On the day of the Journey: I had changed my sleeping pattern on the course of a few days before the actual experiment.
On the day of the Journey:
I had changed my sleeping pattern on the course of a few days before the actual experiment. On that day I woke up at four PM, did some cleaning, walked for a while outside, listened to music, meditated and read the 'shrooms chapter from PiHKAL. One thing I still was uncertain of was the dosage I would be taking. I had three mushrooms, supposedly of "Stropharia Copelandia" strain, and they should be enough for 1-2 dosages. I found no certain information about this variety from the internet.
The lift-off: (Saturday 7.4.2001, T+0:00 - T+1:20)
I put the first mushroom in my mouth at 22:03 and chewed for several minutes despite the muddy taste. I chased all three of them down with couple glasses of fruit juice. The last bite went down after some twenty minutes. I waited for the effects while sitting in the dark, music quietly playing in the background. The first hallucination appeared after 37 minutes, a few colourful lines forming outlines of a butterfly.
The music I was playing (sounds of nighttime animals mixed with ambient music) was beginning to sound too threatening. This was at about the 50 minute mark, and I already had a hard time figuring out how to operate the CD player. I felt both physically and psychically disturbed. I alternated between the floor and the sofa, lights and music on and off, trying to get in more comfortable mind set. The interference
grew intensively up until T+1:20.
Phase 1: (about T+1:20 - T+2:00)
At this point the lights were on. I looked at the floor, and it was morphing in several layers. I waved my hand across the white contrast and it left a long tracer behind. My hand was looking darker than normal, and the tracer that followed was of deep red and brown. I lost interest to playing with the floor fairly quickly. This was the only perfectly clear visual distortion during the whole experience besides the butterfly earlier. There wasn't any real visual phenomena, just a lot of psychedelic-esque mental imagery.
I moved around a lot, and each position felt as uncomfortable as the other. I noticed that something in my familiar perception of reality had changed very fundamentally. It felt somewhat like cannabis for the first time- I do not how to describe the feeling, as I can't even recall it accurately afterwards. Both cannabis and psilocin have a very unique character, something reminescent of the 70's, for me. Lots of movement, stars, earthy colours, flying carpets. The effects were bordering interesting and frightening.
During this phase I removed my clothes while trying to get more comfortable. Something was making me nervous and I finally went to lie down to another room. I was still calm, though nervous, but a psychotic crisis wasn't in sight. I lied down and scanned the emotions flooding in my mind and recited the essential principle of the psychedelic experience: "turn off your mind and relax." Whatever it is, don't fight it, just follow where is it taking you and learn. Letting my focus detach from troubling issues was easy, and I was released into a place of sheer joy; a combination of cosmic unity, understanding, peace and contentment.
Phase 2: (about T+2:00 - T+4:30)
I moved back into the living room, to lie down naked in the silent darkness. Symbols and images seen in the first phase now revealed the meaning of their appearance. It was so that all my relatives, friends, people of both sexes and of all ages were different perspectives of myself. It appeared so obvious to me that there was no questioning of it. Other people, faces, names, addresses, months and years and time were a creation of my own mind to label and organize various aspects of me. There was nothing else but the Universe and myself. I laughed at the simplicity of Life and that I was understanding it. I was washed over by magnifying waves of ecstacy! At first the waves were very simple, showing different images and emotions from my childhood I had long forgotten. They showed me what it was being alive, the ecstacy was the joy of Life.
With the waves my self-perception changed too. I appeared to be an ugly, meaningless, human-like creature with an only need of living and receiving satisfaction. Once I had lost my old ego and become this infantile creature, the complete learning process of being human was launched from the very beginning. Slowly I learned to suck my thumb, to make sounds, move around, and each progress I made taught me more
about Life and offered me greater satisfaction. I felt deep emotional bondage to this experience, as if I had already once gone through the same learning process. I passed through several waves, each more profound than the previous one.
I also learned that Life was not all joy, that for every single moment of bliss there is another moment of torment. This appeared to me as an image of a circle, where the one half is joy and the other is suffering. Each wave created an image of yet another circle of different colour and size, which appeared to be somehow in relation to all the previous circles. Some waves flushed me with feelings of despair and death, but those scenes were just a quick dip and instantly the comforting bliss returned even more powerful than before. The horror and fear was not all negative, as well as the ecstacy had a distinguishable flavour of sadness. Everything was related, and I accepted this.
The number of circles increased until finally the last circle was consisted of reality itself. It was no longer absolute, but in fact, as the senses to lesser extent, the ultimate way to experience Life. Soon as I realized this, reality disappeared and I was experiencing the joy of life as directly as I could ever imagine, I was floating in the pattern of Life itself. What I was and where I were had absolutely no meaning whatsoever to me. It was the single most rewarding experience of my life, literally a direct link to Mother Nature.
After I released myself from the flow, I knew that my life up until to this point had only been a dull chore, a phase of initiation and now I was about to enter the next phase. Time was not a continuous flow- it was consisted of clusters, and in each cluster there was an important deed to be done. Now I had finished up this long, relatively uneventful and unsatisfactory cluster and was about to proceed the next one. It was to be a completely amazing, satisfying phase, and I felt joyful and excited to know I would get there. The mushroom was my guide through this
transition, and trustfully I let it take over my will. It all seemed very bening, until the ecstacy and acceptance had gone- I was reaching the ominous side of the circle. It began to feel very repressing and threatening.
Phase 3: (T+4:30 - T+9:00)
Turned the lights back on and sat for a while on the kitchen floor. This felt too heavy. I had begun the initiation, and the mushroom wasn't about to let me go until I had finished some important issues. I feared those things would be harmful to me back in the normal world. I thought about death for a short while, but that didn't seem really topical. Rather I'd to go interact with people! Now, this made sense when and if other people were still only different sides of me. Conversation would be mentally integrating, and this is a worthwhile idea even afterwards. Just that it was three in the morning back then and I felt like I had to do it right away.
I went back to bed and wanted to sleep, but appearantly that was impossible. It would have been a way to escape this psychedelic menace of being trapped in this state of sadness and threatening emotions. The clock read 02:56, almost full five hours into the trip. The next half an hour was spent alternating between staying up and lying down. Actually I found out, as I had before, that being completely still felt comforting and peaceful, but soon as I moved, the calmness was replaced by the madness.
At 3:33 I was getting so thirsty I dared to move and get into the kitchen. Upon opening the refridgerator door, the milk cartons and other groceries were still slightly "breathing", and I had trouble focusing my eyes. I was happy to notice I was returning close back to the baseline. I tried to sleep again, with no luck. My legs felt very tense and I kept rolling around in bed for several hours, until I give up six in the morning and smoke a very small bit of hash. Soon after that the tension eases and I manage to get some sleep for a few hours.
I wake up at 10 O'Clock with a bad headache. Mostly I feel disappointed with the experience, first that I had had no hallucinations, and second that I had wasted many hours of the trip in trying to sleep it off. Despite of this I still have respect for the other aspects of the experience. I think of it for a while and try to write down some lines with poor success. I was drowsy and the headache grew so strong I took some painkillers. I felt a bit light-headed the whole day, as well as on Monday morning.
The conclusion and after-effects: Saturday and Sunday 14 & 15.4.2001
The magic and the peril of the mushrooms is in that they change their user permanently. Those changes are subtle, mostly the way how the subject thinks and feels is affected. Of course I can only speak for myself, but this often seems to be the case with most psychedelics. I experienced forgotten emotions of both frigthening and enlightening nature on these mushrooms.
Right from the beginning until the very end of the trip there was the general undertone of sadness. It was associated with those images I described with earthly colours, wizards and flying carpets. The feeling peaked several times and had a notion of mental illness. That I was deemed forever into a mental asylum. The bars, long lifeless hallways, empty rooms had a deep emotional bondage with me. I feared them, and their inescepability caused me to get into the crisis mode.
This feeling is still very real. I've sensed the same desperation and rejectment in everything to various degrees since the experience. However, the mushroom did not create this feeling- it only helped me to reconnect with it. How could I have forgotten to ignore it! It is so fundamental level of my sole existance-- These two feelings, ecstacy and hopelessness could have possibly been my only emotions when I was very young, of under two or three years old. Probably everything in our home was from the 70's era when I was young. Looking back, all my toys had this tone of sadness. Being born in a hospital, and the visits to the doctor had an impact on me. Most of the furniture had the horrible but campy design and colour popular in the 70's- tones of green, brown and yellow. The mushroom made me feel, literally, as a child again.
Another very weird phenomena I had after the experience were the spontaneous waves of ecstacy. They've repeated three times during the week after the trip, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights. I remember very little of the occasion on Tuesday night. Only that I was in a state of euphoria and this "cosmic unity" for several hours. I wasn't sleeping, but definitely wasn't awake either. Wednesday this feeling returns: again I am not awake, but neither sleeping. There are several waves of euphoria, for many hours. It was well after 4 am when I looked at the clock and break out of the bliss. I start to get this unpleasant, threatening feeling, and I worry what kind of permanent changes the mushroom have made to my unconcious psyche. I dwell on this feeling for a short while, then relax and soon get to sleep.
This repeated once more on Friday night, but not nearly as strong as before. I remained totally concious of it this time. I noted that at first my whole body felt warm, heavy and very relaxed, like I'd have a safe blanket drawn over me. I don't think opiates would still feel as this, though. I was emotionally as well as sensually very receptive. Again I felt joy, but this time not as strong as before. I spent too much of my while to observe this state and it went away shortly.
This experience offered me much of what I had awaited. There were unearthly overtones and ego dissolution. Content! I do not have fear for taking psychedelics, and on an arising opportunity definitely will do it again. Later on, as I have shared some thought on the experience, I do not feel disappointed anymore. I only regret not going outside to chill, but instead tried to sleep with no success. This was a very powerful experience for the first time. And I found a very fundamental emotion for me, the first time in years. I regard this a very important revelation, one that is good for me to examine further.