After eating an entire eighth and not tripping less than a month ago, I decided to give it another attempt. I had heard good things about the mushrooms currently circulating around campus and picked up an eight to split between my friend and myself. I weighed the shrooms out, and we each consumed .7 g of caps and 1.0g of stems. We each crushed up our individual portions for better absorption, ate them along with a beer, and about 10 minutes later smoked a large bong of marijuana. This was around 3pm, March 1st 2006.
About 15 minutes into the experience, I began to notice the first signs of the Psilocybin taking effect. I stared at a group of shadows on the wall and watched as they seemed to evaporate into smoke, only to reappear and evaporate again. I began to laugh, feeling a sense of almost divine elation, a comforting feeling that everything was alright. In a matter of minutes I became unable to focus on any specific thing. Instead of looking at individual objects I now took in entire images as a whole. Patterns began to emerge in the grouping of objects, cartoon faces and busts appeared in everything around me, sheets, pillows, wood flooring, just about every object contained interlinked patterns.
I thought of a lot of the things currently troubling me in life, and somehow now their purposes had become so clear. It was around this time my friend and I made our way outside. He hadn’t started tripping yet, but to me the world appeared strange and alien. It was as if I had never seen the world like this before. I wasn’t scared, just intrigued. I wondered why people do things, where their motivations stemmed from, what their purposes were. Friends I talked to looked different at first, the way a face becomes unfamiliar if one stares at it for too long. I couldn’t understand why everyone was in such a rush, driving cars, riding bikes etc. I had the urge to give everyone shrooms; they needed to be illuminated, to change the way they perceived their lives.
Surfaces seemed to shimmer, as if coated with oil or metallic paint. The world seemed artificial. I couldn’t understand why people were driving in cars, everyone seemed to be rushing to accomplish goals that would lead to nothing. Every friend I communicated with seemed to be at a different, lower level. It was as if people needed to do shrooms to experience reality as it truly was.
Next, the auditory part of the trip began to intensify. I heard very high-pitched sounds, some sort of futuristic “docking and connecting,” along various bubbling noises. As the colors grew more and more vibrant, time began to echo itself. Words that came out of my mouth spiraled away repeating into infinity. I began combining words that didn’t belong together. Language seemed impractical, too juvenile to covey the experience I was having. I realized I was becoming lost inside my own body. My actions were hardly my own, as if my thoughts were input into a computer, and my functions the slightly delayed processed output.
I came to rest on a bench overlooking a lake surrounded by trees. The beautiful vista was filled with swirling energy. Trees began to melt into shapes, their colors unlike any I had seem before, bright greens and blues surrounded by the most pure white. It was at this moment that I began to experience what I can only describe as “true reality.”
As I turned my head left and right, panes of reality slid in and out of existence. I could glimpse infinity. It was as if I was gazing into back-to-back mirrors; I saw endless possibilities existing around me. I continued to mutter, “Everything is everything” and I repeatedly concluded, “I am just a part taking place in a thing.” Up to this point in my life, I had never read or heard anything of “ego-death,” the moment one transcends from their ego into a world of infinite time and possibility. I had no idea what was happening to me, I wanted it to end; I knew I wasn’t ready to experience this. It felt like death, my life flashed before my eyes, but the flash seemed to last an eternity. All at once I understood. In my mind, I applied this new understanding to every event that has ever occurred in my life. It was impossible for me to imagine a time where I had not felt this way, and even more impossible for me to ever think of experiencing life the same again. I knew that I could never express existence. I knew that my explanation would only be perceived in a certain way, that every attempt to explain it was futile. I felt a strong connection with the Socratic analogy. It was as if those who experienced this “super reality” were enlightened, I could connect with every individual. I had an overwhelming sense that this was the answer. That it was a reality experienced by everyone at a certain point in their life. All in one instance, everything that I had ever known, my childhood, everything I had learned in school and college, every life lesson, every influence of any person, came into focus. It felt as though I was observing life from a godlike point of view, I was no longer myself. I understood that time was nonexistent. I understood that life was all about the present moment, and ones perception of the present moment. I felt as if I had lived my life through previous times as all the people around me, knowing the difference between my life and my friends and families. It seemed as if this realization was there all along, I had just never realized it. The reality I existed in consisted of paths and choices. Instantaneously I could understand what was at the end of every path, how all existence somehow ended up back at the reality I existed in. I understood the importance of all of history. I understood the purpose of religion. I knew why everything in my life happened. It was as if I could move effortlessly through paths of time, time walkways. I could watch their trail, see how they started, where they would end.
Because I had never expected anything like this to happen, I began to freak out. I felt as though I could never return to a normal life again, that the mushrooms had made me crazy. At times however, I questioned whether or not this was a result of the mushrooms at all. I use the word “crazy” very loosely. The actual feeling cannot be captured in words. It was as if I could never return to reality knowing what I now knew. It seemed impossible to return back to the world of time. I understood how time didn’t exist, how time couldn’t exist. I perceived the world in terms of thought. I became very depressed. This new existence, although more powerful on every level, felt abandoning. It rendered “real life” meaningless. I didn’t understand how people could accomplish everyday tasks. Motivation seemed like a foreign concept. I wanted to do nothing but be around people who were influential: My parents, a favorite teacher, a best friend.
It was at this point that I began to realize the reality I was experiencing was captured everywhere around me, that other people had lived it as well. It was as though the place in my mind I was exploring was universal for all beings. All energy was there, and it only made sense for all energy to be there. From this point on, my trip had a sudden sense of urgency. It was as though I had figured life out, and needed to get to certain places, do certain things. I wanted to abandon college and drive home; it just made much more sense to do so. More and more I felt like I was just a visitor, like I was a superhuman in a humans world. I felt out of place, not that I was too far advanced, just that everyday matters of “normal” people were completely irrelevant. With my ego gone I was able to connect with everything else around me. There was no longer “me” or “I,” just everything and all. Everything revolved around individual perception, how a persons psyche creates the world in which they live. How the all of existence is made up of these interactions, individual lives coming into each other, connecting, interacting, and continuing. It was all about being, about viewing things macrocosmically, about taking yourself out of the equation. It was about the now, the one moment that spanned all of time and space. The one moment consuming everything once perceived as time. The moment that contains all of existence in an endless spiral of divinely perfect and infinite possibility. What happened next is totally erased from my memory. I returned to my dorm room and just existed. The only part of me that was in the room was my physical body. Mentally, I was surrounded by vivid images within my head, taking me deeper and deeper into the “super reality” existing all around us. It is impossible to explain with words, and the only thing I can say is that it is captured everywhere in everything. I somehow knew that this was the place certain songs and books were written about, the place described in many movies, and captured in various forms of art. I have no idea how long I existed within my room, I only know that it didn’t matter. All knowledge was contained in the reality that I had somehow journeyed to and time therefore did not exist, and somehow, time could not exist. The rest of my trip consisted of me coming to terms with the new reality. Emotionally, I was upset at having lost my sense of identity. I was nearly sure at certain times that it wasn’t a result of the mushrooms, that I had just realized something I hadn’t before. However, as the fifth hour of the tripped crept by, I began to feel the familiar pull of reality take hold. It wasn’t as if my trip was over, bits and pieces remained. I left the “super reality” and had somehow managed to regain my ego. All around me at all times, walls would fade in and out of the room, colors would change from white to black. I could see myself bleeding, as I looked at my hands they would grow old and decay in front of me. I saw each one of my fingers break away leaving me with a stump. Music played backwards, words made no sense. People’s eyes were in the wrong place, sometimes on their forehead, sometimes on their chests. I had the feeling I was in a movie, color schemes and music seemed to define every moment, telling me how to feel.
I was physically and emotionally drained, the only urge I had was to lie down and sleep. As I closed my eyes, images of the room I was in remained, yet faded and twirled, dancing before my closed eyelids. At one point I grew very hot and took off my shirt. I was almost covered in sweat for about 5 minutes, but it quickly went away and I fell asleep for about an hour. When I woke, I felt 95% normal. I was once again able to think and feel, but my mind felt a little…empty. Overall, it was an amazing experience. Although I can’t remember exactly what the reality in my trip felt like, bits and pieces come back as I write this and talk about it with friends. It was one of the most amazing days of my entire life. I wish I had been more prepared, that I had known what ego death was. This would have made the experience a lot less frightening, had I known it was shared by many people, that it wasn’t just me going nuts. I will try mushrooms again, hopefully all psychedelics. Before I do so however, I want to educate myself more and ensure that when the climax of a great trip arrives, I’ll be ready to experience it at its full potential. To this moment I am baffled that I somehow reached this beyond-sacred place. I feel like Timothy Leary, wanting to abandon this life and study the reality the Psilocybin allowed me to visit.