I had decided to grow mushrooms somewhere around Christmastime 1997, after
having read extensively on the subject here on the Shroomery. I was careful and
attentive to the process, and it came off nicely. My mushrooms began to fruit
right on time, a week or two before Spring Break.
My roommate and I, neither
of whom had tripped before, planned to eat mushrooms an hour or so after our
last final exam on Thursday afternoon. We figured that this would give us a
nice evening trip winding down about 10 or 11 PM. The next day, we would board
an airplane to Seattle to visit a dear friend of ours who had recently moved
away. Two trips in two days.
Our last final was in Physics. We finished it
in good spirits, perhaps mostly because we were anticipating our mushroom
experience with such enthusiasm. When we got home from the test, two of our
other roommates were just leaving to go home for Spring Break. With the place
to ourselves, we decided to set the atmosphere for our trip. We set out
cleaning everything so the environment would be as positive and uplifting as
possible, and collected a few CDs to which we planned to listen.
PM, we took about 35 grams of fresh mushrooms from where they waited in the
refrigerator, and blended them with a quart of fresh squeezed orange juice from
our favorite health food store. We poured the cocktail into our two nicest
matching glasses and ceremoniously drank together, the flavor of the mushrooms
entirely masked by the sweet citrus. With reverent smiles, we washed the
glasses and waited for the effects to set in.
Sitting on the couch and
listening to Pink Floyd's masterpiece of a first album, The Piper at the
Gates of Dawn, we began to notice slight giddiness and a bit more attention
to detail than usual. This, of course, was probably due more to our mood than
the mushrooms, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Midway through the album, at
about 4:45, I decided to take a shower. It had been a couple of days, and I was
feeling a bit icky.
In the shower, I think I spent more time with my eyes
closed than with them open, and when I did look around, it seemed to me that the
shower was, well, a place of its own, with a certain identity. Admittedly it
was a strange thing to think about, yet undeniably true. The effects were
barely beginning to set in.
When I came back out into the front room, my
roommate was lying supine on the couch, still listening to Pink Floyd, but now
watching the ceiling with some intent. He told me, "I think the ceiling is
moving." He meant, of course, that he imagined it was. I was excited by this,
and joined him in his observation. To my amazement, he was right! The
previously boring pattern of holes in our ceiling had come to life, flowing in
waves and rearranging itself in complicated but clearly discernable ways.
this point, the effects were only slight, and I could stop them with no effort
of will at all. In fact, it took some time to get used to the relaxed way of
looking at things that allowed the visuals to really develop. Once I had
mastered it -- to some extent -- the ceiling did even more for my amusement.
Or, shall I say, my mind was able to do so much more with the image of the
ceiling. Colors interjected themselves into what was previously only a white
surface. The holes moved independently or in unison, at times spinning, at
others flowing in river-like motions all over the ceiling. Both of us spent a
considerable amount of time watching this.
At some point, I went and got two
oranges from the cupboard, where we were saving them for our trip. The color,
texture, smell, and taste were more stimulating than those of any orange I had
eaten before. It was a thoroughly enjoyable snack, and a lot of fun to eat.
Eventually, I discovered the second wonderful surface of our apartment: the
floor. Our carpet, too, had always seemed ugly and mundane. But not today.
Real patterns that I had never before noticed presented themselves to me in
brilliance. Their detail was colorful and lively, flowing and moving like the
ceiling did, only now there was a more interesting interaction to watch. Rivers
dominated the scene, particularly as one color would move independently of the
others, though sometimes carrying other colors along with it. Waves and
pulsations ebbed and flowed through the floor.
Whenever I closed my eyes, I
saw swirling patterns of color, taking on shapes in three dimensions and moving
in mathematically significant manners. At some times I would see twinkling and
vibration, at others smooth blends and subtle tones. It was hard to decide
whether this was more entertaining, or what I saw with my eyes open.
moved through periods of watched the ceiling and the floor and closing our eyes,
listening to the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
after Piper had ended. Both albums were astoundingly beautiful works
of art. I think so when I'm not tripping, and being at that state enhanced the
experience of this music I already loved. When the second album was over, we
moved out of the front room and into the hallway, for no specific reason. The
wood surfaces of the cabinets in the kitchen were particularly amazing, flowing
as if alive, along the patterns of their grain.
In the absence of sound from
the stereo, we began to talk about our experience, and many other topics which
arose. Our minds were expanded; able to contemplate things which we rarely
think about in the course of our prosaic daily lives. We discussed life, and
how patterns dominate our universe; evolution, early man, the consciousness of
other life forms. The unity of the universe, the wonder of our ability to
think, and the more amazing way in which we were able to communicate those
thoughts -- through language. We delved into philosophy and science, wondering
at and appreciating all the beautiful and inspiring things we have come to take
for granted as functioning members of a sprawling society and culture.
awe I felt was perhaps beyond anything I had ever experienced in my life. It
gave me new insights into life, and a renewed sense of passion for living it to
the fullest. For a moment, I felt like a new being, like a child born into this
truly breathtaking experience we call existence. Everything made sense,
everything fit, even if I didn't entirely understand how or why. The universe,
it seemed, was alive in its own way.
Slowly, visual effects dissipated, and
we were left with a glow of wonder at the thoughts we had had. Food sounded
good, because we had been on a juice fast for the previous two days, cleansing
our bodies partly in preparation for our psychedelic experience. It was past
7:30. The place we wanted to eat closed at 8:00, so we figured we had better
I was a little nervous about driving, but I really had no problem
doing it once I settled into the role. As a matter of fact, I felt more aware
of my surroundings on the road than I usually do. Getting to our destination
was smooth and effortless.
I ordered a cilantro pasta salad, which was
delicious. As I ate it, I glanced around at the inside of the store. Visual
effects only happened with deliberate effort on my behalf. I felt a lingering
peace and openness that carried over from the experience. The rest of the night
was relaxed and contemplative, though we remained joyous and thoroughly pleased
with where our trip had taken us. I think I can say without hesitation that it
was one of the best days of my life.