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Nothing Existed

Ego death and wavefunctions



I'm not going to do this experience justice at all, but here is my attempt to transcribe the ineffable.

At 1530 this afternoon I took 2.5g of dried Mazatapec mushrooms which I'd brewed into a lemon tea (I'm pretty small so this would be equivalent to a much higher dose for an average weight person). I was tripping alone. Based on a recent experience of 4g Mazatapec (chewed up and eaten in dried form), I was anticipating a mild to moderate trip, and I was about to have my own ass served to me on a silver platter.

I drank the infusion and then made myself comfortable in my living room. I'd fed my cat so he wouldn't bother me, left a note on my front door for the Amazon driver to leave my delivery on the doorstep without knocking (please and thank you), and put on some soft lighting and an essential oil diffuser. I put some binaural beats on my headphones to clear my mind and sat on the sofa, reading from a book of nature poetry to pass the time while I waited for the subtle effects of my anticipated moderate trip to gradually come on. Like they did the last time...

The come up was subtle in the same way as a blow from a sledgehammer. Rapid and intense, it felt more like an assault. Around 30 minutes after ingestion, I'd felt the familiar rush of anxiety that I often experience when coming up, accompanied by a freefall sensation in my stomach. I felt a powerful sense of acceleration, as if I was onboard a rocket being blasted away from the Earth. The force made my body grow heavy and pulled me so hard against the sofa that I felt as though I was melting into it. Sensations of dread and malaise arose within me and as I lay back, I invited them to be there without offering any resistance. Shortly after, with no gradual progression from one state to the other, reality (as it is usually defined) ceased to exist.

During this stage of the trip, I no longer identified as a "self", but as a diffused awareness in a space of pure consciousness. From somewhere within this space, a vague (and seemingly random) thought arose about my parents going to a restaurant that I'd bought them a voucher for after they helped me move house several years earlier. But the notion of "parents" no longer held any meaning and I felt great confusion about whether they were my parents, or if I was their parents? This uncertainty made perfect sense at the time, and the realisation settled over me that there was no answer because "I" did not exist. At this point, nothing existed outside of this empty awareness, not even in abstract or conceptual form.

I had chosen, while still in touch with "reality", to listen to a playlist by Carbon Based Lifeforms during my trip, but what I was hearing was something entirely different. I experienced a proper auditory hallucination for I think the first time ever, as a form of frightening, malevolent energy (which dissipated as I reminded myself not resist the difficult elements of a trip). The music was unrecognisable as the same playlist I've listened to several times before on previous trips and I recall wondering into this void of awareness "But who is listening to what?" 

At some point during the peak, I became lost in a spinning fragment of reality, at the centre of a segment of music repeating forwards and backwards to infinity, and I mused that the warp of repeating events I found myself confined in was simply an eigenstate of a wavefunction* that my own conscious observation of the music had caused the collapse of, and that a wavefunction, as the superposition of all states, must encompass an infinite number of all possible versions of reality, in simultaneous but unobserved existence, and that my own awareness had just settled for a while in this particular one. (*Not trying to pass this off as having any scientific validity - this is just how my mind rationalised the experience. I do have a physics degree but I also didn't know what my own parents were so I was pretty fucked.)

Things began to exist again after this. The illusion of a self returned and for the next hour or so, I lay staring up at my living room ceiling in wonder and astonishment at what had just transpired. The visuals on this trip were not as memorable as I've had on some milder trips but were probably somewhat overshadowed by the intensity of the ego death (and my perceived insights into the nature of quantum mechanics).

As always, a reminder to treat mushrooms with the respect they deserve. This was a phenomenal trip but way, way more intense than I was expecting from the dosage. 

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