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God? or Why i respect Amanitas

(*this is the original trip report I recorded right after the experience, 2 years ago.

(*this is the original trip report I recorded right after the experience, 2 years ago. From this point on, any thing surrounded by parentheses and an asterisk  (*  are notes I’ve added since it was originally written.*)

I've always been a fan of psychedelics, but i never had the guts to intentionally go to those extreme levels you read about in books and on the internet.(* I’ve destroyed my ego multiple times since and am no longer apprehensive*) I live in a very small wisconsin town, and drugs aren't hard to come by, but they usually come in the form of "mind-condensing" substances; things that mess you up, not expand consciousness. Things like pot and alcohol aren’t something that appeal to me all that much. You get nothing from them except for problems and dependence, while psychedelics, when used properly, can give you so much, cleanse, change. So, i've been pretty much on my own when it comes to finding what i prefer.

The most intense and unnerving psychedelic experience i've had to date came quite by accident.(*and this is arguably true, still*) I took my lunch break from work at a nearby county park one day, and had a fine time climbing around on rocks and viewing the historic indian cemataries and dance rings. This park was formerly a sacred ceremonial place that Indian groups from great distances would travel to, for religious purposes. It was time for me to leave, and just as i was about to get into my vehicle, i noticed a patch of mushrooms growing at my feet. Upon closer examination, they appeared to be the amanita muscaria that i had seen at online ethnobotanical shops, except brown instead of red. Always up for a new experience, i picked them up and took them home with me. I have some experience identifying mushrooms, and after a short time i positively identified them not as the commonly used fly agarics, but amanita pantherina, the muscaria's more potent, unpredictable cousin.

I did a test run that night, with a total of 3 small caps drawn out over a long period of time. I experienced an intoxication much like being drunk on alcohol, without the stupidity. I lost quite a bit of control of my body movements. I also had intense tactile distortions, trippy thoughts, auditory halucinations, interesting CEV's, and bright flashes of color. I eventually passed out at my neighbor's house, not fun, but not bad either. Overall a good experience that left me impressed at the power of these mushrooms and excited that i had them, ready to use them again.

The next day was independence day, but most festivities in my town were hindered by rain, so to entertain myself i decided i'd dose on my mushies again. I figured a rain storm would be interesting. I wanted to conserve my caps for a friend of mine, so i decided i'd just eat some of the stems and one small cap. My test run had been done with the raw specimens, but I had read that heating and drying amanitas converted the ibotenic acid in them to muscimol (the psychedelic constituent), reducing unpleasantries and increasing potency. I know the caps are stronger, so at the time I thought I was playing it safe by only consuming stems.

I knew something was up after only about 20 minutes, which was odd because it had taken a good 2 hours to fully hit me the night before. I was at my parents house for the summer from college, so i left to avoid being questioned about my intoxication. I went over to my neighbor's house where my brother and a bunch of other people were playing video games. I joined in, but my reflexes soon disintigrated to the point that i had to quit. I was getting the same tiredness i had gotten the night before, but i realized i was in trouble because it was only about 45 min after ingestion.

I realized i was in no shape for a social situation, and the group of people that were there were not into drugs, so i stumbled home. I told my mom i wasn't feeling well and went to my room. I was really beginning to lose control of myself. The body feeling, an extreme vibrating buzz deep within me, was beginning to feel a little overwhelming, and i started to get very shaky, with tremors through my entire body every few seconds. The normal mental chatter one has within his head slowly dissappeared, and i was left with one clear voice in my head. My mental self was running me through what i had to do. "keep it together" , "tell your mom you're sick", etc. I got into my bed, and my mental voice began repeating itself. I don't remember what it was saying, but it started with large chunks of repeating dialog, which progressively got shorter and shorter. My thoughts were operating like the beat up a heart, rhythmic, repeating. The body buzz was nearly completely taking my senses over. My dad came in, and asked me to help him with a car he was working on, just for a minute. I thought i was going to be found out for sure, because i believed i was past the point of covering my state up. Luckily, all i had to do was sit and turn the key a few times, and i left after about 2 minutes.

As soon as i got back to my bedroom, i collapsed on the bed, no longer willing to fight what was coming over me. I decided somewhere within my sane mind that if i was going down, i might as well try to learn something. I asked the mushrooms to "tell me if god exists", or something to that effect. My internal broken record began repeating it, over and over. My senses faded very rapidly at that time, and as i neared the point of total disconnection with my body, the question i asked of the mushrooms was no longer a question, it had morphed itself into an endlessly-looping chant of "this is what its like to die this it what its like to die this is what its like to die".

Then it happened. My vision faded, and a deafening ring in my head, in time with the buzzing sensation in my body, encompassed all my senses. I was rising up, expanding, leaving my body to the tune of "this is what its like to die". I was no longer myself, in a physical sense. I had achieved it; i was there: the infamous ego death. Lost in an infinite blackness, i was still conscious, but consciousness no longer held a meaning to me because i was now a part of the blackness i floated within. Somewhere in the abyss i could still feel the pulsating anthem: "this is what its like to die". I floated there for an indescribable amount of time. Minutes? Hours? Years? It didn't matter. I was dead. Time means nothing when you're dead. All of a sudden, something clicked. I was beginning to delflate, condense. The repetative voice that was there with me changed. It now was saying "there is no god there is no god there is no god". I had died and I had seen it, all that lies beyond is emptiness.

With the shear volume of my existence, it took another few seconds/years for me to get back above what would be my body. I was falling, collecting. I became aware of millions of cells racing together, combining, and i realized they were of me, in some way shape or form. I now knew i was coming back, to the existence i once knew. But right there, the split second before my body reformed and soul reentered, someone was there with me. Not so much there with me in a physical sense, but an undeniable prescence, and even though i was only with it for that millisecond, i knew that it smiled at me; a warm, loving smile. It hit me like a mad rush: the voice in my head was saying "there is no god" because people have it all wrong. There isn't some old guy sitting up there judging what we do. There is however some higher power, some prescence that welcomes us into once we leave this earth. The rushing realization filled me and i awoke in my bed with a start, still strongly intoxicated but awake for the time being. The last thing the voice told me was something along the lines of "tell everyone!" at a last, fleeting moment, and upon my awakening i felt what i imagine a christian evangelist feels. I was engergized to go tell someone!

I jumped out of my bed, and quickly realized that i was not anywhere near sobriety yet, and my balance was soorly effected. I had to seriosly hold my tongue from shouting what i had learned at my sister, and i obviously couldn't say anything to my parents, so i finally left to return to my neighbor's house, where they were still playing video games. The walk was somewhat difficult, but i was pumped up enough on my new found knowledge that i made it. When i got inside, i felt very out of place however, amongst all of the non-trippers, so i stayed quiet. I joined in again, but after about 5 minutes, i had to quit, because my reflexes were once again deteriorating. I had the unnerving realization that this was very far from over, and i got onto my neighbor's bed as I had the night before.

This is where the story takes are turn for the surreal, as if it wasn’t surreal enough. Somewhere during that time frame, the body buzz overtook me a second time, and i once again left reality. The weird part is, there was no separation. I have no recollection of passing out; as far as i was concerned i was awake the entire time. I looked up and tried to speak, but everything i said was in slow motion. Time dialation was so severe that i literally could say only one syllable of a word every 5 minutes or so. Once i finally finished my sentence, after was literally was at least an hour, people began to speak their replies. They were speaking in slow motion too! (*this defies rational explanation, and in my mind it lasted a hellishly long time. To get an idea of the effect, you would have to record someone speaking. Play it back, but stop after only a fraction of a second, sit perfectly still for 5 minutes, then play another fraction. Pure hell.*). We all looked at eachother and laughed at this newfound anomaly. We were now watching a motorcycle race on tv (i think it really was on), and commenting on it. The announcer on the television talked at normal speed, the picture moved at normal speed, the games being played on the computer sounded and looked normal. Everything was normal except for our voices. Eventually, after what in my mind literally felt like hours, our speech began to speed up, but the sentences were getting passed around in a circle! What i mean is, now each person would say one syllable of a word, then the person to their left would say the next syllable. We were all laughing the entire time at the shear strangeness of it all, but I didn’t find it funny, actually I wanted it to stop, but the thought passed as quickly as it had risen. My bladder was getting full, and i needed to pee. It took me about an hour or so to say i was going to the bathroom, so when i finished talking in slow-mo, i was nearly wetting my pants. I finally got up and moved for the bathroom, and saw reverse trails. Trails like on lsd or more conventional psychedelics, but instead of seeing trails after i moved, i saw them before. There were trails in the air before i moved, and i had to follow them to get to the bathroom. They seemed to be predetermining what i would do. This was an extremely odd concept to me, but it should be added that I had heard a story from a professor of religion about a similar experience, so it is possible that it affected my experience. However, affected or not, it all appeared very real to me.

I came back, and sat on the bed once again. We all started in on another slow motion speech, and somewhere in the back of my head, my sane mind cried out. This entire time i had completely forgotten that i had taken a substance of any kind, this event seemed like a part of regular life. Strange, but regular. My thoughts processed in slow motion, but said you...............took..................................those.......................................mush.............................rooooooommmmmmmmsssss! Bam! I snapped out of slow motion, and into a circle of people, all laughing at me! I said "What just happened?" and a kid directly to my right said "I think you took something that's effecting your mind!". This astounded me, because all the people in the room had been talking in slow motion too. I asked what i did, and they said i had passed out, then suddenly jumped onto the end of the bed, bouncing and laughing uncontrollably. They said i was talking as if people were answering me, but i mostly just said "Fuck!" over and over (I generally don’t have THAT dirty of a mouth), and bounced on the bed. They said i also got up, went to the bathroom, came back, then continued bouncing and saying fuck. Well that was just too much for me, so i said "i'm leaving". They looked at me, puzzled, and told me that i had said that 5 minutes before. Total mindfuck. I now had no idea what was real and what wasn't. As i got up to leave, i was forced to follow the same reverse trails I’d followed earlier, so i ended up completely reexperiencing things that had happened before, with a most profound sense of deja vu. Not like your average, “I feel like I’ve been here before”, but an intense, slap in the face, carbon-copy replay of past events.

I left for my house once again, but returned to my neighbors to ask if i really left. An eruption of laughter confirmed reality and i set of for my house. I'm certain i appeared drunk as a skunk, and i hoped a cop didn't see me. No one was awake when i entered my house, and i practically ran to my room to be safe. As soon as i hit the pillow, i left reality for a third time.

I opened my eyes to a completely different house. I was sitting in somone else's living room, next to a fireplace. I instantaneously realized i had taken the mushrooms this time, and i prayed that i wasn't really in some strange house, and hoped i hadn't talked to my parents without remembering it. I thought "i can fight this, i can", because with the realization that i could no longer distinguish fact from fiction, came fear, for the first time of the trip. I looked down, and realized i couldn't see my body. I concentrated with all my might, and focused on moving my arm. "I'm moving my arm" i said to myself, with utmost will. After a time, an arm began to materialize out of the darkness. This spurred me on. "i'm moving my hand" i said, over and over. After much more difficulty than the arm, a hand appeared. I finally said "i'm moving my fingers". I said it again and again, for what felt to be an hour or so. Slowly, i began to see fingers, and my headspace changed without warning. I was back in my room at my house, but not in my body. I saw myself, on my bed moving my hand as if i was looking through the doorway. Then, i moved back into my body, and opened my eyes, with moving fingers in front of my face.

I now was scared enough that i fought to stay in my familiar reality for as long as possible, and the next thing i remeber is waking up the next day, feeling nothing but mentally drained.

I swear every word of this story is as i remember, and i embellished nothing. If anything, this story doesn't tell half of what happened. Overall, even though it was weird, i think i learned a lot from this experience. I'll probably eat the mushrooms again, but not for a LONG time.(*I did one week later*) Oh yeah, and I should have mentioned, they’re completely legal.

Have fun,
Stay Safe.

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