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Ego death / birth of a new self / new understandings

Possibly level 5

The following experience happened during a holiday to Amsterdam with two other friends, I first dosed 10 grams of magic truffles, then redosed 5 grams one hour later and ate a weak space cake, and then smoked a joint during the peak. My friends both dosed 7.5 grams of truffles and didnt eat or smoke. These truffles were the strongest strain available in the smart shop.

First dose at 13:10. Chewed the truffles and rinsed down with a multivitamin drink (they tasted bad).

At around 13:40, I began to experience the come-up. Strangely, I didnt experience nausea or anxiety; instead I experienced a spaced out feeling, and 10 minutes later began having trippy visuals. These visuals were very mild, I can recall looking across the room and seeing a canyon and river form and flow in the bed sheets, which at the time was the most intense it got. From here on the visuals remained at this mild level until the redose. My headspace was relatively clear and I wasn't often getting too carried away with my thoughts, and apart from getting the giggles, my emotions were rather stable.

At about 14:30, I decided I should redose as I wanted a more intense and impacting experience than just funny visuals. Therefore I redosed the extra 5 grams of truffles that I was planning on saving for another time (they tasted even more disgusting than the first dose). As well as this, I ate a small amount of leftover space cake which accumulated to approximately 50mg of THC. Again, no nausea was felt after the redose, but at around 15:20 the intensity increased significantly. Looking around, the visuals became rather intense, my feet looked like they were rapidly aging and truning to bone, and I looked significantly different in a mirror, as if I was looking at myself for the first time (signs of the breaking of my ego perhaps?). After staying in the room for a short while, I suggested to my friends that we head outside to an open park next to the Van Gogh museum, to experience the beauty of the outside world in this psychedelic state. They agreed, and we left, bringing with a joint along with us.

The outside world seemed completely foreign and false, as if everything was synthetic and plastic, smooth looking (imagine a miniature village). Cars looked very small, and as I walked along the path, the doors of buildings appeared to shrink and grow, as if my distance perception was completely off. Everything looked like it was in HD as it felt like I could see textures and surface details for the first time. Grass appeared fake, and it felt like a spotlight was being held over where I walked. When we reached the park, we sat down and leant on a tree. Up to this point I had been talking and engaging with my friends for essentially the entire time, which I believe kept me firmly planted in reality (prevented strong headspace tripping) but now I decided to allow myself to follow my train of thoughts. At around 15:40 I lit up the joint and took a few hits, and at this point things really started to get twisted.

I began to think about what I was feeling and experiencing; the first thing I thought of was freedom, as this is what I felt at the time. I then questioned why I felt free. This question seemed really deep to me, and I came to the conclusion that I had been set free from myself. It was as if I was a different being, reborn after being trapped in my sober self for so long. I then began to feel like my thoughts were talking to me, they had a voice. This voice was my sober self, communicating with the other being which I had now become. After this realisation a hugely impactful experience occurred. I looked around and everything seemed so different. The communication between my sober self and the new being ceased. I felt like I was god and everything that was happening at each moment was happening through me. It was complete oneness. It felt as if I was creating the "reality" around me without knowing how to control it properly. I had no emotions whatsoever, and was completely numb. Along with this, I was unable to use my memory or any previously learned information and thus I didn't recognise or even attempt to recognise anything that I could sense. I simply existed. I believe what I experienced was in fact ego death, the death of everything that defines myself (past experiences and what I have learned throughout my life and how that has impacted and formed my personality).

After experiencing this, I believe I was essentially being 100% present in the moment; the sensory functions of the brain were in use but the 'thinking' mind was completely switched off. Logic, habits, memory and other forms of intelligence are used to 'tag' or 'name' things when you see them; for example, you know what a cat is when you see one because you have seen and experienced a cat before; learned about it. The brain tells you it's a cat - this is a function of a section of the brain called the default mode network. When this section of the brain doesn't communicate to you that what you are looking at is a cat, you have no idea what it is, even if you have the intelligence within your brain to know what it is. When everything you sense isn't recognised by you, as the default mode network isn't in operation, then a complete oneness is felt, everything is sensed as the same thing, definitions don't exist whilst in this state. Therefore, having experienced this trip and having FELT a true oneness, it doesn't lead me to believe in god and the beliefs of everything truly being one. It instead reinforces me to believe in the experimental findings in biology; specifically in brain function.

Scientific rant over, after what felt like hours, the ego death began to subside and I was coming back into my familiar reality (default mode network began functioning again). I thought I was going to die, as my sober self still felt like a different person to who I was at the time. I began to feel like words were meaningless as they couldn't define what I had previously experienced (the ego death). This led me to think about the meaning of anything and everything. I came to the conclusion that everything that happens ever is completely pointless as nothing is ever truly accomplished by anything, there is never truly a start or an end to anything ever. After having thought this and truly believing it at the time, I questioned the big bang theory and the theory that everything started from nothing and will perhaps return to nothing at the end of space-time existence. This left me truly mind-blown and I then realised I needed to come down as I was at risk of having a mental breakdown. I proceeded to have deep discussions with my friends which took me off the possibly dangerous thoughts of pointless existence and the meaninglessness of everything.

After a while (at this point I had lost complete track of time and how it works), we decided to go to a restaurant as we were all hungry, which was strange because I was still tripping pretty hard. The food tasted amazing, and I believe it helped me come down quicker because time seemed to operate more smoothly after leaving the restaurant. I returned to my sober self again soon after and was rather relived as my fear of death had subsided.

In conlusion this trip was very good and very intense. Little euphoria was experienced, but a lot of realisation and new understanding was learnt. The trip lasted approximately 7 hours, with the peak lasting around 3 hours. The entire experience felt like it lasted days as I lost all meaning of time.

This was the most profound experience of my life and has left me more open-minded in certain regards. As this trip only occurred two nights ago, I am experiencing the afterglow at the time of posting this, and feel very clear minded and seemingly more aware. This post will be edited if more of what was learnt on the trip springs into my memory as time goes by.

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