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Picking up the broken pieces

I have undertaken several powerful journeys into the state of conscious/subconscious blending and emotional release induced by these potent teacher plants, but would readily characterize this particular trip as the most outstanding; one that will surely remain vivid in my memory for years to come.

I have undertaken several powerful journeys into the state of conscious/subconscious blending and emotional release induced by these potent teacher plants, but would readily characterize this particular trip as the most outstanding; one that will surely remain vivid in my memory for years to come. Besides providing me with certain psychological insights about myself, my friends present at the time, and people in general, I gained a real understanding of the fragility and awesome potentials of life. This is not to say, however, that the benefits of this mushroom experience could not have been had by simply living out life in an observant manner. I have since come to understand that one who is able to better understand them self, and consequently the projected universe through ascetic discipline and introspection treads a safer, more certain path than the one who opts to climb the slippery slope of psychedelics. I believe that these potent herbs, when treated with due respect may be useful in acquiring new interest, appreciation, devotion and emotional catharsis among responsible, stable individuals, but certainly not high states of consciousness like samadhi.
Anyway, my story begins at approximately 11:30 pm on a warm summer night in NM. Since I was a rather eager, curious and rebellious 17 year old at the time and living with parents who did not allow me to be out very late, I decided to sneak out of my house through the window in my room and meet some friends (J, D and A) to eat some shrooms I had purchased earlier. Just before I left my house, I willed and prayed for a good, safe experience; and mentally affirmed my reason and goal for using the mysterious psilocybe: to gain knowledge. I climbed into a car with my friends and we headed for J's house (his parents were out of town). With high spirits and slightly nervous anticipation, the four of us discussed anticipation the adventure that awaited us.
J and I had been planning this trip for some time. I had taken mushrooms before on a few previous occasions with relatively high and low doses, and so decided to really experience the full effect of the psilocybe that night by consuming 6g. Foolishly, I convinced J to do the same even though he was not very experienced with psychedelics. D decided to eat 3g. and A decided to act as the "sitter" and have only 1g. We set our respective doses on a counter in the kitchen and ate them together at about 12.
As we waited for the hallucinogenic fungi to take effect, we went to J's room, had just a few beers to help quell our apprehension, and watched J play Grand Theft Auto. About half an hour later, all of us began to really notice the onset of the shrooms’ effects. D, A and I laughed with each other and commented on the common liquid sensation we felt and the marked intensification of sound and color. I looked around at the posters in J's room and found that I could change the facial expression of characters by being still and relaxing my eyes. This went on for a little while before I began to feel restless and confined, so I suggested that we go outside. They agreed and so we went out to J's backyard.
There, we walked around barefoot on the grassy lawn (grass was the coolest thing) next to the swimming pool and looked out across the horizon, awestruck at the city lights. We sat by the poolside talking about this and that, enjoying the sensation of water on our feet and the rich colors and sounds. I was rather enjoying myself despite the increasing nauseous discomfort growing in my stomach, when I noticed some kind of huge beetle floating in the water. I was aghast at its enormity and immediately pointed it out. D and A laughed uproariously, joking that it was a spawn of Satan etc. For some reason, I had Star Wars in my mind so I ventured an opinion that the beetle was actually the evil Emperor. J began to spout equally ludicrous absurdities when all of a sudden, something possessed J to run up and seize the insect and dangle it nonchalantly in front of us. Needless to say, we all ran away like little girls, shrieking and shielding ourselves from the wretched creature. The three of us stood in the distance and watched in shock as J played with the thing and put it in his pants. At this point, we began appreciate the potential magnitude of the shrooms’ effects- especially on J who was physically the smallest among us.
By now, about one hour had elapsed since the time we consumed our doses and each of us (even A who ate only 1g.) was immersed in their own world. Everything was shaking and buzzing, and it seemed that there was more curvature and less solidarity in objects. J was running about excitedly talking nonsense, A and D were engaged in their own private (and comparatively sober) discussion, and I was crouched down in front of some gravel feeling quite sick. With my eyes open, I beheld the bright stars overhead take on a multicolored luster and move in circular patterns. The ground beneath me rolled and suddenly expanded in wavelike patterns, forming into faces and speaking softly in many voices beneath my feet. I bent forward and dry heaved several times, concerned that I had eaten too many. As I looked down at the rocks, they morphed into individual humanoid bodies and writhed together in seeming discomfort. They took on a dull shade of gray and conveyed to me the idea of sickness; something I believed they wanted me to understand as a slowing rate of living vibration, analogous to a pure vibrant white approaching inert blackness. As I pondered this blackness which could be understood as evil, I realized that it was a function of narrowing ideas- something that limited perception to smaller and smaller individual manifestations, translating into increased selfishness, sickness and ignorance in human beings. When I closed my eyes, I perceived bright green light forming itself into various patterns and shapes. These seemed very plant-like to me. I got the idea that mushroom possessed a will and intelligence; a quality of light energy whose pattern would convey ideas and affect the individual according to the filter of their consciousness. I understood that the mushroom's purpose was to bring to surface hidden patterns of thought, tendencies and habits, which should then be dealt with. A mental "detox" of sorts.
Much to my dismay, however, I also realized (as J later proved) that most people carry around far too much mental baggage to safely use high doses of shrooms. I realized that if such people used them, they would be so overwhelmed by the magnitude of their accumulated negative thoughts that they could be traumatized or worse.
By the time I was finished dry heaving and thinking of such things, D and A approached me and asked if I was all right. I was grateful for their concern and responded that I was. I must have looked pretty bad doubled over coughing with an agonized look on my face! We sat again by the side of the pool and tried (perhaps unconsciously) to ease the situation, which was quickly spinning out of control by joking. The subject of conversation quickly turned to sex. D, A, and J fumbled over the English language talking about pornography while I sat back and listened. As their conversation progressed, J started to talk about pretty messed up things. At first, D, A and I thought it was pretty funny and laughed at it, but J began to really get intense! The three of us were getting pretty uncomfortable when he started talking about blood, violence and rape etc. In that moment, the thought occurred to me that sex is generally treated like an exalted itch scratching- devoid of real emotional content due to cultural programming. This emotional content, I thought, was something that separated us from lower forms of intelligences inasmuch as it allowed for the utilization of different regions of the spine and brain. It brought me sorrow that so many were unaware of this.

By and by, J decided to get up and go into the house. The rest of us followed him in, half relieved to have a change of scenery and half worried about J's strange state. D, A and I went to the grand piano in J's living room and began to play around. D and I play and write music, so we were really enjoying the creativity and auditory alterations afforded by the shrooms. As I watched the keys shimmer and vibrate, I could see the actual sound of the piano forming themselves in to waves and objects in the room (D later told me that I exhibited an uncanny ability to fuse together various songs and improvise chords and arpageatic sequences while bemushroomed). D and I were having great fun playing the piano, when suddenly J's voice was heard from in the kitchen saying somewhat insulting things about me. I was perturbed about this but decided to ignore it and keep playing. J would not allow it, however, and came into the living room demanding that D and I stop. A bit irritated, we agreed and sat down on a couch. I remained there for several minutes watching the movement of the walls and floor as swirling patterns of light encircled the room, when suddenly, we heard clanging in the kitchen. D, A and I turned around in horror to see J babbling incoherently and tossing huge amounts of money into the air. Apparently, he had found his way into his parents’ household finances and started throwing them around the kitchen!
We tried to talk reason to J, but it was no use. He would mumble gibberish, laugh, cry yell and roll his eyes as he looked at us with a blank, fearful expression. The three of us were utterly terrified at this point. J had completely lost it. We somehow managed to get him away from his parents' money, but he immediately ran toward his mothers $600 lamp in the living and proceeded to push it over. Tripping HARD at this point and terrified out of my mind, I somehow caught the lamp and told J not to push it over. He wouldn’t listen, however, as he seemed to be very angry at the lamp. He pushed it over again and this time it fell to the ground and shattered, emitting bright blue sparks as it broke.
I wanted to run, hide just go home or something to get away. I was convinced that J was going to kill himself or us at any time. I was seriously considering knocking him unconscious so he wouldn't hurt anyone. He looked at the broken lamp quizzically, as if trying to figure out what had happened, then snatched up a piece of it and started chewing on it. A managed to get it away from him and escort him out of the living room as D and I looked at each other in fear and anguish. Our mushroom intoxication wasn't even at its peak yet!!
It seemed to me that there was a dark red cloud of light about J, and that he was reliving negative thoughts and emotions he had in the past. In my mind, he was like a lost child, but a dangerous one. I was afraid of him. I desperately wanted to sober up but knew that I wasn't even half way through the trip. A emerged into the living room a few moments later wearing an expression of apprehension. Trying to pull myself together, I asked him if he was ok. He nodded that he was, so I suggested in a somewhat coherent manner that we clean up the remains of the lamp.
My head was whirling with countless thoughts and emotional associations as A and I went into the garage in search of cleaning equipment. My heart was pounding with fear as I perceived hideous, malevolent forms in the darkness- a manifestation of my unease. Somehow, I managed to find a light switch and grab a broom and dustbin. I took it into the living room and began to sweep.
The thought came to me that some being or entity was trying to help me be giving strength and determination. A voice sounded over and over in my head "Pick up the broken pieces" which formed into a song that symbolized recovering from failure and not giving up. Using all the willpower I had, I completed the task with A and threw the pieces into the trash.
I retreated to the vacant kitchen and drank some water. I was keenly aware of the beating of my heart at this time, as well as the sensation of the cool liquid moving down my body. I thought that I was in danger of dying and understood how fragile and temporary our human existence is. As I looked around me at the warped and colorful surroundings, I could feel intense buzzing electricity in my head. My emotions and thoughts surged in incredible intensity until I could feel myself pulsating with energy.
I walked aimlessly around the strangely distorted house for a while as I tried to think of what to do about the situation with J. I wanted to go help him with D and A, but I knew I was too far-gone from the mushrooms. I felt fearful and vulnerable- not good when tripping on mushrooms. I stumbled into the living room and fell onto the couch. As I sat there looking at objects in the house and on the wall, I began to get a sense of love and togetherness, which I understood to be a part of J's family. I watched as the white stucco walls changed colors, breathing in and out. Another feeling then came to me: one of sadness and corruption. I thought about history and all of the atrocities committed by mankind. Scenes flashed in my head of wars, dungeons, criminals, and corrupt nobility and politicians. As I concentrated more on these things, the shrooms of course magnified my thoughts and emotions to such an extent that I felt that I was in hell. A suffocating cloud seemed to envelop me as I felt attunement to that which is narrowing, slowing in vibration, approaching death. It was as if something, personified in J was pushing me toward inert darkness. I could literally feel the pain and sickness in this world, and it was bringing me to tears. I felt like I had to desperately hold on to my life and memory of happiness in order to stay alive and sane. I thought that if I could just somehow endure the pain I was experiencing and emerge unbroken, everything would be ok.
The ceiling seemed to be rapidly descending and I felt as if the furniture was enveloping me. Strings of light flew around the room as objects blended together as colorful blobs of energy. I closed my eyes and was engulfed in strange visions landscapes and geometric patterns of light. Wave upon wave of terror and sadness crashed against me and I lost awareness of who or where I was. I moved deeper and deeper into the infinite expanse until there was no longer emotion, only an undefined sense of self.
I opened my eyes and was taken aback by the perceptions I experienced. I found myself lying on a table in the kitchen trying to remember what was going on. By now, I had reached my peak. I lay there on the table believing that I was dead. It seemed to me that every thought I had entertained was now being forever relived. Childhood memories and random scenes flashed before my field of vision. The boundaries of reality broke down as I lost any separate sense of bodily identity. I was energy- a limited range of energy suspended in infinite space. I realized that I was just as much every person as I was myself. I lived the lives of everyone I knew and was them. I understood everything to be only me as different expressions. I drifted out of thought and into the range of emotional states, which I experienced as different vibrations of color and sensation. Fear seemed to take on a cloudy yellow while anger was red. I merged with the table I was on and with the kitchen itself. I felt as though no boundary of individuality was real, and that I could become anything by concentrating on it. Unfortunately, I could not concentrate on anything for more than a second or so, and was once again overtaken by memories. Scenes of my parents and my sister came to me, and then, curiously Star Wars again! I sudden revelation came to me that everyone I knew was a character in the movie; something that symbolized every aspect of my life.
I don't know how long I spent on that table, but I do know that I came to sometime later in a puddle of urine. I instantly remembered who I was and thought in dread about J. I rushed into the bathroom to find him laying in the tub, and A and D crouched on the floor. A and D informed me that J had tried to eat shower cleaner and touch them, but was now all right. J looked up at me, exhausted and muttered "mannnnnn". Overjoyed that J and everyone else was alive, I smiled, slapped hands with him and said, "Dude, why did break your mom's lamp"? At this, J's eyes opened wide in horror. He had no memory of what he had done! He walked out into the living room and saw for himself the sad state of the lamp. He stressed out further when he walked into the kitchen and found his parents' money strewn about.
J was very depressed after this, but D, A and I were so happy to be alive and increasingly in touch with "consensus reality" that we laughed and danced around. I felt like I could do anything at that time. I maintained the idea that everyone and everything was my own self, expressed differently according to the magnet of thought. I felt an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude for everything- the best afterglow after the worst trip experience.
Months later, all four of us were doing just fine, including J. He resolved never to use illicit substances again and to clean up his life. He strongly felt that some evil presence had gained access to him and tried to destroy him while intoxicated. His dogs were really freaked out after that night!
To all who would use the psilocybe, understand its powerful potential and be careful! All the talk about set, setting and sitters really is important- especially with higher doses! I strongly recommend natural, expansive settings when on mushrooms. Invariably, experiences in the desert and other such natural locations have been pleasant, while trips in enclosed indoor areas have been difficult or uncomfortable. If you are a happy, peaceful, stable, confident individual disinclined to use entheogens more than only occasionally for the purpose of whetting the appetite for knowledge and discovering psychological idiosyncrasies, then proceed with caution. If you seek true self-knowledge and improvement, practice yoga pranayama.

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