unconscious. My body seemed to be becoming a conductor for some sort of invisible energy and I felt I was gradually moving more and more into the mysterious ultimate Reality at the basis of existence.
This is when it started. The totality of my being suddenly seemed to be plugged into the entire structure of the universe around me, and I felt I was ascending into some sort of higher-dimensional vibration or frequency. My body and the world seemed to be becoming one entity as the result of an energetic process that was synchronizing my inner and outer experiences into an undefinable unity. I felt guided by a sort of spiritual presence hidden away in the mescaline. My whole being would shift into one "level" of
awareness and I would have to struggle to become comfortable with the intensity of that "level," and every time I would finally become attuned with a "level" of experience it proceeded to get move into something even more intense. I was having some of the most
intense visuals I've ever had, there's no easy way to explain them, but it was as if I was perceiving multiple realities, or multiple coexisting aspects of the One reality at one time. More and more energy was building up inside of me in some sort of synergistic process and then: *click*
That's how I would describe what happened next in one word: *click.* It ALL clicked. It was as if all of the experiences and information I had accumulated throughout my life were puzzle pieces that were now, in this moment, falling together. A faint memory, the
most distant possible memory, was approaching my consciousness rapidly. How had I forgotten who I was? Who we all are? There was no more ego, no more separate entity, no more vague or partial personality obstructing my view of who I fundamentally was. All of my inner and outer processes and perceptions, and the entirety of the world around me were One. There was no separate person who sat apart from life and contemplated existence, there was only the single thing that really exists, how had I forgotten that I was God? How long had I been dreaming, pretending, that I wasn't? I knew this was enlightenment, satori, union, or whatever symbolic term you want to use to describe it. God was remembering who It is through the vessel of my body. The inner rhythm of my psychological processes were completely synchronized with the world around me, and the two were reflecting each-other. Any inner perception I had was confirmed symbolically moments later in the world. I intuitively knew that I was waking up from the dream of life, and I pleaded and prayed 'Please, I'm not ready for this yet. Please, not yet." But who can you pray to when you're the only thing that actually exists? Who can you reach for when every person is an incarnation of the One who forgot itself? I heard my father talking on the phone downstairs and was shocked to hear him having a conversation that I had dreamed about weeks earlier, I called my mother desperate for a distraction. She picked up and I explained that I was having an overwhelming psychedelic experience. She was sympathetic and began talking about random topics in an effort to calm me down. The first thing she said was "Do you know much about lucid dreaming? Isn't it strange that you can be dreaming and not even know it but then you can realize it?" I hung up. These two examples give you an idea about what I mean about a complete union of inner and outer processes, they were functioning like two sides of the same thing; secretly these opposites are one item like heads and tails are at bottom, one coin. Every act and experience I had ever had seemed to be symbolic hints that had come to me from the deepest core of my being about my true identity. The world seemed to me like a unity consisting of archetypal fantasies, and material reflections of those fantasies.
I was at the energetic center where mind and matter meet, and that center was secretly All that Is. I had seen the labyrinth from the right angle and found the Exit. I had untangled the knot. I felt that a psychotic breakdown and mystical revelation were closely
intertwined, and that we unconsciously condemn people who are stuck in extreme states of consciousness because we're afraid of what they represent. They are incompatible with the Game of Life.
This unraveling and putting together of everything in my life became so overwhelming that my body started to crack under the load. I could feel my heart beat skyrocketing and weird tensions building in my chest and around my body. K, who had been off
in his own world more of this time, was at this point mostly sober, but I was caught up in and energetic process that had no near end in sight. I felt warning signals coming to me from all my body, and I immediately had K drive me to my mother's who drove me to
the hospital at my request. As we were driving I could still feel my-self in complete union with a sort of non-local field underlying everything. I wondered how I could ever return to any sort of ordinary life having found Myself out, having seen through it all. I thought
"Isn't it the duty of people who have this sort of experience to become prophets or spiritual teachers?" But the modern world seemed to me to be too tangled up with its assumptions to risk voicing my revelation. I was conscious of what the psychiatric community
classifies as "delusion," and knew that I would have to be quiet. I remembered a satirical story I had started years earlier where Enlightened beings were taken to the emergency room, and I now saw how this imaginal idea of mine was playing itself out on life's
stage. I could also understand that I would never make my way back to the world if I didn't dis-identify with the Source of all Being, if I didn't voluntarily forget myself again. I thought of Carl Jung again, who always insisted that the ego that becomes identified with the Self is liable to become inflated and go crazy.
Next thing I knew I was in the emergency room and my heart-rate was two or three times more than it should have been, my blood pressure was rising as well. They shot me up with liquids and anti-anxiety medication and the medical staff seemed to be
acting out a parody of themselves. The doctor knowingly said "Oh, mescaline? I see," only to step outside the door and look it up on wikipedia. The nurses chatted, "I think he said M..D..A..M or something like that? I have it up on google here and it kind of looks
like crack....but not really?" I hadn't taken or mentioned MDMA. I was lying on the table in the dark trying to control my thoughts in order to stop the fight-or-flight response of my body. I felt like I was bargaining for my life, navigating through a reality that was always being created in this present moment, in the eternal Now. I wondered whether I ought not to just die, it's hard to explain, but I felt very sure that I had fulfilled my ultimate spiritual purpose, and it seemed to be a perfect synchronicity, a perfect ending. I could feel my
heart tensing up and my right arm going numb, and I became conscious of a possibility of a heart attack. I was seriously facing the possibility of death and I felt that I remembered being born, and that there was a striking similarity between birth and death; that
one finds out Who they really are at death, and forgets it slowly after being reborn. It seemed like I was aligned across space and time with another baby still in the womb, and that if I were to die I would either be born into that body or transcend the limitations
of our dream-like reality altogether. I had the impression of the world as a tube-like system, where something pops out just to pop back in again, and everybody's playing the Game, which is pretending that you're not Who you Are. Alan Watts' conviction that life is
fundamentally a game of Hide and Seek rang very true. As I contemplated whether I wanted to die, and knew I was in a position to decide whether or not I wanted to, my mother sitting next to me suddenly said "You know, it's weird. I had an experience with pot
once where I felt like I was going to die and I was perfectly happy with it, it felt exactly right." The way the world was mirroring back my revelation made this moment seem like the Kairos, the perfect moment to conclude my story, the perfect ending of my
internal novel. But then I thought about the I-ching reading I threw before taking the mescaline, which had landed on the hexagram of "The Family," and I knew that even if in some fundamental way everyone was really just my dream and I was their dream, I still
couldn't leave my family. I noticed that I had unconsciously gathered together with old friends over the last few weeks almost in a way to say goodbye, like a part of me had anticipated this, but I finally gathered the resolve to try to re-write my destiny, and like
a Bodhisattva, I decided to enter back into the human world from the world of Nirvana. I looked at my vital signs and noticed that I could willingly move my heart-rate and blood pressure to specific numbers and I slowly guided myself back into a relaxed state. I decided to come back to the world as an artist and to try the best I could to try to convey the ultimate experience I had reached. I gradually left the center of my being which was in unity with the Tao, or the Reality behind reality, and out of it I slowly rebuilt a sensation of myself as an average human being. I looked at the ceiling and saw a light-bulb turn into a vision of a golden Uroboros (a snake eating it's own tale) which encircled a male and a female who seemed to be fighting. This symbolized my consciousness
entering back into the human world of opposites, the infinite cycle of death and rebirth. With my eyes closed there seemed to be fantastic visual representations of things happening around me that were still in perfect synchronicity with the world.
The doctor walked back in and began spouting meaningless nonsense such as "This is a drug and not a medicine, and after all drugs are drugs." I thought to myself "Yeah, and a tautology is a tautology." It seemed ironic that this man was being so righteous about something he had just looked up on wikipedia a few hours before; meanwhile the drugs he considered "medicine" were killing just as much if not more people than they were curing. But I could see that all these opposite opinions and personalities were united, and I felt no reason to pierce my way through the man's silly act while I was in the process of recreating my own. And so I donned willingly the mask of separateness and started playing my character again in the Cosmic Drama. I left perfect synchronization behind and came back to the slightly unaligned nature of humanity, knowing I'd done so willingly , and knowing that without knowing it, I'd begin leaving puzzle pieces around for myself to find again, and that I'd rediscover my true Identity again in the future, if only to decide on forgetting again. Lying back and watching an internal movie of images play out behind my eyes, I left the experience behind with a strong paradoxical feeling that although "the truth is one, but the sages speak of it by many names," from another perspective we create the truth by living it.