This was a long planned for mushroom trip. It was my first, but in a sense I not only knew what to expect (lots of reading up), I had somewhat stood on similar landscapes/mindscapes, both with the help of other drugs, and owing to an experience I had in March of 2001 that can best be encapsulated as a moment of “enlightenment” – this was a moment not at all influenced by drugs or any such thing. It’s a long story, but led me into a heavy practice of meditation (and for some time a focus on hermetic/magick ritual). These practices had helped me achieve some mindstates that at least resembled the state brought on by mushrooms. I am no master of meditation though, and of course with the mushrooms it was effortless and more potent. The friend I tripped with in the below report shares my interest in meditation etc., and had tripped before on mushrooms.
We prepared by reading (several times) Timothy Leary’s psychedelic experience – a book that utilizes the Tibetan book of the dead to make a “trip” a positive, enlightening, learning experience. We were both more than ready, and had been preparing in many ways for at least 2 months. We set up rooms in the house very carefully, had multiple cd players going (in different places) with peaceful music etc. We hid cell phones (and turned them off), locked the door….and set out.
We split a bag of mushrooms that I had purchased in San Francisco (where I live), and had smuggled over on the plane (he’s in Arizona). I tied those bad boys to my Johnson, and felt fairly secure on the plane. He had also gotten some shrooms, and though our dose was already medium to high, we added a couple of stems and small caps from his bag into our dose. They were two different strains, though I cannot say which they were. I had only stems (white with heavily blued stem), and his looked like cubensis (judging by pictures on the web), but I’m not sure….. His wife was to be our “tie” to reality, if either of us needed such a thing…. We ate the mushrooms at exactly 4:00 p.m., chewed them very thoroughly, and waited…..
About 20 minutes in or so, I began to feel a bit uneasy, somewhat nauseous, and tense. I laid down on the couch with my head in his wife’s lap, and she rubbed my back for a few minutes. This helped immensely. I was thankful that she had agreed to do “whatever we needed, no matter how odd…” if we called for it. That was the last time either of us would need her assistance though. I sat up after a few minutes (my friend was madly rushing around, enjoying the onset of the mush)….and I looked at the carpet as I did. I immediately perceived a pattern there that I had not seen before. The carpet was gray, and really didn’t have any actual pattern to speak of. I asked both of them if it did have a pattern I hadn’t noticed, and they said that it did not. I knew I was beginning my trip, but it was nothing over blown at this point. I later found that the pattern was simply marks left by people walking on the carpet; only that my sudden visual clarity had found something very ordered in it.
After a few minutes I felt an intense body high, and knew that I was beginning to really “go”. We had spent a lot of time setting up the living room, but for some reason we gravitated to the back bedroom of the house (trailer home really), and both laid down on the bed there. After a few minutes I looked at the ceiling, a kind of stucco/white paint thing, and immediately it began to run this way and that like a river. I had expected this, and at first there seemed in a way to be two of everything I looked at, so that I thought I might have figured out the “visual trick” to hallucinations. That is to say, I saw one little mound of paint, which was the actual “real” mound of paint, and I also saw one on top of it, like another that my mind had created….only that one would fade off in some direction, giving things the appearance of “running”. But after only a few short minutes I knew that this was not so at all, as the “double vision” completely dissipated, and the little globs of paint ran this way and that; so much so that I could not even see the place in which they were “fixed” in normal reality. If I looked just so, I could mark the place where the running began on any individual bump, but only for a second….quickly it would run like it were melting, completely obliterating any memory I had of how it originally looked. It was fantastic, and I was completely comfortable with letting my “reality” move to this state. I then moved my attention to the wall (a classic fake wood grain wall). I’d heard that wood grain was good in a trip, and can attest to that being true a thousand times over. There were rivers, eddies, melting, and literally no stillness there whatsoever. There were also countless faces that seemed to grow out of the wall, each having an absolute 3D quality. In particular, directly in front of me, there was one face with a long nose, a mustache, and sad, knowing eyes. This face very much exists in reality, and without the help of drugs. That is, anyone not on a drug could point it out…it is just a curious, fantastic accident in the wood. Still, with the added effect of the mushrooms, the face took on a very powerful, very real quality. It seemed to me to be a mix between a kind of Treebeard character (lord of the rings), and many other wise and old beings. To this day (some few weeks later), I still see that face as a friend and sage in some not altogether twisted sense. As I watched the wood grain flow to and fro, I had a profound realization. I said out loud, quite suddenly, “Objects can move now because time has become still….” This made utter sense to me in the moment, and still does now to be frank about it. Everyone reports a sense of slowed time, or even timelessness in a trip. The theory of relativity is based on bodies in motion. When a body speeds up, time slows down – this is why someday in the future, if we send crews into space on long journeys, they will come back much younger than their counterparts on Earth. I knew, in the moment, that time HAD slowed way down, just as I had heard it would (or at least my perception of it had). If this was so, then the other 3 dimensions that make up the time/space fabric had to compensate for as much. This is a fact of physics, not something I’m making up. Let’s say that time and the three spatial dimensions each had a mathematical value of 3. This would give the whole time space fabric a mathematical value of 12 (I’m making these values up, but there is a specific formula in physics that will back me up on this…read “The Elegant Universe” by Brian Greene…). The sum total of time/space must ALWAYS be twelve. So, when you fudge around with one of the numbers, that is to say if you increase your speed, one of the other numbers must compensate. This is why if you travel very fast, time slows down (if only imperceptibly to the human senses). So, the effect of the drug is to slow down one’s concept of time. The other aspects of reality must compensate since your “reality” must still add up to the value of reality, in this case the fictitious twelve. Hence, spatial relations get all out of whack. It is as if you are literally stretching the time space fabric, and distorting certain aspects of it as a result. I remember saying to myself, very clearly, “Time keeps things still…” and I knew it was true.
It was not long after this realization that my friend and I began to interact a bit though, and before long we were reduced to fits of mad giggles. We laughed as I have not laughed in a very long time. I had every intention of keeping my trip a kind of mind expansion experience, but I was also dead set on “letting it happen” to keep it as positive as possible. This being the case, I went with the flow…and we both just laughed and laughed. I remember saying things to him like, “Don’t EVER ask me a question again….” And “Don’t ever look at me like that again…” and then both of us would be reduced to stomach churning laughter. Still, I had my reasons for the odd declarations. I perceived a kind of energy around us…a matrix…and I knew that everything we did affected that matrix. So, when my friend asked me question I knew the absolute ramifications of that action. I could see his emotion and words ripple through the air, affecting everything. The “question” for instance (which was quite harmless, like, “do you want some water”) had seemed like a somewhat jarring thing to me. Not the question itself so much, as the ACT of asking. I didn’t feel bad about what it did to our environment…but I knew it changed it, and we were in such a state of “being” that I saw no reason to fuck with it. A question, to me, indicated a kind of curiosity based on material needs (comfort, food, whatever) that I had no place in my mind for. It was not negative though. I felt as though we were both raw, naked, and newly born. As such, I wanted to proceed with each new step carefully. I knew how “wrong” existence could go. I knew that wars could start, that people hated each other etc. I perceived us as the only two people born into this odd new dimension, and as such…since we knew little about it (having just gotten there), I wanted our each next move to be carefully chosen. It is too hard to explain, but I could see something as simple as a question as being the very fundamental root in a wave of action that funneled out and out until a war was started. Still, I loved and trusted my friend, and so was not feeling paranoid. I felt utterly connected to him, and regretted in no way that he was moving, talking, whatever…only that I knew we had a kind of responsibility to “create” this world correctly somehow; morally in a sense. Also, when I said, “don’t ever ask me a question again…” there was a kind of humor in it, and we both knew that.
We faded in and out then, falling into silence sometimes, and sometimes talking and laughing, or discussing profound concepts. In the silent moments I would close my eyes and see things and colors more beautiful than I ever have. I saw what I perceived to be “new” colors, and often caught myself laughing or smiling because of them. There were whirling shapes and images, and a beautiful dance repeated itself over and over…forming a peacock-feather-like web of designs in my mind. When my eyes were open I felt as though I were 15 again (I am 33 now), and had a sense of utter security. I didn’t need to go anywhere, have anything, or do anything. I only needed the comfort I now felt, and in a much smaller way, the few “joys of life” we had with us – a bottle of water, a cigarette now and then….and my friend. It was fantastic, and I reflected often on how I had not felt such freedom and lack of want since I was a teenager, for whatever reason. At times the comfort slipped even well beyond my imprinted memories of childhood though, and I had no fixed concept to relate them too. I just WAS. We continued on in this fashion (Silent/talking/silent/etc.) for sometime; I cannot say how long as we’d purposely turned off the clocks we might catch ourselves looking at. After awhile I stared again at the ceiling, and all of the paint, and the wood grain in the walls, was flowing towards one particular corner of the room that I was very close too. The wise/tree face was in this area, and it seemed to me that it was slowly drawing all of the energy around it into itself. When it had collected a sufficient amount, it literally came out from the wall, bringing with it a haze/smoke that seemed to be composed of the wood grain. It was stunning to watch, and utterly 3 dimensional. This mass of haze and face then began to form into a tunnel, and I watched as a kind of rainbow pattern formed right before my very eyes. I felt as though I were seeing the very fabric of existence. It was astonishing.
From time to time my friend would get up and leave the room to get something. Whenever he did this I would ask, almost panicked, “WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WILL YOU BE GONE LONG?” I did this not because I was afraid to be alone, but because I knew we had been born into this world together, and that leaving the room would be entering into new and strange territory. I felt worried about him leaving for his own sake. I knew that there was peace and love in our room, and I wanted to be sure that wherever he went….that would be there too. In reality he was only going to get a bottle of water of course, but that meant nothing to me at this point. Just as soon as I’d ask him how long he was going to be gone though, I knew inside of myself that I didn’t care or mind either way. I’d then say, “Come back soon, or stay gone a long time…whichever suits you best….” And I meant it. As he walked down the hallway he would shout things back to me, funny things like, “Whoa, nothing has ANY definition out here…” and he’d be laughing. I’d laugh right back, but felt very profoundly that he was an “astronaut” leaving our little created world, entering into a strange and large world of which I knew nothing. I shouted, “KEEP THOSE REPORTS COMING….” I wanted to know what it was like “out there.” I could barely conceive it on my own.
After some time in the bedroom, my friend said that he thought we should go outside. I was somewhat concerned about this; not altogether paranoid, but again very curious as to how we would go about navigating in a world that we knew so little about. I agreed we should go, but so comfortable in the positive space we’d created, that I kept saying things like, “OK, we can go…but we have to figure out a way to bring “this” with us…” and by “this” I meant the feeling in the room, plus the rainbow/energy/treeguy vibe I’d discovered in the corner of the room. I knew I couldn’t bring the tree face, but I did feel like if we set out right, I would find some corresponding “wise” reality figure out there. I absolutely knew that this had everything to do with my own attitude. I couldn’t find a way to say it to him, but I wanted to make sure that as we walked down the hallway, into the front room, and out the door…we would somehow manage to keep all the things out there from overly imprinting us. I still felt as if born anew, and I wanted to be very careful about the things I “put” into my brain. I knew for instance that if we saw the cat, or the wrong book, or whatever, I might be a completely different person once I got outside. I was not afraid of this, but I was feeling very peaceful, very still, and I wanted to be like that outside. Still, just like his question, I knew that EVERYTHING mattered, in the sense that everything was precious and important, and I didn’t want to lose the peace by having my all too human consciousness pulled this way and that by, if you will, shiny things; wants, needs, all that. Of course, in my headspace that was not altogether likely to happen. We must have attempted to leave the room at least 5 times, but each time we were dissatisfied with the way we left the bed, or whatever. We felt as though disturbing the atmosphere, and we wanted to move in such a way as not to harm things. Finally, after literally hours (or so I imagine) we got ourselves out of the room. We made it to the couch in the front room, but were both utterly aware that we’d left our “vibe” in the bedroom somehow. We agreed to go back and get it….We went and laid in our places again…and seemed to bring ourselves to a somehow mathematical understanding of the peace we were feeling…then we “gathered it” by keeping our minds in that state, and went again to the front room. SUCCESS!!!! It took us awhile to figure out how to unlock the door (so many new and wonderful things!) but we did get outside, and just in time for sunset.
My friend lives, literally, in the middle of the desert. There are very few homes around him…but for some reason, whatever reason, there was an ice cream truck driving around to these few houses. We couldn’t see it, but it was playing the usual eerie/goofy ice cream truck music….and we both broke into laughter at that. It was such a fantastic cosmic joke that I can’t even say. To walk out into the odd purple light of a setting desert sun, fucked in the head (or enlightened) by mushrooms, and hear those tingly little bells playing “It’s A Small World..” or whatever. It was tooooooo much. It wasn’t It’s a Small World by the way, and I do remember saying to my friend, “I wish I knew the name of this song…” because it was just too fantastic. I wanted to make sure I could get a copy of it somewhere.
We sat in chairs for some short amount of time, and then both got a kind of bad vibe. We discussed this, and suddenly I said, “We are in shadows….that’s our problem,” and we were. The sun was setting on the other side of the trailer. We walked around and took it in, strengthened by it, but my friend noticed one of his few neighbors not long after, and said we should go inside. He didn’t want to introduce the reality of a neighbor into our world. I was fine with that. We went back into our bedroom/womb, and he opened the blinds in front of a window on the wall we’d been facing all day. In flooded the sunset. It was beautiful. I remember thinking my friend was a genius for knowing how to bring the sun from outside into our little peaceful world. I told him that I thought we should name the bedroom, should we ever leave it again, because realities need maps. This new world, I reasoned, was devoid of names. In some small way I ascribed the “negative trip” of our seeing the neighbor as a result of our failure to name the bedroom. We had set out and had not named our home base. There is a string of logic there that I can’t quite follow now, but I seemed to understand just how “explorers” had felt back when there were still parts of the world to exploreI knew that we had forgotten our “home” (the bedroom) and we had forgotten it because we’d disrespectfully forgotten to name it….and that that forgetfulness had led to our negative experience, slight as it might have been. We were homeless in a sense. We agreed to name the bedroom “Newbedfordshire”. It wasn’t meant to be profound, just a reference point. I also saw it as my mother in a way. I told my friend we should never leave it again, even when the drug wore off. I felt I understood DEEPLY the forgetfulness that is spoken of in Buddhism and Hinduism (things I have read a lot about), and by interacting with the world, instead of just letting it be – and in the process, letting it ENCASE US – we had quickly become forgetful. We’d forgotten the peaceful feeling we’d had only moments ago. The naming of the bedroom seemed to me an act like naming it “Buddha” or “Jesus”. It was putting a symbology to our “religion” so that we could remember what was important. In a way I know this was a drug haze of sorts, but I still ponder that and know that I have a very REAL, experiential model of the precepts of Buddhism that I did not before. Before it was just intellectual understanding. We watched as the sun shown in the window…and both continued to stare at the wall and ceiling in amazement. I would guess we were three hours in at this point.
I had had some moments with the closed eye visuals before we went outside, but honestly kept forgetting to “get more of that…” and was glad when my friend suggested we both close our eyes in silence for a time. This we did, and I saw many, many wonderful bubble-like worlds come into being, and then fade again. I perceived light, very intense white light, in my peripheral vision from time to time, and felt so comforted that I cannot say. From time to time one of us would kind of snarfle or giggle out loud…because of whatever he was “seeing”. It wasn’t humorous. It was completely pleasing in a way I am unable to describe. It was that knowing-mushroom-I-see-it-all-but-can’t-tell-you-about-it-place….you know the one. Anyway, this led, eventually, to a few conversations on silence. We understood that speech marred such experiences, but were comfortable with speech nonetheless. Only that we had an understanding of the beauty silence produced. From time to time my friend would say, for my sake, “I should just shut up…” because he felt the need from time to time to share something. Admittedly, in most cases, it was nothing he needed to share…that is, I was experiencing the same thing, and we only both “stopped” experiencing whatever it was when we did the “talk” and “listen” game. You know. I remember telling him though, “I like the sound of your voice…” and I meant it. I liked hearing his voice. It seemed an utter joy, and in some sense, was no different an experience than the “isness” that I experienced behind the silence of my own eyelids.
After awhile I began to SEE his voice, literally, as if it were bouncing off of the inside of my eyelids. When he laughed it was red and green, very vibrant and flowing, and I told him so. I was able to see music too.
After another length of time (I don’t know how long?) we called his wife in to the bedroom. The three of us simply lay there enjoying each other’s company. It was pure and wonderful. We allowed our feet, hands, whatever to touch, and didn’t feel overly conscious or anything. There was much more though, as we also felt energy (he and I in particular of course) flowing between the three of us. We laughed and talked, and sat in silence from time to time. When we started to “come down”, we smoked a bowl, and my visuals started right up again – the ceiling especially. We had many wonderful conversations. Eventually I felt very “sober”, but found I had the “talent” to produce the visuals (melting pain) on the ceiling at will. This I did until I was quite spent and satisfied with myself. At around 9:30 or 10, we all went into the front room and ate grilled cheese sandwiches together, which were wonderful incidentally. We went to sleep long after, and I awoke the next day feeling better than I had in a long time – mentally anyway. I had terribly allergies (and apparently we’d smoked a lot of cigarettes during the trip), so my throat was soar as hell. Still, that didn’t really bother me, and I felt mellow and ok with my pain. For the next few weeks I sorted through the “info” I had obtained, and daily I felt even better than I had right after the trip.
I am planning my next trip soon, and with another friend whom I trust etc.
I am not so sure that mushrooms are “right” for EVERYBODY. I know that had I been in a different mindset or something, I could have really collapsed in on myself or become paranoid or whatever. Still, that said, in a controlled environment (dichotomy such as this is), I think EVERYONE could benefit from mushrooms. I highly suggest them as an “experience” for anybody who has a positive thought about trying them. They are not just for “getting high”, but then again can be used for that too. Watch out though, you might just stumble onto a profound experience.