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Walking the Unknowable Path
Walking the Unknowable Path
Below is the description of an acid trip I had wherein I caught a glimpse of something which I find nearly impossible to put into words. It is, at its heart, what many religions of the world call "unity." But as an actual experience it is as difficult to understand as it is to explain.
I decided to take the LSD with a friend of mine, call him N. It was really potent blotter acid, though we didn't know it at the time. Two were red and two were blue. "Which do you want, the red pill, or the blue pill?" he said. This reference was going to prove startlingly apt in the coming years as the profound nature of this experience revealed itself.
We had planned to walk from my house to Stanley Park, which we estimated would take us about three hours. We didn't mind, because we had plenty of time to relax and take in what our minds would soon be perceiving as "ego transcendence."
By the time we got to the park, my friend was starting to scare me. I was staring out at the ocean which lay on the outside of the park. He had just lost his cell phone, and was looking for it. For whatever reason, he thought that I was judging him for owning a cell phone. I had just returned from a trip to a remote part of Africa and had been exuding a lot of judgement about the materialistic nature of North American culture.
"Just like...whatever judgements you have about western culture or society, just keep it to yourself, okay?" His tone was startling and hateful.
His anger started to scare me, so instead of parting ways with him I played the part of a scared child and started following him. He was also angered by this and started yelling at me.
"I'M NOT YOUR DAD"
"YOU KNOW, YOU THINK THAT YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ME, BUT I KNOW THINGS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW"
This was around the point where I lost all reality and had my psychosis. Everything gets a little hazy around this point but I can roughly summarize it and explain it in a way which will make some amount of sense. And even if it doesn't make sense to you, that's okay.
I felt like I was going to die. My mind felt as though it had electricity and white light running through it. I had collapsed on the grass and had become completely and totally incapacitated. I felt as though I had just been run over by a cement truck and had its contents piled on top of me for about a thousand years. I kept asking N, "Am I going to die?"
"You're not going to die!"
I probably asked him this about a hundred times, although the event is too far gone by this point to hazard an estimate. Life was like it had always been, only all of the events, feelings, and sensations were amplified by the hundreds. I felt as though I was just barely existing as a ghost in this world. All reality was falling away from me. This was happening 30 metres away from a playground, where children were playing with their parents.
It is always impossible to know what is really going on inside someone else. But, for whatever reason, that day, I felt as though I was able to transcend this state. I could see my friend, as he really was - he was laughing at me in my state of pain, and I saw that he was not my friend, but an egotistical prick. By the time that my Dad showed up I was still in bonkers mode. My "friend" had called my Dad upon realizing that I had become too much to handle and he was on his way to Stanley Park, the worry of my health and safety now dominating his mind. When he showed up I was still asking "Am I going to die?" And he had to console me "You're not going to die" Over and over again as he carried me over to his car and grabbed the backpack which I had brought with me.
My Dad started the car and began to drive off towards our house. My anger for having been brought away soon became apparent as I started yelling at the people outside the window. "YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKERS!" I yelled without any self-consciousness. All of my anger from all of the bullying and abuse I had suffered in high school and beyond could no longer be hidden. Yes, it was the bullying and stupid social pressure and bullshit, but it was more than that, too. It was something which I couldn't identify. See this is what happens when we are in an "ego-less" state. All of the energy that we usually put into presenting whatever image we think is most pleasing to the world around us goes out the window, and what we are left with is our raw emotional state. It isn't the most pretty sight in the world, but at least it is truthful. There is a beauty in it.
And I had to own it all. All of my choices which had culminated in my near-death experience that day were all my own to bear. Nobody had forced me into my own grave - I had tended the land and dug the hole.
But by the time we had arrived back at my neighbourhood, I could see my entire life flash before my eyes, and for the first time in about ten years, I felt hopeful. Because I could see vividly my life exactly as it was going to be. This part is difficult to explain because it defies some pretty basic physical laws i.e. it's impossible to predict the future. But the feeling was so vivid. And I could actually see and feel my life, as though the entire contents of my consciousness had been compressed into about five minutes. It's sort of like a fractal. What you're seeing is a smaller version of what's already happening.
Of course, my Dad was having none of this, as my experience made me seem like a crazed heretic, jumping around our neighbourhood yelling "Woo hoo!" This scared the shit out of my parents and they decided to call an ambulance. But instead of being escorted away by paramedics, I instead discovered two police officers inside our house when I entered. I tried to explain to them that I had discovered the illusory nature of reality (HA HA HA) and obviously they were having none of that either. So, they handcuffed me, shoved me in the back of an ambulance, tied me down to a hospital bed, and injected me with a sedative. When I woke up the next morning the entire experience was only a memory.
This experience made me believe that it is possible to transcend our ego. This is what Death is, of course. O great, lord death, I have already seen you, and I know your name. I have seen your face, I have felt your foul breath upon my skin. But I do not know you as others know you. I see you as one and the same as those who have long since vanquished the delusion of the self. I had seen the life of my enemies, and the people who had misunderstood, and I could see their suffering - I could see everything, all at once. And it was spectacular - like watching a panoramic view of the entire universe compressed into what feels like a microsecond. This is what the bliss of true understanding feels like.
The last second of life is the interval where we sink back into an understanding of everything. Where the world comes to a halt - and our sense of separation disappears. We become part of the Earth once more, and sink back into the soil. It feels like we're going to be gone forever, but then we come back again. These are some of the psychedelic insights I have been able to glean from this never-ending dream/nightmare. I still don't know why any of this happened. But I can at least share some small flash of insight into that beautiful day when I lost myself completely.