the following words are as true as any I am capable of writing. The reader
will take caution to remember that these are still metaphors, a pale
gloss on what really occurred.
With that in mind, here is the greatest true story I can muster:
After reading the ARCHAIC REVIVAL, I was immediately impressed by
Terence McKenna and his incredible ideas, which to me rang so true. I
rapidly sought out his other works, and THE INVISIBLE LANDSCAPE struck
me as the most important. For those who have not read it, it is a
description of an incredible "transcendental errand" performed by
Terrence and his brother Dennis. The book also attempts to explain, in
readable language, the mechanics behind their transdimensional doings.
The basic premise of the experiment was that the brain is really a sort
of tuning device capable of focusing on any information anywhere in the
holographic universe. Certain molecular vibrations (namely psilocybin
when combined with mao-inhibitors) allow the brain to discover
information which is normally masked. Read this book, my description is
woefully inadequate. Anyhow, I was interested enough to naively dabble in
these realms myself.
The McKenna experiment involved high doses of fresh, Amazonian specimens
of Stropharia cubensis and an ayahuasca preparation. I decided not to
deal with any MAO-inhibitors, but I did have a supply of nice Psilocybe
cyanescens, which are by weight more potent than the common
cubensis. I ate several grams of dried cyanescens. The setting was a
dark house on the Chesapeake Bay, in the middle of a February snowstorm.
The fire cackled as I awaited results. Within minutes of ingesting the
mushrooms, I felt the first intimations of what was to come, huge waves
of psychedelic energy manifesting themselves as "wind" flowing through my
body. I vomited violently, and retreated to the nearly pitch-black bedroom
to lie down. My companion in the experiment claimed "I'm scared!" and my
own teeth started to vibrate horribly, in conjunction with the "wind"
described above. A horrendous, joyous, and absolutely unbelievable set of
The following events (to paraphrase FB Lamb in WIZARD OF THE UPPER
AMAZON) are metaphor, it has taken me about 2 years to produce this
reconstruction of what occurred on that fateful eve.
I thought I was dead. I knew I had done it to myself, but could not
for the life of me remember what I had taken, why I was dead, or how it
happened. I simply knew that I had done it, and I was somehow in a
galactic prison, or a purgatory perhaps. The visions were plentiful, yet
solemn. At this point they were mostly in black and white. I could feel
my ego being physically crushed, just like a can still full of liquid.
As the pressure increased, the contents pushed "outward". Eventually
this culminated in some sort of squashed feeling which I can only relate to
the poor 2-D creatures of the sci-fi classic FLATLAND. I spent some
time in this suffering, progressively more terrifying state.
Eventually an entity came and delivered me unbidden personal
attention. I was quite relieved to see another creature, for I suspected
I was one myself (although not sure). At first I was captivated by its fluid
motions and methodical actions. It was moving in rythyms, doing a dance
of sorts. Eventually it occurred to me that the "dance" it was doing
involved horrifying probes of my own form, and that it was moving faster
than I could comprehend while doing so. I was paralyzed. I wasn't sure
if I had a body or not, but this thing was doing something to ME, which
was still intact. As I concentrated more and more upon its "physical"
form (which is a term I use as loosely as possible), it occurred to me
that it looked somewhat familiar. Not anything I had ever seen, but
close. It was a giant praying mantis, although it had mental appendages
and cartoon details about it. It also looked more squat than the
terrestrial version of the insect, shorter and more robust. Its many
arms worked up and down my existence, probing and testing every bit. It
seemed to put no effort into comforting me, yet it did through some sort
of telepathy imply that it would be easier for both of us if I stopped
struggling. Eventually I did, and it left.
I lost almost all physical awareness, and felt my mind drifting
through something resembling outer space. I saw stars, celestial bodies, etc,
but was not sure if they were as such, or molecules. The difference
seemed irrelevent at that point. I knew I had a brain, and a pair of
lungs. I thought that was all. Imagining myself, I saw the brain
connected to the lungs behind it, and realized that these two organs in
this array must have influenced the design of that dreaded spaceship ""The
ENTERPRISE". As I charted the cosmos, I became aware that through a bit
of imagining, or some similar process, I could arrange them to my own
satisfaction. I found that different arrangements produced different
mental states, some I had known while others were wildly strange. Upon
reflection, the impression that I had was that I was re-arranging
molecules which were fundamental in neuro-transmitting tasks. One
arrangement of the "stars" felt similar to LSD, one to 2CB, and so forth.
I was not aware of this at the time, however. I simply moved the stars
according to whim, and felt pleased with the immediate physical results.
I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but I eventually slipped
into another "room". This was the typical round room deep psychedelics take
me to. However, this time it was much larger than normal. Around the
perimeter flowed the forms of creatures who looked more like cartoon
drawings of dogs than anything else. They seemed Mayan, in as far as
they all had dragging tongues and eyes which looked only backwards.
They seemed to give me a grinning, sarcastic sneer as they drifted past me.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the "sphere", I had other entities to deal
with. I cannot come up with any words to describe most of them,
although the frivolous doodles which cover the margins of my school
lecture notes come closer to anything at approximating their forms. The
only clear example I can present is one interesting specimen: I saw a
Mexican man, dressed in traditional Huichole garb, kneeling and vomiting
on himself. He looked up at me with a knowing glance, and continued his
vomiting. I wondered later if I really met him or not. I also wondered
what entheogen or technique took us to the same place. It occurred to me
a month or so later to wonder if he had seen a college honkey, stoned to
the gills on mushrooms, floating through his own sacred space.
I finally relaxed, enjoying the inevitability of it all. instantly,
flowers looking like opium poppies surrounded me and the "machine-elves" of
DMT fame came to visit. They assured me that I was safe, and really a
nice guy to boot. In their high pitched collective voice, they sang a song
revealing to me not only my own nature, but that of all creatures as well.
They assured me that my DNA was not only similar to their own, but part of
as well as *encompassing* their own "code". They stressed the
simultaneousness of this seemingly contradictory statement. I started
to laugh out loud, mostly at the absurdity of it all. My laughing became
uncontrollable. It should be added that at this point I was so immersed that
it did not matter if my eyes were open or closed. However, this laughing
was the first event in what seemed like months which reminded my of my
personal form and body. And I laughed... I could not stop!
The laughing at one point "locked on" to a particular vocal
frequency, and I could not get it to budge. Indeed, I was aware that I
was releasing a monotonal hum. Even breathing did not seem to interfere
with its clarity. I found it satisfying, and started to explore. By
going with the sound, instead of trying to stop it, it grew louder and
louder. Eventually it culminated in what McKenna correctly describes as
a metallic buzzing sound. Very much like the sound of a cicada, but with
many other elements added. I did feel as a bug making the sound, and I
had an intuitive understanding of metamorphosis. As this sound
continued, I noticed it was affecting my visions. Before, the
elves were rapidly and almost violently competing for my attention, each
trying to show me a better toy than the last. But this incredible sound
caused them to order themselves into intricate yet subtle patterns of
the greatest coherency. By slightly altering the pitch of the growl, or
modulating it, the patterns changed. After some time, I could actually
sculpt three dimensional objects. I did not attempt to make a chair, or
a dog, or anything like that, but rather sculptures of pure light and
revolving spheres, towers of emerald surrounded by throbbing orbs of
sound and love. These were the toys I presented back to the
machine-elves. This ability continued for what I would (with no way of
ever knowing) say was roughly a half hour. This was the most satisfying,
absurd, and enjoyable feeling I have ever had in my life. All
frustrations associated with inability to express myself were flattened.
It was as if I were vomiting my soul right into the air, where it loved
to dance and play.
So now I am left with a ridiculous set of goals in life. I have done
this again with another person who claimed the ability, and indeed the
visions are seen by both parties. Like mental sex of untold richness.
The possibilities of this "language" with no danger of misinterpretation
are so staggering I can't conceive of pursuing any other future for us
monkies. To my amazement, and despite my wide sampling of the
psychedelic community across the U.S., this phenomenon is almost
unknown. I don't know what triggers it, only that if I eat enough
mushrooms it will come. Strangely, I have not been able to have much
success with the vocalizations on DMT, where this supposedly manifests
itself more readily.