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Lost Ego


Hello... last time you heard from me was my introduction, in which I said I was fledgeling psychonaut and in need of some 'master' to help me to understand my mushroom experiences. Now after 'lurking' for about two weeks, assimilating some of the information from the posts I've read here, reading 'Psychedelic Shamanism' by Jim DeKorne, and finally, stumbling almost accidentally upon a patch of Psilocybe Cyanescens, I am ready to contribute something to the group.

The scene was my room in my home. I went through my usual routine/ritual: I first set out the mushrooms I was intending to eat and put away the rest, then I prepared my environment. I cleaned up, made the bed, set out a blanket on the floor, lit a candle and some incense, gathered up some CD's... I had eaten nothing since lunch, and it was now 8:30 PM with an empty stomach. In the kitchen, I prepared a bowl of rice and beans, asking my housemate Anne to bring it up later if I didn't come downstairs and get it. I prepared some tropical fruit juice and got a packet of "Emergen-C" which is essentially a vitamin powder (C and B) that makes a fizzy refreshing drink when added to water or juice. When I had gotten everything together, I closed the door to my room, put on the CD "Chant", and turned down the lights.

I ate perhaps 5 or 6 small caps, and 3 or 4 larger ones, knowing that this was the largest amount I have ever ingested. I actually did not eat all the mushrooms I had set out, since I had an intuitive feeling that I had had enough (which was quite true). I spent about 10 minutes eating them, chewing them thoroughly since I knew that would reduce the nausea.

I relaxed for a while as the effects slowly became manifest. First the physical effects, by which I guage the intensity of the coming experience.

My memory of what followed is rather disorganized. The experience at first seemed to be "outside" me. For example, seeing and hearing things "out there" while my ego was still an observer. I felt that there were a multitude of entities or creatures or spirits of a small, very minor nature with child-like personalities. They wanted to entertain and distract me with tricks and games. They mocked my seriousness -- the part of my ego that was interested in "shamanism" and "mystical experiences". The spirits wanted to play, and I did give in, laughing with them and feeling like a child.

I turned off the music because it seemed irrelevant to what was going on around me. I wanted silence.

A few more words on the initial onset -- the same sorts of images and shapes appeared to me as have appeared in the past. Also, fragments of words and glossolalia (sp?) were associated with this. For example, "iggliness" is a quality that the words "wiggly", "squiggly" and "giggly" all have in common. The words and word fragments this time were similar to ones I've experienced before in the onset of a shroom trip -- "wreap" is one. I found myself saying words that didn't mean anything, like "com". The words seem to be connected with the creatures that I see or interact with. The creatures didn't seem "real" -- somewhere between imagined fictional characters, and dream figures. I was not cognizant of any particular individual creature, only a general sense of 'type of creature.' Eyes, faces, large cartoon teeth, strange suckers and tentacles, were the rule, like something out of H.P. Lovecraft.

Physically, I did not feel like moving. There was so much going on that I could not bring myself to move.

Another thing I noticed was that looking at something else, at first it would look normal, but after a few seconds, the psychedelics would set in, and it would look strange.

I have learnt some control over my experiences. One thing I feel often is a sort of electrical buzz -- like bees or an electric discharge. A combination of a vibration and a sound. It is rather intense, since it seems to shake the head rather forcibly. I have learned how to create that sensation when I want it. I can "will" it to happen and it does. I experimented with this.

By this time I decided to go downstairs to get my food, since I finally felt like moving again. I had spent some anxious moments thinking.... my God the oven is on, and should I go downstairs and get my food??? I guess it's better not to have ANYTHING external to worry about, like turning the oven off, since such concerns become magnified out of proportion. I got my food and returned to my room and began to eat. I felt that the spirits/creatures were playing with me and trying to get me to laugh. I didn't want to look at my food because I felt that the spirits were making it look weird and funny because it was some great joke to them to see if I would still eat it. I didn't feel overly concerned, just a little tickled by their mischievousness.

I think it was while I was eating that things got really strange. The next thing I knew I was eating the beans and rice with my hands, and spilling it. I was on the floor. I lost sense of time, and I lost my ego personality (or perhaps I just had to share my mental space with all of my subconscious self). I was moving, quickly it seemed. I felt that my mind filled the room, instead of just being "in my head". Things were spinning, I had vertigo, I felt like I could fly and go through walls.

Hallucinations were very intense -- things I knew did not look like I knew them to look, and there were "hidden" patterns everywhere. There's a story called "The Yellow Wallpaper" about a mad woman in an attic who sees crazy patterns and living, fungoid shapes in her wallpaper, eventually becoming lost in the complexity of the patterns. I felt like that woman.

I felt that the world was energy, and that there must be some way to go anywhere (astral travel). The walls seemed to move (as if I was surfing the universe on them), gravity seemed unreal. I was "in" my unconscious mind-- and that meant that I was "in" the whole world, or the whole universe. Let me try to explain this. I could think of ONE thought at a time, and BE that thought. My idea of, say, "Europe", is in my head, it is built up from everything I've learned about Europe. Since I was now swimming in my mind and memories and so on, I felt "Europe" as a real, existing THING that I was immersed in. "Seattle" "the Amazon".... when I said these things, and brought them to mind, it was if it that was all there was. I could not remember where I was in the world (in space and time) unless I thought of the concept "my room" and swam in that for a while. It took a great effort to remember that I had eaten mushrooms and that it was a Friday night in December, and that I was working on a paper. Memories came to be with such vividness that I felt I was reliving them (especially memories of previous mushroom trips).

I spoke my fiancee's name several times, although I wasn't sure if that was really her name, it sounded unfamiliar.

I thought to myself, "Is this ego death?"

I experimented... could I visit my fiancee in North Carolina? I felt that I could probably fly there. I thought of her and felt overwhelmed by love. I had heard of predictions of the future granted by these experiences. I "felt" my future, and it felt very good.... Euphoria.

I gradually found myself in a feedback loop, in which the same sequence of thoughts kept recurring. It was something like this: I have made a mess here, I need to clean this. No, don't worry about it now, you can clean it later. Isn't there something I should be doing? Shouldn't I take a break and "check" everything to see if it's O.K. I'm going into a spiral here. Shouldn't I DO SOMETHING to get out of this spiral? But I couldn't think clearly at all, I didn't have the power to break out of it.

This went on for a while, with the same concepts returning again and again. I took my clothes off, was too cold, and put them back on, was too hot, so back off again. I kept wrapping something around me, then taking it off. It seemed that I had layers and layers of things around me--layers of clothing, then layers of blankets. The blankets and sheets and clothes kept merging into each other and melting together. Also I kept looking for my glasses, and turning the light on, then later turning off the lights, and taking off my glasses, and then looking for them again.

Various archetypes and themes came up, again on a repetitive basis. Oz imagery (I am reading "Wicked -- the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West" right now), Anne Rice images (Lasher; I read the Witching Hour recently), various Doctor Who characters, Plato, Socrates, the Greek mystery cults and bits and pieces of Greek myth. I recognized these as archetypes and thought about Freud and Jung (who are themselves in effect archetypes of something else to me). I also thought, in turn, of people in my everyday life. Thinking of them was a conscious decision, they seemed distant, as though I had not seen them in a long time, whereas these archetypal things seemed very close. It was if I thought of them only to ask myself, "Do I really know these people?" My current projects, my office, my computer, this mailing list, all seemed very, very remote--- in the same way that waking life seems remote when you are in the dream state.

Eventually I found myself comfortable and more or less out of the spiral. I think I got out of it by not "trying" to do anything and forgetting about my responsibilities (cleaning the spilled food) and telling myself that I didn't 'need' anything (which was true; I had been worried that I had to pee or blow my nose or eat or SOMETHING). Also, I got comfortable. I was content with my warmth lying in bed under the covers -- it is so unpleasant to be cold when under the influence of mushrooms!

Now whereas before I said that the imagery and so on was all "outside" of me, as if they were tricks of some external spirits, now it was all within me. It was very physical/sexual. I felt androgynous, bisexual. I was putting on or taking off my underwear, and I couldn't tell if it was male or female underwear. I smelled my sweat, and nasal mucus, and it smelled like male and female sexual secretions and really aroused me. Sometimes I felt like a woman, with full breasts, long hair. Other times I was very masculine, feeling my muscles and glorifying in phallic imagery. My mind was in an orgy, and I thought of how "sinful" I was and I imagined that I was having sex with the Devil, my officemate, and random strangers. This was not really a bad feeling, although it occurred to me that I was far, far from the morals of my parents. It occurred to me that I was exercising the base chakra.

Eventually I became aware that my ego was back, and although I was still having mild hallucinations and visions, I could think clearly again. My psyche felt "smaller" as if it could fit nicely inside my head, instead of filling up the whole room (which now seemed impossibly large for my small self). I could see that there really wasn't that much of a mess, just a little spilled rice. I was very tired by this time -- about 2 AM. I knew I couldn't sleep yet but I was too exhausted to "try" anything more, so I simply made myself comfortable, reflected on where I had been, enjoyed some smells, did some self-massage with a very pleasant citron oil, and, at about 4 in the morning, fell asleep.


I can see now the importance of feeding one's mind before this kind of experience. Books I was reading, things I was thinking about, appeared, just as things appear in dreams. To gain insight on something, I would think about and work on it beforehand, just as I would do if I wanted to have a dream about it. I can see the potential for directed use.... which is what I wanted, since now I understand better what role I want the mushrooms to play in my life.

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