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Terrifying and enlightening

11/09/03 Yesterday was the most mind blowing and significant experience I have had as a human being to date.


Yesterday was the most mind blowing and significant experience I have had as a human being to date.

We (me, j*, h* and two others) ate the mushroom at about 8:30 pm as dusk and the eclipse had passed and we were about to enter a new phase of consciousness. Everyone was excited and I was experiencing extreme anxiety at the daunting task ahead of me due to past experiences. All the anxiety and tension that I had building up inside me over the past few months seemed to explode right there, as if this was the defining moment that I had waited for since the last time I ate the mushroom.

As the mushroom piles disappeared bit by bit mine still heaped in front of me, waiting for consumption. I don’t know why, with all the anxiety and apprehension that overwhelmed me, but I started to eat them on an empty stomach in small doses and after a few minutes they were completely devoured. I wanted the lights on but no one would have that…

After a few minutes I began feeling the effects, I’m not sure if it was due to anxiety, nervousness, or the drug, but my hands were tingling immensely, the kind of tingling you get when you are hyperventilating, and my fingers felt like they were not smoothly curved but were actually three dimensional polygons resting on my skeleton, made out of some substance that was all skin but wasn’t all plastic either.

I waited and the first few waves of hallucination kicked in and watched the poster of the boat on the wall and noticed the three dimensionality of the two dimensional thing and I remember going on the balcony and looking at the bricks of healy street and noticing they were moving a bit, one row moving up and one row moving down in successive order. I felt strong enough to head outside and we all agreed we would walk to the grainger engineering library or the quad.

We walked and I think the shrooms kicked in a bit more. We needed to stop by discount den to get some cigarettes for the smokers and on the way there we encountered a stream flowing under bridges and metal structures. We all became enraptured with this scene and I stared at the water flowing and we all noticed a sting ray in the water and also I noticed neon lights being reflected off the water and remember thinking that they look somehow digitized, like the water was the digital medium in which these lights were being shown to us. To me this bridge and everything else contained within it seemed so mathematical, the structures spaced so evenly apart, the metal was so smooth and everything seemed so …perfect…that it would have to have been constructed by some sort of machine intelligence.

We proceeded to walk to grainger. I can’t remember when the mushrooms kicked in completely, but it was here when my intensely introspective nightmare started to take hold of my mind. Remembering is difficult – all at once I am walking down a lonely path by myself, I come across an alien artifact placed in the grainger quad to remind human beings of their existence, I’m sitting in front of the metal man who’s reading a metal book watching organic people come in and out of grainger, including j* and d*, and I’m getting increasing paranoid so I take off by myself to a body of water behind some building, walking again by myself but everyone follows me and I sit, crouched with my legs being grasped by my arms, thinking, I can’t remember what I was thinking about but I do remember at one point j*turning to me to say, “the world is a scary place”. Indeed it was at this point in my life.

I would have stayed there forever. But, everyone thought it was a good idea to head back and I gathered up enough strength to stand up and actually walk back to the apartment. Of the walk, I only remember strolling casually past a cop car while I yawned…

At this point the mushrooms had their hold of me. I was in a complete other dimension while I hallucinated intensely, noticing colorful but frightening (that shouldn’t be there…) trails following people as they walked in the fake fluorescent light of the apartment complex. Finally we were back at the apartment.

Here’s where the universe dissolved and all that was left was my mind, screaming like a newborn child-soul thrust into some alien human body. Nothing existed before this time and I couldn’t comprehend what would exist after. Again recollections are vague and hazy but I’m lying on the couch and all sense of time and space just dissolved and I existed only as a thinking entity, and nothing nothing nothing made sense: life, existence, time, space, money, sex, genitals, excretion, relationships, nations, states, laws, music, structures, memory, the human body, brain, hands, feet, legs, arms, metabolism, EVOLUTION, mushrooms, growth, death, dreams, work, college, high school, grammar school, birth, parents, brothers, sisters, friends – all of it didn’t exist. The only thing that mattered in my mind was my mind. Physical reality is an illusion, of this I am sure. As is time and space. I remember looking at my watch and just kind of scoffing at it and thinking, “this means absolutely nothing”…I wanted to take it off and throw it away but I couldn’t muster up the strength. Next I took out my wallet and looked at what I take so much stock in, like life = wallet but realized this too was just a feeble attempt at grasping on to physical reality.

Vaguely I remember pondering the universe and its infinite nature and the sun moon stars night day and could not even attempt to understand the cycles of life. It was futile and at this, I had entered God’s realm and once I realized this I remember apologizing to IT, as I had crossed a path/threshold a human being was not supposed to cross, entered some kind of dimension which was prohibited to human beings. The thought of God calmed my furious mind activity and the thought that we, human beings, are both animal and divine popped into my infinite skull (because, as I closed my eyes, I could imagine my mind taking up no space or no time, that my mind was timeless and existed without boundaries: any experience can be cataloged and the brain can never be filled because of the quantum nature of reality…this made sense at the time). This again calmed me but the outer world was in such a state of fluctuation that it frightened me. “up is up, down is down” was the mantra I kept repeating, but how could that be if the floor was wobbling up and down like a teeter totter and the door across from me that usually looked so rectangular was now skewed into some kind of trapezoid? I had to make some allowances for gravity – I told myself that gravity will always keep you on the ground despite some of the variances in its field. This calmed me a bit.

Self realization also took place at an intense level on this couch that had, like the mushrooms, had its hold over me. Certain things are re-discovered while on mushrooms and I realized again that I have extremely negative thought patterns about everything and worry about everything and the whole time I’m trying to exert control over this situation that I can’t remember what I brought about to do this, I forgot, did we eat mushrooms or am I going to be like this forever, like a schizophrenic? This thought panicked me but I did another dose of self-placation and told myself it was only a period of time this would happen and I would come down, I kept telling myself “6 hours to baseline” and this seemed to help, but it still seemed like I had just been born, totally insane and totally naïve. Did people exist? They had to – the first person I remember existing was k*, but I didn’t know how I knew her, from work, school, where is she, I can’t picture her but I know she’s there, she’s like a dream I had and I’m dreaming and she’s dreaming and it isn’t real. Next came s*, s*, and m* in no order. Then d*. I wonder if this was because of their importance to me, how much influence these people had on my life and how much I care for them? I can also remember thinking about another one of my friends and his experience and how he seemed to have a handle on all situations and how self-reliant he was and I think I remember thinking that I envied this part of someone because i have not fully obtained this state. But, i thought, I am on the right track, challenging myself like this and coming through…

AS for the people I was shrooming with, I had no idea who they were or where they came from. I remember, at one point, h* walking in front of me and thinking “I SHOULD know who this is, but who is it really? Ok, I know him from a long time ago. His name is h*. What is the significance of this?” then I saw j* sitting on the couch across from me, packing a bowl. This was my BROTHER and I had no clue who he was, I knew his name was j* and mine was dave and there was some kind of connection there but how did I know this? Who told me? I didn’t know and I couldn’t try to understand, but the word “brother” came to my mind and then I realized that brother is just a word and I could not comprehend the meaning behind the word “brother” or any other meanings of anything for that matter.

For some reason I had the thought next that computers existed and so do cell phones. Was this when I took my wallet out and realized the futility of physical reality?

During this whole period I had certain realizations that accompanied the other realizations in my mind. I had already established that physical reality did not matter. What was left? The human mind and spirit. THIS is what matters and what is the true nature of a human being? Human emotion. Human relationships. And here is where I (re)-discovered the nature and meaning of life – to love other humans and care for others. To make connections and hold on to those connections. To care. All this amidst the flurry of physical reality melting away from everything that I have ever accepted as real and as non changing, static and finite.

I think before this I went to the bathroom (urination) and could not figure out why human beings eat and then excrete. It seemed so futile to me, so useless. And why did we excrete two substances instead of one? It made no sense. I looked down while I was urinating and realized that genitals made absolutely no sense either. What were they there for? What was their purpose??? Nothing, nothing, nothing! I can remember this after I came out of the bathroom and I was agitated at the fact there was no light in the rest of the apartment and I turned on the light in the bathroom and sat in the doorway pondering my existence (surprise). J* appeared out of no where and he seemed to be fake, a two dimensional creature existing in a three dimensional space and said something to me that made me extremely anxious to which I responded “DON’T TALK TO ME!!!”…I feel like I was rocking back and forth in the doorway but can’t really remember.

Music is an amazing experience on mushrooms but I had a hard time comprehending where it came from and what it was. Sure, it existed, but how? At the same time, listening to the music (mudvayne) I realized I could drum and knew how to do it, but I had no idea how I gained this knowledge. It was all so confusing. Before this we listened to kid a by radiohead and that was the most amazing of experiences. I remember thinking that radiohead was now my guide, leading us around this trip because they had made this album while they were so fucked up on drugs and knew how to proceed through the trip positively. The “concept” track that had only sounds was the most intense of tracks. I can remember hallucinating in my mind some kind of geological structure that was worn by water, smooth, like the grand canyon, with stratifications and striations all through the cross section, sandy and desert like. Definitely satisfying. As the music ceased I started panicking…h* and j* put on mudvayne and a strobe light and I think this is when I started freaking out majorly.

All the sudden it’s midnight and over. I remember all the lights being on and lying on the couch, still buzzing a bit, confused, but remembering with relief that the trip is over; staring at the moon through the sun roof and being able to comprehend my surroundings was a liberation from the mushroom while everyone reconvened in the TV room. I was in shock at the experience I had felt I need to sleep and be alone for a bit to process what had happened…

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