This trip report is exceptionally long and possibly longwinded, but it contains many of my reflections and observations which I consider to be valuable. It is a followup to the trip report “beingesss.”
The following trip report tells the story of a mystical experience that I experienced while I was under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms on the third time I have tripped. I am currently in my mid-twenties and I am pursuing a professional degree. Whether the following events are real or not, I can not tell. Whether they represent a union with a metaphysical phenomenon or entity is a matter of faith. I do not know if the state represents a higher level of reality, an altered neurochemical environment in union with the primal consciousness, or a supreme state of delusion induced by a strong hallucinogenic substance.
This is a very long trip-report, but you might find it worthwhile. I have labeled this trip report a level "5", however, the following experience defies labels. Any type of label such as "mystical experience", or "level 5", or whatever is merely used to represent an almost indescribable subjective experience. I have also left some details out of the trip report to protect my privacy and the privacy of others. I hope you will enjoy reading this, and maybe it will help you on some future journey. An important warning is included at the end of the report.
I decided to trip again, even though my last trip was horrible, and I thought I was going to die. On my previous trip, I lost feeling in my arms and legs, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk, and I lost my motor functions. For a few tense minutes, I considered performing a tracheometry(sp) on myself to open my airway. I had to vomit. I felt (and thought!) as though I suffering a sever allergic reaction to the mushrooms. Whether I did or not, I have no idea, and the experience was probably the result of feelings of paranoia that the drug can cause. The symptoms subsided after many excrutiating hours (it was really about 30 minutes), and I calmed down. A week later I decided to trip again. Was I stupid?
On this trip,. I decided to split the contents of my 1/16 of an ounce of mushrooms in an attempt to avoid some of the unpleasantries associated with mushroom intoxication. I took the first 1/2 at 11:30. I started seeing webbing and colors were intensified. I was having fun playing frisbee with the 6-7 people I was tripping with. The frisbee was producing brilliant streaks of sound and color as it flew gracefully through the air. I began to see the characteristic webbing hallucinations and the ground breathed. I thought that these mushrooms were not bad or contaminated, so I ingested the other 1/2 at 1:30am. This when the tripped started to get a little bizzare.
- destruction of body-
20 minutes later I felt nauseated, and I left the group to go to the bathroom. I went into the bathroom, and as I hung over the toilet in agony, I began to see the most detailed and interesting visuals effects in the water. Even though I felt really sick, I was having fun staring into the toilet. I saw dragons and demons. I found this strange, because my prior hallucinations generally consisted of people dancing. I then closed my eyes and watched brilliant kaleidoscopes dance in my mind. I began to sink into myself. At this point on my previous pscyhonautic excursions, I usually opened my eyes, because I found this sensation unsettling.
I still had to urinate, defecate, and expunge the toxins in my system. I felt very ill, but my hallucinations were amazing. I then made one of the most important decisions in my life, and I decided that I would not leave my mind's eye. I was determined that I would continue to focus on the brilliant dancing kaleidoscopes in my mind even if I urinated, defecated, or vomited on myself. A little later, all of my feelings of sickness went away, and music entered my head. I do not possess any musical ability, but I heard symphonies in my mind, which kind of resembled Grateful Dead songs even though at the time I do not think I could have even have named a song by that group. Soon lyrics entered the symphony. "kill your body and free your mind". I began to enter a deep trance, and soon I did indeed kill my body. I still perceived my it, but it was no longer a factor. My decision to let my body take care of itself allowed me, unknowingly, to begin a long process - a deep journey into my very being, because I detached myself from my body.
-destruction of mind-
Five to seven distinct stages of being constituted my trance, and the trance lasted about three hours. When I woke-up, I thought it was in it for at least twelve hours. Each stage had distinct visions, music, mantras, and subjective states. I can no longer describe the exact visions or mantras, because I have forgotten many of them. Each stage flowed into one another, and different mental tricks were used to proceed to the “next” stage. The following events did not happen under my conscious control. My only conscious act after this point was my letting go of conscious acts. Thus, the second stage of the trance involved me “killing” my mind. I gave-up control, and I became a passive detached observer of myself. I no longer cared about what happened to me, and I decided that I would remain in my trance even if I would wake-up in a mental institution the next day. This is how I killed my “mind” and my rational self.
-death of ego-
In the next stage my ego died. I experienced death. There is no other way to describe it. "I" became completely detached from my observations. Please be aware that the terms "I" and "me" now assume new definitions, and that they are only used for descriptive purposes.
I then went to hell, and I saw my demons. These were not entities, and I think that they were metaphors for the barbaric and primal drives of the ego which manifest themselves from our pre-historic reptilian brains. I am especially glad that nobody disturbed me at this point during my voyage, because at this stage I was evil. (Throughout the whole experience, I was sitting on the bathroom floor with my eyes shut chanting and gyrating. If somebody had saw me, I am sure they would have committed me to a mental institution, but I did not care and I was quite content) I was stuck in Hell! The grasp of the demons on me grew stronger, the more I fought them(Remember, "I" is a label- it’s only a descriptive term. The "I" that existed at this point was merely whatever what was left over after my mind, body, and ego died. This “I” is qualitatively different that the "I" which is writing this poorly edited paper.) I was not really "fighting", and in fact I really did not care that the demons were possessing me. I was just a passive and detached observer. Soon, the worst demon manifested itself - Hitler, evil incarnate. But, I reacted in a strange way. I embraced him. I hugged Hitler. At this point my demons let go of me, because I embraced them. I loved them. I then proceeded to the next stage.
At this point, I realized that everything in existence is a gift. The word’s “gif, gift, gift” repeated themselves in my mind.
-the "me" stage-
In the next stage, I affirmed my self and existence, much like the Nietzchean idea of the affirmation of the eternal recurrence. I began to love everything about myself. I loved my mind and my body. I loved my snot and my shit. I loved the fact that I worried too much. I embraced every aspect of me. I embraced every aspect of existence. I embraced sewage and famine. War and disease. Butterflies and tigers. Everything. I was in love with everything including the person that was me. At this point the last traces of me died again. First my ego died, then whatever what was left-over died as well.
The next stage was that of nothingness. The word “nothing” was my mantra. What is left when one dies? Nothing. I embraced nothingness. I became nothing. During my trance I was aware of my body, but those sensations gradually diminished. During the nothing stage, my body gradually sank into itself until I became a two-dimensional dot on the floor. I no longer had any perceptions of me. Time and space disappeared. I began to exist outside of time and space. Soon, that dot that was me dissolved into pure nothingness....
-Beingness- “be,be,be be,be,be.....”
And everythingness! Nothingness is Everythingness. When one dies, nothing is left. But, nothing is everything. I dissolved into nothing and everything. I became the essence of being- beingness. I became one with my being, which may be “The Being” if one wants to ascribe a metaphysical content to my journey, which I do not think is necessary. The “false” separation my ego created between me and the rest of the universe completely melted away. I became the essence of everything. I became pure being. I was beingness. I was complete love and peace.(This is simply an undescribable experience) I realized that nothing mattered except for my being, and my being is beingness - the being of everything. I felt as though I traveled beyond my body, mind, ego, genes, and atoms. This was nirvannaland! (without the permanent enlightenment) While in nirvannaland, I became a fetus inside my mother's womb. Those were my visions. That was my experience. I slowly began to re-emerge.
rebirth- My ego died. Whatever was left over decided to create a new one or relive itself. I became a fetus again. I do not know if these visions and states were repressed memories or hallucinations or both. Nirvanna dissolved away, and I began to re-live the first few months of my life as a fetus in complete bliss and love. I then experienced my birth. I saw doctors pulling me out. The mantra changed to "open your eyes". And I did. I felt as though I was opening my eyes for the first time. I opened my eyes, urinated, sat back down, and closed them again without any conscious control. I then relived my early years as a baby. I saw and heard my parents and grandparents. Slowly, my ego reconstituted and re-programmed itself. I then opened my eyes for a second time. I stood up, and I began to walk around the bathroom, but I was still in a trance! I looked at my watch, and I began to leave the it. At this point the time was seven in the morning. My trance lasted for about 3 hours. I felt as though the trance had lasted for about 12-24 hours. When it was over I felt completely relaxed and revitalized.
I then walked into my friend's room, sat down, and watched the sunrise. I began to reflect upon the meaning of this event, which is second in importance only to my birth. I hope to post a brief analysis of the experience and its effects on my life during the past year in a second part to this trip report. It will also contain an important warning, which for the sake of brevity is "mushrooms are not a TOY! Treat them with respect or they will fuck you up! If you love them, they will love you in return."
Maybe the whole experience is related to the fetus. Possibly, the whole mystical experience is a journey to recreate the psychology and neurochemistry of us as a fetuses in union with mothesr who satisfy’s all needs and relieves all suffering. The mother represents the universe. Thus, religion is manifestation of this need for connectedness, oneness, and peace. As fetuses, we were bathed in love hormones and other chemicals, and quite possibly, we have repressed memories of the experience hidden in some recess of our minds. Organized religion might just be “free” prozac, and the “religious experience” might just be a glimpse into a hidden and primal state of existence.
The state might also represent something metaphysical- a union with GOD; becoming GOD; being GOD. The mystical experience could also be a state of reality that existed before we were even fetuses, before we were even genes, before we were even atoms. Maybe this state is the union with the primordial universal “consciousness” that existed at the birth of the universe, and this memory is stored in our very essence of existence. The universe might be a gigantic sheet of plastic curved upon itself in union and in “oneness” with itself. Sentient beingns are merely bubbles or ripples on the plane of existence. From our vantage point, we can only see tips of the other bubbles or ripple, and we never see the entire sheet of plastic. Possibly, the mystical experience gives one a glimpse of the oneness and of the wholeness of existence.
Finally, my mystical experience might just have been a delusion. A hallucination, and nothing more.
I have since developed a keen interest in the mystical traditions of various religions, although I have not become more “religious”. I think that spirituality and religion are quite different, and the latter might often be a hindrance to the former. Religion appears to me as a set of dogmas and rituals or cultural traditions, and its hierarchy might only exist to benefit its own continuation. Or, organized religion might be a way of transmitting the knowledge of spirituality and of the mystical. I have often since thought that religious rituals play the role of our renouncing control of our psychology to somebody or something else. A means of detachment A “good” hierarchy fosters spirituality and good ways among its followers. A “bad” hierarchy exploits the ancient need for the spiritual and fetal.
I am concerned with experience and not theory or dogmas. I recognize that the above paragraphs represent mere speculation on my part and nothing more. For me, dogma hinders experience. Detachment is the key. Attachment to theories and dogmas is a lock.
I have been reading more about Buddhism and some of it is aligned with my experience. Buddhism emphasizes wisdom, detachment, and compassion, which are essential elements. What is in harmony with my experience I investigate, and what is discordant with it, I ignore or question. I have also become more interested in my own religion, Judaism. I am curious to learn about the historically repressed mystical elements in it. However, I do not “believe” that the Torah is the word of G-d. It seems too hermetically sealed and too dogmatic for me. For me, truth is truth, and I believe there is much to be found within my “own” traditions.
I have been doing some reading on the subject. I’ve read parts of William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, and some books on Buddhism. I have also been reading many papers posted on the internet concerning Zen, psychology, the mystcial experience, meditation and its spiritual and physiological effects, and Jewish meditation. One of my favorite books is the Jew in the Lotus in which the Dalai Lama invites a group of Jews to visit him in India to learn about survival techniques for his people who are on the verge of extinction. Not only does it present an interesting discussion on why some traditions survive and other’s do not, it is also a fascinating discussion between Judaism and Tibetan Buddhism. I found it incredible that some aspects of Jewish mysticism (including Hasidism) and Tibetan Buddhism have similar methods and results of meditation. It shows that some experiences are universal, which might mean that they are truth or physiological in origin and rooted in our history of physical evolution. I also have a book called Zen and Hasidism. I am eager to read that book this summer and one by Kamenetz, the author of Jew in the Lotus, about his rediscovering Jewish mysticism. I also want to read more books on the subject.
In conclusion, my mystical experience is incredibly important for me, and I have learned a great deal from it. I think that I am a better person, and I am more patient with other people. Some of my actions are more deliberate to avoid causing suffering to “others”. I also learned why it is necessary to accumulate goodness in one’s life and to live a certain way. It might lead to a good death or to some type of enightenment. And it is the Way. “Karma” might not have any ramifications now, but in the instant before death, when time ceases to exist, bad “karma” might lead one into a timeless hell, and in a eternal confrontation with his demon. I also have a couple of different forms of meditation which I practice on an irregular and undisciplined basis. I also really enjoy listening to music now, and my musical tastes have definitely broadened. I see the beauty in many more forms of music. My investigation into this subject has become my hobby. Sometimes I think that it is unfortunate that am on a “professional” track, because I think I can make progress in the study of the mystical experience.
6/00 I am now persuing a threory of affirmative nihilism - that every even is just as meaningless and absurd as any other, which also means they are all equally meaningful.
Good night, and please, please be responsible with any foreign substance. Everything has its price.
6/00 - I have since developed an anxiety disorder and periods of depression that I control through intense weightlifting and sleeping well. My ability to concentrate has also diminshed. Whether my experiences are related to the etiologies of the disorders described above is unknown. If you desire to replicate experience, I would only do so if you are completely satisfied with life and are willing to sacrifice everything including your body, ideals, and possibly sanity.
If you have any questions or comments, my e-mail address is email@example.com