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Feeling Infinity

6.5 grams of Pandora truffles + a small joint




Helping the mind by turning it inwards

I have been fascinated by psychedelics for many years now, having dabbled once or twice in my more hedonistic days. Those days now seem like lifetime ago, and I was certainly no Hunter S. Thompson; it was always done in a one-foot-on-the-ground, don't make a fool of yourself, 'be cool', party setting. Over last year or so however I have had my interest piqued again whilst listening to discussions on pod-casts as well as having read articles and journals that demonstrated the seemingly amazing mental benefits of this often overlooked phenomenon of 'tripping'. Psilocybin and Psilocin in particular caught my attention due to their ability to take users out of their normal thought patterns, causing a bit of positive chaos, and enabling a truly transformative inward experience but without it having to last 12 hours... Nothing should last 12 hours. The word "experience" was actually really key for me as I consumed a lot of information (as we all do in the modern, digital age) but I hadn't had nearly as many significant personal experiences as I would have liked in the last 10 years.

Recently a lot of things in my life have changed, and are still doing so. I am however a big believer in viewing things positively and also believe in the necessity of resistance for personal growth and development to occur. So I wanted to take a deep look into myself to find out what really made me tick, to dust off the internal moral compass, and to hopefully help me get a little clarity on where to go next.

So I did my research into psilocybin; dosage amounts, how to create the right set and setting, what to do if hit with a difficult trip, etc. Wanting to have a strong, deep journey I decided to use Pandora truffles as they were the third strongest on the menu - basically, I knew I'd get to where I wanted to go and hopefully be able to roll with it without being crushed by the wonder of it all. Based on my body weight of 77kg and the fact I have a very high metabolism (meaning whatever goes in me hits hard and fast) I thought 6.5 grams would be a good amount for this trip.

I set up my room with candles (a focal point), a place to lay down (always a good idea), music (eventually sticking to "Entheogenic" for the most part), a glow-stick (blue), high sugar drinks and sweats (in case I needed the sugar to lift my mind), a pen and paper (to record the madness), black-out blinds (as I was doing it in the day), and a small joint (tobacco and marijuana mix).

The experience

I had an apartment to myself and was ready to go.  The first thing I did was write a note to myself saying "You took something to go deep. You want change. Flow with it and don't resist. You will be OK soon." and "Remember, it comes in waves".

I kept the following log of the experience:

12:00 - I chewed the 6.5 gram pile of Pandora and savoured the acidic, distinctive taste. I then sat down for a 20 minute mindfulness meditation session (which I had started practicing about three months prior and would highly recommend the "Headspace" app for anyone interested). During the midpoint of the meditation I started to see "rolling clouds of colourful liquid smoke" whilst my eyes were closed. It was subtle and beautiful.

12:40 - By this point I definitely felt the effects coming on. It was a soft presence of mood and a growing visual alteration and distortion; I started to see faint lines appearing on the wall connecting together to make shadowy geometric shapes. I also started to dance to Enthogenic's "A Singularity Encoded" (the first time I'd ever heard it) to relax and ease me in to a fun, energetic mood.

12:50 - I stated to feel a subtle euphoria wash over me and the visual distortions became stronger. I wrote "as soon as I defocus my eyes everything starts to breathe, it's an amazing feeling to finally see it happening". I was referring to the fact I had read and heard so much about the 'breathing of walls' on psychedelics but had never actually witnessed it until then.

13:08 - "Everything moves, it's beautiful"

13:15 - "I feel completely of sound mind. Almost, but not quite, stone cold sober. However there are beautiful geometric patterns on every surface, colours are saturated and the hue has shifted, and the only real change to my mood now is one of excitement. When I close my eyes I see a beautiful large rotating disk almost horizontal to me covered in striking neon Celtic geometric patterns". Having looked into the patterns afterwards it is a common shape seen in psychedelic trips as well as in religious iconography and architecture. It was similar to a mandala.

13:35 - At this point I decided that this experience of seeing incredibly realistic patterns and shapes everywhere was great, and much easier to handle than I thought it would be (the ego is the enemy... (a great book)) so I decided to light up my joint. It immediately disrupted the geometric shapes and altered the visuals for about 2 minutes before really hammering home the effects! I wrote "it has broken the clean shapes into a sea of stars".

Going deep

The next 25 minutes were the moments I had been looking for. I more or less immediately started to feel the effects coming on as intense waves of sinking deeper into the mind and an explosion of fractal geometry everywhere I looked. The walls started to slide and the flat surfaces turned into large fractal pillars rotating in line. The wooden table looked like smoke was pouring across the top of it like a dry ice machine. There was a dream-catcher on the wall which when focused on appeared to zoom in and out like the dolly zoom effect from Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo". I then took my glow-stick, kneeled on the floor (which was covered in a slowly moving soup of Celtic geometric shapes like oil in water) and put the glow-stick in the centre of the space. The patterns immediately centred around the glow-stick making what I can only describe as a magic glyph. It looked so mind bogglingly amazing that I reached for my camera before quickly realising what I was doing and burst out laughing.

I then took the glow stick and rolled it over my closed eyes. This is where things started to get intense. I started to see giant fractal structures very clearly. So I lay down and closed my eyes to delve deeper into that world. I saw, or was hovering above, huge swirling vistas that began to form enormous vertical columns that at the time I decided were the trees of life. They were bigger than galaxies. On closer inspection the columns or trunks were branching out in all directions in the most brilliant colours imaginable. It was around this moment, as I zoomed out from the huge fractal trunks, that for the briefest of moments infinity made absolute sense. I felt it. I felt everything go outward and inward forever. No words can describe that feeling. It was beyond a basic intellectual understanding of a concept, it was somehow an experiential understanding that everything went on forever in every direction, inwards and outwards, and it blew my tiny monkey brains. In that moment of awe I felt pure terror like I have never felt before.

The first thought that came to me after terror was "oh god, I'm scared... Oh no... I'm gonna have a bad trip"! As soon as that thought entered my mind doubt, fear, and anxiety came rushing in like a pack of wolves, and I mean that in almost a literal sense; I could almost see the feelings stalking me and begin closing in quickly. It was similar to the imagery in Trainspotting when Renton shoots up and sinks down into the ground, but the walls here were my fears. Not wanting to go down into the depths of mental hell I thought I needed to listen to these thoughts and feelings but not let them consume me, so I quickly jumped up and began to do a sort of Tai Chi (which I do not practice) breathing and movement exercise to process what was going on in my mind, but in a physical way. I focused on my hands out in front of me and grounding myself in the moment. Thankfully this worked incredibly well!

I cannot tell you how much those few minutes have strengthened my mind and given me the deepest confidence in myself. I have faced something that has truly terrified me on an absolute base level and not let it crush me. I was able to pull myself back from the brink of what insanity must feel like, and not let negative emotions take hold and cascade into one another, amplifying the effect. Instead, I allowed them to come and go without taking root. I'm sure, among other things, meditation was key to allow that way of thinking.

14:00 - The strong wave started to pull back and I was able to write again; "Had an intense blast into the infinite mind. Wowza!" and "Do not over analyse or dwell on thoughts. Instead act more as an observer. It leads to a strong mind".

At this point I opened the blinds and let the sunlight pour in which was extremely refreshing. Everything was still covered in, and inherently expressed, fractal geometry but the intensity was slightly less and as time went on each wave that hit became less intense than the last. As a side note it's actually really nice getting small moments of respite in-between the intense periods of visuals or thoughts as you have some time to digest what you have seen or learned before moving onto the next 'session'.

14:20 - I spent a while in silence looking out of the window watching a bird on a roof top across the road from me. I then wrote "psychedelics have an ability to push all of your anxieties to the surface where you have to deal with them. It most likely works as a therapy because you learn ways to combat terror and dread - or as we commonly call it - fear (which on a substance like this can be realised incredibly vividly) in ways you never have the chance to do in normal life".

14:50 - After some time contemplating a multitude of things and seeing faces in bed sheets I felt the effects easing off more and more. So I made a bowl of soup and sat down to listen to Aubrey Marcus' podcast #63 "The end of my plant medicine journey" which was quite fitting. While the pod-cast was playing I stretched and watch the world go by outside.

16:00 - I finished the podcast and felt more or less back to normal, so decided to venture outside into the city for what ended up being a brilliant and contemplative two hour walk.

Afterthoughts

All in all this was one of the most enlightening and productive experiences of my life. I learned that we have the ability to allow negativity to pass through us and not take hold, and that the world is most certainly far more amazing than we can ever really know (although we all 'know' that, it's good having a direct experience as an anchor to that feeling).

Going in to the experience I wanted to get some clarity on major choices and decisions I was having to make at the time. This I did not get. What I did get however was a rock solid belief in myself and a deeper knowledge of what makes me tick, what I am scared of (it's always good to know what holds you back), and that when push comes to shove I have a mental strength I did not know was there.

Several months on I feel a good sense of lightness, humour, and humility has come from this. Small everyday things seem more important again and, even though the grand scale is there (which I have always been obsessed with), it doesn't need to be front and centre at all times. Enjoy the moment, here and now. Even as you ready these typed words. Don't get me wrong, this sort of experience is not for everyone as it is powerful and can be HARD at times, but I believe it has helped me in ways that I couldn't have accessed through simple intellectual debate and reasoning alone. If you want to look under the hood and get to know yourself a little bit more, both the light and the dark sides, psychedelics certainly offer one interesting and worthy path.

This will not be the last time I take a journey deep within.

Edabea
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