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Hieroglyphic Mushroom Tablets
This dosage was similar to, but "thicker" than, the 2 g. of dry substance I tried before. I believe the freshness gave it a more palpable effect. Fresh also tastes MUCH better ... just like (you guessed it!) mushrooms. I don't know how such mild and tasty tidbits can turn into such a gagging substance when dried.
Instead of the closed-eyes neon green-red-blue two dimensional geometrics I'd experienced before, the visuals were earth-toned: deep, dark browns, greens, reds. Instead of the cute, bright zig-zags there were earthenware tablets inscribed with hieroglyphics which looked like a combination of Egyptian scribbling and Mayan glyphs. I also got the pixel-like (red, blue, green) fragmentation of everything I looked at (open-eyed) which I'd seen on the 4 g. dry encounter. But the dosage was too low to yield any morphing of real objects.
The "scibblings" on the mud-brick tablets became utter incomprehensible. It was as if those glypic tablets were trying to to show me something brand new. The dosage was too low to overcome intellect; when the "writing" morphed to the point of incomprehension my mind would simply say, "Oh, wow, it's going beyond what I can describe/interpret." The morphing tablets were like sirens singing to me, tempting me toward another dimension.
The induced images are unlike those of mescaline or lsd which are ephemeral and soft-edged and "swishing". The mushroom visions are hard-edged, definite, distinct, almost touchable. Their smallest details can be discerned and focused upon.
The visuals pulse and change beyond description ... beyond being able to put words on them. They "stretch understanding". They attempt to push me past what it is we do with words to order our world. The visuals are a significant part of the fungus experience. The other entheogens are more "wordy". With lsd one must take truly heroic doses to "see the pictures". Behind closed eyes I examine these images and they evolve and change and BECOME more than I can pour meaning over. They invite me, lure me beyond preconception.
An hour after ingestion, lying quietly with eyes-closed I float through a jungle of mostly indiscrete shapes. The place definitely has the flavor of a jungle and my imagination conjures a general backdrop of soaring tree trunks, a thick light-blocking canopy overhead, bits and pieces of plants and animals (?) peeking out here and there. I focus attention on a particular object/shape and it immediately morphs into a stylized, mechanical mantis staring down at me, mandibles gently pulsing. It seems that any object I look directly at transforms into a mantis. I don't know if this is particular to this entheogen or if my extensive reading on the subject contributes to this effect. These stylized insects (they look like they've been air-brushed) aren't threatening; they just seem mildly curious. Not really "friendly", but somewhat welcoming just the same. Linguistically analyzing this phenomenon my thoughts and words change into mantes! During the intensity of the experiment I could, at any time, relax then see these familiar creatures develop quickly from either the images my mind had conjured or the words I was thinking.
My dictionary reports:
mantis [Gr. *mantis*, prophet, seer, kind of insect; i.e. *men-*, to think; see MAN]
Pondering the devouring nature of the insect I found I could journey into less pleasant vistas. Darker. Snakes which weren't nice. An evil black boil in my mind. Slithy, slithering. But (at least at this dosage) I found I was "in charge" ... that I could guide my exploration easily between the darker and lighter realms.
With this realization I got up and wandered back and forth between my two rooms. The bedroom was as dark as I could make it. The sitting room sported candles. As I passed through the door into the candlelight my mood and the internal dialogue lightened; as I passed back into the darkened room my mood and self-dialogue darkened. I was reminded of an intense hallucination I had many years ago in which I was being pulled violently by angels, on one side, and devils on the other; when I emerged from that vision I found I actually had been "being thrown" from one side of the room to the other.
I reclined and closed my eyes again, inviting the darker realm. It certainly *could* be scary, but I lucidly understood that all these visions and thoughts were entirely of my own mind. There was nothing I was seeing/thinking which wasn't intimately me. I'm sure it didn't hurt that I'd discovered I was able to control the flow. Anyway, I believe there is something very important here to know. It seems sorta obvious just to talk about it, but to *be it* brings it home: no matter how goody-goody we think we are or we aspire to be, we are still integrated throughout the continuum of that which is "light" and that which is "dark". I suspect that herein lies a major clue to successfully navigating these realms.
While I did want to get some of the ideas down on paper, I realized this activity interfered with the entheogen. So I returned to couch. Immediately I reentered the visual flow/thought. But this time I was not in the jungle. I was inside my head. I was in a dome made of layered brown leaf-like shapes, interlaced. I wonder if this is the "dome place" which TM and others talk about. It was slowly spinning. Pondering this dome and equating it to the inside of my head I was plunged into a grisly, wet, throbbing, grey mass of matter coursing here and there with rivulets of blood ... obviously my brain.
This wasn't scary in any sense, but I found it unpleasant. Wandering around in my physical guts didn't appeal. I got up, deciding I needed a breath of fresh air. It was too chilly to wander out by this time. So I stood on my landing communing with the hackberry tree. It expressed itself as nobility and seemed to ask me why I harbored some disdain for it as it is "only" a hackberry. It wasn't "mad" at me, but wanted to express its love for me, its unflinching service to me in terms of shade and oxygen and green and simple, pure beauty ... it's craftiness as a resting place for the birds I so love. I wondered at and thanked the tree, took my fresh breath, and went back inside.
Standing in the door between rooms I again sensed the threshold nature of the dose ... the fact that this dosage was what it was ... that the possibility of penetration into deeper hyperspace would have to wait. I closed my eyes and could again draw the visions, but they were beginning to be less intense, less accessible, replays offering nothing new. I looked at the clock (which earlier had indeed moved very, very slowly if at all) and realized I was past plateau. Thus began the long, slow glide.
The proponents of this substance try to tell us the mushrooms offer a universal vision unlike the personal, psychoanalytical flux of lsd. My experience so far is that they aren't entirely correct. The rush side is universal - and the stronger the rush side the shorter the downslide. The downslide from peak is very similar to the stronger entheogen. And, in a way, this is the downside of low-dosage experiences for it goes on for a while. After all, how many times do you need to be confronted with your shortcomings? Answer: until you fix them.
The welcome thing about the mushrooms is that they are gentle (whereas lsd is stark and confronting and demanding). The self-analytical stuff is given kindly. Here's a compendium of thoughts I scribbled so as to remember:
It doesn't matter who I *think* I am; all that matters is what I'm supposed to be. Be being (with overtones of "be a man"). Be a source of healing. Be a source of power.
Clean up your act in every wee way. (Given in some detail encompassing tobacco, alcohol, physical conditioning, diet, thoughts chosen to process, cleanliness of environment ... all very focused on what I *can* control.) I asked "How do I accomplish this?" The answer:
Start With The Obvious.
Direct your energy so you're not just bouncing off walls.
Think about time and attention.
It's all very "reality-basing".
The clean-up-your-act stuff intimated that this is the key to accessing more profound levels of understanding and accomplishment both in and out of the entheogenic experience. Yes, I know ... so obvious, perhaps. But so intimate and real and immutable in this state of mind. So piercingly correct. Yet gently piercing under the influence of the fungus. Not condemning. Helpful. Hopeful. Encouraging. Fatherly in the very best sense of the word.
The experience says, "Grasp ahead to that golden ring you see dangling. Grab hold. Reach backward to the next person in line." The experience spoke of the importance of all of us, of the vital importance of bootstrapping one another into higher/better levels of awareness/ability.
I would like to say there is a Motherly presence there. But I'm not sure there is. Perhaps the mushroom is an aspect of the masculine side of the universe, penis-shaped as it is. It goes beyond logic, but works within and without that frameset. Prior experience with other substances tells me that heavier doses may be much less understanding, forgiving and patient, but maybe not. So far (with one four gram exposure) I sense the fungus *can* indeed be extremely challenging, but it may continue to be kindly and compassionate. This is unlike any medicine I've tried before. I sense there is much healing here if one can/will take the bull by the horns and act. It is not a cure, but it surely paves a way.
It keeps saying, "Heal".
Other thoughts the experience engendered:
Without doubt the mushroom speaks of the will to live/survive ... the preciousness of life ... the importance of sticking around as long as possible ... the value of becoming valuable.
It definitely speaks of the preciousness of life.
The amazing thing is this all comes from the ordinariness of plucking little homegrown buttons from the rice cake and popping them into one's mouth. And while they were delightfully mild tasting, I can stop, just now, and taste in my mouth their delicate flavor 24 hours later.
I hit baseline at about four hours after ingestion. Yet I was totally too wound up at midnight-thirty to even contemplate sleep. I grimaced and tried the stereo. The modern celtics in the CD tray were too sad. I grimaced and flicked on the tube. Surprise! Scientific American Explorer was exploring Panama. Now I know why the Yucatan attracts me so; it's within walking distance of Panama! Did you know leaf-cutter ants in the rain forest cut leaves 100 feet up in the canopy then haul them miles back to the nest to grow fungus? Fungiculture! What a strange coincidence for a first-time test of homegrown fungus :~)
I settled back into the "normal" nest at six hours and read of Ender's adventures until sleep became me. Slept seven hours without a thought. Awoke to dogs barking, alas, but also to an unidentified bird chirping delightfully in the hackberry.
Can't say I've quit smoking, drinking, or scrubbed my apartment. Yet I've a clear head and an outlook on life more positive than I had yesterday.
This stuff doesn't invite abuse. In the "coasting down" time last night I felt I would be most able to wait for another taste. It's enough to know that given the possibility of obtaining spores this avenue is available.
Yet, yet, yet ...
I'm ready to go back. In my youth I risked all to Attain the Answer via the synthetics and either failed or I didn't remember or I wasn't ready or the synthetics don't cut it. I feel ready! I want some more of this. Mushrooms rule, shall we say? It is daunting. It's not recreational at all. Well, maybe I'm lying. It is intriguing. Perhaps it is empty. I want to eliminate that possibility or confirm it. Patience, they say ... one of the virtues, they say.
After writing the account above, I remembered a very important segment. It's so archetypal it's almost embarrassing to mention. But it happened to me right here in the aerie last night. I've been there before and many people speak of it. It's easy to comprehend intellectually. Yet the FEELING of it, the ACTUALITY of it is so reassuring in some way:
My mind arises out of Mind.
I am the fig on the branch. I am the fruit on the tree. I don't know what Mind is, ultimately. I don't know if it preceeds me or if I manufacture it. But I do know it's bigger than me-mind and it is somehow connected with the source of what I am; that what I perceive myself to be arises out of it. That it creates me. That everything blossoms from it.
In the supressed Gospel of St. Thomas Jesus says, "I cleave the log, and I am there."
If Terence is right it blossoms backwards in the shadow of What Really Is. If what I'm reading in quantum physics is right, Terence is right. Backwards or forwards the tiny handful of mushrooms took me again to that understanding ... the immediate understanding that I am a flower of great beauty springing from Beauty Untold, Beauty Unlimited. Deep, deep roots.
I want to plunge and plumb those depths. I want to know. I want to find the way to a place in which this fragile mind/body sucks in and contains that which is. Or vice versa. I want to do this in the living flesh and translate it into living, three dimensional love.
I suppose I should admit I want to bath in that beauty again.
I want to do this without assuming the christ nature and result, ha ha. I want this to be normal and everyday. For everyone. It's there! Why can't we access it? Well, we can access it. Why can't we translate it and activate it in the minds of those around us? What stops us from maintaining it as a way of life? What is it we are trapped in? Serotonin hallucinations, I suppose. A bum tryptamine trip.
I'm very curious about the morphing hieroglyphic tablets and am looking for any feedback I can get from others who've had the same experience. If you can comment on this, please post to The Shroomery's Message Board or to alt.nature.mushrooms.